Hi all! Just wrote this in a boring class today! (readers: Whoot for boring classes!) Ahem, so this is a one-shot on grief (no duh), the immortality of the yamis, and their different viewpoints on life. It's got some cute moments. (my sister "aawww-ed" a few times) Guess that's a good thing.
The poem I wrote in between classes for this particular story. Enjoy!
I watch your face from the opposite side
Wondering what I am in your mind
Behind your glare and tightened fists
Lie emotions we both deny exist.
You won't admit it to yourself,
A rush of which we both have dealt
It would just cause us more remorse
Straying from our current course.
You won't give in and drop your mask
Embrace today and cast off the past
Because you've carried it for so long
Standing up straight to prove you're strong
Every look drenched with contempt
As though you know that time is spent
The world moves on but we remain
Left with their thoughts, their dreams, our pain.
If you had the choice, would you go too?
I know you've delved on this through and through.
But what's the point to wish such things?
For we know what all tomorrows bring.
Resurfacing each and every day
Unable to pass but cannot stay
Perhaps if we sit back and hold our breaths
Mercy will grant passage to rest.
The Grief Perception
Eighty years today.
Eighty years since Yugi solved the Millennium puzzle. Eighty years since I awoke from my three-thousand year slumber. Eighty years since our friendships and adventures began.
But no more.
I sigh heavily, shrugging on the black suit—the horrid black suit that's come out more and more frequently in the last ten years. I grit my teeth has the hated material slithers over my skin. After today I'll burn it. After today its purpose will no longer exist.
I avoid looking in the mirror next to my dresser. It'd probably be more reasonable to just chuck the thing instead of diverting my eyes whenever I need to pass by. The darn thing stands around seven feet high, three way. There's no chance I'd be able to lug it out of the apartment on my own.
After picking a piece of lint from the shoulder of my jacket I trudge out of the bedroom, eyes downcast so my reflection will not burn me. It's never changed. For over three thousand years I've been a teenager—and will remain so. Grabbing my car keys off the kitchen counter I open the door, chest aching and heavy. This is it: soon it will all be over.
It's a morose sight. All of their families are here; leaning against one another in comfort and sorrow. I recognize Yugi's son instantly. He's of a shorter stature—like his father and grandfather. His face is wrinkled, spiky hair a light silver that shimmers when the autumn sun hits it just right. He's seventy now. Four grown children that hold a similar appearance to him stand next to his wheelchair; their own young children glancing about in bewilderment at the hushed solemn state of all present.
The others' families are here as well. Just a single glance and I know whose children and grandchildren—even some great-grandchildren—they each are. The one family that's not here is Jounouchi's. He died at twenty-five in a car wreck; his fiancé, Mai, perishing with him. The rest of them had long lives, always remaining close to one another. Thus began a strong bond of friendship that's woven everyone together. If only they were here now...
I stand off to the side, not eager for any attention. Yugi's son with his tired violet eyes glances at me for a long moment, a soft smile on his lips. I merely nod, standing stiffly by a bare gnarled tree as they all gather around the shiny black coffin as it's lowered into the depths of the earth. Some women sob, clutching their loved ones tightly. A knot is lodged in my throat and I fight the stinging sensations that have begun to burn in my eyes.
It's really over.
Too unbearable to look at the coffin any longer I turn my head, staring out over the rest of the large cemetery carpeted in a thin layer of colorful leaves. Soon everything will be brown and dead. That will be more fitting.
I start, blinking in shock at the sight of the lone figure wandering away into the wilderness of headstones. It couldn't be...!
Forgetting my tears, the mirror, the horrid black suit, and the mourners I dash off after the retreating form. Repeatedly I stumble over the small gravestones and fake flowers cemented into cheap plastic pots. At one point I fall to my knees due to the soft soil of a fresh grave. Struggling to my feet I run, clambering through this maze of stone and grief. There! Approaching the silent forest at the far edge of the graveyard is none other than...
"Bakura!" I shout desperately, my voice echoing eerily in the dead air. "Bakura wait!"
He freezes, casting a glance over his shoulder before turning as I reach him. I stand before him, panting at the dash I've just made. He looks the same as the last time I saw him all those years ago. Wild white hair sticks out every which way, bangs partially concealing his features. Those slanted eyes send me a contemptuous look. His hands are buried in the pockets of his worn black leather jacket. The Millennium ring resting against his chest no doubt informed him of my presence long before I was aware of his.
"You...you're here!" I exclaim with wonder, fighting the urge to embrace the infamous tomb robber.
He snorts. "You're perceptive as ever, Pharaoh." Cynical eyes sweep over me. "And filthy."
I blink, glancing down to find the knees of my black pants covered in dirt. Ah well. I'm going to burn them anyway.
"But it's been...years since you've been here!" I continue breathlessly.
"Nice to know you noticed. What now though? Why are you following me?" he asks suspiciously. "If you want a hug go and cuddle one of your happy posse."
"They're all gone," I say quietly, eyes downcast.
He doesn't reply for a moment, only the murmur of the mourners audible in the distance. "Well this day was destined to come. You knew this long before."
"It...I just never dwelt on it," I admit softly, looking up at last.
"That's you all over again."
I bristle. "What?"
"Those friendship freaks, their families..." he snarls loudly stretching his arms out to emphasize his point. "Companionship."
"What about it?"
"There's no fucking point!" he all but shouts, burying his hands in his pockets once more. "You give and give, Pharaoh. Where does it land you? Here. Ties to other people can only end in pain."
I stare at him sadly. "Is that what you really believe? Haven't you ever thought that there might be something more to friendship than getting hurt?"
He gives me a skeptical look. I sigh heavily, glancing over my shoulder where people are beginning to depart, the ceremony complete. The children are laughing, chasing one another around the large old headstones; the inscriptions eroded from the stone, names long forgotten.
"If you don't believe in any sort of companionship then why have you come today?" I question softly as we both gaze towards to the diminishing procession.
"He was the other half of my soul," the thief replies in a tone clear of any emotion. "It's not a link I chose, but it was a link nonetheless."
"But how'd you even find out he'd passed away?" I press inquiringly. "All those years back Ryou told us you'd left the country."
"Though our mind link was severed by the distance doesn't mean I wouldn't be aware when his side of the connection disintegrated," he mutters somberly, eyes half-lidded.
"That's true," I say in return, mentally slapping myself for not having realized this. I experienced the feeling myself when my own hikari died.
"So when does it stop?"
I glance over to find brown eyes burdened, brown lined with uncertainty. "When does what stop?"
"All of it," he murmurs scathingly. "When will the pain go away? When can I just forget him?"
"That's what caring about someone is, Bakura. When you lose them it hurts."
"Which is why it's better to avoid it all together," he grinds out bitterly as the leaves rattle like dry bones above us in the trees.
I smile sadly. "But then you miss out on so much."
"What? Unbearable grief?" the white haired yami sneers.
"Life," I explain in a calm tone. "You miss everything: the laughter and jokes, the comfort of knowing there are people around you who care and will support you..."
"But it ends."
"Everything must end at some point and time," I nod as a light cold breeze slips through my hair.
These two words hit deep for both of us. Anguish is entangled in his features. My own heart is burning, aching.
"No. No we don't," I finally say gently.
"What's the point of getting close to someone if you know down the road they'll be torn away from you?" Bakura rants, anger rising in his voice. "Memories don't bring them back. Nothing will."
I gaze upon my nemesis of thousands of years in a different light than I ever have before. All along I viewed him as one who scorns and ridicules compassion and love...and judged him as cold because of it. Now I see: he's scared. He's frightened of being hurt. It's an ignorant yet innocent and vulnerable perspective of life.
"Tell me, Bakura. When you were wandering the world for seventy-five years...were you happy?"
He looks up in surprise at this. "W-what does this have to do with...?"
"It's a simple enough question to answer," I interrupt, my gaze not wavering.
He opens and closes his mouth, struggling with himself. His eyes say it all: no.
"Does it matter?" he finally hisses defensively. "Think of how miserable I'd be if I'd been close to my lighter half!"
"It would hurt more, yes. That's why you left. But what have you missed?" He stares at me in mystification. I sigh, moving a step closer. "Bakura, your whole existence you've been running from relationships of any kind...besides rivalries," I add at the look he gives me. "Have you ever experienced a moment of pure joy? Of feeling that no matter what happens that you'll make it through?"
"I'll always make it through," he scoffs haughtily. "We're immortal."
"You've locked yourself up and run from pain; and in the process deprived yourself of the one thing you want: happiness."
His body tenses at this, eyes suddenly lost. Jaw clenching, I note his limbs trembling. At this I move forward somewhat hesitantly, reaching up and resting my hands on his shoulders. The thief shivers at the contact, eyes rising to meet mine.
"It's time to stop running," I whisper squeezing his shoulders lightly.
His lip trembles as he opens his mouth to speak. "But...it'll hurt. It always hurts."
"Not always," is my reply wrapping an arm around his shoulder and leading him away from the forest, his escape. This time he doesn't fight and try to run. He allows me to lead him away from it, though I can feel the apprehension.
"I-I don't want to go through this again. It's bad enough with Ryou and I barely even knew him," he mumbles in a cracked voice.
He wants to leave but he doesn't. He doesn't want to get hurt. Who does?
"That's the way the world is," I remind him gently. "In order to experience happiness there must also be sorrow. You can't really appreciate happiness if you're joyful all the time. It's reality."
"Well reality sucks," he grumbles with a glare at the ground.
I chuckle at this. "I can't argue with that." Next I clear my throat. "Bakura...why don't you stick around? I've got an apartment here in Domino. It'd be nice to have someone around who stays the same age as me."
He smirks wryly. "What, you're not into dating older people?"
My neck flushes at this. Did he say 'dating'? Well, it's not like I'd object to being more than friends with him...but that can wait a while.
"Stay," I continue, eager to leave that question. "Give the whole 'friendship shit' a try," I add using one of his own terms.
He exhales shakily, staring ahead of us with troubled eyes. "I don't know..."
"It's not like either of us will be dying off anytime soon," I add knowing this will ease him.
His expression brightens a bit. "That's true..." I keep my arm around him as we continue through the graveyard, him biting down on his lip in thought. "...All right. I guess I'll try."
I grin, relieved and pleased. "Well then, let's go see what we can do about accommodations."
Bakura nods though there's still some unease in his eyes. It will remain for a while. Truth be told, it will be easier for him since we're both immortal. He needs security in a relationship...know that it won't end in some miserable or sorrowful way. Once his confidence builds we'll take it a step further and I'll introduce him to all the relatives of Yugi and the others. Ryou's family's never met him. They'll adore Bakura, I know it. He's going to make it.
Both of us are.
-grins- Yeah yeah, so it's kinda cute.
Yami: Kinda? I'm the cutest thing one could ever lay eyes on!
Bakura: Idiot, she was talking about ME!
Yami: Like hell! I'm the cute one!
Bakura: Bring it, spike-head!
Yami: Glady, bunny ears!
-clears throat- Anyhoo, thisis a one-shot and shall remain such. (readers: dammit!) heh. About my other stories: Son of Apophis' sequel won't be up for a while longer...Must think of a title -.-...I've got around three pages to go for the next BTBT chappie. Beneath the Surface I haven't touched since the chapter I posted so don't hold your breaths.
Review the lovely story, peoples!