Disclaimer: Plain and simple. I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh.
A/N: This idea has been floating around in my head ever since I started reading Borath's work. The scene is based off one of the stories I read, I don't remember which one. So there's the credit. Also, some had mentioned that they wished I had more magic in my stories, and I noticed that I don't use Yuugi's and Atemu's link very often. This is my experiment into that realm. And if I failed, at least there is citrus at the end to compensate. I hope you like it!
- - - Ocean
"You know, I've never noticed just how ugly concrete is."
It was one of those days where the heat of the sun mingled between the buildings in the city and radiated off the metal and brick and concrete eyesores. The sun wasn't out itself, hidden behind bold clouds that brightened the charcoal sky with their lighter, silver coloring. There was no sense of rain or foreboding. The people continued to bustle and chatter. Business moved forth like a runaway bus. The radio released pleasing, cheerful music. It was the type of day that passed without much notice, and it would have done so if not for one moment of interest that captured the citizenry.
"I mean, really. I've never really looked at it before, but now that I have, I've come to the realization that I really hate it."
The wind wasn't as violent as he'd expected it to be at this height. It still whipped his hair around pretty good, stinging his eyes whenever there was a gust from behind him. He wasn't cold though, despite the sleeveless shirt he wore. He had considered wearing sunglasses just for the hell of it but had decided against it. They were a good pair and he didn't want to risk losing them.
The edge of the roof was surprisingly flat. He should have scouted out a better building, one that would have provided drama or an irony that the local news would better be able to use as a sound byte. Toeing lightly a rock near the edge he watched it fall, tumbling and tumbling until he lost sight of it against the background of the crowd gathered at the building's entrance. He smiled wickedly at the thought of the rock hitting someone on the head.
"You've been up here too long if you're commenting on the aesthetics of the sidewalk, aibou."
Yuugi chuckled and turned to look at his guardian. The spirit had lain against one of the larger vents on the roof, propping himself on one elbow with his legs stretched out. He was casually smoking a cigarette, enjoying every moment as he inhaled the bitter, addictive drug and blew the lazy stream of smoke from his mouth. His tie-dyed black, russet, and blonde hair hung limp about his face, unaffected by the breeze that surrounded Yuugi. The spirit hated the feel of the wind, much preferring to keep the air still, stable, consistent around him. It required no more than a thought for him to achieve and it had become an unconscious act on his part. Bored eyes looked at his charge, and he raised an eyebrow in question to Yuugi's expression.
"You know better," Yuugi said, smirking in amusement while his yami considered his cigarette more closely.
"Why? It's gonna kill me?" He huffed indignantly and took a long drag.
"No," Yuugi laughed quietly. "But it could harm me."
The spirit removed the cigarette from his mouth and blew the smoke out slowly, deliberately, while looking at his aibou from the corner of his eye. "I'd never allow it."
"Hn," Yuugi agreed. He turned back to look over the edge of the building at the crowd. "There are a lot of people down there." His eyes caught flight of a pigeon and followed the bird as it glided to a nearby roof. It was a beautiful sight in his eyes. The lone bird represented so much more than he could ever achieve. Yuugi had been waiting for this moment for years.
"Oy, the other me?"
"Do you think they'd miss me?"
Atemu lowered himself completely and rolled onto his back with his hands clasped loosely on his chest. He closed his eyes and withdrew his senses from the physical world. He only manifested a corporal body for Yuugi, despite what the others thought about assumed feelings of loneliness and confinement. He felt no need – in fact, had no need for anyone, even his soul partner. He would exist without Yuugi and remain little worse for wear. It was not a matter of life or death. Atemu was with Yuugi by choice. And because it was by choice and not by force, Atemu's devotion was stronger by ten fold.
//Is it important?//
Yuugi sighed. "I don't know. Probably not," he said wistfully. "It would be nice to know, though. Something I could take with me."
//All down there?//
Yuugi leaned over the edge and peered down into the mass of bodies. He raised his hand and placed it above his eyes, as though this would give him telescopic vision. "I'm sure they are. There's a small group that's rather active and everyone's staying away from them. That's probably them." Yuugi lowered himself and sat on the edge, dangling his feet in the air. The action was enough to send the collective force of two hundred gasps soaring up to him, causing his eyebrows to rise in surprise. "Wow," he said. "All that because I sat down?"
/Would you mind?/ Yuugi asked his other, sending the thought through their mental connection. It was as intimate as they could be outside of having sex or immersing themselves completely within their magical bond, and right now he felt the need to be close to Atemu. /I know you like it, but I really can't stand the smell of tobacco./ The fragrance instantly vanished from his perception. He smiled softly, sending the emotion of gratitude to the spirit. The resulting low murmur that echoed an apology and the equivalent of an embrace soothed some of the turmoil Yuugi was trying to control.
They just didn't understand. Atemu didn't really understand either, but his unconditional acceptance of Yuugi made the point moot. He was so tired of trying to explain the pressure that was placed upon him. Tired of the disappointed faces, the frustrated lectures, the endless questioning of his decisions. Why couldn't his friends leave him alone?
/I'm a little surprised no one's tried to come up and get me./ From every TV show he had seen, by now the cops would have made some effort to sneak someone up to the roof or the balcony or wherever it was a person was standing too close to the edge in an effort to contain them.
//They have.// Atemu took one last pull on his cigarette before tossing it to the side, the smoke disappearing the moment it exited his mouth so it wouldn't infringe on his charge.
Yuugi's eyes swiveled to the side. His other's tone left a lot to be desired, including the safety of those who had attempted to aid Yuugi off the roof. The silent scrutiny was interrupted by an irritated snort. It was enough to let Yuugi know that no harm had come to anyone. Gazing out over the rooftops brought his attention to the pigeon he had seen before, which had been joined by another. The birds had found something worth eating, amazingly, and the two were sharing the meal.
"I wish that could be us," Yuugi said.
He felt a brush across his mind as Atemu looked through his eyes before the presence withdrew. //I rather like not having feathers.//
"But they're free," Yuugi insisted, ignoring his other's quip remark. "They come and go as they please. They can fly." He lowered his eyes without looking at the crowd below. "Can you imagine, how good it must feel to be able to fly away?"
//Yes.// Atemu rolled over onto his stomach, using his hands as a pillow and closing his eyes. //It isn't all it's cracked up to be, aibou.//
Yuugi laid down on his back with his arms spread out to either side, his legs still visible over the edge. The act brought another gasp from the crowd that he never heard. /But it was different for you. You were in charge./ He chewed on his lip thoughtfully. /The other me? Am I…?/ He sighed, closing his eyes.
The spirit frowned. //Aibou.// He submerged himself deeper into their link, his corporal form flickering like a hologram while he focused his attention inward. He could feel the confusion in his soul partner and he didn't like it. Were it simple self-doubt he would not be concerned, but Yuugi was beginning to slip into another of his self-depreciating moments. They had made little progress in four months. //You are too hard on yourself. I grow weary.//
Yuugi welcomed the intense warmth that enveloped his mind from Atemu's increased presence. He allowed himself to slip another level further, just at the edges of blurring the boundary between where he ended and his other began. With this closeness came a blissful few minutes of peaceful incoherence. All he knew, felt, and conceived was his yami, and it was exceedingly difficult to pull away to the level of awareness required to continue the discussion. He felt Atemu sigh as he withdrew, sending concentric tingles of cool pleasure throughout his body and bringing a small smile to his face, knowing that the spirit relished the closeness as much as he did, even if he wasn't as outwardly expressive of the desire.
/I wish I was magical, like you,/ Yuugi said quietly. The only reason he was able to communicate and connect with Atemu in the intimate manner they chose was because the spirit allowed it. Yuugi himself held no potential for magic, and the few times they had tried to imbue him with some of Atemu's personal magic had not ended well. The spirit refused to attempt the procedure again, and Yuugi had heartily agreed, though with disappointment that he was not able to make more of himself for his soul mate. /I wish I could at least take the burden of our mind speak off you. You do so much for me already./
//Aa. Because we know what an unacceptable burden it places on me. Really, aibou. You do expect too much.//
"I'm serious," Yuugi said, unable to hide the laughter in his voice. He rolled over onto his stomach and propped his chin in both hands. He bent his legs and started clicking his feet together over his back. He grinned when he saw the satisfied smirk on his yami's serene face. "Can't even let me have a moment, can you?" Yuugi picked up a pebble and chucked it at Atemu. The spirit was gracious enough to allow the projectile to hit his arm.
A voice rose from the depths of the crowd, the sound vibrating as it was projected through a bullhorn. Yuugi twisted to look over his shoulder and when that didn't work, pushed himself into a sitting position and leaned over the edge. The movement produced a panicked cry from the speaker.
"I'm really scaring them, aren't I?" Yuugi said. He pursed his lips before settling into a frown. "I didn't mean to." There was a moment of non-silence where Yuugi's jaw dropped. "Was that really necessary Jou?"
//I could make it rain,// Atemu offered. He was more than willing to exact a miniscule vengeance on the people who were the direct cause of Yuugi's turmoil.
"It wouldn't help anything," Yuugi sighed. He felt Atemu's begrudging acceptance and winced slightly. "It would only make them mad, and they're going through enough already with me up here."
//That's their concern. Not mine.//
/I know./ Yuugi sent a ripple of love to his yami in appreciation for the support. "They still wouldn't see how I feel."
//They do not wish to.// Atemu raised himself from his prone position and pressed his back against the vent, curling his legs beside him and watching his Yuugi carefully. //It is not your responsibility. No person can change another. You could remove much guilt if you would only accept this.//
Yuugi closed his eyes. He knew he was right, but that didn't make it any easier to accept. It was so hard not to try and change the people who were closest to you when it was they who were hurting you so. Atemu had spent much of his time counseling Yuugi to recognize that the only way he was going to feel better about himself was to stop giving away his power to his friends and family and keep it for himself. He was improving under the spirit's tutelage, but he had yet to fully free himself from the binds that tied him down.
"I want to fly, the other me," Yuugi repeated. "Just once, to know what it felt like." He turned his head towards the spirit, eyes opening only enough to look at the pebbles on the roof. "I want to be so much more than I am. I want to be… something."
Atemu didn't move for two minutes. He then stood and walked steadily to his charge, his image dimming so that those on the ground would not be able to see him, but still visible to Yuugi. He sat on his heels behind his other and wrapped his arms securely around Yuugi's shoulders, pulling the younger man into his chest and burying his face into the dip in Yuugi's neck. He permitted some of his magic to cross over to Yuugi, mingling their essences to relax the body in front of him. Yuugi sighed deeply, pushing back into Atemu and submitting gratefully to the embrace.
"I thought that's why you came up here, aibou," Atemu breathed against Yuugi's neck. He kissed the skin slowly and deliberately, letting heat build and desire to spark to life in his blood. "There is little more I can do. The next step must be yours."
"Nnn." Yuugi wasn't in the mood for logic when his other pressed so deeply within him and licked the flames of arousal in his soul. He tilted his head to the side to reveal more of his neck, and Atemu obliged by parting his lips and licking erotically slowly along the exposed tendon with the broadest, softest part of his tongue. "Nnmm," was the final indulgence Yuugi allowed himself before returning to the matter at hand. "I know. Guess now's as good a time as any." Yuugi brought his legs beneath him and stood, Atemu releasing his hold and standing with him. Both men turned and walked towards the vent Atemu had been leaning against. They stopped once they reached the metal and looked at each other.
"You'll catch me when I fall." It was a statement of truth, not a question.
"You can not fall, Yuugi. I will not allow it."
Yuugi smiled, placing a chaste kiss on Atemu's lips. "I'll see you in a minute, then," he whispered against the spirit's mouth. He waited until his other smirked to turn and run full speed to the edge of the building, where he jumped with arms spread outwards. There was a cry from the crowd, a pained wail of emotion that Yuugi ignored. He was flying.
He was finally flying. The two pigeons on the neighboring rooftop were startled into the air by the screams from the sidewalk, swiftly flapping their wings as they took to the air.
The air stung bitterly against his skin, and Yuugi had the distinct impression he wouldn't be able to open his eyes against the force even if he had wanted to. A grin split his face as he felt gravity pull his weight towards the earth. It was a good feeling, to be heavy and full of bulk, and yet moving so freely and easily through the air like a fish swimming through water. He could feel the resistance of the air as he passed through it while it held his arms aloft and sieved through his fingers, chilling his skin to the bone and peeling away the layers of guilt and expectation he had been wearing like a beloved winter coat.
He could not feel Atemu's presence, and he was forever thankful that the spirit was allowing him this pure experience. This pure rush of adrenaline that both excited and calmed, soiled and cleansed. He would never again feel so elemental in a sense of being that harkened back to the first moments of awareness. His old self was disintegrating in the wind. It was, in one word, bliss.
All too soon it was over. When the crowd opened their eyes, having closed them right before the moment of impact, they were stunned to see a young man standing in front of them, his hair wind-whipped, his cheeks flushed, unharmed and with the most proud smile on his face. There was no evidence that Yuugi had just jumped from the roof of a fourteen storey building. And then there was no memory that there had ever been anyone standing in front of them.
"God," Yuugi said. He put up no resistance when Atemu laid him down in bed and lay on top of him, pulling the covers over their nude bodies, leaving only their shoulders, necks, and heads exposed.
"Oh yes." Yuugi lazily massaged Atemu's biceps as the spirit began kissing his neck and shoulders. "And they won't remember anything?"
"No," Atemu muttered between kissing Yuugi's collarbone and nipping at his Adam's apple.
"I sure will." Yuugi took a deep breath and held it, mixing the dizzying sensation with the pleasure of Atemu's body against his. He released it in one huff. "That was exhilarating." He pulled Atemu's head up to his and kissed him deeply, humming happily. When the kiss was over Atemu resumed his attention on Yuugi's shoulders and throat.
//What do you wish for now, aibou?//
Yuugi arched up into Atemu's mouth and the spirit took the cue to move lower, just above his nipples. "It's a new beginning," Yuugi sighed, pressing his head back into the pillow. He twined his hand in Atemu's smooth hair and traced his other along the muscles in the spirit's back. He felt so good it was difficult to think about the future. "I dunno," he said. "What can I have?"
//Anything.// Atemu straightened his neck and pressed his lips against Yuugi's temple, then against the shell of his ear. "You need but ask," he whispered, his voice deep and husky, and full of the truth of the statement.
Yuugi moaned, the heat of the words sending shivers over his skin. To hell with not being magical. He had the heart of the most magical, powerful being in the world. A being that controlled light and shadow, whim and will, the essence of life and the finality of death. If he wanted a throne, the world, the moon or the stars, it would be given to him without hesitation. If he wanted the world rid of all life save for him and Atemu so they could roam freely in the arms of each other, it would happen. If he wanted eternal life, it was already granted to him.
He felt his arousal strengthen as he remembered exactly who it was who held him in his arms, who kissed and licked and caressed and soothed his skin, his thoughts, his heart, his soul, his mouth with the devotion of ten thousand suns and the permanence of the black canvas of space. Yuugi knew who he was, and what he was, who he loved and who loved him, and what all this made him. Atemu was the most powerful being that would ever exist. Yuugi was the most powerful human. One word, one thought, one look from him was all it took to move Atemu into action.
Atemu brushed his teeth over Yuugi's nipple, eliciting a hiss of pleasure. Yuugi again brought Atemu's head to his and kissed him. And kissed him, and kissed him, and kissed him, and kissed him some more. He could feel his other's mind, feel how its coherency was melting and spreading and seeping into his own, and the resulting mixture of colors behind his eyes exploded into a glittering kaleidoscope of feeling and emotion and it was all he could do not to sink completely into the metaphysical realm where there were no boundaries between him and his lover.
/You taste so good Atemu./ The thought was barely a whisper, more a feeling than actual words. Yuugi saved the use of Atemu's name for intimate occasions such as this because of the power it held over the spirit. The ancient Egyptian belief in the power of the name over the person was strongly validated in the affect his name had on the pharaoh. The intent behind the word mattered greatly. It was like pulling a veil over his mind, subduing his consciousness and making him susceptible to the power of suggestion. Yuugi had to be careful; there had been instances where he'd used his other's name during the heat of an argument that had left Atemu incapable of thinking or acting for himself without instruction for days at a time. The spirit begrudged the truth of this power, but not Yuugi for occasionally using it. His aibou was the only living person to know that his name was Atemu. Anyone else was free to call him what they wished.
Yuugi's use of his other's name in this case was pure adoration, and it did little more than make Atemu believe that he did indeed taste good to his aibou and encourage him to happily submit to Yuugi's love. It subdued some of his aggressive urges to take control of the sexual encounter, and when he was himself again he would complain to Yuugi about the unfairness of it all. But for now, he was content to reap the rewards. It wasn't like he had much of a choice…
/Let's run away. Let's leave tomorrow and find a place where it's just you and me and no one else./
"Anything," the spirit moaned into one of the kisses. "Anywhere."
"Mmm." Yuugi released the spirit's mouth and touched their noses together, looking directly into Atemu's fiery eyes. "Make love to me, the other me," he said. "Make love to me until dawn breaks."
He needn't have asked.