Bathroom & Breakfast
Yuugi once had the bright idea that instead of waking up in time for school himself, he would ask his other self to do the waking for him. I stayed up all night studying for the history test, he told Yami before bed. It would be really nice if you would take me to school in the morning.
You don't expect me to … to attend classes, do you? Yuugi's 'other me' sounded … well, Yuugi would have called it 'afraid', but Yami would have said 'concerned'. Yami, as a spirit who had spent the last three thousand years trapped in a virtually unsolvable puzzle, was not terribly familiar with the history of the Japanese Shogunate Era, or Trigonometry.
No, of course not, Yuugi reassured his other self. Just get me prepared and onto the school grounds. If that's okay …
I would be glad to, if it will get you more rest. A spirit hand stroked his hair back. You work so hard for these tests and do not sleep enough.
And I'm not even that studious, Yuugi thought, but he kept that to himself as he thanked his darkness and drifted off to sleep.
This did not go quite as well as planned, however.
Yami was not terribly accustomed to waking up to the alarm clock. When it started beeping, he rolled over and shoved the pillow over his head against his ears.
The alarm clock continued to beep.
Strange modern contraptions! Yami thought irritably, sitting up in bed suddenly and sending the pillow flying. He slammed his open palm down on top of the alarm clock and it stopped its infernal noise.
Yami flopped down on the mattress and closed his eyes.
Seven minutes later the alarm clock started beeping again.
"All right, all right …" Yami sat up and again hit the top of the clock before throwing his legs over the side of the bed and stretching Yuugi's body, feeling the joints crack in protest.
Yami was vaguely aware of Yuugi's morning routine, although he usually slept through most of it. There were moments, after all, when even a man with two souls needed his privacy.
This was the first time Yami had seen Yuugi's bathroom. The toilet was little more than a hole in the ground made of porcelain, which wasn't terribly unfamiliar to Yami except for the silver knobs extending from it. Yami closed his eyes and relieved himself, uncomfortable. This wasn't exactly his body, after all.
It took some finagling, but Yami figured out how to flush the toilet. He finished stripping and faced the square of space that was apparently where the family members got clean.
More knobs. Yami fiddled with them and let out a startled shout when cold water poured from the spout over his head.
… Other me?
Yami had to catch his breath, twisting the other knob hard. The water rapidly turned warm – too warm – hot! Yami twisted the knob back until the water was cool again, wincing. Aibou! Everything is fine. Go back to sleep, Yami informed him. He could almost see Yuugi rubbing the sleep from his eyes.
You're in the shower?
Yes. It's all right … I've figured it out. Yami slowly twisted the knob that produced hot water until the temperature in the washing room was pleasant, and as soon as he had, he found himself enjoying a deep appreciation for the human body. He was rarely actively in possession of Yuugi's body outside of card games – and these days, even then they were 'sharing' – and the sensation of water beating down on his shoulders and neck and back was pleasant.
But Yuugi wasn't going back to sleep yet. Should I wash … you know?
Yami felt himself flush, and it had nothing to do with the water temperature. Ah, I've already relieved … er, you? I can handle it.
Yami and Yuugi shared an embarrassed moment. Yami cleared his throat. The point of this was for you to sleep until you arrived at school, yes? Go back to sleep, aibou. I promise I will get you to Domino High School without incident.
All right … Yuugi 'yawned', and Yami's sense of him faded.
The rest of the shower went without incident. Yami emerged from the bathroom ten minutes later, hair plastered to his scalp, only to hear the alarm clock once again beeping.
"Didn't I turn you off?" he asked the clock irritably.
The alarm clock had nothing to say about that. Yami hit the top button again and yanked on a pair of boxers, scrubbing at his hair vigorously with the towel. He quickly discovered that the approximate effect of this was the same as Yuugi's usual hairstyle. "Huh …"
He was just throwing Yuugi's school jacket over his shoulders when the alarm clock started beeping. Again.
"Where is your off button!?" Yami demanded, yanking the infernal machine off the nightstand and searching its exterior before finally finding the switch. He flipped it and much to his relief, the beeping stopped. He whirled to the door, noting that Yuugi usually left the house by eight o'clock and it was already seven thirty-two.
Yami opened the door to Yuugi's room to come face-to-face with Yuugi's mother, whose hand was raised to knock.
They blinked at each other before Mrs. Mutou lowered her arm. "I heard your alarm clock going off again, so I just wanted to make sure you were up," she confessed. "It's time for me to go to work. Can you get yourself breakfast? There's hard-boiled eggs in the fridge if you want some."
"Ah, of course," Yami managed, recovering himself. "Thanks, Mom."
"Have a good day at school, Yuugi," Mrs. Mutou said, bending down to give Yami a hug.
Yami startled. In truth, he rarely had much human contact with anyone except Jonouchi, and that was always high-fives and hands-on-the-shoulder kinds of things. He froze for a moment, rigid in her arms, before relaxing into it with a flash of guilt. Yuugi's parents were rarely home, and it felt wrong to steal a rare moment with one of them. She should have been hugging her son; instead she was hugging a three-thousand-year-old spirit who shared a body with her son. I'll make this count for both of us, then. He hugged back, wrapping his arms around his mother and squeezing gently.
It ended quickly enough, of course, and then Mrs. Mutou was starting down the hall. "Don't be late! And clean up your room!" she instructed as she disappeared towards the front door.
Yami looked back at Yuugi's room. "It looks the same as normal …" which was pretty messy, actually, clothes and toys and rejected Duel Monsters cards all over the place. "I guess I'll have to tell Aibou …"
Yami went to the kitchen, immediately noticing a sharp aroma coming from the contraption known to Yami as the 'coffee maker'. Yami lifted the pot of brown liquid and sniffed it. It smelled pretty good, actually … Yami made note of it to taste. Now, what did Yuugi usually have to eat? He opened the refrigerator.
What an abundance of food! And all of it looked good. Milk, juice, cheeses, vegetables and fruits, a half-finished bottle of wine, and the eggs Yuugi's mother had mentioned – and that was just what Yami could see without pushing anything aside.
I wonder what's in the pantry! Yami shut the fridge and opened a cabinet. Cups and bowls … okay. Another cabinet revealed a wealth of snacks, some of which Yami recognized from Yuugi munching on while playing video games or doing his homework. Aibou probably doesn't eat those for breakfast, though.
Yami shut the cabinet and went back for a cup, determined not to let this opportunity to try coffee go to waste. He poured a bit, watched it steam, and returned to the fridge for a hard-boiled egg before seating himself at the table.
Just having one egg seemed like it might leave Yuugi hungry, though …
First things first, however. Yami leaned forward and took a sip of coffee.
"Ugh!" he spit it back up in an extremely undignified moment. The coffee was awfully bitter! No wonder his aibou never drank this! Making a face, Yami dumped the remainder of the cup in the sink and replaced its contents with milk.
"Hah! Still not much of one for coffee, hmm, Yuugi?"
"Gah!" Yami jumped, turning to see Yuugi's grandpa pouring himself coffee. "Grandpa …"
"A little jumpy this morning. You look a little under-rested! Have a test?" Suguroku asked, smiling.
Yami's eyebrows rose a little. "Yes," he confirmed, nodding. He took a gulp of milk (which tasted great, especially right after the coffee). "I studied all night …"
"Good luck," Suguroku said idly, proceeding to add other contents to his coffee cup. Yami leaned over slowly, trying to see what was being added. "What subject?"
Yami leaned over a little too far and had to catch himself on the counter. Ack! "Ah—what was the question?" Sugar? And cream? … I guess that would water down the taste … Yami made note to try it.
Suguroku chuckled. "What subject?" He ambled past Yami and opened a cabinet, pulling down a loaf of bread. "Want some toast?"
"Japanese History," Yami recited. "And yes?" He tried not to phrase it as a question, but Yami was instantly curious about toast. This was not something he remembered Yuugi ever eating while he was paying attention.
"One slice or two?"
"Two, I suppose," Yami answered, remembering his hard-boiled egg. He sat back down at the table and began to crack the shell off. Yuugi had had one of these in his lunch a few times, and Yami was also curious what it tasted like.
The answer was … nothing. The white part of the egg was incredibly bland. Yami choked it down only to be pleasantly surprised by the yolk, which was a bit powdery in texture but unique in flavor. He was just finishing it when two pieces of 'toast' were slid under his nose. "Eat up! Breakfast is especially important when you have to concentrate," Suguroku smiled.
Yami smiled up at Yuugi's grandfather. He liked Suguroku, and if Suguroku was aware of 'Yami no Yuugi' as a separate entity he gave no indication. He treated both Yuugis with equal consideration and believed in the Heart of the Cards, which was always a good start in Yami's opinion.
But this toast stuff was looking doubtful. Whatever Suguroku had done to the bread had turned it tough. He took a bite of it, and like the egg white, it was very bland.
A jar of something purple and gelatinous was pushed towards Yami.
Yami blinked at it – 'Grape Jelly?' – then looked up at Suguroku, but Yuugi's grandpa was snapping open the newspaper and paying no attention. Yami flushed in embarrassment when a glance at Suguroku's plate revealed that his toast was slathered with the stuff. Flushing further still, Yami guiltily stuck his finger in the jelly and gave it a taste; it was sweet, like a fruit. Huh! Taking the knife that was buried in the gelatin, he proceeded to imitate Suguroku, which made the toast much more tasty.
Yami polished off the toast and licked the jelly off his fingers, his eyes straying over what he knew as the 'stove' and the clock there.
Eight oh five! I'm late! Yami jumped, almost upsetting his milk before he caught it and chugged it down. He flew around the corner back into Yuugi's room, staring at the contents forlornly. There was Yuugi's backpack – but what about the books on his desk? Did he need those? The notes for the test! Yami wasn't even sure which stack of papers were the right notes. Did he need any more school supplies? And lunch, was Yami supposed to pack Yuugi a lunch? Aibou!
Huh …? Yami could sense Yuugi rubbing his eyes sleepily.
I'm sorry to wake you, but what do you need for school?
Oh. Yami had the familiar sensation of his light sharing his vision, turning their head to look around the room. The notes on the desk, and the book … everything else should be in my—ack! Other me! I'm late!
Yami rubbed the back of his head. My apologies, Aibou … I got a little caught up in breakfast?
Never mind, Yuugi sighed. It would have been a reprimand if not for Yami feeling their shared lips curl up in a forgiving smile. I'll take it from here. Thanks, other me.
Yami felt himself being pushed aside gently and he accepted it, retreating to his soul room. You won't be in too much trouble because of me, will you? He wondered worriedly.
No, of course not! There's still time if I run a little ways, Yuugi told him cheerfully. It felt great to get an extra hour of sleep, too.
Yami was encouraged enough that he relaxed …
Until a few minutes later.
Other me! You didn't clean your dishes!
I didn't know I was supposed to! Yami protested, but he was still embarrassed over it. Of course he should clean up after himself …
And at noon:
… I knew I should have asked about lunch, Yami griped.