Yu-Gi-Oh!, in all its various incarnations, was created by Kazuki Takahashi and is collectively owned/distributed by this aforementioned creator, Shueisha, Toei Animation, NAS, VIZ Media, 4KIDS Entertainment, and numerous others worldwide. The individual hiding behind the pen name olesia.love is not affiliated with any of these individuals or organizations, named or not, and any of the viewpoints expressed within this fan work should not be construed to be in any way endorsed by any of the legal owners of Yu-Gi-Oh! This fan work does not attempt to infringe heavily upon the rights of these owners.
And who knows - maybe in 2090, someone will wind up writing a ridiculously popular Yu-Gi-Oh! AU that winds up not only getting published, but also gets turned into a Broadway Musical with a happy romantic ending. It happened with The Wizard of Oz, after all.
Minor Preliminary Notes:
– This story is AU, breaking during the course of manga volume two: Yuugi has not yet met Shaadi, and does not currently know about the "Other Yuugi."
– The game featured in chapter three is based off the game Betrayal at House on the Hill, produced by Avalon Hill.
– The setting of chapter six is heavily modeled after a game of the same name, currently out-of-print, but pending reproduction with Valley Games.
– The game featured in chapter eight is called Mastermind; simplified versions of this game can be found online.
– Chapter 18 can be found in its entirety on Livejournal, if one were to search for this story by title in the "Interest" field.
– Also, this is slash.
Sight the King
"In Which Yuugi Dreams"
The sky is a dark bowl, the stars die and fall.
He held the Pyramid lightly, rocking the weight of it back and forth between his hands. He'd only had it, in this shape, for a month or so; over eight years he'd spent thousands of hours trying to solve the so-called "Millennium Puzzle," an Egyptian artifact dating back several thousands of years. In all those years, this was the first time the Puzzle had ever been fully assembled into this final shape – the "God Pyramid."
Yuugi flipped the Puzzle Pyramid from his left hand to his right, and back again. He was a bit surprised at how snugly all the pieces had wound up fitting to one another – he was sure that the Puzzle would remain whole, even through his constant wearing of the object, so long as no one tried to disassemble it or smash it. Just the thought of his Puzzle in pieces was enough to make him shudder.
Yuugi scooted backwards on his bed, towards the bedroom wall, burrowing further into the covers. Night had fallen long ago, but Yuugi didn't feel tired at all – he'd spent so many nights up working on the Puzzle, his body had long adapted to prolonging fatigue until the latest hours.
Others would call it coincidence, but Yuugi knew that, somehow, the Puzzle had granted his wishes. He even told it so, quietly, so as not to cause his mother or grandfather to worry about him. (He was, after all, more reclusive and much more into games than even his gambler of a grandfather; they'd probably worry that he'd gone crazy if he started talking to a Puzzle, supposedly cursed Egyptian artifact or no.)
"It's amazing," Yuugi whispered to the golden Pyramid, its solitary eye gazing up at him, "that Jounouchi-kun and Anzu seem to be getting along, just because they're both my friends." Yuugi grinned. "Both! Friends! Mine! I'm so grateful – even Honda-kun is nicer to me now. No one would ever believe me," he continued in a low whisper, aware of the hour, "but I know it's thanks to you, so... thank you for everything." Without regard to how silly it might look, Yuugi hugged the Puzzle tightly to his chest, not caring that it dug into his collarbone painfully, or that the ring on top pressed against his leather collar so forcefully that he almost coughed. "Thank you so much..."
Yuugi paused, releasing the Puzzle slowly and gazing into its eye. The room was darker now: the only lights streaming in through the window were the moon and the orange city stars. "But... when I completed you..." Yuugi's brow furrowed in concentration, "people who hurt me were getting hurt back. It's never been that way before. Everyone always got away with it whenever it was me. Are... are you protecting me, too?" The smile he gave was short, and then faltered. "I'm not ungrateful, I'm not!" he assured the Puzzle, "... but I'm scared.
"People are getting hurt, falling into comas, going crazy – there was that one guy who burned alive at that Burger World where Anzu worked..." Yuugi worried his lower lip between his teeth, his voice hitting a chord of fear, "and I keep having these blackouts, and sometimes when I wake up in the morning I'm wearing different clothing and... I'm scared."
Yuugi hugged the Puzzle again, the top ring pressing again against his leather collar – something he'd bought ages ago but had never put on, and it was only recently that he had begun waking up with the choker around his neck and no memory of how it got there. "I'm scared that if I lose you, I'll lose everything else, too, and that if I keep you I'll keep blacking out, or more people will get hurt, and I don't want that either. Please," he whispered, feeling the surprisingly sharp edges of the Puzzle cut into his pajama sleeves but not his skin, "I wish I knew what was going on... I'm scared that I really am going crazy... If I knew... what is in your heart..."
Yuugi closed his eyes, and his grip on the Puzzle tightened. He sat like that for only a moment, or maybe he slept half the night, but suddenly he started at noise at the window. Yuugi jerked at the sound, his eyes darting open, and his attention shooting to his bedroom window. The moon still hung bright in the sky, and the street lamps still burned orange. Yuugi was sure he'd heard something, though, so he threw off the covers to walk to the window.
The city and streets below were quiet and still – no cars, cats, or gang members in sight. Yuugi scrunched his forehead in confusion, and brushed away a lock of bleached-blond fringe from his eyes. Had he just imagined the noise? Frowning, he reached up to close the blinds when another noise startled him.
It was not the sound of a rock rebounding from glass, like he had imagined before, but more a rock tapping against metal. A quiet breath of words brushed against his ears, and instinctively Yuugi clutched the Puzzle. If the Puzzle did protect him, it would do so now, if he were in danger.
The sound was louder now, but he couldn't make any sense of it – it sounded like French, or Arabic, or something he may have heard in an educational video about indigenous tribes of some other continent, but nothing Yuugi could actually identify.
Yuugi was sure he was either dreaming, or crazy, or both, because his first instinct was to aim his response to the Puzzle still hanging from his neck. "I'm sorry," he whispered to the gold in his hands, "I can't understand you. If it is you."
I have to be dreaming, Yuugi thought to himself; it sounded like the Puzzle was now humming to itself and the sound did not scare him like it probably would have done in daylight hours.
Like in dreams where Yuugi knew he could fly, or what the secret names of playing cards happen to be, Yuugi knew he should not be scared. The humming ceased, but it was not a long silence.
There was a low noise behind him, like cough, or maybe a knock on the door, and Yuugi calmly turned toward the new source of sound. His back to the window, Yuugi gazed at the opposite wall, where his shadow stretched darkly on the already ill-lit wall. Yuugi looked around, but nothing seemed amiss – no one stood in the doorway, or anywhere else in the room. Yuugi frowned, his fingers worrying themselves into the leather cord suspending his Puzzle, when he suddenly noticed something strange.
Yuugi's hands were both in front of his chest, on and near the Millennium Puzzle; the arms of Yuugi's shadow were down at its side, one hanging limp and the other resting on the shadow of Yuugi's hip. Slowly, Yuugi looked over his shoulder, out the window, to see if there were any cleverly shaped trees that could have distorted his shadow so, but nothing cast a shadow through the glass: the shadow was entirely Yuugi's own. He turned his gaze back to the moonlit wall, and his own overpowering shadow.
Yuugi, who remained perfectly still, watched his shadow extend its right hand, the shadow of Yuugi's left, forward and slightly to the side, such that its beckoning gesture was not lost to the dark of its torso.
Calm, Yuugi took three steps towards the wall, his shadow shrinking in proportion to Yuugi's distance, until it was much closer to Yuugi's height instead of taking up the entire wall. Yuugi stilled within arm's reach of the wall, and smiled.
"Um. Hello." Yuugi raised his right hand and gave the shadow a bit of a wave. In response, delayed by several seconds, the shadow raised its own right hand and waved back, acting more like a reflection of a shadow than either of the two separate. Yuugi suddenly was reminded of a story he'd heard as a child – Peter Pan, the orphan boy with the runaway shadow and who could never grow up. Maybe this was his dream? Yuugi liked flying dreams.
The shadow, very slowly, waved again at Yuugi, only this time it seemed like bits of the shadow clung to the wall like ink, leaving a trail of strokes that Yuugi was able to read; he knew that a person wasn't supposed to be able to read in dreams, but it was always possible to think that one was reading.
Hello, wrote the shadow.
"I– you–" Yuugi began, but shook his head and ran a hand through his hair, trying to focus. "Are you the one who's been protecting me?"
The shadow, completely independently of Yuugi, nodded. Its cheeks distorted in such a way that Yuugi thought that the shadow might be smiling, though of course it had no mouth he could see.
"Then thank you," said Yuugi, clasping his hands over the Puzzle, "for saving me."
The shadow writing shifted on the wall without intervention, expanding and changing its meaning. Thank you for saving me. Yuugi flushed, looking down to the Puzzle. He stepped closer to the wall, scaling down the shadow minutely as he approached. He placed his right hand on the wall, to the right of the shadow's shoulder. The shadow's left hand followed the gesture, but not quickly enough to be mistaken as being the movement of a shadow without willpower. Although his hand pressed against blue paint and drywall, Yuugi could feel the shadow separate from that, an entity all its own.
"You are my shadow?" Yuugi asked, and new words formed from darkness above where their hands touched. Your shadow, it read; I will protect you.
Yuugi smiled, drowsy, and his hand curled against the wall in an almost-fist, and he closed his eyes in the sway of his sudden fatigue. When he opened them again, he almost saw eyes in his shadow, simple and gold, and almost saw the shadow cover his hand, but it was okay, because Yuugi was dreaming and when strange things happened in dreams it didn't mean a person was crazy, and when Yuugi went to sleep he would wake up in the morning and wouldn't remember his dream and though it was sad at least he'd not have to seriously consider that he spent half the night holding a conversation with his shadow and have his shadow answering back.
For the most part, Yuugi was right – when he woke his dream and the entire day previous day seemed to be a haze, and after that he didn't really think too much about his blackouts or all those people going insane.
But in quiet moments, Yuugi noticed that far more often he would watch for his shadow as he walked, and usually wound up with the sun at his back, his feet falling onto the dark path his shadow laid before him.