Chapter I: Nothing's Wrong

Greetings, Yu-Gi-Oh original series fans! It's been a while since I started a new tale here. Don't worry, fans of "The Jedi League of Duelists;" I am still working on that tale and will see it through to the end. I've been working on other projects and my life has been more than a little crazy lately. Anyway, this tale that I am about to bring you comes from a couple of alternate timelines I've woven in stories such as "Bittersweet Victory," and in the upcoming sequel to my collaboration with 15animefreak15, "A Guy's Worst Nightmare." I have therefore decided to begin a prequel of sorts. This one will have some comic moments, but will largely be a bit dark. I hope you enjoy it. And thanks to 15animefreak15 who took a look at this story and said it was good enough to post!

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. I just own this idea. I also don't solely own the title name, "Whisper." That was inspired by the Evanescence song of the same name.

It was early June of 2006 and things were looking up for the city of Domino. Over two months had passed since the last bizarre happening which had involved freak weather and earthquakes. For nearly four years, strange things had happened in the city and indeed around the world, seemingly revolving around a certain group of teenagers and the card game that they played, especially a boy named Yugi David Muto. But now the city breathed a sigh of relief as nothing, fortunately had happened in two months.

For the group of teens, things seemed to be a new normal. They had suffered a loss in their number two months previously in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Yugi and his friends had said good-bye to Atem, the previously nameless Pharaoh of Egypt who had trapped his spirit in a golden pyramid puzzle 5000 years previously to save the planet. He had returned to this world and become part of Yugi's life for four years and then he'd completed what he'd had to do and left. Yugi had acted like everything was all right and that it was all for the best that Atem had left. Sure, he'd grieved like the others, but he'd told them it had to be and eventually, everyone seemed okay.

A surprising and welcome change had also come. Seto Kaiba had decided to be a real friend. The blue-eyed, brown-haired teen CEO had, after Egypt, started to let his guard down with the group he'd nicknamed the "nerd herd." Teá Gardner, the eternal optimist, had been thrilled, her own blue eyes shining as she flipped her brown hair.

"We knew you'd come around eventually, Kaiba," she said, grinning. "Well, Yugi did, and I thought he was right." She was on the verge of saying something more, but Seto cut her off.

"I may have decided to declare an end to hostilities, but Gardner, no friendship speeches. None. I don't have a toleration built up for them yet, understood?" he growled in his customary manner.

"Got it," she said, sobering for a moment, and then smiling.

"Welcome to the gang, Kaiba!" Yugi said on that day, smiling also and holding out his hand. Seto shook it.

"Y'know, I think I need to make ski reservations," Joey Wheeler, a blonde-haired, brown-eyed boy said.

"Where?" his friend since childhood, Tristan Taylor, a boy with brown hair and hazel eyes asked.

"Hell. It's frozen over, man. Rich boy has actually decided to at least tolerate us."

Tristan regarded his best friend for a moment. "I think you're right…" And so it seemed as if everything was going to be all right. Graduation came and went and everyone was figuring out their futures. Joey was planning to get a decent job so he could work to save more for college and Tristan was planning to attend Domino University in the fall. Teá was being surprisingly tight-lipped about what she was going to do, and Yugi…Well, Yugi, too, was being tight-lipped, but his cadre figured he would go to Domino U as well, as he didn't want to leave his aging grandfather alone.

"Yuge, is everything okay?" Joey asked at Burgerpalooza one afternoon in June as he, Yugi, Teá, Tristan, Seto and his little brother, Mokuba sat enjoying some milkshakes as an afternoon treat.

Yugi gave them all his trademark smile. He'd been staring off into space and been quiet today. "Yeah, I'm okay, Joey…Just been thinking about stuff…I'm okay."

"You sure, Yugi?" Mokuba Kaiba asked, sipping his favorite strawberry shake. He still looked much as he had when the group had met him, with long messy raven hair and blue-gray eyes. However, his voice had begun to change and everyone knew that a growth spurt wasn't far behind. "I mean, you seem a little…off…"

A shadow had crossed Yugi's features, but it was like a small cloud going across the sun. "Yeah, I'm sure, Mokuba. Nothing's wrong…" Yugi answered, taking another pull of his favorite black cherry-chocolate shake. "Just…thinking about things…and how it's been nice not to have to save the world every time we turn around."

"Yeah…it's nice not to get kidnapped repeatedly," Mokuba said happily.

"It's nice not to have to worry about having psychos trying to get us," Joey added, messing the tween's hair in an affectionate gesture. The group talked about times past and good times yet to come and Yugi again had lapsed into silence.

Enjoy this, he thought to himself. They've been your friends for so long. Teá deserves her freedom and the guys don't need to worry about you anymore. He'd been preparing for a bit, ever since they'd left Egypt. And this afternoon made what was to come a little easier. After a bit, they finished their shakes and left the restaurant. Seto and Mokuba went home and the rest of the group had walked home, Joey walking Yugi into the game shop the smaller boy had called home since he was three years old.

"Grandpa, I'm home!" Yugi called. Solomon Muto came up from under a counter.

"Hello, Yugi. Did you have fun?" the old man greeted, He had gray hair that looked like his grandson's tricolored spiky 'do, suggesting that the hair was hereditary. "And hello, Joey."

"Hey, Gramps," Joey greeted happily, taking a look at the different cards. Yugi quietly hung up his jacket. He said good-bye to Joey and went up to his room. Joey couldn't have known that his best friend intended this good-bye for all time.

Yugi went into his neat little bedroom with the dormer window and went to the locked drawer in his desk. He pulled out several white sealed envelopes and laid them carefully onto his twin bed. And then he removed a razor blade from the locked drawer and headed into the bathroom. Forgive me, Lord and Ruler of the Universe, for what I am about to do…I just can't take it anymore…

By this time, Joey had said good-bye to Solomon and left the game shop, but had the feeling he'd forgotten something. He walked back in quickly. "Joey? What are you doing back?" Solomon asked, smiling.

"I feel like I forgot something, Grandpa…Maybe…"

"Go upstairs and see if it's in Yugi's room," the old man said gently. Joey nodded and headed through the Mutos' living room and up the stairs to his best friend's room. "Yugi? I'm up here, man…" the eighteen-year-old boy called. Silence. And then, Joey opened the bedroom door. "Yuge? Where are you?" Joey noticed the envelopes on the bed, and was gripped by a horrible feeling. The bathroom door was cracked open and Joey heard a thud. "Yuge?!" he called, pushing the door open. Yugi had just fallen to the white-tiled floor, unconscious. His wrists were cut and bloody. "GRANDPA! CALL 911 NOW!!" Joey screamed. "Yuge, don't do this, don't give up!" He pulled off his light blue jacket and ripped the sleeves, wrapping them around the slashed wrists, and then pressing pressure points where Yugi's arms met his body. "Hang on, Yugi! Please!"

I hope this was a halfway decent beginning for you all. Shall I continue? Please read and review, folks! I appreciate it.