This fic is actually a songfic but, as FFnet won't allow one to post songfics, I've removed the lyrics between the lines of narrative. It still makes sense, but it loses a LOT in my opinion. Still . . . ((shrugs)) The fic can be read in its original form on my LiveJournal, here – http: / / dragondancer515. livejournal. com/ 15854. html (and remove all spaces, of course…). The song is "Send Me an Angel" by Scorpions.

Disclaimer –"Yu-Gi-Oh!" and all related characters, events, and concepts belong to Takahashi Kazuki and any other related owners/distributors/producers, as does the song to its respective owner(s). I get no monetary benefit from this. My benefit is the enjoyment of dealing with beloved characters.

"Red-Eyes Black"
by DragonDancer5150

A lone figure stood on the end of the pier, arms folded across the railing, unnoticed by the milling pockets of humanity wrapped up in their own cares. None paused to spare the time for a seeming child whose thick locks cast a star-shaped silhouette against the blackening horizon. Then again, he preferred it that way, if only for the moment. It was the stiff breeze blowing across his face, full of salt from the ocean, which reddened his eyes and caused them to water, leaving wet tracks down his cheeks with salt of a similar flavor to touch the corners of his lips. At least, that was the story he told himself.

Had it really only been hours since the company had arrived back at Domino from Kaiba's Alcatraz Island? Everyone had parted ways upon landing. Honda, Bakura, Anzu, Otogi, Mai . . . Jonouchi had needed to get his sister Shizuka home to their mother. Ishizu had returned to whatever hotel at which she was staying while in Japan with her museum exhibit, along with her newly-recovered brothers, Malik and Rishid. He supposed that Kaiba and Mokuba would be stopping by their home – or at least the corporate offices – before heading out to America as they had discussed. And he . . . ?

With a subtle shift of energies, the lone figure no longer stood alone, though no other mortal eyes could see his companion. He drew a deep breath, passing a hand across his cheeks, then turned with a small grin to his closest friend, the one whom he knew he soon would have to leave – he could feel it in his ageless heart. "Aibou."

-The ocean breeze feels good right here, doesn't it? I thought you might enjoy it.- Yugi's voice was soft, the ethereal sound unheard by any but within the mind of the one addressed. He hesitated a moment longer before meeting Yami's eyes, his own tears unhidden, undenied. Still, he managed to meet his partner's gaze with a genuine smile of his own. -It's . . . too bad the museum closed so early today, though, isn't it? Now we have to wait . . . until tomorrow t-to . . . - His voice trailed off.

Yami only nodded, turning his gaze back out as stars began to dot the black horizon, his shadow long across the water with the sun setting at his back. It was strange to him to know that it was, indeed, his shadow after a fashion. He only ever cast one when he was in control of his partner's body. It was also why he could feel the chill ocean breeze, though it alone was not what sent the shiver down his spine.

He let his mind wander for a moment back over the past two years. For him, it was a lifetime, he who had no memories of his own beyond that. He realized that the storm of events that had finally broken in full ferocity this past weekend had been gathering, low and quiet, since that night – the night Yugi solved the Millennium Puzzle and awakened him, a foreign spirit in stasis since an almost forgotten time. Vaguely named "Yami" after the darkness in his own mind, because he did not recall a name of his own, he had been awakened but was not fully conscious for nearly a year. Since then, he had been seeking his true identity, picking up tantalizing pieces along the way, like an occasional wild rose along a city sidewalk, unexpected and delightful to find. Never mind the fact that each one had drawn blood in its way like proverbial thorns . . .

If the safest place to be is in the eye of the storm, Yami wondered as a pang of hurt stabbed his heart, why have those closest around me suffered the most from my presence among them?

At dawn, he and Yugi would meet with Jonouchi to have their promised duel at long last, True Duelist to True Duelist. No matter which of them won the card game, he felt in his heart that they both were already victors. They had come so far, separately and together. And he would finally return his friend's cherished dragon to him.

Tomorrow would be the long-awaited duel, then Yugi and Jou would have to get to school. Afterwards, the company intended to go straight to Domino Museum. It was there, he had been told – before a three-thousand-year-old stone slab that depicted a pharaoh and a sorcerer-priest with great creatures facing off overhead – that the amnesic spirit would regain his stolen memories . . . his very name and true self.

He pulled the Duel deck from the case on his hip, Yugi looking on in quiet curiosity. On the top were four cards of even greater importance in that moment than the entire rest of the deck – more than Kuriboh, more than Mirror Force, more even than their cherished Dark Magician. Gazing up at him from under his thumbs, Red-Eyes Black Dragon seemed to nod encouragement. Yami slid him aside, splaying out the three cards beneath with a subtle shift in the pressure from his fingers.

Obelisk the Great War God, mighty Osiris the Sky Dragon, and the unmatched Winged Dragon of Ra – these three creatures held the keys to his stolen memories, his lost identity. He could barely see them in the blackness of the fallen night and the blurring of his own reddened eyes.

He knew. He did not know how he did, but Yami knew it deep in his heart. On the steep steps of the museum tomorrow, he would ascend to the last leg of his journey and his time on this earth. Hidden within his memory, he felt sure, was the reason for his continued existence here, ages after the death of his mortal body. There was some task still that he was meant to do. He would do it, of course, whatever it was. And then . . . ?

-It's going to be all right.-

Yami jumped slightly, having all but forgotten his partner's presence by his side. He turned to regard him then, this one whom he loved as a brother.

Yugi did not meet his eyes just yet, though Yami could see him grinning softly. -It's OK to be afraid. Whatever happens tomorrow, though, you're not alone. I promise you won't face it alone!- He turned then, reddened eyes shining in the blackness. -Even when you have to go . . . I mean, we all leave eventually, right? I want you to know this, though – I'm so glad we met. I wouldn't trade this time we've spent together for anything in the world!-

Those were both the first and last words Yami needed to hear. He felt the same way as his aibou. He loved this young man dearly, his brother in all the ways that counted. He was the closest to family that Yami could recall. And that was to say nothing of the rest of the gang who held him to this world by ties even more powerful that those that bound his energies to the Millennium Puzzle – Jonouchi, Honda, Anzu . . . Grandpa . . . Bakura, Mai, Otogi . . . Kaiba . . . Dear gods, how could he leave?

Yami, an ancient spirit, the soul of a long-dead pharaoh from another time and place, stood now at a crossroads. At long last, he had more focus, a clearer path, than he had ever had . . .

. . . and yet he had never felt more lost.

Author's Notes: Please be sure to check my bio page for any updates, etc. Thanks!