Author's Note: This is another piece I wrote sometime back for a LiveJournal RP I was in – my very first, the one for which I originally created my "puzzlemasters" account, but unfortunately it never got off the ground. Pity, too, cuz it was in interesting concept. This fic is a series of intro posts I'd written . . . wow, some two-plus years ago. I've held onto them all this time but never really considered posting because I'd thought of this "ficlet" as "incomplete." Still, I've always been fond of this and, looking at it again this morning, I realize that, in a sense, it is complete. And so I offer it. Please enjoy.

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

by DragonDancer5150

Chapter 1 – Grieving

In the silvered darkness, Yami sat in the folding chair, one arm propped on the desk as he gazed out the window in the slanted roof-wall of his aibou's bedroom. He had reclined thus so many times . . . though perhaps not more often than he had in recent weeks . . .

Had it been a month-and-a-half already since they had gotten back from Egypt? Heh, had it only been so long? The days had flown and yet, looking back, it might as well have been an eternity in the past. A sigh of quiet grief escaped him. No . . . it was eternity that has been denied me . . . again. He looked at the figure asleep in the bed next to him. It was not Yugi's fault. Had Yami not had Waboku on the field there at the last, the combat would have been Yugi's after he had denied Yami the ability to play "Monster Reborn." On Yami's next draw, he got Pot of Greed, which then gave him "Dian Keto" and "Call of the Haunted." Osiris returned one final time after all . . . and it was over.

And what now?

He had his name back, his memories, his true sense of self . . . but where did he go from here? Nowhere, apparently. The Puzzle still imprisoned his soul, still bound him to the Prime Material Realm. He had even decided not to go by his true name. That was the name of a past existence, no longer his. He would remain "Yami," at least for as long as he remained earthbound. He didn't mind so much, really, as it meant that he could remain with his friends - though it also meant that he would watch them grow old and pass on, while he remained unchanged.

Or else - die senselessly . . . Gods of my fathers, have mercy.

It had been a month since Anzu's death. Yugi was only just showing signs of beginning to heal from that loss, his tender heart torn asunder by that first major, irrevocable parting in their tight-knit company of friends.

And then, just today . . . Bakura . . . gentle "Ryou" . . .

Yami folded over in grief, face buried in his hands as spectral tears flows down his cheeks. Mighty Osiris, whose is the name that next appears in the Book of Duat? Who next will Anubis and Thot judge and send on the solar barges across the sea to the paradise islands of Aaru? Who next are we –

. . . am I . . . to lose?

In his sleep, Yugi shifted restlessly, his own face wet with weeping.

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

The rp was called "theafterliferp" – http: / / community. livejournal. com/ theafterliferp /profile (remove spaces). The tag line of the comm was "Death is but the next great adventure." No, I'm not into character deaths, usually. The rp was set in the afterlife (duh, LOL) and there were already an Anzu-mun and Bakura-mun before I joined, hence the characters' mention in this chapter.