A/N: Okay, so this is a little different from what I usually write. It isn't a Romance, but an Angst fic. I just want to try something new, and this is what has been in my head for a while. Please enjoy.
Note: This is taking place during Season Zero. It's obviously different from what really happens, but the timeline of events hopefully are accurate. Oh, and Yugi may be a bit OOC.
Warning: Suicidal thoughts, attempted suicide; basically a dark fic.
The small pieces of gold glittered magnificently in the sunlight that crept through a small skylight, sounds of said pieces clinking together ever so often along with soft growls of frustration.
Nearly slamming the valuable pieces in his hands down onto the table, Yugi ground his teeth together slightly as he pushed back away from the table, the chair's legs grinding against the carpet harshly.
Eight years....eight whole years of his life, trying to put this puzzle together, and he had only a corner formed. His Grandpa had told him in the beginning that no one had ever completed this puzzle, and anyone who had attempted, gave up easily. Young Yugi had been courageous and determined at first, hoping that he could be the one to solve it, but as the years passed, his confidence had faltered greatly. The only reason he kept going was because the inscriptions on the side of the container said that whoever solved the puzzle would be granted a wish...or so his Grandpa had said.
Heaving a heavy sigh, the fifteen-year-old rubbed his temples in hope of soothing his headache. Glancing at the scattered pieces, the teen suddenly had thoughts of just giving up, and selling it to someone who'd have more luck than he was having.
But then there was that small twinge in the back of his mind telling him not to. To keep working on the puzzle, and once it would be done, he'd wish for some real friends. It was what had him throwing away the idea of giving up so many times, and it worked time and time again.
Shaking his head as he realized that he should be in bed instead of brooding about some small gold pieces, Yugi collected the gold on the desk and placed each carefully back into their respective container before slipping into bed.
Sleep did not come easy for the tired teenager. Thoughts of the mysterious puzzle he possessed had been pushed to the back of his mind for now, while thoughts of tomorrow plagued him.
Because of his size and his childish features, he was constantly bullied in school. Most people picked on him just for their own amusement, but there were two individuals he really didn't look forward to seeing any day of the year.
Jounouchi Kastuya and Honda Hiroto were his main troubles. Thankfully, they weren't the type of guys that used physical violence, but they did threaten it quite often. They usually just messed with his mind, telling him to grow up and be a man instead of playing childish games and such. Time to time Yugi would come home with a few cuts and bruises from another bully--Ushio. He was the main man in the school, and most feared him, even the teachers. Yugi would usually be defended at first from Honda and Jounouchi, and once those two would leave in fear, Yugi would then be beaten up. It was odd really.
Rolling over to his side, trying to shoot the thoughts of tomorrow away, the spiky-haired teen finally fell into a restless sleep.
"Please guys, give it back!"
The golden box was thrown far over little Yugi's head, and into the hands of Jounouchi, and then back to Honda.
He knew that he should've never brought the still unfinished puzzle to school. He should've guessed that these two goons would somehow find their way to him during the free period to torment him.
"Not until you become a man Motou," Jounouchi sneered as he tossed the ancient item back to his friend.
Dropping his arms to his sides, Yugi wondered vaguely if by doing this, the two bullies would figure that he'd given up. "Please..." he tried again, sounding thoroughly defeated.
The blonde and brunette obviously didn't take the hint that he was tired and unable to grab the box that would fly over his head every two seconds. Instead, two wicked smiles formed on their faces, and Yugi feared the worst when they ran back into the classroom.
Hastily following them into the empty room, Yugi was suddenly hauled back by Honda, and he watched with wide eyes as Jounouchi opened the golden box, picked a piece at random, and threw it out the window.
Honda released him, and the box was then harshly pushed into his hands. "You really need to stop playing these types of children's games Yugi," Jounouchi said with a smirk of triumph. "Now you'll never be able to finish your precious puzzle."
Yugi was left alone in the hollow classroom after that, some tears welling up in his eyes before he turned on his heel to fetch the missing piece that was outside.
Yugi's glum mood dropped even further the moment he found the small golden piece at the bottom of the small pool. Seeing that it wasn't going to float back up and jump into his small hand, Yugi slid his school jacket off, carefully placing it over his book bag, which now concealed the golden box.
Diving in, Yugi quickly snatched up the piece of the puzzle, gasping for air when he met the surface. He hadn't realized the pool was that deep before. Pulling himself out into the warming sun, his shoes squish-squashed as he made his way over to his belongings to put the golden trinket back into its precious box.
Pulling his jacket back over his shoulders, Yugi thanked someone somewhere that it was the end of the day, and as the bell rang, he immediately started for home, still drenched in the slowly drying water that clung to him.
By the time he had made it to the small Game Shop, the teenager was still soaked, some parts of his blue uniform sticking to his skin underneath. Heaving a soft greeting to his Grandpa as he made his way to his room, Yugi sighed the moment the wooden door was closed, letting his back pack drop off his shoulders.
Dragging himself and his book bag to his desk, the tri-color haired teen slumped into a chair, carefully pulling out his treasure. There was no way he'd ever take this item back to school again.
Staring at it as he placed the box in front of him, Yugi thought lightly. Was this puzzle really worth putting together? Would it really grant a wish if it was ever put together? Yugi was starting to really doubt it.
He had been slaving over this thing for eight years now, and he was getting nowhere with it. He'd work on it every day for hours, but he wouldn't get any further. He'd still get bullied at school by Jounouchi and Honda, and now it had gotten him soaked in water. What was next? His grades were already starting to drop a little...
For at least two weeks now, Yugi had barely noticed that his mood was getting less and less happy, and he was becoming more depressed. His daily conversations with his Grandpa were starting to become shorter than usual, and he kept extra quiet in school.
Letting his head drop into his hands, Yugi stared more intensely at the golden treasure. Several minutes passed, and the small teen finally came to a conclusion that he would never be able to finish it, and therefore, he'd never have any friends.
Pushing the gold item to the back of his desk, Yugi let his eyes droop as he stood up to change into some dry clothes, and then get started on the pile of homework waiting in his book bag.
Months passed by, from early winter to mid-spring, and the young teen with tri-colored hair's mood did not improve. If anything, it fell even more.
His two bullies still picked on him, although they took advantage of his depressed attitude by making more frequent visits to tease him in and out of school. Words passed between Yugi and his Grandpa were only simple greetings of 'hello' and 'goodbye', and very often soft grunts, or a nod or shake of the head.
Every now and then though, around once a week, his worried Grandpa would give him a hug once he returned from school, asking how his day went or if something was wrong. Yugi would attempt a smile, always replying that there was nothing to worry about and he just had a bad day at school. Yugi was relieved each time that his Grandpa seemed to accept his repeated answer.
There was also a dramatic loss in appetite, resulting in Yugi becoming steadily skinnier and much paler than usual. But by the common sense that the boy had left in his shaken mind, Yugi still ate enough so that he wouldn't starve himself.
The teen spent most of his hours after school, or when he had days off from school in his room. He'd stay quiet most of the time, but very often now, he'd find himself crying into his pillow about how horrible his life had turned out.
Through it all, Yugi knew that his Grandpa would worry for him, and mentally he told himself to say something, anything more than what he was already saying to his guardian to reassure him, even if it was a little bit. However, every attempt he made to do so, doubt and fear of what his Grandpa would say would hold him back every time.
As predicted, his grades had dropped dramatically. He had gone down from an average A student to a C student. Pressure was being forcefully pushed onto his shoulders as his teachers confronted him about the grades he got, and how his Grandpa would give him a worried gaze whenever a progress report would show up.
Sadness, guilt, frustration and pain were slowly eating away at his mind and body. Yugi of course didn't notice, but his more recent thoughts were noticeable. They even scared him sometimes when the chance that he was thinking straight passed by.
Thoughts of cutting had entered the fifteen-year-old's head. Yugi had heard some rumors of other students doing this to relieve themselves from the world; to let out all the pain that they were bottling up. The idea had sounded like a good one at first, but the more Yugi contemplated on it, he drew back on it.
He wasn't sure if he would be able to keep his arms hidden behind long-sleeved shirts all the time; especially during the summer season. He also didn't want his Grandpa to accidentally see the scars and fresh cuts either.
Every now and then, the idea of running away crossed his mind as well. This way, he wouldn't have to go to school, deal with his worry-stricken Grandpa, and hopefully some of his concealed pain would be let out. But yet again, Yugi's common sense, or what was left of it, got the better of him.
Yugi glanced at his open history book that he had long stopped reading. At this point in time, the class had finally gotten to Caesar's rule in the Roman Empire. Along with the hundreds of words printed on the pages, there was also that famous painting of the dictator being stabbed by his friend Brutus.
His sight was suddenly transfixed on the small image, his dull amethyst eyes brightening ever so slightly. Maybe someone could stab him to death to relieve him of the heavy pain he carried....no, no one stupid enough would do that if he asked. He'd just end up in a mental institute or something...but what if....
Yes! That was it!
The mere thought of suicide brought tears to Yugi's overjoyed eyes. The final relief he'd get out of the act. He wouldn't be picked on anymore; he wouldn't have to hope on some stupid puzzle for a better life anymore! He'd be taken out of this hell!
The teen's emotions started to pour out as all the advantages he'd get out of killing himself. Happiness....relief....no more pain....
But when would he do it? Next year? No, that was too long of a wait. Maybe next week...or tomorrow...or maybe even tonight.
Yes....tonight would be the best night to commit such an act. It'd be done and over with. No one but his Grandpa would really care; it wasn't quite a loss in Yugi's mind. He'd just have to sneak a knife after dinner so that his Grandpa wouldn't notice.
The tears that had welled up in his amethyst eyes finally spilled over.
"I'll wash the dishes tonight, Grandpa," Yugi offered, not realizing that that was the longest sentence he had spoken in months.
The elderly guardian placed his plate and silverware into the soapy water, and gave his grandson a wary look before smiling at the sudden amount of words spoken. "Alright my boy, go ahead." He exited the kitchen and in a couple moments, the sound of the television wafted into the room.
A small smile crept unknowingly onto Yugi's slender face as he scrubbed the saucy plates and silverware clean. Unplugging the stopper in the sink and letting the dirty water drain, Yugi then proceeded to dry the dripping dishes and then place them back into their respective cupboards.
Peeking round the kitchen corner enough to see his Grandpa comfortably sitting on the sofa watching the news, the volume still up at a moderate place, Yugi let his eyelids droop a little as he scooched back into the kitchen, his eyes setting their gaze on the rack that held all of the sharpest knives.
Walking ever so swiftly to the case of dangerous tools, Yugi slid some of the knives out to see which one he would use. Within two minutes, the boy had carefully chosen the knife that was most used for cutting vegetables and some meats; a shimmering weapon, with a smooth edge.
Licking his drying lips in anticipation, the depressed teen carefully slid the chosen knife into the large pocket at the bottom of his hoodie sweatshirt that he had precisely chosen for the job.
Trying to calm his nerves as he shut the lights off and casually walked passed his entertained Grandpa in the living room, Yugi made it up the stairs without turning into a nervous wreak or a suicidal maniac.
Shutting the door behind him, Yugi locked it with precision, just to make sure that nobody would be able to get in. Taking out the knife from his sweat shirt pocket, Yugi placed it on his desk where he turned on his lamp. Sitting down in his tiny wooden chair, the teen then proceeded to stare at the weapon until he thought that the time would be right.
03:07 A.M. was what his clock read when Yugi thought that the time now would be perfect.
His Grandpa had retired to his own room around nine o'clock, knocking softly on his door and wishing him 'sweet dreams'. Yugi had fought back tears at the time.
But with those tears held back now, Yugi grasped the knife's hilt gently as he moved from the wooden chair to the edge of his soft bed.
A lump suddenly and unexpectedly formed in the tortured teen's throat. Gazing down at the blade in his small hand, Yugi stared at it knowingly.
So this was it.
He was one plunge away from freedom...from true happiness...from relief. Just one plunge would take him away somewhere safe from the bullies at school, from the damned puzzle he had stupidly kept challenging.
He would be able to forget all of his Grandpa's worry stricken gazes, only a chosen few he actually decided to verbalize. Through it all, Yugi had started to hate answering his guardian with the same words.
Where would he go anyway? Was there really a Heaven? Would he go to the cursed Hell for his unworthy death? Were there even such places? Yugi somehow doubted it, but either way, those two places seemed much better than here, and it urged him on with some unseen force.
His drooping eyes un-glazing, Yugi brought himself back to reality. Biting his lip, he took a firmer grasp on the blade and started to draw it up just above his small, bony chest.
Maybe he'd get to see his parents; maybe not in the place called Heaven, but somewhere floating by. A sign of bliss crossed Yugi's face at the thought. Oh how he longed to be with his parents, to see his parents once again...he'd do anything to see them!
But what if he didn't actually have the guts for suicide? What if he couldn't do it? He'd be stuck in this rotten life, tortured until who knows when. The thought quickly scared Yugi, and he couldn't think of what he'd do if he chickened out.
His hand jolted in place, snapping Yugi out of his musings. Grasping the blade even harder than before so that his knuckles turned visibly white, a determined vibe coursed through him to get it over and done with suddenly over took the teen.
Pressing his lips together, Yugi was about to swing down when he abruptly stopped the action. His eyes snapping open wider than usual, Yugi glanced at his slightly raised arm, seeing that it was shaking; but with what?
What was he waiting for? Yugi mentally shouted at himself to just make the deadly move, but his arm would not respond. He even switched the blade to the other hand and yet again he didn't get a response. What was going on?
By now, fear had overridden Yugi's senses, and tears started to rapidly stream down his pale face as he desperately tried to swing the blade.
Letting a choked sob escape from his now quivering lips, the teen let the knife haphazardly fall onto the bed next to him. Why wouldn't the world let him die? He had nothing to offer! Absolutely nothing! No one would cry over his loss!
The crying teen was now violently shaking, trying to desperately understand why he wasn't able to complete what seemed to be a simple task. He tried to rake his mind for an answer, but his thoughts quickly became blurry and he could not find the answer he so badly wanted.
Was this Nature's way of tormenting him or something? Was it a sick joke? He had nothing to live for, only to go to school, be beaten up mentally and physically, work on some damn puzzle that wasn't even worth anything, and just do it all again for nearly three hundred sixty five days?!
The urge to scream in frustration came to the teen's hazy mind and he did so, but not without a pillow. Some part of his mind reminded him that his Grandpa was still sleeping.
Yugi thoroughly exhausted himself in an amount of time unknown to him. Everything had become very blurry to him, most of it from his shaken tears that were still running like waterfalls.
Through teary eyes, Yugi gazed down at the blade still next to him. The titanium shimmered in the small amount of light like it was greeting Yugi with a wicked smile, just tempting him to try it all again.
His small fingers grazed the hilt, slowly travelling up the blade itself, subconsciously being careful not to accidentally cut himself. A barely noticeable smile formed on Yugi's teary lips as he felt the cool metal run under the pads of his fingers.
Somehow, the knife had managed to get under the teen's grip again, a new determination taking over his shaken and fearful state. Tears still running down his face at a steady pace now, Yugi let the weapon hover over the same spot as last time.
He stayed in this position for a while, just lightly gazing at the silver object in his hand, softly contemplating his choice, though not much thought went into it. His shoulders continued to shake ever so slightly however.
Was it really worth it...? Did he really want this...? The thought had suddenly crossed his mind at the last second.
Of course....wasn't it?
It was a decision really, and it was all up to Yugi; he knew that.
'It'd give me freedom, a relief I've longed for so long now,' the desperate teen thought dryly. 'But what's holding me back?' he asked the depths of his mind, in which no answer came yet again.
Growling in even more frustration, and as more tears spilled from his dull eyes, Yugi averted his gaze down to his lap then back up to the tightly held blade.
Something golden sparkled in the corner of his eye.
With a quivering jaw, Yugi forcefully tore his hardened gaze to what had sparkled. His harsh breathing had only quickened as his eyes were immediately set on the so called treasure of his...
...except that said treasure was almost complete. Three pieces were left to put into place, and the depressed boy's heart sped up to unimaginable speeds possible.
How...how was that possible? He didn't remember ever working on the puzzle since early October....
Swallowing, Yugi bravely looked up at the blade still fixated in his hand, and with a force unknown to him, the weapon was thrown down to the floor so fast that Yugi couldn't even remember the action. He had nearly run over to his desk, his nerves going haywire.
Yanking the chair out of the way so that he could stand right in front of the nearly finished puzzle, Yugi stared down disbelievingly at the objects. With shaky hands, he took one of the pieces into his hands experimentally.
Pushing down the lump in his throat, Yugi shook his head with disbelief. He couldn't ever remember working on this! He had grown to hate it with a heavy passion, vowing that he'd never touch it again. He also remembered that he wanted to throw it into the trash one day.
Confusion swallowed Yugi's exhausted mind. It-it wasn't possible. Could he really have worked on this without really realizing it? Maybe he did it in his sleep...
The teen's breath turned extremely heavy, like he had just returned from a late night jog around the city. He didn't want to believe that this was almost complete...he didn't want to believe that he actually had a chance to gain some true, real friends who cared and loved him.
His mind was poisoned with numerous thoughts such as these until Yugi felt himself drop to his knees in weakness. Tears were falling down as hard as ever and there was no way to control his emotions now.
Out of desperation, Yugi reached for the puzzle at the back of the desk and slid the piece in his hand into the correct position just to see if he had actually put the thing together. He did the same with the next, it also fitting snugly on the first try.
He set his gaze on the last and final piece.
How could he have been so stupid? To think that he was actually killing himself over some puzzle he thought he'd never finish, and because he was getting beat up nearly every day at school! The realization almost made Yugi laugh. Almost.
He had locked himself up against his teachers, other students and most importantly his Grandpa for goodness sake! Why had he done such an idiotic thing? What was he thinking?!
And suicide of all things! More tears started to flow at the simple thought as it all dawned on him. Yugi couldn't believe what he had been doing to himself!
He had been saving himself all this time and didn't even know it.
Squeezing his eyes shut, Yugi unconsciously reached for the final piece. He twirled it experimentally in his fingers to see if it was real or not. Feeling a solid, cold piece in his hand, Yugi opened his eyes and lightly looked at it.
The piece had the Wedjat eye melded precisely onto it, making it have a somewhat mysterious effect. His fingers rubbed curiously over the smooth surface it had, and Yugi vaguely remembered that this was the piece that he had recovered from the school's swimming pool all those months ago.
As if in a trance, the teen's heart rate sped up again, and his hands began to shake in nervousness. When this final piece was placed in, would it really grant him his wish for friends? His mind softly doubted it, but his heart faintly had a glimmer of hope surface as he clicked the piece into place.
Nothing happened. Yugi waited and waited, but nothing interesting happened. His stomach dropped abruptly, and new tears started to form into his puffy, red eyes.
All this was for nothing, absolutely nothing. It was a cheap scam that was impersonating itself as the real deal, probably secretly trying to sidetrack him from the death he wanted. Anger bubbled up inside the emotional teen and he slammed it back onto the desk with a plunk before him, the puzzle miraculously not shattering.
"All I ever wanted was to have some friends! Someone who'd always be there for me, to care for me, and I would do the same for them!" Yugi nearly screamed, his fists clenching along with his blazing amethyst eyes, his sleeping Grandpa never coming to mind. "But as it turns out, my wish will never be granted for friends, or death!"
He screamed for a short while longer, tiring himself out even more, breaking down into uncontrollable sobs that turned worse and worse by the minute. He ended up with his arms collapsed on his desk, his head buried deep within them, his tears staining the wood.
Unknown to Yugi however, there were some faint knocks on his locked door, and a sleepy voice managed to make it through. The teen paid the soft noise no heed.
Clenching his teeth to stop his jaw from trembling even further, Yugi suddenly felt pleasing warmth spread over his forehead. Looking up with an extremely heavy feeling head, Yugi's blood-shot eyes widened to the size of saucers as he stared at the brightly glowing puzzle in front of him.
His tears forgotten once again, the teen's gaze was quickly transfixed onto the glowing light, his confused mind trying to comprehend what was happening. It seemed that the light was getting brighter and brighter with each ticking second, and Yugi recoiled the moment the puzzle burst into a brilliant light, making him stumble backwards shielding his eyes.
The warmth in his forehead had somehow managed to spread itself throughout his body. He couldn't see, smell or taste anything. He couldn't move, although he felt himself touch unseen items. He could hear a muffled sound, but couldn't tell what it was.
He was touching something extremely hot, yet he didn't remove his hand from whatever it was he was touching, and suddenly, a deep, demanding voice filled his ears, but he could depict what the voice was saying; it was like it was in another language unknown to him.
He strained to listen to the somewhat soothing voice, but the second he did so, the voice faded away, and the warmth around him disappeared. Yugi fluttered his eyes open.
The first thing he saw was his ceiling. He still couldn't feel much, and moving was out of the question. He could tell that he was lying down on the floor in his room though.
What had just happened? His eyes hurt, and so did his head. He didn't think of it much before he felt an easing weight on his small chest.
Letting his eyes droop down to see what it was since he had no energy to lift his head, his weak gaze was met with the golden Millennium Puzzle, completed and shimmering brilliantly as if it were alive.
His eyes rolled back up tiredly as he evened out his breath. He had no clue what had just taken place tonight, but a strange feeling of another presence suddenly surrounded Yugi with hope and reassurance, making the teen start to believe that things were to get much better.
His nerves working properly now, the exhausted teen let his head loll to the side as he was bombarded with a heavy sleep.
A/N: Not too sure about this one. I've been wanting to do something angsty for a while now, just to see how I'd do with it. I know that I should've had Grandpa a little more involved with Yugi's attitude and stuff, but then this would've gone way off topic for my liking. Sorry about that. I skipped the obvious help.
Flames are welcomed. Please review, it'd be greatly appreciated.