What is this? This is me at 10 pm after a sappy movie and a strange thought.
Chapter One: Rivers from the Sky
The rain began just after Yugi went to bed. The lights were turned out, the television clicked off, and his work set to the side of his desk for the next morning. It was an icy rain, leaving a chill that seeped under thresholds and through the cracks in window panes. Somewhere in the background, the space heater thrummed steadily in a way that usually wouldn't be noticed in the hustle bustle of day life. The clock hanging from the far wall ticked faithfully onward. Prevailing over everything else, though, pattered the rain across the roof and against the window across the room from where Yugi Motou slept in his bed, dead to the world.
Across from the bed where Yugi slept peaceful was who could be his transparent double. Almost identical in hair, build, and complexion, the differences were noticeable only to an eye searching for them. In the way they held themselves, the shape of their eyes, the slightest variations in their skin tones and the way they moved or sat or spoke. They were different, yet the same, two parts of one whole and complementary to each other.
But there were no eyes to spot their differences now, deep into a biting, dark night with a starry sky shrouded by thick clouds.
Silent and unmoving, the apparition sat weightless on the window sill, staring out into the rain barely visible to even his sharp eyes. Even so, he continued to watch fascinated as fat drops pounded against the glass.
"Yami?" A groggy voice rose from the bed. The ghostly figure turned his head to the side, just the slightest of motions that was so easy to overlook.
Sitting up slowly, the teen who had just recently been slumbering soundly propped himself up against the headboard. Yawning, he ground his knuckles into his drooping eyes in hopes of dislodging the temptation of sleep from them.
"What are you doing up so late?"
Turning to face his companion, Yami stood and approached the bed. His footsteps made no sound, his movement no stirring of air. He was nothing more than a phantom, passing between the worlds. He held no claim to this one, not without a form of his own.
"Did I wake you, Yugi? I'm sorry. You should go back to sleep."
"No, it's alright," Yugi mumbled sleepily, swinging his feet over the side of the mattress. His pale pastel blue pajamas clashed pleasantly with the black shiny leather Yami wore, just a mirror image of the clothing Yugi himself usually adorned. "Why are you up? Is something wrong?"
Yami shifted. Frowned.
"No. No, nothing's wrong. I was just..." Slowly, he turned to look back out the window. Thunder grumbled in the distance, stealing away whatever he had been planning to say. Eyebrows furrowed.
Yugi followed his gaze.
"Did the rain keep you up?" He asked curiously, seeming much more awake.
Silently, Yami drifted towards the window once more and brushed away the curtains with the back of his hand. They fluttered aside as if buffeted by a sudden breeze. A flash of lightning lit the the sky dark purple and the clouds dangerous turquoise. The rain was blinding white, falling in thick ribbons from the sky.
Yugi shuffled over to stand beside his counterpart and they stood together, yin and yang, at the window to watch the rain fall.
A pause. Befuddled, Yugi stole a glance at Yami's spectral face. Even though he had no physical form in the world, the light still played across his phantasmal skin, setting his features in a sharp contrast. His crimson eyes glowed ghostly silver as a sliver of moonlight broke through the mantle of clouds the sky wore so heavily. The outside world lit up, and the room seemed all the darker.
"This land," he answered after a moment, "where rivers fall from the sky. That is what is strange."
Yugi, more lost than ever, remained silent, reassured that Yami could feel his bemusement and would explain.
And explain he did.
"It's curious for me, to see this thing you call rain. Unfamiliar."
"You've seen the rain before, Yami." It had rained many times since Yugi began sharing his form with Yami. Yami was always watching, so surely he had seen...
"...Yes. I was distracted, and with good reason. I never stopped to watch and be in wonder." A sigh. "And it is strange," he stated with an alarming amount of finality.
Yugi tilted his head up towards his yami.
Smiling vaguely, almost not a smile at all, the Pharaoh returned the gaze with far off eyes. What Yugi thought was strange was how his eyes seemed the most solid part of him, always so real and full of light and life, though his own body had died many millennium ago.
"In my country..." Yugi felt a shock go up his spine at the longing in that voice, "...it did not rain. Living was the good Nile, our source of water and prosperity and life. I went my entire life without knowing what the rain was, because the rain did not exist in my country but rarely. My country..." He trailed off, eyes sliding back towards the window. Lightning reached towards the land. The sky roared.
Concerned, Yugi shifted nearer his closest friend when he felt a pulse of shrouded longing, almost sorrow, escape through their link. No matter how Yami tried to hide his pain, though, Yugi could always feel it. Always.
What could he say, Yugi wondered, to comfort this gallant spirit, separated from his homeland for so many thousands of years, plunged into a strange world he didn't understand? In a land he was never meant to see, a time he was never meant to see...
"My country," Yami continued as if Yugi hadn't spoken, "never heard thunder, never saw lightning. And I never heard nor saw. And now I am here, experiencing these strange, unnatural things. If I had lived a normal life, I never would have..."
Yugi felt a sharp pain in his heart and a wave of despair engulfed him. Did Yami wish he had lived a normal life? But if Yami had lived a normal life, he never would have...!
"If I have lived a normal life," Yami's deep tone rumbled, voicing Yugi's thoughts perfectly, and Yugi knew he was caught. In the same way Yami could hide nothing from him, Yugi could hide nothing from Yami. Crimson eyes lifted, and Yugi's entire being and soul froze, not able to complete the thought. Not wanting to.
The two stood, eyes locked, caught in a battle between the shadows and the light. A clash that was constant in the universe, opposing and yet completing at the same time. They clashed in merely being, in existing together as the purest of pure contraries to the other. The mere fact that they were set that ever struggling and balancing into motion, unable to continue without the other.
And they stood, merely being, staring and unmoving like statues in that one moment. And for a moment, Yugi was afraid, an irrational fear that Yami was unhappy and that Yugi's friendship would never be enough to replace the love he had held and still held for his homeland and birth place of Egypt, the place where he had ruled and loved his people and paid the ultimate price to save them all. He was afraid...
And then, Yami smiled.
"If I had lived a normal life, Yugi..." He lifted a single un-matter hand and brushed the back of his knuckles, as solid as anything, over Yugi's cheek, comforting like one would a small child after a fiendish nightmare. "Then I would never have met you."
The agony, that fear, drained from Yugi's chest like sickness from the wound. Yugi reached out and silently pulled the ancient Pharaoh into a hug and he couldn't stop his trembling, from joy and from grief, because some small part of Yami was in pain. Would always be in pain. And he felt helpless, because there was nothing he could do to heal that pain.
Understanding passed between the two.
"I know, hikari. And it's alright."
And that was enough. No more words were needed, not for the two, because they were connected and balanced in the same way the sun balanced the moon or life balanced death. The two stood like that for a long moment before Yugi glanced up with sparkling eyes, a grin spreading on his face in childlike deviousness.
"Now come on. There's more to rain than just seeing it."
Grabbing the spirit by his wrist, Yugi towed a confused Yami down the stairs to the game shop and then out the front door. Standing under the porch, he breathed out a cloud of steam into the air and smiled into the bleak, polar darkness that bit raw at his nose. He opened the link that connected their souls to his body. And invited.
Confused, Yami returned to their mind corridor, where Yugi stood waiting between their two soul rooms, so close and yet still separate as two definite life forms.
"Yugi, what are you---?"
"Don't ask questions, Yami. You'll see. Now come on."
Taking his hand, Yugi then did something neither of them had ever done or tried. Before then, neither had believed it possible. Merging their two souls as closely as they could without completely abandoning themselves and becoming one being all together, the two returned to his body and the physical world.
As one, they stepped out into the rain, one body controlled by two souls acting in flawless, thoughtless tandem.
And for the first time, they shared the world. In the past, they had always switched back and forth between control, Yugi and then Yami, Yami and then Yugi, never sharing the body that they both resided in.
Until now. The two shared one skin as water slid down the back of Yugi's pajamas, shared a shiver as the downpour plastered their hair to the back of their neck. Shocked by the unfamiliar sensation, Yami laughed, a surprised, breathless laugh, and Yugi laughed with him. The voice that rose from their shared physical chest was unreal, ethereal, deep and light, joyous and sorrowful, the world wrapped into one moment.
Glowing violet eyes shining with a deep crimson lifted skyward and squinted. Arms lifted high, hands splayed upwards, as if to take flight, or maybe even to swim weightless through the torrent until they reached the hiding stars above.
Still laughing, they as one wiggled their toes in the sloshing, glacial puddles and shuddered as cotton stuck to their skin. Above, the brief flaunt of moonlight slid behind the cloud cover and, in the darkness that followed, shadow and light danced together, a single being that laughed to shame the stars.
And Yami experienced rain for the first time.
Author's Note: Real short as I have to go. Came from an idea when I wondered what Yami must think of this new place Japan, which is so different from Egypt. What mysteries has he been facing?
Now onward with a fact that I've already been called by a Reviewer before I could update.
I am aware it rains in Egypt. I've been told, though, it is very rare, maybe once every hundred years? Or so the Discovery Channel told me. Or perhaps I'm remembering wrong, but either way, I based this story on the fact that (I believe) it rains only once in a century/very rarely in Egypt, and Yami didn't live through any moments of rain. Thus, it was not something he readily acknowledged, or even knew.
And I know, I know, this is sorta sappy at some point. I'm sorry. I told myself I wouldn't do this ever again. I mean, sure, I have tons of ideas that could only be oneshots or ficlets, but I've got big stories to be working on! Else I face the consequences! And the sappiness is embarrassing when I read it later on and realize I typed it up... Well, ignore me and my ranting. I'm done now, really. Probably will be updating other "chapters" of other drabbles, when my next idea hits. R&R if you liked it, please, or even if you didn't.