This is pretty early in the series, but I couldn't help it. I've wanted to write this for a while now. I hope you like it. It's very short, mind you.


The tears streamed down Yuugi's face and collided against the cold stone beneath his knees. His shoulders shook violently as his fear infected every cell in his body, making him grow numb and dreadfully cold. "I'm afraid…" He whispered softly. "Of what might happen next time…"

Yami stood behind Yuugi, invisible to everyone surrounding him, and cast his eyes regretfully across his back. I'm so sorry, he wanted to say. Just forgive me.

At first, he was dueling for Yuugi, to see the smile flash across his face as his grandfather was finally safe and with him again, but, somewhere along the way, it turned into something more.

The duel held a piece of Yami, as if backing down meant being thrown in a cage and forgotten forever. The deadly look in Kaiba's eyes pierced through Yami's heart and held him captive. His selfish, despotic heart wanted to rip that look off his face and slam it into the ground.

He wanted to win.


The strength within Yuugi had taken Yami by surprise and he faltered for just a moment, allowing Yuugi to seize control and forfeit the duel.

Yami wanted to scream as Yuugi yelled stop. He wanted to command his guardian to continue with his attack and laugh as Kaiba tittered on the edge of the castle roof.

But, when Yuugi fell to the floor and Yami felt the cold tears stream down his own face, his own soul, everything stopped.

"Yuugi…" Yami whispered. He took a knee behind his other self and let his hand hover over Yuugi's shaking shoulder.

He wanted, more than anything, to take the boy into his arms. But how would he react? Yuugi hadn't fully realized Yami's presence and would most likely be frightened by him.

Yami hardened his gaze and swallowed thickly. Yuugi didn't know he existed…

But Yami, oh Yami, he knew all too well. Every moment, every glance, every word, he stored in his memory, never letting it go. From the very first moment he saw Yuugi, when he first heard his voice, wishing for a true friend, he had become trapped by his heart.

"I…" Yami's voice cracked when he heard Yuugi choke on a sob.

He turned away when he heard Yuugi whisper, "I'll never duel again."

There was a moment of silence that passed through the air, creating an ugly feeling in the pit of Yami's stomach. He tightened his fists, suddenly feeling angry, but, with every sob that echoed in his ears, his anger began to slip from his fingers.

Yuugi was crushed, defeated, in more than just a game.

His heart was broken apart by fear…Fear of Yami.

"Yuugi…" Yami said softly. He closed his eyes and stood up. "I'm…" His words faded into the back of his throat.

"Never again…" Yuugi whispered.

Yami's own shoulders began to shake. Emotion filled his entire being and any second, Yami felt as if he would explode. He bit harshly down on his lip and allowed the pain to numb his heart.


Can't you see?

Dueling means nothing…

If you are afraid of me.

He remembered that split second their eyes had met. Yuugi was fighting for control, and Yami was letting him win. A hand had rested on his arm and Yami couldn't fight the gasp that had escaped his throat.

Through a mirror, Yuugi's eyes were a deep purple. But when they stared into Yami's, they were only beauty.

And now they were drowning in tears.

Yami tightened his fists, not noticing the blood seeping from his palm as his nails bit through the soft skin. It was his fault, all of it. He could never hope to mean anything to Yuugi. He was a monster and that's exactly how his other self now saw him.

A hideous monster shrouded in darkness.

How dare he even dream of being with this angel of light, this perfect creature. He would simply rot Yuugi's beautiful heart from the inside out like his own mammoth did to Kaiba's dragon.

Yami's entire body was shaking now, the emotion spilled from his eyes as he opened them. He turned around, fell to his knees, and wrapped his arms around Yuugi's shaking frame.

But his hands only met stone.

His spirit had gone through Yuugi, and now he could see tears fall through his translucent hands. Yami let out a rush of breath as an empty hopelessness filled his heart.

Not even in his weakest moment could he even touchYuugi.

Another tear fell through him, and Yami pressed his forehead against the yellow stone. He could feel his own tears soak his skin and the cold ground crept up his bones and down his spine.

"I'm so sorry…" His broken voice whispered. "Yuugi…"

If Yami would peer over his shoulder, he would find Yuugi's purple eyes staring straight at him.

But he didn't dare look.

Because they wouldn't be looking at him…

Those precious eyes would simply look through him.

Kir Sirin