Title: "...Whom the King Loves" (a love story in fifty sentences)
Pairing: Yami Yugi/Yugi Mutou
Theme set: Epsilon
Disclaimer: Yugioh was created by Kazuki Takahashi.
Author's Note: This was written for the 50 Sentences LJ community. The prompt numbers and words are listed, in the order used, at the bottom of the page.
…Whom the King Loves
For three thousand years, he waited for the birth of the one chosen to free him from his golden prison.
Ushio is the final brick in the wall of his loneliness and, as he sets the last piece of the Puzzle in place, Yugi wishes with all his heart for a friend; in the heart of the Puzzle, the Darkness responds.
Because he is small, and trusting, and -- if he is completely honest with himself -- a bit naïve, Yugi sometimes needs the protection of his Other Self; his Darkness needs only Yugi.
Before he knows he is separate from Yugi and not just a darker part of his personality, Yami's world is a narrow place of Shadow Games and penalties, but he does not regret the harsh justice that keeps his partner safe.
To Yami, the world never looks brighter than when he sees it through Yugi's eyes.
For Yugi, where once there was only fear and confusion, now there is comfort to be found in the cool regard of his Shadow.
Wearing the purple armor of his favorite card, trapped in a shadow game along with his friends, Yugi feels the concerned gaze of his Other settle upon him, and isn't afraid.
Kaiba stands on the castle battlement and threatens suicide, but that wall is nothing compared to the one that rises between Yugi and his Darkness, for that wall is built of mistrust and fear.
When it becomes apparent Yami values winning above his opponent's life, Yugi shuts out the spirit of the Puzzle to duel on his own, refusing him when Yami begs to be allowed to duel, to help, even though it may mean losing it all, even though his own heart is breaking.
When Yugi collapses in the Shadow Realm, and Yami can no longer feel the touch of his young spirit, he feels as if the world is ending; across the arena, Pegasus has no idea how close he stands to death.
Yami has never regretted being an insubstantial spirit more than when the flames licking at the warehouse threaten to engulf Yugi, and he, trapped inside the thrice-damned Puzzle, can do nothing to reach him.
He supposes that conventional wisdom would say he is too young to know true love, that his is the fickle heart of a teenaged boy, but Yugi knows -- from the moment he realizes it in the midst of flames and fear as he tries desperately to solve the Puzzle he refuses to leave behind -- that this love is forever.
Dressed in blue cotton pajamas dotted with stars and seated on his hospital bed, Yugi has never looked more like a child, but the look in his eyes as he caresses the Puzzle is anything but innocent.
They both know that it is madness for the two of them to fall in love; they do it, anyway.
It isn't easy, while sharing a body, to hide their true feelings from one another, but somehow, Yami and Yugi manage it.
In the days before he admits the depths of his feelings to Yugi, his partner shoves him in control and sends him on a date with Téa; afterward, Yami finds his resolve, in more ways than one.
The woman at the museum calls him "pharaoh" and shows him his ancient portrait, chiseled on a limestone tablet; his heart, too, feels carved of stone, as he begins to realize what recovering his lost past may mean for him and his partner.
There are tears in Yugi's eyes as he cradles the Puzzle between them; Yami cups his hands around Yugi's and vows to let nothing tear them apart.
Yami's past is a forgotten mystery, his future an uncertain prophecy, but Yugi is his present -- and, even if it means he never reclaims his memories, all that matters is that they stay together.
Though Yami does not know it, the Tomb Keepers have faithfully left offerings for their Pharaoh's ka for millennia; but it is Yugi, with a cheery word or the smallest smile, who truly feeds his soul.
Marik has vowed to destroy the Vessel and the soul of the Pharaoh within him; Yugi does all he can to prevent Marik from fulfilling that vow.
Marik wields the tainted might of the Millennium Rod; Yami, the power of the Puzzle and ancient heka -- neither are stronger than the love and determination in Yugi's heart.
When Yugi refuses to let him take control (and assume the risks of dueling against a Joey still firmly under Marik's mind control ), then takes off the Puzzle to ensure Yami obeys his wishes, Yami is once again reminded that 'gentle' does not mean 'weak.'
Yugi begs him to stop, to turn away from the card in his hand; but the darkness has caught him up, cloaked his vision in blood-red shadows and, oblivious to the horror in his partner's heart, Yami plays the Seal of Orichalcos.
He has never truly lost before; it is only after Yugi shoves him aside, and allows the Orichalcos to rip his spirit from their shared body, that Yami understands the real meaning of defeat.
Outside the train window, the foreign countryside passes in a blur -- like everything else, Yami discovers, the world loses its focus without Yugi there to guide him.
Bereft of his partner, alone within his heart and the body they once shared, Yami curses himself for a fool -- and weeps for the loss of his other soul.
The light that is Yugi's soul returns to him from the void; with open arms, Yami welcomes it back into his heart, and is made whole.
If this were the world of Yami's birth, he would name Yugi 'Mery,' shower him with riches, build a palace for his delight -- lay the kingdom at his feet.
When Yami finally stammers out the confession that will change everything (or, rather, the words "Partner, I…", since that is all that's needed as Yugi reads the rest in his eyes), Yugi can only nod and say, "Me, too."
For the first time, silence grows awkward between them, then, as though pulled by invisible strings, Yami and Yugi find themselves drawn toward one another, leaning ever closer -- close enough to feel the heat of each other's body, close enough to taste each other's breath.
Yugi is seventeen; Yami is three thousand and seventeen.
But time has brought them, finally, together; they aren't going to let a little thing like age keep them apart.
Inside the Millennium Puzzle, surrounded by the forgotten secrets, they hold each other and whisper soft words like 'forever' and 'always' -- and know in their deepest hearts that they lie.
In the Memory World, Yami glitters with gold -- on his arms and ankles, dangling from his ears, encircling his brow -- but nothing shines brighter than his smile when he sees Yugi, again.
His partner is a gift more precious than gold, rarer than scarcest silver...than anything the ancient world ever laid at the Pharaoh's feet...and no treasure ever made him feel richer.
He is the Living Horus, Son of Re, Lord of the Two Lands, whose word is law and whose actions shall determine the fate of the world… and he bends his will without protest to the happiness of a boy with trusting eyes and a smile like the sun.
As their mortal son, he wields the awesome might of the Gods, but it is Yugi -- always the Pharaoh's light of hope -- who brings him the final key to victory over the darkness.
Yugi had always known that once Yami regained his lost memories they would have to separate; he hadn't known it would feel as if he were dying inside, as if he were ripping his own heart in two.
He wants to believe it is for the best if Yami is allowed to go on to the afterlife, to finally finish the journey to the Field of Reeds that was interrupted three thousand years ago by his imprisonment in the Puzzle; but, in his heart, Yugi wishes he would stay.
When it comes, the epiphany is almost physically painful: he cannot let the other leave.
Yugi knows the world would be but a shadow without Yami; he shouts a plea for the other to stay… or take Yugi with him.
At Yugi's cry, Yami hesitates, turns from the open Door, and Yugi's heart sings as he embraces his Other -- separate, solid, whole -- for the first time outside the haven of their hearts.
Afterwards, at the hotel in Luxor, they are both reminded of Yami's uncertain familiarity with the modern world as he sits in the empty bath tub and Yugi sluices water over him from a bowl -- the closest they can improvise to an ancient Egyptian shower.
They wonder if it is wrong to feel this pull between them, this irresistible urge to join both body and soul; but, when they give in at last and two halves merge in glorious completion, their union doesn't feel wrong -- it feels like destiny.
The first time they make love, it is frantic, an urgent rite of nearly desperate pleasure; the second, it is almost a sacrament.
Even though they no longer share their minds, Yami still reads him with uncanny ease, knowing just where to touch, kiss, caress.
When Yami takes him, he is gentle; when Yugi returns the favor, he is not.
This world is still new to him, especially now, but with Yugi at his side, Yami knows that learning will be an adventure.
Before they board the plane to Domino, Yugi buys a gift at the airport, an udjat on a golden chain; Yami wears the necklace proudly, all the way home.
I thought the prompts were distracting listed with each sentence, so I've listed them here instead. They are given in the order used in the fic.
Egyptian words used in this fic:
Ka -- one of the parts of the human soul. The ka needs nourishment in the form of offerings (either physical or "voice offerings" -- or, in extreme cases, the paintings or carvings of such offerings in the tomb) in order to survive. The plural of ka is kau.
Mery --- beloved
Udjat (also spelled udjet or wadjet) -- the familiar Eye of Horus symbol (a human eye with falcon markings).
Prompts (Theme Set Epsilon):