Author's Note: I swear, by the end of this chapter, half of you are going to die of a fluff attack. The rest, if the beginning doesn't get them, will probably melt somewhere in the middle. Well, enjoy!
...And, no, I don't own Yugioh, but I am getting tired of writing these silly copyright notices.
Secrets of the heart
Midnight, that was the time the clock displayed when Yugi had woken up at his desk, and realized he was going to be late.
Too curious to concentrate on his homework, the teenager had instead spent the last few hours daydreaming about what secrets Yami would be sharing with him, and eventually fallen asleep.
"But now..." mused Yugi as he fell back on onto his bed. "Now is the perfect time to find out what the spirit has to say."
Making himself comfortable, the teen closed his eyes, and immediately fell into the mesmerizing depths of the Puzzle.
"Well, this is it." whispered Yugi, now walking down the hallway that separated his mind from the spirit's. "I only hope mom doesn't find out. She's going to kill me if she realizes I'm up this late."
Crossing his fingers for good luck, Yugi smiled as he approached the familiar destination.
That smile quickly turned into a confused frown when he found no one there to meet him.
"What? Where is he? Yami said..."
Staring at the closed door in front of him, the petite teenager let out a long sigh. "Why did I believe he'd be here? It's midnight. Yami probably realized I fell asleep at my desk, and with school in a few hours, didn't have the heart to come wake me."
"Which means I'd better go in there, and find him. After all, the spirit is not getting off the hook that easily."
Slowly reached for the handle, Yugi hesitated as he heard strange scratching sounds coming from the other side, a high pitched bark soon following.
"Silver Fang, get away from there." started a voice the teen didn't recognize. "And don't give me that look either. You know your master doesn't want you wandering the hallway."
Hearing a growled reply, Yugi instantly decided it was best not to interfere.
"I don't care if there's somebody out there!" continued the voice. "I told you to-wait, someone's out there?"
"Yes, and I believe they're here to meet someone. You of all people should know who."
"Oh no. Go back to your card, little wolf. I'll handle this."
Still trying to understand what had taken place, and if he really did just hear a talking Duel Monster, Yugi had barely enough time to hide as the door opened, and someone stepped out into the hall.
"Hello?" called the voice that had been speaking to Silver Fang. "Yugi, if you're still here, and I have a feeling you are, then come out."
"N-no. You can't make me."
The teen knew it was only a matter of time before he was discovered, but when the door had suddenly swung open, the only safe place Yugi could find was behind it.
Now he was cowering with his back against the wall in fear.
"T- this doesn't make any sense. Yami is supposed to be the only spirit in the Puzzle, right? So, why is there a-."
The teen let out a startled gasp as he felt a hand upon his left shoulder; terror filled eyes soon staring into the face of his double. Well, an older double to be exact, but still, it was Yugi, Yugi was sure of it.
"Hello, little duelist." whispered the Dream Yugi with a reassuring smile. "Looking for Yami?"
Nodding, Yugi allowed himself be led out of his hiding place, and into the spirit's Soul Room.
He still didn't understand what was going on, but Yugi knew he couldn't leave the mystery as it was.
They had walked only a few steps when the Dream Yugi suddenly stopped and faced a random section of the wall.
"I gave him my word that I wouldn't interfere, but would this really go against his wishes? The boy is here, and the truth..."
Sighing, the Dream Yugi turned towards his young companion. "I have to know, Yugi, what do you like about the spirit? Be honest."
"Like?" repeated the teen. "Um, everything, I guess."
"Everything? Okay then, what do you like best?"
"When he listens to me, even when I can tell he'd rather be doing something else. Yami always makes time to talk before I go to bed. Sometimes he even helps me with my homework."
"Is that all?"
"You're kidding, right? Before the spirit came, I was always alone at school, and a favorite target of the local bullies too, but now I have friends, not to mention a promising career in Duel Monsters."
The Dream Yugi just frowned.
"That poor boy." he muttered. "I feel so bad for him. Standing out there for three hours, all while not knowing what to expect, but, if this was was all that was waiting for him, then perhaps..."
Sighing, the Dream Yugi clenched his fists in frustration. "Brat, please tell me you didn't get this one wrong."
"Brat?" replied Yugi. "I hope you're not talking about me."
"Hardly. You're much too nice to even come close to his brash personality."
"Um, thank you? Anyway, was the spirit really waiting three hours? Just for me?"
"He'd wait an eternity for you, Yugi, though I'm not so sure about your simple message of friendship."
"Well, there is one more thing I could add, but..."
A light blush dusting his cheeks, Yugi quickly glanced around. "I really don't know if I should say it."
"Considering you're blushing, little duelist, I really think you should."
The Dream Yugi chuckled as he watched Yugi nervously fidget with the Puzzle around his neck. "I'm waiting."
"Okay, I-I'll tell you. The best thing about Yami is..."
Yugi smiled, kindhearted gaze dropping to the floor as he whispered his final words.
"I may have been the one to solve the Puzzle, but Yami...Yami was the one who completed me."
It was the sounds of a calm silence that finally caused the teen to glance back up.
"...Wow." replied the Dream Yugi, eyes staring at Yugi as if seeing him for the first time. "I admit, this was what I was hoping to hear, but..."
Shaking his head in awe, the Dream Yugi suddenly smiled. "Yugi, say that to the spirit, and I guarantee you, he'll probably start crying."
"Cry?" replied Yugi. "Yami does not cry. Not over something like that."
"Oh, I beg to differ. He may now be a spirit, but Yami was once a human, was he not?"
"He has a heart, and he can love, and he wishes only to make you happy."
"Funny, all I want is an honest answer."
Yugi sighed. "No evasive responses to important questions, and no more guessing games. Is that really too much to ask?"
"Probably not, but the spirit really isn't himself at the moment."
"Why? Is he sick?"
The Dream Yugi nodded.
"Apparently, Yami has caught a bug, and it's bad. Really bad. To be honest, I don't know if he'll ever recover."
"What?! N-no, he..."
Lavender eyes staring in anguish as their petite owner sank to the floor, it was all Yugi could do to keep his emotions in check. "He can't die from this, can he? Please tell me the spirit will be okay. If I lost Yami, I..."
Pausing for air, the teen gave his informer a desperate glance. "I don't know what I'd do."
"If you want the whole truth, little duelist, then you'll have to talk to Yami in person."
"How? I...I don't even know where he is."
"Fortunately for you, I do."
Casually waving a hand at the section of brick behind him, the Dream Yugi smiled as a door soon revealed itself.
"This game has gone on long enough anyway." he continued. "Though I will see it to the finish before I leave."
"...Wait." started Yugi, eyes switching back and forth between the door, and the stranger who looked remarkably like him. "You knew this was here the entire time? You, uh, wouldn't happen to know what's behind it, would you? Yami tends to have a lot of traps in here, and I-."
"It's only the spirit's bedroom."
"Really? That's where he sleeps?"
"Yep." replied the Dream Yugi, a thoughtful, if not devious look on his face as he motioned the younger teen forward. "Now follow me."
Yugi just frowned.
"Not before I know who you are."
"I'm sorry, but, for just telling me that my best friend could die, you're being awfully calm about it."
"Only because I know more about this then you do, little duelist. Now stop stalling, and get in there."
Yugi didn't protest as he found himself being unceremoniously shoved through the open entrance. In a way, he wanted to know what the spirit was keeping behind closed, not to mention invisible, doors.
The pale lights of flickering candles, they were what Yugi noticed first, but the calming scent of lavender didn't escape his attentive senses either.
"Wow, this is..."
"Beautiful?" suggested the Dream Yugi from where he was standing in the doorway.
Eyes drawn to the figure sleeping peacefully among sheets of red, Yugi's smiling face couldn't help but agree.
"Yeah, it is." he whispered. "It really is."
A small whimper suddenly cut through the thoughtful silence, its direction coming from the bed.
"Go to him." commanded the Dream Yugi, arms gesturing for the younger teen to move. "He needs you."
Walking towards the room's center, Yugi found Yami curled up in a fetal position around his pillow; unbuttoned silk shirt draped around the spirit's sides like two cascading waterfalls of silk.
"W-why." hissed Yami, teeth barred like a cornered wolf as he flipped over onto his back. "I waited for him. Why did he not...?"
As if too exhausted to continue, the spirit stopped mid-sentence, his troubled mind slowly sinking back into a deeper stage of sleep.
It was with a concerned sigh that Yugi climbed onto the bed, legs kneeling next to his twin's face so he could observe him. "I know I'm late, but I'm here now, and I..."
Another feeble whimper reaching his ears, all Yugi could do was watch helplessly as Yami tossed, and turned; the pained expression on the spirit's face soon being mirrored by his own. "I'm sorry."
Lavender eyes closing in shame, Yugi ignored the gentle hand being placed upon his shoulders.
"Is there anything we can do for him?" he whispered. "I didn't want to believe it at first, but you're right. This really is bad."
"Well, I may have exaggerated a little, but no one can deny the truth when it's unfolding right in front of your face." replied the Dream Yugi. "Yami really is suffering, little duelist, and I'm afraid the only way to save him lies with you."
"How? Yami is sick. I don't know what things are like where you come from, but here, he needs a doctor. Not some teenager who can't even pass high school science."
"Unfortunately, it appears I'm going to have to be blunt with you."
Yugi blinked as he watched the Dream Yugi shake his head in frustration.
"Blunt? Am I missing something?"
"Yes, so pay attention, young man, and listen well. What the spirit needs right now can't be prescribed by someone with a degree in medicine, nor can it be cured with a trip to the emergency room."
The Dream Yugi smiled. "No, little duelist, what Yami needs is you."
Yugi just frowned.
"You already said that. Besides, I really don't know what to do. If this involves any sort of magic, I-."
"Yugi, trust in your heart. Trust in it like you trust the monsters in your deck. They've never led you astray before, and neither has Yami."
"But he's sure giving me a lot of confusing answers, and so are you. It's funny, but my best bet would still be with the Kuriboh I saw while leaving school one day, and that was a good month ago."
Suddenly unsure of how to phrase his next words, the Dream Yugi frowned. "I really don't want to accuse you of lying, young man, but I find it pretty hard to believe that hyperactive little fuzzball would appear at a public high school."
"Which is why I was going to say Kuriboh was a hallucination, though, if Duel Monsters really could come to life, I'd definitely stay up all night talking with mine. "
Yugi smiled. "Don't tell anyone I said this, but I already talk to the actual cards. It's just too bad that they can't talk back."
"Wanna bet?" replied a voice as the petite teenager found himself staring into a floating brown ball of fur; one he knew quite well.
"In the flesh! Well, fuzz, actually." replied the Duel Monster with a cheerful grin. "Anyway, we would happily lend a claw, but the Master kind of told us to keep out of it. Yami doesn't mind us suggesting ideas, but talking to you is strictly forbidden."
"Then why are you here?" asked the Dream Yugi, eyes narrowing as he watched Kuriboh give Yugi a quick nuzzle, then land on the bed next to Yami.
"Because rules were meant to be broken."
Yugi had to bite his lip to keep from laughing as Kuriboh gave the spirit a playful nudge.
"Need some help?" he asked. "I came in here to talk to Yami anyway, and I'm not leaving until I get my answers."
"Good, because the spirit needs to talk to you too. Getting him to actually open his eyes? Well, that's another matter."
"Yugi could always try a kiss." suggested the Dream Yugi with a chuckle. "Kissing the person sleeping always worked in those fairy tales, right? So why not here?"
"Because this is reality, and we know better." snapped Yugi, slender frame quickly turning away to hide his encroaching blush. "Besides, it was always a girl that needed to be kissed, and the last time I checked, Yami was clearly a guy."
"You were checking?" asked the Dream Yugi, a smirk on his face as he sat down on the bed.
"Oh my." added Kuriboh. "And all this time I was thinking the young Master was still innocent."
"You know what I mean!"
"And you just woke Yami up. Congratulations, little duelist, you win!"
Yugi spun around to see that his resident spirit was indeed awake, but sleep filled eyes revealed that Yami was not yet fully aware of his surroundings.
"Good luck." whispered Kuriboh, a green claw waving goodbye before the Duel Monster vanished.
"I'd better go too." added the Dream Yugi. "But I'll be waiting outside the door if you need me."
Nodding to show he understood, Yugi watched as the older teen promptly left; tired gaze next eying the comfy looking bed before him.
"This is way too late, even for me." he muttered. "If Yami isn't going to get up anytime soon, then I..."
A yawn escaping his mouth, Yugi knew he needed to get some rest. "Then I may as well spend the night here."
That was when the teen found two eyes of violet staring intently into his own.
"Okay, I understand, you're trying to help, but if Aibou never showed up, then there's nothing I can-."
"Are you going to die?"
Sitting up, Yami stared his twin in the face. "Yugi, did you just ask me if I was going to die?"
"Is it even possible for a spirit to die? I mean, we're already dead, right?"
"Well, you can be exorcised, but I thought you were just sick."
"No, but I will be if Aibou decides to get rid of me."
Yami sighed. "Exorcism. I can not believe I overlooked that."
Yugi tried his best to ignore the weight of the uneasy silence that followed, but he had to admit that something about the whole situation was very odd.
"How could Yami honestly believe I'd do something so cruel to him? Is it because he's not feeling well, and possibly delusional? No, there must be something else. There has to be."
Shaking his head to clear away the thoughts, Yugi was surprised to find himself being pulled back into a warm embrace.
"Um, Yami, what are you doing?"
"Trying to forget that I'm letting down the one person who I promised I never would."
Hearing the pain behind the spirit's words, Yugi knew he didn't have the heart to tell Yami to stop, even when he felt legs wrapping themselves around his waist.
"I hate the fact that I'm using you as a crutch, really I do, but Aibou's mother would freak if she saw me doing this to her innocent son."
"So you're doing it to me." replied Yugi, deciding to ignore the part of his mind that was begging him not to continue. "Yami, how long has this been going on?"
"Ever since I saved the lives of Aibou, and his friends from the wrath of a possessed schoolmate. Now stop asking these pointless questions, and lie down."
"Fine, but only because I want you to stop sulking."
Yami smiled as he pinned Yugi to the sheets with one hand. "Though I want to be on top this time."
"Aren't you going to tell him?" asked a young voice from outside the room; its owner sounding more amused then worried. "Or are we honestly going to let this continue."
"I'm thinking about it." replied the voice that belonged to the Dream Yugi. "They will find out eventually, right?"
"Yugi, who are you talking-."
Yami had turned towards the door to give the teen standing there an irritated glare, but was forced to stop, and reexamine his sanity when he found a question with an impossible answer.
Yugi was lying on the bed, that much the spirit knew, but if the teen standing by the door was also Yugi, then something...something was desperately out of place.
"Yugi, why are there two of you?"
"Good question, Yami. Why are there two of me?"
"You mean you don't know?"
"No, he doesn't." replied the Dream Yugi, a playful grin on his face he boldly approached the bed. "But I'm in a generous mood tonight, so I suppose I could let you in on the secret."
"What secret?" asked Yami. "Are you keeping things from me?"
"No, but you're keeping things from him."
The Dream Yugi nodded at his original self. "Now, I'll give you a hint. That teenager you're about to indulge in? Yami, that is not me."
"Thank you for stating the obvious. Yugi, the only way there would be two of you, and it would never happen, is if Aibou somehow man-."
The brain cells connected like two comets colliding in outer space. "Oh no."
Eyes filled with fear for what he would find, Yami turned to stare down at the one person he had been forbidden to corrupt.
"Yeah, it's me. I was going to ask you what was going on, but..."
The petite teenager paused, eyebrows raised slightly as he gazed into the face of his terrified spirit. "But I think I understand now."
"Then why didn't you stop me? I...I almost..."
Body recoiling in shock, Yami couldn't bring himself to finish his sentence. How could he? Knowing that it was all over.
"He hates me now. Yugi hates me. This will probably be the last time we'll ever talk, let alone see each other."
"Yami, are you...are you crying?"
The spirit knew he was, so there was no sense in denying the tears currently streaming down his face like little waterfalls. Little miserable waterfalls. "And I can do nothing to stop them, not that I really want to."
Right now, crying seemed to be the only thing Yami's distraught heart could do, and he wasn't going to refuse it that right.
"Even if I have to do it in front of Aibou."
"Oh, Yami." whispered Yugi, a worried sigh escaping his lips as he sat up. "Come on, don't cry. I'm right here."
His voice sounded sad; not even a hint of anger in its sweet tone, but Yami still couldn't keep from flinching as he felt warm arms wrap themselves around his shivering frame.
"Yes, I'm right here." continued Yugi, a finger reaching up to gently stroke the spirit's tear streaked face. "And I always will be. So, please, stop crying." _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Yugi smiled as he felt Yami's body relax and slowly fall back into the sheets, tears finally giving in to sleep.
It had taken him a good ten minutes to convince the trembling spirit to calm down, but the reward was worth it in the end.
"Yes, worth it. His smile means the world to me. And now..."
Yugi thoughtfully tilted his head as he continued to watch the spirit sleeping in his arms. "So does his heart."
Author's Note: So, how many of you managed to make it to the bottom? ((looks around)) ...Anyone? Well, if there are any survivors, please feel free to leave a review with what remains of your fluff filled sanity. I'll love it, even if it's just a OMGWTFBBQ, that was awesome! And, yes, I really wanted to get this done for Valentine's day, so I did, amazingly enough. Now, if you would excuse me, it's nearing midnight, so I'm going to go collapse.