We Build, Then We Break.

By Yami Yuugi.

Summary: After five years, Yuugi returns to Domino. He isn't the same person anymore. With a new look, and hardened personality how will he do facing unresolved issues and feelings of his past?

Warnings: Au, shounen ai/yaoi, depression, language, mentions of one-sided pairings.

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh!

Chapter 1

- - - - - - - --

"It's been a long time since we've seen him ya know?"

"Yes, it's been a long time. I am glad to have him back. He hasn't been the same since he left years ago."

"Yeah, I miss him a lot. I hope he isn't distant anymore. I mean, it's been five years."

"You're right, Jou. I have a feeling that he will be better once he comes home tonight."

A lean form raised a brow from the gaming magazine he read on an aisle, ears perked in interest upon the conversation he heard. He came to this shop out of the others in order to see someone whom he hadn't seen since senior year of high school.

Sighing, he placed the magazine back on the shelf, slowly walking towards the store's exit. He had his hand on the handle, ready to exit as a voice broke him from his reverie.

"Didn't find anything you were looking for, sir?"

He turned towards the voice, finding that of an old man. He sighed heavily and shook his head no. "Not at the moment. I'll return soon. My deck could use some rebuilding."

The old man nodded, gray bangs falling into his face. He apparently loved games more than the person he was waiting for.

"Well I will see you soon then. Take care."

With a nod, the man walked out of the store, annoyed as a bell tinged upon his exit.

He hated returning to this shop occasionally, finding excuses in order to find the one person he missed more than his own life.

Looking back at the store, he shook his head, turning towards his black Mercedes Benz, clicking the entry key on his remote. He got into the foreign vehicle and drove away, thinking of the one person he couldn't contact.

- - - - - -

Jou was excited. He stood amongst a crowd of people in the small airport, awaiting the arrival of his best friend. He grinned ear-to-ear, shifting his weight onto his heels. He leaned against a wall, ignoring the crowds that fought to get through the terminals. Nothing could ruin his day. After all, he hadn't seen his best friend in five years. His friend finished college, and was now on his way back to see his family for the first time in ages. His grandfather claimed that he hadn't seemed upbeat about returning due to the one person who lived in the area.

Yawning widely, Jou continued to wait, looking for any sign of his friend's arrival. His eyes searched through the throng of passengers who exited a large lavish aircraft. He couldn't find the familiar tricolor spiky hair of his friend nor the large violet eyes that stood out from any crowd.

Moments later, the crowd of people began to die down, leaving only a few stragglers to exit the plane. A man exited the doors, seemingly small in stature. Jou didn't pay much attention to him at first. That is, until the small male started searching through the area, looking for someone.

The man appeared familiar despite a cropped haircut with long bangs hanging in his face. His hair was a deep blue-black, shining brightly against the fluorescent lighting. Sun-kissed skin stood out, amongst a pair of large, worn indigo eyes. The man was dressed in a red t-shirt, dark wash jeans and tennis shoes. He blended into the crowds with ease.

This man was alone and searching for someone. Jou wondered who he was. The man couldn't be who he was looking for. After all, his friend had wild unruly hair of three colors and bright violet eyes. His appearance as a teenager stood out like a sore thumb. This vertically challenged male wasn't anything like his old friend.

Yet, his thoughts changed as he saw the small man eye him, smiling slightly. The mysterious male waved at him, walking across the terminal to greet him.

"Jou! There you are!"

It couldn't be… The man standing in front of him was none other than his best friend. He smiled widely, looking at him with a friendly smile.

He raised a brow at him and spoke, "Yuugi?"

He nodded in response, laughing lightly. "I'm sorry, Jou, I forget that I don't look the same as I used to." He wrapped his small arms around his friend's lanky frame, hugging him tightly.

Jou smiled at the gesture, ruffling his friend's cropped hair.

"It's been a long time, Yuge'. What's with the new look?"

Yuugi shrugged, speaking softly. "I needed change. I hate being the center of attention. Plus, I needed contacts after hours spent doing reports late at night in the dark. "

Jou nodded, smiling. Yuugi wasn't that much different than he originally had been.

He grabbed his friend's duffle bag, against the smaller male's protest and smirked.

"Ya have anymore bags, Yuugi? I'll get them if ya want me to."

"No, I had them shipped back here already. I'm staying with grandpa for a little while until I get an apartment."

"Alright buddy, well let's get ya back to da game shop so ya can see gramps. He's so happy to have ya back."

Yuugi smiled, nodding his head to Jou's conversation.

Jou smiled, leading Yuugi towards the parking garage, dodging the crowds of people.

"So Yuge' what's been going on with ya?"

Yuugi frowned a bit, and shrugged his shoulders. "Nothing really."

'Typical Yuugi. Doesn't want to tell me what's going on. It's been like that since he left us in the first place.' Jou thought.

It appeared that time had been hard on Yuugi.

- - - - - - - -

Sunlight poured into a bedroom window, awakening Yuugi from his listless sleep. He hadn't slept well since he left his apartment in California. Everything was different back in Domino. It was his reason for leaving in the first place.

Groaning, he sat up, stretching the kinks out of his back. Yawning widely, he got out of the bed, stumbling towards the bathroom. Gazing at his appearance, he noted the obvious differences he made to himself since he left years ago. He felt odd being in his old home. It brought back the pain he endured. Although, he felt bad for leaving his grandfather, he couldn't think of another reason why he wanted to be in his hometown.

His grandfather all but squeezed him too death when he walked into the game shop a few days ago. Sugoroku Mutou hadn't changed a bit in his eyes. Yuugi however, found his grandfather scrutinizing his appearance every minute. Used to the odd stares, he eventually ignored them. He hadn't meant for the great changes in his appearance. He simply wanted to be normal. After years of being a gaming prodigy for Duel Monsters, he wanted to be an outcast. Sadly, this wasn't the only reason for his change in appearance. He wanted to lose any resemblance to his former friend.

Yuugi finished his morning routine after dressing in a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a tight fitting black t-shirt and tennis shoes. With that, he headed downstairs finding his grandfather in the kitchen, munching on a piece of bacon.

"Good morning, Yuugi. How are you doing?" Sugoroku asked, eyeing his grandson with surprise. Yuugi never woke up before noon in the past, especially on a Saturday morning.

Yuugi leaned against the kitchen counter, shrugging lightly. He held a bottle of water, taking a large swig of it. He set it to the side, sighing as he spoke.

"I'm okay… Just getting used to being back in Domino."

"Any plans today?"

Yuugi blinked slowly, finding the floor interesting. He gazed at his feet, replying, "Possibly. Jou wants to hang out. Wants to take me on tour of Domino's newest attractions." He rolled his eyes at his statement. There wasn't much to do in Domino. Hell, there WAS nothing in Domino other than his grandfather and Jou. That was it.

"Hmm, sounds like an entertaining day. If you two head over to a bar for the evening take a cab home. I don't want a repeat of the other night."

Yuugi wanted to laugh. He found it amusing how his grandfather continued to set out rules for him. Even as an adult, he was still treated as a child.

"Alright, grandpa. Would you like me to bring anything back for you?"

The elder man shook his head, pushing his plate of bacon to the side. He stood, stretching his back carefully. "No, I don't believe so. Now, if you will excuse me, I need to open the shop."

Minutes later, Yuugi found himself alone. Shaking his head, he turned to his cell phone, dialing his best friend.

A smile crossed his lips as he heard a disgruntled voice answer. He loved giving his friend hell. Especially now, when Jou asked him to be ready early.

"Time to wake up, Jou."

- - - - - - - -

Yuugi sighed, taking in the subtle changes of Domino. Jou had pointed out their old hot spots such as the arcade and the areas he had dueled in the Battle City tournament long ago. He rolled his eyes as he thought of Kaiba. He hadn't heard anything from the man in years. That is, until his friend broke a bomb of juicy news upon him.

"That's the new Kaiba Corporation building that Seto runs."

What the hell? Since when did Jou call the hated Kaiba, Seto?

"Jou? Did you just call him Seto?"

The blond turned from his spot on the sidewalk, brows raised in confusion. He gazed at his small friend, realizing that he hadn't told him about that.

A blush crept upon Jou's tanned face. He ran a hand through his messy blond locks. "Yeah… About that, Yuge'. Seto and I kinda have this thing."

Yuugi raised a brow further in curiosity. Jou never spoke in circles. Something was going on.

"A thing… You and Kaiba?"

He turned his head away from Yuugi, replying quickly. "Yeah, we've been talking for a while, ya know?"

Yuugi rolled his eyes, hand on his hip as he sighed. "In lame men's terms, you're shacking up with Seto Kaiba."

Jou's brown eyes bugged out as he twisted his body towards Yuugi. His once innocent friend surprised the hell out of him.

"The hell Yuge'? Since when did ya start being so blunt?"

"Long time ago, Jou." He waved off the subject, returning to his original question. "So are you and Kaiba dating?"

Shaking his head at his friend's one eighty personality he nodded, turning the conversation into a new direction.

"You wanna duel in Seto's private dueling arena?" He asked, excitement dancing in his eyes.

Yuugi's eyes hardened at the mention of dueling. He subtly shook his head, feigning hunger.

"No thanks, Jou. I don't really duel anymore, if ever."

Jou's face fell as he frowned. Yuugi was a puzzle. He knew that his friend wasn't the same Yuugi Mutou he grew up. Hell, the change in his appearance gave that away. He couldn't get a grip on his friend's new sense of interests. He decided to throw out something else, hoping to gain some sort of reaction.

"Hmm, well then, are ya hungry? Cause I could go for a good ole' hamburger from Burger World. What do ya say, bud?"

Yuugi's eyes lit up at the mention of a hamburger. This was the first sign of the old Yuugi he knew. Apparently, you could get over dueling but he couldn't get over hamburgers.

Yuugi nodded enthusiastically. His face broke out into a small smile as he started following Jou towards their beloved Burger World.

"Sounds great, Jou. That's one thing I miss about here is the burgers. They don't make them like that in California."

Jou grabbed his friend into a playful headlock, ruffling his black hair. He feigned a hurt ego as he sniffed. "Ya miss some old burgers more than your best friend?"

Pulling away, Yuugi poked his friend in the side, laughing. "If it means dealing with you and a love sick Seto, then yes. I prefer burgers."

Jou growled, chasing Yuugi towards the restaurant.

Deep down he knew that his friend hadn't taken well with the years since high school. Although, deep down, he knew that his best friend was still in there.

- - - - - - - - - -

Yuugi swept the front of his grandfather's game shop, Zune player hung on his hip. Music blared through his headphones, echoing through the small area. He shook his hips to the beat of his song, humming to himself.

He had been in town for a little less than a week and he was falling into the original pattern of his life before California. He envied his hometown for the lack of large groups of tourists and the bikini-clad women. However, he wasn't opposed to woman parading in bikinis. He wasn't fully sure where he stood on gender preference.

The song changed, an upbeat tune taking form. Yuugi grinned as the song progressed. He took advantage of the slow afternoon, dancing in the middle of the game shop.

He fell into the beat of his song, unaware of the eyes that watched him. Sugoroku stood in front of his shop, brows raised in surprise at his usually introverted grandson. He felt a smile grace his features, enjoying a rare moment of a happy Yuugi.

Shaking his head, he walked forward, tapping his grandson on the shoulder.

Yuugi jumped, tripping over his feet, broom in hand. He fell to the ground in a heap, headphones dangling upon his neck.

Sugoroku smirked, shaking his head at Yuugi's clumsy act.

"Are you alright, Yuugi?" He asked, offering a hand to the fallen man.

Yuugi's face scrunched up in pain as he took the hand, pulling himself up with ease.

"I'm fine, Grandpa. I'm not used to people scaring the hell out of me."

"Well, you are quite an entertainer. But I figured I'd let you go. It's Saturday and I'm sure business will remain slow."

Yuugi raised an eyebrow at his elder, blinking thoughtfully. "Are you sure? Because I know how tired you get and-"

Sugoroku held a hand up, signaling silence. "I'm sure, Yuugi. For once, I'd like for you to act your age and go out and have fun."

Yuugi nodded, snickering to himself. Obviously, his grandfather didn't know what he did on his weekends and most nights while living in California.

"Thanks, Gramps. I'm going to check out this restaurant Jou told me about."

He smiled, taking the broom that Yuugi dropped, taking in the hilarious scene of Yuugi running upstairs to get dressed for an evening out.

"At least he's smiling. I just wish he'd let go of his past and move on with the present."

The aging Mutou walked back into the game shop, closing the store early. After all, business hadn't been the same since his grandson had left and stopped playing Duel Monsters ages ago.

- - - - - - - - -

Yuugi found himself alone in a hole-in-the-wall style Tex-Mex restaurant. It wasn't that busy, but it appeared comfortable. Sitting in a large booth that could hold six people, he leaned back, gazing at the memorabilia on the walls. This place looked as if it had raided a garage sale.

An oldies station plagued the speakers of this restaurant as did an old stuffed woodchuck that sat upon the shelf across from his booth. Yuugi raised a brow at this place it was well… different. How had he missed this old restaurant back in his earlier days?

He drummed his fingers across aged wooden table, bored. He still hadn't been waited on. That is until a shadow appeared at the other end of the table.

Yuugi lifted his head slightly, meeting eyes of ruby. These eyes caused his own indigo to widen slightly. A man with slight build stood against the other end of the booth. He was a tanned and held the regal stance of a king. His hair made up the majority of his odd regal appearance. He had spiky tricolor hair. His bangs mirrored Yuugi's own. However, his eyes were completely different. Hidden behind a thin pair of square-rimmed glasses, were the startling rubies that he knew all too well. This was after all the reason he wanted to get away from his old lifestyle.

"I'm sorry about the wait. My name is Yami and I'll be taking care of you today." Yami smiled, setting down a coaster. He gazed at Yuugi slightly, head cocked to the side, studying Yuugi's face carefully.

After a moment, he shook his head, pulling out a notepad and pen. "What can I get ya to drink?"

Yuugi fought the urge to run from the restaurant. He sighed and spoke softly, "I'll have a Bud Light please."

Yami wrote the order down, raising a brow at Yuugi.

"Are you old enough to drink? I mean no offense, but you do look young."

Yuugi rolled his eyes, and gritted his teeth. He hated being asked about his age.

"Not that it's any of your business; I'm more than old enough to drink. I'm over twenty-one."

Yami nodded, holding up his hand in defense. "I'm sorry, it's just law ya know?"

"It's fine; I'm just annoyed by the reactions people give me." He waved it off, finding interest in stuffed woodchuck again.

Yami noticing Yuugi's silence, decided to get his beer. Leaving Yuugi alone, allowing him to gauge the reaction he felt finding Yami after all these years.

Facing the man who ruined his life years ago, brought fear and confusion that he hadn't felt return. He cautiously watched as Yami set down his bottle of Bud Light. Their eyes met briefly, a spark hitting them both.

They were two halves of the same soul. He knew that Yami felt the tug just as he had. They had been separated for so long and now were together again…

Yami raised a brow at Yuugi, asking him a question.

Shaking his head, Yuugi said, "I'm sorry what did you ask me?"

Amusement danced in crimson eyes. "I asked if you would like to order any food."

"Yes, I'll have a half order of the chicken fajitas. And that's about it as long as you keep me stocked up on the beer." He smiled, watching Yami write down his order.

Yami left him alone for a while, only stopping by to drop off a new bottle of beer. Yuugi's mood lightened by the third beer. He smirked each time Yami walked by. First with his food, and second when he was carrying a tray. His eyes remained on his darker half. Being close to him took away the anger and pain he felt. It was simply the nature of a yami and hikari.

Finishing his food, Yuugi smirked to himself as Yami returned this time with his check card and slips to fill out. He set them on the table, smiling at Yuugi.

"Thank you for coming in today. You made my night worthwhile. I hope to see you around sometime." He winked, walking away sexily.

Yuugi grabbed the slips of paper leaving Yami a generous tip without notice. He also scribbled his name on the credit card slip, leaving it on the table. Standing up, he stretched, working the kinks out of his back. He walked out in a drunken haste, unaware of the big clue he left Yami.

After his customer left, Yami walked over to the table, picking up the credit card receipt. He felt an odd sense of familiarity towards that man. He ran a hand through his hair, gazing down at the piece of paper. His eyes widened as he took in the tip and then the signature.

"Yuugi Mutou? That was him?"

He couldn't believe it. How hadn't he recognized his own light? Apparently, he had returned and he hadn't looked the same.

"What's he doing back in Domino?"

- - - - - -