A/N: I don't know what I'm writing anymore. I like fluff. Lots of fluff. And silly things. And a sarcastic, exasperated Yugi. Enjoy.
Disclaimer: I own nothing but my plot and OC's.
Chapter 1: What To Write -- Yugi
I am sitting at my desk in front of my computer, seconds away from banging my head on the hardwood in front of me. My editor has called five times in two hours, wanting to know what the topic of my next book is. And each time he calls, I have to remind him that it's a process, a process that isn't going to speed up even if he calls a hundred more times. I have writer's block written all over my face. It's in my body, in my voice. I'm tired. Last night I typed forty pages of some bullshit story about a boy wiht no parents and a dead grandmother, only slightly reminiscent of my own life, but enough to make me angry at myself for feeling so damn moody. The line blinks at me, jeering almost. I scowl at it, curse, and stand up. I've been home all day. I need to get out. Now. Maybe call Joey and the gang, go to lunch, get in my car and drive off a cliff before my editor can-
"Oh that is it!" I pick up the phone. "WHAT?"
"Hey man, chill out. It's just Joey." Thank God.
"Joey! Jesus, I'm sorry. I thought you were my editor. He's called like five times this morning."
"Yeah? Well how's about we get you outta there and go get some lunch?"
"Sounds great, just what I was thinking actually." That and suicide. "How about you meet me outside the game shop?"
"Yeah, just like old times."
"Okay, I'll see you soon." I hang up and the phone begins to ring again. This time, I don't care who it was. I pull the cord out of the wall and pull on a jacket. Downstairs Laurie, my new employee, is ringing up a couple who's just bought a chess set.
"Have a good day," she says. "Oh, hello Mr. Mutou."
"I told you, call me Yugi."
"Yes Mr. Mutou- I mean Yugi." She blushes and smiles.
"I'm having lunch with some friends. Why don't you close up early and head home, alright?"
"Are you sure? I mean there's only an hour left before-"
"Laurie. Just go home." I turn around as the bell rings and the door opens.
"Yugi!" Joey walks in, hands in his pockets, tie loose around his neck.
"Hey Joe. Nice tie."
"My sister bought it for me for Valentine's Day. I told her it was inappropriate to get your brother something' like a gift or whatever on a day for love birds, but she's just lonely. Needs a boyfriend. A boyfriend who isn't Tristan." He looked serious and then smiled. "Anyway, Kaiba's got me doin' all kinds of stuff at his new Duelin' Academy. Wants you to come and teach, too. I told him you were too busy writin' best sellers."
"Joey, I wrote one best seller."
"Yeah, well, I'm sure you'll write another."
I had started writing six years ago, when Yami and I decided to call it quits. He'd gone to school and studied Egyptology, then landed a job at the museum in Cairo. I'd just gotten started on the publishing process and my grandpa was sick. I couldn't leave. So we went our separate ways. I think we both thought that since fate had led us to one another once before, it had to happen again. But destiny had other plans. Yami met someone else and I got published. Over the years, we've grown apart. Something I thought could never happen. And though we agreed to remain "just friend" it's something my heart truly and completely denies, but knows is necessary.
My first book was a small sci-fi novel, not really anything anyone noticed, but it meant a lot to me. It got good reviews and that made me happy. My second book did better and was a sequel to my first. But it was my third book that became a bestseller. It was about a boy who solves a puzzle that unlocks the spirit of a young Celtic king who needs the boy's help to lock away the magic of the dark son of Merlin. Yeah, I know. In the end, the boy has to sacrifice the soul of the king in order to seal the wizard away. It included a close, romantic relationship between the boy and the king, but my editor thought it was...inappropriate. Yami read it and suggested I let the reader interpret the relationship for themselves. So I rewote the dynamic (which took three months) and the book was published.
It quickly became a hit and my editor thought he was my new best friend. I made money and I was happy. Sort of. Yami enjoyed the story and Tea read it and cried. A lot. Joey told me I was a good man and even Kaiba enjoyed it. But now I have a problem...everyone expects another great book and I'm contemplating suicide. What the hell and I going to write about now?
"Anyway, I told this little snot that if he could beat me in a duel, I'd give him an A. But I guess that's against the rules. Or so Kaiba said. But then he said he wanted to see me get my ass whooped by a ten year old, and I said that that wasn't gonna happen. So I dueled this kid and I beat him fair and square. Showed Kaiba, huh?"
"What? Oh yeah."
"Yug, are you even with me right now?"
"I'm sorry Joey. I'm thinking about my next book. Or rather, the lack of my next book."
"Still no idea?"
"I know there's something out there. I just…need some inspiration."
"You want inspiration? Inspiration's walkin' to the restaurant. Hey Tea! Yugi here needs inspiration." She sighs.
"Sorry, fresh out. I gave it all to my students. They're making models of historical events. Apparently no one knows anything about World War Two."
"They're fifth graders."
"Well, we spent a whole month on it."
"No, I don't want a damn premium package, I just want to talk to someone about my insurance. Look, my kitchen was set on fire by my plumber. I'm assuming I'm covered. Yeah, well, I better be. Thank you. Jesus Christ. Hey guys," Tristan says, smiling.
"Your plumber set your kitchen on fire?"
"Yeah. Well, he's my cousin. And I guess he thinks he can do whatever he wants to in my house. So he thought, hey I'll make myself some lunch. Then he set the whole damn room on fire. My mother better be happy she made me help him find a job because he's been nothing but a pain in my ass for two weeks now." We laugh as we walk into the restaurant, a place we'd started going in college. It's overrun with college students, but none of us seem to notice. It's just nice to go back to something familiar.
I look at his friends. The years since high school graduation have taken them far. Tea is an elementary school teacher and runs a dance studio on the weekends. Tristan is finishing law school and working for a firm downtown. And Joey's teaching at Kaiba's Dueling Academy. Yami's away in Egypt, learning more about his past and uncovering the secrets of Pharaohs and gods. And me? I'm suffering from writers block and an oncoming migraine, but I'm happy. For now. Suddenly though, I know.
"I've got it!" I yell, interrupting Joey's story about the kid he'd dueled. "I know what I'm writing about!"
"About time," Tristan said, looking over the menu.
"What will you write about."
"Yami. Or Atem, rather. Maybe give him a different name, but I'll write about the Pharaoh and the battle with Zorc. I'm sure things'll get changed along the way- they always do. But I know where I'll start." I pause. "But I don't know anything about Egypt. Just what we learned back then." Joey smiles.
"I know someone who does."