Originally written and posted 4/28/08 for 50_lovequotes, Theme 015 - "Some things are worth waiting for…even if you have to wait forever."
Parings: YamixYugi implied
Spoilers: End of the series and Yami's real name.
Summary: What if mou hitori no Yugi chose to stay?
Disclaimer: Yugioh is not mine...
Home. When others talked of the home that all souls eventually return to, the image so often invoked seemed to be of a warm, bright place, with friends and family nearby. Somewhere full of sounds and laughter and light. With feelings…love and happiness and companionship.
It was, in short, a place that Atemu would never know.
To think, he had the opportunity to know all of it. It had been right there in front of him, the door wide open and welcoming. Yet he had turned it away so that he might remain with the person he loved, even if it meant that he was left alone when that person returned 'home.' Having turned down his only chance at the afterlife, and with only one soul in existence that could give life to his own, he had no choice. He was simply cast back into the darkness, to wait until that person came back for him.
It no longer matters. His ability to think deteriorated long ago. Lost in endless darkness, his memories eventually faded away into nothing. Loneliness claimed his emotions and slowly dulled them until none remained. And when everything else was gone, his sanity followed. The past, the future, none of it exists in his world of quiet madness; a world he is no stranger to. This isn't the first time he's lost himself here.
He will come back.
Somewhere inside the comatose soul, the words echo. The heart he lost the first time still exists, kept alive by an impenetrable force. No regret lingers there, only an enduring belief that he made the right choice when he acted out of love instead of logic, and in that spark of light the emptiness can't touch him.
So he curls his last shred of humanity into the tiny space and waits to be found again by the only one who can rescue him.
Notes: This was based on a conversation about the ending of Yugioh that I had with a friend, in which she offered: "i'm not sure whether [Yami staying] would have been better or worse for them overall. After Yuugi eventually dies of old age, what would have happened to Yami if he'd stayed? Would he have automatically been able to follow Yuugi to the other side, or would he have been sealed away inside the puzzle again, just to have to wait for Yuugi to be reincarnated and set him free like before? Would Yami in turning down the afterlife at the end of the series, be losing his only chance?"
That made me think. It seems to me that he would stay with the Puzzle, because in fact his spirit inhabits the Puzzle, not Yugi, and simply uses Yugi as its medium. So therefore, when Yugi really did die...Yami would be back the way he was before. Except this time, he knows he has someone to wait for.
This theory is of course based on a bunch of other assumptions – one being that Yugi's soul will always be drawn toward the Puzzle, so if Yugi was reincarnated, even if he looked different, he'd still be led to the Puzzle. It also assumes that Yugi made some sort of arrangement before he died to ensure that the Puzzle would be kept safe somewhere.