Title: Not So Different
Pairing: YugixAtemu and HebaxAtemu, both one-sided
Warnings: Contains fanon references, so AU-ish
Summary: In the Memory World, Yugi comes across someone who looks remarkably like him, and whose feelings may be similar as well.
Disclaimer: Yugioh still doesn't belong to me.
Notes: This was requested by hello203 on LJ, the prompt being: "AU. Yuugi meets Heba in Memory World. Both have feelings for Atemu. They talk about life." She also said it would be amusing to see them fight each other. xD
He must be around here somewhere, this is his palace, Yugi thought as he peered around another corner. He had no reason to act so stealthy – he was invisible to everyone inside the palace anyway. Still, he felt awkward and as if he should hide anytime he heard someone coming.
As he rounded another corner, he spotted a familiar-looking head of hair and brightened. "Mou hitori no boku!" he called, entering the chamber. The person straightened up and Yugi felt his heart sink. It wasn't his other self after all…it was a short young man in a servant's outfit, collecting dishes from a table and setting them on a tray. The young man turned, and Yugi gasped.
He…looks exactly like me.
Aside from the darker skin, the boy in front of him might have been his twin. They had the same hairstyle, the same large, unusually-colored eyes, the same height…Yugi stared, gaping. He was so preoccupied with shock that it took him a few minutes to realize that the boy was staring back at him. It was the stranger who broke the silence.
"Who are you?" he demanded, holding the tray of dishes as if it was a weapon. "What are you doing in here?"
"Oh…I'm sorry, I was looking for a friend, I…" Yugi stammered, before regaining his composure. "Wait, you can see me?"
"Of course I can see you, why should I not?"
"No reason," Yugi said, figuring he would never be able to explain that one to satisfaction.
"You have not answered my question. Who are you? This area is off-limits to visitors."
"I'm not a visitor. I'm Yugi Mutou; I'm looking for the pharaoh."
The young man's eyes narrowed. As far as he was concerned, their pharaoh had to field off entirely too many assassination attempts. And yet the guards let some oddly-dressed stranger into the king's private quarters? "What do you want with him?"
"He um…it's a long story."
His Egyptian clone set the tray down with a clatter. "I have time."
"Heba!" A voice outside interrupted, and a stern-looking older man in a similar outfit peered in. "Be careful with those dishes, they are fragile, you know!"
"Sorry," Heba said, bowing his head instantly, though Yugi noticed him shooting a confused look at Yugi. No doubt wondering why his superior seemed oblivious to the stranger in the room.
"And hurry up, the pharaoh may return soon and it would be a disgrace for him to see you have not even cleaned his room properly by now."
"Of course, right away," Heba said.
The man left. Heba frowned at Yugi. "…Who are you? Are you an evil being who has come here to hurt the pharaoh?"
"I told you, I'm Yugi–"
"Yes, but why does nobody else except me find you unusual? Your clothing is odd, you are a stranger…and yet everybody ignores you?"
"Well, they're not actually ignoring me," Yugi mumbled.
"I uh…they…can't see me. I'm invisible."
Heba stared at him for a long moment. "Invisible?"
"To them. And I should be to you, but I'm not…I don't know why."
"So you are an evil being!"
"No, I'm not evil at all!" Yugi protested. "I'm good, I'm here to help. I need to find mou– the pharaoh. I have to tell him something important."
"What would that be?"
"I have to tell him I'm here," Yugi said impatiently. "He's going to need me, and I have to let him know I'm here for him."
"Why would he need you?"
Yugi felt a twinge of annoyance. Maybe it was the emphasis that the young man put on "you." Before he could compose himself he snapped, "Oh, so I suppose you're all he needs?"
Heba drew himself up to his full height, (which was, admittedly, the same height as Yugi), and glared. "As a matter of fact, yes. I am. I would do anything for my king."
Yugi frowned. "I would do anything for him, too."
"Not as much as I would."
"Yes, I bet as much!"
"You clearly are not even from here," Heba scoffed. "How could you understand the bond which exists between me and him? I am his faithful–"
"I know a thing or two about bonds," Yugi fired back. "I happen to have a very deep one with him."
"Would you be willing to risk death for his sake?"
"I have risked death for his sake!"
For a long moment they frowned stubbornly at each other. Then, glancing around, Yugi lowered his voice. If this young man could see and hear him, there was no telling if others who could might be around. This was not a good place to raise his voice. "All right, what's your relationship with the pharaoh?"
Heba stared. How had he guessed? His earlier statement had been cryptic enough that Yugi couldn't have understood the real meaning.
"Do you like him?"
"I…he is my king and his leadership brings us prosperity, he deserves my respect and devotion," Heba responded.
Yugi shook his head. He should have guessed, the boy was so like him in every other way. "Give up the pretenses. Do you have feelings for him or not?"
Heba's face flushed. He stared down at the floor. "I am…only a lowly servant."
"Yeah, well, I'm only his vessel," Yugi said, shrugging. "Didn't stop me, did it?"
"Stop you from what?"
"From falling in love with him."
Heba straightened up instantly. "Judging by your clothing, you are clearly not royalty of your people. The pharaoh deserves someone befitting his status."
"And I suppose you fit that?" Yugi couldn't help saying.
He slumped against the wall. "No. I do not. I should be punished severely for even considering myself worthy."
Yugi felt his irritation vanish, walked over and leaned against the wall beside him, and reached out and patted his shoulder. "It's okay, it isn't your fault."
Heba glanced up at the touch. "So…you have feelings for him too?"
"Does he know?"
"Of course not," Yugi said, his cheeks reddening. "I could never tell him."
"Where do you know the pharaoh from?" He peered at Yugi closely. "Nobody else but me seems to be able to see you…are you some sort of ghost?"
"We…er…we met someplace far away from here. I guess I'm a spirit. I'm not dead though, I live in the far away place where we met, but my physical body can't leave that place. So just my soul did."
Yugi didn't expect that reasoning to work, but Heba seemed to accept it. Only then did Yugi remember that in this world, magic and ghosts weren't as unusual as they were back at home.
"Are your feelings considered forbidden in that far away place? Is that why you can never tell him?"
Yugi considered that. "Well…not forbidden exactly, but many people wouldn't understand. It just wouldn't be right, if I told him."
Heba nodded. "I understand. That is why I cannot tell him, either. It would be wrong of me."
"And you worry he might reject you as well?"
"Yes, that too."
Yugi sighed. "We have more in common than I thought."
"It is tough," Heba said slowly, "is it not? To know…that your feelings are wrong, yet still feel them so strongly."
"Really tough," Yugi agreed.
"Love is a…very complicated thing, it seems."
"You've got that right."
"Heba!" The stern man from before had returned and was glaring in at him. "When you are finished mumbling to yourself in here, there is work to be done!"
"Yes, sorry," he said quietly.
Once left alone again, he hurried to pick up the tray and said, "Invisible spirit…Yugi, was your name?"
"It was…nice to meet you. I am sorry for yelling. Clearly we are not so different, and if you care for the pharaoh as strongly as I do, you cannot be a danger to him."
"Thank you," Yugi said, smiling.
"I am not sure where he is at the moment, but he is not here in the private quarters. You may try the courtyard. He likes to go there to think. If you have information that he needs, I hope you find him in time to give him your message."
"Okay. Thanks, I'll look there." Yugi turned to leave, then paused. "Heba?"
"I'm glad to know he had you. Has you, I mean," he quickly amended. "I'm glad to know he's got someone he can trust and who will take care of him in this world."
Heba smiled. "Thank you."
Yugi waved once and vanished out the door.
Notes: Yes, I'm aware that the prompt thing took place in December of last year. ^^; This one ended up being very difficult to write though, until the other day when I re-read what I had, and suddenly the rest of it was ready to be written.
I'm fairly happy with how this came out, but I can't help feeling like I just made Yugi and Heba get into a catfight. xD