Chapter 9: The Finale

Sobs and cries of pain and sorrow were the only noises in the room. The pairs of lovers held each other, looking upon the one who had lost his companion. Yami was at a loss for words as silent sobs wracked his body and he held tightly the corpse of his dead lover.

They all had returned to the past, which was evident in the change of appearance in Seto and Yugi. Everything was back to the way it was, but Yugi had given his life for it. There were no wounds or scars to account for the cause of his death, just a still heart and empty lungs.

This sad scene was observed by a pair of amethyst eyes atop a deep tan horse. He had not said a word upon his return to the room because of the momentary shock he felt; like seeing his own funeral from the corporeal form of a ghost. True, that's what he was at the moment, but it did not mean he would stay that way for long.

His horse's neigh brought the other's attention in his direction, all except Yami's. He dismounted from his horse and smiled brightly to every speechless face he saw. He walked forward, blue cape trailing behind him, black knee-high boots clicking on the cement floor beneath him. The hilt of his sword sheathed at his waist glinted under the soft light in the room. His black pants were tucked into his boots and his gray tunic went to mid-thigh, only bound by the belt he wore. There were emerald green patterns on his shirt's color, and the circlet that adorned his head was silver with the symbol of the trinity at his forehead's center.

He stopped by Yam's side and paused for a moment, hoping that Yami would notice his presence. Yami ignored the world completely, so the spirit touched his shoulder gently. Yami wrenched his shoulder from the grasp, saying, "Leave me alone!"

"Why would I do that, Yami?"

Yami had a great intake of breath before finally looking up at the spirit who had spoken. Yugi was standing before him, smiling sadly.

"Yugi…" Yami said disbelievingly.

"You didn't think that I would just leave you all, did you?" Yugi cupped Yami's face with one hand and stroked his cheek with his thumb.

"Please, don't do this…" A tear escaped from Yami's eye.

"Do what?" Yugi asked.

"You're gone, right? You gave up your soul, and you cannot live without your body in this world…" Yami said, trying not to break apart again.

"No Yami," Yugi smiled the most beautiful smile that Yami had ever seen, "I'll return to my body shortly…" Yugi moved the hand on Yami's cheek to squeeze his arm, "But I need you to do something,"

"ANYTHING!" Yami replied without thought.

Yugi almost fell back at his outburst, but was able to understand Yami's urgency. "Crown me?"

Yami cocked his head to the side, "Why is it necessary to do that? And how?"

Yugi removed the circlet from his head and presented it to Yami, "It will bridge the gap between the time that passed and the spell I had to use to set the world back in order," Yugi gave Yami the crown, which suddenly became un-transparent as soon as he touched it. "All my memories from the past three years will stay with me, but my physical form will stay the same as it was three years ago."

"So, it will be as if nothing has happened?" Tristan looked angered.

Yugi's spirit looked to him, "You all still remember, right? There is no reason that the rest of the world should remember all the horror they had to go through," Yugi hesitated, "And my curse is still with me…"

"What?!" Yami and Seto echoed each other, furious.

"It's not as dangerous as before, but the spell was too powerful to completely eradicate with all the other things that needed to be righted," Yugi smiled sadly.

Ryou shook his head with a heavy heart, "What did I say? Too good for his own good,"

Yami nodded. He looked to Yugi and said, "Do I just place this on your head?"

Yugi said, "That should do it."

And it did. When the object of transference was on his body's brow, the spiritual form in front of them shimmered an incandescent, radiant silver glow that gracefully seemed to liquefy before their eyes and pour itself over the motionless body. Yugi's body adopted that same ethereal shine as his lips parted and he inhaled his first breath in over fifteen minutes. The group didn't know what was stronger: their imminent relief that Yugi was still with them on the mortal plane, or their absolute fascination at the process of his resurrection.

The magic around him dissipated as he sat up and opened his amethyst orbs. He breathed softly, in and out, while moving his hands and arms about slowly. He looked around the room and smiled brightly at them all. Yami's smile was watery as he pulled Yugi into another, tighter embrace than before.

"I'm sorry," Yami said into his hair. "I'm sorry that I couldn't be stronger--" Yami was interrupted.

"It's too late to apologize," Yugi leaned back from the hug, looking into Yami's eyes as they widened in confusion and obvious pain.

"I've already fallen so hard for you," Yugi's smile never dropped. "So hard it hurt when I didn't see you for three years," Yugi took a hold of Yami's jacket and pulled him forward and kissed him with such a passion that they had never met with before. Even through Yami's shock he was able to return the kiss full force.

"I love you, Yami," Yugi said with his forehead pressed to Yami's.

Yami thought he had shed enough tears to last a lifetime, but another escaped without notice. The first tear of pure and unadulterated bliss and happiness. He pulled Yugi into his arms and stood up, twirling them like a mad carrousel and laughing all the way.

"I love you too!" He shouted out, uncaring about how much emotion that he was showing. It had to be the best moment in either of his lives. His soul mate was with him, and they loved each other. What more could a Pharaoh of Khemet and the King of Camelot desire?

Yugi laughed with him, and soon the others joined in their contagious joy. They were all alive, they all had their families back, and they had returned the world back on its correct axis for the hundredth time it seemed. And the bound between all of them was stronger than ever. No one could say what the next adventure would be, only that there would be another and that they would all face it together.

After all these years of dangerous games, who wouldn't turn into an adrenaline junkie?

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Epilogue? Yes, it's coming soon...Maybe. Depends on reviewers. Hope you all enjoyed immensely, I know I loved writing it, even if it was a tortuous process plaguing my mind for a few weeks. But that's the evil nature of plot bunnies, ne?

Love you all, especially all you reviewers!