The Ten Things
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!
Here it is the final chapter.
Yuugi stood outside of the cemetery, eyes clouded with tears and confusion. He had borrowed his grandfather's car, intending to alleviate his remorse over his deceased mother. Yet, here he stood, gazing at the front gate, fear and anxiety building with each passing second. After six, almost seven years, Yuugi knew that he needed to "visit" his mother. He never grieved over her death.
Sighing, the man gazed up at the sky, taking in the dark clouds covering the once bright blue sky. The weather matched his current mood to a "T." Rain would pound down upon him and his sorrow.
The wind picked up, ruffling Yuugi's tricolor hair. He pushed back his blond bangs, irritated with the movement. He entered the confines of the cemetery, leaving his grandfather's car at the entrance. He walked further into the depths of the cemetery, taking in the headstones of the deceased. Flowers, balloons, and other novelty gifts littered gravestones, showing love for the departed. Yuugi held a single tiger lily within his grasp. After all, it was his mother's favorite flower.
After a while, he found the area his grandfather had mentioned. A small tombstone underneath a tree caught his attention. Quietly, he walked across the clean-cut grass, stopping once he stood amongst the gravestone.
His mother's gravestone decorated lavishly in detail with her name and a message broke his heart.
"Here lies the wonderful daughter and caring mother, Yumika Mutou."
Tears cascaded down the petite man's face. He bent down on his knees, eyes never leaving the gravestone. Yuugi carefully set down the single tiger lily he held, placing it on top of the granite stone.
Yuugi looked around, feeling uncomfortable in this setting. He did not want anyone stumbling upon his time with his mother. It was hard enough visiting her grave after years of anguish. Frowning, Yuugi patted the grave with his left hand, taking a moment to "acquaint" himself with his mother after all these years.
"So, long time no see right?" He muttered. "I'm pretty sure you're turning your grave with how long it took me to visit. I'm sorry."
Yuugi felt awkward but knew that this was needed. He continued to talk, even if it was with himself.
"It took me almost seven years to admit and grieve over you, mom. I still cannot believe that you're gone. Grandpa doesn't know I'm here right now. Neither does, Yami."
He smiled at the mention of his lover's name. Their relationship had evolved slowly since he had spoken with his grandfather. Yuugi took advantage of his only relative's advice and sought out the truth of his feelings for Yami.
"Yami and I are back together. I'm sure that would make you happy. You always said we would end up together again. Somehow, your wish came true. I remember how much you loved him, always calling him your son in law. I think he misses your teasing."
Yuugi continued to babble on about his relationship with Yami. Yet, he felt incredibly empty once he continued further.
"I feel as if I can never apologize enough for the hell I put you and grandpa through during my first year in college. You knew I was having problems but I did not share them with either of you. If I had listened to you sooner, I would have been sober much longer than I have. It's hard, I still have the urge to drink, but I fight it for you, grandpa, and for Yami." He laughed a little, blushing at the last comment.
"Yami and I have been together for a year now, mom. I think I may have stronger feelings for him. Grandpa gave me his definition of love. I just wish I could have asked your view on it." He sniffed lightly, rubbing at his eyes. "I cannot picture life without Yami. To me, that's what makes me believe he's the only one for me. Is commitment that hard to accept?"
A gentle breeze ruffled Yuugi's hair. The movement reminded him of his mother's constant affectionate touch to his spiky tresses. Maybe this was his mother's form of consoling him from her paradise.
"I guess it's not hard to accept. I think I might be able to prove that I'm capable of loving him." He smiled, wiping at his teary eyes again. "I love you mom. Thank you for listening to me." He got off the ground, dusting off his jeans with a small smile. "I promise I will visit more often. I'm tired of running away."
With that said Yuugi left the cemetery feeling somewhat alert and calm. His mind buzzed with happiness and relief. He had finally visited his mother and moved on with one hurdle in his life.
Yuugi pulled his grandfather's car out of the cemetery, narrowly missing the terrorizing raindrops as they descended from the sky.
He wanted everything to be perfect. Everything was in order except his nerves. Atemu frowned, gazing at himself in the mirror. It was a special day for him and Yuugi. It was their one-year anniversary. He was excited and nervous as hell.
The need for escaping reality grew. The need to take painkillers grew. The addiction was a constant battle. Regardless of sobriety of years, Atemu often fell into the ghosts of his former addiction. His anxiety often caused the need for the effects of pain medication. Yet, he fought it, hoping to keep himself from falling into that hell.
Taking a couple of deep breaths, the man ran a hand through his hair, fixing his messily styled hair. Despite the use of hair gel, his tresses refused to be tamed. Sighing in defeat, the Egyptian continued his endless search of the perfect outfit for his anniversary dinner.
Since Yuugi's reoccurring fantasies, both men became frustrated. Yuugi's libido often drove Atemu up the wall. The man attempted to coerce him into bed for 'fun' more times, than he could count. He remained firm in his decision of waiting.
The dam holding his desires was crumbling with each night of rejecting his little lover. Yuugi would melt his resolve with one flutter of his eyelashes. He could only hold on a while longer. After all, his libido was worse than Yuugi's.
Speaking of his lover…. Atemu had not seen the smaller male all day long. This worried him. Yuugi had an annoyingly bad habit of disappearing whenever he needed to think. It seemed that the day of their one-year anniversary had caused this. The thought caused Atemu's worry to grow further. Yuugi had many issues with commitment. He did not want to lose him to this. Not again.
After deciding on an outfit, the elder man walked downstairs, looking for his lover or Sugoroku. After a fruitless search, Atemu walked into the shop, arms crossed in a childish manner.
Sugoroku looked up from the register, gauging his employee's actions. Brows raised in curiosity and worry.
"Atemu my boy, what's wrong? You look like someone stole your favorite Duel Monsters card."
"Funny, grandpa. I was looking for Yuugi. Have you seen him?"
The aging Mutou tapped his chin, shrugging his shoulders lightly. "I am not entirely sure. I do know he is out somewhere. He borrowed my car and has been gone for a few hours."
"He what? Why did he borrow your car? He knows he can use mine whenever."
Sugoroku yawned, walking away from behind the counter. "I do not know, Atemu. I'm sure he will return soon." He smiled and then crossed his arms, leveling a smirk at the young man. "So, today is the one year anniversary?"
"Yes, it is. I have a few things planned."
"Anything of interest?"
Atemu shook his head, feigning innocence as he spoke. "I cannot tell you what I have planned. You would tell Yuugi immediately."
"Would not. He's my grandson. I just hope that you will not be getting matching tattoos. Seeing Yuugi's tattoo was hard on the old ticker. I don't want another heart attack."
Atemu snickered, nodding in agreement. Yuugi had gotten a tattoo when he was seventeen. He had used a fake ID and had gotten it done without his grandfather's permission. To say Sugoroku was angry…. It is an understatement. The smaller man was grounded for a long time.
"I won't do that, Grandpa. Not yet, at least." He smirked.
"Good. I'm not ready to see that again." He paused and tilted his head to the side. "No hints about your plans?"
"None. I want this to be strictly between Yuugi and I."
"Alright. I see how it is."
The Egyptian shook his head. "Sorry, but it's nothing against you. I just want this to be special." He started walking out of the shop. "Do let me know when Yuugi returns will you?"
Yuugi frowned as he maneuvered the old station wagon into his grandfather's parking space. The weather had taken a turn for the worse, delaying his return home.
Quickly the small man got out of the car, shielding his face from the pelting rain. He ran into the game shop, groaning at his drenched self. His clothes hugged his body like a second skin, his hair dripping everywhere.
Sugoroku walked into the shop, hearing the door open. He smiled at the sight of Yuugi. Relief flooded through his heart. He had been worried.
"Oh thank heavens, Yuugi. We were worried about you."
Yuugi frowned, shrugging off his jacket. "I despise rain."
"Still? I figured you would get over that by now."
Yuugi shook his head, sending water onto the floor. Growling, the man pouted, walking into their small apartment, Sugoroku following.
"Would you like some tea, grandson?"
"No, I think I'll stick with my favorite."
Yuugi smiled and nodded. "Can you blame me? Yami's love for the juice has grown on me."
Sugoroku chuckled, pulling out the bottle of juice from the fridge. "Speaking of Atemu, I believe he's worried about you."
Yuugi took the bottle of juice, pouring himself a glass. He blinked in confusion. "Why is he worried?"
The elder man shrugged his shoulders. "When is your lover not worried is the question, Yuugi."
The young man walked over to the dining room table, taking his glass of juice for the ride. "It's probably because I left him alone today."
"Yuugi, where did you go today?"
The question was not asked by Sugoroku. The question came from a familiar baritone voice. The deep and loving voice of Yuugi's boyfriend.
The petite man jumped, sloshing pomegranate juice onto the table. Yuugi frowned at this.
"I was doing a few things."
Atemu walked over with a glass of his own, pouring himself a glass of the dark colored beverage.
Sugoroku took this as his time to leave. He excused himself, walking back to his small game shop.
Yuugi and Atemu stared at one another, sipping on their drinks.
"I went to the cemetery today. I finally visited my mother's grave."
Atemu's eyes widened. He set his drink onto the table. He leaned over the table, taking Yuugi's hands into his own. Yuugi refused to meet his eyes. He gazed out the window, taking in the gloomy weather outside.
"Partner…. Why did you do that alone? I thought you wanted to take things slowly with help?"
Yuugi sighed heavily, removing his hands from the other's grasp. He gazed at his lover with sorrowful eyes. He stood from his seat, walking over towards the elder man.
Yuugi stood in front of his lover, gazing up at him. His anxiety grew, blood pounding within his ears.
"I needed to see her alone, Yami. I talked with her. It was different. She just listened to me and helped me come to a conclusion."
Yuugi blushed and nodded, averting his eyes again. "Yes, I've come to a conclusion. The conclusion on which we stand in terms of our relationship."
Atemu's crimson depths grew. His heart pounded in his chest. This was it. He would find out where they stood.
Yuugi's face was beet red as he spoke. "We've been through a lot in the past. We have shared many firsts together. You were my first love as I was yours. Despite the hell we've endured for six years, we have found one another again. It is rare that relationships rekindle this easily. When I'm with you, I feel happy and I know that you're the one I want to be with." Yuugi choked on his final revelation. Yami patted his back, a smile gracing his usually stoic features. He stared down at his little one patiently.
"What are you saying, partner?"
Yuugi groaned, feeling the words catch in his throat. He pulled Atemu into an embrace as he buried his face into the other man's chest.
Surprised by the tactile gesture, the Egyptian wrapped his arms around the shivering Mutou. He rubbed Yuugi's back affectionately.
"Yuugi what did you want to tell me?"
He pulled Yuugi away from him gauging the man's red face. He smirked and lifted Yuugi's chin with his thumb.
Forced into submission by the gesture, Yuugi tried again. "I want to be with you and no one else. I do not fear commitment anymore. I want to spend my life committed to you."
Atemu leaned down and pressed a kiss to Yuugi's forehead. He smiled down at his little lover. However, Yuugi pulled away, embarrassed. "I'm not finished yet!"
The elder chuckled. "I'm sorry, Hikari. Continue."
Yuugi flinched at the use of his true name, but ignored it. He stood on his tiptoes and whispered into Yami's ear, fanning it with warm breath.
"I love you."
The words shook Atemu to the very core. He pulled Yuugi into a passionate kiss, licking at his lips for entrance. Yuugi gave in without a fight, letting his hands find anchorage in the elder's unruly tricolor hair. The kiss grew intense only ending when both men needed air.
Yuugi pulled away first, resting his head against Yami's chest. He smiled fully content with his admission to loving his boyfriend.
Atemu ran his hands through Yuugi's hair.
"I love you, Yuugi. Never forget that."
"And I you."
Yuugi pulled away reaching into his pocket with a light blush. At this action, ruby eyes watched him carefully.
"Forgive me, but I did remember it is out anniversary. I have something for you." Yuugi said, handing the envelope to his lover.
Atemu took it, noting the blush on Yuugi's features. "And I have a few things for you, little one."
"Open mine first. I think it's something you deserve."
"Alright, partner. If that is what you desire."
Atemu opened the envelope, finding not a card, but a photograph. He took it out, gazing at it with lustful eyes. He stared at Yuugi and then at the photograph.
"Yuugi, this is you…."
"Naked." Yuugi finished, chuckling. He noticed the lustful look Atemu gave the picture. "I figured you could use an updated one you know? No need to keep that old one."
Atemu couldn't stop staring at the picture. He noted the changes in Yuugi's appearance, finding that he loved Yuugi's delicate muscle toned body. The tattoo bearing his name still showed on the smaller man's side, intricately designed. It was one of his favorite things about his partner. He pocketed the photo and reached into his pocket, removing a piece of folded paper. He held it outward for Yuugi.
"What is this?"
"It is something I should have done a long time ago, love. It's something you deserve to see."
Yuugi took the proffered paper. He unfolded it and began to read his lover's loopy penmanship:
"The Ten Things I Adore About Yuugi Hikari Mutou."
1. His amethyst eyes. They are the windows to his beautiful soul.
2. His charming personality.
3. His adorable smile.
4. His cuteness that defies the laws of nature.
5. His determination and confidence to win every game he plays.
6. His ass.
7. Him in leather.
8. His ability to forgive and forget.
9. The way he says my name when satisfied.
10. How I want to spend the rest of my life him.
Yuugi stopped reading the list. Tears cascaded down his pale face. He set the note down, wiping pitifully at his large eyes. Atemu beat him to it, wiping his eyes free of tears. He kissed him, and then bent down on one knee.
"There is something else I want to do, Yuugi."
Speechless, Yuugi stood still, staring at his lover with wide eyes. The position he currently held frightened and excited the petite man.
"Yami, what are you doing?"
"Ssh. Yuugi you and I have been together since we were children. From friends to lovers to enemies. We have been through a lot together. You and I shared many things together. And I would love to share another thing with you."
Atemu opened a small black box; a silver engagement ring embedded with diamonds sparkled in the light. He held it out.
"Will you spend the rest of yours days with me?"
Yuugi nodded, his voice failing him. Tears continued to fall down his face. He held out his left hand. Atemu placed it on his ring finger, smiling as light danced across the shiny surface. He kissed Yuugi's palm.
Yuugi threw his arms around Atemu's neck, kissing him.
All the while, Sugoroku stood against the back wall arms across his chest. He smiled at the scene before him. Life had been hard on them all, especially Yami and Yuugi. Yet, it seemed that things were slowly changing for the better. Despite all of their losses, even his own Sugoroku felt as if life was right again. He'd tell Yuugi the good news concerning a deal a publisher wanted to offer him for his writings.
Right now, he would leave the duo to their happiness.
It ended with a list and it started over with hardships and eventually evolved with a list.
After all, it is the ten things that matter.
This is the end of "The Ten Things." Thank you all for reading and sticking with me through this story.