A/N: I love one-shots better than chapter fics. Expect a lot. From multiple fandoms.
Summary: Yugi had alway been awkwardly adorable -- Atem was just waiting for him to realize it.
There was something about the way he would quietly stumble. A small enough trip for no one to really realize it but Atem. The way his bangs would fall in front of his eyes and he tried to blow them out of the way, but couldn't. The way this hands gripped the pencil, his messy, boyish handwriting and lopsided grin. His tendency to switch words around in a sentence or babble on without ever making a point. The way his backpack was always unzipped, just a little bit. How he shoved papers into it and then had to pull them out, sheepishly pressing the crinkles down and handing it in with that small, apologetic smile. It was all so cute. So awkward and adorable. Yugi had been that way since they were children, amusing and entertaining Atem for over twelve years now. They were always in the same classes, without fail. The same homeroom since kindergarten, when Yugi had stumbled into the room, late, tripping over his own shoelaces. The class had erupted in laughter and so had Yugi. How he managed to be so well liked was beyond Atem. Any other awkward boy as small and timid and shy as Yugi would have been bullied by everyone, not just Joey and Tristan, who only teased Yugi because they couldn't be as confident as he. Jealousy. The kind that evolved into mutual respect and friendship. The level that Atem wanted to start on and then work his way up.
Yugi had always had something that enticed Atem. Something that made him want just a little bit more. It was probably the way his pants bagged a bit too much at his ankles, though they fit everywhere else. Or how his hair was messy and unkempt constantly. Or a thousand other things. Whatever it was, Atem knew that Yugi was something he wanted. Not to possess, but to hold very close and never let go. It was a feeling that scared him and drove him. Pushed him along to that fateful evening in the park when he ran into the small and awkward boy on the swingset, humming to himself and watching old couples feed pigeons.
"Oh. Hello Atem."
"What're you doing here?"
"Watching. I like the way that lady coos to the birds. She sounds like a car alarm, but they seem to enjoy it." Atem laughed and sat on the swing to join him.
"You've been in all my homeroom classes since we were five, do you know that?" Yugi nodded.
"I know. I started paying more attention in middle school when I realized that we'd been in elementary classes together for years." He laughed and sighed, watching the sun being its steady sink down below the clouds. "It's nice here, isn't it?" Atem nodded. "My grampa used to take me here when I was little, but then I grew up and thought swingsets were uncool. Now I don't have time to enjoy them and it's all I want."
"Life's funny that way, I guess."
"Yeah...it is." Yugi began to rock back and forth slowly, dragging his feet in the sand beneath the swing. Finally he kicked off his shoes, took off his socks and rolled his pants up. "It's cool when the sun goes down." Atem followed suit and they sat there that way, feet deep in the sand, steadily moving back and forth, watching the old woman finish feeding the birds and leave.
"Why are you here?" Atem shrugged.
"I don't know. I just...wanted to come to the park today."
"You didn't follow me here?" Taken aback, Atem looked at Yugi's face, the smaller boy's eyes still staring straight ahead.
"It's okay. I saw you. I'm flattered, actually." Atem blushed a deep red and pulled his feet out of the sand.
"I should go..." Yugi frowned and looked at his own buried feet. "I'm sorry..."
"You can stay, I mean, I'm just going to be here alone for a while."
"No...I should go home." Yugi shrugged and watched the taller boy put on his shoes once more.
"Suit yourself." Atem nodded curtly and picked up his backpack. He walked away until Yugi's voice sounded in his ears. "Atem?" He turned around. "I like you, too, you know."
"Ah. Well. Er...okay." Yugi giggled and shook his head.
"'Night...Yugi." He moved away from the swingset, glancing back as Yugi continued to watch the sunset and then pull his own feet out of the sand, tripping as he did so. A small chuckle found its way to Atem's lips.
Yugi had always been awkwardly adorable...