Author's Note: This little series came about when watching the 4Kids version of Yu-Gi-Oh. And, wanting to challenge myself, I decided to try and take the sometimes cheesy dialogue and put the character's thoughts and other actions into it, mostly because I like writing stuff like this. So, I basically decided to fix all the scenes that could be considered Puzzleshipping. Currently, I have a list of little pieces to do so they will be coming out in order at first, but later, when I open for requests, it will go out of order; but I will put the episode number so there is some frame of reference. I will try to keep some continuity with these and I hope that you enjoy.
Most of the dialogue is from the end of episode 24.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh. If I did, then the show would have a lot more Puzzleshipping.
It had all gone horribly wrong so quickly. At first, it was just a duel to get into the castle and challenge Pegasus so they could get their loved ones back. Yugi had never thought it would be a problem, until he realized how desperate they both were. They were evenly matched at the best of times, but now, desperation was pushing them to try harder, defeat the other as quickly as possible.
But he had never counted on Kaiba doing that, not ever. He had always thought that Kaiba would duel with honor, use his cards rather than his opponent's weakness, at least not in this way. But it appears that he was wrong. People did crazy things when they were desperate, like stand on the edge of castle walls.
"Your move, Yugi. You can attack my Blue Eyes again and wipe out my remaining life points. But, if you do, the resulting shock waves might cause me to lose my balance."
"Don't tempt me!" Yugi flinched away mentally from the spirit, wondering what was going on. The spirit shouldn't sound like he wanted to take the bait. They weren't here to kill Kaiba! It wasn't worth it. Or was it? Yugi swallowed and looked at Kaiba, envious of the calm that the older teenager displayed. He was here antagonizing over a decision that would haunt him fro the rest of his life and Kaiba was just…standing there.
"My fate is completely in your hands Yugi. You'll decide this duel one way or another. But, of course, if you don't surrender, I might be hurt. You wouldn't want that, would you?"
His hands clenched into fists at the taunt, both him and the spirit reacting to it. Of course he didn't want Kaiba to get hurt, but there were so many things at stake here. And Yugi didn't want to chance losing them either. He whimpered, the sound restricted to his mind as the spirit was in control. This was killing him.
"Stop it, Kaiba, you know this is dangerous." He raised his head to look up, relieved that his friends were there. While Kaiba wouldn't listen to him alone, maybe all of them could talk him down. As he thought about this, he felt a moment of resistance from the other presence, surprised at first, but it was gone too quickly for him to think about it. The spirit was probably worried that the duel would cease to be honorable if that happened, the spirit was very focused on things like honor.
"Eh, Kaiba is bluffin'." Yugi looked over a Joey, mentally shaking his head. No, that was going about it the wrong way. Couldn't Joey see it? They were both desperate to get the ones they loved back, Kaiba wasn't bluffing. He would really do it, and that's what scared Yugi. "Come on, drop this cheap ploy! Get down from that ledge and play fair. You know that Yugi doesn't want to hut you."
"He knows. He's counting on Yugi to surrender." Bakura was the voice of reason again, Yugi refocusing on Kaiba as his mind continued to trace the same circle of thoughts, never getting any closer to the answer.
"But he can't do that. If he loses to Kaiba, he won't get into the castle."
Joey spoke up, nearly shouting the words. Yugi felt his body tense under the command of the spirit, beginning to panic. It was one thing to think about the consequences, it was another thing to hear someone say it. It was more concrete now, no longer able to be put off as something that they had thought up, no longer the wrong conclusion. Yugi shuddered in his soul room, the place where he resided when he was waiting for the duel to finish, too lost in his own misery to feel the spirit react to his anguish, pausing for a moment before turning to shout at Seto. "I'm warning you, Kaiba, don't push me too far. I must win to rescue my grandfather."
"And I must win this duel to rescue Mokuba. The difference is I'm willing to risk anything to do it." Yugi shivered at that, looking up at the ceiling of his soul room. He was getting to that point quickly, and he knew that the other presence was only holding back because of him. But what if the spirit went for the same tactic as Kaiba? What if he put their body on the edge and dared Kaiba to attack? There was no question in his mind that Kaiba would attack without a second thought.
"I can stand up here all day, Yugi. And I'm certain you won't attack for fear that you might knock me off, even though you know by not attacking, you give up the only chance you have to save your grandpa. Which means I have the advantage over you for, in my case, there is nothing holding me back." And there was the confirmation of his fears. Yugi curled himself up in a ball, feeling the spirit reel on the outside from the information. So the spirit had been contemplating challenging Kaiba by putting himself in the same position. It wasn't honorable, but Yugi felt that they were quickly reaching the point where honor wouldn't factor into it. His fingers clenched at the covers of the bed in his soul room.
'Please. Please don't do that me. Please, I want to live!' He didn't hear the spirit's confused hum, this sound more internal than external.
"Ah, a magic card, reborn the monster; which I'll use to resurrect the Blue Eyes head that was just destroyed by your Guardian."
"What? Restore a head of the Blue Eyes?" The spirit's attention was taken away from him, refocused on the duel on the outside. Yugi looked up from his place on the bed, his eyes darting to the door.
"Now one of my Blue Eyes, with its original attack strength of three thousand has just been reborn. With all of your Kuribohs in defense mode I couldn't touch you. But since you put an attack monster on the field I can take out the rest of your life points. Which I'll do next turn. Two of the Ultimate Dragon's heads are weakened but the third can wipe out your Guardian in a breath. Our life points are equal Yugi, strike now if you dare, otherwise, next turn, I swear I'll take you down."
'If I defeat one of the weaker Blue Eyes, I'll win. But what if the duel battle accidentally knocks him off the ledge?' Yugi threw himself out of his bed, rushing for the door and yanking it open, staring briefly at the corridor between their soul rooms, knowing that the spirit had heard his thought. He gave a sigh of relief, seeing the spirit appear in the corridor with him, concern in his red eyes.
He never found out what the spirit was going to say, Kaiba interrupting the both of them. "Surrender Yugi, that is, unless you have the courage to unleash your attack!"
Yugi saw the spirit tense, watching him turn his gaze away from Yugi to where they body stood, still held still by indecision. The spirit gave a nod, Yugi shaking his head with wide eyes. He knew what was coming. "I must."
"I can't." Yugi sobbed out the words, shaking his head. He backed away as the heard the spirit approaching, stumbling. That gave the spirit the chance to grab a hold of his shoulders, the action surprisingly gentle. Yugi trembled, looking up at the spirit, his stomach dropping at the determined look in his red eyes.
"No!" Yugi shook his head, making sure to meet the spirit's gaze again. "It's not right! There must be another way!"
"There isn't." His shoulders were given a gentle squeeze of reassurance before the spirit let go, taking a step back. Yugi sagged, nearly falling to the floor as the spirit spoke those words quietly. He looked up, his vision blurred by tears as the spirit turned and walked back to the duel. He wrapped his arms around himself, hugging himself as he listened to the sounds of the duel filtering back to him."Kaiba, I've never backed away and I'm not starting now. Celtic Guardian, attack!"
"NO!" Yugi sobbed out the word, hoping that the spirit would call of the attack, but there was no response from the spirit. He was trapped here in his own head as the spirit went ahead with the plan, a plan that neither of them agreed on. That had never happened before. While they had never actually communicated really, unsure of how this arrangement worked, the spirit had made sure to remain within the bounds of what Yugi would allow him to do.
His head jerked up as he head Tèa shout out his name, the shock of the betrayal disappearing in the face of what was going on outside his head. "Yugi! You can't! You can't take this risk! Call him back! This isn't like you! You've got to stop! Yugi!"
She's right. Yugi forced himself forward, feeling the spirit resist him. He wanted to stay in control and finish off this match, something that Yugi wouldn't allow him to do. Yugi gritted his teeth and grabbed the spirit's arm, surprised to find himself outside. He looked down at his transparent hand before glaring up at the spirit, surprise obvious in the spirit's red eyes. 'We can't do this!'
Yugi got a better hold of the spirit, doing something that reminded the teenager of literally wrapping his mind around the spirit in control of his body and pulling, snapping him back into the depths of his mind. He heard the spirit's surprised exclamation before he found himself in control, suddenly without the energy to stand, the attack that the spirit had called still going through. "Stop!"
He fell to his knees, gasping for breath before the realization hit him. He had almost killed Kaiba. Yugi found it hard to breathe, his mouth hanging open as he tried to get a steady breath of air. The spirit had been willing to kill Kaiba, had been willing to stand there and watch Kaiba fall off the castle, all just to get his grandfather back. Yugi couldn't comprehend what made a person act like that, but he was also reminded of the time before he and the spirit had talked. Yugi half expected the spirit to force his way back into control and knock him unconscious so Yugi couldn't interfere. Would they go back to that now?
"Yugi!" His friends were rushing towards him, Yugi not able to look up as he began to tremble, tears beginning to form. Were his friends safe from that spirit? What about his grandfather? If they got him back; which wouldn't be happening, because he had just lost that chance. That thought allowed the tears to slide down his face, Yugi ducking his head to stare at the ground. He had been so close! And he had lost him, lost all hope of getting his grandfather back! "It's okay, man."
"I almost couldn't control it, this other presence deep inside of me. He was willing to go all the way against Kaiba!"
"Another presence? Inside you?" He couldn't look at his friends. He had promised them that the spirit wouldn't hurt them when they were facing Bakura's evil side. They had trusted him then. And yet, here he was, doubting the spirit's motives. What if the spirit had never meant to help him out, their interests had just coincided for now?
He was barely aware of the world around him, trapped in his cycle of fear. Nothing was right anymore. His grandfather's soul was trapped in a card and he had no way to get it back. And he had the spirit in his head, probably waiting for his chance to kill them all. Yugi shivered, more tears falling down his cheeks.
A little voice in the back of his head spoke up, Yugi cringing until he realized that it was his; the spirit probably wasn't in the mood for talking with him. It whispered a plan to him, something so perfect that Yugi couldn't help but pay attention. It told him to smash the Puzzle, break it back into pieces and throw it over the side of the castle. The spirit would go away if he did that. And it would be so easy to do that, all he had to do was reach up and grab the Puzzle…
Yugi tensed as he felt the spirit perk up, probably catching his train of thoughts. He hadn't bothered to try and hide them, too used to the open communication with the other. He shuddered, wondering what would happen to him if he did smash the Puzzle. Something told him that the spirit would try and kill him no matter what if he did that. Yugi tried to grip the smooth stone harder as a new rush of tears ran down his cheeks. He was trapped with the spirit, and that was worse than losing his chance to save his grandfather. "I'm afraid of this spirit inside me. So afraid, that I will never duel again."
"I'm sorry, sorry about your grandpa." Yugi looked up as Tèa spoke, only then realizing that Tèa was crying as well. "But you did the right thing. You couldn't hurt another person, not even to save him. He wouldn't want to be saved that way."
And, somehow, that still didn't make him feel better.
He sat in the dark, staring at the shape of his soul room around him, his eyes already adjusted to the low light. He was still on the ground where Yugi had thrown him when the teenager had pulled control from him, too shocked at first by the move and then the thoughts that Yugi was unintentionally sending to him.
How could the teenager really think that about him?
He lived to help Yugi, there was no other purpose in his life, no other memories beyond the darkness that had always existed around him. Yugi was his life in his death, the paradise that he had thought that he would never have found. If he had failed in keeping the teenager happy, the one thing that he could do, then why was he still allowed to be here.
The spirit hung his head, blonde bangs falling across his eyes. He growled and viciously shoved them away, glaring at them as they fell back over his eyes. Why did he have to be tortured with reminders of Yugi? And why was Yugi suffering when it was his fault for all of this? He had been too focused on victory, too focused on getting back what Yugi had lost to think properly.
Now that he had been forced to take a step back, he could do that. And he understood where he had gone wrong. Yugi would never have risked attacking Kaiba, no matter what. It wasn't what the teenager had wanted.
The spirit ran a hand through his hair, keeping it up there to keep his bangs from falling into his eyes again. What was he going to do now? Getting lost in the maze of his mind seemed like the best thing to do, but he couldn't, not when Yugi was still suffering. He still had a duty to Yugi.
With a groan, the spirit stood up, going still as he heard the next thought that drifted to him. Yugi wanted to smash the Puzzle. And he found himself agreeing with the teenager for a moment before he began to hear why Yugi was considering this move. His mouth fell open in shock. Was that what the teenager really thought of him?
"I wouldn't!" He didn't realize he had spoken until the words were echoing around the labyrinth that was his mind. The spirit relaxed slightly as Yugi strayed away from those thoughts, his legs giving out. He fell to his knees on the ground, unaware that he mimicked Yugi's position on the ground outside their minds.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry…"
I'm going what with 4Kids has given me, so no 'official' name for the spirit yet. Also, requests are open. Keep in mind, I will only write these on Sundays and post them afterward, there are other stories that I am working on.
Please read and review. Criticism is welcome.