Disclaimer: I own nothing about Yu-Gi-Oh! OR the song 45 by Shinedown (which was a great inspiration to me starting this story)
Also, I will probably review my own work and update it where it sounds iffy, but if anyone has any suggestions, feel free to read and review =) Constructive Criticism is always good!
A young male thrashed silently in his bed, tangling the sheets around his legs and arms. Tears were streaming slowly down his cheeks, but he remained asleep. What was torturing him was not only a dream, but a memory, one that he hated to recall and hated even more the feelings it brought.
He was so determined to win, to let the Pharaoh return to where he belonged that he didn't realize why his heart was really beating so hard. But when Slifer was defeated the second time and Atem had nothing to defend him, Yugi couldn't destroy him so easily.
"Go on Aibou-it's your move," Atem said, his voice so calm that Yugi had to wonder if Atem would miss them at all. He froze suddenly and couldn't bring himself to attack. He watched as the Pharaoh closed his eyes and Yugi, tears now clouding his determined eyes, attacked with the Silent Magician before he could regret it. When Atem's life-points hit zero, Yugi fell to his knees crying and unable to stop. At that moment he realized he didn't want the Pharaoh to go, and this time he truly understood why. As Atem walked over and pulled him up, saying something that Yugi couldn't quite make out in his now befuddled mind, he struggled to pull himself together.
"Stand up. The winner shouldn't be on his knees. If I were you, I wouldn't cry" Atem said, a kind smile upon his lips. "I-I forgot what winning this duel would mean" Yugi said, the tears still streaming down his cheeks. 'It means I lose you' he thought sadly. He looked at the older man and noticed that he was almost as tall as him now. That little thing made him realize how much he had grown both physically and mentally with the Pharaoh by his side, always there to help him.
"I'll miss you Mou hitori no boku." Atem wiped those tears away lightly and smiled.
"No Yugi, I am no longer the other you, there is only one Yugi Moto in the world."
Yugi nodded weakly, trying so hard to stop the tears but feeling his heart ache as he realized the closest person to him in the world was leaving forever. Atem wanted to go… he needed to go. The Pharaoh walked toward the door of light and Yugi heard the footsteps of his friends as they came to his side. Atem stopped and turned to them as they all told bid him their farewells, watching as each of them started to cry. Yugi wiped his eyes on his sleeve and said, "I'll never forget you Atem." Smiling, Atem gave them all the thumbs up.
Little did they know that Atem didn't want to leave either. During the duel he realized the same thing that Yugi did and he had almost wished Yugi had thrown the duel, but he could never have asked that of his little aibou. Deep down he knew he wouldn't win this duel, and when he had summoned Slifer the second time, his heart leapt for joy, even though he pretended to be disappointed. But Yugi had surpassed him, perhaps he wasn't needed anymore. He had watched as Yugi cried and tried so hard to keep his precious little partner from doing so and acting like he wanted to leave. He hadn't been able to resist at least wiping the smaller boy's tears, especially since it would be truly the last time he ever held him. He now wore the bravest mask known to man as he walked to his 'death'. 'I'll never forget you either Yugi, my aibou,' he thought, tears slowly coming to his eyes.
Yugi watched as Atem changed into the Pharaoh as his soul crossed the line and when the door closed behind him, Yugi shook but kept the tears under control now. "I'll miss you Pharaoh," he whispered, feeling his heart break into a billion little pieces. He should have told him…
"ATEM!" came a cry as Yugi sat bolt upright in his bed. It had been nearly 5 years since that day and he still couldn't stop reliving that day in his dreams. Crying, he huddled his knees to his chest, his heart now beating wildly. Again he tried to compose himself, although now there was no one there to see him cry.
Since that day, Tea had gone to New York City to study dance like she had always wanted. She had actually started to become pretty successful; she was already in Broadway and off-Broadway shows. At the moment she was in small, minor roles, but it was definitely starting to work out for her.
Tristan and Serenity got married and were expecting their first child. Joey had been a mixture of annoyed and happy when they announced their marriage, but the two had fallen in love and Joey simply couldn't fight that. He walked Serenity down the aisle since their father had since passed away and now little Serenity and Tristan were having a baby.
Joey was still the hard-working but entirely carefree guy he was. He was working at an office building run by Seto Kaiba as the delivery man. He hated the fact that Kaiba was essentially his boss, but he did what needed to be done to pay the bills, which were significantly less expensive since his father died from alcohol poisoning. He vowed to never turn into the man his father had become after his mother and Serenity left. Out of them all, Joey was probably the only one who hadn't changed. He was also the only one who knew Yugi's true feelings toward Atem. Reaching over to the phone, Yugi dialed Joey's number; it was 3:12am, but his friend answered quickly.
"Yug what's wrong?" he asked, knowing who it was before Yugi could say anything. "That dream again?" he asked, again before Yugi could utter a single word. Yugi nodded and then realized Joey couldn't see him.
"Y-yes… c-can I come over?" he squeaked, trying so hard to put on that brave face that Atem had always worn while inhabiting his body. "Any time Yug! Ya know ya don't have ta ask!" he said hanging up the phone. Yugi quickly got dressed and left the shop where he lived with his grandfather quietly. He hadn't been able to tell his grandfather how he felt, but he had a feeling that he had figured it out not too soon after they'd all returned from Egypt. For some reason, Yugi just bring himself to tell anyone why he was avoiding them and how he truly felt. He'd tried going on a date with Tea at one point, but she could see his mind and heart were elsewhere, although she wasn't entirely certain as to where. He'd tried to move on, to realize that there was nothing that could be done, but he always seemed to fail. Even though he was now 22 and it had been 5 years since Atem left, he couldn't let him go. He slid into the car and turned it on. Blasting the music to drown out his thoughts, he hit the gas pedal and was at Joeys within minutes.
There they talked until the sun rose and Joey tried his best to comfort his best friend, after all how much can you do for a person when the person they love is technically dead?