It's short, I know. But it's the end. And it's as long as it needs to be.

The End. Two little words that mean so much. It can mean the beginning of something new, or it can just be the end. There's nothing complicated about that concept, not at all. But sometimes it's just hard to accept certain things, whether they be truths, or gifts, some things don't just feel right.

The trio had that kind of experience when they stood in Ishizu's back room of the museum that last time. Though quite shaken, Yugi was fine after his fight with Akumu. Exhaustion, and finally being freed, lead to him losing his wits. None of that mattered to any of them now. All that weighed down on their shoulders was: how on earth would they get out of this mess? Being back in the familiar back room, the familiar carpet, the smell of sand, only reminded Yami of their predicament. The Egyptian woman sat on the couch with her legs crossed and her head held high. She bore a royal appearance, something Yami never saw in her.

Being in the room, Yami found the words to say. "Can you fix us?"

Ishizu was quiet, unresponsive. She averted her gaze for moment, and then met Yami's.

"The magic used to separate you was incredibly dark. The darkest I've ever seen. And, it was not Shadow Magic, so no Millennium Item can reverse the damage that has been done. Not to mention that Akumu had over five millennia to practice his telekinesis. That is well beyond long enough to master the rare ability."

Silence hung over them like a blanket. None of them could believe what they had heard. They were stuck like this.

"So, you can't fix us?" Yugi asked.

Ishizu shook her head. Yugi felt his heart drop into his stomach. There was nothing at all that could be done to fix them. They had been to hell and back, only to discover that they couldn't go back to normal anyways.

"I'm sorry." Ishizu said.

"It's not your fault." Yugi said quietly, though he felt a lump in his throat rise. He looked over at Bakura, who had been utterly quiet throughout the entire get-together. It was like the fact that he and Ryou being separated forever would not affect him in the least. It was almost as if he wanted this outcome, and that fact did not surprise Yugi. Maybe it was what Bakura wanted, and maybe, Ryou's safety kept in mind, it was best for Ryou too. No one knew how to break the ice now. There was just nothing to say. This was their life now and they would have to learn to accept that. Whether or not they liked it, it was what fate had dealt them. They had gone to the Shadow Realm and back, they could handle anything life decided he would throw at Yugi and Yami.

The bond between them went deeper than that of friends, or of brothers. The bond they shared was indescribable; no words could even come close to how they felt for one another. A reason they had the bond they did was because they shared a body. They shared pain, they shared happiness, they shared fear, and they also shared love and devotion, and something else. Something that kept them alive for as long as it did, something their adversaries in the past could not even begin to comprehend: friendship. Yes, it's the cliché everyone knows, but it is true. Their friendship is what kept them alive through even the darkest of times, and what made the evil-free days such a blessing.

Even without the Shadow Realm, they boys lived in dark, cruel days. People draw further away from their God and slowly lose their sense of compassion. They develop their selfish habits and decide that they are better than everyone else just because they own a Porsche or because they don't have to work on the weekends. In a world as cruel as this, it becomes easy to attach yourself so avidly to something as simple as friendship. But, it's like your life raft in the harshest waves. It protects you from the dangers of the World, and it asks for nothing in return.

Yami thanked Ishizu for her time and he and Yugi exited the building.

Together or apart, they would continue their lives together, and nothing would get in their way.

As I look back just six months from now, when I first joined Fanfiction, I'm surprised at the strides I've made. My stories have gotten longer and become more realistic, they actually have reasonable plots, and aren't full of clichés, or are just a load of crap. I sit back and wonder how I got so far so quickly, and the answer hit me.

The reason I've come so far along, is because of my Reviewers. Even when I wanted to tear my hair out, my stories were so awful, you guys encouraged me not to stop trying. You said that my stories were some of the best out there. Weather you really meant what you said, or you simply just didn't want to hurt my feelings, I appreciate it nonetheless. For those of you new to Fanfiction, I'm going to say it straight out. There is no magic elixir that makes you a wonderful author overnight. It takes dedication and practice. And no matter what, your first story will always suck. But don't let that stop you from pursuing your writing career. None of us get paid for our work here. We write mainly for ourselves, sometimes for our readers. Don't let someone's cruel words bring you down, because if you do, then they win. Don't let them win.

Thanks for sticking with me,