A/N: Written for a request on Livejournal where one of my friends wanted to read about Noa - The dimensions of technology could not provide the same closeness that real contact did; he only wished he realized that sooner. Now, let me be upfront - I adore Noa. If I could, I'd give him a body and invite him to live in my household. So this prompt was a real treat for me.

Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Yuugiou! franchise and I claim no association with any of them. No copyright infringement intended with this and no money is being made from this. Please support the creator by purchasing the official releases.

Warnings: none.

Just A Flicker On Your Screen

The unreal lacked several things, Noa concluded. It was doomed to fall behind reality in almost every way. He acknowledged this, as he watched over the scenery in front of him – so familiar, yet wrong in too many ways to count. When he touched the screen behind which his father stood with the oddest look on his face Noa had ever seen, and his father had not reached out to place his hand over Noa's, he had not understood. The little puppy he was given to play with he also didn't understand. Things were wrong. Distant. The same, but not. Right next to him, but unreachable, even if he could touch them.

One walk in the park revealed him the reason behind it – depth perception. This world was lacking any depth. Everything was flat. Two-dimensional disguising as three-dimensional. It was incomplete. Why was it incomplete? he wondered at first and decided that it must be another challenge given to him by his father. Brightening instantly, Noa set out to rearrange things, to give them more depth, to make their existence more noticeable. The look on his father's face when he presented him with his achievements the next time they met was the complete opposite of the reaction he had expected. Why exactly, he couldn't quite understand. There wasn't enough date for him to parse, to analyse. He figured everything out much, much later when his father stopped visiting him. His father had created a perfect world for his perfect little son. Who was also perfectly dead, as far as human standards went. His father had seen the world exactly the way had had rebuilt it in the virtual reality – two-dimensional. One-sentence greetings, polite bows, routine actions, fully controlled environment and the people around him kept on a short leash. For that reason, Noa uprooted the entire virtual world and gave it the ability to change and develop.

But he was still all alone in that world. There was no one else to share it with him, to enjoy it with him. His own father was afraid of him. His world was empty despite all the life which now populated it. Still, it lacked the spontaneity, the unpredictability only a true living human could provide; something out of anybody's control. Mokuba had been that. Seto and Yuugi and all the other people who had barged in on his solitude by his own invitation had been that. They had brought in a change, they had made him struggle for solutions, they had made his monotone existence interesting, sending him scrambling for balance, for a way out of the proverbial corner.

They were all gone now, however. And they were not coming back. Noa could not go to them, either. His world was, once more, a bleak pile of unusable data.