MBP: I don't know what happened, but I went to bed, and this one-shot series idea would not go away from my head so I could sleep… and now it's after 3 in the morning while I type this, and I've only had four hours of sleep after doing four hours of tech work at school, cleaning my dad's car and doing other various things, so if there's a ton of mistakes, I'd appreciate someone screaming at me for them. Maybe.

Rini: She rambles when she's sleepy! Hee hee!

Kio: Um… MBP owns nothing!

MBP: The italics are flashbacks. Just letting ya know!


One More…

There's only one thing I can hear. It doesn't matter where I am, whether I'm surrounded by people or alone, or how many people are trying to talk to me; I can't hear anything but this one sound in my head.

Her laugh. She was always laughing when she was by me. I can still hear her laughing as she leapt out of one of many vases lining the palace corridors to wrap her body around me. Her laughter when she would think of something she found hilarious during one of our many conversations, whether it loudly rang through the courtyard, or she tried to stifle the noise because it was late at night and Mahado would kill her if he found her in my bedroom. I can hear the way she would spontaneously burst out into laughter because the world was just that great to her.

I can remember that she always laughed alone. Even in the end, she managed to find a way to laugh, and even then, she was still laughing alone.

I can still feel the way her body felt in my arms, broken and bleeding because she'd jumped in front of me to save me from Bakura's attack. The light that was such a huge part of her was slipping away right in front of me, and there was nothing I could do about it…

"Mana… Mana, don't do this!" I whispered, trying in vain to stop the bleeding, to ease the pain in any way. She couldn't do this, her light couldn't be extinguished, she had to stay with me!

In the background I could hear Bakura's maniacal laughing, and the sounds of battle. Nothing connected to my mind but the small girl dying in my arms.

Mana reached up with her hand and pulled on my hair, something she'd always wanted to try, saying that it was so spikey that she had to see if it was actually soft or if it would stab her hand. Her smile was the same as if she were skipping along beside me in the palace, but her laugh was weak, like she couldn't get enough air to do it convincingly.

"Atemu…" Mana whispered, getting me to lean closer to her. "I… I l-love… you…" Her final breath came out in one last laugh; a laugh that sounded like she was going to a party instead of the Afterlife. A laugh that sounded like she had gotten something she needed, and wanted to say for a long time, out and she was finally free from it.

She was gone. My best friend, the only one who'd ever understood me for who I was… the only woman I'd ever loved. For the moment, I let grief and rage control me, and I stood once more to face Bakura…

It shouldn't have ended like that. Not with Mana's life. So many dead, and that's the only one I can think of. It doesn't matter that Bakura's gone; the feeling of loss doesn't go away. She's still gone, and I'll never hear her say my name, watch her run away from the victim of one of her many pranks… never hear her laugh again.

If I had one more chance, if I had one more hour, I wouldn't let her laugh alone. If I could only hear her laugh one more time, I'd laugh with her… because she would be back with me… if only I could have that one last laugh…


MBP: …Yeah, don't ask. It was literally in my head and wouldn't go away. And no, I don't know why I wrote first person… I don't like it generally, and I probably will never do it again. Atemu's kind of a pain, and I don't like it. If this were Mana, I'd be jumping for joy.

Rini: Um… should I tell them?

Kio: Probably…

Rini: Okay, so like MBP said earlier, this is going to be a series of one-shots dedicated to 'one more'… like what could have happened if they had one more, or that they want one more of something… stuff like that. But they all have something to do with tragedy or romance, so expect them not to end up together in most of them…

MBP: Though this is only going to be 5-10 chapters, so it shouldn't be too bad… right?

Kio: Anoo… we hope you enjoyed…

Rini: Right! And we hope you review! Reviews are life!

Kio: Jaa nee!