MBP: I had no idea what to do with this whole One More thing… but then I had an idea after all this time and had to do it. Don't ask me why. The Writing Muses are not cooperating with me. Even my handy idea-giving voices have abandoned me and have only been supplying me with Chuck-E-Cheese horror stories.

Rini: Hey! I'm giving you High School Musical ideas!

MBP: It took a HSM movie night (we watched the 1st and 3rd) and me reading the fanfiction (Kelsi and Ryan do not have enough screen time together) to get that…

Rini: …So?

MBP: …I own nothing. Please enjoy!

One More Game

Mana had always known that they'd have to grow up. It was inevitable; the passing of time didn't stop for anyone. It certainly didn't stop just to fulfill the wish of an overly optimistic, hyperactive dreamer of a child. Still, there was something so sad about it.

She didn't have any other word for it. It wasn't truly a depressing idea; she'd long accepted that the world took what you cared about, so she lived in the moment as much as possible. Melancholy was too dramatic of a word for what she was feeling.

Maybe nostalgic was a better idea of what would fit. Thinking back on how happy they had been… but that time was gone. All the games, all the laughs, the innocence… made way for palace intrigue, propriety, betrayals and loss…

Perhaps it was because Mahado was gone now. Having him around was like having a family again. Too often, people assumed she'd made him into a father figure in her mind, but he had never been anything more than a brother. He was the one in which she confided how much she missed her carefree days with Atemu, how much she missed how it was.

Mahado was also the one who helped her think of those days without the sense of wanting to go back, the one who had taught her to make her memories a source of strength, not something to rely on. Without him…

Mana sighed, lying back on the roof to connect the stars with her eyes. What she wouldn't give, just to go back… To go back and know that it was the last time. Maybe she wouldn't have taken it for granted. Maybe she would have appreciated the time all the boys, her boys, had been by her side.

Only one of them was there anymore. Seto had long left them, even if he was still in the palace. He had preferred the company and lessons of the priests from a young age.

Mahado was gone now, dead in an attempt to stop Bakura.

And Atemu… the last one. The only one left.

Mana felt the tears growing in her eyes and wiped them away fiercely. She didn't cry. She couldn't cry, not again. They were relying on her to keep strong now, all of them. She had to be by Atemu's side, help him…

Like in their games, where she would always demand to be on his side, help him win whatever game they were playing. Sometimes she was a powerful mage, sometimes a sneaky thief, sometimes…

Life was just a game. Maybe that was the answer Mana had been looking for. Maybe this was just another game to play, one with deadly stakes and deadlier consequences. If she was smart enough, determined enough, she could win.

And it would be her last game. She'd play one more game… and she wouldn't lose.

MBP: Not… what I'd pictured. Oh well. Brave is on my tv, I'm hungry, spent hours in a rat suit, and I had an idea. I wasn't going to fight with it if it wanted to go this way. Anyways, I want food, so I'll leave it at that! Please leave a review and tell me what you think!