I'm going to please a lot of readers with this chapter. Well, it's the last one, enjoy it like you've never enjoyed a chapter before.
"I thought I would find you here", the voice said and although Yugi had not heard it for five years he knew who it belonged to at once.
"Did you?" Yugi asked as he stared down at the monument carrying his friend's name.
"Yes. I've been coming here every day ever since the funeral. I didn't think you could stay away forever", the young man said and came to stand next to Yugi. "You had to come pay your respects sooner or later."
"You've been very patient", Yugi remarked, still not looking at the other.
"I didn't only come here for you. I pay my respects too. I like being here, I can remember the good, besides, I have little else to do", he said with a sigh.
"I feel guilty", Yugi said slowly, "because I wasn't there for their funerals."
"I'm sure they'll forgive you. You are here now, aren't you?" he said with a soft smile and put down a flower on the grave. A white rose.
"Thank you, Ryou", Yugi said and looked at his old friend who was holding an additional amount of four white roses in his hands. His sign to let everyone know that he had been there. "Do you bring them roses every day?" Yugi had a hard time believing that.
Ryou shook his head. "Once a week and on special days. He must be glad you finally chose to show. I believe he's tired of having only me to visit him. His father never does, his mother only sometimes. I see Shizuka here at times though, I usually pay my respects to the others first and wait until she's gone before I come here."
"I believe that Shizuka's presence would make Jonouchi most happy, she's most important to him." Yugi looked at his friends grave, wishing he could leave something behind. "And Mai? Does she ever come?"
"I haven't seen her", he said, then frowned. "Why are you speaking English?"
Yugi chuckled. "I have spent some time in England."
"I didn't believe the rumors", Ryou said and turned away from Jonouchi's grave as he and Yugi slowly made their way to the grave directly next to Jonouchi's. "They were buried with a day between each funeral. I spent more than a week doing nothing else but attending funerals. At the time I wished I would have left, like you did. It weren't peaceful funerals, they were too many too fast after each other. We were all burned out at the end of it. The funerals were horrible, don't feel guilty for having missed them, what matters is that you are here now."
They stopped in front of Anzu's grave. Yugi was the albino grateful for his kind words and his lack of questions. He assumed that they would come eventually and he would deal with them, later. As if Ryou had heard his thoughts he put down a rose and said: "I won't ask too much, but are you going to stay?"
Yugi nodded. "I think so. The game shop … ?"
"Is silently waiting for your return. It's in good shape, even the remaining inventory, although some of it might be slightly outdated", Ryou assured him. "Are you going to open it again?"
"That was my intention", Yugi sighed and looked at the sky before moving on to the next grave. Honda's grave was well kept and a lot of flowers and incense were on it. Ryou put down his white rose. "His family comes here all the time, with the dog, although it's not allowed."
"I suppose mischief runs in the family then", Yugi said with an unconvincing smile. Ryou returned the smile nonetheless and put a hand on Yugi's shoulder. Together they moved on to the next grave.
"I don't even know him", Ryou said as he put down the flower. "Since he was in the tomb I just feel obliged to maintain his grave as much as that of the others. No one else ever comes here."
Yugi sighed. It wasn't all that surprising that no one ever visited Kaiba's grave. Although he had expected Mokuba to visit at least, but apparently not. "Mokuba?"
Ryou shrugged. "I have no idea. Kaiba Corporation was sold to Schroeder Corporation and yet Kaiba Land is still build all over the world. I don't really know, but I suppose Mokuba is somewhere in that business."
"It would make sense", Yugi said and realized just how much he had missed during the time he had been gone. Not only his year in Hogwarts, but all five years.
Before Yugi could move on to the next grave Ryou put a hand on his shoulder and stopped him from moving on. "Do you have a place to stay?"
The fact was that Yugi hadn't. He was so used to living without having a place to stay that he hadn't even given it a thought. He always spent the night somehow, it usually figured itself out. He shook his head.
"Then I'll wait outside the graveyard for you." He handed his last flower to Yugi and walked out without giving a hint of explanation. Yugi looked after him. The survivor really hadn't changed much, he was still as kind as he always had been. Exactly how kind Yugi didn't realize until his eyes fell upon the next grave. His grandfather's name was the last drop and Yugi fell to his knees, weeping like a child. He was the only relative his grandfather had left and he had not even been present at the funeral. He hung his head in shame.
"I'm so sorry grandpa", he whispered through his tears. And for once he felt like a child again, a child who really needed his grandfather's support and he felt like he had it. "Everything is chaos." Talking to the grave didn't feel the least weird, it felt good. "I became a teacher at a school for wizards and witches. Did you know Rebecca was a witch? She hated it. They are at war, a man named Voldemort tries to take over the Wizarding World and make all non-magical people slaves. The man who killed you is one of his followers, but he's in prison now. I could have killed him, I've wanted it, but in the end I couldn't do it. He killed Rebecca." New tears sprung to Yugi's eyes and there was nothing he could do about it. "It's chaos when it comes to the Shadows too. They're not gone, since Atem couldn't pass into the afterlife they weren't destroyed. The Pharaoh is still with me, he's stuck here, I feel so bad for him. The Shadow creatures are acting on their own and the Dominion of the Beasts has started to interfere too. They are both trying to get the Shadows gone forever. Its not a bad thing, but they don't have any limits. They knew Rebecca was going to die, they wanted it to happen. They told Raphael Rebecca was going to die, he was her guardian after her grandpa died, and he let it happen."
That little fact was something Yugi had a hard time comprehending. Yugi hadn't been mad at him, if Raphael chose to let her die he must have had one hell of a good reason. A reason Raphael hadn't shared with Yugi, but the Japanese hadn't pushed on either. Raphael wouldn't bulge anyway. Even though he had known, he had been devastated.
"He knows more than he told me. He is glad I didn't kill Lucius though. Glad I learned to let go of my hatred. I never realized I couldn't get rid of the Shadows as long as my hatred and Atem's was fueling them. I suppose that's why the beasts wanted Rebecca to die, it was the only thing which could make me and Atem confront our hatred. It was a gamble though, a test, we could just as easily have failed it."
Yugi was comforted in an odd way. Pouring his heart out to the person which had always been his haven, although not always equally reliable, was something he had really needed. The tears dried and although the grief after either of his friends hadn't lessened the slightest bit, it seemed more bearable. The same thing counted for his guilt and worry.
"I'm going to open the Kame Game Shop again", Yugi said with a modest smile. "Pegasus will be pleased to hear I've resurfaced, I'll have to disappoint him though. It'll be hard coming back here, but I'll manage, somehow. I ran into Ryou, he doesn't seem to be angry. I have him to thank for taking care of you for such a long time, but from now on this is something I'll do. This flower is from him, he gave it to me." He put down the white rose. "Although I suppose you already knew that. He'll have lots of questions and I can't answer most of them. Rebecca thought they had a right to know, not only Mokuba and Ryou, but all of them, I just don't have the privilege to tell." Yugi sighed. "I make it sound like a cheap excuse. I don't know what's right or wrong anymore, Grandpa."
He got no reply and it was an uncanny reminder that the thing he was talking to was a tombstone. His grandfather might still be in his heart, but he didn't let his truthful and not always easy words be heard. Yugi stood up and looked at the next grave. The name wasn't one he recognized. He turned away from the graves and started to walk towards the exit. First now he noticed that Atem had given him complete privacy and he was grateful
/You can come out now/ Yugi told his partner. He received no reply but he could feel Atem's presence.
Like he had said Ryou was waiting just outside the graveyard. He didn't say anything when he saw Yugi coming and Yugi realized his eyes must have been red from crying. He decided not to care. The sun had started its trip down and the dusk was starting to surround them.
"Come on. I don't live far from here. You can stay the night and tomorrow you can deal with the formalities." As if Ryou had felt Yugi's heavy load he gave a soft and kind smile. "Don't worry, you'll be fine. Both of you."
Yugi held back a laughter of hopelessness. Of course Ryou had known, it wasn't even a surprise. He just hoped Ryou was right, starting over felt like the hardest task he had ever been faced with.
And that is the end of it. For now.
Those of you who have reviewed a lot have already known for a while that I'll be doing a sequal. Don't ask me what it will be named or when it will be up. Should be in a week or something. Just keep a look out for it.
Well, review like you have never reviewed before.