I know I said a song fic, but as I worked on it, it grew less and less like the song. Anyway, here it is! It's not vewry Christmas-y. It's more that it's set on Christmas Eve. Merry Christmas! I own nothing!


Flame

Snow fell from the night sky above. Twinkling stars could be seen every so often where there was a break in the dark grey cloud cover. The snow itself sparkled like the stars as it dusted and covered the quiet town of Domino City in sheets and blankets. A chill ran in the air that caused the few people that were out and about to sheath themselves in layers of thick coats, fluffy scarves, wool mittens, and colorful hats.

Happiness and merriment buzzed in the air excitedly as people bustled about to do their last minute Christmas preparations. However, as one slender girl wandered around the brightly decorated and festive town, the happiness and merriment did not touch her. She felt numb, both from the cold and the thoughts that buzzed around in her mind.

Mazaki Anzu wandered about the streets of Domino City silently. People wished her the typical greetings, but she merely nodded, her face blank. She had lost track of the time and now had no idea how long she had been out in the cold and snow. She figured it did not matter now as she would wake up in the morning –Christmas morning- with a cold or the flu. She gave a small laugh as she thought of how perfect that would be. She was already down and being sick would just be the perfect way to express it.

She rubbed her pink, fleece, gloved hands together, trying to create some kind of friction. When she did not feel any warmth from it, her hands slowly lowered back down to her sides. She sighed softly, her breath forming before her lips in a small, white cloud. It dissipated as she walked forward. She noticed that she was nearing the bus stop that was about half a mile from the Kame Game Shop. She blinked, startled. Of course she had subconsciously been walking towards the Game Shop. Towards him.

Frustrated with herself for wanting to go to Atem for comfort annoyed her. He was why she was so down. She plopped herself down on the bus stop bench and crossed her arms over her chest and huffed, another cloud formed.

She knew she was not being fair to Atem. Blaming him for all of her troubles. It was not him. It was the situation. Ever since they had returned from Egypt after Atem had decided to stay, things had been…different between her and Atem. The group had easily accepted that he now had his own body and Atem attended school with them as "Yuugi's long lost twin."

However, their senior year of high school was quickly coming to an end. She had been accepted into a ballet school in New York. Jounouchi and Honda each had their own plans after school. And Yuugi and Atem planned to stay and help Gramps in the shop and uphold their gaming tittles.

Life was no longer about fun and games. Since they had missed so much school being away either saving the world or dueling, they had mountains of tests and work to make up. Practicing and hanging out had suddenly became study sessions. Laughter was barely heard. It was mostly, "Hey, did you get that trig problem?"

Anzu's hand fisted in her lap. She missed the old times…A tear dropped from her eye…It was Christmas Eve and she was alone without her friends. Why had life changed so drastically?

Before, Christmas had always been a special time for her. She loved Christmas. It was the best time of the year to express her feelings of friendship towards everyone and no one gave her odd looks or rolled their eyes like they typically did when she began talking about friendship. Friendship and love is what fuelled Christmas, in her opinion, and others seemed to agree with her.

However, this year because she felt so down in the days counting down to December, the holidays had seemed more like another head ache added to her pounding migraine. She was over all of the cheerfulness. She was able to focus on her midterms and had passed everything with flying colors, but once they were over and she had nothing else to focus on, all she saw was everyone else having a great time. And for the life of her, she just could not seem to join in. Jounouchi and Honda were too busy thinking about the actually act of getting gifts and Yuugi was working overtime in the shop. And Atem…well, he…She avoided him like the plague, no Egyptian pun intended.

She looked up when she heard snow crunching behind her. A blush heated her face at seeing the former Pharaoh heading towards the game shop. His crimson eyes were locked on the snowy ground before him, his hands were shoved into the pockets of his leather pants. Anzu's brows furrowed in concern when she realized he was not wearing a jacket, simply his leather pants and black muscle shirt.

Forgetting her former depression as her instincts to care for her friend –and love- over took her, she leapt up and rushed to him. He looked up, startled when she stopped before him and blocked him.

"Anzu…" He murmured in his alluring voice, his eyes widened in shock.

She looked him in the eyes with a berating stare. "Atem, you're going to catch your death out here."

Atem's eyes flickered over her attire, a white puffy coat, thick denim jeans, and matching pink gloves, hat, and scarf, before looking briefly over his own lack of weather appropriate clothing. He averted her gaze with half lidded eyes. "Oh…" He murmured as if it was nothing to be bothered with.

Anzu huffed and grabbed his wrist and the Pharaoh jumped at her touch. She led him to the shop. Outside the door, Atem quickly pulled out his key, unlocked it, and the duo entered. More familiar with the darkness of the shop than Anzu, Atem gently removed his wrist from her hand and grasped her hand gently. Anzu blushed lightly as their fingers slowly intertwined.

Atem carefully lead her through the shop, to and up the staircase, until they stood in the living area's living room. Atem released her hand and it immediately grew cold and itched for the return of his. Anzu bit her lip softly and looked away from where Atem ghosted in the near darkness of the room, the only light being the flashing colorful lights from the small tree in the corner.

There was a soft click and then bright light filled the room. Anzu blinked before looking up to where Atem was against the wall, his hand still lingering over the switch. Anzu noticed that his shoulders were tense, the muscles in his back and biceps standing out. She slowly moved towards him, her hand reaching out to lightly touch his arm.

"Don't." He commanded lowly.

Anzu's azure eyes widened and her hand retracted, her arm moving to curl around her waist. "Atem…" She thought she saw his eyes close.

"Please don't call me that name…" He whispered.

Anzu moved closer to him. She wrapped her arms around his toned waist and hugged him close. "What's wrong…Yami?"

At the mention of his assumed name, the Pharaoh's shoulders relaxed slightly. She heard him sigh softly, felt the sigh move throughout his body as she held him close. "Everything's different now…"

Anzu smiled softly. "Well, of course it is. Yuugi and Gramps went to go visit Yuugi's aunt for the night. And Jounouchi is with Shizuka. And Honda's probably at a Christmas partying trying to get under the mistletoe with Miho. It's just the two of us; of course everything's different right now." She felt her face grow warm. What she had said finally registered…They were alone…They were hardly ever alone…Especially when he had his own body…

Atem turned his head to look down at the dancer. "The lack of companionship from our friends is not what makes everything different now, Anzu. It's you."

Startled, Anzu broke her embrace and stumbled a step back. "What?"

Atem turned to fully look at her, the many layers of his crimson eyes swirling as he stared down into her sapphire eyes. "Anzu, are you…sad that I stayed in this time?"

Anzu blinked in surprise, her tone colored by it as she replied. "No. Of course not. Why would you think that?"

The Pharaoh looked away from her, averting her gaze. "You have been avoiding me…and our friends. I thought that perhaps you had wanted me to leave after I lost the duel with Yuugi. You're no longer cheerful and spirited," he looked back at her and raised his hand to cup her cheek, his fingers tangling slightly in her chestnut hair. "The light in your eyes has dulled…I've almost forgotten how beautiful it is." He murmured.

Anzu leaned into his hand, her eyes half lidded. "I'm sorry, Yami…I just feel a little down."

Atem pulled her closer, his other arm wrapping around her waist tightly. He tilted her face back slightly. When he spoke, his lips brushed against her soft, pink ones. "Why?" He whispered huskily.

"Our friends are leaving…You…I…There's no point in getting closer when I'm about to leave for America. Why go through the heartache? I'm just…starting the separation now, so that it'll hurt less later." She finally admitted in a low whisper not only to Atem, but to herself.

Atem pulled back so that he could look into her eyes. "And thus, you are torturing yourself by sitting alone on a bench on Christmas Eve. You're torturing yourself more so by dwelling in those thoughts."

Anzu blinked her eyes slowly. "You were walking alone…You know what they saw about the pot and the kettle. What thoughts are you dwelling in, Pharaoh?"

His garnet eyes searched hers for a moment, as if the answer were hiding in those sapphire like orbs. "You. I was thinking about you."

Shock rippled through her body. She did not understand why he would be thinking about her…while she had been thinking about him. "Why?"

Atem sighed. "Before we went to the past, you were always so…positive. You were like a flickering candle in every hopeless looking situation. You allowed me to see that there was a way through everything.

"However, once we returned, your flame went out. Before, it would burn brightest during this holiday, now it seems that not even the smoke remains that signals that the wick is still warm. It's as if you are frozen. Like you have been captured by some sort of black hole that is stealing your spirit.

"And not only your spirit is being stolen. The others are also gloomy. I myself feel this…" He closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. "Like a piece of myself is missing." He opened his eyes and looked down at her. "Anzu, surely you can allow us to be with you until you have to leave this summer?"

Anzu looked away from his pleading eyes. "Atem…Things are different now…We're not the same people we were before Egypt…"

Atem was silent for a moment. She glanced back up at him with her eyes and looked away guiltily from his expressionless face. "Maybe I should just go…"

His hold on her tightened. Their eyes clashed once more. "You're right," he murmured. "We aren't the same people. We're better people now. I, for one, have learned that it is alright to admit defeat and what is truly important in life."

Anzu rolled her lips and pursed them slightly. "I think we all knew that friendship was important before we ever left here." Her eyes darted to the tree in the corner. "Oh, I left my gift for you at my house." She blurted, trying to change the topic.

She gasped quietly when she felt his hand move up to her cheek once more. "Material objects don't matter, Anzu. And, yes, friendship is quite important, but what I learned was almost better than friendship."

She furrowed her brows. "What's better than friendship?"

He smirked and for a moment, Anzu thought it was back in the days when they had first met. When Atem had just been Yami, a spirit without a past, without a future, that had a love for games and a strong sense of righteousness. And then those same lips pressed against her own. At first, he was slow, allowing her to register what was happening. Though, once she returned his kiss, throwing her arms around his neck and pulling him closer, his kiss roughened. His nimble fingers worked themselves into her hair and made tangles of their own; her hat fell to the floor, forgotten.

Anzu could not think coherently. All of her thoughts were centered on Atem. The way his lips felt warm and silky. The gentle massaging of his fingers on her scalp. His puzzle pressed against her stomach. She was pretty sure that he could hear her heart beating as it was threatening to fly from her chest.

Slowly, Atem pulled away, however, their lips remained within brushing distance of each other's, and they did brush with ever pant. Anzu gazed up at Atem through half lidded eyes.

"Has your flame returned?" Atem whispered.

Anzu smirked at him, similar to the way he had earlier. She reached behind him and clicked off the switch, casting them in the flickering warmth of the tree lights once more. "Actually, I do feel quite warm."

Atem returned her playful smirk. He gently yanked on her scarf, allowing the pink material to fall to the ground beside her hat. "How about a little game, my precious Anzu?"

"Name it."

He cocked a brow. "Poker."

She shrugged off her coat. "You're on."


End. I'm not very proud of this ending, actually. :/ Well...I hope I didn't do too bad of a job...

~MutantEnemy6789