"I want you to see something…"
You followed Yami through the garden. You had passed from the land of the living, a bit early for your time. Actually, you weren't supposed to die for a good long time but you were hit by a drunk driver, so it goes. You were glad that you were in Afterlife. Perhaps this was even for good and as happy as you were to be reunited with the Pharaoh, you would still miss those who were still living. Yugi took your death particularly hard. You were his cousin after all and you had died pushing him out of the way of the car. You didn't even make it until the ambulance arrived at the scene. You had passed by the time help arrived. The paparazzi had a field day with the photos of Yugi Mouto, struck by agony of his lost family member until Kaiba stepped in and did something about it. But Yugi prayed for you to reunite with your closest friend, knowing that now you had nothing to lose if you finally confessed how much you cared about him.
"What do you want to show me?" You asked.
"Close your eyes."
You narrowed your eyes. Had anyone else asked you would have refused outright but slowly, granted, hesitantly, you closed your eyes. You heard a strange noise glanced up just in time to see something brown with talons streaking directly towards your face. You jolted and immediately grabbed Yami's arm. He laughed richly, seeming to enjoy the fact that you were clinging to him out of your fear but you were just all that closer to him at that moment. You had a hand pressed to your heart and attempted to keep your breath from coming in short gasps as your eyes settled on the offending creature. The creature was about the size of a small beach ball, but the vast amount of chocolate-colored fur made him appear larger. Large, dark eyes peered out in wonder, and four small, green feet waved playfully as the creature bobbed about in midair.
It was Kuriboh.
"It's just you…"
Kuriboh's only response was to tilt his head in the opposite direction and release another soft, innocent, and utterly adorable coo. He looked so pathetic, with his eyes silently pleading with you to pet him, that you felt a twinge of sympathy for him course through you. Wide, unblinking golden eyes surveyed your closely, the expression held within them completely unreadable. It didn't matter. A round body tilted quizzically to the other side as a soft coo emitted from the creature. You had to bite your lip to prevent from sighing along with him. He was absolutely adorable. It took a lot of energy not to go and just hug him tightly in her arms. Slowly he hovered closer and closer. The urge in your chest grew as you fought not to hug the creature. Yami watched you with a smile on his face, knowing your dilemma.
"This is my true Ka…" Yami told you.
"You can't be serious," you said in astonishment, "But you're you! You have to have something more…"
As you trailed off, he wiggled his feet feebly and gave a forlorn coo as a shiver raked through his small body. Kuriboh's head tilted to the side a little more for every word you said. You wrinkled your nose as you clung to the Pharaoh at your side. …A ball of fluff should not look that damn adorable… You grimaced, not even daring to look at Yami's smug expression because he knew your resolve was breaking as you watched it. Kuriboh's wide, sweet, and vulnerable eyes never broke contact with your face except for when he closed his eyes cutely as he cooed. Was that even legal? You doubted that even Mai wouldn't have found Kuriboh cute. If Téa had been there, she would have already succumbed to the charm and wide eyes of the fluffy little duel monster.
"Oh, for the love of… C'mere…"
With a triumphant cry, Kuriboh hopped over to you and plopped into your lap, rotating so that he could look up at you with an adoring gaze. He did what he knew to do best and nuzzled the your stomach affectionately, reminding you of a cat, a fluffy cat with not tails, no ears, no sign of a body that could attack and had sharp claws that were extended at all times. Yes, he was very much like a cat. No, Kuriboh may have acted like a cat but he had the mentality of a dog – loyal, brave, caring and simply adorable. You had just reached down to scratch his downy head despite yourself. He really was so darn cute like that.
"Yeah, well, don't get too comfy…" you murmured.
Yami laughed at you, because you were still trying to be cool and tough in front of him, despite the fact he knew you loved the small creature almost instantly. The minor heart attack you had when you first saw the creature did not count. You had no idea things like that could be done in the Afterlife. Your cheeks turned red, flushed from embarrassment. Quickly you looked away, brushing your hair behind your ear as you tried your best not to smile or laugh. Yami knew you better. He knew you were contented. The sparkle in your eye gave it away, as did the twitch in the corner of your lips or the way you sat a little straighter or numerous of other things that he was keyed in on. As the King laughed you glowered at him, promising him death for making fun of you, but he really wasn't and you knew that just as well as he knew you.
Kuriboh gave a satisfied coo before settling against your stomach. However, your earlier sense of peace soon returned to you, increased by the soothing feeling of running your fingers across his velvety fur and the soft noises of contentment he would emit every so often. However, things were different for Yami. Sitting next to you was torture, and even as he tried for once to focus on what you were doing for Kuriboh, he was hyper aware of every one of your movements. The way you kept adjusting your hair, the soft way you cleared your throat, the way you shifted your legs, the way you gently pet Kuriboh — everything. No, he really couldn't let it go. Somehow, he had to tell you. At his side, he could see out of the corner of his eye that you had placed your free hand on the bench. Yami watched the one that was closest to him intently and swallowed the lump in his throat. This feeling of fear and helplessness was actually so teenage girl like that it was frankly embarrassing.
But Yami was tired of being stuck in limbo, knowing that the two of you could have more but not doing anything about it. Yami slowly placed his hands on the bench, drumming them against the surface, then he reached a trembling hand to take your hand in his, pulling it off the bench to dangle at your side. Yami looked away at the sound of Mana running through the gardens, being chased by Mahado, and he bowed his head to obscure his face behind his bangs. His cheeks were on fire, and it was only exacerbated knowing that you were looking at him. Yami waited for the explosion — for you to yell and call him an idiot, and for his feelings to be rejected. It never came. Instead, after several excruciating moments, you slowly turned your hand, threading your fingers. Yami looked up in surprise to see that you had your bowed as well, with your cheeks a bright red. The King couldn't help but smile then, a silly sort of lopsided smile, as he looked back at the table and gently squeezed the hand in his.
Actions spoke louder than words, after all.