I wake up and sit straight in one fluid movement. I look around the room, and I'm glad that it was nothing but a dream. I'm in my mansion in Domino City and the Mutt is probably running around with his friends, healthy and fine. Still I can't shake the feeling of longing to see him. I've had those dreams of him being my husband in this past life, that I still try to deny even now, for a long time now.
Right now it hurts too much to believe it to be true. I have had this feeling like a part of me has been missing since my parents died. Not because I need them; it is more like it awakened some part of me that was hidden, like I knew the feeling of loosing a loved one, one I loved even more all too well, and it hurts ever since.
The pain was never gone completely, not ever eased for long. Only Mokuba's presence could ease it a little, but for a long time I didn't know where the pain came from. Not 'til the night that I dreamed of Joey jumping off a cliff and falling into the Nile. I dreamed of pulling him out and carrying him back to the palace where I lived with my brother and Atemu. Most of the dreams afterwards left me crying when I woke up. Not because the dreams where bad, it was just bad to lose them; to wake up to a reality where everything was different.
I slowly stand up and walk into the bathroom to have a warm and relaxing shower. I like the feeling of the warm water running down my body. I like it even more since I dreamed of Joey being in a huge tub with me, right after he became mine in the world of my dreams. But that's all those are, dreams. They can't be real because Joey wasn't reborn, he wasn't mentioned at any point during our battles. I wonder why I feel this longing for the third-rate duelist anyway. Sure he is good looking, his smile is warm and affectionate, and he is wild and feisty just like he is in my dreams but he isn't exactly the same, just like I'm not exactly the same. But sometimes I think he's all new and improved, even better than he was back then.
I get out of the shower and start to dress. I still feel exhausted, the nice and warm water didn't help today, not after dreaming of Joey's death. I walk though the building and wonder what I should do next. It is Sunday and only the security and a few maids are in the house. Mokuba is living with Serenity by now; they married two years ago. The wedding was the last time I saw Joey. He was happy talking with both of his parents peacefully, which had pleased me more then I would ever admit. He ignored me though, but at least it was the first time that we didn't fight with each other. It was also the first time I saw him since graduation.
I get down to have my breakfast a little earlier then usual due to the bad dream that interrupted my sleep so early. I read the newspaper, or rather try to read it while I eat. I can't really focus and have to think of the dream. The last thing I remember was carrying the lifeless body of my husband out of Alexandria and towards a cave close by where I mummified him and buried him, but it was only a dream and nothing else.
The door bell rings but I ignore it. A maid will open it for sure and a little while later a maid approaches me timidly and says, "Yugi Muto and his husband are here to talk to you."
I give a sigh. Why did Atemu, or Yami like most people call him now, have to return? He's nothing but a nuisance, always was, always will be. And after dreaming of Joey's death I really don't feel like seeing them; I still feel the hate I felt in the dream.
"Send them away," I order the maid.
"Too late for that." I hear the annoying voice of the former Pharaoh. He must have let himself in after the maid told him to wait. I should just kill him right now, but I guess the maid would tell the truth in front of a court and I might get into trouble, at least if the judge doesn't know Atemu, if he does I'll walk free for sure.
I dismiss the maid with a small gesture of my hand, and as soon as she is out I look at Atemu with my worst death glare and ask, "What do you want from me?"
"I have a present for you," he says and I look at Yugi who has red eyes, like he already cried this morning. Part of me fears that the reason for that is that something happened to Joey, but I fight the urge to ask them. I don't want them to know that I would even care about the Mutt. I just watch Atemu while he walks closer and puts a small package in front of me.
I pick it up and unwrap it slowly, trying to look like I couldn't care less until I see what the package contains. In it is an old looking black upper arm bracelet in the shape of a dragon with a ruby as an eye. I stare at the old metal and ask, "Where did you get this?"
"I found the grave about two years after Joey's death. You were dead by then too, and I moved your mummy to Joey's since you had chosen that cave to be his tomb and didn't want to anger your spirit any further; you were mad enough as it was before you died. I left the two bracelets with you. Once I returned to Yugi, with all of my memories, Joey took me aside once and asked me if I knew where the bracelets had gone to and I knew what he was talking about. I told him where it was and he contacted Ishizu to have them sent here. He didn't want to have this one, seeing as it was yours, but he didn't believe that you would want it so he left it with me. Since Yugi had a bad dream tonight I assume that you did too. I thought it was time to give this to you. Joey has been wearing his under his shirt for years now. I don't know why you've always fought in this life, but I saw the love you once had and bet everything I have that it is still the same, and I've waited long enough for you two to figure that out on your own."
"He's been wearing it since you returned?" I ask without thinking about it. Yami has been back for 5 years now. Soon after he left he was back again, unable to be without his little Yugi. He refused to say how he did it and just said that a friend of a friend helped him. I still don't know who that friend might be, but I don't care either. All I care for is that it means that Joey was wearing it on Mokuba's wedding. He remembered everything but still ignored me, just like I ignored him. But why? In the past he said we would see each other again, and now he is wearing the bracelet and still he didn't say a word to me.
"It took about a week to get it. But, yes, ever since he's had it he wears it under his clothing as far as I know," Atemu says and I see Yugi look at me timidly.
"He kept his promise," Yugi says to me. "But what is with you now? He said to me, back in the desert, that you'd be different. So what do you feel for him now? I know that he is just waiting for a sign."
"It's none of your business," I say and glare at Yugi. I still blame them for losing Joey in my last life. "But you better tell me where I can find him."
"I don't know," Yugi says and smiles a little bit, probably hopeful that I'll go and look for Joey. "Maybe he is at his apartment that he rented a few years back, but I don't know for sure."
"Leave," I say to him and glare at them.
"Good luck," Atemu says and smiles at me before putting an arm around his small husband and they leave. I wonder where I should start the search and go to his place just to be told by a neighbor that he has been gone for a week, and that said neighbor is watching his little dog but doesn't know where Joey went to.
I call my sister-in-law, hoping that Serenity knows where her brother is, and find out that he wanted to make a holyday in Egypt and is staying at Ishizu's place. I sort of wonder what he is doing there, but then again both had the necklace at some point and he probably longed to see some places that he remembered from his dreams just like I do.
I drive to my plane and call my secretary to cancel all my appointments for the coming week.
I fly to Egypt and once I land there I rent a car and drive though the busy streets of Kiro and towards Ishizus home, but Joey isn't there. He went out the day before with a tent, insisting that he'd be fine on his own and refusing to say where he went to, but they expected him back by nightfall. I don't want to wait and try to think of a place where he might be.
I travel to the cliff above the Nile, the place I met him in the last life, remembering that it isn't too far away from Kiro; the trip can easily be made in a day if you have a car. Joey used to love that place in his former life but never told anyone but me about it, so I assume that he still wants to keep it a secret and wouldn't tell Ishizu about it. By the time I reach it I see him stand there and look out over the desert with a smile.
I walk up to him from behind, getting a feeling of deja vu. The day before the journey to save Yugi's gramps started, I did the same in that former life. He stood there and sang and it was sunset while it is just past noon now, but it still seems much too familiar. I put my arms around his waist like I did back on that day and feel him move closer to me just like he did on that day. "You know that it's pointless to jump since I'm just going to pull you out again right?" I whisper into his ear like I did so many years ago.
I see him smile one of his warm, happy, and loving smiles, and feel absolutely content for the first time in this life. "In that case I won't mind jumping. I like seeing you all wet," he answers like he once did. We both stand there in silence for a while and I wonder if I should just ask him if we should go back, but I fear that if we continue this way he might find the same end he once did. "I'm sorry that I had to leave you for so long," he adds after a moment, breaking the pattern for the first time and I'm happy he does.
"I'm sorry I didn't believe this all to be true sooner," I say and hold him close. He turns around in my arms and for the first time in thousands of years I can feel his lips seal my own again, and I hold him as tightly as I can. He's still a third-rate duelist, and I still don't understand why I long for him, but I do long for him and I love him for whatever reason that might be. I love him and I feel complete for the first time in so many years.
I feel his hand move over my body and stop where he feels the black dragon under my clothing. I move mine to touch his dragon bracelet that is hidden under his shirt and smile at him. "I missed you Joey. Don't ever do this to me again."
"I promise to try," he says. "But I just couldn't watch you getting hurt. I couldn't have lived without you."
"I doubt that I could," I say and mean every word of it. I know how I felt in those dreams, and I know that it would rip me apart all over again if he left me now just as he did all those years ago. "I can't remember what happened past your death, not yet anyway, and I don't ever want to remember because I know that I couldn't have moved on without you."
"I know," he says, looking sad. "Atemu knows it all since he regained all of his memories when he returned to us, even what happened after the big fight with Bakura. After I died you started to fight him, hating him and Yugi and blaming them for my death. He tried to help you come back to your senses, but you were too furious and one day after he told you that he would help you live on without me you said that you can never truly live without me and will find someone to fight until someone beats you. That was the day he ordered his people to kill you. He was sure that it was the only way to help you, the only way to end your pain."
"Then don't do that to me again," I whisper and wipe away the tears that started to run down his face when he said that Atemu killed me in my former life. I have to remember to thank him for that kindness. I'm sure that I would rather die than life on without Joey, and I assume that it wasn't easy for him since he wanted to help me. But then again, he probably owed me that kindness, considering that he was to blame for my suffering in the first place.
"As long as I don't have to see you die, I'll gladly do what I can," Joey says with a smile and cuddles against my chest. "But I guess I have to thank Anubis a second time for helping Atemu, after all he is my friend and helped me get back my dragon bracelet, and he also helped me get back my dragon."
I just hold Joey for a while longer, happy that I have another chance at a happy life with my Puppy, and intend to make the coming years at least as happy as the years I spent with him before his, much too early, death. And I will do what I can to make sure that time won't repeat itself, apart from the happiness we had with one another of course.
Authors note: Thanks to dancing elf, Leviathan of the Sea and redconvoy for the reviews and to everyone else who read or faved this story I hope you all enjoyed it. Also a special thanks to Twilight684 for beta reading my story and fixing my spelling mistakes.