I do not own YuGiOh
Part 3: The End of the Past
Sighing in hidden relief, Yugi tilted his head back, and inhaled a deep lungful of air. He arched his shoulders forward as he pushed his back out, moaning as it popped. His joints were officially stiff, his vision blurred from watching two 3D movies in a row. They had planned a family day, one that the kids could dictate- which lead to an over load of cotton candy, toy stores, and cartoon films. Ironically, it was the youngest kids who scheduled the day, Yusei and Mana. Yugi and Yami were perfectly happy making them happy, though the two teens were much less enthusiastic.
It was now four years after Pegasus had entered their lives, and things had certainly changed for the better. Yugi was now thirty-two years old, he was still small, but his masculine side had eventually settled in, along with a small moustache and more definition to his lean form. He was still beautiful, very attractive- Yami continuously said that he matures like wine; becoming richer and more refined each year.
Mana, their youngest daughter, was now five, and Yusei was nine. They were beautiful children, Mana had a doll and puppy obsession, and Yusei had a motorbike obsession, even though Yugi forbade him from going near one. Yusei looked so like his parents, and yet had his own swagger, he was one handsome young man.
The older two had bloomed spectacularly over the years. Atem was now a handsome fellow of nineteen, and despite his worries, he made it to Yami's height. He was the regular Casanova with the ladies, and a complete genius when it came to technology. He had accepted a role in Pegasus' company and eventually he came to resemble the man somewhat, choosing high tailored suits and briefcases instead of jeans and sneakers. Heba on the other hand, had become quite the modern warrior, specializing at a dozen types of martial arts, self-defence, and sports at age seventeen. Yugi was extremely proud of his children, grateful to Pegasus, and eternally indebted to Yami.
Their family day had gone well, besides Atem's complaints at the movies and Heba's sarcastic retorts.
It was nearing the afternoon, and Yugi felt they should be heading home; he wanted to cook a proper dinner after all the junk they'd had. Yami had gone off with the younger children to get the car, Atem and Heba were at the ATM.
The wind had picked up, showering the streets in a whirlwind of brown leaves. The neighbourhood was quiet for 4pm in the afternoon, Yugi supposed everyone was still enjoying their Saturday at a special venue.
The air was fresh and he cherished each breath. The sky was already darkening, rain was sure to follow.
Yugi rocked back on his heels, glancing up and down the street idly. There was an icy chill settling in the air, but his woolly jersey kept him from suffering the elements. He hummed, acknowledging the end of another great day, smiling instinctively.
Glancing back down to the right, he extended his smile a while longer in curtsey for an elderly man that was passing him by. The aged and greyed man looked up, his drawn face and sunken, his bones protruding through his transparent skin. There was no emotion on his face, it was a stoic mask, his brown eyes dull and dreary.
If Yugi didn't know better, he'd say the man was very ill, living in his last days. Pity and sympathy spiked, and his expression softened for the man. He felt a small twinge in is chest when the elder met his gaze, and after a few silent seconds he looked away, he didn't want to seem forward. Silence pursued, Yugi tightened his grip on himself against the cold, waiting for the man to appear on his left side.
Seconds ticked on, and he still didn't see movement in his peripheral vision. His brows twitched somewhat, and he looked ever so lightly to the left, seeing no sign of the man. He frowned, and felt the hair on the back on his neck stand simultaneously. A familiar shiver took over him; it certainly was going to be cold tonight.
The atmosphere became awkward, to the point where he dropped his gaze and slowly, very slowly, directed his attention back to the right. There was no reason to be feeling awkward, but where was the man if he hadn't continued walking, and if he had stopped, what was the reason? The thought was weird, but it was only an old man, not some thug.
Despite trying to reassure himself, Yugi glanced over his right shoulder cautiously and almost stepped away when he found the man standing behind him. Once more, they locked gazes, and this time Yugi could not help but turn around and take a step back, staring at the man with a guarded and confused expression. It irked him that this stranger was staring holes into him, it was rather rude, but he couldn't be rude to the man either, perhaps he needed help.
Neither man spoke, the only sounds in the air were those of the wind, and distant cars from around the blocks, which Yugi began to sorely wish for their company. He had watched one too many horror films, what if this man was some sort of creature, waiting to kill and eat him? Mentally, he rolled his eyes at the ludicrous thought, and recomposed himself. He drew his arms back to his body and straightened up.
The connection their eyes shared was strained and yet…veiled. Those brown eyes were so familiar yet…ancient. Yugi couldn't put his finger on it. He was not feeling particularly comfortable with some stranger staring at him, but he didn't know what to say. The man was looking at him as if trying to peer into his soul, it was unnerving and made him edgy.
Eventually he couldn't take it anymore, parting his lips reluctantly and forcing out a few words.
"…Can I help you, sir?"
All at once the old man's face swarmed with different emotions, completely adverse to his previous stoic appearance. Yugi thought that perhaps he was mentally challenged, and quickly glancing towards the shopping mall for any sign of Yami, then quickly looked back at his company. He shifted uneasily as he was studied like a puzzling object, but didn't notice the glare settling over his own face.
The expressions flashing past the man's face were incomprehensible, none too inviting, but it settled on a heavy frown of sadness. It bothered Yugi, and again he glanced around.
Showing something more than stiff expressions, the man shook his head and took a pained step forward.
His voice was raspy, aged, and hoarse. Yugi didn't recognise it, nor did he recognize the man's lined face, how did the man know his name?
He didn't know what to make of that, so he leaned away, confused and uncomfortable.
The man brought his trembling hands together, shifting side to side. He couldn't look away, he could not look away from the younger man, not even for one second. Never had he thought he would see the small male again, he had, with a heavy heart, assumed him dead. He hadn't want that for the boy, but he had never found any trace of him after he left…
Uneasiness and impatience scrambled around in Yugi's gut. "…How do you know my name?"
A sound escaped the thin papery lips, relieved at the response, and intrigued at the same time. "…You…you don't recognize me…? You look just as you did…all those many years ago. But you've grown much I see…"
Yugi was almost relieved when a chorus of coughs interrupted the frail man, but it turned to sympathy when each cough became harsher and coarser. The man clutched at his chest as he coughed his lungs out, his expression pulled in agony. It was a frightening sight, but Yugi was rooted in the spot.
Eventually the coughing died down and the man sucked in deep breathes like a starving man, and after getting his breath back, he turned his exhausted face back to the younger.
"…D-do you need to go to the hospital?"
The elder's mouth twitched on the side, almost forming a smile, and he dragged his head his from left to right. "…No dear boy…"
Yugi's eyes widened at the familiar name, his body going stiff with blurry nostalgia.
"My days are on their last…no medicine or doctor can help me now. I am incredibly grateful…that I finally have a chance to see you one last time."
No, something was not right, not right at all. The situation was becoming too awkward for his liking; the hair on the back of his neck would not soften. How did this man know him? He spoke as if they knew each other, and not in a friendly way. It wasn't right.
"…How do you know me?" he was happy with the strength he managed to muster up in his voice, but he didn't know if his face showed the same intensity. He was nervous, he was unsure, maybe even scared.
"…It's daddy, Yugi…its me."
At that moment, the world stopped, screeching to a bone-chilling halt. The scrambling in Yugi's gut intensified, maximized a thousand times as the sky and cemented ground traded places, swirling around his dizzy vision. His hands dropped to grab at his stomach, a deep tremor beginning from is core and rattling out until it surfaced his skin.
He knew there was no way it was his real father, the man wouldn't be able to even recognize him, but he sorely wished it was his real father…because if it wasn't his real father, there was only one other man that could claim to be his father.
Forcing himself to relax, Yugi used a technique Yami had taught him, and assessed his emotions before reacting in anyway.
He was scared. …No, not scared…he… he was surprised, shocked…and worried. Yes, he was worried. What did the man want from him, how had he found him? He wasn't particularly scared however, the man was old and frail, he couldn't hurt them, but his mere presence made Yugi uncomfortable. If this was the same man, he was feeling very uncomfortable. Their years together were not something Yugi cared for, he wished they'd never happened, but by now he was over them, and all he wanted was to forget them and live peacefully.
This man was a ghost…a ghost of his past…when would he rest?
"…Do you not remember daddy?"
Daddy…the word made Yugi sick.
And angry…it made him livid.
"…You are not my father."
The man blinked, leaning closer as if he hadn't heard properly, and his stoic expression returned. "…Perhaps you were a bit too young to remember-"
"I remember you just fine," Yugi snapped, his hands falling from his midsection, balling into fists, "You're the demon that ruined my childhood, my life, how can anyone forget the things you did?
Clearly, the man had not expected that. He probably expected Yugi to be that small and naïve child that he had brought him up to be.
It was silent for a few stressed moments, then the man spoke. "…I tried to help you."
"H-help? Help? You ruined my life! How the fuck do you call that help?"
Taken aback, the man stepped back, ogling in shock. Yugi breathed heavily, his fear drawing away to make space for the dormant anger welled up. He wanted so badly to punch the man's lights out, make him hurt, make him see the pain he caused, but how could he when the man was clearly defenceless?
"…What do you want?"
"… …I just…-"
"Here to taunt me? To remind me of the past? I don't want to hear it. That part of my life is well over and I want it to say that way, if you don't mind."
The pure venom dripping in his voice was enough to kill a cobra, he was mildly surprised the old man didn't keel over and die instantly. Not that he had wished that, but the dark side inside his heart would have encouraged it, had he not been such a positive person.
"No, I don't want to hear it! It's over, it's done, I-I- I… I'm done with it."
As much as he wanted to stay angry and pissed off, but his emotions always made him cry, and angry tears sprang forth.
Ripping the males out of their trembling connection a car suddenly parked just behind Yugi, who had his back to the road. He spun around, on edge, but he was comforted by the familiar maroon shade of the family car. He sighed in relief, and gave Yami a pleading look through the glass that separate them. The latter gave him a light and questioning look, not quite noticing the older man, and turned to say a few words to the children in the back before turning off the engine and stepping out.
Yugi didn't step back to allow him space, but crowded him, grabbing onto his wrist like he usually did when he was uncomfortable. Yami recognized the gesture, but it had been so long since he'd seen such a reaction. Noticing another presence, he looked up. In an automatic response to being taught manners, Yami nodded in respect to the elder. The man stared back at him, blankly and silently.
Yami's brow furrowed, and he looked back to his husband, "Yugi? Is something wrong?"
Yugi wanted to scream "YES! This is the bastard that hurt me!" but he couldn't. He didn't know what to say.
"Can I help you?"
The old man studied Yami briefly, noting the clothes, the car, and the children in the back seat. "…Are you Yugi's spouse?"
Nodding, Yami slinked an arm around Yugi's waist. "I am. And you are?"
Avoiding the question, the man gave a hum of approval, "…Yugi chose well, I am proud."
Anger struck in Yugi's glossy orbs, Yami frowned and visually begged for an explanation.
Aged eyes glanced at the car, "Are those your children?"
"…Mine and Yugi's, yes. I'm sorry, but I don't seem to know you…" he threw a hint out, but the response was not wholly satisfying.
"…I am no one… I will be nothing soon."
Crimson eyes filled with confusion, and dropped down for an answer, "Yugi?"
Yugi remained silent, staring widely and reluctantly at the man. He held tightly onto Yami, but he didn't feel any more shielded than when he was alone.
Suddenly, approaching their huddle was the two older children, Atem and Heba. Yugi whined in the back of his throat and ground his teeth together at their arrival. He did not want this confrontation to happen, even though he had discussed it with the children already. As Atem and Heba matured, the topic of Atem's father came up, and how it all started, so a few months back Yami and Yugi had sat them down and explained in all as softly as they could without scarring the kids. Atem took the information worse than Heba did, seeing as the unknown man was his father, but put it from his mind since it was all in the past.
But now…how would the poor children react?
Smiling handsomely, unaware of the mood, Atem gave a shrug, "We ready to go?"
Instantly, Yugi's protective side sprang to attention. "Get in car."
Atem frowned at the harsh tone, giving his father a quizzical expression, Heba bowing to the stranger with them, "Good evening, sir,"
As proud as Yugi was for his daughter remembering manners, he did not want her anywhere near this particular man, "G-get in the car," he stuttered.
The old looked up curiously, and ran his dull eyes over the youth. "…Yugi, are these yours too?"
"Don't speak my name!" The outburst came before he could stop it, he hadn't meant to crack in front of his kids. All eyes were on him, but he didn't have the strength to compose his features, he was much too distraught.
He looked up at Yami's shocked face- he needed to leave. "Y-Yami I want to go,"
Frowning, the elder raised a hand, "Please, just…five minutes-"
Yami had never seen Yugi speak like this to an elderly person, he was very shocked. His little partner looked extremely distressed. "Yugi, what's wrong, who is this? How do you know this man?"
"I-I don't want to talk about this now…"
"Mom who's this?" Heba asked, only to receive an angry retort from their mother.
"Just get in the car!"
"Yugi," Yami started, giving Heba a reassuring look.
"Yugi…" the old man sighed, "I will die soon, just give daddy five minutes-"
"YOU ARE NOT MY FATHER!"
Atem and Heba all but jumped back, gasping at the frantic state of their mom. Yami tightened his grip on Yugi and drew him closer, attempting to calm him down, and only then did he register the words that were spoken.
Yugi's face crumpled from rage to helplessness, and he tugged on Yami's shirt, "Y-Yami…" he just wanted to go home, he didn't want to see his foster father any longer, he didn't want the man to look at him, or his family.
Siren alarms went off all around Yami's mind, blasting out memories that he had long pushed from his mind to make place for happier thoughts. He knew Yugi had never known his real father, and he knew that he wouldn't be reacting like this to his real father. No… such reactions were prompted by memories and happening that left a huge gash in all their subconscious's. "…You…you're Yugi's foster father?"
Surprise flashed over the lined face, but a calculating look followed, "…You know who I am?"
A vicious scowl set on Yami's handsome face, the ferocity of a raging bull entering his being. "I know all about you, you disgusting excuse for a human!" It was no wonder why Yugi was so freaked out, and to see him like this after so many years of healing was infuriating. Elder or no elder, Yami was livid. He lunged out of a whim, growling angrily to get his point across. He was pleased to see the man stumble a few steps back, and felt a bunch of hands grabbing onto him before he could make it to the old man.
Yugi cried out and placed himself in front of his husband while Atem and Heba restrained him, the two in the sporting frightened expressions.
Atem grunted as he yanked his father back, scowling with impatience and nervous worry, "Whoa dad! Practice what you preach, you can't beat on an old man."
"This man is a monster! Let go of me!"
"Yami, c-calm down!"
"What's going on?" Heba cried out, glancing fearfully between he parents, tightening her grip on Yami's arm.
The old man looked away from the rabid father, and gave Heba a once-over with a smile, "…You're a pretty young lady…you look like your mother."
Yugi gasped and gaped at the audacity, and turned to face his demon, "Don't speak to her!"
"How did you find us?!" Yami growled, panting heavily in his state, giving in to his children's tugging.
"…I was simply taking a walk, I haven't known of Yugi's location for years, not since…"
"…You make me sick," Yami spat, "Sick!"
"Dad! What the hell is going on?" Atem demanded. He had never seen his father this angry in a very long time; it made him uneasy.
Yami jerked out of the grips, yanking away from Atem a little harder than he did from Heba, and snarled over his shoulder, "Get in the car!"
"Get in the fucking car!"
Yugi and Heba gasped, but Atem held his ground, "We're not children! Who is this?"
Yugi dreaded that question, he had never wanted the children to meet his foster father…never. But now that it was happening, it was inevitable, the can of worms had burst open.
Yami honestly did not know what to say. This was Yugi's choice, not his, but he still wanted to make it disappear. He looked at Yugi, who met his gaze, and gave him the chance to choose.
…He might as well get it over with, Atem was a smart boy, he'd figure it out anyway. "…A-Atem…this is your r-real father…"
Silence. Yugi's gut churned, and he looked into his children's faces, finding shock plastered, along with ebbing disgust from Atem's side. Yami was breathing easier, his attention now on their oldest child, waiting for a reaction, in which he would most likely have to restrain the kid as well.
Atem bore holes in the old man, who stared back with small tired eyes. Deep down, the elder did not expect acceptance, he knew he was going to be rejected, he knew it, he knew he deserved it. He was surprised that his time with Yugi resulted in such a handsome and imposing son, he was…happy… that he had not managed to perform that abortion.
When Atem found his voice, it was cold, and harsh, yet his face was blank, empty. "…This man? My…father?"
More anger seeped into Yami. 'Son?' he mentally scoffed, this man had no right to call Atem his son. "This is the child you tried to kill, you bastard, the child Yugi was pregnant with when he ran away!"
Yugi cried out and grabbed at his hair as such hated memories were spoken of, and dropped his gaze in defeat.
Atem's eyes widened, "…tried to kill? You didn't tell about that!" he shot Yami a glare of accusation.
"That's not an easy thing to tell someone!" Yami retorted.
The old man felt his chest begin to tighten, and he shook his head weakly, "I-I was only thinking for Yugi, he was too young for a child,"
"You should have thought of that before you did what you did! You disgust me!"
"I did what I did because Yugi was not made to be independent, I could see it in his eyes… in his personality, Yugi will always need someone to look after him…"
Yugi looked up, and for a second, he almost believed it. It was just like his youth…just like when he was a child…when he was being brainwashed.
Yami snarled at the man, giving one of his dirtiest looks possible, "Shows what you know."
The old man dropped his gaze with a silent surrender. Yugi cringed as he tried to keep strong, keep the tears at bay, but with one look at Atem it failed, and his heart tightened at the cold expression his son held.
"You're the man that started everything? You're the man that hurt mom?"
"…You…you do not resemble me much."
Atem smirked, looking just like an evil version of Yugi, "Thank God, or I might just have gone home to kill myself."
"Atem!" Yugi cried out, clutching at his shirt in panic.
"No, he needs to hear this!" Atem had spent a long time thinking about what he would say if he ever met his real father, he had grown and matured and the reaction he gave now was not one he planned. He had respect for his elders, but for this man, right now, he was wearing his business mask. "I don't care that you're my father, an elder, or that you're dying, I say good riddance."
The situation became too much, and Yugi burst into tears at his son's reaction. Heba was quick to console him, and drew him into a tight hug, staring widely at her brother.
"You deserve to burn in hell for what you've done to my mother, AND to me! I had a fucked up childhood because of you! If dad hadn't found us we'd probably be dead now, and I hope that plays in your conscious in your last damn seconds!"
Yami's own head was swirling, he didn't know whether to cry with Yugi or punch the car. Instead he reached out and grabbed onto Atem's shoulder, "Alright let's go, get in car Atem!"
"Dad, let go-"
"In the car!"
"…I am…I am sorry, Yugi, I am very sorry…"
Yami grit his teeth and momentarily let go of his son in order to point a finger at the man as he pulled Yugi to his chest. "Don't speak to him!"
"I am Yugi…please…I-I-"
Now ignoring the man, Yami sniffed sourly and grabbed Heba as well, shoving the two in his arms towards the vehicle, "Get in the car Yugi, Heba."
Tears brimmed over his beautiful amethyst eyes as he stared at his foster father, watching the man pat at his left breast, "I am…I am…"
"Yugi," Yami called, regardless of their proximity.
Forgiveness… it set all free, didn't it? If he could forgive all the other men, he had to forgive this one, right? He had told himself many times that he did, and he tried to remember each time he thought about it, but it was different this time…he was standing in the presence of the man that started it all.
All he wanted was for it to be over, and true to his word the old man did look like he was on his death bed, and in a few hours they would all be safe in their home…so why prolong this torture? The past was the past, the man was clearly suffering, each step or shift causing him pain.
Yugi hoped….in the darkest corner of his heart, the man was suffering, but he did not want to stick around and watch.
With a final gesture, Yugi nodded as a sign of his forgiveness, but soon looked away with a deep breath and closed his eyes, attempting a new start... a new beginning. No one moved for a few seconds, watching Yugi calm himself, and once he'd had enough, Yami swallowed and repeated his actions, shoving his family towards the car. "Let's go."
Heba didn't waste time and pulled her mother along, Atem taking a little longer as he took time to glare at his biological father as he walked around the car. Yami was last to retreat, ripping open the car door when he did.
"I have cancer,"
Yami stopped, and glanced over his shoulder with a raised brow.
Pulling his papery lips, the man clasped his hands together, and gave Yami a tired sigh, "…I have cancer…in…in almost every part of my body, the pain I experience every day…I cherish it… I deserve it for what I did to Yugi. Tell him that for me…it might give him peace of mind."
Yami stared at him silently, and before sliding back into the car, he gave the man his final words. "Yugi is nothing what you see him to be, he wouldn't take pleasure in your pain, and he doesn't need anyone to survive, he made it all those years without me, and that shows more strength that you could ever have."
Watching with a heavy heart, the old man stood back and watched as the furious made slid into his car, barely shutting the door before it began to move. He tried to catch Yugi's gaze as the car left, but the boy had his head turned away firmly… and he understood.
Once the car disappeared with a screech around the nearest corner, the old man closed his wrinkled eyes, and let out a deep breath, "…I am sorry, Yugi."
In the car, tears ran freely down Yugi's face, but he sat blankly, staring out into the darkening sky. All four children sat distraught at the back, Atem biting down onto his fist as he forced himself to relax.
Every few moments Yami glanced at Yugi, but only once they were at home did he address the issue. Once they entered their house Yami sent Yusei and Mana upstairs with the maids and demanded for privacy. Everyone cleared off quickly to avoid Yami's wrath, including an attempt by Atem. Yami had quite physically forced him to stay put, beginning an hour of wild emotions, and a lot of crying.
Yugi was the first to calm down while Atem was the last. The young man felt physically sick after the confrontation, and cried as he embraced his mother, mumbled apologizes, even for things that weren't his fault.
Yugi comforted his son back, reminding him that it was but a memory, it was just a ghost of their past, unable to hurt them anymore. For Atem, he was just disgusted that his own flesh and blood father had been such a monster, and terribly sorry for how he was forced into Yugi's life. Of course Yugi shot down those thoughts, telling Atem and Heba that they were his first greatest gifts, despite everything.
Yami was overwhelmed as well, but after a glass or two of wine, which he allowed his two eldest children to have because of the situation, he calmed down, and ensured that his family were ready to move on.
And they were. It was a shock, and a horrible way to end their family day, but Yugi was grateful that it was over, his worst ghost had been taken care of. He was surprised he hadn't completely freaked out, but after so many years of growing and healing, he realised that he had taken to confrontation better than he ever expected. He had always feared he'd have bowed and grovelled had he ever saw foster father again, but he hadn't. He had been more worried about his children meeting the man than anything else.
But they had gotten threw it, together, as a family, and that was when he realised, that his foster father didn't know what a real family was like… Yugi's pitied him terribly.
It was over now, and he could sleep in peace, but not before praying for his foster father's pain to end. He didn't wish pain on anyone, and even though he did want the man to suffer, he knew he didn't mean it…he wasn't evil enough for that.
He was a sweet soul, he could not hurt another person, all he could do was be himself.
And with Yami by his side, he would cope, and be the best he could be, finally burying the past, and soon, ironically, his foster father's body.
After finding out about the incident, Pegasus kept tabs on the old man with his connections, and barely a fortnight later he died. Yugi chose to attend the funeral with Yami, and surprisingly Pegasus tagged along, where he bid his last goodbyes to his foster father, his old life, his old memories, and when they left, he left…he left as nothing less than as a free man.
He was finally free.
A/N I do not like this chapter, at all, I had to force it out because of the COMPLETE lack of inspiration. I have way too little time in my life to write stories, the pressure of real life is getting to me and it's hampering my writing skills, so I apologize for everything I did wrong with this chapter.
Thank you for reading! There is a dark oneshot sequel, a Deathshipping called "Ryou and The Beast"