A/N: Wow, last chapter! More notes at the bottom for those who are interested. Enjoy!
On Monday morning, Yuugi climbed out of bed a few minutes before her alarm clock would've gone off. Quietly, so that she didn't wake Yami, she crept out of the room and into the bathroom. Sharing a room with another physical person was a new experience, one that both she and Yami were slowly adjusting to. Sugoroku had made it clear that while he didn't mind if they slept together, there would be no sleeping together under his roof. Just remembering the look on Yami's face when he heard that made Yuugi giggle as she shut the door behind her and then locked it, just in case any ex-pharaohs got any ideas about joining her.
It was the day she would be going back to school, and Yuugi now had a decision to make. She had thought very long and very hard about whether she wanted to finish out the year pretending to be a boy or whether she wanted to come out as a girl. After they'd said good-bye to Malik, she and Ryou had spent quite a while talking it over. Neither of them had come to a firm decision, but Yuugi thought she knew what Ryou was going to do. Under the circumstances, she believed that it made the most sense.
She took a shower and washed her hair, then spent a while styling it back into her customary spikes. It was somewhat ironic that her hair actually took longer to do as a boy than it did when she was a girl. She bound her breasts and pulled on the boy's uniform before examining herself in the mirror. All told, she actually didn't look like a boy. She looked like exactly what she was: a teenaged girl pretending to be a boy. But she knew from experience that it was unlikely anyone would notice unless they were presented with proof, physical or otherwise. And even then, high school students were so wrapped up in their own lives they might not even notice.
Seto had taken care of her records, so if anyone were to go looking they would know the truth. If Yuugi wanted to, she could walk into school wearing a girl's uniform and - theoretically - no one could say a word. But she had less than a year of school left, only a few months if she caught up on everything she had missed, and it didn't seem worthwhile to invite that level of criticism down on her head for a few months. It would've been different if she had to do it for years, but when she was done with high school she would stop with the disguise. If she went to university, it would be as a girl.
A familiar tickle in her mind stopped her intent examination of the mirror, and Yuugi smiled as she unlocked the door and opened it. "What, you mean Bakura hasn't taught you how to pick locks yet?" she asked playfully, gazing up into the warm eyes of her darkness.
"I'm told Jii-chan also frowns on that," Yami replied, crowding into the bathroom and closing the door behind him. His hands found their way easily to her hips, thumbs rubbing lazy circles into the fabric. "So this is what you've decided?"
"Yes. It just seems to be the easiest way. I know there are people who wouldn't be able to resist saying something, and I don't want Jou or Honda or you to get into trouble because you were defending me," she replied. "And don't say that you wouldn't because I know what you're like."
He just smirked. Though for the most part Yami had left behind the stage where he cared for nothing and no one save for Yuugi, she could still see that side of him on occasion. It didn't scare her the way that it used to: she knew that Yami only ever acted with her safety in mind, and the fact that he was willingly to fight for her was very soothing in a way. However, having said that, unleashing an enraged yami on her classmates was not the senior year that she wanted to have.
"Are you okay with this, then?" he asked, and Yuugi blinked at him in puzzled surprise. She didn't understand until he deliberately slipped his right hand behind and down, cupping her bottom. "You know that if we do anything where people can see us, they'll think we're gay. That can come with its own set of problems. If you want me to keep my distance until the end of the year -"
"No!" Yuugi said vehemently, clutching at his shoulders like he might try to pull away. She had spent so long without him that the idea of trying to hide their relationship was actually painful. "No, Yami. You're right, I didn't think of that but there is no way I'm going to pretend that I don't love you. I want to be able to kiss you whenever I want." She paused, suddenly uncertain with her choice, and looked down at the clothing that she was wearing. "Maybe it would be better to just go to school dressed as a girl. Tell everyone the truth, regardless of how they take it."
"It's whatever you want," Yami told her. "If you want to try and keep our relationship quiet, that's fine. If you want to come out as a girl, that's fine too."
Yuugi looked up into his eyes for a long time, considering her options. Either way, it was going to invite a lot of scrutiny, and it would inevitably result in a lot of insults. Was it better to get in trouble for the truth or for a lie? She could feel her stomach tightening with nerves at the idea of dressing up as a girl. "I don't even have the uniform," she said.
His smile widened. "Stay here," he said, squeezing her hip lightly and then stepping away. He opened the door and slipped out into the hallway. Yuugi waited, her curiosity mounting with every second that it took for him to return. Fortunately, it didn't take very long. Yami came back in clutching a hanger, and draped over it was a Domino High girl's uniform.
"Where did you get that?" Yuugi demanded, amazed. She reached out and touched the hem of the pink jacket, rubbing it between her fingers like she wasn't sure that it was real.
"Anzu," Yami replied, grinning. "She went to the school for me and bought two of them, one for you and one for Ryou, while we were waiting for Ryou to make up her mind. I gave one to Bakura and he took it home. I thought that you might want to have the option."
"You two..." Yuugi shook her head. "I can't believe you did that."
"Thank Anzu. She's the one who did it." Yami handed her the uniform. "You decide, Aibou. It's up to you. Whatever you want is fine by me."
She stared down at the uniform while he closed the door, her mind spinning. For a couple of minutes, she didn't do anything else. What was worse? What choice did she want to make? Did she want to hide everything with Yami? No. No, she didn't. But it would mean exposing herself as a girl, letting the whole world in on the fact that she was no longer male. After that, there really wouldn't be any going back… not that there was now. Was she ready for this? She clutched the uniform tightly to her chest and took a deep breath before setting it aside. Grimly, she reached for the buttons on her shirt.
It took less time to get undressed, and she was redressed in the girl's uniform with panties and a bra underneath in record time. Yuugi stuck her head under the sink and switched the water on, scrubbing to get rid of the gel. When her hair felt suitably clean, she rubbed it briskly with a towel to get as much water out as possible and ran a quick brush through it. It felt freeing to watch the dark curls settle down around her shoulders, and there was a smile on her face as she turned and opened the door. There was no sign of Yami, but she found the packet containing her new identity waiting for her on the kitchen table, and his glow of approval and pride surrounded her like a warm cocoon as she left.
Jou met her on the road just like he always did, though his eyebrows rose when he saw how she was dressed. "Decided to come out, then?" he asked.
"I had to do it in at least one way," Yuugi replied, pausing to sling her backpack over her shoulder. Most girls carried little briefcases to avoid wrinkling their jackets, but there were some comforts she was not prepared to do without! "You understand, don't you?"
"Of course," he said with an easy smile, turning to walk towards the school. "You gotta do what you gotta do, Yuugi. And don't worry. If anyone says anything to you, they're going to get a pounding."
That's what I'm afraid of, Yuugi didn't say. She just smiled and changed the subject to the new duel monsters cards that had recently been released, and when Honda and Anzu joined up with them she was relieved that neither of her friends seemed too surprised that she was dressed as a girl. As they got closer to the school, Yuugi started to look around expectantly. About a block away, she spotted the person she was looking for: a white-haired girl dressed in the same uniform she was wearing. Ryou was waiting for them under the shelter of a tree, holding the same style briefcase that Anzu had. When she saw them she looked relieved, and Yuugi hurried over to her.
"You changed your mind, too?" she asked as soon as they were within speaking distance.
"I had to. Bakura said he didn't want any girls moving in on me," Ryou said, rolling her eyes. "Apparently he still remembers how much Miho hit on me when I first moved here." She shrugged and smirked. "He knows I'm not really inclined towards guys, just him, so he decided that this would be the safer route. He hid all of my male clothing and this was the only thing I could find."
Yuugi had to laugh. Apparently Ryou's and Bakura's relationship was progressing quite nicely. "Do you mind?"
"Not really. I thought about it afterwards and decided that having the weight of that secret on my shoulders might not be worth it after all," Ryou answered. "I've lived with secrets for a long time, Yuugi. You don't tend to realize how much stress it puts on you and the people you care most about. And since I wasn't planning to pretend to be a boy for the rest of my life, there didn't seem to be any point to carrying through on the farce even for now." She studied Yuugi. "I have to admit I am surprised to see you like this. You were adamant about not coming out until we were done with high school."
"I was until Yami pointed out it would cause problems anyway," said Yuugi. Now that she knew Ryou had chosen to do the same, she was feeling more comfortable with her decision. "You're right, Ryou. We might as well do it now."
Ryou nodded. "I'm glad," she said, and her cheeks pinked a little. "I mean, it's easier knowing that I don't have to walk in alone. Bakura said - well, he would have come with me, but I didn't want him to be late."
"It's just as well. Wouldn't want to set a bad example on the first day," Yuugi said, knowing that it wasn't really necessary to point out that any example Bakura made would probably not be good for long regardless. She shifted her backpack. "It was good of Seto to do that."
"It makes me feel a lot better," Ryou admitted. "You must be glad for Yami, too."
"I am. He won't be so bored this way." When Yuugi approached Seto to ask about Bakura, the man had surprised her by pointing out that Mokuba had already found positions for Yami and Bakura in Kaiba Corp. It was all there in the packets of information originally given to them. Bakura would be working full time, while Yami would be at Kaiba Corp for half days so that he could help Sugoroku in the afternoon when it became busier with customers. She had tried to profess her thanks, but Seto had waved her off. The only thing he wanted, apparently, was the endorsement of the Game 'King and Queen' on Kaiba Corp's newest technology and another duel with Yami. She had agreed, figuring it was the least that they could do. Seto's help had been invaluable and judging by the faint flush on his face after Yuugi left, she'd gotten that through to him.
Almost as one, she and Ryou both looked in the direction of the high school. It was close, and when they stepped through those doors Yuugi was keenly aware of the fact that everything was going to change. But all she had to do to take care of most of her fears was remember how utterly miserable she had been the last time she was there, when she'd been missing Yami so much that it was a physical ache in her chest. Now she had everything she needed, and she thought she could handle just about anything with Yami at her side.
\Corny,\ Yami remarked.
She started at the unexpected sound of his voice, and then grinned. /Stop paying attention to me and listen to your mentor,/ she scolded, knowing that he was completely ignoring the man who had been sent to show them around.
Yami just snorted but the connection between them went dull, indicated that he was obeying. Yuugi looked at Ryou. "Ready?"
Ryou smiled, her cheeks a little flushed. From the glaze in her eyes, Yuugi would bet she had just been having a similar conversation with Bakura. "Yup," she said, "let's do this."
A/N: I remain, to this day, blown away by the reception to this story. When it was initially suggested to me that I write a gender swap story, I wasn't keen on the idea. Much to my surprise, I actually enjoyed writing it and exploring a different side to the characters. I know that some people will be disappointed that the story ends here, but I've told what I came here to tell: the story of Yami's and Bakura's return, and what Yuugi and Ryou had to do for that to happen. The rest, you can use your imagination.
For all those who may be interested, in the next month or so I plan to begin writing a new Yugioh story that will feature fem!Yuugi, fem!Ryou, fem!Malik and possibly fem!Jou. It will be an AU, titled Angel Undercover, and the summary is as follows: "In a world where everyone has a partner monster, Yuugi, Malik, and Ryou are abnormal. Creatureless, they walk alone. Even solving the Puzzle and receiving the Rod or Ring doesn't help. After all, Yuugi can't be the pharaoh's light… that's no job for a girl." If you'd like to know when this story will be posted, I suggest you subscribe to me.
One last time now… please review!