I LIVE ONCE MORE. Thanks to everybody for being patient, I don't really deserve it haha.

BTW, I've decided to do away with the "POV switches," and instead to let the writing indicate who s talking, thinking and feeling. Hopefully it's a good choice... Also, this chapter has Yami and Yuugi mentioning "Visual Kei." For those who don't know, Visual Kei is a Japanese genre of rock music characterized by its unique style of dress and striking hair and makeup designs. While Yami and Yuugi's hair is naturally tricolored and wild, they get their image directly from Visual Kei, not goth, not emo, or anything like that. Thank X Japan for the godly image of Yami in leather pants *_*

Feel free to leave some comments~

Domino City, Japan. Intersection of 4th and 5th street, Yami's car

"I-I..."

Yuugi's heart was on a rampage today. It skipped and pounded, speeding up more and more it seemed as the day went on.

This, however...

This was another level.

He...he LIKES me?... Yuugi thought as he stumbled over his words, Yami meanwhile waiting quietly for him to say something as the stoplight turned green, traffic moving once more.

Yuugi was elated. He was ecstatic. He was excited and flattered and overjoyed and...

Conflicted.

He says he's been crushing on me...For just over ten YEARS...? He thought, uncertainty tumultuously swirling around in the pit of his stomach. Unfortunately, years of rejection, bullying and isolation by his peers had taught him how cruel his classmates could be, as well as dealing a harsh blow to his confidence.

Why me..? Why, out of everyone in the city, no in the country...why would he choose me? He could just...could just take his pick from anybody? What if...What if he still wants to just lead me on...? No!..No, Yami would never too that, he's too...

The more he thought, the worse he felt, his emotions playing on his face, painting a clear picture to Yami from the passenger seat. He had made Yuugi uncomfortable with his confession. He'd blown it! Shit...

Just as he had been about to say something, to play off his statement as a joke, to try and take it back, to say anything to make Yuugi comfortable around him again...Yuugi spoke.

"..kind..." Yuugi said.

Yami stared for just a second, not sure he heard right. He had to remind himself to keep his eyes on the road as Yuugi kept talking. Turning his head to face Yami once more, Yuugi smiled.

"You're too kind to be leading me on. I was...I worried that maybe this could've been like every other "confession" I'd gotten before. I'd get set up and knocked down, just so someone could have something to laugh about. But..."

Yuugi looked forward, out of the windshield, as if he was collecting his thoughts, before he looked back at his scarlet-eyed suitor, and smiled again.

"But you're too kind for that. You're just not the kind of person who would do that."

Yami's eyes went wide. Kind...? He thought. He had been called a lot of things before. Cool, handsome, hot, sexy, dark, or from a lot of the guys in the school, still cool, but strong, too smart, competition, and a lot of other things as well. But kind...that was new. And nice, if the feeling he had that moment was anything to go by, a small smile gracing his features.

Yuugi's voice broke him out of his reverie.

"It scares me," Yuugi said, and Yami's heart sank for a moment. Did Yuugi not return any feelings at all? None whatsoever?

"But...even if it's scary...i do like you, Yami. I really do. I mean..I-I don't know if you were looking for a relationship of anything, but...but I'd certainly be happy." Yuugi finished with, his cheeks flaming a bright cherry red, his violet eyes diverted, the very picture of shyness and timidity.

Yami, on the other hand, nearly crashed into a telephone pole.

He had honestly never pictured himself as the "fluttery" type, but his heart and head had other plans upon hearing Yuugi's admission. He quickly collected his thoughts as he parked outside of a row of shops in the middle of the Shopping District, a bit relieved that they'd reached their destination with such impeccable timing.

As both boys climbed out of the car, Yami allowed himself a smile. It hadn't exactly been a confession of undying, passionate love, but...he had a chance. A really, really good chance. Yuugi liked him; that meant that finally, FINALLY, after ten long years of distant admiration and loving from afar, Yami could actually start making Yuugi his!

"Yami...you're grinning." Yuugi said, having quietly rounded the car, standing by Yami. And it was true, as his thoughts had meandered, Yami's small smile had bloomed into a full blown grin, a far bigger smile than he'd worn in quite a long time. Blinking a bit, Yami chuckled as Yuugi's high tenor giggling filled the air as well.

"I'm jealous, even when you grin, you manage to look cool," Yuugi smiled, his cheeks a bit pink. This made Yami smile anew: Yuugi was being a bit more forward with him. It was just a bit, but it was certaintly progress from nervous stuttering. He was relieved his amethyst-eyed doppelganger was becoming more comfortable, at least around him.

"No, Yuugi, you've got a better smile than me. Cool's not as good as beautiful." Yami countered smoothly, Yuugi's pink blush predictably turned a fiercer shade of red, though the smile didn't leave his face.

As the two walked, however, Yuugi faltered a bit, not looking unhappy, but instead embarrassed. Yami raised an eyebrow, wondering what was bothering the younger male. As he was about to ask, Yuugi had gathered enough confidence to state the problem without prompting.

"U-um...Yami, I..." Yuugi swallowed, looking away for a moment as Yami looked at him curiously. "I don't..really..know how to be in a relationship.." Yuugi's voice trailed off, getting quieter with each word.

Yami blinked, then smiled, laughing a bit, reminded again that Yuugi could be quite adorable without trying to be.

"Yuugi, that's something you learn through experience. We'll go slowly and steadily, because the truth is, true, long lasting, happy relationship is built over time, not formed in an instant. Though sometimes an instant is enough, if those romance novels you like are anything to go by." Yami said, and Yuugi's smile returned as he laughed, and felt his worries lift once again.

Yami really was good at that.

Half an hour later found the companions in a clothing store that was...interesting, Yuugi felt. He certainly had'nt thought of wearing clothing like this before, but it wasn't bad clothing. He kind of liked it, actually. Looking around at all of the shelves and racks, Yuugi looked a bit lost, while Yami seemed to know exactly where he was going.

Picking up a few pairs of black leather pants, Yami was a bit surprised. There must have been a new shipment recently, there usually weren't this many pairs left. A lot of the time because Yami bought them all. He smiled at the small victory, casting a friendly smirk over his shoulder at Yuugi.

"How about you try some of these?" He proposed, holding up one of the leather trousers. Yuugi went from pale to pink in record time, partly from the image of himself in those kind of pants, and partly from the image of Yami in those kind of pants. Normally he would have politely declined, but...He kinda liked them. Plus, he really didn't want to disappoint Yami, and Jii-chan had always told him to try new things...

"Ok," Yuugi agreed, taking the pair that Yami held out to him. Before he could go to try them on, Yami gave him another kind of pants, "PVC," Yami had called them. According to Yami, PVC suited Yuugi, though he didn't know why. The PVC pants were shiny, almost like rubber, but still looked like leather, the same shade of black as the leather ones.

It was only on the way to the dressing room that Yuugi realized he hadn't told Yami his pants size, yet the garments of clothing he'd handed Yuugi were a perfect fit.

He did say he likes leather a lot...I guess he's got the eyes of a professional! The thought brought yet another smiled to Yuugi's face, and as he looked at his reflection in the mirror, he found that he very much liked the clothing Yami had picked for him. Very much, indeed.

"Yuugi, come out so I can take a look. Do they fit alright?" Yami's voice carried over the stall, and Yuugi unlocked the door. As he stepped out, he was nervous, though being around Yami was proving to be quite easy, and rather soothing to the younger of the two. Upon seeing Yami, Yuugi feared the pants he'd put on may not end up "fitting so well" anymore, as the crimson-eyed sophomore had changed as well, it seemed.

Tight leather pants, the same kind Yuugi wore at that moment, clung to Yami's well-formed legs, with thee leather belts criss-crossing his waist, the same leather boots on his feet that he wore with his school uniform.

A sleeveless black shirt covered his torso, while several leather bracelets and silver bangles adorned his wrists, a choker around his neck completing the ensemble. His tanned skin, tricolored hair, and crimson eyes made him look like an intense, dark pharaoh of desire.

"A perfect fit," Yami said, ending Yugi's typhoon of thoughts.

Perfect doesn't seem to be the right word...Those were made for him. Yami thought. Bringing Yuugi to this store specifically was proving to be a great decision.

"Y-you think so?" Yuugi asked, looking down at himself again, unable to bring himself to disagree. Yami smirked.

"I know so. What about the PVC's, did they fit the same way?" he asked, hoping to the gods that they did. The amethyst-eyed boy nodded, the shiny black pants folded over his arm.

"Exactly the same. I kinda like them, they're really cool. Is this a Visual Kei store? These clothes are the kind I've seen X Japan in." Yuugi asked, thinking back to his and Yamis music conversation, in which they'd discovered that they'd both had the same favorite band: the legendary X Japan, founders of the Visual Kei movement, and the biggest name in Japanese rock history.

Yami smiled again, giving an enthusiastic nod. "Not just X, there's a lot of other band-designed clothing here, too. Want to take a look around?"

Yuugi couldn't help but comply.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – -

The two boys spent another hour and a half in the store, half of the time dedicated to looking at all of the clothes they could, from shirts to shoes, and the other half spent as Yuugi tried to forbid Yami from buying him anything. The crimson-eyed young man wasn't hearing any of it. Their shopping spree ended with Yami carrying 5 bags, 2 for himself, and 3 for Yuugi, much to the violet-eyed boy's guilt, but flattered, frustration. Visual Kei clothing was expensive, and while Yami hadn't let him see the receipt, Yuugi was positive that Yami had spent far too much money on him.

"Is there anything else you wanted to check out?" Yami asked, his hands in his pockets, bags looped around his arms.

"Nonono that's enough money spent on me for a whole year, let alone one day." Yuugi refused. As Yami was about to disagree, Yuugi had an idea.

Turning to face Yami, a big smile on his face and his eyes sparkling, he asked,

"Do you want to go to the arcade? They just got some new games in, according to Kaiba kun."

While Yami was curious as to how Yuugi knew the brunette junior, as Seto Kaiba rarely talked to anyone at all, he was greatly excited. Another discovery from their earlier talks, the fact that they both loved games, and the same games at that, gave light to the fact that both equally loved video games, as well.

"I'd love to, if you're up to some competition." He said, with a challenging but friendly smile. Yuugi grinned, but with a spark of determination in his eye.

"You're on," he said. "But I'm paying this time."

Yami argued all the way to the Gaming Center.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Pulling up into the arcade's parking lot, leaving the bags in the back of the car, the two companions in matching leather pants stepped into the arcade looking like warriors walking to the battlefield. Yami's dramatic, intense eyes had become even sharper, the confident smirk on his face back full force. More shocking, however, was Yuugi.

Normally timid and out of the way, the smaller male had an air of comfort around him, his shyness replaced by a spark of excitement that danced on his features.

Yami could have stared at this sight for hours, but Yuugi quickly found the first game he wanted to challenge Yami with: Racing. Both young men were astoundingly good at racing games, each the champion of their own social circles. It was because of this that both sat with confidence, situating their feet on the pedals and their hands on the wheel.

5 rounds later had Yuugi standing as the victor with 3 wins and two losses. Yami was dumbfounded, but also impressed. He hadn't lost that game in years. But the next game they chose held no chance of failure for the crimson- eyed sophomore:

Tekken.

Specifically, Tekken Tag Tournament 2, a recent arcade release, though Yami had been playing Tekken all his life. Taking their places at the control panels, Yami and Yugi picked out their teams, Yami deciding on his usual team of Forrest Law and Jin Kazama, while Yuugi stuck with his favorite team of Hwoarang and Miguel.

Yami was shocked. Yes, he'd won, there was no doubt about that, but it had been quite a close match. The two had quickly tied of the score, and the last fight had lasted all the way until both had only a centimeter of life in their HP gauge. Puling a combo that made Yuugi's eyes go wide, Yami finished the fight victoriously. Yuugi was an even better gamer than he'd thought, apparently. And he hadn't even played him in any sort of tabletop/board/dice/card game yet, which had turned out to be the specialty of both boys. The thought made Yami smile.

Yuugi was truly remarkable.

After many more games, the duo had decided to wrap things up with a quick match of air hockey, the only non-video game in the whole arcade. Just as with racing, both of them were sure that they could not be beaten.

Starting off with the serve, Yuugi sent the puck gliding with a surprising amount of speed, his small arms belying a latent grace. The metal disc chimed off of the metal sides of the table, and a satisfying sound rattled through the air as the puck landed soundly in Yami's goal. Awestruck for what must have been the tenth time that day, Yami took the puck back out from the receptacle, placing it on the table, taking some time to exchange some banter with Yuugi.

"Impressive shot," The taller of the two said, scarlet eyes glimmering with excitement, but also with what Yuugi could have sworn was the adoration he now knew Yami held for him. Blushing a bit, the amethyst-eyed boy smiled and teased,

"I thought you were undefeated, Yami. Don't make it too easy on me," with his own features dancing with the same...something in Yami's expression. Yuugi wasn't ready to call it love yet, but if liking someone, liking someone a lot, more than he knew he could, loving the time he spent with him and wanting to impress him while simultaneously feeling that there was no need to try and impress Yami at all could be shown on one's face, Yuugi was certain that such was the expression he wore at that moment.

-CLUNK!-

Yuugi looked down, then back at Yami's hands, then down again. Faster than Yuugi could have blinked, Yami had turned the tables back at Yuugi, the puck now in the shorter boy's goal. As he picked up the pick and placed it back on the table, he looked up at Yami again, expecting to see a competitive glare or a taunting glance. Instead, what he saw made him feel butterflies in his stomach and heat rising to his face for the hundredth time that day: Yami had a sweet and caring, kind and patient...loving visage on his face, and while a triumphant smirk was firmly in place on Yami's graceful features, no malice whatsoever came from him, replaced instead by what could only have been described as...love?

Well he HAD said he's "had his eyes on me" for ten YEARS now...maybe it really is love...

His confused thoughts and feelings were interrupted as Yami quipped,

"Come on now, don't take all day!" amusement heavy in the air, lighting up the atmosphere of the whole arcade as far as Yuugi was concerned. Grinning, he got ready to strike back.

Oh, it was SO on.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – - – – – – – – – - – – - -

The game was tied once again, 6 to 6, and both boys could feel their adrenaline filled heartbeat, hearing the pounding in their ears. Both were smiling wide smiles, loving every second of the head-to-head game.

He's so GOOD! Both thought at the same time as Yuugi set up to serve for the last time. Hitting the puck with the same speed he'd shown throughout the entire game, Yuugi set the last round into motion. The puck was a blur, going back and forth, back and forth, creating a melody of metal against metal as it ricocheted around the hockey table. Suddenly, however, the "clang" that both were expecting was replaced by a "twhack," and a high gasp ripped from Yuugi's throat as the younger boy gripped his hand to his chest. He'd brought his fingers too far down the paddle and the metal puck had smashed into his fingertips.

Yami's eyes went wide and he was around the table in less than a second, putting gentle hands on Yuugi's shoulders.

"Yuugi, show me." He said gently, but firmly. "Please, Yuugi, if anything is broken I've got to take you to the hospital."

Sniffling a bit, tears gleaming in amethyst eyes and on porcelain cheeks, Yuugi slowly and Shakily outstretched his injured hand. His fingertips were already bruised, bleeding under his fingernails. Yami winced. Oh man, that must hurt... he thought, but was relieved nothing was broken. As soon as the initial shock wore off, guilt flooded full force into Yami's heart. HE'D been the one who hit the puck into Yuugi's fingers.

"Yuugi, I'm sorry," he said, and Yuugi was shocked to find that Yami seemed more upset than even he did. "I'm so sorry, that was completely stupid of me. I-I shouldn't have gotten carried away like that, I didn't mean to hurt you, I'm so-"

"Yami, calm down," Yuugi said, laughing a bit through the tears on his face. "You didn't do it on purpose, right? You're gonna give yourself a panic attack like that!"

Yami didn;t know how to respond. Yuugi was...laughing? He wasn't angry? He knew it wasn't intentional? The taller of the two paused for just a moment, feeling relief once more before he pulled Yuugi close to him, enveloping him in his arms. No, they weren't near far enough in ther relationship to be called lovers, or even real boyfriends, but as far as Yami was concerned, Yuugi was what he loved most in his life, such had been his biggest truth for ten years.

Affection is good for a budding relationship anyway... he thought, pleasantly surprised to feel Yuugi wrap his own smaller arms around Yami's waist, after having wiped the tears from his eyes.

Reaching carefully, Yami brushed the last tear away and smiled tenderly. "I am sorry." he said for the last time. Yuugi smiled a wide smile before a giggled a bit.

"How about we just say I'm the winner for today and we call it even?" the amethyst-eyed boy proposed with a grin.

And the new couple laughed together yet again.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

End Chapter

(A/N: This is my favorite chapter so far. I love them^_^)