Author's Note: I love it when an idea comes together and this is something that'll hopefully come out as good as it sounds! Hope you enjoy this as much as I do!


Summary: After coming back from the Duelist Kingdom, it's safe to say that Yugi Moto is having an internal struggle between himself and his alter ego, Yami. It doesn't help that the Millennium Puzzle's about to fall into someone else's hands. And while everyone will WANT for everything to go back to normal…ultimately, what Yami says, goes.


Key:

/ … / - Yugi

// … // - Yami


Taking A New Host: Part 1


Two months had passed since returning from the Duelist Kingdom. By all means, everything should have been going well for fourteen-year-old Yugi Moto. He had successfully defeated Maximillion Pegasus, rescued his grandfather from his clutches, and thwarted any and all challenges that came his way during that span.

After that grueling ordeal, Yugi had the chance to relax. Well…he'd have the chance to relax after a day in Odaiba, where he had to run an errand for his grandpa. He should have been happy. He was off to a city he had never seen along with his closest friends: Joey Wheeler, Tristan Taylor, and Téa Gardner. But lately something had been bothering him.

Yugi was just a human being…yet far from normal. He had a second side to him and it all stemmed from the Millennium Puzzle that hung over his neck. The day he uncovered that puzzle's secret was the day his life changed forever. That's when he was inhabited with an ancient spirit known as Yami. Despite using Yugi's body, Yami was like a whole different person. He exuded confidence and courage and was a master duelist.

In his lifetime, Yami was a Pharaoh of ancient Egypt. That was just about the only piece of his past that Yugi knew. For the most part, Yugi and Yami were kindred. Yami gave Yugi something he had never had and that was confidence in himself and faith in his cards and his friends. And Yugi felt he gave Yami something he had never had and that was compassion.

Lately, however, all has not been well between Yugi and Yami. Even though they had gotten along for the most part and had worked together to defeat Pegasus, there was still some tension. And it all stemmed from, for lack of a better phrase, creative differences.

Yugi had nearly lost his chance to save his grandpa from Pegasus. In a second duel with Seto Kaiba, Kaiba had positioned himself right at the edge of a cliff. Had Yugi followed through with his final attack, surely Kaiba would have fallen to his doom. Yugi wanted to surrender, but Yami would hear none of it. Yami nearly overcame Yugi's compassion and chose to attack, not caring whether Kaiba fell to his death. Had Yugi not been able to control his own body at the very last second, Kaiba would have been killed.

That's just one of the differences between Yugi and Yami. But there has been much tension. Yugi felt that Yami was getting out of control and Yami felt like he was being held back by Yugi. Yugi was literally having an internal struggle and he was carrying that struggle with him to Odaiba.

It was a good thing that the bus ride to Odaiba didn't go awry. It would have looked very odd if Yami chose to come out during the trip and it appeared that his friends felt the same way. Joey and Tristan were sitting a few seats away, claiming they wanted to give Yugi his space. Téa, however, sat next to Yugi…even though it looked like it was out of pity, more than anything.

With everyone staying quiet during the bus trip, Yugi started to hear from his inner Yami.

// Yugi, you haven't let me come out in days. I'd like to say hello. //

One of the things about Yugi and Yami was that they could have these internal conversations in Yugi's mind, one soul to another, without anybody hearing them. It was the most common way that Yugi and Yami kept in touch with each other. In the dark void of his mind, Yugi stood in front of Yami, who didn't look happy.

/ I don't want you to come out! I don't know what to do with you anymore! I'm not letting you come out, Yami! /

Yami shook his head. // I will not come out if that is what you want. But I hope you'll at least give me a reason why. //

/ I feel like you're getting out of control. Every time you come out now, I feel like I can't control you anymore! /

Yami looked curious. // What do you mean? Is this about Kaiba again? //

/ It's more than just Kaiba! I didn't want you to attack him and you just brushed me aside! You didn't even care! /

// I was doing it for you, Yugi! I did it to save your grandfather! //

/ I don't believe that! You did it just so you could win another duel! Just so you wouldn't lose! /

That got Yami's ire. // You think I'm lying to you?! //

/ Yeah, I do! I think the truth is, you were afraid to lose! /

// I'm NOT afraid to lose! If I am defeated in a fair manner, so be it! But that's not possible! I'm the… //

/ Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're the King of Games. I've heard it a million times! /

Yami scowled. // I'm getting tired of this, Yugi! It's almost been a year since you first uncovered the secret of the Millennium Puzzle! And we made a great team in the time we've been together! But this is ridiculous! I feel like you're not giving me the opportunity to express myself! //

/ I think lately you've shown that you aren't responsible enough to come out. /

That struck a nerve in Yami. // RESPONSIBLE?! You and I may be sharing this body, but you're just a BOY! Don't you DARE preach to me about responsibility!! //

Yugi didn't want to back down. Not this time. / I may be a boy, but I'm the one who solved the Millennium Puzzle and released you! This is MY body and if I don't feel like letting you come out, then you should respect that! /

Yami kept his scowl. // I see that some of my personality is rubbing off on you, Yugi. You never would have been capable of standing up to me when we first met. You're really growing up. But I maintain my objection! This is not fair! //

Before Yami could protest any further, Yugi began to hear one of his friends.

"Yugi?"

It was Téa. Yugi decided to put an end to this argument.

/ I think this is our stop. I'll talk to you later. /

// Yugi! Don't you dare leave! I'm talking to you, Yugi! YUGI! //

Yugi just ignored his inner Yami. He ended his conversation in his mind and shook off the cobwebs.

"Sorry about that," Yugi muttered.

"You were arguing with Yami again, weren't you?" Téa guessed.

"He still wants to come out," Yugi answered. "He's been wanting to come out more and more. But I can't let him."

"I think you're being really hard on him, Yugi," Téa said. "I agree that what he tried to do to Kaiba wasn't right, but that's in the past. We could never have saved your grandpa without him. Like it or not, we owe Yami. Maybe you should let him come out."

"I can't take that chance, Téa," Yugi sighed. "I almost lost control of him. What if he goes over the edge again? I don't want to risk it."

"It isn't fair to keep Yami confined forever," Téa growled. "I think he deserves to at least say hello to his friends."

"You call him a friend?"

"Maybe I do! Maybe he's a little hardheaded and occasionally overly harsh, but he's growing just like the rest of us! I don't think he's a bad person. I think he's a friend whom we owe our gratitude."

The bus came to a stop. This was their stop and Joey and Tristan were eager to get off the bus.

"It's about time," Tristan said. "I had no leg room on this bus."

"Yeah, give me a chance to stretch my legs!" Joey added.

Téa got up and gave Yugi a stern look. "We'll talk about this later."

Yugi couldn't understand why Téa was standing up for Yami. She saw firsthand what Yami almost did. She had even tried to step in and stop him. So why did she feel that he deserved a second chance?

Yugi thought about that as he stepped off the bus. He came to Odaiba because he needed to pick up an artifact for his grandpa. Hopefully, this would be quick…and hopefully he could do it without hearing so much as a peep from Yami.


As night was falling, twelve-year-old TK Takaishi had a delivery to make. Two weeks ago, his father was given an artifact that he had no use for. So he did the logical thing and sold it away. But since Matt was out practicing with his band the whole night, his dad went across town to ask TK to make the delivery to the buyer while he went to work at the television station.

Now TK was walking down the street until he hit the corner. He looked at the address that was written on a sheet of paper and saw that he had already arrived. He had found the Odaiba Motel.

Taking the bag with the artifact, TK ran through the parking lot and towards the rooms. He wanted to get this over with since he was hoping to call Kari by night's end. He still couldn't get over the fact that Kari was now his girlfriend. He was beginning to think that she would end up with Davis Motomiya, but he was shocked when Kari called him on that fateful night and asked him to be her boyfriend. Since that day, TK and Kari were practically inseparable and not only had Davis conceded, but he was also more than willing to help in any way he could.

Wanting to call Kari again, TK ran even faster. All he had to do was drop this bag off and collect the payment.


The motel room wasn't exactly five-star quality. In fact, the word 'roach motel' would be more apropos in describing it. But Yugi wasn't distracted by the dust or the bugs. He had something else in mind. While Joey, Tristan, and Téa looked through their motel room, Yugi was in the bathroom, looking in the mirror at the Millennium Puzzle that hung around his neck. And once again, he found himself having an internal dialogue with Yami.

// Yugi…please let me come out. I understand your anxieties, but don't confine me this way! //

Yugi didn't say anything. This was one of the hardest things he ever had to do. And it didn't get any easier after Téa's speech. But after everything that happened towards the end of the Duelist Kingdom, Yugi felt that this was the right thing to do. He put his hand on his Millennium Puzzle necklace.

// Yugi? What are you doing? //

Yugi sighed. / I'm sorry, Yami. I have to do this. /

Yugi removed his Millennium Puzzle necklace and put it on top of the toilet seat. Yami suddenly knew what he was about to do and grew panicked.

// Yugi, you can't be serious! You aren't about to do what I think you are! //

/ I have to! I can't risk you getting out of control again! /

// Yugi, don't do this! After everything we've been through, you can't just end it this way! Please, STOP! //

Yugi just sighed deeply. / Goodbye, Yami. /

Without giving it any further thought, Yugi began to take apart the Millennium Puzzle that brought Yami to him in the first place. As Yugi removed each piece of the puzzle, he began to hear Yami's voice go fainter and he felt his presence fade away. Despite Yami's pleading, Yugi kept taking the puzzle apart, piece by piece.

But there was a strange feeling. As Yugi took apart the Millennium Puzzle, it felt as if he was taking apart a part of himself. He tried to shrug it off, but couldn't deny that Yami had become a big part of himself. It wasn't easy, but he kept going…until the final piece was taken apart.

Yugi stood motionless for a moment. The other voice was gone. He felt a huge void, because Yami was no longer there. He had done it. Yugi's Yami was gone. Facing up to that fact, Yugi picked up the pieces of the Millennium Puzzle, dumped them in a black bag, and walked out of the bathroom.

Joey and Tristan were both fighting over who'd get to sleep on the couch, since Téa wanted the bed to herself, and looked like they were getting ready to arm wrestle for it. Téa was getting the payment ready for when the guy delivered the artifact Yugi's grandpa had ordered. Yugi's grandpa had provided a bag of gold coins for payment.

Téa immediately noticed that Yugi was missing something. "Yugi? Where's the Millennium Puzzle?"

Yugi hung his head down. When Téa found out, she would undoubtedly blow a gasket. It was as if she was one of Yami's biggest supporters.

But Yugi decided to come clean. "I…took it apart. I got rid of Yami for good."

Téa gasped. "You did WHAT?!"

"I got rid of Yami. He won't be around anymore."

"Yugi, how could you?!"

"Téa, it was the right thing to do."

"No, it wasn't! You……"

Téa was about to go off on a whole lecture, but she couldn't seem to put her words together…not with Joey and Tristan still arguing over who got the couch.

"Let's take this to the bathroom," Téa muttered.

Téa dragged Yugi into the bathroom. Yugi could sense that Téa was about to stick up for Yami again. He wished he knew why. There had to be a reason why she supported him so much.

Yugi had done the right thing…hadn't he?


Joey got ready to arm wrestle Tristan before he noticed Téa dragging Yugi into the bathroom out of the corner of his eye.

"No hanky panky," Joey grinned.

"Did you notice something different about Yugi right now?" Tristan asked. "I didn't get a look at him."

"I didn't get a good look at him, either," Joey replied. "He probably did something different with his hair. It's kinda hard to look at Yugi while I'm trying to get your stubborn butt off this couch."

"I'm not sleeping on the floor!"

"Then we'll arm wrestle for the couch!"

Joey and Tristan were about to walk over to the table until someone knocked on the door. Joey shot his friend a look before heading to answer the door. He answered the door and saw a young kid with blond-hair and a white hat holding up an old Anubis statue.

"Hi, my name's TK. Someone bought this old artifact?"

"Yeah, that's ours," Joey answered. "Uh…let me get you what we owe you. Hey Tristan, where'd Téa put the bag with the coins?"

Tristan looked around until he found a black bag on the bed. "Here it is! Catch, Joey!"

Tristan tossed the bag to Joey, which he skillfully caught with one hand.

"Here you go, kid. Don't spend it all in one place."

"Thanks!"

Joey shut the door once the guy left and focused on Tristan again. "Now, where were we?"

Tristan put his arm on the table. "I was about to beat you for my couch."

Joey smirked. He was more than confident that he would get to sleep on the couch tonight.


Yugi had heard just about every case Téa had to make and she was just getting started once he told her what happened. What kept hurting was the fact that what most of what she was saying was very true. Unable to endure it any longer, Yugi walked out of the bathroom and back to the bedroom. Of course, Téa was right on his heels.

"And you never would have gotten your grandpa back if it wasn't for him!" Téa continued. "That's some gratitude, Yugi!"

"Something up?" Joey grunted. He was in the middle of an arm wrestling match with Tristan.

"Yugi took the Millennium Puzzle apart!" Téa cried. "He got rid of Yami!"

Tristan, with his hand still locked on Joey's, looked over at Yugi. "Hey, that's what's different about you!"

"You really got rid of Yami?!" Joey exclaimed. "What'd you do that for, Yuge?"

"You're sticking up for him, too?" Yugi asked.

"You're holding one incident against him," Joey answered as he kept arm wrestling. "So he wanted to off Kaiba. Who wouldn't? The guy's a creep. I know if I was in his place, I'd have done the same thing."

"We could have never come out on top in the Duelist Kingdom without him," Tristan added. "You've got to admit that much, Yugi."

"You're all on his side!" Yugi said in disbelief. "Hasn't anybody noticed that it's getting harder for me to control him?"

"You're talking like he's one of those spirits from The Exorcist," Joey scoffed. "Yami ain't that kind of guy. He's a little rough around the edges, but he knows what's right. I think you went too far trying to off him like that."

"It's not fair, Yugi!" Téa cried. "Yami deserves another chance!"

Yugi seemed to be outnumbered three-to-one. He knew what had to be done.

"Ok…I'll give him one more chance."

Yugi walked over to the bed to look for the black bag where he kept the pieces to the Millennium Puzzle. But much to his dismay…the bag was gone!

Yugi gasped. "The bag! Where is it?"

"Oh, that?" Joey asked calmly as he was nearly pinning down Tristan's arm. "We gave it to the guy who just delivered that statue your grandpa wanted."

"Y-Y-You gave him THAT bag?!" Yugi demanded.

"Yeah, the one with the coins in it, right?" Tristan asked as he struggled to regain control.

Téa walked over to the table and picked up a bag that made a jingling sound as she held it up. "You mean THIS bag?!"

Tristan stopped in his tracks. "Huh?"

Joey pinned his arm down. "I win!" Then he saw Téa holding up the bag and sweatdropped. "Uh…I'm guessing…THAT'S the bag full of coins?"

"Then what did we give that guy?" Tristan asked nervously.

"You gave him the Millennium Puzzle!!" Yugi shouted.

Joey and Tristan both sweatdropped. They had made a huge blunder and didn't know what else to do. So, of course, they pointed at each other.

"He did it!" they both yelled.

Yugi was in shock. The reality had just set in that now he had REALLY lost Yami. The Millennium Puzzle was now in someone else's hands. Téa was in a state of disbelief and Joey and Tristan continued playing the blame game. But Yugi knew what had to be done next.

"We have to get it back!"


Next Time: Finding the Millennium Puzzle may SOUND easy, but Yugi and his friends had never been to Odaiba before, so this could take them a while. Meanwhile, TK's unaware that he holds the Millennium Puzzle. At least until he gets home. What happens when he unwittingly solves it himself?!


Any comments? Then mail me at AmericanCaptor@hotmail.com and don't forget to review below!