Violet against black. High, tortured screams that echo in his ears. Yugi cringes.
Heavy gold in his cupped hands. It fractures, splits into a hundred pieces and cascades through his fingers.
Stairs rise up through the shadows, up and down and sideways. Half-hidden doors set into stone, cold under his feet.
Dark, liquid shadows in deeper darkness. Tall granite doors. Despair. Loss so strong it hurts. A shaft of light tears them open and they crumble away into nothing. Into darkness.
Yugi opened his eyes. The mist of his dream seeped away, expelled by dancing firelight. Where…? Soft material weighed him down. The light flickered over bright stone murals. The king's quarters. He shifted and felt something around his right hand. Yugi turned his head.
Atem? The king was bent over, head pillowed on the bed - Atem's bed, he realised - both of his hands clasping Yugi's tightly. Tenderness swept through him. Yugi curled his fingers. Instantly the man jerked awake. "Yugi." He sat up, leaning forward. "How do you feel?" His eyes searched Yugi's face. "Are you injured? Do you hurt at all?"
"I…" There was an ache at the back of his head. Faint, though. "Not really." What am I doing here? He had been below the palace, in the Shadow Room… "Mesech!" he cried, jolting upright. "Where is he? What happened?"
"Do not move," said Atem. His hands fluttered over Yugi's shoulders, pressing him down then smoothing over his neck, tracing his jaw. "It is done. He's gone." Atem blinked and pulled his hands away.
Bemused, Yugi scooted back, tucking his legs underneath him. "I don't understand." The king's quarters were dimly lit and quiet. Warm breezes drifted in through the balcony, carrying the scent of jasmine. "What happened? How did I get here?"
"Mesech tried to kill you," said Atem, his voice a growl. "I ripped his soul from his body and cast it into the Shadow Realm. But I thought…" Tanned fingers touched his own, tentative. Yugi moved into the touch and gripped Atem's hand, entwining their fingers together. Warmth spread up his arm into his body. "You have been sleeping for two days. None of my priests - nothing could touch you."
"I thought he was going to kill you," confessed Yugi. "He wanted the Pyramid." The Pyramid! "Wait - the Pyramid, did he…?"
Atem was shaking his head. "I retrieved it from his body." He nodded and Yugi saw the golden item on the other side of the room. "What were you doing down there?"
"I was looking for Merwt'i," he said, wincing at the memory. All that blood… "Then… I don't know. I thought I heard something. Mesech said he had been calling me. He said I was a Seer?"
"A Seer…" The man frowned. "It is possible you have some kind of awareness. Magic, perhaps, like Mana."
"I see things," he said, hesitantly. "And sometimes – sometimes they come true."
Atem reared back. "You have Isis' power. You could wield the necklace, perhaps, and see even further. I will speak to Mahaad."
Yugi grimaced. He wasn't sure that he wanted to know more. The things he saw… "Atem," he said.
The king's hand tightened around his. "What is it, Yugi?"
Yugi tamped down a surge of pleasure at the sound of his name from Atem's lips . "I saw… Mesech said that he knew your future." Half-forgotten fear rushed through him. "But it-"
"Do not." Atem held up his hand, touching the pads of his fingers to Yugi's mouth. "No one should know their own destiny."
"But what if-?"
"No." Atem cupped his face. "It is for the gods to decide, not us." Swallowing, Yugi nodded. He leant into Atem's hand and resolved to do whatever he could to prevent the future that he and Mesech had both seen. Atem rested his forehead against Yugi's. Those deep crimson eyes stared into his own. "Stay with me?" the man whispered.
For a moment Yugi couldn't speak. Something had taken hold of his heart and squeezed. "Always," he breathed. "From this life into the next."
He knew it as clearly as he felt their breaths mingling. Even when his time in Kemet was done and he became an akh in the next world, he would stay forever by Atem's side.
Their souls would be joined for all eternity.
Sorry for the shortness of the epilogue! I regret nothing haha.
Thank you all for your wonderful, amazing reviews. I don't have time to reply to them, but I read and squeed over all of them. It has been a real pleasure :D
Love you all and see you soon.