Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!
A bizarre story with a bizarre concept. I hope you like it anyway.
[The ALG Series]
It seemed like an eternity passed until the gang finally reached something that resembled a bed, rather, an assortment of pillows and blankets on the several couches and cushioned booths in Professor Hawkins's trailer. The professor's humble mobile home was plenty hospitable enough, though, especially after the devastatingly disastrous whirlwind of adventures they had just gone through. Up until now, quality sleep was a luxury, at best.
As the rest of the group of adventurers gave away to their deep slumbering noises of snoring and sighing, Yugi laid down his head on the blue cushion pillow beneath him, and felt as if he had already left the Earth into dreamland the instant he closed his eyes. Indeed as he opened them, he was standing upon the rooftop of his subconscious, staring through a metal grey fence, overlooking the indiscernible city before him that his mind had created as vague background to his imaginary haven. The sun was obscured by clouds of a vivid orange and pink.
To his right, the spirit of the young pharaoh sat coolly on the floor of the roof with one knee up, his back against the fence, his arms crossed and his eyes closed. A hint of a contented smile rested on his face. It suited his overall appearance well, aside from the usual stern and serious expression he wore. It was not one he wore often.
Yugi's heart glowed with joy just being next to him, even just in his mind, and kneeled beside him, gently wrapping his arms around Yami's shoulders. Yami did not stir, only slightly leaned into his embrace, the small grin still on his lips.
"What was that for, Yugi?" he bemusedly inquired as Yugi released him.
"I just missed you, that's all," said Yugi sincerely. "And I'm just happy you're still here with me even after everything that just happened."
The pharaoh nodded, his eyes open and beaming at his younger friend. That was probably one of the nicest things he could recall anyone ever saying to his face. Yugi was undoubtedly gifted with a heart capable of infinite kindness… and forgiveness.
"Thank you, Yugi," replied the pharaoh. "I missed you too. Immensely. For too long I believed I would never see you again. I'm pleased that we, again, have reigned victorious."
Yugi nodded back with a cheeky smile. He noticed that, even though Yami appeared mostly relaxed and overall relieved, there was still a sense that there was unfinished business on his agenda – that there were still tasks he ought to complete. Yugi caught it in the neutral, pensive stare that was beginning to settle on his spirit friend's face.
"What's on your mind?" Yugi asked. He seated himself directly next to his dark counterpart. Upon closer inspection, Yugi noticed that Yami's skin seemed slightly paler and tighter than usual, possibly from the recent past days of lack of sleep and refusal to eat. Yugi wondered if that was why he was feeling a bit lightheaded lately.
"You know what kept me going, Yugi?" asked the pharaoh, his sharp violet eyes fixed on the cement floor directly before him. "Even after I had nearly given up?" He stared off into the distance with an impassive, faraway glance. Yugi shook his head, furrowing his brow curiously.
"It was Téa," he explained. "She was there with me most of the trip, especially when we got separated from Joey and Tristan. The patience and compassion she showed me was what was beyond what I felt I deserved. And as I've had some time to think on the way back here, I realized that she may have been a crucial part in rescuing you in ways that she may not even be aware of."
Yugi nodded. "Yeah, that sounds like Téa to me. She has the purest heart of anyone I know."
But the pharaoh still seemed troubled, an exasperated sigh hissing through his teeth. Feeling Yugi's curious gaze, he continued, "Yes, and I feel like I have not properly offered my gratitude to her."
Yami's mind seemed to go on its own tangent as he admitted this. After all, it would seem the obvious solution to that would be to simply thank her, but a rehearsed miniature thank-you speech didn't seem adequate enough. This predicament in his mind indeed seemed to fester as the day had progressed.
There was something about Téa that mystified him and, dare he thought it, interested him. He was sure it wasn't something tangible like her shining dark chocolate hair or her crystalline blue eyes, though somewhere in a more secretive part of his mind resided a great adoration for her features such as those.
Was it her smile, when it was cheerful or reassuring, that did him in? It must have been, because it certainly painted the perfect picture of her relentlessly positive spirit, illuminating every corner of darkness in which Yami sought to hide himself. Téa simply refused to let him sink into the black abyss of his dejected heart, at any cost of hers, and it would be a crime to allow that sort of kindness to go unnoticed. Yami felt as if he at the very least owed her a very genuine, personalized thank-you gesture of some sort.
And he belatedly realized that the nature of his wandering thoughts had made itself clear on his face to Yugi, who was still sitting right next to him. Furthermore, despite Yami's reserved nature, Yugi could read him like a book. By the time Yami's eyes refocused and his mind brought him back to his place with Yugi, he discovered a rather sly grin on the boy's face, and he blinked apprehensively. He honestly had no idea how to react, or what to say.
"Pharaoh… do you like Téa?" Yugi was sure that the implications were clear enough to even Yami; that is, if his wolfish grin didn't give it away.
"Téa?" Yami questioned, with poorly-feigned naïvety. "Erm… of course I like Téa. She's a kind person."
Yugi rolled his eyes. "Yami, you aren't fooling anyone, especially me. You know what I'm talking about. You like her." He fought back a childish giggle, which ended up being brief bouts of snorting.
"Yugi, I don't – "
"Yami," Yugi scolded in a low, laughing tone. "The look on your face gives away everything. Now do you want me to tell you how to properly thank her or not?"
For once in a long time, if ever, Yugi witnessed a very blatantly flabbergasted expression emerge onto the mature face of the young pharaoh. And it wasn't the kind that he wore when his opponent in Duel Monsters played an unexpected move. This one was entirely different; it showed bewilderment on a much more personal level. It seemed as though he were no longer making a concerted effort to keep the feelings closest to his heart from the surface.
After several moments of senseless stuttering, Yami finally sighed and shook his head, a small defeated smile sneaking across his mouth. "I certainly can't hide anything from you, Yugi. I suppose I should have figured that by now." He flashed a playful smirk at Yugi. "But I merely wish to thank her, nothing more. And certainly nothing inappropriate."
Yugi cleared his throat dramatically, as if he were about to give a speech, eliciting a chuckle out of the pharaoh. "One time when we were twelve, we were playing in the park at night while it was raining, and it started pouring. We started to run back to her house when she swore she saw a shooting star in the sky. When we got back and threw some towels on, I asked her what she wished for," he paused as he noticed Yami's eyes were watching him intently, deeply interested in this particular part of the story.
He shrugged. "She didn't want to tell me at first, but I bartered for her secret in exchange for the last of my popcorn." Yugi started laughing at the memory, while Yami appeared quite skeptical.
"That's it? Just like that, she told you?"
"We were twelve! Anyway, we had our own friendship pact we made when we were like eight, promising that we would trust each other in our secrets, and that we'd be trustworthy with those secrets to the death."
Yami pondered for a moment. "I see…"
Yugi sprang to his knees eagerly, facing a shocked Yami with childlike glee, his patience dissipating fast. "So do you want to know what her wish was or what?"
Again, Yami seemed startled. "I thought you promised her you'd be trustworthy with her secret!"
A bright smile lit up his younger counterpart's face. "I am. I'm giving it to someone who was meant to have it."
Usually, Téa would have more "busy" dreams after prolonged lack of sleep (or a rather rich meal before bed), but strangely enough, she found herself in the middle of an expansive desert hundreds of miles from anything. All she saw around her were endless miles of white-brown course sand. The steady desert winds swayed her short brown hair, but she did not feel it. The sky was devoid of any clouds, just an overly bright sun bearing heavy heat that she could not feel. There was no one around aside from her.
"Hello?" Téa called to the desert, only to be answered by the whispering winds. "Anyone out there? I'm all alone…"
She began to curl into herself, realizing that this might very well be a nightmare of sorts given the traumatic events she and her friends had faced recently, when she heard a deep, booming voice behind her.
"You're not alone."
Téa spun around hastily, partially from being startled, mostly because she instantly recognized that voice. It was deep as the night, but smooth as silk sheets and utterly dreamy in its suave qualities. It was one of its kind, and it only belonged to one person she knew.
"Ph-pharaoh?" she asked hesitantly, as if she were almost certain it was a desert illusion.
Yet there he was, just as real and solid as she perceived herself to be in this strange dream, if it was even a dream at all. He approached her slowly, his stride graceful as ever. He wore his usual black sleeveless tank and uniform pants, with his blue jacket draped on his shoulders to resemble the regal-looking cape he wore as a pharaoh in Egypt.
The pharaoh assured her with his calm smile and the grace of his hands on her arms as he reached for her. His eyes were an amassed collection of confidence, friendly adoration, and a hint of sly playfulness on a bed of glowing amethyst. His hand rose to caress her cheek softly, and it was the first real sensation she actually felt. She closed her eyes for a few moments, taking pleasure in his tender, fleeting touch.
This was when Téa started to notice even odder things happening – namely, the storm of dark grey clouds approaching them, rather unnaturally quickly, followed by the distant roar of thunder echoing in the reaches of the vast empty desert. She became instantly afraid, pulling herself into the pharaoh's strong body and clinging to him helplessly. She twisted her head against his chest, and felt the rumbling of his laugh vibrate against her temple.
"There is nothing to fear," explained Yami, his voice relaxed and low and seamlessly smooth. He grasped her shoulders and, with his sturdily strong arms, pulled her from him so that he could face her directly in front of him. "I am only here because I wanted to thank you for rescuing me from the darkness, just by being the special person that you are." He glanced back over his shoulder. "The storm clouds follow me because I summoned them, for now I am going to grant your wish."
Téa frowned, confused, tensing in his hold. "M-my wish?" What kind of nightmare was this? What wish?
Thunder again. The dark clouds encompassed the sky above them now, and tiny droplets of water began to sprinkle lightly over them. Quickly the rain grew heavier and fell harder, but it was warm, like –
"Summer rain…" murmured Téa.
She relaxed in Yami's grasp as she held out her hands, palms toward the sky, catching raindrops in them as she watched, fascinated. She turned her eyes upward towards Yami. He was simply watching her through the shower, patiently allowing her to observe her surroundings, his eyes glittering even within the cloak of the clouds' dull shadows. His wild hair sagged slightly from the weight of the rainfall, and drops of water slid down his high cheeks and dripped from his chin, and yet he looked no less strikingly handsome. His violet gaze was sharp and focused, affixed solely on her, mesmerizing her with a provocative gleam in his eyes.
A wet hand reappeared at her face, just as it were a few moments ago, pulling her closer to him. Téa's cerulean blue eyes met those of Yami's once again, briefly catching a strange determination in his gaze before the gap between them closed, and she found her lips locked within his. Immediately her legs lost their strength and her knees became dreadfully unsteady; for his kiss was wonderfully tantalizing and passionate, yet gentle with tender affection in every movement of his butterfly-soft lips. Téa's heart was experiencing its own tumultuous responses, pounding itself wildly against her chest like a prisoner desperate for freedom. An especially large jolt sprang her heart particularly when Yami placed his other hand on the side of her neck, with his thumb pressing lightly below her jaw, pulling her into him even further as he continued to kiss the living breath out of her.
The rain beat down on them heavily and relentlessly, smacking upon their faces in the downpour, only to intensify the intimacy of their continuous kisses. Téa's hands found their way to his firm forearms, gripping them tightly as she kissed him back with equal enthusiasm. Small moans escaped her mouth any time she was allowed a millisecond to breathe. She had never felt such thirst for a man's kiss before; it was equally satisfying as it was addictive. She was certain that as soon as he let her go, she would instantly crave more.
As soon as she made that realization, indeed Yami slowly pulled himself away, her bottom lip still in his teeth for a split second as they parted. And as Téa predicted, she hungered for more, but, with effort, resisted and instead gazed up into his eyes through the pouring rain. Yami must have sensed that her body was growing limp, and so his hands settled on either sides of her waist, holding her against his firm, well-muscled body.
"Your secret wish that you made many years ago," breathlessly uttered the pharaoh, catching Téa's eyes in a moment of heightened euphoria as they both gasped for air, "was that you wanted to be kissed in the rain by your Prince Charming."
Téa merely stared back, stunned into speechlessness, unable to even find the movement to nod her head. The rain poured on.
"I know that I don't exactly fit the description of Prince Charming in any of your fairytale storybooks. But I do happen to know that before one becomes a Pharaoh of Egypt, they are first a prince. So it's highly likely that I was once a prince as I was once a Pharaoh." He took her hands, completely drenched, into his and kissed them, a genuine smile on his kiss-bruised lips, "I hope that is close enough to what you wished for."
Téa felt her heart blossoming open to embrace the man before her. Never had she imagined anything like this happening to her – in real life, in movies, or in her most imaginative dreams. She smiled so brightly it occupied the entire bottom half of her face; tears appeared at the corner of her eyes as she stared at the man in front of her who so easily captured her heart on puppet strings.
Téa closed her eyes in a moment of delicate bliss, her lips reaching forward to kiss him once more, when everything stopped.
The rain and desert winds vanished. Her hair and clothes were warm and dry. Yami's overwhelming presence was no longer before her. In a panic Téa's eyes flashed open, only to find herself staring at the off-white ceiling of Hawkins's trailer above her, lying on a soft cushioned sofa. A brown cotton blanket lied over her body.
A quick movement and a brief glimmer of golden light out of her peripheral vision caught her attention. She snapped her head to her left, her eyes still bleary from being mostly asleep, and fixed her attention to the figure lying on Yugi's bedspot, watching as it shifted a bit weirdly, as if it had just thrown itself under the sheets in haste. Téa furrowed her brow curiously, as she could almost catch the Millennium Puzzle's faint glow die away beneath the sheets just as she looked at it. It was quick enough to possibly be a figment of her frazzled mind's imagination, but then again, the tingling sensation on her lips still lingered…
Téa smiled as she tucked herself back in under her blanket. Even if it were only a dream, the wish that she made six years ago came true, and she couldn't have felt happier about it.