Yu-Gi-Oh: The Ultimate Duel

Written by: Steeldramon21



Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh or it's characters. I wish I owned a Black Skull Dragon, though.

Plot: During Yugi and his friends' travels through the Duelist Kingdom, they meet a duelist named Kristoff. He has a mysterious eighth Millennium Item, a bracelet, and challenges Yugi to a regular duel. During the duel, he steals Tea's soul and traps Yami in the Millennium Puzzle, shattering Yugi's confidence. To get her back, he must face Kristoff again in The Ultimate Duel, a battle of unparalleled power and skill in the Shadow Realm. Can Yugi pull himself together in time to save Tea's soul and win? Enjoy!

Characters:

Yugi/Yami
Joey
Tristan
Tea
Bakura



As another day began in the Duelist Kingdom, Yugi and his friends found themselves on their way to Pegasus's castle. Spirits were much higher since Yugi and Joey now had ten star chips and could now enter the castle with no problem. Fortunately, since they hadn't had to face any other duelists for a while since defeating the Paradox Brothers, they had plenty of time to just relax.

"Man, it feels good to be out of that cave." Joey commented.

"For a second, I thought we were going to spend the rest of our lives down there." Tristan added.

"We probably would have if it hadn't been for Yugi's skills." Tea said as she turned to her friend and smiled. Yugi, on the other hand, was deep in thought as they continued walking.

I only wish I could take the credit for all of it. Yugi thought to himself.

"Are you all right, Yugi?" Bakura asked him. "You look troubled."

"I'll be okay, I guess." Yugi replied. "I just have a lot on my mind, that's all." With that, the group kept walking, unaware that a mysterious shadow was watching them all with avid interest.

"So, he is still among his friends." The figure thought as he smiled evilly. "I can eliminate him now and complete my mission."



Later, the group decided to stop and rest for a while in a small clearing. While Joey practice-dueled with Tristan and Bakura, Yugi was sitting under a tree thinking to himself. This time, it wasn't about the presence, or Yami as it was known, inside of his Millennium Puzzle. This time, it was about his friend Tea. For as long as he had been her friend, she was always a source of confidence and strength for him. She could brighten the darkest moments in his life with her cheerfulness, her faith in her friendship with Yugi and the others. But when Yugi assembled the Millennium Puzzle, their relationship would change forever.

Yugi sighed as he thought some more. Since the day he assembled the puzzle, he would be possessed by his Yami, the self-proclaimed 'King of Games'. He would duel with a confidence and wisdom unparalleled by any other duelist before or since. From inside Yugi's soul, he would look over to the sidelines and see his friends cheering for him and giving their appreciation. He would also see Tea cheering but Yugi believed it wasn't for him. It was his Yami that captivated her with his confidence and bravery and there was nothing Yugi could do about it, or so he thought.

"Are you okay, Yugi?" Tea asked as she came up to her friend and saw the downcast look in his eyes.

"I'm okay." Yugi replied. "I'm just worried, that's all. What if I won't be able to save my grandpa? If Pegasus can just steal his soul like that, what's stopping him from stealing mine or any of yours?"

"That's not going to happen, Yugi. I know you can beat him and save your grandfather. We'll all be there to cheer you and Joey on."

Yugi looked into her crystalline blue eyes and saw the faith that Tea had in him, the confidence that she had in him. Still, Yugi couldn't shake that it was for his Yami and not him.

"Thanks, Tea." Yugi said as he smiled at her. Just then, he saw a shadowy figure standing among the trees watching them. "Hey! Who are you?" Yugi called to the figure. The figure then stepped out of the shadows and they immediately saw who it was. He was tall with jet-black hair and wore all-black clothing. He grinned as he looked at Yugi.

"So, Yugi Muuto, at last we meet again." The figure said to Yugi as he and Tea stood up.

"Have we met before?" Yugi said cautiously.

"Hey, Yuug, who's this guy?" Joey asked his friend as he, Tristan, and Bakura came up to them.

"I have no idea. I've never seen him before today."

"Then perhaps I should re-introduce myself." The figure said as he laughed coldly. "My name is Kristoff, a duelist like yourself. You're quite famous where I'm from, Yugi Muuto. Your skills as a duelist are known quite well. That is only one of the reasons I am here." He then pointed to Yugi with a cold gleam in his cobalt eyes. "I challenge you, Yugi Muuto, to a duel. No star chips, just a duel between you and me."

Suddenly, Yugi's Millennium Puzzle glowed for a second. After the light faded, Yami Yugi stood tall and eyes Kristoff.

"If it's a duel you're after, stranger, you've come to the right place." Yami said with his usual confident tone. "I accept."

"Just be careful, Yuug." Joey warned. "Something tells me this guy ain't exactly playing with a full deck here."

"I will, Joey." Yami approached Kristoff until he was eye-to-eye with him. He could feel the aura of evil around him. It was the same feeling he felt from Yami Bakura but ten times stronger. Suddenly, he knew why.

"You have a Millennium Item!" Yami exclaimed.

"I knew you would finally figure it out." Kristoff said with a cold grin on his face. "With that in mind, let's move the duel to someplace more comfortable." Suddenly, the entire area became dark around them. Yami turned around and saw that his friends were all unconscious, just like in his duel with Yami Bakura. He turned back to Kristoff with an angry look in his eyes.

"What have you done to my friends?" Yami demanded.

"They are well, for the moment." Kristoff said as he rolled up his sleeve and revealed a black bracelet around his arm. What startled Yami most was that there was an Egyptian eye on it, the same one on the Millennium Puzzle. "Recognize it?" Kristoff said as he saw the startled look on his face.

"The Millennium Bracelet?" Yami exclaimed. "That's supposed to be just a myth!"

"So were the other Millennium Items, my friend." Kristoff told him. "It is supposed to grant the wearer total access to the dark side of the spirit. That is why we are in the Shadow Realm. Also, I'm told that it has another power, but I won't reveal that until after our little duel."

"Fine." Yami said angrily. "I'll play your game, as long as my friends are left unharmed."

"Deal." Kristoff told him. With that, the duel was on.

-----------------

After several near misses and small victories, both Kristoff and Yami Yugi were down to 200 life points. Both of them had dueled with a master's expertise but it now came down to these final moves.

"I'll play Abominus in Attack Mode." Kristoff said as he placed a card down. The monster looked like a half-demon/half dragon with spikes all over his body. It's power points were at 2700/2200. "Demon Strike, now!" The monster slashed his long claws through Yami's Curse of Dragon. Luckily, it was in Defense Mode so no life points were lost.

"That was one of my best cards." Yugi thought to himself as he watched everything from his soul room. "Whomever this guy is, he's playing for keeps."

"All right, Kristoff." Yami said as he drew one more card from his deck. "I'll play Dark Magician, in Attack Mode." Immediately, his favorite card appeared on the field. "Also, I laid down a magic card: The Book of Ages. It's a card that infuses any sorcery-based monster in play with 300 points, enough power to match your monster. Dark Magic Attack!" The Dark Magician used his attack and immediately destroyed the beast, who was in Defense Mode so points weren't lost either. Kristoff wasn't even worried as he began to laugh evilly.

"That was a fool's move, Yugi." Kristoff said as he drew one more card and laid it down. "I had already switched my monster to Defense so my life points were preserved. Now, bear witness to the card that will cost you the duel." Suddenly, the entire playing field became dark and massive storm clouds formed over it. "Now, Apocala, arise and conquer!" Suddenly, bolts of black energy erupted from the field as a massive creature rose from the darkness. It looked like Exodia's twin but was totally black, scaly, and had evil red eyes. It's power points were 3500/3000. For the first time in his life, Yami Yugi was scared.

"I heard of this card before." Yugi said from his soul room. "It's one of the rarest cards in the whole game. There isn't a card in my entire deck that can match that much power."

"Go, Apocalya!" Kristoff commanded. "Decimate the Dark Magician!" The monster gathered all of the dark energy around him and shot it at the Dark Magician, engulfing him and the entire field in a blaze of darkness. Yami shielded his eyes from the energy as his monster was destroyed. He knew he had lost. Suddenly, he felt himself getting weaker, like part of his was fading. When he opened his eyes, he was Yugi Muuto once more.

"What the... what have you done to me?" Yugi demanded when he saw his Millennium Puzzle. It was cracked.

"Yugi, your Yami dueled me thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt." Kristoff told him. "To him, it was another game. For me, it was the only chance for me to put an end to him once and for all. When I failed, I was executed soon after. I vowed I would have my revenge on not just him but his re-incarnated form as well. I sealed him in your Millennium Puzzle, inprisoning him in his own domain. Also, that's not all I've done." Kristoff then whipped out another card from his deck. Yugi was shocked to see that it was Tea!

"You... you bastard!" Yugi said angrily. "You promised you would leave my friends unharmed!"

"And I've kept my word." Kristoff said as he put the card in his pocket. "She is unharmed, for now. However, if you wish to see her alive again, you will duel me as promised in a clearing, not far from Pegasus's castle. Consider it an Ultimate Duel, if you will. Be warned, that it will not be like anything you've ever encountered. And come alone, unless you want your little friend harmed. Until then, little Yugi, farewell." With that, Kristoff held up his hand and sent out a blinding light.

"No!" Yugi cried out as he was blinded. He then knew no more.

--------

When Yugi came to, he found that he was back in the clearing. Also, his Millennium Puzzle was normal and Kristoff was gone. He remembered what had happened and raced over to where Tea was. Her body looked okay but her crystalline blue eyes were dull, totally devoid of any life.

"Tea!" Yugi cried as he gently shook her by the shoulders. "Tea, speak to me!"

"Yugi?" He turned and saw Joey coming up to him with Tristan and Bakura. "What happened?" Bakura knelt down and checked Tea's pulse.

"It's like she's in a coma." Bakura said. "This makes no sense."

"It's my fault." Yugi said as he got up, tears already beginning to cloud his vision. "I should have never agreed to that duel."

"What are you talking about, Yugi?" Tristan asked.

"Are you saying that that jerk Kristoff had something to do with this?" Joey added.

"During the duel," Yugi explained through his tears, "he used his Millennium Item, a bracelet, to steal Tea's soul and trap my yami. Then he challenged me to some Ultimate Duel in some clearing alone." He then collapsed onto his knees in defeat. "It's my fault her soul his gone, just like with my grandpa! I shouldn't have agreed to the duel in the first place! It's not fair!"

"Don't worry, Yugi." Joey said, placing a reassuring hand on his friend's shoulder. "We'll get Tea back."

"You don't understand, Joey!" Yugi snapped. "Without the Puzzle, I can't duel! It's my Yami that does the dueling, not me! It's him that should be in that duel with Kristoff, not me! It's him that... that captured Tea's heart, not me."

"That doesn't make any sense." Tristan said. "What do you mean 'your Yami'?"

"Each Millennium Item has a specific property." Bakura explained. "Sometimes, they come with spirits, or Yami, inside of them like mine did. In Yugi's case, his was an ancient pharoah known as the King of Games."

"So now Yugi thinks Tea's fallen in love with his Yami." Tristan said.

"It's obvious." Yugi said, his face looking depressed. "Yami's dark and mysterious but full of confidence. He always stays calm in danger and can play the most expert duelists with no problem. He's even taller than me, for goodness' sake! He has all the qualities Tea likes in a person. That's why he should rescue her in this duel."

"You really love her, don't you?" Joey asked his friend. Yugi nodded solemly. "Then let me tell you something, Yugi. We've both known Tea for a while and I've seen the way she looks at you. When you would get up there and duel, she'd always have a lot of faith in you. She knew that you, not your so-called Yami, would always come through. All of us thought that, so don't you go thinking otherwise. Got it?"

"I have an idea." Bakura said. "What if we give Yugi our favorite cards to use in his duel? It might give him an edge in battle."

"Hey, that's a great idea." Joey said as each of them took out their decks and selected their cards. Yugi looked and saw that his friends were all holding out their cards to him.

"You really want me to use your cards?" Yugi asked.

"Sure." Tristan said. "It's only fair since we can't be there in person."

"Well... all right. I won't let you down." Yugi then took their cards and placed them in his deck.

"We have total faith in you, Yugi." Bakura said. "Make us proud."

"Go out there and kick some butt!" Joey said. Yugi smiled as he began to set out for the clearing, ready to play the duel of his and his friend's life. As he walked, he thought hard about what he had to do. He knew that his friends were counting on him and that he couldn't let them down. Suddenly, his Millennium Puzzle glowed weakly.

"...Yugi..." a familiar voice called to him.

"Who's there?" Yugi called as he stopped and looked around. Just then, a figure stepped out from the trees and he was startled to see that it was his Yami. He looked weaker but still as confident as ever. He was also nearly translucent, like a ghost that was fading with the sunlight. "Yami, are you all right?" Yugi asked.

"Yes, aibou, but my time is getting short." Yami then stood face to face with Yugi. "I know what you are about to do. Yugi, I must tell you that dueling against Kristoff is a very dangerous move. However, only a duelist with the heart of a true champion and total faith in his cards as well as himself can face him and win."

"I don't know." Yugi said doubtfully. "You tried to duel him and he nearly killed you."

"He didn't try to kill me, merely imprison me within the puzzle as I was before. By doing so, my life force is beginning to drain. So listen to what I must tell you. Yugi, you have the strength inside of you to face Kristoff. All you have to do is tap into it."

"But how?"

"I will help you." Suddenly Yami, Yugi, and the Millennium Puzzle started to glow brightly. Yugi began to feel himself change, becoming infused with incredible power. When the light faded, he found that he felt more confident and much taller than before. Also, his Yami had disappeared as well.

"Yami?" Yugi called out. "Yami, where did you go?"

"I'm still here with you, Yugi, inside the Millennium Puzzle." Yami's voice said. "I've helped you unlock your own strength by giving you my own. But that is all I can do for you since it has left me too weak now. I've given up my own power to help you. Use it wisely, my friend. Good luck..." With that, the Millennium Puzzle was dark once again.

Yugi thought to himself as he continued on his way.

--------

When Yugi finally arrived, the sun was beginning to set on the horizon. Kristoff was waiting in the clearing, a superior smirk on his face and an evil gleam in his cobalt eyes. Yugi wasn't fazed.

"All right, Kristoff." Yugi said in a voice that was more confident then he'd ever been. "I'm here, as promised."

"Excellent." Kristoff then noticed that something was different about Yugi this time. He was much taller and much braver than before, like his Yami. Only his determined violet eyes remained the same. "I sense your Yami's power within you, Yugi. It seems the fool weakened himself by giving you his power. No matter. It won't help you in this duel."

"Enough." Yugi said as he took out his deck. "Let's get this over with." With that, both of them found themselves once more in the Shadow Realm.

"Time to duel!" Both of them said. With that, the Ultimate Duel had begun.

--------

After an hour, the duel became extremely intense for both of them. They were each down to only 800 life points. Both Kristoff and Yugi only had a few cards left. On the field was Kristoff's Feral Dragon card, a monster that looked a lot like the Blue Eyes White Dragon, and Yugi's Summon Skull. It was an even match.

"I commend you on your skill, Yugi." Kristoff said. "No opponent has ever lasted so long against me before, especially since your Yami is out of comission. However, it's time to bring this to an end. Feral Dragon, send the Summon Skull to the grave with your Black Flare!" Just as Feral Dragon fired his attack, Yugi flipped over one of his cards.

"Not today, since I'm using Mirror Force to reflect the attack right back at your monster!" Yugi declared confidently. Immediately, the attack flew straight back at the Feral Dragon, taking Kristoff's points down to 400.

"Good move." Kristoff then saw the next card he had drawn and smiled evilly. "Yugi, you should feel proud of how long you've lasted against me. But now bear witness to the card that shall destroy you! Apocalya, arise once again!" He laid the card down on the field and the monster appeared once more. "Apocalya, destroy the Summon Skull!" Immediately, the Summon Skull was destroyed, taking Yugi's life points down to 200.

"Oh no." Yugi thought to himself. "Apocalya's power is higher than any card I've got. With my life points down to 200, it won't be long before I lose my chance to save Tea. I failed..." Suddenly, Yugi saw his surroundings change. He looked up and saw Tristan, Joey, and Bakura standing in front of him.

"You can do it, Yugi." Tristan said.

"Yeah, show that freak what Duel Monsters is all about!" Joey added.

"We're all here for you." Bakura told Yugi.

"But I'm about to lose." Yugi said, starting to feel his self-doubt returning. "I used all of your cards during the duel and I'm still about to lose." Just then, Yugi turned and saw someone he didn't expect to see.

"Don't lose your faith in the cards, Yugi." his grandfather said. "Remember what I told you about the heart of the cards. They will guide you. Just trust in them and in yourself." With that, he was gone.

"Grandpa!" Yugi called out, feeling sad since he hadn't seen his grandfather in so long. Suddenly, he felt a warm hand touch his shoulder. He looked up and, to his surprise, saw that it was Tea!

"Tea!" Yugi cried happily as he hugged his friend. "I thought I would never see you again."

"Yugi, you can't give up now." Tea said to him. "For as long as I've known you, you've never let little setbacks stop you from doing what needed to be done. Your courage is one of the things we all admire about you. We all have faith in you and believe in you... like I do."

"I don't know." Yugi said. "If I don't win this duel, your soul will be gone. I couldn't live with myself if that happened. Tea, you mean more to me that I ever thought possible. I don't want to lose you."

"You won't lose me, Yugi." Tea said, gently touching his face with her hand. "I'm still here with you. So are Joey, Tristan, Bakura, and your grandpa. We know you can do it. I know you can do it."

"I... I promise I'll do my best." Yugi said, returning the caress.

"Good luck, Yugi." Tea said as she smiled sweetly. With that, she was gone and Yugi's surrounding changed back to the Shadow Realm. He felt more confident than he'd ever felt in his life. He took a card out of his deck and was startled. It was Joey's Red Eyes Black Dragon.

"Well, Yugi, aren't you going to finish your turn so I can finish your life points?" Kristoff said smugly.

"I will finish my turn." Yugi said as he slapped down a card. "First, I'll use Reborn the Monster to bring back my Summon Skull." Imediately, the monster reappeared. "Next, I'll play the Red Eyes Black Dragon in Attack Mode. Finally, through the magic of my Polymerization card, they will combine into the lethal Black Skull Dragon!" Both monsters merged into the dark dragon. "It's your move, Kristoff."

"With pleasure. This is the move that will cost you your friend's soul. Apocalya, destroy that creature!" Apocalya's attack engulfed the Black Skull Dragon but Yugi was smirking!

"You just played right into my trap!" Yugi declared as the attack disappeared. "I had laid down the Black Hole card! It allows any of my combined creatures to drain the attack power from your monster and raises my own by 800, raising my creature's strength to 4000! Now, Black Skull Dragon, Molten Fireball attack!" The attack engulfed the entire field in a blaze of fire.

"NNNOOOOOOOOOO!!!" Kristoff cried.

"I will release my friend and banish your evil as well. You may have escaped oblivion before, Kristoff, but not again! Never again!!!" Yugi said as he started to glow with renewed energy from his Millennium Puzzle. He raised his hand and Kristoff was immediately engulfed in powerful energy. The Shadow Realm faded back into reality and Yugi fell to his knees completely exhausted.

"Thank you, aibou." Yugi heard a familiar voice say to him. It was his Yami but he sounded distant. "Your courage has freed my soul to the afterlife. I know you will use my power to continue dueling. Good luck in your battle with Pegasus. I wish you well." With that, Yami was gone as was the glow of the Millennium Puzzle. Yugi looked up to the sky and smiled to himself.

"Thank you, Yami." Yugi said to himself as he got up. He turned around and saw his friends running up to him. He also saw that Tea was with them!

"Yugi!" Tea said as all of them ran up to their friend.

"Tea, you're alive!" Yugi said happily as he hugged his friend.

"Of course I am." Tea replied, a little puzzled since she didn't remember anything. "Why wouldn't I be?"

"It's a long story." Yugi answered.

"Well, it looks like that jerk Kristoff is gone again." Joey commented. "We're all proud of you Yuug."

"Thanks, Joey." Yugi said as he finally let Tea go.

--------

Later, after everyone had settled down to sleep, Yugi was thinking to himself once again. He felt proud that he was able to save Tea's soul but wondered if he could do the same for his grandfather. Pegasus was an opponent unlike any he faced before or since. Still, he knew that with his friends behind him that he would win.

"You okay, Yugi?" He looked up and saw that Tea was beside him. He explained to her what had happened to her and, though it took some clearing up, she understood.

"Yeah, I just can't sleep." Yugi said, sighing as he sat up. He knew that it was now or never. He had to tell Tea how he felt. "Tea, there's something I have to tell you and I don't want you to say anything until I'm done. Okay?"

"Okay." She then sat down beside Yugi as he turned to her.

"Tea, we've known each other a long time. You were my best friend. No matter what went wrong, I could always count on you to support and help me. Every time I would duel, you were the one who had the most faith in me. I could never express my gratitude enough for all of that."

"Go on." Tea said.

"When Kristoff dueled me and stole your soul, I was more scared than I ever was. It was the same feeling I had when Pegasus stole my grandpa's soul. It made me realize just how much you mean to me." Yugi then clasped Tea's hand gently. "Tea, I couldn't go on if I'd lost you without telling you how I feel. I... I love you."

At this, Tea blushed. She knew that Yugi cared a lot about her. It was in his eyes whenever they would look at each other. She felt the same way but could never finds the right words to tell him.

"Yugi..." Tea said softly as she blushed, looking deep into his kind eyes. "You mean a lot to me, too. You're one of the bravest and sweetest guys I've met. You even put your life on the line to save mine once. Yugi, what I'm trying to say is... I love you, too."

Yugi was in pure heaven when he heard those words. Feeling a little braver, he cradled her face in his hands, gently feeling the warmth and softness of her skin. Tea shivered from the touch, cherishing the feel of his fingers as they touched her skin. Their faces drew closer and closer until... Yugi Muuto and Tea Gardner shared their very first kiss. Neither one wanted the moment to end, losing themselves in the pleasure they felt from each other. Finally, both of them broke apart, blushing and breathing heavily.

"Oh Yugi, I wanted this for so long." Tea said.

"I did, too." Yugi replied. "You don't know how happy this has made me." He then looked up into the sky, seeing the stars shining brightly in the distance.

"So, what now?" Tea asked, following his gaze upward.

"Tommorrow, we have to head to Pegasus's castle." Yugi told her. "There, I'll be able to duel for my grandpa this time."

Tea looked at Yugi and saw the determination and slight fear in his eyes. He wasn't sure if he'd succeed or not. "Don't worry, Yugi. As long as me, Tristan, and Bakura are here, you and Joey will do just fine."

"Thanks, Tea." Yugi said as he smiled. With that, both of them continued looking at the stars for the rest of the night. Meanwhile, from somewhere far away from everything, Yami looked down on his aibou and his new girlfriend and smiled, knowing that Yugi would make him and his grandpa proud.


The End