sephydark: (evil yuugi)
[personal profile] sephydark
Title: Choices
Pairing: Puzzleshipping (Yuugi/Yami no Yuugi)
Genre: adventure
Rating: PG
Summary: Just before the Battle City tournament begins, Yami Yuugi faces the most important choice of his life: whether to search for his memories and possibly have to leave his friends, or keep things as they are and stay with Yuugi for the rest of his life. He chooses Yuugi.

No one knew his name, but he was known by many things. His friends called him the other Yuugi (Yuugi used "the other me", of course, but that was really the same thing). Bakura had called him the King. Before he had known better, he had thought of himself as a dark Yuugi. But all he really knew about himself now was that he was the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle.

Currently, the spirit was on a date with Anzu. He had not actually wanted to go on a date with Anzu, but Yuugi had set him up and the spirit hadn't realised what was going on until it was too late to back out. It hadn't been a bad date, at least: he had bought some new Duel Monsters cards (one of them was pretty good), and Anzu had gotten a chance to show off her dancing skills on an arcade game. Even though they had left the arcade and walked down to the water by now, she was still excited about her victory.

"That game made me feel like I could really dance! I feel as if I could do anything!"

But that only reminded the spirit of the things that had been making him unhappy recently. "Do anything..." he repeated quietly, voicing his thoughts. "My soul only exists in this Puzzle. There is a place where the Millennium Items go, my Puzzle as well. If I go there, maybe I can find out something about myself—why I exist, and what I should do..." The spirit paused for a moment, thinking. "But if I don't go," he finally said, "things can stay this way forever."

Anzu glanced over at him. "Yuugi," she said, "is that really what you're thinking?"

Yuugi's face swam before the spirit's eyes, then, reminding him of his reason not to go. "If things remain the way they are, I can stay in aibou's heart. I know that's what he wants too."

Anzu turned to look at him then, a determined expression on her face. "You might be sharing the same body, but remember, it's your heart you'll have to face in the end," she told him.

The spirit allowed his eyes to close in thought. Now that he didn't have the scenery to distract him, he couldn't get the images of Yuugi out of his head: Yuugi smiling, Yuugi laughing, Yuugi asking him if he wanted to play a game. If he didn't go to search for his memories, he would never know who he had been—but if he did, there might come a time when he would have to leave Yuugi forever. The spirit wasn't sure he could deal with that. And maybe finding out who he was in the past wasn't really so important. After all, he did have an identity here, and a life with Yuugi...

"I would like to get my memories back," he said finally. "But I couldn't face leaving aibou, not right now. I can't do it."

"If you're sure that's what you want," Anzu replied, quietly.

"I am sure," the spirit replied, already feeling more confident in his decision.

"Then you should do what you feel is right," Anzu said, though if the spirit had been paying attention he might have thought she sounded a little disappointed.

The spirit glanced over towards the setting sun. "It's probably about time for me to be going home, now."

"Yeah, I guess it is getting a little late," Anzu agreed.

"Do you want me to walk with you?" the spirit asked, realising that was probably the nice thing to do in this situation—Anzu was his friend, after all, even if he didn't want to date her.

"Oh, um, yeah, I would like that, if it's not too much trouble for you."

The spirit smiled a little, for the first time since he had begun to think about his future. "It's fine. We are going the same direction, after all."

"Thank you," Anzu said. She was quiet for the rest of the trip, but the spirit didn't mind that. He wasn't very interested in conversation right now.

Anzu and the spirit parted ways when they stepped off the bus, with Anzu going to her home and the spirit heading for the game shop. It was a slightly longer walk than it might have been, because the bus that Anzu had wanted to take was not the one that stopped nearest to the game shop, but the spirit didn't mind. The walk gave him more time to think about what his decision would mean for his future, and what he would say to Yuugi when Yuugi would inevitably ask what had happened. He wasn't sure he wanted to tell Yuugi everything just yet.

* * *

"Did your date with Anzu today go well, other me? You seem happier," Yuugi asked his other self late that evening, just as the other Yuugi had predicted he would. His mother was out doing something (Yuugi hadn't bothered to ask what when she left) and his grandfather had disappeared, so Yuugi figured that it was probably fine to speak to the other Yuugi out loud. He didn't need to, of course—it had been a while since he had learned to communicate mentally with the other Yuugi—but it felt more natural to him. It wasn't as though could speak to anyone else through his head, after all.

I guess you could say I'm happier, replied the spirit who had suddenly appeared next to Yuugi. I came to a decision about something that was bothering me today.

Yuugi looked at him curiously. "What was the decision? Er, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to," he added hastily as the other Yuugi's expression turned unreadable.

The other Yuugi smiled, although Yuugi could tell it lacked real emotion behind it, and placed a hand on Yuugi's shoulder. It's not important, aibou. It was only bothering me because I hadn't decided yet. That wasn't entirely true, but Yuugi didn't need to be told everything just yet.

"You're so boring, other me. You go on a date with Anzu and don't even tell me what you did?"

It wasn't a particularly exciting date, the other Yuugi said with a shrug. I don't really know what to tell you.

"Well, did you have fun? Should I set up another one?"

I guess it was fun. I think it would probably be better if you went on the next one, though.

"There, that's what I wanted to hear. And about your decision..."

It won't be bothering me anymore.

"That's alright then," Yuugi said, stifling a yawn. "Well, if you don't have anything else to tell me, I'm gonna go to bed now."

Oh, I almost forgot, I got some new Duel Monsters cards. They're over there. The other Yuugi gestured to the desk, where he had put the new cards next to their regular deck. I don't think I did too badly; I managed to get Lightforce Sword, and that's a pretty good one.

"Really? I can't believe you almost forgot to tell me that," Yuugi said, half-laughing, as he walked over to look at them. "Oh man, I can't wait to use these in my deck." He yawned again. "But I think that can wait for morning. G'night."

The other Yuugi smiled slightly. That sounds fine. Goodnight, he said, vanishing.

* * *

A few uneventful days later Yuugi found himself watching the evening news out of boredom. His mother was working late and his grandfather was meeting an old friend and his friends were all busy, and it seemed to Yuugi as though there was absolutely nothing to do. There wasn't even anything else worth watching on television. Not that the news itself was terribly interesting: the top story was about some business which was being investigated for illegal deals, and then came several mind-numbing reports on international politics. Yuugi was just about to leave so he could put together a puzzle or something (maybe he could get the other Yuugi to play a board game against him?) when the newscaster said, "Seto Kaiba, CEO of Kaiba Corporation, has begun his new Duel Monsters tournament, Duelist City, today in Domino," which stopped Yuugi in his tracks. Any mention of Kaiba was enough to get his attention and, well, a Duel Monsters tournament on top of that made it difficult to look away. "Though there is no prize for the winner, Kaiba released a statement earlier saying 'the prestige of winning a competition put on by Kaibacorp, combined with the possibility of obtaining rare cards from opponents, should be enough to make any real Duel Monsters player want to compete'. Battle City is expected to draw duelists and card collectors from throughout the country..."

But Yuugi didn't wait hear the end of the report; he was already busy calling to his other self so they could talk about it. "Other me, did you hear that? Kaiba's hosting a duel monsters tournament right here in Domino City! I wish we could have entered; it sounds like a lot of fun."

It could have been, agreed the other Yuugi, but that doesn't matter much if it's already started. Anyways, it sounds like the winner gets to take cards from the loser, and I don't really like that.

"You're probably right; that's not really the way I like to play either. A tournament still might have been fun, though."

The other Yuugi seemed amused. Maybe we'll enter the next tournament, if you want.

"Yeah, maybe," Yuugi replied ambivalently. "That reminds me, I wanted to go through our deck again."

Huh? You do?

"I know we re-did it when we were in the hospital, but I think we still have room to make it better."

Alright, the other Yuugi said, not seeming to care much one way or the other. What changes did you have in mind?

"Let's see... I thought maybe we should add that card you got with Anzu, and I'm not totally happy with all of the spell cards we have in there."

You seem to have a plan, so why don't you show me?

"Yeah, sure," Yuugi said, reaching for the remote so he could turn off the television. "Let me go get our deck."

* * *

The next day, as soon as he got enough time, Yuugi told his friends about the tournament. Jounouchi seemed to be even more upset that he missed it than Yuugi had been.

"Ugh. I coulda' won, too, I just know it!"

"You do remember what happened last time you dueled Kaba, right Jounouchi?" Honda asked. "Unless I'm mistaken, he completely wiped the floor with you."

"Yeah, well, I was distracted that time," Jounouchi shot back. "This time would be different!"

"Different? Unless you're talking about how Kaiba would win even faster, I doubt it," Honda replied.

"We can still enter the next tournament that comes around," Yuugi said quickly, figuring he should step in before things got too out of hand. "We could enter together; it'll be more fun that way."

"Huh? Wouldn't you have entered this one?" Jounouchi sounded surprised; he seemed to have (fortunately) completely forgotten the argument he had just been having with Honda.

Yuugi laughed. "The other me would never play Duel Monsters with an ante. He hates the idea of taking someone else's precious cards from them."

"Heh, I guess that does sound like him," Jounouchi replied, smiling back. "Always way too invested in his cards." He paused for a moment. "Man, I'm hungry. Wanna get something to eat after school?"

"Sure, I could really go for a hamburger right now," Yuugi agreed. Jounouchi thought that sounded like a good idea, Honda didn't seem to mind, and Anzu couldn't come with them anyways because she had work, so after three of them promised to meet up later they all headed off to their respective classes.

* * *

The next few days passed without much incident for Yuugi, until another news report informed him that (to no one's great surprise) Kaiba had won the Battle City tournament, although, somewhat disturbingly, several of the other contestants had been sent to the hospital in unexplained comas. "It is still unclear what caused these strange accidents," the newscaster droned at the camera, "but Kaibacorp stated in a press release this morning that they intend to investigate to the fullest of their abilities. According to an inside source, who has asked not to be named, all of the comas occurred after losses against the same opponent, although his connection with the situation is still unknown."

Yuugi, quite naturally, was sent into something of a state of shock after hearing the news. He stumbled to his room, where he could—he could what? Shuffle his deck? Play solitaire? There wasn't much at all he could do about this situation, in his room or out of it, though at least in his room he was far enough from the other residents of his house to speak with the other Yuugi without raising suspicion. "I guess we're probably lucky we weren't able to enter that tournament," he said, because he felt like he needed to say something. "It sounds like it was dangerous. I hope the duelists who got hurt weren't anyone we knew."

You're right, the other Yuugi replied. This is bad. It sounds far too much like a Shadow Game.

"Shadow Game? Like what we played against Pegasus?" Yuugi shivered at the memory. He didn't regret helping in that game, but nearly dying was not an experience he wanted to repeat anytime soon. "Can you tell?"

Not without seeing it myself. The signs are there, though, with them only happening after duels, and all against the same person, too.

"Mmm. Does this mean that whoever it is also has a Millennium Item?"

I think so, the other Yuugi said, pausing. No, wait, there was that one kid with the dragon cards—he managed to challenge us to a Shadow Game without having a Millennium Item.

"So, in other words, someone may or may not have been playing Shadow Games during the tournament, which may or may not have been connected to a Millennium Item. This is getting us nowhere! We barely even know any more than when we started!"

We know that we'll have to be careful. If it is someone with another Millennium Item, they may be our enemy; all the others have been.

"I just wish we had something definite," Yuugi said, frustrated. "For all we know, everyone just got food poisoning or something!"

The other Yuugi made a face at that. I know; I don't like it either. But all we can do right now is wait and hope nothing happens to us.

Over the next few days, Yuugi and his other self kept their guards up. The other Yuugi thought that an enemy might try to attack them in their sleep, so they took turns keeping watch in spirit form while their body slept. Yuugi's friends were a bit concerned about how tired this always seemed to leave him, but he didn't tell them his worries. He was keeping a close enough eye on them while they were with him, and they could be trusted to take care of themselves. Anyways, neither Yuugi nor the other Yuugi really wanted to worry them about something that might not even exist.

But after a couple of weeks had passed with still no sign of any enemy, Yuugi started to think that he might have just been being paranoid. After all, as the other Yuugi had assured him, he was fairly well known in gaming circles as the champion of Duelist Kingdom and the one who defeated Kaiba; it would not have been at all difficult for someone to find him if they were looking. So they began getting full nights' sleep again, and they stopped keeping such a close eye on their friends. After all, there wasn't any danger anymore.

Naturally, it was then that disaster chose to strike.
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January 2013

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