Yuugi smiled as he watched Anzu and her new husband dance across the ballroom floor. It had been a beautiful ceremony and he couldn't be happier for them. So many things have changed in recent years, he reflected. Graduations, jobs, marriages. Glancing around the room he felt happy to see his friends all with their significant others. It filled him with elation that they were all so fortunate. Many would think he’d be bitter after the loss of his most beloved person several years ago but that simply wasn’t the case. No, he was thrilled that his friends can find the joy of love. His other half wouldn’t want him to seep himself in bitterness. He’s already had his darkest moments those few weeks after Mou Hitori no Boku had left him. Darkest moments he’d rather not reflect on at what was supposed to be a happy time.
He gave Anzu a wide smile as she sat down next to him, her poofy dress spilling over the chair. It was the end of the night and most people had left. The only ones left were their little group of friends, almost too drunk to stand anymore. Even the DJ had started packing up.
“Having a good night?” He teased.
She laughed. “The best.”
“I’m glad, you deserve to be happy.” Yuugi reached over and patted her hand.
Her face turned somber and she placed a hand on his, holding it tightly. “So do you. It’s been bothering me since Jou got married. Why don’t you date? You know we all want you to be happy in your own love life too.”
He gave a light laugh and shook his head. “I am happy, I’m very happy. My friends are all married and in love, my job is fulfilling and exciting, and soon I’ll have a nephew. I don’t need a love life to be happy. I’m content with myself and the occasional fling while we’re still young.”
“But-” He shook his head more firmly this time to stop her.
“I don’t date because I simply can’t.” He explained.
She gave him a confused look. “What do you mean?”
His amethyst eyes dulled somewhat as he recalled those dark moments he hadn’t wanted to think about only minutes ago. “I can’t get into a relationship where I would never be able to love my partner the way they deserve to be loved.” A hand went to his chest over his heart. “In a relationship you give your heart and soul to your partner, mine is already in the afterlife. I can’t give what I don’t have.”
Tears formed in her eyes and he sighed. This is why he didn’t discuss his love life with anyone, they’d just get sad.
“Oh, Yuugi.” She said, her voice saddened.
He shook his head and smiled. “Don’t be sad, I’m happy with the way things are. I know in my heart that when the time is right I will return to him. That’s all I need to know.”
She nodded, her hand still clutching his. “If you say so.”
“I do say so.” He shook his head again and made a shooing motion with his hands. “Now, off you go. Be with your new husband instead of being here and sad with me.”
Anzu laughed and stood up, leaning over to hug him. “Alright, alright. I’ll go.” She kissed his cheek and went back to her new husband.
Yuugi smiled and sipped his drink. He really was happy. A relationship wasn’t something he needed to make him content, not when he had more than enough joy coming from fulfilling friendships and a job he genuinely enjoyed. Flings and one night stands could satisfy that rare sexual urge he might have but that was truly rare. It always felt like he was betraying Atem. He had made the decision to not date many years ago after a disastrous failed relationship. He realized he’d never be able to love his partner the way they deserved, not when all he could think about was his other half.
He had already been at a very dark place the weeks after Atem had left, deep in a darkness that took months to come out of. A darkness that almost claimed him had he not had the support of his grandfather and friends. He knew the immense amount of guilt he’d felt for not being able to love a partner would send him back into that place. No, it was better to avoid it all together.
He had his friends, they were his family and that was all he would need. From his seat he saw all of the people that mean the most, in love and he felt truly at peace. This was all he ever wanted for them. Yuugi touched his heart and stood from his seat, making his way outdoors and looking at the night sky.
“I wish you could see this, Mou Hitori no Boku. Everyone is so happy, Anzu just got married. Jou and Seto have been married for a few years now and are even talking about adoption. Honda and Otogi are both in loving relationships.” He felt the wind against his face and laughed.
“No, I couldn’t love anyone. Not when you still have my heart.”
“Aibou, are you sure you should be up and about?”
Yuugi snorted and shook his head, his body shaking as he stood from the bed. Many years had passed since that fateful day in Egypt and he was an old man now. He looked much like his grandfather, gray hair and wrinkles to boot. He had been living inside the Kaiba house for several years after a nasty fall that broke his hip. Oh the woes of getting old. Now, they were worried he was getting dementia because he was talking to Atem. No, he was as sound of mind as he could be at his age.
“I am 70 years old Mou Hitori no Boku, I can move on my own.”
The Pharaoh shook his head with a fond look. “I know that, I’m just concerned for your safety.”
“There’s no need.” He looked at the translucent figure of the proud Pharaoh. He wasn’t going insane or was sick. It was getting near the end of his time and the veil between life and death was getting thinner day by day. His final days were drawing near and he honestly couldn’t wait. He was more than ready to return to his beloved’s arms.
He’d lived a fulfilling life, achieved his dreams and more. He saw his loved ones grow, have children and watched those children have children. Seen history achieved by his own hands in brand new Egyptian discoveries during his days as an archeologist. He’s seen so many things, experienced so many things that despite not having a family to truly call his own, his life was full of joy and light.
No, it was time for him to move on. To return to where he’d always felt he was meant to be, back in his most beloved’s arms.
“Just because your time here is coming to an end doesn’t mean I want you hurt.”
He nodded and grabbed his cane, slowly made his way towards the door. “I know but I feel the time has finally come.” He walked out the door and down the hall.
Yuugi snorted, amused. He’d long ago accepted his time in this world was coming to an end the moment he saw Atem in his bedroom 6 months ago. Being so close to death had allowed the Pharaoh to appear before him, a guide to the afterlife in a way. It became a comfort to see the man, to know he was finally going to be where his heart had longed for.
“You don’t have to sound so enthusiastic about my death, Moy Hitori no Boku.”
He could see the Pharaon begin to look flustered, an odd look for a dead man. He snorted again. Walking slowly, he went into the living room to see his two friends and their young grandchildren sitting and watching a children's show.
The children greeted him and he returned the greeting. A part of himself realized this would be the last time he saw them and cherished the moment. Jou and Seto had adopted two children, a boy and a girl many years ago. The others of their group all had children of their own. He ended up with several nieces and nephews, grand nieces and nephews. Which he spoiled all of them rotten, much to their parents' displeasure.
His final day was spent with his friends, talking to them via phone or them visiting for the day.
As Yuugi made his way back to his bedroom for the last time, he felt satisfied. His life had been interesting in his teenage years. It’s not everyday you meet an ancient Egyptian spirit trapped in a golden puzzle, or fight actual monsters, have your soul taken or be the person to personally send the person you loved the most to their afterlife.
“Aibou…” He shook his head at the Pharaoh.
“Hush.” He whispered as he sat on his bed. “It was for the best, your soul deserved to rest. I am okay with the results. There is nothing I would change. My life has been lived to the best I could manage, I missed you every moment of every day but I lived a good life.”
Yuugi looked at the Pharaoh with a smile as he lay down, his body feeling heavy. “I loved my life. I loved seeing everyone succeed, love and laugh, to see so much and live through some wild times.”
He felt a faint touch on his cheek. His time was up but he wasn’t saddened, no, far from it. His life had been spectacular despite everything.
Yet, as he closed his eyes, his heart and soul sang for the first time since that fateful night he returned the soul of his beloved to his final resting place.
When he opened his eyes again he was deep in the sands of Egypt. He looked down and saw his body was once again 18. Looking up, he saw the palace and he ran.
Right into the arms of his beloved Pharaoh.
His heart and soul wept with true joy.
He was finally where he belonged.