the_goldenpath: (Yu-Gi-Oh! All Cast fics)
[personal profile] the_goldenpath
Title: The Feathered Dragon’s Wish
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters
Pairings: forthcoming Atemu x Yuugi x Jounouchi
Rating: M for shounen ai
Warnings: angst, melodrama and sap
Summary: (end of series ‘fix-it’) Yuugi’s leading the life of his dreams: he’s going to college, he has an amazing boyfriend and wonderful friends. Things are about to change when he realizes his feelings for his best friend have turned into love; what does that say about his own relationship and how is he going to deal with it?
Author's Notes: Feedback is a great thing.





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Yuugi lazily opened his eyes and smiled. He brought up his hand to touch Atemu’s face, as if he wanted to make sure the other really was there. Even after two years, ever since the Ceremonial Duel, it was hard to believe that yes, his Other Self was here with him, in this bed, in this life. He didn’t know what Atemu had said to the Gods, but he was granted his own body and the unique opportunity to live out his life, the way it was supposed to be. Yuugi was extremely grateful; he had loved his Other Self for so long and nobody was surprised at all that Atemu returned the feelings, if not even more passionate. Yuugi leaned into him and kissed him on the nose.

“I know you’re awake, mou hitori no boku,” he said, teasing him gently. “How come you have such a poker face when you play Duel Monsters, but you’re such a bad actor when you pretend to be asleep?”

Atemu shifted a little and opened his eyes as well. “I just enjoy these moments to ourselves, aibou.”

“True.” Yuugi scooted closer and wrapped his arms around Atemu. “We’ve been very busy as of late.”

Between college, work, family and friends there wasn’t much free time to be had, but Yuugi made sure to spend enough quality time with his boyfriend. He brushed his lips over Atemu’s, gently kissing him. “Did you sleep well?”

“Yes. You?”

“Wonderful.” Yuugi smiled against his skin, pressing another kiss wherever he could. Wednesday mornings were so relaxing, as his classes started in the afternoon and grandfather took the morning shift at the Game Shop. Sugoroku still liked and wanted to work at the store, and usually took a nap in the afternoon, when Atemu would take over. He yawned. “Want to shower together?”

“But of course.” Yuugi smiled again when Atemu returned the kisses passionately. How could life be so perfect? What had he done to deserve this? Every day was wonderful and amazing! He was surrounded by loved ones and friends all day and shared his life with someone he loved so profoundly. It was like living a fairytale. Yuugi enjoyed every moment, whether it was taking a shower with Atemu - and stealing kisses - or having breakfast or going to college and meet Jounouchi there, working on projects, or talking to his mother or grandfather, or watching a movie… everything was amazing and great! Yuugi had certainly blossomed after the Ceremonial Duel had ended. Now that the stress of possibly losing Atemu was gone and the former Pharaoh was a stable element in his life, loving him with every beat of his heart, Yuugi could fully concentrate on developing himself. He graduated Domino High and enrolled into college to study Game Design. It was a logical choice, even though he didn’t like studying that much in itself.

Yuugi wasn’t fond of textbooks or spending hours in class; he rather focused on the projects, team efforts or solo, of designing and developing games. It had been a great and a pleasant surprise that Jounouchi enrolled into college as well, choosing the same study. Yuugi was very happy to have his best friend so close; Anzu had left for New York to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer, Otogi focused on his chain of Black Crown stores, Honda worked at a motorcycle shop and Bakura also attended college, but he had chosen an entirely different masters. It felt like the tight circle of friends had drifted apart a little, much to Yuugi’s dismay. It was inevitable of course, and it was a big consolation that they all kept in touch with each other quite intensely, through cell phone, e-mail and video messages.

The morning flew by. “I have to go,” Yuugi checked his watch. “I’ll be home late tonight, remember?”

“Yes,” Atemu answered. “Give my regards to Jounouchi-kun, aibou.”

Yuugi nodded and kissed him on the cheek. “I will, mou hitori no boku. See you tonight!”

He ran downstairs and stopped by the store to say goodbye to his grandfather, but Sugoroku was caught up with a customer. Yuugi didn’t want to interrupt him and hurried outside. Today he was going to spend a lot of time with Jounouchi, as they had to present their mid-term project to the rest of the class. Yuugi’s backpack weighed a ton; his laptop was inside, along with text books and his bento. Atemu always stuffed his backpack to the brim with bottled water, snacks and sweets, assuming that Yuugi either had the time to eat it or had room enough in his stomach; but it was a silent agreement that most of the food was meant for Jounouchi. Yuugi would happily share, as he knew his best friend didn’t have that much money to spend on food. He wondered how Jounouchi had been able to pay for college in the first place as the workload was so heavy that he couldn’t hold a job to support himself, like he did back in High School.

Yuugi didn’t like to broach the subject of money though, so if he could help Jounouchi out with food… he arrived at campus and greeted fellow students here and there. Most of them recognized Yuugi from the broadcasted Battle City tournament and sometimes referred to him as King of Games. Yuugi didn’t care much for the title and thought it belonged to Atemu anyway. He was the one still playing Duel Monsters actively, both online and in real life, and a lot of costumers came by at the Game Shop to talk to him and ask for strategic tips, and buy cards and booster packs in the process. The store had never flourished so well before, and the Mutou family was financially secure… which made it even harder to see Jounouchi still wearing old clothes, while Yuugi could buy himself a new wardrobe any time he wanted. Of course, any hints in that direction were shut down immediately by Jounouchi himself; he refused to take any money from anyone, no matter how well-intended.

“Good morning Yuugi,” said best friend in question grinned at him. “Ready for our presentation?”

“Ready!” Yuugi beamed at him in return. Jounouchi was saving up for a laptop, so they had to use the one belonging to Yuugi. He had offered to buy him one, but Jounouchi had declined, of course. It was too big of a gift and he couldn’t - and wouldn’t - accept it, not like that. He insisted on paying back if Yuugi were to buy him a laptop and Yuugi didn’t want Jounouchi to feel indebted to him and add to any strain. He realized that the other’s pride and honor were at stake, so he never pushed the issue. They were friends anyway, so what did it matter if they used his laptop all the time? He always felt so happy to see Jounouchi and he would share everything with him. Everything and anything. As they walked to class and Jounouchi was talking about a funny show on TV, Yuugi simply watched him, taking in his features.

When had he started to think of Jounouchi as more than just his best friend? He had told him he loved him once before, during that awful duel, set up by a vengeful Malik Ishtar. Chained to an anchor, tied to a bomb and dueling with their lives on the line, Yuugi had reached out to a possessed Jounouchi by telling him he loved him, the only way he knew how to break that awful hold. It had worked and Jounouchi had been able to free himself. Even though neither one of them ever spoke of that duel again, Yuugi had spoken the truth. He truly loved Jounouchi, as a friend, a best friend… but was he falling in love with him or not? Something inside him was clashing, conflicted emotions and feelings, and Yuugi didn’t know what to do. To make the situation worse, he had the feeling that… it was actually mutual. Jounouchi would look at him in a particular way, or make sure they touched, especially while working on their project.

They huddled together as they shared the laptop and Jounouchi’s fingers would wander close, touching Yuugi’s, and lingering just a few seconds too long… it was strange, but true. He could tell Jounouchi anything, of course. After what they had been through, nothing was secret between them - but there was a difference between love as friends and love as… more than friends. Yuugi didn’t know whether to bring this topic up in conversation. Certainly, if Jounouchi felt the same, he would mention something?

They were the first to arrive in class and Yuugi booted up the laptop. He loaded the presentation. Jounouchi stared intently at the screen and they went through it one more time.

“We’re going to kill it,” he said, satisfied. “No one has ever come up with such a game design before! We have everything worked out to perfection: strategy, marketing, audience, the whole package!”

“It would be nice to get a high grade,” Yuugi said. They both did quite well, but it was so much hard work, and it was nice to be recognized and rewarded. He pulled out one of the bento boxes from his backpack and handed it to Jounouchi, whose eyes lit up.

“For me?”

“For you,” Yuugi grinned. Jounouchi opened it and held the chopsticks between his fingers, obviously in doubt what to pick first. He went for the teriyaki chicken meat balls and enjoyed the taste.

“This is really good!” he said. Yuugi knew that sooner or later, the moment would come when Jounouchi would express embarrassment about not bringing any bento himself. Sure enough, he emptied the bento in no time, but before he could say something, Yuugi raised his hand.

“It’s all right, Jounouchi-kun,” he said. “I’m glad I can help you out like this.”

“Yeah, I know…but it doesn’t feel right, you know? I feel like a leech.”

“You didn’t ask for this situation, Jounouchi-kun. Don’t worry about it.”

“Thanks, man.” He looked a bit embarrassed though, but they didn’t have time to discuss any further as their fellow students came in and it was time for the presentation.


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



Yuugi was glad to be home again. He was very excited; the sensei had awarded him and Jounouchi with a high grade, and their presentation had outclassed all of the others. However, after an entire afternoon of classes and presentations, he felt drained. Yuugi changed into his house slippers and went upstairs, calling for Atemu. He found him in the living room, relaxing after a day’s work at the Game Shop. Yuugi plopped next to him on the couch and nuzzled him.

“How did your presentation go, aibou?”

“We aced it!” Yuugi told him about his afternoon and his high grade. Atemu kissed him on the cheek.

“Congratulations! You both deserve it, after all that hard work. Did Jounouchi-kun eat the bento I prepared?”

“Yes, he emptied it to the last crumb. I’m a little worried about him, mou hitori no boku.”

“How come?”

“I really don’t mind that he relies on us for food, but it shouldn’t be, you know? He has such a hard life. I wish he didn’t have to worry and that he could buy everything he wanted, and not having a care in the world.”

“I know what you mean, but unfortunately life is not fair to everyone. As long as we can share with him, aibou, he will be all right.”

“You’re right.” Yuugi enjoyed this moment. His mother could call any second from the kitchen that dinner was ready, but he just wanted to get a quick nuzzle in…

“Aibou, I need to talk to you about something.”

“Yes, what is it?” Yuugi looked up at him. His voice hadn’t sounded distressed, so it wasn’t something bad…at least, he hoped it wasn’t bad.

“Kaiba dropped by the store today,” Atemu said.

“No way! Kaiba-kun?” Yuugi almost shouted. He hadn’t seen Kaiba in quite a while. “I’m sorry I missed him!”

“He had a proposition for me,” Atemu said, sounding a little hesitant. “He asked me to become an international promoter for Duel Monsters. He wants to launch the game in the United States, and he would like me to travel there to demonstrate the game and do promotional work as the King of Games.”

“You should totally take that offer!” Yuugi was ecstatic. “See something of the world! Play Duel Monsters to your heart’s content!”

Atemu wasn’t convinced. “I do not want to do that alone, aibou. I cannot imagine being at the other side of the world, without you!”

Yuugi kissed him passionately. “I’ll be quite lonely, yes,” he admitted, “but your happiness is more important than me. No, I don’t want to hear about it. This is a once in a lifetime chance! This is such a unique opportunity, you’d be crazy to pass up on it!”

“I have the feeling you want me to leave for the United States,” Atemu said, a bit downtrodden. Yuugi wrapped his arms around him and held him tight.

“I want you to enjoy your second chance as much as possible, mou hitori no boku. Remember, you died very young as a Pharaoh. Now you’re here, you’re alive, it would be a waste to not enjoy it to the fullest! Maybe I can come along too, if Kaiba doesn’t plan it during college periods!”

“He needed to work out the details, but he wanted to know if I was interested,” Atemu said. “I told him that I wanted to talk to you first.”

“Excellent choice.” Yuugi kissed him on the cheek. “My Other Self’s going to the United States, and this time you’re going to enjoy it!”


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After dinner, the entire family watched a TV show together in the living room. Yuugi sat next to Atemu of course, cuddling and stealing kisses. Sugoroku sat in his favorite chair and Yuugi’s mother sat next to him in another chair, comfortable with an afghan on her lap. Suddenly, a loud ringtone startled everyone out of their attention on the show.

“Sorry, my bad,” Yuugi apologized. He retrieved his cell phone from his back pocket and checked the display. Jounouchi. “Moshi moshi?”

“Hey, Yuugi,” his friend’s voice came through clearly, “you finish up tomorrow around three, right?” They weren’t in all the same classes, as Yuugi moved more towards developing and design and Jounouchi towards programming.

“Yes, I’m pretty much done by then,” he answered.

“Would you mind meeting up at the cafeteria? We’ll go over to my place, then.”

“Sure, no problem. See you tomorrow!” He ended the phone call, slightly confused. Jounouchi never invited anyone over to his apartment, too ashamed of his poor living conditions. Why would he insist on bringing him over? He put the phone back where it belonged and cuddled up to Atemu again.

“So, you are going to be home late tomorrow again?”

“It’s a bit hectic at the moment, yes,” Yuugi said. “I have to study for the upcoming mid-term tests too.”

“But at least you are at home when you are studying.”

“Is that a pout, Pharaoh?”

“No, it is not,” Atemu denied. A slightly dangerous frown appeared on his face. “But if you were to hang out this much with someone else but Jounouchi-kun, I would have a word with that other person.”

“Everything is all right,” Yuugi reassured him. But was it, really?


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



Yuugi waited patiently at the cafeteria, greeting his fellow students. He checked his watch; it was just after three. Maybe he could get a snack from his backpack, the lecture had been going on and on…

“Sorry to keep you waiting, Yuugi!” Jounouchi walked up to him.

“Oh, don’t worry, I wasn’t here for long.”

“All right, let’s go.” Jounouchi slung his own backpack over his shoulder and they left the large building. On their way to his apartment building, they discussed neutral topics: classes, the weather, movies, music. Yuugi figured that Jounouchi would bring up whatever what was bothering or important to him, soon enough. As they entered the apartment building, the stench of urine and vomit hit him right in the face and he scrunched up his nose. Jounouchi apologized.
“We better not take the elevator, unless you want to die a quick death. I expect the cables to
snap anytime soon.”

Yuugi shivered and hurried up the stairs after Jounouchi. He ignored the graffiti on the walls, the horrendous stench and the garbage and debris everywhere. Jounouchi pulled out his keys and opened the door. He allowed Yuugi to walk in first. It was a very small apartment and Yuugi felt a little ashamed. Compared to where he lived, this apartment was a mere broom closet.

“Your father isn’t here, Jounouchi-kun?” he asked.

“He goes ‘out’ more often, lately,” Jounouchi said, putting his backpack on the table. He went to the extremely small kitchen area to prepare tea. “That is, going out somewhere to drink. I’m glad he takes off with his ‘friends’. Sometimes he calls me to pick him up at a bar or a café, but I never respond. He always finds his way back home anyway, and I don’t care. And he knows I don’t care.”

“It must be really stressful. No wonder you make such long days at college.”

“Yeah, most people don’t see me for a bookworm, but the library is a warm and comfy place and there’s no better place for me to go to when I want to study,” Jounouchi said. “And I catch some sleep there as well.” The water cooker was done and he turned it off, pouring the hot water into the cups. “What kind of tea would you like?”

“I’m fine with anything,” Yuugi said. Jounouchi choose a plain green tea and while the tea was steeping, they settled at the kitchen counter. The usually so talkative Jounouchi waited silently until the tea was ready and he removed the teabag. Simultaneously, they raised their cups to take a sip. Yuugi didn’t speak either. It was obvious that his friend was struggling to find the right words, but as he had no idea what was on Jounouchi’s mind, he didn’t know how to give him a start.

“Yuugi, lately…” he said and then shook his head to start anew. “Yuugi, we’ve been through quite a lot, and you were always there to have my back. Thanks to you, I made it out of the world of gangs and turned into a semi-decent guy. Without you, I wouldn’t have made it this far.”

“Jounouchi-kun, you have to give yourself more credit,” Yuugi said. “It wasn’t only because of me, it was you who had the strength and determination to free yourself from the gang. You had the courage to make the choice.”

“Yes, but without you I wouldn’t have made that choice at all,” Jounouchi insisted. “You helped me to become a true duelist and you stood by me through everything that happened during the tournaments and thereafter.”

“I can say the same thing about you,” Yuugi gave back. “You saved my life more than once, Jounouchi-kun. Remember that burning warehouse..?”

“Yes, I remember.” He stared into his teacup. “Yuugi, I just… I just don’t know how to say this, so I’m going to say it as it comes up in my mind. I’m not good with words.”

“You can tell me anything you want to, Jounouchi-kun.”

“I love you,” Jounouchi blurted out.

“I love you too,” Yuugi immediately retorted.

Jounouchi showed him a smile. “I love you more than just a friend, Yuugi. Ever since we worked together so intensely on our presentation, it confirmed to me that I love being with you, and not as just a friend. Everything about you makes me so damn happy, and I just want to be with you all the time.”

“Jounouchi-kun…”

“I’m sorry,” he said. “That was probably not something you wanted to hear. I feel like a moron for dumping it onto you like this. I wanted you to know, above all. I just couldn’t keep silent any more. I should’ve kept my mouth shut, though… I’m so afraid it’s going to affect our friendship. I’ve gotten it off of my chest now, but you’re troubled by it instead.”

“No, I’m not,” Yuugi said. “Because I love you too, Jounouchi-kun. It’s something I’ve been struggling myself with as of late... it’s weird and confusing, and I… couldn’t understand what was going on. Now I know that it’s more than ‘just friends’.”

“What do you mean?” Jounouchi asked. “Are you… you’re really serious, aren’t you?”

“I’ve never lied to you before,” Yuugi said. “Yes, I’m really serious, Jounouchi-kun. I noticed that I started seeing you differently, that I wasn’t looking forward to see you but that I was longing to see you everyday. It’s still very confusing though, because of... the person who waits for me at home.”

“Atemu,” Jounouchi said.

“My very own Pharaoh. How could anyone else but him be such a great part of my life? If there’s anyone who could ever match up to him, to be his equal, then it would be you, Jounouchi-kun.”

He slowly nodded. “I have another confession to make, Yuugi. The love I feel for you, also extends to him.”

“You love Atemu as well?”

“I do. He’s a wonderful friend and an amazing person… he’s been a part of you and now that he’s on his own, I just… I can’t put it into words. We’ve shared so much, the three of us. We’ve been through adventures and hardships, we’ve seen ups and downs, we laughed and we cried. It’s so obvious that you two are a unity and that there’s nothing, or no one, that can come between you. Which is, of course, the entire difficulty of the situation in a nutshell.”

Yuugi forgot about his tea. “What if he would love you too, Jounouchi-kun?”

“That would be heaven,” Jounouchi said. “But I don’t think that’ll ever be possible, Yuugi. He’s totally devoted to you, and I don’t think he even considers the possibility that there could be anyone else feeling the same. I don’t want to come between the two of you. I don’t want to ruin anything between us. I’m very content to have his friendship… I’d feel extremely happy if I were to have his love.”

Yuugi moved his hand, reaching for Jounouchi’s and taking it into his. Jounouchi took a sharp breath; he hadn’t expected Yuugi to be this forward. He didn’t say anything though, and they sat like that for a couple of minutes.

“What should we do?” Jounouchi asked. He averted his eyes. “I didn’t want to burden you with this, I really didn’t. I’m so sorry. I shouldn’t have told you.”

“No, Jounouchi-kun.” Yuugi didn’t look him in the eyes either. He hadn’t expected this, so much was true; and his initial happiness that Jounouchi reciprocated his feelings was muted down by the thought of his beloved Pharaoh. Atemu would never accept anyone else in Yuugi’s -or his- life like this. Jounouchi was right; Atemu was totally devoted to him and would reject anyone even proclaiming to feel love for him, Yuugi. His heart was breaking. He was convinced he had more than enough love for the two most important people in his life, but Atemu wasn’t just his lover, he was the other half of his soul… “I’m very glad that you told me. I… really don’t know what to say or to do, however. It’s not like we can act upon it. I can’t tell him like this, he wouldn’t understand. Jounouchi-kun…”

“He means more than the world to you.” Jounouchi squeezed Yuugi’s hand. “I would never expect that to change.”

Yuugi tried to smile. He didn’t doubt Jounouchi’s honesty. He wished the three of them could be happy together, but he didn’t know how to make it work. “I would never do anything to hurt him.”

“I know, and I would be offended if I did. I love the both of you so much. Don’t worry about me. I’ll get over this.”

“We… can try to gauge his reaction,” Yuugi said, hesitantly.

“I’m not suggesting we should immediately launch into a threesome,” Jounouchi said, attempting to alleviate the slight tension. It worked; Yuugi chuckled. “I could spend a weekend at your place?”

“That would be nice,” he said, “your company is always appreciated.”

The tea had turned stone cold and Jounouchi threw it out. He turned on the water cooker again, his movements slow as if he was stalling for time.

“What’s this going to change between us, Yuugi?” he finally asked, a worried undertone in his voice.

“As far as I’m concerned, nothing.” Yuugi spoke with more confidence than he actually felt. “I know this isn’t going to be easy, Jounouchi-kun. Rest assured of my love for you… and maybe the future will bring us more.”

“Then I’ll keep my hopes for the future,” Jounouchi said.


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