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.

Jounouchi had agreed to watch TV with him that Saturday evening. The idea of relaxing while watching a generic action movie appealed to him; after all, he’d been studying just as hard as Yuugi, and they were exhausted from taking the mid-terms. It was time to wind down; Yuugi prepared a wide array of snacks while Jounouchi had bought a couple of Sapporo beers. They both were very modest drinkers; Yuugi didn’t like the taste of alcohol all that much, and Jounouchi was afraid to end up just like his father.

They made themselves comfortable in the living room, surrounded by snacks and drinks, as they watched the movie. Yuugi enjoyed spending time like this: no worries about studies, projects, work or any other obligation. He sat next to Jounouchi on the sofa, commenting on the movie while either snacking or sipping the beer. He had his cell phone out for when his grandfather would call to come pick him up, and of course for any incoming messages of Atemu. He was in New York at this stage of his Duel Monsters promotion tour and the time difference was at least fourteen hours, so Yuugi didn’t really expect a message right now… but you never know.

“I can’t believe this plot twist!” Jounouchi exclaimed. “He has a twin brother that no one has heard of or met before?”

“It’s like a soap opera disguised as a movie, just by adding some explosions and guns,” Yuugi commented. Jounouchi chuckled.

“How do you like this concept for our newest game? A soap RPG, or an action love story? Our teachers would be horrified!”

“We could say we wanted to try out something different,” Yuugi said. “A soap game!”

“Who knows? The best ideas start off on a spontaneous whim.”

“True, true.” Yuugi shook his can of Sapporo beer; it was empty.

“Would you like another?”

“No, thank you, Jounouchi-kun. I have to pick up my grandfather still tonight… I’ll make some tea, all right?”

“Yeah, I’ll switch to tea as well.” Jounouchi put his empty can to the side and continued to watch the movie while Yuugi busied himself with preparing the tea. He returned to the living room when he was done.

“What did I miss?”

“The twin brother has kidnapped his brother’s girlfriend,” Jounouchi said, “and strapped her to some kind of doomsday device. Who knew he was evil all along?”

Yuugi laughed and poured the tea. He handed a cup to Jounouchi. “Here you are.”

“Thank you.” He smiled. “You really like to take care of others,” he said. “Your big and kind heart, that makes you so special.”

Yuugi blushed slightly. “It’s how I’ve always been, Jounouchi-kun.”

“I know.” Jounouchi sipped the tea. The movie was almost at its end, but they had lost their interest in it anyway. “Yuugi…we’ve spoken about our feelings. We confessed to each other… but did we actually speak about when we started to feel… this for each other? I mean… you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to.”

Yuugi didn’t need to think. “I’ve always admired your strength, willpower and determination,” he said. “You fight for what you believe in. You had the strength to leave your old life of violence and gangs behind. The strength to withstand your father and his alcoholism, not allowing him to dominate your life. You believed in your sister, that she could make it through the surgery, and you did everything in your power to help her. You never back off, not even once, especially if you have a goal set in your mind. Not many people thought you’d succeed at university, but you proved them wrong. I’ve loved you for a long time, Jounouchi-kun. It’s really hard to determine the moment ‘when’. It’s been… simmering for quite a while. I put my feelings on hold, for lack of a better description, when we were so busy finding Atemu’s name, and the events leading up to the Ceremonial Duel. After that, when he got to stay, I was so ecstatic that there was no room for anyone else at the moment… but my feelings for you never went away. Especially when we worked together on that last project. It felt like so many pieces coming together.”

Jounouchi nodded. “I knew it for a long time,” he said. “It was hard for me to understand, because you’re my best friend, and I couldn’t understand the attraction at first, both physical and emotional. I didn’t realize that best friends could evolve to lovers, and I didn’t know how to deal with it. You’ve been always there, always supporting me, and you’re such a part of my life that I can’t imagine spending one day without you. My life would be worthless without you. Now I know that I want to be with you, Yuugi. As a lover, as a friend... I’ll take anything.”

Yuugi was silent for a moment. “What about Atemu?” he softly asked.

“When your soul had been taken away during the whole DOMA ordeal,” Jounouchi continued, a saddened hint to his voice as that had been a particularly painful and stressed experience, “he was so lost, so sad, so full of guilt. All I wanted to do was to take him into my arms and tell him everything was going to be all right. I regarded him as a friend up until then, but when I saw his vulnerable, open side - that strong Pharaoh, thrown back on himself and no one but himself, and still finding the courage to grow and face his opponents - that’s when I knew. He’s so human and divine at the same time, and I would do anything for him. I would do anything for the both of you. But…”

“But what?”

“At that same time, I learned the lesson that my love for him was simply impossible,” Jounouchi said, downtrodden. “He would never reciprocate. He couldn’t think about anything or anyone but you. Not to redeem himself, not to conquer Dartz, no, just to get you back. The way he spoke of you - it was so, so clear. In his eyes, his voice, his posture. Did Anzu ever tell you about his duel with Haga on top of a train, by any chance? No? Haga showed him a card, claiming that it contained your soul. He ripped it up in front of him.”

“How horrible!” Yuugi listened attentively, abhorred.

“Atemu had a combination in play that allowed him to draw and deal damage to his opponent if the drawn card was a monster card below a certain ATK. She didn’t know the exact details…”

“Sounds like Berserker Soul to me,” Yuugi was quick to recognize the combo. “Go on.”

“Anyway, Atemu could finish Haga in just two attacks, but he went on and on,” Jounouchi said. “Anzu lost count, but she thought it was at least seven, eight times. It was complete overkill. That was his reaction.”

Yuugi felt sad. He didn’t have much sympathy for Haga, but not even he had deserved this. On the other hand, Atemu’s extreme reaction didn’t really surprise him.

“He would kill for you, Yuugi,” Jounouchi said. “He will kill for you if it’s necessary. And I love him for that protectiveness, that utter devotion, that solid love. I wish could experience the same, but it’s impossible.”

“No Jounouchi-kun, please don’t keep saying that.”

“We have to be realistic.” Jounouchi moved up his hand, touching Yuugi’s cheek. His fingers trembled. “He’ll never accept me into a relationship, Yuugi. His love is only for you, and he’ll reject any notion that he could love anyone else as much as you.”

“I know.” Yuugi couldn’t help himself, he leaned into his touch. It wasn’t as familiar as Atemu touching him, Jounouchi’s fingers weren’t as long and slender as his, but it was so… welcome, so warm. “I know he cares for you. I… if we talk to him… we might get a positive answer. We can at least try, can’t we?”

“I also love your optimism,” Jounouchi said, but there was a definitive spark of hope in his voice. He moved his thumb to stroke Yuugi’s cheek. “I love you so much.”

“I love you too, Jounouchi-kun.” How could it be so sweet and so bitter at the same time? He tilted his head a little, as to not lose the other’s touch; they were so close now, Jounouchi leaning into him, and they kissed. It was hard to tell who initiated it; Yuugi parted his lips as soon as Jounouchi leaned into him, and he reacted. The kiss was full on the lips, intense and almost electrifying - it lasted only a few seconds and they pulled away from each other as if shocked by a jolt of energy.

“You have no idea how much I longed for that to happen,” Jounouchi said, out of breath. “I… I’m sorry, and I’m not sorry.”

“I…” Yuugi didn’t know what to say. Guilt overwhelmed him, conflicting and confusing.

“I should be sorry,” Jounouchi said. “I really didn’t mean to push it, Yuugi. I take full responsibility. I’ve set something in motion and I can’t stop. All the Gods help me, but I can’t stop. I thought I could bury or ignore my feelings and act like nothing was going on, but then I was evicted from my apartment and I moved in here… I was about to explode from happiness, just from being so close to the both of you.”

“Jounouchi-kun, I don’t regret kissing you. I’m not ashamed for feeling the way I feel for you,” Yuugi said. “But it wasn’t the right thing to do. We can’t keep Atemu in the dark about this.”

“We should tell him,” Jounouchi agreed.

“I’ll tell him, Jounouchi-kun.”

“No, I’ll do it. I started it. If he gets mad, I’d rather have his anger directed at me.”

“That’s not fair, Jounouchi-kun. I went along with the kiss, so it’s as much my responsibility as it’s yours. You don’t have to take the blame. I’m convinced of my love for you and I know you love me. I don’t doubt that. It’s hard for me to comprehend that I can love someone else just as much as I love Atemu. Does that mean he’s not enough for me?”

“No, I don’t think so,” Jounouchi said. “I can’t honestly say which one I love more. I want to be with the both of you, for the rest of my life. It’s overwhelming, yet satisfying. It feels like a natural fit, to be with you both.” He shook his head, sending his blond strands flying. “This is my fault. I should’ve kept my mouth shut. I crossed boundaries and I just… couldn’t stop. And that sounds weak, even to my ears. If you want me to leave, I’ll understand.”

“No, I don’t want you to leave,” Yuugi said hastily and put his hand on Jounouchi’s. “But we can’t keep this to ourselves. I don’t want to go any further, not before I’ve spoken to him. I don’t want to hurt him.”

Jounouchi hesitated. “Would you… do you think that he would ever be open to… you know, us? The three of us?”

“I’m not sure. Like you said, he’s very one-track-minded, when it comes to the partner he loves. We never discussed an open relationship, as it was pretty clear from the start that we’d be only interested in each other. I’ve never, ever fathomed that this could happen.”

“What if he rejects it?”

“We can’t force him, Jounouchi-kun. No matter how painful, if he rejects it… us… then…” Yuugi felt a slight panic surging through his body. “I don’t want to choose between you and him! I don’t want you on the sidelines! I want you to be a part of my life, just like Atemu is!”

“We have to be strong, or we’ll end up hurting someone innocent we both love so much.”

“Yes, you’re right. Let’s finish watching the movie,” Yuugi said, but the relaxed atmosphere was gone and he was glad that the silence was interrupted by a call from his grandfather, who wanted to be picked up at his friends’ place.


Restlessly, Yuugi paced back and forth. It was close to midnight and Atemu could arrive home any moment. He had text-messaged Yuugi that a KaibaCorp. limousine would take him to the Game Shop, sparing him a late trip to the airport. Yuugi anxiously waited for the former Pharaoh’s, along with the rest of the family and Jounouchi, who sat on the top of the stairs.

“I hear a car!” Yuugi made a beeline for the door, tore it open and was just in time to see Atemu stepping out of the luxurious limo. Yuugi ran towards him, arms spread wide to take him into a massive bear hug.

“Mou hitori no boku!”

“Aibou,” Atemu answered, almost choked to death by Yuugi’s tight grip. He managed to return the gesture by wrapping his arms around him. Yuugi pressed kisses all over his face.

“I missed you so much!”

“I missed you too,” Atemu said, pursing his lips for another kiss. Yuugi clung to him and refused to move until the driver coughed, a little awkwardly.

“Oh, yes, excuse me,” Yuugi said and broke up the embrace. “Go inside, mou hitori no boku. Everybody’s waiting for you!”

The driver retrieved his luggage and Jounouchi helped to carry his suitcase. “Jounouchi-kun! So good to see you.”

“Good to see you too,” Jounouchi said, his voice as normal as could be, but he didn’t repeat the exuberant hug from when he said goodbye to him. Atemu looked tired from the trip, so without stalling, they went inside where Yuugi’s mother and grandfather waited.

“I had such a wonderful time,” Atemu said after greeting his family. “I have so much to tell!”

“You’re exhausted, mou hitori no boku,” Yuugi said. “You have a massive jetlag and I know you didn’t have a moment of rest on your tour, Kaiba made sure of that. Why don’t you go to bed immediately? It’s far past midnight anyway. We can listen to your stories when you’ve rested.”

“He’s right, Atemu,” Jounouchi agreed. “Even the bags under your eyes have bags.”

“Well, I cannot argue with that,” Atemu said. “But first, I am going to take a shower. I feel cold.”

“Sure. Let’s get you upstairs.” Yuugi pushed him gently and without further protest, Atemu took the second set of stairs, to the attic. Yuugi couldn’t stop touching him, he was so glad that he was home again, and he was delighted to hear that Atemu had enjoyed his time overseas. For now, the excitement that the other half of his soul had returned, drowned out his worries and what he had to tell him.


The next morning, Atemu had lost his voice and developed a nasty cough. Yuugi touched his forehead, and hissed.

“You’re running a fever, mou hitori no boku,” he said. “You probably caught a bug on the plane.”

“I have not seen a bug on the plane,” Atemu protested and coughed again. “It was a very clean aircraft.”

“It’s not something you can see,” Yuugi tried to explain. “It’s a virus, something microscopically small that can make you sick.”

“Oh... but I have never been sick before,” he said.

“There’s a first time for everything. You better stay in bed and rest up.”

“Kaiba is going to kill me,” Atemu said, as far as he was understandable; his voice was a fraction of what it used to be.

“He can wait until you have fully recovered,” Yuugi said determinedly. “Leave him to me. You’re going to stay in bed, mou hitori no boku, until I say you’re well enough to get up.”

“But what about you?” Atemu asked. Yuugi patted his hand.

“Don’t worry. I’ll put a futon on the floor.” It wouldn’t be a good idea to snuggle up to Atemu right now, even though he wanted nothing but to. He couldn’t afford to get sick, not with all his schoolwork. “I’m going to class now,” he said, “and when I get back, I want to hear that you have rested, and hopefully you’re feeling better. I’ll leave kaa-san to take care of you, all right?”

“All right,” Atemu muttered, his eyes already closing.


With a worried look on his face, Yuugi stood next to the bed, observing a sleeping Atemu.

“How’s he doing?” Jounouchi asked, keeping his voice low. He was behind Yuugi, hands loosely draped on his shoulders.

“The fever won’t go down,” he said. “If this goes on for one more day, I’m calling the doctor. He’s barely eating, and his coughing is so violent… I’m so glad he’s finally asleep now.”

“He’s strong, Yuugi,” Jounouchi reassured him. “He’ll fight this off.”

“I should’ve known that traveling on a plane would make him sick,” Yuugi said, angry with himself. “His immune system has barely encountered a bug as he was mostly indoors, at the Game Shop.”

“Yuugi, he could’ve caught a cold anytime of the week, anywhere,” Jounouchi said. “He’s been into touch with many customers, he has visited KaibaCorp., tournaments.. heck, he could’ve picked up a bug from you or me! You can’t keep him in a plastic bubble. This would’ve happened sooner or later.”

“I know, I know…” Yuugi pouted. “I hate to see him sick.”

“I don’t like it either.” Jounouchi’s voice was filled with compassion. “We’re taking good care of him. He’ll get over this.”

“I know.” Yuugi sounded more confident than he actually felt. It was just a fever, not a life-threatening disease. He was disappointed; not in Atemu, but in himself. He wanted to tell the former Pharaoh about the kiss he had shared with Jounouchi, and now he was angry that the other half of his soul was sick? How could he even think in such a way? “We’ll leave him alone to rest.”

“All right. Let’s go back to studying,” Jounouchi suggested. Yuugi followed him out of the room. He had longed to put his hand over Jounouchi’s, but he simply didn’t dare. Was he such a weak person, that he immediately sought out comfort with someone else as soon as his partner wasn’t available? Did he truly lack the strength to stand on his own? Downtrodden, he went downstairs.


Even though Atemu’s fever broke a day later, it took him another day to get out of bed and wander around a little, as weak as a kitten. It was Yuugi’s turn to look after Atemu today; when he was at college, his mother would take care of his needs. Yuugi prepared a copious lunch and he went to look up Atemu, currently in bed.

“Do you want to have lunch in the kitchen or do you want me to bring some food upstairs?” Yuugi asked. He smiled. “You do look a lot better, mou hitori no boku.”

“I feel much better,” he said, coughing just a little. “I am not that hungry, though.”

That had Yuugi worried more than he cared to admit. “You must eat something, to regain your strength. I made soup and sandwiches… you can have whatever you like..?”

“Some soup, then.” Atemu slung his legs over the edge of the bed.

Yuugi handed him his bathrobe. “I’ll go get the rest of the family, and see you in the kitchen.”

Ten minutes later, everyone was gathered around the large table. “This looks delicious,” Sugoroku said. “You certainly surpassed yourself, Yuugi.”

“I wanted to improve my culinary skills,” Yuugi quipped. “Dig in, everyone!”

Jounouchi rubbed his hands. “Nice! Where to start?”

“The sandwiches certainly look neat,” Yuugi’s mother said, happy that he had managed to prepare the lunch without making a mess out of the kitchen. She passed the large tray with sandwiches around while Yuugi filled a bowl of soup for Atemu and handed it to him.

“Eat up,” he encouraged him, “it’s hearty and full of nutritional ingredients.”

“Thank you,” Atemu said and picked up his spoon. Sugoroku started up a discussion about politics and Yuugi’s mother disagreed, in a polite manner. Yuugi didn’t partake in the conversation, he was too busy watching Atemu. He was delighted to see that he ate the bowl of soup quite quickly, and then asked for a sandwich.

“Which one would you like?” Jounouchi asked, as he held the platter.

“With cheese, please.”

Jounouchi handed him the sandwich in such a delicate, careful manner that it endeared Yuugi. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could be together like this for the rest of their lives, sharing and enjoying? The mood was so amicable and lovely, he didn’t want lunch to end. Atemu grew silent however and nibbled on the sandwich, only half-way through, each bite taking him more time and energy to process.

“Mou hitori no boku, it’s okay if you can’t finish your sandwich. Just leave it.”

“I think I am full, yes,” Atemu said, his cheeks reddish. The hustle and bustle of lunch had exhausted him as he hadn’t fully recovered yet. He felt embarrassed that he couldn’t finish his food, while Yuugi was worried about him not eating much more than a bowl of soup and a few bites of bread. He had already lost weight, and he didn’t have much meat on his frame to begin with.

“Let’s get you back to bed.” Yuugi got up from the table. Atemu followed him meekly.

“Did Kaiba call, by any chance?” he asked as they climbed the stairs.

“Yes, he calls daily to ask what takes you so long to recover,” Yuugi answered. “As he’s never been sick, he wonders why you’re not up and running after one night of good sleep.”

“Moron,” Atemu mumbled.

“He also asks if you’re recovering, mou hitori no boku. He’s actually quite concerned.”

“He is? Well, probably because he wants me to do more marketing and promotion.”

Yuugi tucked him in and kissed him on the forehead. “I told him you need time to recover, and that you’re not going back to work before I say so.”

He was enamored by Atemu’s gentle smile. “Aibou.”


“I love you so much. Thank you for taking such good care of me.”

“You know that I would take care of you anytime, mou hitori no boku. I love you too.” He leaned into him again for another kiss. Atemu brought up his hand, cupping Yuugi’s face.

“Other half of my soul,” he sighed. “My world. My life.”

Yuugi mimicked his gesture, putting his hand against his cheek. His skin still felt warm to the touch, but it was nowhere close to a fever, fortunately. “You’re my everything,” he whispered. “Get some rest. You really need it.”

Atemu nodded, but he didn’t withdraw his hand. Yuugi sat on the bedside and watched how his breathing evened out, slowly. Before his hand would drop, Yuugi took it gently into his and pressed a kiss to his fingers. He wondered why Atemu had chosen this moment to profess his love to him. Could he be emotional from being sick? He never was this open about his emotions, and now he suddenly had said those wonderful words. Why was this all so difficult?


Another week went by, faster than Yuugi could blink. He was taking his midterms and needed all his focus and attention, just like Jounouchi. Kaiba hogged Atemu’s time as soon as he was fully recovered, and the former Pharaoh enjoyed being in the spotlight as he was playing tournaments again. He helped out as much at the Game Shop as he could, but it became clear that his priorities were shifting. He enjoyed the tournaments and promotion of Duel Monsters more than actually working at the store. Sugoroku didn’t mind, but he was well into his seventies and he couldn’t work full-time. Whenever possible, Yuugi helped out a hand; and after today, his final midterm, he had more free time anyway. He was glad about it; these exams were taking a huge toll on him. In front of him, he could see Jounouchi, completely engrossed with the exams. Focus, Mutou, he thought to himself. After two grueling hours, the exam was over.

“How about coffee?” Yuugi said.

“I’d thought you never asked,” Jounouchi quipped. “I need some caffeine, otherwise I’m going to keel over!”

They went to a coffee shop instead of the university’s cafeteria; after working and studying so hard, they deserved real coffee, not the generic drab that was served at Domino University. After ordering, they compared answers from the tests.

“We’ve got this in the bag,” Jounouchi said, confidently. Yuugi agreed. He sipped his coffee and inhaled the scent simultaneously.

“Ahhh, just what I needed.”

Jounouchi shifted his cup around. “I’m so glad that Atemu has completely recovered. It was just a bug, but he was so sick. I wanted nothing but to take him in my arms and take care of him.”

“You did take care of him,” Yuugi said, softly. “You brought him food, water and medication. You helped him recover, Jounouchi-kun.”

He sloshed the coffee around in his cup. “But what if I break him? By telling him what happened between us, last weekend?”

“He won’t break that easily,” Yuugi said, “but I can’t imagine him being happy when he hears it.” He heaved a sigh. Jounouchi didn’t look too happy about either. Yuugi had contemplated, for the briefest of moments, to not tell Atemu after all, but he simply couldn’t live with it. Keeping something from the other half of his soul was awful, and he rejected that option. He was going to tell him, and he was going to deal with the consequences.


Part 1 | 2 |


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