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We never needed words

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A/N: This is a very powerful fic that will illicit strong feels. It was hard for me to read but if I may say so is beautifully done. I hope you have the same feels I did and know that you are not alone in the pain you feel.

When I heard the clink of gold echo throughout the arena, it filled the air around us all. My bones had never felt so hollow. My mind had never felt so sure. My heart had never felt so broken as when that last piece clicked into place.

Because I knew… I had known all alone but in that moment I knew that you were gone.

Kaiba was so sure. So positive. He was always right, always so calculating, that a small part of me dared to hope. He gave me a glimmer, a tiny spark in the void I was in that maybe he would prove me wrong. Maybe this once, he would win. But I won… again. I pushed the last piece in and won … because nothing happened.

You didn't come back in a shower of stars. Your voice didn't fill my mind. Your warmth never touched my heart and hope never came.

You're not coming back are you?

Tea has gone abroad. Her practice and studies have really showed off. She's going to study dance in the US just as she's always dreamed. Joey's rising the ranks in any and every dueling comp he can get in and making a name for himself. You'd be proud of how far he's come. Tristans working with his dad but the bikes he's designing as well I think will take him far. Bakura … my Bakura… has started working in the Domino Museum part time as he studies in college. He wants to take over his fathers museum and steer it towards the preservation of History.

As for me… I'm still here. Still breathing. Still alive. I'm helping grandpa in the shop, designing my own game in my spare time… when I'm not talking to you. As if you could hear me. If you can, I wonder what you're saying? What does your voice sing that I can't hear across time and space. I wish I knew. Seeing you briefly after you rescued me from Diva's onslaught wasn't enough. I never dreamed I would see you but then I did… I never imagined you would stay … and then you didn't. You never said anything… but then we never needed to, did we?

What I wouldn't give to hear you speak.

The sand is scorchingly hot, the wind blisteringly sweltering and yet I feel nothing could be as warm as the blood rushing through your heart, the love in your eyes as they burned with such pain and pride. No sensation was as real to me than your love… until that moment I touched the cool surface of the gold at my chest. That cold realisation that as the stars showered to the heavens I would never see you again. I would never see the light in your eyes, the pride on your smile, the gleam in your soul.

I wish I could have made time stop… I wish I could have chosen not to say goodbye… or I wish I had even said goodbye. We looked upon each other that day, saying nothing for our souls connected, danced and touched one another in a way words never could. You stood before me, beaten and tired but tall and strong and I could do nought but exude the pride I felt for you and the distance you had travelled without me.

You stood as a testament to how much you didn't need me anymore. Who was I to hold you back? An old King long past his expiry date longing for the boy who taught him to smile.

I can not deny though, as I stand on the abyss looking out to the vast emptiness of peace and the cold warmth of rest, that I selfishly wish I could have held you. That I could have touched your hand, caressed your cheek, brushed your hair. I wish I could have held you close and never let go. I wish I had said something. I wish I would have told you how proud of you I was, how much I missed you, how much I watched you and how much I wanted to stand beside you as you took the next steps in your life.

I wish I told you how much I loved you. But again… words cannot express the gravity of my feelings.

No. That is an excuse. A lie I tell myself to forgive the fact that I said nothing. My heart reached for you, my soul yearned for you and yet I said nothing. There was too much to say and so little time… no. That is the lie.

We had all the time in the world and to avoid the pain of reality, to avoid the fear of breaking you, I retreated before I could.

And now…

What I wouldn't give to spill my heart to you.

"Hey pass the cheese!" Joey demanded. Tristan slid the bowl of shredded cheese across the table lazily, too focused on competing with Duke over eating his own spicy meal. The cheese hit Joey's plate with such force it spilled over onto the table, only some of it getting on Joey's plate.

"Hey! Watch where you slide that thing!" He demanded angrily.

"Guys can you just behave!" Tea snapped, pinching the bridge of her nose in annoyance.

"C'mon guys, let's not fight. It's Christmas!" Bakura chimed in happily as he came in carrying a large metal dish.

They all paid attention as he placed it upon the table before them.

"Ohh what's that?!" Joey asked, practically drooling already. Tristan and Duke set aside their competition and watched eagerly as well. Tea was excited

"This is desert. Where is everyone?" Bakura asked, looking around the dining room.

"Oh! Yugi went for some fresh air… I think Kaiba went to the bathroom." Tea said, a finger to her chin in thought.

"Oh well, snooze ya lose!" Tristan said eagerly, gingerly lifting the metal bowl cover only to be slapped by Bakura.

"No! We wait for them." He scolded them firmly.

"Yugi's been gone a while. Maybe we should go check on him?" Duke suggested.

"Eh he's probably fine." Joey waved them off lazily, hanging an arm over the back of his chair.

"And Kaiba?" Tea asked him knowingly.

"I dont even know why he's here." Joey grumbled. "It's not like he paid for any of this!"

"He did arrange for this cabin or us though." Duke said innocently.

"You mean for Mokuba. This is Mokuba's doing, Kaiba's just allowed it." Tristan said, folding his arms and nodding his head accordingly.

"Well regardless, where's Mokuba then?" Bakura asked.

"Uhh, I think he went to check on Yugi." Tea said though she wasn't entirely convinced. Bakura hummed in thought, looking out towards the balcony where he knew Yugi would be had he decided to walk.

He knew Yugi had been troubled deeply, disturbed by the horrors of his battle with Diva. He had almost died, several times and he never spoke of it. He told them he spoke to Atem, the Pharaoh and nothing bode well for those who spoke to the departed. It was a testament to how close they had come to losing him and yet Yugi spoke nothing about the event after that day.

It had been months now though and Yugi's happiness grew more and more hollow. He was a beautiful egg shell to everyone else but to Bakura he was empty inside. Only his shell was wearing thin and soon his friends would see what was inside too.

Tonight was supposed to help him, to make him realise others loved him too, that he was wanted and safe and had friends here who supported him and wanted to carry his weight.

"I think I'll go find him and see how he's doing." Bakura said happily. "Do NOT touch that."

Do you remember snow? It's cold and wet and when it melts on your skin it drips like water. I remember you disliked winter. You insisted I dressed warmly or else I could catch a cold. You always wore my jacket whenever you were in control which for you was so different. Every other season you would take it off to drape over your shoulders. You enjoyed the heat. But the cold was something you adorably hated. I remember one Christmas I taught you what a snow angel was, I taught you what throwing snowballs were. You were confused as to how any one could enjoy swimming in the snow or throwing it at another but I told you it was fun. You enjoyed it. I know you did. You used to smile.

"Yugi?" I looked back to Bakura's sweet voice and offered him my most convincing smile. I should have been startled but his soft interruptions were never startling. Actually since you've been gone the only times I've been afraid have been from the nightmares. Nothing else scared me. I was too strong without you… right?

"Bakura. I'm sorry I just wanted some fresh air. I'll be in in a moment." I said with a smile. I used the same line as I used on Mokuba not long ago. He would go back inside too and the party would continue. Soon we can speak again.

"No it's fine. How are you feeling?" Bakura asked, stepping in to stand beside me. I frowned slightly… normally everyone would leave.

"I'm okay. Just thinking. How about you?"

"I'm fine Yugi." He said. There was something else. He was never normally just fine. There's something else he wants to say but he doesn't want to.

"Just fine?" I inquired. I regretted this. I should have gone inside. I should have said goodbye…

So we could continue later.

"Well… I'm worried about you actually."



"Hey guys!" Saved by the bell. This was my chance to escape this conversation, just like the many other conversations like this one I would run from. I couldn't open my heart like I had to you. I know they would try to understand. They would try to make me feel better, help me move on - but they wouldn't understand that I don't want to. Moving on would be truly saying goodbye to you and I know that's what you've done … but I don't think I can just yet.

"Hey! We were just heading in!" I said joyfully, linking arms with Joey before Bakura could interject.

Another restless night in the city that sleeps under the watchful glow of the stars. I wonder if the stars are shining where you are and how often you look up to them as we used to. It is so ingrained into me now to think of you whenever I see something that reminds me of you … which of late is becoming more and more everything.

I see the spikes of your hair in the plants of my Palace. I see the lavender of your eyes in the silks of my dancers. I see the sparkle of your soul in the twinkling of the stars. I feel the warmth of your heart in the heat of the sun. I smell the fragrance of your scent on the winds of Africa.

Slowly, day by endless day I am followed by you and I must admit it kills me. In my dreams I see you struggling, you are lonely and I am haunted by the thoughts that I have done this to you. In my days I am haunted by the realisation that I cannot see you.

The people around me are happy and content, ignorant of the regret and emptiness I feel. At first I thought I missed you and it was natural - that I would move on. But I come to the realisation slowly that I do not want to move on. I pray that you have: that my dreams are my own wishes to return to you and be wanted, but I truly wish you have found happiness.

How long though? How long must it take before this torment ceases? I want to let you go but … I have this lingering desire to find you, to find a way out of this hell everyone else calls peace and I want to find you.

I cannot bear this place any longer.

But I must, right? What would you tell me? To believe? To stay strong? I've been strong for so long, I thought the afterlife was about letting go. This is me: I'm not the strong, warrior type of person you came to know. I was strong because I needed to be. Take that away from me and I become a soft, lonely old man who foolishly needs the comfort of a certain, teenage boy who changed my life completely. You are the light of my life, my other half - I cannot do this without you.

But I must.


"My Pharaoh." I am pulled from my neverending thoughts to a soft, warm voice of such godly magnitude I forgot who I was. I stood before her, a Goddess in her own right as she partially towered over me. She was swallowed by intense light, I swear it could wake the city but no one sounded the alarms. Mine were the only ones I could hear.

I took in what I could see of her silhouette, making out the outline of her headdress, the softness of her shoulders and the gentle light that caressed her feathers. She was Isis, the Goddess of beauty and fertility… but why was she here?

It was not my place to question the Gods, merely to speak on their behalf. I knelt down to her, head down and thankful that I was not blinded. Her beauty was powerful enough to do that to a man but the light behind her was strikingly powerful.

"Your soul is deeply troubled. You are unable to find peace with such egregious wounds refusing to heal." She sang. Her voice was low but beautiful, smooth and silky like the Nile or the velvet night sky. It echoed as Godly beings should, as their voices carried throughout time. And her observation was on point. I am wounded - but I do not know how to heal them.


That is a lie.

I do not wish to heal them. To close them would be to close the doors to you. While I have already done this I still failed to lock them. You are behind my mind in all things, the words on my tongue and just beyond my reach and that is where I keep you. Because I cannot bear to give you up completely. I am not ready for that.

"I am sorry -" I began to say but with a single touch of her fingers to my heart I felt myself shatter beneath her, kept together by a single point of pressure where her finger touched my soul.

"You must let him go if you wish to find peace here."

But I don't want to.

I don't want to let you go.

I don't want to find peace here.

I want to be with you.

I want to find peace with you.

"My Pharaoh." Isis was close to me. Everywhere, just as you are. Her voice is in my head, all around me and her warmth threatened to scorch my skin and boil my blood but I was not in danger. She radiated safety and love just as a mother did. She was the mother of Gods after all and mother to my people.

"I am afraid you will never attain peace in this realm." She said.

Then what do I do? If not even the Gods believe I can find peace then is this hell? Why am I doomed to suffer after all I have done for my people, for mankind in general? Why must I suffer?

"For all you have done for mankind, the Pantheon have decided to grant you one wish your heart desires."


That's the first and immediate thing my heart reached to. If my heart could grow hands it would be reaching like a child does for a treat. If my body was not frozen I would run and I would not stop until I found you.

I do not want for material goods, for this pain to cease, for my memories to fade or to rest for eternity. I want you.

"Your wish - is granted." She said and the light behind her grew, engulfing me until I could see nothing but the sun behind my closed eyes.

The party is over and finally they sleep.

Finally I can be alone with you.

But I do not risk being caught again. I do not want to explain why I am not sleeping. I am not sleeping because then I am not with you. I am with nightmares and dreams that cannot be; dreams that turn into cold lashings of reality upon waking.

So I walk alone in these cold, snowing streets, under street lights and through white grass because nothing is colder than being alone at home. Not even the snow melting on my clothes and in my shoes could penetrate the warmth I feel when I am alone with you and you are closer to me outdoors.

Where were we before?

I actually think we were talking about snow.

It never snowed in Egypt did it? I wonder, in all your years as Pharaoh or Prince did you travel to somewhere that did? When you were with me you had never seen it - but there was much you had never seen. I taught you so many things that were natural to me I used to forget was not natural to you.

Do you remember feeling the snow one year when I let you take over? I watched you pick it up, move it with your fingers. You even tasted it once and I remember you weren't a fan of that. Your curiosity astounded me. You were so eager to learn new things, to try new things that would otherwise scare me. You helped me see that going out of your comfort zone was not always a bad thing…

I wish I had the courage to maintain your lessons.

No. It is not courage I lack.

It is motivation.

Without you to show I can, what is the point of doing?

I don't even know if you can hear me, if you are watching me. I like to convince myself that I am talking to you - that I'm never quite alone because I am spending time with you - but what if you are not here?

What is the point? Why do I do anything then?

I used to love the snow. I loved the individual little snowflakes, the soft balls of ice as they melt on your tongue. I loved how beautiful and quiet it made the world. Time freezes when you stop to admire the stillness that is snow and in that moment you can too.

But now it is cold and a harsh image of realisation that I am alone, even with you.

What do I do?

If I could ask you anything before I let you go, it would be what do I do?

How can I find enjoyment in the things we loved without you?

How can I find enjoyment in the things I try without you?

How do I move on and forget you like you were just someone I used to know?

You changed my life, made me strong, made me who I am. I love you with my entire being - how can I just let you go?

But you are killing me.

The love I have for you is poison. Every day it gets stronger and every day I want to pass until the day I do not wake. I am tired.

I am tired of feeling empty. Tired of missing you. Tired of waking to a cold cooler than snow.

What do I…?

Light. So bright! Too bright!

Cracking my eyes I realise I am face to face with the sun. My feet planted firmly on the solid road beneath me and the snow is falling particularly slow as the sun grows larger and larger.

Fear grips my heart for the first time since you left and I am frozen because of it. I am afraid not for dying - that would be welcome - but for seeing you.

I want to see you but I do not want you to turn me away. I am safe talking to you here, wanting nothing more than to stop existing but now I face the question of whether you are just beyond that light.

I can do nothing but stare. My body relaxes and it only a matter of seconds before that light takes me. I see my friends laughing, enjoying themselves and I hear them happy. They have moved on and they will when I'm gone. They do not hold me back.

That courage you taught me. I am embracing it now. You can be mad with me. You can turn me away - but I want to see you.


A scream.

A screech.

A horn.

A shock.

I am rolling onto the snow, struggling against someone holding me down. I am too blind to see for even with my eyes open all I see is the sun but I feel the hands squeezing my arms, feel the body of this person against me until we finally come to a stop. This person is strong, on top of me and yelling at me and all I can do is recoil and push and shove but I am so much weaker than he.

Help me.


I was so close to seeing you! Why won't you help me!


"Yugi look at me!" He sounds just like you. That is cruel.

"GET OFF ME!" I scream, tears streaming like rivers as my heart is tearing itself apart. I was so close to seeing you. "GET OFF ME! I NEED TO SEE HIM! LET ME GO!" I scream more.


You never yelled at me.


You've scolded me before, been stern with me. We have argued but you never yelled at me.

So why do I hear your voice when this man yelled at me? Who is it that sounds so desperate?

I stopped struggling against him, my heart momentarily paused in its self destruction, and I peered through the sun, blinking it's light away until I could see the faint outline of a man towering over me.

It must be fun for fate to play these cruel tricks on people. It can make you see what you want when it's not there, make you feel when you don't want to. Make you remember when you want to forget.

As I look upon you and your features are matching that I have in my memory I feel this is what is happening. This man looks like you. He has your hair down to every golden point. He has your build down to every straining muscle. He has your eyes down to the heart red inside them. He has your skin down to the bronze perfection of it.

He is strong, warm and solid - just as you were but he cannot be you.

You left me. Departed in a sea of golden stars without a word because words were not what we needed.

So why does this hurt? My heart wants you and I want to believe you are he that is above me… but it cannot be.

"Do you see me now? Aibou?"


You were the only one who called me that.


"A-Ateh…?" My words fail me. My lips are trembling. My heart is going to shatter. I want to die.

Do not do this to me.

Please do not do this to me.

He smiled, the stranger that steals your form. He releases my arms and gently strokes my cheek. I feel his gentle spirit caressing my soul. The cracks of my heart are closing rapidly and it is terrifying. I am so scared.

The snow around us is falling again but he is protecting me from it.

I am so scared.

I am so scared of him leaving. I am so scared of losing this feeling that reminds me of you. I am so scared of losing this warmth he radiates. But am I betraying you? He cannot be you… can he?

"I'm here. Aibou I'm here." He said warmly, half a sob behind his own words. I see the tear forming, threatening to fall and when it hits my cheek I feel the fog of my mind wash away. My heart clenches, recoiling in the terror of being wrong but my lips speak the words before my heart can say stop.

"Are you here? Are you Atem?" I ask. He could be anyone playing the part but there is only one Atem.

If you are this man, then you will know of what I am asking.

You smile at me, release the sob you are trying to hold onto and laugh once, a pain filled laugh.

"Yes. I am here. The Gods allowed me to come back. I am Atem, your Pharaoh. I'm here, Yugi." You say.

You are here.

All this time wishing.

All this time talking to you and now I finally can.

You are right here. I can touch you. I can smell you. I can see you. I can feel you here with me.

But what do I say? No!

I will not let those questions stall me! I will not lose this chance like I did before. Ive spoken to you every day since you left. I have a million things I want to say but in case you leave again, I will not miss this chance to say the one thing I should have said ages ago.

"I love you." I blurted out, desperate to fight through the tears but to my surprise you said the same thing.

We're staring at one another in disbelief as the words we sang in harmony hit us at once.

You smile, and so do I. My heart reaches for you and so does yours. My mind clears and yours does too.

We are one. As we should be.

It takes a micro action from you to give me full permission to seek you out. You lean down to meet me and I throw my arms around you, trapping you in a kiss I never dreamed I'd feel.

My dreams consisted of you just being beside me again, just enjoying a game or talking… I never dreamed I would kiss you under the stars, in the snow, while being wholly and completely alive.

I feel your tongue tell me all of your secrets and I gladly tell you all of mine. My body presses against you, your hands explore mine and we breathe in one another like we forgot how to live.

Our bodies did our talking of love and loss and need.

For we never needed words, did we?