Emmy: HIYA! OMG OMG I AM SO UNBELIEVEABLY SORRY! It's just really hard to end a story and it took me a long time to get this ending. I hope you guys like it I wanted to leave everything on a good note, well so that you wouldn't be confused or unsatisfied.
Raven: We also have been swamped in school work and many other responsibilities.
Ryou: crying Omg I'm really sad now I'm going to miss being in this fic.
Emmy: I'm really going to miss all of you and I wanted to thank ALL of you my reviewers for staying to true to my story and sticking with it! I LOVE YOU GUYS SO MUCH!
Ryou: Huggles from Bakura and me to all of you!
Bakura: Yea I guess.
Emmy: So here it is, the final chapter. What you've all been waiting for. I hope you enjoy.
Raven: (holds up her sign for the last time)
The Final Act
When he woken up again Ryou had heard voices talking, some with concern, some with curiosity, but it was hard to sort them all out. He opened his eyes to see a number of fuzzy head staring down at him. After blinking more he realized who they were. The worried faced of those he could see brightened and a number of "Ryou!"s were cried. He blinked again and studied the room. All of his friends were there, some sitting in chairs, others standing over him bed. He saw Tea and Yugi's joyful faces, Tristan d Joey's playful smiles, Yami's relieved smile, Malik's look of pride and even Marik's soft half smirk. Then there was Aly's tired smile.
"Hey guys…what's up?" was all he could manage to say. His head still felt a little groggy.
"Ryou! You're finally awake! We were worried!" Yugi chirped.
"It's nice to see you're ok," Yami added.
"We were so frightened when we got that call from Malik this morning telling us you were here!" Tea said. Ryou blinked. Where was here…?
As if reading his mind Malik said, "You're in the hospital Ryou! You've been here all night and all afternoon!" Ryou's soft brown eyes widened a bit. Hospital? What, why was he there? Oh-that was right…his yami…
"Thanks you guys…" Ryou said softly. He blinked. For once he wanted to cry out of happiness. Ryou was slowly remembered everything. Only a month ago he would have thought nobody cared but…everyone was here. Everyone cared, not just Aly…The loneliness he had once felt seemed so silly now. How could he have been so blind?
"No prob bud! What'd yea think we were gonna do? Leave yea here all be yourself?" Joey asked with a stupid grin on his face. Ryou smiled sheepishly. A one point, yes he would have expected that.
Ryou shifted his eyes to Aly, who stood in the back, just smiling at him as a tired mother might stare at her children. He gave her a look that said he understood why she wasn't jumping for joy right now.
"The shock of the ordeal, exhaustion of worry, she must be about to pass out," he thought.
"Ryou?" Malik asked.
"Hm?" Ryou must have zoned out for a moment.
"You feeling ok? We can leave this is a little too overwhelming for you. I mean you did just wake up."
"No," Ryou said quickly, shaking his head.
"You sure?" Tristan asked.
"I'm fine," Ryou insisted.
"Good, then how about we all celebrate. Want me to bust open one of these gifts yea got?" Joey asked. Ryou coked his head in confusion.
"Gifts…?" he asked.
Joey gestured to desk piled with little stuffed animals, boxes of chocolate and card across the room.
"Those are all for me!" he gasped. "Who sent them?"
"Most of them are from your fan club," Yugi chuckled.
"But we brought gifts to try and help you feel better too!" Tea piped in. Ryou smiled and thanked his friends again. Then he noticed Aly approach his bed and hand him a card.
"This one is from your father Ryou…" she said. Ryou paused for a moment, not even breathing.
"…M-my Father?" he asked in a soft voice. Ryou carefully opened it and found the print out of an e-mail.
"We called him last night and he e-mailed this to us and told us to give it to you if you woke up before he came," Malik told him. Ryou's already big eyes grew bigger.
"He's coming?" he asked, as if he couldn't believe it. His father…he hadn't seen his father in a long time, his last visit had been a few months ago. Ryou quickly read the e-mail. His father ranted on how worried he was and about how he was going to come home as soon as possible. Ryou hadn't wanted to cry in front of his friends but without noticing it tears formed in the corner of his eyes. When he looked up from the letter everyone was watching him, to see how he would react.
"You guys…thank you, again…" he said, grinning. The other's faces softened and they grinned in return, well except Marik, he was still smirking.
"That's the third time you've said that Ryou. We're your friends. That's what friends are for!" Malik explained.
"Silly me, how could I have forgotten?" Ryou replied with a chuckle. Suddenly his eyes looked brighter and his smile a lot more cheerful.
"Let's open one of those boxes of chocolate now Joey," he said. Joey and Tristan practically pounced on the biggest box in the pile and began struggling to get the plastic wrap off. Ryou slowly sat up, with the help of Yami and Aly and giggled at the two.
"Back off Tristan I got this under control!" Joey barked.
"Yea, and when I do you'll scarf the whole box down!" Tristan replied. The group watched the 'fight' continue for a while until Tea simply swiped the box and cut off the plastic with scissors. Ryou's head did still hurt and by the time they'd finished off the box he was a bit worn out but he'd never felt happier in his life.
"Except," he thought. "For when my mother and sister were alive and our family was whole. Now…now I have a new family, these guys are my family. Aly, Malik, Father, Bakura, they're all my family."
"Alright you kids, time to leave the poor boy alone," the nurse ordered after a while. Tea, Joey, Yugi, Tristan, and the Ishtars said their good byes and headed out the door. Yami and Aly were heading up the rear. Yami stopped to talk to the nurse for a moment while Aly looked back at Ryou.
"I'll ask if I can stay with you," she said but Ryou shook his head.
"No," he said. "You look out of it, you need to go home and get some rest." Aly looked rather surprised.
"You sure?" she asked and Ryou nodded. She gave a weary smile of defeat and headed out the door. "See you later Ryou-kun," she called. Ryou was a bit surprised but smiled at his new nickname. Then suddenly noticed Yami was still there.
"Yami? What is it?" Ryou asked, suspecting the ancient Pharaoh wanted to talk to him about something. Yami sat down in the chair by Ryou's bed.
"Ryou…do you remember how you got the injury?" he asked, giving Ryou a strange look. Yes Ryou did remember, he had gone up to Bakura's room and-Bakura!
"Yami please, it's not like that!" Ryou started. Yami furrowed his brow.
"So it was the thief?"
"Yes but-Yami…don't do anything to him-it was just a misunderstanding…" Ryou was once again lost for words when trying to explain Bakura to Yami. Yami gave a frustrated sigh.
"I respect you and your wishes Ryou but I'm afraid I must take I stand. I will not let this go on any longer," Yami said firmly. Ryou's eyes widened.
"Yami no!" he quickly grabbed Yami's hand and clutched it tightly. "Leave him alone! It was my fault-!"
"No Ryou it's not your fault it's his," Yami said, patting the hand that clutched his wrist.
"He was in a bad mood!" Ryou insisted. "Yami you don't understand-please-for my sake-don't-don't do anything to him!" Ryou pleaded, eyes wide with worry. Yami looked at Ryou for a moment then his eyes softened.
"…Fine, but Ryou so help me if you ever have some much as a bruise by his doing I will send him to the Shadow Realm in an instant. And I will be having a talk with him the next time I see him!" Yami replied. Ryou gave a sigh of relief.
"I understand," he replied, letting go of Yami's hand where red marks from his fingers radiated heat. Yami flexed his hand and stood up.
"Now, you'd better get some rest," Yami instructed. Ryou laid his head back on the pillow and smiled.
"Good bye Yami," he said softly. Ryou was more tired then he thought for his eyes instantly closed and he was out like a light. Yami smiled at the slumbering boy before exiting the hospital room.
Aly closed her eyes as she collapsed onto the bed. The heavy exhaustion pulled at her consciousness. Her mind and body begged her for sleep. Although she had managed to catch some Zs in the hospital it had been a light, troubled sleep full of worrisome dreams. Now she felt as if a huge weight had been lifted from her shoulders and that she was going to float away.
Ryou was ok…Ryou was ok….that's all that mattered….Ryou was ok…
Marik and Malik were probably down stairs doing….something…cooking maybe? Was Marik down there making more mashed potatoes? Malik could be making a salad…and Bakura…what about Bakura? Where had he slipped off to after last night? Was he hiding out in his 'Bat Cave'?
Aly could figure that out later…she'd have to tell her friends about this later too…but now she would sleep…
XXXXXXXXXXX Days later….
"Are you really sure you feel up to this?" Aly asked for the fifth time that day.
"Yes Aly for the last time I'm really sure!" Ryou replied with a nod of his head and a small chuckle.
"Ok, I just didn't want you to overwhelm yourself…" Aly replied airily as the pair walked down the sidewalk. Ryou's bandages still covered the injury of a few days past. They had made him look rather odd so Aly had given him a fedora (1) to cover them up. Although the fedora also looked quite out of place on his head so they'd settled for a baseball cap.
"I'm pretty sure I can handle going to see you perform, besides it's been two days, I feel much better now!" Ryou replied. Aly rolled her eyes.
"If you say so…" she replied. The two stopped at Ryou's doorstep. "Ok I've got to run back to the theater and get ready! You be careful ok?" she told him. Ryou gave an exasperated sigh.
"Aly it's ok, everything is fine," he said, putting his hands on her shoulders. "You're just stressed out because of your performance tonight," he reassured her. Aly bit her lip and sighed as well.
"I suppose you're right…" Then she smiled. "But I'm still really excited!" Ryou smiled too.
"I can't wait," he replied. Aly gave him a quick peck on the cheek.
"I've got to get to the theater now! See you soon," she said before sprinting off. Ryou watched her hair fly behind her running form and only turned away once she'd sprinted past the corner, taking one millisecond to look his way and flash the special smile she always saved for him. Ryou opened the door and entered the dimly lit house.
It was almost back to the way it had been before Aly's arrival. The downstairs bathroom no longer was home to Aly's toiletries, but her homey touches lingered. The windows stayed open, letting light flood the living room inside. It actually made the house…cozy. Although Aly had moved out the Ishtars were still boarding and their clothing and sleeping bags were scattered across the living room floor. Ryou scooped them up and carefully folded the soft material before setting it on the couch. Sounds could be heard from the kitchen. Popping his head in Ryou saw Marik, his nose in a cook book. Ryou smiled and skipped up to the darkness's side. Ever since Marik's first experience with mashed potatoes he'd decided that cooking was his true calling. For when he was done he got to eat.
"What are you making?" he asked. Marik looked at him.
"Something called…Chicken Parem-eeeeson!" he replied. Ryou giggled.
"That's Chicken Parmesan Marik, and I thought you were going to Malik's performance tonight," Ryou replied. He no longer feared this darkness that had once seemed so big and evil.
"I am," Marik answered as he arranged all his ingredients on the counter before him.
"Can you make your dinner and eat it before the show? That probably takes awhile to cook…" Ryou questioned. Marik seemed to ponder this. Finally he gave a sigh.
"Someone could have told me that a little earlier!" he pouted, as he began to stuff all of the tomatoes into the fridge. Ryou helped him.
"Sorry Marik-sama. Perhaps you can make it tomorrow night," he suggested. "My father is coming tomorrow night."
"Yea ok…" Marik replied. Then suddenly he paused and looked at Ryou.
"Ryou I almost forgot…" he said. Ryou cocked his head.
"Forgot what?" he asked. Marik looked at the kitchen door.
"Bakura came back today…" he replied. Ryou's eyes widened.
"Really?" he asked. "My yami hasn't been talking with me through our link; he blocked me off ever since I woke up in the hospital bed that night…" Ryou replied softly.
"Well, he came home this after noon. Just opened the door and returned to his lair of darkness," Marik explained, putting the rest of his ingredients away. Ryou bit his lip and hurried out of the room. He slowly ascended the steps and came to the door.
"Da ja vu…" he thought with a twinge of uneasy fear. Ryou timidly knocked on the wooden door.
"Come in…" a silky voice called. Ryou turned the knob and entered. There was his yami, lying on the bed at the moment with his arms behind his head staring at the ceiling. His eyes locked with Ryou's and Ryou shut the door.
"Hello Bakura-sama," Ryou said quietly.
"Hello hikari, feeling better?" Bakura asked. Ryou couldn't tell if he was being sarcastic or not.
"Yes Bakura-sama," Ryou replied. Bakura sat up and stared at Ryou for a moment then he patted the bed. Ryou stood there in confusion for a moment. Bakura rolled his eyes.
"Come here," her said, more like a request then a direct command. Ryou did so, careful to avoid the profound magazines on the ground. It was quite awkward, Ryou wasn't certain what his yami's goal was. Was he mad? Was he going to hurt Ryou? Somehow Ryou doubted this would be another beating but you could never tell with Bakura. Bakura was silent for the longest time, just staring at the floor and pushing a magazine around with his foot. Ryou opened his mouth to say something and when Bakura didn't show any sign of annoyance he spoke.
"Pardon me for asking Yami," he started. "But, where have you been the past few days?" Bakura turned to him.
"Here and there," he replied. There was a silence again. Ryou shifted his position on the bed. "So how'd your head turn out…I see you have a new accessory…" Bakura said, eyes the cap curiously. Ryou blushed and chuckled lightly before taking off the hat.
"I had to stay in the hospital for two days but they said I'd be ok, just to try and stay off my feet if I got dizzy…" Ryou replied. Bakura nodded.
"…Ryou…" he said quietly. Ryou could sense something was on his Yami's mind.
Bakura looked at him with a steady, proud gaze. "I'll have you know I haven't…done what I'm about to do…in over five thousand years…"
Ryou felt his heart quickening. What was he going to do? A good thing or a bad thing?
Bakura grunted and sighed a bit. "What I wanted to say was….I'm…s…s-sor-sorry…" the thief managed to say. Ryou's eyes widened. "I'm….s-sorry for…doing what I did. There, that's all I wanted to say." Bakura quickly spun around to stare at a poster on the wall. Ryou sat there, watching him. A smile spread across his face.
"Thank you yami…" he said, bowing his head a bit.
"…You can go if you like now…" Bakura said with a wave of his hand. Ryou still sat there.
"We're all...Marik, Joey, Yugi, Yami, Tea and I…we're all going to go see a play that Malik and Aly are in…" he said.
"Yeah, and?" Bakura asked a bit stiffly.
"Well…I just wanted to know if you wanted to come too," Ryou replied honestly. Bakura eyed him for a moment then chuckled.
"Me? Go somewhere with the Pharaoh and those losers?" he asked. Ryou shrugged.
"Malik's going to be in the play, a main character," Ryou added. Bakura shrugged.
"I doubt he'd care if I went or not," Bakura replied. There was a short silence.
"Ok…" Ryou finally said. "…Is there anything I can get for you? Food, drink?" Ryou asked. He inspected his yami's face, trying to find some sort of hidden clue.
"No," was all Bakura said.
"Ok…" Ryou sighed. For days he'd wondered what had become of his yami. His only hint had been the stuffed puppy he'd been sleeping with every night. He was certain it was a sigh that something had changed in his yami…and apparently something had. Ryou sat up and left the room without another word.
"Rini, Rini, Rini please say you know where my shawl is!" Aly cried as she made her way past the piles of set and costume over to her good friend.
"No worries Aly it's right there," Rini pointed to a stool. Aly gave a sigh of relief and snatched it up. Everyone was in a rush, finding props, getting into costume and taking a few minutes to practice random scenes. Aly heard a group of men practicing a song and saw a group of girls dancing. It was chaos but a controlled chaos.
"House opens in five minutes!" a voice called. Aly hitched up her robes and made her way behind the curtain on stage right. Aiko went passing by, a look of terror on her face.
"Aiko it's ok, take deep calming breaths," Aly ordered. "It will help." Aiko shook her head.
"Aly, I c-can't do this! I can't remember my lines-my blocking!" she looked like she was going to hyperventilate.
"Yes you do!" Aly told her. "I've worked with you for months now. I know you can do this! Now get into your spot!" Aiko gave a shaky smile and headed off to the other side of stage. Aly took a few deep breathes herself. Finally after all the practicing and memorizing, they were going to perform.
"Ryou hi!" Tristan and Joey waved to Ryou and Marik from the auditorium. Marik glared at everyone who stared at him. The few times he'd made his appearance at the school were to pick Malik up on his motorcycle. Most of the students and parents kept there distance. Ryou smiled meekly too them whenever Marik would growl. It did look rather odd for the small, boy with the fedora to walk around with the big, muscular, spiky haired Marik.
"We saved you guys' seats!" Tea called. The two boys made their way through the sea of parents and students, and over to the middle section of the second row.
"Wow, these are good seats!" Ryou commented, taking a seat by Tristan.
"That's 'cause I got the whole school eattin' 'outta my hands!" Joey boasted. Tristan and Tea rolled their eyes.
"Hello Marik," Yami greeted the other darkness in monotone.
"Pharaoh," Marik replied coldly as he sat by Ryou. "So when's this gonna start?" Marik asked.
"In a few minutes," Tea replied. The room began to fill rapidly until most of the seats were taken. Soon the lights began to dim and the stage gradually lit up. A few lone figures were positioned under a purple and blue spotlight. They stood still as statues until a strange music rhythm was played. It was only then did each one begin to tell a tale. Ryou recognized one of them, right of the back, as Aly.
The play continued as the audience was swept away into a tale of romance and tragedy. Malik made his appearance within the first scene, all dressed up as the Pharaoh's son. Ryou noticed Marik's proud grin at his hikaris status. Ryou also wore the same smile, for he was proud of his girlfriend. But he was extremely blown away when the big dance scene Aly had talked so much about came up. The prince was sitting by a fire in the desert at a camp where he had followed the peasant girl Chavi only to lose site of her. A hooded figure sat by him.
"Sir, you look troubled. What is it that plagues you mind?" the hooded woman asked.
"It is none of your concern my lady," Malik replied, a deeply troubled look in his eye.
"I sense an aura of sadness around you. Perhaps problems with the heart?" Aly asked.
"How did you know?" The woman chuckled.
"I saw the way you looked at that girl a while ago. You are in love?"
"It doesn't matter weather I love her or not. I am to be married to another."
"I see your dilemma sir. Torn between your duty and your heart?"
"You are wise stranger, what is your name?" Malik questioned, standing.
"You may call me Sanura sir."
"Well Lady Sanura. Do you have any advice for me?"
"I cannot tell what to do sir. You must make this choice on your own," the woman replied. Suddenly a rhythmical beat began to play. The others around the fire seemed to be listening in on them now.
"But how? I-I love Chavi but I must marry Jamila for my country," Malik said.
"Prince Zahur, you must look inside yourself for the answer. What does you heart say?"
"My heart has tended to get me into trouble on numerous occasions," he replied.
"Try listening harder," she replied. Suddenly a pure voice rang out in the auditorium as the hooded woman and Malik approached center stage.
"You are a prince of Egypt…rich, powerful and wise. That is how the priests describe you, a god in our eyes. So why have you come to me, seeking advice in your love? You'd get a better answer if asking the heavens above!" her voice was beautiful and pure. Ryou literally felt himself gasp slightly. Aly had always practiced singing behind a locked door where ears could not hear her.
"I am a Prince of Egypt, wise, strong and brave, but I know nothing of love, it's you I need today!" Malik joined in, his voice was pure and full of confidence. Marik grinned.
"Follow your heart! It will lead you to victory! Follow your heart! It sees the things your eyes can't see. You'll know what is right if you listen, to your heart!" A drum boomed and as if a bomb had gone of the room suddenly was a burst of color as the lights began to change color and every person on stage jumped up, throwing off their peasants robes to show beautiful dresses and outfits. Aly stood center stage, dress the rainbow with gold edges. Her eyes sparkled and she grinned at Malik who looked quite surprised.
Some other girls appeared by her Aly's side and the musical number began. Lights, music costume, it was all so intense, with Aly's voice soaring above it all and Malik accompanying her.
"You tell to follow my heart, that it will lead the way, but I cannot figure out what it's trying to say," Malik sang.
"Feel the love in your soul like you feel this dance, and it will tell you all its secrets to romance!" Aly's voice flowed beautifully.
"I was told when I was young to listen to my head, to believe that facts that I have seen and read."
"Then how do you except to get anywhere when you listen to your mind? The heart is what feels romance. It will help you get what you need to find! It will help you throughout all of time!" The dancers had positioned themselves in pairs around Malik and Aly in a pattern. Aly was beaming at Malik.
"Follow your heart, it will lead you to victory! Follow your heart, it sees what the eyes can't see! Follow your heart, it will lead the way! Follow your heart, it will tell you what we say!" the chorus bellowed their last notes and the auditorium was filled with numerous applause and whistles. The stage dimmed.
"That was amazing!" Serenity cried as the lights brightened for intermission.
"So beautiful!" Tea added. Marik smirked.
"My hikari has got talent," he said. Ryou nodded in agreement.
"And Aly…" he added.
For a next good hour of the night the group of friends watched the play until the final scene was coming up.
Aly was watching fro back in the wings when she saw a troubled Aiko come up to her.
"A-Aly…" she whispered softly. "I-I can't do this…this outfit is getting on my nerves…the corset I have to wear…" Aly frowned at her in concern.
"The corset shouldn't hurt you. Are you sure it's yours?" she asked. Aiko didn't have time to answer, for just then she fainted. Aly's eyes widened as she hastily caught her friend.
"Aiko! Aiko!" he whispered fiercely. A few others gasped and came over to help.
"It's her corset!" Aly informed them.
"My, my, get the understudy ready quickly!" Ms. Myers ordered. Aly watched as the now dressless Aiko was carried off by tow other actors.
"Poor Aiko, I hope the understudy can get ready! Wait! Isn't-Rini is the understudy!" Aly thought in excitement. Rini hurried into the wings moments later. Aly gave her a smile and Rini beamed.
"Aly you were fantastic!"
"Great job guys!"
"Nice outfit Malik!"
"I never knew you could sing!"
"Wonderful job guys!"
"You were brilliant!"
The herd of teens sat in one of the outside tables of Pizza Palace. Aly and Malik still had their stage make up on.
"Thank you, it was so much fun!" Aly exclaimed after swallowing a bite of her pizza. Aly couldn't help but smile. Finally, she hoped, finally things were perfect-or as close to perfect as they could get. Everyone was happy, everyone was safe.
"Marik stop eating all the pizza!" Joey growled as Marik swiped a piece from the table.
"Make me mortal!" Marik replied with a cocky grin.
"Fine I will! Let's have a Duel Monster re-match right here right now!" Joey barked, reaching for his deck.
"Let's not!" Yugi and Malik said at the same time. Honda held Joey back from beating Marik to a pulp-or at least trying to. Chatter filled the night air as the teens-and Marik-celebrated, unaware of the figure that been watching them just moments earlier.
"I can't wait for you to meet my dad," Ryou said as Ryou, Malik, Marik and Aly walked down the sidewalk.
"You sure you don't want some privet time? We wouldn't want to intrude…" said Malik. Ryou shrugged.
"I'm sure he'd like to meet you guys too," Ryou replied. Then he added, "Plus I need someone to help me make dinner-who's better then Chief Marik and his trusty cooking aids?" Marik smirked.
"Of course, the ladies just love men who cook!" Aly giggled. Marik shot a glare at her.
"Cooking can be a manly thing! Look at all the chiefs on TV! They're mostly men," he said defensively.
"Oh yea, I mean, look at Ryou! He cooks!" Malik said. Marik whacked Malik upside of the head and Ryou gave him a shove.
"Come on Malik don't be so tough. I know you enjoy cooking too! I enjoy cooking with you guys very much," Aly said, taking something out of her hoodie. The guys peeked at it.
"I want to set this image in my mind forever," Aly said with a grin, revealing a picture of all three in little aprons. Marik was holding a bowl of mashed potatoes and Malik happened to be sneaking a mushroom from the salad the exact moment the picture was taken. The boys stopped in mid stride with wide eyes.
"Hey Aly can I see that for-?"
"No way!" Aly sprinted down the sidewalk.
"Get back here you little demon!" Marik yelled, running after her. "Give me that or I'll send you to the Shadow Realm!" Malik and Ryou tore after her as well. She laughed happily and stuffed the photo back into her hoodie.
"I have copies!" she cried. The group chased Aly down the street until finally Marik tackled her.
"Agh! I'm being crushed!" she choked. Marik was laughing manically as he tried to get the picture from her hoodie pocket.
"Marik don't kill her!" Malik cried, tackling him.
"Agh!" Aly moaned again. "Get-off!" Malik and Marik began to wrestle on the ground. Aly breathed deeply but before she could even get up Ryou had already tackled her. The two giggled as they struggled. He reached for her pocket and quickly snatched away the picture.
"Ah ha!" he cried with triumph and held it high. Aly gave a sly grin and suddenly kissed Ryou on the lips. In his moment of shock Aly picked the picture right out of his hands.
"Mine!" she cried, making a dash around the corner. Malik and Marik were cracking up on the sidewalk.
"Ooooo get a room Ryou!" Malik teased.
"She got yea bad Ryou," Marik added. Ryou was blushing bright red.
"No fair!" he shouted, running after her. The Ishtars followed.
By the time the four reached the house Marik had succeeded in capturing the picture only to have the wind blow it off to who knows where. After piling into the house they collapsed around the living room.
"Well…this is the last night we'll be spending together…" Aly panted.
"You're parents are coming back tomorrow?" Malik asked. Aly nodded. There was a small silence.
"Well…we'll certainly miss you," Malik finally said. The others nodded. Aly smiled.
"I'll miss you guys too…" she said shyly. The four had created a kind of bond, like between siblings. Well the bond was a bit different between Aly and Ryou but still each was quite sad knowing that Aly would soon be moving back into her own home, although they could still see each other all the time of course. So they spent that night together, in the living room, talking, watching TV, and having the occasional popcorn fight. Soon it grew late.
Malik and Marik were dozing on the floor as Ryou and Aly watched the television, each sleepily leaning against the other.
"Aly…" Ryou said quietly.
"Yea Ryou?" she asked. Ryou looked at her.
"…I…I just wanted to say…I wanted to thank you for…everything…" he replied. She looked at him.
"You're welcome…and what exactly is this 'everything?'" Ryou shook his head.
"…Everything. Thank you for…helping me I guess…for giving me a second chance…" he replied after a while. Aly nodded.
"Thank you for allowing me to give you that second chance," she replied. Ryou chuckled lightly.
"You're welcome, thank you for thanking me for giving you that second chance." Aly giggled and shoved him playfully. Ryou carefully reached for her hand and held it. Even though both had kissed before, this touch seemed to mean something special between them. Both were red in the face and quiet for a long time.
"Her hand feels warm…"
"His hand feels cold…"
Eventually the both drifted off to sleep, hands locked in place.
Bakura silently slipped down the staircase and into the living room only lit by the light of the TV. He looked at the slumbering forms mildly. With one swift movement he turned off the TV. Its sound died, leaving the house a dead quiet. He picked up a stray blanket from the floor and draped it across the slumbering lovers.
Things were going to be different now, he could tell. Aly Carter had brought change, change Bakura wasn't to sure he liked, but he would just have to deal with.
"At least she's getting out of the house tomorrow," he thought. With a sigh Bakura opened the front door and stepped out into the chilly night air. The only person he'd actually talked to in a long time had been Ryou earlier that day, but he'd been watching the others. He admitted he'd followed them to the theater and watched them at the Pizza Place. He did not know why he'd done that, curiosity perhaps?
He walked down the deserted rode and through the dark alleys. At least he would be able to show his face once Aly was gone. Bakura had been thinking a long time about what had happened, and about the feelings he'd been having. The feelings he despised for making him feel so crappy.
"I'm going soft…" he thought in disgust. "Maybe I should rob Isis's museum, get myself a new dagger. That should boost my rep."
Bakura looked up and saw the moon. It was shining brightly behind lose strands of gray clouds. It was kind of odd, he'd never noticed. That moon was the same moon he'd seen 5000 years ago. It was the same moon everybody saw all around the world. He looked away and moved on down the alley taking in the cold, crisp, night air.
Dear Millie, Kara, and Erica,
How's it been? Sorry I haven't e-mailed in a long time. I've been preparing for the special surprise for Ryou. It's our 2 month anniversary! Wow I can't believe we've been gf and bf this long…and yet, I can't imagine us not being together. He's my little Ryou-kun! Mom and dad are going on another business trip, although it won't be as long as the last one. Bet you can't guess where I'm staying. Ryou's of course! Kara I think you'll be happy; Malik and Rini are no longer together, something about veggies vs. meatloaf. Rini is doing fine, she's actually obsessed with Tristan now…It's odd…Oh and Tea and Yugi are actually together! Both seem as happy as ever!
Bakura is doing ok now too. I actually got him to laugh yesterday doing my checkers victory dance. HA! SCORE FOR ME! He'll come around I think, all a psycho, Egyptian, 5000 year old spirit needs is a little time…and Erica's special chocolate chip cup cakes. Thanks for the recipe Erica!
I've saved the best news for last! Ryou and I are coming to visit during Spring break! I can't wait for you guys to meet him. Sorry Kara, Malik's going to spend that time in a special trip to Egypt, so he can't come. I really can't wait though, neither can Ryou. It's going to be so much fun! I send you many hugs and everyone over here says 'HI!" You know when I left home I thought life over here would stink. I didn't know anybody else in the country besides my own family, but it's turned out to be one of the best parts of my life. Of course I miss you guys but, if I hadn't have come here I wouldn't have met Ryou…and many other things wouldn't have happened. So I think everything worked out for the best.
Oh and one more thing, see the file attachment I sent? That's the most recent picture of me! Oh yea, all my will power has finally paid off! I like my itsy, bitsy, not totally tiny, yellow polka dot bikini!
Your dear friend,
Emmy: ….The End.
Raven: Well I guess it's time for us to say good bye.
Malik: Back to the muse closet?
Emmy: No, we'll just have to start a different fic…oooh I know! Be prepared people I already have new idea that involves baby Ryou, 'Kura-sama, and much cuteness! .
Bakura, Ryou, Malik: o.o Oooookkkk…
Raven: Thank you, all of you, for reading and reviewing this story. We hope you read the new stories we write in the future.
Emmy: So…Aly s happy, Ryou finally feels cared for, Bakura is learning how to be less of a cold, hard, stiff, and the others worked out their love lives. Sorry if the play scene was a bit boring, I just needed to put that in.
Raven: Thank you again.
Emmy: Yes thank you.
Malik, Bakura, Ryou: Read and review!