Hi guys! Its LITERATELY past 2 am and I know I should sleep, because lately I'm "slightly" sleep-deprived, but hell, I've got this idea in my head, a very quick shot, which came to my head after watching Yu-Gi-Oh! the Oricalcus arc and I just thought "Why not? Lately, I've been so busy, struggling with some author's block and losing a bit of my will to live, but oh well, I know this is something like a phase and my friends have been nothing but supportive, so this one-shot is mostly dedicated to them.

For those of you, who follow Innocent bond, I sincerely apologize, the chapters are completed, just my beta is busy with their own personal stuff plus some health issues and I'm asking the people to be understanding of them.

I hope that I won't make it too OOC, and not to make too many mistakes, this story is posted right after it's finished, I hope you enjoy it.

Yugi has noticed a slight change in Yami lately. Be it in the way they interact, the way he refused to hold his gaze for too long or how at times he caught him staring, as if afraid he would evaporate into thin air. The atmosphere between them was tense, their interactions on the whole- stiff.

Yugi suspected, no, he knew the reason why.

They never discussed it. What happened during and after that duel.

Yugi never held a grudge, or on the rare occasions he did it wasn't for very long. The people he could say he hated could be counted on the fingers of his hand. Needles to say, he wasn't mad at Yami, he didn't hold a grudge.

But he would be lying if he said it didn't hurt a little, the way Yami pushed him away, the way the ancient pharaoh lost himself to his anger. Yugi was worried, for he usually managed to quiet it down and to bring back the rational part of him.

But back then he couldn't and the consequences were unbearable.

Yugi didn't regret doing what he did. If asked, he'd do it again in a heartbeat. But it was obvious what effect it had on the ancient spirit. And on himself.

It was the first night after everything came to a close. Yugi finally felt the luxury of lying in his own bed. Back in the soul realm, where the only thing he could do was hope not to die, time flew really fast. It felt as if he stayed there for only a few hours. Truth was a few days.

Yugi laid in his bed, restless, his body filled with adrenaline, pumping through his veins, keeping the instinct for survival awake. He didn't know when he managed to succumb to sleep, but he thought he could feel the faintest of touches caressing his cheek.

Yet, the nightmares refused to leave him alone. He'd wake up panting every few hours. Needless to say, he didn't get more than an hour of sleep at most. The next morning when everyone gathered in his kitchen, they all saw his exhausted form, quickly worrying themselves over him and Yugi bashfully rejecting them, saying he was fine. Every time those words left his mouth, he felt the puzzle warming up and a pointed gaze directed at the back of his head.

It continued like this for a couple of days. His sleeping habits didn't improve, on the contrary, they worsened.

On one particular night, a night where he tried to his utmost effort not to fall asleep, he found himself in the corridor in his mind. Behind him, the door to his mind was closed and the door to Yami's room was wide open, a clear invitation to enter the room.

The room was lightly lit, allowing Yugi to see the spirit's vague form, sitting on the ground, his pointed look on him. Silently, Yugi moved towards him and sat next to him.

They only watched each other, not saying anything. Then, Yami opened his arms slightly and that was all the cue Yugi needed to hurl himself in the Pharaoh's hands, fisting as much of his shirt as possible. When Yami started stroking his head, he realized he was trembling.

They stayed like that for a while, Yugi hugging Yami as hard as possible, trying his best not to cry. He knew it was stupid, that sooner or later the dam would break, but he wanted to hold it for a bit longer, only increasing his shivering.

''I'm sorry.''

But it wasn't Yugi who spoke those words.

It was Yami.

''Forgive me.''

Yugi knew what he talked about. About that duel.

That duel showed him what it was like to separate from Yami.

Yugi felt lonely, the spirit becoming an inseparable part of his being. They shared one body, one mind, a connection that ran deeper than anything Yugi had experienced. His feelings could not be conveyed through words, only through touches. A slight brush against the other's brow was equal to more than thousand words. The light cares of a lover was stronger than any interaction, more intoxicating than any drug or alcohol.

Yugi cherished them, more than anything. Losing them for a short period of time was worse than death.

The way Yami caressed the crown of his head, his hands, his back, how his lips whispered apologies and pleas for forgiveness was enough to tell him everything. They told the story of guilt and shame of a broken man.

Yugi lifted himself up and saw it, written clearly on Yami's face.

The guilt, the shame, the self-hatred.

Yugi surged forward, holding his cheeks, bringing their foreheads, breathing as steadily as possible, trying to calm his own erratic heart, to convey his thoughts through his simple act of affection.

It's not your fault.

I chose this.

It's alright, I'm alright.

Yami brought his nimble fingers to his face, caressing the skin just below his eyes, a feather-like touch.

Cry, like you wanted to do back then.

Like you didn't allow yourself to do.

Cry for me, let it all out.

As if on cue, he felt wetness on his cheeks, the tears he so desperately tried to hold back streamed down his face. The tears which were on the verge in that moment, when he made that decision, when he tried to brace himself for what was to come.

He cried so much in the Pharaoh's embrace, he thought he could really dehydrate himself. He let it all out: the fear, the anger, the pain, the betrayal, all of it.

And Yami's hand never seized its movements.

Yami never thought of the fact of being alone.

Yugi was always there, supporting him or the other way around. They were always together. He never thought of really cherishing their moments, he always thought they'd have more.

Oh, how had he regretted taking those precious moments for granted, for taking Yugi's presence for granted.

He never dreaded a moment of separation. Not until the moment they actually were separated.

Yugi's face in that moment would be engraved in his mind every time he took something for granted, every time he was on the verge of losing control.

Yugi's expression, moments before being taken by Oricalcus: his eyes big, trying to hide his fear away, his trembling form, how just a second before being taken by the seal, a single tear escaped his eye, but his comforting smile never left his face, trying to tell him that it's ok, it's not your fault.

Yami had never felt more content, more at peace when he held Yugi's fragile soul in his hands, small, glowing, warm, so Yugi. The moment he embraced it, the moment he felt it becoming one with him, he had never realized the weight on his shoulder, the true extent of the emptiness inside his chest.

He promised himself that he'd cherish all of their moments, the good, the bad, all. A resolve he decided to keep as he gently caressed Yugi's back as the boy did the same with his chest as they lay together, while Yami peppered his face with small kisses, letting his own tears fall down his face, a mixture of guilt and relief.

I promise.