Challenge Name and Number: #080, Missing
Drabble Title: Emptiness
Word Count: 394
Warnings (if applicable): None
Pairings (if applicable): None
Summary: It was his favorite place to go during his teenage years, but now, all that's left is an empty parking lot and a "FOR RENT" sign taped to the window.

Author's Note: This drabble is dedicated to the MMORPG City of Heroes, where I spent many an afternoon (and two and a half years of subscription fees!) pretending to be a superheroine. NCSoft, the publisher, will shut down the servers on November 30, 2012. Even though I don't actively play anymore, I'll still miss the game – I met some very awesome people there while I did.

He walked out onto the streets, wrapping his jacket tightly around his shoulders as the chilly autumn wind whirled around him. A few people on the street openly gaped and muttered to one another as he passed by, but he ignored them. He had someplace else he wanted, no, needed to be.

Burger World, their favorite burger joint and place to hang out after school, had finally closed for good. As a small family run burger restaurant, it just couldn't hold out in this economy. He stopped, surprised as he was greeted by an empty parking lot. In its heyday, Burger World was the place to go – heck, between him and Jounouchi, they made it the place to be. People would show up, get a drink or some fries, and then chat with them for tips or just for a friendly duel.

He walked up to the large windows that he and Jounouchi were always seated at – he knew the owners were using them to attract more customers, but they never minded – the drinks were cold, the burgers were fresh, and the fries were crispy. What more could they want? And for the most part, the fans were nice, either wanting an autograph or a quick opinion on this card or that strategy.

In its own way, Burger World had become their clubhouse, a special place for him, his friends, and his fans to meet. It was where he went to celebrate his tournament victories, and it was also there that he went to lament over his latest poor exam result.

And now, all that was left was an empty trash-strewn parking lot, an empty store, and a sign taped to the windows saying "FOR RENT" in huge letters, along with a phone number underneath it. No more daily specials, no more perfectly cooked burgers, no more deliciously fresh french fries. And even after he retired from dueling professionally, he still stopped by once a month or so during the off-hours, just to eat a late lunch and have a quick chat with the owner.

But even though he knew it was a long time coming, he still couldn't escape that empty feeling inside, knowing that he would never be able to (temporarily) return to that cherished time in his teenage years when all that mattered was his friends and dueling.