Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ As If! ❯ Best of Duels, Best of Friends, Pt. 2 ( Chapter 32 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

*Author's Note: Well, this is the first new chapter that's being posted up at MediaMiner. I'd do something to celebrate, but I'm rather short on time -- both now and previously, to prepare -- so I won't. That's just the way the cookie crumbles, huh? I'll try to quickly respond to reviews, though.

Insanity In A Jar - Hilarious scene! I'm not sure I'll be able to use it, but it's funny none-the-less.

Bronze Eagle - I'm teaching myself Japanese using the Power-Glide course from www.power-glide.com. It's not great, but it works!

Shadow Vitani - Actually, I think Bakura DID stow away. He was just less secretive about it than the cheerleaders.

Unrealistic - You actually think I can do Yugi vs Pegasus, Pt. 4?! Good lord! Your faith in me is... *shakes head* I'm really not sure I'm up to that sort of a challenge... But... I guess I can try...

Angel Reaper - Funny! I'm gonna steal that!

Bronze Eagle, again - Ah, I might have lost all my reviews in number, but I saved them all! *smiles* No way I would risk losing them. Nuh-uh!

Star - Ahh, my very last reviewer at ff.net. I would like to thank you EVER so much for that adorable picture of Angel Yugi you sent me. Talk about symbolism! It really did give me the encouragement I needed right then for me to continue writing this thing. So thank you. I truly, deeply appreciate it.*

*Scene: Rain, rain, go away.*

Pegasus: It's challenges like this that put to the test the ties that bind us.

Yami: *irritated* It's my verbal bonds that I'm trying to find a way out of, right now. You can keep your emotional ones for all I care!

*Scene: The cheerleaders have noticed that it's a close duel.*

Bakura: I don't think I've ever seen such an exciting duel!

Tristan: You're almost worse than Mai, you know that?

Bakura: What? Almost? Why, that is news to me.

*Scene: Yammy draws.*

Joey: Go ahead and toss it, Yuge. It won't surprise me. I know your cards by heart.

Yami: Impressive. Even my aibou was surprised by the Black Luster Ritual.

*Scene: Yami plays the Dark Magician, one of his most popular... er, powerful -- sorry -- cards.*

Joey: Even he's no match for my Skull Dragon!

Yami: Are you sure?

Joey: In a duel, the monster with the lowest attack strength loses.

Yami: ...oh. I hadn't thought about it that way before. *groans* Damn it... and so close, too...

*Scene: Joey is trying to make sure Yugi never does him a favor again.*

Joey: Your past has come back to haunt you!

Yami: Let's see who spooks whom.

Joey: "Whom?" "WHOM?!" Okay, now that IS creepy!

*Scene: Yami refuses to be drawn.*

Yami: I also taught you how to protect your weaker monsters by enhancing them with magic cards.

Joey: *gasps* Don't tell me!

Yami: *plays* I don't have to. You already know all my cards, remember?

*Scene: Magical Hatiness.*

Yami: It's your pick, Joey. So tell me, which Hat do you think is hiding the Dark Magician?

Joey: Hmm, well, let's think about this... I know you said you never hide him in the center Hat, because your opponents always attack the ones right in front of ya first. But then, you know that I know that, so... *groans* I hate this psychological warfare!

*Scene: Distressed ramblings.*

Joey: Now I gotta depend on luck, not duelin' skill, to help me find his Dark Magician.

Tristan: Wow. And Joey's upset about that? That's a real change.

*Scene: Joey attacks a middle hat which, indeed, contains no Dark Magician.*

Tristan: That may have been Joey's last shot. Whenever a duelist gives Yugi time to recover, he always comes back stronger than ever.

Téa: Of course, that's pretty theoretical, still.

Bakura: Whatever do you mean? I've seen lots of close duels like this since I joined you, and Yugi always recovers!

Téa: Yes, exactly! It would be better from a logical standpoint to see a case where it didn't work.

*Scene: This would be clever if he knew how to lie.*

Yami: So now that your attack on my Dark Magician has failed, is there any other move you'd like to make before I end your turn?

Joey: Now that you mention it, I did have one more move in mind. I hope I'm doing the right thing here, by playing this card. I mean, it could be a mistake, but I play Garusies in Attack Mode!

Yami: *sighs* No, look. You can't go around presuming your opponent is an idiot, in any respect. If they're smart enough to be a threat, they'd be smart enough to recognize a true mistake instantly. They're on the lookout for it, anyway -- you don't need to put the idea into their mind, too!

*Scene: Stop smiling, damn you! You're giving blondes a bad name!*

Téa: An attack would bring Joey down to 50 Life Points!

Bakura: But it would also draw out the Dark Magician, which would let Joey counterattack with his Black Skull, wiping out all of Yugi's Life Points.

Téa: Yeah, but you know how many magic cards Yugi has... A single power boost or trap card, and the duel would be pretty much his!

*Scene: He might be dumb, but he sure is cute.*

Joey: *thinking* Great. Now he's got somethin' else hidden under those Hats I gotta worry about. And knowing Yugi, it's probably a trap. But wait! Yugi knows me, and he would know that I would know that he's laying a trap. So maybe he didn't play a trap, after all -- maybe it's a monster card instead. But... what if he knows that I would think that, so it really is a trap card? Except that if he knows that I know that he knows what I know...

Yugi: *wide-eyed* Umm, Yami? Remind me, which one of those did we play?

Yami: *baffled; mentally* I'm not sure anymore, aibou... I'm really not...

*Scene: That was worse than typing that she seels sea sores... shoes... thing... ...er, what?*

Pegasus: *thinking as Joey misses* That's the way life goes, Joey -- never as you've planned. The world is a very arbitrary place, isn't it?

Yami: *aloud* Much like all these stupid rules of yours, wouldn't you say?

Téa: Awful rules!

Tristan: Horrible rules!

Téa: ...why are we talking about rules?

Tristan: I'm not sure...

*Scene: Pegasus was almost cute when he was young, wasn't he?*

Pegasus: *thinking* Just when you think you've etched the perfect portrait of your future and your life couldn't get any better... just when you let down your guard at last and open your heart...

Yami: *mentally* Just when you've started to ramble like a deranged idiot...

Pegasus: Hey! Personal moment here, thank you very much!

*Scene: Gotta love those weddings without ministers.*

Pegasus: *thinking* ...that's when tragedy strikes, when fate hits you with the cold slap of reality and shows you who's boss.

Yugi: *awed* Wow. I always thought Pegasus would think he's boss, over everything...

Yami: *mentally* Yes... almost makes him seem human, doesn't it? *coughs* Or at least as human as me, at any rate.

*Scene: Rant over, the battle resumes.*

Joey: I'm not gonna miss this time, Yugi. I'm gonna blast your Dark Magician. Dragon, attack the Hat on the far left! Go now! Molten Fireball!

Cheerleaders: Ah!

Dragon: *blasts a Hat*

Cheerleaders: Uh!

Yami: Oh, come on, you KNEW this was going to happen. Refrain from gasping until you actually LEARN something, please!

*Scene: Synchronized looking, the new Olympic sport!*

Bakura: Both the Dark Magician and the Skull Dragon have equal attack strengths. As strong as they are, a battle between the two of them would just result in a stand-off.

Tristan: A stalemate, huh?

Bakura: Yes. It could also be called a "draw," an "impass," a "deadlock," or a "tie" if you need a few more synonyms in order to understand.

*Scene: Spellbinding Circle was attacked, and Garusies went to Defense.*

Joey: *thinking* Yugi's the toughest opponent I've ever faced, but I'll beat him!

Yami: Hahaha, NO.

*Scene: On the other side.*

Yugi: *thinking* Joey's really learned a lot the last few weeks -- he plays like a pro! But in the duel against Pegasus, it's gonna take more than an expert duelist. It's going to take someone who can also stand up to the power of his Millennium Item.

Yami: *mentally* Heh. Guess that rules Bakura out, then, huh?

Yugi: *confused* What? Bakura?

Yami: *sighs* Just an attempt at humor... forget it... *skulks off, dispirited*

*Scene: Nothing. Is. Happening.*

Yami: Joey, you've dueled well, but the tide of this battle is about to turn.

Téa: *groans* Oh, no, don't tell me we're back to water jokes again!

Tristan: Geez, is there any kind of metaphor that you WOULDN'T over-react to?

Téa: Umm... trees? I don't think we've done trees yet...

Bakura: Really? Amazing! Guess we'll have to arrange that, then!

*Téa sweatdrops.*

*Scene: I should really stop MSTing every line here...*

Pegasus: *thinking* Most impressive. Despite the bond that these two share, my Millennium Eye tells me that they are indeed dueling each other with everything they've got!

Yami: *mentally* TELLS you? It doesn't have a Yami! It can't speak! ...which is probably a good thing. Wouldn't want to be living in YOUR mind, no way!

Pegasus: Oh? Am I too much for you?

Yami: Huh. No. But at least this way, I look cute, if nothing else.

*Scene: Pointy finger of dooooom! This time from Yami.*

Yami: All right, Joey! Prepare yourself! I'm going to obliterate your Dragon!

Joey: *taken aback* You what? I'm ready for you! Bring it on!

Yami: Hmm. *draws* ... Er, but not right now.

*The cheerleaders sweatdrop and groan.*

*Scene: A more successful draw... one hopes.*

Yami: This is it, Joey! The card I drew will vanquish your Skull Dragon once and for all! *turns it around, slowly and dramatically* The Book of Secret Arts!


Joey: *bursts out laughing* What is he gonna do, paint 'im to death?!?

*Scene: Thunderstorms are very dramatic.*

Yami: With its ancient magic, my Dark Magician becomes 300 Attack Points stronger!

Tristan: Ancient magic, pfft. Why is it always the ancient magic? Why does Yugi never play anything remotely new?

Téa: *defensively* I think the old-fashioned ways are very much in-style!

Tristan: You would!

*Scene: How the hell was the wind blowing from BEHIND Yami as the Dark Magician attacked?*

Yami: Joey, Black Skull is beaten.

Joey: Well, duh.

*Scene: Pegasus claps, easily amused.*

Yugi: *thinking* Joey's kept me down all match long, but now I finally have the advantage. Not only is my Dark Magician 300 points stronger than normal, but he's ready to show off a few hidden powers, too.

Yami: *mentally, with a frown* Yugi, two things. First, who were you talking to there? I know all this already. Second, are you sure you're alright? I rarely hear you this jubilant over a duel, especially such as this.

Yugi: *sarcastic* Oh, yeah, because I'm sure you care that much about me! You would hate it if I had a mental breakdown, and wasn't able to play in the next match. Just back off, you vulture!

Yami: *does so, startled and worried* Ahhh... wow. I really did not expect that...

*Scene: Been a few minutes since the cheerleaders, so let's go back to them, shall we?*

Tristan: Poor Joey. He really got slammed there. You think this duel's over for him?

Bakura: Well, it depends on what he does next.

Tristan: Huh?

Téa: What do you mean?

Bakura: *sighs* Do I really have to go into the discussion about how it's focus and concentration that matter again?

Yami: *listening in from down below, amused* Depends. Do you actually care about them understanding?

Bakura: *blinks and looks over* Well, yes, I suppose so.

Yami: Then you're out of luck, I'm afraid.

*Scene: Joey has a crisis of faith, but since he's not the main character, it's a very minor one and is solved in under a minute.*

Joey: *draws and plays* All right, Yugi, time to kiss the baby!

Yami: *sighs* That was always the part I hated most about ruling...

*Scene: How is Yugi supposed to get all the way across the arena there to kiss that dragon, anyway?*

Yami: Sorry, Joey, but my Dark Magician will destroy your Baby Dragon! Dark Magic Attack!

Téa: You know, that really is a complete lack of strategy on one of their parts.

Bakura: Yes, almost pathetic since they're both supposedly dueling at the top of their form.

*Scene: The face-down card was Kunai with Chain instead of the Time Wizard.*

Pegasus: *thinking* Shame on you, Yugi-boy. Using the knowledge you have of Joey's deck to predict what card he would play, and to no avail, too. At least when I prophesize cards, I'm always right. *laughs*

Yami: *mentally* That would annoy me more if you could prophesize other things with any accuracy.

*Scene: The end-duel wrap-up begins.*

Joey: Hey, Yuge...

Yami: Joey...

Joey: Just know it's been a real honor dueling you.

Yami: *smiles* Likewise.

Téa: How cool. Even now, in the midst of battle, they're friends first.

Tristan: Yeah, that is cool, but Yugi says that to everybody he duels, so it's not that special.

*Scene: Joey draws.*

Joey: Unreal! I pulled the one card in my whole deck that really can finish this duel and decide a winner!

Yami: You mean... you pulled...

Joey: Something that's absolutely worthless! Damn it! Now you'll play one of your stronger monsters, and I'll have no shot! Damn, damn, damn!

*Scene: Actually, the "one card" thing makes it quite clear that it was the Time Wizard.*

Joey: Kinda strange that this's all coming down to a card that you gave me.

Bakura: Either that, or painfully obvious, depending on your viewpoint...

*Scene: The odds that it will take the remaining five minutes just to spin that bugger are higher than I like.*

Joey: Cross your fingers and get set to adjust your clocks, 'cause here it comes... Go, Time Roulette!

Téa: I'm kinda impressed that, friendship or not, Joey's asking Yugi to be cheering for his side.

Tristan: Guess it's just a force of habit, by now.

*Scene: ...or it could just take fifteen seconds. That works, too. ^_^;;*

Joey: Sorry, Yuge, but I'm afraid my time warp has made your Dark Magician a sickly old man.

Téa: Look at the Dark Magician!

Tristan: He's aged like a thousand years!

Bakura: Or one could say that he's aged PRECISELY a thousand years, if one preferred.

*Scene: Joey's Thousand Dragon attacks the Dark Magician, but is thwarted.*

Joey: How did you play Makiu while it was still my turn?!

Yami: With magic.

Joey: Aww, man... That's why I don't like duelin' all these magical, mystical people! They never quite play by the rules!

*Scene: The reason we never heard Yami's preference for what the Time Wizard did.*

Yami: A magic so powerful that it took my Dark Magician a thousand years to learn it.

Bakura: That seems almost... depressing. The Dark Magician spends a MILLENNIA studying, and then he's just thrown right back into this duel?! I just find that very sad...

Téa: I'm fine with that, I just think it's a little unfair that the Dark Magician does all the hard work, and then Yugi can just saunter in and tell his elder-and-better what to do!

Tristan: Uh... you guys are taking this waaaay too seriously, I think.

*Scene: Dark Saginess.*

Yami: That time warp did age my Dark Magician, but it made him stronger, not weaker.

Téa: *leans over and shouts down* So how come it said he had only a hundred Attack Points?

Yami: Lies. Pure lies.

*Scene: Did the Dark Sage actually trade his staff for a club?*

Yami: Now I invoke his powers for my turn, and draw this magic card. *places his hand over his deck to draw*

Téa: I'm confused. Are there two separate decks for monsters and magic cards, that he knows what kind he's drawing?

Tristan: Uhhh... yes. Yeah, there are.

Téa: *frowns* Where? I see the discard pile, but only the one drawing pile.

Tristan: Well, they're, uh... on top of each other. Yeah, that's it.

*Scene: Crocodile tears.*

Yami: You fought a valiant duel, my friend, and this is the hardest move I've ever had to make. But this ends now.

Bakura: "Hardest move?" I would've thought that would've come in the duel that killed his mother, or something. I mean, just knowing him, and all.

*Scene: Inevitability.*

Téa: *crying* I'm just glad it's over, and I'm so proud of them both. They dueled their hardest, but never once forgot their friendship.

Pegasus: Hmm. Well, touching as that may be, you really ought to save your tears, little girl. After all, you'll be needing them once I face Yugi in the dueling arena.

Téa: Thanks for the advice, but I'm the female lead. I could cry all day, if I needed to!

*Scene: Outside in the hallway, where it's back to the mortal group.*

Joey: Here, this is yours now. *holds out his Glory of the King's Hand card*

Yugi: Huh?

Joey: Go ahead, it's all yours. You show Croquet this card, and he'll give you three million bucks in prize money.

Yugi: *pushes it back* No, Joey. You should keep it.

Joey: *looks at the card* Umm... Nice a souvenir as it is, I really think I'd rather get the prize money instead... I mean, even if you keep it all, think how much great stuff you could buy for your grampa's shop! ONE of us should get the money, at least. So take it and duel!

*Scene: You don't need to beat Pegasus to get the cash?!*

Yugi: I didn't enter into this tournament to get rich, Joey. I'm just here to save my Grampa... and the Kaiba brothers. And, er, whoever else gets kidnapped before the duel's end. Might not be much time, but knowing our luck... *sighs*

*Scene: Yugi's such a nice guy.*

Yugi: Please, use this money for Serenity's operation.

Joey: Really?

Téa: Yugi...

Yugi: What do you say, Joey?


*Yugi promptly and wisely hides behind Bakura.*