Yugi walked from the duel arena and through the doors. Finally out of everyone's sight, he slumped against them with a huge sigh as if it let a thousand pounds off his shoulders. //I'm sorry spirit for doubting you.//
//No worries little one, you had every right to.//
//Spirit, thank yo-// Yugi's thoughts were cut off as Joey rounded the corner, "Yugi."
"Wha- oh. Hey Joey, what's up?" Yugi stuttered as he stumbled from his thoughts. "Are you okay?" His friend brought up that the next match if he won would be them both. He seemed worried and concerned. It wasn't difficult to understand why, they both had something they needed to fight for. But Yugi knew, whoever won would be ready to take on Pegasus. Neither should give up or not try as hard for the other, but instead duel honorably. He translated his thoughts back to Joey who was first a little shocked but immediately agreed to the terms.
The two friends went their separate ways, Yugi to the balcony, Joey to the arena.
//Spirit?// Yugi inquired. //You seem awfully quiet.//
//This is your friends duel, I thought I'd leave you be to support him.// And with that, Yugi turned his full attention to Joey's duel... That is if Joey wasn't frantically digging through his jacket to find his entry card. //Oh no...//
Croquet gave Joey 5 minutes til he had to be back to duel. Keith was down there looking and acting as cocky as ever. //I wonder how he keeps that huge ego under that bandana.// Yugi scoffed mentally, earning a chuckle from the puzzle's spirit.
The 5 minutes waiting for Joey was full of suspense. Yugi was worried for Joey to not get a fair shot to help his sister over the lousy card. He wished his was able to give him his card, but that would mean he'd be out. He was already worried, if he lost, about Joey taking on Pegasus. He wasn't ready for that, even if he had come all this way.
Suddenly the doors swung open and a triumphant Joey marched himself in.
"Look at that the dweeb came to give us the bad news. Couldn't find it?" Bandit Keith taunted and smirked. Yugi glared down upon his, his disgust for him growing. //You better win Joey.//
"Nope I got it right here." Joey announced, flashing the card for verification. And with that, the duel began.
Within the puzzle, the spirit paced in his soul room that was tucked away secretly In the labyrinth of the puzzle. He wasn't pacing out of stress an anxiety. The only stress he had was dueling Pegasus but he wasn't worried about that at the moment. Instead he was just pacing in thought. He often did this to help pass the time. He'd either do that, watch Yugi in his day to day actions of school, homework, friends or have his version of "sleep", before Yugi even knew he existed. At this point of time, he was thinking about his little host. He could feel his love for his friends and his support for them. The spirit always wanted the same feelings towards him. He was almost jealous. And he was also still beating himself up over the duel with Kaiba, oh so worried he'd lost any chance of being anything but some horrid spirit to Yugi. He cared very much for the little one, he'd developed a slight crush, if you will. If course this was ridiculous and stupid, even more stupid now. The spirit slumped into a large stone chair in the middle of the room and sat drowning in his thoughts of little Yugi.
While cheering him on and supporting him, Yugi watched with pride for his friend as he made his last move and won the duel.
"Joey Wheeler, you are the victor." Croquet announced, making it final.
Suddenly, an angry Keith slammed him hands down and yelled, "This duel doesn't count!" Everyone turned to look at him in confusion. "The entry card that Joey showed wasn't even his! Therefore this duel shouldn't count and he should be disqualified right here!"
"He's right," Joey admitted. "My card was missing so Mai gave me her's. But tell me, Keith, how could you have known that this wasn't my card?" Yugi clicked this together quickly and could feel anger inside him. //That was my card that I gave to Joey for his SISTER. That jerk!// Keith suddenly looked dumbfounded and lost for words. "I'm all ears."
"It's clear that Keith stole Joey's card." Pegasus had piped. He had an overly amused look on his face as he sat on his duelist throne. "That's why he was so certain you wouldn't be able to find it."
"You snake! I knew it!" Joey hollered.
"It should be Keith disqualified, not Joey!" A few of Joey's friends interjected. Yugi stayed silent. He knew if he tried to say something, he'd say something way over the top in his anger.
Pegasus spoke again, "Oh he should be disqualified alright, but not just for actions outside of the dueling ring, there was quite a bit of improper conduct during the match that I observed too."
"Is that so Keith?"
"Oh yes," the white haired man answered for him. "He kept his 7 complete cards in his wristband that way he could power up his slot machine monster whenever he chose."
Yugi himself was disgusted by such actions, he didn't even want to know how Joey felt. If it wasn't for Keith's cheating, Joey would have won in a breeze.
Pegasus's security, at the order, drug a struggling Keith away to take him off the island. He struggled enough to get free and rushed Pegasus, drawing a concealed gun. He pulled the gun to the dueling hosts head. "You're not talking yourself out of this one, now hand over the prize money or else." Pegasus made a few of his famous sarcastic jabs that seemed to sail past Keith. "You have till the count of three."
"Hmm okay, 1,2,3," And with that, pegasus pressed a secret button, the floor opened up under Keith and swallowed him up.
//What have I gotten myself into?// Yugi thought, a little stunned at everything. Croquet then announce that the next duelist, himself and Joey, take a ten minute recess. Yugi was relieved at this, but still extremely worried about this next match with his best friend. //This is it..// "I need to go somewhere and think.." Yugi announced to his friends, after giving Joey one last look. He made his way out and to an empty corridor.
//Yugi, are you alright?// The spirit appeared within the space of their shared mind.
//Im..extremely worried..// Yugi replied hesitantly, mentally standing with the spirit. His own concern swirled around Yugi.
//I promise you, I will protect you. I won't let a thing hurt you.// The spirit said sternly, thinking he was referring to the scene with Keith, placing his hands on Yugi's shoulders and giving them a light, comforting squeeze.
Yugi shook his head, //It's not that. I'm worried about this next duel with Joey. The winner faces Pegasus. He's not ready for that.// A tear fell down his face. //But if he doesn't win, he loses the money for his sister's operation.. But if I don't win, I lose my grandfather.// In response to Yugi's hurt, he could feel the spirit's own pain. The taller came to eye level to Yugi, and placed one hand on his head, in a kind manner. //You told Joey you'd duel honorably. I'm going to be there with you for every step and keep you to your word. But You're not alone. Maybe there will be someway for you both to get as you wish.// The spirit felt as though he'd drown in Yugi's watery amethyst eyes as he gave the best words of comfort he could come up with. With a small nod from Yugi and a sad sniff, the spirit stood up. //It's time for us to be down there and give Joey his duel.// With that, Yugi headed to the arena, his heart filled with the spirit's words.