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Tear Jerker / Being Dead Ain't Easy

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  • The beginning of the story, with Joey's death in Kaiba's arms.
  • Joey ends up late to his own funeral and spends the next few weeks checking on his friends and family. Serenity, Yugi, and Tristan especially miss him.
    • The last lines of the second chapter:
    I remember I was late for some class one day, and the teacher said to me, "Joey Wheeler, you'd be late to your own funeral."
    That's...funny.
    So funny I could just cry.
  • Tristan blames Kaiba for Joey's death and attacks him over it several times. Joey notes that since his death Tristan has become a lot harder, and it scares him.
  • Yami Yugi tells Joey point-blank that he's going to die again and completely cease to exist. When Joey asks for advice on how to anchor his spirit to an Item, Yami says that all he remembers is how to duel, and suggests Joey put his affairs in order.
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  • When Kaiba finally admits to seeing Joey, he reveals that he had been hallucinating Joey was there since his death.
    "Every night in my dreams, I saw you. Everywhere I looked, I saw you. At home, at school, at work... I saw you," he says softly.
  • It's heavily implied that Kaiba feels guilty for living when Joey died. He almost works himself to death trying to find a way to save him.
  • Kaiba spends almost every waking hour trying to find some way to save Joey, then immediately runs off to confront a dangerous criminal. Mokuba speaks to Joey even though he can't see or hear him, apologizes for not finding a way to help, and asks what he should do. Joey immediately heads off to save Kaiba.
  • When Joey reunites with Yugi, he feels awful for spending more time with Kaiba than him.
    He leaps onto me and tries to hug me. It's like he's trying to hug steam. Yugi freezes, but then he just sorta wraps his arms around where I should be. I can't even pretend to hug him back. He moves his legs so they're not in mine. "I missed you," he whispers.
    I know. "I missed you too, Yug'." So why'd I hang out with Kaiba, instead? Man, here I am callin' Kaiba a lousy human being, but I'm not doing much better than he is.
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  • Joey is convinced he's not going to make it even with the ritual, but Yugi is able to convince him to not give up just by looking at him.
    He got this intense look in his eyes, trying to make me believe. I open my mouth, close it again. When he looks at me like that... Okay, Yugi. No saying words we don't need to say. I mean, we don't need to say anything, right? All I have to do is look in your eyes, and all you have to do is look in mine.
    No goodbyes, 'cause this is gonna work.
  • Upon learning that his imminent cessation of existence is Kaiba's fault, Joey forces him to apologize for wrecking his life and death.
  • Joey tries to rescue Kaiba from the Soul Room, but he refuses to go back because he feels no one needs him. To make it worse, he puts himself down by reminding Joey of all the times Yugi had to save him, or his presence complicated matters for his friends.
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  • Joey's speech to save Kaiba from being trapped in the Soul Room. Insulting him doesn't work, and when he tries to fight him he gets beat up. Joey realizes he has to be ruthless, so he slams him into a wall and tells Kaiba point-blank that even though he sucks, Mokuba thinks he's going to wake up, so Joey's going to make him wake up and there's nothing he can do to stop him.
  • When Kaiba agrees to head back to the real world, he concentrates on opening an exit, but nothing happens. He and Joey are immediately swarmed, and if not for Joey's willpower they would have been trapped there forever.
  • At the end of the story, Joey decides not to tell Serenity about still being 'alive' because she can't see or hear him and had just gotten over his death.
  • While Seto can help Mokuba see Joey if he concentrates, and Yugi can see him through his connection to Yami Yugi, Tristan can't see or hear him no matter what Kaiba does. Joey thinks it's just as well since neither of them can stand each other.

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