|Like Old Times
Author: Midsummer'sQueen PM
She could feel his hot breath on her cheeks, his fingers intertwined her hair, and all around them was the darkness. It whispered to her, reminded her of her weakness, her foolishness. It told her he was planning to kill her. ch 1-7 redone. 8 soon.Rated: Fiction M - English - Adventure - Marik I. - Chapters: 46 - Words: 99,692 - Reviews: 218 - Favs: 54 - Follows: 34 - Updated: 11-19-12 - Published: 01-28-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4040378
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Discalimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, and as such many things may (and will) deviate from the originial plot. This story is purely fan-based and has nothing to do with the actual show. (except for the underlining plot, of course.)
Chapter One; Omens
"Hikari, wake up."
Amari moaned, rolling over her left side to let her arm hang limp over the edge of her bedside. The gold bracelet dangling from her slender wrist glittered subtly in the soft ray of sunlight filtering through her open window, where a cool breeze kissed her bare shoulder and made her shiver.
She opened her eyes and met the transparent gaze of a beautiful Egyptian youth, her mouth pursed in something short of worry. Amari propped herself up and rubbed the sleepies from her eyes before stifling a yawn.
"You were crying in your sleep again," the spirit told her, and Amari answered her with a sigh.
"Sorry," she replied, pushing up to sit with her bare feet pressing down on plush carpet. The spirit hovered over her right side, following Amari as she moved to ready herself for the day, arms pressed to her chest.
"Was it that dream again?" she asked softly, her expression gentle but her voice on edge. Amari paused before her vanity table, plucking up her brush and setting to the task of untangling the knots from her long, dark hair. She knew what dream the spirit was asking about, but she wasn't inclined to give an answer. Conjuring up her nightmares was never a pleasant thing, especially when she knew they were nothing short of reality.
Bile rose to the back of her throat as the vision of crumbling walls and her mother's screams filled her mind's eye, followed closely behind by sands greedily drinking up pools of blood flowing from her father's mangled fingers. She shooed the gruesome image away with a few more, hurried strokes through her hair before setting down the brush and opening her closet door.
"It doesn't matter, Rune." She muttered, parting the curtain of outfits in her way to find her favorite top. Rune sighed, watching her with calculated eyes but saying no more on the subject, knowing it would do no good to prod the girl further. Still, something was not right. Amari had not been haunted by the remembrance of her parents' deaths for over a year. Rune knew better than to overlook this omen, knowing last time she had been plagued by nightmares, it had been before the start of Pegasus's tournament, before grandfather Mouto was whisked away by the power of the Sennen Eye.
"I know what you're thinking, Rune," Amari eyed the spirit in the corner of her eye as she spoke, "but it's really nothing. Just because the nightmares came back, it doesn't mean some catastrophe is going to befall us,"
"Do not underestimate the power of dreams," She answered sagely, "Or should I say, the mind. A person's mind is a powerful thing and is capable of miracles some find hard to comprehend." Amari rolled her eyes as she pulled her arms through her half-jacket and turned to face her past self.
"I thought you believed the brain was a useless part of a person's body," she challenged. She felt the spirit's aura prickle in response.
"That was before I awoke to this life and met face-to-face the miracles your people have already accomplished." She bristled, and Amari had to fight off a grin the spirit already knew was coming as she recalled her first flight in the metal bird Amari had told her was an airplane. The shared memory passed between them like an electrical current and held the same shocking effect, though both were used to this by now. Amari just shook her head before heading down the steps into the part of the house that was hidden behind the Turtle Game Shop. She met Yugi by the couch, and he greeted her with a smile.
"Morning," he said warmly, which she answered in turn before plopping down next to him.
"Sup, cus?" she answered, ruffling his yet-to-be-brushed hair. He batted her hand away, but his smile stayed in place.
"There's was something at the door for you," he said before pointing to a small envelope on the table. "It doesn't have a return address, though." Curious, Amari picked up the envelope and unsealed it. She scanned the letter with half open eyes before her mouth fell open and she jumped up from the couch.
"Oh my god!" she screeched, surprising Yugi into jumping up with her.
"What? What is it?" he asked as she began moving across the room, still examining the letter. When a grin crossed her face he became even more confused.
"I can't believe this!" she cried happily. "They're coming here?"
"Who are?" Yugi asked, but she ignored him, letting loose a gleeful shout before bounding up the steps and leaving him to call after her uncertainly.
"She seems pretty excited over whatever it is," The Pharaoh spoke up, materializing next to his counterpart. Yugi eyed him with a wary smile as Amari returned, jumping the last few steps and landing in front of them like an Olympic gymnast. In her hands were her keys and her purse.
"I have to go to the airport," she chattered excitedly. "My friends from Egypt are arriving this afternoon, so I'm going to go greet them." Yugi opened his mouth to ask for more details, but before he could she swooped down to give him a peck on the cheek and moved past him towards the door. She turned to wave goodbye to the two of them, beaming. "I'll be back sometime this afternoon!" Yugi held up a hand in farewell, but she was already gone.
"Wow," he murmured, "I haven't seen her that happy in a long time."
"I didn't know she had close friends back in Egypt," the ancient spirit said, turning to Yugi. "Did you?" Yugi shook his head.
"She never talked much about her past before coming to live with me and Grandpa." He replied, looking a bit miffed. "I just sort of assumed, since she never talked about it, that she didn't really remember anything from her time there."
"Hm," was the Pharaoh's only reply, his eyes narrowing slightly in thought.
When Amari arrived at the airport, she found herself incredibly surprised. What's all this security doing here? She thought, trying to look past a few men in dark suits. She glanced over the one man standing next to her, reading the header of his name tag. It read, "Domino Museum Security", piquing her interest.
"I remember seeing signs for a new exhibit earlier this week," Rune spoke up. "Perhaps the shipment came in today,"
Oh, right. Amari agreed, but she soon lost interest in all that when she saw a familiar figure walk through the terminal. "Ishizu!" she cried out happily, pushing past the guard next to her. The Egyptian woman looked up and smiled upon seeing her. Amari returned the smile, only to feel herself being pulled back by a rough hand.
"Where do you think you're going," the guard demanded gruffly, tightening his grip on her arm.
"Hey!" Amari cried. "Let go!" The guard merely snorted, grabbing her other arm and forcing her hands behind her back as if to cuff her.
"Fat chance, kid," he replied. "Can't have you getting too close."
"I'm just here to pick up a friend-"
"Yeah, yeah, whatever you say," he cut her off, tightening his grip on her as she struggled, "except the only people on this plane are for the exhibit."
"It's alright," came a soft voice, and the two of them looked over to see Ishizu standing before them, a serene smile on her face. "I invited her here," Amari gave a relived smile before turning back to gloat at the security guard still holding her. The guard returned her grin with a deadpanned expression and promptly let her go.
"My apologies," he said, but it was directed to Ishizu rather than at her. "I was merely following the security measures you asked for," Ishizu nodded knowingly.
"Yes, you were. Thank you," she replied before placing a hand on Amari's shoulder. "Now would you be so kind as to help with the rest of the shipment? I have business with my young friend here," The guard nodded solemnly before turning to leave, shooting Amari one last, suspicious glance. As soon as he was out of sight, Amari lunged into the older girl's arms.
"Ishizu, I missed you so much!" she cried. Ishizu lightly returned the hug before pulling away, smiling in her usual, serene way.
"It has been awhile, Amari." She agreed warmly, hands resting on her shoulders. "You've certainly grown up since I last saw you," Amari beamed in response before looking past her towards the crowds beyond them. After a few minutes of scanning the sea of people, her smile fell into a frown of confusion.
"Are you… alone?" she asked suddenly. Ishizu's smile became a strained, thin line as she began to steer Amari towards a café close by.
"Unfortunately, my brothers couldn't make the trip," she sighed. "I'm hoping to meet up with them eventually, but that might not be for a while…"
"Oh." Amari replied as she scanned the crowds with one last, disappointed look before Ishizu lead her towards a small table in the back of the café, far from the windows.
They ordered their drinks when a boy came over to take their orders and returned to their conversation. Mostly the two of them just caught up, Amari telling Ishizu about her life in Domino and how long it had taken her to adjust. The older woman smiled politely throughout their conversation, but Amari could tell something was bothering her.
"So, you're in charge of the new exhibit?" she asked, deciding to move the subject on to the present.
Ishizu nodded, showing a real smile for the first time in the last hour. "I have a press conference tonight on its grand opening. It's an exhibit chronicling the history of the Egyptian games." Rune's aura prickled in response.
What is it, Rune? Amari asked. She felt as her counterpart shivered within her soul chamber.
"I've just received a horrible sense of foreboding." She answered. Before Amari could ask her to elaborate, Ishizu suddenly stood up.
"I'm sorry, my friend." She apologized. "I must get going if I am to make it in time for my meeting. You're more than welcome to come to the conference, if you would like. Duelists have been invited to attend." Amari felt herself deflate, but she kept her smile in place.
"No, no, it's alright," she assured her. "I should be getting back home anyway,"
"One more thing," Ishizu grasped her hand in a gentle but firm grip, her eyes unreadable. "I'm certain you've heard of the tournament that is to take place in the coming days. I also know you've been contemplating whether or not you should enter."
"What?" Amari asked incredulously. "How did you know that?" Gingerly Ishizu stroked the gold adornment hanging from her neck, drawing Amari to the Eye of Horus at its center. When she looked back at Ishizu she found the older girl staring at her with a calculating expression.
"Amari, you must enter the tournament." She told her. "You will play an important part in the events that are to take place. You will be given a choice, and when that time comes, you must make the choice to help him." Shivers ran up her spine as Ishizu's words passed through her. Amari wanted to jerk her hand away, but Ishizu held onto her in a vice-like grip. "Please," she whispered before letting her go. "You must help him."
Amari pulled back, thoroughly frightened. Inside her soul chamber, Rune's aura was intensifying to the point where she was certain they would switch places. After a few more moments of pregnant silence, Ishizu let loose a silvery laugh. "I'm sorry," she chuckled. "I didn't mean to scare you. I was merely teasing…" Amari shot the Egyptian woman a wary look before relaxing again, but something told her she had been far from kidding.
"That was a terrible joke," she decided to mutter sourly in response, earning another short laugh.
"I'm sorry," she apologized again. "I tend to have a poor sense of humor. But I really must be going now," She left exact change on the counter for the waiter before turning to leave, offering Amari one more, guarded smile before exiting the shop and slipping back into the crowds. Amari watched her go with a hint of amazement, her stomach cramping uncomfortably as she replayed her serious expression only moments ago…
"So you're going to enter?"
Amari sighed, playing with the end of her braid as her and Aki strolled through the Plaza. Yugi had stated he had errands to run with Anzu that morning, so she had decided to relay her time with Ishizu to her best friend instead. She had kept out the cryptic message Ishizu had "joked" about, deciding it might not be the best thing to bring up when she herself had no idea what Ishizu had meant.
"Yeah," she finally answered as they stopped to eye some tops in a small boutique window. "I mean, I didn't get to finish Duelist Kingdom, so why not make this tournament my clean slate, you know?" Aki rolled her eyes skyward, but she didn't comment. She knew Amari didn't like thinking about the last tournament and what had happened during.
"I just don't see the point in you dueling when you're not even into it." Aki chided. "You even said so yourself it's more Yugi's thing than anything."
"And what's wrong with me wanting to try my hand at it?" Amari snapped. "Just because I failed the last time doesn't mean I shouldn't try again," Through the reflection Amari could see Yugi and Anzu weaving their way through the crowds and towards them and turned to offer a wave. "Besides," she continued, "Yugi and Gramps are both into Duel Monsters. This could be a good way for me to get into it with them," And figure out what Ishizu meant. She added in her head just as Yugi and Anzu reached them. She gave her cousin one look over. Had she meant to help Yugi? Was something going to happen to him otherwise? Automatically she wrapped Yugi in a hug, who answered it with a bit of confusion. Even when he let go she still clung loosely to his hand, Ishizu's mysterious message suddenly making her wary. She could feel Anzu eyeing them, but she didn't care.
"How did today go?" Aki asked, feeling the slight tension between the three of them. Graciously, Yugi shot her a smile and informed them of their visit to the museum. Automatically Amari felt her interest pique as she head Ishizu's named mentioned, but she wisely stayed quiet, deciding she would rather talk to Yugi about it in private.
"I feel a hostile presence." Rune hissed, causing Goosebumps to run across Amari's skin as she felt it, too. She let go of Yugi's hand as she scanned the crowds, ignoring him when he asked if everything was alright. Despite Rune's warning she couldn't see anyone that could really be that much of a threat, but her Goosebumps intensified the longer she looked into the sea of duelists. She took a solitary step forward, the noise around her fading into the background as she searched. Ishizu's message would not leave her head, and it blocked out everything while the sense of danger was near.
Amari jumped when Kaiba's voice suddenly boomed from above them, breaking her out of her trance and throwing her back into reality. She spun to see the stern face of the spirit who shared Yugi's body, his lips pursed into a question of worry. She offered him a fluttering smile, but he didn't look happy with it. When Kaiba began explaining the tournament and its rules he turned his attention back to above them, but the unspoken demand of "We'll talk later" hung in the air between them.
Amari let out a breath. The hostile feeling left her, allowing her to relax again. She tried her best to listen to the rest of what Kaiba was explaining, but despite the fact the disturbing presence was gone, she couldn't shake the feeling she and the others were being watched. This time it was the spirit who reached for her hand, and she gladly took it.
As you've probably read in the summary, I am currently rewriting the first handful of chapters of this Fanfiction, seeing as how it is now running on three years old and is currently in desperate need of a tune-up. Please bear with me as my progress will more than likely be slow as I try to also finish up the last few chapters of this story. Thank you.