"The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution."-- Dumbledore
Yugi moaned, his head was pounding a steady beat against his brain, or so it felt. His throat was parched, leaving his tongue with a feeling of dead weight sandpaper. Someone lifted a glass to his lips and he lapped up the iced water quickly. Right away his throat felt better and the pounding in his head faded to a more tolerable headache.
He struggled to remember what lead him to this state but his mind drew a blank. Yawning, he snuggled deeper into his covers. The fight with his mind made him feel tired again, and soon he was drifting off to sleep without ever opening his eyes.
The Dark Magician sat the glass on the nightstand and sighed. He brushed the blond bangs out of Yugi's eyes and caressed the soft cheek gently. He hadn't wanted to do this to his charge, but it was necessary for him to grow into his powers without the distractions of other Millennium Item holders.
The transition between dimensions was hard on the young boy, but he would pull through in a day or two. Then he would have to deal with the questions the boy was bound to ask, no doubt the spirit inside the puzzle would demand an explanation of him he wasn't sure he wanted to say.
He stood and quietly left the room, closing the door behind him.
Yugi woke up feeling energetic as if he had slept for twenty years like in the English story he was reading in class called Rip Van Wrinkle. He couldn't remember a time since before his mother died when he felt so light. It was if a heavy weight had dropped off his shoulders leaving him stronger than before, able to take on anything. In short, he felt like a normal teenager. How odd.
It took him but a moment to realize he wasn't in his room. In fact, he wasn't in a room he recognized at all! A quick look around the room showed foreign furniture. The bed he had been sleeping on was a soft mattress. The sheets were made of a very fine silk the likes of which he had never seen and was a deep green that reflected a silver color in the light. Overhanging the bed were curtains of silver draped dramatically to loop around the bedposts. To his right was a night table where his puzzle laid on a silk green pillow, nuzzled toward the middle like a small bed. At his left was a simple desk, an empty shelf standing upright next to it and a bottle of ink with a few pieces of paper strung about the desktop.
The room was small, but decorated in a way that made the room seem bigger than it actually was. Yugi felt the fear gripping his heart ease a bit as he slipped the puzzle on, the familiar weight around his neck calmed him from the panic he felt waking up in a strange place.
Footsteps sounded from a little distance away from the room. Yugi swallowed hard, his Adam apple bobbing up and down as he realized he could be in a sticky situation in just a few short moments. His eyes darted around the room for a weapon but none jumped into his sight.
When he was about to loose all hope, his eyes darted over to the desk where the ink well sat. Jumping out of the bed, he dashed over to the desk and grabbed the bottle as the door opened. With a battle cry he twisted the cap off and splashed the ink into the person's eyes in one smooth movement.
The person sputtered in surprise but Yugi didn't wait to see what he would do next. Darting out of the room, his feet slapped the wooden floor loudly as he ran away from his capture.
His heart was pounding a million miles a minute and his leg muscles burned with lactic acid as he twisted around corners like a frightened animal trapped in a corner. His lungs burned, and he started to feel a bit dizzy. His body wasn't in the best shape if he was breathing hard when running for just a few minutes, he noted.
His heart pounded against his chest as he wheezed for air. He managed to duck into what looked to be a strange kitchen and hid under the table cloth. Breathing in heavy through his nose, Yugi put his hand over his mouth to smother the sound of his breathing.
Without thinking about it, he curled his knees to his chest and grasped the puzzle with one hand holding on for dear life. He was scared, and alone. He prayed that his capture wouldn't find him and hurt him.
Footsteps walked into the kitchen. Yugi froze, his back stiffened as the hair on the back of his neck rose. He curled a fist and tensed as the shadow of an arm reached down under the table cloth and slim, unnaturally long fingers curled at the end of it, bunching the cloth up. Yugi swung.
Another hand caught the fist swiftly. A soft, gentle voice spoke. "Calm down. I will not hurt you."
Yugi peaked through his fingers not even realizing he had shut his eyes. Pale, wolf blue eyes stared into his violet ones. Strains of lavender hair were swept over one of the eyes, giving the person's face a darker tone. Soft, high cheek bones stood out against the flesh while thin lips curved into a gentle smile. Staring into the eyes, Yugi felt himself relax and the man let go of his fist.
The man stood up and walked over to the kitchen chair to sit. "Come out from under here and I will speak of why you are here."
Trusting that the man would keep his word, Yugi climbed out from under the table and sat in the other sit across from the man. Now that he wasn't under the table, Yugi took in the full view of the man.
He was tall and lean, dressed in a dark purple turtle neck and black slacks. Around his neck a small pendent in the shape of a shelled green gem stood proudly displayed for all to see. He had a calm about him that dispelled any remaining tension in Yugi's body and he felt that perhaps the man was not out to hurt him. But for some reason he looked vaguely familiar.
The man leaned back in his chair, his arms folded across his chest and his legs folded as well. He gave Yugi a small smile, letting him know he knew that the boy was checking him out. "My name is Meioh. But you know me by another name; Dark Magician."
Yugi gasped. "The Dark Magician from my Duel Monsters deck? No way!"
"Yes way," Meioh nodded. "I am the very same from your deck, Master Yugi."
Meioh's eyes slid to the far off wall. "I cannot say right now. But I am sure you have many questions you would like to ask me."
Yugi frowned. Yes, he did have questions, lots of them, but he wanted to know how could one of his card monsters turn into a real person? Kaiba made the holographic fields and it was true that his Dark Magician exhibited some strange behaviors while being played, but he never suspected something like this would happen. It was like he was stuck in the Twilight Zone or something. Perhaps the spirit knows?
Can you take over, for a bit I mean? I know you have some questions you want answered too and you're better at getting information out of people without them knowing it.
Are you sure you want me to?
Alright Aibou. I will switch with you. I'll try and find out what exactly is going on.
Thank you, Yami.
The change was so quick that Meioh almost didn't notice. But having been around both his masters on the battlefield had allowed him to see the differences in their appearances right away. While Yugi had soft curved cheeks and big bright violet eyes, Yami was all angles and slightly taller with crimson eyes. His body language was all about confidence and attitude while Yugi had the confidence too, it was clouded with self-doubt.
Yami Yugi narrowed his eyes and spoke, his voice a tone deeper than his other. "Meioh, Dark Magician, what ever you wish to be called, I want to know where are we?"
"Meioh, if you please Master Yami. We are in a house I constructed named 'Eye of Ra'."
"And where is the Eye of Ra, Meioh?" Yami raised a bow in a questioning manner.
Meioh hesitated for a moment, then stated in a somewhat resigned voice. "It is near London, England."
"If you should be so inclined, could you tell me why?"
"I cannot say at this moment sir."
"Cannot or will not?"
"…Cannot, Master Yami."
Yami snorted and leaned over his arms lying on the table. "Oh?" His tone was dangerously calm. Meioh almost wished he would yell at him, he would certainly feel much safer from his master's wrath if he were screaming at him. "Why is it that you drag my other and I to this place yet cannot tell me the reason for such an action? Do you wish us harm?"
Meioh looked choked in shock. "What? No, of course not! Why would I hurt my masters?"
"Tell me why we are here and how we got to this place, and I will not banish you to the Shadow Realm… yet."
The threat was clear to either speak the answers the pharaoh wanted to know or else he would not be in the physical world much longer. Meioh was stuck between a rock and a hard place. If he told his masters the reason why, then he would be exposing part of his plans in training him in his powers, but if he did not tell him what he wanted to know, he risked leaving his masters untrained and alone in a strange world he knew nothing about.
Meioh slumped in his seat, beaten. "You had just finished the duel with Pegasus, and had not been released from the shadow realm quite yet.
Pegasus lay across his scattered cards on the other side of the field, his ego wounded and his pride nonexistent. He was left with no will in his body having lost to a boy and at the same time, lost his chance to be reunited with his love. You were distracted by the conversation with your weakened other, discussing if Kaiba, Mokuba, and your grandfather were free from the soul cards.
My card had not been taken off the field playing spot, and as such I was still on the field, even if the field was not activated. For some time I had noticed that many are after your puzzle, and it was my duty as your monster to make sure you are kept safe, even from yourself.
I had been looking for a chance like this one, to be able to carry out the plan I had crafted to protect you from the other millennium item holders until you were ready for them. While you were distracted, I cast a silencing spell around me so that my actions would not attract attention by the noise. Since I could not be seen nor heard, I activated my powers and channeled them into my staff.
As the build up of magic surrounded the staff gem, I chanted under my breath a new spell I had found in my spell book not too long ago. With a slashing motion, the tip of my staff ripped the very fabric of the shadow realm, leaving a gaping scratch where you stood not five feet away.
You were knocked out from the magical overload and I grabbed your cards from off the playing field grid and kept my own card on the top of your deck, face up so that the magic radiating in the air around us would keep me active. I picked you up and put you over my shoulder and jumped into the rip.
The tunnel was a nauseating rainbow of colors, and seemed to be an endless wormhole of nonexistence until I stumbled upon a glowing doorway. I peaked in, scanned the information flooding my brain from which the doorway gave. Magic was alive and well in this dimension, and I liked the overall feel of the world. I could help you train here and no one would notice.
It was not until after I stepped into the doorway that I realized Duel Monsters were not active in this reality and that technically, I should cease to be active as well. But I was too late to jump back out of the doorway and we were transported to this clearing in the middle of a forest area. My image flickered as the rip in the shadow realm closed, and you fell through me onto the ground.
I felt a pulling sensation in the bottom of my stomach and I was afraid. I did not want to leave you alone and unprotected by yourself so I fought the sensation to lie down and go to the deep sleep. After a few nerve-racking minutes, my body solidified in a way it never had before. I had a heart beat and I had blood flowing through my veins. I realized that I was alive, like you.
I picked up my staff where I had dropped it and looked around the clearing. We needed a place to live but to stay hidden for a while and this was the best spot that came to me at that moment. I reached into the protected pocket on the inside of my armor and drew out one of your cards. Using my magic, I summoned the Ancient Elf to help me make this house we are in. But unlike me, the Ancient Elf did not become real flesh, alive, but he helped me cast spells to make the house. When he finished his task, he was called back to the Shadow Realm.
I brought you inside the new home and put you in the room you had woken up in. That was two days ago."
Meioh licked his dry lips. That was the longest he had ever spoken in his time of creation. He never gave speeches, but for his master he had to tell what he knew and by that he had to lecture him on what he was doing, the reason for doing it, and why he was doing it in the first place.
Yami Yugi was quiet for a moment as he sorted through the information Meioh had told him. So they were not on their world, but on another where magic did exist and was used more freely than their home. Duel Monsters were not active, which meant the timeline in this world was different than his own, and most likely his other and their enemies did not exist.
Also, he managed to get his first question answered by Meioh without him noticing that he had answered it. So, his monster was alive and a person, but with all the powers he had when he was just a duel monster. He smiled secretly to himself, he still had it.
Yami had to admit, if only to himself, that Meioh was a crafty planner. He had not realized nor remembered this incident after the Pegasus battle. He had a black spot in his memory. Yami had no cause to distrust Meioh's story, for it was most likely true. Which meant that his own monster was going to have to teach him how to use magic from his puzzle he did not know how to use on his own -which was not bad but it was a bit embarrassing.
Huh? Oh! Yami, did you find out anything?
Yami sent an amused smile to his other mentally. You were not paying attention?
A wave of embarrassment washed over him from Yugi. I was! I just, um, didn't hear it.
Meioh has sent us to another world where magic is used more freely than at home and he is going to teach us how to use the puzzle's magic.
Oh. Yugi paused. What should we do?
At the moment Aibou, it looks as though we will follow his plan. I see no harm of it, and it would be interesting to explore a world different than our own, would it not?
Yeah! But what about our friends, did they find out what happened?
It was Yami's turn to feel embarrassed. He didn't think of their friends and how they had reacted to all of this. He looked up at Meioh. "What of our friends? Do they know what happened?"
"No, not at all," Meioh sighed. "They must have concluded you are trapped in the Shadow Realm and will think you are dead. But when you return to your world, I think the time that passed there will only be but a few minutes."
I heard. I think this will be fun! And I get to hang out with my favorite card, live action and three-dimensional interaction. How many people can say they've done that?
None, I suppose. But don't let yourself get too carried away. We are in a strange world. You are also in another country, and the customs could be different. Remember that.
Yes Yami. I will.
Meioh watched as the two switched again. No matter how many times he saw it, it still fascinated him to watch the body language switch, and the characteristics change. He ran his fingers through his bangs and sighed. Yugi practically blinded him with the huge smile on his face, and a star struck gaze. Luckily, the moment was broken when the young boy's stomach growled.
Yugi reddened in shame. "Um, I guess I'm kind of hungry."
"That's alright. I thought you might get hungry when you woke up so I made some hot cakes." Meioh stood up. "I'll get it for you."
"Thank you, Meioh."
The former Dark Magician smiled softly. "You are welcome, Master Yugi."