Author's Notes: Sage- HA! ANOTHER CHAPTER! BOO-YA!!
Ari- *is still sleeping* Dragons don't need sleep... Mmmmm...
Sage- Riiiight… *rolls her eyes* ANYWAYS… there's a bit more fluff in this chapter! ^_^
Ari: *smirks* Fluff... Interesting fluff... Also introducing the people for our other pairings
Sage- *mutters* Stupid tomb robber….
Ari- Hey now..
Sage- Yea yea yea. All right, you do the disclaimer, you're better at em. ^_^
Yugi- *walks in* What am I doing here?
Ari- *points to Yugi* YOU do the disclaimer.
Yugi- Why meeee?
Ari- *threateningly* We'll take out the fluff if you don't….
Sage- No we wouldn't, and you know it!
Ari- *sulks* It was a threat!
Yugi- Ha,you wouldn't.
Ari- *drags in the Dark Magician* DARKIE-CHAN!! You can do the disclaimer!
Dark: *blinks* Right. Sage and Ari do not own Yu-Gi-Oh or any of its characters. This story will contain Yaoi content, so if you don't like it, don't read it. The pairings (as stated in the summary) are Yami x Yugi, Bakura x Ryou, and Seto x Jou
Ari: *hugs Dark Magician*
Sage- Ja, ja… ON WITH IT!!
Ari: FLUFF! *falls back asleep* On to the fic...
Yugi: *sneaks in and reads Ari's manga* Hai...
Yugi's amethyst eyes widened considerably, and he felt a blush creeping up his cheeks. I wish I had been awake for that... What?! He shook his head fiercely. Where had that come from?!
"W-what are you guys doing here?" Yugi asked, stuttering.
Sage rolled her eyes, though her voice was gentle. "We told you that already. We work here. Well, kinda."
"You work for the Pharaoh?" Yugi frowned. Bakura told him that the Pharaoh was evil… Bakura told him that the Pharaoh was a Dragonslayer… "D-does he know who you are…? Who I am…"
Ari shook her head. "Don't worry, the Pharaoh is very nice. And we don't exactly work for him…"
"We're wanderers," Sage explained. "We're just staying in the palace for now. Our… um… interests… are our own." She forced down a grin she could feel coming on.
Ari smirked. "Interests…"
My interests…Yugi's mind thought without his consent. Now, that would be the Ph— NO! No, I did NOT just almost think what I thought I thought… Ugh, I'm just confusing myself.
Ari poked his arm gently. "Are you alright, little brother?" She raised an eyebrow.
Yugi looked up. "Hai, Ane…" (Ari- Ane means older sister, I think) He hesitated. "Ari-Chan… Sage-Chan… Are… are you sure it's all right? I mean… B-bakura-Kun said that the Pharaoh was dangerous."
Sage smirked. "No one can defeat us when we combine our powers. And besides… He wouldn't hurt us. He has no reason to…"
"But Bakura said—"
"Who cares what the stupid Tomb Robber said!" Sage grumbled. "Anyway, all you need to know is this: Ari and I are pretending to be half-sisters. And you should pretend that you're not related to her."
Yugi blinked. "But why are you here? You should be home, getting marrie—"
"I am not getting married!" Sage declared vehemently, making a face. "No way, nuh-uh, not a chance. And besides, there's no one that I like back there."
"There's someone here?" Yugi asked innocently. A little too innocently, but it was kind of hard to tell with him.
Sage growled, not knowing if he really had no clue, or if he was playing innocent. "That… is none of your business. And besides, you're tired. Go to sleep."
"Yes, Sage-Chan, you should do that too," Ari smirked. "You can go to your room, and Yugi can sleep on a cot on the ground. I'll watch him."
"Why you?" Sage protested. It's not that she didn't like sleeping, but still…
"I'm the oldest," Ari answered. "I'm quite a bit older than all of you, and just a liiiiiiiittle younger than Bakura. I don't need sleep."
Sage shrugged. "Have it your way, then. I am tired…" Muttering something or other, she strode off to her room.
As Ari sat during the night, someone knocked on the door. She tiptoed over to the door and opened it slightly. Suddenly, she squealed happily, though softly.
Sage came out of the side room, rubbing her eyes. "Ari-Chan, go to sleep, I'll take over the watchi— CHAOS!!"
The two Duel Monsters smiled in amusement.
"Sage…" Chaos Mage whispered. "I found a new spell. Yami wants you to go look at it and see if you can learn it. It takes too much of Ryou's energy to cast, and he doesn't have enough time to study it."
"What is it?" Sage asked suspiciously. "And why did you have to wake me up in the middle of the night for it?" She managed to blink the last bit of sleep away, and managed to produce a rather convincing glare. Well, to anyone who didn't know her any better anyway.
"You're already awake," Chaos Mage chided, but then, he turned serious. "It's basically a banishing spell, or expelling spell. Yami had us look it up because of the strange man coming in. For the spell…"
"Shhhhh, let's talk outside."
Chaos nodded. Outside their door, they resumed their conversation. "For the spell, you need to know the target's name, which could prove to be difficult. But once you do know, a few simple words and a lot of energy will ensure that the person can never return. The spell was woven so deftly that we were unable to find any faults in it, which, hopefully, will be the case with him too."
"Alright." Sage took the scroll of the spell into her hands and looked over the words needed to learn it. Her eyes widened considerably. "This will take hours!!" Probably because of her sleep-deprived state, she brought a hand to her heart dramatically, and rolled her eyes to the ceiling. "You're all going to kill me!"
Chaos Mage laughed. "That was the reason my Master sent us here now, so that you or your sister can learn it before daybreak."
"Well, she's busy, so I guess I'll have to…" Sage murmured, her eyes unconsciously reading the words. "And it's much better suited to my element than hers."
A few hours later, a very tired Sage pumped her fist into the air triumphantly and handed the scroll back to the Magician of Black Chaos. (Ari: Meh… his full name's long…) (Sage- precisely, which is why we call him Chaos, silly) Refusing to be carried or even supported in any way, she stepped into the room, intending to toss the spell to Ari and have the silver-haired girl learn it. However, she reversed her throw and placed it on the table instead. Her "half-sister" was asleep, curled up on the couch next to the Dark Magician. Her head was resting on the duel magician's lap, and she was obviously not going to be waking up anytime soon.
Sage snorted softly. "Don't need sleep indeed, Ari-Chan?"
"And now, I present… Yugi Mutou!" Ari announced, bowing dramatically. Sage, sitting beside her, giggled.
//Wow Ari, you could do this for a living.//
Yugi stared at the ground, peering up at the Pharaoh shyly. At his older sister's words, he stepped forward slowly and gave a graceful bow.
"I…" Yugi blinked. What was he supposed to say? "I thank you for letting me stay, Pharaoh…"
Yami smiled softly and nodded. "You are welcome here at any time. And I wish to thank you for saving my life that other day."
Yugi looked up, surprised, and gasped as his amethyst eyes met Yami's ruby ones. The one word he could think of was "beautiful"… Well, maybe there were a few more, but if he dwelt on them much longer his face would become a shade of red to match that of the pharaoh's eyes.
Sage elbowed Ari and grinned, pointing her head towards them subtly. //See? I toooooold you…//
/I didn't disagree, did I?/
Someone in the crowd coughed, and the two broke their eye contact.
Sage glared fiercely in that direction.
Ari giggled. /Now, now, Sage-Chan, don't kill people for coughing. They didn't know that something special was going on./
//They did too!// Sage complained. //That wasn't a real cough. That was a "great, can we get moving now?" cough.// Scowling, she finally turned away from the offender. //Maybe he could 'accidentally' fall in a big pit later and…//
/Sage-chan!/ There was amusement in Ari's mental statement, but she still shook her head slightly.
Yami was filled with indecision. What should he do now? There really was not much else to do, as he had asked the sisters to come at the end of the meeting. He certainly wanted to spend some time with the gorgeous boy… He blinked. What was he thinking?! A lot, apparently…
"You may leave now," he announced to his court, waving a hand dismissively. He growled softly. Would they just hurry up and leave?! Ryou and Seto, sitting beside him on the opposite of the two mage-sisters, looked at each other, amused. Their Pharaoh had never been this impatient before, even when they were planning to go to the market.
Soon, everyone was gone except the High Priest, the Mage, the two sisters, and, of course, Yami and little Yugi. The pharaoh thought for a moment, trying to determine the best way to lower that number even more without sounding suspicious.
"Will you let us talk for a moment?" Yami asked politely. Seto and Ryou bowed and left, but the two girls just stood there, grinning. "Alone." Yami emphasized.
He realized his mistake when Sage smirked and Ari giggled.
"Of course, Pharaoh," Sage said mockingly. "We'll leave you two alone." Yami raised an eyebrow slightly. The tone of her voice implicated that she knew something… No one had mentioned either of the sisters being mind readers…
As they left, Ari smiled comfortingly to her worried-looking little dragon brother.
Yugi watched his sister and her friend leave, and turned to Yami uncertainly. Ari, his nature-born sister, and Sage, who seemed a second sister to him, trusted him. He should too… shouldn't he? He bit a lip, considering everything in general.
"Thank you…" Yami whispered to break the silence. Suddenly, it seemed somehow wrong to speak loudly. "For saving me the last time in the market, I mean." The smaller boy filled his entire range of thought, making his senses reel. What on earth was managing to send those tingles up his spine?
"You said that already," Yugi mumbled. What was he supposed to do? How was he supposed to talk to this… this Pharaoh? Should he ask the question that was on his mine? Why was he following me in the first place…?
"I'm sorry for following you," Yami apologized, almost as if he could read Yugi's thoughts. "I suppose you could call it curiosity. I am sure you have noticed this fact, that you look almost exactly like me." Only much more beautiful…and delicate…perfect…
"Yes…" Yugi did not know what else to say. "I…" He wanted to ask another question… "Ph-pharaoh… I sensed a Dragon's Bane weapon before… Why is it not here now?"
Yami blinked. How could he have…? "How did you know it was there?" He winced. The question came out harsher than he had meant. More than ever, he desired the ability to take back his last statement and re-shape it.
"I…" Yugi started to back away, but stopped at the expression in Yami's eyes. They held such… longing… Yugi shook his head. That could not have been it. Now he was having delusions.
"I'm sorry…" Yami murmured. "Very few people know of the knife. I was surprised that you did. The truth is, someone stole it a few nights ago. I have not been cautious, mostly because I had not anticipated that someone would be so bold as to come in here, and that very few people not of my bloodline can use it. And…" He frowned thoughtfully. "I am usually a light sleeper." But that night… That night I was dreaming of you… What are you doing to my mind, Yugi? Innocent Yugi… Beautiful Yugi…
Something snapped in the dragon-child's mind at the thought of sleeping. He wanted to sleep… Particularly with the Phara— Ack, no! I did NOT just think that. I didn't, I didn't…. I did, didn't I?
"I didn't mean to pry, Pharaoh…" Yugi said shyly.
"Call me Yami, please." Ruby eyes softened in a smile.
"Yami…" Yugi turned that word over and over in his mind, gently, lovingly… He blinked. Lovingly?! Some of the adjectives were definitely getting to him…
"Come here, Yugi…" Yami murmured. He did not know what he was doing. He wanted to hold the boy in his arms, but he knew that he should not. His body seemed on fire, and a voice in the back of his head seemed to be cheering loudly.
"H-hai…" Yugi's feet moved of their own accord. Closer, closer… Suddenly, he stumbled…
And found himself staring up into the sparkling ruby eyes of the "feared" Pharaoh, their noses touching, lips only inches apart… Slowly, slowly, their heads tilted, and moved closer…
Someone coughed. "Ph-pharaoh?!"
Both boys looked up and broke away faster than thought humanly possible, each turning a bright shade of red. Yugi quickly found his shoes incredibly interesting, and the other turned to the interrupting voice.
"It's not what you think!" Yami said, before anything else. It did not even occur to him in that moment that servants could be punished…
"Of course not, Pharaoh," the servant agreed, though with a hint of amusement that he could not control.
Yami sighed. "He tripped and I caught him."
"I know, Pharaoh, I saw."
Now, with his senses regained, Yami glared at the servant regally. "Why are you here? I sent everyone out!"
The servant trembled, severely wishing someone else had been sent to do this. "Ph-pharaoh, the m-mage sisters advised that the boy Yugi likes to be outdoors. They claim to have known him from before."
Yami stared at Yugi in surprise. --The servant, seeing his chance, quickly dashed out of the room.-- Outdoors? And still have such pale skin? "Do you want to go to the market, little one?"
Yugi smiled up happily. "Hai, Yami-Chan!"
Meanwhile, at the Dragon Cave, a few friends and no-so-friends were having a meeting.
"We've gotta go save Yug!" the little green dragon declared, flickering in and out of his human image nervously. "Da Pharaoh's got him, and if we don't save him, something bad's gonna happen ta him!"
"The Pharaoh can't be that hard to beat," the brown dragon interjected. "We can probably take him down. Uh, right, Bakura?" He looked to the white dragon, the eldest of the "younger" dragons that were out of hiding. (Ari: Baku-Baku…)(Sage- Oya oya.)
The white dragon snorted. "Fool, Honda. The Pharaoh has the Dragon's Bane weapons, and he is descended from a line of Dragonslayers." This was stated as if it was the most obvious thing in the world, right next to the sky is blue and water is wet.
The green dragon finally settled on his human form, a pale boy with blonde hair, honey-brown eyes, wearing a green shirt. "B-but Yug might get hurt!" He shifted from one foot to the other, looking incredibly worried.
Bakura directed his eyes at the boy. "If we go, Jounouchi, we will ALL get killed, and be no closer to saving Yugi."
Bakura glared, and the boy fell silent, gulping.
"Do you mean to just leave him there?!" the lavender dragon with large violet eyes asked in shock. "He is probably the most powerful of us that are left, save the two girls, and he is the only Gold left! He is the only heir of…"
"Shut up, Mai." The white dragon turned his red-brown eyes to the lavender dragon, one of the three females left and the only that stayed with them.
"No!" Mai's fear turned her into her human form, a blonde-haired woman with violet eyes, but she kept going. "Don't push me around, Bakura. I am not one of the children. I am the third-eldest alive that has not gone into hiding. We are already so few… We can't afford to lose another, especially not Yugi!" Crossing her arms, she made an attempt at glaring. It wasn't that effective, considering the target was still in dragon-form.
"If we go," Bakura hissed, "it will be the end of us. We won't just lose Yugi, we'll lose everyone!"
Mai shook her head. "I heard that someone stole the Knife."
Jou looked at her in hope. "Then, we can…"
"He still has the Sword!" Bakura growled.
"He can't use it," Mai said, smirking. "He's not powerful enough. Strangely, he has never tried to practice his lineage. Now, why is that?"
"Yes, Tennyo," Mai nodded. "He is her son. After all, golden dragons tend to look that way in human form, do they not?"
"Let's save Yugi," Honda declared. "We can go tonight."
"How would you like to taste the special Pharaoh's Dinner?" Yami asked the hungry-looking Yugi as they came home.
"Pharaoh's dinner?" Yugi blinked, and Yami smiled at the cuteness.
"Hai." The Pharaoh lifted the dragon-boy into his arms and carried him to the banquet hall. "You look famished…"
At the hall, they sat at the central table, and Yugi gaped at the splendor and beauty of the room. The table was covered with a thick purple cloth hemmed with gold, and similar cloths hung from the walls in draping patterns. Every utensil and plate glittered, reflecting the flickering light from the multitudes of candles and torches located around the room. Each of these seemed to glow with a different color of fire every time he tried to get a better look, marking them instantly as mage fires. From nearly every possible location, gold decorations shone, somehow looking uncluttered and perfectly positioned. Even the floor was particularly fine, made of highly-polished marble.
"Hiiiii, Yami, we'll be joining you!" Sage stepped out of the middle of nowhere and plopped into the seat beside the Pharaoh, grinning broadly. Ari did likewise beside Yugi.
During this, Yugi was staring at the food blankly. What was he supposed to eat? He had never even seen most of this before, and certainly tasted none. He looked to his silver-haired sister for help, but she was ignoring him. Purposely.
"Why aren't you eating?" Yami asked in concern. His eyes quickly scanned all the food before them, checking for flaws or perhaps giant bugs that might be warding off the younger one's appetite. (Sage- not just bugs, GIANT bugs! BUGZILLA MAN!! *just had a very large coke, can you tell?*)
"I…" Yugi looked down. "I don't know what to eat… I've never eaten any of this before."
"Oh?" Yami was surprised. "Then what do you usually eat?"
Whatever animal happens to wander near my cave,Yugi thought bitterly. But I can't tell you that, can I? I don't want to scare you away… I lo— What?!
Sage sighed impatiently. "Yami, he's a peasant child. They have practically nothing to eat." She mentally grimaced at having to describe Yugi that way, but quickly managed to get over it.
"Oh…" Yami had an idea, and brightened. "Why don't I show you, Yugi?" He reached for some meat, and as he handed the piece to the dragon-boy, their hands brushed gently, and Yami felt a pleasant shiver run up his spine.
Yugi felt it too, of course, but said nothing. Putting the meat to his lips, he nibbled it slightly. Suddenly, his eyes flew open. "This is delicious!"
Yami smiled, a bit sadly, as the boy wolfed down his food. He looked like someone who had to watch over his shoulder as he ate, or someone would steal what little he had… Almost like some kind of hunter…
His musings were broken as Yugi choked slightly, a morsel of food going down too quickly. Almost of its own accord, his body leapt over and patted Yugi on the back.
As Yugi coughed, Yami realized what an awkward position his hand was – under Yugi's shirt. Apparently, it slid down the top of Yugi's collar in the confusion.
How did THAT happen?!Yami demanded to himself. I wasn't trying to… I mean, I was only… Gah!
Don't tell me you don't want to feel him,another part of his mind said, smirking. You know you want to touch that smooth skin… Beautiful smooth white skin… And you want to kiss those soft, rosy lips…
Yami's eyes widened considerably. WHAT did you say?! I do not, I…!! He's a boy!
"Um… Yami…?" Yugi asked softly. "A-are you alright?"
Yami blinked. He was arguing with himself about whether he liked touching this innocent boy…?! His face reddened. Not only was he a raging bundle of emotions, now he was going insane.
Yugi was having trouble thinking coherently, as Yami's hand was still in direct contact with his back. He wondered briefly if he should inform the Pharaoh, but decided that he liked it there. Wait a second, LIKED it there?!
After a few more seconds, Yami finally realized why he could only see one of his hands. (Sage- *falls over laughing* Agh, I'm so hyper, that just sounded like the FUNNIEST THING MAN!! "Hey, I'm supposed to have TWO of these…" *laughs*) The other was, of course, still under Yugi's shirt, and it was starting to caress his back without Yami's permission. Turning even more red, he quickly removed it, hoping no one would notice.
Fortunately – or unfortunately – the rest of the dinner passed without mishap. Unless, of course, you wanted to count when Yami had been leaning slightly toward Yugi in attempts to retrieve a piece of fruit, and Sage "accidentally" bumped him in the back, bringing him much closer to the smaller boy than originally intended. Or, perhaps, the time Yugi had wrapped a leg around one of the pharaoh's, mistaking it for a table leg. Well, mistaking it at first anyway. Once he discovered his err, he fought a near-losing battle with a part of his mind that wanted to keep the leg there for a while. Soon, it was time for bed. It was then that Yami realized the little boy had nowhere to sleep.
"Well…" Yami began uncertainly. "Why don't you stay with me tonight, and we can arrange a room for you tomorrow?"
"I… I would be honored, Pharaoh," Yugi muttered nervously. Stay with Yami? Part of him reeeaaaaaaaally wanted to, but another small part was scared. After all, Yami was the feared Dragonslayer. He was a Dragon. Even a child could do that equation. But Yami didn't know that he was a dragon, did he? Yugi intended to keep it that way.
Yami smiled warmly. "Then it's settled." Somewhere, in the back of his mind, something seemed to be running in circles and nearly tripping over itself in joy.
"Say, do you know where Yug is?" Jou whispered to Honda. They were inside the Pharaoh's palace, and finally realized that it was a maze of corridors and rooms. How were they supposed to find Yugi?
"How should I know?" Honda declared, though softly. "I've never been here before."
Mai looked to Bakura. "You can track him, can't you?" An eyebrow raised.
The white-haired tomb-robbing dragon was, for once, uncertain. "I feel the presence of four dragons. I can't tell which one is Yugi. He was no close friend of mine. If little Jou was older, he could probably tell their auras apart. But as he is, he can't even feel them."
"Den we split up and look for 'im?" Jou asked.
Bakura shrugged. "I suppose." He felt nervous in this palace, just like he did in one of the especially difficult tombs he had robbed… He tried to shake off the feeling, but it wasn't really working…
They split up, each going their separate ways.
Ryou was the first to feel the alien presence in the Pharaoh's palace. He quickly sat up, fearing that it might be Pegasus again. He knew that soon, it would be enough to wake Seto and Yami, and the two mage-sisters were probably aware of it. But then, he detected a difference. It was not one person. There were four, and one of them was heading speedily towards his room. Ryou created a false image of himself in the bed, and stood by the window, shielded.
Slowly, slowly, the door opened, and a head poked into the room. A head with snowy-white hair. Ryou could not suppress his gasp, then mentally kicked himself for the lack of ability.
Bakura heard the soft sound immediately, and raised a hand in that direction, surrounded by power. Now that he looked for it, he could feel the magic in this room. The Pharaoh's mage, huh… I've heard that he was beautiful and innocent-looking…
"Come out before I hit you with this," Bakura snarled. "And turn on your light. Don't you know the etiquette of meeting guests?"
Ryou stepped forward timidly, dispelling his illusions. As a soft glow entered the room, Bakura understood why the boy was so shocked. The white dragon's human form looked almost exactly like him, only older, more powerful. Instead of the chocolate-brown eyes that Ryou had, Bakura's were glowing with a reddish light.
"You're quite a pretty one," Bakura murmured, smirking. "What's your name?"
"R-ryou…" The little mage was spellbound, helpless. He wasn't quite sure exactly what he was spellbound by, but his thoughts weren't necessarily focused on finding out.
"I am Bakura," the white dragon announced. "Now that introductions are made, aren't you going to offer me a place to sleep for the night?" His eyes rove over Ryou's body, before resting on the boy's bed.
Ryou paled, his skin almost matching his hair. "No… Please, no…"
Seto yawned and wondered why exactly he had awoken. Something was telling him that all was not right... But he should wait for Ryou's warning. The mage always felt intruders first.
Seconds ticked by. Minutes passed, and still, there was no sign of anything. Seto yawned again, getting ready to go back to sleep. He wondered what time it was…
He sat up immediately at Ryou's cry in his mind. The little mage sounded in pain!
"Seto, intruders…!! Help, I'm… AHHHH… Warn… Warn Yami! Help me, I—"
The cry was cut off abruptly. It was then that Seto realized that something was seriously wrong. For one thing, his mind was not detecting anyone. They must have cloaked themselves magically. Only Ryou could feel that…
Suddenly, his door burst open. Striking blue eyes met honey brown in surprise. For a second, both stood frozen, but the High Priest moved first, his hand clamping down on the intruder's arm.
"No! Leggo of me!" Jou struggled in Seto's grasp, trying to remember a spell. The High Priest merely looked at him calmly and knocked on the back of his head. Jou fell like a rock and stayed still.
Seto walked around the unconscious boy, studying him. The first thought on his mind was that this youth was gorgeous, with his golden hair and pale skin. He hoped that he had not hurt the boy too much. After all, he had done nothing yet.
With a word of command, Seto bound Jou's hands and feet, binding his magic in the process. Now, he had to warn the Pharaoh…
"Yami…" Seto concentrated in his mind. "Yami, wake up, damnit!"
"What is it?" The voice was sleepy.
"Some… people… are here!" Seto was frantic. "One of them has Ryou, and I captured one. I don't know how many there are! I have suspicions that Ryou's magic's bound."
Yami was fully awake now, though Seto felt his reluctance to leave little Yugi. He didn't exactly have the time to question the precise reason for this; an order was being barked into his head. "Get the sisters. Your room's the closest to theirs…"
"Yes, my Pharaoh."
Sage- UGH! Why are we close to SETO?!?
Ari- Cause it was the first thing that came to mind….?
Sage- Oya. -_- OK!! Anyways, very important note here…
Ari- Well? What is it?
Sage- I was getting to that…. ANYWAYS!! You all remember Pegasus's house? Well, my friend Silver has claimed it. *nods*
Sage- Ja, she now gets the house at the end of the story. ^_^
Silver- *runs in* YEEE HA!!
Sage and Ari- *blink blink*