Author: Moonlight Reflection
Summary: AU, Seto*Ryuuji; what if Yami no Yuugi had lost to Yami no Malik in their duel? Now, several years later, the group must convince the former pharaoh to help them defeat Yami no Malik after losing one of their own to save him.
Rating: R for violence, language, shounen-ai, non-graphic NC, character death
Notes: This story does contain spoilers for what happens later in the series, so if you do not wish to know, turn back now. This story also contains some rather depressing things like character death and rape. If you don't like that, turn back now. This story contains shounen-ai. If you don't like that either, turn back now. This story also contains a somewhat happy ending. And if you don't like that, turn back now. And if you don't want to read a story that is rather jumpy and makes you believe the writer was on drugs when she wrote it (that's my impression, at least), then please turn back.
Short, Vaguely Bitchy Note: This story is not NC-17. I have no intention of making it so and will thus be keeping everything as non-graphic as possible.
Oh-So-Exciting-News: My first multi-parter story because I don't feel like putting the story up in its entirety. Don't know how long each part will be, don't know how many parts the story will be, don't know how long the story itself will be. I simply decided to break the parts up according to how I thought fit.
Couplings: Seto*Ryuuji, as well as mentionings of Jyounouchi*Mai, Honda*Ryou, and Yuugi*Anzu
Information Source: Manga
The one-and-only disclaimer: Yu-gi-oh is the property of Takahashi Kazuki and Shounen Jump. Additionally, prior permission has been obtained from Pikachumaniac for the use of one of her creations, which I do not claim.
*Scenes written in italics take place in the past.
Everything had been going as planned until some bumbling idiot had accidentally set off the alarm.
Personally, Kaiba Seto's suspicions placed the blame of Jyounouchi Katsuya, who in his mind fitted that description perfectly. Who else could it be anyway? The group had not taken any new recruits, who just would have gotten in the way and gotten them all killed before they could even make it to the underground complex. And out of the five people that had come, only Jyounouchi was clumsy enough to do something stupid.
It couldn't have been Mazaki Anzu. She was much too careful to do something like that, although she had technically killed them all in a training session. Luckily for all parties involved, that had merely been a training session rather than real life. No, she would not make the same mistake again. Honda Hiroto? Perhaps, if he hadn't been standing right next to the brunette when the alarms had gone off, so he knew that it couldn't have been him. And certainly not his boyfriend… he didn't even bother listing off the reasons for that.
However, there was one flaw in his reasoning. Jyounouchi, unless he had stepped on something--which simply wasn't possible since both Anzu and Otogi were with him—had been given the duty of holding what they had risked their necks for.
Yet the alarm was still going on.
Finally, he decided that he didn't give a damn about who had set off the alarm off, especially since it could have just been one of those poor bastards that Otogi had hit with dice. Otogi Ryuuji—dragon son—had some fascination with dice that he simply couldn't figure out, nor did he care at the moment. They were still quite far from the escape point, and sooner or later these cavernous halls were going to be swarming with guards, shadow monsters, or possibly both if the shadow monsters didn't eat the guards first.
They had a rather nasty habit of doing that.
He could hear the shout of guards behind them, echoing through the walls and sounding much too close for comfort. For a moment, he almost considered telling Jyounouchi to drop his burden, but that would have just been, for lack of a better word, stupid. They'd nearly gotten killed to get this far, and he'd be damned if the dog just dropped him.
Although the thought was damn tempting.
Yes, him. A useless him, at that, but Shaadii had told them in that enigmatic way of his that it was necessary. He hadn't bothered to explain even when Kaiba had threatened disembowelment and other inventive ways of torture, instead repeating—albeit less patiently than the first time—that the former pharaoh was crucial to what was to come.
Humph. One would think that the Egyptian had the Sennen Tauk, which they all knew for a fact that he didn't. Yami no Malik was now in possession of that item, the item with the ability to see into the future. Perhaps he had forseen this event? No, that couldn't be. The only person who could use the Tauk was dead, one of the first victims of a mad rampage of bloodshed.
They had found the former pharaoh locked in a room stripped of furnishings. The pharaoh too had nothing on except those silver chains which clinked so gently, so musically… and the Sennen Puzzle. Irony upon ironies. Yami no Malik had never seen need to deprive the spirit of the Puzzle, and Seto was beginning to think that he had a point. Yami no Yuugi had done nothing when they had entered the room thanks to Honda's lock-picking skills, something he had picked up from Bakura Ryou during a brief romance that ended with the white-haired teen's death. Or to be more specific, his new job as the main appetizer for a shadow monster.
Perhaps to say he had done nothing was a bit of an exaggeration, for Yami no Yuugi had cringed when they entered. Not that they had not done the same, for none of them had seen the once proud spirit in such a state of disarray (to put it lightly). There was an abundance of bruises on the once flawless skin, and his thighs had been covered in dry blood. Silver chains that seemed to gleam in the dim light contrasted heavily with the dull eyes—the color of fresh blood, not dry—that stared at them blankly and without any recognition of his former friends… and one rival.
As Honda had put his lock-picking skills to use on those silver chains which continued to chime with such beauty that the group had wanted to rip their ears out, Anzu had tried to speak to Yami no Yuugi, who only stared at her with a hint of confusion. Kaiba couldn't help but doubt that he even knew who the small group was.
Since then, the pharaoh had been nothing more than dead-weight. He hadn't struggled, at least, but he hadn't exactly helped, something that the brunette found extraordinarily annoying.
"Do you have anymore of those dice?" he demanded to his raven-haired lover, referring to the small, portable barriers and gas bombs that he had made. After all, Otogi did love throwing his dice, and he had developed extremely good aim over the past couple of years. Kaiba had finally created technology small enough to be the shape and size of a normal die, and everyone had been amused when he had presented them to his koi . They had, however, stopped being amused when Otogi had used one against the first batch of guards and watched it work like a charm.
"Don't you think I would have used them if I had any left?" Otogi snapped, stress levels already high and at breaking point. As if he needed a scolding too.
"Did you check?"
Emerald green eyes glared at him, "Yes. Do you want to check too?" As he asked, he gestured at his tight-fitting clothes with an extremely seductive smile.
"Save the flirting for some other time, will you?" Jyounouchi interrupted acidly, starting to feel the strain of his load despite the deceptive lightness when he had first picked up the pharaoh, "How far are we from the exit?"
"Far enough to be a total pain in the ass."
Kaiba couldn't believe what he was seeing, what he was witnessing. Nobody could, to be truthful, and for one moment, the entire world seemed to be suspended in time and spinning far away from reality. Reality… in reality, Yami no Yuugi had won, hadn't he? He was the game king, was he not? He couldn't lose this game, not here, not now. Not when it mattered so much to everyone involved, it just couldn't be happening.
The numbers plummeted, reaching zero. Mutou Yuugi was screaming, high-pitched and brutal on the ears as he disappeared, erased from life as quickly as the life points had been lost. Malik too disappeared, although he was still alive. At least, he thought he was alive…
The screams still echoed. There was an empty gap in the air, an empty gap that blood-red eyes had fixated upon, still in disbelief of what he had just seen.
It couldn't have happened.
A hand reached out timidly, reaching out for a person that was no longer there as his legs collapsed and sent him down to his knees, eyes still wide and staring at that gap in the air.
Laughter. There was laughter. Yami no Malik laughed as the darkness fell away, but still it was black as night. Muffled sobs from the staring group were drowned out by the laughter, although most were staring silently and in a state of shock.
Rishid and Ishtal Isis stood there as well, unsure of what to say, what to do. What comfort could they add? Both knew that soon, their lives would be extinguished by the madman standing before them, laughing as the darkness wrapped around him.
They were gone, Kaiba realized. Yuugi… that woman—Kujyaku Mai was her name, wasn't it? The victim of a batsu game ,she would be dead as soon as her 24 hours were up. Bakura Ryou… the first course for the shadow monster. 
Kaiba wondered if it was the same monster as the one that had just devoured Yuugi.
Then, suddenly, the laughter stopped. There were footsteps instead, footsteps that seemed to shake the tower they stood upon as he stepped closer and closer towards the fallen pharaoh, who still stared at that empty gap in the air.
A tanned hand grabbed the thin wrist, pulling Yami no Yuugi up. When the spirit didn't look at him, Yami no Malik's strong fingers squeezed Yami no Yuugi's chin, jerking his face towards him.
Yami no Malik began to laugh again as he held his prize, who didn't struggle against him. Didn't do anything except when his eyes tried to wander to that gap in the air.
It was then that Kaiba decided that he hated the pharaoh.
I watch as the daylight crawls
Past the shadows hanging on the wall
It's been a long time since I've felt the stain
Of yesterday getting in my way.
The words washed over him, lyrical and whimsical. It was hard to imagine that the human voice could be more beautiful than the twinkle of those chains, but perhaps anything that wasn't cold was beautiful to him right now.
Yami no Yuugi stared at Anzu as the scenery rushed by. The small group had taken to running, but the brown-haired woman wasn't ready to leave him alone yet.
She was singing to him.
The world was going absolutely insane.
The others didn't say anything, too caught up in a plan which was quickly falling to pieces. The song was specifically for him, an American song with English lyrics that he could barely understand. Her English had always been much better than theirs.
He didn't know if he wanted it.
I'm alive but tell me am I free?
I got eyes but tell me can I see?
The sky is falling and no one knows
It's not that hard to believe
I got air it shouldn't be this hard to breathe
The sky is falling and no one knows
Was there some significance behind these words? He had always found Anzu to be a bit of a symbol-obsessed person. Like that happy face she had drawn on their hands before he had fought Kaiba.
Kaiba. Why was he here anyway?
Jyounouchi had noticed the song, and he stared at Anzu as if she was insane. She ignored his look, and he didn't take it any further than that. There was really no reason to, and at least Yami no Yuugi wasn't so damn stiff anymore.
She had a nice singing voice. It sounded nice especially above the screeching of the alarms. The lyrics though… he thought they were kinda weird.
Which was precisely why they fitted the figure he held in his arms so well.
You leave me hanging on
Only to catch my breath
I got you and I got nothing left
Don't leave me all alone down here
With myself and all of my fear
"Shit," somebody elegantly spat out.
He didn't bother to ask.
The first guard received a shot in the head. And not one of those vaccinations, but a gun shot, courtesy of Honda.
The blood pooled around his body. There was a time when one of them might have been disgusted by the calmness Honda had used when he shot the guard. There was a time when they actually would have cared that a human life was lost.
That was before they were capable of doing the same exact things.
"We're almost there." There was no telling what the point of those words were, whether to reassure them, keep them going, or instill a false sense of hope that would be shattered as soon as they discovered they were trapped.
Dead weight. They were risking their lives for dead weight.
Kaiba was going to kill Shaadii as soon as they got back.
The second got a die in the eye. A normal die, but it must have hurt like hell. Otogi had a small smirk on his face, congratulating himself on his good aim no doubt, but he didn't slow down so Kaiba didn't say anything. Although he did file away the information to tease Otogi with the next time they were in bed and didn't have to worry about dying in an hour.
He wondered what it would like to be normal.
Had he ever been normal?
Let's think about that. We're currently trapped in an underground base of a sadistic madman—who had used ancient powers of darkness in order to slowly destroy the world—in a desperate and absolutely insane attempt to save a former pharaoh who has the intelligence of an amoebae at the moment. The dog is carrying the before-mentioned former pharaoh. Anzu was singing to him. Honda is going into psycho mode. And my boyfriend is throwing dice at people.
The last part was the only one that didn't sound really weird.
Especially when a die took the opportunity to hit him in the head right there and he found himself glaring into his koi's green eyes, "Any longer and we're all going to be the main course for the same monster that ate the others."
The unspoken message: stop your self-pitying before I find some way to shove it down your throat.
He got the message.
The exit portal was another one of those stylish inventions that Kaiba had created between figuring out how to save the world and how not to die some painfully horrid death for doing so. They could be opened only in certain places and there was quite a bit of chemistry behind it that half the time he wondered if he even understood it. Supposedly it had something to do with the dark power, which Kaiba definitely didn't understand although Shaadii did.
There was one flaw with the portals though… anybody could get in and out. Which meant that not only did they have to get in the damn thing before it shut, but they also had to make sure that none of Yami no Malik's cronies got in either. Or if they did, by some rather likely chance, get in, then they would expire appropriately quickly as soon as they did so.
The dog first, then Anzu. Honda next, then Otogi, and finally himself. Simple enough, as long as Anzu and Honda covered their asses on the other end when they were heading in. Which wasn't that difficult, right?
Jyounouchi was taking too long with his burden. Damn it. He should have just told the dog to throw Yami no Yuugi into the portal, never mind any injuries he might sustain from such an action. Shaadii was on the other end, anyhow, and he would take care of things. Hopefully….
With surprising strength, Anzu helped shove him in before heading in herself in one graceful motion that Kaiba couldn't help but be somewhat impressed. Although it wasn't nearly as elegant as his own koi, although he might be biased on that point.
But not by much.
Honda went next, and Kaiba realized that although he loved Otogi very much, he was stuck with a person who used dice as his main weapon. Something which he found rather disconcerting, thank you very much.
Otogi must have been thinking the same thing because he smirked, pulled out a small handgun from somewhere in those clothes, and with deadly accuracy shot two of the guards.
Rather than voice his thoughts though, Kaiba opened his mouth to tell the raven-haired man to get his ass through that portal. He was rudely interrupted in the middle of his flirtatious words when he suddenly felt ice crawling down his spine and his mouth refused to work on its own accord.
Very, very, very screwed, he thought to himself as he quickly recognized the effects of the Sennen Rod. Yami no Malik's favorite weapon.
Otogi recognized it too, which was good because he didn't want to open up the obituaries one day and read that his koi had been shot by himself because of plain stupidity and failure to recognize that he was being controlled by the Sennen Rod.
Ducking a punch, Otogi slammed his body rather painfully against Kaiba, causing the taller man to stumble and more or less fall back into the portal. Which definitely wasn't an easy task, as Kaiba was 7 centimeters taller … although he was only one kilogram heavier. Another teasing point that had earned him a rather painful kick in the groin.
The force of the shove immediately caused the already frail grip of the Sennen Rod's power to completely release him, and the last thing he saw before the portal shut was a sticky red substance shimmering slightly against the dull light, clinging tenaciously to the black strands of hair before its owner fell to the ground, still on the wrong side of the portal.
Then everything went black. To be cliché.
~ tsuzuku ~
Commentary (pt 1):
 Koi. Short for 'koibito' which means 'lover'.
 Batsu. Japanese for punishment.
 Kujyaku Mai punishment game – volume 26. Involved bugs, not sand. Bakura Ryou punishment game – volume 27.
 Lifehouse's "Sky is Falling".
 7 centimeters = approximately 4 and 3/4 inches
Updates occur about once a week… or more often if I get the story finished and feel like it. And I remembered why I was stupid enough to post this story… I actually enjoyed writing it. Even though I think it's really weird.
Ja ne, until next time.