Frantic in 'Frisco
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: Ah, y'all must know the drill by now. The characters aren't mine and this ain't yaoi! ^_~

"Wow!" Tea exclaimed, leaning over the railing of the cruise ship to look out at the San Francisco Harbor, where they were docking. "It's beautiful!" She and the others were just finishing up a cruise that had been enjoyable for the most part—except at the beginning, when they had been dealing with many strange criminals on board. Mysteries seemed to be following them around lately, and Tea was becoming sick of it. The one they'd just solved had been their seventh.

Joey seemed confused. "Why are we stoppin' here?" he asked. "Isn't the ship supposed to turn around and go back home?"

"Weren't you listening?" Tristan shook his head in disbelief. "It's gonna go back home, alright, but first we're docking here in Frisco for a few days."

"Oh man," Joey groaned. "That means we'll probably run into a mystery again!"

"Strange," Seto remarked as he came up on deck, Mokuba in tow. "I thought you enjoyed all the action, Wheeler."

Joey grumbled angrily to himself, not wanting to admit to Seto that he'd had enough action to last him a lifetime.

"You know," Yugi said now, "the mystery isn't even finished. After all, there's the matter of that strange guy who came to get his staff."

"Don't remind me," Tea sighed.

Joey seemed to ignore all that. "Well, what're we waitin' for?" he cried. "We're in San Francisco! Let's get sight-seein'!"

As he went to leap down the ramp, the Brooklyn boy was suddenly startled by what seemed to be a huge wave rising from the ocean. "Yaaaaaa!" he yelped as a whale emerged and soared over the deck, spraying water everywhere.

Everyone else ducked, shielding themselves from the torrent, and then they heard a familiar chuckle.

"Hello, my friends!"

Now the teens looked up. "Mako?" Tea called.

The dark-haired boy somersaulted off the whale's back and onto the ship's deck. "Yes, it is I," he confirmed.

After everyone had exchanged greetings, Mako asked them what they had been up to lately.

"Well, actually," Yugi admitted, "we've been solving a lot of mysteries."

"They've been poppin' up every time we turn around," Joey put in.

Mako looked amused at that. "Will you be staying in San Francisco long?" he asked now.

"For a few days," Tea replied. "We were just going to go look around."

Mako smiled. "I would be honored to serve as your tour guide," he said. "I have become quite familiar with this great city over the last couple of months."

"Wow, Mako," Tea smiled. "That would be really cool!"

The others all agreed to the idea as well, and soon they were all preparing to start out.

"We have to be back to the ship in a couple of hours," Yugi reminded them, as most of the passengers—Yugi and his friends included—would still be eating and sleeping on the cruise ship while they were in San Francisco, and to keep everyone safe and accounted for, Captain Hardy had set up a curfew.

"Then we must make haste," Mako smiled. "There is much to see."

"We are ready to leave," Marik announced as he came up from the floor below, Ishizu and Rishid in tow.

Mako blinked. "Hello," he greeted. "I am Mako Tsunami. I don't believe I have met you before."

"My name is Marik Ishtar," the other boy replied, and introduced those with him.

Mako looked astonished. "You are Marik Ishtar?!" he cried.

Marik stood firm, but he looked perplexed. "You have heard of me?" he asked, blinking.

Mako was about to reply when Mai Valentine approached. "Hey, Yugi!" she called. "Mind if I join you?"

Yugi turned, surprised. "Huh? Oh . . . sure, Mai," he smiled.

As they walked down the ramp and onto the dock, Marik turned to Mako once more. "What was it you were about to say?" the Egyptian boy demanded.

Mako looked at him very seriously. "I once received an anonymous message that a member of the Ishtar family would be able to assist me on my quest. Since then, I have been searching for anyone belonging to this family in the hope that they truly can help me."

Marik just looked puzzled. "And what kind of a quest are you on?" he asked.

Again Mako was interrupted as a rough-faced man tore past, clutching something in a tightly-wrapped bundle. He pushed past Yugi, Seto, and Tea—who were all in his way—and dashed down the dock before sprinting onto a departing motorboat.

"Hey!" Yugi cried indignantly, helping Tea regain her balance.

"Well, that was rude," Mai commented.

"Who was that clown?!" Joey cried in annoyance.

Seto grunted and didn't bother answering, since he had no idea.

"Well, he sure was in a big hurry!" Tea exclaimed.

It wasn't long before another man came tearing down the path. He stopped short when he saw the large group in his way, however, and looked about frantically.

"Did you see a tough-looking man come by?" he exclaimed.

"Actually, we did," Yugi replied.

"He jumped onto that motorboat," Bakura added, pointing to the tiny speck out on the water.

The man groaned. "It's very important that I catch him!" he cried. "He has just stolen a priceless artifact from the museum!" Before the teens and the others could say anything more, the man had ran ahead and leaped onto another motorboat in order to give chase.

"That was odd," Tea remarked. "I sure hope he catches that guy!"

Mako shook his head. "There have been several strange robberies in the city of late," he reported.

"Really?" Bakura exclaimed. "That's terrible!"

"What kinds of things have been stolen?" Yugi asked, intrigued.

Mako paused, trying to remember. "Mostly various artifacts from the museums," he said at last. "The burglars seem to favor things from ancient Egypt."

Ishizu instantly became alert. "How very curious," she murmured, her blue eyes narrowing.

There was a flash of light and Yami Yugi appeared, also looking attentive. "Do you have a theory about what is happening?" he asked her.

The Egyptian woman hesitated. "Nothing definite," she said slowly, glancing at Marik.

Marik blinked his lavender eyes at her in confusion. "What are you thinking of, sister?"

Ishizu looked uneasy. "We shall talk later," she said, now exchanging a look with Rishid. When we are alone, she added silently.

Marik looked at them both, completely confused, but he didn't press the matter.

Oh great, Tea thought to herself in frustration, we've barely docked and already we're getting involved in another mystery—or two!

Before long they arrived in downtown San Francisco, and Mako pointed out various points of interest.

"Here's the museum," he announced presently.

"Is this where that artifact was stolen from?" Joey asked.

"Most likely," Mako replied.

Yugi headed for the door. "Why don't we go in and have a talk with the curator?" he suggested. "Maybe we can help in some way."

Tea knew there was no stopping him. Like it or not, they were involved in a new mystery.

As the group entered, all of them were checked and double-checked by a security team and then at last ushered into the main lobby.

"Man, what was all that about?!" Joey cried in annoyance.

"I apologize for any inconvenience," the man at the front desk purred, "but we have been having so much trouble with criminals lately that we can't be too careful. Someone came in with a gun last week and threatened everyone here."

"Oh my!" Bakura cried in horror. "How terrible!"

The man nodded, then studied them curiously. "How may I help you?" he asked now.

Yami Yugi stepped forward. "We have come to see the museum curator," he announced.

"I'm sure he can't be disturbed now," the man replied in a bored tone.

"But it's about the robberies," Yugi put in. "We wondered if we could help in some way."

Now the man raised an eyebrow. "Are you the police?" he asked rudely. "You certainly are the strangest lot of plainclothesmen I've ever seen."

"Mr. Winters!" a harsh voice said from the doorway. Tea couldn't help but think how appropriate the name was for the man, what with his icy personality and all.

"Sir?" Mr. Winters turned to look at the man who, apparently, was his boss.

"Why must you always be so frosty to our guests?" the other man cried, shaking his head. "Come, come, my friends. I am Stephen Reilly, the museum curator." He gestured to his office. "I would be happy to speak with all of you."

"Thanks," Yugi smiled as they were all ushered inside.

As they filed in one by one, Reilly suddenly gasped and stared at Marik. The Egyptian boy backed up, uncomfortable with this man's piercing gaze.

"What is it?" he cried at last.

"I've seen you before!" Reilly burst out, pointing his forefinger at Marik. "I know I have!!"