Title: The Mirror

Author: Jade Hunter

Disclaimer: The characters and properties of Yu-Gi-Oh! do not belong to me.

A.N: After reading over the three chapters I had written for this fic, I decided I didn't like the way I was presenting my idea. Therefore, I'm starting over with a re-write, dear folks.

"talking"

thoughts

emphasis

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The world was dark, everything around her was utterly black, and the absence of color and the utter nothingness of the void would have terrified anyone.

Yet, despite this, in the all-consuming darkness, she felt…

…whole.

The darkness was not a threat to her, she sensed; how could they be? The darkness was, inside her, surrounding her, a part of her…

She felt calm. At home.

Inside of her, there was a strange tugging sensation, one that seemed to pull at her heart.

Her breath caught; she knew what was happening.

Someone was Calling her.

A tingle of thrill shot through her, tinged with a bit of annoyance.

She liked it when she was Called out to, but when she was, she would have to leave this darkness that was her refuge. She did not like that part, because when she was here, nothing was amiss; when she went to answer the Call, she felt uncomfortable because there was the unbearable pressure of the very air that pounded on her skin and threatened her very breath.

It was what the ones who Called to her said was heat, something normal and constant in their lives, but the feeling was unfamiliar to her, and it disturbed her greatly.

The darkness had no such thing called heat, did not hinder her breath – why should it? She had no need to breathe when she was here – and it never made her uncomfortable.

Still, the Call must be answered; she could never reject a Call.

Thus, she left the depths of darkness willingly…

*****

…it was cold!

Shivering, Anzu vainly tried huddling under her rather thick blankets, but only succeeded in cramping her muscles as they threatened to lock in the chill.

Why is it so cold? she wondered, cracking an eye open to check the window.

It was shut and locked.

Had it been open, it still would not be as cold as she was feeling, she knew, but that simply made her feel more worried about her condition, though she wouldn't admit it even under pain of torture. Despite her go-lucky attitude and her optimistic tendencies, Anzu had a stubborn streak in her a mile long.

The sun was shining outside, and Anzu felt like cursing as she felt goosebumps on her arms as she rubbed them in an effort to generate some body heat.

She groaned as she saw the time.

Barely five o' clock.

Why is it so cold?

Anzu shivered again, then glanced at the clock once more.

Perhaps a good, brisk run would warm her up.

*****

"Anzu?"

Yugi's eyebrows rose to meet his hairline in his shock. Beside him, Honda and Jounouchi both had similar looks of bafflement, and even Ryou looked shocked at what he was seeing.

"Uh," Yugi ventured again, tentatively. He may be the most naïve among the guys about girls, but even he knew that one should never question a girl's choice of clothes. Ever. Unless it was a compliment. "Aren't you uncomfortable wearing that in this weather?"

It was rather strange, Anzu's getup, because it was the middle of summer, practically. Yet, in the past, when she had dressed in tank tops and miniskirts or the like, Anzu Mazaki was now clad in a dark blue turtle neck sweater, black leggings underneath a mid-calf length black skirt, with matching boots and gloves. A black beret perched on her head, and a black scarf peeked out of her dark blue handbag.

To the four boys, just looking at the layers of clothes she was wearing – all in heat absorbing colors, too – was enough to make them think about eggs broiling on hot sidewalks, with their heads substituted for the eggs. As one, they shuddered and wished for ice-cold lemonade.

"What?" Anzu asked, then glanced down. "I suppose it seems strange to you – strange to me, too – but when I woke up this morning, I was just so cold…this was the only way I could stop shivering."

"In this weather?" Honda asked in surprise. Even he had put aside his trench coat for the summer, unable to stand the heat.

Anzu shrugged. "Yeah. I kept getting strange looks from people, too, but hey, what can I do about it? As long as I'm not freezing anymore, I'm happy."

"I guess so," Ryou answered, skeptically.

She clapped her gloved hands together, producing a muffled sound. "So! What are we going to today, guys?"

"Well, I sort of wanted to go to the beach, but I guess that's out…" Jounouchi trailed off, seeing Anzu shiver at the mention of all that cold water. "Eh…anyone have any ideas?"

"I don't care what we do," Honda shrugged.

Ryou expressed the same sentiments, and Yugi shrugged indifferently. The heat made them all lethargic and lazy, it seemed.

"I don't care either," Anzu added. Then, she shuddered. "As long as we don't go to the beach, the pool, or go get ice cream."

The boys perked up at the mention of ice cream. Anzu saw this, and cried out in protest, even as they hauled her to the nearest ice cream parlor, unmindful of her protests.

"Now, Anzu, you ruined the beach for me," Jounouchi said cheerfully. "Ya can't take away ice cream from me!"

Her response was a desperate wail, "But I'm so cold!"

*****

The sun beat relentlessly down, heating up the ground and evaporating all moisture quicker than most people expected.

Taking a swig from her water bottle, Isis Ishtar sighed and wiped off some sweat from her forehead. No more clad in elegant robes or bedecked in jewels, she was once more wearing the far more practical clothing she wore on digs: a white shirt, khaki pants, and hiking boots.

"Pass me that," came a grumbling voice from her right.

Smiling, undaunted by the bite in the tone, Isis passed the water on to her brother, who drank half the bottle in one gulp, not caring that half of that was dribbling out and soaking him.

She grimaced in disgust. "Brother, truly, you are a pig."

Handing the water bottle back to her, sneering, Malik replied, "You're the one who dragged me out here. I never wanted to come to the middle of the freaking desert!"

"You didn't want to go to school, either," Isis shot back coolly, and was pleased when she saw her brother grumble. She had won this argument. "Besides, you are a pig. Not even half a day has passed, and your clothes are filthy."

Malik glanced down at his clothing, which was the same outfit as his sister, more or less, except he was wearing a white wifebeater instead of a short-sleeved shirt like she was. He examined himself for evidence of his filthiness, and found nothing but the rumpled state of his khaki pants and the now soaked state of his wifebeater.

"What are you talking about?" he asked, dumbfounded.

Isis thinned her lips, annoyed, and pointed.

Malik followed her gaze.

He saw a tiny smudge of dirt on the edge of his wifebeater, which he had untucked an hour into the hot Egyptian morning.

"That's it?" he demanded, incredulously. "That's what you call being filthy? A smudge?"

"And your shirt is untucked," she added disapprovingly.

He glared at her for a moment, then turned away, grumbling under his breath about overbearing sisters who were more anal than he had originally remembered her being.

Isis heard, and glared. "I am not anal!" she protested.

"The river's a few hours east," Malik snarled. He jerked his thumb eastward, "That way."

She blinked.

As Malik stalked away, heading back into the temple, she caught on to what he was saying.

"I am not in denial," she grumbled, glaring.

The sun glared back at her.

Sighing, Isis followed her brother back to the diggers, feeling strangely drained. The heat always did that to people, making them more lethargic, and Isis resented it as she contemplated the work they needed to accomplish to reveal the hidden secrets of the temple they had recently uncovered.

Magnificent, she sighed happily, the sight of the massive temple lifting her spirits.

And it was, even just the doors to the temple itself. The temple was carved into a crevice in a deep canyon…at least, it had been a canyon before thousands of years worth of sand and dirt had covered everything. It had been sheer luck that the archaeologists had discovered the top of the temple, and from there, had worked downwards until they had uncovered the large doors and the steps, as well as a good portion of the canyon. It had taken longer to brush away the grime and sand to reveal the message carved onto the doors of the temple, and when they finally had, Isis had been shocked.

The carvings on the doors were eerily similar to the carvings on the two tablets she had uncovered a little over a year ago. Composed of crude pictures, with not even the recognizable forms of hieroglyphics, it was an impossibility to completely translate the meaning of the carvings.

Still, her team of archaeologists had been able to gain a gist of the purpose of the temple.

It was not dedicated to any of the Egyptian gods that they knew of, but to an unnamed goddess. Although the picture showed no traits common to the depictions found of the other goddesses, they could only assume it was a goddess, since the Ancient Egyptians weren't prone to worshipping human women, as a rule.

Still, something about the thought of the woman being a goddess did not settle right with Isis. She wished she could visit the past and check, with the power of her Tauk, but that was impossible. There was no one with the memories she needed to access the past, which was the only way she had been able to show Seto Kaiba and Yugi Mouto their past lives; their memories had been buried inside them, and they were the reincarnations of those from the past.

Isis sighed, and, not for the first time, cursed the mysteries of the past.

As she walked up the steps to go inside the temple, she caught sight of the picture of the woman once more, this time from the corner of her eyes – and frowned. Turning her head sharply, she gazed at the face of the woman. Although an ankle-length mass of curls hid her eyes, and hint of the nose and most of the chin could be seen, and there was something familiar about the features that were carved in the stone.

Malik's blond head popped out of the temple, and caught his sister examining the carving of the mystery goddess on the door.

He grinned a feral smile.

"Isis, one of the workers want to talk to you," he called out, snickering. "So you can stop ogling the scantily clad goddess."

Her head snapped to spit fire at him with her eyes.

"Malik!" she grit her teeth angrily, taking a step towards him threateningly.

He held up his arms in mock surrender, smirking. "Hey, I'm not blaming you, here. She does have precious little on, eh? Nice body, too. But really, dear sister, I didn't know you swung that way."

Roaring in manner similar to the Blue Eyes White Dragon, Isis descend towards her brother, full of fury and seemingly as powerful as her Egyptian namesake.

Malik laughed – and ran.

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TBC…

~Jade Hunter~