And Then There Were None

by WSJ

WSJ: *blows a little party horn* Happy birthday Ryou! ^_^

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO.

Muse-ic of he moment: Matchbox20's Unwell.

()()()()()

At first there was one...

Ryou looked up in surprise as the doorbell rang. His heart rose for a moment, but just as quickly he forced it down again. His dad wouldn't have rang the doorbell. With a sigh Ryou got up from the couch where he'd been reading, trying to resign himself to the fact that his father was going to miss his birthday... again.

Ryou opened the door to see the mailman, who was holding a rather large package. "Mr Bakura?"

"Um, yes, that's me." Ryou said, scratching his head.

"Package for you. Sign here."

Ryou did so, all the while wondering what it could be. Both of his sets of grandparents were dead, and none of his aunts and uncles had ever bothered to get him anything for his birthday before. Which meant it was from his tou-san. Taking it into the kitchen, Ryou noted that the return address was in America. He found a knife and slit the tape, careful not to cut too deep lest he damage whatever was inside. He pried open the lid and stared at what lay among the packing peanuts.

O.o;;

And then there were two...

/Bakura?/ Ryou called tentatively.

His yami grumbled a little but put down the dagger he'd been sharpening to answer. //Yes?// he asked impatiently.

/Dad's present came in the mail just now and... I have no clue what it is./

Bakura grumbled a bit more, but his curosity was arroused. Forming a temporary body away from his host, Bakura peered into the box. "Hey, there's a note. Read it runt." Bakura refused to learn katakana or kanji for his own reasons, so Ryou sighed and picked up the piece of paper.

"Dear Ryou," he read out loud. "Happy birthday. Sorry I couldn't be home again, but hopefully this will reach you before your birthday. I know you've probably never seen one before, so I won't spoil it by telling you what it is. Just plug it in and wait. Yours, dad."

The two white-haired beings looked at each other and shrugged. Ryou put down the letter and carefully picked up the... the... whatever it was. It was vaguely cone-shaped, so Ryou set it on its wider end and found the plug coming out of the back. He then plugged it in, and the glass jar on top lit up. Other then that, nothing happened.

So they waited, just like Father had said. And waited. And waited.

"This is boring." Bakura said, twirling a knife in one hand. Abruptly he got up and started for the phone. "If we're going to wait for gods-know how long, I'm not doing in in present company. I'm calling Malik."

Ryou knew better then to argue with him, and just sighed.

And then came four...

Malik blinked and poked Bakura in the side. "Wake up tomb robber, it's moving."

Bakura jerked awake, and poked Ishtar, who in turn poked Ryou. All four boys stared as something began to happen inside the glass jar.

"...That's just freaky." Ishtar commented, and coming from him that's a pretty big compliment. He reached out to touch the silver base, just below the glass, but jerked his hand back with a yelp. "It bit me!"

The others stared at him, and then Bakura reached out to tentatively tap the metal. "Idiot. It didn't bite you, it's just gotten hot."

Malik was facinated. "I wonder what the purpose of this strange device is?"

Ryou hesitated a moment, then ventured, "Maybe Yami or Yugi would know?"

The Fates interviened, and the doorbell rang.

Then there were eight...

"Hi Ryou!" Yugi said as soon as the door was opened. "Happy birthday."

"Hello Yugi, and thank you." Ryou said. "Hello Anzu, Honda. Er..." he glanced over his shoulder. "Would you like to come in?"

"Sure." Naive little duelist that he is, Yugi stepped in without a second thought. He heard voices in the kitchen, and headed in that direction. He stepped inside to see Malik, Ishatr, and Bakura sitting around the table. He squeaked in surprise and backed up a step. /YAMI!!!/

Yami seperated from his aibou instantly, and growled when he saw his three not-friends right in front of them. But strangely enough, none of the three seemed to notice him. Puzzled, Yami walked around them, and even waved his hand back and forth in front of Bakura's eyes. Nothing. They didn't so much as twitch. They just kept staring at this... this... thing sitting in the middle of the table.

"Shield your eyes aibou!" Yami yelled, jumping in front of Yugi. "It has magical hypnotic powers!!"

"What is it?" Yugi asked Ryou as the Ring holder came back into the kitchen, followed by Anzu and Honda.

Ryou shrugged helplessly. "We don't know. Dad sent it to me from America, and we've spent all morning trying to find out what it is and what it does."

"It is sort of pretty," Anzu commented. "The way it swirls around like that..."

"It's got Bakura and Malik tranquilized!" Honda added. "Hey, I wonder if we could get one somewhere..."

Yugi and Yami grinned evilly at this possibility, and Honda, Anzu, and Ryou sweatdropped.

"Hey, where's Jou?" Ryou asked. "I would have thought he'd come along if you all came to wish me well."

"He said he'd be along, he just had some business to take care of, or something." Yugi said. He walked up to the edge of the table and peeked over it. "You know, if you stare at it, it is sort of hypnotic..."

But wouldn't you know it, the doorbell rang again.

And then came ten...

Kaiba frowned impatiently and rang the doorbell again.

"Oh give it up Kaiba," Jou scoffed from beside him. "I don't know why you even insisted on coming along anyway."

"Because, inu, Ryou is a friend and a much more competant duelist then you, and he deserves a good birthday. And besides," he added, holding up his briefcase. "His father ordered some small gadgets of an archaeologic nature, and I may as well deliver them." He tapped his foot impatiently. "Oh come on..."

Fed up with waiting, Kaiba grabbed the doorknob and was surprised to find it unlocked. He and Jou exchanged started glances and carefully went inside. There seemed to be nobody home until Jou noticed a light on in the kitchen. Walking in the two men stopped dead in their tracks.

Bakura, Ishtar, Malik, and Ryou were sitting around the table, and Yami, Yugi, Anzu, and Honda were standing near it. All of them seemed in some sort of trance, and were staring at some sort of a clear lamp that was sitting in the middle of the table. It was filled with a blue tinted liquid, and had blobs of yellow goop floating around in it.

Jou laughed. "Ha! It looks like snot floating around in that thing!"

Kaiba rolled his eyes and strode over to unplug the thing. Once the light was extinguished, various people started to shake themselves and come awake. Kaiba twitched slightly as he did some mental calculations. Malik + Jou + Ishtar + Bakura + Yami =....he really wanted to be somewhere else right now. Setting the briefcase with Mr Bakura's orders in it down near the door where he knew Ryou would find it, Kaiba slipped out and high-tailed it as the first shouts began to ring out behind him.

As he ran he shook his head ruefully. "Good grief, all that over a stupid lava lamp..."

And then there were none.

()()()()()

WSJ: :p Inspired by my own lava lamp, which, as Jou noted, really does look like snot floating around. *sweatdrop*

God bless minna-san!