So sorry for not having updated for ages! Thankies to reviewers!
Yugi was plunged into darkness. When his thoughts cleared, and his head stopped spinning, he looked up. He was back in the Shadow Realm.
Ryou appeared beside him. He was looking a bit shaken.
"I hate being dragged into the Shadow Realm."
"I think we all share that particular thought…"
Malik appeared on the other side of Yugi.
"How'd you get here?" asked Ryou. "You knocked us out."
"I got Joey to do it. I had to persuade him to, though…"
Yugi nodded, grinning.
"So, anyway, where are our yamis'?"
Malik paced out in front of Yugi and Ryou, then turned to face them. He opened his mouth to say something, but instead grew pale, looking over Yugi's shoulder.
Yugi and Ryou turned, and were faced with the three yamis. They were a few meters away, all with their eyes closed, faces pale and breathing patterns unusual.
Bakura had his arms out in front of him, moving slowly from side to side as if trying to find something. Yami was swaying, trying to break something around his leg. Marik was on his knees, arms raised defensively over his head, coughing.
"That was what you looked like," said Ryou, "when I came out of my fear. You looked like they do."
"We looked like them….wait…" a spark seemed to ignite in Yugi's eyes. "I've got it. They're inside our fears! Trapped, just like we were. We need to get them out."
"How do we do that?" asked Malik.
"Same way Ryou got us out before…"
Each hikari ran up to their yami.
Ryou grasped Bakura's searching wrists. Instead of Bakura coming out of the trance, Ryou was pulled back inside his fear.
He was back in the darkness. But this time, instead of knowing he was alone, he knew Bakura was there, somewhere, searching, praying to be found.
Ryou set of at a sprint, running blindly through the darkness. He didn't know where he was going, or if he'd find Bakura by searching this way. As he ran, he called to Bakura, hoping Bakura would hear and answer him, even if Bakura thought Ryou was an illusion.
Ryou stopped, out of breath. He slowed his breathing and listened for any sound of Bakura.
"No…help me…anyone…I'm so helpless…"
Ryou started to run toward the voice. It sounded as though Bakura was having a small panic attack, hyperventilating, and getting stressed.
Ryou could see a figure moving towards him. He walked towards it, and saw it was Bakura, dazed and shaken.
"But…I can't be alone…"
Ryou reached out and grasped Bakura's wrists.
"You're never alone!"
Bakura's eyes snapped open just as Ryou's did. They were standing across from each other.
Bakura smiled at his hikari. He turned his hands over and clasped Ryou's wrists in return to the hands already on his own.
"No worries. Are you ok?"
"Fine, fine. Where was I? Where were we?"
"Inside my fear…"
"Of being isolated. Alone, and helpless."
"I didn't know…"
"What do we do about the others?"
"Leave them, hikari. We can't interfere."
Malik seized the top of Marik's arm. He was pulled into a room of flame, smoke and intense heat. His fear.
The flames were concentrated in one corner. Malik ran over to it, seeing his yami, defenceless, as the flames closed in on him.
Malik called out to him, but Marik showed no signs of having heard him. Marik was coughing, his head lowered, his body kneeling on the ground.
Malik looked for a way to get to his yami. The flames were high, and there was nothing to stop them with. In one part of the fire, however, Malik noticed the level of the flames dropped a few feet.
Running over to them, he saw if he somehow got over them, he could reach Marik. Malik knew it must be something he could do – running through them was out, so was jumping straight over them, but…a thought occurred to Malik.
If he got enough height, he could dive-roll over them, landing safely on the other side of the flame barrier.
Malik moved back, getting a good, long, run up. He started to sprint towards the lower flames. As he got closer, the heat grew intensive, and his eyes started to water.
Knowing this wouldn't help, but would hinder him, Malik continued running. He had to get to Marik, just had to…
Half a meter from the start of the flames, Malik dived.
He got enough height, but one arm brushed the flames on his left side. Searing, burning pain shot up his arm as the flames were left behind him and he landed on the ground next to Marik.
The skin on the top of his arm was blistered and badly burned, but Malik's concern for Marik drove the thought of pain out of his head.
"Mal….Malik?" coughed Marik.
Can you get up?
Marik's face changed into a mask of determination. He nodded, and stood, swaying slightly in the smoke.
Marik, there's one way we can get out of here. You remember dive-rolls?
We need to do a combined dive-roll over the lower patch of flame, over there. Can you do that?
Yes…I think so…
Malik put his right arm around Marik's shoulders, while Marik put his left arm around his hikari's shoulders. Doing a run up in the little space they had, the two pushed off at the same time and cleared the flame.
Malik's eyes opened just in time to see Marik's eyes open before him.
"Hikari! Thank Ra! Thank you so much! Are you alright?"
Malik drew breath in a hiss as he cradled his left arm. "Burned."
"Ow. Sorry, I take responsibility for that."
"Everything ok?" asked Bakura, as he and Ryou walked over.
"Fine. But what about the Pharaoh and his hikari?"
"Still trapped. It won't be long, I hope."
"Don't we all…"
Yugi watched as Ryou grab Bakura's wrists and become trance-like. Then he reached out and grasped Yami's shoulder.
He was standing above a pool. As he expected, at the bottom Yami was chained preventing his escape. He was straining on the chain, and hadn't seen Yugi yet.
Yugi called out, and Yami stopped and looked up. Their eyes met and Yami smiled.
Yugi dived into the pool and swam straight down to the bottom to free his yami. Yami smiled again, but his eyes started to close and he started to lean back from the lack of oxygen.
Yami's eyes slowly opened. By now, Yugi was right beside him.
/Yami, can you kick off from the bottom? If we do it together, it should break the chain…/
Yugi lifted Yami's limp arm and draped it around his shoulders.
The two boys pushed off. The chain strained and broke, and Yugi and Yami started to swim to the surface. Half way there, Yami started to slip in and out of consciousness. Yugi struggled to keep swimming with Yami, who was acting like a weight, pulling him back down.
/I'm sorry…save yourself…/
/Hell no! You're coming with me/
/Yami? Listen to me! I'm not going without you/
Yugi could feel his own oxygen supply running out. The physical strain was taking its toll, but Yugi could see the surface only a few feet away.
Using up his remaining strength, both physically and mentally, Yugi pushed himself to his limit and broke the surface.
He pulled Yami's limp form onto the edge of the pool, and breathed a sigh of relief as Yami started to breathe.
Yugi's eyes opened to find two more violet eyes staring into his own. Yami smiled, and pulled his hikari into an embrace.
They pulled away, walking over to the others.
"Pharaoh! You got out alright!"
"Yeah, I did, Tomb Robber. We all did. Thanks to our hikaris."
"So," said Bakura, "what actually happened?"
The hikaris took it in turns to explain – their fears, saving each other, and then returning to the real world, only to find they had to return to find their yamis.
Marik burst out laughing when Malik explained about the padded baseball bat. The other two shared slightly horrified, but mainly amused expressions with each other.
After that, the yami's explained what they saw, and how their own hikari had saved them.
"So, how do we get out of here?" asked Malik.
"Ah, this time, you have us," grinned Bakura.
Using their Shadow Powers, the three yamis transported themselves and their hikaris out of the Shadow Realm.
When the six of them 'woke' in Malik's room, there was more explaining to do. Once again, they explained to the others what had happened in the Shadow Realm.
"I still can't believe you all actually went in there of you own free will!" Téa exclaimed when they were finished. "You all might have been trapped forever!"
Yugi sighed. "Téa, the main word in that sentence…"
"…is might" finished Yami.
That's the end. Thanks for reading, I'll be writing again soon!