An Opening From the Authors: Welcome back all you readers of the Egyptian Tournament! Welcome to the kick-off for what should be an exciting sequel!! This story will NOT be a tournament, as we feel we have had our fill of scripting duels, and also we cannot think of any way to spice up what is beginning to become a cliché. This story will have duels in it - not too worry - just not in a tournament structure.

Also, our focus will be more on character relationships and the growth of each character personally. Since there is no tournament, there will be no need for an of you to submit fan-characters. Sorry, but the story is jam-packed with OCs of our own making, and they all serve a purpose to the story, as you will soon see.

Quickly, we do not own Yu-Gi-Oh or any of the original characters or concepts. We do own our OCs, and this particular story idea, but that's all. ^_^

So without further ado, we give you...

Yu-Gi-Oh: The Gathering

By Sam & Shaun

Chapter 1

"The Will of Seto Kaiba"

Seto Kaiba was at the pinnacle of glory. His almighty Blue-Eyed Ultimate Dragon was sitting behind him and little Yugi Moto was cowering at his feet. "This is it Yugi," Seto said cruelly, "You've long outlasted your reign as the King of Games…it's time for me to take back what should have always been mine!" He waved a hand in the air, "Go, Ultimate Dragon! Destroy him!!"

The dragon took flight, soaring past its master with a mighty rush of wind, making the boy-billionaire's black cape swirl around him. But as the great creature neared the younger boy, a large gold Egyptian Eye appeared in front of him, reflecting the Blue-Eyes' attack and keeping Yugi safe from harm.

"What the hell??" Kaiba cried.

Behind the eye, little Yugi stood up. But he was no longer the frightened boy from before, but the stronger, more mature personality he always became when he was in trouble. He was supposed to be some kind of Pharaoh with magic powers, and in spite of himself, Kaiba had begun to believe it. Now he was staring at the Pharaoh through the blinding glow of the eye.

"You…" Kaiba seethed, "I suppose it's better you're here…I can seek my revenge against you as well."

The ancient king said nothing, but simply snapped his fingers. A jet of light shot out of the Eye and Kaiba dodged it just in time to get by with only a slash on his right arm. 'What is this magic??' he thought frantically. He heard a roar of pain and turned to see his Blue-Eyes being disintegrated by the Eye. Knowing he couldn't stand up to this force on his own, Kaiba did the only thing he could do – he turned and fled.

The blackness seemed to stretch to the ends of the universe, surrounding Seto with voices of his taunting opponents. Without warning, a figure appeared in front of Kaiba, blocking his path. It was a white-haired, skinny boy that Kaiba recognized almost instantly.

"Bakura…" he said, "Get out of my way." He raised a hand to strike the boy, but instantly, the Eye appeared again, and the Bakura became his other form, wild-eyed and grinning almost dementedly. Kaiba staggered backwards, scrambling to turn around and escape as the blinding light rushed past him again, this time striking his left arm.

No sooner had he turned around than he found himself only feet from the other Yugi, closing in on him. He whipped around again, and saw Bakura's other self walking slowly towards him, still smiling insanely, "No," Kaiba whispered, feeling panic clutch his throat in anticipation, "This can't be… I'm the ultimate duelist… the best…"

Suddenly, both of his attackers turned their heads to the right, away from him. Their eyes grew wide and both raised their Items in that direction. Seto began to turn his head feeling as if he were in slow-motion, to see what they were looking at. The air was cut twice around him, in roars of wind that knocked him to the ground with their force.

Kaiba looked up, craning his neck upward from his place on the solid blackness that threatened to swallow him up. He could see Bakura and Yugi lying next to him in two spreading pools of blood, which sent a shiver up his spine. But the most horrible sight of all was that of the figure standing in front of him. The man was walking towards him now, his boots clanking softly against the ground.

"You…no…you're dead…" Kaiba stammered as the Millennium Shield and Sword became visible as Lord Jetsu approached him. "How is this possible??"

Jetsu's icy eyes glinted behind his visor and he raised the Sword, and before Kaiba could even think about reacting, brought it down upon him. Seto felt cold fill his whole body and then his every cell exploded with pain. As he fell backwards through the floor beside the other fallen ones, he saw the dim image of Vitani at Jetsu's right side, watching him without expression.

"No…" Kaiba said softly, as he fell further and further into the blackness, "I trusted you…" Jetsu raised the Shield, blocking Vitani from view, and then light filled everything.

* * *

Seto Kaiba awoke with a start, breathing hard, his shirt clinging to his body with sweat. He blinked a few times, wondering why he was being blinded by light. As his bedroom slowly came into focus, he saw Vitani standing at one of the windows, pulling back the curtains, her back towards him. For a split second he couldn't help but admire her curves, but he snapped back to reality just as quickly. "What are you doing?" he muttered.

She turned, her features somewhat silhouetted by the morning sun pouring in through the window. "Oh you're up," she said, "Good. I was about to wake you, but you looked so peaceful, I felt bad about it."

"Really…" Kaiba grunted. Judging by the content of this all-too-familiar dream, he doubted very much that he could have possibly looked 'peaceful' during his slumber. Trying to change the subject, the young man stretched and addressed his personal assistant, "Is Mokuba up yet?"

"Yeah," she nodded, moving on to his rotating wardrobe and pressing the 'randomizer' button. The shirts, pants and jackets began zooming past her as the machine whirred to life. "He's eating breakfast now, and I told him to leave some for you." Not getting any kind of response, she cleared her throat awkwardly and left the room saying, "Well…I'd better go check on him…"

Once out in the hallway, Vitani paused a few yards away from the now-closed door of her employer's room. Kaiba had been dreaming again…as he had been sporadically ever since they'd left Egypt over six months ago. Every time it happened she wanted to do something in order to help him…but had been afraid to do so. Sometimes he called out her name in a betrayed sort of way, and it worried her. What could possibly be tormenting him so? She was almost scared to find out…she didn't want it to be her.

She heard Mokuba switch on the TV downstairs and, glad to have something to preoccupy her, hurried downstairs to make sure he'd cleaned up the kitchen before abandoning it.

Meanwhile, Kaiba had stripped down to his boxer shorts, and was selecting his suit for the day. While searching through his many similar wardrobes, he came across the coal black cloak that he had worn during the tournament in Egypt. He always wore it during his dream. The dream varied every now and again, sometimes replacing Bakura with Pegasus or Marik. Not that it mattered. The outcome was always the same, no matter what. Jetsu Maeda…

Seto could remember vividly his only encounter with the man. That defeat had perhaps been the most humiliating he had ever suffered. He, Seto Kaiba, champion of Duel Monsters, had lost to a handicapped opponent. True, having Wheeler as a partner in a duel was almost like being handicapped, but he had pulled off a good move or two.

Still, that duel had been unique for but one reason: it had showed Kaiba what he had always desired. The man had possessed the power to do what all of KaibaCorp's technology and wealth couldn't: bring the Duel Monster cards to a life of their own. Maeda had been able to accomplish this through the use of his Millennium Magic. That Shield was the most wonderful and horrible object Kaiba had ever laid eyes on.

He glanced down at his right hand, where the tiniest trace of a scar still remains. He had received this mark by touching his Blue-Eyes White Dragon during that duel. He had been able to make contact with his most prized and powerful card for one brief moment, then felt the pain of defeat as Exodia blasted his soul from his body. Yugi… How that little twerp was ever able to defeat a man such as that was beyond anything Kaiba had been able to understand.

Seto wheeled around and punched his fist through the nearby mirror, angry past reason. Yugi, Marik, Pegasus, Jetsu… every duel he had ever lost had been handed to him by a holder of one of these ancient Egyptian artifacts; the Millennium Items. Glaring down at his bleeding fist, Kaiba began to slowly pick out the tiny shards of glass, ignoring the sharp spikes of pain he got each time. It was his destiny to hold one of these Items as well, but that chance had been taken away from him by Ishizu Ishtar, after Yugi had defeated Marik.

Yugi… somehow or other it always came back to Yugi. Skill no longer mattered, really. Seto had proved his skill long ago. It was the magic that mattered now. The Ishtars had it, Yugi had it, Bakura had it, Pegasus had had it, and Jetsu had it. Everyone but him!

Suddenly, Kaiba stopped, staring up into the broken mirror. Worst of all, Vitani had it. His own assistant had what he desired…

Seconds later, as he was standing in his bathroom, bandaging his hand, he heard his little brother's voice through his bedroom door. "Seto! Seto are you in there? We heard a crash!"

"I'm fine!" he lied, "The mirror fell off the wall."

He made sure to put the mirror on the ground before leaving the room, several minutes later, fully dressed. Mokuba was still waiting for him, and jumped up from his spot on the floor as soon as the door opened. "What happened to you're hand?" he asked worriedly, noting the bandages.

"Tried to catch the mirror," Seto replied shortly, "Shouldn't you be leaving for school?"

"The bus doesn't come for another half-hour," Mokuba told him. Despite all of Kaiba's efforts, Mokuba refused to ride in a personal limo to school.

"Well then go watch TV or something."

"Alright…you sure you're okay?" Mokuba asked as he headed down the hallway towards the stairs.

"I'm fine – now go," Kaiba assured him.

* * *

"So a mirror fell, huh?" Vitani asked as Kaiba came into the kitchen a few minutes later. Kaiba just grunted in affirmation and helped himself to the steaming mug of coffee she had left on the counter for him. "Mokuba was really scared," she continued, "You shouldn't make us worry like that."

Kaiba said nothing, but opened up his laptop and began to download his work files. After a moment (and several more sips of coffee) he spoke up again, "Have the idiots from ENT Tech sent over the hologram system designs for the DD3?" Seto set his cup down hard, looking up at his assistant.

"No, not yet," she replied instantly, "They sent a fax saying it would take a few days longer than scheduled. They said something about asking for the impossible…"

"Bastards," Kaiba muttered, "Tell them that if the DD3 prototype isn't ready by the agreed date that ENT Tech will no longer be a company. Not when I'm done with it." He slammed his laptop closed and put it in his briefcase that had been waiting for him on the counter, fumbling with the locks distractedly. What was so impossible about wanting technology to bring Duel Monsters to full, living form? He had seen it done by a power 5000 years out of date!

"You can tell them yourself," Vitani said, "I figured you'd like a few words with them, so I fit a brief meeting into your schedule today. And I couldn't go in your place even if I wanted to – you've got me going to Mokuba's parent-teacher conference this afternoon."

"Fine," he said shortly, picking up his briefcase and beginning to walk away, "Mokuba!" Seto called out over his shoulder, "I'm heading off to work. I'll see you tonight!"

Mokuba Kaiba came running out into the kitchen, but by the time he arrived there, Kaiba had already slammed the door behind him, obviously still in a terrible mood. The little boy swung himself up onto his favorite stool, looking over at Vitani, "What's wrong with Seto?"

The Egyptian woman shrugged, and said quietly, "He wants the impossible…"

"Nothing's impossible for my big brother!" Mokuba replied earnestly, grinning ear to ear.

Vitani couldn't help but smile. "For his own sake, I hope you're right. Otherwise we're heading for trouble." She glanced up at the clock, "Shouldn't you be heading to school?"

Mokuba sighed, "Stupid school." He grumbled to himself as he hopped down and went to search for his backpack.

Vitani frowned as she watched him wander off, wondering why he hated going to school so much. 'Well…I'll probably find out this afternoon…' she thought.

* * *

Fifteen minutes later, the Kaiba mansion was deserted, but all was not still within the walls. In the living room, Mokuba had left the TV on and the morning news was on and the anchor was droning on to no audience.

"And in local news, the Domino Museum, which has been empty for the past year, has been leased to a new owner. Miss Seline Chrysogonus has been taking her impressive collection of artifacts on tour all around the world and has chosen to make Domino City her latest stop. The grand opening is this morning at ten, and as you can see from this skycam picture, there's already a crowd gathering outside waiting to get in. Several local schools have sent students to the opening for field trips…"