[A/N: Hiya! KO here with the next episode of My Pain is Your Pleasure! I'm gonna be quick and go straight to review responses!
Terri: O.O My God, it's Armageddon!
KO: -_-' Be quiet!
Terri: ^_^ I like making fun of KO….
KO: -_- " Gee, thanks….
Terri: ^_^ Any time! *looks at a/n* Well, so much for being quick….
KO: *facevaults* WHAT?! IT WAS YOUR FAULT!
Terri: Jeez, you don't have to point the finger all the time….*to readers* Yes, I know I sound like a complete moron, but I'm just doing it to get on KO's nerves….*evil grin*
KO: YOU WHAT?! *begins chasing Terri*
Terri: O.O Yipe! *runs*
KO: *while chasing Terri* On to review responses!
Sybil: Although I have no idea how she intends to respond to reviews while chasing my hikari like a madwoman….Shall I answer them instead?
KO: Sure, go ahead! *continues chasing Terri* Warning to Kaiba fans out there, you might not like the scene near the end if you're not fond of--
Terri: *still running* NO SPOILERS!
KO: Sorry! Still, warning to Seto fans! Sybil, handle the review responses, will ya?
Sybil: *sighs, shakes head* Very well….
crazed fanatic anime fan: Although it remains a mystery to me what KO thinks anymore, I am sure she appreciates your review. Might I suggest not striking such strange poses? It succeeded and then some in disturbing us….Terri is fine, and we all appreciate your concern and your happiness for Iris.
Sybil: Anyway, thank you for reviewing….]Chapter 9 - Friends and Family Reunite
(Also titled The Prank Wars *evil chuckle from the authoress*)
I was vaguely aware of being gently shaken by the shoulders, as well as a voice saying, "Iris! Iris, wake up!"
My eyes shot open, and I sat bolt upright, hearing a dull crack-thump. "Who said that?! How did you know my name?!" I asked, looking around frantically and seeing a girl with long black-and-red hair with wild blond bangs sitting on the floor clutching her nose, eyes shut. (T/N: Owie….)
"Gah! You never did master waking up gently, did you?" she groaned, her voice muffled by her hands. Opening her eyes and looking at me, she added, "Nice to see you again, too, Iris."
"Are you all right?" a boy with similar, shorter (A/N: Much shorter, duh!) hair asked her.
"Yugi Muto?!" I asked in shock.
"Hai," he said slowly.
"Okay, I have officially gone insane! To add to that, I'm speaking Japanese! Why am I speaking Japanese?! I'm from California; I'm not supposed to know Japanese!"
"Iris, calm down!" the girl said, clamping her hands onto my shoulders. "You're gonna end up having a panic attack!"
"Get your hands off of me! I'll ask you again: how do you know my name?"
"I'm your best friend! How could I not know?" she asked with a laugh.
"Tawagoto! What's your name?"
"Iris," she sighed, "I may not look the same, but it's me, Terri! I know this is a hell of a shock, but you've got to believe me!"
"If you're Terri, let me ask you some questions. What's my otōsan*'s profession?"
"He's a doctor; he used to patch me up after Meg got ahold of me."
"What about my okāsan*?"
"Trick question, she's a stay-at-home mom."
"All right," I said, pulling out my Yu-Gi-Oh! deck, "you think you know me so well, what's my favorite monster?"
"You duel?" Yugi asked.
"Un. I'm not that great, though, even with Terri's help."
"You oughta get Yug to help ya out," a boy I instantly recognized said.
"You're Joey Wheeler!" I gasped, eyes widening.
"How do you know us anyway?" he demanded.
"Well, you're the winner and runner-up of Duelist Kingdom! You're world-famous! How could she not know you?" the girl cut in nervously, wildly waving her arms. "Iris, can I talk to you in private?"
"You still haven't answered me. What's my favorite monster?" (T/N: You'd think she'd know….*Iris yells in the background* Yes, I know it was to test me; I was kidding!)
"You're makin' it too easy; Princess of Tsurugi, now come with me!" she said quickly, dragging me toward the door. "Yugi, Joey, don't wait up!" she added. "This could take awhile!" (A/N: I know she didn't say anything to Ryou or Tristan; I forgot about them when I was writing this, so let's say they took a detour and haven't gotten there yet....)
"How did you know that?" I asked when we were outside.
"You mean about Princess of Tsurugi? I should know, I put it in your deck, along with your favorite Magic card, Change of Heart, and your favorite Trap, none other than Magic Jammer. I know your deck almost as well as you do."
"Terri? Is that really you?!"
"Un! How did you know Yugi and Joey, anyway?"
"Well, duh, Terri, they're the main characters in our favorite anime!"
"In an anime? Wouldn't I have known them, too?"
"Did you hit your head?" I asked sincerely.
"A few times, actually, one of which was on Seto Kaiba's briefcase. I may have lost some of my memories."
"Gomen nasai.* Oi, what's with the headband?"
"I think Sybil can explain it better than I can."
"You'll see." After she said this, the gold headband began glowing.
"Okay, what's goin' on?!" Iris asked, eyes wide. "It's like when Yugi and Yami switch places, but with a headband instead of a puzzle, and Terri instead of Yugi, and--"
"I understand," I interrupted. "First, this 'headband' is in fact the Millennium Tiara."
"So, Terri's got a Millennium Item?"
"That is so…COOL!" she squeaked.
"Second," I repeated, wincing at the pitch of her voice, "how did you know about my brother, or the Millennium Items, for that matter?"
"Yami's your brother?"
"Hai, my twin brother, actually; now onegai, answer my question."
"Oh, gomen. Anyway," she said, beginning to calm down, "it's like I told Terri, they're--or were, rather--characters in an anime, a cartoon show. When Terri ran away, I'm guessing the same portal that brought me here did the same with her. Anyway, when were you gonna explain about that Tiara?"
"I'd almost forgotten," I muttered. "As you would put it, aibou, you owe me for this." Sighing, I tried to find the words to explain. "If my brother and his hikari were part of one of these 'cartoon shows,' you should know about the original Millennium Items. After Yami was sealed into the Puzzle, I came to the throne. Barely a year later, a priestess named Millennia attacked me in the dead of night, the cowardly traitor! All I could see were blood-red eyes before some creature very nearly killed me," I said broodingly.
"Was it a dragon that attacked you?" (A/N: Little hint of a Red-Eyes there….)
"I believe so, but I cannot be sure. My memory has waned over the years. Now that I think of it, you look like a dear friend of mine, Ianthe."
"Ianthe? That's a pretty name."
"Do you like bells?" I asked, tilting my head to one side. (A/N: And the randomness begins! BWAHAHA! Ahem, sorry.)
"Hai, why do you ask?"
"I know it seems unrelated, but Ianthe's Neo Millennium Item was the Millennium Bell. It had the ability to heal, but she was already a healer; she was the one who healed me after Millennia's attack." She was also the one who taught me that healing spell, if I remember correctly, I added to Terri. "Once I was healed, I traveled into the desert with three of my most trusted friends, Ianthe being one of them. It was then that, with their help, I created the Neo Millennium Items. However, I still curse my decision to create seven merely in order to coincide with the original set," I growled. "I was foolish to go beyond four Items."
"Because the remaining three were stolen the very night of our return to Thebes."
"I thought Thebes was in Greece."
"At the time, it was the capital of the Egyptian empire. (A/N: Different Thebes! There really was one in ancient Egypt, at least according to the Mummy movies! Mmm, Brendan Fraser….) As I said, the very night I returned, the Gauntlet, Armband, and Dagger were stolen."
Yugi's POV (A/N: I'm trying to experiment with different POVs, so let me know if you think I'm doin' a good job or if I'm completely OOC, peoples….)
Something wrong, Yami? I asked, sensing his surprise.
I'm sensing the presence of a Millennium Item. I believe it's the same one as before.
Hai; I sensed it earlier, but I didn't want to wake you. It's nearby, but not one of the original set.
So you think there's a new set out there?
Possibly, he responded.
Well, Terri was wearing some kind of tiara this morning, wasn't she? (T/N: Finally, someone realizes it's not a headband! ^_^….-_- Although it did take another Millennium Item holder to notice….) Do you think that might be it? I mused.
Perhaps. He paused. Iie, it has to be! Whatever it is is just outside the Game Shop.
I think you should have a talk with Terri and make sure she's still on our side, I suggested.
All right, he said as we switched places.
"So, let me get this straight, Terri: You've got a Millennium Item," Iris began.
"Un," Terri nodded.
"And inside that Millennium Item lives the spirit of an ancient Egyptian queen."
"And that queen thinks I just might be her best friend reincarnated."
"And that queen is Yami's twin sister."
"And finally, while we're on the topic of Yami," she finished, unaware of said pharaoh's entrance, (A/N: Or would it be "exit," since he's comin' outside? *shrugs* Eh, on with the fic!) "we've been sucked into an anime?!" (T/N: She overreacts, doesn't she! *WHACK!* OW! IRIS!)
"That pretty much sums it up, un."
"So I was a topic, then?" he asked, making both girls jump.
"Briefly," Terri replied, turning around. "Tell me, Yami, do you sneak up on people like that often?"
"I never knew I was sneaking; I merely assumed neither of you were paying attention," he returned with a smirk.
"Touché," she replied with a laugh.
"So, you heard that last part, nē?" Iris asked a bit nervously.
"Well, that could either save a lot of time or be really bad, depending on how you look at it."
"How do you mean?"
"Well, it saves us the time of explaining where we came from, but I doubt you guys are supposed to know your lives and adventures were a cartoon show."
"I see. Terri, Yugi asked me to speak with you, if you have no objections." (A/N: Does it really matter? This is Yami, he pretty much always gets his way….*Terri: Why're you asking? You wrote it! Baka….*)
"Iie, what about?"
"Does Iris know about the Millennium Items?" he asked in her ear.
"Hai, I doubt there's anything we can't say in front of her." (T/N: @_@ So…confusing….Get to the point, Yami….)
"About what?" Iris asked.
"The Millennium Items. What did you want to ask me, Yami?"
"Yugi and I were both curious as to whether you own a Millennium Item."
"Well, I have a Neo Millennium Item; does that count? It's not one of the originals, but it's still technically a Millennium Item."
"'Not one of the originals?'" It seems, you were right, aibou; there is another set. "Were they created after the first set?"
"Un, about a year after you were sealed into the Puzzle. Don't worry, I haven't turned against you guys," she said after Sybil discreetly probed his mind.
"How did you know what I was about to ask?"
"Well, I haven't mastered it yet, but this Tiara lets me read minds. If that's all you wanted to ask me, I have a friend whom I'm sure would like to speak with you." Sybil, that's your cue!
All right, she replied, not needing to be told twice to take over. "Good to see you again, Yami," she said with a small smile.
"Who are you?" Yami asked, narrowing his eyes.
"You've forgotten your own sister? I'm hurt, brother!"
"As Terri would put it, it took you long enough. Surely your wits haven't dulled that much," she taunted.
"Tread cautiously, Sybil; my wits are fine, but being sealed into puzzle pieces has taken its toll on my memory."
"I'm aware of that," she laughed. "Your patience is as short as ever, I see. I merely jested with you."
"As serious as ever, nē?" he responded, rolling his eyes. (A/N: Yami fans, etch that into your memory, 'cause it's one of the few, possibly only, times Yami will be portrayed rolling his eyes! Not by me, but not too many other authors make him sarcastic….)
"As casual as ever, nē?" she mocked. "You seem nothing like when we were alive." (A/N: Ah, the good ol' days….)
"While you've not changed at all. Tell me, do you still pull pranks?"
"On whom, might I ask? I met Terri only yesterday, and the others only today! Besides, my pranks were no worse than yours."
"Pranks?" Terri asked. Do tell, do tell! I have got to hear this!
"I never remember your pranks ever ending," Yami retorted.
"So you remember then. Surely you recall the time I poured dye into your bathwater? Tread lightly, or you may find history repeat itself," she smirked. (A/N: Heh heh heh….)
"I remember," he growled. "I was four shades of green for weeks!" (A/N: Three different shades for his hair, and another for his skin….)
Green?! Yugi laughed. She dyed you green?!
You dyed him green?! Terri asked with a similar expression, unbeknownst to her. What'd he do to deserve that?
"So, what did he do to get dyed green?" Iris asked. (T/N: And here it comes….*semi-evil grin* *Yami sighs in background*)
"Care to tell everyone, or shall I?" Sybil asked wryly.
"Terri just asked, and I have no doubt that Yugi was curious."
"You can tell them what you wish, but I refuse to say anything about it." Iris swore she could see a hint of red come to the once-pharaoh's cheeks. (A/N: Kawaii! ^_^ Blushing pharaohs!)
"All right. Yami and I had gotten into an argument the day before, and I carry heavy grudges, so…."
"Why, that miserable cur! That--that lowlife! I've a mind to settle this with a Shadow Game! No, that won't work, Father's forbidden it! Ra, why do you curse me with such a brother?!" a younger Sybil cried desperately toward the sky. (A/N: Betcha wouldn't have seen that coming if Sybil hadn't said anything about it….) "How dare he call me foolish?! He should know that no insult to me goes unpunished!" (A/N: Sound familiar? Re: Ch. 7) She stalked out of the palace and into the surrounding market.
"Princess Sybil, you honor my humble shop with your presence," one of the merchants said, bowing at the waist.
"Enough formalities; I tire of this routine," she sighed, waving him up. "What dyes do you have for sale?"
"Dyes, Princess? (A/N: He sells dyes; she's asking what all he's selling, just to clarify.) You are making a garment perhaps?"
"No, I plan on teaching my brother a lesson he won't get out of by hiding in pots! Your strongest dye, please."
"But, Princess, this dye will take weeks to wash off if you get it on your skin!"
"Excellent!" she exclaimed, her face lighting up.
"What could Prince Yami have done to make you want to buy such powerful dye?"
"Enough questioning me! If my father's guards question you, tell them I was preparing for the festival," she said, flipping him a gold coin.
"No charge for you, Princess," he said quickly, trying to return the coin.
"You continue to question me? If I wish to pay you, I will! Never have I seen a merchant decline payment," she said, amusement finding its way into her voice. "Thank you for the dye!" With that, she strode back to the palace, smirking as she called over her shoulder, "He insulted me. Repeatedly."
"Ra, be with Prince Yami," the merchant prayed.
Iris, at this point, fought hard not to laugh, but failed miserably.
I can picture that! You must've looked like a frog, Yami! Yugi laughed, holding his sides.
"If I remember correctly, I did retaliate, Sybil, amply, if memory serves me. You do remember what happened the next day?" he smirked.
"I try not to."
"Then allow me to refresh your memory, if you will."
"Oi, somethin' wrong? You guys've been out here a long time," Joey called, joining the group.
"You have got to hear this!" Iris said between laughs. "Sybil an' Yami are swappin' prank stories!"
"Pranks? Un, I gotta hear this!" he decided, perking up at the word "prank."
"Yami was just about to tell us what he did after Sybil dyed him green!" Iris grinned.
"She dyed 'im green?" he repeated, beginning to grin himself.
"The green was the most potent he had," Sybil defended.
"No wonder it took so long to wash off," Yami muttered. "Well, the next day, I decided I would have my revenge, even if Sybil had already been punished…."
A furious, emerald-green Yami stormed into the stables, growling, "When was the last tine this place was cleaned?"
"Please forgive me; we were about to right now, Prince Yami."
"Not yet. I want to pay my sister back for what she did yesterday. Nobody does this and gets away with it!"
"But, Prince Yami, what could you want from the stables?" (A/N: Poor ignorant servant….)
"There was a reason I asked when they had last been cleaned," he said with a smirk.
"But--your father would be outraged!"
"Only if I get caught. Now, I'll need two buckets; Sybil has excellent reflexes, so she's likely to avoid a single hit. I want to make sure she learns not to trifle with me!"
"But, Prince Yami--"
"I'll hear none of it, now do as I say!" he snapped. "If anything goes amiss, you will be protected."
"Yes, Prince Yami," he said, hanging his head.
Later that day
"YAAMMII!" a voice roared inside the palace. "YOU WILL PAY FOR THIS!"
"I see she found my additions to her door frame. Judging by the tone, I'd say she managed to avoid the first one after all. I had best stay away from her for awhile," Yami mused from the market surrounding the palace.
By now, Iris and Joey were helpless on the ground laughing, tears streaming down their faces.
"I doubt it was that funny," Sybil growled.
"Well, not when it's happening to you, but from where we're standing--"
"You mean 'rolling,' don't you?" Sybil cut in.
"Fine, rolling, but either way it's hilarious to us!" she said as they climbed to their feet, wiping their eyes. "The old bucket-of-water-over-the-door routine!"
"I wish it had only been water," she replied, scowling at Yami. (A/N: *evil grin* Not even a liquid, people….) "It took hours to wash that smell off."
"Next time think before you dye somebody," he retorted.
"So, did these 'prank wars' of yours ever end?" Iris asked.
"Hai, eventually," Sybil responded.
"Shimatta!" she and Joey said in unison, snapping their fingers.
"It was a stalemate, actually…."
"Truce?" Yami asked, holding up the basketful of spiders he had collected from his room.
"Truce," Sybil agreed, carefully regarding the bag of scorpions out of her own chambers.
"Spiders?" Iris squeaked.
"Scorpions?" Joey added.
"By the dozen," Yami and Sybil replied in unison. (A/N: Yay unison! ^_^ Sorry, just had to have my randomness in there….)
"We each knew what the other feared most, so when Yami heard what I was planning, he decided to counter in advance, and we filled each other's rooms with tarantulas and scorpions," Sybil explained. "After that, we both agreed to stop the pranks before they got violent."
"You don't think tarantulas and scorpions are violent?!" Joey and Iris yelled.
"Well, neither of us was attacked," Sybil replied as the two (Joey and Iris) facevaulted. "I consider anything that does not result in injury nonviolent."
"You're almost as bad as Terri," Iris sighed.
"I enjoy Terri's company."
"That's because you're her exact double, personality-wise!"
"Hardly," she replied with a laugh. Growing serious, she continued, "Terri is a pacifist compared to me." She prevented any further questioning with a look that clearly said, "don't ask" and retreated to her soul room within the Tiara.
"I dunno, Terri, you don't exactly seem peaceful yourself. You did give Kaiba a black eye," Joey said uncertainly.
"That reminds, me, how did your duel go?" Yami asked, at which she cracked a grin that slowly took over most of her face.
"You dueled Kaiba?!" Iris asked incredulously.
"I take that look to mean you won?"
"You beat Kaiba?!" Iris gaped. If possible, Terri's grin grew even wider.
"I don't think 'beat' is quite the right word," she replied.
"Then what was the score?"
"Well, it was 6200 to 1900 when I got him to forfeit. My Black Skull Dragon had been powered up to 5450 thanks to Ryoku, and his Blue-Eyes Ultimate Dragon to 5100 by Dragon Nails, so when my dragon eradicated his, (S/N: Hikari, you stole my word….*Terri: What? I needed a word!*) I managed to convince him to give up and spare himself the embarrassment. So, I think 'beat' is an understatement."
"No kiddin'!" Iris exclaimed. "Well, I think it's safe to say I'll never get to that level!"
"All you need is experience and the right cards. Remember, I've been dueling for almost eight years."
"Well, maybe you could help me with my deck some more." (A/N: Remember, it was Terri who originally helped Iris with her deck, hence the "more.")
"I can try. Let me see it," she said as Iris handed over her deck. Flipping through the cards, she muttered, "For one thing, you've got too many traps and not enough Magic cards. You don't really need Gryphon Wing in here."
"What if someone tries to use Harpie's Feather Duster?"
"That's why we're replacing it with Mystical Space Typhoon. A Quick-Play Magic card trumps a Trap. (A/N: I think! Let me know if I'm wrong! It will be greatly appreciated, but let me know if I'm right, too, please! These things help a writer!) Castle Walls, Waboku--a must-have--Enchanted Javelin…good traps, but you don't need three copies of each. Take it down to one or two, and--oi, Bad Reaction to Simochi, Solemn Wishes? I didn't even know you had these!"
"Bad Reaction to Simochi and Solemn Wishes?" Joey asked. "What're they?" (A/N: This is right after DK, so they don't know about the rarer cards yet.)
"Bad Reaction turns any increase in your opponent's Life Points into Direct Damage instead, and Solemn Wishes increases your Life Points by 500 every time you draw a card. Let's see your Magic card, nē?" she added to Iris.
"I think I did pretty well with them, you shouldn't have to do too much there," she responded. (T/N: So she thinks….Eep! *runs from Iris*)
"Okay, let's see what you've got here….Soul Exchange, Sparks, Ancient Telescope, Sogen, Swords of Revealing Light…you need more Magic cards, Iris. How about I add in Malevolent Nuzzler, Dian Keto the Cure Master, Ookazi, Red Medicine, and United We Stand?"
"United We Stand?"
"It increases a selected monster's attack power by 800 for every monster on your side of the field."
"Wow! That's impressive!"
"How about Dark Hole?"
"You're the expert; it's your call."
"I'm not an expert; I just have no life," Terri laughed. (T/N: *to KO* Hey, I have a life! *KO: Sure….) "You want an expert, go to Mr. King-of-Games here," she said, jerking her thumb at Yugi, who had since switched places with Yami. "Iris, Iris, Iris, you need some more effect monsters, she added, wincing at Iris's cards. "This calls for some big-time deck re-modeling. Yugi, this is serious; I'll need your help."
"It's not that bad," Iris muttered sourly.
"Well, you seem to think I'm an expert on this. All right, what's your favorite type of monster?"
"Well, I like Spellcasters…."
"Okay, then, we'll put in Witch of the Black Forest, The Stern Mystic, Magician of Faith's always good--"
"How about Mystical Elf? She'd be good for defense," Yugi added.
"Right. Oh, I just thought of a few more Magic cards that'll be useful. We'll give you Yami, Book of Secret Arts, and Sword of Dark Destruction, then add in Sangan, Witty Phantom, Spear Cretin, and Aqua Madoor; he'll be good for defense, too. Oi, don't you have a Dark Magician Girl and a Time Wizard?"
"Un, I think so. We can put them in and take out Sogen."
"Right, now you're usin' your head! First time for everything, nē?"
"Just kidding Iris!" she defended hastily.
"You've got some good cards, Iris," Yugi said.
"Oh, dōmo," she replied. "I started out just collecting the cards, but then Terri started playing, so I figured I might as well."
"So, what's your strongest card?"
"Chotto matsu!" Terri interrupted. "Gomen, Yugi, but I just realized something!"
"She," Terri said, pointing at Iris, "does not have Monster Reborn in her deck! That's one card that's absolutely essential for a duelist! Put it in there before you get challenged!" she said, thrusting a copy into Iris's face.
"Dōmo," she said, jerking back and taking the card. "To answer our question, Yugi, my strongest card is Dark Magician Girl."
"That's all? I thought you got stronger cards in the starter decks you bought," Terri remarked. "I got my Blue-Eyes from the Kaiba deck--YIPE! I was so not supposed to say that!" she yelped, clapping her hands over her mouth as her eyes widened to the size of dinner plates.
"Whattya mean, 'Kaiba deck?' That's some serious ego," Joey commented, raising an eyebrow.
"And how did you get a Blue-Eyes?" Yugi added. "There are--"
"I know, four in the world, Kaiba's got three, Mr. Muto had the last one but gave it back to his friend, but back where we came from, there are four starter decks, each themed after one of you guys: you, Kaiba, Pegasus, and, speaking of ego, Joey."
"All right--oi, whattya mean, 'ego?'" he demanded.
"You can't trick me," she said with a laugh. "Does 'all right, I got a starter deck themed after me!' sound familiar?"
"Oi, no mind-readin'! We got enough of that from Pegasus!"
"Joey, it's far too easy to make you squirm!" she laughed. Guess that's why I like ya, she added silently, her smile softening. "What's so interesting, Iris?"
"Your audience grew," she said simply, indicating the newcomer.
"Now what do you want, Kaiba?"
"I want answers, and I want them now!"
"That's all well and good, but in order to give you answers, I'll need the questions," she replied coolly, without missing a beat. He growled in annoyance.
"Don't call me 'gaki,' Kaiba," she said, her tone turning icy and her eyes seeming to burn into his mind. (A/N: I was gonna say "soul," but it sounded too dramatic for this case….) "Now, why are you here?"
"Where the hell did you get a Blue-Eyes White Dragon?!" he snapped, grabbing her by the shirt.
"Let me go and I may tell you," she shot back, wincing as she was pulled onto her toes.
"I don't make bargains with the likes of you, now tell me where you got the card!" At this, a feral (A/N: Imp! Just kidding!) snarl worked its way across his lips and he rolled his fist, tightening the neck of her shirt and lifting her a few inches off the ground.
"Kaiba, let her go!" Yami demanded, quickly switching places with Yugi. "A single card is no reason to threaten her life!"
"Look at her and you may find out!" he yelled, indicating her glazed eyes and faintly blue face. (A/N: I'm not exaggerating; he had his hand dug into her neck, cutting off her air, so….) "Release her, or you have me to deal with!"
"And me!" Joey added quickly.
"And me!" Iris growled. "If you don't let go of her, Yami and Joey'll be the least of your worries!"
"What can you three do, kick me in the shins?" he laughed.
"If you kill her, Kaiba, I swear I'll return the favor!"
"I had no intention of killing her."
"Un, that way you'd never find out where she got her card, nē? You may not have intended to, but you're strangling her!"
"One less pest in my way," he said stonily. (A/N: *while running from Seto fangirls* As I--or he--said earlier, he's not trying to kill her, all that meant *points to previous line* was that although he wasn't trying to kill her, it wouldn't bother him too much either! 'Kay? 'Kay!)
"Kaiba, you monster!" Yami exclaimed in astonishment.
"Enough!" a new voice yelled. Iris had to shield her eyes from the brilliant light issuing from the Tiara as Kaiba fell back, clutching his own. (A/N: Eyes, people….)
"What the hell?!" he wondered, daring to look at his former victim, whom he noticed had been replaced by the taller woman he had dueled that morning.
"Kaiba, I warned you this morning that threatening my hikari would not be tolerated, but once again, you ignored me and even went as far as to attack her!" the woman snarled, narrowing her eyes to slits.
"Let me guess, 'you hurt Terri, so you're gonna pay, you big meanie!' Am I right?"
"Not in the least. Allow me to reveal my true thoughts: you very nearly killed Terri, so you will regret the day you were born! I will warn you again, although whether you deserve it is uncertain. I am absolutely merciless; I will not relent until I achieve my goal, and at the moment, I doubt you want to know the full extent of my goal."
"What do you think you can do to me, kill me?"
"Iie; I very rarely punish with death, even when my adversaries beg me to, and believe me, they have pleaded with me, but if you harm my aibou again, I will end your life on the spot. You can amuse yourself with this," she said, pulling a card out of Terri's deck. "Meda Bat, attack! Dark Blast!" (A/N: Like Bakura did in DK, but solid, not translucent.)
"Very nice, now where's the hologram projector?" he asked as the bat prepared its attack.
"There is none; my creature is quite real, and you would be wise to avoid its attack."
"Sybil, don't kill him!" Iris said in horror.
"Meda Bat, yameru!*" she barked, and the bat halted its attack and perched on her shoulder, joining its mistress in glaring at Kaiba. "Give me one reason to spare him, Iris," Sybil said coldly, not removing her piercing gaze from Kaiba's own icy stare. "However, I had no intention of killing him," she continued, mocking him with his own words. "As I said, I very rarely punish with death."
"Here's your reason: you're better than that, Sybil! What do you prove by maiming him? It's not worth it!"
"Iris, you yourself said, and I quote, 'If you kill her, Kaiba, I swear I'll return the favor!' You said that as a friend, but I am sworn to protect whoever is chosen by fate to wear the Tiara. As for you," she said to Kaiba, "it would be in your best interests to leave before I let my anger get away with me, because when that happens, I enjoy it."
"Fine, but don't think we won't see each other again," he smirked.
"Well, spring break is over, and school resumes tomorrow. Unless your 'aibou' plans on skipping, we'll be at the same school."
"I would advise you to bring some means of defending yourself, then; Terri will most likely be out for vengeance when she awakes, as she is currently unconscious because of your actions, Seth," she said, blinking after a pause. Seth? Why did I say that?
"'Seth?' Where did that come from?" he said in confusion.
"Memories," she replied, shaking her head. "You merely remind me of my cousin in Egypt. Your, hm, methods are similar," she spat in disgust, ire again blazing in her amethyst-turned-crimson orbs. "As I said, you had better leave before I have my Meda Bat resume its attack. Or," she proposed, shuffling Terri's deck, "I could summon a different creature." At this, she drew a card and showed it to him. (S/N: Without looking, I might add….) "Perhaps the Red-Eyes Black Dragon?"
"Lucky to draw such a powerful monster on your first try."
"It wasn't luck. If you assume that reading minds is the extent of my abilities, I feel obligated to inform you that you are, as it is said now, dead wrong. I also have the power of telekinesis. I can rearrange the cards as per my every whim and draw a given card at will. Would you care for a demonstration?" she offered, grinning. (A/N: Aah! It's the return of the yami-smirk of doom! *Sybil: -_-'*)
"If you can prove it, be my guest."
"As you wish. First, I think I'll return my dragon to the deck, near the middle to further prove my point. Then, I draw the same card again, followed by Curse of Dragon, Dark Magician Girl, Summoned Skull, Cosmo Queen…Blue-Eyes White Dragon." (A/N: Had to have that pause for effect there….) She dropped each card on the coffee table as it was drawn. "I believe I've sufficiently proven myself. One final warning: I can do this with objects of any size, so cross me again and you may meet with an unfortunate accident," she said, advancing on him. "Tread lightly," she smirked, "and this time, heed my advice."
"Changeable, isn't she?" Iris muttered to Joey, Tristan, and Ryou. "I just counted her mood shift four times just since she drew her dragon."
"I always find it disadvantageous to be predictable," Sybil announced over her shoulder. Iris yelped and leapt behind Tristan.
"Why're you hiding behind me?" he asked, trying to twist around and break her grip on his coat.
"'Cause you're tallest! I'm tryin' not to be seen here! Sybil was not supposed to hear that!"
"I mean you no harm, Iris; I was merely pointing out that being predictable has its weaknesses."
"Oh, then you're not gonna hurt me?"
"Of course not!"
"Ah, that's a relief," she sighed, coming back into the open as the group sweatdropped. "Nani? Would any of you guys want to be on her bad side?"
"Point taken," Yami remarked.
"I thought so. Ano, Sybil, is Terri okay?"
"Hai, she was uninjured, thank Ra. However, Kaiba's luck was greater than my own that she remained unhurt."
"Well, had he actually harmed her, your requests to spare him would doubtless have fallen on deaf ears; I would have killed him. I need to check on Terri," she said, her eyes glazing over as she entered Terri's soul room and collapsed on to the couch, unblinking.
Inside Terri's mind
"Hikari!" a muffled voice called, accompanied by knocking. "Aibou, can you hear me?"
"Unh, Sybil?" I murmured groggily, opening my eyes. "Oh, Sybil! Un, come on in!" I called, hopping off of the bed I found myself on.
"Ah, Terri, you're awake," she sighed, walking in. "Good. So…this is your soul room?" she asked, glancing around with a concerned expression.
"Un, if that's what this is," I replied, beginning to take in the surroundings myself. "I never paid attention before. Why do you ask?"
"It's…just so dark; it could be compared to my own. Never mind," she replied, shaking her head. "I'm glad to see you awake and well," she said, brightening.
"What happened, anyway? The last think I remember is Yami yellin' at Kaiba to let me go, then poof! I'm here."
"The reason is that after that you lost consciousness. Hikari, why did you keep telling me not to take over?" she questioned, brows furrowed. "I cannot help you unless you permit me to."
"I thought I could handle it on my own," I muttered sullenly, looking down. "I guess I was wrong, though; I guess poor, helpless Terri had to be protected as usual."
"Hikari, don't think that way!" Sybil admonished lightly. "None of this was your fault, nor do I suppose it could have been avoided."
"It could so have been avoided," I mumbled. "I could never have left and joined my parents."
"Your parents?" (A/N: Angst alert! If you don't like extreme angst, brace yourself, but I think it's still worth reading, so don't skip it!) (T/N: KO, I supremely hate you for this….)
"Un. I tried to many times, but every time someone came along and saved me. Sybil, this is why I don't want to be saved!" I exclaimed, showing her my forearms. "You don't know what kind of hell it is to see your parents die in flames right in front of you, then to be adopted by Doma the Angel of Silence herself, and when you finally think you can get away from it, some shiseiji comes and thinks he's doing some good, but is just making your suffering last that much longer!"
I murmured, feeling my heart break along with hers. "How could you think that?" I asked, placing a hand on her
"How could you think anything else?! What could I possibly have to live for?!" she yelled, tearing away from me and grabbing a dagger off of its display case on the wall. "Nothing, that's what!"
Quickly realizing what she was going to do, I leapt forward and snatched it out of her hand before she could bring it to her wrist. "Hikari, yameru, onegai!" I implored in horror.
"Dōshite?! Why does everyone have to help me all the time?!" she cried, falling to her knees. "Why can't you all leave me alone?!"
"Terri," I began, but was able to go no further, at a loss for words.
"Nani?" she spat venomously, tears streaming down her face. To my shock she began…laughing! "You never answered my question."
"Which question was that?"
"What do I have to live for? You never said, so it must not be anything worth mentioning."
"Hikari, you have more to live for than you could ever imagine," I replied, joining her on my knees and throwing my arms around her. (A/N: There will be NO yuri in this! They have something like a sisterly relationship, NOTHING MORE!)
"Aibou, you have friends, people who care for you."
"So I've gotta stay alive to keep everyone else happy?"
"Terri, what would your parents think if they could see you in this state, bitter and suicidal?" The instant the words left my mouth, she drew back as if I were on fire, eyes wild.
"How dare you?!" she demanded. "Who are you to talk about 'what would my parents think?!' Why would they even care?!"
"Hikari, listen to yourself!"
"It's true! My otōsan was an archaeologist, and my okāsan was a lawyer. They both buried themselves in their work, and Tōchan was never around!" She narrowed her eyes and retrieved the dagger I had discarded, (A/N: Same one!) advancing on me with a maniacal expression. "Get out," she said softly.
"Hikari," I said in a stunned whisper. "What are you doing?"
"I said get OUT!" she screamed, leaping at me.
Thank Ra my reflexes are so quick, I thought, jumping to the side. "Hikari, yameru!"
"So you're a little quicker than I thought. Well, I'm quicker than you think, too!" She took me by surprise and pinned me to the floor. "Funny how a knife can be so comforting, yet terrify someone else, nē?" she asked, clamping a hand around my throat.
"What makes you think you've frightened me?" (S/N: Did you really expect me to admit it if she did?)
"I can see it in your eyes. I'm not stupid; I can tell fear. I've seen it enough in my own eyes. Time to say bye-bye, Sybil." My eyes widened and my heart began racing when she drew back the dagger. (S/N: What did you think would happen? I was expecting to be killed! Is that even possible…?) Closing my eyes, I awaited the final strike, only to hear a horrified gasp and a metallic clatter. Tentatively, I opened my eyes and saw Terri a few feet away, her back to me and her shoulders shaking. The dagger was in the opposite corner, shining with unspoken malice. Catching my breath, as my throat had been released, I climbed to my feet and walked over to her. "Terri?"
"Onegai, go," she whispered.
"Iie, not until I know you're all right," I insisted, masking my anxiety.
"I'm not, and I won't be until you go," she said a little louder, her voice breaking. "Sybil, I'm not thinking clearly! You're putting yourself in danger by being here! If--if I snap like that again, I could lose my mind for good. I could kill you!" she exclaimed, burying her head in my shoulder. (A/N: Once again, *Terri and Sybil join in* NO YURI!)
"Hikari, that would be impossible," I said with a small laugh. "I have been dead for 5000 years; spirits cannot be killed."
"That may be, but it scares me, and if I lose control of myself again, I'll try anyway! Just keep control of my body until I'm calm again."
"All right. Let me know when you want control back, aibou," I replied, exiting her soul room. (A/N: End angst; here it'll mellow out to drama!)
Back in the real world (still Sybil's POV)
"Oh, you're awake," Iris said when I blinked to clear my eyes.
"How's Terri?" Joey asked. (A/N: How sweet….)
"What's that supposed to mean?!" (A/N: Not anger, just worry!)
"Her mind is clouded, she needs time to sort her thoughts. She said she will take control back later, but she is a bit upset right now." Well, that was an understatement, I thought sardonically.
Un, but I appreciate it, Terri said.
Of course, I responded.
"Gomen nasai, but it wouldn't have taken that long if she was just 'a bit' upset," Iris frowned. "What really happened?"
Onegai, don't tell her! I don't want too many people to know about it! Terri pleaded.
All right. "I cannot say," I replied shortly.
"Well, you can tell me in private; Terri knows I can keep a secret!"
"You don't understand, Iris; at Terri's request, what happened will leave neither of our minds," I responded, a bit more harshly than I'd intended.
she said slowly, eyes downcast.
"I meant no offense," I said, sighing, "but what was said and…nearly done--" at this I unconsciously rubbed my neck, suppressing a shudder "frightened her, so she wants to collect herself before switching places in order to be sure she can maintain her self-control."
"Well, tell her we're here for her if she needs us," she said.
"Un!" Joey added.
"Right!" Yugi put in.
"Of course!" Ryou commented.
"Sure!" Tristan remarked.
"She heard, and she says she appreciates it," I replied.
"Well, we better get home; much as I hate to admit, Kaiba was right about there bein' school tomorrow," Joey said. "Besides, this is too much drama for my tastes."
"You have taste?" Tristan retorted.
"Ano, sayōnara, Yugi," Ryou said slowly, walking out the door. "See you tomorrow!" he added as Joey and Tristan followed, still arguing.
"Ano, Sybil, you can find Terri's room, right?"
"Hai. Those two are strange," I replied, shaking my head.
"Joey and Tristan? You get used to them."
"I suppose it will be necessary."
"'Night, Sybil!" Iris chirped.
[KO: *has stopped chasing Terri and is reclining on a couch* What'd ya think? That's all for this chapter, and what a long chapter! but depending on how many reviews I get, the next one will be out soon!
Terri: *relaxing on the opposite end of the
couch* *raises eyebrow* So you're bribing them now?
KO: *shrugs* Whatever works--hey! I just need ideas!
Terri: -_-' You and your reviews….Eh, at least I'm not a suicidal-homicidal maniac anymore….I'll just go do the preview now. Iris, care to help me out?
Iris: Sure! ^_^
Preview and Summary of Chapter 10 - Anything But That!
Terri: Next time on MPYP, spring break ends for everyone else, so Iris and I have to go to…*shudders* school with them! *shudders again* Not that I mind going to school with them, but--
Iris: You never did like school much, did you?
Terri: Not at all; never had a reason to. Anyway, we meet up with a less-than-charming, at least in my opinion, new student--boy, this sounds familiar *Iris points at Terri*--, and what I'd like to know is how the guy gets his own game shop! I mean, he's still in high school!
Iris: Terri, you're givin' stuff away!
Terri: *looks at what she just said* Oh, crap! At least I didn't mention certain…other traits of his….Like, for example *whispers in Iris's ear*
Iris: Yeah, that would give it away….Anyway, on to the preview!
Terri: By the way, I saw that….
Iris: Saw what?
Terri: You pointing at me up there! *points at beginning of summary*
Iris: ^_^' Oh, that? I was just joking!
Iris: o.o Eep! *runs as Terri chases her*
KO: Really sorry about the short preview, but I'm still in the middle of writing chapter 10, so…you get the picture!
Preview of Chapter 10:
"Class, we have a couple of new students today!" the teacher chirped, sounding overly happy.
"You got who for homeroom?!" Joey asked. "The Wicked Witch of Expel herself!"
"'Expel?'" I squeaked. "Great, and I had to have her for the class I'm most likely to fall asleep in!"
"I pity you."
"I challenge you to a duel after school, loser does whatever the winner wants, and if I win, you close down your game shop!"
Translations from Japanese:
Otōsan - Father
Okāsan - Mother
Gomen nasai - I'm sorry (more polite than simply "gomen")
Yameru - Stop
Sayōnara - Goodbye
KO: Well, that's all for this chapter--
Terri/Iris: You already said that.
KO: I know, but I wanted to say a little more than "review please!" That said, review please!
Terri/Iris: *facevault* *twitch, twitch*
Sybil: -_-' To think that this is the person in control of our very lives….
Terri/Iris: We try not to think of that….*twitch, twitch*]