Finding the Light
Chapter 4 – Masks Fall Away
By Tsubasa no Yami
Disclaimer: "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and all its characters, settings, the seven Millennium Items (Puzzle, Ring, Eye, Key/Ankh, Necklace/Tauk, Scale, Rod) and Duel Monsters do not belong to me. They belong to Kazuki Takahashi, the creator. I do not own "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus". Kimberly, Kahina, and the Aeon Items are mine alone.
There is a list of the dubbed and Japanese names at the top of the first chapter.
Also, there may be (well, probably are) discrepancies with the card uses. Please, tell me. It'd be greatly appreciated.
This leaves canon (the anime) after the Duelist Kingdom arc. The duelists have returned and Grandpa is out of the hospital, but Rebecca Hawkins never challenged any of them to a duel.
And, I hope this isn't a Mary Sue. I would be extremely happy if someone told me what a Mary Sue is, so I can warn readers or take this down.
/dialogue between hikaris and their yamis/
"dialogue within flashback"
/narration outside of flashback/
Chapter 3: Truths
After the duel, Kimberly calls a meeting with Kaiba, Yugi, Bakura, and the latter two's yamis. Shaadi in the Kaiba Corp. headquarters, attracted by the gathering of Millennium Item holders. With his Millennium Key, the group enters Kimberly's mind, where they discover that the girl they have met is actually Kahina, Kimberly's yami. Kahina leads them to her soul room and explains the legend behind the Aeon Items.
The Aeon Items are seven talismans created by a group of magicians called the Chaos Guardians in order to separate the human realm from the Shadow Realm. Each Aeon Item controls a specific element and carries the soul of its original wielder.
The final surprise comes when Kahina asks for assistance in rescuing her hikari, Kimberly. Everyone agrees, and they return to their bodies.
As Kahina leaves, she mentions an upcoming Sadie Hawkins masquerade that will be held by Kaiba Corp. in a week. Mai asks Joey and Téa asks Yugi and Yami; the boys accept.
Yami Bakura wandered aimlessly through the park. His light side had spent hours looking for a costume Yami Bakura would even consider wearing. They settled on Neo the Magic Swordsman. Yami Bakura had objected dressing as a monster of Light, but his only remaining choice was to go as the Unknown Warrior of Fiend, which he refused outright. Something about, "I may be a tomb robber, but I do have taste." They had dropped off the costume at Bakura's house. When he knew Bakura was asleep, Yami Bakura took over and prowled the streets of Domino.
'What am I doing here in the middle of the night?' Yami Bakura asked himself. 'There's nothing to do in the park.' He sat down on a bench in front of a still lake. No stars had appeared in the sky, and the light of the lamppost he sat under didn't touch the surface of the lake. Yami Bakura watched as the vermilion moon rose, a garnet on a sky of black velvet. He almost felt at home in the darkness, the world around him only illuminated by the moon.
Startled, he jumped up, noticing a coal-black silhouette against the moon's reflection in the inky lake. "Who's there?" Yami Bakura demanded gruffly. He saw the shadow move closer, just out of the streetlamp's circle of light. "Show yourself!"
The figure stepped forward and threw back the hood of his cloak. "I didn't realize you came here." Kahina gave him a slight smile.
Yami Bakura crossed his arms, a look of defiance on his face. "I go wherever I please. Tonight, it's the park."
"Well, I am glad I ran into you. It would be awkward if I had to ask you at school."
"Ask me what?"
"Yami Bakura, would you join me at the Kaiba Corporation masquerade?"
Silence. "Did those mortals put you up to this?"
"No, I'm not."
"I can tell when someone is lying; I've done it enough to know."
"Yami Bakura, it would not be the truth if I told you that I've never lied to you. I lied to you, your hikari, and your classmates on my first day of school with you, and I've lied to you only thrice before. And I would be lying if I told you I would never deceive you again. But this is not one of those times." Kahina told him earnestly. "I'm asking you to the dance because I would like your company."
He looked at her incredulously. "You knew me before?"
"Yes." She nodded. "I can tell you part of your past, but only if you will be my… date." Kahina shook her head slightly at that last word. She had heard Kimberly and her friends use that term, but it was foreign to her. "These people these days… Their vocabulary is odd, alien. But that is beside the point. Will you accompany me to the dance next week?"
She smiled and kissed him of the cheek. "I'll see you there at eight." Kahina walked away and disappeared into the deepening darkness.
Yami Bakura stood there for a moment, shocked. He wasn't sure what surprised him more: him agreeing to go, or Kahina kissing him.
/Nice going, yami./ Bakura thought, a hint of a smirk apparent.
Yami Bakura growled. /How long have you been awake?/
/Long enough. Aren't you glad we got you that costume?/
/Yes./ The tomb robber grudgingly replied. /Now get us home while I sleep./
Bakura could tell that last part was more of a command than a request. /All right./ He sighed, taking over, and walked home.
A shadowy form had watched him and Kahina talking under the lone streetlight. He turned in the opposite direction that Bakura was headed, intent on reporting this interesting piece of information to his master.
A week had passed, and it was the night of the Sadie Hawkins masquerade held by the Kaiba Corporation. Many of the early invitees were mingling in the lobby of the largest hotel in Domino, each one dressed as a different Duel Monster. A group of five students stood by the large windows, conversing among themselves.
"Wow, Joey, I didn't think Mai would be able to stop you from coming as the Flame Swordsman." Téa said, expressing her surprise. She was dressed as her favorite monster, the spell-casting Magician of Faith.
"Yeah, well, Mai wouldn't let me have a costume with a sword." Joey shrugged in his White Magical Hat costume. "Oh well."
"Come on, Joey, you know you look better in this than as the Flame Swordsman." Mai commented. "Besides, with a sword that large, you'll fall over." She was clothed as the Mysterious Puppeteer.
"That's probably true." Yugi smiled.
"Look who's talkin', Mr. Dark Magician." Joey muttered. "I can't believe they gave ya a staff."
"What?" Yugi asked innocently. "This?" He lightly hit Joey over the head with it.
"Yeah, that." Joey rubbed his head. "Anyways, where's Bakura?"
Tristan pointed at the entrance. "There he is now."
Yami Bakura stalked over to the group, garbed as Neo the Magic Swordsman. "Has anyone seen Kahina?"
Joey elbowed Yugi lightly in the ribs. "How come the killer yami gets a sword?" He whispered.
"I don't know." Yugi whispered back. He turned to Yami Bakura. "We haven't seen her yet. Do you know what monster she's dressed as?"
"She never said." Yami Bakura glanced around. "But I'm not wading through a sea of mortals to find her."
"No need. I came to you." Kahina stood behind him, appearing to be the incarnation of the Wingweaver card.
Yami Bakura turned and did a double take. All the masqueraders had donned costumes, wigs, colored contacts, and even make-up to look as much as a Duel Monster as they could, but Kahina had some unidentifiable quality that personified the six-winged angel of peace that was like no other. "You look—Wow." For once, he was speechless.
"Nice costume, Kahina." Téa complimented. "It's amazing how much you look like Wingweaver."
"Thank you. You all look very splendid in your costumes." Kahina smiled at Yami Bakura. "You look handsome in that armor."
Yami Bakura blushed and muttered a "thank you."
"Aw… Bakura and Kahina, sittin' in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-"
Smack! Whap! Bonk!
"Ow… What was that for?" Joey rubbed his head.
Mai placed her hands on her hips. She had hit him with her purse. "You are so immature sometimes."
"And besides… Yami Bakura would have hurt you if Yugi hadn't stopped him." Téa held her staff firmly. "So we're here to keep you from provoking him. Right, Yugi?" She looked over.
Yami Yugi was poised to give the other yami another hard knock over the head with his staff. "Huh?" He guiltily looked at the staff and hurried to hide it behind his back. "Sorry… He heh…"
Téa was surprised. "Yami, when did you switch places with Yugi?"
"Uh… When the tomb robber tried to kill Joey." Yami shrugged. "Yugi is too nice. He would not hurt Yami Bakura because he did not want to hurt his hikari."
"Argh… Bakura's gonna feel this in the morning." Yami Bakura grumbled.
"Oh, Yami Bakura, you're as proud as ever." Kahina smiled slightly. "It's quite alright, Joey. I don't mind, but you must be careful around Yami Bakura."
"I can tell. Thank ya for not banging me over the head with a stick." Joey grinned wryly. "Too bad my costume doesn't come with a helmet."
Mai laughed. "I'm sorry, but I didn't think you would need one. Apparently, I was wrong."
"Look, it's Miho." Yami spotted the girl by the door. /Yugi, you may take over now./ He switched with Yugi.
"Hey, Miho!" Yugi smiled. "Now the whole gang's here."
"Just in time, too." Téa commented. "The ballroom doors are opening."
"Time ta make our grand entrance!" Joey offered his arm to Mai, who graciously accepted.
"Come on, girls and boys. It's showtime." Mai entered the ballroom with Joey, descending the red-carpeted marble stairway.
Tristan and Miho quickly followed, Tristan heading straight toward the buffet table to join Joey. (AN: Surprise, surprise.)
The magician couple walked down next, taking in all of the decorations and details.
The two yamis also looked around on their way to join the others, both surveying the area: one for enemies, the other for exits.
The friends, excluding the two stuffing their faces, watched as more pairs walked down the staircase. The last two were Seto Kaiba and an unfamiliar girl.
At that instant, Joey had looked over and nearly choked. "Kaiba got a girl!"
"Actually, it's more like "a girl got Kaiba."" Miho corrected.
"Whichever it is, it's surprising." Téa added.
Kahina stared at Kaiba's date. A spark of recognition came. "Who is she?" She whispered softly. But it was too late; the memory had fled.
Yami Bakura gave her a sidelong look and said something very uncharacteristic of a tomb robber. "Are you alright?" There was genuine concern in his voice. "You look…"
/Beautiful?/ Bakura chimed in.
Yami Bakura was about to snap back, but he couldn't argue with the truth. /Some privacy, mortal./ He growled.
Bakura chuckled. /All right then./ He returned to his soul room.
His yami sighed. He was rubbing off on his hikari. Unfortunately. "You look… troubled." Yes, "troubled" was the word he was searching for.
Kahina blinked and looked at him. "Huh?" She absentmindedly pushed back a strand of the lilac wig that had fallen on her face. "Oh, it was nothing, Yami Bakura." Her brows were knitted in confusion, though.
Before he could pursue the matter, Kaiba spoke. "As you are all well aware, this masquerade being held by Kaiba Corp. is not all fun-"
"And neither is he." Téa muttered.
"-and games." Kaiba continued. "You are all here as specially chosen duelists and their guests. The real reason you are here will appear shortly." His curt message was carried over three Blue Eyes White Dragons speakers spread around the room.
"Well, he's as cheerful as ever." Mai quipped. She grabbed Joey's hand. "Come on, Joey, let's dance." She pulled him toward the dance floor in the middle.
"Uh, sure, Mai-" Joey finished his cookie, then was dragged after her.
Tristan looked to Miho. "We can't let them have all the fun, can we?" He gestured to the group of dancers.
"Now you're talking!" Miho smiled.
"Téa, show them how to do it." Yugi suggested. He took her staff and laid it and his own along the wall. Yugi walked onto the dance floor with Téa.
"Alright!" Téa laughed. "Time to clear the floor."
Yami Bakura watched as most of the invitees moved onto the dance floor. He looked at Kahina.
/Ask her to dance./ Bakura suggested.
/I don't need advice from you, mortal./ Yami Bakura growled.
Bakura would've shaken his head in disapproval, but his yami was currently in control of his body. He settled for a sigh instead. /Well, it's good advice. Besides, when was the last time you had a date?/
/My memories are gone, remember?/
/True. That is exactly the reason why you should listen to me. That is, if you want Kahina to stay with you./
Yami Bakura looked at Kahina thoughtfully. She was still distracted. /Oh, all right!/ He snapped. /This had better work./ He tapped Kahina lightly on the shoulder. "Would you like to dance?"
Kahina snapped out of her reverie. Her hikari was in danger, and here she was, having fun. It wasn't right. "Dance?" She repeated. She had stopped dancing 5000 years ago, and so much had changed. Would life return to normal if she danced? She would have laughed at the stupid notion, but Yami Bakura was looking at her so earnestly. "Yes, I'd love to." She took his proffered arm and they walked out onto the dance floor.
A slow song began to play. Yami Bakura turned to face Kahina and placed his hands along her waist. He growled softly. "At least this song is decent."
Kahina smiled, resting her arms around his neck. "Agreed. But, what would these mortals think of our music?"
His frown deepened, even more so when she laughed softly. "Point taken." He pulled her closer. "You are clever." Yami Bakura grinned. "I could use a partner like you."
Kahina laid her head on his chest, letting her hands slide off of his shoulders. She sighed. "It didn't work out before, love, and destiny will not allow it to change."
"What do you mean?" Yami Bakura asked, his smile fading. He held her at arm's length, his eyes searching. "What didn't work out? How do you know? Tell me."
Kahina avoided his eyes. "The only reason you agreed to come with me was to learn of your past, is it not?" She asked softly.
"Of course not." Yami Bakura scoffed. "I chose to come with you because I like you."
"Don't lie to me, Kurai." Kahina met his eyes, her own two challenging him to argue. Her voice carried an edge to it not present before. "You only decided to come because I promised to tell you about your past."
"Well…" It was true; he had. "I've enjoyed being here with you. But, yes, I need to know about my past."
"I know." Her voice softened, but her eyes did not.
"Then, please, tell me." Yami Bakura pleaded, gently taking her hand and leading Kahina away from the group. He took her to a corner sheltered with silk screens.
Kahina sat down in a fluffy chair, watching Yami Bakura sit down across from her, knees almost touching hers. "It is best to start at the beginning…"
/You were born under the 20th dynasty, after the rule of Pharaoh Ramses the Second. It was a time of peace and prosperity. In the same year, the future Pharaoh Be-" Kahina faltered for a second before recovering. "-Yami, son of Pharaoh Ankhasenut and Queen Neferankha, was born. You grew up as an only child to members of the upper class. After your parents died, you left your home and roamed with a merchant caravan./
A teen, no older than 14, rode in the front of a caravan, driving the camels. His wild white hair and pale skin contrasted sharply with the tanned face of his companion. "Where will we camp?" The boy asked, adjusting his grip on the reins.
"We will stay at the oasis outside of Thebes." The turbaned man replied, focusing his fathomless blue eyes on the horizon. "As always, young Kurai."
Recognizing the questioning tone, Kurai replied. "You taught me never to assume anything. Why would I begin to assume our destinations now, old Adathoth?" He smirked slightly.
"You speak the truth, young one." They fell into a comfortable silence, worn well until the camels' hooves touched the soft grass of the oasis. "Water the camels, and prepare for the night." Adathoth advised, descending to the green carpet. "You know what we do." He disappeared into the growing darkness.
"All right." Kurai nimbly leapt down and unharnessed the camels. He led them to the spring, tying their reins to a palm tree. Kurai looked up as he heard the sound of hooves. "Marik."
The blond Egyptian looked over. "Tonight, after Adathoth returns, we shall strike." He let his own camels drink. "We must care for our "guests" until then." Marik smiled wickedly. "Ambassador Menekura is quite a find."
Kurai shook his head disapprovingly, but his eyes betrayed him. "Sharanitut is a jewel compared to her."
Marik smirked. "You only say that because Menekura is too much of a woman for you to handle."
Kurai turned away and shrugged. "Well, if that is true, then Dekhafe is too much woman for you."
"Grrr…" Marik tackled his friend, and they ended up in a dustcloud fight.
"Well, what do we have here?" A beautiful blond stood by the palm tree that the camels were reined to. She crossed her arms and smirked, mirth sparkling in her amethyst eyes.
Abruptly, the fightling stopped, with Marik facedown on the ground and Kurai sitting on his back. "Mmph!" Marik cursed into the dirt. He rolled over, knocking Kurai off, and sat up. "Ambassador!" He brushed the dirt from his face and hair.
Kurai growled and grabbed Marik by the collar of his cotton shirt. "Do that again and you'll be left behind next time you oversleep." He let go and stood up, bowing to Menekura. "Ambassador, Adathoth will return after he sends a messenger to the Pharaoh's palace in Thebes. Until then, come to me with any concerns." Bowing again, Kurai left to tend to other matters.
"Erk…" Marik let out a strangled gasp and sweatdropped. "I'm sorry you saw that, Ambassador."
"It's quite alright. Marik, is it? Well, Marik, I just love a man who doesn't let others walk all over him." Menekura winked flirtatiously.
"Now… Do you know where a girl may bathe in privacy?" Menekura gestured out toward the desert. "I feel as though I've ridden through a sandstorm."
Marik scrambled to his feet and awkwardly bowed. "Of course… I am here to serve." He pointed to the stream flowing from the spring. "The water flows around a bend, where your servants may set up a curtain." Straightening up, he took his leave.
When the sky was dark and the desert air chill, the moon god Khonsu found two cloaked figures crossing the Nile River into the Valley of the Queens. "Hurry! Before the guards return…" The first hissed, lugging the boat into some reeds.
"All right… By Ra, be quiet." His companion replied, stealing up to a rock face.
The remaining shadow watched the waters lap against the shore. "If Adathoth finds out, we'll be following the wagons on foot!" The moon reflected in narrowed lavender eyes. "Or worse…"
A few gold pieces and a guard later… 'Where is that damn entrance?!' Thunk! "Ow…" The man, evident from his voice, rubbed his head where it had made contact with a stone wall. Luckily, he had been graced by the gods with a thick mane of soft hair, which had acted as a cushion.
"What?" A girl whipped her head around at a sound, dark hair flying into her face. 'Sounded like an "ow".' She rose from her kneeling position and bowed her head in one final prayer. "I will not fail you… And when the time comes, I will cross the Nile and see you again." (AN: The ancient Egyptians believe that when you died, your spirit would cross the Nile River.)
"Princess…" A brown-haired boy emerged from the shadows of the cliff. "Please, return to the palace. You will catch cold out here."
"So?" Raising an ebony eyebrow, she steadied her emerald gaze on him. "You know it isn't tradition for a female descendent of Ra to be Pharaoh. So, I need not care, Seth."
"But, princess—!" The boy started.
"Kahina is my name." Kahina interrupted. "Please, address me as such."
"Yes, prin—er, Kahina. But, your family!" Seth objected. "Yami would be devastated. And so would I." The last sentence was added softly.
"Oh, come off of it, Seth." The princess scowled into the darkness. "You know you will leave this friendship behind, and find a woman more deserving of you than I am. And Yami…" She paused, before continuing in a melancholy tone. "…Yami will be busy with his duties as Pharaoh. Too busy to care, like Father." Bitterly, she laughed. "High Priest Seth won't have to worry about the princess anymore, safe in her tomb. He'll be a messenger to the gods—"
"And you will be my patron goddess. When your time comes. But it is not your time, not yet." The brunet shook his head emphatically. "So you will leave with me, or I will carry you back."
"Leave me be for a few moments longer." She walked back to the tomb entrance, gently tracing the hieroglyphics with a delicate finger. "I must speak with Mother in privacy."
Seth reached out a hand to comfort her, but let it drop to his side. "I will be waiting by your barge." He turned and walked away.
Leaning her head against the stone, Kahina closed her eyes and traced a series of symbols. "Neferankha, beloved wife and mother, queen of two Egypts, mistress of the Nile, now rests in the Lake of the Lilies. She leaves behind Ankhasenut, son of Ra; Ankhare, prince of Egypt; and Kahina, princess of Egypt. May Ra shine upon her forever."
"That's cute. What are you, a professional mourner, paid by the Pharaoh and his family?" A snide voice spoke from behind her. "So… this is what our taxes pay for: flowers and bad actresses."
"Leave, tomb robber; this is not your place." She schooled her voice, deathly calm. "Lest you wish to die here." It was not a question, but a caveat.
"I have come here so she can live on, a little poorer; live the life of an average person." He walked around her to the entrance in the rock face. "Everyday, hundreds die in poverty on the streets of Cairo, Thebes, Heliopolis. I'm just trying to help them, those who need it."
"Then do not disturb her slumber. I will give you what I have, and bring more if it will not suffice." Kahina unclasped her necklace and held it out. "Take this and consider this offer before you enter. Please."
"How much wealth does an actress have to give?" Arching an eyebrow skeptically, Kurai took the jewelry and examined it. Rubies and sapphires sparkled in the moonlight. "A royal scarab?" He turned her around to face him, holding her arm to prevent her from escaping. "Where did you get this?"
Eyes to the floor, she turned away. "As payment. Is it not enough?"
"It is, for now." Kurai released her. "But I will be back for more. How long will you be here?"
"Until the new moon. Then I move on to the next." She began to trudge to her barge.
"Wait!" Kurai jogged up to her. "Leave your jewels under an offering of cloth by the tomb door after Ra returns home." (AN: After dusk.) He flashed her a wolfish grin. "Or come with me. You are as beautiful to look upon as the gorgeous piece of metalwork." He held up the scarab pendant.
"Tomorrow, after dusk." Kahina threw a cowl over her head, green eyes locked with his brown ones. "Only then will you see me." She disappeared into the darkness.
He looked up at the stars. "Ra, what have I gotten myself into?"
Author's Comments –
I'm posting this as a belated Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa/New Year/holiday gift for everyone who has reviewed. I'm so sorry for not updating sooner.
Heh… About that other Yami/Téa: sorry for not posting it. This has been my main priority (behind school), so I haven't finished writing the first chapter. It's gonna be AU from the end of the Battle City Arc.
And, in the spirit of the holiday season, I give a short Christmas Yami/Téa vignette (which is also my first attempt at fluff). Enjoy!
The Gardner house was decorated from top to bottom in the Christmas spirit. The tall brunette daughter of the house, Téa Gardner, hummed merrily as she finished arranging plates of refreshments for her friends. This year, she was chosen by her friends ("Democratically elected" were the exact words.) to host their annual Christmas gathering.
The teenager turned on the radio, filling the room with familiar holiday songs, just as the doorbell rang. "I'll get it!" Téa went to the door, straightening the Santa hat that perched on her chocolate tresses. She opened the door, smiling when she saw who it was. "Yami! I'm so glad you could make it."
"We wouldn't miss it…" The former pharaoh looked her over, smirking slightly at the sight of his friend clad in a red velvet dress with black leather belt and white fur trim. "…Mrs. Claus."
"Well, it's all in the spirit of Christmas." She shrugged dismissively. "So, where's Yugi?"
Yami brought a green cloth sack from behind his back. "He kept on worrying that someone wouldn't like the presents we brought."
"We'll find out soon enough." Téa pushed open the door completely. "Please, come in."
The tricolor-haired teen took a step forward before asking, "What is that?"
"Huh?" His friend glanced up at the lintel, sapphire eyes widening in shock. "It's mistletoe." 'I should've suspected something was up when Joey volunteered to help me set up.'
Yami blinked in confusion. "Its purpose?"
"Um…" Téa muttered an explanation under her breath, all the while blushing as red as her dress.
"Excuse me?" He heard Yugi laughing in his soul room.
"You're supposed to kiss under the mistletoe."
"Oh." Pause. "Oh." Recognition crossed his features, followed closely by a grin rivaling that of the Cheshire Cat's. "Like this?" Yami let his bag fall to the floor before covering the distance between the two and kissing her.
Téa let her eyes shut as she returned the kiss, letting her hand tangle in his hair. She was in pure bliss…
…That is, until she heard catcalls and cheering.
After the two separated, they turned to see two blondes standing outside.
"Mai, Joey." Yami greeted each with a nod, slipping his arm around Téa's waist.
"Mai, I should have realized it was you." Téa smiled. "None of Joey's plans would ever work."
And a new song began to play:
"I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus
Underneath the mistletoe last night…"
What do you think? Creative criticism, comments, and compliments are welcome. Flames will be ignored. Please review.