Yu-Gi-Oh!
Doppelganger: Episode 01
A Girl Named Puzzle
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Konnichwa, minna-san! It's Skyla Doragono, and I've once again re-released my unofficial Yu-Gi-Oh! OAV, Doppelganger. This is the third time this has been rewritten, and I hope I got it right this time. I like the story idea too much to drop it, but it's that damn Mary-Sue threat to one of my OCs that drives me nutz. _

As always, read, enjoy, and then review!
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The castle echoed with the sounds of heavy breathing and wild shots, as the guards of Pegasus J. Crawford's private island chased down their quarry. Their chase was not about to get any easier, however. The individual they were pursuing was proving extremely hard to catch, putting even the most skilled thief of ancient times to shame, and while it seemed this person was no more than that - a common thief - something was definitely amiss. Some guards that were giving chase vanished without a trace - never to be seen again - while others encountered their worst nightmares, putting what their boss would do to them when he found out the person escaped to shame.

The person only stopped once, amongst the sound of tinkling metal. Said individual stooped to collect what was dropped, only to suddenly be staring at the barrel of a gun.

"End of the line, girly," the guard said, motioning for her to stand up. "Move. I don't want to kill a kid."

The girl - for she was hardly old enough to be called a woman - just smirked in a challenging manner.

"Soue o dokana?" she asked, perfect Japanese masking something more sinister... more ancient.

"Why you-"

Before the guard could even finish, he was gone, having vanished into an endless dark void. The girl picked up the last of the golden pieces she had dropped, before disappearing into her own set of shadows...

~.oOOo.~

The bells of Domino City High School rang true and clear that sunny afternoon, announcing the end of school for the day. This relieved Yugi Mutou, more so than any other teenager. It was days like today that made him regret having to participate in the Duelist Kingdom Tournament, for now wherever he went, people pointed to him and uttered under their breaths, "That's the runt that beat Pegasus!" At first, it did not bother him that much, but when it got to the point that people were following him home, or copying his style - what little of it he had as it was - or even trying to shake his hand... well, it was just too much for the normally shy boy.

~~I could send them all to the Shadow Realm, you know...~~

Yugi repressed a snicker; he did not want people looking at him as if he were mental. He had one person who always followed him around, and while sometimes this person was sarcastic to the point that even he wanted to smack him, he would not have anyone else around with him.

~~Ne, mou hitori no boku, that wouldn't be very nice, you know...~~

The other him just chuckled, a low rich sound that seemed to hum in the back of his mind. Yugi resisted the urge to laugh himself as he pictured his other self floating about his Soul Room, laughing like the kid they both were.

~~Oui, aibou,~~ his other self continued. ~~What are you doing after school today?~~

Yugi just sighed. ~~I dunno. Probably my homework; why you ask?~~

He heard a thud as his other self fell over in exasperation. ~~Aibou, your homework doesn't have to be done until Monday!~~

Yugi mentally pouted. ~~I like being prepared... Hey!~~

The young teenager suddenly found himself in his own Soul Room as his other self made them change positions.

~~Don't worry, aibou,~~ his other said with a mental wink. ~~I'm going to show you some fun, even if it kills me... again.~~

Yugi sweatdropped. ~~Mou hitori no boku...!~~ he whined.

The other Yugi just smirked a casual smirk, running a hand through the tri-colored spiky hair he shared with his partner, before setting off for the nearest place that could be described as fun.

~.oOOo.~

If they gave out prizes for dull looks, Seto Kaiba would have won first prize as he watched the goings on of his new Kaiba Land dueling amusement park. He would not deny the fact that his dream of opening a park for everyone to enjoy was something he had always wanted to come true, but watching it run as smoothly as it was, was more boring than doing productivity reports. The young CEO of Kaiba Corporation was about to get up and leave, when he saw something the made a foul taste rise up in his mouth.

Yugi Mutou.

Seto growled under his breath, before grabbing his briefcase and storming out. He did not need nor want to have to deal with his only rival at the moment.

He left before he could see the other person follow Yugi in close behind...

~.oOOo.~

The other Yugi fought the urge to smirk openly. Now this was where he felt at home; amongst other duelists trying to conquer one another. He did not know why, nor could he even begin to explain the reason he got a thrill every time he was in such a situation. There was only one problem with being in such a place at the moment.

~~We're being tailed, aibou.~~

Yugi groaned mentally. ~~Not another weirdo...~~

~~Only one way to find out...~~

With that said, the other Yugi started weaving in and out of the crowds surrounding the various duel rings, trying desperately to loose his pursuer. Despite his best efforts, he could not seem to loose the person. He was starting to wonder if the person was doing this on purpose, when he realized he had been inadvertently led to a roped off Duel Ring, from which a large sign that said "Under Construction" in several different languages was hanging.

~~Now what...?~~ Yugi muttered irritably.

~~Eh... I'm working on that...~~

The other Yugi did not have to be connected to his partner to know that the small teenager had a huge sweatdrop on his forehead. Seeing no other way to get out, the other Yugi turned, ready to bust his way past whoever it was. He was not expecting to see a girl dressed in rags standing behind him, nor to see an encroaching darkness behind her... or the small golden object hanging from around her neck...

~.oOOo.~

Ryou Bakura sighed half heartedly as he slowly made his way home from school, passing the finally open to the public Kaiba Land along the way. He paused a moment to fish through his pocket, wondering if he had enough change to play a couple quick rounds. Of course, then he remembered he left his deck at home, so that ended that debate.

Ryou was about to leave, when he felt a tugging at the back of his mind. Squeezing his eyes shut, he took off at a run for the nearest alley, praying silently for the annoying presence within himself to just go away for once. When he finally managed to reach his safe haven, the tugging finally faded to the point that he could hardly tell it was there. The young teenager breathed a sigh of relief, closing his eyes as he ran a hand through his snow-white hair. Next time his father gave him some strange and mysterious object from Egypt, he was so running in the opposite -

He looked up a moment, opening his chocolate brown eyes... only to find himself staring in a narrower, colder version of them. Blinking several times, Ryou did the only logical thing most people who find themselves staring at their evil twin do.

He screamed bloody murder.

The other Ryou panicked a moment, before slapping a near transparent hand over his other self's mouth.

"Ra damn you, bakayarou!" Bakura hissed. "Not only do you talk like a girl, you scream like one too."

Ryou slapped his other self's hand away. "Like you have much room to talk! You're part of me, remember? You talk and scream like a girl too!"

Bakura sweatdropped. "Not of my own choice, mind you," he reminded pointedly, before chasing the perspiration mark away with a shake of his head. At this point, Ryou was starting to get frustrated.

"What do you want?" he demanded. "Half the time, you just kick me in the butt before taking over my body. This is the first time I've ever spoken more than two words to you!"

Bakura held up a finger. "One," he announced, before clonking his other half on the head, "you need to calm down."

Ryou was thinking of some pleasant swear words as he rubbed the spot where his other self clonked him one. Bakura just crossed his arms, a bored look on his face.

"Two," he continued when he was sure he had Ryou's attention, "have you checked my Ring lately?"

Ryou blinked; Honda had thrown away that Ring... right? He quickly unbuttoned his school jacket to see quite the opposite. Blinking rather stupidly, the young teenager could only watch as two points on the Sennen Ring came to life, pointing toward the Kaiba Land main building. However, something was different; one of the points was glowing BLACK. He looked up, about to ask his other self why, only to see that he was staring off at the building.

"Everything makes a certain balance in this world," Bakura explained after a long pause. "No matter what, there can't be more or less of something, or the balance will be thrown off."

Ryou blinked; who would have thought his other self had a contemplative side?

"There can only be seven Sennen Items in this world," he continued. "Puzzle, Rod, Ankh, Scale, Tauk, Eye, and - of course - Ring. Disrupt this balance and you've got chaos on your hands."

As if to exemplify the point, the ground started to shake. Ryou lost his footing, but his other self managed to reach out and grab him. Bakura did not take his eyes off the building once as half the roof exploded, showing an expanding Darkness that seemed to swallow everything. Ryou's eyes nearly took up his face at the sight of it.

"Mou hitori no boku! We gotta do something!" he exclaimed, tugging at the hand that was holding onto him. Bakura just gave him a dull look.

"No, really? Wouldn't have guessed."

~.oOOo.~

Seto looked like he was about ready to kill, after all, how often is it that something you work so hard on falls on top of you in a matter of weeks after its opening? He held his briefcase over his head, while ignoring the mindless idiots running past him. At least the guards were doing their job, which was more than he expected.

The CEO was about to find one of those guards and demand to know what was going on, when someone collided into him from behind. He turned and glared, only to see a white haired boy he recognized from class; was he not another one of Yugi's moron friends? Whoever he was, he was giving him a rather unnerving smirk.

"Oui, Moneybags," he sneered. "Looks like we're the only ones crazy enough to go INTO a crumbling building, ne?"

Seto blinked, confused by his manner. He was normally the quiet type like Yugi, right...? That was when he realized something: there had been times that Yugi, ever since he started wearing that gaudy medallion, had acted completely out of character. This white-haired boy was wearing another weird trinket with a similar design as his rival's. Put two and two together, and it was pretty easy to get the gist of what was going on.

He narrowed his eyes at the shorter boy. "Is everyone in Domino High School schizophrenic?"

Again, that unnerving smirk. "I dunno; how are the two of you doing today?"

Seto glared. Touché...

Before he could reply, Bakura moved his way past him, heading toward the Darkness that had broken away from the area that was still being constructed.

"W-wait!" Seto called after him. "What do you think you're doing?"

Bakura turned back to face him, and much to his surprise, two of the points on the ornament around his neck began to glow, before they pointed into the Darkness like dousing rods.

"C'mon, priest, do you want to protect your pharaoh?" the white-haired boy asked, before narrowing his eyes. "Or do you want to betray him again?"

Seto opened his mouth to demand what in the nine Hells he meant by that, but Bakura disappeared into the Darkness before he could get a word out. The CEO frowned at the Darkness as it slowly approached; should he follow him? Should he run? Should he stay? Should he call someone else to go in instead? Growling under his breath, he opted for the first choice and ran in after the white-haired boy.

~.oOOo.~

The other Yugi felt his back bump against a half completed Duel Ring in his effort to get away from the strange girl. He looked behind him a moment, before opting to climb up onto the platform. Unfinished holographic plates crunched underfoot, but he was too busy with staying away from the girl to notice. She did not seem to be entirely lucid, as her maniacal laugh kept switched from low and threatening to high and almost child-like.

"Is the son of Kami-sama afraid of a mere mortal?" she said, her voice switching between aged experience and young innocence.

~~Mou hitori no boku,~~ Yugi muttered in his mind. ~~I don't like this...~~

~~I don't like it much either,~~ aibou.

"What do you want from me?" the other Yugi demanded aloud.

Again, that odd laugher answered him, before it suddenly died away. Her strange voice started up again, uttering one word over and over again, gaining in pitch and volume until he could understand her clearly.

"Koruse... koruse... koruse!" she snapped.

The girl raised her head suddenly, and the other Yugi was able to see a set of wild blue eyes before he found himself flying backwards, an indescribable pain lancing through the body he shared with his partner. Both he and Yugi shouted in surprise as he landed near the edge of the Duel Ring, shards of Plexiglas from the holographic panels biting into his skin.

~~Mou hitori no boku!~~ Yugi shouted. ~~Are you okay?!~~

The other Yugi was about to answer, to assure him he would be all right, when a shout distracted him. He looked over his shoulder, down to the floor below, to see Ryou and Seto of all people running toward him. Ryou was noticeably different, however, and it only took him a moment to realize that it was not the quiet boy Yugi was a friend with, but the sadistic spirit that used his body as a host.

"You all right!?" Bakura called up to him, not really sounding concerned.

"Aa!" the other Yugi shouted back, shakily getting back to his feet.

Bakura was about to say something else, but a horrified look appeared on his face instead. He let out a squeak of surprise, backing up, as the other Yugi turned. The girl was there, hovering several feet above the Duel Ring, the golden object around her neck glowing with a dazzling brilliance. The other Yugi braced himself, waiting for another attack.

Meanwhile, below, Seto was also staring up at the girl; not in horror, but in recognition. Bakura kept backing up until he was even with the businessman, biting his lip in nervousness.

"This is bad... I'm in trouble..." he muttered, before seeing the look on Seto's face. "Oui, what's your problem?"

"I..." Seto began. "I... know that girl..."

~.oOOo.~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
For someone who was just vice president of Industrial Illusions, Lucas Tokoshie certainly enjoyed the high life. Seto Kaiba, not quite yet fifteen-year-old owner of Kaiba Corporation, took in the sight of the opulent Tokoshie Manor as he exited his limo. He had a strange feeling about the place, as if it hid something that was better left hidden from public view. Then again, maybe it was just his nerves; he had spent hours on a plane to the United States, and then hours more to get to the vice president's mansion. Any normal person would be a little off center after such traveling time.

Seto walked up the steps leading toward the manor, briefcase in hand as always, going up to where a butler was already waiting with the door open. The butler bowed as he drew even with him, taking his trench coat before escorting him and leading him inside, to the study where Tokoshie-san was waiting for him. He was a distinguished man in a neat, darkly colored suit, seeming like the total opposite from his boss, Pegasus J. Crawford.

"Welcome to my home, Kaiba-san," Tokoshie-san said warmly, striding over to shake his hand. He waved him over to a seat before a solid oak desk, before sitting down himself. "I've heard you like to get straight to the point, so let us do so."

Seto nodded, already pleased with how this man worked. Tokoshie-san opened his mouth to continue, when the soft creaking of a door cut him off. The two of them turned to see a girl - she had to be the same age as Seto himself, if not younger - enter the room slowly. She brushed her brown hair out of her face, gazing at Tokoshie-san with wild blue eyes, before turning her focus to him.

"High Priest and then Pharaoh," she said cynically. "Tell me, did you enjoy ruling over a broken world?"

Seto just stared at her, confused, as Tokoshie-san stood up from his seat.

"Pazuro!" he shouted, drawing the girl's attention. Her eyes softened suddenly, and she looked up at Tokoshie-san innocently, before turning to Seto again.

"Who's this, odou-san?" she asked, her voice that of a sweet young girl, devoid of the harshness that had been in it before. "Is he someone I can play with?"

Before Tokoshie-san could answer, a slightly older girl raced into the room, her obviously dyed raspberry colored hair a frantic mess. She went up to the girl, wrapping her arms around her.

"Gomenasai ne, Tokoshie-sama!" the older girl apologized profusely. "I turned my back to get something, and she had left the room!"

Tokoshie-san narrowed his eyes. "I will deal with you later, Hitori Shi," he said coldly, making her wince. "Just take care of her."

The girl Tokoshie-san had called Shi Hitori scuttled out of the room, dragging the younger girl with her. Once they were gone, the older gentleman sat back in his seat with a sigh.

"Many apologies, Kaiba-san," he said.

Seto narrowed his eyes slightly. "May I inquire as to what that was about?"

Tokoshie-san blew out a frustrated sigh before answering. "She was my daughter, Pazuro. She always had multiple personality disorder, but she's been schizophrenic ever since her mother died five years ago. No doctor has been able to help her, and no institution will have her. I've had to take care of her, though at times I just wish I could understand what she says..."

He trailed off a moment, before shaking his head. "Now, to business..."
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~.oOOo.~

Bakura looked up to Seto as he finished explaining. He raised a cynical eyebrow, before rolling his eyes and smirking.

"Schizophrenic, eh?" he asked. "She's no more schizophrenic then I am."

Seto glared. "All things considered, that doesn't say much."

Bakura sweatdropped.

Meanwhile, on the Duel Ring above, Pazuro hovered down to set foot on the holographic panels already crushed beyond repair. She stalked toward the other Yugi threateningly, making him back up until the heals of his boots were right against the edge of the Ring. Thinking quickly he pulled out his deck; they were in the Shadow Realm, so he could summon a monster to help defend him against this crazy girl until he thought of a plan. He grabbed the first monster he came upon, smirking slightly.

"Summon Black Magician!"

Pazuro took a step back as a vortex appeared in the Darkness. The purple robed Black Magician emerged from his dark home, hovering down to stand before the other Yugi defensively, his green staff shimmering slightly despite the darkness. The girl stared at the magician, surprise and slight recognition registering on her face.

"Magician of Fantasy..." she muttered.

To the other Yugi's surprise, the Black Magician flinched at the name, almost as if he recognized it. The other Yugi frowned, concerned.

"Black Magician...?" he asked. The magician just shook his head, holding up his staff, ready to protect his master.

Pazuro smirked suddenly, letting out that strange laugh again. "Magician of Fantasy always protected the pharaoh... Are you truly the pharaoh? Or do you just think you are?"

The other Yugi frowned in confusion. Pharaoh...? What was that supposed to mean? True, he had no memory of who he was in the past, or how he ended up as a spirit in the Sennen Puzzle... but, did this girl know? How could she though, unless...

"Who are you?" the other Yugi demanded. "What do you want?"

The girl smiled hideously, an expression that looked more at home on Bakura's face. "I want revenge!"

Suddenly, a vortex appeared behind her as well, similar to the one that had appeared when he summoned the Black Magician. The other Yugi grit his teeth, wondering what she was going to summon to combat his Magician. She did not have a card in her hand that he could see, so how she could even call on a monster was beyond him. Maybe it had something to do with that still glowing medallion around her neck...?

"Come out, extension of my will!" she shouted. "Reveal yourself, my kaa... Ars Arcanum!"

Three sets of wings suddenly exploded forth from the vortex behind Pazuro, making it seem like they had appeared on her back from the other Yugi's vantage point. All six wings rustled a moment, before shooting up into the air, spiraling about before snapping wide open, revealing a warrior angel in brilliant blue and gold armor holding a curved golden sword. The seraphim drifted down to settle before Pazuro, guarding her as the Black Magician was guarding him.

Down below, both Seto and Bakura's eyes were wide with surprise. Seto was trying to figure out how the two of them could summon monsters without the aid of electronics. Bakura gulped, before tugging on the young businessman's sleeve to get his attention. Seto glared down at him.

"What?" he snapped.

"You need to summon the Blue Eyes," Bakura said numbly, never taking his eyes off of the monster Pazuro had summoned. "Trust me. Black Magician doesn't stand a chance against that thing."

Seto's glare turned razor sharp. "And how exactly am I supposed to do that?" he demanded. "Even if those two hadn't stomped all over it, that Duel Ring isn't working."

Now it was Bakura's turn to glare. "Are you seriously that clueless. This is the SHADOW REALM, baka! You can summon monsters here without the aid of your fancy electronic things."

Seto narrowed his eyes, disbelieving. "And I'll say again, HOW am I supposed to do that?"

Up above, the other Yugi gritted his teeth at the sight of the new monster. Neither he nor his partner had ever seen anything like it before, so they had no idea what its attack power was, or if it had any special effects they needed to be wary of.

~~This isn't going to be a normal duel, mou hitori no boku, even I can tell that,~~ Yugi pointed out in his mind. ~~Please be careful.~~

~~Honestly, I don't even think this IS a duel, aibou,~~ the other Yugi returned, before saying aloud, "Black Magician! Destroy that monster! Black Magic!"

The Black Magician pointed his staff at the seraphim, letting loose a burst of dark magical energy. Ars Arcanum, as she had called it, did not even flinch, and Pazuro laughed at the failed attack.

"Is that the best you can do?" she asked, her voice dripping with arrogance. "Let me show you how a monster attacks properly. Ars Arcanum! Life Force Sword!"

The seraphim darted forward at its master's command, its golden sword flashing with a holy light. The Black Magician put up his staff to defend himself as Ars Arcanum hovered above him, ready to cleave him and his master in two...

"Thought Crusher!"

"Burst Stream!"

Rays of darkness and a burst of thunder forced the seraphim away from the Black Magician. The other Yugi blinked in surprise as Seto and Bakura leapt up to stand next to him on the Duel Ring. Blue Eyes White Dragon and Dark Necrophia followed them, hovering before their respective masters protectively. He looked between the businessman and the other spirit, surprise clearly marked on his face.

"Bakura? Kaiba?" he asked.

Bakura put his hands on his hips, a smirk on his face. "Don't get used to this, mou hitori no Yugi," he stated. "I'm not letting anyone else kill you but me, that's the only reason I'm helping."

The other Yugi sweatdropped. "Gee, thanks," he muttered, before turning to Seto. The young businessman's face was screwed up in concentration. He was breathing hard as well, his breath coming out in sharp, visibly painful gasps. "Kaiba," the other Yugi continued, "daijobou desu ka?"

"I had to give him a super fast crash course in summoning in the Shadow Realm," Bakura explained as Seto teetered slightly. "We'd better make this quick; this kind of thing isn't exactly for those who aren't used to it."

"Aa," the other Yugi agreed.

Ars Arcanum
Attribute: ???
Level: ???
Type: ???
ATK: ???
DEF: ???
Effect: ???

~.oO VERSUS Oo.~

Blue Eyes White Dragon
Attribute: Light
Level: 8
Type: Dragon
ATK: 3000
DEF: 2500
Effect: NA

Black Magician
Attribute: Dark
Level: 7
Type: Spellcaster
ATK: 2500
DEF: 2100
Effect: NA

Dark Necrophia
Attribute: Dark
Level: 8
Type: Fiend
ATK: 2200
DEF: 2800
Effect: When this card sent to the
graveyard, you can activate
the field magic card "Dark
Sanctuary" from your
hand, the deck, or your
graveyard.

Pazuro just crossed her arms across her chest, a dull look on her dirt-stained face. "Are these pathetic monsters supposed to stop me?" she asked, her voice taking on a successful tone which, coupled with her odd speech, made her sound even more insane. She flung an arm out dramatically, as if to encompass the three of them and their monsters. "I'll destroy all of you with one attack! Ars Arcanum!"

The seraphim came to life once more at its master's voice, its sword raised to attack. The three boys ordered their monsters to attack, to meet the angel halfway...

Well, two of them did; Seto's strength gave out halfway through. He fell to his knees as the Black Magician and Dark Necrophia rushed forward to head off Ars Arcanum, the Blue Eyes also falling to the ground with a cry of annoyance. The other Yugi rushed to Seto's side to make sure he was all right; a monster as massive and as powerful as the Blue Eyes White Dragon as suicide to summon for someone who never had summoned a monster before in the Shadow Realm. What the young businessman was even DOING in the Shadow Realm had the other Yugi confused, but he could not dwell on that now.

Suddenly, Bakura let out a shout of surprise, drawing his attention away from Seto. Ars Arcanum had pushed the Black Magician aside, going straight for the weaker Dark Necrophia and saving him for later. The seraphim's sword went right through the fiend, cleaving it into pieces and issuing forth a shockwave that sent Bakura tumbling head over heels in a manner that would have him landing on the floor below head first...

"Black Magician!"

The Black Magician seemed to get the idea, though if the look on his face was any indication, he did not like it. He darted forward and grabbed Bakura by his foot before he could hit the ground, before tossing him none-too-gently back up onto the Duel Ring.

"I guess I deserved that..." Bakura grumbled, rubbing the back of his neck.

The Black Magician "accidentally" smacked him on the back of the head with his staff to exemplify the point as he made his way back to where the other Yugi was standing next to Seto. Bakura got up, grumbling something along the lines of holding grudges for centuries as he joined them as well. Both Ars Arcanum and its master were watching them as they gathered back together, as if they wanted them to be defeated while attacking.

"We need another plan," Bakura stated in a low voice.

"How can we beat something that we don't even know about?" Seto hissed through clenched teeth, still fighting to at least keep the Blue Eyes THERE.

Bakura crossed his arms, a thoughtful look on his face. "Well... a monster is only as strong as the person controlling it, or the person's perception of it here," he said. "So, either she's insanely powerful - no pun intended - or she's basing it off of a card we haven't seen yet."

The other Yugi was about to say something, when he paused. A monster was only as strong as the person controlling it...? Then, what if two powerful duelists combined monsters...?

"Kaiba," he began, "I want to fuse Black Magician and Blue Eyes together."

Both Bakura and Seto looked at him like he grew another head.

"You're crazy," the young businessman stated. "Blue Eyes and Black Magician CAN'T fuse together."

"We won't know that for sure unless we try," the other Yugi stated, attempting to drag the other boy back up to his feet. "Come on; the pressure of summoning is less if two people share the same monster, and this may be our only chance."

Seto glared a bit at him for trying to help, but allowed himself to be pulled up anyway, leaning on the much shorter boy as much as he dared.

"If this doesn't work, we're screwed," Bakura grumbled, backing up a bit and allowing the two of them the most room.

The other Yugi rolled his eyes. "Always so positive, aren't we, mou hitori no Bakura?"

"Just being realistic."

"Oui, oui," came Pazuro's voice along the way. "I'm getting bored over here. Are you doing anything, or are you conceding defeat?"

Both Seto and the other Yugi grit their teeth. It was now or never...

"Blue Eyes White Dragon!"

"Black Magician!"

"FUSION!!!"

Both the Black Magician and the Blue Eyes White Dragon disappeared in a swirl of light and color. Both boys watched the colors mold together and diffract the light with bated breath, focusing everything they could on the two rival monsters becoming one. Suddenly, Seto felt the pressure on his mind that the summoning brought lessen considerably, just as the light before them swirled and broke apart.

The new monster that stood before them retained the human male appearance of the Black Magician, but that was about the only similarity derived from the monsters used to fuse it. He was wearing bluish-white armor that seemed to sweep about his entire frame, and holding a staff that looked like a mix between the Black Magician's staff and a dragon's claw. His stark white hair billowed freely about his face, and his blue eyes sparkled dangerously.

The other Yugi could barely contain his excitement. Had they just created a new monster...?

"This monster..." Seto murmured. "This monster is... Black Mage of the White Dragon."

The other Yugi smiled. "Aa!"

Pazuro, in the meantime, had taken a step back, horror and surprise registering on her face. She pointed a shaking finger at the new monster, struggling to get her mouth to work properly.

"H...how?!" she shrieked. "Magician of Fantasy... and the White Dragon... This can't happen!"

Bakura smirked, hardly believing it himself. "Looks like it just did!"

Both Seto and the other Yugi exchanged a smirk as Pazuro kept muttering words of denial. Then, they flung their arms out, ready to command their monster.

"Go, Black Mage of the White Dragon!"

"Black Magic Burst!"

The Black Mage of the White Dragon came to life at once at his masters' command, raising his staff high above his head. Dark magic and white-hot lightning gathered around the top of the staff, before the mage flung it out in a destructive burst that ripped through Ars Arcanum like it was made of butter. The resulting shockwave sent Pazuro flying, her back impacting against one of the Duel Ring's stations before sliding down to the ground. She winced, dazed, slowly getting back to her feet...

The other Yugi was not going to give her the chance to recover and summon another powerful monster. He flung an arm out again, fingers splayed, the Sennen Puzzle around his neck glowing brightly.

"Mind Crush!"

Pazuro screamed as the spell caught her unawares, shattering the darkness within her soul and sending the scattered bits deep into the Shadows. She collapsed face first to the ground as the Shadow Realm dissipated, no longer able to take up space in the real world now that the one who had called it forth was unconscious. The monsters disappeared along with the Shadows, and the other Yugi let out a breath he did not even realize he was holding.

~~That was a close one, mou hitori no boku,~~ Yugi pointed out, sounding relieved that it was over.

~~I hope we never have to do anything like that again,~~ the other Yugi agreed.

Seto, in the meantime, walked over to the edge of the Duel Ring, looking out at the ruins of that section of Kaiba Land in disgust. All the work that went into creating the place, only to have the main building practically torn down by some crazy woman. Bakura walked up to him, joining him at looking out at the devastation. He grinned, a bit sadistically.

"Well, moneybags, look at it this way," he said. "At least the place was still insured."

Next thing Bakura knew, he was landing on his rear end on the ground below, a giant bruise forming on his face where Seto had slugged him.

"Kidding!" he shouted back up. "I was KIDDING!"

The other Yugi sweatdropped at their antics, before a groan caught his attention. He whirled around in surprise to see Pazuro stirring from where she lay. She sat up, holding her head painfully as Bakura poked his head up from below. He crawled back up onto the Duel Ring, watching her cautiously, with Seto turning and doing the same.

"Hit her again, mou hitori no Yugi," Bakura said. "Maybe you didn't get it all the first time."

Pazuro, however, just sat where she was. She looked between the three of them, slightly confused, before her gaze finally rested on Seto. There was a long moment where she just stared at him, before recognition made her face light up.

"I remember you!" she exclaimed, her voice now youthful sounding and holding none of the insanity that it had previously. "Two years ago, you visited my father at the house, before Shi-chan left."

Pazuro looked between the three of them again, the expression on her face suddenly desperate. "Please," she began. "I don't remember how I got here, or why I'm here, but you have to help me! You have to help me save my father!"

~.oO TO BE CONTINUED... Oo.~