A Matter of Family
Yay! After much instances of bashing my head against the desk, I've finally come out with the first chapter of the side story to my YGO/HP crossover series. Special thanks goes out to my good friend, JediRose, for helping me come up with the idea, and for RPing it with me.
As always, read, enjoy, and then review.
CHAPTER ONE – EVERYTHING'S COMING UP RELATIVES
The summoning of ones kaa took nothing more than the utmost concentration. Of course, there were other things involved, such as knowing what the spirit beast that would emerge would look like, in addition to attack power and defense strength. Being able to discern ones kaa from their baa helped as well, though even the most novice of monster summoners could figure that out. Mostly, though, a great amount of concentration did most of the work.
Not being five thousand years out of practice helped a good deal too.
Yami Bakura swore under his breath, cursing the fact that he had spent so long trapped in a damn Ring. It was not his fault that the God of Evil thought it would be fun to manipulate a tomb robber that had lost everything into nearly bringing down all of Khemet. Honest to Ra, he was entirely innocent of the whole debacle…
Okay, maybe not entirely innocent…
Okay, not innocent at all.
Yami Bakura swore again, kicking at a twig that was doing nothing by lying there and being a twig. Ever since the Dark Lord, Voldemort, returned from the dead during the past school year – as well as that twisted Yami Marik – he had been trying to get back into the practice of summoning his spirit beast. The thief's God, Diaboundou, would become invaluable in the impending struggle… if only he could summon it again!
The tomb robber kicked at the ground, making his way out of the empty park and back to the house him and his hikari shared. He hoped that maybe there was something he was missing… like a part of himself that he could regain through a little hard work. He refused to focus on the worse case scenario; that being that Diaboundou had been destroyed for good during that final battle against the Black Magician.
His feet carried him through the streets of Domino City, Japan; past familiar shops, past faces he saw every day on the street, past the closed for the evening garage that Jonouchi worked at, past the Game Shop where Mutou Ojii-san was closing up for the night. Said elderly man waved to him as he passed, probably mistaking him for Ryou. Yami Bakura just waved back – best not to alarm the old man, after all.
Finally reaching his house, the tomb robber entered without knocking, and immediately went to the kitchen, grabbing an apron along the way and slipping it over his head. During the school year, when he had asked his hikari if he could enter the Triwizard Tournament (who replied by saying he would be doing dishes for the whole summer if he did), he never expected to be stuck with his punishment if the Goblet of Fire had not chosen him. Normally he would not have minded so much… but the fact that the only apron in the house was bright pink with little bunnies hopping around it sort of put a damper on the whole thing.
"Next time," he grumbled to himself, "make sure crap like this is in writing."
Just before he could start the sink, the doorbell rang. Yami Bakura shouted, "I'll get it!" before drying his hands off and making his way back through the kitchen to the front door in the living room. The bell rang again before he could answer it, and he grumbled about impatient people before opening the door.
The man revealed on the other side was the last person the tomb robber would have expected. He was an elderly gentleman, with graying hair and tired but gentle brown eyes. His simple pants, shirt, and jacket may have once been a darkly colored brown, but time and sand had worn the color away. An old, tearing backpack was slung over his shoulder, and Yami Bakura could spot some worn small digging tools poking from a hole.
The man peered up at him curiously. "Ryou, why are you wearing that ridiculous apron?" he asked. "And what on earth did you do to your hair?"
Yami Bakura stuttered, trying desperately to think of a way to reply…
"Bakura? Who's at the door?"
Before the tomb robber could shout in warning, his hikari poked his head over his shoulder. The elderly man looked between the two of them, shock making his eyes impossibly wide…
…before he promptly passed out.
Bakura almost panicked. "Odou-san!" he exclaimed, ducking under his yami's arm and rushing to his father's side. Yami Bakura got over his shock at seeing the old man, shaking his head slightly as his hikari made sure he had not hit his head too hard.
"Goodness…" Bakura muttered, before lifting up his father's shoulders. "Bakura, help me get him into the house."
Yami Bakura just grinned. "Why? I think he makes a good doormat."
"All right, all right…"
Marik hummed happily to himself, finishing up a letter he was going to send off to his girlfriend in England, Hermione Granger. It was kind of pathetic really, the fact that he had only been out of school for two weeks and he already missed her, but this year he had an excuse. Last year they had been separated for so long, he had been afraid that they would have been split for good. As it turned out, however, his near death and some other contributing factors had brought the two of them together again. Sure he was going a little overboard, but he just wanted to let her know how wonderful it was to be with her… every… single… day. Okay, so he was a little obsessed…
Okay, really obsessed…
Oh, bah! He loved her and that was that!
The rumbling of his stomach reminded him that it was time for dinner. He bounded down the stairs, practically skipping to the tune in his head as he caught a whiff of koshari. Admittedly, he was a little suspicious. Since when did his sister just make his favorite food on a whim…?
He was not going to get a chance to find out, however. A magazine article caught his eye from where it rested on a table on his way to the kitchen. It was an advertisement for a new board game… a brand new, more challenging, politically correct version of Risk that Hermione had been telling him about on the train ride back to London after school let out. Marik's eyes grew wide at the sight of it.
All that could be heard in the house after that was a loud zooooooooom as Marik raced back up the stairs to get his wallet, before dashing back down and out the door.
A moment later, Isis poked her head from the kitchen, blinking in confusion. It was not hard to figure out that the purple and black streak that had made a bee-line out the door was her little brother… but… he did realize that the Game Shop was closed by now… right?
As an active Egyptologist and explorer, Anji Bakura was used to seeing some of the strangest and most bizarre things known to man. What he saw hovering over him when he woke up on the couch in the parlor, however, was far from what he was expecting. Two different Ryous were above him… though, one did not look exactly like Ryou. The other Ryou just looked… evil, for lack of a better word, with his narrow eyes and devil-spiked hair twisting his son's features into a sinister appearance. Though… oddly, the concerned look on his face seemed to tone all this down a bit, but it did not deny the fact that this person was like a… dark version of his sweet and innocent son.
Though, that was not necessarily the weird thing about him.
"Odou-san, are you all right?" the other Ryou asked.
Anji's hand flew to the back of his skull. "I must've hit my head harder than I thought…"
The real Ryou giggled. "Odou-san, how could you have forgotten about my older brother?"
Anji blinked. "Older… brother…?"
The other Ryou pouted – a look that was just outright wrong on his face. "Hai. Boku wa Kazama," he introduced himself. "You remember, right?"
Anji just stared at him. "No…"
Before he could continue, the doorbell rang. "Kazama" said that he would get it, before turning around and heading for the door…
Yami Bakura quietly sighed in relief when he was sure his face was not visible to Ryou's father. He knew his hikari's idea of pretending they were brothers was going to fall flat, but he did not get a chance to tell him otherwise before his father woke up. If the two of them managed to sneak by this without getting themselves hurt, or without getting Ryou's father hurt, it would be a miracle.
The tomb robber was in for another surprise when he opened the door, however. Shadi was standing there, looking imposing in that beat up white robe he always wore. Yami Bakura ignored it however, letting out a quiet yelp before pushing him away from the door, throwing himself onto the porch as well and slamming the door closed behind him. He glared up at the strange Egyptian man, trying to seem threatening, but in his state of being surprised out of his mind, all that came out was a somewhat sour pout.
"Since when do you use a doorbell?!" he demanded.
Shadi just gave him an impassive look. "Since the Japanese Ministry of Magic saw it fit to place wards on the houses of the Millennium Item holders."
Yami Bakura sweatdropped. "That… really wasn't necessary… 'ya know…"
Shadi's lip seemed to almost twitch in a bit of a smirk, but the expression was gone before the tomb robber could even blink. Yami Bakura shook his head to clear it.
"What are you doing here, anyway?"
The Egyptian man's expression was deadly serious. "I want to know if you or your hikari have done any card readings recently."
Yami Bakura's surprise was clearly painted on his face now. "Card readings? No… neither of us have since Duelist Kingdom. Why?"
Shadi's expression seemed to get even more serious, nearly sending chills down the tomb robber's spine, and making him briefly wonder if the guy even knew how to smile.
"Something bodes ill in the wind," he stated. "While there is a looming threat near the horizon that I can only presume to be Voldemort, there is something closer… something that may drastically alter our lives. I spoke to the pharaohs of it in Egypt, and they feel the same, but they cannot name it."
Yami Bakura really did feel chills run down his spine at that. Something that would affect them, but Shadi did not know what it was, and Panseru and Yugi were aware of it, but could not name it either? How come nothing that ever threatened them anymore ever outright came out and told them, "Look at me! I'm a bad guy!"? Was that really so hard to do?
"Look," he finally said. "Ryou and I will do a card reading later, once his dad leaves. Okay?"
Shadi nodded solemnly, before an oddly concerned look crossed his face.
"Be careful," his whispered, before turning around and fading away as if he never were. Yami Bakura blew out a breath he did not realize he had been holding, rubbing his hands on his face. Was there anything else that could go wrong tonight…?
His unspoken question was answered when he was almost knocked off the porch and into the bushes. He steadied himself just in time to see Bakura running out across the street and down an alleyway. Yami Bakura shouted out after him as his father ran out onto the porch, shouting as well. The tomb robber glared at him, pretending to be an older brother temporarily forgotten.
"What the hell did you say to him?" he snarled.
Anji was about to reply, but glared down at him instead. "Who are you to speak to me that way?"
Yami Bakura growled, grabbing the old man by the collar of his shirt and pulling his face down to his level.
"I'm the only person who's given a shit about Ryou for the past five years, so don't give me any shit, old man!" he shouted, pushing Ryou's father away from him roughly. Anji stumbled a moment, but the tomb robber did not take notice as he bounded down the steps after his hikari.
Sugoroku looked like he was going to scream, but Marik did not notice as he hugged the package he had just demanded to purchase. Hearts seemed to float about his head as he skipped out of the store, leaving a grumbling Grandpa Mutou behind. He had just left the store when someone running past him sent him spinning like a top. Regaining his balance, he managed just barely catch his bearings before he was plowed into from behind by someone else. The two of them fell to the ground, swearing and shouting.
"Ra dammit, Gravekeeper! Get the hell out of my way!"
Marik suddenly found his face shoved into the sidewalk as the person – who could only be Yami Bakura – used his head as leverage to stand up again. He sat up again, rubbing his face and trying to get the imprint from the sidewalk off of it. Angered, he shook a fist at the tomb robber's retreating back.
"Watch where the hell you're going, tomb robber!"
Yami Bakura ignored him, however, focusing only on his hikari running before him. A small part of his brain realized that this probably looked bad from someone else's point of view, but he really did not care at the moment. All he was concerned with was making sure Ryou did not do anything stupid, and to see what his idiot father had said that made him so upset. Accomplishing either of those tasks, though, required his lighter half to actually stop running first.
"Ryou, if you don't stop anytime soon I am so going to kick your ass when I catch up to you!" he shouted after him, breathing hard from the run.
At that, Ryou finally did stop his running, but not before turning into an alleyway. Yami Bakura entered said alleyway as well, slowing down to a walk as he approached him. The distraught teen had fallen to his knees near the end of the alley, sobbing so softly he could barely hear it. The tomb robber could not keep the concerned look from his face as he approached his hikari quietly, reaching out to rest a hand on his shoulder. Anytime he had seen him like this, it was usually because he had done something. Of course, that was back around the time before, during, and immediately after Battle City. Since the stint involving getting the pharaoh's memories back, he had not seen his hikari cry like this since. Whatever it was Ryou's father had said that made him this upset, the tomb robber swore he was going to slug him for it.
"Ryou, what's wrong?" he asked quietly, kneeling down next to him. "What did he say?"
Bakura sniffed. "Odou-san… he… The only reason he came back was to warn me that my uncle was out of jail…"
Yami Bakura blinked. "Okay… I didn't even know you had an uncle, much less one in jail…"
His hikari smiled bitterly. "Oh, he's the type of person you'd like. A total con-man and thief."
The tomb robber frowned, not pleased with that. "Ryou, what's wrong with you? What'd this uncle of yours do to you?"
The only sound that could be heard was Bakura's choked sobs for a long, drawn out moment. Yami Bakura looked down at his hands on an impulse, only to see that they were clenched so tightly, the knuckles were white. He reached down and placed his own hands over them, forcing him to open them.
Bakura's breath hitched up in his throat, before he asked, "Bakura… I never… told you how my sister died… did I?"
The tomb robber blinked, caught completely off guard by the response. Yes, he had known that his hikari had a sister that had long ago parted from the world of the living, despite the fact that he used to write letters to her. Even now, he would catch him at his desk late at night, usually when he had had a depressing day, writing out words on a special stationary he had reserved for that use. How she died… well, that was something he had never dared to ask.
It seemed as if he would not get a chance to now, either. The screeching of tires cut him off before he could even form the question, and him and Bakura turned to see a car coming to a quick halt, blocking their exit from the alleyway. The two of them stood up, just as five men exited the vehicle…
…each one of them carrying a pistol…
Yami Bakura stood protectively before his hikari, backing up until they were pressed against the far wall of the alley. This did not look good…