Calai'di– I've had this one written for quite a while, and I've been wondering if I should post it, so I decided I might as well. I won't go on with it unless I get at least one review, though it may take a while anyway, because I have other stories I'd rather update. Here's a key to thoughts:

/Yugi to Yami/

Yami to Yugi

{Ryou to Bakura}

{{Bakura to Ryou}}

[Marik to Malik]

[[Malik to Marik]]

(Kaiba to Set)

((Set to Kaiba))

I have to characters in here that need explaining a bit. Malik is the name I've given Yami Malik in this one; good Malik is called Marik (English dub name). Set is Kaiba's darker half that Yami banished to the Shadow Realm in the first episode and the ninth (tenth for Japanese viewers). Bakura's the darker in that set, Ryou's lighter.

All the hikaris refer to their yamis as 'Yami.' (At least in their heads)

"Hey Yami, do you know what we're doing here?" asked Yugi Mutou as he wandered down a stone hallway. Only moments ago he had been sitting at his desk trying to solve a puzzle like he did every time he had free time before bed. Yami had been looking on, talking with him about what the future might bring for both of them. This was the normal flow of 'homework's done' nights. Otherwise, they'd talk after Yugi was in bed. But what was happening now was completely out of the ordinary, like a lot of things in Yugi's life since he'd solved the Millennium Puzzle.

"I have no idea. Last I remember, we were in your room," Yami answered as he walked beside Yugi.

"You don't think this is a dream and we're both in your soul room, do you?"

"No, there isn't anywhere that I've found in my soul room that's like this. It's chaotic and confusing there. This is…organized." They turned a corner to find yet again another hall. The walls connected the floor to the ceiling and there were torches lining the hall. Corridors led off left and right; some led to rooms with more hallways exiting them. Sometimes stairs appeared in the path, though there was always a way around them. The halls were perfectly straight; the rooms had perfect right angles; the stairs had a perfect 45o slope. Every hall and room looked the same, made of the same brick, built them same way. It was like a maze, and Yami was right; it was organized, but somehow…

"This is still confusing though," Yugi replied as they turned another corner. "It looks like this place was specially built, like the underground maze at Duelist Kingdom that led to the Paradox Brothers. Do you think Marik has anything to do with this?"

"I wouldn't put it past him. Though how we got here–"

"Yami, up ahead!"

The two boys stopped suddenly as something moved in the shadows ahead of them. A flash of white and it was gone, but they were unable to recognize what it was.

"You don't think–" Yami started.

"One way to find out," Yugi answered and they ran into the shadows to see what had been there.

Glad I'm not the only one here, thought Seto Kaiba as he ascended a set of stairs. Too bad it was Yugi that I saw. Though I guess he's better than that oaf Joey.

He reached the top and stopped to look around. No, everything still looked the same. Whoever had built this place had put a lot of effort into it. It reminded him of Pegasus's castle at Duelist Kingdom, and that thought gave him the creeps.

((You're a wimp, Kaiba.))

Great, there was the voice of his annoying yami that he'd somehow acquired in his last duel with Yugi. Apparently, the spirit was from the Shadow Realm, and had been part of him at one time. Yugi, or rather his yami, had sent that part of his personality to the Shadow Realm after their first duel. The yami, Set as he liked to be called, almost defeated Yugi at Duelist Kingdom as part of Pegasus's plan to take over KaibaCorp, but Yugi had sent him back to his prison with the real Kaiba's help. How Set had shown up again confused both Yugi and Kaiba.

((And I'm not going to tell either of you how I did it either.))

(Would you shut up and let me think in silence?) Kaiba thought back annoyed. At this, Set began to hum in his mind-voice, completely disrupting Kaiba's train of thought.

(Yami! Shut up!) Kaiba exclaimed, actually using the word 'yami'.

((Oooo, Kaiba means business. All right then, but you might want to look behind you))

Kaiba turned just in time to see Yugi jogging up the stairs. His yami walked up behind him, choosing not to waste as much energy.

"It's Kaiba! Hey, Kaiba!" Yugi called as Kaiba turned around. Yami looked mildly disappointed to see Kaiba, but they shook hands anyway. Set materialized behind Kaiba, putting both Yugi and Yami on guard.

"Kaiba, Set," Yami said, acknowledging both of them. Kaiba nodded his head in greeting, but Set was preoccupied with looking the other way.

"So Kaiba, you're here too?" said Yugi to try and break the uneasy silence. "I guess you were right, Yami, though that doesn't explain way we're here."

"Or where here is," Kaiba added as they started off in the direction Set had been watching. "Do you think it could be Pegasus again?"

"I was thinking it might be Shadi," Yugi answered half to himself. "Whoever built this place sure didn't want us to get out."

"It could be Marik," added Yami. "Have you seen anyone else Kaiba?"

"No, just you two…and him," Kaiba answered, referring to Set. The dark pretended not to notice. The two hikaris walked along in silence for a short time, turning a few more corners, ascending and descending a few more flights of stairs, entering a few more rooms, and exiting them again. Eventually, Yugi asked a question that had been gnawing at him for some time.

"Kaiba," he started uncertainly, "how are you getting along with Set?"

The taller boy stopped suddenly and stared hard at Yugi. Ahead the two yamis, who had been talking stiffly to one another, sensed their lights halt, and they turned to see what would happen. The smaller boy was shaking slightly under the intensity of the taller one's glare, but Yugi stood his ground and didn't waver in his own gaze. At length, Kaiba began walking away again and pushed past the yamis.

"He's annoying, doesn't let me think, and acts just like Pegasus. Think about it," he answered and walked away in silence leaving Set alone with, as he thought of them, "Pharaoh" and "Mini Pharaoh-pain-in-the-ass."

"Yami, do you always have to possess my body any time you feel like it?" complained Ryou Bakura. Currently, Ryou was transparent, and the spirit of the Millennium Ring, more commonly taking up Ryou's last name as his own, was watching the Ring intently as it guided them through the maze.

"It's what I do," Bakura answered simply. "Now be quiet! You're lucky I didn't lock your soul room shut like last time!"

"Couldn't we at least merge like Yugi and his yami?" Ryou pleaded, but even before he'd finished the sentence he'd had to duck a blow from his yami as Bakura tried to shut him up.

"Don't even suggest it!" Bakura responded, annoyed. "I can't concentrate, and if you make me miss whatever is drawing the Ring…!"

Ryou dropped back in silence. Angering Bakura now would only lead to more suffering, and possibly a lifetime trapped in his soul room. He was safe from that for now, since he wasn't in his soul room, but Bakura could still hurt him physically, and his yami's well known, quick, malevolent temper could only make things worse. So Ryou felt that annoying Bakura as little as possible would help himself and the world. After a few moments of silence, which Bakura greatly appreciated, the dark asked an almost impossible question.

"Are you all right, hikari?"

Ryou jumped back in alarm. Since when had his yami cared about him? It was always "shut up," "stay in your soul room," and "you're on your own in this situation." So why was Bakura concerned now? Ryou walked along in stunned silence until Bakura asked again.

"Well?" he demanded temper rising.

"I'm fine, or as fine as possible when your body's been possessed by a three-thousand year old spirit. Why do you care?"

"Aren't I allowed to care?" Bakura asked turning on his light. They continued in silence for a short time until Bakura interrupted it again.

"No matter what you may think, Ryou, I've always cared about you."

That surprised Ryou even more. "You have?"

"Of course! Why do you think you're still around? If you hadn't noticed, every yami has a soft spot for his or her hikari, otherwise good halves wouldn't exist." Bakura walked along in silence once more, mumbling, "Shouldn't have brought it up," every now and then. Ryou walked uncertainly behind him, then suddenly leapt at Bakura and hugged him around the neck.

"Get off!" Bakura exclaimed, pulling Ryou off and shoving him against the wall. "I don't care that much!"

Stupid move, Ryou thought to himself. Stupid, stupid, stupid...

{{No kidding,}} came Bakura's annoyed mind-voice into his thoughts.


{{You suck at mental barriers; you know that, right?}}

Ryou wasn't able to think of anything to say against this, half because it was right and, half because he'd just seen a familiar someone enter a room ahead of them. Apparently, Bakura had also seen this someone, since they said simultaneously, "Marik?"

They looked at each other as a head popped out of the room, the head of Marik Ishtar. The voice of his yami, Malik, floated mercilessly out of the room.

"Leave them be. We don't need any help from pansy and pansy-plus."

"All right, that does it!" Bakura yelled. The temper he'd been trying to keep down all day exploded and he shoved Marik aside as he stormed into the room. "You will not leave here alive, Malik!" He tried to charge Malik, but both Ryou and Marik restrained him before he could get any farther.

"Let go of me, you fools!" Bakura exclaimed as he struggled in the hikaris' grip. "Marik, don't you want to be rid of him once and for all? I can help you with that!"

Marik almost freed the arm he was grasping as he realized that was true, but Ryou stopped him by saying, "No Marik, violence won't work; you know that. I'm sure all of us do." Ryou had directed the last statement at Bakura, but the yami didn't stop trying to escape, and he was almost free now.

"It'll work well enough!" he exclaimed.

{Stand down, yami.}

{{Why should I? If you keep this up I'll have to hurt the both of you!}}

{You wouldn't.}

{{I would in a second.}}

"Let go, Marik," Ryou said forlornly as he freed his yami's arm. Marik watched him, alarmed, but copied the other's actions, and surprisingly, Bakura didn't finish his attack. Instead, he stood there watching Malik contemptuously, and looked like he'd rather dismember the other yami than abide by Ryou's wishes.

"What are you doing here?" he hissed.

"I was going to ask you the same thing, once you'd finish quarreling with your friends there, since last I remember, you'd been trapped in the Shadow Realm." Malik answered. Bakura glared at him.

"Well, so had your hikari, but obviously he and I had our ways out. Now I ask you again, what are doing here?"

"To tell you the truth, we don't know," Malik answered, referring to himself and Marik. "We were researching ways to kill the Pharaoh and somehow ended up here."

"You were researching ways to kill the Pharaoh," Marik reminded him. "I gave that up long ago."

"So I guess I'm not the only one who wasn't doing what he wanted before coming here," said Ryou, staring pointedly at Bakura. The other two knew the thief would have been searching for more Millennium Items without his hikari's consent, and, true to his character, the yami had been doing just that. Bakura was about to comment, but he didn't get a chance, because at that moment a figure had appeared in the doorway, a figure that made Malik's eyes narrow with displeasure.

"Malik? Bakura?" asked a voice from the doorway. Bakura turned and saw Yugi standing there with Yami, Kaiba, and Set behind him. As usual, Set was looking in another direction; the only time he really seemed interested in anything was during a duel or when that 'anything' directly included him. Bakura detested Set; somehow they had ended up wanting the same thing, the Millennium Items. And with Set came Kaiba; the both of them made up enough of a headache, but with Yugi and Malik here as well, the headache grew tenfold. Add to that everything that had been happening today, and Bakura was lucky to be standing. The only thing that kept him upright at the moment was that thought of getting the Millennium Rod and Puzzle before his rival. Ryou, however, sensed his yami's distress and mentally gave Bakura some support, which the yami immediately refused but didn't push away when it was given.

"What are you…four? What are you guys doing here?" Yugi asked uncomfortably. He'd noticed the invisible wars happening between four of the others, Bakura and Set, and Malik and Yami, and he was afraid that anything he said might disrupt the careful balance keeping those four from attacking each other. From the way Ryou spoke, he was afraid of the same thing.

"We don't know. We kind-of just…showed up here," he answered.

"That's like what happened to us," Yugi responded.

"I saw a movie once where something like this happened. Of course, it wasn't a very pleasant movie, and I was sort-of forced to watch it–"

"You mean Cube?" Bakura interrupted, even though he didn't remove his gaze. "That was a great movie. Like when that one guy got crushed but then later he–"

"Yami, that's beside the point!" Ryou exclaimed. "Anyway, the people got transported to some complicated maze, though it was different than this, and they had to find their way out. There were obstacles they had to get past, like my yami painfully mentioned, and I think only the most worthy could get out alive."

"Let's just hope what's happening now isn't like that," Yugi said.

"Could be fun though," Set suggested. Bakura and Malik looked at him thoughtfully, but Yugi, Ryou, and Marik looked horrified.

(Set!) Kaiba yelled through his and his yami's mind-link.

((What?)) the yami answered in a mock innocent voice.

"I don't think this situation is exactly like that," Marik said. "I do think we should work together to get out of here."

"You're kidding!" Bakura exclaimed. "I am not working with him!" he continued, pointing at Set.

"It isn't polite to point, Bakura," Set answered in his irrelevant way. "But I agree with Marik; we need to get out of here and working together would be the easiest way to do it."

"And how do I know you won't try to steal every Item present when we turn our backs?" argued Bakura.

"If you give your word you won't do exactly what you're proposing, I'll give mine."

"I doubt your word is very substantial, Set, but I won't try to steal them. Mind you, if an Item just happens to appear in my possession, I won't give it up."

"Then I'll promise the same thing."

"OK, are you two even now?" Yugi inquired. When the two yamis nodded their heads, Yugi said, "Good. I'll work with anyone I have to, even if it means working with Malik. Is that good with you, Yami, Malik?"

The other two yamis reluctantly agreed, as did Kaiba, and Marik and Ryou had already agreed. Now only one question remained.

"So, where do we start?" Ryou asked.