Calai'di– Ha, I wrote this a long time ago, so the time period is during Battle City, after Malik and Bakura made their deal but before the Battle Ship.

I'm going to try to use the original names, but I wrote this using dub names first and I might have missed some.

Yami Bakura is referred to as 'Bakura' and good Bakura is 'Ryou'

Chapter 1: So it Begins

"Yugi, are you sure you want to do this?" Yami asked as Yugi Mutou got dressed for Battle City.

"Why not? I think I can go out on my own, Yami" Yugi argued back.

"Yes, I know," Yami answered smiling. "But today I'm not sure you should be walking around alone."

"I won't be alone. Anzu's coming along for a change." He turned away from the mirror. "Besides, I'll still have the Puzzle with me."

"All right. But be careful, I sense something about this day that could mean trouble for both of us."

"I will be. Malik's still out there and now he's more dangerous than before. Don't worry, I'm more concerned about our Puzzle than myself." Yugi said as he put on the Millennium Puzzle. Yami was looking out the window at the street.

"Yugi, I think Anzu's here."

"All ready? Well, let's get going then!" Yugi ran out of his room as he pulled his Duel Disk onto his left arm. Yami disappeared.

"Yugi! What took you so long?" Anzu exclaimed, hands on hips.

"Sorry, Anzu. I was talking to Yami. We need to be careful today; he thinks something might happen to one of us," he answered.

"All right. C'mon, let's see if we can meet Jonouchi and Honda." She started of down the street with Yugi close behind.

"Yeah, and not run into trouble," Yugi added.

Yugi and Anzu wandered up and down the streets of Battle City searching for any sign of Jonouchi and watching out for Rare Hunters. Once, they walked right past one but he seemed to be preoccupied with another duelist. After a couple of hours, they still had seen no sign of Jonouchi or Honda and they had seen another Rare Hunter.

"Where are they?" Anzu asked hopelessly as they turned a corner. The Rare Hunter they had seen seemed to be following them.

"I don't see any sign of them," Yugi answered, looking around. "Do you think they found the sight for the finals already?"

"I really don't know what to think right now, except that were being followed."

"I know. I'm starting to think Yami might be right about today. And he might be right about him being out here instead of me."

"Yugi Mutou!" They both whirled to see who was talking. Behind them was a boy, about 15, looking at Yugi with disbelief. He was tall, about six-foot, with blue, ear-length hair and was holding a deck in one hand. He started to speak again.

"Hi! My name is Tanith, and I've read all about you. About how you beat Pegasus J. Crawford even though he is the creator of Duel Monsters. It's been my greatest dream to duel you," he said in rush of breath. Yugi looked really taken aback.

"Uh, well, I guess so, sure," Yugi answered uncertainly. Tanith looked thrilled.

"All right! But, not here," he looked around nervously, like something was going to attack him at any moment. Yugi could sense Yami tense up somewhere some where in his head.

"Why not?" Anzu asked. Tanith looked at her as if he had just noticed her for the first time.

"Because…I'm being followed," he answered. Yugi heard Yami call his name but he ignored it. Tanith continued, "I'm not sure who's following me but they're people in black robes, which must be awfully hot, but they're also really creepy because they're walking around like zombies." Here he stopped, examining Yugi's expression. Yugi looked like he was a zombie himself because of the fear and recognition showing on his face. Tanith looked surprised.

"I'm sorry, do you know them?" he asked politely.

"Yes, only too well," Yugi answered slowly. "They're called Rare Hunters and they've been following me too, or so it seems after all the times I've run into them. But at least I have a reason why. Why are they following you?"

"I'm not really sure. I think I have something they want," Tanith said, looking down at his deck.

"What's that?" Yugi asked.

"My Buster Blader card. It's the rarest card in my deck but since I still have it I'm in real trouble with the wrong people. I thought, if I lost in a duel and lost my card I wouldn't be a target anymore, but I haven't been able to lose because of it. So if I dueled you than I'd probably lose and lose my card and then they wouldn't follow me anymore."

"Tanith, that's no way to treat your cards. Hoping to lose in a duel won't make it happen. You should be proud of your dueling abilities and the fact that you haven't lost yet. I'm sure a lot of duelists in Battle City can't boast that."

"Yeah, well, it's sort-of making me paranoid and I won't be able to stand it much longer."

"Have any Rare Hunters asked to duel you yet?"

"Yes, but I ran away. I have a bad feeling about them and I don't want my Buster Blader to be in their hands. I'd rather it was won from me by an honorable duelist, like you," Tanith said, looking at his feet. Some where in the back of his mind, Yugi heard Yami say, "Well, at least he has that much respect for his cards. Be wary of him Yugi, I'm not getting a good feeling about him."

"So, where do you want to duel?" Yugi asked cautiously.

"Over here, follow me!" Tanith replied. He ran down an alleyway and Yugi and Anzu followed. The alley wasn't very narrow, the three of them could have fit side by side and still have room to move, but it seemed like it could collapse on them any second because of how high the walls were. They stretched upwards farther than you could see and as a result the alley was very dark. Yugi could only just make out Tanith's silhouette, half because of how dark it was and half because of how far ahead of them he was. However, the alley seemed to be getting darker by the second, as if the shadows were creeping in on them, trying to absorb the three into their depths forever. After a few minutes, Yugi stopped, panting, and called out to Tanith.

"Tanith, stop!" He heard the footsteps ahead of them slow and turn around to face them. "Where are you taking us? This alley goes on forever," he said into the darkness ahead. There was an unnerving silence and then Yugi heard a voice answer, "You'll soon see, Yugi Mutou." The voice sounded like Tanith's, and though it was slightly different, it wasn't enough of a difference to worry about. Yugi heard the feet turn back around and start running away again. Well, at least he knows where we're going, he thought as he started again following the steps so he wouldn't lose them. The alley started to get colder, as if the walls were draining all of the heat away. Suddenly, the feet stopped and began running toward Yugi. But this time, several feet followed. Tanith ran straight into Yugi and the fell to the ground as Anzu stopped right behind them.

"What's going on?" she asked. Tanith looked up at her, eyes wide with fear.

"Them," he answered slowly.

"Who's 'them'?" Yugi asked but he didn't need Tanith's help to find out. In an instant, five Rare Hunters swooped down on them.

"Hey, lookie here, it's that little runt we've been following for the last week!" one of them said.

"What did you call me?" Tanith asked, fuming.

"Who cares about him? We've found Yugi Mutou. Master Malik will be pleased," a second one said. Yugi could tell he was grinning under his cape.

"So now what do we do?" the third one asked, but this time it was a female speaking. She continued, "You know we all can't duel him."

"So what do you suggest, Rya?" the first one asked.

"I think that-"

"I should duel him," Tanith interrupted. He sounded very different now, more serious and evil. Yugi looked at him incredulously.

"What are you talking about? They're after you, too," Yugi said as Tanith stood up and joined the Rare Hunters.

"I am so hoping that Pharaoh Yami isn't speaking right now because then he'd be an idiot and from what Master Malik tells me he absolutely is not," he responded. Yugi was even more confused now.

"You mean you're working for Malik?" Yugi asked.

"Now he gets it," Tanith answered like he was talking to himself.

"Well, he shouldn't be. Tanith you idiot! What are you doing?" the fourth asked.

"I'm doing what is needed to be done, Marces," he answered, frowning.

"That may be what you think, but you ruined the plan!" exclaimed Rya.

"Well of course he did; he's young, naive, and can't see past the end of his own nose," Marces said. "Obviously he can't think for himself."

"What did you say?" Tanith yelled. He charged Marces and they all started fight.

In all the confusion, Yugi got Anzu to follow him and he sneaked off in the opposite direction away from the Rare Hunters. They got out of earshot and eyesight before Yugi got up, grabbed Anzu, and ran down the alley. After about a minute though, he could hear shouts from the Rare Hunters as they realized he was gone. He urged Anzu to hurry as he quickened his pace. The alley was now pitch black so it was impossible to see where they were going. Yugi went to the wall and held his hand along it as they ran until he came by what he was looking for, an alcove in which they could hide. He pulled Anzu in and pressed his back against the wall. They heard a rush of footsteps run by as the Rare Hunters searched for them. When he thought it was safe, he walked cautiously to the edge of the alcove, but as soon as he got there a body ran into him, knocking him back against the wall, and he went out cold.

Yugi woke on a bed in a room as dark as the alley. His head hurt horribly as he sat up to look around, and even though he couldn't really see anything he could tell this probably wasn't normally someone's quarters. There were boxes stacked everywhere and anywhere, some stacked almost to the ceiling. A door stood in the wall across from him and in the middle of the room stood a high-backed chair facing away from him.

He stood up and noticed something was missing. The Puzzle was gone! He looked around frantically in case it had fallen off when he had been brought here but he knew it was no use. He also knew what had happened. He had knocked into Tanith in the alley and that's why he had gotten knocked out. The Rare Hunters had found him lying there and had taken him to Malik. Malik had taken his Puzzle and then put him here in this room to wait for the end.

Yugi felt awful about what had happened to his Puzzle and what may be happening to Yami at that moment. He started pacing by his bed and was wondering if any Rare Hunters were going to check on him when he heard voice say, "I was wondering when you'd wake." Yugi looked around the room for whoever was talking but he couldn't see anyone. The voice came again.

"I suppose you'll be wondering why you're here and not in the Shadow Realm," it said. The voice was cold and slow, as if it was trying to draw out the words to their fullest. Yugi still couldn't see where it was coming from.

"Yeah, something like that," he answered, looking around again. "Where are you?" A figure rose from the chair taking Yugi by surprise. The voice hadn't even come from that direction.

"You've been out for a while," it said. The voice was now definitely coming from the figure. It turned around so Yugi could clearly see him. He had glittering red eyes that almost glowed in the dark, the pupils were like slits across the eye and in these white-less eyes you could see death and destruction. His skin was almost paper-white like a ghost's and he was very tall with purple hair. He was wearing a long black trench coat that almost reached the floor and tall black boots. As Yugi stared at him he gave Yugi an evil smirk.

"My name is Tom," he said as Yugi continued to stare. "I was almost afraid you would never wake."

"How long was I asleep?" Yugi asked.

"Nearly six hours," Tom answered. He took a small ball out of his pocket and started tossing it up into the air.

"What is this place?" Yugi asked.

"One of our guest rooms. You're very lucky, most of our rooms aren't nearly this nice," Tom said. He looked at Yugi grimly. "I'm not sure why Master Malik likes you so much. I think you're rather dull." Tom walked around the chair to stand directly in front of Yugi.

"Why am I here?" Yugi asked. Tom had been waiting for this. He started to walk around Yugi.

"You're here because Master Malik says you're to be here," he answered, frowning. He stopped circling Yugi right next to him. "You're not in the Shadow Realm because he still needs you."

"For what?"

"He cannot get the Pharaoh's power if he hasn't won the Puzzle from you. He still needs you to duel him so he can win and rightfully own it and take the Pharaoh's power. He will soon be the most powerful being in the world!"

"Not if I stop him first!" Yugi said. Tom stopped

"Actually, that's what he's counting on; for you to try to get the Puzzle back. You'll inevitably duel him and he will win and then Malik will rule the world!"

"That'll never happen," Yugi said quietly. Tom gave him an ugly look.

"What will never happen?"

"Malik defeating me in a duel. He'll never be able to beat me so he'll never rule the world."

"That's what you think, Mutou. Malik is the best duelist in world. Even you, the one who beat Kaiba and Pegasus, couldn't beat him. I'm afraid you're out of luck."

"Not with the fate of a friend on the line. I'll do whatever it takes to beat your boss!"

"Then you'll be wasting your effort. He cannot be beaten."

"Well, I'll just have to prove that he can."

"Yes, well, he ordered me to tell you that you have two days, starting at midnight tonight, to find him, your Puzzle, and your friends. You must duel him to get your Puzzle, as well as your friends, back, and you're not allowed out of this room until then. Got it?"

"Yes"

"Good. I love when our captives are so ready to comply." Tom walked over to the door. "You have four hours to think about it and how you'll let down you're friends." He stepped out of the room and locked the door behind him. Yugi slumped down on the bed to think about what was going to happen.

After an hour, the door to Yugi's room opened and Bakura stepped over the threshold. He stopped just inside the door.

"So, we meet again, little Yugi," he said, glaring at Yugi.

"What are you doing here, Bakura?" Yugi asked as he stood up.

"I've been working with Malik."

"You've…what?"

"We made a deal. You happen to be a large part of it."

"You're working with Malik? Bakura, I thought you only worked for yourself."

"Times have changed. I've come down here to tell you about your friends."

"If you've done anything-"

"Trust me, we aren't about to do anything to your pitiful followers. Malik would rather use them as mind-slaves than kill them. But you see, we can use them for bargaining."

"What do you mean?"

"You've obviously agreed to duel Malik for the Millennium Puzzle?"

"Of course."

"Well, for your friends you'll have to give him your Egyptian God Card."

"What?"

"Those are the terms he's set."

"But I thought he had to duel for it."

"Not him, me"

"I…have to duel you?"

"No, you don't have to." Bakura turned back toward the door. "I just thought your friends were more important than one card."

"Who do you have captive?"

"Let's see, Anzu, that oaf Jonouchi, his sister, your grandfather, Honda, Mokuba, Mai Valentine, Otogi, Rebecca Hawkins, Yami, and my host, Ryou, of course. But you don't need to worry about him, there's nothing you can do."

"What? You captured all those people just to get me to give you the God Card?"

"Well, Seto Kaiba's in the same position as you. He only cares about his brother though; he told me he couldn't care less about the others. We had to chain him to the wall to keep him from attacking every Rare Hunter to enter his room."

"Why did you capture all those people? Some I barely even know."

"We figured you'd go to great lengths to save anyone, even if you didn't know them. Like, we kidnapped this one girl about 13 years old just for the fun of it. Her name is Maris, and you can try and save her as well but her room is one of the most heavily guarded, following only yours and Kaiba's." Bakura open the door a little bit so Yugi could see there were at least three Rare Hunters guarding his door. The door closed again. "We wanted to make sure you didn't escape somehow."

"Why are you guarding someone I don't even know?"

"She's…special. Malik gave me permission to put more than one guard at her door. She cannot escape without help." Bakura took a step out the door. "I'll give you time to think." The door shut and locked behind him, leaving Yugi alone again, or so he thought. Barely any time had passed when he heard movements from a corner behind him.

"Who's there?" he asked into the darkness. A thirteen-year-old girl stepped out from the shadows and even though Yugi was instantly reminded of Anzu, that passed as he saw the differences between them. The girl had very long chestnut-brown hair, down to her waist, and bright purple eyes, like Yugi's, but these eyes were fiery and cold. She was wearing a long, straight, white dress, like an ancient Egyptian might have worn, and sandals to match. She and Anzu could have been sisters otherwise and Yugi found himself staring at her for a long time. He apologized as soon as he realized it.

"Sorry, you reminded me of someone I know," he said apologetically.

"That's all right, it happens a lot," she answered. Her voice was as sweet as music, but sounded sad and lonely. She walked toward Yugi.

"Um, I'm not sure you're supposed to be here," Yugi said nervously as she moved closer.

"No, actually I'm not," she answered as she stopped five feet from him, Yugi noticed she wore an unusual necklace that reminded him of the Millennium Ring. It was a circle, quartered by a cross, with three spikes hanging off it, one at each of the intersections on the sides.

"My name is Maris. Bakura thought he trapped me in that room but I have other ways of escaping than the door." Yugi might have been imagining it but he thought that her voice had a certain longing when she spoke of Bakura.

"How?"

"I can walk through walls."

"You…what?"

"That's how I got here. I walked through the walls to see you. I met several people, someone named Jonouchi, and Anzu, and a little kid I think was Mokuba Kaiba. It took me a while but here I am. I almost blew it too because I got here right in the middle of Bakura's speech."

"But, how?"

"I don't know. I just discovered I had the talent one-day. But I'm wasting time, if Bakura finds I'm gone from the room, I don't know what might happen to me and everyone else trapped here."

"Why did you come to see me?"

"I wanted to ask you something. What powers do the Millennium Items have?" Yugi was nearly caught off his feet by this question. He looked at her suspiciously.

"Why?"

"Well, the whole reason we're here is because of the Millennium Items, isn't it? I wanted to know why they're so important."

"Well, I'm probably the worst person to ask about this; I'm just learning about them myself. I think most of them have the power to take you to another dimension, called the Shadow Realm. This dimension is horrible, if your mind isn't strong enough, your soul will get shredded throughout the Shadow Realm forever. That almost happened to me once."

"In your duel with Pegasus?"

"Yes. Pegasus's Millennium Eye is one of the most powerful Millennium Items. It gave him the ability to read anyone's mind he chose and they couldn't do a thing about it. Well, I sort-of prevented it. Yami and I switched minds in our duel so if he tried to see what card we'd put down we'd switch and the other person didn't know what it was either."

"Who's Yami?"

"He's the spirit of my Millennium Item, the Millennium Puzzle. I think it's the most powerful Item of all. Malik claims it contains the 'power of the Pharaoh' or Yami as I've discovered. This is supposedly an all powerful force that would allow him to rule the world."

"You don't have the Puzzle now though," Maris observed. Yugi looked really sad when she said this.

"No, Malik took it from me when I was captured."

"What about the other Items?"

"Malik owns the Millennium Rod, which allows him to posses or brainwash others. Bakura owns the Millennium Ring, which allows him to take peoples' souls from their bodies and put them into inanimate objects, like Duel Monsters cards. That's happened to me too. The Eye was also able to do this, but Pegasus chose to put the souls into blank cards, instead of real ones."

"That's four, what about the other three?"

"Well, this guy named Shadi owns the Millennium Key. I don't know much about this one because I've only seen it once. He can look into someone's mind with it, to see if you're good or bad. When he used it on me he was looking for a thief who had stolen Pegasus's Millennium Eye. Ishizu Ishtar owns the Millennium Necklace, which I think can see into the future and the past. I'm not sure, I've never seen her use it. I don't

know what the last one is."

"Wow," was all Maris could think of to say. Yugi was talking several long breaths. "So you've only seen six of the Items, and three have been used on you?"

"Something like that, yeah."

"Well, thank you so much," she said excitedly. "I'd better get back, from what I heard Bakura say he probably went to check on me as soon as he left."

"Yeah, he thinks you're 'special'." Yugi said as he sat down on the bed. Maris moved toward the wall.

"Well, I am aren't I? I think he might suspect but I really think he has feelings for me. As do you," she said unexpectedly and she walked through the wall without explaining further.

It was good thing she didn't stay to explain because as soon as her hand went through Bakura charged through the door.

"Maris!" he yelled angrily. He stared at Yugi like he might have the answers. "Where is she? I know she came to see you!"

"I don't know," Yugi lied quickly. "I thought she couldn't escape. You told me she had almost as many guards at her door as I did. How could she get out of her room and into mine past, what, twelve guards?" Bakura didn't answer; he just slammed the door and walked quickly off toward her room again. Yugi breathed a sigh of relief; Maris was safe, for now. He only hoped she'd get back before Bakura and didn't get into trouble.