And we're back! Some shreds of plot in this chapter, but mostly silliness, but a more important fact is that we're BACK! SSR is NOT DEAD! Somebody throw in a CD and start dancing like it's 2008!
Not much for comments at the moment, so I'll just say, on with the fic!
Beta's comments: SSR is like a volcano. Except instead of ash and pumice and lava and obsidian you get words. It can sleep for ages. But when it wakes up it's awesome. Although it probably won't make the sunsets prettier.
Disclaimer: Gundam Wing, FMA, Stargate, nor YGO belong to us. We're just using them for our own amusement.
Warnings: Rampant silliness, shonen-ai, etc etc. Twenty-three chapters and I still need to put these?
Chapter Twenty-Three: Explosions in the Dark
Yugi, Yami, and Ame blinked up at the large projector screen in unison.
After a few moments of silence, the trio turned to SG-1 expectantly. "Okay… what're we looking at?" Ame asked blankly. "All I'm seeing are trees."
"This is where we believe the Tok'ra hid one of the eyes," Daniel explained to them, as well as SG-1, Isis Ishtar, and Seto Kaiba. Seto had walked with Yugi, shooting glares at anyone who dared to question his presence. Ryou was nowhere in sight.
"Ah. A place with a lot of trees. Got it," Ame deadpanned.
"I think Ame's starting to read my mind," Jack mock-pouted. "I was going to say that!"
Ame smirked triumphantly before turning back to Daniel, who had paused obligingly in his speech to allow for any other snarky comments. When none were forthcoming, he continued, waving at the screen as he spoke.
"What we did was cross-referenced what seemed to be key passages from the text on the tablets with descriptions of planets we've been to, and sending MALPs out to planets on the Abydos cartouche that we haven't been to," Daniel explained. "We got a UAV map of this planet, and near the Stargate are what appear to be ruins of a temple." He clicked a button on his remote, and the projector screen changed to a picture of the same trees, only from above.
Yami eyed the ruins interspersed among the trees and hummed thoughtfully. "It appears to be of the right type of temple," he mused. "Is there a mission scheduled to check it out?"
"We wanted to discuss that with you," Hammond said. All eyes in the room became focused on him. "I realize that you only just got into school, but it's imperative that we get to the Eyes before Anubis…"
"We're skipping school, then," Yugi shrugged. "I've done it before, it's no big deal."
"Yeah, school's boring," Ame complained, making a face. "I vote for the mission."
"If that's what you've decided," Hammond acquiesced a tad reluctantly.
"Even if we said you couldn't go you'd skip school and show up anyway, wouldn't you?" Jack asked accusingly.
"You bet!" Yugi and Ame chorused.
"It's an important cause. We can catch up on our studies later," Yami agreed.
"All right," Hammond sighed. "You're free to stay on base or return to your apartment, we'll tell you when we have the mission scheduled. SG-1 already has a mission or it'd already be scheduled," he added as an afterthought.
The trio looked at each other, sharing a silent conversation, before two out of the three broke out into wide grins, one of them bordering on manic. The other just sighed resignedly, leaving the rest of the room to wonder just what they had – or rather hadn't – witnessed.
"I'll head home," Yugi informed the military group. "I have homework to do, after all. I'll see if I can stop by afterwards, though."
"I will stay, to ensure Ame stays out of trouble," Yami shrugged.
"And I'm staying to make sure that Seto doesn't work too hard!" Ame chirped, earning himself a glare from the brunette so named. Daniel chuckled, masking it as a slight cough, while Jack just smirked. Isis sighed, Sam shook her head, and Hammond looked as if he was going to just not ask. "Oh, Jack, can we borrow your office? I wanna show Seto some of your anime… in English!"
Seto looked slightly apprehensive at that.
"Sure, whatever, just put them back in the place you found them," Jack agreed easily. Ame whooped and literally pounced Seto, earning him a yelp of surprise and tumbling them both to the floor. The rest of the room winced in sympathy.
"Dismissed," Hammond sighed. He could just see the mound of paperwork waiting for him on his desk through the handy window that separated his office from the conference room, and no doubt he'd have some more by the time morning came. Ancient Egyptian spirits, manic and maniac aliens… Sometimes he wondered when life had gone towards the left side of weird.
SG-1 stood as Isis nodded politely, while Seto found himself the captive of a very determined Tok'ra. Yugi grinned knowingly while Yami just sighed. As they made their separate ways out, Yugi stopped dead.
/Yami… do you know where Bakura is? /
Yami paused. /I don't think so…/
/And Malik? /
Yami blinked. "Oh," he said out loud.
The two of them headed off in search of one Ancient Egyptian tomb robber and one modern Egyptian troublemaker.
Jack blinked at the sight before him. "What's… happened here?"
Yami sighed, while Yugi couldn't –quite- help his snicker. Isis looked as patient as ever, given her brother's plight.
Malik and Bakura looked decidedly… cute. They were plastered to the wall by some unseen force, and they had both been somehow forced into the most sickeningly cute and fluffy pastel dresses any girl had been forced to during that one horrible Easter at the other family's and they had to look as "cute" as possible. Malik's hair had been curled and his face had been painted with a fetching variety of makeup. Bakura's hair had been straightened out of its usual demonic spikes and was now pulled up over his head, the ponytail cascading down his back, and his face had also been painted. They looked very good, to their horror, and to everyone else's amusement.
"Malik, you know better than to touch treasures that aren't yours," Isis admonished. "And Bakura, for your light's sake, I would have hoped you'd refrain."
"Nice work on the spell, Yami," Yugi grinned, looking over at his darker half. The spirit shrugged.
"Isis asked for my aid, and I admit it was enjoyable," Yami said. Yugi chuckled at that, enjoying the amusement echoing back from the dark spirit that the other was studiously NOT letting show.
"Care to clue me in? Only I'm the one who's gonna have to write up this report," Jack put in dryly, not bothering to hide his amusement.
"Malik and Bakura decided to see what Dr. Jackson had hidden in his office, and what they could make off with," Yami explained, daring to reach up and twirl a blond curl around his finger. Malik glared daggers at him, but, by virtue of the spell, couldn't speak. "Isis and I thought that they might try something, even after being warned against it, so I set a trap. And they, to their misfortune, have tripped it."
"Ah. So this was a security system. Gotcha." Jack looked up at the two trapped teens, snickered, and turned to go to his office to write his report.
Ryou seemed to appear from nowhere and looked imploringly at Yami. "Please let him down… He won't try anything else." He winced at something the others couldn't hear. "Plus he's ranting enough to put Wufei to shame."
"Ah yes. Everyone's favorite Gundam Pilot," Yugi said dryly. "Makes me want to watch that series again."
Yami rolled his eyes but obliged. Bakura and Malik stumbled a bit as the force holding them to the wall released suddenly, but the spell holding them silent remained. They self-consciously folded their arms over their chests and Glared. Yes, it was a Glare with a capital G.
"The spell will allow you to change in two hours," Yami informed them. "Until then, you will be unable to change your clothes or speak profanity. In other words, for the next two hours, you'll be forced to behave like a mother's favorite daughter." He smirked at them. "Enjoy."
Yugi snickered at the mutinous looks on their faces as they stomped off, Glaring at anyone who dared to look at them twice. He latched onto Yami's arm and looked up at the spirit imploringly.
"On second thought, I'll stay here tonight," he grinned. Yami looked down at him questioningly. "Someone's going to have to protect you from them!"
Jack opened his office door without bothering to knock, as his mind was on the recent happenings outside Daniel's office. He took two steps inside, blinked, then backtracked and checked the door to be sure that yes, he had the right one. Upon confirmation, he looked back in and found himself the subject of one deathglare and one slightly annoyed but amused smirk, from Seto Kaiba and Ame, respectively. The two of them had apparently been interrupted in the midst of something that had Jack's inner muse, for once, utterly speechless.
Seto sighed irritably from his position on the couch, his hair slightly mussed but otherwise composed. "Yes, colonel?" he asked politely.
Ame, sprawled as he was over Seto's lap, looked more amused than anything. His hair had, incredibly, fallen out of the star-shaped style that was the trademark of his host, and the black, red, and silver strands trailed down his back haphazardly.
Jack blinked. "Um… I thought you guys were watching anime."
"We are," Seto replied shortly. Jack turned – slowly – and saw that one of his more recent purchases, a series called Full Metal Alchemist, was indeed playing on the television. "Is there something you needed?"
"Uh… yeah. By the way, you might want to look out for Bakura and Malik," he informed them lightly, studiously ignoring the fact that he'd interrupted a teenager and a Tok'ra – both male – in something that he wasn't thinking about. Nope. Not at all. "Just needed some paperwork, and I'll be out of your hair and locking this door behind me and please just clean up anything and I'll see you later."
He grabbed the paperwork off his desk and fled as fast as humanly possible.
The next couple of days were slow torture for one hyper Tok'ra. In between school and having nothing else to do but watch Yugi do homework and Yami play with his light's hair, he thought he was going to go mad. The bad kind of mad that involved white jackets, not the good kind of mad, which he was most of the time.
Seto had, interestingly enough, found an excuse to return to his hotel, probably still embarrassed over what had happened the night when Bakura and Malik had discovered their feminine sides. Ame felt only slightly guilty for putting his grouchy CEO through that and vowed to go pester Mokuba on how to make it up to his brother, nevermind how he was going to get to Japan. Or, now that he thought about it, Noah would have some ideas, but he hadn't seen any sign of the digital teen ever since the other night when he'd gone off to terrorize some SGC scientists, which blew that idea out of the water.
"I need to get Yami to show me how to use this thing," he sighed to himself, poking the copy of the puzzle that came with his corporeal form. At the moment he'd contented himself with wandering around the base, a maddeningly cheerful look on his face that he found, with no light amusement, made people back up a few steps and take a good look to make sure he wasn't planning anything. Which wasn't to say he WASN'T. Oh no. He was just waiting for the right time.
He spotted Ryou chattering happily to Bakura, the dark spirit corporeal for the moment. There was no trace of the makeup or dress anywhere, presumably having been burnt to a crisp as soon as the spell ended, but Bakura's hair was still just a tad more restrained than normal. Which looked good on him, if you liked demons that would just as soon eat you than look at you.
Yes, Bakura was his kind of ancient spirit… if he could manage to stay on his good side. And at the moment, Ame was plotting something that Bakura might be interested in. Something involving several goodies he'd found in Jack's office and his host's darker half.
"Hey, Bakura!" Ame called out cheerfully, halting the white-haired boys in their tracks. Ryou looked over at Ame with a smile on his face, while Bakura just looked… annoyed. And he hadn't missed how the dark spirit's hand was still stubbornly twisted in his light's hair. He smirked knowingly but otherwise didn't comment. "Hey, Ryou, you might wanna make haste someplace else, that way you can claim innocence later."
"Not asking," Ryou declared. "I'm NOT asking!" he said again, as if he were trying to convince himself of that, and, with a silent apology to Bakura, freed his hair and fled.
Bakura crossed his arms and Glared at Ame. "Now what?"
"Well, I thought you and I might need something to amuse ourselves at school tomorrow," Ame said lightly, switching to Ancient Egyptian – only a little different from his native Goa'uld – easily. "And I have something you might like… Shall we go back to my host's room and negotiate like men?"
Bakura snorted. "You'd better have something worthwhile, or I'll be taking some of that hair for a little scheme of mine."
Ame smiled winningly. "Of course I do."
At school the next day, Yugi somehow found himself suspended upside down in the middle of the hallway, with the person he'd nicknamed Chibi Jack (clones, who knew?) frantically trying to get him down. He knew that it was a futile effort, and with Bakura having taken control of his light's body to laugh at him, he knew who the cause was.
"What happened?" Jack wanted to know, tugging at Yugi's school jacket again, only to have it slip off in his hands. Not prepared for that, he fell backwards with a yelp. Yugi's puzzle, amazingly, hadn't come off, and the teen grabbed it as soon as his jacket was lost, as if in fear of losing it.
"It's just a harmless prank," Yugi said wryly, looking up at his feet to see it glued to the ceiling by way of glitter, ribbons, and an assortment of other colorful things. Some of the glitter had drifted over him, resulting in an upside-down teen who sparkled. Some of the girls in school had already swooned at the picture he made, with Yami Glaring at them from his soul room. Yugi was HIS light, curse it!
Several teachers made their way onto the scene and just stared at the sight. Yugi smiled at them, even though he could feel the blood rushing to his head. He hoped Bakura would let him down soon, he was getting a headache. Yami appeared in spirit form and poked the mass covering Yugi's feet, muttering something in Ancient Egyptian. Suddenly, the force holding him released and he plummeted to the ground with a yelp, only Chibi Jack saving him from a trip to the infirmary and a lot of questions.
Jack groaned. "You're heavier than you look."
"Sorry," Yugi replied a tad sheepishly. His legs were still bound together, and he was sure to need a new pair of pants before he could continue his day, but he was otherwise unharmed. He climbed to his feet, using the now-apologetic Ryou, having regained control of his body, as leverage. Jack scrambled upright and looked the duo over for several minutes before grinning.
"No problem, just next time, try and share the love, huh?" He winked at Ryou, who blushed in embarrassment, and sauntered off to the nearest teacher, where he'd give his entirely truthful account of what happened.
When they arrived at the base after school that day, Yugi in a pair of pants borrowed from the lost and found but still covered in glitter, they found SG-1 wandering in from the gateroom, yawning hugely. They were dressed in their mission gear, which only meant one thing: they'd just gotten back from a mission, the same one they'd departed for the day after the briefing. Yugi wondered if all missions took that long, or if SG-1 was special.
/Woo hoo! / Ame cheered in Yugi's head, earning a wince from the teen. /Mission soon! /
/Yes, it will be a relief, / Yami agreed.
/Yeah, the sooner we can get the Eyes back, the better, / Yugi grinned. /Let's go see Hammond-sama and see when the mission is! /
As if on cue, the Tok'ra and the dark spirit appeared from thin air, Ame darting forward in a mad dash for Hammond's office, while Yami contented himself with wrapping his arm around his light, who blushed happily. They caught up to Ame easily, in time to save the General from him.
"I know what you're going to ask," Hammond said before one of the trio could speak. "The mission is in two days. SG-1's recent mission met with some of Anubis' troops. Apparently that planet was one that he'd thought held the Eye of Osiris. After they take a nap, you're free to sit in on the debriefing."
"We shall," Yami nodded. Yugi nodded as well, while Ame just sighed.
"Party pooper, that Anubis is. I was hoping to use Jack's office again…" Ame lamented.
"Ah yes, Jack mentioned something about that… He said, and I quote, 'Get a room that isn't MINE!'" Hammond looked more amused than anything. "If you and your partner wish to have privacy on base, I'll be happy to remove the security camera from your rooms. I'm not asking who it is, though! If I do, I'll have to tell the Pentagon, and they might not be so obliging…" He winced. "Actually, Kinsey would come down here with his pencil pushers and have you guys shipped out."
"Yes, Americans are well known for their intolerance," Yami mused. "We will keep our relationships hidden from those people."
Ame grinned. "I'll warn the other person you don't want to know about," he chirped with a wink. "I think they'll be glad for it, honestly, though I can't imagine why."
Hammond smiled. "Thanks for understanding. I've scheduled the debriefing for two hours from now."
Two hours later, the usual group was assembled in the conference room, with the various couples arranged in pairs around the table and the SGC personnel interspersed between them. Sam could have sworn that Ryou and Bakura were doing something to each other under the table, but she was studiously choosing to ignore that little fact. Seto was looking decidedly grumpy, while Ame seemed to be trying to charm him with little pieces of simple shadow magic that he didn't seem to have all that much of a control over. However, the sight of miniature flowers (even when they most of the time exploded, leaving the smell of burnt ash in the air) and various other things that sometimes did or didn't meet messy ends seemed to be slowly cheering the teenager up, wonder of wonders.
If there wasn't a betting pool started by now, Sam mused, then she'd be starting one. Immediately, starting with Jack.
Although Jack didn't seem interested in the two at the end of the table in the slightest. Rather, he was looking at Ryou and Bakura, a fact that the Tomb Robber hadn't missed out on.
"What are you looking at?" Bakura snapped, drawing the attention of the entire table to him.
"Oh nothing," Jack said easily, but he couldn't seem to tear his eyes from the duo.
"I believe O'Neill is observing the fact that you have not removed your hand from Ryou's hair," Teal'c noted calmly.
Ryou turned an interesting shade of pink at that remark, while Bakura's face edged more on the red edge of the spectrum. "And what's wrong with that?" he demanded hotly.
"Oh, nothing," Jack said quickly. "It's just, you've been doing that a lot lately, and I've been wondering, well…"
"I believe you Americans have a saying," Bakura bit out. " 'Don't ask, don't tell.' Don't ask, or the telling will involve a practical demonstration."
Ryou eeped. "Bakura!"
The dark spirit snorted, bringing a strand of hair to his face pointedly. "I mean it. Any problems?"
"Oh, no," Jack answered a tad weakly. "I know that phrase very well. VERY well. Sorry to bother you."
Bakura growled, but it was a pleased sort of growl, his temper mollified enough to allow him to sit back with Ryou's hair firmly in his grip. Hammond chose that moment to enter the room, noting his second in command's meek demeanor and the amused looks of the rest of the table, before deciding to ignore it as another bit of the now-common weirdness and getting right down to business.
"What did you find?" Hammond inquired of his team, not wasting any time.
"Just a bunch of ruins, General," Jack replied, regaining his composure instantly. "We took pictures, and were all set to head back until some Jaffa decided to crash the party. We had to wait in the forest for a couple of days while they ransacked the place, but they didn't find us, until we thought they were gone. While we were dialing the gate we were ambushed by a patrol, but we managed to make it back, obviously. We overheard while we were there that Anubis thought that that planet had the eye of Osiris on it, so he's looking for the Eyes as well."
"Did you find anything interesting, Doctor Jackson?" Hammond asked the archaeologist.
"Just a few mentions of Osiris, but nothing indicating that his Eye was there. The planet was probably just the home of a cult that worshipped him," Daniel replied. "I'll examine the pictures at length after the meeting, but I don't think there's anything important there, really."
"All right," Hammond said. "Anyone else have any comments?"
"I'll assist Daniel," Yami spoke up.
"Same," Ame agreed. He was still toying around with a bit of shadow magic, trying to get it to form some complicated shape, but it imploded in his face, showering that end of the table with black smoke.
"Dismissed," Hammond managed to choke out, escaping the smoke quickly.
Ame poked one glossy photo, tracing the glyphs present and mouthing the words in Goa'uld. He was uncharacteristically serious, a fact that hadn't gone unnoticed by the other people in the room, but they would rather have him as serious and helpful than unhelpful in the least. Yami was working with Daniel, the two of them discussing varying topics and scribbling things in each other's notes occasionally, while Isis and Malik, who had dropped in uninvited, were on the other side of the room, typing out translations from the tablets. After all this time a good 80 of the tablets had been typed out, and with both Malik and Isis, and often Ryou as well, working together, it wouldn't take much longer to finish.
Jack poked his head in on this peaceful scene and was vaguely disappointed. With Ame there, he expected the sometimes humorless group of scholars to be a little more lively, but all the Tok'ra did was glance up at him before returning to his work. A bit put out, Jack nevertheless entered and walked over to where Daniel and Yami were.
"Hey," he greeted them, keeping his voice low unconsciously. He felt like he was in a library with a group of librarians ready to boot him at a moment's notice. "How's it going?"
"There's nothing from our last mission to help us on our search," Daniel sighed. "Me, Yami, and Ame have been working all evening and there's nothing there."
"You mean all night," Jack said in amusement. "It's morning."
Daniel and Yami both glanced at the wall clock and were vaguely surprised.
"Yugi didn't contact me," the dark spirit murmured. "He must have done his homework and gone to bed without wanting to disturb me." He smiled fondly.
"And I just didn't get tired," Daniel added, bemused.
"Well, our mission to the planet of the trees is tomorrow, so you all had better go get some food and rest," Jack grinned. "Yami, Yugi's already at school, I saw him and Ryou leave already, so you're free to either go back there or crash here." He looked over at Ame and added, "That applies to you too, you know. I happen to know that Seto's still on base."
Ame looked up at him, still mouthing a couple of words, and blinked a couple of times. "What?"
"Seto's still on base."
Ame whooped, dropping the photo on the table and vanishing from sight. Jack grinned.
"Figured that would help. Anyway, what have you two found?" he asked, directing the question at the Ishtar siblings.
"A probable description of the home of the Eye of Osiris," Isis replied. "I'll forward it to the General."
"I've just found a couple of references to a woman named Faizah," Malik shrugged, prodding the tablet. "Apparently, she was supposed to hide the Eyes, but failed and was captured by Ra, who reclaimed his Eye. But I don't know if Faizah was the name of the human or her symbiote, because the tablets mention a 'fallen hero', but Faizah's mentioned separately. This is in the part referencing Ame though, so who knows. Could just be a nickname for him."
"That's interesting," Yami mused, going over to stand near Malik and scan his translation, as well as the original tablet.
/There's a picture of a woman on the nightstand in his soul room/ Yugi mused without warning, causing the dark spirit to start. /I wonder if that's her? /
/And how would you know? / Yami asked, bemused.
/I've gone in there a couple of times to see him, that's all. He comes into our soul rooms, what's wrong with going into his? /
/Shouldn't you be paying attention to class? / Yami teased. His light's amusement echoed down their bond.
/How could I, with the racket from your end? / Yugi teased right back.
"Yami?" Jack asked, waving his hand in front of the dark spirit's face. Yami automatically pushed the hand away and blinked.
"Yugi says that Ame has a picture of a woman on his nightstand in his soul room," Yami reported.
They didn't notice that Ame had returned, and so were surprised when he spoke. "Faizah was my previous host," he said quietly. "She died."
There was an awkward silence for all of two minutes before Ame's smile reasserted itself. "But what are we all doing in here being gloomy? Let's go! There's some awesome pizza waiting in the cafeteria!" He latched onto Yami's arm and yanked the dark spirit out of the room, ignoring the inarticulate protests ("I don't EAT pizza!" "Ame, you're shorter than me, stop dragging me!") that were directed at him. Jack followed, amused, and the rest of the scholar group took his lead, glad of a break and a chance to fill their rumbling bellies.
After the unexpected pizza party, in which half of the off-duty SGC members were subject to the… well, it wasn't the strangest thing they'd seen, but their senior officer getting into a brownie war with a couple of identical Japanese teens, two visiting Egyptians, and half of SG-1 certainly ranked high on their "weird crap-o-meter", everyone, even those not involved, were left cleaning up the mess. The party had come to a crashing end when Ame tried his hand at making a shadow that he really had no control over, resulting in a rather spectacular explosion and dusting everyone in the vicinity with shiny dark glitter.
Ame was still pouting, sweeping with a large broom in the middle of the room, with Yami on a stepladder getting some pizza remains off the ceiling.
"It's not like I meant to do that," the Tok'ra grumbled, getting a nice pile of glitter, pepperoni, and broken plates. "It's just that shadows are weird!" He grabbed one of those nifty dustpans with the long handles that meant he didn't have to bend over and started shoveling the pile into it.
"The Shadows don't like you, it seems," Yami corrected him. "Everything you try ends up in pieces. I doubt even if Yugi and I tried to teach you, we'd avoid the instance entirely. Therefore," and with this statement he pointed his washrag at Ame, his best threatening glare on his face, "please do not try anymore. It's more harm than good."
"Since when has that stopped me?" Ame grunted rebelliously. Yami threw the washrag at him, smearing the Tok'ra with soapy pizza remains. "EW EW EW EW EW! All right, all right! I won't try Shadow Magic anymore! Can you at least show me how to work the Duel Disk? YOU can summon monsters, but I, apparently, can't. Bit of a disadvantage, isn't it?"
Yami retrieved his washrag and offered Ame a clean one, which the Tok'ra promptly used to scrub his face practically raw. "We'll see. If you must learn, get Seto to teach you."
On the other side of the room, Isis and Malik were eying the exchange.
"How long were you going to let Ame blow things up before you told him the false gods couldn't use magic?" Malik asked conversationally, on his hands and knees with a brush and a bucket. This was an area of floor Ame had already swept, so he didn't have that hard of a time… except in the place where someone had the bright idea of shooting a poor green pepper slice.
"Not for very much longer. It's surprising that it took him that long to try," Isis murmured. She was cleaning off the nearest table, which was close enough to where, if they kept their voices down, they could talk in relative privacy. Jack shot them strange looks but continued his low conversation with Daniel. "I knew that Yami would stop him eventually."
"Not before we were stuck doing this," Malik grumbled.