OK, no author notes here. Mua. Story.

Malik: -.- Daricio, you are going to be one sad little girl when you get no reviews.

Daricio: Heeeey... Just because there's no author notes doesn't mean no reviews... Sides, I'm trying to bring down the amount of script format in this story.

Malik: .... Why? Because that one idiot reported/removed Karaoke Night?

Daricio: No, that I didn't care about. I'm doing it so that I can mentally yell at said person for also reporting DVD's story.

Malik: Oh.

Daricio: And also because I feel like getting to the story. But since you insist upon it, Malik, a small explanation. This is one of many small plot bunnies that have been bouncing around in my soul room and driving me crazy... They only go away when you write them. This is a one-shot song-fic , so it won't be continued. And don't mind if the POV switches right in the middle of something. I'm crazy. Mua.

Malik: ... Right...

Daricio: Am I allowed to start the story yet?

Malik: (rolls eyes) I suppose...

Daricio: yay!

Notes:

[(italics)] = song lyrics.

Normal italics is either thinking, or emphasis on words.

The song in this story is "Runaway" by Linkin Park.

(----Divider----)

Rishid slowly paced down the perpetually darkened stone hallways of his home. He was trying not to be heard. If Mr. Ishtar found out that he was awake at this hour, he could get into a lot of trouble, even if he was 20 years old.

He turned into Malik's room, hiding the light of his candle behind one hand so as not to disturb the boy.

He didn't need to have worried, though. Malik was already awake and waiting for him with a bright expression on his face.

"Hi, Rishid!" he said happily, but quietly. "You ok?"

Rishid smiled and nodded at the 11-year-old. "Yes, I'm fine, Malik-sama. I simply wanted to check up on you, since you've been having those nightmares recently."

Malik grinned and gave his adoptive brother a hug. "I'm ok, nii-san. Is nee-san awake yet?"

Rishid shrugged. "I don't know, I haven't been down there yet. She usually is up by now, though, helping out in the kitchens."

Malik nodded. "Mm. I had wanted to talk to her about something..."

"Talk to me about what?" Isis asked from the doorway, looking amused.

The two brothers looked up and Malik grinned again. "Morning, Nee-san!"

"Good morning, brothers. You two are up early. I heard voices and came to see who was awake over here." She said, smiling at the both of them and coming to sit in the chair by Malik's bed.

Malik threw his feet out from under the covers so he could give his sister a hug. "Today's going to be a good day, isn't it nee-san?" he asked excitedly.

She blinked down at him with a small smile. "Oh? And why is that?"

"Father's going to that dumb annual ceremony that he has to go to once a year. There'll be nobody here!" Malik giggled and leaned back in his bed. "No studying for today!"

Isis laughed and Rishid smiled at the boy. "Father would probably notice if no work got done, Malik." He said wisely.

Malik looked at him disappointedly. "Aw, Rishid... We've at least got to do something fun today..."

"We will, Malik." Isis said gently. "I promise."

Malik's face brightened considerably and his face gained a slightly mischievous look. "I have an idea for something to do today."

Rishid and Isis exchanged glances.

"What's your idea?" Rishid asked.

"Rishid... Isis... Today, can you take me to see the upside world?" he asked, his eyes getting big.

Both of the older Ishtars' smiles faltered and a look of fear crossed their faces. "But, Malik..."

"Just for an hour, at least! Nobody will be here all day, right? There's no way anybody will ever know, and I really want to at least be able to feel real light on my face once in my life!" Malik said quickly, his eyes pleading just as much as his voice was. "Please, Rishid... Isis..."

Isis closed her eyes and bit her lip, thinking hard. She felt so sorry for her little brother, and how he had never seen things of the outside world before. The only time the boy had even seen so much as a flower was when Rishid had brought home enough to show him how to weave a daisy chain.

He had been through so much for a young child... Even going through the tortures of the Pharaoh's memories... and by his own father...

[(Graffiti decorations, under a sky of dust. A constant wave of tension on top of broken trust.)]

Rishid was thinking similar thoughts, glancing anxiously from one adopted sibling to the other. What would be best for their little brother? Horrible things would happen if anybody ever found out... But on the other side, even being able to feel a simple breeze blow against him might help take away the dark shadows he had already been able to see in his brother's mind and heart.

It might just ease his pain...

"Oh..." Isis opened her eyes again and looked into Malik's large lavender ones. "Oh, I suppose... But for an hour only!"

Malik looked as though he was going to explode with joy as he laughed and hugged his older sister. Rishid smiled.

"I'll stay here, in case Father comes back early. I can cover for you, say that you were both sleeping in, and not to disturb you." He said slowly, knowing that with these words he would miss the opportunity to see the look on Malik's face at all the new things.

Isis smiled gratefully at him. "Thank you, Rishid."

Malik gave him another hug to show his gratitude.

Isis and Malik left a half hour later, after helping Rishid with the "still in bed" disguises. Rishid slowly retreated to his own room so that he could get some of his own household duties completed.

He entered the darkened room and placed his candle on the small stone table by his bed. Compared to a normal room, Malik's room seemed desolate and cold, especially for an 11 year old. There were no toys anywhere. No posters, not even hand-drawn pictures, on the walls.

But even so... Rishid's adoptive father seemed to always make sure that no matter how cold his own son's accommodations were, Rishid's were even worse.

Rishid didn't really mind this too much. He already knew that his 'father' didn't care much for him at all. And he also knew the reasons as well.

He sat down on his bed and sighed, looking at his hands in deep thought.

Very often in his life, he had thought about running away from this place. Running and running, and never coming back. He had even thought of taking Isis and Malik with him...

But no... He shook his head. He had gone over it a million times. If he went alone, he would forever miss his siblings, and he would be unable to keep his promise to their mother.

If he took them with him... They were too young, and so many things could happen to them, especially in a place like Egypt, where most of everything around was desert.

He sighed and stood up again, looking around his room and beginning to straighten things up a little. But that's when he noticed the face looming in the darkness by his door.

He blinked, and immediately lowered his eyes in fear and respect. "H-hello, Father."

Mr. Ishtar stepped into the room, arms folded, and eyes glaring. "Come with me." He said without a greeting.

Rishid bowed and followed his father out of the room, his mind racing. Not only was father back early, he was back VERY early. He wasn't sure if he would be able to keep up the disguise for an entire hour...

"Are you aware of where your brother and sister are?" his father asked as they walked.

"T-they're both still in bed, master. They weren't feeling well." Rishid answered.

"Oh, were they? That's such a shame." His father said, almost conversationally.

Rishid shuddered slightly. There was something wrong here. His adoptive father never spoke to him like an equal at any time.

They walked in silence for a moment before Mr. Ishtar turned them into Malik's room. Rishid started to panic.

"Master, perhaps it would be best if we didn't disturb him?" he said timidly.

"Oh, I do not believe he will be disturbed. You see, you may not have been aware of this, but he left this morning with his sister." He said with an accusing tone.

Rishid's eyes opened wide. "But.."

Mr. Ishtar threw back Malik's covers to reveal the disguise. "Servant..." he said, turning back to Rishid with a cold fury in his eyes. "Do you believe me to be stupid?!"

"N-no!" Rishid took a step backwards.

"Did you honestly think that just because my dear wife took you in, you could do whatever you wanted in here?!" Mr. Ishtar was ranting now, hurling things from the shelves onto the floor.

"My only heir, my only son, is out there in the dangers of the world. Worse, he's breaking tradition. And whose fault is it? Yours. Who prodded him into it? You. Who helped him?!"

Rishid cowered behind his hands. "I did.."

"Do you not think that you are the only person in the house, servant? I heard you making plans this morning, and when the alarm went off, I knew that you had actually been thick skulled enough to try it!" he continued.

"I-I'm sorry... Master..." was all Rishid could think to say.

"Not sorry enough, you aren't." Mr. Ishtar shot back, pulling out his whip. "Not yet..."

Rishid was then dragged into the family's main room. The beatings began, one whip lash after another, and Rishid couldn't even put up his hands to block himself, for they were tied together.

For almost the entire hour, continuous pain coursed through Rishid's entire body every time the whip connected again with his skin.

Please... Malik... Isis... Run away... Never come back! Don't come back to this! Not with what he'll put you through... Run away... his mind was thinking by itself, willing his thoughts to be sent to his siblings. Get away from here...

After what seemed like an eternity, Rishid heard fast footsteps running through the halls. There was a gasp, and he heard Malik call his name.

No...

The whip connected with his back, and he fell to the floor once again, trying to look up at his brother and sister.

"Malik..." Mr. Ishtar said with anger, breathing heavily.

Even without the whip currently hitting him, Rishid was still filled with pain throughout his entire body, everywhere the cool air touched his torn skin. He struggled to stay conscious, the pain was so great.

Malik's father spoke to his son for a few more seconds, but Rishid's temples were throbbing so much that he couldn't hear what was said. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see his siblings standing there. Malik slowly looked down at the ground, one hand holding his head.

Malik...

The whip suddenly rushed towards the small boy. If Rishid could, he would have cried out. It was going to take him completely off guard!

Malik's hand shot up and the whip wrapped itself around his wrist, the end of it caught in his fist. He raised his head and looked at his father as the man tried to pull his whip back.

As the shadows fell away from the boy's face, Rishid stared. This wasn't his brother... He wasn't sure how he knew, but he did...

'Malik' yanked the whip out of his father's grip and threw it aside, calm amusement on his face. Slowly, he walked further into the room.

"What do you think you're doing?" Mr. Ishtar raged, as if he were still in control of the situation.

Malik didn't answer, continuing to walk towards the place where the family's two Millennium Items were held. He picked up the Millennium Rod.

"Put that down, this instant! You're not allowed to touch those!" The man yelled from behind him.

"Quiet, fool." Malik said, speaking up for the first time. His voice was different, darker, confirming Rishid's fears that this wasn't his brother.

"What? How dare you speak to me like that?" he demanded as Malik turned to face him.

"I said quiet!" Malik reached out towards his father with the Rod. A greenish force wave came forth from it, sending him flying into a wall, pinning him there.

He struggled for a moment against the force holding him there. "Malik! Think what you're doing!"

Malik stepped towards him, and Isis rushed forward.

"Malik-kun!" she shouted. He gave her an annoyed glance, and with a short flick of the Millennium Rod, sent her backwards to be pinned to the opposite wall.

"Don't interfere, woman."

"You... You're not Malik...!" Isis squeaked as she struggled against the Rod's power.

Malik just laughed and resumed going towards his father. A maniacal grin began to spread across his face as he pulled the golden sheath off of the Millennium Item.

"No... No! NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

Rishid forced his eyes shut as he listened to the anguished screams of his adoptive father. Malik... Why...?

Malik laughed, beginning to head for his sister now.

"Malik..." Rishid coughed. "Don't do this, Malik!"

Malik stopped, turning and glaring at Rishid. "And who says I shouldn't?" he asked with a cackle. "Who will stop me? Not you! In fact, who's to stop me from killing you as well, dear brother?!"

Rishid's eyes widened and Malik turned on him instead, the already bloody Rod at the ready in his hands. He winced and shut his eyes, preparing himself for the end.

"Malik-sama... let me protect you..." he whispered.

When, in a few seconds, nothing happened he looked up again. Malik was staring at his face with a look that seemed to be a cross between astonishment and annoyance.

The Millennium Rod dropped from his hands, clattering onto the floor. He gripped his head with both hands, dropping to his knees on the stone floor and letting out a short cry of anguish.

When he next looked up at Rishid, his wide purple eyes were once again his own innocent ones. "R-Rishid? What happened?"

Rishid quickly pulled him into a hug as best as he could with his tied hands, trying to keep the boy from seeing just what had happened.

It didn't work, and soon Malik spotted his father. Yelling, he tried to pull away from Rishid.

"Father! Father, what happened?!?" He screamed, tears pouring down his face. "Rishid... Rishid..." He buried his face in Rishid's shirt.

Isis ran over from where she had been released from the wall and gave both her brothers a hug.

Malik looked up and over at the spot where their father lay in a backdrop of his own blood, almost as if wishing that it wasn't true... That what had just happened hadn't.

Rishid held Malik tight, trying desperately to think of something to say to the boy to comfort him. For once, he was at a loss for words...

(----Divider----)

Malik's small figure shook with sobs as he lay in bed. He was in pain, almost as much as the day a little over a year ago when his father had carved the ancient runes of the Pharaoh's memory into his back.

This wasn't a physical pain, though, like that had been, but there was a strange familiarity about it. His mind was racing so fast that his head was spinning.

On that day, he had seemed strangely detached from everything, and every once in a while, his sheer anger at the world was so great his vision began to slip.

Today was the same, but different. The pain itself was mostly just a headache this time, but Malik assumed that this was from the hit on the head he had received when his father's murderer had snuck into the house behind him.

Or... Or so Isis and Rishid had later told him.

The blow had apparently knocked him out. Their story seemed to hold true, as the last thing he remembered before blacking out was a tremendous pain on his head.

But still, he felt the same detachment seeming to linger in his whole body, and for some reason if he listened closely, he could hear somebody laughing...

Malik turned over in bed so that he was lying on his back and he let out a shuddering sigh. His father was dead.... dead...

And the worst part about it was that he wasn't sure if he really cared...

He was scared, sure. Who wouldn't be, especially a small boy? Scared for what would happen next... what was to come...

But he had never had any real feelings of family toward his father. Not like he did towards Rishid and Isis.

But still, the sheer lack of sorrow for the loss scared him more than anything else did... And that's why he cried...

Why does this sort of thing have to happen to our family? He wondered to himself angrily. Of all people, why would the Pharaoh want to kill our father?

He grit his teeth and stared up at the ceiling. Whoever the Pharaoh is, he's a pretty stupid, heartless guy... Picking on the people in charge of keeping his memories...

His eyes softened in the darkness and he sighed, blowing his hair out of his face with the breath. Not that we're doing the best job of it... All our stupid traditions that get us nowhere...

He could almost feel the pain on his back again as he thought of the ritual, and other meaningless things.

Like never being allowed to see the sun...

He sighed again. He had seen so many beautiful things that day... he pulled the picture of the motorcycle out from under his pillow and looked at it, his eyes beginning to mist over again.

So many things...

[(The lessons that you taught me, I learned were never true... Now I find myself in question.)]

Malik's thoughts drifted back to what the strange man in the streets had said to him and Isis. "You're taking your first steps down the paths of darkness... The Pharaoh soon will rise... And the Pharaoh gives rise to this fate..." he had said...

I'm 'taking steps'...? But what did I do? Malik wondered in frustration. The shadowy laughter in his ears returned and he shook his head hard to clear it.

[(... (they point the finger at me again) guilty by association. (you point the finger at me again)... )]

He rolled over again and stared at the ceiling, the motorcycle picture clenched in his hand. A new thought entered into his mind.

I can't stay here anymore. I just can't... he squeezed his eyes shut at the thought.

Slowly, he climbed out of bed and looked around his room. It wasn't the impeccably clean room it usually was due to his father getting mad at him and Rishid earlier... But it was still his home... his room...

He sighed, the answer clear in his mind now. He crossed the room and began placing clothes into a small pack. He wouldn't need much.

[(I wanna run away, never say goodbye. I wanna know the truth, instead of wondering why. I wanna know the answers, no more lies.)]

Once that was done, he slipped his sandals on and moved into the kitchen area to pack himself enough food to last until he could find something else.

Finally, he started towards the underground complex's main doors.

As he went down the long hallways, he stopped at the entrance to Isis' bedroom. Looking in, he could see that she was asleep, but turning fitfully in her sleep.

Malik's eyes filled with tears again. He suddenly wanted to go and try to comfort her, as little as he could do to actually help... But he knew that he couldn't.

If he tried to, then she would wake up... And she'd never let him go...

"I'm sorry, nee-san..." he whispered into the darkness, unwilling to let himself tell her goodbye. "I'll see you again."

He closed his eyes and continued walking down the hall without looking back. As he reached the fork that would lead him either towards Rishid's room or the front entrance, he stopped once again.

Hesitating at the turn, he tried to decide whether or not to go and see Rishid one last time. After a moment, he shook his head and headed for the entrance.

Rishid was the best friend Malik had ever had. He had always been there to look after him, to play with him, to comfort him. No matter what Malik had been through in his life, he could count on Rishid to go through the same things just to remind him that he would never be alone.

If Malik allowed himself even one last glace, he knew, he would never be able to let that go... He would end up convincing himself to stay... and he couldn't do that.

He sighed as he reached the front door. Slowly, he pushed it open and stepped out into the darkness. He stepped out and closed the door as quietly as he could.

[(I wanna shut the door and open up my mind...)]

Looking around, he sighed as the breeze blew gently against his face. The area around looked different during the night than it had earlier that day... There were more shadows around...

But at least he could see the sky.

Malik adjusted his pack on his shoulder and started off.

"Malik, wait..." A voice called out from the darkness near the doorway. Malik froze and turned around.

"Rishid?" he ventured.

The dark figure stepped forward, allowing the moonlight shine on his face. "Don't worry, it's me."

Malik began to cry again, running forward and giving Rishid a hug. "Rishid, don't make me stay back here. I need to go. I need to!"

[(Reprimands and angry voices under a sky of dust, another wave of tension has more than filled me up.)]

Rishid nodded in understanding. "I know, Malik... I understand..." He pulled away from Malik enough to show him that he, too, had a bag packed. "But I'm going with you."

Malik smiled up at his brother with gratitude. "Thank you, Rishid..." he whispered. "I don't know what I'd ever do without you..."

[(All my talk of taking action, these words were never true. Now I find myself in question.. (They point the finger at me again) Guilty by association (You point the finger at me again)...)]

And so, hand in hand, the two took off into the darkness. They would never see their former home again.

[(I wanna run away, never say goodbye, I wanna know the truth, instead of wondering why. I wanna know the answers. No more lies. I wanna shut the door and open up my mind...

I wanna run away and open up my mind...)]

(----Divider----)

And that's that! Hope you liked it!

Just the note that I don't own the song and that I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh, and that's the end. (sigh) that took quite a while...

Malik: It didn't take too long... Only 12 pages...

Daricio: I meant time for me to actually write it. (sweatdrop) I kept getting writer's block...

Malik: Yeah, it's a good thing your mom made you go to your grandma's house to pick green beans in the rain so that you'd have time to do this.

Daricio: -.- Yeah, joy.

Malik: (smirk)

Daricio: Anyways, any of you other muses have anything else to say about this?

Radley: Only that Malik's right... It really didn't take very long for you to write it.. Even if you had to cut the end of the song off because the story wasn't long enough.

Kura: Eh, but even still, it turned out pretty ok...

Daricio: Yay, one of my muses actually likes me. (sweatdrop)

Radley and Malik: (shrug)

Kura: (amused sweatdrop)

Daricio: But anyways, like I said, that's all there is to this story. See you later, reviewers! Review!

(Note, this story actually got posted up 3 days after I finished writing it... My posting abilities had still been restricted due to Karaoke Night being removed. Turns out, it was a semi-good thing, because then Lisa had a chance to read it before it was put up. She made several suggestions to the story that I ended up putting in, and I thanks her muchly for that. )