Troubles of a dead person

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Warnings/notes : Noa/Mokuba/Rebecca, major weirdness/kind of AU/insanity, Seto/Joey, oocness.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 15th july 2004, by Misura, in reply to a challenge made by alexiserenita which stated :

"Fandom: Yuugiou

Pairing: Noa x Mokuba x Rebecca

Dialogue: "How the -beep- did I get into this?"

Title: The Troubles of a Dead Person"

Note : A 'doujinshi' is a fan-comic.

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Being dead turned out to be a whole lot ... different than from what Noa'd expected. He wasn't entirely sure what he -had- thought the afterlife would look like, but being decked out with a quiver of odd-looking little arrows and wings, before being sent back to Earth wasn't it, of that much he was sure.

Although the ... being who had given him the quiver -had- mumbled something about this being some sort of 'temporal assignment'. Even if that -might- have been merely a way to get rid of Noa and his protests that he knew absolutely nothing about match-making and romance.

"Hey, are you here to replace me?"

Noa blinked, slowly turning around (which was quite an accomplishment, really; those small wings on his back sure weren't easy to maneuver with). He came face to face with a young man of about fifteen years old, blonde with brown eyes, wearing some sort of ... Egyptian slave-outfit? The clothing fitted quite badly with his wings, that much was sure.

"I ... don't think so," Noa replied cautiously. "Who are you?"

The blonde's shoulders slumped. "My name is Jourewet. Sometimes also called Jotemu or Joujura. I prefer 'Jou' for short."

"Ah. Haven't I ever met you before?" Noa was pretty sure he -had-, but maybe it was better not to say so outright. 'Oh yeah, I tried to steal your body and turned you to stone once. Good old times, eh?' was probably not going to improve his odds at getting some help from Jou.

"Not a chance." Jou sighed, then cheered up again. "Though you may have met my hikari. Joey Wheeler, called Katsuya Jounouchi in japanese. Looks just like me, loves food and is a bit of a hothead. I'm his yami, coming with the Millennium Spoon."

"Excuse me?" Great. Just Noa's luck. Jou was obviously deranged.

"Oh, sorry, you're one of those script-approved guys. Forget I said anything. Let's just keep it simple then. I'm the previous incarnation of Joey, who lived in Ancient Egypt as a slave. Only I didn't make it through the last round of script-writing. Which is why there's no such thing as the Millennium Spoon, of course. Not cool enough, He said. As if a set of scales is so 'cool'. Or a really girly necklace."

"Uhm." Noa decided that perhaps he was better off not knowing. "And why are you here?"

"Well, to play Cupid, of course! If I manage that, I'll get some doujinshi of my own and then I'll get a promotion to 'made-up character', instead of 'trashed concept'," Jou explained.

"For Mokuba?" Noa inquired, puzzled. Why had -he- been sent here if Jou was already taking care of that? Not that Jou didn't look like he could use some serious help ...

"For Seto! Whom I used to know as Seth, or Set, or Setamu, or Setekhmet, or whatever name they came up with for him in Ancient Egypt. I have to make him fall for my present version, which gives me a lot of mixed feelings, let me tell you! I mean, Set's kind of mine, you know. And even if that Joey's kind of me, he's not -really- me. So ... I've lost you, haven't I?"

"You have to match-make someone you actually want for your own," Noa mumbled.

"Awww, you too? Life's a real -beep-, isn't it?" Jou said sympathetically. "Don't mind the 'beep'. It's just there to keep this fic low-rated."

"Oh." Noa sat down on a cloud. "So ... what am I to do now?"

Jou shrugged. "Kind of depends. Do you know if they like each other? Have they ever met in-script, or do you have to fanonize their meeting?"

" 'Fanonize'?" Noa's head was beginning to hurt. Which was utterly unfair. Dead people shouldn't be suffering from headaches.

"Means that you inspire some girl to write about it. Or some boy, though that's pretty rare. I have a list with names and favorite pairings, if that helps," Jou offered.

"I ... don't know," Noa admitted.

"Well, let's find out then. I'll help you." Jou grinned. "Accidentally having someone call the wrong phone-number is one of the easiest things for our kind to accomplish. I'll just let her phone him, and we'll hear exactly how things are between them."

"What about your own task?" Noa frowned. "Shouldn't you be doing something about Seto and Joey?"

"Nah." Jou shook his head. "They're busy in Seto's bedroom right now. Not a pretty sight, if you ask me. No one ever does, of course. Story of my life."

Noa tried to picture what Seto and Joey might be doing in Seto's bedroom. He nosebled.

"It's sick, really," Jou rambled on. "I mean, whoever heard of people doing -homework- in a -bedroom-?! Normal people -sleep- in there, but no, not Seto Kaiba. He has to do maths and biology in there. Yuck. My Set was a lot more sensible."

"Are you sure that's all they're doing?" Noa informed. He might have been a ten-year-old for ... a long time, but having unlimited access to the Internet had given him a somewhat more mature mind than the average ten-year-old boy.

"It's what they tell Mokuba. And I sure ain't going to check on them to see if it's true." Jou shivered.

"Right." Noa thought that perhaps Jou wasn't quite as naive as he sounded. And if he was, Noa wasn't going to 'enlighten' him.

They floated through the walls of the Kaiba-mansion and started searching for a phone.

"We'll have to make sure it's one that Mokuba will pick up after one or two rings. Seto has very sensitive ears, and I don't want him and Joey to break up sooner than they have to."

Noa nodded absently, until something occurred to him. "If they're ... doing homework together, doesn't that mean your task is done? I mean ... Seto doesn't do homework with just -anybody-, does he?"

"Of course not!" Jou appeared shocked. "It's merely that ... well ... "

Somewhere in the house, a door was slammed. Hard.

"I'm out of here! And I'm not going to come back, even if you -beg- me!" a voice yelled.

"Fine! See if I care! You're nothing but a stupid mutt!" another voice screamed back.

More doors were slammed, probably indicating that someone was making his way to the hallway. And that a big mansion had a whole lot of doors between the master-bedroom and the hall.

"It's merely that they break up once or twice a week. In a good week, that is. Then they don't talk to each other for days, before making ou- uhm -up- again and forgetting about the whole fight," Jou sighed.

"After which everything starts all over again," Noa guessed.

"Yup," Jou nodded. "At first, my task was to have them marry. Now, I only have to get them to stick together for the entirety of three days. Which is still impossible to do. I'm sooo -beep-ed!"

"What about Mokuba?" Noa couldn't imagine living close to someone as apparently stumped about romantic relationships as Seto without getting a rather twisted idea about love as well.

"Oh, don't worry. He's yell-deaf. If it's anything louder than a normal, speaking-voice, he doesn't hear it. When Seto whispers 'I love you' to Joey in his sleep, Mokuba hears it, even if -his- room is at the other end of the corridor. But when Seto screams 'I hate you' at the top of his lungs, the kid sleeps right through it. Pretty strange, huh?"

"Yes, it is," Noa agreed. "Do you think that phone's suitable?"

"Well, I think I remember Mokuba having a cell-phone. So I thought we could check if that one's on and within reach. He's in his room right now." Jou pointed in the direction of a door, on which a small sign that said 'Mokuba's room' was attached.

"Sounds like a solid plan." Noa stepped through the door, curious to see what Mokuba's room would look like.

"I'm a genius," Jou stated. "As a comical contrast with my other self, because They thought it would be funny. I think it's rather lame, really. But once again, no one's asked -me- anything. Story of my life."

"Nobody's asked -me- if I wanted to die either," Noa snapped.

"Hey, at least you had a -life-. That's more than -I- ever got, so don't expect me to feel sorry for you. And They'll probably figure out some way in which you survived after all. Like some crazy scientist linking your brains to a computer, so that even while your body's dead, your mind's still alive. And then you'd become a master of the virtual world, and the good guys could get sucked into there. Then they'd have to fight for their lives, well, duel for their lives, of course. And - what?"

"They, whoever 'they' are, already did that," Noa declared.

"Not 'they'. They. With a capital 't'. The Creators. The people who wrote The Script. And I bet someone somewhere has got a back-up of you. You'll see."

"Hmm. Is that his cell-phone?" Noa opted to change the subject.

"Ah, yes. Give me one second. I need to concentrate." Jou closed his eyes and made some vague gestures, mumbling words in a language Noa didn't recognize. He'd assume it to be Ancient Egyptian, except that it seemed doubtful that a spell to affect cell-phones would be in a language that had been dead -centuries- before people even invented normal phones.

Noa's gaze wandered over to the figure lying on the bed. Mokuba seemed to be asleep at first sight, undisturbed by the shouting-match between Seto and Joey, as well as the slamming doors. His breathing wasn't quite in the right rhythm though. Noa concluded Mokuba was only -pretending- to be asleep.

He wasn't quite sure who Mokuba was trying to fool; though he'd succeeded in convincing Jou that he was perfectly all right (aside from a case of 'yell-deafness'), Mokuba was, as a normal, living person, unable to see him. Maybe Mokuba was trying to fool himself?

The phone rang, causing Mokuba to jump up and answer it. Way too fast for someone who'd been asleep mere seconds ago. Noa sourly concluded that Jou wasn't very observant.

"Rebecca? How did you get my number?" Mokuba didn't sound very joyful. Then again, Noa wouldn't be very happy either if his beloved brother's relationship had just crashed, never mind that it wasn't the first time.

"Oh." Mokuba laughed. More sheepishly than out of true amusement, but still ... It was a hopeful sign. "No, of course not. Only - noooo, I didn't forget. Eleven hour sharp, at the ice-cream parlor. See? I'd never forget a date with you! I don't think - Seto and Joey are -fine-. Geez. You listen to gossip too much. All right then, see you tomorrow."

Noa wished Jou had included being able to listen in on both sides of the conversation in his magic spell. He could pick up -some- things from hearing just Mokuba's side, of course, but ...

"Sounds like someone made a clerical error," Jou remarked.

Noa stared at him curiously. "What makes you say that?"

"Didn't you hear him? They have a -date-. So it seems that they don't need anyone to play match-maker for them at all; they did it all by themselves already. Lucky you!"

"Funny. I don't feel lucky at all," Noa muttered. "I feel like I'm stuck with some lunatic, in a world that's gone totally crazy, without having done anything to deserve this kind of mess. How the -beep- did I get into this?"

"I -told- you They had a back-up installed of you somewhere!" Jou beamed at him, pointing cheerfully at Noa's feet. Which were slowly disappearing into thin air.

It didn't exactly -hurt-, but it was definitely unsettling.

Especially when it, whatever 'it' was, reached his head. Things got pretty dark after that, for a while.

And then he saw a bright flash of light.

And he saw Them.

" ... now, there's this scientist who used to work for Kaiba Corp., only Seto fired him. And he's got this back-up of his most important projects, -including- Noa's. Of course, he activates it to get revenge on his former employer. What do you think?"

"I don't know; doesn't it sound a little too much like the Big Five all over again? Why can't we do something with Ancient Egypt instead? Maybe put an incarnation of Joey in there, have him argue with Priest Seth ... "

"How about ... "

Noa screamed silently as the papers containing the script about the mad scientist was turned to paper spaghetti by a shredder.

Waking up next to a drowsy Mokuba who wished him a good morning with a kiss made up for a lot though. Even if Noa wasn't quite sure whether or not this was another script.

OWARI

A/N : I did warn you it was weird.