WSJ: *tries not to kill her siblings* Ugh...
Chiot: *rolls his eyes and pokes her*
WSJ: *blink* Ahhh. Konnichiwa minna! Welcome to the seventh story in the Tales of the Child of Fate. This probably isn't going to make any sense unless you've read the previous six stories, starting with Visions of the Heart all the way up through Home Sweet Home and Tarnished Soul (written by Ebony Kuroneko).
Unmei: In the authors notes, Chiot and I are now going to be called by our TS nicknames, because that just makes it easier for SJ. In the story, however, we're still Ryou and Bakura. ^^ You'll see.
WSJ: *pokes Chiot* Do disclaimer.
Chiot: *grumbles and steps forward* WSJ does not own YGO in any way, shape, or form. Amoura Letazaut, Lisa O'Kelley, Yunet, and Amoura's family all belong to Brood Mayran. Sekil, Arca, and Lark belong to Ebony Kuroneko. Gwen Kennady, Hiro Kawigami, Takeo Tomia, the Elementals, and various other OCs belong to WSJ. Am I forgetting any?
WSJ: *grin* The four girls that run the tattoo and piercing shop own themselves. Cameos, yay! :p On to the fic!
The Yamis of Tokyo U: Sophomore
Chapter 1 - Stupidity Loves Company
"Tell me, is guys being afraid to stop and ask for directions standard in every generation?"
~(Yugi talking to Yami; DarkGatomon, As If!)
"Tell me, is guys being afraid to stop and ask for directions standard in every generation?"
"Happy birthday Ryou!"
The date was September the second. Ryou Bakura, blind telepathic son of a goddess, was turning twenty. It was just after five o'clock in the evening, and everyone had gathered at the Game Shop for a party. It had been little more than five days since Ryou, Bakura, and Yami had flown back from Egypt, barely six since Ryou and Bakura had returned from the True Realm. Fate, Shen, Yugi, and Yami were the only ones so far who had heard of their adventure. Soloman Moto, along with Fate, Shen, Isis, Shaadi, and Arthur Hawkins, were still in Egypt, excavating Mahaado and Mana's tomb now that the spirits of the two ancient mages had departed. There was no telling when they'd be back. The day after tomorrow, everyone would be driving up to Tokyo to return to school for another year at college. Well, most everyone. Serenity, Mokuba, and a few of their friends were still in high school.
Ryou smiled at his older brother Bakura as the ex-yami handed him a small package wrapped and tied with ribbon. Eagerly the telepath unwrapped it and lifted the lid off the box, blinking at what he found.
Inside, sitting on a cushion of cotton, was an earring. A silver stud, with an opaque, sandy stone cut and set into it. The stone was about the size of Ryou's pinkie finger nail. Usually, he wouldn't have been able to sense this gift, since his telepathic "vision" didn't allow him to see stone or metal, but this stone gave off a peculiar aura of its own, like a tiny, pulsing star of magic. Ryou knew right away what it was. "Bakura..."
Bakura smiled at him. "Mine's been set too. We'll go tonight and have them done."
Ryou nodding, smiling gratefully up at his big brother.
A few weeks ago, Bakura, Yami, and Ryou had gone to Egypt because Mahaado was causing trouble. It turned out that he and Mana had been bound to the jewels on the ends of their staffs, and if the jewels were smashed their spirits would be free to move on to the afterlife. Mahaado had tried to kill Ryou for a second time, and in order to save him, Bakura had smashed Mahaado's staff. Later that night, Mana had asked Ryou to do the same for her, because in the afterlife Mahaado was in his right mind again, and Mana wanted to be with him. Ryou had agreed. He and Bakura had both kept shards from the staffs, and they'd agreed that once they got back to Japan they'd have them cut and set as earrings.
The party got into full swing once the presents had all been opened. For awhile everyone was forced to tolerate Gwen's American music, until Yami managed to dig out some Arabic stuff to replace it. Serenity and Mai were practically glued to the kitchen, where they were fixing food for all. Amoura had been settled onto the couch, her casted leg propped up in front of her. Currently Gwen was gushing over Johnny Depp's autograph and whining that she hadn't gotten to meet him.
Joey challenged Ryou to a game of Duel Monsters using Ryou's new braille deck, and got his butt handed to him on a silver platter.
"What?" Ryou asked, amused. "Is it too intimidating to get your butt kicked by a blind kid?"
For some reason, Bakura found this hilarious.
Tea wandered over to Malik, who was fiddling with the boom box. "Wow, and here I thought it was impossible for you to get any tanner."
Malik chuckled and reached over to ruffle Tea's hair. The two of them had shared a strange sort of friendship ever since Battle City, possibly a residual effect of having shared a body. "Like what you see, Gardener?"
Tea made a face at him. "Your hair's grown out, too."
Malik grinned and scratched his head, where the darker roots of his hair were beginning to show. "Yeah, well, between the surfing and the con and the ren faire, I haven't had the chance to bleach it again."
Tea blinked in surprise. "You bleach?"
Malik burst out laughing. "Hell-o! I'm Egyptian! Blond hair doesn't exactly run in my family, or at least not naturally."
Tea blushed. "Sorry. I guess I've known Yugi and Ryou too long. I just tend to assume any strange hair color is natural."
Malik laughed again. "Well Ryou's not entirely human, and Yugi's a freak of genetic nature anyway, so they don't count."
Tea pretended to be angry. "Don't talk about Yugi like that! Stop, or I'll pelt you with friendship speeches!"
"Iie, iie, no! Not the speeches! Anything but that!" Malik pretended to cower, and then both of them started laughing again.
"Duke, what the heck happened to your hair?" Hiro was asking near the door to the kitchen.
Duke made a face and fingered his chin-length hair. "You wouldn't believe me if I told you..."
Hiro grinned. "I got to witness Malik table dancing with Gwen. Try me."
Duke raised an eyebrow and shrugged in a 'you asked for it' expression. "A bunch of magical girls in mini-skirts got into a fight, and one of them slashed my hair."
Hiro blinked. "You're right, I don't believe you."
Meanwhile, Ishtar had been watching Bakura closely for quite awhile. "Frodo, what happened to your finger?"
Bakura sweatdropped massively while Yami began to laugh.
Finally the party began to wind down and everyone began to drift home. Soon it was only Yami, Yugi, Ryou, and Bakura left.
"So you guys are actually going through with it?" Yugi asked curiously, watching Bakura fiddle with the box containing his own earring, which was silver mounted with Mahaado's aqua gemstone.
Ryou nodded, gathering up his gifts to put in his and Bakura's car. "Of course. Malik recommended a place to me that's still open this late. I want it done so I don't have to worry about it while I'm moving into the dorms."
Yami snickered, poking Bakura in the ribs. "What's Amoura going to think when you show up with an earring? She doesn't know you're going to do this, does she?"
Bakura gave him a sour look. "Obviously not," he grumbled. "She'd either forbid me from doing it or force me to let her come along." He shot a heated glare at Yami when the pharaoh coughed something that sounded suspiciously like "whipped". Bakura opened his mouth and was about to offer a retort when Yugi's question to Ryou penetrated both his and Yami's brains.
"Can I tag along? I've been meaning to get an ear pierced for awhile, actually."
Yami blinked at his otouto. "What? You have?"
Yugi giggled. "You don't know everything about me, Yami."
Ryou grinned. "Sure, you can come along. What about you, Yami?"
"Sure sure," the pharaoh grumbled. "Have to make sure they don't poke any more holes in my hikari than they're supposed to..."
Bakura snickered, whispering something that Yami thought sounded vaguely like "whipped".
Mr. Fist met Mr. Skull. Mr. Fist won, and Bakura had to be dragged and dumped in the back of the car, forcing Yugi to drive. Yami laughed all the way to the tattoo parlor. Ryou directed them to a rather large shop with displays of tattoos in the windows, and a neon red sign over the front door that read 'CCCA: Tattoos & Piercings'.
"This is it," Ryou confirmed after Yugi read the sign off to him. "Funny that it's in English, though." The others just shrugged, and they all headed inside.
It looked almost like a hair salon, all white and black tile and halogen lights. Instead of mirrors lining the walls, though, there was literally thousands of airbrushed pictures, which they assumed were the different tattoo options. A small area just inside the door was a designated waiting area. Apparently it was a very slow night, because all four of the propetiers (who were all women) were sitting and lounging on the various chairs and talking.
The oldest and tallest one had long black hair tied back into a ponytail and glasses. She was dressed in a pair of blue jeans and boots, with a dark green t-shirt with a dragon across the front. She was slumped back in a chair with her feet propped up on the small magazine table, and looked about ready to fall asleep.
The second one was only a little shorter, with long braided blond hair and mischievous gray eyes. She was wearing a pair of jean capris and sandals, and a white shirt with some anime character on it. She was lounging in one of the chairs with her feet thrown up over one of the arms, so they could all get a good view of the red and gold Chinese dragon tattoo that was curled around her calf and ankle.
The third had short brown hair and a wide grin, and was talking a mile a minute to the other three, who seemed to only be half-listening. She was wearing jeans too, red ones, with a pair of black boots and a black, slightly glittery t-shirt. She was leaning forward in her chair, gesturing with her hands while she talked. One shoulder was tattooed with an eagle perched on the loop of an ankh.
The fourth and final girl was also leaning forward slightly, apparently trying to read the covers of the magazines upside-down and around the first girl's feet. She had short, reddish blond hair and was dressed in black jeans and boots. She was wearing a clingy, dark blue shirt that showed off her curves. It also rode up in the back when she was leaning forward, revealing a fox tail tattooed on her lower back.
All four of them snapped to attention when the boys walked in, and the second girl let out a muffled yelp as she scrambled to get her feet back on the floor and sit up properly. "Hi," she said, just barely managing to save herself from an undignified fall as the other three muffled giggles. She seemed to realize she'd greeted them in English and coughed. "Uh, I mean, kobon wa. How can we help you?"
Yami, Yugi, and Bakura were frowning slightly, staring at her. "You look familiar..." Yami muttered. "Were you in Switzerland recently?"
She looked panicked a moment. "No! Of course not! Uh, why would I be in Switzerland?" She laughed falsely, and the other three rolled their eyes.
"I'm Ebony," the one who had been falling asleep stood up and bowed to them, pushing her glasses up on her nose. "Don't mind about SJ, she's like this sometimes."
"I'm Crys," the one with the eagle tattoo who'd been talking when they came in smiled. She then blinked, staring at Yugi. Even with his 5'6" frame the duelist towered above her. "Dang, you are tall!"
Yugi blinked. "Huh?"
"And I'm Chan." The girl with the fox tail said quickly, poking Crys in the side. "What can we do for you gentlemen?"
All of them spoke with American English accents, like Gwen's, and Yugi blinked. "Where are you guys from?"
The four girls blinked, not quite expecting that. "Uh, not here." Ebony said, chuckling a little. "That's how we came up with our name. Canadian, Canadian, Canadian, American." She pointed at SJ, singling her out as the single American in their group.
"Ah." Yugi said, giving them a cheery smile. "Well, me and Ryou and Bakura want to get our ears pierced. Yami-kun's just along for moral support."
"Righty then." The four girls grinned and looked at each other.
"I claim the tri-colored cutie." Crys said defensively, causing Yugi to blush.
"I get the one with the long white hair." SJ said firmly, casting significant looks the other three seemed to understand. She and Crys calmly led their charges around the low wall that separated the waiting area from the business area, managing to control their giggles somewhat as they readied Ryou and Yugi.
Chan and Ebony looked at each other, then at Bakura, who had the feeling he was being sized up like a slab of beef. He shifted uncomfortably and tried to ignore Yami's snickering, wondering if he should mention that he had a girlfriend.
"Play you for him?" Chan suggested, and Ebony nodded. Yami perked up his ears, wondering if they were going to duel, or something, and whether or not he could play winner. Or loser, rather, since the winner would probably be the one shooting Bakura with the ear gun. "Ready?" Chan asked, and again Ebony nodded, looking determined.
"Rock paper scissors, shoot!"
"Awwww..." Ebony pouted as Chan grinned and grabbed Bakura's arm, following after her friends and his. Ebony seemed to get an idea, and looked at Yami keenly. "Do you duel?"
It was later.
Ryou was solemnly listening to SJ deliver instructions about how to take care of his ear so it wouldn't get infected, since he had the feeling Bakura wasn't doing any listening at all. Yugi was listening to Crys deliver the same speech and tentatively poking his two new acquisitions, wincing every few moments. "I had no idea cartilage piercings hurts so bad..." he grumbled.
Crys broke off mid-sentence to pat him sympathetically on the shoulder. "Sorry, tried to warn you."
"It's okay," Yugi sighed. "I'll get used to it."
"All done?" Bakura asked, coming up behind him. "Woah, two? Yami's going to have a fit, you know?"
Yugi grinned. "Yeah, so's Grampa, but I couldn't help it." His right ear now had a small silver stud in his earlobe, and a small ring through the upper part of his ear. Bakura's left earlobe now carried the small blue-green chip from Mahaado's staff, and Ryou's left earlobe held Mana's sandy yellow stone.
Chan and SJ joined them, and they all trooped back out into the waiting area to find Ebony getting her butt kicked in Duel Monsters for the fourth time in a row, courtesy of Yami. Chan, Crys, and SJ found that very funny, and Ebony rolled her eyes. The four girls bid their visitors a fond (and a bit sad, it seemed to Ryou) farewell, and the Japanese men left.
Bakura was in the driver's seat this time, and in a few minutes' time they were parked again behind the Game Shop. As Yami made to climb out of the car after his little brother, Bakura reached over and caught his hand. "Hey Yami, according to my forged birth certificate I officially turn twenty-one tomorrow, so..."
Yami smiled and nodded, and Bakura grinned. "Great, I'll see you at eight."
"What was that about?" Ryou asked, absently playing with his new earring as Bakura drove them back toward their own house, which would be empty now except for Socrates the cat.
Bakura chuckled. "Nothing for you to worry over, otouto."
Ryou sighed, figuring that whatever Yami and Bakura were meeting for, it had to do with alcohol in vast amounts. But Ryou couldn't really do anything to stop them. Besides, it'd be so much easier to pack up the last of his stuff for college tomorrow night if Bakura was out of the house, so he kept his peace.
The next day dawned clear but cool, a sign that autumn was coming on already. Ryou and Bakura spent the entire day inside, packing the last few boxes to take with them back to Tokyo U. Truth be told, there wasn't that much to pack. Both of them had been gone so much over the summer, a lot of their things were still in boxes, never having been unpacked from last spring.
"Ugh..." Ryou muttered. "I am so woefully out of shape... Note to self: beat Bakura senseless during a 'sparring' session as soon as humanly possible."
Ryou also gave Bakura his birthday present, a pretty crystal pyramid etched with the Eye of Horus that he'd bought while in Egypt. Bakura gave him something in return.
Ryou frowned, turning the oval plastic... something over in his hands. The shape felt familiar, but he couldn't place... "Niisan, what is this?"
Bakura grinned widely, giving Ryou the feeling he was holding something stolen.
He was right.
"Niisan!" Ryou cried, half amused and half appalled. "You stole True Realm Ryou's TV remote control?!?!"
Bakura broke into laughter, unable to help it. "Yep!! Let's see that bastard hikari-beater try and watch his soap operas now!" He grinned triumphantly, and Ryou just sighed, laying the remote on the mantle and making a mental note to return it the next time he saw his True Realm self.
The afternoon passed quickly, and when Bakura left to go meet Yami Ryou was curled up in the livingroom with one of his new novels, Socrates draped over his feet. Grinning a little at how cute his former hikari looked, Bakura slipped out the door with a jacket slung over one shoulder.
Yami was waiting for him outside the Game Shop, and kept throwing glances over his shoulder. He practically dove into the passenger seat when Bakura drove up. The tomb robber raised an eyebrow as he waited for the pharaoh to right himself and buckle up. "What's the matter with you, your highness-ness?"
Yami made a face at him as Bakura pulled out of the drive. "I think Yugi knows we're going drinking. He's been watching me like a hawk all day. I only managed to get away from him when I sent him into the attic to look for something and locked him up there."
Bakura nearly slammed on the brakes. "You what?!"
Yami snickered. "Relax, he can pick locks almost better than you. And if he's really desperate, he can always summon a monster to break down the door, or something. He'll be fine."
Bakura blinked, noticing for the first time that Yami wasn't wearing the Puzzle, meaning he'd left it with Yugi. "If you say so. You know, now that you've actually got a pulse, you might want to think about a driver's license. Useful buggers, those are."
"Yeah," Yami sighed. "Yugi was asking me about that a few days ago. I'll think about it."
Bakura snorted, trying to hide a grin. "Can I watch your driving test and laugh hysterically while you try and concentrate?"
"Only if you want to be run down." Yami replied levelly, looking out the window. "Where're we going?"
"Touché," Bakura acknowledged with a chuckle. "We're headed for the red light district."
Yami nearly hit the ceiling. "We're WHAT!?"
Bakura snickered. "Just kidding, jeez pharaoh... We're headed for a bar Malik and I frequented just after Battle City, until the manager found out we were underage and kicked us out for good. Hm, it's around here somewhere..."
Bakura found it easily enough, and the two ex-spirits went inside. It was more of a sports bar than an actual hard liquor bar, but that suited them just fine. Weaving their way around balding men waving beers at the big screen TVs, Yami and Bakura took seats at the bar, with their backs to the majority of the commotion. Since both of them now had valid (if forged) I.D. cards signifying they were both 21, the barman was happy to serve.
"You know," Yami said after awhile, nursing his second saucer of sake. "It's kinda funny that I'm older than you by a couple months now, when actually you're older than me by a couple years."
Bakura snorted, easily understanding the circular logic. "Feh. You gotta love irony."
"Fate apparently does." Yami said, and Bakura chuckled and nodded, holding up his own bottle of imported American beer in toast. Yami frowned, watching Bakura take another swallow of it. "That stuff's expensive, you know."
Bakura grinned. "I know. Malik's the one paying, so it doesn't matter."
Yami eyed him distrustfully. "He knew we were going drinking, offered to pay, but didn't come along himself? Is he high or something?"
Bakura grinned again and shook his head, holding out a small piece of plastic for Yami to see. "Nicked it last night at Ryou's party. He won't know for another month or two, and by then you and I can be in Antarctica."
Yami pouted, poking at Bakura's four-fingered hand. "Too cold."
"Un..." Bakura blinked and frowned. "You're right. The Sahara, then."
Yami grinned. "That's better." He waved down the barman. "Since my friend is paying, do you happen to have any date wine?"1
And, unfortunately, so it went. After sharing a bottle of Middle Eastern date wine and several more of the American beers, plus a bottle of sake, both ex-spirits were just barely this side of conscious. Currently they were singing some sort of drunken perverted song, although thankfully it was in Egyptian and so slurred that no one would have understood it anyway. Once they'd finished the twenty-third verse and chorus, Bakura slapped Yami on the back, and both of them fell to the floor in a fit of giggles.
"G-get off!" Yami, well, giggled, trying to push Bakura off from where the tomb robber had spralled on top of him. "What would 'Moura shay?"
"Aww, she knowsh I dun swing dat way." Bakura smirked, laying his head against Yami's shoulder since he currently lacked strength to do more than breathe. Noticing something in his rather fuzzy line of vision, he blinked. "Hey. You dun got no earringinging, Atemu."
Yami blinked, both at the comment and the name. "Well duh, fellah, I ish a sheparate person! Why would I have Yugi-chan's earringinginging-shit! Earring."2
Bakura managed to push himself to his hands and knees, staring down at a giggling Yami. Since they were still speaking in Egyptian, no one had any clue what they were saying, and they were in a rather compromising position. People politely averted their eyes, although both Yami and Bakura were oblivious to the smirks, snickers, and muted catcalls being aimed their way. And of course it didn't help that Yami had chosen to wear leather.
"You ish mortal!" Bakura crowed, sounding somewhere between triumphant and puzzled. "Sho you dun have Yugi-chan's earring?"
"Oh." Pause. "I dare ya to get one!"
Yami just blinked up at him, the alcohol playing war with his head. Somewhere in the back of his mind his common sense started jumping up and down and screaming about making bets with tomb robbers, but it was quickly smothered by his pride, stupidity, and royal arrogance, which wanted to watch the fun. So the pharaoh opened his mouth and he said:
"Only if you get a tattoo."
Bakura frowned a little, furrowing his brow. Now it was his common sense waving little red flags, and hissing about daring a pharaoh. But as with Yami, Bakura's pride and ego beat his common sense into submission, and then ran off to find popcorn before the real show started. So Bakura said:
"I will if you will."
At which point the alcohol said:
Ebony, Crys, Chan, and SJ were just getting ready to close up for the night, still giggling about the previous night's events.
"I got to touch Yugi!" Crys said happily. "I think he thinks I was trying to seduce him, or something, though. I really hope he doesn't decide to sic Yami on me... I don't feel like being Summoned Skull food..."
"Why are we still here, anyway?" Ebony asked, glancing curiously at SJ. "I have writing to do."
SJ rolled her eyes a little. "You? Trying having five major stories going at once. But to answer your question about why we're still here, you'll see."
And they did. It wasn't two minutes later when the door banged open and Yami and Bakura stumbled through, giggling and trying to get up another chorus of their Egyptian drinking song. SJ smirked, while the other three just stared.
"They're dead drunk." Crys noted unnecessarily. "Now what?"
"We wannawanna tattoo!" Bakura said, trying to focus his eyes on two separate things at once. "And palace brat here wants a piercing!"
Chan looked at SJ, obviously intrigued. "Are we allowed to interpret that however we want?"
SJ made a face. "Ick, no. I kinda need them for the rest of the story. Virgin." she added, and all three of the others snapped their fingers in disappointment. SJ sighed and rolled her eyes, leaning over to poke Yami and trying not to wrinkle her nose. "Ugh, you reak... What do you want done, Yam-Yam? Ear? Eyebrow? Belly button?"
"Eww, SJ!" Ebony gagged. "Everyone'll think he's gay!"
SJ frowned slightly. "Hm. That's a bad thing..."
Yami tried to draw himself up into a regal pose, but failed. "I shall have my eye-thingy done." he said articulately. "And something pretty."
Four females face-faulted. "I did not just hear those words leave Yami's lips..."
"And I," Bakura also tried to stand up straighter, and also failed. "Shall have something big. And shiny."
"Millennium Rod." All four girls said in unison, before collapsing into giggles again. SJ came out of it first and smacked the others. "Ych, minds out'a the gutter! You'd think we were dealing with Ishtar here, yeesh!"
Yami looked thoughtful, suddenly. And in his drunken state that meant he'd had an earth-shattering revelation. "I shall have my name." he said, apparently satisfied. "So I won't forget who I am again."
"Me too!" Bakura said hastily, not wanting to be outdone by his pharaoh.
SJ grinned and pulled a binder out from under the desk. "Right! Thankfully I am all-knowing, and already had designs prepared." She grabbed two papers from the binder and handed one to Chan, and one to Ebony. "Ebby, you've got Bakura's, and Chan, you've got Yami. Crys... frankly I don't trust you around the tattooing needles after that little 'InuYasha' incident."
"I said I was sorry..." Crys whined as Ebony and Chan led the drunken boys away to be branded.
SJ grinned. "It's okay. You and I get to shoot Yam-Yam with the ear gun. Only it'll be at his eye."
Crys perked up immediately and trailed after SJ. "Ooooh."
The designs SJ had come up with were rather extensive, and Yami and Bakura passed out from a combination of alcohol, pain, and ego-overload long before they were done. This also meant they were waking up again just about the time they finished.
"My god," Ebony commented as she and SJ finished wrapping bandages around Bakura's torso to protect his tattoo, which covered nearly his entire back. "They're still drunk."
"No kidding." Chan agreed as she and Crys finished up Yami. "But at least it's better than having them puke all over the place."
SJ chuckled. "That's for tomorrow, my friends."
After extracting Malik's credit card number from Bakura and making plans for a shopping spree, the four girls waved cheerily as Yami and Bakura staggered toward the door. There was a long, thoughtful silence after they'd left.
"I'm really mean to them, aren't I?" SJ asked finally.
Ebony chuckled and patted her shoulder. "We know it's only because you love them."
"Uhhh..." Chan seemed to think of something. "Is dying on their agenda tonight?"
SJ looked appalled. "Of course not! I still need them!"
"In that case, should Bakura really be driving them home?"
The four authoresses just stared at each other for a moment.
Cue mad scrambling toward the door.
Yugi yawned as he opened the front door of the Game Shop, intending to pick up the paper and check it for any prominent graffiti or attempted drunken rapes. He'd waited up for Yami until well after midnight, but the pharaoh hadn't come home. Yugi wasn't exactly worried, just rather exasperated.
As he stepped outside, he tripped over something laying prone on the front steps and stumbled, hopping on one foot for a moment before he regained his balance. Whatever he'd tripped over started swearing, and Yugi blinked, knowing who it was even before he turned around.
He was right.
Yami was laying face-down on the Game Shop's front steps, swearing into the concrete. Yugi just sighed and grabbed him by the upper arm, dragging the semi-conscious and hungover pharaoh inside. He dumped Yami on the couch and went into the kitchen, turning on the coffee maker and setting it for extra-black. He probably wouldn't be getting any answers out of Yami until there was caffeine in him. Trying his best not to be annoyed, Yugi picked up the phone and dialed Ryou's house. Ryou answered it on the second ring.
"Moshi moshi, Bakura residence, and you'd better hope to Horus you're not selling anything, because I'm not in the mood at the moment."
Yugi tried not to giggle, and failed. "Morning Ryou. I take it you found Bakura?"
Ryou sighed and his voice mellowed a little. "Yes, unfortunately. He was spralled out across the back steps. I don't even want to know what he and Yami were doing last night, or what led up to the tattoos."
Yugi blinked, a sense of slight dread filling him. "Tattoos?"
Ryou sighed again. "Hai. Bakura has his name and title written in black and red hieroglyphs down his back. 3 He's currently chugging coffee by the gallon and swearing at me, Yami, hangovers, and the world in general. Oops, I take that back. Now he's angsting about what Amoura's going to do to him when she finds out." Yugi could almost hear Ryou smirking. "And according to Bakura, Yami's got a tattoo too, so you might want to check him. You'll probably know before that though, because according to Bakura it Hurts Like Hell." The capital letters were audible.
"Oooh boy." Yugi sighed. "And we get to try and move them into their dorms today?"
Ryou groaned. "I'd forgotten... Do you think we can lock them in the trunk? We're taking your car, by the way. I do not want ours smelling like alcohol and puke, even if it means sending Bakura back for it later. When he's sober."
Yugi sighed. "I've been meaning to get a new car anyway... This'll just be incentive to turn it in. So I'll see you at noon?"
"Hai." Ryou said. There was a pause as Bakura yelled something from the other room, and Ryou chuckled. "Ja ne Yugi-kun, I'm being ordered to fix more coffee before my niisan dies on me. I don't know why, my coffee tastes like camel shit since I can't see to measure, but I guess it's the best Bakura's got at the moment, because I am not letting him near the liquor cabinet."
Yugi grinned. "Well, getting drunk again is one way to avoid the hangover. See you in a few hours, Ryou-kun."
Yugi hung up the phone and turned back to face the door to the livingroom warily, not sure what to expect. Yami was laying face-down on the couch with a pillow over his head, moaning about drowning in light and sound. Yugi just sighed and wandered over to him, poking him in the back. Yami squealed and jumped nearly straight up. "Owowowowow!!!! What was that for?!"
Yugi just pinned him with a merciless glare, which looked rather yami-like on his otherwise mostly innocent face. "I hope you're not planning on making a habit of this."
Yami sweatdropped, cowed under his little brother's glare. "Iie, iie, of course not! Bakura and I just got a little carried away!"
"Uh huh. And I suppose he held you down and pierced your eyebrow?"
Yami twitched a little. "...Actually, I think that was Crys... Ra help me, I don't know why I let Bakura drag me into that...."
Yugi sighed. "Shirt. Off. Now."
Yami blinked. "What?"
"Shirt off," Yugi repeated. "I want to see what you've done to yourself."
Yami sighed, but knew better than to argue with his otouto. He shrugged out of his shirt, thanking the gods he was wearing a button-up. Yugi groaned as he surveyed Yami's entire back covered in bandages. "Yeesh, you really got carried away... Go take a cold shower and get those off, then come back down so I can lecture you some more."
Yami gulped and scurried upstairs, thankful to get away from Yugi's piercing glare. He returned fifteen minutes later, toweling his hair dry and bandage-less. Yugi was sitting on the couch, and as soon as he entered the livingroom Yami turned around so his back was facing Yugi.
"Well?" Yami asked, trying to crane his neck and look over his own shoulder, then giving up when it hurt too much.
"Er... What's it say?" Yugi just stared at the neat rows of black and gold hieroglyphs, surrounded by the golden loop of a cartouche. 4
"Pharaoh Amennosis Atemu, Horus on Earth." Yami said, then frowned slightly. "I think."
Yugi sighed again and rubbed his temples. "You know Malik's going to get an inflated head over this."
Yami blinked. "Hungh?"
"He'll claim that his scars are now 'all the rage' and that subconsciously he's the one who 'inspired' you to get them."
Yami grinned. "Well, he won't be far off, since it was his credit card that 'inspired' Bakura to take me drinking in the first place..."
Yugi groaned. "Oh niisan, you didn't-!"
"I didn't," Yami agreed, practically radiating innocence. "Bakura was the one who did it." Suddenly Yami's face seemed to go green and he clamped a hand over his mouth, sprinting for the bathroom and locking himself in.
"I don't know whether to hate you or laugh at you..." Yugi muttered, rubbing his temples again. "Something tells me today's going to be a looooong day..."
By noon, Yami had heaved up everything in his stomach and was laying on the couch and moaning when Ryou and Bakura arrived. Bakura soon joined Yami in the laying around and moaning, while Ryou and Yugi began loading boxes into Yugi's 50 million-year-old car. At around one o'clock they'd finished, and Yami and Bakura dragged themselves into the back seat, complaining the entire time. Yugi rolled his eyes as he got into the driver's seat, and Ryou got in beside him.
"If you two don't shut up I'm going to knock you out." Ryou threatened, and both Egyptians hurriedly shut their mouths.
Yugi couldn't help but giggle. "So what's Bakura's tattoo say?" he asked, pulling out of the Game Shop driveway and turning the car toward Tokyo. Since Grampa Moto was still in Egypt, and Mako (who'd been taking care of it over the summer) was coming back to college as well, the Game Shop was going to be closed most of the time. Scott Anius, Joey and Serenity's cousin, had a teaching job at Domino High and was going to open the shop on weekends so the Motos wouldn't go totally bankrupt while Soloman was away.
Ryou rolled his eyes. "Thomas Bekhura bin Kadin, King of Thieves." he answered. "What else would it say?"
Yugi snickered. "Oh, I dunno. Maybe something along the lines of 'Amoura's puppy' would be nice..." Ryou snickered as Bakura just groaned, not having the strength to lean forward and hit Yugi.
Ryou leaned forward and felt around on the dashboard until he found the radio and flipped it on. He settled back in his seat, smiling smugly as Yugi giggled and the two ex-yamis groaned. A moment later Yugi began to sing along, and Ryou quickly joined in.
"Honey it hurts what you've done to me,
I'd even call it a tragedy
Now that you've told me the name of your neeeeeew loooooooooove...
How I wish that you didn't say what you said
Wish it was some other girl instead
I don't know whhhhhhyyyyy you need a guuuuuuyyy..." 5
"Aarg." Bakura said eloquently, covering his ears with his hands.
"Double aarg." Yami added.
Ryou and Yugi continued singing various anime songs all the way to college, and by the time they arrived Yami and Bakura had thoroughly repented for all the sins they'd ever committed and all the ones they ever would commit. "Ryou, you can't carry a tune in a bucket..." Bakura moaned when they finally pulled up in the sophomore dorms parking lot.
"If I hear the Cutey Honey theme song one more time I'm going to keel over..." Yami sighed, rubbing his temples.
Ryou and Yugi snickered and gave each other a high five as they climbed out of the car, leaving their big brothers languishing in the back seat. Ryou chuckled and shook his head, poking Bakura in the shoulder. "Niisan, I need my dorm assignment."
"Mmph." Bakura sat up, pulling a wrinkled envelope from one pocket. Sliding a finger under the flap, he pulled out a piece of paper with Tokyo U's logo at the top. He scanned it quickly, then frowned. "Room A-18, otouto. And I don't know who your roommate is, because we're not in the same room."
Ryou blinked. "What?"
"Sophomore dorms are doubles, only two people to a room." Bakura said. "You're in A-18, I'm next door in A-20."
Yami gave a muffled yelp. "A-20? Oh hell!"
"What's wrong with you?" Bakura snapped.
"I'm in A-20." Yami scowled.
Ryou started laughing as Bakura groaned. Shaking his head and slinging a bookbag over one shoulder, Ryou headed for the dorm building, leaving Bakura and Yami to fight amongst themselves. A pharaoh and a thief as roommates? This year would be very interesting indeed.
Pushing open the front door, Ryou wandered down the hall, running his fingers over the numbered plates on the doors. They weren't in braille, but the letters and numbers were raised, so he was able to feel them out. About halfway down the hall he came to A-18. He couldn't sense anyone inside, so he unlocked the door with the key Bakura had found in the envelope and went inside.
Except there was already someone there.
When Ryou opened the door, there was a soft gasp of intaken breath. Ryou froze, instantly going on full alert. What could be in here that he couldn't sense? "Who's there?"
Someone laughed. "Unmei!"
Ryou blinked, and blinked again, getting more confused by the moment. "Nani?"
Whoever it was let their mental defenses slip slightly, and suddenly Ryou could sense the familiar aura sitting on one of the beds. "Unmei, it's me, Sekil. Don't jump me, 'kay? I'm too cute to die."
Ryou nearly tripped over his own feet, surprised beyond description to discover that Sekil Mahaado was his roommate.
1 date wine - Egyptians had two kinds of alcohol readily available to them: date wine and barley beer. Guess which one the upper class had more of. ^^
2 fellah - I think I've mentioned this one before. It's Egyptian for peasant or commoner.
3 - Egyptians wrote top to bottom and left to right when using hieroglyphs. When they wrote in hieratic, they wrote left to right like we do.
4 cartouche - a 'frame' that would surround a pharaoh's name in ancient texts. I'm sure you've all seen one at some point.
5 - kareoke song from the Pretty Sammy OAV: "Your Hiroshi". It's a very annoying, very catchy song.
WSJ: Heh, there you go, minna! Now you know why it was so important for you to read Tarnished Soul. ^_^ And happy birthday to me!!
WSJ: *glomps Sekil* >:D You're mine now, all mine! Mwahahaha!
Sekil: *sweatdrop* Help?
Unmei: *snickers* You're on your own.
Chiot: *jibbering madly over having to room with Yami*
WSJ: *giggles* So Sekil's in Fates Realm now. Why? Stay tuned to find out!
Chapter 2: WSJ: (V/O) It's a new year with new faces.
WSJ: (V/O) And some dangerous rooming combinations.
Yugi: Oh! Takeo-san!
Tristan: *twitch* How'd I get stuck with you?
WSJ: (V/O) And of course we can't neglect the telepaths.
Ryou: So why're you here, Sekil-san?
Sekil: *grins* Because...
WSJ: (V/O) All this and more, next time!
God bless minna-san!