Another fic about how Yami got his own body... I guess I have some kind of obsession with that- (lol) but there are so many different ways it could happen. Hope you enjoy!

Warnings: Yami will be OOC, but it's because of everything he's been through, and don't worry, he'll be acting like himself again before the end. Oh, and shounen-ai, if anybody didn't already know that...

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

Chapter 1: Escaping the Nightmare

"Since when do you bow before your enemies? Now get up," a harsh voice drawled. I raised my head, glancing around me in surprise, but this time, Kaiba wasn't there. Was his voice just another illusion in Marik's Dream World, or had I finally begun to crack?

Six months after the end of the Battle City Tournament, I had been overjoyed when Isis and Malik reappeared, because Isis told me of a spell to finally regain my own body. However, none of us had anticipated Marik's return- the evil spirit Malik and I had banished to the Shadow Realm had somehow retaken Malik's body, and he added one extra word to the spell as it was completed, trapping my mind in a horrible fantasy.

At least, this is what I pieced together over the last week. I think that I still have my body, though I don't know if it is here or somewhere in the real world, but all I can see are series of hallucinations. Yugi-tachi have been here, though their features are strangely twisted and their mannerisms exaggerated, but this is the first time I've heard Kaiba's voice.

Still, even if it was just a hallucination, his words helped me as much as they did the last time he uttered them. Climbing awkwardly from my position on my hands and knees, I wiped the frustrated tears from my grimy face and started walking in the direction I'd heard his voice. For some reason, I felt sure that I would find help there.

After walking for twenty minutes or so, the world began to swirl once more and frightening shapes appeared from the haze around me. I shut my eyes tight and desperately yelled out; "Kaiba!" hoping his voice would reappear. I wasn't disappointed. "We made a good team, you and I," his voice whispered through the darkness, echoing the first encouraging words he had ever spoken to me.

Keeping my eyes screwed shut to block out the darkness, I kept walking in the direction of his voice, though I couldn't say what I expected to find once I reached my destination. I was interrupted from my journey by the sweet young voice of my hikari.

"Yami, where are you going?" Yugi called.

"Yugi...?" I breathed hesitantly.

"You're going the wrong way," he told me, smiling. "You'll never find the exit that way." He gestured to the pitch-black void I had been two or three steps from entering.

"Oh!" I gasped. "You're probably right." I knew this Yugi was just another hallucination, but if a vision of Kaiba could help me, then so could a vision of Yugi, right? I turned and started to follow Yugi away from the blackness.

"Hn. You're such a fool," Kaiba's voice snapped, much closer than it had been before. It was coming directly from the darkness.

I hesitated, looking back towards his voice, and Yugi called impatiently, "Come on, Yami! Don't listen to that jerk!" At his words, I gasped and glowered at him.

"Yugi would never say that about anyone; I should have known better than to listen to this phantom. And Kaiba... We may not be as close as Yugi and I are, but I still trust him," I said to myself, and taking a deep breath, ran into the darkness at full speed with my eyes shut tight.

I hit something solid. It grunted.

"What in the world are you doing in my office, Yugi? And how did you get here in the first place?" Kaiba's voice growled; and I felt his hands push me away from him.

I wrenched open my eyes, only for them to tear up with relief. "Kaiba! You're real!" I cried. My legs stopped working and I fell weakly to my knees, staring up at him.

He glared back. "Yugi, I don't know how you got past security but stop crying like a baby and get out," Kaiba ordered, pointing at the door. I wiped my face and nodded.

"Thank you, Kaiba. You'll never know how much I appreciate this," I said as I walked to the door. His brow furrowed slightly in what must have been his version of a confused stare.

When I stepped out of his office and shut the door behind me I gasped. The Dream World was back- swirling colors and grotesque shapes appearing in the distance. I ran through the door again and slammed it behind me, breathing hard as I took refuge in Kaiba's office. "K-Kaiba, it's still there. You are real...aren't you?" I asked in a quavering whisper.

"What in the world are you going on about? You're insane," he snapped. Well, he sounded real enough.

Hesitantly I approached him until I finally stood directly beside him. "What are you doing?" he asked in confusion, and started to back away; but before he could I grabbed his arm and latched onto it, sighing in relief when it failed to melt away. "Just making sure you're real," I told him.

"That's it. Get out," Kaiba groaned, and pried my hand off his arm. He kept a tight grip on my hand and dragged me into the hallway. It was just a hallway. I sighed in relief and Kaiba let go of my hand. "Now leave me alone," he snapped, and stalked back into his office, slamming the door behind him.

As soon as the door shut, the Dream World snapped back into my vision. Monstrous figures zoomed towards me and I screamed in horror. "Kaiba! Kaiba, help!" I shouted in panic, running back towards the swirling pit where his office had been.

He yanked open the door and the Dream World suddenly disappeared. I kept running and latched myself around his waist, hyperventilating. "," I panted, gasping for air. "Marik...gone...but back."

"Marik? That psychopath who ruined my tournament?" he growled. I nodded, still gasping uncontrollably.

"Yugi, for goodness' sake, calm down," Kaiba said impatiently. "What in the world happened to you; that you come latching on to me like I'm the only thing that's keeping you alive?" He added the last part sarcastically, peeling me off him with difficulty, and I gave a slight involuntary whimper when he let go of me.

"Not Yugi. I...spell. Got my own body, but Marik came back...sent me...dream world," I said, my panicked gasps slowly subsiding.

"Not Yugi? Then who are you? Well, I can tell you're that other Yugi- the only one I ever bothered with, but your name is still the same, isn't it?" Kaiba said, sounding confused.

"Call me Yami. That's what the others do," I replied, finally calm once again.

"Darkness... It's appropriate," he mused. Then: "Fine, whatever. What just happened to you in the hall?"

"The Dream World came back. It was gone, but you left, and it came back..." I whimpered pathetically. Being lost and alone in that horrible place hadn't left me with much of my usual strength.

Kaiba sighed. "Come on. I'll take you to Yugi, or whoever can get you back to yourself and out of my hair." He stalked away rapidly and I rushed to follow him, afraid to let him out of my sight. Sure enough, as he turned a corner ahead of me and slammed a door behind him, the hallucinations came rushing back and I screamed.

"GAH!" I heard Kaiba groan in frustration. He stalked back into view, glowering, and the Dream World faded. Sighing, he grabbed my arm and dragged me along with him.

Kaiba yanked open the door to a tiny silver sports car and pushed me into the passenger's seat, and then hopped behind the steering wheel, immediately speeding down the highway at breakneck speed. I watched him drive; a line of concentration appeared between his bright blue eyes and his thick hair hung heavily over his forehead. Why was he the only thing keeping me in reality?

Kaiba pulled to a sudden stop in front of the game shop where Yugi and Jiichan lived. I hopped out of the car eagerly, but waited on Kaiba's (deliberately slow) footsteps to catch up with me before going inside. "Yugi?" I called hopefully, opening the door.

"Yami! Thank goodness! We've all been going crazy trying to figure out how to break Marik's spell! How did you get back?" Yugi cried.

"Kaiba helped me," I replied, gesturing toward the scowling figure in the doorway.

"Kaiba! How? Why?" Yugi stuttered in disbelief. "I DID NOT!" Kaiba protested loudly.

"Yes you did. I don't know how, but somehow I ended up in his office, and now the Dream World is gone as long as he's still in sight," I answered them both.

Kaiba glowered and Yugi gaped. "Well, now that you're back, maybe Isis could find a better- er, another way to break the spell," Yugi said.

"Isis is still here?" I asked curiously.

"She's at the museum. We managed to get Marik under control, but she's still been working nonstop to free you," he replied.

"Well, maybe whatever she did worked, and that's how I found Kaiba," I mused thoughtfully. Kaiba snorted.

"Come on, let's get you to that crazy woman so I can finally get rid of you," he grumbled. I nodded, ignoring the last part of his sentence.

"Yugi, do you want to come?" I asked.

"He'll be walking. He won't fit in my car," Kaiba put in. I glared at him. He glared back, arms crossed menacingly, and I could practically feel the tension crackling in the air.

"Er, that's alright, I have to watch the game shop anyway," Yugi said hastily. "Good luck, Yami. I'll tell everyone that you're OK."

"Fine. Let's go," Kaiba snapped, and grabbed my arm, dragging me back to the little sports car.

We rode in silence to the museum. When we arrived, (parking illegally) I turned to Kaiba, biting my lip. "I don't know how you helped me, but you did. I heard your voice in that Dream World, and it was the only thing that seemed real... So thank you," I told him quickly, reddening.

He blinked at me, surprised. "Well, you're welcome, I suppose... Now come on. Let's get this over with." He stalked toward the entrance and I rushed to follow him, latching onto his arm as soon as I got close enough.

We had barely stepped through the door when Isis greeted us with her melodic voice. "Welcome, my Pharaoh," she said, bowing slightly.

"Not this Pharaoh garbage again," Kaiba groaned. I ignored him.

"Isis, it's good to see you. How did I get back? Was it another of your spells?"

"I believe so, my Pharaoh, but I must say I am surprised with its results," she replied mysteriously.

"Just tell us what you're talking about for once, woman," Kaiba growled. I had to agree with him.

Isis sighed and glanced between Kaiba and me. "I found an ancient spell to remove your mind from the Dream World, but on one condition. You needed someone to ground you, someone whose presence you could depend on to keep you in reality. I expected it to be Yugi," she explained.

I glanced briefly at Kaiba before turning back to Isis. "Is that why the Dream World reappears every time he leaves the room?"

She nodded. "You need him to stay nearby. After a while, that dependence should fade, and you'll be able to spend more time apart, but for now, if Kaiba leaves, your hallucinations return."

"How long will it take until I'm back to normal?" I asked worriedly.

"Every day you'll be able to separate more, but it will be at least a month before you will be able to move about freely without him," she replied.

I glanced at Kaiba's emotionless blue glare and sighed. There was no way Kaiba would put up with something like this; especially if it took an entire month. He had absolutely no patience for anything to do with magic- or anything that inconvenienced him. "Isis, is there another way to free me from the Dream World?" I questioned hopefully.

She hesitated. "Well, the only other way would be to revoke the original spell and return you to the Sennen Puzzle, but if we did, you would lose any hope of ever gaining your own body."

My heart sank, but I sighed again and nodded. "Alright, then. Do it," I said weakly. I had lived in the Puzzle for thousands of years; surely I could do it again. If only I hadn't gotten my hopes up... But, I never even really got a chance to see what the world was like outside the Puzzle, since I had been trapped in that Dream World ever since the spell. It was probably better that way.


Kaiba suddenly spoke up, and Isis and I turned to him in surprise. "You are your own person and you deserve your own body. You aren't going back to that...whatever you were before," he declared firmly.

"Kaiba, this means he won't be able to be out of your sight for at least a month, probably longer," Isis cautioned.

"Do you think I care? I've lived through much worse than that," he scoffed.

"Kaiba, are you serious?" I gasped, shocked.

"I don't joke," he replied shortly.

I broke into a delighted grin, disbelieving. I never expected him to agree to this... "Thank you, thank you so much!" I breathed.

"Well, just don't make me regret it," he grumbled.