Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! in no way belongs to me. This is fanfic done for fun, not profit.
R&R welcome, as always.

Translation notes:

Aibou – partner
mou hitori no boku – my other self/the other me



Atemu lagged serenely behind his aibou and the gang, basking in the light of Ra as He moved across the sky. At long last he had his name, his identity, his past. Atemu was still very much part of Yuugi, but now he was also himself – it was an exhilarating feeling. Reaching the museum, which was the destination of today's outing, Atemu had to curb his exuberance to prevent himself from taking the steps three at a time.

The cool air and reverent silence wrapped Atemu in welcome arms as he pushed through the doors, and even Jounouchi brought his raucous voice down to a dull roar. Letting them move on ahead towards the new exhibit, Atemu strayed towards the Egyptian exhibit, pulled to his roots with the eagerness and inquisitiveness of newly opened eyes. Brilliant blue faience jewelry brought back smells of perfume and the feel of soft cloth beneath bronzed fingers. The Pharaoh found himself brushing the edges of his eyes, missing the black khol that should be there, and the leather and buckles were only a pale replacement for the solid weight of gold clasped about his arms and neck.

Bemused at his own impractical fancies, Atemu turned a corner into a new room. And looked straight at an unwrapped mummy carefully guarded by a glass case. Or at least, that was what it would have been… if he'd still been Yuugi's other half, and not the Pharaoh Atemu, Ruler of the Two Lands.

What Atemu saw was desecration of the worst kind – the body of one of his people, violated as not even the Tomb Robber would have dared. Desiccated and naked, stripped of all protection and dignity, the silent, accusing face of the mummy stared blindly up at Atemu as his trembling hands ghosted over the glass.

Atemu found himself on the icy floor, kneeling before the vandalized body as if begging forgiveness. Whoever the dead had once been, this desecration would have torn the ba from the earthly remains, denying the spirit rest and sustenance. Eyes prickling with heat, Atemu stared blindly around the room, seeing without seeing the plundered sarcophagi, the stolen amulets, the desecrated remains of more of his people.

Chilled to his core, the Pharaoh Atemu felt the walls close in, every artifact in the too-small room a silent accusation crying out to him, screaming for restitution with deafening silence that tore at his heart and soul. Fighting desperately for breath, Atemu clawed at the smooth glass with desperate fingers to try and stop himself from going under.

"Mou hitori no boku?"

Meaningless sounds reverberated through the silence, bringing Atemu around to face the intrusion. For a second he stared at his wide-eyed ba kneeling at his side without recognition.

Yuugi. This was Yuugi. Grandson of a tomb robber – a tomb defiler. That any part of Atemu should be bound by blood to the same people who had done this to his people…..

"NO!!" Atemu cried, forcing cold and uncooperative limbs to heave him upright, making a mad dash for anywhere, anywhere away from this, from the silent accusations, from his tainted ba, from everything. Deaf to the distressed calls behind him, Atemu sprinted down a hallway, taking turns and passages as they came, winding deeper and deeper into the dark maze of shadows, and then the dark maze of Shadows, leaving behind the world of light and desecration.

Finally sinking down into a desolate corner with darkness and Shadows surrounding him, Atemu huddled with his face hidden behind drawn-up knees, arms about himself in a fierce grip. Silent sobs wracking his trembling frame and dry tears coursing down his cheeks, Atemu mourned his lost world, and the terrible, violated remnants thereof.