Title: Return to the Old Ways
Chapter 1: Prologue
Summary: Bakura and Atemu's return sets in motion a series of events which had been foretold and replayed before, the last time the Shadows had been allowed to roam the Earth. This time the Shadows have their Masters, but now another form of heka that hadn't existed until the Dancer's Sacrifice reigns supreme, and Fate and Destiny seem to decide that playing with the lives of the Pharaoh, the King and the Keeper is their favorite game of all...
Disclaimer: I do not own, you do not sue. Or, the whole thing starting with 'Kay-fuzz does not own' and ends with, 'Kay-fuzz not a company. Kay-fuzz sad'.
Warning: Some spoilers for the end of the AE arc... well, really the whole thing is a spoiler, but if you're a fan and haven't been to either Lizeth's Loft- Papyrus or Kokoro no Naka and 'accidentally' found out the ending, read it in another fanfiction, or did what I did and actually buy the last manga, then you NEED TO GO DO ONE OF THOSE THINGS! ...or read the Prologue, below. Well, it's the whole chapter, so... yeah... (cough) Anyways...
Lately, days were so... different from what they originally were. The sun still rose. The rain, winds, and snows still came (as did the tests and exams). They still went to the arcade, and spent every possible moment there, too. And they still wore the large pieces of gold-and-humans mixture, shaped by the Ancients and given sacred powers.
However, those pieces of gold were what was different. There was no longer the comforting feeling of another presence. No longer the slight fear that the others would take over at the worst possible time. No longer could they say, with certainty, that there would always be someone else there for them, to support them, no matter what.
The yamis were gone, and with them, the connection that made them whole.
He sighed, and turned to look at his fellow mourner. His hair, although completely natural, looked so totally un-natural that it caught the attention of fellow museum-goers. His companion meerly brought side-ways glances.
Ignoring all glances, looks, and comments, though, the two had set up camp in front of a stone tablet they both knew well, the people it depicted (although it was 3,000 years old), and the events also shown. A small table sat between them, and on it was placed two very different decks of Duel Monsters cards.
Both sat there, staring at both the decks and the tablet, before the albino sighed. "I guess... this is really good bye..."
He pouted. "You shouldn't say that, Ryou-kun. There's always a chance. We still have our items, afterall. And even if we only see them when we die, we still will eventually, right?"
The albino looked up, surprised, before a small grin appeared on his face. "It's so hard to be sad when you're around, Yugi-kun."
"Well, if you can't be optimistic, then just be happy!"
"And you do both really well."
Silence reigned over the two again as a group of a few students walked by, looking at everything as though it was the most amazing things they had ever seen. Of course, their comments included the two boy's appearances, neither of which was very... er... 'proper'.
The albino had on a long, black trench coat. Underneath this was a black-red-white shirt, although mainly black, that clung to his lithe frame perfectly. Black leather pants hung loosely off his hips- well, they would if he was standing up- and slightly flared around his ankles. Simple, black, running shoes completed his outfit.
The other one, with tri-colored hair, was a different story, however. Tight, black leather pants that made it look like it was hard to breath, a tight, black leather tank top, a black leather jacket and more belts, buckles and other leathers (not to mention the pointy, spikey, black boots) made him appear like a hard-core goth/punk/rocker. The hair did nothing to off-set the image- although his wide eyes and cherubic face certainly did.
As the students moved onto the next room (their conversation now having fully turned away from everything else and centered solely around the two), the two turned to the tablet above their heads in it's glass case.
"I wonder... what are they doing...?" The tri-haired one whispered, while the albino nodded.
He grumbled as he was led down into the dungeons. Of course, he just had to decide to talk to the Pharaoh about their hikaris, as no one else would really listen. After about one second of actual talking and not other means of communication, he quickly found out that Atemu- fondly called 'Yami' by his hikari, his hikari's friends, and even the Theif King's own hikari- needed someone to talk to just as much as he did.
Of course, this plan back-fired when a group of guards- not to mention all six priests- barged into the room and arrested him for attempted assassination.
Apparently, sometimes having such strong heka was not a good thing.
Nor was it to have a possible enemy with the Sennen Eye.
And so, he was brought down to a jail cell that he found he was becoming quite familiar with. And, upon deciding that he was becoming familiar with it, he also set around making it more comfortable to him. He wasn't sure entirely how Atemu managed to get along without electricity- he knew that he was suffering from the lack of 'modern day' convieniences.
Slowly, night came around until the moon- or what he could see of it- was high in the sky, and the gaurds had their usual change.
However, just before the change, a voice was heard talking, and the guards, getting a call, left the area. This, of course, let the new person down towards the cells.
"Why does it seem that I'm bailing you out, even after everything that's happened?" Atemu asked as he let himself into the Thief King's cell, and sitting down on the floor opposite him.
"Well, it's not my fault that you're just too nice, Pharaoh." The Thief King, Bakura, replied icily.
"No, but it's technically your fault that we were sealed away in the first place. And now it's your fault that I'm about to break one of my own laws."
"Oh really? And what law would that be?"
"That we don't let people out of prision just because they're our friends."
"Whoever said that we were friends?"
"No one. But you're the only one who really knows about Yugi, Ryou, and Domino, so..."
"Ah. Yes, your Priests don't seem to really like talking about that, do they?"
"They act as if it's just a dream. But... I know it's not. I can feel it, like a part of me is missing. You know?"
Bakura was silent, before he nodded, glaring at the other prisoners and letting them know that if they dared mention anything about this to anyone they were as good as dead. "Do you really need me to answer that?"
"You know, I thought for once we could have a semi-intelligent conversation."
"Oh, come on. It's us. A Pharaoh and a Tomb Robber. How the hell are we supposed to have an 'intelligent conversation'?" He said the last two words with a mocking tone.
Atemu rolled his eyes and stood up. "Do you need anything to make this more comfortable? Or painful?"
"...you hate me that much to put me through more pain? Now of all times?"
"I find that drowning myself seems to work to take the pain away, if only for a bit. You might want to try it."
"I don't exactly have a pool down here, Yu-Gi-Oh." Bakura replied, using the nickname that Atemu had develloped while in Domino, and leaving the other prisoners quite confused.
"No, but I can get you a pitcher.I heard someone in Yugi's class say once that it only takes an inch of water or so to drown yourself."
"...interesting idea. Send me down some water, anyways. Air conditioning is not good to get used to- nor, apparently, is electricity or plumbing."
Atemu almost laughed as he made his way out of the cell, locking the door behind him. He ended up settling for a small, weird, and yet evil sounding, laugh. "Or cars. Or video games. Or Kaiba's technology."
"Or being able to carry so many monsters, spells and traps around in your pocket."
Both stood or sat there, before Bakura stood up and walked over to the bars of his cell. He looked at Atemu straight in the eye, crimson meeting crimson, before whispering in Japanese, "If I ever get out of here, I'm going to try and find a way back. I don't give a damn about what that Priestess of yours says- Ryou's me, and I'm Ryou. No one else can ever have him- not as long as I'm stuck here. I'm gonna find a way back, or kill myself trying."
"...I'd join you in an instant. This time got along fine without us for a while- they'll be able to get along again if we go back. The future says so." The Pharaoh replied in the same language. Confused looks appeared on the prisoner's faces, really not understanding what the two were saying.
Bakura nodded, before Atemu did the same, turned on his heel, and stalked away up the passage. Another young thief, caught for trying to rob a small store on the outskirts of the city asked slowly, "What the hell was that about? How do you know the Pharaoh? And what did you say? And why the hell was he talking to you?"
Bakura glared at him. "Trust me. If you were going through hell and only one other person knew how you felt, you'd talk to them, even if you normally shouldn't. Now- shut the fuck up and leave me alone."
With that, he lay back down, turned over, and fell asleep- well, after a bit of grumbling about getting used to nice, soft beds first.
Atemu sighed as he paced his rooms. Since reclaiming his title as Pharaoh, he had been getting restless. His Preists had taken to guarding him with the utmost care, and even though he had been able to sneak down to the dungeons, all six Priests and one vizer had been waiting for him in his rooms when he returned.
He was now forbidden to leave his chambers, as long as he was not with one of the Priests or Vizer. Of course, with their busy schedules, this made him allowed to leave his rooms for the Court, and occasionally for dinner. A week had passed since the talk with Bakura, and he had only been allowed out eight times- seven Courts, one dinner. All food, paperwork or guests were brought to his chambers and, as big and spacious as they were, he was growing tired.
((Maa... what I am going to do?))
Not hearing a response, he grumbled. He had taken to trying to use his mind link, knowing full well that Yugi would never be able to hear him.
His Priests had been noticing his obvious pre-occupation with... other-worldly affairs, and, for the most part, had spent some time getting him charts, scrolls, and maps to re-aquiant him with Ancient Egypt. This, of course, they noticed didn't really work, either, and therefore they moved onto more... elaborate means (Aishisu being the one to suggest, find, bring in and pay their other means). Atemu had no idea of what his Priests planned, though...
A knocking on the door startled Atemu from his reverie, and he turned quickly, just in time to see all six Priests, one vizer, about twenty guards, and a young girl from the city proper enter the room. She was around his age, that much he could tell. And although not much else was obvious about her, one thing was obvious, based on her style of dressing:
She was a very skilled, highly payed dancer. Atemu almost sweatdropped at the thought of what Jounouchi would thing if he saw someone who looked like this girl.
"Pharaoh, we bring you Dani, dancer of the sands." Aishisu stated simply, before bowing out of the room with everyone else, leaving Atemu and Dani alone in his chambers.
As Dani began to dance, Atemu sat down to try to enjoy the show. However, he found himself unable to, and instead told her to stop. "But, Pharaoh-"
"Don't 'Pharaoh' me, Dani of the sands. You're getting paid to dance- however, your charm is lost on me, and it would be a waste of time and energy. I would prefer to meerly talk."
Dani nodded, before seating herself elegantly on the floor. She, of course, waited for Atemu to speak and, being used to this by now, Atemu started off with, "Dani... why did you become a dancer?"
"I was always told that I'm not very graceful. When I dance, however, no one says that, and I feel like I can just be myself. I love dancing. And I love it when people enjoy themselves watching me dance."
Atemu smirked. "You sound like someone I once knew."
"They were a dancer?"
"In training. From what I could tell, she would be pretty good, but I never got the chance to see what she could really dance like."
"Oh. So... what is like to be Pharaoh? Especially with all the strange heka around lately?"
"You mean the increase in evil ka?" Atemu recalled his Priests once talking about that.
"Ah, it's very... interesting. But boring. And my Priests seem to think that keeping me locked in my chambers is going to help my concentration."
Dani rolled her eyes. "My family thinks that keeping me locked in any room will help me practice more, and hopefully bring in more income."
"Strange how people expect us to do things just because they give us an opportunity."
The conversation continued on this way, until some running alerted them to something going on just outside the doors. "I wonder what's wrong...?" Dani asked slowly as she made to stand up. However, Atemu told her to stay sitting, and it was a good thing, too, as the doors suddenly bursted open, revealing all the Priests there.
"Pharaoh! Bakura has escaped!"
Atemu tried to look worried- he really did. But, somehow, he knew this was going to happen. "Really? Then get everyone after him, and leave me and Dani alone in peace. That includes no standing just outside the door!"
They were all surprised by the orders, but submitted to his will (but not forgetting that he did not say anything about unlocking the doors). With all the confusion outside, neither noticed a white-haired man slowly climb over the railing of the balcony and then over to the Shadows.
However, the Shadows alerted Atemu to the intrusion, and (after making sure that Dani was relaxed and that the news of an intruder in the Pharaoh's chambers did not leave the room) he stated, with a semi-evil smirk on his face, "Good try, Bakura. Come on out now, like a good little boy."
"I'll show you a good little boy, Yami."
"And I'll show you a pissed off one."
Dani was surprised by the strange exchange that went on between her Pharaoh and... the wall? She looked carefully at the portion that was talking about, and was quite surprised to see a wite-haired figure step out of the Shadows and mock-bow to her and the Pharaoh.
Dani, in her surprise, registered that this was who had escaped and she was about to send up the alarm when Atemu's hand clamped around her mouth. Bakura looked her over, before turning to Atemu and saying in Japanese (which Dani certainly did not understand), "Why couldn't you have kicked her out? Or at least spoken in Japanese?"
"What? You think that I'm gonna send her out there in all this confusion? She'll probably be pinned with helping you escape, anyways, so you might as well get to know each other."
Bakura blinked, before grumbling, and saying quite clearly in Ancient Arabic, "You're kidding me, Pharaoh. There's no way-"
"Yes, there is. Dani, this is Bakura. Bakura, meet Dani, dancer of the sands. Dani, you make any sound louder than a whisper while anywhere about this, and I'll make sure you're thrown in the dungeons."
Bakura scoffed. "And we had been wondering if you were a good or evil Pharaoh..."
"Ha ha. So, Dani, eh? And you're a dancer?"
Dani nodded, Atemu's hand still over her mouth. How could her Pharaoh be so... friendly with this man? Apparently, both men knew what she was thinking as they sighed.
"Great. No, we're not friends. Meerly... alliances, both working to the same ends."
"What's that? The destruction of Egypt?" She replied slowly as Atemu took his hand off her mouth.
"No. Getting back to Domino." Atemu replied, glancing at Bakura. The albino thief only grinned.
"After that, though... well, we'll have to see what happens."
Dani blinked. "Er... Domino?"
"Domino City. It's in a place called Japan that's really far from here." Atemu explained as Bakura sat down on the bed. His face showed how displeased he was with it.
"You would think that at least the Pharaoh's bed would be as comfy as Ryou's poor old matress." He commented, glancing side-long at Atemu. The tri-haired man gave a small laugh.
"If we're going to go over all the differences again, might as well explain it all to Dani."
Bakura grumbled. "And why is she being dragged into this, anyways?"
"Yeah!" She exclaimed, remembering at the last second to keep her voice down. "Why drag me in? Aren't I just a dancer?"
"You, Dani of the sands, are a dancer, who happened to be in the wrong- or, really, right place at the right time." Two snorts told Atemu how wrong they thought he was. "You know Thebes and the surrounding area. You know many things that I do not, and that Bakura does not: how to exist not as a Pharaoh or theif, but as an everyday, law-abiding peasant, which neither of us know how to do."
"No, but I know how to live as Ryou!"
"But Ryou's not here, so that doesn't help."
Dani sighed, resigned to her fate. "Alright. Who is this Ryou person, and what are you two talking about?"
"You might want to sit down..."
"It's kind of a long story..."
The two young men focused their gazes away from the tablet, before turning to each other. A small beeping caught the tri-colored haired one's attention, and, excusing himself from his friend, turned awau slightly and opened his cell phone.
"Oh, jii-san! What's up?"
"Do you think you can get over here soon? I need to go out to buy some things for dinner, but I'm expecting a large shipment of some new games..."
"No problem. I'll be over right away. Just let me finish up here."
"Alright. Good bye."
The albino turned to his companion as the other got off the phone. "You have to go, Yugi?"
"Unh. Gomen, Ryou."
"Nah, s'okay, Yugi. I'll give the table back to Ishizu, if you need to go."
"I can help you!"
"No, really, it's okay. See you later, Yugi!" The albino called out as he made his way down the hall, table under his arm. The other teen stared after his friend. After the yamis had left, both of them began to withdraw from everyone, their only realy comfort being each other, and the fact that someone else in the world felt the same, undieing, unquenchable flame of pain that now resided in their souls where another being once did.
He sighed as the albino walked out of sight, before heading home. If he was lucky, he might have enough time to buy a quick burger... afterall, with the new Hamburger place from over-seas on the way home, there was no way to pass up an opportunity to get his mind off his other.
Explaining to someone who barely believed in heka before everything that had happened to them was a near impossible feat, but explain it they did, and she took it pretty well, especially the knowledge that Egypt had been technically 'Pharaoh-less' for not just a few days or so in their time, but nearly a millenia further in the future.
"Ah... so that's why everyone was acting weird. But... what does this have to do with me? I can see why Bakura here would need my help- ("I don't need anyone's help!"; "No, just a pyschiatrist's.") -but why would you, Pharaoh?"
Atemu's eye almost twitched- however, Pharaoh's eyes did not twitch. They narrowed into glares, or widened into expressions of happiness, but they did not twitch. Bakura knew this, and saw how hard it was for Atemu to not let his eye twitch, which usually means that it's time for-
"Ku ku! Atemu's eye is twitching!"
Dani galred at Bakura. "A Pharaoh's eye does not twitch, Bakura!"
"No, but a Yu-Gi-Oh's eye does!"
At that, Atemu's eye really did twitch- which was the only warning before he launched himself at Bakura, reaching for the albino's neck. Bakura, prepared for this, meerly let Atemu's projectory cary the Pharaoh into the Thief King- well, before attacking Atemu.
This quickly resulted in a dust cloud, complete with random shots of legs, arms, and heads, stress signs, and a sweat-dropping Dani. Well, until foot steps were heard in the hall. Although the dust cloud and all things associated with the dust cloud did not disappear immediately, Dani's sweatdrop did, and she hissed at the two, "Oi! Pharaoh! Thief! Someone's coming!"
Bakura ducked under the bed while Atemu tried to straighten his appearance. Dani, seeing that it wouldn't work, quickly grabbed Atemu and straddled his hips, bringing her face close to his, just as the door burst open.
"Pharaoh! What- oh, erm... we'll just be leaving..." Aishisu said uncertainly as she and a small group of guards left the room due to a glaring Dani and an almost-glaring Atemu. This time he was almost-glaring because upon realizing what this looked like, he almost burst out laughing.
Bakura, under the bed, however, decided that he did not like looking at Dani and Atemu in a make-out position, and therefore, as soon as the foor shut and the foot steps retreated, he did what he thought was the best way to break them up.
"I see London,I see France! I see-"
"If you finish that, Thief King, you're going to the furthest, deepest, darkest part of the Shadow Realm, and will be bound there!"
"...do you even know how to bind someone to the Shadow Realm?"
"...but Seth does."
"...you wouldn't dare..."
Bakura started grumbling then about stuck-up Priests who don't know what's good for them while Dani just looked on in amusement, finding the Theif being told off by the Pharaoh quite an... 'interesting' scene. Standing up, she led both Bakura and Atemu to sit on the bed, one on each side of her.
"Okay. I hardly know either of you, and I'm not even sure if I like you, Thief, but I'll help you, if it's for the Pharaoh. Pharaoh, I know I can trust you, and if you can trust Bakura, then I am willing to do so, too. But... would it be possible for you two to act like someone over the age of ten?"
Bakura smirked hearing that, while Atemu just remained impassive. "...alright. So, Pharaoh, what are we going to do?"
"You, Bakura, are going to dye your hair black-"
"WHAT! No way, your highness-ness, their is no way in hell that I am dying my beautiful hair black."
"...you tried talking Ryou into it so you could go steal something in Domino."
"No I didn't! That was just... um... an attempt to try to make him stand out less!"
"...are we supposed to be believe that?"
"BOYS!" Dani nearly screamed, trying to get their attention. Having achieved her goal, her took a deep breath, trying hard to calm herself down (and barely succeeding), before addressing Atemu. "Just tell us your plans, Pharaoh, and then we'll comment afterwards."
Atemu thought for a moment, before starting again. "Alright. Bakura, you don't need to dye your hair black, BUT, then you'll have to hide out somewhere IN THEBES. I don't want you going out of the city. In about two day's time, I'm supposed to go around to different parts of the Kingdom, do those stupid Royal duties, blah blah blah. I'll ask for Dani to accompany me, and Bakura, you'll be travelling with Dani as an... older brother? Regardless, the best place to try anything would be in Kuru Eruna. We'll be passing near there in about a week, and only staying over for a night, so we need to be preparing all week long."
"...preparing for what, Pharaoh?" Dani asked slowly, trying to take in and understand the plan.
"For myself and Bakura to go back to Domino. Seth will more than likely take over as Pharaoh- but don't worry, he's competent enough runing a big corportation in Domino, so he should be fine ruling over Egypt for a few years."
"I wouldn't trust anything in Kaiba's hands."
"That's Kaiba, this is Seth, Bakura. There is a difference." Atemu stated in his most patronizing tone. Bakura's eye twitched this time, though he remained silent.
"...right. So, how are we going to get Bakura out of here tonight?" Dani asked slowly, unsure if she even wanted to be part of this.
There was silence as all three pondered this, before Atemu stood up, and walked to the door. He rapped three times on it, and it opened to reveal a female servant. Bakura quickly ducked out of sight, Dani helping him to hide. Regardless of any tension between the two, if Bakura was found here, she would undoubtably be held accountable for helping him escape.
A bit of talking to the maid, a few quick hand gestures, and some other words, and the maid had left, returning barely a second later with plain servant clothing, a head cloth, and a small satchel. Atemu thanked her, took the items, and shut the door in the maid's face, who was looking expectantly into the chambers beyond.
The moment the door was shut, Bakura quickly stood up to yell at the Pharaoh- but Dani beat him to it. "What in Re's name were you thinking, Pharaoh? Do you know what would happen if Bakura was caught? To him? To you? To ME!"
Atemu and Bakura sweatdropped as Dani started off on an amazingly unrelated rant about different problems in her life, as the Pharaoh passed something to the Thief. Bakura looked at Atemu, questioningly, before shrugging and preparing whatever Atemu had passed to him. Eventually Dani,finally needing to take a breath, paused, and Bakura took this time to quickly cover her mouth with his hand. She looked about ready to elbow him, but Atemu stopped her with a single hand- well, he held one up to forestall any fighting.
"I am sorry, Dani, and I shall make sure that Bakura is hidden next time I go ask a maid to help bring some things for you two to sneak out in. And I am sorry in for what will happen in the next four seconds."
Dani blinked, confused, before her eyes slowly closed and her body became lifeless. Bakura looked down at the unconcious girl in his arms, before sighing and laying her gently on the floor. The small piece of drugged cloth in his hand was then stuffed into a small waist pouch, "For later use."
Atemu didn't want to know what the Thief would use a drug cloth for.
"So, Pharaoh? What do we do now?"
"Get changed into the servant clothes."
Atemu gestured impatiently to the clothes that were now piled on his bed from when Dani had started her rant. "Servant clothes. You are going to dress as a servant, and bring Dani to a small, run-down building on the out-skirts of town." He paused as he said this, and grabbed a scroll of papyrus and a stylus before starting to write a small letter."There might be a few poor people or run-away slaves there: take no notice of them. Go straight to the top floor, which should be empty, and camp out there, until Dani wakes up. Then let her lead you to her home, where you will stay."
Atemu finished off his letter with a flourish, folded it, and marked it with the Royal Seal. Bakura eyed the letter as he quickly jumped in, "And why will Dani's family welcome me in with open arms?"
"Because-" He presented Bakura with the clothing and the letter, "-you are now a personal aide to the Pharaoh, who was sent to look after and help take care of the Pharaoh's favorite dancer in all of Egypt."
Bakura blinked, before taking the clothes. "...this is never going to work."
"Yes it will. If the family has a problem with it, tell them to come to the Royal Court tomorrow- or whenever the next one is after Dani wakes up- and take it up with me. I will gladly tell them that I sent you to look after her. And your name is now Ryou."
Bakura blinked again, before quickly shurgging off the rags that were his clothes, and on the finery of a high-level servant. "Ryou, hm?" Bakura asked as he twirled before the mirror, admiring what having status and not nesecarily wealth could get you. "...I could live with this."
Dani groaned as she came to. The light from the morning sun struck her eyes full on, temporairily blinding her as she tried to open her eyes and sit up. Her head still a bit fuzzy from the drugs, it took her a moment to realize that she was neither at home, her Uncle's house, nor the palace, where she last was.
Speaking of the palace...
"Urg... why did-"
"So, you're awake." A voice stated from somewhere to her left. Although still goggy, Dani recognized that voice immediately.
"Bakura! What am I doing here? Why are you here? Why-"
"One thing at a time, child of the sands." Dani's eye twitched. No one had ever called her that before, except for her father- but how could...?
"I don't know what you're thinking, nor why you have that ugly frown on your face." Dani finally looked up at her companion, and was startled to see not the Thief King Bakura standing there, but a gentler, kinder look-a-like, dressed in the finery of a high-level palace servant. He bent down beside her, and cupped her face in his own hands, looking to an outsider like a worried lover. However, he was in fact forcing her to look right at his eyes, and using a calming trick he had learned to use on his hikari on her- relax both them, and their minds. Of course, not having practiced it in a while made him go slightly over-board, and Dani nearly melted under his gaze, eyes becoming hazy.
He quickly shook her shoulders, bring her enough out of the impromtu comatose state so that she could listen, understand, and retain what he was saying. "My name is Ryou now, a personal aide to the Pharaoh. I'm supposedly keeping you safe, as you are the Pharaoh's "favorite dancer in all of Egypt" now. Sleep."
He said the last word forcefully, and she almost did, before a small amount of sense kicked in, and instead made her not fall asleep, but remain slightly awake. She slowly looked around, noticing that they were in a run-down building, and asked the Thief King quietly, "Stay by me?"
He made a face, but seeing the pitiful state she was in, surrendered, and knelt down by her head. Turning towards him, she instinctively wrapped her fists into his robes, drew herself closer to him, and fell asleep.
Bakura, trying to maintain a straight face, knew that there was no way in hell he was going to be able to go back down to the game he had been playing downstairs with some of the other 'borders'.
Atemu paced restlessly around his room, waiting for one of his Priests to come get him, and the Royal Court to begin. He didn't expect Dani's family to be there- even if Bakura had somehow been able to find Dani's home without her help, Dani would still certainly be unconscious, and would be for a few more hours.
And, if by some miracle, she was awake, who would want to leave their daughter who was out like a light for most of the night alone in their house?
Atemu sighed and stretched. The official letter to ask Dani to accompany him on his trip around the Kingdom was already written, signed, and on his desk, simply waiting for a messenger to deliver it. Stalking over to the balcony, he stepped out onto it, into the mid-day sun. And turned his head towards the giant, glowing sphere called the sun, and whispered, a few small tears streaking down his cheeks, "Re... why did you do this to us? Why take away our lights? Was it to test our devotion to each other? Whatever it is, Re... I pray to you, I'd do anything, sacrifice everything, to be able to be with Yugi again."
A knock on the door sounded and Seth entered, looking entreatingly at his Pharaoh.
Atemu turned back to Seth, then towards the sun again, making a show of shading his eyes from the rays- and wiping the few tears away. The done, he grabbed the letter, a few other documents, and walked out of the room with Seth down to the Royal Court.
And although he had lived in the future for nearly a year, Atemu had never apparently heard the old saying, 'Be careful what you wish for'.
Wrapping his arms loosely around Dani, Bakura looked at the large caravan he was riding with. Dani, on the horse in front of him, grinned a mischevious, 'You are under me and I can ask you to do anything and you'd have to do it' kind of smile.
And she was right.
Upon seeing Dani and obviously a servant of the Pharaoh at their door, Dani's family welcomed them in immediately. Upon hearing the story that had been concocted, and that Dani was so high in the eyes of the Pharaoh, the family immediately went to many, many troubles to make sure that 'Ryou' was cared for properly.
Bakura was sure that he had never had been more pampered in his life.
No expense was spared in making sure he was comfortable- and, upon seeing him and Dani conspiring together so frequently, the family secretly began moving a few of his things into Dani's room. Of course, he would noticed and move it back right away, not to mention laugh at the family's absured thoughts.
As if this wasn't enough, when the letter arrived- via Royal Messenger- asking Dani to come with Atemu on the trip around Egypt, Bakura was sure that the family would have been highly offeneded if Dani had refused and kicked her out of the house, not to mention disown her.
So, packing up quickly, Bakura and Dani bid good-bye to her family and raced on horse-back to the Royal Palace, where a number of high-rank people were waiting. Blushing under their stares, Dani had instructed Bakura to pull the horse over to Atemu's. Atemu smiled warmly, and told Dani and Bakura that they would be near the middle of the caravan, about five places ahead of where he would be.
That was about how they came to be in the middle of a desert, Bakura holding the reins of a pure white horse, Dani sitting side-saddle in front of him, and a large grouping of wagons in front of them, filled with the hariems of other nobles. They sat there, giggling at Dani, who had to ride on a horse, and Bakura, who was obviously umcomfortable.
Bakura and Dani meerly ignored the other females, concentrating on their own problems and having a whispered conversation.
"Do you think we should?"
"Nah, it'd draw too much attention. Either he comes up to us, or we don't talk until tonight. That's the way it goes."
"But we could-"
"Besides, I'm not going voluntarily anywhere near him. It's enough that he's saved my hide at least once in each time- I don't want to look like I'm actualy- Re forbid it- warming up to him."
Dani rolled her eyes at her companion's stubborn-ness. Sometimes, the two would act like brothers. Then the next moment, they would act like 'normal' brothers. Although confusing, it was also... cute, was the best word to describe it.
Really, who had ever heard of a Thief and a Pharaoh not only being so close, but having nearly the same attitudes?
A week passed in this way, with every night there being a 'special' meeting between Atemu, Dani and 'Ryou' in Atemu's tent- with silencing spells and hidden Shadows making it seem that everything was normal- well, as normal as one could get with a Pharaoh like Atemu.
Slowly, Dani got to know some of the other females that were travelling with them. Although Atemu expressly forabde contact (should she get it in her head the being part of one such hareim was a good idea), she still found ways to talk to the others. And, to her surprise, not all of them were... 'blonde air-heads', as both Bakura and Atemu called them. She found out different things about where they came from, experiences, and many different things about the different places in Egypt.
But, through it all, one question still remained strong in her mind:
What in Re's name were 'blonde air-heads'?
Breaching the question on her two compatriots, Atemu and Bakura took one look at each other, nearly burst out laughing, realized that they were supposed to hate each other, turned haughtily away, and then burst out laughing. Dani was both confused- and amused- by this.
When they eventually answered her question, Dani was only more confused. What did having sand-colored hair have to do with how smart a person was? Deciding that it was best to just leave it at that (that being that it was a 'future' thing), Dani, Atemu and Bakura then turned their attention to a problem looming sooner on the horizon- litterally- than they would have liked.
"Kuru Eruna..." Bakura whispered to Dani, though the sight of such a huge ghost town had spooked enough people that those around them- including some of the hareim girls- heard what he said.
Dani shivered at the feelings that those two words- well, one name, really- evoked in both ber and the people around her. As they got closer, trying to make it through the old village and out the other side to set up camp before night fall, they were able to see the large burn marks on much of the stone, the still-red, like freshly spilled blood staining the ground, and what appeared to be a random, large pit in the middle of the village, with what looked like gold still stuck to the walls.
No one, though, had dared touch the gold since it had been melted down there, for, if anyone could brave the strange feeling in the air without feeling like they were tresspassing and not feel like they would be eaten by Ammut, then they would have to be insane to touch the gold on the walls. For, instead of the beautiful, yellow gold that they were so accustomed to seeing, this wasn't yellow.
Bakura turned his head away from the pit and the scenes of destruction, particarily one small house on the edge of town. Atemu followed his example, having ridden up beside them (supposedly to comfort Dani), and his Priests followed his example. Those nobles who had accompanied them were in awe at the mass destruction that was Kuru Eruna, but some also turned their heads away- the sight of a massacre weighed heavily on their consciousnesses.
As they passed through, Atemu made his final decision. Before he returned to his spot in the line, he whispered to them, "Don't go to dinner. Go straight to my tent- we'll leave from there. We won't be passing back this way, since everyone experienced that feeling once, they won't want to do it again. We'll be leaving first thing in the morning to try to put as much distance as possible between us and Kuru Eruna. And Ryou?"
A grunt was his only response.
With that, Atemu turned back to his spot in line, leaving both Dani and Bakura thinking.
What had Atemu meant by that?
Dani looked back at Bakura, and was startled to see a few small droplets of water running down his cheeks. He didn't seem to have noticed them, paying too much attention on what was directly in front of them- not on either side, nor further back. Dani felt a strong surge of compassion for the Thief infront of her- who knew that thieves, especially the King of Thieves- could cry?
Gently squeezing his hand, she gave him a comforting smile. Bakura, startled out of his reverie, looked down at her, and gave her the start of a gentle smile- until he realized what he was doing, and turned it into a frown instead.
Dani, knowing that joking around was out of the question right now, simply relaxed against his chest and closed her eyes. His presence was comforting, and she knew that her own warmth was comforting to him- afterall, who knew how long it had been since someone had taken the time to warm up to him?
Instead of going to dinner, Dani had loudly complained of how tired she was, had Bakura set up their tent, and get her their food- a new taste to both of them, called marshmellows.
The first night they had eaten the marshmellows, Atemu had explained that the white, gooey stuff was meerly for energy, not for an actual meal. However, they were eaten reguarily in the palace by Atemu, the Priests, and others of high status, as well as the Royal Messengers if they had to go out on long journeys.
Dani and Bakura delighted originally in the strange, sticky-sweet taste of the marshmellow, and the texture of it in their mouths. Of course, Bakura just happened to be playing around, and discovered that both a slightly-golden marshmellow and/or a charcoal-burnt marshmellow (both roasted over a flame) were also delicious, if not more so than the normal counter-parts.
And so, they waited for as everyone else went down to dinner before they both (after grabbing a few marshmellows each) snuck out, around the back of their tent and nearly right into Atemu's tent. He was waiting inside, pacing about the fire. When they asked him how come they couldn't see his shadow on the tent sides, he brushed it off with a simple "Shadows" answer.
Bakura nodded in understanding, Dani shrugged- she was not about to get too wrapped up in everything that was going on, so why should she inquire further? Gesturing for them to sit down quickly, Atemu threw a piece of papyrus at Bakura's feet. Bakura took one look at it, growled, walked over to the fire, and burnt the papyrus, watching as it curled and then turned to ashes.
Dani blinked back and forth between them, not sure if she should inquire. Atemu sighed, turning to her slightly. "As Bakura hasn't been seen around Thebes since he broke out of prison, they assumed that he would either be heading after me, or heading to Kuru Eruna- here- to get 'back to his roots'. My Priests just so conviently reminded me that as long as we are within one days travel to Kuru Eruna- or the ruins of it- myself, you, Dani, and even you, 'Ryou', must have more than one guard with them at all times."
This caused Bakura to growl, Atemu to sigh, and Dani's draw to drop to the floor, and a horrified look appear on her face. "But... then..."
"Nope. We won't-"
"Pharaoh! Where are you!"
Atemu cursed as Aishisu entered the tent, and, seeing all three in there, she grinned, obviously happy to be able to corner them like this. "Alright. I have fifteen guards to pass around. Pharaoh, you'll get... eight, Dani will get four and Ryou will get three. Does that sound okay?" Not giving them a chance to answer, she called back to the guards behind her and just outside the tent, "I want three groups! Eight, three and four, and no dawdling! Get back here with your bags, food rations and tents, and be prepared to spend the night just outside!"
They heard movment, before all foot steps seemed to have disappeared, when Aishisu poked her head back in. "Pharaoh, the guards have been chosen and dispatched. Will you-"
"No, I will not need anything else, Priestess, so if you would please leave us alone?" Atemu replied coldly, putting almost too much emphasis on the word 'Priestess', showing that he was displeased with Aishizu's recent conduct.
Getting the hint, Aishizu gulped, nodded, and bowed out of the tent, wisely telling the guards who had come back to stay at least ten feet away from the two tents.
Atemu, Bakura, and Dani, knowing they would never have another chance, grabbed small sacks that Atemu had been carting around with him and slipped out, under the hem of the tent the back way, to avoid running into any guards.
Slipping through the maze of tents, the three relied on Bakura's sense of direction, other senses, and thieving skills, they slowly made their way to the small pen where the horses were kept. Although Dani made a move for their white horse, Atemu shook his head and Bakura dragged her back, letting Atemu walk into the light.
The guards who were watching the horses immediately stood to attention, and Bakura dragged Dani away, into the shadows of a small grouping of tents, making sure the Shadows did not aleart anyone to their presence. With the sun setting, he made sure they were positioned so that if the guards happened to look their way, they would be blinded by the sun and not see them, anyways.
Atemu said something to the guards, walked into the coral, jumped up on Dani and Bakura's horse, and rode away towards them. The guards watched, and Bakura quickly made sure that a Shadow-made look-a-like rode around the grouping of tents and out of sight. The guards, although unsure, simply said back down again, facing away from the sun.
The real Atemu, being hidden by the Shadows, quickly stopped and let Dani and Bakura get up on the horse. Although slightly tired, and spooked from having the feel of Shadows over it's body, the horse accepted the extra weight, and took off high-speed towards Kuru Eruna.
Meanwhile, the Shadow-made Atemu tured a corner where no one was, and faded out of existance.
The trio made it to the out-skirts of the city within half an hour, knowing that if they were discovered to be away that search parties would be after them within three seconds. Not bothering to slow down, they pushed the horse to go right up to the smal temple in the city- the temple that contained the tablet that the Sennen Items fit into.
Running the length, the three eventually came to a stop in front of the pedestal, ontop of which was a small, carved stone box, almost like a cofin, but not big enough. While Atemu and Bakura set about reading the hireoglyphics on the box, Dani crept back to the door, careful and silent, like Bakura, and dancing, had taught her to be.
Glancing about, she could have sworn that she had heard some strange noises- but, dismissing them as meerly the wind through no-longer used windows, doorways and buildings, she turned her attention back to the horizon, in the direction from which they came. Their horse, having been left untethered, was wandering around the small courtyard like area in front of the temple, knawing on whatever food-like object it found.
Hearing a clang behind her, Dani whipped around only to see both Atemu's and Bakura's heads shoot up from either side of the cofin-like box, looked around, glare at each other, and go back to work. Dani sighed, knowing that it was either their imagination or someone else was with them- and she was hoping that it was something else.
After ten minutes of quiet, she was practically sure it was something else that had made the noise, and she pulled out some marshmellows to munch on while Atemu and Bakura continued their search. Glancing slightly over her shoulder, she saw that while Atemu was still dealing with the box, Bakura had moved onto the altar, pedestal, and shrine itself, both going over every inch of their chosen object.
Dani rolled her eyes at their thoroughness, and turned back to the look-out station when a small exclamation of surprise from Atemu made both her and Bakura turn back to the Pharaoh, who was looked at the now-open box. Their eyes meeting even across the large gap between them, both rushed over to Atemu, Bakura getting there noticably earlier than Dani. However, both Bakura and Atemu- who, in his surprise had not looked inside the box- waited for her to reach them before stepping up and seeing what was inside.
Atemu and Dani looked over at Bakura, who meerly shrugged. "In case you've forgotten, I've forsaken Re's name enough that I no longer feel inclined or indebted to call his name." Taking this as a good response- as it was true- the three turned their attention back to the cofin, just as another clank, and this time voices sounded as well.
Nearly panicking, Atemu started going over what the object inside of the cofin depicted, Dani helping him manouver the impromtu torch (flint + stones + marshmellows equals WHOOSH!) to see better, while Bakura slowly loosened the hidden daggers and one long sword that he had acquired in the past week or so, and stood in the ready position.
"Whoever's there, show yourself!"
Some more voices sounded, as though they were having a debate. After a good minute of this, Bakura was getting tired of the mindless chatter and decided to yell out, "Nahkti Bakura Ryou, King of Thieves, Master of Shadows, commands you reveal yourselves!"
Instead of the humans he thought he would have to face, a strong gust of wind started swirling around him, and he turned to Atemu, feeling the power of Shadows around him. Atemu, understanding, closed his eyes as he stood up slowly, letting Dani completely take over the work of deciphering the object found inside the box.
Slowly opening his eyes, both Bakura and Dani stopped, seeing his eyes nearly glowing crimson, erily bright in the almost-darkness. The gold on his clothing, as he had not changed out of his 'Pharaoh-clothing' as Bakura had dubbed it, shined with both gold, and also silver, midnight blue, crimson, purple, violet, grey, black, and dark maroon colors, as the air also swirled around him in those shades.
Dani blinked, surprised at the display, but wentback to her work. She had almost finished it, and she needed to help her Pharaoh and the Thief King if they wanted to get out of this alive...
Atemu stared up at the ceiling, at the carvings and intricate designs all around them. Hearing the Shadows whisper in his ear, he called out the words they told him-
"Atemu Yami Yugi Mouto, Pharaoh of Egypt, Son of Akunamukanon, True Master of the Shadows! Reveal yourselves!"
The Shadows, upon hearing this, completely joined in on the strange encirclement of the two standing, facing the intruders. Slowly, the Shadow Wind spread to invlove Dani in it's embrace, and the marshmellow torch was snuffed out. However, Dani had already seen the last of the hierogylphs, and had started making her way towards Bakura.
Well, until an arrow wizzed by and barely missed her head, although effectively cutting her cheek. Gasping, Dani kneeled down onto the ground, hand over the wound.
Both Bakura and Atemu saw what happened, and turned their attention to the rafters. A number of eyes, obviously human, snered down at them, before they began sending flame arrows, normal arrows, swords, javellins, spears, and a number of other sharp, pointy weapons down onto them. Although the Shadow Winds knocked most of the projectiles away, a few got through and barely missed their targets. Atemu stood up straighter, concentrating on finding those who were attacking them, paying no attention to the few flame arrows which had somehow found targets that were flamable.
Bakura, also ignoring the flame arrows, was at Dani's side in an instant, looking at her face. She was holding her bloodied hand in front of her face, staring at it as though she had just had some great revelation. Turning to Bakura, she whispered quickly, in a hoarse voice, "Give me one of your daggers."
Confused to the fact that she knew that he had daggers specifically on him, he pulled a ceremonial one out, sure that Dani was not using it for fighting. Indeed, he was right, as she stood up over the box again, holding the dagger up over her head. Although confused, another arrow that barely missed Dani's arm whizzed down, drawing Bakura's attention back towards the cieling.
Atemu, although somehow being able to get rid of a few, was struggling trying to not let the Shadows simply destroy everything in sight and alerting his guards to where he was not. Bakura, upon also starting to wage war against their attackers, also found that controlling Shadows like how he was, was very tiring. Of course, as long as the Pharaoh stood, albeit shakily, he would stand strong, a mountain against the desert storms. Flinging out parts of Shadows to their attackers, more began to fall from the roof.
Dani, meanwhile, had by now said the final chant that was to be used for... whatever it was that Atemu and Bakura were trying to accomplish. 'Getting back to Domino,' She reminded herself. "Pharaoh! Thief King! Come over and stand inside the cofin, back-to-back!"
"Why, woman!" Bakura growled out as he lashed out again, and another two people dropped from the cieling. By this time, the fire had spread, having found old oil spills to use for fuel.
"Just come over here, damn it!" Dani returned, the urgency in her voice signifying the urgency in her request. Bakura began making his way over to the cofin, wondering why Atemu wasn't joining him. Looking back, he saw Atemu was struggling to stand up, quite like how he felt.
Grumbling about useless Pharaohs, Bakura quickly 'ran' back, while swaying dangerously in the strong wind, picked up Atemu, and carried him over his shoulder towards the cofin. Placing Atemu on his feet within the stone box, Bakura climbed in afterwards, standing back-to-back with the Pharaoh.
Dani looked one last time at the faces of her Pharaoh and her guard, and held out her other hand, wrist towards the cieling. Bakura saw this, and was about to tell her not to- while stil struggling with Atemu's bulk- when the flash of a blade slicing down silenced him in shock, as Dani brought the ceremonial dagger down, neatly slicing open her wrist.
"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust, blood spilt to sate the demon's lust. Born of Re and Spirits divine, allow the souls to cross divides. Shadows born of death and life, Spirits welcome with their might, Awake O Sleeper! Arise from Death! Turn your back on the Dark of Night! The Winds of the Spirits shall be your Breath! Bound to the Master! Bound to the Light! (1)"
A single, large, glob of blood fell from her wrist, soon followed by a near-steady stream of the dark red liquid. The Shadow Wind swirled in tighter, locking all three in place. Atemu, finally opening his eyes and looking around, saw what happened and recalled the words that Dani had spoken, his eyes widening in surprise and horror. The blood began to completely fill the cofin, even though by now Dani had almost completely drained her body of her blood, the Shadows being the only things granting her life for the last few moments.
When the dark, red liquid finally began to overflow the cofin, Bakura and Atemu felt themselves being drawn away from their surroundings. Dani, seeing this, grinned slightly, a look of pain washing over her face as she whispered to them, "All those who come after me- all Kage no Mage- we shall always serve you. All my children, my family, shall always be yours to command, Pharaoh, King. To your Realm I sacrifice myself- make Yugi and Ryou proud of you. Farewell."
With that, the pool of Sacrficial Blood swirled upwards, the Shadow Winds expanding and killing all within the city. The horse, still outside, sensing this, raced away back to the camp, barely escaping the surge of Shadows from the temple.
When the Pool of Blood finally disapeared into the Shadow Realm, there was no Pharaoh or Thief left in the cofin- meerly the pieces of a gold puzzle, soaked in blood, beside the soul-less body of a dancer and a glowing apparition that looked erily like Re, shinning in the flames that continued to burn, burning the temple and soon most of the city, ending the Era of the Shadows Games.
(1) This is actually part of a song from the "Gather" Song Book from the Catholic Church... with some of the words a bit messed around with. It's also part on an incantation that my coven (yes, I belong to both the Catholic Church and a Coven) uses, called the Summoning. Although I'm pretty sure that if ever one of the others read this (and one- Cerial- will, as she is more of a YGO buff than myself, and reads EVERYTHING) I'm either gonna be kicked out of the Coven, or get massacred by them. Stupid, stupid me...
2) No, this isn't about something actually in the story. Ish. Although I have, in my stupidity, gone to Pacific Mall and bought the last manga of YGO (still in Japanese... getting a head ache trying to read it, though) and basically seen what happens, I'm still not sure what happens to Bakura. As my info is... incomplete, I am stuck assuming that he somehow gets stuck back in the past with Atemu. Other than that... I have no idea.
3) And yes, this is a PROLOGUE, if you didn't read the Chapter Title. Therefore, there is more to come. ...and I just HAD to make this the beginning of a YGO/HP x-over. Though, if you don't like the whole idea of these (as over-done... and badly-done as many are), then...
STOP READING NOW.
DO NOT GO ANY FURTHER.
DO NOT PASS 'GO' (Though you may click on it).
DO NOT COLLECT 200 (or reviews).
AND DO NOT YELL AT ME. I am very tired right now, do to stupid work (God, 11 HOURS A DAY! WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING!), and as such if you yell at me, I will either be inclined to a) yell back, b) ignore you, or c) explain calmly why I have decided to do such an idiotic thing (listed in order from most to least probable).
And yes, reading the YGO/HP x-overs are fun, even re-reading those that didn't make me think 'Oh My Re, what were people thinking!' or 'Blah!' or 'What the hell am I thinking?', though writing them is an entirely different thing.
Therefore, after this, do not expect an immediate update. In fact, don't expect an update for a while. I am tired, lazy, and am in the middle of writing a number of other stories. I simply wrote this to get it out of my brain, to let me concentrate on my other stories.
Not that THAT helped much...
Letterbomb by (guess who?) Greenday. Ah, I love that song.
"Where have all the bastards gone? ...the dummy failed the crash test, now collecting unemployment checks...
Where have all the riots gone? The inner city motto gets pulverized. What's in love is now in debt... so strike the fucking match to light this fuse.
The town Bishop's an extrotionist. And he don't even know that you exist. Standing still when it's do or die, you better run for your fucking life.
It's not over till your Underground. It's not over before it's too late. The city's burning. It's not my burden. It's not over before it's too late. There is nothing left to analyze.
...I'm not the Jesus of Suburbia. And Saint Jimmy is a figment of Your father's rage and your mother's love, made me the idiot of America!
It's not over till your Underground. It's not over before it's too late. The city's burning. It's not my burden. It's not over before it's too late. There is nothing left to analyze."