Alright here is the next chapter of Two Sides of a Mirror, and really the close of this arc. The next chapter will involved the Doma arc. I hope you enjoy!
Also I'd be interested in a beta reader I really really need one, and everytime I've found one they've fallen through on me. I'm hoping for at most a 72 hour turn around (if thats not always possible I understand when real life takes control!) if you interested either pm me or let me know in a review.
It had been 4 hours since Ishizu had disappeared with Yugi, Ryou and their respective Yami's. Malik had lead Anzu, Honda, Otogi, and Jounouchi out of the library and into the living room.
Anzu took a seat by a window, looking out at the town around her. She had never been in Egypt before and found most of it fascinating. Perhaps they could stay here for awhile after this. The pharaoh would now be free from Yugi's body on his own. Maybe they could go site seeing together. She honestly couldn't bring herself to be worried over Yami separating from Yugi.
Otogi and Honda sat in a corner as Otogi started describing the new expansion set for Dungeon Dice monsters. Honda sat listening intently. No one brought up the fact that everyone in the room but Malik knew the details inside and out. It was a distraction to pass the time, waiting on their friends.
Malik was quietly talking with Rashid. They only one he felt he could truly let his worries about the whole thing. They others had no idea what was going on, and might overreact to Malik's worries. Jounouchi especially who had always been extremely protective of Yugi.
Rashid knew that Malik's mind had been on Ryou a lot since Battle City had taken place. Ritual aside Malik was concerned for Ryou's mental state. He had a pretty good idea of the abuse that Ryou had faced for years at the hands of his Yami. Malik's own Yami had only been abusive towards him for a very short amount of time but even still, someone trying to tell him Marik wasn't evil and was now going to get to roam around free and oh yah he's completely devoted to protecting someone else. Well Malik knew that wouldn't go over well with him.
Then to top it all off, Ryou had to face that the very person Bakura had sworn to protect was Yugi. Yugi who did have his own Yami, but the pharaoh was different. The pharaoh had always protected Yugi, even if in the beginning he had done it in some unpleasant ways. There was something about Yugi that just changed everyone he came across for the better. But often it left those around him wondering what was so wrong with them that they couldn't have a similar effect?
He'd be there for Ryou. Even if it meant following him back to Japan. He had talked a bit about it with Rashid and Ishizu. Egypt was their homeland, but everyone they knew, everyone they could call friend, lived in Japan. They were not needed to guard the tomb any longer and even the pharaoh lived there. If the pharaoh's power was being split in half then well wouldn't that be even more reason to return to Japan to help protect him?
He hoped this step would convince his sister as such. Ryou had good friends he really did. But in the end they would most likely side with Yugi, or in Anzu's case, the pharaoh.
Jounouchi was seated by himself in a corner thinking (no jokes!). Yugi had never been wrong before. And when anyone had ever doubted him, it turned out for the worse. Therefore no matter how much anxiety he felt he would not doubt Bakura. He would trust him until Yugi said otherwise. If it hadn't been for Yugi, he himself would still be a street punk with no future, or even worse him might even been dead. Stabbed in the gut and left in a ditch to die. It wouldn't have been the first time something like that happened. He owed everything to Yugi, including his sister's eyesight. Some might call his devotion love, but no that was left for another, even if he would never admit it. At least not yet.
Either way, Yugi had taught him what it meant to be a friend, and he would never forget it. Anzu might have some high and mighty ideals but in the end, Yugi had taught her as well, and Yugi was the one who truly understood.
They all looked up as they heard footsteps coming down the stairs. The room went silent. First Ryou appeared. He seemed tired but other wise unharmed. Everyone stood and came over too him. As he held out his hands, "Everything is fine. Yami will be down in a moment. He needs to get some clothing, he wanted to stay for the binding ritual but Ishizu ran him out"
Malik through his arms around Ryou. "Good, how do you feel about all this?" he asked his friend.
Ryou looked down as he was lead to a seat by Malik, the others following close behind. "I don't know, lighter I guess. I'm still not sure about all of this, but no matter how much I distrust and resent Bakura, I do trust Yugi, so I'm willing to listen to him."
A voice from the doorway drew everyone's attention. "I have to agree. I'm ready to kill the tomb robber if he so much as harms a hair on Yugi's head. But Yugi trusts him now, I don't understand how or why but I'm at least willing to hear him out. I've learned to listen to him. I've nearly defied him before and its turned out for the worst, I wont do it again" Yami concluded.
Yami stood there, skin tan as though he had lived his life in the sun (though in all honesty he had). Crimson red eyes, and at least a foot taller then Yugi, though in Yugi's defense Yami did appear to be about 18 vs 15, no one could doubt that this was the person they had come to know when Yugi dueled. Even in his tired and worried state he seemed to exude confidence and a mysterious air.
And it seemed even in this body he could understand both Egyptian and Japanese - Even if his Japanese held an accent reminiscent of Malik. His clothing seemed a bit misplaced though. He had borrowed some of Ryou's clothing since Yugi's would not fit him. Currently he had on a pair of faded blue jeans and a blue short sleeve button up shirt that Ryou usually wore open, but Yami opted to button. On his feet were a pair of Malik's sandals.
Anzu stood up and hugged the pharaoh. "Your really here and in your own body, not Yugi's I can hardly believe it"
"Yes but now I wont be with him always to protect him" Yami said looking down.
"Everything will be ok I know it will. And if Bakura is on the level, then well you won't have to deal with him trying to stop you now. If he's not then we can get rid of him for good" Jounouchi offered.
"Jou's right man, I mean and this way you get to really be alive you know?" Honda said trying to be helpful.
Yami sighed moving out of Anzu's grasp and further into the room. He didn't feel like dealing with the girl's affections for him at the moment. Though now that he didn't have to worry about sharing his body with Yugi, he could purse his own desire, or at least he hoped.
He sat down in a chair, he felt slightly tired, but he wouldn't sleep until he knew everything would be ok with Yugi. He was nervous, from here on out he would face problems he couldn't solve with a duel. He couldn't sense his Hikari and that scared him more then anything. He had hoped that after the separation that they would at least still be linked. He didn't feel Ryou either, would that mean that Yugi and Bakura's link would dissolve as well? He hoped, but the binding ritual didn't rest well in his mind. He could have asked Malik for an answer to his question, but feared what the result might be.
And then were would the tomb keeper and himself reside? He supposed that Yugi's grandfather would allow him to live in the game shop. There was room after all but he didn't want to impose to much. He would offer to help in the shop or even find another job to help support himself. But he didn't really want to leave the same roof Yugi was under. He would stay as close to him as possible.
Bakura on the other hand was another problem altogether. It was more then obvious and expected that Ryou wanted nothing to do with his darker half. In fact the only one here that had any compassion for the spirit was currently having his soul bond to him. Yami would not allow the spirit to live in the house. That was beyond what he could tolerate after everything else. But in the end what choice did he have? It was not his house and he couldn't do anything that would bring harm to his light. Even if he meant he had to deal with the thief.
Time passed again and Ryou had fallen asleep on the couch, using Malik's head as a pillow. The process was rather exhausting and the pale white haired boy had not gotten much sleep last night. Yami was still awake though he was starting to fade.
They had mostly stayed silent which was killing Yami. But no one could find something appropriate to say that hadn't already been said. It was time to play the waiting game. 4 more hours had elapsed since Ryou and Yami had made their way down stairs.
Finally they heard foot steps coming down and came face to face with Ishizu. "The ritual was a success, and they are resting now. Everything went better then expected considering the circumstances. Bakura's words were true, and his soul is bond to Yugi's as his servant and protector. It took a bit out of them and they are resting now. I myself am going to sleep. As you should to Pharaoh, it is late and time for rest" Ishizu finished and then left the room.
Honestly she was afraid to speak to them more. She didn't have the answers that she knew they would want. The only two people who knew them were currently asleep, and had only promised to speak to their counterparts. It was something even she couldn't comprehend and mysteries that eluded her were very disturbing. With or without the millennium necklace she was still rather cleaver. She was sure even Shadi could not have predicted this turn of events. For now though she would sleep.
"Common I'll show you to the guest rooms, Ryou's already received permission to stay here this evening. And tomorrow we are all suppose to be heading to the dig site." Malik said from his seat.
He gently picked up the sleeping Ryou and cradled him in his arms with the utmost care. The others to tired to question followed.
Once he had shown the others to their room, Malik went to turn in but instead found Yami at his door.
"Please take me to where Yugi is resting. I know he is sleeping but I just need to see him. To see for myself that he is alright" The tone in Yami's voice was all he needed to fulfill his request.
"I think Ishizu put them in the room down the hall common" Malik said
"You mean they are in the same room?" Yami's eyes flared and Malik was quick to calm him down.
"They have too, after the ritual they can't leave each other's side for at least 24 hours, better off a week for long distances, or they will both die." Malik said
"If I had known that I'd never of allowed it." Yami said his anger starting to flare.
Malik didn't know what to say to the Pharaoh but he tried anyway. "This is what Yugi wanted and in the end I doubt you could have denied him. And Bakura really means Yugi no harm. He may be powerful but even the God's could not fool this ritual."
It seemed to work as Yami deflated, and turned to sorrow. "I just want to keep Yugi safe, and I don't know how I can do that if keeping him safe involves him being close to the spirit of the ring."
"Common I'll show you too him that might make you feel better" Malik offered placing a hand on Yami's shoulder. Yami just nodded and turned to follow Malik.
Malik opened the door leaving the light off. He almost gasped at what he saw. He didn't want Yami to see but it was to late. The spirit had already laid eyes on it.
On the bed, was Bakura asleep with his arms wrapped around Yugi in what could only be described as a lover's embrace. A look of complete bliss and condiment shown on their features.
Yami turned and walked away quietly and Malik doubted anyone had ever seen the pharaoh look so defeated. Malik quietly shut the door. He moved forward and placed a hand on the sulking pharaoh's shoulder. Thinking Yami had been in love with his other half.
"I'm loosing him" Yami said as tears fell down his eyes. "I felt it the moment I joined with the ring. I'm going to loose him"
"I'm sorry. I never knew you felt that way for him" Malik said he wasn't sure how to comfort someone. He'd never been in this situation before.
"Hmm love no, honestly I think I saw Yugi as a son. I'm his Yami, I'm suppose to protect him. And I've failed, he's in the arms of my greatest enemy and I can't do anything about it. If I tried he'd hate me forever." Yami went back to his room.
"You haven't lost him you know. He'll always care about you. And you haven't failed. Bakura wont hurt Yugi, not now, not ever again." Malik said down the hall. Though he wasn't sure if Yami had heard him.
Tomorrow would be a very long day.
The sun was what woke Yugi the following morning. He felt content and happy laying here and when he opened his eyes he almost gasped. Bakura was asleep next to him with his arms whined around him. Yugi couldn't really complain, Bakura looked angelic with the way the light reflected off his hair.
Then the events of yesterday rushed back to him. His eyes widened. He was in Egypt, Yami and Bakura had their own bodies and Bakura's soul was bound to his. Yami wouldn't be pleased but he could deal with that. So far he couldn't find something bad about the situation. Or at least nothing that was more then mildly irating. Then he almost cried out. Ryou and Yami! They had promised to tell them everything. Oh Ra he wasn't sure he was ready for that. He couldn't take the pity that he knew they would show him.
A sudden rush of fear coursed through Bakura and he was awake in an instant. "Yugi!" he exclaimed sitting up suddenly bring Yugi up with him.
Yugi dove into Bakura's arms. "I know we have to tell them but I don't know if I can do this"
"Shush little one, its ok, you don't have to do it alone. I'm here with you" Bakura said rubbing circles.
Neither one had notice when the door was opened nor when it shut again. Yami sank down to the ground.
"Yami?" Ryou, with Malik shortly behind him. Everyone else was downstairs eating breakfast.
Yami stood up wiping his eyes and then moving towards them.
"Yami whats wrong?" Malik asked concern laced in his voice. Had something gone wrong they weren't…dead were they? Had he underestimated Bakura?
"Yugi's a miracle worker isn't he?" Yami asked a sad smile on his face.
Ryou had a feeling he knew exactly what the Pharaoh saw, and it didn't make him feel any better either. "Their together aren't they?"
Malik and Yami looked at Ryou. The looks on their faces gave him the answer he needed to continue. "I though something like that might have happened. I don't know I just did."
"Ryou?" Malik asked concerned for his friend.
"Yugi was upset about what they had promised to tell us, I'm assuming that it is them being together. But Bakura, if I didn't see it with my own eyes I would never have believed it. He was comforting Yugi and letting him know he wasn't alone." Yami finished sounding almost as broken as Ryou.
Just then the door opened and all three head's turned towards the door. Out stepped Yugi first a smile on his face. Then behind him, hand in hand stepped out Bakura, he was dressed in Malik's clothing. A sleeveless crimson red silk top that was low cut enough to show of some of his muscular chest. And he had on a pair of kaki carpenter pants, unlike the pharaoh though he opted to go bare-foot. His skin was even darker then Yami's had been. His hair slightly more windswept then Ryou's had been and dark brown eyes were Ryou's had been green. And if one looked close enough they could see the ghost of a scar on his right cheek.
Yugi nor Bakura had noticed the other three and the look on Bakura's face was of adoration for the one his eyes fell on. Ryou turned quickly and went down the stairs, Malik following as Yugi's gaze reached up to meet Yami's.
Yugi wasn't sure what to say and when Bakura notice Yami his face became passive and indifferent. A far cry from the utter hatred it had once displayed.
"I was coming to get you for breakfast" Yami finally offered to break the silence.
"Thank you Yami, we were just on our way down." Yugi smiled brightly at his Yami as he always had in the past, and Yami felt slightly better at that. Maybe Yugi wasn't completely lost to him. "Bakura and I have to remain touching at least for the rest of the day." He offered silently explaining what he knew must have been bothering his Yami.
"Alright" Yami said and smiled back at his light, trying to ignore Bakura.
They went down to have breakfast. And the tension in the air was almost deafening. Jounouchi tried to act as though Bakura had always been a part of their gang. Silently Yugi was grateful to his friend. Honda and Otogi tried to follow Jounouchi's lead but were failing miserably. The attempt however was appreciated. Anzu sat next to the pharaoh to no one's surprise trying to talk with him quietly, but the pharaoh didn't speak much and thus she would throw a glare to Bakura once and a while.
Malik sat next to a silent Ryou who would not look up from his food. Ishizu and Rashid had gone to speak with Ryou's father. Apparently the dig was proceeding well. .
Once the meal had been drug out as much as it could Yugi stood, slightly shaking until Bakura placed his hand on Yugi's (They had their legs touching through the meal to keep up the contact). He calmed a bit but his nervousness was still evident in his voice. "I believe we owe you a conversation now Yami and Ryou."
Yami almost told his hikari to forget about it. Let him know he already knew about him and Bakura. But he couldn't and he stood himself, Ryou as well though his head was still down turned.
"Malik can we use the bed room we were in last night?" Yugi asked the Egyptian.
"Yah sure" Malik said as he started to collect the dishes on the table.
"Alright" Yugi let out a sigh and turned with Bakura at his side who had yet to speak. Ryou and Yami followed silently.
Once the door was shut Yugi took a seat on the bed, Bakura close to him. Yami leaned against the wall and Ryou took a seat.
"So whats your excuse?" finally broke the silence. It was almost unrecognizable. Ryou's voice yet cold and hardened, Ryou looked up at Bakura "What did you tell him that he believes you and even trusts you" it was barely above a whisper but everyone heard it.
Yugi was shaking. Finally Bakura spoke, "I know telling you I'm sorry will never be good enough and I can't even really seek your forgiveness but only half this story is mine to tell and I ask that you at least let Yugi finish his."
Yugi just nodded as he leaned into Bakura "I don't think I could finish if I'm interrupted"
"Alright Yugi" Yami said with a soft tone. He had a sinking feeling that this conversation was not going to go as he had once though.
Ryou's acknowledgement came in the form of a nod. He could at least give Yugi that gift.
Yugi started his tale, his eyes carrying a haunted look. "Neither one of you have ever heard me speak of my parents. I live with my grandfather but I've only lived their since I was 8 years old." Yugi stopped and held back a shutter as Bakura squeeze his hand tightly. "I wasn't born in Japan. I was born in a country called Prussia,(A/N:1) but it doesn't exist today. It hasn't for nearly 8 years. I'm sure Ryou living in Britain you can remember the war, they were involved even if it never reached her shores. My mother was from Japan, and met my father on a vacation back before the war started. She fell in love with the area and with my father and moved to a city called Avenguard, were they were married. They lived their happily for many years and started a family. I had an older sister named Amira. I loved her so much, she was the best big sister ever. (Yugi had a slight sad smile on his face at the mention of his sister) We weren't the most wealthy people in the world but we were happy. That is until the war started.
Deutschland, currently known as Germany, declared war on us. We were a peaceful nation with many natural resources. Resources Germany felt they needed to win a war against France. France however were ready to come to our aid. They licensed out a company –" Yugi stopped for a second. Was this really his right to tell. But in the end they really could find this out in a history book so he continued "They licensed Kaiba Corp, who was an arms dealer at the time. Avenguard bordered France rather then Deutschland, and had enough natural resources to be an ideal spot for weapons manufacturing.
Many of the towns people went to work for the war and we were winning, we had nearly driven the Deutsch army out of Prussia, but that's when everything turned for the worse. You see, Kaiba Corp had no real loyalty to France or Prussia, only to the money they were offered. Deutschland offered them more money. Soon the weapons we were building were being shipped to Deutschland instead of our own battlefield. It went on for many months before my own father discovered the plot.
He rallied the towns people. We all knew their secret but we didn't have time to tell others, the largest shipment yet was due to leave for Deutschland in the morning. But Kaiba Corp easily found out that the townspeople knew. They were lucky though it had yet to leak out past the town. If everyone in the town was killed they their secret wouldn't get out and they could continue to play both sides of the war. It would be easy enough to label it as a Deutschland strategic attack.
At mid day as the townspeople prepared to attack the tanks rolled in. They slaughtered everyone. My sister died to protect me and I manage to escape. To this day Deutschland never knew it was the little boy they missed that spilled the secret. Kaiba Corp never found out either. Though I doubt Seto would be angry with me. They got me out of the country and to my grandfather where I've lived ever since." Yugi finished looking down tears in his eyes.
Bakura held Yugi close through his tale. Yami and Ryou were rooted on the spot horrified. Yugi had lived through that? Ryou remembered hearing about the Avenguard Massacre. They had said no one survived.
"Oh my God Yugi" Ryou said not sure what to do.
Yugi sniffed a bit as his tear stained eyes turned towards them and shakily said "I only told you that, so you might understand why I first sympathized with Bakura, he still has his tale to tell." Yugi said looking between Yami and Ryou. "Then maybe you'll understand why I did what I did" then he turned his head up to Bakura "Are you ready?" he said softly.
"Yah" Bakura said nodding his head.
Yami and Ryou remained quiet? What could Yugi's story of personal horror have to do with Bakura?
"I'll tell the story as I remember it, though Yugi has made me realize that after 5000 years, even my memories aren't clear, and the Pharaoh can't remember anything. I'll hold my place until we have the facts. I made that promise to Yugi and I wont break it" Bakura started.
"I don't know what you thought my intentions might have been, and I admit I went to some extremes to accomplish my goals. But maybe if you hear why you might understand. The millennium items aren't what you think they are. They aren't some mystical power sent from the gods to protect Egypt. They are cursed items made from the sacrifice of an entire village of people, minus one. When I was a child I lived in a village. The pharaoh was looking for a power to help control his subjects and reign over them with absolute certainty.
"For that ritual he needed the lives of my family and everyone who lived in my home village, and late one night his subjects killed every living soul there, and rounded up their bodies to use to create the millennium items. I survived amazingly enough, my mother gave up her life to protect me. But I swore I would enact my revenge.
Ryou your father is probably wondering why he's found no bodies in the town he's excavating. That would because Elna Kuru was my village. He wont find a single bone there." Ryou gasped. Bakura was right even though he hadn't set foot on the dig site.
"All I want is to destroy the millennium items and set the souls of the people of my village free so they can go on to the after life. That's all I've ever wanted to do, even if I was a bit insane at first. "Bakura concluded.
"It…it can't be true…I would never " Yami said more to himself then anyone else.
Ryou looked down shaking slightly. He had never had any idea. He didn't think he could ever forget what his Yami had done. But what if he had been in Bakura's position. To this day he hated the man that had killed his sister and mother in the car crash. Who was he to say that he wouldn't act any different. But one detail stood out.
"But if it was Yami that wouldn't make sense. Yami and Bakura are about the same age." Ryou pointed out.
"Part of the reason I'm willing to have my memories straighten out too. I may have misplaced my anger after 5000 years to Yami, or he may have done it at a young age, or his father did it and he followed in his ruthless foot steps. I'll admit I don't know." Bakura said looking down at Yugi.
Yami moved away from the wall. He knew he had to believe the tomb raider. The sincerity in his words was overwhelming. But he had to have his story wrong. "Look I know I don't remember everything either, but I would never have allowed such a thing to take place. I know it in my very soul. If what you say is true and your family members are locked inside the items, then I'll do what I can to set them free. I don't think I can ever fully trust you Bakura, but Yugi does and that will have to be enough for me."
"Please don't tell anyone else, I couldn't stand for the others too know at this point. Maybe someday but not know. Especially not Kaiba, I don't know how he would take it" Yugi said pleading
Ryou's eyes feel on Yugi "Don't worry I swear I wont tell anyone. And I doubt Yami would either"
"Of course Yugi, we'll let you tell your story in your own time" Yami finished.
Ryou looked down as Bakura looked over at him. He really did want to make things right with his hikari. Though he doubted he ever could. Then Ryou spoke "I'll never ever forget what you did. But I do have to admit Yugi is really amazing. And I guess I can't stay mad forever that he was the one that finally brought you back to reality. But I do think I understand at least on some level. You were fight for the people you cared about most. I'm not sure if I can ever really trust you either, nor if we could ever really be friends but I may someday be able to forgive you" and with that Ryou left the room.
Yami turned to follow, but with his back to them he stated. "I know your in love with him Yugi, and don't worry I would cause a scene or throw a fit or anything like that. Even a blind man can see your happy. But I do warn you Bakura, you do anything to hurt him, anything, and you'll think of the shadow realm as a summer vacation spot"
Bakura just hugged Yugi close "I understand, but don't worry I'd die before I let harm come to him."
Yami then closed the door behind him, more confused then when he went in. He knew from this day forth everything would be different.
They others headed out, everyone silently agreeing to leave Yugi and Bakura behind.
A/N:1 Yes I meant Prussia not Russia, Prussia was a real country at one point. From what I've seen of Yugioh they don't really follow real world history all that well and their was a war about eight years ago, that Kaiba Corp was involved in, and never really truly explained. So this is my explanation of it. I hope no one really minds my creative license on world history its not meant to offend anyone.