A/N: This story is the third installment in a 'saga' of "Target:" Yuugiou fanfiction. The first two stories are "Target: You" and "Target: Destiny" respectively. It is not necessary that you read those two stories to understand this one as this is a stand-alone side-story. However, if you wish to understand the backgrounds of the few original characters (i.e. the children), I recommend reading, at least, "Target: Destiny"--the second, and shorter, of the two stories before this one.
The teenaged brunette drummed her fingers on her desk, her large brown eyes focusing on a point somewhere outside the window. She sighed out of boredom. Her eyelids slowly began to slide down. She shook herself awake. Again, her eyelids closed and her head drooped from its resting place on her hand. Her forehead banged into the hardwood desk.
"Well, Miss Ryoko?"
Ryoko painfully swung her head up from the desk. "Whastha?" she blurted out, looking up at the World History teacher and wiping a dribble of drool from the corner of her mouth. A few of her classmates laughed. The teacher frowned.
"Miss Ryoko. King Bakura the First?" the teacher demanded, irritated at her daydreaming student.
"Oh, yeah, him. Well, he was important because he got rid of those guys that made the Bakurians slaves or whatever," Ryoko replied.
"And when did he live?" the teacher pressed.
"Uh... the twenty-fourth century?" Ryoko guessed.
The teacher shook her head. "Not Standard Universal. What century in Bakurian years?"
Ryoko face-faulted. Crap. She held out a hand and started tallying off fingers. "Well, he lived in the..." she trailed off, staring up at the ceiling as if it held her answer.
"Sixteenth century," a child with dark blonde, shoulder-length hair and sharp, blue eyes replied without looking up from her Physics in Space book.
"Exactly," Ryoko confirmed with a cheeky smile. The class laughed again.
"Miss Ryoko," the teacher began exasperatedly, "you would do well to pay attention to what I'm saying, not what's going on outside."
Ryoko nodded seriously. "You're absolutely right, Mrs. Takay. I will strive to do my best." She nodded fiercely before promptly returning to her daydreams. Mrs. Takay sighed and returned to her lesson.
The young blonde girl was quite used to bailing the princess out of tight spots in class. Although she, herself, was only eight years old in a class full of fifteen and sixteen year olds, she was still the smartest student there.
Mrs. Takay's lecture was interrupted when the door opened and a visitor stepped inside the room. Everyone bowed their heads respectfully.
"Excuse me," the boy in dark blue attire said. "I am here for Ryoko and Taena."
"It's Prince Bakura!" one of the students whispered, pointing at the eleven-year-old.
"Of course," the teacher responded with a nod of her head. Ryoko looked up then and over at her brother. The young girl genius from earlier had already joined their brother at the door.
"I'm not going," she said simply. Baku looked uncomfortable. Taena, the youngest princess, raised a brow from her place at the door.
"Ryoko, I wouldn't-"
"You most certainly are going," a second, much deeper voice said. Ryoko's eyes widened slightly when her father stepped up next to her brother. Everyone's heads bowed a second time and each right fist in the room was placed over each heart.
"It's the king!"
"Wow, his scar is so manly," the girl next to Ryoko said in awe.
Although many of the teenagers in the classroom were sons and daughters of aristocrats, there were still a few children who had never seen the king and prince so up-close.
Ryoko stood automatically, knowing she had lost the battle. Her father's chocolate eyes glinted dangerously, and the teenager knew she had better do as she was told. She crossed the room and stalked past her family, out the door.
"She's gonna get it," one of the boys in the class mumbled with a laugh. Baku stalked up to him before Taena could stop her brother.
"What she's going to get is your head on a platter if you talk that way again, son," Baku spat. The student sputtered an apology, bowing low to hide the embarrassed blush gracing his cheeks. Prince Bakura nodded, satisfied. There was nobody on planet Bakura who was allowed to pick on Ryoko except himself.
"Did you get Ryoko?" Anzu asked as she closed her suitcase.
"Yes, I suppose she's in her room throwing a fit as she packs," Bakura responded, pouring himself a small glass of brandy.
"Well, she really needs to get over this crush of hers."
Bakura nodded and downed his glass. "It's not even her first irrational crush. Remember that time a few years ago, she thought she was in love with Mokuba?"
Anzu groaned. "Oh, God, that was awful. She followed him around like a puppydog for weeks!"
Bakura made a disgusted sound and set his glass down. "At least Mokuba wasn't twice her bloody age. Her newest fling is almost as old as me!"
Anzu giggled. "He's just so studly though." Bakura didn't find her joke amusing.
A vein throbbed angrily in Malik's forehead. "You don't need to bring the whole damn bathroom!"
"Shut up, will you! These things are necessities!" Careen yelled back from the bathroom. Malik sighed exasperatedly and flopped down on the couch, picking up his Universal Business magazine and flipping through the pages.
He looked up when Mokuba entered the room. "Hey, Malik, have you seen my inhibitor?"
The blond eyed the young man carefully. "You don't have your inhibitor?" he asked, slightly unnerved.
"No, and it is getting quite hard to contain myself," the twenty-year-old replied curtly.
"I can't find my other earring," Careen complained, coming into the sitting room. Malik and Mokuba looked over at her.
"That's my inhibitor!"
Careen's hand went to her ear. "This?" she asked in surprise. "No wonder I don't remember buying this earring." Malik snickered. She pulled the hoop out of her ear and handed it to Mokuba before heading back into the bathroom. He quickly slipped it onto his finger, looking much more relaxed and relieved.
When he had come to live on Bakura eight years ago, he had had regular outbursts of explosive power. He could now control himself for some lengths of time, but he had commissioned a scientist from Earth to make him a power inhibitor, so that he would not have to use any effort to control his amazing powers.
Careen exited the bathroom again and held her hands out to her side, motioning to her dress. "Honey, does this make me look fat?"
"You betcha," Malik answered automatically without looking up from his magazine. Mokuba's eyes widened and he glanced uneasily at Careen.
The vivacious blonde stomped up to Malik and whacked him across the head. He dropped the magazine, whirling around in surprise. "What was that for?" he demanded. She simply glared at him and stormed back into the bathroom.
"Wrong answer," Mokuba mumbled, shaking his head. Malik looked terribly confused. After a few minutes, he sighed dramatically.
"Are you done yet?" Malik demanded impatiently. Careen re-entered the room and straightened her back offensively.
Malik threw his hands up in the air. "And the peasants rejoiced!"
"So, who's getting married again?" a young blonde asked while picking out clothes out at random from Ryoko's enormous walk-in closet. She tossed the clothes behind her, and Ryoko and two other friends packed them into the suitcases.
"King Yuugi of Earth," Ryoko replied tonelessly. Her three friends glanced at each other uneasily, walking over to her.
"You poor dear," one of them said consolingly.
"My life is over," Ryoko cried dramatically, throwing herself onto her bed and wrapping her arms around the enormous cat laying next to her. "Oh, Chisara, never again will I find true love!" She moaned, throwing her hand across her forehead. Her friends rolled their eyes at her antics. The black panther, Chisara, snorted and went back to sleep. The seventeen-year-old cat had been with the family since she was a newborn, and she was used to sleeping wherever she wanted, whenever she wanted. When Chisara wasn't asleep, she was prowling around the palace, being fed and spoiled by every servant she passed; needless to say, she had developed quite a fat pouch underneath.
Ryoko reached under her pillow and pulled out a photograph. Each of the princess's friends leaned in, gazing at the picture of the Earthling king hugging a fourteen-year-old Ryoko. All four girls sighed simultaneously.
"He's so dreamy," one of the girls said. "Almost as hot as Lord Mokuba!"
Ryoko stuck her tongue out, disgusted at the thought of someone finding Mokuba sexy; she was so over that phase.
"Or Lord Malik," another added.
"Or King Bakura!" the third friend giggled. Ryoko shot up in bed.
"Ew!" she shrieked. "Don't talk about my family like that!" She shuddered at the thought.
"You know what?" one of the friends began, leaning in closer to the other three girls. "I bet Prince Bakura is going to look just like the king when he gets older!"
Ryoko stared in horror as her friends took on dreamy gazes once again. She stood up, holding her hands out. "Okay, just shoot me now if you're going to continue this discussion." Her friends giggled, but quieted their fawning over the royal family. Ryoko got off the bed and turned towards the suitcases on her bed, closing each of them. "All right. Time to face the end of my life." She sighed, depressed.
"How many bloody suitcases do you own, Ryoko!" Baku complained as servants lugged his older sister's five suitcases outside and placed them next to the group standing in the courtyard. Ryoko stuck her tongue out at her brother.
Ryoko was not the only one who was carrying extra baggage; Malik was bickering with Careen about the amount of suitcases she was also bringing along on the short trip to Earth.
Taena silently stood off to the side, a book open in her hands. Mokuba was a few feet away, apologizing with a blush to the ladies he was so devastatingly leaving behind.
Bakura was giving orders to servants and aristocrats alike, telling them exactly what to do while the royal family was away. Anzu was standing in front of a girl of Ryoko's age with ivory hair down to her knees. Anzu brushed the girl's icy blue bangs away from her face.
"Honey, are you sure you don't want to come?" the queen asked, concerned.
The girl shook her head. "I appreciate the offer, Queen Anzu, but I'll stay here and continue my training."
"Kaze, you traitor!" Baku yelled, storming over to the girl and his mother. The girl glared at him.
"Traitor? I don't have to obey you until you're thirty," Kaze told him sarcastically. The sixteen-year-old crossed her arms and closed her eyes, turning away from Baku's puppydog eyes.
"If you're sure, Kaze..." Anzu trailed off hesitatingly. The girl was like a third daughter to the king and queen. She had been orphaned at the tender age of twelve and had since lived in the palace with the royal family as it was her father's final wish. Her mother had died of natural causes when Kaze was a young child, but her father had, unfortunately, died for the crown.
"Don't let 'em take me," the prince pleaded, tugging on his best friend's sleeve. Kaze picked Baku's hand off, smirking all the while. Anzu made an insulted sound.
"What is with you all?" she demanded crossly. "No one wants to see a friend of the family get married?"
Bakura raised his hand with a grin. "I do." Anzu looked over at him with a raised brow. "Maybe now he'll stop hitting on you all the damn time." Anzu rolled her eyes at her husband's reasoning.
"This is going to be so boring!" Baku whined. Kaze slapped at his hand which was still tugging on her shirt.
"Take it like a man," she said, shaking her head.
Malik flipped open the instantaneous transportation device—Earth's own creation—and entered in Earth's coordinates. The eight members of the group making the trip to Earth each touched another person, making a connection to Malik who held the IT device.
Baku jerked on Kaze, pulling her into the group at the last minute. "Hey!" she cried angrily. She elbowed her best friend lightly, causing him to let go of her just before the IT device began to transmit.
"Sneaky little bastard," she muttered, stepping a safe distance away from the prince.
"Kazeeeeee!" Baku could be heard shrieking as the royal family disappeared.
Well then. I hope you will all continue to read this. I'm already having fun writing it!