Title: Just for You – Chapter 10

Author: Erudit

Pairings: YY/Y; R/B, S/J and M/M

Genre: Romance/Angst

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Blablabla - Thoughts

/blablabla/ - Yami and Yugi talking through mind link

"blablabla" - normal talking

Last time:

Yugi grounded his teeth, and stepped to a window. A storm was brewing outside. The trees were bent in the wind, leaves flying around wildly, spiralling high in the sky. Thunder rumbled through the air, making the windowpane vibrate, and bright flashes lightened up the now dark purple sky. Yugi had never seen anything like it. Were those green flashes or were his eyes playing a trick on him? It most certainly was not natural. Yami's spell had apparently gone very wrong.

"Deserves him right for being such a show-off." Yugi grumbled angrily.

As always, Yugi's anger diminished over the hours it seemed to take Yami to correct his weather-mistake, and eventually his worry for his dark half made itself known again.

Yami wasn't one to make mistakes with anything. If anybody knew this, it was Yugi. Every spell was usually meticulously performed, not leaving room for any error or misinterpretation. You had to be exact with shadow magic if you wanted to achieve a result you would like. Why had it gone wrong this time? And why did it take Yami this long to take care of it?

"Yugi?" Ryou Bakura was peering into his room with worried eyes. "Do you know what's going on outside?"

Yugi shook his head, frowning. He had tried to assemble the little information he had into the whole picture but had found it impossible so far. If Yami had not made a mistake, what had actually happened? Was it possible for anybody besides the pharaoh to be capable of magic this strong?

"Somebody is attacking us." Came the tomb-robber's strong voice from beside Ryou, and the other hikari opened the door wider to allow a more comfortable conversation between the four of them. Marik had accompanied the other two, and was currently nodding in agreement with Bakura. In any other situation it would have been amusing that the two former enemies managed to agree on something but Yugi was currently slightly distracted by their predicament. Yami was fighting somebody who was attacking them – somebody who was apparently attacking the whole city – and might need help.

"Do you know who is attacking us?" Yugi wanted to know. He was staring at Bakura attentively, in the way he had Yami often seen doing, hoping this would keep the notorious tomb-robber from lying.

"I can hazard a guess." Bakura growled, and his dark eyes flashed dangerously. "You two should stay here. Marik and I will help the pharaoh. We will take care of this problem." He pronounced *problem* with such disgust as if he was talking about an ugly bug that he wanted to squish with his foot.

Ryou protested immediately, wanting to accompany the other two, but his protests fell on deaf ears.

Yugi didn't even bother. He had had enough of this from Yami, and knew they wouldn't let them come unless Ryou and Yugi somehow managed to shackle themselves to the two dark halves.

Instead, he turned to look back to the purple sky above them. It was reminding him of something but he couldn't remember what it was reminding him of, no matter how hard he tried.

"A great help you are!" Ryou complained once they had been left alone.

"I'm sorry." Yugi answered softly. "But you know as well as I that they would have never let us come with them willingly. I was just conserving my energy for sneaking out of the castle without them noticing."

"You – what?" stammered Ryou shocked. "Wow, what a sly creature you are!" He was looking at Yugi appraisingly. "Where have you been hiding this side of yourself all this time?" He entered the room, and closed the door behind him conspiratorially.

Yugi shrugged. "Must have been your influence." A small smile fleetingly graced his lips but vanished as soon as it had been present. It was no time for jokes. They could all be in serious danger.

"How do you propose we get out without them noticing?" Ryou sat down on the bed and looked at his friend worriedly. He too realized that their attackers would be dangerous. But that just added to his reasons for wanting to help their dark halves. "Do you think they will be too distracted by the fight?"

Yugi grimaced. "Probably not. We will need somebody's help in sneaking us outside. Preferably somebody with knowledge about this place." He was already mentally going over the few options. Sugoruko, Seto Kaiba-

"We should ask your grandpa." Ryou suggested. "He seems to know his way around pretty well, and has lived in the castle long enough."

"No!" Yugi protested vehemently, although he himself didn't even understand his aversion against asking Sugoruko. Something was telling him that his grandpa was the wrong choice. Probably because Sugoruko seemed to tell Yami everything I told him in confidence, Yugi guessed darkly, because he couldn't really think of any other reason.

Ryou's face fell disappointed. "But there is nobody else."

"There is one person that might be able to help us." Yugi corrected, thinking once again of Seto Kaiba. "I only hope he is well enough for this."

His white-haired friend looked at him blankly but Yugi ignored him in favor of trying to remember how to get to Kaiba's room. He had had help getting to and back from the room the last times, after all.

It took them seemingly forever to find their way to Kaiba's cell but one look through a window outside told them that the sky was still purple, which meant the fight between their dark halves and the enemy was not yet over. And just like before this color was triggering something in the back of Yugi's mind that he just couldn't remember, no matter how hard he tried. It annoyed him to no end.

Yugi softly knocked at the wooden door, hoping he was not interrupting the Kaiba brothers' well-needed sleep.

Only one moment later, the door was opened by a slightly suspicious looking Mokuba. The younger Kaiba soon relaxed, though, when he realized who his guests were. He opened the door wider, by way of greeting, and Yugi was able to see that Kaiba was awake and that the CEO's condition had slightly improved over the last day. Thanks for small favors, he thought.

Ryou wisely kept silent and let Yugi handle the situation. After all, he hadn't even known Kaiba was still alive, though he had hoped so for Joey's sake. If Joey had had a dark half, it would have been Kaiba, he was sure.

"How are you, Seto." Yugi asked worriedly. Even though they were actually in a hurry, he was still too polite and too concerned about the CEO's well-fare to just ask for the information they actually needed.

"Better, thanks to you." Kaiba answered hoarsely. "But that's not why you are here." At the surprised look of the two hikaris, he continued by way of explanation: "I can feel the change in the atmosphere just like you can."

Yugi's eyes widened at the implication. Only somebody with a connection to shadow magic should be able to sense the disturbance.

"How is that possible?" asked Ryou from beside him the question Yugi had been wondering himself.

Seto smiled wryly, or at least he tried to. With the pain this motion caused, it was more a grimace. "In a past life I was once a High Priest. My service has not ended with my previous death, and as long as He remains true, it never will end."

In their surprise Yugi and Ryou talked at the same time:

"You remember?" Yugi wanted to know, alluding to their experiences in Ancient Egypt that had ended with Yami receiving his own body, and the evil in Bakura being banished. He had met High Priest Seth, of course, but had never believed it possible for Seto to retain these memories. The CEO had seemed impervious to any notion of this supernatural stuff being true. But then again, too much had happened in the past year even for Seto Kaiba to pretend ignorance.

"As long as he remains true?" Ryou exclaimed incredulously in the meantime. As far as he was concerned, the Pharaoh hadn't remained a protector of the world as he had been supposed to. And looking at Seto sagging brokenly in a wooden chair, he would have thought the Ex-CEO would have been one of the firsts agree with this assessment.

Seto ignored Ryou's interjection and focused solely on Yugi. "I have remembered for a long time. I had merely hoped I could ignore it, together with my feelings and my responsibilities. I have failed you, Yugi."

There was a sadness in Kaiba's eyes that Yugi was unfamiliar seeing on the cold-hearted CEO. Automatically, he shook his head, even though he didn't really understand Kaiba's strange claim. "You never failed me. If memory serves me right, you even saved my life once."

"Yes." Seto Kaiba agreed with a pained laugh. "I like to wager we will both remember this for quite some time and for an entirely different reason than it should be." He was referring to Yami's treatment of him.

"Unfortunately, I cannot truly be of service to you at the moment." Kaiba indicated his still wrapped feet, ignoring the pain he felt in his neck at that movement. "There is currently, however, one thing in my possession that might help you."

Yugi and Ryou frowned, not knowing what he was talking about. Yugi had hoped Seto would know a way out of the castle, and had expected his friend to ask for pen and paper to draw instructions. Ryou couldn't imagine a worldly possession that would be able to help them in any way.

The CEO closed his eyes and concentrated for a moment, reaching out with his hand for something invisible. The air in front of his hand glimmered for a few seconds before the millennium rod in all his glory appeared in Kaiba's hand.

The young man almost fondly touched the item, as if welcoming back an old friend. A moment later, he held it out for Yugi to take with the simple words: "You know what to do with it."

"How did you get that?" Ryou wanted to know suspiciously. "We all know that the pharaoh is in possession of all the millennium items." There were times when he was still missing the item dangling from his neck.

"He is." Seto Kaiba agreed. "But he lets us use them when in need. We are all bonded to our items in some way. After several millennia, this could hardly be prevented. When we truly desire them, they come back to us. Once no longer in need, they will return to the pharaoh's possession – and his claim can always overrule ours, of course."

Yugi hesitantly took the item, not entirely sure how it would help him other than him now being able to use a different millennium item to control the shadows than his own puzzle. He wasn't sure how mind-control or sealing away the Kas of other people would help them on their quest, though.

"I'm rather surprised he lets you use them." Ryou continued his train of thought. He was still slightly suspicious that Seto Kaiba had been able to call upon his item when the ring never came back to Ryou, no matter how much he wished for it. "Doesn't that undermine his authority?"

"No." Kaiba shook his head. "He has already bested all of us, and the items recognize him as their true owner. They do not work against him any longer. However, he lets those of us who have proven themselves worthy take control over them when in need."

Ryou glanced at Kaiba's appearance unbelievingly, and spat: "You mean to tell me this is how he treats people he considers worthy? Who needs enemies with friends like that?"

Yugi bristled slightly at that but ignored his instincts that were telling him to defend his dark half. Ryou was kind of right, after all.

"It was my fault as much as it was his." Seto sighed. "I should have known better than to antagonize him. He has a rather mean temper when something comes between him and his hikari. I knew he was on edge because of all the attacks; I should have kept myself from aggravating the situation."

"But he would have killed you." Yugi murmured, still looking at the millennium rod but not really seeing the item. Yami's cruel behavior was still a sore spot for him.

"He would kill anybody for you." Seto replied simply. "You must go now. They have found a way to get stronger. They are a serious danger to all of us."

"Who are they?" Ryou wanted to know, realizing that the CEO knew a lot more than he had told them. "You mentioned there were attacks before, yet we never noticed any of them."

"There is no time for explanations." Kaiba protested. "You will see yourselves soon. Be strong, Yugi."

Yugi glanced at the CEO surprised, not understanding why he had been singled out like this. But the older man simply lay back down, and closed his eyes exhausted. He was still very week from Yami's attack.

Courtesy of the Millennium Rod, they were able to move through Yami's palace without the shadows noticing. Yugi would have been able to do the same with his Puzzle – all of them allowed control over the shadows, after all – but Yami would have immediately noticed the drain on the Puzzle. They were connected in that way.

It was still possible for his dark half to pick up the faint traces of magic he was applying now but the risk was slightly smaller, and Yugi was quite confident that Yami was adequately distracted by their enemies. Otherwise, the battle would have been over long ago.

It worried him slightly that anybody was capable of keeping Yami at bay for so long. He somehow doubted that Yami's new enemy would be one of the hikari's new allies. He was almost certain that this was not simply a human who had had enough of Yami's dictatorship. The control of shadow powers almost always lead to the practitioner's insanity or himself being controlled by the shadows. Only few were able to retain their own selves when dealing with shadow magic. Ryou, Malik and he himself had been able to because they were hikaris – light halves that couldn't be corrupted on their own – and many before them had perished trying to control the items.

Luckily, they also escaped Sugoruko's notice, though Yugi still couldn't be sure why he felt that way. It had something to do with those lost memories of his but as long as he had not retained them, he obviously couldn't explain himself.

The streets were eerily quiet, and a few of Yami's shadows were changing their destinations once again.

Yugi wondered why his dark half wasted his energy and concentration on ordering his shadows to do this when he didn't even know what Yugi and Ryou had planned. Did Yami do this simply because he realized the possibility that the two hikaris might try to leave the palace?

This didn't really seem like something Yami would do. The pharaoh would rather concentrate completely on the fight to be done sooner. Then, Yugi and Ryou wouldn't have so much time to try to escape.

Once Yugi had realized this, he had the sinking suspicion that the changing of the streets with shadow magic had never been something Yami did to confuse his hikari, to stop Yugi from finding his way home. It had to rather be a defensive mechanism, applied in case their enemies entered the city. The pharaoh had done this to prevent their enemies from finding them.

Understanding this, Yugi knew that everything they had thought about Yami's actions so far had to be reevaluated. Apparently, they had never understood the pharaoh's reasoning. This could change everything, he knew. But sadly they didn't have much time to think about these revelations at the moment.

Ryou gestured to a narrow passageway to their right, indicating he thought this would bring them closer to their destination.

Yugi nodded and followed the white-haired hikari.

As they only knew the three yamis were fighting their enemies somewhere on the edge of the city, they couldn't say for sure if they were even going in the right direction. For all they knew they might be going to the wrong end of the city. But the purple sky had looked darker in that direction and some of those green flashes seemed to originate from there as well, so they had decided to look there first.

They turned into another narrow street that took them further right.

If Yami changed the streets because he was afraid of intruders and if their enemies had tried to attack the city before, just like Kaiba had alluded to, then this could only mean that either Yami's control over the rest of the world was not as tight as it was over this city here – or the rest of the world wasn't even controlled by the pharaoh.

He tried to think who first mentioned to him that Yami had taken over the world. Had it been Joey? Probably, as the blonde had had access to the most information back then. Yugi himself had already been in hiding – kept company by one Malik Ishtar – and Ryou had been more looking for Bakura than for information back then.

Most of Joey's information had been dead on but then again he had also insisted that Yami wanted to kill Yugi to gain even more powers, and that didn't seem right anymore either.

Yugi really wished he could ask Ryou for his input on these thoughts. But they didn't dare communicating out loud, in case anybody heard them, and he couldn't mind-talk to his friend as he was able to do with his yami. Now that would be a neat trick, he thought despondently.

A bright flash and a loud crash was all that alerted them to some commotion close by before they were sprayed with debris of the building left to them. The blast of the explosion was strong enough to pull them off their feet, and throw them into the air until they bumped heavily against the wall of another building.

Neither Yugi nor Ryou could contain their pained gasps at the harsh contact. Whatever air had been remaining in their lungs throughout their impromptu flying-lesson was forcefully pushed out of their lungs, and for some moments both of them were heavily gasping for air.

Bright and dark spots danced in Yugi's vision, making everything else a gray blur. He didn't know whether it had become quiet again after the explosion or if it was just his hearing that was now impaired because he couldn't hear anything beyond the noise his own blood rushing through the veins made.

Suddenly something grasped his arm. He tried to struggle futilely but was soon dragged of somewhere. After about a block the person stopped and his arm was once again released.

Then, as though somebody had turned a switch, his hearing and vision returned to him with a vengeance, and suddenly everything around him was too loud, too bright, and too colorful. If he had been the person to do it, he would have started swearing in surprise. As it was, he could hear Ryou doing just that right beside him.

"Shhhh!" Malik angrily gestured Ryou to quiet down.

Yugi just blinked surprised as he realized that they had been found – and dragged off – by Malik and Joey. He opened his mouth to ask them where they had come from and what that explosion had been but then Malik looked at him, as if he had sensed the questions, and the look in the Egyptian hikari's eyes told Yugi to keep quiet. Somebody might hear them.

– To be continued –

Thank you guys for bearing with me for so long! The story is slowly coming to an end.