Deux Ex Machina

It was a normal day in Domino, Japan. The birds were singing, the sun was shining, the guy in the dark trenchcoat huddling in the alley was screaming in pain. That last part might not seem normal, but this is Domino, where 'normal' amounts to 5000-year old spirits living in ancient pieces of jewelry. So for Domino, it's quite normal. Actually, it's a little dull.

"Stop it!" Drake yelled, clutching his head.

"I will not!" Darek roared, using all of his power. "Now, give me your body!" Drake let out a cry and stumbled back into the alley, tripping over a garbage can. When he got up, the Eye of Anubis glowed purple on his forehead.

"Showtime," Darek sneered.

- - - - - - - - - - -

"So why are we all here?" Joey asked. He, Tristan, Téa, Dax, Carol and Anthony had been called to Yugi and Yami's house.

"I had an odd dream, and I think it foretold the presence of evil," Yami said.

"I'm here," Kaiba said, walking in the doorway.

"Hey, you're right, it did," Joey muttered.

"Pharaoh!" Everyone spun around as Darek stood in the street, Duel Disk at the ready. "I hope you're ready for our rematch!"

"Darek!" Yami snarled, stepping out of the shop. "What are you doing here?"

"Well DUH!" Darek snapped. "I'm here to do what I, and most other villains, always want to do: defeat you in a duel, and claim your Millennium Puzzle!"

"Why is it you can't just steal it?" Joey asked. "Or like, kill Yugi in his sleep or something?"

"Oh please," Darek scoffed. "We have to duel to attract the viewers, or in this case, the readers. Now let's duel!"

"You're on Darek! Dueling dangerous villains and accepting their unfair terms just because they challenge me is what I live for!" Yami replied, turning out his Duel Disk.

-Darke LP: 4000, Yami LP: 4000

Darek drew his cards and smiled.

"Excellent. I activate the Spell card 'Incredibly Cheap Summoning'! This card allows me to discard 1 card. Then, I can Special Summon any 5 monsters I want directly from my deck!" Darek chose his cards. "Now, please welcome 'Heiracosphinx' (2400, 1200), 'Chirosphinx' (1200, 2400), 'Pyramid Turtle' (1200, 1400), 'Swarm of Scarabs' (500, 1000), and my personal favorite monster 'Reshef the Dark Being' (2500, 1500)!" Darek's five monsters appeared on the field.

"Hold on!" Yugi shouted. "Reshef is a Ritual Monster, so you can't summon him without the Ritual card!"

"Wrong," Darek laughed. "I play 'Bending the Rules'! This card allows me to select one rule of Duel Monsters, and ignore it during this turn, and I choose the rules for Ritual Monsters! So I can play Reshef any way I choose, despite the fact he's a Ritual Monster. However, a card this powerful has a cost. In order to play it, I must pay…100 Life Points!"

-Darek: 3900, Yami: 4000-

"Hey, dat's not fair!" Joey protested. "Dat cost is way too small for a card that powerful!"

"If you think that card was imbalanced, watch this!" Darek said. "I play 'That's Not Fair'. First, to activate this Spell, I have to sneeze three times." Darek turned and lifted the sleeve of his trenchcoat and did so. "Now that that's out of the way, all of my monsters can attack you directly, even on the first turn, and the battle damage they inflict will be halved!" Yami gasped.

"Now my monsters of Egypt, attack!" The monsters did so, and Yami fell to his knees.

-Darek: 3900, Yami: 700-

"Now that's power!" Darek laughed. "Nothing can save you now!"

"Wrong," Yami growled, climbing to his feet. "I have one card in my deck that can stop you Darek."

"Good luck, you'll never draw it! This time, the Millennium Puzzle will be mine!"

"Not today!" Yami roared, drawing. He looked at his card and gasped.

"Well Yami, did you get the card you were hoping for?" Darek taunted. Yami was wide-eyed.

"Actually…I didn't," he said.

"Time out!" Everyone looked up as a Japanese man ran up to them.

"Who are you?" Téa asked.

"I'm Kazuki Takahashi, the creator of Yugioh," The man said. "And someone got this all wrong!" He went over to Yami and looked at his hand. "Yeah, someone screwed up. You drew Monster Reborn, that's not the way it was supposed to happen. Let me see this." Takahashi-sama took Yami's Duel Disk and fanned through Yami's deck. "Yeah, this was supposed to be the card you drew," he said, holding up a Spell card. "Plus, you were supposed to have Dark Magician in your hand, not King's Knight." Takahashi-sama switched the cards. "Now, let's try this again!" he said, handing Yami back his Duel Disk and running off. Yami shrugged.

"Alright, I'll draw again!" he said. He smiled. "Oh well Darek. I play 'Never Heard Of It'!"

"What? Never heard of it!" Darek cried.

"Is there an echo?" Dax muttered.

"Of course you haven't. You see, this is the first time I've used this card, it's the last time I'll use this card, and as a matter of fact, it was never even in my deck until 2 minutes ago, when is appeared out of nowhere," Yami explained. "It's almost as if the card was inexplicably added to my deck at the last minute, isn't it?"

"But…" Darek protested.

"Now I can summon a monster directly from my hand! So come forth 'Dark Magician' (2500, 2100)!" Yami's trademark monster floated on the field.

"So what!" Darek snarled. "I have 'Tribute to the Doomed' in my hand, so on my next turn, that mage is toast!" He threw back his head and laughed, and Yami's face grew tense.

- - - - - - - - - -

"What was that?" Darek asked, looking around. "We were just…frozen in time for 3 minutes!"

"It's called a commercial break," Anthony called.

"We don't have commercials in fanfics!" Darek replied.

"He's got us there," Carol pointed out.

"Anyway, back to the duel," Yami said. "I play 'Deux Ex Machina'! This card increases my Dark Magician's attack points by fifteen hundred and allows it to attack your Life Points directly!"

"Fifteen hundred?" Yugi exclaimed. "That's exactly four thousand points!"

"Yeah, it's like that card was tailor made for the sole purpose of getting Yami out of this otherwise dire situation!" Anthony agreed. "What are the odds?"

"And now Darek, it's time for you to fall once again!" Yami announced. Darek gasped. "Dark Magician, Dark Magic attack!" The mage spun its staff and fired the magic at Darek.

"NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

-Darek: 0000, Yami: 700-

Darek fell to the ground. The Eye of Anubis vanished from his forehead, and Drake climbed to his feet.

"I guess Darek still couldn't cut it. Sorry 'bout that guys," he said.

"It's okay, it happens, just look at Bakura," Yami said with a shrug.

"There's still one thing I don't quite understand," Kaiba said. "Why is it whenever Yami is losing a duel, he draws a card no one has ever heard of, and somehow, it does exactly what he needs to do to win? What is that?" Yami grinned.

"It's called 'It's nice to be the star of the show'!"