Disclaimer: I don't own 'em. Nor have I read all the manga, thus mistakes are probable.
Warnings: Slash, some bad language and present tense (the horror, the horror!)
A/N: Dedicated to my friend, Adele, as a birthday present. Happy sixteenth - go wild, take up smoking, pay full price for the frickin' cinema (you cheapskate), have sex, whatever, just don't pull a Katie and tell me about it, 'kay? Hope it's a good year for you, anyway. :)
Day One: 10 PM.
The museum is silent; almost eerily so. The lights are off, casting the displays into muted greys, shadows stretching into grotesque figures piling up one on top of each other, writhing around on the floor as if they are almost alive. One statue holds a sword out, marble gleaming in the dim moonlight shining down from the large windows, and its eyes seem to follow him as he walks.
Daisuke shivers. In the quiet, his soft footsteps sound immeasurably loud to his ears, and his heart is pounding slowly, heavily. The glaring red pinprick of the security cameras doesn't bother him that much; he's already removed all the tapes earlier that day. There is just something... something wrong. This is too easy, too quiet, too smooth.
He stumbles over a step he doesn't see, putting one hand out to steady himself against the oily, cool wall, the texture obvious even through the pair of thin black gloves he had pulled on earlier. He stops, tilts his head back to stare up at the blank ceiling, his red hair barely distinguishable from any other blend of grey in the museum. He breathes, in and out, slowly, trying to calm himself, and nearly reaches out to the familiar, comforting presence of Dark in the back of his mind, only tugging the strand of consciousness back at the last moment.
No. He can do this without Dark. The police aren't going to be here; this is an unannounced theft, much to Dark's disgust. All he has to do is find some sword that belonged to an ancient emperor and bring it home – no problem. No one is going to be here, everything is going to go fine.
...Oh God, has he just jinxed himself?
Don't be stupid he chides himself, and Dark huffs slightly, apparently considering some snarky comment. Daisuke ignores him, fiddles with his gloves for a few long moments, and then starts walking again, glancing this way and that, paranoia sinking its fangs into him. This will be okay. Nothing is going to go wrong. He will be fine.
He flinches as he rounds into a room, coming face to face with a leering stone statue, its eyes overcast by a heavy brow. God, he thinks. God, that almost looked real. He leans closer towards it, tempted to prod the rough stone surface, and then decides against it. You never fully knew what alarms museum curators might have rigged, each and every one of them afraid that they might have something the Phantom Thief wanted, desperate to keep their art and history safe.
Exhaling softly, Daisuke steps past the statue, only stopping at a security pad which locks the next, the newest, exhibit up. With a few quick taps, he enters in the override code of the lock down system, a faintly triumphant smile curling over his lips as the code is accepted and the exhibit door opened.
It is an unusual exhibition; one focusing around one of the older emperors of Japan, a man with supposedly mystical powers and a desire for both order and purity. It is no wonder that Daisuke's mother is interested in the sword that is rumoured to be the main attraction of the exhibition – there are legends focusing around it, legends of magic and power and riddles to test your heart. In fact, pretty much every object of the exhibition seems to have some sort of legend focusing around it, and Daisuke is not entirely sure what he believes.
Daisuke looks this way and that, straining to see in the half-darkness, for this exhibit has no windows looking out into the night sky, and no light save that which filters through the door. It is of no matter; Daisuke is used to darkness. His mother has trained him in it, and he can make out enough to know where to head next.
He moves forward – and that freezes, heart suddenly accelerating and adrenalin rushing his veins as he hears the scraping sound of someone else moving. He steps quickly to the side, easily fading into the shadows as if he were one himself. Dark does not offer to take over, but he sits up, suddenly wary of what is going on. Maybe this is not such an easy mission, Daisuke thinks as he stands absolutely still, keeping his breathing shallow. There is no further movement from the mystery person however, no further sounds drifting towards Daisuke, and Dark relaxes before Daisuke does, already dismissing the sound as the figment of a stressed imagination.
Daisuke is not so sure it is his imagination however, and his shoulders are tense as he slips forward.
He moves through an open door way, keeping to the sides of the room as much as he can – and then his eyes widen and he skids to the side, barely missing the blow from a person who is suddenly behind him as he moves again. He turns, and catches sight of white wings and blond hair, easily visible even in the dimness. Krad! he thinks, and Dark stirs inside of him, trying to take over. What is he doing here? They gave no warning of where they would be, nor was the sword one of the Hikari's works. Krad should not be here.
Krad snarls as he sees Daisuke beginning to change, backhands him across the room. Daisuke hits the base of something, his back exploding in pain as Krad stalks forward, lifts him up by his collar as if he weighs nothing. With one hand, the blond presses him back against a smooth surface – a mirror? Daisuke has time to think in confusion, the pain keeping him from flickering into Dark's body – and the other pressed down by his head.
Krad is very close, Daisuke thinks as he struggles. His body is nearly flat out against his own, even as Daisuke is dangled half a foot in the air, choking under Krad's grip. Krad looks as though he is going to say something, something gloating, cruel, something illustrating just how fucking psychotic he is, but his face changes and his eyes widen in alarm. Against his back, Daisuke can feel the mirror's surface begin to – ripple? He doubles his struggle, but Krad is no longer paying attention to him, staring down at his hands in shock as an image raises above it, his body seemingly splitting into two, with his soul separating, being dragged into the mirror.
Daisuke knows it is hurting Krad – knows because he can feel it happening to him, and it's definitely hurting him. Dark's voice is nearly incomprehensible, and the feelings, Krad's long, elegant fingers choking the life out of him, the bumps that come out in waves across from the mirror, the breath that is ghosting across his face in short, sharp bursts because they are that close; the feelings are slipping away into a pure, vacant white.
Dark slips from Satoshi's grasp, both of their bodies fully transformed as they stumble away from the mirror in shock. "What the hell?" Dark gasps, massaging his neck, where there are livid bruises obvious against the pale skin. "Daisuke!"
He moves closer to the mirror, pressing both hands against the now-smooth surface in desperation. "Daisuke!" he shouts again, and Satoshi is wide-eyed and pale-faced, his expression almost echoing the fear that is clear on Dark's face. Dark seems to realise that the mirror will not let him pass into wherever Daisuke and Krad have been forced to, and he steps away reluctantly, turning to stare at Satoshi.
"Do you know what this mirror does?" he asks, and his words are quick and garbled. "The legends – do you-?"
"I don't know," Satoshi says, shaking his head. "I- Krad doesn't tell me anything, when he can help it, and I don't think he was here to protect the mirror. I haven't heard anything about it."
Dark's eyes are almost wild from what Satoshi can see of them, and the boy fumbles in his pockets for something, finally pulling out a tiny torch and switching it on. "I assume the security cameras have all been disabled?" he asks Dark, and Dark nods curtly. Satoshi shines the light around the mirror's edge, pausing when he sees an inscription carved on the bottom. Satoshi and Dark exchange looks, but it is Satoshi that kneels down to examine it.
"And this shall be our window, through which we shall make you pure," Satoshi slowly deciphers, tilting his head to see the inscription more clearly. "What do you think that means?"
"I don't know," Dark says uncertainly. "I really don't know."
Reviews are muchly welcomed. Make a moron happy. You know you want to. :D. Next chapter will be put up on the 20th.