No ownage here.


Taur'i Shadows
by Halys


One thousand meters below Cheyenne Mountain, there is a room. Within the room, is a two story ring made of what appears to be metal. Thirty-eight symbols are engraved on the ring, each depicting a different, but familiar constellation. Suddenly, the center of the ring, a ring of its own, begins to rotate quickly. Lights power up on the device and loud klaxons fill the air inside the room. Armed guards file into the room, taking up their stations and targeting their weapons at the rotating ring. A metal iris slides shut with a clang, preventing anything from making its way through the ring.

"Alert! Inbound traveler!"

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General Hammond, commander of the Stargate Command (or SGC, as it was more frequently called), looked up from a file on his desk as he heard the sirens fill the tunnels of the underground military facility. He dropped the file and stood up from his desk. He left his office and navigated quickly through a series of tunnels.

"What's going on? Is the iris closed?" Hammond demanded, as he entered the control room of the SGC. He crossed his arms and stood resolutely in front of a set of glass windows that looked down on the heavily guarded Gate Room.

A young man looked up from his post at a keyboard and computer screen. "It's SG1's code, sir, but they're not due back for another two hours!"

"Open the iris. I should've expected this with the energy feedback we got from the survey."

"Yes, sir!" saluted the young man, and he began to type away. In the Gate Room below them, the metal barrier slid open just as a wave of energy burst out from the center of the ring. The armed soldiers surrounding the Gate tensed, preparing to fire if necessary.

Suddenly, four figures appeared out of the vertical pool that had been created when the wave of energy had receded.

General Hammond seized a microphone from the control board. "Colonel, would you like to explain to me why you're back so early? And what it is you have in your arms?"

Jack knelt down on his knees, and set the bundle he had been holding down on the ground. It was then apparent that Jack had been holding a young man with... very odd hair.

"We need a medical team down here, sir!" Carter cried as she moved out of the way of Teal'c. The Jaffa also knelt down, and released another young man who was identical to the first.

Hammond turned back to the young man sitting at the control board. "Have a medical team meet me down in the Gate Room." Then, he turned on his heel and left the room.

Meanwhile, in the Gate Room, Captain Samantha Carter, along with the rest of her team, were preoccupied with attending to the prone young men. She patted each down, searching for any weapons or identification.

"So, you're telling me that these spiky midgets called themselves 'Pharaoh'? Are you sure they're not Goa'ulds?" Jack said, addressing the team's anthropologist.

"Well, I doubt it. Sam said herself that she couldn't sense any naqahdah. Plus, Teal'c didn't think they were Goa'ulds," Daniel replied, briefly looking up from the other boy that he was searching.

"Then, what are they?" All four members turned their attention to General Hammond, who had just entered the room, accompanied by Dr. Janet Frasier and the medical team.

"They're most definitely not Goa'ulds, sir."

"Care to explain why, Jackson?"

Stepping forward, Jack took the opportunity to interrupt. "Yeah, what the hell are they, Daniel? With hair like that, they can't be human! Besides, that show they put on had to leave you wondering."

As Jack was speaking, Dr. Frasier stooped down to begin a check on the smaller boy. "Think about it, Jack! Have you ever heard Goa'ulds refer to themselves as anything other than Gods? These boys were completely alone, and without Jaffa guards!" Daniel pushed up his glasses in annoyance.

"I'm inclined to agree with him, sir," said Dr. Frasier from her spot on the floor next to the prone young men. "Despite their odd hair, they appear to be human. They might have dyed it to be that color, and by the looks of their clothes, I'd say it's a good assumption."

Carter shifted closer to Dr. Frasier, and began to go through the younger boy's belongings again. "Look here, sir! This boy has a wallet! It looks like something any teenager would carry." Gingerly opening the wallet, she searched inside for identification. When she found an ID card, she slid it out of the plastic window, and held it up for all to see. There were two lines of text on the card, adjacent to a photo of the young man.

Adjusting his glasses again, Jackson leant forward and read the line in English. "Mutou Yuugi. Grade 10. Age 16. Domino High School. Domino City, Japan…"

All present members of the SGC stared down at the two boys, each with a single question on their minds:

How had a pair of Japanese high school students end up on a planet that was light years away?

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With a groan, Yuugi began to shift, slowly awakening. As his mind became fully aware, he realized that he was not in his bedroom. In fact, as consciousness came to Yuugi, he began to remember why he wasn't at home.

Yuugi let out a soft whimper of fear.

A body next to Yuugi moved, and he jumped in fright. But when a pair of strong arms looped around his waist, Yuugi relaxed. Through the link provided by his Sennen Puzzle, Yuugi knew to whom the arms belonged. He turned around to the person holding him and ran a hand through bangs that were so similar to his own.

"Other me…" he murmured softly. The arms around his waist tightened in response.

Yuugi took the quiet moment to glance around him, but became quickly disheartened by his surroundings. He was in a cell. The walls were solid concrete, and the only window in the room was on the steel door. A small square of artificial light filtered in, barely supplementing the low light above him. At least the cell wasn't dirty or wet, Yuugi thought. The small room appeared to have been kept in an orderly state.

Yuugi breathed a sigh of slight relief. Maybe their captors were decent people.

The older, young man, who held Yuugi's waist captive, began to stir again as he awoke.

"Partner…" his low voice grumbled, still laden with sleep.

Blinking, Yuugi turned to his other self. "Other me?"

The other Yuugi immediately shook off the dredges of sleep that still clung to him. He sat up, and released his grip on his partner's waist, in favor of drifting his hands over Yuugi's body.

A soft giggle escaped Yuugi's lips as his other's hands brushed sensitive areas. He wiggled out of Dark Yuugi's grasp with a faint blush on his cheeks. "I'm fine, other me. See? Nothing's broken."

"Good. I feared the worst." The other's voice was lower in tone than Yuugi's, but shared the same melodiousness. He looked up to meet Yuugi's wide eyes with his own, which were sharper and more narrow. The other Yuugi's features seemed very much like his partners, to the untrained eye. But for those that looked close, they were rewarded with the sight of an older -- and to some, sexier -- version of Yuugi.

The smaller boy smiled knowingly. "You always do. But don't worry; I'm fine. All we need to do now is figure out where we are and how to get home. Anzu and Jounouchi are probably really worried!"

Passing a hand over his brow, Dark Yuugi let out a controlled breath of air. "Partner, I am unsure if I will be able to get us back. We are worse off than we were before. I do not know who our captors are or how far we are from the Doorway to the Stars."

The smile gracing Yuugi's lips faltered for but a moment, and then returned with full force. "We'll get out of here! Don't fret! We just need to have trust in each other and in our cards, and we'll be fine!"

Dark Yuugi nodded, but the gesture only seemed half-hearted.

The clang of keys unlocking the steal door distracted the two young men from their conversation, and a middle-aged man entered the cell. Immediately, his other half slipped a protective arm around his waist.

The man with graying hair sat down in a chair adjacent to the bed on which Yuugi and his other half were still sitting. He began to speak, but it took a Yuugi a moment to understand what he was saying; then Yuugi's eyes lit up and he leaned over to his other.

"English! He's speaking English!"

"That language that you were learning in school?" Dark Yugui responded.

"Yeah! I'm still not very good at it, but our… er… visit to America helped!"

"You forget, partner, that it was the business in America that got us into this mess."

Yuugi merely frowned in response.

When the two had finished conversing, the man spoke up again. This time, Yuugi made sure to listen carefully. "Are you two finished?" the man said.

Dark Yuugi growled at the tone slightly, but was placated by a pat on the knee from Yuugi, who nodded.

"Good. Now, do you mind telling me who you are? My team and I found a wallet of a Japanese high school student in your pocket. Care to explain?"

Yuugi paused before he answered, and turned to his other. "He's asking who we are," he murmured in Japanese.

"Tell him, but demand his name in return."

Nodding, Yuugi turned back to the older man. "I am Mutou Yuugi… er… Yuugi Mutou in American. This is my other self. Could you please tell us who you are and where are we?"

The man listened, astonished by how polite his captive was, despite his lack of proficiency in English.

"Colonel Jack O'Neill of the Stargate Command, United States Air Force," the man returned. "So, you do speak English. On P2X-354, the two of you never said anything in English. Daniel said you," Jack indicated Yuugi, "spoke in Japanese."

Yuugi nodded again.

"But your… eh… brother…" Jack hazarded. "Spoke Ancient Egyptian. And speaking of him, who is he?"

The other Yuugi glared at Jack and growled once more. Jack's eyebrows rose as the young man pulled Yuugi closer. His eyebrows rose again as the taller boy grumbled something short to his brother, which was acknowledged by a disapproving frown and an equally disapproving response. The Colonel's eyebrows threatened to disappear into his hairline when the taller teen pouted slightly, but obeyed.

So, the shorter spiky kid is in charge, Jack thought, trying not to smirk. "Yuugi?" he inquired, instead. "Everything all right?"

Large, blue eyes -- so blue, they almost appeared violet, Jack thought -- turned themselves on the colonel. "Yes? I… er, sorry. My other self thinks we should be asking questions of you, since we don't know where we are at. He… ah…"

Suddenly, the taller boy stood, and pulled Yuugi to his feet. Spiky Kid 2, as Jack had dubbed him in his mind, nearly wrapped his entire self around Yuugi. Very unusual behavior for brothers. But, Yuugi closed his eyes and smiled, as if the behavior was common.

Spiky Kid 2 opened his mouth and spoke, much to Jack's surprise. "Tell us where are, Colonel, and how did we come to be here in this cell? We have done nothing to harm you, yet you lock us up as criminals. We demand release."

"And… if I were to refuse?"

"Then we will let the shadows have you."

Yuugi broke from his brother's grasp suddenly, and turned on him. He spoke in an urgent and very disapproving tone.

Jack watched, intrigued as the two adolescents argued. Neither raised their voice, and both seemed intent on convincing the other with pleading and gentle tones. The outcome slowly became evident, and Jack was amazed by how efficiently Yuugi had won over his brother.

"I am sorry for my other self," Yuugi murmured, focusing his attention back on Jack. "He is very protective of me, and would do anything to keep me safe and help me get home."

"Wait. Hold on a minute, kid. Why do you keep calling your brother 'your other'? And you had better tell me about this 'shadow' business. I don't think you understand the trouble you're in at the moment." Jack strode towards Yuugi, pointing his index finger determinedly at the young man.

Spiky Kid 2's grip on Yuugi tightened again. "You will not speak to my partner in such a manner! He has done nothing to incur your anger!"

Yuugi pushed his brother away and shook his head. "Please, O'Neill-san, you must understand. He is not my brother. He is the other half of me. He is my other self."

"What exactly does that mean?" Jack demanded.

Suddenly, the taller teen stepped between him and Yuugi. "It means, mortal, that I am my partner's protector. I am the spirit of the Sennen Puzzle, and together, we are the Nameless Pharaoh. And if you do not let us go, you will know what powers my Sennen Puzzle has. You have been warned!"

"Other me!"

"No, partner! I will not sit by and let these people interrogate you without telling you why you have been imprisoned!"

Jack stared in astonishment as the twin puzzles around the boys' necks began to glow again. Darkness began to encircle the older adolescent's hands before Yuugi stepped between him and Jack.

"Other me! Please! Do not make me take it off! Remember America!" Warning colored Yuugi's voice as he shouted at his other. Immediately, the boy wielding the darkness ceased and was placated. He wrapped his arms around Yuugi's middle and began to babble in Japanese.

Unsure what to do, Jack stepped back and called for the guards. They let him out of the room and locked the door behind him. "Keep a sharp eye on those two. I think we've gotten in a little over our heads…"

Inside the room, the other Yuugi continued to hold his partner close, while Yuugi began to console him.

"Are you sure you're all right, sir?" asked one of the guards.

"I'm fine," Jack answered. "But for how long, I'm not sure… We need to get some answers from those damn kids. And we need to get them soon."


So, another part of the plot is revealed. Dun dun dun… There will be more explanations in the next chapter. Like how Yami no Yuugi has a --poof-- body. :)

Thanks to ankhutenshi, and studyingstones of LiveJournal for beta-ing!

Comments appreciated!