Yugi, Tea and Joey experience dreams of a darker Yami possessing their own Yami as he warns them of danger, Yami soon starts having the nightmares himself. Everyone is led to believe the darkness is targeting Yami, but he fears it's after Yugi, no-one knows the real target but the darkness itself.
Chapter 1-Warning from Beyond
The roar of the thunder overhead shook the ground to its core, the frightened remained below as the heavens growled and threw down the thunder from above. The night sky invisible to those from the ground as the grey clouds above blocked the stars from view, only one star was visible and that was not one of light from a distant soul, that was the hair of a small boy as he darted between the rain drops, despite his slow rush, Yugi Muto was the name of the boy, the world champion when it came to games, he had grown up with them, after all, his family owned one of the many games shop in the Japanese town of Domino City. He panted as the raindrops pelted his clothes and skin, the occasional clang from the golden pyramid shaped pendant that hung around his neck. Nothing more than the sight of his family, small and broken as it may be, reigned in his mind, nothing about the horrific weather, nothing about his own legs that ached and howled for rest, nothing but the faces he longed to see. The shop came into view, he smiled, his destination right ahead, nothing could possibly go wrong when he was so close, he mentally scolded himself, knowing his luck, something terrible was always going to happen, especially when unexpected, when hope brimmed from the grey cloud edges, the sunlight peering through, but right now, no possible disaster came to mind. Finally, the overhanging roof sheltered him from the rain, he was safe once again. He shook the rain from him like an animal erasing the cold from their form; he then ruffled his damp hair with his hands, eliminating the excess moisture. He pulled open the door, the room inside remained empty, dark, cold, nothing. Yugi forced his way inside, slamming the door shut behind him, panting from the excess force it had taken for him to arrive at his now deserted home. What had happened? Where were his friends? Why was it so devastating outside? Where was his other half?
"What's going on?" Yugi asked aloud.
He stepped inside the darkness further, only the creek of his shoe replied no sound or sign of Yami or his Grandpa, they had disappeared. A dark howl from the extreme storm outside brushed his ear drums, a howl that sent a chill down his spine; this must have been the disaster he had expected, the one that he had scolded himself for, the one he had feared. His friends were nowhere, his family disappeared, the weather outside terrible, maybe symbolizing the predicament he had found himself in. He began to order himself to wake, to get out of this nightmare all around him, there was no possible way this could be real. A crash. He whipped himself around to see what it was, not a loud explosive crash, just like a trip, he found what he had been looking for, his other half, Yami, laid before him, face-down, blood streaked his arm as it did the wall beside him. Yugi rushed to his side, pulling his twin from the ground slightly and finding his face pale, his breath lagging, he brushed his fallen twin's cheek, it wasn't cold, but it wasn't warm, something had gone wrong while he was away. He held Yami's head close to his own, his cheek brushing Yami's forehead, there was something more he had to be able to do, there was no telling what condition Yami was truly in.
"Yugi" Yami rasped.
Yugi turned down to Yami below, his glassy crimson eyes had opened, an attack was written in Yugi's mind, the proof on Yami's arm, Yugi pulled the Pharaoh twin away, allowing the pair to survey the damage around.
"I don't know, we were waiting for you when all of a sudden, darkness took over, the Puzzle stood no chance. I don't remember what happened after long" Yami explained. "I was able to use the Puzzle to give us sight of the beast, but it evaded the light, the shadows reigns, then I heard what sounded like pottery, then it crashed into the back of my head, everything just blanked".
"You were attacked" Yugi hissed. "What happened to Grandpa?"
Yami made no reply, it was clear that either the elder man had made no fight attempt and escaped, or he had been kidnapped, worst Yugi could think of was that man had met his maker. It was too horrible to think about, to lose his legal guardian, despite Yami's position over him, his spiritual guardian, but sometimes, it was meant to work both ways, this was one of those times. They were supposed to protect each other in times of need, despite the strength of the other, the mental cunning, the ability to just supernatural powers. Yugi turned away for a moment, furniture had been tipped, ornaments broken, smashed, shattered, their lives overturned, the home was in ruins, there was no way to tell what had happened or the condition of his loved ones.
"Who could have done this?" Yugi asked. "I can't think of anyone that remains, what are we going to do?"
Again, no reply from Yami, Yugi just continued to look away, obvious to the fact that the one in his arms had slipped away again, his hand twitching by his knees. Yugi turned back to his fallen half; the Pharaoh's eyes snapped over with a blank look staring up at his fortress, his hand withdrew itself into a fist. There was no warning before Yugi felt the force of the violent gesture within himself; he coughed as his other half pulled the fist away.
"What the-?" he asked.
Yami glared up at him, his eyes remained dark and blank. No emotion. No feeling. No sympathy. No pain. No soul. Yugi gasped in horror, this was not Yami, at least, not any more. He pulled away, the dry blood on Yami's arm caught his sight as he slipped backwards, it seemed the attacker had used some weapon to possess Yami and turn him into the mindless warrior before him. He backed away, now able to force himself away from the ground, fear plastered his face and drained all colour, his eyes twitched nervously. Yami just approached him silently, the howl of the wind rang through Yugi's ears, it wrapped itself around Yami's body, the hairs on the back of Yugi's neck stood on end, whether that was from the darkness Yami now showed him or from the bitterness of the cold and dark around him, he did not know. He could feel the fear approaching him, wrapping itself around his leg and crawling upwards, Yami just glared lifelessly as he continued his slow and dramatic approach, Yugi felt like yelling out at Yami, trying to awaken him from his dark state, but it was no use, the mind-link had somehow died, died like his hopes of finding out what had happened and why, died like the Yami he once knew, now before him a shell for another's revenge. The darkness around grew, all faded from Yugi's sight, except for the darkest surroundings, Yami halted before him, a dark aura surrounding him.
"You can't escape fate anymore" he growled.
He only growled as a response, it was either that or show the weakness he despised and whimper like a small frightened child, he would not do that and let down those that expected him to fight mortal danger. The death that had eluded him and his friends for so long. That was before everything faded into black, Yami remained still as Yugi crashed towards the floor, the unknown took over him and his senses faded into nothing.
Sunlight finally poured through, he shot up, sweating pouring down his face as he panted, it had never existed, the event he had experienced was gone. It really had been all a dream, a nightmare, something that he had only imagined and thanked the heavens that had not existed. He turned to the side table where the Puzzle sat. He sighed a sigh of relief, finally, peace could reign over his mind, the dream had no significance, they never did in real life, it was just his mind playing tricks on him. He pushed himself out of bed before turning to the empty room before him, his sight began to focus more clearly out of the sun's light, he turned to the Puzzle, pulling the chain away before he moved out of the bedroom, finding himself in the hallway, the scuffling of life in the lower level.
"Grandpa. Yami" he called.
More everyday sounds came to answer him; he began to rush down the stairs to find everything still in its proper place. Normally, he wouldn't be so worried, but he had blacked out at the end of the last ordeal, something may have happened between his leaving and returning to the world of consciousness. Just as he leapt over the final few steps, Yami appeared before him, his twin once again himself and ready to answer the troubled call of his partner, Yugi crashed into him, sending them both to the floor below, Yugi chuckled in the childish manner that he usually would, his alter ego simply stared up at him, confused by the unusual behaviour.
"Yugi, is everything alright?" Yami asked.
"Everything's just fine. I just had a bad dream" Yugi replied.
"Yugi, what was that crash about?" Grandpa called.
"Nothing" Yugi chuckled.
He then lifted himself from Yami, pushing his weight back and onto his knees, he then extended a hand to Yami, the Pharaoh smiled before taking it, Yugi felt a sense of relief after the misleading nightmare he had only just awakened from. He then pulled Yami from the ground, the pair stood, brushing themselves off side by side before returning to the kitchen, Yugi smiled to see his Grandpa back to his old self, the nightmare had had no effect of the real world.
"You should stop watching those horror films" Grandpa nagged in a joking manner. "They're not made for people like you; you can barely handle your normal nightmares".
Yugi chuckled before placing himself down at the table, everything packed into his bag, he turned to Grandpa as the elder began starting breakfast for him. He knew Grandpa was right, but those 'normal' nightmares were beyond the scariness that a normal person's imagination could conjure up, these were messages of impending doom about to reign on his life.
"Yugi, are you sure you're alright?" Yami asked.
"Really, Yami, I'm fine. Nothing's wrong" Yugi moaned.
"Joey called earlier; he and Tristan are stopping by later before you boys head off to that game convention, right?" Grandpa added over his shoulder.
"Yup" Yugi chirped.
If there was one thing to get his mind of upcoming danger and life-threatening fights, it was games, even if those games that Yugi held closest to his heart were the gateway that certain enemies used to slip into Yami's life. Yugi had hoped he could use the convention to get his mind off of the usual stresses that hounded him, whether those were from saving the world or simply trying to do his best in school. He knew Yami was grateful that school had never existed in Egypt, being Pharaoh was obviously tough enough without all of that put on top of it all. Grandpa had also hinted to Yugi to use the convention to gain an insight to the upcoming games, Yugi always did classify Grandpa's games as old-fashioned; this was a chance to catch up with the times. Yugi smiled as he pulled a slice of toast from Yami's plate, the Pharaoh unaware at the time, leaving a single piece behind, Yugi then buttered it quickly before forcing a corner into his mouth, he grinned sheepishly as Yami turned away from the window, his thoughts closing on him. He turned back to his plate to find his food halved, he glared at Yugi playfully, who just chuckled when Yami watched the bread hanging in his mouth, Yami grinned back before ruffling Yugi's hair like an older brother would. Yugi just chuckled before Yami pulled back, withdrawing his hand before the pair could continue in their playful battle, Grandpa smiled as he continued with the morning's usual activities.
Joey sighed, it was not like him to be so exhausted so late in the morning, usually, he would prefer to find his friends aster his paper round, but now, he seemed drowsy, wanting to rest as he had done in the night hours before. He laid his head down upon the sofa before the window that overlooked the city, his eyelids falling with a weight, before he knew it, they were closed and he couldn't bother to try opening them.
A light. A bright light ahead of him, Joey reached out for it, there was something inside of the light before him, maybe someone who needed his help. Joey smiled at the thought of rescuing someone, proving himself to the others, he was not just an underdog, someone who was just there to back Yugi or Yami up, he was needed. As he approached the light further, he clenched his fist, thinking he had reached it, but the warmth radiating from the star was all he captured. He noticed his running, slow, airless, he wasn't running, he was floating. He then looked from his legs to up above, the light shone as brightly as when his closed eyes had opened to it. The black shadow of the person within appeared, a slim figure, a small young male before him, the light expanded as he fell from the orb of light and before Joey, a star of colour before him made him wonder, the light rose and shrank once again. The male before him, threw his head backwards, blonde bangs dropped by the edges of his head, strong crimson eyes stared at him.
"Yami? What's going on?" Joey asked.
The boy before him made no response, but indeed, it was Yami, there was no denying it was him, after all, there really were only two people with such a bizarre hairstyle, especially ones that would enter Joey's dream. Yami just made his way to Joey, extending his left palm, a small purple orb appeared in it, Joey watched the strange thing nervously, something was off.
"Touch it Joey" Yami hissed.
"What?" Joey asked.
Yami continued to hold his hand out, the small sphere glistened at Joey, urging him to raise his hand and make contact with it. Joey's hand twitched, he had been involved in such things as this before, he had resorted to stealing when he had been with the wrong people in a gang. But that was the past, before him stood one of the people that made him see what he had done wrong, the one that had saved him from the darkness of mankind while his own mind was trapped, only to be rescued by Yugi shortly afterwards. Joey's hand them made its way slowly towards Yami's, the Pharaoh just stared motionlessly, his face its usual strong self staring lifelessly down at him, Joey's hand froze above the orb. He could feel a dark presence piercing his heart, above him, Yami stared down without a light in his eyes, the same dark eyes remembered had been there before Yugi had pulled him from the darkness of his insanity.
"You OK?" Joey asked.
Yami made no response, he simply narrowed his eyes angrily, Joey felt uneasy, the light above seemed to only shed light upon the pair, Joey's eyes began to sting as he watched Yami, he then turned away, rubbing them with his twitching hand before pulling it before his collarbone, Yami stood before him in his Pharaoh uniform, Atem once again, Joey's eyes widened, his vision was blurred, his mind sure his eyes were playing tricks on him. Yami made no movement as Joey rubbed his eyes again, Yami returned before him with his usual appearance; only the plain eyes gave Joey a reason to doubt what was happening. Joey then turned to his hand; he turned back the orb waiting impatiently in Yami's hand, the Pharaoh still and silence, waiting for Joey to do what he requested.
"Do it and set me free"
Joey questioned what Yami meant in his head, but there was no time, he noticed Yami's legs fading, from the ground they began to evaporate, leaving the spirit-like replacements behind, Joey gasped. But as his sight turned back to the sphere, the process had already reached Yami's knees, Joey then stared at the thing for another second before his hand slowly flew towards it. He gasped, he had no control over the palm, yet, he didn't try to stop it, he just watched it as his hand did what Joey subconsciously wanted. But why was this happening? What was causing Yami to disappear? His hand hovered above it once again, remembering what he had felt just a moment ago when they were in the same position, he then blinked, watching as Yami's waist began to vanish before him, his mind was made up, he had to save Yami, no matter what this coldness was he was experiencing. His hand fell upon it, Yami's broken body remained still, his waist spilt by the thing that had eaten half of him, Yami smiled, his eyes returned to their normal light and caring self.
"Thank you, Joey".
That was all he said before his body shattered like any of the mystical creatures from their own little game, Joey gasped, his hand floated in thin air, the orb hit the ground harshly. He watched it roll to his knees, glowing the same way it had when Yami stood before him, but now he was gone, there was no clue as to what was going on or what had happened. The orb's dark glow expanded, ensnaring Joey's wrist, covering the hand that had touched it, Joey yelled as the power began to consume his arm. Had this been what Yami had been asked to be set free from? Joey continued to yell as a whisper of a voice called him in the distance, the light fading, he was sinking, yet the voice persisted in whispering his name, shouting his name from a far.
Joey's eyes snapped open, he bolted upwards, sweat leapt from his brow and the thin hairs that covered it, he panted, beside him was the origin of his whispering shouts. Tristan watched Joey worriedly, usually he wouldn't have a problem with Joey sleeping through several of his calls, Joey was a heavy sleeper, after all, but this was strange. He had entered with the spare hey he had, but Joey hadn't moved before Tristan reached him, as the brunette kneeled beside him, Joey had then started the incessant screaming, it was so uncommon for Joey to have such a bad experience. Tristan and Joey were so alike, they were like brothers without any relation, soul brothers, but Tristan couldn't think of anything that could lead to Joey being so terrified, both had been criminals before meeting Yugi and Tea, both had been tough and had rough childhoods, both had experienced harsh times whether they were from Yugi's enemies, their past friends or just general hard times that one would receive at school. Tristan just stared at Joey as the blonde turned to him, he seemed paler than usual, Tristan kept his bottom jaw closed, unable to think of something to say without Joey doing his usual assumptions, throwing them around like Tristan had enjoyed it all.
"What the-?" Joey asked.
"You OK, man?" Tristan responded.
"Something about Yami" Joey muttered.
"Don't tell me you're getting these nightmares where someone says Yami's gonna die" Tristan moaned.
Joey turned back, was it true? Was he receiving messages that another was coming to try and take Yami's life away? But why him? What about Yugi? That was it! Yugi would have a dream too, there was no-one closer to Yami than him, there had to be a possibility that Joey had had the dream for a reason and he guessed he had a theory. Ever since their first real battle against Kaiba, there had been an inner circle within the group, Yugi had explained to Joey and Tea about the presence of Yami before Duellist Kingdom, they had been in before Tristan, Bakura and Mai, maybe Tea had had the dream to or a similar one. Joey sighed before turning back to Tristan, he had not been present at the announcement of Yami's being, he had no idea.
"I gotta talk ta Yuge" Joey mumbled.
"We can talk at the convention" Tristan hissed.
'If I can get to talk to Yuge there, Yami and Tristan can be elsewhere, its perfect' Joey thought.
He then slipped from the sofa, Tristan returned to his upright standing, Joey followed in doing so, he then stared at the door ahead. What about Tea? If she was having the dream there had to be someway of informing her, she'd want to talk to Yugi about it, but she had skipped the trip to the convention. As strange as it was, Joey and Yugi had noticed the girls passing it up, usually they'd be thrilled to join them, but this time, they had passed like it was nothing at all. Joey sighed before turning to Tristan, he smiled, trying to reassure the brunette that he was fine, Tristan smiled back, Joey turned away and headed for his bedroom.
Yugi watched Yami as the Pharaoh pulled on some bracelets; he had developed a liking for them ever since Yugi had pulled Yami out of the Puzzle before Battle City to enjoy a day with Tea. Little had the little one known that was the day Yami's battle for his memories began; the day he found out he was the Pharaoh that had saved Egypt-the world-from destruction. Yugi smiled, after everything that happened, after losing Yami, the Pharaoh remained before him, within his own body, everything that everyone had tried to break was back again. Yami turned to Yugi as the younger slipped on his Millennium Puzzle, still baffled by the duplicate one that had emerged in the world with Yami upon his return. Yami smiled back and walked past Yugi, checking his bag to make sure everything was ready, this was not only Yami's first convention, but Yugi's first proper visit to one, both were excited like small children, Yugi felt like tackling Yami in a similar fashion to his earlier attack on the Pharaoh, just to do something childish and get it out of his system. Yami turned to him before he could make up his mind, the Pharaoh pulled the bag onto his back, Yugi then grasped the strap of his own, he smiled back at Yami once again, the earlier dream a distant memory in the back of his mind to rot away.
"You ready, aibou?" Yami asked.
"Ready partner" Yugi replied.