Okay, this is the un-beta version. I'll replace it as soon as my beta gets the prettier, nicer version to me but I felt the terrible desire to throw this at you since it has been sitting around on my hard drive for months unfinished and then finished and I just want to move onto season 2 (which I'll upload as a new 'story' right after this, again, that won't be beta-read so...read at your own risk, but seriously, by now, most of you should know how I drill and love me despite it. I hope...at least...yeah...anyway...)
I'm pretty sick and the doctors finally threw in their towels and said 'nothing more we can do' so...I had a long and good cry about it today and tomorrow I see another doctor who will tell me the same thing and I'll cry some more and then I'll get back up and keep going forward.
For all of you who have stuck by me during the journey of this long (rough and terribly planned) fanfiction – thank you – thank you sooooo much for your friendship, your thoughts, your reviews. In the mists of being so sick, you've kept me smiling and I cannot thank you enough for that. I hope that one day I can return to favour :)
This Episodes quote, I thought...pretty much sums up what I wanted Yugi, Yami, Ryou and Bakura (and I guess Seto and Seth as well) to be in nature; chosen people who are able to see more than their mirror reflection. :)
I thought it was fitting for the end of the season.
This is it...
Have reached the final Episode.
I hope, very much, that you have enjoyed the voyage as much as I have.
Thank you for sharing it with me.
"Don't forget that I cannot see myself –
that my role is limited to being the one who looks in the mirror."
Season 1 – Episode 35: Past, Present and Future
Yami sensed alternate reality Sol's approach into the large cascading hall decked in Naboo's royal colours and filled with constant chatter of high status individuals. It was a strange feeling, like a ripple of something out of place, as though the Shadows of the Realm were contesting to his presence and trying to throw him away. The boy, for indeed, with such a young looking face void of all age, landed beside to stand in the most imperial of poses, obviously bred into the boy from a young age. He had to wonder, just how different this version of the child in his arms was. Little Sol giggled, reaching out of the elder and Sol held up a finger, allowing the smaller to grasp it tightly.
"Let the celebrations begin." Sol smiled and vanished down the stairs towards Jennifer were the young cadet stood beside Sam.
Yami sighed. "I have lived a very strange life."
"You and me both." Yugi added softly and Yami glanced behind to watch the light decent the stairs into the hall. He had brushed back his locks, wet them down with water and managed to arrange his silken clothing in a well enough manner. The Pharaoh had no moment to reply as a sudden spring of claps was cascaded through the hall, shocking Yugi back a pace to hide behind the slightly taller spirit.
\You missed the parade aibou, it was very nice. The Queen honoured you and SG1 for your aid.\
\Well, when I say you I mean us.\ Yami shrugged mentally. \Careful, Kala at eight o-clock.\
Yugi managed a laugh as the Egyptian dressed human-duel monster encased him like an over-protective mother. Malik wasn't far behind her and the sheer sight of them both filled him with an overwhelming sensation of tears and he practically looped them both in a sudden hug as best as he could from the odd angle.
"Malik! Kala! You have no idea how good it is to see you!"
"Hey," Malik kissed his cheeks, "Yugi we wouldn't have stopped until we found you." He finished with a kiss to his lips, "plus, Kala has this thing about you being in our wedding...gosh, women, honesty, they just go on and on and on and on and on and on."
"And on, and on...and on..."
Kala rolled her eyes.
Yugi smirked at the pair. "Thank you...for coming to find us."
"Well," Kala snorted, "you're our King! Duel Monsters daughter has to do what she can to make sure who she serves is back on his throne...and...you're the reason why Malik and I got together, and you're my friend."
Yugi hugged her firmly.
"Start a friendship speech, Kala dear, and I will have to make sure you meet Tea."
Yugi glanced around to Daniel and Ishziu, both in identical wear.
Daniel waved warmly. "Hey! You guys went and had an adventure without me!"
"Sorry Danny!" Jack looped the archaeologist in a sudden head-lock, "you went and got married and had a honey-moon while we were snooping around. It's your own fault."
Touching Yami's shoulder Yugi looked to the spirit as the laughter of reunion carried through the hall. The Pharaoh's dark eyes warmly smiled.
\Aibou...you made the right choice.\
\I know...but Zorc...he still got away...\
\You still made the right choice. You'll see, it will work out in the end.\
\How do you know that?\ Yugi clenched Yami's firm hand, forever grateful that the Pharaoh's physical form was there for him to hold, he was still human enough to want and to need that physical contact.
\The Shadows are content, therefore, all will be well.\
Somehow, he knew, in that moment, Yami was right.
It was going to be okay.
The Naboo evening air was pristine and fresh, with a whiff of a chilled night forthcoming. The whole city below him had been enveloped in celebration; even now he could hear the sound of joyous cries and whoops of high-pitched songs. People danced in the streets. Their world was free.
Yugi closed his eyes as he leaned upon the large balcony. It really wouldn't be such a bad place to live. He could raise Sol easily here; let the child be nothing more than a child and maybe one day a Jedi Knight of the Republic. He could see Yami becoming a Senator; the Pharaoh was far too good at his diplomatic skills to throw them away.
They could wait here, wait until Sam discovered the key to the Furling technology to take them home and maybe, he supposed, wait for Zorc to make his reappearance once more. Yes, living here wouldn't be so bad, not for him, at least. He would keep his friends in his dreams; it was enough that he had known them and loved them.
Yugi brushed back tears. Crying, the one thing he seemed to be doing a lot of, almost as though he was releasing excess emotions or bottled up cosmic energy. Yami had been the one to comment his tears shined, like he was bleeding light. He didn't know whether to be scared at that idea.
The celebrations and reunions had been wonderful and despite his wounds he felt oddly alright, even without Ryou's tender care for more than a couple hours, but he had hidden behind his mask of a smile, knowing that by the end of the day he would have to speak his choice to all of them. To Seto and Seth, to Malik and his people and to SG1.
Had he made the right choice?
Yes, he had, because it had been the choice of a pure light. Sipping his drink Yugi smiled as Sol clutched at his pants, the tiny toddler had a Naboo pacifier wedged in his mouth while still holding the teddy-bear taken all the way from the deserts of Tatooine, crafted lovingly by Shmi. Yami's shadows swelled around the boy and the Pharaoh formed a solid body, holding the lad. The ancient darkness reached out a hand and cupped Yugi's chin.
They didn't need words. Words were useless. Yugi simply smiled weakly and let the cold lips of the spirit press to his forehead, then his nose and softly to his lips. He could sense the Pharaoh's admiration through the gently pulsing, warm Puzzle against his chest. Though the solid body before him was cold like death, with no heart-beat, the Puzzle was enough for him to know his darker half was truly there and that together, they would be alright. Their divided soul, though pained by separation, could at least be at peace in the little humanity they had left.
Yugi rubbed at his tears. As long as he could still cry, he knew, he would still be human enough.
\I gathered everyone.\ Yami motioned with a small tip of his head and Yugi glanced around to watch the team and the travellers gather, even Obi-wan was there, though Qui-gon, obviously, was still recovering from being run through with a light-sabre.
Sha and Padme had silently positioned themselves to one side while Yugi took note of Anakin's firm closeness to Bakura. The boy was almost clutching the dark spirits legs as if never wanting to leave his side.
"So..." The Colonel looked around at them all with a grin, "home? We have awesome space-ships! I've always wanted a space-ship fleet for Earth!"
Malik tread firmly on the Colonel's foot. "My people live in them, idiot, they belong to me."
Jack could only glare, a glare returned by the erratic Egyptian.
"Finally." Ryou puffed out a breath, "my poor Butler must be worried sick."
"Actually," Seto rolled his eyes, "with the Stones, we can make sure we arrive a day or so after we left, you would have only have been missing for a number of weeks. Your Butler will still believe you're away on a trip, as I informed him."
"You informed my Butler I was away on a trip!" Ryou squeaked in horror.
"I don't think he brought it. Your Butler is strangely knowledgeable...indeed, it almost felt as though he could see me while I was hidden..." Seth chuckled and his tainted light glowered in his general direction.
"Yes well," Ryou snorted, "you'd be surprised with what my Butler has had to put up with over the years..." The light motioned to Bakura who began to speak and yet stopped and slowly closed his mouth. The dark spirits red eyes softened as he gazed gently towards Yugi.
"Pip-squeak," surprising everyone with the softened tone uncharacteristic of the ex-thief Bakura touched Ryou's shoulder, "if its any help, you made the right choice..."
"I'm sorry," Yugi's murmured and heads turned towards him as the young man looked up weakly, "but we're not going home...not yet..." He tightened his grip upon Yami's hands for support.
"I...I made...a choice and I asked the Stones to go away, forever."
The silence was like a void. Every pair of eyes stared at him as though a spear had been flung through their souls. "If we used them to get home, if we closed the Door that had been opened by using the technology again...then...they would have been returned to where they were, to be found and used and abused again and I...I couldn't let that happen. No after Zorc. I'm sorry but...I decided to save the universe and not us. I take...I take responsibility for this action as the Pharaohs light. I know, that...Sam...may be able to crack the Furling code and maybe get us home someday but that day...isn't today." Yugi turned away, burying his head into Yami's shoulder.
"I'm sorry, I failed you all...I let Zorc get away and I...made a choice that would sacrifice my friendship with you all."
Ryou was the first to step forward, tears brimming in his eyes, the pain obvious in his motion but his tenderness won through. "It's alright Yugi," the healer touched his friends shoulder, and gave it a firm squeeze, "you made the decision that was the right one."
"Hell he didn't," Seto clenched his fists tightly, "I have a wife, and a daughter... I have to get home!"
Seth grabbed his light, "Seto..."
"Don't touch me."
"Seto." Seth tried again, "please...I love them both as much as you do but we are a Priest first and foremost."
"Why," Seto snarled, pointing a finger towards Yugi, "why choose to strand us all here! We could have found the Stones again. I would have made it my life's work to do so if you told me!"
Yugi flinched and opened his mouth to speak, to apologise once more, but though it was his voice that answered, it wasn't what he had been intending to say and it didn't even come from his mouth.
"Actually, had he chosen the latter, you would never have returned home anyway, that was part of the game. By choosing to wish for something unselfish and for the safety of the universe, he guaranteed your safe passage and the survival of your galaxies future...one decision can impact everything and he made the right choice, even though he didn't know he was making the right one at the time. He went with what his heart told him to and his heart was tuned to the Shadows and the Shadows...well...they know."
Alternate reality Sol slapped his head from where he stood beside Jennifer, "oh I am so dead."
Yugi stared at the older version of the child in his arms, noticing that everyone in front of him was now starring over his head to someone behind by the balcony edge. Even Yami had tensed like a rake, his physical body becoming solid and stiff. Slowly Yugi turned and gasped aloud in the shock of seeing the beautiful figure a meter or so behind him.
He was looking at a mirror, a distorted one, one that looked into the future he was sure, for the face that smiled at him warmly had changes that his own currently did not have. Age. The face had age in its perfect skin and wide, purple eyes.
The young man stood somewhere between being otherworldly and grounded to reality. His hair had been woven into thousands of tiny plats, small golden beads weighing the hundreds of strands around his shoulders but even weighed down, the strands floated as though playing in water. He wore what would have been the equivalent of high-fashion Yugi was sure, in the form of white slacks thin around his bare, painted waist lined in intricate designs that vanished into the wrap around both chest and neck that flutter in the gentle Naboo breeze.
"It's me." Yugi grabbed Yami's arm, "Yami, it's me."
"I know..." Yami grinned suddenly, his amusement turned towards older Solomon still cringing backwards from the new arrival. "Busted." The Pharaoh chuckled.
"You can call me Aibou," Alternate Yugi smiled warmly at the stunned gathering, "saves us getting mixed up and that way Temu will know who we're referring too. He has this thing about alternate universes and other versions of me. He likes to think I'm his and his alone, you know, they get so territorial and all." He winked in Yugi's direction while pointing at Yami.
He couldn't understand why he found himself so much at ease. It felt so normal to suddenly be facing himself. Truthfully his life had become so bizarre.
Finding himself laughing Yugi covered his mouth, "yes, I get what you mean." He whispered and Yami glared with a sharp shine to his eyes.
"I think it has something to do with being a Pharaoh, glad to know yours does it too." Aibou sighed heavily as if in great despair before motioning behind at the gathering of swelling shadows slowly forming a solid body. "Look, there you go, he's coming already and it's only been one and half minutes."
"Temu?" Yugi whispered, grabbing Yami's hand tightly, "it's you, Yami."
"Technically yes," Aibou mused with a finger to his cheek, "technically no. He's an Emperor. Added to his ego that title did...I'm telling you..."
Yami mouthed the word and smiled faintly, obviously liking the sound of it on his lips. Yugi ribbed him with an elbow as the shadows finally became solid, forming a figure clad in rustic jeans and an oily shirt. He was wiping his hands upon the jeans, muttering something in a language none of them could understand.
Aibou snorted, folding arms firmly across his chest, "and you've been doing what, not playing with the mechanic girls again I hope?"
"No aibou, I was fixing that leak in the engine room, one moment." The Emperor paused and his image changed, the clothing shifting into an almost identical wear to the smaller of the pair.
"I don't know...I think I prefer you dirty."
"That was subtle aibou." The darker man raised an eyebrow.
"I do try." Aibou shrugged.
The Emperor looked around at the gathering, relishing in their oblivious, astounded and confused expressions until Yami gave a deflated puff of disappointment and broke everyone's dazes, "still short."
Temu shook his head, "no...not short, actually avenge, everyone else is tall. Aibou is short." He jutted a finger at the two Yugi's.
Aibou pouted and Yugi firmly planted a hand upon a hip, "excuse me?" They spoke in unison.
"Just saying it like it is." Temu shrugged.
"Okay! Whoa!" Jack waved his hands together and slapped them into a time-out gesture. "Who the hell are you two?"
"Come now, Jack, you've seen alternate reality's before. I am Yugi." Aibou smiled and gave a small bow from the waist, "and this is my version of Yami, or as he's known in our Federation, Emperor Temu." Aibou motioned to the darker version. "We are here to take you home. Our universe runs ahead of yours by a couple thousand years, give or take, therefore...the code Sam must crack, we have already cracked..."
The Major's eyes widened.
"...but, we can't tell it to you..."
Her shoulders slouched.
"Sorry Samantha, inter-universal-rules." Aibou wrinkled his nose and glanced around, "oh...hello Padme, sorry, this is a little odd for you. I'm sure Sha will explain it all later. I hope you both have a happy life together."
"Hey," Sha pouted, "no spoilers." The small Furling snapped a high-heeled boot upon the floor.
"Sorry Sha. Couldn't help myself." Aibou grinned.
"Whoa...wait, can we back up...just a bit before all start acting like best-friends." Sam held out both her hands. "Why wouldn't using the Stones to get us home have worked?" She stepped forward, her curiosity getting the better of her obviously as she fingered the Necklace.
Temu raised his blood red eyes, giving the Major a once over, a sparkle glittering in his gaze as if the alternate version knew something far beyond what she did. A smile graced his lips.
"The Four Great Races created them for the time when humans would be old enough to know the difference between wisdom and knowledge. The Stones were created as a test in the biggest game there is."
"Yep," Aibou clapped his hands together, "and you passed it, other me." He laughed in Yugi's direction while brushing back strands of his long fringe, trying to tuck them behind his ears. They kept fluttering in some illusionary wind, wind able to pick up the weighed down golden beads strung through the man's platted hair.
Yugi spluttered, "But...if it was a test, then how did Zorc use them. He escaped-."
Temu took up his hand, seeming to ignore Yami's small reaction of a jerking movement at the Emperors attention to his lighter half.
Yugi flushed, unable to tear his gaze away from the Emperors interlocking stare. He had always known Yami to be handsome, in the way a warrior of his time would have been; Tea had practically shouted it down his throat, but this older version was something else.
Yugi gulped back saliva, his mind racing in thoughts of just what that something else was.
"I promise you," the Emperor whispered softly, "he will never return to ever harm you again. He is gone forever, this time...forever."
Suddenly Yugi gasped and stepped back as his eyes widened. Both Bakura and Yami almost stepped forward warningly yet from a raise of the Emperors hands they stalled. The surprise across Yami's face at being ordered to stop by non other than himself was evident as the Pharaoh stalled in mid-stride.
"It was you! Your...it was your touch I kept feeling...you healed me, you...spoke to me...you were there!" Choking Yugi trembled as the Emperor bent, kissing his forehead. "Why? Why would you even care...? I'm not your...Yugi..."
The Emperor raised both eyebrows thoughtfully, glancing behind towards Aibou with a lingering gaze before he hummed as though considering his next words. "It isn't often that we run into universes running behind ours, what can I say, I'm an old romantic codger..."
"Got that right." Aibou laughed happily, "and you're my old codger. I own you."
Yugi felt a single tear trickle slowly down his cheek and the Emperor caught it then drew away, giving a tender smile as he included Yami in his gaze, returning to the issues at hand. "Zorc lost the game. When you open the Door the Stones provide, you must be aware that if you wish yourself away...what the word away actually means." The Emperor made mock quotation marks with his fingers. "The Ancients do not give leeway in their word definitions when translating it into other languages. They're a very static race in that sense...you have to be careful with the Ancients...we've made a few mistakes ourselves."
Yugi gasped in sudden realisation, "oh my gosh."
Aibou nodded, "he used the word right?"
"Yes! He did, he said 'Stones, take me away'...just...like I asked...the Stones to go...away...oh gosh..." Yugi covered his mouth.
Aibou waved his hands around, "and away Zorc went. Using the Stones takes great intelligence and understanding, the Four Races made them for those who, in the end, could make the choice between knowing everything and actual wisdom. There is a great difference. It was our downfall, we took the Stones from Zorc, therefore we caused him to become greater by not allowing him to learn the true value of wisdom."
"What did you do with yours then?" The Colonel folded his arms over his chest, raising a disbelieving eyebrow at the whole scene.
"Oh," the Emperor sighed heavily, titling back on his heels, "I knew that eventually Solomon would grow up into a naughty little Prince and want to get his hands on them, so to save myself the trouble I decided to destroy them for good. You know, for the sake of the universe and all. I flew into a sun and left them there...it was very pretty when the sun went super-nova." He cracked a narcissistic grin.
"No, it wasn't pretty; you destroyed a whole solar-system!" Aibou threw his arms sky-ward.
Temu shrugged casually. "It was uninhabited and it was fun...never been inside a sun before..."
"The Vulcan High Council did not see your point of view on the matter."
The Emperor snorted, folding arms firmly across his chest, "Well, excuse me for not asking their permission, maybe next time I'll just pop into one of their little meetings and inquire as to why they think they rule my Empire."
"It's a Federation, Temu, we're supposed to be friends."
"Then they should start acting like they give a damn."
"Don't use that tone on me." Aibou held up a finger, "or I will send you into the Puzzle for a time-out."
Sol gave a sudden laugh, "yeah, like that worked the last time Dad. You let him out early because you felt guilty...oh...crud."
Yugi felt himself grabbed, used a shield by the young man. He flinched, feeling his own stare as Aibou swung around, addressing Solomon as he hid behind his counter-parent.
"You," Aibou pointed at the youth, "young man, are grounded for five thousand years! Do you hear me, I'm going to lock you in a vault until you learn to not mess around with other universes."
From behind his protective barrier the young man called out, "Dad! You can't do that to me."
Aibou spun on his feet, "just watch me! Now, I'm going back to the Citadel, anyone who wants a lift, is welcome to join me. Malik, Seto...whichever one of you are controlling that fleet, tell them to cluster around the Citadel." He waved a dismissive hand.
Daniel and Malik both mouthed in glee, "Citadel"
"Yes, the big city floating in the sky, it'll be rather obvious. The Cit...a..del..." Aibou pointed to the sky.
The word itself sent a ripple through the group as they all turned to each other to hiss and whisper in delight and mild confusion. Aibou simply turned around and vanished in a sheen of shadows, to leave the Emperor standing alone with a slightly sour look over his chocolate brown skin.
Alternate reality Sol grabbed hold of the Emperor in a sudden desire of panic, "Dad, please, please...please give him a massage and change his mind! Please. Please. I don't want to be put in time out again! That Vault is cold and dark and there are only so many Lady Gaga songs I can put up with!"
The ancient king perked up an eyebrow, staring down at the young man gripping his arm tightly, large sodden eyes staring painfully up into his face.
He sighed heavily, "I'll think about it."
"Thank you!" Sol threw his arms high, "thank you!"
"But you have to promise not to go sneaking into your Uncles Laboratory. I swear if I had a heart, I would have had a heart attack when I found you missing...again..."
"Oh, no, I won't! I promise."
"Okay, I'll see what I can do tonight."
"Thank you Dad. I love you!" Sol attached himself to the Emperors waist, hugging him firmly. The ancient spirit gave a small sigh and patted the youth's head of fuzzed hair.
"Yes, yes, I know, I love you too...now come along, aibou is getting impatient. We've been here long enough." The Emperor cast his gaze towards Yami, "fifteen minutes at the max, then follow my Shadow Magic when you teleport. If you have gear, get it and come back here."
Yami nodded, while behind him, like bolts of lightning the group dispersed to run to their courters. "Thank you." The Pharaoh watched the Emperor give a mock salute before he too vanished just like Aibou had.
Yugi slowly glanced towards Yami as he took his head, "wow...you...end up being the soft one."
"Told you," Ryou added as he swung past them both, leading Anakin along, "the Pharaoh spoils him far too much and it looks like it never changes."
Yami snorted, "I do not spoil him."
"Oh, yes you do." Jack called out from dragging the Major through the doors.
"Shut up Jack, your part of my Court now...I can punish you." Yami shouted.
"Like to see you try." The Colonel whistled happily. "I've got a light who can foretell whenever something bad will happen to me and just me, so there!"
Yami rolled his eyes. "Sam just had to get attached to him, didn't she..."
Yugi giggled, "I'm happy."
"I know," Yami whispered, smiling down at his lighter half, "and that makes me happy. Here, take Sol, I'll grab our gear." The Pharaoh faded as he placed Sol into Yugi's arms.
Standing and looking around Yugi settled his eyes upon Sha, Obi-wan and Padme. He felt his chest tighten, knowing Sha's obvious look and manner of standing amongst those to be left behind meant only one thing.
"Sha...you're...not coming are you?" Yugi managed to choke out. "You're not coming home..."
The Furling glanced towards Padme, giving a smile in her direction before turning towards Yugi and wrapping his arms around the other. "There's an opening here for a Captain of the Guard."
Yugi buried his head firmly into the aliens' shoulder, "and well, this galaxy might need me for awhile...until things balance out."
Yugi forced a smile, "guess you're right and Padme really likes you."
Sha cracked a wild grin, revealing fanged teeth, "Yeah, cause I'm loveable and sexy!"
Yugi gave a laugh, reaching out, hugging the slender form tightly. He would miss him. His smile. His stupid childishness. His friendship.
"I'll miss you."
"Nah, you won't." Sha wiped away tears from his large yellow eyes, "you'll be too busy to miss me Yugi."
Padme wandered up to them both, she placed a hand upon Sha's shoulder. Yugi felt the sides of his lips perk up slightly at the sight. The young Queen pulled away and Yugi closed his eyes as she touched her forehead to his own in a Naboo blessing.
"Thank you." She whispered, "I owe you and all your people a great dept."
"Tell you what," Yugi beamed brightly, "look after him for me," he pointed to Sha in his humanoid form, "and we're even."
Ignoring the tears Yugi watched as Padme nodded. "I can do that."
The alien and queen linked hands. Sha gave a small, thoughtful frown before his large eyes widened. He clicked a finger and thumb together, sparking electricity at the movement.
"Oh, when you get back, can you tell my Dad I'm alright."
Yugi blinked, "how can I do that?"
Sha paused, looking thoughtful for a moment, "good point...come here." The Furling held out a hand and Yugi took it carefully, surprised by the sudden tug as Sha pulled him close, pressing their foreheads together.
Something inside his mind changed. It was small, as though a part of his brain that had been blank before suddenly flared to life. It was odd. It felt as though it was something he should have known all his life, because it was so natural to know. He jerked away and in his arms Sol gave a small giggle, wiggling happily.
"What...did you do?" Yugi whispered, touching his head with his free hand, the sensation of something prickling behind his skull, though not a headache, was slightly unnerving even as if faded away to leave a nice warm hum.
Sha bent forward, kissing his cheeks. "Gave you my songs. When you want me, sing for me and I'll come, because you are my friend. You can also call my Dad up, but don't do that unless he says you can or he'll...you know, kill you or something...er...yeah..." Sha scratched a long ear, "goodbye Yugi."
"Bye...Little Sam, thank you."
"Nah, thank you." Sha wrapped a long arm around Padme's shoulders. "I had a lark of a time."
Yugi turned to Obi-wan.
"Obi-wan...I...hope to see you again...but if not," Yugi offered him a hand, "look after yourself and this galaxy..."
"Likewise Yugi." The young Jedi Knight touched his hand, smiling, "may the Force be with you."
Yugi suddenly enveloped him in a hug and Obi-wan, though his expression shifted into shock for a moment, he relaxed and naturally embraced the light in return.
"Give my best to your Master, tell him that he's too good for this galaxy to loose and that he really, really should apply for being on the Jedi Council, he could change so many things...Obi-wan, don't fear change."
"You've taught me that Yugi." The young Jedi pulled away, "thank you."
Nodding Yugi looked at all three of them, trying to etch their faces into his memory.
The young light smiled suddenly.
His life really was strange.
Anakin watched as Ryou dashed around their room, piling things into one small bag. Bakura was doing the same, though in less of a hurried manner that his light. Anakin glanced towards R2D2 and patted the droid kindly as it beeped and squeaked.
A tear rolled down the boy's cheek and he quickly rubbed it away, though the action came too late. A hand touched his shoulder and he jerked up in surprise to find Bakura kneeling before him with a dark frown across his olive toned skin.
"Anakin? What is wrong? Why aren't you packing...?" The spirit passed him a cloth bag, one he had taken all the way from Tatooine, it had belonged to his mum, it still smelt like the spices of Tatooine.
"You...you mean?" Anakin gasped, "I'm coming with you!"
Confused Bakura blinked. "Yes."
"But...I belong here! This is my galaxy..." Anakin whispered, fingering the bag in his grasp, "don't I have to stay here?" His tears dribbled freely from his eyes and his thin young shoulders shook from the release of sudden emotion and relief.
"Oh, Anakin," Ryou crouched beside the boy and hugged him tenderly, "there is something about the future...it can be changed and I am going to change it. No," Ryou paused and touched Bakura's large, scarred hand, "we are going to change it. You will come and live with us; in my manor...you will be my son."
The lads eyes shone, the blue in them increasing to a sudden, bright, almost impossible shine as he threw his arms open and threw himself into Ryou's chest. "Really!"
"Yes," Ryou laughed softly, "really. I will never be able to have children, Anakin..." The healer soothed a gentle hand over Anakin's head, "because that is my curse...but...I am very...wealthy, in my world, my family is an old one and I have a lot of land and...no one to pass it onto." His chest tightened, "but I would be honoured if you would consider Bakura and I as your father."
"Oh, I do! I do!" The boy began to bounce, running around the room to grab his objects and placing them into his bag with vigour.
Ryou stood and turned towards Bakura. The ex-thief shrugged causally, seeming to hide something behind the twitch of his shoulders, "whatever makes you happy."
"Oh you," Ryou snorted, "you're just as happy about all this."
"I am not."
"I am not."
"I am not."
"Hide it all you want, my darkness, but I know you..."
"Yes, bother that is."
There was nothing more delightful than to feel Yami pull them through the shadow-realm into what felt like a cosy yet oddly cool environment, as though a flow of gentle air was being pushed past him. It almost as if he was in some kind of tubing, like a subway system, by the direction of the air and the sound of the others voices. He had his eyes closed and sensed the tingling sensation of re-entering the physical realm and part of him dared not open them as he heard gasps and loud explanations of surprise from the other members of the Court.
Yami's hand on his shoulder squeezed tightly and the Pharaoh whispered in a surprisingly astounded tone, "Aibou...you...you have to see this..."
Unable to contain the desire to keep his eyes closed Yugi opened them, allowing of a bright light to envelope his vision for a brief second before everything settled. His chest contracted as the air was pushed out of it from the overwhelming sight that he was welcomed to.
The light that he felt touch his cheeks and bare hands came from an overhanging ball high into the centre of a pristine dome that revealed the cold darkness of space beyond. The ball could have easily have been a miniature sun and just above it, something like a control room floated, with glass tubing like the one he stood within connecting it to towering skyscrapers scattered throughout a region of mountains and forests far, far below.
He only had to tilt his head down to stare at the transparent flooring under him to see the cascading rolls of green, lush flora. He snagged hold of Yami's arm in the sudden reaction to seeing nothing under him but thin air. The floor fazed at the movement, like a ripple over a clear pool of water.
"Oh...my..." Yugi breathed out, his chest released its tight clench on his lungs as muscles loosened. "This can't be possible."
"It is." Temu glided forward in a swell of shadows, "welcome to the Citadel. You've come during Spring," he chuckled as he waved a hand over the enormous domed city of linked silver sky-scrapers, "usually if you came in winter there would be rain and the view is less astounding."
"Is that a...a...stable fusion...reaction!" Sam's hands and face was pressed to the glass of the suspended tube, beside her Seto and Anakin had joined in the gawking of the miniature sun. Its light was an eerie glow, neither quite yellow nor orange, but more of a pale blue white. It did nothing to obscure the view of space outside.
"Indeed, it is. Our power source, allows me to rip through the Shadow Realm...oh, actually...I shouldn't say that should I?" Aibou laughed, the bright chime of the sound coming around from behind the Emperor. The smaller of the pair looked over them with a smirk at their fast-paced packing lying around them and awed expressions at the scene.
"That is...impossible?" Seto whispered hoarsely. "I...I...I wrote the plans but...it shouldn't be possible!" Seth swelled shadows beside his tainted light, the ancient Inventor jerked around towards the Emperor and his little light.
"We do it?"
"Well, our version of you did." Aibou shrugged, grabbing one of Yugi's bags and hoisting it over his shoulder before the younger could make a move to stop him. "Not sure if you will, that's for you to decide my dear Seth...now come along!" He motioned as he turned on bare feet. "It's a bit of a walk...but that's good for the soul. We won't jump into Shadow-Space until all your fleet has interlinked with the Citadel."
"Don't want to leave anyone behind." Temu chuckled, lifting another bag up, this time one that had been lingering beside Anakin. He gave the little boy's mop of dusty hair a tussle in silent, unspoken sadness.
"Good to see you again Anakin. Stay out of trouble this time...don't go all freaky Sith-ish." The Emperor smirked.
"I...um...I...I'll try, sir."
As a group they started down the long tube corridor towards one of the many towering silver sky-scrapers. Outside, briefly, though little flickers in the air, the movement of what looked like ships glided here and there, large reflective sails rippling like water. The floor under them, every time pressure touched it, it shimmered new, exciting colours, making the transparent floor light up like a constantly changing painting at the steps of their feet.
"You...you discovered a way around the Furling's problem of eventually becoming lost to the Shadow Realm?" Sam quickly scooted up beside the alternate reality versions, her brow furrowed in confusion as her mind buzzed with questions.
"Indeed, we did...took some time, but we did." Temu nodded slowly, pointing to the cube she'd hung around her neck, "Everything you need, my dear Samantha, is in that cube. You may spend forever trying to figure it out, but you will."
The Major almost pouted in a very uncharacteristic manner. "You won't tell us-."
Aibou laughed aloud, "oh come on, we're being naughty enough as it is giving you a lift home...but I figure," he leant upon a railing, raising his eyebrows, "if you guys have a chance to save your galaxy then what's the harm. We never made it home in time to save Earth but you guys will..."
"Something happened didn't it," Daniel held out a hand in sudden interjection, ignoring his wife's whisper for him to stall, "while you guys were fighting Zorc in the Starwars galaxy...something bad."
"Still as cluey as ever Daniel Jackson." Temu sighed and thinned his lips as he glanced around to the archaeologist Priest, "we can't tell you or we'll get chanced down by the Time Lords for disobeying inter-universal...things. Though, they're all dead...so...anyway, my point is...You'll need to figure it out yourselves but we've given you the chance to defeat Them, a chance I did not have. We will enjoy watching your universe...and I pray you will survive...we have seen many fall. I believe Solomon became saddened that this one would also fail, enough to risk my wrath to jump here and aid you."
The Emperor gave a long sigh, threading a hand through his hair, "he was watching events play out, and got attached to young Jennifer." He have a motion towards the young cadet as she walked along beside the floating Sol, running her hands over the see-through wall, obviously firing out questions to the Prince above her.
"He has my ability to get emotionally attached to things," Aibou muttered then gave a bright smile too the Priests, "but hey, good for you he did heh."
"Now, I have to go and get us started...I believe we're almost ready." Temu touched his lights shoulder, "take them to the left-wing look-out...they should be fine there. No sight-seeing."
"I know the drill." Aibou called out to the leaving Emperor who vanished in a whiff of shadows that danced over the floor like playful children until they too, faded away.
"What drill?" Jack chimed in mock mirth.
Aibou looked at him with a firm glare, a glare all in the group were sure had launched more ships than Helen of Troy.
"The drill that I will shove through your skull if you even so much as peep at anything that could affect your universes development. So, everyone, follow me...no one walk off! You can look at the pretty city but not touch it or take any of it...do...I...make...myself...clear?" The authority in his tone Yugi doubted he would ever manage to ever have. He stared at the alternate reality version of himself in confusion and silent awe. Would he ever be such a brilliant light?
\You already are aibou...\
Yugi crinkled his nose. He wasn't quite sure which version of Yami that comment came from.
Aibou lead them through corridors between pristine towers, the glass walls flickered with images, vaguely see-through to allow the sight of the seemingly ancient forest below were the towers of civilisation were intertwined. Small bodies could be seen walking here and there, as well as flying vessels taking off from landing pads, bright large sails glistening in the light of the artificial fusion reaction in the centre of the glass dome.
It was breathtaking and Yugi wanted to drink it all in, paste it in his mind forever as a memory of what he wanted to achieve for his own universe.
Like sheep, they were lead into the sky-scraper, practically a city of its own. They did not pass by anyone through the cascading hallways of running water that formed ever moving walls and pillars. Then finally, Aibou turned to crystal doors and waved a hand. They opened to a lookout bay and even as they entered, the warmth of the cosy environment was enough to bring smiles to their dazzled faces. Over a wide area, a platform has been created to view the gently glowing sun and the Citadel itself. Silently, one by one, they placed down their brought gear and turned to the large windows as curtains folded back and Abiou smiled, propping hands behind his back.
"Hold on, we're about to jump into Shadow Space!"
"Hold on?" Ryou spluttered.
"It's an expression Ryou." Aibou didn't turn to look at the white-haired English-lord. "And...one...two...three!"
Yugi grabbed hold of his stomach as a sudden swell of nausea overwhelmed him. By the looks of it, Ryou had the same reaction. Yami grasped his shoulder, despite the Pharaoh holding a suddenly scrambling and silently squealing Sol to his chest. The disruption was only brief, but Yugi felt every fibre inside burn, as if the cosmic light energy churning in his body was suddenly being consumed by an overwhelming engorgement of shadows. It passed, leaving him panting and feeling liquid light dribble from his eyes. A piece of cloth was pressed into his trembling finger tips and he looked up into the face of his alternate counter-part. Aibou brushed at Yugi's hair lightly.
"Sorry, had I warned you, it would have been worse...we're lights, so becoming enveloped in the Shadow Realm between spaces can be a little overwhelming. Yami should protect you, but if you...or...Ry...Ryou," Aibou coughed slightly, and once again, did not look in the direction of the other light, "feel anything odd, tell me and I'll have to take you to the protection chamber..."
"Over the top kind of feeling."
"Okay." Yugi nodded.
"Kid? You okay?" Jack called out suddenly from where he stood beside the Major, the woman busy manning some form of device pulled out of a bag she had carried all the way from Tatooine by the looks of it.
"Fine sir!" Yugi called back, glad, suddenly, that he was able to once more call the Colonel sir without it feeling as though it were wrong. They were heading back to normality, or, so he hoped. They were, at least, heading back home. That much was at least a given in some regard.
Yami tensed for a moment as shadows swelled and the Emperor's solid shape formed amongst the group. Every weary eye looked towards the regal king as he strolled towards his partner.
"We're on our way. We shall reach destination in about a day and a half." The Emperor glanced around the look-out chamber. His expression shifted, a small frown formed as he became aware of something lacking. He turned and spread a hand. "I'll have the maids bring you all bedding, I suggest you all try to sleep off fatigue and...Ry...Ryou..." The Emperor seemed to pause weakly for a moment, "ah...my healers will need to put Anakin through a couple tests, just to make sure he's clear of blood-diseases that might affect Earths population."
"Oh," Ryou looked at the tired boy, "yes, of course."
From one side Malik uneasily spoke up. "I'll need to inform my people of the time frame...so they don't panic." Malik anxiously rubbed his hands together.
"Sol will show you the communications panel. Solomon, show Mailk and Seto what they need to know." Temu inclined his head.
"Yes." Sol leapt into the air and levitated to the two Priests. "Come with me."
"As for the rest of you." Aibou clapped his hands, "bath, rest...play...whatever you feel like, but don't leave this..." He waved a hand, "area unless so escorted by me or gorgeous over there." He pointed to the Emperor. "Clear?"
Jack saluted with a roll of his eyes. "Can we eat something? Teal'c's stomach is telling me it needs to eat..."
"I believe, ColonelO'Niell that was your-."
"No, T buddy...I'm pretty sure it was yours."
Aibou gave a light chuckle, "We'll make sure you're all feed, don't you worry about that Colonel. Come, Yugi...come with me, other me." The alternate version placed a firm hand upon the younger's shoulder and Yugi flinched as he was suddenly transported, with Sol still in his arms. He heard Yami's confusion through their mind link, but the Pharaoh's immediate presence within the Puzzle soothed all horrifying thoughts and Yugi settled as his eyes became accustomed to a glow of a high chandelier in a ceiling of marble and glass.
He was somewhere private, some place that smelt like his own apartment even though it wasn't, by any stretch, his apartment but it must have been a place where his alternate version spent time. Time enough for his smell to be engraved into the fabric of the couches and curtains.
Yugi gazed around the courters in silent awe; the flickering curtains that surrounded a large round bed that was raised upon a platform of marble, near an open window were the blue light of the strange small sun filtered in to shimmer around the water pillars and ever changing ceiling of waves above him. A small, bubbling brook of some kind ran around like a mote the area of the bed and the small set up of chairs and a table near a pit where a crackling fire was lit.
Aibou walked over the water as though it were solid ground. "I'll grab you some twenty-first century clothes, you may keep those if you wish it." He pointed to the brook, "You and Sol are welcome to bath, dinner will be served soon after I believe, if the Colonel has anything to say about it. I'll come back to bring you to the look-out with the others...the bed is yours and Sol's for tonight."
Yugi stared around as he walked, not even noticing that his own feet didn't even slip into the water he walked over as he joined the strange, ethereal version of himself.
"Thank you...but...wouldn't it be better if I slept with the others..."
"I insist," Aibou laid out clothing upon the surface of the bed, clothes Yugi was sure he had simply pulled out of the thin air, "that you sleep here. You have experienced a lot in a short amount of time...the fight you had with Zorc overdosed you with Shadow Magic and we are in the Shadow Realm, you are younger and weaker than I am, the strain of being here will draw upon your light. I would prefer it if you were away from the other Items for as long as possible."
Yugi frowned. "I...don't understand."
Aibou turned towards him and sighed softly; he reached out and placed both hands upon the younger to squeeze firmly. "Let me make this as clear as I possibly can. You, and you alone, Yugi, are the mortal flesh of a powerful and ancient Pharaoh. Your half of that soul must, at all times, be able to bear the burden of drawing energy from the Shadow Realm to feed that protector that was born. The cosmic energy in you is a direct result of the Shadow Realms interference in the physical realm, your light cannot be tainted. The other Items draw Shadow Magic, if you're too much like a sponge you'll drink it in. So...until you figure out how to balance it all out, just be careful." Aibou flicked off imaginary dust from Yugi's shirt and shoulders. "Now, bath...dinner, rest...you'll be home soon."
The ancient light spun around, "and no hanky-panky." He waved a hand as he vanished in a swell of shadows.
"Hanky-panky?" Yugi spluttered, "what!"
Yugi awoke with a start. He jolted up in the large bed with a sudden gasp, half expecting to find himself dreaming and back within his old room inside Sha's house on Tatoonie. He touched his chest in sheer relief at the sight of the strange private courters, before he flopped back down rather dramatically upon the soft bed-covers. Beside to his left Sol was snuggled up tightly, sleeping quite soundly despite his parents movements.
Yugi turned around and encountered Yami's arm to his nose. He frowned at the cold feeling of the spirits skin. Warming it, he supposed, took more Shadow Magic, making it function, move, shift, change, act normal, it all took effort on Yami. The strength to simply keep a physical form in a realm such as theirs, he knew it was hard for the spirit. It hurt the spirit, a hurt deeper than physical pain, but Yami did it anyway.
"You should be in the Puzzle." Yugi shuffled around as Yami slipped his arm around the smaller. "Aibou said you needed to be there...to recover..." Yugi glanced down at the object in question, sensing it pulse as Yami trained a finger over its sharp side. The Pharaoh's finger dissolved into shadows and he flinched away from the Item that kept him functioning and bound to his light.
"I know...I spent most of the night resting. It was good." Yami gazed down at himself, "this body has been suffering with my lack of pulling Shadows from you. I keep getting bombarded with atoms." He made a dusting motion as if flicking something invisible away.
"I...don't want to over stress you aibou."
Yugi snorted and sat up, glaring at the king.
"I'm fine." He poked the Pharaoh's chest.
"Yes, says the man with the weeping wound in his side."
"Shut up." Shuffling around Yugi slung himself over the side of the bed and searched for the twenty-first century clothing provided for him. The sight of it and the feel of it in his hands told him reality would soon be returning, home was coming. He peered through his bed-tussled fringe at the dark spirit as Yami trailed fingers over Sol's sleeping face.
"I'm sorry Yami...I wish I was stronger for you."
"Don't be silly Yugi, you are all I need." Yami smiled, blood red eyes turning to stare at the lighter half of his soul. "You are the one who proved to the Shadows that we can rule. Do not doubt yourself..." The spirit vanished and Yugi closed his eyes as the Puzzle pulsed against his bare chest, it felt heavier.
\Our soul will forever be trying to get back together aibou, we may as well use the energy that comes from our inhuman existence to help other humans.\
\I guess...you have a point there.\ Yugi pulled on his pants and tugged on a long sleeved shirt, amused that it resembled something he would have worn in his high-school days. As soon as he turned to look to Sol, he noticed that lying beside the little boy a perfectly fitting outfit was there. Yugi bit his lips at the sight of it. How odd it was going to be, to see Sol, his little toddler, finally wearing Earth clothing again.
"Thank you...Aibou." He called out.
"You're welcome, other me!" The reply echoed through the room.
\Nice to know we're being watched...\ Yami chuckled mentally.
Yugi gazed around content faces as he sat beside Yami, the Pharaoh's dark presence an always comforting reminder of his own existence, that everything around him was, indeed, reality and not some dream. The table had been cleared by fast moving maidens, the breakfast consumed with vigour by the Court. Yugi frowned, he had to call them a Court now didn't he, for in truth, all those within him were part of the rulership that would someday, if all went to plan, carry the weight of their galaxy.
But he still wanted what they had once had, a part of him didn't want to change, the horrible change. How he despised change. He had despised it as a teenager and he still despised it as an adult and yet time itself was something that could not be stopped, even by Yami.
Slowly, through his damp blond fringe, Yugi looked across the low table towards Aibou. The oddly alien face was so much like his own, but still alien. The alternate reality of himself was scanning what possibly resembled a morning newspaper, only a far more futuristic version in the form of a hologram.
Temu reached over the smaller and flicked it off with a finger. Aibou frowned as the Emperor seated himself, pouring glasses.
"I was reading that?"
"I know, hence why I switched it off...have a conversation aibou, you don't get to meet alternate reality versions of yourself much. Discuss something with yourself, you'll enjoy it."
Yami chuckled, "I would say the same."
The two kings looked at each other for a moment in silence before they both smiled genuinely.
"What are we supposed to discuss?" Aibou waved a hand flamboyantly as Temu pressed a drink towards him.
"What do you have in common?"
"Well," Aibou looked to Yugi. "We're both the result of one soul being torn apart...we're..."
"Both clinically insane?" Yugi offered.
"Yeah..." Aibou jutted a finger, "yeah...that too..."
"How about Solomon?" Yami looked to the toddler in his partners lap.
Yugi smiled suddenly at the thought, "that's right! How did he happen for you!"
For a brief moment the older Yugi looked taken aback at the question, his expression dropped and he sat back into his low chair.
"Well...it's a bit of a long story..."
"We've got time." Yami smirked.
Aibou glared at him darkly, "it starts with a little green Furling and some Asgards problems with cloning and us discovering a dead race of aliens on this beautiful planet, their sun had suffered a giant solar flare..." The light explained, hands waving as he dived into the story. By the end, Yugi found himself staring at his counter-part in awe. Slowly the tale settled into his mind, lodged their as something that hadn't happened and he, for a moment, wondered if it ever would happen.
"You...seriously tripped onto a cloning machine." Yugi gaped, noticing that beside Aibou, Temu was having a rather difficult time not erupting into hysterics at the memory the conversation was bringing back.
Aibou sighed, sipping his drink as he leant back into his chair with a role of his hips. "Yep. What can I say, I'm a klutz. Jack is always telling me to slow down, don't run, try not to shot yourself, hey watch it kid, no Yugi don't do that...careful, you'll cut yourself. It gets a little patronizing...and Temu, stop smirking!"
"I wasn't smirking, I was smiling in mild amusement."
"They are the same thing when you're concerned...it's like Solomon saying hello is the same as Solomon flirting." Aibou pointed towards Yugi, "make sure your version of our child doesn't become a womaniser, honestly, I have no idea where he gets it from..."
"Your very good at it aibou." The Emperor muttered in slight annoyance.
Aibou snorted, folding back into his chair with his arms stoutly across his chest, "Yes, but I employ my charm and pretty chiasmic as a job, it's saved your backside countless times. Why else would I dress up if not to wiggle my way through a long boring negotiation sessions with some horrible stuck up diplomat who's more interested in my cute butt than what's being said."
Temu rolled his eyes. "I don't like it."
"You don't have to like it!" Aibou pouted, "it's a job and my job means being charismatic and likeable. You don't think I've got this far by just shaking hands do you?" He offered impishly, causing the Emperor beside him to flinch painfully.
"I'm going to kill that woman when we get home..."
"You're not messing up another diplomatic negation because I get hit on, behave! Anyway, it just proves that I've aged very well." Aibou raised his eyebrow, twisting in his seat and prodding the Emperors side with a bare-foot.
"Admit it, handsome, I'm the only reason you've got this far. Admit it, admit it."
Temu shook his head, giving a wiry smile, "I'll admit it, aibou, when you admit the eruption of Io was your fault. Poor Jupiter's never been the same without that moon..."
Aibou stopped prodding the king, blinked and winced. "I had nothing to do with that! That was eight-hundred years ago, why are you still larking on about that."
Yugi laughed at the image of the two across from him, "so...this is what we're going to be?" He gave Yami a gaze.
Shifting his attention, issuing Temu one last poke with his toes, Aibou shook his head, "we have seen many different variations...you're actually the closest we've met, funnily enough..." He scratched the back of his neck for a moment, his mind obviously drifting in thought.
"Oh..." Yugi frowned, "really...wonder what other kinds of us are out there?"
"You'd be surprised." Temu sipped his drink, "the possibilities being as endless as they are. Aibou, come back to earth please..."
"Hmmm, sorry..." Aibou shifted in his seat, looking to Yugi, "so how did Solomon happen for you then, if not by being a total klutz?"
Humming softly Yugi stared down at the child in Yami's lap, having aged so much since their adventure had begun and yet still so small and fragile. His eyes while awake already held understanding and intelligence, with self-awareness having been established some time ago. Their little clone was growing up and his heart ached for a moment, knowing that one day he'd be as old as the youth that was currently tied up with Jennifer across the large hall.
"An insane Asgarud was working with Anubis and he kidnapped me. Anubis was trying to make the perfect host, and Shadow Magic could increase the power of his clone army...so...long story short, insane Asguard cloned me and hey...presto, little me."
"See, now that is so much cooler than tripping over." Aibou sighed heavily.
"I don't know," Temu wrapped an arm around his lights shoulder, "it just proves you're very much unique, aibou."
"I'm unique because I fall over and have a baby due to that?"
"As Kala would say, 'it beats having labour for twelve hours.'"
"Okay, good point."
Yugi laughed, "she said that...wow, that actually sounds like something she'd say."
"Go Fish." Aibou slapped his hands together.
Yugi grinned, "I love that game."
"Oh, fantastic...let's see what-else is similar!" Aibou bent forward.
"Typical, you get two Yugi's together and they play a game..." Temu grumbled, tapping fingers on the table.
Aibou glanced in his direction, raising an eyebrow in question.
"Well, what would you like to do with two Yugi's?"
Temu grinned, sitting up suddenly, "I can think of numerous things-."
"All in which probably involve being naked." Aibou stated, "Therefore won't be happening." He poked the Emperor hard in the side, making him wince.
Temu rolled his eyes to one side, "spoil-sport..."
"Behave, my darkness."
"Oh, but behaving is so boring..." The Emperor waved a hand, "if I behaved you'd have nothing to do with all your free time."
"What free time?" Aibou snorted, "I'm immortal and I don't seem to have any time anymore."
The floor under them all shifted suddenly as though a wave had vibrated through it. The Emperor raised an eyebrow suddenly and corked his head to one side as if waiting for something in implode. Instead a voice called through the hall, making all within turn in all directions to pin-point the location of the voice.
'Approaching Destination, can the Emperor please make himself available at the Bridge."
"That's my cue," Temu stood, changing in an instant from the smirking playful side to the regal ancient warrior king, "I'll meet you in the Transporter room." He squeezed Abiou's shoulder before vanishing in a swelling of shadows.
Yugi raised his eyebrows as Aibou stood slowly, giving a long stretch, causing his tattooed mid-riff to show.
"I really hope that's not...real..."
"No...it's not, its painted. Can't taint my body with the real deal, even if I wanted to...these are cultural symbols for a planet I was debating a treaty with, before Sol ran off and I had to run after him."
Yugi passed Sol to Yami, taking a moment to frown at his alternate self's words. "Taint? My gosh, are you for real? What else can't I do?"
Aibou paused, "you just need to be careful, other me, that is all, to act in the knowledge that you are the light of balance. Everything you do has some effect, some kind of ripple effect on everything and everyone around you." Aibou touched his shoulder, "and remember this...please...remember this..."
Yugi tensed, sensing suddenly he was being told something of value, something that he had to wedge into his memory.
"You can give a blessing, as a light, but never...ever...under any circumstances, let a kiss be stolen from you. Give as much as you want, but you will be tainted if it is taken from you. For the sake of everyone you hold dear, make sure you protect yourself. Please." The light eyes firmly settled upon him and Yugi felt a strand of his fringe being brushed aside.
Yugi nodded slowly. "I...I will..."
"Good." Aibou's manner changed as his whole body tipped, and he shouted, "Oie, you lot!" He waved a hand and Yugi looked around to the others within the large royal hall, "we're almost home, come on, follow me please. Oh, and Seto...or Malik, whichever one of you lunatics are in charge of the fine fleet you have, please inform them we'll be dropping out of Shadow-Space in a few short moments. They'll find Earth directly in front of them. Try not to run into the pretty blue planet, its the only one you have. Blasted things don't come like apples on a tree you know. Took us eighteen years to find another one and do you know what Jack called it! He called it Bob! Bob! I mean come on, you don't call a planet BOB!" Aibou swung out the room, his voice carrying down the corridor.
Yugi glanced towards the Colonel, who was grinning widely.
"Please, Colonel, tell me you won't ever call a planet Bob."
"I like it."
The hum of excitement was like electricity through the group. Earth could be seen under their feet, through the bare floor of what must have been, by sheer power of deduction, the transporter room. Yugi tipped from side to side on his feet, Sol wiggling in his arms, the boy seeming to sense the rising hope and relief amongst all adults that their long adventure was finally coming to a close. Aibou shoved through them, pointing to both Malik and Seto.
"Alright, you two, you're going back to your ships pronto. Step up here please..."
Malik nodded and reached for Kala's hand, leading her towards a blue platform. The young woman hesitantly followed. Yugi beamed at her, mouthing 'thank you' in her direction. She shrugged, giving a wink as Malik's arm folded around her waist, the strong Egyptian warrior smirking delightfully. Seto could only stroll forward in his regal manner, his dark tone revealing his none-too happy vibe about the whole deal. No amount of 'thank you' Seto seemed to pull the wool over the tainted lights eyes.
"Right," Aibou clapped hands, "both of you, don't get your ships into trouble out there. Seto, Seth, both of you just get home as soon as you can, seriously, Serenity will make you feel better. Wives are there for that reason...shoo, shoo, before you crack a whole in my floor with your sheer bad mood." The light waved a hand and the floor fazed into whiffs of light, folding around the three bodies to disperse them through the air and they vanished.
Yugi frowned. "Why not just use a Shadow-portal?"
"Because, little me," Aibou glanced around towards him, "the Shadows can be temperamental some times, best stick with beaming technology when you can when transporting other people without a dark lord leading the Shadow-pull. Us, all, on the other hand, will be travelling via-shadow portal as soon as my other half arrives. Major, dear, did you manage to inform the General of your arrival?"
Sam nodded. "Yes, I did. He's expecting us."
"Good." Temu swelled up in shadows, gazing at them all, their gear and harrowed faces ready for home. "Lets get you all back on solid ground." He offered with a cheerful wink and spread his hands. Yugi winced, leaning into Yami's chest to cover Sol between them both as shadows wrapped around the team, dragging them through what felt like thick water, through into a dim bright light and a familiar scent of the underground base of the SGC. Yugi's lips parted, praying suddenly that it wasn't a dream.
That taste had to be real.
The General's voice had to be real.
The young man opened his eyes, staring into the proud and relieved face of General Hammond as he looked at them in faint confusion, then slowly towards the identical pairing. He didn't seem all that surprised, Yugi summarised inwardly, but then again, with all SG1 had been through, the General had seen many things, this was simply adding to the list.
"We're home!" The Major gasped, staring around the briefing room, everything in place as they recalled. Below the Stargate was visible through the large windows, with air-personnel wandering between shifts and an SG team preparing for departure.
Jack pointed to the ancient device.
"Sir," Daniel stepped forward, "I delight to report that we have returned with the missing members of SG1."
"And extra." The General chuckled towards Aibou and Temu, "I am guessing you are his parent?" The old man gave a jab of a thumb towards the older Sol, as he floated beside Jennifer.
"Sadly, yes." Aibou sighed heavily in jest, "he is mine."
The ancient Emperor was smiling in silence, the fond gaze in his black, stark eyes obvious as he studied every knock and cranny of the grey room. "I am glad," he whispered in an almost choked manner, "that we have been able to make sure you returned...we never did."
Aibou looked sadly towards his shadow and reached out, touching his arm, "Temu..."
"What do you mean?" Yugi stepped forward, the emotions radiating from the Emperor ones he had never expected to feel from any version of Yami, such intense emotions of regret he had only ever felt the Pharaoh feel when recalling the time his lighter-half of their soul had been locked away. It was a painful emotion of such self-loathing regret.
"You never made it home." Yugi spluttered.
Aibou kissed the Emperors hand lightly before glancing around and scratched his head worriedly, seeming to debate inside on how much to say. "We made it home...perse, eventually...but what home there was remaining was not the one we had left."
"What about us?" Confused Sam stepped forward, "What did you mean," she looked to Temu, "that we'd not have ever returned home? If you'd figured it out, why couldn't we have?"
Temu shook his head sadly, his black eyes growing dim, "yes, Samantha, you would have figured it out...but we were lucky in a way. A strange, terrible way..." He gave a motion towards Bakura and Ryou, "Our universes Bakura and Ryou did not journey with us to the other galaxy...therefore...when They came, there was someone left behind who could fight Them. I lost..." Temu's voice choked slightly.
Aibou's hand touched his arm worriedly again as the Emperor spoke painfully. "I lost my best-friend and strongest advocate to Them but he kept Earth alive...he never gave up that I would return. When I did, there was something for me to save...for you...without Bakura here, Earth would have fallen to Them. Therefore, even if you had managed to crack the Furlings technology, you would never have made it home, for there would have been no home."
Temu threaded a hand through his waves of hair, "you," he looked to Yami, "have a chance now to fight, a chance I never had. The future of your universe will now differ from my own. Make it worth it, young one." The Emperor took Aibou's hand and glanced towards Sol, "come, Solomon, its time to go home."
"Who are They?" Yugi quickly inquired.
Aibou shook his head, "I'm sorry, other me, we cannot tell you that or They will know and come sooner than They should. Just know, your adventure is not over...it has barely begun. Solomon, I'm giving you the count of three to get your skinny cloned backside over here!"
Sol's nodded slowly and glanced towards Jennifer. He held out a hand towards her. "Thank you, Jennifer, it was an honour to fight beside you again." His eyes shined and Jennifer frowned in confusion at the odd shine in them.
Carefully she shook his hand and gasped as he suddenly yanked her forward into a hug and a strangely satisfying kiss. The briefing room went dead silent.
Slowly Sol pulled away, smiling gently as he rubbed a hand gently through the young cadet's hair. "Don't worry, I'll see you again." He winked and vanished in a whiff of shadows to appear beside Temu and Aibou. The Emperor gave a roll of his eyes, firmly clapping the youth over the back of his head with a hand before giving him a wide grin and wrapping his arm over the teens shoulder. The youth gave a sheepish grin at his parental figure.
"Farwell," Aibou laughed, "may our paths cross again. I look forward to your future..."
Yugi blinked as shadows wavered across the briefing room floor, gathering around the three until they were consumed and gone. Slowly he glanced towards Jennifer, still standing dumb-founded, her hand to her lips.
She moved suddenly, "oh my gosh, he just kissed me!"
"Someone's reaction time is a little slow," Jack chuckled.
"Shut up!" Jennifer shouted, "Major Yugi! Your son just kissed me!"
Raising both eyebrow Yugi shrugged, "well, looks like you're going to be sticking around the SGC for awhile then heh."
"Yes," Yami wrapped an arm around Yugi's shoulder, smiling towards Jennifer as she blushed furiously, "something tells me you'll be meeting him again, Jennifer."
"I...I...hope...so..." She gasped, "I mean...um...oh gosh." She buried her head into her hands at the laughter around the briefing room.
Then slowly, everything faded into silence.
"Well," Ryou glanced around with some distain at the silent faces he had become so familiar with, "I'm going home!" He hoisted Anakin up into his arms, "and I'm going to worship my Butler! I never imagined I'd miss him so badly! See you all later." The light turned to Bakura.
The ancient spirit inclined his head towards Yami in leave, waving a hand in a rise of shadows and they vanished.
"General..." Yugi smiled and enveloped the man in a warm hug. The grandfatherly man chuckled warmly and gently gave the smaller light a tender squeeze before releasing him and turning to gaze over SG1.
"Though we have a lot to discuss, I am sure, take a few days off, all of you...get requited with Earth. Business and politics' can wait to later...although, I will admit...we did a rather good job covering this all up."
"What all up?" Confused Jack looked around, "I thought...we've just been missing in action? Right?"
The General shook his head, "don't worry, leave it for now Colonel, go home and...relax."
"Sounds like a plan." Jack gave the General a thumbs up.
He looked to Teal'c, "Come on T bubby, you can crash at my place. Daniel, I am not going to discuss with anything that happened...go...ask Carter."
"I'm not either," Sam threw up her hands and practically ran from the briefing room.
Daniel sighed heavily in relief and looked to his wife, "home dear?"
Ishziu nodded. "I wish you all well." She turned to Yami, "my lord Pharaoh, I am relieved you and yours are well."
"Thank you, Ishziu." Yami inclined his head to the dark Priestess as she linked arms with her partner and they headed from the room.
"Come on cadet." Yugi took Jennifer's hand, the young girl still blushing furiously, "lets get you back to the Academy...you've had one heck of an adventure."
She nodded weakly.
Giving one final wave to the rest Yugi sensed Yami's pull through the Shadow Realm. It was good to be home, to know the Pharaoh could so easily use the Realm in their own galaxy without fear or restriction. His darkness was free here, chained only to him and him alone.
Jennifer stared at the dark, foreboding Academy that loomed in front of her. It was dark, she had returned to her familiar world at night and here, everything felt eerie. She was half expecting Sol to pop up suddenly but as the moments dragged on, he did not come.
A tear dribbled down her cheek. A soft finger tip caught it and rubbed it away as Major Yugi's face came into view. He passed her a note.
"Here, this is to explain to General Kerrigan that you've been off with me on a field-trip. Pass it at the door."
Jennifer stared at the paper. She sucked in her chest and nodded stoutly.
Yugi chuckled and nodded as he gave her a hug around his shoulders, his step up on the stairs into the main Academy building giving the height to manage it. "Some field-trip indeed." He added softly.
"He...Sol...I mean...do you think..."
"That you'll met him again?" Yugi shrugged, "I don't know cadet, I really don't know but..." He watched as the young cadet slid down to sit upon the cold steps under the dim street lights. "There is one thing I have always tried to live by," he breathed in deeply, feeling the bandage around his wounded chest tighten at the movement, "that anything is possible. Live with some hope." He offered softly, "that the impossible can be possible. I mean, who would thought that a couple weeks ago, you would have actually have even met him."
She nodded weakly. "Yeah...I guess so."
In silence they mauled over thoughts until Yugi noticed the young girl shift uneasily and her emotions turned in turmoil again.
"How am I supposed to live...knowing that out there...is so much more. I won't be able to sit in class and listen to hogwash and when Brown complains about her brother's girl-friend...how can I take that! Everything will feel pointless..." Jennifer whispered hoarsely. She swiped back her fringe.
Yugi seated himself on the steps into the silent Academy beside her. The night sky above shinned with very dim stars, the lights of the city to bright to show the true beauty of space. He placed a hand upon her knee and gave it a squeeze.
"It will feel pointless for awhile." He nodded in agreement. "After my first adventure, when my Grandfather's soul was taken and I had to get it back, for a while I kind of walked around in a daze. My whole group did. We had seen things and he knew things that no one else had seen or knew. We couldn't share to the world that we knew of another Realm, of Soul-Stealing Duel Cards and ancient technology that had torn apart souls. What was I supposed to say..." Yugi looked towards her with a tender smile, "...to a random classmate was complaining about something that I felt was so trivial? So many times I wanted to shout at them, tell them their lives were nothing compared to the splendour out there. I wanted to believe that if they, just once, caught on a glimmer of what was possible they'd stop being so damned selfish and snivelly. I mean, I had just saved the world...with a card game?" He smirked at her small laugh. "There aren't too many people who can say they've saved the world with a card game..."
"What did you do, in the end, how did you cope?"
"It helped, I'll admit, that we were a group, we grew closer, Tea would come around and lie on my bed...Joey and Tristan would take the floor, we'd talk about it, all night sometimes...but even so, people frustrated me for a long time, until I realised." Yugi sighed and looked skyward again, "I was being selfish too. Just because someone else's problem didn't feel as big as my own, didn't mean it wasn't as important to them as me saving the world." He took her hand in his own. "Jennifer, you have seen, you have experienced something out of this world but don't let that harden you to the problems of other people around you. Yes, things are going to feel pointless for a time but use that pointless feeling to drive onward." He stood and dusted off the back of his pants, "and remember," he winked as he twirled away, "you've got a rather large group of people who know what it feels like. One day, you'll take your place...I look forward to working with you, Cadet Jennifer Haley." With a swing Yugi turned to walk down the path, hands shoved into the pockets of his jacket. He smiled as he listened to the young woman enter the apartments of the Academy, he didn't turn to watch her go, instead set his eyes upon the street lights of the dark night, no longer afraid of the darkness that enveloped the Earth.
In that darkness, he had finally become the brightest of lights.
The street light above him flickered and Yugi glanced upwards. He frowned and held up a hand, centring energy upon it for a moment. It crackled and fizzed, becoming brighter once more.
"You know, people may one day come here and stare at the street-light that won't ever go out, even in a black out, because you decided to bless it?" Yami's deep tone made him smirk and he tipped around, spying the Pharaoh leaning upon a nearby mail-box, Sol propped on his hip and a MacDonald's take-away bag in his other free hand.
"It is in the extraordinary things, the unexplainable things, that the human soul delights." Yugi took the take-away bag from the Pharaoh and slipped his hand into the cool touch of the spirit. "What else did God create the universe for, if not for the marvel of it being there?"
Yami chuckled, "you, aibou, are defiantly extraordinary."
"Well, I have to be," Yugi playfully pressed a fist to the king's chest, "I came from you and we make one very unexplainable thing."
Yugi sighed heavily, dragging the shopping bags through the door of the apartment and shoving it shut to ward out the warm air. He relished in the air-conditioning pumping form the ducks in the ceiling and sighed with relief as he stood under one for a moment before heaving up both bags to slide them onto the counter and round it into the kitchen. It was strange how easily he could mundanely slip into the task of shopping and knowing where everything in his apartment was when they had been away for longer than a year. He winced as the fabric of his loose tank-top twisted on his still healing side and he pouted as he glanced down at the sight of blood bleeding through the bandaging.
"Great...how long has that been leaking..." He hissed and scrambled around the top shelf of a sign of the first-aid kit. It wasn't there, not at least where he could reach. "Where did I put the stool...?"
From somewhere down the small passage into the bedrooms he heard a thump of little feet banging upon the carpet and Sol tore into the kitchen, grin alight across his face. The toddler threw up both arms and grabbed him around the legs.
Yugi grasped the kitchen bench in support. "Hey, missed me that much did you? Have fun at the SGC?"
Sol only frowned in silence before he grinned again and tore back down the small passage, making thumps on the floor as his little booted feet slapped down. Yugi blinked after him then turned back around, "Stool first, Sol later." He encountered Yami's chest in his face and frowned as the Pharaoh handed him the first-aid kit.
"You do realise aibou, you could easily have just asked the first-aid kit to appear before you and it would have." The Pharaoh raised both eyebrows in jest.
Yugi rolled his eyes. "I do not want to get fat and lazy just because I have the ability to manipulate this realm of existence to some extent."
Yami chuckled, "fat and lazy? Yugi, it would be inhumanly impossible for you to get fat or lazy..."
"I've put on four kilograms in the last week." Propping the kit down upon the bench Yugi pulled it open to sort through the contents.
"Good, I won't have to worry about feeling your ribs when I hug you." The Pharaoh gave the young man a once over, "you need to be careful aibou..."
"I'm trying Yami." Yugi offered.
"I know aibou, but I worry..."
"Yes, it's a habit of yours." The light laughed softly.
Yami glanced around the passage. "Solomon! Come and tell Dad what Uncle Jack did to the Senator today?"
Little feet pattered down the passage again and Sol appeared, a large Pikachu in tow. Yugi stared at the Pokemon in confusion.
"That's a Pokemon?"
"Yes, Seth gave it to him, he thought it would be safer is Sol got attached to something other than Duel Monsters. He noticed that their daughter, Maddie, when coming in contact with something that has to do with a Duel Monster there is an obvious flux of energy."
"Something like that."
"Bet Seto's miffed."
"If he was, he wasn't showing it...no, I take that back, he was very good with the Senator today. I almost laughed, which would have been highly inappropriate now that I think about it. I should have laughed, just for the heck of it." The Pharaoh mused, rubbing the scruff of hair on his chin.
Yugi began unwrapping his waist, cleaning the leaking wound Zorc had inflicted; he doubted it would simply just vanish, even with Ryou and Janet fussing over him. "Senator Kinsey. Did he cause too much trouble?"
"A little bit...more of a confusion about the earth quake in Egypt and that Earth now has a fleet of ancient ships living in orbit." Yami shrugged. "But trust me, it was cleared up, he doesn't really know what happened, just that something did happen...oh, the SGC got its funding reinstated...that new President is very nice." The Pharaoh nodded thoughtfully, "I must find a way to meet him."
"Then I guess," Yugi rebound the wound and looked up to the spirit, "SG1 is back on rotation?"
Yami shrugged and plucked Sol off the ground as the toddler began to bounce in his usual manner of getting attention from either side of his parent. "Pretty much, if Janet clears you for duty, that is...otherwise its more bed rest for you."
Yugi nodded and turned around, his brow furrowing slightly as he moved to unpack the shopping. "That's good..." He whispered. "That's...good. Jack will be happy to be doing something more along his line again."
The dark spirit didn't comment, instead, switched from work related discussion to the boy hanging in his arms. "I'm taking Sol to the park to meet with the Bakura's...as promised...and I told Sol I'd take him early if he was a good lad and he was." Yami smirked, rubbing the toddlers nose with his own, "you were very good for Pharaoh weren't you?"
Yugi laughed softly up at the scene from where he knelt, packing milk into the pantry. He smiled as Sol began to nod vigorously in agreement.
The young man dared to crouch lower, managing to squeeze the last few milk containers into a small space. "That's fine. I got some phone-calls to make." He stood and waved them both to the door, "go, go, spend some quality time together doing un-SGC things."
"Aibou?" Yami brought his face closer to the others.
"What?" Yugi scrunched up his nose as it was kissed lightly.
"I'll see you later, join me when you can." The Pharaoh slipped out the door and Yugi glared at it as it closed.
"Very funny, Yami." He stomped off, grumbling as he picked up random toys from the floor, "I need a holiday." He hissed. "A real one...where the world or galaxy doesn't need saving." Something squeaked under his foot and he glanced down to notice one of Sol's many new toys. The young man sighed, grabbed it and stared at it, then slowly he looked around the living room, surveying the television, Yami's couch and his own beside it. Sol's little Elmo seat and the unhung painting Kala had given them. Slowly Yugi pressed himself against the wall and slid down to sit upon the carpet. He bowed his head and gave a soft sob. The tears flowed and he let them, watched the brightly glowing droplet seep into his fake torn pants to leave shimmering patches. He curled up tighter as the sobs grew stronger, finally shaking his body.
Yami watched as Sol and Anakin played quite happily upon the playground of the parklands near their apartment building. It was still strange, getting use to the sensation of being back in a place where his Shadow Magic was unlimited. Earth was more than a home, it was a territory, a place he as a dark creature of ancient deviance owned and protected.
Just thinking of a new threat made his illusionary skin crawl and shadows twirl between his fingers.
His eyes, however, kept flicking back towards the apartment only to return to the sight of the two boys happily muddling around in the sand-pit building what looked like a version of R2D2.
The real R2D2 was by the table under a nearby tree, set up with dinner by a fussing Ryou. Now that the sun was drifting down the hot temperature was dropping away to leave a nice cool afternoon for them all to enjoy Earth once more. It felt like the first time he had been allowed to stop and breathe since the tests, talks and discussions had begun at the beginning of the week. It was little wonder that Yugi had finally collapsed from it all.
"I can watch Sol if you want to go to him?" Bakura looked up over his black bible and raised an eyebrow at the Pharaoh.
"No, it's alright." Yami scratched at his rough stubbled chin, "he needs the time alone...he's been surrounded by people all week. He'll feel better when he cries it all out."
"Men shouldn't cry." Bakura turned back to his book.
"Yugi does, it keeps him human."
"Fair enough point." The ex-thief suddenly sighed and looked towards Ryou as the English-lord happily manned the barbeque, R2D2 beside him, turning one scapular to aid in the cooking.
"He's doing it again..."
"What?" Yami looked to the white-haired English-lord.
"He's quoting William Shakespeare in his head; it stops me from reading his thoughts. Stupid lights, always figuring out ways to get around mind links..."
Yami chuckled and rose to his feet from the bench. His mind prickled and he closed his eyes for a moment, sensing Yugi's mood shift. His despair was over and the inner emotions had settled to some extent, enough that the young man was now pattering silently on about the state of the bedroom wardrobe.
The Pharaoh smiled in relief.
\You coming for dinner?\
\Will be down soon, just have to...sort out the...where did my...I found it, I'll be down soon.\
Folding his arms back over the park bench Yami crossed one leg over the other, watching the fabric of his false form stretch in such a realistic way. On Earth, his form was easier to maintain and he could not deny that he felt stronger, almost oddly fitter, yes, fitter would have been the equivalent mortal word. He frowned as he held out a hand, watching the sunlight play over the skin. He the fingers and noted to movements of tendons under the skin. None of it was real, no matter how perfect he could create the illusion, what he was still had no heart beat and no life.
"I've been able to hear it..." Bakura suddenly spoke, though the ex-thief did not turn up from his reading, "ever since we got back."
"Hear what?" Yami flicked his gaze back to Sol and gave the boy a wave as the toddler sought for adult conformation.
"The song of the turning galaxy, the shifting earth, the whatever the heck you want to call it? The annoying Ancient woman on Tatooine did something to me."
"No, Bakura." Yami poked his friends large bare shoulder, "we've just grown into our true nature as dark lords and I am sure that we shall continue to grow and become stronger. This universe is never ending and therefore, there shall always be something for us to learn."
"Very poetic your royal highness."
Yami didn't answer the faint jibe in the ex-thief's tone, instead he caught Sol as the tiny boy managed to run into his legs, latching on tightly.
Yami smiled and spoke slowly, with deliberate ease. "Yes Sol?"
"I..." The little boy frowned and held out his hands, making a sign.
Yami kissed his cheek, congratulating him on the effort of trying to speak. "I love you too."
Yami listened acutely to the sound of Yugi in the kitchen, packing what remained of the evening dinner in the park into the fringe while managing to somehow speak on the phone at the same time. On his position upon their bed he could sense every movement in the apartment. Sol was sleeping soundly, but for how long that was a question, the child had woken every night since they had returned, come running into the master bedroom with silent tears. It was going to take at least a couple months for the toddler to become accustomed to sleeping in his own room, in a larger bed without either the presence of Sha around or the sound of a space-ship.
Yami sighed heavily, shuffling the covers to gain a better position.
Through the closed door he heard Yugi slap down the phone, kick close a cupboard and patter down the hallway, check Sol, and finally the door handle turned and the light slid into the small bedroom, clipping the door closed after him. He rested against the wooden surface for a moment.
Yami peaked over the top of his magazine to stare at his other-self in mild amusement. It was such a strange thing; to think that that young man could look so wonderfully tussled and delightfully beautiful like an ethereal creature while appearing so exhausted and harrowed.
"Hmmm," Yugi yawned and slinked towards the bed, "got a wedding to plan...two of them by the sound of it. Kala's finally giving into Malik." He fell into the bed covers.
Yami peered over the top of his Time magazine to gaze at him thoughtfully as the smaller lay over his legs in a flopped out position.
"Two?" The Pharaoh inquired.
"Yeah, from the sound of Grandpa over the phone, he's going to pop the question to Emily any day now."
Yami chuckled, turning back to his reading, something he had greatly missed on their far away travel, "they deserve happiness."
"Do we?" The question slipped out and Yugi rolled around the lie upon his back, gazing at the ceiling, counting the cracks silently. It was strange, now that he was home in his unchanged, little apartment, everything felt alien.
The fabric of his bed, though it smelt distinctively like Yami's herbal-mummification smell, wasn't the same kind of material he had become use to. The kitchen appliances had taken him aback slightly, the very idea that he had to boil his water with a kettle had almost made him laugh.
Now, he was lying in his bed, like he had done so many times before, listening to the rustling of Yami turning the pages of his beloved Time magazines. This was home, but why didn't it feel like home.
Yami placed his magazine down, knowing with some distain that his lighter half was not going to sleep, he could feel the other's wakefulness from the Puzzle lying idly upon the young man's chest. Carefully he reached out and brushed back Yugi's fringe worriedly, his rough figures making the young man contort his nose at the sensation of the war-hardened finger-tips.
"What do you mean by that aibou? Are you not happy?" Yami murmured darkly. He mentally reached out, searching the light for any sign of depression or gloom. There was none. The Puzzle pulsed and Yugi raised an eyebrow at the Pharaoh. "Restless?" He whispered, reaching up a hand and stroking a corner of the Puzzle.
Yami's physical form shimmered and he pointed at the mortal side of their soul, "don't do that when I'm in this mood...that Puzzle is about as sensitive as your neck is."
Yugi pouted, "shhh...no bedroom talk, or I'll kick you out."
"We're in the bedroom and...just...answer my question...are you not happy? Explain to me why you are pondering this so, aibou, so I can change it."
"I am happy Yami," Yugi smiled at the ceiling, "I've got you...Solomon...friends and family, a roof over my head, a cracked one...you'll need to do something about that..."
"I'll fix it later, it's not like it's going to fall on us...just yet." Yami glanced back at his reading, giving a too-human sigh as he licked a finger, turning a page.
"It's just," Yugi continued in some frustration, "we're back here on Earth...and now what? Apparently there is more danger on the way..." he grabbed a spare pillow, stuffing into his face, "Them...gee...be cryptic will you. It's like, we defeat one guy, and another comes and replaces him...Yami, I want a holiday. I just...want to act like a normal human being. I don't care what people will think of us, I just want to exist without having to worry about another alien threat to the world, or another diplomat coming to power and starting a war. I want to go to university, get a degree in Behavioural Science, drive a bomb of a car, eat take away food and watch crummy old movies and dance to the Wiggles with Sol." Yugi sat up in the bed and glared at his reflection in the mirror across the small room.
"Yugi," Yami slid aside his magazine and reached out to clasp his light's hands, "listen to me, my beloved other-self," the Pharaoh raised both eyebrows and Yugi pouted, "it is going to take us some time to readapt to this world..."
"We don't have that kind of time Yami..." Yugi bent forward, pressing his head into the kings lap and balling his hands into fists, "Naboo was peaceful, Earth is so...full of war and death and our galaxy is so young. I can't fix Earth...it too big a task..."
"We were chosen because we can do the task ahead of us. Maybe we can't see how yet, but in time, it shall come. I'm here, Yugi...I'm not leaving you...I promise."
"I can't do this without you Yami."
"You won't, Yugi...you and I are one and the same and I won't leave."
"I can't do this..." Yugi mumbled again. "I just can't."
"Says the mortal light who out-smarted a death defying Goa'uld...my...my, Yugi my child, you have such a low opinion of yourself..." The high-pitched voice caught the two upon the bed off guard.
Yugi's head shot up and he scrambled around in the covers of the bed, staring ahead into the dim light of the bedroom.
Yugi held his blanket tightly to him, the chill of the air-conditioning hardly the reason for the sudden, almost freezing drop in temperature. No, it was what he was now staring at in confusion. A Furling propped upon the draws across the bedroom.
"Ra?" Yugi spluttered.
"Yes?" The alien tilted his head to one side, glanced at the mirror behind him and smirked, "I know my own name child." He turned back around, antennas fuzzed to brighten the dark room.
"What are you doing in my bedroom?" Yugi shuffled his blanket tighter, "is it another alien threat?"
The ancient being pursed his lips thoughtfully, tweaking a long ear, "er...no...you were supposed to contact me to tell me my son was alright but I went to check on him myself...he's fine, that or he's gone insane and got hitched to a human. What am I supposed to do with that boy, honestly...well, not that I was any better." The Furling rolled his eyes, "hence why you exist I guess."
Not quite wanting to understand Yugi breathed a sigh of relief that he wasn't in trouble. "Sorry, I forgot...to...er...tell you."
"Easily done, you've just got home, my time and your time don't really run on the same page." Ra shrugged, unfolding his long legs, the robe of galaxies around his shoulders spilling across the floor in waves, lapping at the side of the bed as he floated.
"I couldn't help but overhear your lovely conversation," he waved at them both with a board smile, "and considering you helped my son out...again...and...you defeated Zorc without tainting your light. I'm prepared to give you a few options." He landed upon the bed.
Yami frowned, "no catch?"
The ancient Furling chuckled, "none what so ever, you're my grandchild." The god surveyed them both thoughtfully, "and I like to spoil. You want a place to go for a holiday...I can give you a place to go."
"Where? Another planet? I couldn't," Yugi bowed his head, stroking Yami's hand as it held his own in his usual desire for the spirits physical touch, "I'd worry about Earth to much...and about Them."
Ra crooked his head playfully, "hmm...maybe I should rephrase. It isn't so much a place, but a when. I am, after-all, the god of time, my child, and you'd be surprised what you can do with time."
Yugi blinked and looked towards Yami. The Pharaoh met his gaze and slowly, conjoint smiles touched both their faces.
"Oh...I think I get it." Yugi whispered in delight, hoisting himself out of the bed.
"Yes, well," Lord Ra chuckled as Yugi pulled a suite-case from under the bed, "just don't run into the Doctor and you should be fine..."
"A holiday?" The General raised an eyebrow as Yami swung one leg over the other, folding his fingers in his lap as he cast his gaze out the window of the General's office towards Yugi, sitting contently upon the briefing room table, drowned in conversation with the Major. It was wonderful to be home, to feel the cool air-conditioning of the SGC on his illusionary skin and to smell the scent of the SGC without the awful Senator Kinsey mucking up the smell of sweaty SG teams. If he stretched out his shadows he could hear and feel every person on the base. All was well in his realm.
He shifted his attention fully to the General and noted the old man was gazing at him oddly, obviously aware he had been mentally away for a brief second.
"Yes," Yami inclined his head, managing a discrete cough of apology. "Lord Ra has offered Yugi and I a place to go for awhile...where we can...enjoy life without having to worry about the universe falling apart in our absence."
Hammond pursed his lips, "and where is this magical place?"
A small smile touched the Pharaoh's lips, "actually, sir, it isn't really a place per say, more like...a time period." He dusted back his blond fringe.
"A...time...period?" The General stared.
"Yes. Aibou has often expressed the wish to take some time off, to study...I believe he wishes to complete a degree in Behavioural Science. It will be a working holiday, in the past...for we already know nothing happens in the past and if we have know we have a free flight...why not take the opportunity to live life without the fear of the universe coming to an end."
Hammond nodded slowly, "makes sense." He shifted, pulling out paper from his desk, "so, how long would you both like off-."
"No time sir..."
"I'll be back to work in the morning, usual time." Standing to his feet Yami chuckled at the aging mans confusion. "General, what will be four years for aibou and I will only be a day for you. In fact," Yami glanced around with raised eyebrows high in mirth, "quite possibly I'm already waiting around for myself to leave..."
The Generals smile changed, the kindly old man suddenly understanding. "Ah...I see, you'll relive the four years. Won't you...er...change history?"
"Not if we go somewhere were we're not known, where we've never been, change our identity. Lord Ra has offered this to us, Furlings are, after all, a race of Time Travellers. They've had years of practise. Yugi and I have discussed it with Ryou and Bakura...and I believe we've come up with a plan to survive in the past..."
"Alright..." Hammond sighed, shaking his head at the oddity of it all. He paused for a moment, a thought coming to him. "So...only you shall be returning to work here at the SGC then?"
"Indeed," pulling out an envelope Yami placed it upon the office desk, "aibou wishes to resign, though he is willing to consult whenever needed. He believes raising Solomon and teaching him of his abilities is of more importance right now and considering that we can, technically be in two places at once, he thought it best he be the one to take on raising Solomon and I be the one to run around saving the world."
Carefully the General took the letter and filed it away into the top draw. He stood to his feet and rounded his desk, holding forward a hand to the ancient, dark spirit before him.
"Have a wonderful holiday, Pharaoh, I'll see you in a day's time then."
Sizing the hand firmly Yami shook it. "Thank you sir."
They both exited the office into the briefing room. Yugi looked up from his conversation with the Major as Yami approached; linking an arm around is light's shoulders. Yugi tipped around to look to the General.
"All clear sir?"
"Indeed it is all clear, son, enjoy your holiday."
"I'm sure I will sir, thank you." Yugi beamed.
Sam frowned, "what? A holiday? Since when Yugi?"
"Since last night." Yugi shrugged, "it won't be for long Sam, I'll be back before you know it. Ryou, Bakura and Anakin...we're all...taking a trip."
The Major's shoulders deflated, "it won't be the same without you Yugi."
The General cast a knowing smile towards the dark and light pair, giving them a small wave of departure. "Go, go, the both of you...before the rest of the team gets here to force you to change your minds."
Yami inclined his head and swelled shadows around their forms. "Have a good day, Major, General, see you soon."
The briefing room was left with an echoing of Yugi's delighted laughter.
Sam sunk back into her chair, looking across to the Stargate below the briefing room she sighed heavily. "P3X-982 had better be an interesting planet..." She grumbled.
The General shook his head, casting a file in her direction, "read up, Major, because I doubt the Colonel will have..."
She rolled her eyes, "what am I here for, sir, but to fill that void."
Jack glared into his coffee mug. The mess hall had a few early morning clingers in it, all consuming the breakfast offered on the menu, some kept looking in at their table and he forced himself to ignore the chit-chat that had filtered around the base about their vanishing act and reappearance.
He sipped his coffee and winced at the bitter taste, but oh was it so good to finally be back and tasting the wonderfully awful bitterness of bad coffee in the morning.
"So...the kid took a holiday." The Colonel raised his head to the rest of the team at the table.
Teal'c had piled up a plate of waffles and was happily pouring golden syrup over the tower.
Daniel quickly stole the top waffle, adding it to his finished plate of toast.
Teal'c blinked, paused, and poured his syrup again.
"Apparently," Sam nodded slowly, "and so did Ryou, Bakura and Anakin..." She nibbled her toast worriedly. "And since I can only foresee events that happen to you or myself, Sir, most of the time that is, I have no idea what it is they've done or where they've gone."
"Don't kick yourself about it Sam," Daniel smiled, "they'll be back. He's the Pharaoh, we're his Court, he can't really run away from us." The archaeologist chewed on his stolen waffle.
Jack groaned, "you're really enjoying this aren't you?" He poked a finger at the archaeologist.
"You kidding? Jack, being a Priest is fantastic, I get...the rest of eternity learning about the universe!"
"Wooo." The Colonel waved the small umbrella from his jello-cup in the air, "the glory...I have an eternity to enjoy, stuck with Carter."
"When's the wedding?" Teal'c offered, his single eye catching Jack's wince a little too late as Sam's head jerked up from the holographic pad she had acquired from their adventure.
"Haven't decided on a date yet Teal'c..." She mused, "Jack needs some time to adjust I think...I can wait...things will end up panning out in the end." She turned back to her work, hardly bothered at all.
"Time, she says, adjust, she says..." The Colonel moaned, thumping his head upon the table top. "Curse you kid...for bringing all this upon me."
"Well...thank you so much sir," the voice happily called out, "it was a pleasure!"
Sam jerked up and all four stared at each other in confusion until they looked around to the entrance into the mess hall.
"Hey guys." Yugi waved, cracking a grin as they gaped at the young man standing in the door way, dressed in a simple, loose shirt and sight, cut up denim jeans that elongated his thin legs down to his high-black, silver buckled boots. His hands were gloved in black, all the way to his elbows, with odd gloves, a style obviously Yugi with such a colour theme.
Perched in his arms, Sol sat, considerably older than the day before. Old enough, it appeared, to wear the same kohl his father did, the beautiful eye-mark up outlining such impossible dark eyes. The tiny boy gave a silent giggle, wiggling down his parents arm's to land upon the floor, running towards Teal'c to wrap his arms around the Jaffa's leg.
"Kid? I thought you were on a holiday..." Jack spluttered, rubbing a hand through his chopped back silver hair in disbelief at the sight of the youthful young man he had come to see a son, though being a grandfather to Sol was not quite fitting.
Through slim rimmed glasses, behind a completely black fringe, Yugi's purple eyes smiled in recovered warmth, far more life within them than they had seen since he had joined the SGC. Obviously his holiday had done him rather well.
"Hi Jack, Sam, Teal'c, Daniel. Been awhile. Just here to drop Yami off, then Sol and I are going home to our apartment. It's been some time since we were there..."
"Holiday?" Jack spluttered, "you were on holiday...Yami shouldn't be coming to work...and how is Sol so big...he was like...a tot...and now he like..." The Colonel frowned at the kid, "six or something."
Sol nodded head with a grin and held up six fingers in delight. "Yes...six..." A soft, little voice whispered out, much to the shock of the four at the table.
Sam's eyes lit up in delight, "oh...Yugi! He's speaking."
"A little bit." Yugi wandered forward, propping himself up on a chair. "Here and there, aren't you Solly?"
The boy nodded, the overly large sweater he wore, looking more like one the Pharaoh would have worn, slipped off a slim shoulder as he ran to hug each of the team members before dashing back to his parents arm's. Yugi lifted him clean off the floor with little effort in a seamless grace.
"Yugi?" Daniel rose slightly from his chair, "what's...what's happened to you and Sol...?"
A playful grin crossed the young man's face, a face that had aged without a line touching it, the age was in his violet eyes and the smile of experience he managed. "We went back four years, to England...I...got another degree...stayed in a nice little house in a nice little...normal neighbourhood. I lived like a normal person...well, for the most part." He chuckled at an inward joke.
"What about Ryou...Bakura and Anakin...where did they go? You...you said, in the briefing room yesterday morning, that they went with you." Sam spluttered.
Yugi laughed, the brightness of unbiased youthfulness having returned to the melody, "Ryou stayed with his second or something cousin...er...Sir Integra Hellsing, but you did not hear that from me. Bakura had a wonderful time slaying vampires..."
"Vampires?" Jack coughed out his coffee.
"Long story." Yugi waved a hand.
"Love to hear it," Daniel grinned.
"Oh, trust me Daniel, we have a few to share." Laughing Yugi hoisted Sol into his arms, brushing at the boy's mop of hair.
Sam's eyes filled with delight. She stood dusting her hands off, coming and hugging him firmly around the shoulders. He hooked perfectly into her chest from his lack of height. He laughed at the hug.
"I'm glad Yugi..."
"So..." Frowning the Major glanced at Sol, the boys wide red eyes staring around the world in observation. "How old is he?"
"Jacks right, he's six." Yugi rubbed away a spot on the boy's cheek.
"And he's a right old terror for it too." The resonating voice of the Pharaoh made all in the mess-hall wince as the ancient spirit's shadows gathered into his solid form at the doorway. The Puzzle around Yugi's neck, so much a part of the young man's physical make-up, pulsed as the dark lord wandered forward. Akin to his partner, the vigil of recovery was obvious in the spirits stroll and the manner of his tight shoulders.
"Colonel." Yami slid the thick sunglasses over his black fringe to prop them atop his head, revealing gleaming blood red eyes, "Good to see you again."
"So, er...how was the past?" Jack grimaced.
Yami shrugged, "very much like the present..." He laughed softly, "we only went back four years to two thousand and five."
"Wait? You guys...relieved four whole years?" Sam gaped, her mouth dropping open as it suddenly dawned on her, "are you mad, you could have run into yourselves...changed the future of our world-."
"Please, Sam," Yugi re-hoisted Solomon into his arms, "we're immortal. Plus, we considered the idea of running into ourselves so...we lived in England and had different identities. No one knew we even existed...it was...really...really wonderful. Knowing the world was in good hands..."
Sam felt herself smile, her worry vanishing. Their Yugi was back, the brilliance in his expression had returned, the flush in his cheeks revealing his warmth and cheer. This was him, that pretty, astounding and all together wonderful young man she had met in Domino; he had come back to them. Her heart expanded.
Yugi made a movement to leave but paused and glanced back around as if an idea had struck him. "Hey, why don't you guys come around tonight for dinner, after your mission...Ryou, Bakura and Annie are popping around, we can swap some stories...sound good?"
Sam blinked, "Yugi, you sound so much better..."
"Thank you. It's amazing what a working holiday can do for you." Yugi glanced to Yami and placed a hand upon the ancient spirits arm, "see you tonight, be careful."
"You worry too much..." Yami chuckled pressing a kiss to the young man's forehead, before ruffling Sol's mop of hair, "look after Dad okay?"
Sol nodded as Yugi scooped him up into his arms, propping him onto a hip, giving a playful wave goodbye. The team watched as the young man vanished in a whiff of shadows, leaving the Pharaoh standing elegantly to one side. The ancient king spread his hands, giving a wicked fanged grin, "so...what's the mission today?"
Shaking his head Jack turned to Sam, "Carter...pinch me."
Of Season 1
'The Lost Years'
Yugi's apartment unit, situated amongst many other likely identical units in a high-rise building, was petite. In fact it always reminded Sam of the small young man whenever she approached the blue hued door.
Unlike other doors, Yugi had oddly enough managed to own the door, to characterise it as the door into his apartment by hanging upon the front of the door a watching Millennium Eye and a number of hieroglyphs depicting what Daniel said was the names of all those who lived in the apartment.
Sam tugged uneasily upon the scarf around her neck. It was odd, still adjusting to Earth after being away for so long, still adjusting to the idea her life had been changed.
She was not the same Samantha Carter she'd once been, nor had she figured out what to do with her and Jack's impending thing about being a Priest pair. Neither of them had said anything, they had just gone on doing what they'd always done, ignored each other and the 'big fat white elephant' that was between them.
The said Colonel was beside her, holding a plate of nibbles he had brought at a near-by twenty-four hour store on the way. Daniel and Teal'c weren't far behind; both dressed for the chill in the evening summer air.
Jack scratched his chin, "still can't believe the kid went and had a whole holiday in the past. Our life is weird."
"Really, Jack...now when did you figure that out, was it after you and I blew up Ra's ship or before..." Daniel was tugging on the chain that connected the small Millennium Scales to his belt, Sam watched him for a moment as his fingers did an odd symbol and the ancient technology shrunk even smaller for him to pocket it away. Typical of Daniel to be the most learned of them all in the matters of being part of an ancient Priesthood. Their resident archaeologist and linguist was going to be shining in his new role, a role they all hoped Senator Kinsey or anyone else weren't going to get wind off, otherwise their whole SG1 adventures would be over.
"Shut up you geek." Jack rapped his knuckles on the door and Sam sighed in relief, glad they would soon be inside some place cooler than the summer evening.
Inside the pattering of feet echoed upon wooden floorboards. The door crept open and cool air rushed out. In the soft back light Sol's small head was revealed as the tiny boy peered up at them innocently.
"Hey Sol!" Jack waved in greeting, giving his best smile.
The boy made a sign with his hands before the door was opened wider, illuminating Yugi in a pair of slacks and a loose shirt slipped over his shoulder. He was positively glowing with the smile across his recovered, rounded features. "Hey guys. Sol, what have I told you about answering the door."
The boy made more signs with his hands, Yugi gave a small shake of his head, "I know you can sense who is outside, but that doesn't matter Solomon. One day someone might trick you and once you open this door, you're stopping the spell that prevents them from getting in. The Pharaoh explained this too you before Solomon."
The boy shrugged, the overly large black shirt he wore sliding further down his arm.
Yugi sighed, turned to the team and motioned them in the welcome warmth, "come on in. Sol, find Pharaoh and ask him to pick up the pizza's...I want him to take the car like a normal person, you make sure he doesn't just Shadow portal all the way there. Do you want coffee or tea? A beer, Jack?"
"Er..." The Colonel quickly kicked off his boots in the manner Daniel did, the archaeologist seeming to understand the ritual after noticing Yugi was only decked out in socks. The air-conditioner was blasting full-pelt, cooling the warm air of the kitchen. "Er...yeah beer thanks kiddo."
Yugi rounded the kitchen bench, opened the fringe and pulled out a six pack. He passed it to Teal'c.
"Enjoy! Bakura and Anakin are in the living room, you know the way. I'll get you a cool drink Sam? Water or lemonade?"
"Anything will do Yugi, thanks." Sam followed the others down around a small dark passage and into the living room of the unit. The television was on low volume, the figure slouched in a large arm chair not really paying attention to what was being shown but instead was gazing at a large volume of Lord of the Rings.
"Bakura." Teal'c spoke first, placing down the six pack of beer and offering a hand to the fellow warrior.
Sam looked around at the other occupant of the small living room. She shouldn't have recognised him, other than the delightful sparkle of mischief that gleamed in his stark blue eyes.
"Anakin..." Sam felt her jaw drop, imagining it hitting the floor with a heavy clump at the sight of the boy Ryou and Bakura had stolen away from his fated destiny to call their own. She remembered him as he had been only a couple days before hand. A dusty, wild like ten year old with a mop of brown hair and bright blue eyes gleaming with childish glee and heightened excitement at everything – that was not what she was now seeing.
He was a teenager.
She wanted to hit herself firmly over the head, but couldn't. He was older than the three years Yugi said they'd spent in the past. He had to at least be fourteen, or even fifteen by his height. With his firm muscles and strong limbs he gave the impression that he'd been welding more than light-sabres.
The moment he grinned, everything hard and crafted about him vanished. He was that boy again from the dusty deserts of Tatooine, his eyes shining in excitement, and frazzled, untamed hair unable to be brushed frazzling with static as he rubbed his hands through the curled locks. Interestingly enough, the bottoms of the locks were beginning to slowly turn a shade of white, as though the simple fact of being adopted by Ryou had physically changed his appearance. Though considering he lived in a family of shadow magic, it really was hardly surprising at all.
"Hey Major!" He climbed out of the couch he was perched upon like a cat, stretching to his full height, just below her eyes and held out a hand in greeting. "It's good to see you again."
She took his hand, feeling the rough skin and the faint scars that lingered across the freckled palms. Ryou had taught him perfectly, he stood like an English gentle-man, and held his head high, while still being enabled to hold his teenage stance of defiance and youth. He was gorgeous, nothing like the movie version she had always envisioned, instead he was rounder, gentler, with hardly any of the spite and snarl. Yet she was sure that somewhere, that seeped, inner darkness was waiting, she could see it in his eyes. He had been taught, by Bakura she imagined, to maintain sanity.
"I...my gosh..." Sam whispered, "Annie, how old are you?"
For a moment she was sure the teen was considering not answering her, to save her the agony of a heart-attack.
"Fourteen...fifteen soon though!" The teen shrugged as she gave him a small hug, ignoring Jack's splutters of disbelief and Daniels laughter at the sight of the teen. "Though Pop is sure I act like a ten year old still, whenever he gives me something red to consume."
"Pop?" Jack smirked, hiding his laughter as Bakura tilted his head slightly, red eyes gleaming under his folds of white hair.
It was odd, to see the ancient spirit with chopped white hair, slightly frazzled, and cupped around his chin. It was not who he had been before, the spirit almost appeared accustomed and pliable. Still one single look into his alien black and red eyes and the idea of a nice Bakura vanished.
He still had his hard worn edge.
"Yup," Anakin pointed to the ancient spirit, "Pops."
"Say it again boy and I will make sure you can't have children." Bakura waggled a finger as he placed aside his book; Jack took note of the large golden ring he wore. That was new.
"Not in this apartment!" Yugi's voice shouted from the kitchen, "or I'll make sure you can't talk Bakura...you know, since the no children threat doesn't work on you!"
"Shut up pip-squeak."
"Not in your life!" Yugi shouted back.
"Really, Pops why do you argue with him, Uncle Yugi beats you even if you try..."
"I know," Bakura rolled his eyes, "stupid lights, always winning arguments. Pass me a beer Teal'c buddy and sit down, damned Pharaoh made me cart all these chairs in here for a reason so you should use them."
Teal'c split up the beers, giving one to Bakura another to Daniel and the final to Jack. Anakin held out a hand with a pleading grin at the Jaffa warrior. Bakura simply snorted in mirth and raised an eyebrow darkly at the boy.
"I said no. I see too many bloody accidents caused by this stuff for you to drink it yet."
"Fine..." Anakin sat back with a grumble. "That's what I get for having you being a surgeon."
"Damn right, my boy." Bakura lounged back.
"You're a surgeon?" Daniel jerked towards the white haired ex-thief.
Bakura raised an eyebrow, "I got very bored and decided to do something with my ability of not sleeping."
"You...you became a doctor?" Jack spluttered. "You're a freaky dark dead guy who...as I remember correctly, likes to slice things up?"
"I still do." Bakura smirked, "just with not the intent to kill...and trust me, I'm the best in the business in both areas."
Anakin blew a raspberry between his lips.
His parental figure glanced in his direction. "Anakin, go help your Uncle bring out the other drinks...go."
"Sure Pops." Anakin jumped up and vanished around the corner.
"So..." Sam worriedly looked at the white-haired dark lord, "you know, four years is a long time..." She whispered.
Bakura frowned faintly, "no...not really, not when you're like us. We lived in a bubble of our own making, time did not matter. Though, you're right, Anakin grew up too fast..." The darkness smirked, "he's a good lad."
As if on cue Anakin appeared through the doorway, tray of drinks in his hands. He placed them down upon the centre coffee table and switched off the irritating television. Sam watched as he poured the glasses out perfectly.
She had to admire whatever it was Ryou had done to teach the teen proper adequacies. Anakin noticed her gaze and cracked a grin as he brushed back a lock of his fringe.
"For three years, Major, I lived with Dad's second cousin, twice removed or something like that...she's freaky with proper adequacies. I had to learn this or I'd get mauled by a vampire. At least, that was the threat."
"Vampires." Sam had the feeling she needed to sit.
So she did.
Anakin laughed as she near collapsed onto a chair, staring.
"Whoa, you mean the blood-sucking kind?" The Colonel flinched. "Dracula?"
"Indeed I do," Anakin grinned, "Pop became a slayer for a time, worked for the Hellsing Organisation..."
"But how, that's impossible, they don't exist." Jack pointed, "You're just playing us aren't you!"
"No, they exist." Anakin shuffled around a hand in his shirt, pulling something out, a small locket. "Here," he slipped the necklace over his head, popping it open and holding it before Sam and Jack. "That's Vicky and Alucard, they're Vampires...and that's me, in the middle, holding the gun. Uncle Alucard is creepy but he likes me, gave me a sick-as-birthday present last year. It's a broad-sword made of..." His voice trailed off, staring at the faces around him, "oh come on you guys, you fight aliens...this is hardly anything knew."
"No...no...Vampires are new." Jack grumbled.
Anakin sighed, pocketing the golden necklace under his tailored shirt with what looked like other arrays of golden jewellery hidden there, "Dad and Uncle Yugi think they're an ancient race of aliens who interbred with humans so far back that they can't remember. Very few of the 'real' kind exist anymore, they've been killed off. Which is good. Met the Cullen's too, you know...from the Twilight books, they're real stories from a writer who actually met them. They're nice...they sparkle. I stayed a couple weekends at their place while Dad and Uncle Yugi went off camping or something. They're a different breed but from the same race in the beginning...kind of like, there being different races of humans but all with the same basic root ancestry. We date back to Noah and his sons; they can date back in the same way but in a form of a virus...or so Dad thinks."
Daniel grinned, he pushed his glasses up the ridge of his nose. "I'll have to chat to him about it all then."
"Yeah," Anakin tipped his head back, "Dad wants to bring you around one afternoon, he's been missing having 'other' like minded people around. Uncle Yugi keeps laughing at him."
"Yugi? But I thought he enjoyed history..." Daniel frowned, wondering if his small friend had been changed over the three years of his 'holiday'. He didn't want a changed Yugi, he rather liked his fellow archaeologist.
"Oh, he does," Ryou suddenly spoke aloud, causing heads to turn in the English lord's direction, where he entered from the spare room. Despite being in simple clothing, mostly all white, he still had the air and graces of looking higher-class than all in the living room, with the cuffs of his shirt and pants outlined in intricate gold patterns.
He flipped back a loose strand of his platted long hair, away from his faint brown-pink eyes. "However, after doing a Bachelor in Behavioural Science Yugi has gained a rather odd view on the world and the ancient world at that."
Yugi's voice called out allusively from the kitchen area again, "It's not an odd view...I'm just wearing a different set of glasses...eep, Yami! Don't do that! I have a knife and I will use it!"
There was thumping of feet upon the floor and Sol dashed through the living room, carrying a large stuffed toy in his arms, high over his head. He jumped into Bakura's lap, shoving the toy into the spirits face.
"Hello mini-pip-squeak, where you been?" Bakura chuckled fondly at the boy, causing Jack to cringe at the sound of the spirit being momentarily kind-hearted.
Sol signed in excitement.
::Getting Pizza, found old toy in car!::
"Ah, I see...let me have a look, it's a giant panda..." Bakura waved the hands of the bear around, "what's it going do? Tickle you?"
Sol gave a squeal as the ancient spirit tackled the toy into him.
"Looks like Uncle Bakura's got you Sol." The Pharaoh entered, bearing a pile of pizza boxes that he eased onto the coffee table.
Jack rose quickly, shaking Yami's hand as the Pharaoh greeted them with a warm smile, "good to see you all around here." The king chuckled, tipping his head to one side, almost as though he expected the voice that called out.
"Felt empty." Yugi's head popped around the kitchen corner, "Sol and I ended up heading to the Mall since we were lonely...I think I brought out a shop..." The young man brought out plastic plates, offering them around. Sol scrambled down from Bakura's lap, running up to Yugi and wrapping arms tightly around his neck and appearing to whisper something into his dad's ear.
"I know, you don't like the pine-apples...get the Pharaoh to take them off." Yugi offered the boy a plate. Sol took it, muttered something softly before running to Yami, climbing up the Pharaoh's legs to sit in his lap.
"Is he talking?" Sam blinked, still finding it difficult to see the boy who'd been a toddler only the day before. Shed almost felt cheated, she'd missed his growing up, not that he seemed to think they weren't anything but family.
Yugi passed her a plate, nodding, "a little bit, here and there, he prefers to use sign language though."
"You know when something is important," Yami added with a smile, taking off the pineapples from the boy's pizza, "because Solomon will speak it. Apparently, what Yugi's been able to gather from him, is that if something isn't worth the bother saying, than he'll much rather use sign language and not hurt his throat."
"So there is something wrong then?" Sam gave a worried frown.
"He just says it hurts, but no doctor can see anything wrong, and we even had Lord Ra look into it but even he, an alien, couldn't say anything was wrong. I think he's just got a rather odd personality. I was worried for awhile that it was a problem with the cloning, because Grandpa assured me, I had no trouble talking as a kid but," Yugi gleamed a bright smile, his gaze tender for a moment as he watched the boy happily eat his non-pineapple pizza slice, "it doesn't bother me so much anymore, I mean, sign language is fine and most of the time, he can simply picture in his mind what he's trying to convey to me anyway. Pays to be telepathic..."
"Oh...my life is messed up." The Colonel sipped his beer.
Yami glanced towards him with a laugh, "did you just figure that out Jack?"
"Shut up Pharaoh. You still owe me drinks for today's mission...hey, Yugi...you're not coming back?" Jack suddenly sat up straight and Yugi turned towards him in surprise at the sharp tone of his voice.
The young man nodded slowly with a weak smile at the SG team, "yeah...Jack..." he addressed them all, "since Yami and I are technically the same person...we..." he grasped the Pharaoh's hand, "thought it would be better to utilise our ability to be in two places at once. Yami in the sky and...me on the ground, running the Court. I'm a better administrator than he is anyway, for a secret, secret government... He would just mess it all up." He poked the ancient king's arm with a finger.
"I would not." Yami snorted.
"Yes, you would." Bakura chuckled darkly.
"We'll miss you Yugi." Sam reached for another slice of pizza.
"Don't worry Sam, I'll still be around but...this way, Yami and I can cover more ground and plus, Sol needs me." Yugi petted the boy's head of hair. "It's important that I'm here for him..."
"So, when did you come to this decision to dump us?" Jack grumbled.
With a roll of his eyes Yugi waggled a finger at the Colonel, "careful sir, I'm King of this Court." He raised his brow as he gave a small motion about the small living room and slowly they each looked around at the gathering. "As to the why and how Colonel...well...that is a good story."
"Indeed." Ryou seated himself beside Bakura and crossed a leg over his knee, stealing a slice of pizza from his darkness's plate, "we've got a couple good tales to tell you all."
Daniel sat forward and fished for his note book, "fantastic!"
Yugi seated himself between Teal'c and Yami, wiggling his way into the spot.
"Maybe you should start Ryou...you where, after all, the one who was driving." Yugi smirked.
Ryou rolled his eyes, "no...you start, I was out of it for awhile anyway."
"Fine." Yugi finished his mouth full, leaning into Yami's shoulder. "It was a cold, rainy winter night in England. I'd just finished my final report for the semester and Ryou had picked me up after a seminar to head back home...I was taking the semester break off to say with Ryou's cousin in her...er...manor."
"When?" Daniel leant forward, "um...like what year?"
"Oh," Yugi raised an eyebrow, "about mid-two thousand and eight I think, year and a half ago for you guys...anyway..." Yugi waved a hand, "Ryou was driving really crazy-."
"I beg your pardon, I was not!"
"Yes, you were." Anakin piped up.
"Hey, hey, hey!" Yugi pointed a finger, waggling it in their direction, "I am telling this story, so do not interrupt me...as I was saying, it was a very wet evening, we could barely see the road ahead of us..."
Well, I don't think I'll ever actually get around to writing the stories that happen but I'll hint at them throughout Season 2 and if I do end up uploading them they'll be under the title.
"The Lost Years"
Since some of them are already partly written and sketchy little ideas I thought I would upload this here, so the general feeling that something did happen and that Anakin's older could be felt.
Onward to Season 2 I suppose and...hey...let your imagine wonder on what our protagonists could possibly get up to with four years in the past :p Feel free to think up fun and fantastic stories. The imagination is a gift ^.^
So, yeah, in general, I hope you enjoyed the ending of Season 1 :) It was a good ride. Thank you all for coming along with me. *hugs*
Now, if you head over to the main-page you'll find...the 'un-beta-read' beginning of Season TWO! YAY! Whooooooo! Super-special-awesome! (again, read at your own peril, I imagine it is filled with life threatening errors – but hey, so is most of the first season so...you all lived through that, I dare you to live through the second... :p )