Solomon, having returned from India just half an hour ago, watched the scene with surprise.
Customers were gathered outside chatting, or exiting with their purchases when the limousine pulled up outside the Kame Game Shop.
That couldn't be right. The only other set of store keys, not including the set he always carried with him, were those currently locked away in the kitchen, up in the flat.
"Excuse me." He exited the limo, allowing the goons Kaiba had sent with him, to ensure he'd gotten home safely, to take his equipment out of the boot while he pushed his way into the shop to find out what was going on.
A short woman with shoulder length deep red hair and amethyst eyes was taking money, while a tall man with short black hair and brown eyes carried a big box of stock in.
"What's going on here?" He demanded. He knew who they looked like but the pair hadn't been in Japan for more then eight years… not that he hadn't hoped that they would return at some point, but for them to be here, now, without any warning… he was wary.
"Hi Dad." She grinned. "You never did move that spare key."
Solomon stared in disbelief.
"I think we broke him, love." Roland laughed, dumping the box and running a hand through his hair, "We did try and ring in advance but no one was home." He directed to Solomon.
"Aiko? Why are you…?" Solomon asked, more then a little stunned.
"The shop closes in a couple of hours." Aiko answered her father, "We'll explain then, is that ok?"
They had just been walking past. Or rather Draco was on the verge of storming, and Ryou was wondering how to make it look like he had been hunting Golden, while missing her.
He glanced up, and caught sight of a rather familiar figure, standing in the park they were passing, throwing breadcrumbs to the ducks.
"Draco." He said, causing the younger boy to stop suddenly, and spin around, catching sight of -her-.
She waved. Ryou guessed that Bakura would declare she was smirking at them, if he was here.
"She..." Draco uttered, in complete disbelief.
She walked away, following the path around to a small building, before disappearing through the glass doors.
"Should we follow?" Draco asked.
Ryou considered, then shrugged, "Might as well."
It was a tea shop. A tiny little tea shop, with several elderly couples sitting around, chatting over hot drinks and cakes?
Golden was by the window, sitting at a little round table, with a metal teapot still streaming, and three teacups.
"Unbelievable." Ryou uttered, then cursed himself for sounding rather like Bakura in that instant.
"You know, I'm not allowed to date my students, even if I don't exactly teach you."
Draco's mouth closed up a sudden snap, as if his brain had suddenly caught onto the fact that things weren't going the way he expected.
She raised an eyebrow, and leaned back in her chair. "I hope Bakura got to Japan successfully?"
Ryou sighed, and sat down suddenly. "You know he did."
"Aww... the poor little boys don't like the game as much as their big brother?"
"You enjoyed... Bakura... er?" Draco asked incoherently.
"Now that would be telling." She grinned, taking a sip of her tea, then making a face. "Nee, shop tea just isn't the same. Oh well, enjoy."
And she patted their heads, walking away.
Sharing a glance, they rushed out of the teashop, only to find Golden was no where in sight.
He was ready.
Or as ready as he was going to be.
Golden was not in Japan. He'd discovered this within hours of landing, but the Tablet of the Pharaoh was.
It was time.
It still held its power, so the Pharaoh hadn't been here yet, but he would, that much was certain.
He had one last shot at this.
One last chance to take everything away from the Pharaoh for what had been done in the past.
One last chance to make him pay.
And he would take it.
He would use this last opportunity to gain what he needed, to seize the Pharaoh's name and break the seal on the Shadows, freeing both the magic and the creatures that rested within the Shadow Realm to cause chaos on Earth.
The game was set, the players would soon arrive and soon the final trial of the Pharaoh would begin.
And this time there would be no hope for the Pharaoh. Bakura would win and the Pharaoh would be gone, forever.
He could leave the chase for Robyn in Ryou and Draco's hands for now. Everything would change the moment he got his hands on the name of the Pharaoh. The Millennium Items were important to his plan, but destroying the Pharaoh and seizing the name which made up the key part of the seal was the most important point of it.
He would not fail.
She'd known what the Pharaoh was planning to do… he would have to thank her, when he caught her…
The board was set.
Now he had to wait and watch.
Ryou's plan for finding Robyn.
"Look, basically, if she's any good at this seer stuff, she knows where we are going to be, and so far she hasn't exactly been avoiding us, has she? So I say we just go where ever, and she'll turn up."
The next morning, during breakfast at a local cafe, someone dropped by their table.
"Hey, you two guys R and D? A little bird asked me to deliver this to two too blond to be true guys, and you're the only ones I've seen."
"Er... yes? We are Ryou and Draco."
"Damn, your daddy didn't like you much, sticking you with those doozies, did he? Anyway, letter for you from your chick."
"Your plan assumes I find you important enough to follow. Guess what? I'm the mouse kitties."
India had been great, the sights beautiful, the food good and the hotel lovely. The match between Seto and Yami had been interesting too, but the outcome had been predictable.
India had been fun but it was good to be home.
They collected their bags, went through customs, not that they had anything to announce, and were just heading out the arrivals gate when someone called to them in English.
"Hey, guys! Over here!"
A bushy haired brunette teenager was balanced precariously on the railings surrounding the out gate, grinning and waving at them.
"Hermione, hey!" Yugi grinned and waved back, darting through the crowds to reach her side, while the others went around to Hermione and her parents.
"Hey. I made Mum and Dad wait for you guys. Mokuba told me when you'd be getting in. Mum, Dad, this is Yugi Muto." Hermione introduced him, "Yugi, these are my parents."
"Hello Dr Granger and Dr Granger." Yugi bowed, "It's an honour to meet you."
"You're Yugi Muto?" Dr Gillian Granger, Hemione's mother, asked, a little surprised.
"Yes." Yugi nodded.
"Hello." Dr Adrian Granger, her father, nodded to him, having a dozen questions but knowing better then to ask in public.
"Man Yuge, you were fast." Joey complained, as the others reached the group, "Joey Wheeler, at your service." Joey bowed to Hermione's parents.
"Nice to meet you."
The others introduced themselves as they moved away from the gate and towards the car waiting out front. Getting into a huge limo, which comfortably seated all of them, not including Seto and Mokuba, who had taken a different car back to Kaiba Corp.
"You're more then welcome to come to the Kame Game Shop once you are settled in." Yugi offered when they dropped Hermione and her parents off at the hotel. "I can come and guide you, if you like."
"Thank you. We'll probably do some sight seeing first, then Hermione has your number, doesn't she?" Adrian replied.
Yugi nodded as they collected their cases from the boot.
"We'll see you later then." Adrian nodded and turned towards the hotel.
"Later Yugi." Hermione waved goodbye and the driver left, dropping them off at the game shop a few minutes later.
"Well, that was an interesting start to the summer." Joey commented as they sorted all their bags out and headed through the back door, up to the flat.
"And it's going to get more interesting as the…" Yugi trailed off as he entered the living room, causing the others to worry.
Yami pushed past him, to check for danger, and found a red headed woman watching them. Not the same orangey red of the Weasleys, but a deeper red. He knew this woman, recognised her from Yugi's memories.
"Mum?" Yugi breathed.
"Did he say mum?" Serenity asked, causing Joey to shoot up the stairs, frowning as he got between Yugi and the woman.
"Who are you?" Yami demanded.
"That's an odd question, considering that you're playing at being my other son." She answered, "I think I should be asking who you are."
"I am Muto Yami of the Domino Clan." Yami replied, "Muto Solomon's grandson and Yugi's brother. Who are you?"
"Prewitt Aiko, Muto Solomon's daughter and Yugi's mother." She replied, "My husband and I sent a letter and a crown to Yugi via a pair of friends of ours two Christmas's ago." She scowled at him, "And you're not my son."
That put a new spin on things. Only the gang, Solomon, the two archaeologists who had been in the hospital at the time and Yugi's parents knew about the crown…
"I didn't say I was Yugi's brother by blood." Yami replied, backing down, looking to Yugi who still seemed stunned. "I would like to state, that neither of us ever confirmed the wild rumours surrounding us, and the tale about me being Yugi's brother may be false, but I consider Yugi my brother, and I know he considers the reverse true."
Aiko nodded in understanding.
"Yuge?" Joey questioned.
"I… hi…" He said to his mother.
"It's been a long time, Yugi."
Yugi nodded, nervous. "It's good to see you."
And this was sufficiently awkward enough without a crowd of gawkers, so Serenity ushered the others away, to unpack or make tea.
"Is Dad back too?" Yugi asked.
"Yes, we arrived back while you were in India." Aiko wasn't quite sure what to say to her son after so long, and it was obvious that Yugi felt the same way.
"Did you ever find the guys you were chasing?" Yugi asked finally, his hand resting on the Puzzle.
"Yes, but it was too late, they'd already handed all the information over. There's nothing more we could do. So we came home." She smiled at him, noting the way the others had willingly shooed at the brunette's request, but Yami was hovering in the doorway.
"Mr Kaiba, the new VR Department Head's here to see you."
Not once, even in Kari's first few days in the job, had his PA forgotten her name, so he had to wonder if this was her way of subtly saying that she didn't approve of the man that had been promoted to fill Kari's shoes.
"Send him in."
Itou Nakano was a good worker, but didn't have the loyalty that Kari had had.
It wasn't only that, Itou just didn't have the force of personality or the skills needed to keep the job for too long, though it hadn't been obvious until they'd returned from India the first time, but this was the third time in a week that he had come to Seto instead of working it out for himself.
"Mr Kaiba." Itou nodded.
"Itou." Kaiba nodded back, wondering what it was this time.
Well that was simple. "Why?" It was pretty obvious why, but he wanted to hear Itou's reasons for himself.
"I cannot fulfil all of the duties that you have assigned to the position that you promoted me to. I would rather quit then be fired." Itou responded, "And since I quit I can tell you this to your face, don't expect the next VR Department Head to be Miss Ironhide either, it's unfair to whoever you promote." And with that Itou Nakano left the building, probably for a job in another games company.
Kaiba growled. So no one could handle Ironhide's job? Fine. He had better split up the responsibilities then if no one person could deal with it. It wasn't like Itou hadn't had the full knowledge of what he was taking on.
He buzzed Mokuba, who darted into the office and gave him a confused look.
"Itou just quit." Mokuba's expression cleared, "I'm splitting up the job."
"What do you need me to do?"
"Go through the personnel files and find me the top workers in the VR Department, while I work out how to split the duties."
"I didn't think it was that unreasonable a job…" Mokuba frowned and pulled up the files on his laptop, settling at the sofa bed and reading through quickly.
Seto didn't reply, already typing up a list of expected work and duties expected to be fulfilled.
"Kari with us for four years, wasn't she?" Mokuba asked.
"Five years, she was department head for four." Seto corrected.
"At the time she was hired, there weren't many who lasted a year." Mokuba sighed, leaving open the files of the people he thought might be able to do the job.
Seto scowled, thinking about how much closer an eye he'd have to keep on things with this kind of set up…
He'd been planning something anyway, but he wouldn't mention it to anyone until this was settled and they had settled what they needed to at the museum.
Suffice to say that the OWLs that Yugi had mentioned a week ago weren't on his list of concerns.
"You're not going to wait for Harry?" Hermione looked surprised.
"He understands." Yugi replied, leaning on the work surface and drinking his juice slowly, waiting for the kettle to boil and listening to both the rain and the murmur that was the discussion between Hermione's parents and his own… his own… it sounded so weird… he was glad they were home, but everything would change now… there was just so much they didn't know… "The exhibit will be finished in a few days time and we'll lose the chance."
"Can I come?" Hermione asked, interested in finding out more about Yami's past, and in seeing the relics that had been mentioned by her friends so often.
Yugi looked over to Yami.
"If you want to." The Pharaoh shrugged, "I don't know what'll happen. I just know I have to present the God Cards to the Tablet of the Pharaoh and all my questions will be answered."
"I'm sure I could lure my parents into a trip to the museum." Hermione grinned, grabbing the kettle before Yugi could and filling the teapot. "When?"
"Tomorrow?" Yami asked Yugi, wanting to get it over with as quickly as possible.
"Ten o'clock, tomorrow morning?" Yugi asked, knowing that Joey wanted to be there and that if they arranged it for when the museum first opened, Joey wouldn't necessarily be up and Hermione might not have found it.
"Ten's fine." Yami nodded.
"You sure you don't want to come? You might find something about your past." Hermione looked at Ombre.
"I know enough to not feel the need to find out who I am. Besides the only keys to memory at the museum are the ones for Yami's memories." Ombre shrugged it off. If Kari had still been here, she would have gone and played at having gotten her memories back when Yami did, but now she didn't know what to do. Perhaps she would go, but stay out of sight… Kari… why did you have to leave? Why?
"Shame Tea and Tristan are going to miss it." Joey sighed.
"I'm gonna buzz them later." Yugi smiled slightly, "And then again once we've been."
"Is that going to be alright? Don't they want to be here?" Hermione sounded concerned.
"Of course they do. But they can't be, so I'm going to fill them in as best I can." Yugi sighed.
"What a shame."
"It's is but…" Yugi stacked a pair of trays, one with the teapot and some cakes and the other with enough cups and saucers for everyone, "Could I get a hand guys?"
"Let me." Hermione quickly picked up a tray and followed Yugi into the living room.
She was rather glad they had arrived in Japan when they had. Tomorrow would be fascinating and she would not have wanted to miss it for the world. She just felt sorry for those who wouldn't be able to make it.
"Mum, Dad, do you mind going to the museum tomorrow?" Hermione asked. "There's an exhibit on Egypt that is only being shown here and I really want to see it."
"Trust you to find one." Her mother laughed. "I don't think it would be a problem." She looked at Adrian who rolled his eyes.
"Like I ever had a choice in the matter." He snorted, "This holiday was planned and arranged for you Hermione, so whatever you want Princess. I take it that you'll be there tomorrow as well?" He asked Yugi with a shrewd look.
"Me and my brother have something we really want to look at. So we're heading there around tenish." Yugi nodded.
"We'll be there around then." Gillian nodded, amused. She took a sip of the tea and smiled softly, "Who made the tea?"
"I did." Yugi nodded. "But Hermione helped."
"I'll have to let Hermione help more often." She laughed, "It would be nice to have a cup of tea this good once in a while."
"Mum!" Hermione protested as Yugi smiled and everyone else giggled.
Hermione's drank their tea and stood up. "We'll see you tomorrow?"
"Yeap." Yugi nodded. "Ten o'clock sharp, on the front steps."
"Anyone who's late has to buy everyone else lunch." Joey joked.
"You can afford to buy people lunch?" Hermione teased as she reached the door.
"I'm not going to be late." Joey replied.
"See you tomorrow then." Hermione grinned and headed down and out.
"So, you think we freaked her parents out enough?" Yami asked, leaning on the wall, amused.
Yugi, however, was giving his own mother a self-conscious smile, as she gave them a speculative look, "From what the Doctor Grangers were telling us, I think there's a lot you still need to tell us." Yugi's mum, who was still sat on the sofa, turned and looked at them.
"What do you want to know?"
"Get back here!" Joey's bellow could be heard two rooms and a corridor away.
"Joey?" Yami demanded, rushing towards the room he shared with Yugi, and soon Joey too, considering the lack of space that was rapidly becoming apparent in this house.
Joey came barrelling out the door and headed towards the back door. "Someone stole the God cards!"
"What?" Yugi yelped, turning and running for the back door, beating Joey there. "Sorry Mum," He looked bashful. "Hold that thought. I'll be back soon."
He, Yami and Joey left.
Seto was busy with the last few lines of the new VR department contracts, which was why he didn't notice that Mokuba had been gone for much longer then it took to make hot chocolate until the lights went out.
"Brilliant." Seto scowled at the dead PC, rather glad he'd saved the file he'd been working on just two minutes ago, "Mokuba, could you…?" He trailed off as he looked up, his eyes still adjusting to the darkness, hindered by the thunder and lightening storm going on outside, and realised his brother wasn't in the room.
"Mokuba?" Seto frowned, heading out the door and round to his brother's office, well aware of the kettle and drinks sachets Mokuba kept safely hidden away in a cupboard, "Are you alright?"
There was no one around.
He knew their PAs had gone home hours ago, upon their enquiry as to whether they would be needed to work late tonight, Seto had distractedly waved them off with a 'we don't need any help thank you' and they'd taken that to mean 'yes, you can go home'.
But his little brother, up until, Seto checked the clock on the wall, three quarters of an hour ago, had stayed on the sofa, to one side of Seto's office, which had first been dragged up here years ago and he'd never got around to replacing it, working through employee files and paperwork until he'd gotten thirsty and offered Seto a cup of hot chocolate since it appeared that they were going to have a long night.
"Mokuba!" Seto was concerned now and was reaching for the intercom to page security when his mobile rang.
Several people had his number, but only one person had the ringtone that was now playing.
"Mokuba." He answered it quickly, wondering why Kisara had taken this moment to pop in.
"Not even close, Kaiba."
He knew that voice. "Bakura." He growled, "If you've done anything to Mokuba, I swear I'll…"
"I would put your brother on the phone." Bakura continued as if Seto hadn't spoken, "But he's not very talkative at the moment."
"Bakura!" Seto's roar would have impressed even Kisara.
"Perhaps if you come to the roof with your deck and Duel Disk, you might have more luck." Bakura sounded amused.
"I'll be there."
"You have ten minutes." Bakura put the phone down.
Seto snarled, pulling the drawer containing his deck and Duel Disk open so hard that the handle came off in his hand and was promptly thrown aside.
He knew what Bakura had done and he was not going to let him get away with it.
The Emergency power kicked in and Seto strode down the corridor and into the lift.
Geki just told me… Kisara started.
"I know." Seto growled.
The Tomb Robber goes too far. Kisara sounded as angry as Seto felt.
The lift took exactly two minutes thirty seven seconds to go from the floor where his and his brother's office stood to the roof, and when the doors opened, he had to dart forward to catch his unconscious brother, who collapsed into his arms and led there, limply, his only movement the rising and falling of his chest. "Mokuba!"
When his brother didn't stir and Bakura started laughing, Kisara bellowed at Bakura and Seto gently led his brother down. "Free. Him. Now." Seto snapped, glowing at Bakura.
Bakura smirked at the power in his tone. "You want your brother back, you'll have to duel me."
"I don't know what you want, Bakura." Seto snarled, "But when I win, you'll free my brother and never go anywhere near him ever again!"
Bakura snorted, unconcerned, "What are you trying to do, talk me into throwing the duel due to boredom?"
Kaiba activated his Duel Disk, "Just get on with it!"
Bakura grinned and activated his own Duel Disk. "As you wish, Kaiba. It's time to duel!"
Author Note: - All I have to say is Millennium, the next story in the series is up and it's web address is www(.)fanfiction(.)net/s/5728633/1/ (remember to take the brackets out)