Chapter One: 1001 Arabian Nights
It had been three weeks since that fateful day in Egypt- Three weeks since the spirit of Yugi's millennium puzzle, the pharaoh Atem, had finally passed on into the afterlife. Things had calmed down a lot since then, Jonouchi Katsuya, AKA Joey thought as he and his friends walked back to the 'Kame Game' shop from school. He kinda missed the guy... Hell, he missed him a lot, but he sure wasn't going to say so... But if anyone had been hit the most, it had definitely been Yugi.
Since that day, Yugi had continued to play not just duel monsters, but he had also gotten into the habit of reading up on other games with ancient origin. The boy had a keen eye for places likely to have them now, and Joey could only pray that they didn't spot one-
"Ah! Joey, look over here!" Shit. Mentally sighing, Joey leaned over to peer into the window of a musty old store that had caught Yugi's attention. "Looks like there's some pretty interesting stuff in there!"
Joey snorted, rubbing his head. "'Interesting'? Looks pretty dusty and ruined to me..." Nonetheless, he ended up walking inside with his friend, wandering around as Yugi tore off for whatever it was he had seen through the window. The store seemed to mainly hold books really- Books in English, German, Spanish.. Just about every language in existence that had a written version really. There was one in particular that seemed to stand out however... On a pedestal, bound with two cords and a ring, was a book titled '1001 Arabian Nights'. Certainly looked thick enough to hold '1001', he thought to himself. He reached out to touch the ring.... A voice from behind shook him out of his trance however, shocking Joey senseless. "AAHG!"
"Oh dear... Forgive me youngin', but I just noticed you looking at my prized possession there..." Looking down, Joey sighed in relief. Just an old man, his eyes so squinted and wrinkled you could barely see them, the rest of his body pale and small as a bony hand gripped a cane. The old man hobbled past Joey, picking up the book with delicate hands and blowing of a thick layer of dust. "Kuh-kuh-khach! ...Ah.... Now then youngster..." He used the same frail fingers to wipe the rest of the grime of the cover, before looking back up at Joey. "It's been a long time, since someone came in here... Let alone take interest in this here tome... Would you happen to be interested in buying it?"
He instantly frowned. Great... He was about to be suckered into a sale.. "No thanks old man... Too busy paying my pop's bills right now..." Damn drunk old man... He couldn't wait until he was able to move out... Until he was able to however, he was kinda stuck.
The old man simply grinned, in a fashion that was oddly disturbing. "Oh, I'm sure it can't be that bad... I'll even give you a discount! Only 1000 yen..."
"A... Only that much!?" That got his attention. Old man trying to sell an old book for so little... This would be suspicious if he wasn't so interested in the book for some reason that was beyond him. "Ehhh... what the hell!" Forking over the thousand yen, he grabbed the book, turning around to find Yugi. "Hey Yug! You won't believe what I just bought this thing for!"
The boy turned to him from a pack of aged looking dice, odd runes carved into them, and looked over at his friend with a curious smile."Hn? What'd you get?" However... Yugi was currently behind Joey so...
"Grah!!!" Joey jumped out of his skin, turning back to see Yugi before frowning. "Eh.... Yugi, did you happen to see an old creepy guy around here?"
Yugi also frowned, before shaking his head. "No... I didn't. Nice looking book there by the way, what's it called?" The boy was answered with silence, his friend simply staring at the cover. "Uh... Joey?"
"Eh?" Joey looked back to Yugi, before smirking. "Oh, right... '1001 Arabian Nights'. It looked interesting..." Tristan might have argued when the others were around, but he did read! Just not often... In any case, at least he had something to do if duel monsters with his friends was unavailable- Myths were more fun than math. They left it at that, Yugi recognizing the fact that Joey needed to think at the moment, before taking their separate ways to their homes. For some reason, Joey wasn't in the mood for games right now... For some reason, he wanted to see what sorts of things were in the book, and he was being pulled to his house like a magnet because of it...
When he'd gotten home, his dad was gone thankfully. Probably out drinking, or wasting his money gambling but... At least he wasn't here, throwing bottles at him. Sitting on his bed, he simply stared at the book for a while before finally looking around the back cover for the knot in the ropes. It was a simple not really- Just poking it unraveled the thing. Plucking the ring off and putting it to the side, he opened the cover, its binding crunching in a sort of implied agreement to read it.
'All right... Now lets see what kind of book this... Is?' "Ahhhhhh for fuck's sake..." It was completely blank. Almost anyways. Aside from a few spare paragraphs in Arabic throughout the book, there wasn't even an inkblot. Well what was the point in that if he couldn't even try and figure it out from nonexistent pictures at least...
There was always the ring though. Picking it up and examining it, he lay back on his bed and held it up. Could be worth a lot... Either that, or maybe he could give it to- Joey blushed, hiding the ring in his fist before jerking up. Or.. Or he could just sell it. Yea, that worked. Besides, it could probably fit him now that he thought about it. As if to check for himself, Joey slipped it on his own finger and waved it around, seeing if it would fly off, before suddenly grabbing his hand in pain. "Yeowch!" Wrenching the ring off and ignoring the 'ping' sound made as it bounced across the floor, he glared at the innocent looking slit the ring had managed to put into his finger. "Sheesh, it's even bleeding... Stupid ring.."
"Gnnng!" Suddenly, his bleeding finger wasn't on his mind anymore. A searing pain surged through his body, the teen curling over and clutching his stomach. This pain.. This pain was indescribable. Little did he know, a transformation was occurring as the pain forced him to soon fall off his bed and into a spasming form on the floor. Had his eyes been open, the world would have swirled as his thrashing body seemed to actually steam, his clothes becoming to large, his body shrinking down to little more than a metre in height.
Perhaps he could have lived with being shorter than Yugi after a while- But what happened next was likely what part of the immense pain was, as the feeling intensified and collectively focused on the rest of his body. Wet, warm fluid that smelled of blood came from his rear, as well as a feeling similar to fur, or maybe just cloth.... Before he could think about that however, he felt his hands and feet, the latter already to small for his shoes, swell to immense size. His hands became to large to comfortably hold around his body... The slippers burst at the seams, Joey stifling a scream as he bit his lip. The pain faltered... Joey opened his eyes, breathing heavily. Was whatever happened... Over? He looked around from his position, frowning. Things seemed to be twice their size almost, what the- "Grahng!"
Joey's body went stiff with pain- As though wracked with electricity, he twitched slightly through the intensity, eyes shutting on their own accord. So... So that was what it was, he thought as what felt like an oversized blanket came from over and under him, that had been the calm before the storm... He couldn't take it anymore. Letting out a harsh cry of pain, he gripped his head, thoughts whirling as he felt that as well grow larger... Heavier... His ears seemingly disappeared, and the feeling of hair surrounded him. His eyes shot open, a strained feeling coming to them as he felt them growing themselves, 'crashing' into the other and fusing he thought, but why.. why... how...
-CRACK!- "Mnnng!" The sound of the bridge of his nose cracking was also accompanied by blinding pain, Joey feeling his teeth sharpening and lengthening in his mouth while his sense of smell and hearing drastically improved. A sense that only made him feel worse as the scent of his own blood and the sound of his labored breathing entered his head.
And then things really were finished. The pain dispersed, and with a final act of submission he collapsed into blissful unconsciousness....
"Hey...." He could feel light stream down on his face, but it was not the feeling of sunlight. "Hey, wake up...." He could feel the wetness of what he hoped to god wasn't blood beneath most of his body... "HEY!"
Joey's eyes jerked open, jerking slightly as a woman's voice yelled into his ear. "Nggg...." He felt dizzy... Like his head had been swirled around in a blender set on 'puree'- After already being smashed over with a hammer. Holding his head however, he frowned. Something long and.. Almost felt-like in feeling was on both sides of his head, all but hidden in his hair. "What the-"
"So... You are he- You are the 'one whose heart resonates with the worlds', as spoken in the prophecies!" Joey's eyes flicked over to the source of the voice, the teen drawing back as soon as they found it.
"Gnngah!" Shuffling back against the bed and clutching his crown again, he shook slightly as he stared at the woman. She was.. Floating. She was glowing, she had pink hair up in a large and unnatural curl, and she was floating... Not to mention the creepy, giant, glowing ring she was holding. "Wh-What are you!?"
The woman's calm smile twitched, threatening to turn into a frown but holding the air of 'happy' nonetheless. "Truly a rude person has been chosen... I am Shahra, genie of the ring... Perhaps you have heard of the 'Genie of the Lamp'? It is similar to that..."
The moment Shahra said 'Genie', the woman had Joey's attention. "A genie? Like 'grant you three wishes' genie?" Now that he had calmed down a bit, the teen frowned slightly. His voice sounded a bit... Higher than normal. Grabbing at his throat however, he found his hands too large to simply grab the front- In fact, they were fu... fur... fur.. "GYAAAAH!?!"
Shahra watched with surprise as the mobian in front of her lept up, examining his arms and legs, before eventually coming to the real clincher- He had. A tail.
"Hwaaaah!! What did you do to me!?!"
This time, she was unable to mask her emotions- A look of shock and disgruntlement came over the genie as she moved back slightly herself, before regaining her composure. "M-Me? I did nothing! I can't do anything! I am the one who has come to you for help!"
Joey simply glared however, before snatching at the giant ring Shahra had. "Oh yea? Then why did you appear suddenly? I bet the whole thing at the store was something you cooked up even!" Before he could continue the rant, the 'dog' (He seemed to have those features after all) watched with confusion as the ring he held shrank down to the size of one of his sausage sized fingers. A ring... "This proves it even more! If you ain't the one who did this to me, then tell me what clears you!"
Had Joey been paying attention, he would have noticed the slight glow of the ring he held. He did not however, and within seconds Shahra began to speak. "...This book that you have carelessly thrown aside.. It houses my world, which I was sealed within until the light of your moon hit its pages... You saw it yourself, did you not? The words of the Arabian Nights are disappearing, fading away into naught even ashes... This happened once before, many years ago...."
"How does this prove you didn't do this? Change me back!!" Joey cut Shahra off rather rudely, the genie frowning.
"I cannot change you back! I do not have enough power! Please, let me explain this to you! If I had my power-"
That caught Joey's attention. "So... You would change me back then would you?"
"In an instant, but I cannot! My power is linked to the state of my world... The Erazor Djinn, who once before attempted this was halted in his progress the first time he tried this... However, the hero who did this cannot aid us now. As the Erazor Djinn erases the words of the book, he gains more power.. And once he completely ruins the pages, he will be freed into the world of reality... When our world was first saved, our pages were lost to time, sent spiraling into nothingness in search of the other mobian who would find us... That, would be you. If you can help to destroy the Erazor Djinn, I will be able to regain my power once more- If this occurs, I should be able to restore you to your previous form.. Whatever it was."
"Human! I was human!! I was human and lovin' it until a few moments ago, so there's no way I can be your guy!" He scowled, before actually considering everything else. This was... Pretty difficult to believe. Joey sat down by his bed with a frown, contemplating what he'd heard. Difficult to believe but.. He DID just turn into some kind of dog thing... "'Sides, I just grabbed that book earlier today... And I'm not the type who gets picked for these kinds of things. It was just an accident alright!"
Shahra shook her head, her eyes now brimming with tears. "No! This was no accident! This is fate! Fate is what brought you this book, this world, and it is fate that you save it! I am begging you, for the fate of my entire world... Please help us! Help us, and I promise, I will do anything I can to restore you to your human form!"
"Hmggg..." Damn it... He should stay out of this, he really should but.. Didn't she say something about the 'evil genie' coming into reality if he wasn't stopped though?... "So... all I have to do is pummel this 'Eraser Gin' guy, and everything will be fine right?..." Wait, if this place was in a book- "Hey wait a sec'... How'm I supposed to help save this place if it's inside that book?"
"That's easy!" Shahra's upset mood disappeared as she giggled, shifting into a mist before reappearing beside Joey. "As the genie of the ring, I can grant as many wishes as needed, so long as it is within my power- To take you into the book is within those limits!"
"Uh... Alright..." Joey flushed, leaning away from the genie slightly- Shahra was a tad too close for comfort there... Watching the genie disappear yet again, he frowned. "Hey, that doesn't help much!" A small buzzing feeling in his hand jolted him, the dog looking down at the ring he held. "Eh!?"
The buzzing noise continued, before a voice came from it. "Please! Place the ring on your finger!"
"Heh?" He stared at the ring for a few seconds, before obliging. "Alright... That's done, now- AUG!!" He grabbed his ring finger, preparing to wrench the ring off of it yet again before a voice cut him off.
"Ah! Please, don't! That was the contract between us being sealed! You are now officially the master of the ring, and as such, it is my duty to protect you!" Joey cocked his head, a deadpan clearly on his face. Protect... Him? Wasn't he supposed to save her world for her? This whole talking piece of jewelry thing was a bit too familiar... "Please Master, rub the ring."
Joey did so, a look of confusion on his face again. "Ah... Alright, no-" Appearing from the ring came a mist, and with it Shahra, bowing her head.
"Oh Master of the ring... What is thy wish?"
He blinked. "Uh...." Well.. Um. That was new, being called 'master'. Actually, it would be kinda cool if not for the circumstance. But at the moment... He closed his eyes, thinking. Now that he thought about it, he still had no idea if this was a trick or not... What could he do to make her prove it wasn't... Opening his eyes, he found himself staring at his clearly oversized jeans, eyes soon trailing over to the shredded remains of his slippers. "Alright then... How about some clothes that fit?"
-POOF!- An exact replica of the outfit he wore in his human form appeared over him, complete with a few things that hadn't been his- In addition to his favorite t-shirt and jeans, there appeared a pair of pure white cloth gloves on his hands, and large blue and grey shoes that fit his enormous feet perfectly. "Alright! Now that's what I'm talking about!!" Tugging on the shirt, he grinned, momentarily forgetting about how he had gotten them completely.
"Please, be serious!" Shahra frowned, floating over to the book and pointing at it. "We have no time to fool around like this!" She was about to continue, before both turned to the sound of footsteps outside in the hall.
"Joey?" Shit... Yugi. "Joey, you forgot your bag at the store, I managed to get it..." Shitshitshitshitshit...
Joey hurriedly turned to Shahra, whispering frantically as he rubbed the ring. "Shahra! I wish I was in the book! Just don't let him see me like this please!!"
Shahra nodded, a look of worry on her face as she clapped her hands. The book before them opened wide, and a whirlwind of sand and paper swirled around them, obscuring them from view. The sand twisted and turned, siphoning into the book before it slammed shut... The only evidence of the wind being the few fluttering pages left behind, flying out the open window.
"Jo-.... W-what..." This was the sight that Yugi came across as he opened the door, the whirlwind having just dissipated. The room was in shambles for one- After the wind, the dressers had become messed, the blanket on the bed tangled into a heap in the corner of the room. Torn scraps of clothing littered a bloodstained ground, the still wet puddle catching Yugi's horrified eye first. "J-Joey... A...Ah..."
"AHHHHHHHH!!!!!" In the world of books, as pages swirled around Jonouchi Katsuya, he shut his eyes and bit his lip.
'Sorry, Yugi... But I can't see you like thi-' Suddenly however, Joey paled considerably. Wait... Wasn't there still a puddle of blood on the floor? "A-Ahh! Shahra! I wish Yugi didn't see my room!! Can you make the blood disappear too?!"
Shahra shook her head sadly. "Sorry, Master... But my powers can only stretch so far- Now that we are in the book, the realm of it is my limit... I can no more affect what is outside, than return you there before regaining my power..."
Falling through the stream of sand and pages of Arabian text, Joey looked back with horror. That meant... "...Yug..." He'd seen a lot of things before... He may have not been that bright, especially not compared to the others but, if there was one thing he knew about what Yugi probably saw, it was this. A ransacked and blood covered room didn't say 'I've been blackmailed into another gang', or 'I've been kidnapped by a mind-controlling freak'. It said 'I've been killed, and disposed of.' "Damn it..."
AN: Don't kill me!!! -dodges flames- This spawned from a very random but very cool looking doodle my friend (Sonic fan) and I (Who had gotten back into the Yu-Gi-Oh manga) cooked up together. It grew from there... Yea... UM anyways, before I get comments on Joey swearing too much... If you look at the manga, and really look, he was really a bit of a jackass to start. Not to mention, he really is that rude! I mean... It makes sense when you think about it, look at what he's stuck growing up in! -points to drunk and abusive father- Not good. D: ....Aside from that, let me know if he's too much or too little of an idiot here.
And for spelling mistakes.
damn spelling mistakes.... THEY'RE KILLING MEEEEEEEEE.....