Title: Shadow Balance
Set after Millennium World. After the destruction of the Millennium Items, Yugi and Ryou no longer have the spirits, but it seems their souls have merged, balancing them between light and dark as individuals, giving Ryou some of the personality traits and skills from the Tomb Robber.
Since the Pharaoh's name has been revealed, the shadow magic is no longer sealed. Ryou finds he is able to use the shadows without the ring, as do the former bearers and those with a link to the ancient past.
Ryou decides to return to England for closure over Monster World incidents that had taken place there before he moved to Domino. While travelling around England, he runs into new problems in the form of the modern magical world.
CHAPTER ONE: DJED – STABILITY
This is a story that begins with goodbyes.
The gang was together for what could be the last time. All of them together in Egypt. The Ceremonial Duel between Yugi and Atem had been only weeks before, and since then they had spent the time sightseeing around Luxor. Marik and Rishid had been showing them around. Occasionally Isis would join them, but usually she was working.
Jou had been pick-pocketed twice since they'd arrived, much to his annoyance. Although to the surprise of everyone, it turned out Ryou had been the one who'd done it the second time.
"Look Jou, I'm sorry!" Ryou pleaded, at his angry friend, "You just made it too easy – I mean, it was just sticking out your pocket in plain sight!"
Ryou felt so confused. Ever since the Items had been destroyed he'd felt subsequently different. The others had noticed too. They didn't say anything, but he could tell what they thought.
They thought the spirit was back in him again.
That was silly though. The spirit was gone, along with the Pharaoh. He was just… becoming more like him. It was the same with Yugi, but since him and the Pharaoh had been so similar by the end of things – at least in comparison to the spirit and Ryou, it was difficult to tell.
"Bakura! You shouldn't have taken it anyway!" Anzu scolded, "Jounouchi had his wallet stolen once before, he's just lucky Marik managed to grab the guy the first time. You shouldn't have made him panic like that!"
Ryou blushed and looked down. He had let Jou get rather frantic before revealing he had the wallet. He was about to apologize when Marik cut in.
"Jounouchi should have been more careful." He stated rather mildly, "He's lucky it was only Bakura, or he might have lost his passport. Jou should keep a better eye on his things, and I only hope this will have taught him a lesson – since it's obvious the first time wasn't warning enough."
Jou looked abashed at this, and shot Bakura an apologetic look.
Ryou looked at Marik in surprise, not having expecting to find any assistance.
"Marik has a point." It was Yugi. He was standing regally, in a stance reminiscent of the Pharaoh, but his violet eyes were soft and his features kind.
"Jou was being careless, and Bakura did give it back," Yugi sighed, "So let's please forget about this. We only have today left altogether, let's not spoil it."
It was true. They'd come to Egypt at the end of the school year, after graduation.
Tomorrow Anzu would be flying straight to New York. She'd gotten a full scholarship to a dance school there.
Yugi would be staying in Egypt for another month. Isis had asked him to stay with the Tomb Keepers clan for a while before he went to university to study Egyptology.
Ryou found it strange that Yugi was going to study Egyptology, he probably knew more than most professors, at least on certain topics. But he assumed it was a formality to some extent.
Jou was trying to join the Domino Police Academy, and was going to start training when he got back in a few weeks. That's probably what made him so upset about being the one to get pick-pocketed twice, since that was a job where he'd have to keep his wits about him.
It was strange thinking of Jou as a cop. He'd been in a gang when he was younger, but at the same time he was trustworthy and honest. He was probably trying to be a better roll model for his sister or trying to impress Mai. Maybe even both.
Honda was also going to university. He was going to study Political Science at Domino University. He'd surprised everyone by saying he wanted run for local office eventually.
Otogi was taking over full ownership of the Black Crown game store his father had started now that he'd graduated, and was planning a nationwide chain of stores in conjunction with KaibaCorp.
Seto and Mokuba, of course had KaibaCorp to get back to. Kaiba had mellowed out considerably since the day he showed up, right after the Ceremonial Duel. But he was still Kaiba, speaking of which…
"OH!" Ryou yelped, "Kaiba and Mokuba are still waiting for us!"
Yugi's eyes widened in horror, "We were supposed to meet them at the restaurant ten minutes ago!" He squeaked, looking every inch like innocent Yugi.
"Aw man! Rich boy's gonna kill us!" Jou yelled as the gang took off running down the street.
"So Bakura," Yugi asked quietly, "You really aren't going back to Japan?"
Ryou looked up from his packing. They were back at the hotel. Anzu's flight was at seven AM, and his was only an hour later. The Kaiba brothers had left on their jet earlier that evening with Otogi for business reasons. Honda and Jou were only catching a flight to Japan next week.
He sighed, and looked at Yugi standing in the door frame.
"It's true." He said quietly.
"Where are you going?"
"Back to England, my dad owns a house in a small town called Godric's Hollow."
Ryou sighed. He didn't really know why he was returning there. His father still owned property there it was true, so at least he would have somewhere to stay. How long he'd actually stay there, he didn't know.
There were so many memories back there.
So many different towns.
That had been when the spirit was still hiding in him. He hadn't known about it at the time, but now…
He knew why he had to go back there. He needed closure. He needed to make sure all those people were really okay.
He didn't want to tell Yugi this. Not yet.
"My father wants me to come visit him." This was a really bad lie. Ryou's father was in fact right here in Egypt at the moment on a dig with people from his museum. He hoped Yugi wouldn't see through it though.
"Isn't your father here though?" Yugi asked, confused.
"Oh, yes." Ryou said, thinking quickly, "He's working here a bit longer than he intended to, one of the men he works with – Bill, he left unexpectedly to get married and father has to stay for a while to help cover the workload. He didn't want me to have to wait around, so I'll be waiting for him at his house."
Ryou was impressed with himself. He'd managed to tell that lie by simply telling the truth. He was glad he'd paid attention to the call he'd gotten from his father before Ryou had left for Egypt.
Father had been in Egypt during the Dark RPG the spirit had played in the back room of father's museum in Domino a month ago. Ryou was glad for that. It had taken him days to straighten out the mess and repair the damage, but one evening, the day before Ryou was set to leave for Egypt with his friends, father had called.
Ryou had been surprised to hear from him. Father spent most of his time travelling, but when he wasn't, he either stayed at their old house in England or in his makeshift room at the museum. Ryou's own apartment was a small one bedroomed place where he'd been living alone for the past few years.
His father had told him that he wouldn't be able to come back to Japan for six months, due to, - as Ryou had just told Yugi - one of the men he worked with leaving sporadically over the last few months, just to return unexpectedly with his face scarred to announce he was leaving to get married!
Father had been quite upset, and had told Ryou how unprofessional Bill Weasley had been at great lengths. It was strange, since Ryou's father had said previously he quite liked the man in the past.
He was probably just upset Bill hadn't invited him to the wedding, Ryou thought. Especially since father wasn't really the type to care about spending more time away from his son than he already had.
The information had been rather dull at the time, Ryou had only met Bill a few times when he was much younger, so he wasn't very interested in the man's business, but it had come in useful now.
During the conversation, Ryou had never once mentioned to his father that he would be in Egypt within the next few days. He didn't want to bother him.
"Oh." Yugi said quietly, "Um, Ryou?"
Ryou jerked in surprise, no one ever called him by his first name.
"Y-yeah Yugi?" He asked quietly.
"Have you noticed the Shadows lately?" Yugi asked in an offhanded sort of way.
Ryou started in shock, and blurted out, "Ever since the Duel?"
Yugi nodded, "Yeah, it's strange. It's like Ya – Atem is still with me. It feels like I still have the puzzle's magic."
Ryou nodded in return, "I know, I thought our magic was because of them, but…" Ryou waved his hand, causing the shadows to move in and obscure him from view, making him invisible in plain sight.
"I can do things only… he could do. And the shadows don't hurt like they used to." Ryou faded back into sight.
"Yeah," Yugi said, "I've been talking to Isis about it. She has an idea about what might be happening. It's strange; she said Marik and her have also had some shadow powers return since the Items were destroyed."
Ryou looked at Yugi in amazement; Marik hadn't mentioned anything to him. The two of them were pretty good friends, they both understood what it was like being kept only half in the real friendship of the group while still being crept around as if they might become evil at any given moment.
"Isis thinks that it has something to do with us having found the Pharaoh's name."
"Of course!" Ryou said, "The Pharaoh's name was used to seal the Shadow magic away, now that the Seal is gone…"
"Those who would have been able to wield the items will have the shadows return to them." Yugi finished.
Ryou frowned, "Isn't that dangerous? Having people out there who could be using the Shadows?"
"I asked Isis about that," Yugi nodded, "She said that only those with a link to the ancient past would be able use the shadows after it being sealed so long. The Shadows have become choosy over time it seems. If anyone else tries, they'll be consumed by the Shadows."
Ryou looked relieved. He didn't want to see people summoning Ka's all over the place.
"She also mentioned something else," he said, "About me and you."
Ryou motioned for him to continue.
"It seems because we're reincarnations of existing spirits, now that the spirits have passed on, our souls have… kind of merged with our past selves."
Ryou laughed, "That explains a lot."
He was relieved to have an explanation at last. He'd been having strange memories pop into his head recently, from periods of his life when the spirit had been in control of his body, and even some from the Tomb Robber's time in Kemet. They were mostly of more recent years though, and none were really complete.
"The others have noticed something's off with us." Yugi agreed, "Um… I was also wondering about that."
Ryou looked at him.
"Well, the Tomb Robber had a very strong personality. I'm worried it might overwhelm you, and you won't be you anymore." Yugi said, his eyes showing his concern.
Ryou shook his head, "No, I don't think so. I think maybe whoever I become, whoever we become now will be the person maybe we were meant to be, if our past selves hadn't gotten themselves sealed maybe we would have been like Isis – a full reincarnation.
Our spirits, our Yami's – our Darks, they were a part of ourselves we were missing. We were light without dark; one without the other can't truly exist. I think… maybe now we're finally balanced." As he voiced this out loud, Ryou felt at least some truth in it.
Yugi nodded, "You have a point." He said thoughtfully, "But keep an eye on yourself anyway, please."
"I will." Ryou said. "So, how many people are there who can use the Shadows? That we know of, I mean." Ryou asked, changing the subject.
"Well, according to Isis, it would be me, you, Marik, Isis herself, a few other people in the Tomb Keeper's clan, my grandpa – apparently he's the reincarnation of the vizier Siamun Muran. Oh, and Kaiba.
Ryou gave a very Tomb Robber like smirk and said, "Kaiba with magic? I don't see him taking to that very well."
Yugi grinned, "Yeah, Isis said to break it gently to him. I'll probably mention it when I see him in Domino next month."
"Good luck with that," Ryou giggled, "I hate to miss that, but…" he sighed. The conversation had gone a full circle and they were back at this again.
"Ryou?" Yugi asked quietly.
"After you've… visited your father, are you going to come back to Domino? What are you going to do anyway? I mean, you haven't told anyone what your plans for the future are, or even how long you'll be gone."
Ryou was taken aback, "I-I don't know. I'll probably talk to father about helping out at his museum I guess. So yes, I suppose I'll come back to Domino eventually. I don't know when though."
Yugi smiled in relief, "Oh, good! I'm glad."
Ryou looked at the clock, "Oh! It's almost two AM! I've got to finish packing for tomorrow morning!" he yelped.
Yugi also glanced at the clock in shock, "What? I'd better go help Anzu!" he said blushing as he sped out the door.
A/N: Edited 18/1/2018