Author's Note: So… I've been watching Hayao Miyazaki's Spirited Away almost every night for the last three weeks. And this is what happened. -_-; I'm so lame. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it! I'll still be updating my other stories, too, don't worry.
Edit (09-14-09): Okay, since fanfiction's being so totally GAY, it's saying this story doesn't exist. . So I've deleted it and remade it. Sorry peoples… IT'S NOT MY FAULT!
Edit (08-13-10): I fixed Jounouchi's accent. Sorry, guys. :/ He still calls Yuugi 'Yuug' though. Because I like to think that it's a cute nickname between buddies.
Have a good trip, Yuugi and Jounouchi!
See you when you get back!
Yuugi sighed and flipped the card over to look at the back.
Try to keep your minds off of Domino.
He knew that the last part had been more directed at Jounouchi. Jounouchi's father had finally gone too far, and he'd been taken by Children's Services away from him. It had taken a lot of court dates and fighting, but finally, Yuugi's mother had gotten custody of him, since Kawai-san wanted nothing to do with him. Jounouchi was still pretty depressed and upset over it, though—his mother hadn't even hesitated when she said that no, she didn't want him. That's why his grandfather and mother had decided that a vacation was in order, to try and make him feel better.
Because really, Jounouchi having trouble eating was wrong on so many levels.
He glanced up at his friend and frowned, then punched him lightly in the shoulder. "Hey, cheer up, Jounouchi-kun. We're going to a theme park! It's going to be fun!"
Jounouchi sighed and crossed his arms. "Yeah, I know."
Mutou Ashita turned to look over her seat at them. "You could sound a bit more excited about it."
"I know. I'm sorry," the blond sighed again, slouching in his seat. "I don't mean to be like this."
"Of course you don't, Jounouchi-kun," Mutou Sugoroku agreed, nodding at him through the rear view mirror. He frowned as they came to a dirt road. "Hmm, I don't remember this from the directions. Did I take a wrong turn?"
"Funny. It should just go through, shouldn't it? I don't see it on the map," Ashita stated, frowning as well.
The old man sighed, narrowing his eyes skeptically, then shrugged. "Well, if it doesn't go through, we can always turn around." And they began onto the dirt road.
Yuugi tilted his head as he saw a bunch of things out the window among the trees. "What are those things? They look like little houses."
Ashita glanced over at them momentarily before looking back at the map. "Rock temples. People believe that the spirits live in them."
"Ack-! Jounouchi-kun, just ask me to move!" the younger boy exclaimed in alarm, ducking backward to avoid being crushed by his friend as he went to look out the window as well.
The blond rubbed the back of his head bashfully and hurriedly leaned back. "Sorry, Yuug'."
"You need to learn some personal space, Jounouchi-kun," the woman pointed out absently, then pointed at a spot on the map. "Perhaps this is where we need to go."
Jounouchi flinched and ducked further into his own seat. "I'm sorry."
"Mom! Jounouchi-kun, I don't mind you getting in my personal space," Yuugi assured, reaching out to pat his shoulder. "Just warn me, okay? You're a lot bigger than me and I almost dropped Anzu's card."
The blond moved his gaze away from him and sighed. "I'm still sorry."
"That's okay! It's sort of like…" The younger boy cast around for a reason to make it seem okay and smooth his friend's 'raised hackles,' for lack of a better term. "…Like having a big rowdy puppy jumping around!"
"Oh. Thanks." Jounouchi frowned a little. "…I think."
Yuugi smiled brightly. "It's a compliment, really!" he replied, only to yelp as the car began to bounce and sent him directly into his friend's lap. "Ack!"
"Dad! Slow down!" Ashita exclaimed, pressing her hands against the dashboard to try and brace herself. "You're going too fast!"
"Relax!" the old man answered, seemingly uncaring about the shocks of his car getting the workout of a lifetime. "I've got four-wheel drive!"
"Ow-ow-ow-ow-ow-ow!" Jounouchi grimaced as his friend's elbow slammed into his gut and grabbed the back of his shirt to try and lift him off, but the car was just jostling them too much. Besides, he wasn't the only one in pain; Yuugi kept hitting his head on the handle of the back of the seat in front of them.
Sugoroku frowned and slammed on the breaks as he saw some sort of statue in the road, then hummed and looked up at the big red building in surprise. "Hmm, what is that?"
"Dad! You could have killed us!" Ashita exclaimed, then frowned as her father got out of the car. "Where are you going now?"
The old man placed his hands on his hips and looked up at the red walls of what looked like an entrance to a building, then went up and pressed his hand against it. Nodding slightly, he turned back to them. "I knew it. These walls aren't old, they're fake; they're made of plaster."
"What's your point, Gramps?" Jounouchi called after him, leaning out of the window.
"Let's take a look at what's inside," Sugoroku suggested. "It'll be like a small adventure before our big one at the theme park!"
"Dad, we'll be late for our hotel reservations," Ashita sighed, but got out nonetheless.
Jounouchi looked down at his friend skeptically, but when he just shrugged, he sighed and opened the door. "Let's go before he gets himself lost."
"Yeah, Mom still hasn't gotten over that one time..." Yuugi agreed, sighing.
The blond snorted. "What, don't you remember what he said? 'I was only going to the store to buy some bananas,'" he stated, deepening his voice to mock the old man.
The younger teen rolled his eyes. "And he wound up a mile away from the grocery store."
"Yeah, well—" Jounouchi looked down in surprise as he felt the wind tugging at his clothes, seemingly leading both he and Yuugi toward the tunnel.
He glanced at his friend hesitantly, but when the smaller boy merely shrugged, he sighed and began after the two adults. When the amount of light began to fade, however, he stuck closer to Yuugi—and they both moved a little closer to his mother and grandfather.
They came out into what looked like a waiting area, for a train or a ferry or something. Yuugi tilted his head and looked around. "I wonder what this is for."
"Wait." Ashita lifted a hand to her ear. "Do you hear that?"
Both Jounouchi and Yuugi quieted. After a few moments of listening intently, they heard the soft 'swssshhhhswsshhhh' of heavy metal against metal and the 'puffpuffpuff' of a steam engine.
Yuugi perked up. "It's a train!"
"Let's go look outside," Sugoroku suggested, pointing toward the arched doorway. "Perhaps we'll see it."
"This place gives me the willies," Jounouchi commented quietly, looking down at his friend. "D'you feel that?"
The smaller boy crossed his arms and frowned. "Yeah, I do, and I sort of want to get going again. But, Grandpa wants to keep at this, and you know Grandpa."
Following the adults out of the building, the two boys stopped in awe and looked around. "Whoa, I've never seen this much open space!"
"Look at those rocks! It's like they were carved to be people!"
Both boys paused, then looked up (or in Jounouchi's case, down) at their grandfather. "What are those weird looking buildings?"
The old man threw his head back and laughed proudly. "I knew it! It's an abandoned theme park!"
Ashita sighed. "Dad, don't laugh like that."
Sugoroku continued as if she hadn't said anything and explained, "They built them everywhere in the early nineties. Then the economy went bad and they all went bankrupt." He turned and glanced up at the clock tower of the building they'd just gone into. "This must be one of them."
Yuugi frowned as his grandfather began walking again. "Hey, we found out what it was—we should get going again! Grandpa!"
"We've still got reservations to get to!" Ashita reminded him, then sighed and followed. "I swear, that old man's going to be the death of me."
"…So should we stay here and wait for your mom, or…?" Jounouchi asked, tapping his fingers together anxiously.
Both boys jumped as a rush of wind came out from the building and turned to look at it. The building seemed to groan at them, as if wanting them to move.
No surprise that they ran after the adults.
"Hey-! Did you hear that? It sounded like the building was moaning!" Yuugi exclaimed once they caught up.
"It's just the wind," his mother answered, then smiled and took a deep breath. "Oh, it's lovely out here. It's too bad we didn't bring our lunch; we could have had a picnic."
Jounouchi stopped and frowned. "…Didn't you just say we had to get to our reservations?"
The smaller boy scowled and crossed his arms. "Sometimes they drive me crazy!"
Crossing a bunch of boulders and rocks, Sugoroku chuckled. "Looks like they were planning to put a river here. They must have run out of money before they could."
"Dad! You're going to break a hip!" Ashita exclaimed, then sighed and climbed after him. "Dad, you really should act your age."
"And sit in a rocking chair for the rest of my life? Ha! I've still got plenty of time left!" the old man answered, striking a pose supposed to be emanating strength but only managing to look silly. He frowned for a moment and began to sniff, then turned toward his daughter as she finally caught up with him. "Hey, do you smell that?" He sniffed again. "Smells good!"
Both Jounouchi and Yuugi looked up, then began to sniff as well. Yuugi could smell food cooking faintly; Jounouchi could tell immediately it was beef and chicken and roasted and boiled vegetables. Living on the streets had given him a very sensitive nose.
Ashita could smell it too. "Mm, it does smell good. And I'm starving."
"Maybe this theme park is still in business. Let's go check it out," the old man suggested.
She couldn't really say no, since she was hungry too. Looking back at the boys, she nodded. "Hurry up. We don't want to lose your grandfather."
He found that offensive. "I'm right here!"
"Coming!" Jounouchi and Yuugi called back, before the blond slipped and let out a yelp as he fell into a puddle of the small, still moving stream of water weaving its way through. "Ow!"
"…You're sort of clumsy, Jounouchi-kun," Yuugi laughed, offering his hand to help him up. "Are you okay?"
The blond huffed and took his hand to pull himself up. "Yeah, 'm fine."
Once he was up and they both made it to the steps, they hurried after the two adults, the taller boy grumbling about his wet pants and the smaller one laughing not necessarily at him, but in good humor.
As they walked, Jounouchi felt a shiver up his spine, as if someone was watching him; he'd become extremely attuned to whether people were watching him on the streets. Turning, he looked around, and he saw a flash of dark red and gold on one of the roofs. He frowned and stared at it for a few moments, to see if maybe he'd catch another glimpse. When he realized that the thing wasn't going to show itself again, he sighed and turned to catch up to the others.
Ashita looked around and hummed thoughtfully. "That's strange; they're all restaurants."
Yuugi glanced around as well, but he kept his attention mostly on his grandfather, who was sniffing around for whatever they were smelling. "I wonder where all the people are…"
"Hey! Over here! I found it!" Sugoroku called out, waving for them to come.
Hurrying over to him, the three found a counter with dozens of foods stacked around. Behind the bar were a few different grills sizzling with more food. It all smelled good, and looked delicious.
Jounouchi felt his stomach churn. He wondered if his father was getting enough to eat without him there. He didn't feel so hungry anymore…
"I don't feel too good," he admitted, crossing his arms over his stomach.
"Just sit down, Jounouchi-kun. I'm sure you'll feel better. Getting some decent food in your stomach after all that junk food may help," Ashita answered, sitting down and looking around.
"Hello, is anybody there?" the old man called, looking around. "Does anybody work here?"
She smiled and looked over at him. "Dad, I'm sure we can pay the bill when they get back."
"That's right!" Sugoroku sat as well and began filling his plate. "I've got both credit cards and cash on me!"
Yuugi, seeing his friend eyeing the food warily, smiled weakly. "Maybe if we take a little walk you'll feel better. Mom, Grandpa, we're gonna take a quick walk before we eat, okay?"
Ashita looked back at them and nodded. "Alright, but don't go too far. We don't want you to get lost."
"If we lose each other, we can always meet up back at the car," Sugoroku stated, before they got out of earshot.
The two teens waved to show that they'd heard him and began their walk away. Jounouchi sighed and shoved his hands in his pockets. "I'm sorry, Yuug'."
"It's okay. I had too many burgers earlier anyway," the smaller boy answered, resting his hands behind his head as they walked. "Besides, it's more interesting to explore, don't you think?"
The blond glanced around anxiously, remembering the flash of crimson and gold he'd seen earlier. "…Yeah. Way more interesting."
Yuugi rolled his eyes; sometimes his friend was really too weird. He blinked as he saw smoke rising from behind a building, then grabbed his friend's wrist and began to run toward it. "Come on, Jounouchi-kun!"
"Ack! Where are we going?" the taller boy exclaimed, stumbling a little before catching up to him.
"To see where that black smoke is coming from!" the violet-eyed teen replied, then stopped abruptly once they'd turned the corner to see a large red building decorated with sea-foam green and gold. "Oh wow."
Jounouchi squeaked as he nearly bowled the smaller boy over, then frowned and looked up at the building as well. "Huh. It's a bathhouse." He squinted up at the sign and tilted his head. "It's called… 'ABURAME.'"
"Weird. I wonder how they keep it running. I don't see anyone here." Yuugi looked over to the small waterfall and tilted his head as well, then stepped to the bridge. "Hey, look, you can see the railroad tracks."
"Ah?" Joey shoved his hands back into his pockets, sighing, and walked over to stand by him. "I wonder how long it is."
At that, the old child-hood excitement struck. "Oh-! Look, there it is!"
…It wasn't that different from Jounouchi. "What-! Where?" he asked quickly, leaning over the side of the bridge. "Wow! That's sort of a short train!"
Once it was out of sight on once side, they moved to the other side to watch it go. It was then that Jounouchi felt he was being watched again, and he turned, only to find his gaze locked with some guy's—he was tall, with brown hair and sharp, almost unnaturally blue eyes. He tilted his head innocently; the place had seemed lifeless before, so where had he come from?
The surprised expression on the other boy's face was quick to fade, only to be replaced by anger. "What are you doing here? You shouldn't be here!"
Yuugi immediately hid behind his friend, frowning. "S-sorry. We didn't know—"
The brunet looked around quickly, then turned his glare back on them. "It's almost dark! You have to leave before it's too late! Go, now!"
Jounouchi was half tempted to punch the guy in the face, if only because he'd frightened Yuugi. However, every alarm in his body was urging him to flee, so he turned toward Yuugi. "Let's go, Yuu—" He cut himself off as the lamps nearby began to turn on, and suddenly the alarms were ringing louder—something very very very bad was going to happen.
The brunet seemed to realize this, also. "Fuck! Hurry—get through the tunnel before it's too late! I'll hold them off!" he ordered, turning back to the bathhouse. "Yami! Follow them and make sure they get out!"
Jounouchi grabbed his friend's arm and began running. "Let's go!"
"Ack-! We have to go get my mom and grandpa!" Yuugi exclaimed, stumbling for a moment before he ran after him.
Both boys grew alarmed as shadowy figures began to appear, fading in from nowhere as they ran. Jounouchi knew that if it was just him, he'd panic and probably get himself hurt, so he thanked every god he knew about that Yuugi was with him. Yuugi was the only thing keeping him from going nuts.
Running back to the restaurant that they'd left their adult guardians, Yuugi rushed inside and grabbed the back of his grandfather's shirt. "Grandpa! Mom! We have to go!"
Jounouchi realized that something was very wrong when his grandfather ignored him and hurriedly yanked him back just in time for the pig wearing his grandfather's clothes to knock some large, heavy dishes where he'd been standing a minute before. "Yuug', look out!"
"Where are my mom and grandpa?" Yuugi exclaimed frantically, looking back up at him. "They were here when we left and—" He cut himself off as he heard a whipping sound, and then suddenly something smacked the pig's cheek so it fell down onto the ground, squealing in pain and surprise.
They shrank back to avoid being crushed by it. "They said to meet by the car if we lost each other! Let's go!" the blond answered quickly, and they both took off at a sprint back toward where the supposed-to-be river was. "Besides, this is probably just a bad dream 'cause we ate so much junk food in the car, right?"
"Right! Ah, Jounouchi look out!"
The blond turned his gaze away from his friend to look where he was going and let out a high-pitched squeal as he ran through one of the black spirits. "Meeeep! Cold!"
Yuugi grabbed his hand and began dragging him along again. "Come on!"
Jounouchi looked over his shoulder at the spirit in surprise as they began down the stairs only to let out another squeal as both he and fell thigh-deep into water. "AGH!" Turning, he thrust Yuugi back onto the steps and scrambled up after him.
The smaller boy looked down at the water and frowned in confusion, startled to find a wide river where there had been none and a large boat-like ferry was coming toward them. "Water? But—but—how did—"
The blond watched in both awe and horrified confusion as the ferry slowed to a stop and a ramp began to lower, and floating pieces of paper began down it; a body began to form behind the papers as soon as they reached land. Hearing a whimper, he felt his heart sink, and he turned to find his friend curled up in a ball. He frowned and reached out to touch his shoulder only to gasp as he found he could see his friend through his hand.
"What the hell?" He lifted his other hand to see if it was see-through also, then groaned loudly. "Oh, God, I gotta wake up from this-!"
"Why, what—Jounouchi-kun, you're see-through!" Yuugi exclaimed once he looked up and saw it, pointing at him—only to find he was also afflicted with this. "Oh my God! I'm see-through too!" He reached up and yanked on his hair quickly. "Wakeupwakeupwakeup!"
Both teens turned sharply as they heard a low-pitched screech, but didn't get a chance to see what had caused it because suddenly talons were sinking into the backs of their jackets and they were being lifted off the ground. They began struggling wildly, and Jounouchi began to curse and snarl and flail about, as that had been how he escaped from most attackers from behind.
They were dropped behind a building nearby, and Jounouchi hurriedly ushered his friend under a lean-to against the stone wall. Then, he turned and wrapped his arms around him, trying to hold back his own tears as Yuugi cried into his side in confusion and watching the large red and gold bird flying away.