"I can't believe it. After eight years, I've finally completed the Millennium Puzzle!"
"Congrats...can I go back to sleep now?"
"Come on Kage, aren't you excited?"
"I'll be excited in the bloody morning."
A lone figure stood in the corridor outside the soul room. Bleried eyed, he walked into the room without a second thought. His hair laid flat, gold bangs and red all over, with undercurrents of black among the red. His eyes were like amethysts, and he was around five and half. He curled under the blankets, not even noticing when the other, shorter boy curled up next to him. He was the boy's other side, the one that hid behind his meek exterior.
Where Yugi was meek, Kage was brash. Yugi was short, Kage was a respectable height. Kage also knew magic, as he could manifest at will. Whenever Yugi asked what kind of magic, he always said "Shadow Magic."
He still didn't have a clue where his other half learned it.
"WHAT IN THE NAME OF RA IS THIS?"
"Kage? What's up?"
Yugi woke up, and looked around. He didn't see anything wrong in his bedroom. Kage forcefully pulled the boy back into their soul room, and Yugi looked with wide eyes at the new door.
"I always wondered why we had that corridor," joked Yugi.
"This is serious! A change in soul rooms means a life altering event! I may mean that we have another mind here."
"Is that bad?"
"Too soon to tell. Want me to deal with school or do you want to handle it?"
"I'll do it. If you have to deal with Chono-sensei again you'll probably get us expelled."
"True. I'm off to pwn noobs at the arcade then. Let me know when you get out."
"Don't I always?"
'KAGE! USHIO BEAT UP JOUNOUCHI AND HONDA!'
"Crap! Sorry gang I have to leave."
"Aww man! I was about to beat you too..."
Kage smirked, and beat the kid for good measure. A string of curses followed him outside. He chuckled, then raced to the school. Yugi was standing around, looking confused.
"Yugi, what happened?"
"I don't know. I put the last piece in the puzzle, then I blacked out."
"I saw Ushio...he was curled into a fetal position, and crying about money."
"Like I said, I blacked out."
Kage looked worried, but took Yugi home.
"Yo, Ojii-chan! Look what the cat dragged in!" yelled Kage.
"Welcome home boys! Have fun at the arcade, Kage-kun?"
"They are still cursing my name as we speak," smirked Kage.
**Flashback to eight years ago**
Yugi took out the first puzzle piece. He would show his Grandpa he could solve the puzzle! The moment he touched the first gold piece, he felt himself thrown backwards. He opened his eyes to see a corridor of stone. There was an open room, and he walked in. Toys of all shape and sizes were scattered on the floor. He was tempted to pick them up, when a voice from behind said, "Don't bother. They'll just get scattered when you play a game again."
Yugi jumped. A boy with flat hair, amethyst eyes and a good three inches on him stood behind him.
"Who are you?"
"You could say I'm your other half, but that wouldn't be accurate. I can still sense pieces of us missing."
"Actually, whenever someone meets the other side of them, they're supposed to come up with a name. Otherwise it would be your name backwards, which is just plain confusing."
It was then that little Yugi noticed that the other boy had no shadow. Then he came up with a name.
"How does Kage Yugi sound?"
"Doesn't matter to me. Now I'll be stuck in here for at least two years, but that doesn't mean you can't talk to me. Just consider me your imaginary friend until I can get enough energy built up to manifest properly."
"Okay!" said Yugi, happy to have a friend...even if the guy was only in his head.
(Two years later...)
Yugi waited excitedly as Kage began to appear, blurry at first then solid. Immediately Yugi glomped the other boy.
"Ack! Not five minutes with a body, and you just have to glomp me?"
"Come on, Grandpa's been wanting to meet you for ages!"
It was an understatement to say that his Grandfather was shocked. he never expected the boy to be Yugi's other side. Not to mention taller than him! But he was happy to learn that the boy had all of Yugi's politeness, and gentle spirit. So he was fine with the boy pretending to be Yugi's older brother.
Yugi went to school as usual, and was happy to find out that by standing up to Ushio, Jounouchi and Honda were now his friends. Maybe Kage would get along with them, since he really did NOT like Anzu.
Unfortunately, Kage didn't like them much either. Though he did like them enough to tolerate their presence, unlike Anzu. So Yugi didn't tell them about Kage. In fact, it wasn't until the Kaiba corp heir arrived that he DID find someone he liked. So he confronted the boy, and made a friend.
Kaiba was miffed about Yami beating him, so when he meet someone, who not only KNEW of Yugi's darker self, but periodically pranked him, he was more than ready to listen to him.
Death T...a bigger pain in the ass could not be conceived by Kaiba. What amused Kage to no end was that after he beat it, Kaiba looked annoyed as hell. He still cracked up about it. And to make it even better, he now had a lifetime free admission to all the games in Kaibaland. Which pissed off his accountants. Not his problem.
Yugi and co entered the stadium, determined to rescue his Grandfather. Kaiba had kidnapped him earlier, and apparently the old man's heart wasn't up to the holograms Kaiba projected. Which only solidified his desire to keep his business far away from the man. Only Yugi (and the clients themselves) knew what he did under the Kame game shop. And thanks to the fact that Kaiba actually lent him a good lawyer (who made the consent agreement airtight) and a ten percent of the profits to Kaiba, he had a legitimate business under the shop. Which only adults who knew the password and paid the admission fee could enter.
And as far as Grandpa was concerned, he didn't need to know so long as it was legal and no one died. Which was perfect for the brothers.
Yugi was halfway up the tower. And Kage was bored. So he sat down and meditated. Then, he felt it...a Millennium Item. Judging by the fact that it had an ancient spirit, he guessed it was the Millennium Ring. So he got up and walked towards the poor soul who had the Ring. There! An albino boy with doe eyes was watching Yugi's progress...and judging by the look in his eyes, he had no idea why he was there.
"Let me guess. You have no idea why you're here."
The boy's eyes widened to show he was right.
"Name's Kage Yugi. Kage for short. You wouldn't happen to have a pendant with the eye of Horus on it, do you?"
"How did you...?"
"I may be able to help you with the blackouts. I'd help my other self, but I'd rather not alert the spirit in his item."
"Can you? I mean help with the blackouts."
"Yup. If you want, I can take care of it now, and still have time to watch Yugi beat Kaiba."
The left the room and entered into the lobby. It was empty, since everyone was watching the group make their way to the top.
"Just sit down and relax."
A cold dark corridor...and two rooms. One had pictures of a two girls and a boy. One of the girls looked identical to the boy. The room was dark and cold, while a small portion was bright. The other room was closed, and had a similar feel to the one in Yugi's mind. So he knocked on it first. It opened with an ominous creak. An albino with red-brown eyes and a maniacal look was waiting.
"Well, well. A visitor. And who are you?"
"Name's Kage Yugi, and I think the Pharaoh was a putz."
That simple sentence immediately gained him an ally.
"My name is Bakura. Thief King Bakura. Care to explain why you're here?"
"Your host wanted me to do something about the blackouts you keep putting him in. You should really go easier on the kid."
"I don't see a Millennium Item on you."
"My host has the Puzzle. When he finally put it together, I found out we had another room. I touch it, and got the idiot Pharaoh's memories in return. And I ain't tellin' him about his past."
Bakura grinned...he liked this kid.
"So what should we do now?"
"How about we bring Ryou in and play poker?"
Bakura's evil grin was more than enough to answer his question.
Ryou was shocked...a boy who looked exactly like him had a deck of regular cards in his hand stood before him.
"Pop a squat. I'm dealing first hand."
"Ryou, meet the spirit of that pendant on your neck. Whenever he takes over you get a blackout. He's agreed to tone it down, as long as you don't mind hanging out with me."
They sat down and played a few rounds of poker, and the two opposing spirits got to know each other. Kage grinned the entire time. The two came out of it in time to watch Yami's duel against Kaiba. They left after he was beat (of course) and agreed to meet up later.
"So did you watch the duel bro?"
"Yup. Me and my new friend watched it. Your darker half has a serious problem with arrogance."
"Does the word 'blackout' ring a bell? The spirit of the puzzle takes over and causes them. I can't do anything about it, or he'd find out about me."
"What's your new friend's name?"
"Actually there are two. Ryou and the spirit of the Millennium Ring, Bakura. Bakura seriously hates your darker half, so watch out for him."
"'Kay. Night bro."
A new transfer student! Yay! Wait...did she say Ryou Bakura? I wonder if this is the guy Kage mentioned.
'Let me see...that's him. Tell him I'll be at the gate after school. Also, make sure you have your permit on you. I'm taking you for that test today.'
'Already done. It's in my wallet. See you after school bro!'
The new student sat next to him. He looked timid as the girls swarmed him.
"Kage says hi. Also, he'll be at the gate after school."
Ryou looked surprised.
"Kage tells me everything. He can also see through my eyes when he asks."
"Who's Kage?" asked Anzu.
Yugi gained a mischievous glint.
"Not telling~!" he said happily.
Anzu looked annoyed, and began to pester him mercilessly about Kage. Yugi kept his mouth shut and ignored her completely.
Kage waited patiently at the gate, his bike sitting in the shade. Yugi ran up to him and glomped him. Ryou shook his head amused.
"You ready to take the test?"
"I have my wallet and permit on me. Let's go!"
"Motorcycle test. If he passes, he can drive one to school. And he won't need me to get around."
"I'll see you tomorrow Ryou-kun!"
"Hey, who's that with the cool bike?" asked Jounouchi.
"Dunno...but whoever it is, I don't want to mess with them," said Honda. The bike had a black dragon design, and the helmet had a rather nasty looking monster on it.
"Is that dude pulling up the school? I sure hope Yugi doesn't run into him!" said Anzu.
The rider parked, and put the permit on one of the mirrors, which meant it wouldn't get towed. He then took off his helmet, and gave the three a nasty shock. It was YUGI!
Yugi was grinning like mad, and took his helmet into the school, putting it into his locker. Because of his brother's spell, no one would DARE steal his new bike. His grandpa wasn't too happy about it, but he let it slide once Kage pointed out that now Yugi could get to school on time.
"YUGI!" shrieked Anzu. She looked furious.
He winced visibly, then bolted to the classroom. Jounouchi and Honda couldn't blame him...Anzu's shrieking was more than enough to make anyone run.
"So Yuge, when did you get a motorcycle?" asked Jounouchi.
"I got it after I passed my driver's test yesterday. I wasn't allowed to drive it until I got my license."
"YUGI! What were you thinking, driving that thing? Don't you know how dangerous those things are?"
Yugi winced again, "They aren't dangerous. Would you PLEASE stop shrieking?"
Anzu continued ranting until class started and she finally shut up. Yugi immediately sought out Ryou to avoid her during lunch. Jounouchi and Honda joined him.
Yugi had to agree to let them ride it once it was allowed to get the two off his case. Unfortunately, Anzu wasn't as easy to dismiss. He had enough after a week of nonstop harping.
"ANZU! Enough already! Nothing you can say will convince me to get rid of the bike! Why are you so bent out of shape about it? It's not like I'm going to drive like a bat out of hell."
Anzu then started to rant about friendship, which only made Yugi hurry up with his school day to get away. He was very tempted to fake a sickness to ditch her. But if he tried to skip class he'd get into even more trouble, since he was the only person in school who drove a motorcycle and get away with it.
Kage to the rescue!
"Yugi Muto to the principal's office. Yugi Muto to the principal's office."
Yugi grabbed his things and left the class. He then was allowed to leave the school, and drove away. All the principal would say was it was his brother.
Yugi parked his bike in the garage, and ran into the store. Kage was grinning like a loon, and then Yugi realized what was going on. He sighed in relief.
"Thanks bro. One more minute of Anzu's rants and I'd risked detention to skip class."
"Thank Grandpa then. He's the one who said I could get you out of class early. Now what should we do with the rest of the day?"
"You two are helping me restock the shelves, and putting up the new merchandise. Only when you're both done will I let you leave the store."
Yugi and Kage weren't complaining...considering he would have grounded them if Kage hadn't told him of Yugi's predicament.
It took them three hours to finish up at the store. It was well after the school had ended, and Yugi's friends came by. He ducked behind his grandfather to hide from Anzu.
"So Yuge, why did you leave school?"
"It was a medical emergency. I had the permission of the school."
"But Mr. Muto is fine..." started Anzu.
"Um yeah, Grandpa lied. He really needed help with the store, and he got me out of school early."
"YUGI!" chided Anzu.
Someone finally had enough.
"Anzu, shut the hell up! You're giving him a migraine!" yelled Kage from the stairs.
"Um Yugi, who was that?" asked Honda.
"Kage! Get your butt down here now!" retorted Yugi.
A new face appeared, waltzing down the stairs. His face was identical to Yugi, but his hair was flat and he was at least a few feet taller.
"Before you ask, this is Kage Yugi," said Yugi calmly.
'Yugi, can I PLEASE Shadow Game Anzu?'
"Um Yuge? Who is this guy?"
"Like I said, Kage Yugi. You could call him my older brother, cause that's about as close as I can explain at the moment."
"And I'm the reason Yugi has his license. So if you're going to harp at someone," started Kage.
She turned on him, and began a full on rant, not bothering to stop for breath. He just stood there, not even flinching. When she finally shut up, he smirked and took out a pair of ear plugs. She looked LIVID, and was about to start ranting again when Jounouchi took the incentive and knocked her out.
"And that's why I like you two more than her. Explain to me again WHY you hang out with her?"
Yugi opened his mouth, then shut it. He couldn't come up with a good reason.
Jounouchi and Honda stayed, while Anzu left in a huff once she came to. It turned out that the other boys respected Kage, mainly because he beat them both at arm wrestling at the same time. When they left, they asked Yugi why he hadn't introduced them sooner.
"Kage told me not to. Besides, his only friends are Kaiba and Ryou."
That had their jaws drop. He was friends with KAIBA?
Ryou felt his darker spirit take over. At least now he KNEW what was causing the frequent blackouts. He just wished the other spirit would be a little nicer.
Bakura took over, but he did make it a little easier for his host. After he Shadow Gamed the gym teacher, he walked home. He even made his host something to eat, and let the boy have his body back. Ryou woke up in his apartment, and saw the sandwich Bakura made him. Surprised, he sat down and ate it. He then went to sleep and woke up the next morning to chaos.
"Karuta-sensei is in a coma!" said Yugi the next morning.
"Wasn't he the teacher with a crew cut?"
"Wonder what happened?"
"Who cares?" said Jounouchi.
"Hey Ryou, what sort of games do you play?"
"I'm a Monster World addict."
"Maybe we can come over tomorrow and play!"
"I don't know...every time someone plays me they end up in the hospital..."
Yugi, Jounouchi and Honda decided to join him the next day to play. Yugi then had an idea!
"Hey Ryou, want me to come over and help you with the homework?"
Ryou thought it over, and said "Only if you bring Kage with you. I could really use his advice."
'Kage, do you want to come over to Ryou's tonight?'
'I'll meet you there.'
"He'll meet us there."
"So what do you need help with, Ryou?"
"I've noticed that you often act as a buffer between Yugi and his spirit..."
"Ah, now I get what you want. You want your missing piece to come out. It might take a while before he can physically manifest like I can."
"I can live with that. Just so long as he can get Bakura to calm down."
"Sit down like we did at Kaibaland."
Ryou sat down, and closed his eyes. When he opened them, he saw his soul room. When Kage first went into their rooms, it was pitch black with only a small amount of light. Now he could see all over, and his eyes were immediately drawn to the photo of his sister and mother. They went missing one night, and were presumed dead.
"Your twin isn't dead you know."
Ryou jumped, and spun around. A boy who looked like Bakura with kinder eyes stood there. His hair was up in wild spikes, and he didn't have the Ring around his neck.
"Who are you?"
"Technically? The original owner of this damn Ring. But now I contain all of your missing pieces. You'll have to come up with a name though."
"Is that why Yugi's brother is named Kage Yugi?"
"How'd you guess?"
Ryou shrugged. Somehow, he felt more at ease with this boy than with the Spirit.
"Kura. It would be too confusing to call you Kage Bakura or Kage Ryou."
Kura shrugged, he didn't care anyway.
"By the way, why isn't there a third door with you here?"
"Like Kage, I stay in YOUR room at all times. Which is why the Pharaoh hasn't found out about him."
Ryou woke up, and found Kage still there. Yugi had gone home, after beating the boy at War ten times.
"It should take about a year for Kura to manifest. Unless Bakura is willing to work for me."
Bakura took over, and looked him in the eye.
"What kind of work are we talking about?"
Kage gave the other boy a feral grin, and said "You'll see. Would you like to find out now or tomorrow?"
Bakura looked at him.
Bakura got behind Kage, as they drove to the Game shop. He parked it behind the store, then lead him down to the basement.
"It's time to play the Penalty Game."