Title: This World

Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh is the intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi. I'm not making any money off this.

Rating: M

Warnings: Incest, dub-con

Summary: They've changed out here, the sun has bleached and dried them, and the remnants of what they used to be peel away like sunburn. Rishid still holds him at night, but they are not brothers anymore. Shameshipping (Malik x Ishizu x Rishid). Incest, dub-con


They've been outside for too long now.

Too long—Rishid marks the passage of time in cards forged, in countries fled, in the quiet click as he loads his gun, like the tick of the second-hand on a clock. Quiet, separate, he observes it all, the mind-slaves and the murders and the memories, the way Malik brushes it off like dust from the tomb. Just numbers, he tells himself, just collateral damage, just another way of telling time.

They've been outside too long.

They've changed out here, the sun has bleached and dried them, and the remnants of what they used to be peel away like sunburn. They are copper, tarnished and exposed after years of airless preservation. They are mummies in the jungle, always dead, but now rotting.

They are not brothers anymore.

Once they were—when they first emerged, when Malik was a tired, frightened child, cold from the flight from the tomb and the desert night and the loss of everything he'd ever known. Malik had curled in on himself, curled into Rishid's arms, because Rishid was all he had left, his constant, his anchor. When Rishid's arms around him were all that kept him warm and safe in the frigid unknown of this unfamiliar world—then they were brothers.

They are not brothers anymore.

Rishid still holds him at night, and this too has proved a way of telling time, of marking change. The cold of the desert night subsides, and Malik doesn't huddle so tightly anymore; his hands which, white knuckled, clutched his knees, loosen and brush lightly against Rishid's sides. A year passes, perhaps more—two countries, three mind-slaves—and Malik begins to rest his forehead against Rishid's at night. Another year—1000 cards forged, money flows like water in the Beijing underground—Malik's hands run up and down Rishid's back at night, and somehow, it doesn't soothe him to sleep.

Row upon row of cloaked men with blank eyesMalik is building an army.

A chaste kiss the night they arrive back in Egypt, a visit home before the final battle.

Malik runs his hand across the glass surface protecting the God Card

His legs slide between Rishid's, his weight shifting

The body falls to the ground, shot execution-stylea betrayer

Malik, half-feral after murder, rolls on top of Rishid, moves against him, kisses down his scars, the only things that keep him

Ishizu awakens with a gasp, eyes flying open only to meet the ceiling—her apartment in Cairo. Her bed. Not in— not with Malik and Rishid. Still the dream (vision?) shakes her: she is accustomed to seeing forward in time so vividly, but not backward, not across, not...

"Isn't it remarkable, Sister? The power the Millennium Items possess when combined."

Ishizu pauses a moment to collect herself—she has forseen this. And though Malik's voice is lower than she remembers it, though it's edged with malice in a way that makes the hairs on her arms stand on end—it is still Malik's. She does not fear him. She will not allow herself to.

"Hello, Malik. Rishid."

She sits up. Malik is standing at the foot of her bed, half-smirking, his eyes shining with too many emotions—contempt, happiness...a predatory sort of anticipation. Rishid looms above him, casting him further into shadow in the already-dark room. Rishid's eyes are softer.

It is Rishid who bends down first, who cups her cheek in his hand and murmurs, "We have been away too long."

"Too long," she agrees, and pretends she doesn't hear Malik scoff—perhaps it's just the sigh of the bedsprings as he slides down next to her, her own sigh as Rishid presses a kiss to her forehead and Malik to her neck.

"We'll be gone by morning," Malik whispers. She knows they will.

She lays back and allows the kisses, the caresses, the heat. There wasn't heat like this beneath the surface.

She runs her hands down Malik's back and thinks of mutilation and mutation, of evolution and corruption, of sunlight and freedom, and they've all grown up but what have they become?

Malik knows what he's become.

Malik has chosen what he's become.

Malik pushes Rishid aside to kiss his sister hard, and is pleasantly surprised when she kisses back.