A/N: For Tier 5 of Season 8.5 of the YGO fic contest here on ff-net. The pairing is Pervadeshipping – Cyndia x Amane Bakura. So much capslock rage at this. It wasn't planned to happen. But there you go. So many headcanons incorporated in this like you couldn't believe. (Of course you can. I forget what contest I'm a part of.)
Mawari Kawari - circumference/rotation, change/replacement
Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Yuugiou! franchise and I claim no association with any of them. No copyright infringement intended with this and no money is being made from this. Please support the creator by purchasing the official releases.
Warnings: minor disturbing content.
Sometimes, things don't go as planned. Sometimes, the best intentions backfire in the most horrible ways. Amane will never forgive herself for letting Ryou take her place in that car. Pegasus will never forgive himself for Cyndia's ruined life. Nevertheless, the cogs of the some Greater Plan continue turning.
It's on Mother and Ryou's death anniversary day when Amane finally opened the small parcel that had been lying on a shelf in Ryou's room for years. It's the last present from their father which Ryou never received. Arriving barely on time for the funeral, father had clumsily shoved it into her hands, muttering about a birthday present for Ryou and something that had sounded very much like 'sorry'. A nasty little voice at the back of Amane's head had wondered if he was relieved now that he had to remember only one birthday and buy only one present. She silenced that little voice, brought the parcel to Ryou's room and forgot it. Soon after the burial, she cut her dull blue hair boyishly short and tried to imagine that Ryou was still around; that he smiled back at her every time she glanced into a mirror. They had the same brown eyes, after all.
Amane unwrapped the parcel with utmost care and gentleness, as though afraid it would break in her hands and turn to dust. Inside a plain box was a golden ring. Tentatively, she ran her fingertips over its surface, wondering what use it could have been to Ryou. She knew that he was interested in the occult and the ancient. She felt uneasy all of a sudden; as if another presence had manifested in the room. Shivering from the mere thought, Amane returned the ring to its box. She doubted she would have a use for it, other than using it as a fancy accessory, but her sense of style wasn't that gaudy. She changed her mind on the matter within a few weeks and began wearing it all the time.
The ring remained in Ryou's room up until the day Amane moved to Domino City to get away from the growing unease. She wanted to live her own life instead of echoing Ryou's, which she seemed to do every hour of every day spent at their old home. She couldn't take it anymore and picked the farthest point on the map she could with eyes squeezed shut and a pencil lifted to strike a dot on the map of Japan.
"Domino," Amane muttered, outlining all possible routes. The small trinkets on the ring jingled when she stood up and gathered her things. "Sounds as good as any other place."
Cyndia couldn't find peace anywhere. Something was happening, but she couldn't quite gauge what exactly. She snapped at Pegasus for bothering her with his attempts to placate her and stormed off to wander in the garden. She couldn't look at him anymore. She couldn't look into his face and see the bandage over his – as she knew it all too well – hollow eye socket. Instinctively, she reached up and touched her own left eye – smooth, dry, and golden. Frustrated, she yanked her fingers away from it again and adjusted her bangs so that they covered it.
When Pegasus, in a desperate race to track down any possible cure for her illness, arrived in Egypt – years too soon, long before he was ready for such a burden – and met Shaadii, he didn't see what his future grief-stricken self would have. Instead, he saw a cure for his beloved. After acquiring the eye, he rushed back to Domino and the side of Cyndia's death bed. She was already more dead than alive, heavily bedridden by the illness and no longer recognising those around her. Pegasus carved out the golden eye from his face and forced it into Cyndia's eye. His blood on the eyeball mixed with hers, sealing it in. She recovered almost instantly afterwards, but she never regained her old personality.
After the first euphoria wore off, Cyndia realised that the golden artefact would be forever a part of her face, unless she wanted to sport a hollow cavern the same way Pegasus did. The gratitude for being saved soon turned into bitterness for being turned into a monster. She alienated herself even further from others when she discovered the ability to predict game strategies with incredible precision. She wrote down steps for Pegasus when he headed for a yet another duelling event. He was announced the unbeatable creator, and Cyndia was the driving force for his victories. She was one of the few to remember that Pegasus wasn't the creator of Duel Monsters – not entirely. His father and grandfather had been the ones to start the business going by creating alternate versions to regular playing cards. It was Pegasus who perfected the game and designed the majority of the monsters that brought it the world fame.
Something about the upcoming tournament didn't let Cyndia rest. She tried to force her mind into seeing what was to come, but it only induced a heavy migraine and a terrible nausea. She collapsed on the ground and remained lying there before rolling over and screaming into the grass. Quite frequently, she had begun entertaining the thought of death.
Upon arriving in Domino, Amane decided to pick up Duel Monsters. She had found Ryou's incomplete occult deck and did a complete overhaul of it, running zombies and fiends, and wicked trap cards. With it, she practically ran the competition into the ground – enough to qualify herself for the Duellist Kingdom.
On the day of departure, she glanced into the mirror before heading out the door. She smoothed down her short cut and smiled at her reflection, brown eyes twinkling. Her reflection overlaid briefly with another one and it smiled right back at her.
"Here we go, Ryou," she whispered, picking up her bag. Ever since the day she had opened Ryou's present, she had felt another's presence hovering next to her and though it to be her brother.
The trip to the island was less eventful than she would have liked, except for the rumours going around that the current unofficial champion – the one to beat Seto Kaiba, the long-standing unbeatable victor – had had his Exodia five-piece trump cards stolen, or thrown overboard, or burned, or eaten – the versions were as crazy as they were diverse. The main message was clear, though – the wonder child was no longer unbeatable. Not that any of it mattered to Amane. She was here to…
You're here because you belong, a voice that was, most definitely, Ryou's whispered. You are here because you need to be here. For me.
Cyndia was going crazy with impatience and expectations. She felt something grand approaching, something which she needed to see. There was something she needed to do, but she didn't know what exactly yet. When she saw the competition gathered from her place one step behind Pegasus who greeted all of the duellists on his island and announced the start of the games, she knew almost immediately what had bothered her so much. Two people wore items familiar with hers – she could tell by the way they reacted, by the sudden pull she experienced. Her eyes met with Yuugi Mutou's first, then with Amane's. If Yuugi's eyes had been wide and unsuspecting and – at least outwardly – fooled by her demure appearance, Amane was a different story. Her gaze was vicious and drilling. 'You,' it seemed to say. 'I'm here for you.'
A cold chill ran down Cyndia's spine. Before long, her item whispered to her, she would meet that girl.
Amane was overwhelmed with the feeling of knowing, of understanding.
There, up there, Ryou whispered to her, turning her attention up at the long-haired blonde lady behind the Gamemaster, which Amane recognised to be his wife from media reports. And there, he next turned her gaze to the new prodigy Mutou.
Which one do we start with, Ryou? Amane pondered, already knowing the answer. Her mind worked on the same wavelength as his, after all.
The one that's already on the ground.
Amane smirked to herself and stalked around, waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.
"I've been expecting you," Cyndia said, stepping out from the shadows of the room.
"Of course you have," Amane shot right back, a smirk plastered on her features. "We have something in common."
Cyndia sized her up, trying to gauge the girl's ability with her eye, but to no avail. "And what if we do?"
"I want it. Your eye."
"Oh? Take it if you can," Cyndia challenged. The eye began glowing as if on its own accord.
"I don't need an invitation," Amane spat and took a step forward.
The beams of light from both of their items clashed, bathing the room in a blinding glare. When it settled down, Cyndia was down. Amane stalked forward to bend down at her side. She pulled Cyndia's head up by her hair and raised her fingers to burrow deep into the eye socket.
"No, don't!" Cyndia rasped, but Amane only hushed her in a mockingly gentle voice.
"I'll make you immortal," she promised and her smile made Cyndia's blood run cold in her veins. "Goodnight, beautiful."