Disclaimer: Under all obviousness I do not own Yu-gi-oh. This plot has nothing to do with the show, respectively, though many elements will play off of it and other such works involving the stories and ideas of Egyptian Mythology.
Chapter One; The Fool's Day
Auron crouched on the white-washed steps of the Metropolitan Museum, the last life of a cigarette dwindling to ash in his equally white-washed fingertips. He brought the dying thing to his lips, forcing a spark of angry red to flare up in its core before it tumbled, defeated, to the ground at his feet. Not yet, he had to keep telling himself, just awhile longer. His tapping foot wasn't getting the message.
Auron let out a disgruntled sigh, running a hand though his short fringe of spectral blonde hair so he couldn't reach for the talk radio resting at his hip instead. Just a few more minutes, he repeated. The timing had to be perfect, no matter how anxious he was. It had to be precise, otherwise all this careful planning had been a waste.
He allowed himself a rueful smile. What had made him come up with this crazy idea in the first place? He'd been asking himself the same thing for months now, and he found himself entertaining one thing in that entire time. It was painstakingly simple, really. Because he was bored. Really, that was all it boiled down to. It was so comical even he had to laugh at it. Here he was, about to throw the entire world for a loop and possibly into a downward spiral of chaos, all because of a spout of boredom. It was laughable. He was laughable. Not that that was anything new. Not that that made any difference.
"Oi, Ghost Boy, come in Ghost Boy-" Quick as a lightning flash Auron scooped the black box up and brought it to his lips, smoke curling from in-between his teeth as they were bared in a carnal grin.
"I'm pretty sure I asked you not to call me that." He murmured into the mic. Static answered him before the voice returned with a wheezing laugh.
"You ask for a lot of things, but hey. You're the boss."
"What've you got for me, Deech," Auron asked in way of answer. The snickering continued on the other end, but Auron decided to give his second-hand the benefit of a doubt and blame the static.
"Everything's set up on our end, dude."
"Excellent." The carnal smile returned as Auron stood up and flicked away the remains of his cigarette. With a leisurely stretch he sighed into the summer air, taking a quick second to examine the stars before turning on his heel and walking down the deserted street. The first stage of his part of the plan would be simple: he would walk for a couple blocks, turn around down a back alley, and enter into the Met through a secluded entrance secured by his gang. Or would henchmen be the more appropriate term? A dark light flickered behind his milk-white eyes as he entertained the label in his mind, remembering his time as a Hunter and how fresh the experience had actually been.
It was hard to believe it had really only been less than two years since the terrorist group had disbanded and Shanti and he had been kicked back out on the street. Not intentionally, of course. It wasn't like Malik had known of their situation before they had joined up. It was more appropriate to say his situation really, since Shanti still had a home back then.
Auron scowled, storing that thought away for a more convenient time. He had to work now. Besides, after tonight he and Shanti would have nothing more to worry about in the ways of security and shelter… and it would be such a simple task.
All he had to do was steal the Book of the Dead.
"Oh my God, I'm so late!"
Yugi sat and watched as the blurred outline of his cousin raced around the room like a mini tornado on speed, ducking when a wayward snack pack went sailing over his head. He wasn't sure whether to be amused or nervous watching her dash about like a madwoman, so he settled on observing her work and ducking out of the way of the things she tossed about without regard for innocent bystanders.
"Mar, you should really calm down," he finally decided to say when a shoe came flying much too close to his forehead for any means of comfort. Amari stopped in her haphazard routine to flail her arms at him dramatically.
"Calm down? I'm gonna miss my flight!" she cried hysterically. "How can I calm down?"
"Okay, okay. What are you still missing?" he sighed, hands up in a defensive gesture when she raised her arm to throw something at him with intention.
"My passport," she answered before running back to the other side of the room to look in her purse for the millionth time in the last five minutes. When it didn't miraculously appear there she began opening the drawers in the kitchen, thinking maybe she'd left it with the silverware she hadn't even used. She continued mumbling as she rummaged. "Seriously, I just had it! How could I lose something so important? I'm going to miss this flight and it's all the fault of this stupid booklet with my picture in it. I know what I look like-"
"What?" she whirled on Yugi, eyes bulging when she saw him holding it. She lunged for him, snatching it out of his hands.
"Where was it?" she demanded. Yugi pointed to the coffee table.
"You are a god among men." She told him.
"You're welcome," he answered, chuckling when she swooped down to give him a strong hug and a peck on the cheek. "You're really excited about this trip, aren't you?" he asked.
"Of course," she said, this time making sure the passport was in her purse where it belonged before gathering her things at the door. "I haven't been to Egypt since I left there to come live here. I'm anxious to know what's different." Anxious. That described the feeling churning in her gut perfectly. It had been with her since Ishizu had extended the invitation for her to visit with them that summer in their new house to help break it in. It was in the same neighborhood as her old home. Could she really go back, knowing that last time she had been there was for her parents' funeral?
Yugi must have read the inner turmoil on her face, because he let out a small sigh before enveloping her in a comforting hug.
"If you feel like you can't handle it, just come home." He told her. "I'm sure they'll understand if you have to leave earlier than expected. Three months is a long time." Amari returned the hug, showing him what she hoped was a reassuring smile.
"I know," she told him. "Everything will be alright. Besides, I want to see where they're living now. Ishizu is really doing well for herself." It was true. Since her exhibit had run its course in Japan, it had traveled all over the world and had become fairly popular. Now she was giving lectures all over the continent and even in parts of Europe on Egyptian history and mythology. Amari was really proud of her.
A beep emitted from outside, causing both to turn and stare at the front door. "Guess that's my cue." She said, squeezing him one last time. "I'll miss you." Yugi smiled, bending down to help her with her bags.
"Just make sure you call us every once in awhile." He told her. "I don't want to have to worry about you needlessly." Amari rolled her eyes as she threw her things into the back of Grandpa Mouto's car.
"Yes, mom." She deadpanned, earning from him a wry smile. She wriggled his hair and bent down so he could kiss her on the cheek.
"Miss you." He said. Grandpa beeped again. When Solomon was in a rush, everyone else knew they were extremely short on time. Amari hopped into the passenger seat and waved at him from the window.
"I'll tell them you said hello!" she called as they pulled away. Yugi smiled and watched as the car veered around the corner before slowly turning and heading back inside the Turtle Game shop. With a sigh he plopped back down onto the couch and switched on the TV. Already he was starting to feel a bit glum. He was glad that she was finally getting to visit her old home, but he could already feel the summer becoming boring without her.
Even across the terminal he was able to recognize her right away. She was facing him, but there were too many people in front of her to be able to pick him out clearly. Malik smiled to himself, taking the opportunity to sneak around to the side of her. She was so busy focusing on the crowds in front of her that she didn't even notice as he leaned in and tapped her shoulder. She whirled around, a smile lighting her features in a warm glow.
"Malik!" she greeted happily. He grin broadened in response, only to falter slightly when she barreled into him for a hug. "Can you believe it's been two years?" she asked as she pulled away. Malik fumbled with her luggage as she continued to rattle on without regard to whether he was listening or not. "We should go to the market later, and the oasis? Is it still there?" He had to tug her back to his side when she started to wander in the wrong direction.
"Calm down," he told her with a short laugh. "We aren't even out of the airport yet. We'll have time to sight see later." Amari huffed a sigh as she helped him load her things into the car. It took a minute for her to register something was different, her eyebrow quirking in surprise.
"No bike?" she questioned as she got into the passenger side. Malik rolled his eyes with a scoff as he started the vehicle and drove away from the airport.
"You think I could load all your crap onto the back of my bike?" he asked in turn. Amari made a face at him, arms crossed defensively.
"Well excuse me for being a girl," she grumbled. "Besides, I'd like to wear more than just two outfits the entire trip this time," Malik sighed at her not-so-subtle jab at the kidnapping he'd committed during his visit to Japan. She'd probably meant for it to be funny, but Malik would have loved to forget half the things that had happened then.
"Two whole years," she murmured as she watched the world outside her window go by in a blur. "And eight altogether since I've been back here…" Malik snuck a glance at her from the corner of his eye as she pressed her fingertips up against the glass as if in longing. "It's changed so much."
"You think so?" he asked, trying to make light of the suddenly dense atmosphere. His attempt went unnoticed as Amari completely ignored him, too enthralled by the sights and her own memories. Malik frowned but said nothing else. Maybe he should have let Rashid pick her up instead, after all.
"We're here." Malik mumbled after awhile, turning off the engine and stepping out of the car. Amari turned to ask what was up with him, but he was already unloading her things from the back. She sighed and stepped out of the car as well, following him inside.
Ishizu looked up from where she sat and offered her a pleasant smile. Amari grinned back, throwing her arms around her. "Ishizu!" she exclaimed. "I've missed you so much!" Ishizu returned the hug with a comforting squeeze.
"I'm so glad you decided to visit us," she replied, genuinely happy. "Have Malik help you bring your things upstairs, and I'll make something to drink." She looked over at Malik as she said this, lifting a delicate eyebrow as she watched him roll his eyes. "Did you two have a fight already?"
"No," they answered together, though Malik was more defensive in his reply. A smile tugged at Ishizu's lips in amusement.
"Okay, if you say so," she said, her tone slightly teasing as she shot Malik another look. Malik glared at her in turn as he pushed past her with the bulk of Amari's things. Amari followed close behind him, unaware of their silent conversation or Malik's mood.
"Where am I staying?" she asked as they ascended the steps. Malik lead her to a room at the far end of the hall, tossing her smaller bag on the bed and dumping her suitcase on the ground.
"It's a guest room," he spoke up as she looked around.
"Cute." She mused before meeting his stare. "What?" she asked. "You look mad about something."
"Nothing," he muttered, running a hand through his hair with a sigh. "You hungry at all? We should have something downstairs to snack on. We haven't gone shopping yet, though." He turned to head back downstairs, head ducked to avoid her gaze.
"Seriously, what is it?" she prodded, grabbing him by the arm to pull him back.
"Nothing!" he snapped back, tugging his arm away. Amari groaned and followed him.
"It's definitely something, or you wouldn't be like this," she insisted, chasing him back down the steps.
"Mar, if you keep bothering me I really am going to get mad," he called back, stopping at the bottom of the steps as he spotted Ishizu with the receiver in her hand, worry shrouding her face. Amari stopped short behind him, bumping into his back.
"What is it?" Malik asked. "Did something happen?" Ishizu placed the receiver back in its proper spot and put a hand to her head.
"I have to go to America," she told them. Amari pushed past Malik, eyes wide.
"America, why?" she asked.
"Her exhibit is showing there right now." Malik spoke up, shooting daggers in her direction. It took Amari a second before she realized she'd pushed him into the wall. She smiled sheepishly at him in way of an apology, but he turned his attention back onto his sister. "Something must be really wrong if they need you there personally."
"Yes, unfortunately." Ishizu sighed. "A very important part of the exhibit was stolen last night. I have to go there to assess the damage and give a statement to the press." She tried to smile at Amari, but her annoyance and disappointment easily shone through. "I'm sorry, Amari. I know you've just arrived, but I can't get around this."
"Don't sweat it," Amari replied, though she felt disappointment wash over her good mood as well. She'd been so excited to see her again and actually hang out without having to deal with bad omens and premonitions. "I'll just see you when you get back."
"I'll be there for a few weeks, at most, depending on how much damage was done to the rest of the exhibit and what I can salvage from it," she told them, turning away to search for something. "I'll leave a number in case you have to reach me and-" She paused, teetering back a couple of steps. Malik rushed forward immediately to steady her. Amari caught her breath as she noticed something flicker within her eyes. Gold flecks jumped out to her like a beacon, but before she could fully comprehend the change it was gone. A cold feeling washed over her. What was that?
"Ishizu, are you okay?" Malik asked as she found solid ground again. Her hand returned to her head as she moaned softly to herself.
"Strange," she mumbled. "I felt so dizzy all of a sudden. I must have moved too fast." The tension in Malik's shoulders slacked as he stepped back to give her room. Amari stepped closer to the two of them, uneasiness knotting her insides. After a couple more seconds Ishizu looked back to normal, but a new light filled her eyes and an idea came to formulation.
"I just had an idea." She spoke up, "Why don't I have you two accompany me? Amari's things are all still packed, and the expenses will all be paid for. We can make a holiday of it." Amari and Malik shared a look, both holding lingering feelings of concern.
"I'm going." Malik spoke up. "I'm worried you might work yourself too hard."
"I'm cool with it," Amari said. "Maybe I can sleep off the jet lag with more jet lag."
Ishizu shot each of them a smile in turn, clapping her hands together. "Excellent." She said. "I'll go call Rashid and let him know, then we can run to the marketplace and get things for dinner. We still need to celebrate your arrival, Amari." Amari smiled as Ishizu picked the phone back and began dialing. "This will be fun, just wait and see."
I'm back! Miss me? (: This is the sequel to my first Yugioh story, Like Old Times. I suggest that if you have not read that one, you do that first, since this one closely follows behind that one and a lot of elements in this story will stem from it.
As for the readers returning for more, thank you for your continued support! You guys are awesome. (:
That's all for now. This will be updated at a faster-ish pace once my finals are all done with. Which will be in about two weeks.