A/N: Season 10, Round 2 – Hostshipping: Ryou Bakura x Anzu Mazaki. I don't even know how to begin explaining this one. This is set five years post-canon and is a sort-of a tie-in/follow-up to Season 9, Round 2's Trustshipping fic. It's set in that same universe, at least and uhhh... depending on how the next pairings play out - there's more where these two came from. (Oh, and what I forgot to add initially - this is a standalone. You don't need to read that Trustshipping fic to understand what's going on.)
ETA: As of March 13th, it has a few extra sentences to explain Anzu's involvement in this better. Oh, and the gun. I'm just taking advantage of the second deadline to polish this thing up, now that my head doesn't feel like splitting apart with the most nauseating headache I've had the misfortune of having in the past three months, orz.
Warnings: none, worksafe.
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.
Chance To Be
"How soon do you think they're going to find us?" Anzu asked, leaning back against the wall and hugging her knees loosely.
"Might be a while," Ryou said, sitting across from her in the absolute darkness of the dry well they had been thrown in – although 'thrown' wasn't the most accurate description. They had been ordered at a gunpoint to descend into it by way of old and rickety wooden stairs which then had been pulled up. If he tilted his head back, he could make out the faint lines of bars sealing the way out which their captives had put over the well, and the glittering stars even higher up above them. They were in a truly dire situation.
"This isn't how I imagined my vacation," Anzu grumbled. She'd come to Italy together with her classmates on a school vacation trip only to end up kidnapped by some extremist group bent on a quest for world domination – again, she might add – and revenge on everyone who'd gotten in the way of the previous attempts by other extremist groups and individuals. She had just taken the wrong boat ride at the wrong time.
Ryou sighed softly. He'd gotten involved in this only because he'd set out to seek his missing father who had, apparently, been abducted together with the rest of the team of archaeologists which had discovered a new burial chamber inside a crumbling pyramid. Among other noteworthy items, it had contained several Duel Monster's plaques; one of them being the Blue-Eyes White Dragon, which had cost Mokuba Kaiba his life and made Seto Kaiba and Ishizu Ishtar disappear without a trace. And then the Sennen Items had returned. Or perhaps they'd never even been gone in the first place. This vacation slash rescue mission slash adventure was turning into a complete failure the longer it progressed.
"Do you think… Does Yuugi know?"
Anzu sounded hopeful, but Ryou had no good news to offer.
"Didn't sound like it, the way Malik told me. He didn't know the Items were back until he started looking for his missing sister. That's when he ran into this guy Espyl who wore Ishizu's Necklace. At first he thought it was a fake, a cheap replica, but it turned out to be the real deal. That was last week. I don't think he had enough time to contact anyone else. I mean, he contacted me three weeks ago about something else entirely."
"And that's when you got the… that Ring and the Rod back?"
"Not really." Ryou hesitated with this part of the story. He didn't really want to retell how he'd come around to possessing his Ring again – and how he'd returned the Rod to Malik. "I… I won them back in a game."
"A game?" Anzu shifted slightly as if to put more distance between them, but they were already sitting on the opposite sides of the well; there simply was nowhere further to go. "Was it like a… Shadow Game?"
"I… wouldn't say so. We played Monster World. It's my favourite, remember? The last time I lost when playing it was years ago."
Anzu recalled bits and pieces of a conversation about it from several years ago. She hadn't been particularly interested in it… until they'd found themselves to be a part of the game, set up by Dark Bakura. Speaking of which…
"Is he… Is the Spirit of the Ring… is he back?" She couldn't stop her voice from wavering slightly. The thought of being trapped down here with Dark Bakura was bone-chilling.
Ryou frowned, considering this. He hadn't heard any whispering coming from the Ring the way it had been before. He had a clear recollection of the past few days and he hadn't had any notable blackouts.
"I… don't think so. Whatever was possessing it seems to be gone for good this time."
Anzu breathed in relief. These were good news at least. She had been keeping a close eye on him for the past two days, trying to gauge whether or not he was changing for the worst, but so far hadn't seen any warning signs.
"I wish Yuugi were here," she murmured low, resting her forehead on her knees in defeat. "He'd know what to do."
Ryou frowned at that, feeling slightly insulted. He wasn't useless! They could do things on their own without somebody else's guidance.
"We know what to do, too," he said a little more tersely than he'd intended. He'd had it up to his nose with other entities ruling his life. "I seem to recall us climbing a steep tower in Duellist Kingdom. All on our own."
Anzu jerked her head up in surprise and tried to spot him in the darkness, trying to see his expression – which was futile. "You… you remember that? I thought… we thought it was Dark Bakura pretending to be you that time." And the time after that, and after that, and after that too, she thought, but bit her tongue. There was no need to bring all of that up now.
He shrugged, though it was completely lost on her because of the darkness. "Some things. I was awake for the most part of that. Other things are… Well, they seem a little bit unreal – like a dream. It's hard to explain."
She made a small 'oh' sound, thinking over his words. It made sense, in a way. She felt the same about the times when Malik had possessed her. Some things she couldn't remember no matter how hard she tried – there were blanks in her memories when she'd passed out in one place only to wake up in another without any recollection of how she'd gotten there. And then there were brief flashes that seemed more like something she'd seen in a dream; times when she felt like she was just a co-pilot in her own body, the way it usually happened in dreams when you observed somebody from above only to wind up inside that body moments later.
"Are you saying we should climb up?" she suggested with a grin, warming up to the idea.
"Are you going to make me blindfold myself again?"
Anzu chortled against her best judgement because Ryou sounded very grumpy, the way he said that. "I'm not wearing a skirt this time. So no."
"Ah, good." He actually sounded relieved. "It's too dark in here anyway. And that would be awkward."
She had to bite her lip to stop herself from laughing. Her cheeks heated up at the memory. Looking back on it now, she had to concede that it was, perhaps, one of the silliest things she'd done back then. Calming down a little, she pondered how successful this would turn out to be because this time they didn't have any rope to make the task easier and safer. She tilted her head back to look at the distance from the bottom of the well to where she could see…
"You're forgetting the bars," she pointed out, frowning now.
"You still have the gun, don't you?"
She did. She'd kept it hidden ever since it had been given to her as a means of self-defense after she had been freed from the Serbian rebels and had insisted on staying with Ryou for the rest of the trip. The other group of captors, luckily not connected with the first one, which they had happened upon only hours later hadn't searched the two of them for weapons, probably not expecting them to have any.
"If they put a lock on it, you'll just have to shoot it open."
"The sound is going to make us deaf!" she protested. She could only imagine how amplified the sound of a gunshot would be inside a well.
"And one of us will most likely die from the ricocheting bullet," Ryou said calmly and rose to his feet, testing the uneven walls for cracks and dents to use on their way up. "It's better than sitting down here and waiting for somebody to find us. No one knows that we're here, remember? Besides… if I don't get something to eat very soon, I'm going to collapse."
Anzu chuckled at that. This reminded her of the previous times she'd heard him say something along those lines. She got up to her feet and stretched her sore muscles. Ryou was just a hand's reach away from her and she had to restrain herself from reaching out and touching him just to prove to herself that he was real. She shook her head to get rid of that odd thought, telling herself that it was a very strange thing to even consider, that it would be too awkward a situation, considering their current position.
"Let's get out of this place," she said at length to fill the silence.
Ryou couldn't agree more and together they began climbing up toward the starry sky and the bars that blocked their path.