A/N: Thank you all so much for taking the time to review! It really means a lot and motivates me to continue writing. Honto ni Arigato! It took me longer to write this chapter then I originally thought… or hoped anyway. I got a little bit stuck on a scene and the new medication I'm taking is making me a bit… blagh. I'm a little bit worried about it, but we'll see what will happen when it happens. *sigh*
Now to answer some of your questions!
GreenDrkness: For your first question I hope this chapter will clear it up. As for Haruto's condition improving, just because I haven't written much about his absences doesn't mean they aren't still occurring. Haruto is still having absences they are connected to something which will come to light in the Duelist Kingdom Arc. I know it isn't really much of an explanation, but it might just make you want to keep reading :P
J.F.C.: About Haruto's deck, I'm still trying to build it. I will make up a few cards. If anyone has any good ideas for cards which would fit Haruto well, please PM me or leave a detailed review. This chapter will explain how Haruto will live through Duelist Kingdom. I will say that Haruto's deck will make its appearance nearing the end.
Dark Neko 4000: This chapter will answer your question.
Taking what is not yours
"Sugoi," Haruto breathed, pressing his face up against the glass. Someone chuckled behind him and the raven head turned to stare at the tall blonde. Today he had been invited to go to the city centre with Yuugi and his friends. They were determent to accept him as part of the group even if Haruto still felt a little uncertain in their company at times. He often wondered if he wasn't a nuisance but his brother reassured him every time that everyone loved him.
"Just like your brother then," Honda said as he bowed low to stare at what had caught Haruto's attention. It was a complex wooden puzzle box, a 5 Sun with 36 Steps. This one was only for experts. "I still don't know how you two finish a Rubik's cube like it's nothing."
Haruto frowned. "It's not that hard," he muttered, staring back at the puzzle box. The raven head stared further into the shop, when he noticed something blinking behind it. His eyes widened in realization and in his excitement grabbed his big brother's wrist, successfully dragging the older boy into the shop.
Laughter followed them into the shop, but Haruto paid it no mind. "Haruto, what…?" But the raven head shook his head and scanned the merchandise until he found what he had been looking for. "Look," Haruto said softly, pointing upwards. Yuugi followed his pointing finger and gasped. A highly decorated orb was resting inside an opened box, showing off its golden and blue colours to the world. What interested them even more so were the hieroglyphics decorating the orb, reminding them of the golden puzzle box the Millennium Puzzle had been stored into.
"Wow," Ryou breathed behind them and Jonouchi whistled low. "That looks… really cool."
Someone chuckled and they turned to the store owner who had stepped back into his store when the bell had chimed. "I don't think 'cool' does it justice," the man said with a smile, his brown eyes lighting up a little as he too stared up at the orb. The shop keeper took the box with the orb in it from its resting place and placed it on the counter. "This is our newest puzzle, the ISIS 1*. Only for expert puzzlers of course and a beauty if I may say so myself."
It certainly was. Haruto stared at it with fascination and wondered if he would ever be able to afford it. Maybe he and Jii-chan could get it for Yugi's birthday. Judging from his brother's reaction Yugi was just as mesmerized by the puzzle. Haruto frowned slightly and bit his bottom lip. "Isn't it amazing Haruto-chan?" Yugi whispered next to him. "Those hieroglyphs are amazing."
"They are part of the key to solving the puzzle," the store owner said with a knowing smile. "It makes it all the more interesting of course. But I guess you wouldn't have that much trouble." The man nodded towards Yugi's Puzzle, which hung securely around the sixteen-year-old's neck. Yugi traced the golden engravings on his puzzle and Haruto focussed himself on the second shadow which was now ever present on his big brother.
The presence of the older man seemed almost a comfort these days to even the raven head and it made him wonder if he shouldn't feel more on edge. All the other Shadows still caused him discomfort so why not the Spirit of the Puzzle? "I guess we now know what to get you for your birthday," Honda said with a smile.
"What about Onii-chan?" Haruto asked, quite flustered by the idea of Yuugi's friends buying him a present for his birthday.
Ryou chuckled. "We all know what to get Yuugi-kun." This was true. Yuugi blushed and chuckled.
"That reminds me," Jonouchi said and he turned to look around the shop. "Do you have any Duel Monster cards here?"
The shop keeper shook his head. "I'm afraid not, but I'm expecting the first shipping soon after the regional tournament finishes."
"I didn't know you played Duel Monsters too Jonouchi-san," Haruto said, looking at the blonde with a calculating glance.
Anzu chuckled. "He tries."
Jonouchi blushed and started sputtering. "You could always ask someone to teach you," Haruto said. "If you really want to learn of course."
The tall blonde looked at the smaller eleven-year-old before seemingly making up his mind. He turned to Yuugi. "Teach me."
Everyone chuckled at the blunt statement. Yuugi shot his friend a calculating look before his eyes lit up with mischief. "If you really want to learn, ask Jii-chan. He taught Haruto and me everything we know."
Haruto's eyes twinkled as well, trying to shake off the edgy feeling which coursed through his body. It was as if something big was going to happen soon. "Yes, Jii-chan is your best bet if you want to learn how to play Duel Monsters properly."
Jonouchi nodded, clearly not seeing anything wrong with asking the older Mutou for advice. "Yosh! Let's go to Yuugi's house then! I have a game to learn."
…a few days later…
"This is so cool," Haruto said as he bounced in his seat on the floor. "Have you all come to watch the finals?"
Jonouchi, Anzu and Honda nodded while Yuugi pulled his little brother closer. He could hear Yami chuckling in the back of his mind but the sixteen-year-old learned not to pay any attention to it. At least the raven head seemed calmer then he had done this afternoon. "Are you okay?" he whispered softly.
Haruto turned around and stared into his eyes, patting his cheek. "Don't worry so much Onii-chan," the little raven head said. "Now, it's kind of obvious who's going to win. Which…"
"Hold on," Jonouchi interrupted. "How do you already knows who's going to win?"
The raven head stared at the blonde incredulously. It was an expression Yuugi didn't see often on his little brother and it always made him feel oddly proud of Haruto. "Okay, so who do you think is going to win then and, of course, why?"
Jonouchi sputtered slightly. The blonde had really bonded with Haruto over the past few days as he tried to learn how to play Duel Monsters better. While Jii-chan taught Jonouchi how to draw and how to trust the heart of the cards, Haruto talk about different strategies used for different decks. If the tall sixteen-year-old actually could understand most of the strategies Haruto had tried to explain.
"Well Dinosaur Ryouzaki has really strong cards," Jonouchi said, but the blonde had a thoughtful expression on his face. It was almost as if he was trying to figure out if there could be something more then strong cards. "And Insector Haga only has Insect cards right? How could Insect cards beat Dinosaur cards?"
Haruto was silent for a moment, before sharing a knowing smile with his brother. "We'll see," Yuugi said, his eyes sparkling with mirth. With the right spell and trap cards even the strongest cards could be reduced to rubble.
"It is always fun to watch you youngsters get things right," Sugoroku said when he entered the room. Yuugi turned to look up at his grandfather. "Especially now that Jonouchi-kun is able to make better draws after my training. I do hope that you won't enter any competitions before you are ready." He used that stern look his grandpa would only reserve for extreme cases. It was at that moment that Yuugi noticed the box his grandfather was holding.
"Ah yes," Sugoroku said, placing the box on the table. "This was delivered for you just now."
Yuugi eyed the large box, curiosity coursing through his body. "Let's wait until the end of the finals," he muttered, placing the box next to him on the floor so the others wouldn't be bothered with it. What could it be, Yami asked with about as much curiosity as Yuugi had. He could almost feel the Spirit of the Puzzle leaning over his shoulder to peer at the box.
Haruto shifted beside him, his green eyes darkening slightly when the raven head moved to rest his elbows on his knees while watching the final. I'm sure we'll find out soon enough, Yuugi muttered back. For now, what do you think?
The Spirit chuckled softly inside his head and in his minds eye Yuugi could see the older man smirking slightly. You're seriously asking me that? They watched silently as Insector Haga played his third card. It is clear that he will win. Ryouzaki might have some strong Dinosaur cards and can certainly over throw most of the weaker Duelists with his brute force, but Haga is something else. He uses his spell cards to make his weakest monsters a lot stronger and uses his trap cards to damage the other players without sacrificing much of his own life points. That and I feel that there is something else. Yuugi tilted his head slightly. Had Yami figured out something that he hadn't yet noticed?
Yami hummed in thought. I think Haga knows more about traps then he lets on. That puzzled Yuugi but the Spirit was too far into his own thought to answer any other questions from his younger host. As he watched Haga win the finals Yuugi understood what the Spirit meant. It was almost like the Insect user knew something about Duel Monsters that the rest of the world hadn't figured out yet. Or at least they hadn't figured out yet. "Well," Haruto asked, shaking Yuugi out of his thoughts. "Do you understand why Ryouzaki lost?"
Jonouchi, however, was too busy staring at the television open mouthed to answer. Honda chuckled and punched his friend on the shoulder. "Well, I didn't understand half the moves Haga made," Anzu said, taking a thoughtful sip of her tea. "But my guess would be that Ryouzaki relied too much on the strength of his monsters rather then combine them with trap cards. I didn't know you could equip one monster card with so many spell cards. It's a shame Ryou-kun couldn't be here tonight, I'm sure he would have figured it out."
Yuugi nodded. "There are many lower monster cards out there which you can level up on by use of magic and trap cards. And even powerful monsters can be equipped with armour or spells to upgrade their level. Take the Black Magician for example. There are multiple trap cards I can combine him with, but use him in combination for a ritual card and you can level him to become one of the most strongest Magicians in the field."
"Like the Magician of Chaos," Haruto said knowingly.
Honda frowned slightly, a look of recognition crossing his face. "Isn't that the monster card you're always carrying around?"
The eleven-year-old shook his head, taking a sip from his drink. "Nah uh," he said, pulling his card out of his breast pocked. Haruto stared down at his card before placing it on the table before them. "Akio is way cooler."
Yuugi chuckled, his violet blue eyes twinkling with mirth and affection. "Chaos Command Magician is the best, right Ru-chan?" The raven head nodded, a wide grin on his face. Yami laughed at the childlike action. He understood of course that Haruto was a lot younger then Yuugi and so had the right to act a lot more childish, but the Spirit had seen the raven head so mature lately that it was odd to see the eleven-year-old act his age.
"What about your package?" Haruto asked and all eyes swerved to the box sitting on the floor next to Yuugi. Letting out a long suffering sigh, which made the teens chuckle, Yuugi picked it up and placed it on the table. Who would send him stuff? Yuugi looked at the mailing address. "Industrial Illusions?"
"Hmm," Haruto hummed. "Isn't that Mister Crawford's company? What does he want with you Onii-chan?" Sugoroku looked on in interest, edging closer clearly just as eager to see what was in the box.
"Only one way to find out," Yuugi muttered and he opened the box. Inside were a strange looking glove, some stars and a video tape. He picked up the video tape and after receiving a questioning glance from everyone, Yuugi shrugged his shoulders. Haruto picked up the glove while Anzu took the two stars from their casing. "This would so totally look cool on you Onii-chan," Haruto said, inspecting the gaudy glove before passing it on to Honda.
"Yes because it's so totally his style," Jonouchi said with a grin. "Go on, put in the tape. Maybe it gives us some explanation."
Yuugi turned to his grandfather for permission, who nodded eagerly. "Yes, go on," the much older man said, unable to contain his excitement. "I would like to hear what Mister Crawford has to tell my grandson."
Nervous excitement settled into Yuugi's stomach as he turned on the VCR. "Hello Yuugi-boy," Pegasus's sudden picture said, appearing on the television screen. "It's good to meet you. My name is Pegasus J. Crawford and I am the president of Industrial Illusions which, as you must know, is the creator of Duel Monsters. You must be wondering why I send you the package you have just received. Well word has reached me that you have defeated Kaiba Seto."
"But wasn't that like months ago?" Honda asked, frowning slightly. Haruto had become oddly rigid next to Yuugi making the older boy scoot a little bit closer to his brother. "Why would he contact you now?"
"Maybe it's because of the tournament?" Anzu said, but any other comments were overrun by Crawford who had kept talking. "You must be wondering why I'm only contacting you now," the creator of Duel Monsters said. "You see I am organizing a much larger tournament then the one recently held in Japan. Because of your victory over Kaiba-boy I would like to test you to see if you could enter my tournament."
Test us how? The Spirit clearly wasn't too impressed by the video version of the creator of their favourite card game. "You may wonder how," Pegasus continued as if reading their minds. "I will show you." And with that he moved his hair out of the way to reveal a golden eye. Darkness suddenly surrounded them and Yuugi could feel himself be roughly pushed into the back of his mind. I'll protect you and Duel with Pegasus.
"Now, now," Pegasus said sounding a little too close for comfort even if he was still but a picture on the television. "No need to look so hostile Yuugi-boy."
What happened to the others, Yuugi asked and Yami turned to look behind him. Everyone looked like they had fallen asleep. My brother! Haruto looked oddly peaceful, sitting in a meditative pose. The only thing which was different from everyone else was that Haruto's eyes were wide open, his green eyes suddenly darkened by the Shadows circling around them. Now I can understand why he fears them so.
Yami nodded and after one last pensive look, turned to the television. "What have you done with them?" the Spirit demanded, sounding quite calm as he fingered his deck.
"Nothing much," Pegasus said with a smirk and a shrug. "They will remain asleep until our little game is over. So pick your cards Yuugi-boy and let us put fifteen minutes on the clock."
"Why should I Duel you?" Yami asked, raising an eyebrow. "What's in it for me?"
Pegasus looked at him for a long moment. "Like I said before, your friends and family will return to normal once we have finished our game. But I guess you meant the aim of our little game, no? Like I said before, I want you to compete in my new tournament."
"I hold no interest in your tournament," Yami countered quickly, narrowing his eyes.
Pegasus's eye flashed with what looked like impatience. Well that was one thing the man had in common with Kaiba. Maybe it was a business men thing. "Then let us agree to this. Play with me for fifteen minutes. When the time is up the one with the highest life points wins. If you win, you will not have to compete and you may ask me for one thing. If I win, you will compete in my tournament and I will take one thing from you."
This time it was Yami's eyes which flashed dangerously. "And what may that something be?"
"Tsk, tsk," Pegasus said, wiggling his finger. "Let's have none of that hostility. We'll get there when we get there. Now let us start shall we?" And the clock on the display started ticking away fifteen minutes.
"I will play Devil Dragon," Yami said, drawing the card and placing it on the Dueling mat in front of him.
Pegasus's golden eye twinkled from the television screen. "Ah yes Devil Dragon, I've got just the counter for it right here. Dragonzoku Fuuin no Tsubo."
Shock coursed through his body. How did he know what we would play? Yami turned too looked at his partner for a moment. You forget Aibou, this is a Shadow Game. Here everything is possible, but I do think that there is something else going on as well. "I draw a card and will play Silver Fang." Baby Dragon was useless while the Dragon Sealing Jar was in play after all.
"I knew you would play that," Pegasus said in an annoyingly degrading tone. "So I will play Tsubo Majin to summon Devil Dragon. BATTLE!"
With a pained expression Yami watched the two creatures come to life and attack one another. The Spirit was sure he could feel some of his power drain away when his life points were deducted. "Well, well, Yuugi-boy," Pegasus said with an annoying smirk. "I thought you were good, but it seems like you didn't think your strategy quite through. Now, it's your turn."
"Fine," Yami snapped. "Then I will play this, Great White!"
"Fast, but not fast enough," Pegasus taunted and he threw down his own card. "I play Elekids." The Spirit growled. Calm down Mou Hitori no Boku, Yuugi said in their mind. This must be some kind of a trick. Crawford-san couldn't possibly have thought up this strategy when he doesn't even know our cards. There must be something more to this. Yami couldn't agree more and apparently someone else was agreeing with them.
"We call that cheating Crawford-san," a deep voice said, but the childlike tone was familiar enough for Yami to turn and stare. Haruto was still sitting in his meditative pose, his emerald green eyes darkened and wide as he stared towards the television screen. Pegasus seemed just as surprised, but something else made it into that eye which Yami and Yuugi didn't like at all.
"Interesting," the creator of Duel Monsters said seemingly wanting to smile widely. "How is it, child, that you are still awake?"
The raven head remained impassive, something which creeped out Yuugi more then Yami. Sure the Spirit felt a little unsettled, but it was like something inside of him recognised this display of… power? Was that it? "You may call me whatever you choose," Haruto said in the same deep voice which lacked any emotion. "But Jii-chan and Onii-san named me Haruto."
"Hmm," Pegasus hummed, looking thoughtful until a playful smile appeared on his face. "I can see why they named you after the brightest constellation in the Heavens. You shine brightly indeed."
Yami raised an eyebrow and Yuugi felt momentarily stunned. "Haruto shines brightly?" Yami asked, clearly confused. "What is that supposed to mean?"
The playful smile turned into a slight smirk. "You mean you haven't noticed?" Pegasus asked in a teasing tone as if he knew something they didn't. "But surely you, who carries the Millennium Puzzle, would have noticed?"
"Enough with this," Haruto all but commanded. "Prince of Shadows, time is running out." Yami blinked at the name Haruto had given him, but realised that they didn't have much time left after all this talking. "Crawford-san, you will stop cheating or I will force you out."
Pegasus didn't seem to doubt that Haruto could, though Yami and Yuugi wondered just what it was that made the raven head know he could. The eleven-year-old seemed like a completely different person now that he was in the Realm of Shadows. "Very well, I believe it was your turn Yuugi-boy."
Yami nodded and felt Yuugi withdraw slightly, too preoccupied with thoughts of his own to help his other half in this Duel. Not that Yami needed help. "I draw," Yami said and looked thoughtfully at his cards. Haruto had seemed sure that Pegasus had been cheating somehow and while he had been playing cards with his head, his heart was now choosing them for him. "I place this card upside down and end my turn."
"Ah yes, I do believe I know that card," Pegasus said with a small smirk. "But as promised I will not cheat, as Haruto-kun so called it. I will play Holy Doll to destroy your undead card."
Yami raised an eyebrow. "And what gives you the idea that I actually played an undead card? It is true that I had it in my hands, but it is still there. The card I played is the Black Magician!"
He would have missed it if he hadn't been keeping an eye on Haruto, but Yami could have sworn that the moment Black Magician was summoned the raven head gave a slight of nods, as if in greeting. The Monster hummed before attacking the Holy Doll. Pegasus applauded, a smug expression on his face. "Very well done Yuugi-boy," he said. "Now what will you do?"
"I will destroy Devil Dragon, making your life points go down to 300," Yami said but even though Black Magician attacked reducing his life points Pegasus remained smug. He's testing you, Yuugi reminded Yami as the Spirit felt relief sweep through him because of the large point difference. Pegasus may only have 300 point left but he is still the inventor of the Game and has so far ruled this Duel. Let's not get our hopes up. This is different from the Duel with Kaiba-kun.
Yes, Yami said reminded of the fact that he had been on his own during his Duel with Kaiba and a lot less experienced. For one I didn't have you backing me up on that one. Yuugi blushed a little at that. And for two Kaiba was a lot different back then. I will be careful. Yuugi nodded and they both turned their minds back to the Duel.
"Very good," Pegasus said, drawing his next card. The most gleeful expression appeared on the older man's face. "Oh my gosh, what a lucky man I am. You will like this one. I play Illusionist No Face!"
What kind of a card is that? Both seemed equally confused about this card, but it was Yami who first realised what type of card it was. Illusionist's cards are strong against Black Magic cards, this could be bad. "And I will equip the Illusionist No Face with Genwaku no Manako. Attack Illusionist No Face!"
Neither monster disappeared making Yuugi worried but Yami was relieved. There was only a few minutes left, meaning they could win this duel. "My turn," Yami said and he drew a card. "I play Elf no Senshi! Attack the Illusionist No Face."
Wait, Yuugi called out but it was already too late. Elf no Senshi was destroyed, but not by the Illusionist No Face. "How is that possible?"
"Illusionist No Face has the ability to control the opponents Monster when they attack," Pegasus explained. "And with that your life points have dropped to 200, making you loose our little game."
"No," Yami said, his crimson eyes flashing with hope. "There are still a few seconds left and it is my turn. I draw Demon no Shoukan. Attack with Demon Lightning!" Before the Monster had the change to attack though, all the Duel Monsters disappeared.
"My, my, wasn't that exciting!" Pegasus said, clapping his hands. "Very well played Yuugi-boy. For a moment I was afraid that I would loose."
I'm sorry Aibou, I lost. Yami stared at his last drawn card, wishing that he could have only drawn it faster. It's alright Mou Hitori no Boku, Yuugi said placing a comforting hand on the Spirit's shoulder. You did your best and that is more then enough for me. He smiled but Yami remained disappointed.
"And now as per our agreement," Pegasus said, a disturbed glint in his eye. "You will receive the information of the start date and time when my tournament begins soon and so you will actually show up…" He pushed his hair out of the way again to reveal the Golden Eye once more. The room filled with light and suddenly they heard the cries of what seemed like a hundred souls.
"Akio appear!" Haruto called out. Chaos Command Magician appeared in a flash, kneeling before Haruto as if waiting for his command. "Stop him; he's calling for Jii-chan soul." Yami's eyes widened in realization and turned to the cries of the soul passing through the room. It was too late though. Sugoroku was pulled into the television and cried out to them for a moment before disappearing from view.
"Now, now, don't be hasty," Pegasus said. "Your brother did agree after all. Let us Duel again soon Yuugi-boy."
With a flash of light, Chaos Command Magician pulled out the video tape and destroyed it. The Monster kneeled before Haruto again, his head bowed as if ashamed. "I apologise Haruto-sama," the Monster said. "I failed you."
The raven head shook his head and sighed. "It is quite alright Akio," Haruto said in that same emotionless voice. "Thank you and I will summon you again." And with that the Creature disappeared and the Shadows around them disappeared. As if a weight was being lifted off of the small eleven-year-old, he crumbled to the ground.
"Ru-chan!" Yuugi called out, pushing his mind into his body again without causing Yami to feel too violently pushed around. The Spirit didn't mind, feeling too disappointed in himself for loosing the Duel then really caring about being pushed around. Because he lost them the Duel, Jii-chan soul was taken. And what was happening to Haruto? He hadn't worried much about the raven head being able to Summon creatures and knowing Duel Monsters before he should even know about the game. But seeing the state the child had been in when inside the Realm of Shadows as he and Pegasus dueled and the emotionless state… Yami shuddered. He didn't like it at all.
They had agreed that only Yuugi was to go to Pegasus's tournament when the time came. Haruto would stay behind to keep an eye on things here like the shop and Jii-chan, now soulless, body. The two brothers had talked a little bit about what had happened to Haruto while Yami had been Dueling with Pegasus, but Haruto didn't seem to be able to explain it very well himself.
"It's like the first time I met Akio," he said, shifting a little to get more comfortable. Yuugi and Haruto were lying in the same bed again, unable to sleep because of recent events. Yami was watching them silently from where he was leaning against the desk. "I couldn't feel a thing, though I was sure I was supposed to feel scared and cold like always. Do you think something is wrong with me?"
It was Yami who answered. "No," the Spirit said firmly and both boys turned to stare at the older man. "Because you've always been able to sense the Spirits, whether they are people or animal, makes me wonder if being at Hogwarts amplified this ability somehow. You said that the castle felt cold and dark somehow?" Haruto nodded. "What if their magic mixed with your ability making your magic shift slightly? And what if that shift was just what you needed to access the Monsters inside the Realm?"
The green eyed boy blinked, clearly unsure about his own ability. "It's like you said," Yuugi said softly. "Their magic always felt painful and even the slightest magical spark caused you to be wounded in some way. But shouldn't you be able to do their magic because you were born in their society? And even the magic you get taught here is causing you discomfort. What if your ability to see and speak to the Shadows is the source of your reaction to magic?"
"But how can I use magic then?" Haruto asked.
They lapsed into silence for a moment. "There are different types of magic right?" the Spirit asked. "What if you were more adapt to one type of magic they no longer practice? It could explain why you are the only one who can talk to the Shadows and why you can still use magic without using instruments like wands or staffs to channel your magic through."
"Then what am I?" Haruto asked softly, curling in on himself as if he tried to disappear into the matrass. "Maybe they were right. Maybe I really am a fr…"
"No!" Yuugi cried out and Yami took a step towards the bed as if he wanted to console the younger child as well. "You are not a freak, you hear me! Those monsters… they were the freaks! Haruto, look at me." And the sixteen-year-old tugged his brother's chin up so he could look directly into those emerald green eyes. "Those people should never have been allowed to have someone as precious as you. You are an amazing child Haruto and please believe me when I say that I honestly love you. You are sweet and kind and always caring for others but yourself. Even after everything they put you through you have remained warm and open."
"You should listen to your Onii-san Haruto," Yami said, making the eleven-year-old blush. "You are just as kind and just as loveable. Nothing is wrong with you Haruto. You just have an ability no-one else seems to have, but that doesn't mean that it is something to fear."
Haruto looked at the older Spirit for a while as if trying to make up his mind before he held out his hand to the older man. Yami blinked, confused by the action. The determent look in the younger child's eyes made him reach for it though. Testing the feeling of the older man's hand in his own, Haruto wondered when Yami had started to feel safe and familiar. With a smile the raven head tugged at the hand so the man toppled onto the bed. "Scoot back a little Onii-chan," Haruto said.
And so the three of them lay in a comfortable silence, Haruto in the middle. The raven head relished the feeling of safety and happiness and before he knew it, the eleven-year-old was sleeping peacefully.
"Haruto I'm home!" Yuugi called as he opened the door, peering at the envelope he had found by the door in curiosity. "Has someone been at the door? Haruto?" It was silent, eerily so. The shop was dark and the rest of the house seemed to be like that as well. "Did something happen? It's me Haruto, its Yuugi. You can come out now!" But no-one answered.
Is he still in school, Yami asked inside his head and the Spirit appeared next to him. Yuugi shook his head, a frown appearing on his face. "You don't think something bad happened, do you?" he said fearfully, trying to shake the feeling of dread.
"I'm sure it's nothing," the Spirit said reassuringly but even the older man couldn't keep the frown from appearing on his face. "Let's check the house."
Like men possessed both Yuugi and Yami searched the entire house, shop and apartment above. Every hiding place, every cupboard or wardrobe. But even the attic was empty. Haruto wasn't here. "Try to call the school," Yami said as they made their way to the ground floor again. "I know you said that he shouldn't be there, but maybe Haruto had to stay behind for a project of some kind."
According to the teacher Haruto had left around four and had gone home directly from there. Without knowing what else to do Yuugi called his friends. Haruto shouldn't know where they live, but stranger things had happened. No-one had seen him but not half an hour after calling his friends they were all standing in front of the Kame Game Shop. "Should we call the cops?" Honda asked, watching the smallest of their company pacing around the kitchen.
"I don't know," Ryou said when Yuugi remained silent. "They always say that you have to wait twenty-four hours before calling in a missing person. Haruto-kun could still show up at any moment. They won't…" But he was interrupted by Jonouchi who was holding up the envelope Yuugi had placed on the kitchen table.
"Hey Yuug, what's in this?" the blonde asked, snapping Yuugi out of his thoughts. The small sixteen-year-old looked up and stared at it object in his friend's hand, confusion clear on his face.
"Oh that was on the door when I got home," he said, frowning once more. "You don't think…?"
"Only one way to find out," Anzu said and Jonouchi opened the envelope, pouring its contents on the table. Four cards and a note fell on the kitchen table. Each of his friends took one card, looking at them in curiosity but leaving the note for Yuugi. The sixteen-year-old picked it up, trying not to let it worry him too much. His insides turned to ice as he read the short note.
These are your invitation to my Duelist Kingdom. Do not be late or the boat will leave without you. To make this more interesting I took the liberty of inviting your little brother along. I assure you he came of his own free will and will be well looked after.
Pegasus J. Crawford.
"That bastard took my little brother!"
A/N: Thank you for reading. Please don't kill me! I used the original manga version of the Duel between Pegasus and Yami and so also used the original names of the Duel Monster cards used in the manga. I hope you liked it.
*this puzzle is new. It only just came out and contains 5 parts, the last two planned for release in 2015.
Extra note 28-07-2013: I decided to re-post all of the chapters the moment I would post chapter 13, but it seems that it is still a work in progress. I'm trying to write it as fast as I can, but I don't want to force it. Please be patient and know that I am working on it regardless of any new stories I post!