Author Note: Done this opening chapter of Relic Song as a report by Team Galactic. The bold and italic writing is what Galactic are reporting to their colleagues in the Pokémon World, the normal text is what's going on in the background that Galactic aren't aware of or aren't reporting.
Team Galactic Otherworld Mission Report.
Dialga still not located. Jamelia Francis and Mai Valentine discovered by Agents Venom and A.C. two weeks ago. Not in possession of the Master Ball. Francis affected by Toxic during the attempted recovery and killed. Remaining Trainer in that party not a threat.
Canalave Rend – Pokémon Centre
"I can't believe it's been two weeks." Mai sighed as she leant against the doorframe.
"I'm sorry." Jamie apologised, knowing that they were needed back in Domino badly but still unable to go too far from her bed.
"It's... Don't be." Mai shook her head. Jamie had told her to get moving and return to Domino, but she couldn't leave Jamie alone, not right now. Her best friend was too weak to be left unattended. She didn't know if Galactic knew Jamie had survived. It had been a close enough thing that she wasn't sure herself how the Pokémon Trainer had lived. It had been so close when they'd gotten to the Canalave Rend, that even Nurse Joy was touting Jamie's recovery as a miracle.
"I heard you've made yourself a friend." Jamie smiled weakly, teasing her friend, wishing there was something she could say or do to make everything better.
"I... Jay!" Mai's blush was enough to tell Jamie that she'd hit the nail on the head.
"So, tell me more about this Valon guy then." Jamie chuckled, "Between you keeping him to yourself and 'Kura's refusal to let anyone he doesn't know and hasn't checked in triplicate anywhere near me, I don't know anything about him."
"He's alright." Mai sounded defensive, "Gets on well with the Pokémon and has been helping around town."
"Sounds good so far." Jamie nodded, appreciating someone who was willing to help her people, "So he's not from my world?"
"No, but he was passing through and saw the lights when Canalave was dumped here. He's been here for a little while which was why he had Revives on him."
"Which Pokémon does he have?" Jamie asked, curious. The guy had to have something on him, he wouldn't have been carrying Revives otherwise.
"None." Mai looked a little confused by that herself, "Said he was concerned about others in the area. Some of the Trainers that have left Canalave have come back wounded. I'm guessing those Galactics were waiting for us for a while."
Jamie winced, wondering how many had been hurt while Galactic had been hunting them. "At least they haven't been back."
"True. Have to wonder why. I mean Kaiba's been back and forth and they certainly seemed to have a grudge against you..." Mai looked worried.
"I'm not complaining." Jamie sighed, pulling off her covers. "Come on, time to try again."
Aisu, who had been curled up at the end of her bed yelped as the covers were dumped on her head. The Glaceon wriggled out from underneath the blanket and leapt down, watching her Trainer carefully as the girl swung off of the bed and put her feet down, shaking slightly as she did so.
"You know, Nurse Joy's going to be ticked if you don't wait for her to come around." Mai was just as concerned as Jamie's strongest Pokémon.
"I know, but I can smell burgers and I'm damn well going to find out where that smell's coming from."
Joseph Wheeler repelled Agent Flame and Agent Snow from the grounds of Domino High during assault two weeks ago. Must watch closer.
Domino, Japan – Streets, Day Care Centre.
"Of course you understand, Wheeler-San, why we can't allow you back in our school?" Joey muttered sarcastically as he kicked a trashcan as he stalked down the road, just daring anyone to even think about jumping him. He could do with a good fight right now. "No, we don't care that you risked your life to protect the other students. Of course you'll be expected to pay for the damages even though they weren't your fault." He kicked the next trashcan he passed hard enough to dent it.
When Flame and Snow had attacked the school Joey hadn't thought, just reacted by sending out Iblis, his Charizard, and Kaida, his Dragonair. His two Pokémon had worked their hardest to protect both their Trainer and the school. Kaida had even evolved into a Dragonite fighting against Snow's Mamoswine. It wasn't fair that after all their work to stop the destruction, they were getting the blame for it.
That wasn't what was bothering him the most about the school's reaction. What was really grinding on his nerves was that while they'd dragged him into school and lambasted him before expelling him, his best friend had been lying on the floor of the school Gym, badly wounded and all alone.
He'd felt something was wrong, they all had but he hadn't been able to get away from the Teachers without causing someone harm and Tristan and Tea had had to comb the school grounds without him.
Joey's train of thoughts derailed at the shrill cry.
Joey followed the voice, turning down the next alleyway to find a Pichu, quite possibly one of Denkou's babies that had escaped the Day Care again, being threatened by a purple snake thing with a tail that rattled, an Ekans if Joey remembered correctly, having been informed that there was a nest of them in Domino Park, though no one knew where they had come from in the first place.
"Kaida!" Joey demanded, sending his Dragonite out and wondering if he should start carrying Ku, his Riolu more often for situations like this, "Slam!"
The Dragonite attacked, knocking the snake out with one blow, standing guard over it as the Pichu darted past and clung to Joey's leg.
"Hey, easy." Joey chuckled, picking the tiny electric mouse up, remembering his panic when Denkou's eggs had started hatching, and tickling it, wincing against the tiny jolt it released. "You're safe now. Come on, I'll take you home."
Pichu, pi!" The Pichu giggled at him as he left the alley, Kaida flying above, standing guard.
"You should be more careful." Joey continued talking to it as he walked, earning himself a few odd looks, "I won't be around to protect you every time you get into trouble."
"Pichu?" The tiny yellow Pokémon tilted its head at him, as if asking a question.
"Because I'll be in..." Joey trailed off. No, he wouldn't be in school, he'd been expelled...
"Pici?" The Pichu tugged on his school jacket. "Pi chu pi?"
Joey was saved from trying to respond by his arrival at the Day Care. The Pichu leapt down from his arms and confirmed Joey's earlier suspicion that it was one of Denkou's by getting lambasted by its mother, or at least that was what it looked like to Joey.
"Rilu." Joey grinned at the small blue canine that came over to him the moment he'd taken five steps in the door and bowed to him.
"Good morning, Ku." Joey bowed back as Kaida slipped in through the huge doors just before they shut behind him, "How are you?"
The fighting type Pokémon, who seemed to have latched onto Joey since he'd fought with it a couple of weeks ago, started talking, pausing to let Joey make the appropriate sounds in the right places. Joey was never sure if the Pokémon knew he couldn't understand it properly or not, but it made the Pokémon happy, so he didn't really mind if it did or not.
"Rilu, ri?" The Pokémon asked.
That was the usual question which Joey had always taken to mean that it was asking how his day had been. Today, however he didn't really want to talk about it.
"Want to practise some more?" Joey asked instead, punching the air to show his meaning. He would head for the hospital later. If he didn't work out some of his anger now, he'd never be able to hold his temper there.
"Ri." The aura Pokémon nodded, it too, punching the air, "Rilou ri riolu..."
"Alright, let's start."
Shadow wielder and holder of the Millennium Ring, Ryou Bakura is believed to be the driving force being the steady disappearance of the Pokémon belonging to the Team within the Otherworld. The self proclaimed 'Thief King' is a known and capable accomplice to the Champion, Francis. Lacks Team strength, but has powers that make up for it. Plans in motion for dealing with the problem.
Canalave Rend – Abandoned Hotel
Valon was uncomfortable as he waited for the one who had called him out.
The Trainers who currently lived at the Canalave Rend had horror stories of this place. Even during the height of the crowding in the city the building had been left well alone. Especially after a group of four had risked sleeping in the old hotel and fallen into a sleep from which they had yet to awaken. He'd been told the stories and while he didn't think that the Pitch-Black Pokémon, the Legendary nightmare bringer, Darkrai, had been Rended with the hotel he didn't like the idea of hanging around to find out.
Still this was where he'd agreed to meet with Jamie's boyfriend and it was secluded enough for him to be able to move against him if necessary without alerting the two he was supposed to be converting to his boss's cause to what he'd done.
He was too busy musing over his progress he'd made with Mai to notice the Shadows climbing the walls until it was too late and his passage out was blocked by the darkness that had him imprisoned. He reached for his deck as he realised what was going on, his ring carrying the oricelcite, the stone linked to the power of the Orichalcos, glowing brightly, shielding him from the creatures that wanted to rip him limb from limb.
"Don't be so foolish." A voice floated out of the darkness as he found he couldn't get into his deck pouch, "I know your game and I'm not stupid enough to let you turn my own trap against me."
Valon grimaced at that. He'd thought he was being careful. He hadn't used the Orichalcos against anyone in town. He'd been careful to avoid letting anyone see his deck. He'd even hidden his Duel Disk in his bag so he wouldn't be caught out that way.
"Oh please." The voice continued as something stepped out of the darkness, slowly shifting from purple smoke, to a humanoid shape, and finally taking the form of the white haired, brown eyed teenager that had been hanging around the Pokémon Centre. "You reek of that stuff." He gestured to Valon's ring, "And I'm done with you trying to pawn it off on my girlfriend."
"I..." Valon scowled as he realised he actually couldn't deny that he'd been trying to convert Jamie to his cause. Not for lack of wanting to, he physically couldn't. "What's is this? What have you done?"
"It's simple really." Bakura sniggered, always amused by the panic that occurred in the first few moments of a Shadow Game. No matter how well the opponent hid it, it was always there. Even the Pharaoh's apparent rage always masked that hint of panic, that fear that this time, this oh so important time, he wouldn't be good enough, that he'd fail. Valon was no different.
"So explain it." Valon grumbled, pissed that he'd walked into Bakura's trap rather than the other way around.
"I'm surprised you haven't heard of the Shadow Games considering that you're hunting a certain Pharaoh." Bakura chuckled menacingly, "I'd've thought that was the first thing your boss would have warned you about."
Valon paled slightly. Yes, his boss had warned him about the possibility of running into a Shadow Game, but the seal should have been able to override it. Apparently Bakura had taken that little fact into account when he'd activated his magic and locked his deck down so he couldn't activate it.
It was a clever plan. That didn't mean Valon had to like it.
"So what's the rules?" Valon demanded, "How do I get out of this hellhole?"
"All you have to do to get out of here," Bakura said as the game set itself up between them, "Is defeat me."
"And the rules?" Valon demanded, well aware it wasn't going to be that easy.
"As for the rules well..." Bakura settled on a chair at the table that had emerged from the darkness between them, "Come and find out..."
Mokuba Kaiba, the Vice-CEO of Kaiba Corp, the company founding the Japanese Pokémon League and funding the Day Care Centre is under observation by Agent Oracle. Already confirmed to not be in possession of the Master Ball, he is, however in constant contact with ALL of Francis's Chosen Trainers and hence in possession of knowledge that could be vital to our Organisation.
Domino, Japan – Kaiba Corp
Mokuba, who was on his way to his office, jumped a mile as a tiny, pinked haired girl popped out of thin air and clung to him, sobbing.
"Oracle?" He asked, pulling the girl away, confused as to why an enemy was clinging to him.
"Don't call me that!" The girl sobbed, pulling away from the vice-CEO of Kaiba Corp and glaring daggers at him. "My name's Cassandra. Cass. An. Dra!"
"How was I supposed to know?" Mokuba asked her, his tone more snappish than he intended, causing her to flinch. He paused and took a deep breath before speaking again, "I'm sorry but you've never introduced yourself as anything but Oracle." He looked her over properly, leading her to his office when he realised that there was something seriously the matter, "What's wrong?"
Cassandra considered him carefully for a moment, "Why do you care after what Spectre and Venom did to your friends?"
"Because it's not normal for an enemy to come running to me in tears? Because you've been coming and going for the last month and not hurt anyone? How about because you look like you genuinely need help?" Mokuba shot back before ordering his secretary to bring them some tea. "Now, care to share?"
"I don't know where to start." Cassandra murmured, sitting on the chair offered, "You were right."
Mokuba stopped dead on the spot for a moment as he tried to work out what he'd been 'right' about. Then it hit him. "They're using you?"
"They're using all of us." The Psychic PKNE spoke softly, as if she was afraid of being overheard. "They promised us a world where we'd never have to live in fear again. Where we'd be accepted. They lied. They're planning on getting rid of us before the New World's complete."
"I'm sorry." Mokuba offered, not sure what else to say.
"I read minds." Cassandra informed him, "You know I do." When Mokuba nodded, she continued, "But I won't normally read my friends' minds, it's rude."
"Makes sense." Mokuba nodded his agreement.
"Anyway, two weeks ago, just before we attacked your brother's school, I'd been doing a lot of all nighters so I wasn't being as careful as I should have been and I overheard some of Mars's thoughts..." Cassandra trailed off for a moment when Mokuba grimaced at the mention of the attack. When he gestured for her to continue she sighed heavily and looked at the floor, "I wanted to have heard wrong so I went hunting through our files."
"And you didn't?" Mokuba asked, wondering what the girl could have found to have her come running to him.
The thirteen year old Pokémon Trainer turned to the thirteen year old Vice-CEO and shook her head.
"Flame knew Mars before she was Mars, he's safe. But the rest of us... You remember how I told you how Mars won my loyalty?"
Mokuba didn't have to think very hard. Oracle had been in his life less than a month and he remembered that tale far too well.
"They saved you from Team Cypher, the bad guys of Orre." Mokuba nodded, remembering Oracle's tale of how she'd been experimented on because of her powers and how Team Galactic had broken her free.
"They didn't rescue me." The pink haired girl shook her head, "I was a trade. Mars has me firmly labelled in her mind as 'Original Trainer: Team Cypher.'"
"A trade?" Mokuba yelped, "You said you weren't really Pokémon."
"We're not!" Cassandra growled at him, her eyes glowing pink for a moment causing Mokuba to back off. The girl swiftly tried to calm herself down, speaking carefully as she did so, "We're not, we're human, just like you or your brother."
"Then you can't be traded, surely." Mokuba looked confused.
"I didn't think so." She replied miserably, "But apparently Snow and Flame hunted down an awakened Dragon positive and Mars traded him for me." She winced at Mokuba's furious hiss. "The others have no idea. They've all been snared in their own ways but only Flame, Snow and Mars know about the Dragon."
"Can we save him?" Mokuba asked, thinking quickly.
"No." If anything Cassandra's shoulders sank even further at that, projecting enough shame, guilt and misery to have Mokuba wanting to burst in tears himself, "He's in the real..." She paused and sighed, "In the Pokémon World and we're here."
"In the unreal one?" Mokuba teased slightly, trying to lighten the mood.
"Heh." Cassandra snorted, a small smile gracing her features for a moment before it vanished as she turned serious and stood up. Mokuba frowned slightly, wondering what she was up to, only for confusion to turn to shock as the psychic PKNE bowed to Mokuba. Not just a normal, friendly bow, or a bow of equals, but a full, on the knees, prostrate bow. "Mokuba Kaiba." She spoke confidently, if nervously, "If you can forgive my past actions long enough for us to do away with Team Galactic, I would like to join your side."
"Wha?" Mokuba yelped, confused as hell.
"Galactic are planning on betray me and those I consider family. I can't let that happen." Cassandra told him, looking up at him with a pleading expression, "Please, let me help you."
Mokuba thought about it for a few moments. He could forgive her, in fact he'd already forgiven her, but then he'd gotten to know her. He had to ask though. "Is this a trick?" Mokuba asked, "I let you in, share secrets with you and then you stab us in the back..."
"No! I'm not like that!" The pink haired girl shook her head violently, "If I was Eris, maybe, she's loyal to herself and no one else, but I'm not!"
Mokuba sighed. "It's not my side. We follow Yugi. He'll forgive you..." The words 'if he ever wakes' refused to escape his lips, "But his friends might be harder to win over."
"I can but try."
Relationships with Paradius is strained at best and dissolving at worst. Dartz, the CEO of the company, has the traitor, Nanoha Miko, under his command but refuses to hand the former Galactic Grunt over due to events caused by Agent Spectre. Recommendation: Cease funding and aid to the Elemental Grunt project and focus on the final stages of the plan.
Otherworld Galactic Hidden Headquarters – Boss's Office
Cyrus didn't need this. Not on top of the problems Cypher were causing them back in the Pokémon World.
After Canalave had been Rended, Evice had stormed into their joint headquarters and demanded to speak to him there and then.
During that meeting, though it could better termed a shouting match, the leader of Team Cypher had informed him that they were withdrawing their support from Galactic's cause after losing their strongest Pokémon to the Rend.
Personally Cyrus wasn't sorry to see the Shadow Legendaries and their Trainer vanish into the Otherworld. He had been concerned for a long time about the power that Team Cypher had held, and to effectively neuter them had pleased him no end.
But he did not need Paradius causing trouble on top of that so when he'd phoned through to demand the return of the Grunt who had wiped out the computer systems in the Otherworld base and Dartz's secretary had informed him that he'd have to wait on hold, it hadn't been a good sign.
"Dartz," Cryus started, having come across from the Pokeworld for this call, "I believe you have something that belongs to me."
"You?" Dartz looked like he very much wanted to teach Cyrus a lesson for some reason, "Dare to claim I have something of yours after what you have stolen?"
"What, exactly, is it you think we've stolen?" Cyrus growled back, unwilling to take any of Dartz's crap. He only suffered the other man's crap because it was his weakening of the barrier between worlds that allowed for the consistent and continued arrival of his men and projects in the same dimension. He didn't need Paradius to complete his plans, they just made it easier.
"For five thousand years I've waited for the Pharaoh to reincarnate. Five. Thousand. Years. And then, just when I'm ready to make my move, your men shattered the Pharaoh's holding cell and murdered the soul of the Pharaoh's vessel! I might not have to wait another five thousand years, might! But your actions have set me back at least another thousand years! Souls that powerful don't come around every day! Your entire Grunt army wouldn't be worth even half of what the Pharaoh's soul is worth!" Dartz's tone suddenly shifted from righteous anger to malicious amusement, "So whatever you think it is of yours I have, you won't be getting it back."
"I require the traitor, Nanoha Miko." Cyrus snarled, "And you will hand her over. She is only on loan to you after all."
"She's not a traitor, Cyrus, she's a very loyal minion, as long as you mean her true boss, the one you drove into hiding." Dartz snorted, ill amused by Cyrus's attempt to order him around. "And I suggest you don't order me around. I am not your minion, Cyrus and I suggest that, before you think about doing something stupid, you remember that if the Pharaoh was a 'Legendary Class' threat, my power far outweighs his."
With that Dartz disconnected the call, leaving Cyrus to glare at the black screen.
So much for the diplomatic route.
Yugi Mutou, who was previously classified as a Legendary Class threat, is no longer an issue. Agent Spectre attempted to recover information or the Master Ball from him two weeks ago. Master Ball discovered not to be in Mutou's possession, and no information was forth coming, but the focus for his power, the Millennium Puzzle has been shattered and Mutou has fallen into a coma since his questioning. Likelihood of recovery slim to none.
Domino, Japan – Domino Central Hospital
"If you're here for Yuge's God Cards or his Puzzle," Joey growled at the newcomer in Yugi's room as he finally got into the hospital, "Then you'll have to go through me." When he recognised who was in the room he did a double take. "Kaiba?"
"Stow it Mutt. I have every right to be here." The CEO of Kaiba Corp snarled at his long time enemy, then reigned it in as the blonde teen's hands balled into fists. It wasn't hard to work out who really held the Master Ball now. It had to be Wheeler, purely because Yugi hadn't had it, neither had Francis and no one else could defend themselves against Galactic.
Not that he believed such a thing was possible, but Wheeler was probably itching to use the Lord of Time to head back into the past and save his friend. That he hadn't was either a testimony to the rest of Yugi's friends keeping the Mutt in line, or the Mutt's own loyalty to Yugi, who obviously hadn't given the location away. Yugi's injuries were pointless, after all, if Wheeler outted the secret.
Joey just snorted at him, settling in the chair opposite Kaiba's before taking Yugi's deck out of the second deck pouch he'd attached to his belt and placing it in Yugi's hand, feeling that his friend might be able to draw strength from its heart, just as the deck drew strength from his.
"You've been carrying his deck?" Kaiba looked a little shocked at that fact.
"Of course." Joey shrugged, not really wanting to talk to Kaiba but not seeing any way around it without sitting there in silence. "It's not safe for it to stay here. Not with the God cards prime targets. The only reason I leave the Puzzle pieces here is because they're useless without Yugi awake to put it back together. If anyone else tried to assemble it, they'd go batshit."
Kaiba frowned slightly in confusion, having not heard that story before.
"Yuge never told you?" Joey asked, then snorted, "Of course he didn't. He doesn't talk to you because you keep pushing away the one guy who might actually like to be your friend."
Kaiba didn't know what to say to that so he settled for changing the subject. He wasn't even sure why he was trying to be civil to the mutt, but something told him he should. "How are his Pokémon fairing?"
"Bast and Okibi?" Joey asked, surprised by the question. "They're shaken up, as you can imagine. A Trainer's like a partner or a good friend, so for this to happen and him not to call them out..."
"How do you know that? I thought you didn't know he was hurt until after..." Kaiba actually trailed off as he realised Wheeler was shaking in his seat with a combination of guilt and rage.
"They weren't hurt. Either Yuge couldn't send them out, or he wouldn't put them at risk." Joey's tone betrayed the emotions the blonde was trying to suppress, "One way Yuge got trapped and there was nothing he could do, the other's typical Yugi style stupidity."
Kaiba just snorted at that. The Puzzle smashing explained why the Pharaoh hadn't just Gamed their attacker and got out of there and it would be Yugi all over not to put his Pokémon in danger for his own sake. The problem was he was running out of topics to discuss with Wheeler. He hadn't exactly kept his issues with the Mutt quiet and he didn't do small talk unless it was vital to business. It was pointless.
An awkward silence fell between the two, the only sounds the steady beeping of Yugi's heart monitor, the chattering outside the room and the few sounds floating in the open window.
Eventually Kaiba gave up. There was no point to him being here. He wasn't contributing anything and the mutt obviously didn't want him there. As he moved to leave however, Wheeler stood, looking disgruntled. "I need coffee. You want one?"
Kaiba blinked at him, shocked by the offer. Knowing Wheeler there would probably be something wrong with it, but still the offer had been made. "Black, two sugars." He heard himself reply before his train of thought had reached the station. Wheeler just nodded in response and left the room, leaving Kaiba alone with Yugi.
A part of Kaiba remembered the days when, if this opportunity had arisen he would have raided Yugi's deck for every rare card in it and then left. None of this waiting around business.
Something in the room shifted. Kaiba couldn't explain the feeling, nor could he explain why he had shot to his feet and drawn the Millennium Rod out from under his coat before glowering around the room, but he moved between Yugi and the section of the room the weird feeling was coming from. "Show yourself!"
The CEO scowled as a certain turbaned Egyptian pain the rear stepped out of the Shadows. "What are you doing here?"
"The Pharaoh's vessel must awaken and reassemble the Puzzle. The Pharaoh is still needed." Shadi informed him.
"And where have you been for the last two weeks?" Kaiba growled, bristling, though he didn't realise it, at Shadi's complete lack of concern for Yugi. Shadi didn't respond to Kaiba's comment, merely attempted to step around the CEO to reach his target, only for the teenager to shift position, keeping between the pair.
"I am fully aware that you find my presence detestable, Priest." Shadi spoke in a slight monotone, only raising Kaiba's ire, "But if you do not remove yourself from my path, I cannot awaken the Pharaoh's vessel."
Kaiba paused momentarily, considering the man in front of him. "And how, exactly, do you plan on doing that?"
"My Millennium Key allows me to enter the soul rooms of other people. I can use it to bring the Pharaoh's vessel back to the world of the living." Shadi pointed out in a 'matter of fact' tone.
"And you didn't think to do this two weeks ago because why?"
"Because two weeks ago the Pharaoh's vessel wouldn't have survived if I'd tried it." Shadi tone actually took on a hint of anger at the suggestion that he had failed his King, "It needed the time to recover."
"He has a name." Kaiba snapped irritably, "And I would suggest that you start using it." Internally grimacing as he realised he was beginning to sound like one of the cheerleading squad and obviously the time spent with Yugi during the lessons on Shadow Magic was affecting him more than he realised.
"Yugi," And the emphasis Shadi put on the teen's name made Seto snort, "Needs my help. Now stand aside, Kaiba, or I will remove you."
"You dare to threaten me?" Kaiba growled, Millennium Rod beginning to glow.
"D...Don't..." Both speakers jumped and turned to face the bed where a very ill looking, heavily shaking Yugi had forced himself into a sitting position and was watching them with concern.
"Yugi!" Kaiba was louder than he intended, and the relief in his tone made him wince, "You finally bothered to join us then." He snorted, watching as amusement crossed Yugi's face.
"I...I sensed...your magic." Yugi tried to explain, "Woke me up..."
"It's nothing I can't..." Kaiba glowered at the empty space that had been where Shadi had been stood milliseconds earlier. "Where'd he go?"
Yugi chuckled weakly, "S...Shadi does that."
"Lie down before you fall down." Kaiba snorted at Yugi, who gracelessly slumped back onto the bed before adjusting himself to be able to be both horizontal and looking at Kaiba at the same time. "What took you so long?" The CEO grouched at Yugi, who responded with a watery smile.
"S...Sorry..." Yugi offered, his eyes drooping for a moment before he blinked and shook his head, "I...I'm awake."
"You only woke up because we were throwing magic around." It was a statement rather than a question and Kaiba wondered how long Yugi was going to manage to stay awake and aware.
"Sensed it. Knew I needed to stop it." Yugi replied, beginning to drift off again, but trying to stay awake long enough to say what needed to be said, "You're my friend. Didn't want you getting hurt." For a moment it looked like he'd drifted off again, then Yugi sat bolt upright suddenly, eyes wide, let out a pained moan, clutched his stomach and fell back. "Puzzle?" He asked with a whimper.
"Stay down." Kaiba snapped at him as he crossed the room in two strides and pulled the sandwich bag of Puzzle pieces out of the cupboard that held Yugi's clothes before moving back across and dumping it next to Yugi, "It's here. It's fine, Francis is fine, the mutt's fine. Everyone's fine except you. So stop being a moron and rest. Once Wheeler gets back with my coffee, I'll leave you in peace."
Yugi was surprised enough by that statement that his attention went from the bag of Puzzle pieces to Kaiba and stayed there. "You let him buy you coffee?"
"He offered." Kaiba shrugged.
"Yes, but..." Yugi trailed off as Joey re-entered the room, carrying two cups of coffee, both of which got dropped when Joey saw that Yugi's eyes were open.
"Yuge!" Joey glomped his friend, only to back off a couple of feet when Yugi yelped in pain. "Sorry."
"I...It's okay." Yugi tried to reassure Joey, who was looking a mixture of guilty and relieved that looked really quite odd on his features.
"No, it's not." Joey shook his head, "I..." He trailed off as he realised Yugi had fallen asleep.
"Leave it for now, Wheeler." Kaiba advised, "At least until he can stay awake long enough to hear you out."
Joey wanted to snap at the CEO but found he couldn't. For the first time, Kaiba wasn't offering sarcasm or a barb, but an honest piece of advice and he didn't know how to take it. Then he realised what was in Kaiba's hand and the pieces fit into place.
As he'd headed down to the canteen, he'd been puzzling over why Kaiba suddenly seemed so worried about Yugi and tried to be civil to him. Him holding a Millennium Item kind of made it make sense. "Yugi's been teaching you, hasn't he?" Joey asked. "That's why you've actually started worrying about him."
Kaiba grimaced as he hid the Millennium Rod away again. "Not a word leaves this room or I'll sue you for every penny you've got. Got it?"
Joey just snorted, "Yeah, yeah whatever." He waved Kaiba's threat off, "I'm going to go get some tissue and another couple of coffees. You'd better still be here when I get back. I want answers."
Master Ball is still primary concern for Otherworld Expedition but have minor concerns about Paradius sticking their nose in where it isn't wanted. Otherworld Trainer threat being taken care of and the thief stealing Galactic's Pokémon will be dealt with upon return to Domino, Japan.