Author's Notes – For TF-Speedwriting. Prompt – "Task: the last non-TF canon you encountered and Transformers is now a crossover. You can interpret this any way you please: does a Cybertronian stumble across the Lord of the Rings movie? Or are they ported into that world? Whatever! Have fun!" LOL I misread that as "the last non-TF canon you were into" (as in, active fandom), but hey...I was kind of doing something recently with YGO, for a friend, so it still works. :3

I've been wanting to write this crossover for quite some time. My plan is for a much-longer fic, but when I saw that prompt, I couldn't pass it up. So until (unless?) I find/make the time to write the longer version, I hope you enjoy! XD

Disclaimer – "Yu-Gi-Oh!" and all related characters, events, and concepts belong to Takahashi Kazuki and any other related owners/distributors/producers. "Transformers" and all related characters, events, and concepts belong to Hasbro, Takara, and any other related owners/distributors/producers. I get no monetary benefit from this. My benefit is the enjoyment of dealing with beloved characters.

"Play a Game With Me"
by DragonDancer5150

"Play a game with me."

The giant robot laughed. "A game? Me? Air Commander Starscream play a game? With a flesh creature?" The robot knelt down, making a show of crouching low to "get a better look" at his opponent. "And such a diminutive one, too. What, have you not . . . what do they call it . . . 'hit puberty' yet, little human?"

Yami stood his ground, arms crossed, the Puzzle's weight warm against his stomach and forearms. He felt his aibou's spirit bristle at the insult – it was, after all, his aibou's body the mech was looking at and so his aibou who was really affected – but Yugi refrained from saying anything, unwilling to distract the Puzzle spirit from his work. Yami knew that Yugi could feel the building Shadow energies that he had summoned with his pronouncement beginning to envelop them both as well as reach out to the white-and-red mech above them.

One of the others, identical but for a black-and-purple color scheme, snickered. "How would you even know somethin' like that, Screamer?" The third of the group, primarily blue but for striking red stripes trimming his wings, remained silent. Yami thought he saw a glimmer of amusement in the optics of the otherwise stoic robot.

It was the first mech's turn to bristle, growling as he glanced over his shoulder. "Don't call me that!" He huffed in exasperation. "With as much human television as the Stunticons watch, you can't tell me you haven't picked up on a few things, too." The black-and-purple just shrugged, still grinning.

"Like you, for example." The mech had returned his attention to Yami. "You might have your fellow humans fooled, thinking it's all just holographic illusions and sleight of hand with those ridiculous cards you wave around . . . but it's you who creates the creatures and all the energy effects. Focused through that gold amplifier." He pointed an oversized finger – a finger as long as Yami (as Yugi) was tall – at the Millennium Puzzle.

Yami grinned, a smirk of confidence. He could feel the mech's ambition through the Shadows . . . and his recklessness. On the other hand, the Shadows were leaving the other two alone. It would seem that they were not actually direct threats themselves. Without orders from their leader, they had no argument with the human before them and would likely leave without harm. The Shadows know a man's heart. Apparently, they can read sentient robots just as accurately. "Play a game with me," he repeated smoothly, weaving more Shadows into the words. "If you win, Decepticon, I will tell you how I manipulate the energy source you're after."

If the white-and-red robot could sense the flowing energies closing in around him, he gave no indication. An arrogant grin crossed his face as he sat back on his heels with arms crossed. "Very well. What is your game, flesh creature?"

Starscream had no idea what had just happened. One minute, they were playing that silly game and he had the puny flesh creature right where he wanted him. And the next . . . he was on his aft, optics flickering and recalibrating as he gazed at curling, purple-black mists flowing in ever-twisting eddies all around him. He thought he'd sensed something before, something powerful, but being able to see it with his own optics was something entirely different. And was it his imagination, or was he really seeing shapes and faces shifting in and out of being in the mists, leering at him?

Refocusing through them, he could see his trinemates, optics bright as they stared in wonder. Incredulous, their gazes shifted to the human. Starscream looked as well.

The little human strode without fear through the dark, inexplicable fog which seemed to part around him of its own accord like a living, sentient thing. Don't be ridiculous, Starscream admonished himself. That's not possible. But somehow, in his spark, he knew it to be true . . . and that he had offended them with the "loophole" he had found in the human's rules for his silly game. Somehow, striding through the vapors, the human who commanded them seemed to grow larger in Starscream's optics as he approached, and he found himself drawing back. "Thundercracker, Skywarp, don't just stand there! Do something!" Neither moved.

"They can't hear you, Starscream." The short human had stopped mere feet from him, arms crossed with that same haughty, cock-sure calm that had fragged him off the first time. "They were not part of the Game. It's just you and me. And you lost."

"No, I didn't!" He'd won! He knew he had. He'd taken advantage of that little loophole, and he'd had that little human!

"It's true that you didn't technically cheat, but your reasoning for doing what you did . . . your heart was in the wrong place. The Shadows judge a man's heart, Starscream. They judge a mech's just as well. Greed and ambition have weakened yours. You came here to Japan seeking the power of the Shadows to help fuel your faction's conquest of this world and your own. You found them . . . let's see if you can handle them."

Starscream shied back farther at the ovoid glow that suddenly appeared on the little human's forehead, his sensors telling him that it was the focal point for the gathering energies he could tell were coming. The human raised his left arm, hand outstretched. The Seeker could only stare, transfixed, as the human made his pronouncement in a booming voice of supernatural power.

"Penalty Game!"

The world flashed and melted away into twisting purple blackness.

"W-what . . . what did you do to him!?"

Thundercracker glanced at his wingmate before refocusing on the human . . . and their trine leader who had inexplicably stopped dead in his tracks, then slumped to the ground, knocked senseless by some unseen force.

The little, wild-haired human canted a look up at them, calm and completely fearless of the two remaining Seekers. Well, he had just taken down their leader without so much as raising a weapon. "The better question is: what did he do to himself?"

Thundercracker scowled. "Explain!"

"Your friend is a victim of his own greed, ambition, pride, and impatience. The Shadows will teach him to overcome them . . . if he's open to their lesson. Only then will he recover."

"But he . . . will recover?" Skywarp insisted, anxious.

The little human studied the downed Seeker, who laid unmoving, sightless optics staring without seeing. His frown of concern actually seemed genuine to Thundercracker. "I don't know. It's not impossible to recover from a Penalty Game. Mostly. No one recovers completely – that's the whole point. To learn from the experience and improve yourself with a stronger heart for it." Thundercracker had the distinct impression that there was something the human wasn't saying, like he didn't expect Starscream to manage. He shrugged and turned his attention up to the other Seekers again. "You'd better get him home. He could be days, even weeks like this. It all depends on him."

Maybe it was a foolish move, but Thundercracker found himself shifting forward, fists clenching, ready to lunge at the little human. "Why you-!"

He stopped, jerking back, as the little human braced with a hand on his amplifier and his scanners read the energies starting to build again. "I wouldn't if I were you."

Thundercracker felt his wingmate grip his arm. "TC . . . c'mon, let's get outta here." He heard the faint hint of fear in the other's voice and couldn't say he disagreed – he didn't want to end up like Starscream, either.

The two remaining mechs picked up their fallen comrade and left. Yami didn't relax his stance until they were well out of sight. Even then, he didn't relax, not fully. Now that the Shadows had attracted the attention of those alien robots that had suddenly shown up in North America less than a year ago, he knew it was only a matter of time before he'd have to face them . . . and their leader, the infamous Megatron.

There were good robots as well. He'd heard of the Autobots, and of course he would accept their help if offered. There was no greater power than that of friendship and what two or more could accomplish working together . . . but he couldn't depend on them making it here, in time or at all. As he and Yugi headed for home, he was already reviewing their Duel Deck in his mind, ready to make the needed adjustments to face what might be his most challenging foe yet.