Disclaimer: I own nothing
Summary: Joey is a smuggler and Yugi is his partner. One day Yugi falls in love with Prince Atem who isn't allowed to be with Yugi and so Atem runs off with Yugi and Joey. Atem's father is sending the best bounty hunter after them to bring his son back and kill whoever took him. Will Atem be able to stay with them? What will happen to Joey and Yugi when Seto finds them?
To the Stars
Chapter one: Board
Joey grinned at the ruler of the desert planet he had just arrived at, "My apologies for appearing out of nowhere, your majesty, but I had some trouble with my space ship and was hoping to find some help here."
"Are you trying to take me for a fool?" King Aknamkanon said. "I know who you are. And more importantly, what you are!"
"Oh really?" Joey asked, noticing the slightly worried look on the face of his friend and co-pilot Yugi. "I doubt that you're interested in clay? I hear you've got plenty of that on your planet?"
"Clay?" The king raised his voice showing how angered he was. "You don't honestly expect me to believe that clay is the only thing on board of your ship?"
"Don't ya trust a honestly working man?" Joey asked and managed to sound outraged, much to Yugi's surprise who knew that Joey had some fruits on board that not only where extremely rare in this universe but also forbidden on this planet since the young prince is allergic to them and the Pharaoh sort of over protective to the extreme. "But you're the boss, so if ya don't believe me, go ahead and search my ship. You aren't going to find anything but clay that is on the way to Maria, they're waiting for me there."
Joey already had a couple of people over here lined up who wanted those fruits and he would find a way to get as much money out of them as possible once he got the Pharaoh off his back. Joey didn't worry about the Pharaoh too much since he had hidden them so well that he was confident that no one would find anything but clay. He was only slightly worried about Yugi, Joey had assumed him to be more used to his smuggling by now but he always was edgy and the way prince Atem watched his every move and twitch Joey worried that Yugi would accidentally give them away. He was just too good and honest for this business.
The Pharaoh took some of his man and personally entered the ship. Joey wanted to follow to make sure they wouldn't break anything in their attempt to find a hidden space, at least nothing of importance but he worried that prince Atem could manage to make Yugi spill everything if the little guy got a little more worked up about this.
Yugi seemed to notice the look of the prince already and blushed a little bringing an adoring smile to the face of the young prince. Joey grinned a little and set out to follow the Pharaoh but not without tripping himself, accidentally of course, and falling against Yugi, also by accident of course, and even though Joey managed to balance himself, Yugi didn't and fell. "You're okay, pal?" Joey asked after already seeing Atem run closer to the possibly hurt male. "Well, seems like you're taken care of, so I make sure that the Pharaoh isn't taking our ship apart piece by piece."
After that he was gone, praying that Atem's obvious affection would soon comfort Yugi enough to stop him from saying anything unnecessary.
A little later Joey was very proud of himself. The Pharaoh left the ship, grudgingly offering to pay for all necessary repairs including the ones that needed to be done before he had taken apart a few parts of the ship in the hope to find some hidden goods that he assumed Joey to be smuggling. "I'm still not really satisfied since now your people will probably need to spend all night to get the ship fixed and I will be too late at Maria and probably get paid a little less. But since it's his majesty I'm willing to pretend that this outrageous treatment of guests on your planet never happened anyway." The Pharaoh glared at Joey but according to the intergalactic rules, there was nothing he could do without prove, which he hadn't found. "But as a little thanks I'd like you not to completely go berserk on me because of that." Joey pointed towards Yugi and Atem. Aknamkanon hadn't glanced towards their direction before now and that for not realized that those two where kissing each other until this very moment.
"Atem!" The Pharaoh shouted and glared towards Yugi effectively stopping the two. "Get back to the castle this instant, we'll talk about this temporary lack in judgment later."
"What temporary lack in judgment?" Atem mumbled upset. He really had enjoyed the kiss. The second he had seen the shorter male, whose skin was as white like milk, he had felt his heart beat faster. After it had been his fortune to gain a moment with the young man and been able to help him at the same time he had used his chance right away, fearing that Yugi would otherwise leave with the man who was rumored to be one of the best smugglers alive. Unfortunately it seemed now as if it didn't matter if Yugi would stay or not. His father clearly didn't think him suitable and as long as his father was alive, there wasn't much Atem could do. He had tried to go against his fathers orders before and always failed to achieve anything by it apart from hurting those closest to him. All he could do now was to give Yugi one last sad look and a whispered, "I'm sorry, I guess this is goodbye."
Joey saw the shock on Yugi's face as the prince mounted a horse and rode it to the palace followed by a few guards. Joey quickly finished the discussion about the ship's repairs and their stay for the night before the king left with most of his remaining guards but also leaving some with the ship. Purely for protection as he claimed. Once the Pharaoh was gone Joey went towards his obviously disappointed friend. "Are you okay, pal?"
"I thought he'd at least try to fight for me." Yugi mumbled. "He said that he loves me."
"I'm sure he meant that." Joey tried to comfort his friend. "But I guess it isn't easy for him to go against his father. I mean the guy is the ruler of a whole planet and a real piece of work if ya ask me. He's very strict and from what I hear he's absolutely over protective about his son. It would be pointless to even try and might get you into trouble if he did. To be honest, I wouldn't put it past Aknamkanon to hang you for even kissing his son if he feared you to cause Atem to rebel against him."
"You mean he only gave up on me to help me?" Yugi asked.
"That's exactly what I mean." Joey replied and saw the still sad look on his friend's face before he added, "Don't worry, something will work out, given time, the old Aknamkanon won't rule forever. And for now, how about you go to our room? We're already have one at the Inn over at the Quayside market. I got some stuff to do and will come after you later."
"What stuff? I thought, well it would happen tonight?" Yugi looked surprised. It was a few hours before sunset and considering all the guards the Pharaoh left it would be suicide to try and sell the illegal fruits now.
"Shut up about that, would ya?" Joey ordered and looked around for a second. "It has nothing to do with that anyway, I just decided that smuggling something this easy is getting kind of boring so I bump up the action a little."
"Do I want to know what you're up to?" Yugi asked worriedly. He usually didn't care to even know about the illegal cargo. Just sometimes he heard a bit or saw a few things he'd rather not know about. He didn't like doing something illegal.
"Probably not." Joey mused and was gone already. Yugi gave a sigh and feared that this would mean serious trouble for both of them but he did as Joey suggested and walked towards the Inn in which they would be spending the night, probably thanks to the Pharaoh, who had to get some stuff fixed. This wasn't the first time Joey managed to get overprotective about older parts of his ship that then were destroyed in the believe that something was hidden there and now Joey would get some brand new spare parts to replace the old ones. Considering the money he was earning for the illegal activities he did during those stays, Joey should be filthy rich. The fact that he wasn't, was one of the reasons Yugi liked him as much as he did. Joey got a lot of money, but he lost it just as fast helping his friends or anyone in need who asked him for help.
Yugi didn't see much of his friend until the next morning and it probably was a good thing that by that time, Yugi still didn't have a clue as to what Joey had been up to apart from probably getting rid of the illegal addition to their cargo. He was happy that he hadn't heard anything and hoped that it was already completely done and that there wouldn't be any further trouble. But they had just about left the planet when someone suddenly stood behind Yugi in the control room of the space ship. "Hey sweetie." The person said and Yugi stared at the tanned man looking at him.
"Atem?" Yugi mumbled unable to believe that he was really there.
"Aren't you happy to see me?" Atem asked slightly disappointed by the reaction he got.
"I am." Yugi quickly said and gave him a hug before he asked, "But how in the name of Ra did you get here?"
"Joey." Atem answered like it should explain everything, and it sort of did. This was what Joey had meant when stating that life as a plain smuggler was getting boring. "He sneaked into my room yesterday, I have no idea how he got past the guards but he did. We talked about his plan of taking me along to a hideout where I could get a make over and wrong papers that would ensure that even my father wouldn't recognize me. And most importantly, that I could be with you if I did what he said."
Yugi stared at his friend Joey and asked, "You do realize that we could both get killed if Aknamkanon catches us kidnapping his only son?"
"It isn't kidnapping since firstly, he isn't a kid, and secondly, he want's to come." Joey pointed out.
"I very much doubt that Aknamkanon is going to agree." Yugi pointed out. "And you know that he can hang us for this, no matter what you call it."
"Whatever." Joey replied. "But if you rather bring him back then take the risk to be with him, it's fine with me."
"I didn't mean it like that." Yugi replied quickly, "He is my life, so it wouldn't matter what his father does to me but what about you?"
"I'd finally have some fun again." Joey replied smiling happily. "I bet the Pharaoh already noticed that his precious son is missing, as well as the little goodbye letter that states that he left without help. So I assume that I'll have a hell of time shaking a bounty hunter or two off our tails since our ship was the only one scheduled to leave Egypt this morning."
"I highly doubt that he's going to send just any bounty hunter." Atem admitted and sounded defeated. He was certain that once he tells Joey this, he'll be abandoned somewhere as soon as possible. But at least he got out of the castle and off the planet, maybe he could do this alone and he really didn't want to put Yugi into anymore danger. "He'll send Kaiba after you."
"Moneybags?" Joey asked and sounded delighted. "That's great news, I got some beef with the guy anyway."
"Why are you calling him moneybags?" Atem asked.
"Because he's sort of clinging to his money like he can take it into his grave." Joey pointed out grinning, "And he always calls me names so I had to come up with one for him."
"But you can't win against him!" Atem pointed out. "No one ever has."
"I know," Joey replied. "But I once got damn close and that time I didn't have Yugi here, so this time, I'm so going to kick his ass. After all, he didn't catch me last time either, he just stopped me from delivering the illegal stuff I had with me at the time. But what makes you so sure that your dad gets him on our heals?"
"My father happens to know him very well." Atem pointed out, "Or to be more precise, he knew his father extremely well."
"How so?" Joey asked. He didn't know a single thing about Kaiba's father apart from the fact that Aknadin died years ago.
"Easy." Atem replied looking a little worried. "Kaiba's father is his twin brother."
Joey stared at Atem and then laughed, "The dude is your cousin?"
"I guess." Atem replied, "I never had much to do with him though. Father isn't to happy with the line of work he chose to do. But I'm sure he'll contact him right away, and since I'm part of Seto Kaiba's family I guess he'll try to find me soon."
"Ya clearly don't know the guy the way I do." Joey replied, "He isn't going to give a rats ass about you being part of his family. He is a bounty hunter, he only cares for the money. Well, I know that there is an exception to that, but if your father tried to treat him the way he treated you after kissing Yugi, Seto Kaiba isn't going to do anything for him unless he pays big time."
"I don't know how you can be so sure about that," Atem wondered, "But I'm sure that my father would pay any price to get me back."
"I know." Joey grinned, "That's why I'm so happy that I'll have moneybags back on my tail soon. This is going to be so much fun."