the_goldenpath: made by <lj user="torakaka"> (Yu-Gi-Oh! - Puzzleshipping fics)
[personal profile] the_goldenpath
Title: Matarab leena ahbaab (Return our loved ones to us)
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh!
Pairings: Yuumeishipping ('yami' x 'hikari')
Genre: (AU) supernatural, romance
Warnings: sappy angst and melodrama.
Summary: Bakura Ryou, renowned archaeologist, has followed into the footsteps of his father, working for the government at an excavation site in Egypt. After discovering the palace of a long forgotten Pharaoh, Ryou, together with his good friend Yugi and the local guide Malik, is suddenly pulled into a series of events that will change his life forever.

Key: ----- = scene change



----------------------------


Darkness, utter darkness. He was surrounded by darkness. Ryou could hear himself breathe - and the echo of his breathing - and it took him a while to realize that the high-pitched wheezing was actually his. The flash light. Where the hell was his flashlight? He searched with his hands over the cold, rocky surface, fingers trembling. He hissed when he cut himself, but stubbornly continued his search until he stumbled upon the flashlight. Relieved, he switched it on. Nothing. He should’ve known, of course; he had dropped it, and he had heard it shatter on the ground, hadn’t he? Ryou touched it with his fingers. The protective glass was broken, the shards cutting his skin as he had searched for the flashlight. The reflector was broken too; no wonder it didn’t work.

He ignored the cuts on his fingers, they weren’t deep enough to hurt that bad. He had bigger problems at hand. How could he have been so stupid? How could he ignore everything he’d been preaching himself? Safety for everything, he had told Jounouchi, and now, look at him: touching the walls like a newbie, reckless, without proper research. He had set off a trap, he was the only one responsible for this mess. Ryou heaved a sigh. As soon as he was reunited with Yuugi and Malik again, he’d offer them his sincerest apologies. Fool! Don’t panic, don’t panic. He slowly regained control of his breathing, calming himself down. Panic wasn’t the answer. At least he had water, food and a vest in his backpack so he wouldn’t freeze or dehydrate immediately. He also had glow sticks; three to be exact. He was going to be fine. Besides, Malik and Yuugi had seen it happen, they would warn Jounouchi… but of course, the transceiver! He could call for help! Ryou pulled the device out of his backpack, along with a glow stick. First he created light so he could see the buttons of the transceiver, and pressed the right one to establish a connection.

“Jounouchi-san, can you hear me?”

Silence.

“Jounouchi-san, can you hear me? Please respond!”

Silence. Not even a static scramble. Could the batteries be dead already? No, there simply wasn’t any reception. The wall had sealed him off hermetically from the outside world. Ryou shivered.

“Stay calm,” he said out loud and startled himself with the echo of his own voice. It sounded so distorted that it sent more chills down his spine. He quickly retrieved the vest from his backpack and put the garment on. He was making things more difficult than they actually were. What was his problem? Malik and Yuugi were on their way back to the entrance to alert Jounouchi. He and his friend, Honda, had the tools to create an opening in the wall. They’d probably laugh at him and never let him live it down that he activated a trap like an amateur, after his lecture of ‘safety for everything’. He couldn’t describe how stupid he felt. Well, that was his cross to bear, and worse things could happen. He was separated from his friends, but he wasn’t alone. Help was on the way. How long was it going to take to break through a solid wall anyway? It wasn’t like he was hearing any noises of a drill… Ryou paced back and forth, the eerie silence grating on his nerves. He wasn’t claustrophobic and the darkness in itself wasn’t bothering him, but that didn’t mean he wanted to stay here longer than necessary.

It was the silence that got to him. Not knowing where the others were, not hearing their voices, no signs of life… he was trapped here, and he had no idea when he’d be rescued. The glow stick wasn’t as bright as his flashlight, but he could see the lovely artwork on the walls, more impressive than in any other tomb he’d visited. Maybe he could take a look around… if he could determine if this was the tomb of the Nameless Pharaoh his father had written about… it gave him something to do while he was waiting for his rescue, and it wasn’t like he had something else to do. Ryou knew he should stay right where he was, but his curiosity got the better of him. Taking out his notebook from his backpack, he scattered snippets of paper as he continued down the corridor, like a trail of breadcrumbs. He carefully avoided touching anything, not even kicking a pebble away. The artwork on the murals was so beautifully crafted, it almost brought tears to his eyes. If anything, these paintings were the discovery of his lifetime, Nameless Pharaoh or not.

Ryou checked the walls and ground thoroughly, searching for any other signs of traps. His progress was slow, but he was rather safe than sorry; getting separated once was one time too many. Footstep, piece of paper. Footstep, piece of paper. He’d be able to find his way back due to the paper trail; despite the corridor being straight and narrow, he didn’t want to take any risk of getting lost. Ryou stood still to look at the murals, and then he checked for traps. His pace was painfully slow, but it didn’t matter. He had the opportunity to study this tomb now, and he wanted to make the most out of his time. His rescuers were on their way, he was sure of it, so it wasn’t that bad if he went a little further down the corridor. If not for the eerie silence, Ryou didn’t mind at all being alone; he could study his environment without any distraction. However, he was getting the sinking feeling that this corridor was leading to nothing, if not leading him away from the actual tomb. He sighed.

The light of the glow stick died down and he took out his second one. As the familiar light shone around him, it caught something in its path: a sight that didn’t disturb him. Actually, he’d been expecting it, sooner or later: to encounter human bones. Tomb robbers who had managed to get in, but never got out again. It alerted him to the presence of traps once more, but it was also an indication that the tomb might’ve been looted. Ryou studied the skeleton; the clothes were too far gone to determine if this was an unfortunate digger or an audacious tomb robber who had paid the ultimate price. Remarkable enough, there was nothing on the skeleton but the scraps of clothing; no items, no artifacts next to it. Ryou wished he had the video camera with him, but Yuugi had taken the device with him. Recording his discoveries would have to wait. Soon enough, he’d be rescued… Ryou looked over his shoulder, but there was nothing to see, of course. He couldn’t hear a thing and he hadn’t kept track of the time. They were trying to rescue him, right? They weren’t going to leave him here..?

“Nonsense,” he said out loud. No echo. Of course Jounouchi, Honda, Yuugi and Malik would come to his rescue! Stay calm, stay calm… “Sorry,” he apologized to the skeleton as he advanced past it, careful to not disturb the bones. Ryou made sure to leave his paper trail as he moved on, finding more skeletons on his way. He counted at least four; it wasn’t uncommon. At least, it meant that this corridor was leading to something, right? If it was a false one, leading away from the tomb, why would there be so many human remains here? Thieves had tried to open and loot this tomb, but this corridor didn’t even have side chambers… now he was getting worried. How much distance had he traveled from his point of origin, where the wall had separated him from the others? He should go back. The second glow stick was dying down, and he only had one more left. The end of the corridor wasn’t in sight by far, but he didn’t want to wander around in total darkness. No, he would return to where he came from and wait for the rescuers.

Ryou waved with the dying glow stick one more time before turning around, but then a shimmer caught his attention. A light source? He was about to take a big step forward but reminded himself of the presence of traps. He didn’t want to set another one off in his haste, now did he? Gnashing his teeth, Ryou made his way over to where he saw the shimmer, his heart beating faster and louder when the shimmer increased as he approached it. Something was lying there! It had to be gold, no other material would reflect like this! Another step, and another step… another skeleton got caught in his light radius and the shimmering object, or whatever it was, was lying just a few inches further. The glow stick was fortunately strong enough to shine upon the object so Ryou could see its outlines.

“Amazing!” A large circle with five prongs, and a triangle-shaped object in the middle, made of pure gold. A piece of rope was attached to it, but it had snapped. Ryou couldn’t help himself and he crouched, all but kneeling next to the skeleton, his nose almost on top of the bones. Stretching his arm, he traveled with the glow stick all over the circular artifact, and now he could see that the rope was snared on the fingers of the skeleton. So this thief had managed to steal this artifact from the tomb, but he hadn’t gotten very far, had he? Ryou licked his lips. With a clean handkerchief, he picked up the circle. The five prongs were lifted up from the ground, rattling from the movement. He brought up the artifact to his eyes for closer inspection. What a craftsmanship! There wasn’t any seam in the circle, it was perfectly round. On the triangle in the middle was a stylized eye; the Eye of Wdjat, if he wasn’t mistaken. So beautiful! He’d never seen such an artifact before. It didn’t seem like it belonged here, in this tomb. Usually the gifts for a Pharaoh to travel to the Afterlife held a lot of common objects; the more valuable items were a personal way of saying goodbye, but this… no, this was very different.

This item… Item… was extremely valuable, he was sure of it, but its meaning? Now the glow stick was really fizzling; he probably had a few more seconds of light. He had no choice but to grab his last one, but he didn’t have his hands free. Quickly, Ryou tied the rope attached to the circle together, not wondering why it hadn’t perished just like the clothes of the tomb robbers. He flung the makeshift cord over his neck and the prongs rattled as they clattered against his chest. The glow stick slipped from his fingers as he trudged through his backpack in search for the other one. Hastily, he searched through the contents, but he couldn’t avoid the glow stick petering out and the darkness enveloped him again. Silence. Ryou dug further into his bag, hoping to find the glow stick after all; he had packed three, hadn’t he? He gasped. A sound. There was sound, but not what he had expected to hear, as far as you could expect sounds underground. As far as you could expect sounds in a tomb that hadn’t been opened in roughly three millennia. Sound. He didn’t recognize it, he couldn’t place it. A chime, like tiny little bells, and it increased in volume. Where did it come from?

“Wh-who’s there?” he asked, his voice nothing but a whisper. “Jounouchi-san? Honda-san?” No answer. “Yuugi-kun? Malik-san?” He could barely speak. Even if someone was standing next to him, he probably couldn’t be heard. His throat… as if he was choking on something, and he wheezed. "Pl.. please…”

Light! He dropped his backpack. Where was it coming from? A shining bright light! Now he could finally see… but he hadn’t found his glow stick, let alone activated it, and there was no one else around to carry a light source. His relieved smile turned into a grimace as soon as he realized that he was the light source. The circle, dangling from the rope around his neck, was emitting the bright light, but it wasn’t comfortable or warm. If anything, it felt cold and harsh. The five prongs were standing up, protruding as they chimed, repeating the same tones over and over again, with the intensity and the volume of church bells. It freaked him out! Ryou closed his fingers around the rope and tried to take the artifact off. At the same moment, the prongs tilted, now pointing towards his chest - and plunged into his flesh, straight through his clothes and skin. Hunching over in pain, he screamed. He grabbed the golden circle in an attempt to pull it away, but the prongs buried themselves deeper, and he screamed again.

If he thought that he was surrounded by darkness, the next darkness that all but forced itself upon him, was darker and colder than he could ever imagine. His body started to shake violently, and as the prongs continued to rattle, Ryou’s mind was filled with images, visions and colors and sounds that didn’t make any sense to him. He saw himself, clad in a cloak as red as fresh blood, with a scar on his face, about to be devoured by… some kind of demon, and the next image was of himself as well, older, wearing a striped shirt, jeans and a black trench coat, clothes he didn’t possess at all… he gasped and he wheezed, trying to scream for help, but his vocal chords had already abandoned him. There was no air left in his lungs, no energy left in his body. Trembling and shaking, he fell to the ground, on top of the golden artifact, driving the prongs even deeper in his flesh. He spat out blood, the metallic taste causing him to gag and he barely refrained from throwing up.

So cold, so cold, and now it was all dark again, as his body was blocking the light from the Ring. Yes, the Ring. It was called a Ring, not a circle. How did he know? Why was he so certain about it? Ryou tried to get up again, but all his energy was drained. More images flooded his mind, and he had to laugh, ironically enough, as he saw Yuugi and Malik, for the briefest of seconds. He had to be dying, he thought. His life was flashing in front of his eyes. Yes, that was it. He was hallucinating because he was dying. In a twisted way, he felt comforted that he would die in a place where he had just made a spectacular discovery. When the rescuers would find him, they would also find the Ring, and Ryou Bakura would be forever known for his tragic, yet breathtaking exploration of the Nameless Pharaoh’s tomb. If only Yuugi and Malik were all right, they could talk about their friend while grieving in front of a bazillion TV cameras, reporting about their adventure… why was he even thinking such things? Ah yes, hallucinating… the cold seemed to dissipate, somehow.

The distorted flow of images came to a halt, with a last look on Yuugi and Malik, before they too disappeared from the corners of his eyes, and his vision turned to black, as if someone was turning the TV off. This was it, then. Strange, he thought he’d be crying and screaming at his moment of death, that he was filled with horror and fear. He didn’t feel that way at all, he felt at ease, calm. He’d been able to see his friends in his last moment, what else could he wish for? Maybe now he would be reunited with his father, despite everything… he didn’t feel any pain, not even from the prongs embedded in his chest. He didn’t feel any cold either. He didn’t know what his last thoughts were. Something was bothering him, and Ryou almost laughed at himself. What could be bothering him now, as he was about to die? Soon, he wouldn’t be bothered by anything anymore… yes, he knew what it was. When he had seen Yuugi and Malik in his ‘visions’… something was off, but he couldn’t exactly put his finger on it. Ryou closed his eyes. Eyes… yes, that was it. Yuugi’s eyes were narrow and bore a strange reddish color, whereas Malik’s eyes were harsh and pupil-less. Strange… they were his friends, and yet… they weren’t? It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. He’d stop breathing any moment now. Dying wasn’t so bad. He didn’t feel hot or cold, he didn’t feel pain, it was just… strangely peaceful. Too bad it was so dark, though. Would they be able to find him in the dark like this? Would they even come to his rescue and feel remorse as they were too late? It’s never too late, a voice whispered in his ear. I waited three millennia for this. Who…? Ryou smiled. He would see his father soon. Or at least, he thought. A light, from the corner of his eyes… was this heaven? Would he be welcomed by his family? Would they be waiting for him? A voice… I waited three millennia for this… he lost consciousness.



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