the_goldenpath: made by <lj user="skyla_doragono"> (Yu-Gi-Oh! Ancient Egypt 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



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


Malik was afraid of the dark. He was terrified. Ever since he was a young child, darkness had instilled a fear into him that he couldn’t explain. His heart hammered in his chest and his breathing was labored. Total, utter and complete darkness, and he had dropped his flashlight.

“Yuugi! Ryou!” he called out to the others, his voice sounding shrill and squeaky. “Where are you? Yuugi! Ryou!” No answer, of course. Drops of ice-cold sweat slid down his spine. So dark, so incredibly dark. Malik tried to get his breathing under control again, but he was in such a shock that he couldn’t think straight. He yelled and screamed, as if anyone could hear him, until his voice was hoarse.

His body trembled with such violence that his knees gave out on him, and he fell to the ground. Curling up in a fetal position, the panic and despair wrecked him, leaving him gasping for air. Malik didn’t know how long he stayed like that, but after a while, the shock and fear… sort of dissipated. His panicked thoughts calmed down and his heartbeat and breathing evened out. The fear didn’t ebb away totally, but at least it didn’t paralyze him anymore. He coughed. Now that he was calmer, he felt the weight of his backpack. Of course! If he hadn’t panicked, he would’ve thought of it before: the transceiver. Malik took off his backpack and grabbed a glow stick first. After activating it, he stared into the yellowish light with a sigh of relief. He placed it on the ground and dug through his backpack for the transceiver and a bottle of water. He drank greedily as his throat was sore from his previous screaming. Still shivering as his fear and discomfort weren’t completely abated yet, Malik wrapped his hands around the transceiver and pressed the button.

“Jounouchi,” he said, “Jounouchi, can you hear me?”

Silence. Nothing but silence. “Jounouchi! Answer me!” Malik shook the transceiver, the panic resurfacing. To make it worse, he heard a sound - like someone was chuckling. Someone? A voice? Malik grabbed the glow stick from the ground and quickly shone around him, turning into every direction. There was no one, of course, and no other sound but his own, ragged breathing.

“Jounouchi…” His hands trembled. The transceiver was dead, no reception. How could he ever be able to warn the others? How could he ever be able to leave this place? The walls had shifted and now he was closed in, and his only company was that voice… that had done nothing but to laugh at him, chuckling, mocking him. What could it be? It wasn’t his imagination. Yuugi had told him that he had heard a voice as well. Malik hadn’t been able to ask Ryou, but the fact that at least one another person had heard it, was reassuring. It meant that he wasn’t crazy… not yet.

His elder sister, Ishizu, had always refused to speak about their family roots, about their origins as a Tomb Keepers clan. She had mentioned a ‘darkness’ tied to the clan, but she never offered any explanation, despite Malik’s questions. What darkness? She had scared him with her solemn words, and since his childhood days, he had developed a fear of the dark - nighttime, underground areas, cellars, basements… he wasn’t even supposed to go into this tomb, or whatever it was that Ryou had discovered. He was just a guide, knowing his way around in the desert so well that entire convoys relied on his navigation skills. Malik had only agreed to go underground because Ryou had asked him nicely, and he could use the extra money. Ishizu held a very small position at the national museum in Cairo, and Malik’s income was needed to pay the monthly bills. There was no one else to help them, no family, no remaining… survivors of their clan. Survivors. “Help me,” he managed to say, his voice weak. Panic gnawed at him again, his body trembling and his heart beating irregularly. He was going to die here from panic and fear alone, and Ishizu would be the only one to mourn his passing. Heh heh heh… that voice again! That infuriating laughter!

“Who’s there?” Malik balled his hands into fists. “Stop laughing! Show yourself!” Anger, yes, anger drove away the panic! Clenching his fingers around the glow stick, swinging it around as if it was a sword, Malik punched the darkness around him, stabbing the empty air. A few steps to the right, a few steps to the left, but it was still dark, and the glow stick wouldn’t last forever. He couldn’t see his own face, cramped and grotesque, his eyes wide, his lips curled into a vicious snarl. “Come on, coward! Show yourself!”

No reaction, no more sound. Malik touched the wall with his other hand in the hope of finding an opening, but all that his fingers encountered, was cold, hard rock. No opening. No sound. No light but the slowly dying glow stick. Panic tugged at the fringes of his mind, and his heart beat so fast that it hammered against his chest. Walls around him, he was in a tomb, he was buried alive..! The next moment, he put his right foot a little awkwardly, bending his knee at an impossible angle and he hissed in pain. As he tried to correct his balance, he used his arm to stabilize himself against the wall. Malik yelped in pain. He had cut himself - a sharp, stinging sensation, like a razorblade slicing his skin. He brought up the glow stick and baffled, he saw something protrude from the wall.

“What the hell is this?” The soft light of the glow stick was barely enough to discern the object, but it was definitely there: smooth, curved, and… “Gold,” Malik said, his voice carrying the confusion he felt. How could a golden object be stuck in a wall? Ignoring the blood on his arm, Malik used his other hand to pry out the object. The stone was very brittle and gave way to the object, which was much larger than at first sight. Malik could see it was some kind of orb with two… wings, for lack of a better word, and it was almost impossible to get it out. He cut his fingers on the sharp wings and the orb was too smooth to grab, and still too deeply embedded. He had to activate a second glow stick to keep working; Malik removed the stone, clumps and dirt falling on the ground and his shoes, and he dug with his bare hands until he had finally freed up the orb.

Fascinated, Malik managed to put his hand around the orb and tug at it. What kind of treasure had he uncovered? He tugged and tugged. It was still stuck! It had to be massive! Malik used of all his strength, working himself up. Stupid thing! Whatever it was, it was making a fool of him! Anger resurfacing, Malik frantically pulled and tugged and suddenly the object came loose, sending him flying backwards and landing on his posterior. He slammed his head against the wall and the wind got knocked out of him; in his surprise, he dropped the object to boot. Malik needed a few minutes to recuperate; groaning, he used the glow stick to locate the object he’d just freed from the stone wall.

It was… an interesting item. A long stick was attached to the sphere with the two wings, making it look like some kind of rod. Malik reached for it before he realized what he was doing. He picked it up from the ground, still feeling dizzy, and he wasn’t prepared for what happened next. Blistering pain surged through him, along with an overwhelming hatred, the darkness around him paling in comparison to the darkness flooding his mind. The inhuman scream torn from his throat echoed in his ears and he kept screaming as flesh was torn from his bones, his limbs breaking one by one, and the sickening sound of snapping bones terrifying him. A glowing eye appeared on his forehead but he didn’t see it, he couldn’t see it as visions assaulted him, washing over him. Malik was too consumed by the pain he was feeling to pay attention to the visions, a myriad of colors and a weird cacophony of sounds, among them that infuriating laughter again, until the realization hit him that he was laughing. He sank to his knees, wheezing.

The visions were gone, and the pain was gone too. He stared at his fingers, grasping the strange rod so tightly, that his knuckles had turned white. Still trembling, he pressed the object against his chest, holding onto it. It was his and his only. He was still alive, he was breathing and despite feeling horrible pain, his body was in one piece, nothing broken, nothing torn, only the drying blood from the cuts he endured when freeing the rod from its confinement. Time passed and the second glow stick died down, one last flicker of light and it was gone. Malik didn’t know where his backpack was. He had put it on the ground when searching for the transceiver, and he had moved since then, into several different directions. Here he was, clutching a golden object to his chest as if it was a lifeline, on his knees, defeated and desperate. However… the darkness felt different. It wasn’t cold anymore. It wasn’t… scary anymore. On the contrary, it felt… warm. Comfortable. Welcoming. He shivered nonetheless. What was happening to him? Everything felt so… strange. Malik tried to gain control over his breathing. He had to calm down, and…. what was that noise? No laughter this time, but a whirring noise, the sound of an electric tool, breaching the wall.

“Yuugi? Ryou? Malik! Anyone?” a voice, warped and distorted by the stone surroundings.

Malik scrambled to his feet. “Jounouchi!” he hollered, recognizing the voice.

“Malik? Is that you?”

“Yes! Help me! Get me out of here!”

“Is anyone else with you?”

“No, no! Get me out of here, please!” Silence. Malik tried to hone in on the voice, but he was disorientated and couldn’t figure out where the voice had come from. “Jounouchi?”

“We’re right here,” Jounouchi said, startling Malik as the sound was closer than he’d thought.

“Where?”

“We brought the air pressure unit,” Jounouchi’s disembodied voice was a strange sensation. “You guys said you’d be back in an hour. It’s been almost an entire day! We’re going to try to cut out a piece of this wall, so you can climb through. Are you all right?”

“I’m fine, I’m fine, please hurry!” Malik answered. He could faintly hear the whirring noise again and after a while, as the wall was punctured, he could see small rays of light. Light! He ran towards it, as if he could drink it all in, as if he could bathe in it.

“Step back from the wall,” Jounouchi’s voice was loud and clear. “We’re going to break through with a sledgehammer!”

Malik stepped back and as he moved, he was reminded that he was still carrying the golden object. He had clung to it with all his might and it took him quite some willpower to loosen his grip. What was he supposed to do with it? He wasn’t an archaeologist and every discovery had to be reported to the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry… but he already knew he wasn’t going to let go of this magnificent artifact. His right foot bumped into something. His backpack! Malik quickly reached for it, fumbling around until his fingers touched the fabric. He pulled it towards him, opened the flap and put the artifact inside, at the same moment when the wall was breached. With a triumphant smirk on their faces, Fatih and his brother Youssef, both wielding a massive sledgehammer, stood amidst the rubble. Malik had to squint his eyes; Jounouchi had installed 500 Watt work lights, the cables as thick as a male’s wrist.

“Are you all right?” he asked, but immediately spotted the blood on Malik’s arms. “Honda!” he yelled. “Medic!”

“It’s okay, I’m fine,” Malik tried to downplay his injuries, but he didn’t see himself as the others were seeing him: bloodied, dirty, haggard.

“You’re bleeding all over,” Honda said, who came rushing with a first aid kit. “Your hands, your arm, your upper body… what happened?”

“The walls shifted, separating us,” Malik answered truthfully. “I’m afraid we sprang a trap, and all of the sudden, I was alone in the dark.”

Jounouchi looked horrified. “The others?”

“I don’t know,” Malik said. “I… I couldn’t see. I mean, I don’t know a direction… Ryou must be ahead somewhere, but Yuugi… the ground swallowed him, he disappeared…”

“Youssef, bring him to the base camp,” Jounouchi said, “and come back immediately. We’ll continue here.”

“The lights,” Malik mumbled, still squinting. “They’re too bright.”

“What?” Honda didn’t understand him.

“Too bright,” he repeated. “It’s bad for the murals. The light damages the paint.”

“He’s talking nonsense,” Honda said to no one in particular. He gave Malik a light push towards Youssef. “Make sure he’s well taken care of. The poor guy is confused.”

Youssef exchanged a few words with Fatih, then took Malik by his uninjured arm and guided him away. Malik kept mumbling about the bright light, until he was too far away to be overheard.

“Poor guy,” Jounouchi said. “Trapped in the dark for so long, it messed him up good.”

“We should be looking for the others,” Honda urged him. “If Ryou is behind that other wall, we better hurry.”

“You’re right. Let’s calibrate the air pressure unit anew. We don’t have any time to waste!”


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



We can’t die here. It’s not our time yet. “What..?” Get up. Get up! Ryou groaned and coughed at the same time. He couldn’t see, it was too dark. What happened? His body felt… weird, as if it was weighing a ton. He couldn’t move, no matter how much he tried. “Oh no…” He wasn’t dead, then. What kind of cruel joke was this? He had lost consciousness before, he thought he was going to die without having to suffer starvation, dehydration… a terrible, slow death. Ryou shivered. He was on the rocky ground, lying motionless. “Just leave me,” he said.

Get up, landlord. “What?” Ryou managed to turn his head. “Great. Now I’m hearing voices.”

It was of no use. He moved his arms just a little, but he lacked strength to push himself up, let alone get up. He felt queasy and scared. All alone, dying… was nobody going to rescue him? Wait. A sound. A buzzing noise? A bug? No, it was getting louder. Louder! Ryou grunted, forcing himself once more to move, and to his own excitement, he rolled over, onto his back. That was the last bit of energy he had; breathing harshly, he stared into the darkness as the noise intensified. Weird, buzzing noise… distorted words… a voice. Someone was calling his name. Ryou tilted his head and tried to say something, but his voice was gone. He couldn’t muster up the energy to speak, and he dropped his head again, exhausted, depleted. This was it. He was going to die right in front of his rescuers. Well, at least he was being rescued… his thoughts jumped all over the place, he didn’t know what to think anymore. Could he really be saved? Was that even possible? Light washed all over him, and he didn’t even blink. He just kept staring, not seeing anything. He thought about his mother, about his sister who passed away at such a young age, and finally about his father… was he going to join them, or not?

“Ryou,” he heard his own name. “Ryou! Say something, man!”

The voice sounded familiar, but he couldn’t attach a face or a name to it. He simply didn’t see it, his vision blurred. “He’s as cold as ice! Hand me a blanket!”

“I’m saved,” he said.

“What? Talk to me! Talk to me!”

“I’m saved,” Ryou repeated. His lips were moving, but the other couldn’t understand his words. The other… what was his name again? The expedition… the excavation… Kaiba Corporation… Jounouchi… yes, Jounouchi! A wave of relief went through him. He wasn’t going to die after all, they had found him! He wanted to cry with joy. Hands touched his body, wrapping a blanket around him.

“It’s okay, it’s okay.” Who knew that Jounouchi could be so compassionate? Ryou had always kept him for a tough as nails guy, who only operated in the interest of KaibaCorp., driven by currency, not care. But it was Jounouchi who talked to him, keeping him in the present, and Ryou was grateful to hear a voice, any voice, that shut out the voice in his mind. It’s not our time yet.


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