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 Yuugi and the local guide Malik, is suddenly pulled into a series of events that will change his life forever.

Key: ----- = scene change




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When he woke up, Ryou was hit with such a strong wave of nausea that he barely made it to the bathroom tent. He threw up violently and gagging, he hung above the makeshift sink, wincing at his stomach cramping with such force that it felt like someone was attacking him from the inside with a chainsaw. He threw up until there was nothing left. He used generous amounts of cold water to rinse out his mouth and wash his face. After he was done, Ryou cleaned the sink. Usually he would shy away from using this much water, knowing that the supplies were limited, but now that Kaiba was here, stock had been improved and extended as no one wanted to sell the CEO ‘no’ if or when he wanted a glass of water. It was annoying to be this dependent on the man and his money… Ryou’s father had dug through the desert with nothing but a shovel and his bare hands, but he had paid the ultimate price for it. Was it all worth it? This much sacrifice, this much suffering, only for his name to be tied to a discovery in Egypt, noted in the dusty archives of the archaeology world, or was he ready for a media circus, announcing himself to the entire world?

Ryou stared at himself in the mirror. He reached for a towel and dabbed at his face. He looked even paler than usual and his stomach was acting up again. Quickly, he hung over the sink again, but nothing happened. He desperately tried to remember what he had had for dinner. Could it be food poisoning? Ryou turned away from the sink and shivered. He was feeling cold; he was getting sick. Really? Now? It couldn’t be! He had so much work to do! Kaiba, the tomb… all of a sudden, the sensation of panic tugged at all his nerves. Ryou grabbed at his chest. The Ring. The Ring!! Where was it? Why wasn’t he wearing it? Idiot! How could he have left his tent without his Ring? His Ring! Ryou hurried out of the bathroom and back to his tent. He dug frantically through his blankets and sheets and heaved an audible sigh of relief when he found the object in the tangled mess of bed linens. He cradled it to his chest.

“Ryou-kun?” Yuugi was too polite to enter his friend’s compartment without his permission, so Ryou had plenty of time to hide the Ring from Yuugi’s sight.

“Yes, Yuugi-kun? Did I wake you up?”

Yuugi yawned. “You were pretty restless last night, trashing all over the place. Did you have a nightmare?”

“I can’t remember,” Ryou said, smiling apologetically at the smaller man. “I’m not feeling very well. I had to throw up.”

“Oh! That’s bad! Is there anything I can do for you?”

“I think I’m going to take it easy today,” Ryou said. “Do you remember by any chance what we had for dinner?”

Yuugi blushed faintly. “I… I’m not sure,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve eaten anything at all, yesterday.” He rubbed his stomach. “I’m very hungry now.”

“Well, I’m going to skip breakfast today.”

“Want me to get a bucket?” Yuugi offered helpfully. “You can’t keep running to the bathroom all the time.”

“That’s not a bad idea!” Ryou mimicked Yuugi, rubbing his stomach, in an effort to appease the cramps. “Can you do me a favor and deal with Kaiba-san for me today?”

Yuugi scrunched up his nose. Ryou was the one who interacted with anyone in a higher position, especially when it came to finances. However, he could see that his friend was really sick and Yuugi would never say no if he could help out. “I’ll do my best,” he said. “I hope he won’t have me for breakfast.”

“Please, don’t talk about food!” Ryou rolled back into his bed, pulling the blanket over his head.


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It was dark. The tent’s fabric was sturdy but light colored as to deflect the sun, not to absorb it. He didn’t understand. Why was it so dark in here? Was he dreaming? Ryou groaned. Had Yuugi brought him the bucket already? He was about to throw up again… this darkness was… moving. It swirled around him, like creepy fog patches drifting past. Ryou reached for it, but he couldn’t touch it. The fog seeped through his fingers, a cold, eerie touch; Ryou withdrew his hand, hissing at the cold. He wondered why he was able to feel cold in a dream; this had to be a dream. He was in his bed, in a compartment in the tent he shared with Yuugi, he wasn’t feeling well, he was probably running a fever, he should call for Fatima, the nurse…

“Yadonushi-sama,” a voice called out to him.

“Wh-what?” Ryou spun around on his heels. There was no one behind him. Landlord? “Who said that?” Silence. He touched his forehead. Cold. Everything was so cold here. “Yuugi-kun? If that’s you, it’s not funny!” Ryou shivered. He knew that Yuugi wasn’t the kind of person to pull pranks. He willed himself to wake up. He pinched himself, and the physical pain registered - but nothing changed. He was still in the same dark environment, with the fog chilling his body into its very core. “Please stop,” he whispered. “Whoever’s doing this, please stop!”

The fog thickened. The large patches seemed to merge together, forming a heavy, thick cloud, almost like a shadow; dark and menacing. It pulsated grotesquely and Ryou couldn’t keep his eyes off of it, morbidly fascinated. The shadow changed shape, morphing into something more recognizable; Ryou gasped as he recognized his own face. He took a step back, horrified by the look of that vapid visage with hollow eyes.

“Yadonushi-sama, I’ve finally found you.” The same voice from before. “It took me long enough.”

“What? Who are you? Who’s speaking?”

“Why, it’s you, of course!” A soft chuckle, dissolving into a disdainful snicker. “I like it when you’re so confused like this.”

“It’s not funny,” Ryou snarled. Something about that face in the shadows… it had his traits, but it was also… different. The eyes were slightly narrow, and there was a scar on his cheek. Dumbfounded, Ryou touched his own cheek, knowing very well that he had never been scarred like that, and he heaved a sigh of relief when his fingers found nothing but even, unbroken skin. “Why are you calling me ‘landlord’? What is this place?”

“This is the Darkness.” The disembodied voice echoed. “I had more then three millennia to make it mine. I suggest you should get to know it, too.”

“Why? How? Show yourself!”

“Stay close to the Pharaoh,” the voice said. “Don’t leave him out of your sight. No harm has to fall upon him... not until I say so.”

He clasped his hand over his mouth, afraid he was going to throw up. The next second, he shot upright in his bed and grabbed the bucket next to him, puking his guts out. The warmth at this hour of the day hit him like a hammer; it was such a stark contrast with the cold he had just experienced, that he broke out in a feverish sweat. Ryou used one of his shirts to wipe off his mouth and threw the garment into the far corner, away from him. What a horrible nightmare! But as he sank back into the ravaged sheets, he knew it hadn’t been a nightmare. Everything had felt so real and that voice still echoed in his mind. Stay close to the Pharaoh. How could something as beautiful as Ancient Egyptian artifacts be so dangerous and menacing..? He didn’t know what to think or what to do. Maybe… maybe Yuugi was right. This didn’t feel right. They were trespassing into unknown territory… but it was far too late to turn back now.


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



Discouraged, Yuugi dragged himself towards Kaiba’s tent. He wasn’t looking forward to talk to the CEO; he’d rather stay in his tent and get carried away by the sweet memories of the kisses he had shared with the Pharaoh. If he closed his eyes, he could just feel those soft, gentle lips on his again, brushing, nipping… and then he almost tripped over his own feet and Yuugi barely managed to keep his balance. Embarrassed, he quickly continued walking towards Kaiba’s tent where he ran into Jounouchi.

“Hey, good to see you,” he said. “Everything okay?”

“Yes, I’m fine, Jounouchi-kun,” Yuugi answered. He stared curiously at the KaibaCorp. employee holding a camera in his hands.

“I’ve got some nice footage from the tomb,” he said. “I send in a mini-drone to record the art on the walls.”

“A mini-drone?”

“Well, you know Kaiba,” Jounouchi grinned and then corrected himself: “Obviously not as well as I do. He has the best technology in the world and he brought a couple of toys with him. I figured that the drone could map out the tomb, while not falling prey to traps.”

“Thank you for reminding me,” Yuugi said sourly. Jounouchi slapped him on the shoulder.

“Too much sand in your underwear? Don’t worry, I’ll upload the footage so you can take a look at it. Don’t bother going in,” he made a rude gesture towards the entrance of the tent, “Kaiba’s busy right now. If he has any need for you, he’ll send for you.”

“Good.” Yuugi wasn’t bothered at all that his presence wasn’t requested for now. He turned around to leave.

“Hey, may I ask you something?”

“Sure, Jounouchi-kun!”

“Why are you always lunging that backpack around? It sure looks heavy.”

Yuugi stammered. “Oh, eh, I like to have my things close. Not that there are any thieves around, I wouldn’t dare to accuse anyone or something like that, but it’s just my personal stuff you know, and I don’t want to leave it out of my sight.” He tugged at the straps of the backpack in question. He would love to carry the golden artifact inside it, but that was simply impossible. Jounouchi arched an eyebrow, but he didn’t question him any further. Yuugi decided to change topics.

“How come you’re working for Kaiba-kun?” he asked as they both started to walk away from the tent, Jounouchi toying with the camera in his hands.

“I don’t have much of an education,” he said. “I didn’t finish high school as I got expelled. I was in a gang at that time, and I had… have a criminal record. Petty theft-” he grimaced as Yuugi had mentioned thieves mere seconds ago, “and minor violence. I beat up a couple of guys, hotwired a car and I was on my way to an early demise when I heard that KaibaCorp. was hiring. They weren’t looking for administrative personnel or computer programmers, but for buffoons for the simplest of jobs. Cleaning, maintenance, that kind of thing. I figured that holding a job would be more beneficial than the path I was going down to.”

“I’m sorry to hear that you had it so rough, Jounouchi-kun,” Yuugi said.

Jounouchi shrugged. “I spend nine months in the bowels of KaibaCorp. as a janitor,” he continued. “I cleaned out the air ducts and the ventilation system when I discovered a capital construction error. I reported it and fixed it myself; Kaiba heard about it and wanted to meet me. He started to give me odd jobs, like an errand boy, but I was already glad to leave the cleaning behind. Ever since then, I’ve been his lapdog… sort of.”

“You’re not happy about it,” Yuugi stated.

“I fucked up my own life,” Jounouchi said, and apologized for using the crude word. “I botched my own chances at a proper education and I flirted with the yakuza. I should be grateful that I’m still alive and kicking.”

“I’m happy that you’re around,” Yuugi said. “Without you, I’d still be in the tomb, screaming out my lungs in fear.”

“It was my pleasure rescuing you,” Jounouchi teased him. “Though what you people see in those scribbles on the walls, and how you can get excited over a clump of dust…”

“Scribbles? Scribbles? Jounouchi-kun, you’ve seen the artwork! The magnificent colors! The details!”

“Just kidding, just kidding.” He held out the camera. “Like I said, I’ll upload the footage and you can look at it to your heart’s content.”

“Thank you,” Yuugi said. “So, the mini-drone’s going to explore the tomb?”

“I’m not sure what Kaiba wants, I only follow his orders,” Jounouchi answered, a little self-deprecating. “No one’s allowed to enter the tomb without his permission, and Isono’s going to beef up security around here.”

“That’s probably for the best.” Yuugi heaved a sigh. He couldn’t help this growing feeling that this was all getting out of hand. “I should look up Fatima.”

“The nurse? Something’s wrong?”

“No, it’s Ryou-kun… he’s not feeling very well. He said that he had to throw up, and he trashed all night in his sleep. Probably a mild food-poisoning.”

Jounouchi, with his stomach made out of lead, looked empathically. “All right, I’ll get to work. See you soon!”

Yuugi said his goodbye and walked over to Fatima’s tent. He saw Malik standing in the shade of another tent, and waved at him.

“Good morning, Malik-kun!”

“Yuugi, I was searching for you!” The guide closed the distance between them.

“Yes?”

Malik scratched the back of his head, looking a bit embarrassed. “I’m not sure what to do,” he said. “You know, going back to the tomb… after what happened, and I still think something strange is going on.”

Yuugi nodded; they had spoken about this before. “What’s on your mind?”

“The thing is, Kaiba wants me to guide people through the tomb,” Malik said. “Once everything’s taken care of, you know, when it’s safe to visit.”

“Are you sure you want to do that?” Yuugi had seen how Malik reacted to being underground.

“He offered me a wage I really couldn’t say no to,” Malik sighed. “It’s not… for me, you know? My sister… Ishizu, she lives in Cairo, and it’s an expensive city. She could really use the money.”

“Malik-kun, it’s really admirable that you want to help your sister, but you have to think of yourself,” Yuugi said. He frowned when he saw the bandages on his friend’s arm. “Why haven’t the cuts on your arms healed yet?”

“I don’t know.” He put his hands on his upper arms defensively.

“You should come to Fatima with me.” Yuugi grabbed the tent flap and all but pushed Malik inside. Fatima was standing in the corner, taking stock of her inventory. She looked up from her clipboard, as pristine and proper as one could be in the desert.

“Yuugi, Malik,” she greeted them. “What can I do for you?”

Yuugi explained the symptoms of Ryou’s illness and she agreed that it sounded like an acute food poisoning. “It doesn’t sound serious enough to warrant any medication,” she said. “He should take it easy, and only eat small, very light meals until he feels better… and drink a lot, of course. He must avoid dehydration at any cost.”

Yuugi nodded and was about to say something, when Fatima addressed Malik. “You, young man,” she said sternly. “Why haven’t you come back like I asked you to? These bandages are old and dirty. I have to inspect your arms.”

“I’m fine, I’m fine,” Malik said. “It’s no big deal.”

“Those cuts should’ve been healed by now,” she insisted. “I’ll renew the bandages once more, but if it’s not healed after that, I’m going to send you to the hospital in Cairo.”

Malik grumbled something unfriendly, but he allowed Fatima to touch him and remove the bandages. She hissed at the deep cuts in his skin. Yuugi hadn’t seen it before, and he was shocked as well.

“Malik-kun!” he gasped. “Is that… from when you tried to claw your way outside?”

“Yes,” Malik said. “I panicked. You were gone, Ryou was gone, it was dark… I thought I was going to die without ever seeing the sun again, and…” His voice trailed off. Fatima inspected the cuts.

“No infection,” she said to no one in particular, and resumed the bandaging. “Here you are.”

“Thank you.”

“Thank you so much,” Yuugi said. “I’ll bring Ryou-kun some fresh water.”

“Yuugi, do you have a moment?” Fatima suddenly asked.

He halted. “Yes, sure!”

Malik halted too, exchanged a look with Fatima and said: “I’ll see you outside.”

After he had left, Fatima put her hand on Yuugi’s chin and tilted his head. “Do you know?” she asked.

“Do I know what..?”

“Where his cuts come from.”

He swallowed. She stared so intensely at him, it was so uncharacteristically for the good-natured nurse. “Malik-kun… he was afraid, he wanted to get out, to get fresh air…”

“Those cuts are self-inflicted,” she said bluntly. “With a knife. Don’t you see, Yuugi? He’s harming himself!”

“Why?” He widened his eyes. “Why would he do that?”

“Not him,” she shook her head. “His dark side. He’s taking possession of Malik and forces his kinder, light personality out.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Yuugi said.

“If those cuts were truly from him trying to claw his way out, don’t you think they would be lower on his arms, on his hands? Have you taken a look at his nails? They’re not split or broken. The cuts are perfectly straight. You have to believe me, Yuugi, please.”

“I…”

“Please,” she repeated. “I already lost my husband. I don’t want to lose more to this growing darkness.”

“Your husband?”

She folded her hands together. “Yes, my husband. Mahmoud. His body lies in the morgue, but his soul is still with me. Our job isn’t done here yet. Allow us to help you.”


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Previous chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 |

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