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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

“Help me?” Yuugi took a step back. He suddenly felt cornered, even though deep down he knew he had nothing to fear from Fatima. Her face was open and kind, her entire body language was not threatening at all; still, slight fear and trepidation surged through him and he protectively hugged his backpack. Fatima noticed his movement.

“I didn’t mean to scare you,” she said. “You and your secret are safe with me.”

“M-my secret?”

“You solved the Puzzle, right? Have you talked to the Pharaoh yet?”

Yuugi’s eyes grew wider. “H-how do you know?”

She fidgeted with her headscarf as she was obviously searching for words. “The Ishtars aren’t the only tribe who put themselves into service of the Pharaoh,” she finally said. “Many more tribes and clans exist, though they might have forgotten their original goal: to serve the God-King, our beloved ruler. A lot has been lost throughout the centuries, and nowadays Egypt is a grotesque sandbox for belligerent, ignorant idiots who expose our cultural treasures for anyone to see, putting it on display for those who pay the most.”

“Then you must hate me, Fatima,” Yuugi said, voice soft.

“You’re different,” the woman gave back. “You care for the things you unearth, Yuugi. I’ve seen how you hold artifacts when you draw them, photograph them, study them. You hold them with care and respect, you don’t toss them in a crate or expose them to bad influences. The same goes for your friend, of course - he shows the same care and interest, and he’s very gentle in his search and treatment of artifacts. He respects the landscape and the environment.”

“Ryou-kun is very driven,” Yuugi agreed. He would never think to not handle artifacts with care. It was ingrained in his very soul; the magnificence and splendor of these objects, crafted and used by civilization millennia ago, and it had always marveled him that someone, in the past, had the object in his or her possession and used it in daily life. It spoke volumes about the wielder, whether it was a hunting knife or a… “solid golden Puzzle,” he said out loud. He slapped his hand in front of his mouth.

Fatima pointed at one of the fold-out wooden chairs in the tent. “Please, sit down, Yuugi. We have a lot to discuss.”

He didn’t hesitate, but he couldn’t shake off the trepidation. So many strange things had happened in the last couple of days, and Yuugi didn’t like it that anyone else knew of ‘his’ Pharaoh. The surging jealousy that someone else was aware of this very special person… Yuugi refrained from gasping. Where did those feelings come from? This... possessiveness? Something very strange was going on, yet it was strangely beautiful… but it had to be a fantasy, a bittersweet dream or a really twisted, cruel nightmare. The Pharaoh wasn’t real, he was an ethereal being living in a dreamscape: barefoot, up to his ankles in cool, calm water, the epitome of beauty and wisdom, and too perfect to be true. But his touch had felt real, and his kisses had been all too real… Yuugi could still feel his lips on his; soft, warm lips… he barely realized that he sat down, holding the backpack in his arms. Fatima didn’t sit down yet, she poured tall glasses with fresh, cold water for herself and Yuugi first.

“I usually drink tea,” she chatted lightly, “but I think we both could use something cold, don’t you agree?” She didn’t await his answer but handed him a glass. “The darkness is strong,” she said ominously, “and we need your light to combat it, Yuugi.”

“My light? I really don’t understand, Fatima. I…”

“I’ll tell you, all of it.” She showed him a reassuring smile. “Like I said, there are more tribes and clans than the Ishtars who pledged allegiance to the Pharaoh. Don’t ask me for specific details, because I don’t have them - not every scroll or papyri has survived the test of time, and the spoken word changes when it passes from person to person, until it’s too hard to determine what the truth is and what the legend is.”

“The legend is, obviously, the Pharaoh,” Yuugi deduced.

“Yes, exactly. The nameless Pharaoh. We know nothing about him, and perhaps the tomb will reveal more information, but I have my doubts. I’m diverging from the original story, Yuugi, so allow me to start over with the Ishtars. Their clan was the most revered and closest to the Pharaoh in general, exercising very important functions as priests, scribes and advisors. I’m not sure how much or how little Malik knows, but he can probably trace his lineage back to the 18th Dynasty, give or take a couple of centuries. A lineage and a family history to be very proud of.”

“Malik-kun hardly speaks about his family,” Yuugi said. “He did mention his sister.”

“Ishizu.” Fatima sipped her cold drink. “Because of the Ishtars being so close, they were entrusted with a lot of confidential information and they knew a lot about the intrigues and politics at the royal court,” she continued. “As they belonged to the intimate circle of the Pharaoh, they also knew a lot of personal secrets, which they didn’t dare to write down… so they devised another method to carry these secrets and knowledge with them.”

Yuugi couldn’t help himself, he leaned a little forward to listen intently, still with his backpack clutched to his chest, his other hand holding the glass of water. He was fascinated by Fatima’s words.

“What kind of method?”

“They carved their eldest son’s back,” Fatima said. “With a hot knife.”

Yuugi almost dropped the glass. “What? Are you serious?”

“Yes, I am. I tell nothing but the truth, Yuugi. My tribe has witnessed this ‘initiation ritual’, and it was the reason why we distanced ourselves from the Ishtars. We didn’t want anything to do with such a barbaric, sadistic ‘tradition’.”

“Malik-kun, has he…”

She shook her head. “Strangely enough, no. I was able to check it when I took care of him after his ordeal in the tomb. He has no carvings or markings on his back. Either the ritual died out, or his sister Ishizu made sure he never received it, thank every deity in this world. However… not receiving the ritual didn’t stop the darkness.”

He didn’t like how she kept mentioning ‘darkness’. “Why do you repeat that? What darkness are you talking about?”

“The darkness in Malik Ishtar and the growing darkness in Bakura Ryou,” she said. “The growing darkness in you, Mutou Yuugi. It’s because of the artifact. The Item. Your Puzzle.”

“My Puzzle isn’t responsible for any darkness,” Yuugi protested, failing to notice how he stressed the word ‘my’.

“There are other artifacts like your Puzzle; more so, it’s part of a set of seven Items: what we call the Millennium Items. I’m not sure about these details either, but the Items were forged to bring about a terrible catastrophe… and I believe, they invoked the death of our nameless Pharaoh.”

“I think I should be going,” Yuugi said and put his glass on the ground. “This is too fantastical.”

“Says the one carrying a golden Puzzle around. You have met him, haven’t you? You’ve heard his voice. You saw his face. Look me in the eye and tell me that it’s still ‘too fantastical’, Yuugi.”

“I don’t want to talk about it,” he said stubbornly.

“You’re not even denying it, but you’re awfully defensive about it,” Fatima answered. “I know you want to help the Pharaoh, and I want to help you. Believe me, you’re going to need my help.”

Yuugi’s resistance ebbed away almost as quickly as it had flared up. “No one would believe me,” he said. “He only appears to me in my dreams. He’s not real.”

“He’s very real,” Fatima insisted. “He’s already part of your body, mind and soul, Yuugi. His connection to you would be even stronger if you were to carry the Puzzle around your neck, but I would advise against wearing it in public. You were smart enough to figure that out yourself, especially after what happened to my husband.”

Yuugi turned red. “I haven’t even expressed my sympathies for your loss,” he said. “I’m so sorry, Fatima.”

“Thank you.” Her hands trembled lightly. “His death shouldn’t be in vain. He… was more of a believer than I’ll ever be. His tribe was very traditional and when he told me about this, I laughed at him first and called it superstition, nonsense even… Mahmoud was so much more intelligent than just acting like a supervisor, but he wanted to stay close to the excavations, in case this would happen.”

“The tomb of the nameless Pharaoh rediscovered,” Yuugi sighed. Oh Ryou, what have you gotten ourselves into? “What’s so important about him, Fatima? What has he done that he could make me solve that Puzzle and…” Make me fall in love with him?

“Again, I’m not sure about the details,” Fatima said remorsefully. “I wish I knew the entire story, not just bits and pieces. Sometimes I even believe that Mahmoud himself hasn’t told me everything… but I think this is what he feared so much. When the nameless Pharaoh’s tomb was discovered, a chain of events has been set in motion and it can’t be stopped.”

“What should we do?” Yuugi whispered. “What is it that the Pharaoh wants?”

“You know how devastating it was for the Ancient Egyptians to be stripped of their name,” she said. “Whether he has done something bad to have his name removed or others removed it because they feared or hated him, I think his name is the first thing he’d want to know.”

“When I was in the tomb, I saw intricate artwork depicting many lovely scenes from his life, and the remnants of flowers everywhere. This Pharaoh was loved.”

“Then someone must’ve wanted to erase him from history, from existence,” Fatima said. Her glass was empty. “We need to help him, Yuugi, or else the fate of the world could be at stake. The Pharaoh needs to cross over to the Afterlife, to his family, to his loved ones. He wants to have his loved ones returned to him.”


As a native born Egyptian, Malik wasn’t bothered by the hot climate at all. On the contrary, the sun was a warm blessing to his skin. He picked at the fresh bandages, irritated how the fabric chafed; he didn’t understand why the cuts hadn’t healed yet. It hurt, and he abhorred physical pain. Restless, Malik walked around between the tents, ignoring the workers. If someone needed him, they would call for him; but actually, he wanted to be left alone. Something felt off about this excavation site. People were looking at him. They were whispering behind his back. That nurse, Fatima… her prying eyes, as if she could see right through him… but there was nothing to hide from her, was there? Just a nosy nurse.

Malik was annoyed either way. He couldn’t put his finger on it, but he was annoyed very quickly as of late. Aggravated, irritated… and why? He didn’t have to do much and he got nicely paid. He didn’t have to do hard labor like the diggers, uncovering the Pharaoh’s tomb. The tomb. Ever since Ryou Bakura stumbled upon it… he still had nightmares about the moment he’d been caught by that trap, when darkness completely enveloped him and he had yelled and screamed, not knowing whether he would ever see daylight again. His biggest fear was to be alone in the dark, but for whatever reason, lately he had started to… appreciate darkness. It had to be the heat. Maybe he was less used to it than he thought.

Malik doled around aimlessly until he spotted a familiar person outside his tent. Bewildered, he hollered: “Hey, Ryou! Feeling better already?”

Ryou Bakura turned his head into his direction and gave him a slow smile. He was standing next to one of the tents used for storage. Malik closed the distance between them. “Yuugi said you had food poisoning? Everything okay?”

“I’m fine,” he answered. “I need to talk to you.”

Malik waited, but the other didn’t continue. It was an awkward moment. “So… what is it that you wanted to talk to me about?” He was taken aback by the furious look on Ryou’s face.

“Don’t fuck around with me!”

“What?” Whoa, for someone as polite and calm as Ryou to speak so crudely… he must be really upset about something. “What are you talking about? I think you’re still not feeling well. Maybe you should lie down.”

“Don’t tell me you’ve become compassionate after all this time,” Bakura snorted. Malik squinted at him, frowning in an absurd manner, creating deep wrinkles around his eyes. “Stop doing that, it makes you look fucking ugly.”

“You sure are in a pissy mood,” Malik answered, sounding happy. Anything that caused Bakura grief was fun and entertainment in his book. “I told you that raw meat wasn’t good for you.”

“It’s not my fault this body can’t handle it.”

“Your vessel is weak.”

“So is yours.”

“What is it that you wanted to talk to me about?”

Bakura crossed his arms in front of his chest, an innocent gesture, but his arms were at the Ring’s height, protectively, possessively. “Have you sensed any of the other Items?”

Malik shrugged. “Isn’t that your specialty?”

“My Ring can detect the other Items yes, but you might’ve heard something. Kaiba’s shutting me out; the entire excavation is in his hands now, and he doesn’t need my host.”

“In his hands? What about if he wants to re-enter the tomb?”

“He’s too busy preparing for the upcoming press conference. There’ll be a massive outpour of international interest, and soon the place will be crawling with reporters and TV crews.”

“What’s so annoying about that?”

Bakura’s eye twitched. “Are you stupid? I want to find K-” he didn’t get any further than that, as Malik lunged at his throat, wrapping his fingers around it, bruising his skin.

“Don't ever call me stupid again,” he hissed. “I don’t care how agitated you are! Do it again and I’ll fucking kill you, all your plans be damned!”

Bakura gargled. He put his hands around Malik’s wrists but he knew it was futile to pry him off. How could he ever forget how strong the other was? It was a precious mistake, and he feared he was going to pay the ultimate price. What happened to his patience and his carefully laid-out plans? As always, the pure, unadulterated hatred in Malik’s eyes both scared and impressed him. He should have that force work for him, not against him. Bakura’s hands slipped off Malik’s wrists.

“Please let me go,” he croaked out, with a pleading tone to his voice. It was the closest to an apology as he could get, but Malik Ishtar wasn’t interested in apologies. He had made his point clear and now that he saw Bakura understood, he let him go. Bakura all but collapsed and used the last of his strength to maintain his balance, standing upright, coughing and wheezing.

“Thank you,” he muttered, and the sarcastic undertone went right over Malik’s head. He didn’t care anyway.

“What’s the hurry in finding your birthplace?” he asked. “If you’re right and all those TV crews are going to walk around here, no one will pay attention to you?”

“I figure that my host will be interviewed and asked to elaborate on his discoveries,” Bakura said sourly. “He’ll bust out his dear daddy’s diary and tell the sobbing tale about how he wanted to fulfill his old man’s last wish. To find the nameless Pharaoh’s tomb, no matter what it took.”

“That’s going to do great on TV,” Malik grinned. “Maybe they’ll even turn it into a movie.”

Bakura rubbed his throat. He could feel the bruises spreading all over his skin. He had to avoid another attack, so he swallowed his reaction to tell Malik to shut up. “I’ll allow my host to have his moment in the spotlights,” he said. “He’ll enjoy talking about his father and his love for Ancient Egypt. With that said, I want him to focus on finding the other Items and Kuru Eruna.”

“There’s nothing left of that place,” Malik replied brusquely. “Why are you so intent to find it?”

Bakura narrowed his eyes. “You forgot, didn’t you?”

“What can I say, I always forget. I forget pretty much pretty quickly.”

“Do you also forget to take care of your host’s body?”


Bakura pointed at the bandages around Malik’s arm. To his dismay, the other grinned wildly.

“Oh, that’s nothing. Just a reminder that I’m still around.”

“I need you at full strength,” Bakura said, maintaining the pleading tone in his voice. If that was what it took to keep Malik content and compliant, he would plead all that he wanted. He needed his brute strength. There was much more to be uncovered in the Pharaoh’s tomb, and he wasn’t sure he could do it on his own. “But first things first. How has the Pharaoh been?”

“I haven’t seen him,” Malik said. “Just his vessel, who’s taking a great amount of time to get water and medication for your host, by the way.”

“Water and medication?”

“Who’s the forgetful one? You have food poisoning.”

“Never mind that.” Bakura’s interest was piqued. “Why is it taking him so long?”

“He’s being buddy-buddy with Fatima.”

“The nurse?”

“Yes. I don’t like her. There’s something about her that’s…” He tried to find the right word. “Mysterious? Mythical? I don’t know how to describe it.”

“It’s probably nothing,” Bakura said, but he made a mental note. The situation was so delicate, so precarious, the balance could swing into another direction at any second. This chance, this opportunity of a lifetime was something that he couldn’t afford to ruin, and he had to take care of each and every loose end. A ‘mysterious’ nurse was the last thing he could use. He had enough on his mind already. “Why don’t you walk around the camp some more, and give me details on what the others are doing?”

“Snooping around, eh? That’s more your thing, thief. Alright, I’ll go have a look around. It’s not like I have much to do anyway.”

Malik sauntered off. Bakura stared after him. Malik wasn’t the best ally in the world, he was fickle, prone to forget, and if he were to switch allegiances… no, his hatred was too strong. He would never choose the Pharaoh’s side. Bakura was annoyed with himself. He used to have so much patience - why did he feel he had to rush? Was time running out? Was he overlooking something? What gave him this feeling of restlessness? And why was he even bothered by about what he felt; he was a thief, for crying out loud! His feelings were killed on the same day his family was cooked and burned alive to create those godforsaken Items. Godforsaken. Ha! He wanted to laugh out loud. He’d better get back to his tent and into bed, if Yuugi was going to visit him. Bakura grinned. He’d love to see the Pharaoh’s face when he realized his vessel was so submissive and attending to his friend, the host of his worst enemy. The mental thought made up for any physical discomfort and snickering to himself, Bakura went back to his tent.


Previous chapters: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 |

This entry was originally posted at http://the-goldenpath.dreamwidth.org/84157.html. Please comment there using OpenID.


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 3rd, 2017 10:00 pm (UTC)
Oh, and the plot thickens!!

I can't wait for the next chapter *^^*
Jun. 4th, 2017 08:17 am (UTC)
:) I love revealing new information in bits and pieces; there'll be more coming soon ^____^
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )


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