Title:  Retrieving Destiny
Part:  4/23
Author:  Murasaki Rose
Beta:  none
Genre:  Romance/Fantasy/AU
Rating:  NC-17
Spoilers:  Yami Yuugi's real name
Warnings:  Yaoi (male x male), implied Mpreg
Pairings:  YYxY, SxJxS, DxT, YBxR, YMxM, HxO, PxC, IxM
Minor Pairings:  BMGxA, BMxK, TxCxH
Disclaimer:  Here we go.  Yu-Gi-Oh and all its characters are the property of Kazuki Takahashi, Shueisha, Konami, Toei, and unfortunately, 4 Kids Entertainment.  In other words, I don't own them and I'm not making any money off of this, I'm just a fangirl having some fun.
A/N:  "text" = speech, 'text' = thought, ((text)) = telepathy

Summary:  While assisting his grandfather on an excavation in Egypt for their senior class trip, Yuugi and his friends unleash seven powerful beings from their millennia-long imprisonment.  These strange creatures, who call themselves "darkness", will bring about a series of life-changing events for the close-knit group of teenagers.

2,866 words | 2nd draft - 3,628 words

o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o

A few days into their stay, after the teens had settled into a routine, Pegasus approached Yuugi with a unique project . . .

"Ah, there you are Yuugi-boy!"

Hiding a wince Yuugi sat the piece of pottery he was cleaning down and turned to smile at the older man while thinking plaintively, 'Why does he always call me that?!'

"I already know you're a master at Duel Monsters but your grandfather tells me that you love games and puzzles of all kinds."

Yuugi nodded, wondering what his hobbies had to do with anything and what it was the man was holding behind his back.

Pegasus beamed, "Wonderful!  There's something I'd like you to work on for me.

I'd like you to see if you can solve this," he said, bringing a golden box carved with hieroglyphs and the eye of Ra on the front, from behind him.  "It's an ancient puzzle that no one has ever solved before.  We don't even know what the final shape will be!"

This had Yuugi's attention. "You want me to solve it?!" he asked excitedly.

The silver-haired man nodded, "I have a feeling you're perfect for the job," he told the small teen, handing the box over to him.  "Good luck, Yuugi-boy!" he called over his shoulder as he walked away.

"Thank you!" Yuugi caroled, hugging the box to his chest.

'No, thank you Yuugi,' the man thought.  'Without you, the seal will never be broken.'

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Warm.

The first sensation to reach the being since it's imprisonment was wonderful, familiar, and warm.  Bound tightly by magic, the entity who had slumbered for an unknown length of time, blinked sightless eyes as it awoke.  Slowly, the faint sounds of metal clinking against metal trickled through the seal, piercing the deafening silence that engulfed the bound entity.

Accompanying the return of the senses was something infinitely more important, the sense of self.  Pharaoh Atem laughed soundlessly within his prison.  He knew that warmth.  How the little one had managed to defeat the sorcerer and regain his prison he did not know.  But that mattered little to the young ruler.  Soon he would be reunited with his precious Heba and together, they would free the others and destroy the traitor and all his followers.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

"You know, it never ceases to amaze me how many pots and vases manage to survive so long."

"Is that sarcasm or an honest statement?" Malik asked, grinning conspiratorially at the silver-haired boy next to him.

"A little of both actually," Ryou admitted with a smile before returning his attention to the pot he was carefully cleaning.

Yuugi and Hanasaki shared a grin, before returning to their own pottery.  Once again the four of them had been assigned to clean the caked on dirt from the less delicate artifacts.

"Hey Yuugi!" the small tri-colored teen looked up to see Jonouchi walking their way carrying a rather large box on a dolly.  "The professors want ya to clean this thing," he said placing it next to the boy's workspace.

"What is it?"

"Probably a really big pot," Malik grumbled.

Ignoring the pale blond's comment Jonouchi shrugged, "I dunno what it is.  All I know is that the archaeologists got all excited when they found it.  Pegasus said I should take it ta you to get cleaned."  He told them before heading back to the dig area.

Yuugi blinked in surprise, Pegasus wanted HIM to clean it?  What was with that guy?!  "I guess we should open it up then."  Together the four teens managed to heft the unknown object out of the box and onto the table.  Seeing it didn't clear much up though.

"Its another box," Hanasaki stated in disbelief.

Malik was indignant, "They got excited over this?!"

"Maybe they've been in the sun too long?" Ryou ventured.

Yuugi wasn't paying much attention to them though; instead he was running his hands gently over the dirt-encrusted form.  "It's not a box," he stated suddenly.

"Then what is it?" Ryou asked, noticing the odd, unfocused look on Yuugi's face.  The teen shook his head, amethyst eyes blinking a few times before clearing.

"It's a cradle," he said with no uncertainty in his voice.  "Take a good look at the shape and you'll see it."

The other three did as he said and were astonished, Yuugi was right!

"How do you know it's a cradle, Yuugi-kun?" Hanaski asked his friend.  "There are other things this shape could be."

"I . . . I'm not sure," he said finally, a pensive look on his face.  "But I'm positive that this is a cradle."

After fully cleaning what Malik had dubbed, the "mystery box", it was indeed shown to be an ornate cradle, one that had probably belonged to an Egyptian noble.  Fortunately for Yuugi's sanity, there were no further odd incidents after that, at least for him.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Perched high on an outcropping of rock several yards out from the encampment, Ryou watched the sun sink below the horizon enjoying the beauty and tranquility of the scene.  He'd had the urge to come out here ever since he'd spotted the formation on their first day.  At first he'd just ignored that urge, but soon it became too insistent and the silver-haired teen found himself asking for permission to do just this.  Sitting alone on the warm rock, with a coat and flashlight nearby, made the teen feel surprisingly relaxed and gave him the strongest sense of deja vu.  So strong in fact, that he kept expecting someone to come up and wrap a protective arm around his shoulders as they sat down beside him.

"Let's go back now, antyw akhu (1)."

Ryou gasped sharply, eyes frantically searching the area all around him in the dying light.  "Who's there?"  When no one answered, he grabbed his coat and flashlight, then slid down off the rock to search around and beneath the outcropping.  He found nothing.  Not even a trace of footprints.

'How odd,' he thought, making his way back to camp.  'I'm sure I heard a voice up there . . .'

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

"Watch out!"

The warning cry followed by the loud braying of a camel brought everyone's attention to the edge of the dig site.  Off to the side where they were loading camels with debris to clear away, one of the animals was going wild.  Twisting and thrashing violently, the creature spat and brayed in protest, kicking out at anyone who dared get too close.

Without giving it any thought, Honda dropped what he was doing and ran over to help the struggling men.

"Honda, what the hell?!" Jonouchi shouted after his friend.  "What does he think he's doing?"

Seto narrowed his eyes in thought, a strange notion coming to mind, "Perhaps he knows something we do not."

As the brunet teen approached the panicking animal, some of the workers attempted to stop him only to find themselves blocked by Pegasus.  "Let the boy go," he told them, staring intently after the teen, every fiber in his being telling him to wait and see.

Under the astonished watch of the entire camp, Honda managed to safely dodge the camel's "attacks" and get himself close enough to touch it.  Moments later, he had the animal calmed down and sitting patiently in wait.  He smiled fondly at the camel, scratching behind its ears and down its neck to the beast's delight.

"How did you do that kid?" one of the men asked, breaking the serene plateau.

"I . . I'm not really sure," Honda looked confused as he attempted to explain, "Somehow, I just knew what to do."

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Later that night, the students had joined the workers gathering around the fires to relax after their hard day's work.  With his usual opponent otherwise occupied, Seto had challenged Ryou to a game of chess, with Malik and Hanasaki volunteering to act as both audience and referees.  Yuugi had settled himself nearby their game while continuing to work on the puzzle Pegasus had given him.  He'd been working on it for several days now and piece-wise he was about half way through.  But Yuugi knew from experience that that was no indication of how much time it would take to complete.  Each piece fit together in such an unusual way and specific order that even the slightest error could result in hours of wasted time.  What the amethyst-eyed teen did know from all his work so far was that the puzzle would be an inverted pyramid, meant to be hung or perhaps worn as a pendant.

Heading to watch the chess game Anzu paused when she noticed Jonouchi sitting off on his own, a distant expression on his face.

"Are you all right, Jonouchi-kun?" she asked as she sat down beside the blond.

Jou blinked, startled by her presence but not bothered, "Yeah, it's just this weirdness I've been dealing with lately," he replied, starting to laugh it off until he caught her knowing gaze.  "I've been having really weird dreams for weeks now," he admitted finally.  "Seto knows about them," he quickly reassured her.  "They always take place in Egypt, so I thought maybe here I'd find out why."

Light blue eyes closed in thought before the brunette responded, "You too huh?"

"What?" the blond stared at her like she'd just grown a second head.

"I've been dreaming about Egypt too," she sighed.  "I've seen you, Honda, Mai, Hanasaki and myself with wings.  I've seen what looks like Ryou and Seto as children and even a baby that looks like Yuugi!"  She noticed Jou's wide-eyed stare and decided to drop the final bomb, "the weirdest thing is that I've even seen a child version of Malik in my dreams, before we even learned about the trip!"

"God, Anzu," Jonouchi breathed, "What the hell is going on here?"

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

The next morning, Pegasus approached Yuugi and his friends with a special research assignment:  he wanted them to look into an odd set of artifacts and see if they could find any references to them.  The eight friends would be joined by Mai Kujaku as well, much to Seto's ire.

Leading the group to one of the few hard-walled structures in the camp, he began to explain, "The items I am giving you are connected to or a part of the same set that Yuugi-boy's puzzle is from.  I'd like you to research and see if you can find any more information on them," he told them.  Opening the door he gestured for the teens to enter ahead of him, "and to assist you in your hunt you have been granted full access to all our available research material."

Following them inside he went to stand by a large box sitting off to the side, "Yuugi of course will be researching his puzzle, but I have something interesting for each of you to research."

"Not to sound rude or anything, but shouldn't this be done by my classmates instead?" Mai asked, confused as to why a bunch of high schoolers were being allowed to work on such an important project.

Pegasus waved off her concerns with a bright smile, "Nonsense dear girl, the nine of you are absolutely the right people for this job."

Moving on, he reached into the box and drew out a baseball-sized circular pendant, "I'll start with yours, young Hanasaki.  Unlike the other items, your item is Greek in origin.  For reasons we have not yet discovered, it was found hidden with these same items, leading us to believe it holds a connection to them," the brown-eyed man told the teen, handing him the pendant.  The pendant was beautiful with an intricate geometric pattern carved on a turquoise stone that was set in gold, with the symbols of the zodiac carved around the setting (2).

Through his own research he had learned which darkness was supposedly contained within each item, but only by having the correct light hold it would confirm his information.  So Pegasus watched with great enthusiasm as the pale orange-haired teen gently traced the center symbol, his gray eyes conveying an unconscious longing and recognition.

Feeling vindicated and excited, he next removed two golden items and handed them to Ryou and Malik:  a ring with a triangle and an eye in the center with five cones hanging from the outside of the circlet and a set of scales bearing an udjat eye at the top.  As he ran his fingers over the center eye, Ryou felt an anticipatory shiver race through him while Malik stared at the scales as if they held something he had been missing.  Honda and Mai had similar reactions when they were handed their items:  an ankh and necklace.

When he was handed his item Seto's eyes had widened almost imperceptibly the instant he touched the winged, golden scepter.  A powerful rush of emotions had seemingly come directly from the item, filling the teen with a sense of joy and triumph that was not his own.  He resisted the urge to throw the object across the room, instead stoically ignoring the odd event and focusing on Jou.

Knowing they were different from the others, Pegasus had saved Anzu and Jonouchi for last.  Because their items possessed no magic, they had been found separate from the others and with more information than the others had.  And it was this very information that led him to believe they might result in a more intense reaction from the two teens.

"Now from the carvings found with them we have learned that these last two items were wedding gifts given to two warriors of the court," the silver-haired man stated, pulling out a beautiful golden armband and a pair of ornately carved bracers.  Noting their widening eyes, he very slowly moved to place them in the hands of the appropriate teen.

Holding the armband in her hands Anzu felt a nearly overwhelming sense of sadness and loss come over her as she gently turned the item around in her hand.  'Mana.'

Meanwhile Jonouchi had nearly gone into shock, he KNEW where those bracers came from.  He'd seen them night after night in his dreams.  'What is happening to me?' he thought, swaying on his feet, only Seto's quick reflexes stopping him from falling to the ground.  "What does this mean?" he whispered, staring up into Seto's bright blue eyes, his own conveying his panicked confusion.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Long after having gone to bed Seto lay awake, curled around his sleeping boyfriend.  It had taken the auburn-haired teen hours to get his blond lover to tell him what about the bracers had upset him so much.  When Katsuya had finally explained that the bracers were the same ones he wore in his dreams, Seto had at first tried to rationalize with him.  Perhaps these bracers were the style worn by all warriors.  Or perhaps they just looked similar to the ones in his dreams.  The honey-brown eyed blond had simply fixed him with a disbelieving stare until the blue-eyed teen had been forced to admit defeat.  Even he had to admit that his arguments were flimsy at best.  Jonouchi had been having these dreams for weeks; of course he would be in tune with even the smallest of related details.

What really bothered him was that HE had recognized them.  Vague memories of himself as a child tracing the hieroglyphs and decorative patterns with childish awe as an amused and strangely older Jou watched on, had flashed through his mind the moment he'd laid eyes on them.  What was even more disturbing were the foreign emotions that had washed over him the instant he'd taken hold of the scepter-like object he'd been handed.  He hadn't had the opportunity to worry about it earlier, his concern for Katsuya taking priority over anything else, but now . . . if he didn't know better; he'd swear they were being watched.  Pressing a tender kiss to the top of Jou's head, Seto couldn't help but wonder if coming on this trip was a good idea after all.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Hanasaki was dreaming.  He had to be, for the place he found himself simply didn't exist anywhere in the modern world.  Judging by the ornate columns and beautiful marble statuary decorating the room, he guessed it was Grecian in origin.  There was also a small balcony with a gorgeous view of the ocean, from which a gentle breeze blew making the transparent curtains flutter slightly.  Hanasaki himself was seated at a desk with scrolls and parchments scattered about, all with the same strange text he'd seen on the back of the pendant, and a few bearing the symbol from the front like a seal.  The small teen quickly realized he was a passenger for this dream when he tried to get up from the desk, only to find that his dream-self was working on something and had no intention of quitting.

Slender arms slipped under his own to wrap around his middle startling both him and his dream-self, as an unexpected person announced their presence.  "Have you been working in here all day, beloved?" the man murmured, kissing his cheek gently.

If Hanasaki had been in charge of his body, he was sure he'd be blushing fiercely and squirming away.  His dream-self however, relaxed into the man's embrace, stretching while still encircled in the other's arms.  "I didn't realize it was so late," he replied, standing to give him a proper kiss.  When his dream-self pulled back, Hanasaki was stunned by the vision before him.  The man who had embraced his dream-self was beautiful; there really wasn't a better word to describe him.  The man had long aqua hair tied off just below his waist and gold eyes that glittered warmly at him from beneath jagged aqua bangs.

"You loose track of time so easily," the man teased scooping him up into a bridal hold, eliciting a squeal of surprise from his dream-self and making Hanasaki wonder just what he was in for.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Mai couldn't sleep.  Sitting on her bed, she found herself tracing the eye on the necklace she'd been given to research.  The item gave her the creeps and something about this whole situation struck her as odd.  Why were a bunch of teenagers being trusted to research such rare artifacts?  As a matter of fact, why was she even being allowed to do it?  She wasn't a grad student and knew it would be at least two more years before she was qualified to begin this kind of research.  Even stranger than the teens being allowed to handle priceless artifacts were the teens themselves.  They all knew things that they shouldn't or couldn't possibly know and every single one of them had reacted oddly to the artifact they were handed.  Something wasn't adding up.

Despite her misgivings, she still found herself drawn to the creepy necklace.  When she'd touched it she had felt shock and joy, emotions that were not her own and had seemed to have come from the necklace itself.  Still the orchid-eyed blonde couldn't bring herself to get rid of the item that had been placed in her care.

'We are so screwed.'

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Bored out of his mind, Malik had picked up a handful of rocks and started balancing them on the scales he'd been handed earlier.  This had kept him entertained for all of five minutes before his brother noticed and made him stop.

"Malik, don't play with the artifact.  It's disrespectful."

Making a series of faces at his older brother's back, the Egyptian teen removed the rocks and dusted the plates off, stoically ignoring the amusement that seemed to roll off the golden artifact.  Unlike the others he wasn't as unnerved by his item and the strange emotions that seemed to be emanating from it.  Sure he'd felt them the instant he'd touched the odd scales, but he hadn't let it bother him.  Instead he chalked it up as weird but harmless and continued on.  Still . . . all his life he'd felt like something was missing and now . . . something told him he was close to finding out what that was.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x

Long after midnight Yuugi was still working tirelessly on the puzzle.  Having come so close to the end he felt compelled to finish and after a few tricky spots, the pieces seemed to flow together so easily!  So deep in his concentration, he gasped involuntarily as he stared at the golden pyramid; he was down to the final piece!  Reaching for the large piece with the eye of Ra, he felt an overwhelming sense of anticipation wash over him, adding to his own excitement.  If he hadn't of known better, he'd have sworn that the puzzle was excited too!  Taking a deep breath he pushed the last piece into position, sighing in relief as it locked in place with a firm click.

Grinning broadly, he leaned back in his chair and admired his handiwork, tilting the three-dimensional pyramid about in the lamplight.  He couldn't wait to show his friends!  Suddenly, a gust of wind rushed through his tent, dying down before the teen even had a chance to stand up.

"Heba."

Startled by the unexpected voice, Yuugi yelped and nearly fell over.  Righting his chair he turned around and came face to face with . . . an Egyptian pharaoh?! 

'That has got to be a costume,' he thought in disbelief before his inner voice piped up, 'Then how come you've never seen him in camp before?'  There was no way he'd have missed anyone with hair so much like his own, especially someone this gorgeous!

Atem stepped forward and smiled warmly at his full-grown light, "It has been far too long since I've last held you antyw akhu."

-

November 12, 2008
-edited April 28, 2009

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1 - my light (ancient Egyptian)

2 - This is the same pendant that Dartz wears in the anime and the same symbol used for the Oricalos seal.  I did a bit of checking and noticed that Dartz is also wearing this pendant before the Oricalos came so I'm assuming it was originally the symbol/crest of the Atlantean royal house.