Rulers and Rogues

BY : Lady_DCeandre
Category: Yu-Gi-Oh > AU - Alternate Universe
Dragon prints: 9630
Disclaimer: I do not own YuGiOh!, nor any of the characters from it. I do not make any money from the writing of this story.

Yes, from the crazy mind of the Lady D’Ceandre comes something, well, crazy. I was reading a fanfic on FF.net, (amazing as it sounds it was actually good) where Bakura ended up as Pharaoh’s slave. It’s here, btw: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2095953/1/Getting_Away

Anyway, my screwed up brain managed to morph that around, and I ended up with this. It is somewhat AU, following the storyline until the end of the Memory World arc and ignoring the ceremonial battle, because Egyptian Yami is hot and the battle pissed me off. There are traces of het in here, because Pharaoh needs girls to have babies, (not a fan of mpreg,) but, so far, no scenes. And there will be yaoi, because I’m not obsessive, but I am a fangirl. By the very nature of the story, there will be some OOCness, but nothing crazy. I have no idea where it’s going, short of my fondness for semi-evil Yami and light hikari-torture. (Nothing too bad is going to happen to them.) I’m open to most suggestions, so if there’s something you want to see, feel free to speak up. Usual couples apply, and there will be a little hikari swapping, too.

Thoughts

:mindspeech:

****** 

“Hurry up.  Quick, in here.”  The slight, black-haired man gestured to the group of ragged refugees that followed him, urging them into a half-destroyed building.  Worried violet eyes, once wide with innocence and a pure-hearted love for life, stared around the empty-seeming streets, darkening in the coming night.  He could hear the sounds of troops stomping loudly somewhere nearby, but, worse than that, he could feel him.

“That’s all of them.”  The taller blond appeared suddenly, but he had known he was near.  He could always tell, now.  Danger and fear would do that to a person, even without his other gifts.

“Thanks, Wolf.  You’d better get out of here.  He’s near.”  The blond shook his head firmly.

“No way, Prince.  If he tries to get after you, he’ll have to come through me first.”

Prince sighed, then nodded after a moment, watching as his would-be bodyguard slipped into the building to quiet the refugees.  The blond still kept his regular hair-colour, and he wondered how he got away with it.  He himself had his dyed black, to fit in better, to hide.  Though, not for much longer, if he had heard right.  He had banned hair dye…

He turned to stare at the sky, then, the myriad of stars that shone above them.

A beautiful night…  He thought to himself.  The kind of night that, only three years ago, would have found him staring out his bedroom window, or having sneaked off with a blanket to the park.

The kind of night when he would have stretched out beneath the stars with him, to watch and talk, and laugh.  What he wouldn’t give to turn back the clock to back then, to back when he didn’t know just how cold and cruel darkness could be.

“Prince, hurry up.”  With another tired sigh, he disappeared into the building, just as a troop of soldiers came around the corner into the street.

At their head, astride a powerful black stallion, its tack gleaming with gold and gems, rode the man that had sent the refugees into hiding, the man who had caused all the current chaos in the first place.

Eyes of violet, the same shade as Prince’s, gazed around the empty-seeming street.  These eyes, though, looked as if they had never known innocence, angular and cold, the brows drawn down in permanent irritation.  Except for when they drew together in anger, and nobody ever wanted to see that happen.  Very few had seen it and lived.

Blond bangs shifted slightly in the breeze, showing up easily against the red-black of the spikes that seemed to defy gravity, the golden thunderbolts racing up their centres.  The man was dressed in ancient garb, a long Egyptian-style tunic, the material white, but decorated with brightly coloured embroidery.  Like the horse, he was decorated with gold and gems, from the belt of woven gold links to the wide collar and bracelets and anklets he wore.  No, there was nothing about this figure that could have been mistaken, and certainly Prince, who watched from a tiny crack between two boards he hid behind, would have known him even without the distinctive hairstyle, without the guards and trappings of royalty.  He would have known him, once a Pharaoh of Egypt, now ruler of the Empire, and his greatest enemy.

******

For a moment, the Pharaoh, as he still preferred to be called, remained still, listening and watching, and… searching.  His mind stretched out over the area, probing into the dark spots, into the areas where his eyes couldn’t see.

Frightened minds in a group, there.  The escaped slaves, then.

At the moment, though, he wasn’t all that interested in them.  He had plenty of slaves, and if these ones escaped…  well, he could round them up again, later, if it came to it.  No, what he was far more interested in was the non-presence that his mind met.

They didn’t know he could do this, of course, didn’t know how great his control over the powers of the millennium items had grown.

“Aibou…”  He spoke, just loud enough for the sound to carry down the street.  “I can feel you, Little One.  Come out and I’ll leave your new friends be for now.”  He smirked, after a moment.  “And bring Jou with you.”

In his hiding place, Prince stiffened, carefully checking his mental barriers.  They were as firm as ever, and he glanced over at Wolf, who shook his head, obviously equally puzzled.  Prince had taught him to shield his mind long ago, and he had proved to be a quick learner, especially after a few close calls with the Four Kings.

Had he grown new powers, then?  It was entirely possible, he supposed, but then, he could be bluffing, as well.  He had to take the risk.  Nodding to Wolf, he gestured toward the hidden door.  The blond obediently moved over and opened it, starting to help the refugees down into the underground tunnels that would take them out of the city, to the dubious safety of the countryside.  He himself turned back, ready to sound the alarm.  This wouldn’t be their first close call.

“Very well, Aibou.”  The Pharaoh stated after a short silence, his tone clearly indicating that what small patience he had had was at an end.

“Since you insist on being stubborn, we’ll continue our little ‘game’.”  He gestured toward the building where the minds hid, and his soldiers immediately headed toward that area.

Prince shuddered, hating what the man had termed their rebellion.  A game, and the Pharaoh never lost a game.  Never.

He had to do something.  He could see the guards, and they were headed right towards them, like they knew exactly where they were.  But what?

He looked towards the refugees.  Most of them were down the tunnel, Wolf still helping, not paying attention, trusting him to keep an eye out.  Prince looked back towards the street, and, more specifically, the puzzle that hung from the man’s neck.  If he could…  But, it had been ages since he had tried to tap the puzzle’s power.  Well, he would have to try, but not here.  Quickly climbing to his feet, he ran in a half-crouch, making sure he kept himself hidden.  The buildings were so torn up here that it was easy to get from one to another through the rubble.  When he thought himself a reasonable distance away, he stopped again, choosing another hiding place with a view, took a deep breath, and opened his mind.

******

The Pharaoh had sensed the non-presence moving, of course, frowning lightly as he tracked the dash.  What was he planning?  Was it Yugi that had run, or Jou?  He couldn’t tell the difference between them, at least not yet.  Neither, he knew, would abandon the slaves, so they had to be planning something.  Curious, he moved his horse forward, down the street.

Then suddenly, the shield was down, so quickly that it surprised him, and he could feel his partner, could sense him.  He wasn’t…  He was. 

:A very bold move, Aibou.  Quite unexpected.  But in order to use the puzzle, you have to leave yourself vulnerable, don’t you?:  He could feel Yugi trying to pull back, trying to put the shield back up, could feel the pure terror when he realised his mistake.  But Yami held him now, had complete control over his hikari’s mind.  He could have shut it down as easily as snapping his fingers.  But that would have been far too boring.

:Come to me, Aibou.  It’s time for you to come home.:  Yugi’s mind fought the command, squirming and squealing in his grasp like the mouse one of his cats had caught last night.

:Come, Yugi.:  There was power in names.  Using his name now heightened the command, enough so that the rebel was forced to come out from his hiding place, his mind still fighting, but weakening, losing.  It had been inevitable from the start, the Pharaoh reflected.  Smirking, the closest to a smile he had come in a long time, he watched as the smaller male moved to stand by his horse, beads of sweat standing out on his brow from the effort he was putting into the fight.

“No!”  Yami turned his head in time to see something streak past, the movement being the only thing saving him from a knife in the throat.  As it was, the metal hit the collar, denting the soft gold.

“Jou.”  He growled, glaring at the blond, who was currently being held by a pair of the soldiers.  True to form, he was still trying to fight his way free. 

“You do know the penalty for attacking your ruler, don’t you?”  Yami asked, violet eyes narrowed even more than usual.  Wolf shivered, but didn’t back down.

“You’re no ruler of mine.  You and your little club can rot in hell.”  The Pharaoh considered a moment, then suddenly smirked evilly.

“Tie him.  I just realised I haven’t gotten Seto a birthday present, yet.”

Wolf’s eyes widened, and he began struggling more.  Yami frowned, then turned suddenly to see Prince scrambling for the safety of the buildings, and, most likely, one of the dozens of bolt holes they had made around the city.  Growling, he wheeled the horse after him.

“Prince, watch out!”   Wolf yelled, before one of the soldiers gagged him with a handkerchief.  Prince didn’t waste time looking back, his legs pumping furiously.  But Yami quickly caught up to him, the horse stretching its head out to butt the boy hard between the shoulders with its nose.  Prince yelped as he fell, hitting the ground hard and knocking the wind out of him.

“Very foolish, Aibou.”  Yami stated, the horse standing still again.  Prince didn’t answer, too busy trying to breathe.

“Take small breaths.”  The Pharaoh advised again as two of the soldiers pulled Prince to his feet, being careful not to be too rough, tying his wrists tightly in front of him.  “Tie his ankles as well.  He will ride back with me.”

Prince struggled, but was still feeling dizzy, and was soon settled sideways in the saddle in front of his darker half, the man’s arm wrapped around his waist to keep him in place.

“It’s a long ride back to the palace, Aibou, and you’re probably tired.  Why don’t you rest?”  Yami suggested.  Prince ignored him, sitting up straight now and trying not to touch the dark ruler any more than possible.  Yami sighed, pulling him back.

“Sleep, Aibou.”  Prince blinked, open his mouth to answer and found himself yawning, his eyes suddenly nearly impossible to keep opened.  Bonelessly he fell back against the Pharaoh, a gleam of pleased amusement showing him where the source of the sudden exhaustion had come from.  Wait, why was the mindlink opened?  He had shielded when he had turned to run.

The thought was suddenly gone, as soon as it was arrived, and Prince fell asleep, too exhausted to think anymore.

******

The chamber was empty, not like it had been the last time he had been here, back when…  back when everything had gone wrong.

This was a dream, obviously.  Or was it?  The Pharaoh could just be taunting him.  No, if it were him, he’d be here.  He always had liked to gloat, in his own arrogant fashion.  So, why was he here?

A blinding flash suddenly lit up the room and Prince threw up an arm to shield his eyes.  It was gone, then, and six bodies lay on the floor in front of the tablet.  He shivered as his eyes settled on one, the first to sit up.  Him

Sometimes, something told him that it shouldn’t have happened this way.  That things should have been different.  But they had happened, the Spirit somehow bringing his body back with him from the Memory World, free to stand alone once again.  And, at first, it had seemed a blessing.  Prince watched as everyone congratulated the Spirit, while his own past self stood off to the side a little and watched as well, ignored, as usually happened.  But he hadn’t minded too much, Prince remembered.  He had just been glad that everything was over, had been ecstatic that his other half had his own body now.  They could do so much more, now.  Go out shopping for cards together, and play games, and all sorts of things.  Maybe he could even enrol in school.  He had been such a fool back then, not even noticing anything in the gaze that had met his.

Prince could see it, from where he stood, unseen by the shadows of the past.  Could see the glint of cold arrogance and the promise of cruelty, and he wondered how they could not.  But then, if this was his dream, perhaps his mind was adding the look in.  Perhaps, it really hadn’t been there.

He wanted to scream at them, to warn them of the danger, of the death that they had welcomed into their midst.  But it would do no good, he knew.  The past was the past, and it couldn’t be changed.

The scene changed, suddenly, and Prince felt again the fury, the betrayal.  It was Domino, but not peaceful and serene as he had always remembered.  Now, building burned, and people screamed as they fled in terror, abandoning their homes, and, in some cases, their families.  The black mist of the shadow realm flowed down the streets, killing anyone it touched.

They should be…  There.  Jou, Honda, Anzu.  Otogi, Malik and himself, standing and staring at the sky above, heedless of the chaos around them.  A roar sounded, making the buildings themselves shake, and the three gods appeared in the sky above them.

“Yugi, we’ve gotta go.” Prince turned his attention back at the statement, saw Jou dragging at Yugi, pulling him down the streets in the direction of the docks.  Yes, go.  Flee, because there was nothing else they could do.

They would regroup, on the mainland, and try to offer some sort of help to the rebels, to the armies who attempted to fight this new enemy, who fought back with shadows and monsters.  But it had been inevitable.  First one, then another country had fallen, until the entire continent was under the Pharaoh’s control.  Jou and he, and a recently rescued Ryou, had ended up in the US, finally, on one of the last boats to survive the crossing, barely.  What had happened to the rest of the group, to their other friends, he still didn’t know.

The States had held out, for a while, and the Pharaoh had even been pushed back, a bit, temporarily.  But, eventually, even they had fallen.  Canada was the only free country in the northern part now, and most thought that that was merely because it was winter there, and the extreme conditions were causing unforeseen problems for the invaders.

:What are you doing, Aibou?:  Prince blinked at the voice, frowning.  He had almost forgotten that he was asleep.

:Let go of the puzzle, Little One.:  The puzzle?  Was that why he was seeing these memories?  He looked down, seeing the chain hung around his neck, the puzzle clutched tightly in both hands, as if he intended to…  to what?  Break it?  Try to use its powers again?  Would either even work?

After a minute, he forced his hands to loosen, to let it fall.  It began to fade and he looked up again, noticing that the world around him was fading as well.  Shivering, he closed his eyes and, finally, fell into a dreamless sleep.

******

So, there. It’s probably worth mentioning that they’re in one of the warmer states, probably California or something. Dunno. I’m Canadian, so my US geography’s sub-par. So, anyway, tell me what you think, and remember, suggestions are quite welcome.



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