Seriously, how could Seth have known to send me looking for these two? Yes, they appeared in the dream world and could be associates of Zork's, but how could he know that? It's not like he was in the dream world. Only a shadow of him was, my memory of him; somehow, I missed pulling his soul in when I was grabbing everyone else's, or so people have been telling me.
The dream world, whatever it was, it's still really confusing to me. I'm starting to suspect it's always going to confuse me. I mean, it feels like the information is there, but I can't get to it -- and it's frustrating beyond belief. Something a thief can't get to? In his own mind? What a terrible thought. And it's my own mind.
Sometimes, day to day or even minute to minute, I can't remember which version of myself I'm supposed to be. Am I Bakura the thief and (for lack of a better term) medium, or am I Bakura the tomb robber and Spirit of the Sennen Ring? I can't always tell -- or rather, I forget from time to time. I catch myself thinking about myself as the Spirit of the Ring instead of the thief, or of Ryou as yadonushi and not 'little brother,' or of Yami as my enemy the Pharaoh and not the prick I happen to love.
It's like being two different people at the same time; only one of them isn't real. The trick is in knowing which one is the real one. I'm relatively certain it's the one where I'm a thief. I hope so. That's the one I'm in right now. It's the one that feels more correct than the other. As annoying as it can be, I certainly like this one better.
And speaking of annoying, Yami doesn't look so good. He's up and pacing, which actually says a lot, I do believe. He paces when he's worried or annoyed or anything like that; I think this qualifies as cause for either one of those.
"So could it be possible? What do you think?" he finally slows down long enough to ask.
For a second or so, I manage to completely blank out on what he's talking about. Could what be possible? What do I think about what? There's this brief moment of utter panic as I flounder, and then it all comes back to me: what we were talking about and what I'm supposed to have an opinion about.
"Is it possible? Maybe. Who knows? I don't know anything about that demon."
"It was living in your head, as you said, but you don't know anything about it?" he demands, and I can feel myself starting to bristle up like I'm the damn cat and, yeah, there might be a growl forming -- but then he backs right back down. "I didn't mean that like it sounded."
"Good." And that came out a bit bitchy on my part. I definitely might be spending too much time connected to Treeboy. "It's not like I had a two-way radio to the thing. I picked up a little here and there, and that was about it. Mostly, it just took from me and gave nothing back. So no, I'm not going to be a good source of information on the demon."
"I almost hesitate to ask, but do you know anyone who might know anything about it?"
Mana? No, she's low enough on the scale that her brother doesn't -- didn't -- tell her much of anything. Mom? There's no way I'm getting her or Shizuka-pixie involved in all of this. I couldn't live with myself if anything happened to either of them. I know witches in Tokyo, but I suspect after what happened with said demon, I'm persona non grata in those circles back there more than likely. So...
"Sorry. The only person I knew who could have found out anything about the demon, at least through magical means, was Mahaado. And since he got sacrificed to raise the one cemetery in Domino stuffed to the brim with corpses, yeah, I'm thinking I'm not gonna get a lot out of him."
"So we have nothing, no way at all of finding out, if it's possible that those two are connected to Zork." He might have said it as a question, but it definitely sounded a lot more like a statement. Either way, I nod briefly. "Then I guess we'll have to track them down the old fashioned way."
We have an old fashioned way of tracking people down? Why don't people tell me these things?
"So the old fashioned way of dealing with tracking people down is to hit the street and walk around until we spot them," I have to muse aloud. "It lacks something in elegance, but I guess it works."
"I didn't hear any better ideas coming out of you."
"So we're just going to walk around until we see them? Is that the plan?"
"Got a problem with it?"
For all the snipping we're doing, we're both actually grinning like loons. It actually feels really good to be out and working again. I might not be out stealing stuff, my profession of preference, but looking into things, that could work too. It may not be ideal, but it could work. And working with Yami again? Well, that's a bonus.
I snicker loudly. "Not a bit. Saves me having to call in the reinforcements."
"Kaiba's reinforcements? Or do you have some of your own now?"
Oh yeah, Kaiba is definitely going to be a sticking point between the two of us for a while yet. There's no hashing it out right now, though, and definitely not here. The west side of Domino isn't the place to travel lightly, especially not at night. There are only a few hours of darkness left, but the entire neighborhood is alive... in a matter of speaking.
"Yeah, let me whip those flying monkeys out of my ass and get them to looking so we can go home and have mad, mad sex. Let me get right on that." I have to roll my eyes; it's impossible to resist. "I meant ghosts, Pharaoh."
For half a second, Yami freezes, falling a step behind me. Before I can even stop to ask what's wrong, though, he's moving again. "Please don't call me that anymore, Kura. Not after-- Just, please, find something else to call me. Please."
And in the space of one breath, I just heard the word 'please' about three times more than I had ever heard it from Yami before tonight. As amazing as that was, the tone of his voice -- both pained and worried -- was even more odd.
This one is my fault too. Just like with Malik and Marik, it's my fault. Maybe it's not as directly my fault as the Ishtars, but it's not too far off. I'm the one who nicknamed Yami 'Pharaoh,' after all, giving Zork the idea to use him in that role in the dream world. Why couldn't I have given him a nice normal nickname?
Because it's me, of course. I know me. I don't do a lot of things that might be considered 'normal.'
And I probably shouldn't still feel nervous actually thinking the demon's name anymore, should I? It can't be summoned again, right? I mean, Yami killed the hell out of it in the dream world. That should count for something, right? It should be gone.
"Okay," I agree quietly, just loud enough to be heard over the music pouring out of the clubs on the other side of the street. "I'll just come up with something else."
And the silence that comes after that is not at all awkward, no. Why would anyone think that? Oh yeah, could it be because we're both walking just a few too many steps apart from each other and look like we both would rather be anywhere than with each other? Because I'm thinking that might be it.
And the west side of Domino really isn't the place for that. We're only here because, after taking a very long time studying the photos Seth gave me of the pair, we realized almost all the images were taken on the west side. Clearly, that's the area of town they're most interested in, so it stands the most chance that that's where we're going to find them. Here's hoping at least.
"What's Jounouchi doing here?"
My gaze shoots quickly away from the people across the street I was examining, just in case one of them might be one of our pair, and instead it turns ahead of us -- and yeah, that's definitely Jounouchi-kitty. Malik and Marik are there too, but I'm guessing Yami has yet to notice that there are now two Ishtars in two bodies. I can't wait to see the look on his face when he realizes.
Kitty's stalking down the street towards us, the Ishtars and a couple of the cats trailing behind him. The second he's in human hearing range, he in turn demands, "What are you two doing down here?"
One of these days, I'm going to have to remind Kitty to keep the alpha part of him a bit more in check. I don't need a babysitter. I have enough to deal with as it is, with Ryou and Kaiba and Yami, without having to deal with Kitty worrying over me too. Don't get me wrong. It's nice and that, having someone worry over my well-being, but an overprotective housecat is pretty low on the scale of things I need right now.
"Looking into something Seth gave Kura," Yami answers smoothly before I barely have a chance to begin formulating a response. Fine, I can roll with that.
"Where are you guys headed?" I ask instead.
"On a mission to kick ass."
And it looks like the Ishtar twins are having a lot of fun being in separate bodies already. In fact, their voices are even slightly different. It's still not too hard to tell the difference between the two of them: Malik is the one whose hair is laying in a semblance of flat, while Marik's hair is all over the place, like he stuck his finger in a light socket or something. Their ways of speaking haven't changed either: Marik is very 'keep it short, stupid,' while Malik seems like it is a biological imperative to ramble on and on.
And yeah, I think Yami just realized they're not playing revolving doors and are instead standing next to one another. It's a little disappointing, though, that all the reaction I get is his eyes widening slightly. I guess he's holding on to his reaction until the nutty duo... err, trio?... are out of sight (and presumably hearing) distance. Damn.
Jounouchi-kitty is sighing and shaking his head. No sympathy here, though. You wanted them separate, kitty. "I just got word that Hirutani is in Tokyo and is trying to start up... recruiting again. We're going to go take care of that."
Permanently too, by the sound of that.
"Good luck with that, then, Kitty."
He nods in response to me and turns to walk away with a nonchalant "Later, Dorobou" tossed over his shoulder.
And I'm going to ignore that weird feeling in my gut. I'm going to ignore it because I'm not the psychic in this family. That's Ryou, after all, not me. I don't care if I was kinda in his head the entire time we were in the dream world; he's still the psychic, not me. Ahh, screw it.
16 May 2011
Wow, I was starting to think I was never going to get through this. After much delay, I am back writing.
It's been a bit of a bad time for me since I last showed up on here. Between a horrible bout of depression-fueled writers block, the need to acquire a restraining order (a tale that is surely fic-worthy, just as soon as I figure out how to make it seem completely realistic), and finally finishing my graduate program (hurray, I now have a degree in Publishing and Editing!), writing has been a wee bit difficult.
I have a goal at the moment. I want to try to finish Cyber Fake by the end of May or early June. After that, it's on to Betrueger, so that I'll be set to go for JulNoWriMo 2011... not that I know what I'm working on yet. I do have a tentative title, though, for what it's worth: "How To Confront The Alleged Jewel Swindler Who Potentially Kidnapped Your Intended And Stole Your Third Best Pair of Knickers".
Don't ask. I don't even know.
Thanks for sticking with me and for all the reviews and favorites in the interim!