Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ As If! ❯ Duel Identity, Pt. 1 ( Chapter 27 )

[ T - Teen: Not suitable for readers under 13 ]

*Author's Note: Okay, I'd like to start off by thanking all my reviewers. I really appreciate your responses, guys! I can easily spend six or eight hours writing this thing, and although the three or four I spend doing the actual WRITING are fun, the time I spend typing, editing, HTMLing, and so forth are only made worthwhile by getting to cheer other people up a bit -- and by getting to be cheered up myself! So thanks again.

As for which the next chapter will be, I honestly don't know. I'd say the second part of Duel Identity, but somehow my VCR managed to tape the video perfectly without taping a scrap of audio. "So what?" you say. "If there's video, then you have the closed captioning, and so you can still write it!" That is, indeed, true, and I've started working on it using that. HOWEVER, it's slower, since I can't be looking at what I'm writing while listening to the lines, and more confusing, since they don't distinguish between whether it's Yami talking or Yugi. To make it even worse, my mother insisted on talking to me for, like, half of the episode ("I only have five pages left in my mystery book." "That's nice." "It was pretty good, actually. Of course, I like this author, but still..."), so I can't even use my memory to guess who was talking.

It will probably be the new episode, though, since I have so many ideas for it bouncing around in my head. Either way, I'll try to get a new chapter up on Friday. As school for me starts up on Wednesday, though, I wouldn't put great faith into my being able to spend extra time working out the Keith duel eps, so if they tape badly, too, they're probably getting put off until I can get a good copy.

Finally, I would like to thank everyone who sent me scenes. Please don't be offended if I don't include everything you send, or do some editing. Especially the latter, since I tend to be... no, AM, a perfectionist. I rewrite each of my own jokes a couple of times to fit in with the character's accents, altered personalities, and the flow of the fic, and I do the same thing with the jokes I get -- it's not that I'm making them funnier, it's that I'm making them blend in more. I really hope that nobody minds.

Now, reviews!

Yami's #1 fan - Funny! I'd use your idea for the Pegasus door, but I can't think of anything for it to actually SAY. However, you gave me a new idea for what to do with that scene, anyways (it's the first one, once the ep gets to that point).

Lizzie - Wow. Someone who reads the scene lines. Cool! And thanks!

Star - Um, no, sorry, I haven't been reading your fics. *sweatdrops* As my computer time is currently being limited, what with the start of school and all, I'm not really having much time for such things... but as soon as I do, I will read your stuff. Okay?

Tasaki - If Harpy's Featherduster isn't a one-shot card, then, well, SOMEONE'S got some explaining to do. But really, it should be. After all, with Shadow of Eyes and Harpy's Featherduster, pretty much all you have left is a frontal assault, and that would just suck. So let's hope it's one-shot, yeah?

As for Joey... Ummm... Well, you see, umm... first he... they... errr... Oh, I've got it! Tristan and Téa tossed down a life preserver, so Yugi stuck Joey on that, and THEN took off his belt... and all his buckles... and dropped them deep into the ocean... and had to dive to get them back... during which time Joey drowned... ...geez, poor Joey. The work of a couple determined Yami and millionaires couldn't bring him down, and he wound up drowning himself. That's SAD.

And with that oh-so morose note, let's get onto the fic!*

*Scene: Poor Yugi didn't get much sleep, what with all the running, shouting, and horrifying visions brought on by gorging on an empty stomach.*

Yugi: Grandpa told me to trust the ancient presence within the Millennium Puzzle, but how can I?

Yami: I've an idea. How about you go take a nice nap, and I promise that I'll wake you before I try to *coughactivelycough* kill anyone?

*Scene: Soft squishy hairness.*

Yugi: It was willing to do anything to beat Kaiba -- anything!

Yami: What can I say? Grief consoling was much different back in my day. "If you do that, I'll jump!" "Don't jump." "I will!" "Fine, I've got a country to run." I mean, come on!

*Scene: The gang walks in, without knocking.*

Joey: He-hey!

Téa: Hey, Yugi!

Yugi: What's up, Téa? How you doing, guys.

Téa: Aww, did you see that? I got a special greeting! *rushes over and hugs Yugi*

Yugi: *sweatdropping and looking rather distressed* What did I do?

*Scene: Right after the beauty that was the tones of voice of Yugi's greeting.*

Téa: Aren't you ready yet? You're gonna be late.

Joey: And if you're late, they'll disqualify you right out of the tournament!

Yugi: I love how you sounded so cheerful at that thought, Jono...

*Scene: Yami takes over and swings on his cape, thus proving that you CAN be jumping up and down squealing at the cuteness 45 seconds into a show.*

Téa: *sniffs and wrinkles her nose* Yuck. I wish they'd let us go get washed off somewhere. Yucko!

*Scene: Yami goes to put his jacket on, but fails. By Lizzie.*

Yami: Okay, where's Pegasus and what sort of sick joke is he trying to play now?!

Yugi: Yami, calm down! At least he didn't steal your buckles, right? And besides, couldn't you just magically replace the sleeves?

Yami: Oh. *pauses* Yeah. *poofs them into existence* Ha! Pegasus thinks he's so smart, but I'll show him! *stalks off proudly*

*The cheerleaders shake their heads, sweatdropping.*

*Scene: Same thing, this time by PDM.*

Yami: You know, if you all weren't so clueless, this spirit-dwelling-in-another-body and clothes-changing deal might actually be hard to pull off.

Cheerleaders: Er... what?

*Yami sighs.*

*Scene: Same thing AGAIN, written/inspired by PDM.*

Yugi: What is it about my clothes that you don't like?

Yami: You mean, aside from the discomfort, lack of practicality, and complete lack of coolness?

Yugi: Uhhh... yeah.

Yami: *shrugs* Nothing, really.

*Scene: They go off their separate ways.*

Mai: Well, look who's finally awake.

Yami: Mai.

Mai: *blinks* Well, yes, but that wasn't my point...

*Scene: Anybody realize that Joey was the only one who slept at all?*

Mai: Sleep well? I was starting to wonder if you would even show up.

Yugi: Sorry about that. I was busy listening to figments of my imagination. I'm beginning to think that that eyeball soup was drugged...

*Scene: The wingéd horse on the door starts glowing.*

Golden Pegasus: Attention, attention. The duel champion playoffs are about to begin. All finalists will now enter the arena.

*Everyone walks out, onto an empty walkway.*

Mai: Huh?

Joey: What the...?

Yugi: *sweatdrops* Guess that's what you get for listening to a door, huh?

*Scene: Same.*

Golden Pegasus, AKA Croquet: All finalists will now enter the arena.

Mai: *as they walk out* Easy for you to say, my little glowing pony, but how are we supposed to get to the other side of the arena?

Yami: *distastefully* Climb?

Bakura: Jump?

Tristan: Huh? What good would that do?

Bakura: Beats me, but there's always a hope...

*Scene: The Pegasian door slides open.*

Bakura: There they come!

Tristan: I have to hope that that would sound a lot less dorky if there were a big crowd here...

Téa: Hey, yeah. How come this isn't being televised or anything? I mean, a huge tournament like this?

Bakura: *shrugs* They're idiots?

Téa: I guess...

*Scene: Enter Pegasus Number Two, with a nice, long speech.*

Tristan: *oozing sarcasm* Challenge you? Well, isn't that special. And what does the playoff winner get for defeating you in the final duel?

Yami: What, you mean we might actually get something? I never even thought of that!

*Scene: Nice dialogue through here. Realistic timing.*

Pegasus: Surely any duelist who has come this far must realize that the title and not the money is the real prize. Is that not so?

Bandit Keith: You're a regular comedian.

Joey: *over Keith* Listen, you, the money's all I need, for my sister's operation.

Pegasus: *over Joey* Yes, yes, I'm sure some of you have more riding on this tournament than others, hmm, Yugi?

Yami: Huh? What? Sorry, I was daydreaming about all the nasty things I'm going to do to you once this is all over...

*Scene: Yami does his Shadow Realm effect.*

Yami: *thinking* Pegasus! You've got my Grandpa's soul, and Mokuba, and even Seto Kaiba captive, but I'll find a way to defeat you no matter what!

Pegasus: *responds in kind* Yes, yes, I know I do. Really, what is it with you and stating the obvious, mm?

*Scene: Pegasus is as fond of holograms as Kaiba is.*

Croquet: The first duel will now begin. Mai Valentine versus Yugi Moto.

Yugi: Wha? Hey, how come that's your picture up there, not mine?

Yami: *shrugs* You take my Puzzle off, and what I do becomes your problem, not mine.

*Scene: The duelists take their places.*

Yugi: No matter what happens, I've got to keep the spirit from my Millennium Puzzle under control. I can't risk him hurting Mai.

Yami: Reduced to a rabid dog...

*Scene: Joey, with an amount of energy apparently obscene to the cheerleaders, joins his fellows on the ledge.*

Tristan: *looking increasingly like Kaiba* Joey?

Bakura: What's with you, Joey?

Joey: Hey, I was just born this way! Ain't my fault.

*Scene: Lots of repetition.*

Yugi: If Pegasus can steal souls with his Millennium Item, who knows what the Spirit of the Puzzle might do to win against Mai?

Yami: How about the same thing it always does? As in, absolutely nothing besides a few luck spells? And I was the one that said I wanted an honorable duel!!

*Scene: During Mai's narration of her own life, for some reason encompassing nothing but what we already saw.*

Mai: *thinking* I promised Yugi an honorable duel, and that's just what I'm gonna give him. But if he thinks that means I'm not going to battle all out, he's dreaming. *pauses to watch Yami draw all his cards at once and other parlor tricks* ...although I must say, his distractions are really just as bad as mine.

*Scene: More thinking.*

Mai: I promised him an honorable duel, not an easy one.

Yami: In fact, part of the definition of "honorable" is trying your hardest.

Yugi: *drolly* Convenient.

*Scene: Yami, for no readily apparent reason, laughs.*

Yami: If you're playing honorably, you can't try your psychic act on me the way you did on Joey.

Mai: Uh-uh, no tricks this time, Yugi. And even so, that trick only works when you don't know how I'm doing it. Plus, I saw your duel with Panik. There are some games you just don't start.

*Scene: These guys think an awful lot, don't they?*

Yugi: You know, I believe her. Mai's really come a long way.

Yami: BY RE?! You're trusting her before me?! *groans* I've really got to find myself a better host...

*Scene: Mai starts off with a monster and a trap.*

Joey: Nothin' to worry about. Yugi knows what's comin', Téa. He's seen Mai's Harpy Lady in action, like, a billion times already.

Téa: Oh, yes, one brief duel really tells you all that you need to know.

*Scene: Although, really, you HAVE to hear what they're thinking to understand.*

Yugi: *drawing* I'd better finish this fast. The quicker I defeat Mai, the less chance for interference by the spirit inside my Millennium Puzzle.

Yami: I'm still looking for a sensible explanation as to why you put me back on, then. Really, you aren't such great company that I couldn't stand to be away for a few more hours.

*Scene: Yami, or should I say Yugi, plays Gaia.*

Mai: Your Gaia ran smack into my Mirror Wall.

Tristan: *sighs* Trust a girl to always have a mirror around...

*Scene: An explanation of Mirror Wall.*

Mai: As soon as your monster attacks, the Mirror Wall rose up to protect my Harpy Lady. Your Fierce Knight met an equal attack from its own reflection, draining half its points.

Téa: What? You can do that? I thought a monster was either destroyed or it wasn't.

Bakura: No, see, what happens is that there are actually two Gaias on the field -- the real one and the mirror one. One is indeed destroyed by the attack, and once the points settle back out again, there's only half of the original amount of points left for each Gaia. BUT, since the Mirror Gaia is a fake, it disappears as soon as Mirror Wall is no longer in use, so Yugi can't use it and its points vanish!

Téa: o.o;; If you say so...

*Scene: An alternate look, provided by PDM.*

Téa: How is anyone supposed to know what a magic or trap card does if there's only a picture of it and that little symbol on the bottom?

Joey: Geez, if I knew that, don't you think I'd be a better duelist?!

*Scene: Mai adds Cyber Shield, confirming its golden appearance.*

Mai: *laughs* I'm amazed you fell for that trap, Yugi! Don't tell me you're losing your edge in a championship game.

Yami: Ha!

Joey: *sweatdrops* So it turns out that it really does sound just as lame no matter who says it.

*Scene: Yami draws Summoned Skull.*

Yugi: If I can just keep drawing powerful cards like him, this match will be over quick, and I can stop worrying about the spirit of the Millennium Puzzle.

Yami: If Bakura heard you say that, he'd probably lynch you, you know.

*Scene: Monster and trap from Yugi, against the Mirror Wall.*

Yami: Most of the trap cards I've encountered before disappear from the field once they've been sprung, so your permanent trap took me by surprise.

Mai: Come now, making excuses is never a good show of force.

*Scene: Everyone's a critic.*

Mai: Let's face it, you're going to have to bring your game up a few notches just to keep me interested, Yugi!

Bakura: Mai's right, Yugi's game seems off.

Joey: His strategy is whack, man. He can't just attack! Why isn't he thinking through his moves, like he's always telling me ?

Téa: Oh, Yugi, what are you thinking?

Tristan: Hey, cut the kid some slack! He's going into his first major tournament on no sleep! Of course he's a little frazzled!

*Tristan gets whapped by the members of the Association of Freakily Perceptive Un-Logic.*

*Scene: Yami is growling an awful lot through here. I almost feel sorry for the poor guy.*

Mai: The only reason I duel, Yugi, (aside from the island trips, the clothes, the cars, the prize money) is the thrilling of trouncing a worthy opponent.

Tristan: Huh? I thought she said it was bringing hotshots down to size.

Joey: Beats me. Her words weren't what I was focusin' on.

*Joey gets a perfunctory whack.*

*Scene: A few quasi-taunts later.*

Yami: You're questioning my fighting spirit as well?

Mai: Bingo!

Yami: *mentally* Oh, pleeaaaasse, may I kill her? Just this once? I won't ask for anything ever again, I promise!

Yugi: *disgusted* No!

*Scene: Mai sticks with her "Yugi is upset about losing" theory, which is understandable since everyone is too afraid of the men in white to actually explain what's going on.*

Mai: I'm your opponent now, and I want to beat someone battling at his best, not some duelist who acts like he's afraid of his own shadow.

Téa: For someone who clearly knows so little, Mai is sure good at subtly powerful metaphors.

*Scene: Finally, those four little words we've all been waiting to hear...*

Yami: You don't understand! It's not about Kaiba.

Téa: Wait a minute. Isn't it?

Bakura: Yeah. Specifically, about killing Kaiba.

*Scene: Pegasus somehow manages to contain his desire to cackle maniacally.*

Pegasus: *thinking* For some reason, you're afraid to fully tap the incredible powers of your Millennium Puzzle, a fear I plan to cure you of when I make your Puzzle mine!

Yugi: *listening in with his Yami* Actually, wouldn't that just prove my point that it shouldn't be used?

Yami: *to self* "It." Bah.

*Scene: Mai finishes up her little speech.*

Mai: You ready to duel for real now? Are you gonna put your heart in it?

Yami: Heh. Believe me, my aibou is far more dense than to listen to the likes of you.

*Scene: The cheerleaders are not happy with this.*

Téa: *thinking* I don't think she's trying to psyche Yugi out. I think she's trying to help him out, like she did last time. In her own weird way, Mai's just trying to help Yugi. But hasn't she figured out yet that friendship rants are the only thing that works with people like us?

*Scene: More of that.*

Téa: *thinking* She's been dreaming of this rematch, but she wants to face him at his best, not like this.

Yami: *mentally* "Rematch?" This is our first duel.

Téa: *gasps and blushes* Oh! Hi, Yami! Um, what are you doing here?

Yami: *mental shrug* It's not like I've got anything else to do.

*Scene: Yami continues making blustery threats and promises.*

Mai: *thinking* I want to believe him. Winning won't mean as much if he's not at the top of his game, but he just seems so distracted.

*Yami plucks at the sleeves of his jacket.*

Yami: I can't see how you can wear this thing, Yugi. It's so uncomfortable! *fidgets*

*Scene: Summoned Skull and Feral Imp in Defense.*

Mai: Not much else you can do, is there, Yugi, since I've left you no way to attack.

Tristan: Ah, yes. The time honored pacifist theory towards victory.

*Scene: After Harpy Lady Rose-Whipped the Feral Imp into oblivion with waaay too complex a graphic for a hologram.*

Mai: That's nothing, Yugi. Stick around. The fun's just beginning.

Yami: *thoroughly bored by now* You should like a TV commercial, you know.

*The cheerleaders snicker.*

*Scene: Mai plays.*

Mai: Allow me to introduce the ever-faithful servant of Harpy Lady!

Joey: I like how her "faithful servant" is all chained up.

*Scene: Yugi's distracted enough that he's not even bothering to play anymore.*

Yami: What is that?

Mai: Harpy's oh-so-cuddly Pet Dragon. Sweet as a kitten, isn't he? Well, sweet as a fire-breathing kitty can be.

Bakura: *leans over the railing, waving a fistful of bills* I'll pay you twenty dollars if you hug it!

*Scene: Bye-bye, Summoned Skull.*

Mai: Why are you playing so poorly, Yugi? I've got you on the ropes, and you're barely putting up a fight.

Yami: What, haven't you been watching me? That's always how I duel when I'm on the ropes. If I'm losing, I need the adrenaline of losing imminently to draw the card I need. Pay attention, here!

*Scene: Mai is almost a nice person, isn't she?*

Mai: You know, I remember Joey once asked me an important question about why I duel. The answer I gave him was frivolous, but honest. Can you answer the question, Yugi?

Yami: *all stone* I'm dueling for my grandfather, Mai.

Joey: Hey, he's got a heck of a lot better answer than you did, Mai! Listen, me and Yugi aren't just dueling for ourselves, you know.

Mai: That's what you say, but tell me, could it be that your motives aren't entirely unselfish?

Téa: Okay, that is REALLY the sort of accusation you shouldn't make without having something to back it up.

*Scene: Mockery time.*

Joey: *hugging himself* I'm gorgeous! I'm such a great duelist! I love me! How's that?

Téa: Isn't that what you're always doing?

*Anime fall.*

*Scene: Don't watch this in slow-mo. It would hurt.*

Mai: Joey, can't you see I'm trying to be serious?

Joey: I can see you're trying to seriously mess with Yugi's head! *imitates an Irish drinking song, without the ale* And you're making him and me and everybody crazy and dizzy and... *the inevitable happens*

Bakura: *covers eyes* Is he dead yet? Oh, it's so beautiful, I can't watch...!

*Scene: Sadly, Joey is saved from certain death by Tristan and Téa.*

Téa: *shrieking* Will you control yourself?!

Joey: *trying to be cool* Doesn't seem like I need to, with you guys around.

*Scene: Pity we couldn't see Yami or Pegasus's faces to see whether they were as undisturbed as Mai.*

Mai: *thinking* You're wrong, Joey. I'm not trying to confuse Yugi, and you're off-kilter enough without any help from me.

Yami: Amen to that!

*Scene: Mai is less of a ditz than she pretends, and can actually keep her concentration.*

Mai: There's only so much I can do. I may admire Yugi, but I'm still determined to win this duel.

Yugi: *stunned* "Admire?" That's a new one...

Yami: *light mental whap* That's because it's about me, aibou.

*Scene: Yugi finally remembers his strategy of using traps.*

Yami: I'll lay one card face down, and then throw Dark Magician in Defense Mode!

Mai: You know it would be a lot more surprising when you used that trap if you sounded a little less happy about playing something in Defense.

Joey: Oh, shut up...

*Scene: With Gaia, the Summoned Skull, the Feral Imp, the Spellbinding Circle, AND the Dark Magician gone, Yugi's stock set of cards is down to the Horn of the Unicorn with nothing to play it on.*

Mai: You don't even have your favorite card, the Dark Magician, left. What are you gonna do now?

Joey: Yeah, what is Yugi gonna do now?

Téa: Yugi, you can still turn this around. I know you can!

Joey: Uh, yeah, it only looks hopeless.

Yami: *sarcastic* I just love you guys, you know that?

*Scene: Desperate pleading.*

Yami: Yugi, let me help you! If you continue to hold me back, everybody loses!

Yugi: Nice job, playing to my guilt like that.

Yami: Thanks. I try.