((OOC: This gets the boys on the train and under way. It's also meant to start an idea I have on how their Puzzle(s) and Deck(s) will operate - as well as introduce an idea that people may or may not want to play with. More at the end.))
" . . . now what?" Yuugi mused sullenly.
"If we were in Egypt, I might be able to answer that, Aibou," Yami murmured, then shrugged, "but to be bluntly honest, I've been dead for over three millennia and - wh-what . . . ?" Movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention - movement and a sensation of threat, of evil.
Yuugi had not sensed it yet, his attention instead on something very important that was missing from his body. "Yami, the Puzzle! It's gone!!" Sure, his soul self wore a copy just as Yami had always appeared to when he manifested outside of Yuugi's heart but -
"Never mind that, Aibou. Behind me!" Yami grabbed his arm, backpedaling from the deep shadows under the bridge as blood-red eyes peered balefully from the depths, glowing some six feet off the ground. The stench of death - old death - filled the air.
Without warning, it leaped - a nightmarish cross between a wolf and a reptile of some kind. Yami shoved Yugi off his feet one way even as he dove the other, tucking into a tumble that cut short with the same tug-on-harness feeling he had gotten earlier. "Blood of Osiris!" he swore as the creature turned his way. He rolled under the monster's belly to reunite with Yuugi, who had tripped over his mortal body.
Yuugi managed to regain his feet as Yami backed into him again. He gasped, watching in astonishment as Yami pulled from the Deck box on his hip, slapping the whole Deck into Yuugi's hands before reclaiming the top five cards. "Think that will actually work!?" They had speculated more than once about whether or not they could call upon the cards outside of a Duel the way Honda told them he saw Yami no Bakura do once on Duelist Kingdom Island, but they had never actually tried it.
Yami shook his head with a grim "It had better."
The creature had also backed a step, reassessing its prey. Yuugi wondered if it sensed their power. He could feel it, at any rate, just as he always could when he or Yami touched the cards or when Yami accessed the Shadow powers of the Millennium Puzzle. This might actually work. Yes - in fact, he was sure of it.
But something did not feel quite right.
Yami smirked to himself. The Heart of the Cards had come through once more. He whipped out one card from the rest, turning it face-forward to the creature as it lunged with a snarl. "Reveal spell card: Mirror Force!!"
Yuugi danced back in horror as Yami collapsed under the beast's massive paw, claws sinking through his chest to the sheaths. No blood, the rational portion of his mind noted, even as the rest of him trembled with reaction.
No pain, either, Yami grunted silently, having picked up his partner's thoughts, but he was still trapped by its weight and its weapons. "Get off him! Let him go!!" he heard Yuugi bark as his partner launched himself at the nightmare beast.
Yuugi caught its shoulder, grabbing fistfuls of fur. To his horror, both tufts came away in his hands on patches of rotting flesh, and he dropped to the ground with an ooof!!
The beast shifted, snapping at Yuugi, who could not back away, feeling a bracing around his torso he could not explain. What the - ? No time for that! he admonished himself, ducking a swipe of dagger-claws. He tumbled in Yami's direction as the creature sat back on its haunches, trying to flatten him to the pavement under one huge paw.
Yami crab-crawled back and sideways as the creature turned on Yuugi, lifting its foot in the process, the claws sliding free from his chest, bloodless, leaving no marks in their wake. Never mind that now! In spite of himself, he paused, eyes scanning the ground for his dropped handcards, but they were nowhere to be seen. No . . . Then his arms were full of Yuugi as his partner rolled into him from a barely-successful dodge.
"Any other ideas?" Yuugi gasped, breathless with terror.
Yami gazed up at the hate-filled eyes glaring down on them, maw dripping saliva that hit the pavement at their feet with an ominous hiss. He shuddered in fear. "Only one, Aibou - RUN!!!"
They scrambled to their feet, throwing themselves across the sidewalk and down a narrow alley, aiming to prevent the creature from being able to follow them. It proved more agile than they had hoped. They turned a corner only to skid to a stop with twin moans of dismay. "Great! Of course," Yami huffed. "Dead end."
"Either we're sharing a nightmare - not the first time," Yuugi agreed with a dark chuckle of sarcasm, "or we've found ourselves in a really bad horror film."
"I'll take either of those over reality at this point." Yuugi hugging his side, Yami pressed his back to the wall, creeping along back to the corner. He just started to peer around but jumped in surprise at a cry of "Gah!!" from his partner. He whipped around.
Yuugi gaped in disbelief at the weathered old man in a conductor's uniform who had just tapped his shoulder. "Well?" the old man groused at them. "Are you coming or not?"
Yuugi shook his head in bewilderment, noting a massive blue steam engine where the deadend had just been. "C-coming? Coming where?"
Yami took a moment to glance around the corner. "Aibou, it's gone. ACK!!" he protested as the conductor took them each by the scruff of his jacket collar. "You! Unhand us!"
"Come on, boys. We ain't got all night. All aboard!" He shoved them towards the open door of a train car, snatching something from each one's pocket.
"Hey!" Yuugi sputtered, relenting when he realized it wasn't one of Yami's cards, which he had stowed in that same pocket. In fact, it looked like a train ticket. What in the world - ? He climbed the stairs to the interior out of obedient reflex, Yami a step behind.
"Now that you're on, you can't go back." The conductor shut the door even as Yami reacted, slamming into it. The whistle of the train sounded, shrill and echoing in the night air.
"No! Open this door!!" Yami fell against the wall as the train lurched into motion, Yuugi stumbling into his back. No matter how hard he pulled, the door would not budge.
"Maybe . . . maybe we're supposed to be on this train," Yuugi offered. "Come on. Let's go ask someone where this thing's headed." With a sigh, Yami relented and followed.
They passed people of all ages and descriptions, but no one would meet their eyes. Finally, in a car near the very back, they found some empty seats, settling in for the journey. "I think I've heard that some people believe you take a train to your final destination after you die," Yuugi mused. "Of course, it depends on who you ask. There are so many versions of Heaven, Hell, and all. Oh, Yami . . . your Deck." He pulled the stack of cards from his jacket pocket, noting the quiet grief in his partner's eyes as they were accepted back by their owner. "I'm sorry about the ones we had to leave behind."
"Mirror Force, Curse of Dragon, Alpha the Magnet Warrior, Swords of Revealing Light . . . and Dark Magician," Yami intoned, his voice flat. Yuugi gazed back, his eyes wide with stricken disbelief. There were no words. Any loss was a grievous one, but to have lost Dark Magician . . .
Yami gasped in shock, his eyes having finally fallen to the cards in his hand. Dark Magician gazed up at him from the top card. He shuffled quickly through the rest of the Deck, finding to his relief and bewilderment that they were all present.
"How - ??"
He had one speculation but, "I don't know, Aibou," Yami admitted with a shrug. He straightened the cards carefully, sliding them back into his hip case, then turned to gaze out the black windows as vague shapes of darkness flitted by.
((I thought adding a possibility for some danger and conflict might be interesting, that there are other supernatural forces in the afterlife that could come by on occasion to threaten and make life . . . erm, loosely speaking, interesting for the characters. If no one else wants to go with it, that's fine, too. But it was a thought. ^__^))