Altered States 2/?
Author: Zoicyte aka Johnnyjosh
Spoilers: Dartz Saga.
Disclaimer: I don’t own YGO or its characters, and am making no money from this.
Warnings and Notes: Yaoi, lemon, language. OOC, TWT, AU, General Weirdness. This idea came from a piece of fanart I saw on the web, and was further developed thanks to some RP with my pal Kyrre.
Summary: Joey and Seto find themselves the victims of a little wild magic in the midst of an accident, and both of them go through quite a few...changes, both inside and out.
“ ” Speaking
* * Thoughts
~~oOo~~ Change of scene or POV
Amethyst eyes widened as Yugi ran, a familiar voice crying out in pain spurring him on, making his heart clench in fear. “Joey! Hold on, we’re coming!” He paused, throwing an arm up in front of his eyes as two bright points of light appeared where Kaiba and Joey had been standing, then rapidly expanded to flood the entire room. Another scream, this one from Kaiba, sent Yugi running again, heedless of his own safety as he tried to reach his friends.
“Yugi, stop!” Tea cried, grabbing the smaller teen by the arm as he neared the still-smoking arena.
“I have to help Joey and Kaiba,” Yugi struggled as Duke joined in, grabbing his other arm and pulling him back.
“You’re not going to be much help to anyone if you get sliced to ribbons by flying glass, or burned by those fires,” the green-eyed brunette said quietly, then winced as a few more small pops were heard, more broken glass shooting into the air.
“Duke’s right, Yugi,” Tristan said, then grunted as Mokuba elbowed him and tried to get free. “Neither will you, so just calm down, as soon as the fires are out, we’ll be able to help your brother, and Joey,” he glared down at the struggling boy.
“Seto!” Mokuba shouted, tears still running down his pale face as he stared, wide-eyed, at what was left of his brother’s new arena.
Shards of broken glass littered the floor all around it, the twisted remains of what had once been a holographic projector laying over to their right, tendrils of smoke still curling up into the air from the misshapen, partially melted metal. The front of the two dueling platforms Joey and Seto had been standing on were scorched black, but they seemed to be the only parts of the arena that had remained intact. The rest of the arena surface consisted of more jagged, broken glass, scorched and twisted metal frames, and beneath it all the ruined remnants of the electronic components that had once powered the arena.
“It’s…completely destroyed,” Duke said quietly. He shook his head, then sighed as he stepped forward to take a fire extinguisher from one of the injured employees so the man could seek medical attention. “I think the worst of it is over, let’s take care of those fires, and get Seto and Joey out of there.”
“Joey!” Tristan cried, letting go of Mokuba as he too grabbed an extinguisher, ready to help, Yugi and Tea not far behind.
One of Kaiba’s employees, Roland, was already making his way up to the edge of the ruined arena as a doctor and four medical staff waited below, holding two stretchers. “Mr. Kaiba?” he called, looking around worriedly for his boss. “He’s…gone,” the man said, as two security guards joined him, putting out a few small fires.
“Gone? What do you mean, gone?” Mokuba shouted, racing up the stairs to stand on the platform his brother had used for the duel, gasping as he looked down at the ruined arena. Sure enough, there was no sign of Kaiba, or Joey.
“Yugi, Tristan, be careful!” Tea watched as the others carefully lowered themselves down stand amid the wreckage, then started a thorough search for the two missing teens.
“We have to find them, and the puzzle too,” Yugi said worriedly, gingerly moving aside a piece of metal, wincing, as it was still quite warm.
“Here, take this,” Duke handed her an extinguisher. “Let’s make their job a little easier, shall we?” He gave her a slight smile, before they joined the security guards in putting out the few remaining fires.
Mokuba tried to climb down to join the search for his brother, only to be stopped by Roland, who insisted the younger Kaiba brother watch the search from a slightly safer vantage point.
“I’m sorry, but Mr. Kaiba would have my head on a platter if I allowed you to put yourself in danger, please, stay off the arena, for your own safety!” Roland pleaded with the raven-haired boy.
Mokuba looked down, a few more tears falling from his eyes, then he blinked as something caught his eye. “What’s this,” he leaned down and picked up a duel monsters card. “Hey, you guys, look at this!” He brushed past Roland, carefully picking his way down to hand the card to Yugi.
“What… Hey! It’s one of Kaiba’s Blue Eyes White Dragon cards, but…the picture’s gone,” Yugi murmured, brushing his thumb over the blank spot where the dragon should have been.
“Yugi, there’s the puzzle!” Tea pointed, as a flash of gold caught her eye.
The spiky-haired teen gave a cry of relief, moving toward the glint of gold, reaching down gingerly around a few more thick shards of glass and plucking out the puzzle, smiling as he slipped it around his neck. *Pharaoh, are you all right?*
*Yes, are you and Mokuba all right? I felt our connection weaken, I was worried that you two were going to fall. What happened with Joey and Kaiba, and their duel?* the spirit asked, feeling Yugi’s worry.
*Well, we’re not really sure,* Yugi sighed, looking pained as he glanced around the ruined arena, then up to the shocked spirit now visible beside him.
*Yugi, wha… What happened here, where are Joey and Kaiba, are they all right?* The pharaoh glanced around, then looked down as Yugi held up Kaiba’s Blue Eyes card, and explained about the puzzle sliding off from around his neck, and striking the arena below.
Duke, meanwhile, had gotten curious about the blank Blue Eyes card that had wound up on the floor of Kaiba’s platform, when the last time he’d seen Seto, the CEO had been standing down on the actual arena floor. *That was strange, why would the card have wound up there, and where did the dragon on it go?* He had a hunch, and decided to go check out Joey’s platform, to see if it panned out. “Uh huh, I had a feeling I’d find you here, too,” he murmured, picking up Joey’s Red Eyes Black Dragon card. Just like Kaiba’s Blue Eyes, all the writing, the stars, everything else was on the card, except the picture of the actual dragon. “Take a look at this, guys, Joey’s dragon is missing, too.”
“What?” Yugi asked, looking up at the raven-haired teen with a surprised expression, then it faded to a troubled one, as Yami took control. The pharaoh reached out for the card, brow furrowed as he held it next to Kaiba’s, examining them both.
“Strange, these were the monsters on the field, just before you and Mokuba nearly fell, and the puzzle slipped from around your neck,” he murmured, glancing at Yugi. “But that doesn’t explain what could have caused Joey and Kaiba’s disappearance, and their monsters with them, although…” He paused, looking thoughtful for a moment.
*Well, there’s…a bit more to the story than that, I’m afraid, I just hadn’t quite gotten to it yet,* Yugi winced, rubbing the back of his head and looking sheepish. He told Yami about the dragons seeming to curl around the two duelists, and Dark Magician Girl’s voice, and her words about the monsters protecting them.
Yami’s eyes went wide, and he glanced down to the puzzle, then around at the arena. “Oh no! I think I know what’s happened…” He closed his eyes a moment, remembering. “I thought I sensed magic, from an outside source, and it seemed…for a brief instant, as if the inherent magic within the millennium puzzle reacted to that other magic,” he sighed softly, shaking his head. “I only hope Joey and Kaiba didn’t suffer any adverse effects from it.”
*So…you’re saying that the magic the monsters were using, and the magic of the puzzle…interfered with each other?* Yugi asked, sounding a bit fearful for his friends.
“I’m afraid so,” the pharaoh answered quietly, narrowing his eyes in thought. “I’m not sure where our friends ended up, or what state they’re in, but I am certain we will not find them here.”
“Joey, where are you?” Tristan shouted, as he pushed aside another piece of metal. The brunette gasped as he stared down at a familiar device, which, surprisingly, looked unscathed by the destruction that had occurred all around it.
“Oh no…that’s Joey’s duel disk,” Tea said, one hand over her mouth, eyes wide as she looked down at it as well.
“But why isn’t Joey…well, never mind, it’s a good thing he’s not still attached to it,” Duke said quietly.
Mokuba clenched his fists in frustration, seeing and hearing the discoveries, but unable to make sense of it all. With a growl he made his way carefully to where his brother had last been, eyes widening as he found Kaiba’s duel disk, in much the same shape as Joey’s. “My brother’s disk is here too!” He held it up for the others to see. “Hey, his deck’s still inside, it doesn’t look damaged either,” the boy said, looking at the disk with a puzzled expression.
“Yeah, Joey’s cards are still in his disk too, and there’s not a mark on them,” said Tristan, one eyebrow raised as he touched the edge of a card gingerly.
“This doesn’t make any sense!” Duke said, moving to stand beside Tristan, narrowing his green eyes and folding his arms. “This arena…there was glass flying everywhere, fires, the disks should have been reduced to nothing but melted plastic and twisted metal, while the cards should have been burned up completely. Instead they look like nothing happened at-” He stopped, tilting his head as he remembered Yugi’s words about the monsters protecting the two, and the strange way the dragons had shielded them. “Okay, I think we need to get out of here, find some place to sit down, and figure things out. This is getting way too weird.”
*You were right, they’re not here, but…they had to end up somewhere!* Yugi said, his distress written clearly on his face.
“Calm down, Yugi,” he murmured softly to the teen, then raised his voice so the others could hear. “It’s obvious Kaiba and Joey are not going to be found amongst this wreckage, however, the fact that their duel disks and decks are unharmed can be taken as a good sign. It means that wherever they ended up, they were unscathed by everything happening around them before they disappeared.” He glanced around at the others. “I agree with Duke, we need to leave here, find a place where we can discuss this, put together everything we know. We will come up with a way to find our friends, and bring them back.”
“I hope so,” Mokuba lowered his head, as he held his brother’s duel disk against his chest, fighting down the tears trying to well up in his eyes.
“Yugi’s right,” Tea said softly, giving the boy’s shoulders a little squeeze. “Their decks and duel disks were okay, so they were fine too, wherever they are, they’re okay, and we’re going to get them back.”
The black-haired boy sighed quietly, then nodded slowly. “Yeah, I guess…” He fell silent for a moment, then turned and made his way off the ruined arena. “We can use the observation booth to sit and talk,” he said, leading them up a set of stairs, and into a small room equipped with several monitors, a computer, and two couches set facing each other over a low table.
The Pharaoh cleared his throat, organizing his thoughts as he stood with his back to the screens, while the others filed into the room and sat down on the couches, all of them seeming to look up at him expectantly.
The three legendary knights and Dark Magician Girl managed to bring Kaiba and Joey into one of the nearby buildings, setting the two teens down in the bedroom on side-by-side beds. "And just how are we going to fix this again, exactly?" Critias asked, skepticism apparent in his voice.
"The Pharaoh will surely find a way to bring his friends back with our help. After all, the combination of magic was what caused all this to go so terribly wrong. He'll come up with something, I just know he will," Dark Magician Girl said, nodding her head with a determined expression.
"Well, even so, it will probably take some time to figure out exactly how they ended up like this in the first place, never mind how to reverse it, and get them home. We'd better be prepared to help them adjust to these new forms." Critias said quietly, standing over Kaiba and looking down at him intently.
"That's not going to be easy," murmured Helmos, as he gazed down at Joey. "One doesn't believe in magic at all, and the other believes a little too much, and will probably be a little...frightened by all this."
Just then Joey groaned softly, opening his crimson eyes and blinking rapidly. As he got a glimpse of the newly-transformed Kaiba on the bed across from him, he tried to push up off the bed, only to be held down by his heavy, black wings. "What...Kaiba? Where are we? What's goin’ on!?" he demanded, his head weaving a bit from the weight of the black horns that jutted up from his now dark-blond hair.
"Calm down, Joey, we'll do our best to explain what little we know, once Kaiba is awake," Timaeus said quietly.
"Timaeus, Critias, Helmos, and the Dark Magician Girl, you're all still here," he reached a hand up, running it over the horns, then back to touch one wing. "We...really aren't in Kansas anymore, are we?" he asked, looking distressed.
The three knights and the Dark Magician girl exchanged puzzled glances at his obscure reference, then fell silent as they waited for the other teen to wake up.
Kaiba groaned softly and winced, then blinked his eyes rapidly. He too tried to sit up, an expression that was somewhere between alarmed and annoyed settling on his features, as he felt like something, or someone was pressing him down. The angry brunette noted that despite seeming to lose consciousness, nothing had changed. He was still in an unfamiliar place, surrounded by monsters that he knew didn’t exist, and was laying on a bed across from a radically different Joey Wheeler that looked more dragon than human. *This is not happening, it’s not possible!* He gritted his teeth, then cerulean eyes widened slightly in surprise as he felt a distinct change in said teeth. *What…what’s happening to me, I know this can’t be real…but it feels like it is,* he frowned, as a bit of poking around with his tongue revealed elongated fangs. *I am NOT falling for this, none of this is real!* Seto turned his head and shot Joey a murderous glare. “I don’t know what’s going on here, yet… But I do know I can safely put the blame squarely on the shoulders of you and the rest of the dweeb patrol, Wheeler,” he snarled, then grunted as he pushed himself up off the bed, managing to get himself into a sitting position.
Joey tried to scramble to his feet, nearly toppling over onto his back from the weight of his wings. A loud yelp was heard, as the blond stepped on his tail, the sudden jerk forward he made from the pain sending him falling back onto the bed, on his stomach, yet again with a grunt. "Me?!" he shouted, managing to brace himself on his elbows before brandishing a fist at Kaiba. "You got a lotta nerve, blamin' me for this one, moneybags! It was your kooky arena that got us into this mess, not to mention your bright idea to have a catwalk over the arena for Yug' and Mokuba to nearly fall off of!" He sank back to the bed, blowing a lock of hair out of his eyes. “The way I see it, this is all your fault. We just happened to be at the wrong place, at the wrong time. Course, anywhere near you, at any time, is the wrong place and wrong time…” He snorted and tried to turn over, growling in frustration as his wings seriously hampered his movement.
"Stop it, Joey, this wasn't either of your fault," Timaeus said, as Helmos set a hand on the blond teen's shoulder. “Not to mention laying blame and getting angry at each other isn’t going to things fixed any faster.”
“Timaeus is right,” Critias said, folding his arms as he stood at the foot of Kaiba’s bed. “Bickering like this will achieve nothing, as it was neither of your fault. When Yugi's Millennium puzzle fell into the arena, the magic within it interfered with our attempts to shield you," he hesitated, then looked toward the Dark Magician Girl.
She picked up where he left off. "And it caused to look the way you are now. It seems when your dragons tried to protect you, the power of the Millenium Puzzle somehow fused you and your dragons into one being," her expression was very solemn as she tried to explain this to the confused teens. "But don’t worry, we’ll find a way to reverse what has been done and to return you to your homes." She looked towards the three knights with a concerned expression.
Joey, with some determination, managed to raise himself into a sitting position, mindful of the tail that seemed to purposely try to get in his way every time he moved, and the wings that were constantly weighing him down. "So, I'm...half me, and half my Red Eyes Black Dragon? That's...too weird," he said quietly, then ran his hands over himself, reaching back and making a face at the armored tail, and the hard, smooth wings that now protruded from his back. "So, we're not even in our...dimension, or whatever you call it, anymore, are we? We're in the," he tried to remember what the Pharaoh had called it. "The Dominion of the Beasts?"
"Correct," Helmos said, taking a seat beside Joey. "At this point we don't know how long you might be here, and be..hybrids, if you will."
"Ahh..." Joey grinned and waved a hand, then pulled it back and stared at the claws adorning the end of each finger. "I ain't worried, I know Yugi will come up with something. He always does."
Kaiba rolled his eyes as Joey mentioned the ‘Dominion of the Beasts’, and scoffed when Helmos confirmed that as their location. He growled, growing angry and frustrated when the other teen pledged Yugi would come to their rescue. "You ignorant dolt, there's no such thing," he manually lifted one of his wings and shouted to Joey, "If you think this is actually real, you need to have your head examined!" He snarled and dropped the wing, and lay back in the bed staring up at the ceiling. "I'm not falling for this, for all I know the entire thing with the dragons protecting us was some panic-induced hallucination as the arena blew up around us. I’m probably laying in a hospital bed, unconscious, having a very long, very vivid dream, or should I say nightmare, as I’m stuck here with you…"
Critias cleared his throat quietly, intending to correct Kaiba, but Dark Magician Girl shook her head, a silent indication he should let the matter drop for now. He sighed and nodded slowly, then walked over to join Timeaus as the two of them leaned against the wall, arms folded, both Legendary Knights looking resigned.
Joey scowled as Kaiba began to rant at him. "Yeah, yeah, I know, you don't believe in magic, or that monsters are real, or any of it. Boy, for a genius, you sure can be stupid sometimes, Kaiba," Joey stuck out his tongue and pulled down on the skin under one eye in a rather rude gesture, before trying to stand up again. "Nngh...a little help here!?" he cried, as he nearly toppled over once more.
Helmos was instantly at his side, grasping one wing and gently folding it back. "Try to keep them folded back, it might be easier to balance with them when standing," he murmured.
"This feels pretty real to me, right down to the fact that I'm starving," Joey sighed, as his stomach made a loud rumble. The blond blushed slightly, sitting down on the edge of the bed as he glanced around at the others. "You got anything to eat around here?"
Kaiba’s deep blue eyes widened, as the brunette’s face twisted with rage. “You’re an idiot!” He roared, grabbing the only thing within reach, a pillow, and swinging it wildly at Joey. “Of course the first thing on your simple mind would be food! You really don’t get it, do you? This isn’t real, there’s no food, and we’re not dragon hybrids…ugh! Why, of all people, did my damn subconscious have to put you here?”
Everyone else in the room froze when Kaiba swung the pillow at Joey. There was a loud tearing sound, and feathers suddenly filled the air. It seemed the pillow had gotten caught on the tip of one of Joey’s horns, and had been torn nearly in half.
The blond’s red eyes crossed, as he tilted his head and stared at a large, white feather sitting right on the tip of his nose. Then he blew it off, and blinked a few times, before his own temper flared. "Just shut up, rich boy, not everything is about you, okay? You just think this is some weird dream you’re having. Well, it's not! This is somethin’ more. We're really stuck here, and I, for one, am gonna do more than just sit there, scowl, whine, and be a jerk about it!" he hollered, waving a fist at the other teen.
"Calm down, Joey," Timaeus said, as the Dark Magician girl stepped forward and latched onto his arm.
"Yeah, let's go get you something to eat, then we'll see about helping you stay on your feet. without needing to have Helmos hold you up," she gave him a sunny smile, as Joey blushed with embarrassment over his own more than usual clumsiness.
"Idiot, huh, moneybags? No food, huh, huh?!" He stuck his tongue out again, as he was escorted out of the room.
Timaeus merely held back a chuckle, looking over at Critias with a slight smirk, before they both glanced at Kaiba, wondering what the CEO would make of this.
To Be Continued…