Castle Roland

The Lost

by MultiMapper


Chapter 1

Posted: 8 Oct 15

The Lost

Copyright © 2003-2015 by MultiMapper
All Rights Reserved

Author's Note: { } Signifies a language being translated for your convenience. [ ] signifies thoughts.

Day 1

Xander was fighting valiantly. Unfortunately, the demon appeared to be unstoppable. Xander was losing... slowly. Willow and Tara were trying to think of ways to help him. Willow remembered a spell that would banish a demon to another dimensional realm. She began to chant loudly. Tara knew this spell and joined her in the chant.

In the middle of their casting, the demon threw Xander into a wall and pulled out a green stone. It began to growl rhythmically in counter to the chant of the two witches.

Finally the chanting reached a crescendo. A blast of power ran from both Willow and Tara toward the demon. The demon held up the stone confidently and let loose one final growl after the witches spoke the last word. The power reflected off the demon and returned to the witches.



Yugi Mutou and Seto Kaiba were playing as a team against Bakura and Melik in a game of duel monsters in the shadow realm.

Yugi had been lured into accepting a friendly duel by Bakura before it was revealed that the Tomb Robber spirit from the Millennium Ring had possessed him. Seto had been drawn into the game by a threat against his brother, Mokuba. Melik had captured Mokuba and made him his mind-slave.

All but Seto were holders of Millennium items. All of them understood what was at stake. Should Yugi and Seto win the duel, Seto would receive his brother, free of the mind enslavement, and the Millennium Rod that possessed the power to enslave minds. Yugi would retain his Millennium Puzzle and receive the Millennium Ring that held the power to open a portal to the shadow realm.

If Yugi and Seto lost or tried to withdraw from the game, Yugi would lose the Millennium Puzzle that held the spirit of the ancient Pharaoh who shared his mind and had become his best friend. Seto would lose Mokuba. And they would both be cast into the card graveyard, where they would die.

Melik and Bakura were both focusing their attacks on Yugi. Seto had passed up obvious opportunities to shield him from some of the damage. Yugi was one turn from losing the duel, and it was up to Seto to save him. {"Kaiba-san, It is your obligation to defend your dueling partner. We must behave as a team."}

Seto looked at Yugi with disgust and said, {"If you can't handle yourself in a duel, you deserve to lose."}

Melik played his goblin attack force card. This effectively ended the game for Yugi. If they were playing like normal people, Yugi would now withdraw from play and allow his partner to finish the duel, at a great disadvantage. However, in the shadow realm, the rules were different and the consequences were more severe.

Darkness came over Yugi and he began to fall.

Yugi awoke in near darkness. He looked around himself and saw that he was in the card graveyard, and someone was beside him. He turned the person over to find that it was Yami. The spirit that shared his mind had a physical form in this place. {"Yami-san, wake up. We are in great danger here. We must leave."} Yugi said with fear in his voice.

Yami slowly opened his eyes and found himself looking into the face of Yugi, {"Where is this place? What has happened?"}

{"We are in the card graveyard, we must find shelter quickly. The Reaper-of-Cards will come soon. We must hide!"} Yugi said in panic.

As Yugi helped Yami to stand, there was a flash of light and three people fell from a vortex. Yugi looked at the three people and said, {"I don't know who you are, but we must leave immediately!"}

Willow gave the boy a puzzled look and shook her head, trying to convey that she didn't understand what he was saying.

{"It is not safe here, hurry!"} Yugi said louder.

Tara was gently slapping Xander's face, trying to rouse him to consciousness while Willow was trying to communicate with the boy. "We don't speak any Japanese, do you know any English?"

"Some, little." Yugi said with difficulty. "Reaper-of-Cards will come. We will die. Can not stop. We need... secret? No. Hide... We need hide now." Yugi said, trying to find the right English words. If not for the names of the cards being in English, he probably couldn't have managed that much.

"Our friend is hurt. Can you help us?" Willow asked slowly.

"WE NEED HIDE NOW!" Yugi screamed, as he looked for shelter.

Yami saw a shadowy form move in the distance. {"Aibou, the reaper is close, to your left."} Yami said firmly but calmly.

{"Help me carry the injured one, the girls will follow or they won't."} Yugi said to Yami as he walked to take Xander's hands. Yami took Xander's feet and they began to carry him.

Willow was about to protest these two strangers grabbing Xander when she saw a hooded figure move off to her right. It looked too much like the grim reaper pictures that she had seen. Then what Yugi had said registered and she began to run.

"Come on, we're not safe here." She said to Tara, who was already following the two boys.

"If that thing comes after us, there's nothing we can do to stop it. Do you remember the defender's shield spell?" Willow asked Tara as she wove amongst the tombstones.

"Yeah, it's a fate spell. You use it on a warrior who has fallen to give him a chance of survival." Tara said, trying to keep up with the others.

"Try door there." Yugi said commandingly to the witches.

Willow saw the crypt that he was referring to and ran for it. As she reached it, the shadowy figure appeared. "Cast it on Xander." Willow screamed, then began to cast the spell.

Tara was too far away to synchronize her spell with Willow so she began her own casting of the same spell on Xander.

The shadow was getting closer as Willow and Tara's spell-casting became louder. Yami and Yugi were carrying Xander toward the crypt as quickly as they could.

As Willow uttered the last word of her spell a vortex formed. A moment later, another formed before Tara.

AN: Aibou means partner

The fight was not going well. Magneto had attacked without warning or provocation. Bobby was still trying to get his mind around the fact that his best friend had switched sides. He looked around himself to quickly survey the situation. He saw Marie take a hard hit to the head and go down. He turned to run to her side, she was defenseless.

As he was almost upon his fallen comrade, an unexpected blast of heat hit him from behind and knocked him off balance. His arms flew out reflexively to catch his fall but hit nothing as he fell...

and fell...

The Blue Ranger was fighting for all he was worth but it was not enough. The attacks on Angel Grove had been one after another for days and he was exhausted, as were the other rangers. He ducked a swift punch from a putty and swung around to deliver a killing blow. As he made contact, he saw Jason get hit full in the chest with a blast from the giant chicken... turkey... buzzard... whatever... the giant bird thing that was fighting them.

A quiver of fear ran through him as he saw Jason hit the ground and de-morph. He ran to the aid of his friend when a vortex opened right before him. And he fell...

and fell...

Bobby landed on the ground with a thump. He looked around to see two boys and two girls, looking terrified at him... past him... [_Oh shit_]... behind him.

He turned quickly to see a figure wearing a cloak and hood, carrying a scythe. Without giving it a thought, he let loose his ice power and tried to create the biggest, most solid wall he could manage to keep this thing away. If those kids were scared, that was all he needed to know that he didn't want to face that thing.

Billy landed in a crouch. He was grateful that he was still morphed because that meant he still had enhanced strength and agility. He turned in time to see a boy create a rough wall of ice, apparently to protect himself from a hooded figure that was approaching.

The hooded figure started slashing at the ice wall with his scythe and was making noticeable progress. Billy brought out his blaster and took aim. He fired at the hooded figure and made a solid hit.

The figure didn't seem to be effected by the hit at all. A moment later the figure turned and began to move toward Billy.

"Here safe. Come now." Another boy called out.

The two boys entered the crypt carrying a third. Another ice wall appeared, this one blocking the figure from getting to Billy.

"Come on, let's get under cover." The boy who produced the ice said.

Billy nodded and began to go. Then he noticed that there was a girl behind him. He motioned to her to come on and they ran to the crypt.

Once the door closed there was pitch-black darkness inside the crypt. All that could be heard was the sound of rapid, nervous breathing. "Creo Ignem." A female voice clearly said and a fireball sprang into being, hovering a few inches above her hand.

As everyone's eyes adjusted to the firelight, they began to look around the crypt. "No torches or candles." The boy who made ice said.

"Not a problem." The red headed girl said and made a motion. The fireball split into four and floated up toward the ceiling.

"What was that thing out there?" The icemaker asked.

"I don't know, he called it the Reaper of Cards, whatever that means." The red-head said, indicating the young boy.

Billy realized that he was still morphed. He considered de-morphing but decided against it, too many unknowns. "Could someone possibly advise me of our situation." Billy said as calmly as he could manage, thinking of Jason.

"I'm Bobby, and I don't have any idea what's going on." The icemaker said.

"I'm Willow, that's Tara, and this is a very unconscious Xander, we just arrived and that thing started chasing us." Willow said with worry as she examined Xander for injuries.

"I am Yugi, he is Yami. I speak English not much. Yami speak English not any." Yugi said quietly.

The group looked expectantly at the blue ranger. Finally he said, "I'm Billy."

Xander began to wake up. "What happened?" He looked around and said, "Crypt, huh?"

"How did you know?" Bobby asked curiously.

"They're all decorated about the same." Xander answered cryptically. Another quick round of introductions was made for Xander's benefit, then Billy asked, "Yugi, are you familiar with our current location?"

"Or better yet, do you know how to get us out of here?" Xander cut in.

Bobby nodded in agreement with Xander.

Yugi thought about it and answered slowly, trying to get the English right. "We are in card graveyard. We do not leave. No way out."

"Oh, that's just great." Xander said sarcastically.

Hearing the tone of the comment as a threat, Yami moved slightly in front of Yugi to protect him.

Everyone noticed the protective gesture.

"Tell Yami that I'm not angry at you or him, I'm just frustrated at being trapped here." Xander said to Yugi.

{"The boy who is hurt wants you to know that he is not mad at us. Then he said something else, very quickly, something about a chair? I can't be sure."} Yugi translated to Yami.

{"Do not worry Aibou, I have observed that Americans are so fond of their own voices that they use them unnecessarily. If it is something important it will be repeated, or they will verify your understanding."} Yami said comfortingly.

Yugi looked at Xander and nodded to confirm that the message was delivered.

"How can we get past the hooded apparition that was in pursuit of us, the one Yugi called the Reaper-of-Cards?" Billy asked Yugi.

Yugi sat thinking of all the words, then when he believed he understood the question he answered, "We don't."

"That's cheerful." Xander said, with full sarcasm.

"Come on guys, if we got here, there has to be a way to get us out. I've got to get back to my friends." Bobby said, thinking of Marie.

"I must as well." Billy said thinking of Jason.

"So how did we get here?" Xander asked to the group in general.

"Tara and I cast a spell to banish a demon to the nether realm where he would be destroyed. But the demon did something, I think he cast a spell too, and we ended up here." Willow said with worry.

"So this could be the nether realm where you were going to send the demon?" Bobby asked.

"I guess so." Willow said quietly.

"That explains the arrival of the three of you. However, it does not explain the arrival of the remainder of us to this nefarious place." Billy said to Willow.

"Tara and I cast the Defender's shield spell on Xander. It was supposed to change fate so a fallen warrior would have a chance of survival." Willow said calmly.

Billy looked angrily at Willow as he made the connection of what she said to what had happened. "One of my friends was about to be attacked when I was drawn into your vortex, I could have saved him. He was a fallen warrior. Did this spell prevent me from saving him in favor of coming here? Is it your contention that the life of your companion was of more value than that of my friend? Your action prevented my intervention and may have cost me the life of Jason." Billy asked with anger in his voice.

"And Marie." Was all that Bobby could say.

"How can you rationalize the sacrifice of my friend that I might become the rescuer of yours? What gave you the right?" Billy asked, becoming more angry.

"I didn't mean for it to work that way. I just wanted to save Xander. I didn't want to hurt anyone." Willow said with tearful eyes.

Billy was silent, but his body language spoke loudly enough, saying that he was not happy.

{"The red haired girl is a witch, she cast a spell that brought her, the blonde girl, and the injured boy here. Then, when she was scared by the Reaper-of-Cards, she cast another spell that brought the other two boys to save her friend's life, preventing them from saving their own friend's lives."} Yugi said to Yami quietly.

"What about you two, how did you get here?" Bobby asked Yugi.

"We lost a game. Penalty for losing is death." Yugi said haltingly.

"You shouldn't play games like that." Xander said seriously.

Yugi nodded in response.

"So what do we do now? We're in this despicable place, be it the card graveyard or nether realm. We have neither food nor water, and seem to be trapped by that apparition. Options?" Billy asked logically.

"I could do a spell..." Willow began.

"No. Due to your indiscriminate use of magic, you have caused us to become trapped in this tomb. And as a further consequence, likely caused the death, or at the very least, prevented the rescue of my best friend..." Billy said before walking to the far corner of the crypt.

Bobby watched, knowing just what Billy was feeling. "I agree. Magic is a last resort." He said, glaring at the red headed witch.

Xander tried to get to his feet. Yugi automatically went to his side to offer help.

"Thanks." Xander said when he finally was fully standing.

"Xander, you be well?" Yugi asked with concern.

"Yeah, I'll be fine. I get knocked out a few times a month. I should be used to it by now." Xander said with a self-deprecating smirk.

Yugi nodded his understanding and thought, {[_Yami was right, they talk much and say little._]}

"So is there any way out of here? I mean, has anyone ever escaped?" Xander asked Yugi with concern.

"Yes, Bakura-kun. With magic." Yugi said sadly.

"So, magic seems to be the way." Xander said with worry.

"No." Billy said, still facing the wall.

Bobby went to Billy's side and said quietly, "Unless you know of another way out, it's all we have."

Billy nodded and turned to look at Bobby. He thought for a moment, [_What good will it do to protect my identity from these people when we're all trapped here?_] "Power down." He said and the uniform flashed away.

Everyone turned at the blue flash to see the very ordinary looking boy standing before them.

"You are correct Bobby. Let's listen to her plans, perhaps we can minimize the risk." Billy said sadly.

"Come on." Bobby said and took Billy by the elbow to lead him back to the others.

"Right, magic it is. What are our choices?" Bobby asked with false enthusiasm.

"Well, without any supplies or books... I don't know. I mean we can try some stuff, but I don't know how it will work." Willow said in a near mumble.

"Great!" Bobby said and threw up his hands as he walked away.

Billy went to retrieve Bobby. Xander asked Yugi, "Do you know what magic Bakooracoon used to get out of here?"

Yugi kept his smile to himself at the butchering of Bakura's name and shook his head.

"Does that mean you don't know, or don't understand what I'm asking?" Xander asked softly.

"I do not know of magic." Yugi answered.

Willow and Tara were whispering together. One by one the boys noticed the excitement that they were expressing.

"Have you got something?" Xander asked hopefully.

"We think we can get us out of here, the only problem is... we don't know where we'll end up." Willow said with an unsure look.

"Is there any way to remedy that situation?" Billy asked shortly.

"Not really. Without magic books, we're doing good to be able to create an interdimensional vortex." Willow said defensively.

"Interdimensional?" Billy asked with worry.

"Yeah, this is a whole other dimension from the one we came from. I don't know what other dimension we'll land in, but if it has magic books, we'll be able to use them to go back to our dimension." Willow said with certainty.

"Good, the other rangers are going to be worried about me." Billy said with irritation.

"Rangers? Is that what you are?" Bobby asked, truly curious.

"Yes, power rangers, defenders of the earth..." Billy said, getting a sinking feeling.

"Sorry, never heard of them." Bobby said with real regret in his voice.

Billy looked around the room and everyone but Yami shook their heads 'no'.

"So we're not from the same dimension." Billy said, resigned.

"It looks that way." Bobby said, then hesitantly asked, "Do any of you have mutants on your world?"

Another round of headshaking and Bobby's spirits sank.

"Duel Monsters?" Yugi asked, surprising most of the people in the room.

"What's that?" Billy asked.

"Game I play, I lose." Yugi said sadly, knowing that they were not from his world.

"I guess you don't have demons, vampires, witches, werewolves and stuff in your worlds, huh?" Xander asked, already knowing the answer.

"I put forth the supposition that we are from disparate and dissimilar dimensions. I am reluctant to ask but, what effect, if any, does this have on the probability of all of us being successfully returned to our points of origin?" Billy asked, turning to Willow.

"It doesn't look good." Willow said seriously.

Hours had passed. The witches kept to themselves, drawing symbols in the dust on the floor and trying to work out the best way to proceed. Billy had tried to use his morpher to transport out, but it didn't work. Bobby had opened the door of the crypt a crack to see the reaper very up-close and personal. Xander, Yugi and Yami were sitting quietly, not really having much to say.

"We're ready." Willow said seriously.

"How is this going to work?" Billy asked, wanting to know as much about the process as possible.

"We've worked the spell out so that we'll end up somewhere else, but we don't know where. But we've been able to make sure that it isn't some hell dimension or underwater or anything like that. Beyond that... it's anyone's guess as to what we're going to find." Willow said seriously.

"I can't say that's the most reassuring talk I've ever had before a trip." Xander quipped.

"It's all I've got." Willow said wryly.

"So let's do it." Bobby said, without enthusiasm.

"You might wanna do that blue flashy thingy just in case." Xander said to Billy.

Billy nodded and said, "It's morphin time." And became the blue power ranger.

Willow and Tara cast a circle and began to chant. The words got louder and seemed to echo in the small room. After nearly a half an hour a swirling mist developed. As the chanting continued, the swirling formed into a definite vortex.

Finally the witches stopped and said, "Here we go." And walked into the swirling mist and disappeared. Each person followed in turn, hoping they would not be worse off in their new dimension.

They found themselves in a clearing in a wooded area. All of them looked around at each other to see that everyone was alright.

"Yami! Where is Yami?" Yugi asked with worry.

The group looked around but there was no trace of Yami anywhere.

After long minutes of fruitless searching Yugi sat on the ground and began to cry. Moments later he felt a hand on his shoulder and Xander's voice said, {"Do not worry Aibou, I am here."}

Yugi turned to Xander and said, {"Yami? Are you in there?"}

{"Yes, when we arrived in this place I had no body, I was drawn into this one."} Xander/Yami said soothingly.

The others just watched, stunned.

Yugi noticed the others watching and said, "Yami is spirit, no body. He is in Xander."

Willow asked, "If Yami didn't have a body, who were we with in the crypt?"

"In card graveyard Yami have body, here no body." Yugi said with frustration, having difficulty explaining with his limited English.

"What he's trying to say is that I am a spirit, I was sharing Yugi's body with him by using the Millennium Puzzle, which we lost. When we were defeated in the duel we were cast into the graveyard where I had my own body, but only there. When we came here, I needed a body. For some reason I was able to inhabit Xander's body but not Yugi's." Xander/Yami said reasonably.

"You speak English now?" Billy asked, confused.

"Yes, I can use Xander's English, just as I have used Yugi's Japanese in the past." Xander/Yami said calmly.

"So you're not Japanese?" Willow asked.

"No, I am Egyptian. I am the spirit of a Pharaoh, though I don't remember my past." Xander/Yami answered.

"Anyone have any idea where we are?" Bobby asked, looking around.

"No, we'll have to start walking and hope that we can find someone." Willow said tiredly.

"And we can look for food while we walk." Xander/Yami said in a more familiar Xander way.

"Xander?" Willow asked.

"Yeah?" Xander/Yami replied.

"Is that you?" Willow asked, still not sure.

"Yeah, we're both in here. Yami isn't possessing me the way things usually do, he steps forward when he wants to and nudges me but doesn't force me, then he moves back when he's finished. He's the most considerate spirit I've ever been possessed by. It's kinda cool, actually." Xander/Yami said with a goofy smile.

"The way things usually do? You've been possessed before?" Billy asked incredulously.

"Yeah, he gets possessed all the time." Willow said with a teasing tone.

"Only twice before, Wills. Don't make these guys think I'm strange or something." Xander/Yami said, then looked at the blue ranger guy, the ice making guy and the kid who was possessed with this same spirit. "Never mind."

The group trouped off toward the north, it seemed as good a direction as any and they could use the position of the sun to maintain their direction. Billy had de-morphed and the group had all been looking for food along their way. Eventually they had found some fruit trees. It began to get dark when Xander/Yami stopped suddenly.

"Shhh. There are people ahead." Xander/Yami whispered.

"Where?" Billy asked in confusion, seeing nothing.

Xander/Yami took a deep inhale and considered. "Ahead of us, there are three of them... and a horse." Xander/Yami said with certainty.

"If there's a problem, I think we can handle three people." Bobby said and continued to walk.

"I hope he's right." Xander/Yami said as he followed.

The rest followed in turn as they approached the camp of strangers.

Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer were sitting by the campfire. Gabrielle was cooking the fish that they had caught earlier and Joxer was regaling them with a tale of his latest exploits. Xena kept her snickers to herself and Gabrielle rolled her eyes occasionally at the highly unlikely tale the wannabe warrior was telling.

Suddenly Xena straightened and motioned for everyone to be silent.

She drew her sword and turned toward the approaching people.

A skinny boy entered the camp with no weapons drawn, and he was wearing unfamiliar clothing. "What are you doing here?" Xena asked anxiously.

The boy answered her, but the language he used was unfamiliar to her. She motioned for Gabrielle to join her. Another boy followed, then another. There were two girls and finally a child.

Gabrielle tried the smattering of Norse that she had learned but that got no response. Xena tried the phrases that she had picked up in Gaul, but to no avail. The children were obviously trying to communicate, but they had no common language. The smallest one spoke something that sounded akin to the language of Chin, but it wasn't. Finally the largest of the boys said something and Joxer responded.

{"Did you just speak in Egyptian?"} Joxer asked excitedly.

{"Yes. Thank the gods. I thought we would find no common language."} Xander/Yami said in relief.

"What do you want me to ask them?" Joxer asked of Xena.

"First, which language is that?" Xena asked curiously.

"Egyptian. My grandmother taught me when I was growing up." Joxer said happily.

"Ask them where they are from." Xena said, considering what she wanted to know.

{"Where are you from?"} Joxer asked Xander/Yami.

After a moment of discussion amongst the group, Xander/Yami replied, "We are from different places. Could you tell us where we are?"}

{"You're in Greece. I'm Joxer, this is Xena and that is Gabrielle."} Joxer said with a smile.

"What did they say?" Xena asked curiously.

"They said they are all from different places. They wanted to know where they are, so I told them." Joxer answered.

"Ask them where they are heading." Xena said, still not ready to trust them.

{"Where are you going?"} Joxer asked kindly.

The group conferred in their own language for a few minutes then Xander/Yami said, {"We are trying to find a town with a library, we must find a way to get back to our home."}

{"Only the wealthy have collections of scrolls. If you do not know how to speak Greek, can you read it?"} Joxer asked.

{"No, we hadn't thought of that... I don't know where we're going. We are far from home and lost."} Xander/Yami said, realizing that it wasn't going to be as easy as they first thought.

"They are far from their homes, lost, and don't know where to go to next. They were hoping to find someone with a collection of scrolls that they could study to find their way back. But since they don't read Greek, it wouldn't do any good even if they could find someone willing to share their scrolls." Joxer said sadly.

"You think we should take them with us to the next town." Xena said as a statement rather than a question.

Joxer waited as Xena thought about what to do.

"I suppose that we can invite them to camp with us tonight. And they can come with us to Corinth. After that, they're on their own." Xena said reluctantly.

{"Xena has invited you to share our camp and we'll see you safely to Corinth. Maybe there you'll find some answers."} Joxer said with a friendly smile.

The group talked again, but it was obvious that they were going to agree long before Xander/Yami said, {"Tell her 'thank you' for the hospitality. And we will try not to be a burden on the journey. How far is it to Corinth?"}

{"About five days walk from here. What are your names?"} Joxer asked curiously.

Xander/Yami introduced each of his group and told his group who Joxer, Xena and Gabrielle were.

Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer settled on one side of the fire and watched as the group of children sat on the other side and began to talk.

"So what were you guys doing before you went to the graveyard? I mean, you said you were fighting a demon, but why?" Bobby asked Willow.

"Me and Xander and Tara were helping Buffy to patrol. Buffy is the vampire slayer, kind of a demon hunter. Anyway, we ran into a group of demons and began to fight. Somehow, we got separated from Buffy during the fight and Xander was facing this big demon all alone. He kept hitting it with his axe, but it wasn't doing any damage so Tara and I decided to do a spell that would get rid of the demon before it hurt Xander." Willow said sadly.

"He looked pretty hurt when I got there." Bobby said, off handedly.

"While we were casting, the demon threw Xander into the wall of a mausoleum and knocked him out. Then we finished the spell... and you know the rest. What about you?" Willow asked Bobby in return.

"I was fighting to defend my home, the school where I live. Me and my friends and the teachers were all trying to stop Magneto from getting into the school. My best friend, John was fighting on Magneto's side..." Bobby trailed off.

"That had to hurt." Billy said absently.

"Yeah, it hurt a lot. Then Marie got hit, I think she was unconscious. I ran to help her and ended up in the graveyard." Bobby said, then looked away.

"I was fighting to defend my home town, Angel Grove. An evil sorceress had sent these warriors made of clay to attack us while her big bird monster tried to destroy the town. I was fighting and saw my best friend Jason go down. He de-morphed and was completely vulnerable. I ran to help him and then I was in the graveyard with you." Billy said, equally as sad as Bobby.

"We were tricked into accepting a duel with Bakura, a friend. We didn't know that he had been possessed by an ancient, evil spirit. Bakura was working with Melik, someone who has been trying to get all the Millennium items for himself. When the game began, Bakura sent us to the shadow realm, where the game becomes real life. According to the rules of Millennium Magic, an item cannot be stolen, it becomes inert. It has to be won in a duel. My partner in the duel wouldn't work with me. Both our opponents attacked me and I couldn't defend against a two on one attack repeatedly. If Seto had defended me, we could have won the duel but since he didn't... I... we lost. That's how we ended up in the graveyard." Xander/Yami said quietly.

"How are you here without the puzzle then?" Billy asked Xander/Yami.

"I don't know." Xander/Yami replied.

{"Aibou, the blue one asks a good question. How am I with you when we do not have the puzzle?"} Xander/Yami asked Yugi.

{"I do not understand, perhaps the treachery of Bakura-kun caused the magic of the puzzle to flee the item."} Yugi answered speculatively.

{"If that were the case, why could I not share your mind as before?"} Xander/Yami spoke the question rhetorically.

{"Whether we are correct or not, it does not change our situation. We are here and whether I have the magic of the puzzle or not, I cannot change that fact."} Yugi said reasonably.

Xander/Yami nodded his agreement. {"Don't worry Yugi, Willow and Tara won't let anyone stay stuck where they don't belong."} Xander/Yami said with a goofy smile.

"Xander?" Yugi asked in confirmation.

{"Yeah, Yami thought you needed to know that it's not just you two against all of this. We will all work to fix this problem... somehow."} Xander/Yami said comfortingly.

{"Thank you Aibou, thank you Xander, if my Yami had to be moved to another, I am glad it was one who is good and understanding like you. I know he is safe with you."} Yugi said seriously.

{"I may be in Xander now, but you are still my hikari as I am your Yami. That has not changed."} Xander/Yami said soothingly.

Yugi smiled and nodded as he laid down to try and sleep. Xander/Yami automatically laid beside Yugi and held him gently and protectively.

The rest of the group noticed the actions of Xander/Yami and Yugi and decided that it was time for some sleep. Willow and Tara laid together in each others arms. Bobby looked at Billy with a sarcastic 'yeah, right.' look before laying down and turning away from the group. Billy gave a little laugh at the idea and laid down facing the opposite way.

Xena and Gabrielle stared in awe at the two girls, barely women, holding each other so tenderly. The boys seemed to be like brothers, the older holding the younger in comfort and protection. The two others didn't seem to have any affiliation with the others.

Before long, Xena, Gabrielle and Joxer had also laid down on their side of the camp.

AN: Hikari means Light. Yami means darkness

To Be Continued...

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