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For Those We Love

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It had been several weeks since they had narrowly escaped the Monster World RPG with their lives and a new term had started at Domino High. With the new term had come Yugi's mandatory switch to the female school uniform. Uniform that had been purchased just yesterday morning, fit perfectly and would last a good, long time, however...

"I'm not going!"

Jou couldn't help the chuckle that escaped as Yugi refused point blank to leave her bedroom.

"Yugi, you can't seriously refuse to go to school because of your new uniform." Ojiisan grumbled good-naturedly.

"Yes I can."

Ojiisan shook his head in amusement. Of all the things for Yugi to decide to be a 'normal' teenager about, her uniform hadn't been the thing he had expected her to pick. Curfew, homework, fast food maybe, but uniform? He supposed he couldn't blame her, he couldn't help but wonder who had decided that tiny skirts and curve clinging jackets in a horrendous shade of pink were mandatory for female students at the school. Whoever it was, they needed a slap.

"Yuge, we're going to be late." Jou complained, well aware Yugi didn't like being late to class if she could help it.

"So get going." Yugi's reply made him laugh again.

"Mutou Yugi, you will go to school or I won't let you have first pick of the booster packs that are coming in this afternoon." Ojiisan's tone brokered no argument.

Yugi's bedroom door opened slowly at that, revealing a brightly blushing girl with soft, wide amethyst purple eyes and who had tied her long black hair with its red tips back into a ponytail and her blonde, grown out fringe fell around her face, framing it. The girl's uniform didn't suit her very well, though it made her figure more obvious and though Jou could appreciate that little feature, he didn't like how uncomfortable she looked in it.

"That's not fair." Yugi protested to her Grandfather, the Millennium Puzzle hanging on her chest, held there securely by the rope that hung around her neck.

"You can't miss school." Ojiisan informed her, "No matter how bad the girls' uniform is. Now get going."

"Fine." Yugi's shoulders sank and she tugged down the skirt as she headed for the door, blush firmly stuck in place as she snatched up her backpack.

"Come on Yuge," Jou herded her out the building, picking up both of their bags as they went, "It's doesn't look that bad."

"It's not that it looks bad." Yugi explained, "It's that I could wear this skirt as a belt and this jacket is hideous. I don't see why I couldn't continue to wear the guy's uniform. It's not like I was doing any harm."

Jou just shrugged. Yugi wasn't a typical girl, but he knew better than to try and reason with someone from the female species when they had decided that something was hideous and they didn't want to wear it.

Anzu met them halfway to school, by which point Yugi was looking a little less like a tomato and more like a person again. Anzu spent most of the walk teaching Yugi tricks to make the uniform look a little more reasonable and between that and the reassurance flowing over the link from her older sister, the spirit who lived within her Millennium Puzzle, Yugi felt more ready to face her fellow students.

Amusingly she found that quite a few of the girls in her class were disappointed when she showed up in the female uniform. They had hoped that if Yugi had been allowed to wear the boy's uniform, they would be able to too.

"That's probably," Yugi thought as everyone settled at their desks when the teacher walked in, "Why I have to wear the girl's uniform now."

Anesan didn't respond verbally. Disappointingly the telepathic link, which had strengthened during the Shadow Game against Bakura to the point where they could exchange words as well as emotions, hadn't stayed that way. However the amusement and agreement Yugi sensed from her other self was almost as good.

Yugi mentally chuckled, for once not letting the fact that Anesan could hear her but she couldn't hear her other self, get to her. It was getting a little frustrating that after months of interaction between the pair of them, they still couldn't talk to each other properly. However it would come, the mental chatter between the pair of them during the RPG Shadow Game had reassured her of that.

School was just as boring as normal. Yugi tried her best to concentrate, trying not to slip back into her old habits. It had taken her months to get her grade point average up and allowing herself to slip would make all that work worthless.

When lunchtime came around, however, Yugi and her friends gathered around one desk and after chowing down on their lunch, they all pulled out their decks so Yugi could continue to teach the others how to play Duel Monsters.

"Oh no." Jou protested as Yugi moved to settle on the chair opposite him, "No offence Yuge, but I'd like a chance at winning for a change."

Yugi blinked at the tall, heavyset boy with messy blonde hair who looked as amused as he was frustrated. A couple of weeks ago she had finally taken her Grandfather up on his offer of helping her merge their decks and the Duel Monsters deck she now played with was as yet unmatched by anything her friends had managed to build from their booster pack finds.

Still she hadn't planned to use that deck. Well aware her friends didn't like playing against her deck, which had the Dark Magician and Ojiisan's precious Blue Eyes White Dragon within it, she had built a second deck, a 'training' deck that would be fairer to them.

"It's okay, Yugi." Anzu spoke up. The well built, leggy girl, whose shoulder length brunette hair was loose and kept getting in her eyes, smiled at Yugi, "I want to kick his butt again."

"It was a fluke." Jou protested. "There's no way you'll manage it again."

"What about the other six times?" Honda asked. Almost as tall and heavyset as Jou, Honda hadn't shown any talent in Duel Monsters despite Yugi's best efforts to teach him and the boy, whose brown hair somehow managed to come to a single point at the front of his head, seemed more content heckling Jou then playing the card game. "Because I'm sure those weren't flukes."

"Ah stow it, Honda." Jou grouched as Anzu and Yugi switched places.

Anzu was halfway through trouncing Jou when the last member of their little group returned to the classroom. The half English, half Japanese girl, who was taller than Anzu but not as well built and had long, white hair that reached halfway down her back, was relatively shy in comparison to the rest of the quite boisterous group. However after they had helped her with her darker self's habit of sealing the souls of her friends into game pieces, she had stuck with them, even if it meant she sometimes needed to escape their madness.

"Hi Bakura." Yugi grinned at her, "Anzu's winning again."

"It'll change." Jou grouched.

It didn't change and after his third successive butt kicking he gave up and shoved his deck at Yugi. "Okay, you're the Master at this. What am I doing wrong?"

Yugi quickly skimmed through his deck, her eyes widening as she took in the forty monster cards, some of which were pretty decent, but the complete and utter lack of any magic or trap cards. "Jou? Have you listened to anything I said?" She couldn't help but ask, handing him the deck back and frowning at him.

"Yeah," Jou looked offended, "I've stacked my deck with kickass monsters like you told me."

"I also said you needed you needed magic and trap cards to help your creatures out." Yugi resisted the urge to face palm, "There's no way a deck like this could ever beat a balanced one like Anzu's."

"See, this is why I need training." Jou grumbled.

"Look," Yugi sighed, "When we get home tonight I'll let you raid my spares and we'll go over your deck, okay?" She paused, "After the national finals. Kujaku might be out, but I want to see who wins out of Insector Haga and Dinosaur Ryuzaki."

She wanted to face palm as Jou started day dreaming at the mention of Kujaku's name. There weren't many women who played Duel Monsters on a competitive level and Yugi actually hoped to run into her one day because it was Kujaku Mai who had inspired her to start competing locally, even if she had missed the regionals this year.

"You could have beaten both of them with one hand tied behind your back." Anzu commented to Yugi, slapping Jou upside the head when she noticed his day dreaming, "And Kujaku too."

"Maybe." Yugi shrugged, not as confident in her skills as her friends were. "But when the regionals were on I was a little busy helping Ojiisan around the shop. It was just after Death-T after all. I couldn't really ditch Ojiisan to go compete. It wouldn't have been fair."

"You weren't playing games then anyway." Jou reminded her, "Too busy sulking."

"I wasn't sulking." Yugi protested, ignoring the curious look on Bakura's face.

"So what do you call not talking to anyone and not playing any games?" Jou continued to tease, "Because it sounds like sulking to me."

"It wasn't sulking." Yugi grumbled, able to sense Oneesan's amusement at the situation and trying to ignore it, "I thought that not playing games would protect you lot, remember?"

Silence fell for a moment as the group remembered all the near misses that had occurred in the last few months, all of them game related in some way, shape or form, before Anzu spoke up, "Is there room for all of us? I'd like to see the regional finals too and I can pay for take away."

"Sounds like a plan to me." Honda agreed, never turning down a free meal, even if he wasn't really interested in the finals. "And maybe we could play something that doesn't involve cards afterwards?"

"Street Fighter?" Jou suggested.

Anzu grimaced but Yugi didn't show her distaste. She wasn't a fan of the Street Fighter games. She had only gotten them so she had some more multiplayer video games in the house. However it was only fair if she was making Honda sit through the finals of a game he obviously had no interest in, to play something he wanted to afterwards.

"Eh, either that or that racing game," Honda nodded, "Gran Turismo."

That wasn't much better but again Yugi wasn't going to complain. Instead she made a mental note to try to throw the games that evening since even Jou's patience with her inability to lose was obviously becoming stretched before settling down to play a game with Bakura.

Bakura was almost as good at games as she was and even without magic, any game that got going between the pair of them was generally an impressive thing to watch. Yugi's friends had been wary of playing anything against Bakura to start with, but the spirit of the Ring hadn't been seen since the Monster World incident and Yugi refused to leave Bakura out for something that wasn't her fault.

Blaming Bakura for the actions of her other self would be like blaming her for Anesan's early actions. Once she had reminded the others of that little fact, they had stopped being quite so jumpy around the other item holder and started including her more.

Yugi and Bakura's game drew some attention, though people complained that the game wasn't as interesting without the holograms that went with the tournament matches. More interesting with holograms or not, it took Yugi long enough to win that the end of lunch had arrived, bringing the rest of the class back to the room and the teacher along with them.

The afternoon was just as dull as the morning and Yugi was mentally poked out of her daydreaming a couple of times by her elder sister. It didn't help that their teacher droned. His monotone guaranteed to send anyone to sleep if exposed to it for too long, almost like a magic spell.

When the bell finally went for the end of the day, Yugi was first out the door. She had followed the nationals all the way through so far and was looking forward to what should be an excellent finale to the three day duelling marathon.

Her friends caught up with her at the shoe lockers where she was fighting with one of her shoes, the tongue of which seemed determined to hide within her plimsoll.

"Geeze, Yuge." Jou chuckled, sneaking up on the girl and making her jump a mile, "Sorry, but anyone would think you're in the Nationals from the way you're acting."

"Sorry, sorry." Yugi grinned back, "I've just been looking forward to this. Duel Monsters was never televised before Kaiba's holograms came out and I want to see what they look like in 3d."

"I suppose I can understand that," Jou allowed as the rest of them changed their shoes, "So what's the big deal about Ryuzaki and Haga anyway?"

Yugi happily babbled away about the pair of finalists as they wandered back to the game shop. Haga favoured Insect monsters, while Ryuzaki had a preference for Dinosaurs, hence their nicknames and Yugi had pretty much mapped out their decks.

"I'm pretty sure," She was saying as they arrived at the front of the shop, only to find that it was already closed so Ojiisan could watch the finals with them, "That Insector Haga's going to win. Ryuzaki is too focused on offensive strength in his play style. Haga's going to steal the rug out from under him."

"Speaking of offensive strength," Jou postured earning himself an eye roll from Anzu and a small, amused smile from Yugi, "You said I could raid your spares."

"Let me get them out." Yugi chuckled, starting to head upstairs when her Grandfather imposed himself in the way, carrying a rather large box.

"You got a package." Ojiisan informed her, passing her the plain white box that had a video cassette embedded in it.

"I did?" Yugi blinked, surprised. She hadn't ordered anything and she wasn't expecting anything from anyone else, especially one with a video tape, so it was with great confusion and curiosity that she carried the box upstairs.

"So?" Jou asked, hovering around, trying to get a better look, "What is it?"

"Finals first," Yugi shook her head, putting it down on the table and going for her spares, "Package later."

"But Yuge..." Jou whined as he followed her to her room, hovering in the door as Yugi got the box from bottom drawer of the brand new desk she recently acquired.

"It could be nothing." Yugi pointed out as they returned to the front room where Anzu was taking takeaway orders, "You're getting worked up before you even know what it is."

The food arrived just as the match started. It was a well fought one but Yugi's prediction was accurate as Ryuzaki's beat down deck struggled to compensate for the tricks and traps of Haga's, leaving the dinosaur Duelist sulking in the dust.

Pegasus J. Crawford, the American man who had created the game of Duel Monsters, personally handed Haga the trophy and followed it up with an invitation to the new tournament that was coming up in just over a week's time that would be held at a place called Duelist Kingdom.

Once that little display was over and the last of the food have been devoured, Jou turned to the spares box and practically dove into it in his search for cards that could help his deck out.

It wasn't until after Bakura had gone home and Yugi had helped Jou sort his deck into a much more playable state while taking turns on the games that Honda put on the tv, that she remembered about the package that had been sitting on the side, ignored by the group.

"So?" Jou prodded her, having been looking forward to seeing what was in the package all evening. "You opening it or staring at it?"

"Give me a chance." Yugi chuckled as she pulled off the packing tape and opened the package, confusion crossing her features as she took in what was inside. "A glove?" She asked, pulling out the red glove with it's odd metal band around the wrist that had star shaped dents in. "Two golden stars," She tried to insert them into the divets and found they stayed in securely. "And the video tape..."

"Maybe the explanation's on the tape." Jou offered, examining the cassette, "Can you play it, Yuge?"

"Yup." Yugi took the tape from her friend and after getting Honda's okay to turn the TV over, she flipped over to the channel the video player was tuned into, inserting the tape as she did so.

The moment the tape started playing a Caucasian man, whose long, silvery purple hair covered one of his eyes, appeared on screen.

"Hello! At last we meet, Yugi-girl." The man on screen grinned, "Nice to meet you."

Yugi blinked, confusion obvious.

"Isn't that?" Jou asked, trailing off.

"The American who was just on TV." Yugi nodded, still shocked, "The guy who created Duel Monsters, Pegasus something..."

"No, no," The recording continued, "Don't be so surprised. I just wanted to send a video letter to the esteemed Yugi-girl. The real World Champion."

So he had heard of her defeat of Kaiba, who was still officially World Champion of the game even if she had beaten him in a rather publicised Duel. Still she was still only an up and comer on the official tournament circuit, so she wasn't quite sure what he wanted.

"I understand you are very skilled at Duel Monsters." Pegasus continued, looking excited about something, "After all you defeated Kaiba-boy! Good job on that, by the way." Then he seemed to settle down, "Now, shall we get down to business, Yugi-girl?" He asked, a small, smug smile on his features, "I want to test your skill, right here and now! I challenge you to face this video recording of me at Duel Monsters!"

"What?" Yugi yelped.

"How can Yugi play against someone recorded on a tape?" Sugoroku complained, "Impossible! That's no challenge. He can't even know what cards Yugi plays!"

"All right?" Pegasus asked, oblivious to the comments, "There's a false bottom on the package I sent you, use the cards within to build your deck in front of the monitor. In five minutes our duel will begin."

Yugi didn't have to think about it very long, she opened the false bottom and found the cards he was talking about. There was enough for two or three decks and she made up her mind as she examined them. "Okay." She nodded, looking up at the screen, "I'll take on any challenge."

"You serious Yuge?" Jou asked, still trying to work out how this would work.

"Yeah," She nodded. Even if it was just a recording, the creator of the game was challenging her, people dreamed of chances like this, "I'll do it."

She settled on the floor, picking and choosing the cards from the box as she assembled a forty card deck, "Okay," She spoke again at the four minute, thirty seven second mark, "My deck's ready."

Twenty three seconds later the tape asked, "Are you ready? Then let's go!"

"Duel!" Both Yugi and Pegasus spoke at the same time.

"Okay," Yugi started, "I'll start by summoning the Koumori Dragon, the devil dragon card, in attack mode!" She put it in front of the screen.

"Let me guess...the Koumori Dragon, right?" Pegasus asked.

"What?" Yugi yelped, staring at the screen, There had been over two hundred cards in that box and goodness only knew how many deck combinations, and he had just managed to guess her first card first time?

"This can't be!" Jou spoke up, his voice cutting through Yugi's shock, "How can he see the cards across the screen?"

"You see, Yugi-girl, I knew you were going to play that card. Why, I even know what's in your hand." Pegasus gloated, "You're planning to fuse your Koumori Dragon with your Dragon Champion next turn to increase your attack power. Am I wrong?"

No. No he wasn't. Yugi didn't understand how he knew what she had been planning, but somehow he knew. "Is he reading my mind?"

"Heh heh." Pegasus chuckled, "We can't have that, so I'll remove your Koumori Dragon from the field with my Dragon Capture Jar."

Pegasus held up the card and Yugi's dragon vanished into a pillar of smoke which somehow entered the television.

"He just... my creature got sucked into the TV!" Yugi couldn't believe her eyes. This was impossible unless this wasn't just some pre recorded Duel. Dread coursed through her as she realised what she had just walked into without thinking, "This isn't a normal Duel," She thought, "This is a Shadow Game."

Oneesan seized control, glowering at the screen, having hoped to have a little longer before the next adversary came along, 'This isn't going to be easy.' She thought with a mental grimace, 'I'm fighting the man who made the game but how? How can a guy on a pre-recorded tape read my cards.'

"I'll be the one to take you on." Oneesan spoke aloud, ignoring the surprised sounds from her friends and Ojiisan as they realised which Yugi was in control at this exact moment, "So don't mess with me."

"Aww, come on gloomy." Pegasus taunted, "Why do you look so angry? It's just a game, let's both enjoy it."

Oneesan bristled at his taunt, only to feel the mental equivalent of a hand on her shoulder, Imoto-chan stepping up to help her focus less on their frustrating opponent and more on how to get around his apparent ability to read her mind.

"Now, Yugi-girl, shall we move on with the game?" Pegasus continued to taunt, "It's your turn after all."

"Fine." Oneesan nodded, able to sense the magic flowing now she was paying attention and kicking herself for not being more careful as she drew the Baby Dragon out of her deck.

"Take your time and think it over, Yugi-girl." Pegasus spoke as she went to play the dragon, "Even your precious Blue Eyes White Dragon is powerless against this card." He tapped the Dragon Capture Jar on the table in front of him. "This is a rare new card that I just created. The game never stops evolving. There's always some new card you've got to have."

'Because being able to create any card you needed at any time isn't cheating in the slightest.' Oneesan thought sarcastically. "Fine, then I'll take you on with..."

"Silver Fang, correct, Yugi-girl?" Pegasus finished before she could finish putting the card down, causing her to freeze in shock three quarters of the way though the motion. "You plan on playing Mystical Moon next turn to boost his strength by turning him savage."

'He read me again!' Oneesan's thought was part shock, part frustration.

The wolf like creatures seemed to form out of a fog that rose from the card in front of Oneesan as Pegasus continued talking, "Beast Monsters hate fire, so this card should be enough, I summon Dragon Piper and use his effect to unseal the Dragon Capture Jar."

'Giving him control over my Koumori Dragon, no doubt.'

"That's right, Yugi-girl." Pegasus replied to her thought, causing Oneesan to let out a low growl as she realised it wasn't just her strategies he was reading. "The Piper's power gives me control over your Dragon." The spirit of the Puzzle had to fight not to recoil from the dragon head that emerged from the screen. "The Devil Dragon's fire destroys the wolf!" Pegasus cackled as Oneesan threw up an arm to shield herself from the heat of the attack, wincing against the flames as they narrowly missed her.

"Oh dear, Yugi-girl," Pegasus started taunting again as Oneesan's life points decreased, "I heard you were pretty good, but I know your strategies like the back of my hand! Must be a little jarring for you, huh? Get it, jarring? That's a joke."

"Take this!" Oneesan was in no mood for his lousy puns and even Imoto-chan's attempts to calm her didn't help as she snatched a card from her hand and played it without thought, "The water monster, Great White!" The huge shark appeared between her and the screen, its attack points higher than the dragons, allowing her to destroy it.

Pegasus countered with an electric monster which had less attack points than Oneesan's shark, but with the type advantage it wiped out Great White in a burst of electricity that lit up the room.

'Why? Why does he know all my plans?' Oneesan glowered at her hand, though it wasn't the deck she was mad at.

"I understand your shock, but this is reality, Yugi-girl." Pegasus's tone was serious now, "You cannot defeat me."

She didn't want to admit it, but he had a point. If she couldn't stop his mind reading, then she had no chance of defeating him, no matter what she did.

"Yugi!"

"Yugi! Don't give up!"

Oneesan glanced over her shoulders and offered her friends a grateful and reassuring smile at their calls.

"Now," Pegasus continued, causing her to turn back to the screen, "I think it's about time to tell you the other reason I Challenged you. It wasn't just for fun." Oneesan had kind of guessed that when she had taken over. It was a lot of work to call up a Shadow Game when the person was in the same room as you, yet alone a different continent. It wasn't something someone did for fun either, so she had known he wanted something else, she just didn't know what. "Hear this, Yugi-girl, when you lose this game, you must take part in a tournament my company, Industrial Illusions, is holding! That event will determine the True Champion of Duel Monsters, the King of Games!" He paused, smirking slightly, "Or Queen, of course."

'King of Games?' Oneesan wondered.

"To be honest I'd wanted Kaiba-boy to come too, but it's too bad. I hear he's not going to recover." Pegasus looked disappointed. For some reason Oneesan had no great urge to share the fact she knew Kaiba would recover, given enough time. Not with this creep. "Anyway, the one who becomes King or Queen will also win a large sum of money! And something even more valuable! Wait till you find out what it is!"

"What if I refuse?" Oneesan asked, "I have no interest in your tournament."

"Ah but you see, Yugi-girl, you can't refuse. Because you can't defeat me. There's no escape."

"Oh really?" Oneesan couldn't help but be amused, pride piqued now, "Well I haven't lost yet."

"Okay," Pegasus allowed, seeming amused by her inability to just surrender when the game was so obviously against her, "Then let's keep playing. That's the spirit Yugi-girl, I knew you'd say that."

"Let's go!" Oneesan called, drawing a card, thinking as she did so, 'There has to be a reason he can read my hand, what is it?' She glanced at her hand, 'I'll play this card...' She trailed off, considering the zombie card again. She had picked the card without thinking, relying on the sixth sense that normally guided her through games without fail, but a thought occurred to her.

"I play this card face down." She called before turning to the group watching, "You lot haven't seen the card I played, right?"

"Of course not," Jou shook his head, the others in agreement, "You're the only one who saw it."

"Okay," Oneesan nodded, "I want everyone to use their sixth sense to tell me what this card is."

"Uhh, Yuge?" Jou asked, "You do remember you're the one with the powers, right?"

"That doesn't matter." Oneesan shot back, "Just say whatever pops into your head."

"Well..." Ojiisan said slowly but thoughtfully, "I got the picture of a skull."

"I'm thinking of a cool warrior!" Jou smirked.

"Well actually," Anzu looked confused by the whole thing, "I thought the same as Ojiisan did. A skeleton."

"Me too." Honda agreed.

'Ha!' Oneesan grinned, 'I was right! Three out of four guessed a zombie type monster. This isn't a coincidence.' She chuckled slightly, 'Now I get it, I know how he could 'see through my cards.'"

Pegasus chuckled, "As amusing as this all is, it's my turn and while I hate to repeat myself, I know what card you've just played. An undead zombie monster."

"What?" The gang yelped, "He said the same thing we did!"

"I play the Rogue Doll! Her 'Holy Light of Shining Chaos' will obliterate all undead monsters. I win, Yugi-girl!"

"I knew it." Oneesan's chuckle surprised her friends, "He's inserted frames into the film. He's using subliminal messaging. Probably has been since I started building my deck, using the images he's hidden in the film to encourage me to pick the deck he wanted me to build." She felt her other self's surprise and outrage at that and tried to soothe her little sister's mind. Imoto-chan hated cheaters as much as she did and the fact had been manipulated from the start was grating on the girl's nerves.

"This battle is mine!" Pegasus crowed, "I win Yugi-girl!"

"Is that so?" Oneesan chuckled, "The card I played face down was," She flipped it face up and the monster appeared before her, shielding her from the man on screen, "The Dark Magician!"

The Spellcaster monster blew away Pegasus's Rogue Doll but Pegasus didn't seem too worried.

"Heh, I also knew that it was about time for you to see through my trick." Pegasus chuckled, completely unbothered.

"Don't be a sore loser, you cheat." Oneesan scolded him.

"Ah but I knew you were going to do that." Pegasus corrected her, "I just took the hit to keep things fair. It was recorded on the tape after all."

So the subliminal messaging wasn't his only trick. Oneesan grimaced slightly, her delight in working out Pegasus's cheating subdued by the fact that Pegasus was still, somehow reading her mind and reading her hand turns in advance.

"Now comes the real Duel, Yugi-girl." Pegasus crowed.

"You want it, you got it, Pegasus!" Oneesan snapped back.

"However you are fighting a video of me and there's only so much film left on the tape, so let's add a time limit to this game." A timer with 15 minutes appeared in the top right corner of the screen, "The one whose life points are higher when the timer hits zero wins and, of course, a Penalty Game awaits the loser."

Oneesan grimaced. As if her situation hadn't been dangerous enough before... She could hear the slightly worried whispering of her friends as she started her move, her Dark Magician blowing away Pegasus's second monster, leaving the creator of Duel Monsters with just three hundred life points left.

"Oh no!" Pegasus moaned as his creature died.

"You're nothing, Pegasus!" Oneesan smirked at him, certain she could get around his tricks if she was careful. "Your life is running out!"

Pegasus drew out his turn, taking almost right up to the five minute turn time limit before he drew, a delighted chuckle escaping his lips, "Oh I can't believe it!" He laughed, "My next card is the Illusionist Faceless Mage!"

He played the monster which was much weaker than Oneesan's Dark Magician, in attack mode.

"But shouldn't O...Yuge's card be stronger?" Jou asked, "Doesn't that mean she wins?"

"Not necessarily." Ojiisan grimaced, "Strength isn't everything in this game. Every monster and magic user in the game belongs to a particular type and they're all stronger or weaker against other types."

"So even if they're stronger they can still lose, if they're the wrong type?" Anzu asked.

"Exactly." Ojiisan nodded, "That's what makes strategy so important in this game."

"I'm not done yet." Pegasus informed them, "I play the Illusion card, the Eye of Deception and combo attack the Dark Magician!"

The two spellcasters blasted each other but both were still standing when the smoke cleared.

The timer by this point had gone down to five minutes and Oneesan considered it carefully as she drew, deliberately not looking at the card for more than a brief glance, smirking when she saw it was the Celtic Guardian.

'If I play defensively, I win when the timer runs out.' Oneesan thought, 'But that's the path of a coward.' She glowered at Pegasus, "I'll fight to the end! Celtic Guardian!" She summoned the monster, "Take out his mage!"

She was in for a shock as, to the sound of the Illusionist Faceless Mage's laughter, something struck the Celtic Guardian from behind, destroying Oneesan's creature and dropping her lifepoints to two hundred.

"Wha..." Oneesan watched, horrified and shocked as her Dark Magician moved to Pegasus's side of the field, the eye symbol on his chest. Pegasus's Eye of Deception had brainwashed the Dark Magician and caused it to betray her and now she was going to lose unless...

8...

"I pass my turn." Pegasus crowed, with just seconds left on the timer. "I win after all."

7...

"It's not over yet!" Oneesan snarled, drawing the Summoned Skull.

6...

"My demon trumps your Illusionist." She played the card.

5...

"Attack!"

4...

The demon appeared on the field and loosed an attack that launched through the television, cutting off as the timer hit zero, just millimetres from the Illusionist Faceless Mage.

The Duel was over. Oneesan had lost.

Fear trembled across the link from Yugi, echoing the dread in Oneesan's heart as Pegasus cackled. Yugi's friends sounded worried as they called her name but no one dared move. The threat of a Penalty Game was fresh in all their minds and none of them knew what was going to happen.

"My dear Yugi-girl, you have more talent than I expected, I predict we will meet again at Duelist Kingdom. By the rules of most trading card games, I could take one of your best cards and while your Blue Eyes or your Dark Magician are tempting prizes, I could make my own. So, Yugi-girl, I'm going to take something special to you instead. That way you won't try to escape me!"

Light erupted from the screen. Oneesan instinctively tried to shield her little sister from the spell Pegasus was casting as his voice echoed around the living room.

"Penalty Game!"

Then the light was gone, confusing Oneesan. She had expected Pegasus to do something to her for losing. Or worse, expected him to harm Imoto-chan in some way, but nothing seemed to have happened.

"Ojiisan!"

At Jou's cry, Oneesan wheeled around, turning to find her grandfather was on his back, barely breathing and staring through empty, blank eyes at the ceiling.

"Ojiisan!" Oneesan darted to his side, "Ojiisan! What's wrong!"

"And now!" Pegasus sounded amused, his voice drawing Oneesan' attention back, even as she tried to comprehend what had just happened. "The reason I can read your mind, Yugi-girl!" The CEO of Industrial Illusions pulled the hair away from his eye to reveal a golden eye in his left eye socket, an eye which had the same wadjet eye on as her Puzzle.

"The Millennium Eye!" Pegasus's voice bounced around her mind, "And it's Mind Scan! It gives me the power to see into the hearts of my opponents!"

'The Millennium Eye...' Oneesan couldn't help but stare, horrified at the item, something about it distressing her greatly, intensifying the emotions flooding her from both her own mind and her little sister's.

"Now," Pegasus spoke aloud, "Let's meet at my Kingdom. If you defeat me, you'll get your something special back." With that Pegasus's image faded out to be replaced by Ojiisan's, super imposed over a screen of white noise.

"Yugi!" He cried, pressing his hands against the screen, "Yugi!"

"Ojiisan!" Oneesan yelped, realising as she glanced between the screen and Ojiisan's body what had happened, especially when the tape ran out and Ojiisan's image vanished.

She had lost. Lost because she had been overconfident, unable to just wait for the clock to tick down and had walked into Pegasus's trap and Ojiisan had paid the price for it.

Pegasus had trapped his soul within the video tape.