Cursed Gold
Chapter Eight
by Katsuko

All disclaimers and warnings are posted in chapter one.
Dedications: My wonderful beta reader Eternal SailorM. Also the kitties Aya, Biscuit and Mika-chan for keeping me company while I type.
Archive: if ESM wants it; The Asylum;; Katsuko's Obsession. All others please ask.

"You? You're the Master of Tokyo?" Seto sounds, looks and smells just plain confused. Hell, I think all four of us look like the poster children for complete and total confusion!

"I've beaten you at Duel Monsters how many times?" comes from Yami and I just have to roll my eyes. Dorobou whacks him on the back of the head (I can only assume that it's for being a game-obsessed moron), receiving a glare for his troubles. "Already injured here, Kura."

"Obviously not enough," Dorobou replies quickly.

I can only meow my confusion. A direct translation would be: "You run Industrial Illusions. You're the Master of Tokyo. How the fuck does that work?!" Seto, however, does not (yet) speak feline and looks at my brother. "What'd he say?"

"I could give you the direct translation, but it boils down to 'the fuck?' Really," Dorobou adds, "you need to be learning these things."

Seto gives him a look that would cut glass and I growl softly before pinching his arm pretty damn hard. Hey, I've got claws most of the time but at the moment I'm too drained to extend them. Pinching gets someone's attention and displays annoyance just as well, thank you. The glare is turned onto me but I've learned to ignore that sort of thing. Besides, I'm still ignoring him. Really.

Luckily for all of us Dorobou cuts to the heart of the matter: "Since when are you Master of Tokyo, Pegasus?"

Pegasus blinks, his scent betraying confusion for all of a microsecond, then gives us some kind of smirky-smile that I instantly dislike. "But, Bakura-boy"--I manage to not growl--"I've been Master of Tokyo longer than you've been alive." What the--?!? I shoot a quick look to Dorobou, who looks shell shocked. I mean, Dorobou knows everything there is to know about his 'clients'. I'm sure he knew Freak Job here is a master vamp--guess that explains all the tigers but not why they're looking at me the way they are; they look almost like they expect me to start tearing into them at any moment. Which would be a neat trick considering I'm not one hundred percent sure if my legs can support me right now. Oops, Freak's talking again: "Besides, when you and Ryou-boy"--no growl again, but it's twitching in my throat--"vanished, it seemed like time to start cracking down."

Dorobou still looks collected, but his scent holds traces of worry and fear. "...He's not still working for you... is he?"

Who--oh. Him. I almost hope the answer is yes, along with permission for me to tear the fucker in half and a photograph so I don't get the wrong guy. I don't know the whole story, but I know enough to want to protect my family.

Pegasus' eyes soften a bit, almost affectionately. I have a second to wonder if Freak Boy thinks of Dorobou as family, too, before he answers, "I said I'd been cracking down, didn't I?" My brother breathes a sigh of relief and visibly relaxes a bit.

"Kura?" It's Yami, sounding curious and concerned. He smells of pain though, and I make a questioning sound. My voice isn't back enough for me to speak just yet but at least I sound less, well, cat. Kajiki is still close enough to both hear and catch my question, and he turns to face Pegasus.


The older vampire frowns just a fraction. "Where are my manners tonight? Please sit," he says, gesturing to the two chairs in front of his desk. In all honesty, I'm reminded a bit of Seto's home office... but this is a bit more cozy.

And who is the woman standing beside him? Her scent is confusing; she smells of power but there's more that I can't quite place. She's not a pomme de sange, I know that much at least... and yet her presence puts me at ease.

Dorobou guides Yami to one of the chairs and pushes him down--Yami's flustered again, if he's not careful he's going to turn red permanently. "Kura, what--"

"You're injured," Dorobou cuts in. "Sit down and rest, Pharaoh."

My friend blinks, then blinks again. "'Pharaoh'?"

"Pharaoh." This time it's accompanied by a nod. I snicker softly, looks like Yami's got a permanent nickname.

I expect Dorobou to take the other chair, so I'm surprised when Seto drops me down into the remaining seat. I mew a 'what the hell?!' but as I said, he doesn't speak feline. Rather than attempt to decipher what I said or ask Dorobou, he smoothes out the jacket as if making sure my nonexistent modesty is intact, fingers the collar for a second then copies Dorobou's move and slips behind the chair I'm seated in.

My brother looks amused for a fraction of a second before getting down to business again: "Now, question two: why the fuck did you kidnap us?"

Oh for--! Freakazoid has the gall to look offended. "I'm going to let you go so it's not really kidnapping," he says, and I notice Yami tensing out of the corner of my eye. Pegasus obviously notices as well if the sudden change in his scent means anything: a faint note of concern, sorrow and pity. I doubt Dorobou knows the reason, and it's not my place to say; the urge to go give my friend a hug is strong but I stay seated. It's been too long, and Yami never liked being pitied.

Pegasus continues with, "I think it'd be rather gauche after Yami-boy's last experience with it."

"Master of Tokyo or not, you're an ass." It takes me a second to realize that came out of my mouth. The jerk just looks amused by my comment. I ignore him and turn a glare on Kajiki. "Four on one!" He actually looks embarrassed; good. Cheater.

"I'm sorry!"

"Sure you are," I find myself snarling back. Shit, not good, my mind set is still slightly feral, and from the way all the other Weres in the room are shrinking back they know it too.

"I am," Kajiki insists, moving back half a step. "When I realized, I tried to stop Miroshi. That's the only reason he didn't end up like Yashida."

Realized what? I wish I knew what the fuck he was whinging about, he's just pissing me off right now. I'm three seconds from shifting again when a hand clamps down on my shoulder.

"Quiet, kitten. He's telling the truth. Don't spill blood here."

For some reason Seto's voice calms my nerves and I relax, giving Kajiki one final glare. Okay, I'll let this drop... for now. But if Kajiki Ryouta ever shows his face in Domino, he'd better watch his back. I won't forgive, and I will never forget.

I tune back into the conversation in time to hear Dorobou prompt, "You didn't answer my question, Pegasus. Why did you grab us? And why did it have to involve jumping Kitty"--yeah, I'm wondering that myself, and wow, Dorobou's pissed if the gradually increasing volume is any indication--"shooting Pharaoh here, and clubbing me over the head?!" He's... not happy is actually an understatement. I'd rank him at 'take-no-prisoners-pissed-off'.

Pegasus might hurt himself if he frowns any harder. "Believe me, Bakura-boy," and I am really starting to hate the way he draws that word out, "all I said was 'I need to see them'. It was not my intention that anyone be hurt."

"So all this happened because your people are a bit... overzealous?" Seto asks in a voice so cold I can almost feel the temperature of the room drop. It's damn near sub-Arctic. However, it has no effect whatsoever on Freaky.

"I'm afraid so, Kaiba-boy." I can feel a growl building but manage to bite it back. Peggy's pouting now; would it be terribly rude to roll my eyes? "The least you could have done was call first, instead of just barging in like you own the place. This isn't Domino City after all." Mew? "Then we could have avoided this entirely."

I think my feline grace and Seto's vamp reflexes are all that keep me from whacking him in the face, my hand shoots up in the air so fast. "Question: the hell?"

Apparently Yami and I are on the same wavelength: "I thought only Master vampires had to announce themselves. No way Kaiba's a master; he was only turned two years ago." Yeah, that was about two or three months after I took up permanent residence with Dorobou and Ryou. It was also around then that I realized my 'little' crush on him wasn't going away. Not that it really matters... what are we talking about again? My attention snaps back to the matter at hand.

"Nevertheless, he is a master." Oh, cool, I didn't miss too much. Pegasus continues, "Now, why don't you ask him what happened to the previous Master of the City?"

...oh hell no. My hunches aren't always right, which is why I never voiced my suspicions. I hear myself ask, "What're you driving at?" Maybe I'm hoping I was wrong this time, too.

Pegasus is silent for a long moment, and I can feel Seto's hand tighten on my shoulder. Hurts like a bitch, but I'm not going to say a word. Finally Mr. Master of Tokyo says, "Whoever kills the previous Master becomes the new Master."

Seto's voice is completely void of emotion: "He turned my little brother. I don't care what happens to me, but no one touches Mokuba." I can't even tell from his scent what he's really feeling right now; it's a blend of fear, anger, protectiveness, acceptance and control.

Yami's speaking again. "Doesn't he have to have an animal to call?" Okay, did he memorize a textbook sometime while I was out cold?

"What is sitting before him?" I blink, then blink twice quickly. The fuck? Seto's grip tightens again for a second before relaxing. I guess he noticed me flinch on that last one, he's hella strong.

"How can he call leopards?" Dorobou demands. I'm curious about that myself. "There's only one pard in all of Japan."

The blonde woman finally speaks: "And yet there are Wereleopards in Japan." My brother smells a bit startled; didn't he see--oh. Now I recognize the 'taste' of magick in her scent. How'd I miss that? I'm from a family line of witches! The woman offers a small smile. "Welcome back to Tokyo, Bakura."

"I intend to make it a short visit," Dorobou replies dryly. "So if Treeboy here is the new Master of Domino, why did you grab the rest of us?"

I sigh mentally as Pegasus perks up. Here we go....

"Well, your Wereleopard wasn't going anywhere without Kaiba-boy."

That's it. I don't even try to stop myself this time, and the growl I let out has the tigers shrinking back into the various shadows. Pegasus doesn't even blink; hell, he looks and smells amused. I want to bite him, but that might not be my smartest move. I'm still growling low in my throat when he continues, "And Kaiba wasn't going anywhere without your cat."

"And Pharaoh-boy and me?" Dorobou prompts. He still sounds annoyed.

The witch lady (Kaasan drill that into my head--witches are ladies until they give you a reason to hate them) moves behind Pegasus' chair and mirrors my brother and Seto. "That was my doing, I'm afraid," she says. "I felt you two enter the city. Your power has grown in your absence, Bakura."

I frown to myself. Dorobou I can understand a witch sensing, but Yami...? I turn my gaze fully onto her. "Two? I don't understand, Lady." I hope she doesn't think my questioning her is rude; Kaasan would skin me alive if one of the covens told her I'd been impolite to one of their Ladies.

The Lady blinks, realization entering her scent (and even Pegasus has a faint hint of the same in his); the Were overpowers the traces of magick in my blood so no one knows I'm of a witch line unless I say something.

After a second she speaks again: "I suppose it's not really my place to say if you don't already know. I can say his powers," she nods at Yami, "compliment your own."

Holy fuck, Dorobou is radiating anger, and I can just hear him hiss, "We have a lot to talk about later, Mutou," to Yami. I know that tone, and I have to pity the hell outta my sorta-former-best-friend. I shrink away from the pair of them and find myself leaning into Seto again. He squeezes my shoulder, almost as if agreeing with my assessment that Yami is in Deep Shit, and leans down a bit. I'm a little startled by what he says in light of, oh, everything else going on tonight.

"You're exhausted, I can smell it on you. Will you be all right for the trip home?" He speaks so low that I don't think even Pegasus can pick up on it. The only reason I do is because his mouth is right by my ear. I manage a tiny nod and shift slightly; in a heartbeat he's upright again and acting as if he didn't just show concern towards someone not related to him by blood.

If it was my call at the moment, Dorobou would be in this chair instead of where he is. I'm very tempted to make the offer. More so when he seems to become angrier. I am so cuddling him on the trip back to Domino, Seto and Yami be damned.

Dorobou gives Pegasus the 'I eat babies' glare. "If you're done playing show-and-tell, Crawford"--cuddles and his favourite food--"can we go now? I'm sure Kaiba"--and I'll get Ryou to unplug the phone and disconnect the doorbell--"has a lot to do with what's left of the night."

Why is it that Pegasus is so cool and collected? Even his Lady is shifting nervously in the face of Dorobou's rage but he's still as calm as he was when we walked in.

"Oh, of course, Bakura!" At least he's smart enough to drop the damn 'boy' this time.... "Do you have a preference on how to return? Oh!" The fuck...? I'm starting to think Pegasus J. Crawford rode the short bus to school.... "The helicopter's gassed up. Will that be all right?"

"Whatever," Dorobou grounds out. "I don't care. Just get me the fuck out of Tokyo."

"So long as it's fast," I add, rising abruptly. I cross to Dorobou and lay my head on his shoulder, ignoring Seto's confused expression. My brother needs my attention more than my mate does at the moment, and not even Yami's jealousy--it's rolling off him in waves right now--is going to run me off.

"And I want my knives back." I bite back a chuckle as both Seto and Yami's scents take on a nervous tinge. If either of them acts the fool on the trip home I'll hold them still for Dorobou.

The Lady answers. "Of course. I wish you all a safe journey home. Goddess go with you."

"May She smile upon you as well," I reply. Hey, I can be brash at times but one is not rude to a Lady when she blesses your journey.

Dorobou adds, "Thank you, Cynthia." Mrr? Wonder if she's the same Cynthia whom Kaasan said formed half the covens in Japan today? Hey, anything's possible, even if it does mean that Lady's over one hundred years old. And Kaasan always told me never ask any lady her age, it's incredibly rude!

Seto smells jealous, and I shoot him a quick look that speaks volumes. In less than a second I manage to say, "I love you, I am yours whether you know it or not, but my family comes first and my brother needs me right now" without uttering a word. My vampire isn't the CEO of Kaiba Corp by inheritance alone; he nods shortly as the jealousy recedes then turns his gaze to Pegasus. "Ignorance is no excuse for impoliteness," he says coolly. "I apologize for any... inconvenience our presence has caused. You," Seto emphasizes the word slightly, "are always welcome in Domino."

The freaky man smile-smirks. "Even so, I'll call ahead of time." Wow, even Yami looks annoyed with that answer. Lady Cynthia sighs quietly, as if that's better than what she expected him to say, and I decide that she's most likely the power behind the throne so to speak. "Your ride is waiting, and like you said, Bakura, Kaiba has much to do."

"I know the way." Dorobou practically manhandles Yami out of the chair and begins to drag him towards the door. It doesn't look like his grip is too tight, but Dorobou's control is tenuous at the moment. I fall in step right behind them, Seto at my back. Yami loses his footing once, Dorobou quickly shifting to take most of their weight. Before too long my brother is climbing into the helicopter after, um, seating Yami. I start to follow, every nerve in my body suddenly freezing as Seto's hand finds its way into one of the coat pockets. I hope to the Goddess that my face isn't red; it's bad enough that I'm still tired from shifting, I really don't need to pass out because Seto decided to act like... well, me!

I relax--barely--when he steps back, cell phone in hand. I feel... okay, kinda stupid. But at least I wasn't the only one to jump to conclusions if Dorobou's sigh of relief means anything. The second all of us are inside one of the Weres hands my brother all his knives and closes the door behind us.

I think I wait all of two seconds before settling on the floor and dropping my head into Dorobou's lap. I register Seto speaking and realize that he's slipped into business-mode. I start up a low purr when my brother begins petting me and allow my body to relax a bit more. The renewed smell of blood hits me and I reach for the first-aide kit under Seto's seat; my vampire is strong-willed, he's noticed the scent but is still making arrangements. I pass the kit up to Dorobou, absently taking in the one-sided conversation. I guess Dorobou will take Yami home and I'll stick close to Seto. For right now, though, I plan to be only semi-conscious.

[ Cursed Gold 01 | Cursed Gold 02 | Cursed Gold 03 | Cursed Gold 04 | Cursed Gold 05 | Cursed Gold 06 | Cursed Gold 07 | Cursed Gold 08 | Cursed Gold 09 | Cursed Gold Epilogue ]
[ Avarice 01 | Avarice 02 | Avarice 03 | Avarice 04 | Avarice 05 | Avarice 06 | Avarice 07 | Avarice Epilogue ]
[ Endear ]
[ Unbreakable ]