A.N~ Wow... talk about a slow update… ^^ sorry… The chapter is short, but I just wanted to update something! I feel like this chapter is confusing, so if you have a question, ask me! Not much to say except sorry for the slow update and stuff ^^… I kind of rushed this, so if you see any mistakes just tell me! T^T I did a half ass job of planning this chapter, so sorry… again…

OKAY! So here are the couples! : Heba/Atem/Yugi, Ryou/Bakura/, Joey/Seito, and now that this chapter is written, I'm thinking about adding Mahado/Seth… T^T Weird, but it's just a thought…

Finally I would like to thank; yugixyamiyaoilover, hoigui, MagnusPr1m3, MukashiNoHikari, WolvesKey, and DarkAnubisAngel for reviewing! You're reviews were what forced me to finish this chapter! XD


Chapter 3: A Different Past

He was always so alone.

No matter who was around him, or how many people surrounded him, he felt utterly alone; abandoned. He hated his life; his gifted, privileged life. He wanted nothing more than to disappear into the vast darkness he had sworn to protect his people from. It would be a lot easier than this.

He was alone in a room full of servants who would do anything to please him. He was scared, though he had nothing to fear.

Why was he like this? Why did he hate the life that had blessed him so generously? …Because he was alone…

He was alone… But not anymore… At least that was what he thought…

Atem was angry. He had specifically told Heba that he was to meet Atem in his room right after he had finished with his duties. Heba should have finished hours ago, but where was he?

Atem couldn't help but feel worried, though that was covered by anger and disappointment. Heba was a slave, if anything were to hinder him from completing his duties; he was still expected to do it. If Heba couldn't even listen to one small instruction, then he wasn't worth keeping.

That's what Atem told himself; what his family had forced him to believe. But was that what he still thought? Heba worked harder than any slave in the palace, and Atem trusted him with anything.

He used to think like that… He used to believe that he was better, perfect, in the eyes of a tainted slave, but he couldn't think that anymore. Heba was a slave, and he wanted nothing more than to be like him, to bask in his perfection. Heba was a better person than him, so he couldn't believe that anymore.

Three quiet knocks pierced through the silence of Atem's thoughts, announcing the arrival of the slave. Atem shot up from his bed and quickly pulled open the door; disappointed in himself that he felt so excited to see Heba again.

"What the hell took you so long, you stupi –" Atem stopped, unable to vocalize any words upon looking down at the small, battered slave. Atem blinked his eyes at the blood staining to boy's child-like face; tears running steady down his trembling frame. "H-Heba…? Wha… What happened to you…?"

The slave sniffled, launching himself into Atem's arms, who fell back and onto the floor, Heba still gripping on his shirt desperately. "A-Atem…" Heba nuzzled the elder boy's neck affectionately.

"Heba…?" Atem asked, pulling Heba up and collecting him in his arms. "What happened?" He asked, feeling rather crappy about his earlier anger at the small slave in his arms, placing him gently on the silk of his bed sheets.

"I don't like it here Atem… I don't…"He shook his head, refusing to meet the taller boy's gaze. "I don't want to be here…"

Atem held Heba close to his chest, slowly rocking him back and forth. "I'm sorry Heba…" He wanted nothing more than to feel the pain Heba was feeling. He wanted to hold the boy in his arms and take away all of the pain he had ever felt. He wanted to kill who ever had hurt the young slave, but he couldn't. He couldn't do anything… Heba was a slave; Atem was to be the pharaoh of Egypt… If his parent's knew he had a soft spot for a slave, they would take Heba away from him and he knew that.

"Heba, I'm so sorry…" He felt Heba shake in his arms, and at that moment he knew, he would never let him go again. He would never let him hurt. He would always be there to protect him…

Atem was always bad when it came to promises…

Atem shot up from bed; his vivid dream still replaying over and over in his mind. The pharaoh turned over to where the young slave from his dreams was supposed to be lying, though Atem wasn't surprised that he wasn't there.

He had been beginning to wonder if his appearance was part of the dream as well. The only explanation Atem could come up with was that Heba was nothing but his mind trying to remember Yugi. The part of him that was so desperate for the small teen had ultimately created a look alike in his mind.

Atem groaned as he looked around his empty room. I part of him had wanted Heba to be real. A part of him wanted to know more about him. He sighed heavily and slid off of his bed, looking up at the white ceiling above him. Was the boy truly his imagination?

Atem couldn't explain it, but it felt right to hold the boy in his arms. He felt safe; wanted. He wanted the boy to be real, so he could feel like that again. He couldn't remember a time where he had felt so at peace. Even in Yugi's time, the confusion of his past had weighed heavy on his soul; – even in the comfort of his small hikairi – he had felt lost.

Atem shook the thought from his mind. It wasn't right to wish for something that he could never achieve. It was wrong to reach too high.

The pharaoh's thoughts were interrupted by a small voice on the other side of the door. "Pharaoh."

Atem smiled at the familiarity and opened to door to greet his friend "Good morning Mahado." He grinned at his friend who smiled back.

"I was sure it had been my imagination that you had returned." He sighed, patting the pharaoh's head, grinning at the height difference. Atem could only frown and attempt to pull the large hand away. "You are being summoned by the goddess Isis."

Atem nodded, as Mahado left the room to allow him to change out of his sleeping robes, and into his royal attire. He quickly wrapped his purple cape around his shoulders and made his way through the halls. He touched the millennium puzzle that hung around his neck as thoughts of Yugi and last night's imposter returned to his mind. What if last night had not been a dream? What if the boy was still out there being hurt by the solders from last night? They still needed to be punished – that is if they had done anything at all – and Atem would see to it that they were. But how could he be sure he could trust what he saw?

Atem sighed; deciding that he would talk to Mahado about the slave after the meeting was finished.

The door swung open to the temple, and all eyes rested on the pharaoh. Atem smiled at the people around him before his eyes landed on the tall Egyptian woman whom resembled the beautiful Ishizu from Yugi's world. "Isis…" Atem greeted, kneeling before the goddess. "You wish to see me?"

Isis nodded, walking towards Atem and resting a hand on his shoulder. "It is good to see you again pharaoh." The pharaoh looked up and smiled at the warm look he was receiving. We must talk of your travels!" She beamed, gesturing for someone to come forward.

Atem smiled up at the tall man who was brought before him. "Seth…" The pharaoh smiled at his cousin and rose to pull him into a tight hug.

His cousin reluctantly accepted the hug, but quickly pulled away. "We are not here to reacquaint ourselves; we need to discuss your travels."

Atem nodded. "I suppose." The pharaoh retold his journey, making sure to leave out his strange feelings for his hikairi and the strong bonds he had formed there. It was too hard to talk about…

"Then it was a success." Isis smiled, but frowned at the frown that was eminent on her pharaoh's face. "Is everything alright my pharaoh…?"

Atem nodded. "It's just… When I received my memories, I was sure…" Everyone was dead. Atem finished in his mind. "Never mind…It's nothing…"

Isis nodded, not entirely believing the pharaoh. "If you wish to speak to me, I am here…"

Atem smiled. "I know, thank you." The pharaoh rose, and exited the room, Seth and Mahado following suit.

"Your journey seems exciting." Mahado laughed, walking faster to catch up to his pharaoh.

"Mahado. " The pharaoh stopped suddenly and turned to face his friend and his cousin. "Do you know the slaves in the palace?"

Mahado cocked his head but nodded, Seth simply rolled his eyes at the pharaoh's question as if he had expected him to ask this. "Of course, I believe so…"

"Do you know of a slave named Heba…?"

Mahado's eyes widened, and Seth simply laughed. "Did you think you hadn't done enough damage to the boy cousin?"

"Seth!" Mahado snapped, before turning to the pharaoh. "Why do you ask…?"

Atem looked dumbfounded between the two men. "Is he… real?" The pharaoh stumbled back, only to be held in place by large hands on his shoulders.

"Yes…" Mahado said simply. "Though I would suggest you stay away from him…"

"Why?" Atem asked, shocked at the look in his friend's eyes. "He was hurt last night, but I was sure it was a dream. If he is really hurt… then…"

"No… Atem please…" Mahado shook his head as Seth moved to stand behind him. "Heba… Heba is a brilliant boy. He is too kind and fragile to be a slave in this kingdom… He has suffered enough."

Atem pulled away from his friend and stared wide eyed. "Why? What happened between us?"


"Mahado, please… I need to know…"

He needed to know who the boy was, and what his relation was to Yugi…

Yugi was to say the least freaking out. It wasn't enough that he had just found out his friend was an expert thief. It was the evil sociopathic murderer who was currently sitting in his living room.

"Yugi please calm down." Ryou said calmly holding Yugi's shoulders as he stared wide eyed at the grinning thief.

"Ryou…" Yugi said, only half knowing what he was saying. "Why…?"

"I know." Ryou smiled behind him at his look alike. "It kind of happened after I stole the item. I can't explain it..."

"You can't explain it? Ryou; why is he in my house?"

"It happened after I stole the item. With out the influence of the other items around him, he gained the power to materialize in front of others..."

"That isn't very comforting." Yugi said holding the bridge of his nose. "I can't tell you how wrong this is…"

Ryou rubbed the back of his head. "I know it's weird Yugi, but you have to listen to him. Yami could be in danger."

Yugi immediately turned his attention to Bakura at the mention of Yami's name. He would do anything to get him back – even listen to the one who had tried to kill him. "What's wrong?"

Bakura sighed; obviously glad that Yugi had finally calmed down and stood up to tower over the boy. "Nice to see you again Yugi…" He smiled snidely.

"Wish I could say the same." Yugi snapped back, and Ryou stood closer to the two, prepared to separate any fight that may happen.

Bakura noticed the worried look on Ryou's face and immediately stepped back. "Well Yugi, it seems little kitty here," -he said, patting Ryou's head, earning a glare from the slightly shorter male - "kind of screwed your little boyfriend over..."

"He's not my boyfriend!" Yugi growled a bright blush on his face. "And what do you mean by that?"

Ryou was blushing a deep red when Bakura wrapped an arm around his shoulders – though Yugi couldn't tell how much was embarrassment or shame. "You all thought you were returning Atem to the afterlife. That would have been true if he was ever dead to begin with." He watched Yugi's reaction before continuing. "Isis had felt a disturbance in this time and sent the pharaoh to fix it. I followed him in hopes that I could take out his soul so that his body would be forever asleep. We all know how well that worked out."

"But we all saw the past. Everyone died. There would be nothing to return to. You were dead too…"

Bakura rolled his eyes at the tri colored haired boy before continuing. "That wasn't the past." He said simply. "That was what is destined to happen – the future of the pharaoh. It is impossible to change it." He narrowed his eyes at Ryou. "Or at least it was supposed to be impossible. Little Ryou here may have just screwed us all over."

"Just tell me what happened!" Yugi snapped, his heart beating erratically in his chest.

"You see, when I return to the past, I was supposed to do something very important. But since Ryou stole the item before my soul could return, that was never done."

"What?" Yugi asked again, his patience wearing thin.

"There was a man who was supposed to die. But since the thief king will never wakes up… I never get the chance to kill him…"

Heba was in excruciating pain. He was sure his ribs were broken, though he knew better than to complain. He was just a slave. If he couldn't work, there was no point in keeping him. Heba groaned in pain when he felt himself getting shoved in the back as he tumbled to the ground pain searing through his entire body.

He needed to get up. He told himself, struggling to his feet, his breathing becoming heavy and labored. When he stood, he leaned heavily on the hallway wall, as his nerves stilled enough for him to walk. "I can do this…" He told himself, as he limped towards the kitchen so he could continue on with his chores.

"Out of my way!" Heba looked up just in time to see the hand push him over. He whimpered quietly before looking up at the men in front of him. One was tall and slim with long black hair and light purple eyes - Heba had decided he was the one who had pushed him over. The other two appeared to be slaves, though both were tall with strange silver hair and pale grey eyes and could be twins.

The three men stepped over the slave, not even glancing back at him. Heba shuddered as he watched them walk away, not liking the unsettling atmosphere that surrounded them.

'Be careful Atem…'

A.N~ Told you… Confusing… Aw well… This story won't be too long… T^T I hope not at least…Any ways, review! XD Again sorry for such a slow update and then a short chapter…

I feel like I made it kind of awkward... ah well... I'll fix it later... right now, I'm too tired... I have to write the next chapter of my other story and I have to study for exams so yeah ^^...

^^ I will have a lot to explain next chapter… You will learn what happened between Heba and Atem, and find out exactly how much Ryou messed up ^^ And I might add some Joey/Seito XD Again, if anyone wants to add a couple, feel free to suggest! XD I don't bite I swear! And suggestions are always welcomed! XD

T^T oh yes, and a warning to the readers, the ending will be sad... at least that's how I planned it… I might change it later… ^^ Anyways I'm rambling…