Gray hair or not, this guy is dangerous, Joey concluded, taking in the ready for anything air that seemed to surround the older man. Short haircut, leather jacket… too disciplined to be in the biker crowd. Security, maybe. Something official. Cop? Nah, Bakura’s not jumpy enough.
One thing was for sure. If this guy’s a translator, I’m from Tibet. “Nothin’ much,” Joey said casually. He nodded toward Richmond. “Guy’s never seen a good dark Deck played, or he’d sing a whole ‘nother tune.”
“Dark Deck?” Daniel arched a blond brow.
And forget the glasses, this guy’s trouble and a half, Joey concluded, giving the six-foot-one archaeologist a once-over while trying not to be too obvious about it. Dr. Jackson might not be physically hazardous to his health, though something in the cut of his suit hinted there was muscle hidden under professorial tweed. But in his own way he was even more dangerous. Innocent eyes. Like Yugi’s. Only sad.
And like Yugi, the guy could probably think his way past traps while his opponents were still trying to figure out just what the hell had hit them.
An’ they came looking for us. Houston, we got a problem. “Dark theme,” Joey explained, since Ryou was busy studying the floor. “You don’t just shove a bunch of cards into a Deck an’ try to play ’em. You pick something that works together. Fiends an’ Dark are a pretty good combo. Luck and Warriors works, too.”
“For some of us better than others,” Ryou said softly.
Two problems, Joey realized, recognizing the defensive way Ryou curled up on himself, using the popcorn bucket as a shield. Oh man. Ryou must’ve really looked up to this guy when he was in Egypt. And from the way chocolate eyes were glazed, right now he was having the argument from hell with a soul-stealing yami who really, really liked doing unto others before they got a shot to do unto him. Joey set a careful hand on the tense shoulder. “Hey, Ryou. That guy up there doesn’t have a clue. An’ he probably wouldn’t get one even if you dropped a Portrait’s Secret on top of him. Why don’t we get some air, huh?”
“Sounds good,” Jack said evenly. “I hear there’s a little park out back. Benches. Couple flowers. Trees. If you like that kind of thing.”
“I didn’t ask you.” Joey kept his voice down as they stood, not willing to draw any more attention in the middle of innocent bystanders. They were already getting stray looks from the amateur duelists hanging around the back of the room.
“No, you didn’t.” Jack matched their pace out to the hall, obviously confident Daniel would be right behind him. “So how do you guys know Kaiba?”
“You’re kidding, right? Any Duelist knows Seto Kaiba.” Most of ’em don’t go to school with the guy, but hey. Them’s the breaks.
Most of ’em don’t mess with ancient soul-stealing magic with him, either. Lucky us.
“So you two are here for the convention.” Jack glanced over him as they headed for the hotel’s back doors.
“Well, yeah,” Joey managed. “I mean, why else would we be here? Duel Monsters convention, Kaiba’s gonna be showing off his tech-toys, we’re Duelists….” Ryou, help me out here!
No such luck. The white-haired teen was grimly putting one foot in front of the other as they wove through the crowd, clinging to Joey’s hand with a grip that could dent school desks.
Yep. Bakura’s tryin’ to get a good hold. “So how come you’re here?” Joey flung at the odd pair. Almost out the door – get outside, and we can lose these guys. Bakura’s not gonna filet anybody if he can just get away from ’em.
“Got a niece, well, kind of a niece, back home who can’t make it here,” Jack shrugged. As if he were oblivious to the way Joey had placed himself between Ryou and Daniel. “She gave us a list of things to bring back, or else. What the heck is a Prevent Rat, anyway?”