Better late than never, Malik thinks as he slices open the package to reveal the contents inside. The part needed to fix his motorcycle, here finally after a week-long detour due to somebody's incompetence at the post office.
Malik's face splits into a happy grin now that he can complete the repairs and get back on the road. He's been itching for a ride again, not enjoying having to rely on cramped public transportation methods to get anywhere. He much prefers the wind against his face than people pressing against his elbows and shoulders, leaving him feeling almost trapped.
That brings back too many memories.
If he's being honest with himself, Malik feels like he's stepped into someone else's life. He's not an underground crime boss anymore and he's not dueling ancient spirits from the past anymore either. It feels like those things happened ages ago, though it's only been a few months shy of a year. Now he just helps Isis part-time at the museum and plays catch up on his studies with Rishid. There's a lot of education they've both missed out on while growing up buried deep underneath the desert.
Once Malik is satisfied there's no problems with the replacement part, he grabs his tools and gets to work. The motorcycle's engine parts are exposed like he's performing surgery, and Malik's hands quickly get covered in a messy mix of oil and grease. But after a few attempts, he gets the replacement into position. After cleaning his hands, he then sews the motorcycle up by putting all the screws back in place.
There's no better satisfaction than taking a step back and observing his handiwork. Good as new.
If only it was as easy to fix everything like this.
"Time for a test drive," he says to himself, grabbing his goggles and helmet. He snaps them into place with practiced ease, his mind already mapping a route leading outside the city.
The engine roars to life, and he surges out onto the road. He weaves in and out of traffic until he's out on the open road again, kicking up dust in his wake. He takes the turns a bit too sharp sometimes, relishing the terrifying half-second where it feels like he might lose control before he wins the battle against the pull of gravity. It always makes his heart beat just a bit faster.
Malik finally slows to a stop, taking a break just to observe the clouds floating by in the sky. He doesn't think he'll ever get tired of sight.
He's interrupted, however, by his cell phone. Isis' name emblazoned across the screen.
"Hi sis," he answers.
Isis tells him there's a familiar face down at the museum and she's invited him to dinner. They don't often entertain company, just occasionally a few of Isis' coworkers. Malik is awful at small talk, so he's not really excited.
"Who is it?" he asks. Maybe knowing ahead of time, he can start thinking of a few polite conversation starters so he won't get scolded for being rude.
He is not prepared for the name that falls from Isis' lips.
Ryou Bakura. A name from that other life Malik feels so detached from now.
Or maybe not as detached as he thought.
Malik revs his motorcycle up again, leaving a trail of dust as he shoots forward. He has no idea what he's going to say to Ryou when he sees him. For now, he'd rather spend his time on his bike with the wind against his face.
Dinner was going to be strange.
You're up orangegreenlove