Author: Catherine-Marquette PM
Joey returns to Domino and is running from a man wanting him dead while a psychopath wishes to sacrifice him in order to bring back his past self. Can Seto save him before it is too late? Seto/Joey A bit au.Rated: Fiction T - English - Suspense/Romance - K. Jounouchi & Seto K. - Chapters: 17 - Words: 29,583 - Reviews: 12 - Favs: 16 - Follows: 9 - Updated: 10-04-10 - Published: 06-11-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5131155
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N- Another Seto/Joey fanfic. Characters may be OOC due to the nature of events that have transpired through out this fic. Hope you all enjoy. Please read and review with your thoughts.
He's running. Feet pounding against wet pavement as ran drops pelt his head plastering his hair to his face. Terrified to stop. Gulping in air as best as he can without losing speed. Must keep running. Can't slow down, not even for a second. Yet, in the back of his fear drenched mind he knows he'll collapse if he keeps up this tempo. Aches form all over his body from various bruises. The collar digs into his neck. A sickening reminder of his captivity. Useless tears cling to the corners of his burning eyes, but still he speeds through the winding streets. Stopping equals a painful death. Consciously he knows the man will kill him. Knows that adoration transformed into hatred, good natured jealousy metamorphosed into possessive lust, and fury more primal than anything fuel the man's soul as the chase continues. Someone he had wounded the man's pride yet again. Too many accusations to sort through. Did he dress wrong, again? Did he say something stupid? Or was it simply because he wanted to leave? Does the man really want to cage him like some animal? Dumb question. Hadn't he already caged him? But, wasn't that the man's right? It had to be, the man said it was. Even as guilt begins to surface, he runs. The fear of being caught stands strong against the guilt.
Like a beacon of hope flashing through an onyx sky, headlights splay across the ground. He stumbles in front of the sleek car and winces as it nearly skids into his battered form. Shivering as his thin t-shirt clings to his skin and worn, basketball shorts hang of his tired, aching legs. Pain all over, but he mustn't think of it. A murderous wail of his name pierces the night. He nearly doesn't recognize it as his own. So often the man calls him by other titles. Bitch, whore, slut, lazy ass, bastard, idiot. Only time when the man uses his real name is when the apologies begin and a gift neatly packaged and signed is given to him. Shaking himself out of his thoughts, he realizes that a man emerged from the car. Trim and clad only in black. But those eyes grab him, tantalize him, torture him. He never forgot those eyes. Damn it! Barely breathing, he sags into a heap in front of what had been his hope, his light while the man's enraged growls grow louder as he nears them. Great, just my luck. Now I'm stuck between two people that wish me dead. Where'd ya go when I need ya, Lady Luck? I never cheated, I try not ta swear all that much, I don't steal anymore. What I do to deserve your disgrace, huh? Help me out here.
Back to those unforgettable pools of sparkling sapphire. Arctic ice in those eyes. Something else lurks in their depths even as they eye him up then down. He's begging the gods to look down upon him with sympathy. Fear gradually increases to terror as his neck tenses with the quick jolt from the collar. Squeezing his eyes shut, no longer able to even pretend that he possess any dignity whatsoever as shock after shock jolts his body, he collapses. If he awakens, he'll be tied to the bed for days, again. He feels those incredible azure orbs focus on his neck, on that damnable shock collar.
"Puppy, I'm taking you home with me. Do you understand?"
He's sinking into dark nightmares even as warmth envelopes him. He feels strong, smooth hands upon his bare throat, choking every ounce of breath out of him. Logically he understands the collar still rests around his neck, he can feel it's constant weight. Through the fog of demonic memories, he hears the vow, "No one touches my puppy. No one."
Faintly he hears the news report on the television. A reminder of his confinement. The small, dark room with a twin sized bed covered by a white sheet stained by blood, his blood. A television sat maybe six feet away on a metal tray with legs, two feet from the bed sat a bucket to be used as a toilet while four feet away from his tomb rested a mini-fridge stocked with bottles of water, cheese, jelly, and lunch meat. On top of the fridge waited a loaf of bread next to plastic silverware. Five feet of chain connected to a shackle around his ankle allowed him to reach everything but the t.v. The man allowed news and educational programs to play on the set.
It had been after a brutal, sexual assault upon his body that he had laid naked and bleeding on the bed watching an update on former duelist. He laid as still as possible unwilling to put any pressure on vicious bite marks and a canvas of bruises that varied in size and color. He had just hoped nothing would become infected. A genuine smile lit up on his face when he had seen Yugi entering the screen.
A tad taller, just a hint of sadness to his orbs, and a friendly smile. Not even a shade of Yami. He worked alongside his grandfather. As the King of Games, he made appearances and would play occasionally, but no longer did he duel in tournaments. His passion had left along with Yami. Still, he remained one of the most wanted bachelors. Yugi was going to start his studies of law in the fall, the reported stated. Next, the show showed Ryou and Malik strolling through the park. Ryou wanted to become a doctor, Malik had an interest in bounty hunting. Rumors of a tentative relationship. Hard to imagine Ryou's sweet personality without the severe contrast of Bakura's. Odd to see Malik's delighted grin and not think of Marik's psychotic, you-shall-die smile. While Malik refused to acknowledge his part in those duels, Ryou readily answered even if he tweaked them. Ryou no longer dueled focusing instead on his career choice, Malik offered a stern no comment.
Tea had joined an elite dance school and taught at a studio of dance for a living. Duke still ran his business and led his playboy lifestyle. He had spotted Duke once at an event in Hollywood that his abuser had taken him to. Before Duke could notice him, he'd been whisked away and tied to the bed with ropes. He'd have worn that dog costume every day for a year if Duke had only seen him and had been able to rescue him.
Big, bold letters displayed Taylor's Ridez. Tristan grinned good naturally into the camera. Talked about the bikes he owned, built, sold, and his custom designs. A sleek silver bike stood majestically on a turntable. His heart had stopped as he recognized the Red Eyes Black Dragon riding along the bike's side. "For you, buddy, wherever you are. We're brothers, this is yours." He knew Tristan had talked about him with those words. A little over a year and he received a bike. Not his customized Red Eyes, but a black crotch rocket. A present from his boyfriend after the man had savagely ripped his virginity from him. A traditional bike from Taylor's Ridez.
He zoned out during the rest of the show until a familiar name was announced. He focused intently on Mokuba Kaiba, younger brother to CEO Seto Kaiba. His sister and Mokie holding hands on a porch. Un aware that this precious moment had been forever captured on film. Comments ranged from the relationship being a publicity stunt to young, blossoming romance. "Can Mokuba Kaiba keep his new romance afloat, or will his relationship sink as so many of his brother's do," a reported mused.
The photo changed to a clip of his sister's teary eyed visage and Mokuba's supportive hand resting on her shoulder. "If I knew where my big brother was, I'd tell him to come home. Why can't you leave us alone? I know what you know, he was last seen with his boyfriend at some Hollywood party. That person was not my brother, not as we know him. That blond looked like some sex kitten. I-I don't even know if he's still alive. Please, no more questions." Their relationship lasted four months, three days.
Mentions of Kaiba Corp. and Kaiba's ability to hold a relationship for five minutes with an actual person rather than a computer finished that segment. Just as he was about to close his eyes and try to sleep before his partner came home, he heard Kaiba's voice. "Puppy, obey your Master and come home. Your family and friends miss you." Unreadable blues with a shimmer of grief stared out at him, almost challenging him. His picture had been displayed, all grins and trusting honey. Golden, untamed hair. Unconsciously he had run a hand through his new layered, highlighted, and thinned out style that kept his hair manageable as the man demanded. For two months after the man saw the repeat of the show the following night, he had been kept prisoner in the room.
Weakly he sits up and reaches for the collar to make sure it's in place. Dimitri will hold another fit if he slips his collar. Odd, that the first thing he notices is the lack of a heavy body sprawled across his own. A frown crosses his features as he realizes that the room is blue instead of beige. He pushes back the covers and discovers only his boxers hide his body from the world. Stumbling out of bed, he finds his clothes in a neat, clean pile. Quickly he dresses sickened by the array of bruises littering his chest and stomach. Finally, the terror and guilt catch up to him. "Oh God, he's gonna kill me. Where the hell am I? What have I done? Don't tell me I sold my body or something." Slowly he pieces the pieces of the puzzle from the night before together.
Arriving in Domino after a phone call from his dad demanding his presence and a consequential beating for having to leave San Diego at such a pressing time time. How could they be expected to leave when Dimitri had two events to attend? Then last night, his head felt fuzzy from too much wine which had made him sick. Another beating for leaving the party early due to feeling nauseous. Then later, when he still felt tipsy, the unwanted sexual encounter just because Dimitri found him alluring. He had laid in bed, light headed and in pain, when he decided to run. He knew these streets better than anyone, especially a tourist like Dimitri. He hadn't meant to get caught trying to leave with a bag, his wallet already in his loose pockets. In response, he kneed the man in the balls and ran for his life. And in Kaiba of all people, he found sanctuary.
"What have I done? Why the hell did I run like that? He takes care of me, he makes sure that eat."
"He beats you, based on those bruises I'll say regularly, and judging by the way you tensed even in sleep when I undressed you plus the telltale marks by your hips, he rapes you. I'm not entirely sure how you figure he takes good care of you. Nice tattoo by the way."
Blushing he studies his bare feet. "Do you wear that collar by choice or because he forces you to?" He tugs on the shock collar nervously and wonders where his voice fled to. Snapping his head up as familiar laughter rings nearby, he spies a shocked Mokuba and stunned Serenity. His arms are full of two teenagers within seconds. Even as it hurts him to do so, he clutches them as close as possible listening to the accusations and tears.
"I tried calling and coming home, Dimitri preferred keeping me to his-self. He wanted us to build a strong foundation for our relationship. He had his ways to make sure I agreed."
"In short, he beat you into submission," Mokie declares with a cocked eyebrow, challenging him to deny it.
He finds Serenity's tearful gaze and his heart breaks. "Dad shouldn't have sent you away." He shakes his head and takes a step back to study her. She looks beautiful, young, and fresh. All things a teenage girl should possess.
"He had to. He couldn't raise me anymore. I finished high-school and everything."
Just as suddenly as those tears came, they dry with the heat of her anger. He sees her balled up fist by her sides and smiles. Their dad often stood like that, ready to strike to protect his own, but dad spoke with a lot more calm and open-mindedness than either of his children. "What the hell do you mean he tried? A drunk is what he is! Too busy drinking to make sure you were okay!"
"Now, listen here, young lady. He had a problem, an addiction, and rather than send me off to some home, he sent me to live with Aunt Anne and Uncle John. I had a job at their winery, I finished school with better grades than I got here, and I wasn't insulted every damn day. Dad did right by me. The drink took him away just as surely as mama took you."
"Yeah right. Whatever you say, you always defend him! What about that time he backhanded you?"
"Dad thought I was an intruder. He hit, I hit back. At least I was still standing afterwards. I do not want to argue about this, Serenity. I'm so sick of fighting, I usually lose anyways."
"It's not a fight if only one of you uses your fist."
"I fought back the first few times, sis. It just got to be better if I didn't."
She studies him with a frown marring her face. "How long? We just discussed domestic violence in Health." Struggling to put dates together, he finally notices the Kaiba brothers watching them. Shame, fear, and dull anger war within him. Taking a deep breath, he meets her steady gaze.
"I left right after I turned seventeen. Dad gave me a cake, twenty bucks extra spending money, and my Red Eyes card back for my birthday. He found the assholes that jumped Tris and me for it and gave them hell till they gave it back. Around late June after school let out for break, Dimitri and I started dating. By October he had hit me twice. Both times he'd been drinking so I forgave him."
Panic digs razor sharp teeth into his heart. Humililation displays openly within his eyes. "It was all my fault anyways. I must have flirted with the waitor. Or maybe I dressed too revealingly that night. Never his fault, always mine. I was bad, the idiot slut. The no good lazy ass. I probably still am. No, I am. I haven't changed despite his efforts to make me better. The collar's to keep me in line, to train me to be a better boyfriend."
"Two years, or very near it. You believe what he said to you?"
"It must be true, or else he wouldn't hurt me. He loves me, he says so. I should never have ran."
"If you go back, he'll hurt you, big brother."
"Most likely. Maybe kill me, but that's his right. You see, as my older, more experience boyfriend he must teach me to be the best lover."
"How old is he?"
His baby sister drops onto the bed he had just vaccated to sob into her hands. "I need to go, Serenity. He wont be as mean if I return without him dragging me home. He needs me, he wants me to stay with him, he loves me."
"What about you, Joey? What about what you want," Mokuba asks gently.
He focuses on the onyx haired boy and notices pity shining in blue-grey orbs. Tilting his head, he ponders the boy's question. He honestly doesn't know. For nearly two years, he hadn't had wants or needs. Dimitri's wants adn needs had been his, too. But now, in the safety of this room where Dimitri can't snatch him away, he tries to recall those desires he felt so long ago. "I don't know, Mokie. I wanted to see my friends, my family, he tried to tell me everyone stopped caring about me."
"I want to be loved without getting hurt. Does love always hurt, though?"
"And the collar?"
"Has to stay on so he can find me." He backs away as Kaiba steps into his personal space.
"Pup, I have to get rid of that collar. I can't risk the kids, okay?" He smiles softly definatley liking this new gentler, mellowed Kaiba over the old one. A breath of cool air teases his bare neck as Kaiba holds the collar with disgust in his cobalt eyes. "Pup, love doesn't have to hurt." Then Kaiba is gone alongwith that damnable shock collar.
Sitting down next to his sister, he looks towards Mokie for guidance. For over a year he hadn't left a room without permission, he couldn't go outside by himself, and he wasn't allowed to use phones or computers. Escaping Dimitri had been the first time he broke the first two rules in a long time. He had a sprained wrist for attempting to call his sister, a broken nose for responding to an email from Yugi, a week of being tied to the bed for someone telling Dimitri about the letter he mailed to Tristan. He laid in urine soaked sheets for that week. The apologies came, those carressing hands that bathed him, the hollow promises, and the gift of cuff links for a suit he hated wearing.
With his sister all cried out and asleep, he finds himself alone and left to his own devices. Patiently he sits on the window seat staring out a lush, magical gardens. Golden sunlight streams over him and adoringly, he tilts his head upwards. He use to love standing on the pier in Ocean Beach just soaking up the sun's rays watching the kids frolicking in the water or surfers tackle a massive wave. He grins as a butterfly flutters past. He missed this, the simplicity of just enjoying himself in the warmth. Surprisingly he's comfortable here in Kaiba's Mansion as he had never been in Dimitri's.
For Kaiba is who he is, and he had been Dimitri's lover, the reporters will come. For now; though, he'll bask in this brief moment of happiness. When the reporter barge into his life, then the smiles and frowns will decorate his face, but for this moment he sits content with a true smile gracing his face. He doesn't hear Kaiba enter nor see the slight smile that spreads across his face.