Yo! LoweFantasy here, just letting you know it's my policy to update AT LEAST once a week. It annoys the crap out of me to be stuck in a story with no way of finishing it. You don't have to worry about that with me! I'm what I like to call a barf writer. I just sort of get it all out. Please, grab some sweedish fish, get cozy, and enjoy the story.
Five Brothers, a Band, and the Lost Girl
Chapter 1: A Garage Band and Hidden Wings
(and some creepy dude who likes to eat people)
The garage had motor oil stains on the floor, cobwebs lacing every crevice, and a pile of boxes filled with questionable items against the wall. An old green Volkswagon bug took up the majority of the space, happy to rust away in its coffin in peace. Yugi smiled up in pride at his twin brother, Yami, and best friend, Joey Wheeler.
"I asked Jim and he said we could move the VW out if we'd be willing to rig up a carport for it, and mom says she'll go through the boxes this weekend! Isn't it perfect?"
"Um," said Yami, eyes on the cobwebs.
"Oh, how original. We're gonna be a band in a garage. Uh, that grease ain't going to hurt my drums, is it?" Joey pointed to the black splotches on the floor.
"We'll get a rug or carpet-"
"With what money?"
"A rug can't be that hard to find! If all else fails we can put cardboard down."
"I ain't starting my bad-ass musical career on old boxes."
"Freak, Joey, stop being such a snob. Lots of bands have started in worst places." Yami stepped off the doorway and walked around the garage. "I think it'll work great. Question is, how do you plan on building a carport, Yugi?"
Yugi bounced in place. "I've been doing some googling. Can't be too hard if we all work together!"
"Well at least that I can do," said Joey, "but again-how are we going to get the parts? Green, guys, green!"
"Junk yard!" said Yugi, bouncing to his twin. Though the same age, Yami and Yugi weren't entirely identical. Yami stood about a head taller with sharp, crimson eyes. And though their hair was identical, Yami gelled his bangs up his spiked hair to set himself apart from his bubbly, geeky, game obsessed little brother (by ten precious minutes). "What are you looking at?"
"Rust. Why does Jim still have this thing? He only knows enough about fixing cars to get himself into trouble." said Yami.
"Aren't those old bugs suppose to be real easy to fix?" said Joey.
"Doesn't matter if you don't know how."
"Why does it matter to you?" asked Yugi.
"Well," said Yami, walking to the other side of the bug. "It'd make this whole thing a lot easier if we didn't have to build a carport."
Yami tapped one of the bug's flat tires and humphed. Joey looked up at all the cobwebs and grimaced.
"We're gonna have to have a cleaning party, aren't we? Damn, I hate cleaning. Besides, we still need a singer."
"I thought we already decided that? I'm going to be singing." said Yami, glaring at Joey.
Joey raised his hands defensively, though his smirk ruined it. "Dude, you sing all right, but really, Yugi should."
Yugi flushed. "That's not funny."
"You're right, it's not. It's sad."
Yami frowned. "Forget it, I'm singing, we're done. Let's go heat up some fish sticks before I starve to death, we need to work out when we're going to do all this. There is that math final in Peterson's class next week."
They followed him back into the house. Yugi gave one last excited look to the garage before flipping off the light and closing the door. The cobwebs floated up for a second in the breeze then fell back into their places.
Carefully, Angie finished the last layer of black fingernail polish. She hated the feeling of the thick paste on her nails as well as the dark color, but that was why she did it. It was unlike her. And if being someone else meant she could go to school, she'd take it. Smiling to herself, she checked the clock and went into the bathroom to unwrap her newly dyed black hair. As she blow dried out the curls into long straight as rain strips, Cain walked in.
"So excited for something as miserable as high school." he said, dark skin clashing against hers in the mirror, despite her new dark look. His dark wings filled the doorway, leathery and naked. She barely heard him above the blow dryer and said nothing. He continued to watch as she finished her hair. When she reached for the black eyeliner and mascara, he raised an eyebrow.
"You do know how to use those?" he asked.
"I watched a youtube video." she said. "And I practiced last night."
"Good. Be sure to eat before you leave."
And with that, he left. She uncapped the black eyeliner pencil and tried to smile at it. Black wasn't so bad. It meant she could look more like Cain, her godfather. Besides, her paleness was a fluke. She was suppose to be dark skinned, brown eyed, and with tightly curled black hair like her parents and Cain. She was suppose to have black wings too. Dropping the eyeliner and frowning, she slipped off the shawl from behind her. Her pale grey, feathery wings appeared. She scowled in the mirror. Cain could've been a powerful dragon in another life. She looked like a pigeon.
Before Cain could see them, she threw the shawl back over, making sure nothing showed, and continued with applying her make up. As she finished the dark, gothic look (it was the only thing that went with her pale skin), she pulled out the black lipstick and hesitated. Cain's lips weren't black. They were a deep purple brown. She didn't even like the feel of make up caking her face. Figuring it was enough, she dropped the lipstick back without applying it.
The cement walls of the living room were lit by modern, upturn glass bowls. There were wide windows that covered the east wall, but they were heavily draped. Cain sat on the black leather sofas, reading the newspaper while the news played. He ran an online news and opinion column that was very popular, so he had to keep an ear out for what was happening in the world. One of his illusional coats for hiding his own wings hung by the door with a fine layer of dust.
"Remember our agreement." he said without looking up.
"I already promised I would." she said.
She walked into the kitchen, which was sleek, modern, and full of glass and black appliances. She hesitated when she opened the fridge, then grabbed a smoothie. Her stomach felt too squirmish for anything more.
She checked her shawl in the mirror to be sure no ugly grey feathers showed, grabbed her book bag, and headed out the door. "Kay, I'm heading out now!"
Cain looked back. "But school doesn't start for another hour!"
She tried not to look as sheepish as she felt. "I want to figure out how to get around before everyone gets there. You know, so I don't stand out?"
He hesitated, then turned back to his newspaper. "I should have thought of that."
"Love you too."
And with that she closed the door behind her, trying to suppress the urge to leap into the air, and headed down the hall to the elevator that would take her off the top floor and down thirty stories. She'd often wondered about the view from their windows, being so high up, but Cain strictly forbade it. Sunlight wasn't good for his health or concentration, and his health was bad enough with her ruining it. On that thought, she hoped he'd be okay back home without her. He could get so caught up in his work he'd often forget to eat and drink. Maybe she shouldn't go to school…
But then the doors opened and other teenagers with backpacks filled in besides her and her apprehension returned to excitement. She'd never been to a public school before. So many people! And her age too! And libraries and classes and teachers who she could ask as many questions as she wanted to without them snapping at her and telling her to stop being so noisy.
Her knees knocked together in her efforts to stop from leaping into the air and displacing the shawl tied about her wings. She couldn't draw attention to herself. That was what she had promised. No one could be close, no one must see her ugly freak pigeon whiteness, and no friends.
It would be hard, but like the make up, the hair dye (that was already making her head itch), and the stuffy illusional shawl, it was worth it.
The elevator dinged and she walked out with the others, beaming, because she was a student just like them.
! #$%^^$%# $%^&
"Isn't it about time we gave up?"
"What if we find her tomorrow? Or the next?"
"You ask that every time Orphus brings that up, Max. You just like personifying that stupid little voice in everyone's head that keeps them at the slots."
"I don't appreciate you comparing our sister to gambling."
"Stop sounding so self-righteous, you don't even remember her!"
"And I never'll get a chance if we give up now!"
"Jake, stop antagonizing him. I'm serious this time. We have other things we should be doing that we can't put off any longer. If mother were better, well...things would be different. Father would understand."
"No he wouldn't! This is our family we're talking about, Orphus!"
"He has a point, Max, and you know it. You have responsibilities too, even if it's scary to think about you with responsibilities."
"Shut up, Jake!"
"Jake, just go."
"What! You're taking his side?"
"We all know you're dragging baggage into this conversation, and we can't act like children anymore. Go and...do something useful."
"Like searching for a dead sister, perhaps?"
"How dare you!"
"How can you just stand there like that, Orphus? She's your sister too!"
"But she might be-"
"And there he goes. Why must you you always pick on him, Jake?"
"Because he needs to stop living in the clouds. After ten years, there's a good chance she's gone for good. Besides, he's too much like mother."
"And that's a bad thing?"
"It is if you get your hopes up about having a little sister who might not be alive anymore."
"But what if she's not, Jake?"
"Then everyone will cheer, poop rainbows, and drink lots of Pepsi."
"...I can't believe you're the oldest."
"Because I'm just that witty?"
"I don't even know what you're talking about. So much for trying to get an intelligent conversation from you two."
"Woa, hang on, where are you going, Orphus?"
"To talk to mother. She should be sensible enough."
"Uh, right. Good luck with that."
! # $%^&*%&%$#
Yugi unstuck his cheek from the desk. Joey was tugging one of his outlandish hair spikes.
"Augh, what 'zat for?" Yugi mumbled, running hands down his eyelids.
"Class is over."
He groaned. "Where's Yami?"
"With his groupies, of course."
Joey watched his expression change, but said nothing, to which Yugi was glad. He didn't want to talk about his brother's growing popularity. Yugi had never been considered cool, and he never mistook himself to be that. He was one of the shortest juniors in the school, shy, quiet, and while other guys would be playing sports or geeking out about girls, Yugi would rather stay at home and play video games. If anything, his only redeeming quality was his ability to sing and play the piano, but how sissy was that? Besides, he had the stage fright of a three year old, as Yami would often say. Yugi couldn't understand how being able to sing like a girl should NOT give him stage fright.
"Come on, buddy, lunch time."
"Why don't you just go with Yami?"
Joey rolled his eyes. "Stop feeling sorry for yourself, you were my best friend first. Besides," he pointed a thumb over his shoulder and smirked. "If I were to hang around him too much, he'd lose his peeps. I'm just that handsome."
Yugi smiled, "Keep dreaming, Joey."
As Yugi gathered his book bag and went to his locker for his lunch, Joey followed, chatting about their garageband idea. His main concern, of course, was the covering for the floor. Joey's drums were his pride and joy after having to work most of freshman and sophomore year to get them.
"So, thinking of borrowing my dad's truck. We should be good to go to the junkyard whenever you like."
Yugi flinched and accidentally closed his locker harder than he meant to. "Woa, how do you think you're going to get that?"
"Why do you sound so worried?"
"Well, you're dad is, um…" Frankly, his dad was worse than Yami and Yugi's stepfather. While theirs was a grump, Joey's was straight out, undeniably abusive.
"Easy. I'll buy him some booze after school, strategically place them in the fridge, then wait an hour or so and-presto! Man will be out like a light. Will only wake up to pee and won't even notice I or his truck are gone."
Yugi felt awkward listening to how stereotypical Joey's dad was with his alcoholism. One of these days he and Yami were going to call social workers on Joey and make a blood oath to never tell him. The only reason they hadn't yet was they had yet to figure out where Joey lived, a secret he kept locked up and vacuum sealed from anyone, even Yugi. Hard to send police on a place you don't know. They had even tried googling it with no luck.
But they couldn't very well haul materials for something as big as a carport in Yami's tiny old honda, nor would Jim even dream about lending them his shiny new chevy truck when he needed it for work, so…
"Um, all right, if you're comfortable with that…"
"Aw, come on, Yug! I've done it millions of times before. Having an bum for a parent has it's perks, if you're as smart as me, that is."
In the cafeteria, they sat against the windows rather than on one of the crowded tables. The table they use to sit at with Yami was now stuffed with people like a sardine can. Yugi did his best to not notice this. It wasn't as though Yami rubbed it in his face or treated him any different for it.
"So, Yug, what songs have you got for us?"
Yugi swallowed the bologna and cheese sandwich he had been munching on. "A few. I was going to call you over tonight to show you and Yami to see if you guys think they're any good."
A high pitched giggle that sounded like a cross between a yappy dog and a strangled chicken came from Yami's table. Joey wrinkled his nose. If Yugi didn't have a first hand experience in Tea's sharp ears, he would have laughed out loud and spray bologna like a boss.
"Man, that woman's laugh gives me nightmares."
"Another reason I don't envy Yami." said Yugi. "Though Tea's nice enough."
"Nice? Yug, she slapped you into a trash can!
He felt his face heat up. "I wouldn't have gotten into the trash can if I hadn't been so short in the first place."
"What does that have to do with the fact she slapped you?"
"I did laugh at her."
"Who wouldn't? I've heard some kids recorded it behind her back and use it as a ringtone."
"Exactly. The snobby kind you'd think only existed in those stupid high school drama movies."
"Well, those movies are partially based in fact, I guess."
Joey snorted. "I love how naive you are, Yug. So cute."
Yugi clenched his fists and glared at him. "You told me you wouldn't call me that again!"
"Oh, but you are!" said Joey, as though talking to a puppy. Yugi took a spoonful of pudding and lobbed it at his pants. Joey cursed.
As he did, someone else said, "Oh, bother!"
Yugi looked up. A girl, dressed in classic goth punk black with that too shiney color of dark hair that screamed dyed stared down at her burger, which had fallen a bit a ways from them from her tray. She had been heading into the courtyard just past the windows and it had fallen into the doorway. As he watched she sighed and leaned down to pick it up.
Yugi stood up.
"Where ya going?" asked Joey. "It better be to get napkins, you jerk."
But he went over to the girl and crouched on the floor next to her.
"You don't have to do that. There's kids that volunteer to help the janitors with clean up."
The girl jumped and looked at him with a wide, deer in the headlights look. Yugi felt his stomach leap: she had the most beautiful bright green eyes he had ever seen. The black eyeliner made the color jump, but also made her look like a racoon.
"But...I'm hungry." she said faintly, then more to herself, "I probably look like a moron scooping up food on the floor like this. Like a dog."
"No you don't. Just go through the line again and tell the lunch ladies you dropped your food. They'll get you another one."
The girl looked over her shoulder, as though rechecking where the line was. She bit her lip, which he noticed was the only part of her face that didn't have make up. They were slightly chapped, but pink. He recognized her expression.
"You're new." he said.
She flinched, as though he had pinched her. "How-do I stand out?"
"No. I've just been in your shoes before. Here," he straightened and offered her a hand, "I'll go through the line with you. Then no one will think about it. I drop my food all the time." He didn't mention it was because the occasional bully thought it was funny to flip his tray into his face when his protective older twin wasn't looking. After Joey punched the last one and broke his nose Yugi's tray was given a wide birth. Despite being suspended for a week, Joey threatened everyone who even looked like they were thinking of picking on the short kid.
It was all kinda ironic, considering Joey use to be one of those kids who'd pick on him the most.
The girl look hesitant, and Yugi realized he had forgotten to introduce himself.
"Oh, I'm Yugi. Sorry."
She seemed to think about that for a moment, though why he didn't know. Then she finally stood up too, a tentative smile on those naked lips, though she ignored his outstretched hand.
Joey had randomly appeared besides him, ducking his head to Angie's level, which was a good few inches taller than Yugi. She flinched wondered why she was so jumpy. Sure she had good reason to be self-conscious, but it wasn't like they were going to eat her.
"Food!" she squeaked and before Yugi or Joey could say anything else, she was off, messy, mostly empty tray still in hand. Yugi blinked.
"Damn, Yug, she's worse than you."
"I do not act like that!"
Joey just laughed. "Cute."
"Stop calling me that!"
For the rest of lunch Yugi snuck peeks at the girl when he was sure Joey wasn't looking. She went through the lunch line on her own, looking especially knobbly kneed, and found a seat outside where she had intended. The sun shone off of her black hair, turning it almost blue. No one sat by her, but he noticed the few kids outside often looked over at her and ducked their heads to whisper to one another. This made Yugi mad. She was already self-conscious enough without people whispering right next to her. He hated how people thought you couldn't hear. He would know.
When the bell rang for the next period, Joey waved him off with a carrot stick sticking out of his mouth like a cigarette.
"Oh, and don't think I didn't notice you sneaking glances at that goth girl, Yug." he said.
Yugi's mouth went slightly dry as Joey cackled down the hall. A few people stared at his tall blond friend as he passed and Yugi tried to look invisible as he ducked into his next class.
And right into his brother. Yami's dark red eyes glinted.
"What are you doing?"
"Joey's being weird." said Yugi faintly.
"Ah." said Yami. "Come on, I got the easels in the corner and the cleanest paints I could find."
And then Yugi spotted her, looking just about the same as he felt. She hid in her long straight hair with her shoulders hunched over even as she listened to the art teacher explain the assignment. Yami followed his gaze.
"I saw you talking to her in the lunch room. Who is she?"
"Angie. She's new."
"She reminds me of you."
Yugi gave an exasperated sigh and grabbed his wrist. "Just stop staring."
"What? I wasn't staring, just looking."
He could feel Yami's stare as they maneuvered through the class of easels to the two set up in the corner. While Yugi set up his paints and brushes, he tried to covertly glance back over at Angie who sat in the corner next to them just to come eye to eye with his taller twin, who smirked.
"Could it be? Has my little brother finally found a girl he takes a liking too?"
Yugi rolled his eyes, annoyed. "Oh please. I'm just curious."
"Right." said Yami, squirting out a little plop of red paint. A partially colored picture of a tall tree speckled with flowers that had the faint shape of people sat before him.
Yugi faced his own work in progress, a small, almost cartoonish dragon. It wasn't nearly as well done as his brother's tree. Trying not to think about that, he grabbed a tube of purple. "You know I'm not stupid enough to try liking a girl."
"I hate it when you talk like that."
"Why? Because it's true?" the purple paint stuck in its tube and he growled. Stupid previous students. Didn't they know they had to close the cap all the way?
"Because it isn't." said Yami, handing Yugi a nearby plastic knife. "You should feel free to like whoever you want. Do I have to sit you in front of a mirror and have Joey chant 'You are sexy beast?'"
Yugi scraped off the dried paint. "Why Joey?"
"Because he'd be amazing at it."
"What?" then he tried picturing himself tied before a mirror with Joey behind him chanting nonsense and he shuddered. "Please don't."
"Then come, let us eyeball the new girl. I'll do it with you." he said in a sing songy voice fit for a toddler show. Yugi tried to protest, but Yami stuck his hand in his crazy hair and yanked his little brother's face towards the dark girl in the corner. Yugi squirmed frantically, knocking paintbrushes onto the floor, but Yami just switched him into a headlock.
"Look at that pale skin! And not too bad curves, even while sitting down."
"And can you see those legs sticking out from that mini skirt of hers? They're in leggings mind you, but that just means she has a cute modest side."
"You jerk, stop molesting me!"
"Oh for heaven's sake, I'm not molesting you."
Several other students that had wandered in before the next bell looked back curiously. Yugi felt his face grow hot and then his insides melt as Angie too looked over, chapped lips in a little 'o' of confusion.
"Oh look! She notices."
"She can hear you, you ass!"
"Tch tch, naughty words, little brother."
The bell for class to begin rang. Laughing, Yami released him right as Yugi pulled, letting him go flying off his stool. The class chuckled with him and died as the art teacher took a step in front, thin lips severe and several forgotten pencils sticking out of her salt and pepper hair. She announced that they would be continuing their paintings from yesterday and clicked on the Mozart. She had a belief it helped open the inner artist.
"Do you think she'd let me put in a One Republic CD?" asked Yami as Yugi hopped back onto the stool, fallen paintbrushes in hand.
"I hate you." he said.
"Pity, I just did you a bit of good. So, what do you think of her? She ain't bad, though she could do with a little less make up. That goth look doesn't really suit her."
"I think I want to never sit next to you ever again."
Yami dipped his brush in a bit of water and lobbed up on scarlet. "Oh come on, the music's on, the class is noisy, just tell me why you keep wanting to peek over at her-I know you do."
Yugi blushed and purposely brought his head back from the move to do exactly as his brother said he would. She was sitting all alone…
He edged his dragon with purple shadows, hoping that'd make it look cooler, somehow. "Well, before you made me look like a complete moron I was thinking of asking her to come work with us. She's new, so she probably doesn't have any friends."
"That should work."
"Yeah. Best way to get in any girl's hot book is to become friendly with her. Not friends persay, but-"
"For the last time, I'm not checking her out nor am I thinking about dating her!"
"Yes you were."
"Yeah, I do." Yami rinsed off his brush and flicked it against the cup. "I know you're not gay."
"Well maybe I am." said Yugi for the sake of being contentious. His ears still thudded with his blood and he had the strongest urge to kick his brother off his stool.
Yami snorted and painted eyelashes onto his dancing tree flowers. "Sure. Whatever you want little brother. By the way, why don't you sit with me anymore? You don't have to sit on the floor, you know."
Yugi felt his gut clenched. Yami didn't know about the trash-slap incident yet, and for good reason. Yugi was lame enough without his older brother displaying his almost maniac over-protectiveness. Besides, he could take care of himself, as he insisted to Joey time and time again when he talked about telling Yami.
So Yugi said his prepared defense. "It's too crowded." Not to mention the entire table tended to clam up awkwardly whenever he was around, as though they had just been talking about him.
"You're the size of a hamster, Yugi, I'm sure you could find space."
"No need to rub it in. You're not too big yourself."
Yami smirked, "Bigger than you." And he dabbed his brush onto Yugi's cheek.
"Ahck!" Yugi swiped at him, "Oh no you didn't." and he swiped his purple onto Yami's designer sleeve. His brother's mischievous smile just widened and his almond eyes gleamed.
Before they could start a full on paint war, the last person Yugi expected appeared shyly between the paint boards. Her long mascara eyelashes fanned across her pale cheeks.
Yami kicked him in the calf and tried to look oblivious. Oh, what he wouldn't do to just shove that stool beneath him without anyone noticing.
"Can I borrow a pencil?" She was slightly pink across her nose and cheeks. "She forgot to give me one."
"Oh! Sure. She can be forgetful like that." he opened up his backpack and rummaged around. "Will a mechanical pencil do? It has an eraser."
Once he handed her the pencil she gave a quiet 'thank you' and walked back to her easel in her corner. Yugi watched her go, letting his gaze fall back to Yami when she sat, who looked awfully stoic. He sighed and smacked his brother across the head.
"I was not! Did you hear me laugh? Uh uh."
"You were holding it in."
Yami shrugged, grinning widely, and turned back to his easel. His tree looked about ready to pop off the canvas.
"What's her name again?"
Yugi narrowed his eyes. "Why do you want to know?"
"Need to inform Joey of your new love."
That time Yugi really did kick his brother off his stool.
The dirt on Marik was sticky and oily. Cities. He had a love hate relationship with them. Delightfully easy to move through (stupid humans were practically blind in large numbers), but filthy. He had a thing for cleanliness.
The building besides him held him up as he leaned against it, panting. Damn, nosey birds. How dare they hit him from the sky like that! Gingerly he lifted his injured black, leathery wing, dripping with scarlet blood. Wincing, he licked at the wound. Damn them to hell. He wouldn't be flying for weeks.
"I'll kill them," he muttered past the open flesh. "Kill them. Kill all those stupid birds."
Only problem was they just tasted too damn good to kill them all. He groaned as he thought of the taste of the one boy he got a bite from. Sweeter than any ambrosia, with a powerful tangy aftertaste. Not only that but he could still feel the tingling power left over from that one morsal. To think, if he could devour one of those delicious birds whole, he shivered. And the boy had brothers too. One for all three meals of the day.
His wing gave a twinge of pain and he snarled at it involuntarily. Yes. He'd devour them all. He'd kill all the birds.
He wiped some of the oily street dirt off his arm and cackled. "Little birdies, little birdies, think you got the best of me? Think you protected your skies yet?" he stumbled down the alley, leaving his hand to slide along the old brick building. Up ahead he could hear mortals talking to one another and the crackle of fire in a barrel. His stomach rumbled and he sighed.
Humans were going to taste so bland after a bird. But, one had to eat.
Licking his fangs, he tucked his wings to his sides. The firelight played the shadows of the men against the old brick.
"Excuse me, gentlemen,"
No one passing by heard their last dying squeals. Humans, thought Marik. They all die like the pigs they were.
And taste like them too.
Here's the new story I promised! It's totally not my style to write something this off canon, buuuut, I'm doing an experiment. Let me know what you think! I'm still a little self-conscious about this one and I might take it back just to make it my own personal story, like Smeagol to his ring (MY PRECIOUS). And if you must think of the three brothers as the three legendary knights, go for it.