Okay, this has been kicking around in my head now for awhile, and since I'm *still* waiting for Jay to type the next chapter of Gutterflower for me, I thought I'd start this. It's a love story, so THOSE WHO DON'T LIKE YAOI STOP READING HERE!!! It's Ryou x Malik for everyone who loves them as much as I do! Oh and anyone who is squeamish on witches, Wicca, magick (wiccians spell it like that apparently) and modern day witchcraft 1. Witches aren't bad people and they don't even believe the devil exists so no, they don't worship satan 2. They love the earth and all things on it. I know many personally and I'm writing a research project on the faith at the moment 3. I use it in this story so if you don't like it, don't read it. Oh yeah and I'm calling Tristan, Honda and Duke, Otogi because their names are so much better in Japan.

YamiB: Oooo… magic!! I can use this to take over the world.
LYB: *smacks him with a huge mallet* You moron!!! Magic*k* can only be used for good!!
YamiB: @_@ oooowww…………
LYB: Now that THAT has been settled we can . . . Hey where's Malik?
*Malik runs in, face flushed and clapses on the floor panting*
Malik: … present…
Everyone: O_o U ;;;
LYB: Okay on with the story *hugglez Ryou* Hikari… like you read the disclaimers
Ryou: ^_^ sure! Lady Yami doesn't own Yu-gi-oh, Duel Monsters or Dungeon Dice Monsters.
Cyris: Though she wishes she did. . .

Drawing Down the Moon
chapter 1: Child of nature

I rolled over and let out a string of raspy coughs then felt a flush creep up my back into my face, I cursed silently that knowing full well my fever was coming back. I pushed my long white hair back from my eyes but it was pretty much plastered to my forehead. I wasn't much for hating anything but I was really starting to hate being sick. I had been fighting the sniffles for 3 weeks now but this was the first day of Christmas break and I found myself hiding in bed. It wasn't that I was deathly ill, it was just I didn't feel like getting up. I felt miserable. I buried my face in my pillow and sighed, my yami said I was being foolish, that I only thought I was sick because I was depressed. Maybe my yami was right, maybe it was all in my head after all I started to get sick after I found out my father wouldn't be home for Yule or Christmas.

I gave a low groan in my throat, my yami had decided to tag along with Isis on a trip back to Egypt to see if he could uncover anything about his past, the whole gang had taken bets on which one of the travels would die first, Yami Bakura or Isis. I had money on Isis, while Malik had laughed and said that I apparently didn't know his sister very well. I scowled slightly *Of course Malik would have to say something smart, he can't let anything be. He's arrogant… and… and… cocky… active, intelligent… creative, elegant… handsome… Ahh! What are you thinking!?!* I sat up and shook my head. *You can't like Malik, stopping thinking about the self-centred egotist! A self-centred egotist with amazing eyes and a caring heart.* I slouched over, grumbling as I argued with myself, "So what if he held me up when I was hurt, and bargained his soul for both our bodies… why am I even trying to convince myself he's a bad person?" I pushed myself out of bed and sulked my way to the bathroom to run a bath, it may make my cold feel better. "It's not like Malik is all that bad, he has a bit of a wild streak but he's still devoted to his sister and with no reason to hate Yami Yugi anymore and without his yami, he's become part of the group."

I sighed as I lowered myself down into the warm water. "And now your talking to yourself, Ryou. That's great, just great. The first step towards insanity… this coming from someone possessed by a tomb robber… good lord." I lay my head back on the edge of the tub and slowly and methodically started to wash my arms, letting my mind blank out and body relax. There was a sharp ring and My's eyes flashed open as I abruptly sat straight up, the sound totally catching me off guard. I scrambled from the tub and ran for the portable phone grabbing it just before the answering machine cut in.

"Hello?" I sputtered.

"I was about to hang up." Said an annoyed, impatient voice on the other line.

"Oh hi Seto-chan." I said, making my way back to the bathroom and wrapping a towel around my waist. "You sound sort of distorted, where are you?"

"That's what I called about. I'm up in my ski lodge at the moment with…" there was a series of choice words and what sounded like a struggle before a cheerful voice came on the phone.

"Hey Ryou!"

I laughed. "Hey Yugi. You and your Yami are staying with Kaiba for Christmas I take it."

"Uh huh. We're up in the mountains!" I could hear the wide smile in Yugi's voice. It had been a surprise when Yugi and Seto came forward with their relationship, and for Me a little depressing. I swallowed a depressed sigh, Yugi's statement only noting once more I would be alone for this supposedly happy time of year.

"Sounds like fun." I said idly, trying to sound more enthusiastic then I felt.

"It is." Yugi replied, suddenly I could hear a crash on the other end of the line and Kaiba laughing, of all things. "umm… sorry that was my Yami."

"What is he doing?"

Yugi laughed "He tackled Seto to the… ummm… never mind. We called to see what your plans from Christmas were with your Yami gone till January."

I gave the typical answer, "Nothing much," though in my heart I felt it was distinctly true.

"Why don't you come up to the lodge?" Yugi offered. "There's going to be a few people here."

"Oh?" I replied. "But you and Seto…"

"It's okay Ryou." Yugi assured me. "We're staying in the main lodge, there are mini cabins near by for everyone else, so everyone gets their own little home. Though you may have to share with someone depending on how many people show up."

I looked around the empty room, anything was better then staying alone. "Okay Yug… just tell me how to get there." I scribbled down the directions on a scrap of paper before saying my good-byes and hanging up. Making a quick stop in the kitchen, I grabbed some orange juice and a piece of toast before going back to my room. I pulled on my long white robe I usually put aside for special occasions and opened my closet door. There hasn't been clothes it there for almost 3 years, in it's place sat my own personal alter. I knelt down and lit an insent, saying my little prayer to my goddess and her consort my god. The statues I had to represent them blinked at me in the candle light and I felt peaceful for the first time in awhile. I broke off a piece of my toast and put it in the small libation bowl and add some of the orange juice as my daily offering. "Cheers" I said with a smile as I sat down in front of the alter and ate thoughtfully.

This was my morning habit. No one knew about my little rituals or my exploits into magick. I had been a faith practicer since I was 12, I built this alter in secret when I was 13. In all honesty, I didn't celebrate Christmas, I celebrated Yule, which is basically the same only on the 21 instead. But I still celebrated Christmas along side it to humour my father and my friends. It was the 19 now, I would have to celebrate Yule at the lodge, not a problem I was used to doing magic in secret. Once more I felt distinctly alone in my ways, I didn't know another soul who worshipped the earth like I did. In this faith, the earth itself is honoured and protected as well as all it's creatures, all things have a balance of spirit within them: the Lord and the Lady. The Lord and The Lady have been given many names, most of which I've used at one point or another. The Lady could be Athena, Astarte, Aradia, Lilith, Morrigan, Isis… The Lord could be Zeus, Apollo, Shiva, Mithra, Cernunnos, Malik. I paused in thought, yes I kid you not, there is a god named Malik. He is Babylonian I believe, not a very popular god in his time but he was the radiant and tanned god of the sun; basically a Mesopotamian version of Egypt's Ra. There's another god from the same area called Marik, who probably evolved from the original Malik myth, who was the golden god of war and though he has no real legends of his own, he appears in many others. He was brave and clever.[1] Both very much like the Malik I know: golden, radiant, proud… I shook my head and cursed myself silent that I thought to much about Malik. It was petty school girl-like crush and I silently hoped I would get over it and soon. The sad part was I didn't want to get over it, I liked my infatuation with the handsome Egyptian. It had been hanging above my head since Battle City, it was like a part of me now but there was two major draw back… first of all I was far to shy to even stand near him without feeling intimidated and second, Malik was just not right for me. For my yami maybe, but not me.

@~8~ @~8~ @~8~

I pulled the car up beside a mini van and Mercedes in front of the large rustic looking home. True to Yugi's word it was tucked away in the mountains but not far from a popular ski slope. I also noted that, just as Yugi said, off a bit from the main large house were three cabins which looked like mini versions of the larger. Glad my father had left me a vehicle to get around in, I stepped out of the car, my feet crunching on the thin layer of frosty ice. The place was frozen solid but there was no snow as of yet, though I recalled hearing a weather report while drive that predicted a huge snowfall for tomorrow night.

Just as I opened the trunk of my car to grab my bag the front door of the main lodge came open and a bundled up Yugi came bounding over. "Hey Ryou! Glad you could make it!"

"Thanks for having me." I returned with a smile and slung my bag on my back before turning to dig out the boxes of presents I brought.

"Here let me help." Yugi offered and together we carried everything into the main lodge.

"Wow!" I breathed, putting my stuff down. The lodge was seemed much bigger on the inside. The whole bottom floor was open and included a fully equipped (and well stocked) kitchen, a large sitting area with a fire place I figured he, Joey and Honda could stand in easily. The sitting area was filled with boxes and assorted wrapped parcels along with a tree that had not yet been set up. The last portion of the huge room was a large entertainment center, complete with a scaled down duelling area. A staircase was the only divider between the rec areas and the kitchen and descended from a platform which was the second story. Looking up I could see the platform hallway had three doors going off of it which I guessed would be two bedrooms and a bath. "Impressive…"

Yugi nodded. "Yeah, Seto knows how to build a home away from home. Come on, I'll bring you to where you'll be staying."

"Oh sure." I nodded and shouldered my bag again.

"Aren't you cold?" Yugi said as we stepped outside again and he motioned to My's flimsy jacket. "Didn't you bring a winter coat?"

"I did but it's in my bag." I said and snuffled a bit, feeling my noise start to run.

"You'll catch a flu out in the cold like that." Yugi smiled as we started to walk toward the more seclude of the three other cabins.

"I already have one." I smiled. Yugi laughed.

The cabin itself was tucked away in the tree and had a little bit of lawn space to call it's own. Yugi pushed the door open and we were greeted be strings of curses and snickers. I smiled, looking at my friends gathered around in such a strange way.

Tea, Mai, Otogi and Honda stood off to the side laughing while Joey and Kaiba were on their hands and knees, cursing at each other trying to fix a large TV. "You stupid mutt!" Kaiba swore, "I'll have to take this back to my tech center at my mansion to fix this!"

"It's not my fault you selfish brat! It seemed like a good idea at the time!!"

"Since when has playing catch with magnets around electronics been a good idea you inefitable jackass!"

"Guy's I think we should get going and get all our stuff into our cabins." Mai said, "Before these two kill each other."

"Come on Mai," Otogi grinned, flicking a lock of his black hair from his face "This is just getting good! I want to see what the puppy dawg has to say!"

"Shut up dice-boy!" Joey snapped.

"Come on guys," I smiled, putting down my bag, "It's Christmas. Let's try to get along."

"Bakura is right." Yugi smiled, "Come on, let's all go to our cabins and get settled then met back at the main lodge."

"Where are we all anyway?" Tea asked, "We just followed Joey here then Kaiba showed up…"

"And the fun started." Otogi added rather untactfully with a smirk. Mai and Honda stifled a laugh and Tea flashed him a glare, but he ignored it.

"Okay," Yugi gestured he was about to explain the arrangements. "Tea and Mai can stay in the first cabin, Joey, Honda and Otogi can have the second because it has two bedrooms instead on one."

"I call my own room!" Otogi said quickly.

"Hey! No fair!" Joey cried. Otogi held up his dice between his fingers, a thrilled look in his eyes.

"Play you for it!"

"No, no," Joey said backing away smiling nervously "Take it." Everyone laughed, though Otogi looked mildly disappointed.

"Drat, I wanted to try out the field Kaiba had built into his duelling area in the lodge."

"You and your dice monsters…" Tea sighed.

"I'll play you later," I offered, "If you'll teach me how." Otogi nodded and offered his wide smile in acceptance of this challenge.

"Love to. Never miss a chance to show off my game." He said smartly, but he meant it in a good natured way. I smiled too, getting out of the house had been a good idea. Being out with my friends was already starting to pick me up.

Everyone started to filter out of the cabin. "I'm in this one, right Yugi?" I asked, just to be sure. Yugi nodded.

"Yeah with…" he was cut off by a bang as Kaiba kicked the TV in frustration.

"Stupid Joey!" he cursed.

"Kaiba," Yugi said cooingly, looking up at him with big doe eyes, "Please be nice to Joey, just for a little while? Please??" I laughed inside myself, feeling sorry for Kaiba, no one could resist those innocent eyes.

Seto sighed "Oh fine." From just outside the door, I heard someone make a sound like a "whapissh!" and Otogi, Joey and Honda all go "Whipped!" Seto just glared at them as they laughed before putting an arm around the laughing Yugi and walking toward the door. "The things I do for you." He smiled slightly, and I can swear I saw Yugi flush slightly. Seto looked at me "There's another TV in the bedroom you can use, I think your roomy is up there now" he putting a mocking tone of the word roomy, I smiled and nodded then they left and I closed the door behind them.

I wondered vaguely who I was sharing with as I walked up the stairs. The hall landing wasn't long and ended with a door, the only other door was at the top of the stairs, the first by the stairs was wide open and I could see it was a spacious bathroom. The next door I assumed to be the bedroom and it was partially closed.

I pushed open the door and walked into the warm room, it was rustic like the rest of the house with the exception of the TV which was on. "Can I help you?" a smooth voice, tinged with sarcasm, said from off to the side, chills ran up my spine, I knew that voice. I turned quickly, and sure enough there he was lounging comfortably on the bed, looking at me coldly. Malik Ishtar…

[1] Yes! It's true! There are two gods named Malik and Marik!


Anyway... What does everyone think? Should I keep going R&R please! And all flames that are anti-witchcraft are going to hopefully be used to light a flame of religious understanding