Umm…just a couple of warnings and general information that I want to issue on my part. I like to keep my readers informed. ^_^

Warning: This is going to be yaoi. Alright? If you have a problem with that you need to leave now and not badger me with what a horrible person I am for doing this. I know I'm evil. I've learned to live with it. So should you. O.o

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Chapter One: Hurting on the Inside

Jou knew that a bruise was going to be evident on his back from where his father had thrown him into the wall…again.

God, he should have known. He should have known better than to just hang around home. Especially on a Friday night. But he had had homework to do, and he knew that he would have been distracted. And he needed to study. He just hadn't counted on his father being that drunk…or that violent.

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His father had come home, yet again, in a drunken stupor, and Jou just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"What are you staring, boy!?" The older man slurred at his son, who was doing some homework in front of the TV.

Jou made sure to turn his head slightly away. No good would come of him provoking his father now. He was really drunk tonight. And Jou knew that there was a direct correlation between the number of beers his father had and the level of violence he became capable of. In short, the more beers his old man put away the harder he hit him when he felt compelled.

"Nothing, Dad. I…I'm not staring at anything…" Joey looked down at his Chemistry homework. Wishing he had taken Yugi up on his study group offer after school. He hadn't counted on his father getting thrown out of the bars at only 7:00 in the evening.

"The hell you aren't…boy…" His father sneered at him. Even though he was sitting on the couch, Jou could still smell the stale liquor and fresh vomit on his father's breath. His father approached him from behind, and Jou was so caught up in not gaining any attention from his own father, he failed to notice him come up from behind the couch.

"I'm talking to you, boy!" His father yelled as he grabbed a fistful of his hair and viscously yanked his head back.

Somehow as Jou was wrenched over the back of the couch and pummeled by a man twice his size and twice his strength he managed one coherent thought.

'Shit, this is gonna hurt so bad later…'

And it all started…again.

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Jou managed to crawl into the bathroom and shut the door. He grabbed hold of the sink and hoisted himself up so he could look in the mirror. Amazingly his father had gone easy on his face this time. A busted lip and a bruise on his cheek from a mean left hook, of which he hadn't even known his father was capable of.

It was the rest of his body that hurt like a bitch, anyway. He peeled off his shirt and groaned as the bruises that mottled his chest and abdomen. Some looked distinctly like a curled fist while others were just large splotches that graced his lean figure.

Jou didn't even bother to look at his back. He knew it would have what would look like footmarks. It didn't matter anymore. He hadn't come into the bathroom to see what he could already feel.

He wanted to crush the dead feeling in him. He wanted the opposite of the kind of pain his father caused. The pain his father inflicted on him was dull and aching. It lasted for days and left marks that were a reminder that he father had won. Until they finally faded away, only to be reapplied when his father failed to hold his alcohol, again.

The kind of pain he wanted now was sharp and stinging. He wanted to be the one in control. He was the one calling the shots. He knew what he would do. End pain with pain. A final pain. Make it all come crashing down, baby. He was no weakling.

He pulled open an drawer and with drew what he was looking for. A razor blade. The small blade peeking out at him. Promising to make it all better.

Jou sat down and laid the blade against him forearm. Close to the elbow, and pushed firmly until a thin line of crimson could be seen on either side of the blade. White hot pain shot through his arm and caused Jou to suck in a deep, trembling breath.

'This is what it's all about, baby. Pain. Blistering, white-hot pain.'

He watched as he drew the blade across his arm. Parallel to his wrist. Standing up and moving to the sink Jou allowed the blood to run in rivets down his arm and into the wash basin. The crimson droplets standing out against the tarnished porcelain…

'What the HELL are you doing?!'

Jou's head snapped up to look into the mirror. What the Hell was he doing? This wasn't him. If he resorted to suicide, his father won. He would have surrendered to him. And Katsuya Jounouchi surrendered to no one.

Jou looked at the blood running down his arm and felt the sharp pain in his chest as it constricted. 'I won't do this. This is not me. I don't pull shit like this.'

Cleaning off the blood and rinsing off the sink. Jou pulled off the rest of his clothes, slowly so as not to aggravate the already ugly bruises forming. He drew a bath as hot as he could stand it. And sat down slowly, hissing slightly in pain as his body relaxed somewhat. But only a little.

'You don't put your guard down. Not here.'

Looking up at the door Joey made sure that it was locked and the drew his knees to his body, laying his head on his knees. He wrapped his arms around his legs and just let the hot water numb his body. Mentally preparing some reasons to the inevitable questions that would come from his friends tomorrow…

He let out one pathetic sob. Only one though. He wouldn't allow anymore. He had to be strong. He had to move forward and away from tonight. No one could break him. No one.

But for how much longer could he manage on his own?

To Be Continued…

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Sorry for such a short chapter. But this is the first chapter. So I had to leave it open for a number of directions. You know?

This was just a stage setter anyway.

I have about seven chapters of this on my computer and I will slowly be posting them while looking for inevitable spelling and grammatical errors. I'll try to have the next post up in a few days.