Welcome, this is the continuation of Crimson Nights, I've broken the story up into two parts; this fic picks right up after chapter 36 where it left off. I also wanted to thank my readers for their wonderful support through Crimson Nights; I hope you enjoy this as much as you have the others and as much as my writing it, enjoy.
This has been edited to the best of my ability.
Warnings: M. M/M Yaoi. Supernatural, Language, Violence. The plot is mine, warnings will change with future chapters.
Chapter 1: The Gathering.
The warehouse had been well guarded, men and women each holding a variety of weapons all within easy reach, watching everyone or in this case everything that came in or out of the door, watching them with such intense looks, like they were expecting trouble. No one stopped them. However, as they approached a large Portal in the middle of the room on the bottom floor, it looked like a perfect oval swirling pool of shiny green and red water.
Ryou stumbled to an almost stop before it, reluctant to step through. Bakura wrapped an arm around him and urged him forward and through it. Ryou closed his eyes. He briefly felt simultaneously the sickly churn of his stomach associated with falling and a deafening roar in his head and painful beating of his heart, like a part of himself was fighting against his will to go through to the other side. Someone shouted and he was yanked backwards, his back pressed against Marik, who snarled at a largish man tugging an empty cart.
"Are you alright?" Marik lifted his chin making Ryou turn slightly in his arms; his lover caressed his cheek with a slight frown. Ryou nodded, whatever he felt stepping through that portal was gone. A black cloak was suddenly draped over Ryou's shoulders, and the hood pulled up over his head. He glanced up to see Marik, Malik and Bakura wearing the same thing. "We don't need anyone recognizing you here." Ryou was about to say that he had never been here before, until he remembered the conversation with Bakura. Surely no one here would recognize him anymore.
"Not that he has to worry about being here," Yami too pulled a black hood over his head, Yugi doing the same.
"You are the Demon..." Yugi was silenced as Yami placed his hand over his mouth, his dark crimson eyes scanned the crowd, who didn't seem to hear or care.
"Yami has no jurisdiction here, its Goblin territory." Marik said his black cloak already on and covering his wild hair and head.
"This way," the Healer ignored them stepping into what looked like a T-intersection alleyway. The pebble road stretched from the right to the left and narrowed ahead before opening up again. Men pulling and pushing empty carts rolled by them, paying no attention but for what they were doing. Ryou glanced up and cloaked figures moved about slowly on the rooftops watching everything below.
"They must be on high alert due to Ishizu's attacks on the portals." Malik noticed, offering Ryou one of his bright smiles before reaching out and taking his hand. They all moved as a group, across the road towards the narrowing path that opened wide into a larger crowded area. "Stay close." Malik pulled him closer to him tightening his hold as they entered the flow of people and an increase of noises, rattling carts rolling over pebble road, people talking, shouting, crying and even screaming erupted every now and then.
Ryou took a closer look and realized that they weren't people at all, but creatures that walked about them, some with feathered wings, some were see threw like insect wings with shimmering colours and patterns, some without wings, a lot had fangs and claws, some with horns and even hooves rather than feet, even skin varied in colour and shade with each species. "What are you looking at?" Someone snapped and Ryou was whisked forward, almost in a jog in order to keep up with his fast paced lovers and Mate.
Ryou glancing behind him didn't notice Malik stopping and slammed right into his back. He was about to apologizes when a wagon filled with what looked like people rolled by, followed by more people linked together in a line from hands and necks by chains; they shuffled hurriedly after the wagon with their heads bowed, with men forcing them to keep pace with the wagon.
The further in they went the more crowded it got and noisy it became. Creatures of all kinds gathered about stands, listening to a man or woman trying to sell a person or a creature in chains to the highest bidder in the crowd, even public floggings to the disobedient slaves and a few executions to prove a point. People in cages lined the streets with prices and a description on the bars, gender, age, health and the kind of work they did or could do, children too were among them, even odd animals were on display for sale.
Yugi was silently in tears having seen enough, he had his eyes closed letting Yami guide him blindly. Ryou in his short time of glancing about soon picked out the Masters from the Slaves. The Masters wore elaborate clothing, jewellery and well groomed. The Slaves trailed behind them with their heads down, barely dressed, some had collars and all were marked with a personal symbols or patterns, mostly on the face, ranging from burns to tattoos, on cheeks, necks and foreheads, shoulders and chests, some their whole faces, backs and chests for easier identification.
Ryou's hand came free of Malik's hold a few times, being jostled by the throng and pushed along with them towards a stand, as a women called out about new cheap stock. "Malik!" Ryou called out trying to push through them. He had never seen anything like it, Ryou had placed it down to a crowd at a rock concert, with the way they were pushing and shoving to get as close as possible.
"I've got you," Marik caught him acted as a buffer and guided him back out, "You ok?" Ryou nodded his head, the sooner they were out of this place the better. "Not much further now." Ryou could now see why they didn't want to go this way, half of what Ryou saw would plague his dreams and he'd never forget. Marik stroked his cheek in his way of assessing him, most liking seeing if he was crying, like Yugi was, who seemed to find it too difficult to keep going. "Just keep your eyes on me," Ryou nodded, finding it hard not to look about, and see Humans and creature's alike being treated so horribly.
Yugi cried out up ahead before he too was pulled along and Yugi was clearly upset by the fuss he was making and partly yelling and Yami who was trying to quieten him.
Ryou didn't think that anything they would see now could be any more shocking then what they had witness so far. A cage on the back of a wagon being pulled by a large brownish winged lizard with men around it, filled with young children no older than ten, toddlers and infants, all wearing rags, covered head to foot in grime, most of them wailing at the top of their lungs and others crying for their parents, small hands trying to grab at anything within reach to help them to escape or stop wherever they were going, some huddled together looking absolutely terrified.
Ryou reached out his hand brushing against so many little hands that were desperately trying to grab him, all begging and sobbing for help wanting to go home. "Get back. Be silent!" A Large man hit the bars, startled cries answered him as the children darted back and huddled together.
"Where are they going?" Ryou asked moving to follow the wagon, wanting to free them and return them to where they belong. "Stop!" Ryou broke free from Marik's hold before he could do or say anything. Yugi followed him as did Joey. "I said stop!" He rushed about and backed up at the brownish winged lizard like creature that focused on him.
"What's going on?" someone shouted, "Keep moving Beast!" a loud crack of a whip had the large lizard growl. A tall thin man with pale blue skin, silver eyes, and long dark hair, approached them with a whip in hand. "You best train your slave better, Demon," he snarled arm flexing his grip tightening and the leather of the whip creaking. The children swarmed the side, begging and crying and Ryou's heart went out them, all so young and in such a horrible place. He didn't know if he could stay here for the Gathering if this was what it was going to be like, what he would witness daily.
"We are not slaves," Yugi's voice broke into a slight whisper as he came to Ryou's side; whatever courage Yugi had was gone under the other's angry glare.
"Yugi," Yami pulled his Mate back, "I have no authority here." Ryou however could feel Bakura, Marik and Malik standing behind him, the way the other suddenly looked worried and backed up losing his confidence and his anger slightly.
"Free them." Yugi ignored Yami, The thin creature barked with laughter like he had been told the best joke. A crowd had gathered about to watch and whispers and mutters between them rose.
"Trouble maker," Ryou was grabbed painfully about the arm, and his hood fell away as he was yanked to his right. He fell against a heavy-set man. Ryou pushed back against his chest with his free arm as he was hauled up onto his toes. His shoulder feeling like it was about to dislocate from its socket. The man loomed over him. One dark eye narrowed, the other eye white was damaged and leaking a yellow substance from it, down his chubby stubble cheek, his green skin tone told Ryou he wasn't Human at all.
"Let him go!" Bakura with a hit to the other's shoulder hard enough that Ryou stumbled back onto his feet when he was let go of. "He's mine." Ryou stared at his Mate he hadn't heard such an animalistic growl from Bakura in awhile.
"This isn't good," Marik was at Bakura's side glancing about. "We need to get out of here." Mutters from the crowd rose louder. The cloaked figures that had been on the rooftops had leapt down with weapons in hand; they approached in a manner that had them completely surrounded with no escape.
"These," The thin man pointed to the wagon with a grin, "are property of Lord Pegasus." His silver eyes set and narrowed at Ryou with such contempt as he added. "You best teach you're Human his place, before your both..."
"I'll buy them all!" Ryou shouted over him, the crowd erupted in low pleasing chatter voicing their opinions to each other on the matter and what kind of wealth he possessed.
"Fuck," Bakura cursed under his breath, Marik couldn't help but chuckle, Malik grinned. "No, no he won't." He called out placing his hand on Ryou's shoulder.
"You, you can't buy them," The thin man looked worried and confused unknowing what to do, so he repeated himself as if it would clear up the situation, "their property of Pegasus." His voice raised a few pitches higher at the Goblin King's name.
"He's not buying them, Elf" Bakura informed the thin gangly creature and then glared at Ryou saying, "We're not buying them." It wasn't that Bakura didn't have the gold; he had more than enough...
"My, My," gasps were heard all around them and the crowd backed up and quickly moved on, the Elf and the few others with him dropped to their knees and bowed their heads. "Not even here five minutes and you're already causing me trouble."
"My Lord, they wish to buy..." He stopped talking at the raised hand and the cloaked figures stopped their approach and waited.
"Pegasus," Bakura growled as the Goblin King move towards them, ignoring him as he walked right by him, taking Ryou's hand, kissing it as he bowed in a gentlemanly way.
"I am so pleased to see you have returned home, my Lord," Pegasus straightened up. "Tell me why you are making a scene in my Market?"
"I want to buy them, all of them," Ryou said, Bakura came to stand beside him.
"Well now," Pegasus grinned glancing over the wagon of children with an unreadable look and his attention then turned on the pale Demon, "As much as I would love to see Bakura play the Daddy figure to all these little ones. I simply can't sell them to you or to anyone."
"Set them free then," Ryou frowned, what kind of monster was this man? Ryou pulled his hand free from the Goblin King's grip. "Can't you see they're terrified?"
"I do not doubt it." Pegasus waved a hand and the Elf and the others, got the winged lizard and the cart moving.
"I order you to set them free," Ryou growled and his eyes widened and he slapped his hands over his mouth shocked that it had come from him.
"Do not apologize," Pegasus's grin widened. "I can't sell them to you because their homes were destroyed last night in a raid, their village and families are dead. They were scattered all over being hunted down, so I spent the night saving and gathering them all up and they are now on their way to an orphanage that's under my protection." He held out his hand for Ryou's, who didn't take it only stared at it. "I assure you. The little ones will be protected by the Realm's best defenders, trainers and Healers. They will be well fed, clothed, training and learning and well cared for." He glared at Bakura, "which your Mate should have explained to you, rather than allowing this fuss to happen in my trading court." Bakura flipped him off with a growl.
Ryou glanced in the direction the wagon had gone in, and he could no longer see it, wondering if he could honestly trust anything this Goblin told him. "My Lord," Pegasus bowed again his hand still out for Ryou to take. "As your General and loyal servant," Bakura snorted at his words. "It would be my honour to personally guide you safely through my market, and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have along the way."
"My General?" Ryou stared at him disbelieving.
"At your service, my Lord," Pegasus straightened up as Ryou reluctantly took his hand, thinking it best to be guided by the one that ruled over such a place, rather than pushing and rushing their way through. "Excellent!" The Goblin King snapped his fingers and the cloaked figures backed away returning to the rooftops. "This way!" He said a little flamboyantly waving a hand at the others to follow him.
"Why do you run such a place?" Ryou asked seeing everyone in the street move out of their way and bowed as they passed.
"It's to feed the large growing numbers of Demonic creatures. Take the Succubi, they feed weakly and require a new fresh body monthly to feed from. The Vampires to keep their hunger in check have entire homes filled with slaves to satisfy them whenever they need, to prevent hunting in the Human Realm. All the dead are returned and then shipped off to the Lake." Ryou glanced back at hearing a constant growling from his Mate as he glared holes into Pegasus's back. Ryou noticed how closely Pegasus walked beside him and how they held hands, though he's rested atop of Pegasus's hand, like he was being lead out onto a dance floor. "I in turn make a little profit, feed my people and keep the Human Realm from being overrun by Demonic creatures, because we are not all so lucky to have a Mate that can sustain the hunger and sexual needs." Ryou glanced back upon hearing a slight scuffle, he raised an eyebrow as Marik and Malik had Bakura in a kind of headlock and while trying to remove the sword from Bakura's hand, who muttered about sticking it up the Goblin's-
"I do hope that this hasn't frightened you enough to have you stay away." Ryou was moved to side step a large cage with two young women in it, staring up him briefly before bowing their heads. "I'd like you to come for tea some time and chat a little more."
"Not likely you peacock!" Bakura snarled behind them.
Ryou's attention suddenly turned on a few old looking men, who held out their hands for money, the ones asking for blood grabbed at Ryou tugging him away, while trying to sink their fangs into him. "Be gone!" Pegasus's powers swept over him like a heat wave, his hold tightened on Ryou. The creatures looked frighting with their dirty clothing, missing limbs, wings, discoloured fangs, weathered warn faces with pale red eyes. The ones that could run did with cackles and screams. "Pay them no mind, they are traitors of the Realm and are in exile. My territory is the only free standing land in the Realm and they flock here to save themselves from an instant execution only to suffer to a slower death here." A few blind Demons sat unmoving against walls, with bandages wrapped about their heads and eyes with snapped off wings.
Ryou glanced back to look at Marik who still had a good hold on Bakura, who was still growling at Pegasus's back, but he was noticed and his lover gave him a slight grin. Ryou wondered if it was the spell that made Marik see or his rank that kept him from being here, sitting against the wall or was it that he had loved ones looking out for him.
"You are welcome to join Ryou and come visit me Mate of the Demon Lord," his friend stumbled.
"Me?" Yugi wasn't sure what he should say, his eyes still filled with tears and his cheeks damp.
"Yes," Pegasus glanced over his shoulder at him, "it would help you with learning exactly what we do here and maybe help to create a peaceful treaty, so we can get Peacekeepers back in the Demonic ranks and get more patrols in my domain. Thieves run ramped stealing all kinds of things from money and stock and the ones I hire to keep order are Realm criminals themselves." He pointed upwards to the cloaked figures on the roofs about the trading centre.
"Stock?" Yugi blinked, closing his eyes upon seeing something he didn't like.
"Slaves," Pegasus clarified for him and added. "Either way come for tea."
They passed through the Auctions Trading centre to the outskirts, which weren't much better as carts full of creatures and Humans were being dragged by large winged lizards into the city to be sold. Yugi's tears hadn't stopped since stepping into the Realm, so upset that when Yami tried to console him, he was pushed away.
"This is where I leave you," Pegasus waved a hand at a Goblin who sat not far from them. He pulled Ryou in close as he bent down, "I do hope you visit me soon, we have so much to talk about." The Goblin King lent in and kissed Ryou's cheek and bowed again. "I've arranged transport for you and your friends." A loud chirp like bark got their attention. The Goblin, Pegasus had waved to lead three large winged lizards towards them. They ranged in different shades, of green and yellow, long necks, razor sharp teeth, four legs and a long tail, each one had what looked like saddles and reins. "These are called Flyers." Pegasus informed Ryou. "They are equivalent to your version of horses, except they fly and can if not trained correctly, will eat their riders."
"I'm not getting on that thing," Joey crossed his arms over his chest, Yugi hid behind him.
"Can't we get there some other way?" Yugi asked not wanting to ride them, the Flyers focused on Ryou, bobbing their heads up and down.
"You can always walk." Pegasus didn't play into the whiny whims of the short Human. Ryou jumped back in fright as the Flyer rubbed its wide scaly head up his back with a purring sound and moved forward keeping their distance close despite Ryou ducking about Pegasus trying get away from them as they crowded about him. "Flyers are a breed of Dragon, they will be attracted to you, you have no need to fear them."
Ryou had all three Flyers sniffing at him, rubbing themselves against him and purring, "Make them stop." Ryou huffed trying not to get pushed over by them. Bakura took their reins and pulled them away, Kaiba and Yami took one each.
Malik had mounted the Flyer and held out his hand for Ryou, he was pulled up onto its back and settled before Malik. "I mean it Ryou," Pegasus said stepping back, "Come visit me soon, your brother is also anxious of your arrival." The Flyer shook it's self and flapped its bat like wings and let out a roar.
"I will, soon," Ryou agreed not so much in visiting the Goblin King or this horrible place again, but meeting this brother of his. Pegasus bowed again before he vanished. Yugi was reluctant to get on, fussing at first that he would rather walk then risk getting eaten. Joey sat before Seto who took the reins. Anzu hauled herself up onto the last one and Serenity sat behind her.
The Flyers bat their wings and lifted their heavy bodies from the ground and soon enough they were soaring through the air. Below them, the Slave Auctions and the villages around it, soon stretched out and turned into one huge swamp that went on as far as the eye could see, with patches of slushy large puddles of water that reflected the sun with bits of ground with green grass, mud or bushes, a winding road with a few travellers hauling carts towards the Auctions. "This is all Goblin territory, everything you see belongs to Pegasus." Malik said as the Flyer banked to the right. Ryou glanced to his left to see Bakura and Marik in flight, their large black wings beating in time with the Flyer and it seemed that they effortlessly kept up.
They flew between mountain peaks and the land changed to rolling hills of dense forests, huge waterfalls running down the sides of mountains. "This is Elf and Fairy territory." Passed the forests and large mountains the land evened out flat with patches of large bodies of water, forest, paths and villages. "This is Demon territory. We should see Yami's castle soon enough." Malik point ahead of them, even though Ryou couldn't see anything but more mountains in the far off distance.
It wasn't long when the castle loomed darkly in the distance and grew larger the closer they got. "Follow me," Yami called out and his Flyer picked up the pace. The large castle had many wings and towers with a huge court yard surrounding it. The front entrance was filled with creatures and flyers coming and going, most were at a standstill on the castle's large stairs. Yami lead them towards the back of the castle where the Flyers touched down in a beautiful manicured garden on one of the castle's large terraces.
They dismounted making sure they had all their belongings before releasing the Flyers, who chirped and took off back into the sky. "My Lord!" Three old Demons came hobbling towards them in not quite a run or a walk but something in between. "Saw you fly in on those wretched Beasts." The word spat out like it was bitter on her tongue, as she bowed as did the others with her. "Why not summon for a proper transport?"
"All the portals had been taken down and I had to find my own way here," Yami gathered up the bags Yugi had brought them with.
"How troublesome we'll have all the Portals looked at and up and running by week's end. Your poor Mate must be beside herself." She practically shoved Yugi out of the way to take Anzu's hand and bowed. "It's a pleasure to meet you; I'm Ella, the head of Yami's Council. If there is anything I can do for you, you must let me know."
"Ella, this is my Mate, Yugi," Yami stood with his arm around him. Anzu laughed finding it amusing more than anything else.
Marik growled baring his fangs at the Council woman and drew his weapon, only to be stopped by Bakura.
"But he's male," Ella looked shocked and another expression that couldn't be placed. Yami growled and she added. "I had a whole new wardrobe made for a female."
"A minor detail," Yami brushed off and glanced at Anzu and Serenity, "You're both welcome to the clothes if they fit."
"Really?" Anzu and Serenity grinned at each other when Yami nodded his head.
"My Lord the new wardrobe was an extravagant amount of gold to make." Ella gasped at the idea of such fine clothing being wasted.
Bakura nudged his lovers while taking a bag from Ryou and slung it over his shoulder, leaving Yami and his Mate to deal with his Council. Bakura was sure to bring up Ella's still standing punishment later. Ryou followed his Demons through so many winding narrow staircases, wide crowded hallways, with servants and creatures all hustling about looking for a suitable room. Ryou couldn't keep track, already lost in the never ending hallways and stairs. He got glances from all his Demons every now and then, making sure he was ok, still with them and keeping up.
They took another set of stairs to a landing with four other doors; Bakura placed his hand on the last door and it swung open. "This is home for the next few months." He walked in, Ryou followed as well as Marik and Malik. The room was much like Bakura's room in Yami's mansion.
Bakura, Marik and Malik dropped their bags and started moving about the room, checking things out, like one would do after coming home from a long vacation. Bakura at the end of the room drew back thick dark drapes that hid two large wooden doors, which once opened lead out onto a balcony, filling the dark room with natural light and fresh air. A large four-poster bed with private curtains pulled up and tucked neatly about the posts and canopy, sat a ways back from the window, looked inviting. There were also two large red puffy armchairs by an open fireplace with bookshelves on either side over flowing with books and across from them on the other side of the wall, an area set up like a living room with a couch and armchairs sitting about a TV unit, complete with DVD player and DVD's, gaming consoles with games and controllers, no doubt Marik's little set up, which was good, Ryou didn't think he could spend all his time reading, despite Bakura's extensive collection, which Marik's DVD's and games pretty much matched Bakura's obsession with books.
The room still had an old feel to it with the large stone walls and flooring, with scattered rugs and old oil paintings hung here and there about the room. Ryou moved to look at the paintings, there were ones of Bakura, Marik and Malik. A painting of Ryou with the three of them sat above the fireplace as if it being the masterpiece. Ryou approached it, looking at himself; well a version of himself that was younger and thinner, but the yellow eyes was what drew Ryou's attention most. A cold piercing look stared out. He wasn't sure if it was painted that way or that's how he used to look. He raised an eyebrow at it and looked the whole thing over, Bakura and Marik stood behind him and they too looked so much younger than they did now, not a single smile.
Ryou walked towards the bed, glancing it over, it looked larger then a king size bed with ample room for all four of them, blankets, with a mound of pillows, deep reds, greens and black. Ryou ran his hands cross the soft fur that covered the foot of the bed on his way to the large opening. He stepped out onto a balcony, that over looked a vast area. "It's beautiful isn't?" Bakura leaned on the railing beside him.
"It is," The balcony over looked a little of the castle's court yard and behind the walls, a large lake that met forest which stretched out towards mountains with white snow peaks. "There are still some things I need to tend to... will you be ok for a bit?"
"It'll give me time to unpack since we are going to be here for awhile," Bakura then pulled his Mate against him.
"Are you ok?" His Mate asked concern laced his voice; Ryou didn't say as he wrapped his arms about Bakura, rose up on his toes and buried his face in crook of his Mate's neck. Bakura tightened his hold and mimicked his Human, taking in his scent at the same time.
"I'm fine," Ryou's voice muffled and soft, taking comfort his Mate offered.
A knock at their door and moments later, "Bakura we have to go." Marik called out.
Bakura kissed him and then moved from his arms following Marik through the room and out the door. Ryou sighed walking inside to see Malik sitting on the floor going through the clothes they had brought along with them. He noticed an older woman, in a simple dress with matching slip on shoes, a thick black collar about her neck with a small pendent hanging from it. "Would my Lord wish anything of me?" She asked unmoving from the open door her eyes on him.
"You can go," Malik waved his hand at her.
"Very well, would my Lord like me to show your servant to the quarters and have him bathed and change into proper attire?"
"He's not a slave, he's the Mate of Kyoshi, so be mindful of what you say," Malik was up on his feet a growl to his voice as he approached her.
"Kyoshi Mated with a Human?" She sounded shocked, a slip of words had the colour drain from her face and she bowed with a hasty apology.
Malik grabbed her by the arm as he opened the door, "we don't need the use of your services." He pushed her out the door and closed it in her face. "What?" Malik said at the unpleased look Ryou gave him. "If you don't stand your ground with one slave, you'll be overwhelmed by all of them. They can be pushy, trust me. Besides, we have never used any of them and we aren't about to start. We can get our own food and clean up after ourselves." Malik went back to unpacking.
Ryou sighed walking over and taking a peak into the bathroom, shower, tub, basin with cabinets, mirror consuming one wall above the basin, toilet, towels with a huge round mat on the stone floor. "We did a little upgrading over the years." Ryou turned about his half Demon right behind him. "You know Marik, how he likes the all new gadgets and thingumabobs."
"I noticed," Ryou smiled stepping about Malik while running his hand across his chest.
"I find unpacking a little dull," Malik lent against the doorframe, Ryou could feel his crimson eyes on him tracking every move he made.
"I simply can't have you doing dull things," Ryou sat on the bed, running both his hands across the unbelievable soft tan fur, briefly hoping it was fake. "This is going to be so hard." Malik suddenly before him pushed him onto his back and lent over him on all fours looking down at him.
"No matter what happens here, what you see or hear, you must trust us even if you don't like the decisions we'll make. Keep in mind that we love you so very much and you'll be taken care of no matter..."
"Don't say such things," Ryou cut him off, it stirred up the heavy feelings that not all of them were going to make it back home. "I have no doubts about how you and Marik feel for me and you also should not doubt my feels for you both." Ryou sighed; his hands lay beside his head, his half Demon braced against his arms above him, who's eyes darkened and half lidded as a part of Ryou's belly and hip were exposed between the hem of his jeans and shirt.
"We should christen the bed," Malik ran his hand up Ryou's flat stomach, feeling the muscles ripple under his touch and his Human sucking in air with a hiss. Ryou closed his eyes and raised his hips to Malik's slow caress and palmed Ryou's now hardening member through his jeans. Ryou gave a groan tilting his head back. "The floor and walls too." Malik purred as he lifted Ryou's shirt with his other hand mouthing his way up his chest to his lips.
A knock on the door tore a growl from Malik as he reluctantly pushed himself up glaring at the door. He got to his feet, running a hand through his hair and straightened his clothes. Ryou did the same as he got off the bed. Malik opened the door to young man who bowed, "I'm to inform everyone to gather in the castle's front court yard as soon as possible." As soon as he was done speaking he rushed off to the next door.
They left the room Malik leading Ryou through the maze of hallways and stairs to the main entrance. The entrance opened right up, its high domed ceiling and three separate wide staircases leading to different parts of the castle. The front doors were at least three stories high were full of Demonic creatures, with their Mate's, slaves and luggage in toe. "Welcome to the Gathering!" Humans in groups of six were standing about the hall, simply dressed with matching clothing lined up giving greetings in unison to the new arrivals.
Malik moved through the crowd, down the stairs to the ground floor and moved to stand by a pillar. "What are we here for?" Ryou asked standing beside him.
"Yami is about to personally welcome everyone and officially start the Gathering." Malik crossed his arms over his chest and watched the hustle of the room.
"I didn't think it would start as soon as we get here," Ryou said a little confused thinking it wouldn't start for another few days or until everyone had arrived as it seemed people were still pouring into the castle.
"It starts as soon as Yami arrives and soon after the introduction of his Mate and before the end of the Gathering, his crowning." Malik rubbed the back of his neck, "You know that you might not get much time to spend with Yugi while we're here, even the possibility of not seeing him at all really."
"Why?" Not that Ryou minded spending all his time with his Demons, but he also enjoyed his time with his friends.
"He'll have a lot of work ahead of him if he wants to have a place beside Yami on the throne. He'll have to learn about our ways, sit in on diplomatic issues, sit in on meetings and talks, and even know how to rule in Yami's absence." Ryou felt sorry for his friend, but he still had Joey, Anzu and Serenity.
"Welcome Master," two small children, identical twins, a boy and a girl with light brown hair, big blue eyes bowed. Malik tensed moved closer to Ryou ready to draw his weapon. "We have been anticipating your return for some time." They said in unison and in perfect pitch to each other.
"However, Kyoshi ignored our wishes, until now." The girl grinned stepping towards him and Ryou stepped back into Malik. "The Realm has become chaos in your absence."
"Will you be retaking your rightful place on the throne or will you allow this incompetent child Demon to rule in your stead?" She growled, the corners of her mouth splitting a little up her cheeks.
"Shall we prepare for war?" They both looked up at him with unsettling excitement.
Malik growled at them, Ryou was so thrown off guard he didn't know what to say, he didn't expect anyone to come directly at him like this, especially when he didn't completely understand everything himself. "I..."
"Get lost!" Bakura appeared behind them he swept his arm upwards and with it a burst of his powers had them leaping away their mouths stretched open up their cheeks, rows of long sharp teeth, their eyes became large black holes, growling at his Mate. Bakura simply grinned and his powers surged forward again from the ground in a dark wave. The twins vanished before it could hit them. "Damn Shadows." He huffed then glancing at Ryou and Malik. "Don't worry about them..."
The sound of sharp cracking filled the room overriding all the noise, everyone looked up to a small balcony where Ella stood with a long staff in hand tapping it on the ground and stopped when everyone was still. She moved to the side standing near the railing overlooking the room.
"Welcome!" Yami appeared in his full Demonic form complete with elaborate clothing of silk vest, gold tassels and buttons with a cloak over one shoulder, similar to what Ryou had seen in the Auction they had come through. "Welcome guests, I would like to announce the start of the Gathering." The room erupted with claps and cheers.
So the fun begins R&R let me know what you think.