tUD: Hey! Welcome to my first (posted) Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic! (I actually wrote a songfic first, but I can't get the bloody thing to load _ frustrating.) I don't have a clue how long this story will be, so it'll probably depend on the # of reviews. Don't mind me if I seem a little subdued, (trust me its temporary), but I got little to no sleep last night trying to post that damn songfic. The blasted thing won't format!

tUD: Well, anyway, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh!, probably never will. Sorry. Please R&R!

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The Sentinel

Chap. 1

A small park glittered in the pale moonlight. Bustling with hyperactive children and harried mothers during the day, it was now abandoned for warm beds and comforting dreams. The wan glow reached down to the deserted playground, glinting off the steel swing set, flowing gently across the ground. It paused to transform the tiny pond to liquid silver, and then continued into the surrounding trees - where it stopped dead, unable to penetrate the concentrated night that lay there.

The darkness pulsed slowly as it entered into the mortal world. It had been so long since it had found an overlooked portal between realms. At least, a naturally created portal. It could always make one personally, of course, but any such direct activity would only serve to alert them.

Shuddering at unpleasant memories of other encounters, the darkness resumed crossing over into the unsuspecting world of the humans. Soon, it thought, it would have enough power not to have to worry about them any longer. Soon.

At last the darkness had passed completely through the portal. Now it would need a form that would let it move unseen through the world of men. The mass of infinite blackness quivered gently as it changed.

The change complete, it stood, staring around at the human city surrounding it. Not a very big or important city, but it would suit its purposes - for now. White teeth gleamed in an evil grin, and the young boy ran off into the deepening night.

"I'm baaack!"

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Several blocks away, a young boy woke from his dreams with a piercing shriek.

"Yugi!? What? What happened?!?" his grandfather cried, bursting into the room. "Yugi?"

Little Yugi Motou was sitting upright in his bed, still as a stone, with a distant look in his eyes that suggested his dreams had not completely relinquished their hold on his mind.

"Yugi, come on, wake up. Please, look at me and tell me what happened. Did you have another nightmare?"

The small boy began to stir as Sugoroku gently shook him by the shoulders. He turned toward his grandfather, and Sugoroku recoiled in shock at the look of pure terror on the sweet boy's face.

"He's here." Yugi whispered softly, so softly that the old man's ears had to strain to hear. "He has come, and the night will follow."

"What? Yugi, who's here? And why are you so scared of him? Yugi, tell me!" Sugoroku demanded, but he was too late, as Yugi swayed, blinking at his guardian in surprise, concern almost glowing in his amethyst eyes.

"Grandpa, what's wrong? You have the weirdest look on your face. Is it-."

"No, no, Yugi, nothing's wrong. You just had a nightmare, is all. A bad one, too. You woke me up screaming."

"Screaming?" Yugi thought for a moment, then looked up. "That's funny," he said, smiling sunnily, "I don't remember dreaming anything worth screaming about."

"Well, that's probably a good thing. Now, I'll let you get back to sleep; remember, you do have school tomorrow."

"Okay, Grandpa. Good night." Yugi yawned and lay back down, snuggling (A/N: ugh, did I just say that? Ok, no more candy O_o) into his blankets.

Sugoroku closed the bedroom door on his grandson, only then letting his concern show on his face. Yugi had only acted like this once before, when.Sugoroku shied away from that thought. Surely it didn't mean anything.

* * * *

He drifted in a timeless void, a void of mists and dreams, and waited. There, there it was again, an almost non-existent rip in the weave of reality. He latched onto it, letting his mind feel/taste/see its location. Then, locking the coordinates in his memory for later recall, he allowed himself to wake from the trance.

Yami Motou (A/N: I know, same as Yugi's, I'll explain in a later chapter) slowly opened his eyes, letting the dream-trance drain away. Thinking back on the distortion in reality, he grimaced. Yet another doorway to close. Sure, it was vital that they not give the Shadow Realm any chance to conquer, and therefore to close any portals that opened into this world, but it was still peanuts compared to what he was capable of. He knew he should be grateful that there weren't any emergencies requiring that level of power, but that didn't keep him from getting bored. However, five thousand years of experience, well, nearly five thousand, had shown him that this was the way it would be.

Yami reminisced about the old days. Sure, he was glad to be on the good side now, instead of a pawn of the Shadow Realm, but when he was evil he'd had fun! He'd probably still be evil is he hadn't come, hadn't saved him. Even after all these millennia Yami still couldn't bring himself to say his name, remembering.

He recalled himself to the task at hand, locating and closing the natural portal. Yami recalled the spatial coordinates from his mind, and pulled out a map of Japan. Thank Kami-sama that he'd been assigned to this island, instead of to one of the larger continents. With more conscious minds tugging on realities fabric, some of the major cities, especially in Europe and America, were living hells for those assigned to them. Yami searched out the place on the map where the hole had broken through, and found it centered on a small city in the southern half of Japan. (A/N: Is it in the south? Oh well.) He strained to make out the tiny lettering on the paper and smiled as they finally became clear. Domino City.