Nocturne of Shadow




Vampires are real.

If you had told me that about a hundred years ago, I probably would have laughed in your face. Yes, I did mean ONE HUNDRED years ago; after all, it has been that long since I was just your average college student. Now here I am, at least forty years after I should have died yet not looking a day older than twenty, sitting on the rooftop of the hotel that contains the suite shared by my companions and myself. I'm brooding as I stare out at the Domino City, though I never used to do that when I was human.

I have changed.

Tonight is the first night in ten years that I've been able to move around on my own without experiencing extreme mental and physical pain. See, vampirism is a disease, more or less - a virus that affects the very DNA structure of a human being. At first, a newly "turned" vampire still has some internal parts that are human, but after about eighty to hundred and twenty years, all vampires that were turned as I was go through what is known as Toxic Time. This excruciating period occurs as the body of one infected undergoes the final DNA reconstruction of all their internal organs.

In essence, I was technically still human yesterday. Today, however...

I sigh halfheartedly, taking a sip from the glass of sterilized animal blood next to me. I am much like the city laid out before me; even after a hundred years, the buildings still sparkle with lights and the faint sound of cars echo through the air. Even after a hundred years and despite many changes, I still have my bright purple eyes, my strange tri-colored hair, and my soft features. There is just one thing that's different...

I can never forget...

~.oO 100 Years Ago... Oo.~

Panseru was draped over the couch, an arm over his eyes as if blocking out some harsh light. Never mind that there WAS no harsh light; the whole suite was rather dimly lit for the obvious reasons. No, his arm was not over his eyes because of the light, his arm was over his eyes in exasperation. It was not every day that one of his five companions could get under his skin, but one of them had, and now he had a headache because of it.

Of his companions, Malik and his almost twin lover, Marik, were always the ones to get in the most trouble. The psi-vampires had joined his little group sometime around the eighteenth century, having "gotten bored with" being on their own. Panseru had been reluctant at first - psi-vampires had always freaked him out, even when he was human - but eventually gave in to their pleading faces. This was something he was regretting more and more every single day.

It first started when Marik "accidentally" forgot to tell them that he did not have full control of his abilities yet. This was something Panseru himself had the unfortunate privilege of finding out, though it had taken him awhile to figure out why he was so tired after being around him. That problem was easily solved, but Malik was a different story entirely.

Malik was sadistic; he liked to play with his food before draining it of every single drop of life force. That never really bothered Panseru - he himself enjoyed having a little fun with his victims as well. What ANNOYED him more than anything else, was that Malik liked to hide the bodies around the house after he was done with them. Often, they would not be able to find it until it started stinking up the place.

This time around, Malik had gone too far. This time, he had hidden the body of a young woman he had drained in the floorboards under Panseru's bed. He never even realized it until the foul smell of the decaying corpse reached his nostrils sometime around mid afternoon that day. To say he had been furious was an understatement.

"In these past five thousand years, have you ever met anyone else so irksome?" he asked his companion in the room.

Seto looked over the newspaper he was reading, regarding the slightly younger man critically. "Hai," he answered a bit coldly. "He has purple eyes, tri-colored hair -"

"Urusai," Panseru cut him off irritably.

Seto chuckled slightly, folding up his newspaper. He was about to say something, when a head of spiky bleach-blonde hair popped up from behind the couch Panseru was reclining on. Slightly narrow lavender eyes looked down at the sprawled out vampire in a sort of mock innocence.

"Oré-sama apologizes, Pharaoh-sama," Malik murmured, his voice slightly muffled by the couch. Panseru just growled low in his throat in response. "Oré-sama knows that what oré-sama did was wrong," Malik continued, undaunted. "Oré-sama knows what will cheer Pharaoh-sama up."

Panseru lowered his arm slightly, just enough to glare at the young psi-vampire. "What?" he asked coldly.

Malik stood up straight, a broad smile on his face. "Oré-sama has found a new bar that appeals to Pharaoh-sama's taste," he answered in a singsong voice.

Panseru could not help it; he sat upright, his headache forgotten as he was suddenly interested.


"Hai!" Malik exclaimed brightly. "Oré-sama saw lots of pretty, pretty bishounen going in and out. Not as pretty, pretty as hikari-pretty, but pretty."

Panseru put a hand to his chin thoughtfully, too focused on the promise of possibly getting some fresh blood to comment on Malik's unusual speech. His other hand unconsciously played with a chain that held half of a large, pyramidal puzzle around his neck. Seto, in the meantime, was giving the two of them a bland look.

"Must you two play with your food?" he asked dully.

Panseru rolled his eyes. "Not all of us have the 'pleasure' of ruling over humans," he replied. That only got a smirk out of Seto.

"Says the pharaoh to the high priest," he commented dryly. Panseru sweatdropped, embarrassed, as the other vampire checked his watch. "Speaking of which, I have to go to work."

Seto got up from his seat, taking hold of his steel briefcase resting next to his chair and making his way to the door. Before he could get to it, however, it was pushed open of its own accord, admitting a white haired individual precariously balancing a bag of takeout on top two soft drinks and a bag of blood. He did not notice Seto was almost right in front of him, and ended up crashing headlong into the business man, getting soda and French fries all over him.

"WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM, TOMB ROBBER!?!" Seto demanded, furious.

Bakura, having only saved the pack of blood, gave him a critical look.

"My problem is you got in my way, high priest," he returned coolly. Seto fumed, biting out several Egyptian curses before stalking off to his room to get changed.

Panseru rubbed his temple, remembering that he had a headache; as Bakura ducked down to pick up the dropped fast food. It was just the usual antics, but somehow his head pounding seemed to make everything seem ten times worse. After a moment, the tomb robber straightened again, most of his previously dropped food back in the paper bag it had been in.

"So, what's up with his highness-ness anyway?" he asked sarcastically, his usual belligerent smirk on his face.

Both Panseru and Malik sweatdropped. Typical evening all right; typical example that Egyptian royalty and tomb robbers did not mix. For close to five thousand years - since Panseru's reign in ancient times ended with his turning - the pharaoh, the tomb robber, and the high priest had been traveling the world on their own. The going had been tough at first, considering they did not get along and did not know the countries surrounding their homeland very well. After the first few hundred years, they came to the mutual conclusion that they were going to be stuck with each other, so they may as well be civil to one another. They still managed to get little snipes at each other, though, especially after Marik and Malik joined up with them.

Bakura's attitude sobered suddenly. "How's Ryou doing?"

"Hikari-pretty's looking after him," Malik answered. "Oré-sama heard him screaming for you a few hours ago, but he's been quiet since."

Bakura glowered. "If you hadn't dumped that body in Panseru's room, maybe he wouldn't have had to scream."

Panseru winced at his harsh tone, waiting for a fight to break out, but Malik responded cheerily, "Oré-sama already apologized to Pharaoh-sama. Oré-sama doesn't need to apologize to you."

Bakura glared daggers, but instead of yelling, he went off to his little lover's room. Ryou had joined their number only ninety years ago, and was well into the third year of his Toxic Time. The fair of face and body Japanese boy had been frail when he was a human, and while he had obtained the strength of a vampire when he was turned, he was still considerably weaker than was the norm. Panseru worried for the child; he was so delicate that the pharaoh was afraid his Toxic Time might kill him.

A moment after Bakura disappeared; Marik came out of the room, licking bloodied hands off with long licks of his tongue, giving his lover a seductive look. Malik licked his lips, and was about to pounce on him when a tug on his shirt from Panseru stopped him.

"Knock it off," he growled. "Can't you two at least wait until you're in a bedroom?"

Malik turned and smiled devilishly. "Oh, but Oré-sama likes the floor. Much firmer."

Marik chuckled. "Ah, don't worry, Malik-kun," he said. "Panseru-kun's just jealous. Five thousand years of sexual tension will do that to you."

If glares were bullets, Marik would have had two holes in his forehead. "ANYway," Panseru snarled, turning his attention back to Malik as Marik started chuckling. "You said there was a new gay bar you wanted to show me?"


There was no denying it; Yugi Mutou felt like a complete idiot. Today the top-of-the-class college student had turned twenty-one, that all too important time in a person's life when they could go to the bar and legally drink for the first time. Problem was, Yugi was not a social person; he would have much rather curled up on the bed in his dormitory with a nice big text book and read until he fell asleep with his glasses on, than come to the newest gay bar in town dressed like a New York pimp. Problem was, his best friend since high school, Katsuya Jonouchi, had dragged him into this, and no matter what he did, he was stuck.

Yugi remained in his seat, trying to hide the fact that he was wearing leather pants that were way too tight and a fish-net/tank-top combination that was way too loose, while Jonouchi went off to get the first drinks of the night. The other boy had sprayed some kind of glitter stuff in his unusual tri-colored spiky hair, which made him feel like an idiot, pimp, AND a pixie.

In short, Yugi SO did not want to be there. The fact that some of the guys dancing on the floor were looking at him like he was a piece of meat did not help any either. He sighed tiredly, propping his elbows up on the table and resting his head in one hand, while his other hand played with a leather strap that held half of a large, pyramidal puzzle around his neck. He was in the middle of wishing Jonouchi would get back already... when he saw HIM.

Yugi blinked, staring at the three young men that entered the bar. Two of the group had bleach-blonde hair, and almost seemed to be twins, though one's hair was sticking up in impossible angles. The other, however... the other one made him feel like he was staring at a fun house mirror, the kind that made you look stronger than you really were. This man was tall, and had the same spiky tri-colored hair that he did, with the exception of a couple blonde spikes sticking up along with the raspberry tipped black hair. His purple eyes were narrow, and seemed to take in the whole bar with a casual glance. Belts seemed to be his accessory of choice, as his whole outfit was littered with them, from the tight leather shirt to the loose leather flares that swept about his legs.

Yugi did not realize he was staring at the man until one of his blonde companions pointed him out. He blushed bright red and turned away, embarrassed, trying to put the other man out of his mind. Just when he was about to get up and leave to look for Jonouchi, however, a low husky voice whispered to him, "May I sit here, chibi ichi?"

Yugi suppressed a shudder at the hot breath that teased his ear, turning around slowly to see the man that he had been gawking at before.

"S-s-s-s-sure," he managed to squeak, sliding over slightly to let the man sit. He did so, fluidly sliding into the seat next to him with the grace of a cat, all the while managing to hold Yugi's gaze with his eyes. The young man felt his blush deepen - what was with him tonight? Why did he feel so... DRAWN to this person?

"What's your name, chibi ichi?" the man asked, narrow eyes so intense, yet so seemingly gentle at the same time.

"Y...Yugi," he answered, finding his shyness slowly ebbing away as he continued to look at him. "What's yours?"

The man smiled, sending another wave of hot blushes to Yugi's face. "Panseru."

Panseru... Yugi frowned slightly. He could have sworn he had heard that name somewhere before...

"Well, Yugi-kun," Panseru said, disrupting his chance to dwell on it any longer, "is this your first time to a place like this?"

Yugi laughed slightly. "No, my friend is always dragging me to these places," he explained. "It's my first time being able to drink, though." Panseru blinked, clearly surprised. Yugi chuckled again. "What? Didn't think I was that old?"

"I would have pinned you for sixteen years," he answered honestly.

Yugi giggled. Meanwhile, Panseru was mentally licking his lips at his catch. Such sweet and pure innocence; he was reeling the young man in, and he was not even trying to use the psychic powers that all vampires were blessed with. The pharaoh leaned in close, feeling the young man stiffen slightly as he ran his tongue along his neck. Even the outside of him tasted delicious, almost like the sweetest of honey; he could not even imagine how wonderful his life's blood would be.

"You're beautiful," Panseru whispered in his little victim's ear. "Did you know that?"

Yugi could not have gotten any hotter even if he had a fever. This guy... they had just met, and he was already coming on to him?

Somehow, he managed a laugh. "Are you sure you're not just looking in a mirror?"

Panseru swept his gaze over the boy, REALLY looking at him. "Indeed, it does look like we are two sides of a mirror," he whispered huskily, wrapping his arms around the little one and drawing him close. "On my side, is the side that prefers to dwell in darkness. On your side, is the side kissed by the light of day. I'm quite drawn to that side, just as you seem to be attracted to my side."

Yugi felt a deep shudder wrack his body. What was this he was feeling, deep in the pit of his stomach? It was a feeling that made the loud background music and the people dancing drop away into nothingness, leaving him and Panseru as the only two people in existence. Before he knew what he was doing, Yugi wrapped his arms around the other man's neck, letting that small movement draw them even closer. Another shudder went through his body as his felt Panseru's tongue massaging his neck again, and then he let out a gasp of surprise as he found Yugi's sensitive spot: his earlobe.

Panseru chuckled low in his throat at the little one's reaction, before taking the whole of the boneless piece of flesh in his mouth and sucking on it gently. Ignoring a strange tugging sensation that had suddenly appeared in the back of his mind, he nipped the earlobe with one of his fangs. He did not bite it too hard, just enough to get a couple drops of blood out of the little one. He almost felt like he was going to pass out at the taste; it was intoxicating, almost as if he could taste the child's purity through his blood.

At this point, Yugi had all but melted into a little puddle in his arms. He had to get the little innocent one out of there; best to drain him in a place where he could feed in peace. Panseru pulled away, and was about to suggest that they go somewhere private, when he stopped. The small one was looking at the half of the pyramidal puzzle around his neck, shock easily seen on his face.

"What is it, chibi ichi?" he asked, curious.

Yugi looked up at him in surprise. "That," he said, pointing to the puzzle half. "It looks like mine."

To say that Panseru was shocked when Yugi held up the puzzle half that was around his own neck was an understatement. They stared at each other in wide-eyed silence, before Yugi reached over and took his puzzle half in hand. He slid the two together, the pieces interlocking perfectly to form a completed, upside down pyramid, branded with the Eye of Ra.


Bakura stretched in his chair, letting out a loud yawn that showed off his fangs. He could not remember the last time since he had gotten a decent amount of sleep, though he knew it had to have been sometime before Ryou's Toxic Time started. If he was not the only one left in the suite, he would have gone to make himself a pot of coffee, but instead he settled back with a glass full of the blood he had brought home that night.

On the bed before him, his sweet little Ryou was still out cold, exhausted from the pain that Toxic Time brought. Bakura winced at the memory of how painful his own experience had been; if anyone doubted the fact that he felt for the little one, than they were an idiot.

Bakura reached over, and brushed some hair out of his little lover's face. Ryou's eyes snapped open at the touch, making the former tomb robber jump in surprise.

"Baku-koi...?" Ryou asked, looking a bit dazed.

Bakura grabbed a damp cloth from a bowl on the nightstand, before leaning forward and wiping his little lover's brow.

"Diajoubu desu ka, Ryou-koi?" he asked.

Ryou smiled brightly up at him. "Hai, Baku-koi."

Bakura blinked. "H-honto? No pain? Nothing wrong at all?"

"Hai!" Ryou exclaimed, such a sweet look of innocence on his face. "In fact..."

Before Bakura could even blink, he found a fist implanted in his face. He briefly heard the crunching of bone as his nose broke, before his senses exploded into a world of pain as he flew into the dresser on the opposite side of the room. He fell over face first onto the ground, wincing as he landed on his damaged nose, before looking up. Though he was slightly dazed from the attack, he was still able to see the lithe form of Ryou easily leap out of bed, standing above him in a haughtily manner. The normally sweet vampire licked the back of the hand he had punched Bakura with, happily slurping up his lover's blood.

"In fact, I'm quite hungry right now..."


It was not exactly a rule, but it was something that vampires followed out of mere common sense: never fall in love with a human unless you were going to turn it. The reason why was simple really, seeing as humans were food to vampires, and falling in love with one could be seen as a form of bestiality. To put it in a human perspective; a human would not make love with a cow before drinking its milk. From this view, it was easy to understand why vampires would find falling in love and making love with a human disgusting.

Panseru, however, could not care less at the moment.

The former pharaoh had allowed Yugi to whisk him away from the bar, to a little twenty-four hour diner somewhere in the middle of town. There, the two of them had talked - well, Yugi was doing most of the talking, and Panseru was watching him dreamily. The pharaoh had never felt so content, so at peace before in his life. It was like he had found his soul mate... could that be what their puzzles represented: two halves of one soul, finally united?

Panseru sighed, watching the little vision of light as he slurped down an ice cream. Seto would probably kill him. The high priest was always getting on his case about playing with his food; he hated to find out how hard he would come down on him if he found out he was in love with it.

"Ne, Panseru-kun," Yugi began, looking at him with a raised eyebrow. "You've been awfully quiet. Why don't you tell me about yourself?"

Panseru hesitated a moment. "I don't think you'll understand my life..."

Yugi just smiled sweetly. "Try me."

Panseru sighed, giving the little one a critical look as he thought over how to begin.

"Chibi ichi, do you believe in vampires?"

Yugi blinked, surprised. "Ne? Why you ask?"

"Because I am one."

Yugi blinked again... and again... and again... before he suddenly burst out laughing. "You're joking right? I mean, vampires are just in stories, right?"

Panseru blew out a slightly frustrated sigh, before leaning across the table to take Yugi's earlobe in his mouth again. This time, though, he bit a little harder, getting a squeak of pain out of the young man and coating his teeth with the little one's heavenly blood. With that done, he leaned back in his seat again, making a show of licking the blood off of his teeth, making sure to show off his abnormally sharper canines. Yugi just started at him, blinking in surprise, before he finally gulped.

"Your... are you gonna..."

He pointed a slightly shaking finger toward his neck. Panseru just rolled his eyes at the human misconception.

"Feed off of you? No," he answered. "Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't bite your neck. That's gross, and runs the risk of damaging your body."

"Oh..." Yugi replied, putting his finger down, slightly embarrassed. "Then... uh... are you gonna..."

Panseru smirked at his effort to find the right word. "Turn you?" he asked. Yugi nodded bleakly, getting a broad smile out of him. "Only if you asked me too."

Yugi blushed. "Aa... I'd have to think about that..." he said, in a manner that stated there was not much to think about. Not that Panseru blamed him; eternity was really quite boring if you did not have the right person to spend it with.

"So, what's it really like?" Yugi asked, leaning forward in interest. "Are you... like... dead?"

Panseru smirked. "Another human misconception," he explained. "While vampires such as myself have long ago ceased to be human, we are still living, breathing creatures. We feel pain, we bleed, and we die, just like any other creature on this earth.

"You see, chibi ichi, vampirism is really no more than a disease; a virus that triggers a genetic mutation in human beings. Though we still look human on the outside, and are still technically human for the first hundred or so years after we have been turned, on the inside we're something else entirely. And, we are killers, there's no way around that. Though we can eat and drink food like a human, we need to consume blood in order to keep living, and although it would be nice, we can't always live off of animal blood or cold blood from banks. At least every now and then, we need something fresh -"

Panseru cut himself off, realizing that Yugi was staring at him with a dreamy look in his eyes, unconsciously sipping on his soda.

"Ano... why are you looking at me like that?" he asked.

"Are all vampires like you?" Yugi asked.


Yugi smiled in a sort of mock sweetness. "I mean, do all vampires have spiky hair, luxurious fangs, and a sa-WEET ass?"

Panseru felt himself blush for what had to be the first time in thousands of years. Scratch that; make that his first blush EVER.

"Were... were you even listening to me?" he asked, slightly flustered.

Yugi nodded. "Hai, and I understand, but I think I know something you don't."

Panseru raised a challenging eyebrow. "Oh? And what's that?"

The little vision of light smiled brightly. "You wouldn't hurt me."

The pharaoh could have sworn he felt his heart melt into a little puddle of goo at his sweetness. "You're probably right," he replied with a smirk.

Yugi yawned and stretched suddenly. "Gomen," he said around his show of tiredness. "It's late, and I've got an exam tomorrow."

He got up from the table, but Panseru surprised him by grabbing his arm and pulling him down onto his lap. The two of them stared at each other lustfully for a moment, before the pharaoh bent down and captured the little light's lips in a passionate kiss that sent shivers all along Yugi's spine. The only thing that forced the two of them apart was the need for air, and even that was an almost discarded need.

"When can I see you again?" Panseru asked in a husky voice.

"T-t-tomorrow," Yugi managed to stutter. "Definitely tomorrow."

Panseru nodded, letting him go. "Tomorrow, then. I will find you."

Yugi smiled. "I know."

With that said, the little innocent vision of light walked out of the diner, leaving Panseru's head up on Cloud Nine. Nothing could have taken him away from his state of euphoria... except for the twin sets of prying lavender eyes behind him.

"How long were you listening?" he demanded, dimly aware of Marik and Malik staring down at him from the booth.

"Long enough," Marik replied.

"Oré-sama never knew Pharaoh-sama was into bestiality," Malik stated. "Eeeewwww..."

"Urusai!" Panseru snapped, annoyed that they would accuse him of such a thing - never mind that it was true.

"Ne, Panseru-kun, you're gonna turn him right?" Marik asked, ducking out from the booth behind and sitting next to him. "'Cause you know Seto-kun will ream you out if he finds out you're dating a human."

"Does it look like I care?" Panseru replied hotly. "I'm keeping my word. I'm only going to turn him if he asks me to."

"Oré-sama think you're going to have a long wait," Malik said dully.

Panseru rolled his eyes. "Unless some hunter gets the idea that I'm a prize worth taking, then I have an eternity to wait for him."

"Oré-sama agree," Malik began, concern evident in his voice. "But little pharaoh-pretty doesn't have an eternity to MAKE that decision."


By the time Yugi had gotten back to his home at the Kame Game Shop, he barely managed to slip into the boxers he used for pajamas before he flopped onto his bed, exhausted. He was so exhausted, that he even managed to forget to set his alarm, and the only thing that woke him up in the morning was the phone ringing like a bat out of Hell. Groaning in his tiredness, he reached over, picked up in receiver, and put it to his ear.

"Mushi, mushi..." he muttered, tiredly.

"Mutou, Yugi-san?" the voice on the other end asked. "This is the Domino City Police Department."

Those words managed to get him half awake, as being called by the police would do to anyone.

"Hai," he said, fighting back a yawn. "How might I help you?"


Yugi walked down the length of the hospital corridor leading away from the observation room with lead-ridden legs. Last week, he had gotten an e-mail from his old friend, Anzu Mazaki. She had promised him that she would be returning from the School of Dance in New York to visit her friends and family in Domino City. Apparently, her plane had arrived earlier than scheduled, and was on her way to visit him, when...

He gulped slightly, refusing to cry while trying to rid his mind of the mangled corpse he had been asked to identify. Briefly, he thought of what Panseru had told him about vampires last night, and wondered if that was what had gotten to her. After all, he had said that they were killers...

Somehow, Yugi managed to find his way out of the hospital and back to his old and banged up Suzuki Escudo, still trying to fight the images in his head. He dropped his keys in his shaky state, but when he bent down to pick them up, another hand reached them first. Biting back a gasp, he gazed in shock at the sunglass-wearing individual, swathed in a scarlet cape and an almost inhuman amount of leather.

"Panseru-kun!" he exclaimed. "What you doing out in the day time?"

Panseru smirked slightly. "Another common misconception, chibi ichi," he said casually. "Vampires can walk out in the daylight, but we have to take extra precautions depending on how sensitive we are to the sun's rays. I myself need to glob on sunscreen, and I MUST have my glasses, least I hurt my eyes."

"Oh..." Yugi replied distantly as Panseru dropped his keys into his hand. The pharaoh frowned.

"Chibi ichi, what's wrong?"

Yugi sniffed slightly, rubbing his eyes with an arm. "My... my friend... she was just murdered... I don't know who..."

A pang of guilt suddenly went through Panseru. "SHE was your friend...? Gomenasai, chibi ichi."

Yugi looked up, an accusing expression on his face, but the pharaoh held up his hands. "Chibi ichi, I mentioned last night that for the first hundred or so years after a vampire is turned, they are still technically human, did I not?"

He nodded, wondering what he was getting at.

"Well," Panseru continued, "after that time, we go through what we call Toxic Time, a time when the vampire virus completes the final DNA reconstruction. During this time, the last human internal organs are slowly transformed. The change generates toxins in the body; hence the name Toxic Time. It also causes pain and weakness that can be unbearable at times. It can also change a person; vampires who were normally benevolent can turn into cold blooded killers in the end."

Panseru paused, biting his lip. "My companion's lover just finished going through his Toxic Time while I was out with you last night. He escaped from the suite we all share and is loose in this city. I had been hoping he wouldn't be stupid enough to attack in broad daylight, but apparently his common sense was affected as well."

Yugi gulped. "He... he did... THAT to Anzu...?" he asked weakly.

Panseru gripped the little one's shoulders tightly. "Chibi ichi, I'm warning you. We are trying to hunt him down, but we have no idea where he is right now. For your own safety, PLEASE stay inside your house, unless it's a life-threatening matter, okay?"

Under normal circumstances, Yugi would have protested. Though he looked like a child, he was not one and refused to be treated as such. Those were normal circumstances; these were hardly normal. He nodded weakly, and also did not protest when Panseru took back his keys.

"I'll take you home, chibi ichi. You're safe in my hands," he assured him.


It did not take long for Panseru to find little Yugi's house; after all, how many places in the city were built in the form of a turtle? Yugi was about to exit the car from his seat on the passenger's side, when he suddenly found himself swept up in Panseru's arms and taken to the front door of the house where he was deposited on the doormat. He turned around as he felt something amiss, and saw the pharaoh teeter slightly.

"Are you okay?" he asked, holding onto Panseru's arm.

"Yeah... yeah," he gasped. "Just need to get out of the heat for awhile."

Yugi reached to push the door open. "Well, you can stay here then," he declared. "I can't have you passing out in the middle of this crazy city."

Panseru was about to protest, but Yugi pushed open the door of the combination house/game store and dragged him inside by the belt at his waist. Neither of them gave the "Welcome" sign swinging from the clear glass door a second glance as they went upstairs...


Bakura paced the length of the living room of the suite, wearing a rut in the floor large enough to bury him. Every now and then he fingered the packing in his nose, wishing the accelerated healing vampires were blessed with would hurry up already. That was not the only thing that was getting on the former tomb robber's nerves, however. Neither him nor Seto, who was currently sitting on the couch with his nose buried in a newspaper, could go out in the sun without suffering from severe sunstroke. This irked him to no end, given his previous profession.

The fact that Bakura had to rely on the others to find Ryou did not help his mood any either. He was worried about his little one, and he did not want the pharaoh and the psycho psi-vamps to get to him before he could. If it turned out that his little one was too violent... then he wanted to be the one to put him out of his misery, no one else.

The phone suddenly rang, and Bakura practically sprinted to the other side of the room to pick it up.

"Mushi, mushi?"

"Bakura, it's me," came Panseru's voice on the other end, sounding tired and drained. "I managed to track Ryou down to the Domino International Airport, where he had murdered a young woman, but the trail went cold after that."

Bakura bit his lip slightly. "Whab 'bout th' obers?" he asked, his speech impeded by the fact he had a wad of gauze shoved up his nose. "H've you herb fromb t'em?"

"No, I haven't," Panseru replied tiredly. Bakura frowned.

"Arb youb all bright?" he asked.

"No," the pharaoh answered with a sigh. "I didn't put enough sunscreen on, and my skin started burning. Sunset's in another two hours; I'll continue looking then. In the meantime, I'm staying over a... friend's house."

Bakura raised an eyebrow at his hesitation. Okay, when did that ruddy pharaoh get a boyfriend?

"Anyway," Panseru continued quickly. "I guess I'll see you later tonight."

There was a click as he hung up on his end, and Bakura hung up shortly after, digging his hands into his pockets and adopting a look of deep thought. Seto, in the meantime, had looked up from his newspaper.

"What was all that about?" he asked, sounding like he was not really interested, but wanted to know anyway. Bakura was silent a moment, before he started chuckling nasally. Seto raised an eyebrow, not amused. "Now what's your problem?" he asked.

Bakura smirked. "I jub realbized somebink."

Seto gave him a bland look, refusing to play games. "And that would be...?"

"Tha' you're th' onbly straight guy in th' mibble of a butt-fucking Brady Bunch."

Bakura had to duck as Seto launched his rolled up newspaper at him.


Yugi gazed up from his sweeping to see that the sun had finally set outside. That meant that Panseru would probably be leaving soon. He sighed, not wanting the vampire to leave. There were so many things... so many things he wanted to do with him... to him... for him...

Yugi cracked himself over the head with the handle of his broom. Since when did he have such a dirty mind? He forced himself to focus on sweeping up the same spot he had been cleaning for the past ten minutes, not realizing that the floor was already as clean as it was going to get. After he made sure that Panseru was settled in upstairs, Yugi had gone down to the game shop portion of the house to get it ready for business tomorrow. Since his grandfather had died, it had been hard for him to keep the shop running, as he was usually so busy with college (never mind he had blown it off today).

Yugi sighed again, thinking of his grandfather, unconsciously playing with the leather strap that held his puzzle half. It was the elderly man that had given him the talisman, and told him that when he found the other half, he would be the happiest man alive. He briefly wondered if his grandfather had had any idea that a vampire owned the other half before making his way to the back to put away the broom.

He was about to start wiping down the display case that doubled as a register counter, when he heard the bells at the door go off. He cursed himself silently; he had forgotten to lock the door after he had dragged Panseru into the house.

"Gomenasai, but we're -"

Yugi never got to finish, as he was suddenly slammed into the display case with enough force to shatter the glass. He winced as shards cut into his face, all the while trying to struggle against the bruising pair of hands that held him up against what was left of the case.

"Don't move, pretty thing. I don't like it when my food struggles..."

Yugi totally froze when he heard the voice whisper into his ear, sounding not entirely sane. He let out an involuntary squeak of fear as he felt something trailing down his neck, and it took him a moment to realize that the person was SNIFFING him.

"Mmm..." the person purred. "You smell delicious... Not like that blonde that was just outside... He smelled like second hand booze and smoke..."

Yugi whimpered, hoping against hope this psycho was not talking about Jonouchi. Then again, there were not many blondes he knew that smelled like that; Jonouchi's father had been a drunk and a smoker.

Suddenly, there was a stab of pain in his right forearm that made him gasp, more in surprise than in pain. Yugi thought nothing of it, until he heard a gulping sound coming from the psycho. Tilting his head to the side, he was barely able to make out a head of spiky white hair... and the fangs embedded in his forearm. Coming to his senses, he was about to scream for help, when the psycho vampire slapped one hand over his mouth, using his other hand and the full weight of his body to keep him pinned in place.

The minutes seemed to pass by as hours, and with each succeeding gulp from the vampire clamped onto his arm, Yugi felt his strength dwindle little by little. Painfully hot tears trickled down his face as a rushing sound filled his ears and bitter reality dawned on him.

He was going to die.

There was some kind of scream or inhuman roar - Yugi was not conscious enough to tell which - before he felt the fangs ripped forcefully out of his arm. The last thing he remembered, before the world turned black around him, was hitting the cold floor as a rush of scarlet passed overhead...


Panseru awoke, not realizing he had dozed off in the first place, to the sound of glass breaking downstairs. Shuddering slightly from the unusual cold of the night, he pulled on his scarlet cloak before heading down into the shop, taking the stairs two at a time. What he saw downstairs, however, made his heart freeze in his chest.

Ryou had Yugi pinned against a display case, and he was FEEDING off of him!

"Let him go!" he snarled, letting instinct take over. He bolted forward, grabbing Ryou and throwing him off of Yugi into a rack of board games.

Yugi slumped to the floor, but Panseru only took a brief notice of it. He swept past his little one to the once benevolent vampire, who was a bit dazed from being thrown without any kind of warning. Panseru hauled him up by the collar of his shirt before throwing him again, this time out the glass door of the shop. There was a thud and the sound of skittering glass as Ryou slid on the sidewalk from the force of the throw.

Panseru jumped through the hole he had created in the glass door, his eyes practically glowing with his rage. He snarled at Ryou in an animalistic fashion, showing off his fangs as a sign of how pissed off he was. Ryou, however, as unfazed as he got back up to his feet.

"Are you done now?" he asked, licking the excess blood from Yugi off his lips. "It's my turn to play."

With that said, Ryou became a blur of motion, sweeping about at such speed that Panseru could hardly see him. Suddenly, there was a jab of pain in the pharaoh's side as Ryou stopped to deliver a punch that had enough power behind it to double him over. The white-haired vampire then grabbed him by his spiky hair, whipping him around and tossing him into a collection of metal garbage cans. Dazed, Panseru could only lay where he had fallen, staring up at the sky as Ryou stalked toward him.

"I was hungry, dammit," he snarled. "How dare you interrupt a perfectly good meal."

Ryou raised his fist as if to punch him again, when a twin set of arms latched onto each of his arms.

"Oré-sama think you need to cool off, little tomb robber-pretty," Malik said, straining to hold onto Ryou's raised arm.

"Yeah, Ryou-kun!" Marik emphasized. "Chill out!"

"Urusai!" Ryou snapped, using his full strength to toss the two of them off.

The psi-vampires landed on either side of Panseru - Malik on the sidewalk, Marik on the pavement. The pharaoh, recovered from being thrown, was about to get back to his feet when Ryou suddenly leapt, landing atop his stomach. He gasped at the sudden weight as the white-haired vampire leaned forward to pin his arms into the garbage. He smiled sadistically, bearing his bloodstained fangs for the pharaoh to plainly see.

"Maybe I should have some of you," he snarled. "I'd love to find out how you taste..."

Before he could even blink, blood spurted all over Panseru's face in a sudden gush. The pharaoh stared at the sword that had appeared out of nowhere right in the middle of Ryou's heart, the tip of the blade almost touching Panseru's nose. Ryou looked down at it a moment in a sort of dazed fascination, before letting go of his arms and deliberately leaning back into the sword. He leaned his head off to the side, looking at the sword's owner lovingly.

"Baku-koi..." he whispered.

Bakura blinked at being addressed, the hand he had on the sword shaking from what he had done. Ryou did not look at him hurt or betrayed, however. He just smiled in his sweet, sweet manner.

"Aishteru, Baku-koi..." he gasped out before falling back even further on the sword, his eyes rolled back in death.

Bakura just stood there shaking for a long moment, before he somehow found the strength to push the corpse of his former lover and the sword that killed him away. He fell to his knees, shocked by what he had done, as Seto came up behind him. The former high priest looked at the corpse briefly, before resting a slightly comforting hand on Bakura's shoulder.

Malik got up from where he had landed on the sidewalk, slightly dazed. "Oy, Oré-sama don't know HOW we got out of that..."

Panseru ignored him, leaping to his feet with only one thought in mind: get to Yugi. He tore back into the Kame Game Shop, ignoring any calls from the others. There was his little one, lying on the floor where he had left him, a slight puddle of blood pooling around his bitten arm. Panseru crossed the way to him in the space of a heartbeat, before lifting him gently into his arms.

"Yugi," Panseru muttered, cradling the beautiful little light's head in his free hand. "Chibi ichi, please say something..."

As if obeying his command, Yugi's eyes fluttered open weakly, and he gazed up at him, unfocused.

"Panseru-kun...?" he asked, his voice hardly even a whisper.

"Hai," Panseru answered, "I'm here, I'm here."

Yugi tried to smile, but he was too weak to do even that.

"Onegai... Panseru-kun..." he began, shuddering slightly. "Help me... save me..."

Panseru gulped, feeling tears threaten him. No, he was not going to cry... he was not going to loose...

"There's only one way I can do that, chibi ichi," he admitted softly, knowing in his heart it was true. Yugi would be dead by the time they even got to a hospital.

Yugi however, was undaunted. "I... know..." he replied. He reached a shaking hand up to Panseru's bloodstained face. "I... I don't... want to... loose..."

With that, Yugi's strength gave out, and he slumped back into unconsciousness. Silently praying to himself that his little one would not hate him for it later, Panseru reached for a shard of glass. Gritting his teeth, he slit his own arm, starting at the base of his wrist and ending just a few inches down to leave him with a freely bleeding cut large enough for Yugi's mouth to fit over.

Panseru opened the young man's mouth and fit the cut into it, letting his own blood trickle down into him, using his free hand to massage his throat so he would swallow instead of gag on the fluid that would transfer the vampire virus to him. Hour-long minutes passed this way, with him only dimly aware of the others watching the two of them with bated breath. Then, just as Panseru was about to give up in despair, a sharp stab of pain lanced up his arm as Yugi started unconsciously sucking the blood out of the cut on his own. The pharaoh let out the breath he did not realize he was holding, smiling slightly as his little one reached up instinctively with one hand to push his arm closer to his mouth.

"Everything's all right now, chibi ichi," he whispered. "Welcome to my world, my mou hitori no oré..."

~.oO Present Day Oo.~

My story does not end there. Oh, no; that is far from the end. The first year of a turned vampire's new life is always interesting, and then there was the time that... No; these are stories for another time and another place. Right now, they are unnecessary; everything is perfect, everything is quiet...


I jump, almost falling off my perch on the edge of the roof, shocked out of my reverie by the scream coming from our suite.

"Geeze, high priest, you act like you've never seen a dead human before," Bakura's voice reaches my ears.

"They normally don't fall out of closets, tomb robber," was Seto's terse reply. "I swear, if you did this..."

"Hey, do I leave my food lying around the house?"

A pause.


I almost fall off my perch again, but this time it is because I'm howling with laughter. The three of them are arguing again. It was a good thing that most of the other tenants in the building were vampires as well, otherwise we would have some problems. It was just the usual banter, but somehow it buoyed my spirits, mostly because...

"HEY!!!" Malik's voice suddenly erupts over the other two. "Does MY food have teeth marks in it?!"

A pause.


I fall into a fit of giggles again, amused by my little prank. Suddenly, however, I'm swept off of my seat and up to look at a pair of narrow amethyst eyes so very like my own. I wrap my arms around his neck, a sweet smile on my face that just screams false innocence. He just raises a graceful eyebrow, amused.

"Chibi ichi, what did I tell you about leaving bodies around the house?" Panseru asks in a patronizing tone.

"Only where Malik can find them?" I respond sweetly, still smiling.

"Exactly," the pharaoh replies, a smirk tugging his face. I let out a gasp as he slips a hand under my shirt, before falling into a fit of giggles as he starts tickling my sensitive areas. "You disobeyed the pharaoh," he continues, whispering huskily in my ear. "I'll have to punish you now..."

I let out one final giggle before using his broad shoulders to pull myself up to his ear.

"What did you have in mind, koibito?" I whisper, before nipping his earlobe. Panseru yelps, pulling me away slightly, that confident smirk still on his face.

"Ah, my little mou hitori no oré," he murmurs. "Thank whatever gods are really out there that you haven't changed."

I smile, planting a warm kiss on his mouth. "I'll never change. I'll never leave you."

Panseru returns my smile. "I know, koibito. Aishiteru."

"Hai," I reply, nuzzling my head onto his shoulder. "Zutto aishiteru... eien ni..."

~.oO The End Oo.~