{.........}= Yami to Hikari

/........./ = Hikari to Yami

Italics = thoughts

)( )( BoldFace )( )( = in the Shadow realm

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Darkness. Cold. An empty void for him to eternally watch over. That was his price, his reward, his destiny. To protect the light-world from being consumed by the shadow-realm's hunger, and in the process save the shadows from their own self-destructive desire.

Without the light the dark couldn't exist, just as without the dark the light couldn't exist. It was a fact that many missed, one that he was continually reminded of in this prison that he shared with the shadows.

The spirit that watched over this realm smirked to itself slightly, a mere quirking of its lips but still an impressive change for his usually frozen expression. After the eternity of time he had spent in this world he would have thought that he would stop reciting such well-known truths, out of sheer boredom of them if nothing else.

In all truth, he had. He had become so numb to the never ending void of this place that he had become almost comatose. But something had changed, something that hadn't happened in the seeming infinite amount of time he had been here, something that caused him to awake.

The puzzle, the very doorway to this prison, was being rebuilt. Someone had survived the Item's test and was putting the pieces of the puzzle together. The spirit's smirk deepened and his eyes shone with a less-than-sane light, this could be interesting.

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Yugi groggily opened his eyes a stretched, trying to ease the kinks out of his muscles. He glanced over at the clock on his nightstand, 7:30, good, with any luck they should all be asleep by now.

Yugi pulled himself out of bed, ignoring the aches and pains the were a reminder of his parents latest drinking binge and buddies, and pulled on his school uniform. After gathering his backpack and homework Yugi slid under the bed, quietly pulling aside floorboards to pull out his gift that his grandfather had given him last time he had visited. Yugi's grandfather Sugoroku lived in Japan, where both he and his mother had been born. His parents though, had moved and forced Yugi to leave with them, taking away the one sanctuary that he had and the one person he trusted. Yugi sighed internally as he ran his fingers over the shaping and designs that made up the golden box. If his parents or their 'buddies' knew that he had this they would have long ago taken it and sold it for more drinking or drugging money. Once again Yugi wished that he could live with his grandfather, but didn't think on it too much, he had long ago learned the futility of wanting something you would never get.

Slipping the box into his bag Yugi snuck out of the house, making his way over the sprawled bodies and old liquor bottles, and out into the street, time for school, I just hope every one will ignore me today, I have enough bruises as it is.

After school Yugi made his way though the crowd, avoiding the people who would beat the shit out of his for fun, which meant the dealers, the gang members that were in groups, the kids considered 'popular' in this school an most of the teachers as well. Basically, that meant he darted from group to group of people to fucked up on whatever, whether it be drugs, booze, or life, to tell him from a lamp post, or a psychotic demon depending on their drug-dreams. The only others he was even slightly safe around was the single gang members as they rarely did anything with out someone to impress. Rarely being to operative word.

Yugi felt himself being grabbed by the back of his collar, oh shit! He jerked his head around to see who had him, hoping desperately it was just one of the druggies, he could escape them fairly easily most of the time. Oh shit. He thought again, this time more quietly as he saw that it was one of the gang members. What made it even worse was he recognized the gang; it was one of the many his parents owed money to. They're getting smarter, sending only one guy to grab me. They managed to catch me off guard.

The man holding him sneered and started pulling him towards an alleyway where the rest were undoubtedly waiting. "Finally got yuh kid. Maybe this'll convince your parents ta be quicker in tha pay up."

Vaguely Yugi thought as the blows started, when has it ever?

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The shadow spirit narrowed his eyes and growled sharply, causing the Shadows around him to roll and pulse in turmoil at their keeper's anger. Someone was hurting the chosen of the puzzle; he could feel the life energy waning considerably, as if gravely injured. Hasten and solve the puzzle oh Chosen, I do not intend to be trapped here for any longer, and you would not like what would happen if I forced my way out. I have waited this long, I will not wait any more.

The puzzle was almost complete, all the chosen would have to do was fit together the last pieces. The spirit's eyes glowed like fresh blood and the Shadows movements became even more erratic. Hurry Chosen, Hurry.

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I'm not going to be able to walk for a while. Yugi thought, numbly. The beating was finished and the gang was gone, leaving Yugi several broken and cracked bones, quite a few cuts and abrasions, and a hell of a lot of bruises. Pushing himself up into a sitting position Yugi caught sight of his pack, which was, miraculously, within an arms reach. Which was good, as his arms where pretty much the only thing he could use at this point. While I'm here I might as well finish the puzzle. For some reason I didn't occur to him that taking out a solid gold puzzle out of a solid gold box might not be the best thing to do right now.

Yugi took out the golden box and began fitting the last pieces into place, pausing every once in a while to rest his sore muscles.

Last piece, he thought, rather fuzzily, well at least I've finished it. He slipped that last piece into place just before he the concussion he had been fighting took over and pulled him into unconsciousness.

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The spirit's eyes shone, laughter fighting to make its way out of his throat, as he felt the last puzzle piece fall into place. Finally! He had clouded the boy's thoughts enough to cause him to forget the danger and focus on the Item, the Chosen's only real hope of surviving with the injuries that the spirit could sense was to finish the puzzle and allow him to heal his wounds. Not that the boy knew this most likely. The Shadows around him pulsed and whirled in excitement. Through the darkness that made up this realm the spirit saw a door open, the gateway to the light-world.

A body, almost assuredly that of the person who had opened the door, came tumbling through the portal. The spirit caught the body of his new soul-partner easily, he was a small boy, from his face and body development barely older than fourteen, though only tall enough to look about eleven; the spirit raised an eyebrow in amusement at how alike they looked. He ran his fingers through the unconscious boy's tri-coloured hair, so similar to his own. Their faces were quite different however, and he was very much so sure that their eyes would be different colours as well. Somehow this child didn't look like the kind to have his own red eyes.

The spirit turned his head and called to the Shadows, they would cradle his body, keeping him safe here while they and their keeper dealt with whoever dared to jeopardize their freedom.

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