Author's Note: This is the prologue to something much greater. It had simply been a random whim to start this story and it quickly grew in size to monstrous proportions. Le sigh.

I would also like to say that this was started before I had seen the end of Waking The Dragons or any of Ancient Egypt, so consider many parts of this story highly AU. Please don't be angry if I differ from canon, since I already know that my version of what happened will be different from what actually occured.

I don't want to spoil some of the surprises in this story, but let me warn you: There is going to be shounen-ai in this story and plenty of it. I also add my usual warnings ( though again they don't apply to this chapter ) of violence, language, and disturbing imagery.

Prologue - Alone

I sense there's something in the wind
That feels like tragedy's at hand
And though I'd like to stand by him
Can't shake this feeling that I have
The worst is just around the bend

- Verse 1, Sally's Song ( Nightmare Before Christmas OST )

She stood alone.

A cold wind picked up, pulling at the flimsy pink material that served as her skirt. Clothing had never been overly important; she wasn't truly alive – nothing here was – and as long as she stayed here modesty was never an issue. Old habits died hard, though, and were even more reluctant to come back.

She tugged the material down. Awkward. Forced. Still, she tugged, simultaneously at the skirt and at the corners of her mouth. A smile. Something else not needed, hard as that was to see.

Depressing. Now what? Yes, frown. The movement felt even stranger; a forced relaxation of muscles that had been set in the same position for years. Still, smile and frown. That mattered where she was going.

Slowly raising her arms to the sky, she tilted her head back, blue and pink cap falling to the ground, exploding in a shower of rose petals before actually touching it. Her blond hair was immediately snatched up by the wind which greedy yanked and twisted every strand it could get a hold of. Blue eyes never wavering, she brought her arms together, hands clasping tightly around the blue rod.

"You don't have to do this." Words echoed soundlessly in her mind. He wasn't here, couldn't – wouldn't – be bothered with her. Do what you want. He had told her that and she took that statement to heart. Do what you want. She wanted to defy him.

"You don't have to do this." She ignored the silent specter, slamming the bottom of the rod into the ground, murmuring the incantation he had taught her so long ago under her breath. Breathe, yes. She needed to learn how to breathe again. The world she had lived in for so long exploded around her.

She stood alone.

-Elsewhere-

Yugi woke, screaming. Try as he might, Yami wasn't able to calm his aibou's nightmares.

"She stood alone."