A/N: Psst… Guess what. . . I'M BACK! Yes, after a writing hiatus that's longer than Gone with the Wind, I have returned. It's not really that I stopped writing, it's just that school and work and my bad viola playing snuck up on me sometime in mid-August with a lethal iron spork. BUT! I have remedied that. Now that I no longer have a math class to deal with (enter choir HALLELUJAH!) I can get my mind back to more important (coughhackblowingoffhomeworkcough) things such as torturing my favorite YGO characters. squee So now, ladies and gentlemen… and everyone else… may I present the reason that I was up until midnight last night.
In Memories Forgotten
It was the perfect night to savor a bad mood. The clouds were surrounding the moon, creating a milky haze, and fog from the nearby swamp curled its fingers around tree trunks and undergrowth. Small night-creatures flitted across the ground and rustled through the trees. The stars were all hidden, and the murky blackness oozed out into the lightless, misty forest. Yes, it was an absolutely, positively perfect night for brooding, and Yami was not going to waste it.
With the daylight safely tucked away under the cloudy horizon, Yami could walk freely without having to fear sun or human. Even if there were any humans out and about at that particular hour, they would surely take Yami for one of the night-walking, blood-sucking phantoms that were frequently featured in children's tales and fireside stories, and be frightened back to the safety of the village.
So, Yami strolled through the forest without much direction, kicking up dead, fallen leaves and tendrils of mist as he went. On the crest of a hill, he stopped for a moment, looking at the rooftops and lit windows of the village less than a mile away. He had often wondered to himself what being a human would be like. He had read about them extensively, but had come to the conclusion that he would never really know unless he experienced it. And so, he shook off the wondering feeling and kept walking, berating himself for letting his withered heart wish for the impossible. Wishing had become an odd pastime of his lately, and it was getting annoying. He had no business wishing for such things. And why should he start now? He had been just fine with the way things were for several hundred years, so everything should still be just fine. When one is ageless, time doesn't matter.
Yami was in an even worse mood, kicking debris out of his way with a vengeance as he went, when a strange sound reached his ears. He immediately brushed it off as a noise of one of the small animals inhabiting the forest, but when the noise reached his ears a second time, he realized that it was something he hadn't heard before.
Being quite sure that he knew the calls of the night creatures well enough to recognize them, Yami followed the sound, noting as he went that it was taking him towards the village. The trees and foliage became thinner, and the noise grew steadily louder. Yami's curiosity grew, and he was barely able to stop himself from stumbling into a clearing that suddenly appeared in front of him. After regaining his balance, Yami tilted his head to one side and listened intently. The noise was definitely coming from that clearing.
He was close enough now that he could make it out clearly; it was a soft, fearful whimper, and because Yami's curiosity had been piqued and he had nothing better to do anyways, he strode out into the clearing to see what was making the noise. He suddenly stopped short.
The first thing that registered in his mind was that the creature was a human, most likely a female from the look of the clothing. Ropes around her shins and her chest and arms were pinning her to a slender but strong oak tree, and a rag stuffed in her mouth prevented her from making any sound but a soft whimper. Her wide, violet eyes were her most visible feature in the darkness, seeming to have a light of their own.
Yami blinked. He had known that humans were odd creatures, but tying girls to trees and leaving them there through the night was the strangest practice he had yet heard of. He ran the stories about vampires and other such nonsense through his mind, but didn't come up with any information that could explain this behavior.
The violet orbs became even larger as the girl spotted Yami's form in the dim light of the moon, and in a sudden panic she struggled desperately against her bonds. Even though it was obvious that the girl was afraid of him, and even though Yami usually wanted no involvement with humans, he found himself fascinated with the delicate, frightened creature. He stepped forward, and soon was standing directly in front of the trapped girl.
She had stopped struggling, now frozen with fear, her entire body trembling. Yami felt his hand itch with a strange desire to touch the pale human, but the logical part of his mind repressed the urge. The girl squeezed her eyes shut, bracing herself, which only managed to amuse Yami. Humans had such fear of him, but the only thing that he wanted was to be left alone. He had no intention of doing anything to this girl.
Rustling among the brush caught his attention for just a moment. He frowned, eyeing the bushes until they stopped moving and whatever creature had disturbed them ran off into the night trees. A thought suddenly entered Yami's mind. There were many predators in the forest that wouldn't mind having an easy dinner, and Yami was sure that they wouldn't discriminate between this human girl and their usual prey. And, if the girl did get killed, the inhabitants of the nearby village would blame Yami for sure. And Yami didn't want that.
By then, the girl had noticed that Yami wasn't doing anything to hurt her, and slowly opened her eyes to stare at Yami with curiosity. Suddenly, Yami moved towards her, and the girl whimpered in fear, struggling vainly once again. Yami caught the girl's chin in his hand, forcing her to look into his eyes.
"Listen," he said in a low voice, "I'm going to cut you loose, all right? You're not going to scream when I take the gag out, and you're not going to run back to town and tell everyone that you saw me, got it? I won't do anything to you if you don't tell anyone what happened. Understand?" The girl nodded. Yami could feel her shaking in his grasp, and an unfamiliar pang of pity rippled through him. He shook off the feeling, and pulled the rag out of the girl's mouth, standing back to get a better look at her face.
For a moment, he was taken aback by how beautiful she was. Her wide, violet eyes, her soft, bow-shaped lips, and her flushed ivory cheeks were almost completely visible in the moonlight. She had to be the most beautiful creature that Yami had ever seen in his life, which was saying a lot.
"A-are you g-going t-to hurt m-me?" the girl asked in a stuttering voice, staring up at Yami fearfully. Yami only sighed.
"No, I'm not going to hurt you. I don't go around picking up random townspeople lost in the forest, I don't suck their blood, I don't eat beating hearts right out of their chests, I don't turn into a hairy monster under a full moon, or any of that other rot that those stories might have told you. It's all much simpler than that."
With the engraved knife that he always carried with him, Yami began to saw at the coarse ropes as he spoke. The girl just watched him curiously, most likely processing what Yami had just said. When the ropes were cut, Yami opened his mouth to reiterate that the girl wasn't to tell anyone about him, but wasn't prepared for the girl to fall forward into his arms. Yami also wasn't prepared for the sudden feeling of warmth that flooded through his veins from his contact with the human. They stayed in that position for a bare second, the girl looking up at him with wide eyes and blushing cheeks, and then Yami pushed her back. She fell to the ground with a cry of pain, and her hand grabbed at her right ankle. It was only then that Yami noticed that her ankle was purple and swollen.
Ignoring another pang of pity, Yami pointed in the direction of the village, saying, "The town is that way. Remember that you won't tell anyone what happened. You never saw me." With that, Yami turned and walked decisively in the other direction. He stopped as he heard the girl's voice calling out to him.
/I should just walk away./ he thought to himself. /She's free now, she can go back to the village, it's none of my concern. Keep walking./ He nearly took another step, but then the frightened voice called out to him again.
Yami couldn't seem to make his feet move forward. Instead, he turned around, gazing with dark red eyes towards the girl. She froze, her eyes like shards of amethyst, capturing Yami's reflected image in them.
"What is it?" Yami said, trying to keep his tone cold and aloof. The girl hesitated a moment, then stuttered out an answer.
"I-I d-don't want t-to go b-back…" she said, gesturing vaguely in the direction of the village. Yami blinked.
"Why the hell not?"
The girl looked down at the misty, leaf-covered ground for several moments, then said very softly, "It- it's not my home…"
Yami was becoming confused and quite irritated. "Well, I'm sure you could find someone there to help take you home. Don't bother me about it, I'll have nothing to do with it." He turned again, set on not stopping until he reached his own home, but the voice cried out to him again and his feet refused to budge.
"Please! I can't go back! Let me come with you!"
"What?" Yami spun around, not quite believing that the girl had asked him for such a favor. "I will have no involvement with humans!" he nearly shouted. "You have your place, and it's back in whatever village you happen to live in. Now, go!"
Yami made it five steps away before he stopped again. Soft, anguished sobs reached his sensitive ears, and that small, annoying pang in his heart grew stronger. He rolled his eyes skyward, and then resigned himself to the apparent fact that he was destined to have no peace that night. He turned and walked back to he clearing until he was standing only a few steps away from the girl once again.
The girl was still on the ground where she had fallen, and her hands were covering her face as she cried. Yami noticed, while looking her over, that in the places where the dark green fabric of her dress had been torn, there were bruises covering her skin. Some of them were old and yellow, and some of them were darker and fresher. Yami frowned slightly, his suspicion rising.
"Why don't you want to go back?" he asked quietly. The girl looked up quickly, her face startled and tear-stained, and then stared down at the ground again.
"M-My father…" she said softly, sniffling, "…he… he gets angry if I do anything wrong… and if I go back… I-I'm afraid that he m-might… k-kill me…" her voice failed her as she broke down again, sobbing into her hands.
Yami had stopped listening when the girl had finished talking. His eyes grew glazed as his mind fled far away from the present. A memory, a very ancient memory, had sprung up in his mind. There was a woman in a green dress, and she was crying into her hands. Yami didn't know why she was crying, or even who she was, but it seemed so very familiar…
The girl looked up again as Yami spoke softly. "What?"
"All right. You can come with me."
A smile spread across the girl's face, and she began to thank him, but Yami cut her off. "This doesn't mean that you get to stay for nothing. Once your ankle is better, I expect you to do exactly as I say in order to stay, and if you do anything against my orders then you're going back to where you came from. Is that perfectly clear?"
The girl nodded. "Y-yes, I'll do anything you ask, I promise!" She then attempted to stand, but instead fell forward into Yami's arms. The night creature was once again assailed by the feeling of warmth, the foreign sensation all but overwhelming his senses, but he somehow he managed to keep his composure.
"What's your name?" he asked.
"Yugi," the girl said softly, blushing and looking down at the ground.
Yugi? That was an odd name for a girl. Yami shrugged inwardly. It wasn't as if he knew what humans were naming their brats these days, and he didn't even know why he had asked. Yami eyed the girl's ankle, and then picked her up in his arms. Without another word, he retraced his steps back to his home.
A/N: What will happen next? Is Yami a vampire, a werewolf, or just plain weird? Will the townspeople come after him with pitchforks, torches, and yodeling music? Are Yami's resurfacing memories really just the result of bad tofu? Why is Yugi in a dress? Answers to these questions, and more, on the next episode of Lizzie's Fics: The Resurrection! . . R 'n R, please!
P.S. I am NOT gender bending!