Author Note: Okay, I have another To Freeze Her Heart styled story for you. Once again, if you haven't read the original manga—you are going to have a MAJORLY tough time reading this fiction. How can you help yourself? By going to your book store (Borders or Barnes and Noble 'll do just "fine"), and reading Yu-Gi-Oh Graphic Novels 1-7 (the ones with the pretty little "yellow" numbers on them—yeah!) and then the Yu-Gi-Oh Duelist Graphic Novels for a better understanding of this particular fiction. However, unlike To Freeze Her Heart, this story has an entirely different coupling—though the heroine remains the same. This is an Opticshipping fiction (if you didn't know that by now—then you should really consider reading the fiction summary first!) which (for a more generalized choice of words) is Pegasus x Shizuka (aka Serenity). If this coupling scares you—well, then I suggest finding something else to read. (In fact, if it does scare you, well—I wonder why in the world you clicked on the link in the first place). Cheerio!

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. I'm just a fan-girl who has gone through various fan evolution stages (including the infamous Mary Sue phase (which lasted for a terrible reign of two years tops) and for a small period of time, the Fan-Brat phase. Hmmm. Wonder when the emo stage 'll come?) and has managed to (for the most) maintain 1 of her entire sanity. Thanks.
Plot: Alternate Universe! (Duelist Kingdom) When the unity and bond of Yuugi and his friends begins to worry him, Pegasus decides to increase the stakes of his dreaded tournament in hopes of severing it. However, by doing so, he was completely unaware that he would break his own heart by shattering one belonging to that of a fourteen year old girl.
Genre: Romance/Angst/Action Adventure/Drama/Tragedy

Pegasus/Cyndia (hinted)

Warning: T(PG-13) (Parents Strongly Cautioned) For cursing, drug use, and implications of suicide.
-Imperfect Paradise (Yamiko)

Thorns of a Red Rose
By Imperfect Paradise


"The Way the Mind Works"

Before picking up the next document (one that was neatly stacked on top of a nice little pile on the table before me) I sigh wistfully, and then reach up to rub the edges of my temples, moaning in slight disarray from the un-fulfillment of my little homework session.

This little chore I have just recently come up was (so far) getting me absolutely nowhere in my quest for obtaining certain knowledge on my latest adversary's comrades. Though the data itself was easily accessible, and my servants are more than willing to comply as long as I invest a small portion of my infamous affluence into fattening their own pockets—I still cannot trust them to do anything completely right. For in the end, it is my own decision and my own hand that will get me through the gates of my own success—and I can't afford to have an imbecile severe it. For this is one of those cases which is too important to be left up to anyone else.

Granted, I never really expected to be up so late this evening. In addition, I had never even considered slaving over the mountains of data before I have even moved the first of my pawns across my chess-board. Yet, here I am—beginning to spin the threads of my web that will catch my one desire—and I can't afford to have anyone destroy it. Every part is of this plan is crucial in order to grasp the fruit of its success—the fruit I hunger for… "crave" for.

Though I have desired this dream for quite some time now—I have never actually thought about finding the means of obtaining it.

Then, just a few months ago, when I heard news that my dear old companion from the next hemisphere had slipped into something greatly resembling a that of diabetic coma (and for a minor note (I've done my homework—I can tell you that much at least) the doctors have had absolutely no clue as to what caused such a drastic physical change in the young corporate president)—the pieces finally came into place.

It was so easy—so simple—I couldn't believe I hadn't seen it sooner. Millions of plans swarmed into my mind, each one bearing its positives and negatives and proved to be as complicated as the next—but I knew that in the end, only one of them would get me to my goal—only one of them would keep me on the road to victory.

It's not difficult to understand, though—and it all depends on the people, other than yourself, of course. First, you must find those who are willing to help. Then, the ones who are willing to betray your enemy for reasons only you could come up with. Perform this correctly, and your adversary will never know what hit them. Last but not least, (and this is the best part) the ones whom in which you string alone, can play with and then dispose of, as if they never meant a thing to you.

But that's a lie—for these people are the most crucial of your unwitting pawns to guide across the chess-board. Some people never grasp though, and its because of that, that the most costly mistakes are made.

It is actually quite ironic—because one of my more crucial pawns, was actually the person who gave birth to this new task of mine. He doesn't realize this yet but if it wasn't for him—I wouldn't have gotten nearly this far. Hell, it's thanks to that little brat that the iron door has finally opened. The iron door, being the washed up Kaiba Seto—who now sleeps with his eyes open, his mouth ajar (and perhaps with a little bit of salvia traveling down from the crack of his lips)—yet he does not see and speak. I wonder—if I was to look upon his face in his current state, would I even recognize the man before me? I met him once—a little less than a year ago, and I feel safe to say that this coma probably hasn't done a thing to change him. Yes, I'm pretty sure he's still the same, boring, silent, stoned little boy I met while watching a former pawn get his by sending a little child to do my work (another story, which I'm almost sure you have read in the papers—hah, it still makes me chuckle every now and then)—it can't be worse.

Now normally, I would think that dragging his kid into my plans would be enough—I've done it before, with so many people and each one of them fulfilling their usefulness—

—but there is something about this one that worries me.

I didn't tell you how he triumphed over my little "friend" now did I? Well—it is something you shall know now. It wasn't for his own skin (which many were almost positive was going to be "tanned" once Kaiba was done with him), or for his pride or even his reputation for that matter (quite shocking, I must say) or anything else even relatively similar to maintaining his own personal benefits. No, it was something else entirely.

He did it for one purpose, and it was for the people he cared about. No. There was no catch, or angle to that reason. (A/N 1)

He did it for his friends…

And with a motivation that strong and that unyielding, it guides me over towards the path of concern.

Would there be similar situations to those circumstances while undergoing the process of bringing forth my main ideals? Would the principle of "unity" and "compassion" be a one way road to my unwitting end? Would they stick together, and could that strength and trust have the power to overthrow me when victory is too close to be discarded?

If that was to become a certainty, well… I cannot let that happen!

I have now become almost desperate to find anything that could possibly aid me with my latest ideal—to get me through my biggest task that I have ever hoped to accomplish within my life and to be able to rake in its benefits.

After carefully scanning the contents of the third file, I have instantly come to the conclusion that I would be disappointed before I even finished it. After all, three quarters of the more crucial data had given me that impression so far. Setting it down on the edge of a steadily growing pile, I grunt slightly, and reach delicately out for my wine glass—wishing to find some comfort from within these hard times.

Damnit… That one wasn't of any value. What good is kidnapping a person's family members when they are barely around that person to begin with? The poor child has already been victim to neglect and melancholy (I actually somewhat pity the young woman—but only just), so it wouldn't be much of a difference if her parents were taken away.

As for the previous one—I think I might actually be doing that young man a favor—taking his family away. For according to the records, he apparently hates his older sister and nephew with an unrivaled flaming passion and I read something about "betrayal" during a familiar incident involving them. (A/N 2) Why heck, he'd probably even worship me if I was to do away with them. I respect loyalty—but I have no time for that now.

Mazaki Anzu… Bakura Ryou… Honda Hiroto. All worthless. They couldn't give me want I wanted. That left only one file—and it just so happens that this is the one in which I possess complete confidence in.

Why did I think that, though? Was it on a gut instinct? A whim, perhaps? Or maybe, it was only due to my remarkable intuition, or rather, my special talent I have recently obtained that has flourished greatly within the past few years or so, nevertheless—something tells me that this one will give me the information I want—and with outstanding results.

Reaching over for the last one, I open up the documents, and my remaining eye slowly scans the content, hoping to find something of value.

Then—at last—I spot the mark of my salvation.

Shortly after discovering this bit of juicy-news (and becoming somewhat acquainted with it, at that) a ruthless smirk slowly forms upon my face—as I milk in the long-awaited benefits of what seems to have become a somewhat stressful assignment.

So… The loyal knight has a sister? Hmmm… And not just a sister, but a younger one. Hmph. How very touching.

Kawai Shizuka—Fourteen years of age, blood type "O," of poor/under average class, auburn hair, chocolate eyes, five foot three… (A/N 3)

Then I notice something else on the profile—something which took barely any time to catch my eye and attention. An information grid, which had check-marks next to various questions, indicating she is of that particular nature. She was apparently marked for the following: Minor… (well, obviously) Single (I expected no more of her) and… "disabled?"

I lower the file briefly, allowing this little bit of information to sink through. Then, a moment following that, my lips parts and I find myself licking my upper lip slowly, as something instantly comes to mind.

It is of universal knowledge that when someone is barred from common-place advantages (depending on that of that person's own physical "fault"), that there are nearly a thousand different ways to take advantage of them—and the best part about that is because it is so easy to do so in the first place. Whether it is simple naiveté or because they are incapable of defending themselves, it isn't at all complicated. People who are without something precious to them are often desperate, or at least gullible—making this all the more easier for me.

Still—I couldn't help but wonder what this little Princess in the tower has…? Setting my wine glass down, and turning over the page, I briefly scan over the contents of her medical card, and find out the very nature of her substantial weakness.



The following is not meant to be counter fanfictionDOTnet format. These are merely author notes. They are not meant to counteract the rules or restrictions of the webmaster's policies in anyway. Thank you for your attention.


Author Note 1 – Yeah, I know that in episode one, Yuugi was fighting for his grandfather—who Kaiba actually put in the emergency room. (sweat drop) Woah. However, in the manga (which this fiction is based on—yes, another To Freeze Her Heart styled story) it was different. Yuugi's friends (which (during the battle of Kaiba) consisted of only Anzu and Jounouchi—Honda actually wasn't there, he had a few problems in issue number IV—read the graphic novel for more details) were being held hostage by two of the Kaiba's guards (which actually consisted of Saruwatari—who was a spy sent by Pegasus, and some other guy), who were holding guns up to their heads. They would have been shot if Yuugi hadn't taken on Kaiba—and also (just a hunch) I feel pretty safe to say that if Yuugi had lost, Kaiba would have had their brains blown out.

Author Note 2 – In case you are wondering, this paragraph was describing Honda. Honda's known family consists of an older sister, who has a son named Johji, who is a real pain in the ass. He also has a female dog (would say bitch—but I don't want you to get the wrong idea) named "Blanky"—who appears in the Dungeon Dice saga in the manga. Anyway, notice that I said something about betrayal. Well, that is because Johji is a big-fan of Kaiba and during the Death-T saga, he openly deceives Yuugi and co in favor of pleasing his idol (which actually doesn't work out too well for him) much to their dislike. For more information, please (for the last- freaking- time) read the manga.

Author Note 3 – Most of this information is real, some of it isn't. Knock yourself on trying to guess—I don't really care though.

Random Note: Yeah… I know all you Anzu-fans are being really impatient with me right now—but don't worry—because that Vexshipping fiction is coming out licitly-split. Also, I am revamping In Darkness's Grasp, making it better than it was before. Hopefully I will be able to share that new content with you, but for now… I want to get some sleep. For I am very, very tired.