Rose Wars

By Ash Kaiba and Katie Mae

DISCLAIMER: We do not own any of the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters or Yu-Gi-Oh: Duelists of the Roses video game for PS 2. We do own the original characters: Katharine, Ashlyn, and any other character you don't recognize.

Ash Kaiba: Hey, remember us? Instead of working on two separate sides, we are alternating chapters. Who wants to go back in time? To…15th-century England, perhaps?

It is 1483; the War of the Roses began 28 years ago. The York's, led by Lord Pegasus Crawford, supported the ascension of Richard the Third to the throne. Their adversaries, the Lancastrians, fought for Henry Tudor (also known as Yugi). Yugi and his followers were forced to leave England and live in a life of exile.

Chapter 1: A Dragon's Loss

"Seto!"

Hazel eyes gazed at the sky through the branches. White creamy hands hid in brown hair. Tan breeches and tunic draped off his body into the grass. Strong lungs allowed air to flow in and out of his body.

"Seto!" The feminine voice called again.

A growl escaped his lips. He forced his body up to a sitting position. A girl in a light brown dress ran up the hill. Herwhite hair shined in the sun. The same eye color glittered at the sight of him.

"Seto Rosenkreuz, why didn't you answer?"

"I thought you were my mother. Pardon me, Charlotte."

Charlotte smiled in forgiveness. Then, she grabbed his hand. "Come on."

Seto rose to his feet and chased after her. Long grass flowed as their legs pumped. Seto lost track of where they were and slowed his pace. Charlotte heard his feet fall quieter than doing running. She turned around.

"Seto?"

Her friend didn't answer.

"Seto, what is it?"

"I don't like this place. Let's go."

A roar sounded in the air above them. Seto felt fear creep into his mind. He grabbed her hand and broke into a run. A shadow materialized on them. The roar echoed again, louder than before. Fear silenced their lips as animal instincts took control of their bodies. Yet, Seto felt her hand slip out of his. Something pushed him down and pulled him airborne.

"Charlotte? Charlotte!"

The girl weakly looked up.

Thank goodness, she's alive. He praised.

Seto struggled to get a view of the monster. All he noticed was silver-white talons wrapped around his stomach. His mouth curled into a growl, teeth bared. His adrenaline fired his arms.

"Let go of us, you beast!"

The beast tightened its grip. Air barely reached his lungs. The shine in his hazel eyes dimmed. Then, his world dimmed into black.

"Charlotte?"

He opened his eyes. His friend didn't appear. Seto looked around. Stalagmites and stalactites surrounded him. He shifted to a crouch, creeping around the bases. Something wet covered his fingertips. Seto pulled them up closer to his face. It felt warm and smelled of death. His forest eyes peeked around the rock. Charlotte stared at him. Blood streamed out of her stomach. His blood boiled as his heart pumped faster. His muscles tightened. The legs launched his body. Skidding pebbles alerted the monster. It threw him back down.

"Charlotte?"

Something cool flowed into his mouth. Seto drank, slowly waking up. His body curled up against the mass. Sleep crawled in his mind, consuming him. A new sensation pulsed through his veins. Not really caring, Seto fell back asleep.

At Rosenkreuz…

"Katharine, did you see Seto or Charlotte while you were out?"

"No, Mama," the black-haired girl answered as she walked in the house. She'd just come from the barn, where she'd herded the sheep after spending all day with them in the fields surrounding Rosenkreuz. "Why?"

"Neither of them has been seen since this morning. Oh, Charles, where is that boy?"

The brunette looked up. His hazel eyes glowed in fury.

"He's obviously not here. I'm going to talk with Charlotte's parents," he said, his voice calm despite the blaze in his eyes.

As he opened the wooden door, a crowd appeared in the torchlight. A bearded brunette stood in front of them.

"Charles," he addressed, holding a pitchfork.

"Wallace?"

"It is obvious that since Charlotte is not home, neither is your son."

"Seto has not come home this night."

"We believe that a monster lurks by the valley."

"Any proof?"

"Our children," was his response.

Charles turned to his wife.

"Stay here. I'll go find him. Keep Katharine inside."

Charles retrieved his pitchfork and sword. The woman and children watched the men leave.

In the cave…

"Rosenkreuz…Seto Rosenkreuz…"

"Charlotte? I thought…" he looked up at the source. "Aah!"

"Drink."

This monster is talking to me! He panicked and started inching away. The monster crept closer.

"Stay away from me! Stay back!"

"Drink," it repeated in a motherly tone.

"You have water?"

"Milk."

"Milk?"

"Thou wilst like it." It answered, trying hard not to laugh at him out of amusement. (1)

Seto's mind flashed back to the moment he woke up a second time.

"Dragon's milk? I can't have that! It's poison!"

The dragon turned its head away from and growled, "Humans are full of lies."

While it remained in that position, Seto attempted to creep out of its death trap. Using what his father taught him for hunting, he crept slowly. His body avoided the loose rock and any other thing that would alert the dragon of his leaving presence. Ploop… He froze. His eyes frantically searched for it, but the rock blocked his view. Something nipped the back of his tunic and hoisted him into the air. Hot air messed with his hair. Seto flung his body around. For once, he could clearly see the dragon's face. Sapphire eyes scolded him. It set him down. Again, Seto tried to reach the exit. But, the dragon threw itself in his way.

"Go." It ordered, Seto refusing.

It lowered its head and nudged him backwards. Seto stumbled on loose rock. His body landed on his rear. The dragon swayed back and forth, blocking all possible exits. It's herding me, he realized as he rose to his feet. It is the shepherd. And I am the sheep.

The dragon took a step forward. "Thou are not ready."

"Not ready? My family is out there! I'm ready! Just let me go!"

"Silence!"

Seto opened his mouth to complain, but no sound come out. The dragon's head impacted his body again, turning him to face the right direction. His body gave in. He allowed it to coral him back into the cave. He found a spot away from it and sat down. The dragon approached him. Its sapphire eyes rebuked his behavior. It knocked him down with its right front paw. Seto grunted as he watched the dragon position its body on something. Once it was settled, it directed its attention to him.

"I am merely providing thee with a place to stay. Yet, thou have no thanks."

"What is there to thank?" He softly growled, his voice still mostly hushed. "You killed Charlotte! You're a monster! It will only take time for you to kill me next!"

It sighed.

"River, thou givest life to me. Oh River, I owe thee so. As life continues on, please remember my song. For everything goes to you. Oh River, thou providest nourishment. A home for small prey. As the circle continues, thou startest it all. So River, please remember my song."

Seto sat, frozen in place. His eyes clouded over.

"Now, come and drink my child. Then, rest. Thou wilt need it."

A sense of obedience filled him. A part of him actually felt that he was a part of 'her.' Seto crawled back to it as 'she' cleared a spot for him in her nest. He noticed the gold and jewels that it had hoarded to the cave. His body moved carefully, trying hard to disturb her neatly arranged treasures. He crawled into the spot, surprised that the dragon had also hoarded cloth as well. 'She' nudged him. His parched throat gave more reason to his thirst. Thus, it allowed him to forget what he was drinking. As his stomach filled, his eyelids slowly began to flutter. A smooth tongue cleaned him…as if he was one of her kin. He vaguely noticed his injuries; scrapes were the only thing that stood out in his mind. He could feel his voice returning to him.

"Sleep, little one."

"I'm sixteen. I'm not…zzz…"

Outside…

"Seto! Charlotte!"

Charles scanned the area. They had followed a trail of broken grass. Wallace aimed the torchlight where Charles looked. The children's names were called over and over.

"Seto," Charles called, praying that his son will answer.

Rosenkreuz house…

"Seto…"

Katharine Rosenkreuz sat by the window, staring out into the dark. The brown eyes waited…to see her brother's hazel eyes.

At the cave…

The dragon lifted her head. The sound of humans reached her small ear holes. Their scent alerted her nose. They came for him. The sapphire eyes glanced down to the sleeping body.

"Seto Rosenkreuz?"

"Mother, Father," he whispered.

She lowered her head and licked the side of his face. "Sleep; thine father is coming."

The boy fell into a deeper slumber.

"It is a shame that the girl gave me her life to provide thee this milk. She loves thee…very much."

She licked him one more time. Then, carefully uncoiled her body to prevent waking him. Her time to leave had come. Drained of magic, she approached the mouth of the cave.

Outside…

"There it is," Wallace whispered.

A silvery-white dragon with blue eyes stepped into the moonlight. Charles's blood boiled. The monster killed their children. His fury spread among the villagers. They charged up to it, their pitchforks held high. The dragon swiped them with its front paws. Charles drew his sword. He swung it and hit the beast in its weak spot. Its body immediately fell limp and crashed into the ground. The Rosenkreuz stood, staring angrily at it. Then, the fatherly role caught up with him.

"Seto! Charlotte!" Wallace charged in. Charles immediately followed. Torchlight glittered off of the gems and gold that filled their view.

"Charlotte!"

Her body didn't move. Wallace picked her up and held her close. Tears rushed down his face.

"Charles…on the gold…"

He directed his attention. A sixteen year-old breathed slowly, still fast asleep.

"Seto? Seto!"

Charles ran to his son and embraced him. Seto groaned as he roused from his sleep.

"Father…Charlotte…" Then, he fell back into unconsciousness.

Charles cast aside his pitchfork and lifted his son off the treasure. He positioned him as a bride being carried by the groom. Charles led the men away. His friend carried the dead body of his daughter. They progressed in silence. Only the torches dared to make noise.

Rosenkreuz house…

"Katharine, go to bed."

"Yes, mama."

Mary shifted her gaze back outside. In her room, Katharine prepared for bed. The brown eyes glanced at the other bed, Seto…She prayed as she pulled back the blanket. The girl sighed and returned to her own. She climbed in and nestled under the blanket. Her ears focused on her mother. The door swung open.

"Charles," her mother cried, "did you find him?"

"Hush," was all her father said.

Her door creaked open as her parents walked in. She jumped out of bed.

"Seto!"

Her father allowed her to see his sleeping face. It appeared calm and unharmed. A sigh of relief escaped her lips. She kissed his forehead.

"Good night, big brother."

Ash Kaiba: Hope you liked it. Katie Mae will provide Katharine's point of view in Chapter 2.

The dragon speaks in Old English. Think Shakespeare if it helps.