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.

Katie Mae: Hey! This chapter should be pretty exciting, since we finally get to see the dragon!

Chapter 6: What Is It?

"I was captured because of you," Charles growled. Katharine gasped in surprise, and then noticed that Seto was coughing forcefully, his eyes wide as he pounded his fist against his chest. Charles jumped out of his seat and approached her brother. "Seto…"

Seto coughed up a piece of meat and took a deep breath before trying to smile reassuringly to his father. Charles didn't buy it and sent him upstairs to rest. He complied, but Katharine noticed a look of irritation on his face; she assumed he was annoyed that she didn't have to go to bed as well.

Mary glanced over at Katharine with a knowing look in her eyes as she started to clear the table. Katharine took that as her cue to leave the men alone and help her mother in the kitchen. After they were done with the dishes, Katharine went up the stairs to her and Seto's room. She knocked on the door and asked, "All clear?"

When she didn't get a response, Katharine opened the door and slowly tiptoed inside, not wanting to disturb her brother in case he was asleep. However, the sight that greeted her eyes was not that of Seto's sleeping form: she gasped and recoiled as she saw a small, white, leathery-winged, lizard-like creature hunched over her brother's pale face. But the sight of his rigid body and wide, lifeless eyes terrified her even more than the creature.

Caught between her fear for her brother and of the thing between them, Katharine wavered with indecision for a moment. Then she started to slowly step back toward the door, freezing as she heard the warped spot in the floorboards creak when she placed her weight upon it. The creature turned its head toward her at the noise, its long neck reminding her of a serpent. It hissed loudly and bared its small fangs at her, causing her to yelp in fear and make a hasty retreat. Slamming the door shut behind her, she leaned against it, taking a deep breath to calm her racing heart.

After a long moment, Katharine thought she heard a gentle crooning from inside the room, followed by silence. She took the opportunity to inch the door open and peek inside, seeing that the tiny monster had curled up in Seto's lap and was sleeping peacefully—At least, I hope that's what it's doing, Katharine thought to herself worriedly. She managed to avoid the offending spot on the floor this time, and made it over to her bed as quietly as she could. She slipped under the covers without changing, but she didn't dare close her eyes, lest the monster decide she looked delicious.

Almost as if it had read her mind, the white creature lazily opened one eye and swiped it across her prone form, a deep growl beginning in its throat; however, it stopped suddenly and looked up at Seto's face for a moment before making a sound that could only be described as purring, and returning to its previous position. Katharine let out a silent sigh of relief and thanked God that the monster had decided not to eat her—yet.

The sound of rain on the thatched roof awoke Katharine earlier than usual. Bags under her eyes were distinctly more pronounced as she looked over at Seto's bed for what seemed the hundredth time. Seto had long since gone from his rigid unconsciousness to sleep, but the monster from the night before hadn't left his side all night. Katharine's sleep had been fitful, and her paranoia concerning the creature showed in every movement, carefully planned so as to be as quiet as possible. It took her twice as long to get ready, which wasn't necessarily a bad thing; her parents would have been worried had she been ready any earlier, and might have gone up to check on Seto, as well. I don't know why, but I don't think that seeing that…thing…is really something that they should do, Katharine thought to herself. Her face was twisted into a small frown as she replayed the night before over her breakfast of eggs and fried pork.

"Katharine?" Mary called quietly across the table, snapping Katharine out of her reverie. "Is everything all right, dear?"

Katharine looked up into her mother's concerned face. "Yes, Mama," she replied, trying to sound calm and confident with her answer. Mentally she added, we just have some sort of monster upstairs and it seems to have a hold on my brother!

"All right, then. I'll take care of cleaning up; you go and check on the sheep." Katharine nodded and walked over to the back door, slipping on her mud boots and oilskin to protect her from the rain. She stepped carefully once again, smiling wryly at the irony as her boots squelched through the mud: not only could she not walk freely in her own room, but the outdoors—her other safe haven—was also dangerous due to the persistent rain.

Katharine quickly checked the sheep, giving them fresh hay and more water from the rain barrel. As she dipped the water bucket into the barrel the first time, the water overflowed, some of it reaching the inside of her boots. She squished across the room toward the large sheep pen, muttering under her breath the entire way. By the time she was done, her toes felt frozen from the cold rainwater.

Am I doomed to spend the rest of my life in fear? Katharine silently asked as she walked back toward the house. She received no literal answer, but promptly lost her footing and slipped, falling headfirst into a particularly deep mud puddle. Forget I asked…

Ash Kaiba: I'll do this for Katie Mae. Please review and stay tuned for Chapter 7!