A/N: I'm so sorry for the long wait! School has been horrid. Way too much homework and college admission stuff! -- Thankfully I'm on Thanksgiving break right now so I can finally get this chapter up. Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-gi-oh!
A fire raged through the forest. The thundering of animals as they galloped away from the burning debris. Deer, mountain lions, bears, squirrels, and even the smallest mice disappeared into the distance.
High onto a stone ledge overlooking the burning forest, a wolf pack stared on in horror. Their white fur turned red from the deep burning issued by the king. The full moon turned blood red.
The young boy, now ten-years-old, cowered beneath his mother's legs. Tears stained his tanned face. He looked around his pack. The other young wolves too stayed close to their mothers. They too looked meek and alone.
That night the howls from the wolves ran clear into the dying forest. While down below in the outskirts of the now destroyed forest, the cheering of humans could be heard. They cried out the words "Long lives the king"! In their hands, they clasped torches and axes.
The leader howled one last time before silencing the pack. His aging, wise face looked on upon his pack. A deep, ancient scar ran through his left eye leaving him half-blind. He growled pacing in front of his pack. 'The forest is ruined! Humans are destroying the land,' he looked down about the cowering boy. The child immediately backed further into his mother's chest.
The female wolf growled. 'Leave my son alone.'
The alpha male growled. He looked away, for he dared not anger the alpha female further. Her belly already showed signs that she was carrying pups. 'We must fight the humans for claim to this land!'
The wolves howled. They barred their teeth.
Only one elder wolf spoke up. Her words were normally graced with wisdom beyond the years. 'And then what, die? Our pack is already diminishing. Further war would only lead to more death. It's almost spring. The younglings will be born soon! We can not rage war! We must leave this place!'
'Leave the land of our ancestors?!'
'To live a better life.' The elder female challenged.
The young boy looked up at his mother, his eyes already showing signs of fatigue. 'Mother why are they arguing?'
She looked down at her young son and sighed. She still remembered the day he entered her life. He had fallen out of the sky. She lightly licked the boy's ruddy tri-color hair. It had grown so long over the years. It almost covered the length of his back. He had grown taller. On twos, he towered over even the alpha male. 'For our way of life.'
'Oh,' the boy muttered. He rubbed his crimson eyes making them redder. 'Why is the forest burning?'
'The greed of humans, don't ever fall for avarice my son.'
'I won't Mother. I'm going to be a good wolf!' The boy boosted. A small smile transverse the boy's lip.
The alpha female smiled… through it was a forlorn smile. As she looked down at the young boy, she wondered how much longer she could keep him. How long she could hide him from human eyes? How long before his human instincts took over? Would the day come when he realizes he can never mate with a female wolf? The day he realized he isn't like his mother or his pack? The female nudged her son.
'Mother.' The boy looked up.
'I don't like humans.'
'I really don't.' He yawned before falling asleep, yet unknowingly as the years past and more forest burnings occurred a deep hatred slowly formed in the young boy's heart.
As more forests burned and the wrath of the king could be heard from the castle gates about the inability to produce an heir, the young boy raised by wolves grew into a young teenage. The female wolf that had cared for him for a decade was now in her golden years.
The teen, restless from the afternoon nap, growled. The other wolves in his pack did not awake. Once more he growled, attempting to awake his mother. He lightly nudged her, but she easily pushed him away. The boy was not amused. He whimpered, annoyed that his pack did not want to play. He knew it was nearly the full moon. They always became restless, especially this year. One of the males, him included, would fight for the position of alpha male. The boy knew he had a chance. He was one of the strongest male wolves in the pack, but lately he was starting to feel more restless than ever. As if something deep down and long hidden was slowly starting to surface.
The boy growled before trekked away on all fours. He sniffed around at the forest air. Although he wasn't hungry, he still liked pouncing on the unsuspecting animals. As the boy continued to wander, none of the animals caught his intention. Most were too small for his liking.
Soon he neared the waterfall. It was his favorite spot. He would normally jump across the rocks in the river and couch for hours under the waterfall. It especially felt good during the summer when the forest got especially hot.
But today the river was empty. A strange sound but very familiar in the back of his mind rang through the waterfall. It was a beautiful sound… smoothing and relaxing. Suddenly the boy felt shy. Slowly he trekked forward, careful not to snap any twigs. He found an opening in the forest, and there on a rock was the most peculiar thing. It… it looked… different from everything else in the forest, yet the young boy believed he'd seen one before.
While on the rocks, a young boy not much younger than the boy living in the forest was busy drawing. He had a sketchpad in his arms and a burnt piece of wood in the other. He was sketching the waterfall, and how the water reflected the sunlight. As he drew, he hummed an old song he had learned years ago. The song told of the story of his people before the dark ages.
The boy did not know he was being watched nor would he have cared.
The boy in the forest watched with fascination.
Both entranced, but with different things. It was hours later when the sun was beginning to set that the boy on the rocks got up. He placed his sketchpad and stick in a leather pouch. A small moan left his lips. His joints had stiffened. He lightly stretched before preparing for the long walk home. The boy in the forest eyed the other curiously. When the boy on the rocks moved, he followed, for he was curious about where the other would go. He watched from afar; amused how the other moved not with fours but with twos. He even seemed to have a slight jump when he walked… beautiful.
Did he say beautiful? The boy who fell for none of the female wolves in his pack, but a strange peculiar being in the forest he found to be beautiful. The boy hovered close to the other. Watching him swing across a branch, leap through a running creek, and down a hill…
A loud growl echoed throughout the forest.
The boy screamed before dropping his bag.
The wild boy looked on at the peculiar being.
Why aren't you fighting back?
The other boy continued to scream at the tiger that was inches before him. Its green eyes narrowed. It barred its fangs. It rubbed its paws against the dirt path.
The boy whimpered. The tiger pounced. It dug its claws deep into his flesh. The boy cried. He felt the beast's hot breath. Its teeth were inches from his face. Seconds later, the pressure disappeared.
Am… am I died?
No, he wasn't dead. The boy sat up. He winched as he noticed the blood that was dripping down his shoulder. He ignored the pain and looked up, wondering what had saved him. His eyes widened. It was the most peculiar sight. A wild boy, naked, was fighting the tiger and was actually winning. At first thought, the boy wanted to run, but his heart stopped him. He couldn't leave the boy who had just saved his life. It wasn't right. He had been taught better.
While the other continued to pounce on the tiger, his teeth which had over the years sharpened latched onto the tiger's fur. The beast growled. It narrowed his eyes. The boy dug deeper into the tiger's neck. He clawed at the monster.
'Why do you help it?'
The boy looked up. His teeth still latched onto the tiger's fur. 'Why do you help a human?!'
The boy's eyes widened. His grip loosened. The tiger immediately smirked. It swapped at the boy's chest. The boy howled. His chest burned. Fresh crawl marks were engraved into his chest.
The last thing the boy saw being falling into darkness was a blinding flash of light. The tiger disappeared into the dark forest.
A small whimpering.
The boy blinked. Slowly his surroundings came into focus. Everything was white… pure white. He whimpered once more.
The sound awoke the other, the boy from the forest. "You're awake."
It was a strange but familiar sound. It attracted the boy. He growled before flicking his head over. 'Human,' he growled.
"You okay?" The other asked. He immediately stood up. The quick action brought disastrous results. The other immediately pounced. The two fell over hard on to the floor. The IV wire once attached to the boy's hands snapped. The stand came crashing down. The glass bowl shattered into a thousand pieces.
The other looked up stunned. He grimaced as his savoir turned from a hero into a villain. The boy dug deep into his neck. The boy whimpered… struggling for breath. He cried, yet no sound left his lips. He struggled, but the other would not let go.
The boy growled. An arrow had pierced his leg. He turned towards the door. An elder man dressed in white, obviously the doctor, held a bow. Behind him another much older man appeared.
He barred his teeth before biting down on the arrow. It came out as easily as it had gone in. A fresh line of blood ran across his thigh. His hands still firm upon his prey's chest. He growled at the boy and the others in the room. In a matter of seconds the glass window in the hospital was shattered into a thousand pieces. The boy leaped from the ledge and disappeared. The other boy, stunned, sat up. He touched his neck… still sore but immediately noticed that the other had barely broken through his skin.
"Yuugi!" The elder man fell to the boy's side. He wrapped the boy into a tight embrace. "Are you okay?"
"Mutou-san, I'm sending men out to find that boy," the doctor stated. He still looked flushed from the incident.
"Sensei, what are you going to do with him?" Yuugi immediately looked look. He let go of his grandfather.
"Kill him of course."
Yuugi's eyes widened. "Sensei! You can't."
"Yuugi," the elder man looked down at his grandson, stunned at the boy's reply.
"You can't kill him! You just can't!"
"Yuugi, I know you can't stand having others, killed, but that boy almost killed you!"
"He saved my life, Jii-chan."
A small 'o' formed in the old man's lips. "What?"
"He saved me from a tiger! That's where he got those marks on his chest. Jii-chan, Sensei, please! You can't kill him. You can't. I… I know he's not bad. I just know it."
With that, Yuugi ran out of the hospital room. His amethyst eyes stained with tears.
Leaving a stunned doctor and grandfather. The doctor sighed. He placed the bow on the door and looked up. "What do you propose we do Mutou-san?"
"Never been wrong about people."
"I… I trust my grandson. If he says that boy is not bad, then I stand by him."
The doctor nodded. "Okay, I won't go to the sheriff… for now. But if there are any more attacks by that boy…"
Sugoroku nodded before he too disappeared out of the hospital, for he knew where he would find his grandson.
While deep in the forest, the other limped back to his den.
He had already disposed of the strange bandaging around his chest. His wounds had already closed up, but it still felt painful.
As he arrived back, his mother greeted him. Immediately a worried look crossed her face.
'What happened to your chest, son? Are you okay?'
The female wolf's eyes widened.
'A tiger? You know better than to fight a tiger. The judgment day will come soon.'
The boy immediately lowered his head. 'I know Mother.' Yet as he spoke, everything felt heavy. As he was helped into the den, he couldn't help but glance back at the village he had just left behind. That strange human with those stunning amethyst eyes still left an imprint on his mind, and most of all, why hadn't he killed the boy when he had the chance.
He had held back. He hadn't bitten down hard.
His mother gave him some of that night's hunt. The alpha male glared at him as he took the meat. The deer meat suddenly felt dry and unappealing. He forced it down his stomach before dozing off. As he lied down, the elder female gazed down at her son's chest. A forlorn looked gazed her eyes. She licked his chest, and then looked back at her husband. The other simply looked away… disgusted.
She would have to tell him. She knew just as well as she knew her days were numbered.
Sugoroku found Yuugi hours later. He carried a basket full of food for the boy.
He was at the temple. His body was covered in body fluids. Sugoroku watched, proud.
The boy's parents would have been so proud of him. Seeing their son like this, a grand master at martial arts. He watched the boy finish a move before advancing. "Jii-chan," Yuugi acknowledge. Sugoroku immediately cringed. There were still signs of displeasure in the boy's lips.
"Are you still mad at me Yuugi?"
A small sigh left Yuugi's lips. He slowly untied the bandana that covered his eyes, his lovely amethyst eyes. He walked over to a cast and placed his sword back. "No, I'm mad at myself. I so …" He lightly stroked the blade. It was a family heirloom from his mother's side of the family.
"Yuugi," the elder man sighed. He sat the basket of food down before walking over to the boy. He lightly put his hand on the child's shoulders. "You are so like your father."
The boy looked down. "He was so much stronger than me. Him and my mother."
"They would have been proud of you Yuugi. You aren't weak."
"But I'm not strong. If I was… if I was…" The boy trembled.
"Shh, don't dwell on the past Yuugi. Don't dwell on the past."
The boy nodded. "Yeah."
"The doctor's not going to hunt down that boy, by the way." Yuugi immediately looked up.
"Yeah, but Yuugi… please don't … hurt yourself. I can't bear to lose you too."
The boy nodded. He looked behind his grandfather and smiled. "Is that dinner?"
"Your favorite… better eat fast. It's almost sundown."
The chirping of the birds awoke the boy from his slumber. Only then did he realize how sore he really was.
The boy looked up. He saw his mother crouched before him. 'Come with me. Its time we talked.'
The boy nodded as he followed his mother.
The trek was a long one. They stopped many times for the aging wolf to rest. It was almost noon before they stopped in front of a river. 'We won't be disturbed here.'
The boy nodded.
'It was ten years ago. I was still a young wolf… naïve and foolish. It was a dark night. The moon could barely be seen through the clouds. We were on a hunt when we heard this long crash in the distance. We ran to it… curious. Something had fallen from the sky. It was a strange something. There was crying among the debris. I crawled through the debris. A young life form fell from it…'
'Mother… what are you?'
'Let me finish my son. Then you decide.' The boy blinked confused.
'I called that young life form my son.'
The boy's eyes widened. 'I… I came from the sky?'
'Yes, from the skies. Our kind has an ancient prophecy about a savoir who will bring harmony (bind darkness and light together) to the world. The savoir will fall from the skies.'
'You… you think I'm that savoir.'
'But…I'm not even the alpha male. Father is, and he hates me.'
'And I understand why. Many feared you when you first arrived. Your skills have earned your keep, but as the young wolves advance to age and you grow. I fear I can not keep it from you any longer. Surely you have noticed you're different from us.'
The boy nodded. He backed up a little, very uneasy.
'My son…' The female bowed her head. 'I fear...'
"I'm going out Jii-chan!" Yuugi called. He attached his knife into place before grabbing his bag that contained his sketchbook and lunch.
"Be careful," the elder called.
Yuugi sighed. He grinned as he left his family shop and house. As he walked down the village street and got closer and closer to the forest, his mind wondered away from art and on that boy. He lightly touched his neck. The teeth marks had already healed.
"I wonder… who you are."
'You're not a wolf.'
'Then…' The boy immediately closed his mouth. 'No… no! It can't be!'
The female wolf looked away. 'I'm sorry my son, but… you are a human.'
'No!' The boy growled. 'I can't be! I'm a wolf! I hate humans!' He let out a painstaking howl before disappearing into the forest.
The female wolf sighed. She crotched down.
'You knew you had to tell him someday.' The alpha male appeared. He lightly nudged his wife.
'I expect no sympathy from you.' She merely growled.
'You know my opinion about him. It will never change.'
'That is why. We can never live together!' She growled.
'Hey! They are the ones destroying our land! Our home! The humans have no respect!'
'Maybe things can change though.' The female wolf hissed. She left the river. Angry at her husband for speaking so harshly and angry at herself for dreaming so big.
Deep in the forest, the boy continued to run.
Only till hours later, late in the afternoon did he stop. He could no longer feel his legs as he collapsed against a tree.
The sheer force of his weight shook the tree awaking Yuugi who had fallen asleep on a tree branch. He yawned. A little disorientated as he looked down. His eyes widened stunned to see who was just a couple of meters below him. He wondered if the other would attack him, but still from the other's distraught look Yuugi knew… he just somehow knew the other wouldn't.
He slowly climbed down from the tree. The other still didn't notice. "Hey," he mumbled.
The other looked up at the noise. Seeing Yuugi his eyes narrowed. He growled. "Here. Hungry?" Yuugi asked. A smile glazed his lips as he held a slice of a sandwich in his hand. The other growled.
"Hungry?" Yuugi questioned again. He advanced further. The other growled. He barred his teeth. Yuugi continued to advance. Annoyed, the other bit down at Yuugi's left arm. The boy hissed. Unlike the last time, he didn't struggle. He merely clenched his teeth. The boy continued to latch on. His teeth dug in harder. Yuugi watched stunned. His brow furrowed… worried maybe he was wrong, but slowly… very briefly he noticed a small change occur upon the other. He was… trembling. Tears stained his arm, but the grip did not loosen. A small smile slowly appeared upon Yuugi's lips.
No, he wasn't long. Like his grandfather said, Yuugi was never wrong. Yuugi set the sandwich down on the blanket. Slowly he raised his right hand and laid it on the other. The other flinched momentarily, but as Yuugi continued the soft, kind stroking slowly the grip loosened. Yuugi almost gasped when he felt the other's tongue. Yuugi looked down… his eyes widened. The other was actually starting to lick his wound.
"Hi," Yuugi said meekly. Hearing the other speak, the boy looked up. Yuugi felt his breath hitch, for once, after their multiple meetings. Yuugi finally noticed just how handsome the other was, or how much alike they actually were.
Although there were subtle differences, like how the other's chin was more angular or how his eyes were crimson.
"My name is Mutou Yuugi."
The other blinked. He immediately backed up and sat on all fours. Yuugi giggled. "I'm Yuugi. What is your name?"
"Y…Yuu-gi?!" He asked confused. The first human word he had spoken in a long time. It felt foreign and different as he struggled to say it. Yuugi giggled and shook his head.
"No, I am Yuugi. What is your name?" Yuugi asked again. The other made no reply just eyed Yuugi strangely. Yuugi giggled again. "You're one strange person. You're kind of like me. We even look alike," Yuugi muttered. He brushed back a piece of his blonde bangs before doing the same with the other before him. Yuugi had never imagined he would meet a person whose hair style was so much like his.
"You're like another me, mou hitori no boku," Yuugi muttered. The words just left his lips… mindless and without much reason. He moved closer to the boy, no longer afraid. Gently he ran his fingers across the other's chest. The other whimpered before letting out a deep growl
"That hurt huh? It's my fault you got hurt. Here, let me wrap it up."
The other looked up. He looked in the other's amethyst eyes and suddenly… he knew… he knew this other boy… this 'Yuugi' was special. Yuugi wasn't like those humans his 'pack' had talked about. Yuugi was different, and he couldn't hate Yuugi. He watched as the other dug into his pouch and produced a roll of white stuff and some gooey stuff. "Bandage and gauze," Yuugi stated pointing to each. The other cock his head confused as Yuugi put the gauze on his wound. Feeling the stuff on his chest, he immediately howled. "It's okay. It's okay. It just stings," Yuugi tried to explain. He had to giggle as he watched the other half howl and half whimper. It took awhile before he settled down, and Yuugi was able to apply the bandages.
Only then did he notice how late it was getting. The sun was already starting to set. As much as he felt bad about leaving this strange boy alone, Yuugi knew if he didn't get home by nightfall he would never get home. He pats the other boy's arm one last time before rising. The other immediately started whimpering as Yuugi walked away.
Yuugi immediately stopped walking, turned and noticed the boy was following him. That was no good. Yuugi knew he couldn't take him back. Despite knowing his grandfather wouldn't mind, but he wasn't sure what the doctor or the rest of the villagers would say yet. Yuugi sighed walking over to the strange boy. His actions strangely reminded Yuugi of a dog or even a tamed wolf.
"No, I can't take you home yet. You can't follow me. I… I'll be back tomorrow, right here okay." Yuugi attempted to explain. When Yuugi turned and left, he really believed the other understood, for the boy didn't follow.
Just like how Yuugi promised. Yuugi returned to that very spot the next day, and much to the boy's surprise the other was already there waiting. This time Yuugi came prepared. He had packed some of his old clothes that were too big for him, food, and a scroll full of pictures. Yuugi was determined to help this boy.
"Hey!" Yuugi grinned. The other immediately bounded forward on all fours.
The other grinned, and crouch beside Yuugi. "I brought you something." The other cocked his head… blood stains still present on his face. Despite knowing he wasn't a wolf that was the only life he knew how to live. That was also the only way he knew how to feed himself. Yuugi pretended to not notice the blood nor the fact that the bandage he had placed on the other's wound had disappeared too. He quickly dug into his bag and pulled a long white shirt, underwear, and shorts. "Here clothes."
The other blinked confused. He raised his front hand up and flicked the clothes. Yuugi sweat dropped. I swear he has the mind of a dog.
"No, no. You wear it." Yuugi motioned at his body. The other blinked. He blew hard on the clothes. Aspirated, Yuugi shook his head. Maybe starting with clothes isn't such a good idea.
He placed the clothes away in a bag and buried it under the tree. That would have to wait, even though the young boy felt embarrassed sitting next to a naked man there was nothing he could do about it. Yuugi seriously wasn't sure what to do now. The other acted like a dog, and he wasn't sure if it was possible to teach him to act like a human again.
The boy sighed and pulled out his sketchpad and began to draw. The other curled up beside him like a fateful pet.
And that was how they past their days. The boy never returned to his pack again. His mother, who wasn't really his mother, had told him he wasn't a wolf. He couldn't be the alpha male now. In a wolf pack, there could only be one male. In a way, he had been exiled.
Though he didn't understand much of what the boy had said to him, he still felt he should understand. Each day, rain or shine Yuugi would always appear and pull out his sketchpad. He would sit by the tree and draw. He would always sing while he drew, and the other would curl up beside him.
Neither ever tried communicating with the other again, but both seemed to have reached a mutual understanding.
One day, as he waited for Yuugi's arrival instead of curling up into a ball, he bounded over to the bag he watched Yuugi leave so long ago. With his sensitive nose, the boy found it easily. At first he had trouble opening it, but soon the contents spilled open before him.
The clothes that Yuugi had left, the boy blinked confused as he prowled at the fabric. It was so soft, much like the cloth Yuugi had bond on his wounds. He blinked, trying to remember how Yuugi had done it. With much frustration the boy managed to put on all the clothes. He was proud as he crouched down on fours waiting for Yuugi to appear.
Just like always the boy appeared, Yuugi's eyes widened when the saw the other boy. He felt his breath hitch. Despite the disarray and the blood and mud that covered the other… Yuugi couldn't help but think he looked …
The boy turned beet red just thinking about. He walked over to the other and cocked his head.
"Why the change?" Yuugi asked teasingly, not really expecting an answer. The other blinked remembering some of the 'words' the other had used.
"I human." He managed to say.
Yuugi's amethyst eyes widened. He broke into a wide grin and wrapped his arms around the other. Yuugi cared not that his clothes would get dirty, but he was nevertheless surprised when the other actually hugged him back. "Then I will teach you..." Yuugi grinned. "Mou hitori no boku."
The other cocked his head. He looked down at the sketch pad in Yuugi's hand and immediately recognized the picture. It was one that Yuugi had been working on for days now… a sketch of him and Yuugi under a tree. The boy bit his lips. He strained his mind trying to remember.
Mou hitori no boku…
It was a distant voice. A familiar voice from a different time… he wet his lips and looked at Yuugi. "O… ok, aibou." Yuugi's amethyst eyes widened. The other had answered.
The word hit a nerve in Yuugi's being. "A… aibou?"
The other nodded. "Okay, mou hitori no boku. Are you ready to learn?"
The other nodded his head, eager.
Slowly, after painstakingly long months, Yuugi had finally broken through the other's mind. The boy, he had dubbed mou hitori no boku, learned to communicate with words, learned to walk on two feet, dress himself, and the proper everyday etiquettes.
Slowly summer passed on to autumn.
As always, Yuugi appeared at day break.
"Aibou!" Mou hitori no boku bonded over.
"Guess what?!" Yuugi was beaming.
Only then did the other notice something was amiss. "Where's your sketchbook?"
"Oh that. I left it at home."
"Never mind that for now mou hitori no boku. Guess what?"
"You're going home with me."
"Uh huh. To my village!"
A/N: What you guys think?