Screw it! I'm going to attempt to get back my fan base, no matter what I have to do.
Here are chapters one and two smooshed together of my popular (300 reviews, baby!) fic, Countenance. If you know my work and remember reading this fic, please please please review again. If you're new to it, please please please keep reading. It's a good one, I promise!
WARNINGS: This is yaoi, and I could put the rating up to an M because there is a lemon I wrote for it, but it's separate from the fic, so if you all want to read the lemon at some point, let me know, and I can either email it to you, put it in the very last chapter as 'The Missing Lemon', or by popular vote, I'll put the rating up and add the chapter in where it's supposed to go, but you have to let me know!
Also, this is AU, Yami's have their own bodies and Yami and Yugi are meeting for the first time.
I don't own YGO, but, by the gods, I wish I did!
Countenance - Chapter 1
It was early morning in the town of Domino. So early, that not even birds were up yet. The light was starting to take over the darkness as the sun rose and everywhere, people were still asleep.
Just outside of the city, on top of a hill stood a large mansion. It used to be a castle, but the present owner had refurbished it, so on the outside it looked old. But on the inside, it was the epitome of modern living. It was spectacular, and it was home to Domino's richest citizen, Seto Kaiba, and his brother Mokuba, as well as a host of servants.
If someone were to be asked, 'What does Seto Kaiba do?' they would answer that he is a prominent figure in the gaming industry. His duel disk system had revolutionised the way people played Duel Monsters all over the world. What wouldn't be said, because no one knew, is that Seto Kaiba is a member of a devious organisation known as The Brotherhood, whose sole purpose is eventual world domination. All the richest and most powerful men and women were a part of this.
But you didn't hear that from me. No one is even in the slightest aware of this, well, most people aren't aware of it. Those who do know are sworn to secrecy, and those who spill the beans are quickly taken care of, as well as the person to whom the beans were spilled.
Anyway, back to the peaceful morning in Domino. In the Kaiba Mansion, the servants were just beginning their morning routine when something not very routine happened, although they would just ignore it, as was their remit.
'Mr. Kaiba, we've brought him,' Roland said via the two-way radio.
In his large office, Seto Kaiba was looking out the window down onto the driveway, where four of his goons were dragging someone out of the limousine and towards the house. 'Very good, Roland. Bring him straight here. And get the cell ready. I know this man, and he is very unlikely to talk at first, so he will be here for a while.'
'Right away, Sir!'
Seto closed his icy blue eyes and turned away from the window as the scene below him disappeared from his view. He sat down at the large desk and pressed a button. 'Bring me some tea,' he said curtly and his finger snapped off the buzzer before waiting for a reply. He then reconsidered and pressed it again. 'For two!'
In minutes, a petite young lady scurried in carrying a tray with a silver teapot, two china cups, sugar and milk. She set it down with a smile. 'Will there me anything else, Sir?'
'No thank you, Louise. You may leave for now.'
The girl bowed slightly and turned to leave.
Seto sighed and began pouring the tea. He added three sugars to his own, and half to the second cup. He then dropped some milk into his, and none into the second. He knew just how his 'guest' liked his tea.
Soon, Roland entered alone. 'Shall I bring him in, Sir?'
Roland nodded and motioned behind him for his team to come in. Three other men dressed in suits entered dragging a single figure into the room.
Seto smiled when he saw his old 'friend'. 'Welcome to my abode, Yami. It's been a long time.'
The young man, who was being held by his arms, looked up. He had been beaten, his lip cut and a large bruise beginning to appear on his face, but his eyes were still full of fire. 'Kaiba,' the man rasped.
Seto surveyed the man. He had spiky hair; blond bangs tumbled down his face at the front, running into black with a few blond streaks and the tips were crimson, and his eyes were more of a deep purple.
The man wore a blue coat, black vest and blue trousers. In almost a fetish type of way, he was also wearing a black dog collar round his neck, a fashion statement if ever Seto saw one, and usually under the coat, he wore several other gothic-type bracelets. 'You haven't changed a bit since school!' Seto said with some amusement. He motioned for his men to release him. They did so, and then went to stand by the door to guard their master and any possible means of escape.
Yami cringed as he hit the floor. He tried to lift himself up, but flopped. He knew his situation was hopeless, but he tried at all times to keep his composure and remain as in control as he could. But right now, he'd been beaten so badly by Kaiba's men, that he was sure he had a few broken bones. A sigh escaped his lips.
Seto stood up and looked over his desk at the man lying on the floor in front of him. He smiled weakly. 'Roland, I think you were too hard on him there.' He chuckled. 'Oh well.' He stepped round his desk and stood over Yami, regarding him like an insect he is about to squash. He knelt down on one knee and grabbed a handful of Yami's hair. Yami cried in paid as his head was roughly lifted off the floor to gaze at Seto. 'You know why you are here, Yami?'
Yami looked at Kaiba through ferocious eyes. 'No,' he spat. 'Enlighten me.'
Seto sighed and let go of Yami and his head flopped down. 'You are here because you have some information that I want.' He stood up and circled Yami like a shark. 'But I can tell I'm not going to get anything out of you just yet, but I have time, and patience.' He knelt down again near Yami's shoulder and whispered in his ear. 'You're here for a long stay, and I promise you, it will not be pleasant, unless you co-operate.' He stood up. 'Do you want some tea?'
Yami simply lay there, listening to what Kaiba said, but didn't take it all in. His head hurt and all he wanted to do was get some rest.
Seto smiled. 'Roland, just as I thought, he will not talk yet. Take him to the cell, and post a personal servant to take care of him.' He sneered at his captive. 'Make sure his wounds heal nicely. I wouldn't want him to die before I get what I want.'
'Yes, Sir!' Roland said. He directed his men to pick up Yami and told them to take him to the holding cell in the basement.
When everyone had left, Seto drank his tea and buzzed for Louise to collect the tray. When she left and Seto was finally alone again, he went back to looking out the window. Yes, I have plenty of patience, but I'm not sure how patient my Master will be if I don't deliver the information soon. As it stands, I only have a month to find it and deliver it to them. He frowned, looking at his calendar. A month. He glanced over his shoulder at the place on the carpet where Yami had been lying. There was a bloody mark.
Scowling, Seto picked up the phone and called his decorator. He was getting sick of green carpets in his office anyway.
Yugi smiled as Roland left his quarters. Yes! New duties! He skipped down the hall towards the infirmary and gathered bandages, disinfectant and the special phone that was dedicated to instant connection to the few doctors that were posted within the mansion. If he knew Roland and could believe other stories he'd heard from other servants who'd done this job before, the prisoner could need proper medical attention. Yugi only knew how to deal with cuts and bruises, not broken bones.
Yugi knew he worked for a tyrant, but who was he to complain? He got free room and board and was still paid for his time! It was the easy life for him. He'd been setting up inter-mansion entertainment before that, which he found boring. But now, he got to do nitty gritty stuff, like taking care of some poor sap that probably deserved everything he got. They type of people that Seto Kaiba dealt with were generally scum of the earth. It never even occurred to little Yugi, in his excitement, that the person to whom he'd been assigned could probably snap his neck like a twig. No, he was too happy about his new job to think about it.
He hummed as he headed down to the basement cells with his gear. He stopped in front of one of Roland's staff. 'Yugi Moto, reporting for duty!' He saluted dramatically.
The guard, whose name was Mike, suppressed a smirk. He liked this young man. No older than 19 or 20, the boy still looked like he was in school. He was short and puny for his age. He could also see the irony of getting this pipsqueak to look after Yami, considering they looked like they could be brothers. Yugi had the same spiky tri-coloured hair as Yami, but it had less blond, and although his eyes were also purple, they were innocent looking.
Mike stepped aside and unlocked the door. Without a word, he let Yugi into the cold dark room.
Yugi stepped in and jumped when the guard slammed the door behind him. It was also locked. 'Er, thanks!' he whispered to the large wooden door, hoping Mike would hear him. He turned to the room. He shivered.
The room was small and dark, with a single light in the middle. It was currently off, and the only natural light that penetrated the room came from a tiny slit of a window. As Yugi's eyes adjusted to the gloom, he saw the room was furnished with a makeshift bed with wafer thin pillow and thin sheets against the left wall, a toilet and basin in the top left corner and a table and chairs against the right wall. In the top right corner was the prisoner shrouded in darkness. Yugi could see he was chained to the wall by his wrists, although the chains were long enough so that the man had limited free movement.
'Nice place you've got here,' Yugi said weakly. 'A few drapes and some pictures and it could be called home.' He laughed at his own joke, but the prisoner didn't make a sound. 'Ookay. Now, I am here to fix you up, if that's okay?'
'Do you mind if I turn the light on?' He flicked the switch near the door and the bulb fizzled. 'Oh, great!' He banged on the door. 'Hey, how am I supposed to work in conditions like this?' he demanded. 'Can I get a working light bulb in here?'
A few minutes passed and Mike opened the door and replaced the light bulb. Yugi thanked him and after Mike left, he tried the light again. It worked, but shed very little light on the situation. Yugi groaned.
He turned to the prisoner and walked towards him. It was then he was shocked at what he saw.
He looked at the man in the corner, who was sitting on the ground with his one leg stretched out in front of him and the other bent in a casual manner. His one arm was resting comfortably on the bent knee, the other on his lap. He had his eyes closed and a blasé expression on his bruised and cut face. But the fact that the man was sitting there like he was on a beach wasn't what surprised Yugi. What surprised him was that the man had the same hairstyle as him. And he was nothing like what Yugi imagined a scumbag would look like. He was…normal looking. Handsome even.
'Um, are you awake?' Yugi asked. He got no response.
The man's expression unnerved him. Was he even alive? Yugi inched closer. 'Hello?' Still nothing. He got close enough to prod the man gently. This still didn't solicit a response. 'Hey, Mike!' Yugi shouted turning around. 'I think this one is…URK!'
Yugi suddenly found himself with chain wrapped around his neck and was being strangled. 'Help!' he squeaked.
Yami had been awake the whole time, and had listened with some interest at how confident this boy was. He had decided he would be his ticket out of this place. He feigned sleep and when the boy got closer, he made his move.
'Please…don't!' the boy strained. He was grabbing wildly at the chain and tried to dislodge Yami's grip. 'Please!' came one last word before the boy went limp.
Yami dropped him. He knew the boy wasn't dead, but it would give him time to search him for keys. He quickly searched the boy and growled when he found nothing on him. No keys, no knife, gun, nothing! He saw the phone in the boy's pocket, but he instantly knew it was an internal phone.
'Shit,' he mumbled. He turned the boy over and was suddenly captivated. He…looks like…me!
Yami looked around the room as if expecting to find something useful. He then spotted the boys bag and went through that. It was just some simple medical supplies. Then he found something to revive the boy.
He waved the smelling salts under the boy's nose and all of a sudden, the boy gasped and sat bolt upright. Yami closed the bottle and put it back in the bag while the boy spluttered.
'What the hell did you do?' Yugi asked sternly inching away from Yami.
Yami just looked at him with disdain. This boy may look like him, but he worked for his enemy and couldn't be trusted.
'Fine, don't speak to me, but I have a job to do. Do you want that to become infected?' He pointed to a large cut on Yami's arm.
Yami sighed and held his chained arm out. Yugi flinched, expecting more attacks. Yami raised an eyebrow. The boy acted brave, but he really wasn't.
Yugi relaxed when he realised Yami wasn't going to try and choke him again. He quickly dug into his bag and pulled out a bottle of disinfectant and cotton wool. He put some of the sterilizer on the cotton wool and reached out to clean the wound.
When the wound was touched, Yami winced. 'Sorry!' Yugi said. Yami winced with every touch and Yugi kept apologising. Soon, Yami felt compelled to say something.
'Stop apologising!' he snapped.
Yugi paused. 'Sorry,' he said wryly.
Yami rolled his eyes and Yugi put the bloody cotton ball into a rubbish bag. He had cleaned the wound quite well and was proud of himself. He took out a bandage and began wrapping it around Yami's arm. 'So, what are you in for?' Yugi asked absently.
'You are kidding, right?' Yami asked. I just tried to strangle him and he is making small talk like it never happened?
Yugi looked up at him. 'What?'
'You just asked me why I'm here.'
'You don't know?'
'No, I just work here.'
Yami must have had his mouth open with disbelief, because Yugi giggled. 'You look like a fish out of water.' Yami closed his mouth. 'I was just making conversation,' Yugi explained taking out a cotton bud and dipping it into the bottle. He leaned forward to dab Yami's lip. Yami shied away. Yugi groaned. 'Come on, I don't want to get in trouble with the boss for letting your cuts go wrong!' Yami leaned forward and with intense concentration, he lightly dabbed the small cut.
Yami squinted so he could focus on the boy's face. He had his tongue sticking out the side of his mouth with his attentiveness. Yami suppressed a smile.
'So, what's your name?' Yugi asked when he was satisfied the cut was well and truly clean. 'Don't lick your lip if you can help it. This stuff tastes awful if you do by accident.'
Yami immediately had to stifle the urge to lick the wound. It was like telling someone not to look down! He instead decided to use his tongue in a different manner. 'Yami,' he said.
'My name is Yami.'
'Oh,' Yugi said. 'That's interesting. It means 'dark', doesn't it?'
Smart kid. 'Yes.'
'My name is…'
'Yugi. I know, I heard you earlier.'
Yugi smiled. 'Oh, right.' He went into his bag again. 'Do you have any more cuts?' Yami shook his head. 'Do you think anything is broken, because I can call a proper doctor if you like.'
Yami touched his chest and breathed in deeply and winced. 'I think they're just bruised,' he said referring to his ribs.
'Well, when I go back upstairs, I'll get one of the docs to come down here and check you out. Better to be safe than sorry.' He pulled out a small torch. 'I'm just going to check for concussion, is that okay?' Yami nodded his head. Yugi shone the light in Yami's opened eyes and the irises constricted. They then dilated when the light went away. 'Okay, doesn't look like a concussion. Do you have a headache?' Yami shook his head. 'Feel nauseous?' Another shake of the head. 'Oh good.' Yugi began packing his stuff away. 'You'll be fine, well, as fine as someone can be in a cell.' He stood up and Yami did the same. 'I'll be back later to bring you something to eat. Any preferences?'
'Okay then.' He held his hand out. Yami just looked at him. 'Nevermind,' Yugi said. 'I'll see you later.' He walked over to the door and knocked loudly. Mike opened the door and let Yugi out.
Yami watched as the door shut behind the smaller boy and he smiled. Against my better judgement, I like him.
On the other side of the door, Yugi smiled. I must be crazy to think this, because he tried to kill me, but I like him.
Please review. Because this fic is already written, I can update very quickly, or very slooooooooooowly, depending on how motivated I am. I am not expecting my 300 reviews back, but I'd like to get over 100...that would be a big confidence booster, so, for this initial chapter, I would love you guys to overwhelm me. Come on, at least 10 reviews before I update!