Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi owns the Yu-Gi-Oh series.
A/N: Some of the parts in this chapter will confuse you so brace yourself.
Chapter 2: Frozen
Selene paced back and forth in front of Aine's armchair where her mistress lie with an arm draped over her eyes. Her hair draped over her shoulders, her other arm resting on the armrest. Sweat glistened on her smooth skin. The worried cat glanced back on her mistress once in a while then resumed her pacing. Aine's eyelids opened lazily, staring with empty eyes at the high ceiling. It was like looking through a kaleidoscope. Her breathing was labored. Closing her eyes again, Aine began to fall into a deep sleep in an attempt to ease her pain.
Mistress? Mistress! Selene jumped on the armrest, pawing gently at her mistress' cold hand. She licked the side of her face expecting a response but there was none. Her mistress sat still absorbed in dreams.
A thunderous knock made Selene jump into the air and land on her feet. She glared at the dark hallway, glancing back to look at her Mistress before slinking off to the front door.
"No, I don't want to remember!" Aine breathed heavily, shaking her head violently from side to side.
Once Selene reached the front door, she sat indignantly in front of it, glaring at the wooden door. She bared her claws. She didn't like it when anybody did any harm to her mistress. As far as she could tell, whoever was making this much noise was committing a serious offense.
"Calm down, Yugi!" Someone shouted from the other side of the door. She slowly retracted her claws, staring at the door.
Yugi? The King of Games? Mistress is waiting for him! As she had predicted, he's outside this very door while she is indisposed. The white cat began to pace again; one of her bad habits when worried. What shall I do?
The thunderous knocking continued causing the cat to wince. It sounded like a herd of stampeding elephants in her opinion.
"Is someone there?! Please! I need help!" A boy's crackling voice yelled from the other side. He sounded as if he had been crying. Selene's heart jolted at his desperate tone of voice. Normally, she could care if a human was dying right in front of her. She would've just jumped over the body and go on her merry way.
"Yugi, stop it! Your hands are bleeding!" A deeper voice said.
"I don't care! I'm not stopping until she opens the door! She's the only one who can help me! Only she can help me get Anzu back!" Yugi shouted.
"Meow!" Selene had poked her head out of the kitty flap. She looked up at the group of teenagers, all of whom looked down at her. "Meow." She said again. Wait. It was too bad they couldn't understand her. The boy with the bloody hands, she assumed, was this Yugi boy. A blonde and taller boy was carrying a limp female body. There were two other boys, one with pale skin and white hair, Selene definitely saw someone like him before and another with short brown hair. Before Yugi could respond, Selene went back inside.
"Wait! Come back, kitty!" Yugi cried, poking his head through the flap. He watched as the cat walked away into a dark hallway, disappearing right before his eyes. "Please, kitty! I need your help!" The cat didn't come back. Yugi was desperate. He tried to push his body through the little door. If the situation wasn't so dire, his friends would've laughed at the ridiculous sight of his wiggling butt.
Selene jumped on the kitchen table and used her paw to push the key off the hook. I apologize, Mistress but if you don't obtain his soul soon, you might- She didn't even want to finish the thought. She couldn't lose someone who meant so much to her. Selene bit one end of the key and ran to the front door. The sight of Yugi's head made her sigh in exasperation. Can't these humans wait patiently? I already told you to wait, simpleton. It was time like these when she wished humans could read her thoughts. She dropped the key on the floor in front of him.
He looked at the key then at the cat. "Good kitty!" He cried happily, about to reach out for her but she backed away. Human hands never touched her body nor will they ever be able to.
Now open up the door before I change my mind. And another thing, my name is certainly not 'Kitty'. Now I better go check on Mistress. With her tail up high, she raced back to the drawing room.
Yugi squirmed out of the door with the key in his hand. He wiped away his tears and inserted the key.
"Yugi, where did you get that?" Ryou asked.
"The cat gave it to me," Yugi said, without even considering how strange the answer sounded.
"This place gives me the creeps!" Jounouchi shivered involuntarily. Ryou and Honda had to agree. After all, Aine's humble abode was located in the center of a dozen of broken down houses, all of them vacant. There was nobody in sight except for them. They had to hop on a train for four hours just to get here.
"How can she live someplace like this?" Honda said, looking at the surroundings. The house of which they stood in front of was the only house that was kept up. It was a four story house with a polished wooden door. Inside of all the (spotless) windows were dark, the dark red curtains covering most of them. It had a brick chimney. The exterior of the house was painted white. A howl broke out from one of the closest vacant houses, sending chills up and down their spines. Jounouchi had almost dropped Anzu's body but Honda luckily caught her.
"Jounouchi!" Honda hissed.
"Wh-what was that!" Jounouchi looked around frantically. His shivering became so noticeable that even Anzu's body started to shake.
"Be careful, Jounouchi!" Ryou warned.
"Hurry up, Yugi!" Jounouchi asked, ignoring both Honda and Ryou. Yugi had a little trouble turning the key as the lock was very old. Finally, with the help of Honda and Jounouchi (who was only too anxious to go in), they managed to get the door open. "Wh-what if that was a werewolf?"
Werewolves do not reside in rural Japan, idiot. Selene came back to lead them to the sitting room. "Meow," she said to get their attention. They looked down at her expectantly and she jerked her head towards a dark hallway.
"I think it wants us to follow," Ryou said. The four of them crossed over the threshold, noticing a full-length mirror to their left. It was dusty and covered in cobwebs. A grandfather clock stood on the right of them as they walked further into the eerily quiet house. Jounouchi stopped in front of it due to curiosity. When the long hand and short hand pointed to the number twelve, the trapdoor beneath it opened to reveal a skull with a lit candle inside came out. Jounouchi screamed shrilly, holding Anzu tight against him and ran to his friends.
"No! I do not wish to remember!" Aine's arms flailed wildly, knocking over a goblet of blood.
Anzu blinked in confusion while looking around at her new surroundings. She put her hand directly over her heart. "Where am I?" Aine conjured up more purplish flames within her hands only to extinguish them to look at Anzu's astral body floating above her. She narrowed her eyes, lowering them to the ground.
"What is this girl doing in my memories?" She directed the calm question to the sandy ground. Sighing, she turned her back on her enemies. One of them thought that this was their chance to attack her. Priest Seto's monster almost plunged her with a sword. The sword went right the sand where she had been a few mere seconds. She had already taken flight towards the sun. Anzu, confused and afraid to be left alone, followed the gracefully flying black adorned woman. From the side of her face, she could see how much Aine was hurting.
"You shouldn't be here," Aine said calmly, wiping away the sweat from her brow. This newborn human body was supposed to be more powerful than her previous one. It was because of her emotional state. She had to overcome this.
The brown-haired girl didn't know what to say. After a few moments of silence, she opened her mouth again. "I saw you before. You're that woman who came up to me. Wh-where am I?" Aine didn't answer, peering at Anzu out of the corner of her eye. She didn't want Anzu to know they were in one of her memories. The piercing look Anzu received made her automatically quiet down.
Why is she here? Selene pawed gently at Aine's cold sweaty face. "Meow, meow," she said, licking her clenching fist. Yugi and his friends were currently sitting in the drawing room whilst Selene attempted to rouse Aine from her sleep.
"I must depart now," Aine told Anzu. "Selene is calling me." Her body started to dissolve into black sand.
"Wait!" Anzu called, gripping one of Aine's shoulders only to have sand dripping from her fingers.
"You are to remain here until I have struck a deal with your lover," Aine's voice echoed in the memory world.
"Selene," Aine whispered affectionately, opening her eyes. She smiled at her confidante who was patting the side of her face gently. The cat gave her something of a smile, too. She jumped on the floor.
Mistress, the King of Games has arrived. He and his comrades are sitting in the drawing room.
Aine waved a sweaty hand weakly into the air. Four crystal goblets floated into the air and into the drawing room, the direction that Aine pointed to. A bottle of apple cider accompanied the goblets. She gestured for Selene to follow; a way of telling her to tend to the guests. While Selene obeyed her Mistress, Aine's long and now tattered black dress burst into flames. They subsided within a second to show her new plain white dress with a white cameo around her neck. She wiped her sweaty brow with a flowing sleeve and strode out calmly to entertain her guests.
Aine considered the young man over her shoulder, her hands folded behind her back. Even though she knew it wasn't his fault, a feeling of hatred coursed through her body like uncontrollable fire. Her eyes almost reduced to slits at the sight of his confident aura. She then looked at the motionless body on the couch without a trace of emotion. Inside her spacious sleeve, her already pale hand turned whiter as she clenched and unclenched it. She was aware that she was Anzu Mazaki's only hope; aware that he'd probably agree to part with his soul for her but a part of her wanted more. Aine wanted him to suffer much more; the parting of his soul wouldn't be enough. The sorrow of his friends and undoubtedly, Anzu wouldn't be enough. Selene watched her Mistress with her bushy white tail in the air. She didn't even dare to take a breath. True, her Mistress, was slowly weakening because her hunger was unsatisfied but...
Mistress? Aine abruptly put up a hand, confusing mou hitori no Yugi for a slight moment, not knowing it was meant for the cat. "Quiet, Selene." She said aloud. Black hair, she could imagine black hair flowing in the wind, the owner of it running away from her. Even if she reached out, she wouldn't be able to catch that person. For a brief moment, Aine could imagine Yugi reaching out for Anzu but she had already ran far away. The young woman hadn't turn back to look at him. Something inside of Aine jerked making her feel uncomfortable. "I will resurrect her." She said finally, turning around to face the short King of Games. "However," she added before a smile of relief broke onto his face. The group behind mou hitori no Yugi also held their breath. "in exchange for her life, you will give me your soul." His face remained unperturbed for a few seconds gazing straight into Aine's green eyes. He stopped to turn in Anzu's direction; she looked like a peaceful angel right now. Something in his eyes almost betrayed his calm demeanor; the shine sparkling in the corner of his eyes.
"Do you assent?" Aine broke the silence. It seems as though his friends were too shocked to say anything. Her hand hung in mid-air, waiting.
"Don't do it, Yugi!" Jounouchi shouted. "There has to be another way!"
"Yeah! Jounouchi's right!" Honda interjected. Aine turned in their direction with a mocking smile.
"Your friends are correct, ancient king. There is another way," she said. His gaze immediately landed on her unwavering smile. "Yes..." Her voice floated in the room. Her eyes fell on the golden relics hung around the other Yugi's and Ryou's neck. "The mysterious Millennium items...If you were to possess all seven of them, you would be able to grant a wish. That wish could be to resurrect your dear friend, Anzu. You wouldn't have to sacrifice your own soul." She looked mou hitori no Yugi dead in the eyes. "That's not very likely though is it? You know perfectly well that certain wielders would not part with their items, don't you?" Her smile turned into a wicked smirk.
Jounouchi was about to say something when she swiftly pointed a finger to his mouth. "Hmm...mmm...mmm!" His eyes popped out while his fingers fumbled near his now stitched mouth.
"Jounouchi!" The other Yugi looked horrified at the sight. Ryou and Honda was trying to undo the stitches. Aine just stood there with her usual cool mask on, her hands folded in front of her.
"I find it rude of others to interrupt me while I am speaking." She said coolly. "You shouldn't try to undo my spell or your friend will be in further pain. It cannot be removed until I wish to. Now where was I? Ah yes." She took the opportunity to sit down on a chair opposite the other Yugi. Selene jumped on her lap and purred contently at Aine's stroking. "You can either choose me to resurrect this lovely young girl and sacrifice your soul or wait and possess all of the Millennium items to resurrect her. The choice seems to be so simple, doesn't it, ancient king?" Her eyes were closed while her hand was automatically petting Selene. "You could just gather all of the powerful relics and make a wish. It will be granted and yes, your friend will be alive once more. I know you already have your mind set on that solution. I have yet to tell you that if her soul does not return into her body within 48 hours, she will perish forever. Even someone with the magnitude of my powers would not be able to bring her back by then."
She grimaced. She could hear someone crying. Aine slipped back into the memory world again.
Anzu sat with her legs pressed against her chest. She sat crying on a large boulder with tears rolling down her cheeks. She didn't know what she was doing here in this place. She wanted to go back to school to be with her best friends. That woman just left her here all alone. Everywhere she had walked, she couldn't speak to one person that she encountered. They just looked past her and continued on their way, dying to get out of the boiling desert. Her body was cool even if she was sitting directly underneath the burning sun. Aine appeared beside the clueless Anzu.
"Crying will not help you escape from here," she said, surprising Anzu, who jumped. She sat down beside the girl. "Although, I am still at a lost at what you are doing here. It is true that your soul left your body but you should be stuck in your own neverending dream."
"What do you mean my soul left my body?!" Anzu stood up abruptly, alarmed. "You mean I'm dead?"
"In the human world, you are considered dead. Your body stopped breathing and your heartbeat stopped but you are merely stuck in a state between life and death. However, if your soul does not return in 48 hours, you will permanently die. Your soul then will be transferred to the Underworld where you will be judged."
More tears splashed on the front of Anzu's shirt. "I can't believe it." She whimpered. "How did this happen? I was perfectly fine yesterday and now I'm almost dead. Yugi...Everyone...Mou hitori no Yugi." She whispered the last part.
Anzu cried into her knees, hugging her legs. Aine was sweating underneath the bright sun when she shouldn't be. Her skin had always been unable to withstand the heat of the sun. So why was she so vulnerable now? Lifting an arm, her flowing sleeve shielded her face for the time being.
This girl reminds me of someone. Loving a person who couldn't reciprocate her feelings. Humans really are foolish. Aine could read Anzu's mind. She had loved the other Yugi for some time now. In the beginning, she thought he was her bestfriend, Yugi's alter-ego just to find out that he was actually a soul stuck in an ancient relic; a Pharaoh from three thousand years ago. It hit her hard when she realized that he would have to leave them someday. She succumbed to a bout of depression after finding this out. Anzu buried her feelings deep into her heart; not knowing that the act had damaged her. She had tried to feign happiness on the outside while she was hurting on the inside. Something in her snapped. That is why she was trapped; unable to wake up in the human world or not wanting to. Deep inside, Anzu knew this but the knowledge was beyond her reach. She wasn't the first human.
"You loved him, didn't you?" Her whisper was clearly audible.
"Yes," was Anzu's simple and quiet answer. For a few moments, Aine just listened to the brunette sob silently. Anzu was still huddled miserably beside her. When her sobs subsided, her head popped out of her arms, looking at the stranger beside her.
"Earlier…" She sniffled, turning to Aine. The latter was turned away, staring intently on the horizon. Anzu didn't have to say it; Aine had already guessed what she was going to say.
"I know of what you are going to ask; you want to ask whether the man who attacked me earlier was the past incarnation of a young man named Seto Kaiba. Yes, yes, he is." She said, disdainful. She grabbed a fistful of tiny rocks and burned them.
"Monster! He's just a monster!" It was Priest Seto who had screamed those words. She was suddenly filled with rage. She stood up with her palms extended in the air. Dark flames shot out of them into the distance until they faded.
"Uh!" She lost her footing. Anzu stood up in time to support her arm.
"How come only you can see me and I can touch you but nothing else?" She asked Aine. The redhead didn't answer.
A/N: I had typed the second chapter already but was unsatisfied with it so I had to re-write it. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a little bit of this chapter.