Heaven Knows

Chapter One: A Chance Encounter?

(mutters) A fine thing when I can get more done during school than in the summer...

Hey guys, Violet Phoenix Rising here. This is my first Yu-Gi-Oh! fanfic and second fanfiction on this site. My other fanfic is Xiaolin Showdown, titled "The Ninja-ko and the Tai-Chi Master."

I've had this idea in my head for a while, and I decided to play with it for now, seeing as how I just can't bring myself to write the eighth chappie of my XS fanfic. I hate it when that happens!! So I think that this might help me to break that.

A bit of background info on this fic: This will be a drama with a spiritual element, considering that my OC (Natasha) is a Roman Catholic. Spirituality is very important in this story, and eventually proves to be one of Natasha's main motivations. Also, this involves changing POV between Natasha and Marik. Usually, it's from Natasha's, but I'll warn you when it changes. The most part of this fic is Pre-Battle City arc.

I hope you enjoy this Mary-Sue-sprayed fanfiction! LOL

DISCLAIMER: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! or anything affiliated except for the OCs.

Natasha Romano woke to the sound of the bells tolling the seventh morning hour in the Vatican belfry. She smiled and thanked God for this sign that she was alive for one more day, not stirring until the last note was silent. The Italian teen yawned and stretched in the complete darkness of her living quarters, her hands grazing the thin metal walls as she did so.

As she had been living in that dumpster for almost eight of her seventeen years, Natasha chided herself for temporarily forgetting how cramped her "home" was. She slowly raised the plastic roof, shading her auburn eyes until they bacame adjusted to the morning light.

Let's see... Natasha thought as she observed the entrance to the alley way. Nobody over there... and nobody down the alley.

Not convinced that the silence was a sign of safety, Natasha readied her pocket knife in case of a surprise attack. At last, she slowly emerged from the dumpster and gently closed the lid. You had to be careful in this part of Rome; Just because it was the Holy City didn't mean it was free of homeless criminals. Natasha was the proof of that.

Natasha gripped her knife, now hidden in her ragged grey trenchcoat, until she was in a safer part of the city. There were puddles scattered throughout the brick road from last night's rain. Having no alternative water source, Natasha took a double handful of water and washed her face in it. She ran her hands through her golden, wavy hair, long since tawny with grime.

On a whim, Natasha examined her reflection in the water. She was painfully short despite her tall, Ancient Roman lineage, though this was due to malnutrition. Each of her hollowed cheeks bore thin scars from old fights and bruises from more recent ones. Her clothes were tattered and cramped her body, and were horribly mismatched. Then again, she had gotten these clothes from a shelter three years ago and had chosen whatever fit at the time.

The hot-pink and white Powerpuff Girl sweater she wore was origionally knitted for a twelve year-old; its sleeves passed her elbows by only an inch, and the hems stopped above her navel. In sharp contrast, her camo pants were baggy and required a tight belt. Her battered tennis shoes were now open-toed and had holes in the soles and heels.

Hunger rumbled peevishly in Natasha's shrunken stomach. Thoughts of water led to thoughts of food, thoughts of food led to yet another sin on a long list. It had been six days since her last confession, hadn't it? She'd go tomorrow. No point in feeling guilty before breakfast.

The people in the main part of Rome were already busy in morning transit. None met Natasha's downcast eyes as she walked down the street, only taking care to step around her. This suited Natasha fine. It'd be a lot easier if no one noticed her intrusion in the glorious, clean, beautiful part of the city.

Light bounced off an apple into Natasha's eyes, and she blinked. Just looking at the tantalizing crimson skin that was truly the food of the old gods was enough to make Natasha's mouth water.

She could hear the vendor sweeping the entrance of his shop not fifteen feet from where she stood. He watched her cautiously for a few seconds, then returned to his cleaning when Natasha appeared to turn to walk away. But Natasha did not walk away. The need, the desire to eat commanded her to stay.

The vendor's back was to her, and if she was careful, no one on the rest of the street would be the wiser. Just to be certain of her surroundings, Natasha glanced at the vendor's back. The opportunity was hers for the taking, and so was one of the apples. She pocketed her prize quickly and looked back at the still unsuspecting vendor.

Didn't get me this time, Natasha thought with a smile.

No! It's not enough! The hunger twisted in her stomach insistently. One apple wouldn't satisfy her for long, that much was true. Since the shopkeeper still had his back to her, taking a second, or even a third, would be simple.

Natasha reached out for the second apple, unwittingly glancing up the street at two men walking in her direction. She pocketed the apple and observed the men after rechecking her surroundings.

A/N: (Guess who these guys are)

They were obviously foreign, and dressed in strange, violet hooded robes with a chain collar. One looked to be over six feet tall with a single black sidelock on his left side.

Natasha wrinkled her scraggly brows in amusement at the second foreignor, who had layered cloud white hair that was probably the same length as her own. When the men got a bit closer, Natasha could see that the taller one was most likely and attendant/bodyguard to the second, who carried himself imperiously even though he was about her age.

Impatient growls in her stomach called Natasha's attention back to the task at hand. Would going for a third be pushing it now that the man and teen were so close? Natasha looked to her right and saw that the vendor's face was partly visible. Not good.

She looked to her left, and locked eyes with the white-haired teen. He was a damn fine boy, with his tan skin and lavender eyes...

Feeling the blood rush to her cheeks, Natasha broke her gaze and snatched a third apple, this time near the bottom of the pyramid. Seeking vengeance for their kidnapped brothers, the rest of the apples came tumbling down in a damning avalanche.

Natasha had leaped over the fallen apple-landmines and broken into an instinctive sprint a total of two seconds before the vendor cried, "Hey!" The only way she had to go was toward the foreignors.

She decided to karaoke-step by the white-haired teen rather than go between them, figuring the big guy probably wouldn't let her through. When she got to be shoulder-to-shoulder with the teen, Natasha locked eyes with him a second time.

Natasha knew enough about the way she looked to know that she wasn't unattractive. True, the boy had only meant to glance at her, but if you give a man the right look, he'd believe you to be the Venus herself.

The boy seemed to have a desire to stop her from getting away by means of grabbing her. Smiling smugly, Natasha obliged.

Marik P.O.V.

A/N: (If you don't get the implications for this joke, then never mind.)

Marik felt his hand close around something hard and round; the feeling stayed though the girl sidestepped behind him and sped into the adjacent alley. He and Odion bent backward to watch her turn left and disappear behind a nearby building.

Father was right about one thing, Marik thought bitterly. Italy is a very strange country.

Running footsteps announced the prescence of the furious vendor, stopping in front of Odion. Panting slowly, he asked him in a thick Italian accent, "Which way did she go?"

"Down this alley and to the left," Odion replied. "Beyond that, I don't know."

The middle-aged man sighed exasperatedly. "Her name is Natasha. She's stolen from me many a time, and only once I've caught her. If you see her, call de police."

Marik felt very tempted to tell the man to solve his own damn problems, but the need to be inconspicuous was greater. "Certainly," he said aloud in the friendly persona he would later call Namu. "Good luck in capturing the thief."

"Thank you, young man."

Shut up and let me by, old man! "You're welcome. Excuse us."

Marik took a step forward, but the vendor stopped him.

What now?! If you dare to stop me again, I'll send you to the Shadow Realm faster than you can say, "Mamma mia"!

A/N: (Ok, I know that bit was seriously OOC for Marik, but I couldn't help myself! LOL Let's just call it an author's liscence, yeah...)

"Is there a problem?" Marik asked.

"There will be, if I don't get that back." The vendor gestured at Marik's hand and held out his own, palm up.

Confused, Marik looked down at the indicated hand. His eyes widened a little and he handed back the apple he was holding. If the vendor had expressed gratitude in any way, Marik was deaf to it; he only nodded.

That girl manipulated me into helping her Marik brooded, recalling the cocky glint in the girl's auburn eyes. The girl called Natasha...

"Master Marik." Odion's gentle but strong voice interrupted Marik's thoughts.

"What?" Marik asked irritably.

Odion said nothing, but pointed at the roof of a building close behind them.

Natasha's P.O.V.

It wasn't a challenge for Natasha to climb up the fire escape onto the roof of the bakery for an easy getaway. She lay belly-down on the cool roof, her arms folded and elbows hanging over the side. Natasha grinned at the super-cute foreign boy -- Marik, did the giant call him? -- as he realized her prescence there.

After taking out one of the stolen apples and shining it on her shirt -- in the boy's plain sight -- she took a bite and mouthed the words "Grazie mille." A thousand thanks.

Marik looked a little annoyed at her impertinance.

You are rather cute that way, though, Natasha thought. She pretended to pout, putting out her lower lip in the childish fashion. Much to her delight, Marik scowled at her. Ooh, this is fun!

Natasha gave him a flirty smile and soon after puckered her lips to make a brief kissing sound. The boy's embarrassed and indignant reaction was by far the most amusing to her. She laughed audibly to the two foreignors, and turned out of their sight.

End of Chapter one of my new drama, "Heaven Knows". Some complications already: Marik might very well think that Natasha's a little nuts. BUT that'll pass.

I hope you all enjoyed this, and will at the very least give me some feedback. I'd like to know if I have something here. THX SO MUCH!!!