Snowball Effect

By Ash Kaiba

DISCLAIMER! I don't own Yu-gi-Oh or Dracula by Bram Stoker.

From the Desk of Ash Kaiba: One chapter left before I completely go back to third person. Writing first person Kaiba is fun to do, but I clearly visualize his mind to be heavily detail oriented. I will be going back to first person from time to time, but the story will dominately be in third.

Now, since it has been a year. Recap time!

Kaiba goes on a trip with the children of Kitsune Orphanage, but is troubled by one of the children. When he gets home, Mokuba greets him and tries to interrogate him after sensing something off. The brothers have a small argument, which Mokuba drops due to it not going anywhere and Seto clarifying that it was his personal problem. Kaiba's day got worse as Hitomi the cook presented the night's meal, which contradicted with a hidden craving Kaiba's body desired. Kaiba blacks out to the supposed foul smell and awakens in his room. Mokuba suggests that Seto should rest and that his professors (as well as employees) would be notified about his absence.

Chapter 7

Cold wind whistles past my ears. It ruffles my chestnut locks. I look below, witnessing the quick changes in environment. The seas blend into the green land. Patches of sand make themselves known for a short time before disappearing. Yet, I have to wonder where I am going. These lands are foreign to me. And am I dreaming? This looks all too real to be a dream, but I was in my bed just moments before. Just what is going on? The speed increases as if whatever is happening is becoming more urgent.

Suddenly, it stops. I hover above a stone castle of some forsaken land. Evergreens loom over it. Old bark bristles, protecting what living tissues are underneath. Fallen needles cover the dead soil. This gloomy environment blends into the castle's stony structure. Dark gray roof tiles melt into the dark sky. I scan the alien building, noting different styles of windows. Human curiosity gnaws me alive as I approach the residence, falling to a predetermined destination. I land onto what appears to be a balcony, where realization hits me… I'm not alone.

The other person there stands around 203 cm with my kind of lean build. Yet, black wavy hair rests to his shoulders. Old European clothing covers his frame. Judging from his pose, this stranger is facing the gloomy sky. Something inside me sparks. My right arm reaches out to him. The man turns to face me, but the facial details elude me. His body grows blurry. Panic starts pumping. If he has the answers, then this is the one chance I'll have…

"Seto?"

Concerned blue eyes blink at me. Now, my mind registers some applied pressure to my left hand. Mokuba rubs his thumb over my skin. His right hand keeps itself busy by pushing my stubborn bangs away. I turn my head towards my window, finding the bed drapes blocking that side.

"Both curtains are closed, Ni-sama, since the light is giving you troubles," he explains. "Are you okay? I just got back from school and learned that you slept the morning away."

I slowly nod, unsure if I could possibly talk. Mokuba accepts the gesture and returns to his task of checking my environment. I watch him get up numerous times. He'd either straighten the sheets around me or make sure the drapes stayed shut. When he finally settled down, I wrapped my fingers around his. I tighten my grip on his hand, asking for his attention. Mokuba's train of thought screams to a halt as all focus turns onto me. His wide eyes question me before the words leave his lips.

"When is…Dr. Hana…"

Mokuba presses his index finger against my lips. "He'll be here any moment now, bro. Until then, just take it easy. Are you hungry? I can get some crackers for you nibble on."

The sheer idea of food excites my tired body, but the memories of last night smother the excitement in a heartbeat. I hesitantly nod 'yes' and watch the ball of energy bound out of my room. I listen to Mokuba's footsteps until he starts going downstairs. After the echoes leave my new hearing range, a sigh escapes my lips. My mind wonders to the apparent dream, especially the faceless man at the end. Why on Earth is he in my dream? What is his purpose? Does he hold scientific evidence that explains what is wrong with me?

Too many questions and I have hardly any answers. Annoyed with this fact, I force my arms to work. Muscles complain as I prop myself up. Upon forcing my worn body upright, I silently rejoice until three knocks sound on my door. My strength fails, causing my body to fall back into the sheets. The mahogany panel creeps open. I brace myself to my little brother's enthusiasm, but instead Isono closes the door behind him. He approaches the neighboring nightstand, placing something onto its surface. As his body turns, the sunglasses come off.

"Mokuba-sama is doing his homework, sir. I thought you would rather have him busy than worrying about you." He explains as the dim lighting illuminates his chocolate eyes. "I have brought up the crackers, though."

"Arigato," I answer, "but I don't think I can eat them."

Although Isono's frame remains neutral, his eyes betray him. "Sir?"

"It's this whole mess. The sunlight is now the bane of my existence. I'm feeling more fatigued than usual. Now, the mere thought of eating food leaves me nauseous. Tell me, Isono. Do you know of an illness with my symptoms?"

My right-hand man, and bodyguard, shakes his head. He sinks down into the chair next to the bed, observing my miserable state. "Nor does it matter. Mokuba-sama is going to worry…and so will I," he answers as his fingers intertwine.

I close my eyes in response to this. The one man that I can trust my company to is right. Mokuba will worry and that is a fact. Plus, he will as well or has been since the beginning. It's a quirk in my brother's personality that will never change. When my brother couldn't come, Isono dutifully stayed by my side until dismissal. But, I have to wander. "Isono, what are you implying? You actually do your job."

"Sir, it's just… No, it's personal," he pauses as I questionably look at him, "Since my wife left, you two are all I have sir. I'm sorry if this offends you because not only are you my employer, but you are also like a surrogate son."

This makes sense. The custody battle of his only child rings fresh. His first wife won on the claims that Isono spends too much time at work. She allowed the man to pack a suitcase and a duffel bag before getting rid of it. His house was sold and she moved to southern Japan. When Mokuba and I found out about this, Isono was determined to find small place for himself. And surprisingly, Mokuba was fine with that, but I wasn't. I was the cause of his maternal disputes. So, I offered him one of the empty rooms in the manor. Isono at first denied, but eventually relented as soon as I started guilt tripping myself for his suffering. Since then, he's been here.

"Sir?"

I gasp as my eyes look back at him. I can see the small drop of sweat forming. The slight twitching of his thumbs attracts my attention. A sweet aroma fills my nostrils, but its origin eludes me. Hunger chews and gnaws…until the older man rises to his feet. I watch the man, who should have adopted both me and Mokuba, open my bedroom door. Then, stepping aside for another male to cross my threshold.

"Ah, Seto-san, how are you feeling?"

The older man steps forward. Gray strands hang in his face. Warm brown eyes twinkle at me. I shift, attempting to sit up again. Hanasake chuckles at my failures as he places his bag in the chair. Normally, I would have snared at this behavior. However, the old doctor has witnessed and survived the tantrums I threw. So, it's best that I let this slide, especially since I'm more interested in his diagnosis. His hands open the black leather bag and pull out his stethoscope. He rubs the metal on his jacket after positioning it in his ears. The still cold metal surface freezes my skin.

"Fatigued and hungry…" I answer, stopping to inhale as instructed.

"Fatigued and hungry? Exhale please?"

I obey his command. The doctor hums to himself as he carefully places his instrument around his neck. He browses the contents of his bag before pulling out a small flashlight. The tiny bulb lines up with an eye. A wrinkled thumb pushes the button. Pain flares. I narrow my eyes and hiss at the poor man. Dr. Hanasake and Isono both jump as I bat the flashlight away. My head rolls to the side.

"Gomen," I whisper, "gomen nasai."

The old doctor gently picks up the tool, whispering its current state. Isono mutters to him that I will cover the damage. I guess I broke it then… I opt for now forcing my body to stay still as my personal doctor decides to proceed with the medical examination. I comply with every order given, whether it was attempting to lift my dead arm or open my mouth. I've already caused enough problems, so it's best that I obey.

"Physically, Seto-san is healthy. His blood pressure is lower than it should be, but I think bed rest is what he needs." I listen to the old man explain. "But, to be sure, I am going to have to take a blood sample down to the lab for analysis."

The elderly man faces me once again. I watch him retrieve a small plastic container. From it, a small vial is produced. The doctor prepares it with careful hands. Even though I should be paying attention, I've lost interest in his work and turn my head away. Or it was until the needle sinks into my skin. My head rolls back towards him. My eyes scan his elderly hands cradling the vial. I stare at the little container, unaware of my tongue gliding over my lips. My eyes follow the red liquid until the doctor tucked it away. He bows politely while saying something about test results. As the door closes behind him, I realize something and hiss, "Shit…"

"Sir?"

I couldn't voice it, but something inside of me hungered…for blood.