Chapter I : First sighting.
Summary: When sixteen year old Yugi Motou meets a mysterious stranger named Yami her world is turned upside down.
Parings: YamiXYugi, RyouxBakura, MarikxMalik JoeyxKaiba.
Warnings: Gender bent characters, mild swearing and violence
Sixteen-year-old Yugi Motou walked down the snowy forest path, she had tri-colored hair, which spiked down in the middle-back range, and golden bangs that framed two amethyst eyes. She was wearing tight blue jeans, and a black tank-top with a blue jacket. She was short for her age, looking like she was fourteen instead of sixteen. But, unfortunately for her shortness is in her blood.
She liked walking through the woods, it would clear her thoughts. Sometimes she would walk with her friends but, for today, she was alone. While walking, and thinking she didn't even see the crimson eyes watching her from the darkness of the trees.
Picking up some snow she made a snow ball, before throwing it at a nearby tree, watching as the snow fell off slowly. Seemingly satisfied with her work she dusted off the snow with a frown before sitting down under her favorite willow tree.
'Heba doesn't understand, he's always so protective. I mean that's nice that he'd do anything for my happiness but sometimes it gets annoying'. She thought to herself, about Heba her older brother.
Heba who had been born two years before her but for some reason he looked exactly like she did. Even down to the shade of eye color. A fact that caused most people to mistake them for identical twins. Because of her parent's death Heba was made her legal guardian, which he took quite seriously. Too seriously in her opinion, though she loved him fiercely.
She sighed and buried her head into her knees. Tears started to fall down her face as she thought of how she only had friends that her brother deemed to be right. And of how every time she tried to get a boyfriend Heba always chased them off. Declaring that they weren't wright for his little sister and she could do better.
She was so in her own world that she failed to see the wolf staring at her through a gap in the branches of the willow. After a moment, the wolf came closer, but as it did a twig snapped causing Yugi to look up. "W-who's there?" She said fearful, "Show yourself." She demanded after a pause.
The majestic wolf came out in the open growling, slightly in case she did anything to harm him. The wolf had thick black fur with streaks of gold and crimson, and it had two beautiful crimson eyes which were staring at her with an unreadable expression. Suddenly the wolf darted off though the trees with surprising speed and disappeared into the forest.
"Well that was weird." Yugi said to herself then she looked at her watch. "Crap! Heba's going to kill me!" she got up and ran back the way she came heading for home.
When Yugi arrived she hoped that Heba wasn't home from work, but her hopes were squashed when she saw the old green ford pick-up truck setting in the driveway.
She crept silently up to the door, hoping that her brother was at least sleeping and not sitting there reading the newspaper like he always did. But again, her hopes were squashed, for when she opened the door he looked up from the paper he was reading.
"Where have you been?" Heba asked, frowning. He got up and walked over to her looking down at her sternly. "Well?" he asked again when she didn't answer right away. Yugi gulped.
"Um I was…err…walking through the forest, and I-" but before she could finish Heba interrupted.
"You went where?" he demanded looking both alarmed and angry. "Yugi do you know how dangerous the forest is? Wild animals could be hiding and attack you at moments glance." He said with a scowl.
"I-I know Heba. I just wanted some fresh air, I didn't think that it would cause any trouble if I just went for a little while." She said looking at her shoes.
"Did you go alone?" Wincing sheepishly, she slowly nodded knowing full well what would happen if he found out if she went alone. "Why did you go alone? Couldn't you have gone with Joey? Or Ryou? I'd be okay if you even went with Marik. But no, you went alone!" He said his voice rising.
"Heba calm down. I didn't get hurt, no animals came, well except a wolf-"
"There was a Wolf! Are you hurt? Did it come close to you?" Heba cut across her again grabbing her shoulders tightly.
Yugi just shook her head. "It didn't come close to me; it just looked at me then ran off."
Heba gave her a skeptical look. "It just 'looked at you and then ran off'?" He repeated his voice incredulous.
She glared at him "Yes Heba. It did."
"Okay, okay I believe you." Heba said rising his hands in surrender. Then noticing the slightly faraway look that was tinged with a trace of pain that Yugi had he asked "Yugi what's the matter? Something happen at school?"
Yugi paused for a moment, but then at thought of the amount of fussing that Heba would do shook her head before heading upstairs. Not noticing Heba's concerned look before he went back to reading his newspaper with a sigh.
Yugi was in her room on her bed doing her favorite hobby, drawing. Like most artists, she didn't think her drawings were all that good. But like most artists she failed to see the true beauty of what she created. Sighing she put her drawing down; it was of the wolf she saw in the forest. Just as she was thinking of how to do the shading her cell-phone rang.
"Hello?" She answered with a smile after seeing who it was.
"Yugi, I heard what happened! Are you okay?" Her smile turned into more of a grimace at the sound of Ryou's worried voice. Even though Ryou was always looking out for her friends and the most compassionate person Yugi knew she tended to over-react to things.
"Yes, Ryou I'm fine, there's nothing to worry about." She said hoping to calm her friend down before she jumped to any conclusions. "How did you find out though?"
"Nothing to worry about? Yugi you were physically assaulted, how can there be 'nothing to worry about'?" Ryou said somewhat hysterically. "And Joey called. I can't believe that guy would do such a thing." She seethed.
"Ryou, calm down. It's over, and besides I doubt he would want to do anything like that again now that Marik's through with him." Yugi said with a smirk that soon turned to a frown as she remembered what had happened earlier that day…
It was the end of school; and Yugi waited for her two friends Joey and Marik so they could all walk home. She was waiting at their usual spot which was just around the corner from the school.
Just then a big guy sauntered over, a leer on his ugly face. The guy looked drunker than a skunk. And smelled just as bad too. "Hey doll, why don't you come and hang out with me. I could show you something real nice."
"I'm not your 'doll' so get lost." Yugi said glaring at the guy, her nose wrinkling at the stench of stale beer and cigarette smoke.
The smile fell from the guys face only to be replaced by a scowl that made his face look twice as ugly. "I suggest that you rethink your decision. Unless, you want to get hurt." He said reaching for her shoulder.
Yugi ducked out of the way, thoughts of her self-defense class coming to her mind. She initially had not wanted to take the class but Heba had insisted and right now she was glad for his persistence.
The man grinned, his smile showing crooked teeth that were yellow. "You've got some spunk kid, this should be fun."
He reached forward again but she ducked away one more time. Unfortunately, she hadn't been paying as much attention to her surroundings as she should have. Thus, the next time she tried to dodge the man's advances she ended up with her back against the wall and no way out.
The man's smile widened when he saw that she had been cornered. "Not so tough now are you doll-face?"
Fear gripped Yugi's insides, stories of women being taken advantage of filling her head. She tried to stay focused and remember her training but couldn't quite remember now that the man was so close. Before she could do much more than gasp the man crashed his lips to hers.
Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Her brain screamed at the feeling of this disgusting man forcing himself on her. It was only when she felt the guys slimy tongue slide across her lip that she forced herself to act.
Bracing herself against the wall, she pushed against the man as hard as she could, causing him to stumble backwards slightly.
"Oh, come on doll you know you liked it." The man said smugly, his eyes hazy with desire.
Wiping her hand across her face she glared at the piece of filth that was before her. "You are a disgusting PIG! I can't imagine anyone who would have liked kissing you."
"You little—" He roared backhanding her across her face. The force of the hit was enough that she fell backwards hitting her head on the alley wall. Black dots flashed across her vision for a moment then everything came back into focus.
"You take that back!" The man snarled. Just as the man opened his mouth to say something he was interrupted by a voice.
"Is everything okay Yugi?"
Yugi could have cried she was so happy to hear her friends voice. "Marik!" She cried in relief looking up at her friend.
Marik Ishtar looked at the scene before her. At the sight of Yugi's bruised and battered face she kicked the man in his 'family jewels' causing him to go down, hard.
"You sick disgusting pervert!" Marik yelled kicking the man again and again. "How dare you touch my best friend. I should just castrate you right here!"
Yugi watched as her friend continued kicking the crap out of the man before her. She guessed she was a bit in shock because she didn't notice Joey's presence until she spoke.
"Yug? You okay? Did he hurt you?"
Yugi jumped frightened amethyst eyes locking with concerned honey-brown ones. She nodded. "Y-yeah. I-I'm okay. He didn't hurt me."
Joey snorted. "Yugi, your lip is bleeding."
Yugi blinked, bringing a hand up to prod softly at her lip she was surprised to find that she was in fact bleeding. "Oh."
Joey bit her lip in concern. "Alright that's it I'm taking you to the doctor. I think you might have a concussion." She gently took Yugi by the shoulders, frowning when Yugi flinched at the contact.
"I'm fine Joey." Yugi said stubbornly.
Joey snorted again. "Right, try saying that without flinching." Then she turned to Marik who was still currently kicking the man. "Oi, Marik! Knock it off we need to get Yugi to the hospital."
Marik stopped turning to look at her friends. "Yugi are you okay?" Marik asked but then shook her head just as fast. "No, you're not okay what am I talking about. You wouldn't be going to the hospital if you were okay. Stupid. Stupid."
Yugi sighed slightly. "Marik, I'm fine."
Joey and Marik shared at knowing glance over her head. "Right."
And with that they headed off to the doctor.
Yugi snapped out of her flashback to Ryou calling her name frantically over the phone. "Huh? Sorry Ryou, I…must have spaced out there." Yugi said awkwardly, hand coming up to scratch the back of her head from habit.
Ryou sighed. "It's fine Yugi, just…don't scare me like that." Her voice trembled slightly and Yugi could hear her stifle a sob. "When Joey called, I was so worried. I thought something terrible had happened and couldn't bear the thought of you hurt. You're my best friend and I don't know what I would do if something happened to you."
Yugi bit her lip feeling guilty about worrying her friend. But she found it hard to talk about. "I'm sorry Ryou. It's just…so hard. Everything is so…fresh. If I close my eyes I can still smell his stench. Still feel his grubby hands…" She trailed off into silence, unable to suppress the shudder that traveled down her spine.
Ryou paused for a moment. "Well, I know it's hard to talk about now…but if you ever need a someone to talk to, you know you can talk to anyone of us." Another pause. "Including Heba."
Yugi let out a half laugh half sob. "Are you kidding me? Heba? He'd probably try to kill the guy. Which would land him in jail and then where would I be? In foster care. Besides he has enough stuff on his plate. I don't want to burden him."
"Yugi that's not true!" Ryou blurted. "You are in no way a burden nor have you ever been. Sure, Heba will be mad but he will be there for you because he loves you."
"Does he though?" Yugi asked half serious. "I mean all he ever does is tell me how to live my life. He just treats me like a child." She paused a sob escaping her despite her best efforts. "I…I can't even remember the last time he told me he loves me."
Ryou's heart broke hearing the sad tone of her friend. "No Yugi, I promise you that is not true. He is only trying to make it so you have the best in life. Sure, he might not go about it in the proper fashion but he does try." She paused trying to think of how to get this through her friend's stubborn head. "Maybe you should to?"
A sigh left Yugi's mouth. Deep down she knew that Ryou was right but sometimes it was hard. "Yeah. I guess." She looked around her room for something to change the subject. Spying her drawing from before she smiled. "Hey, did I tell you about the most gorgeous wolf I saw today?"
Ryou gasped. "A wolf?! Where did you see a wolf?"
Yugi winced realizing her mistake. "Heh…funny story…"
"I'm waiting." Ryou said sternly, although her voice was tinged with a bit of amusement.
Hearing this Yugi hastened to answer, knowing that she would get a lecture if she didn't. "So, after Joey and Marik dragged me to the hospital, against my will I might add-"
Ryou snorted knowing of the intense dislike her friend had for hospitals. "Noted."
Yugi's lips twitched into a grin. "Cheeky. Anyway, so after they drug me to that horrid place we started to walk home. But then Joey got a call from Serenity, saying that she was going to be in town and Marik remembered that Odion needed her help doing something. So, I-"
"So, you being the idiot that you are, told them that it was fine for you to walk home even though you had just barely been attacked because you were alone." Ryou interrupted her voice dryer than the Sahara.
"Um…yes?" Yugi said sheepishly, now realizing how incredibly stupid she had been. But she had already felt like a burden and didn't want to make matters worse for her friends.
"Yugi." Ryou said, her voice pinched with annoyance. "You can't just do things like that. What if that guy had come back, but this time he had friends?"
"I know, I know!" Yugi burst out, surprising Ryou into silence. She sighed. "I'm sorry Ryou, it's just…I just couldn't…I don't know."
Ryou's voice softened, knowing that her friend would never do something to hurt herself intentionally. But sometimes she just didn't use her head. "It's okay, just…try not to do it again."
"Yes ma'am." Yugi said meekly.
"Good, now tell me about this wolf you saw." Ryou said with a smile knowing how much her friend loved animals.
Yugi brightened. "Oh, my gosh Ryou, it was the most beautiful wolf I have ever seen!" She gushed. "It was black and had crimson and gold streaks in its fur."
"Hmm, unusual coloring. Aren't wolves usually just one color?" Ryou mused.
"That's what I thought." Yugi agreed. "But its eyes were stranger."
"Why what about them? Was one a different color or something?"
Yugi shook her head before remembering that they were on the phone and her friend couldn't see her. "No, they were the same color. But that's just it, they were crimson."
"Okay that's…a little creepy." Ryou commented dryly. "What, was it a werewolf or some kind of demon?"
Yugi laughed. "Please, you and I both know those kinds of things don't exist." She paused when she heard Heba call her from downstairs. "Looks like Heba want's something. I better go."
"Well I won't keep you." Ryou said with a small smile. "Tell Heba I said hi, okay?"
"Will do," Yugi said with a laugh. Ryou was always Heba's favorite of her friends.
"Oh, and Yugi?"
"Remember what I said about before." Ryou said wanting her friend to talk to someone.
"I…I will," Yugi said with a sigh. "And Ryou? Thanks."
Ryou smiled. "You're welcome. See you tomorrow."
"Bye," Yugi said as she hung up. She looked up to see Heba standing in the door way. "Ryou says hi,"
Heba smiled. "Tell her I said hi as well."
Yugi nodded before looking at him suspiciously. "What's up?"
Heba's jaw clenched slightly. "Oh, nothing. Except I just got a call from Hopewell county, saying that they just wanted to get an update on how you are doing." Yugi's eyes widened which in turn caused Heba's own to narrow. "So, mind telling me how you are doing and why they needed an update?"
Yugi sighed, well looks like the cat was out of the bag now. "Um…I might've not been exactly truthful to you when I said that nothing happened at school. Or rather, after school." She paused biting her lip in thought.
"What happened?" Heba demanded sharply. Then seeing her flinch his face softened. "Yugi, come on. You know you can tell me anything."
Yugi sighed looking at her brother's worried face. She motioned for her brother to sit down next to her. Once he was seated she took a deep breath and began. "After school I was waiting for Joey and Marik like I always do. Ryou had already gone home, so it was just the three of us. Well, as I was waiting for them to come this…this man came up." Her voice trembled her fear from before coming back. "He…he wanted me to go with him. Called me doll-face."
Out of the corner of her eye she saw her brother stiffen, so she continued quickly wanting to get it over with. "When I told him to get lost he-" Her voice broke for a second causing her brother to put an arm around her shoulder. "He tried to grab me. I dodged, remembering the classes you made me go to, but he just kept coming. Finally, he grabbed me and forced me to kiss him." She shuddered, the feeling of the man's mouth against hers still fresh.
"I'm going to kill him," Heba muttered his face murderous. Then at the sight of his still trembling sister he forced himself to calm down. "What…. what happened next?" He asked not wanting to put his sister through this again but still needing to know if she was okay.
"I pushed him off me. I didn't want him anywhere near me." Yugi said shivering slightly at the thought of what could've happened. "He was pretty proud of himself. I told him he was a disgusting pig and wondered how anyone could ever enjoy kissing him." She looked up into her brother's eyes. "He backhanded me across the face."
Heba growled low in his throat. "That's it. I'm going to kill him. No first I'm going to cut off his tongue and a few other organs… and then I'll kill him."
Yugi looked up at her brother with a small smirk. "You might only have to cut out his tongue, I'm not sure what's left of the other…ahem… equipment after Marik was through with him."
Heba snickered slightly. "How bad was it?"
Yugi paused. "Well, I don't think he'll be able to go lower than a soprano in the future."
Heba howled with laughter. "That sounds like Marik."
Yugi's smile widened and she couldn't help the giggle that escaped. It was good to see Heba laugh again. They hadn't had a moment like this in a while.
Heba's snickers tapered off before he became serious. "Are you sure you're okay Gigi?" He asked purposely using the old nickname of hers to get her to smile.
"Yes," Yugi said biting her lip. "I'll be okay Hebi. Just…can I stay with you tonight?" She looked down at her bedspread to avoid his eyes.
"Of course, you can" Heba said with a smile. "Now come on, I made Alfredo. I know it's your favorite."
"Heba?" Yugi called as he left the room. Heba turned back tilting his head in question. "I...I love you."
Heba's face beamed. "I love you too Gigi."
"So Yugi, what happened yesterday?" Joey asked looking at her best friend. Joey had long blond hair. Today she was wearing a green sweater-dress and blue leggings. "I mean have you told Heba yet?" She clarified at the looks that were sent her way from Marik and Ryou.
Yugi sighed, picking at her lunch. "Yeah, the hospital called him. They wanted to get an update on how I was doing."
"Oh boy, I bet that went over well." Marik winced in sympathy.
They were at lunch sitting under their favorite sakura tree. Despite the fact that there was still snow on the ground it was somewhat of a tradition to sit under the old sakura tree so there they were, with a thick blanket to combat the cold of course. Joey and Marik were wanting to see if Yugi was doing any better and Ryou wanted to see if Yugi had taken her advice.
"About as well as you could guess," Yugi said dryly. "Lots of death threats and promises of bodily harm, I was just surprised he didn't grab his WCC."
Joey looked at her blankly. "His what?"
"Wilson Combat Commander," Marik said before Yugi could even open her mouth. "1911 in .45 ACP."
Ryou looked at Marik in amusement. "How would you know that?"
Marik scratched her head looking sheepish. "Okay so I have a gun fetish. It's not that weird." Her friends just shared a look before bursting into laughter.
Marik, in addition to liking guns a bit too much to be healthy, also had a love for jewelry. Mainly gold. Today she was wearing only her earrings and necklace that she never went without. A grey hoodie that boldly stated 'Yes I know I'm fabulous but no pictures please' covered her shirt and she wore black skinny jeans as well. Her messy platinum blond hair was tied, barely, in a high ponytail.
Once everyone calmed down enough Ryou turned to Yugi. "So, tell me more about this mysterious wolf from hell." She said as she pushed her white hair out of her eyes.
Ryou, unlike Marik, Joey or even Yugi was the 'girly girl' of the bunch. Her hair was always perfect and she always had the perfect outfit. Today she was sporting a lovely black and gray stripped long sleeved tunic that went down to mid-thigh. White washed jeans with a pair of black ankle-high boots completed her outfit.
Ryou yelped as Marik's milk spewed from her mouth and all over the albino's lap. "Gross! Marik!"
Marik ignored the irritate albino in favor for pinning her much smaller friend with a glare. "You didn't say anything about this when I called you last night."
Yugi smiled sheepishly. "I didn't want you to worry?" She said though it sounded more like a question.
"What happened?" Joey demanded before Marik could open her mouth.
Yugi sighed, this was why she didn't tell her two friends about the wolf. Knowing full well something like this would happen. It was bad enough when it was just Heba who was freaking out. "Nothing happened guys, I just took the old ranger's path on the way home-"
"You did what?" All three friends yelled
Yugi looked at Ryou in confusion. "I thought I told you this already."
Ryou sighed pinching the bridge of her nose. "No, you told me about seeing the wolf but you didn't say anything about going down that horrible path."
Yugi winced, realizing her friend was right. "Oh, oops. I'm sorry I thought I did."
"Anyway," Marik prompted with a smirk. "The wolf?"
"Right," Yugi said sheepishly. "So, I took the path and then stopped at the willow to clear my head. I knew I had to think through a few things before I faced Heba knowing how he was going to be."
Ryou nodded remembering the conversation that they had had the previous day.
"So, as I was thinking I heard a twig snap," Yugi paused for a moment debating on how to put this. "I was scared that it was the man from before or one of his friends but it just turned out to be a wolf. The most beautiful wolf I have ever seen." Her voice trailing off, mind once again thinking back on the exotic beauty that the wolf held.
"Oh, there she goes…day dreaming about animal life again." Marik said with a smirk causing the tri-colored girl to glare at her. "I'm surprised she hasn't drawn fan art of it yet." Yugi's cheeks pinked. "No way." Marik said with a snicker. "You so did! Hahahaha. That's classic."
Yugi pushed her friend playfully. "Shut up."
"I want to see!" Joey said jumping up and down like she was having a sugar rush.
"Calm down Joey," Ryou said her doe-brown eyes crinkling with mirth. She then turned to Yugi. "I think you should show Joey before she hurts herself."
Joey stopped turning to glare at her albino friend. "Shut up."
With a mock scowl Yugi got her sketch book out and handed it over with a sigh. "Here."
The three girls crowded around the small book and gasped in amazement of the drawing. It was stunning. A majestic wolf was standing in the shadows of the forest with silver mist swirling around it. Crimson eyes swirled with a mysterious and intelligent glint. Perfectly accenting the tri-colored fur in its coat.
"This…this is beautiful." Joey breathed looking at it in awe.
Ryou turned to look at her friend with a smile. "Well, I guess you are right Yugi. It doesn't look like a demon at all."
Yugi laughed hitting her friend's shoulder softly. "Shut up dork."
Marik was frowning at the picture seemingly deep in thought. "You know, you really should put this in the art show next week. I'd wager that Ms. Cadbury would have kittens if she saw this."
Joey looked at Marik blankly. "Why would she have kittens? I thought she's allergic to cats?"
Marik gave Joey a flat look. "It's a figure of speech."
Yugi blushed at the thought of her art on display for all to see. "I don't know… Do you really think it's that good?"
Marik, Ryou and Joey all nodded vigorously. "YES."
"Fine. I'll put it in."