I finally got around to re-editing my Angel series (which contains this story and it's sequel, Dark's Light Angel.) What you are about to read is the FIXED version.
But I want to take this moment to thank you for reading this. This story and it's sequel are the first two stories I have ever written, and I'm proud to know people read and review them still (even though they were written, like, three years ago!) So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you!
Now get ready, because this story is dark and fluffy at the same time. I hope you enjoy the adventure.
Yugi Mutou loudly cried out in pain as his father Saguaro slapped him across the face.
"I'm sorry! I didn't mean to!" He said, trying and failing to cover his face from his father's fist. He felt the sickening crunch of his nose as it broke. Dark, red blood started to fall out, and he held the edge of his sleeve to it. He knew he should just shut up, because talking always made it worse, but the words just kept tumbling out, a waterfall of apologies.
Before his mother had walked out on him and his drunken father when he was 7, she had hugged Yugi tight and told him that he wasn't bad, that it wasn't his fault.
"You are a wonderful, beautiful little boy, but…I just can't be here anymore. I'll come back as soon as I can and save you from him, too.
I promise. Until then, please make sure he stays happy. Don't let him get mad at you. I love you, my little Yugi."
Then she let go of Yugi, ruffled his hair with a small, sad, lost smile, and walked out the door. He never saw his mother again. She said he wasn't bad. She said it wasn't his fault. But lately, things felt the exact opposite. Yugi was suddenly shoved in the chest, and he fell to the ground, wincing. He didn't know just what he had done to make his father so angry with him this time. It was like it infuriated the man that Yugi even breathed. He felt hot, wet tears roll out of the corners of his eyes. Why was he even born?
"You little shit!" His father screamed, pulling his booted back and then letting it surge forward into Yugi's stomach. His breath flew out of his lungs, and he couldn't fill them again. "It's all your fault. Your mother left me because of you. I have a hard time at work because of you. My life is now a stinkin' pile of shit because of you!" He bent down and grabbed his son's shoulder, then dragged him to his feet.
'No...' Saguaro glared down into Yugi's amethyst eyes, the feature he hated most about him. His mother…he had his mothers eyes. The sixteen-year-old cowered into the wall, looking like he wanted to do nothing more than to melt into it. 'This boy is not my son. He is nothing. He is an it!' At that point, something had snapped in Saguaro. He laughed cruelly at Yugi, who turned his head away and wrinkle his nose at the smell of beer.
"Do you hear me?" Saguaro suddenly yelled, his hands gripping Yugi's arms painfully. Yugi kept his eyes down to the floor as he tried to breathe slowly through his mouth. Maybe it would all go away, just disappear if he stayed silent for once. He knew that if his father hadn't been holding him right now, his legs would've given out from the pain and agony he was consumed in. "You are an 'it'!" Saguaro continued. "You are a little bitch, and I'm sorry Michelle ever had you! I should've told her to give you up for adoption! Do you know why your mother left? Huh?" When he didn't receive a reply, he shook Yugi. "Answer me!"
"N-no, sir!" Yugi gasped out, feeling his arms going numb from Saguaro's hands cutting off the blood circulation. He knew that his mother left because of Saguaro – of course he did. But that didn't stop the small voice for saying it might've been something else, as well. Something like—
"It's because of you!" Saguaro spat out, and Yugi flinched. No…there was no way it was him… "You were driving your mother insane! She couldn't handle being a mother. She couldn't stand you! Maybe if I just finish you off…maybe she'll come back…" Saguaro's eyes widened, and he released the boy, who fell to the ground, giving a soft cry when his arm failed to catch him and his already bruised face hit the hard floor. "That's it..." Saguaro whispered, turning his back on the bruised and bleeding Yugi. He wrung his hands together and a crazed look came into his eyes. Something had definitely finally snapped in him. "After nine long years, I know how I will get Michelle back and solve all my problems..." He must get rid of Yugi. He walked into the kitchen, still mumbling to himself.
Yugi lay on the ground for a moment, unable to move with the pain. Tears still staining his cheeks, he finally dragged himself over to the wall and leaned against it. With slow, careful – and practiced – movements, he touched his nose, face, and arms and lifted his shirt up enough to see the redness of a starting bruise blooming across his skin. Everything hurt, but that was nothing new. You would think someone would get used to it after so many years, but that's not the case. Every hit was just like the first. It would never go away.
'Bruises...a broken nose...' Yugi laughed once without any humor and wrapped his arms around himself. Believe it or not, he's been beaten worse by Saguaro than this. 'What will I tell my friends now?' He squeezed his eyes shut at the very thought. Jou...Ryou...Marik...more tears pricked at his eyes. He was so good at hiding things from his best friends. With them, he was the short, hyper, always happy kid who didn't have any problems and didn't know what hate was. But he did know, and that was the saddest part. He knew what it was like to have problems. He knew exactly what hate was, and he held it for Saguaro. So much grief and anguish and hate ripped at his very core every day. God, If they knew what really happened to him at home…
They would go nuts.
Jou would kill Saguaro – or at the very least beat him within an inch of his life. Marik would probably help. Ryou and would be the one calling the police on Saguaro. He knew they were on his side, no matter what, but he couldn't bring himself to let them get involved. If anyone – especially his friends – got hurt by Saguaro, it would be his entire fault. Yugi held in his sob and slowly pulled himself up along the wall until he was on his feet. He placed a shaking hand to his stomach, hoping the bruise would heal quickly.
"Get in here!" He heard his father call from the kitchen. He cringed, but immediately started toward the kitchen. If he made Saguaro wait, it would be much worse. As soon as he opened the swinging door to the kitchen, he was knocked to the white tiled, linoleum floor.
"I'm going to fix everything." Saguaro muttered darkly, watching as Yugi picked himself up off the cold floor. He let one finger swipe over a long, silver knife that had previously been put away in the silverware drawer. Yugi's heart leapt to his throat, and he could only watch. He had never been so scared in his life – even when Saguaro had been beating him. Move, his body told him. Run. Get away! But he couldn't. He was paralyzed. He couldn't stomp down that illogical speck of trust that Saguaro wouldn't really do anything so bad to his own son. But as soon as Yugi saw his blank eyes, he knew his father actually would.
Before Yugi could relay the order to run from his brain to his feet, Saguaro lunged forward with the knife's sharpest end pointing at him. He plunged the knife into Yugi's left side. One full second passed between them, but it felt like a century. Then Yugi screamed. His immediate reaction was to twist away from the pain, but that caused the knife to move, and another loud, ear busting scream to come from his lips. Nothing could ever compare to the pain he had now. He's seen this on TV, but he never knew…never dreamed that being stabbed would hurt so much! He couldn't breathe, but yet air kept forcing it's way down his throat in quick gasps. A wave of nausea swept over him.
Saguaro pulled the knife out and simply watched as his son – the 'It' that he hated so – fell against the counter, clutching the gaping hole in his side, trying to erase away the blood and pain. How could he…? His own son! He never thought his father would actually do something like this. It was too taboo – he knew that Saguaro hated him, but to do this—! Yugi was quickly loosing feeling, and he slid down the counter to the floor, trying to keep his hand pressed on the wound. The blood was seeping through his white, button-up shirt, slipping through his fingers, quickly covering everything. Red drops fell on the floor. His whole side was on fire.
Saguaro just laughed and threw the knife into the sink, grinning wildly. "I finally did it! I finally solved all my problems! This calls for celebration." He eyed the figure on the ground. "Humph. You'll be dead even before I get to the bar." With another triumphant laugh, he inspected himself for blood and walked out of the kitchen. Yugi was only just aware of the front door slamming.
"D…damn…" He said, unable to push his voice over a hushed whisper. He couldn't die here. Not yet. There was so much he still needed to do. So much he still had to live for. In the times after Saguaro beat him, he would often daydream about someone coming and taking him away from here. Out of this house, out of this city, away from this life. Why wouldn't anyone save him?
Yugi suddenly became driven with his want to survive. He wouldn't give his father the satisfaction he seemed to get from killing his own son. He didn't need to daydream about some hero. He would save himself. He struggled to his feet and slowly made his way out of the kitchen. He opened the front door and felt the cool night air rush in. The breeze shifted his hair around and the light scent of the newly blooming cherry blossoms made his will to live stronger. It made him realize the enormity of what he was doing.
'What do I do now?' He asked himself. Where would he go? He shot a look back into the house, and instantly made up his mind. Anywhere was better than here. First he would go to the hospital, and then after that he would flee. He started to walk, heading towards the park. If he cut through there, he'd get to the hospital faster. But he could feel his body slowing down. His will wasn't enough to stop the blood and speed up his heart.
"No. I...have to...go on..." Yugi could barley speak, his tongue was heavy, and everything he did was taking so much effort. He leaned against a cherry blossom tree, trying to regain his footing so he could move on. Everything was moving – weaving in and out. The edges of his vision were a blurred black. He suddenly slumped over and fell to the ground. 'Who am I kidding?' He thought lightly. He knew he was dying, and he couldn't stop it. Nobody was going to save him. He was going to die, and right now he knew nobody but his three friends would care. He let his head drop down against the earth, his cheek pressed against the prickly grass. All he could do is stare out at the park that was only lit by a few street lamps and the light of the full moon. He wondered how much longer he had to enjoy it.
As he lay there, a shadow fell across him. His eyes flitted over to see that a dark figure was blocking the moon's light from hitting him. It was probably a homeless guy. Who knows, maybe he was waiting for Yugi to die so he could check his pockets for money. It was almost funny, though. The figure's silhouette looked just like Yugi's shadow. He knew he was almost dead then because he was hallucinating.
"Who are you?" A voice asked. It was deep and soft…smooth like a babbling brook deep in the forest. It was the sweetest lullaby to Yugi, so he decided to humor himself one last time with this hallucination.
"Nobody worth…remembering," Yugi managed, giving a weak smile. This was certainly an interesting way to die. The figure bent down, and because of his failing vision and shadows covering the figure's face, Yugi couldn't tell what it looked like.
"What happened to you?" The voice was appalled and horrified. Yugi felt a soft pressure close to the stab wound, and he sucked in a sharp breath through his now gritted teeth. The pressure immediately vanished. Fingers slid through his hair at the top of his head and stayed there. "Who did this?"
"I was...stabbed." The touch of the hallucination felt so real. Yugi couldn't hold in the sobs anymore. He cried, feeling his face contort. Every sob that ripped through him hurt.
"Oh, god…I'll help. Don't worry about anything. You'll be ok."
"It...doesn't matter…I'm...dying." But the confirmation from him actually saying it out loud made him cry harder. Why was his mind being so cruel to him? Couldn't he just die in peace? Why was his imagination torturing him?
"No." the man's voice was strong and sure. "You won't. I'll save you." Yugi only shook his head, but it barely moved. The blank was closing in. He could only see so little, now.
"Just...leave me…alone." Yugi tried to yell, getting angry at his own mind for conjuring up such an image. He hadn't closed his eyes, but almost everything was black. He felt himself being lifted off of the ground and into the air, but he couldn't bring himself to care. He didn't feel anymore pain, and he wondered how his mind could be getting clearer as he got weaker. He was being pressed against something solid and warm. The warmth reminded him of his mom's hugs before everything fell apart.
"No." The voice said strongly. "You're not going to die."
Yugi felt wind wrapping around him.
"So what…do I call…you?"
"My name is Atem." Came the short reply. Yugi didn't even know if he had heard right. Suddenly he closed his eyes and just let go, tired of playing this game with his mind. He felt himself go limp, and then there was nothing.