Chapter I: The Royal Road Damaged

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the latest in the story series that began with "A Guy's Worst Nightmare!" This latest story begins an alternate of what we know as Seasons 3 and 4. Thanks to the events of our previous tale in this cycle, "Nightmare Resurrection," you all know that Yubel is no longer a threat to the gang and the young men from the four academies will not have the fates that they had in the canon Season 3 or 4. Even Professor Thelonius Viper isn't a threat now. But just because those threats have been successfully neutralized doesn't mean the seasons of danger are over for our gang. So hang on for quite a ride!

Disclaimer: Peach Wookiee and 15animefreak15 do not own the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise or any characters. Annie Hanson is the property of Peach Wookiee, while Rosa Jimenez and Violet Haverbrook belong to 15animefreak15.

Authors' notes and warnings: This story will contain some spoilers for the as-yet-undubbed Season 4 with some clear modifications. There will be some intense and semi-adult situations since we're dealing with four engaged couples and, thanks to a unique situation, there will be cohabitation. The biggest change of all will be that Jaden is not moody! We hope you enjoy our changes. Thank you!

Warning for Chapter One: Intense nightmare images. Considering the stuff the girls dealt with in "Summer Love, Summer Fears" and "Nightmare Resurrection," it's no wonder they'd have nightmares.

It was the middle of the night at Duel Academy in the fall semester of 2018. Ordinarily in the Obelisk Blue dormitory, all was peaceful at this time of night, but four of the female students were anything but at peace. Considering the summer that they'd had, it was no wonder that they could not sleep.

In one dorm on the first floor, Alexis Rhodes tossed and turned. Her normally sleek blonde hair was disheveled and her face was sweaty. She was trapped in a horrific nightmare...

—Dream— "Annie, you have to hang on!" I plead with my friend and classmate. We've been kidnapped by Camula, a vampire, and Annie already has a heart condition. She won't survive this captivity, but she's still here. And then we're used as bait...Annie saves us, but love, Jaden has to save everybody from...Oh NO! Yubel, PLEASE LET HIM GO! Please! NO! I watch her kill him and then kill everyone around us one by one... –End dream—

Alexis had had nightmares like this ever since returning to school, and so again, she woke up screaming. Her caramel brown eyes were wide with terror, and her chest was heaving. 'I… I can't stay alone,' she thought, grabbing a favorite blanket as she got out of bed. And so she got up and headed out of her room to the elevator to the third floor.

Alexis wasn't the only one who'd been having nightmares. A few rooms away, the fiery student from Spain, Rosa Jimenez, was locked in a terrifying dream of her own. Her olive skin was flushed and her ruddy brown hair was also disheveled as she writhed...

--Dream— It's so peaceful in this field, with only Tyson and I here on a picnic. Suddenly, a hiss breaks the silence, and a giant snake appears. Fiery fangs threaten to swallow Tyson in their grasp, and I push him away. The fire courses through my veins, but then Tyson defeats the monster and saves me. But now...I'm helpless as I watch him duel my ex-fiancé in a shadow game. I'm repeatedly shocked as he takes damage, but only care about him. "Ty-Ty!" I call out, but he doesn't hear me as the shadows swallow him whole. My vision darkens as the shadows turn on me, Death's cold grip on my shoulder... –End dream— Her eyes snapped wide open, beads of sweat trickling down her face as she screamed in terror.

Meanwhile in another room on the third floor, Annie Hanson writhed in her bed... -dream- "SYRUS!!" I see him dueling and fighting for me. He's fighting against the vampire that imprisoned his brother and nearly killed his best friend. He's fighting for my life and Alexis's now. I don't want him to get hurt, and I know Camula isn't going to fight fair, so I summon my favorite monster and try to turn into my hero, Sailor Moon...but then...I fall...I hear Syrus screaming and I hear a splash as I hit the water of the river. It's Sy, trying to save me. But then a current of water drags us both down. The next thing I see is both of our own funeral! NO! -End dream- Annie woke up, screaming a single word... "NOOOO!" Tears rolled down her cream-white cheeks from her big blue eyes, while her short brown hair was plastered to her head.

Such a scream normally would have woken Annie's roommate, Violet Haverbrook. But she was fighting her own subconscious battle...

-Dream- I'm running through a deserted hallway in my old school. I don't know why I'm there, but my heart's pounding as I hear the footsteps mimicking my own. "Leave me alone!" I scream, to no avail as the scene becomes a dirty alleyway and the shadow chasing me grows closer. I'm forced to stop as two more shadows appear before me, forcing me to turn around and face my pursuer. The shadows clear to reveal Mike, and I shiver as I try backing away. "G-Go away," I stutter fearfully, when my back hits a wall.

Chains wrap around me, holding me in place as Mike becomes a tiger. It lunges, and suddenly Bastion appears in an effort to protect me. But he's dead in an instant, and the tears fall from my eyes. "No...Bastion," I whimper as the beast rounds on me. All I can do is cry and stare at his bloody form on the ground as the tiger devours me whole... -End dream-

She snapped awake, sitting up and clutching her bed sheets. Tears were in her bright green eyes as she screamed her fiancé's name for the fifth night in a row. Her plum-colored hair was standing on end and her face was pale.

Annie, wide awake, got out of bed, headed to her door and looked across the bedroom suite to her best friend, tears still running down her own face. "V-Violet?" she called, terrified.

Violet was shivering, and looked back from her bed to her best friend. "A-Annie," she replied, just as frightened.

"You, too?" the blue-eyed girl asked, heading to her best friend's door as Violet got up from her bed and met her friend. Violet nodded, trying to calm down and slow her racing heart and breathing. Annie hugged her. "We can't go on like this...We have to do something..."

"Y-Yeah...I can't sleep anymore without...the nightmare," Violet answered and hugged back tightly.

"I...I'm going to call Miss Fontaine...I don't feel good enough to go to class in morning..." Annie felt sick to her stomach. "Maybe she can give us sleeping pills for now..."

Violet nodded. "I can't even stay awake in class much anymore..."

Just then, there was a knock at the door. Annie went to it. "Alexis? Rosa? What are you guys doing here?" she asked as they came in.

Alexis sighed. "We heard each other screaming for about the fifth night in a row. Since we both have been having nightmares....we wanted to see if you two were," she explained.

"Yeah...we're going to call Miss Fontaine so she can dope us up..." Then Annie turned ten shades of green and charged to the bathroom and threw up her dinner. She was so exhausted, her body was going crazy.

Violet sighed and went into the bathroom to help her best friend. She herself hadn't gotten sick yet, but she was dead tired and her nerves were shot. Alexis groaned and practically collapsed into a chair, Rosa following suit on the nearby couch. All of their bodies were reaching their limit.

Annie panted as soon as she had emptied herself out. " can I gain my weight back if this keeps happening? Violet...I'm sorry," she apologized. During the summer, Annie had gone from a healthy 125 pounds to 95 pounds. She had gained some weight after the surgery that had saved her life, but thanks to the past two weeks, was now back to 95 pounds.

Violet stifled a yawn before answering, rubbing Annie's back comfortingly. "Don't apologize, Annie. It's not like you're doing it on purpose," she replied, unable to kneel any longer and forced to sit lest her legs give out from under her.

Annie managed to get a cup of water and wash her mouth out. "Oh...we can't go on anymore..." She scooted weakly back to Violet. "Let's call Miss Fontaine...we aren't going to class like this," she moaned.

Violet nodded, and used the sink to pull herself back onto her feet. She helped Annie onto hers, and the two girls went back out into the room. Alexis and Rosa were half-asleep, but still too scared to actually let it take them. "Think you can call her, Annie?" Violet asked tiredly.

Annie nodded, and dialed Miss Fontaine's extension number. Downstairs, Fonda Fontaine awoke to her phone ringing. "This is Miss Fontaine," the red-headed gray-eyed nurse greeted.

"Miss Fontaine? It's Annie Hanson," the sick girl said weakly.

"Annie, dear, are you all right?" Miss Fontaine asked, hearing the exhaustion and fear in the young woman's voice.

"No... in fact...none of us are. Rosa, Violet, Alexis and I are all up in my room and we're all exhausted. We haven't been able to sleep in"

"Calm down, honey...I'll be right up! You just hang in there." Miss Fontaine said goodbye to Annie, and grabbed her medical bag, racing up the stairs to Annie and Violet's bedroom suite.

By the time she had reached the room, Violet and Annie were laying on their beds. Alexis and Rosa were still in the same place they had been the whole time. "It's unlocked," Violet called when she heard the knock.

Miss Fontaine came right into the living area and moved to Annie first. "Oh, you poor've only been back two weeks...Has this been going on that long?" she asked, taking Annie's pulse.

Annie nodded tiredly. "Yeah..."

"Well, none of you are going to class tomorrow. I'm going to give all four of you a sleeping pill and the nightmares won't follow. Sound good?" the nurse asked, knowing that she had no options but to do that. The sedative she had was very strong and it would put them into deep sleep where they wouldn't be fighting their bad dreams.

"Sounds good to me," Alexis murmured in reply, still half-asleep. The Queen of Obelisk Blue had dark rings under her eyes and couldn't summon the strength to move. Rosa, too, had dark smudges under her eyes and had no energy.

Miss Fontaine got all four girls into Annie's and Violet's beds and soon they were fast asleep thanks to the medicine. Annie was clearly fighting illness from her fatigue and Violet and the other two were heading that way. Miss Fontaine had kept a close eye on the girls since their return to school, but somehow, they had made sure she didn't know how exhausted they were. She checked Annie and Violet's bathrooms and discovered their supplies of concealing make-up. 'They've been covering it up,' she thought, tiptoeing back into the bedrooms and covering the four girls with extra blankets. "You four sleep now," she whispered, sitting in a chair and beginning a long vigil.

So the gang has returned to Duel Academy, but the events of the summer and early fall wrecked havoc on the girls' dreams. Sigmund Freud once said that "Dreams are the 'royal road' to the unconscious mind," and it appears that the girls' "royal roads" have suffered damage. For now, they're knocked out and can rest, but being "doped up" cannot last forever. What will the guys do when they realize just how bad their fiancées have had it for two weeks? Next time, find out in "Discovery." So until then, please read, review and stay tuned! Thank you, everyone! And remember, your reviews get sent on to 15animefreak15!