Rage and Grace Chapter 2.

Hey everyone. It seems that just about everyone found the new story okay, and I hope you did because I've deleted the original Rage and Grace. It's still on my computer though… ;~)

Got a new laptop so Updates should go faster now that I am not playing musical computers anymore. It's one of those little netbooks. I love the thing, but the shift key is so small. I keep hitting the \ key instead of the shift key. And of course my spell check does not pick up on that…

Thanks for all your support you guys. I checked the mail count on my inbox, and there is well over 100 messages in there. Every single one of them from you guys. Thanks!

And with out any further a due Rage and Grace chapter 2.

It's Yugi's turn!

//////

Pain, so much Pain.

Everything hurts.

Each and every nerve is on fire

Head pounding, wrists and ankles throbbing, neck in constant stabbing pain.

What does not being in pain even feel like? Probably nice…

Hungry, Oh so very Hungry… haven't eaten in so long… Thirsty too

Can't remember what it's like…

Yugi groaned as he floated in that in between line of consciousness and unconsciousness. He was teetering on the edge, trying to fight off his return to consciousness for as long as he possibly could. Yugi didn't want to open his eyes. He knew if he did, the momentary peace he had gained from passing out would be shattered.

It was the first time in his life that Yugi actually looked forward to passing out. Even in the days of having the living day lights beat out of him at school, he hated passing out. Who knows what they would do when he was out. But here, everything stopped. They all wanted him to be awake for their 'research' or whatever they were doing. All the pain came to a stop when he passed out.

A small gasp slipped past Yugi's lips as he drew in a too large gasp of air through the tight collar around his neck. The metal dug into the broken skin happily, ripping open all previous scabs. The breath he had been trying to draw in, slipped back into the room.

'Too tight.

'Too tight!

'TOO TIGHT!'

Breathing was more difficult now than every before. Worry made each breath he took larger and far more painful than the one before.

Had they heard him?

Did they know he was awake?

Or maybe, for the first time in ages, the gods would hear him and take pity.

Maybe…

Just maybe, the gods would have mercy and allow his soft cry go unheard and allow him so more peace before the torture resumed.

But the gods graces had left Yugi a long time ago. And it seemed they had no intention of returning any time soon.

Yugi tensed as he felt someone's presence come up beside the steel bed that he was strapped to. His breath caught in his throat as he felt the person's warm breath steam over his face, filling his nostrils with the foul stench of their breath. Yugi tired not to focus on that, working on trying to make his breathing slow and even, a task made slightly difficult due to the vice around his neck.

A few seconds later the presence left, and Yugi had to force down a sigh of relief. He relaxed slightly in his bounds, trying to return back to the comforting darkness he had woken from. Back to the place of no pain, no thought and no memories.

"Not a hope in hell you little piece of shit."

Yugi barely registered the voice, not caring. It wasn't important, he was almost there, the world was starting to fade.

A searing pain suddenly spread through the left side of Yugi's body, cruelly thrusting him into awareness. Yugi couldn't prevent the scream that forced his way through cracked, dry lips. His violet eyes snapped open, tears steaming freely down his cheeks.

It took a few minutes for his eyes to focus through the pain and the tears that leaked from them. He could see the sneering face of his captor, Minister they called him. Beside Minister was one of those burly men in dark blue robes who had that stick type object all these people seemed to carry, jabbed ruthlessly into the cut on his shoulder.

"Wakey, Wakey" The man growled out, twisting the wand in the gash, causing blood and pus to run down Yugi's chest as the latter screamed again, attempting to push the wand away from his body. But no matter how much Yugi moved, the wand stayed in place. Not once, however, did Yugi beg for the sadistic man to remove it.

Steeling himself, Yugi forced himself to stop screaming. The pain was indescribably intense. Locking his jaw and his muscles, he made his body become unresponsive to the pain, not even allowing it to show In his eyes. Both the tears and the screams stopped, and he could feel himself glaring at his captor.

The Man's face fell as his victim started to become unresponsive. Cornelius himself suppressed a growl, before placing his hand on the mans, pushing the wand deeper into the wound. Both men shared an identical smirk at the flinch the thing made, despite it's best efforts.

The wand trick had its desired effects, the thing was awake, and now the fun could begin again. And Cornelius hoped that today would exceeded the amazing amount of information last evening had provide for them.

But first they had to keep this thing alive. At least for a little while longer. Once they managed to squeeze every once of information out of this thing, Cornelius had every intention of shoving it into Azkaban prison for a decade or two, before sending him off to the Dementors for a Kiss. Yes that certainly seemed appealing.

Yugi's entire body had turned to the consistency of rubber when the wand was removed with a sickening 'pop'. The cut still throbbed with a terrific force, and Yugi could smell the result, it was making him nauseous. He gathered up his courage and looked down at the wound, but had to look up again. He wasn't a doctor by any means, but it didn't take a doctorate in medicine to tell that it was dangerously infected. The smell alone could tell the village idiot that.

The thoughts of the gash quickly disappeared however, when his neck, right on the collar, was harshly grabbed and his head tilted up at an awkward angle.

"Drink" Minister growled in Yugi's ear as a flask was pushed against his Lips.

Yugi shook his head, squeezing his lips tight together. The Minister rolled his eyes and nodded to the man who was holding the flask to Yugi's lips. The latter passed the flask to Minister before attempting to forcibly open Yugi's mouth. The fingers pushed so hard on his jaw that Yugi knew he would have several new bruises to add to his collection.

But in the Yugi he was able to keep his jaw locked. He didn't want to drink any more of these wizards drinks. They all burned at his insides, the pain of mixing his magic with theirs so much more intense when it was on the inside.

Suddenly a pair of fingers roughly pinched his nose shut, and the flask was placed waitingly at his lips. Yugi could feel his lungs starting to scream for air as they could no longer draw it through his nose.

'Hold your breath.' Yugi thought desperately as the burn in his lungs started to grow to a point where it couldn't be ignored. ' Just hold it. Hold it. At worst you'll pass out right? Nothing bad about that, it's what you want.'

But holding your breath until your body pushed you into sleep mode was easier said than done. Mind over matter can only take you so far. Eventually the screaming urge from his lungs took complete control of his instincts and Yugi was forced to draw in a huge gasp of air.

Yugi didn't even have enough time to react from the pain in his neck before the foul tasting potion was dumped into his mouth. A hand slapped over his lips, stopping him from spitting it out.

Yugi chocked and spluttered as the vile liquid swirled around in his throat. The sensation became worse when the hand holding his neck up started to rub across his Adams apple. His body betrayed Yugi yet again, and he swallowed. The potion burned violently as it went down, but not as much as it normally did, leaving Yugi to wonder what he had just drunk.

"It's just a nutrients potion. " Cornelius hissed when Yugi stopped coughing. "I can't have you starving to death, can I?" Yugi could only glare as another glass was tipped down his throat. No burning this time, and from the lack of taste, Yugi summarized it to be water. He gulped down the rest of the liquid as quickly as he could, having been deprived of it for several days.

Yugi received both of these luxuries very rarely these days. He had only been given the nutrients potion twice before. He never knew when he was going to get one, and the horrible burning that he felt when he some other potion made him unwilling to drink the potions, whether it was food or not.

'Only the best' Yugi thought to himself sarcastically. The glass of water was taken away far to earlier for Yugi's likings, it had barely curved the edge off of his thirst. But he knew that he wasn't going to get anymore any day soon. He was still starving as well. He had been hungry since he got here, however long ago that was… it felt like a lifetime.

He could feel one of the wizards beside him forcing whatever limited magic they had into their wands. Yugi's wrists and ankles flared up and Yugi could dimly feel some of the skin under the ropes that kept him bound to the table mending. Only enough to keep a layer between the ropes and any veins and arties to make sure Yugi didn't start to bleed to death.

Yugi bit his lip as his own magic started to mingle with that of the wizards. He was starting to get used to the firey sensation, but it still hurt.

And then it was gone, and Yugi could feel fear starting to bubble up in the pit of his stomach. Any second now, the room would fill up with more of those wizards. And they would do that odd spell that attempted to brake his mental shields until Yugi passed out from the effort of maintaining those shields.

But the sound of stomping feet never came. Yugi waited for several minutes, but nothing every happened. The Minister and the man beside him just started talking in hushed tones from the other side of the room. Yugi's eyes narrowed. Now what?

Yugi soon got his answer however, as the Minister finally returned to Yugi's table, running his hands lightly through Yugi's hair. "We've decided to try something new." he whispered in the teens ear, his breath tingling Yugi's earlobe. "Truth serum doesn't work on you, nor do most potions and spells that we have tired. So we're going to go a little more old school. Some of those good old fashioned interrogation methods that you don't see anymore. All that is going to happen is I'm going to ask you some questions. Really simple ones at that. And all you have to do is answer."

Yugi rolled his eyes in defiance.

"Oh?" Minister asked blinking slightly before a smile crept onto his face. "So naively defiant. It's almost cute. However, you really don't have a choice, because every time you fail to answer a question, or I don't like your answer, My partner gets to do this."

Yugi cried out as he felt something incredibly sharp cut across the sensitive skin on his thigh, causing an almost unbearable stinging sensation. Looking down, he was shocked to see a new rip in what was left of his jeans, and blood starting to dye the remaining material red. To the side he could see the man that followed Minister had his wand out, and the tip was smoking slightly.

"Alright, now that is settled, let us get down to business." Minister said, clapping his hands together gleefully, nodding to the man decided him, the latter pointing his wand to Yugi's forearm.

" What are you?"

The question wasn't a new one, he was asked it just about everyday, whether through mental attacks, or after having a potion cocktail shoved down his throat. But he still had no idea what in hell they meant by it. "A human." Yugi replayed in the end, his voice horse and scratchy from lack of use besides all the screaming he had done. "Just like you."

He winced as the man's spell sliced through the bare skin on his upper arm. The cut was long and thin. But it was deep, and blood slowly seeped to the surface before spreading down his arm. He hissed at the pain, but other wise kept to himself.

"No your not." Minister replayed as if explaining something to an ignorant student. "No human could do half the things I have seen you do. No that must certainly is the wrong answer. But I will allow you to skip to the next one, for now."

"Next question." This time, the wand moved right along Yugi's abdomen. He could feel the wand pressing harshly against his side each time he took a breath. "What magic allowed you to do this to my men."

Yugi's eyes hardened slightly, and his eyebrows moved downward. Out of habit, his eyes moved slightly to the Millennium puzzle. "Nothing you could understand, no matter how many mortal lifetimes you live."

The cut was larger this time, scoring across his stomach, right above his belly button. Tears came to Yugi's eyes as he clenched his teeth together, trying not to make a sound. But it hurt. The he was still bleeding when the man moved to position his wand against Yugi's cheek bone.

"Where are your friends?

"What friends?" Yugi growled out, moving his face to the side to try and move the wand tip away from his face. But the man only pressed it harder. "I don't know what you are talking about."

"Don't play dumb. I know that when my men showed up they got into a fight with 5 people, and yet we only have you. Where are they hiding?" Minister snarled, placing his hands on either side of Yugi's face. "You had better answer, Or the next spell will take out your eye."

The wand on Yugi's cheek shifted toward his nose, now perfectly inline with the center of his eye. But Yugi didn't budge. Minister wasn't lying, there had been 4 other people with him that day. And Yugi had made the decision to send them off. If Minister found them, then all of this would be in vain. "I have no Idea who you are talking about." Yugi spat back.

He was prepared this time, that man's wand always sparked the second before that slicing spell could be preformed. Yugi had noticed it the last two times it had been preformed. At the last second Yugi was able to tilt his head to the side. The spell seared up his cheek, and sliced through his eyebrow. Blood started to pour down his face, but it had not done any damage to his eye.

Minister grabbed his chin, and forced his head up. "One last question." he hissed menacingly, as he ran his finger over the long bleeding cut on Yugi's face smearing the crimson liquid. Leaning down he gently whispered in Yugi's ear, as a child would when telling a secret.

"Who, is Yami?"

Yugi's eyes widened, and his entire body froze. Minister leaned back, looking just like a cat on a fish boat. Yugi's head shook form side to side, the words "no, no, no, no" spilling form his lips in non coherent sentences.

"Someone important than? Than I suppose I should tell you where I heard his name. Right before you passed out during our last session, that name slipped out through your pathetic mental blocks. Clear as day. You do realize what that means don't you? It means that tomorrow, when I bring in my men again, you won't be able to hold us out. We'll know everything about your kind, and we'll annihilate it. All thanks to you."

Yugi clenched his fists, his entire body shaking. "Get away from me!" his growled out, pulling up against the bonds. "I won't give you anything you want."

"Touch a nerve did I? You know I wouldn't have to resort to such drastic measures if you would just answer my questions. Save yourself a lot of pain and mental trauma." Minister said, his demeanour changing, a welcoming smile on his face. "I'll ask you one more time. Who is Yami?"

Yugi turned his head away from Minister, shutting his eyes.

Ministers face turned a bright red in frustration. "Fine then." he said disgustedly, the smile gone. "We will continue on like normal tomorrow."

Minister started to leave the room, Yugi could hear his heavy foot steps, and the grating sound of a heavy wooden door on cement flooring. Suddenly however the foot steps stopped. "Oh, one last thing. I told a friend of mine, from the department of Mysteries, that they could run some tests on you today if you didn't give me what I wanted. They have so many questions they want answered. And I doubt any of their means are going to be practically… 'pleasant'."

And with that Ministers presence was gone, and the man that had entered with him, followed a few seconds later. If their wasn't going to be any more mental attacks today, would it be safe to enter his soul room?

He would have to see what these mysteries people wanted to do first. But he needed to check, he needed to know that Minister was lying, that he had heard the name somewhere else. But deep in Yugi's stomach he knew that the only way that Minster would know Yami's name would be through him.

A older woman, and a boy in his late teens entered a few minutes later. Yugi watched them both carefully, as they each pulled on a pair of rubber gloves. They hadn't pulled out their wands yet, which seemed to be the only way these wizards could enter his mind. Yugi took that as a good thing.

"I must remember to thank the Minister for this." The female witch said gleefully, a small smile turning up the corners of her slightly wrinkled face. "This is a once in a life time opportunity, Mr. Smith. I hope that you will make the best of it."

The teen nodded, a small grin on his face. "What exactly are we going to be doing?" he asked, excitement evident in his voice. Yugi realized with a sick sensation in his stomach, that he now knew what those poor mice had to feel like in those labs. He could feel their eyes on him, staring at him as if he was some oddity at the zoo. A chill ran down his spine.

"Well, were going to run some tests on it's magical energy. See if we can use it for anything. An energy source maybe. Or will it's blood have magical properties? So far the energy signature seems almost similar to that of a unicorns horn. Maybe it will have similar qualities?"

Yugi noticed that the witch was practically jumping up and down on the spot. Her voice throbbing with her enthusiasm. He wanted to scream at the woman that he wasn't a thing, wasn't something to experiment on. he had rights. Wasn't Britain supposed to be big on that kind of thing? But even as those words came to the top of his tongue, Yugi realized that he didn't have the energy to say a word. Hell he didn't even have the energy to lift his wrist at the moment.

Yugi closed his eyes in defeat as he lay, as calmly as possible on the table. 'Pick your battles' he sighed to himself, as he heard the two approach, nattering happily in English. 'Don't waste all your energy on something like this.'

Fingers moved to his neck, and Yugi hissed as the ran over the metal collar on his neck, pushing it deeper into the cuts on his neck. They ran over the entire surface of the metal, looking for something.

"Take a look Mr. Smith. This is one of the collar prototypes that came out of our offices a few months ago. I was so surprised when the Minister commissioned them. I never thought that we could actually put it to use. But here we are." The witch said, right beside Yugi's ear, giving no regard for his hearing. But at least he knew who had their hands on the collar. "I want you to find the dial on the left side for me Hon. And turn it up half way."

A second pair of hands went along the collar. These ones, less certain as to what they where doing, caused large spikes of pain to run through Yugi's system. His eyes started to water from underneath his closed lids, but none of them went any farther.

"Found it!" Smith said from Yugi's other side, his fingers grasping onto something that Yugi had not noticed before. He could feel his body tensing warily, this wasn't going to be fun.

At first, when the woman's assistant turned the knob nothing happened. But then Yugi started to fell odd, as if something was slowly seeping out of his skin. The sensation grew, however, until Yugi could feel his back arching of the table of it's on accord. How, he didn't know, because Yugi most certainly did not have the strength to be doing that on his own right now.

Looking to the left, Yugi could see something that he could only guess was his magic, floating along beside him. He really had no other definition for it. White light danced around his body, black licking the very edges of it. But the darker portion was barely there, and was more dominate where his broken puzzle was located

The feeling of being drained was more intense now. He felt even more tired than ever before, something Yugi would not have thought possible five minutes previous. When he opened his eyes, his vision swam , not able to stay in focus. Very dimly, as if listening to a out of service radio, he could hear the other two talking.

Yugi was about to faint. His head was swimming, his vision blacking out in the corners. 'Finally…'Yugi breathed, as he pictured the hallway outside of his soul room inside his minds eye. Doing so would allow his subconscious to travel there when he passed out.

Yugi jerked awake however, when his blurry mind managed to sluggishly move to a new track. Why was he falling unconscious in the first place? He struggled to wake himself up, now afraid of falling asleep.

Truly struggling now, the other voices in the room started to go into a sharper quality.

"Wha…is…appening" The male said, slight urgency in his town. Yugi fought to hear more.

"Its…ody… must b….connected to its …agic in a way… ore… intima…et then…re…own. Since w… are drawing the magic … íts body is dieing." the witch said. She didn't sound hectic, or even worried about this statement. In fact she sounded as if she was teaching. Yugi didn't agree to her sentiments, this could not be a good thing. At the very least their voices where starting to come in a bit more clearly now, but that was taking a lot of effort.

"That is truly unfortunate… We won't be able to use it like a power source as we had originally hoped. Maybe his blood will be good for something?"

It could just have been Yugi's imagination, but his heart felt like it was starting to slow down. The racing pulse that he had felt so clearly in his chest was disappearing. It felt as if a heavy, velvet blanket was being draped over his body. Was his breathing starting to get more difficult to? Everything was going black, his vision was going gray at the corners, he felt as if he was sinking. He had to stay awake…

"Sir!"

"Have I not asked you to stop calling me that Mr. Smith. I am a Witch not a wizard, so I do not appreciate that form of address."

" Sorry, But we need to shut of the collar. It's heart rate is dropping. The Minister said we couldn't kill it."

There was a soft agreeing noise, and fingers once again found the switch on his collar. This time Yugi couldn't summon the strength to groan at the pain in his neck. But at least whatever they had been doing was over.

"Not a matter, we still have his blood to work with. Mr. Smith if you could take a sample."

Yugi could feel the blood being drawn from his skin, but it was not important. Yugi could feel his head start to swirl once again. This time he didn't fight the fainting sensation, and the metal table, the pain and those people disappeared.

*****

When Yugi opened his eyes again, he found himself leaning up against a stone wall in a dimly lit hallway. It was the hallway that held the room of his soul. Sitting up, Yugi allowed himself a quick smile at the familiar location.

The smile slipped of his face however, when he looked at the state the hallway was in. Originally Yugi had thought that the state of the hallway represented the state of the bond between himself and his darker half of his Soul. The meeting place of their tightly wound souls.

Now that idea was been thrown into sharp relief.

He and Yami, where connected through the Millennium Puzzle. As was Yami's soul bound to the object. But when the puzzle had shattered, as had the medium which connected them.

The Hallway had suffered for it. On Yami's side, there used to be an impervious, and intimidating looking door. The symbol ever present on the millennium items was engraved in gold in the center. But now the door was gone, leaving only a gapping hole where it had once stood. Only the eye remained now, and the center piece was missing.

Yugi could feel his eyes watering as he stared at the sight. He had been separated from the dark half of his soul for so long now. Longer than they had ever been separated since Yugi had solved the Millennium Puzzle. He felt so empty. And as time went on, the hope that Yami would be alright when, (and if they where every reunited.) dissipated. The puzzle was a cursed item, made from the souls of 99 humans. The first time Yami had been sealed, he had returned to the world of the living as an amnesiac. Not even knowing his own name.

How long did it take for the process to start all over again?

When the Puzzle had been broken the second time, (during his duel with Bandit Keith/ Malik) Yami had admitted that he had forgotten the events that had led them to that dangerous location in the first place.

And yet that was only the tip of his worries.

Yami had always been cryptic about his time in the puzzle. Never really discussing what his 5000 year long imprisonment had been like. At the time Yugi hadn't pressed the matter, not really sure that he wanted to know what it was like. But know, as he lived through whatever these Wizards where trying to do to him, scenario after scenario of what was happening to his Yami would run through his head. Each one more horrible than the last. He was scared out of his mind.

Biting his lower lip so hard that he could taste blood, Yugi forced himself to return to his actual purpose. He turned around to face the other end of the hallway, to his own soul room. But before it came into sight, Yugi squeezed his eyes shut, afraid of what he would see.

Yugi had not entered the room since he had arrived with the wizards. The mental shields he had erected came in the form of a shut door which sealed his soul room, or mind, as they called it. Those shields were weaker when their creator was actually in the soul room.

But this was important. He needed to know how his shields where holding up.

Slowly, hesitantly, Yugi allowed his lids to slide open. The plain wooden door slowly came into focus and Yugi felt his entire body shake in horror.

The door was heavily scarred. Scratches scoring the wood so heavily, that Yugi couldn't see a single part of the original smooth wood left. But that wasn't the worst of it. Some of those scratches had left large dents in the wood, leaving shavings littered on the floor at Yugi's feet. The largest of the holes actually shone through to Yugi's soul room, allowing him to see the bright paint of the walls within.

Yugi raised a trembling hand to the peek hole, Running his fingers over the splintered wood.

"No…"

Minister was right, his shields where braking. Already the name of his Yami had slipped through his shaky defences. And most of these indents would become actual holes if they where attacked anymore, allowing more and more vital information to slip through.

It was all over, he had lost.

Yugi slammed down onto his knees, his shoulders heaving as he placed his forehead against the rough wood. Tears streamed down his cheeks. After all that had happened, after all he had tried to protect. It was all going to be in vain. All his friends and loved ones where going to be in danger.

Jounouchi, Honda, Anzu,

Ryou, Bakura, Malik

Yami….

A small moan slipped through his shuddering lips as he leaned back way from the door. Lurching to his feet, he stared at the scared shell. Raising a shuddering hand towards the wooden surface, he willed the shield to reconstruct itself. The door seemed to shake slightly, and the wood that littered the floor started to hover before falling to the ground with a loud clatter.

Yugi gasped as the collar sent a white hot bolt of pain through his body, his eyes wide. Fingers flew up to the metal, feeling the foreign magic swirling through the device. It was stopping him from even attempting to rebuild his shields.

Yugi could feel his feet slipping out from under him as he slumped up against the remains of his soul room door. Yugi pulled his knees up to his chest, rapping his arms around them and buried his face in his arms.

"I need help… Yami… I can't do this alone anymore,"