Just a Dream

A twisted, creepy little one-shot I threw together yesterday. I have a strange mind sometimes. XD

Summary: Don't worry. It's nothing to be afraid of. Just a dream.

Pairing: Twisted Puzzleshipping...sort of. If you squint.

Rating: T for dark themes


Yugi laughed as he raced up the hill. It was covered in thick grass, a sea of bright emerald green that contrasted beautifully with the intense cerulean sky above. Bright white clouds broke the expanse of blue, taking on whimsical shapes and forms to any eye that beheld them. The sun cast down rays of bright yellow, and a warm breeze playfully pushed and twisted them through bright green leaves of the few trees that dotted the area. A gorgeous summer day…and a perfect day for racing.

"For Ra's sake, Yugi, show some mercy!" Yami called from somewhere behind him, breathless from the run.

"Not on your life! What, has the mighty King of Games gotten out of shape?" Yugi called back, laughing as he neared the top.

"You'll regret those words, aibou, I assure you," came the slightly winded response, amusement diluting the threat.

Yugi reached the top and backflipped in celebration, landing ever so lightly. "I win!" Grinning, he gazed across the landscape, the immaculate green stretching as far as the eye could see. Such beautiful colors today…such bright, beautiful colors, almost too bright.

"Confound you, aibou!" Yami was suddenly next to him, mock-pouting. "I'll win next time. Just you watch."

"Oh suuuure, like you've won EVERY time we've done this," Yugi smirked, knowing full well that he had won every match.

"…Oh you're in for it now." His darker half dove at him, but Yugi jumped aside easily. They tussled, play-fighting and laughing, until Yugi sat smack on top of a very disheveled, facedown Yami.

"Ha! I win again, pharaoh! You're mine now!" He fake-threatened.

Suddenly, he was on his back, with his darker half pinning him down, smirking. "On the contrary, aibou, I believe that YOU have lost now."

Yugi struggled, but it was suddenly very difficult to move. "Oh all right, you win!"

Yami sat up, and Yugi followed, wondering why it took so much effort to do so. "So…does this mean that you are, ah… 'mine' now?"

Something sounded off. Normally, Yugi would have chalked such a strange response up to his other half sometimes not entirely understanding his modern phrases, but there was something in his tone that didn't sound right.

Yugi stood, nervousness sending butterflies ricocheting off the walls of his stomach. He decided to play it light. "Well, since you won, sure. Though that could change," he laughed nervously, suddenly feeling heavy.

Yami stood and faced away from him, appearing to take in the view before them. "So, you're mine…" he said softly, as though he were musing about a puzzle whose solution eluded him.

Yugi swallowed. He tried to step forward, but he barely managed a twitch. His body felt heavy, the air suddenly felt as thick as molasses, and moving even the slightest bit suddenly required all the effort he could muster. The colors around him were dimming now, very slowly. He could tell that the sun was still bright, but it was so hard to see…so hard to see…

"Yami?" he barely managed to inquire, squinting.

The colors darkened. Yami turned to face him, and he internally recoiled. His face, previously flushed from their exercise, was now deathly white; his eyes, once shining with humor and excitement, were terribly blank and pupil-less, a dull crimson that frightened him. Those eyes stared at him, seeing and yet unseeing, the soul within no longer visible.

"Mine?" Yami whispered, and his voice was twisted, pitched too high and then too low.

Yugi tried to back up. He fought with his last resolve to MOVE, but his body barely responded, resulting in him taking two very lethargic steps backward that took far, far too long to complete. The colors were nearly gone, fading to a black deeper than anything he had seen in the Shadow Ream; however, Yami's face – that twisted, frightening face – stared at him still, illuminated to a starkness that hurt Yugi's eyes.

The face seemed to draw closer, and yet pull back. "Mine," he said again, in that terrible mockery of his natural tone.

"No," Yugi tried to make his tone firm, but all that came out was a soft half-whisper. "No, I'm not."

A hiss broke the pressing silence, though it didn't seem to be coming from his darker half. The eyes, however, widened.

"Mine," he said again. Suddenly, two ropes shot out from somewhere behind Yami, streaking out to each side. They appeared to be made of colored glass, one glowing a vibrant purple, the other a deep emerald, but they twisted and undulated like willow leaves caught in a breeze. Yugi stared at them, momentarily distracted from the blank gaze of his other half, and his fascination quickly turned to horror when the green one shot toward him and wrapped itself around his neck.

"No!" he screamed; the sound sliced through the strange silence like a knife, though despite his effort, it still came out sounding far too soft. Curiously, his breathing ability was not affected; however, the cord began to drag him toward the ground. He resisted, struggling as best he could, but his body was still slow to respond, moving as though every pore was weighted down with iron.

Yami cocked his head to one side, looking curious. "Mine," he repeated, as though trying the word out for the first time.

The violet cable wrapped itself around Yugi's left wrist and pulled to the side. And suddenly, he felt pain. The ropes burned, searing into his skin, causing him to scream.

"Please," he screamed, the sound properly loud this time. "Yami, please, stop!"

But the specter in front of him seemed not to notice. Instead, he smiled. "Mine," he repeated, more firmly this time, though there was no malice in his voice.

Strange objects, their exact shapes indiscernible to his eye, flew at him, some hitting him, some passing him by, all causing him agony. He was trapped now, pinned to the ground by strange multicolored glowing cables that had appeared out of nowhere. They burned, the objects flying at him sliced his skin without drawing blood, and Yugi could do nothing but scream. It still cost him far too much effort to move; all his struggling merely produced slow, slight movements, hardly enough to help him escape. All he could see in front of him were blinding cords of color surrounding that terrible face, his darker half repeating the same word over and over, and Yugi was now sure that however blank his eyes were, he knew exactly what he was doing.

"Mine." A new lance of pain from gods-knew-where.

"Mine…" A new burn, a new cord of color streaked across his vision.

"Mine…" The voice assaulted his ears, yet never rose beyond a normal tone, sometimes inquisitive, sometimes curious, sometimes delighted, always firm, always sinister, always frightening.

It tore at his very soul, that his other half would hurt him like this. That his screams for him to stop went unheeded and unacknowledged caused a kind of pain that had nothing to do with physical wounds. He was drowning in the agony, the wild colors that burned through the blackness, those terrible blank eyes that condemned him with every word that came out of the white, twisted mouth. His vision swam; he closed his eyes but saw everything. He could not retreat, could not fight, could not die…

And then he heard it, below and above and against the frightening chant.

"Yugi…"

"Mine."

"Yugi…"

It called to him, his name, in a way he couldn't describe. He reached out with his mind, willing it to come to him, to take him away…

"MINE."

He screamed.

And jerked awake, sitting up so violently, he felt a rush of dizziness.

Alive. He was alive, and in bed, not being tortured by his darker half. He wrapped his arms around himself, trembling, deep gasps for breath shaking his entire body, staring at the blanket in front of him but only partially registering that it was there.

Then, a soft, gentle voice spoke. "Yugi?"

Yugi jerked his head up, terror slicing through him at the familiar voice…and looked into the worried gaze of his other half.

Crimson-violet eyes, full of concern. Translucent. He was translucent, not solid, the way he always was when he manifested outside the Puzzle. His eyes…not dangerously blank. Normal.

He let out a breath, relaxing slightly. A dream, it was just a dream.

Yami spoke again. "Yugi…what happened?" He rested a hand on Yugi's shaking one, the cool, light pressure soothing him. Yugi looked at him, uncertain of what to say. "You started screaming; I couldn't wake you for several minutes. What nightmare came to you that was so terrible?"

Yugi swallowed. "I…" he wasn't sure where to even begin, and frowned at the cover in front of him. "I'm not…I mean, I don't…" He began to feel stupid, getting scared so badly by a nightmare.

Something must have shown in his face, because there was a soft rustle, and then his darker half was sitting next to him. Yugi never could figure out how he could touch things and make sounds without actually displacing anything. "Aibou," Yami said softly, "There is no shame in being frightened by a nightmare."

The kindness in his tone soothed him. How could he have dreamt that Yami would hurt him like that? Yami, who would risk everything to make sure he was okay, who had promised to protect him, who was always there if Yugi needed someone…he would never hurt him. Ever. He'd probably think the entire idea was laughable. "You're probably going to think it's stupid," he said. "It…concerns you."

Yami frowned slightly. "What seems to be stupid in reality often seems important in a dream," he said. "It's all right, aibou. You can tell me."

Yugi took a breath, and then launched into the story. How it had started happily, in a countryside with its colors turned to maximum vibrancy, and then deteriorated as Yami turned from friend and partner to crazed tormentor. Yami stayed silent, letting him get all of it out, until he finished. "Like I said…stupid, right? That I got so worked up over that?"

"Absolutely not," the former pharaoh said firmly. Yugi looked at him in surprise, blinking at the frown he wore. "That sounds…quite disturbing, to be frank." He paused for a moment, his expression softening as he looked at his lighter half. "Do you feel better? Now that you've let it all out?"

He did, actually. He was relaxed now, feeling safe in his room with his other half beside him – a benevolent presence if there ever was one. He realized that he was actually feeling sleepy. Yami seemed to notice, and smiled at him.

"Get some rest, aibou. It was a terrible nightmare, but a nightmare nonetheless. Just a dream," he said, brushing one of Yugi's bangs aside. "Just a dream." Yugi smiled back, settling back under the covers. "Would you like me to stay with you, until you fall asleep?"

Yugi thought for a minute. "Um…yes, actually," he said quietly. "If you wouldn't mind." It was easier to stay relaxed with the spirit with him, reminding him of what was real.

Yami nodded. "Of course." And Yugi drifted off to a blessedly dreamless sleep, to the lullaby of the spirit's cool hand absently stroking his own.

Yami watched as Yugi's breathing slowed to that of deep sleep, his eyes roving over the tousled hair, the soft features of his lighter half. Satisfied, he stood, readying himself to return to the Puzzle, lying on the table next to Yugi's bedside. Before doing so, however, he turned to look at him one more time.

His eyes darkened. Tilting his head to the side, he regarded his lighter half, slumbering peacefully, with a look akin to curious interest. "Mine," he whispered, the syllable playing across his breath ever so softly.

Yugi stirred slightly. Yami's soft smile twisted.

"Mine."

The Puzzle glowed as he vanished. Yugi slept on.


The end.

I've had plenty of dreams where I couldn't move properly...where no matter how hard I tried, moving or speaking was as difficult as trying to lift something twice my weight with one hand. Hopefully, for those of you who haven't experienced it in a dream, the descriptions of that difficulty made sense...or as much sense as a strange dream phenomenon can make. :p And hopefully you all don't think I should be committed to a mental ward or something, either!

Thanks for reading!