Author's Note: This was my project for 2009's National Novel Writing Month and is based on the season/movie Capsule Monsters. This was done partially because I like the idea behind Capsule Monsters but not the outcome, so I'll be throwing some of the major things that I remembered from the season/movie into this. I'm using the 4Kids timeline here, which puts Capsule Monsters between the Kaiba Corp. Grand Prix and Memory World. As a heads up, I think that what little Ancient Egyptian customs and ideas that I used here are right, but the few that are here don't really play into the story. The title is from a poem by Dylan Thomas. Mind speech is indicated with single quotations and italics. Individual warnings will be posted before each chapter, this one just has the overall warnings for the fic.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh, just a few OCs in here.
Warnings:blood, future lemons
Rage Against the Dying of the Light
The cloaked woman waited patiently in the darkness of the building, walking around the perimeter of the squares on the floor, carefully staying on the laminate titles. She looked up as another person, this one in plain clothes, rushed up to her and gave a bow. "All is ready."
"Good." She motioned the man out of her way, taking a few more steps around the pattern set up on the floor, nodding to herself as she looked over the pattern of painted squares in the depression. At last this part of their plan was ready to go. One thing left and the doorway into the world would be open, and their good work could continue. She folded her hands, a smile on her face. "Lead on then."
The man bowed again and scurried off, leading her into the depths of the museum and into the storerooms. He held the door open for her, tugging off his coat and adding it to the stack of coats that was already beside the door before hurrying after his boss. The cloaked woman shook out her auburn hair as she released it from the clip that held it back, sighing as she beheld the members of her group. The assortment of men and women nodded back at her, all of them looking drawn and tired, but she couldn't blame them.
They all had been working hard to get this exhibit set up, trying to make their deadline for the opening of the museum tomorrow. There was little chance that they would let this fall through, after all, they had been invited to display their artifact. Thirty-six large stones, painted with sections of scenery, had been shipped to the museum weeks earlier and they had started work in assembling them, working from instructions and detailed descriptions from the stones, no numbers or notes marring the stones themselves. The stones had to be clean of all markings but the original painting on their surface to work at all. Now, finally assembled to their full glory the stones were ready except for this one step.
Now, thirty-six balanced souls had to be summoned from the afterlife to charge up the stones. The souls would remain in the world that the stones led to until they were freed by the disassembly of the stones when the group was ready to move on. It wasn't as cruel as some of the things that she had heard souls being used for, the most recent being the Doma debacle. Of course, they had stayed out of the way of that, watching through the centuries as the plan was built up and then come crashing down.
She smirked to herself, taking her place in the circle. The mumbling that had filled the room fell abruptly to silence, the assembled men and woman walking to the edge of the design that was drawn on the floor in chalk. Candles were scattered about the room, used for their light alone. Decades of reciting this ceremony had stripped it down to its bare bones, all the useless and showy items tossed out as they now needed speed. She rolled her sleeves up, the modern world moved so fast compared to the pace of the world before, the world only accessible through books. With a sigh, she closed her eyes, signaling the others to begin to chant.
With the chant in the background, she fell back into a trance, letting her mind wander over the boundary between this world and the afterlife, the brightness of her own soul calling the spirits closer. She held them back though, pointing at a few and selecting the strongest. Only strong souls would fuel the stones for as long as they were on display. Pushing some of the more demanding spirits away, she began to move, sending the chosen spirits back to the circle in the basement of the museum.
A shift in the environment caught her attention, the sensation of warmth hitting her own soul. She turned, peering into the new environment. Sand met her eye, the scent of mud and rotting plants rushing over her as well. She shook her head and pulled back in disgust, deciding that she didn't want to linger here longer than she had to.
Mentally, she totaled up the souls that she had gathered so far. Thirty-four. So close to their goal. She sighed, looking forward, ignoring the environment that she had discovered. She wanted to get out of here and get some rest before the grand opening tomorrow. With that in mind, she reached out, tapping two souls that were outside the environment before turning around and heading back.
She blinked rapidly as she returned to her body, staring at the circle with a smile. Thirty-six souls waited for them. She nodded, the chant changing as she closed her eyes again, picturing the map that the squares made. Visualizing this, she raised her arms, pointing at a soul and sending them to a specific square, all while keeping her eyes firmly shut. In reality, it took a matter of minutes, while it felt like hours to her exhausted body.
Sending the last soul to its appointed spot, she opened her eyes, surprised to see two souls still huddled in the circle. She hummed to herself, thinking that she had lost count. It would be best to return them to their afterlife with sincere apologies for disturbing their rest, but she didn't have the strength for that. Instead, she motioned the four volunteers toward the circle.
A man stopped, staring at the souls who were still held within the chalk lines. "What about those?"
"Extras I am sending in with you." She raised an eyebrow as he began to back of, her patience wearing thin. "I have neither the time nor the energy to send them back now, and they should be easy to retrieve once I am recovered."
The volunteers finally gave in, walking into the circle, but staying away from the two souls that huddled near the far end. She smiled and closed her eyes, the chant rising again as she visualized the stone map, sending those remaining in the circle into the world. There was a scream from the souls as they were torn away, but she ignored it, opening her eyes and staggering as exhaustion hit her.
Raising a hand to rest against her pounding head, she waved to stop the chanting, the few who continued on for a moment more looking sheepish. She pulled herself together to give all the people a smile before rolling her sleeves back down. "Thank you all. Tomorrow, we begin our good work."
The people smiled and bowed to her before they left, collecting their coats from the pile. One remained behind to clear up the chalk and the candles as she left. She shuddered as she climbed back up into the museum, wrapping her arms around herself as she passed the various exhibits. It never felt right to her, a museum at night. Like everything was staring at you, accusing you of taking it from its home and bringing it to a place where it was looked at. She shuddered at the thought, breaking into a jog as she reached the main hall, nearly sprinting as she exited the museum and ran for her car.
Only was she was safely in the vehicle did she draw a steady breath, palms resting against the steering wheel as she calmed down. Quickly, she inserted the key into the slot and turned on the car, immediately flicking the headlights on. Carefully, she backed out of her parking space and began to head back to her apartment, her home until it came time for the squares to move on to the next place.
As she drove, she shuddered at the shapes that she caught out of the corner of her eye, things created by the shadows from the lights. That was another thing she was afraid of. She wasn't afraid of the dark per say. She was afraid of the shadows.
He coughed, pushing up from the sand and looking around. His muscles protested the move briefly as he sat up, brushing sand from his purple robe. He blinked as sand met his gaze, rolling dunes that disappeared into the distance as far as the eye could see. But it didn't feel like home, everything was all wrong and unfamiliar. He stood up, straightening his robe so that it covered his white tunic and shenti, squinting off into the distance.
He remembered that he had been walking out a short way into the desert with his sister, discussing how things had been going in the kingdom and speculating on how the outside world was. His sister delighted endlessly in making up bizarre tales about how much the world had changed since they had passed on, talking about humans having three heads and riding around on large beasts, all to see him try and argue back how that would be impossible. It was a daily occurrence for the two, something to pass the time as they walked to meet Mayati.
His favorite wife would wander out into the desert on her walks, never going too far, but standing so that she would be the first to see those just arriving. And she had done this almost every day she had come to the afterlife. Mayati assured him that she was alright, that she was just worried about her son.
Akhnamkanon turned swiftly, robe billowing out behind him as he searched the desert around him. His brown eyes widened as his recent memories came back to him. He and his sister had made it to where Mayati had been waiting, and he had walked up to draw her into an embrace when it had happened. They had been yanked away from their paradise and into a strange room with strangely clothed people before being whisked away. He had lost consciousness soon after that. But she had to be here as well, she had been clinging to him the entire time.
He cupped his hands around his mouth, shouting out her name before pausing, listening hard for an answer. He prayed the gods that she could hear him and that she was unharmed. Akhnamkanon spotted an oasis close by, deciding in a split second that he would spend the rest of the day there, waiting until the cooler hours to begin moving. He glanced over his shoulder in the vague direction of the sun before nodding to himself. That would be the best course of action.
Akhnamkanon reluctantly pulled himself away from the search, heading for the shelter from the sun. He ran a hand over his face, sighing deeply. He couldn't believe that he had lost her, his precious treasure, his favorite out of all of his wives from his reign as pharaoh. The woman who had given him his son.
Mayati had been a gift on the day of his rise to the throne, doubling as a wedding gift as that was the night he had wed his sister. And he had grown to love the brown eyed woman, often spending what little free time he had as pharaoh in the palace gardens, admiring how the sun shone through her red-gold hair. Better yet, she had befriended his sister, the two of them becoming quickly inseparable. Akhnamkanon swore that they had invented their own language, just to annoy him. But Mayati had been a refreshing change from the rest of his wives, all of them jealous of each other.
He remembered that Mayati had stayed up all night with his sister when her child was a stillborn and the healer had announced that she was barren. Mayati had even broken the news to him, whispering to take it easy on his sister because she felt that she had failed the pharaoh.
And then Mayati had been the one who had given him his son, the future pharaoh. He chuckled to himself as he remembered the way she had cursed him the entire time, sending the servants into shock at the blasphemy against the pharaoh, which he had waved off. He remembered holding his son with her smiling up at him. And, in a few weeks, she was dead; taken from him by disease. After that, he had been desperate to protect his son from anything, especially after he found out the secrets of the Millennium Items that he had allowed to be created.
Akhnamkanon entered the cool shade of the oasis, slumping down against a tree. Right now, he didn't care that this wasn't the proper behavior for a pharaoh. He was too worried about Mayati to care. He was also sure that there wouldn't be anyone from his court coming to scold him on his behavior. He gave a short laugh at the image of Siamun appearing from nowhere to give one of his famous lectures before slipping back into silence.
He was trapped in a strange world without any known way out. He slid to the ground, staring at the tree in front of him. There had to be some way to escape from this place. After all, living humans had been brought here of their own free will. There had to be a way to get them out. He could remember a few of their faces. And, if he could find them, then he could get out. Both he and Mayati…if he ever found her.
Akhnamkanon looked up as a something blocked the sun, their shadow falling over him. He had a moment to recognize brown eyes and red-gold hair before Mayati threw herself at him, unashamedly hugging him. Without hesitation, Akhnamkanon embraced her back, burying his face in her hair and breathing in her scent. Lotus. She always managed to smell of lotus.
Mayati pulled back enough to settle herself on his lap, looking nervously around as her fingers played with the single necklace that she wore, a gift from Akhnamkanon when she became his favorite. "Where are we?"
"I don't know. But, there has to be people around here somewhere." Akhnamkanon stared out into the desert, shifting so he could point with one hand. "But as soon as Ra begins to sink, we will head that way."
Mayati nodded, resting her head on his shoulder. Akhnamkanon lowered his arm, holding her close as he was afraid of her slipping away again. He looked down at her as she heaved a sigh, running a hand through her short hair. "He's still not there yet."
Akhnamkanon laughed, leaning back as she glared at him. "Are you in such a rush for our son to join us? Let him enjoy his life. He will come when he is ready."
"Aibou!" The attack had been turned back, and he hadn't meant to do that. It had been instinct and Yugi's urging that had made him. Yami couldn't help but watch as the attack hit Yugi, sending the teenager flying backwards. And he was running forward before the Duel Disks had even deactivated. He shouldn't have done that, Yugi could have been hurt. What was he thinking, attacking his aibou?
He was running, but not getting anywhere. Yami screamed in frustration, the sound coming to a choked halt as the Seal of Orichalcos began to close. He couldn't lose him again. He couldn't.
Yami tried to run faster, slamming into the barrier that the Orichalcos made as he arrived too late. Always too late. He growled before slamming his shoulder into the barrier, nearly sobbing as it wouldn't give.
This wasn't fair. It couldn't take Yugi again. It had been his fault both times. It should take him, end his miserable existence without his light.
His frantic motion stopped as Yugi picked himself up from the ground, cradling an arm close to his body. Yami whimpered as he saw that the Seal was gone from his forehead, leaving his beautiful violet eyes free of any red taint. Yugi was hurt and it was all his fault. Yami leaned against the barrier, resting one hand on it in the vain hope that it would let him pass through. "Aibou…"
Yugi smiled at him and Yami silently cursed the expression. It was the same smile that Yugi had worn before when…
"I trust you, mou hitori no boku."
Yami's eyes went wide at the statement, the same words that Yugi had said to him before his soul had been taken. He backed up and threw himself at the barrier again, finding that he couldn't look away from those wide violet eyes. He sobbed as Yugi began to fade away, now clawing at the green column that separated them. "No, aibou! No! You can't leave! It was all my fault!"
"Mou hitori no boku." The way Yugi said his name forced Yami into stillness, the former pharaoh staring at his partner for a long moment of silence before he dropped to his knees by the column of light, not caring about the rocks that dug into his legs or the tears that ran down his cheeks.
"Don't go. I lo-"
The spirit of the Millennium Puzzle was woken abruptly from his sleep, or as close to sleep as a spirit could get, as the Puzzle was shifted from where Yugi had hung it the night before. It was unusual that Yugi didn't sleep with the Puzzle, even though his mother had lectured him for that very activity many times before. But neither Yugi nor the three thousand year-old spirit who inhabited the Puzzle felt comfortable unless they were in close contact; this one time being the only instance that both of them had slept well despite the physical separation.
Yugi had finally stumbled into his house at some ungodly hour in the morning, exhausted from the Kaiba Corp. Grand Prix as well as the time change flying over from America. Yami, equally as tired as his hikari, had fallen into a stupor as soon as he was sure that Yugi had made it safely home; not noticing when Yugi had absently hung up the Puzzle on the head of his bed before tumbling under the covers, still fully clothed.
Yami willed himself out of the Puzzle, still bleary from his unexpected rest. He pushed his bangs from his face as he materialized on the bed, watching as Yugi moved around his room with an energy that someone shouldn't possess after being that exhausted the night before. He blinked as Yugi hastily threw some things in his backpack, using the other hand to pull the Puzzle over his head, turning to smile at the spirit as he did so. "Good morning, mou hitori no boku."
Yami grunted and tipped over; burying his face into the pillows, resorting to their link since he wasn't too sure he could speak. 'Too early, aibou.'
Yugi glanced at the clock, shrugging on his coat as he did so. He turned back to the spirit with a frown. "It's nearly two, Yami." The confirmation of the time just earned a muffled grunt from the spirit.
He opened one eye as he felt the bed shift under Yugi's weight, the teenager crawling over to the spirit and resting his hand on the spirit's forehead. "Are you sick?"
'No, tired.' Yami sat up, slowly waking up as his young host's energy leaked over the link to him. He stretched before running his hand through his hair, the motions seeming to be enough to soothe Yugi's worry because the teenager jumped off the bed and rushed back over to the desk, shifting through the pile of papers on top of it. The spirit stood up, walking over to Yugi and looking over his shoulder.
"There it is!" Yami stepped to the side to avoid being stepped though. Yugi was very careful about not walking through the spirit. It had happened once before and neither of them had enjoyed the sensation.
Yugi held up the paper he had been searching for, skimming over it before shoving it into his backpack as well and heading for the door. Yami took the moment to move back into the Puzzle, fading from sight to appear in the labyrinth that was his soul room. He stared at the stark space, glaring at a particular door before looking up at what he assumed he was the ceiling. 'Where are we going, aibou?'
'The museum.' Yami rocked back onto his heels at the answer, tipping his head to the side. Yugi elaborated for him, feeling the confusion that he sent down their link. 'I have an assignment to do that's due when school starts. It was the only thing I had left to do before…'
His aibou's mental voice trailed off, both of them reluctant to touch on those memories. Yami shot another glance at the closest door, edging away from it. He relaxed when he heard Yugi again, sighing at the reminder that his hikari was still here. He hadn't left again. 'I want to get it done before something else distracts me.'
Yami chuckled, sending his amusement down the link before yawning as exhaustion hit him again. He shook his head as Yugi spoke again. 'Going back to sleep, Yami?'
'If you do not need me, aibou.'
'I'm fine. Use my room instead of curling up on a set of stairs.' Yami smiled and walked to the door that led to the hallway between their soul rooms, opening the metal door and stepping out into the shadowy corridor. He crossed the short distance to Yugi's soul room, opening the wooden door and stepping into the bright room.
The spirit sighed as he entered the room, already relaxing under the influence of his light's soul. He looked at the blue walls to make sure that Yugi was alright as he said before picking his way to the bed, careful not to step on any of the toys that were constantly strewn across the floor. Safely across the floor, Yami toed off his boots and flopped backwards onto the bed, shifting until he was curled around the Kuriboh pillow that Yugi kept on the bed, eyes already falling shut as he let himself be swept away.
Yugi smiled and stroked the Puzzle with one hand as he walked toward the museum. He hadn't expected Yami to be this worn out from their adventures in America. But, then again, he hadn't been there for most of them, Yami being in control for nearly the entire time. Yugi flinched at the thought, feeling Yami begin to turn restlessly. He quickly sent calming thoughts to his other, sighing when he felt Yami stop twisting and turning.
Whether they wanted to acknowledge it or not, their fight with the Orichalcos had taken more out of them than they thought. And there hadn't been a moment to rest after that, Kaiba immediately demanding their presence for another tournament to advertise for his new theme park. Yami had stayed unusually close the entire time, his mind a constant brush against Yugi's.
Not that Yugi minded.
He was still shaken from the past events as well; first being torn from his body, fighting against Yami, watching as his dark had absorbed all the evil in the world and then having his friends fill in the gaps in his knowledge. He had never thought Yami would have fallen apart so completely without him there. He had always known how much he meant to the spirit, but he had truly underestimated how much.
Yugi shook his head, stepping to the side to avoid some people as he began to climb up the steps to the Domino Museum, letting the thoughts move into the back of his mind. It didn't matter now. They were back together, as it should be.
But for how long?
The thought struck him as he walked through the doors, his eyes catching the sign pointing in the direction of the Ancient Egyptian exhibit. Yugi ducked his head and let a bunch of people pull him away. Usually, that would be the first place he would go, both he and Yami feeling more at home there. But now, it only served as a reminder of what would happen. He had to help Yami recover his memories, which might mean that Yami would have to leave.
He should have expected this. Yami was, after all, the spirit of a three thousand-year old pharaoh, bound to the Millennium Puzzle. He didn't belong in this world, and it wasn't fair to keep him like this just to make Yugi happy. Yami had done so much for him. It was time to return the favor.
Pulling himself out of the crowd, he wandered into a random exhibit, eyes widening as he looked at the reproductions of Greek temples. Feeling that he was safe, Yugi quickly found a place to sit down, pulling the paper from his backpack and rolling his eyes in distaste.
He hated when they were given these busy work assignments, things to guide you through all the steps of a project before the actual assignment was completed. Some teachers thought it would help the students but, to Yugi, he found it easier just to get the project done and move on. It was just another thing to worry about when the next call to save the world came. He pulled out a pen, looking up from his paper at the closest plaque and freezing as one word jumped out at him.
Yugi scrambled to his feet and darted out of the room, Yami's screams from his nightmare still ringing in his head. Ignoring the strange stares he got from people, he ducked out of the hall and stood panting in the front room, pressed back against the wall. He closed his eyes as he leaned his head back against the wall, taking deep breaths to calm down from his panic.
Everything was alright. The bad guy had been beaten and everything was alright. The Orichalcos couldn't hurt them anymore, they had conquered it.
So why did it still cause him to panic?
If this had happened after all of his old adventures, then he should be shying away from picking up his duel disk or the Millennium Puzzle. Why was it this one time?
'I'm still here, mou hitori no boku.' The thought calmed the spirit, but Yami was now alert again, Yugi could feel him shifting around in his soul room.
'You had a nightmare.'
He could feel confusion flood the link as Yami tried to get a handle on the events that recently occurred. Embarrassment and guilt flooded the link in the next moment before it disappeared suddenly, leaving Yugi wondering what that was about. 'Are you alright, aibou?'
'Fine.' Yugi stood up straight again, opening his eyes. They landed on a sign advertising a new exhibit. He leaned to the side; surprised to see that the room was mostly empty, save for a few people drifting around. Yugi shifted his backpack before pushing away from the wall, his paper and pen still clutched in one hand. 'I wonder what that is about.'
He felt Yami use his eyes to look out into the world for a second, feeling the spirit's awareness flick over to the Ancient Egyptian section before refocusing. Yugi fought back a wince as he registered the direction of Yami's glance, feeling bad that he hadn't gone there in the first place. He might have already started on the assignment by now if he had followed his gut instinct instead of trying to avoid it. Yugi pulled himself back to the present as Yami focused on the new exhibit, the spirit seeming interested in it.
Taking this as a good sign, Yugi moved forward. He was halfway across the main hall of the museum when he felt Yami tense in his mind, tempted to duck into his soul room and check on the spirit. He slowed his walk, the hand that was not still holding his paper and pen clenching by his side.
'Be careful, aibou, I sense something.'
Yugi nodded, even though he knew that Yami couldn't see him. Carefully making his way through the crowd, Yugi arrived at the new exhibit, pausing to glance at the explanation, reading it to Yami as he did so.
'This set of thirty-six stones was discovered in India years ago and kept in pristine condition by the owners, who have kindly allowed us to display these amazing artifacts. Each stone is painted in painstaking detail, displaying a section or a whole type of terrain, creating a map when assembled properly. No one knows if this is the map of an actual landscape, something created for the use of a story or some sort of game.
'Further investigation into these stones has turned up nothing, not even connecting them to a single civilization. Study of the stones has shown that they are carved from larger stones without care for composition, although a few seem to have been imported from other parts of the world for an unknown purpose. For now, these beautiful works of art remain a mystery.
'Doesn't seem so bad.'
'Looks can be deceiving.' Yami was still tense; Yugi could feel him pacing around in the corridor between the soul rooms. 'Just stay alert.'
Yugi swallowed before moving further into the room, eyes widening as nothing met his eyes at first. Then the looked down, his mouth dropping open in awe at the massive map that was laid out at his feet. He could spot a forest, desert, mountains and a volcano, all rendered in perfect detail and taking advantage of the natural imperfections in the stones. He took a step forward, quickly darting back at a spike of worry from Yami. He soothed the spirit, moving along the outside with his eyes still glued to the map, noticing that few people wanted to get close.
Yami nudged his attention up to the people on the edges of the room, noticing that they were not moving from their posts. His attention was drawn to one woman, her manner of clothing making her stand out among all of those dressed in causally. She wore a purple blouse with a slightly darker purple skirt, her red hair tied back in a simple but elegant ponytail. Yugi ducked his head to avoid her gaze, not wanting to meet her brown eyes as he continued around the room.
"Yugi!" He looked up at the summons, smiling as his grandfather made his way over to him. Yugi met up with him on the side of the map farthest away from the door, allowing himself to be hugged before they both looked down at the stones on the floor. His grandfather leaned forward, peering at the painted stones in amazement. "Isn't this astounding? The craftsmanship that went into making these things…and the detail…simply amazing."
He nodded in agreement; distracted as Yami tensed again, the spirit's consciousness pushing against his own almost to the point where they switched control. He turned in the direction that Yami was indicating, noticing that the woman had moved and was walking closer. Yugi's hair rose on the back of his neck, making him to turn and look to his right, jumping as he saw another man walking toward him.
'Another on the left.' Yugi reached out for his grandfather, getting ready to swap with Yami when the time came. He began pulling his grandfather in one direction, pretending to take a sudden interesting in something else in the room. But the people still followed him. He felt his grandfather tense under his hand, the elderly man realizing what was going on. 'Ready, aibou?'
Yugi was about to respond when he felt arms grip him from behind. He yelped and struggled in the hold, looking over at his grandfather as the other man grabbed Solomon, almost carelessly tossing the elderly man towards the stones. "Grandpa!" 'Mou hitori no boku!'
'Hold on, aibou!' He felt Yami getting ready to take control, raising his eyes to look at the woman as she looked at him. She carefully ran her fingers over Yugi's face, cupping his cheeks. Yugi heard Yami growl as the woman touched him, distracted from the spirit as she spoke.
"Your light shines brightly, but it has been tainted. Still, we can save you from the darkness. There is no need to fear it anymore. Just relax and it will all be over." The woman stepped away as the man who held Yugi stumbled forward a step before pitching the small teenager towards the stones.
He winced, ready for the impact that never came. Instead, he continued to fall, his world going black although he did not loose consciousness. Suddenly scared, he reached out for Yami, surprised to find the link between them weak. He held onto the link, trying to open it back up again as it writhed and threatened to collapse. 'Mou hitori no boku!'
Yugi gasped as he felt like something was ripped from him, clutching his chest in pain as he continued to fall. His hand brushed against skin, quickly drawing it back as he didn't know what lurked in the darkness. As his attention was distracted, the link snapped shut, his breath knocked out of him from the suddenness of it. He was then blinded as the light returned, giving him a glimpse of golden hills before he was thrown down onto the ground.
He must have lost consciousness, because he woke up and the sun had moved. Cautiously, he pushed off the ground, staring in awe at the sand that was beneath his hands. Yugi stood up, wiping the sand from his hands before reaching down to hold the Millennium Puzzle, a habit that he had gotten into. He turned into a slow circle, finding nothing but sand all around him with no landmarks to show him the way.
Yugi groaned a picked a random direction to walk, limping slightly as his legs were stiff, muscles sore from hitting the ground. Hopefully, he could find his grandfather in this place, wherever he was. He reached out for Yami, surprised when he couldn't feel him. But the spirit was probably still unconscious, especially after being so close to taking control before being thrown back. Yami was probably sprawled out on the floor of his labyrinthine soul room, his side of the link shut.
His initial fears resolved, Yugi continued limping in his chosen direction, his hand not straying from the golden pyramid that he held in his hands.
She walked around the edge of the map, smiling at the familiar terrain. She stopped when her foot knocked into something, nudging the backpack that the boy had worn. She picked it up, handing it to the nearest member of her group, who carefully put it aside. The boy would want it back when he came out from his cleansing.
She turned back around, heading back to her post while keeping an eye on the door. A frown crossed her face as she walked. She had never before felt such a powerful light from a person, almost rivaling her own, but the boy was in a natural state. And she had never felt such a powerful darkness coming from one person. The boy had scared her when he had entered the room, the taint that hovered around him making her want to send him away.
But then she had seen those large amethyst eyes and knew that she had to save the boy from his inner darkness, the thing that threatened to take his innocence and rip it all away, leaving him crippled for the rest of his life. And she didn't want that to happen to that boy. That one precious boy.
She sighed, absently securing her ponytail. Now she wished that she had a more sure way of contacting her volunteers in that world and warning them to watch out for that boy. More than anything she wanted this boy to make it out without getting stuck. It was what he deserved after all; that sort of innocence shouldn't be wasted.
It was only a matter of hours now until he was pure.
Alright, aside from this first chapter which is a little early, I will post regularly on Wednesday and Friday. I try to hit those days as close as possible and I might toe the line. Considering that I have morning classes this semester, they might either be toeing the line of the posting day and the day before or in the early morning. Unless something unforeseen happens, this will be the schedule.
Please read and review. Criticism is welcome.