I got the idea for this story while I was at work a week or two ago. It was a full moon, and people were acting crazy as usual. I thought to myself, "there's got to be a way to use this in fan fiction". This is the result. I'm happy to be writing again and I hope this helps shake away the cobwebs from my imagination. It's also the first thing I've written and published using my new macbook pro! I can't believe I haven't had internet access since July… ugh!

This story is rated M for some mature content (pretty sure that's what the M stands for, yeah?). There are some disturbing scenes and there are some other scenes that are just, well, rated M.

Anyway, I know I should be working on the next chapter of The Night Before (which is underway)… but I hope someone will enjoy this. It's already nearly complete, and will get posted in either two parts or three. Reviews are appreciated, as always! ^_^

Tripping Over the Moon

Chapter 1: Lunatic Effect

There are those who believe that the coming of the full moon during each lunar cycle makes perfectly normal people act crazy. That's where the word 'lunatic' comes from- it is derived from the myth, still alive in the guise of an urban legend, that full moons cause ordinary everyday citizens to exhibit behavior which is abnormally foolish or absurd.

These temporary bouts of insanity can happen to anyone…

xxxxx

Seto Kaiba had always been a night person. There was a certain time in the day that was so late it was certainly not part of evening, but didn't quite qualify as part of morning either. He liked this time the best. Most people were sleeping at this hour, safe in their beds. Seto felt that this was an appropriate place for them to be- dreaming away obliviously, far away from where they could bother him. The office was quiet, and he could hear himself think. Considering how much ambient stupidity fuzzed across the mental airwaves at most hours, this was no small achievement. Most of the time, this was when he was most relaxed. Tonight, however, he felt uneasy.

The digital display in the corner of Seto's computer blipped silently, indicating that the hour was now one forty-five am. He grumbled to himself, pressing a hand to his forehead in annoyance at the fact that it had now been fully one hour since he had accomplished anything. It was unusual for Seto to lose his focus in the middle of a task- especially an important one. The proposal for Fujitsu Inc. needed to be completed by Monday morning, and he'd hardly even gotten past the preliminaries. At this rate Mokuba would have to put up with another fun and exciting weekend of watching his older brother work. The young CEO briefly wondered if he didn't have other people in his employ that should be taking care of details like this. Then again, who could he trust to do anything correctly? If you want something done right…

He was fairly sure the second half of that phrase was not supposed to be 'stare at your computer for hours'.

Sighing, Seto pushed himself away from the desk, wheeling his office chair around and looking out the window. The lights of Domino City twinkled silently through the glass, muddled by the glare and thrown slightly out of balance by the unusually strong moonlight. A full moon? Hmm. No wonder the Kaiba Corp phones had been ringing off the hook all day. Seto was by no means a superstitious person, but the full moon myth was one piece of folklore he actually believed in. In his line of work you learned to be realistic about things. In this case, reality had taught him that when a full moon hit half the temps in the secretarial pool either went home crying because of the screaming customer on the other end of the phone line or got fired because they screamed back.

This type of thing was not good for business.

A steady tapping sound was the only thing Seto heard, and after a few slightly confusing moments he realized that his own foot was what was making the noise. Was it possible he was feeling slightly stir crazy? Maybe he had ingested too much caffeine. Mokuba was always telling him to cut down, but half the time he didn't even notice how much coffee he drank. Peering absently down to the streets below, Seto reasoned that perhaps some fresh air would be fitting in this situation. He could take a walk, purge this uncharacteristic anxiousness from his system.

It took just about a dozen long strides to reach the elevator. He shrugged into his trench coat, leaving it open, and pushed the button for the lobby. He saw his own impatient frown reflected back at him from the mirrored surface of the elevator wall. Even this short descent was making him feel claustrophobic. As Seto passed the front desk, he nodded to the security guard on duty. It wasn't unusual for the CEO to pass in and out at all hours. Just a short walk should clear his mind, and then he could get back to work. At least that was what he thought as he strode out into the night…

xxxxx

"Are you sure you'll be alright?"

Anzu smiled, nodding to her friends as they clamored into a yellow taxi cab. They had all just enjoyed an amazing night of dancing and generally living it up at the hottest new club in Domino City. Honda and Jounouchi were in the back of the cab with Shizuka between them. The close proximity made Honda and Shizuka blush. The fact that they were blushing made Jounouchi frown with big-brotherly disapproval. Yugi hesitated at the door to the front passenger seat. "I don't like the idea of you walking home alone…"

Giggling, Anzu shooed Yugi into the cab. "I'll be fine. It's not like I've never walked home before. Anyway, it's only a few blocks!" The blue eyed girl had moved into a small apartment in the city center just a couple months ago. It was conveniently located near Domino College and was just down the street from the dance academy where Anzu worked part-time. From the club it would be only three or four blocks. She resisted the urge to roll her eyes at Yugi's overprotectiveness.

"Come on Yugi, the meter's running! Bye Anzu!" Jounouchi waved, smiling widely. Anzu could hear Shizuka and Honda wishing her similar farewells.

Yugi sighed, finally relenting in the face of such overwhelming opposition. "OK, OK! Just text me when you get home? Otherwise I'll worry all night…"

"Yes, mom. I will text you. Now get in the taxi before Jounouchi has to spend all his lunch money on cab fare!"

Anzu waved as the taxi accelerated down the block. The crisp air felt invigorating against her flushed skin. Her limbs ached pleasantly from the vigorous workout the night of dancing had provided. As the exiting club crowd thronged around her, Anzu wedged the small clutch she had brought as a purse between her knees and tied her sheer electric blue sweater around her waist. She felt grown up and fashionable in this outfit, which consisted of artfully destructed skinny jeans, a black halter top, and electric blue high heels that matched her sweater. She had pulled her hair into a high ponytail at some point in the night so that her neck didn't get too hot while dancing. Sometimes she wanted to cut it, but it had taken so long to grow it out and there really were so many ways to style it…

Checking for traffic, the dark haired girl crossed the street and headed along the sidewalk on the opposite side. Her apartment was about 4 blocks away, but she was convinced she knew a shortcut that would make the trip even shorter. The noise from the club patrons died down as she reached the next corner. She was pretty sure there was a small drive on the next block that would cut right through the middle of the tall buildings on either side to the street she lived on. Anzu loved living downtown. Smiling to herself, she looked up and noticed the moon. It was beautiful and full, hanging in the sky above like a silver plate. Even the lights of the city couldn't hide its brilliance tonight; it looked so close that she felt she could reach out and touch it. Sometimes she missed being able to sit on her parents' front porch and see all the stars gleaming in the sky, but nights like this where the moon was big and bright sort of made up for it. The sky could still be beautiful here in the city, even with the bright lights drowning out the stars.

Stars were probably not what Anzu should have been thinking about as she turned into the shortcut. She probably should have been thinking that it might not be the best idea for a young woman on her own to turn down a poorly lit alleyway (you really couldn't call it a street) in the middle of the night, especially if she wasn't quite sure that this so-called shortcut led where she thought it did. The perceived invincibility of youth can be a dangerous thing, especially when you combine it with a natural love for exploring. Anzu was about to discover this fact, and not in a nice way.

She noticed the first man about twenty feet ahead of her, leaning against the dingy brick wall. Thinking maybe this hadn't been such a good idea, she turned back. Unfortunately for Anzu, what she hadn't noticed was the second man. He was now behind her. A pit of fear settled in the bottom of Anzu's stomach as the third man stepped into view. The man by the brick wall smiled an unpleasant smile. Anzu could feel the body heat radiating from the second man as he closed in at her back. She jumped as a strong hand latched onto her wrist, knocking her purse to the ground. A moment later she could feel his breath, gusting hot across her earlobe. "Hey there, cutie."

Sufficiently horrified with her current situation as it was, Anzu hadn't noticed the other man approaching her until he was just a step away, raking his eyes over her body appraisingly. She jerked her arm, trying to get free of her captor. His lips touched her ear as he laughed, twisting her arm behind her back and holding her even tighter. The man standing in front of her shook his head. "Now, now. It's a little too late to run. Since you were nice enough to walk right in, why don't you just stay and visit us for awhile?"

In the dim light she could see that the three men were not old. Probably in their twenties, maybe early thirties. They weren't dressed badly, just a little bit untidy like salarymen after a few too many drinks. But their demeanor was not that of drunken men. Their movements were catlike and purposeful. Oh, what had she gotten herself into? What could she do to make them leave her alone? "Y--" she faltered, unable to make her voice obey the commands of her brain. Breathing in slowly, she tried again. "There's not…much money in my bag, but you can t-take it. And my credit cards. Just take it, please…"

The third man chuckled. "Don't you love it when they say 'please'?"

The first man stepped even closer, so that Anzu was practically sandwiched between him and the one that was holding her. "What makes you think we're interested in money?" Her eyes widened as he reached toward his belt, pulling out a knife. The moonlight she had been admiring only minutes before gleamed off of the blade, imbuing it with a threatening glow. "Not when you've obviously got so much more to offer…"

The man behind her reached around and grabbed her other arm, holding it firmly to her side. If it was even possible, he pressed in closer behind her. She felt something pressing into her backside, realizing with disgust that he was grinding his hardness against her. Moments seemed like hours as the knife ripped into the fabric of her halter top. Anzu closed her eyes, unable to look at the hungry expression the man was wearing as he cut her shirt open. The tearing sound was probably the worst noise she had ever heard, followed closely by the voice of the third man as he gave his opinion of the proceedings. "Mmm, she looks delicious. Can I go first?"

Anzu's eyes shot open as she felt something sharp and cold traveling up her abdomen. She watched as he slid the blade upwards toward her chest, which was now covered only in her black lace bra. The shreds of her halter top hung at her sides like a sad vest. She felt like she was going to throw up. The man with the knife made a dismissive sound in response to his companion's question. "Patience, Kazuo. I want to have fun with this one."

No…no…

A gasp escaped Anzu's lips as she felt the knife slide between her breasts. With a sharp upward sawing motion the fabric was rent in two. Her attacker growled low in his throat at the sight of her exposed breasts, slowly reaching a hand toward her. The only thing she could hear was the blood pounding inside her own head. Her breaths came short and fast as he began to touch her. How could this be happening? Ten minutes ago she had been laughing with her friends, and now…

Her revulsion increased even further, if that were possible, as the man behind her snaked an arm around her body, roughly unbuttoning the front of her jeans and sliding his fingers beneath the waistband of her panties.

No…no…this can't be happening…

Focusing every last shred of energy she had in her body, Anzu collected all the willpower she possessed and did the one and only thing she could think of that made sense. Taking in a deep breath and shutting out the image and the sensation of their hands all over her body, Anzu leaned her head back and screamed.

xxxxx

Seto Kaiba frowned, pushing his way through another group of annoyingly loud youths. Presumably they were shouting at each other because they'd all gone deaf listening to boring, repetitive dance music. Honestly, he could practically feel the bass beating out of the club's speakers and he was on the opposite side of the street...

So much for a nice relaxing walk. Who in their right mind would have thought there could be this many people out on the streets at two o'clock in the morning? How was he supposed to 'clear his mind' with all this commotion everywhere? Kaiba continued down the street in long strides, wondering if the behavior he was seeing was another consequence of the full moon effect. It was a fairly warm night for early spring, and there seemed to be swarms of people outside every door. Restaurants, bars, dance clubs… it seemed as if half the city was out and about tonight. People of all ages and sorts passed by him as he walked, laughing and joking with each other as if it were the middle of the day and they were on lunch hour. At the next corner he hesitated for a moment. He looked up and down the street, eventually choosing the direction that looked most deserted.

The fresh air at least did seem to be helping. It was crisp, but not quite cold. He probably would have been fine without his coat, but he wasn't uncomfortably warm. The next block he found himself walking down was far quieter. This street, he knew, was more of a daytime business location rather than a late night hot spot. He felt a little more relaxed surrounded as he was by darkened storefronts and office buildings with just one or two windows lit. He stopped for a moment, sitting on a bench underneath a tree- one of the type that were often planted by the city to make it look like they cared about green space. There was that moon again, hanging in the blackness like a night-light for the world. What was it about the moon that made people act so strange? Maybe they were like that all the time on the inside, and the full moon was just a convenient excuse to let it out. Or perhaps there was a natural explanation. Something to do with the tides? He was glad he had a strong enough mental constitution not to be affected by such things.

Rising from the bench, Seto walked slowly along the street with his hands buried in his pockets. Maybe after the Fujitsu merger was all sealed up he would take a little time off, bring Mokuba somewhere. He really did want to spend more time with his brother, but running Kaiba Corporation was extremely demanding of his time. Sometimes he hated it, but only once in awhile. Generally speaking he actually enjoyed his work. Sometimes he felt guilty for that. But Mokuba was getting older now; in a few years he would be off to college, and after that who knew whether either of them would have time for the other? Maybe this was what had been making him feel uneasy.

For the first time in a long time, Seto Kaiba was willing to admit (to himself anyway) that he needed a vacation.

"Hmm…" This was an interesting conclusion to have reached. But now that he had come to it, he would simply have to embrace it. So what would it be? Greece? The Caribbean? Someplace warm, with lots of ocean. Surprisingly, Seto didn't have a yacht. Maybe it was time to get one. Seto was sailing along quite happily in his mind as he crossed the next intersection. Moments like this, for him, were quite rare. His thoughts were not full of hostile takeovers or research and development. He was not mentally calculating sales figures or pondering whether or not to fire someone. At this particular point in time Seto was actually wondering where to buy swim trunks.

Unfortunately, Seto's swimsuit filled reverie was quite short lived. He was walking past the darkened window of a cellphone store when he heard the scream.

And it was a scream.

Primal, peace-shattering, ear-rending, and loud. It seemed to be coming from the general vicinity of an alleyway on the other side of the street. The scream was most certainly of a feminine persuasion, and ended with worrying abruptness. Seto knew that people went a little bit wacky at the full moon, but the screamer actually sounded like they were in genuine and urgent distress. Contrary to popular belief, Seto Kaiba was not a totally cold-hearted person. He was a man just like any other in certain ways, and there was something about the 'helpless woman in trouble' scenario that was impossible for him to just ignore. Without even really thinking about it, Seto's long legs carried him toward the mouth of the alleyway at a fairly brisk run. He slowed as he approached, cautiously reaching the edge of the wall and peeking around the corner. What he saw when he did was just the type of thing that no right-thinking person ever wants to see.

There were two men, at least that he could see. They were doing… something to what appeared to be a very attractive young woman. The alley was dark, and he couldn't see any of their faces. He took a few more steps, noting that there was a third man. The girl was whimpering, struggling against her captor as he pressed one hand over her mouth and squeezed one of her unclothed breasts with the other. "Shhhh," he said, "we don't need any more company. There might not be enough of you to go around."

The man that Seto immediately clocked as the leader was standing in front of the girl, holding a knife in one hand. The third attacker was looking around nervously. "Do you think we should take her somewhere else? Someone might have heard." None of the men had seen Seto yet, and the girl wasn't looking in his direction. The man with the knife shrugged.

"I doubt it. If anyone was close enough to hear they would probably be here by now. But I guess we should make it a quick one, just in case someone called the cops." He waved a hand toward the man that was holding the girl from behind. The man took his hand away from the girl's mouth. "All that screaming went and ruined my fun. You should have kept your mouth shut. Now I'm not going to be so gentle…"

A surprised sound erupted from the captive girl as the man slapped her across the face. Seto fished his cellphone out of his pocket and started dialing the number for a police emergency. As he was doing so, the man dropped his knife onto the pavement next to what appeared to be the girl's purse. With his hands now free, he began to unfasten his pants. What good would it do to call the police now? They sure as hell weren't going to get here in time…

The first man looked in turn at his two accomplices. "Get her down and hold her there." The man that was already holding the girl used his leg to sweep her feet out from under her as the third came over to her other side to help push her to the ground. The leader knelt down, gripping the waistband of the young woman's jeans in both hands. "Mmm… time for a good, hard, screw."

Seto could hear her whispering "no, no, no," over and over again. Realizing that he had better act now if he was going to be of any help at all, Seto stepped into the open.

"Let her go."

It wasn't the all-time cleverest phrase used to confront an attacker, but it was short and to the point. The three men looked up from the monstrous act they were about to commit. The leader of the group stood back up, facing Seto and giving him a look that indicated he was not particularly afraid. He scoffed. "I don't think so. I haven't finished with her yet."

Another of the men stood up, producing a length of heavy looking pipe seemingly from out of nowhere. The third man had a tight grip on the girl's arm, making sure she couldn't escape.

"How about I give you one chance to forget you ever walked into this alley and be off along your way?" The leader crossed his arms in front of his chest. "That is, unless you want in on your share of the action. This is the finest piece of ass we've come across in awhile. Wanna take her for a ride?"

Seto's eyes narrowed. The mere suggestion that he would be interested in such a thing under these circumstances filled him with disgust. "No thank you. But if you hang around here for much longer the police will be coming to take you for one." He held up his cellphone. "I've already called them," he lied.

His assertion was answered with laughter. "Ooh, we're really scared. Maybe we'll just have to take our new pet somewhere else. Of course there's not too much of a hurry…" The man brandished his knife, taking a few steps in Seto's direction. "…after all, we wouldn't want to miss our chance to teach you a lesson about minding your own business. Right Tetsuya?"

The man with the pipe laughed in response. The two men were stalking toward Seto with what was obviously the worst of intentions. The CEO was actually quite well versed in the art of self defense, but they had weapons and he didn't. Plus, he was outnumbered three to one. One wouldn't have been a problem, but he wasn't sure if he could take on two at the same time…

Ready or not, he was about to find out. The man with the knife spit on the ground and jerked his head toward Seto. "Let's get him."

xxxxx

xxxxx

Uh-oh! Suspense alert! Yucky rapists! Sorry for the cliffhanger; I wouldn't have done it, though, if I hadn't already written chapter two! That should be up in a week or less. Reviews would be liked very much by me. Now that I have the satisfying feeling of posting something, I can move on to chapter 20 of The Night Before