That's right ladies and gents-you're favorite Plot Twist Queen/Mistress of Imagery is back and more psychotic than she was after College forced her to do the unthinkable and lock up her imagination and throw away the key until the end of finals. Well now she's back from hell and with yet ANOTHER fic to hinder her goals of completing her currents fics and her original work.
MWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHA! Yes, I am now even more insane than before-I am offically-PSYCHOTIC (evil laugh and lightnight flashes behind me)
But yeah, Its that time of year and despite my love of Christmas, this is NOT a holiday fic: this is a season fic: aka a Winter fic. This whole plot actually came to mind one day when my mom took off from work, I was sleeping on the couch at her apartment, and during the last two hours of sleep i managed to get (or rather between the last two hours of me being a lazy ass on the couch and her attempting to get me up) I came up with this amazing idea, shot up and wrote it down. Long live the power of Dreams. Now this is a Winter fic so I'm hoping to finish it for Winter, but no promises (look what happened with WH)
Couple of announcements: Aside from this fic and DR, once I get OL back from Chi, I'm putting OL and AIEW on hold until DR and this fic are done: DR has been up for almost two years and I hate taking longer than a year to do a fic, so my goal is to finish that by no later than my spring break. FK because its fresh in my head and thought it IS a multi-chapter fic (and will be longer than WH) it will be a short fic. Why? Because I've taken FAR too much time away from my original work and the holidays have further hindered my goals, so now that i'm back in Baltimore for a week and a half, i plan on getting the Character sheets for Nevermore done, and the books and such planned out for my Fairy Tale Series, which is why I will probably work on next since I got the whole thing planned out pretty much.
Anyway, for everyone who is on my list who wanted to see my original stuff: PLEASE PM ME YOUR E-MAIL (i have atomic, Spirit, Tavi, Toya, Shamise, and a few others, but please remind me just so i know who's is who and who i have and don't have. Also a copy of all the pictures will be posted on DA and I'd LOVE comments and feedback.
Dedications: To all my loyal fans and online friends for putting up with my insane update schedule and giving my the courage and confidence to keep going. Also special thanks to Shamise for letting me share the title since she used it first. I love you girl!
Disclaimer: I only own the idea. The Japanese location and mythology are real places and based off real locations in Japan, which are noted at the end. Also Yugioh and all its characters are the proud creations of my hero Kazuki Takahashi (who is an inspiration to us all).
now than with out further ado...I present my newest creation: THE FROST KING
Summary: Yugi Motou, world renowned figure skater, finds himself strangely unhappy with his seemingly perfect life. When he becomes lost in the woods during one of the worst blizzards, guided by a snow leopard, he discovers a beautiful parallel dimension of perpetual winter, where he meets the mysterious Frost King and finds everything he ever needed—but when the storm ends will he be forced to leave it all behind?
Yugi Motou glided across the ice. A loud screech howled when his blades made contact with the frozen surface, the tempo rising and falling as he flew across the glistening white surface. He spread his arms like a bird and lifted his leg behind him and bent his body in an aerial motion and closed his eyes. Artificial air swept his jagged, pale gold bangs against his soft, round cheeks. With his eyes still closed, he maneuvered his entire body from his current position into an elegant swoop. He spun in the air three times then landed perfectly with his left leg gliding in a half circle behind him. Deciding to enjoy himself, he started gliding backwards.
His skates moved across the ice as easily as a bird through air. He didn't both looking behind him, knowing full well there was a good two-hundred feet of ice behind him. Machines had smoothed the cracked surface to glossy perfection. The only lines marring the frosted glass were the indents of Yugi's skates. The ice glittered artificial white, a perfect reflection of the ground two inches beneath the frosty mirror.
An oval of white plastic sheets topped with clear, synthetic windows circumnavigated the entire oval of ice. Rows of black plastic chairs and aluminum steps formed a pyramid from the arena. In a few days, the entire room would be packed to over populace with screaming fans, judges and news crew determined to capture everything on tape and distribute it to the world. But until then, Yugi had the entire Makomanai Ice Area to himself. And that was just how he liked it.
He sighed and made a figure eight before the desire to spice up his play settled in. Large eyes like round amethysts narrowed with devilish anticipation. He clenched the rim of the rink and pushed off giving himself a running start and skated across the ice. The sudden speed whipped his bangs and tresses of amethyst tipped ebony around his head and shoulders like a wild, burning black fire. His arms pumped at his sides. His smirk curled to a grin. When the perfect moment was met, he leapt into the air arched his body forward then pulled himself into a ball. Then he flipped. He spun in the air for a moment then unwound his body like a spring. His blades hit the ice with a loud sheen and he braced himself on one hand then swirled his hips, and gracefully spun his lower body in a circle. His upper body followed and he then began spinning unnaturally fast.
His heart raced in his chest, his hair whipped around him, wildly, and his entire body felt weightless as air. For an instant he felt one with the universe: the air, the ice, the gravity and air resistance battling for control of him. When he hit the ground again, his blades dug into the ice, kicking up a wave of snow in their wake. He panted heavily from the impact. Then suddenly he sighed, hit by a wave of sadness.
"I can't believe this is the only place I can skate." He sighed and ran an angry hand though his hair, scattering his bangs. He'd seen the two huge lakes on the ride to Sapporo: his face pressed against the window, eyes shining with childish wonder and excitement. The thought of skating on those huge lakes and being one with nature just like on the ponds he skated on as a child, exillerated him. Just as the realization that Sapporo's Snow Festival meant the lakes were reserved for the sculptures and the closest thing to a lake or pond he had was the arena, devastated him.
As much as he loved skating, a fake area made him feel condensed, restrained. He preferred the outside: being one with the environment, the frozen wind biting his skin, the snow crunching beneath his feet and squishing between fingers. The slush splashing and sloshing, the ice-encased trees jingling together with the whistling wind crafted the perfect Winter melody. He loved it. Even when his fingers and lips started turning blue and he was shivering to the point of numbness, winter did nothing but delight him.
Loud clapping brought him out of his musing. "Way to go Yug," said young man turned around and smiled. "Ya, you're gonna knock'em dead at the competition."
Yugi rolled his eyes with a smile and glided towards his two best friends: one a tall lanky blond with a boyish face, goofy grin and kind, chocolate eyes. Next to him stood a proud brunette with mocha brown skin and his hair spiked like a shark's fin. His features were sharper than his companion's but his despite the maturity of his posture, his eyes and smile carried the exuberance of youth.
"I can't believe you're still training," the brunette chuckled, mockingly. "All this work isn't healthy for ya, Yugi. You gotta have fun.
Yugi braced himself against the glass and rolled his eyes. "For your information, Tristan, I wasn't training, I was just skating. Since none of the lakes are open I gotta make do with what I got."
"Ah, come on Yugi," the blond wrapped his arm around Yugi's shoulders and ruffled his hair. He looked disappointed when Yugi only smiled. "Ya been trainin for the Olympics since high school, and now that they're a week away, could ya at least try and be happy about it?"
"I am happy, Joey," Yugi offered a fake smile, but his best friend was right. He knew it.
"Well, whatever, that's why we planned a surprise for ya," Joey announced with a proud wink and flashed a victory sign.
Yugi groaned. "Guys, whatever it is, I don't think I'll-" before Yugi could blink his two, taller friends grabbed his arms and yanked him off the ground. "Hey, guys! Put me down!" Yugi screeched and struggled, failing his legs in mid-air. The two boys only chuckled and gripped his forearms, mindful of his skates.
"Sorry, Yugi but no can do. You been down in the dumps and we're gonna help you get your spark back," Tristan announced, smirking when Yugi glared at him. The boy wrenched at their grasps, but their hands remained firm.
"Then can you at least tell me where you're taking me?"
Joey and Tristan exchanged mischievous smiles than turned to Yugi. He flinched, terrified. The last time they gave him that look, they'd set him up on a blind date.
"We're taking you on the hike to Mt Teinko 'cause we know you love da be outside in Winta," Joey began.
Tristan immediately cut in "And the top has the best view of the mountains in the area. You can thank us later," he added seeing the stunned mystification on Yugi's face. Both teens smiled knowing he'd be speechless for a while.
The drive to the hike site was uneventful but for Yugi it was as if the universe was conspiring to keep his exuberant spirit imprisoned in the condensed cage known as the city. Between gathering the necessary equipment for a hike in Winter, traffic due to the trucks of snow and ice being delivered for the Snow Festival, the crowds of tourists and park rangers: Yugi almost screamed by the time they arrived only to be stopped by interrogating park rangers. All animosity vanished the second they stopped the car. As if possessed by the spirit of his childhood, Yugi jumped out of the car and bolted towards the track. He screeched back for his two friends to hurry up, and angrily tapped his impatient foot until they did so.
Yugi double-checked his gear making sure his thick coat, heavy boots and strong gloves were tightly in place and his think snow pants were tucked safely into his boots. Not a wisp of air chilled his heated skin. He removed his earmuffs and shook his head before putting them back in to place over his small ears, since he hated how hates bunched and frizzed his hair.
"Yugi, ya makin me tired and we haven't even started hikin yet." Joey groaned, zippering his green coat over his warmest clothes.
"I'm excited," Yugi defended and inhaled deeply. The air was bitter from winter's bite and rich with the crisp aroma of conifers, bark and the wet perfume of freshly fallen snow, but juxtaposed with the rancid smog of gas and burnt rubber, and the stench of salt-soaked slush. Mobs of people crowded the tour site, much to the young man's chagrin but be decided to ignore them. He was here, in the cold dead forests of the coldest place on earth and he was ecstatic. He wasn't going to let anything kill his mood.
"God, it's freezing," Tristan complained and shivered. He tied a brown wool scarf tightly around his neck and stuffed his heavily gloved hands into the pockets of his heavy winter coat. He and Joey bundled up only to keep out the cold, nothing else. "I don't know why you like the winter so much, Yugi. It's cold, its bitter, and Hokkaido is fricken insane."
"Yeah," Joey agreed, shivering violently. His breath formed thick white wisps like cigarette smoke. "Least back in Domino, winter doesn't get his bad."
Yugi rolled his eyes. "You guys are such wimps, winter's beautiful! Just look at it." Yugi spun around waving his arms emphasizing the dramatic masterpiece the frozen island had created. Snow caked everything in a blanket of glittering white crystals; hugged branches and pine heavily. Sheets of ice encased tree branches and bushes like clear, frozen skins. In the still shinning sunlight overhead the snow and ice glittered like jewels. Bare trees forested the entire mountain like a chaotic army of black skeletons; their thick limbs frosted with lichen and caked with snow. Pine trees stood like rich green speckled with white powder, shaped like huge pyramids while others stood tall and straight like red skyscrapers topped with Christmas trees. Holly and pinecones hung like ornaments, and snow, needles and pine cone fragments blanketed the thick forest floor.
Yugi took it all in, as if he were finally returning home after being away for years. The bare landscape showed naked and free of any clothing or jewels to shield its beauty. The white snow made everything pop and glitter. No leaves to hide the trees or flowery perfume to mask the musk of wood and earth, no leaves or shrubs to block the fierce wind from biting his skin and playing with his hair: it was perfect.
Joey just shook his head. "How the hell, were you born in Summer, Yug, you're a cold-blooded yuki-onna."
"HEY!" Yugi snapped, angrily, red dusting his face. "I am not a girl, Joey." He growled. He'd hoped and prayed he'd be done with such teasing once he graduated. Sure, he'd grown a few inches and was no longer the embarrassingly short height of five feet, and his soft, pale almost feminine body had sharpened and grown more refine and muscular due to his years of late blooming, exercising and figure skating, but, much to his chagrin, he still found himself caring his, soft, round face, baby cheeks, impossibly big eyes and soft, feminine voice. It didn't help that he was bi and everyone around him-male or female-seemed to be unnaturally drawn to him.
"Relax Yug," Joey threw his hand sup in mock defense. "I'm just teasing."
Yugi growled like a caged cat.
"Awe, come on Yugi," Tristan smacked him on the back. "Be grateful your beautiful, means you won't have any problem getting girls," the brunette flashed a perverted wink.
Yugi smirked and removed Tristan's hand. "Or guy, I'm bi remember." He sighed. "Like that'll ever happen though."
Both Joey and Tristan frowned. Yugi caught their eyes and the question forming on Joey's lips. "Now come on, let's see the waterfall before the mob." The young man bolted down the slush-soaked dirt path, not stopping until he came upon the rickety, moth-eaten staircase. The antiquarian railing rattled and screeched in protest with the slightest breeze and the steps shimmered with slippery ice. Carefully, Yugi grabbed the railing, braced the other hand against the jagged mountain side and slammed his boat on the floor. He stepped one foot at a time.
"Holy shit," Joey grabbed the railing roughly, making it shake like a rickety bridge when his boot lost its footing. "Holy shit, this thing is slippery."
"Be more careful, idiot," Tristan snapped and followed Yugi's example. His heart pounded so loudly, he could hear it. He kept his vision forward, not daring to look over into the blanket of white mist beyond.
Yugi's heart raced, but for a different reason. Adrenaline and anticipation fired his veins. The freezing, jagged stone and the white mist made him feel like he was one with the landscape. He barely noticed when he transferred from the first bridge to the second. Only when he found the waterfall. The lake had frozen along the banks but the harsh waters rocked and tossed waves of white foam forward like rag dolls. The waterfall cut through the jagged side of the rock cliff like a scar. Water crashed and slammed kicking up swirls of white each time it crashed. The other side of the bank was white, gray and black with snow and frost covered trees and underbrush. The crashing waves roared in Yugi's ears like a yapping dog snapping its jaw, combined with icicles and ice-caked branches jingling together in a winter symphony.
Yugi rushed to the bank before his friends could stop him and stepped onto the bank. The invisible ice sheets cracked loudly beneath his heavy boots. Splashes licked his boots and he kicked at the water and spun around like a child in a swimming pool. He would've stayed like that longer if two arms hadn't pulled him back.
"Yugi!" the older boys called; their voices loud with concern.
"You almost fell in, buddy," Tristan scolded.
"Jeeze Yug, I know ya love winter but ya gotta getcha head out of the clouds." Joey sighed and shook his head almost disappointed.
Yugi growled and pulled his arms free. "I wasn't going to fall in," he protested with a harsh snap. "I'm not a child, so would you guys please stop treating me like one."
"What's your problem?" Tristan asked, more worried than angry or upset.
"Nothing," Yugi scolded kicking himself. He forced a smile. "Now let's go, the view from the summit is supposed to be breathtaking."
Yugi rushed off. Tristan and Joey exchanged glances and sighed but decided to let it go. No sense in dragging out what they knew they wouldn't get.
The hike up to summit had been long an uneventful, but for Yugi it was like paradise. The screeching honks of cars, the obnoxious roars and laugher of people, and the howls of tourists and night life, didn't exist this far out. Nor did it have the obnoxious skyscrapers and towers of plastic, metal and steel and the hard concrete and asphalt, and the overabundance of people over flooding the streets with shopping bags and souvenirs. Here, in the frozen wilderness there was no noise, no people, no buildings, no expectations or money: only the pure, wild, simplicity of the barren, harsh, beautiful landscape. Here, he was free to be himself. To pretend that nothing was real and everything was nothing. He wished there was a pond nearby. He still had his skates in his bag. Maybe he could find a pond and skate for hours on the rough, glistening surface for a bit? There was nothing like skating on a pond. Gliding across the rough ice and crashing into the powdery feathers of snow. The snow raining from the tree branches overhead and letting himself become swept up by the wind.
There was nothing like it. No one else could understand it. Not even his grandfather, though he shared his love for the beauty and savagery of winter.
"Come on, we're almost there!" Yugi called, resisting the urge to laugh at his friends' struggle up the steep slope. Their arms dropped at their sides, but they pushed forward on wobbly legs, and expels loud gusts of air every time they exhaled. Once Yugi was certain they wouldn't faint on him, he raced up to the summit of the mountain and braced himself for the view.
"Oh wow…" he breathed unable to voice any other words. His eyes expanded with awe and his mouth opened in an o of astonishment.
"Guys! Hurry up! You have to see this!" Yugi cupped his hands around his mouth like a megaphone and jumped up and down like a child anxiously awaiting its parents to wake up for Christmas. "It's beautiful!" Yugi turned back to the site and sat down a few feet from the ledge with his legs bunched against his chest.
It truly was. A ring of mountains frosted with glittering white snow encircled a valley of forests and rivers. Rolling white hills like perfect scoops of ice cream juxtaposed with crowns and spires of conifers and naked deciduous trees frosted with snow or sheeted in shiny blue-sheens. The snow made the trees of the forest pop a bright dark blue. A huge river cut through the valley like a scar, branching into bright blue lines. Mist rolled over the mountains like a blanket of frosty air. The wind was harsher here and forcibly bit his bare cheeks and nose crimson, and whipped his heavy bangs against his eyes. The air was sharp with frost, and mixed with the pungent aroma of water and earth. For a moment, Yugi had to remind himself not to get too close to the edge.
"Wow, what a view," Joey's vocal voice broke the tranquility.
"Your right, Yug, that's something," Tristan added, dropping down next to Yugi. "You don't get 'em like that in Domino."
"Yeah," Joey added, joining his two friends and put an arm around Yugi's shoulders. "Honshu's too warm."
"And not enough mountains," Tristan added.
"It's like a frozen city," Yugi said dreamily.
Joey and Tristan blinked at him then looked at the view again.
"You know, I can kinda see it," Joey replied with a tilt of the head.
"I'm sorry, I don't see it," Tristan admitted.
"It's okay, Tristan." Yugi smiled half-heartedly. "Ya have to see it, not look for it."
"I don't get you, Yugi," Tristan shook his head. "You're 22 years old, you're a professional skater, you practically got everything, and yet you still daydream like we're in high school?"
"Hey lay off, Tristan," Joey playfully punched his friend in the arm. "All that dreamin is what made, Yug famous."
"No, he's right, Joey." Yugi admitted with a sad, frustrated sigh. A confused hand wove through his hair, lacing his bangs between his fingers. "I don't know, I just feel like my life is…empty. And I can't figure out why." He wrapped his free arm around his legs and pressed his forehead to his knees.
"Yeah, that's a crappy feeling," Joey sighed.
"Maybe you're lonely?" Tristan suggested.
"Maybe," Yugi giggled and flashed a broken smile. "I'm sure it's nothing, though."
His friends decided to let it go.
"We should head back," Joey gestured back to the path with his thumb. "My ass is numb and my fingers a turnin blue." He removed his glove and held up a shaking, red hand to emphasize his point.
"Amen," Tristan struggled to get to his feet and stretched his sore back. "Who's up for hot chocolate back at the lodge we saw?" He suggested with a hopeful smile.
"Me!" Joey's eyes lit up at the mention of food.
"You guys go ahead," Yugi suggested. "I wanna stay here a bit longer."
Both men frowned at him. "Ya sure, Yug?" Joey asked. "We don't mind waiting a little longer…"
"Please, go ahead." Yugi cut him off. "Don't let me ruin your fun. Besides I can just follow the markers back down."
"I don't know Yug, its gonna get dark soon." Tristan opened his mouth to protest but Yugi cut him off.
"Tristan, this is me you're talking to. I know better than anyone not to stay out past nightfall in winter. You guys go ahead; I'll catch up in a bit," He promised and turned back to the serenity.
Knowing that arguing was pointless, the two boys sighed and waved their smaller friend good-bye. "Calls us when ya get to the lodge," Joey ordered.
"I will." Yugi waved without turning around.
He leaned back and fell against the snow and spread his legs in an angel-shape. Overhead the sky was clear as glass. Gray and white clouds rolled over head like misshapen whales swimming across the blue sea. He closed his eyes and tried to imagine the valley as a white city covered in snow and made from marble, crystal and alabaster. With pearl floors and jeweled encrusted spires and lots of towers and archways, he conjured. Archways made of ice, or even better, diamonds! And lots of frozen lakes for ice-skating. Everything made from ice. Was it possible to live in ice? He always wondered. Sure, it was fine in movies, but it really made him wonder.
A drop of coldness on his face awoke him from his daydreams like a bucket of cold water. He shot up and touched his cheek. Relieved to find the frozen object was only a snowflake, he looked up. White had completely blanketed the sky, blocking the sun. Snow began raining in flurries but quickly increased to heavy clumps. The wind took a violent turn and attacked whatever bare skin it could find with its bitter claws. His cheeks and nose flared bright red with cold. Icy air even seeped through his gloves and boots chilling his numb fingers and aching his toes.
He cupped his hand and blew into them harshly, then rubbed them together, generating temporary warmth. Quickly, he got to his feet and started down the mountain. The path was still clear and easy to see, so he started running, hoping to beat the weather. As much as he loved blizzards, he wasn't stupid enough to risk getting lost in a storm.
Joey and Tristan sat in the lodge, tapping their feet against the floor and drumming their fingers against the table. Joey kept his eyes on the window with a clear view of the trail entrance and Tristan checked his watch ever five second.
"Come on, Yugi," Tristan demanded through grit teeth. "Where is he?"
"He'll be here, Trist," Joey assured him, but it was marred by the worry in his voice. "You know Yugi, he loves the Winta time."
"That's what I'm worried about." Tristan pressed his fingers to his temples and braced his elbows on the table. His untouched black coffee was still steaming.
A loud screech of a rock band broke the stillness. Joey fished out his snow and flipped the phone open. He saw the name of the caller flash across the screen and pressed the pound key. "S'up gramps?" he addressed the speaker.
"Joseph! Where are you boys?" the elderly man, demanded almost hysterically over the line. Joey pulled the phone from his ear, he was so loud. "Calm down, Grandpa, we're fine. Trist and I just took Yugi on a hike to Mt. Teine. He's was kinda down so we thought we'd cheer him up. Ya know how much he loves the winta?" Joey mollified. As much as he adored and respected Yugi's grandpa, who was practically a mentor to him, he knew better than anyone Solomon Mouto was famous for over-reacting, especially when it came to his family game shop or Yugi.
"Well, can I talk to him?" the old man asked. "I tried calling him, but he isn't answering his phone.
"He's not back yet," Joey explained.
"What's goin on, Joey?" Tristan asked.
"Gramps," Joey covered the mouth piece of the phone, and pulled the phone away. A loud scream of "What do you mean he's no back yet!" exploded through the phone.
"He wanted to stay longer, so we let him, he was right behind us, Gramps, he'll be down in a few secs. I'll tell him you called—"
"Joey you don't understand!" Grandpa cut him off, panic and terror bled into his voice.
"Gramps what's wrong?" Joey asked honestly concerned. Seeing Joey's shaking, Tristan leaned over to hear the conversation. Both of them froze; eyes wide and shaking with pure horror at what was spoken next.
"It just saw it on the news." Solomon sobbed, hysterically. "They're expecting the worst blizzard in twenty years, its already starting…and Yugi's still on the mountain…"
The line went dead when the phone slipped from Joey's trembling hand and crashed to the floor.
Though I can't stand ice-skating (I'm better on wheels than blades) Ice-skating is a very popular sport in Japan and I can see Yugi exhaling at it. Also I gave Yugi a wilder, more free-spirited personality in this, which is ironic since I HATE the cold, and I personally think I did a pretty good job showing Yugi's love of Winter and his oneness with the world around him.
The locations for this chap were inspired by Sapporo which was the first location for the Winter Olympics outside America and Europe and as I said all the locations are real places and events that take place in Japan:
Makomanai Ice Area—an enormous ice-skating rink located in Sapporo, Japan, most famous for housing the figure skating and ice-hockey competitions of the 1972 Winter Olympics.
Niku-Ku—the western ward (subdivision of cities in Japan), known for its forested, mountainous terrain and famous for its popular tourist hikes, the most popular of which ends at Mt Teine.
Sapporo—the largest city in Hokkaido, Japan, most famous for hosting the 1972 Winter Olympics and for its annual Snow Fesitval.
Hokkaido—The second largest of the Japanese Islands, and the most Northern Island. For tourists its basically the American equivalent of Florida and Alaska, except reversed: its Winters are extremely bitter and snowy, but its summers are mild and typically warm, and not humid because of its lack of June-July rainy season.
Yuki-onna—literally "Snow woman" in Japanese, the most popular Spirit in Japanese folklore. A variety of stories surround her but her appearance is that of a beautiful white-skinned woman with long black hair white kimono who is responsible for blizzards and snow storm. They say it snows when she cries and the brings storms wherever she goes.
As always read, review, critique, ask questions and go nuts, and if you think it sucks let me know WHY? I accept constructive Criticism but if you feel the need to flame, then PLEASE don't be an immature ass and say it sucks, explain to me WHY? I can't fix it unless i know what the problem is.