Chapter 1 - Insomnia
I couldn't sleep. That was all. What a stupid reason to get into such a horrible situation. If only I'd been able to sleep that night. Maybe then none of this would have happened.
My name is Yugi Mutou. I am eighteen years old and I attend Domino High School. And sometimes – well, a lot of the time - I have trouble sleeping and decide to walk around the streets at night. Mostly because I'm bored. That's what I was doing the night it happened, if you're interested. I know, I know, not the smartest decision on my part, but I hadn't slept properly in days, so I wasn't at my best.
They attacked me when I was nearly home.
It was a group of five older boys. They cornered me near my house, wanting some late night entertainment, I guess. They pulled me into an alleyway before they had started their fun, ignoring my yells and cries. One of them smashed me against the brick wall, laughing, while the others egged him on.
"Come on! Get him!" one of them yelled.
"Weaklings shouldn't be out so late!" another said. "Isn't it past your bedtime, kid?"
I didn't say anything - not out of some kind of stoic determination or bravery, though. I wasn't even biding my time. It was just that there was nothing I could say that would make my situation better. It would be better to just wait for them to get bored. I fell slack against the bully's grip, hopelessly anticipating the first blow.
It came like the swing of a mallet, knocking all the breath out of me. I gasped and curled in on myself, my breath wheezing from my lungs and blood dripping from a bite mark on my lip. The sound of the gang's laughter echoed in my ears, mixing with the ringing caused by the attack. I saw another blow coming towards me, and I cringed –
And then it all stopped.
I looked up. The guy still had a grip on my collar, but they had all turned their attention elsewhere.
At the mouth of the alley stood a tall, dark figure. I couldn't see him properly, but I managed to make out his spiked hair before he gestured his hand to the shadows pooling by the brick walls.
The darkness grew and rippled, reaching out for the gang like ghostly fingers. They stood there, staring in disbelief as the shadows reached for them, the disbelief turning to fear when one of the boys started screaming. Blood dripped from multiple wounds on his legs and arms. They reeled back, looking frantically around for an escape route, but finding none before the darkness got them.
Then I realised the darkness was coming for me too. I shrank back, but didn't run, recognising that it was hopeless. The darkness reached out for me and I braced myself, but it didn't cut me or hurt me. Instead it wrapped me in a soothing embrace.
The agonised screams of the boys were the last thing I heard before I slumped into unconsciousness.
I wondered why I saved him. It wasn't out of pity, or mercy, or kindness - not in the slightest. I didn't even know if I was capable of those emotions any longer. But if I had to venture a guess or two, I'd have said it would be because…he looked so familiar to me, like I'd seen him or someone like him before. I wondered if I know him from somewhere…
Oh, and another reason… he smelled delicious. His scent was intoxicating. Just that first sniff almost made me lose myself.
And so…well. I set the shadows on those humans, and brought the boy out of the dark and into the sky with me. I saved him.
Why, I wondered?
I woke some time later. The first thing I noticed was the wind ruffling my hair. The second thing was that my face was pressed to someone's chest.
…what? Last thing I remembered was walking in the streets…that group of boys…their screams as they –
I jerked my face away from the stranger, struggling to try and get out of his arms.
"I'd like to advise you not to try anything," a deep voice said, stopping my movements. I glanced up at the stranger. Spiky hair that looked a lot like mine and bright red eyes. Strange - I had thought I was awake, but this was too dreamlike to be real. I was asleep? Really asleep? I felt hope rising.
Then I looked down, and wished that I hadn't.
We were very high up. Possibly amongst the tops of the tallest buildings in Domino. It felt like the ground was miles away. But we were not standing on the roof of some high rise building… no… we were flying several hundred metres above the street -
I yelled out in fright and clung to the surface I was sitting on, my entire body shaking with terror. My hands touched something… something leathery and rough and soft all at the same time. The feel was so alien and contradictory to itself that it sent my mind reeling. Looking closer, the source of the feeling was not there at all, just a patch of darkness darker than the night sky. But at a closer look, I saw what it really was. A set of dark bat-shaped wings were stretched out on either side of us, flapping lazily as we glided out of the city and into the bordering countryside.
Well, who said dreams had to make sense…
"Who are you?" I asked, cursing my shaking voice. "Where are we going?"
"I, little one, am the one who saved you from those… wastes of space," the baritone voice said. "You can call me Yami."
Little one? He actually said that? What century was this mysterious dream person from? Oh well, I thought, can't argue with mysterious dream guys. He was obviously a lot stronger than me, so I decided not to try.
Saved me from those wastes of space? Oh, so the dream person obviously knew about the gang who attacked me.
Wait a sec. "Yami…" I said, frowning. "As in… darkness?"
"Yes, as in darkness."
He was called darkness. There had been that darkness in the alleyway. Those wings…
"What are you?" I asked calmly. It couldn't hurt to know what my dreams came up with.
He seemed to hesitate before answering. "I am… a friend…"
Apparently he misunderstood me. "I mean… what are you? What are these wings? How did you cut up that gang like that?" I clarified. "I didn't see you land a single blow, but they were screaming in pain and there was blood."
"I'll explain later," he sighed, shifting me so that one hand covered my eyes. "But for now, sleep."
Wait, I wanted to tell him. You're not real. You have to explain now. You don't get the same dream twice. You can't make me sleep. I'm already asleep…
You never get the same dream twice? Who am I …kidding…
Darkness crawled into my field of vision, blocking out what little I could see. My mind grew hazy, the blackness creeping up to me and dragging me down.
He woke faster than I expected. I had originally thought that he would sleep until we reached the mansion, so it shocked me when he woke during the flight. His violent wriggling meant I had to hold him tighter lest he fall to his death.
I had hoped that he'd stay comatose for the whole journey. His wakening had ruined my plans of keeping my identity a secret – keeping the secret of my true nature. Granted, I didn't need to show him my true form, but still… he'd seen my wings… and he probably remembered my 'fight' against his tormentors, if you could call it that. They didn't put up much of a fight at all…
But I couldn't change what I'd done, so I put it behind me and focused on getting to safety… to the place where they couldn't find me…
I woke up feeling more refreshed than I had for ages. I sat up and rubbed my eyes, yawning widely. I blinked the sleep from my eyes, gripping the silk sheets in a tight grip. And froze.
Silk? I don't have silk sheets…
I looked around, feeling more and more uncomfortable every second. Just where on earth was I? Not my own bed in my own room, that was for sure.
The room I was currently in was much larger than my room, with a red carpet covering the floor and pale cream walls. There was a wardrobe on the far side of the room, its brown wood carved with intricate vine patterns. There was a desk of the same wood and a side table on both sides of the bed on which I was sitting. The bed itself was a four-poster, draped with transparent red curtains which were drawn back to the foot of the bed and tied with red satin ribbons. The sheets were made of red silk, a bit too flamboyant for my tastes. Whoever owned the place had a lot of money to burn.
What was I doing here? I didn't remember coming here at all. The last thing I remembered was a strange dream – and before that… I wasn't sure. It was late at night so I went for a walk…and then…a weird dream. The only answer was that someone must have kidnapped me. I let the conclusion wash over me a bit.
"Well, I see you're awake," a voice said, making me jump with shock. In the doorway stood a teenage boy, his brown eyes shining. He was dressed in clothes which seemed to be from the Victorian era, and his hair was styled to so that the bottom half was dark brown while the top was a light caramel with two dark strands flopping over his shoulders.
"Alright, this is just too weird," I said angrily. "Where the hell am I? Who brought me here? What on earth is this place?" I tossed the sheets aside and glared at the boy. Was it him who kidnapped me? No, it was someone else… "Why am I here? And just who are you meant to be?"
The boy laughed, walking into the room and shutting the door behind him. He dragged a chair nearer to the bed and sat down, crossing one leg over the other. "My name is Judai Yuki. Welcome to the Yuki manor! What's "
"… Your mansion?" I repeated. "Why am I here again?"
"You're here because Yami brought you here," said Judai. "To rest and recuperate, I suppose. You went through quite an ordeal."
I frowned. Having yelled a bit, there didn't seem to be much else I could do about the situation, so I flopped back onto the bed. "Ordeal?"
"You were beaten almost to death. And you mustn't have slept in quite a while. You've been asleep for three days."
I blinked. "What." Three days. Three days. I, Yugi Mutou, had slept for three days straight. Either Judai was lying, or something was very, very wrong -
"Now then, calm down!" Judai said, pushing me back down on the bed. "You've only just woken up! You'll end up fainting if you're not careful." I nodded and breathed deeply to slow down my pounding heart.
"Anyway, I just came to check up on you. Yami's been dying to see you since he dropped you off, but Ryou's forbidden him to come, for some reason."
"Who's this Yami?" I asked. The name rang a bell.
"Oh, he's our friend!" Judai assured me. "Definitely! He's got a temper, and he...well…you're – never mind. Would you like to know who Ryou is?"
I sensed that Judai didn't want to talk about this Yami, and decided there wasn't any point forcing him to. "Sure."
"Ryou Bakura is another person who lives here. He takes care of all medical matters. There's also Bakura Tozoku, and Johan Anderson along with myself and Yami."
My stomach then decided that it was a good time to make itself known, growling loud enough for even Judai to hear. He nodded at me and stood up.
"Let's go get you something to eat. Do you think you're up for a short walk?"
This was so weird; it looped right back around to normal again. "Sure," I said.
"Then why don't you change your clothes and I'll take you to the dining room!"
It was only then that I noticed that I was wearing a pair of silk pajamas. Someone must have changed me while I was asleep. The thought creeped me out and I shivered. Judai must have read my mind or something because he spoke up again.
"Ryou had to get change you out of your old clothes because they were soaked in blood and he needed to bandage you up. Now come on! You can wear these!"
He handed me some clothes and grinned.
"Aren't you going to turn your back?" I said.
"Oh, yes. That's the done thing in human society, isn't it…"
I frowned at the odd comment, but didn't pursue it farther. I changed into the clothes that Judai handed to me, grateful that he turned his back to give me some privacy. I donned a pair of casual jeans and a black t-shirt, and a clean pair of boxers. I folded the pajamas and put them on the bed.
"I'm done," I told Judai. "Should we go?"
"Sure!" Judai said, grinning over his shoulder at me before heading to the door. He held it open, waiting for me to walk out. "Right this way!"
Ok! First chapter of Blood Links. As those of you who read what I'd managed to do of Blood Lust may have realized, this is a rewrite of Blood Lust, but with a slightly different storyline and stuff. I actually planned it out properly this time. I'm sorry if Yugi and Judai seem OOC, but that's how they have to be for now. I'll explain why soon enough. Please review!