A/N: My dear Dawnwisker, (kansie and kitsune), may this chapter bring you the fix you need. 6u^

Dragonbound

Chapter Seventeen:

Tension

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Yami stared at his reflection in the water basin as he gently pressed his fingertips against the mark on his neck. "Is that everything?" Yugi asked. Yami turned to look behind him, where Yugi was sitting watching him in a chair and Atem seemed to be pacing back and forth in the tent. Even though Atem was no longer a threat, and neither was Yami, the two still eyes each other from time to time. And yet Yami had noticed that whenever Yugi talked Atem's distrustful and calculative gaze seemed to soften. Yami wondered if his expression did the same, turning from thinking and cautious to warm and smiling. At least, that was the way Yami felt around Yugi. Being next the boy once more, Yami felt as if he had regained some of his humanity.

The vampire had just spent the last remaining hours of the night recanting everything that he could remember sense he woke up and divulging any and all information he could offer. Telling them the secret information had been surprisingly easier than he had first thought and he felt absolutely no guilt for doing it. He wondered if that could be attributed to his new 'mating bond' or whether he would have felt that way regardless.

Looking between Yugi and Atem he felt... odd... and yet somehow misplaced. Apparently he was now Atem's mate as well, which was great because now he could be with Yugi, and yet somehow he felt like an outcast. Atem and Yugi seemed to already share such a strong connection. Yugi seemed to be connected to him as well, but in a different way. If Yami had still been the brother that Yugi remembered, would their connection be stronger then the one Atem had? He wasn't sure. He supposed it didn't benefit anyone to consider 'what if?' situations. They had more pressing matters on their hands and besides, Yami could see the tension and unease that Yugi was trying to hide. The angel was happy that Yami was back and by his side, but he was also worried, embarrassed, and feeling guilty. It wasn't unnatural. Looking at Atem Yami could tell he also had mixed feelings on the situation. The whole thing was complicated and weird as hell, for all of them.

"Just shag each other. That will fix everything." Yami glared off to the side where Luna was floating just a few inches from his face. Didn't the feline have anything better to do at that moment than annoy him? "You haven't told them have you?" Yami looked away. No, he hadn't. After everything that had happened he didn't feel comfortable bring up his apatite for blood. He didn't want to have to explain the rather unpleasant details of it either. He ran his tongue absently over his fangs. He would be fine, for a while at least. He had fed heavily before going on his mission so he would not have to feed again until the following night.

Atem paused, placing his fingertips together "You said that the enemy's army is mostly comprised of humans, but that Seto has a vampire on his side as well?"

Yami nodded "Yes, he is the same vampire that turned me. From the conversations I have heard, Pegasus has also recruited some dark magic users to pledge their allegiance to Seto. They are the ones that have created all the zombies and other mal-formed creatures."

"Pledge their allegiance?" Atem repeated curiously. "Why would they pledge their allegiance to Seto and not the king?" It was an excellent question, and one that Yami could not answer for sure.

"I can only tell you that Seto is the only one that every visits and has conferences with the king."

Atem pursed his lips and then looked toward the front of the tent. "Morning will be nearly upon us, and I must be ready for battle if that is what is to come." He turned to Yugi. "You have not had any rest, take this time to catch what little sleep you can." Yugi looked as if he were going to protest but Atem raised a brow in challenge and Yugi sighed. He then looked to Yami "Being a vampire, you can not go out in daylight?" Yami nodded. "Then you will stay here and watch over Yugi."

Yami nearly jolted when he heard a voice that was not his own echo within his mind "I can feel you." Yami blinked and looked to Atem, staring directly into the dragon's eyes. "You are my mate. Your emotions are as clear to me as if they were my own."

Yami frowned "That's... not exactly helping." He glanced away momentarily.

"It does help. It allows me to know when you are safe or in danger. Protect Yugi." He looked as if he wanted to saw more, but could not put it into words. Yami knew exactly how he felt.

Atem left the tent, leaving Yugi and Yami alone. The silence that dragged on between them was maddening and the distance between where they sat felt like an ocean. Yami could not remembered feeling so close and yet so far from anyone in his life, though that wasn't saying much. "You should say something to calm him down." Luna spoke.

Yami turned on her "Would you be silent!" he hissed.

"W-what!" Yami turned back to see Yugi looking at him with wide worried eyes. "I-I wasn't saying anything."

"Smooth." Luna said in a most condescending way.

"No I-" Yami didn't even begin to know how to explain it. "It's nothing. I'm sorry I startled you." He looked around the tent before he stood up. "Atem is right. You need your sleep." He went to the other side of the tent and opened another flap, one that lead to a pile of blankets and pillows that had been fashioned into some kind of nest on a laid out rug on the ground. He turned to Yugi "Sleep here, it will be most comfortable." He had no idea why he was saying something he knew that Yugi was already aware of, but it just served as a distraction from the awkwardness he felt. Yugi stood up and had started to walk over, or at least Yami thought, until the young angel came to stand in front of him.

"You haven't had any sleep either. You should join me."

Yami's cheeks reddened "I-I don't thinks that...that is I would-"

Yugi's face turned a bright pink "No!" he coved his mouth, not meaning for what he said to come out that loud "I just...I-"

Yami gulped "Sleep next to you?" Yugi nodded. "Yes." He considered it a moment and then added "I...would like that very much." Yugi looked up at him and a warm and happy smile spread across his face. Yami couldn't help but smile back. "Yugi."

"Yes?"

"Would you, when we have time, tell me about my past? I.." he trailed off, not knowing exactly how to say it. "I want to know who I was and about my life with you." Yugi's smile never faltered but it seemed bitter-sweet.

"Yes, I will."

Yugi laid down first and then Yami, who positioned himself on the other side of the makeshift bed, as he lay on his back. Yugi curled up on his side, facing away from Yami. There was a moment of pause before Yami closed his eyes, willing himself to try and sleep. After a moment he felt the covers shift and then a small warm body press against him. He opened his eye momentarily to see Yugi resting his head on his chest. He couldn't help the smile that came to his lips as he wrapped his arm around Yugi's body.

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"He has not returned." Bakura said in a tone that radiated annoyance.

"Are you sure? Perhaps he is just late?" Pegasus chuckled. "You did give him a nearly impossible task." The vampire leaned back in his chair as he sipped the red liquid from his goblet.

Seto peered out the window at the army that lay at the foot of the castle. "That was why I gave it to him. That little fledgling of yours looked too much like him. I could even see the same look in his eyes."

"Oh come now Seto, you are being dramatic."

"No, I'm not. That's more your hobby." Seto spat icily.

"So cruel."

"If it were not for your lack of control we would not have even been in this predicament. I sent that vampire on that mission for the soul prospect that he would be put out of my misery. Sense he has not returned he is very likely dead."

"Did you see that young boy?" Bakura asked, turning to look at Seto. "The angel that was with Atem."

Seto gaze narrowed "Yes."

"Do you not find it rather peculiar that Atem, that angel, and our vampire shared almost the same uncanny resemblance."

"Peculiar..." Seto's face was glowering now "No, I find it infuriatingly annoying. I have every intention of killing every one of them."