I apologise for the lateness (again). To be honest this chapter has been very trying for me because I wanted to get Yami and Yuugi's first meeting just right. You'll have to tell me how I did. No joke this is the fourth version and Im glad of it. Its improved by miles from the original which Id almost be embarassed to share now. It mostly came to me in a dream and I knew then that I had to scrap the older and start anew.

Thank you to everyone whose reviewed. I keep meaning to do personal responses and thank yous instead of general ones but my time management skills clearly arent the best. This restart of ITDN has finally gotten more reviews than the original version did! Oh yeeeeeeah.


Chapter 4


(Yuugi's perspective)

Yugi was floating, his mind cast adrift in the peaceful calms of unconsciousness. He had been out for a while now, a thought which idly occurred to him as his mind briefly grazed the banks of wakefulness. He shifted and there was pain. Half lidded eyes peaked open, grasping at hazy visions of dark objects before settling back into the tranquility of oblivion.

He didn't want to wake. Only suffering awaited him with the added promise of more to follow. He would much rather remain here, lingering in the silence, lost in the void and comfort that darkness wrought than face the reality of a violent and spiteful world. And yet…

He didn't.


He wasn't certain what it was at first, a soft whimper or cry, but it stirred emotions and cast heavy ripples over his unruly sleep; giving way to the fragile dreams of his broken soul. Or at least that's what it all seemed to be at the time: some kind of dream.

He was alone, drifting under the canopy of a moonless night. Rainbows of colour reflected in the onyx waters around him, dancing in the gentle roll of the waves as the river sang a soft melody against the shore. It was serene; stretches of overreaching branches funnelling his view onto the pale diamonds that glistened, netted together like a thousand silver fireflies in the deep latticework of the night sky. There were thick trees everywhere, forming up like rifleman on the riverbanks as they made a fortified wall of greenery around him and whispered softly to themselves with each pass of wind.

Warm air rustled loose pieces of hair and tickled the side of his nose, creating a soft cascade of water when Yuugi raised his hand to tame the rebellious gold strands back into place. They reunited with their brethren and swayed in the calm of waters like a halo of around his head.

The small disturbance was hardly enough to shatter the peace but it drew Yuugi's attention to the shore on which he noticed one of the ghostly figures for the first time. Watching him.

They came out of the forest to greet him and gathered along the banks, some waving from the thick shadows of the trees as their bodies seemed to glow, casting a faint light of luminescent silver and cobalt over the water.

Yuugi's body tensed, fear soaking into his mind just as easily as the water permeated and wrinkled his skin. He had liked being alone. In fact it was preferable to the suffering that often seemed to come from interacting with people. There were too few out there that could be trusted he'd learned. It was better to guard himself, shelter his heart from strangers as he met their smiling faces with a sullen frown. He hoped the river would keep them away or carry him off before the spirits came any closer.

His brow began to unfurrow. He knew them. He recognised each of the faces that gathered in the ethereal crowd like viewing an old portrait. They were figments of his past, preserved from time's wicked hands as if the curse of aging had no effect. Some of the faces he knew were dead. Others he knew to be older with stretch marks and kids, matured well beyond the reflection that their current masks portrayed. But why? Why were they here and why did they look so young?

They were his neighbours, his old teachers and friends that he grew up with. He was admittedly pleased to see them, a smile working the corners of his mouth as memories of better days and happier times infiltrated his mind. It was strange to think of them as if time were no factor; as if fate played no hand in disassembling their bonds and left everything as pristine as it had been before their trust succumbed to ruin and everything fell apart.

Back when they were all friends and Yuugi was normal. There were no tags or labels. No rumours or shaming. Just friends, and games and laughter and fun. Why did that all have to die away? Why couldn't one mistake have been forgiven? Was it really such a crime to like the wrong person?

Silent tears graced his cheeks. He wouldn't have even noticed if one hadn't slid over his ear making him shiver. He hated his ears being touched. Wiping at his eyes with the back of his hand Yuugi watched as the earlier apparitions began to disappear. Their clouded bodied paled then drifted off in soft wisps until their entire being returned to the night from which it had formed.

He wanted to go with them. Disappear into the stillness and stop moving forward. Part of him just wanted to give up and refuse the path that fate had laid out for him, shrug off the shackles of destiny and carve out a new route. He didn't want to be alone any more yet he was tired of every relationship becoming a battle he could never win. His needs, their needs; he always put others before himself but too few reciprocated the gesture. He worked hard to earn every friend he'd ever had and yet he was still alone.

First his parents, his friends and then… even his grandfather. Everyone went away if given enough time. It was something he had just come to accept. Forever was too long to ask of anyone. And for that reason, he cried.

More tears budded as the corner of his eyes, liberating themselves in a steady flow that ran from his nose along his jaw and down to his neck before joining with the starlit river. He had promised himself he was over this, choking on his next breath as a whimper escaped him. He thought he'd put the past behind him… Let it go and moved on from it.

Yet their faces still haunted his dreams. Somewhere in the jumbled collage of thoughts he knew what this was, yet it hadn't stopped him from enjoying the tranquility until now. He felt more than saw that his parents were there, candescent spectres huddled together beneath the shroud of a willow tree. He could barely recall their faces anymore, an aspect reflected in his dream by their obscured faces.

How often he used to dream of moments like this, spending his peaceful dreaming hours frantically chasing their images through fanciful settings just for a chance look at their hidden faces. He wanted to remember them; if only impart to alleviate some of the guilt for having forgotten in the first place.

He half expected himself to climb out of the river and run to them now, just like he always did when he saw them in dreams. Run and try to reunite the family that had vanished nearly twenty years ago. But not tonight. He was tired of fighting, tired of being the only one to struggle with the odds and suffer through the awkwardness necessary to maintain relationship. His parents were gone; had been for years.

They were not a crutch that could help him in the real world. Only he could do that. It was time to give up on wishful thinking and the childish notion that the past could change. Only the future mattered. A grim, dark and pain filled future that loomed just on the horizon of consciousness.

He averted his eyes and patiently watched the stars pass overhead, refusing to give in to temptation even as the imagined figure of his mother began to weep. Thankfully, in the span of a few deep breaths to steady his heart rate, silence returned. His parents were gone and the shores emptied as the current gained speed.

Yuugi sighed, a heavy breath sinking in his chest as he blinked and more tears snuck free. He was tired of feeling this pain; tired of hurting and opening his heart to people. Having them tear it out in chunks with each betrayal that left him a hollowed and emptied vessel. He was done exposing his heart and if it meant being alone forever then so be it. Soon there would be nothing left to give. He was already fragile and drawn thin by those he'd trusted and lost.

More ghosts emerged from the jagged shores of his past, climbing from the muddy banks like clay dolls birthed from the earth and painted by the wind. As the light of life settled in their eyes as his cherished middle school friends began to chase after him, gleefully waving their hands over their heads as they followed from land and mouthed wordless shouts for his attention. It was just like old times when Yuugi's parents would drive up and drop him off early to play before school started.

These ghosts looked as though they hadn't aged a day since then. Still only ten years old and gleefully unaware of the major falling out that was yet to come.

If only he hadn't trusted them. If only he'd kept his feelings to himself. If only, if only…

He learned the hard way to close himself off and emotionally detach. It was an act he applied daily while putting on a show of happiness for customers or faking an interest in boring lecture topics. And all it had taken a single day and one secret to get loose that earned an entire school's mockery and judgmental stares for years to come.

He hated to recall it. It had been ages since he thought of their faces considering what happened. He may have only been nine at the time, one year their junior, but he had had the biggest crush on a boy from their soccer team that he foolishly thought to confide in his friends at the time. Regardless of the promises made to never tell, talk spread throughout the next four hours and by noon Yuugi received more than a simple line of rejection from the boy he'd hoped to one day garner the courage to speak to.

As if on cue the ghost of that vapid ten year old appeared through wisps of ethereal flames that parted like cotton drapes when he stepped forward and watched Yuugi pass. He sported a weak smile, the one that Yuugi used fantasize over and dreamed about. Perfectly soft and sweet, rather timid like his own. He hated that smile now. It did little to make up for the ridicule inflicted on him in the years that followed such a brutish and callous acts of public rejection.

Anger flared and without notice the scenery shifted. The ghosts began dispersing in audible puffs of smoke as the current once again gained speed, slapping at the shoreline viciously when it began to twist and churn, uprooting clods of dirt that stained the water a nasty shade of brown.

Yuugi had tried so hard to forgive them, blaming himself for their misguided words and cruel acts. They had been young and stupid, unaware of how their teasing tore up Yuugi's world and laid the ground work for countless days of bullying to follow. He never escaped their criticisms on his own. The rumours followed him straight into high school and would have continued if it hadn't been for Anzu…


By the gods did he miss her. They had been inseparable as kids, fishing, playing, swimming, spending the better part of their summers together at their families' cottages which shared a property amongst everything else. Their parents had been good friends but the fun ended after the accident. His grandpa had been forced to sell in favour of raising Yuugi properly and maintaining the small game shop he operated out of the first storey of their house.

The old man was determined but he wasn't a miracle worker. The acreage had been taxing on Yuugi's father so it was a decision Yuugi always understood but still quietly resented his grandfather for nonetheless. He hadn't seen Anzu after that until high school, a painfully long departure from his best friend given all that had happened in between.

But it was Anzu that saved him from the rumours and bullies. All it took was a kiss on the cheek to dispel years of torment. Even the girls which had once rejected him for being 'weird' began to ask him out and followed him around like love-struck groupies. It was hard to trust their compliments or believe in the sincerity of their actions given the teasing and name calling most had committed in middle school. No matter what they said or tried, regardless of the past and apologies, none of them could ever hope to hold a candle to Anzu when it came to Yuugi's heart.

She may not have been the most popular or even the most beautiful girl at school but to Yuugi she was perfect, beyond all other standards of comparison. Anzu was his everything. His angel, his goddess; his first real love.

She was the one who mattered, who changed his life and gave him hope again. Chased away his demons, lifted the curse and began to mend the remnants of his tattered soul. Many people look back to high school with anger but given what he'd been through, they were some of the best years of his life all thanks to her.

But just as high school was ending and he couldn't have been happier, she had to go and shattered everything.

She had dated before (in fact there was hardly a time when Anzu wasn't taken) but unlike then Yuugi hadn't had the courage to ask her out. It was two months before the end of their third year when Yuugi finally gathered the nerve to ask her to the spring dance. She already had a date and turned him down (nothing he hadn't already expected) but what broke his heart was the phone call that came at two in the morning the next day.

He could still remember racing out to meet her at the park, completely unaware that he had tossed his shirt on backwards in the rampant struggle to dress in the dark. She was sitting on the swing still in her gown, corsage tossed to the side with her head bowed as she moved the sand idly with the toe of her shoe. She looked up when she heard him approach, eyes stained with thick mascara lines that rained down her cheeks like tiger stripes.

No words were needed. He knew what her date had done, what he'd stolen and foolishly discarded. He held Anzu until sunrise without a word, silently crying with her as he kissed her hair and finally spoke the words he'd so long held back: I love you. It may have been wrong to say it while she was so vulnerable but given the way she kissed him, the fact that she said 'yes' to him asking if she would be his from then on, he would do it all over again without hesitation.

They dated through the rest of their senior years, the best of friends and sweetest of couples as the majority of the school put it. Nothing particularly changed between them other than the parting kisses and handholding that now accompanied every outing. He didn't mind. He understood Anzu's reservations about taking things to the next level so he never pressured or asked. He wanted something far more precious than her body. Something no one else deserved to have.

By the time graduation was rolling around things had grown more serious between them. He saw a side of Anzu he never expected though thoroughly enjoyed. They had still never taken things all the way; a fact which grew more frustrating each time Anzu pushed him away and left him to awkwardly sort out his 'problem' on his own. Yet that was hardly their biggest concern.

With four months left to graduation Anzu received her acceptance letter to the prestigious dance academy she had only ever dreamed about. It was fantastic news, something Yuugi should have been happy about even if it meant Anzu would be moving once summer began. But to Yuugi who was equally happy for her and devastated, it may as well have been the apocalypse come early. He had received his own art scholarship right here in Domino. It was foolish to move with her, a point they argued over many times.

Yuugi wore down, finally conceding that it would be a waste to give up the scholarship and pay for a full education in another city. But he didn't want it to end; he didn't want to break up. He knew Anzu didn't believe in long distance relationships and that no matter how many times they argued she still insisted they return to just being friends.

After one particularly heated argument, in a fit of emotion-induced bravado, he dared her to end it right then. Walk away and not come back if that's what she really wanted. Why wait? Why slowly crush his heart and make him suffer? She didn't hesitate. She did as he asked. She left and took every little piece of his heart with her at the slam of the door.

Yuugi didn't go to school for two months after that. He was depressed and spent every day in bed, each day passing more quickly than the last until his grandfather finally coaxed him out of his room and back to school. There was barely enough time to catch up on assignments and repair his grades before the semester ended. He managed though and was set to graduate with honours though he took little pride in it knowing that Anzu would be at grad with someone else.

It hurt to see her. Hurt to see her smile or hear her laugh. Hurt just to know she had already moved on and had so easily adapted to a life without him.

They barely talked. A few words here and there in the halls but it was hard not to cry whenever they parted company. He was so used to greeting her with kisses, holding her hand and escorting her to and from classes that he habitually found himself waiting by her locker without thinking, only to hastily retreat as she approached with the new boyfriend in tow.

They couldn't even be friends any more. Anytime Yuugi tried to hang out with the same circle of friends HE was always there too. Touching, groping, kissing – always with his hands on her as if to purposely spite Yuugi and inflame his jealousy. He quickly learned to stay away and ignore the offers and invites whenever the group got together outside of school. He couldn't take it.

Within two weeks of returning Yuugi had entirely isolated himself, hoping that the final month would pass quickly so that he would never have to see any of these people again. He got a few offers for grad but declined them all. He didn't want anyone but Anzu.

His grandfather's health was deteriorating and lately he needed more help around the shop than usual. Instead of going to grad Yuugi chose to stay home and tend the counter. It was better than dressing up just for some silly sheet of paper. Besides, it would have been torture to see Anzu actually wearing that mermaid coral dress they'd spent days to pick out in the months before they broke up. He'd much rather pick his diploma up from the school later, a fact his grandfather for once didn't argue over.

Six weeks after graduation the heart attack happened. His grandfather had died before the ambulance even reached the hospital. Word spread quickly and flowers as well as money reached his doorstep in showers of condolences though Yuugi found little solace in their kind words. Anzu had already moved on and left for her new life. No one was left for him. He had a few good acquaintances but otherwise there was next to nothing keeping him bound to life.

All he had was his grandfather's lingering words to encourage him: "Only a fool lives their life for someone else. Get out of this bed and make something of yourself. If you won't do it for you then do it for me!" It was the same words that had finally pulled him from his depression over Anzu. Now it was a daily mantra just to find the strength to keep going. Live for yourself and no one else.

He kept the game shop running by himself for most of the summer, but just like their cottage Yuugi knew he couldn't maintain both the shop and go to school when the fall came. With the decision made he began to clearance the inventory and look for buyers. It wasn't hard to find someone and by August it was all said and done. At eighteen Yuugi was officially settled into a new apartment with just a few possessions of his grandfathers that he couldn't dare to part with.

His old life had ended. He had a new job, a new home, and even a new outlook on life. He was a new Yuugi; weathered and cynical, but determined to face university and prove the world wrong. He wanted to be more than just another face in the crowd. More than just a pathetically shy kid that couldn't stand up for himself. He was who he was and he was tired of being a stepping stone that other people used to elevate themselves. He was ready for a fresh start, determined to make it happen… Make his grandfather proud; make himself proud.

Until Anzu returned.

She had been home visiting with her parents when she heard the news. Yuugi still had no idea how she did it, but she managed to find his new apartment and appeared back in his life just as suddenly as she had left it. He had barely crawled out of bed and found clothes by the time she was ready to break down the door that night.

It was as though the last eight months had never happened. Her panicked look and tears wore down the walls he'd so carefully built without a single word being uttered. And the moment she wrapped her arms around him she was instantly forgiven. No hesitation, no turning back, the night shifted into day as their emotions ran wild in a frenzy of unspoken love for one another; Anzu restoring the life she'd stolen when they finally joined as one.

Yet it was never quite the same. He loved Anzu, but there would always remain the fear that one day she would suddenly be gone again. Call him paranoid but he didn't trust her or any of the new friends she'd made at her dance school. They were too different and their personalities didn't get along. Whenever Anzu was around them she became a different person, someone Yuugi couldn't relate to or quite understand.

Was there any point in waking? Anzu would move on, a point she'd already proven once. He could feel the darkness waiting for him, lingering in the distance like an object held just out of reach. All he had to do was wait and let the currents sweep him into the blissful silence of eternity. It felt close now so why suffer?

He knew what waited on the other side, a crisp blast of pain across his consciousness reminding him of what choosing life entailed. He hadn't forgotten what happened. If he woke he would have to suffer and he was tired of being hurt. He closed his eyes and leaned back, letting his body sink deeper into the stream.

You're better than this.

He heard a soft whine and looked up. Through the smokey waters he spotted what looked to be a small dog perched on the edge of the river, watching him drift by as it danced in place as if preparing to come in after him. He marvelled at the strange twist his dream had taken, studying the pup as it moved further up the stream and tried again, its small limbs repositioning as it lowered before fumbling into the water with an unceremonious splash.

It was adorable at first but within moments it became clear that the current was too fast for the young wolf whose tiny legs barely paddled fast enough to keep its nose elevated. It began to drown, snorting out water with each breath before it was fully swept under when the river bent.

Yuugi ducked back under the waves, watching it tumble and struggle to orientate itself. It was just beyond Yuugi's reach so he leaned forward and planted his feet against the smoothed rocks to anchor himself. The small bundle slid into his arms with ease as Yuugi kicked free and surfaced.

The rocks were slick with algae and the fuming rapids slammed against Yuugi's body as he fought each jet of water in an attempt to keep both of their heads afloat. The once gentle stream had become a raging torrent and nightmare to navigate as spray stung his eyes and the crash of cascading water filled his ears. Go figure there was a waterfall. Of course there would be one. That was the end he'd been waiting for.

His bare feet slid across the slime covered rocks, unable to find good footing as he paddled towards the edge with one hand while the other supported the wolf's weight against his shoulder. He reached out for low hanging branches, swimming proving useless with the current too strong to battle. It pulled him closer to the center every time he lost footing with the ground or tried to lunge forward. He equally lost his patience every time they were pulled back but he didn't give in. They could make it.

In desperation Yuugi snagged the side of the shore and hoisted the small wolf onto the safety of the ledge. The mud of the bank crumbled between his fingers, sending him back into the waves that easily swept him down a full meter. He grabbed hold of a ledge to stop himself, clinging to the rocks though he didn't have the proper upper body strength needed to pull himself out of the water. But at least the pup was safe. Yuugi would just have to find another place with better footing.

He looked around but didn't see anything. The banks closest to the falls had been carved out by the raging water making the ledges steep and weak. There were a few promising rocks that he might be able to jump from but he doubted he would make the distance.

Above him golden eyes loomed over the edge, staring down at him as the wolf yelped and tossed its head back in both the most pathetic and adorable little yowl Yuugi had ever heard. It reminded him of his own pain and fears of being alone; like a small child crying out for someone to come find it. He wished he could comfort the little wolf but as much as he wanted to pull himself free of the river, it didn't seem likely that he could. He was trapped.

Yuugi sighed, resigning himself to the fate he had once freely chosen. If it hadn't been for the wolf pup then he never would have fought the current any ways. So why fight it now? He should just let go and let the water sweep him over the edge, into oblivion like he had so recently craved. What was to stop him?

A rough tongue grated against his muddied fingers making Yuugi look up. Twin ears poked out, shifting back and forth just out of reach. It wormed a smile across his features as he lifted a finger and felt it connect with the soft pad of a nose. The wolf huffed and nipped at the finger in revenge, its baby teeth barely hurting as its paw swatted and held it back down. Yuugi laughed, trying to see more of the wolf over the edge as he drummed his fingers and heard the wolf startle back with a soft 'wuf'.

He wasn't sure if the pup would pounce again or if it had gotten bored and wandered off. Moments passed and Yuugi guessed the game was done, searching now for a way out before he felt something heavy step on his hand before a large object dropped over the edge and nearly struck him in the face.

There wasn't much time to react. Yuugi closed his eyes and turned away just as the object made contact and grazed by his jaw. It slammed into his shoulder then fell away with a heavy splash.

Frowning up at what he swore was amusement in those curious golden eyes; Yuugi looked over to see the stick that had hit him floating down the river. It had been a fair sized branch, long enough to get stuck between the shore and one of the protruding rocks and probably thick enough to support his weight if he could wedge it in the mud just right.

He didn't think the wolf had meant to do this when he brought Yuugi the stick but it was well worth a shot. If he let go and missed the rock then it would likely be all over. There would be little room left to make a second attempt before the current sucked him up and cast him over the falls.

On the slow count of three he let go, his feet grazing the rocks below as Yuugi tried to find footing and slow himself down. The protruding rock he wanted came up fast and he passed it only to latch onto another rock he hadn't seen that was just an inch short of breaking the surface.

Almost there.

He could see the little wolf pacing the shore, waiting for him on the other side. Kicking off his rock he made a leap for the other and missed. Damn it. His fingers just grazed the surface. He fell back to his rock and tried again, this time holding on long enough to get his second hand locked in a firm grip so that he could drag himself in.

His wolf made a celebratory bark and Yuugi beamed. He wasn't out of this just yet but appreciated the enthusiasm. Heaving himself up onto the rock water poured off of his body and soaked the surface, making it slick. He drew in long pulls of air and gave himself time to recover, preparing for what would surely be the hardest part.

The stick only had to support his weight for a moment but if it let go too soon then there was nothing left between him and the falls. The flow of water would take him right around the rock he'd just come from and eject him over the falls like a bouncer putting him out on his ass.

He steadied himself and tested the stick, putting increasing amounts of pressure down until he felt it begin to slide. It was pretty solid. If he moved fast enough he'd probably be fine. With one final deep breath Yuugi went for it.

The stick slipped out of the mud and vanished in seconds but not before serving its purpose. Yuugi hit the ground with half his body hanging over the edge, hands desperately scrapping at the earth, uprooting grass and clinging to soil as he squirmed his body forward until enough weight was balanced in his favour that he could finally draw up his knees and collapse in a relieved heap. The little wolf was immediately there to greet him, sticking his nose into Yuugi's soggy hair as it tried to nuzzle through the wet mop to gain access to Yuugi's face.

Yuugi sputtered as the cold tongue lapped at his mouth, having travelled across his face until it found its target which made Yuugi sit up so he could push the little intruder away and stop its advances. Undeterred the wolf took no issue in hopping into Yuugi's lap, tail wagging so frantically its entire hips swayed as it attacked his hand and tried to restart the earlier game. Yuugi grinned, stealing his hand away from the little monster's jaws to passively to stroke the matted grey fur. "You're too sweet to be all alone. What are you doing out here by yourself?"

The words seemed to catch the wolf's attention as it sat up and met Yuugi's gaze. Amber eyes glistened like the warm glow over a honeyed moon. It stepped away, putting a small distance between them before throwing back its head in a long howl. It should have been an impossible sound for the pup to make but as the deep and full chorus grew in volume, so too did the wolf's size. It loomed over him, nearly taller at the shoulder than Yuugi was standing up straight. He was dwarfed by its heavy shadow, radiant eyes piercing and set ablaze with golden fire as it presided over Yuugi like a king holding court.

Yuugi swallowed, fear rising as the golden eyes studied him and that magical fire engulfed the wolf like a halo of around its entire being. There was no way to know what the wolf was thinking, its head tilted as if considering something before it stepped forward a pressed a heavy paw against the center of Yuugi's chest.

The furred toes twitched above each beat of his trumpeting heart as the appendage sat heavily in place like a well thrust spear. The stance wasn't threatening but held him firmly as the light oozed from the paw and spread over Yuugi like the slow drizzle of honey. The world around them faded away, darkness consuming the trees and waterfall in a vacuum of silence.

Once the golden glow encircled them both the weight on Yuugi's chest shifted and the paw began to slowly sink into him. He tried to pull back but the second paw joined the first and slipped inside just as effortlessly. Yuugi was terrified but the wolf appeared unaffected, dipping its head and pressing its nose into the same place until its face disappeared and it stepped through.

It carefully squeezed its whole body into Yuugi's as if he were truly were some kind of magical-doggy door. The tail flicked twice, Yuugi's final sight of the wolf before the light began to pool back to his chest and sealed the entrance; extinguishing like the final breaths of a candle flame. Yuugi didn't know what to think or quite honestly how to feel. He clutched at his chest, breathless as he sat in the darkness alone.

The wolf was gone; or more accurately, had crawled inside him. He could feel it moving just below the surface. It spread warmth and passed through him like a cat brushing affectionately against his skin from the inside. Yuugi could only imagine that this was what a heart attack felt like, this sensation of something going wrong with no control over it. He breathed deep, panic setting in as the darkness began to melt away and the whole dream dissolved into a stale light.

Pain fired up his spine like arcs on a tesla coil as Yuugi broke the surface of consciousness with a strangled moan. He frantically scanned his surroundings, blurred images stinging his retinas in a swirl of fogged vision. It was too bright too see straight and his eyes squeezed shut, lamenting his eagerness as the volcano of pain erupted at the back of his eyes. Ugh, why did he have to wake up?

He tried again, half lidded eyes creaking open to allow the soft spill of moonlight to diffuse between blinks. Slowly his vision recovered enough for him to hold them open and capture a few blurry details here and there. With enough squinting the world began to focus and Yuugi got his first real look at his new surroundings.

The walls were made of cinderblocks and not much to look at. A few pieces of would-be furniture speckled the room but each had suffered some serious abuse. There was a tiny window at the end of the room, square and small with likely no way to open it without shattering the glass. He'd never fit through it any ways. Even a cat might struggle if they were as fat as one his teacher kept as her laptop background.

Yuugi took a deep breath, his abs aching with the effort of opening his lungs up for air. There was going to be plenty of bruises and trauma down there that would ache a whole lot worse by morning. Assuming it was still the same day, er night that is. He had to question whether it was natural or artificial light coming through the window. It was hard to tell given the angle.

From the earthy smell of dirt and chill that stirred the air he at least knew that his room was underground. A cellar or storage room maybe? Based on the cement floor and poorly stuccoed ceiling it certainly wasn't a popular choice for housing guests. If the solid iron door had anything else to add to the conversation then it might suggest that Yuugi was not welcome here; a thought the bucket in the corner likely agreed with.

Yuugi groaned his displeasure. Not only had he been mugged but now he woke to find that he had been abducted too. Great. Just, peachy.

Maybe mugging wasn't quite the right term. He remembered coming out of the game shop at ten and calling Anzu. Ryou was scheduled to arrive around ten-thirty anyways so he thought he would sneak in a quick phone call just to check up. She hadn't answered before a modified Chevy pulled up with an angry rumble and three men stepped out. The truck pulled off to park and Yuugi found himself setting his things down on the ground. He didn't want to fight and they could just take whatever they wanted. Unfortunately they didn't seem interested in the bag.

He accidently kicked his stuff over while hopping the rail and making a run for it. He had spent enough time at the mall to know what a labyrinth the new extension made of the underground parking which was something he planned to take full advantage of when he bolted. Boot clad feet pounded the ground behind him as the longer legged men gave chase and closed in.

Yuugi might have made it but he never anticipated the dog. The sound of its claws eating up the distance gave Yuugi just a moment to realise what was about to happen before he and a full body of fur slammed into the pavement.

The dog recovered faster and latched onto Yuugi's leg, making him shriek like a banshee before the thugs caught up and fed a bandana into his mouth. It hardly helped muffle anything. Yuugi was in hysterics; his leg turned to bloodied pulp in the dog's mouth as it tugged and shook its head violently. The driver ran up and called the dog off, ushering them into the privacy of the underground before things proceeded.

Propped up against the closest wall, hell opened up with a flurry of jabs and kicks that made the world spin. He nearly forgot about the wound on his leg and tried to stand, tried to run the moment he got his feet beneath him but the world swayed and he collapsed like a drunken sailor after four steps.

They punished him for that by letting the dog have another turn. Then again, now that he thought about it, it really looked more like a wolf than any breed of dog he'd ever seen. Big and muscled, brown fur as thick as molasses with green eyes keen and aware, clearly taking pleasure in his pain.

Yuugi was barely perceptive enough to realise that they had been asking him questions. He was so caught up in the adrenaline of the chase and pain that wracked his body that it took a hard slap for him to stop sputtering and catch on to the syllables they used to form words, language, and most importantly questions. They were asking him questions.

His mind pulled into focus and listened. His name was easy enough to give though little else was. They kept mentioning this one word again and again: Senjiyuu. He would always remember that word now though it held no other meaning besides pain. Senjiyuu. It made him think they chose the wrong person but when he suggested just that they eerily listed his class schedule and times they'd seen him leave with Ryou. Yuugi knew right then that this conversation had been in the works a long time. He just hadn't the faintest clue as to why.

It still eluded him. He couldn't answer any of their questions and his body showed it. They thought pummelling him could make him talk, that hitting harder might coax an answer or break Yuugi into confessing. They broke him alright. Everything radiated with that throbbing tenderness and stiff muscle that accompanied a solid beating. He'd be sore for months… assuming he lived.

He glanced around once more and it only confirmed his original thoughts. They were just keeping him alive to interrogate again. Once they had what they wanted it was bye-bye Yuugi, that's for sure. If they had actually intended to heal him than he would be at a hospital. It seemed like they only did what was necessary to keep him alive; why put Humpty back together if the plan was to push him off again but from higher up?

He shuddered to imagine those hands back at his throat, fingers dense as steel squeezing off the air from his lungs when nails bit into the raw flesh of his neck. He remembered asking himself if victims actually heard the 'snap' of their own neck breaking. Guess he would just have to keep wondering and thankfully so. It wasn't something he was particularly eager to find out.

The sound of dogs fighting cut through his train of thought. He looked up at the window as he listened and watched, not expecting to see anything but set on high alert by the unsettled feeling in his gut. Human voices chimed in, muffled words of anger shouted back and forth as the fighting blistered into an all-out sound war. Yuugi curled in on himself, self-pity taking hold as he could only imagine the poor fool caught in the middle of what was happening. It was likely to be him soon. Some goon would come in and drag him out by the ankles for the wolves who would then feast upon his bones.

By the gods he was becoming melodramatic.

Yuugi fought to sit up, groaning impatiently as his body refused the command and dropped him back against the pillow. Everything hurt and now the world was spinning. He should have known it was a bad plan but there had to be something more he could do than wait for the end to come. Wasn't that what his dream had been trying to tell him?

He touched his chest where the wolf had entered, feeling no lump, scar or pain. It was one of the few places that actually didn't ache, something to be grateful for considering it was right over his heart. He sighed and let his hand drift lower down his body, feeling out the lumps and bruises with gentle presses that spurred a variety of pain.

He didn't feel the wolf inside him, no brush of fur or warm feeling even though it'd been so real in his sleep. The whole thing had. If only he could go back and dream again, play with the little wolf awhile longer rather than face the reality of despair that festered like an open sore.

It was better than reliving the attack; every detail recorded onto his body and written in blood in a grotesque recounting. They had become so frustrated with him that they started to ask for information they already knew he could answer: the name of the boy giving him rides from school. Ryou's name.

Yuugi refused. It made it look as though he had been lying the whole time, like he did know what they wanted but was being withholding. That's when the pain truly escalated and Yuugi saw…. Well what was it that he really saw? One of the men took off his shirt and started to change. Yes, change was a good way to put it.

The pain making him delusional Yuugi thought he saw fur spring from the man's chest, his eyes changing colour when the face contorted and elongated into a muzzle complete with ears and fangs. The man became less human by the second, bones snapping and skin peeling to make way for tuffs of dark fur. There were claws and teeth. Dream had merged with reality and before him a wolf-man had stood.

It couldn't have been real. Werewolves hadn't existed for well over seven hundred years when the last was hunted by the IPIT (International Paranormal Investigative Team) and mounted for display in the anthropology wing of Domino's World History and Field Museum. Yuugi had even seen it on a school trip. Finding a werewolf alive right here in town was like finding a black plague victim, it was too serious of an event to let delusion take hold of rationality. He had to of imagined what he saw.

The shouting and dogs seemed to silence as Yuugi's attention rounded at the sound of fresh voices by his door. He heart hammered in his chest, desperate to escape the fleshy prison that chained it to a useless body. He honestly hadn't thought they would come for him so soon. Then again he had no way to judge the time and know if it had been only hours or days since he'd last woken.

He fixated on the handle when he heard it rattle, craning his neck as far as his injuries allowed in order to see. The latch jiggled, keys shifting and locks popping as the door squealed open like a gutted pig. Artificial light permeated the room to blind him as two figures silhouetted the door frame. Neither of the men were prepared for Yuugi to be awake, their conversation continuing when they had yet to take notice of the amethyst eyes scrutinizing their features.

The first to enter and holder of the keys was a heavy set man in his later years sporting peppered hair and a granite expression. He was well-dressed though dishevelled, as if recently roused from sleep with dark lines showing beneath his pale eyes. The two-button, charcoal suit fit him like a proper businessman, cut and tailored to support his wider midsection that edged over the rim of his belt. Double-pleated slacks covered down to polished black shoes as he leaned on a mahogany cane to support the slight gimp in his walk.

His companion was quite the opposite, fit and trim though there was little to see of him behind the other's squared frame. It was already evident that he was much younger than the first even before he had fully come into the room. Once he had though Yugi couldn't help himself but to stare; transfixed by the beauty that was sin incarnate.

Sin was carved from the night itself, born of storm clouds and lightning that lingered in the midnight tresses of his hair. Red, the deep scarlet of old blood, edged the outer ends of each strand as if that were the secret to its gravity defying style. He was lean and composed of tight muscle, ropes and cords of it straining to escape the tightness squared in his shoulders when he walked.

Sin was as breath taking; literally so when the most stunning pair of maroon eyes Yuugi had ever seen made contact with his own.

"- it's pointless. I've already told you that he can't-" the old man stopped talking as Sin raised his hand.

Silence permeated the room as those love-me red eyes studied and held onto the never-leave-me gaze that had consumed Yuugi's features. Never had he been so enamoured by a stranger. Beauty magazines and models rarely captivated him quite like the reality of meeting someone. Normally it was the personality that matter, the soul inside the vessel that attracted him but this man, he… he was something else.

Yuugi felt a similar warmth rise in him that stirred like the wolf from his dream. It was as if the wolf raised its head, watching Sin carefully from its dark home that it'd made, unhappy that he'd disrupted its nap.

The older man stepped forward and took notice of Yuugi's open eyes as well. "I'll be damned. Seems you get your wish after all," he stated blankly, cane striking the ground as he moved to seat himself on the worn stool by the window.

Yuugi wasn't sure what that meant, his eyes darting to the side for a moment to take in the older one's actions before they snapped back to Sin who had moved closer during the distraction. It was like a horrid game of Green Light as Sin stopped moving when Yuugi's eyes were on him. Maybe if he looked away again the mirage would come closer still.

He tried just that, averting his gaze before turning back only to nearly jump out of his skin at how close Sin had come. A caramel wrist was shoved into his face, Yuugi's brow furrowing and nose scrunching at the offensive object before his next breath drew in the heavenly aroma and his hands worked on auto-pilot to bring the appendage closer.

He pressed his nose against the warm flesh, spruce and cedar relaxing his senses at the thick woodsy smell; one of lakes and leaves, clay, dirt and soil. Sin was a gold mine of flavours, a buffet of sensations and scents that unhinged Yuugi's mind, distracting him from the tender sweep of fingers across his cheek and slow decent of covers from his chest.

A wolf howled and it brought Yuugi back from the realm of disillusion with a jolt.

No, no, no, no. Not the wolves. No, not again.

He panicked and rose from the bed suddenly, the white gauze that covered his body staining red as Yuugi tore open every fresh scab and pulled unwilling muscle into motion. He managed a step before his injured leg caught up with him and threw off his balance to make him splat against the floor. It was like watching a diver do a belly flop; only instead of water it was concrete. And hurt a lot worse.

Tan hands soothed and collected him, wrapping beneath his waist as they heaved him up and swung him effortlessly into waiting arms. They were stronger than they looked, easing Yuugi back onto the bed and straightening his blankets.

The wolf howled again and Yuugi sprang up, only this time Sin's hand was there, pressing into the place where the wolf had entered to force Yuugi back onto the bed. "You shouldn't move."

Now Yuugi was confused. That voice was heavenly. Maybe Sin was really an angel in disguise. A fallen angel perhaps? Too many people would likely look in Sin's eyes and call him a demon but his voice sounded like the thunderous cry of trumpets, the kind that opened and closed royal precessions with their unmistaken melody.

Yuugi laid back as told, wincing through the pain without a sound as his throat refused to work. He wasn't sure what he'd even say any ways. A mix of incoherent babbling was all that echoed in his head, he doubted he would have had much success at talking even if his throat wanted to cooperate. He gave a slow nod to show he understood, an involuntary whimper escaping him as Sin's hand pulled away from his chest.

"He's going to need someone to come redress his wounds. Looks like he's reopened most of them."

Oh speak again sweet angel of temptation!

"I'll send Malik in once we're finished."

No, not you.

Yuugi's heart was aflutter as Sin's attention came back to him and his hand began to explore his chest and arms, heat passing between them like soft caress from a butterfly's wing. The fingertips trailed a ghostly route upon his skin, marking the places ventured with soft presses. Yuugi hissed as Sin neared his hip and pressed into the area on his right side. The wolf-man had skewered him there with its claws and Sin's teasing over sensitive skin brought out a strange mix of pain and pleasure.

He ground his teeth together as Sin investigated the wound and gently pressed down again. Nope, take that back, mostly pain there. Okay all pain. Oh gods, stop!

The slap sounded harder than it was, resonating in the silence and leaving a faint mark on the only part of Sin that Yuugi had been able to reach. Sin pulled his hand away and stroked the side of his jaw, confusion marring his profile when he matched Yuugi's gaze with narrowed eyes.

Yuugi wanted to sob, he hadn't meant to. A choked gurgle formed at the back of his throat. The words were there, they just wouldn't hold shape. Sin watched him before realising and laying a finger across his lips to stale the attempts. "It's okay."

Yuugi smiled, pleased not only that he could give up on the effort of trying to speak but that he seemed to have been forgiven as well.

The old man took notice too, groaning out an agitated puff of air. "He's not going to be able to speak. I told you this was pointless. The Urukai will take care of him until he shifts, by then he will have healed and you can then come get your answers."

Did anything the old man say make sense?

Sin didn't look pleased but the frustrated mask he showed Yuugi eased into confidence by the time he'd begun to speak, "I didn't come here just to get his side of the story. I came to make sure he's being cared for and from what I can see a basement is hardly suited for his injuries. He's human still which means he needs medical staff on hand for at least the next twenty-four hours in case something goes wrong. Unless you have changed your mind on releasing him into my custody than I suggest you keep a close eye on him from here on out."

The threat, though unspoken, hung low in the air. "He may not be pack but he is one of us."

The older man nodded though was unable to control the heavy frown that consumed his poker face. "Just do what you came here to do. It's bad enough as it is and I don't need further hostility between us. Have your look then gather your people and go. We will discuss this again the night after he-"

A soft knock rasped at the door cutting the sentence short. "Mr. Gansley sir?"

"What is it now?" the older man howled back, his fury over Sin's comment lashing out at a fresh victim.

There was a long pause before the voice on the other side recovered with a hasty reply, "It's… its Ushio sir. He says he needs to speak with you right away."

"Gods give him to the spirits... Tell the brat I'm busy!"

"I can't sir. He said it's urgent and I'm not to return without you," the meek voice protested, clearly not enjoying the terrible position he'd been unwittingly placed in.

"That ignorant little fuck," Gansley ground out, massaging his temples with his forefinger and thumb before the messenger grew bold and set in to finish the job.

"It's about Keith. He has information he needs to discuss with you… in private. He says it's urgent and cannot wait."

It was nearly possible to watch the gears in Gansley's head turn like the slow tick of a pocket watch. "Damn these boys," he growled, teeth grinding audibly as he thought aloud. "Forgive me Yami but we will have to conclude our business another time. The boy stays with us until after the full moon. Conduct your questioning and make sure to take those… those beasts with you when you go."

Yuugi hardly heard any of that. Sin had a real name, and it was dark and smooth like molten chocolate. Yami.

"Fine but I want to be updated. It was one of yours that infected Yuugi, and by rights that means he's your responsibility. But if I have to bring the culprit to justice myself then no amount of tradition will stay our hand."

Said person nearly melted at the pronunciation of his name when uttered by Yami's deep baritone chords. "We will speak again when I come to collect him."

Gansley clearly wasn't pleased by Yami's demands but bobbed his head any ways. His cane clicked angrily as he walked, the echo straining to be heard once the door closed and sealed them both inside with a pronounced 'clang'. He turned to Yami for guidance, uncertain of whether he could continue to trust him given the confusing words of their discussion.


Collect him?

Yuugi just wanted to go home.

The fact that he had even trusted Yami at all was quickly becoming suspect. Maybe he had done something to him, slipped him a drug that made him more complacent. It sounded weird but there was no way he'd ordinarily allow a pretty face to distract him from something so serious. His life was in danger. These people had locked him in a basement with an iron door and no means of escape.

"I'm sorry this happened to you." The words caught Yuugi off guard and he flinched.

There was a long pause; Yuugi's disbelieving eyes swelling at what he couldn't believe was an apology. "You were never meant to be involved. If it's any consolation I want to go after those that did this to you and make them pay for it. No one hurts my brother."

Yuugi was instantly confused, uncertain if the term was meant literally or figuratively; or if it was even directed at him at all. Yami appeared to be lost in his thoughts, unaware that he'd continued talking as his gaze grew distant and mind wandered back to Ryou who was now recovering with at home.

Outside he could hear Akefia barely containing his rage as Mariku shouted and struggled to restrain him. If cooperation wasn't necessary they'd have infiltrated and simply taken their revenge. Yami sighed. Hopefully his pack brothers gave the Urukai hell on his behalf.

Pale fingertips traced the edge of raised knuckles where they fisted the bed sheets angrily. It brought Yami back from his thoughts as he looked down and smiled at the contact. Tapping Yuugi hip to ask him to scoot, Yami sat on the edge of the bed, repositioning himself so that he could trap one of Yuugi's hand between his own.

"Listen, Yuugi, I need to ask you some things. Do you think you could squeeze once for yes and twice for no?" Yuugi squeezed twice, grinning when Yami rewarded him with both a smile and frown. Maybe it was not the best idea to play games right now. He squeezed once.

Yami softly shook his head and breathed a deep sigh. "Thank you."

Yami's exhaustion was increasingly evident, written in the creased lines on his face and in the way his shoulder slacked in response to Yuugi's promised cooperation. "Did you know any of the people that attacked you?"

Two squeezes.

"Do you think you could pick out their faces in a crowd?"

Yuugi squeezed twice though that was a lie. If he admitted to recognizing them, they might come after him. Better to have everyone think he'd lost his memory or something until he could figure out what to do and who to trust. He wasn't sure how Ryou was involved but he was about the only person Yuugi would be willing to disclose details with.

"Did they say any names, call each other something identifiable?"

Yuugi hesitated. Was Senjiyuu a name? If it was then yes. If not then he still had no idea what it meant. He chose to answer no.

"Did they ask about the Senjiyuu?"

Yuugi must have jerked forward at the word because Yami planted a hand firmly on his chest. "I'll take that as a yes. Now lay down," he commanded, already pressing Yuugi back against the pillows.

Their hands joined again as the panic wore off and Yami continued, "Do you know what the Senjiyuu are?"

Two squeezes. Even if he did, saying yes to that question just seemed dangerous.

A soft knock echoed at the door, similar to the one that had disturbed Gansley. Both occupants stared down the door, watching as it creaked open and a sandy-blonde peeked in. "I'm sorry to interrupt but Master Gansley said I should see to Yuugi's wounds right away. Apparently he's reopened them?"

He made it a question instead of a statement. It sounded odd until Yuugi noticed the sharp glare haunting Yami's once warm and comforting expression. There was no telling why the blonde deserved that look but Yuugi shuttered at the thought of being on the receiving end.

The shiver didn't go unnoticed and Yami loosened the expression, rubbing comforting circles along the upside of Yuugi's palm to calm him before releasing his hand.

"Then you are the one Gansley mentioned."

"Y-yes, my name is Malik. Malik Ishtar. My sister runs the clinic but she's away on business so I will be the one taking care of Yuugi in her stead. She will be back in two days but I'll be here 24/7 to make sure nothing happens."

There was a strong sense of fear in Malik's voice that broke through no matter how hard he tried to hold his tone steady. It was strange that Yami was treating him like that, though Yuugi really didn't know either of them. Maybe there was a history? If so, then why were they introducing themselves to one another?

There wasn't time to tease out the details; Yami rose to his feet to vacate the spot for Malik as the blonde pushed a cart loaded with medical supplies and food into the room. They shared a look before Yami slipped his hands into the pockets of his open blazer and headed for the door. He paused at the threshold to look back at Yuugi, fishing something out of his pocket that he returned and slipped it into Yuugi's hand. He curled Yuugi's fingers around the object, patting his hand once he had a firm hold before letting go.

"I will be back for you. Keep an eye out and your back against the wall."

It could hardly be a more ominous statement and even Malik joined Yuugi in raising a brow as they watched Yami leave and close the door behind him.

Once out of earshot Malik mumbled to himself "Whoever put the stick up his ass should probably go back and get it. Sounds like it's starting to take root."

Yuugi snickered at the comment, uncertain of what to believe about Yami as he investigated the small object said man had left for him. To his surprise it was the dark magician piece from the monster world expansion that came out today. Ryou's expansion pack… He must have asked Yami to give him this as proof that he could be trusted. If it was supposed to mean something else then it was a very unlikely coincidence.

"What did he give you?" Malik asked, seating himself in the place Yami had recently vacated as he gutted through Yuugi's old wrappings with a thin pair of scissors.

Yuugi held up the figurine, not expecting Malik to recognise it though his eyes did widen . "A Monster World piece? Why would he give you that?"

Yuugi knew the answer but shrugged his shoulders instead. If Ryou trusted Yami and he didn't trust Malik then Yuugi would not be deaf to his parting advice. He wouldn't be rude but Malik didn't need to know more than he'd be able to figure out on his own.

Without asking Malik plucked the piece from Yuugi's hand and turned it over between his fingers. "There doesn't seem to be anything special about it. It just looks like an ordinary figure and, oh shoot you're bleeding again aren't you? Here," he handed the dark magician back to Yuugi and grabbed a fresh towel from the cart.

It was the first time Yuugi had a look at his body, part of his mind telling him that if he did new pains would spring up from simply acknowledging their existence. He had to smile though; his wrappings made him look like a mummy given how generously they'd been applied. His clothing had been stripped down to boxers, displaying the full details of the attack in a red, Pollack-style expression that contrasted in angrily with the white canvas of gauze.

No wonder Yami had been mad and sought to blame the Gansley for failing to take care of him. He was a ruined mess and would likely come out of this with more than a few scars no matter what Malik did. "So uh, you don't talk much do you?"

Yuugi shook his head only to realise that the gesture was wasted since Malik was concentrated on his wounds. Not getting a reply Malik looked up, nodding as Yuugi pointed at his throat. "Yeah I bet that hurts. Just a sec and I'll get to it next."

A bucket had been pulled out and Malik dumped the clump of old gauze in along with the towel he had used to wipe up any leftover blood. Satisfied he moved to rewrap Yuugi's chest until a thought changed him mind. "I'm going to let the wounds air out and heal over a little before we try moving you. I'll need you to sit up so I can check your back and get the gauze around if that's alright."

Yuugi nodded, the act irritating his throat as he winced. "Here let me see."

A gentle hand held Yuugi's chin steady as the scissors bit through the cloth and separated it from his skin. The stained material fell away to join its friends over in the waste bin as Malik fetched more gauze and a clean cloth only to freeze in place. "Oh… Oh gods… "

Malik looked about ready to be sick, "I mean… Sorry. No, I just… I mean to say that, well; I can't believe you are alive. Sweet spirits they really did a number on you."

Yuugi found no amusement in the statement, fingers cautiously reaching up to investigate only for Malik to push his hand away. "Believe me its messy. You are going to have a scar once this heals. Even if you shifted I don't think it would help. Well it would help of course but wow, that is… well its impressive. I've never seen someone with so much of their trachea exposed like that who was still breathing. I wonder if you will even be able to speak again."

Yuugi groaned his displeasure, shoving Malik away from him. It wasn't just about the gross details but that line, that phrasing. People kept saying it: "when you shift". What did they mean?

Malik apologised and went back to work but was shoved away again. He wanted answers damn it! There needed to be some way he could pantomime or charade the question across. He tried gesturing at his throat and shrugging his shoulders. Maybe Malik would get the point that Yuugi didn't understand what he meant.

Malik raised a brow but played along, "You don't know about your throat?"

Yuugi's hand flattened and rocked back and forth. "Sort of… Okay, you have a question," a nod, "Oh gods don't do that." Malik looked ready to be sick again, turning away to face the bucket. "Sorry, sorry, I'm just… Can I please cover that up first? It's also probably not good to leave open like that any ways."

Yuugi sighed through his nose, tempted to nod his approval when he spotted the notebook and pen sitting on Malik's cart. He furiously pointed and Malik understood, "here."

Once the notebook was in hand Yuugi flipped to a fresh page and began writing. *Shifting? People keep saying it, what does it mean?*

Malik looked up from the notebook and met Yuugi's gaze. "You don't know?" The question seemed to surprise them both.


"Yuugi… its… you're… I really don't know how to say it. I mean there's got to be some politically correct way to go about this and word it gently but… Well Yuugi, you are going to be what we like to call a shifter. However the humans might call you a werewolf."

Its done! AH-HA-HA. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha! (Thats my Mandark laugh, youtube it if you need to)

Hoped it was worth the wait and that dream bit wasnt uber lame. It felt like I was lobbing fistfuls of expostion at people while writing it though I hope most of that got smoothed out by this final version.

Song for this chapter is: Stop and Stare by One Republic.

So why do I keep tacking on music? Well because music inspires me. Sometimes a good song with just the right lyrics inspires something truly wonderful which is why I always try to look for something that suits and motivate me. :)