Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ A Moonlit Crossroads ( Chapter 2 )

[ P - Pre-Teen ]
Disclaimer: See the prologue

Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: Does anyone really want me to continue with this fic now that you've gotten a bigger taste of what it is like? R&R...
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic.

Chapter Two ~ A Moonlit Crossroads
Yugi blinked, more than a little dazed as he stood looking after Jibade and Harkhuf. Even having stood there looking after them with wide eyes hadn't given him any understanding of what had happened. But he felt so small in the weight of solitude caused by the other teens fleeing from him. The shroud of silence that was falling over him with the encroaching night was making the feeling of loneliness stronger.

The sadness settled into his gaze as Yugi stepped back, his mind still dazed but his attention was caught by how the late evening shadows were starting to fade with the setting sun. The swiftly dulling light served as a reminder to Yugi that he hadn't gotten anything for his mother.

Yugi turned to look at the Nile, considering the merits of wading back into the water. But he had to be home before it got too dark. The thought had disappointment flaring as he knew that meant cutting off any hope of getting anything for his dear mother that day. But it's the thought that should count, he told himself as he looked through the darkening air a moment longer before he finally turned from the scene though his reluctance was obvious in how he drug his feet.

I'd really wanted to get her something, Yugi thought but kept going passed the mud brick walls and back into the city.

Yugi paused within the walls just for a moment to consider whether or not to cut straight through the marketplace to his home in the opposite corner of the city. It was his experience that the streets should have been quiet by then for the night, which would make going through the market safe. Yet Jibade and Harkhuf's reaction to him was still fresh in the boy's mind, taking away Yugi's confidence in taking the risk of being seen in the marketplace.

Yugi didn't want to see anyone else running away from him in fear.

Yugi turned from the marketplace to set off, following the more roundabout path that would take him to his housing. The youngster walked along, not bothering with trying to hide on the narrow and empty street. By then the wall to wall housings cut out the fading daylight with ease and cast the streets into a graying darkness.

Only the faint lamp lights with their flickering flames helped to illuminate his way. Some even coming from beyond doorways along with the soft whisper of voices though Yugi politely paid no heed to them.

He just made his way through the maze of streets carefully, with night fully taking hold by the time he reached his own street. Now he hurried along the familiar walk with only a slight glance at each housing unit he passed between him and his own home. There were only three but Yugi felt like there were fewer since he had no idea who lived in them at all. The only person outside of himself and his mother that he knew was Takhat but she lived several streets over.

Yugi sighed as he slipped through the door to a dusty red and blue rug doorway covering. He brushed it aside to peer in at the entry that was like every other he knew of. White washed walls were lit by a single lamp in the center of the room. His gaze slid over the scarcely decorated room, the main attraction being the pair of stools positioned by the far wall.

The room though was totally devoid of life as he stepped into the silent dwelling. Though he knew his mother should have been there. "Mother? Are you here? I'm back!" He called as he moved to the center of the room before stopping to listen while silence answered him. Yugi was puzzled by the lack of answer and moved around a table toward the opening leading further back into the dwelling, passing his mother's empty bed without a thought. Only to be interrupted by the sound of footsteps above his head.

She must be on the roof. Yugi thought as he hurried through the dwelling and passed his own bed to the stairs that led up to the roof.

"You're back!" A voice came from above him and he looked upward toward where his mother was looking down. "You do realize I was worried when you are late." She scolded easily without showing real concern but she continued speaking. "I kept an eye out for you." She added as she limped her way down the stairs.

"I'm sorry. I know but I got distracted and didn't realize it was late." Yugi explained truthfully while worrying about her constant limp, she'd had it for as long as he could remember. He couldn't let her struggle down those stairs so he bounced up the steps to meet her, intent on helping her way down. But as he reached her she pulled him up onto the roof before she glanced over him quickly in the moonlight.

"That's all? Good. No one saw you right?" His mother questioned, her tone colored with concern over the last question as she ruffled his hair affectionately.

"Well..." Yugi trailed off, he didn't want to worry her more but he also wasn't used to lying to her. He had to tell the truth. "There were two others my age around, but they ran away. No one tried to stop me or anything." Yugi answered with a glance downward just in time to miss the frown that crossed his mother's face. But he didn't miss how her hand tightened it's grip on his hair, which had him yelping out at the discomfort it had caused.

"Oh! Sorry." She spoke without really sounding apologetic, more distracted than anything else but she let go of his hair and bent to kiss the top of his head apologetically for a second. Her touch lingering as it normally did, it occasionally made Yugi nervous but she pulled back several steps. "You should know better than to be seen. Be more careful, Yugi."

Yugi bit at his lip as he stared up at her questioningly. He'd never asked about this before but after talking with Jibade and Harkhuf briefly, he wanted to know. "I will, but why do I have to be? It's so lonely being by myself."

"It doesn't matter, boy." She stated with a sharp glint to her green eyes that Yugi couldn't identify. "Just don't show yourself, that's all you need to know. I know best about this." His mother countered as she turned away. Yugi hesitated, unable to tell anything from that but she spoke again. "You must be famished, Yugi." She said turning back with a smile on her face. "I left some fruit in the kitchen. I got some good things, so go eat!" She stated more calmly. "I have to stay up here for now."

Yugi nodded to that obediently though he was still very curious, but she was right, he hadn't eaten since breakfast and he was hungry but not enough so that he didn't worry about her. "Okay, mother. I'll help you down once I finish." He offered.

"I can manage." She said with a quick dismissive gesture of the idea, which got a sad sigh from Yugi and a grin from her. "I can so don't you worry, just go eat your fill." Even with those kind words there was a distance she kept from him.

Those were rare words uttered by her and a delighted grin crossed Yugi's face. "Oh I will!" He promised before turning to hurry down off of the roof, slipping off to head deeper into the dwelling where the kitchen lay. He didn't even get a chance to look around for the fruit, instead he almost fell over the basket his mother had left sitting there in the doorway.

"Ow!" He gasped as his foot caught on the basket and he stumbled over it, somehow managing not to fall onto the fruit. He blushed a bit at his clumsiness even though there'd been no one around to see it. But he put aside his thoughts to kneel by the basket, examining the sliced up segments that filled it to the brim. Yugi smiled at the array set there and happily picked out several juicy slabs for himself. With his tasty treat, he moved sit on the stools set in the crowded kitchen where he ate quietly with an occasional appreciative hum of the flavor that filled his mouth. His meal was soon interrupted by the sound of his mother's feet on the stairs and he looked up from a melon slice.

Yugi knew it couldn't be easy for her and set the fruit aside to go help even as his mother's voice rang out from the stairs.

"Yugi! Come here, now!"

Yugi hesitated nervously at the shaky tone she'd used. It sounded almost dangerous but he didn't think that she really meant anything like that but he started over toward where she was. "Is something wrong?" Yugi asked worriedly, wondering if he'd done somthing wrong while approaching his mother's side, only to gasp as his mother roughly caught his arm in a tight grip. "Wh...what'd I do?

"Who were those teens that saw you?" She asked as she shook him without answering his question, but there was a dead seriousness to her voice.

"I don't know!" Yugi gasped out with his surprise obvious on his features, he didn't know what was going on but his mother had never acted like that before. "One was called Harkhuf and the other was Jibade!"

Her features turned thoughtful as she stood there. "Neither of them sound familiar." She noted offhandedly without letting go of his arm, she stood there still for a moment and Yugi took the opportunity to ask again.

"Is something wrong, mother?" He asked in concern but he got his arm yanked in response with his mother pulling him up the steps. Yugi yelped as pain went through his arm, his shoulder feeling as if it had been pulled loose.

"Listen to me, you have to get out of here!" She commanded sternly as she drug him up onto the roof. She didn't wait for him to answer but let go of his arm.

"Why? What's going on?" Yugi asked in confusion as stopped. There was an urgency there that he didn't understand what to do.

"Don't ask, just nevermind and go to Takhat's. Whatever you do, stay there...." She trailed off, stopping suddenly for a moment. She even drew back sharply before suddenly adding. "Wait!" As if she'd just thought of something, but she limped back down from the roof before Yugi could react.

"Mother?" He asked, his confusion greater than even when Jibade and Harkhuf had fled from him. Yugi stared at the stairs wanting to know what was going on, there had to be something he could do. I don't understand, he thought as he waited on the roof for his mother to return, and in that moment a feeling of despair settled over himself at being pushed away like this. Why wouldn't she tell him what was going on? He shifted from foot to foot nervously with a tear sneaking free. He almost cried out in joy as he heard his mother climbing the steps again.

"Why do I have to..." He began even as a glint of gold caught his eye and he trailed off nervously blinking at the object his mother was carrying cupped in her hands. It certainly looked like gold but they weren't rich enough to have gold. "Leave? Can't I help?" He finished while blinking again as he looked back up to meet her gaze.

"Just leave." She snapped as she limped over to Yugi unsteadily. He bit at his lip worriedly before moving to help her but she brushed him off without saying anything. She took hold of a leather cord and hung the golden object around Yugi's neck. "And keep that safe, let no one get their hands on it." Yugi could only be more confused by that and opened his mouth to speak even as she was turning away.

"Get out of here now!" She interrupted him before he could speak, giving a quick dismissive gesture. "Go to Takhat's."

Worry and confusion provoked Yugi to speak again. "B-but will y...." Yugi began, part of him wanting to hear from her that things would be fine. But he was interrupted by his mother whirling on him sharply.

"Go! I don't want you coming back here! I'll be fine by myself." She nearly shouted, the words cutting straight to Yugi's heart. In shock, he reflexively clamped his fingers tightly around the object she'd hung around his neck. Her words both a comfort and a knife. He could only stare as his mother spun away with her loud footsteps echoing down the stairs as she left Yugi behind on the roof.

"Mother...." He breathed as he backed off, stepping quietly onto the neighboring structure. At least relieved that she would be okay, but he still didn't understand why she was sending him away. Yugi believed there had to be a reason she was doing this, though he really had no clue what could make her say such hurtful words that he doubted she meant. Though such knowledge wasn't that comforting, he didn't want to leave just like that.

"Why?" Yugi whispered as he turned away, slowly walking over the roof so as not to be heard by those below as he headed toward Takhat's.

Yugi couldn't help pausing as he reached another dwelling to look back, hoping to see his mother beckoning him to come back but the night sky was empty and silent. What is this going on? Yugi wondered as he turned back toward where Takhat's dwelling was, it was on the same line of buildings as his dwelling was, which made it easy for him to reach from the rooftops. The difference was that the exit from her home went onto another street.

He gave a sigh and started forward again even as the night silence was shattered by a loud crash from his dwelling.

To Be Continued

A/N: Nearly everyone from the show will have a part in the future chapters. We'll see just how far things get later on.


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