Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ Helping Hands ( Chapter 4 )
Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: Nothing really to make note of yet, though I apologize to those that needed tissues for the last chapter. Chapter 4 is here.
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic.
Chapter Four ~ Helping Hands
His sleep was interrupted abruptly by a voice ringing out through the dwelling.
Tired violet eyes slitted open in a daze, Yugi barely noted the whitewashed walls. Yugi simply shut his eyes, not wanting to be awake yet. He wasn't conscious enough to think anything about the fact his own bed wasn't supposed to be surrounded by white. All he knew was that it had to be too early to be getting up, not even his mother would be waking him up anytime soon, she never did. Yugi, thinking he didn't need to get up yet, rolled over to curl up on his side with the intent of drifting off to sleep again.
"Absolutely not! I don't care what I was discussing with Asyikin I want that boy out of here!"
Shock went through him as the statement struck and Yugi gasped in responze, his eyes flying open wide as he started fully awake at the words. The realization that he wasn't at home finally sinking in at that instant.
"That just wouldn't be right, daddy. He won't have anywhere to go if you just toss him out."
Yugi blinked once as confusion set in upon those words spoken in a very familiar voice, the expression of his puzzlement easily crossed his features and he turned his gaze to look upon an entry that wasn't his. It was one he knew well from his numerous other times in the exact same room in Takhat's home. The discovery set in, letting Yugi recognize both voices, though he hadn't really met Takhat's father all that many times Yugi was certain the first voice belonged to him while the second was more obviously Takhat. He had no clue what they were talking about though, he could only be stung by the father's rejection of his presence yet it was mostly Takhat's words he focused on at the moment.
Nowhere to go? He could just go home, couldn't he? He wondered to himself even as the other two were still talking.
"He'll find a place. Those were the pharaoh's guards yesterday, I've heard they were tearing up places around here in search of something. I'm betting that it's him. It's too dangerous having him here!" Yugi blinked once then twice even more puzzled by that, the only thought in his mind being the wonderment of what was going on. He couldn't help giving in to curiosity and slowly sat up, about to go ask them what they were talking about when he felt an odd weight pulling at his neck, bringing him to a stop with surprise flaring at the unexpected object, just settling against his chest.
"He can't manage on his own. Who can? It doesn't matter to you that Yugi is my friend?"
Yugi glanced down, his eyes lighting upon the golden pyramid hung around his neck and his attention wavered from the conversation. In the lamplit room the item shimmered. Under the rays he could distinguish small cracks making uneven patterns upon the surface of the gold. Each crack interconnected with the others forming a latticework which appeared to him ready to shatter the pyramid into many pieces that would look much alike, except for one piece that held a symbol of an eye.
Yugi nervously fingered the cracks as if the slight touch would bring the item to the point of breaking apart. Slowly he traced a crack with the thought that he hadn't noticed the eye last night occurring to him, along with it came other memories of standing on a dark street when.... When he'd been watching slaves carry his mother's body away!
Yugi gasped loudly, letting go of the pyramid in pained sadness as everything that had happened the day before crashed upon him. The jumble of memories clearing quickly in his head leaving the image of his mother behind.
"We woke him up." Takhat's voice drifted over.
"Just get him out of here, Takhat. I'm not having such trouble in my place."
"But he should res..."
"I don't care, he's awake now get him out of here." Her dad snapped back without a care about the fact. Yugi didn't care at the moment either. He was remembering his mother throwing him out, but having to, and running back when she was in danger, only to find his path blocked. And by the time he'd gotten around the other way...
It had been too late, Yugi realized while a sob slipped free along with a torrent of tears welling up at the memory. As they escaped from the violet pools, he shut his eyes tightly to block out the reality around him. Yugi simply didn't want this to be real while even clinging to the knowledge that it was. "Mother, why? Why did you?" Yugi whispered with his voice choking momentarily in despair. Couldn't I have helped? He pleaded to himself as drew his legs up to bury his face against them, leaving his mind trying to understand why that had happened.
"Yugi? Are you feeling any better?" Takhat's voice spoke softly from nearby despite the fact Yugi hadn't heard her approach. However her obvious presence got him to raise his tearstained face in order to look up at the taller teen, his gaze seeking some explanation from her but finding only worry and comfort in her features. "I just don't understand this." He answered with sorrow shining up from his small features and hurt in his large eyes.
Takhat pulled back for a second then moved closer, sitting upon the edge of the bed. Her arm slipped about his shoulders in comfort but he couldn't help feeling more like he was being held by his mother than someone else though he knew he'd never be held by his mother truly again. Takhat could only hold him as she saw the hurt expressed openly on his face, there was nothing she could do to give him the answer he sought for she didn't know either. "I don't either, Yugi. I don't even know what happened. Daddy has only said that the pharaoh's guards are searching for something."
Yugi nodded with a sob. "That's what they said too." He rested his head on her shoulder in welcome acceptance of the comfort she offered. He felt somewhat better to know that Takhat was there but there was still an emptiness to him.
"Who did?" She asked. "Yugi, please tell me what happened."
Yugi hesitated as he was thinking enough about it already, the memory of his mother being carried off was still fresh with the hurt searing through him but he had promised before. "Those that were there. She told me to go away and...not come back." He paused with his eyes shutting at the memory of what his mother had told him but the fact she was really gone overshadowed that little upset. "I heard a crash as I left, I had to go back to make sure she was okay, Takhat...I had to!" He paused, biting at his lip thoughtfully. "I couldn't though, the stairs were blocked but I heard some of what was going on." Yugi wrapped an arm around himself at a small chill he felt even though the air was plenty warm. He looked so small and disappointed that Takhat tightened her hug encouragingly.
Yugi sniffled softly but drew some strength from the gesture, enough to finish. "She said she wouldn't tell but there was some mention about her being desperate." He cast a curious glance toward Takhat to see if it made any sense to his friend.
"You mean she wouldn't tell about where something was?" Takhat countered to be sure of what he'd meant and at Yugi's hesitant nod she continued. "Have you any idea what they were speaking of?"
Yugi glanced down at the pyramid only having a hunch about the truth, there was nothing really certain about whether that was what the people had meant but he cupped his hands about the pyramid. "Well...not really, Takhat." He paused again to nip uncertainly at his bottom lip for a moment as he held up the gold object. "I only know she gave me this when sending me away, telling me to keep it safe."
"I was actually about to ask about that thing..." Takhat mused in reply and when Yugi looked toward her he found that she was studying the pyramid with interest.
"I don't know what to make of any of this. She's gone and...I'm alone?" He asked suddenly hugging the pyramid to himself as it was about all he had left except for the tear sliding down his cheek to join the others that had already fallen. Especially since Takhat was going to have to throw him out... Yugi felt more tears slipping free as he realized he'd be totally alone out there.
"No you're not, Yugi!" Takhat said, her offended tone having Yugi about to apologize but he stopped as she gave a friendly smile that softened her words. "How could you be alone? I'll always be here for you. And who knows maybe she isn't gone, you never know! She might be with you always, maybe even checking in right now to make sure you'll be fine." Takhat comforted though it was a strain to be cheerful but the mystery to her words had Yugi believing that it was possible.
Yugi looked up to her then, trying to tell if she knew something he didn't but there were no signs from Takhat and he had to glance around, partly expecting to see his mother there. Slowly he wondered more seriously, though it seemed like it could be true, but was she alive or not?. Yugi brushed a tear away before looking to Takhat with an honest smile along with curiosity. "Do you really think so?" He asked hopefully as he wanted to make his mother proud of him somehow.
Yugi paused a moment, digesting that with a slightly bigger smile though he still hurt but it wasn't as bad as before. Maybe she was watching him then. "Yeah!" He tried to believe that a second before a pout crossed his features. "I still miss her though."
"I'm...not surprised." Takhat stated slowly as if reluctant to say that, Yugi got the tone with a quick puzzled question popping to him.
"Is there something wrong with that? It feels so empty without her." Yugi whispered as he continued to look at Takhat wanting answers and she was the only one around he could turn to now. There was no one else, a fact that didn't weigh so heavily on Yugi as he would have expected.
"Nothing's wrong with it! Why would you think there was? It's perfectly understandable, Yugi but it'll get better and I'll help." Yugi listened to the reply only to shake his head in denial for he remembered what he'd heard before, he didn't want to bring more trouble to Takhat.
"It wouldn't be right to trouble you more than I have." Yugi began but he didn't get to finish his statement for Takhat wouldn't even consider letting him.
"You aren't trouble!" Takhat said firmly enough that it seemed to Yugi that she meant it and he beamed happily though it didn't feel all that safe to him being there and he pulled away from Takhat which got her to speak again. "You're not, and maybe if you just gave over the pyramid the guards would leave you alone."
Yugi froze remembering what his mother had said, her order about keeping the pyramid safe echoing in his mind and he just couldn't go against that last request so he shook his head. "I'm sorry, Takhat, I just can't. I'm going to keep it safe!" He said, determination to do just that flaring throughout his being. "She did want me to." He added with his gaze brightening at the idea of being able to do that for her.
"Yugi!" She said with her tone turning more serious with worry for his safety. "It'll be safer with the pharaoh's guards anyway, no one would dare go against them. You can't just go against them, it's like going against the pharaoh and that's too dangerous! He isn't the same person he once was, he doesn't care about anyone or anything. I heard he doesn't pay attention to the troubles of the land anymore either. Even the priests recieved a new name for him from the gods, or at least they say so... I just don't want anything happening to my dear friend."
"Really?" Yugi was curious at that bit of news for as far as he knew he'd only heard one name used for the pharaoh, so this was news to him and he did want to know more. "So he isn't actually named Yami then?"
Takhat shook her head. "No he wasn't. He was once called Yugioh, but that isn't really important." She scolded him in her own worried way as she drew his attention back to his safety. "You'd be safer just giving the pyramid away." Takhat stated, giving Yugi a moments paused but his determination reasserted itself.
"I'll manage! For mother." Yugi stated brightly, his mood lightening as the discussion continued.
Takhat only sighed having finally to give in. "I can't change your mind, can I? I'm your friend, Yugi, I don't want to see you getting hurt."
Yugi gave a bright smile to her, his sense of purpose lifting some of the sorrow he'd been feeling. His tears hadn't fully dried up but they were on their way there. "I'll be okay, Takhat. I'll do my best." He promised as he settled the pyramid back against himself.
"What is he still doing here?" A voice growled interrupting the discussion before Takhat could respond and Yugi started in surprise as he hadn't noticed the arrival of her father. He glanced over toward him, his heart sinking only a bit at the scowl on the man's face which made it clear the teen most certainly wasn't welcome there any further.
"Don't worry, sir. I was just leaving." Yugi reassured the man as he rolled to his hands and knees to scurry past Takhat and off of the bed, finding his foot unsteadily. He didn't risk slowing, out of not wanting to upset anyone more at the moment. Yugi felt that he'd caused enough of that. "I'm sorry for intruding."
"But..." Takhat began but she was beaten to the answer by her father.
"Good. Out!" He showed no signs of moving with his gaze locked on Yugi, making the small teen rather certain he should be going.
"I'll see him out!" Takhat said hurriedly from Yugi's side, having risen from the bed as well to join him in standing there. Yugi nodded in agreement as there couldn't be anything wrong with that he figured and he bowed to her dad before moving away from him with Takhat taking the lead as they both stayed silent as they passed through the whitewashed entry to the door. Takhat opened it, letting Yugi out but she followed him out with a brisk step and shut the door behind herself.
"Do you know where you are going to go?" Takhat asked once the door had shut so her dad wouldn't be able to interrupt.
Yugi shook his head with his gaze turning down, even his shoulders slumped as he answered truthfully though he didn't want to disappoint her already. He'd said that he'd manage yet he had no clue what he was doing. "Well, I hadn't really thought about it. I suppose I should, but I don't know anyone else." He said hesitating a moment, bringing his violet eyes to Takhat to witness her concerned reaction to that news. Her expression got him to come to a quick decision. "But...I-I-I want to go home and see for myself." His eyes watered again but he was determined to stay strong at least for now.
"In that case I'll come with you! I want to see this for myself too." Takhat had determination written on her features, some that had Yugi hesitating from actually trying to stop her but he had to try something as it wouldn't be right to drag her into this too. As far as he knew she had enough other things of her own to do too.
"But you shouldn't..." Yugi began to protest. He didn't want her to get in trouble with her father for hanging around with him either.
"Why not? I'm going and you aren't stopping me." Takhat stated while still walking, pausing several steps ahead to look back at him. "Coming?"
"You don't have to." He said as he didn't move right away.
"How do you think I feel about you doing this?" Takhat countered waiting still without showing any signs of heading back inside. "As your friend I have to be there for you." She added before turning to start walking again. "If you are going to do this you'd better hurry." She called back with a wink getting Yugi to move finally and he ran after her.
"Thank you, Takhat. Especially for being here for me!" He added beaming to her as he caught up, slowing to fall into step at her side. "It's just..."
"You don't want anything to happen to me. Just like I want to make sure you'll be okay." She finished for him as they began to weave their way through the nearly empty streets, which made no sense to him but that didn't stop him from nodding in agreement though he hadn't thought Takhat would be in that much danger.
"That too." He said with a brighter smile, his mood lightening even more as they walked. His gaze was soon drawn back to their surroundings, or more accurately the lack of people around them. "It's so quiet, where is everyone?"
"Hiding." Takhat's answer was simple.
"Why would they be hiding though? They haven't done anything." Yugi said with his gaze shifting from the surroundings back to his friend since she seemed more sure about what was going on with people.
"True but that isn't stopping them from being scared about what happened I suppose." Takhat's answer seemed just silly to Yugi but he figured that it was possible they might have something to afraid of, that didn't mean he understood that reasonging though. But Takhat changed the subject rather quickly after that, taking his mind off of what had been happening and for a moment it was like nothing had happened. It couldn't last though, they weren't that far from his home by that time and after a bit of a discussion about the weather Yugi looked around, noting his street and reality crept back in on him as they turned the corner.
Yugi paused in the middle of the street with his gaze fastened on the faint trail of dried blood on the ground, he couldn't begin to understand why but a numbness settled onto him. Swallowing, Yugi continued on to his dwelling with a tremble developing in his steps but it paused as he paused, startled to see the door bashed inward to be left hanging ackwardly from one hinge. It was only a hint of what was inside and he stopped fully within, gawking at the mess the guards had left behind. Tables and chairs were overturned in a single pile on one side of the entry with everything else strewn all over in an unorderly jumble, even the beds had been moved out into the middle of room.
Nothing there had been left undisturbed.
This had been his own little world until last night, one that only his mother and Takhat had beed allowed into. Now all of it was lying about the entire dwelling shattered in pieces. Seeing that, took his heart with it, leaving it shattered with a pain that had him trembling in sadness as he stood there. "It's really gone..."
"What a mess." Takhat observed as she stepped passed Yugi to wander further into the manmade mess only to stop at the small shrine. Yugi didn't notice any of that until her gasp got his attention off of the room.
"Huh?" Yugi snapped out of his distracted thoughts, shaking the daze clear and turning his worried gaze to Takhat, wanting to make sure she was okay but he got an answer before he could ask what was wrong.
"Yugi, maybe you should wait there." She said hurriedly, her voice a bit higher than normal.
"Why?" Yugi asked curiously about both the words and her tone as he moved to join her, his gaze staying on her momentarily as he waited for an answer but her attention stayed focused into the shrine and he stopped. Yugi couldn't help looking then, freezing with his eyes widening more at the sight before them. All was normal except for the blood spread out in a puddle over the center of the shrine.
That's mother's! Yugi thought as he stepped back, fighting the tears that threatened to break loose. He noted Takhat moving into the shrine though she stopped a good distance from the blood but he was more concerned that he just wanted to be somewhere else. Somewhere that had nothing to do with what had happened here, somewhere that wasn't stained with blood. "We ought to go..." Yugi trailed off only able to give Takhat that warning before being unable to stay there anymore. He turned suddenly from the shrine, fleeing as fast as his legs could carry him away from the scene.
"We just got here." Takhat spoke, but by the time her gaze rose, Yugi was already out the door.
The teen heard her calling after him but he didn't stop. His mother was gone because of the pyramid thing, it was obviously dangerous. Yugi couldn't put his friend through that, he just wanted to get away from all that in order to protect the pyramid like he'd promised his mother he would. Yugi thought it might be better for everyone that way but where could he go? Yugi remembered that question from before, after which he'd told Takhat that he had nowhere to go.
I'll have to find somewhere...
Yugi shut his eyes at the idea without stopping all out running. He was only listening to the sounds of activity picking up around him as his feet carried him onward, he didn't know how he managed to not hit anyone but he avoided people. The teen could only remember his mother taking him up on the roof when he was young shortly before dawn to listen to the city becoming active for the day. He even remembered the only two times his mother had allowed him into the marketplace, though it was after she'd draped him in robes that hid him except for his two hands. He'd been so hot in those linen kalasiris, way too hot for the young boy.
At the moment though the noises around him reminded him of the day he was out with his mother. The sound of feet shuffling around him... Yugi opened his eyes in time to dart around a couple, not noting the odd stares he was getting from the people around him as he ran like hell was on his heels. But he did realize that he'd ended up in the market during his mad dash and he sheepishly slowed eyeing the vendors that were sitting to either side of the street ahead of him, their baskets of wares surrounding them in tempting items. Fruits, grains, even linens stood out for all to see and Yugi peered at them all for a moment before shaking himself.
Yugi knew he'd broken the rule his mother had given him about not being seen here. Yugi silently fought the urge to look around, he had the pyramid to think of and he veered off to bolt for a side street, intent on getting hidden like he should have stayed. Unfortunately though there was someone right in his path when he turned.
Yugi gasped as he ran into the wall of person, unable to stop before he was knocked backward by his own momentum and he ended up falling onto his rear.
"Watch it you little..." A voice began cutting through Yugi's surprise but the words stopped suddenly in mid-sentence which was followed by a cold chuckle that had Yugi looking up over white linens and passed a bare chest toward the person who resumed speaking at that moment. "Well what do we have here?" The words were spoken with a chilling smirk spreading over a face that was framed by white.
To Be Continued....
A/N: Reviews are welcomed! And guess who...err...though I suppose it isn't that hard. And for those wondering about Jounochi, Honda and Yami...you'll have to keep reading to see. I don't want to give anything away!
Plus I'll add a list of who is who so far.