Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ Filling a Cell ( Chapter 16 )
Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: Oh I'm obsessed with writing this... however I'm getting into more detailed parts of the story so the writing of it will be slower. Also, despite how long this is going to turn out to be, I'm going to be sticking to my plans. Any changes I make will only be small ones that affect a single chapter. Unless something happens I haven't foreseen.
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic
Chapter Sixteen ~ Filling a Cell
Khenemet started awake in surprise with merely the sound of harsh breathing from the two-headed dragon opposite her cage greeting her return to consciousness. The grating snore wasn't all that loud in truth, but it was the only thing she heard in that moment of waking. She could only hear the hush of night from everything else, not even a single scuffing of movement from the other monsters permeated the air to reach her.
A troubled thought came to her as she noted how the underground prison seemed to be taking a silent break from alertness. The concern nagged at the back of her mind, hammering on through her head as it insistently demanded her attention, especially since Khenemet had never before awakened to find this mind numbing silence surrounding her. As different as this was, something else had brought her from the quiet slumber which had been engulfing her mere moments before, though she couldn't sense anything at the moment which might have woken her. Khenemet was inspired out of curiosity and nervousness to cautiously flicker her hazel gaze around to figure out what.
Her eyes darted swiftly over the space in the vicinity, finding nothing but an empty interior around herself. Khenemet didn't even see a single clue in the vacant cell neighboring her own. It was just a bare room that didn't even have a monster to make any clamor. Which only left her with one place to look, not that Khenemet had to glance across at where the dragon was softly snoring as it slept to know that it couldn't have been what woke her.
Her searching gaze grew more nervous at the lack of anything that might have roused her. There had to be something! That mere fact having her fully expecting to find at any moment something looking back into her hazel eyes. It was a feeling that Khenemet couldn't shake as her questing gaze continued to wander and she shuddered apprehensively while the idea stayed fixated in her head, that fear terrorizing her inwardly since she didn't know what might be in the shadows beyond her cage.
At least she didn't, not until the silence was rent by the faint but piercing echoing of an agonized cry stemming from somewhere above her cage. Such a scream was unforgettable and Khenemet shuddered at the familiar sound, the pain all too well known. The girl shivered even more as she instinctively knew for a fact what had to be happening from that mere cry. It was simply that her daddy was back from where ever he'd gone, his return right now being followed by him changing someone into a monster. She knew of nothing else which could cause anyone to give such a pained scream.
The idea had her cowering involuntarily on her cot a moment before another thought struck her.
Yugi! The girl thought with a start, sitting up sharply as she remembered just how vulnerable the teen had been even before being injured. That voice, it had to have been Yugi's! She silently cried the words at herself, horrified at the idea while a sense of guilt grew at how slow she'd been in coming to that realization. Though that was partly because at some point Khenemet had come to the conclusion, after spending so much time with the boy, that he was too sweet for anyone to willingly harm.
There had even been enough belief in the strength of that innocence, that she'd included Bakt into the 'anyone' phrase.
Yet that had been Yugi!
Daddy really did it, she thought in a daze as her disbelieving mind didn't want to think that it was possible. He couldn't have done that to Yugi! Khenemet refused to admit to herself the idea for no matter what Bakt had done to others, part of her wanted to believe that her daddy couldn't be so cruel as to harm the young boy. Only the sound torn from the kid's throat was forcefully negating the belief her mind was still wildly clutching to. It had her eyes stinging with tears as she was certain that Yugi had been changed and Bakt was the only one around who could have done what she'd thought was unthinkably cold even for him.
How could he be so mean?! Her begging question failing to fully refute her denials as she slipped from her bed. Khenemet simply couldn't help the fear which was slipping in to leave her trembling in shock as she considered what he could be capable of, though she didn't want to believe most of what she'd just heard. But the possibilities seemed endless. He could hurt all of them, she contemplated with the thoughts in her head of how he'd already harmed some monsters in one way or another with magical bouts... Some of the occurrences were fresher in Khenemet's memories than others and those ones made her shudder.
Khenemet didn't want to be hurt like that! Though if he caught her not cowering in his presence... She swallowed hard upon feeling terror fiercely ravaging her with a chilly touch and she recoiled to huddle against the wall in the vague security provided by the darkened shadows. "I won't *ever* leave my cell again!" She promised softly in fear of what Bakt could do to her, or any of them. For a moment she spared a worried thought about Yugi, especially concerned since he was still caught up there with her daddy.
Was the boy badly hurt? She sincerely hoped not as that possibility seeped into her mind. The boy didn't deserve such pain like the type Bakt could surely cause. Not that it would matter anymore, she thought to herself and her form drooped in resigned acknowledgement of the suffering her daddy had already had done to Yugi. There wasn't anything now that would change that. Her hazel gaze stirred as she found no point in staring at the floor, but her focus only shifted toward where the nearby dragon still lurked in perfect slumber.
Her gaze examined the large creature in wonder, not understanding how it could be just like all the other monsters in this instant. Khenemet was certain they were totally oblivious in their sleep to what was happening, keeping any protests they might have given about what was happening to their feeder silent.
They are like how Yugi will be now, she told herself as an unfamiliar chill entered her. The boy simply had done nothing to deserve this treatment! Khenemet repeated while completely unaware of the tears which fell from her hazel eyes as she shrank further back into her corner, the concealing shadows not doing as much as she would have liked to protect her from the fright. Khenemet was distracted from her terror of Bakt by a shudder running through her, that giving her a moment to slowly notice an emotion she hadn't felt in a long time. She quietly shut her eyes as she recognized the sobs welling up in her throat.
A harsh sob was torn from Khenemet's throat, the emotions leaving her trembling as tears rolled down her face. She idly noted that she'd become numbed to the plights of others with so many people falling victim to her father. The only difference with Yugi was that she'd gotten to know him better than she had any of the other casualties. Khenemet flinched as her mind assaulted her with the memory of his wide questioning eyes gazing at her from when she'd first met him.
At the time he'd pleasantly talked with her, quickly proving how innocent he was by the fact he hadn't thought anything bad of her daddy. Even after the discovery that he was locked in, Khenemet only remembered him being very sweet and kind whenever she had a chance to pay attention. He'd just been an untainted boy, one too sweet for her to ever consider being a monster like so many others in the dwelling.
Khenemet didn't know when, but the kindness wormed it's way in, slowly convincing her that there was no way something like this could have happened. Though it has, she told herself with a shudder at the conviction that Bakt had destroyed the little boy she'd known. He would no longer exist as he had before and it was her fault!
Khenemet tried to deny that as she buried her face in her hands. Only there wasn't much of anything she could do about the cold fear filling her as she knew deep down that Yugi's normally expressive features would be replaced by a dispirited look now. Part of her did wonder if that was something she could have prevented no matter how much she longed to not have to go against her father. She breathed a sigh before shaking her head, letting herself tremble at the thoughts going through her consciousness.
I could have done better, she told herself bitterly while her mind assaulted her with visions of Yugi's old features being torn up as he changed into....
She stopped as her imagination couldn't even begin to come up with an idea of what to replace his old body with and Khenemet wasn't looking forward to finding out. She shut her eyes tighter, attempting to block out any chance of having to see what the boy had become! Though, what if any of the 'old' him were left...? The girl knew she couldn't hide from it anyway, someday it would be necessary for her to see him...like whenever Bakt decided to showoff the 'new' Yugi to her.
Horror flared, tearing through her with a raw uncontrolled fury driven by the thought of looking upon the features and only seeing the same fury which the other transformed creatures possessed. More tears rolled down Khenemet's face in knowing just how far Bakt was willing to go. She didn't know how she could bear seeing the former refreshing innocence totally removed from the person she'd know.
In fact Khenemet was certain she wouldn't be able to take the sight! Not when the girl was still asking herself if she couldn't have done more to protect him. Khenemet snapped out of that thought with a start, her form wracked with dread as she focused once more upon her surroundings.
"But that isn't something I want to know!" Khenemet cried out her dislike as the horror had a strength which kept her unable to stay silent in the face of the idea of having to someday confront Yugi. Though she did try to stop herself, moving to clap her hands over her mouth though it was much too late to keep her words from ringing out. The vocalization sounding out above the noise of footsteps crunching confidently down the stairs. Her eyes widened in shock as the steps were already too close for her badly timed outburst to have gone unnoticed.
Oops, she thought wanly as she wasn't willing to openly face her daddy even before making that remark. She quickly cowered as far as she could, back into her corner, since she would be in enough trouble from her shout. It didn't make sense for Khenemet to risk more of his wrath, especially as she hoped to get out of this semi-unscathed. Though oh how Khenemet fervently wished that she could have taken back her cry. Only there was nothing she could do but stare fearfully at the hall beyond her cage, waiting as the footsteps rang out loudly on the last stair. The girl gulped hard in that brief moment of terror at the thought of the pain even as she hoped there wouldn't be any punishment coming for her.
Her inward prayers were cut off when the white haired man stalked into view, her hazel eyes drifting instinctively from the stone walls before she could stop them. Khenemet had gotten so used to dealing with Yugi over the last few weeks that she was unprepared for handling her reactions in Bakt's presence. Her expression quickly landed upon Bakt as he walked past, finding his face turned from her as he totally seemed to be ignoring her presence. It was as if she hadn't made a noise at all and Khenemet took the opportunity to regain control of herself, looking downward before he could notice her disobedience. The hazel of her eyes not getting far before faltering when her glance landed on very familiar features. Khenemet gasped silently as surprise hit her, her attention was claimed quickly by the sight of a certain boy being half-carried, half-dragged past her cage.
Thoughts fled from her mind as her vision narrowed to focus on the smooth features belonging to the Yugi she knew. Khenemet clearly saw a soft smile touching the sleeping boy's face, the expression of innocence still reflecting heavily from his features and she had to grasp sharply at the realization that he didn't look any different. If it hadn't been for Bakt being there, she would have thought the boy merely asleep.
Though maybe he was... She shook her head in denial of the thought. No, it couldn't be, once he was awake she was sure it would be gone. That thought finished in her head, leaving a tear to roll down her face. What Bakt had done felt so wrong! Though Khenemet didn't find that she thought her own actions were much better than her daddy's.... Not only did she not want to turn against her daddy, but Khenemet thought that maybe she could have done more to hide Yugi from this fate. There was plenty of room down here with her to hide him in, then maybe Bakt wouldn't have been able to find him and it would have kept Yugi from going through the pain of being changed.
Had he been changed though? Khenemet faltered at the validity of her questioning thoughts. Under her gaze, his features did still seem just like they'd been before, there simply wasn't any signs of difference there. She almost didn't want to look but now that Yugi was there in front of her, Khenemet couldn't have quit looking if she'd tried. She had to pry her eyes away from the features that they'd been glued upon, her return to attentiveness having her noting Bakt stop at the cage next to her own.
Oh no, Khenemet thought with a shudder as the possibility occurred to her that she would be having Yugi as her neighbor down here. Khenemet ducked her head as she didn't want to see this happening, not wanting what she'd figured out to be true.
Only she was transfixed by the flicker of white and red that crossed her vision. Khenemet froze at the bloody sight, the feathery texture familiar enough that she didn't have to see the shape of the things hanging from Yugi's back to drag limply along the ground. The image of the pure white stained red had the girl remembering when her own wings, in one smooth move, burst painfully free of her back. Even now the sound of tearing flesh resounded loudly in her head, leaving her shuddering in horrified remembrance of the moment. She knew the horrid pain had been truly the last thing she had wanted to feel...the last thing she really wanted anyone to feel.
Bakt heaved the boy into the cage next to her and Khenemet winced at the soft thump that rang out as Yugi hit the floor. I am sorry I know I should have done more, she thought to him as another tear slipped down her cheek. Khenemet meant that apology though she didn't dare speak it outloud before she buried her head into her hands. The girl was no longer willing, not to mention unable, to watch the atrocity anymore. Especially as she seriously doubted the possibility that anyone as young as Yugi could have been prepared for anything to hurt badly in the first place, but wings popping from their backs would have hurt even worse.
Though she knew better than to actually believe that it hadn't hurt, Khenemet silently prayed that the bloodstained white feathers that Yugi now sported hadn't been like her own experience of growing wings.
"Enjoying the sight?" Bakt questioned suddenly. Khenemet had been so focused on staring in horror at Yugi that she hadn't realized Bakt had moved, but now his voice was coming from outside her own cell. Amusement overflowed in his tone enough to sicken her. How had she not realized that he'd grown so awful? The girl wondered, thinking that as his daughter she should have seen this happening! Sure he changed people into monsters but Yugi was only a kid as far as she knew. And such a sweet one too.
Why hadn't she seen it happening? The girl wondered with a fearful shudder without answering Bakt, not brave enough to speak up in reply since she enjoyed being in one piece. She dared only to mouth desperate words, the motion hidden by her hands so her daddy wouldn't see the 'stop it' she would have said, except she was petrified in fright as her shudders were met by a chilled chuckle.
Oh how could this be her daddy? She wondered as a sob escaped her, wishing that she knew why he couldn't just go back to what he was like before? Not to mention that Khenemet wanted to know why such an occurrence would have to be so improbable.
"Well I am enjoying it. He's one more monster to the end goal, Khenemet. No one important, so quit that pathetic sniveling. It's just a monster like everyone else." Bakt spoke up coldly, not caring about how it affected Khenemet obviously. "It's foolish. All he was good for was being turned into that." He chortled again, his words hammering a guilty sadness into her very being. Khenemet knew for certain that Bakt was wrong though she said nothing as it wasn't her place to deny his words, it would do no good. She just listened to his feet step away from her cage, thinking of how Yugi had been so full of life, she'd seen that and him being changed like this was wrong!
Bakt couldn't be that cold, no one could?! She denied to herself while hearing stone crunch beneath his feet, the noise letting her know as he headed back to the stairs. His footsteps soon falling in rhythm as he acsended toward the top while Khenemet forced herself into silence, waiting for the threatening loom of his presence to trail away. She didn't dare even move, make a noise or think yet while his steps were still fading from the air. She gave him a moment longer, not planning to risk doing anything until her daddy was well out of range.
Only then did she raise her head from her hands, her tearful eyes going straight to where the boy had been dropped lifelessly to the ground.
This was her fault! She scolded herself as she was certain there was a lot of things which she could have thought of to prevent this. If only she'd done them... Khenemet choked on a sob, knowing that "should have done more" really did no good anymore. Because of that she owed it to Yugi that she at least make sure he was okay...no matter how much she would rather have avoided seeing how he'd become like the other monsters. That idea had her thinking of someday having to watch as he flung himself against the bars, trying to get viciously at unknown people passing by his cage.
I've got to, she told herself shakily even as she shuddered at her previous thought. It was an image which she hated with a vengeance, preferring to be able to forget about the thought but Khenemet couldn't get the idea out of her mind. She was trembling nearly too much from the visions dancing in her head for her to actually move. Just standing proved slow and difficult for Khenemet. As it was floating in one spot was bumpy, the girl could scarcely imagine having to glide all the way to the door but for the sake of the old Yugi, she had to do this. One last apology to him, the girl told herself gently, though even with that reasoning she nearly had to force herself to leave the safety of her corner behind, approaching the cell door slowly with her bone fragment neatly tucked into her hand.
Khenemet had the motions needed to open the door practically memorized and, with a deft flick of her wrist, the narrowed end of the bone caught on the lock release. The faint click of the lock opening causing Khenemet to relax somewhat, now that the door was open she figured that she might as well go all the way through with this. It didn't stop her shaking, that continued as she pushed at the door of her cage and she hesitated as the bars swung open. The girl shook off her hesitation a second later, turning her attention straight to Yugi's cage as she glided out from her small confines. Her gaze was quickly barred by the door still closed on his cage, Khenemet paused for a moment as she realized that she would have to pick a second lock if she was to reach Yugi. She slowly skimmed her eyes over the gate, the girl's glance trying to find a way in.
The bars were too close together, she noted, for her to get her bone to open the lock that way. The girl remembered that it had taken her many months to whittle the bone down enough to fit her own door and she didn't figure that she had the same time to do that for Yugi's cell.
How... hard could it be to pick a lock? Khenemet questioned to herself since her daddy had done something like this lots, gliding over to the door uncertainly to peer at the lock that was sealing the boy off.
She didn't even really know how Bakt did it, she'd only seen him pick a lock once or twice and those times were long before she'd been changed into this. The girl paused as she wistfully realized that those times seemed ancient, not just a few years ago. But if he could do it then, she didn't see why shouldn't she be able to.
This is for Yugi too, Khenemet reminded herself encouragingly though it didn't help brighten her spirits much as she bent down, slipping the bone into the keyhole. For a moment she was only able to listen to the fragment rattle around in the lock as she tried to feel what she was doing. The narrow bone felt small placed in the keyhole, her fiddling with the lock had the fragment shifting around loosely in the opening. The item not giving her any signs of finding anything else in the keyhole. Nothing that Khenemet thought would get this idea to work.
Only it had to! It had to! She thought with a stubbornness born of her guilt. If the lock would just cooperate then she could check on the boy like she felt she had to...
Khenemet bit at her lip as she focused upon her workings on the lock, determined for the moment not to give up unless certain footsteps returning down the stairs sent her scurrying in terror back to her own cell. However everything was a silent grave, save for her futile attempts to pick the lock, that sound was only a small thing for which she was very grateful.
It would have been better though if none of this was necessary, she noted while quickly blinking away a tear while a realization settled in her head. It was her thoughts that were making it hard for her to stay focused on what she was doing.
The girl quietly shook her head gently, not risking any sudden movements as she tried to clear everything else out of her thoughts until she could reach the boy. Though such a blankness of thoughts wasn't easy, she only did her best to focus wholeheartedly on the lock picking endeavor. Khenemet promised herself that she could worry about apologizing to him after the door was open, though the promise reminded her of something else. She should have done more! She thought sharply before managing to stop her mind.
Once again she shook her head to clear it before she finally got her attention back on the lock, finding quite quickly that her own was much easier to open than this! Khenemet noted that as she kept twisting and turning the bone, trying with growing desperation to find some way to open that lock. As wrapped up in the task as she got, the girl reached a point where she truly wasn't paying attention to how long this was taking. But to her immense, building, frustration the lock stubbornly held under her attempts.
"Oh come on. I have to do this." Khenemet bargained as she frowned at the lock, managing to wiggle the bone a last time before her hand was jolted to a stop, the bone getting stuck inside the lock. I like the lock on mine better, she whined mentally in complaint, even more as she tugged at the bone only to find the lock now refused to give her the lock pick back. In silent annoyance she grew more appreciative of her own door.
And for her sake she couldn't afford to lose that bone! Khenemet nearly, utterly, screamed inwardly at herself about that. She groaned outloud while tugging at the jammed bone, twisting vigorously in fierce attempts to free the object from whatever it had caught on. Though the bone remained totally still within her grasp, only her hands kept slipping uselessly over the smooth exterior. Which she would have preferred not to be the case. Why was I even considering this, she wondered in irritation as she reversed the turn in hopes of forcing the bone past whatever was blocking it.
Only the lock clicked open instead, the sudden noise startling the girl into glancing disbelievingly at the door.
She couldn't have just heard that... Khenemet found herself not quite able to fathom that her frantic attempts might have actually worked. She still wasn't believing that it was possible as she very slowly pulled at the bone. She could only stare in even more disbelief as the door creaked loudly before giving a way, the bars swinging at her touch, leaving the cell wide open to allow her entrance and Khenemet remained unmoving out of disbelief as she peered in with her gaze lighting upon the sole occupant.
Her eyes were caught by the sight his wings spread out to either side, her route to them totally unblocked.
That couldn't have just worked, she told herself again as she remained rooted to that spot from where she just stared silently into the cell. It was very slowly that the shock began to wear off of the girl, allowing her eventually to glide forward at a sluggish pace toward the unconscious boy.
She approached his side in short order and knelt next to him, all her attention drawn to the bristly down. The feathers looking rough to her eyes as she was totally caught up in the horror from the sight of his bloody feathers. The texture drew Khenemet in, forcing her to the point she couldn't keep herself from reaching out to him until her fingers gently brushed against the blood-covered feathers. She caressed the down, starting, as there was only a softness under her touch despite how the feathers looked. The odd sensation was so contrary to what the drying blood had convinced her of that she yanked her hand away in surprise at not having felt the expected coarseness.
Khenemet had barely gotten her hand away from the boy before his wings twitched, startling her even more. The movement had her wrenching away nervously with a soft gasp. As she watched Yugi's wings spread out, stretching out as his small hands reached up above his head for something that wasn't there. The boy gave a nice long stretch, long enough that Khenemet assumed the stirring Yugi was waking up.
No! She denied sharply as this was something she didn't want to be around for! The last thing she wanted to see right then was how she'd helped change the innocent youth into a being like the other creatures around there. She simply had to get away from there right away before he could fully rouse from unconsciousness! Her desperation to escape had Khenemet hurriedly springing back to her feet, only her hazel eyes lingered on the boy she used to know one last time. But she was more intent on getting out of there than noticing the boy's moving, she knew that if she left right then she wouldn't have to face the changed Yugi.
She simply missed seeing that his eyes were already blinking their way open, her last glance at the boy finding her hazel eyes suddenly locking with violet and she froze in horror, knowing that it was now much too late to sneak out before having to face Yugi.
Khenemet shuddered with instant terror of what she would see forming on the boy's face, his expression was already filling with... But she was stunned when questioning features beamed up at her with a tired but bright violet gaze.
"Hi! I'm really glad..." The boy's words paused as a flicker of hurt dawned deep in his eyes but he continued like nothing had happened. "To see you! I was worried and I'm not sure what happened. Do you know?" He spoke in a bright greeting that had Khenemet just freezing there, too stunned to even move under the bright expression which Yugi had pinned upon her. He looked like... He sounded like... himself...
"Y...Yugi?" She breathed in utter shock...
To Be Continued
A/N: Another chapter finished. Please review!
Bakare (Bakt)/Yami Bakura
Mekhu/Isis/(However her american dub name is spelled)