Yu-Gi-Oh! Fan Fiction ❯ Echoes of Forgotten Times ❯ Testing Boundaries ( Chapter 19 )

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

Echoes of Forgotten Times
Written by Shukumei no Kagi
Notes: It took awhile for my inspiration to kick in again. But I've finally gotten around to working on Chapter Nineteen. Those of you still waiting to read more, please Read and Review. However I may be slow in posting, my inspiration isn't fully back.
Warning: Yaoi, sorta deathfic

Chapter Nineteen ~ Testing the Boundaries
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It had already been a long day for Yugi, though he wasn't letting that stop him from taking his short little nails to the blood. He wasn't going to leave the dried redness there. It just made the day a little longer to scrape the blood off his wings. Such wasn't anything major. But it was hard getting the blood to flake off from the delicate feathers, however a small pile of crimson gathered on the floor. The slowly growing pile getting his attention a few times and he blinked at it as he noted there had seemed to be more blood than that when it had been on the wings. The novelty of that wore off fast as he wanted to get back to cleaning, his gaze and fingernails returning to the work. However even the slight rest of unconsciousness earlier wasn't enough to keep the teen from feeling worn out by the time half-a-wing was done. He yawned fully moments later as he finished the first wing but paused with his fingernails ready to start working on another feather.

Instead of starting, Yugi shifted his grip to tiredly grab at the clean wing and tugged it close to his little form. The teen falling perfectly silent with a small smile of gratitude while benignly soaking up the warmth the two new appendages offered. It was a gentle heat, nothing much compared to other objects he'd had before but Yugi still found some comfort from having smooth, yet flexible wings envelop him.

He sighed sweetly in enjoyment of the offered warmth, yet he was aware of a space the wings weren't helping. It could be nicer, he thought slowly as a plaintive look slipped onto his features, only to be followed by a sheepish feeling and Yugi ducked his head while giving the wing a polite rub in apology. He caressed the feathers, giving them a light pat as he treated the extremity as if it belonged to someone else.

It does feels more like it is someone elses, he noted even though having wings was nice he didn't feel like they were his, I wonder why I have them and the other person doesn't. He paused as his mind wandered, though his fingers stopped caressing the feathers and rested where they were lightly encased in warmth.

The sensation was a pleasant one, only Yugi was wondering about why he had the appendages instead, vaguely smiling in appreciation of the warm feathers. His wide, welcoming, violet eyes remained locked on the wing. The teen trying idly to make out the soft texture which he could feel under his touch. But none of the bristles stood out for him to notice. All there was, was the pure white layers that held his gaze for the moment. They weren't much of anything but his gaze trailed along the outline of a feather longingly, yet he was grateful for it's presence, even as he was somberly aware that the wings weren't the cool steady support given by the pyramid.

Yugi shivered, not from cold since the wings kept him nice and warm, it was the loneliness that troubled him. The teen did love having nice warm wings, but he was keenly aware of the empty void left by the golden object which the wings weren't capable of filling. The teen didn't like feeling that way but he could only curl his fingers into the feathers, clutching on so as not to lose that outer warmth. And that led to a realization, the idea that he'd preferred to have the pyramid back than being engulfed by the wings.

Guilt flickered inside of him as he wondered if he should think that. It wouldn't be very fair to them, Yugi thought while tenderly rubbing the feathers once more to comfort the twitching wings. They were nice wings... And he knew they were all he had now. He bit at his lip, not wanting to have the crimson staining his precious feathers. He wasn't even certain that the wings belonged to him, if they were someone's then he shouldn't leave them dirty.

As that thought went through his head, the teen glanced down at the pile of red flakes. There was a slight pride at having gotten so far with just his fingernails, it would have to be worth it to finish scraping the blood off. He'd decided to finish now, only he didn't even get to moving back to the reddened feathers. The wings merely wrapped about him without any warming, holding him in a warm embrace which startled the teen into gasping outloud. He hadn't even thought about having the appendages do that. Yugi gaped at the wings that were now around him, stunned by the movement though it wasn't the first time the wings had moved as if on there own.

I'm still not able to control them, so who is? The teen wondered in puzzlement, the idea of someone else moving his wings didn't make much sense to Yugi. The wings were attached to the teen, not someone else but Yugi kept pondering the idea. Mainly because the appendages did move without him intending them to. Someone had to be controlling them! Right? He paused not so sure about that suddenly. Are they doing this by themselves? He silently questioned, hesitating before slowly bringing his hands up and touched both wings curiously.

The small teen's bright violet eyes peered questioningly out, seeking out several feathers and paused at each to watch them, Yugi's desire to know clearly on his features without him having to speak as he watched each feather expectantly in hopes of at least a hint.

There had to be an answer somewhere... And he just wanted to know what was going on. Only neither wing, or anything else was giving him one.

Yugi nibbled at his lip distractedly, considering the thoughts for another moment though there wasn't anything more to think about. It didn't stop him from wanting to know, but he had to shift his attention from his thoughts and focused on having the clutching wings loosen their grip on him. There was a resistance there and everything just seemed to pause until there was only the strong breaths of air from the dragon. The noise rumbled throughout the surroundings, not lasting long, but the teen noticed.

Despite how his memories were still hazy there was a fondness as well, and the teen lifted his violet eyes from the feathers. Yugi glanced across the cells toward the dragon's cage but his curiosity diverted him once his eyes had rested on the large red mass and he turned a bit more, taking a long look at Khenemet's cage. His eyes went from one end of the cell to the other, the gaze growing more worried as they past over the empty appearing interior. The dragon was even drowning out any little sounds which might have came from the girl. He couldn't help the lone sigh which escaped as he noted that she still seemed to be ignoring him.

He slowly bit at his lower lip after the sigh, disappointed and more alone than... Than any other time that he remembered for certain. He hoped that she would come back out soon. The teen was tired of feeling empty like this and he wasn't getting a chance to make things better. That made things worse and Yugi pouted slightly without realizing it as he quite seriously didn't want to be alone anymore.

Maybe he was wrong about him being ignored, he hoped fervently. Yugi quietly paused to consider that, staring all the while at the cage but his longing to not be alone won out and he called softly to the first cage. "Khenemet?" He asked plaintively with his emotions shining in his gaze. To him even a little sound would have been nice but there was only silence which answered him.

Yugi remained still and unmoving a little longer to give the girl plenty of opportunity to answer him. That was, if she was listening, but there never came a response to his call. So I am by myself even though I'm not actually alone, he decided while a shiver went from his wings right down to his toes. That was one idea that he liked even less than just being alone. He was so close to actually having company... Yet there was none for him. He was merely empty and chilled inside, this cold was not a sensation that the wings could make go away but he grasped uselessly at a handful of feathers anyway. No matter how much he would have liked for that to work, it didn't.

The teen pulled his gaze away from the dark neighboring cell since there was nothing to be seen there. It left him listless, his eyes traveling aimlessly over the numerous bars that surrounded him, his gaze finally settling upon the wings around him. The feathers trembled slightly as he touched them briefly, thinking to look around more but the feathers held his attention longer as Yugi wanted to figure out how his wings worked. It hadn't been as easy as birds made it seem, he noted to himself with a slight smile which faded to a thoughtfulness. It was true that he certainly didn't know how to fly, and it would be harder since the wings seemed to have a mind of their own.

Well, they didn't always have a mind of their own, he noted as he focused for the few seconds it took before the wings grudgingly released him from their restraint. Despite that freedom Yugi could almost tell there was a reluctance even then. He almost felt another mind resisting his own use of the wings. Even then both the crimson stained and white appendages were slow to spread out to their full glory around him.

"Please don't fight me. I want to learn how to use these wings if I may. I won't hurt them and I'll do my best to keep them from harm." He promised with a nod as he reached out to the blood covered wing, his fingernails resting over a stain of red just about to start scraping it off. Only Yugi missed when the first sound drifted to him. The teen scraped carefully, barely having started before he noticed the soft click of footsteps beneath the snores.

His eyes raised from his work as he heard the tapping on the stairs, curiously looking past his wings to see who was there. His glance only found the empty corridor waiting there, the person still being out of sight. Though the teen could only think of one person who might be in the place, especially since he couldn't think of a reason for Mariku to be there again.

Because of that, it seemed to the teen that it had to be Bakt, didn't it? He wasn't sure, it could have been anyone and each step that Yugi heard only increased his puzzlement. He blinked slowly at the stairs as the steps sounded closer and closer. There was just a moment left for him to ponder that. Yugi simply called out hopefully, greeting whoever it was cheerfully since even if it was Bakt, he wouldn't be alone! "Hello to whoever's there! I heard your footsteps and was wondering about who's there." The teen said without the slightest hesitation, not considering that such might be a bad idea until the only answer he got was the sound of a chuckle. A cold sound which had Yugi blinking in surprise. He quickly forgot about that as a sudden movement brushed against him in answer

Startled, Yugi gasped loudly with his breath speeding slightly. He didn't have long enough to understand what that had been, his wings simply just folded him into their warm embrace yet another time. He took a breath and glancing down at the feathers that fluttered there, quickly realizing that it had only been the wings moving. That let him calm slowly as he smiled sheepishly at the wings. As nice as it was having them try to be friendly, the teen couldn't leave them folded like that.

He focused carefully, about to make them release him when the first signs of movement from the steps distracted him.

His wide-eyed gaze lifted to look back at the hallway without hesitation, just at the right time to watch as the man stepped from the stairwell. The glimmer of white in the faint light made the man's hair the most obvious trait and it caught Yugi's attention before the teen had a chance to realize. The teen blinked, puzzled for a brief second at finding his eyes on the pure white instead of any features but he was quick to recover and he bit at his lip as he glanced at Bakt's face. The nasty smirk being the thing he noted immediately, the cruel expression definitely having no signs of pleasantness left. There was only a cold amusement that Yugi could see and which made him wonder why Bakt looked like that. It certainly chased away any comfort the teen had gathered even faster.

Yugi hesitated worriedly at the sight, something about that expression not appearing right as he peered quietly at the man. He simply watched Bakt walk over to the dragon's cage and bend down to place a plate of food just beyond the bars. The soft sound of pottery on stone snapped Yugi out of his nervousness enough to speak "Why?" He asked plainly, blinking hopefully at Bakt for some sort of answer. He actually wanted something else besides a chuckle. "I'd like to know. Why are you doing all this? It's wrong to change people into monsters who can't talk or express themselves." He wavered slightly, slowly murmuring a last thought. "It's got to be lonely not being able to communicate with other people."

They were only a few words but they got a soft hiss suddenly in response before he'd even finished speaking. Yugi paused as the sound reaching him didn't come from Bakt. His eyes darted from the man toward where the noise had come from, finding his violet gaze settling decidedly upon Khenemet's cell, a clear sign that she had to be paying attention, though his skimming glance found the cell as empty looking as before. The girl was still hiding from prying eyes. But just that she was listening surprised the teen and he blinked slowly, comprehending the hiss with hope gathering on his features.

Maybe she wasn't leaving him alone. He pondered that idea, already feeling comforted slightly just by knowing that she wasn't ignoring him. Or at least he was certain she was heeding what was going on enough to make the worried sound. He could ask her later, he decided while blinking once at the bars and stones around the girl's cell. It couldn't have been anyone else but her, he decided though pausing another moment out of curiosity, wanting to see if she might leave her hiding spot. The brief hesitation yielding nothing, Yugi clutched at one of his wings, disheartened because of the lack of any signs, though he smiled as he was not about to give up. He merely glanced away from the girl's cage for now and back toward Bakt...

Only to start in surprise! His violet eyes promptly halting as they locked with hazel. The cold brown of the man's eyes waiting and glaring back at Yugi from right outside the teen's cage. Yugi hadn't heard any feet moving across the floor while he'd looked away, that didn't change anything though since Bakt was right there.

The teen wavered not having been prepared to find himself being stared down by the man. Especially not so close. He bit at his lip, though staring back at the man imploringly. Bakt frowned in displeasure as the staring contest continued, the man not looking happy but Yugi's gaze merely showed the curiosity he felt. "I'd like to know." He requested as calmly as he could, it being obvious that he honestly meant that but then almost gasping a bit when Bakt actually smirked, then spoke.

"So you still talk, runt?" Bakt sneered at the teen, his disapproval of that fact not being hidden from even Yugi. "That's too bad considering I don't want to hear you talking, so shut up unless I talk to you." He stated meanly and Yugi sighed very quietly without liking that at all, his hopes of making things better shaken but not gone. He didn't want to be quiet, he wanted to know why Bakt was like this as well as whether what he remembered was true. Yugi was sure there had to be a reason for all of this.

"Why should I? I just want to know what's going on. I don't know of anything wrong with being curious. It doesn't hurt anyone." The teen appealed and would have said more, he had plenty to say in answer to the man but another hiss drowned him out, this one seeming more warningly since it was accompanied by a snarl. The fiercer sound having come from the man, not Khenemet. However Yugi took the warning and hesitated nervously, eyeing the white-haired man worriedly.

Bakt snorted, sneering as he shook his head before giving what Yugi thought was an annoyed glance toward Khenemet's cage. The expression on the man's face looked to be pure disgust. "You'd bother to warn him?" He challenged, giving another snort then turned, bringing his gaze back slowly to examine the teen. The sight of the brown eyes taking in his appearance had Yugi pausing this time, not wanting to risk too much. But Bakt suddenly chuckled and the teen shivered at the chilled sound. "You bothered to clean your wings?" Bakt asked, chuckling a bit between words.

Yugi brought a finger up to his lips as he blinked in confusion at the man. He had no idea what he missed, but he surely didn't find that to be funny. So why was the man laughing? He couldn't fathom the answer but he caught the sound of a sad sigh from Khenemet's cell and his gaze flickered over to the empty interior briefly before returning to Bakt. The teen finding the smirk back in place on the man's face.

"You look uncomfortable, was being shrimp bait easier?" Bakt questioned, the words stinging at the teen. He could feel tears threaten from the nasty remark, a lump forming in his throat and Yugi swallowed.

Despite managing that attempt it took the teen a moment to clear his throat enough to answer, though he spoke rather slowly. "I'm not that small." He set his jaw to try and look serious. "I only didn't want to have blood on me." The teen started as Bakt burst out laughing. The teen's eyes widened in shock as the man leaned against the cage, only then faltering and trailing off what he'd been about to say. "What's so funny?" The youth wondered outloud finally when Bakt straightened. The question went unanswered for the moment as the man didn't hear and Yugi blinked, befuddlement quite clear just from his violet eyes. "I can do what I want." He mumbled, though he didn't think the comment was heard.

It wasn't until the laughter was fading into a memory and leaving a sneer behind that Bakt brought his brown eyes to meet Yugi's. The expression the teen saw on the man's face not stopping his worrying.

"That's one useless attempt, squirt." Bakt spoke with an effortless wave of his hand, a dismissive gesture of the idea. "They'll only be bloody again soon after, be it your's or someone else's." Yugi shuddered promptly at that, though he didn't have much time to consider that because the man didn't pause. "What? Not planning on hurting anyone, runt? Well too bad, you're training starts soon, and you work for me and Mariku now. So it certainly won't be only your wings that get turned red."

There was a moment where Yugi was too stunned to answer but he snapped out of it, vigorously shaking his head in denial. Bakt's promise of that not sitting well with him at all. He would do no such thing! "Anyone who's been hurt knows that, that doesn't feel nice. I don't want to make people feel pain." He was being honest but as soon as the words left the teen, Yugi faltered, not sure if he should have said that. He continued anyhow, trying to act like he'd meant to say that.

"I'm not like that." Yugi explained without losing the expression, trying to look like he wasn't going to be intimidated as the other monsters were, determined to try and make some difference. He set his jaw determinedly too so it was clear he wasn't about to let Bakt make him hurt anyone. On him it was almost too cute to be taken seriously, although Yugi meant it. "I won't do anything like that, no matter what you say. And you can't make me. You don't really own me. I don't want to be owned by someone, would you?" He informed Bakt to try and convince the man. He didn't know if it would work but he knew he had to try. Crossing his arms in front of himself, he realized the gesture likely wasn't noticed, being reminded by a light tickle that the wings were still wrapped around him.

He paused slowly, glancing down at the wings and blinking.

The feather didn't cut out the snort of disbelief which escaped the man. "You're a brat, runt. Because we do own you. There is no one who's going to be helping you, you're stuck with us. You are just a damned wimp no one will want. But that will be fixed soon enough. You'll find we have ways of convincing you to do as we say." Bakt snapped coldly. The teen merely bit at his lip out of nervousness from the words, wondering as he did, what the man meant.

Well no matter what he does it won't matter, the teen thought without losing his determination. Though now the teen was worrying more. What could Bakt do? Khenemet had made it sound really bad...

Yugi swallowed and shook his head. "I won't." He murmured with a fierce nod, frowning slightly after as he focused on getting the wings to spread from their protective pose. "Don't make me do anything like that." Yugi pleaded, his despairing words not seeming to have any affect on Bakt.

The man just smirked even more in enjoyment of the near begging. "Are you so pathetic as to beg?" Bakt shook his head. It was a little gesture but even that was a sharp movement. Yugi stared at the man, not seeing how Bakt could be like this. He had trouble believing it even with what Bakt had just said, what was the reason for it? And what he was saying. "Not that it will matter soon. You'll be just a creature like all the others once I'm through with you. No pathetic runt like you could stay like this." The man denied emphatically, smirking at him for a moment before starting to turn away.

Yugi's conviction didn't sway, not one inch despite his worried thoughts.

I won't be like that, he declared in his head without his gaze leaving Bakt. Slowly the teen bit at his lip, trying to answer but having trouble just to speak. He watched the man step toward the stairs, not turning back toward him. "I'm not pathetic!" Yugi managed to say. "I don't care what you say. I won't harm anyone, especially when it isn't needed." The teen froze worriedly as the white-haired man faltered, but there was no immediate outburst. The lack of which was enough for Yugi to continue. "I just would like to know why you are being mean. There is no reason to be, we haven't done anything to you." He beseeched, intently wanting to know but that trailed off as he was suddenly looking back at scowling brown eyes. The teen stepped back this time, gasping from the intensity of the displeasure that Bakt was radiating.

It was a fury that Yugi couldn't understand. After all the teen had only asked what seemed like a reasonable request.

"You'd actually dare continuing to question...even challenge me?" The man said dangerously slow, his brown eyes flashing hot despite the chill in his voice. The sound had the teen shivering under the warm blanket of his wings, only to feel colder when a promising smirk went over the man's face. The teen beginning to catch on that these expressions from the man were probably not a good thing.

Yugi lowered his head and bit hesitantly at his lip. "I'm just saying what I believe." He said defensively before looking up wide-eyed and honest at Bakt, the tones from the man not being enough to keep Yugi from trying. However his expression was merely met by a wider smirk, one that was colder than before.

"I think you need a lesson in who's truth is right, you foolish short brat." Bakt snorted the words out as he stepped to the door of Yugi's cage and the teen took another step back because of the words. The confusion spread over his features quickly, even while the teen was left wondering what kind of lesson Bakt meant. I wonder if it could be a magic lesson, Yugi wondered because he would have preferred for this to be that.

"What lesson?" The teen asked outloud, curious even though he was frightened about actually finding out the answer. Yet he only blinked innocently at the man, his gaze questioning though Yugi was gripping the wings and pulling the warmth closer. Only this time the appendages weren't all that comforting. Something was going to happen and the teen knew it. The dread growing worse as Bakt lowered his hand to the lock, the teen nervously trailing his gaze after the movement. His wondering about what the man was doing being answered quickly as the lock clicked open.

Yugi's eyes widened at the sound and Bakt smirked. "A lesson in not talking back." Bakt replied nonchalantly as he shoved the door open, the fierce shove belying the calm of the man's words. Especially as the bars banged loudly open.

The sound echoed through the area with a vengeance that Yugi jumped from, stumbling back with his violet eyes huge in surprise. He lurched clumsily backwards to get away from the violent man. There was only so far for Yugi to go and he was halted by his back hitting a wall. He glanced over his shoulder quickly at the wall, the useless glance cut short as Bakt spoke, startling Yugi into tearing his gaze back to the man.

"It's been awhile since I had someone who could be punished without needing to use any powers." Bakt finished while stepping into the cell, his eyes locked fiercely on Yugi. The teen barely noticed as his gaze instead went to the cell door. If I could reach it... He thought hopefully. It was almost as if Bakt had the same thought and turned to grasp the door and shoved it shut. The lock clicked shut audibly. Yugi shivered as his last idea died away in a quiet death.

The teen clutched the wings to himself protectively, running out of any other ideas. But now he was definitely thankful for the warm protection the white mass of feathers gave him. He silently bit at his lip, hoping silently to think of something else to say that might convince Bakt. Hadn't Khenemet said something about Bakt almost freeing her once? He was certain that he remembered something like that.

"Consider this your first bit of training. I'll make sure your wings get bloody again." The man interrupted the teen's pondering and started stalking toward Yugi.


To Be Continued

A/N: As I said before, I'm sort of back but my posting of chapters will be slow. Other than that, review please!

Chapter 18
Chapter 20
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