Genre: (I'm not really sure)
Pairings: (one-sided?) YxYY
Summary: "A desert beauty, trapped in an icy prison."
Warnings: Character death (sort of?) Shonen Ai (if you're looking)
Author Note: Okay, this is just a little four-page thing I thought up driving home from a friend's house the other night. It had snowed and the streetlights were making it really sparkly. Enjoy! (I may possibly add on an epilogue just because of the way it ends.)
It was cold, so very cold. Warmth had long since left his all parts of his body, and the air that passed through his mouth was no longer visible. Hands that had long before stopped shivering lay numbly at his sides: the gloves originally meant to keep body heat in were soaked and frozen. Once tan skin now took on an almost blue hue, and the normally sharp eyes were now dull. The only thing that passed through his sluggish mind was one word; a word that most learned before their own name, and now it was about to be the very last he ever used.
Such a small word, it hardly seemed fair that it could hold so many meanings. During childhood, it was merely used for inquisition. If one didn’t understand something, then they asked ‘why.’ Adolescence brought a rebellious theme to the word, challenging authority by asking ‘why.’ As one got older, the work took on a deeper meaning. ‘Why’ did this happen? ‘Why’ do things have to be this way?
Glittering crystals rained from what had been a blue sky, piling up upon the already layered ground. A thin layer grew on top of him, almost warm in its embrace. Frost covered his eyelashes, his hair, and his whole body. It was so beautiful, and yet so deadly.
An unnatural warmth began to spread through his limbs, and he knew that he did not have much time left. He could feel his breath slowing down, and his heart skipping beats.
Was this how he was going to die? All numb and alone? Without anyone to mourn over his absence?
Grayed images slowly trickled in front of his eyes, and he couldn’t help but laugh: the choked wheeze that it had become. Was his life going to flash before his eyes now: to mock him with all his failures and measly attempts at survival?
He watched bitterly as a faceless man argued with an equally faceless woman in his mind's eye, a young child huddled in the corner fearfully clutching a stuffed bear; the slam of a door and a crying woman haunting his ears. The mental scene then shifted to a moving truck, it’s plain advertisement blurred to his mind. A young boy shaking his fist at the sneering uniformed men, demanding ‘why?!’ The faceless woman shushing her son as she tried to make the most of their damaged property.
The young boy, now an adolescent, trying to fit into a new school. Hunched shoulders tried to ward off the cruel comments made by fellow students, and bullies and tyrants warded off the few people who were actually nice to him. Faceless teachers scoffed at his rudimentary skills at his new language.
Another mental scene and this time the adolescent was striking back at his tormentors, and getting in trouble for it. He refused to hide away any longer, denying the colored contacts that had been offered to him and letting his hair grow, wild and natural. He never did any truly bad things, but he always got blamed and punished for other’s crimes.
And then the scene shifted, this time to a young man, fresh from high school, standing next to a fresh grave. His mother’s name, a sacred thing to all children, engraved on the unconcerned granite; an unnecessary death, all because she stood up for her and her son’s right to live.
Countless careers denied him, only looking long enough to see his different appearance before casting him back out onto the streets. The whispered comments, sneaking into his hearing like a disease and tainting him from within.
And finally, the last scene he would remember, this same man, now skating on a frozen pond, trying to lose himself in the pure landscape, in the solidarity of his task, gliding gracefully across the ice. The taunts of uneducated teenagers standing on the sidelines of the pond as they jeered at him for his nationality striking a long abused nerve inside of him. One whispering crack as he was accidentally pushed onto the thin ice, and the dawning look of horror on the teenagers’ faces as he plunged into the icy tomb.
Had they even tried to help him at all? He couldn't recall now. Maybe the thought wasn't important, when his true concern was if this was the end? He drew shuddering breaths as the numbness crept closer to his chest, freezing the very blood in his veins. It wouldn’t be long now, he thought as he clung to the edges of conscious. He didn’t understand why he was dying this way, but he knew that there were always some questions that never got answered.
He had struggled after he had fallen through the ice. An eternity had passed, but he had painstakingly forced his way out of the water and onto the bank. Now, no matter how hard he tried, no matter how much he didn’t want to die from a mere accident, he couldn’t get himself any further. The teenagers had long since fled, and no one would be around here with the wind picking up its intensity.
He was getting warm now, and he couldn’t even laugh anymore at his situation. The overhanging trees blurred together as his eyesight began to fail him, and he tried to sigh.
The sound of crunching snow almost went unnoticed to the dying man. A shadow was cast over him, and sluggishly his eyes turned to look. No one was out here, it was too cold, and too far from the city. It was either an animal come to prey upon him, or he was hallucinating.
The figure was human shaped, but that was about all that his failing eyes could recognize. Swirling white patterns danced around the figure, colors dipping into purples and blues as they neared the body. A dark blotch was where the hair should be, and two glittering, violet circles wavered where the eyes should be. The whole image seemed to shift and reform, solidifying before his very eyes into a distinctly male human figure.
“You’re still alive.” The figure stated, somehow hovering between the lines of sounding surprised and knowing.
He was? He couldn’t tell, honestly, he couldn’t feel anything in his body anymore. Ears he had thought to have frozen off already barely picked up the sound of the human voice, and tricked him into hearing what sounded like bells.
Heat blossomed on his cheek where a confident hand stroked the blue flesh. He sighed at the contact, now positive that he was hallucinating. He was completely numb, so there was no way he could feel another’s touch right now.
“Heh, rather strong-willed aren’t you, to have survived Winter’s Frost? I’m surprised that you aren’t frozen solid yet.”
He would have laughed, if his lungs hadn’t stopped working just then. The hallucination spoke as if he wasn’t dying. Somehow, he found humor in this too; was this his mind’s way of coping with death?
Another hand joined the first and explored his face, unabashed by the darker skin tone or the unnatural color of his eyes. Trails of warmth flowed wherever the hands went, mapping out the angles of his face, the curve of his jawbone, and the length of his neck. He nearly closed his eyes in bliss, willing to succumb to the hallucination if it meant he could die feeling warm.
“What is your name?”
The question barely registered in his ears, yet it was crisp and clear once he realized he was being spoken to. He wanted to ask why a hallucination needed to know his name, but he couldn’t find it in him to ask. His time for questions was over; the reasons behind why to forever remain a mystery. He opened his mouth to wheeze out the syllables he had know since he could hear, only to find that nothing came out of his throat, oxygen having long ago left his body.
A hand trailed to his chest, the heat permeating through the soaked and frozen coat and reaching into his skin. With a gasp, he felt cold air rush into him, carving out clean passages from his throat straight to his lungs.
“Ah…At…emm.” He barely managed to breath out his birth name before his lungs shut down again. His name, the curse that his father managed to give him before he left; it made him stand out and gain ridicule room everyone he met, yet he wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. His mother always had liked him name.
The hands returned to his face, following the curve of his eye and the shell of his ear. Warmth followed the hands, helping his eyes to focus and his ears to understand.
“Do you want to live?”
Did he? Life had not been kind to him: every turn caused more strife and pain. It would be so easy just to fade away now with the lingering warmth of this hallucination on his face. He would see his mother again too. However, he could just imagine what would be said upon such a reunion. His mother would always love him, he knew that, but would she be proud of him for letting go so easily? She, who had taught him how to survive and what it meant to live; what would she say if she knew he just faded away like this, without any fight? He couldn’t disappoint her like that.
He felt his heart seize up as he tried to nod his answer. His eyes wouldn’t even widen at the realization that now was his time. Darkness crowded his vision, pulling at his seams and tearing him away.
Fire poured into his throat, instantly tearing away the cold darkness, molten heat flowing forth from the other’s lips. Red eyes instantly snapped into focus, starring deep into glittering, violet mirrors. The fire tore through his throat, burning a trail right into his chest. Blood loosened and inched through his veins painfully as his heart beat once again. His fingers twitched under the influence, and his nerves were jerked out of their numbness into instant electrification. His eyes did not recognize the swirling colors that danced around him and the other person. A sparkling ring crowned the other’s brow, and a similar one was beginning to weave before his eyes.
“Atem,” the other whispered his name, and he couldn’t find it in him to care that the other’s lips hadn’t moved. “I hereby seal the contract. My name is Yuugi Kiwlon, son of the Frost King. May you be freed from your prison, my love.”
Atem couldn’t find it in him to struggle against the other’s grip; he just didn’t want to. Something inside of him recognized the other’s name, like a forgotten lullaby. The heat was exhilarating, the energy bringing new life into his limbs. He did not see how his skin shone with a golden light or how the glittering adornments grew along his body, the only thing he would focus on was the feel of the other’s body against his and the heat that filled his veins.
He had long since given up on knowing why, but he had a feeling he was going to find out.