When Marik was initiated into the White Dragons, he had expected the blood, murder, torture and illicit activities of the gang...but he didn't expect to be captivated by his mischievous superior. T...
Oyabun: Literally “Foster parent”. Head of the family
Kobun: Literally “Foster child”. The collective family, excluding the oyabun
Shatei: “Little brothers”
Kyodai: “Big brothers”
Wakagashira: “first lieutenant”
Shateigashira: “second lieutenant
When I managed to wrench my eyes open at the crack of dawn, the first thing I was aware of was the throbbing in my temples, and a dull ache over my collar bone.
Brushing a finger gingerly across the brand at the base of my throat, I bit my lip a little at the sudden prickle of pain. My head flopped back again into the soft pillow – finest goose feather, no less, or so I was told by Yami when he first showed me to my room – and I heaved a long, melancholy sigh. When it didn’t expel quite as much as I’d hoped, I swung my legs over the side of my bed and stretched my taut limbs. I rubbed blearily at my eyes, taking in the room which I had moved into less than twenty four hours ago. It was simple but pleasant, with creamy white walls, a single bed at one end of the room and a little table currently stacked high with books that I’d brought with me from home (along with a few choice yaoi novels). Against the opposite wall, next to a window with pretty venetian blinds that I was yet to suss out how to use, was a wooden wardrobe crammed full of clothes. Most of my own were spilled out onto the floor, while those that were hanging up were that of the White Dragon’s official uniform. Apparently “official uniform” meant looking as wealthy, formal and snobbish as possible, but then again the White Dragons were well known for being the best dressed mobsters in Japan – they were also the most violent, cruel and sadistic, but I decided I’d think about that later.
Padding across the plush carpet and stepping into the ensuite bathroom, I was struck instantly by the sight of myself in the gleaming full length mirror. Totally naked but for a pair of white boxers, it almost felt comforting to see that my appearance hadn’t changed – still muscled, toned, still with dark tanned skin, still with thick shoulder length blond hair, rumpled by a restless night’s sleep. The only difference was the raw, blistered and angry looking burn below my neck. The same eye symbol as that of Yami’s gold ring, scorched into my skin, a stamp of loyalty. I was now the property of Don Kaiba, one of the Kobun, a White Dragon. Marked forever as a criminal. A mixture of horror at the burn and apprehension of what becoming a White Dragon could mean for me bubbled in my stomach.
After ten minutes of assessing the damage, I decided that the burn hurt a whole lot, and that I’d be wearing turtle necks for the rest of my life. With yet another laboured sigh I bent my head over the faucet, flipped on the cold tap and splashed my face until I felt like I could keep my eyes open for more than five seconds at a time. Stepping back out into my the ambient space carrying a towel and some fresh underwear, I hummed to myself absently, when-
“Good morning, Blondie”
“GAH-!” I started, practically throwing my underpants at him.
“I trust you slept well?” Seemingly unphased by the undergarments that had just flown at his face, now having flopped pathetically to the floor, Yami smirked at me. He was sat casually on my unmade bed, legs crossed, leaning back onto his hands stretched out behind him, with his head cocked slightly to the side. His eyebrow rose as I shuffled further into the room. It took me a moment to notice his eyes sliding up and down my body, his smile widening until his face had split into a gleeful grin.
“Oh – I – Uh…” I felt my face heat up as I awkwardly tried to cover as much of my bare flesh as I could. I silently cursed myself for throwing the towel at Yami a few moments earlier. My eyes cast down, willing the irritatingly expensive carpet to open up and swallow me whole; anything to escape the penetrating gaze of the man lounging on my bed. Hearing him chuckle darkly, I settled for wrapping my arms around my torso and crossing my legs so I felt marginally less exposed. I raised my head, praying he wouldn’t notice the thoroughly rumpled copy of Junjou Romantica laying open at his feet. He was still grinning, but his eyes stayed firmly on mine this time.
“Am I scaring you again, Blondie? I do apologise. Profusely so, in fact. I only dropped in to tell you that your first training assignment is at seven o’clock sharp. You know what that means?” He asked enthusiastically, ploughing onwards before I could gather my thoughts to answer.
“It means you get to meet your tutor! I’m not sure exactly who it’s going to be just yet, but I’ll be able to tell you when I come back in –“ He glanced down at a sleek Rolex he shook from under his sleeve “- forty five minutes to pick you up.”
He looked back up, raising his eyebrows expectantly.
“Oh, I… Uh…” I shifted my feet a little, feeling somehow even more uncomfortable than before.
“Hm? Oh! I suppose I should go. Leave you to get yourself sorted.” He sprung to his feet, towering over me, before crossing the room towards the door, brushing deliberately past me as he went. Before leaving, he turned and winked at me, smirking. Oh, Ra, was that a leer?
My skin crawled and my insides squirmed; I was alone in the alien environment once again.
. . . . . . . . . .
The expansive lawn of Kaiba manor glittered in the fresh morning sunlight, like a field of emeralds, the light frost crunching under foot. Yami was silent as he led me across the vast area of the grounds. I vaguely remembered sprinting across here, towards the kobun quarters last night, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember why. Maybe those shots had affected me even worse than I thought. Damn. I really needed to learn to hold my drink.
The silence between Yami and myself was not like that which I had known before, at home in the tomb, quietly reading scriptures with Ishizu and not talking for hours at a time. That kind of silence was comforting, soothing – the silence now was horribly awkward. I got the feeling that Yami didn’t seem to notice, though. Blonde bangs bouncing, he marched across the lawn (did I mention that it was huge?), me skipping hurriedly behind him, wondering if I should try to strike up a conversation. Then I remembered his crimson eyes raking over my naked body; cringing to myself, I quickly decided against that idea.
To my annoyance, the brand on my chest had not only blistered and scabbed over since last night, but had also swelled and developed into a throbbing bruise. It felt tender now as Yami and I neared the back entrance of Kaiba manor, still grand and thoroughly snobbish, but not nearly as white, marbled and gleaming as the pillars and grotesque gargoyles out front. The tail of Yami’s jacket swished behind him as he walked. It seemed that overly large coat tails were obligatory if you were a White Dragon – everyone I’d met so far had been wearing their various coloured suits, with ties and shirts, and great, swooping coat tails. I felt my silvery light grey coat tails floating along behind me now, but none could match the coat tails of Don Kaiba. His pristine, stark white cloak seemed to defy gravity. Of course, most people who encounter the Oyabun barely got a chance to meet his eyes before he shot them in the face. And if they did, then sympathies to them, because he was probably going to kill them slowly and painfully.
I swallowed the bile rising in my throat as I contemplated all the ways that Don Kaiba could maim and mutilate me, and pushed my thoughts aside to find that Yami was holding a heavy wooden door open, waiting for me to step through. I gave him a wide berth, slipping through the door, and he followed, smirking a little. Oh, frigging hell, I wished that he’d just stop frigging smirking. I could practically feel him undressing me with his eyes as he walked behind me, and I prayed to Ra that it was just my imagination.
The door led through under the servant’s quarters, which was very similar to the Kobun’s quarters only slightly shabbier, and left down a side passage with intricate wooden panelling on the walls. It was fascinating to examine, to the extent that Yami had to clear his throat pointedly to keep me moving. After a while we turned left again, and the windows vanished – this part of Kaiba manor was dimly lit, and spooky to say the least. It was made worse when the corridor narrowed, and I felt Yami’s warm breath tickling the back of my neck; almost seizing up with fright, I hurried along faster, the tall and intimidating Wakagashira chuckling lightly behind me.
The walk through the hidden passages of Kaiba manor continued in this way for another thirty seconds before, finally, we came to a heavy duty silver door. Sliding up next to me in the tight space, Yami furrowed his brow in concentration while he worked at the lock’s keypad with nimble fingers. The buttons lit up as he pressed them, and a dull metallic clunk rung out from within the door itself. Drawing a breath and tensing up next to me, I watched the lean, suit clad man as he grasped two handles and heaved it towards us, opening the door with a hiss. He spoke for the first time since we’d entered the mansion, eyebrow raised and smirking once again.
“After you, Blondie.”
He gestured for me to step through. Glancing behind me into the black vortex from whence we came, I walked without hesitation into the White Dragon headquarters.
. . . . . . . . . .
“Well, I’ll be seeing you later, Blondie, you can be sure of that.” Yami chuckled lightly in my ear, his voice barely above a whisper as we stood on the edge of the group.
“Wait, you’re going?” I tried not to sound too pleased at this, glancing around the room; I knew it was far too small and unassuming to be a main meeting area, but it was impressive and imposing all the same. Large computer monitors and television screens lined the walls of an upper tier of the room, whilst lower down in the centre was a large oak table ringed with comfortable looking chairs. It seemed odd and out of place, something so grand and old surrounded by the cold steel and machinery.
I recognised most of the faces present from last night’s party, but very few could I match names to. I vaguely recalled Joey, his blonde mop as scruffy as ever, and Tristan too – a few others were milling around drinking coffee in their designer suits. One guy who caught my eye was wearing a thin red waistcoat, and looked as if he could have been a frigging supermodel. His captivating green eyes were rimmed in thick black eyeliner, and his dark hair was thrown carelessly back into a ponytail. It wasn’t until Yami spoke again that I was able to pick my jaw up off of the floor and focus on the conversation.
“I have business to attend to downstairs… You’re in capable hands here, I assure you. I’m pretty sure you’ll be meeting your tutor soon.” There was the smirk again, and a quirk of that frigging eyebrow. Amused was too light hearted to describe his expression, though – it was more far more sinister.
“Uh… Do you know who it is? You mentioned, um, this morning –“
“Oh, I know exactly who it is, Blondie. I just like watching you get all squirmy and anxious.” He flashed me the biggest, most shit-eating grin ever. “Trust me, the next few weeks are going to be very interesting for you.” The words filled me with dread far more than I let on – externally, I simply frowned.
“I don’t understand. Who is it?”
“You’ll find out soon enough. And now, my obnoxiously expensive watch says it’s time for me to go. Have fun, and if you need to find me, just follow the screams.” He ducked down and, to my surprise and utter horror, pecked me on the cheek before winking and striding shamelessly away, hands in pockets and head held high. I flushed when I turned to see Joey and Tristan, watching me curiously. Great, what a fantastic first impression I was making. I rolled my eyes at my typically horrible fortunes, feeling my face heat up like a hot-plate, and tried not to draw attention to myself. I felt horribly awkward on the edge of the group. It was only a little while longer before a thick Brooklyn accent cut through the light background noise of conversation.
“Alright, is everyone here? I think we’re just missing – nyeh, no worries, we can start without him. Welcome to your first day of training, White Dragons!” He said, clapping his hands together and beaming at no one in particular; I felt a little of the weight and worry lift from inside me as his kind eyes lit up with enthusiasm. “Now, let’s see… Rex Raptor, Weevil Underwood, Marik Ishtar, if you’d like to step this way for a second?” My feet unconsciously carried me forwards until I stood beside the two shifty looking guys I’d taken the initiation with. They were a lot shorter than myself, huddled together and keeping their distance from me – I was alone, as always. Joey, who had been muttering again to Tristan and his huge, pointy hair, turned now, and pulled the three of us into a great, crushing hug. Amongst the shock, horror and complete awkwardness, I made a mental note that the White Dragons didn’t understand the concept of personal space. I tried hard to hold my breath until Joey decided to free me from his grip, and when he finally did I thought I might be asphyxiated. Still grinning, he spoke again.
“So, noobs, how are ya finding being a White Dragon so far? I see you’ve… Uh… Been makin’ friends already…” He said, stealing a sly, sidelong glance at me, “and I hope that I can be one of them! I’m one of the Kyodai, so you can just think of me as ya big brother. Now, let’s see – I betcha just killin’ yourselves over who your tutors are, huh? You’ll be spendin’ the next few weeks in some pretty intense training with ‘em, after all. Your tutor’ll be a buddy, of sorts, although, uh…” Another glance at me, “I guess that really depends who you’re assigned to…” He’s looking at me again, a slight frown passing across his features – was that a look of sympathy? For me? Oh Ra, who the FRIG had I been assigned to? As my stomach did sickening little flips, I glanced around the room, and for the first time this morning, I noticed – everyone’s eyes were on me. And I don’t mean in the nice, flattering kind of way. Panicking now, I did my best to keep my eyes down and pay attention to Joey, who it seemed had managed to come to the end of his speech while I’d been freaking out to myself.
“Alright, anyways – you’ll spend the next few days with your tutors coverin’ the basics and assessin’ your skills, etcetera, and hopefully by then we’ll be able to place ya in your various divisions, based on your talents and stuff like that.” He finished with another grin. I tried to look calm and collected, but expected that I was failing miserably. “So, without further ado, I guess we’d better tell you who your tutors are… Um…” He turned to Tristan and muttered loudly “Jeez, where the hell is he? Oyabun’ll have Yami skin him alive if he keeps this up.” He growled his disapproval before turning back to us. “Alright, Rex, you’re with me. Weevil, you get Tristan, you lucky thing you, and Marik…” He turned again to me, clasping his hands together nervously and lowering his voice to just above a whisper. “Takin’ into account your history and your, ah, let’s say advanced training, Don Kaiba decided to have you overlooked by one of his inner circle, as it were…”
I felt the blood leave my face. Please, I prayed, not Yami…
“But, well… Bakura’s not actually here yet.” He finished, looking a little uncertain.
Bakura? Huh. I almost sighed with relief that I wouldn’t have to spend the next few weeks with Yami, but remembering the reaction this “Bakura” drew from the rest of the Kobun, I knew my relief would be short lived. My stomach had stopped churning, but I could still feel the eyes of the others in the room penetrating the back of my head. I sighed inwardly, watching as Joey picked up a large mug and held it out to me.
“Coffee?” He smiled sheepishly, and I couldn’t help but smile back. I was thankful there was at least one friendly, sane person around here – at the rate things were going, I wasn’t holding out for Bakura. From what I could gather, he was of a similar ranking to Yami, one of the Oyabun’s inner circle. I’d learned from chatting with people at the party yesterday (that, admittedly, were varying degrees of drunk) that there were the shatei, or little brothers, the kyodai, or big brothers, and beyond that was the Don’s inner circle: the Wakagashira, the Shateigashira, and the Saiko-Komon, meaning first lieutenant, second lieutenant and administrator. This was what made Yami all the more intimidating – the fact that he was the Oyabun’s first lieutenant. With the thought that Yami could almost certainly kill me, blindfolded and with his hands tied behind his back, I decided I’d try my best to get along with Bakura. If he ever arrived.
“For Ra’s sake, he knew what time we were supposed to be here, now he’s holding everyone up, the whole schedule will be in ruins, and I bet he doesn’t even give a shit, that selfish mother f- … Uh…” Tristan’s rant about the mysterious Bakura was cut short. His eyes bugged out, and he seemed to almost choke in fright.
“Please, don’t stop on my account, Mr Taylor. I was finding what you were saying simply fascinating…” A deadly purr floated down from directly above me – my head snapping up, I found the owner. A tall, lean, deathly pale man was hanging over the railing. His arms were folded, his head resting on one hand. Snowy white hair jutted out at awkward, dishevelled angles, pointed bangs hung low over his angular features, pale lips curved down at the corners and chocolate brown eyes. Chocolate brown eyes now focussed solely on Tristan, who had regained his composure.
“Don’t play games with me, Bakura. You were meant to be here twenty minutes ago.”
“Oh, you were counting? How sweet. I would have thought that a Kyodai of the highest ranking such as yourself could cope on his own, perhaps I should have you demoted to a Shatei division..?” The guy’s voice was low and husky, gruff and so very British, the accent laid on thick, patronising and demeaning.
“Yeah… Well… Just – just don’t let it happen again.” Tristan trailed off, grumbling and muttering to himself under his breath. I felt bad for him, in a way - the British can be terribly intimidating, or so I’d heard. That feeling was cut short, though, when Bakura’s eyes finally fell on me; suddenly, memories marred by an alcohol induce hazed became painfully sharp and focussed, pulling themselves to the forefront of my mind.
I’d seen those eyes before, right before I’d abandoned the party and sprinted to my room last night… Oh Ra, this was bad. I half wished I’d been assigned to Yami after all.
And now I was all too conscious of the throbbing welt in the hollow of my neck.
I looked up again to find chocolate brown eyes watching me with interest. I scowled a little and cast my eyes down to my feet hoping that I didn’t look too unsettled at the new revelation.
Thankfully, Joey chose this moment to chime in in his cheerful fashion, as if nothing had happened.
“G’mornin’, Bakura – this here’d be Marik. He’ll be yours to train up over the next few weeks.” Bakura speared him with an icy glare, making Joey seize up and stammer. “Nyeh – uh – we wouldn’t usually bother ya with this kinda thing, trivial stuff, y’know, but the Oyabun-“
“I’m fully aware of the matters which Don Kaiba has requested of me. In fact, he informed me of them personally. So thank you, Jounouchi, but I really don’t have time to attend one of your mother’s meetings. I’ll be addressing the “special case” that I’ve been told to baby sit, and leaving.” He sneered at the words “special case” – I realised with a jolt to the stomach that he meant me. I was the special case. I had never felt so intimidated, and small, and useless in my whole life. And that was certainly saying something. Bakura turned to me, now blanking the other White Dragons completely.
“Shooting range, 30 minutes. I’ll be there to overlook your training once I’ve dealt with a few other matters.” He seemed to notice my slightly confused expression, because he then added “Just a few minutes’ walk south of the Kobun quarters. Identifiable by the tell-tale sound of gunfire…” Sarcasm dripping from his words, I felt my face heat up for about the fifth time since sunrise, and watched him as he turned on his heel and abruptly left. And that was it. My first and only encounter with my tutor, the person who I was supposed to be able to trust most within the White Dragon family; quite literally the biggest disappointment ever. Apart from maybe the time when I got a poisonous snake for Christmas.
Desperate to sink through the gleaming linoleum floor and vanish without a trace, I tried not to look at anyone, until I felt a hand slip under my chin and pull my head up; at that point, I didn’t really have much choice. I found myself looking into the bright, kind eyes of Joey Wheeler.
“Don’t sweat it, Marik. We all know that Bakura can be a little… Uh… difficult, at times, but we’re all here for ya.” He gestured around the circle at Tristan, Rex and Weevil, none of whom looked thrilled to be included in the “we”, but it was comforting all the same. At least the White Dragons weren’t all like Bakura and Yami.
. . . . . . . . . .
Seto Kaiba stepped out of his red Porsche, his white cloak billowing out behind him. The door slammed as the intimidating man pushed it with more force than was necessary. Damn Fudo, that smug bastard, thinking he would obey every summons like a dog. The only reason he was going to this ridiculous meeting, at Fudo's dirty hovel of a base, surrounded by those damn kids calling themselves Generation X, was because he wanted to know what that bastard had to say.
“Yo, Kaiba!” a teenage boy with fluffy brown hair strutted towards him. Kaiba scowled and glanced back into the car to see if his brother was still there. Sure enough, Mokuba Kaiba's permanently surprised eyes stared at him from the passenger seat. Kaiba motioned for him to get out and turned back to the teenager, who was now standing in from him, arms crossed and smirking.
“Yuki.” the billionaire almost growled through gritted teeth. It was taking all his self-control not to rip the smirk right off his deceptively cute face.
“The boss' been waitin' for ya” holy Ra, he was infuriating
“Tch” Kaiba pushed past him and walked towards the ridiculously oversized garage, where the infamous motorbike gang, Satisfaction had set up their headquarters. How unprofessional. Holding meetings in the same pigsty they kept their filthy, noisy vehicles in.
“Good Morning, Kaiba-sensei.” a deep, patronising voice ripped the oyabun out of his internal seething. He had arrived at the only presentable room in the entire shit hole: a pristine white-walled office, with a large mahogany desk. It would have been quite beautiful, had there not been a black haired insect sitting at it, hands crossed in front of him. The oyabun looked up and scowled into the all too familiar, condescending blue eyes of his rival.
“No it is not a good morning, Fudo.” Kaiba growled “I have been dragged all the way to a dirty hovel on the outskirts of Fukushima, for a pointless meeting with a pretentious bastard” Fudo's fake smile faltered, and he returned to his usual stoic expression. The said bastard stood up and walked to the window behind him.
“This won't take long, Kaiba-sensei, I assure you.” the man turned to Kaiba, who was still standing at the open door, giving him a look that was infuriatingly pitying.
“As I'm sure you know, you have an informer in the midst of your snobbish gang. I would just like to tell you, out of the kindness of my heart, that it is one of your “inner circle” as you like to call them.” Kaiba's eyes widened. That was a lie. That teenager was just trying to throw him off.
“I don't believe you”
“You know that's not true, sensei” the oyabun turned with a swish of his cloak, and walked back down the narrow corridor. Suddenly, Fudo's lilting voice reached him from where the man was leaning against the window.
“Oh, nice job getting yourself an Ishtar by the way. It's such a pleasure to be able to finally catch the last one”
. . . . . . . . . .
Chibi: Hullo thar! The other writer here. This is my first official chapter, and… I have to say, I’m pretty pleased with it, and I hope it was to everyone’s taste. What with the introduction of Satisfaction and Yuki (grr… Yuki) things are really starting to heat up! The real action starts in the next chapter with Marik’s first training assignment, and beyond… And let me tell you, Bee and I have some pretty thrilling stuff planned for this thing. I also wanted to mention that we were super happy to see our story getting such lovely reviews, follows and favourites etc on just the first chapter. We really appreciate it ^.^ anyways, the next chapter, I’d imagine, will be up within the next week or so, what with it being summer and all… See you next time :D