“Shouldn’t Joey be here by now?” Yugi asked cheerfully. He and Yami were running the game shop for the weekend while their grandpa was out of town and the rest of the group had come over Saturday morning to hang out while the boys worked. Joey had been eager to come over and try out his new motorcycle on the way, but he hadn’t arrived yet.
“He’s probably having too much fun with that bike. I’m sure we’ll see him at lunch time.” Yami joked.
“Yeah.” Yugi lounged behind the counter while his darker half restocked the shelves. “He’s probably –” Yugi’s reply was cut off by the ringing phone, which he grabbed. “Mouto game shop, Yugi speaking… yes, I am that Yugi… yeah I know Joey Wheeler, he’s one of my best friends… what? N-no, no he can’t- no.”
Ryou, who had been sitting on the counter watching, was startled to see the spiky-haired boy fall to the floor. “Yami!”
“Aibou!” Yami was behind the counter in a second, cradling his unconscious light.
“Mr. Mouto?” the voice on the phone asked.
Yami picked up the receiver. “This is Yami Mouto, may I ask what this is about?”
“Yes. I’m calling from Shelter Hospital. We have a patient here whom we believe to be Joey Wheeler. There was a picture in his wallet of a boy labeled ‘Yugi Mouto’ and a business card for this number. We need you to come identify your friend.”
“I understand. We’ll be right there.” Yami hung up as his light began to stir. Quickly, he explained to the others. “Let’s go.” The teens ran to their cars and jumped in, speeding to the hospital.
“I’m Yami Mouto, we came for Joey Wheeler.” Yami told the woman in the ER.
She consulted a clipboard and then rose. “Follow me.” She said tonelessly, leading the group through a pair of swinging double doors and into a small waiting room. “The doctor will be with you in a moment.”
“What could have happened?” Tea asked, looking around the room for any sign of their friend.
Tristan put a comforting arm around his girlfriend. “He probably crashed his new bike and knocked himself upside the head.” He reassured the girl, sitting on a couch and pulling her down beside him.
“Hello, I’m Doctor Lia Domingo.” A tired voice called their attention to the doorway. “Are you here for Joey Wheeler?” She walked to the desk and began rifling through the papers and folders strewn across it.
“Yes ma’am. Please, what happened to him?” Malik asked.
The woman sighed, skimming the papers she had found. “There was an accident this morning. Two motorcyclists were going through an intersection when a drunk ran the red light and smashed into them from the side. One cyclist was thrown into the oncoming side of the intersection, where he was hit by a car. The other was pinned between the drunk and the car that had been behind them in the intersection.” She said calmly. Bakura and Yami exchanged a glance, fearing the worst. “In the chaotic time that followed, wallets and jackets were mixed as onlookers tried to help both men. I have seven jackets and four wallets, two presumably from people offering assistance. We are still trying to reach the contacts in the final wallet, but with your help we will be able to figure this out. Please follow me.”
Yami gently laid a hand on Yugi’s shoulder. Aibou, are you sure about this? You don’t have to go in, you know.
I’ll be fine. Yugi mentally insisted. I’m just worried about Joey. Yami nodded and the duo followed the others out of the room.
Solemnly, the eight teens followed the woman down a crowded hallway to a private room. Inside a middle-aged man was surrounded by tubes, wires, and noisy machines. “Is this Joey Wheeler?” The woman asked. Heads shook. “Do you recognize him at all?” More shaking.
“He is one of my security guards; he was running an errand for me.” A familiar voice spoke from behind them. Seto Kaiba walked up the doctor, handing her his card. “My secretary said you called for identification.” He waved at the man in the ICU. “That is George Warder.”
“Thank you sir. That eliminates one wallet.”
Suddenly, Marik had an idea. “Wait, is it possible that Joey isn’t hurt?”
“Yeah,” his hikari chimed in, “Joey could have been one of the bystanders who helped, if you’ve got three wallets left.”
“What’s this about Wheeler?” Kaiba asked sharply.
“It is entirely possible that Mr. Wheeler is not here at all.” The woman allowed, leading them away again. Kaiba followed, listening. “We located one bystander already who has claimed his wallet, leaving only Mr. Wheeler and a Ken Hutchins. As I said, we have not yet managed to contact anyone at any of the numbers in Mr. Hutchins’s wallet. It is entirely possible that your friend is fine.” She pushed through another set of double doors. They were in a quiet, narrow corridor. Dr. Domingo consulted her paperwork and opened a door. A body lay on a metal table, covered by a sheet. She walked around it and, facing the teens, pulled back the sheet.
A familiar mop of blonde hair greeted them. “Jo-ey!” Yugi struggled against the arms of his yami, trying to reach his friend. Tea began to cry into Tristan’s shoulder. Tristan just stared, his face a mask of agony as he looked on his best friend. Malik appeared to be in shock, he trembled as he looked at the boy’s lifeless body. Ryou moaned and sank into the arms of his sniffling yami.
“Yugi, no!” Yami restrained his sobbing hikari.
“Joey! No, it can’t- NO! He isn’t…” Yugi gasped out, fighting tooth and nail to get to the blonde, to shake his shoulder, to wake his friend.
“Aibou, Aibou, come.” Yami pulled the smaller boy into his arms, whispering soothing noises into his hair, masking his own grief in the face of his Aibou’s heartbreak.
“This, then, is Joey Wheeler?” The doctor asked softly. She had to formally ask, though the teens’ reactions told her clearly that it was their friend.
“Yes.” Marik said stonily, looking everywhere but the table. Beside him Malik nodded.
“Thank you. I’ll give you a moment. When you are done here, just follow the arrows out.”
“Thank you ma’am.” The Egyptian duo chorused.
Dr. Domingo left the room, passing Kaiba where he stood in the doorway. “Did you know him as well, Mr. Kaiba?” She asked. The shock and pain in his blue eyes was answer enough, though the cold mask never wavered. “I’m sorry.” She whispered before leaving.