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Open Arms and Open Eyes

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File cabinets opened and slammed shut. Where is it? He’d ask his secretary, but she was long gone for the night.

The swish of a white coat gleaming silver in the moonlight pouring through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Polished black shoes clicked to the other side of the room.

He’d find it, and then he would go home.


Yugi always had a sensitive nose. Traces of acrid stench curled their way through his nasal passages. It woke him up.

He blinked up at the ceiling. Then jolted.

Smoke.

As if on cue, the shrill, ringing cry of the fire alarms split the quiet night.

“Grandpa!” he called, bolted for the door.


He settled at his desk, thumbed through the document. He was often ridiculed for having physical backups of all existing KaibaCorp paperwork, but, for instances like this, they paid off.

The other businessmen could ridicule him all they want, but he’d only listen on the day their net-worth became higher than his own.

“Hmph.” When pigs fly.


Yugi wrapped his hand in a shirt before he touched the door knob. The door swung open, and smoke poured into his bedroom like a sigh of death. He dashed back, unplugged his beat-up phone and dialed.


The whine of the zipper seemed so loud in his quiet office. He slung his laptop bag over his shoulder. He didn’t look back when he walked out.


 

He crawled to Grandpa’s door. Smoke was filling the place up fast. No matter what anyone said, his first priority was getting the old man out.

Games and cards could be replaced.

Grandpa couldn’t.

Yugi pounded on the door.

“Grandpa!”

“Yugi…?” the sleepy reply came.

“You have to get up! There’s a fire somewhere.” He didn’t check. It didn’t matter. Time was limited, and they needed to get out.

Shuffling, and the door was open.

Yugi stood and lurched forward. He held the shirt in his hand over Grandpa’s mouth.

“I’m getting you out of here, Gramps.”


The headlights flashed momentarily, and the mechanical chirp echoed in the parking garage. He tossed the laptop bag onto the seat next to him and started the car. He hummed along with its quiet purr. He pulled out of the complex and onto the quiet streets of Domino City.


Sugoroku Muto was slow and plodding in his old age. Yugi was all but dragging him down the hallway. Smoke billowed up the stairs. It clung to the ceiling, an undulating sea of black and grey.

Yugi’s eyes stung horribly. Tears trekked down his face.

“Grandpa, close your eyes!” He said.

They moved closer to the stairs. The roar of flames became audible. Yugi’s heart pounded in his chest. When they reached the top of the steps, the warm, insidious glow of fire illuminated them.


He saw the flashing red lights far up the road. With a grumble, he pulled over to the shoulder. A fire truck screeched past. The cry of the sirens made his ears ache.

Only idiots managed to burn their houses down this late at night.


Every second they took to get down the stairs made Yugi sweat. The stinging in his eyes turned into a painful burning sensation. His face was wet with tears and perspiration. His vision swam.

“C’mon, Grandpa. Two more stairs.”

When they reached the bottom, Yugi began dragging Sugoroku towards the door.

The heat was blistering.

Something above them groaned.

Yugi lunged to the side just as a flaming piece of ceiling crashed down. It grazed Yugi’s side, and he cried out in pain. He hurriedly yanked off his smoldering pajama shirt.

“Yugi!”

“I’m fine! Keep going!”

He could hear the sirens. He grabbed Grandpa’s arm again, looped it over his shoulder. Adrenaline coursed through him, and he used the dizzying pulse of energy to carry his grandfather the rest of the way to the door. Yugi blindly groped for the knob. At the same moment, the door yanked open.

Help had arrived.


He quietly ambled through the manor to his bedroom. All was silent in the Kaiba household. He scrubbed his hand on his face.

What a long day.


They immediately packed them up into an ambulance and sent them to the hospital.

Yugi couldn’t blink the blur and sting of tears from his eyes.

He had a burn on his right side. He bit back the pain when they set to treating it right away.

“Grandpa…” he rasped, throat ravaged by smoke.

“He’s fine, young man. You got him out of there in the nick of time,” the EMT said. Yugi tried looking at her face. She was just a smear of skin. She cursed, and suddenly she said, “Mr. Muto, I’m going to have to ask you to keep your eyes open. I’m going to wash them out with water.”

“O-Okay.”


 

Kaiba finally settled down for sleep.


The flames stained the night red and orange. It seemed that no amount of water could fight back the ravenous inferno.

By the time the sun rose, the Kame Game Shop was no more.