Actions

Work Header

Voice

Chapter Text


I can't hear you; your voice doesn't reach, it gets lost in the crowd and fades away


The rules were simple: Yuugi and Kaiba were to duel as a team, against two of Malik's fiercest Rare Hunters, nicknamed the Ghouls. These two Ghouls were perfectly nasty and as vile as their titles let on; between each other, they were known as Light Mask and Dark Mask. Oh, and all the duelists had to stand on the roof of the towering Maple Building with its massive skylight that illuminated all one hundred floors of the penthouse suites, hotel, and retails stores below. Since the duelists played as a team, whoever lost all 4000 of their life points first would have the glass beneath their feet explode — and take their teammate with them.

The only things that brought Yuugi and Kaiba to the tower in the first place were people: Yuugi's friends Anzu and Jounouchi and Kaiba's only sibling, his brother Mokuba.

The only thing that kept them standing on the glass despite the very real threat of certain death was Anzu herself.

A Rare Hunter had appeared in a helicopter and pushed Anzu out onto the roof, barely giving the semi-conscious girl a chance to collect herself. In the few seconds it took for her to regain her footing, stand, and realize what was going on, something changed in her — in her posture, in her eyes, in her very voice.

Gone was Anzu Mazaki, the cheery, heart-strong girl who believed in her friends no matter what. In her place was none other than Malik Ishtar, who held a grudge against the Pharaoh that ran so deep, he went to extremes that no duelist — not even Pegasus J. Crawford, the creator of the Duel Monsters game — had ever gone to before.

"Don't even think about stepping off that glass, Yuugi," Malik sneered, speaking through Anzu. Her voice sounded distorted, warped, but it was somehow still Anzu. But plead as Yuugi might, the "real" Anzu never emerged. Malik only laughed in a disgusting blend of his voice and hers.

"If either of you so much lift a foot off the glass, this girl will die a very painful death." Malik appeared to possess powers unlike anyone Yuugi and Kaiba had faced in a duel — for Anzu, who had everything to live for, was now holding a jagged dagger against her throat, her eyes as dark as midnight.

"But I will give the both of you the pleasure of her audience, since you'll both need someone to cheer you on. Though I'll tell you now, it won't help."

An instant later, Anzu's head dropped to her chest, but the rest of her stayed upright. She raised her gaze a moment later, and the expression on her face told all: she was back, but she had no idea what was going on, where she was, or why her right arm seemed unnaturally stiff.

"Yuugi! Kaiba-kun!"

Her arm moved of its own volition, the blade pressing deeper into her skin.

Cheer them all you like, girl, but say anything else and you'll never speak again.

Anzu knew the voice, but she couldn't place it with a face. All she knew was the name: Malik. Somehow he was in her, controlling her... it disgusted her to her very core, but there was nothing she could do.

'I won't give up so easily!'

If you think Yuugi and Kaiba can take care of themselves in this duel, you're sorely mistaken. Worry for them, dear. After all, you will live even if they die.

'No!'

The thought of Yuugi or Kaiba dying in a sick, twisted duel against Rare Hunters brought bile to the back of Anzu's throat. She wanted to help, but was there even any way...?

Anzu's eyes closed as a brief headache washed over her. She wondered if this was Malik's idea of a silent warning to her — she had to remain where she was, knife to throat, if she was to see the end of this duel. But it was a duel horribly twisted in Malik's favor! It simply wasn't fair, and...

'And there are more lives at stake here!'

Anzu briefly remembered seeing Jounouchi get pummeled by Rare Hunters after he tried to save their new friend Namu from an unexpected ambush attack in the middle of the streets outside the Domino Aquarium.

There was something else, too, though... something...

"The kid's headed to the warehouse by the harbor. Our orders are to bring these two there too..."

The kid?

"Mokuba!"

Anzu's sudden cry interrupted the duel momentarily, and brought Kaiba's attention to her. The knife pressed closer to her throat, the muscles in her right arm tightening involuntarily.

She didn't know how Malik could do it, but she could hear his voice in her mind.

Don't even think about it.

But Mokuba was just a child! Did Malik really not care what extremes he went to, or whose lives he put in danger? Kaiba didn't even believe that he had anything to do with Yami no Yuugi's ancient past, so why was Malik bringing him into this? It couldn't be because of the God Card Kaiba held; Malik claimed that his desire for vengeance against 'the Pharaoh' ran deeper than his need for the God Cards!

But nonetheless, Mokuba's life was in danger, and Kaiba was forced to duel and put his own life in danger...

'If it weren't for me, Kaiba wouldn't have to duel. Both he and Yuugi could just step off that glass and let those Ghouls deal with their own mess...'

Anzu was never one to wish ill on anyone, but the extremes that Malik and his Rare Hunters went to had her rethinking her morals. They relentlessly beat upon any duelists who possessed rare cards worthy of their attention, and then they stole those cards. They threatened the top duelists, their friends and their own very lives... but for what? To what point and purpose?

'Even if you get your vengeance, then what? Then what happens to your clan, or to the people you've tormented, threatened, and held hostage? What about the duelists whose very hearts you've stolen?'

Malik didn't answer her, and for a moment, Anzu felt her right arm all the way down to her fingertips. But the moment she thought to move the knife away from her throat and throw the blade somewhere out of the way — like down into the darkness of the alley below and behind her — her muscles tightened again and she was at the mercy of her own body, which was out of her control.

You truly are as deluded as the Pharaoh.

That was all Malik said, and for an instant, Anzu believed that Malik was just as cold and heartless as Kaiba....

But no, that was wrong. Kaiba was dueling now because of his little brother — because Mokuba was in danger. He probably was already qualified for the quarter-finals, and didn't even need the extra puzzle cards... besides, it was his own tournament! It wasn't as if he didn't know where the quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final duels would be held! Beyond that, Kaiba had also changed. Even Anzu had to admit that. In the year or more since she'd first met him, he'd definitely stopped being borderline psychopathic about Duel Monsters, rare cards, and beating Yuugi.

He still seemed intent on beating Yuugi, but it wasn't as if he was banging on the Turtle Game Shop's door at all hours of the night, demanding a duel.

Kaiba had a life! His life consisted of so much more than Duel Monsters and revenge... but it seemed Malik's did not.

If he had any siblings or anyone that he cared for, he certainly didn't show it.

All that Anzu could feel each time Malik spoke in her mind was his absolute hatred...


They don't reach, my feelings don't reach, even though they're what's really important


Anzu watched the duel progress, the knife to her throat the entire time. She couldn't say much even if she could find the words; Yuugi and Kaiba were intent on winning the duel, but they spent more time arguing with one another than they did cooperating. Anzu just knew that any intervention on her part would probably make things worse.

'So much for being a cheerleader.'

It was impossible to convince Kaiba of anything, and Yuugi was just as stubborn when it came to matters of importance.

It wasn't that Anzu didn't want to help — she did, desperately! — but the only words that came to mind were the ones she knew would be her last. Malik seemed to imply as much with his dark warnings. Over and over, he reiterated that if Anzu so much as breathed anything other than false encouragement to her friends, he'd force her to slit her own throat. It was a gruesome thought, and one that kept Anzu glued to her spot on the corner of the skyscraper — even as both Yuugi and Kaiba were put in greater and greater danger, their life points steadily lowering against the tag-team assault of Light Mask and Dark Mask.

It seemed that no matter what any of them did, they would die. At least, Malik seemed to think so.

If Light Mask and Dark Mask succeeded, both Yuugi and Kaiba would plummet through the glass on their side of the skyscraper and fall to their deaths. What would Mokuba do without Kaiba? And Anzu knew that Jounouchi was likely one of Malik's hostages too... after he'd gotten his vengeance, what would he do with them? Probably "dispose" of them, too.

But if Yuugi and Kaiba won... Malik still might slit her throat, and kill Mokuba and Jounouchi, too. What would stop him? It wasn't as if there was a code of honor for psychopaths hell-bent on vengeance, anyway.

The only way Yuugi and Kaiba could walk out of the duel with an advantage was if they knew where Mokuba and Jounouchi were.

'And I do know.'

In a flurry of moves, Yuugi managed to decimate whatever strategies the masked duelists had in their hands with Card Destruction. Kaiba revealed his own Monster Reborn and brought back his Blue-Eyes White Dragon from the graveyard where Card Destruction had placed it, and suddenly the Masks were on the defensive. Even their hideous and powerful creature, Masked Hellraiser, stood no chance against the Blue-Eyes... right?

Anzu couldn't help but swallow in anticipation, and wince after the fact when she felt the sharp blade press a few millimeters deeper into her skin, this time of her own doing.

Kaiba still seemed so suspicious of Yuugi, even when Yuugi told Kaiba that it would be okay to attack the Masked Hellraiser with the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Still, the Hellraiser had 200 more attack points than the dragon... Yuugi had to have something planned, but would Kaiba take that chance? Would he really trust Yuugi?

Malik was probably betting not, which was why he'd had this tag-team pair of duelists work together to defeat Yuugi and Kaiba, who seemed to hate each other so much that they could never cooperate.

But in an astonishing turnaround, Kaiba did attack — and his attack succeeded, thanks to a discard Yuugi had made his previous turn. When the Beast of Gilfor got sent to the graveyard, any monster on the opponent's side of the field got its attack reduced by 500 points. Since the Hellraiser was the only monster on the Masks' side of the field, it immediately took the reduction, and was easily defeated by Kaiba's dragon.

Still, Kaiba didn't look happy about this victory; instead, he scowled at Yuugi and snapped that he didn't need Yuugi's help. But apparently, they bothneeded each other's help, because when Light Mask set a face-down defense monster and went through the remainder of his phases, the Mask of the Accursed and the Mask of Dispel both took 1000 more life points away from Yuugi.

'They could turn this around!'Anzu thought hopefully. If Yuugi and Kaiba won, then....

Don't bet on it, girl. On the far chance they do win, your body is still mine!Malik reminded her. Even with his voice as just an echo in her mind, he still managed to frighten her to the core, with the way he seemed so intent on defeating Yuugi and tormenting everyone that stood in his way.

Cheering for Yuugi and Kaiba now meant that she would only be encouraging her own death. Malik was right; she had no control over her own body at all. He could probably take control of her at any moment and force herself to slit her throat, or jump off the side of the building. Either way, he'd be out one mind-controlled slave, but something told Anzu that Malik wouldn't care. He had hordes of Rare Hunters at his beck and call.

Even without encouragement, Yuugi seemed to gain the upper hand: he drew and summoned Alpha the Magnet Warrior and destroyed Light Mask's face-down card, the Four-Faced Beast. Dark Mask angrily hissed at his partner that now they had no monsters left on the field, and Light Mask easily could have used his face-down card to stop the attack and destroy Yuugi's monster.

'But that would leave them to deal with Blue-Eyes,' Anzu realized. Kaiba seemed to realize this at the same time Anzu did, for she saw a devious smirk cross his lips. They both watched in silence as Light Mask tried to reassure Dark Mask that he had a plan, but Dark Mask didn't seem to believe him. The once-powerful tag-team was crumbling apart.

Dark Mask summoned Rogue Doll on his turn. It was far weaker than either Kaiba's dragon or Yuugi's Magnet Warrior, with only 1600 attack points, but there had to have been a reason why Dark Mask summoned it in attack mode, instead of in defense mode to protect his life points. But none of it made any sense, especially when Dark Mask sent it to attack the Blue-Eyes! In a chain of perfectly-timed motions, Light Mask activated Mask of Weakness to reduce the Blue-Eyes' attack strength by 700 points, dropping it to 2300. After playing Mask of Brutality, the Rogue Doll's attack went up to 2600 — enough to beat the Blue-Eyes.

But Yuugi would have none of it — he quickly activated a trap card of his own: the Mystic Rift Panel and transferred the powers of the Mask of Brutality to the Blue-Eyes, sending its attack points up to 3300. As soon as Dark Mask's attack phase went through, his own monster was destroyed and he took 1000 points of damage.

After the attack, Anzu was surprised to find Kaiba not scowling, but looking pensive. His eyes shifted only once in a while, glancing from Yuugi, to the duelists on the other side of the field, to the Blue-Eyes, to his own hand. Light Mask and Dark Mask started arguing heatedly over why Light Mask didn't activate a trap to protect Dark Mask's life points, while Light Mask argued that it was Dark Mask's own monster that had been destroyed, and thus his responsibility!

Kaiba's eyes slowly rose to meet theirs, and that same devious smirk from before reappeared on his lips.

'He's going to play devil's advocate,' Anzu realized. Kaiba was skilled at many things, but he seemed best at getting what he wanted out of others. Whether that meant shrewd negotiation tactics or the right words said in the right tone of voice at the right time, Kaiba could do it all.

Dark Mask set a face-down card before he ended his turn, scowling at Light Mask all the while. Kaiba blatantly ignored Yuugi's warnings not to attack Dark Mask's unprotected field, and did just that, only realizing his mistake after his Blue-Eyes White Dragon reared back from its attack position. Dark Mask grinned toothily and revealed his face-down card: the Mask of Impregnability, which prevented direct attacks against his life points for a single turn.

Kaiba, though he'd seemed surprised that his attack had failed, abruptly turned to Light Mask and asked him in a cool voice, "What if I had attacked you instead? Do you suppose your partner would have protected you with that magic card of his?"

The moment hesitation crossed Light Mask's face, Anzu realized Kaiba's strategy. Kaiba detested the idea of cooperation, but with the way Yuugi had been supporting him throughout the duel, he might have started to see the benefits of it. But while he and Yuugi were beginning to work together and cooperate in tandem, Light Mask and Dark Mask seemed to bicker more and more, losing their edge and their cooperative nature.

"That's the danger of depending on someone else to support you," Kaiba stated flatly. "There's only one person in the world you can trust: yourself."

Kaiba probably didn't believe his own words — at least, not wholly. Maybe in duels, but there was no way that he believed his brother didn't need him; if that was the case, he wouldn't be dueling at all right now.

Light Mask drew on his turn and quickly played Pot of Greed, allowing himself to draw two more cards. If the look on his face was any indication, his hand wasn't very good. He glanced sidelong at Dark Mask and played a series of cards in rapid succession — first a face-down card in his magic and trap zone, and then Card Exchange. But to everyone's surprise, Light Mask chose to exchange his cards with Dark Mask's! Light Mask shifted to the other side of the playing field and snapped at his once-partner that if he wasn't going to cooperate, he would take Dark Mask's best cards for himself!

Kaiba's strategy seemed to have worked after all, by the way the two Ghouls were arguing all the time now.

Light Mask returned to his side of the field and immediately activated his face-down card, the magic card Chosen One. Three cards from Light Mask's hand immediately appeared on the field, along with a "chooser" that would select one at random. If it picked the monster card hidden somewhere amid the two other cards, the monster could be summoned without a sacrifice. If it didn't choose the monster, all three cards would immediately go to the graveyard.

Anzu and the others waited with bated breath as the chooser slid across the field... and stopped. When the face-down card it stopped in front of flipped up, it revealed a grotesque monster card which was immediately summoned to the field — Masked Beast Death Guardius, with a grand total of 3300 attack points, greater than Kaiba's dragon! Light Mask sneered evilly and chuckled, proclaiming in a boisterous voice that it didn't matter who he chose to attack — both Yuugi and Kaiba would be destroyed within their next turn.

At first, Light Mask seemed intent on attacking Yuugi — such a move would spell instant death for Yuugi. But Dark Mask reminded his partner in a fierce snarl that leaving Kaiba's Blue-Eyes on the field was a mistake. Still, Light Mask wanted to attack Yuugi, but in the moment he hesitated, Kaiba spoke up once more.

"What's wrong, coward? Afraid to face my dragon? You're even more of a weakling than I thought!"

As expected, Light Mask took the bait and switched his attack to Kaiba. Kaiba lost 300 life points along with his dragon, but at least both he and Yuugi were still alive and in the duel. Yuugi stared at Kaiba for a moment, an odd expression on his face, one that Anzu thought just might be gratitude. After some time, she'd come to realize that Yuugi and his 'dark half' were not one and the same, and that "the other Yuugi" that dueled in place of her best friend tended to be brash, stubborn, and fire-tongued when the time called for it. He was probably just as unused to random acts of kindness as Kaiba was.

Kaiba seemed upset that he'd lost his signature card in a move that had essentially protected Yuugi, but at least he and his rival seemed to have reached an understanding. Now that it was Yuugi's turn, he could try and find a way to stop the two Mask's lethal beast. His life points dropped to a meager 500 after the effects of the two permanent magic cards on the field activated again, but he didn't seem fazed by it; in fact, he said that the duel would be over soon, and Dark Mask and Light Mask would be the losers!

'But...!'

What if Yuugi was just bluffing? He had only 500 life points and hardly any worthy monsters on the field. Kaiba's Blue-Eyes had been destroyed... It seemed as though both Yuugi and Kaiba's talents lay in the fact that they could convince their opponent that they had powerful cards, or better strategies when they really didn't. As long as they could keep their opponents on their toes, Yuugi and Kaiba could stall for time until they did draw the right cards and develop a powerful strategy. Both Yuugi and Kaiba had God Cards, but so far neither of them had been able to summon one....

Yuugi managed to draw Gamma the Magnet Warrior, and he immediately used it combined with Alpha and Beta, already on the field, and their special ability to fuse them into Valkyrion the Magna Warrior, with an attack of 3500 — stronger than the Death Guardius. But Yuugi didn't immediately declare an attack.

Kaiba glared at him angrily. "The power of teamwork may be strong, but it won't abate my anger." It was Kaiba's way of saying 'I sacrificed my Blue-Eyes to save you, and this is how you repay me? Attack!' Kaiba hated seeing his signature card destroyed, because it meant so much more to him than just a card. It was the only way in which Yuugi and Kaiba seemed similar when they dueled — they both respected their decks to the point that it seemed unreal.

"When you're controlled by your emotions, you expose yourself to the enemy and take their bait," Yuugi responded coolly as he set a card face-down on the field.

"Anger is the key to fighting!" Kaiba snapped, obviously angry himself.

Yuugi managed to stay calm despite Kaiba's growing irritation, and he once again responded in an even tone, "Calm yourself and you will see the key to victory in this duel."

Kaiba glanced at his hand, but Anzu, from her position far on the side of the field had no idea what suddenly made him smile. But he turned to Yuugi, a lot more self-assured and confident than he'd been a minute ago. Anzu realized that she'd never once seen Kaiba look the least bit weak or exposed — but she'd been able to tell this time, in this duel, all because her own life — and Mokuba's — were at stake.

A chill passed through Anzu as she realized that Yuugi was not fighting for her sake alone. Kaiba could care less about his own life in comparison to Mokuba's — Anzu already knew that from the stunt he'd nearly pulled at Duelist Kingdom — but Yuugi was fighting not just for his own life, but for Jounouchi's, Mokuba's, Kaiba's,andthe life that had once been his own: his memories from his life as Pharaoh.

Anzu knew that she was being foolish — of course Yuugi was fighting for her too! — but not for her alone. No matter how much she cared for him and wanted to help him, she couldn't. When it came down to it, in this duel, she was a liability to him...nothing more.

Finally, you understand, girl! Malik laughed in her mind. Those thoughts you've harbored all along were known to me the moment I entered your mind! He doesn't need you. He fights because he needs to destroy!

Anzu wanted to scream that Malik was wrong, that he wasn't describing Yuugi, but himself! But the words wouldn't come.

Yuugi attacked Death Guardius with his Valkyrion, destroying the Mask's ultimate beast, but a special effect activated once the card hit the graveyard. It left behind the Mask of Remnant, which took control of Yuugi's Valkyrion. Dark Mask seemed to be back on Light Mask's side as he blandly congratulated his partner and urged him to finish off Yuugi, so he himself could finish off Kaiba.

Anzu swallowed to overcome the sudden dryness in her throat. She wanted to cheer — not just for Yuugi, as she always did and always would — but for Kaiba as well. He wasn't fighting because he wanted to, he was fighting because he neededto. For the first time since she'd met Seto Kaiba, Anzu understood him, better than she had at Duelist Kingdom, better than she had when the Big Five trapped him and Mokuba in the virtual world.

Dark Mask abruptly played Masquerade, allowing him to control Yuugi and then Light Mask's Valkyrion, and he targeted it to attack Yuugi. But Yuugi activated his magic card De-Fusion midway through the attack, breaking Valkyrion back into its three original Magnet Warriors, preventing a singular attack.

It was once again Kaiba's turn, but since the Mask of Restrict trap card prevented him from sacrificing his own monsters to summon a more powerful one, he knew that the card in his hand — Cross Sacrifice — would have to work on an opponent's monsters. And the only opponent's monsters that he could sacrifice were...

"Bad luck for you two," Kaiba sneered as he activated the card. The three Magnet Warriors vanished from the field as Kaiba pressed a card to his Duel Disk, immediately causing it to spark and glow in a way that it never had before. The very sky around the building darkened while lightning flashed out of nowhere and the winds started to roar in an almost deafening howl.

'Is this... a God Card?'Anzu wondered. She'd never seen one summoned before, but she could somehow feel it, as if she knew in the depths of her bones that this was something powerful, something different....

No! How can Kaiba have the ability to control one of the God Cards?

It wasn't the fact that Kaiba had a God Card that surprised Malik; he'd already known that. But the fact that Kaiba was able to successfully summon one seemed to surprise him, as if normal duelists shouldn't be able to. But if that was true, then perhaps Kaiba was mistaken in saying that he had no role in Yuugi's previous life... after all, there was a carving on that stone tablet that looked an awful lot like him, right down to the signature Blue-Eyes White Dragon!

Once the massive blue beast known as The God of Obelisk was summoned to the field, Kaiba ordered it to directly attack Dark Mask — which it did, decimating the remainder of his life points and setting off the bomb on his side of the field. Anzu nearly shrieked when she saw the glass explode and Dark Mask start to fall — but when Light Mask yelled downto his partner, Anzu inwardly heaved a sigh of relief.

'I should have known. He probably had a parachute under those ugly black robes of his. Cheater.'

If Malik had any comment on Anzu's thoughts toward the Rare Hunter's fashion sense or dueling morals, he didn't say anything. In fact, his silence seemed to be an indication that he was still awestruck by the power of Obelisk, with its amazing 4000 attack and defense points.

"Surrender!" Yuugi urged the other duelist but Kaiba snarled at Yuugi.

"No! Keep dueling! I won't be satisfied until I defeat you as well!" Whether Kaiba knew it or not, he was essentially saying he wouldn't be happy until both Dark Mask and Light Mask were dead. Kaiba wasn't normally so callous and cruel to his opponents in a duel —not even Yuugi — but then again, Yuugi had never taken Mokuba hostage.

Abruptly, Anzu felt her right arm go slack while Light Mask's forehead started to glow. The partial outline of the Eye of Horus could just barely be made out under his mask and hood, and judging by the horrified expression on Light Mask's face, it wasn't a good sensation.

When Light Mask spoke, his voice was oddly distorted, and Anzu realized why she'd suddenly regained control of her own body.

"So that is the power of The God of Obelisk, is it? Quite impressive."

Kaiba stared at Light Mask oddly, obviously noting his odd change in tone and expression.

"That's no longer Light Mask talking," Yuugi muttered under his breath. "That is Malik, holder of the God Card Ra."

"Oh, I should tell you that just because you've won this duel, you won't be seeing your friends and family any time soon," Light Mask chuckled in that sinister way Anzu had become intimately acquainted with. Malik's words, though spoken through an avatar, still chilled Anzu to the bone. She had control of her body, but she still couldn't bring herself to move away from the corner of the building. Over and over, his words echoed in her mind: you won't see them, you won't see them, you won't see them....

'Malik is going to kill them!'

"Yuugi must die to appease the anger of my clan," Malik continued speaking through Light Mask. "Yuugi and all those that surround him."

"KAIBA!" Anzu shouted, knowing that if there was ever a chance, if there was ever a moment, this was it. "Mokuba and the others are over at the Domino Docks, in the warehouse closest to the western pier! If you get there in time—"

But Anzu never finished. Her right arm stiffened again and rose out of her own control, but struggle as Anzu might, the blade neared closer and closer until it pierced her flesh. Her arm went slack once more, and moments later, the rest of her body followed. Anzu barely recalled sensation flooding back to her, to every part of her body and mind, as blood began to fill her mouth. Her vision began to blur and haze, and Anzu thought she saw someone — was it Yuugi or Kaiba, or the both of them at once? — coming toward her, but she blacked out before she could see the person's face.


Somehow, it seems likeI'm being controlled by somebody. Does my heart really belong to me?


The Rare Hunter on the other side of the field collapsed at the same time as Anzu, but Yuugi and Kaiba took no notice. The girl that they'd managed to ignore —hostage as she was, and reason for them to stay on the deadly dueling platform that was the glass skylight— collapsed before them, bleeding profusely from a self-inflicted wound on her neck. The blade she'd held had dropped from her hand and skittered across the building top, disappearing into the alleyway far below.

"Anzu!"

"She knew where Mokuba was..." Kaiba murmured under his breath as they reached Anzu. She was unconscious and bleeding — Kaiba had never seen so much blood in his life, and he hated the thought of dirtying his hands and his pristine jacket by touching it... but Anzu had provided him the information necessary to save Mokuba. She'd risked her own life to save someone else's.

And she hadn't just been thinking of Jounouchi, either. She'd specifically called to him and told him that Mokubaand the others were at the docks...

"Kaiba, please! Take Anzu to the hospital!" Yuugi shouted.

"Where the hell are you going?" Kaiba demanded angrily, but he couldn't bring himself to look away from Anzu. He hated to keep staring at her wound though, and he decided that he could easily get another jacket before the finals, so he quickly wrapped it around Anzu, ignoring the blood — and the tickling sensation of his gag reflex kicking in at the back of his throat — as it seeped right through.

"If I can get to the docks, I can save both Mokuba and Jounouchi in one fell swoop! But only you can save Anzu!"

Kaiba gritted his teeth as he realized that Yuugi was — once again — probably right. If Yuugi stuck behind to take care of Anzu, there was no guarantee that Kaiba would find Mokuba, and certainly no guarantee that he'd "rescue" Jounouchi. And they couldn't go together, because that would be leaving Anzu — who had stood resiliently with a blade to her throat throughout the duel — to die.

Yuugi dashed down the fire escape on the side of the building, while Kaiba pressed the intercom on his jacket lapel.

"Get a helicopter to the Maple Building in downtown Domino right now! It's an emergency and there's a life at stake!"


I wish I could go back to the way I was before I knew anything...