zodiacal_light: That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die. (even death may die)
Honda felt the soulless body in his arms twitch once, then go, if anything, even more lax than before. Uh-oh.

He glanced down just as Mokuba gave one last rattling breath, and fell still.

Bakura's head whipped around at the noise, mouth twisted into a grim line. The Spirit of the Ring was at his side in an instant, hands expertly searching for any trace of life in that suddenly-too-heavy body.

But they both knew. Kaiba Mokuba was dead.

"Something must have happened to the card Pegasus trapped him in," Bakura said, in a grim, serious tone Honda had never heard from the yami before. "Rip the card, lose the soul. Lose the soul..."

"...Lose the body," Honda finished, feeling cold rage solidify his stomach. There was only one person who could have done this. Only one person who had access to the cards containing the Kaibas' souls.

He kinda hoped Yami actually would kill Pegasus. Or trap him in a penalty game, or something.

"There they are!"

Anzu, Jou, and a wearily triumphant Yugi ran up to Honda, only to take a step back as they realized just who was in control of Bakura at the moment. But the Spirit of the Ring was just crouching there, staring at a small, motionless form.

Anzu gasped. Yugi's eyes went, impossibly, wider, and filled with tears. Jounouchi's face closed off, reminding Honda vividly of their days as bullies.

In the back of Yugi's mind, Yami was very still.

Footsteps on the stairs behind them jolted them out of their grieved denial.

For a moment, none of them moved. They knew who that was. Kaiba's footsteps were as distinctive as his damn trenchcoats.

Kaiba paused on the last step, coolly taking in their stricken expressions, and Honda realized that he was masking confusion.

Then he saw the body, and something in him snapped.

Kaiba lunged forward, shoving Anzu harshly to the side, and a guttural wail tore from his throat. His eyes wild in a way Honda had never seen on anybody, Kaiba dropped to his knees beside his brother's body, shaking hands frantically searching for life - any life - in that still frame.

But there was nothing to find.

Kaiba pressed both hands flat to the center of Mokuba's chest, as if willing life to flow into his body, and then crumpled forward to rest his forehead on his hands, his breath coming in harsh gasps.

The Spirit of the Ring was the one who finally moved, kneeling by Kaiba's side and wrapping one arm firmly around him. Bakura's face was set, and Honda found himself vaguely wondering what had happened to the spirit, to make him so intimately familiar with grief and death.

Kaiba, Honda was unsurprised to realize, was crying.

So were most of the rest of them, especially Yugi, who'd fought for Mokuba's soul as much as his grandpa's, who'd promised Kaiba's own soulless body that he'd get his brother back.

Jou knelt at Kaiba's other side, not touching him, not saying anything, just a solid presence anchoring his nemesis a little more, and Honda remembered why he put up with Jounouchi's idiocy, and stuck with him through the gang years, and was still his best friend. Jounouchi Katsuya was, at heart, one of the most fundamentally kind people he'd ever met, kind enough to offer unwanted support to a guy he utterly despised, and smart enough to offer in a way he couldn't refuse.

Anzu walked over, and reached down, and gently slipped the string holding Mokuba's locket off his neck. Kaiba made a small strangled sound and clutched at it, but Anzu, gentle and mothering in a way that usually infuriated the rest of the gang, pried his fingers off and slipped it over his head, letting the locket fall to dangle next to Kaiba's own matching one.

They clacked faintly, and Kaiba sat back on his knees, still crying, eyes feral and bewildered, one hand still pressed to Mokuba like if he just held on long enough his heart would start beating again, the other reaching up to grip the lockets tight enough to cut his palm.

Anzu knelt next to Bakura, and Honda dropped down across from Kaiba, and Yugi came over to sit at Kaiba's back. And then Kujaku Mai found them, and started up a fire and a kettle, and they started the long task of bringing Kaiba home.


zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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