zodiacal_light: That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die. (even death may die)
Mutou Sugoroku was waiting for them when they got back, looking none the worse for being trapped in a video. He took one look at their grim, tear-streaked faces and, with the kind of equanimity he shared with his grandson, bundled them all back to the game shop, even Kaiba, though they had to wait while one of Kaiba's bodyguards - Isono, Jounouchi thought his name was - persuaded Kaiba to let go of Mokuba's corpse.

Corpse. Jounouchi shivered. This wasn't how things were supposed to happen. Kaiba was an asshole - and a murderous one at that - but Mokuba was a good kid, and no one deserved that.

And now Kaiba was sitting, head down and spine bent in a way Jounouchi had never seen it, not even in the depths of Kaiba's madness, at the Mutous' kitchen table, hands wrapped around the steaming mug of hot chocolate Sugoroku had given him like he didn't know what to do with it. Jounouchi and the others ranged about, uncertain.

Yugi and Honda had taken Ryou back into the living room, explaining what had happened while his yami had been in control, and now Ryou was sitting by Kaiba, forward in a way Jounouchi had never expected of him, resting one hand gently on Kaiba's wrist and stroking the back of his hand gently with his thumb.

Kaiba had stopped crying, and was now staring dead-eyed into space.

Jounouchi wished he had something to punch. This was so wrong. Kaiba was supposed to be the snarky evil bastard with the inexplicably cute mini sidekick, not a big brother shattered and bent by unbearable grief. He leaned up against the fridge, watching like all the rest of them.

It was Sugoroku who finally broke the stillness. "You need to rest," he said, resting one grandfatherly hand on Kaiba's shoulder. "You all do. Jounouchi, you know where the futon is. Honda, Anzu, I've already called your parents. You two," he said, turning to Mai and nodding at Ryou, "are more than welcome to stay, if your parents don't mind and you don't mind lumpy couches. Yugi, get to bed." He frowned down at Kaiba as Mrs. Mutou appeared and started directing everyone around with a ladle.

Kaiba hadn't even blinked. Jounouchi doubted he'd even been aware anyone was speaking. Sugoroku sighed and shot his daughter-in-law a look. Mrs. Mutou nodded, moving to Kaiba's other side as Ryou stood and made room for her. She crouched by Kaiba's chair, saying something softly to him in a distinctly motherly voice. When there was no response, she frowned, then smoothed out her expression into soft compassion, gripped him firmly by the chin, and turned his head to look at her. Kaiba balked, fighting her grip in the first sign of life Jounouchi had seen all evening, but Mrs. Mutou was relentless. She whispered, fiercely and sternly but still motherly, to him, and at something in his eyes she nodded and let him go.

Kaiba rose when Mrs. Mutou did, blinking down at his untouched mug like he'd never seen it before. He probably didn't, Jounouchi thought, as Sugoroku snagged the mug and Mrs. Mutou steered Kaiba down the hall to the guest room. (It was never used as such, even though the family called it that. Everyone knew it had once been Yugi's dad's room. Well, Jounouchi amended, the usual gang knew, anyway.)

Kaiba, movements jerky and graceless since that moment on the island, let Mrs. Mutou steer him to the bed, and she backed out after saying something else to him, shutting the door. Ryou, awkwardly clutching a sleeping bag Mai had graciously loaned him, stopped the door before it could fully close, whispering something anxiously but firmly to Mrs. Mutou. She listened, then nodded, holding the guest room door open for him as he slipped in too, and the last thing Jounouchi saw was Kaiba still sitting where Mrs. Mutou had set him, staring blankly at Ryou as Ryou calmly unrolled the sleeping bag.

Still wishing for something he could do, Jounouchi turned to help scour up more blankets.


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

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