Notes: Wow, another mystery all wrapped up!! Thanx so much to everyone who's reviewed, and I hope y'all will stick around, 'cause I have another story all ready to start!! ^_^


Epilogue

The snow fell lightly over Domino City, creating a perfect Christmas atmosphere. At the game shop, everyone had gathered in Yugi's living room with a cup of hot chocolate. It was two days after Del Vinci, Byrnes, and their assassins had all been arrested, and Mara's parents—the Harrisons—were ready to close up the gaps in the mystery.

"I was investigating into Del Vinci's latest scheme," Detective Harrison began, "which involved international jewel smuggling. I was just starting to get a good lead when his goons attempted to kill me."

"That's horrible!" Tea cried.

Detective Harrison nodded. "I managed to escape, but I had to go into hiding," he continued. "I couldn't even let my family know that I was alright, because any communication would put them in danger." He paused. "But then Louisa was abducted," he said grimly.

"I was being held at Del Vinci's home originally," Mrs. Harrison said, "but when they cleared out I was moved to Byrnes' home. They were using me to get at Sam!

"I had a feeling that something would happen to me and so I gave the paper with the code to Mara on the train," she continued. "I suppose it was too much of a responsibility for one so young . . ."

"No, Mommy!" Mara spoke up from where she was playing Monster Capsule with Mokuba. "I was happy to help!"

Mrs. Harrison smiled. "And you couldn't have done a better job."

"What is that code thing, anyway?" Joey asked, blinking.

"Is it some cool spy stuff?" Bobby added eagerly. He and Annie had been invited and their mother had given them permission to attend.

"That, I'm afraid, is top secret," Detective Harrison smiled, ruffling Bobby's hair. "But it was—and is—very important to the case." He went on to explain how he had broken into Byrnes' house and freed his wife. From there they had overpowered some of the assassins and taken their guns.

"But how does Maureen come in?" Tea wondered curiously.

"She wasn't involved any more than she said," Gabrielle spoke up. "She was a courier, taking the diamonds and sending them on to Byrnes at the furniture store."

"That's right," Seto agreed with a nod.

"But who was that weird guy who threw you off the balcony?" Tristan asked. "That happened before you even found Mara and got Del Vinci upset!"

"That's true," Seto agreed, looking angry at the memory. "Apparently he was someone sent to check up on things and make sure Maureen was doing what she was supposed to. He tampered with the balcony and then threw me into it just to cause trouble."

"That's terrible!" Yugi said, shaking his head.

"Well, at least we're all safe now," Bakura smiled.

"Oh, by the way, Bakura," Joey spoke up, "who the heck grabbed you with that cane?!"

Bakura blinked. "I still don't know," he admitted, "but it was the Hydra who chloroformed me earlier. He was getting a shipment of diamonds to take and he didn't want me to see." He shuddered.

"He was also the one who had the freaky obsession with Tea," Tristan said.

Tea made a face. "Don't remind me!" she cried.

Mai tossed her head. "Well, I'm just glad everything's over," she stated. "Maybe the rest of our Christmas season can be normal."

"I can't believe all of this was going on right under my nose!" Mr. Thorton cried. He had been hiding up at a cabin in the mountains that Maureen owned, but since his enemies were in prison, he had come out of hiding again. He was doing everything he could to get Maureen's sentence reduced since she had been trying to protect him from Byrnes.

"What's gonna happen to Maureen, anyway?" Joey asked now.

Gabrielle smiled. "I am thinking the judge will sentence her to community service and a fine. She gave us some great leads and helped us a lot." She couldn't say it aloud, but Maureen had been their secret informant, and had helped even more than the teens realized.

"I'll hire her back, just as long as she gives up the smuggling!" Mr. Thorton declared.

Everyone laughed.
****
Later on that evening, Joey chatted with Bobby. "Did you have fun, kid?" he asked.

Bobby grinned. "I sure did!" he said. "And guess what!"

"Someone left us an envelope with money!" Annie squealed, coming over to them. "Mommy says there's enough to have a real Christmas!"

"Hey, that's great!" Joey smiled. "I wonder who would've done that." He had talked to Yugi and the others about things and they had all pitched in and donated some money to help out.

"Yeah!" Bobby exclaimed. "It's another mystery!"

"Whoever it was sure is nice!" Annie beamed.
****
Tea was talking to Yugi on the couch. "I can't believe we wound up involved in another mystery," she said with a shudder.

Yugi smiled. "Well, everything worked out okay, Tea," he reassured her.

"I know," Tea agreed, "but things could have worked out differently." She paused. "I know there's nothing else we could've done, because we had to help poor Mara out, but . . ." She shook her head. "I really hope this is our last case!" she declared.

"You and me both!" Yugi exclaimed.

"Yugi." Yami Yugi had came out from the kitchen and was looking at the boy with a funny sort of smile. "We have a bit of a crisis out there."

"What's happening, Yami?" Yugi asked, looking concerned.

"Well . . ." Yami Yugi paused as a crash was heard in the kitchen. "Bakura's Yami found the eggnog your grandfather bought and . . ."

Yugi groaned. "Oh no," he said, getting up off the couch. "Grampa was going to take it back and get some without liquor in it!" He quickly followed his Yami into the kitchen.

Joey had to chuckle. "Poor Bakura," he remarked, seeing the silver-haired boy also frantically dashing into the other room.

Tea shook her head and sighed. It was better than running from criminals bent on murder, she supposed.

"Hello."

Tea looked up to see Seto standing in front of her. She blinked in surprise. "Um, hi," she said finally.

Seto sat down next to her. "I never had a chance to thank you for keeping Mokuba safe the other night," he said. "I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to him. Mokuba means everything to me."

Tea nodded. "I know," she said softly. "Is he doing better now?"

Seto glanced at his brother, who was still playing with Mara, and Bobby and Annie as well. "Much better. He recovered quickly from his experience. And the chances are good that Del Vinci will be sentenced to life in prison without any hope of parole for what he did." The boy said this with a certain amount of satisfaction.

"He deserves it!" Tea said fiercely. She sat in silence with Seto for a while, and then she said quietly, "Kaiba, you did the right thing—not killing him."

Seto didn't answer, but then he nodded slowly.

"How are you doing?" Tea asked now, remembering that Seto had been shot the other night.

Seto looked vaguely irritated at the question, but it passed. "I'm fine," he said at last. "I told you, the bullet only grazed me as it flew by." Tea had noticed, however, that Seto wasn't using his left arm as much as he usually did, but she decided to keep quiet about that.

"Hey, I've got an idea!" Joey exclaimed suddenly with a grin. "Why don't we all sing Christmas carols?"

"No one wants to listen to your caterwauling, Joey," Tristan said teasingly.

"Hey!! My singing voice is fine!" Joey said defensively. "At least it's a heck of a lot better than his!" He indicated Yami Bakura, who was crooning Jingle Bells all off-key.

"You do have a point there, Wheeler," Seto smirked. He declined the invitation to sing with them, as did Mr. Thorton and Yami Yugi.

The others, however, gathered around the piano and began to sing Silent Night. Now that everyone was alive and well and back together, they knew it would be a wonderful Christmas season.