Disclaimer: Don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! or the lines from Episode 180, A Duel With Dartz - Part 4

Chapter 1 – Yami

A white glow began to shine all around him, while his duelling partner dimmed beside him. Yami looked over at Kaiba, his wide eyes taking in the trap card that his rival had activated.

"It's called Wish of Final Effort," Kaiba breathed, as though merely talking was taking a heavy toll on him: he, who usually stood so high and strong above them all. "It converts every one of my dragon's Attack Points into your Life Points, Yugi."

The sting of being referred to by that name – a name he didn't deserve even in the best of times, let alone now – distracted him so much that he almost missed his rival crumble.

He didn't recall giving his legs the command to move, but before he knew it, he was on the other side of the Field, kneeling beside the taller man as he collapsed to his knees.

"Kaiba, wait!" Yami cried, reaching forward to catch Kaiba before he fell. "Hang on!"

"Seto!" Mokuba's voice rang through the air, sounding muffled to Yami's ears. The boy's desperate, innocent tone was enough to make Yami sick to his stomach with guilt – but it was not enough to get Kaiba to open his eyes. "Come on, wake up!"

Yet still Kaiba did not stir. Had his soul already been taken?

"Say something!" Yami implored.

Relief like no other flooded Yami's veins when Kaiba eventually peeled his eyes open. Initially, the shorter duellist expected him to push him away, but no such thing happened. Instead, the CEO fixed his glazed eyes on his rival's face.

"Don't give up," he panted. "Got it?"

Yami nodded, knowing that surrender was not an option. No matter how hopeless it seemed, he had to carry on, for the sake of all those who couldn't.

"I fought too hard, so you can't lose this," Kaiba continued, as though as long as he kept speaking, he could ignore his impending doom. "Now win!"

Those words sapped the last of the CEO's strength. With a groan, he began to fall forward, nearly taking Yami with him.

"I will. I promise," he vowed.

He tightened his grip on his rival, as if somehow he could hold his soul within his body, though all he could do was try to offer some form of comfort.

He reached a hand up to Kaiba's head, curling his fingers into his hair and lowering his lips to his ear.

"I'll get you back."

Kaiba took a deep breath, drawing in enough oxygen to gasp two final words before the Seal closed in on them.

"You better."

The green light of the Seal intensified around them, and Dartz' gloating voice cut through the air.

"Pharaoh, it looks like you're the sole survivor."

Despite his best efforts to ignore Dartz, Yami's lip curled at the comment. He shoved it from his mind, turning his attention fully to the now trembling figure in his arms. From where Kaiba's chest was resting against his shoulder, Yami could feel the CEO's heartbeat increase as the magic of the Orichalcos began to take effect. The realisation hit him like a freight train: Seto Kaiba was scared.

Yami gently began to move his thumb, brushing it across Kaiba's scalp in an attempt to alleviate his fears. He couldn't be sure that it was working, but Yami was determined that the last thing that Kaiba would feel before he was ripped from his body would be friendship and love, the very same things that he had been unable to offer Yugi and Raphael when they had suffered the same fate.

A terrifying pained gasp rattled across Kaiba's lips as a light was pulled from his back and sent soaring to an empty panel in the wall. His body fell limp in Yami's arms.

Laughter began to reverberate off of the echoing walls, and Yami looked over Kaiba's shoulder, fixing Dartz with a deathly glare.