Unconditional Friendship

Author's note: So sorry that it has taken so long to update. I've been gone at basic and army training, and haven't really had much of a chance to write. Plus I was sort of at a writers block with this story. Anyways, now that all the training is done, hopefully I will have more time to get back into all of my stories instead of just a couple. But if you want updates faster on this story, I'm going to need some suggestions. So please leave me a review, those really do help. . Thanks.

Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh

Part Three: Breaking

Kaiba knew something was wrong. He could feel it, like a voice was screaming out for help before it was cut off. He hated the feeling of helplessness that had overcome him. All he wanted was to race to where Joey was, and to make sure he was alright. That he was safe, but he didn't know where to find him, or else he would have been by Joey's side hours ago.

Mokuba watched as his brother's pacing became more frantic. Concerned blue eyes watched his movements, not understanding what was troubling the older boy. "Seto, if you're so worried, why don't you call Yugi, and ask him for Joey's number. I'm sure that he would have his best friend's number," Mokuba suggested only to receive an angry glare.

"I already did. None of Joey's friends have any way to contact him," Kaiba admitted reluctantly.

Mokuba nearly fell out of his chair at the statement. Never would he have thought that his brother would sink so low as to go to Yugi for help willingly. Especially not over one of Yugi's friends. "Um, Seto, are you sure you're alright?" Mokuba asked looking a little concerned for his brother's sanity.

"Of course I am!" Kaiba snapped before a look of uncertainty crossed his face. "Why wouldn't I be," his tone softening as he tried to calm his own doubt, but the fear was tearing him away, and he felt as though he was slowly going crazy. His whole reality had been scrambled at the discovery he had made only hours ago. "Damn Mai Valentine, if she hadn't interfered…" If she hadn't interfered, he would have known where Joey lived. Kaiba shook his head frustrated at that thought and continued pacing. No, he wasn't going to let this control him. He was going to act like nothing had changed.

"Mokuba," Kaiba mumbled, throwing on his cold business mask. Mokuba looked up at him, waiting patiently for him to continue, knowing well that now wasn't the time to make his older brother mad. "We have school tomorrow, and it is past our bedtime," the older teenager responded.

Mokuba frowned before standing up and stretching. "Alright Seto, goodnight," Mokuba responded eyeing his brother carefully, trying to read past the business mask his brother always seemed to wear now a days.

Kaiba gave him a soft smile, before he headed off toward his own room.

By the time Kaiba was ready for bed, he found himself unable to fall asleep. He was exhausted, but yet he couldn't stop his mind from worrying constantly about Joey. He stared up at the ceiling, listening to the silent void of night, as he waited to darkness to claim him. And even as his mind slipped into a peaceful bliss the last thought in his mind was on a certain blonde, and what the other boy was being forced to suffer through.

In a room just large enough for a person to walk through, was a blonde haired teen. He was leaning shirtless against the counter top of the bathroom sink. His arms were sprawled out in front of him, and his head rested on top of his left arm, while lifeless eyes stared at the reflection in the mirror. His blank brown eyes gazed at the many scars, bruises, and lacerations that decorated his pale skin; always away from everybody's view. Always because it was his secret. The life he was living was not to be intruded upon by anybody. Nobody had the right to know his silent sufferings, because that would mean he would have to face the problem he had been denying his whole life. So why the hell does his rival, his enemy, know what nobody else should have ever found out. A sob escaped his lips, but his eyes remained dried. He had learned to stop shedding tears over this, no matter how much it tore him apart inside.

Another moment passed, before the boy lifted his head, and plastered a fake smile on his face before the façade faded. No body saw him as he really was. Nobody saw it because he made sure nobody got close enough to see past his show of fake cheerfulness and goofiness. A goof ball, a dog…not a frightened child that was forced to grow up. All his life Joey had begged for someone to discover his secret, to save him, but now that somebody does know, Joey found himself more afraid.

Afraid. He was no longer afraid of the nightly beatings he received from his drunken father. One can become immune to physical pain. What Joey feared more than anything, was the idea that he will feel a sense of false hope and security. To believe he could get away, only to have to return back to this life…his life. Nobody could save him, so why should he allow them to waste their time trying. He wasn't worth it anyways.

Joey curled as his mental argument ripped away at his battered soul. Physical pain was a simple thing to overcome, it was the mental pain that destroyed people. It was what ultimately defeats even the must stout of warriors, and it was finally beginning to take its toll on the teenage boy curled defensively in front of his worst demon. Himself.

After a few moments of dry sobbing, Joey again looked at his reflection and started laughing. If anybody was watching the boy, they would have sworn that he had lost his mind. But for Joey, nothing seemed more clear then they did at the moment. He felt dead, like an empty shell, and yet he was still alive.

A pale and shaky hand reached toward the rusty razor blade. Running his finger across the sharp edge, Joey felt a surge of power at the thought of what he was capable of doing with the weapon. He had the chance to end it all, or to back away, but most importantly, he had a chance to feel more alive. Alive because he will finally be able to see if he truly was empty inside.

With a quick slice, the boy created a laceration on his forearm, and watched as the blood began to seep out. Yes, he wasn't empty inside. He was filled with a warm liquid, a fluid that promised life to many, and meant death to others. The fluid flowed down his arm, cooling as it was exposed outside, and yet it remained unhindered in its escape. The boy was entranced by the site. So beautiful and horrifying at the same time. He couldn't tear his eyes away from it, even when the door to the rambled apartment was slammed shut, announcing the arrival of the cause of all his pain. He continued to stare at the liquid with hypnotized glazed eyes. He had never felt so alive before, not until he held his very life in his hands, but the moment was halted as the bathroom door was swung open to reveal a very angry intoxicated man.

"Joseph, what the hell do you think you are doing?" Mr. Wheeler demanded grabbing his son's wrist.

Joey stared as his blood seeped out from between his father's fingers, and then suddenly he felt very nauseous.

"Do you think this will solve all of your problems you ungrateful little brat?" the man demanded tossing the smaller boy backwards.

Joey stumbled, before the back of his legs hit the edge of his tub, knocking him backwards. "You can't hurt me any more," Joey yelled struggling out of the tub, and trying to push himself past his father.

"No?" Mr. Wheeler demanded pushing his son backwards with ease, as though he was trying to prove that the boy's statement was wrong.

Joey gasped as his head impacted against the tile wall. "There is nothing you can do to me that I can't do to myself," Joey yelled feeling a small sense of victory at the statement. Never again will his father have control over him.

Mr. Wheeler stared at his son thoughtfully, his eyes wandering to the wound that the boy had inflicted on himself. The boy was right, he had lost the little leverage he had over the boy, and that infuriated him more then anything. His drunken mind couldn't handle the loss of control. The only control the man seemed to have on anything anymore. His wife left, his daughter left, Joey was the only one that he still had; but unlike most parents, the alcohol had warped his mind, making him overly possessive. He needed to feel the control, and he didn't care who he hurt to get what he desired. But there was his son, defying him, rebelling, and trying to find a way to escape him. He needed to find a way to break the boy. Make him fear him again. But physical pain wouldn't be enough.

Joey watched as his father's eyes grew wide with excitement. The man's eyes narrowed in a look that frightened the boy more then anything. He knew that his father had found some way to hurt him.

An agonized and horrified scream was the last sound Joey made before all hope of defeating his abuse ended.

TBC.