Pikazoom: Got bad news. I'm out of writing inspiration. I... 1) Am having a slight loss in interest of Yu-gi-oh 2) Having writers block

I think a main reason I wrote so much was becaused I was depressed, but now, I think I feel better. I'll try to keep on writing and hopefully finish, but I'm not sure if it'll be up to standard.

NOTE: WAHA! I just found a plothole! *falls in* I know Yami was supposed to get his cast off, but he couldn't have been walking like he'd been in the last chapter with his casts. So, pretend they're off. -_-;;;

Crippled Chapter 8: Smile

"Yamiiiiiiiiii!!!!" Yugi cried, running up to the tall brunette holding his older brother. "Is he okay?" Yugi asked, tears running down his face. Jiichan had told Yugi that the police would take over the search and it was getting late, but he still had dragged the poor sibling home.

"He's sleeping," Seto replied. As if on cue, Yami yawned and swiped at his eyes like a kitten.

"Mmmmm...hm?" he said, making confused noises, taking in his surroundings. Gazing up, the crimson-eyed boy looked up into Seto's deep blue eyes. They stared for a few seconds. He blushed. "I...uhhh...hi," Yami looked away, terribly embarassed, and saw Yugi and Jiichan standing there with relief in their eyes. "Yugi! Jiichan!" he shouted happily.

Seto lowered him down onto one of the Game Shop's counters. Yugi practically tackled his elder sibling off the surface. "I w-w-was w- worried a-about yoouuuuuuuuu!" Yugi sobbed, glomping Yami.

"There, there, Yugi," Jiichan said, patting the younger boy on the shoulder. "It's okay now, but we should probably take care of his injuries first." Yugi pulled back and nodded.

"Okay. I'll get the first aid kit." Yugi turned and ran up the stairs, heading for the bathroom.

"Is there anything you need, Yami?" the concerned elder said, turning back to his said grandson.

"I think I'm fine, Jiichan," the crimson-eyed boy responded. Suddenly, a large rumble came from the pit of his stomach. "Okay," Yami admitted sheepishly. "Maybe a little hungry..."

Jiichan nodded. "I'll make you something to eat," and he walked straight into the kitchen.

Yami sat there, twiddling his fingers. He was there...with Seto...all alone. "So uh...when did you wake up?" the crimson-eyed boy thought out loud.

"Around noon-time. I was all checked out by five, so I went over to the Game Shop and waited for you. After awhile, we all got worried and went looking for you," Seto said, brushing his hand through Yami's surprisingly soft spikes at his last sentence.

"....I'm sorry...." Yami apologized guiltily. Gazing up, he finally got a clearer look at Seto. White bandages protruded from brunette bangs. Apparently, his gash was still healing. Everything else was in check, though...the dark blue eyes, the tall yet lean figure, and anything else Yami's mind came up with.

"Shhh...It's not your fault. Now, what happened?" Seto inquiried.

"..." The crimson-eyed teen looked away. "I...got beat up, that's all."

The brunette raised an eyebrow. He moved closer to Yami slowly, then suddenly pinned him down on the Game Shop counter. (muahahahahahaha..)

"Na-nani?" Yami hissed. Seto didn't reply but proceeded to lift up his shirt. "W-wait!" the smaller teen exclaimed in surprise.

"Nothing, huh? Then what's all this?" Cobalt eyes raked over fresh and old bruises as well as sealed cuts along their best friend's torso.

"Okay, I got beat up a lot," Yami confessed.

"Why?" The crimson-eyed boy sat up and pulled his shirt back down.

"N-no reason in particular," the smaller teen studdered. "Probably just cause I'm vulnerable like this..." Yami didn't want Seto to feel guilty knowing that it was partially his fault that he was like this. By being supposedly trained by an elite duelist, everyone else wanted him out to better their chances.

No one ever dared go after Seto/Ryu, though. It was a wonder why, but Yami read that a duelist attacked him after losing, and Seto chucked him over a wall. That was the only conclusion he could think of.

"There's a better reason than that." Azure eyes seeped into his soul. Recieving crimson ones looked away. Seto's eyes could see past barriers...into the human psyche...he'd find out the real reason soon. "...this wouldn't have anything to do with the DM tournament, would it?"

"I-"

"I have the bandages!" Yugi shouted, running down the stairs and barreling toward his elder brother.

Seto took the first aid kit from him. "Your jiichan's in making food for Yami. I'll patch him up...I get lots of practice with Mokuba. Why don't you go help your jiichan?" Yugi nodded and ran away.

Silence fell over the two teens. Azure eyes focused on tightly wrapping white strips around Yami's damaged arms. The shorter boy shivered at the soft hands enveloping his senses. It was an almost ghostlike touch. He anticipated what Seto would say next.

"...tell me the truth, Yami," Seto said suddenly, looking up into the said teen's eyes. "Why were they picking on you?"

".........It's because...It's cause....I'm dueling in the tournament...and people want a better chance at winning..." Yami said, looking down. "They think.I'll be some kind of -I dunno- dueling prodigy." How would Seto take it? Surely, he'd figure out why he was a prime target.

Seto lifted Yami's chin. "Listen..." Seto said sternly. "Don't listen to them, okay? I swear, if any one of them touches you, I'll make sure they pay."

Yami's face became impossibly redder. Did he just sound...possesive? "Seto...I..." And they just stared.

Seto suddenly spun around to hide what appeared to be embarassment. He had probably noticed his commanding tone of voice as well.

They sat there for awhile, looking at anything but each other. How hard was it to make dinner, darnit?! It was an uncomfortable silence.

"What did...you call me in the woods back there?" Yami asked, finally turning around to Seto.

"...Shinku...just a...nickname I thought up for you," Seto replied. Another uncomfortable pause. "I think...I should go. It's late. Well, good night, Yami."

"Night...oh, wait!" Yami stopped him. Seto opened the door and the wind blowing his hair around as he looked back at Yami made him look ethereal...or strikingly handsome. "How am I going to get to the tournament? It's only..." Yami counted on his fingers. "Two days away...my wheelchair's gone."

The brunette watched him for a moment. He looked thoughtful, then said, "...your casts are off." (Read note at top!)

Yami blinked in surprise. "Yeah, they are. Just recently. Why?"

Seto shook his head in response. "Nothing. Good night, Yami." With a secretive smile, he turned and left for home.

Yami raised his eyebrows. What was Seto up to?

A/N: Muahahahahahahaha...I'm into this now!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!