Completed: 06/08/2003
Modified: 06/08/2003

Here's part 2 of my Yu-Gi-Oh! fic.  It's a VERY ROUGH DRAFT, so please pardon any continuity errors, irregularities in addressing people, and any other stupid screwups.  ^_^;;;  Also, I personally don't duel and I tend to skim over the game mechanics in the anime, so please excuse any mistakes regarding game details.  

Things get rather complicated in this chapter, so I really hope that it makes sense.  ::massive sweatdrop::  If it doesn't, please let me know so I can fix the problem.  In other words, comments and criticism will be greatly appreciated.  

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SUMMARY: When an enemy's treacherous scheme endangers Mokuba, can Yami and Yugi help Seto Kaiba to confront and accept the true nature of his soul and the Blue Eyes White Dragon?
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Title: Heart and Soul
Author: Madamhydra
Email: madamhydra@aol.com
Status: continuation/AU fic
Archive:  
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers:  entire series (anime and manga)
Pairings: none at the moment, but who knows....

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS **********
   minor obscenities
********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS **********

NOTE 1: This fic is based on my own personal blend of the manga, Japanese anime, and US dub.  I'm going with the manga version of Kaiba's big duel with Yami (i.e., the DEATH-T challenge, Kaiba being in a prolonged coma from Yami's Mind Crush, etc.)

NOTE 2:  Yes, I know that Mokuba always refers to Seto as "Nii-sama" in the manga and Japanese anime.  However, in this fic, Mokuba usually calls his brother "Seto" and occasionally "big brother", even though I use the Japanese names.  Call it a writer's quirk.  ^_^

STORY CREDITS:  (1) Yami Czarina and her fic "Coalescence", for the idea of the BEWD as a guardian of Kaiba's soul.  (2) Theria, for her Yu-Gi-Oh! website, especially her character bios which provided me with tons of inspiration, especially her comments about Kaiba and the Millennium Rod, etc.  ::evil grin::

Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Yu-Gi-Oh! is the copyright and property of its creator and legally associated parties.  Used without permission.  Not for profit.

   (...) and {...}  represents mental dialogue and thoughts.

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   Heart and Soul
       An Yu-Gi-Oh! fic by Madamhydra
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   Part 2
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As the bearded head scientist, Dr. Tsubuku, went off on some highly technical and nearly incomprehensible theory about what happened to Kaiba, Yugi gazed out at the imposing Blue Eyes White Dragon and asked his other self, (How can that be possible?  Is that scientist guy really saying that Seto Kaiba somehow *transformed* into this Blue Eyes White Dragon!?)

Yami didn't answer immediately, but finally he replied thoughtfully, {Considering everything we've been through in the last few weeks, I hesitate to call anything impossible.}

Yugi remained a bit dubious.  (I guess so, but all those things involved magic and the power of the Millennium Items....)

{Don't allow the presence of all this technology to mislead you, Aibou.  There's powerful forces involved here, ones not recognized by your modern science.}

After a brief pause, Yugi said, (So you think that whatever caused Kaiba to change had something to do with the supernatural?)

{Remember who we're talking about.  Kaiba may try to deny it all he wants, but there's no question that he has a very powerful mystical tie to the ancient past and the Millennium Items.  I'm positive that in a previous incarnation, he wielded the Millennium Rod.  And although he doesn't possess a Millennium Item in this life, he's still one of their Chosen, as Malik calls us.  Kaiba has not only demonstrated his ability to summon and command Obelisk on repeated occasions, but on at least two occasions, the Millennium Rod has apparently acted entirely on its own, judging from the dark Malik's reaction.  And each time, it's had some profound effect on Kaiba.}

(So... maybe the Millennium Rod really belongs to Kaiba,) Yugi said, rather tentatively.

In an amused tone, Yami replied, {What the connection between the Rod and Kaiba is, I cannot say for certain.  But even if I were to offer the Rod to him, I seriously doubt he would accept it.  Kaiba has made it quite clear that he wants absolutely nothing to do with the Millennium Items, Aibou.}

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Jounouchi was feeling a little intimidated.  Okay, a lot intimidated.  But who wouldn't be when glared at by a dragon whose damn head was nearly the size of a city bus?   

The Blue Eyes tilted that same huge head in his direction and bared its fangs ever so slightly, almost as if sneering at him.

(Oh great.  I'm not sure that I buy this stuff about this Kaiba turning into this Blue Eyes, but I can say that it certainly ACTS like the arrogant jerk!)

He felt a little dizzy, then realized to his embarrassment that he'd forgotten to breathe.  Hastily gulping some air, Jounouchi quickly peeked around at his friends and was relieved to see that he wasn't the only one majorly freaked out by the sight of a real Blue Eyes White Dragon.

It wasn't the monster's sheer bulk or the size of its claws that made the chills run down Jounouchi's spine.  What really unnerved him was the oppressive aura of barely restrained power and predatory menace.  

(Man, if this Blue Eyes decided to get pissed off and go on a rampage, I'll bet that it'll make Godzilla look like a playful puppy!) Jounouchi thought nervously.  

It was Anzu who managed to put some of their emotions into words as she whispered nervously, "This sensation.... this overpowering feeling.  Doesn't it remind you of... something?"

"Yeah, those monsters from the God Cards," Honda answered in a shaky voice.  "They all give me the same nasty feeling -- like they're just about to squash me like a puny bug."

Jounouchi muttered, "Except that dragon is no hologram!"

"Don't remind me," Honda muttered back with a scowl.

Practically everyone in the observation room looked spooked, even Dr. Tsubuku.  Yugi was the only one who wasn't obviously rattled, but maybe that was because he was busy talking to his other side, the spirit from the Millennium Puzzle.

Suddenly, the Blue Eyes shifted its attention away from them.  Against all common sense and laws of physics, the dragon moved with uncanny speed and grace, as it whipped its head around and stared down toward its feet.  

(How can something that big move so bloody FAST!?) Jounouchi wondered a bit wildly.  It was as if the Blue Eyes was cat and snake, quicksilver and lightning, all rolled into one.

But in a weird way, the feline-like agility definitely reminded him of Kaiba.  Despite the bastard's annoying tendency to strike arrogant poses -- usually accompanied by remarks calculated to piss off any sane person in the worst possible way -- Kaiba could really move when he wanted to.

With the Blue Eyes's attention diverted, Jounouchi and the others edged closer to the window and peered downward into the test chamber just in time to see Mokuba clambering over a pile of rubble and making his way toward the exit.  

Without warning, the Blue Eyes White Dragon struck, lashing out a foreleg in Mokuba's direction....

Anzu uttered a stifled scream of horror.

.... and gently snagged the back of Mokuba's belt with the tips of two huge claws.  Then, with exquisite delicacy, the Blue Eyes plucked him off the rubble pile like a wayward kitten.

Mokuba uttered a startled squeak as he found himself dangling in midair, but otherwise displayed no signs of panic.  With the same gentle precision, the Blue Eyes returned the youngster to his former location, tucked between the dragon's forelegs.  Mokuba blinked, stared up at the enormous white head hovering protectively over him, then heaved a visible sigh of exasperation.

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As Yami watched the Blue Eyes crouching over Mokuba like a mother wildcat guarding its young, the memory of Kaiba's passionate declaration about the Blue Eyes White Dragon kept running through Yami's mind, over and over again.

/ ....my pride and my soul.... /

He would never forget Kaiba's words during the climatic moments of his duel with Malik's sister Isis.  But perhaps even more important had been the way Kaiba had spoken those words and the sound of utter conviction in his voice.

/ ....my pride and my soul.... /

At that moment, Kaiba had looked both shaken and exultant, as if he had been the recipient of a terrifying, yet undeniable personal epiphany.  Perhaps for Kaiba, that's exactly what it had been.

/ ....my pride and my soul.... /

But while Yami didn't question the overwhelming sincerity and honesty in Kaiba's voice, something in the actual words themselves didn't ring completely true.  Something was missing.

/ ....my pride and my soul.... /

Kaiba's pride and soul -- the magnificent Blue Eyes White Dragon....

Suddenly it was Yami's turn to experience a little revelation of his own.

{You called the Blue Eyes your pride and your soul.  Close, Kaiba.  Very close, but not quite.}

With a touch of sadness, Yami murmured, {Is it still so hard to admit the truth, Kaiba?  Is your need to protect yourself from what you perceive as a hostile world still so great?}

/ ....my pride and my soul.... /

{No, the Blue Eyes is not merely your pride, Kaiba.  It's really your *heart* and your soul, isn't it?}

------------------------------------

Up in the observation booth, there had been huge sighs of relief as the Blue Eyes did nothing more than retrieve Mokuba and put him down unharmed.  

"Man, for a second there, I thought that kid was a goner!" Honda said, wiping the sweat off his brow.

"There was never any danger of that," Yugi said quietly.

"Huh?" his friends chorused.

"Kaiba would sooner die before harming Mokuba."

"Now wait a minute, Yugi.  We all know how far Kaiba was willing to go in order to save Mokuba during the Duellist Kingdom.  But he also nearly scared his own little brother to death during that crazy DEATH-T challenge!" Honda protested.

Yugi shook his head and said earnestly, "I know, but the twisted, cruel person who did that wasn't the REAL Seto Kaiba.  The real Seto Kaiba loves and cherishes Mokuba.  That dragon down there is a true reflection of Kaiba's heart and soul, and Mokuba know it.  You can tell by the way he's acting.  He's worried about his brother, but he's definitely not scared."

Far from being scared, Mokuba was busy arguing with the Blue Eyes.  From the way the dragon cocked its head and focused its attention on the youngster, it was clear that the Blue Eyes was listening.  But how much, if any, of Mokuba's words the dragon actually understood was anyone's guess.  

Mokuba remained unfazed when the Blue Eyes uttered a loud, discontented grumble.  The youngster stubbornly persisted.  Finally, with obvious reluctance, the dragon grudgingly shifted one of its forelegs aside, clearing a path to the chamber's exit.  Mokuba stroked the Blue Eyes's muzzle as if to soothe and reassure it, then scrambled toward the door.

When the youngster disappeared from the dragon's view, the Blue Eyes rose to its feet, tail lashing in visible agitation.  The gleaming white head swung from side to side, as if anxiously searching for something.  

A minute or two later, Mokuba burst into the observation room, gasping for breath.  The youngster didn't bother to greet them, but instead ran immediately over to the window so the Blue Eyes could plainly see him.

The dragon arched its sinuous neck and uttered a disgruntled hiss, but appeared content to merely watch them... for now.

"Mokuba, are you all right?" Yugi said urgently.

"I'm fine.  But Seto...." Mokuba waved his hand toward the window and the Blue Eyes White Dragon hovering just beyond.

Anzu said, "So it's true.  That Blue Eyes really is your brother?"

Mokuba nodded wearily.

"How the hell did THAT happen!?" Jounouchi blurted incredulously.

"I don't know!" Mokuba snapped, yanking on his hair in frustration.  "I don't know what the hell happened.  The only thing I do know is that the duel computer went crazy, Seto got hurt, and then he somehow transformed into that Blue Eyes!  And from the way he's been acting, I don't think he knows or remembers who he really IS!"

Honda's jaw dropped, then he said, "Are you saying that Kaiba's got some sort of amnesia, on top of turning into that hulking brute of a monster...!"

"HE'S NOT A MONSTER!!!" Mokuba shouted furiously, clenching his fists.  "He's my brother!  He's Seto, even if he can't remember his name!"

Reacting to Mokuba's obvious agitation and distress, the Blue Eyes snarled and lunged forward, butting its head against the windows of the observation booth.  To no one's surprise, the supposedly shatterproof window panes cracked and bulged visibly under the Blue Eyes's assault.  Another solid hit and the window would definitely break.

Dr. Tsubuku said hastily, "Mr. Mokuba, please try to calm down!"  He jerked his head meaningfully at the looming dragon.

Mokuba took a deep, shuddering breath and nodded tensely.  He walked to the window just as the Blue Eyes readied itself to take another swipe.

"Hey, it's okay, Seto.  Really!  It's cool," the youngster said, waving his hands and doing his best to sound calm and reassuring.

The Blue Eyes stared suspiciously at the others, but gradually relaxed from its attack posture.

"Uh, Anzu?  You can let go now," Honda muttered, "I can't feel my fingers anymore."

Anzu gasped and released her deathgrip on Honda's arm and blurted, "Sorry!"

Yugi said, "Can you tell us anything about what happened to your brother?"

Mokuba perched himself on a console, as close to the cracked observation window as he could, and gave them a short, terse version of the disastrous test session.  When he got to the point about the mysterious card that apparently started everything, the Blue Eyes suddenly uttered a hair-raising growl that made everything in the observation booth rattle and vibrate.

They all jumped nervously and Yugi told Yami, (I don't think that was a coincidence.)

{I think you're right.  But in a way, it's a good sign.  It means that on some level, Kaiba remembers something and can understand us, at least on some level,} Yami replied.

Taking care not to mention the "Master of the Forge" card by name, Yugi said, "I've never heard of a card like that before."

Mokuba scowled angrily.  "That's because it doesn't exist.  I had someone check with Industrial Illusions.  They have no record of ever releasing such a card."

"Whoa, now that sounds pretty damn suspicious," Jounouchi commented.

"Yeah, but there's more."  Mokuba went on to tell them about how the duelling robot had targeted Kaiba and the resulting catastrophic malfunction of the holographic projectors.

"So you're telling us that the computer duellist tried to *fuse* Kaiba with a Blue Eyes?" Yugi said, his eyes widening.

Mokuba nodded.

"Whoa, whoa, time out!" Jounouchi exclaimed.  "If this was one of those nasty 'Game of Darkness' duels like we had with Malik, I could see how a magic card could actually affect a player.  But we're talking about a computer here! So where does this duel robot get off with thinking it could do something like that?"

"Exactly," Mokuba said, looking very grim.  "A computer only does what it's told.  So I'm guessing that someone must've hacked into the duel robot system and screwed around with the programming.  I can't think of any other explanation!"

"But why?" Anzu demanded.

Mokuba scowled impatiently.  "To get at Seto, of course!  He's pretty much the only person who uses that particular duel robot!"  He glanced around at them.  "After what happened with the Big 5 and Noa, Seto ordered a major security upgrade for all of Kaiba Corporation's computer networks.  But a project like that takes time to complete.  This duel computer would've been pretty low on the upgrade list."

Dr. Tsubuku added, "And therefore more vulnerable to tampering.  At this moment, we're doing an exhaustive analysis of the computer system, or what's left of it.  We're still waiting for the results."

A discreet knock on the door interrupted them.  The scientist called out, "Just a moment!  I'll be right out!" before turning to Yugi and the others.

"Just to let you know, we're trying our best to keep Mr. Kaiba's situation as quiet as possible, as per Mr. Mokuba's instructions.  Most of the people around here think that we're mainly dealing with just a hologram system malfunction and nothing more."

As the scientist left the room, Jounouchi said with a grin.  "No wonder.  I guess it would cause problems if people found out that the company president got turned into a dragon."

"That's.  Not.  Funny," Mokuba snapped in a low, furious tone.

Jounouchi's expression suddenly turned serious.  "Yeah, I know.  Sorry about that.  You're really worried about your brother."

Mokuba looked away, then stared at his sneakers and went very quiet. Finally, he said in a soft, tight voice, "Seto's made so many sacrifices for me.  You have no idea of what he's been through, what he's had to endure.  From our adoptive father Gozaburo, from Pegasus...." He abruptly stopped, choking back what he about to say.   

Without looking up at them, Mokuba continued, "That happened to Seto was my fault."  His fingers dug hard into his knees.  "After the computer attacked him, he was badly hurt, but... but he was still human.  It was only afterward, when the ceiling started to fall... when he saw that I was in danger....  He tried so hard to reach me, but when he couldn't, THAT's when he changed.  He changed to protect ME.  If he can't change back...."

His voice faltered, then with a deep shuddering sigh, Mokuba said in a barely audible voice, "Seto's already given up so much of himself, all for my sake.  And now... now he's given up not only his human body, but maybe his memories and his mind, too!"  

They couldn't see his face, but from the way Mokuba's shoulders quivered, they knew he was fighting back tears.  

It was Anzu who moved first.  She elbowed Jounouchi and Honda aside.  Ignoring the white dragon looming only a few feet away, she put her arm around Mokuba's shoulders and hugged him tightly.

"Don't blame yourself, Mokuba.  It isn't your fault.  It's not," she murmured as she looked helplessly at her friends.   

"It's not fair!"  Mokuba mumbled, rubbing angrily at his eyes.  "He does so much for me and there's so little I can do for him!"  

Yugi moved forward and said, "You're wrong, Mokuba.  You do a whole lot for him, just being yourself.  If it wasn't for your support and understanding, I think that your brother would be a very lonely shell of a person.  Your brother loves you, and he relies on you to remind him that he is loved."

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In the depths of Yugi's mind, Yami murmured, {Well done, Aibou.  Mokuba really needed to know that he's much more to his brother than just a tiresome burden.}

(But why would he think such a thing?)

{Mokuba's probably heard other people call him that, either to his face or behind his back -- how it's such a pity that someone as talented as Kaiba has to be saddled with a bothersome child.  You get the idea.}

(That's very cruel of them!) Yugi said indignantly.

{Yes, it is, Aibou, but hardly surprising.}

While Yugi was busy talking to Yami, Mokuba had suddenly clapped his hands over his mouth and turned to look at the Blue Eyes White Dragon with an expression of acute chagrin and embarrassment.

(Now what?)

Yami's reply was tinged with wry amusement.  {I think that Mokuba's just realized that he's blurted out some of his deepest insecurities and feelings in front of his beloved older brother -- feelings that Mokuba would've preferred to keep hidden from Kaiba.}

(Oooh....)

{And now Mokuba's probably wondering just how much Kaiba, in his present condition, actually understood.}

Judging from the Blue Eyes's reaction, clearly *something* had gotten through.  It had gone utterly silent, and simply stared at Mokuba.  And while it might have been his imagination, Yugi thought that the dragon's fierce blue gaze seemed to... soften... ever so slightly.

Then the moment passed as the Blue Eyes twitched its head restlessly and looked away.

Mokuba made a frustrated sound.  "Seto's in there.  I know he is.  I can feel him, but it's like he's somewhere just out of reach.  I've tried and I've tried to make him wake up, to remember who he is, but I'm just not getting through!" Mokuba then grabbed Yugi's sleeve and added, "But maybe you can!"

"Me!?" Yugi blurted in astonishment.

Looking very puzzled herself, Anzu said, "I don't understand.  Certainly we'll try our best to help Kaiba, but if YOU can't reach him, Mokuba, what makes you think your brother will listen to Yugi?"

"Because he's probably the only other person who *understands* about the Blue Eyes White Dragon, and what it really means to Seto.  Everyone else around here thinks that it's just some imaginary monster in a card game. But there's a lot more to the Blue Eyes than that... isn't there, Yugi?"

But before Yugi could answer, Mokuba continued, "I'm right, aren't I?" The youngster looked both relieved and a bit smug.  "Seto's been fascinated by the Blue Eyes as long as I can remember, but ever since he met you, Yugi, something changed.  It's like the Blue Eyes somehow became REAL to him, especially during the Battle City finals."

Mokuba hesitated, then added, "But I've got another reason for calling you.  I know that there's some special connection between you and my brother, Yugi.  Something to do with the Millennium Items and ancient Egypt.  Something that happened three thousand years ago."

{How did he...?}  Yami sounded rather taken aback.

Yugi looked a bit stunned himself as he echoed Yami's surprise and stammered, "How... how do you know about that?"

"After Seto lost to you in the finals, that Ishtar lady started talking about this stone tablet.  Seto got really upset with the whole discussion.  I had to see for myself if what she said was true, so a couple of days ago, when Seto was busy in a meeting, I went to the museum and snuck down into the basement to take a look for myself."

"Ah."

"At first, I couldn't believe it, but there, on this ancient stone tablet was my brother and the Blue Eyes, facing off with someone who looked almost exactly like you, complete with that Puzzle and the Black Magician!"

Jounouchi and Honda looked stunned, while Anzu merely bit her lip anxiously.

"That's when I started to really put things together.  I remembered what you said to Seto and me just before that crazy death duel with Jounouchi.  You told us how there was another you, a spirit inside the Millennium Puzzle who used to be a Pharaoh of ancient Egypt.  The same Pharaoh who appears on that stone tablet!"

Yugi nodded slowly.  "But your brother refused to believe in any of it.  He claimed it was all hypnosis or delusions."

Mokuba gave them a wry shrug. "Seto can be really stubborn, you know?"

Jounouchi muttered, "Man, that's a total understatement!"  He would have gladly continued on this theme, but Anzu's angry glare hushed him up.

Mokuba went on, saying, "Seto's always been that way about supernatural or magical stuff.  It seems to...."  He glanced over at the watching Blue Eyes, then leaned forward and whispered to them, ".... well, spook him."

Jounouchi snorted and said, "Then I guess it's lucky that he didn't have to face off with Bakura and that totally creepy occult card deck of his!"

Mokuba scowled at the blond-haired teenager.  "Ghosts, zombies, and those sorts of things never scared my big brother.  I was talking about other stuff!"

"What sort of stuff?" Jounouchi said curiously.

Mokuba hunched his shoulders and muttered, "Just... stuff, okay?"

{I think I know what Mokuba is referring to, Aibou.  It's not the occult itself that disturbs Kaiba, but the possibility that he himself might have some mystical or spiritual power.  I don't know why, but it seems that Kaiba feels very threatened by the mere idea.}

(And when Kaiba feels threatened, he gets mad and goes into big-time denial, right?)

{Yes, Aibou.  Mokuba, however, seems to have a much more open mind than his brother.}

Yugi said, "So you believe in all this stuff about the Millennium Items?  And you think that I, or rather the other me, can get through to your brother because they knew each other in a past life?"

Mokuba nodded slowly.  "I know it sounds crazy, but... I mean, with Seto being able to control Obelisk and understanding all that weird writing on the God Card of Ra...."

Yugi gasped and said, "Kaiba understood...!?"

"Yeah, as soon as he looked at it," Mokuba said with a slight frown as he remembered the particular incident and his brother's strange, almost panicked reaction.

{That explains how Kaiba knew so much about Ra's special abilities.  He actually *read* the card!} Yami exclaimed.

Honda interrupted by saying "But didn't that whacked out Dark Malik guy say that only special people could make heads or tails of that stuff?  The chosen ones, or something like that?"

"That's right," Yugi said quietly.  "Which proves that Kaiba, whether he admits it or not, has a strong connection to the Millennium Items, just as I do."

Anzu jumped to her feet and protested, "But even if you're right and that tablet shows that Kaiba and Yami knew each other in ancient Egypt, what makes you think that your brother will listen to him now, Mokuba?  I mean, weren't they enemies?  Because on the tablet, they certainly look that way!"

Mokuba stared at her in surprise.  "You don't know?"

"Know what?"

"You don't know what the stuff on the tablet really says?" Mokuba said, looking even more astonished.

As Anzu shook her head, Yugi asked Yami, (Could you read those hieroglyphics?)

Yami replied somewhat apologetically, {I was too distracted by the images carved on the tablet to pay attention to the actual writing.  And then we got interrupted by Malik's sister....}

Yugi said urgently, "Mokuba, you know what the tablet says?"

"Yeah.  Isis Ishtar told Seto all about it."

"And...?  C'mon, spit it out!" Jounouchi said impatiently.

"It's supposed to be a prayer for the dead, a poem written by the priest for his honored opponent... and friend."  He looked Yugi directly in the eye.  "The Pharaoh."

Yugi, Yami, and everyone else were left totally speechless.

"Are you SURE?" Anzu finally gasped.

"That's what she said to Seto.  And from my brother's reaction, I'm guessing that he believed her, even if he absolutely refused to admit it."  

With desperation creeping into his voice, Mokuba continued, "That's why I called you, Yugi.  You're my last hope.  I can't reach him and there's no one else that Seto feels...," he groped for the right word.  "Feels a real *connection* to, if you get what I mean?  Okay, so you're not exactly friends in this life, but I know that Seto respects and even trusts you -- you and your honor as a duellist!"  

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{He might be right, Aibou.}

(Do you really think we have a chance of getting through to Kaiba, when Mokuba couldn't do it?)

{It's a gamble, but who else is there?  Sadly, Mokuba's correct.  I doubt Kaiba will listen to anyone else under these circumstances.  And there IS an undeniable link between us, both in the past and in the present.}

(Then we have to try!)  Yugi said, sounding very determined.  

Yami replied with an equally determined nod.

------------------------------------

Holding his Puzzle, Yugi smiled encouragingly and said, "Don't give up hope, Mokuba.  We'll help your brother find his way back to you!"

"Yeah, that's right!" Jounouchi said, waving an enthusiastic fist in the air.

Just at that moment, Dr. Tsubuku reentered the room, carrying a thick stack of paper.

"I have the preliminary reports, Mr. Mokuba, including a transcript of the test session, as you requested.  If you don't need me right now, I'll go back and see if I can help the rest of the analysis team."

"Thanks.  There's not much you can do here so you might as well check on the other guys," Mokuba said, taking the papers.  After Dr. Tsubuku's departure, the youngster eagerly asked Yugi, "Have you got any ideas?"

"Maybe, but I'd like to take a look at that transcript first, if you don't mind."

"Sure!"

Yugi quickly read through the document, then passed the transcript over to Jounouchi.  As he waited for the others to finish reading, he sat down and pondered their next move.

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(So how do we reach Kaiba?) Yugi asked Yami in a worried tone. (It's not going to be easy, that's for sure.  I mean, when I look into those eyes, all I see is the dragon, not the person....)

Yami didn't reply immediately.  Something Yugi said had obviously grabbed his attention.  Sensing his other self's intense concentration, Yami waited patiently.  

Suddenly Yami spoke up with quiet, but unmistakable excitement.  {Of course!  Why didn't I realize it before?}

(What?) gasped a startled Yugi.

{Everyone's been assuming that Kaiba's acting like a dragon because he's forgotten who he really is.  But what if we're wrong about that?}

(Wrong about what?)

{About Kaiba being the one in control of that body.}

(Are you saying that Kaiba's NOT in control!? Then who or what is!?)

{The Blue Eyes White Dragon, Aibou.}  

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Jounouchi tossed the transcript over to Anzu and Honda, then threw up his hands.  

"Well, that didn't doesn't tell us a whole heck of a lot.  I mean, it's pretty much as Mokuba said -- computer tries to pull something screwy with the duel, Kaiba gets pissed off, and kaboom!"  Without bothering to look at Yugi, he said, "So what's the plan?  Just yell at that dragon and hope that it listens to you instead of biting your head off?  Because if it is, I gotta say that it sucks!"

When he got no response, Jounouchi turned to look at Yugi, who was holding his Puzzle and gazing distractedly at nothing in particular.  

In the meantime, Anzu huffed and snapped, "You're a fine one to complain, Mr. Leap-before-you-look Jounouchi!"

He turned and gave her a nonchalant shrug.  "Hey, I'm just worried, okay?  I know Kaiba loves Mokuba and wouldn't hurt a hair on his head, but there's no telling what he'd do to anybody else!  Kaiba's a proud, arrogant, nasty-tempered bastard who probably couldn't care less if the rest of the world fell into a Trap Hole!  And to tell you the truth, I think that a dragon suits his personality down to a T!"

Mokuba spun around and glared furiously at Jounouchi, but before they could start arguing, Yugi suddenly gasped, jumped to his feet to gape open-mouthed at the Blue Eyes.  The dragon, reacting to Yugi's sudden movement and his tense body language, leaned forward to eye the teenager in a decidedly suspicious manner.

Jounouchi said instantly, "What's up, Yugi?  What's wrong?"

Yugi ignored his friend, too busy concentrating on what Yami was telling him.

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(But... but the Blue Eyes IS Kaiba!  You said it yourself -- it's his heart and soul!) Yugi objected, now sounding thoroughly confused.

{No, it's a PART of Kaiba.  But a part that is strong enough to have an identity and will of its own.}

(Are you saying that Kaiba has another personality, like Malik did!?)  Yugi exclaimed.  (I mean, did it take over because it wanted Kaiba's body or something like that?)

{No!} Yami said quickly.  {Unlike Malik's dark side, the Blue Eyes isn't hostile, at least to Kaiba himself.  Quite the opposite, I think.  Just as the Black Magician protects the sanctity of our Soul Rooms, the Blue Eyes probably serves as the guardian and protector for Kaiba's innermost self.}

(Oh, I get it,) Yugi said, sounding relieved.  He suddenly looked anxious.  (But if you're right about it only wanting to protect Kaiba, then why did it...?  Uh oh.)  His voice trailed off with a tone of dread.

Yami nodded grimly.  {Exactly, Aibou.  Something happened, either during the duel with the computer or immediately afterwards.  Something serious and/or traumatic enough to provoke the Blue Eyes into physically manifesting itself and taking over Kaiba's body!}

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"Yugi!" Jounouchi repeated urgently.

Sounding slightly dazed, Yugi finally replied, "I think Yami just figured out why Mokuba hasn't had any luck reaching his brother."

"Why!?" the youngster demanded.

"Because that's not exactly Kaiba," Yugi replied as he pointed vaguely at the Blue Eyes.

Jounouchi said incredulously, "Wait a minute!  Are you trying to say that thing's NOT Kaiba!?"

"No way!  I told it's Seto!  I'm sure of it!" Mokuba objected vehemently.

"You're partially right, Mokuba.  It IS Kaiba.  Just not the part we all know," Yugi said, a bit disjointedly.

Jounouchi looked like he was ready to pull his hair out.

"I don't get it!  That thing is Kaiba, but it's not him?  What gives!?"

Yugi raked a hand through his multicolored hair and struggled to find a way to explain Yami's theory to his friends.

"It's Kaiba's body, but Kaiba that we know is not in the driver's seat."

"Then who the hell is!?" Jounouchi demanded, giving the gleaming white monster an extremely wary look.

"The Blue Eyes White Dragon," Yugi blurted out in a rush.

Honda protested, "That's crazy, Yugi!  How can the Blue Eyes be in control when it doesn't even really exist!"

"But it does!  Really exist, I mean," Yugi said.

They all stared at him with various degrees of disbelief.

In a tentative voice, Anzu finally said, "Yugi, are you trying to tell us that Kaiba's somehow been *possessed* by the Blue Eyes!?"

"If a person can be possessed by a part of his own soul, then... yes," he told them with a helpless shrug.

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(end part 2)

Part 3 teaser:  The return of the Millennium Rod?  ^_-

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Keeper of Duo's Dark Side ~~~ Duo no Seishi
Saitoh no Koibito ~~~ Corruptor Extraordinaire
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madamhydra@aol.com              /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E

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   All names, likenesses, and rights of Yu-Gi-Oh! are trademarks, copyright, and property of Kazuki Takahashi and legally associated parties.  The characters and associated materials of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only.  This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
   Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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