Are You Alone? (Lonely Soldier Boy)

by WSJ

WSJ: *runs her hands through her hair nervously* Okay, okay, I'm actually doing something I never thought I'd do. ....I'm writing a fic centered on Seto Kaiba.

Muses: *stop dead and stare*

WSJ: *laughs nervously* Heheh... If you've read any of my fics, you know that Kaiba isn't exactly my favorite character. *mutters something about stuck-up rich jerks with an obsession over power and winning* ^^;; Anyway, this song struck me as either Kaiba or Otogi, and I chose Kaiba just because he seemed more likely. Actually, the song first struck me as any of the Gundam boys, but right after I started writing it I saw a fic based off of Duo using this song. So I had to turn to other sorces. *sigh* Maybe I'll still write a Gundam Wing version anyway...

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO or the song.

Warnings: Angst, character death, ya' know, the usual. Definately PG-13 material. *sweatdrops again* Don't look at me like that! You all know I don't like Kaiba! I can't help but do this to him...

Muse-ic of the moment: This One's For the Girls, by Martina McBride

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Quote of the fic:

"If your head is in the clouds it just makes it that much easier to reach the stars."
~(Me)

After all of the battles are over
After all of the fighting is done

Kaiba Seto, twenty-one years old and in the middle of a war zone, groaned slightly as he gingerly leaned himself against a handy tree. Panting slightly, he surveyed his surroundings. It didn't look good. He and his comrade were stranded behind enemy lines, and both of them were wounded badly, although his partner more then him.

Speaking of his partner, the young man, really barely more then a boy in Kaiba's opinion, who was leaning heavily on Kaiba chose that moment to sit down with a defeated sigh. "We ain't gonna make it. We just aren't. No one else did, and we won't either."

"Don't talk like that!" Seto snapped. "Now get on you feet and let's keep moving! Some friendly troops are bound to find us sooner or later."

"Ha!" his parter laughed mirthlessly. "Since when are you so opptomistic? That was always Yuugi's lot in life..." There was a moment of pained silence, and then the blond lay down at Seto's feet with another sigh. "I'm not going to make it Kaiba, I know I'm not."

Seto dropped to his knees, ignoring the pain that jabbed through his wounded shoulder. He knew that his partner had taken a bullet to the belly, but how bad could it - ....be. The wound had begun to fester, and Seto suddenly saw that the one man he knew, trully, the only one he trusted was fading fast. "I order you to stand up and keep moving with me!" he said, nearly hysterical for the first time in his life. "Get up inu!"

"Sorry Kaiba..." the blond's voice was fading away. "Just promise me you'll look up Shizuka when you get back, okay? Tell her I loved her..."

"Jou don't talk like that!"

"See ya' 'round Seto..."

And Jounochi Katsuya, the man that Kaiba Seto had been through so much with, just like that his only friend in this hell hole was gone.

Will you be the one
To find yourself alone with your heart
Looking for the answer?

It a was a few miles further on, Jou's body far behind him, just like all the rest, when Kaiba collapsed under a pine tree, weeping and clutching at his hurt shoulder. If anyone who cared had been around, he would have hidden his tears, constructed an immovable mask, like he'd always done when he was younger. But there was no one to see him cry now, and it felt good to let the tears flow.

Kaiba knew in his heart that he'd never make it back home. He knew he'd die out here, whether of an infected wound like Jounochi had, or enemy fire like Yuugi and Honda had, he knew he wouldn't make it home. But he had to keep trying; for the others. For the others who would never go home, never make it back. He had to keep going, for all their sakes. He had to honor Jou's last request, he had to. And Yuugi's.

Wiping away his tears, Seto ran his fingers over the Sennen Puzzle on its chain around his neck. Why Yuugi had given it to him as he lay dying, Kaiba would never know. But he had it now, and he had to protect it. With all his heart, with his life if he had to.

And somehow he knew that sooner or later it would come to just that.

When it feels like tomorrow will never come
When it seems like the night will not end
Can you pretend
That you're really not alone?

Kaiba lay under the pine tree until night fell, too exhausted to move. The stars began to come out, and crickets chirped. Kaiba wondered idly if over in Japan Mokuba was watching the same stars. All of them who'd been left back in Japan; Isis, Mokuba, Shizuka, Anzu, Mai... Would they ever find out what had happened to their men?

How had it come to this? Kaiba's platoon had been out for a routine patrol when suddenly it wasn't so routine anymore. The seven of them had been ambushed by enemy forces and cut off from any line of escape. They were trapped, and in the kamikaze way of those who knew they were going to die, they'd fought their hardest.

But one by one they'd fallen. Now there was only Kaiba Seto, alone.

You're out here on your own
(Lonely soldier boy)
You're out here on your own
(Lonely soldier boy)

Honda had been the first. He'd been gunned down while trying to protect Ryou (or rather, it was Bakura at that time, the tomb raider was the one who'd been doing all the fighting). Kaiba thought privately that seeing Honda die in front of him was what sent Ryou over the edge.

Sobbing and screaming, the little white-haired soldier had forced his yami out of his body, seperating them into two beings. That had spooked the enemy troops, although Kaiba-tachi all knew about the spirits and weren't exactly shocked. One particularly fool-hardy soldier had tried to shoot at Bakura, only to have the bullets pass right through. Scared shitless, the soldier had then turned his gun on Ryou.

The Ring holder was only hit once, and even then he wasn't hurt. The bullet struck the Sennen Ring, shattering it to pieces. Kaiba wasn't exactly sure how this was possible, but he'd seen it with his own eyes. The Ring broken, Bakura had slowly begun to fade away, leaving Ryou behind. His heart as shattered as the Ring was with the loss of half his soul, Ryou had quickly been subdued and taken prisoner.

Rushing in to try and take Ryou back, Otogi had been shot once in the arm and twice in the thigh, and Malik once to the chest, but on the opposite side of where his heart lay. Both of them had been taken captive as well. Kaiba had no idea where any of the three of them were now, if they were still alive or not. He prayed to whoever was listening that they were, and that somehow they'd make it out alive.

But Ryou would never be the same, that much was obvious even moments after Bakura had gone. It was as if Ryou'd suddenly ceased to care. Even when Otogi and Malik tried to rescue him and were hurt in the process, Ryou didn't even look up. Seto shivered just remembering. Although he'd obviously been still alive (at least at the time), Ryou had looked... dead.

But are you alone?
(Lonely soldier boy)
With all the glory without the joy
A lonely soldier boy.

With three captives to brag about, the enemy had begun to retreat with Malik, Ryou, and Otogi in tow. The three remaining had tried to run after them, and that's when they'd each been wounded. Jounochi in the gut, Seto in the shoulder, and Yuugi smack dab in the middle of his chest. Eyes wide, the duelist had stumbled on for a moment before falling into Jou's arms.

The others forgotten, Seto and Jou had dropped to their knees, ignoring their own pain as they concentrated on Yuugi. Tearfully, the brave little Moto (although he wasn't so little anymore) had said his goodbyes, and ordered Seto to take care of the Sennen Puzzle. His last words had been a tearful "I love you" to Jounochi, just like back in Battle City when things had seemed so much simpler.

Since then, Kaiba had wondered why Yuugi had given the Puzzle to him, and not Jou. Now he couldn't help but speculate that maybe, somehow, Yuugi knew that Kaiba would outlive Jou, if only by a few hours or days or weeks.

You believe in the causes you're fighting for
You used to believe yesterday.
Now what can you say
Now that you're so far from home?

It was strange, in a weird sort of way. Seto could feel the spirit of the pharoah, Yami no Yuugi, inside of him. And yet neither had spoken at all, as if grieving for Yuugi each in their own way.

Leaning back in the semi-shelter that the pine boughs offered, Seto shivered in the growing cold. In the distance thunder rumbled, and as if it were a signal it began to rain. The tree offered some protection but not a lot, and by morning Seto was sneezing and shivering. His vision began to blur as he faded in and out of conciousness, his face beaded in sweat from his fever. If he'd have had the dexterity to take off his fatigues, he would have been horrified to see how the skin around his wound had taken on an angry red colour.

"Hey Kaiba, race you to the arcade!"

It was a fever-dream, it had to be. He was delerious. But it had sounded so much like Jounochi...

"Come on Seto, surely not all you think about in life involves beating me in duels."

And Yuugi too! Now Seto knew he was losing it, but he struggled to sit up anyway. "Yu-gi..." he moaned.

You're out here on your own
(Lonely soldier boy)
You're all alone
(Lonely soldier boy)
But are you really alone?

"Aw, really Kaiba, that new Duel Disk system of yours isn't that great..."

"Watch... your mouth... inu..." Kaiba wheezed. His vision was hazy, with a grayish mist hovering at the corners of his eyes. But he could have sworn he'd seen Yuugi in front of him, just a moment ago.

Haltingly, he reached up to wrap his fingers tightly around the Puzzle. What would happen to it?

//I will be fine. I always am.//

Kaiba was started by the voice, which sounded so old and so very sad at the same time. Where had he heard it before...? But somehow he believed it. He knew the Puzzle would be all right, no matter what happened to him.

(Lonely soldier boy)
You're out here on your own
(Lonely soldier boy)
But are you really alone?
(Lonely soldier boy)
You're out here on your own
(Lonely soldier boy)

"Hey Kaiba, wake up man! We've got stuff to do!"

"Yeah, we can't have you sleeping the day away."

Kaiba blinked blearily up at Otogi and Malik, who grinned cheesily and waved. "Come on!" Otogi insisted, tugging on the CEO's arm, trying to get him to stand up. "Jou and Honda and Yuugi are already way ahead of us!"

"You're not going to let Jou beat you, are you?" Malik laughed. Kaiba noted that the blond Egyptian seemed lighter somehow, more care-free, as if a ten-ton weight had gotten lifted off his shoulders. Otogi too looked like he didn't have a care in the world.

"Ryou and Yami no Yuugi won't be too much longer," Otogi noted, finally suceeding in helping Kaiba to his feet. "Bakura was very clear about that. We could wait for them, if you wanted. Or..."

"Are you kidding?" Kaiba asked. "And let inu and Moto beat me? Not on your life!"

Malik and Otogi laughed at that, and the three took off running.

Are you lonely
Out here on your own?
(Lonely soldier boy)
Is it lonely?

In the mountains somewhere overseas, under a cold, damp pine tree, Kaiba Seto gave in to the infection that rampaged through him and finally breathed his last. As he died, the Sennen Puzzle glowed faintly, as if saying goodbye to whoever cared to see it, before it too died away.

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WSJ: ....Wow. That turned out a lot different then I thought...

Kaiba: O.o;; *twitch twitch*

WSJ: ^o^\\// Reviews please!!

God bless minna-san!