Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh, and for once I have no witty anecdote to add to that sorry statement.
A/N: I was musing over the clichéd fics of this fandom earlier, how so many are sickeningly alike and how there seem to be a few 'staple plots' that most fics seem to stem from. So I decided to take one of these overused plots and put it on its head. I don't know how successful I was, but I got a fairly satisfying one-shot out of it so I shan't quibble.
Yugi's grandfather gave him a gift a week ago. Whilst clearing out the attic, he came across his old kite, which he thought he'd lost when he was younger. He gave it to Yugi who was touched by the sentiment. It was red with a long green and yellow tail.
And he'd lost it.
A strong wind had snagged the delicate string from his hands and carried the thing halfway across Domino. Deeply upset, he and the group had gone out to hunt it down but to no avail. Grandpa wasn't overly happy and guilt combined with already wretched feelings meant that Yugi couldn't sleep tonight.
And that's where I come in.
I'm his guardian, his protector, I'm the one who comes charging in like a white knight to pull him out of fire and threat. I do not run around after a *kite*. But I am. It's dark, cold, raining and I'm out looking for something the side of my Light's chest.
I found it though. It took me two hours and multiple 'that's it's, 'this is stupid' and 'I'm giving up's but I finally found it.
The dratted wind had managed to sweep it beneath and up into the largest bridge in the city. It was snagged neatly between some of the suspension girders on the side, an area that is proving very difficult to get at.
Standing on the edge of the bridge, the river roaring past a few dozen feet below me, I can't help but note how hard the wind is trying to force me to fall. It's not a nice night.
I can't reach it though, not from here. I'd need to climb out onto the girders. I could shimmy across the lower one and reach up, but with the rain I probably wouldn't stay on it long. But if I went on the higher one and reached down for it- no, I'd fall off even faster that way.
…This is so stupid.
I can't leave it now that I've found it though. Yugi would never forgive me. It doesn't look very stable where it is either, so if I left it until the girders dried it would probably have been blown away. I've got to figure out how to get it now.
It's not like falling into the river would kill me; it would hurt and probably knock me for six with pneumonia and possibly rabies from all the water rats, but I'd be all right. There's still the memory of having a mortal coil though, so I'm not really willing to take a flying jump, grab the kite and drop thirty feet.
I'd get it with Shadow Magic if I had the energy, but it hasn't been a good week and this pounding headache of mine probably wouldn't let me open the Shadow Realm let alone manipulate its power. No, I'm stuck with physically grabbing it.
Hmm. It's a short drop to that girder, so *if* I stayed on it and shimmied over there, I could then… Damn, can't see that bit.
I step closer to the edge of the bridge and put a hand on vertical pole to keep myself steady. That's better; I can see now.
So, shimmying over there, I could-
Kaiba? Oh brilliant, *just* the person I wanted to see.
Glancing over my shoulder, I see that he's pulled his car alongside me in the road and is not stood a few feet from the base of the ledge I'm standing on, looking up at me.
I'm taller than him for once. I quite like this.
Anyway, back to where I've mentally shimmied…
"Yami, what are you doing?"
I pull a face, sighing in irritation before casting a tired glare over my shoulder. I just want to get the bloody thing and go home, but I can't concentrate if he's stood there talking at me.
"Go away Kaiba," I instruct, my eyes returning to where the kite is still stuck.
"No, not until you come down. Why the hell are you doing this?"
Left about a foot and then hold that rusty bolt… Yes, that could work… What did Kaiba say again? Oh, why am I trying to get the kite. That's right.
"I'm doing it for Yugi." Hmm, so I can get underneath it but I still need to stand up at some point, so the nail's not going to be of any use then. Damn.
"You don't need to!"
Gee, would I really be up here if I didn't feel I *needed* to? "Yes, I do."
"No, Yami– I… I don't understand why… I-I want to help."
Unless he's got a lot of rope or possibly a helicopter, I doubt that he can. Actually, Kaiba *does* have a helicopter, and likely rope… No, it's too windy and the kite's too close to the bridge. He could probably reach it better, but being bigger he'd be hard pressed to get between the girders. No, I'm the best one for the job.
"You can't help me."
I suppose I could use that nail. It looks like something died and rotted on it though. I can wash my hands later, but still…
"Let me try. At least talk to me."
Ra, that nail looks icky. I just thought 'icky', didn't I? This is not a good night. Okay, if I just get the stupid kite and go home now instead of trying to plan out my every step, I can have a nice hot shower and go to bed.
"Please Yami, I can't just leave you here."
If he'd only shut up I could get this done quickly. Great time to be a pain in my side, Kaiba, utterly fabulous.
"Go away Kaiba."
Hmm, it's just rusted. Nothing wrong with that, not that I'm any more inclined to touch it. Hang on; what the Hell's that? Something comes up underneath the bridge, close to the girders I think.
I move a little to the side so that I'm pressed against the pole. Leaning forward a little, I can see it better. It's too dark though. I might be able to figure out the shapes if I stare at it long enough.
"Yami, I know that… well, we've never really gotten on."
When did he get up here? And what's he doing so close to me? If he touches me and makes me fall, I will not be pleased. In fact, I'll make *him* get the stupid kite.
He's touching me. And now my balance is starting to go with his stupid fat hand on my shoulder. I shrug it off before my already precarious balance vanishes completely. My boots squeak a little on the metal underfoot.
"I understand, how hard it can all be. You've got Yugi to look after, a reputation to uphold and maniacs coming at you from all sides trying to take your title."
How perceptive of you. Now sod off. What's this got to do with the damn kite? Or is he listing my already large list of grievances to put this one in perspective? Yes, I know this is a stupid venture, Kaiba, I don't need you rubbing it in my face.
Hey. There's a ladder down there!
"But it's not worth your life."
There's a maintenance ladder leading right up to the girders! I can't believe I never saw it! I've been on this ledge freezing and getting talked out for absolutely no reason because there's a *ladder* leading right where I want to be! This-it's-why… *Damnit*.
"Please, just come down and I'll take you home."
Home? Now?! Just when I've discovered the ladder? Not a chance.
"I'm not going home."
"Will you come down then? Then we can talk about where you want to go."
Hmm. I can't get to the ladder unless I go under the bridge, so I need to get to that field which… Kaiba, would you move, you're blocking my view. Fine, stare at me all you want. I'll look around you. Yes, the bridge leads to the field and then I just follow the slope down. Perfect.
Releasing the pole, I step past Kaiba and drop off the ledge to stand on the footpath by his car. He follows me, moving slowly in front of me before I can take a step in the direction I want to go in.
He gives me a funny look. I frown at him. His mouth pulls a little. "Is there anywhere I can take you?"
Him giving me a ride? Probably wants to knock me unconscious, take my deck and Puzzle and throw me off the bridge. He would keep my deck as a trophy and sell the Puzzle to Pegasus. Now wouldn't that be nice?
I start to walk around him, my frozen hands going into my jacket pockets. "I just need to get off this bridge."
Kaiba nods with an odd enthusiasm. What's wrong with him? Oh, there's a full moon. That explains it.
A strong wind suddenly pulls at us both, his heavy coat whipping into my side irritatingly and I watch with horror as, just at the edge of my peripheral vision, the kite dislodges and goes soaring past. If I can catch it when it lands, I'll be happy.
I break into a sprint.
Kaiba yells something, my name I think, and takes off after me. Why is he so obsessed with me all of a sudden? Actually, I think this is the longest we've been in each other presence without a challenge or a death threat being issued. Creepy. Progressive, but creepy.
Ah ha! It's landed in the field. But the wind's picking it up and scuttling it into the road… And that truck just ran over it.
I stop dead.
Little wooden splinters blossom up into the air and the tattered fabric flies in a thousand directions. Yugi's going to be so upset. Well, just even more upset than before since I never actually told him I was going out to look for the kite.
Maybe I should just not say anything and let him believe that he lost it and some child found it and it's made them very happy. Not mention that it's in lots of little pieces. Yes, that sounds good.
Something heavy whacks into my back and I drop to the road. It's Kaiba who, evidently, is terrible at stopping when he's running. His knee's on the back of my thigh, pinching terribly at what feels like a very big nerve. Wow, that hurts. Dirt from the road has also billowed up into my eyes, making them sting and water, and to top it all off my entire lower half is lying in a puddle. I am not happy right now.
He gets off slowly, a hand still on my back. I can't sit up yet, not with my thigh throbbing this badly. I bring up by hand to try and rub some of the dirt from my eyes with my sleeve. I wince when I just shove more in, my sleeves being even dirtier than my eyes currently are.
The hand on my back starts moving in slow circles, something that I don't like. I jerk, trying to get across the point that I don't approve of being touched by him, but end up wrenching my already painful leg horribly. The sudden bolt of fire up my thigh is enough to make me yell.
I manage to writhe into a sitting position, my thigh cramping almost immediately, and then the hand suddenly comes around my chest and pulls me back into him. Ra, what is going on?
I try to stand but, again, my leg is against me. Adding to the fact that I'm almost blind and merrily shivering from where I'm soaked to the skin, there's not a lot I can do to stop him. He picks me up, something that I *do* shout at him for, but he ignores me.
He takes me to the car, easing me into the back and then fetching a blanket from the boot. He wraps it around me while I try to get some of the grit out of my eyes and I nod a *tiny* thanks to him as he gets back into the driver's seat. It's not like I can really walk home with my leg like this, so I might as well accept the ride being offered.
"Do you want me to take you back to mine? We can talk, have something to eat?"
Just because you nearly broke my leg doesn't mean I'm going to do a slumber party with you.
"No, to Yugi's will be fine."
He nods and returns his gaze to the road. Now that he's not looking at me through the mirror anymore, I start trying to dab up the excess moisture from the puddle in my trousers. I'm too cold for comfort, but I refuse to strip even if I would be better off for it. As it is the cold and the wet are making my skin burn.
"Are you sure you'll be all right?"
Why's he so concerned about some wet clothes and a bit of grit? "Yes, I just need to sort myself out."
Another nod and then he doesn't speak again for the rest of the journey. He stops at the back of the Game Shop at the end of the path leading into the house, twisting in his seat to watch me again.
Not looking at him, I slowly get out of the car. Still encased in the blanket, I test my weight on my leg and am satisfied that the pain has settled a bit during the drive here. I bend down and go to hand the blanket back to Kaiba.
He shakes his head and puts his hand on top of mine on the material. I'm not going to speculate on that. Not now at least…
"No, you keep it."
I have *never* heard him use that tone of voice before, not even with Mokuba, and Ra help me I hope to never hear it again. That just sounded… Wrong. Not eerie, not unusual: wrong.
I nod numbly, bringing my hand back to myself and pulling the blanket back around my body. Kaiba gives me a small smile before pulling the door I had been leaning through shut, pulling away moments later.
Standing there, I watch him leave until his taillights disappear completely. My eyes have cleared up a bit now, moisture no longer running in great streams down my cheeks. They still hurt a bit though, and I'll probably need to rinse them over the sink before I get into the shower.
I finger the blanket thoughtfully, going over the events of tonight, Kaiba's strange behaviour, the death of Yugi and Grandpa's kite.
I can't help feeling I missed something.
Well, that was certainly one of my more unusual fics. Thoughts? Comments? Did it fall flat on it's face?