Tricolor

*

Warnings/notes : Pegasus + Seto, Pegasus + Otogi, Pegasus + Cecelia, Pegasus focus, slightly weird.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 14th december 2003, by Misura

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Three colors. They were, he had to admit the first thing he noticed about the boy who would one day both free and destroy his soul, by defeating him in a duel. Perhaps it was the painter in him, ever drawn to bright colors.

Red and black and golden. Each with their own significance, their own memories attached.

Roses were red. Blood too was red. And his poor dragon's hands had been red as well, that day, not so long ago.

"You are hurting yourself." he murmured disapprovingly, yet not without a certain fond sympathy. The concept of trying to break down unbreakable barriers out of concern for a loved one was not alien to him after all. He himself had stormed the gates of heaven, only to find them forever closed.

Compared to his situation, his dragon was much better off. The wounds were physical, cuts and bruises that would be easily healed, with a bit of time and rest. Not like his own pain, which would probably remain with him for the rest of his life.

"Why?" Blue eyes gazed at him imploringly. He chuckled softly, gently wrapping a bandage around the raw and bloody skin of Seto's hands. That question had been one he had intended to *ask*, not to answer.

"I longed for your company." His reply was simple, as was his desire. "Mokuba is safe and sound, away from all pain, I assure you. There's no need for you battering down the walls." He did not add that these attempts were doomed to remain fruitless. Seto was not stupid.

"Maybe I would like you better if you weren't such a sadistic bastard." Harsh words, gainsaid by the softness of the other's lips as he brushed his own past them. Of course, that did not diminish their truth. It would have been kinder to keep his word, to have spared Seto the suffering of having to face a world without Mokuba bouncing around in it.

"Selfishness isn't the same as sadism," he chided. "And it will be over soon now, for better or for worse."

Black was the color of evil, the opposite of the purity of white. The sky turned black when a storm was brewing, or at nightfall.

"I can't believe you beat me so easily at my own game." Green eyes stared at him in wonder. He was pleased to see not even a glimmer of disappointment or annoyance in them. Allowing himself a smile, he bended his head to acknowledge the compliment.

"If you'd have placed you Elven Warrior in another way the fifth round, you would have made it a lot more harder for me to gain victory," he remarked. "Though I definitely must say this was quite the challenging game. Most enjoyable."

Otogi flushed at the praise. It was strange, he reflected idly, how such a vain creature could be transformed into a nervous young man so easily. Otogi had arrived wearing his vanity like a cloak, or perhaps a defense, standing between him and the world.

"Does that mean ... ?" The boy seemed not to dare to finish his sentence. Hiding his smile which would probably be misunderstood, he nodded.

"Industrial Illusions is definitely interested in producing this entertaining game you have created, Otogi-san." The next smile he did not hide. "It would be a shame if other people wouldn't be able to enjoy it as well."

Otogi beamed, looking younger than ever. Or perhaps, he reflected, it was his seeming ease to be utterly happy that made the young man look and sound like a child at times. He himself had lost that ability, hardly any older than Otogi. An odd thought ...

He could only hope Otogi's reasons to smile would last longer.

And finally, golden, the color of money that taints and the sun that cleanses. A color impossible to fully capture on linen, since it made the painting look either cheap and artificial or simply unrealistic, since it didn't properly fit in with the rest.

Yellow was, in the end, but a poor substitute. Then again, every painting he had ever created had been nothing more than that : a faint reflection of reality, the echo of a dream.

"Can I move yet? My feet are beginning to go all numb." She complained, shifting on her seat with an annoyed expression on her face. He sighed.

"You've hardly sat quiet for half an hour. I can't make a proper portrait if you keep being so restless." He wanted to finish this project, driven by a strange sense of urgency. He had always painted the things he loved though, and her he loved more than anything, so perhaps there was a certain logic to it.

"Love, you have the rest of our lives to paint my image." She rose, making it clear she would not be persuaded to stay. "And I wanted to go for a picnic in the park this afternoon. It's such lovely weather, don't you think?" She smiled winningly.

He had never been able to resist her, to refuse her anything. Putting his brushes and paint away, he wiped his hands before walking over to where she was standing, waiting for him. "A picnic sounds like a delightful idea."

She nodded, pleased, while he felt a warm glow, pleased at being the one to have pleased her. Thus, their relationship was a perfect one, keeping both of them happy.

"I already asked the cook to prepare us a small basket with some simple things. And you should bring your painting things too. The blossoming cherry-trees are lovely this spring."

It was true, as he would discover that day. The sakura fell like pink snow, beautiful in its fragility, loved for its short life. Maybe he should have realised it already, back then, that those moments and treasures we value most highly are doomed to last briefest of all.

*

Pegasus sighed, staring at the cards littered over his duel-platform, like so many scattered dreams. From the other side, the voices of Yugi's friends drifted over, chattering excitedly, no doubt congratulating the boy with his triumph. He wondered how long their happiness would last. How long their innocence and friendship would remain this pure, this untainted by any feelings of envy or spite.

~OWARI~

A/N : Another weird Pegasus-one-shot. I wonder if I'm getting obsessed with him … ^^;