It was a calm morning today. Yugi smiled as he caught up with Anzu and the two walked into the school building. "Hey, Anzu, you're early today." Yugi acknowledged.
She returned the smile, "Yeah, I know. I promised to help Ryou with decorating the gymnasium for the 'Dance for Charity' party. I think it's great that the school is doing something to raise money for abused children. All the kids I've talked to said they would be here and would make a big donation too."
Yugi's smile dimmed, "Will Jounouchi be coming?" He asked. She shrugged, her face saddening. "I haven't gotten the chance to talk with him ever since he started living with Kaiba." The short one added.
"Yeah, I spoke with him the other day. I didn't mention the party, he was too busy whining about how horrible Kaiba was treating him." She smiled weakly, "He said Kaiba has him doing everything for him… He says, Kaiba even got him blankets with dog bones all over it and left doggy treats on his pillows." She said laughing only a little.
Yugi's eyes twitched, "Well, it's better than before." He stated and both suddenly became very melancholic.
It wasn't a big secret anymore. About two and a half weeks ago, everyone in the school found out that Jounouchi's dad was abusing him. It was the most horrific day of his life. Everything was seemingly fine, except the blonde was a bit downer than his usual upbeat mood, when asked what was wrong; he merely said he got into a fight with his dad.
"Joey, is that all? You look really bummed out." Honda questioned not at all buying this all too familiar lie. "You don't look so good." He added.
The blonde smiled meekly, "I told you I'm fine." He lied again and stood from his seat. "I'm goin' to the bathroom, excuse me for a moment." He said and walked out of the cafeteria.
Upon heading down the hallway he looked around to see if anyone was nearby. Once he was satisfied with the empty silence, he let himself slink down and clutched his side. Staggering to the bathroom, he leaned against the farthest wall and groaned. Luckily nobody was inside. After some time he stood and walked over to the sink. Staring disappointedly at himself he sighed and lifted up his shirt. There on his side rested a large, ugly bruise, which looked as painful as it felt.
"What happened to you?" A voice usually cold and uncaring asked, in an uncharacteristic shock. Jou looked only to see the wide eyes of one of his greatest enemies, Seto Kaiba.
Quickly the shirt was dropped and the horrid bluish purple marking was covered. But Kaiba still stood in the same spot, as did the other. Jounouchi began to blush, feeling the chill of blue eyes on him, though he was too afraid to face them, to see what they were thinking.
Kaiba opened his mouth to say something when something loud was hurt out in the hall. "I'm lookin' for m'son, Katsuya- Where is he?!" Someone yelled out loud. For a second Jounouchi was stunned into fearful fright, his body halted all movement while Kaiba forgot him for a second and ran out into the hallway.
Two teachers who seemed to be doing a terrible job of calming the man down were currently confronting the man. "I'm looking for Katsuya, now tell me where the hell he is!" The man yelled, and Kaiba froze. Looking once behind him he realized Jounouchi was still inside the bathroom. Being the intuitive man he was he started to compile the things he'd seen in just the past two minutes.
The man started pushed aside the two teachers and made his way down the hall, towards where Kaiba was. Kaiba could tell by his uneven steps that the man was drunk- very drunk. And it all started to fit the way Kaiba had quickly figured.
He'd seen it a few times, the marks and bruises on Jou's back, his legs, his stomach… In the locker room he'd seen them, he doubts his friends did, the blonde always covering them up when someone entered the room. Of course, the mutt wasn't his concern so why would it matter anything to him? It wasn't any of his business. But now, it was different.
He'd seen the problem, it was Jou's own blood… Someone he knew, someone he grew up with was the cause of the physical abuse, something he knew and understood himself. It was the same abuse he went through with Gozaburo before his death.
The man approached the blue-eyed teenager with a disgusting glare adorning his hazed face, "What the fuck is your problem?" He asked, almost making the brunette gag on his revolting breath. He said nothing in response. "I'm askin' you a damn question!" He hissed.
"Drunkards should not be walking down school hallways. You're a disgrace to the students who work hard at this school." He simply said and the other man laughed. "Also, you should really get your drunken ass back home, before you get yourself in more trouble than you can handle." He warned, but this made the man absolutely angry.
Kaiba's eyes widened at the speed of the man, as his fist was about to connect with his face. He was pushed to the ground, but the blow didn't hit him. At the last second Jounouchi tackled him down. Kaiba lay on the floor shocked by the action.
Jounouchi's father smirked, "There you are."
"What do ya want?" He asked, standing before his father.
"Don't you talk back to me! You didn't clean your damn room last night, or wash the dishes!" Soon the man held Jounouchi by the neck. Teachers and students who had emerged from some classrooms and some from the cafeteria watched the scene. The principle ran to his office and called for the cops, while others scattered or watched with horror and sympathy. Kaiba too was mortified.
"Please don't do this here." Jou pleaded but the man was drunker than the blonde had ever seen.
"You worthless piece of shit!" He shouted throwing his own son to the ground. He kicked him once, "Get up!" He shouted, and finally Kaiba stood to his feet and ran to help Jounouchi back up. "Oh, is this your little boyfriend?" He asked snidely and grabbed the brunette by the arm. "You snobby little bastard. I ought to ring yer neck." He suggested tightening his grip on him.
Kaiba hissed, he didn't like this; Jou's father let him go and focused his attention back on Jou. He approached the teen- his son- and sneered. "What's wrong? Are you embarrassed that the whole school knows you're a weakling? That you cry and are afraid of your daddy? Is it just horrible that everyone knows you really are a low piece of dirt and you don't have a life? That you cry for your mommy- the one that left you wit' me all alone?" he laughed.
Jou looked around and started to cry once he saw Yugi, Anzu and Honda standing there with open jaws. 'Oh God, no… Now they know…' He looked around and saw the hallway packed with people just standing there. "Please stop this…" He begged.
He raised his hand to hit him again, "You are pathetic. You really are stupid Mr. Jounchi… Or perhaps drunkard suits you better."
This caught the man's attention, something about that overconfident voice made him angry, he turned to face the unafraid glare of Kaiba. "So his stupidity isn't his own doing… It was passed down to him by you." He thought over. "Looks like I owe you an apology, mutt." He said, glancing over to the blonde, whom was about to collapse.
He growled, "You little…" As he was about to hit Kaiba right in his self-assured face,
"Freeze! Hold your hands up!" Police soon ran in trying to subdue the man. He struggled and it took five men to finally bring him down and escort him out of the building. Jounouchi swallowed his heart back into his chest. And without even needing to look around the room again, he felt the eyes… All the eyes, the stares… The pity on him, the looks of everyone, he felt the eyes of his friends on him. Everyone knew, everyone heard…
He looked up and met a pair of clear as crystal, blue eyes. Eyes holding understanding and something he never expected to see, warmth. He fell to his knees and the last thing he saw was the always-emotionless brunette running to catch him as he blacked out.