Italics = Jonouchi's POV
 = Song lyrics
() = Jonouchi's thoughts
My fingers seemed almost mechanical in their movement. I gripped my shoulder tightly, hoping that the blood would not trickle down my sleeve.
I can take care of myself.
I don't need any help.
I wince as the blood begins to seep through my hand.
I wonder why I had decided to do this all of the sudden. What had brought this crazy bought of freedom?
I searched the depths for an answer and realized it was that feeling.
I was eighteen. I knew that he couldn't do this to me…to us.
So I left. I know Shizuka  is in good hands. Leaving her with Anzu was a smart idea. There was no way he could ever get her there.
Now…what to do about myself?
[exaudi nos et misere]
I could barely make out what was in front of me. Everything seemed so white, so pale.
I gritted my teeth and tried to rely on whatever internal direction I had. Yugi's house should be close by, I'm sure of that.
My ears pricked at that sound. I tried to follow the tune. Maybe I could find someone who could lead me to Yugi's house.
If I was lucky.
I was rarely lucky these days.
[Dona nobis pacem]
[et salva nos a hostibus]
[Salva Nos Deus]
I didn't even look up, though I cursed violently from under my collar, "Kaiba?" I said weakly. I wasn't up to a sparring match with Kaiba, hence I should try to avoid it.
"Any reason you're outside on a Snow Day?"
"Shut up and get me inside." I grumbled. I noticed some of my blood fall to the ground and tried to maintain a neutral expression as Kaiba searched me with his eyes.
"Fine," He said, obviously disgruntled that he couldn't spar with me.
I smirked and leaned my weight against him. I could feel his scowl from here, but he gave me his arm and helped me walk inside.
This wasn't Kaiba's house. His house was so huge that it caused a Solar Eclipse at times. I couldn't care less if Kaiba had stolen the house. I needed to rest before I ended up killing myself from blood loss.
"Where did you get that?!" He asked in derision, murky eyes focusing on me, "Another Gang war?"
I let out a harsh laugh, "You wish," I said sourly, enjoying his perplexed expression. It's nice to know Kaiba is still human, though I believe he has forgotten it himself, "No," I said, rubbing my arm slightly, wincing, "This wound I received from the courtesy of my father."
[Dominus exaudi nos]
[Dona nobis pacem]
He didn't say anything (not that I expected him to. Kaiba showing pity is like Bakura giving out Millennium Items as Christmas Presents), but he did make a small 'tch' noise that irritated me. But I ignored it, my wound occupying my troubles for now.
"Hey Kaiba? Do you have any bandages? And anti-septic?" I asked.
He got up silently and with a swish of his cloak, vanished into the depths of the house. I sighed and stared at the fire. I raised my hands carefully, hoping to absorb whatever warmth I could.
That was quick. I gave it a dubious glance and began applying the anti-septic on my arm. It stung, but I was used to it.
"How did you get it so quickly?" I wondered aloud.
Seto smirked, "You're not the only one with an abusive parent." He said quietly.
[Dona nobis pacem]
[E dona eis requiem]
[Inter ovas locum]
That set me back. I turned to face him, but his murky blue eyes were like they've always been; unreadable and bottomless.
"How bad…" And here Kaiba pointed to the wound, "Does he get?"
Usually I would get apprehensive and shady when it came to this topic. I would always side-step it when Yugi and Anzu would ask. Probably because they would offer the only kind of comfort they know; Pity.
I hate pity. Everyone seems to pity, even the gangs I fought with. They called me the 'Sad Case'.
"Not as bad as he gets when drinking," I said nonchalantly.
Kaiba nodded, his eyes still unreachable.
"And you?" I thought it only fair he told me as well. And despite everything Kaiba is, he has some sense of honour.
No matter how minute it may be.[voca me cum benedictis]
[pie jesu domine, dona eis requiem]
[dominus deus, Sanctus, Gloria]
"It was like a training program," Kaiba said, letting his eyes drift, "He said it would make me stronger. I wonder what he would say if he saw me now." He smiled crookedly.
"He would have been disappointed," I said slowly, "You didn't turn out like him."
Now, where did that come from? Must have been in the light of the moment.
He gave me an odd look that gave me shivers. I leaned closer to the fire.
"How's Shizuka?" He asked. I think he was trying to be slightly decent, but I answered him anyway.
"She's fine. She's with Anzu."
"Oh." Kaiba leaned back, "Tell me…"
"Do you hate him for doing this to you? Your own father?"
[Hear Us, the wretched]
[Hear Us, God]
I frowned. Not because the question was too personal, it was more like I was trying to find an adequate way of phrasing it.
"I don't know…there are times when he isn't drunk, he's almost bearable…but," I shook my head, "I don't think I hate him. He's…too different, too locked up in another world. I can't hate him because of that."
"I see." Kaiba shifted his eyes onto me again, "I hate my father."
Somehow, the shock of that sentence was lost on me.
"I know." And I did. This is probably the only thing I share in common with Kaiba.
I then decided to change the topic.
"This house…is it yours?" I asked.
He turned his face towards me and I realized how lean and hungry it seemed. Is ambition the only thing that dominates Kaiba's life?
My eyes must have seemed puzzled, because he expanded on that sentence, "It's a…hideaway of sorts. To get away from my…work," He said somewhat distastefully, "Don't get me wrong; I love my work. It's just that…I need to get in touch with a world that isn't my own."
"It helps you remember," I murmured, "That we are of the same world."
[Grant us peace]
[And save us from the enemy]
[Save us, God]
He glanced at me in surprise and his lips turned upwards in good humour, "Yes, we are, aren't we?"
I smiled as well. At the back of my head, an innate voice was screaming at me.
'What are you doing?' It yells, 'Socializing with Kaiba?'
I shoved the voice away.
Kaiba must have noticed the internal confusion in my eyes (Is he a mind-reader? He seems to know me so well.) and gave me a knowing grin that was a merge of a smirk and a genuine smile. Or, I think it was genuine.
"I know how you feel," He said ruefully, "Conversing with the rival. What's wrong with us?"
I allowed myself a crooked grin, "Imagine what Anzu would say."
Kaiba snorts, "I couldn't care less what she says."
I laughed. It's true that Anzu had a heart of gold, but she tended to get carried away when it came to informing us the delicacies of morals and ideals.
She'll become a great politician one day.
[Lord hear us]
[Lord, have mercy]
[Grant us peace]
"Hey…" I said, looking at the wooden-paned window, "It's snowing."
Kaiba snorted, "So?"
I rolled my eyes, "It's a wonder you don't have a steady relationship," I said sarcastically, "You're such a romantic."
Kaiba chuckled and then coughed to cover it up, "I have no time for these petty things," He said, sounding like the Kaiba we all know and love.
I smirked and turned my head, my bangs falling on my face. I scowled and was going to push them off, when a pale hand (how was he so pale? Did he have a skin allergy?) pushed them off for me.
I gave him a sidelong look, but his eyes were the same; unreachable.
"I could never understand…." He started suddenly, "…what's so special about snow?"
[Grant us peace]
[And give us rest]
[Amongst this rejoiced place]
I stared at the miniature white stars that fell from the heavens, "I really don't know. I do remember one Christmas, when my mom came over with Shizuka. And we played in the snow."
I couldn't see him, so I had no idea what his reaction was. But I had a feeling…
"Snow…" He murmured, "Mokuba used to drag me into the yard because he wanted to play. Why does it enchant people?"
"Because it's like heaven bestowing…" I struggled for the word. Yugi was more the poet than me, though he was starting to rub off me subtly, "…blessings…" I said lamely.
"Blessings?" For the second time today, Seto Kaiba was confused, "What does that mean?"
"It means," And I gave him a knowing look, "There's hope for us abused lost children."
Kaiba's eyes were murky; but I knew I reached him.
I took his hand in mine and we watched the blessings fall onto the soft blanketed ground.
[Call me with the blessed]
[Merciful Jesus, give them rest]
[Lord God, Holy, Glory]
A/N: I'm not particularly religious, but I had wanted to use this song 'Salva Nos' from Noir for a long time. Forgive me if they seem too OC. It's just that this is my first Yu-Gi-Oh, so be gentle.
To Little Leila. I know you'll like this.
 Shizuka: Serenity. I hope I spelt her name correctly…