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Domino Pier

Something white is caught up in the breeze and catches Kaiba's attention. His hand reacts before his mind does, and he snatches the object from its midair path. It's a strip of cloth, and it takes a moment for Kaiba to attach any meaning to it -- for him to remember the bandage wrapped around Shizuka's eyes. When he does remember, he moves to toss it back to the wind.

"It's Shizuka! She's got the key!"

Mokuba's anxious voice makes him stop. He looks up, startled. Shizuka is airborne, slicing through the air. Kaiba's eyes widen; in the corner of his vision he sees Honda still in the water and Yugi soaked and coughing next to a worried Anzu. Mokuba is frozen mid-stride. Everyone is riveted to Shizuka as she dives into the ocean, the key to her brother's survival glinting in her hand.

Kaiba can't understand why time has suddenly paused -- why he can't turn away. All he can see is Shizuka's face, framed by her auburn hair. He is struck by the girl's face; Shizuka's expression shows no fear. Her eyes are wide open as she hits the water.

It's strange, but in that moment he sees Shizuka -- not diving into the water, but standing on bright sand. Above her the blue-eyes white dragon is riding the wind, its shadow eclipsing the sun. The great dragon opens his mouth and releases a stream of blue energy. Shizuka's eyes are still locked in a gaze of determination, but instead of water, she's gazing up at the fury of his fiercest monster.

Kaiba shuts his eyes tightly and shakes his head. When he looks again, he sees only Yugi and his friends huddled on the docks, waiting for the water to surrender Jonouchi and Shizuka. He dismisses the vision like all the other visions he's seen.

There is no doubt in Seto's mind that the siblings will be safe. Unconcerned, he turns his back to the opera playing out on the docks. He knows the coda by heart now and would leave if not for his brother.

Except... the gauze of the bandage is soft in his hands. The wind pulls at the bandage, but now he closes it in his fist.

"Seto!" Mokuba is running towards him, smiling. Kaiba stuffs the bandage in his trench coat pocket before facing his little brother. "Oh Seto, they're all okay! I'm glad this duel turned out all right in the end."

A grunt is Kaiba's answer.

"Are you ready to go home, big brother?"

A sharp nod, and they start walking side by side to the limo Kaiba called down to the docks. They haven't gone far when Kaiba stops suddenly. Mokuba pauses too, a questioning look on his face. Behind them, Jonouchi and Shizuka are affirming their bond. Their voices, thick with emotion, carry across the pier. Kaiba shudders.

She's the mutt's sister. It's a simple thing to forget her fierce eyes; to forget her determined gaze. It's simple to forget the memento in his pocket.

So he does.