The Darkness Within

By LuckyLadybug

Notes: The YGO characters aren't mine, the story (including the idea of the Doom Reborn organization) and the other characters are, and much friendship cuteness and such abounds!

It was amazing how long one could fall. And yet, in reality, it wouldn't really take very much time. It was just that for those about to die in such a horrible way, it seemed to be both an endless drop and a quick, hopefully painless end.

He gazed up blankly at the sky as he descended, his glazed gray eyes yet filled with many conflicting emotions—sorrow, anger, relief, self-hatred. . . . It was over, the nightmare was over, but he was leaving so much chaos behind him. . . . His friends would be upset . . . no, they were upset. . . . He could hear them calling to him, wanting desperately to help him but knowing they were helpless to do so.

His crimson bangs fluttered about in the breeze, partially obscuring his already-clouded vision. He knew he was falling unconscious from the force of the electrocuting blasts, but that was all the better. He wouldn't feel the impact. Though . . . how could it be more painful than what he had already gone through in his short life? He had seen the horrors of war . . . he had lost his family and everyone who had been important to him . . . and his heart had died. Only recently had he allowed himself to revive it and to care about others again. Before, he had been too afraid of the pain . . . of how much he would hurt if he grew to care for people and they then died. . . . And now, he was the one dying.

The stone's dark energies had taken possession of his mind when he had been cut by a jagged part of it. He had struggled so hard, fighting against the darkness . . . the anger . . . the hatred that still existed deep in his heart and which had been unleashed. He had gone insane, though all the while he had still been fighting, trying to break free. . . . And finally, during the life-and-death duel he had forced his friends into, he had succeeded. But it had been too late for him. He had surrendered the duel, knowing that he would die. But he would rather die himself than to allow his friends to perish.

"I'm sorry. . . . This wasn't what I wanted. . . . I didn't want it to end this way."

That was what he had told them right before he had been struck by the punishing electricity. He had seen the alarm in their eyes . . . the horror. . . . He hadn't even had a chance to scream in pain before he forcefully toppled off the edge.

I hurt you both. . . . He knew he had. His friends had understood that the stone had poisoned him, but that didn't mean that his actions hadn't caused them pain. And now he wouldn't see them again. He would miss them, he knew. After finally opening his heart to their friendship, and even before, he had cared about them, though he didn't often speak of it in words. He showed that he cared by his actions.

He would miss Raphael and his steadfast loyalty. The older man hadn't given up on his friend throughout all of this agony. Raphael had always treated the other two like brothers and had believed that the darkness would be shattered. The blonde man seemed to be a strong, firm rock of determination, and serious. They had always gotten along quite well. Some thought that they were similar because of their quiet personalities, but really, they were different. While Raphael was more calm and collected, he also seemed more determined to focus on the present and the future. His dying friend had a tendancy to dwell on the past, he knew, and he sometimes could be a bit mentally unstable, though only if he was driven to it over a long period of time. He could take things very well, but eventually he would just snap. Then he was dangerous. Raphael wasn't like that, he didn't think. Though . . . if pushed, he could become very angry.

He would miss Valon as well. The boy seemed to have boundless energy. It made him dizzy at times, watching the Australian, and they could rarely get along since their personalities clashed so badly, but still . . . they were friends, in their own strange way. When he had fallen over the edge, Valon had run forward, trying to grab him and almost falling himself. Raphael had quickly pulled him back. He had seen that vaguely before his vision had clouded over. Strange, he thought, that you would risk your life for me . . . when you always claimed that you were only out for yourself. It seems you truly have changed. Though . . . we all have.

Just as the blanket of oblivion completely settled over him, he became aware of the flapping of large wings. An angel? he mused to himself. He had never believed that angels literally had wings. Maybe his ears were just playing tricks on him. It was probably a bird of some kind. . . . As he continued to fall, he suddenly felt himself being received into firm, welcoming arms. He thought he could make out a female face in his failing vision. When he tried to think of who it could be, only one possibility came to his mind. "Mama?" he whispered, going limp.