Title: Colors of the Soul
Author: Crimson Eyed Dragon
Pairing: Mentions of Marik/Yami
Rating: R (to be safe)
Warnings: Language, mentions of rape
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh
Summary: It's been three years since anyone has seen Yami and when the Kaibas' find him, even Seto's best efforts to heal this broken spirit may not be enough.
Dragon: A few important things. First – if you haven't read Colors of the Mind I highly suggest that you do. If you don't, you will have no clue as to what is going on in this story and how Yami got to the state he is in. Second – there are NO active pairings in this story. I know, weird to see that from me huh? So no prideshipping people! Although, since I know the way my friends think….feel free to 'see' it as prideshipping if you want. Third – This is the second installment of the Colors series. In order to keep this story as real and lifelike as possible…. nothing will be a quick fix. So expect two more stories in this series.
Italics denotes flashbacks
Gray eyes lazily looked over the endless white walls of the waiting area as Mokuba fought off another yawn that threatened to make itself known. Shifting his notebook from one hand to the other, he leaned against the wall, choosing to stand rather than sit as he waited for his assigned counselor to come and get him. He was a little nervous about starting this part of his college major, he wasn't quite sure he was going to be able to handle mentally ill patients. Unfortunately, it was one of the requirements of his business psychology course.
At the beginning of his nineteenth birthday, Mokuba had decided that he would like to take courses in the psychology part of the business world to better help him deal with his employees at Kaiba Corp. He knew that one day he would be taking it over, which didn't bother him, but he also knew that in today's world, stress was a big factor in how well your employees worked and performed and it would only get worse as the years and hardships of life progressed. So having some knowledge in the subject was sure to come in handy.
But that wasn't the reason he was standing in the sterile, white hallway of the New Beginnings Psychiatric Home located outside the busy city of San Francisco, California. No, coming to the States had been his own choice, one his older brother Seto had not been happy with.
Seto had been almost livid at the thought of him wanting to move to a whole other country when there was perfectly good universities for him to go to in Japan. But Mokuba wanted a chance to have some freedom, a chance to do things on his own, make choices on his own without his older brother's constant worry if he was making the right ones or not. And the only way to affectively do that was move thousands of miles away.
Plus his English had improved ten fold.
He smiled to himself. He didn't regret his move; on the contrary, he believed it was the best decision he had ever made. But he did miss his friends and his brother, not to mention the constant security that he would never be alone as long as he had his brother. That had been one thing that had worried him more than anything else. The likelihood that he wouldn't make friends here - would not have fit in since he was a foreigner - weighed heavily on his mind. But something kept telling him to come here and try to make it. It was almost as if there was a voice in the air calling him, pleading with him to make this trip.
So packing his bags, he headed off to California. And now at the age of twenty-one he was still here and loving every moment of it.
Gray eyes shifted to look at the small woman that stood before him. Her brown hair was pulled back into a ponytail; small tendrils of hair were lose and framing her face. Wearing black slacks and a deep purple blouse, she looked every bit of a professional at seemingly age of early thirties. Keeping eye contact with her soft looking chocolate ones, he held out his unoccupied hand in greeting.
"Yes, I'm Mokuba Kaiba."
Her smile was pleasant as she shook his hand. "My name is Dr. Hodge. I'll be the one to conduct your training while you are with us."
Nodding his head, Mokuba began to follow her down the hall. His observant eyes watched every patient, every worker, and every detail of the building as they passed by. That was something that stemmed from his brother – know your surroundings at all times. Everything was a potential target, a potential threat, and if you don't realize it, you could pay the price. A lesson he's never forgotten.
"My professor didn't tell me exactly what I would be doing."
"He didn't?" Dr. Hodge tilted her head to the side, brown eyes looking up at him. Even though he was a few inches shorter than Seto, he was still taller than most men his age. "Well then let me explain. Today, you will be sitting in on a group therapy session. You won't be required to do anything today other than just observe. After that, the next time you come, I'll put you in on some one-on-one sessions; get to know how things go around here. Then we'll see about letting you handle a session on your own, with me observing you."
Again he nodded his head. Seemed simple enough he guessed. Observing wasn't so bad. He could just sit back and look on as they talked about all their problems. Hell he had mental baggage of his own, so he shouldn't be totally clueless as to what others were going through.
Mokuba soon found himself entering a room that reminded him of a grade school classroom. Green industrial carpet, tacky multicolored plastic chairs all in a circle – few of them already filled with people – a few windows lined with green curtains, pulled back to allow the Californian sun to shine through. He followed her to the supposed 'head' of the circle and sat down in the seat she had pointed out for him.
Sitting down beside him, she crossed her legs and looked at him. "The others will be here shortly, in the mean time why don't I introduce you and tell you a bit about why they are here."
His eyes flicked to the five people before him, noting one four females and one male.
"Everyone here is suffering from PTSD, with or without depression."
"Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder?"
"Yes," she nodded. "Something happened to each of them and mentally they couldn't handle it. Julie," she pointed out a shy looking red head off to her right, "Was raped by her father…."
Mokuba listened intently as the woman gave brief life histories on the members of the group, making him inwardly shudder at some of the things he heard. And he suddenly was happy that what had happened to his brother - when they were in the care of Gozabura - had never affected him like this as he looked at their faces.
Emotions ranging from suspicious, fright, wariness, anger, guilt, and more shown clear as day and Mokuba had to wonder how some of them were able to function at all. And he was beginning to wonder if he, or anyone for that matter, would be able to help these people.
He silently watched as several more walked in and take their seats in the circle, trying his best to remember everything that Dr. Hodge was telling him.
"Ah, I see Yami finally decided to show up."
Mokuba's head snapped towards the door when he heard the name the doctor had said, eyes narrowing at the sight of a male older than him, wearing a gray long sleeved t-shirt and matching gray jogging pants despite the hot Californian temperature. His hands and neck were tanned, but his face was shadowed by long jet-black locks.
Yami. He shook his head. No there was no way that this was the same Yami he knew years ago. The once spirit of the puzzle that his brother had dueled against, the same on that had shattered Seto's heart, the same one that he, Mokuba, had made friends with – eventually calling him family. After all, this guy had long straight black hair and walked like he was nothing more than a slave instead of the righteous Pharaoh Mokuba knew.
But… last he had heard, Yami did live here in America, the same State that he was in now. But still…..
He watched with the utmost scrutiny as the male took his seat across the circle from him. He wanted so much to look into his face, but this Yami kept his head down, black hair falling around him, shrouding his features.
Just hearing that name brought back unwanted memories. How long had it been since he had last seen the spirit of the puzzle? How long had it been since he had seen his now dead friend Yugi? Both had been inseparable, always around each other, offering to support each other no matter what. Well that was until Yami had started dating Marik. Then they seemed to drift apart, only to get worse when he and Marik had moved away to the United States.
And then it happened. Yugi had saved up all his money from working extra hours at the Game Shop just so he could go visit his other when it seemed Yami wasn't responding to him anymore. So off he went, with high hopes of seeing his yami but he never returned. And he could still remember that day, three years ago when Jou showed up at his door….
"What the hell are you doing here Mutt?"
Mokuba rolled his eyes as he turned the corner to see his older brother standing like an imposing wall in the doorway, glaring at Jou. Peaking around the stiff body, he furrowed his eyebrows at the sight of his friend. He had never seen Jou look so….broken before; red-rimmed eyes, hair messier than usual, clothes looking like they had been slept in for days.
"I wanted to speak to Mokuba and well you too, Kaiba. Even though I'm not sure you'll care about what I have to say." Jou replied, for once not bothering to make a snide remark when it came to his usual offending nickname.
Ever the more tactful Kaiba, Mokuba placed a hand on his brother's arm, effectively silencing him, then turned to Jou. "Something wrong Jou?"
Running a hand through his mop of blonde hair, Jou nods his head. "May I come in? This is not something I think you want to hear out on the front door steps."
With a glare, Seto stepped out of the way, allowing the blonde to enter the immaculate mansion, and started walking back towards the sitting room, not bothering to wait for the other two to follow him.
Once seated, Mokuba beside his brother on the couch and Jou on the loveseat, Jou looked briefly at Kaiba before he turned to Mokuba. "I'm afraid I have some really bad news…" he stopped, looking suddenly like he was going to break.
"Jou?" Mokuba asked, concern and panic laced in his voice.
With a sigh, amber eyes looked away from pleading gray. "Jii-chan, Mr. Mutou, received a call a couple of days ago from California. The same place Yugi went to check on Yami."
Mokuba nodded his head as his brother seemed to stiffen just slightly beside him.
"It was the police. They…" Jou swallowed, adverting his eyes. "They wanted him to come to the states to identify Yugi's body."
Amber eyes looked back into wide, disbelieving gray before he looked over to see narrowed sapphire ones looking at him with something akin to venom, as if he was waiting for the sick punch line. "The San Francisco PD responded to a call at Yami's and Marik's house. When they got there they found both of Yugi and Marik dead. Marik was in the bedroom and Yugi…" Jou stopped, choking on his next words. "Yugi was found in Yami's arms."
"What about Yami?" Seto's voice was low and steady as if he was asking about nothing more than the weather.
Mokuba glanced wide-eyed at his brother, clearly seeing through the hard mask Seto was wearing. Years ago Seto and Yami had put aside their rivalry when the truth about their ancient past was revealed. Finding out that the young pharaoh had been his cousin, and a close one at that, Seto had taken Yami in as another one of his family. Well, that is until Marik had come into the picture.
Jou sighed, stood up and began to pace the floor in front of the two Kaiba brothers, one hand raking through his messy blonde locks. "That I'm not completely sure of. I know he's alive but other than that I have no clue."
"What do you mean you have no clue?" Seto's voice now had taken on a steely edge to it. "How could you not know?"
"Don't you think I tried to find out? But since I'm not family they wouldn't tell me a damn thing. And Jii-chan isn't talking about it. He's the only one that knows how and where Yami is."
"What do you mean?"
"After he confirmed the bodies of Marik and Yugi, they asked him if he wanted to see his other grandson. And he said 'I have no other grandson' and out the door we went."
Seto and Mokuba both stared at him in shock while Jou continued to pace the floor, clearly aggravated about what had happened. "He won't talk about what the police told him. I don't even know how they died or what happened other than they were killed and that Yami is or was still alive. I know he was at the hospital but other than that I have no clue."
"I'll find out."
Mokuba watched with tears in his eyes as Seto walked out of the living room and back towards his office. He vaguely heard Jou talking about the date set for the funeral, his mind too worried, numb –shocked- to really process anything at that moment….
But Seto had never been able to find out. Obviously Jii-chan was determined not to let anyone get to Yami or find out about him for the records had all disappeared, vanished like they never existed in the first place. Even a trip to the hospital that he had supposedly been at turned up futile.
Everyone expected him to show up at his hikari's funeral, but when it was over and there was still no sign of him, it sent mixed emotions throughout the rest of the gang. Everyone just knew that he had either caused Yugi's death or that he didn't care. Jii-chan's reaction to the whole thing seemed to fuel their thoughts, and to this day, they said Yami's name like it was some kind of sin.
The only ones that didn't believe that Yami had anything to do with the small duelist's death, other than him and Seto, was Ryou and Bakura. Both of them holding steadfast to the belief that Yami would never hurt, much less kill the other half of his soul.
Needless to say, this caused a huge rift between the once tight group. Let another reason why he chose to go to school in another country. He couldn't stand all the bitter feelings between them all.
"Now that everyone is here, I would like to introduce you all to a psychology student that will be spending time with us over the next few weeks. Everyone, say hello to Mokuba Kaiba."
Gray eyes watched intently as the black haired boy slowly raised his head. Mokuba's eyes went impossibly wide; his heart seemed to stop as his breath caught in his throat when dull, hollow crimson eyes looked back at him.
Dragon: Jii-chan has his reasons for acting like he is which will be explained much, much later, along with the gang's reactions.