Yu-Gi-Oh! and all its characters, are the legal and intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi and any entities he has granted legal rights to. I claim no rights at all with my story. I greatly admire Mr. Takahashi for the amazing story and characters of Yu-Gi-Oh!
Dr. Peter Hrœfen stared at the slight boy in the chair across the desk from him. "You're kidding. This 'dragon' he's been going on about makes sense to you?"
Yugi shifted uncomfortably. It's not like he had a whole lot of choice about being here. He was one of the unwilling primaries of the Seto Kaiba freak out show on the roof of the school this morning. His whole class witnessed the bizarre scene as Kaiba took a theatrical backward step onto the railing overlooking the grounds below, and commanded Yugi to either forfeit the duel or take his life. The weird thing was they weren't dueling. They were taking atmospheric measurements and observation notes for their science class.
Kaiba completely ignored their teacher's command to get down before he fell. It was as if the teacher weren't even there. Finally, Joey and Tristan wrestled Kaiba off the railing, conking him on the head in the process, and knocking him out. That was when the school nurse had been summoned. After a while, an ambulance arrived to cart Seto to the hospital. Before the school day was over, Yugi had been summoned to the school office to find an unwelcome note which is what brought him here -- sitting in the office of the hospital doctor who was now taking care of Kaiba, since Seto's worst problems weren't caused by the blow to his head.
"Yeah, well, it was about a year ago. We do play Duel Monsters at my school and I guess I'm pretty good. My grandfather owns a gaming store after all, so I have access to a lot more cards than most other kids. And Grandpa likes to duel so I probably play more than most other kids, too." Yugi looked up to see the doctor nodding at him. Encouraged by the doctor's neutral, receptive expression, he went on.
"So, after sneering about it for a while, Kaiba finally got bit by the dueling bug, I guess. He started playing with us. For some reason, he zeroed in on me pretty quick and seemed to make it his goal to beat me."
"What happened?" the doctor asked.
"I'm not mean, well, I don't try to be, but I don't hold back either. I've been playing longer than Kaiba and have access to better cards, so I have a better deck." Yugi shrugged. "I beat him. He'd challenge me again, I'd beat him again. This went on for a few months or so."
"Hmm? What happened to change that?"
"He challenged me again. He was raving about how it was important to his new 'duel imaging technology' company that he win against me."
"Ah, is this the 'Kaiba Corporation' he was telling me about?"
"Could be. I never asked. The duel was going about how they usually did with him, until he pulled out a card."
"Was it a particularly good card?"
Yugi tossed a lopsided smile at the doctor. "It would have been if it had been real. It was a Blue-Eyes White Dragon. Probably the most powerful monster in the game."
"It wasn't a real card?"
"Heck, no!" Yugi grinned, remembering the card. It looked like a little kid had drawn it. He supposed, if one were kind, the blue blob sort of looked like a dragon – if dragons could have stick-wings. What struck Yugi as the most humorous was that Kaiba had honestly thought that Yugi would be intimidated by his fake card. Frankly, from the way he'd been acting, you'd think Kaiba had played a real Blue-Eyes, instead of a crudely-drawn fake. "It wasn't even a good attempt at a fake. After that, I refused to duel him anymore. No one else ever really dueled with him, since Kaiba's not really a nice person. He would always get insulting whenever he dueled against my friend, Joey."
"Hmmm." The doctor consulted the notes on his desk, before looking up and taking an unnervingly-long, assessing look at the boy in front of him. "What is that around your neck? Is that this 'Millennium Puzzle' Seto's mentioned?"
"Yeah. Would you like to see it?" Yugi asked, reaching up to lift the cord over his head.
"Sure," Yugi handed it across the desk into the doctor's hands.
"It's light," Dr. Hrœfen commented.
"Papier-mâché. It's for the school play we are putting on in a few weeks," Yugi explained.
"Oh? What is the play about?" The doctor handed the puzzle back to Yugi, who slipped the cord back over his head to settle the prop back in place on his chest.
"It's set in ancient Egypt from when they were still building the pyramids and such. Tristan wrote this short story that the teacher really liked, so she decided we'd do it for our class play. Tristan's really into science fiction and wild conspiracy theories, so it's got aliens and magic and... Well, it's got a bit of everything. I got cast as the pharaoh, so that's why I have this 'puzzle' I hafta wear during the play," Yugi explained, lifting the prop up. "I came here right after rehearsal."
"I see," the doctor scribbled something in his notes. "What character did Seto get assigned, if any?"
"Oh, he's kinda-sorta a bad guy. He's trying to take my throne away from me," Yugi squirmed. "In the play, that is. Since I'm the pharaoh. He got cast as Seth, one of the pharaoh's high priests, and something like a wizard, too."
"Uh, huh. So, in the play, he's your enemy?"
"Not really. He winds up being a good guy in the end. He's not the main villain."
"Hmmm." The doctor made a final series of scribbles in his notes, then closed the book.
"Thank you, Yugi, for coming over after school to talk with me. It's certainly useful to understand what Seto Kaiba has been doing in school to try to figure out how to help him now," the doctor stood and shook Yugi's hand.
"Is he going to be okay? Will he be coming back to school?" Yugi asked with a touch of worry.
"I can't discuss that with you, but I'm certain we will be able to help Seto," the doctor told him unemotionally.
"Uhm, okay, then. I guess I'll be going home then," Yugi turned and left the office at the doctor's nod.
He recognized the man in the business suit as Seto's father, only because he recognized Seto's little brother, Mokuba, sitting next to him. Both had worry in their eyes. Yugi caught Mokuba's attention and smiled at him before leaving. Seto's little brother wasn't a bad sort at all. Mokuba didn't smile back, but the strain eased a bit from his face.
"Mr. Kaiba, is it okay for your youngest son to be here? We will be discussing some rather delicate issues," Dr. Hrœfen asked as his nurse ushered them in.
"He's mature for his age," Gozaburo Kaiba countered. "And he's concerned for his big brother. Will we be able to take Seto home with us?"
"That remains to be seen. I'm still conducting my basic evaluation," the doctor neatly avoided answering the question directly. "I have a few questions for you, about that." The doctor picked up and aligned a small pile by tapping the bottom edges of the papers twice against his desk. No stranger to human nature, and easily recognizing the discomfort behind the delaying tactic, Gozaburo sighed.
"I understand it's not an easy situation. My boy's got problems and..."
"This will be easier and help Seto quicker if you can remain detached from the questions I need to ask," Dr. Hrœfen agreed.
"What has Seto been telling you?" Gozaburo sighed heavily again.
"Has anything happened in the past year or so to make Seto – hate you?"
Despite his attempt to brace for any question, Gozaburo still rocked back at that.
"Hate?" he asked wonderingly. "Does Seto really hate me?"
"He thinks he does," the doctor temporized.
"In the past year... Seto was highly upset when I wouldn't buy him a certain card for that game he's always playing. I try to provide everything for my boys, but there are limits. It would have drained his college fund if I had bought him that card," Mr. Kaiba explained.
"Hmm. So, you're not the CEO of a major corporation, and as rich as Midas?" the doctor asked, glancing at his notes.
"Good heavens, no! I'm middle management for a big company, but nowhere near any sort of leadership tier, much less the CEO! Rich? It takes pretty much all I have just to provide for Seto and Mokuba, here." Mr. Kaiba put his hand on top of Mokuba's head. "We'd take better vacations if I were rich!" he claimed, smiling down at his son.
"Hmmm." Again the doctor made a note in his pad. "So, neither of your children were – adopted?"
Gozaburo Kaiba just shook his head in disbelief, staring at the doctor. "We aren't going to be taking Seto home with us, will we?" he asked dully.
Dr. Hrœfen glanced down at Mokuba, then back up into Gozaburo's eyes, permitting the man to read the answer there.
"Now, Mokuba – I understand you like to draw?" the doctor turned his attention to the younger Kaiba.
"This is about the card I drew for Seto, isn't it?" Mokuba glared up at the doctor. Both of Dr. Hrœfen's eyebrows lifted at Mokuba's challenge. And his intelligence.
"Yes, yes it is. Can you tell me about it?"
"Seto saw the card once, at the game shop run by Yugi's grandfather. There are only four Blue-Eyes White Dragon cards in the entire world. Three of them are held by the world champion duelist. The last one is for sale at Yugi's grandfather's shop. Seto wanted that card more than anything. There's no way dad could ever get it for him, so, I drew one for him. I thought, even if it wasn't all that good, it might be good enough for Seto. He'd have the card he really, really wanted, even if it was just one drawn by me."
"I see. So you care for Seto very much?"
"Yes. He's my big brother," Mokuba stated, as if that was all that was needed.
The doctor nodded. "Well, Mokuba, your big brother is ill. But, with your help, and your dad's help, and love from both of you, I'm sure he can get well again."
"What level of care is my boy going to need?" Gozaburo asked. "I can work overtime to pay for..."
My trench coat flares impressively as I stalk down the corridor. That stupid Pegasus thinks he has me cornered, only because he holds Mokuba as his prisoner. Well, not for long. I didn't become the CEO of a major corporation, no the major corporation in the world, my corporation, Kaiba Corporation, by bowing down to intimidation from anyone. If Gozaburo Kaiba wasn't enough to break me, Pegasus doesn't stand a ghost of a chance.
I left Yugi, my rival, on his knees, crying outside. I'm not above using underhanded tactics to get my way. Pegasus has no idea who he's up against. He thinks he can break me, just because he has Mokuba? Not for long. I swear, I'll save my little brother and make that pompous, foppish idiot pay for touching him in the first place.
Dr. Hrœfen couldn't quite make out what part of his elaborate fantasy his patient was currently enacting from the way Seto was pacing. Seeing that the young man had been properly restrained with a straight jacket, he opened the door and entered the room.
"Pegasus!" Seto growled at him. "It's about time you showed your cowardly face. Let my brother go. This is between you and me!"
Yugi walked toward home, the rooms above the game shop his grandfather owned, after his meeting with Seto's doctor. His shoulders were back, his spine was straight and his carriage proud. He strutted.
One hand stroked gently across the inverted papier-mâché pyramid that hung around his neck.
"So, Yugi, do you like the penalty I imposed upon Seto Kaiba for losing that Shadow Game to me? Playing such an obvious fake as that ridiculous Blue-Eyes – he deserves his insanity! Mwa-ha-ha!"
I'm not intending in any sort of way to trivialize mental illness with this story. I'm certain the interview process with a doctor about a patient would be a lot more thorough and a lot more serious than what I've written. (Confession time – I just wanted to put Seto in a straight jacket instead of that trench coat o' doom he likes to wear!)
Reviews, comments and constructive criticisms are always welcome! Please feel free to PM me if you see something awkward that needs to be clarified or fixed. I need all the help I can get.