Disclaimer: I don't own Yugioh or any good poetry (meaning Silverstein).

A/N: Back again and have finished all my weekend homework, yay. Thanks to Landi McClellan, crystal ice614 and Trikki (sorry) for reviewing. Hope you enjoy!



(Subtitled,Reunion and several phone calls)


Listen to the NEVER HAVEs,

Then listen close to me.

Anything can happen, child,

ANYTHING can be.

--Shel Silverstein


For the second time in as many days, Tea found herself wondering if something they had fought for was worth the trouble after all.

"Only during visiting hours," the nurse informed them sternly. "That means you have to leave at six and you can't come back until two tomorrow."

"Yes, ma'am!" Joey saluted her, and the corners of her mouth quivered in an almost-smile.

"No more than three visitors at a time."

The boys glanced at each other. "Who's gonna make Grandpa leave?" Tristan muttered.

The nurse heard him. "Mr. Moto fell asleep a few hours ago. We managed to convince him to go home, shower and rest. Everyone needs to, you know." She was met with enthusiastic nods all around. "You are not to touch him."

Joey shifted the Millennium Puzzle uneasily but said nothing.

"Talk to him."

Tea, who had been hanging back for most of the conversation, looked up sharply. "He can hear us?"

"Quite possibly. Let him know you're there, but keep it down. Be prepared for anything you may see in there. He probably won't respond. Are you sure you can handle this?"

Both boys' backs stiffened almost imperceptibly. Tea grabbed their arms to stop them doing anything rash.

The nurse surveyed their grim faces and once again almost smiled. "Well, get in there."

Joey and Tea obeyed; Tristan spun around just outside the door. "Will Mr. Moto be back at six? I need to tell him something . . . "

Tea didn't hear the nurse's answer. Once within Yugi's hospital room, all sound seemed to be shut out. There was barely enough room for two beds and three people, but the second bed was unoccupied, and they made use of that. Joey took the one seat by Yugi's bed, seemingly unsurprised to see his best friend so frail and vulnerable. Tea caught a glimpse of his face as he turned to set the Puzzle on the small bedside table, his eyes dark with anger and worry.

She herself settled on the empty bed, knowing she should not be so shocked at the sight of Yugi so still, with tubes snaking in and around his body. She had seen him, after all, in the helicopter; but maybe it was the sort of thing you never got used to.

Tristan shut the door behind him when he came in and perched of the far end of her bed, looking distinctly uncomfortable.

"Hey, buddy," Joey was saying in a low voice. "Guess what I brought? Your Millennium Puzzle. You gotta get well soon so's you can tell us why you left it behind. And so that the Pharaoh can kill you. An' I've got your deck here." He drew it out of his pocket and laid it gently next to the Puzzle. "Your Kuriboh's really somethin', you know that? I'd almost swear he's human . . . "

When Joey finally stopped talking, Tristan picked it up. "You'll never guess who's offered to pay your hospital bills. No, actually, you're probably the only one who would think of him . . ."

The first words out of Tea's mouth when her turn came were, "I'm sorry . . .

Taking turns, laughing, crying, interrupting, they talked for the whole four hours.


"Earth to Joey!" Standing outside the hospital doors, Tea waved her phone in Joey's face. "It's for you."

"Oh, no!" Joey stared at the cell phone in horror. "The last time someone else's phone was for me, it was . . . not a pleasant experience."

"Joey," Tea said impatiently, "that was me. And this – "

"And me," Tristan put in.

"And," Joey pointed out darkly, "you were both the bearers of very bad news."

"It's your sister!" Tea yelled and shoved the phone at him.

Stupefied, Joey took it. "Serenity?"

"Joey!" Yes, that was his sister all right. "I left you, like, fifteen messages and you never called back!"

"Sorry, haven't been home."

"So where are you? Are you alright? I get a very disturbing phone call from Tristan Taylor and then no-one ever calls me back – "

"Tea said she'd call you."

"A day later! And she says you've gone off again and then I get absolutely no news for like three entire days – "Suddenly her voice took on a softer tone. "I was worried about you, Joey."

Joey smiled to himself. Whatever the circumstances, it was good to hear his sister's voice. "No need, Serenity. I'm okay." He yawned. "Maybe a little tired."

"You're always tired.," Serenity said, amused. "So are you back yet?"


"In Domino?"


"So why didn't you call? When did you get in?"

"About one o'clock this morning."

"You should have called," she accused.

Joey groaned. "Alright, alright, I'm sorry! I shoulda called." When arguing with women, he had learned through experience, the only way to end it was complete capitulation. Particularly with Serenity. Or Tea. Or Mai. Or – any of them.

"So why didn't you?" his sister asked.

"I didn't think. I was busy. And sleep deprived. Pacing a hallway takes a lot of concentration, you know."

Serenity said fondly, "Joey, you're an idiot."

Joey felt a grin spread over his face, the first real one since Cintya had quit the duel. "Thanks, I love you too."

"So how's Yugi?"

It was crazy how fast a smile could disappear, taking with it the bottom of his stomach. "Not good. He hasn't woken up. In days."

"I know it's been days." Serenity sighed. "Oh, Joey. I'm sorry." She was silent for a moment; Joey knew she was thinking of the gift Yugi had once given her.

"If you see him . . . " she began hesitantly.


"Tomorrow. Could you tell him . . . tell him I can see the buttons on the telephone. And the trees outside. And the stupid news on TV. Tell him I am so, so grateful."

Around the lump in his throat, Joey managed to say, "Sure, sis. I'll tell him."


"Seto!" Cintya called as the person in question hurried through his outer office. "Phone."

"I'm busy," he said absently. "Take down the number." He shouldn't have to tell her this, he thought, opening the door to his private office and setting his briefcase on the desk. Cintya was a quick learner. After only one day on the job, she knew the ins and outs of the office better than any of the previous secretaries.

He looked up, startled, as she slammed a piece of paper onto his desk. "It's eight in the morning," she said, entirely too cheerful for that hour. "You can't be in the middle of anything. Call."

"Is that an order, ma'am?" Seto inquired with what he considered to be biting sarcasm.

"Yes," Cintya said, unfazed. She was used to him, Seto mused. And he was already used to her as well . . . To his own surprise, he picked up his phone, squinted at her neat handwriting, and began to dial. He glanced up at her as he put the phone to his ear, as if to say, see what you made me do?

She smirked at him and shut the door behind her. Seto sat down, vaguely disgruntled that he had let her bully him, but also strangely pleased.

"Hello?" said the voice on the other end.

"Seto Kaiba," Seto said brusquely. I know that voice . . . He peered at the paper Cintya had given him. "You called, Michael?" He had all but forgotten about the man who had freed Mokuba.

"Yeah," Michael said, "and I'll make it quick. I just wanted to thank you for taking care of my sister."

Seto puzzled over this for a moment, then dicided to be frank. "I don't even know you had a sister."

He heard Michael let out a startled laugh. "I guess I never really introduced myself. Michael Kabat."

"Kabat," Seto repeated dumbly. "You and Cintya . . . "

"That's her. We have our father's last name. Mother Dearest kept her own."

"You're Cintya's brother?"

"Didn't I just say that?"

"Not in so many words." Seto's brain was starting to work again. "So you're all three of you related?"

"A happy little family," Michael said dryly. "My father died when I was fifteen. Cintya was five."

"I thought you were an employee," Seto said honestly.

Michael chuckled. "My mother certainly treated me like one. I had been living in America for a time. My criminal knowledge was of more use to her than the fact that I was her son."

"Why did you come back?"

"When your twelve-year-old sister calls you, crying, and begs you to come home because she's afraid of your mother . . . " Michael's voice trailed off. "Well, what would you do?"

Seto stared aimlessly at the frosted glass of his office door, hearing Cintya's laugh ring out from the other side. "I'd do whatever it took to keep her safe," he answered quietly.

"I knew I could count on you." Michael sounded satisfied. "I'm going back to America now. Very good betting pool on the Yankees."

"I didn't hear that."

"Thanks. And thanks again for taking care of my sister."

Seto fingered the card locket around his neck. "We're even. You took care of my brother."


Five-thirty in the afternoon. Tristan had gone for food – real food, not hospital crap – and Tea had inexplicably fallen asleep, leaving Joey essentially alone with the sleeping Yugi. Whatever the doctors had him on kept him still and quiet; he looked as though he were merely sleeping. Still, Joey couldn't help but wonder if Yugi always looked so vulnerable when he slept.

He thought back to countless sleepovers, adventures, times he had woken Yugi out of a sound sleep. Times they had both nodded off in the back row of British Lit. Strange that he could not remember Yugi ever being like this.

Joey felt that he should be using this time to say something, something special, something that would bring Yugi back to them. He waited for words to come, miraculously, from above.

Nothing happened.

Dropping his head into his hands, Joey stared dully at the floor. Unfortunately, said floor was boring. The thoughts in his head were not; but they mostly concerned worry, fear, anger, vague panic, and a fierce protectiveness. That last was largely pointless, since illness was obviously not something one could be protected from, and the whole mess of emotions was not something Joey wanted to examine, now or ever.

"Yug," he started, both to get his mind off itself and to say something before Tristan returned.

He babbled inanely for a few moments about Serenity's call, which he had already mentioned; about the crazieness of females in general; about how good a duelist that Cintya really was. He fell silent when Tea yawned and turned over on the spare bed without waking up. He looked at her, then down at his hands, then at Yugi again.

"You gotta pull through this, buddy," he said with an unusual quiet intensity, "'cause if you don't . . . I dunno what I'll do."

There it was: the truth.

A minute later, Tristan bustled in, dropping a McDonald's bag into his lap and grumbling, "Man, next time you're standing in that line . . . "

Joey automatically reached for a fry. Somehow, he didn't think the food had anything to do with the fact that he no longer felt quite so empty.


Tea had only been awake long enough to make a face at the sheer amount of food the boys were scarfing down when a doctor and several medical students entered the room in a flutter of papers and rustle of scrubs. It was a tight fit; Joey and Tristan promptly scrambled for the nearest wall. Tea remained on the empty bed away from the crush of people, hoping they wouldn't be kicked out. Not that this was a barrel of fun or anything, but she knew perfectly well that if she had been anywhere else, she would be wishing to be here.

The doctor – dark-haired, whose name Tea ought to have remembered but didn't – was busily consulting the chart at the foot of Yugi's bed and checking the output of the heart monitor and various other instruments. He pointed to something on the chart and said, "Looks good, doesn't it?"

The students nodded importantly. Tea's heart leapt; Joey caught her eye and grinned in relief.

"What about that?" a girl at the front of the group asked, pointing at the heart monitor.

"Ah, yes, that we should be worried about," the doctor said.

"Say what?" Joey demanded.

The doctor spoke to his students as though the three agitated teenagers were not there. "The stress of the illness has put a strain on his heart."

Tea looked at the monitor. She had become so used to the incessant beeping that she hadn't noticed when it had gotten erratic.

She paid no more attention to the doctor's words; the intense expressions on Joey's and Tristan's faces told her that they, at least, were listening. Tea couldn't think. A thin blanket of panic separated each thought from the next.


They had been kicked out into the hallway.

Tristan leaned against the wall, tapping out an irritable rhythm with his knuckles. He looked first to Joey, who was pacing a very short stretch of floor and probably making himself dizzy, then to Tea, who looked back at him from next to Yugi's door with wide eyes.

The anonymous doctor hadn't even gotten a chance to leave before a high-pitched whine had pierced the room. Seconds later, yet more hospital staff had crowded in, shoving the three of them out in the process. That had been exactly seven minutes ago; Tristan was keeping time.

The sliding of the elevator doors caught their attention. Grandpa Moto started down the hall, saw them standing there, and froze. Joey got to him first and related the story in a very quick monologue. When Mr. Moto looked at him in confusion, Tea clarified without moving, ending with, "And now we have no idea what's happening, and – "

She broke off with a yelp as the old man unceremoniously relieved her of the position by his grandson's door. And then there were four people waiting anxiously for news.


Joey thought he was going to go mad. The silence was terrible. Awful. It made him want to scream. In a hospital. So he must be going crazy.

"Totally, completely loony," he muttered, jerking around to pace the other way. He was saved the trouble of explaining why he was talking to himself when the door to Yugi's room swung open, nearly hitting him on the nose.

A severely miffed Grandpa Moto extricated himself from behind said door, and all four watched in silence as medical personnel began to file out. The kind nurse, the one who had let them in the day before, noticed them and smiled. "It's all right," she said, speaking to Yugi's grandfather but including the teenagers in her gaze. "Would you like to speak privately, Mr. Moto . . . ?"

"Let them hear," the old man said impatiently, waving a hand. "Just tell me."

"As you wish. We had a bit of a crisis, but it's fine and his heart is beating normally now. I'd expect him to wake up within the next twenty-four hours or so. We'll keep a close eye on him for a few days, but . . . I think it's safe to say you can breathe again."

Joey heard sighs of relief from all around him. He felt light-headed. Until just now, he had not noticed how very tight his chest had been.

Ten blurry, happy minutes later, he, Tristan and Tea were once again standing by the doors of the lobby while Grandpa stayed with Yugi. This time, sun was screaming through the windows. The light bounced off Tea's hair as Tristan spun her around for no particular reason, other than that Yugi was okay and they were finally free of worry. Joey waited until her feet touched the ground, then took his turn. When she put her down, she stumbled away, laughing.

"Guys! You made me dizzy."

"You're always dizzy," Tristan said.

Tea shoved him as Joey chuckled and yawned. "I think I'm gonna go to sleep."

Both Tea and Tristan seemed to find this incredibly funny. "It's not even six," Tea pointed out.

"You forget that I am highly skilled at fallin' asleep in the middle of the day."

"Meaning," Tristan said, "during class."

"'S an art," Joey said solemnly. "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Tomorrow," Tristan repeated, grinning.

Tea giggled. "Tomorrow."


Two weeks later

"And that," Cintya said grandly, "brings you down to 300 life points. Give up?"

"No way." Yugi studied his cards and the table, the Millennium Puzzle safe around his neck once more. He smiled slightly as he listened to what the Pharaoh had to say.

Tea was sitting next to Cintya in the booth at Burger Palace. "Watch it," she told the older girl. "Yugi's got a knack for winning when you least expect it."

"That's okay," Cintya said. "So do I."

Joey and Tristan were peering at Yugi's hand from the booth behind him. Joey grinned smugly at Cintya, who made a face at him and pulled her vibrating cell phone from her hip pocket. Tristan looked rather confused.

"Hello?" Cintya answered her phone. "Yes, Seto, I mailed Mr. Anderson the proposal . . . No, I changed the wording a bit to make it more diplomatic . . . you'll thank me later. I'm dueling Yugi . . . what do you mean, Yugi who? . . . Why are we dueling?" She glanced around at the others.

"Because it's completely pointless," Joey suggested.

Cintya laughed. "Joey says, 'because it's completely pointless,'" she repeated into the phone. "I think it's a perfectly good reason . . . you should try it sometime. C'mon, you and I can duel Yugi and Joey . . . fun, you dolt. Oh!" Her eyes went wide. "Well, you're certainly the master of the quick subject change . . . yes, I'd love to go out for dinner tomorrow night." She caught Tea's gaze; the other girl yelped and clapped both hands over her mouth. "Wow, I – alright, bye." She snapped her phone shut. "I think he's embarrassed."

"Congratulations!" Tea squealed. "You know, I think you're the first person he's ever asked out . . . "

"He'll probably end up calling it a business dinner," Cintya said, laughing self-consciously.

"I," Tristan interjected, "don't see how this is a good thing."

"He's very good-looking," Tea said staunchly.

"You're good for him, Cintya," Yugi remarked, laying down a series of cards. "Oh, and by the way" – he slipped a final trap into place – "I attack."

Flustered, Cintya studied the table, considered her hand, and gracefully conceded defeat.

"Tough luck," Tea said sympathetically.

Cintya shrugged. "It's okay. I can always try again."



Finally! The monster (for me) fic is done! Yesssssss!

On a calmer note, this marks the end of my probably last Yugioh fanfic. Sorry anime fans, but I'm emphatically not an otaku. Sadly, Yugioh is losing its appeal for me. I may do a couple oneshots (Seto needs some romance), but that'll be about it. I shall be devoting myself in the future to Harry Potter and possibly the Lord of the Rings. So Sayonara, and make me happy – you know how!