Disclaimer: The creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! is Kazuki Takahashi. Not I.

Warning 1: Thou shall not steal. Plagiarism is a dastardly deed. Thank you.

Warning 2: No beta reader. Apologies for everything wrong in this short story. This one-shot follows the English dub of the anime and the Americanized names.

Warning 3: Serenity Wheeler is one of my favorite YGO! characters, so it pains me to admit that she may be out of character in this piece. (But, perhaps, that is a good thing in light of the category that this is labelled?)

Timeline: Four to five years after episode 107, "Mechanical Mayhem - Part 2"

Italics and 'words' are Serenity's thoughts.

To the Sound of Bells

By Jan J. (or P.J.P.), Little Sister's Keepress

"Shh, sis," Joey Wheeler comforted the girl who was clinging tightly to his prone figure on the hospital bed. "Please stop your crying."

Startled by his voice, Serenity Wheeler ceased her weeping as she whipped up her head to gaze at her brother. Tears decorated her flustered face like dew on a peach colored morning glory.

"Oh, Joey!" she exclaimed. "I'm so sorry!"

"Serenity, you didn't do this to me," Joey gently admonished her, "so trash the tears. I hate it when I hear you sobbing."

"But I wasn't there," she continued as if under a spell. "Maybe I could have prevented it. Maybe it could have been me instead . . ."

"No, don't think like that, sis!" Joey begged as he frenetically felt around the jumbled sheet for her smooth hands to squeeze them reassuringly. "You already had to go through an operation, remember? I wouldn't let you unnecessarily go through that a second time if I had anything to do with it."

Serenity did not answer. She did not feel the blond's panicked grasp on her arms. She could not peer into familiar, welcoming caramel eyes. She just remained huddled against Joey in utter desolation.

Look at me. I'm nothing. I can't even stay strong for my big brother. He doesn't deserve my tears. He doesn't deserve this.

Slipping away from Joey's protective clasp, Serenity stood up and threaded her fingers through his rumpled bangs. Joey caught her arm and slowly lowered it down.

"Geez, it's not like I'm dying. I would die before I see you die, you know," he weakly grinned.

"I know," she murmured softly. "That's why I'll always love you, big brother."

Serenity bent down and kissed him lightly on his bandaged temple.

"Now get some rest," she advised.

'I've been too much of a disturbance for you,' the auburn-haired girl sadly thought as she walked away.

She just couldn't take it. Their words clanged in her mind. Words. They hurt so much.

"I'm sorry, my dear . . .Blind for the rest of his life . . .Operation was a failure . . Impossible to regain his sight without further complications. . . "

How could she tell Joey?

Doctors, she realized, really didn't care. They were stupid. If they truly wanted to help people, then why did they do it for money? Then again, they were mortal—human. Money was mortal, too.

'That's odd. I wanted to be in medicine,' Serenity thought as she furiously scrubbed the dampness off her face.

She didn't know what she wanted to do—to be—now. Her faith in the medical field was dead. She didn't feel this way when she thought that she was going to be blind forever. But now it was Joey. She deserved his suffering.

She silently scurried over to her brother's room and poked her head in the doorway. Joey' chest was rising up and down as he slumbered away—unaware and unconscious—from Serenity's perspective. She entered his domain and gingerly leaned against the bed's metal frame. Gradually, she slid down to the sterile floor with her back to the metal layer.

Joey had always been there for her; he was always present when it mattered. He was there when she was losing the light in her eyes. He was there in the heavens—the rafters—when she was dueling, drowning, in Noah's virtual world. He was there to pick her up when she stayed late in the university's laboratory. Joey was too good of a brother to ever forget about her.

I was never there when it mattered. I don't matter.

I was never there when he joined a gang.

One of Joey's pals would have probably saved him, anyway, at the docks if I didn't step in.

I came too late when he collapsed in the midst of the real Marik during that awful Shadow Game.

I wasn't even there when this happened to him!

Scrutinizing the still form on the bed, Serenity stiffly stated, "You're always protecting me."

She jumped up; her stature loomed over the patient's position. Maybe there was a way to always protect Joey.

Serenity focused on his face. Sighs were emitted from his mouth while his hands twitched. Hugging his hand to her heart, she whispered, " I have to go. But I promise you, big brother, I'll always be watching over you."

She pressed a swift kiss to his cheek and calmly departed from the room.

Shifting a bit as he sat up, Joey sleepily shook his head. He stretched out his arms forward but frowned when they did not meet a warm presence.

"Serenity?" he mumbled worriedly.

Tea, Tristan, and Yugi had not even noticed when she slipped away from the waiting room. Serenity supposed that it was because of how incredibly late the hour was. Yugi and Tea had drifted asleep on the heavily pillowed chairs. However, Tristan was ogling at the available choices in the snack machine. They all had wanted to be there when Joey's operation was complete.

It was extremely dark at this time. Her only hope was that what she was about to do would not anger the boss, the man with the power. She hoped it would not ruin her chances—Joey's chances.

Serenity stared down at the inky obscurity from her perch. Shadows of ripples danced before her eyes.

She could hear frantic footsteps approaching her location, but that somehow didn't bother her.

The local clock chimed out the hour.

She let go of the railing.

She couldn't wait to be a guardian angel.