Disclaimer: None of 'em are mine, yatta-yatta etc.
Warning: Implied Seto/Jou (Puppyship); angst and general melancholy.
Claimer: Detective Kane is my brainchild. No stealing!



Maybe I should have known.

It shouldn't have been news to me.

I knew for the whole time that I would always end up backseat, second best. It was enough, for a while though. I could convince myself I didn't care, that everything was all right as long as we were together.

He was all I wanted, and all I thought I needed.

I was foolish – stupid of me to cut the bonds that had supported me for so long just to be with him. I don't think I'll ever forget their faces when I told them I was leaving for good.

C'mon baby – talk to me!

I just didn't tell them where I was going.

I don't think I could have taken the looks, the surprise and loathing. Loathing tinged with awe and a twisted sense of pride, but loathing nonetheless.

I'm strong. I'm just not that strong.

So, I took the coward's way out. I left, without a backwards glance, without anything to remind me of what had been before.

Say something –

I thought I was in heaven. Maybe he wasn't around as often as I wanted, but it hardly seemed to matter. Between paperwork and infrequent bouts of sleeping, I had my time with him.

Maybe if it had just been the two of us, it could have been enough. But it wasn't just the two of us.

The inquisitive slate eyes that followed us everywhere – they belonged to the Number One Priority.

Not me.

Never me.

Don't do this to me…

When Number One Priority decided to hang out with the wrong sort – my old sort – of course something went wrong. It always does when I'm concerned.

The two of us were together when he got the call.

Then he couldn't get away from me fast enough.

There was no fire in his eyes when he left. Just a dead, empty nothingness.

I've seen that look too many times. I never thought he would have it.

Please, don't leave me.

Maybe it was red.

The phone might have gone off.

It probably did.

There weren't any other cars around.

No one crashes into a tree that far off the road by mistake.


Maybe I should have known.

It shouldn't have been news to me.

Backseat is a familiar view for me. After all, I never did come first.

When the sniping comments start up though, I already know what I'll be saying.

It doesn't take much to shake an unstable mind off track.

I wasn't his anchor.

I just pretended I could be.

His real anchor – Number One Priority – died in a hospital maybe five minutes before he went.

"Come on, son. You can't stay here. The police have an investigation to work."

When the young man didn't even acknowledge his presence, Detective Kane frowned.

"I'm serious. You need to move."

Still no answer.

"I don't want to have to force you – " he began.

The young man's head snapped up, and Kane tensed automatically, as any officer was trained to do at sudden movement.

"We have to investigate this accident –"

"It wasn't an accident." The young man's voice was harsh with suppressed tears.

Kane nodded slightly. "Do you have information on this, then?"

A choked bark of laughter greeted his words. "Call it whatever you want. He's dead because his brother died."

"Do you have any sort of proof of that?"

Apparently, the young man wasn't listening. Kane watched the young man's gaze return to the wrecked carcass that had once been a sports car.

Almost too soft to hear, he caught the words, "I wasn't enough to hold him here."

Then the young man stumbled off.

Kane watched him go, and then turned back to the work at hand. Even testimony from one obviously mentally aggravated young man wasn't going to make much of a difference.

"No skid marks!" one of the other officers called to him.

Kane nodded and set about checking the rest of the perimeter.

"Good morning, honey."

Kane smiled and brushed his lips against his wife's.

"Breakfast is on the table."

He nodded and snagged the paper from the kitchen counter on his way into the dining room.

The front page was the news story about the death of the CEO of KaibaCorp. He flipped past that, intent on the sports section. After all, he'd covered the investigation; whatever a crack journalist had to say was hardly going to skew his perception of it.

One picture caught his attention about midway through the paper. It was a grainy shot, not very well done and he hadn't seen that face with a smile on it before but still…unmistakable as the young man he'd seen yesterday.

The article was short, just a brief summary the suicide of a once known duelist.

Kane stared at the picture for a while longer, then turned the page.

Maybe the kid had been mentally unstable.

But there was still a nagging sense in the back of his mind that there had been something to read in his behavior the day before.

Maybe I should have known.