Daylight stole around the edges of the window's heavy curtains, but he didn't care.

In the bathroom, it was still dark, that dim ring of light just visible from the other side of the room. The blackness of the room was like a velvet cloak, wrapping and caressing him like no one else, like nothing else could.


It was such an acute sense. How can you lose your sense of touch, he wondered. He could feel the softness of the dark, comforting in its ability to blur the lines and create sameness amongst any objects. He could feel the cold porcelain of the sink, just warming beneath his hands. There was the heavy silence that seemed to be pressing his lungs paper-thin, and there were beads of perspiration that left icy trails against his cheeks and back.

And yet, he hadn't felt this coming.

He stripped his pants off and stepped into the shower. He navigated solely by instinct. It was a new experience, to be so in the dark and know it. Before, he had always assumed that he knew all the answers, that he had everything fit in the palm of his hand. How could he have been so mistaken? He was just as much in the dark then as he was now. The only difference was his newfound acute awareness of his condition.

The shower cooled him, relieved some of the tension from his shoulders, relaxing the stiffened muscles. He turned the tap off, the rivulets of water still trailing down his back, his long legs. A pause, then the towel which hung by his right hand. He quickly dried himself, unable to relish the rich thickness of the cotton towel.

He wrapped he towel around his waist, stepped out of the shower. The darkness had lessened a little, or perhaps he had become more used to it. Possibly even both. He went back to the sink and unbidden the moment replayed in his mind.

She had come up to him, so warm, so soft. Her skin simply begged for his hands. And yet, as she had run her nails down his back, pressed her lips to the skin beneath the angle of his jaw, he hadn't felt anything. It was as though his body was paralyzed, his nerve endings deadened, crippled. Him, a cripple. He stood there, feeling nothing but slightly disinterested, waiting.

It wasn't until she had gathered her things and left that his nerves had re-awoken, remembering the look she had given him before she walked out the door. Anger. Loathing. Shame for her own actions, and strangest of all, pity. Pity for him and his icy soul.

It shouldn't matter now, but it did. It shouldn't wound him so, but here it was, grief that gaped like an open wound. Nothing should have happened this way, but it did. He bent over the sink, choked with the sobs that racked his body. For the first time in years, like a savage hunger aroused, emotions ripped through his slender frame. Real anger, that burned hot and bright. Remorse that smoldered, but twice as hot as any flame. And desire. He had to get everything back. He had to bring her back.

Seto Kaiba stopped crying, and instead, began to smile.