Dragon dreams
*

Warnings/notes: implied Kaiba/BEWD, implied Kaiba/Kisara, ooc?

Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh.

written at 6th september 2008, by Misura. For wolfalice, who actually wanted more woman and less dragon.
**********

On bad nights, Kaiba remembered the sound of ripped paper, the sensation as it gave way under his hands, easily and lightly; tearing up the card had taken no effort at all, and barely a wink of time - a flash of anger, a whisper of pride and as quickly as that, there were only three Blue Eyes White Dragons left in the world, and all of them were his.

He wasn't sure if that made it worse or better. In time (a part of him murmured) he could have gotten the fourth card. Yuugi's grandfather was an old man; stubborn as older people were and in his youth, perhaps, he had been a worthy opponent (like Yuugi was) but as he was now, he was weak.

Kaiba had worn down better men (and women) than Suguroku Mutoh. He'd learnt how to be patient, wait for an opponent to make the first mistake and then strike. In this world, money and power were enough to get you almost anything, and Kaiba possessed plenty of both. More: he'd known exactly how much he'd been willing to offer for the card (almost anything) - how far he was willing to go in order to be able to call it his (to almost any length).

It had been a long time since he'd let his temper get the better of him, and even if it was tempting to blame Yuugi and his friends for it, deep down inside, Kaiba knew the fault had been his.

Looking at his three Blue Eyes (the only three that remained now), Kaiba felt as if they were silently accusing him. They'd served him well, over the years - had, in a way, brought him where he was today - and he'd repaid them by destroying the last dragon he'd needed to complete his set.

Kaiba didn't believe in the Heart of the Cards, as Yuugi did, but he believed in his Blue Eyes.

It was a long time before he was able to sleep that night, and when he did, the three cards were still clutched in his hands, like amulets to guard against bad dreams.

*

Back in the orphanage, there had been a book of Western faerietales. It had held little interest for Kaiba (he'd been Seto then, of course) but Mokuba had been nearly obsessed with it for all of two weeks.

There were stories about all kinds of creatures in the book, some of them nice and some of them not so nice. In the stories that had dragons in them, the dragons were always the villains. They stole cattle, kidnapped princesses and jealously hoarded their treasures against anyone who wanted to steal it. (How they'd gotten the treasure in the first place was never explained to Kaiba's satisfaction; the hoard of valuables seemed to come with being a dragon.) By the end of the story, the dragon had generally died, either because the hero of the story had outsmarted him or because the hero had simply gotten lucky while fighting him. Kaiba couldn't help but feel most faerietales had rather unrealistic endings to them. It seemed to him that in most cases, the dragon ought to have won.

When he grew up, Kaiba resolved to become like a dragon. He'd become strong enough to do whatever he pleased, make people fear him and dilligently guard what was his. (He'd skip the kidnapping of a princess though; there didn't seem to be that many around in Japan and anyway, girls had cooties and were icky.)

*

The next morning he woke up still holding the cards. To his relief, they hadn't been damaged - apparently, he'd barely moved in his sleep. He was still annoyed at his own carelessness in not putting them back in their proper place, in protective sleeves though; especially after what he'd done, he felt he should have been more careful with them. They weren't toys or plushies - they were Blue Eyes, and they deserved to be treated with the respect owed them.

He showered, dressed and made breakfast for himself and Mokuba. By the time Mokuba had come downstairs and was sleepily stirring his cereals, Kaiba had taken out the cards again. He kept them in their sleeves, telling himself they would offer sufficient protection even if he were to drop them or spill coffee on them, neither of which was very likely.

Mokuba seemed not to notice - or pretended he didn't. The drawing he'd made of a Blue Eyes years ago was still lying in a drawer of Kaiba's desk, rarely looked at nowadays but never forgotten.

Kaiba stared at the cards and wondered if he ought to call Pegasus, perhaps plead with him to draw a new card, a new portrait of the last Blue Eyes. Kaiba had no particular liking for Pegasus, and he disliked the idea of asking the man for a favor - still, it might be worth it.

*

Gozaburo had reminded Kaiba of the nastier dragons from the faerietales. He was greedy, selfish, cruel and didn't seem to care about anyone but himself and his pride. During their first meeting and for a while after that, Kaiba had thought he'd be able to admire those characteristics, that he just needed some time to get used to living in a normal house again (inasfar as the term could be applied to the Kaiba mansion), some time to get used to the idea of Gozaburo as his guardian.

He'd been wrong.

Eventually, Kaiba realized that Gozaburo had no intention of guarding either him or Mokuba; they were mere objects to him, possessions that were to be put to good use or else discarded, kept somewhere out of sight. If Gozaburo was the dragon, Kaiba and Mokuba were cattle - not even kidnapped princesses or treasures. Unless Kaiba did something, Gozaburo would eventually end up devouring him.

Mokuba was too young to do anyting, but he was there, and he listened to Kaiba, and he drew for him a picture of a dragon as a dragon should be, strong, with ice-cold eyes and the power to annihilate anything and anyone that stood in his way.

Kaiba slept with the drawing under his pillow and dreamt of dragons and a woman with long, blue hair and pale skin. At the time, he assumed she was his mother.

*

In the end, Kaiba decided against calling Pegasus. There was a certain embarrassment in having to admit he'd torn up a card that was important to him in a fit of temper, and Pegasus was not a person Kaiba wanted to reveal that kind of weakness to.

The idea of apologizing to either Yuugi or his grandfather was insufferable - to Mokuba, Kaiba might have spoken the words sincerely, but Mokuba wasn't involved in any way, unless one counted the dreams Kaiba still had on occasion, about dragons and a young woman (a little older than he was now, he judged) who rescued him and Mokuba from something in the darkness.

In the dream, there had never been more than three dragons. Kaiba didn't think of himself as superstitious; he didn't believe in dreams having some sort of hidden meaning, yet in this one case, the explanation for there being only three dragons instead of the four he knew there to be seemed to be fairly obvious: Kaiba had never owned all four dragons. Only the dragons that were his showed up in his dreams - this much seemed logical enough to Kaiba.

The three dragons were his because he owned their cards; Mokuba was his by blood and because Kaiba was willing to die for him and the young woman was ... a mystery. She wasn't his mother, Kaiba knew now. He'd seen pictures of his mother. She was nobody he knew or had ever met, which was a relief in a way, because dreaming about some strange girl seemed a bit tacky to Kaiba, even if he was old enough to know girls didn't all have cooties.

*

Once he'd decided to defeat Gozaburo, Kaiba knew he had to settle on a strategy. He could try to beat Goaburo at his own game, by being even more ruthless and calculating than Gozaburo himself was, or he could become like one of the heroes in the faerietales.

Gozaburo was old - old enough to have a lot more experience at being what he was than Kaiba could hope to acquire in a few months. The teachers Gozaburo had provided Kaiba with were skilled, but they only taught Kaiba what Gozaburo told them to teach him. Even if he'd been able to win their support, Kaiba knew they'd never be able to help him become better than Gozaburo. They themselves didn't have that kind of ability, and the best they could teach Kaiba was nowhere near Gozaburo's level.

To even consider facing Gozaburo heads on, like an equal and a rival and, eventually, a victorious successor would be an act of foolishness, and Kaiba had never been foolish.

He'd always done rather well using the element of surprise and doing the unexpected, though.

*

On the second night after he'd torn the fourth Blue Eyes, Kaiba woke up a few minutes past midnight. He remembered dreaming of dragons again, although this time, the young woman had not been there.

Mokuba hadn't seemed to notice, chattering about going to an amusementpark and having icecream for breakfast, but Kaiba had felt something was wrong, that someone was missing. He'd been about to ask Mokuba about it when one of the dragons had lowered its head and knocked him over, at which point he'd woken up.

As far as dreams went, Kaiba supposed it was a fairly standard one. Silly, nonsensical and utterly without meaning. Just his subconscious, alerting him to the fact he was still unsettled about his fault two days ago. Nothing Kaiba hadn't known already.

He was about to go back to sleep (hopefully without dreaming this time) when the doorbell rang.

At this time of night, Kaiba couldn't imagine who could think there'd still be anyone left awake to open the door. The notion of it being someone with sinister intentions came and went; would-be evildoers had no reason to ring the doorbell, and if they'd managed to get past the guards and the security-system, they'd have no trouble getting past the frontdoor. (It was a big 'if', considering - Kaiba'd made very sure the Kaiba mansion was as secure as was humanly and technically possible.)

Thus, the person in question had to be someone the guards had allowed to pass.

(Thus, it occured to Kaiba as he walked down the stairs in his pajamas, it was likely he'd only dreamt the sound of the doorbell, as only he and Mokuba were allowed to come and go as they pleased.)

He still opened the door though.

And there she was.

~the end~