Christmas Lullaby

God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

The sound of the doorbell surprised them. Yusei got up and went to see who it was. He hoped it wasn't Jack's secretary or Director Godwin. He and Jack had agreed that it would be nice to spend the first few hours of Christmas alone, and he might have to hurt anyone who got in the way of that.

He pressed a button on the viewer by the door and Crow's face appeared on the screen. Yusei's irritation left immediately. They could always make an exception for Crow.

Though how he'd gotten to Neo Domino was a mystery.

"Hey, Yusei, is this a bad time?" Crow asked. He must have seen Yusei's original annoyance.

"Of course not. You're always welcome," Yusei said.

"Great. I have a surprise for you guys. Can I come up?"

Yusei nodded and pressed another button that would open the doors to the complex below. Crow flashed him a grin and disappeared from the screen.

Yusei turned off the screen and walked back over to the couch. Jack looked up at him, a half opened present still in his lap.

"He's got a surprise, huh?" Jack snorted and rolled his eyes. "You know what kind of trouble his surprises usually bring."

"He's family, and his surprises aren't always that bad."

There was knocking at the door. Yusei turned around to answer it, since he was already up.

Crow grinned when the door opened. "Hey, Yusei! Happy Christmas!"

Yusei didn't say anything. His attention was fixed on the person standing behind Crow.

"They're not usually that bad, huh?" Jack commented from the couch. He must have moved so he could see the door as well.

Yusei suddenly grabbed Crow, dragged him inside, and shut the door. "What is Kiryu doing here?" Yusei demanded before Crow could protest.

Crow frown. "I was about to explain that. Or, actually, I was going to let him explain it."

Yusei shook his head in disbelief. Crow had been there; he knew Kiryu was a Dark Signer. He knew the hatred Kiryu had for them know. Yusei couldn't imagine why Crow was still alive, in fact.

"Can I let him in?" Crow asked. "I swear, he won't try to kill you."

Yusei glanced at Jack. Jack's expression was grim, but he nodded. Crow nodded too and opened that door.

"I'm sorry, Yusei," Kiryu said as soon as the door opened. "I deserved that."

"Why are you here?" Yusei asked.

"I...came back to myself, I guess." Kiryu shrugged uncomfortably. "I woke up wandering around Satellite, near our old hangout. I don't remember how I got there. Crow found me while he was headed back to your place."

Yusei nodded, waiting for more. That explained why Kiryu looked normal—his eyes were white and gold again and the dark red Marker on his cheek was gone—but not why he was here.

"I wanted to spend Christmas with you guys," Kiryu added, giving them a nervous smile, "like we used to. Just the four of us. I brought presents."

"I thought you wanted to kill us," Jack said.

Kiryu looked away. "I know. I do—but I don't at the same time," he added hastily when Yusei flinched. "I know what I did was wrong. I deserved to be put away. But I know I'm a Dark Signer, and I still feel rage and hatred from that. But I don't have to act on those feelings, not while I'm like this."

Kiryu suddenly reached out and grabbed Yusei's hands, giving him the look, the one that had made Yusei follow him for a year. "I swear, Yusei. I don't want to hurt any of you. I can feel when my Dark Signer self starts taking over, and I'll leave before I can hurt you."

Yusei glanced at Crow and Jack. Jack looked just as disbelieving as he felt. Crow looked completely comfortable around Kiryu. And Crow seemed to trust him enough to think it would be okay to bring him here.

Crow has a soft spot for Kiryu; he always has, a voice spoke up in his head.

And I've always had a soft spot for Jack, Yusei thought back. And they both betrayed us, and I forgave Jack.

"It would be nice to spend Christmas together again," Yusei finally said, giving Kiryu a faint smile.

Kiryu gave him a wide smile back. "Thank you, Yusei! I know I don't deserve it."

"Consider it my present to you," Yusei said. He glanced at Crow and jerked a thumb back at the tree. "You have a couple under the tree from me and Jack."

"Sweet!" Crow ran over to the tree and dropped to his knees so he could look.

"Right, presents!" Kiryu swung a bag off his back and pulled it open. "Here's yours," he said, set a box in Yusei's hands. "And here's Jack's..."

Yusei almost didn't want to open the box. It wasn't because he thought it might be harmful; their Kiryu wouldn't do something like that. It was because it was almost too good to be true, and if he opened the box, he would lose his proof that Kiryu could be saved.

Except that when it came to Christmas, he was still a child at heart. And he was too curious for his own good.

Yusei walked back over to the couch and sat next to Jack. Jack didn't seem to notice; he was too involved in opening his own present. Kiryu had sat next to Crow on the floor and was helping him tear the paper off a large box.

Yusei smiled and started opening his present. He'd missed this. Having Kiryu here with them again was the best present of all.