That bitter, loaded silence had entered the inches between them, as Seto sat back, seething.
Yami only stared down at his boot cast, running his good hand over the straps, before he finally answered, quietly, "Your death would solve nothing. And I wouldn't wish what I've endured on anybody. Not even you, Seto."
Seto narrowed his eyes in suspicion, and bit out, "Why not? Because I wouldn't have suffered enough?"
Yami lifted his wrist brace, and seemed to study it with an odd intensity for a moment before he lowered it to rest on his good knee.
"Because making you suffer does nothing to end mine. Breaking your bones won't heal mine any faster. No amount of your guilt can force my forgiveness, any more than my wishful thinking can turn back time. The events over these last few months has been hell…for both of us." Yami said, wearily.
"Only I'm responsible for both. Don't tell me you've forgotten that." Seto snapped.
"I'll never forget that." Yami nearly snarled, as Seto finally allowed himself to slump a bit in relief. He preferred the far more familiar theme of Yami's well-deserved hatred and simple dismissal of him being a bastard far more than this tortured introspection. What did Yami possibly have to gain by rehashing Seto's searingly obvious guilt?
"Neither will I. Not that it's worth anything." Yami merely raised an eyebrow in mild surprise, but remained silent, and left his agreement unspoken.
Seto inwardly sighed as he gave a longing glance to the clock. The hour had already passed, and yet there was no end in sight. He debated briefly getting a tech to take him back to his room, but rejected it just as quickly.
What was the point? This was yet another endless circle that would always tighten the noose a bit more. How many times had he rehashed regrets, in his own head, in group therapy, with his little brother, in the silence when he stared at the gray walls….and it didn't make any difference.
Seto was damn sick of the whole thing. Seeing Yami melt into his martyr's pose was almost too much.
Distance, absolution, a miracle that could turn back time. One damn decision to stay sober on that horrific night. Some sort of balm that Seto could snatch from heaven, sprinkle on this situation, and dissolve all wounds, and erase all memories. If Seto could have offered it to Yami, he would have. The regret that had been a dull ache in his gut suddenly clenched, and erupted into bitterly cleansing anger.
"What in the hell is wrong with you?!" Seto suddenly exploded.
Yami's features twisted, as Seto shot from his chair.
"I nearly killed you. I broke your bones, sent you to the hospital, wrecked your health, and all because I acted like a selfish, thoughtless bastard! Don't you dare act like a damn martyr about this! Don't you f-ing dare!"
"A martyr has a choice." Yami snapped. "A martyr chooses to suffer for something noble, Seto, something higher and better and far more worthy than simply being the victim of a drunk driver."
Yami exhaled a sharp breath. "A martyr forgives the one who injures them."
"And…" Yami raised those seething eyes to Seto, as he softly snarled, "A martyr dies."
It took all of Seto's considerable self-control not to tremble more than he already was. His voice was as frayed as a taut noose as he whispered, hoarsely.
"I know how close I came to killing you." He shook his head. "I know that I've wrecked my life, and that even after I leave here, I'll forever be branded as the bastard who almost did away with Yami Moto. I know that there are several people who are disappointed that I didn't die in the wreck. I'll spend a lifetime doing penance for this one brutal act. I'll never be forgiven, or absolved from this. And it doesn't matter if anybody else remembers what I did, Yami, because I'll know."
He gave Yami a brittle smirk, and a chuckle that sounded like breaking glass. "Did you really think I'd be free of this just because I'll be leaving rehab?"
Yami raised an eyebrow.
"Given the fact that you avoided a jail sentence, I would think that you'd be grateful for the mercy of a second chance."
"You think I've gotten a second chance? As I've said, I'll never be forgiven for this. When I leave here, I'll just be trading one prison for another." Seto retorted bitterly.
"What do you think it would have done to Mokuba if you had killed yourself in the wreck? I would hope that you would consider rehab to be a better outcome than the grave. What sort of legacy would you leave him then?"
Seto glared at him, his eyes suspiciously bright for a moment before his hand shot up and he scrubbed his fingers furiously against his eyelids.
Yami leaned back. "Considering all possible outcomes, you could have killed us both."
"Maybe you can take some solace in knowing that I'll be living with that knowledge every day for the rest of my life. Is any of this making you feel better?" Seto asked, quietly.
Yami folded his good arm over the sling, with a dismissing shake of his head. "I've spent the last few months relearning how to walk, and use my hand, Seto. I've been preoccupied with far more than how you feel about this situation."
"You certainly seem preoccupied with it now." Seto answered, curtly. Yami glanced at the clock, and scowled to see the time. Hoisting himself to his feet, he ignored Seto's barely concealed relief to have the interrogation over with.
After arranging his crutch to accommodate his weight,Yami turned to look at him. Seto was slumped over the table, fingers uneasily clutching the sleeves of his sweat shirt, clearly waiting to be set free.
Seto's eyes slid towards his, pensive and waiting.
Yami paused, as he clenched the fingers in his good hand into a fist.
"As I have said before, no amount of guilt and regret will change what you've done to me. When I was laying in that hospital bed, when I was undergoing surgery, or waiting to recover, I had a lot of time to think about what would happen when I saw you again."
Seto grimaced. "And?"
"There is one thing that you can do for me."
"And that would be?"
Yami's bitter smile curled as he waved his good hand over the concrete walls. "Get sober, and do whatever you have to do to make sure you never put another person through the hell I've lived through."
Yami ignored Seto's huge eyes as he rose to hobble out of the room without looking back.