Disclaimer: I do not own 5D's, nor the Yu-Gi-Oh franchise. They belong to Takahashi-sensei and various corporations (including Konami and, hated of hated-s, 4Kids). This is simply a fan related work.

Length: 1000 words exactly.

Warnings: K+ for some 'mature' themes (death, kissing). Alternately, could be considered necrophilia. On two counts.


"Fortune Lady Earthy, direct attack."

Five words to seal a fate. Her right arm itched uncomfortably, Ascila Piscu displeased by the outcome, but Carly was beyond caring. In silence she dismounted her D-Wheel, watching violet flames dance and leap. It was easier to look at them. Her eyes, dimmed by sadness and a premature death, flickered across to the still white body laid facedown in the dust. Blond hair, streaked with the man's own blood.

I never meant to hurt you, Jack… He would understand. He had to. Carly removed her helmet, shaking her head to dislodge the nagging guilt. Dark hair danced around her like a halo. Could evil's servant have a halo, or was the innocence out of her reach now? None of that mattered. She had Jack again, and this time he would not walk away from her. Wouldn't make a promise he could never keep, wouldn't leave her behind with a broken heart and memories that would never let alone.

The helmet fell from her hands, bouncing on the ground with a dull, hollow thunk.

Walk, don't run, don't betray to yourself the anxiousness you feel over being with him again, on the same side, with the same goals. No running, not now. She had a lifetime to spend with him. Her boots were uncomfortable, and she was convinced that their unfamiliarity made each step last much longer than it should.

Jack, her heartbeat murmured, Jack, Jack, Jack.

With the force of that last attack, and the impact with the ground, his visor had shattered completely. Carly gathered him in her arms, promising herself she wouldn't cry. Gently she tugged the white-and-purple helmet away, careful not to hurt him (how foolish). The streaks of blood were even more prominent now she could see his face; tenderly she stroked his brow, locating a thin gash just below his hairline; her fingertips were stained with a crimson sheen. If she ignored the wide eyes, staring blankly, accusingly, open, dead, she could almost pretend he was sleeping.

He hadn't turned to dust, the fate that awaited the loser. That was proof, right there, proof that this fate was meant to be. In truth, it wasn't known what happened to a defeated Signer; only those bearing the birthmark of a Dark Signer, and within a proper geoglyph, would wither away.

She lowered her head and kissed him. (Wasn't it supposed to be the other round, the prince waking a sleeping princess? She almost giggled at the errant thought.) His lips were still warm, and just as she had imagined them – slightly chafed, rough against her own – though in her daydreams he had always been kissing back.

Hesitantly, scarcely daring to hope, she drew back and stared into his eyes. They remained empty. Dead, dead, dead. Carly whispered a denial, screwing hers shut, and pressed her lips against his again. Five seconds. Ten seconds. Her hand found his and curled around it. He couldn't be… but she had…

Sclera stayed stubbornly white. Something within her broke, as though the God's invisible wing had drawn away and left her to face the truth. Harsh mocking laughter rang like a peal of bells, pitches different, sounded simultaneously in a raucous cacophony.

"You promised," she said, though she couldn't tell whether she addressed the dead man in her arms or her God. "You…"

Did you think you could save him, little vessel?When she was duelling, Ascila Piscu would whisper in her ears, driving her further into the darkness like a child with a toy, breaking it through overuse. She could deal with that, with the bloodthirsty crooning echoing around her skull and withering all shreds of remorse, guilt, shame; it was the personality outside of battle that scared her. Mocking, cynical, it crept into her deepest hopes and fears and throwing them into sharp relief. Worst, the Earthbound God preyed on her feelings by speaking to her with Jack's voice. Think you could turn him to your will, like a puppet? Humans are so weak, so… selfish.

"You… promised…" Carly's chest felt like it was caught in a vice, and an unseen tormentor was slowly tightening it around her. She was caught in a nightmare. Yes. That was it. This was all just some terrible dream that the God had trapped her in, trying to throw her convictions into disarray. Just another mind game, and she was losing.

There was a strange lump under Jack's clothing, around the area of his heart. Against the backdrop of Ascila Piscu's rumbling laughter, Carly slipped trembling fingers beneath the white. Funny that. Black against white… her yin to his yang. Dark Signer against Signer. Bent metal, cool glass, a jagged edge that swiped across her thumb, and reflexively she curled around the object. Carefully she withdrew her hand. There, in the centre of her palm, glittered the familiar weight of her glasses.

Each trying to save the other and neither succeeding. This … This wasn't a dream; her subconscious could never insert a detail like that.

She knelt there in the dust, cradling his body in shaking arms. Her God continued to laugh. Was she truly selfish? Had she sacrificed all she valued in the pursuit a happiness that could never be? Yes. She had, and that was unforgivable.

Couldn't his colour spread and redeem her too? White and black made grey, varying shades but still flat, dull, a middle ground.

Carly Nagisa, once an aspiring reporter, now a murderess, lowered her head and cried for them both…

She jolted back into reality. Had that been… a vision? The details were already fading away.

Purple eyes fixed on her, never wavering in the intensity of his gaze. The curious lump over his heart – her glasses, a shield against the darkness. Carly hesitated in her declaration, allowed her gaze to wander back to him, and for a moment she saw death.

Jack, her heart whispered, Jack, Jack, Jack.

"…I choose the effect of recovering my life points."