Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! GX
The brunette charged through the halls of Duel Academy. Being less than two months away from graduation, he didn't care about detentions or anything like that - not that he'd ever cared too much, anyway. He was on his way to meet up with a group of his friends and his lover. The two had plenty of time to themselves, of course, but that didn't stop either of them from hanging out with the gang regularly.
As a door opened, Jaden stopped running. He became vaguely aware that something wasn't right in the Academy, and began to think what he might have missed. Since their return from Dark World, everything had been relatively peaceful.
Entering the room, the brunette could see police tape stretched across a wide area of the hall. There were policemen and paramedics all around, including the school nurse, Miss Fontaine, who looked pale and shocked. At her side was Alexis Rhodes, one of Jaden's friends. He stood behind the tape watching the scene. There were various onlookers around, so it took him a while to spot his friends. He rushed over to them once he saw them, immoderately coming to stand next to his lover.
Jesse's face was paler than usual and he automatically put one arm around the brunette and drew him close. Jaden looked up, puzzled, at his boyfriend. It took a lot to shake the bluenette so badly. What the hell had happened?
It was then that he noticed the group was significantly smaller than usual and, Jaden being Jaden, couldn't resist asking why - even though his friends that were there clearly didn't want to talk. That group consisted of himself, Jesse, Atticus Rhodes and Blair Flannigan. Atticus looked grave and pale and Blair looked like she might throw up. They all turned to Jaden, but it was Atticus who answered him.
"There's been a murder."
He paused to let this sink it, and was glared at icily by Jesse.
"There hasn't been a murder. It was probably his heart, you know how weak he was" the bluenette argued. "Jaden, they found Zane here this morning. He …"
"He …" Jaden prompted.
"Jaden, he's … Zane's dead, Jaden."
After running through the halls again with his two friends and his boyfriend following, Jaden threw open the doors of the Slifer cafeteria. Inside, as he had predicted, was a short, sobbing bluenette. Syrus was crying his heart out as he laid his head on Chazz Princeton's shoulder. The black haired boy looked as grave as ever but he had one arm wrapped around Syrus, and he was whispering to him, so that nobody else could hear. Jaden ignored that and walked past Hasselberry and Aster, who were sitting at another table, up to his oldest friend.
"Sy?" the brunette whispered, crouching down to be at the same level as his friend.
"He's gone … my brother's gone …"
Syrus could feel his heart breaking.
Zane hadn't come back with them after Dark World. It had been a while until he'd turned up and he hadn't been in good health. But he'd been okay, alive. Nobody, not even the doctors, had expected his heart to give out so soon.
Eight hours later, the whole gang was gathered in the Slifer canteen. Syrus was sitting next to Chazz, his head on the other's shoulder, and Chazz had one arm wrapped around the smaller boy protectively. Nobody dared to question this, not even Atticus, who was sitting with his head in his hands beside his sister.
Aster sat quivering in a corner, not allowing anyone to get near him. The gang was beginning to think that the rumours were true. There had been, for a long time now, rumours that Zane and Aster had been dating, though it was never confirmed. Now, it looked like it might have been true. Never had they seen Aster so hurt.
Jaden sat nestled beside Jesse, his heart pounding. He felt so sorry for Aster and Syrus that he could feel his heart aching with sympathy. He would miss Zane himself, of course. They had been great rivals. But Aster would miss him more. And, of course, his little brother.
"It didn't look like his heart gave out" Aster muttered, everyone immediately falling silent so they could hear him talk. "He had blood on him. It was on his chest, I know, but … I think he was shot."
Jaden knew then that Aster had found Zane dead.
No wonder he was so shaken!
"They didn't find a bullet" Alexis said softly.
"Or a gun" Jim said, just as softly.
"They were removed … it was done on purpose …" Aster mumbled.
Everyone fell silent, Jaden and Jesse both looking at Atticus.
Jaden was beginning to wonder.
There was no evidence to point to heart failure when the autopsy was done. Of course it was done at once. They had, however, put it down to either heart failure or suicide by gun shot. Not that any gun or bullet was recovered.
But Zane wasn't the type to commit suicide. Going down in a fight, that was Zane's style. He'd demonstrated that in Dark World. Fighting, yes. Suicide, no.
So did that mean …
Did that mean there was a murder at Duel Academy?