Something short I started musing about several months back and never progressed further with. Perhaps putting it up here will be a mistake but I don't really care.

YGO5D's is the property of Takahashi, NAS, Konami and other associated figures/groups.


When it came to raising children, Matsuyama Mizoguchi was beyond clueless.

His role had always been that of bodyguard – he knew nothing of fatherhood. He could no sooner convince an infant to stop crying than snatch bullets from the air; the scowl he wore was a shield against the glares and mistrust of an adult world, the world he knew and would always remain familiar with: children were an unknown entity. Despite this, at thirty-six he became guardian to a newly orphaned child of nine, a girl whose hands were soft and malleable and whose emotions were worn like an open book. She was as foreign and unknowable as the deepest depths of the ocean, always clutching at her bear and sobbing her heart out on the soft fabric.

He could not understand her. The Leblanc girl would fare better, emotionally, with another—but Docteur and Madame had extracted a promise from him, that he would watch over their daughter and keep her from harm, and no guarantee existed that he could protect her while she lived under another's care.

He tried. Oh, he tried to make sense of the child, no matter that it was a hopeless venture. And the girl tried his patience – she would wake, screaming and sobbing into the night, crying, "Papa! Papa! Mama!" as though she could call their ghosts back to life with enough prompting. Mizoguchi grew accustomed to sleepless nights, only daring to close his eyes once all her tears were spent, soaked either into the stuffed bear's fur or—in a pattern that played out with alarming regularity as the days passed—his shirt. Somehow little Sherry Leblanc had come to the conclusion that he was safe.

One day she simply stopped crying, and requested he teach her how to fight back.

That day, any chance at normalcy – or what two fugitives could claim as such – ended.

He was never quite able to convince himself it was for the best.