Mental Lapse
By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: As always, the Yu-Gi-Oh! characters are not mine! But the story idea is! I sure hope y'all like! ^^ The title was suggested by JP! As always, kind reviews are greatly appreciated! Oh, BTW, when I do **, it's Yami talking to Yugi, and when I do ~, it's Yugi replying ^^ And I'm not hinting at slash (yaoi) anywhere in this fic, but if you know me by now, you already know that ^_~

When Seto Kaiba first regained consciousness, he felt the damp grass he was laying on and he wondered where he was.

He opened his eyes. It was dark, and he was laying under a tree, an ominous stone next to him. "A marker," he realized. "I'm in a cemetery!"

Slowly he pulled himself up, clutching his aching head with a grimace. Looking around, he spotted a briefcase next to him. "Mine?" he wondered, pulling it towards him and lifting the lid, which was unlocked. Inside were two strange disk things, each with a niche in which something could be held. A deck of cards, perhaps? Yes, that sound right, tho he wasn't sure why.

"Well, this is just great," he muttered. "I'm in a cemetery in the middle of nowhere with a headache and a briefcase, and no memories." He tried to stand up and nearly fell over. He was feeling very dizzy for some reason, and he had the suspicion that the knock on the head he'd received wasn't responsible.

He staggered to the gate, pushing it open. As he headed back to town, he stumbled and nearly fell several times, and he muttered angrily to himself. After he'd walked for what seemed like hours, he suddenly collapsed in front of a gaming shop, the dizziness getting the better of him.
"Did anybody hear that crash outside?" Joey asked.

"What crash?" Tristan asked back.

"I didn't hear anything," Tea agreed.

"I heard something," Yugi spoke up, heading for the door.

"Be careful," Tristan warned, "you don't know what it might be, especially this late at night."

"We'll be careful," Yugi assured him as they opened the door. If anything did go wrong, his yami would be there to protect them.

"Holy smokes!" Joey exclaimed. "What in the . . ."

Yugi gasped as well. Of all the things he'd expected to see, this was not it.

"What is it?" Tea asked, coming to the door.

"You're not gonna believe it, Tea," Joey declared. "It's not a what, it's a who, and that who is Kaiba—passed out right here in front of the door!"

"Kaiba?" Tristan and Tea repeated.

"Yeah. I don't know what happened to him, but he has quite a bump on his head," Joey remarked as he and Yugi pulled him to his feet. He didn't arouse, and they had to practically drag him inside.

"That's weird," Tea commented, "that Seto Kaiba would be outside your place, Yugi."

"That's past weird, tea," Joey returned, as he and Yugi laid Seto on the couch in the back room.

"We have to try to wake him up," Yugi said worriedly. "He wouldn't have just fainted for no reason."

"He probably wasn't watching where he was going and hit his head on the plant over the door," Joey laughed.

"This is serious, Joey," Yugi returned. "He might be hurt bad."

Joey sighed. "You're right, Yugi. So, what do we do? Douse him with water?"

"A damp cloth would be more like it," Yugi replied wryly.

"I'll get one," Tea volunteered, heading upstairs to Yugi's home above the gaming store.

"I wonder what did happen to him," Tristan mused. "He looks kinda pale."

"If it's anything too serious, we'll have to call an ambulance," Yugi remarked, checking Kaiba's pulse.

Tea returned with the cloth and gently laid it on Seto's forehead. It was quite a while before he actually woke up.

"Hey, I think he's finally coming to," Joey announced several hours later when Seto moaned.

"That's a relief," Yugi said, bleary-eyed from staying up half the night.

"Hey, Kaiba," Joey said when the young CEO finally opened his eyes, "what's been going on with you?"

"'Kaiba'? 'Going on'?" Seto repeated, looking at Joey blankly. "Where are we?"

"In my grandpa's gaming shop," Yugi replied. He looked at Kaiba worriedly, seeing the emptiness in his eyes, and deciphered instantly what was wrong. "You don't know us, do you? You don't even know who you are."

Kaiba gave Yugi a long look, then slowly nodded.

"No way!" Joey exclaimed in astonishment, "Seto Kaiba with amnesia? You're kidding me!"

"Do you remember how you got here?" Tea asked. "Yugi and Joey found you laying on the doorstep."

Seto paused, thinking. "I woke up in a cemetery," he said. "I was dizzy. I walked until I wound up here, and then I collapsed."

"So you don't remember anything since before that?" Joey asked.

"Not even Mokuba?" Yugi added, hoping that the mention of Seto's beloved younger brother would trigger a memory.

"Mokuba," Seto repeated softly, reaching for something around his neck, which turned out to be some kind of locket. When he opened it, he discovered a picture of a sweet, adorable young boy. He knew this was someone important to him. Was this Mokuba?

"You remembered something," Joey deduced.

Seto nodded slowly. "I remember that Mokuba is the most important person in my life," he said softly. "I would do anything for him."

Then Bakura came in to visit. "Hello," he said. "I heard you were having a get-together and I thought I'd drop in to see if you were all still here. My parents are out traveling again and I was lonely." He started upon seeing Seto Kaiba.

"Kaiba turned up on our doorstep a few hours ago with a major memory loss problem," Joey explained.

"You don't say," Bakura said, wide-eyed.

"Who's he?" Seto asked, giving Bakura a searching look.

"Bakura. I'm Bakura," the silver-haired boy replied

"Bakura," Seto repeated blankly. He reached a hand up to rub his head.

"Wait a minute! What's that?" Yugi exclaimed.

Everyone turned to stare at him. "What?" Joey asked.

"This." Yugi held up Seto's arm and pointed to a puncture mark on his wrist.

"Ow," Seto grunted, pulling his arm away.

"What is that?" Joey wondered.

"I don't know," Yugi said slowly, "but I wonder if . . ." He paused.

"What?" Seto asked grumpily.

"I wonder if you were drugged," Yugi admitted.

"Drugged?" Seto repeated. "Why?"

Was it Yugi's imagination, or had Kaiba's eyes just glowed red? No one else seemed to notice. It had probably just been the light or something.

"I don't know," Yugi said softly.

**Yugi, something is wrong here,** his Yami told him.

~That's what I'm afraid of,~ Yugi replied. ~Do you know what's wrong?~

**No, but I can sense evil.** Yami sounded grim. **Kaiba isn't himself right now, and not just because he has amnesia.**

~I'll watch him closely,~ Yugi said resolutely.

**As will I.**

The door opened abruptly and a young boy entered. Seto recognized him from the picture in his locket, and from somewhere deep in his elusive memories. "What's going on?" the boy demanded.

"Wow, who got the word around that we were havin' a party?" Joey said sarcastically.

"I heard my brother was here," Mokuba declared.

"He is . . ." Yugi hesitated, not quite knowing how to say that Seto didn't remember anything much at the moment.

"Big brother! Are you alright?" Mokuba asked, seeing Seto looking over at him.

"You're Mokuba?" Seto asked in return.

Mokuba stepped back as if he'd been slapped. "Big brother?" He looked closely into Seto's eyes. "You don't know me!"

"I . . . I know you're the person I love more than anyone else," Seto replied, "but not much else, I'm afraid."

"Oh, big brother!" Mokuba rushed forward, hugging Seto tightly and crying. "You have amnesia!"

"I'm sorry, Mokuba," Yugi said sadly. "I know it must be a horrible shock."

"He passed out on Yugi's doorstep and he's been like this since he woke up," Joey volunteered.

Seto abruptly pulled away from his younger brother. This time Yugi knew he saw the other young man's eyes glow.

Mokuba looked wounded. "Big brother?"

Then the red gleam was gone and Seto's eyes were dark blue again. "Mokuba . . . I'm sorry . . . I don't know what just happened. . . . I'm not myself. I don't even know who I am."

~Yami, is Kaiba possessed?~ Yugi asked the spirit worriedly.

**I don't know,** Yami replied. **I can't sense another presence within him. But remember, Yugi, one doesn't have to have an evil spirit to be possessed,** he said mysteriously.

"Something's wrong with Kaiba," Tea said low.

"You noticed too?" Tristan said in surprise.

"There is nothing wrong with me," Seto growled. His eyes were red again, and everyone noticed this time.

"Big brother! Your eyes!" Mokuba gasped.

"What about my eyes, you brat?" Seto snarled, rising up and towering over him.

"Seto!" Yugi said sternly.

Seto gasped, shaking himself out of his potentially violent state. "Help," he pleaded softly.

Whoa, Joey thought to himself, the stubborn, fiercely independent Seto Kaiba asking for help, and from Yugi at that!

"We need to get you to the hospital," Yugi told Kaiba.

"Hospital?" Kaiba's eyes were red again. "I'm not going to any hospital, but you're going to die!"

Everyone gasped.

"Big brother!" Mokuba cried.

"Yugi!" Yami suddenly appeared, knocking Seto out and sending him sprawling to the floor. "I know what's happened to Kaiba. I started wondering if this was it when he pushed Mokuba away. You were right—he was, most likely, drugged. It's a powerful mind drug that completely controls its victims. Kaiba had a slight control over it at first, but now . . ." He paused.

"What?" Mokuba demanded. "Tell us! My brother will be okay . . . won't he?"

"I will be honest with you, Mokuba," Yami said gently. "The drug now has almost, if not all, control over your brother. He has no control over what he says and does, and if he somehow manages to break free from its crushing powers, it will probably kill him."

Mokuba gasped and started to cry. "Who would do it?! Why??!"

"Yami, how do you know all this?" Yugi asked, horrified.

"I've been talking with Bakura's yami," Yugi's yami replied. "He says he knew someone who used something similar. Don't ask."

"There has to be a way to get him back!" Mokuba cried. "My brother's still in there, I know it!"

"If there is a way, I know you'll find it, Mokuba," Yami said encouragingly, just as Kaiba started to wake up. "I'll be around if you need me." Then he vanished from sight.

"Come here, Yugi," Seto growled threateningly, getting up and advancing on Yugi.

"You're not Seto Kaiba," Yugi said evenly, backing up. "I know the real Kaiba is in there somewhere, and he'll get out!"

"If he does, he's as dead as you'll be," Kaiba hissed.

"Kaiba! Fight this!" Yugi yelled as Kaiba chased him out the door.

"Come on! We've got to help him!" Tea exclaimed, dashing out the door. Before long, they were all running down the streets, which were still remote and quiet in the early morning hours.

"Don't worry, my big brother won't hurt him!" Mokuba called. "He'll overcome that drug!"

"I hope you're right, Mokuba," Joey replied.
They eventually caught up with them out by an old warehouse. Yugi had slipped and fallen on the roof, and Kaiba was leaning over him, an evil sneer on his face.

"It looks like you've breathed your last, Yugi Muto, Yami or no Yami," he laughed wickedly.

"No, big brother!!" Mokuba ran over to a ladder propped up at the side of the building and began to climb.

"Mokuba! Come back!" the others yelled, following.

"Kaiba, you don't want to do this," Yugi said.

"Oh, don't I?"

"Big brother! You've gotta fight this!" Mokuba pleaded, running over and grabbing Seto's hand. "You can break away from this drug!"

"Kaiba," Yugi said softly, "come back."

Kaiba collapsed on his hands and knees, shaking. He seemed to be having an intense battle within himself. The drug seemed to be winning as he reached out to grab Yugi's throat.

"No, you monster! You can't do it!! Bring my brother back!!" Mokuba screamed. "Bring him back now!!! My brother would never do this!!"

"Let me go!!!" Kaiba screamed at the drug that was binding him. One hand reached out and grabbed Mokuba, holding him aloft over the edge of the roof. The others watched in horror.

"Big brother . . ." Mokuba looked into Kaiba's glowing red eyes. "I love you."

Kaiba grinned menacingly, but then his eyes lost their red fire as he prevailed over the drug. "You almost made me kill my brother! I won't let you do this to me!! You'll never control me!!" With that, he gently set Mokuba back on the roof, just as the drug reached out to deliver the final blow. With a scream, he tumbled over the edge and to the ground with a loud thump.

Everyone gasped and Mokuba shrieked, and they ran to the edge to look over.

"Kaiba," Joey gasped.

That's when Yugi remembered his yami's words: "He has no control over what he says and does, and if he somehow manages to break free from its crushing powers, it will probably kill him." He shook his head in disbelief. "No," he whispered. "Not Kaiba. Not like this." His eyes filled with tears.

They went down the ladder and gathered around Kaiba's still form. Mokuba was pleading for him to wake up, weeping heavily. Joey, Tristan, and Bakura looked as though they weren't sure what to think or do. Tea came over to Yugi.

"At least he died nobly, breaking the power of the drug," she said softly.

Yugi nodded, feeling numb.

~Is he for sure dead, Yami?~

A long pause.

**I'm not sure.**

Yugi went over to Seto and checked for signs of life. He found nothing.

"Face it, Yugi, he's dead," Joey said softly, trying not to let Mokuba overhear.

But Mokuba did anyway. "No, he's not!" he said defiantly. "He's . . . just sleeping," he finished softly, unable to stop the next flow of tears. Tea's heart broke for him.

"Kaiba?" Yugi whispered, shaking him gently.

"If you're still here, we could use you about now," Joey added, not quite able to believe his words. The tortured young man didn't respond.

"What are we going to do, Yugi?" Tristan asked in an undertone. "He's dead."

"I think you're right," Yugi replied sadly. "I was just hoping so badly that . . . he would be okay. . . ."

A soft rain began to fall. As Mokuba cried over his brother's body, his tears splashed against Seto's closed eyes, along with the cold rain. His beloved brother remained deathly still, his flesh ghostly pale in contrast with his dark blue trenchcoat and his brown hair. "He's not dead! He's not! He's not!" Mokuba wailed. "He's just sleeping!"

Yugi laid a hand on the boy's shoulder, tears glistening in his own eyes. Why did it have to be this way?

"Yugi, I saw Kaiba move," Joey whispered in disbelief.

Yugi shot his friend a Look. "What?!"

"He's alive! He's alive! I knew it!" Mokuba exclaimed in delight, this time tears of joy falling from his eyes.

"No way!" Tristan gasped. "That's impossible!"

~Yami, what . . .?~

**I don't quite understand it yet, but . . . Kaiba is alive,** Yami replied. **He survived.**

Seto's eyes opened, the familiar dark blue eyes that everyone knew so well. "What happened?" he asked with a groan.

"You overcame the mind drug, big brother!" Mokuba replied joyfully. "I knew you could do it!"

Seto smiled. "No drug gets the better of Seto Kaiba!"

"You remember who you are!" Mokuba exclaimed in delight, springing into his arms.

"That I do, little brother," Seto replied.

"Oh, Yugi," Tea whispered, "I'm so glad Kaiba's okay!"

"Me too, Tea," Yugi answered, relief washing over him. "We've missed you, Kaiba," he said to the young CEO.

"I've missed me too," Kaiba said wryly, and Mokuba giggled.

Even Joey was happy. He was beginning to realize that Kaiba was a much better person than he sometimes appeared to be. "Yeah, Kaiba, good job, man," he found himself saying. "Welcome back."

Kaiba looked up, surprised to hear Joey acting friendly towards him, then slowly smiled. "Thanks, Wheeler."

~How, Yami?~ Yugi asked. ~How did he survive that? You said . . .~

**There's something Bakura's yami neglected to tell me, or else he didn't know it himself,** Yami replied, **which is entirely possible considering the people he kept company with. I have discovered today that the goodness of one's heart can protect them from the death the drug tries to inflict upon them if they manage to break free from its control. Not to mention their inner strength. Kaiba resisted the drug as long as he could, and then when it appeared that he had finally been overcome, he still triumphed.**

Yugi smiled. ~Yes, he did," he agreed. ~He certainly did.~