Drake sat on the bench outside the hospital room, staring at the floor with unblinking eyes. He was ignoring his friends standing yards away speaking amongst themselves. Yusei was the most talkative.
“It’s… not looking good,” he said in a grim, quiet voice. He, Jack, Crow, Akiza, Toru, Misaki, Leo and Luna were there. Waiting. Worry was contagious.
“That’s an understatement!” Jack shot back. “He held that old man-”
“Jack!” Toru interrupted, anger in his voice and expression. “That’s enough.” He had known Klaus and Drake since childhood. The old cowboy practically raised both of them on his own, teaching them the basics of dueling and how to survive in their home of Crash Town. “Andrew can hear you. I know that for a fact.”
The blonde man quickly shut up, swallowing the lump in his throat as he turned to look at Drake. His violet eyes softened at the sight. Drake was always so assured, unwavering and exuded pleasantness. In other ways it reminded him of Yusei. It may have been why those two hit it off so quick and easily.
Misaki, though, she was the most quiet out of the bunch. The woman was the most calculative and cold person they’d ever met. However when the time came she was incredibly dependable.
Luna, the youngest, piped up. “I.. I think I know what’s about to happen.” She was the youngest Signer of Team 5D’s, having the Crimson Dragon’s mark of the claw. Even without it she was able to see and talk to the duel spirits of duel monsters.
“What is it?” Akiza asked looking to the child.
Everyone focused on her, making her nervous.
“It isn’t good.” Beside her was the spirit of Kuribon, a creature that shared its line with Kuribo but with green eyes and a red ribbon tied into a bow on its tail, chirped. Tears slowly formed in the corners of her eyes and she fought back a whimper.
They didn’t need to share the Marks of the Dragon to feel her pain. Not even Toru and Misaki.
“He’s…” Crow began.
“Stop it!” Now it was Jack’s turn to shoot back, his hand turning into a fist of defiance. “I refuse. I refuse to use the information of a spirit versus that of a doctor!” His passion and fiery soul was something unique to him. It was why he was drawn to his Red Dragon Archfiend card; his ace monster, his very soul.
“Jack,” Luna weakly responded, “they’re very rarely wrong.” She suddenly leaned against her brother, Leo, for support. Normally he’d exclaim but now he was silent. Tears were in his eyes now as well and falling to the floor.
Klaus was a stranger to Team 5D’s, very seldom did he speak to them and they in turn. Andrew, Toru and Misaki spoke at length about him at times, how he’d worry for his grandson, still protesting against him getting into Turbo Dueling. They all knew of the accident that claimed the lives of his, and Toru’s, parents.
A concerned grandfather wanting to keep his boy safe.
Leo hugged his sister, bringing her close. He was so talkative and boastful. Now it was gone. He was mumbling under his breath for this to turn into a happy ending; begging God to let Klaus live.
“Me too,” Luna whispered as she too started to cry. Death was not foreign to them, even at their young age of ten. When New Domino City was threatened by the Dark Signers they witnessed Devak, the Dark Signer with the mark of the monkey, crumble into dust and die before their eyes.
A nearby door opened causing everyone to start a little and watch. A doctor came out with a clipboard in-hand. She looked to the gang with a somber and defeated look before making her way to Drake. They couldn’t hear what she was saying but when she started to walk to them again Drake was biting the inside of his lip, his fingers digging into his forearms.
“Doc,” Toru said. She stopped. “Please, all of us are friends of Andrew’s and… dammit we have to know.”
“I’m sorry,” she said after taking a second to breath. “We tried.”
He felt like someone had squeezed his heart. “No…”
“What… happened?” Yusei asked.
“His heart. It gave out. We’re not sure what caused it but it may why he was coughing up blood.” She flipped through her papers. “No history of medical trauma or complications. We just… don’t know how this could have happened to such a healthy man. I am sorry for your loss.”
The gang stood in silence as the sounds of the hospital played around them. The beeps of heart rate monitors, the steps of other doctors and nurses, clicks from typing keyboards.
“Toru, I-” Crow began as he ran a hand through his orange hair.
“It’s not me you should apologize to,” he replied through gritted teeth and tear stained eyes. They hadn’t left Drake. He was silent, sitting alone at the bench. “It’s Andrew you should be worried about.” He bit his tongue as memories flashed before him, determined to not let his emotions the better. No matter how much he wanted to give.
“...Toru,” Misaki finally spoke up, her hand on his shoulder. He turned looking her in the eye. Even she was breaking. The usually hard red eyes had softened. Toru was about to say something when the blue haired woman walked away and to Drake.
He didn’t look up when she was in front of him. “Drake.”
Misaki knelt down. “Drake.”
She lifted his chin with a finger, meeting his red and yellow heterochromic eyes.
And he shattered.
Arms wrapped around her, bringing the woman into a tight embrace as he wailed. His tears staining her hair and white jacket. “I’ve got you,” she whispered to him trying to contain herself. Her solution was a squeeze harder as a response as she, too, cried. “I promise I’ve got you.”
“Klaus,” Drake croaked. “He’s…!” He had been strong for so long.
“I know.” She kissed his neck as he broke more. She was breaking on the inside as well, being at the epicenter of her interest’s sorrow. He needs me to be strong.
There was a movement to her right as another pair of arms enveloped them. Toru couldn’t stop his waterworks either, teeth gritted still to mute his sobs. Then there was another pair as Leo, and then Luna, joined, and another. And another. Crow, Akiza, Jack and finally Yusei.
“We all have you,” Crow murmerd.
“Us too,” Leo cried, speaking for his sister.
“We promise,” went Jack as a tear fell from his eyes.
“Right beside you,” came Akiza’s smooth voice as her emotions, and burgundy hair, tumbled against them.
Yusei was the last to speak. “Like friends should be.”
None could see, if only Luna opened her eyes, as the duel spirit of Dragunity Arma Leyvaten appeared. No large sword to be seen on the armored dragon, his yellow eyes crestfallen having sensed- felt!- his master’s grief. He, too, joined the group hug, his orange feathered wings draped over them.
A couple of days passed as everyone stood in the apartment building. It had been hectic, trying to get things sorted for its lease transfer. Planning and executing the funeral, making sure the banks knew what to do with the will and inheritance.
Andrew stood by the window looking down at the street below. The sun was setting giving the city a warm orange glow, signaling the kids playing in the street to head home. His eyes had bags under them due to lack of sleep. His limbs, his body, was weary even now. He wanted the pain to be gone.
“Are you sure?” Yusei asked.
“Yes. I’ll be fine.” It was a lie and everyone knew it. But it was his lie and he wanted to simply be alone.
“Alright. We’ll… leave you to it.”
“What?” Leo exclaimed. “But Yusei, we can’t just-”
“He asked Leo. Despite it being an obvious lie Drake wants to be left alone.” His blue eyes could see Drake’s from the reflection of the window. “It’s hard to accept.”
“Leo,” Luna chimed, “you’re not going to win this one. No matter how hard you try.”
The boy looked to the floor, clearly unhappy about the situation. He and Luna knew what it was like to be alone, what with their parents always working. They found comfort in each other, keeping one another entertained, and in their friends from school. It helped numb the pain.
Drake was still suffering, all of them knew that. They also knew he still required company, to help cope with Klaus’ passing.
The silence was starting to swell in the apartment, choking the people within with awkwardness. Jack and Crow had already left, seeing as they couldn’t get through Drake’s stubbornness. Soon Yusei had stepped out and the twins followed in suit.
Akiza, Toru and Misaki were left.
Andrew ran a hand through his spiked brown hair. “Please… I know but I just want to be selfish right now.”
“I understand,” Akiza replied first. She walked up and placed a hand on his shoulder. “Andrew, before I go, I do want to hear you promise me something.” His silence was her answer. “Do not let it consume you. I was once and it led me to do many terrible things. To those around me and to the city. Please just give anyone of us a call, even if we talk for only a moment.” He weakly nodded, which relieved her. “Thank you.”
The psychic duelist turned and left.
Toru lightly licked his lips trying to think of something to say. Only for nothing to come to mind. “I’m sorry.” It didn’t take long for him to leave as well.
Misaki carefully made her way to him, a hand clasping his arm. He didn’t shake it off like she thought he would but he didn’t embrace it either. Drake was in a dark room with no light in sight, suffocating the life and joy out of him.
They stood there for a few moments, both not moving an inch, as they looked out the window. Only she was looking at his eyes, searching for a sign of emotion. She was finding masked pain.
Without a word Misaki kissed his cheek and left, leaving him alone.
When she closed the door Drake let out a sigh and turned around, gazing around his home. His quiet home. He made his way from room to room, almost expecting to see Klaus again. Toru had already sent word to Nico and West in Satisfaction Town, previously called Crash Town, about what transpired here.
He made his way to the couch and sat down, giving out a sigh. The place was dark with only the sunlight to keep it lit but Drake just did not care. He pulled out his deck from the holder on his hip. His Dragunity deck, the same one his father had, helped him through many duels of his life. It was special to even Klaus.
Drake bit his tongue as memories crept back like an unending hand reaching up for him. He pulled out a card from his deck, his ace, and peered at it. He hadn’t had Leyvaten in his deck before they moved to the city. Klaus had kept it hidden with the duel runner beneath the house, awaiting the day for him to earn it.
He could still remember how he felt when the old man revealed it all to him.
And he cried with only Leyvaten to comfort him.