A/N: Holy cow! It's been way too long and I am so sorry! This chapter is longer. Lets hope it makes up for all of the other chapters that have been shorter recently and the long gap between updates. Well, we shall see. Please enjoy!


Chapter 23- Tears

He rose on shaking legs, smirking with his vile, serpent-like eyes. The harsh damage couldn't keep Vincent down. He would not give up on his final piece of his long and drawn-out plan. Nothing was going to bring him to his knees, especially not Sailor Moon. Today was the day Vincent would take down the Moon Princess.

As he peered across the room he saw Sailor Moon and her pathetic friends behind her. She looked ready to take him down. Vincent was equally as ready to grotesquely rip her to smithereens, until there would be no evidence that the Moon Princess had ever existed….

Serena inhaled deeply, looking her enemy straight in his black eyes. She was ready. Now was the time. She had agreed to face Vincent with as much power as she could muster. She needed to bring him to a position of defeat so Seto could easily use the sword to take him out. Knowing it would be a difficult task; she swallowed hard and raised her chin up a little higher, emitting an aura of confidence and grace. She wanted Vincent to know that he was indeed going down.

"This is it Vincent. Your reign of terror and torture has gone on for long enough. I will bring peace and justice back into this world like I am supposed to." Serena's voice was wondrously calm even though she was shaking inside. She wasn't nervous for her own being; she was worried for Seto's. She was praying that nothing would happen to him. All she wanted to do was to get this over with and she had to do that soon, the building felt like it was really ready to fall.

"As I've mentioned before, I'm not in this because of my own selfish goals. I'm in this because I was chosen! I must take control and do what is right, even if that means killing you…. slowly…."

Vincent's tongue made a slithering noise as he spoke, but Serena didn't let it bother her. She had to face this. "Fine. Believe what you will, but truth and justice will always win in the end."

He smirked, "We'll see about that when I have you begging for mercy!"

Serena's face stayed stone cold as she prepared herself for a counter attack against Vincent. Beings, good and evil, light and dark, arranged to clash once again. This time, Serena had so much more to fight for.

The light and darkness collided into each other with earthshattering force. The already rickety building moved violently as the bricks from the walls and ceiling began to fall move viciously.

Rei dragged Seto as far as she could until a chunk of the wall crumbled on top of her. She screamed out alarm. Pain shot through her midsection as she attempted to gasp for air. Her breathing was rugged and she realized she must have a punctured lung or broken ribs.

Seto had fallen to the floor from Rei's fall. Thankfully, nothing had toppled onto him. He crawled to where Rei was and tried to remove the large bricks. All muscle mass was gone. His attempts were futile.

"Urghh! Just go!" Rei shouted when she saw Seto failing. "I'll be alright! You have to go!"

"I can't leave you here," His reply was croaky, "what if you get crushed?"

"What if you get crushed?" Rei countered, "You need to move! NOW!"

Seto gave her one last look of concern and crawled towards Vincent, trying to avoid the falling structure as he went. The journey was hard and long, the path, treacherous. Yet, Seto knew that the pain and the determination would make all the difference once he killed Vincent. Even though a great part of him knew that killing Vincent would probably be the death of him, at least it wasn't the death of Serena, and that's all that mattered.


The little girl claiming to be his daughter from the future. Her bright eyes, pink hair, and vibrant smile made him rethink everything. If he died today, would Rini not exist in the future? Could Rini be wrong about him being her father? Clearly she had been wrong about Darien, so could she make the same mistake with him? It was quite possible, but part of him didn't want that to be true. Part of Seto wanted to be Rini's father. Part of him still wanted her to exist. If he died today, and what Rini was saying was really true, then she'd disappear because he wasn't here. Seto didn't want to take that risk. He wanted Rini to be right. He wanted her to survive. The only way she'd survive is if he survived.

He crawled on, faster, harder, breathing heavily. Rini clung to his mind and with each pathetic inch forward, he was closer to reaching his goal, and that's all that really mattered. Even though the pain grew worse, the journey didn't seem so rough with Rini on his mind. Rini pushed him on and on, further and further until finally….

Equals, the Silver Crystal and his own. They were equals. The clash did not cease. The battle raged on with violent force. Vincent knew that the only way either would give up is if a large enough brick fell on them from the ceiling. Even then, Vincent didn't know if that would stop either of them. It sure as hell wouldn't stop him. Not even for a second did Vincent retract his beam of black light, and not for a moment would he.

Something had, however, crossed his mind as he saw the pathetic creature by his feet. The thing was frail and wounded, body ready for death due to Vincent's own doing. Although he knew that Seto Kaiba was dying, he knew his spirit was not. Kaiba was determined and ready to take him down, even if he was crawling on his bony hands and knees. Vincent smirked as he thought of a brilliant ploy.

Seto had grasped ahold of Vincent's ankle as the dimmed and dying, gray-blue eyes glared up into Vincent's powerful, bleak, black ones. Vincent snuck a peak at the sword in Seto's hand and chuckled. There was no way the feeble and pitiful looking Seto Kaiba could ever even get a clear aim at him. If Kaiba expected he was going to use that sword successfully, then he was broadly mistaken.

Vincent ripped his ankle out of Seto's light clutch and pounded Seto square in the face with his foot. The dying young man rolled backward, holding onto his face, withering and wailing in pain.

Vincent laughed hysterically, "Look at you now! Oh, how the mighty Seto Kaiba has fallen! I'm sure you're aware of your past as the pharaoh of Egypt. That kingdom eventually flopped too. Now, as the Moon King, you will fall once again, and I will finally claim my rightful place as the ruler of this universe! I will take back everything that belongs to me!" His laughter thundered throughout the room, drowning out all other sounds. Serena tried shouting at Seto, but her voice did not carry far, as Vincent's laughter consumed it.

Seto made his way back up on all fours and drudged toward Vincent. Vincent observed his attempts from the corner of his evil, black eyes. "You'll stop at nothing!" He laughed thunderously once again, "I admire your bravery, but no matter, you shall be stopped!" Focusing with all his might, Vincent was able to keep his dark beam strong and steady against Serena's beam of light by using only one hand. With his opposite hand, he thrust his arm out to grab ahold of Seto's neck. He picked the CEO up off the ground with ease and raised him up in the air. From a distance, Serena's panicked gasps could be heard, but her beam of light stayed steady as life began to drain from Seto once again. This time, it was short, because this time, there was hardly any life to drain.

Vincent applied great pressure upon Seto's neck. He could feel his throat caving in as he gobbled up useless air. Blood dribbled down the corners of his mouth, falling down upon his dirty white trench coat. Tears welled up in his strained, almost lifeless gray blue hues. The tears fell for the first time in a long time. They didn't show up because of the mourning of his own death, but that his own death meant the non-existence of his own daughter. That was something he didn't want taken. That was something he never wanted taken, especially not from Serena, who had already had too much taken from her.

He could feel the sun quickly setting on his life. This was it. His life being drained felt like that of a sped up clock. One last tear fell to the cold ground as he slowly let go and shut his eyes.

Death wasn't like anything he'd expected. It wasn't a beautiful experience. His body felt numb and cold. There was a tinge of pain, but nothing too extreme. He felt his lungs open up and breathe in almost a toxic wave of air. The oxygen felt dusty as it was sucked in through his airways. The need for water consumed him. He coughed. Blood. Blood escaped is mouth. It slid down the corners of his mouth, dripping onto the dusty, cold pavement. Cold. That's what he felt. He felt cold, like he was covered in a blanket of fresh snow. It wasn't pleasant, but it also wasn't the worst thing he'd ever felt. He tried opening his eyes. His vision was completely distorted. Every dim fragment of light seemed fuzzy and muddled, like he was trying to see through a black and white kaleidoscope. Death just didn't feel right. It didn't seem right. Was he in hell?


No, he couldn't be in hell, not if she was here. He heard her, felt her graceful fingers upon his fragile shoulder. Opening up his damaged, blurred eyes, he saw her. She was alive and beautiful, as usual. He broke a small, painful smile. She smiled back gratefully. Was it at all possible that this could be heaven? He would believe that. She belonged in heaven. Heck, she was heaven. However, he didn't believe this to be heaven for two reasons. One, he felt the sinful sting of deaths painful grip. Two, if this was heaven, then that would mean that he was there, and there was no possible way Seto Kaiba was in heaven.

"Seto, can you hear me? Seto?"

Her voice sounded far away, even though she was right above him, looking down upon his dead body. Was this just a sliver of his imagination? Could he really just be in hell, imaging another, beautiful place such as heaven? Could he just be envisioning her? Maybe this was part of his torture. If this really was his torture, then he really couldn't decide if hell was cruel or not….

"Seto, please! You need to wake up!"

Her voice sounded like it was moving in closer, almost like he was coming back to life. But how could that be? He was dead. This was hell. He couldn't just wake up, could he? The dead don't come back to life, or do they?

"Seto, you need to wake up NOW!"

This time her voice was fully there, vibrating his eardrums with her piercing shout. He snapped his eyes open, taking in his blurred vision. Everything took a minute to focus, but when it did, his eyes settled on one thing, and one thing only.

"Serena," he spoke with a low, gravelly tone. His throat hurt, but he could care less. He was speaking her name and that's all that mattered.

"You're alive! Thank God!" The look of relief and thankfulness was enough for Seto to realize he had survived Vincent's fatal attack.

"Where's Vincent?" He asked, a bit of panic and worry was noted in his voice. If it weren't for Serena's life, he wouldn't be so concerned about him.

Serena gently lifted Seto up into a sitting position. He groaned and moaned, but his body was still numb enough to dull the majority of his pain. She pointed to a body lying on the ground a few yards away. There was a hefty pile of bricks and concrete skewed about near him. Seto looked towards Serena with confusion written upon his face.

"I was able to knock him over right before he was about to drain the rest of your life. Once he hit the ground, the ceiling above him fell down on him. I'm not sure if he's alive or knocked out, but we need to get our hands on that black crystal and destroy it for good." She lifted him to his feet despite his bellowing whimpers and wrapped his arm around her shoulder. "Come on, let's use that sword to end this." Seto nodded and they began limping towards the lifeless body that was just a few yards away.

Of course, the journey was difficult for Seto, as it had been, but Serena tried her best to keep him moving quickly and to keep him in the least amount of pain possible. Falling ceiling and crumbling walls didn't help the voyage, as the two had to dodge countless bits of the unsteady structure to prevent themselves from the same fate as Vincent.

"We're almost there Seto, just a little bit more, you can do it." She had heard his huffs and moans as they travelled. She knew he was in severe pain. They needed to get him out of there and into a hospital as soon as possible. But this wasn't over. Serena needed him to destroy that black crystal using Ahmose's sword. She glanced down at Seto's other hand that weakly gripped the sword, letting the tip drag upon the dusty, dirty floor. Once Seto struck that crystal it was all over. She looked into his tired, drained, and dying eyes. She felt the extreme urge to save him, knowing that she didn't just need him for the power of the sword, but for the rest of her life.

They enduringly made their way across the floor and crouched over Vincent. He was unmoving and it looked as though he wasn't breathing. The black crystal was lying in the middle of the palm of one of his hands. His fist was not clenched. Serena could just reach out and grab it.

With slight hesitation, Serena extended her gloved arm to grab the crystal. Her hands trembled somewhat, but she eventually increased her confidence, lightly grazing her fingertips on Vincent's and touching the black crystal.

Black eyes protruded open and manic laughter busted through the intensity of the room. Both Seto and Serena jumped back in shock.

Serena screamed as Vincent's hand seized her wrist in a death grip. She tried pulling away, but his clasp was so tight she thought she might lose her hand.

The laughter continued, filling the room with an evil shrill. However, it was short-lived and soon replaced with the sounds of screaming agony. Serena's scream joined in on Vincent's, but hers was of shock, not of pain.

She was now able to pull her hand away, but not without gaining another. She wailed in terror at the sight. Vincent's hand that had gripped her wrist was still hanging onto her wrist, blood pouring out of the detached limb. She cried out as she forced the separated hand's fingers from her wrist, each finger cracking as it broke free. The sight was horrific and insane. Serena quickly grabbed the black crystal that had been in the palm of that hand, and chucked the disjoined thing as far as she could throw it across the room.

Vincent grabbed the nub where his hand used to be and continued to wail.

Serena looked over to Seto who was gasping for air. He looked exhausted. What could he have done to make him so tired out?

Then she saw it. The sword, covered in blood. She had missed it as it all played out, but Seto had been the one to cut off Vincent's hand. It had just happened too fast for her.

"Seto!" She shouted at him. He looked up at her with heavy eyes while he wheezed. She thrust out the black crystal and set it on the floor in front of him. Moving his way, she placed his hands on the sword, forcing him to grip it. She never let go of his hands, resting hers on top of his.

"I-I c-can't d-do this," he coughed out, "I'm too weak. I'm dying."

Serena looked him sternly in the eye. Her confidence shining through, making Seto feel vaguely more secure. "You can do this. We can do this. I'm with you. We'll do this together!"

Seto stared back into her ocean blue eyes. They were secure and strong, not like anything he'd seen before in Serena. She was truly stronger than him and for sure braver. Seto knew what he had to do, and with Serena he could do it. He gave her a nod of reassurance, and they picked up the sword together, gripping it tightly and confidently.

"NO!" Vincent roared as he struggled to make a jump for the black crystal, but he was too late. The sword was sung; it's blade slicing through the middle of the evil crystal. The metal blade reverberated against the cold, hard ground, and the crystal shattered into bits of black dust that rose into the air and dissolved.

Vincent screeched as he began to shrivel up like an old man, in the same way Seto had. He held his head as he cried out, torment taking over him, the reality of his ending life settling in. His body dried-up and became crumbly as it eventually collapsed on him and he became a black pile of dust. The dust that was once the revolting man disbanded and vanished completely. There was now nothing left of the evil that was once Vincent.

Serena turned to Seto when she heard him inhale deeply. He could feel his lungs expanding, his bones rejuvenating. He no longer felt the urge to cough or wheeze like an old man. His throat opened up, no longer condensed and throbbing from Vincent's chokehold. His skin molded into perfection, there were no more wrinkles or frailty. His brittle, gray hair renewed itself, replacing the old locks with luscious new ones and bringing the color back to normal. His face was no longer skeletal, but strong, fierce, and beautiful. The last things to turn back to normal were his eyes. The brilliant, frozen blue spheres swirled with their natural color, revitalizing life within Seto Kaiba.

Serena gasped and smiled broadly as she took in the view of Seto. He looked wonderful. He was back to normal. He was magnificent! She ran over to him and jumped into his arms, "We did it! We did it!"

Seto smiled, grateful that Serena was in his arms, and happy that he was not dying. "The black crystal must've kept Vincent alive by absorbing the lives of others. That's why I'm back to normal now after we destroyed it."

Serena grinned at his mention of 'we.' She knew it took a lot for Seto Kaiba to admit when he needed someone, and she was sure that he needed her. She for sure needed him!

A shout from across the room captured their attention.

"You guys! We've gotta get out of here now!" Rei was leaning with her back against the unsteady wall. She gripped her midsection as she breathed. Serena could tell her breathing was labored.

"REI!" She shouted. Both her and Seto ran towards her as the building began to shake all around them. "Are you hurt, Rei?"

"I think some of my ribs might be broken," she replied, "but don't worry about me right now, we have to leave, this building is going to collapse."

"She right, Serena," Seto said, he scooped up Rei in his arms. She winced at the pain, but he was gentle. "We've gotta go."

"Wait!" Serena grasped Seto's sleeve, "What about Ahmose?"

"He's dead," Rei said flatly.

"B-but his body!?" She pleaded.

Seto ripped her grip off of his arm and began jogging towards the exit. "We need to go, Serena!" Serena didn't hesitate to follow, but part of her looked disappointed. Ahmose was her best friend for so long, he understood why she'd want to see him. Yet again, Seto couldn't understand. Ahmose had killed her boyfriend. It just didn't make sense. Maybe it was one of those things that he'd never understand.

The three of them made their way towards the exit, rushing along as quickly as they could. Shaking, and the disintegrating of the building slowed them down a little, but they were still able to make it to the ground floor. There was a door just ahead. Seto was sure it led to the outside. He dashed towards it, kicking it open and revealing the bright streams of afternoon sunlight. He was shocked at the commotion he saw waiting outside for them.

Almost a dozen squad cars and police officers were on guard. They had their guns pointed at him as they tried to shield as much as they could of themselves behind their vehicles. Kaiba felt frozen. He didn't know what to do. He heard an officer yell at him to put his hands up, but they were a little preoccupied at the moment.

Rei whispered to Seto, "What the hell's going on?"

He didn't reply. He just stood there in shock and confusion.

"SETO!" He heard the shout of his little brother. "PUT YOUR WEAPONS AWAY! HE'S THE ONE WE'RE LOOKING FOR!" The officers obeyed the young Kaiba's commands.

Mokuba Kaiba sprinted towards his older brother, "Seto, are you alright?"

"I'm fine, Mokuba. What's going on?"

"I'll tell you later," he looked over at Rei, "Are you hurt?"

She shrugged, "I'm not sure."

Mokuba turned around and yelled at the officers, "GET A MEDIC!"

The three of them made their way over towards the safety of the police officers. A medical technician appeared and bundled up Rei from Seto's arms and brought her to a nearby ambulance.

Yugi, Joey, Mai, and Rini jogged up to the Kaiba brother's side and gathered around.

"Seto, where's Serena?" Mokuba asked.

The young CEO swiveled his head around, looking in every direction. Anxiety welled up within him as he realized the unthinkable. Serena didn't follow him outside.

"She's still in there!" He panicked, running his hands frantically through his hair. Light traces of tears began to form in his eyes. Serena was still inside! She was still inside that collapsing building! He was so close, so close to saving her.

"Who's still in there, daddy?"

Seto looked down at Rini in complete distress. Rini's facial expression changed as she saw the terror in her father's eyes. In that moment she knew. They both knew. They had just spoken without words.

The great and strong Seto Kaiba looked at the gang helplessly. Nothing felt worse than this moment, knowing that he couldn't save the one person he so desperately wanted to.

Everyone saw it, everyone who was standing around Seto Kaiba at least. They saw it and felt the pain. They saw it and knew that the situation was bad. Seto Kaiba didn't normally cry. He actually never cried, especially not in front of Yugi and his friends. Today was different. This moment was different. Vulnerable and upset Rini broke him down. The look in her eye, and the knowing that Seto had about her existence if something went wrong. By his failure to save Serena, he failed to save his only daughter.

Seto Kaiba began to cry.

A/N: Wow! That took me forever to write! I hope you enjoyed it! Just when you thought the suspense and cliffhangers would be over, haha, sorry! Hopefully the length of this chapter makes up for the last few chapters that have been slightly shorter. The end is near! Thank you so much for reading thus far! Please, please, PLEASE review! Until next time!