Cursed Gold
Epilogue: Endings....
by Katsuko

All disclaimers and warnings are posted in chapter one.

Dedications: My wonderful beta readers Eternal SailorM and Desolate03, the latter of whom came into the process not long ago and has been both muse and sounding board. Also the kitties Aya, Biscuit and Mika-chan for keeping me company while I type.

Archive: if ESM wants it; The Asylum;; Katsuko's Obsession. All others please ask.

Notes: Wow. The final piece of this puzzle is almost in place. Unfortunately, it may cause more questions than answers.

Originally, this epilogue was going to tie in heavily with that of Eternal SailorM's Color of Life. As I tried and tried to write what I had intended, the words refused to come. I realized with a start that my mind set was no longer allowing me to write Kaiba and Jyonouchi as a couple. I stepped away for a while to ponder what course of action to take. Should I just skip the epilogue and not continue the series? Should I take weeks or possibly months to churn out something that I couldn't really be proud of? Should I take the story in another direction entirely?

And then ESM, my lovely yami, gave me an idea.

The result is the final note of CG, which you are about to read. Nothing will be the same again, at least not for Kaiba Seto and Jyonouchi Katsuya.

They say that love conquers all.

They don't know what they're talking about.

For those who are still human, yeah, maybe love is the end all and be all, able to cure all the ills of the world. For those of us in the undead or fuzzy set, love is a whole other ball game.

Three weeks. Three weeks of the warm happy feeling in my stomach, of the racing of my heart at faint smiles and the presence almost as familiar as my own. Two weeks of having someone comfort me as I worried over Dorobou's condition, afraid that the doctors were going to keep him in that hospital just as they had once tried to keep me there, some three years ago. One week of snarling off stray members of his pard that kept wandering into my turf.

And just as suddenly as it had begun, I realized that I wasn't in love.

My instincts were starting to drive me insane. One part of me was saying "Seto is my mate, he can protect me from anything" while at the same time another was screaming "Seto is Master, he must be protected from his enemies." It was getting to the point where I wasn't sleeping more than three hours at a time, frightened that someone would slip in while I was asleep and my vampire was helpless.

Last week, on the last night of 'us', Seto approached me and asked what was wrong. And I... I couldn't lie to him. I told him what was bothering me, about my warring instincts and that... that I love him, always will love him, but that I am not in love with him and don't think I ever can be. He was quiet for a long time, so long that I thought it might be a wise idea to start moving my stuff into one of the groundskeepers' houses towards the back of the property. Then he spoke, his words echoing mine in so many ways.

We loved, we love, but we are not in love.

After what felt like hours trying to figure out why we wanted to be together but needed to be apart I finally crumbled and called Kaasan. She's a damned smart woman, a fountain of knowledge in so many aspects. She didn't even need to check her books to tell us what was going on: Seto is a Master vampire, and my animal side responded heavily to his subconscious call. Thinking about it, my crush became something more only after he was turned.

Doesn't make it hurt any less.

Right now, Seto is in his office, feeding and making arrangements for when Dorobou finally comes home. I think one of his brothers arrived sometime last night after I shut myself away in one of the upper bedrooms but I haven't ventured out yet this evening. I hope it's the elder one of the pair, I like him because he smells of warmth and sunlight even though he can't have seen the sun in at least a good three centuries. And he makes Seto happy. I think Seto might even love him, not the way he loves me or Mokuba, but that elusive in love feeling that we don't really have for one another.

As for me... the leopard wants to roam, to mark my territory more and keep all others away. It wants to go into the city and hunt up trouble. It wants to steal Dorobou away from the hospital and secure him in a safe den where no one will harm him. The human, though, just wants to be away for a while. He wants to mourn something that was never real to begin with but that he wishes hadn't ended. He wants to be held and told he is loved, that someone is in love with him. He wants to be in love with someone, anyone, who knows what he is and is not frightened away. He wants Seto back.

But I cannot have him.

I will do nothing to harm our friendship or the love that we have toward one another. For now, it is all that I can have.



Outside of the Kaiba mansion, across from the gates, a young man stands frowning. The beauty he admires resides within, out of reach yet somehow not. His true employer has been in the hospital for a while now, and the beauty had until last week come and gone with Kaiba every time the new Master of Domino went out. Now, though, Kaiba still comes and goes but the beauty remains within the mansion.

It isn't right, isn't fair. How can he admire the one he adores/lusts for if the golden sun cat remains shut away? It will not do. He will talk to the Boss and find out what has occurred. If the sun cat is still the vampire's then he will stay away but keep his fantasies. If the sun cat is no one's again then he will try once more to seduce him. After all, his calmer personality does indeed have something akin to affection for the sun cat. Perhaps in time he will feel something more than wanting.

Decision made, the dark-skinned man nods shortly and begins to walk towards the hospital, light hair accented by the streetlights.

~ * ~ An Ending... and a Beginning ~ * ~

And thus ends Cursed Gold, on a bit of a low note. When I originally started this the intention was for Jyonouchi and Kaiba to be together, good times or bad. But... well, my interest in puppyshipping has waned and for whatever reason this just seemed to be a natural conclusion.

Yes, Kaiba loves Jyonouchi, and Jyonouchi does love him as well. Unfortunately they cannot be together if each is to remain the person that the other has come to love. They are friends, but more than that, through the events in the Endless Loop saga thus far they have become family. To the leopard, Kaiba is Master and Pard, someone to be cared for and protected. To the vampire, Jyonouchi is Kin and Brother, someone whom he feels responsible for. More than anything, each wants the other to be happy... even if that means they cannot be together.

Don't worry, though. Life will improve somewhat for both the boys. Jyonouchi's story will continue in Avarice; Kaiba's may well continue in a spin-off of Eternal SailorM's Blood and Sacrifice by Desolate03.

[ Cursed Gold 01 | Cursed Gold 02 | Cursed Gold 03 | Cursed Gold 04 | Cursed Gold 05 | Cursed Gold 06 | Cursed Gold 07 | Cursed Gold 08 | Cursed Gold 09 | Cursed Gold Epilogue ]
[ Avarice 01 | Avarice 02 | Avarice 03 | Avarice 04 | Avarice 05 | Avarice 06 | Avarice 07 | Avarice Epilogue ]
[ Endear ]
[ Unbreakable ]