Author's Note: Yeah, Jou and Seto really just can't seem to get along. I feel like either Seto's characterization or the plot kind of falls through at the end.

Musical Note: This song is not a Goo Goo Dolls song. It was written and preformed by Johnny Rzeznik for the Disney movie Treasure Planet. Johnny Rzeznik is the lead signer of the Goo Goo Dolls, and this was his first solo song.

Character Note: Sukuro and Coach are my own characters (hopefully not too obvious). This was going to be the only chapter they were going to appear in, but the Beta has convinced me to keep them. Both are there just to move the plot along (i.e. plot twitsts), and give a little background on Jou and how he relates to the world in general.

Long Wait Excuse: Was half way done with the first version of this chapter when computer ate the floppy disk. I moped for a few days, started again, erased it out of anger that it wasn't turning out right, and then sat down and finished it. Still not happy with it.

Special Thanks: Goes out to my Beta (Pleasant Reality), because without her help this chapter NEVER would have happened. Thank you so much, Pleasant!

Warning(s): Long. Angst. Language. That about covers it.

I'm Still Here

Bastard…That bastard…That freakin' insensitive bastard

He just got into his car and drove off, like it was over. You don't kiss someone like that and walk away!

What in the hell does 'this doesn't matter' mean, anyway?!

I growl loudly and kick a car in the deserted parking lot. I am not upset. I'm just surprised. Yeah, surprised...and really embarrassed. I mean, I was the one who came on to him this time. Maybe I'm reading this wrong. Maybe he only likes it if he's the one in charge.

Well, then. I'm glad we ended it. Cause it definitely wouldn't have worked out with that bastard calling the shots all the time. I mean, I'm not the type to sit back and take orders, especially from a tight-ass like him.

I kick the curb in irritation. God, I can't believe this.

How the hell did I let it get this far? It wasn't me who tried to kiss him in the rain, and I didn't run him down in the park. I didn't make him talk to me about his problems, and I sure as hell didn't invite him to sleep on my couch! He was the one that came on to me, and yet he still can walk away from it like it was all my freakin' idea! Score one for moneybags. He always manages to screw me one way or another.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I am a question to the world,
Not an answer to be heard,
Or a moment that's held in your arms.
And what do you think you'd ever say?
I won't listen anyway.
You ignore me,
And I'll never be what you want me to be.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I walk back to the school, quiet and seething. I'm a loud mouth, but I can be a solemn loud mouth when I want to be. The parking lot stretches on forever. I hate walking, especially when I'm mad. It gives me too much time to think about it.


I snap my head up to see none other than Honda come running up to me in the paring lot.

"Man, what are you doing out here?" he asks, looking disappointed for some reason.

"What's it to you?" That came out a bit harsher than I wanted.

"You being late for track practice for the fourth time this week, that's what. And it's try-outs. Do you wanna make the team or not?" He says in that exasperated voice I seem to be getting a lot.


"Yeah, 'shit' is right, man. Go get your ass to practice." He says shaking his head. "What were you doing out here, anyway?"

I really, really don't want to answer that question.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

And what do you think you'd understand?
I'm a boy--No, I'm a man.
You can't take me and throw me away.
And how can you learn what's never shown?
Yeah, you stand here on your own.
They don't know me 'cause I'm not here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I stop in mid-turn to look at him and then the floor, which has suddenly become very interesting. I should be able to tell Honda anything, right? He wouldn't freak on me, right? I mean, we've been friends since I moved here…Besides, what would I say? Hey, there is this slight chance that someday in the future I might hit on you and no, I won't be drunk. Still wanna be friends?


"Uh…" I scratch my head looking for an answer. "There was someone I needed to talk to--"


My mouth was still open from my explanation and I couldn't seem to close it. Kaiba? Kaiba? How the hell did he know I was talking to Kaiba? Wait, he just came out of the school. Using the exit with the glass doors. The exit with the glass doors that looks out at the parking lot…

Fuck. Me.

I've got to play it cool. "Uh…yeah…we got into an argument, and I had to go attempt to beat his ass down," I say with a small shrug, trying to look sheepish about the whole thing.

"Did this argument involve you two…" he paused swallowing, like what he was about to say was either distasteful or something he just wasn't quite sure how to put into words. "…kissing and making up?"

I'm sure my eyes are huge at this point, probably just about ready to fall out of my head. I'm so dead. I get dumped by a guy I'm not even sure I'm going out with. Then I come out of the closet to my best friend. Here comes the part where said best friend kicks my ass. Today is just not going well at all.


I blink. Wow…being in shock really passes the time. I wonder how long I was standing there.


"It's no big deal," he says shifting on his feet, and I can't help but be relieved and very, very puzzled. "I mean, don't get me wrong. I don't swing that way. But, hey, it's your choice. Though…if you hit on me I will kick your ass."

"You mean it, man?"

He shrugs and looks at his feet. "We've been friends for too long for me to stop because you suddenly like taking it up the ass."

"Hey!" It comes out indignant, but I'm grinning anyway.

"Yeah, whatever. And, uh…if he…uh…tried anything…I'll kick his ass." Honda looked away, obviously uncomfortable. "You just…you just say the word, okay?"

"That's it? No smart comments about my choice in…uh…in…"

"I'll just keep it to myself, okay?" He says, looking at me with that clouded over expression he gets when we're fighting and I know he has an insult but he won't say it.

I grin again, but this time it falters. Honda I can deal with. It seems like he can handle it, which is one good thing that's happened today. Though I don't know what 'handle it' quite means. He could still jump me in the parking lot later on. I frown, knowing it won't help me to stand here and stew, but not really wanting to go face anyone else.

"It didn't look like it ended that well," he says, sounding slightly worried. Was it okay for a straight guy to talk to his gay friend about who he was dating? I'm not sure about the whole gay-straight protocol thing.

Maybe someone wrote a book on it.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

And I want a moment to be real.
Wanna touch things I don't feel.
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change,
They're the ones that stay the same.
They don't know me,
'Cause I'm not here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

"Uh…yeah. It didn't, but what'd you expect?" I say with a forced laugh. "This is Kaiba we're talking about. He's an ass."

Honda raises an eyebrow and the message was conveyed without words: 'An ass that I just caught you kissing in the parking lot.' I swallow, today just wasn't my day. He shifts again, looking decidedly uncomfortable, and it's not like I can blame him. If I caught him making out with a penguin, and he suddenly told me he had developed an attraction to them, I'm sure I wouldn't be all that keen to talk to him either.

I just compared Kaiba to a penguin. Heh, go me.

Honda looks at his watch and snorts softly. "Man, you are really late for practice now. You better get your ass in gear and get going."

Oh shit! Why do I keep forgetting about practice?!

"Shit, all right. Uh…we'll talk more about this later…if you want?" I say, starting to turn.

"Just get to practice, Jou. Nothing's changed."

At least I know why I'm friends with him.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

And you see the things they never see.
All you wanted I could be.
Now you know me, and I'm not afraid,
And I wanna tell you who I am.
Can you help me be a man?
They can't break me,
As long as I know who I am.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I take off for the track field and then have to turn around to get into the locker room. Showing up late is bad; showing up late and not dressed up? Now that's just plain suicidal.

I change quickly, throwing on a pair of shorts and leaving on my white shirt. Tie the tennis shoes…smooth the impossibly messy hair back…shit, I'm twenty minutes late.

Another sprint and I notice that the team has returned from their mile warm-up and is now stretching. I want to get started on my own warm-up, but the coach catches sight of me before I get a chance. Damn.

"Jounouchi!" Oh, that is not a happy coach, not a happy coach at all.

"Heya, coach. What's kicking?" I ask as I saunter up, trying to look as calm as possible.

"Do you even want to make the team?! Or is this just some big joke to you? Something you do to pass the time? And another thing--"

The coach's yelling has attracted the attention of the team captain, some prick who hates me. He's a rich kid, and he knows that I'm not. Always been a little snobby from what I hear. Apparently, he has something against the 'lower class' being on his track team. I inconspicuously give him the finger while maintaining eye contact with Coach, who is still reaming me out like there's no tomorrow.

"--You want to be a nobody? You want to be on a team? Then you start acting like it! Now take your mile and get back here as quick as your legs can carry you, you got it? Get on with it, Jounouchi."

I heave a sigh and take my lap. God, today is just not my day.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change,
They're the ones that stay the same.
They can't see me,
But I'm still here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

A mile is about four laps around the track field, which isn't too bad a run especially if you're me. I prefer the long distance running to those sprinters any day. Now that shit just looks painful. They run 200 yards in so many seconds and when they're finished they look like someone ripped out their internal organs while they were doing it. No thank you to that.

Ah, that's one lap. I can see myself coming up on the start line again only to see that some of the other kids are getting ready for their own run. Damn it. I hate running with other people. I always feel obligated to keep myself in front.

Oh, there they go. Now I'm gonna have to catch up.

I'm tailing the captain since I took the lane next to his. I can't even remember his name, but that doesn't stop us from hating each other. He looks back over his shoulder and glares, not liking the idea that I'm tailing him at all.

We pace each other. Sometimes one of us falling back for the other to take the lead and then coming up quickly to take it back. It got pretty annoying after a while and I just took off. Willing my legs to just go a little faster with every step until my lungs are burning and I realized that I've taken a good lead. But, man, it hurt.

I'm not the best on the team. I don't practice enough for it and I'm not much into the competition part either. Both just really aren't my things.

Running is like…running, I guess. I mean, I don't have some poetic meaning for it or anything. When you run, you have to think about running. And that's what I do. It gets me out of my house, and I think somewhere, some part of me wants to be good at something more than just a silly card game that I don't understand anyway.

Suddenly he's on my tail again and we're closing out the third lap. Now it's time to lay on the speed. He's always practicing, timing himself, doing extra hurdles, staying late, and if he wasn't such an asshole I might admire him. He could beat me, but he's forgotten one thing. I want to beat him now. I start to pull away, but he's coming up again. Man, he just won't quit.

We're closing in on the line. No one calls it the finish line; it's just the line. The goal. It would be like calling the hoop in basketball 'the point upper basket'. Kind of pointless.

Suddenly, I'm reeling and tasting grass on top of it. I roll over and who's smirking down at me?


Hey, I remembered his name. Wow…maybe it's 'cause I'm about to beat his ass down in about three seconds.

"You had better have a good reason for shoving me off the track 'cause I don't take things like that lightly," I growl out, coming up to lean back on my elbows.

"It was just an accident. I even stopped to help you up," he says loud enough for the rest of the runners to hear him and decide that it's not going to be confrontational.

He bends down as though he's going to help me up, and I frown.

"You're nothing, Jounouchi. You don't belong on this team."

"Aw, you're just saying that." I bite out sarcastically.

"Think twice before showing up to practice tomorrow," he says, a small smile tugging at the corners of his lips. What an asshole. He reaches a hand out towards me. One part of me wants to smack it away, but with everyone watching and my spot on the team counting on behavior, I take it.

"I don't think twice about anything." I say, as he pulls me to my feet and we both continue to glare at each other, and I am slightly thankful for the extra inch I have over him.

"What the hell is this?! Gossip time? Or are you two just trying to get a tan?!" Couch yells over the field. "This is the last time I'm warning you, Jounouchi. You're running extra after practice. And Sukuro! Act more like a captain and less like a street punk, got it? Now, get back out there and run!"

We continue to glare at each other but nod.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

They can't tell me who to be,
'Cause I'm not what they see.
And the world is still sleeping,
While I keep on dreaming for me.
And their words are just whispers,
And lies that I'll never believe.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

Practice ends, and thankfully the field is empty again. Coach calls me and I grudgingly trot over to him.

He sighs and shakes his head when I glare at him.

"You've got so much talent, Jounouchi."

Aw man, I hate these speeches.

"But you throw it all away. And for what? So you and Sukuro can duke it out like four-year-olds? I've been coaching for--"

Is he just going to keep talking? I've got extra laps to do, and it's gonna get dark soon…

"--it's been those years of practice that's made it quite easy for me to spot talent, and you got it. With a little extra work, and maybe some before school practices, you could--"

Is he nuts? I spend enough time out here running for people I don't care about. Why am I even trying out for this stupid team? God, I can't even think straight with him griping at me like this…

"--championship is in reach this year. You could be our 2-mile runner. Work on that speed just a bit; maybe I can get you to run with--"

With who? With Sukuro? Not very fucking likely. I can't believe how bitter I'm getting about this lecture. He is the coach, and I should respect that right? What is making me so mad…I can't understand this. Even I can get over the stunt Sukuro pulled earlier, but I still seem mad about something else. What could have possibly happened today to…Oh yeah…Kaiba. Man, I thought I would be over that.

Suddenly, Coach punches me lightly in the arm and my eyes widen at the sudden contact. I have to keep my clenched fists at my sides. I hate it when I get startled like that.

"--glad we had this talk, Jounouchi. Now go run those laps for me and we'll talk more about attendance and see what we can do about a few extra practices here and there…"

"Wait," I stutter out. "Are you telling me I made the team?" After all the shit I pulled?

"Maybe, we'll see how that attitude improves tomorrow."

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don't feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can they say I never change,
They're the ones that stay the same.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I start the laps, and I can feel my rhythm is lacking to say the least. I'm coming down too hard on my toes when I should be landing gently on the heel for a roll forward. My body weight is falling towards the front when my torso should be up straight…

Concentrate, damn it.

I must look like a gangly teen out here. I need to try harder. I need to prove them all wrong about me. I can show Kaiba that it is worth it; that I'm worth it.

And why the hell am I thinking about that asshole again?

I've got enough on my plate to deal with without him mucking shit up some more than he already has. I mean, seriously, can he get any more self-absorbed. Oh look at me, I'm Kaiba, I'm a fucking prick, la la la. What a jerk. He's so fucking full of himself! It's always about Kaiba. Always. All the teachers want him in their class, and all the colleges want him enrolled, and all the girls want to go out with him. I mean, oh yeah, being an ice burg is just sooooo freakin' sexy. Yeah, whatever.

Why am I still thinking about him?!

Probably because he's on the bleachers watching me…

He's what?!

Just as I can feel my pace settling, I trip and it's back to square one. Now, I'm really freaked out. Why is he here? I thought he said he had to be at work? Man, what time is it? It's can't be that late. I mean, twilight is late, but not that late, right? Maybe 5-5:30? Wait…that's the time practice ends…the sun sets around 6:30. Oh shit, I got to get home. I have a test tomorrow in…in…crap what do I have a test in tomorrow?

Wait, the book is in my bag. I'll have to go back for it in the locker room, but at least I'll know what I need to study for. I did put the book in my bag, right?

Aw man…

I can feel the embarrassment in my chest start to prickle when the track turns and my back is to him. Nothing is weirder than knowing Kaiba is watching you. Especially when you realize it after the fact. What if I trip and biff it in front of him? How long has he been here? Am I making good time? When was the last time I looked up at the bleachers?

My chest starts to burn and I realize with a flash of frustration that I've lost count of how many laps I've done. It's okay…I'll just finish this one up and head home. I won't even look at the bleachers again. He probably doesn't even know I've seen him. Yeah, that's it. I'll just leave. Wait, I have to get my book bag. Damn it. Okay, change in plans. Run to locker room, grab bag, skip changing, and then just get the hell home.

I sprint the last half of the lap and then walk as normally as I can towards the locker rooms.

I open my locker and pull out my book bag. Inside I find my bag and pull out the geometry book. Crap. I hate geometry. I needed any extra time I could get on this. Damn.

A thought creeps into my brain and I freeze. What if Kaiba is waiting for me outside the locker room? I mean, it's not like I've been hurrying or anything. What if he comes in here? What if I had decided to take a shower?

My mind goes through a very disturbing sequence of events that leave me more than a little flushed.

I shake my head, grab my bag and head for the door. Maybe he won't be out there. Maybe he just went home and forgot about the whole thing, like I've been praying for. I don't know why I'm acting like I'm afraid to confront him though.

I haven't done anything wrong. He's the one that's making the whole thing turn up side down. Not me. So, it's not my problem. Not to mention that when I do see him, I'm going to give him a piece of my mind, maybe even along with a piece of my fist, right in that smug, arrogant, annoying, little face of--

"Hello, Jounouchi."

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I'm the one now,
'Cause I'm still here
I'm the one,
'Cause I'm still here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

There are days that don't go well, and there are days that you just know someone up there hates you. This is one of those days.

My mouth opens, and then it shuts. It opens again and this time a small noise comes out of it, but nothing even somewhat understandable.

He blinks at me and holds out a paper bag. "Your clothes."

I take them from him, my mouth still attempting to say hi back. And then I remember that I'm still really pissed at him.

"You fucking jer--"

"Don't." He says, looking me in the eye.

"I will not! You keep pulling this shit--"

"I said don't." His teeth are gritted; I realize that mine are, too.

"No! And if you cut me off one more time, I'll kick your ass from here 'til next semester. Got it, moneybags?"

He narrows his eyes, and I'm caught up for a second in the color. They really are a dark, dark blue. Almost like those contacts you can buy at the shopping center that some of the chicks wear, but I bet they cost a whole--

Hello? Being pissed off here.

"You keep pulling this hot and cold shit with me, Kaiba. I don't get it. What the hell do you want from me, huh? Or is this something you thought up to embarrass the hell out of me?" I bite out, my hand clenching my bag so tight the knuckles turn white.

He says nothing for a moment, looking all thoughtful, but still staring at me with those eyes. I want to fidget under a gaze like that. Like he knows something that I don't, or that he sees something that I can't.

"I want you." He says evenly.

Now that was unexpected.

"But I don't want you at the same time."

Okay, understanding can dawn whenever it feels the need.

"And I want to be around you."

Any second now.

"But I want to get as far away from you as I can."

Any freakin' second now I'm going to have a clue about what he's talking about.

"And I don't understand why."

Well, that makes two of us.

"What?" My voice is strained and my head is starting to hurt. He had been taking steps towards me as he talked and I realize that I had been taking steps back to keep the distance between us. I can't stop looking at him. I can't take my eyes off him. It's like I'm afraid that if I let him out of my sight for a second he'll freakin' appear behind me or something. The wall of the locker room is now effectively stopping me going any farther back, but he's still coming closer.

"You're everything I hate." He says taking another step, his expression looking annoyed. Like he wants to pummel me, and doesn't even know why.

"Wait! Now you hate me?!" I yell, taking a step towards him now. Where the hell does he get off acting like he has a right to hate me? Dislike? Sure there was dislike, but hate?

"I should."

"What? You don't hate me, but you should?" I say looking at him like he's lost that important part of his brain labeled 'sanity'.

He's looking about as confused as I feel. His gaze is studying the cracks in the locker room wall, and he's frowning. He has such a nice mouth when he's not using it to be a prick…

Suddenly those eyes are staring at me, and I want to scream. It's like being under a fucking microscope here. Would he just answer the damn question?


Oh, well, thanks for clearing that up. I glare and brush past him. "You're a serious head case, you know that?"

I see his back tense as I past him, and something inside my brain twinges. It's like being back on the streets. See a movement. React to it. I spin around expecting a punch, but only see that he's turned around with me. It's like we were both anticipating the other to attack. How can we even like each other if we can't even marginally trust each other? My eyes narrow and I just want to sneer, but it probably wouldn't be anything compared to what he could do.

I shake my head and snatch the bag of my clothes from him. I'd almost forgotten about that.

"Thanks for the clothes, Kaiba. Now if you'll excuse me I've got some homework to do."

He just stares at me and then comes forward, pushing me back a little with a hand. It's not an aggressive movement as far as I can tell, so I don't sock him one in the face. He bends his face towards mine, and in an instant, of clarity I guess, I know he's going to kiss me.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I'm still here.

I'm still here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

"What the hell is your problem?!" I whisper at him fiercely. He stops inches from my face, and I'm not proud to say that I'm feeling really uncomfortable with this. I don't want to back up and give him ground, but I don't want to be standing this close to a guy who is very quickly beginning to resemble a powder keg.

"I don't know," he says, his eyes looking at my face, but not at my eyes.


He narrows his eyes in what I think is determination, and comes forward those few inches. I feel his lips brush my own, and it's all I can do to keep myself from sinking into him right there. I'm so mad at him, and yet, if he stops I'll kill him. I know I will.

His tongue pushes against my lips and I open my mouth for him. I gently push forward till they touch, and then he comes forward a bit more and takes control. I go with it, I mean, why the hell not?

He pulls away and I'm left staring up at him, my mouth slightly open.

"What…what is…why are you doing this!?"

He just looks at me evenly. "I've made a decision."

I roll my eyes. "Oh wait, let me guess. 'This isn't worth it.' Right?"

"No," he says, looking as though he's gauging my reaction to something.

"What then?" I snap out at him. "You like girls? You hate me? What?"

He's still for a moment, before meeting my eyes.

"I want to take back my previous decision."

"Wait a min--" I cut myself off and shake my head. I feel a little trapped in the locker room. Kaiba is effectively blocking my only exit and the way this conversation has been going I don't know if I want to hang around. His hand is still gently touching my chest, but the weight behind it is obvious. Plus, he's decided to stop making sense. "You're making a decision about a previous decision?"

"It's plausible."

"It's what? You know what, never mind." The pain in my head is starting to get worse, and the last thing I need is him explaining his choice of words. We yell, we fight, we make-out a little, and now I have to think. Maybe Kaiba doesn't know me as well as I thought, to think I'm capable of switching gears like he does. "Just what are you saying exactly?"

"That I'm…" he pauses. "Taking back my earlier decision."

"What?" I blink hard. "That's just what you said a second ago. Wait….are you trying to apologize?"

He just stares at me for a moment. No particular emotion on his face, and I'm left with guessing, which is something that I really just don't have the energy for.

"Right, right. Forgot who I was talking to."

"I take it back. That's all I wanted to tell you."

"You could ask me if I'm okay with it!" I almost yell.

He looks a little surprised at the statement as though the thought that I might not want to forgive him had never crossed his mind.

"Are you?" His voice is a little unsteady, as though the words are too thick for his mouth.

"You really don't get people, do you, Kaiba? I'm not a fucking yo-yo. You can't keep throwing me out and pulling me back in. It just doesn't fucking work like that!" I'm getting angrier by the second.

He just continues to watch me and I feel myself cracking.

"I don't get it!" I yell. His face stays impassive and I push forward a little "One minute you're sarcastic and then the next minute you're mad and then the next you're like some robot! What gives? Like in the parking lot. You were-" I pause. "We were both totally into it, but all the sudden you push me away and feed me that stupid 'this doesn't matter' line and drive off."

I'm so confused. I don't know what to say. Hell, I don't even know if I want this to work out. He just looks at me with a steady gaze, and again, I'm left with guessing. What the hell is he thinking? Does he even care? Is this some sick game?

"First tell me, why you're going along with this," He says, his voice low and commanding.

I stop and stare at him. "I don't know! Maybe because I want to? Did it ever fucking occur to you that I might like you?"

"Why should I believe you?" He steps towards me and that trapped feeling flares up in my mind again. I can't fight him off now; I've been running for the last couple of hours. The severity of his statement hits me and my anger almost boils over.

"Why should you--? Screw you! You know that. Screw you! You want to question my feelings? You don't even act like you have them half of the time, but all of the sudden you have the right to question mine? I don't fucking think so--" I advance forward a few steps and we're so close I can smell him. And every ounce of me wants to pummel him into the ground.

"How can I trust you?" His voice is so soft, like I'm the immature one for yelling. Like this is my fault. Like I'm to blame.

"I don't fucking know! I'm me! I'm not going to change or anything! I like you! I like being with you, when you're not acting all crazy!" I pause long enough to kick at wall and grab a fistful of hair, a habit I am becoming painfully aware of. Just what the hell are we trying to solve?! "I-I-Can we just fucking talk about something else?!"

I fall silent, breathing heavily and leaning back against a wall after taking a few steps back. He studies my face and then makes another decision I suppose. He cocks his head to the side and then studies the wall. Why am I the only one who's angry? And is he seriously going to try and change the subject? Because I asked him to? Sometimes he acts so much like a computer it's scary.

"How are things with your father?" He asks suddenly.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

I'm still here.

:'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``': :'``~``':

This time I let out a frustrated moan and thunk my head back into the wall a few times. "Christ! I don't want to talk about him right now! It's like that's all you care about! I can handle it! You know I can handle it! I mean, it not like you need to know, it's not like it's something you've been through or--"

I stop talking and open my eyes to see blue ones staring back at me, impassive face conveying no feelings or ideas. I…I could be wrong. I know they were adopted. Mokuba had told Yugi once about the orphanage. That means they had to have a new family. But, now they lived alone. What had happened to whoever had adopted them? How had Kaiba come to control the company? Why did he look so surprised when I told him I fought back against my father? Why does he keep pushing the subject?

"Kaiba?" I ask, confusion blooming over my face.

Blue eyes hold my own, reminding me too much of the fact that Kaiba's still in Mr. Computer mode. He looks down and studies our shoes. Oh, he is not dodging this one.


Suddenly his eyes meet my own again, but instead of the emotionless ones I was expecting, they're normal again, or as normal as he can act. Maybe there are some things about Kaiba that I just don't want to know about yet.

"I don't want to talk about it right now." His voice is startlingly strong, and I take a deep breath.

"Not right now?" I ask, trying to keep the annoyance out of my voice. I'm treading on such thin ice. I'm not a shrink. I don't know what to say. Christ, why isn't Yugi or someone here? They could tell me what to say. One minute I want to beat the crap out of him, the next I want to sit around with his tongue in my mouth all day, and then the next I'm worried and concerned about something I have no idea about.

He nods.

"But maybe later?" Hi, I'm Jounouchi and I'm a counselor at Domino High. Someone shoot me.

He blinks and then frowns a little, as though he's not sure he can trust me. Hell, I'm not even sure I can trust him. Why are we doing this? Why am I still here?


To Be Continued…