Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh.
A/N: This is an AU. Tea and Seto have never met before. They are in their early twenties and Mokuba is in his early teens. Any input is welcome, so feel free to tell me what you think.
Tea was desperate. Desperate enough to seek out help from a man her father had explicitly told her to stay away from.
"Tea" His voice as smooth as velvet slithered down her spine, sending chills to her stomach. "It's a pleasure to meet you."
"And I you, Mr. Kaiba."
"Mr. Kaiba," His brows wrinkled in thought as the corner of his mouth turned down in discontent. "It's so formal. Why don't you just call me uncle Gozaburo."
Tea hesitantly complied.
Shafts of light streamed through the window, filling the spacious office with radiance. Gozaburo's white hair glistened in the light like a halo. Tea was again left to wonder why this man, a rather harmless looking old man, was so hated at Domino.
She had heard stories about him, and not just from her father. He was said to be worst than Lucifer himself. As Domino's wealthiest member of society, he was immune to others' sufferings. He was callous and unforgiving. Anyone standing in his way would get destroyed, friend or foe; Tea's father was a friend.
"Lord, has it been so long since I last saw you?" Gozaburo emerged from behind his desk. His steps were sure despite his age. "Get up and let your god father have a good look at you."
Her legs felt wobbly as she gingerly stood up from her chair. His eyes swept over her. Analysing and judging. Tea stood there, unsure of what to do, but enduring the silent scrutiny. His lips broke into a satisfied smile.
"You have turned into something Tea." She supposed that was a compliment of sorts. "Now, what is it that you've sought me out for? I don't suppose this to be a social call."
Tea almost blanched at his sudden attitude change. But he was right. She didn't come all the way to Tokyo because he was an old friend of the family. She came here with a purpose. "I...I have a favour to ask of you."
"Oh?" He didn't seem the least bit surprised.
There was no point beating around the bushes. "I need a job."
"Yes," He nodded his head absentmindedly. "Japan's economy has been rather unstable lately. About half the people of Tokyo needs a job. Why should I hire you?"
Tea was at a lost for words. "Mr. Gozaburo. If you would just give me a chance, I'm sure I will..."
"Chances aren't given Tea. They are earned."
Gozaburo seemed delighted at Tea's bewilderment. "What exactly do you want me to do then?"
"Why should I hire you?" He repeated.
Why? Why? Tea was very tempted to throw the question back in his face. Why did he have to fire her father from the only job he's ever known at the branch of his company at Domino, throwing their entire family into financial turmoil? Why did he have to destroy her dreams of ever travelling to America to study dance?
"Because I want it enough." He chuckled.
"You've got backbone, Tea. I respect that." A glimmer of hope broke through Tea's bleak thoughts.
"So you will hire me?"
"I will not only hire you, Tea, I will make all your dreams come true."He smiled. Not the way he smiled before, but in a way that made Tea want to bolt from the room and never come back. A smile of anticipation, a lion ready to pounce on his unsuspecting game. "In return for a favour of mine."
"Yes." Tea managed to push past the lump in her throat.
The smile turned triumphant. The hunter had ensnared his prey. His hand wrapped around Tea's smaller one in a death grip. "Good."
Tea looked dazedly at their linked hands. She had just made a deal with the devil.
Was it his baggy clothes that made people dismiss him as nothing more than a child? Or was it the way his hair hung down his back in an unruly mess that made people suspicious of everything he did. Or maybe it was just his age that people took him for a fool.
Mokuba peeked out from beneath his long bangs up at his brother. Seto was mad. Not that Mokuba blamed him. That was a big client Mokuba spilled coffee all over. Not that she didn't deserve it either.
"Mokuba, are you listening to me?"
"Yes." He mumbled underneath his breath.
"Then sit still and look at me."
The chair stopped swivelling but Mokuba's emotions did not . "Big brother, you don't understand. It wasn't my fault." He desperately tried to explain. "You wouldn't believe the things she said about us...about you."
Seto lay a gentle hand on Mokuba's shoulder, but the action only made the youngster more uncomfortable. "I don't give a rat's ass what she said about me."
"But I do!" Seto scowled.
"What did I tell you about getting emotions mixed with business?"
Mokuba felt the unmistakable hands of despair grasp his heart. True to his earlier words, his brother did not understand. He didn't even try to understand, Mokuba wretchedly concluded.
"Now I have a lot of things to do..."
Seto was dismissing him, but he wasn't ready to be dismissed. "Big brother, I..."
Grabbing the phone, Seto motioned for Mokuba to stay. "I'll call Benedict to pick you up."
"But I don't wanna go!" His voice sounded whiny even to his own ears, but Seto paid him no heed. "Forget it," he whispered dejected. "I'm going for a walk."
"Mokuba," There was a definite note of annoyance in Seto's voice now.
Mokuba bit back the urge to apologize.
He did not usually argue with his brother, but Seto was being unreasonable. He was only trying to defend him after all.
Mokuba ignored the limo parked outside the building and scowled when he heard the driver calling for him. He wasn't a baby anymore! He didn't need a body guard.
Trapped in a world of anger and self loathing, Mokuba was oblivious to his surroundings until the screech of tires and scream made him stop in his tracks.
Tea stared up at the twenty story building in front of her. Even though she was surrounded by skyscrapers, this one building loomed over the whole area. Its physical size emphasized its importance. The sun glinted off the reflective windows, momentarily blinding Tea. Turning away, she observed the people entering and exiting the revolving doors.
Strait laced, up tight men and women in black and grey business suits hurried past her. Their briefcase held rigidly in their hands, their expressions sombre, and their actions robotic as they simultaneously reached for their cell phones, rattling off demands into the small digital device.
Tea brushed a hand over her bright outfit nervously. Her yellow blouse seemed to be the only splash of colour in a twenty-mile radius, and her pink purse seemed juvenile compared to the leather briefcase carried by everyone else.
Downtown Tokyo was so different from Domino, her hometown. Domino was a quiet and small town where your next door neighbour was your closest friend, and everyone knew everyone else. Whereas Tokyo was so... Tea squinted up at the building in front of her again...intimidating.
"Kaiba Corp," Tea's whisper was drowned out by the busy buzz of traffic. Shaking her head, Tea wondered how she managed to entangle herself in this mess
"I will not only hire you Tea, I will make all your dreams come true." He smiled "In return for a favour of mine."
"Yes," Tea managed to push past the lump in her throat.
His hands wrapped around Tea's smaller ones in a death grip. "Good."
Tea pulled her hand back as if it was burned. "Um...so Mr. Gozaburo...when do I start?"
"Relax Tea," Gozaburo's attitude visibly changed in front of her. The devious business man was gone, replaced by the harmless old man. "Let's get reacquainted. After all, it's been how long since I last saw you? Fourteen? Fifteen?"
"Fifteen years, sir." Tea helpfully supplied.
"Right," Gozaburo chuckled. "How's your father?"
Tea's eyes narrowed. Was he serious? He knew exactly how poorly her father was doing after he lost his job.
At Tea's silence, Gozaburo continued. "I adopted a son you know."
"You may know him." Tea nodded absent-mindedly. The longer she stayed, the more she wanted to leave.
"He owns Kaiba Corp. He's always on the cover of all those business magazines."
Gozaburo leaned over his desk and reached for Tea's hands once again. Tea stiffened at the contact. "That boy is so stubborn. Wants to do everything by himself...but he is so young." He paused, his eyes glistened in the light. "I'm worried about him. He is my son after all. Tea, I need someone to keep an eye on him."
The truth hit Tea like a ton of bricks. She quickly withdrew her hand from his. "You want me to spy on your son?" She asked in dismay.
"Not spy," Gozaburo reasoned. "Just look after him, stick close to him. Report to me what he does. I'm his father, don't you think I want what's best for him?"
"But...I don't know him, how can I get close to him?"
"Simple. Kaiba Corp. is looking to hire a new secretary. All you have to do is apply for the position."
"But, what if they don't hire me." Tea was desperately looking for a way to get out of this.
"I looked at your resume Tea. I know how qualified you are. Trust me, you'll get the job."
"Tea, did I mention that I am a big sponsor of the Tokyo Dance Company." Gozaburo paused for effect. "One word from me and I am sure a position in the company will open up for a talented girl such as your self."
Tea's mouth dropped open. Gozaburo was dangling the bait in front of her. Her lifelong dream of being a dancer was within sight. All she had to do was reach for it.
"If you get the job at Kaiba Corp. I'll put in a word for you at the Tokyo Dance company." Gozaburo smiled. "Why don't I give you a few days to think about it"
"No...I mean," Tea couldn't believe what she was going to say. "I don't need a few days. I'll do it."
~End flash back
Taking a deep breath, Tea prepared to enter the building. Only her feet refused to move. Tea sighed in defeat. She just couldn't go through with it.
Turning to leave, Tea almost fell flat on her face when something knocked into her from behind. "Hey watch it!" Tea rubbed her sore shoulder. She watched as the black haired boy ignored her and continued walking. "How rude..."
The door of the black limo suddenly opened and the driver called out. "Master Kaiba."
Tea's jaw became unhinged. Master Kaiba? She stared at the kid. He couldn't be more than fourteen. Gozaburo told her that his son was young, but she didn't think the multi-billionaire
CEO of Kaiba Corp. was this young.
"Master Kaiba. This way please." The drive chased after the teen.
No wonder Gozaburo needed someone to keep an eye on him. Tea watched as the boy purposely ignored the driver. The kid's got an attitude problem.
Tea shrugged. Since she decided to be a non-participant of Gozaburo's plan, what the kid did did not matter to her anymore. Out of the corner of her eyes, Tea saw the red Cadillac barrelling down the street, heading towards the teen.
"Oh my God," Tea jumped into action. Dropping her purse, Tea screamed. "Watch out!"
The scream penetrated Mokuba's thoughts first. He looked up only to come face to face with the face of the horrified driver. Before he could react, he felt a strong grip on his arm and a force yanking him backwards. Instead of colliding with the pavement, he landed on something soft. Mokuba sat there in shock.
"Can you please get off me?" Something wheezed underneath him.
The world came tumbling back to his senses. Benedict was running towards him, screaming, "Master Kaiba. Master Kaiba," he looked ready to faint.
The driver of the Cadillac got out of his car and looked angry. "Did you want to get killed or something! What the hell did you do that for?"
Mokuba's face paled as he looked at the surroundings around him. If Seto found out he ran out onto the street and almost got killed, Seto would be furious.
"Kid, are you alright?" Tea looked up at the boy worriedly. He hadn't said one word yet.
"Ya...ya," Mokuba stuttered as Benedict hauled him off the girl.
"Young master. Speak to me please..."
Tea sighed in relief. That was a close one. She looked over to where the driver was. The boy seemed to be still in shock. Poor kid. Tea pursed her lips. She hoped he was going to be alright.