I know, I'm late updating. This past week has been a nightmare. But I have something to make up for it! It's a scene between two certain characters. You'll have to read to find out who! Enjoy!
Seto and Téa managed to get into a routine that kept Téa's presence at the mansion a secret. If she had to leave the house, she would leave with Seto when he went to work, and they would drop her off at a discreet location with either Yugi or Mai to pick her up. Téa was worried for her job when reporters started hanging around the studio, but the owner assured her that her job was safe and that the police would keep them away from the studio. She felt awful about the hassle, but she was happy to still be employed. Seto tried to convince her to let him hire a bodyguard, but she claimed that it would only make things worse and attract more attention and was able to appease him somewhat when she showed him her pepper spray. He was still not happy.
Kaiba sat at his desk typing away furiously on his laptop. He was frustrated. Well, actually that was an understatement. The Board of Directors were on his back about the next summer tournament and concern over the development of the new duel disks. He told them all to go jump out a window. Having the fear of being discovered by the media regarding his relationship to Téa only caused his stress to hit new heights and his already thin patience to become nonexistent.
"Sir," his secretary buzzed him, "I have a Mr. Motou here to see you." Assuming it was Yugi wanting to discuss Atem or Téa, he told her to let him in. He was surprised, when instead the other Motou walked in. Kaiba immediately felt his anger rise in his chest and his shoulders tense, but he forced himself not to show any kind of emotion other than his usual annoyance toward the former pharaoh. He couldn't let him know about his relationship with Téa. Seto wouldn't allow any further harm to come to her because of his or Atem's actions.
"What do you want?" Kaiba kept his voice steady and detached. He forced himself to keep his eyes on the computer screen.
"Well, good morning to you too Kaiba," Atem snarked as he walked through the office door.
"I don't have time for pleasantries. Say what you want and get out."
Atem strolled into the expansive office like he owned the place. He causally glanced out the glass pane windows that looked over Domino. Kaiba felt his ire rise as he continued to wait for an answer and his typing became harder on the keyboard. "Speak, Atem."
Atem raised a brow. "Well, as you know the Duel Academy is having the scholarship tournament in a couple months. As one of the head instructors, they wanted me to oversee the tournament."
"I'm aware of that, now get out."
Atem tsked at him. "Now Kaiba, don't get snippy. The board at the school just wants to know of your plans for the tournament." Kaiba glared at his girlfriend's ex and kept typing. Oh, how Kaiba wanted to throw him out the window that he had just been looking out of.
"They'll be sent over next week. Now, leave." Kaiba turned back to his computer to make it clear he was done talking. If Atem was in this room any longer, he might just blow.
Kaiba tried to not clench his fists when Atem began speaking again. "Kaiba," Atem plopped in the chair in front of his desk, "I have a problem." Kaiba restrained himself from slamming Atem's head against his desk.
"The great and mighty Atem actually has an issue he can't solve?" Kaiba replied sarcastically, "As much as I enjoy your pain, I'm very busy. Out." He had a feeling he knew what his problem was.
"I'm sure you've heard about me and Téa," Atem said ignoring him.
Inhale. Exhale. "I don't care about such petty things."
Atem sighed, ignoring the CEO again. "I want to talk to her, but no one will tell me where she is. She must be hiding out with that man. I can't believe she left me for some nobody. Our love was something poets would serenade about, and some viper thinks he can come in and just steal her away from me," he spat.
Kaiba rolled his eyes. "You really need to tone down on the dramatics."
Atem glared at him which Kaiba ignored. "You know that I don't lose, Kaiba."
Kaiba's pride began to rear its head as he chuckled and said "You mean to tell me that the illustrious King of Games lost his girlfriend to someone else? It seems to me that Gardner finally gained some sense. However, I have bigger issues to concern myself with other than your love life."
"Watch it, Kaiba." Atem shifted in the chair and crossed his legs. "I just want to know who the bastard is. I like to know who I'm competing against. How about I make a deal with you? Perhaps you could help me, and in return, we could have another duel."
Kaiba glanced at him and raised a brow. "And just what are you suggesting I do, Atem?"
Atem gave him a smirk. "We both know you have your ways. I just need a name."
The sound of typing filled the office as Kaiba acted like he was mulling the decision over. So that's why he was really here. Atem must really be desperate to resort to this.
Finally, Kaiba responded and said, "I'm going to pass. I'm not going to waste my company's resources on some lover's spat."
Atem sighed and said, "Have it your way." Kaiba resisted the urge to smirk when he heard the annoyance in Atem's voice. "You're lucky, you're single, Kaiba." Atem continued, "Women are complicated. Yes, I slept with a few women during our relationship, but I just couldn't help myself. It was perfectly natural to have multiple partners and wives in my time. Silly of the world to stop that tradition."
Kaiba's left eye twitched. Luckily, Atem had been staring out the window and missed it. "Actually," Kaiba began, deciding to listen to his ego and not his head, "I'm seeing someone." He stopped typing, leaned back in his office chair, and wound his fingers together. Kaiba really looked at Atem for the first time since he entered his's office. He didn't care and quite frankly, Kaiba thought he deserved it, but Atem really had seen better days. He looked tired, his clothes were rumpled and one blonde hair that always magically seemed to stick up, was sagging off to the side. It looked ridiculous.
Atem looked surprised, not just at the revelation, but at the fact that Kaiba had actually shared something with him. "Who is she?"
"None of your concern."
"Come now, I can give you tips on how to keep her pleased." Atem gave him a Cheshire grin.
"Believe me, I don't need help in that department. I don't think I'll ever get tired of hearing her scream my name. She always says I please her more than any other man ever had. Her ex is a total douche. He's been causing her some grief, but I'll deal with him soon enough." Kaiba couldn't resist the smug smirk that formed this time. Oh, this was fun.
"I am sure you will, Kaiba. The poor fool." The irony made Kaiba feel so much better. "I have a feeling we will both be able to defeat our opponents in the game of love."
"I seriously doubt that. Now, if you're done wasting my time, get out of my office."
"Fine, fine Kaiba. If you ever need advice regarding your woman, you know where to find me." He winked at Kaiba as he rose from the chair. Kaiba pictured himself ripping that eye out of its socket. After Atem left the office, Kaiba buzzed his secretary.
"Yes, Mr. Kaiba?"
"Next time," he growled, "specify which Mutou is here."
After receiving an aggressive phone call from Kaiba, telling Yugi to speak to Atem now after his visit to Kaiba's office, Yugi couldn't push off the conversation with Atem any longer. He entered the apartment with the spare key and grimaced when he saw that it was disgusting. Normally, Atem was very structured in maintaining order in his apartment, but clearly that had gone out the window.
"Atem?" Yugi called out. "Are you here?" He heard a giggle in the bedroom and then the distinct sound of the Pharaoh's voice. Yugi rolled his eyes. Great. "Come out Atem, I want to talk to you."
He heard movement from down the hallway, so he figured he might as well be useful and wash some of the stack of dishes in the sink while he waited. When he caught sight of mold, he dismissed that thought and decided that Atem was a big boy and could wash his own damn dishes. He crossed his arms over his chest and leaned against the counter, while a thin brunette emerged of Atem's bedroom in a small pink dress, carrying her black heels in her hand. Atem emerged a second later, shirtless with low hanging gray sweats on his hips and wrapping his arm around the girl's waist, whispered something in her ear that made her giggle.
"Sometime today, Atem." Yugi said, not bothering to disguise the irritation in his voice.
"Don't be rude, Yugi," Atem replied smoothly. He whispered something else in her ear that made her glance at Yugi and giggle again. Yugi took a deep breath in through his nose to try and keep his temper in check. Finally, Atem opened the front door and the girl gave him a kiss that made Yugi highly uncomfortable and said, "Call me!" before Atem shut the door in her face.
Atem turned to him and smiled, "Good to see you Yugi. How's the shop?"
"I'm not here for small talk, brother. I'm here to talk about-" he gestured around the room "-this."
"I'll admit that I've been lax in cleaning."
"There's mold in the sink."
"Fine, I haven't cleaned at all." Atem sighed. "You clearly have something to say so just say it," Atem said coolly.
Yugi could tell the defenses were rising. He had to play this right.
"I wanted to talk about you and Téa. She-"
"There is no more me and Téa," Atem snapped.
"That may be true, but I know you still care about her. She's being harassed by reporters, Atem. I had to go get her in the middle of the night because they were camping outside of her apartment. She's had to abandon it for now."
"Oh? And where, may I ask is she staying now?" Atem was studying him closely.
"With a friend." It wasn't a lie. Atem hummed. "Somehow some fanatics of yours and the reporters even snagged her phone number." Anyone else would have missed it, but not Yugi. He saw the slight twitch of Atem's eyebrow although the rest of his expression remained blank. Kaiba had been right. His stomach plummeted.
"That is unfortunate. Not sure what I can do about it though. She's not my girlfriend."
"She is your friend."
"She was sleeping with someone else. She chrated on me." Atem's tone took on a dangerous edge and he crossed his arms across his naked chest. Yugi paused. He could see that Atem was hurt, despite his own part in this whole mess. Yugi saw the dark circles under his eyes and even if he tried to hide it, the pain in them. He couldn't help but feel his defenses rise for Téa though. It was Atem's own doing that drove her into, although unknowing to him, Kaiba's arms.
Yugi grit his teeth and hissed out, "Don't go there, Atem. We both know that's rich coming from you." Atem shrugged.
"I can sleep with whoever I want now. I'm single." Probably wasn't the best thing to say to Yugi at the moment.
"You weren't before," his voice dropping, taking on a frosty tone. Atem stiffened. Yugi wasn't sure if it was because he hadn't known that Téa had told them about the cheating or if it was because he hadn't thought she would. "I'm not here to argue about this. What's done is done. But now, you need to get yourself together. Maybe go on a date that isn't in the bedroom."
Atem grinned wolfishly. "But those are the best kind." Yugi kept himself from rolling his eyes.
"I'm serious, Atem. This isn't healthy. Clean this apartment, take a shower and start moving on." Atem's eyes narrowed.
"Why are you pushing this Yugi?" Warning bells went off in Yugi's head.
"My concern for you and your well-being." He tried to use a "duh" tone of voice. While it was true and he didn't want Atem to be stuck in this rut, he also needed to push Téa's interest forward. Atem's violet eyes continued to study him. Yugi tried to keep his face passive.
Atem's posture became more down turned and his eyes drifted to the ground. "How is Téa?" The sudden change in demeanor took Yugi by surprise. He hesitated. This was a dangerous question. If he answered wrong, it could make create an unfavorable result. If he told him she was moving on, it could cause him to do the same, but it could also result in raising Atem's anger and push him to do something that would hurt Téa.
"She's doing alright," he said neutrally.
Atem walked over to the fridge and pulled out a water bottle. Yugi studied his back, trying to figure out what he would say next. Atem turned back around to face him and placed the water bottle on the counter. Yugi could see him hesitate.
"Do-do you know where she is? I wanted to talk to her." Atem's mask cracked and Yugi could see desperation there. His heart jolted when he realized that Atem did still love her, but then why had he been so unfaithful? "Do you know if she's still seeing that man? If she would just leave him, we might be able to work things out." Yugi's fists clenched at the broken sound of him.
"Atem," Yugi began slowly, "I-I can see if she'll talk to you. But…I think it best that you both move forward separately." Atem's head jerked up and stared at Yugi. Yugi gulped as he saw a flash of anger in his eyes. The warning bells were now at a full blare.
Atem moved around the counter and approached him till he was only a few steps away. "Why do you keep saying that I should move on? Whoever she's seeing certainly can't compare to what Téa and I shared." Atem asked aggressively.
Yugi kept a passive face. His poker face would never be as good as Atem's or Kaiba's but it worked. "It's what's best, Atem. For all our sakes. Téa's made her decision." Suddenly, Atem grabbed Yugi's arm.
"Do you know who it is?" Atem's violent eyes were raving with anger and pain. There was a feral look in his features that seemed unnatural to the normally collected man. This was not where Yugi had wanted the conversation to turn.
Panic rose in Yugi's chest and he gulped. "Look, it doesn't matter. She's-she seems to be happy… It's not who I would have expected-" Yugi shut his mouth. Shit.
"You do know! Did she put you up to this? Try and convince me to move on so she can finally come out with her little fuck toy?" Atem's voice was growing in volume and his grip was tightening. Yugi felt a sting of fear when he saw the untamed look in his friend's eyes. Then anger overtook his fear at Atem's disrespect of Téa.
Yugi ripped his arm away and spat "She doesn't even know I'm here."
"But you know!" Atem thundered. "Tell me, Yugi! Who is it? Who took her away from me?"
"Back off! Why does it even matter who?"
"I will not be bested! I can win her back! I just need to know who I am facing! Tell me Yugi! I need to know!"
"It's your own fault!" Yugi yelled, losing control, "This isn't some game Atem! You pushed her away! You cheated on her! And you lied to me about that woman at the tournament! I know you did! She's found someone else Atem! You should too! You definitely have before!" He stormed out of the kitchen and out of the apartment, ignoring Atem's cries to tell him who his opponent is.
Kaiba sighed as he listened to Yugi through the phone in his office. He leaned back in his chair and pinched the bridge of his nose. The conversation had not gone well, and he hadn't convinced Atem to go out somewhere public on a date. Yugi explained that Atem was obsessed with knowing who the man was.
"This isn't good, Kaiba. I'm worried he's going to go back to the press, so they'll keep pursuing this. If they find out it's you, it's going to be a massacre."
Kaiba cursed. "Just keep me updated. We'll just have to deal with that if he does."
"Um Kaiba? I think we're going to have to deal with it now."
Kaiba's eyebrows furrowed. "Why?"
"Turn on the TV." Kaiba grabbed the remote from his desk and turned on the TV that was on his back wall. The news came up and made his stomach sink.
"-game Duel Monsters has turned into a real duel for love. Atem Mutou, renowned duelist, when asked about his ex's rumored affair, confirmed that the she did actually have an affair and said that he had no idea who it was with. He stated, and I quote "I have no idea who she was seeing. I don't even know when it started. I've asked her and some friends, but no one will tell me anything. I just want some answers." Kaiba shut it off, not be able to bear hearing any more.
This just took it to a whole other level. Now, every reporter is going to be hounding them, trying to figure out who it was, even more persistently then before now that the affair was confirmed. Every reporter would be trying to be the one to crack the mystery. Kaiba felt like banging his head on his desk. Why the fuck did people even care? Who cares about her love life? He hated people.
"I'm going to kill him," Kaiba growled. "We may as well go public at this point. At least then we can control some of what is being said rather than just letting Atem just have free rein over what's happening."
Kaiba heard a crash on the other end of the line. "How the hell did this even happen?" He heard Yugi take a calming breath. "Look, in the end it's your decision, but maybe I can talk him into making another statement telling the press to stop hounding her and he wants to talk to her himself."
"Because that worked so well the last time?" Kaiba snapped. "I need to go; I have to figure out where Téa is. Hopefully, she's at my house and isn't in public." Yugi told him to keep him updated and hung up. This day couldn't get any worse. He breathed in and thought about what the hell he was going to tell Téa.