* * *

The rhythmic beat emerged from what seemed, thin air. The burst of sound bounced from ceiling to floor, pounding the ears of anyone accessible. Tea closed her eyes, feeling the pulsating music run through her veins, letting it soak in her skin. Slowly, she began, starting with a few simple moves, waiting for the perfect time to start her winning performance.

Her fingers coiled into tight fists as she worked. Beads of tense sweat made its' way down her forehead. 'Keep cool,' she reminded herself firmly. 'Even if you're facing 5 of the toughest dance judges in New York in order to get into an impossible dance school that may affect scholarships and life jobs, you gotta stay strong.' She cringed at the thought of failure, but made effort not to show how anxious and worried she was.

The judges seemed a little bored as if the other dancers tried the same sort of routine. That only motivated Tea to dance harder and better, perfect, and, even make up, moves. This one act would depend upon her entire future. She knew that she wasn't going to give up easily, Even if her landlord was threatening to kick her out of her apartment and that she had spent 2 years of doing odd jobs just to buy a plane ticket to New York. Her friends would never allow it. Though they couldn't attend her moment, they were with her in spirit and were cheering her on.

Tea smiled serenely as she finished off her dance routine with a dazzling twist. The music came to an abrupt end and claps filtered from the small audience.

'They like me! . . . Or so I hope . . .' Tea brightened up, looking obviously relieved.

After a long discussion, the tall, silver-haired judge spoke. " We are very well aware of your growing talent, Miss Gardner, but I'm afraid this is simply not enough to get you into one of New York's dance studios. Please come back when you get a little bit more experienced."

Tea's shoulders sagged. This couldn't be happening! She had lost her home, friends, and life back in Domino just for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that had backfired. Now, with nowhere else to go, she was hopelessly lost and stuck in New York without money, shelter, or anyone to turn to.

She knew she could ask Mai for the money. She had enough and all, but Tea hated to beg, and Mai had helped her already with the plane ticket. They all did and they all would try to help. Her friends were like that. Too kind to pass up the chance to help a friend when down. She couldn't tell them her mistake! She could refuse over and over again, but they all would pressure her until she'd crack, telling her to take their money and to come back to Domino where she belonged with them.

But, no, Tea belonged in New York, where all the sights and sounds of music and dance lived in. She dreamt and breathed the lime light of the stage where she could dance until she dropped with pleasure. This was her home. She didn't really want to go back and decided to stay in New York to get money to pay rent and try again with the promise of succeeding.

Nodding to the judges as she stewed in her own silence, she picked up her belongings and headed off the stage with little hope of returning to dance.

* * *

Tea chewed her bottom lip, her eyebrows furrowed, as she tried to decide on what temporary job she wanted. A pharmacy technician? A manicurist? A librarian? All of the jobs available needed some or little experience, all that Tea had none of.

Finally, she found a want-ad for a housekeeper/maid for a condo. Tea had helped her mom clean and dust the house, thus forth guessing that that may be qualifying experience. She carefully snipped the paper out and punched in the numbers written below.

"Hello, Kaiba Corps, Kaiba speaking.," a gravely voice answered.

Tea froze on the spot. Kaiba?! The ad didn't say anything about working for HIM ! Frantic, she searched the ad until she found the initialized KC on the very bottom in microscopic form.

"Is any one there?" Kaiba began to get annoyed already. "Look, I'm really busy . . ."

"I want to apply for the housekeeping job!" blurted Tea.

"Oh . . . Well, do you have any experience? Credentials?"

"Yes . . . I have everything."

"Wait a minute . . . You sound awfully familiar . . . Do I, by any chance, know you?" inquired Kaiba suspiciously.

"Uh . . . Yeah!" stammered Tea. "I'm Tea . . . Tea Gardner-"

"Oh yes. One of Yugi Motou's little friends," said Kaiba disgustedly, as if making friends with Yugi was the worst thing to do. "Well, I guess I'll have you come by my office tomorrow-"

Tea's heart raced. "Oh, thank you Kaiba!"

* * *

This might be one of my best fics (though I'm not so great in romance genres) Please review!