(Please read prior to Chapter 13): I began writing this chapter over a year ago, but just recently I re-read TMTA and realized, this story doesn't make sense. I mean, the plot so far doesn't even pass as mediocre, and the pairing I had in mind just doesn't seem possible. I apologize to my readers--I totally messed up when developing Eshe Tutankhka's character. I cannot fathom Seto Kaiba ever having romantic interest in her (or any interest, period). She's a bad character for this story. To continue it how I'd originally intended would be an insult to the characters, especially Seto Kaiba. Now that I know and understand that my original SetoxEshe pairing doesn't work, I have two choices: 1) Rewrite the entire story with a new and improved Eshe (which would require a lot of time reinventing her personality/character), or 2) End the story now with the most probable ending I can think of.
I choose option 2. I doubt there are any readers who are continuing this story from over a year ago--but in case there are, I want to finish what I've started. I'm warning you--this is probably not the ending you expect nor desire, but it is the best I can come up with, considering I don't have the time nor energy to completely rewrite the story.
Too Much To Ask
Chapter 13: The Result of a Technicality
Eshe Tutankhka's Point of View
As a result of random selection, I was scheduled to be in the second duel of the Battle City Finals.
My opponent: Yugi Mutou.
I don't have a chance at winning, but that doesn't matter. All that matters is that I'm on this blimp, meaning I still have a chance to save Seto.
"Duelists, take your positions!" Roland shouted.
I walked up to the dueling platform, Yugi mirroring my movements. He looked very determined to win this duel, for whatever reason. Like I said, though, it doesn't matter to me whether he wins or loses. I am at a position of advantage, either way.
"Stop the duel," Seto ordered. All eyes turned to him.
"Is there a problem, Kaiba?" Yugi asked.
"As President of Kaiba Corporation and head of the Battle City Tournament, I declare this duel invalid!" Seto turned to Yugi. "As a result of disqualification, Yugi Mutou is the winner of this duel."
I lost? By disqualification?
"You can't disqualify me!" I sputtered.
"I just did." His tone was as icy as ever.
"On what grounds?" I demanded.
"You broke your duelist contract by entering under a false name, Eshe Tutankhka…or should I say, Eshe Abbott?"
"But…that's the name of my adoptive parents," I argued, my voice breaking. Why is he doing this to me? Why is he pushing me away? I only want to help him! "My name is Eshe Tutankhka, and you know that, Seto!"
"Regardless of what your 'real' name is, Eshe Abbott is your legal name, is it not?"
Tutankhka was my parents' last name--my biological parents. It's the name I always use, even on my albums. Unfortunately, Seto is correct--my legal name is Abbott, which has been in effect since my stepparents adopted me.
But even if he's technically correct, I'm not going down without a fight.
"So what if I used my real name instead of my legal name? There's nothing you can do about it," I said snidely. "I mean, it's not like you can throw me off the blimp."
Seto smirked. "You see, that's where you're wrong. First off, entry into my tournament clearly stipulates that each contestant inputs his or her legal name, as stated in Article I, Section 3 of the Battle City Duelist's Handbook." He paused for a brief moment before continuing. "Second, your most recent behavior has led me to believe that your presence threatens my safety." Seto shook his head. "You know, the first time you called me, I figured it was accidental--wrong numbers are commonalities. But then you kept dialing. I have pages and pages of records tracking all of the times you dialed my number and hung up before I could even hear the phone ring. I figured you were just a frequent alcoholic, and couldn't have cared less, as long as you weren't blocking my phone lines. But now, you show up to my tournament under a false identity. That leads me to question your sanity. As head of this tournament, I am entitled to put you in the psychiatric hospital on my blimp until we reach land and can transfer you to an appropriate mental hospital."
"What?!" I exclaimed. "Are you implying that I'm crazy?"
"I'm not implying anything, Eshe. You are crazy."
Suddenly, a swarm of gloved hands wrapped around my body, as if to restrain me. I struggled to break free to no avail.
"Seto, why are you doing this to me?" I screamed, tears pouring from my eyes. "We used to be best friends. Don't you remember me?"
How could this happen? I'm not crazy!
"What a shame," he remarked. "Your music fans will be so disappointed to learn that teen pop sensation 'Eshe Tutankhka' is mentally unstable."
I can't believe this. This is not the Seto I used to know. Gozaburo's hurt him far worse than I can possibly imagine.
Am I too late? Is Seto already gone?
No. He can't be gone. I refuse to believe that. He's just lying.
That's it. Seto's lying to me. He's lying to protect someone--himself, Mokuba, maybe even me.
Or maybe he doesn't realize he's lying. He's lying to himself but doesn't realize it.
"Seto, I'm not crazy! You know what you're saying is a lie. How could you put a perfectly sane person in a mental hospital?"
He glared at me, his eyes filled with hostility. "You're not helping your case."
"I just want to help you. I want things to be the way they were before we were adopted!" The tears in my eyes continued to shed freely, yet did nothing to reflect the agony that tore me up inside. "I'd do anything just to see you smile again."
Darkness consumed me.
On the headline of Tokyo Today read:
DUEL MONSTERS CHAMPION YUGI MUTOU VICTORIOUS AT KAIBACORP'S BATTLE CITY TOURNAMENT see page 3
TEEN POP SENSATION ESHE TUTANKHKA ADMITTED TO TOKYO MENTAL HOSPITAL FOR OCPD see page 5
Is that too much that I asked him for?
OCPD: I chose Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder for the headline based on Eshe's, well, obsessive fixation with Seto and Gozaburo's impact on Seto, etc. (along with her stubbornness and moral overconscientiousness) even though she does not by any means show all of the symptoms for OCPD. Does that mean that Eshe is mentally unstable? You decide. On one hand, Eshe could be an unreliable narrator. On the other hand, Seto Kaiba could easily get her admitted to a mental hospital based on the 'records' he has of Eshe dialing his number, even if it's only a temporary fix. But since this story ends here and does not cover any of the aftermath, you have to decide for yourself.
Please let me know what your thoughts were on this story.