Disclaimer: I own Yu-Gi-Oh…so why are there so many lawyers standing outside my house?

Author's note: O_O  Wow. I can't believe people actually liked the first chapter. -__-;;  I know I made poor Shizuka's life a living hell, and it's only the tip of the iceberg! That's right. I'm not stopping on abuse and cancer torture, I'm planning on giving her more pain. (Hides before Shizuka fans can kill her) Hey! It's not like I actually enjoy giving someone, even an anime character, a death sentence! I mean, my own auntie died of cancer just last year…and it wasn't an experience I want to relive… But this chapter does contain a conversation that my auntie and I once had. Auntie, this chapter is dedicated to you!

Ahem…this is the last time I'm gonna warn you but beware of tearjerker. It might not be on this chapter or the next, but there is. ^_^  Now sit back, relax and enjoy the show…err…fic!

Title: Love Complications

Author: Deena

Rated: PG13

Genre: Romance/Drama/Angst

Main Pairing: Seto/Shizuka

Summary: Shizuka's POV – I'm having complications in every aspect of my life. From my family, my friends, to my academics. Worse,  I have to deal with my brother's enemy, Mr. High-And-Mighty Seto Kaiba on a daily basis. He's so arrogant and self-centered and stuck-up! Plus, he insults my big brother all the time! How could any girl fall in love with a beast like him!?

~ Chapter 2: Shizuka's POV ~

*Who ran to help me when I fell,

And would some pretty story tell,

Or kiss the place to make it well?

My mother.*     – Shizuka Jounouchi

" Is she awake?"

" Yes. Do you wish to speak to her?" Nurse Hilda asked.

I nodded. I clutched the basket of peanut-butter-pickle sandwiches I had made for my mother tightly in my fists, and took a deep breath. It wasn't the first time I'd visited, but I still couldn't get used to the hospital. Nurse Hilda turned down the corridor leading to Mom's room. " I hope your mother will be well. I know it must be hard right now," Nurse Hilda said sympathetically.

I gave a polite smile and Nurse Hilda left. Hesitantly, I knocked softly on the door. There was no response, so I nudged the door open with my hip and stuck my head into the room. My mother lay in the middle of the hospital bed, propped up against a wall of pillows. Her eyes were closed, and I could tell from her expression that she was sleeping lightly.

" Mom…" I whispered. " It's me, Shizuka. I've come to visit."

Her hazel eyes fluttered open. For a split second, I watched the muscles of my mother's face contort with pain. Then her gaze landed on me, and she smiled. I grinned back at her, holding up the basket of food.

" Hello, sweetie," she greeted me cheerily. " How nice of my wonderful daughter to come and see me."

I felt a warm glow from the praise. Now that Mom was sick, I treasured these little things that I could do for her. " Do you feel up for having breakfast?" I asked hopefully.

She moved to the side of the bed and took the basket from me. " For you, I'd eat snails, liver, or cow's tongue…at least, I would try," Mom joked.

I laughed. " As long as you can manage a few bites of the sandwich, I'll be satisfied."

I perched on the chair beside Mom's bed and waited anxiously to see how much my mom would eat. She had been steadily losing weight since her surgery, and it seemed that every pound she shed was a bad omen.

" My, this is delicious, Shizuka," Mom said as she took a bite. " Maybe you should become a cook someday – you've got natural talent."

I blushed. " Oh, it's just two slices of bread with pickles and peanut-butter. No big deal."

" How's Jou and your father? Are they doing alright?" Mom asked.

I stiffened, holding the cheek where I had put on plenty of powder to hide the imprint of Dad's slap. Should I tell her? Oh, Mom, we're not doing alright. Dad has been abusing us since he started drinking months ago. And he's getting worse everyday…  No. I can't. It'll break her heart and she has enough on her plate as it is. " Oh, err, we're doing fine. Just fine…" I lied. " What about you?"

She didn't answer. Mom was now staring at the food as if it was her worst enemy. I bit my bottom lip, holding back the tears that suddenly threatened to roll down my cheeks. I knew that look on her face. It meant that if she took one more bite, she might want to throw up. I took the basket. " I'll leave it here," I told her. " You can have some later."

She nodded gratefully. " Thanks, sweetie. I guess I wasn't as hungry as I thought I was." She leaned back against the pillows, her eyes heavy with fatigue.

That was my cue. It was time to leave my mother to rest so I could finish getting ready for school. I took a deep breath, pushing away the sense of doom that I felt as I studied her face. I couldn't succumb to any dark thoughts about the future. Mom needed my optimism.

" I'll see you after school," I promised her.

Mom nodded sleepily. " I'll look forward to it," she whispered.

I started to tiptoe from the room, believing that Mom had fallen into a light sleep.

" Shizuka," she called as I reached for the doorknob. " Can you do me a favor before you leave?"

I turned around. " Sure, Mom. Anything." Maybe she wants to try the sandwich again, I thought, hopefully.

" I'd love it if you would open the window," she asked. " I want to smell the fresh spring air."

I smiled. Spring had always been Mom's favorite season. She was always gardening after the last snow melted, and she used to plant flowers and vegetables of various kinds in our garden. Now her straw hat and gardening tools lay forgotten in the dusty storeroom…

I walked over to the window and opened it wide. Bright sunlight streamed through the window, birds sang and twittered in the trees outside, the smell of spring's clean and fragrant air filled the room. I smiled happily, relishing the fact that Mom wasn't too sick to enjoy a beautiful day like this one.

" This kind of days always reminds me of romance," Mom murmured.

Me too, I thought as a couple was walking by hand-in-hand below us.

" Well, shouldn't you go back to school? Don't want to miss a day of education, right?" Mom said softly.

" Oh, yes. Goodbye, Mom." I kissed her cheek and turned away quickly, walking out of the room and shutting the door behind me. It wasn't fair. It just wasn't fair. Two years ago, Mom had been so healthy, so carefree, so alive. She had been a teacher who had a loving family and a great career. Now she was reduced to this. Lying on a bed and being in constant pain. Ever since she had been diagnosed with breast cancer and had to undergo a double mastectomy. She had suffered through a major operation and a radical course of chemotherapy. She had won a few battles against the cancer, but I knew deep down in the darkest part of my soul, that she wasn't going to win the war.

Stop those negative thoughts right now! I told myself sternly. I have to hope for the best and be strong…if not for myself, then for Mom and big brother.

As I was deep in thought however, I turned into a corner, not noticing another person walking the opposite way, and collided into that person. Luckily, I managed to keep myself steady. " Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to do that," I apologized as I raised my eyes to see whom I had bumped into.

" Watch it!" The tall, lanky brunette who had bumped into me sneered as he brushed his white trench coat. His cold, icy cobalt eyes flashed with annoyance. " I don't want to get my clothes stained by dirty hands. I just dry-cleaned it yesterday."

How rude! I thought indignantly. " Sorry. I'll just be on my way," I snapped. Calming my temper, I told myself not to waste any more of my precious time with him, and walked sideways. 

" Mr. Kaiba, sir. Please fill in this form and we'll prepare for Mokuba's operation," Nurse Hilda suddenly said as she approached the stiff figure wearing the trench coat.

So…he has a relative who's undergoing an operation, I thought, feeling a small amount of sympathy for him. Then I shook my head and marched out of the hospital. I refused to feel pity for a rude stranger like this Kaiba person.

*          *          *

It was only half an hour left before school started. Dad wasn't home and big brother had already left. As I slipped into the traditional Domino High uniform, I caught sight of myself in the mirror of my dresser. I stopped and stared at my face. My skin was almost as pale as sheet, and I had dark circles under my eyes, like I hadn't been sleeping well. Which was true, but I didn't want to walk around school looking like a ghost! Besides, as much as I love Mai and Anzu very much, I just couldn't tell them about why I'm lacking sleep besides the cancer factor. I didn't want their pity. I didn't want anyone's pity. It wouldn't help Mom, and it would only make me feel worse.

I finished buttoning my uniform and walked into the bathroom, which was a wreak. Memo to self: Remember to update makeup supply, I thought as I pulled out the dusty old shoe box where I'd kept all my makeup. A few strokes of the blush brush added much needed pink to my pale cheeks. Next I coated my eyelashes with mascara and applied a subtle rusty red on my lips. There.

" Good enough," I declared, plastering a smile on my face.

The world will only see smiles and laughter from Shizuka Jounouchi, not tears and sorrow. I wanted the world to think I'm just another ordinary, healthy, happy, and carefree teenager whose only worries are passing her exams and boys.


To be continued…

Author's note: Not to worry, people. I should have a POV on Seto by…next year? (Hides before readers kill her) No good? Then how about in six months? Three months? Don't look at me like that! Not only is Seto's character very hard to write, but it's hard to be creative when you have to use up so much of your braincells on homework and exams. (Sigh) I don't get teachers. I mean, why give students a ka-billion homework when they give themselves more work too?! But at the same time, you gotta hand in to them. They've gotta have guts to teach a class…especially a class full of complaining, bratty and mischevious students. -__-  Trust me, it's an experience you never ever want to endure.

Also, I'd like to thank all the people who have reviewed. YOU GUYS ROCK MY SOCKS!!! O_o  If…I did wear socks…