Chapter 1: Missing Rain
I ask why did I come again?
Can I confess I've been hanging around your old address?
The years have proved to offer nothing since you moved
You're long gone
But I can't move on
And I miss you - like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you - like the deserts miss the rain
And I miss you...
From: Missing – Everything But The Girl
"Seto, hurry up. We're going to be late."
As much as he wished that were Mokuba's voice, it wasn't. In fact, if anything, he wished it had been anyone else's voice but hers – his fiancée's. It wasn't that he hated his fiancée; he simply didn't love her. It was that simple in his mind at least. But then again, he knew something that perhaps only two other people in the world knew. And even then, he doubted they would understand either.
Prolonging fixing his tie, Seto sighed at his reflection. Guilt was something he'd become accustomed to lately. He'd become used to a lot of emotion over the past few years. Quite much more than he had liked when he was, say, 16. But Fate – in conjunction with Life – the awful forces that they were, had a way of knowing just how to screw up perfect. The screw up in his life? He was going to marry it.
Suddenly, the door adjoining their rooms opened. He'd promised her brother they wouldn't share rooms on this trip – like every other trip. That didn't mean they didn't sleep together. Honestly though, he didn't think they would this time. Unless, of course, she made him. And she may just as well have – she was a sex starved little kitten indeed. Maybe it was just another of her faults born of having an over-protective older brother. Not as bad as having said big brother, but close.
She stood tapping one foot impatiently, arms crossed over a pastel-pink satin dress. Good God, how he hated that colour. It was her favourite. He hated any shade of it and she adored it. Match made in Heaven? Yeah, right.
"Are you ready yet? You take longer than I do to get ready." She was a bossy-ass bitch too. But then again, his judgement at that moment was influenced by his irritation at everything in his life and how he'd let it all spin out of control. A perfectly functional existence had gone down the drain in five years. He scowled.
"I hate these things." He wasn't one to complain, it was simply a basic fact.
"I know." Compassion was something she always had ready yet, it was something that, even from her, he rarely accepted. "But you promised and we're going to be late."
He scowled again, threw his tie off (like they could tell him anything about it), and marched towards his door. He held it open and turned to see her checking her hair in his mirror. Irritation anew.
"Let's go, Shizuka."
The ride in the limo was silent. She knew better than to bother him when he got into one of these moods. She'd known that since the first day they'd gotten together. She had thought it was strange that Seto Kaiba, perhaps the person who hated her brother most in the world, would ever want anything to do with her.
Either way, she couldn't help but be drawn to him. Because, more than ever, she knew that Seto Kaiba had a secret. He'd had it before they'd started going out and she was still trying to figure out what it was. She'd learnt the truth about their past from Mokuba who, strangely, never seemed to like her much. But it was still there. Something she didn't know. Something she wanted to find out.
The night they had first encountered each other, they'd both been drunk and he had been irresistibly sexy. They'd slept together but he seemed interestingly reluctant. When next she saw him a month later, he looked as though everything had caved in around him. She'd never seen such a broken man. So she'd helped him. And one thing led to another and they were engaged.
What infuriated her, however, was the fact that, as much as she tried and tried, he'd never let a single word slip. She knew something had happened. He told her how he felt – as though his will to exist had deserted him. But he never told her what happened. Mokuba was as close-mouthed as a clam.
And now, even though they were engaged, her fiancé still held his secret. And lately, he seemed to retreat into it more and more. Thus, Shizuka found her curiosity unequivocally peaked.
What are you hiding, Seto Kaiba? What causes your world to crash? What makes you cry? Why won't you tell me? Who was she?
Shizuka frowned. That was unexpected. But the more she pondered the final question, the more it made sense. He had been reluctant to touch her until he'd had enough drinks. He'd been too skilled to be a virgin. And, most of all, he wouldn't tell her his secret because, in truth, he told no one. No one knew about Seto Kaiba's private life before she'd entered the scene. He'd never had a girlfriend, never been on dates. As far as anyone knew, Seto Kaiba could have well been gay before she came along. But she doubted it.
So the questions remained. Who could make Seto Kaiba love them so completely that when they left, his world would shatter? For some reason, she couldn't think of a single name. She'd never found a single piece of incriminating evidence of such a relationship but everything circumstantial added up. Even Mokuba's dislike of her made some amount of sense now.
If Shizuka had been the reason they had split, if whoever-she-was had found out about their night together, perhaps that was why she'd left him. All this weighed on Shizuka's mind until the limo pulled up in front of the elaborate hotel. She watched him open the door and step out onto the red carpet then turn and hold his hand out for her.
She accepted it and, as their eyes met, she wondered if she would have the same effect as the mystery woman if she left. When he turned his face as they started in, she got her answer.
She didn't think so at all.
The reception room was mainly red and gold, as one could expect when dealing with the Chinese. Seto still had no idea why he was there. He stood around for about half an hour answering reporters' questions and trying to dodge the more personal ones to which he had no answers, for example, "When's the wedding, Mr Kaiba?" It was one of the more popular ones too.
Finally, away from the reporters and inside where he could easily find someway to hide while Shizuka socialized for the both of them, Seto grabbed the nearest available glass of wine and melted into the shadows. He kept his eyes trained on his fiancée. After all, even if he wasn't in love with her, others who realized that he wasn't hanging around couldn't take advantage of the opportunity. He knew she was capable and – maybe – even willing to partake of an illicit affair with one of his rivals. That was something he couldn't allow.
As he nursed his wine glass, he suddenly noticed that her face had lit up like a Christmas tree. What could she possibly be so happy about? Someone she knew, perhaps? Only someone special would warrant such an enthused look. So who was it?
He frowned when the person in question came into view. Devlin? She was that excited about Devlin? He tried to remember where she knew Devlin from then sighed. Motou and crew. Devlin had – for a limited period of time – been one of Motou's crew. If memory served him right, Devlin and the pointy-headed one (what was his name? – Hirota) had been vying for Shizuka's affections.
How had he not remembered that? Oh yes, at that time, his attention had been focused elsewhere...at attaining something – someone – else. Seto snorted quietly. He seemed to have a penchant for this train of thought tonight. But he missed her sorely today...all of today. He had subconsciously noted that today marked exactly three years since their break up and five years since their naissance. Precise was something they always seemed to be.
He turned his attention back to Shizuka who was giggling at something Devlin had said. Snidely, Seto thought that if he wanted, Devlin could have her. Yet, it seemed he was already taken, since Shizuka was talking to someone on Duke's other side – someone Seto couldn't see. Kaiba continued to stare at his fiancée, mind blank but for one image. The song playing in the background was apt. He missed the girl in his head "...like the deserts miss the rain."
Then, Devlin said something that appeared to be an appeal for an excusal and moved. The person he'd been blocking was now in plain sight. She stood chatting lightly with Shizuka. She looked as though she didn't hold three years of malice towards his fiancée behind her smile. And Seto realised that he was looking at the picture in his head, only three years older.
Shizuka smiled brightly, sipping from her glass as Anzu Mazaki – the one and only love of Seto Kaiba's pathetic existence – gestured vaguely towards the entrance. And, for the first time in five years, the desert that was Seto Kaiba's heart drank desperately of its beloved rain.
Author's Note: Not sure how this came to be, but it is and so, I've decided to post it. It's Post Exam Stress Time [PEST] for me. Hope you enjoyed. I think there might be a chapter or two more...if I can manage. At least, I think we all know what the paring is. I am trying to not vilify Shizuka too much.
Disclaimer (for series): I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh and make no profit off this piece of fiction.
Disclaimer (for song): I do not own the song Missing by Everything But The Girl. The lyrics are reprinted without permission and, once again, I make no profit off their use. But get the song, it's old but I like it. You might too.
LEAVE A REVIEW PLEASE! ANYTHING IS GREATLY APPRECIATED. HOWEVER, CONSTRUCIVE CRITISM WILL BE TAKEN IN BETTER STRIDE THAN FLAMES.