Title: Behind Cold Blue Eyes
Date: 24 October, 2005
Written by: ChaosMagicianGirl
Pairing: Silent shipping (Seto Kaiba X Shizuka Kawai)
(Drum rolls) Here's chapter seven! Finally! I finally dragged myself out of the pit of low self esteem. My writing doesn't suck, it just needs work! And when I read this chapter over, I was actually somewhat pleased with the result. Although, the first few chapters still stuck, even though I revised chapter one through five…..(shrugs) Ah, well….I guess I'm my own worst nightmare when it comes to criticising my own work. Though right now my writing skills are pretty decent..(I hope). Anyway, enjoy this chapter, and review responses are at the bottom!
Chapter seven: The ties that bind us
The rest of the week went by agonizingly slow, or at least, that's how it felt like to Shizuka.
After her absence, due to "sickness", she had gotten behind on her homework assignments.
As if the regular homework assigned to her wasn't enough, her tedious adventure in the wondrous world of homework was only made worse by her private tutor, Jenny Stanford., who decided to be so gracious to add her share of extra work to the already growing pile of homework bestowed upon Shizuka.
By the end of the week an English book report had been due. Monday, the following week, an essay on metabolism was the next thing on the list. And that same week she had to finish a Japanese book report. As if that wasn't enough she also had to write an essay on Nietzsche's views of currency for philosophy class. Taught by, who else, her "wonderful" private tutor.
Jenny Stanford was strict, but fair. As an uptight English woman in her mid forties, her idea of "fun" was organising a tea party in her own home, sharing intellectual conversation with other ladies, who were exact duplicates of one another.
Stiff and formal as these gatherings would probably turn out to be, Shizuka would never consider herself a willing participant. It's not that she didn't prefer intellectual conversation over the usual shallow, meaningless banter her peers conversed about. It would be the atmosphere that would slowly suffocate her.
She imagined herself sitting there, tugging on her collar which suddenly felt uncomfortably tight, while woman all around were spouting words of wisdom, making dry comments and jokes.
Dull and boring were just a few words that excellently fitted the mentioned description. However, a long emphasised yawn would probably do the trick as well.
Her carefully constructed schedule had been torn asunder, replaced by total chaos, leaving her groping and grovelling in the dark for a solution to her dilemma. How she was going to pull this off, was beyond her…
Her irritation and aggravation about her peculiar situation had left her so frustrated, she was about to release World War three upon her bedroom. Her room was save for the moment, as she had reclaimed her sanity, and instead of leaving destruction in her wake, she decided to participate in a more harmless course of action. It would serve as a method to relieve herself of the tension and stress circulating in her body and mind.
Slipping on a pair of comfy, loose-fitting drawstring pants, she tied her hair back in a messy pony tail. Her feet were encased in an old and worn pair of sneakers.
After her warming-up, Shizuka would be ready to go jogging in Central Park.
The light footfalls of her feet resounded like rhythmic thuds on the pavement. Since Shizuka was a fairly light-weight individual, and she followed classes in one of the most artistic dances mankind had to offer, she seemed to be gracefully gliding along to her destination.
Overhead dark clouds seemed to be raging past at alarming speed, indicating bad weather would soon arrive in New York. Specks of blue and white clouds in between, were slowly, bit by bit, covered up by a thick grey blanket.
Traversing a very familiar path Shizuka increased her speed, so she would reach her destination much earlier.
Very soon the road was divided into two directions: one leading to the left and the other branching off to the right.
Instead of following the direction branching off to the right (the road that lead to the exit of the park), Shizuka chose to follow the opposite direction. Again quickening her steps she continued on her trek through Central Park.
The park was almost left deserted because of the upcoming storm. Shizuka figured a small downpour was in order. Nothing she couldn't handle. If only she had acquired that vital information from the weather broadcast this morning.
As she entered the kitchen to retrieve her daily dose of diet coke, her mother had called out to her from the living room that she should forfeit her jogging routine for the day since a nasty storm was predicted to plaque New York this coming afternoon.
Shizuka, however, her mind occupied with events that had transpired this week, and mainly stressing out about her load of homework wasn't programmed for processing any kind of information from outside sources at the given time. She had mumbled back something incoherently along the lines of "Yeah, whatever, mom…." before she trudged back up the stairs to her room, returning to her homework.
Shizuka thought it strange that not many people were about. Sure, she could imagine that most people who saw the overhead dark clouds had scurried inside. But it probably only was one measly shower, nothing a person equipped with a decent umbrella couldn't face. Besides, she wasn't build up out of sugar.
Reaching the park's playground she was almost at her desired location. Letting her eyes roam over the contraptions that made up the play ground, she shook her head sadly. High standards of maintenance didn't apply to this place. Sadly enough, every time she came here she encountered the same atmosphere. Whether this spot was bustling with the activities of children, smiling happily, and crying out in delight as they glided down the smooth surface of the slide, the atmosphere always remained the same, according to Shizuka. It always radiated sadness in her eyes. It might have something to do with the state of decay this place was in. The contraptions were old, rusty, and withering away. They badly needed replacements. These were always the conclusions she drew as she eyed them out of the corner of her eyes.
Two swings to her left swung back and forth, pushed by the wind, making eerie creaking sounds.
Tilting her head up to the sky Shizuka concluded the weather was getting worse. Perhaps it wasn't just a measly shower after all.
A harsh gust of wind whipped her auburn tresses about. Walking on, she could already see the duck pond coming into view.
The autumn wind felt like harsh, cruel whips grazing her skin, gaining in intensity. Feeling occasional chills run up her spine, she zipped her hooded jacket closed up to her neckline, hoping it would prove a source of warmth.
A lonely willow, standing at the water's edge, loomed over an abandoned, white-painted bench. The paint was peeling off, giving way to the light-brown coloured wood underneath. The undergrowth of the three and the low growing branches shrouded the sitting place in shadows and foliage.
This was Shizuka's secret spot. It was the quiet and serene essence that it offered that appealed to her. She always came to this place when she needed to think or meditate over things that had happened, her feelings, or her often confusing thoughts. She often found clarity here, a solution to a problem or a possible dilemma she was facing.
Although it had been some time since she last came here…
She wasn't exactly sure what brought her to this place now. The weather wasn't exactly ideal to sit down and mull over thoughts, a process that usually took some time. Time which she clearly didn't have as she gazed at the sky thoughtfully.
As if her body was currently operating on auto pilot she lowered herself onto the bench. She could feel the rough texture of the surface through the thin material of her drawstring pants.
She drew her knees up to her chest as a means to draw in and preserve some of her own body heat. Wisps of air escaped her mouth as she breathed out. It was really getting awfully cold.
Successfully shutting out the upcoming biting, harsh coldness of the wind, she shifted in her position.
Leaning over toward the edge of the pond, and pushing away the branches that barely dipped the water with one of her feet; she stared at her reflection reflected back at her through the murky water of the pond. The wind, creating ripples on the water's surface, gave Shizuka a distorted image of herself.
Sighing, she leaned back again, deciding to delve deep into her own thoughts. She had so many things on her mind ever since she received that faithful letter from her brother Katsuya.
Her initial pure delight that had followed right after receiving his letter was short lived, and had died down by now. Sure, she was still excited about the prospect of being able to return to Japan. And more so the chance that was granted to her to restore her eye-sight. She felt so blessed she had been given this chance, and thanked whatever deity was up there, which had made this all possible.
But reaching a certain decision would set events into motion that would mean imminent changes, and Shizuka doubted that on some unconscious level, she might not be ready to face them.
If she would be allowed to spread her wings. Would she take the chance, and soar up high into the sky? Or would she choose the coward's way out, and remain true to the roots of time, memories, everything that held her here.
An invisible taut string that lay deeply anchored somewhere in her soul, bound her to this place…….just one pull would prove enough. It would snap, and…she would be free, free to fly.
What was holding her back? What threatened her enough that in the end she would be left with clipped wings.
Was her own fear the one thing that was holding her back? Or was it something else. A person who wanted nothing more than to pull the string even tauter, preventing her from escaping the prison that was built around her since she was but a little child. It was not done intentionally, but the prison was very much there, albeit invisible.
And she longed to be free…
But if she were to be set free, the key to attain freedom had to be offered to her. She could not grasp it herself, no matter how much she would like to.
The key factor was her mother...
Would she be brave enough to bestow freedom upon her? To finally let go of the taut string that held her in the same place…
With a sudden, unannounced resolve she had bluntly told her boss that she wanted the rest of the day off.
Her boss, baffled by this rather blunt announcement, had grudgingly let her wander off, after he had told her she would need to catch up on those hours her office remained vacant, utterly empty.
As if he found some grim satisfaction in the knowledge that she offered no obvious reluctance on the matter, or showing a hint of protest, she had left his office, leaving her boss to further ponder on his employee's off-key behaviour.
All this trouble because she decided to heed a distinctive gut feeling that had her befuddled with a strange, compelling need to return home.
And here she was, roaming the rooms of their apartment, having no clue, nor a rational explanation to back up the reason as to why she had come here.
Muttering silent profanities under her breath, which she would never admit to having expressed if asked, Shizuka pulled the hood of her jacket over her head, a futile move to protect her scalp from the onslaught of water droplets descending upon it.
Breaking into an all out sprint, not that it would do her much good, since she was already soaked, her feet carried her onwards, the continuing pitter patter of the rain an annoying back ground music, which she desperately tried to tune out.
The logical part of her mind was busy with concocting up some kind of excuse that could wave off this stupid escapade she had found herself a part of. And in that it failed utterly and completely…..
Restraining an annoyed growl which was about to escape her mouth, Shizuka dragged her wet frame along the last few feet that separated her from the back door of her home.
Seated at the kitchen table, she contentedly sipped on her fresh cup of coffee she had only just made. The steam billowing out if indicated it was still very hot.
Though feeling strangely content for some reason she couldn't quiet put her finger on, Teana Kawai continued skimming through the pages of the photo album she had found up on their attic if by some strange twist of faith.
Spending the rest of the afternoon idly roaming the house had oddly enough paid off.
She somehow felt at peace with herself. Like at long last she was able to close off a certain chapter in her life. Someway, somehow, she had come to terms with events that had transpired in the past.
Instead of letting her head get stuck in the past, like she did more often than not, she was able to focus solely on the present today.
Ironically enough, in following her gut feeling, she had been granted an answer that she desperately needed….
Interrupted from any further musings to indulge in, she was startled out of her wits by a door that was opened and slammed shut.
A frown marring her face, her hazel eyes slightly narrowing, she pursed her lips in annoyance.
Correcting the position of her glasses on the bridge of her nose, she called out in a disapproving manner, "Shizuka, is that you?"
Her answer decided to greet her, standing soaking wet on the threshold that divided the kitchen from the living room.
Multiple water droplets dripped down on the floor from her hair, and her clothes, creating small puddles all around her.
Slightly widening hazel eyes took in the highly peculiar sight that was her daughter, before she let her eyes clash with narrowed emerald green ones.
An amused, knowing smile spreading out on her mother's face like a hideous disease aggravated Shizuka even more.
"Don't even start with me!" Shizuka bit out harshly, gritting her teeth. Her mother's I told you so smile wasn't exactly helping things, nor improving the situation.
As if her mother had picked up on her train of thought, she smugly retorted, "I told you so…."
Blazing emerald eyes were about to burn a certain mother to a fried crisp.
Oh, if only looks could kill…..
So, uh….did it rock or suck? (cheesy grin). Give me your honest opinion! But put it in a way that it doesn't contain (cough)(cough) offensive (cough)(cough) language. Such "nice" reviews receive the lovely label of flame in my opinion and are instantly dismissed. You can "nicely" tell me what you thought of this chapter or what you think of the fic in general. But don't cuss on me. You'll just get labelled as whiny, immature, little brats. So don't waste your time on flaming the crap out of me. I will not respond to those kind of reviews.
OO! Can you tell I'm on the paranoid tour today?
But enough rambling on my part, onto the review responses!
(cackles maniacally) Yes! What do the evil cheerleaders have in store? You'll have to wait till next chapter to find out! MUWHAHAHA! And thanks for the compliment…..(blushes) Yes, I did write that song…
Oh, she'll go to Japan alright! (It says so in the summary…). But I'm afraid Japan will have to wait for just a few more chapters…..Things aren't exactly wrapped up here in good old America. No need to rush things…right? I guess Seto-kun will have to stay put for a while longer…Ain't I evil?
Cute? ( looks at copywright thingies) Uh, I guess so……(blink blink?) Anyway, I can relate, since I stink at updating too…..
You really think so? Awww, thanks! BTW, sorry that the beta-reading thing is taking so long. I'm done with the chapter, and I'll send it to you tomorrow, A.S.A.P! And it's cool that you can relate to the character in that way! I try to give all of my stories some kind of a unique flavour. I'm glad I seem to have succeeded in that department (or at least you seem to think so…)
Thanks! I try to do the best I can. Though mistakes are inevitable….And it's always good to hear that I've succeeded in keeping the characters in character! To me that's a very important factor in fanfiction! So, thankyou! (glomps silverfantasy).
Okay, that's it for now. But stay tuned! For I have a distinctive feeling in my gut that the next update won't take me nearly as long! Aren't you guys glad?
CMG, signing out!
Yu-Gi-Oh is © Kazuki Takahashi
BehindColdBlueEyes © ChaosMagicianGirl
Teana Kawai © ChaosMagicianGirl
Takakura Tsunami © ChaosMagicianGirl
Jinsoku Jonouchi © ChaosMagicianGirl
Mandy and her cheerleading squad © ChaosMagicianGirl
(My, ain't I possessive today? Sorry, I just couldn't resist!)