by Sakura Mitsukai
Kaiba mentally groaned, his legs moving quickly to keep up with the pace his younger brother had set. "Slow down," he said calmly, knowing it wouldn't make a difference. Mokuba was a child in a theme park—nothing could be done to calm him down.
It wasn't until after they passed the ticket counter and entered the park that Mokuba stopped and stared, his eyes wide. He had never been to any kind of theme park or amusement park before, which is why when his brother promised to give him the day after he finished a little business, he had chosen Universal Studios Japan. Part of him wondered if Seto had ever been a theme park.
"So, what do you want to ride first?" Kaiba asked as he glanced over a map while aimlessly walking.
"Let's ride the Hollywood coaster!" Mokuba exclaimed, smiling wide.
Kaiba obliged, leading his brother in the proper direction, according to his map. They passed drink stands along the way, which Kaiba noticed seemed to be filled with women. Women who decided it was their given duty to stare and gawk at him. Well, let them. They should feel honored to be in his presence and to catch a glimpse of him outside his office and business meetings. Then again, the chances that any of them knew who he was were very slim.
No matter. That was about to change.
As they joined the line for the coaster, a vaguely familiar laughter reached his ears. One aspect Kaiba prided himself on—aside from his good looks, of course—was his keen sense of hearing and recognition. That pitch, the tone, the vocal quality—Kami. Kaiba groaned, his eyes focusing on the owner of the laugh. Of all the places in Osaka City, she would be at the one place his brother chose to go—on that very day, at that very ride.
Kaiba noticed, however, that while she and the guys she was with were at the very front of the line, he and his brother were almost at the very back of the line. The chances and probability that she would see him were very slim—in spite of the fact that he towered over most the pre-teens and teens in the line.
As his thoughts were processing the mathematical probabilities in a highly complex, yet quick and efficient equation—as his mind always worked in such a way—he stopped. There was absolutely no reason for him to hope she did not see him. After all, he had nothing to be ashamed of. She, on the other hand, definitely had reasons to be. And though he thought it would be entertaining to call out to her the moment she got off the ride so that he might cause her embarrassment, he decided against it. Today was for his little brother, he had to remember that.
He would be certain to look the other way. Not only would it be important to not cross paths with that girl, but it would also be important to not cross paths with Jounouchi Katsuya. For the sake of Mokuba, he would have to remain as scarce as possible.
Then again, he was Kaiba Seto. Remaining scarce was something he either did not or could not do. And being Kaiba Seto, a man who commanded attention, he believed it was something he could not do. It was merely against his nature.
- - -
He was getting impatient. His sharp green eyes had followed the two as they made their way through the line to ride the coaster. He had also, with great interest, noticed the other two accompanying them—a girl with rather long brunette hair only half pulled back and a bleach-blonde punk-rock wannabe. He had smirked at the girl, noting the way she was held by the guy with the pointy brown hair—Honda Hiroto.
He could never forget Honda. Not after what had happened. But the Honda in the line appeared to be a much more sedated version of the man he knew that he almost second-guessed his intuition. But his intuition was never wrong. And beside him, with blonde hair going every-which-way: Jounouchi Katsuya. Those two had been some of the most dangerous recruits he could have ever come across, and some of the greatest friends.
He scowled, crossing his arms. They were boarding the ride now. Let them have their fun for now. He was going to have his very soon.
He scanned the line out of boredom until something of interest caught his hungry eyes. "No way in hell…" he breathed, muttering incoherently. He glanced to the sky above, mentally shaking his fist. The gods certainly must be playing some sick joke. He glanced back at the line, his eyes focusing intensely on a rather tall brunette wearing a rather hideous—in his opinion—silvery white trench coat. Beside him, a child with raven hair.
He hadn't forgotten those two either. And he never would. He cracked his knuckles, fairly frustrated with the way his day was panning out. He looked away, glancing around the crowds of people. He could easily pick them out, standing around as if they could truly blend in. He'd always had an eye for this kind of thing. Kaiba's guards were no different.
He frowned. If his path were to cross Kaiba's, all hell could and would break loose. It would be best to deal with him later, if at all. A grudge harbored for ten years was best let go—so his parents would tell him. But what did they matter? They were dead now. He snarled, wondering if the man who was now known as "Kaiba" remembered anything from before he went to the orphanage.
A bustle of people to his right attracted his attention. The ride was done. He smirked. What a reunion this would be.
- - -
"Man, that was kinda different," Jou stated, forcing a laugh as he rubbed the back of his neck.
"Sort of like an acid trip," Kazuma laughed, blinking a few times in an attempt to clear his eyes.
"No worse than that small world ride at Tokyo Disney Land," Honda added, shrugging.
"I don't think I'll sleep tonight. Crazy nightmares," Jou said, shaking his head.
"But the coaster itself would have been good. Should have worn earplugs and closed my eyes," Kazuma nodded.
The three boys stopped their commenting on the crazy ride and turned around to see the young brunette stumbling through the ride's exit. Any onlooker might wonder if the girl was intoxicated.
I can't believe I rode that. What was I thinking? I think I'm going to be sick. Anzu blinked a few times, seeing the guys not far from her. They appeared, for the most part, to be fine. As she stumbled toward them, she debated in her mind which part was crazier—the music or the ride itself.
A pair of arms reached toward her, strong hands grasping her shoulders. She was spun sideways, nearly tripping on her own feet. Before she had a moment to react, a strange pair of lips had captured her own. She stood there, slightly dazed, the only thought running through her head: Again?
The kiss had barely made its presence known before the guy had been pulled away, mirth in his eyes and a smirk on his face. Honda wasted no time in punching him. Jou quickly followed suit. Kazuma, on the other hand, made a point to cover Anzu's eyes. He had half a mind to sneak away from the scene so they wouldn't be associated with the commotion and be kicked out.
"So this is how you greet an old friend," the man said, wiping the trickle of blood from his chin. He glanced at Honda, then Jou, then frowned. Did they really not remember him?
Honda growled, throwing another punch the man's way. Except this time, he stopped him. Quickly and effortlessly, he grabbed Honda's fist and squeezed, causing Honda's right eye to twitch in either anger or pain, maybe both.
"Old friend?" Jou asked, folding his arms. "What kind of 'old friend' would steal a kiss on another 'old friend's' girl? Mazaki already had to deal with that once."
"And I was trying to forget," she muttered, loud enough for the stranger to hear. She was staring at him now, Kazuma's hand pushed away from her eyes, no recognition of him possible.
He stepped past Honda and Jou and took Anzu's hand in his, gracing it with a kiss as he bowed slightly. "Otogi Ryuji," he stated, his voice smooth. He rose, standing at the same height as Honda. "Why don't you ditch these losers and come with me?" he suggested, his hand still holding hers.
Honda and Jou's eyes widened, not at the insult, but at the name. Was it even possible?
"Oto?" Honda asked, rubbing his eyes.
Otogi grinned, releasing Anzu's hand as he turned to face his old friends. "So now you remember. Come now Honda, it hasn't been that long."
Honda growled, slamming a fist to Otogi's cheekbone.
He blinked, straightening his shoulders. "And that was for…?"
"Not saying so sooner."
- - -
The five had left the coaster and migrated to the Studio Stars Restaurant to catch up on the past few years, none of them—other than Otogi—noticing the presence of Kaiba Seto. The only one who seemed to be clueless was Anzu, though Kazuma wasn't entirely enlightened either. And Anzu, frustrated as she was with this Otogi Ryuji for kissing her, was equally—probably more so—frustrated with Honda for seeming to suddenly not care.
"Come now, missy," Otogi grinned, draping his arm across Anzu's shoulders. He chuckled when she looked to Honda, shooting him a glare when he smiled back. "Honda and I go way back. We share everything."
"Not everything," Honda shot back, shooting Otogi a warning glance.
"Perhaps not anymore, but there definitely was a time. Ah, we had it all," he sighed dreamily. "Ahem, but relax, it's not that your Honda doesn't care. He merely owes fulfillment on a promise made long ago."
Anzu raised a brow. "A promise?"
"Yes. Besides," he leaned in close to her ear, whispering softly so only she could hear, "I like women with breasts."
Anzu growled as she turned quickly and slapped his face. She then stomped on his foot. "How dare you. Pervert." Her life was reminding her more and more of a television drama.
Her actions were rough, but her words were calm. Otogi grinned, in spite of the stinging of his face and the pounding in his foot. "Feisty."
They were promptly seated in a booth, and much to Anzu's chagrin, she was across the table from Otogi. He used this to his advantage, often caressing her ankle with his foot. It didn't require much effort on his part as he had long legs.
"So who are you?" Kazuma finally spoke, having remained quiet since Otogi had first appeared. He felt like the odd-one-out, usually being the leader of the group. And for that reason alone, he decided he hated Otogi Ryuji. And his dice earring.
"Otogi Ryuji, former leader of the Red Tigers. I'm working in the game industry now," he stated, his eyes boring into Kazuma's. He glanced around the table, deciding to inform the two ignorant ones of his past with Honda and Jou, and perhaps inform this Anzu who had captured Honda's attention of the promise from long ago. Perhaps.
- - -
Somewhere in Tokyo, Six or Seven Years Earlier
Otogi Ryuji ran through the streets, constantly glancing over his shoulder, yet managing to make note of any obstacle—yes, pedestrians were obstacles to him—in his way. He gripped the ring tighter in his hand and turned a quick corner, his breathing labored. Swiftly, he ran through the alley, turned two more quick corners, and tapped hurriedly on a black door in a code that would have been completely unnoticed if there were any passerby to hear.
The door was opened and Otogi jumped inside, thankful to be "safe" once more. He glanced around the room, the ring still safe in his small palm. For only eleven or twelve—he honestly couldn't remember which—he had become fairly athletic. And it was used to his advantage along with his seemingly innocent appearance. He walked through the small room to another room in the old, "abandoned" building, finding his leader there.
Brown eyes that could almost be called black looked at him, a tinge of light hidden. The owner, not more than fourteen, grinned at Otogi. "Did ya get it?" he asked excitedly, the others in the room perking their ears.
They all gathered around as Otogi slowly opened his hand, revealing a ring they knew was made of pure platinum and lined with too many diamonds for them to count. "She didn't even notice until I was turning a corner," Otogi grinned in reply.
"Ya really are a Red Tiger, Otogi," the boy's grin grew as he held the ring to the light, the sparkles hitting the dirty floor.
It was only two years later when their leader moved—and not just cities, but countries. He told the group his father was forcing him to study abroad, claiming he got into too much trouble. He had removed the black and red headband he wore and gave it to Otogi, leaving the Red Tigers in his hands.
They were certainly more than just a gang. Otogi knew this, though he wondered if anyone else outside their circle knew or even cared. For him, they were family, and he was not going to let anything—not even other gangs—change that.
Not long after he was made leader, a rival gang issued a challenge. Known for their black belt champions, Otogi scoped out possible recruits. Somehow, though he could never honestly remember, Honda Hiroto and Jounouchi Katsuya came across his path. They were his best recruits, and they became his best friends. They became an unstoppable trio, often getting into fights with each other.
At that time, Jounouchi wasn't much different. He was a womanizer then, often attracting older girls. And the anger that he had toward his father, he was able to release during fights with other gangs. It was to him, a perfect outlet.
Honda, however, was entirely different. He was always raging with anger and was one of the most selfish people Otogi had ever met. There really was no explanation for Honda's behavior that Otogi could see. At least he had parents. He seemed to calm down somewhat as the years went by, partially due to joining his school's kendo club. With fighting skills he had learned on the street, it was never a surprise to the three why he became the kendo club champion.
When Jounouchi was fifteen, he and his father left Tokyo and moved to Muko. The Red Tigers had all but disbanded by then. That was also the same year Honda left the gang. Otogi knew the Red Tigers were over by then, but he didn't mind too much. His thoughts had been fixated on a girl by the name of Nosaka Miho—a girl who went to Honda's new private school.
On the day he decided to take a crazy chance and confess to the young girl with the yellow ribbon in her hair, Otogi walked with Honda to his school. He wanted to know where he could find the girl after school hours. As they approached the gate, there she was, smiling wide. She greeted Honda and smiled at Otogi before grasping Honda's hand and pulling him to class, calling a goodbye to Otogi. He merely stared after them, glaring at the hand that held hers.
Honda had told him that she often worked in the school's library, though he couldn't be certain the days she did. It didn't matter, Otogi would check every day until she was there. But he didn't need to. He peeked his head in the library, hoping he wouldn't be removed from the school's campus because he wasn't in uniform. The image before him caused his eyes to flash black. He promptly left, walked to Honda's apartment building, and waited at the park beside it.
An hour passed before Honda's pointy hair could be seen. Without a word, Otogi rose to his feet, ignored Honda's "hey" and punched his "friend." "How could you kiss her!" he shouted, throwing another punch Honda's way.
The two fought, giving each other black eyes, bloody lips, and nearly broken noses and ribs. Honda earned another punch to his face when he said, "She kissed me first."
- - -
"So in the end, neither of us really got Miho-chan. She wanted something serious with Honda, but he…uh…didn't," Otogi said, finishing up his story. The four at the table were staring at him, Honda and Jou never hearing the beginning—before they were members. "Because he kissed the girl I cared about, Honda made me a promise. 'Oto,' he said, 'when there's a girl I really like, you can kiss her.' So, Anzu-chan, I was fulfilling the promise Honda made to me before he met you."
She couldn't stand the smile on his face. The way his eyes twinkled at her. Or the way the girls at the tables around them were fawning over him. She especially couldn't stand the way their waitress purposely bent over, allowing full-view access down her shirt. She decided she couldn't stand Otogi Ryuji. Or his dice earring.
"Some promises are best left broken," she said coolly. From the corner of her eye, she saw a flash of brown hair and navy eyes. She could tell by the chiseled features of his face before he passed from her direct vision and was seated in a booth near the entrance that he was the same man who had kissed her at the concert.
"Anzu?" Honda asked, poking the girl gently. This simple action had a domino effect. Anzu jumped, her right hand holding her water glass jerking, the contents spilling across the table, right to Otogi's face and shirt.
Jou couldn't hold his laughter. He was followed by Honda and Kazuma. Anzu kept muttering her apologies, trying to get a grip on her thoughts. There was no way that could be the same guy. Otogi, being the audacious flirt he was, flashed his eyes at Anzu. In her eyes, he appeared to be angry, and he knew it.
"That was no accident," he said calmly, water dripping down his face. He leaned forward, crossing his arms and resting them on the table.
"I'm so sorry," Anzu whispered, reaching across the table with her napkin, her hand slightly shaking.
Otogi grabbed her arm and smirked. "I'll forgive…if you give me a kiss."
The napkin Honda had been using to clean the water from the table landed on Otogi's face. "Keep your hormones tied up for once, Oto."
- - -
"So, the JAWS ride then?"
Kaiba's ears caught the question, and once again, his recognition skills kicked in. Only this time, Kaiba could not remember the name of the voice's owner. Nor did he truly recognize the voice. Something told him he should. He kept his face still as they walked past his table, breathing a sigh of relief they hadn't seen him. Once again, Mokuba's skill—or perhaps curse—at choosing the place she would be.
So they have a new member of the geek squad, he thought to himself, catching sight of a black ponytail and a dice earring. He heard the guy make a pass at the girl, whose name he recalled being Mazaki. Not that he cared. But his brain was like a black hole, in a sense. It captured everything. It was a cursed blessing.
"There are plenty of overly-willing girls fawning over you, so leave me alone," he heard this Mazaki say as she slapped the guy's hand away.
Kaiba couldn't help but smirk as they finally disappeared from his eyesight and hearing. Overly-willing? I wonder…
Kaiba snapped his eyes in Mokuba's direction, a hidden smile on his face. He would push aside thoughts of that girl and her posse of monkeys for now. Just as long as Mokuba didn't—
"You're not listening to me," he pouted, frowning down at his empty plate of food. Kid certainly ate fast.
"What?" Kaiba asked, realizing that he too was a fast eater.
"I want to ride the JAWS ride now," Mokuba stated happily. "Can you pay so we can go? The lines will probably be getting really long now."
If Kaiba was not as composed as he had trained himself to be, he would have passed out right then. Of course Mokuba would choose the ride she was going to be on. It had to be that way, didn't it?
Kaiba mentally groaned as he placed a large bill on the table, not caring that it well exceeded the amount. "Let's go then."
He could see it clearly. She would get scared and cling to who he presumed to be her boyfriend, and he would be forced to watch. How he would love to take her in his arms and kiss her in front of him. Not that he had any interest in her in such a way. And though he found it strange to deal with her in that manner as she so closely resembled his deceased mother, something seemed to pull on him that would not allow for any other kind of reaction. He attributed it to his joy of toying with people's minds and emotions—it was nothing emotional or even remotely incestuous. After all, in his eyes, she still hadn't paid him back for the wet napkin incident.
He could see them in his view. The five of them, standing in the line. With only seven people separating them from him and his brother, he knew the day was on a fast collision course. For the first time in a while, the young CEO was uncertain what to do.
- - -
The ride was going smoothly, with Anzu—much to her deep displeasure—between Honda and Otogi. Next to Honda was Jou, leaving Kazuma—much to his displeasure—beside Otogi. He much rather would have preferred sitting next to Anzu, that way, he could easily ignore the imposter. He had even tried to manipulate the order, he had even made a comment aloud, but he had been ignored. What he was able to find amusing in the situation was that Anzu had also made a comment about rather sitting beside Kazuma than Otogi.
The five of them, taking an entire row, were seated—much to Kaiba's displeasure—in the row in front of him and his brother. And, even more to his displeasure, he was stuck behind the girl and the boy he was certain to be her boyfriend. The way his arm was draped casually across her shoulders disgusted him. What disgusted him more, however, was not the affectionate glances that were constantly cast her way, or even that horrendous arm. It was the constant flirtatious remarks coming from the boy beside her—the one who he knew was not her boyfriend. And though not having an experience in human emotions as love, Kaiba knew enough to know that the boy's behavior was not acceptable.
Then again, neither was the kiss he had given her at the concert—and strangely enough, somewhat desired to repeat. So, Kaiba decided, though he detested the boy, he approved of the actions. Even if they were disgusting. Like the dice earring.
He wondered how Jou had not seen him, and it was a miracle his voice had not been recognized as he spoke with his brother. But Kaiba knew most people did not have the giftings he had with voice recognition. It just made them that much more insignificant.
It was in this moment, when Kaiba was wondering just how much more he could analyze of these pathetic teens when their first excitement of the ride made itself known. From the water on the left side, a shark—what was supposed to be a shark, though Kaiba found to be poorly designed—rose and attacked their ship. Instead of the ship moving forward as it should have, it stopped, rocking back and forth in the water as the shark's weight pressed on the boat. He could hardly contain his boredom at this, or his annoyance at the way Jou nearly leapt in the air and clung to the girl's boyfriend's arm. He considered her actions and smirked, finding that she made no motion to clutch the boy's arm or close her eyes—though Kaiba couldn't see her face. He almost wondered if she was already asleep.
When the shark finally sunk beneath the water, the boat lurched forward, causing the passengers to grasp the seats in front of them. He saw the girl's forehead heading straight for the corner of the bench before her, but she seemed to make no motion to stop herself. Perhaps she really was sleeping. He couldn't stop himself as he reached his arm forward and pulled her back, using the strength of his hand to hold her in place. He prided himself on his ability to remain glued to his seat, his other hand holding Mokuba back. After the lurch, the boat had stopped completely. He quickly withdrew his hand, his eyes narrowing.
What kind of cheap ride is this, they can't even have a properly working boat? He growled in his mind, clenching his fists. He felt two small hands cover his right fist and he relaxed a little. For Mokuba…
Anzu blinked, her chest warm. She had felt the hand pull her back and hold her in place. She hadn't been asleep in the least, just immensely caught off guard. She didn't want to turn around and thank him. She knew that strength, the handprint. Her breath quickened as she attempted to calm her pounding heart. He was right behind her. She had half a mind to tell him to stop following her, but thought against it. If Honda knew he was here, they'd both be in the water.
"Anzu, are you okay?"
His ears perked. Anzu. The name registered quickly. Mazaki Anzu.
"I'm fine," she said, her voice coming out through gritted teeth. She was not going to turn around.
"Man, what's goin' on?" Jou complained, crossing his arms.
"It appears our motor has stopped working. Our crew will be out here in ten minutes to repair this so we might continue with our ride," the captain spoke over the intercom in the boat, apologizing at least five times from the start to the finish.
A lot can happen in ten minutes.
Her voice was flat, and Kaiba couldn't help but smirk. Turned down before even starting. He applauded her mentally, though he would never admit to doing such a thing. He glanced at the boy again, the dice earring catching his eye. It seemed somewhat familiar to him, like he should recall some memory, but he didn't. Why would a stranger's earring recall a memory?
He felt eyes on him. So he looked up and found what he expected—two brown eyes staring at him. Maybe not what he expected. He was sure they would be the blue eyes belonging to the girl. He heard the words "thank you" and merely shrugged. But the boy's actions were enough to cause the other three males to turn around. He slightly wished the girl would follow suit.
The reactions were what he expected. Jou's eyes grew and his face looked like he was going to explode before he huffed and looked away. The bleached blonde shrugged and didn't give much thought to him. The only reaction that did surprise him was the reaction of the boy with the earring. His green eyes narrowed instantly, and Kaiba could see his muscles tensing.
One word reached his ears before the boys turned around and the ride finally began again. One word that he had forgotten for a very long time.
- - -
They piled into the hotel room, laughing and talking about the day. Jou ordered room service, ignoring the girl who followed him to the room, her arms crossed. When he finished, he turned to look at her. She was looking at him in such a way that he couldn't read her emotions at all. Then again, as good as Jou considered himself to be with girls, he could never understand their emotions.
"Was it him?" Her question was simple, and straight to the point.
Jou nodded slowly. "Yeah." They didn't see him after the JAWS ride. He somehow disappeared from their sight with the boy he was with. Jou remembered the boy as being his brother. He wasn't sure how Kaiba had disappeared so quickly, but he was thankful he had. The last thing he wanted was the day to be ruined because of the jerk. He was the last person he wanted to see.
And he still had to keep Anzu from finding out his name. He had to remember to mention to Otogi not to mention the guy's name to either Honda or Anzu. They were better off not knowing his name. Honda was smart enough to put two and two together. If he could put together that the same guy from the boat had been the guy who kissed Anzu…well, it wouldn't be pretty.
"Let's go have some fun and forget that jerk."
Anzu smirked, a somewhat un-Anzu like smirk. "I don't do that kind of fun, Jou-kun."
If it weren't for the way she said his name, Jou would have been able to think of a quick comeback. "Jou-kun," he said aloud as she left the room and joined the group in the living room. "Jou-kun. Heh, that's what Shiz called me when she decided she didn't like my name. Man…this city is doing some crazy stuff. Nice hotel, but I hope we get outta here soon. I don't wanna see Kaiba-jerk-face anymore. Ah yeah, I should visit Yuug' too. I wonder how his ma is doin'."
Jou shrugged his shoulders and left the room. He thought about Mai for a brief moment, then remembering Kazuma had the number to call the girls they had met, he nearly tripped over himself in excitement. He would forget the blonde goddess. Even if he did always think about her.
"Kaz', let's call those ladies and go somewhere."
Kazuma grinned, thankful for an escape from Otogi. Let the two guys fight over Mazaki. "Sounds good," he said, playing off his excitement to get out. He rose and joined Jou in the room, eagerly dialing the numbers. It had been way too long since he'd been with a girl.
As the phone rang and he waited, he glanced at his blonde friend. "Don't forget the bet."
- - -
It was much too quiet, Anzu decided. Even if concentration was a big part of the game, that didn't mean silence was. Jou and Kazuma had left not long after their room service had arrived to meet the two girls from earlier. She wasn't sure where they had gone, nor did she care—and she refused to give any thought to how long they'd be out, and whether they would return that night or not. Honda and Otogi had settled comfortably to play a game, leaving Anzu to watch in silence. Apparently, it was the game that had brought Otogi to Osaka in the first place.
Naturally, as Anzu's first assumption had been proven correct, the game he had developed depended a great deal on dice. Each of them had five dice, ranging from a normal six-sided die to a twenty-sided die. She had given up trying to understand the meaning of the numbers and the colors, thought Otogi's explanation had been fairly simple. And from what she could see, the game seemed like it had potential—though she wasn't really one for games. She preferred more mobile activities.
But she sat quietly, hating it, as the two boys played with the dice and moved their tokens accordingly on the almost complex game board. Sighing in frustration, she glanced at Honda. She thought about the girl Otogi had mentioned—Miho. She thought about the anger he had mentioned that resided within Honda. And she began to wonder just how much she really knew about Honda Hiroto.
It had never been a secret from her that he had belonged to a gang. She knew part of his involvement in kendo was to give him a way to channel the anger that constantly brewed within him. But that was where it ended, or perhaps, began. What she didn't know was the cause of the anger. And knowing that he enjoyed reading classic English romance novels, she knew there definitely had to be a cause. He was not experiencing "teen rebellion."
For the first time in a while, Anzu felt a hint of fear rise from her heart. She quickly suppressed it. What a silly thing, Anzu. You don't have any reason to be afraid of him. So he's got a kind of "bad boy" side that Taji wouldn't approve of. Maybe that's what makes him more…appealing… Every good girl has to go through a bad boy phase right? Then again…is this just a "phase?" Anzu shook her head, the motion going unnoticed by the boys. Am I a magnet for trouble?
"Man! I almost beat you!" Honda's voice interrupted the thoughts and the silence.
Otogi smirked, folding the game board and putting it away. He was glad his bag had been in a locker at the theme park, otherwise, it might have been damaged by Anzu's water-spilling incident. "It's usually impossible to beat the creator of a game at their game."
"But I almost had you," Honda reminded him, stretching. His eyes darted to the clock, catching the time. It was still fairly early, thought technically late. Then he glanced at Anzu, before returning his eyes to Otogi.
"I should get back to my place. I've got a meeting with the guy tomorrow," Otogi decided, clutching the bag that held his precious creation. "We'll meet up again." He was already at the door.
The sound of the door opening and closing reached Anzu's ear. Otogi's faint farewell barely registered. She didn't even realize she'd been staring at her nails until Honda tackled her on the couch, pinning her beneath him. To say the least, she was startled.
But she quickly let that pass when Honda brushed her lips with his own, his chocolate eyes smiling at her. "I thought he'd never leave," he winked, keeping himself propped up on his hands and knees as he grinned at the girl beneath him.
Anzu groaned, pushing him away as she attempted to get up. Instead, Honda grabbed her arms and they rolled off the couch—this time, she was pinning him down. "This just keeps getting more and more provocative," she mumbled, giving up her struggle against his arms after a couple minutes.
Honda chuckled, wrapping his arms tightly around her waist. His smile grew when she nuzzled her face in his neck. He was sure she could feel the vibrations in his throat as he spoke. "What do you want to do, Anzu?"
She could hear the hint underlying his words, but she ignored it. She leaned her head back, glancing into his eyes. "Other than Nosake Miho, how many else?"
Honda blinked, dropping his arms to the floor. This was certainly not a question he'd been expecting—at least, not for a while. He had no problem answering her, but he suddenly felt unworthy to touch her. "Just two."
"Not exactly." His voice was getting quieter. Hers was getting more curious.
"Lovers?" Her voice hadn't changed, neither had her expression. She merely stared at him in interest.
"Not quite that either."
"Just one," Honda said quietly, not daring to look in Anzu's eyes. It was something he'd planned to keep from telling her, preferably until much later—ideally, never.
Anzu seemed to shrug as she rolled off Honda and to the floor beside him. She didn't make a move to get up, so Honda turned his body to face her. He saw her shiver slightly, so he grabbed the blanket that was folded neatly on the end table and covered both of them with it.
"Talk to me, Anzu," he whispered, hating the silence. She was probably disgusted with him. Or would be, if she knew the entire story.
"Did you love her?"
He wasn't expecting that. "No."
Honda shrugged, looking into her bright blue eyes. "I don't know, stuff just kind of happened. That's how things were back then."
"What about the anger?"
Honda looked away and rolled to his back, his eyes on the ceiling. Her voice still held no judgment that he could tell, but maybe she was just being kind. "I've always been a little possessive. The smallest things used to set me off back then. I've gotten better." He grinned somewhat, laughing lightly.
"How much do I not know?" she was extremely curious now, her brows knitted together, her lips pursed. She had propped herself up on one elbow and was staring down into Honda's face.
"So much," he breathed, his voice barely audible. But it was clear enough. Anzu's eyes were brighter, his expression more relaxed.
She kissed him lightly, resting her head against his collarbone. She could feel his breath catch in his throat as she touched her lips to his neck. "Don't tell me if I don't need to know."
- - -
The word rang in his ears like a siren was being held to him, super-glued to his face.
"Argh!" he yelled, slamming his fist against the battered wall. There was no reason this room would help him remember. This room where he'd spent his first years as a Kaiba.
"Stop!" he panted, slamming his other fist against the wall. It was no use. The voice of the stranger echoed in his mind, taunting him. He couldn't remember. He'd tried. He remembered hearing the name once or twice, long, long ago. But he couldn't remember much before the orphanage. Or even much at the orphanage.
He could remember the bullies. He could remember protecting Mokua. He could remember meeting Yuugi and Jounouchi at the school he'd been sent to. He could remember the incident with Jou's family. And he could remember the chess game that sealed his and Mokuba's fate to the Kaiba name.
But he could not remember more.
Kinjo. Come play with me, Kinjo.
His mind was definitely playing tricks on him. He growled, dropping to the floor. His eyes caught the glimpse of a broken yo-yo underneath the tattered bed. It was the one toy he had managed to hide from Gozuboro. Mokuba had given it to him. But he couldn't remember how it had broken. Or why it had broken.
His head was throbbing painfully. Why had the stranger said that name to him? It held no significance for him. But, if that were the case, why was it affecting him so aversely? Why was he trying to keep it out?
It rang like a bell. He was not going to let the demon out—or in, for that matter. He stumbled through the room, mostly crawling on the old wooden floor. He had to get out of there before the memories suffocated him. Before the name unlocked the past life he had worked greatly to suppress—the life before Gozuboro. The life before the orphanage.
He could feel the old sense of a panic attack gripping him. It had been over a year since the last time he'd experienced one, but he could recall it clearly. He didn't quite recall the reasons for the last attack, but he recalled the experience.
He growled, hating himself in that moment. If he could separate himself into two people, he would glare down at his writhing form in indignation—perhaps even kick himself. He attempted to take a deep breath, frustrated at the sweat pouring from his palms.
The word taunted him further as he finally gave in, thankful no one could see him in his most vulnerable state. It would do his image no good if pictures were printed of him lying on the floor, gasping for breath.
He closed his eyes, knowing he would fall into a restless stupor for a few hours. A six-sided die filled his mind, the dot of the one's side facing him, laughing hysterically.
Damn die, he was sure he muttered.
I know Honda was the one with the crush on Miho, but for the sake of this story, that was reversed.
I don't know what Kinjo means, but I like how it sounds.
I've never been to Universal Studios Japan, so I honestly have no idea how the Hollywood Coaster is. This was more or less, my interpretation of the pictures and description from the website.
The next chapter will probably be the last chapter in Osaka. They need to get back to school so the main action can begin.
Oh, and yeah, Honda's past will be revealed next chapter (most likely). It's not going to be pretty.