WARNING!!! WARNING!!! THIS IS A PRO-TEA FIC!!! ANYONE WHO DOESN'T LIKE HER OR THE COUPLE S/T SHOULD NOT READ THIS MATERIAL!!!! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!!!
Disclaimer: I wish I may, I wish I might, own Yu-Gi-Oh and become filthy rich. Unfortunately, the Blue Fairy decided not to appear today and got me two bucks instead. Life sucks.
Dedicated to: Jade, who has been hankering for a "Once Upon A Chocolate Kiss" update even if I had told her that a future update won't be possible. At least...not yet...
Summary: (S/T) Téa wants to marry...but, well, every time she thinks she's found the right guy, Seto Kaiba pops into her head! Hmm...maybe a kiss or two might banish her once-upon-a-crush from her mind. Oops! Looks like that plan went down the drain.
"I'm tired of this, Serenity!"
27-year-old Serenity Wheeler watched as the tall brunette, who she considered as her best friend as well as big sister, paced the floor of her kitchen. Téa Gardner was rarely in a bad mood, so Serenity guessed something must be quite weighty in Téa's mind to get her this upset.
And when she was upset, it was up to Serenity to calm her down.
"Here, have a cookie."
Téa smiled gratefully and accepted a chocolate cookie from Serenity's outstretched tray. She knew Serenity made the best chocolate cookies in Domino City, which was why her bakery shop was so popular.
"So...is it your monthly period again, Téa?" Serenity teased.
Téa's attractive face was wrinkled in disgust. "Worse. I don't know why they're doing this to me, Serenity! I mean, I know I'm their only daughter, but they can't make decisions for me! It's my life!!!" Her voice had raised an octave higher and her azure blue eyes sparkled with fury.
Serenity smiled patiently. "So, spill it. What's the matter?"
Téa sighed then drove her hands through her short dark-brown hair. " It's my parents. They want me to settle down and – " she screwed up her nose "– get married. And that's just half of it!" She grabbed another cookie and crunched it viciously. "They also expect me to marry within a limited time. I have to tie the knot in two months, or else I have to wed a man of their choosing."
Wide-eyed, Serenity asked, "Can't you just reason with them?"
"I tried!" Her brunette friend scowled. "But their reply was: Téa, your biological clock is ticking and we don't want you ending up a bitter old spinster. You need a man to take care of you at the end of your days. Ugh! Mom and dad are so old-fashioned! I'm perfectly happy being blessedly single!" She rolled her eyes.
"Err...well, they do have a point though. Your biological clock is ticking and your 29th birthday was last week. Besides, didn't you once tell me you would love to have children?" Serenity inquired.
Téa's eyes twinkled as she smiled tenderly at the thought of children. " Well, now that you mentioned it...Yes, I did." She always did have a soft spot for little kids, mainly because when she was younger, she had been quite lonely without other children to play with. Girls her age had found her tomboyish side repulsive and until her best friend, Yugi Muto came into her life, she had been a social outcast.
"Téa? Téa? Are you listening?"
"W-What?" She broke out of her reverie. "Sorry, I spaced. What were you saying?"
"I was asking, do you have a victim, I mean, a groom for your wedding?" Serenity questioned.
"Hmm...that's my objective now. I have to get a man for me..." Téa frowned, tapping her chin thoughtfully. "I mean, I can't just marry a stranger, can't I?"
"Well, it depends on you actually," said Serenity. "Seriously though, are you ready for marriage?"
"I don't have much of a choice." Téa sighed, remembering her parents' request. "I guess I'll do it."
Besides, she thought, Serenity just reminded me the reason why I gave up my dancing career and chose to be a teacher instead. I wanted to be with children. Perhaps it's high time I have my own babies to play and cuddle with.
"Hey, I heard from Yugi that your father is holding a cocktail party tonight for his business partners," Serenity broke into her thoughts.
Téa made a face. "That's what he tells me. But I know it's just an excuse to get me to meet potential husbands." She got up. "Well, thanks for the cookies...and the ears, Serenity. I think I'll take a walk and try to sort things through."
Serenity smiled and nodded. But once Téa shut the door behind her, her smile faded. She sensed something momentous was about to happen soon. She just wasn't sure if it was a good or a bad thing.
As Téa walked down the brick sidewalk, she glanced at her watch and sighed. It was half past five. Just two more hours to go before the cocktail party would begin. She had better get home quick before her parents blew a gasket.
Just as she made it across the street, the heel of her shoes gave way, and she ended up falling. Too late, she could find nothing to steady her. Téa squeezed her eyes shut and prepared to kiss the cement floor.
A pair of hands reached out to grab her shoulders before she collided into him.
"Watch where you're going!"
She looked up slowly, hardly daring to believe.
Icy cobalt eyes glared at her from underneath long russet bangs.
Yes, it was him. Even after the ten years of separation, Seto Kaiba remained the tallest, handsomest, most intimidating man she had ever met.
He let go of her shoulders and picked up his fallen suitcase.
Oh God! She nearly cried out, feeling numb. Does he recognize me?
But she needn't have worried. Although his eyes had widened a fraction, she thought she must have imagined it because he still wore an unemotional look as he appraised her like a stranger would. Which was just as well. After all, the past was dead and buried, wasn't it?
His cobalt eyes narrowed when Téa continued to stare at him, dumbfounded. "Well? Move it! I haven't got all day! I have an important conference to attend to and you're blocking my way!"
That finally got her wits together. "Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me, Your Royal Highness!" she gritted, her voice dripping with sarcasm. " I supposed this road belongs to you? Please accept my sincerest apologies, sir. I had no idea!"
He smirked. "Thanks for the acknowledgement, slave."
Téa's rage raised a notch. Why the conceited bastard was amused!
"Humph!" She stood up straight and tall, her chin held up high. She pulled out her ruined shoe from her dainty feet and, with the dignity of a highborn princess, hobbled past him, determined not to even look at his smirking face.
That was absolutely...embarrassing! Thank God the streets here were nearly deserted and no one saw her humiliation. Today had to be the worst day of her life!
No...wait. There was one particular day that could top today's disaster.
Against her will, she found herself remembering the most embarrassing day of her life back in high school...the day that changed her life completely, when for the first time, she had hated someone with all her heart...and still did.
Stop it! She admonished herself sternly. It's ancient history. You've gotten over that incident already. No need to walk down memory lane...
Seto Kaiba watched as the woman disappeared into a corner of the street. Now he was no longer in doubt as to who the oddly familiar lady was.
With his first look at the pretty brunette dressed in a long-sleeved polo shirt and white denim jeans, he had felt an achingly proverbial emotion that only one person could provoke from him.
The corners of his mouth twitched. Téa Gardner, one of Yugi Muto's lackeys and his former classmate in high school.
Also, the besotted young girl who had worshipped him like a demigod in the pages of her diary.
Will this fic be on hiatus? Hmm...that's a toughie. Well, I'm already working on the second chapter, so an update is probable. But...and here comes the infamous 'B' word...But I can't make any promises and I'm uncertain if my interest with this fic will last long enough for me to finish it. He-he...it just goes to show you how very unmotivated I am.
Before I hit that submit button, I'd like to thank Krissy for pushing me to continue my writing despite the total lack of time. (Think homework. LOTS of homework.)