Chapter 18 – Fall

Tea awoke to a salty breeze and an ache in her back. She felt odd, like she was waking up from a strange dream she couldn't quite remember. Groaning, she shifted and noticed she was amidst a pile of leaves, sticks, sand and water.

She sat up and a small branch stuck to her already messy hair. She blinked and tried to focus on her surroundings. She saw the water, being highlighted in the morning sun. It was still dark because of the still-present storm clouds.

She looked down and saw she was filthy and covered in mud. Then she noticed her shirt was gone and she was in her bra alone. She shifted under a large leaf that covered her bottom half and realized that her pants were gone too.

Startled, she began to slowly panic. But before she could go into hysteria, another figure sat up besides her and groaned.

He ruffled his hair slightly, shaking loose leaves and sand. His bare chest had leaves and mud smeared all over him. He leaned on one arm and tilted his head slightly to glare at her with blue eyes that were achingly familiar.

And it all came back to her in that instant.

A rush of emotions came over her, and she was unable to handle all of them at once. She sprung to her feet, clutching the large leaf to cover her exposed body. She ran from him.

Seto Kaiba blinked as he watched her figure run away. Why was she running?

It took a moment for him to realize as well what exactly had happened last night among the leaves, sand, and rain. Oh god, who could ever forget a night like that. The experience was amazing and yet... why did he feel so guilty?

Maybe it was because of the way she looked right then as she left his side. She looked hurt and confused.

He was confused himself though, but seeing her run away –almost terrified- made him feel guilt... a word he thought he would never feel.

Despite what he was or used to be, his instincts told him to go to her. He leapt up and chased after her.

If he had to, he'd chase her around the entire damn island!

Pants! Dammit, pants would be good... he growled to himself as he quickly ran back and slipped on the filthy and still wet pants over his boxers. He zipped them up and then resumed his quest.

It was easy to follow her tracks, and even easier because her ankle was still hurt. He had her in his sights within seconds. She was limping, only in her underwear, the large leaf long discarded.

"Tea!" He called out loudly, but she only hurried her pace. "Tea, stop dammit! You're gonna hurt yourself!"

She didn't say anything and cut through a line of trees and Kaiba recognized the all-too-familiar water hole. She got to the edge and looked in, and then looked back. She saw him approaching.

She closed her eyes and fell backwards into the cold water.

She felt the cold water envelope her and she felt needles all over her skin. The water was a shock, but also a comforting distraction from the man that had been chasing her. Who knew what he was going to say.

Her eyes stared up at the surface of the water. The ripples from her impact made distortions of the world above the water. She saw the leaves that had fallen in the storm resting on the surface.

The water shifted and there was a dulled sound as something else fell into the water next to her. She was pulled up and she gasped at the air her lungs needed. She felt as a warm embrace held her as the person holding her swam to a shallower part of the pond.

When they were chest deep, the figure stopped and let out a frustrated sigh. She didn't say anything. She didn't dare look him in the eyes. Last night she had looked into those piercing eyes as they had... she shivered at the thought.

Then she felt hands brushing and rubbing at her skin. Was he cleaning her? She looked over and saw his large hands delicately wiping the mud and still remaining sand and leaves from her torso and shoulders. Finally he pulled the sticks and leaves from her hair and brushed a hand across her cheek and it rested a moment under her chin before lifting her face to look at his.

Her wet lashes opened enough and she finally willed herself the courage to look into his eyes. He had a strange expression. She went slightly dizzy as images from the night before swam into her mind.

It was a euphorbia of movement. Their touches, caresses, and rhythm. She remembered being lost in the sensations and the sounds. The way his breath would catch, the sound of rain and waves upon the shore. She remembered the overwhelming emotions and the tears...

She pulled her eyes from his and tried to shake from his arms. Even though she was slightly scared of those arms, the way they felt around her was familiar and safe. Her body and her own hands knew every part of his physical make-up now and how it reacted, whether her mind wanted to remember it or not.

Kaiba let out an impatient growl as he tightened his hold around her. She was being so troublesome –acting like a little child. He couldn't help but roll his eyes at her child-like antics.

He finally decided to end her flailing and he completely wrapped his arms around her waist and held her to him tightly. She struggled more, but finally stopped and allowed herself to rest her head against his shoulder.

After what seemed like hours, she finally let out a anxious breath and allowed herself to smile. She had noticed that he was shivering as well as herself from the cool water. She let out a small giggle, realizing just how foolish her little episode was; how foolish both of them were.

"What could possibly be funny?" Kaiba asked against her shoulder, his voice strained and sounding a little perturbed.

"Us." She replied, still giggling. "We're hopeless."

Kaiba finally released his hold, seeing as she was somewhat 'back to normal' in his mind. "You may be hopeless, but I assure you I am nothing of the kind." He began to wash himself off of the dirt, mud and leaves still on his exposed body.

She did the same, but was interrupted by Kaiba's voice. The tone of his voice was curious –which only came out as demanding, coming from Kaiba.

"Why did you run away like that?"

She paused, trying to find the answer herself. "I guess I was a bit scared. Afterall, it's not everyday you wake up half naked next to Seto Kaiba after a whole night of..." She trailed off.

Kaiba picked up the rest of the sentence, finishing it for her rather bluntly, "'making out.'"

She avoided his gaze a second. "Yeah," was her only reply. She fought the heat of her blush as she remembered more from last night.

No words were said, they simply expressed themselves physically. Tea didn't know how to feel about that, either. She felt embarrassed and shy all of a sudden. The tension began to build again around them.

As if sensing the tension, Kaiba broke in with an arrogant statement. "You liked it."

She frowned and suddenly the shyness and awkwardness was erased and replaced with anger. "Oh I did, did I?" She asked, looking him in the eyes with a fiery passion. "Who says I did, anyway? Maybe I hated it."

He gave her a glare that meant he saw through her façade.

She frowned at his arrogance. "Oh so you're the expert on what I like and don't like huh?"

"I think I can speak with confidence that you thoroughly enjoyed what happened last night." He said smugly, eyeing her intently, observing the small trace of a smile on her lips.

"What if I didn't, huh? What if I felt like you took advantage of me, and that that argument really hurt my feelings."

"If it really happened that way, then why did you confess your feelings to me like you did?"

She felt the heat rise in her cheeks, but she creased her brow as she remembered something. "Oh yeah, about that, mister too-good-for-words. After saying that to you, you didn't say a word. Not a damn thing but my name for crying out loud. What was that about?"

"From the outcome, I would have said that my answer was clear enough."

"Ugh!" Tea hit her head with her fist. Why was he so difficult sometimes? Was he doing it on purpose just to drive her insane? "You are one selfish, self-centered, spoiled –hmmff!"

Not this again! Oh no! She wasn't going... to... to... ahh, hell with it! She wrapped her arms around his neck tightly and gave in to the wonderful taste of his lips as he kissed her to silence.

He molded his lips to hers, forcing a small moan from her throat as he expertly played with her lower lip. She pulled closer to him, swearing that the once cold water was now boiling. His hands moved across her back, every now and then gripping her to him tightly.

He began to trail kisses down her neck and found the delicious spot he knew would drive her insane. He gently kissed the still-visible love mark and then sucked against it as he had last night. She arched her back and her hands flew to his hair and massaged his head.

If he didn't know better, he could have sworn his eyes rolled up into his head for a moment. He felt her hot breath on his cheek and then she nipped his ear and whispered, "it always tastes sweeter after we argue, doesn't it?"

He shivered despite his willpower and gave a small noise of agreement. "Then let's argue more often," he answered as he wrapped her legs around his waist and continued to kiss her neck.

"It's a deal," she moaned out.

"Don't make a deal you can't uphold," he said running a hand down her leg.

"Never," she breathed and tilted her head back as his hand reached her hip and squeezed her flesh.

He captured her mouth in another satisfying kiss as they waded in the water.


Duke took off his helmet as he stopped at the familiar looking port near the ocean. He got off his motorcycle and ran a hand through his dark spiky locks.

He walked along the wooden planks that made up the sidewalks as he reached an also familiar tavern.

When Mokuba had mentioned being 'rewarded' he really meant it. Duke had received a hefty sum and some stocks in Kaiba Corp.

It had been a few weeks and already Mokuba had managed to boost company morale and public recognition; pushing the tragedies and losses behind.

Even though it was costing a pretty penny to rebuild both the Kaiba Corp building and the mansion, Mokuba didn't seem too concerned over the temporary loss of money. In fact, the kid had mentioned a tournament he was going to host with a nice reward to get more people to arrive; in the anticipation that most were still afraid to attend another event hosted by a Kaiba, especially after what happened when the dueling ship was attacked.

Duke was already becoming famous himself for his dungeon dice game, but now with Kaiba Corp's additional funding, it was beginning to look like a fruitful future for him.

He could already tell his fame was getting more popular, so before his life became too much more hectic, he decided to visit an 'old' friend, and give him a little gift from Mokuba Kaiba himself.

Duke pushed open the doors to the bar and took a quick scan and found several young guys at the bar laughing and drinking, and then in the corner, the man he was searching for, was sipping on what looked to be hot tea.

Duke strode over and sat down on the empty seat across from Dan.

Dan looked up and a toothy smile greeted Duke. "Well well, Dukie boy! Long time no see... what's it been, almost a month?"

"Yeah, almost." He nodded, flinching still at his nickname.

"Didn't figure I'd sees you again. Didn't take you for the water-luvin type."

"I still don't like water, believe me. Nor seagulls for that matter." Duke replied and this raised a loud chuckle from Dan, causing Duke to laugh out loud as well.

"So what are ya really here for then, Dukie?" Dan asked, when their laughter died down.

Duke smiled and pulled a piece of paper out of his pocket. He handed it to him and Dan looked down at it, opening the envelope. He saw that it was a check and then he looked at the amount he was being given.

"What in the... Dukie? Is this for me?"

"Sure is. Remember those 'colleagues' I was helping from those fighters? Well, they are, let's say, a very rich company and you helped save them so... there's your reward." Duke saw the older man's face light up even more and he pushed out from his chair and raised a hand in the air.

"Drinks on me!" He exclaimed and a big cheer sounded throughout the bar.

Duke smiled nervously as he was handed a beer, despite his age.

The celebration lasted quite a number of hours, and Duke had been conned into sitting at the bar with the rest of the younger fisherman and captains.

Even though Duke had managed to stay sober, Dan was rambling on about the seagulls; most of the patrons taking his story as a work of fiction –due to the booze and his history for telling tall tales.

A young man next to Duke threw an arm around Dan. "Tell me about it, old man, the seas are a dangerous place ain't it?" He asked, obviously having had one too many himself.

"Sure is." Dan agreed. "You got any stories, young feller?"

Duke was almost done with this crowd, but he figured one more story couldn't hurt before he left.

The young man with dark hair nodded and searched his hazy memory. "Oh yeah, this one time, get this get this, I was making a pit stop at an island like I usually do to get some water right? Well, this one island had this couple –they were stranded an' in poor condition. Man, did the guy look beat up. I had to carry the sorry somabitch onboard too, cause he was sick or somethin. Anyway! Guess what they did because of my gratitude!"


"They tried to hijack my boat, so I threw them overboard."

"Really?" Dan asked.

"Yeah! They came at me with an axe! But boy... was that girl a looker! She was a cutie-pie! With short brown hair and legs that wouldn't quit, big blue eyes... man, and she was-" he was cut off by being grabbed by the scruff of his collar and being brought face to face with menacing green eyes.

"She tell you her name!" Duke demanded.


"Her name, what was her name!"

"I don't know, Tea or something... what's it to-" He was cut off again as Duke thrust the man against the bar with a strong grip.

"Take me there... Now!"


A/N: Hehehehehe? Don't kill me please? I know it's been a long time but... forgive me? I really didn't mean for it to be such a long wait, but life just took a turn and handed me lots to deal with, okay? Well, hopefully I'm in a better position, and maybe this semester will be a little less stressful right? God, I hope so. Anyway, review or don't because I feel I don't deserve any as of right now. Oh yeah! And for those of you who even remember this incident, for it was months ago... people- please don't give mean reviews about other reviews I might receive, because those reviews are for me and maybe I deserve to be criticized sometimes, because lord knows my writing could use some work and the only way to get better is to know what I'm doing wrong. And we all don't want me kicked off fanfic right? Kay? Okay! well, with that taken care of, please forgive me again for the delay. I really didn't mean for it to be so long. I hope everyone has a great 2006 and a great semester (for those fellow college students out there) and I'll see you on the flip side!