Love or Something like That
By: Starian Princess

They were neither enemies nor friends. But what can the Christmas season possibly bring them as they have their regular visits on a bench in Domino park?


Monday

With his icy blue eyes staring into space, Seto Kaiba sat peacefully on a bench in Domino Park. Funny, no one would have ever expected that the normally cold, millionaire CEO would actually enjoy letting time slip by as he watched the snow fall silently to the ground. He closed his eyes, remembering certain events. The Christmas season always brought back his fondest memories and yet at the same time, it brought back the worst possible ones too. But as he sat there without a care in the world, his mind a blank for once and his head positioned to focus on the midday sky, he failed to notice a certain female brunette passing by.

As she started bobbing her head while listening to some of her favorite tunes, Tea Gardner casually took a stroll into the nearby recreational area, the Domino Park. She had nothing better to do at home anyways, what with her parents gone on a business trip and school being over hours ago. It was during these instants where she'd like to have some "alone time" and go visit her preferred hang-out.

'No one should be there at this time.' She thought as she carelessly yet gracefully stretched her arms out, nearing her favorite green bench.

'After all, who would be out at this time and in this weather?' True, it was the middle of the day and many would have had the thought to come to the park with a friend or two, much like what she would have done with her friends. But on the other hand, it was the week before Christmas and her friends did have a reason for not being with her that day. They had all opted to go do their Christmas shopping instead of having to do it on a weekend, when more than the usual shoppers would be at the mall looking for last minute presents.

Plus there was her implication about the weather, which had not at all been an exaggeration of a little snowfall. On the contrary, the wind was blowing hard and the snow falling was literally making a dancing cyclone around her already.

'Okay, maybe that was an exaggeration…' She sighed at the thought. Well, at least her friends would be safe at the mall and they would be all together… enjoying themselves… looking for presents for each other. Now, where was this all going?

'I thought that I'd be happy coming to the park to just think things through. I'm definitely not going to make myself feel down for not going to the mall with the others!'

With things somehow settled in mind, she made a quick jog to her theoretically unoccupied bench. Oh how wrong she was!

Coming to halt a few centimeters away, she let a frown graze her usually smiling face. Someone was sitting on her bench! Someone had apparently thought the same as she did to come to the park today, thinking that no one else would come because of the Christmas shopping others would be doing, and the weather that was starting to pick up. That someone was already sitting in the comfort of her favorite green bench, facing her favorite willow tree! And for some strange reason, that someone looked very familiar.

Taking a few more hesitant steps, she peered from behind the bench to see who the "invader of her personal space" was. Wonder of wonders! Didn't that blue trench coat look distinctly familiar? What's more is that oddly, the person hadn't even realized she was there. This was strange. Normally, he of all people would know if there was someone creeping up from behind him.

Her mistake though, was to snort in amusement and laugh silently which was what had finally caught the attention of the brunette sitting on the bench.

He turned his head sharply as a small sound of laughter invaded his wandering thoughts. He hadn't even realized that anyone was there. Who could blame him though? The falling snow had been much too captivating. But he wasn't about to say that aloud either. He was Seto Kaiba, Domino City's very own "block of ice" and everyone who knew him of course would know of him being someone devoid of emotion. The only people who would have actually stood up to him would be Yugi Mutou- his rival, and Yugi's group "the geek squad".

Ironically, he found himself glaring at none other than Tea Gardner- a member of the Geek Squad. Mildly surprised but hiding it under his cool composure, he quirked a brow at the cheerleader of Yugi's group.

"What are you doing here, Gardner?" His voice laced with venom and loathing, she couldn't help but wince slightly. But nevertheless, she held herself up and produced a friendly smile in response to his glare.

"I was just passing by, Kaiba. And no, Joey and the others aren't with me." Once again she never failed to surprise and somehow entertain him.

"What made you think I'd treat you differently knowing Wheeler wasn't with you?" He sneered.

She smiled even wider. "Well, I happen to know you have nothing against me. And usually it's just Joey who ticks you off. Oh, and Yugi too since he always beats you when you challenge him in duels."

To this, an uncontrolled chuckle escaped the normally scowling young man. And Tea, who had never witnessed something like this before, simply gawked at him. It wasn't really a laugh of joy or anything like that. She could clearly hear the amusement in fact.

"You had one thing right though, Gardner. I don't have anything against you. But Wheeler does not tick me off. I simply like baiting him and seeing him act like the dog he is. And Yugi's my rival. When he does beat me, I feel the need to strive harder and that, in no way at all, ticks me off either."

Silence followed his speech and he wondered if he might've surprised her too much that she couldn't speak anymore. Well, this was Tea Gardner and when it came to her he had to admit, she always ended up showing him something that he'd find in no one else.

A sound of laughter proved him right as he found his "companion" barely trying to compose herself in front of him.

'Did this girl have no shame?' He wondered as he watched with interest as she clutched her stomach and with exhaustion, plopped herself onto the bench.

"Oh, Kaiba that was a good laugh…" She finally said when her breathing had gone normal again and her stomach didn't hurt as much. "A question though. Why are you suddenly so different today?"

"I don't know either Gardner. I suppose we could blame it on the snow." Was the final response she got before the male brunette stood up, and started walking away.

"Hey Kaiba!" He stopped as he reached a bench on the opposite side of the trail, listening to what the girl had yet to say.

"I hope I see you here again tomorrow." It was just a bit softer than her earlier holler but he had heard it and allowed a smirk on his face.

Tea smiled as she watched him leave. He hadn't answered her but he hadn't declined either.

Tuesday

"Hey, you didn't mind me at all today." Neither a greeting nor a smile, he quietly sat down next to the spitfire he knew only too well.

'Only too well? I guess I knew her a little better but that was it. If I knew her any more than that, she'd actually be considered… a friend…' He thought as he took a small glance at the pouting girl beside him.

"Am I so obligated to greet you or to talk to you at school everyday, Gardner?" He questioned; the arrogance ever present in his husky voice.

"Well, no but I'd appreciate a little acknowledgement you know… Otherwise I'd end up looking like a fool who was waving to no one."

"I did like that little display though. When you tripped on Wheeler's leg and smashed into to him I had to hold on to something to keep myself from laughing out loud. Plus, the spaghetti you spilled all over him was a really good finish."

"Oh Kaiba…" She started as she faced him with the fury evident in her cerulean orbs. "You really make me so mad sometimes!"

"You're not perfect either Gardner. On the contrary in fact, you can be as annoying and dimwitted at times too." With not so much as look towards his "companion", he watched as the snow continued to fall.

The moments of silence dragged on as finally, he heard a faint sob coming from the girl next to him. He was confused but refused to show it. Why had the normally fiery girl started crying all of a sudden? He took a brief glance and his eyes involuntarily widened at the sight.

Cupping her chin and covering her mouth with both hands, crystalline tears fell in graceless cascades down her cheeks. For some unknown reason, Seto Kaiba actually found it quite attractive. Not many girls could still look so beautiful even when they were crying. But it was also that fact that made him pity her all the more. Scowling inwardly, he fought the urge to think of any more adjectives that associated him in thinking that Tea Gardner was actually a very good-looking female specimen.

But watching her continue with what looked like self-pity didn't seem like a good idea either.

"What's wrong?" Trying not to sound too concerned, he watched as the female brunette wiped away tears and tried to straighten herself to answer him. She always did strike him as someone with strength from within.

"I know I'm not perfect Kaiba. But is that… is that really what every guy looks for in a girl?" She choked once and that was it. But her voice had trembled too much for the usual Tea.

"What do you mean?" Not sure of how to answer, he settled with that.

"I… I told Yami that I liked him and he… he said he liked me too. But not in the same way…" She could only get out that much but he had understood. She had been turned down, by her supposedly best friend in fact. But he let her continue since it didn't seem like she was finished yet.

"You see, that's one of the reasons why I came yesterday. I just wanted to think things through and with everyone at the mall, I was sure I'd have some "alone time"." A pause again and Seto then realized that he may have been intruding on her yesterday.

"But don't worry. I didn't mind that you were here Kaiba! I mean, it actually made me feel better. I suppose letting out some bottled emotion never hurt anyone right?" With that, she smiled at him the first true smile he saw from her that day. It was a bit mysterious though, the way she could simply predict what he had been thinking. It amazed him also, that he couldn't even tell that she had been in so much pain yesterday. She had masked it so easily.

'We may be alike in that sense, Gardner.' He allowed a small smile at the thought. It was one of the first times he had ever been able to connect with someone else, much less a female.

Suddenly, his day had unexpectedly lit up. It wasn't really all happy-go-lucky like most people, but at least some sort of light had been shed into it.

'It's hard to believe that Gardner was responsible for it though.' And with that he straightened himself and prepared to leave.

Oblivious of his earlier smile or the way his icy-blue eyes turned into a somewhat calmer shade, Tea looked up as she watched the CEO straighten himself on the bench.

"Kaiba?" The man in question looked at her and she gasped softly. Understanding. That was what she saw in his eyes then. And suddenly, a small blush had crept its way up her face.

'Why am I feeling this way all of a sudden?'

"Gardner," To this she glanced again at the man beside her. "no one in this world is truly perfect. We do actually intend to look for that perfect person but he or she doesn't need to be perfect. More specifically, that person is just special in a sense that they are perfect in at least one person's eyes."

With that said, he took his leave just as he had yesterday. No extra words needed to be said. And Tea just watched in wonder that something so deep, so passionate could come from someone like Seto Kaiba.

Wednesday

"What are you doing Gardner?" An irritated scowl was then followed by an amused giggle.

"What does it look like I'm doing Kaiba?"

A pause then a familiar smirk. "You're littering on a park bench."

Tea sighed but kept a smile on her face as she looked up at the CEO. He didn't seem to be in a foul mood today and it had just seemed like he had been teasing her, in his own way.

"For your information, Kaiba, I amnot littering. And if you were grateful enough, you'd thank me for bringing you a snack today." She huffed in a motherly tone.

"Me thank you, Gardner? You have gotto be kidding." And with that said, he plopped down on his usual seat on the green bench.

The bench gave a little rattle, no doubt the effect of the extra load it had that day. There were sandwiches, rice balls, a box of pizza, and a thermos of hot chocolate.

"And how are we going to eat all of this? I, for one, won't be able to hold all that down. Hmm… But I didn't expect you to be a glutton." He laughed as she, this time, made a scowl.

"I'll have you know that I'm no glutton Kaiba! I was going to suggest that we eat some of it and you bring home the rest to Mokuba." Successfully countering his verbal assault, she let a smile of victory graze her lips.

"There is no way I'm letting Mokuba eat all that junk food."

"But it's not junk food! I made the sandwiches and the rice balls so I can tell you, all the ingredients are natural. Plus, the pizza's a vegetarian too. Well, I guess the only thing you'll have to worry about is the hot chocolate. But I do distinctly remember Mokuba telling me he loved drinking the hot chocolate I made, so I promised to make him some more. You wouldn't deprive your little brother of a request would you, Kaiba?"

Once again she had countered him and then, there was that smirk. It was bad enough she looked unbelievably sexy sporting it but what's more is that she had somehow learned how to smirk like that from him!

"Damn you Gardner…" He growled in frustration and defeat.

"It looks like I win today then, Kaiba." It was amazing how she could pull off such a devilish smirk then transfer to an innocent smile like that. He had to admit, he had met his match.

'Wait a second, met my match?! What is that supposed to mean?!' With widened eyes, he realized then that he had an undeniable attraction to her. He, Seto Kaiba, actually liked Tea Gardner, one of Yugi's "little friends".

He was brought out of his reverie by a rice ball being squished into his face. Barely registering what just happened, he brought a hand to his mouth where the rice ball had been shoved into.

"Oh whoops! Sorry about that Kaiba. You looked like you were in a daze so I decided to wake you up by giving you a taste of my delicious creation." Tea smiled sweetly.

Seconds passed when finally Seto decided to give her a piece of his mind about "poisoning" him with rice balls, but she had beaten him to it once again.

"Look, I said I was sorry… You don't have to be too worked up about it. Here look; I'll eat some too just to show you that it's not poisoned." And with a pout, she bit into one that she was holding.

Peering through the corner of her eye, she watched to see what Seto's reaction would be.

'How…? How'd he get so close?!' Turning her head fully, she stared wide-eyed at the CEO who was inching closer towards her.

'Is he… Is he going to-' But her train of thought had stopped when a healthy amount of rice had been squished onto her face.

Seto backed away as quickly as he could, and faced the other side of the bench. He really hadn't meant to do that but when he'd caught himself inching ever closer to see her tantalizing eyes, he knew he'd had to do something.

'It would be preposterous if Gardner found out that I was interested in her.' With that thought in mind, he carefully turned around ready to face whatever would await him.

"Kaaaiibaaa!!!" For some odd reason, with the way her face reddened either because of the cold or because of the food that was now slathered all over her face he felt a rush of excitement pass through him.

He watched as the dancer grabbed for a small face towel hanging on the basket, where she had earlier carried all the snacks. And with a huff, she proceeded to wipe off the rice on her already flushed face.

After wiping off the last of the sticky rice, Tea frowned as she looked over at the millionaire who was now displaying a rather amused grin. Her frown deepened and she immediately faced the other way to show that this was not over and he had made her particularly mad today.

"You can go ahead and eat now if you want to." It wasn't so much as a request but more of a demand with the lingering tone of something bad happening if he didn't try any of the food she'd prepared.

So with a shrug, he picked up a slice of pizza and began eating.

Minutes later, the tension had faded and they were at least now facing each other as they drank from the paper cups she'd brought along for the hot chocolate.

While Seto was supposed to enjoy silence, he felt unbelievably terrible as every other sound around them seemed to have been heightened. He could hear the wind swishing all around them, the rustling leaves coming from the willow tree standing in front of them and if he wasn't mistaken, he could even hear the cars honking their horns from all the way over the gates of the park.

Someone was definitely trying to tell him something and with an inward sigh, he looked up to his "companion" and attempted to try a conversation. Who would've thought that the normally aloof duelist would feel guilty for something that wasn't actually his fault? Well, maybe it was his fault. After all, he had been the "nasty" person who'd crushed a rice ball on his classmate's face.

"Gardner?"

Whether she had heard him or not, it didn't seem like she cared at all. She simply looked to the side and began packing back all the snacks that had been laid out on the space between them. And after she had finished, she finally looked at him with her own sort of glare.

"Gardner?" He tried again, getting impatient and annoyed with the way she had treated him. But even with that tone, he had failed to get even a squeak from her. He then glared at her hoping that that might catch her attention.

Mission failed apparently. And with a thud, she left the basket on the bench and walked off.

He couldn't believe his eyes. He had never thought Tea Gardner was capable of doing what he had just witnessed. 'Plus,' He added. 'today she ended up leaving before I did.'

Thursday

She was late. He wasn't really supposed to care but his "companion" was late or more specifically, he was earlier in getting to the bench today.

Folding his arms over his chest, he glared straight ahead to no one in particular but surprisingly, a few leaves began to fall off the willow tree as if terrified by the infamous glare.

A few seconds passed and he sighed. He wasn't supposed to be so worked up over such a little thing. 'I mean, it wasn't as if we planned to meet here everyday. In fact, she probably isn't going to come. What with the argument we had yesterday.'

And with that, he settled on bending down to scoop up some snow in his hand.

Suddenly, his head shot up and his ears strained. He was sure he heard it. He had heard her laugh coming from somewhere. He really didn't know what he was doing but he found himself scanning the surroundings with his eyes trained for locating any sort of movement. She was coming, he knew it.

And right on cue, a head popped out from behind some bushes on the opposite trail. Brunette tresses fell down and hit her shoulders as she gracefully walked through the park.

He had to hold his breath. She was by far the most breathtaking thing he'd seen all day. He hadn't seen her at school since he had been caught up with work at the office, and that had excited him more to see the dancer. And here she was, walking, almost gliding through the trail. Her skirt seemed to hike up even higher than usual as she took long strides, and he could be sure that if she were close enough he'd have an uninvited view of-

He mentally slapped himself. What in Blue Eyes' name was he thinking? 'Damn teenage hormones…' Well, at least now he couldn't really blame himself. He straightened again and looked for the girl who had captivated him ever since he had met her on this very bench.

But that was when he realized that she wasn't alone! His eyes narrowed as he watched her walk hand-in-hand with… Ryou Bakura!

'What was she doing holding hands with him of all people?!' He would've understood if it were Yugi, Wheeler or Taylor since they were her best friends thus, having the right to take a stroll with her. But even that thought made his blood boil.

Sensing that someone else was there, Tea looked around the supposedly empty park. Her cerulean eyes stopped on a figure sitting on a bench, on the other side of the trail.

'Kaiba?!' She couldn't believe her eyes. He had actually shown up even after their fight the day before. Suddenly, a warm feeling had entered her heart and she let a small smile graze her lips.

"Tea?" Shaking out of her thoughts, she turned to face her friend whose hazel eyes were looking worriedly at her.

Feeling bad for ignoring him, she smiled pleasantly. "Yes Ryou?"

Sighing in relief, he returned her smile with one of his own. "I just thought that you had a problem or something. Well, my house is down this road here so I think this is where we will be parting ways. Unless maybe you'd like to join me for dinner, Tea?"

She politely shook her head in response and answered, "I'm sorry Ryou but I've got something to do so this is where we'll be parting ways, I'm afraid."

"Oh, it's alright Tea. Another time then?"

"Yes, I'd love to come by sometime." With a wave, her ivory-haired friend started toward the gates, while she remained in the park. And abruptly, she turned on her heel and started running toward the brunette sitting on the bench not too far away.

He watched as she waved farewell to her friend. He knew that she had spotted him and probably that was the reason why she was rushing toward him now. But the feeling that he had earlier did not go away. Trying to act like he hadn't seen her, he tipped his head to stare at the sky.

When she finally got to him, she watched as he quickly made a move to look up. She smiled and stopped in front of him. She knew that he'd seen her and this was probably some way for him to act like he hadn't. Well, there was his act-like-a-cold-hearted-bastard facade for you.

"Hello Kaiba." He heard her greet and he mustered up all his strength to greet her back with coldest glare he'd ever managed. It had worked, but almost faltered as he realized just how close she was to him then. Her big cerulean eyes were focused right on him, and he had to grip the underside of the bench just to steady himself.

She didn't know why he was glaring so coldly at her. But maybe she had an idea. 'It's probably because of yesterday. I shouldn't have ignored him like that, but he shouldn't have smashed the rice ball in my face either.'

Deciding it would be better if she apologized since she was sure he wouldn't, she reached for the hand that was currently resting on his lap as the other seemed to be holding the bench for some reason.

She cupped the hand with both of hers and held it up to her chest as she bent down, ignoring the fact that his hand was very warm and very nice to hold in the cold at that moment.

"I'm really sorry for yesterday Kaiba. Please don't be mad because I really like hanging out with you and it wouldn't do us any good to have sour feelings toward each other."

Once again, she had surprised him. She was now half-kneeling in front of him with his hand held in both of hers. And she was looking at him pleadingly that it was too much of a situation to decline. Ignoring everything else but the warm feeling in his chest, he made his move.

"Kaiba? Kai-" When he hadn't said anything, she had been worried and looked down. But when she'd heard a shuffling sound, she looked up in question and was shocked as the CEO launched himself at her.

In a soft thud due to the snow on the ground, the two were now lying with Seto on top of the surprised dancer. He had his arms wrapped around her head and back to stop her from getting any sort of pain, and his head was nestled at the base of her neck. His eyes closed as he took in her strawberry scent.

Tea had braised herself for a sharp pain somewhere between her head and back, but no sort of ache ever came. She opened her eyes as she felt the cold snow beneath her and the warm body on top of her.

"Kaiba, what are you-" Once again, she had been silenced as she gaped at the icy-blue eyes staring right back at her.

"Gardner," His husky voice started and her cheeks began to blush crimson. "I don't know what you're doing to me but," Then his voice lowered and his head had begun to lower as well. "I want you." With his voice barely over a whisper, he closed the remaining space between them with a hot passionate kiss.

Friday

It was snowing again and it was thirty minutes after the usual time he got to the bench.

No one was there, he wasn't surprised. After what had happened yesterday between him and Tea he wasn't surprised at all that the brunette didn't bother to show up today.

He sighed as he closed his eyes and remembered the events. After their searing kiss, they had both been speechless. But Seto, who wanted Tea to have some sort of space to think, had gotten off her and decided to sit on the bench. Then he had looked down at her still lying in the snow with widened eyes and two fingers pressed on her bottom lip. When he'd asked if she would like to sit next to him before he knew it, she was running as fast as she could out of the park… And away from him…

"That was a very stupid thing to do." He found himself saying to no one in particular. But he was really surprised when a voice from his side answered.

"I'll say. Tea looked quite upset you know." Looking to his right, he was even more surprised to find his own brother, Mokuba standing next to him.

"Mokuba? What are you doing here?"

"Looking for you. I bumped into Tea somewhere near the entrance and she said that you might be here. She also said to give this to you." The raven-haired boy answered as he handed Seto a small folded paper.

The brunette merely looked at it as it rested in his palm.

"Well? Aren't you going to open it?"

"Uh, right." With a little hesitation, he unfolded the strip and read the content.

Kaiba,

I'm not coming today because I have something important to do. I hope you understand. I guess I'll see you around then.

Tea

Something important to do? Maybe going over to Ryou Bakura's place and telling him all about the crazy guy who kissed her yesterday perhaps.

Seto snorted in disgust. "Great, just great."

"You know big brother, Tea had been really upset when I saw her. She was just leaning against the wall and when I ran up to her and asked where you were, I swear she looked like she was about to cry. Then she reached into her bag, pulled out a pen and paper, and scribbled that note down. Did you do something awful to her?"

His brother was now making him feel even worse. Wonderful… But wait, she had reached into her bag just then?

"Mokuba, was she waiting outside the park?"

"Well yeah. I think she was gonna come in here herself but decided not to. Do you think it's my fault?!" Looking at his brother with the worry evident in his eyes, he smiled finally understanding.

'So she wanted to come in here. But she decided to think things through first.' That sounded very much like something Tea would do.

"Big brother?"

"Don't worry Mokuba. It wasn't your fault." After earning a smile of reassurance, he took his brother's hand in his and they walked off towards the exit.

Saturday

Placing the small box on her left, Tea sat down on the bench. And finally catching her breath, she reached down to examine the little package currently in her possession. She peered inside and smiled as content looked back at her with blue flaming eyes. She had to admit, she had done a pretty good job. And now, all she had to do was hand it over to him and everything would be perfect.

He wasn't here today though. And she didn't think he was coming either. She sighed as she looked up at the clear sky. Then she looked around, taking in the white scenery. Truly, it was calming to look at snow.

She hadn't come yesterday because she simply wasn't ready to face him. All the tension they had made would have probably swallowed her up and left her crying. And he, not knowing the reason why, would have ended up blaming himself. Both were things she never wanted to happen. These past few days she couldn't help but realize that she had grown to care tremendously for the CEO and no matter what anyone said, she'd never change her mind.

The thing was she didn't know what to call this newfound feeling. Perhaps admiration since she knew she looked up to him. But the feeling flowed much deeper. She also knew that there was some sort of sexual desire pent up in there but that wasn't it either.

Placing a hand to her mouth, she remembered just how wonderful it felt to have his lips right there over hers. She blushed at the thought as well. Then unconsciously, she lowered her hand and finally it was lying atop her heart. She closed her eyes and listened as the beating began to quicken. And as quickly as it came, her eyes widened as the realization dawned her.

"Is it really what I think it is?" She whispered as a small snowflake landed on top of the box on her side. Then, more snowflakes began to fall in dancing circles around her.

She watched amazed by the show that was performing in front of her. Funny, it seemed that the snow itself was celebrating the new insight she had acquired that day.

She smiled in appreciation and stood up, taking the small brown box with her. At last, things had become so clear yet it promised more adventures and more feelings to ignite after. The mere thought excited her in more ways than one. And with that, she happily trotted down the trail towards the exit.

Sunday

The dancing snow continued to fall as the green bench in Domino Park stayed empty that day. Not one of the brunettes had come to visit. There were no arguments, no revelations, no words, no actions…

It was just a peaceful day again, seemingly like how it was before everything had started. Yet a promise of something interesting to come filled the air as the bench awaited the special day it would have tomorrow.

Monday

With a hand in his pocket, he patiently awaited the arrival of his female companion. Although he had the normal scowl in place, one could do nothing but wonder why his eyes shined with great joy.

Of course,she had an idea why he looked so different today.

Standing a few inches away, she smiled as the same light was shimmering in her cerulean eyes as well.

Finding that he had not sensed her presence yet, she grinned as a fun idea formed in mind. And after carefully tucking away the little wrapped package in her coat pocket, she proceeded to kneeling down and placing a healthy amount of snow in her hands.

He thought he heard some movement coming from behind him. So with much less time to think he turned his head around. And as every cartoon went, a snowball came flying into his face.

He barely had time to register what had happened so he was left to gawk at the dancer smiling with mischief so evident in her eyes.

"I got you." She declared, flashing a victory sign to the stunned duelist. And without another thought, she ran the last few steps and plopped down on her usual seat beside him.

She was now fidgeting slightly under his gaze that had returned to a normal scowl as he regarded her fully. For some reason, she looked so much brighter than ever before. And then he let his wandering eyes take in the brunette standing before him.

Her hair, as free as ever, was moving along with the wind and falling back in graceful heaps at the base of her neck and on her shoulders. Her eyes, azure and alluring, were glittering as they stared at the snow that had fallen between them on the bench. Then there were her cheeks flushing in a light pink shade. And finally, he got to her mouth that was arched into a smile, a true smile.

"What took you?"

Surprised to hear what had come out of his mouth, she looked up to meet the icy-blue eyes of her bench partner.

"Wha-What?" She stuttered.

"I asked what took you." He simply answered, and slowly a smile grazed his lips.

Today was just full of surprises and she found her blush deepening as she watched his mouth curve into the first full smile she had ever seen from him.

Coming out of her momentary daze, she answered with an apology.

"I'm sorry…"

But every other feeling left her as she felt a warm hand cup her cheek. As a reflex action, she brought her hand up to cup that warm hand. And she gently moved it towards her mouth.

He watched as she gave his hand a quick kiss in the middle of the palm. And he found himself blushing an even deeper shade than she was.

"Gardner, I-" She silenced him with a finger on his lips.

"Let me speak first please." And with that she gently placed his hand down and reached into her pocket.

He watched as she pulled out a small box wrapped in gold and handed it to him, letting her hand linger longer than necessary on his.

"It took me some time to think of what to get you but finally, I came up with this." With her velvety voice in mind, he proceeded in taking off the cover of the package. And his eyes widened as he saw the content of the small box.

Taking it out, he fingered the little treasure in his hands and placed it above their heads so that the sunlight would shine through it. Truly, it was a magnificent work. A glass card with the image of the Blue Eyes White Dragon engraved upon it. No one had ever gotten him something so meaningful.

It was his turn now. He brought a hand to one of his coat pockets and pulled out a small case.

Curious, she leaned in closer to look at the item in his hand.

He watched as she did this and made a gesture for her to take it in her hands. After, he watched as she gingerly opened the cover.

She gasped as she stared at the sparkling silver chain that had greeted her. It was a necklace with two hearts as its pendant.

"I… I… Thank you." She couldn't contain herself any longer as tears began to fall down her cheeks.

He felt that it was time he acted and so, he moved closer towards her and held her in his arms. He then felt her arms lace around his waist as she cried onto his chest.

Everything just seemed so right at that very moment. He lifted her face up to meet his and in an instant, his lips had descended upon hers in their second passionate kiss.

As they pulled apart for air, it was the dancer who first spoke. Her voice, soft yet clear.

"Merry Christmas, Seto."

And he answered her. His voice husky and full of desire.

"Merry Christmas, Tea."

They gazed at each other, full of the emotion that was so obvious that it needn't be said.

"But what was it anyways?"

"I suppose it was love or something like that, Seto." And with that they left the bench in Domino Park, memories and revelations in mind.

-OWARI-