Disclaimer: "I do not own yugioh."

"talk"

'thoughts'


...

"It's so nice of you to come to the mall with me Tea. Mai is gone and I feel so lonely." Serenity said to a smiling Tea.

"No problem Serenity. Besides, I like hanging with you. I hang out with the guys all the time. It's a good break for me." Tea replied with a smile.

'And I want a break from you. You always hog all the guys. But that will change, soon.' Serenity thought with malice in her heart. She had moved to Domino so study at the same high school as the gang, imagining herself to be the centre of attention as she was during Battle City. But her expectations were shattered by the reality. In Domino High, she was far from popular. She was known as Joey Wheeler's sister and nothing more. Her shy, quiet personality had placed her at the bottom of the social hierarchy. But Joey and the rest of the gang enjoyed popularity and recognition. When she was with them, she was noticeable. But even then, she felt like an outsider. They were all in the same grade and had same classes. They talked and joked about comfortable while she sat quietly, smiling and watching their antics, trying to participate yet failing to do so. She could not fathom what had changed after Battle City. Why were they not paying her so much attention anymore? Why was Joey not being over-protective? Why were Tristan and Duke not fighting to get her attention?

There had to be an explanation. And that came in the form of a person. Tea Gardner was the reason. She was always there, talking and laughing with the boys. She was always instigating or mediating most of their actions. She was always the centre of attention, or as Serenity concluded, she always wanted to be the centre of attention. Serenity had noticed that during Battle City, everyone was focused on her and Tea had pretty much being ignored. That must have annoyed the brunette, causing her to be jealous of Serenity. So now she was doing everything to get attention. It was the only logical explanation. And the worst part was, her efforts had succeeded. Serenity had been rendered a nobody thanks to Tea's malicious efforts. Oh how Serenity wished to punish Tea for taking away her brother and friends.

"Hey Serenity, you okay? You just spaced out." Tea asked her friend, concerned at her far-away look and lack of response.

"I am fine tea. Lets go inside and buy some clothes." Serenity assured her with a smile.

"Okay." Who was Tea to say no to shopping. They walked inside the mall.

(After an hour)

Both girls were loaded with shopping bags. They quickly found a table in the mall food court and sat down.

"That was nice." Tea said.

"Yeah. We should do that again someday." Serenity replied.

"Sure. It's nice to know I won't have to fight with Joey and Tristen for my food for once." Tea said and Serenity laughed, but on the inside, she was burning with anger and jealousy. Of course Tea would bring up her friendship with the guys. She was reminding Serenity of her close bond with them and rubbing the fact in Serenity's face that she was better friends with her brother. What a low thing to do.

"Hey Seto, it's Tea. Let's go say hi to her." A voice came from behind them, startling the two girls. And soon, Seto Kaiba and Mokuba appeared. Tea frowned at Kaiba but smiled at Mokuba.

"Hi Mokuba. What are you doing here in the mall?" Tea asked the kid.

"I came here to buy some games." He bounced with excitement.

"Really. Maybe I can help. I…" Tea started but Seto interrupted her.

"The day we need help from the likes of you will be the day the world comes to an end." He sneered.

"I am not talking to you kaiba so just shut up. I play games with Joey and Tristen all day and I know a thing or two about them." Tea said, angered by his rude behavior.

"Cool. I didn't know you played video games." Mokuba replied, amazed that a girl was interested in video games. His female classmates didn't play many video games, or at least not the ones he liked.

"Now you do." Tea smiled.

"Let's go Mokuba. I can't waste any time here." Seto said gruffly.

"Yeah, just leave Mokuba, before I say something to your brother I'll regret." Tea said as she glared at Seto. She ignored his death stare and opened the bag of chips she had bought from the store.

"Oh, is there a toy inside Tea?" Mokuba asked her curiously.

"Let me check. Umm, here it is. Hey look. It's a blue eyes white dragon, from my first bag." She held up a tiny blue eyes.

"No fair. I eat these everyday and never get this toy and you get it from your first bag." He pouted. Tea giggled at his expression.

"Here, you can have it." She held it out for him. Mokuba's eyes became wide.

"You… you mean it?" He couldn't believe it.

"Of course." She said with a smile. "It's nothing big, just a toy. Just take it. Your brother is glaring at me and I want to get away from him before I start melting." She winked. Mokuba took the toy but wrapped his arms around her in a tight hug.

"Thank you Tea. Thank so much. You are the best." He then walked away with this brother, who was still glaring at Tea, but not that intensely now. Tea turned to Serenity, which had been quiet and ignored during the whole ordeal.

"Okay Serenity, let's go grab some real good." Tea said. Serenity snapped out of her thoughts and smiled sweetly at Tea.

"Tea, can I ask you something? You hang out with Yugi all the time so can you learn some new dueling strategies from them and teach me. I am kind of shy." Serenity said.

"Sure. I'll do that. But maybe you can ask Joey. He is pretty good too." Tea pointed out.

"Joey is not a very good teacher." Serenity admitted with a smile and Tea let out a laugh. "Plus, I want to surprise him by challenging him and then coming close to beating him because I already know I won't be able to beat him."

"Hey, you never know so don't give up already." Tea said with an encouraging smile.

"And please, don't tell them I want to know that. Promise me. I don't want Joey to get too excited."

"Okay, I promise. Now let's go before Mr. Icy cold comes back."

….

Serenity entered the game shop, alone. Everyone was sitting inside, doing stuff. Yugi and Joey were talking about duel monsters and Duke and Tristen were talking about girls. When she entered, they looked up at her.

"Hey sis. You're back. Where is Tea?" Joey asked her as soon as she stepped into the game shop. She could feel her irritation rising, but she controlled herself.

"Oh Joey." She started crying and ran to him. He stood up and hugged her.

"What's wrong sis? Tell me." Joey asked her worriedly.

"I went to the mall with Tea… and then…." She started.

"Then what Serenity. What happened? You can tell us." Yugi encouraged her.

"Kaiba came." Serenity said.

'That jerk. Did her hurt you sis?" Joey asked her in an enraged voice.

"No. He went to Tea." She sniffed.

"Then Tea must have given him hell." Duke smirked along with Tristen. They had seen the two teens interact on more than one occation and knew that the exchange of acidic comments was the norm.

"I was in the change room when he came. That's what I thought she would do. But she looked around to see if I was there. I was behind the clothes and was walking towards her, but she and Kaiba started talking normally. They even hugged." Serenity said.

"What? What are you saying Serenity? I don't understand." Yugi asked her, confused.

"It's true. I was shocked so I decided to stay hidden to see what they were doing."

(Flashback. Serenity's version.)

"Those losers aren't here?" Kaiba said, holding Tea around the waist.

"No, I left them behind. But that brat Serenity is with me." Tea replied as she got comfortable in Kaiba's hold.

"Mutt's sister?" Kaiba said with disgust.

"Yeah. God, sometimes I wish I could kill her. She is so stupid and annoying." Tea said sighing.

"Patience Tea. The only reason I want you to be with those geeks is to get me information. And so far, you have done a great job." Seto said, nuzzling her neck.

"I can't believe they trust me so much. And that Yugi, he is all wrapped around my finger, and so is his spirit."

"Good. Keep up the charade. I want to defeat and humiliate Yugi just like I humiliated Wheeler."

"And you managed that with my help." Tea said with a devilish smile.

"Of course. You were the one who told me about all of his cards and possible strategies. I used my skills and that information to defeat him." Seto Kaiba quickly agreed.

"I have learnt all the cards in Yugi's deck and many strategies too, and I told you all of them."

"And I am proud of you. But there is still much to do."

"I don't like being away from you Seto." Tea said with a pout.

"And I don't either. So, today, when you go to those losers, ask Yugi for some new strategies. See if he got any new cards. Then you can come to me, for good. I will not just defeat him, I'll break him." Seto said, gently running his fingers through her hair.

"Okay. I will ask him. But I want something in return." Tea said, fingering his shirt buttons innocently.

"And I know just what you want." He leaned forward and kissed her. Serenity, who was watching this, gasped at that, loud enough for them to hear. They pulled back sharply and looked around. Tea walked towards Serenity and grabbed her arm, dragging her out of her hiding place.

"So, this bitch was spying on us." Seto said, glaring at Serenity.

"What were you doing there? What did you hear?" Tea asked in a furious tone.

"I heard everything. How could you do this Tea? We thought you were our friend." Serenity said bravely, not letting herself be intimidated by them.

"You thought wrong. But you are not going to let anyone else know that. You got it?" Tea said.

'No. I can't betray them like you have. I am not a horrible person like you. I'll tell them."

"Then I'll make sure you never talk again." Seto said, as he moved towards her. Serenity wanted to run away but Tea was holding her tightly.

"I'll take care of her Seto." Tea said. She turned to Serenity and twisted her arm. Serenity yelped in pain but Tea didn't stop. She pulled her hair and spoke. "You will tell them nothing. I can do much worse; WE can do much worse to you. And besides, those morons trust me too much to believe you. They would never listen to you, and if I tell them, they would blame you."

"It's up to you now. You can tell them and get rejected by them or keep your mouth shut." Seto said. "And I will make sure you suffer Wheeler. Mark my words." Serenity only cried in pain and helplessness and they smiled.

"I'll see you at the mansion then so we can continue." Tea smiled seductively at Seto and he walked away. She turned to Serenity.

"Listen to me and listen carefully. Don't say a word of this to anyone. No one would believe you, and you would be branded as a liar. I will make up a story about you being jealous and have them dislike you. I have been with them for many years and I know them much better than you do. And Seto will do much worse. He will ruin your life. He had the power and resources to do that. So for your own sake, keep your mouth shut. I will walk out of their lives as soon as I have what I want and everything will be fine. Understand?" Tea said calmly to Serenity who stared mutely before nodding her head.

(End flashback)

Joey growled like an animal. Tristen and Duke were angry too, but Yugi seemed shocked.

"Are you sure this happened Serenity?" Yugi asked her.

"Yes, it did. I saw it with my own eyes." Serenity said confidently.

"I don't believe it." Tristen said in disbelief.

"So you are saying that my sister is lying Tristen?" Joey growled as Serenity sobbed harder in his chest.

"No. It just sounds wrong, but if she saw it, then it must be true." Duke said, trying to calm Joey.

"All this time, we trusted her. But now, she will pay for betraying us, and for hurting my sister." Joey yelled angrily.

"No." Everyone turned to stare at Yami. "Not yet. Let's wait for Tea to come. Maybe she is fooling Kaiba and not us." Joey wanted to argue but Yami silenced him, and they all waited in silence.

Serenity sat, confident and satisfied. She would get Tea out of their lives and things would go back to how they were in Battle City. Her brother would be hers and hers only. With Tea around, he shared more with her than with Serenity even though they were siblings. He trusted Tea more than he trusted Serenity. But with Tea gone, he would confide in Serenity. Tristan and Duke would also pay attention to her, especially Duke.

At the end of Battle City, Tea had asked Duke to teach her dungeon dice monsters and he was more then happy. He even flirted with her sometimes. That bitch only laughed and ignored it, but Serenity knew the truth. She knew what kind of attention-seeking person Tea was. And she was sick of her innocent charade. So she had come up with a plan to get rid of her for good. Yami, the spirit, still supported her because he had the hots for her. But all that was going to change now. Her plan was perfect. She had wanted to show the guys that she was a better person and friend, and more loyal than Tea, but never had a situation come where she could prove so. But today, the opportunity had presented itself in form of the Kaiba brothers. The gang, especially Joey disliked the elder Kaiba immensely, and believed any bad rumor they heard about him. Involving him in the scenario had been smart on her part because even if they confronted him, it would end in disaster and her claim proved true. There was no way they would talk and try to correct a misunderstanding.

It was perfect.


Tea entered the game shop and greeted everyone, but got nothing but weird stares in return. Joey and Tristen looked ready to burst. Yami looked the only one calm. Serenity was nowhere to be seen. Tea figured she was around somewhere. She turned her attention to Yami.

"So, what have you been doing?" Tea asked them.

"Nothing. Just hanging out." Yami replied.

"Cool. So do you mind teaching me some new dueling strategies? I want to learn just in case I need them." Tea asked him with a smile and suddenly Joey screamed.

'That's it. You bitch" Joey said, pointing to tea, "I've had enough of you, you traitor." Tea was shocked.

"What are you saying Joey?" She asked him, shocked and confused.

"Don't you mean "mutt"?" Joey sneered.

"Why would I call you that?" Tea asked him, not understanding what he meant.

"Because that's what you really think of him." Tristen spoke, trying to hold his anger.

"No, I don't. I-."Tea started, Dut duke interrupted her.

"Can the bullshit tea. We all know it. Everything, every single word. The conversation you had with Daiba. We know it all."

"Know what?" Tea was still confused. Then Serenity appeared behind Joey.

"You have been with him all this time. That's why you tried to help him. And I thought you were just being kind. Boy, how wrong was I." Joey said with disgust.

"Joey, I don't understand." Tea asked them. She was utterly confused.

"But we do, perfectly well." Tristen said.

"Tristen, what the hell are you saying?" Tea said, raising her voice. She was getting frustrated at their veiled claims. What exactly were they accusing her of? What had she done with Kaiba?

"Did you meet Kaiba today Tea?" Yami asked her calmly.

"Yeah, I did and-." Tea began but she couldn't continue because she was back-handed… by Yami. She stared at him, shocked, not believing what happened. Her hand went to her stinging cheek, but no tear fell. She was too shocked to cry.

"So Serenity was right. And I actually believed it wasn't true." Yami said sadly.

"What … what truth?" Tea turned to look at Serenity who had a thinly velied smile on her face.

"She told us about your little conversation with Kaiba. We know you are his little bitch." Joey said angrily.

"You are the one who has been giving away Joey's and Yugi's strategies to Kaiba, so he can defeat them. You told him of all the new cards they got so he could get counter-cards and be prepared." Tristen said.

"No, that's not true. I-." Tea tried to explain but was interrupted again.

"Shut up. Just shut up. I've had enough of your lies." Yami yelled for the first time, losing his cool.

"Get the hell out of our face. Go sleep with kaiba or something." Duke growled. Now tears fell from her eyes. Without saying another word, she ran out of the house.

She couldn't believe what happened. How did they even think of that? They accused her of treachery. But why? She didn't do anything wrong. She was with Serenity the whole day. They went ballistic for no reason. And why did they accuse her of being with Kaiba. They all knew she hated him like them. Then why? Yami said Serenity told them everything. Told them what? That she met Kaiba at the mall? But then why didn't she tell them that they argued, like always? She felt like blaming Serenity for not supporting her.

She ran down the streets filled with people on the sidewalks and into her apartment. She slammed the door and fell on her bed, letting the tears fall freely. Unknown to her, the people she ran past, also included the famous Seto Kaiba, the man she was accused to have consorted with. He was about to enter a building where his meeting was to be held when something swept past him. He turned around just in time to see the outline of Tea's tear streaked face.

'Wonder what's her problem. Maybe her friends dumped her.' He chuckled at the thought, knowing the world would be taken over by pigs before that happened. 'They are too obsessed with her, especially that Yugi or his supposed spirit. They would never leave her. Besides, her issues are none of my business.' He concluded and entered the building.

...


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