I'm In A Good Mood
A Yu-Gi-Oh 30kisses fic
By: Azurite (azurite AT fanfiction DOT net)
For the LiveJournal community 30kisses #12 theme (in a good mood).
Completed: 6/11/05

What is 30kisses? It's a community on LiveJournal-- a fanfiction challenge community. People choose a pairing from a fandom (in my case, I chose Seto x Anzu from Yu-Gi-Oh) and then write 30 fics or a combination of fics and art to fit 30 different themes. The requirement is that each piece of work also has to have a "kiss" in it! But whether a kiss is literal/physical or metaphorical, it's up to the writer...

Feel free to join us if you have a LiveJournal account-- tons of pairings are free, and we have alternative lists for you to try in case the original 30 kisses don't interest you!

By the way, I will NOT be posting the other oneshots as chapters to this; they are oneshots, and I intend to post them standalone, as such. It might take a bit longer for me to post them on my site and major archives because of this (as they were originally written for LiveJournal only), but they WILL make their way there.

Read and review! Let me know what you think about this fic...

Disclaimer: I blame this, the whole concept of "this," and all things related and proprietary to "this" on the lack of sleep I had last night. Or maybe it was too much sleep. And Kazuki Takahashi (true owner of Yu-Gi-Oh) was probably in Japan using his mini-voodoo doll of me to put this idea in my head. It's all his fault. Damn his genius.

Warnings: Spoilers for the end of the anime/manga, but come on, who doesn't know what happens by now? Plus some potential character-weirdness, but that's typical for me, right?

It wasn't even two months after they'd returned from Egypt --from that incident. Everyone else seemed perfectly content to act as if nothing had ever happened, but ironically, Seto Kaiba, the one man who'd vehemently denied that magic and reincarnated spirits of Egyptian pharaohs ever existed... he was the one still seeing it everywhere. Little signs of magic, of "his" presence.

Kaiba wanted to scoff. Even going into the afterlife couldn't truly erase the "Pharaoh's" presence from this world. Part of him still lived in Yuugi Mutou, Kaiba's eternal rival. His message lived on in his friends, that fool Jounouchi and his friend Honda...

And... part of him lived --quite literally-- within Anzu Mazaki.

At least, that was what Kaiba suspected. Frankly, he was sick of wondering, and getting into internal arguments with himself. And he was tired of seeing Anzu absently press her hands against her stomach, smiling softly, and then getting back to whatever work she was doing. She obviously thought no one else noticed, but he did. And it was bothering him that he didn't know whether he was right or whether he was being downright insane.

That was the other thing. None of her other friends noticed Anzu's odd behavior ever since they'd returned from Egypt. Perhaps this was the part of the Pharaoh that lived on in him , the one person who'd never believed, up until that last instant...

Maybe not even then. Maybe a particularly stubborn part of him kept right on denying that there was any such thing as spirits, reincarnated Pharaohs, Millennium Items, games of Darkness, and all that blather... until the first day when he saw that tiny gesture Anzu made, that tiny smile playing across her lips, that tiny blush spreading across her cheeks...

The bell rang.

Seconds later, Kaiba was out of his chair and using the advantage of his long legs to get to Anzu's desk before she could even think to rise from her chair. He didn't even offer her the option of saying anything before he grabbed her by the wrist (she audibly squeaked in surprise, but Kaiba ignored her) and dragged her out of the classroom-- much to the surprise of their other classmates, Yuugi, Jounouchi, and Honda included.

He was about ten paces away from the class by the time he realized he might actually be hurting her-- and if his suspicions were correct, then...

Kaiba abruptly stopped and changed directions, tugging Anzu into an empty chemistry classroom. He locked the door and wheeled around on his feet, staring at Anzu. She stared right back at him, until she grew flustered by his intense gaze and his silence, and her gaze slipped to the floor. As if on instinct, her hands slid to protect her belly, as if Kaiba staring at her so fiercely represented some sort of unspoken threat to...

To her . To her child .

Now, it must be said that Seto Kaiba had little to no experience in dealing with women of any age or "condition." The only women he worked with were either duelists (which meant Anzu herself, Mai Kujaku, Isis Ishtar, or on one rare occasion, Shizuka Kawai, Jounouchi's younger sister) or employees of Kaiba Corporation... In saying that, he rarely dealt with females. He simply didn't know how to.

Thus, he did have a slight excuse for what he did next (which, in case you haven't figured it out by now, you're never supposed to do, regardless of the circumstances).

"You're pregnant."

Anzu's head snapped up, and her gaze immediately went from confused and embarrassed to downright terrified . She looked like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming 18-wheeler truck. There was simply no better description for the look on her face-- she wanted to get out of that class room, and fast, but there was no getting past Seto Kaiba.

Not with the look on his face.

He wanted answers, and he wanted them now .

When Anzu finally found her voice, it came out as soft and strained-- almost a whisper.

"How did you know?"

It was odd-- he didn't really know , he just suspected . But he'd been right. That gut feeling, that instinct, that... "sense." All these idiotic ideas of some force beyond the tangible world... Kaiba was starting to sound like "him!"

Kaiba made a sound halfway between a scoff and a snort, and waved a hand around in a vague gesture. It was his way of "saying without saying" that he'd just known , the way she always knew things about him, and the way Yuugi --or "him," Kaiba supposed-- always knew he could "trust" his cards...

Anzu only gave him a harsh stare, as full of fire as his own gaze. It disconcerted him, but only for a moment. In that moment, a myriad of strange thoughts burbled forth-- and if he'd spoken any one of them, he would have dug his own grave. He was sure of it.

"You're..." Kaiba gestured at her again, moving his hand in the air before her body, as if there were something glaringly obvious about her that screamed she was pregnant. But there wasn't. She looked like every other third year female student at Domino High-- on the verge of graduation, ready to move out into the real world...

But Anzu was always different from "them," with her odd attitude about life and the world, about friends and "enemies." She didn't try to grow her hair beyond her shoulders, and she never bothered with pretty clips, bows, or ribbons. She was a simple, low-maintenance girl, it seemed-- and that was why so many guys got along with her. It was why she was so beguiling... right?

Brown hair in a simple cut, bright blue eyes always sparkling, fresh, pressed clothing...

And quite undeniably, a bright, warm "glow" about her.

"You're glowing," Kaiba finally blurted, though it sounded stupid to his own ears. "Smiling all the time," he continued haplessly. "Rubbing your stomach in class. I don't know why no one else has noticed."

A smile slowly crept its way across Anzu's lips, as if Kaiba's words met with Anzu's approval.

"I think it's funny that only you have," she finally murmured. "But maybe that's the way he would have wanted things."

"So," Kaiba said, releasing a breath he didn't know he'd been holding in, "it is his."

"He" continued to be nameless even though the whole point of their adventure those two months ago was to FIND his name, and end the adventure, once and for all. The Pharaoh got his name, got his memory, got his answers... found his peace in death, where he belonged from the start.

It sounded hopelessly cruel, but it was all too true.

Anzu fidgeted with the hem of her sleeve, nodding slightly. "That night, just before we arrived at the ruins..."

She didn't need to go into further detail --in fact, if she would, it would only sharpen the pain growing in Kaiba's chest-- but she did anyway.

"Back then, Yuugi was always in control, and if I ever wanted to see... him , I would have to ask. I felt so cruel doing that. I mean Yuugi was --is-- my friend, and..."

"You never loved him, though."

"Not the way I loved the Pharaoh, no," Anzu responded with a sigh. "I tried. I couldn't, I just couldn't. Even though the moment I realized where this was all going --back in Battle City-- I didn't stop myself. I lost control over everything..."

"You let yourself--" Kaiba hissed scathingly, before he could stop himself.

Anzu turned a surprised stare to him, the man who now knew her deep, bright secret.

"Maybe I did. It doesn't matter now, though, does it? You and I both know I can't bring Yuugi into this. It would break his heart just knowing that I'd--"

"So you're going to do this alone? Completely alone?"

Anzu swallowed. "I don't have much of a choice, do I?"

Kaiba straightened himself out. She had a point-- she didn't. "Aren't you always the one saying you're not alone... if you have friends beside you?"

Anzu peered at Kaiba curiously, wondering what the point of his words was. Surely he wasn't suggesting--

"Kaiba, what...?"

"What I'm saying," Kaiba barreled onward, heedless of Anzu's interruption, "is that regardless of what you end up telling Yuugi and your other friends --and I know you'll tell them, because you have to-- is that raising a child alone without a father is... it's not the right way to do things! I'm not trying to lecture you here, but--"

"But you are," Anzu smiled softly. "You sound like him. Lecturing for 'the greater good,' no matter who wants to hear it or not."

"...Part of him is in each of us, then," Kaiba admitted under his breath.

At that, Anzu's face broke out into a wide smile, and she nodded. "Yes. If there's one thing I'm sure he would have wanted, it's that."

"He would have wanted his child to have a father. It's not healthy raising a child without one... just believe me on that, please."

Anzu realized that Kaiba wasn't trying to be rude to her --not intentionally, anyway-- but he was speaking from experience, from his own heart. It was a rare occasion, to be sure, and as much as she hated hearing something that she could construe as "needing" someone, as being dependent on someone...

"My baby's not ever going to have his father back," Anzu said. "He will have plenty of male influence, though-- nothing's going to change that."

Kaiba didn't like it when people disagreed with him. He knew he could easily win 99.9 of any argument he got into... just not with Anzu. She was the only one --outside of Mokuba, of course-- who knew how to counter his every word, every tactic, every strategy. And in this case, she had every right to disagree with him, walk right past him, slam that door, and never speak to him again.

There would be nothing he could do about it either, even knowing what he did.

Anzu abruptly stepped forward, closing the distance between herself and Kaiba. Suddenly, her arms were around him, and he was frozen in place. His arms were locked at his side, and he couldn't move... perhaps out of lack of wanting to, perhaps out of his inability to simply brush her aside. He didn't want to.

She nuzzled her cheek comfortably against his chest, and with the slight angle Kaiba had, he could see her face twisted in a mask of sadness. Despite the great joy she seemed to have from her "secret," it was obvious that she wanted something she could no longer have... something she'd known she couldn't have, in any lifetime.

"Thank you... for being the jerk you are. For reminding me of him, even though I'm sure you don't want to..." Anzu raised her face but kept her arms around Kaiba. "You know... I'm working at this 'getting over him' thing. I really am. It might take some more time, but... I'd like to be one of those normal girls, someday."

Kaiba couldn't resist the smile that curved his lips. "You, normal? Never."

Anzu released one arm and cuffed Kaiba on the side of his head. The smile didn't fade from either of their faces, and slowly, Kaiba's one free arm rose to wrap itself around Anzu's smaller frame.

Before he could even think to move, Anzu bounced up on her toes and pressed a soft kiss to Kaiba's lips. When she finally untangled her arms --one wound itself around his neck, the other still kept his arm pinned to his side-- Kaiba stood still, a bit flustered and unsure of himself.

Even if "his" lectures and over-protective nature somehow filtered their way into Kaiba's system, surely his deep-seated affection for Anzu didn't come as part of the package, right? But then... why was his heart beating so loudly in his ears? Why did he suddenly feel so hot and cold at the same time-- maybe he was getting sick, in which case he should probably separate himself from her... but he really didn't want to.

"Why did you just do that?" Kaiba managed, his voice oddly hoarse.

"I'm in a good mood," Anzu smiled in that winning way of hers. "Aren't you?"