Disclaimer: KaibaCorp belongs to Seto Kaiba, I have no idea who owns Sony, Jean-Christophe Novelli appears courtesy of the big chef God, and Yu-Gi-Oh and all its elements are copyrighted to Kazuki Takahashi. No infringement is intended, and I promise to return all characters in one piece, albeit with some new and interesting psychological problems.
Summary: They were in love. They were in trouble. They left so they could be together. They came back so they could make amends. Witness their story as it unfolds. Seto/Téa.
Well, here it is, my big multi-chaptered Seto/Téa romance. This idea popped into my head while i was listening to the song "Papa don't preach" by Madonna.
Reviews are nice, Constructive criticism is always welcome and encouraged, and pointless flames will be openly mocked.
IMPORTANT: Don't be tempted to skip the bits in bold italics at the beginning. Even if it doesn't make sense right now it WILL! It's all quite relevant! (Especially the date's)
Chapter 1: Shock Arrival.
Who's Who Magazine, Tokyo's No.1 Society Periodical: Special Feature, 1st October, 2001.
Seto Kaiba has been named the No.1 most eligible bachelor in Tokyo. The teen billionaire is a resident of Domino City, a prefecture of Tokyo, and at the tender age of 18, he is the owner and CEO of his own multi-billion yen, internationally successful corporation. A former child prodigy, Seto is one of the most intelligent men in Japan today and he has the looks to go with it. He has also shown a sensitive side, as the sole guardian and carer of his younger brother, Mokuba Kaiba (12)…
Tokyo Times: Front Page. 14th November, 2001.
"Seto Kaiba, owner and CEO of Kaiba Corporation,(pictured left) has announced plans to move away from Japan. In a press conference last night, Mr. Kaiba said that while he was leaving the country, he had no plans to sell KaibaCorp. "I can easily manage the company from overseas. No jobs will be lost, everything will continue exactly the same as it always has, except I will not be here in person" said Mr. Kaiba. However, he was not forthcoming on the reasons for the move. When questions, he merely said that he and his brother were leaving for 'personal reasons'. The 18-year-old billionaire took over KaibaCorp after the tragic death of his father, Gozaburo Kaiba, and turned it from a second grade weapons producer into one of the most successful producers of gaming and medical technology in the world…"
Tokyo Times: Business Section. 21st February, 2002.
"CEO of KaibaCorp, Seto Kaiba, was back in Domino City today for a meeting with the head of Sony concerning the development of the new Virtual Reality Gaming System "DreamVision". The collaboration between Sony and KaibaCorp has been described as everything from 'genius' to a 'pipe dream'. Many thought nothing would come of it, but, with the combined efforts of both companies, the necessary research has been completed and the new system is expected to be put into production immediately. There is no word yet on when the system will be made available to the public…"
Tokyo Times: Front Page, 23rd June, 2002.
"It was all glitz and glamour last night as KaibaCorp and Sony launched their collaborative project "DreamVision". The city's gliteratti were out in force at the spectacular party thrown in honour of the event. There was rumoured to be over 500 bottles of champagne on ice, and master chef Jean-Christophe Novelli was flown in especially to make sure the food was perfect. There was a demonstration of the DreamVision technology, and then stations set up so that the guests could experience it for themselves. The evening was quoted by many to be 'perfect', and for all accounts and purposes, it was. But there was one thing missing. Seto Kaiba, CEO of KaibaCorp failed to make an appearance. The KaibaCorp PR Team were on hand to answer any questions but all they would say was that "Mr. Kaiba could not make it due to 'personal reasons'"…"
Who's Who Magazine, Tokyo's No.1 Society Periodical: Society News, 1st January, 2005.
"Get your claws out ladies, wealthy CEO Seto Kaiba, may be moving back to Domino! Despite claims that he is happy to remain where he is, Mr. Kaiba's has made a lot of trips back into Domino City in the past few months, and rumours abound that he may be planning to return for good…."
Tokyo Times: Business Section, 24th March, 2005.
"Seto Kaiba, CEO of Kaiba Corporation is rumoured to be making a permanent move back to Domino City. Despite the fact that he has run KaibaCorp successfully from overseas for the last two-and-a-half years, Mr. Kaiba's business trips back to the city have become more and more frequent and people are saying that he may soon have to move back to be close to his company once more…"
Yugi Moto sighed as he leaned back in his chair, raising the remote control. He flicked through the channels quickly, passing up two action movies, three different soap operas and a documentary about fish.
He sighed again and continued flicking. Television really was a load of garbage these days. But then again, so was life. He was in a lull, a rut, however you wanted to describe it. He was bored.
Nothing was going on. There were no duelling tournaments, and he had a couple of weeks off from university. He'd finished all of his assignments in the first week of the holiday, and now he had nothing to do.
He'd already tried ringing the gang, but they were all busy. Tristan had to work today, and Joey had taken Serenity out for 'quality time'. There was one person who would have dropped whatever they were doing to hang out with him, but she was gone.
No, he corrected himself. She wasn't gone, she had been stolen.
The thought left a bitter taste in his mouth. She had been manipulated. Her mind poisoned and turned away from her friends.
'That's not true…' his conscience whispered to him. The old feeling of guilt surfaced again but he pushed it away. 'No' he thought, 'she made her choice, so wherever she is, she can live with it'
Something on the TV caught his attention. It was a news program, displaying a picture of Seto Kaiba. It was a recent picture, no doubt taken on one of his trips back to Domino. He hadn't changed much, Yugi thought. His features were a little bit sharper, more mature if that was possible. But apart from that, same old Kaiba.
'Wonder what he's doing on the news' Yugi wondered to himself idly. Suddenly, a hopeful feeling shot through him. 'Maybe he died or something…'
Yugi jumped, wondering where that thought had come from. Before he could ponder it further, the picture flickered off the screen and was replaced by a news caster. He turned up the volume
"And in other news, CEO of KaibaCorp, Seto Kaiba has confirmed rumours that he will be making a permanent move back to Domino City…"
Yugi stared at the screen in disbelief. He was coming back? Darn it…'and life was so peaceful'.
Yugi smirked. What he wouldn't give to be bored again. He switched his focus back to the TV, realising that the anchorwoman was still speaking
"…has said that there are many different reasons for his decision to come back. Mr Kaiba will arrive tomorrow afternoon with his wife and young daughter, and his brother is expected to fly in sometime next week…"
Yugi's jaw hit the ground. Wife…daughter…Kaiba got married? Kaiba had a child? Wonders would never cease. Briefly wondering what kind of father Kaiba was, and then dismissing the notion as too disturbing to even contemplate, Yugi reached for the phone.
After leaving messages for Joey, Serenity, Tristan and Mai (who happened to be in town at that time), Yugi decided he needed to lie down.
Joey tugged irritably at his collar. Despite the fact that the air conditioning was on full blast, it was still uncomfortably hot in the café.
It was mid July, and a full on heatwave had hit Domino. Feeling sweat trickling down the back of his neck, he cursed the sun and then prayed his deodorant wouldn't fail him.
Taking a long drink of the iced water that sat in front of him, he glared at his sister, who sat opposite him in the booth, idly staring out the window and fanning herself with a paper napkin. She didn't appear to be outwardly affected by the heat at all.
Serenity Wheeler was sat there, happy as a clown, looking fresh and comfortable. Her skin wasn't flushed and damp like his was, but only showed the healthy shimmer of a light tan; her hair was sleek and smooth as always unlike Joey's matt of limp blonde strands, dark with sweat; and her mint green sundress was not sticking to her back like his T-shirt was.
He growled low in his throat, shifting in his seat uncomfortably. Serenity looked over at him.
"Joey, are you OK?"
"Yeah, sis, I'm fine. It's just this damn heat"
"It is uncomfortable, isn't it"
Joey only shook his head. He glanced at his watch. He sighed. He had another drink. He glanced at his watch again. He sighed. He looked out the window. Extra deep sigh—
"Joey! Stop sighing. You're driving me crazy!"
Serenity's right eye twitched.
Tristan slid in the booth, sitting himself right next to Serenity. As much as this annoyed Joey, he realised that his friend might just have saved him from a fate worse than death. Although Serenity wasn't outwardly flustered as he was, her patience was wearing thin. The heat was getting to her after all.
Tristan glanced between his two friends uneasily, aware that he had interrupted a bit of a tense moment. He cleared his throat
"So, any idea why Yugi asked us to meet him?"
Joey shook his head, "Nah, just said he had something he wanted to discuss"
Tristan poured himself some water from the pitcher on the table. "Think it's got something to do with Kaiba?"
Joey stared at him. "Where did that come from? Why the heck would it have anything to do with Kaiba?"
Serenity smacked her forehead, and Tristan sat blinking. "Dude, don't you watch the friggin' news?"
"'No, why' he says. You should, you might actually learn something"
"Tristan, spit it out already, what does any of this have to do with Kaiba?"
"He's back in town. Or at least he will be in two hours."
Tristan gripped the edge of the table, bracing himself. Serenity leaned back as far as the seat would allow her to go. They watched Joey turn shades of red, purple and green before he opened his mouth.
He was interrupted by a low, female voice before he could say anything. "Wow, Joey, I've never seen anyone change that many colours so fast before. You should be in the circus"
They all looked round to see Mai Valentine standing there, smirk on her face, Yugi standing behind her looking rather bemused. Joey's eyes nearly popped out of their sockets as he ogled Mai in her tight shirt, mini skirt and leather boots.
"Close your mouth Joey, you'll swallow an insect" she rolled her eyes as she slid in next to him, giving him a peck on the cheek. Joey turned scarlet and began spluttering. Mai tossed off a trademark smirk.
Yugi shook his head as he plopped down next to Tristan. Life would be so much simpler if Joey and Mai would just stop dancing around each other and get together.
After ordering a glass of fruit juice for himself, and after watching Joey timidly insist on paying for Mai's iced tea, Yugi looked around at his friends with a serious expression on his face.
"So, I take it you've all heard, then?" he started, taking a deep breath
Everyone nodded, except for Joey who still looked as though he was suffering slightly from shock. Yugi bit his lip, "Then I guess you know what I want to talk about"
"I don't" said Mai, breaking into the silence that had momentarily descended on them "What's the big deal, Yugi? I know you have history with Kaiba, heck we all do, but Battle City ended a long time ago. Can't you put it behind you?"
She looked around at her companions who were all regarding her solemnly. There was an awkward pause as Yugi tried to think of the best way to explain the situation, but it was Joey who stepped in with a sympathetic glance toward his friend
"Mai…you're right, we don't really like Kaiba, but Duellist's Kingdom or Battle City or any of that old stuff ain't the major problem"
He broke off then, and looked down at the table, trying to find the best way to proceed. Mai glanced at the others, who all appeared to be lost in their own thoughts then back at Joey. Patiently, she waited for him to continue. When he did eventually turn back to her there was pain in his eyes. Mai felt a familiar tightening in her chest, but pushed it away. Now was not the time.
Joey took a deep breath
"Mai, you remember Tea, right?"
Mai nodded "Of course, she's in New York, right? Doing the dancing thing? To be honest I was a bit upset she didn't bother to say goodbye"
Joey nodded "Yeah, there's a reason she just left like that without even saying goodbye or having a party or anythin', like she was planning…"
Joey sat on the sofa in Yugi's living room, with Tristan on one side of him and Serenity on the other. Yugi sat sprawled on the floor, leaning against the side of the couch. They were all staring at the TV, but none of them were really watching it.
Joey sat on the sofa in Yugi's living room, with Tristan on one side of him and Serenity on the other. Yugi sat sprawled on the floor, leaning against the side of the couch. They were all staring at the TV, but none of them were really watching it.
"Maybe we should talk to her, apologise" Serenity spoke up timidly. The three boys looked at her
"Why? We don't have anything to apologise for" Tristan spoke up
"But she was so upset…we made her cry" Serenity looked distressed by the fact
"I know, and it's horrible, but it's for her own good, ultimately. He's no good for her Serenity" Yugi spoke that time, craning his neck to look up at her from his position on the floor.
Joey nodded and peered at her
"Yugi's right, sis. We're only looking out for her. He's using her, you know he is. It was better that we try to get her to see the light than have him hurt her"
Serenity sighed and nodded. "Yeah, I know, it's just…She seemed so happy and excited when she told us she was seeing him…she was in love…"
The boys flinched at the sound of the 'L' word, but Serenity continued anyway
"And then everyone just blew up and we were all telling her that he was a creep and she was trying to tell us something but she never got to because we weren't listening. Don't you wonder about that? Don't you feel guilty?"
Before anyone could answer, a new voice joined the conversation
"You should feel guilty for it"
Four sets of eyes snapped to the doorway, where their friend stood looking angry and upset
"Tea! We were just talking about you—" Tristan was cut off by an elbow to the ribs from Joey
"Yes, so I heard" Tea shook her head sadly "I came here to see if we could make amends, but I can see your opinions haven't changed any." She sighed and turned to leave
"Tea wait!" Yugi cried, standing up and starting toward her "Please Tea, we're sorry it got so out of hand yesterday, but you have to see that he's only going to hurt you!"
Tea shook her head "He loves me"
"He only says he does! He's an expert liar, you know that!"
Her shout startled Joey. He had never really known Tea to get angry-she was always the pacifist, preferring to sort everything out by calm discussion-but she was sure getting angry now. There was no doubt in Joey's mind who had influenced that.
"No! He would never lie to me, he loves me, I know he does, and I love him"
"Tea, I know you think you love him" Tristan said slowly "But…can't you see he's just manipulating you?"
"You don't know what I'm feeling" Tea snapped "and you don't know him"
"I know enough! We all do, c'mon Tea, it's Kaiba! He's bad news"
"But he's different once you get to know him."
They stared at her
"He is!" she said desperately "He's so good to me, if you only got to know him—"
"Get to know him? Are you nuts?" Joey immediately wished he hadn't opened his mouth
Tea was taking deep breaths to try and calm herself now, and she was visibly trying not to cry
"I came here to try to get you to understand" she started in a shaky voice "I wanted you to know…" she broke off, shaking her head and turning away again
"Tea please" Yugi grabbed her arm gently, preventing her from leaving "What did you want us to know?"
"It doesn't matter now. I've seen your opinions, and nothing I can say now will change that" She let out a strangled sob as the tears finally fell, and Joey's heart broke for her. He never wanted this. He got up off the couch and made to put his and on her arm but Tea shied away from him, wrenching out of Yugi's grip at the same time. She closed her eyes and composed herself, then looked at them with regret.
"I'm going to New York. On the next flight out."
There was a shocked silence. Joey desperately wanted this to be a dream at that moment. He didn't want to lose her, she was one of his best friend's, more…she was like a sister to him, as close to him as Serenity was. When he spoke, his voice sounded hoarse
"But you can't leave…what about him? I thought you loved him or something" the last part was almost sneered, but Joey restrained himself. He couldn't afford to push her further away. Tea shook her head again
"It's ruined, I can't stay here" And she turned and walked out,
Joey tried one last time "Tea, it's just Kaiba! He's not worth it!"
Tea paused in the doorway to look back at them for a second
"I hope one day you'll understand why I have to do this…thanks for trying Serenity"
And then she was gone.
"…That was about three years ago. We haven't spoken to her since."
Mai was quiet for a moment, trying to digest this new information. She shook her head slightly
"So…Tea was seeing Kaiba? Kaiba?"
Everyone nodded. Mai leaned back in her seat and looked back at Joey. He looked upset and she could tell he was feeling guilty. After a moment's hesitation she took his hand and gave it a brief squeeze before dropping it again. He looked at her and managed a small smile.
Yugi spoke up for the first time since Joey had begun his retelling of events
"Kaiba left a week after that for God-knows-where, taking his brother with him. We haven't spoken to him since then either, even when he came back for business trips"
Serenity bit her lip, and looked around at her friends. She looked at her brother, who was leaning into Mai slightly, but the other woman didn't seem to mind. They had gone on, they had survived and been happy mostly. But it wasn't the same without Tea.
"So what do we do? Do we confront Kaiba, or pretend like nothing ever happened?
Before anyone could answer, something caught Mai's eye. The television in the corner of the small café had the volume turned down low, but the picture of a bustling Tokyo International airport grabbed at her attention.
They all turned to look where she was looking and Tristan signalled for a waitress to turn up the volume.
Seto Kaiba steadily made his way through the airport, despite the people that were swarming around him and the flashes going off in his face. Reporters were shouting questions at him and, for once, he deigned to answer some of them.
"Mr Kaiba! Is it true that you're now married?"
"And you have a child?"
"We were expecting them to be with you now, where are they?"
"I'm afraid you missed them, they flew in last night"
"Why is that, Mr Kaiba?"
"My wife and I felt that all of this fuss might frighten our daughter"
"He's actually thinking of other people?" Tristan sneered derisively. Serenity smacked him on the arm
"Mr Kaiba! Is your brother here too?"
"No, he's coming next week, as planned"
"Mr Kaiba! Are you here permanently?"
"For the foreseeable future, yes"
"Mr Kaiba, what are your plans for KaibaCorp now that you're back?"
"Mr Kaiba, are you planning to host another duelling tournament?"
"Mr Kaiba! Mr Kaiba!"
But he disappeared into a sleek limousine and drove off without answering anymore questions.
The five friends in the booth turned back to each other.
"Well…he seemed…" Serenity trailed off, trying to find the words
"Mellow?" Mai supplied
"Almost" Serenity nodded. Tristan snorted
"Please! It's Kaiba. He's just putting on an act.
Joey nodded thoughtfully. He knew it was true, but still…he couldn't help but think about what Tea had said before she left them. He couldn't see it, but if Tea believed…Nah. He shook the thought out of his head. He shook his whole body out, earning him a strange look from Mai. He was feeling some anger on Tea's behalf. He hadn't seen her for years and she probably hated him, but still…
"That guys got some nerve ya know!" he said hotly "Messin' Tea up like that and then going off and getting a family and all. Jackass!"
He huffed. Mai patted him on the leg distractedly. She was looking at her watch.
"Well guys, this has been fascinating but I've gotta go. I have a manicure in half an hour"
Serenity finished her drink and picked up her purse
"I should go too. I have to go to work" Serenity had a part-time job in a florist down town. Unlike her brother, she never had to work to survive but she liked having the extra cash.
"I'm going that way. I'll drive you" Mai said sliding out of the booth
And after saying goodbye to the men-Joey got another kiss on the cheek which left him blushing and spluttering like before-the two women walked out into the afternoon sunshine.
Joey recovered the ability to speak once Mai and her short skirt disappeared out the door. "So what are we gonna do?"
"Well, you can do what you want, but I have to get back to the Game shop" Yugi sighed and picked up his car keys.
Joey and Tristan watched their smaller friend leave. Yugi had really been hit the hardest by Tea's leaving. They knew that he had always loved her but never knew if she felt the same. Obviously she didn't. And even though she hadn't meant it as a slap in the face, that's what it felt like.
Poor Tea though, Joey thought. Kaiba really messed her up good and proper. She had been thoroughly manipulated. God how he'd love to get his hands on that smarmy son of a—
"Joey are you listening to me?"
"Yeah, didn't think so. I said, I think we should head over to take a look-see at Kaiba. I don't think that he ever sold that house."
"You wanna spy on him?"
"Pretty much, yeah"
Another pause. A look.
"Cool, let's go"
Crawling along the perimeter wall of the Kaiba estate twenty minutes later, Joey was beginning to wonder what the fk he'd been thinking. He didn't want to know what Kaiba was up to, he didn't even want to see Kaiba. Yet here he was, on his hands and knees, crawling along behind his best friend in the dirt. God help him if Kaiba ever got wind of this.
Tristan had figured that coming from the airport, Kaiba wouldn't be home yet. For all his money, even he couldn't part the afternoon traffic in down town Tokyo. For some reason, Tristan seemed to think that just a glimpse of Seto Kaiba stepping out of a car and walking into his home would provide some sort of answer to any number of questions. For some reason, when his friend had suggested it, Joey had agreed.
Shinnying up the ten foot stone wall was no mean feat, but some how they managed to get up there alive. They didn't try to enter the property, knowing security guards or trained killer dogs would probably pick them up in an instant. Instead they clung awkwardly to the top of the wall, using footholds as leverage. It didn't really matter anyway, they could see the drive and the frond door from where they were.
The Kaiba mansion hadn't changed at all. It was still a grand and stately affair that showed off the ridiculous amount of money that Kaiba possessed. Styled to look like some kind of Italian villa, it's whitewashed walls glowed in the sunshine. There was a large circular gravel driveway with a large ornamental round Koi pool in the centre of it. The house was lined with colourful flower-beds and ivy crawled up the walls.
The driveway was currently a hive of activity. Apparently the movers had not come in advance of the family, for there were still several big moving vans parked in the drive. A tray of mugs presumably containing coffee was perched on the side of the koi pool and sweaty men with huge muscles and tight shirts were lugging boxes and expensive pieces of furniture into the house.
Tristan and Joey watched as a scrubbed wood table, an exotic carved dresser and a couple of ornate mirrors were carted through the front door before they saw something that grabbed their interest.
A little girl came out of the house and into the sunshine, walking over to the koi pool and leaning over the side, putting her hands in the water, trying to touch the large fish that swam beneath the surface.
She was wearing a pretty yellow sundress and a pair of white sandals. Her chestnut brown hair was tied back with a bright yellow ribbon and a couple of colourful bangles dangled from her small wrists.
As she swirled her hands around in the water, one of the bangles slipped off. She leaned over further to try to reach it, but she was too small and her arms nowhere near reached the bottom.
One of the sweaty removal men came out of the house while she was still struggling in vain to reach her lost bracelet and went over to her. Joey and Tristan were too far away to hear what was being said, but the man leaned over and scooped up the bangle and handed it back to her, earning him a hug and a mega-watt smile before the girl ran to look at the flowers.
Tristan leaned toward Joey slightly "You think that's Kaiba's kid?"
"Has to be. Sure looks like him"
Tristan snorted. Joey looked at him.
"Oh I was just thinking how weird it was that a kid that looks like Kaiba could be in anyway cute"
Joey sniggered, remembering to keep it quiet so that no one would hear him. "When do you think Kaiba will get here? My arm's are killing me, man"
It was that moment that the large gates swung open and a limousine rolled onto the drive. It stopped just short of the koi pool, not being able to get any further because of the moving vans. The door opened and Seto Kaiba stepped out.
"Still looks like an arrogant bastard to me" Tristan muttered quietly and Joey stifled a laugh.
The little girl looked up from her flowers and a brilliant smile lit up her face. Her shout of 'Daddy' was so loud that it carried clearly across to Joey and Tristan. She ran to her father and that was when the two friends witnessed something that almost made them fall off the wall.
Seto Kaiba; cold, unfeeling, stilted Seto Kaiba dropped his briefcase and caught the little girl as she launched herself at him, picking her up and twirling her around in the air before bringing her close for a tight hug.
Joey and Tristan were so caught up in the sight of Seto Kaiba hugging (hugging!) his daughter, that they didn't notice the dark haired woman in a knee length denim skirt and a light pink top who came out of the house, until she had turned her back to them and was walking toward Kaiba and the little girl.
Kaiba saw her coming, and shifted the little girl to his hip, wrapping his free arm around the woman and kissing her soundly. Tristan made gagging noises and Joey kicked his friend, almost sending them both to the ground. Tristan whistled quietly
"Kaiba sure got himself a looker"
"Dude, you haven't even seen her face"
"Yeah but check out those legs"
When Kaiba and the woman, who was presumably his wife, broke apart, Kaiba had a smile on his face. He said a few words to her and turned his head to his daughter who laughed and kissed him on the cheek, hugging his neck. Adjusting the small child on his hip while his wife leant down and picked up his briefcase, he kissed her soft brown hair. His wife also received a quick peck on the lips as he draped his arm around her waist and the three of them turned to walk into the house.
It was then, as the woman's face came into view, that Joey and Tristan got the shock of their lives. Her hair was longer than when they'd last seen her, her features more mature and positively glowing in the presence of her husband and child, but she was unmistakable in her appearance.
It was Tea.
Whew! I've been writing this story for a while, but I've been writing random chapters from the middle and end. The first chapter is always the hardest for me…I know there wasn't a lot of Seto or Tea or their gorgeous daughter in this chapter, but there will be (obviously) A LOT more of them in the next one. I know I tried to shroud the identity of Seto's wife and failed miserably (like you couldn't guess anyway) but it's all for effect! Hope you liked it! More Soon!