An Anniversary Challengefic for Mamono
By Azurite - azurite AT fanfiction DOT net
azurite DOT incandesce DOT org

Completed: September 14th, 2004

No, I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. Yes, this is Azureshipping (Seto x Anzu).

"There's just too much sand."
"It's a beach, Kaiba."
"There's still too much sand."
Anzu rolled her eyes, twisting her marshmallow around in the flames of the bonfire that Jounouchi and Honda put together. Yuugi was in charge of hot dogs, but Otogi kept picking on Yuugi and telling him that they weren't cooked enough, instructing him on the "proper way to roast wieners." Yuugi seemed to be having a difficult time grasping what Otogi was saying, as he kept laughing intermittently.

With Jounouchi and Honda busily trying to out sand-castle one another, this left Anzu and Seto alone in front of the far end of the fire (which was easily a meter long, thanks to all the driftwood the boys discovered).

It was their big graduation bonfire at the beach, and it had taken Anzu at least a week just to convince Seto to come. In the end, she'd wondered if it was worth it --the boy couldn't seem to stand sand, let alone fire-roasted hot dogs. Anzu could have cared less about the hot dogs; she came for the s'mores. Once her marshmallow was decidedly burnt and squishy, she removed it from the flames, blew on it slightly, and proceeded to press it between two graham crackers with a square of chocolate in the center.

"What are you doing?"
"Making a s'more."
"A s'more?" Kaiba repeated hollowly, obviously unaware of the concept.
"And I thought you couldn't get any stupider," Anzu remarked dryly, bending over Kaiba's lap (entirely unaware of where Kaiba's gaze drifted as she did so) to fetch another marshmallow and skewer.
"A s'more is a product created as a result of mixing chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers. It is a delicious snack, meant to be enjoyed at bonfires."
"It sounds like teeth rot."
"It sounds like you never had a childhood, so shut up and try one."

Well, she had him there. He easily could have snapped at her, but he simply wasn't in the mood for it.

Probably because Jounouchi conveniently "forgot" to bring any non-alcoholic drinks to the bonfire, and now everyone was drinking one thing or another-- Jounouchi and Honda favored Sapporo beer, while Yuugi sipped at a light fruit spritzer, Otogi had his own personal stash of Skyy Vodka, and Anzu kept careful watch over her own miniature bottle of Captain Morgan's. After polishing off her "s'more," she took a long chug from her drink, smacking her lips when she was finished.

"Yeah. Tastes kinda like... hrm..." Anzu looked thoughtful a moment, her eyes a glassy blue in the firelight, "Cinnamon."
"There's no cinnamon in that drink," Kaiba stated matter-of-factly.
"Yeah, and you'd know." Anzu tipped the bottle towards him, giving Kaiba the prime chance to swipe the bottle from her. He looked at it hesitantly, and then took a sip.
"Geez, you can't even drink like a guy."
"What the heck is that supposed to mean? Besides, doesn't that mean you're not drinking like you're supposed to?"
"Around my friends, I don't care. I can be myself."

Did she mean to include him in that circle of friends?

Would he really have missed out if he hadn't come tonight-- just another random night in March...? They were graduating in the next week. Everyone was going their separate ways. Jounouchi and Honda were going to attend cram school before they transferred to a local college; Otogi was going back to the United States to manage his company, while Yuugi commuted between Domino and Tokyo to manage Industrial Illusions, since he was the largest shareholder of Pegasus's former corporation. And Kaiba?

He was going to keep on doing what he'd been doing since he was sixteen.

Manage Kaiba Corp. Only now, it would be a daily routine, without any school to interrupt his workday. Somehow, the very thought seemed rather... boring. Boring without duels, without the mutt and his rhino-haired friend, boring without Yuugi and the challenges he presented... boring without her.

Anzu was moving, too.

All the way to New York City. She was chasing her dream, going to Juilliard, becoming a dancer...

This was probably the last time he'd ever see her.

"I can't help but forget I'm thinking something..." Anzu mumbled blearily, sliding her hand up her cheek, her elbow resting on her knee.
"You're drunk."
"Am I?"
"And your marshmallow's on fire."
Anzu's eyes widened and she nearly leaped from her cross-legged position, snatching the blackened marshmallow from the flames.

"You could have said something sooner!"
"How did I know you didn't want a charred ball of sugar?"
"Hah, hah, Mr. CEO. Besides, this is for you."

For me?

"Hold out your hand," Anzu ordered. Kaiba wasn't sure why he complied, but he did-- after just a second.

It smelled like burnt paper, roasting meat, caramelized sugar, saltwater, and... that 'cinnamon' scent from Anzu's breath-- the smell of the rum she'd drunk, and from the bottle she'd snatched back from Kaiba. But it was her lips that --for some bizarre reason-- captured his attention. This didn't seem to unnerve Anzu in the slightest, as she slapped a graham cracker onto Kaiba's open hand, putting a chocolate square on it. She fumbled with the skewered marshmallow, trying to get it onto the cracker without getting the squishy substance under her fingernails.

Of course, she failed horribly, getting burnt marshmallow skin on her skirt, and "marshmallow juice" all over her fingers.
"Hell with it," she mumbled, pressing the marshmallow onto the cracker with a bit too much force. The cracker snapped underneath the pressure, melting chocolate and marshmallow leaking onto Kaiba's hand. Anzu didn't notice, for she pressed yet another cracker onto the marshmallow and leaned backward, appearing satisfied.

She took one look at her sugar-coated hands and grinned, licking the white goo from her fingertips. Kaiba stared at her, his hand still extended with the broken and leaking s'more on his palm.

"What?" Anzu queried, realizing Kaiba hadn't eaten his s'more yet.
"Eat it. It is edible."

He knew that. He didn't need her to tell him that.
He wasn't a big fan of sugar, really. Or spices, for that matter. Cinnamon graham crackers.
What was with her?

Kaiba didn't eat the s'more; he set it off to the side on a towel, wiping his hand off as he did so.
"You missed a spot."

In the moment it took for her to turn questioning eyes on Kaiba, he closed the gap between them and, acting entirely on impulse, kissed the corner of her mouth, where a smidgen of chocolate and marshmallow streak remained.

When he pulled away, still staring at her, she blinked in a doe-eyed fashioned, as if she'd just sobered up in that single second.

The flames were still crackling, and the waves were still crashing up on the shore... Jounouchi and Honda were still arguing over whose castle was better, while Otogi convinced Yuugi to be his own guinea pig, and was now forcing the boy to eat as many hot dogs as he "improperly" cooked.

"It's warm," Anzu stated after a second, glancing away from Kaiba.
"We are sitting next to roaring flames, you know."

He couldn't really think of anything better to say. What possessed him to kiss her like that?

"I meant you ."

She leaned against him, obviously uncaring about the sand getting all over her skirt and legs. They were so different, but...

"Eat your s'more."
Kaiba picked up the strange sandwich and bit into it. Anzu just smiled, leaning her head on his shoulder.
"Not bad."
"Cinnamon, marshmallows, flames, and rum. What else could you ask for?"
"Another kiss?"

Damn. He'd gone and acted on impulse again. Good thing the mutt wasn't listening.

Her eyebrows raised, Anzu turned toward him. Their gazes locked, Kaiba hesitantly ate the last of his s'more, entirely unaware of the chocolate he smeared on his lower lip. Before he could properly regain his composure, Anzu leaned forward on her knees and kissed him-- fully on the mouth, licking the chocolate off as she did so.


oO Yeah, it's weird. My stuff always is.