AN: This story was originally written for the LiveJournal community 15hugs in four parts. Set approximately eight years after the end of the series, it begins when Seto/Anzu are 26, Mokuba is 21. Basically, a story in a bubble.


Where This May Lead

Chapter 1

Anzu Mazaki races through the streets of Manhattan catching every light she can and, truthfully, running through the ones she can't. She had walked into her apartment, turned on her television and headed straight back out again. She could hardly believe what she had seen. The accident had been gruesome and Mokuba – poor, darling Mokuba – had been the one to feel the brunt of the impact. The sight of his battered body on the stretcher had almost made her retch before she could grab her car keys.

Making a sharp right turn, she pulls into the parking lot. Within minutes, she finds herself staring at the wall of reporters rudely – shamelessly – blocking the way to the ICU. Determinedly, she pushes her way through them. There are bodyguards holding the story-hungry throng at bay.

A glimpse over one outstretched arm of the human barriers shows her a bruised but whole Seto Kaiba sitting quietly in one of the chairs outside of his younger brother's room. He is the embodiment of anxiousness. The silent tableau is a stark contrast to the havoc on this side of the fence.

Anzu knows what it is like to worry for a loved one and whether or not Seto Kaiba was a jerk toward her no longer matters. What is done is done. They have not spoken to each other in nearly eight years but she has spoken to Mokuba. It is for Mokuba that she will support him through this and because she needs support for this too. She makes to pass the bodyguard who stops her.

"I'm sorry, Miss, but I can't let you through."

Suddenly, a reporter recognizes her. Her eyes wide, she turns her camera toward the dancer. Had she been a reincarnation below human, she would have been salivating. "Anzu Mazaki?"

All eyes are on Anzu now. That she should be here, now, is enough to base rumours of marriage on. Anzu simply rolls her eyes as the reporters begin to question her about her relationship with the Kaiba brothers. She wonders; do these people have no sense of place and time? Their ruckus and the few shouts of her name have, however, drawn the elder Kaiba's attention.

He raises his bent head to look at her. Frowning, he studies her for a moment then, in a weary, parched voice, asks, "Mazaki?"

Desperate, concerned, she nods and replies, "Kaiba, I came as soon as I heard. How is he? Is he–?"

With a wave of his hand, she has been granted entry. She moves quickly forward, ignoring the rapidly snapping cameras behind her. She sheds her jacket as she moves. She does not intend to leave soon. She sits on his right and though she is not nearly large enough to hide him from the press, she can still be a wall. Kaiba's blank blue stare is once again fixated on the door opposite them.

Gently, she asks, "Kaiba, how is he?"

Although the words sound like something from a medical theory book, the voice that answers her is saturated in something deeper than worry, than concern. "They're operating. Broken bones, internal injuries. One rib may have pierced his lung. There's some risk of injury to the brain."

"Oh my God." Her hand comes up to her mouth that has opened in horror. She can feel tears in her eyes but she refuses to allow them to fall. She tells herself that this is not as bad as it can get. There have been worse days.

She frowns. If she isn't mistaken the accident occurred nearly an hour ago. Looking at Kaiba, she realizes that he has been sitting here – alone – for probably just as long.

She places one hand over his and he twines his fingers through hers. It is only a confirmation of her theory: This is something Seto Kaiba cannot do alone.

Anzu had already decided to stay anyway.