Lifestyles of the Rich and the Arrogant
A/N: This is chapter 15-- the final chapter. I really enjoyed writing this story; it's fun and light-hearted, and, I like to think, easy to enjoy. (Hopefully everyone else feels the same way!) I'm not sure if this update was a long time in coming or not. I doubt it, because I just couldn't seem to stop writing! I'm actually pretty proud of this chapter; I think the "writing" (notdialogue!) is some of the best in the whole fic!Thanks to everyone who reviewed; ya'll are flipping AWESOME. I'm sad to see the end, but... it had to come! Read and enjoy, everyone!
Champagne Wishes and Kuriboh Dreams
(In Which the Story Ends)
The three observers, if they had been expecting any physical manifestation of the oh-so-obvious desire between Kaiba and Anzu at all, were still shocked at what they were witnessing. That the relationship issues the two had been dancing around were going to be resolved was certain, but it struck Yugi, Jounouchi, and Honda then that perhaps things were going to be taken a bit further than they had first anticipated.
"Well. I'll be damned," Honda said lowly, a grin on his face, wanting so badly to whistle in surprise.
Jounouchi nodded dumbly, nearly unable to voice his opinion at all. Anzu seemed so... well, she certainly didn't look unhappy, so he was doing his very best to suppress the disgust and rage that had risen up within him at the sight of her swapping spit with the humanoid techno-freak himself. Maybe it was the money. Jounouchi wouldn't like to think that Anzu was that shallow, but he'd like to think even less that she had been attracted to Kaiba for Kaiba's sake alone.
Yugi kept looking away embarrassedly, then surreptitiously looking back at them again. He felt as though he were interfering in something private, watching something meant for no one's eyes. But, at the same time, they were in a very public place, and if Anzu and Kaiba didn't want witnesses they certainly could have found someplace more private.
Anzu, for her part, was absolutely elated. At the very least, she had found that her feelings for one Seto Kaiba were reciprocated, and at the very most (though she hardly dared to allow herself to hope) she had gained an acquaintance of considerably more weight than just a "friend". The kiss certainly indicated that he was interested in her, and she could nearly have squealed (if it just weren't so demeaning...) at his surprising statement just prior to the unexpected kiss.
She'd have to be an absolute and utter fool not to realize that what he had said was especially significant. Surely– surely– he had meant it; he all but said he felt the same way! Had he really been just as mad as she, as attracted and– by the same token– astounded by said attraction? Anzu, however, realized that such contemplation would best be saved for a less-occupied point in time. For that moment, she was happy with the embrace– they could save discussion for later.
Seto was happy.
No– Seto was very happy.
And even though "happy", in his vocabulary, usually meant "less-than-pissed-off" or "indifferent-enough-not-to-hate-the-entirety-of-the-human-species", for once he was proud (well... for lack of better terms) to rub in all the faces of his ever-devoted fan-following (who insisted he needed to lighten his mood) that life, for him–finally–, seemed to be more pleasant than not.
And, of course, the delectable helping of Anzu he was currently enjoying did nothing to dampen his spirits.
Kissing her was exactly as he had (frequently, as the case had been) imagined it would be (and even with his limited experience with the act, he had felt he could accurately predict both the merits and flaws in her technique). She did seem to fit, nice and exact, into his arms, though he did have to lean down rather farther than was entirely comfortable to reach her lips. Until then, he had never thought he'd actually be thankful she wore those atrocious platform shoes she seemed to be so fond of (she would be even shorter without them).
And it felt so good to finally act on all that pent-up passion. Even though it was just a simple, innocent attraction, he couldn't help but relish the final, intense moment wrought from all his frustrations. (Though, if truth be told, how innocent could an attraction be when it had him waking up in a sweaty daze, body wound so tight, skin so hot, absolutely aching for just one... little... touch?)
Anzu pulled away and looked down. "Um... Wow."
Seto responded with a noise akin to a grunt. (Though everyone knows that dear Seto would NEVER demean himself by grunting.) "That's all you have to say?"
Anzu reddened further. "Forgive me for being a little surprised. I was expecting something more along the lines of: What in hell makes you think I'd ever consider giving you the time of day, Mazaki? Piss off and bother somebody else."
"Well," Seto said, smirking and leaning closer, "Had it been anyone else, that would have been my response. However..." He pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. "For some unfathomable reason, you seem to be able to make it past all my barriers." He flashed a quick smirk, then pretended to think hard for a moment. "And you know, I should really punish you for that..."
She smiled, and gave the back of his neck a gentle tug. "By all means– go right ahead." And in fact, her eyes had just closed when...
"That," an all-too-familiar voice announced, pulling the two apart, "is more than enough."
Seto scowled, clearly unhappy with the unwelcome interruption. Jounouchi fixed him with a would-be fierce glare, though Seto responded only with a sneer.
Honda come up immediately after Jounouchi, Yugi following close behind. He grinned and put an arm around Anzu's shoulders. "Hey Brad," he said cheerfully. "Whatcha doing?"
Seto was torn between the urge to flee and the urge to rip out Honda's hair and beat him into pulp-like submission with one of the nearby chairs.
"Wh-what are you guys doing here?" Anzu stuttered out nervously, praying that they hadn't seen her kissing Kaiba.
With a glare, Jounouchi took it upon himself to answer. "Watching you swap spit with Mr. Moneybags over here."
Ahh. They had seen. And all her hopes for friendly reconciliation were crushed.
Luckily, neither she nor Seto had to explain themselves. Honda promptly smacked Jounouchi in the back of the head. "You idiot! What did you think they were gonna do, give each other manicures?"
Jounouchi crossed his arms over his chest and refused to meet Honda's eye. "Manicures would have been a helluva lot better than that little display."
Anzu blushed all the way to the roots of her hair.
"Anyway!" Yugi said, before things could turn bloody, "Regardless of how Jounouchi's acting, he's actually very happy for both of you. Oh, and so are me and Honda. Happy, I mean; we're happy, too."
"Yeah, whatever" Honda said, letting go of Anzu and rolling his eyes. "You're just happy because you won the bet. How was I supposed to know that Kaiba's swoop in so quickly? I was half expecting Anzu to slap him."
"Wait, what's this about a bet?" Anzu asked angrily.
Yugi, Honda, and Jounouchi all exchanged worried glances. "Um..."
Seto shot all three a very nasty look. "Fools."
"Alright, guilty," Honda said, "But can you really blame us? When these two goons over here finally saw how crazy Brad here was for you, we just knew it would only be a matter of time before you two got together. And... well since we're all always broke, we just thought we'd take the monetary gain where we could get it."
Whatever reaction they were all expecting, everyone was surprised when Anzu's eyes widened and she said, "You all knew he had feelings for me?"
Jounouchi gulped. "Er..."
Honda threw up his hands. "Hey, who didn't know? It was pretty obvious when you really thought about it; hell, even Arisa noticed him making eyes at you– since about the beginning of the year."
Anzu grinned and looked at Seto. "You've really liked me for that long?"
He didn't respond.
She giggled and gently touched his cheek. "That's so cute."
"Look. Th-they're all grown up," Honda said, wiping an imaginary tear from his eye. "I always knew this day would come, but... but I'm just not ready." He grabbed Jounouchi's arm and put his head on the other boy's shoulder. "My poor, dear, little Anzu..."
Anzu rolled her eyes. "Don't be such an idiot, Ok Honda?"
"Now, now Anzu," Jounouchi chided teasingly, "Don't take it out on Honda. He's just worried that Kaiba here's gonna take advantage of you! We only want to protect you."
"That's right!" Honda said, perking up immediately. "Who knows what nefarious plans he has for you?" He grinned, and doing a wretched imitation of Anzu's voice said, "Oh my, Seto-chan, of course I trust you! What? You and I? In a dark house– all alone? With wine and candles and roses, you say? Oh, and you'll even give me a tour of your bedroom?"
Immediately joining in the act, Jounouchi said, "Oh my lovely little Anzu, I ache and long for your tender touch!"
He and Honda slammed together. "Oh!" They mashed themselves into the most awkward, ridiculous embrace that anyone there had ever witnessed.
"Anzu," Jounouchi said breathlessly. "Hold me!"
"Your friends," Seto announced poisonously, "Are all idiots."
"That might be true," Anzu said with a shrug. She turned towards him and grinned. "But... They're my idiots."
And no one would ever dream of arguing with that.
"So," Anzu asked with a laugh, eager for any chance to tease him, "How long have you had a crush on me?"
They were alone again, Honda, Yugi, and Jounouchi having been all but forcibly removed. (Seto denied having any part in that, but the smug look of satisfaction he wore gives it all away.)
"It was NOT a crush," Seto said stubbornly. "More of an... unwilling attraction. Not a crush."
"Keep telling yourself that, big boy," she laughing patting him on the chest. "It's kinda cute." She laughed again as he crossed his arms and pouted.
"I," he stated with as much dignity as he could muster, "am not cute."
"Right," she said sarcastically, rolling her eyes. "Seto, you're like a petulant child who got his favorite toy taken away. You're adorable." If he had liked her, she just thought it was too bad they hadn't gotten together sooner
"Deny it all you want; doesn't change the fact that it's true."
He raised his nose just a fraction higher. "Think what you want."
Anzu laughed. "Alright; I will."
It was fixed between them then that they would be a happily "dating" couple. Though Seto didn't like the utter commitment the title implied, he was willing to be tied down. Once Anzu reminded him of all the perks, that is. They both looked almost stupidly pleased, though Seto was quite ready to conjure up a glare should it be called for.
They left the coffehouse, and in a sudden fit of gentlemanliness, Seto had kindly offered to escort her home. (Though only when "offered" really means "did it with or without her consent".)
"And you know else?" Anzu asked him as they were walking, the late-afternoon sun turning the whole world golden, "I'm... I'm just amazed."
"What has amazed you?" Seto asked, humoring her. "No doubt something shiny has caught your attention."
She rolled her eyes. "No, smartass, and I'm being serious. It's just hard to believe that..." She shyly reached down and took his hand, looking up at him with a soft smile. "That you actually want somebody like me. You're rich, powerful–"
"Mustn't forget beautiful," he murmured with a smirk. She just ignored him.
"And yet you're happy with plain old Anzu." He ran his thumb across the back of her hand gently, a look of complacency in his deep blue eyes. He stopped walking, and pulled her into a loose embrace. "Though, since you're never really happy, I'm not entirely certain that's the right expression to use."
"Don't be silly," he said. "I detest silliness. And besides..." His gaze fixed noticeably on her breasts. "You have plenty of good features to recommend you."
She couldn't help but laugh, a warm, pleasant sound. "And here I thought it was engaging, loving personality! Well, how wrong I was."
"Yes." He spoke against her skin, his lips at her forehead, the feeling of his breath making something warm flutter up in her stomach. "Very, very wrong." He leaned forward and kissed her face. "Very... very... wrong." He kissed her again, pulling her forward with a demanding little tug.
"You know," Anzu remarked casually, her hands resting on his chest, "this conversation seems to be spiraling further and further towards the realm of the vastly inappropriate."
"Well," Seto said, looking as serious as he ever had, "We'll just have to see that it makes it there, won't we?"
Anzu smiled broadly, and boldly kissed him square on the mouth. "That bit of subtle humor you have... hard to find, but it's what I just love about you."
"Oh Anzu, dear, there's no need to lie."
"We both know you just want me for my body."
--3 Months Later--
Mokuba sighed happily. Putting a pair of sunglasses on, he leaned back in the deck chair. "There. Now this is what I call an afternoon."
He and his brother had invited Yugi, etc. to the Kaiba pool– a present for Mokuba from one or so birthdays ago. Seto and Anzu had conveniently disappeared, but everyone else was happily splashing around.
Yugi laughed. "I agree with you, Mokuba. It's a great day."
Honda and Jounouchi, upon noticing the exchange, paused their splash-war momentarily to join the other two. "What's up?" Honda asked, pulling himself out of the pool. He shook water out of his impossible hair, wiping the chlorine out of his eyes as he grinned at Yugi and Mokuba. "Having a nice little chat, are we?" His grin widened. "I simply must be included."
"Just saying how nice it feels out here," Mokuba answered him, "The sun shining, the weather nice– it's just a really great day."
"Yup," Jounouchi agreed, plopping himself down on the edge of Mokuba's chair, toweling off the blond jungle resting atop his head. "But you know what would make it even better?"
"Food," Yugi and Honda answered together, laughing.
He rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Thanks guys."
"Someone say food?" Anzu announced, coming towards them with a platter of hamburgers. "Eat up boys, they're fresh."
Everyone got a plate, and sat down at the table off to one side of the pool. Even Seto, who had sworn up and down he wouldn't join them, was there, though he chose not to partake of Anzu's delicious meal.
"This is great," Honda said after a swallow. "Damn, Kaiba, if I had known you lived like this I would have befriended you a long time ago."
"Yeah," Jounouchi said, his mouth full. He chewed for a moment, before swallowing so he could continue. "It's like that show. Y'know with that British guy? Yeah, that one, where all the movie stars like... get their homes shown."
"Lifestyles of the rich and famous?" Yugi asked, confused.
"Yeah, yeah!" Jounouchi said, pointing at him excitedly. "That one."
"Though, in this case," Honda said with a grin, "I think it would be the rich and ill-tempered."
"Or the rich and ridiculously obsessed with Blue-Eyes," Jounouchi added, looking smug.
"Hey, Seto's not ridiculous!" Mokuba said, defending his brother.
"Not nearly as ridiculous as you," Seto added with a smirk.
"Hmm... I like rich and arrogant," Anzu said, giving her "boyfriend" (though Seto hated the term) a little pat on the shoulder.
Seto rolled his eyes.
Yugi laughed. "That's good, I think that works best." He raised his plastic cup full of fruit juice in the air. "Here's to champagne wishes."
Honda grinned. "And kuriboh dreams."
End A/N: Yah! But... I'm sad, too. Well, that's it, and I hope everyone enjoyed it! (I know I did.) Even though this is the last chapter, I'd still appreciate any and all reviews; they really make me feel all warm and squishy inside. I'll be back with another story soon, but for now... this is goodbye! Hope you enjoyed... "Lifestyles of the Rich and the Arrogant"!
ALSO! I'm had, erm... maybe 2 requests for a sequel. The possibility for one is there, but I have no intention of writing it. However, if anyone else would like to venture forth an offer... Well, what I'm saying is this: if anyone else wants to write a sequel, let me know and I'll be more than happy to let you. (I'll even beta it if you want!) Well, just thought I'd put that out there... Let me know if you're interested!