Ah. New fic. Someone beat me for starting this while I'm midway through another.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! Personally, I wouldn't want to, not with this new Yu-Gi-Oh! GX crap they're dolling out now. Yeesh, poor creator-guy.
Consider yourself disclaimed.
Onto the chappie!
Chapter One: The Verdict
Seto Kaiba was a creature of habit. His entire existence was made up of routine.
At four-thirty each morning, the seventeen-year old CEO would get up from the spacious, all-too-comfortable bed and dress in a nondescript tee shirt and sweatpants that had seen many better days. He was so used to this he no longer needed an alarm clock, though some cold mornings he played a game with himself, trying to fall back asleep under the warmth of the utilitarian comforter and crisp white sheets. But he always lost to instinct, getting up regardless of his own reluctance.
At four-forty-five, he was jogging on the treadmill two floors below his bedroom. After the treadmill, Seto began a rigorous exercise period that not only kept him from the danger of 'desk-chair-physique,' but also woke up his mind and body. A set of fifty push-ups, followed by fifty pull-ups, followed by the 12-pound dumbbell weights made up his work out.
At five-thirty-five, he went to the spacious shower off of the weight room and let cold water rinse off the sweat.
At five-forty, he was back up two floors, in his closet room. He never took long to choose an outfit; on weekdays, a school uniform. On weekends, he always dressed in one of the many identical suits he had tailored especially for work.
At six o' clock, he would wake up Mokuba. The young teen had not yet mastered his brother's self-discipline, and rarely responded to the giant Tortoro alarm clock that went off at the same time as Seto came to rouse him. In fact, Seto had also grown accustomed to shutting off the annoying thing that he barely noticed the action anymore.
At six-fifteen, Seto would find his laptop, and work on spreadsheets, business proposals, the various virtual world and the random video-game hero until Mokuba, sleepy-eyed and quiet, came down for breakfast. Seto had schooled Mokuba in the importance of large breakfasts; the pair always ate the most at that meal.
Finally, at seven-thirty, the chauffeur would take Seto and Mokuba to their respective schools. Seto was attending the high school for legal reasons only, as was Mokuba attending the junior-high. Having been home-schooled by the ambitious and harsh Gozoburo, Seto and Mokuba were far past their peers.
Yes, Seto was a creature of habit. Every morning, it was always the same routine. It was important, and Seto depended on life to happen according to schedule.
His life needed to be under his control. Every life-form in the CEO's scope was included in that need for control. The exception proves the rule, the old adage goes. And unfortunately for Seto Kaiba, the exception just had to be Katsuya Jounouchi.
"Uh… You wanted t'see me?"
Katsuya Jounouchi fidgeted uneasily as the sensei teepeed his fingers, looking over his fingertips to observe the nervous teen in front of him. The sensei had the teacher expression down- just enough gravity to scare the shit out of any normal high schooler.
"Yes… Sensei?" Jou cleared his throat, suddenly noticing how often he shifted from foot to foot. Gawd, that was annoying of him. He must look like some sort of drunken sailor, swaying back and forth. Or maybe more like a tree…
"Would you like to explain something for me?"
Jou didn't answer right away. He continued swaying on the spot, observing a spot on the wall blankly. He must look more like a tree, because drunken sailors had sea-legs, and therefore didn't sway. And, if a sailor where really drunk, he would be passed out and snoring, not swaying like… well, like a tree. In a proper wind, of course-
"Jounouchi-san, are you even listening?"
"H-Hai, Sensei." Jou quit swaying abruptly, then felt a small surge of dizziness pass over him quickly at the action. "What d'you need me to 'splain?"
The sensei smileda clearly strained smile, warmth never reaching his eyes. Wordlessly, as though he may say something he would later regret, he dropped a paper on his desk, in front of Jou. Written on the top was a large, angry red letter. Jou winced a little, and began his shifting again. Shit. This would not be pretty.
"Do you understand what this means, Jounouchi-san?"
"Tell me what this means, Jounouchi-san."
"I-It means I've failed a test."
"It means you've failed a test… again." The sensei leaned back, massaging his temples as if he could ward off Jou's presence with the action. "Do you know what that means, Jounouchi-san?"
"H-Hai." Jou realized he was swaying again and promptly stopped. He nearly overbalanced, catching himself only just in time.
"Tell me what that means."
"That… That I can't pass this class?"
The sensei leaned forewords again, sighing. "Correct. And, in order to graduate and leave this school-" his tone suggested he would have rather have said and leave me alone- "you need to pass this class."
"H-Hai." The familiar feeling of dread Jou usually got when he stood in front of a sensei's desk settled into his stomach.
"Normally, I would just make you redo all the homework, and re-take the tests."
"But you're lucky. Another student will be tutoring you."
The dread lifted and Jou almost let slip a tiny grin. Honda was great at this math stuff, he'd be a good choice for a tutor, and then Jou could pass and still have fun at the same time. Or Yuugi could teach him, aided by an ancient Pharaoh who lived in the age when math was born. Even Anzu, who had no head for complicated dueling, could explain an inverse polynomi-whatsit better than most.
"So, I'll arrange meetings with your tutor for each day after school for awhile, until you can pass a test."
Shit. The half-conscious word was like a mantra now.
"Who's th' tutor?"
The sensei gave an almost wicked smile and then opened his mouth. Before he could say anything, though, the door opened and the last person Joey wanted to see stalked (not strolled, not sauntered; stalked) into the office.
"You said you wanted to see me, sensei?" Seto Kaiba could make even the smallest of sentences drip with disdain. The way his azure eyes flashed, the tilt of his head, the whole stance of the CEO's body conveyed his utter distaste in being in the room. The sensei, however, seemed unperturbed.
"Yes, Kaiba-san." The sensei leaned back in his chair. "I asked you to speak with me in regards to the missing work."
Jou could have cheered at the expression on Seto's face. A mix of anger, confusion, and boredom was written plainly on his mien, disproving Honda's theory that the teen had no feelings.
"The missing homework. You have failed to turn in a single assignment all year."
The wheels in Seto's head started turning furiously. Yes, he remembered the assignments being written on the blackboard. But why would he need to do practice work on things he already knew? In fact, there was no doubt in his mind that Seto could teach the course better than the sensei- except for his strong dislike for his classmates.
The sensei almost snorted. "So? So, that means, Kaiba-san, you are failing this class."
It took every ounce of Jou's self-control not to burst out in guffaws. The great Rich Bitch (a pet name of Jou's creation, he was ridiculously proud of it) was failing a class? A mathematics class, no less! It was all too rich.
"I can have the missing work into you by tomorrow morning." Seto informed the man tonelessly. "Will you be satisfied then?"
"I do not condone cramming, Kaiba-san." The sensei tapped his fingertips together. "But I do realize that you are smart enough to get exemplary grades in my class. So, I've decided you don't have to do the homework-"
Seto almost gave a smile and had turned to leave when the sensei continued.
"-But I do require you to tutor Jounouchi-san until he passes a test."
The angry sputtering of both teens didn't seem to bother the teacher in the slightest. He almost looked amused.
"Sensei, I can't meet with Ri- Kaiba every day after school! I hava job I gotta go to!" Jou looked desperately at the sensei, who regarded him levelly.
"And who is in control if you have a job or not?"
Jou opened his mouth angrily, and then shut it, looking at the floor. Seto stepped in, eyes flashing in the way that usually told employees of KaibaCorp to run, preferably screaming for mercy.
"Sensei, I also have a job. I have a company to run. A company who has a rather generous payment plan to this very school district, if I remember correctly." Seto's eyes narrowed, resembling less twin pools of blue and more dual flecks of flint.
The sensei held his gaze. "And I also believe the school has a partial say over you running your company. I believe when you registered here, you agreed that if you were ever to be failing a class, you would allow the school to dictate your work hours."
Seto mimicked Jou, opening his mouth to fire off a hot response before realizing he had none. Damn, he had to get this man on his staff sometime. He was good.
"However," the sensei leaned back, "I am willing to negotiate. If the two of you can work out some sort of schedule, and have Jounouchi-san passing his next test, I will give you, Kaiba-san, full credit, and you, Jounouchi-san, will be passing the class. Agreed?"
Without really any other choice, both teens mumbled a response and turned to leave. They weren't a foot out of the classroom when Seto found himself facing an angry Jou.
"Now, listen, rich-boy." Jou snapped. "You're not gonna mess this job up for me, 'kay?"
"Please," Seto scoffed. "What job of yours could compare to mine? I believe it'll be you not messing up my job, Muttsy."
"Shut th' hell up, Kaiba." Jou spat the name out. "Just leave me alone and tell th' teach we got together an' I'll just study."
"I would accept such an offer, but I fear your studying would hardly merit a passing grade." Seto turned roughly away. He squeezed his eyes shut, counted to three (he was a very under-control person, no need to go all the way to ten) and faced the sandy-haired youth in front of him. If Jou had noticed anything strange, he made no outward sign of it.
"I'm sure you want to, but unfortunately I am way out of your league. In fact, my league is so high away from your league, that if your league blew up, I wouldn't hear it for three days." Seto lost his cool and let Jou have the onslaught. "So let's just pretend we can get along and get you to pass the next test, or drop out. Either way, I don't care."
Jou looked ready to hit him. Seto almost wished he would. What a nice excuse to fight back, slap the rosy cheek, and maybe punch that toned stomach-
Three. Ah. Control was back.
"You're such an ass, Kaiba."
"And you're such an unoriginal when it comes to comebacks." Seto brushed past him breezily (or, as breezily as someone who stalked instead of strolled) and headed towards the limo waiting patiently outside of the school.
He waited before he was safely inside of the limo, with the glass divider up and windows firmly shut, before letting off a stream of cuss words that could make even the most hardened sailor faint. Tutoring the most aggravating human God ever had the gall to create might just be the death of him.
Authoress here. This entire story is dedicated to JewelValentine and LetheSeraph, the former for being in love with these sorts of fics and the latter who doesn't know who in a blue moon I am. But both are an inspiration, so there.
Leave me a note, it doesn't always take long!