Note: I do NOT own Yu-gi-oh, or any of the characters. Also, the lyrics at the end are from the song "Have you Ever really loved a Woman?" by Bryan Adams. I don't own it.
Secrets in the Snow
He didn't know how it all came to be, and if he were to be honest, he didn't really care. All he knew was the reassuring certainty that when he got to the bench she would be there.
Truth be told, it had been an unlikely start as any. He had been walking through the park, as he had been wont to do, and there she was: smiling happily, with her eyes closed and sitting on his bench. He was disgruntled, to say the least. How dare she? Mazaki of all people!
"What are you doing here?"
Languidly Anzu opened her eyes.
"This is my spot!"
"Well, obviously not since I'm sitting here" she answered indifferently. "Wanna make something of it?" Her blue eyes flashed.
He was taken aback by her bluntness. This wasn't the sweet little Anzu Mazaki that he was accustomed to...
"Hn. Fine. I don't have time to argue with the likes of you."
"Sit down Kaiba. This bench is big enough." she said motioning towards the empty space beside her.
Unknowingly, he complied. They stayed in complete silence, still as statues then suddenly Anzu got up and left.
day his steps carried him to the bench again; and, to his surprise,
there she was. Book in hand, reading, seemingly entranced by the
book. Again he sat down, in spite of himself, and again silence
It became a routine. He would go there; she would be sitting either reading or with her eyes closed, oblivious to whatever was going on. They hadn't exchanged words since their first encounter, but somehow it didn't feel like a problem. Their silences, though long, were always comfortable.
It's not like they were closer, but he had begun to depend on her presence next to him.
Today, however, was rather different. He had had a particularly bad day and what with Christmas coming up, the company needing to commercialise more of its products, the endless trials for new products and the annoyingly bad weather, he was not in the best of moods. He was almost looking forward to seeing Mazaki today. Maybe he could sort everything out during their time on the bench, and at any rate (though he hated to admit) her presence was rather comforting.
Walking up to the familiar spot he was surprised not to see her there. It was the first time it had happened since their 'meetings' had begun over 3 months before. She wasn't there and he felt desolate.
Shaking his head in annoyance, he got up and left. On his way home he tried to think of all the possible ways he might solve the current situation of his company, but his mind insisted stubbornly to bring back Anzu's face. Cursing silently he walked into the mansion and was instantly greeted with a chirpy "Hello Seto" and a big hug.
"How was your day? You look tired? Oh and you know Christmas is coming right? I was kinda sorta maybe wondering if this year we could spend it with Yuugi and his friends...They invited us over on the twenty-third. Can we please go? Please Seto? Please?"
Seto's mind was trying to fit in all the information he had just been given in the short space of forty seconds.
"I'll think about it"
"Ok, it's ok if you wanna spend the Christmas alone again, just the two of us, it's fine you know?...I was just thinking that maybe you could use a break from it all...
Seto was getting exasperated.
"Like I said I'll think about it, now go upstairs and finish your homework I have some things to finish ok?" He smiled gently at Mokuba.
"Ok. I'll be done soon. Then can we play?"
"Not today. I have a big headache coming on. Sorry kiddo."
Mokuba looked at him, concern shining in his eyes.
"I'll be fine. Honestly. Now go finish you homework ok?"
In his office, an hour later, he still couldn't concentrate. What was his problem? He couldn't quite put his finger on it, and then it hit him. Mokuba's words echoed in his head: '...if you wanna spend the Christmas alone again...' He tried to think back to the last Christmas they had as a family. There had been over 7 years since. He could still see their father raising up Mokuba so that he could pin the star on top of the tree, and the look of pure joy in Mokuba's eyes. He could smell the pudding that his mother had made and the balsam-like scent of fir. They had been a real family, but it wasn't meant to last. His parents had died soon afterwards in a plane crash, and then the orphanage and Gozaburo ordeal happened. It was still bothering him that after all these years he still felt like that little boy sometimes- the little boy who picked up the phone that day only to hear the words that would shatter him: " We regret to inform you, but your parents have died. They were in a car crash and..." He never could remember what the woman had said after that. He still had nightmares about it, tough this time he would be 'informed' about Mokuba's death. He gulped nervously. He couldn't bear the thought.
And still Mokuba's words echoed in his head. Despite himself he had to admit that no matter how accustomed he was to being lonely the pain had never left him. Of course, he had Mokuba, but he couldn't tell his little brother everything. It wasn't an issue of trust (Mokuba was the only one he trusted completely), but rather he didn't want his little brother to worry for him anymore than he already did.
His tired eyes started burning from the long hours spent in front of his computer, so, on a whim, he looked outside. It was snowing. Big, white, fluffy flowers of snow wafting to the ground. So careless and ephemeral, and so...free. For the first time since his parents had died he actually wanted to feel the snow; to touch it, to feel its subtle coldness seeping into him.
Taking his coat, he first checked up on Mokuba who was sleeping peacefully, his hair fanned out on his pillow and mumbling softly. Seto smiled gently as he brushed the bangs out of his brother's face, and then he heard what Mokuba was murmuring: "No mum, dad, please come back. Don't leave me, all...alone. Seto! Come back!"
"I'm here Mokuba, I'm here" he whispered softly. Hearing his brother's voice relaxed Mokuba and he smiled. "You're here...are you...alone?"
Seto's eyes widened. "You never tell me anything anymore..." Mokuba kept mumbling. "You're alone aren't you?"
"No. I'm not. I'm here. I have you. That is all I need."
But Mokuba had already turned on his side and was snoozing peacefully. Ruffling the youngster's hair Seto smiled again, then left.
He didn't know where he was going and somehow found himself down the familiar route to the park again. The cold wind lashed at him. Finally, he reached the bench and sat down, resting his head on his hands. His past kept playing back to him, and all of the sudden he was that little boy again. Scared and alone. It was the loneliness that had plagued him all these years. He could feel hot tears sliding down his face, etching their trails on his cheeks, but he didn't care. He was alone. No one would see him, nor hear him cry, nor comfort him.
He heard footsteps approaching, and knew that whoever they belonged to was standing right in front of him. He heard a soft voice ask what was the matter, and looked up- in front of him stood none other than Anzu. He opened his mouth to let out one of his famous scalding replies, and was surprised by the small voice coming out, whispering only two words. "I'm alone." Instantly he found himself enveloped by a warm pair of arms. Anzu was holding him. He felt so weak, but so safe, and before he knew it he was sobbing silently in Anzu's arms, his face buried in her shoulder. She didn't say anything. She just held him.
He lost all track of time, all he knew was the warmth coming from Anzu, and that he hadn't felt so safe since...since...it had been so long...he almost couldn't remember...and then images played back in his mind. The last time had been when his parents had been alive. His mother had held him like that before...before...leaving forever.
Opening his eyes he noticed Anzu was still holding him, and the full impact of what had just happened hit him full force. He had CRIED! In front of Anzu of all people! He looked at her. Her eyes looked so sad. Did she pity him!
"Are you happy?" he asked in a cold voice.
"What do you mean?" she seemed genuinely confused.
"Well, you just saw the guy who makes you and your friends life horrible, the great Seto Kaiba -the sarcasm was dripping off every word- cry...pitifully ..." He stopped suddenly, taken by surprise by Anzu taking his hand.
She looked at him, seemingly about to cry. For him?
"Look, I know you've had a horrible past, but please, I want to be here for you."
He was speechless.
"I...I can't offer much, but please, don't make me go...Please, just trust me." The last was a whispered plea.
He was about to get up and go, ignoring her pleas, but for some reason her hand in his seemed like the most real thing in the longest time. She was there, with him, and it felt right. Maybe, he didn't have to be alone...
"You don't know me at all..."
"You're right. But I want to, and I know that tonight was the first time you showed your true self in a very long time."
He half-nodded remembering the feeling of warmth and safety of her arms.
" Whatever. Don't think I'm some sort of..."
She cut him short again. "To cry is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of pain." she shook her head. "It doesn't make you any less as a person." She looked him in the eyes and he could see she meant every word she had spoken. Feeling his cheeks burning up, he looked away.
"Look at me. I'm here for you. You don't have to be alone." she cried and he could see tears starting to stream down her cheeks. "I love you". The statement was nothing more than a whisper, but it resounded in his ears as though it had been a shout. Looking at her he recognised in her eyes the same yearning that was burning in him. To have someone. Leaning in, he captured her lips in a swift kiss, then resting his forehead against hers he replied: "I love you too". The snow whirled gleefully in graceful pattern around Seto and Anzu. He drew her close, kissing the top of her head, and smiled. This Christmas would be different. He wasn't alone anymore.
"And when you find yourself lying helpless in her arms
You know you really loved a woman..."
Note: Okay. Let me know how that one went. Also, thank you to all my lovely reviewers. You are truly appreciated.