Disclaimer: I do not own or claim to own Yu-Gi-Oh! Or any characters and situations presented in the manga/anime. No profit is gained from the publishing of this story, no copyright infringement intended.
Should this story be deemed offensive by the creator, Mr. Takahashi, his solicitors or any of the (unsettling amount of) companies holding licenses to the series it shall be of course taken down without hesitation.
A/N: This was written during the last two weeks when work was too much for me and I needed a way to vent during breaks. For some reason the phrase "This doesn't mean anything" rang in my head and wouldn't go away. I'll stop boring you with my mindless blabber now and instead let you read the product of stress and persistent phrases.
Don't forget: any form of constructive criticism is highly welcomed and shall be cherished.
And before I forget it: this, my hearties, is Azureshipping (Anzu & Seto – how I love flaunting new vocabulary!), so if you don't like that couple, I suggest you read something else.
This doesn't mean anything – A Kodak Moment
Icy blue eyes lock with warm, unblinking sapphire ones. Is he trying to stare her down?
"I'm not going to apologize."
Yes, he is.
He's doing a pretty good job of it, too.
"I'm not expecting you to."
"I'm not going to say thank you, either."
Her response are a careless shrug and a smile; simply dazzling.
Hesitation. He doesn't want her to know how nervous this - the situation, her looking at him like that and what they are about to do - makes him. He's never nervous.
"This doesn't mean anything. Do you understand?"
The smile widens and morphs from dazzling to blinding. How can she smile like that at someone like him? Her eyes sparkle with mischief.
She isn't looking forward to this, is she?
A crooked eyebrow.
"What's so funny?"
Her voice sounds innocent – tauntingly so. A snarl. He knew he'd regret having asked her. If only his choices hadn't been so limited. No, if only he had had actual choices.
"You're not taking me serious."
"Of course I am."
"Then why are you smiling?"
"Because I know something you don't."
I know you're nervous…
"Which would be?"
Another shrug. Since when has carelessness been this elegant? Moreover, since when did he associate elegance with her? But then he remembers that he always has and he frowns again. He seems to be doing that a lot when she is in the vicinity.
"You don't want to know."
She smiles mysteriously and now he's really curious. He wants to cover it up, but the fact that he questions her judgment betrays the aloofness he displays.
"What makes you think that?"
"Because it's unimportant."
"Besides, it doesn't mean anything, just as you said."
She fiddles with the hem of her skirt and he finds his eyes drawn to where the navy fabric ends. The skirt is decent - knee-length. There are so many schools nowadays that have inanely short skirts as part of their uniform, but theirs doesn't. Still the sight of her skirt makes his heart jump, if only a little.
This time it's her eyes that seek out his. Demanding. What the... that's his trademark stare she's using right now!
"You're mocking me!"
His accusing growl is met by a tender smile.
"We've already established that I don't."
But I want you to, he thinks. At least then I'd have a reason not to go through with this stupid, stupid idea.
He balls the hand in his pocket into a fist, then lets go again; his equivalent of a sigh. They're running in circles, wasting precious time. He'd never admit it but he knows it's his fault. Why does she seem so comfortable in his presence? She should be squirming, stuttering, faltering. Why wouldn't she at least blush? He decides he must have lost his bite somewhere during the conversation, brief as it was.
This has to end.
He takes a couple of well-measured steps, coming to a halt before her. She tilts her head to meet his towering gaze. He wonders how an outsider would look upon this scene: the two of them standing together like this, a girl and a boy (in the privacy of his mind he feels safe to admit that right now, he feels each and every one of his 17 years, possibly even less but certainly no more), close enough that their breath mingles, their eyes locked. His hand twitches ever so slightly with his desire to touch - embrace her. A rosy blush begins to bloom across her features.
Would an outsider mistake them for lovers? He concedes that if he were to walk upon a similar scene, he would. It makes him infinitely grateful for his foresight to have chosen this place to meet, as opposed to school or his office, least of all because of the talk.
And I have no interest whatsoever in that kind of talk.
She looks at him as if to challenge him. As if he had any reason to be scared of her. Maybe he ought to tell her that he didn't believe in cooties (anymore).
"Are you ready?"
Her tongue darts out to wet her lips in response. Her throat feels so dry all of a sudden but she insists on telling herself that the heat waves taking a hold over her body are not caused by the fact that their chests are almost touching. The scent of him is overwhelming. He's one of the few boys - or men? - she knows that doesn't seem to bath in his cologne. He's wearing one of those popular woodsy and fresh, clean fragrances. She knows enough about perfumes to know that what is making her knees weak right now are the core substances of the fragrance and not his overwhelming presence.
He must have put it on in the morning, she thinks and wishes for a moment she could have been there to watch him perform this simple, intimate act. Liquid heat pools in the pit of her stomach. Perhaps it would be better to safe thoughts like that for a different time and place (for instance somewhere far, far away from Seto Kaiba). Why had she agreed to this? Remaining focused starts to become quite the task. His intense gaze sets her on fire.
Maybe... if only I... there's still time to back out, right?
His lips swoop down on hers like a bird of prey, her hand latching onto his arm for support. Not a chance to back out now, their whispered conversation momentarily forgotten. She decides that Seto Kaiba's kisses can easily melt the pole caps, despite him being a walking-talking human Popsicle. One hand untangles from his pocket and both of his arms hook around her waist, pulling her closer as she revels in the feeling of his lips pressed against hers. She doesn't know what possesses her, but she feels her body pushing itself up on her toes while her other hand cradles his face. She is surprised to find him lean into her touch ever so slightly.
He finds himself enjoying the taste of her lips and the feel of her in his arms very much. Too much, he decides, and breaks the kiss. His gaze drops to her face. She looks a bit dazed and her eyes are half closed as her lips seem to mourn the loss of his. He frowns. She's beautiful (which is very important right now for reasons he can't grasp) but she doesn't look thoroughly kissed at all.
This is unacceptable, he thinks and touches his lips to hers again and for the time being, he forgets that this is them - that they share a mutual history that ought to make something like this kiss ( these kisses - it's our second, he corrects himself) impossible.
Experimentally, he leans further into her. He's only ever kissed his brother (and his parents, a long time ago) - but not like that. He doesn't know what to do, but it appears that she does. He wonders how many other boys she's kissed like that as the hand cupping his face slides up to tangle in his hair while the one on his arm moves to press against his back. The feeling of her nibbling on his lower lip is foreign yet strangely pleasurable.
Did she ever kiss Yugi like that?
The thought that she might have angers him (it's a matter of principle - he is not the kind of man to enjoy anyone's hand-me-downs - especially not those of his rival). He's panting slightly as he pulls way from her - whether from his rage or their kisses he cannot tell - determined to make their third kiss a mind-blowing experience.
Right after I catch my breath...
"That will be enough, I believe."
He looks up sharply. His personal assistant nods her head and the photographer he'd hired seems quite satisfied. He takes a step backwards (feeling much colder than before), raising a questioning eyebrow at their audience.
"A lovely motive. Once these have been published I don't think you will have to worry about tabloids discussing your sexual orientation anymore. At least not for the time being. I can only advise you to not keep this a one-time occurance, however, if only to ensure success. It would be good for you to be seen once or twice during your leisure time before you 'split up'."
He inclines his head to show that he will think about it then looks at her. She's even more beautiful now that her lips are bruised from his kisses. Her hair is slightly mussed from him running his hands through it ( when did I do that?) and her darkened eyes sparkle with some hidden emotion that he longs to examine.
He admits to himself that maybe Anzu Mazaki wasn't the worst choice after all.
Their entourage begins to pack up and he pulls an envelope out of his pocket, offering it to her. She sighs and reluctantly takes it.
Why? This was our deal .
"This doesn't mean anything," he says, more for his own benefit than hers.
"Of course not," she replies. But her voice is timid, weak even. As if it pains her to say the words.
There's a twisting sensation in his stomach. Something he hasn't felt in a long time. Remorse?
He clenches his hands into shaking fists then unclenches them again; his equivalent of a deep sigh and hanging shoulders.
She turns to leave and his hand shoots out to grab her arm.
"I didn't mean to cause you any inconvenience."
Her eyes widen in surprise.
"And I appreciate your help... Anzu."
A/N 2 (2006-08-19): I noticed that for one, my author's note had been messed up and for another, I hadn't included the chapter title in the uploaded document which was terribly smart of me, wasn't it?
Thank you to all who have reviewed so far and to everyone who put this story (or me, respectively) on their favorite's list. It means the world to me.