A/N: Written because there are too few stories Amelda- and Kaiba-centric. Reviews will be most appreciated.
Disclaimer: Nope, I still don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! and I never will.
Meet Me In The Dark
It was dark. Dark and windy as he made his way through the park. Time was nearing the midnight, but he didn't care. He was concentrated on his current goal; his every step accompanied by the silent rustle of autumn leaves. He could already see the lanterns glowing a shade of warm gold at the end of the alley. His destination was barely few hundred steps away.
"In your place I wouldn't go there, Kaiba."
He stopped. Froze to the spot, actually, his body becoming stiff and rigid, and he turned his head to the side.
A black shadow. There, against the darkened silhouettes of trees. Or were his eyes deceiving him? The sight of gleaming lanterns had temporarily blinded him and he felt something uncommon. Something that he shouldn't feel. A feeling so bizarre that it paralysed him completely.
Seto Kaiba was afraid.
He had recognised the voice, he could feel the other's presence as he kept drilling the darkness with an intense glare, but couldn't see his rival.
The looming shadow that was always nearby. Ever since their first encounter, even before he almost lost his own brother in a plane crash. Ever since that crazy airborne duel.
Not what he should have asked though.
Amelda smirked against the darkness, his trench coat flailing soundlessly in the chilly autumn wind. He could feel the tension in the white spot that was Kaiba. He breathed it in along with the crisp nightly breeze and relished in the thought that he still could drive terror in this young but powerful man.
"I'm not the only one who knows where you go at night."
Kaiba was shocked. How? But he remembered almost instantly. Of course…
It was only logical for Amelda to know his daily routine by heart. Apparently the redhead was still seeking his revenge on him. Revenge to which he, Seto Kaiba, had completely no connection.
"Are you stalking me?" his voice was cold and filled with annoyance at being held up by some wannabe rival, who really should mind his own business instead of meddling in his life.
Amelda did not respond. He didn't need to.
Sirens and flickering lights rushed into the street crosswise the parkway and stopped in front of a house. Kaiba's destination.
The brunet was startled at first, but recovered quickly enough and just as he made a motion to go forwards, a hand shot out of the darkness, latching onto his forearm. Several seconds passed in a confused mix of shock and surprise rendering him incapable to resist the other man. Then he wasn't even given the chance to as Amelda dragged him away and deeper into the nightly park. Completely ignoring Kaiba's futile attempts of freeing his arm, he chose alleys unknown to the CEO.
"What do you think you're doing?" Kaiba hissed with menacing anger, but his enemy did not respond straight away. And when he finally did, the words were not the ones he had expected to hear.
"She's dead, Kaiba."
He almost stopped, but Amelda continued his fluent stride and he was forced to follow.
"What did you do to her?"
Anger. He felt anger towards the elder man. Anger and blazing hatred that filled Kaiba's veins like a deadly poison of sorts slightly numbing his senses and giving him a sharp sense of reality. He felt so surreally alive, so hyperaware of every cell in his body that one could call it insanity.
"Nothing. Like I said – I'm not the only one who knows your paths."
"…do I know?" Amelda smirked again, but Kaiba could not see it. He felt it. Even with his back turned on him, the redhead had still kept that aura of sadistic amusement and bitter anger. "Apparently I pay more attention to my surroundings than you do, Kaiba. You're losing your touch."
"Like Hell!" Kaiba finally wrenched his arm free and came to an abrupt halt, glaring daggers at the other's back. All the heated intensity he directed at him was so thick, right down to the point when it was nearly palpable, that it was hard to miss.
Amelda swiftly spun around, not fazed in the slightest by his harsh demeanour. It was just the first shock that had not yet worn off. But soon it will, and then Kaiba will be able to grasp the situation completely.
"I'm asking you for the last time, Amelda, – what did you do to Miho?"
The redhead smirked, crossing his arms and shaking his head in slight amusement. Of course, to Seto Kaiba he was the personification of every misfortune and failure and God knows what else that happened to befall the cerulean-eyed brunet. That man needed to blame someone in case of failure just like he himself had put the entire blame on all Kaibas and KaibaCorp.
"And for the last time I say – nothing. I didn't do anything to her. Why should I? Why would I need it? What benefit could I possibly gain from it?"
'You'd reach your goal – to ruin my life,' would sound very much like the perfect line for a drama queen like Yuugi Mutou, which Kaiba was not. No matter how true these words were. Let's just face it – Amelda had always hated him and sworn to extract his revenge on everyone who wore the name of Kaiba. 'Isn't it your biggest pleasure? - To see me suffer?' Too dramatic. If not lame. Alas, Seto Kaiba had nothing to answer. He just confined himself with glaring at his archenemy.
Amelda mentally sighed at his disposal, a convenient mask of indifference on his face, "I care of you no more, Seto Kaiba."
And with that Amelda left. Merging in the darkness like he'd be an essential part of it. Like he'd be just a shadow. Like he wouldn't even be real.
But he was.
He was way too real.
And his final sentence had left Kaiba pondering about the storm of emotions those words had raised in him. What was it, anyway?
As he continued to stand there in the darkness confused with himself, the recent events finally started sinking in, slowly shifting to take a real form. In a few seconds his life had made a flipping somersault and successfully turned everything upside-down. Just when he had started to think that he had, indeed, found happiness.
Yes, he was happy with Miho.
Used to be.
Used to be, if Amelda's words had been true. But why shouldn't they be? After all, he did see the police cars stopping in front of Miho's house.
Kaiba had always thought that Miho living in the far outskirts of the city was an idea good enough. A peaceful district, a quiet, isolated place. No one would ever find out that they had something going on.
Now he wasn't so sure anymore.
All of a sudden the park seemed to be a rather threatening place to be in. Especially if it was already past the midnight.
A whole week had passed since that dreadful night when he had met Amelda again after a long period of time and the following morning that was even more dreadful. It had been all over the news – Nosaka Miho brutally murdered in her own house, the murderer unknown. And just to make everything ten times worse, she had been expecting a child. In one night Kaiba had managed to lose two people he had slowly started growing attached to. Secretly he wondered if Miho had known how much she meant to him. Most likely she had. With that special sixth sense all women seemed to possess.
Currently Kaiba was sitting in a club, angry with himself. Somehow he had the strange feeling that Amelda had been truthful when claiming to have no connection to it whatsoever. He couldn't explain it. For some reason he just knew that it was true. Few days ago he had come to a harsh decision to find Amelda in hopes that the redhead would know something about Miho's murder. Anything that he could find useful. He felt as if he owed that one to Miho and the child that would never be born. His child.
Was he going all sentimental now? Kaiba snorted. No way in Hell. Amelda would laugh in his face, happened he to find out. Not to mention all those other people who only saw him as a rich, cold-hearted, power-obsessed monster. Speaking of which…
What should have been an easy task for Kaiba to accomplish, factoring in the technologies in his possession, proved to be extremely difficult. Amelda was nowhere to be found. Almost as if he even didn't exist. Growing more and more frustrated with himself he had eventually given up on the search and decided to go for a nightly stroll. Hence, the said CEO was where he was at the moment. Sitting in a club with an intact glass of brandy in front of him. He had given up the hope of finding his archenemy. The city was big and he could be anywhere. Without any kinds of hints and directions it was like looking for a black cat in a dark room.
A dark trench coat flashed as Amelda passed through the door, heading straight for a table that had a pile of papers on it, a young, dark-haired woman ruffling through them, looking most displeased with all the mess and herself. At one point she looked up and brandished a bright smile at the redhead, who instead of a greeting leaned down to steal a kiss from her lips. Just like that – not even caring if anyone saw it. Not concerned of what others would think. He sure had a lot of nerve to do that.
Kaiba sat stock-still, observing the pair with surprise and a silent stab to his heart. Surely, his rival didn't need to account to him, but it was rather strange to see the redhead in the company of a girl. Amelda with his nonconformist ways with a conservative type of girl? Suddenly he was reminded of Miho and himself, and the differences between them. Another jab to his heart. No, he really wasn't the one to judge. Wait… Could that possibly be jealousy speaking in him? No. Of course not. Seto Kaiba found this thought utterly ridiculous and completely impossible. It was just the fact that he had never imagined Amelda to be hooked up with such a girl. Not that he would look like the person to hook up with anyone in general. Kaiba had been confident in his rival being a loner much like himself. This tiny discovery visited him while he studied the pair two tables across from him. Then again… He himself wasn't the type to date either. Yet he had broken that stereotype starting to go out with Miho.
In any case, he had found Amelda. Yet he had no idea of what to say to him. Could he approach him just like that? Just as simple as it was playing in his mind? What would he say? What could he say?
Meanwhile a group of five people had came into the club and chosen the table closest to Kaiba, shielding Amelda and his girl from his sight. When they finally sat down and he could see the other table again, they were gone.
Seto Kaiba cursed under his breath. He had been so damn close… Not bothering to empty the glass, he threw the money on the table and left. Left, only to return the next evening.
None of the people he had hoped to find were there. However, Kaiba was determined not to leave until at least one of them showed up. The most optimal version would be to meet Amelda, but the girl would do as well. She could at least know where to find him and that would already be a considerable leap in his little "finding my archenemy" odyssey.
"I'm a supervisor, not a damn waitress! And where the Hell is Rhina, anyway?"
Kaiba turned his head towards the angered voice and was forced to raise a brow. Well now, could you believe the luck? It was the same woman from yesterday. This evening he had the time to assess her more carefully as she stood in the doorway arguing with someone and gain a better insight on Amelda's taste in women. Just about Amelda's height, a classic choice of apparel – dark blue jeans and black top, long, dark hair, shaded blue eyes, fragile build, legs too long to be legal. Yes, Kaiba could clearly see why his rival would be drawn to someone like her.
"Then she can take tomorrow off. Along with the rest of the days! Like I wouldn't have a pile of paperwork to do!" the woman snapped at someone behind the door before slamming it shut and walking into the hall, a small notebook in her hand and a pencil concealed behind her ear. With an angry flare in her eyes, she approached the table Kaiba was sitting at, her voice perfectly offhanded when she spoke, "So, have you come up with your order yet?"
"Amelda. Where is he?" words came out rather harsh, not quite the way he had wanted, but then again – didn't they always?
The woman merely raised a brow. "Should that be any of my concern?" she wasn't even playing the age-old game of pretending to be unaware of what he was talking about. Defying attitude with hinted indifference didn't quite go with her looks, but, as Kaiba had learned, appearances could be deceiving.
For a moment he considered snapping something scathing at her, but thought better of it. After all, this person was the only one who knew the whereabouts of Amelda. And the only one known to Kaiba, who held at least some connection with the redhead at that.
"You know where he is."
A small, cocky smirk curled up her lips, "Maybe. We're not tied to each other. He could be anywhere. Now, if you've come up with that order, do say it, because you're not the only client I have to attend to."
As Kaiba said nothing, she turned around and left to approach the next table. He remained sitting there until he was the only one left and they were closing the club. She hadn't approached him for a second time.
To get past the girl would take a bit of struggle, Kaiba thought with annoyance as he walked through the door and into the night. Well, at least it was something to start with. It was cold outside, a chilly wind chasing dust and litter across the street and he shuddered, pulling his trench coat closer to his body to block out the coldness. Streets were empty and only a few cars sped past him as he strode down the sidewalk, regretting that he hadn't taken his car. Oh, no. Instead he'd followed some caprice and chosen to take a goddamn walk.
Well, some exercise won't hurt. Much. He snorted, eventually turning into the driveway of his manor and stopped to observe the building from afar. The dark silhouette was less than inviting, all of the windows dark and dead as a screaming contrast to the starry sky and soothingly rustling leafage. No one was expecting his homecoming since Mokuba was away, attending some university. The name of it kept on disappearing from the older Kaiba's mind though. Well, it didn't matter, anyway.
'Let's just face it. I'm alone. After all, that's what I've always wanted, isn't it?'
Seto Kaiba, the youngest CEO in the last few decades, couldn't fight back a silent sigh as he made his way up to the front door.
Even the inside of the house seemed to radiate off coldness and loneliness. Mocking him. Laughing at him. Kaiba felt like walking through a mausoleum – so death-still was everything. Not to mention empty and quiet. Too much room was left unfilled. Somehow he had managed to ignore it earlier, but not anymore. He just couldn't. Not after the recent events. All of a sudden he realized that he hadn't talked to Mokuba for months already. Wonder how is he doing?
He pulled out his cell phone and started dialling his brother, but changed his mind in halfway. It was long past midnight and he was certainly sleeping already. And what could he possibly say to him? 'I was feeling lonely and decided to talk to you?' Ridiculous. After some whining for being woken up in the dead of the night, his little brother would surely throw out some comment about it being his own fault.
Hah. Little. Mokuba was not little anymore. And apart from business and some politely indifferent lines they had nothing to talk about. Quite horrifying if you thought about it, but in all honesty Seto Kaiba just didn't care.
The night was a horror for the elder Kaiba. The worst he had ever experienced. He didn't get even fifteen minutes of decent sleep. Every time he'd fall into dreamless slumber, he'd wake up gasping for air from the nightmares churning in his brain and filling every corner of his room with threatening, malicious shadows of faceless enemies. He knew that nothing… no one was there, that those were only hallucinations, but it didn't help. He could not control his dreams. The ration of nightmares of his whole life seemed to have crushed down on him during those few hours separating the midnight and morning.
With the first rays of light he was up. He couldn't take it for any longer. He had to do something, keep himself busy to stop the haunting. Yet he couldn't concentrate. Couldn't force himself to work, his mind shutting down every time he tried to. Kaiba found himself reading and rereading the first paragraph of a code that was supposed to upgrade (if not rearrange) the whole duelling technology he'd created before. Eventually he gave up trying to understand his own creation that had made perfect sense not so long ago. His work didn't matter to him anymore. In fact, nothing did.
In weeks to come, Kaiba didn't remember how he had lived through that day. Those memories had mulled and disappeared from his mind. What had remained though, were the events of the oncoming evening.
Precisely at nine o'clock evening he walked into the club he had seen Amelda two days ago. He knew what he had to do. He'd replayed that one scene in his mind for God knows how many times that day.
A waitress approached him, asking for his order.
"I want to talk to the manager of this place. Now," he demanded, looking the girl dead in the eye.
She stared at him like he'd be some strange creature speaking in a language she couldn't understand. There was a reason for that though. Kaiba's face was unnaturally pale, his eyes slightly red – a practically screaming evidence that he hadn't slept last night. He looked physically aged by, say, five years, making the young girl think that he was some psychotic, drug-addicted maniac or something.
Nevertheless, she turned around looking thoroughly concerned and disappeared behind some door. Seconds later she reappeared, accompanied by the young woman already familiar to Kaiba. Even from afar the brunet could see the distaste flicker on her face when the waitress gestured towards him.
Amelda's girlfriend approached the table he was sitting at, an annoyed look in her eyes and a cold expression on her face. "You're a damn pain of a customer," she stated, stopping in front of his table. "What is it this time?"
"Take a seat. We need to talk."
"I'd rather not. Unlike some, I've got work to do."
"It's about Amelda."
"Now, why doesn't that surprise me?" her sarcasm was biting as she crossed her arms, clearly showing that she wasn't going to open up to him. "Make it quick."
"I need to talk to him. It's urgent."
"Haven't seen him. Cannot help you. Have a good time!" and she turned on her heel to leave.
"I wasn't finished yet," his voice matched hers in coldness, making her spin around. An angered blue gaze pierced Kaiba's own tired cerulean eyes with harsh intensity. "When you meet him, tell him that I'll be waiting for him on the island in the Eastern Park. Tomorrow evening at ten."
"And what if I don't see him by tomorrow?"
"I'll be there every night. Waiting until he comes."
"I'll make sure to tell him."
And with that she slipped away, leaving Kaiba fighting with his thoughts. He wasn't sure why he was doing this. It was no longer because of Miho. Now it was something more… personal. Ever since the moment his and Amelda's eyes had met across the duelling field there was something about him… Something that he couldn't figure out, which intrigued this man to no end.
It was dark. Dark and windy as he made his way through the park. Time was nearing the midnight, but he didn't care. He was concentrated on his current goal; his every step accompanied by the silent rustle of autumn leaves. He could already see the paler spot in the pitch darkness up ahead. The spot that was Kaiba, awaiting him on the island.
The island was just a small mound in the middle of a semi-shallow river flowing through the Eastern Park and there was only one bridge connecting it with the shore. Apparently Kaiba was sitting on one of the benches up on the piece of land. A lover's spot. Amelda had to smirk at that.
She had showed him this place and told how her heart had been broken and her whole life ruined there, and how she attempted suicide on that same island. Unfortunately, using her own words, she got saved. He had to smile, remembering how much time had it taken to get Faith to open up, but it had been well worth it, and now they were – what you could call – friends for life having no secrets from one another.
The night was rather warm for the season autumn and he could breathe with ease, his steps unnaturally light even when he stepped on the old, creaking and worn-off bridge.
"Wanted to see me, Kaiba?"
The brunet could not force his voice to obey him as Amelda sat down next to him on the same bench, those grey eyes glistening silver through the darkness.
"Amelda…" Kaiba's voice was hoarse and tinted with desperation. It sounded so little like his usual way of speaking. So vulnerable. So emotional. So… lonely.
The redhead closed his eyes for a moment, unable to fight back a tiny smirk of understanding, but luckily for the both of them, the darkness shielded it from the CEO's view. Yes, he understood him. Had gone through the same, actually. Like you've gotten lost in a crowd of people who are running God knows where, and who speak a language unknown to you. Thrown among complete strangers not knowing what to do anymore, where to go, whom to turn to. Yes, he knew what Kaiba was going through, the feeling of pain and loss, and loneliness. Complete isolation even though you're living in a city of thousands.
All Seto Kaiba wanted was to feel needed again. To feel loved. A lowly wish for someone like him, he knew. But that was his biggest desire at the moment – to have someone by his side. Anyone. To know that there was someone he could rely on, lean on. Share his suffering with. He had taken it for as long as he could. Now the mark was met. He was a mere centimetre away from giving up.
Amelda stood up, "Follow me."
Kaiba followed without thinking. The desire to belong, to be loved was tearing him apart. He'd always blocked everyone out of his life (save for his brother) only to end up alone. How unsurprisingly, he gave a silent snort. Even Mokuba, his beloved little brother, had eventually distanced from him. Everyone else was moving on, only he couldn't. He was stuck in this vicious circle, slowly spiralling towards Gozaburo's level, which he had always tried to avoid.
Amelda walked through the park towards the looming shadow of an arched bridge. Faith had showed him this place as well. The original bridge had long broken down and several large pieces of it were still blocking the currency, but no one bothered to remove them. A new, wider bridge had been made instead, but no one ever used it, anyway. By now it was half-ruined, the planks half-rotten, but that didn't concern the redhead in the slightest. She had revealed him her secret hiding place, teaching how to get on the boulders still protruding from the deep, dark waters deceptively swirling under the pathetic bridge. Faith mainly used this place to hide away from the rest of the world and to wrestle with her suicidal thoughts. Amelda considered himself lucky finding someone like her. Just like him, Faith knew a lot about pain and the numerous ways it can touch you.
The heavy clouds had parted, revealing an almost full moon. It's silvery glow cast an unearthly light upon everything, gracing the flowing waters with silvery flickers. The wind had stopped, bringing peace and silence to their surroundings. Although one of them didn't have peace in his soul.
"Watch your step, Kaiba," Amelda warned, heading down the slope and turning parallel to the half-crumbled stone wall of the old bridge. Some of the rocks in the currency were moving and it was rather hard to find the right path even in the daylight, but Faith had taught him how to do it even with his eyes closed. He knew the way by heart and his steps didn't falter as he walked over the slippery stones. At one point he had to support Kaiba from falling into the cold river. The stone had slanted at the very second he'd stepped on it and Amelda swiftly turned, pinning the brunet to the ragged stone wall.
"A bit late for a swim, don't you think?" he smirked at the brown-haired man as he held him pressed against the stones.
Kaiba didn't respond. The cold water made him shiver. Was it just the water or maybe something else? He didn't know. Just as he didn't know why Amelda had brought them here. Just as he couldn't describe the feeling he got when the other crushed his body against his. He didn't understand himself anymore.
When they were finally sitting on the largest of boulders, the soft rumble of icy water against the rocks solemn and soothing, the silence suddenly seemed too loud for them to bear. It was an awkward situation as the both of them observed the dark waters glisten silver where the moonlight could breach through the cracks in the bridge above them.
"So…" Amelda started, letting curiosity draw Kaiba's attention back to him, although he knew that it hadn't been directed anywhere else even for a second, "what was it you wanted to talk about?"
Two sets of eyes met. One silvery grey, almost like the moonlight, the other shaded blue, nearly matching the color of midnight sky. Kaiba didn't trust his voice to speak. Instead, he let his actions to speak for themselves as he leaned over to capture Amelda's lips in a kiss of desperate passion. The redhead froze, but Kaiba stopped him from moving away. He had never wanted anything quite in the way he desired his rival. His dangerous desire was dragging him deeper down the abyss on whose verge he had been for so long, but he didn't care. He didn't care for as long as Amelda was there, next to him. He felt empty inside. Hollow. Drained. Amelda hadn't changed much since the last time he'd seen him. The life itself seemed to radiate off of him and Seto Kaiba desired that life. He had always gotten what he wanted, except maybe for regaining his title as the best duellist of the world. So why should this time be any different?
Seto's heart skipped a beat when Amelda's lips parted, drawing them closer for a touch more personal, more intimate. Their tongues met in a rough battle for dominance and slowly Kaiba felt himself being wrestled down until he lay sprawled beneath the other. The redhead drew back with a smirk, eyes glinting with heart-rending fire as he observed the surprised man lying under his mercy. Surely, the CEO hadn't been ready for the change of position.
"So there's still something that can surprise you, Kaiba. And I was already starting to lose the hope."
The brunet wasn't given the chance to respond, even though Amelda needed no response to it. Kaiba's incoherent words were swallowed in a fierce kiss and he shuddered, feeling cool hands run up his sides, pulling his shirt up, slender fingers gliding over his skin with possessive delicacy. He felt Amelda's smirk against his lips when his own hands moved to caress the midriff his rival always left exposed for everyone to see. Gloved hands lightly grazed his chest and Kaiba shivered in the chilly night air, suddenly brought to a realization that his shirt wasn't shielding him any longer.
"Amelda…" he whispered when his former enemy moved on to his neck, those burning lips barely skimming his tingling skin.
"Kaiba," the elder man flicked his tongue against the other's earlobe. He had never caught the moment his hatred for Kaiba had rendered into something else. Something he could not comprehend. Until now. They had always been a part of each other's life. Even before they had met in person. Even before they learnt of the other's existence.
Kaiba's breathing was slightly hitched as the passion escalated. Every tender nip on his skin, every teasing touch burning into him with eternal intensity until it wasn't ice but fire roaring through his veins. A low moan escaped his lips as he twisted under the pliant body on top of his own slender frame. A surge of burning desire flared through him kindling his already unbearable need. Hands moving on their own accord found the way into Amelda's pants, gracing him with a rough caress and forcing a tiny moan from the redhead's lips. Their limits of endurance were closing in with tremendous speed; none of them being able to discern when it would turn into frantic brutality to satisfy their ever-ascending desire. No longer mattered who would win, and who – lose; that point long superseded by something greater. Something without a proper name. Something that would always remain in the level of a sole feeling.
It was dark and the wind had long stopped blowing. The only sound to be heard was the soothing rippling of waters against the rocks, the soft moonlight scattering sparkles of silver over the small waves, veiling the park in mystic light. A distant, lonesome cry of an owl echoed through the silent trees of the Eastern Park, but compassionate ears didn't meet the heart-breaking sound, and the wail disappeared in the night that was almost too warm for autumn.
It was dark. Dark and peaceful since the wind had stopped hours ago. Time was long past the midnight, but neither Amelda nor Seto Kaiba cared. Two lonesome hearts had found their match and were no longer alone.