Hiya everybody! Ok, nobody kill me. I know I promised this ages ago, but between one thing and another I never got around to doing it. I hope this chapter was worth the wait.
Chaper two: Arrival
Alfred Pennyworth had lived for many years under the roof of Wayne manor. During that time, he had seen many strange things. It seemed every mastor of the place was eccentric in their own way. Up to, and including the latest one, who crossed being a vigilante crimefighter with being a multi-millionaire. But never before had he seen anything like the sight approaching him.
It was the business contact Mr Wayne had gone to meet, that much was obvious. But, it was a child. A child so thin that it was obvious that a repeat of Mr Wayne's teenage years was bound to happen. Alfred sighed, wondering if force feeding a strange child was the same as force feeding the one in your care.
He looked the boy up and down again, noticing with distaste that, instead of the refined business man he'd heard of, he was looking at what appeared to be a street punk on a drug deal. Only the blue eyes, standing out from beneath the strands of hazel hair screamed high class and power. Electric icey blue, so pure and glacial that they rivaled Mr Wayne's.
Silently, he looked past the boy, and at his employer. Mr Wayne had obviously been expecting his reaction, as a small smile was playing around the corners of his mouth. Alfred pursed his lips and led them inside.
He watched as the coat slide from the boy's narrow shoulders, and noted that the child was even thinner without it. He took the silvery material out of the boy's hands with far more force then he would have liked.
He was angry. Angry that the boy should dress in this way, and so obviously starve himself that it was painful. He hadn't felt this angry since Bruce had been at his worst several years earlier. No child should be allowed to do this to themselves.
Bruce blinked, staring at the old butler with alarm. He had expected Alfred's reaction at the door, not this sudden display of obvious anger. Glancing quickly at the boy, he saw something akin to fear flicker for a split second in the depths of those blue eyes. Then it was gone, and the boy turned to him.
"Mr Wayne ..."
Bruce cut him off with a gentle wave of his hand. The boy looked ever so slightly offended, and Bruce blinked. He was not supposed to talk to this boy as a child, he realised. This boy was not Dick or Tim, this was a business contact. He sighed, and glanced over at Alfred, whose crinkled eyes were alight with silent laughter. He sighed.
Note to self: Remember to show respect when talking to business colleagues, no matter their age.
"Mr Kaiba, please. Tomorrow is for business, it is far too late to work at present. Why don't you allow Alfred to show you to your room, and get settled?"
The boy blinked slowly, and muttered something in japanese. Something which ended in the word 'Baka'. He blinked slightly, and made a mental note to refresh his japanese insult vocabulary.
He stood at the bottom of the stairs, watching the boy and his butler ascend to the upper floors of his vast manor. Once they had disappeared, he shook his head. He wanted to know what was wrong with Alfred, though something inside him already knew. He also wanted to know what 'baka' meant specifically, as it was obviously an insult. Strangely, he'd never heard that one before. Maybe it was not something a jilted oriental debutante would say to a playboy like him. But most importantly, he wanted to know exactly how he would keep his secrets if the boy was any way like normal teenagers.
The last thing he needed was an overly curious teenager finding out his secrets. Well, another overly curious teenager.
Scratch all of that. The last thing he needed was a powerful overly curious teenager finding out his secrets. Satisfied, he turned on his heel and went in search of his briefcase. Alfred had hidden the damn thing in the few minutes between their arrival and showing the boy to his room.
Alfred couldn't help but notice the way the boy's eyes flickered to everything that lined the walls along the corridors. He could see the boy was itching to stop and examine some of the paintings. He could see the raging battle between the boy's self control and his curiosity. Self-control was loosing, but only slightly.
He coughed slightly, and opened the door of the room that'd been prepared earlier. The boy blinked, coming out of his stupor, and stepped past the old man and over the threshold of the door. The room was large, spacious and comfortable. One of the best Alfred had been able to find and prepare on such short notice.
Mr Wayne had not yet seemed to grasp how much time preparing for a guest took. Perhapes they should invite more guests? He shook his head slightly, and turned to the boy. The silvery briefcase had been laid on the bed, on top of the small suitcase.
He coughed slightly again, and a pair of haunting blue eyes shot up to meet his from under their hazel curtain.
"Dinner is in one hour, Mr Kaiba. I will return to show you to the dining hall when you are required."
The boy gazed at him for a moment longer, then spoke. The harsh, clipped business voice clashed horribly with his attire.
"I'm afraid I mightn't be able to make it down to dinner. Please express my apologies to Mr Wayne."
Alfred felt anger bubble in the depths of his stomach.
"It would be rude not to attend, Mr Kaiba. Mr Wayne has insisted."
His employer had done nothing of the sort, but Alfred was not about to let the child skip a meal. The boy blinked once more, then straightened.
"I will see you in an hour then," came the clipped voice, before the door slammed in Alfred's face.
Well? Responses? Please leave a review. Pretty please with a cherry on top?