When Destinies Collide: Acceptance

By Ash Kaiba

DISCLAIMER! I don't own any Yu-Gi-Oh! characters. Wish I did, but I don't. However, I do own any character(s) that you don't recognize. Kathryn and the Takemura family belong to my best friend, fellow author, and beta reader, Katie Mae. (And Kathryn's crush on Bakura. Shh…)

Hello. When I wrote "Cold Reflections" in When Destinies Collide: Preparation, Katie Mae and I decided to write a chapter about Ash's thoughts. To make it the opposite, the title itself is opposite to the first. Enjoy.

Previously on When Destinies Collide: Acceptance: Chapter 7: Kathryn Understands

Kathryn and Kaiba share a dream in his soul room. Chained by fear and hate, her cousin requires assistance…dearly. Kathryn grasps his true meaning and subconsciously makes a vow to protect her cousin.

Chapter 8: Hot Temper

Why, out of all the days, did today have to be the longest? None of the scientists could shut up and act civilized. And I had to be the one stuck with them. Ash Black groaned, staring up at the ceiling. The soft sheets of her bed brushed against her skin. Concern crept around every corner of her mind. The birds sang softly, but even their song couldn't lure her. Mr. Kaiba…

His name floated in and swam around her mind. I think I know why he fancies me. It's only a theory. Could it be that Mr. Kaiba wants to feel secure with a girl? Maybe…maybe not.

"Ash, we're going on a camping trip. Would you like to come?"

"Sorry, Téa. I have a family reunion to go to. Known about that for months."

"Darn…"

"Well, Kathryn was going to try to find Kaiba."

"Seto's…er, I mean Kaiba's going?" I almost blew my cover there. The first time his first name slipped from my mouth. But, I already have a boy…Ted Newman. Yet, I feel something when I am around him. And I can—somehow—sense when he is in trouble. Argh… why can't I get him out of my head? The crush should be over now. Ted started to attend Domino High this week. I can't be somewhere else while giving him the tour around the city.

"The same darkness is also after you."

"What you did is wrong. I'll prove it with this. Even your master has faults of his own. Why don't you try to take him apart with his memories?"

Heishin…is he the same darkness that is after me? Mr. Kaiba defended me in that duel. So, can he really be Seth? I vowed to protect him. Now, guilt gnaws at my soul. I should have arrived sooner.

The more I think about him, the more worried I become. Should I really tell him how I feel? To apologize for my past actions? To tell him that I already know a deadly, dark secret? Ash pondered. The neon numbers jumped to midnight. The girl tossed her body to the side and slept…a dream with her boss and her chasing each other in a field of dandelions.

"Good morning…" the radio buzzed as her hand slid off of it.

Ash growled as she pushed her body up under the covers. Did I just dream about Mr. Kaiba? Yuck…she thought as a chill ran down her spine. Ash threw the covers off and ran to the bathroom. The cold water faucet turned at her command. A river ran free from of its metal cage. Tan hands cupped what they could and splashed her face. Wake up…there is no way you can have a dream about your boss. Not when you have a boyfriend already. She snapped at herself, continuing to slap the icy water against her face. She ordered the faucet to turn off with her hand. The metal complied, forcing the river back into its prison. Ash placed both of her hands on the side of the sink and looked up at the mirror. The crush has to over by now. Ted will be here soon. You can't think of your boss at all. Just for work purposes only. Wait… I have to baby sit grown men this morning. Shades! Double shades!

The girl spun her body around. Every curve lay hidden in the clothing. No boy knew the precise angle, how each one leads into the next. Her aunts scolded her for not showing off her beautiful body, but she ignored them. She agreed to wear a dress once a year. If the boys miss it then, they'll have a year to wait.

"Ashley, breakfast!" The deep voice of the captain rose from the living room.

Ash obeyed his command, silent yet there. She strolled down the hallway and sat herself behind a bowl of cereal. The milk itched to be poured, waiting beside her. She sighed as she tilted the jug, the white water jumping onto the shredded wheat in the bowl. The cubes forced the milk to splash in different directions. Her fingers stroked the spoon in front of her. The "B" engraving on the handle finally started to show wear of the many years it has been in service to them. Ash gently cradled the neck as she scooped the sugar-covered cereal into her mouth. She ate in silence, noting the fake wood on top of its metal legs. The chair seat was unbearably uncomfortable, but she had troubles finding the pads that at least made it a little bearable. Her ankles straddled a leg of the table as sun and moon pajama pants draped from her legs. The matching shirt prevented any male from looking at her. Finally, she laid the spoon to rest as her fingertips struggled to find grip upon the glassy surface. Her thumbs held the bowl over the edge as she brought it up. The cold milk relaxed her throat and chilled her stomach.

She rose from her seat and pushed the chair back under the table. Her legs absently carried her to the sink, its chrome texture shining brightly in an attempt to blind her. She rinsed the bowl and set it in the left sink. Her wet hands dried themselves on the fabric that covered her. With a turn and a small jog, her dirty blonde hair regained its mysterious black shine. She retreated back into the bathroom, gripping the white plastic and forest green rubber handle of her toothbrush. The Colgate Total (A/N: Don't own.) slipped out of its tube and onto the stiff bristles. She dunked the head into the water. The paste foamed as her teeth shouted in joy at being cleaned. After two minutes, she leaned over and rinsed her mouth. Ash washed her face and hid back in her room. There, she traded the pajamas for the usual outfit: black jeans, the black vest, and black boots. Under the vest, she slipped on a light blue T-shirt and dragged a maroon jacket over the vest. She slapped the cell phone onto her belt as her other hand worked her duel belt. She pecked a good-bye on her father's cheek and snagged her helmet.

"Ash!"

The pale eyes shifted over, falling upon a platinum blonde boy who lived one apartment down. "Bakura?"

"Good morning. Don't kill Kaiba's employees, okay?" He grinned.

Ash chuckled at the thought. "I won't. Good morning to you, too." She added as she quickly walked down the steps and up to her motorcycle. She noticed Bakura watching her and waved as the engine whined, complaining that it didn't want to get up this morning. Bakura returned it. At that, Ash steered the bike out of the parking spot and onto the road.

To be continued…

Next chapter in the When Destinies Collide Saga: Chapter 9: Kira Keiko

The hospital grants a visit to Kira Keiko, whom secretly enters the Games Unlimited shop with the help of Kathryn's uncle. Keiko tells Kathryn about herself as Kaiba sleeps, tormented by nightmares.

Review please! If I don't update soon, Happy Easter!