We did go to bed, but I didn't feel much like sleeping. I don't think Seto did either. He began telling me about different things that had been happening. And knowing how much I loved hearing about, which employees he had chewed out and how thoroughly. I was even laughing a couple times. It felt good.
And so safe. I eventually did fall asleep, listening to Seto's heartbeat, but was jolted wide awake a few hours later.
"Pup, you're freezing," Seto said to me.
"Just- Just a nightmare," I managed.
I knew that's what it had been, but I couldn't remember it. However, it didn't take rocket science to figure it out. So, of course Seto was on to me.
"Pup, if you hide from me, I can't help you. And you know about much patience I have."
Sounded more like a threat than an offer to help, but hey… "Honest, I don't remember all of it. All I do remember is his face when… when he was about to…"
"And did that fragile psyche forget about my foot sending him across the room?"
I smiled. So logical. "God, I've missed you," I said, snuggling closer to him.
He stiffened, then relaxed against me. "I… missed you too, Pup," he admitted.
Eventually, I was able to sleep again, and did so until dawn. Seto woke then, he always did, and I decided to stay up with him. Being alone was still not high on my priority list. We went straight down to the kitchen. Coffee was already brewing, and when the maid saw me, she poured some hot water into a mug. My morning hot chocolate.
"Thanks, Mary," I said as she handed to me. She smiled. "Hey Seto."
"What's today? Saturday?"
"Eh, close enough."
"It's Friday to the rest of the world. To you, it's Saturday."
I laughed. "And why's that?"
"You're entitled to it."
My eyes widened. "Does that mean… you're not going into KaibaCorp?"
"Hey, the puppy can learn."
It was really weird. I knew everything that had happened, but I didn't really think about, unless Seto left the room without me. It was like having him around made everything ok, a very strange feeling. So I was around him as much I could, something that would normally grate on his nerves. It wasn't now, but I knew it was only a matter of time before I would have to face my fear. But until then…
"Hey Seto?" I asked while we were on the sofa. The tv was on, but he had some paperwork in front of him and I wasn't really interested. "Where's Mokie?"
"He went to Muto's for the night. He'll be back after school."
"Everyone else too?"
"With my luck, it seems likely."
"Aww, you're too hard on them."
"I do my best."
Was that a smirk?!?! "You bastard," I said.
"No, as far as I know my parents were married when I was conceived."
"Ya jerk!" I yelled jokingly, taking a punch. The papers went flying as Seto caught my swing and pulled me against him.
"Now Pup, you should know better than that." His grip was loose; I could get away whenever I wanted, except that I really didn't.
"You make everything all right," I told him, before I even realized what I was saying.
"What are you talking about?" he asked.
"I… have no idea," I replied honestly.
"Stupid pup," he mumbled.
School got out at three thirty. Mokie and the gang were at the front door at quarter of. They made their presence known with a loud "HI JOU AND KAIBA!!!" over the intercom, scaring the both of us. Seto stormed over to the intercom by the front door. I followed, but stayed in the living room doorway.
"JUST GET MOKUBA TO LET YOU LOSERS IN!!!" The venom in his voice could take out a small country. Like Asia.
"It's more fun this way!" Tristan's voice said. Everyone was laughing in the background. Mokie included.
"Pup, I need a reason /not/ to call the cops on them. Now."
Snickering, I just walked over and pressed the button next to the intercom that opened the front gates. "Oh, smart Pup. Let the animals in. Like I don't have my hands full with one already," he grumbled, walking back to the living room.
At which point I challenged myself. Could I stay alone in the entranceway until my friends made it to the front door? It was worth a shot.
As soon as Seto was out of my sight, fear gripped me again. It felt as if it was choking me, cutting off my air. 'No,' I told myself. 'You have to be stronger than this. Seto would laugh at you for being afraid for no reason. The gang'll be at the door in a few seconds. That's it,' I said, as the fear lessened, just a bit. 'They're probably running across the lawn, right over the grass, purely to piss off-'
There was knocking at the door, talking and laughter on the other side. The fear vanished. Smiling, I let my friends in.
After they'd left, I got Mokuba by himself. "Hey Mokie," I asked. "How's… how's Sara?"
He smiled, as if in relief. "I'm so glad you asked," he said. "Brother refused to let me bring her up. He wasn't sure how you'd react."
I shook my head. "Yeah, that sounds like Seto."
"She'll love to hear that you asked about her. She's staying at her mom's house. I don't know if you knew, but her parents are divorced."
"So, did this guy have a crush on Seto or something?"
Mokuba laughed. "Yeah, pretty much," he said. "But I guess when Seto refused to forget about you, he kinda snapped. The night before Brother found you, Shido tried to hit on him. Brother didn't react well, but after he calmed down, he began to put two and two together."
"Shido… I've heard that name…"
"He's one of Brother's employees. He gets yelled at a lot," Mokie offered.
Then it clicked. "Of course! In Seto's office, just before the bastard took me! He was getting really chewed out. It was hilarious!"
He laughed, shaking his head. "Jou, what are we going to do with you?" His expression turned serious. "Jou?"
"Would… would you mind checking up on Sara? She's been really worried about you. Her mom told me she refuses to be by herself."
"You didn't by any chance notice I'm acting the same way?"
"Heh. You got me."
"Where does she live?"
Me and Mokuba went down to the house the next day. I could tell Seto was anxious about me going anywhere so soon after finally being back, but he wasn't going to stop me. He did relax a lot when I agreed to take a limo. I followed Mokie into the house. The woman who answered the door smiled when she saw me. "Jounouchi Katusya, right?" she asked me before I could introduce myself.
"Uh… yeah," I replied, not sure how she knew me.
"My name is Haruno Hikari," she told me. "I'm Sara's mother."
"Pleased to meet you."
She let us both in, leading us right up to Sara's room. She was in there with another woman, dressed like a maid. And she was holding a very worn-looking teddy bear.
"Miss Sara," I say. "That Setsuna?"
She looked up, and her eyes brightened. "Jounouchi-san!!!" she yelled, running over to hug me. But as soon as she did, she backed off. "J- Jounouchi-san… are you mad at me?" she asked quietly, facing the floor.
I knelt down to her level, flinching slightly at the pain. "Mad? I'm mot mad at you, Miss Sara. Why would you think that?"
"I… I didn't get you out. I… just kept believing Daddy…"
Unable to hear to her blame herself, I held her close. "What happened to me was not your fault. I won't listen to anymore of that, Miss Sara."
Finally, she hugged be back, crying. And somehow, I got the feeling that no matter what came after this, everything would be just fine.
A/N: What do you think of my ending?
Yami!Muse: It's ok.
Seto!Muse: Too short. You kept people waiting for this?
Jou!Muse: I got to be badass!!! Score!!!