I forgot I never put this up here, and since I might finish the second chapter soon, I figured I would so so now. Enjoy this change of pace from me.
The ship came to a gentle halt at the Duel Academia's main dock, and the excited first years were practically bouncing as they waited for the opportunity to file off of the ship. Most of the first years anyway; one young man with tousled blonde hair hung back, tugging at his new red school coat in nervousness.
After pushing himself again and again and finally completing the written and practical tests, Katsuya Jounouchi was finally at the Duel Academia. Despite this though, he was still ungodly nervous, afraid that a professor would approach him as he got off the ramp, inform him that there was a mistake and that he had to go home. He felt his stomach churn at the thought, and let out a whimper that sounded more like something that would come out of a dog's mouth.
"I wasn't aware they allowed mutts into the academy."
Jounouchi jumped at the voice, spinning around… and colliding head first into a chest draped in a blue coat. The owner of said coat half glared down at him, though he seemed more amused then anything, especially as the blonde bowed and muttered an apology… before eyeing him.
"M'not a mutt," he grumbled.
"Of course not," the blue-coated student replied in a placating manner, smoothing said coat. Jounouchi straightened slightly, having difficulty looking up at his ice blue eyes, feeling like he was looking into an iceberg.
"Uhh…" Jounouchi began, fidgeting as the other student just stared down at him, silent. "Um… I'm Jounouchi Katsuya," he said, offering his hand.
The boy did not take it. "Kaiba Seto."
Jounouchi's hand dropped, as did his jaw. "E-eh?!" he exclaimed, drawing stares and a rather arrogant smirk from Kaiba. "I didn't know the owner's son was attending…" he added, lowering his voice.
"Hm…" Kaiba replied, eyeing him for a moment. "Jounouchi Katsuya… you scored well enough to be placed high in Ra Yellow, though your tardiness to both tests docked your score rather painfully. If you want to be a good mutt, you'll work on that."
Kaiba walked away, joining the other students as the ramp was finally lowered, and leaving Jounouchi staring rather dumbly at his back. It took a moment for everything he said to process, before his expression turned sour.
"Oh, yeah, you have a fair advantage over everyone, you rich bastard," he muttered, shoving his hands in his pockets as he followed. "And I'm not a mutt, goddammit."
On his way into line, he spotted a small boy standing next to a girl, both in blue coats. Normally, he would not have noticed, aside from the fact that the boy's hair was completely wild – not only was it spiked up like some crazy anime character, but it was also three different colors – and the massive golden pendant around his next shaped like an upside down pyramid. Not to mention the fact that the kid was incredibly tiny, and seemed to cling to the girl in complete nervousness. He could not have been any older than nine or ten, making Jounouchi wonder if they normally let in kids that young, or if he was some kind of dueling prodigy.
Jounouchi shook his head, clearing it of thoughts of the boy and Kaiba as he headed down the ramp. Of course, without those distractions, he was left with what his brain had previously been focused on, and he found himself gnawing on his fingernails.
"Careful, mutt. You need your fingers in this school."
Jounouchi jumped again, nearly chomping down on a finger before he snapped his head up, glaring.
"Are you haunting me or something?" he asked. "And dammit, stop calling me that."
The only answer he got in response was an amused chuckle.
All of the students filed into the main building of the Academia, and then off to a massive auditorium, where they grouped themselves together roughly by their dorm houses, though there were a few mixed in next to their friends in other houses. Kaiba remained by Jounouchi, sliding into his seat rather gracefully as the latter flopped down. Once everyone was settled, a television screen slid down from the roof and the lights dimmed.
"We're watching a movie?" Jounouchi asked, blinking.
"Hm…" Kaiba murmured, raising an eyebrow as an image of the principle appeared on the screen. This was not normal… he usually addressed the students personally on their first day…
"Welcome, duelists, to Kaiba Corporation's Duel Academia," Principle Samejima's voice boomed throughout the large room. "Today you begin your journey to becoming the best duelist you can possibly be…"
Kaiba gradually zoned out; not only had he heard this speech a million times before, but he had been there when Samejima presented it to his father. Speaking of which… He tilted his head back, easily spotting the observation window that, until now, he usually stood at, watching the students as his father was watching them now. He had longed for years to be able to be down here; now that he actually was… he could not quite describe how he felt about it.
A sudden pressure against his shoulder followed by a strange buzzing noise quickly snapped him out of his musings. His head whipped around, only to see Jounouchi's head had fallen against said shoulder; he was fast asleep, snoring rather loudly. Kaiba sighed, rubbing his forehead in exasperation.
"Stupid mutt…" he muttered under his breath.
Gonzaboru Kaiba watched the proceedings below him with a neutral expression on his face, cigar clenched firmly between his teeth. He was rather displeased with the presentation this year, wondering what possessed Samejima to play a recording for orientation this time. Not only that, but the collection of students that made it into the school were best described as a motley bunch. He eyed a few of them that he could easily see from his position, particularly the one with the bug glasses and the aqua green hair, and the one with the rather loud red beanie on his head.
Then there was the spiky haired duelist, the one with the massive pendant around his neck. He had seen that one's results and was more than a little impressed. Someone that could easily go up against his own son…
Speaking of which… Gonzaboru's gaze shifted to where he was sitting, easily noticeable considering how much taller he was compared to most of the other students. His eyes quickly snapped over to the Osiris Red blonde beside him, a frown creasing his face. He was going to need to have a serious talk with his son…
The door opened behind him, breaking him from his musings as a tall man entered the room…
"Forgive me, Mister Kaiba," he said. "I was delayed in leaving America."
"Hm…" Gonzaboru replied, removing the cigar from his mouth. "You still have a chance to see the new students, Mister Crawford."
A smirk tugged at Pegasus J. Crawford's lips as he stepped forward, the reflection of his half covered face appearing at Gonzaboru's elbow.
"I heard rumors of dear old Kaiba-boy being soundly trounced in the practical exam," he began after a moment. "There wouldn't happen to be any truth to these rumors, hm…?"
Gonzaboru made a face. "Pegasus, I grow very tired with the way this company is run nowadays. After all, reforming Kaiba Corporation into a gaming company was hardly my idea."
Pegasus's only visible eye watched the elder Kaiba carefully. It was no secret that Seto was not the true son of Gonzaboru, but that did not stop him from coming into favor not only with investors, but within the company as well. They viewed the young man as a bright star for a promising future, especially when he managed to coax Kaiba Corporation away from its weapons of war past. Gonzaboru fought it to the bitter end of course, but quietly and behind the scenes, gathering up those loyal to the original company, and making alliances with people that he normally would not.
Such was business, and Gonzaboru was a shrewd businessman.
"I take it this means you've considered my offer…?" Pegasus asked after a long pause.
"Hm…" Gonzaboru replied, tapping the ash off his cigar. "You may wire the money to my private account after you succeed in smashing this stupid academy to pieces."
"Wonderful!" Pegasus exclaimed rather dramatically. His tone suddenly changed, like he was speaking of some great secret… "May I also deal with the little spy hanging just outside the door?"
There was a soft gasp followed by the scrambling of feet, and Gonzaboru grimaced; the damn nosey brat, Mokuba…
"Get rid of him," he answered. "With Seto occupied here, he won't even know he's gone."
Pegasus half bowed. "Thank you, Mister Kaiba…"
His black hair whipped about his face as he frantically scrambled down the pristine halls of the Duel Academia, but Mokuba Kaiba ignored it, focusing on running as fast as he could. He needed to find his brother, and if not him, the principle or a professor, or someone…!
He rounded a corner, sneakers slipping on the surface, only to smack into someone in a dark suit. Mokuba let out a yelp, slipping away before the man could grab him, only to end up smacking into Pegasus instead.
"Mokuba-boy!" he exclaimed happily. "You're in luck; you're invited to stay at my private island for awhile."
Mokuba made to run off before Pegasus could finish, but the meaty hands of the guard he had smacked into before clamped down on his shoulders, securing him in place as the American leaned forward, giving him a chance to see something golden gleam behind his hair…
"It would be very rude of you not to accept…"
Jounouchi yawned, his mouth wide open as he left the main building, Kaiba walking beside him again. He ended up gagging a moment later, drawing a disgusted look out of the taller boy.
"If you're that hungry, you could have grabbed a sandwich in the cafeteria…" he muttered.
"Not… funny…!" Jounouchi gagged, running for the nearest water fountain, Kaiba right behind him, shaking his head. The blonde practically shoved his head under it, getting more water on himself then in his mouth. He came up a moment later, shaking himself out like a dog would, droplets of water flying everywhere.
"Dammit, mutt!" Kaiba exclaimed, jumping back to avoid the spray.
Jounouchi stopped long enough to growl at Kaiba. "Would you stop calling me that?!"
"I call it as I see it," Kaiba replied smoothly. "You act and sound more like a dog than a human being."
Jounouchi let out a whimper, about to say something in his defense, but the taller boy beat him to it.
"See what I mean?" he asked, amused as the blonde turned almost the same shade of red as his coat. "You even sleep like one, which, by the way, you missed most of orientation."
He took out a rectangular device from his pocket and tossed it to the blonde, an amused smirk appearing on his face as he fumbled to catch it. Jounouchi turned it around in his hands once he managed it, eyeing the cover with the Duel Academia logo emblazoned on it.
Kaiba half looked like he expected that question. "It's your new PDA. It has maps of the island, as well as your schedule, and is also used to contact other duelists. I already programmed my contact number in while you were sleeping."
Jounouchi made a face as he flipped the cover open, locating the stylus and starting to browse around the little device. The first thing he noticed on it was the picture of the massive red dragon, just barely outlined in the background…
"How chummy of you," he replied dryly, locating the contacts and noticing that Kaiba did indeed take the liberty of putting his name in. "So… I'm in Osiris Red…" he mused, bringing up the maps next, the taller boy looking mildly impressed that he did not have to show him how to use it. "How is it over there?"
Kaiba raised an amused eyebrow. "If you have simple tastes, you'll enjoy it," he replied, just as Jounouchi spotted something weird over his shoulder. He did a double take, recognizing that strange spiky hair.
"Hey… that kid again…" he muttered. Kaiba turned around… and his expression instantly turned sour, eyes narrowing. Even Jounouchi could sense his sudden drastic change of mood, if the step he took away from him was any indication. "Friend of yours?"
"He's the one I was paired off against in the practical test," Kaiba hissed, making Jounouchi take another cautious step away.
"Oh…" he said in a soft voice. Judging from Kaiba's reaction, it did not take a genius to figure out the results of that duel… "Well," he said as brightly as he could manage, "since you're so adamant about walking me around all over the place, why don't you show me to the Osiris Red dorm?"
He did not realize he had set himself up for another dog comment until Kaiba smirked. Fortunately, the taller young man did not take the opportunity, but merely motioned for him to follow. As they were walking down the dirt path, however… Jounouchi caught sight of Kaiba's hand, and how he was positioning it like he was holding a dog leash.
He was so going to kill that rich bastard.
After awhile, Jounouchi started to hear the ocean again, and he was beginning to wonder if Kaiba was leading him back to the boat just to be a prick. Just before the path started to get familiar, however, the taller boy veered off, leading him up a steep hill to where a large shack with a red roof was sitting near the edge of a cliff.
"This… is it?" Jounouchi asked, blinking at it. "After everything else on the island, I expected something a little more… grand."
"If you had made it to the tests on time, you wouldn't be here, now would you?" Kaiba sneered, drawing another growl out of the blonde. "Don't worry, considering your base score, I doubt you'll be here for very long. If you can manage not to fall asleep in class, at any rate…"
"Your confidence in me is stifling…" Jounouchi muttered as they approached the shack, Kaiba drawing a lot of stares as they got closer. Obviously, it was not very common for Obelisk Blue students to come anywhere near the red dorm, unless they felt like picking on weaker prey…
"Your room assignment should also be on your PDA," Kaiba said suddenly, stopping at the stairs that led up to the second floor of the shack. "And don't be surprised if you end up bunking with someone. See you in class."
With that, Kaiba abruptly left, the other Osiris Red students staring at him until he was well out of sight. Jounouchi just sighed; it never seemed to fail, he always attracted the weird or the violent, and it would not surprise him in the slightest if the rich bastard was a little bit of both.
Deciding it would be best not to worry about it, he whipped out his PDA again, consulting it a moment, before bounding up the stairs. He glanced at the numbers as he passed, finally locating his dorm room door and reached for the knob, happily shoving it open… only to hear someone curse rather loudly on the other side, followed by a crash. Jounouchi winced, peeking his head inside.
Someone suddenly shot up in front of him, freaking him out. "You better be sorry, yo— …Jounouchi?"
Jounouchi blinked several times, taking in the red coat and large spike of brown hair…
Hiroto Honda grinned devilishly, giving Jounouchi a high five.
"I haven't seen you in ages!" Honda exclaimed, before dropping his voice. "With your record… I thought for sure you wouldn't be getting into this school…"
Jounouchi quickly motioned for him to be silent. "Relax, it's all taken care of. As long as you don't go blabbing anyway."
"Lips are sealed, man," Honda replied, holding his hands up, before stepping aside. "C'mon in; I guess it figures you ended up in Osiris Red."
"Eh?" Jounouchi asked, flopping down on the bottom most bunk, noticing his stuff had already been placed in the room. "Why do you say that?"
"'Cause, Osiris Red churns out more drop outs than any other dorm in the school," Honda answered, and Jounouchi felt his stomach drop. "Ah, well. At least we'll drop out together. Oh, and I claim top bunk."
Jounouchi waved his hand, not even watching as his old middle school friend clamored up to the top bed. A dorm for dropouts… but Kaiba has said he could have been place high up in Ra Yellow! Was it true, or did he just say that to be an ass…? He clenched his fists; true or not, there was no way he was just going to give up, not after how hard he worked to get this far.
A pillow to his head and Honda's voice suddenly brought him back from his thoughts.
"Hey, man, pay attention! Do you know when we eat?"