Walk the Long Road
Notes: The characters are not mine, and this ficlit is! I was not planning to write anything more for my Seto/Téa timeline until I finished up the loose ends in The Dance, but this happened and I decided to write it. It takes place following the confession of their feelings as described in The Dance, and was inspired by the 31 Days prompt Take the long road and walk it, as well as by a Seto/Téa music video that used I Hate Everything About You. But it should be able to be read and understood by those who have not read The Dance.
He did not know what to think as he drove home that night.
He had long ago vowed never to let anyone into his heart, other than his brother--and there had been times when even Mokuba had felt left out and that Seto was pushing him away. He hated himself for that, as he knew it had been true. There had been so much that Gozaburo had done to him that had resulted in the locking of his heart. It was the only way to run a successful business. And he had come to feel that it was the best way to deal with people, too. Most of them were selfish and greedy, as he had often discovered before Gozaburo had even taken them in. The orphanage had never been a pleasant place to be.
But he had never wanted to exclude his brother. All the decisions he had ever made were, in the end, for Mokuba's sake. He had wanted so badly to give to Mokuba what he had never had himself--stability, a warm house, the chance to have a full and rich childhood. . . .
His thoughts wandered back to the original subject that had thrown him into such a quandary.
He had thought she had only been worried for Mokuba's sake, when she had learned of the shooting at the company earlier that day. After all, it was not a secret that she had despised him at first. And he had not been that fond of her, either. She had been an annoyance, with her preaching of friendship and unity and how they needed to work together.
But she had also been one of the few people willing and unafraid to stand up to him. He had definitely taken note of that. And over the course of the strange and bewildering mysteries they had been solving, he had learned much more about her. She was a strong and determined person, and unlike many whom he had dealt with, she was logical. While they had experienced far too much of the supernatural, they both still tried to find other, rational explanations for what happened to them. She did not constantly drone about destiny or other hocus-pocus, even though she had to accept at times that what was taking place was otherworldly.
Maybe that was one reason why he had become so frustrated over the last weeks. What had started happening to him was not logical. The feelings he held for her he could not explain. He had tried to deny them; after all, it was not something that should be happening to him.
But even Mokuba had noticed.
"You love her, don't you, big brother?" he had asked one evening not that long ago, after she had been by to ask about something concerning their latest mystery.
He had froze, turning to stare in disbelief. "Of course I don't," he had retorted. "Where did you get that idea?"
Mokuba had shrugged. "Just the way you acted around her, and looked at her. . . ." And he had smirked in mischief. "And I think she feels the same way about you, Seto."
"That's ridiculous," he had answered immediately.
And then today, she had confessed. She had screamed at him that she was worried about him because she loved him.
He had not known how to react. Suddenly nothing was simple. He could not keep telling himself that she would never feel that way about him, even if his own feelings were genuine. He had turned away, telling her that she should have found someone else.
But she had not given up. She had walked around to face him again, insisting that it was him. And she had kissed him.
That kiss had finally unlocked his feelings. It had filled him with a myriad of sensations that he both enjoyed and hated. And he had felt the sincerity in the action. She did love him. Then he had admitted the same to her.
And now . . . what were they going to do about it? He was extremely uncomfortable with the situation. He had even told her not to expect much from him and that it likely would not work out. She had said that she was willing to take that chance.
"There's a very different person locked inside your heart, Seto Kaiba. I've seen glimpses of him. And I'm not satisfied with just that. I want to see more."
He had crossed his arms. "And you think I'll show this other person to you?" he had asked, his tone half-mocking.
"Yes," she had said without hesitation. "I think you will. You've already started to."
He had offered to take her home, still feeling awkward. She had agreed. The ride had been mostly silent, with each trying to sort through the events of the last moments. When they had arrived at her home, she had thanked him, saying she would come by to see him the next day, and had gotten out. He had watched her go up the walkway and let herself in the front door before driving away.
It was taking a long time to get back to Kaiba Manor from here. But it was nothing compared to the road upon which he and Téa were now standing. They had taken the first step onto it, and if they continued, there was no telling where they might end up. Something could go very wrong, as he had predicted. But supposing that did not happen, and they continued to forge their way down this rock-strewn path, then what? He had never pictured himself with a significant other. Would it become even deeper?
He was getting too far ahead of himself. It would probably fall apart in the next day or two. Maybe in the morning they would both realize how foolish they had been and call it all off.
Or maybe they would not.
One thing he did know--Mokuba was not going to be surprised.