All rights and affiliation reserved solely to Kazuki Takahashi. I claim no proprietorship to Yu-Gi-Oh.


A Yu-Gi-Oh Fan Fiction

Just a Little Closer

Warm sunlight moved against the window. The early morning birds chirped, perched on tree branches singing elatedly. Euneya Mazaki, wrapped in a towel after a shower wiped the fog off the mirror to inspect herself. She lingered for a moment and glanced at clock on her vanity in the bedroom.

Crap, late again.

It was not her fault for sleeping in. She had been imprisoned at work until early morning and barely managed to crawl back home to snuggle her beloved pillows that missed her as she much as she. If sneaking between the sheets for thirty minutes with the already escalading sun on the horizon before another exhausting day incited berating from superiors, she may as well refuse to go and indulge in rest—for the sake of her health, of course.

She hassled with her freshly ironed clothes that refused to be worn, an uncomely forewarning to avoid the disastrous day ahead. They complained and grudgingly came on, and she allowed herself another inspection in the mirror. Her bag saddled the door shut, keeping her from leaving and using the portal for whatever reason. She tugged it on her shoulder and stepped out.

Traffic headlights winked past the corner of his eyes and winked on his limo. Seto Kaiba drearily listened to the phone line.

"We're thrilled to have received your endorsement, Kaiba-sama. This weekend we're having a dinner in your honor." The Director of Minoru Domino Orphanage exclaimed passionately, much to Kaiba's annoyance. "Please, accept our gift and join u-"

Cut the babble already, you oaf.

Impatience derived from the drawling conversation made him clench his teeth and clutch to wise words. "Thank you, Director Isao. I will be there."

"Splendid!" An obnoxious chuckle resounded through the line. "We will see you there."

Fed up listening to the grainy voice, he hung up in relief. Now he'd make sure the secretary would receive all calls form the infernal man. Last weekend he invested selflessly in the orphanage, surpassing previous donations and the Director continuously pestered him with unnecessary phone calls that Kaiba was tempted to seize contributions.

Weren't it for the personal letter he received entailing the orphanage's severe conditions he'd never taken interest. Soon curiosity and a short drive to the site magnified the value in a home so similar to one he escaped. Standing in the parking lot of the rubble makeshift building, Kaiba who wasn't always a multi-millionaire remembered his wrenching youth shared with his sibling and made his decision.

It's the least I can do.

Luminous blue eyes drew shut in pain, the haunting memory of the scanty two-walled room, nights awakened from hungry stomach and the constant warding off bullies from Mokuba—they would forever haunt him and no one would ever know.

The limo eased to a stop and the chauffeur scurried to open his door. He stepped out with briefcase in hand and trench coat floating about his heels in all his electric glory.

The Domino Mall was clustered with tourists, children and countless money spenders. Reaching in his pocket, he procured a pair of black rimless sunglasses as he passed through the entrance held unseeingly by shadows or citizens who were floored to behold his presence. He caught the faint winks of camera flashes traipse behind his back. Everyone who was anyone recognized him yet he wasn't one to give an inkling of intrigue. Not at the blushing girls shrilling his name, not the tourists asking for autographs and not even the proprietors advertising his latest products or dueling kids waving artificial replicas of the Blue Eyes White Dragon.

He was there for one reason alone, his little brother, Mokuba.

Mokuba Kaiba entranced with his DS paid no heed to where his legs led him. Promptly against bodies, poles, chairs and close to tumbling in a fountain, twice. With eyes glued to the screen, his legs proceeded to march in the perimeter of the aisle. He didn't care whom he bummed into but today was the day he'd make a high record and beat his brother's score.

So close—I'm going to do it!

"Ow!" A soft voice yelped. Little did he notice he stepped on someone's foot.

Mokuba tore his eyes from the game to peer up at a brunette girl hopping on one foot. "S-sorry" He gaped apologetically at a sublime face condoning age that only softened with mature olive eyes.

She dismissed it. "No, it's ok. I'll be fine." She spotted a brown bench and sat down to appropriate her unruly shoelaces. If the boy hadn't stopped her, she might not have fixed them at all. Sooner or later she might have tripped in some disgraceful display easily obtainable and not so easily forgettable. If her pride could talk, it'd badger and kick her as the recipient of redundant humiliation.

Mokuba took her in consideration. Sheepishly he gravitated to the bench and joined her. "It was my fault, I'm very sorry."

"No problem." She gestured to his game. "What're you playing, by the way?"

"Mystery P.I."

"Sounds interesting." She smirked.

"It is but I have yet to beat my brother's score." He revealed the score board, "See, I'm real close."

Intrigued, she asked how to play and he explained rather enthusiastically that someone else expressed similar interest as he.

"I'm Euneya, and you are?" She asked.

He smiled cheekily. "Mokuba."

They shared another handful of minutes as Mokuba crept dangerously to victory and replacing high scores.

Euneya registered she was, again, short on time and rose. "Mokuba, I have to go now. It was nice meeting you." She waved.

"Same to you, Euneya." She is so nice... He found himself ruminating and returned to the game. Three minutes in the game, a hand suddenly knocked the DS out of his hand. Startled, Mokuba looked up at two glaring boys.

"Hey, why did you do that?"

The tall boy grabbed him by the collar. "My brother wants the game, and I always make sure he gets what he wants."

Prying away, Mokuba rebuked, "Get your own. Why do you want someone else's things?"

He merely tossed the DS to his sibling with a snort. "Can't you see that I just did, what're you doing to do about that?" The boy taunted.

Furiously Mokuba gritted, "Give it back, it's mine!" He lunged for it but the younger of the two brothers waved it over his head.

"Haha, too bad it's mine now." He beamed at his brother.

"Wh-why are you doing this?" Mokuba suttered under his breath. "Why are you taking my stuff?"

"You got a hearing problem or something?" The taller boy shoved him on the bench. "It's not like you can't get more. Tell your onii-sama to buy you another one. He has tons, doesn't he? Heh." He grinned and gestured to his brother to follow. "Let's go, Jiro."

Mokuba knew them of course. They both went to the same school. The bother's always bothered him and stole his lunch and sketchbooks. The other week Jiro took his duel deck and aware of the culprit's identity, Mokuba told his Sensei who in return demanded to check their bags. Tucked away in Jiro's pockets was indeed Mokuba's stolen deck. The incident alone enforced Ken to retaliate. Since then he'd been nick-picking and taunting the younger Kaiba at any given opportunity.

Wiping the tear from the corner of his eye, he watched torturously as the brothers played his game in front of him. The one of a kind DS his brother had created specially for him for his birthday gift.

"No, like this, Jiro. Turn left, ok. Faster, c'mon!" Ken cheered. "There we go."

A flare of anger so extreme and black swirled in his chest. He wished he'd never been subjected to bullies. He wish he'd never have to see them again. He wish they'd simply leave him alone. Fiercely Mokuba shot up and lunged clumsily at Jiro, snagging the DS. He struggled and shoved the boy roughly on the ground. Jiro landed on his elbow, howling in pain.

"Jiro!" Seething, Ken punched Mokuba on the face but it had yet to deter him from plucking the game out of Jiro's fingers. "It's mine, not yours. My big brother made it for me." Mokuba screamed.

Ken threw Mokuba off of his brother. "Think you're so tough, huh?" He drew Mokuba up with the strength of an adult and punched him in the stomach, pelting viciously.

"It's mine, not yours! My big brother made it for me!"

Why did the voice sound familiar? She turned in the designated direction of the scream, hunting the bustling crowd to pin the imaginary sound that had been utterly real and nerve wrecking.

"Are you there, Euneya?"

"Yea, I'm here." She returned to the phone call. "Sorry, Anzu-chan, can I call you back?" She asked her cousin.

Anzu sighed in response. "Ok, I have to go too. The manager is calling me. Take care!"

"You too." The line disconnected.

Euneya averted from the store she was about to enter. She retraced her steps to the devastating scene, or one similar to what often conveyed during recess hours in the playground. On the floor, curled in a ball and heavily wounded was the boy she had met earlier. Another boy hovered kicking and cursing succinctly in fury.

"Hey!" Euneya darted toward him. "What're you doing?" She tugged him around firmly, her grip solid and hotter than fire.

He stepped threateningly against Euneya. "Who the hell are you? Never seen you around him."

"What do you think you're doing?" She growled, "What'd he do to you?"

"I'm doing what anyone would!" He shrieked. "He hit my brother."

Shakily Mokuba sat up, "L-liar. He took my DS first. I just wanted to get it back."

The boy scoffed at Mokuba. "You're the one who's lying. That DS belongs to my brother, idiot!" He stared back at Euneya with a swagger.

She raised a brow, obviously not deceived by the lie.

Ken tried not to move as she approached.

"Why not tell me what game is in it?" She prompted.

Uneasily he looked at Jiro who retreated in the crowd. "Uh, what? I know what game it is." Ken spat with oozing repugnance.

"Ok, then?" Euneya waited.

"Why?" Ken challenged, "Why should I tell you, what are you gonna do about it?"

Looking away from Mokuba, Euneya went to Jiro. "Why? Because the game is called Mystery P.I and Mokuba and I have played it before. Need I add, we played it together?"

The color in his face faded. "Mm-Mokuba..." Ken stuttered.

"One more thing," Euneya shook her head at the nametag on the underside. "There's a name tag here. Unless you're Mokuba, this is not your property. Last I recalled Mokuba is that boy over there. Prove me wrong or show me your identification and we'll see if this is really yours. However I don't think it'll be necessary." She gradually moved to Mokuba and guided the boy back up.

Ken raptly whirled around and dashed in the crowd. Not knowing what to do, Jiro sprinted after him.

Euneya helped Mokuba to the bench and returned him the game.

He smiled appreciatively. "Thank you, Euneya." He grunted sorely.

While wiping the sweat from his forehead, she tried to flatten the mess that was his hair and failed miserably, she laughed instead. "I can't deal with this hair of yours."

"It's ok. My hair is really crazy." Shyly Mokuba patted the unbound tresses.

She held back by his side, wishing to help him forget the ordeal and the calamity of physical pain that wafted into his features. "Mokuba, do you want something to drink or eat, my treat?"

"No, I'm waiting for my brother. He came to meet a business associate and will be here any minute." Mokuba queried the mall with hopeful eyes. He didn't want to be with anyone but his brother right now.

"In that case, do you mind if I wait with you?" Euneya proposed softly.

"Don't worry about me." Mokuba smiled, "I don't think Ken and Jiro are coming back. Thanks for scaring them away."

"I didn't do anything but they were being ridiculous."

He noticed her check her watch for the forth time. "If you have to leave, go ahead. I've already caused you too much trouble today."

She resisted and shook her head. "It's no trouble. Once you're late, there's no point in rushing. I came here to fill an order at a catering shop, I'll just say it took me longer than expected."

Mokuba grinned, "My big brother reserved the See's Candy store for my birthday. He knows how much I love candy."

"That's nice of him."

"I know, he can be sweet when he wants to be. Otherwise, he's not." Mokuba chuckled. "People don't usually get along with him. On the inside he's nurturing and valiant but on the outside..."

Abruptly he stood up from the chair, briefcase armed and ready to leave. "Make sure there are no issues after this." Kaiba hissed at the quivering owner.

"Hai, Kaiba-sama." The manager bowed. "Allow me to show you the out."

"No need." Kaiba barked. "I can take it from here. Remember," Steel blue lanced the balding man, "Make sure to inform the company of the shipments immediately."

"H-Hai, Kaiba-sama." He was left speaking to the flaring end of the trench coat as its owner left the room beforehand.

Kaiba was walking in the figurative crowd of the Domino Mall. Bored out of his mind, he glanced at his watch and searched for his brother. A sound emitted through his coat, insisting to be silenced so he reached for the phone. "What?"

"Big brother, where are you?" Chimed Mokuba's voice on the other line.

A resistant smile encompassed his lips. "At the electronics center, why aren't you here, Moki?"

"Actually I was waiting for you to get me. Wait, where are you going?" The question was directed at someone else. Soon another voice responded in the pile of noises. "Oh, big brother, meet us at the Food Court. See you soon." He hung up.

Kaiba gave his cell phone a bizarre glare. Perhaps he happened on a friend from school. He hoped with good reason neither Mokuba nor his friend were high on sugar.

Upon reaching the Food Court, needless to say Kaiba targeted his brother drinking something sugary. He adopted a grim frown as he crossed the room. The turbulence of his hair and clothes left a questioning stare as another questioned was answered. Mokuba's school friend—wasn't from school, oddly.

"Mokuba." His steely tone didn't have the same affect on his brother as it did on his others.

Mokuba brightly looked up, "Big Brother!" He jumped up from the chair only to slump back in pain.

Seeing him this way, Kaiba took note of his bruises for the first time that lured him to a heartbreaking realization. "Who did this to you?" He grabbed his brother. The force of his action scared the woman sitting across Mokuba. His briefcase had flown somewhere on the floor in the process.

Kneeling to get a better view of the marks, Kaiba demanded. "Do I need to repeat myself, who did this to you, Mokuba?" Concern sliced with an edge of torrid anger grained his tone.

Mokuba's eyes went toward Euneya before hesitantly relapsing into his brother's. "Some boys, it's no big deal, big brother! I'm fine." Detaching himself from Kaiba's hold, he stood up and gestured to himself. Pain injected up his abdomen, and he grunted in an attempt to stand upright but sagged tearfully. Euneya supported him back in the chair.

Molten blue eyes became conscious of the second pair of hands steading Mokuba. At first the pale hands looked fragile until they moved on his and guided Mokuba into the chair properly. The softness of her palm was noticeable, as was the effeminate fingers on top of his. She looked at him and matched his gaze equally. He thought he saw the slightest tinge of pink on her cheeks. She removed her hand and set it on Mokuba's shoulder.

"Don't move so fast," She told him quietly. "You need to take it easy."

Kaibe slowly regained his height and folded his arms to tower her with a questioning look. "I assume you know what happened?" He knew Mokuba would try to hide details.

Euneya met his eyes calmly, "I do. Mokuba got in fight with two boys. They were trying to steal his DS."

Mokuba tugged at Kaiba's sleeve gently. "I got it back big brother. I won't let them take what you gave me."

"Fool." Kaiba hissed, "It's just a game. You can have more."

"But it won't be the same big brother. You gave me this one on my birthday" Mokuba gaped at the DS on the table.

So that's why he holds it so dearly. Euneya pressed a soothing hand to his cheek. "Mokuba, I know what you mean and I'm glad you want to keep something that means a lot to you."

"Nonetheless it was a futile fight." Kaiba objected.

Euneya spoke without thought, "He did what he thought was right. The game holds sentimental value to him."

Kaiba's cold eyes shot her up and down critically. "And who are you?"

With all the occurrence, they had skipped introductions. She sighed a little impatiently under her breath. "Euneya Mazaki."

"You will be compensated for your trouble."

Shaking her head, she stepped back. "Not to worry. I only wanted to make sure Mokuba wasn't badly hurt and he'd be received safely."

Kaiba narrowed his eyes with severe meaning. "I insist."

An uneasy pause ensued. Then Euneya said. "I didn't help Mokuba for compensation." Glancing at the helpless boy, she squeezed his hand comfortingly. "It's my job." She turned only to be confined to Kaiba's glowing stare.

Such blue eyes.

Neither said a word and Mokuba felt a stab of being left out in their mute staring contest. Like their gazes, they refused to budge.

Her lips parted.

His eyes flickered at the movement, breaking the stillness.

Kaiba, standing with folded arms, towering Euneya in all his mighty glory broke the silence at long last. "Mokuba, let's go." His eyes not even remotely warm as they moved over her.

"Ok, big brother." Slowly he stood up and respectfully smiled at Euneya. "Thanks for your help, take care."

"Same to you, Mokuba." She waved.

Once they were out of sight, her lungs throbbed for respite and oxygen. She sucked breaths through her mouth and called her work to update on the source of her delay-or not the source but an unprecedented obligation she couldn't ignore.

"Good, the dinner this weekend must be refine and exceed all expectations. I'm counting on you, Euneya. We have an important guest coming. Our endorser isn't some ostentatious mongrel, you know."

"I do. I was the one who wrote to him about our financial situation, remember?" Euneya replied.

"Oh, all right. Well come soon. The kids are waiting for you." Director Isao replied.

"Sure thing, I'm heading back right now." She pocketed the cell and wandered to her car in the parking lot.

Minoru Domino Orphanage was not the grandest or supreme of orphanages available. Despite that, it was home to one of the largest concentration of orphans in the Domino, Japan. Euneya began as a volunteer in Domino hospital in the mental facility where she was introduced to the levels of congenital defections in children. She had been offered a temporary position at the orphanage being that her fatigue-proof work habits were unbeatable. Director Isao promptly made her a permanent employee. It was not the intensity of rummaging through children's profiles and matching them with potential couples or parents, rather it was her soulful dedication to help transform the lives of needy children why she condoned sleep, among other things women her age didn't.

Euneya parked her small beat-up car. When she closed the door it released a sibilant groan then a sudden crash blasted from somewhere in the engine seconds after she walked three steps away. She whipped around. The crash occurred occasionally, but as of recent it had become frequent. She better take it to the shop and get a check up. People always gawked and muttered offensively at the darn machine. She had owned it since she was sixteen. It ran sufficiently smooth for three years-that was when it wanted to.

Sighing, Euneya went inside the orphanage. Maybe it was time for a new car. Too bad she was attached to this one. Replacing her shoes for a pair of sandals, she entered the vacant room.

The orphanage consisted of three staff members Director Isao Arata, the gentle Gorou-san who was five years her older and herself. Due to the poor sponsorship the orphanage suffered within the last two years as a result of patrons cutting back. There was hardly cash flow in the orphanage and the children were rarely adopted.

A dark haired male pushed the shoujo screen. "Euneya-sama!" Gorou approached, "Where have you been? The children wanted to see you."

Sheepishly Euneya explained why she was held up at the mall. Gorou nodded and followed her inside after closing the screen.

"Euneya, Euneya!"

"Yay, you came!"

"Play with us Euneya!"

Children younger than ten danced happily into the room and engulfed her with hugs.

"Where did you go, Euneya? You said you were coming right back?" Hisoka spoke up from the corner.

Euneya covered her face. "Oh, sorry, sorry. I tried to hurry but things happened. Don't be upset, I'm here now, mm?" She peered into their giggling faces.

"Let's play hide and seek." One of the girls cheered.

Euneya turned around, a hand over her eyes. "All right. I'm counting to ten."

"Ok!" They dispersed like flocks in the changing wind.

"One, two, three..." The sound of footfalls scampered in all corners. "Four, five, six, seven," The room had silenced when she finished the count.

"Here I come!" Euneya leapt around, charging across the room. "Where are they, where could they be, behind the curtain?" She lifted the shade to find none there. "Nope. Behind the stand, maybe?"

A stifled laughter echoed from the left corner.

"How about the shoujo screen?" Euneya gestured to Gorou.

"Hmm." He tapped his chin.

"Do you see anyone there?"

Throwing his hands guilelessly, he sighed. "No, where can they be? They were just here, they're getting smarter with this game."

Euneya gestured him to follow him, "Hmm, I think...I think they are outside."

Gorou gasped, "I have a feeling they are there too!" He put a hand on his mouth to prevent laughing aloud.

Opening the screen, they strolled out. As they left, the children crept out of their hideouts.

"Where did they go?"

"Haha, this is halirious!" Hisoka rolled on the floor.

"They'll never find us now." A little girl giggled.

"Shh, let's keep hiding. We can't let them find us." Hisoka reminded.

Suddenly the screen door flung wide to reveal a pair of baleful of masked beasts with feather-heads. "Get them!" A muffled voice behind one of the red masks bellowed.

The kids screamed, scattering in all direction from the masked fiends.

"Run, run as fast as you can but we will catch you. MUAHAH!" A masked monster snatched a girl by the waist. She screamed out from laughter as a pair of hands tickled her feet and underarms.

Gorou carried two children and flew across the room. Squealing with delight and the wind kissing their skin, they flapped their legs as they took flight under his arms. Both monsters agreed on tackling Hisoka. They tickled his feet that he laughed until he cried. When all the kids were panting with exhaustion, the two monsters unmasked themselves.

"It's Euneya and Gorou, we knew it." They cried.

Gorou stood up from the floor. "Euneya, let's get their dinner ready." He suggested.

She agreed and followed him out of the room. "Ok, be good for a while. We'll be back." Euneya closed the screen door.

"Ok!" The kids chimed musically.

Why did this have to happen now? Of course on the day she happened to come home early, there was nothing salvageable in the kitchen.

"Why?" Euneya banged her head on the fridge door. Her stomach protested ferociously, "Ok, ok, I know I know." She peered in the fridge again for a miracle sandwich.

No use...

She checked the pantry for the third time but nothing chewable danced into view. Shrugging on her coat, she grabbed her keys. A quick run to the grocery store would solve her hunger pains. Not that an hour before midnight was the perfect time for grocery shopping but the benefit was in the lack of crowds at such a time and she was only interested in finding something to stuff her face with.

Kaiba had set out a list of things for Mokuba. No rigorous movement, no games, remain bed ridden and a soluble diet.

"No candy?" Mokuba shrieked in horror. "I was physically beaten. I don't have a disease, big brother!"

The indifference in Kaiba denoted protests were as idle as tears. "This will show you not to get in a fight again, Mokuba." Kaiba draped on his coat.

"You're taking advantage of this. I know it."

"No, Moki," Kaiba turned on him with a firm look. "I'm trying to make a point."

"But, but, bu—"

"No buts." Kaiba returned.

"B—"

"Moki..." Kaiba waited warningly.

Mokuba yanked his comforter to his chin. "Make sure to get me some soup."

"No, I'm getting you pasta."

"Ha-Ha, big brother," Mokuba rolled his eyes at his brother's lame humor. "I want some ramen."

Wrapping a scarf around his neck, Kaiba approached the bed. "Anything else?"

"A magazine would be nice. " Mokuba smiled innocently, "And maybe some extra pillows. Can I get some cocoa with marshmallows? Oh, oh, also get cookies with that too?"

"Yes," Kaiba mustered with a slight bite of his teeth, "Your Highness."

"While you're at it, make sure the cookies are chocolate chip. And I want some music. I thought I had it. Where is my ipod?" Mokuba pressed.

Kaiba walked off with snort, "Ask your maid since it's not me."

"Big brother!" Mokuba whined.

Exasperated, Kaiba reopened the door to his bedroom, grumbling monotonously, "What?"

"Can I get a smooch?" Mokuba blinked hopefully at Kaiba.

Testing his brother was a temptation ordained only to him, and he'd resource it as often as possible. Since his brother wanted to teach him a bed-ridden lesson to avoid fights, he ought take advantage of his helplessness and push Kaiba's buttons—all of his buttons while he was at it.

"I want a smooch right here." Mokuba pointed on his forehead. "Nothing sloppy. Short and gentle. Hurry." He ordered, like a king mandating his servant.

Kaiba grunted deep in his throat. "Fine." Grouchily he loomed over Mokuba and tapped his mouth on the forehead. "There, now sleep."

"You're sweet, big brother." Mokuba crooned. "I wish you'd kiss me good night all the time."

"Whatever. Sleep or I poison you." Kaiba growled.

"Aww." Mokuba bolted up and grabbed Kaiba round the waist, preventing him from any furtive escape out the door. "You know you love me. I'm all you have."

Kaiba shoved him on the bed with a fluid thrust of his elbow. "Moki, go to bed or I'll make a female robot army replicating your face. You don't want another Virtual Duel System repetition, do you?"

In the quietness, Mokuba shuddered in fear. "You win. I'll sleep, I'll sleep." Hench, he began snoring.

Kaiba marched down the stairs of the foyer, car key in hand. A guard opened the doors, fleshed with anxiety and asked. "Kaiba-sama, where are you going so late at night?"

"Getting Mokuba medicine."

The guard volunteered to the task instead.

"No." Kaiba shooed him aside as he would a pesky dung fly. "I'll go myself."

"Are-are you sure?"

He resumed entering the black convertible and started the ignition. The engine revered loudly in the chilly night. The guard stood back and watched the reversing vehicle head through the main gates of the mansion. He went out for drives due to stress but hearing his concern for Mokuba illuminated the situation differently. The guard returned to his post.

He wanted Mokuba to sleep soundly, therefore, purchasing some medicine appealed to the situation. Still he was angered at the thought of Mokuba getting in a fight. Previous experiences taught him awfully well Mokuba was an incapable instigator. His brother had the softest soul in the world and wouldn't dare raise his hands on anyone.

But for a video game? Not just any. The one he had made. As it would have it, Mokuba regarded it reverently. Suddenly Kaiba wanted to dismiss everything that happened in the day but failed. He wanted his brother never to be picked on again. When they lived in the orphanage, Mokuba always fell victim to someone's fist.

That's it. I'm enrolling him in a self-defense class.

He passed by a grocery outlet that was open after midnight. Making a U-turn at the light, Kaiba drove into the empty parking. Several feet away, there was a beaten up sad excuse of a car and he let disgust paint over his stern features.

The things looks like it's begging for someone to crash and kill it at the junk yard.

He aborted the vehicle and entered the store. There was something neat about the quaint, not so average grocery store. His timing was perfect. No one recognized him. He wouldn't be bothered. A female at the store entrance held out a shopping basket for him. He glared at the diseased handles and declined gruffly. He didn't need to carry a lot of things anyway. Merely some sleeping medicine for Mokuba, food and he could leave soon.

He browsed the soup aisle, aware of how unhealthy and high in carbs they canned soups were but selected two cans of High Protein Chicken Soup. He made a swift turn in the biscuit section in search of soft crackers. He didn't want Mokuba to eat hard food for a while—who cares if the injury was on the outside, soft foods did no harm.

He came across Wheat Thins, smirked and placed it back on the shelf. Mokuba wouldn't like that. He found a chocolate-flavored biscuits, which was next to the Wafers. Kaiba retreated a few steps indecisively. This was one curve ball. Mokuba often had biscuits with his soup but he insisted on wafers too, which were high in sugar. He grabbed the biscuits but indecisively eyed the wafers. Maybe this once change wouldn't matter and he grabbed the wafers.

I don't desire seeing a sugared Mokuba running around, injuring himself further.

Narrowed eyes snapped back at the biscuits. No matter what they had to suffice. The wafers were not good for him anyway. Mokuba can live without it.

But they taste good.

Almost unconsciously his hand lingered on the Chocolate Wafers. Kaiba snatched his hand back to the biscuits.

Get over here. Stop eluding me!

"Why so unusually hard?" A voice called out from behind.

He stiffened at the sound of feet shuffling from side-to-side in debate.

"But I like you both." The obnoxious shopper relayed piteously.

Kaiba clenched his teeth.

"Crap, I knew it shouldn't have come hungry. I want to get everything."

He glared at the biscuits now. Anyway... so the biscuits: edible, non sugary, not as much as the wafers. I shall have you tonight.

With eyes racing back and forth between the biscuit and wafers, he tensed. The biscuit was hard but the wafers were softer.

So... the wafers then. Come to Papa Kaiba.

"That tastes better too." The vociferous customer exclaimed.

Kaiba touched the wafer packet in spite of the debased nutritional ingredients, thawing in knowledge of its delirious taste. They were soft for Mokuba but the biscuit would taste good with the soup. The wafers were intensely flavorful again.

No wait, the...

"Wafers!" The customer came next to him. "Oh yum, chocolate!" Her hand grazed a packet and grabbed the last of wafers before walking away.

Kaiba gaped at the empty shelf then at the customer. Couldn't she see he was about to get it? What kind of a store was this that they couldn't stock up on supplies? This was a store after all.

"You!" Kaiba seethed. The customer resumed walking, which further annoyed him. He started after her with clenched fists. He wasn't going to allow someone so insignificant get in the way of Mokuba's soft diet. "Hey!"

Get back here you, yo—

She seemed to have finally heard him and stopped.

"You—" His thoughts went out the window as she turned. A mirage of beauty glowed under the florescent light.

Can't be! The store lights are tricking me. Kaiba glared darkly.

She narrowed her light eyes on him for a second and her brows lifted. He is the same person. Mokuba's brother, I believe? "Hi..."

Kaiba stopped a foot from her. She looked so soft in the wool coat with hair sprinkling over her shoulders and cheeks rosy and eyes alight with gentleness and what could only be another emotion he had trouble accepting. He had to swallow his dry throat to say something first.

"I was about to get the wafers you took." He jerked a finger at the wafers tucked in her arm.

"This? But there are more flavors like vanilla and strawberry on the shelf. Why don't you get those?" She suggested.

"Listen," Kaiba snapped impatiently. "My brother isn't feeling well. He only eats chocolate flavored foods. The wafers you hold are his favorite." He went on with equal ferocity. There was no way he was backing now, not when he was this determined. "Give me the wafers. Didn't you see I was about to get it? You, lower sex, don't think for anyone but yourself."

Her mouth revolved in an open circle at his brash words. Lower sex? I'll let it go of it since it's for Mokuba. "Chocolate wafers." She smiled wide instead.

How can she remain so chipper after I practically insulted her? Kaiba had to ask himself.

"I love Chocolate wafers too, sounds like he and I are alike." Euneya smirked and without hesitation handed the packet to him. "Since he isn't feeling well, here you are. I hope he gets better soon." Her smile was warm-crippling him to paralysis-warm.

He didn't like it very much, that warm smile of hers. Warmth. That's what it was in her eyes, the realization unsettled him in fact. Gentleness and warmth. Sensations he couldn't understand were triggering inside his chest and seeping lower to his belly. He didn't like the power her warm smile and eyes held over him, thus stirring him to discomfort.

Her brows furrowed at his face as if picking up his taciturn energy. Subconsciously Kaiba licked his lips at the movement. Her hand dropped at the process. "Aren't you on TV all the time?" She crinkled her pink nose to peer into his glacial gaze and shivered loudly from the cold stare.

Great. Not another stalker. She knew of him too. How charming. He could never escape the society. Somehow, someone always came around pretending to know him. Now she'll feign single, act giddy and try to make a lasting impression. Didn't they have a clue heat couldn't melt his frigidity? He wasn't so easily taken by silly girls.

Despite how good looking they were.

She was too beautiful to be warm hearted and kind. Too much of an illusion to be standing in the middle of a store holding his wafers. She was probably trying to play him. This entire moment was premeditated in order to perk a simpering conversation with him. He had no interest in such frivolities. Kaiba went for the wafers in her possession, his eyes stole on her hand for a second. They looked soft like sponge. He looked at her, her olive eyes crossed over his face carefully.

Great, still sizing me huh.

"Hand me the wafers." He uttered curtly.

"Take it." She walked past him toward the wafer's again to make another selection.

His eyes followed her of their own accord. Catching himself, he flung around and forced his legs out of the aisle. Now that she mentioned it, her face did seem familiar too. He went ahead to get some sleeping medicine and pain reliever. Taking the items to the cash register, Kaiba waited for the aged female to start.

She was clipping her nails. Seeing that she had a customer, she waved. "Hi, how... are... you doing... this... evening?"

Kaiba rolled his eyes. Great. This is gonna take forever. He turned toward the magazine rack and pulled one announcing 'Celebrity Gossip'. Shoving it back in disgust, his attention geared on 'Duel Domination' magazine. Almost knocking the rack to the floor, he yanked the magazine to busy himself. He needed something to be occupied or he'd lose his mind. Eyes digging through the article, Kaiba turned to something particular of interest.

The female cashier chewed her gum loudly. She was applying rouge lipstick with a mirror in her palm and batted eyes at him. Kaiba planted the magazine against his face.

"You know...dueling... isn't...everything... in life..." The cashier sighed. "There are... girls... too." She blew a bubble with the gum. The pink residue clung to her top lip. She licked her lips, trying to nip the gum off. "When I was...your...age... I didn't waste...time...reading... about Dueling..." She giggled and a haphazard snort vocalized.

Makeitstop. Makeitstop. Makeitstop. Makeitstop. Kaiba battled with himself, eyes boring a hole in the page.

"I...had...some ... fun...of my...own...if you...know...what ... I mean! Hui, hui, hui."

"Uh, Joy?" The cashier turned in the direction of the voice.

"Yes, who is it?" She peered at the girl at the end of the line, "Oh, Mazaki! Come, come!" She ushered her toward the register.

Kaiba glared when she called the customer to the head of the line. What poor service!

The cashier smiled at him, winking. "This will...take...just a ...sec, hon."

Sighing impatiently under his breath, Kaiba stared down at the customer for the tenth time. "What do you think you're doing?" He hissed.

She did not look at him instead paid for her purchases. "Thank you." Turning on her heel, she bagged her items and left Kaiba gaping after her.

"So...where...were...we? Hui, hui, hui." The cashier turned back to him eagerly.

Kaiba clenched his teeth, eyes narrowed at Euneya departing.

The cashier sighed. "If...she...is ...your...person...of interest...why ...are ...you here?" She asked.

"If you're so dense, why bother being a cashier? Can't you see I have yet to cash my purchases?" He barked violently. "Learn some customer service, damn it. I'm not here to watch you cake your face with makeup. Make it fast!"

The cashier was shocked. Clearing her throat, she looked at him, hurt. "Well...if you... if you..." She grabbed his food items to scan. "I.. my, my... men these days..." Shaking her head at him, she muttered under her breath. "No courtesy."

He threw her some bills before snatching his purchases and headed out the door quickly.

What the hell was wrong with that woman? He scowled back at her one last time and caught her questionable eyes before walking into the parking lot. The streets lights weakly flickered above his car. He swore this would be his last time ever coming to a public grocery store, alone. Sending one of the maids wouldn't be a handful. The lights of the grocery store dimmed. He guessed it was time for closing.

Tossing the bag in the back seat, Kaiba buckled in the driver's seat. He reversed and made a U-turn toward the exit.

There was a shadow moving across the road. He had to look twice at the shape to assume the person was having trouble, not that it mattered to him. He drove on.

"AHHH!" A scream hurled through the deserted parking lot.

Kaiba glanced at his rear-view mirror.

She yanked open her car door to try the engine.

A sly smirk appeared on his face. Without thought, he reversed the car.


© Nur Misurr • Read & Review • Thank you.