How Kaiba Seto Learned to Woo
Summary: Kaiba Seto has finally found a woman who refuses to throw herself at his feet. Naturally, he proposes. And naturally, Anzu suspects foul play. Bakura taking credit doesn't help the situation much. This is a semi-parody and silly OOC-ness abounds!
Chapter 1 – In which Anzu will not go out with Seto
Contrary to the snide remarks Jounouchi frequently made about Kaiba Seto being a celibate machine who hid in a cave all day, the handsome, rich, and powerful man did ask out women all the time.
"Would you care to accompany me for dinner Saturday night?"
"Will you do me the honor of attending a play with me this Sunday?"
"I would be delighted if you would join me on my yacht tonight."
It was just that when they eagerly said yes…
"Well, it's my best friend's twenty-first birthday, and all of our other friends and her family members contracted food poisoning and are in the hospital and unable to attend, but I'm sure she'll understand if I tell her I have the chance to date KAIBA SETO!"
"Well, I was supposed to go out with my boyfriend, I think he was going to propose, but let me just tell him my plans have been changed – I would LOVE to go out with you!"
"Well, I was supposed to attend both my parents' funerals, as they both died so tragically and unexpectedly, and to be a model of support to my younger siblings who are in bouts of hysteria, but naturally I'll just have one of them take pictures or something, because I would have to be a FOOL to say no to YOU!"
…he had a nasty habit of walking away.
Some people just needed to get their priorities straight.
The shy voice belonged to Nuuki, a too-tall, slightly-overweight, very-pimply girl with glasses, braces, frizzy hair, and no friends. Nuuki had spent several minutes just working up the courage to talk to someone as pretty and smart and popular as Anzu.
"Yes?" Anzu said, looking up from her last-minute studying before school began and smiling nicely.
Relieved that she wasn't being teased, Nuuki smiled back. "I, um, got some money for my birthday last week and, well, I wanted to get some new clothes." She self-consciously tugged at her fraying orange sweater. "I was hoping that maybe you would come with me to the mall? And help me pick out something nice?" She blushed. "I mean, I understand if you're too busy, or if you don't want to, or-"
"Oh, sure! It sounds like fun!" Anzu said sincerely, closing her book and pushing it aside. She beamed up at Nuuki. "A trip to the mall would be excellent. What day is best for you?"
"For- me?" Nuuki tugged at her sweater again. "Um… Friday?"
"Friday it is, then! After school?"
"That's perfect!" Nuuki responded in relief. "Thanks, Anzu. You're so nice."
"It's no problem," Anzu said, blushing a little. "You've always been really nice to me too. I look forward to our trip!"
And she said it with such simplicity that Nuuki believed her.
Narrowed blue eyes watched from the back of the classroom as Anzu asked Nuuki how her birthday went, effectively drawing the other girl into conversation. Seto Kaiba closed his laptop and splayed his fingers on the cool surface, thinking.
It was no wonder Nuuki had seemed so nervous asking Anzu to accompany her; from what he had observed, the other girl was constantly teased by the shallow, so-called popular females in the school. Anzu's reaction had been, he was forced to admit, kind. He tried to think of an insult, to put her back in her place.
Nuuki must be pretty desperate for companionship… Hope she's going to go buy a nice, furry pair of earmuffs while spending an entire afternoon with Mazaki.
He forced himself to smirk, even though he knew it was pathetic. Two aisles away, Jounouchi saw Seto smirking. Jumping to the conclusion that Kaiba was making fun of him (which wasn't really that far-fetched; in fact, this was a rare exception), he flicked a pencil back. If Seto hadn't been so absorbed in keeping the smirk on his face, and thinking dark thoughts about how obnoxious Anzu was, he might have noticed. He was, however, temporarily obsessed. After the pencil hit him in the forehead, he immediately switched over to thinking what an idiot Jounouchi was, and things returned to normal.
Until he suddenly decided that he was going to ask Anzu out on a date. For Friday afternoon.
Seto was very tired of testing women, only to find out that they were exactly as airheaded as he thought, and that they would drop important plans in a second to be with him. Now he wanted to put Anzu to the test. Perhaps he was hoping viciously that she would fail, and turn her back on Nuuki, and be proven just as worthless as the rest. The girl was too damn sweet for her own good – and most especially, for Seto's own good, because he had noticed several suspiciously mushy feelings stirring inside him lately – and she needed to be taken down a peg, so he could finally forget about her.
…But perhaps he wanted her to say no. To decline him, to choose Nuuki over him, just as she had always preferred Jounouchi and Yuugi and even Honda over him. Because then he would know that she was different, that she was no sycophant fan, that she was as genuine as she always appeared to be.
Seto, your logic is seriously screwed up, his voice of reason told him sardonically.
He hated people speaking to him sardonically.
He hated that his voice of reason sounded like Anzu.
He hated screwed-up logic.
He hated that he didn't care nearly as much as he ought to, which would of course involve not wanting to hear any inner voices at all.
Anzu sat patiently through her morning classes and when the lunch bell rang, gathered up her books in a slow and dignified manner. This was much more than could be said for Jounouchi and Honda. After snoring through math, foreign language, and history, they both bolted out of their desks and raced to the door, reaching it at approximately the same time and shoving each other out of the way.
"My food is waiting-"
"-and I'm starving!"
They disappeared. Yuugi trotted after them, getting lost in the onrush of taller students. Anzu took her time getting ready; they all agreed to simply meet in the cafeteria, since the hallways were so crowded.
She was slower than usual today, because they'd started a new history unit, and she wanted to file the day's notes appropriately. Finally, she swung her bag up and over her shoulder, accidentally hitting Seto in the stomach.
"I'm sorry! I didn't expect anyone to be standing there!" Anzu blurted, taking a step back, craning her neck to be able to look at his intimidating six-foot-one frame. "…Ah, so why are you right there, Kaiba? Can I help you with something?"
He put on his most charming expression (which caused Anzu to take on a great look of alarm, which caused Seto to be annoyed; what, didn't she find him charming?). "Anzu…" he said in a low voice. "This Friday, right after school, I'm flying to New York with Mokuba to see a ballet performed by Madame DeCormier. Would-"
"You're flying to New York? Friday?" she interrupted, and he had to fight back a scowl. She was already changing the plan. She always did that. "Wow. Sounds like fun. Will you be there for the weekend?"
"Yes," he said, trying to regain some of his smoothness. "The ballet is on Saturday, and we'll return Sunday. Mokuba was wondering – that is, I was hoping-" Seto smiled at her, really pushing this, "-I would be delighted if you would join us. I'll pay for everything, of course."
"Oh, wow," Anzu said again, breathlessly. Seto's stomach flipped, and his heart either rose in triumph or sank in despair. It was hard to tell, especially when the last composed portion of his brain was stubbornly insisting that his heart had actually remained stationary, even if it was beating a little louder. "Madame DeCormier is amazing. That sounds incredible – I wish I could come. Unfortunately, I've already made plans with a friend. But thank you for asking; I'm sure you'll have fun without me."
She smiled at him, then without further ado began to walk out of the room. Seto had frozen in place, numb. She… said no? She turned me down? ME?
"Wait a moment," he said, grabbing her arm. "You can't turn me down!"
Anzu turned slowly to face him, and there it was: that spark in her eyes. The one that had first appeared in Duelist Kingdom, when she chewed him out for wanting to jump off a building (or something of the sort; it was hard to remember an event that didn't exist, since Seto had decided that nothing having to do with Pegasus existed, especially things relating to the Millennium Eye or "magic" or anything despicable like that). The spark that had sustained her when Marik kidnapped her, and Anzu had told Seto to forget her and save the others. The spark that had somehow carried all her friends to victory (for that was the only way Mouto could really keep pulling those wins from midair, or Jounouchi-the-mutt could have gotten even to the semi-finals). The spark that had been there as she argued with him again, and again, in Noah's virtual world, and aboard his blimp, and on the ground, and all the times in between (arguing with her was infinitely more pleasant than with Jounouchi; Anzu's breath was sweeter, she didn't threaten to punch him, and she was so pretty with her face all flushed angrily).
I love that spark, Seto nearly found himself thinking dreamily. Of course, he caught himself long before such a thought occurred: It simply wouldn't be appropriate.
It was then that he became aware that Anzu was yelling at him; had been, in fact, for the last five minutes, while he obsessed about the spark in her eyes.
"-so typical of you, Kaiba Seto! We've tried and tried to give you chances, but you've just been too stubborn for too long. I honestly don't understand how anyone can be so singularly arrogant, but you continually exceed expectations!" She wrenched her arm away and gave him a dirty look. "Haven't you learned anything about pride? Namely, that it's not an attractive trait in excess? Remember Pegasus? And Marik? And Dartz? Sometimes I worry that you'll end up like that, Kaiba, with your ego the size that it is. I wouldn't go out with you for anything in the world!" Anzu flounced away, still muttering under her breath, her shiny hair swinging back and forth as if mocking him.
Seto vowed to marry her someday.
Anzu's temper had abated by the time she reached the cafeteria and she plunked her slender body between Bakura Ryou and Yuugi, ignoring Jounouchi and Honda as always, until they had finished stuffing themselves and were once more capable of rational speech. She and Ryou exchanged cheerful conversation while Yuugi looked through his deck and wondered about some new additions. Jounouchi finished slightly before Honda, shoving his empty tray away with a satisfied sigh. "I thought I wasn't going to make it today," he announced at large.
Anzu and Ryou exchanged amused glances. "I doubt that you weren't going to make it, Jounouchi," Anzu laughed.
"And I saw you sneaking that donut during homeroom," Ryou added.
Jounouchi's eyes suddenly darkened, his fists clenched, and he stood up menacingly. Ryou cringed, wishing he remembered that even mentioning the word 'donut' made Jounouchi a little crazy, until the blonde barked "What're you doin' here, Moneybags?"
For once, Seto completely ignored his rivals – even Yuugi. "Anzu, please," he said, snatching up her hand and pressing it to his chest. "Go out with me. Any day you are free, I will be waiting."
Jounouchi abruptly sat back down, nearly overturning his chair. Honda choked on the last of his meal; Yuugi knocked over a pile of Duel Monster's cards and scrambled to stack them up neatly again.
Anzu gazed up at Seto, completely taken aback. His eyes looked softer than she remembered. And his hand was awfully warm… I should give him a chance, she told herself. Maybe he's trying to change. It wouldn't be fair, and it would be pretty hypocritical, if I rejected him now. She tentatively smiled at him, trying to make peace. "I'll apologize for yelling at you if you apologize for your attitude before," she offered.
Seto paused. He blinked. His face twitched.
"Apologize? What's that?"
In the next second, he found himself clutching the air to his chest; Anzu's small hand was gone. Another second later, Honda was missing the rest of his lunch and Seto was wearing a plate of mashed potatoes. He just caught sight of Anzu's back marching out of the cafeteria, her brown hair still swinging mockingly.
Jounouchi was literally on the ground laughing.
The mall. The ultimate evilness. Mokuba loved it, of course; Seto had never tried to deny that his little brother was part evil. When Seto suggested a brotherly trip to the mall, Mokuba was thrilled, albeit a little puzzled by his older sibling's behavior. Once they were at the mall, and Seto casually asked Mokuba how to win a girl's heart, the raven-haired boy finally decided that Seto needed some 'alone-time' to think about life and dashed away to the video game store.
"Fine," Seto called after his retreating little brother. "Chicken. I'll just find out how to win a girl's heart on my own…"
Mokuba paused long enough to look back at Seto and shake his head, then disappeared amidst throes of shoppers.
Immediately, Seto grabbed the arm of the first female he saw, a tall college-aged girl with curly purple hair. "How do you win a girl's heart?" he asked desperately.
She stopped, gave him a once-over, and smiled. "Well, I'm not going to lie, I prefer the direct approach. Heavy flirting, light touches to the arm, maybe flash some cleavage."
Seto liked where this was going, but wondered how to get Anzu to do that.
"I think going out for ice cream is a good first date, although if I didn't know the girl too well, maybe a study date would be nice."
Seto snorted. "As if I study."
She stared at him. "Whatever. So there's this lady you wanted to introduce me to?"
Seto stared back for a few long seconds, quickly growing frustrated by not understanding what she meant, because he hated ignorance. Finally, it clicked.
"I didn't mean literally you!" he exclaimed before storming away.
Seto continued wandering the mall, now deeply troubled. His encounter with the lesbian woman had brought a previously unthought-of possibility to mind. What if that pretty woman stole Anzu from him? Was Anzu even straight? If she were interested in any males, she would have to be interested in Seto Kaiba – it was just a fact of life – and since she had expressed no interest in going out with him, she must be a lesbian!
Seto shook his head vehemently to rid himself of this terrible thought. If she were a lesbian, he had no hope, and since he always got what he wanted, she must be straight!
There it was again… Anzu's sarcastic little voice in his head. Screwed-up logic again, Seto, she teased him, then paused. Oh, and I'm not gay.
That was a relief. With a smile on his face, Seto continued his quest for someone who could tell him how to win Anzu's heart. He wanted to avoid any more strangers who could potentially steal Anzu from him, so this time he waited until he saw a person that looked vaguely familiar.
He strode over to the little redhaired girl looking in a shop window and tapped her on the shoulder. The second she turned to face him, he practically bellowed, "I DEMAND TO KNOW HOW TO WIN THE AFFECTIONS OF A STUBBORN FEMALE!"
She stared at him wide-eyed, and he finally recognized her as the mutt's little sister, right before said mutt tackled him to the ground. Pedestrians shrieked, Shizuka threw up her hands in disgust, and Jounouchi growled. "Trying to hit on my sister now? First Anzu at lunch… now Shizuka?"
"I wasn't trying to hit on Shizuka," Seto responded coldly, brushing Jounouchi away and rising quickly to his feet. The mutt sprang up, baring his teeth in a distinctly canine-like way. "I was trying to obtain information from Shizuka on how to successfully hit on Anzu."
Shizuka's shocked expression remained and Jounouchi's jaw nearly hit the ground as Seto turned to stride away, rather satisfied with himself. But his dramatic exit was ruined by Shizuka calling after him, "You could always try asking nicely!"
He spun around, grimacing. "I tried asking!" he said petulantly. "But she's so – so stubborn!"
"I said nicely," Shizuka retorted, with a grimace of her own.
Seto paused. "Isn't there another way?"