J: Lookie lookie here be another chapter! I won't lie, I am kinda sad that my reviewers have dropped but it won't stop me from continuing to post chapters! I have faith that the odd person here and there will enjoy enough to review :3
THANKS TO: girlrock250297 (You have indeed placed your bet wisely ;3)
Disclaimer: I do not own anything to do with Yugioh, nor do I own the play 'The Sound of Music' that I simply mention in this chapter.
Chapter Six – Lesson One: Do Not Disrespect
Tea couldn't tell if she'd slept for hours or minutes when a light knock on the door woke her up. Sitting up she called out sleepily," Come in unless you're Seto Kaiba."
The door cracked open to show a rather worried looking Mokuba, he approached slowly at first in apprehension of Tea being a grumpy bear like his brother when he was awake for the first few minutes. When he caught sight of a dopey lopsided smile Mokuba lost his worry and jumped up next to Tea," Are you feeling okay now Tea?"
"I think after I've eaten something I'll feel a hundred percent and ready to tackle any challenge." Tea's reassuring smile made Mokuba smile like a thousand suns.
"It's good to hear you say that since it's supper time now. We're having my favorite, mashed potatoes with gravy, corn, roast beef and broccoli with cheese sauce. And for dessert-" Mokuba was abruptly stopped by Tea putting a hand over his mouth.
His worried confusion of maybe upsetting Tea's stomach dissipated when Tea groaned," Please stop before I end up eating my pillow and creating a river of drool." Mokuba laughed along with Tea as all his earlier concerns about her health subsided.
Tea shooed Mokuba out of her bedroom in order to clean up her appearances. She refused to change out of her comfy pajamas but decided she could at least brush her hair and teeth so as not to confuse Mr. Kaiba.
Mokuba was of course out in the hallway waiting for her and the sight of her still clad in pajamas only made him laugh at what his big brother would do upon seeing her. Tea bet that Seto would immediately leave the room with his food to go to his office, Mokuba met that wager by guessing he would just insult her some way or other then ignore her entirely. The winner of the bet would get to try Mokuba's new game first.
Tea's stomach must have entered the kitchen before she did because her stomach began growling loudly five steps from the kitchen door. When she actually opened it Tea could have sworn her stomach began to dance in merriment. Everything was already set for the three diners and one of them had beaten the other two by three seconds.
Kaiba was just pulling his chair up to the table when Mokuba and Tea walked in snickering. When he looked up and saw Tea's choice in clothing for the evening he could not stop the next few words that came out of his mouth," Looks like someone's made themselves right at home. I feel entirely underdressed now." Kaiba didn't miss the small victory smirk Mokuba gave Tea as she proudly strut over to the seat right across from him. 'I'll learn what that was about later from Mokuba, the security cameras, or possibly even Gardener.'
Having adjusted her seat she smiled warmly to respond in a sugar sweet way," Well I didn't have much choice in staying or going, so I decided to make the best of things by acting the same way I would in my own house." Tea made sure Kaiba could translate her message that actually meant, 'Like hell I'm going to doll up just for you at meal times.' Kaiba got the message and responded with a very cold stare that she interpreted as, 'You ruin my image, and you are SO dead.'
Despite the hostile transition that passed in the beginning Mokuba felt supper went over quite well. He'd noted that his brother took notice of Tea's very polite table mannerisms. Unlike most of the members in Yugi's group of friends Tea could actually eat without showing her mashed up food in her mouth, she held the fork and knife correctly, and she never talked unless she was done chewing and swallowing her food. An idea struck Mokuba just when the dessert was being served, 'I bet I can really make Seto see Tea's awesomeness.' A big bright smile on he asked to no one in general," So I have to do a book report presentation this Friday, any good books I could use?"
Tea took a nibble of her cherry pie and searched her mental library for something that would be in Mokuba's interests. Mulling over Mokuba's likes and a guess at his reading level brought her to one possibility," You might like Dan Brown's 'The Da Vinci Code.' Some of it might be a little hard for your first read through, but some research will make it easier. It'll totally blow your teacher away too, I promise. Don't give me that surprised look Kaiba, it doesn't suit you." Tea gave Kaiba an exasperated glare while pointing with her fork. She was use to her friends looking at her like she'd grown a third head when she said something intelligent, but on Seto Kaiba surprise didn't seem a like a fitting facial expression.
Mokuba had to shove a big piece of pie in his mouth to stop from laughing at his success. The last time he'd seen that much surprise on Seto's face was when he'd been soundly beaten at chess by his baby brother. Seeing it then was priceless, seeing it at that moment was hysterical. Especially since he knew that Seto already knew she was smart. His laughter settled for the moment Mokuba quickly swallowed and replied," Thanks Tea, my teacher will be flabbergasted! Oh, big brother, do you know when we can have our first dance lesson?" At this Tea focused her attention on Kaiba in a more curious manner. She was the one that had to teach them after all.
Kaiba took a thoughtful bite of his pie while he went over his schedule. After the soak in the hot tub he'd managed to do more than his usual output of work. He hadn't planned on having his first lesson on the first day of her arrival. In fact he'd thought about doing it at some ridiculous time in the night the next day just to piss off Gardener. He decided he could still do that and make his brother happy. His food swallowed he replied to the hanging question," Our first lesson is in a half hour. Hope You have a lesson plan Gardener." His trade mark snide smirk was for once challenged by Tea's own smirk.
'I'm going to enjoy putting you in your place Kaiba.' Tea felt that her smirk alone was enough to throw Kaiba off kilter and kept this thought to herself. She finished her slice of pie and got to her feet, confidently walking to her room she called back over her shoulder," You'll need loose clothing for your first lesson, trust me."
Kaiba suddenly got a chill, a chill that spoke of humiliation he'd only brought upon himself. 'I can handle ANYTHING Gardener can think of, there's way she'll have nay other advantage besides experience over me.'
-In front of the basement door a half hour later-
"For a business man I never thought your brother could be late for anything." Tea noted this when glancing at her cell phone after texting Yugi. Kaiba had said a half hour, but he was late by almost ten minutes already. Being it her first lesson she'd chosen to wear something slightly professional looking. Tea wore a traditional black spandex one piece with nothing but bare feet. Mokuba stood next to her with a semi pout wearing what must be his gym uniform. Dark green spandex breathable shorts and a gold t-shirt to accompany it.
The sound of foot steps brought their attention to the left and both turned to find what appeared to be a slightly embarrassed Seto Kaiba. Out of his black long sleeved shirt and dominating trench coat Kaiba was very uncomfortable in casual clothing. The best thing he could find for this kind of activity was a black t-shirt and grey sweat pants. Upon seeing the black shirt a flash of another male wearing something similar came to mind. Pushing it from her thoughts she addressed Kaiba," It's about time Kaiba, I was about to let Mokuba get a head start on you."
"You seem to be forgetting who exactly is paying you for these lessons Gardener. I only have an hour or so at most for this so I suggest you get moving." Kaiba may have been underdressed, but he refused to be spoken to like on of her geek squad friends.
Mokuba ignored the escalating tension and opened the door to the basement. Taking the lead sp Tea could see where to go he walked briskly down the slightly spiraled staircase.
Tea wasn't one to be bothered too much by closed in spaces but her trip to the Oblivion Zone in the summer had left her rather anxious to be anywhere far below ground. She could feel Kaiba's growing irritation as she descended slowly out of automatic caution, she never took notice that he was watching her closely not from frustration or annoyance, but out of curiosity.
Kaiba had taken note of Gardener's hesitation in advancement down the steps and yet he felt no compulsion to tell her to hurry up. Instead he watched for any sign or cue that would explain that would explain this odd behaviour. He'd also caught sight of some fleeting emotion he barely identified as longing when she had laid eyes on him in his attire. Although many of his fan girls had batted lust filled eyes in his direction he'd never seen the depth that Gardener had shown. What's more he knew that longing wasn't meant for him, it was for someone that he must have reminded her of. Which honestly made him feel slightly agitated, he didn't know why but it did.
His attention came back to the present when they got off the last step. Kaiba's already larger than life pride took another notch up when he heard Tea gasp," This is one hell of a basement you guys have. I'm pretty sure the Domino Gym doesn't even have half of these work out equipment." What Tea found in the basement of the Kaiba mansion could only be called ridiculous. The room they'd walked into seemed to be organized with five to six types of equipment for certain parts of the body exactly. Tea lost count after thirty something and just let it be.
Mokuba took hold of her hand and led her through the muscle building machinery to another door way she'd missed. Through this door she was introduced to her studio, an absolutely perfect studio. It was large, hard wood tiled, had a complete wall of mirrors with a balance bar going end to end. It even had a piano for classical dances tucked into a back corner. For the CDs they'd be using most there was a large multidisc CD player with two decently sized speakers. With a perfect studio such as this Tea could hold no grudge against Kaiba.
Kaiba and Mokuba were startled when Tea suddenly grabbed fistfuls of her hair and spun around to glare him," Ugh! You're making it absolutely impossible to hold a grudge against you for tricking me!"
Relieved that she wasn't actually mad and vicious Kaiba shrugged casually with a smirk. Just to see her next reaction he replied," Not my fault I'm so likeable. Now are you going to teach or yell?" By the hardening of her eyes he could tell she wanted to yell, thinking better of it she took a deep breathe and walked over to the balance bar.
Making herself sound as professional as possible she pointed to the bar and instructed," Start with stretches, I want to see how flexible you guys are in general. After that I want to see the extent of your step knowledge, and I know you know at least one dance Kaiba. I've seen footage of your Kaiba celebrations for the company."
"Didn't know you were a fan Gardener." He didn't know why but the thought of Tea Gardener, one of the few women in the world that gave him a hard time, keeping tabs on his social events lightened his turbulent stream of thinking.
Tea had the end of her toes curled around the balance bar with her leg perfectly straight. Bending side ways to touch her toes she made sure Kaiba could see her eye roll as he was doing the same. Keeping her breathing in a practiced pattern she explained," For you information, I watch your social events for my mom. You do remember that she works for you right?" Kaiba's own eye roll and change in stretching direction was his response.
Tea looked over at Mokuba to find him doing a stretch she recognized from her own junior high days. Finished her bar stretching she sat down on the floor next to Mokuba and watched the extent of his reach. His legs were spread as far as they could go and Mokuba was stretching his arms forward right in the middle until he had to continue by slowly pulling himself further forward with his fingers. When he got as far as he could reach he counted to five then slowly sat back up. When he was upright Tea gave him a big smile," That was great Mokuba, and when you're done with my lessons you'll be the best at that stretch. But that's only if you're willing to hurt and let me help."
Mokuba saw what Tea was doing and appreciated it. Instead of acting like a teacher that would have stepped in and helped without asking Tea was acting like a friend and acknowledged the extent of his current limit and was offering to help him improve. Beaming back at her he replied," Thanks Tea, that would be great." Tea nodded and got to her feet. Standing behind Mokuba she moved with him and slowly pushed on his back to stretch as far as was possible without breaking him in half. Like the man he wished to be Mokuba didn't utter a word of complaint and Tea knew what kind of pain he was probably feeling. After the count of five she eased up to let him relax.
Turning to Kaiba who had been watching (probably to make sure she didn't hurt him more than necessary) Tea pointed to the floor and instructed," Your turn Kaiba."
"You can't be serious Gardener."
"Absolutely. Mokuba should see the extent he could reach at your age, or even younger depending on his devotion." Just as Mokuba had snared Tea into teaching, he was also snaring his older brother into cooperating.
Sighing through his nose Seto plopped down on the cold floor and sent his baby brother a look that clearly promised consequences for this. Spreading his legs Seto leaned forward as much as his spine would allow, and when he was about to sit upright he felt a pair of hands on his back. Tensing up he growled over his shoulder," Get your hands off Gardener."
"Nope, Mokuba got help and so are you." 'And this will teach you to show me some respect when we're in here.' Tea's response and thoughts were put into effect instantly as she began to gradually add weight on Kaiba's back and push him even further forward. When she was sure he was feeling it she stopped and counted to five then removed her hands so he could sit up.
Tea might not have noticed but Mokuba's keen little eyes caught sight of the crease between Seto's eyebrows that indicated the pain he must have felt. Feeling bad for his brother Mokuba demanded," You have to show us your limit Tea, it's only fair."
"Sure, it should be interesting to see how well I do, last time I did this stretch was my first day of dance classes as a test." Tea's mind wandered down memory lane as she sat and spread her legs almost to the point of splits. Slowly she leaned forward with her arms straight out in front of her. Her chest was barely touching the floor when she felt someone pushing on her back. From the amount of space the hands covered she immediately guessed it was Kaiba attempting to put her in pain for what she'd done to him.
When she got as far as her upper torso could reach she heard Mokuba exclaim," Wow Tea, I didn't think that was even possible for a human body." She would have responded if she wasn't keeping her breathing level in order to handle the pain she was experiencing.
After five seconds Kaiba backed off so she could sit back up. It'd been a while since she'd attempted to do the splits, so getting to her feet brought it's own new kind of pain. Even when she tried not to show it Kaiba picked up on her small facial tweaks to indicate it, smirking he jested," Seems someone is rustier than they knew. Maybe we should start with the robot?"
"Ha ha ha, very funny Kaiba. And if you must know the dance I've been working on at my classes barely uses my thigh muscles so I've felt no need to stretch them as often. Now stop harassing me and show me what you know so far." Tea took dancing and anything to do with it seriously. Insults were definitely not welcome about it around her.
Kaiba crossed his arms to plant himself where he stood, in a tone that was more for office meetings when addressing idiots that had made an error then addressing a teacher he huffed," You've already stated that you know I can dance. I see no point in showing you something you've already seen."
Her eyebrow twitched in warning before the onslaught he hadn't expected. Tea approached him slowly with no verbal indications of what she was doing, so when she used a low round house kick to unplant him then a swift over the shoulder toss to throw him on the floor he was completely unprepared. Mokuba let out a low whistle in amazement, he never knew Tea was a fighter.
Putting a foot on his chest Tea glared down at him and said in a tone meant only for him," Lesson number one: Do no disrespect. You do as I say or you do nothing at all. Am I clear Mr. Kaiba?"
The frozen glare that Kaiba gave her would have sent even Joey running. Never had he been so humiliated by anyone except Yugi and Gozaboro, to add insult to injury it was Tea, the frick'n cheerleader, Gardener that had brought him down, and in front of his brother too. His voice anything but pleasant Seto growled through clenched teeth," Fine, now get off."
"Tea do you think you could teach me what you just did to Seto?" Mokuba wasn't trying to be mean to his brother who had just suffered a major blow to his pride and ego, he just thought that was a really cool thing to learn.
Tea's stern attitude relaxed back to what it had been a minute before, a small smile on she asked," Do you want to learn for genuine self defense or just for the fun of it?"
"What answer do I need to give for you to teach me?" Playing it cute always worked with his brother, who looked ready to add his own say in the matter.
"Neither of those answers, or anything else you could say to me would make me teach that to you Mokuba." Tea's rather cold response made Mokuba's smile vanish and Seto's opinion of her change once again.
Turning to the sore older brother Tea asked," How much time do we have left? Depending on the answer I can start teaching Mokuba instead."
Seto glanced from his watch back to the female terror that stood before him. For some reason he couldn't identify Seto felt that the sooner she got to see the extent of his current dance knowledge the sooner things would go back to normal. "Don't worry about the time. I'll show you what I know then this lesson is over." Tea merely shrugged and went over to the stereo system.
Pulling out her ipod (which had been safetly tucked in the front of her outfit) she hooked it up and stated," The waltz I saw you do before was self taught from 'The Sound of Music' right?" At Seto's slight nod she continued," So besides that is there any other dances you know?" When he gave a tiny head shake Tea smiled," Great, then we'll start with the waltz and if I'm satisfied with your foot work then I'll teach you something entirely different if that's what you want."
To both Kaibas' minor amusement Tea had put on the very same song that played during the ballroom scene from 'The Sound of Music.' As soon as the instruments started Tea confidently walked back to Kaiba and put her hands on the appropriate places for the dance. Doing the same by putting one hand on her shoulder and the other on her hip they counted in their heads to match the music and began to waltz. Mokuba watched in rapture as his brother and best female friend danced around the room more elegantly than Mokuba ever thought possible…for his brother that is.
What few people of their school knew was that Tea had been the one to teach most of the actors the steps for the school's production of 'The Sound of Music.' Dancing with Kaiba she was very impressed, his rhythm was in sync with her own and his foot work was smooth and fluent. At the end of the song she smiled as wide as her mouth would let her," For someone who's self taught themselves that dance I am highly impressed and see no need for further improvement." Seto had been told by numerous other people something following those same words, hearing it from them meant nothing him. Hearing it from the woman that had kicked his ass five minutes ago made him feel proud of himself. Which surprised and bothered him further,' I've just finished one day with her and she's already messing up my mind. I need to get back to work.'
Heading for the door Seto said over his shoulder," I'm finished for today. Mokuba can only stay up for one more hour, then its bed." Seto waited for the head nod that both gave him before leaving to get back to his office.