He guys I finally managed to do a rewrite of this story. I'll have six chapters and I update two at once today for the start and then one a day. I hope you'll like it.


Love and hate

1. The voice

It is late in the afternoon and still, I'm just entering the school building. And why do I do this? It's just because I have to pick up some papers for a silly project that is nothing but a waste of my precious time. I haven't been able to take it with me during school, since I have been at work all morning. Due to that the most annoying teacher that I ever had the displeasure of meeting, forces me, Seto Kaiba, to waste some of what little time I would otherwise have been able to spend with Mokuba. And for what? Just to come in after school hours and pick up some project papers with information I'm bound to know already. The teacher is only in school at this time of day because of some private lesson with some piano player from our school who, accordingly to her, has some talent. I have no idea who it can be, how can there be anyone here that can actually afford to pay for private piano tuitions. Or is he or she so good that the teacher does it for free? Well I highly doubt it but even if, it isn't any of my concern anyway, so I won't waste my time pondering over it further than my annoyance. If this student wouldn't be, this obnoxious teacher would be home and most likely wouldn't have bothered to stay longer just so I could come in and pick something up.

While I go closer towards the music room I can hear the small little piano the school has. Considering that the old piano in school isn't the best by a long shot, the music that is coming from said room now is truly incredible. But it's sad, so sad that for some reason even I have to fight tears while listening to it. I don't enter nor knock on the door. How could I possibly interrupt something this beautiful? The player, whoever it is, is just too good, he or she is simply put amazing. Not that I would ever say it to said person, it's unusual for me to even think this way in the first place. But then again, how can I not while listening to such heavenly sounds.

I have never heard so much feeling in a song though. Even though I do appreciate such music at times and I´m well adapt to play a few pieces myself, I'm usually not particularly fond of quiet classical music. To be more precisely, most of the time I don't really care about any kind of music since I simply lack time and interest. But this song is different, it is just so emotional. The only thing I find strange is that most parts repeat themselves, it isn't like one long piece, rather like two short ones switching and repeating. However, they fit together, they complete each other and flow into each other flawlessly. Still for a pure melody piece it is rather strange. Either way, the feeling behind the song is so strong that I don't even mind about the strange repetition in the composition, nor do I feel the need to add any lyrics to it. It would fit, considering the repetition, but the music itself is layered with strong emotions and I doubt that some random words could do it justice, nor can I think of a single singer who's voice might be able to convey such emotions.

After the song is finishes, it's quiet for a moment until I hear the teacher say, "That was perfect like always, but very different from your usual way of playing. Say, could it be that there are lyrics to this one?"

It is quiet again. Does this mean the student has written it? Otherwise the teacher would surely know the song and not need to ask for the lyrics. The way she asks also makes it strongly sound like it isn't the first time this student has composed something as perfect as this song. Why doesn't this student answer? It's irritating not to know his answer.

After all, what words can possibly match with such sadness, what words can describe the pain behind it? A part of me hopes that no one dared to sully this piece with a few meaningless words, but another part of me wonders if whoever could convey such emotions in his song, might be able to do the same with lyrics that go with it. A melody that has brought ME close to tears, if added with matching words, maybe even telling the tale behind the sadness in the melody, might be interesting to hear. I just really hope that it won't ruin the song which I still fear it will.

"Would you sing it for me? I'd love to hear it, after all you sing as good as you play. I just wish I could hear it more often and wouldn't need to be persuaded for hours every time. You sing just like an angel and no one would believe that you have such a voice in you if I told them." The teachers voice said again and added after a pause, "Don't worry, I promised not to tell anyone and plan on doing so until I can pursue you to sing and play in public, so quit the glare."

So there are lyrics and this piano player can sing as well. I wonder why he or she isn't saying anything? Must have just given a nod or something, after all the teacher knows the answer. But why does this person not speak?

I heard the teacher sigh and she says, "It really is just too bad that you´re this shy about your music. Especially since you never stroke me as a shy type before with your big mouth and all. But listen, I'll just go and get a coffee for myself from the teachers lounge, I'll be back right after, just play whatever you like."

I press myself as close to the wall towards a corner as possible. I don't want to be seen listening in and I also want to hear more. Whoever this is in there, is too good to play on the crappy old school piano. If that someone can really sing as good as the teacher has said, I might offer to let them practise on the grand piano in my mansion. Not because I'm kind and nice, on the contrary, it will be because I'm selfish. It is such beautiful music and I find it relaxing to listen to it. Even if the emotions in it nearly made me cry.

It is quiet for a moment again and I start to wonder if this person will play again at all, rather than what he might play for me next. Then I hear the start of the same piece. I hold my breath, whoever it is, is alone. Maybe I get to hear the lyrics. And so I do, and when I hear it I can hardly believe my own ears. A voice, as beautiful as an angel´s voice must be. Just like the teacher had said but with so much sadness and pain. And the words seem to come from the singers very soul.

No one can hear my cries
no one can see the pain
or the tears in my eyes
That I will hide with shame
there's a smile on my face
why can't you see it's fake

Now the damage is done
I can no longer run
Life will never be fun
The past can't be undone
I love them but they hate
It's already too late

Scars on body and soul
game lost my body sold
Innocents gone forever
can be given back never
Wounds might heal given time
Scars will never be fine

Now the damage is done
I can no longer run
Life will never be fun
The past can't be undone
I love them but they hate
It's already too late

Try to hide not to cry
Disappear from evil eyes
Where can I find the light
In the middle of night
How can you undo hate
It's already too late.

Now the damage is done
I can no longer run
Life will never be fun
The past can't be undone
I love them but they hate
It's already too late

After the last word has been said a little end melody comes and the song stops. This time I have tears in my eyes. I never thought a simple song could move me so much. I, Seto Kaiba, the cold CEO that walks over dead bodies if he needs to, cries because of a song. Who is this person? It is a boy, that much I know, but who? The voce is somewhat familiar so why can't I put a name to it. I need to know who he is and I need to know why he is singing like that! I need to know if someone is hurting him, causing him such great sadness that it is leaking from every single note he just played, and resonated in his voice like he had never known another emotion than a torturous pain and sadness. If there is someone hurting him, I'll probably help him just to see how his music will be once he finds some happiness.

I wipe away my tears quickly before anyone can see them and knock before entering, and then I simply can't believe my eyes. There, right in front of the crappy, tiny, old school piano sits no other than Joey Wheeler. I quickly look around but there is no one else there who might have switched positions with him. His eyes while he's looking at me are filled with sadness mingled with a bit of fear. What the hell is HE doing here, he is not the type for THIS, for crying out loud. He was in a gang, he was in more fights than most and he definitely is not the smartest one to walk the earth. HOW on earth did HE write such beautiful music? How could HE make ME cry? And most of all, why doesn't he smile like the happy go lucky mutt that follows his master without a worry in the world like he usually does? I never would have guessed that the word sadness even existed in his vocabulary, never mind in his heart, but right now it was so plainly written in his eyes that I find it heard to believe that I've never seen it before and all I want to do right now is put myself between him and whoever brought such sadness in his eyes. And not just because I like his music.

I never wanted to admit it, but his rough and wild nature, that just can't be tamed, intrigued me for a while. He is rather irresistible, with that slightly petite yet strong build combined with the endlessly burning fire in his eyes. The same fire that currently seemed to be flooded and quenched with an endless ocean of sadness. I have been wondering if I should try to hit on him but I have never been rejected. How could I? I never liked anyone enough to try. I have practise in rejecting but not in being rejected and I wasn't keen on learning that with him. On top of it, I'm still sure that I'm the last person in the universe he could find a liking to.

Not that I'm afraid of being rejected in general, after all Seto Kaiba isn't afraid of anything, it's just that I don't want to lose the last bit of hope for my puppy. Because even if he isn't the smartest, I still would do so much to be with him. Unfortunately though he hates me, always has and always will. And I don't really want anyone to know that I love the one that hates my guts. And at any rate, if I ever tried, I might lose the opportunities to make fun of him and ad fuel to the fire in his eyes and watch them burn even brighter while he only looks at me, fighting with me like with no one else. In such moments he's mine, even if I'm the enemy, all his attention and thoughts are mine.

Now that I've heard his voice and how he can play, I'm even more amazed by him. And I want him even more than before, even when I find it still hard to believe that he had made me cry with a simple song. For no matter how much I might have fallen for him, I'm still Seto Kaiba and NO one ever has been able to make me cry for years. Not even come close to it.

The words are coming back to my mind no one can see the pain, that I will hide with shame or scars on body and soul game lost, my body sold and then I love them but they hate It's already too late what does it mean? How did he come up with such lyrics?

He can't be in such a situation, can he? If yes, how can I find that out? He will never tell me, will he? The way he looks at me changes back to how he always looks, the fire burning brightly in his eyes in anticipation of a fight. "What the hell are ya doin' here, moneybags? Don't ya have some other´s life to fuck up with ya company?" He asks with his Brooklyn accent, that isn't even noticeable when he sings, as I just recall, maybe that's why I was unable to put a name to his voice, or it's because his voice sounds rougher when he speaks angrily to me compared to the soft and angelic sound that comes from him when he sings with so much feeling.

"Our teacher asked me to stop by and pick something up. I thought it to be a total waste of my time but I have to say that I'm pleasantly surprised. I didn't think that I would get to hear such a talent, especially not coming from you." His eyes widen as he stares at me and all colour runs out of his face.

"Ya heard that?" He asks me, looking down to the floor, all the feistiness gone in an instant, all of the fire vanished from is eyes once again.

I look at him for a moment and say, "Since I doubt that you will be honest when I ask why you wrote such a song, I will only tell you one thing. If anyone is hurting MY puppy, I WILL find out who and make sure that it stops and whoever it is, WILL pay. So you better just spill it now."

"What the fuck are ya talkin' about? I'm NOT ya fucking dog, so cut it out. And the song meant nothin'." Joey was back to his feisty and rash behaviour, at least something. Even the fire in his eyes was back once again. Maybe I was wrong and it is just that he has thought about it after hearing something about abuse in the news or something similar to that. But I can't risk it, I need to be sure.

"You are my pup and I will protect you." Joey looks like he's worrying about something. Or is he worrying about someone? 'I love them but they hate' It nearly feels like his voice is stuck in my head repeating different parts of his song over and over while trying to decipher them. Showing me images in my mind about possible sources for inspiration, most of which I dearly hope to be a far cry from what truly happened to him.

Still, that one part of the song might be the reason why he is worrying. Is he loving whoever is hurting him? If that's the case, it will not be easy to get him out of it. But maybe I can make a deal with him. Since he loves whoever is hurting him, I can maybe talk him into letting me protect him.

"Tell me who it is and I will find a way to protect you, without getting the person into trouble. Don't tell me and I will find out and if I have to trail you myself 24/7! I will find out and I will make them pay dearly. Do you understand?" He looks at me but not in fear, the fire is still burning with defiance and I already know that he will not give me a name.

How can he want to protect someone that's hurting him? How can he love someone that is so cruel to him? We look at each other for a moment but get interrupted by the teacher returning. "Oh there you are, sorry for the wait." She just says and gives me the papers I need, while I look one more time towards my puppy.

He couldn't talk as free in front of the teacher, not now, so I only say, "Think about it until tomorrow. I meant what I said."

And with that I leave but as soon as I'm in my car, I phone Roland, my right hand man and the only one I can entrust with the task of trailing Joey and to find out who is abusing him as well as to contact me as soon as he finds out anything. Roland doesn't ask any questions, even so he must find it strange to hear my request. No one knows how I feel about my puppy. Even Mokuba hasn't found out yet. He keeps asking after fights, why I hate him so much? Not understanding that I just want them to think that I do just that. Still, Roland doesn't ask a single question and just does as ordered like always.

I know I will regret this decision to some degree in the near future. But this is not the time to be selfish and afraid of getting hurt. My puppy needs me and I will do anything to protect him and if it means that he finds out about my feelings and rejects me, taking the last bit of hope I have, then so be it. As long as he is safe, I don't care. Still I drive back to work and get started on my project, hoping to hear from Roland about Joey's situation at home fast. But there is no news for the rest of the day or the night.

Once I reach the school the next day, I already see him standing in front of the building. Yugi is just going in but Joey stays behind. I wonder why, is he waiting for me? Will he tell me who is hurting him and will he let me protect him? I highly doubt it, taking his stubbornness into account. But there's only one way to find out. I walk up to the building while keeping an eye on my blond beauty. As soon as he sees me, he walks towards me. He obviously really was waiting for me and looks a little nervous but determined.

I wonder what he will have to say. Will he try to deny everything? Is it maybe true that the song had no meaning? No, with so much emotions and the sadness that was in his eyes yesterday, there is something more to it, the only question is what? I go towards him and see him going more to the left, looking around to me a few times. I see a quiet spot to the left and go towards it and so does he. Once there, he is just staring at me but before he can say anything I ask him, "What will it be? Will you tell me who is hurting you and let me protect you or do I get to punish that person?"

Joey looks down and I put my hands on a tree that is standing right behind him, one hand on either side of his face and say, "Just tell me. I'll find out anyway." I smile at him, a smug smile, showing that I'm confident in keeping that promise, all the while actually enjoying that I'm this close to him.

"And what if I don't want ya to do either? Why are ya tryin' to help me anyway, ya hate my guts." He answers, at least he isn't denying that he does need help.

"I try to help you because, against your faulty assumptions, I do sort of worry about you a little. I want you to be happy and not sad, I want you to compose happy songs, because I don't hate you - I like you." I hope that he doesn't get the last part wrong or rather that he doesn't get it right. After all he still hates me and doesn't trust me. Maybe he thinks that I sort of grew fond of him during our duels against one common enemy or the other, not enough to call him a friend, but enough to not wish him too much harm.

I try to gently lift his chin and make him look into my eyes to help me decipher if his thoughts are favourable or not. In that moment he catches me off guard, something that isn't easily accomplished, but suddenly I feel his knee raised up into my stomach with considerable force. I just about can stop myself from screaming or dropping to the ground but he manages to push me away due to that. Far enough that I couldn't touch him if I wanted to without stepping closer again. I'm also slightly bend forward due to the pain and thus he is looking slightly down on me with a bright and threatening fire in his eyes as he says, "Well, screw ya. I don't need ya help or anyone's else's for that matter. I can take care of myself. And anyway, I might be dumb but I ain't dumb enough to trust a jack ass like you."

I see him turn and just say, "I'll still find out what's wrong and I will find a way to get you out of whatever trouble you're in."

"Just go to hell." He said without even turning while walking way.