Chapter 29 : Sunshine and Breakfast
For perhaps the first time in his life, Seto Kaiba was truly happy to have the weekend off of work. He stepped out of his car and glanced down at his watch only to read that it was close to nine at night. His body ached, and he trudged up the driveway to the main entrance of his mansion, feeling his eyelids becoming heavy already. "Just lay down and go to bed," he told himself as he took out his keys and unlocked the door. "Don't worry about the company or anything like that. Just go to sleep."
During the week since the explosion, Seto's life had been buried in his work even more than usual. News of the explosion reached both the United States and Japan, and for several days an investigation was conducted to determine what exactly happened. Seto, not one to usually panic, was edgy and close to paranoid, and it didn't help that both Sanderson and Sterner had emailed him explaining their escape to the States. Sanderson had merely sent a thank you letter, wishing him the best and telling him that he was looking to find a new occupation in the States (perhaps as the strongest gym teacher around, he jokingly concluded). Sterner was much more detailed in his account, explaining how a majority of the scientists were returning to the States in order to take up new occupations and forget the past. Sterner himself was going to look into becoming a doctor, and he assured Seto that he deleted all the files in his laboratory before escaping the facility. He also stated that he was certain that all evidence leading back to KaibaCorp had been demolished in the fire. The only ones aware of what occurred were doing their best to distance themselves from the situation. No one would tell.
But Seto, being one to never trust others, sent messages to both men stating that he too wished to distance himself from the situation. He wrote that he wished them well but that he wanted to hear nothing further from them until the situation passed. He even went so far as to block their email in case they attempted to return his message after sending them their individual emails. He then went on with business as usual, telling his employees that the bandages around his arm and neck had been from a testing accident in his home. Since most of his employees knew he worked just as hard at home as he did at the corporation, very few questioned him. Still, it was a nerve-wracking experience, and not until the fourth day of investigation, when both the U.S. and Japan determined that it was an isolated incident and that no further evidence could be found, could he rest assured that he was safe.
The mental stress took its toll, however, and now, Friday evening, five days after returning home from the facility, Seto felt exhausted. Taking off his shoes, he tossed his jacket onto a nearby chair, not caring if he didn't properly put it away. He strolled into the dining room, figuring he would see Mokuba eating ice cream or something. The boy always stayed up late to play video games, but instead of finding his younger brother, he found a small note on the table. He frowned and picked it up to read:
Hey Big Brother. Sorry I didn't call you, but don't worry about me. I went over to Kiito's house; he decided last minute to have a birthday slumber party. I'll call you tomorrow to let you know what time I am coming home. Relax and take it easy this weekend. I know you've been working too hard! – Mokuba
He smirked and tossed the paper into the nearby trash can. So his brother wasn't home. He had the whole mansion to himself. "A shame, too, as I'm going to be using this opportunity to sleep," he thought as he reentered the main foyer. He grabbed onto the banister and began ascending the staircase when he suddenly heard something in the distance. It sounded like someone humming, or whistling perhaps, and it caused him to stop and blink in surprise. "Is someone else here?" he thought warily, not wanting to deal with such a thing when he was so tired. "Did Roland let in a visitor? No, they would be waiting in the main foyer for my return. It can't be an intruder; no one can get past my security system. So who is it? Did Mokuba leave something on?" His brain was already muddled, and the idea of talking with someone else seemed foreign to him. Sighing in defeat, he finished ascending the stairs and decided to follow the direction of the noise, which ironically seemed to lead towards his bedroom. In fact, the closer he got to his bedroom, the louder the noise became, until he was standing directly in front of the entrance to his room. He could hear music playing, Japanese Pop or something like that by the sounds of it, and he frowned in confusion. Opening the door, his eyes widened at the sight before him.
Anzu was standing next to the large window overlooking the backyard, her back turned to him. His radio was playing on his desk, blaring the music he had heard from the stairwell. Her head bobbed back and forth to the music, and every few words or so she would sing along with the tune. She was wearing a pair of blue jeans and a tight, gray shirt along with some bracelets, and he realized that the cuts and bruises that had tarnished her arms were gone.
"Anzu?" he asked aloud, not sure if what he was seeing was truly there or not.
She swiftly turned to look at him and smiled widely. "Seto!" she exclaimed, rushing up to him and wrapping her arms around him. Taken off-guard, he stumbled backwards and nearly fell to the floor. She seemed to sense his lack of energy, for she frowned up at him and asked, "What's wrong?"
"I just… I didn't expect to see you," he answered, watching as she released him and approached the radio. She turned it off, creating a sudden silence in the room, and he sighed before asking, "What are you doing here?"
"You asked me to call you within the next week, but I wanted to visit," she answered. "Roland let me in and said you would be home earlier than usual. He told me you were exhausted from all the news and work you had to do concerning the facility, but said that he didn't see it as a problem if I stayed and waited for you to return. I just wanted to see if you were okay."
Remembering his request, he smiled at her and walked towards his bed. He sat down on the edge and turned to look at her. "I'm sorry, but I am probably not in the best mood to be receiving visitors," he admitted.
"I'm mentally and physically drained right now."
She chuckled and rushed to the side of the bed, taking a seat next to him. "You look it," she admitted, her voice lower in volume. "I saw the news… Has anything come up yet that points towards you?"
"No, not yet," he answered. "And they just finished the investigation, so I don't think I have to worry about it anymore. Although you will be happy to know I got emails from both Sanderson and Sterner."
"Really? Are they okay?"
"They made it out fine. Sterner stated that most of the scientists who escaped returned to the States, where they are trying their best to find new careers and escape the past."
"That's good for them, I suppose."
"What about you? How have you been?"
Sighing, he closed his eyes and leaned forward, placing his elbows on his knees for support. "Just tired," he answered.
"Have you been sleeping well?"
"Yeah, better than before now that those visions are gone. It's just… Things have been rather stressful at the corporation. I think my nerves are finally shot. On top of that, my arm and neck are still aching from those attacks." Glancing over at her, he asked, "How have you been?"
"Pretty good. My wounds are healed, finally, and I guess I've returned to my daily routine. Jou and Yugi have kept their promise, though; Tristan, Serenity, and the others don't know about what happened."
Nodding, he pushed himself onto the bed and lied down so that he was lying sideways. His feet dangled off the edge of the bed, and he sighed in content at the feeling of the comforters and blankets. It was soft and relaxing, and he could feel the tension in his body ease into the sheets beneath. "Would you…rather me visit another time?" she asked timidly. He glanced up at her and smirked before shaking his head no.
"No, actually, I'd rather you stay," he answered, reaching forward to grab her hand. Pulling her closer to him, he watched as she sat criss-crossed next to him before placing his hand on her lap. He closed his eyes and inhaled a deep breath before saying, "I've been meaning to talk to you, but with all the work and stress, I didn't find any time."
"I don't blame you, Seto. I can tell you're exhausted. Why don't I just come over another time?"
He frowned and shook his head no. He liked the feeling of his hand holding hers, but he knew he was slipping into the realm of sleep. "I want you to stay…" he whispered, hardly recognizing his own voice. Feeling the bed shift, he opened his eyes slightly to see Anzu positioning herself next to him so that she was lying beside him. She smiled at him and leaned in, lightly kissing his forehead.
"We can talk in the morning if you want…"
He smiled widely and wrapped his left arm, which was still bandaged from the attack, around her waist. "That sounds good…" he answered, closing his heavy eyelids once more.
"Goodnight, Seto," she whispered. He nodded and immediately fell asleep.
The first thing he noticed was the bright sunlight streaming through the open, blue curtains. Being one to usually beat the sun, he flinched in surprise and quickly sat up. Yawning, he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and took in his surroundings. He was by himself in his bedroom, the sunlight hitting him at full force. The digital clock on his nightstand revealed that it was almost 9:30, a time Seto had never seen when first waking up. Groaning as his back cracked, he slowly crawled out of bed and walked into the closet, hoping to take a quick shower. He loosened the tie around his neck and sighed at his disheveled complexion, although he looked a bit better now that he had some rest. Just as he was about to pick an outfit out to wear, however, the door to his room opened, revealing Anzu holding a tray of food.
"Good morning, star shine!" she exclaimed, giggling at his shocked expression. He had almost forgotten that she had been over last night. He was so out of it that it hardly triggered in his mind.
"Good morning," he answered, slightly stunned by her entrance.
"I made us breakfast," she explained, holding out the tray. He could smell eggs and bacon and saw two cups of tea and some toast. "I figured you would want to eat in your bedroom since you were so tired last night."
His stomach churned slightly at the smell of food. While the shower still sounded good, he couldn't deny the hunger he felt. Sighing in defeat, he tossed his outfit to the side and plopped back down onto the bed, watching as Anzu set up the tray so that each of them had one side. "Have you ever had breakfast in bed before?" she asked as she placed his plate in front of him.
"No, I hardly eat breakfast," he answered, grabbing an American fork and taking a bite out of the eggs.
"You should. It's very healthy for you. Gets your metabolism going and helps to wake you up."
"So does coffee, and I'm practically addicted to that crap."
"That's…not very good, Seto."
He chuckled and nodded in agreement. "Yeah, but, what can you do?"
She seemed to understand, for she let the matter drop, choosing instead to take a bite out of her bacon. Not really knowing what to say, he asked, "So…how did you sleep last night?"
She giggled and said, "Very good, actually. Your bed is so comfy. I wish my bed was this big at home. How about you? You were out in a matter of seconds, it seemed. I wanted to ask you something, but you were already asleep."
"What did you want to ask?" he questioned as he took a sip from the hot tea. The food felt refreshing to his system, which he had been negligent towards over the past several days.
"Oh, it was just something silly. Nothing too big. Besides, you mentioned you wanted to talk, and I figured we would have plenty to go over today, so I just let you sleep."
He sighed and took another bite out of his meal. He had to talk to her about his emotions. Bottling them up was just about killing him. But he had never been good with emotions, and expressing them was his worst trait. He mentally stumbled when considering the possibility of a relationship; how was he supposed to adequately explain himself to her? It was a necessary action, with all that had happened between them, but it was also something that unnerved him. And he did not deal well with things that unnerved him.
"Did you want to talk later today?" she asked slowly, seeming to sense his sudden tension, "or did you want to—"
"I'd rather do it now and get it over with," he admitted, finishing the last of his eggs and turning his attention to his tea and bacon. Wiping his hands on a napkin, he attempted to sit up straight, but the tension in his neck was killing him. He leaned against the steel, artsy banister at the end of his bed and sipped his tea, staring directly at her. "I just… I wanted to talk to you about…what happened during our trip to ReGEN05."
"You mean about our…kiss?" she asked, sipping her tea as well.
"More than that. Just… I mean, I don't know how you felt during our trip, but I…" Swallowing the lump in his throat, he mentally shouted at himself to get it together. It was now or never, and he had to do this. Even if it ended in disaster, he had to do it. "I admit that I developed some feelings for you. That kiss wasn't just because I was thankful to be alive. What I mean to say is… I-I wasn't trying to—"
"You weren't just kissing me to use me," she interrupted, her voice soft and comforting. "You actually meant it. And I did too. I… I really care about you, and while I respected you before the trip, I'll admit that I developed something deeper during our journey as well. It's strange, I know, how something like love could find us in such a Hellish place, but I suppose anything really is possible."
Love. That one word that Seto never understood in his life. Sure, he knew of brotherly love, of caring for Mokuba. He lived and nearly died for that boy, but it wasn't the same as the love he wanted with Anzu. This was something altogether different, something he had questioned ever feeling for another human being. He wanted to be with her, spend time with her, come home to her… He cared about her. But was that what love was? He didn't know from experience, that was for sure.
"I know you aren't the best with emotions, and I'm honestly surprised you were the one to strike up this conversation," Anzu admitted, smiling at him as she finished her plate of food. "You like logic and facts, things that are guaranteed by statistics, and I'll be the first one to admit that emotions are the total opposite. There is such a risk with emotions, of being rejected, of things not turning out the way you anticipated it would. But I would like to take that risk…if you want to, that is."
His heart was beating faster. "I-I care about you a lot," he stated. "I want to be with you. I know I'm terrible with emotions too, but I… I worried about you during this week. I missed seeing you. But the events that this occurred under are unorthodox at best. If you don't mind, I'd rather take this…relationship slowly."
She smiled and nodded in agreement. Grabbing her cup of tea, she crawled around the tray and sat down next to him. Leaning against his good arm, she said, "I don't mind taking it slowly, Seto, as long as we can be happy together."
He smiled and wrapped his arm around her. Leaning down, he gently kissed the top of her head and finished the rest of his tea before setting the cup down onto the tray. He then brought her slightly closer and said, "Well, I'll be hearing it from Mokuba all this weekend."
She chuckled and asked, "Why? Did he predetermine our relationship when he sent me with you to the facility?"
"I'm pretty sure he's already planning our wedding," he answered sarcastically.
"Maybe we can tell him he'll be the flower girl if he keeps it up."
Seto laughed at the notion and shook his head. "Now that would be interesting…"
Blinking, he glanced down to see her smiling up at him.
"I love you."
He smiled and leaned down, kissing her lightly on the lips. They were soft and tasted slightly of the tea she had made for them, but he didn't mind. All he knew was that he wanted those lips for himself. He wanted her to himself. Her kisses made him warm, made him feel human again. They made him happy. Breaking the kiss, he gently placed his head on top of hers and whispered, "I love you too."
Author's Note: The end is here, the end is here, here is the end! 29 Chapters later, and it is completed. I hope you guys greatly enjoyed this story, and I appreciate all the comments and criticisms I've received. I had a lot of fun experimenting with this story, and it turned out far better than I ever anticipated it would. You guys made this experience worthwhile, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the support!