Kaiba as Kira? No one believed it for a moment, especially not L. Except, that was what they were counting on. Seto framed, Mokuba kidnapped, L confused, and Light outraged. A conspiracy is underfoot.
It began as a low rumbling, easily overlooked, warning though it was. As the meeting drones on the volume rose until the growl was clearly audible from the back of his throat. The next speaker hesitated, glancing at his CEO before launching into his on spiel about funding for the latest addition to the park. Sure, he was in a bad mood. Wouldn't he be in a worse mood if his employees stopped working because of it?
"And in conclusion with increased funding to the virtual development team we will be able to increase the projected revenue by a margin on seven percent in the next year."
"Thank you Parker. Now is there anyone else here interested in wasting my time? I've read your reports already, I was unaware this was a meeting for you to review them word per word."
"I-I-I'm sorry sir, I only thought I would-"
"No, obviously you weren't thinking this through. Your proposal is shoddy and missing the two greatest arguments in your favor. Get the latest figures from accounting, check the Gazette for Tuesday's editorials and I expect for a report with substance to be on my desk by Friday at the latest. Masters, I'll be assigning you to supervise this project. Despite the poor presentation the idea has merit. Work on the specifics and I'll talk to you directly about the budgeting issues." The venom voiced teenager rose deliberately, turning his back on his 'valuable employees'.
He strode into the elevator as if daring anyone present to object to his sudden departure. Just before the doors closed a deceptively small arm stopped them in their tracks. His brother slid inside without a word, looking worriedly at the near permanent grimace. The ride down was awkward, made more so by the inappropriately cheerful music 'subtly' humming through the speakers. Seto made a mental note to get that taken care of. Permanently.
"So... exciting meeting, huh?"
"'Exciting' is a term that would apply as much as 'productive' or 'awe-inspiring'. For him to dare to waste my time on a project I assigned over three weeks ago without having done the proper research... I'm being generous giving him an extension. Two days should be more than enough to get his act together. With the holiday crowds and competition this weekend is much too important for me to keep doing this." He sighed, allowing himself a moment of vulnerability before hardening his visage. Mokuba was one person he could let his guard down with, at least to an extent. Aside from him, few would see more than a stormy gaze and a sharp tongue.
Seto shifted his briefcase imperceptibly, this would be a long day.
"Eleven. No later."
Seto closed the last of his files and stood precisely at 10:50. He walked calmly and efficiently at the pace he was accustomed to. No, Seto Kaiba would not drudge through his own company's walls. He would not wallow or delay. Seto Kaiba will arrive exactly when he means to and to hell with anyone who tried to stop him. The majority of the admittedly few workers that stayed late were intelligent (or had enough survival instinct) and followed this implicit order. He greeted his driver with a nod harsher than deserved.
"The hotel, sir?" Beckett was unperturbed, a trait that had kept him the job after a line of others. Another nod led them toward the Pardemont, his third abode in as many days. The Castill had been his first choice until an untimely media leak had taken an annoying amount of time to squelch. Holsendain was next but upon examination was declared a potential threat to security and the brothers had left in a number of hours. The Pardemont was exceptional, but Mokuba had taken offense to a snotty bellhop and the overall lack of technological entertainment, so the likelihood of remaining for the rest of their week was slim.
The ride was short at least. Location was a primary factor and in that department succeeded swimmingly. Seto brushed past the greeters, ignoring their halfhearted salutations to make his way to the second elevator. He stood to the side as a loud, smirking blond man swaggered past on his phone.
On the seventh floor Seto stopped, nearing his door key card in hand. The handle was lowered about an inch from horizontal. Odd, but not entirely significant. What made him stop cold was a soft metallic click that sounded as he brought it back up. A trap, then. Mokuba was still inside. Seto checked around the hall briefly before opening his briefcase and pulling out a slim pistol. That done, he signaled an emergency from his phone and reached for the handle again. He tensed and pushed it open with his bag as he threw the handle down and hid behind the left side of the frame, expecting a hail of bullets or some visible threat. Met with nothing but silence, he relaxed his stance and stood calmly.
The older Kaiba warily glanced around the corner, quickly drawing back his head. The coast was clear. He entered a moment later, his eyes taking in every detail as he held his gun steady. Nothing. Not a single paper was out of its proper pile, there was not a single wrinkle he had not left there that morning. This was even more unusual as Mokuba himself would have made more of a disturbance than this if he had come at all. Fighting to maintain his paranoia in the eerie, pristine room, he checked the cabinets. Then the drawers. Every closet and small hiding place was examined soundlessly. Not a single object looked anything but perfectly innocuous. Preparing to send a recall notice to his alert and dismiss his concerns as unfounded, he stood. Click. The same click echoed through his room but this time was accompanied by a familiar creak coming from his door. He dashed towards it when a thin red playing card fluttered down from the ceiling before him. By reflex, he caught it and his world turned red.