A/N: Hey guys, sick of my stories yet? You must think that I have no life. And it's true. I don't.
Mmmyeah, I also decided to rate this fic M, mostly for language.
The air was filled with laughter and shouts and the smell of cotton candy and popcorn. As soon as the school had ended for that Friday, Yugi, Jonouchi and all the others had set off to the local amusement park to have some fun before the weekend started. It was very crowded and the lines to the attractions were endless, but it was totally worth it.
So far, all of them had gone on a trip with the roller-coaster, but only Jonouchi, Honda and Otogi dared to enter the Haunted House, while Yugi and Anzu stayed outside and rode the Ferris Wheel instead. The view from up there was beautiful; you could see all of Domino City and the sun, not so far away from setting into the ocean. When they got down again, Honda, Jonouchi and Otogi were just leaving the Haunted House, all of them scared out of their lives and their faces pale. Anzu simply laughed at them and Yugi said something about going to get some food, when Jonouchi suddenly saw something that made him completely forget everything else.
A very familiar white coat was just disappearing into another house not far from where Yugi and the gang were standing. Jonouchi stared after his sworn enemy with a frown on his face and chewing his lower lip without realizing it. What the hell was Kaiba doing there, at an amusement park? He really seemed out of place, though, and from the brief glance at his face Jonouchi had managed to take, Kaiba didn't like being there either. Maybe he was there with Mokuba, or maybe –
"Hey, Jou," Honda said and poked Jonouchi's side rather hard, which drew a gasp from the blond and made him jerk away.
"'The hell was that for?" he asked, but then noticed the rest of the gang was watching him.
"I said; where do you want to eat?" Honda repeated slowly, as if he thought Jonouchi didn't understand him. "Weren't you paying attention?"
"I, uh…" Jonouchi stuttered but then bounced back. "Ah, it doesn't really matter! Jus' as long as we get somethin'; I'm starvin'!" he added a little laugh which sounded undeniably fake even to his own ears, and it earned him an odd look from Honda.
"Well… I think there's a hot dog stand over by the Teacups, we can go check how long the line is, otherwise we can go to that taco place you like, Jonouchi!" Honda said and obviously tried to engage Jonouchi into some kind of conversation, but said person's mind had drifted off somewhere else again.
"Huh? Oh yeah, that sounds… sounds great." Jonouchi ignored the glare he got from Honda and the confused look from both Anzu and Yugi, and turned his back on them. "I just gotta… go to the toilet. Meet ya at the hot dog stand!" he started walking, quickly, in the direction of the house Kaiba had gone into. Behind him, he could hear Yugi ask Honda if the blond was okay, but he didn't care at the moment.
He couldn't take it anymore; he had to know why Kaiba was there. Maybe he was there as research work, to check up what the other amusement parks had which Kaibaland didn't have. Or no, he probably had people who did that for him, and probably without even coming to the amusement park itself… Maybe he really was there with Mokuba. If there was one thing Jonouchi never got about Kaiba, it was how he could be so kind and… caring towards his little brother while he never showed a single emotion towards others. It was unsettling, like Kaiba was either a really bad brother in reality but never showed it, or like he was really was a nice person but wouldn't show it to anyone. Secretly, Jonouchi hoped for the latter, for Mokuba's sake if anything.
He stopped outside the house. There was almost no one close by, people hurried past the place like they had somewhere more fun to be. Jonouchi couldn't exactly blame them; the whole place seemed fairly old and badly taken care of. Before entering he looked up at the sign above the doorway. 'Mirror House' it said, and underneath it, with much smaller letters and the paint peeled off here and there – Jonouchi had to squint to be able to see – it stood; 'We learn our virtues from our friends who love us; our faults from the enemy who hates us. We cannot easily discover the real character from a friend. He is a mirror, on which the warmth of our breaths impedes the clearness of the reflection.'
Jonouchi frowned at the quote. What was that supposed to mean? He shook his head and decided to ignore it, finally stepping into the Mirror House to see what Kaiba was up to. The moment he stepped inside the doorway all the sounds from outside were muffled, almost eerily so, and all he could see was a square of light falling in from the door on the floor. Everything else was hidden in darkness. He stepped further inside, waiting for his eyes to adjust to the dim light.
He had never really been in a Mirror House before, but he wasn't easily frightened. Once his eyes had gotten used to the light the first thing he noticed was the creepy feeling of something always following him, watching him. The place was designed as a labyrinth, and all the walls were covered in mirrors tilted towards different directions. Every time he moved, something would mimic his movements; to his right or left or behind him and even in front of him. It took a moment for Jonouchi to get used, but even after that it was a pretty unsettling feeling, to always have a dozen of reflections following his every move.
Jonouchi continued through the narrow passage – because at first it was nothing but a straightforward corridor – then he suddenly came to a crossroad and had to choose. He frowned; it was getting harder now. Which way had Kaiba taken…? It was a pretty stupid advice, but Jonouchi had once heard that when in doubt, you should always take the left way, so that's what he did. The second time he took a left too but the third time, he had to take a right since even he understood that he would be going to circles eventually.
After a while he realized he was pretty much lost, but didn't panic. It was just a stupid Mirror House; he would find his way out of there eventually. He was more worried about the fact that Yugi and the others were probably waiting for him; he didn't really know how long he had been gone since he had neither a watch nor a cellphone, but he estimated it had to be at least five minutes. They would start worrying about him soon, maybe even search for him?
The moment he rounded a corner, someone else rounded the corner up ahead. Their eyes met and both of them stopped. Jonouchi immediately assumed some sort of defensive position; with his feet wide apart and hands slightly raised. He glared at Kaiba, who simply gave him the usual cold look back.
"Watcha doin' here Kaiba?"
Kaiba's blue eyes narrowed a little.
"I am allowed to be here just like you are, mutt."
"Watcha doin' here, really?" Jonouchi pressed. "You'd never go to an amusement park on your own."
"If you must know, I am here with Mokuba."
So he really was. It calmed Jonouchi down somewhat, knowing that Kaiba didn't have some odd reason for being there, or at least not more odd than being nice for a change.
"Where is he then?"
If Jonouchi hadn't known Kaiba better, he would've thought Kaiba sighed. But it was probably just the wind; the house was really old after all. And it was too dark for Jonouchi to see if Kaiba's chest had moved.
"I lost him." Kaiba admitted. Jonouchi could see how much it took for him to say that, and maybe in a way he felt just a little bit sorry for him – knowing how much Mokuba meant to him – but at the same time it was hilarious. He laughed a little.
"Maybe ya should keep 'em on a leash."
"You should be kept on a leash." Kaiba immediately bit back, which made Jonouchi growl. "Filthy dog…" he muttered and turned his head. It seemed like he was listening for something, but Jonouchi couldn't hear anything.
"Ya lost him… in here?" Jonouchi asked, not liking being ignored.
"Yes. Otherwise I would not be here, mutt." He used the same insult again, but put more emphasis on it this time. "Now move out of the way so I can find him." Kaiba took a couple of steps closer and stopped barely a few feet in front of Jonouchi, who didn't move at all. Jonouchi had a hard time deciding whether he should back down or stand his ground. He decided on the latter.
"I'm not gonna move over. Why dontcha go back the same way ya came?"
"I have already looked everywhere over there. Now step aside." He took yet another step closer and ended up in Jonouchi's personal zone. The blond raised his hands more, ready to defend himself. The movement made Kaiba's eyes narrow. "You stubborn…" he growled and glared at Jonouchi, who glared right back.
"I'm not gonna move over jus' so ya can find yer stupid lil' brother who's too dumb to –"
But he stepped over the line. So fast his hand became a blur, Kaiba reached out and seized Jonouchi's wrist in a painful grip. He twisted it a little; just enough for Jonouchi to wince and try to jerk his hand back, which only resulted in it hurting more. Kaiba's usual neutral face had dropped and his eyebrows were together in a frown, and his teeth gritted.
"Don't you dare insult Mokuba in front of me." He hissed.
Jonouchi was shocked at first but then realized he really had gone too far.
"Ah shit, Kaiba, I didn't –"
Kaiba gripped his wrist harder; so hard Jonouchi actually let out a barely audible whimper. He was surprisingly strong for being so skinny.
"Now move out of the way before I –"
But whatever it was Kaiba was going to do, Jonouchi would never find out, because Kaiba had glanced to his side while he spoke and then looked again. His sentence cut off in the middle and he actually stared; something Jonouchi rarely saw Kaiba do. Jonouchi, who didn't like being ignored – plus his wrist was still caught in Kaiba's iron grip – tried waving his free hand in front of the brunet's face.
"Kaib', the hell? Let go!" he struggled a little but it was useless; Kaiba's entire body was frozen over. Then Jonouchi looked at the same direction and froze too, his mouth falling open. Their reflection was clearly visible in a huge mirror on the wall right next to them; they stared at themselves, who stared right back.
If you're an artist, you've probably tried this. If not, hopefully you can understand anyway. Let's say you're drawing something, a human, full body, and you know the anatomy is wrong. It has to be; it's you who's drawing. And yet you can't see what's wrong in the picture – because it's you who's drawing. But when you hold the drawing up in front of a mirror and see the flipped image, you suddenly see it with someone else's eyes. And suddenly all the flaws are visible for everyone, including yourself, to see.
Jonouchi and Kaiba looked into the mirror and saw what other people saw; they saw themselves with someone else's eyes; they saw their flaw.
Make no mistake; both Kaiba and Jonouchi had seen themselves in the mirror several times before – the former more often than the latter – but this was the first time they were there together. And it was an odd experience. They were standing right there next to each other, Kaiba's hand still around Jonouchi's wrist – and it looked so wrong.
Kaiba slowly lessened his grip but didn't let go entirely; Jonouchi lowered his hands but Kaiba still hung onto him. Both of them straightened up a bit – standing crouched like that looked really bad for their posture. And then Kaiba, the perfectionist, made the first move. He saw Jonouchi's jacket was all wrinkly and it bugged the living hell out of him; so he reached out and straightened it out. Jonouchi let him, but neither of them stopped looking into the mirror. Jonouchi on the other hand, even though it was fairly dark in there, could see a few strands of hair sticking out from Kaiba's otherwise perfect hairstyle. He reached up and gently brushed them aside. There, that looked better.
But even though their physical appearance was fine now, there was still something off about their reflection. Kaiba slid his hand further down until he was practically holding Jonouchi's hand. It took a moment, but then Jonouchi's fingers lightly bend around Kaiba's hand too. The brunet took a step forward, and then the blond did the same – now there was practically no space at all between them.
Jonouchi started moving his head and Kaiba was on the verge of practically yelling at him not to do it; if they stopped looking into the mirror it felt as if the… magic? would stop and – And what? But before Kaiba even got a chance to think more about it Jonouchi tore his eyes away from his own reflection and looked up at Kaiba – the real Kaiba, not just his reflection. The brunet could see him do it in the mirror; he could see the blond look up at him with and unreadable expression, but it took a moment before Kaiba dared to turn his head too – and his cold blue eyes met Jonouchi's honey colored ones.
A strange realization began to sink through the both of them.
Jonouchi was home alone, much to his own relief. He didn't know where his father was but he didn't care either, or at least not at the moment. He would come back sooner or later, he always did.
The incident earlier that day kept replaying in his head, but it didn't make more sense no matter how many times he went through it. Kaiba had acted so weird. But then again, he had probably acted pretty weird himself too. That mirror… their reflections had looked so wrong. There wasn't any other word that could it describe it; the way Kaiba and himself stood there next to one another wasn't right. It was like he could see their relationship like a bunch of threads going between their bodies – and they were all tangled and broken and cut off. It was unsettling.
And then the way Kaiba had behaved… He must've seen something similar; why would he otherwise try to fix it? The physical things had come first, Jonouchi's clothes had been wrinkled, and Kaiba's hair had been messy. Jonouchi still couldn't believe he had actually reached up and tried to fix Kaiba's hair; it embarrassed him to death now when he thought back, but back then it had felt completely natural. And they had been standing too far apart… maybe some of those broken threads could be fixed if they moved closer. Yes, Jonouchi remembered thinking something along those lines, even though it didn't make any sense whatsoever now.
He sighed and rubbed his forehead.
Was his and Kaiba's relationship really that wrong? Well… they were enemies. Or at least, Jonouchi would call Kaiba an enemy. Kaiba would probably just call Jonouchi 'mutt' or 'puppy' or 'dog' or any number of the similar nicknames he had gotten without any real reason.
Maybe that was it!
Jonouchi's head jerked up and he stared in front of himself without really seeing anything.
Did he and Kaiba really have a reason for being enemies?
A/N: First chapter! And I have to tell you, I don't know how long this fic will be. That's right, I don't have an ending. Which is probably pretty bad since I usually do when I start writing xD
So yeah, ideas, thoughts, comment and questions are very appreciated! Especially about the mirror part, I want to make sure everyone got it!
Thanks to FanficFemale, Katlynn888 and Hachiseiko for betaing! (Damn right, I had three betas.)