Published: 11th February 2006
Edited: 21st August 2011 (Spellings corrected, additions to text made, just made it better in general ;])
He saw the road sign.
He heard the radio tell him.
He saw his speedometer.
But he didn't see the tree.
Will he survive?
Or will it be his end?
A One-Shot By
Kaiba shut the office door and locked it with a click. He turned to say goodbye to his secretary, but she had long gone, reminding him just how late he'd been working that day. However, it was a golden opportunity to get some much-needed work done, Mokuba was round a William's tonight, it was a weight off to know he could work, yet Mokuba's well-being wouldn't be compromised because of it. Well, as long as William's parents fed him and gave him a bed of course. But that seems to be a typical sleepover given.
The security guard was the only one there to see him off, nodding to him as he got into his Mercedes E320 and drove off. Indicating right, he turned out sharply, tyres screeching, and sped off into the night.
"He's going to kill himself one day" Muttered the security guard as he returned to his station.
Kaiba was silent the drive home. Of course, why wouldn't he be? He had no-one to talk to. He bent down to turn the radio on, the male newsreader drowning out the low purr of the car.
' - And drivers should watch out for slippery roads, the B140 and the roads surrounding it are especially affected, please be careful when driving and keep your headlights on, onto different matters-'
He turned it off, the road was empty, he didn't need that crap.
He passed a sign.
He looked at his Speedometer.
The road was empty as far as he could see. Which, considering the layout of the winding road, was not very far.
It was a very small road.
He never saw the tree coming.
Seto Kaiba opened his eyes to darkness. His air bag had failed, and he was finding it hard and extremely painful to breathe. He looked up to see the tree looming above him in the flickering glow of his headlights. The tree looked like it took significant damage itself, looking like the slightest movement could shift it, and it would come tumbling down onto him.
"Stupid... Fucking... Tree... Causing... Me... Problems..."
He gasped for air, choking on his own blood. It started to dribble down his chin, he would've wiped it off had the branches restraining him not forbade him from moving his hands. It was the most frustrating feeling, knowing that the blood would run onto his pristine suit. Yet thinking about that, the impact of the tree would've most certainly ripped it at least. He mentally chuckled to himself (physically laughing was almost impossible at this point.) Was this what it felt like to be delusional? To die?
The road was deserted. He knew no-one would find him in time, so he just sat there, trying to control his breathing to slow the pain, silently apologising to those he had hurt:
Yuugi, even seven years after battle city had ended, he would occasionally challenge him to the odd re-match normally ending up losing to him... Just. But even when Yuugi held his usual cheer, telling him that maybe next time he would finally beat him, Kaiba would still give him the cold glare he bestowed upon many, and stalk off without a word. Maybe it was time for him to just take a step back and shake his hand, and graciously accept defeat.
Katsuya Jonouchi, The Mutt, even after all these years, he still had his shaggy blonde hair and his accent, And even after all those years, Kaiba still called him a Mutt. Yet that night, he promised that if he got through this he would apologise... And then call him Mutt. Old habits die hard after all, and he couldn't be seen to go soft all of a sudden.
Then there was Mazaki Anzu. The happy cheer leader, with a fiery temper; a look from her could light a candle at ten meters. She was pretty, and kind, and out of the whole school she was the only one not to judge him by his actions. Maybe he would've like to get to know her better, but she was off, probably continuing dance, something he had almost continuously mocked her for. Along with her constant belief in friendship being the sole cure for almost everything.
He wished he had that same belief, what he wouldn't give to have someone with him now. Mokuba... Who would look after him now he was gone? The thought of his brother returning to the orphanage they used to live filled him with more dread than the prospect of dying. He couldn't even remember if he'd said 'Goodbye' to Mokuba that morning...
His thoughts were interrupted by the glare of a pair of headlights turning a corner down the road. He could hear the engine quieten as the car slowed down, and squinted as the car came to a stop facing him, headlights still on full beam. 'Fucking people, sticking their noses in where it doesn't belong...' The last thing he wanted was for the public to see him in his current state. If he was going to die, he'd like to retain his dignity and pride in the process.
He vaguely heard a squeaking of breaks as the car came to a full stop. Leaving the engine running, a figure stepped out of the car. Dressed in white, standing in front of the headlights, Kaiba could just about make out the long dark hair, and womanly curves.
'So God really is a woman' Well, he really was astonishing himself tonight, first a crash, then the apologies, now jokes? He truly was on a roll tonight.
"Oh my God is that you Kaiba!"
His head lolled over to one side to look at the woman who clearly recognised him. He coughed, spitting out the blood that had begun to pool in his mouth and attempted to speak, his voice rasping.
"Of course it's me. Who the hell are you?"
The figure moved closer, inspecting him, "Kaiba what are you talking about? Its me, Anzu"
As she stepped away from the glare head lights, Kaiba could begin to make out the shape and face of Anzu Mazaki. Even in his daze, he could see how she'd changed, grown into a woman, but still retained her soft blue eyes, filled with hope.
"Bloody hell, Anzu, what are you doing here?" He coughed again, and Anzu flinched at the blood, but recovered quickly, reaching through the shattered window to press her fingers to his throat.
"No time for that, Kaiba, what happened? I need to get you out of here fast!"
Kaiba sneered at her, surprising both parties considering his physical state. "Well Anzu, as you can see, I crashed. The Paramedics wont get here in time."
Anzu pulled back and looked at him sadly.
"I am a Paramedic."
Seto's eyes opened, taking in an off-white room. The sunlight poured in through the silk curtains, which floated gently, carried on the breeze that flowed into the room. As his eyes adjusted, he absorbed the room itself; plain, with a few paintings hung up on the walls. Were it not for the machines almost loitering around, the room would almost meet his standards.
He tried to move, attempting to lift is arm to brush his dark hair out of his eyes. When he couldn't he began to panic at the prospect of not being able to move. He may be alive but at what cost? His breathing quickened and hitched as a sharp pain shot through his ribs. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down, when a soft hand brushed across his forehead and pushed the hair out of the way.
Seto opened his eyes and tried to focus on the hand. As he did so, he heard a soft voice, Anzu's voice, call to him. Groggily, he turned his head to look at her, sitting next to his bed, hair tied back, blue eyes now filled with concern.
"You should try and refrain from moving Kaiba, you're in a full body cast, and you're still only just beginning your journey to recovery. You had a lucky escape, the ambulance rushed you to hospital just in time."
Seto groaned. "How long have I been here for?" Anzu smiled, "Not as long as we thought you'd be out for. We're on day five. And before you ask, Mokuba is fine, he's stayed with me the past few day, I hope you don't mind."
He turned his head away from her, trying to absorb all the information. He was alive, just. Mokuba was fine, and here was Anzu, telling him she had taken care of both him and his younger brother during his hospital stay so far.
"I appreciate your time and effort Mazaki, but my brother and I are more than capable of looking after ourselves."
He stayed in that position for a while, gazing out of the window. Eventually though, he turned back, expecting her to have left, but Anzu was still sat there, and on top of that she looked hurt. Why hadn't the silly girl left then? Surely she must have known what he was like? How long had they attended school together?
Despite logic arguing against him, it was that moment, that Seto experienced regret for the first time. He decided rather quickly however, that it was a feeling he'd rather not get accustomed to. He sighed.
"I apologise. That was out of order on my part. I do appreciate what you have done for my brother and I. We're just not used to being offered, let alone accepting, any sort of help."
Anzu's features softened at the apology, she reached across the bed go place her hand on top of his, forgiving him immediately.
"Don't worry about it. Not all of us have hidden agendas when it comes to you." She smiled at him, and to her surprise, he smiled back.
The months passed slowly, Seto recovering at almost an agonisingly slow pace. It didn't matter how much support Mokuba and Anzu offered, the proud CEO wanted to recover on his own. Despite his stubbornness, he did allow the pair to aide him occasionally, and much to the surprise of everyone, during this time, he and Anzu became very close friends. She regularly came over to the Kaiba mansion to cook for the boys, teaching Mokuba along the way. This occurrence became regular to the extent in which they no longer had a need for a personal chef. The brothers both agreeing that having the dancer over not only made their dinner times more cheerful, but that they were eating better, due to the fact Anzu would almost force them to help her out while she pottered around their kitchen.
During her time helping Seto recover, she found out more about the life of the young CEO. She now fully understood the pain he and his brother went through at the orphanage and under the tutelage of Gozaburo. And in return, Seto found out that, after failing to be accepted to Julliard, Anzu went to medical school and became a fully qualified paramedic. And a good one at that.
The weeks became months, and the pair found themselves becoming drawn to each other more and more. Dinners eaten in became dinners eaten out, and this continued even when Seto was fully recovered. In the eyes of Mokuba, the only thing that separated them, was their pride.
But after about a year, it was time for Kaiba Corp.'s Annual Summer Ball. And Mokuba had decided enough was enough.
The pair were sitting at the table in Seto's kitchen, tucking into the ravioli the man himself had made. Mokuba had gone over William's again for a sleep over, and had left Seto strict instructions to follow on pain of death, making his brother promise to follow them. He hated to admit it, but Mokuba saw all of this before he did. But Seto Kaiba was a man of his word, so halfway through the meal, Seto set his fork down and looked up at the woman in front of him.
The brunette looked up from her plate at him, cocking her head to one side as she finished her mouthful.
The CEO shifted in his seat, trying to regain his composure. This was the man who had taken over an global corporation from his own adoptive father in a form of mutiny, yet, he was struggling to fight the slight red that threatened to spread over his cheeks.
"The Kaiba Corporation Annual Summer Ball is next Friday, and I was wondering if you would be so kind to allow me to take you there, as my partner?"
Anzu raised one eyebrow in amazement, could the man be informal for one moment?
"Do you happen to mean: "Anzu, I think you're fit, wanna go on a date with me to the fancy 'do next weekend" by any chance?" She stifled a laugh as she said this. The mere image of Seto saying something so... Street was enough to have her in fits.
"Oh Mazaki you're absolutely hilarious." He replied, face deadpan. "But I shall agree if it means you'll agree."
Anzu leant across the table, and grabbed his face with her hands.
Sea blue met ice blue.
"It would be an honour Seto Kaiba"
The night of the Summer Ball arrived, and Seto waited impatiently for Anzu in the mansion foyer. At this rate they were going to be late, and the business part of his brain was telling him to leave without her, it would be unacceptable to arrive late to his own arrangement. He sighed, as Mokuba passed him, a cheeky twinkle in his eye. The younger Kaiba brother couldn't help but feel proud of himself at his efforts to set his brother up, as right now, there was no one that could be more perfect for him than Anzu Mazaki.
A door at the end of the hallway opened and Anzu scurried out of the room, running down the hallway, fixing her earrings as she went. "Seto I'm so sorry! I lost track of time, we're not going to be too late are we?"
Pausing to catch her breath a little when she reached him, Seto took the moment to take in his date for the evening.
Anzu's normally down hair had been pulled back into an elegant up-do of sorts, sleeked back and pulled into a bun at the nape of her neck. His eyes trailed down, past the sapphire earrings and the matching necklace counterpart. She was wearing a beautiful midnight blue strapless dress, knee-high with a sweetheart neckline, and sky high heels bringing her closer to his own height. He stood back, not sure what to say to her. Is this where he compliments her attire? Is that what she's waiting for?
"Wow Anzu! You look really pretty tonight!" Mokuba's voice cut through his thoughts. Anzu smiled, regaining her composure.
"Why thank you Mokuba, I thought it'd be nice to put in a little effort for once." She turned to Seto, "Shall we be off then? I'd hate to make us later than we already are!"
He smiled faintly at her, and offered his arm. She took it, and together they left the mansion. Mokuba stood at the door way and waved them off. And as they waited at the top of the drive for the chauffeur, Seto leaned over to Anzu and whispered in her ear;
"Did I tell you that you look beautiful tonight?"
Disclaimer: I own none of this! I have written this purely for my own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.
A/N: This was the first FanFiction I'd ever written, way back in '06. I recently re-read it and though "This WON'T do" so I have re-written it, and re-posted it for you all, any thoughts would be muchly appreciated! Cookies for all!