Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh.
"Mmmm." Tea moaned as consciousness seeped into her mind. The sound of a beating heart against her ear caused her to lift her head and survey her surroundings only to find herself on top of Alistair. His amused eyes glinted at her.
"Morning." He said with a smile. She sighed and rested her head back on his chest, arms tightening around his waist.
"What's wrong?" He asked, running his fingers through the silky strands of her hair. Though he couldn't see it, he knew she was frowning.
"You're leaving in a few hours, and you're asking me what's wrong?" He chuckled slightly, the rumbling of his chest sending pleasing sensations down Tea's body.
"You haven't asked me to stay." Her frown deepened and she lifted her head to look at him.
"I can't ask that of you, and you know that. You've already spent so much of your time here and I know you need to go back. I don't want to keep you from your work." She resumed her position of laying her head on his chest and said. "You're so very understanding of my work. The least I can do is reciprocate that."
"You are way too nice for your own good Tea." He said, kissing the top of her head. "But this will be the last time we will have to be separated." He said in an attempt to cheer her up. She peeked at him curiously and he let out another chuckle. "Now that our relationship is out in the open, we can live together. I want you to move in with me." Her eyes widened in joy.
"Really?" She asked.
"Yes, really." He replied back humorously. The next second, her lips were on him, kissing him excitedly.
"Finally." She said. "This will be so great. I won't have to be away from you for a day."
"And you won't have to deal with the stalker paparazzi that are native to Hollywood. You'll finally be able to take a walk without having to dodge camera flashes." He said. This caused her to literally bounce on him like a child.
"This is great. I can't wait to tell the others." Then she paused. "What about Steven and Joshua? Will they come too?" Alistair shrugged.
"They can if they want to. They'll be good company." She nodded her head and smiled.
"Things are finally starting to work out the way they should." She said and he nodded his head.
"Tea, listen to me." He said, his voice hardening to house a strict tone. "I don't want you to do anything else involving your old friends when I'm gone. It's becoming dangerous."
"I can take care of myself." She countered.
"I know you can. I trust you, but I don't trust the people you are dealing with. They will go to any lengths to hurt you, considering the state they are at now. Tea, I don't want to have to constantly worry about you when I'm not here. I want to know that you are safe and enjoying yourself. Promise me you won't mess with them anymore." She looked hesitant.
"But Alistair, I have Steven and Joshua. You know they won't let anything happen to me." Alistair sighed.
"I know. I already spoke with Steven and he agreed with me on this. You have to stop now Tea. No more." She pouted. With a smile, he held her chin and brought her face closer to his.
"Be a good girl, and you will get a nice reward."
"What kind of reward?" She asked. He smirked and inched closer to her lips.
"A very pleasing one." A blush made its way onto her cheeks. Alistair smirked in triumph before claiming her lips in a possessive kiss. His lips devoured hers, teeth nipping on the bottom lip to seek entrance to her cavern. She complied and his tongue immediately plunged in deep, tasting every corner, every crevice. She moaned loudly and pressed her body sensually against his, her hands moving up and down his bare chest. His own hands began their exploration of her body, moving from her petite waist to her shoulders and then pushing her away?
She stared at him, confused and irritated.
"I'll be late for my flight and I need to take a shower." Her eyes widened at his statement. Was he… was he denying her? Inwardly smirking at her shocked expression, Alistair made his way off the bed and towards the bathroom.
"You're welcomed to join me." He said over his shoulder. Tea glared at him, understanding his game and followed him.
"Like I have a choice now." She grumbled.
"Do you have them ready Rosa?" Mokuba asked, stepping into the kitchen. The older woman smiled and pointed to a basket on the center island.
"It's right there master Mokuba." Mokuba walked towards it to investigate, his face breaking into a huge smile.
"Thanks a million Rose. Tea will love these."
"May I ask what is the occasion that you are giving her a basket of cupcakes?"
"Alistair, her boyfriend, is leaving today." Mokuba said. "In fact, I think he probably left by now, and Tea's been all sad and mopey for two days because of his departure. I'm trying to cheer her up because she loves sweets, especially homemade stuff." Rosa smiled and nodded her head in return.
"Will you be spending the entire day with her?"
"I wish." Mokuba sighed. "I have to meet with some friends to work on an assignment. And after that, I'll probably hang out with them."
"So you're trying to make up for your absence by giving her these treats?" Rosa said in an amused voice and Mokuba smiled sheepishly.
"Anyway, I'm off. See you later babe." Mokuba called out as he grabbed the basket and walked out the door. Rosa just shook her head in amusement and fondness at his antics. After cleaning her hands, she made her way up to Seto's office. She knew he would be there. Gently knocking, she waited for a reply. Upon hearing a gruff 'come in' she entered.
"Master Kaiba, Master Mokuba has left for Miss Tea's mansion." Seto nodded his head. "The cupcakes he had me bake were for her since her boyfriend is leaving today. They are meant to make her feel better." A glint appeared in Seto's eyes for a nanosecond, but it did not go unnoticed by Rosa. She made no indication of her observation and continued speaking. "He will be studying with some friends and then spending the rest of the day with them." Seto nodded his head in approval and then turned back to his work. Rosa turned and walked out. She never expected a thank you or any gracious words from the older Kaiba, even though she was his only link to the going-ons in his brother's life. She knew he secretly despised her status with Mokuba, and she couldn't help but pity him. He was starved for his brother's love, but Mokuba was adamant in not giving him another chance. She wasn't exactly sure what had caused a rift to appear between the two brothers, but she knew it had something to do with Serenity. Mokuba's attitude towards her made it obvious that he didn't like her. And with the appearance of Tea and the attitudes and events surrounding her, Rosa knew Tea was involved in the family drama as well. But how, she wasn't sure. She just hoped the two brothers would be able to settle their difference soon.
Seto's mind buzzed with joy at the piece of information he had just received from Rosa. Alistair was going today. He was leaving Domino. Now Tea would be free for him to speak to and pursue. In the back of his mind, he knew Alistair's departure didn't improve his situation at all, and Tea was still going to hate him. But at least it gave him the relief that she wasn't with him. He had felt that her changed attitude had a lot to do with Alistair. Tea was not the kind to hate. That was Alistair's type, and there was no doubt in Seto's mind that Alistair had poisoned her mind with hate. Perhaps with him gone, Seto could attempt to bring out the old Tea, the real Tea, the girl who didn't know hate and forgave even the worst of people. And her forgiveness was what he desperately needed, above anything else. It would not only reduce his guilt and grant him perhaps a wink of sleep without nightmares, but also a chance at getting Mokuba back.
Seto placed the picture album back in the drawer, and after making sure it was locked, stepped out of his office. He hadn't been able to get much work done, but just enough to his satisfaction. Perhaps he could wake up early and make another attempt to focus. It wasn't like he would get much sleep anyway, not with her plaguing his dreams. He sighed in irritation and longing and entered his room, somewhat surprised, but mostly annoyed to find Serenity awake, filing her nails.
"Hey baby, are you finished?" She asked coyly. He grunted in reply and went to his closet to find his pajamas. After locating them, he began taking his shirt off. There was no issue of her seeing him, since she had seen him naked many times before. He had just discarded his shirt when he felt small hands sliding onto his chest.
"Baby, I know you are tense and tired from all the work you have done. Why don't you come to bed and let me help you relax?" Serenity whispered seductively, pressing her body into his. Trying not to snap at her, he grabbed her wrist and pried her hands off him.
"I don't need any help. I'm fine." He reached for his pajamas when he felt her place an open-mouth kiss on to his shoulder blade.
"Seto, come to bed with me."
"Not tonight." He muttered, ignoring her and wearing his pajamas. She didn't give up and squirmed to stand in front of him, halting his movements.
"Are you mad at me?" She tried to be cute, her hands playing with the buttons of his shirt. "I know I have been busy with… other things, but I want to make it up to you." She pressed her flimsily clothed body against his in a sensual manner. "I want to give myself to you tonight to do as you please." Her voice was breathy, barely above a whisper, her breath hitting his chest. Before he could answer, she leaned forward and kissed his chest, tasting the salty texture of his skin. Her hands slipped to his pants, trying to undo the knot of pajama strings.
"Enough." Seto said, grabbing her hands roughly and shoving her away.
"Seto." She appeared shocked.
"I told you, not tonight. Don't make me repeat it." A huge frown appeared on her face and she sneered.
"Of course you don't want it, well not with me at least." He turned his head in her direction, eyes sharply glaring at her. She was unfazed by it.
"What the hell are you trying to say?"
"Oh please." She scoffed. "Like I don't know what is going on. You haven't looked at me since she came back. I know you want to screw her."
"Shut up Wheeler." He warned her, but she seemed bent on speaking her mind.
"I know what you are trying to do. You are trying to get in her good graces by not supporting my friends and I, hoping it will get you in her pants. After all, you missed the chance in the past when she was playing the 'holy virgin' part."
"Wheeler." Seto growled in warning again, but she ignored him, face red with anger and hate.
"But now you can. After all, she is sleeping with that Alistair guy, and her two body guards. I'm sure she won't mind another addition to her harem. Maybe your brother can put in a word for you when he is screwing her."
"ENOUGH." Seto bellowed, finally managing to inflict some fear upon the ranting girl.
"How dare you say that?" He said, taking a step towards her. "How dare you say such disgusting stuff about my brother and… about Tea? How dare you?" She stepped back in fear.
"Tea is not a whore like you Wheeler, or your slutty blonde friend, so don't even try to defile her. And if you ever, EVER say another word about my brother, I will personally see to it that you are brought to the streets, begging for scraps of food. Got it?" She quickly nodded her head.
"Get out." He said. Her eyes widened. "I said, get out of the room. I don't want to see your face right now. Leave." Tears formed in the corner of her eyes, but he doubted they were tears of sadness or pain. He even doubted they were of humiliation. Anger could be a candidate.
He watched with a satisfied smirk as she walked towards the bed and snatched her pillow. Just then, there was a knock on the door. Her body stiffened. He smirked and went to open the door, only to find Rosa standing outside.
"Master Mokuba has just returned. He said he has already eaten and is in his room right now." Seto nodded his head. Rosa turned to leave when he spoke.
"Open a guest room for Miss Wheeler. She'll be spending the night there." Rosa's face showed no expression as she nodded her head and walked away. He turned to stare at the fuming face of Serenity. He narrowed his eyes in challenge, daring her to say a word. She, however, wisely kept silent and literally stomped out of the room, slamming the door behind her as she left. Seto chuckled at her pathetic antics, and wondered why he still kept her around.
In the beginning, it had been convenience. She was a body available for him to use whenever he wished. It was better than paying a prostitute each time, though he often wondered if the amount of bitching he got from her was worth it. There was also a matter of his reputation. With her on his arm for years, he appeared as someone who was committed, which was a plus. Sure many people, including her, assumed it was because he had some sort of feelings for her, but it had never mattered to him, until now. Now he even saw the positives as negatives.
What if Tea saw it the same way? What if she also assumed that he was in love with Serenity? Why else would the Seto Kaiba she left stay with her? He wasn't one to keep people or things around that he saw no use or need for.
He frowned. This could be another reason she seemed to despise him so much. But he couldn't even tell her that he felt nothing for Wheeler. She would think of him even worse, as someone who was deceiving and using a girl. Either way, there was no solution for him.
Sighing in defeat, he began walking towards Mokuba's room. He could hear music coming from the room and knew knocking would produce no effect. So instead, he tried the knob. Surprisingly, the door was unlocked. Carefully, he opened it and stepped inside.
Mokuba was lying on the bed, flipping through TV channels as the stereo system blasted music on.
"Mokuba." Seto called out in a loud voice. Mokuba's head turned in his direction, surprise evident on his face, but it was soon replaced by anger. He turned the music off and faced him.
"What the hell are you doing in my room without my permission?" Seto frowned at his rude behavior.
"I knocked but you were unable to hear. The door was unlocked so I came in." Mokuba continued to glare at him.
"What do you want?" Mokuba said, going back to channel surfing. Seto sighed and took a step towards his brother.
"Mokuba, I need to speak with you."
"I'm listening." Mokuba said carelessly. Seto frowned and walked towards the TV, turning it off and standing in front of it. Mokuba's glare intensified.
"What the hell is your problem?" He yelled. Seto glared back.
"Do you know who you are talking to, and in what manner?" Mokuba haughtily turned away.
"I know who I am talking to, better than you know, and this is the perfect manner to speak to that person."
"Why? I didn't do anything to you. What happened was between Tea and I. It did not concern you or involve you. Yet you behave as if I personally attacked and harmed you. Why?" Mokuba turned his head back to glare at Seto and spat.
"Because you did personally hurt me. You took away my best friend, my secret keeper, my older sister, my mother-like-figure, all for a slut who quickly spread her legs for you. And you have the nerve to ask me how you harmed me?" Seto looked away in regret.
"I have said it so many times before Mokuba, I am sorry. I wasn't aware that my actions would have such severe consequences."
"You once said that a successful businessman never acts before analyzing every possible outcome, because once something is done, it is impossible to change it or the outcome, and there is no choice left but to deal with it. Well, take your own advice now Seto. Deal with the consequences of your actions and of your decisions." Mokuba said.
"I'm your brother Mokuba. Can't you forgive me?" Seto nearly begged. Mokuba's eyes turned hard as he replied.
"I will never forgive someone who hurt my sister." Seto's head lowered in defeat. "Unless she forgives him." Mokuba added. Seto lifted his head to stare at Mokuba.
"If you want my forgiveness, ask forgiveness from the person who was directly hurt by you. Only when she forgives you would I consider." With that, he threw the remote control on the couch and walked into the adjoined bathroom, leaving Seto to ponder over his words.
Seto had thought about what Mokuba had said. He knew it was against his pride and ego to apologize to anyone, even when it was his fault. Asking for forgiveness was a sign of weakness, something never to be associated with him. But at this point in time, he felt like he had no choice. Tea's reappearance in his life had heightened his guilt ten-fold, and Mokuba's attitude had turned even colder. The suspicion that Mokuba hated him had turned into belief and a gripping fear. He couldn't let that happen. He would gain his brother's favor back, not matter what the cost. And with Alistair out of the picture, though temporarily, he felt slightly more hopeful.
It was time for him to make his move.
Tea sat on the couch, flipping through channels, a bored look on her face. Alistair was gone, Steven was out, Mokuba was busy, and Joshua was in the kitchen, fixing himself a snack, since she wouldn't let him touch her cupcakes. The whole mansion seemed so empty all of a sudden, adding to her depressing mood. How she wished she could talk to someone right now. Maybe she should call some of her friends in USA. One look at the clock told her it was beyond inappropriate to call anyone in USA at this time. Sighing, she moved deeper into the couch, accepting the fact that she was to wallow in her misery until Joshua filled his bottomless pit of a stomach and came out to speak with her. Just then, the door bell rang. She sighed and began getting up when Joshua came out with a sandwich in his hand.
"I'll see who it is. Maybe it's girls selling cooking. Your depressing face would scare them away, and I need some damn sweets right now." She shot him a smile and watched as he walked towards a small screen and pressed a button. Steven had a camera installed at the front gate to see whoever was outside. This allowed them to only let in people they wanted to see, and ignore the rest.
"What do you want Miss?" She heard Joshua say. So it was a girl outside. A reporter perhaps? Did the news of Alistair leaving already spread?
"I want to see Miss Tea. I'm a friend of hers." Tea heard the woman reply. She knitted her eyebrows together. This voice sounded familiar, but she couldn't place a face on it.
"That's what they all say. Are you from some kind of gossip magazine because if you are, you better tell me and you may even get an interview with her." Joshua said.
"No. I'm a friend. She knows me. Can you please just call her?" Who could it be? Was it someone from the dance studio?
"She's busy." Joshua said carelessly. "Come back some other time."
"Please, I need to speak with her. I won't be able to come again for a while. Can you just ask her?"
"Listen lady. I'm being nice to you only because of your condition. You shouldn't waste your energy bothering us and save it for when you may actually need it. Now please leave." Condition? It couldn't be…
Tea quickly got up and ran towards the screen and saw the worried face of Nina.
"Nina, oh my God, what are you doing out there?" She said.
"You know this pregnant chick?" Joshua asked in surprise. Tea turned to him and sighed in frustration.
"Yes I do. Like she said, she's a friend." Then she turned to Nina again, whose face was visibly relaxed now. "Wait just a second. I'm going to come outside to get you." She turned the screen off and began hurrying towards the gate, Joshua on her heels.
"Sorry. I was just trying to be careful. You know the stunts paparazzi pull to get in and snap a picture." He defended himself. Tea shot him small smile.
"I know. I'm not mad at you silly." He smiled back. They raced towards the door and Tea opened it to greet Nina.
"I hope I'm not bothering you." Nina said sheepishly. Tea hugged the pregnant woman.
"Not at all. But you should have called. Then you wouldn't have gone through this trouble." Nina just smiled.
"I didn't have your number." Tea blushed in embarrassment.
"Sorry. Come on inside. You shouldn't be standing."
"Can you please carry that?" Nina asked Joshua, pointing to a beautifully decorated fruit basket, placed on top of her car. He nodded and grabbed it. Then both Tea and Joshua helped Nina inside. Once Nina was seated comfortably on the couch, Joshua spoke.
"I'm sorry about the way I acted." Nina shook her head.
"There is no need. I understand your position." Joshua smiled widely and turned to Tea.
"I like this one. Where did you find her?" He asked Tea.
"At the park."
"Man, I should go to the park with you when you ask me to, and not sucker Steven into going." Nina blushed in embarrassment at his words.
"Well, I'll leave you two ladies alone. Call me if you need anything." He exited with a small wave. Tea turned to Nina.
"Ok, the first thing I should do is give you my number." She said and Nina laughed.
"We can get to that later. I want to congratulate you on your successful clothing line preview. I'm sorry I couldn't make it." Tea smiled.
"I understand." Tea said, eyeing her stomach. "But thanks for your comments."
"Tristan told me Mai and Serenity were very angry. They were roaring with anger like beasts." Tea chuckled at the image.
"That's a picture." She said and Nina laughed as well.
"I wanted to come a few days ago, but Tristan wouldn't let me. He said it could wait a few days, but I knew if I waited, I wouldn't be able to see you for weeks because of the baby." Tea nodded her head.
"When is it due?" Tea asked.
"In a few days." Nina replied and Tea's eyes widened.
"Nina, you are insane. You really shouldn't be moving around at all." Nina sighed.
"I know, but I wanted to see you, and bring you a present for your success." Tea smiled.
"Thanks you so much Nina." Nina smiled sheepishly.
"I know it can't compare to the fancy stuff you probably get, but I didn't have time or the freedom to go around shopping."
"Please, there is no need for any of that." Tea assured the woman. "It's the gesture that counts. And besides, I love fruits and the packaging is really nice." Nina blushed.
"Thanks. I did it personally."
"Really. You've got talent. You should start a business."
"I actually had a small business going before I met Tristan." Nina said. "I had a small shop and I kept it until I got pregnant. Then Tristan insisted that I close it since I had no need for it. He said he was a provider enough. Plus, I wasn't in the condition to completely commit to the shop. So I agreed, but kept taking orders at home. I haven't done an order in over two months now, and I was afraid I lost my touch." Tea shook her head.
"This is really nice." She said, eyeing the basket. "Thanks again." Nina nodded.
"So, how are things going?" Nina asked causally. "It seems really quiet here." Tea sighed.
"Yeah, Alistair left today."
"Oh, sorry to hear that."
"It's not a big deal. He has a company to run. But the good thing is that we'll be living together when I leave." Tea said happily.
"That's good to hear. I'm sure you'd enjoy it." Nina said.
"So how are things with you? Excited about the baby or just scared?" Tea asked and Nina smiled faintly.
"Actually, it has been a bit stressful." Nina admitted. "This is our first baby, so we are a bit scared and worried. I am scared of childbirth and the pain. I know Tristan will be there for me, but still, I am really scared. And then there is stress about work as well."
"Work?" Tea inquired hesitantly.
"Yeah. Well, you probably already know that the showroom isn't doing so great right now." When a look of guilt crossed Tea's face, Nina quickly added. "I'm not blaming you for it at all. Please don't think that. It's not your fault and I'm not trying to make you feel guilty. It's just that I feel like I can trust you and that's why I'm telling you." After getting an assuring smile from Tea, she continued.
"Tristan has been stressed about it. He doesn't know what to do. He has tried to speak with some people, but the issue with Joey is not letting things progress in any direction." Tea nodded her head, not knowing what else to do.
"I'd like to help him, but I can't, not right now at least. And I know if I do offer, it would hurt his pride." Tea nodded her head, recalling the Tristan from the past and his masculine pride.
"I'm really sorry." It was all she said. Nina shook her head again.
"You're making me feel like I should never have told you that." Tea shook her head.
"I do feel responsible. It is because of me that-."
"Please stop it." Nina said in a serious voice. Tea put her hands up in surrender.
"Sorry. I won't say it again." Nina nodded. The two then fell into a friendly conversation.
"So do you only have issues with Mai and Serenity or with the others as well?" Tea asked causally.
"Just them and Joey and Duke. Yugi is pretty nice, but he's kind of quiet." Tea nodded. "Tristan said he used to be talkative, but he changed when his grandfather died." Tea's heart stopped.
"Grampa is dead?" She asked in shock. Nina nodded her head.
"Yes. He died of pneumonia two years ago. The doctors said he was too old to fight it." Tea lowered her head.
"I didn't know. I'm sorry to hear that." Silence fell over them. It was broken by Joshua coming back to take more food, muttering about how he was eating like a pregnant woman. Both women chuckled at his comments and fell back into a comfortable conversation. It was an hour later that Nina decided she should leave. Tea got up and called Joshua. When he came, she said.
"Can you get the car and follow Nina and I? I'm going to drive her to her house and then you can bring me back."
"No, there is no need to bother. I can go back safely." Nina insisted.
"I think what Tea is saying is better." Joshua said. Nina sighed in defeat and allowed them to accompany her.
"Promise me you'll come to see the baby." Nina asked Tea who nodded her head.
"Of course. I'll even bring it some personally designed diapers." She winked and Nina laughed. They said their good byes after Tea dropped Nina off. Tea got in the car with Joshua. On their way home, Tea told Joshua to stop by the cemetery. Giving her a confused look, he complied. At the Domino Cemetery, Tea told Joshua to wait and went ahead. After a few minutes of walking around, she found the grave she was looking for.
Sitting on her knees before the grave, she prayed for the old man. He had always been kind to her, like a blood grandfather. She was sad that she hadn't been there for him when he had been sick. She apologized for not coming to him sooner and prayed for peace for his soul.
"T… Tea?" Her praying session was interrupted by a surprised, shaking voice. She stood up calmly and turned around to face her once best friend.
"Hello Yugi. Just because grampa is dead doesn't mean you can forget your manners. Its rude to interrupt people when they are praying." She chided. His face fell.
"You… found out." He said.
"Yes." She curtly replied.
"I would have liked to tell you, but-."
"Why?" She interrupted him. He looked up, surprised and unsure of what to say.
"Why would you have wanted to tell me? What am I to you?" He winced at the tone of her voice.
"He… he asked for you… many times." Yugi said in a very low voice.
"What did you tell him?" She asked. He looked away.
"I never answered him properly. I think… I think he knew something had happened. He… before dying, he told me to patch things up with you." Yugi said.
"So you're going to try and fulfill a dying man's wish?" Tea said in a mocking tone. Yugi didn't reply for a while.
"Would you give me a chance to do it?" He finally said.
"I'm sorry but I have someone's wishes to honor as well. And that person is also dead." She replied. Yugi looked up into her eyes.
"Don't." She harshly cut him off, eyes blazing with fire. "Don't even try to say those words Yugi. I don't want to hear them from you." Moisture shone in his eyes.
"It never should have happened. I never wanted it to be that way." He said.
"It's a little too late for that now." She said with a huff.
"I really am sorry Tea, more than you know."
"Oh I know how sorry you are Yugi." She said with a sneer. "I know the kind of person you are. I know you regret that day every waking moment. I can see the shame and pain in your eyes. I know you hurt on the inside every day. And I know the only way you can get rid of it is by gaining my forgiveness or facing my wrath." Her voice turned cold, and her eyes became hard.
"But you won't have either of them." A lone tear fell from his eye.
"I won't do anything to you Yugi because you are doing that job pretty good yourself. You are making yourself suffer quite nicely, so there is no need for me to come in and rid you of your pain. I won't forgive you either. I'll let you wallow in your guilt and suffer, because I want you to feel the pain and the anguish. I want your guilt to eat you up inside until you are nothing but an empty shell dead inside, hiding your tears behind a big smile. That will be your punishment." She turned and began walking away.
"Why?" He asked in a broken voice. She looked over her shoulder to see his pitiful form and replied.
"Because that is what you turned me into."
Thanks for reading.
Please review and let me know what you think.