Categories > Anime/Manga > Yu-Gi-Oh! > Interludes in the New World

An empire

by exdee 1 review

Mokuba spots possible progress...

Category: Yu-Gi-Oh! - Rating: G - Genres: Humor, Romance - Characters: Mokuba Kaiba, Seto Kaiba, Tea Gardner - Warnings: [!!] - Published: 2006-05-13 - Updated: 2006-05-13 - 1412 words

Disclaimer: I don't own Yuugiou or its characters, and use these things without permission. I respect the rights of Kazuki Takahashi as creator and do not intend to harm the rights of copyright holders.

"So you're 'building an empire'? Seriously?"

Seto stiffened in the act of taking a flute of champagne off a waiter's tray, then quickly admitted to himself that it might have been a bit overblown to use that phrase in his speech when 'cementing business deals' would have worked. Only then did he turn towards the girl who had appeared next to him, because if he'd learned one thing about Anzu Mazaki, it was that she was easier to face her when you had your mistakes firmly in mind, otherwise she surprised you with them.

He arched an eyebrow at her. "And you're at a private Kaiba Corp function because...?"

Anzu grinned as she helped herself to some champagne just before the waiter walked off, apparently finding his tone amusing (Seto tried not to look disgruntled by this). "Mokuba invited me when he was helping me settle into my apartment. I have to say, his sense of chivalry has developed really nicely over the years."

"He's just a huge flirt," Seto said, tone dismissive, and began to walk away - but stopped on seeing Anzu's eyes become round and huge. "He has hit puberty since we moved from Domino, Mazaki. There's no need to look so shocked."

"But he can't be flirting with me! He's ... Mokuba." She looked around as if she expected Mokuba to leap from behind a potted plant with an engagement ring. "I mean, it sounded like he was flirting, but I thought I was imagining things."

"With /my little brother/?"

Anzu's cheeks turned a red that was visible even through her rouge. "Don't twist my words!"

"There's not much need to twist." Seto sipped his champagne and offered a parting shot. "You know, Mazaki, he did choose to come to this function alone, for some strange reason. Go ahead, find him. Rob the cradle."

Then Seto would have walked away. Really. There was actual business to handle, and Mokuba should take care of his own guests. But as he turned, Anzu said defensively: "You make it sound so weird that Mokuba didn't bring a girlfriend. It's not that bad - I bet you've never had a date for things like this!"

The insult could not be allowed to pass.


Mokuba did the rounds. The people at the party were mostly twice his age plus a generous sprinkling of years on top, but at least they weren't stuffy. The people of the USA seemed to approve of 'dynamic young men' in their business relationships, so they liked him to start with, and he knew how to be smart without making people too nervous. But there were plenty of Kaiba Corporation board members to help out with the schmoozing, so he took time off to eat a couple of little pastries and look for Anzu.

She was still talking to Seto, and it had been a whole ten minutes since they'd started. Mokuba had been thinking one minute was good. Still, he'd better cut in soon. It didn't take much for Seto to get annoyed beyond return, at which stage he'd probably throw Anzu bodily out the door.

Mokuba sighed even as he chewed another pastry (they were /good/). Unlike Seto, he'd always been bothered by a good grip on reality. He was aware of the fact that every person on the planet wasn't attempting to challenge, fight or annoy him, and was able to act accordingly.

Sometimes he wished he could be like Seto, though. His brother had always had a habit of ignoring rules, common sense and natural laws, which made it easy for him to do anything. Seriously, ANYTHING.

Seto never bothered thinking that things couldn't turn out the way he wanted them. Of course he thought about stuff that got in the way of his plans; it would be bad strategizing if he didn't. He just didn't think there was any obstacle he couldn't find a way to get rid of. The weird thing was that mostly, he was right.

Mokuba's firm sense of reality wasn't all bad, though. It let him notice the details that Seto bulldozed over, so that Mokuba learned step-by-step how to go about doing the impossible.

It was cool to know that you could literally do almost anything.

Like Anzu Mazaki? Beautiful, confident, even-cooler-than-he-remembered Anzu Mazaki? He could sweep her off her feet. Almost before she knew what hit her, if she weren't smart too.

Anzu wasn't the problem. It was Seto.

Mokuba had practically fallen over in shock when Seto had agreed to meet Anzu at the airport. It had surprised him slightly less that Seto had known about her arrival because Yuugi had been e-mailing him regularly, but that was only because Yuugi was almost as unstoppable as Seto.

Those little things were signs showing Mokuba that while Seto had never exactly been /ill/, he was getting better. If Anzu could be a part of that, Mokuba couldn't start monopolising her time ... even if it currently looked like Seto was about to stab her with his champagne glass.

Mokuba ambled to them. He wasn't expecting to see Mr Anzu Mazaki tattooed on Seto's forehead by morning, but it would be nice if Seto could make a real friend - he'd just about be able to handle the concept by now - and it wouldn't happen if the only candidate for the position died.

"Anzu! There you are!" Mokuba said. "Hey, big brother. Mr Harris is dying to talk to you."

"Thanks for the warning. I'll try and dodge the old man," Seto said. "And please, take better care of your guests in future - if you must invite them at all." He turned away, coattails snapping as he walked.

Anzu growled as she watched him walk away. Mokuba pretended steadfastly that it wasn't hot. "It's going to look ridiculous if I stick my tongue out at him, isn't it?" she said.

"Not at all! You should totally do it. If you hold the pose I could take a picture with my cell phone, too..."

He patted his pockets as if looking for the phone and she laughed, stealing one of the paté things from his plate. Gross. "Humph. I guess I'm used to your brother, anyway. You can't expect too much approachability from him in one go," she said.

She got it! That was exactly it. They could make great friends.

Mokuba grinned and pointed at Anzu's pastry. "Those are disgusting. Try one of these instead."

"I shouldn't. Every time I eat or drink I look for Ms Turner, in case she sees me and thinks I'll get fat and never dance again." She rolled her eyes, mocking her own silliness. "Thank you for introducing me to her, Mokuba. By the end of the conversation, it sounded like she was interested in getting me that bursary! It'll help so much with my college fees..."

Anzu looked starry-eyed and determined as she beamed at him, a woman in the middle of making her dream real. Mokuba said, "No problem. Anything I can do for you, I will."

Then he wondered just what she'd been talking about with his brother, because she blushed and grabbed a pastry off his plate, like someone desperate for a distraction. Not a smooth move at all. She'd only looked at him oddly when he'd flirted before...

Mokuba reminded himself that it didn't matter. Starting something could wait until Anzu got more self-confident about being in New York on her own, and especially until she and Seto were getting along. If Mokuba started dating her, Seto would mentally label Anzu as Mokuba's problem/property. With Seto's brand of determined obtuseness, it would probably mean he'd never bother to speak to her again.

Seto wasn't so good with people. If he were going to start 'building an empire' (and jeez, he could get melodramatic when he was talking business) in that department, he'd be careful about it.

Mokuba would let him take all the time he needed, because Seto deserved friends. And if Seto was sensible enough to see that Anzu could be something else too, that was okay. Seto had long ago proven to Mokuba that nothing was really 'meant to be'.

Even if Anzu was looking at him now, smiling like she'd just started seeing something new.
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