Tea let go of Kaiba and went over to Yugi. “Are you ok?”

Very confused his eyes darted back and forth from Tea to Kaiba. “Um... yeah... but, um... Tea?”

She helped Yugi to his feet and cocked her head to the side. “What is it?”

“You, Kaiba... were you- were you just- What are you doing here with KAIBA?”

Joey glared over at Kaiba. “You kidnapped her, and then you BRAINWASHED her!”

Seto folded his arms and leaned back against the wall. “I did no such thing...”

Joey continued using his overactive imagination, “Yes you did. This is all part of your evil plan to humiliate Yugi, isn’t it? Just brainwash Tea so that she THINKS she likes you and then get her to tell you Yugi’s deepest darkest secret and then you broadcast it to the world! And then you‘ll dump Tea and make her all sad because she realizes she‘s just been used and betrayed her friends and then she‘ll be crushed into the dust and it will be YOUR fault!”

Kaiba glared over at Joey, “Just keep at it Fido...”

“And then everyone will hate Tea because she betrayed Yugi, but she won’t know it because you erased her memory. And then we’ll all come after you for hurting her because it’ll be your fault. You’ll have crushed her into the dust in your sick evil twisted game!”

Seto started towards Joey with a look of death but Tea grabbed his shoulder making him stop and whispered something into his ear. Still glaring at Joey Kaiba turned around and walked away to his car and drove off.

Yugi was still blinking at Tea in shock while Joey peered over at her with a suspicious look. Taking a deep breath Tea prepared herself for all the questions and accusations coming her way.

“What was that about?” Joey mildly glared at her.

“Um... well... he had to go I guess...”

Cocking an eyebrow and being suspicious Joey continued onward. “Ya... sure... and the sky is falling... What did you say to him?”

Tea smiled nervously. “Nothing, really... Are you guys alright?”

Yugi rubbed his cheek and winced. “Other than some pain I guess I’m fine. But Tea... Kaiba?”

Joey looked at her like she was some kind of traitor. “Heh, Kaiba. Of all the assholes on this planet Tea had to pick the biggest jerk...” He glared at her. “Don’t you remember what he’s done to us Tea? He stole Gramps’ Blue Eyes and ripped it in half, he’s beaten me up, and now he’s beat Yug up who didn’t even DO anything! How could you?!”

Hurt spreading itself all over her Tea looked at Joey. “Who said anything about me “picking” Kaiba? I never “picked” him.” She was only met with a cold stare so she turned to Yugi. “You have to believe me. I’d never do anything to hurt you guys...”

Yugi looked away from her on the verge of tears. “I don’t know Tea... I mean you have been acting pretty strange... and you didn’t even get upset at him for hurting me and Joey... I just don’t know...” He shook his head slowly before he turned and walked away from her with Joey following after sending one last “traitor” glare her way...


Tea had to walk home by herself with thoughts running through her mind in a storm. ‘How could they act so cold? They’re my friends... I’d do anything for them... Don’t they know that? The fact that I care for Seto too shouldn’t change things between us... And I couldn’t yell at him... He had a reason to beat up Joey... But he didn’t for Yugi... I should talk to him... But then the guys will even hate me more if they see me talking to him... They should trust me... How could they turn on me so quickly? How could they?’ She opened the front door and trudged slowly upstairs into her bedroom where she curled up on her bed and cried.

The phone rang next to her and she picked it up as the tears flowed down her face.


“Hi Tea... are you alright?”

“Just fine Seto... just fine...”

“I, um, I called to apologize for... earlier... I’m sorry... Are you really ok?”

Sitting up on her bed Tea wiped her eyes and tried to smother the sob in her voice, “I’m fine... Everybody hates me... But I’m just fine, thanks a lot Kaiba.” She slammed the phone down on the receiver and curled back into a ball on her bed once more.


Seto hung the phone up slowly and stared around his room. ‘Oh no...’ The words that Tea had whispered to him came back into his mind as he got up and started walking down the hall to his office: “Please Seto... These are my friends, they mean more to me than anything... please just go...” The scene just kept running through his mind over and over again as guilt and rejection set themselves down deep inside Seto. ‘Her friends are mad at her, and I bet it’s because of me... It’s my fault, I’ve hurt Tea. I never meant to, but I did... And now she hates me... She hates me...’

Going inside his office and sitting down at his computer he started working as he slowly fell back into his normal routine. Ignore all people, protect yourself, then you won’t have pain, only loneliness.


Monday came soon enough and Tea trudged into school and sat in her normal seat with Joey glaring at her and Yugi utterly ignoring her. With her head in her hands she didn’t notice Kaiba coming in. She barely even noticed when the bell rang and class began. At lunch she had to go sit by herself since when she came over to Yugi’s table Joey had sent her a death glare. So she went and sat in a corner all by herself as she wanted to cry. Tea ate her lunch slowly even though it tasted like cardboard to her, and she looked over sadly at her friends who had so easily come to distrust her.


“Do we really have to ignore her?” Yugi had been glancing over at Tea and seeing how sad she looked and he felt really bad for being mean to his childhood friend.

“Yeah we do. If we don’t ignore her then she’ll never dump Kaiba and realize what a jerk he is and then be back to her normal Tea self again.”

Yugi looked over at Tea pathetically and then back at Joey. “Well she’s not with him now... Why don’t we just go over and see if she’s dumped him...” Yugi started to get up but was yanked down again by Joey.

“No Yug, we gotta make sure she’s gotten rid of him. Give it a few more days...”


Those were the worst few days in all of Tea’s life. She was ignored and shunned by Joey and everyone, and she couldn’t talk to Seto without feeling guilty about her friends. She also had somewhat blamed him for her exile...


“Hi Tea.”

Tea looked up from being hunched over on the lunch table into the guilty face of Yugi. Tears welled up in the bottom of her eyes and she went back to having her head in her arms.

Looking over at Joey who was sitting at the other table Yugi glared at him for making him help make Tea so miserable. Then he turned back to Tea and started patting her on the back. “Tea, I’m sorry... Are you ok?”

She glared up at him as small tears trickled down her face. “Why do you care? Jerk.”

Yugi sat down next to her, “Tea, I’m reeaaaaally sorry. Please forgive me. We just wanted to make sure you weren’t with Kaiba anymore...” These last words sounded wrong to him, and he looked over at Joey again who in return sighed and came over to them.

“Hey Tea, come on, s’all cool now. You can come sit with us.”

With more tears falling down her face Tea fell back into her arms and sobbed. “But you turned your backs on me... You didn’t trust me anymore... You acted as if I was some kind of traitor...” She looked at Joey and then at Yugi before crying into her arms.

Sending Joey an I-told-you-this-was-a-bad-idea look, Yugi patted Tea on the back again. “I know we overreacted, and it was stupid to ignore you... but could you please give us another chance. Please Tea?”

Tea stared at Yugi and then down at the table. ’Should I forgive them? Yugi did admit they were wrong... And I still want to be their friend... Okay.’ “I’ll try...”

Yugi gave her a hug and dragged her back over to their normal table with a smile. “Thanks Tea.”


Kaiba watched them from his corner silently. ‘Well at least Tea is happy again...’ And then as the bell rang he got up and walked back inside, hands in pockets, expression blank, heart... empty.

Chapter 1| Chapter 2| Chapter 3| Chapter 4| Chapter 5| Chapter 6| Chapter 7| Chapter 8| Chapter 9| Chapter 10| Chapter 11| Chapter 12| Chapter 13| Chapter 14| Chapter 15| Chapter 16| Chapter 17| Chapter 18| Chapter 19| Chapter 20| Chapter 21| Chapter 22| Chapter 23| Chapter 24|

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