The TV

Walking into the house Kaiba sighed and fell down on to the couch in the living room. Staring at the blank TV for a few minutes he then got up and searched through the cabinets until he found the thing he was looking for.popcorn. ((*giggles and thinks of Joey*)) Shoving it into the microwave he leaned against the counter until it was done. Grabbing the bag out, he fell back onto the couch and turned on the TV with the remote. Taking it in hand he planted his thumb in the channel button and started surfing the channels. 'You think too much Kaiba. Why not rot your brain with this garbage.'


Getting off the bus Mokuba stepped in the front door. He headed for the stairs and was about to go up them when he heard the sound of voices with a random mix of music like when you're skipping through, trying to find the right radio station.

Looking around him Mokuba peeped into a couple of the downstairs rooms and then the kitchen. Not seeing anyone there he headed into the living room where he saw the television flipping through channels. Creeping around the back of the couch he peeked over and saw his older brother, three empty bags of popcorn around him and one in his lap, eyes glued to the screen, and thumb clicking away like mad.

"Um.hi Seto." Mokuba blinked at him with a sort of confused expression.

"Hey kid." His eyes never left the screen.

"What are you doing?"

"Watching TV."



Mokuba watched the ever-changing screen. "Aren't you supposed to stop on one channel?"

Seto looked away from the screen just long enough to give Mokuba a hard stare before going back again. "No."

Backing away from his older brother he headed up to his room shooting a few wary glances at the couch. 'Okay, that was weird.why is he watching TV?' Mokuba ran back through his mind and in all his life with Seto he'd never seen him watch anything but the news, if he watched TV at all, which was rare. 'It's probably just for some reason or another. he's fine.' He tried to shake it out of his head and pulled out his schoolbooks as he tried to convince himself that everything was all fine, and there was nothing to worry about.


Running down the stairs the next morning Mokuba grabbed a bowl of cereal and was about to head out for the bus when he heard the sound of the television again. Creeping into the living room he leaned over the back of the couch and stared at Kaiba sleeping there. The number of popcorn bags had gone from the original three, to seven.

Mokuba walked around and shook his brother's shoulder "Um.Seto?"

His eyes flickered open. "What?"

The smaller wrung his hands together uncomfortably. "Aren't you going to school?"

There was a blank stare as Seto sat up and started flickering through the channels again. "No."


With an exasperated sigh Kaiba glanced sideways at him. "I'm just not. Now get going or you'll miss the bus."

"Um.o-okay." He nervously shuffled out the door and climbed onto the bus that pulled up shortly after. Staring out the window at his house he bit his lip. 'Why is Seto being so weird? He shouldn't be acting so.I dunno. But not like this.'


Tea looked at the classroom door hopefully. 'Where is he? Why isn't he here yet?' She bit her lip and kept staring at the door 'Come on Seto. Where are you?' Yugi leaned over and patted her on the back. "Hey, don't worry about it."

She looked between him and the door and gnawed at her fingernails. "I know, It's just that - I guess I feel responsible, sort of."

Shrugging he gave her another pat. "Don't. It'll be fine."

The bell rang and Tea looked over at Yugi in an are-you-sure way, which he answered with a nod right before class began.


Tea kept looking for Kaiba at lunch too. She even walked home to make sure she didn't miss him.

Upon reaching her house she looked out at the road one last time before walking inside.

She climbed the stairs up to her room and grabbed the phone as she plopped down on her bed. After dialing she placed the phone to her ear and listened for an answer.


Tea heard the faint sound of a TV in the background. "Hi Seto. How are you?"

"Fine.just fine."

She noticed the snap in his voice "Um, could I talk to Mokuba?"

Kaiba sighed agitated. "If you just want to talk to him to find out about me, don't bother. I've been sitting on the couch all day filling my mind with pathetic drivel of daytime TV. I have popcorn, the remote, I fell asleep on the couch last night, I haven't picked one channel to watch and the button is starting to wear off, in other words I'm happy, just dandy, couldn't be better, fine!"

Tea heard a click and the dial tone after that.

Turning the phone off she looked around her room wondering what to do until an idea formed in her mind. Slipping on her shoes she grabbed a bottle of water and headed out the door.


Kaiba sat on the couch and continued melting the remote as the time crawled by and the clock continued ticking.

Staring at the television he felt a drop of water fall onto his head. Feeling at the top of his head he looked at his finger being slightly damp and then back at the screen.

Shortly after he felt a few more drops fall on his head and he snapped his hand to his hair and looked at the ceiling again before going to the TV once more.

A few moments after that, more drops fell on his head and he launched his hand up into the air and grabbed something. Pulling his hand back down he looked at the plastic bottle now in it. "Mokuba?" He leaned over the back of the couch and didn't see anyone so he turned back to the TV. which was off. Looking around the couch for the remote, he couldn't find it, he got up and turned the television back on. When he got back to his chair it was already occupied with a smiling figure who was tossing the clicker up and down in her hand.

"Looking for this?" She grinned and took a sip from the water bottle he'd left on the couch.

"When did you get here?" He started picking up the scattered popcorn bags.

Clicking the TV off again she smiled and shrugged. "Oh, you know. little bit ago."

He finished gathering the popcorn and went to throw them out in the kitchen. When he came back he leaned over the back of the couch and snatched the remote out of Tea's hands. "Well, would you mind moving out of my spot?"

"Actually, I would." She grabbed one of the couch pillows and nuzzled into it.

With an annoyed sigh he walked over and stood in front of her with his arms crossed. "Would you please move anyway?"

She opened her eyes for a second and looked at him before shutting them again with a smile. "No, I don't think I will."

Blinking slowly he smirked slightly. "Fine." He then scooped her up in his arms and brought her over to one of the chairs. While he was heading over Tea wrapped her arms around his neck. When he got over to the chair he put her down and tried to stand up but her arms were locked solidly around his neck. He stared at her in a no-nonsense way.

"Please, let go of me."

Still with a smile on her face she shrugged. "Well. are you done watching TV?"

Pulling her arms apart forcefully he walked back over and fell onto the couch where he clicked on the television and started melting the remote again. "No."

Tea sat on the edge of the chair and glared at him, dropping her playfulness she jumped up and turned off the TV and stood in front of it. "Yes you are."

Clicking the television on again he ignored her and went back to changing channels.

With an aggravated roll of the eyes she grabbed the water bottle and unscrewed the cap and stared at him. "Are you sure about that?"

He didn't look away and continued flipping through.

Sighing slightly Tea shrugged and turned the bottle wrong side up right over him.

Seto jumped up and looked at the water splashed over him. "What the-! What'd you do that for?!"

She shrugged again and slowly re-screwed the top on the now empty bottle. "You asked for my help didn't you?"

"Well, Yeah. But that didn't include dumping water all over me!"

She smiled with a slight hint of enjoyment. "It got you off the couch." Walking over she grabbed his hand and left him up the stairs into his room. Then she went over to his dresser and picked out some clothes, chucked them at him, and headed for the door. "You get changed, I'll be downstairs. If you aren't there in five minutes I'm coming back, got it?"

He shook his head dumbly and started taking his wet shirt off just before she left the room.

Closing the door behind her, a little smirk appeared on her lips as she ran down the stairs. 'He looks good without his shirt on.' She giggled and then patiently waited in the front hall until Seto came down the stairs three minutes later.

Tea then snatched his keys off the table and grabbed his arm once again where she yanked him out the door and into his car. She took the drivers seat and put the keys in the ignition as she watched him buckle in with a sigh. Starting the car she pulled out of the driveway and drove down the road with a few glances over at Seto. He just kept staring out the window as he leaned on his hand and sighed. Her face began dropping its forceful tone as she continued watching him. After a couple of minutes she finally decided to say something to him, "Hey, are you ok?"

Turning from the window he stared at her and half smiled. "Oh, I'm just fine. Why wouldn't I be? Of course my life is falling apart, but you know, who cares about that?" He didn't bother hiding his sarcasm and then went back to staring into space.

Tea sighed and pulled over to the side of the road. "No, I'm serious. What's wrong?"

He turned again and half glared at her. "I told you. Everything is wonderful. Joey and Tristan are by far my best friends, and I heard Yugi just joined the NBA."

She rolled her eyes and breathed another sigh of frustration. "Seto. I'm sorry about them. I guess they just got a little carried away or something. I'm really sorry. I tried to stop them, but you know how stubborn they can get. You should've said som-"

"That's not the problem."

"Um, come again?"

"That, is not, the problem."

She looked around her confused. "Then what on earth are you upset about?"

He shook his head and closed his eyes. "Have you ever denied something for so long that it became almost a part of you?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well. You know my parents died. I told you that. You probably also know about the orphanage and how the kids were mean to Mokuba. It's possible you may even know about Gozaburo." He clenched his fist at this last name. 'May he rot in hell.' "When you know this stuff it's easy for you to accept, it's not happening to you. But I never really accepted my parent's death. I acknowledged it, but it didn't really sink in. It was never allowed to. I didn't get to visit my parent's graves and say goodbye to them, I only saw them once. at the funeral. And just yesterday, I went there again, I don't know what exactly drove me there. And I talked to them, I talked to those rocks signifying that they were gone, and the thing is. most people would find that sort of soothing, or at least helpful to talk to them. but it didn't. Because I knew they were rocks, just cold hard stones in the ground and there was no special significance to them at all. And that's when it started sinking in that they were gone, and they weren't coming back. Do you know how that feels? To know that no matter what you do you're destined to be all alone by yourself for the rest of your life? It eats at you, it just keeps eating at you until you want to punch yourself so hard that you go unconscious so you can't feel it anymore. That's why I didn't come to school, I was trying to escape it all with that stupid television. I was trying to bury it all down so that it would never come back. I hate that television, I hate my house, I hate school, I hate my life. My whole life has just gone downhill and no one has been there to help me. No one at all. Nobody gives a damn about Seto Kaiba. 'Oh he'll be fine, that's just Kaiba the egotistical tightwad who everybody hates.' They don't care. They shouldn't care. And everyone in the whole fucking universe has abandoned me to take care of myself. Well I'm sick of it, just plain sick of it. I can't take care of myself forever, there has to be some person out there who gives enough to care at all. But even when I think someone has come they just end up hurting me, adding to the pain. Remember what I told you? People are pain, life is pain, it's all a pain that just keeps digging away at your flesh until you fall away into nothingness. Maybe I shouldn't have asked for your help, it's not like it did me any good. You probably don't even know how hard it was for me to even ask. I've always been told to take care of myself. No one ever said, 'Hey it's ok Kaiba. Go ahead and cry. I'm here for you.' They all just kept walking, ignoring me, afraid of me. anything but caring. So I shut myself away, buried myself even deeper into the computer programs that I'd come so familiar with in my training. And then you come along, you start taking care of me. I liked that, it was nice to have someone actually taking care of me. I didn't want to admit it, but it was. And then I started coming out of my little hollow to spend more time on the outside, but that just hurt me more. Finally now that I've come this far. I can't be happy again the way I was. It's ruined. I've been hurt in everyway possible and I can't do anything to stop it. You probably thought I've been insane to be cutting myself, but you didn't know what I was thinking. I think I deserved it. Somehow, in a way, it was actually sort of comforting to have a pain that I actually had control over." He smirked and looked over at her as he rolled down his right sleeve and showed her the long gashes he'd made there the day before. "I bet you think I'm insane. For all I know I may be, but I keep going, and I haven't killed myself. yet. But that doesn't concern you, that concerns Seto Kaiba, just Seto Kaiba, not Tea Gardner or Yugi Motou. just Seto Kaiba. Not anyone else. just Seto Kaiba." He unbuckled his seatbelt and opened the car door. Sending a dead stare straight into Tea's eyes he muttered, "I doubt you understand what it feels like." And with that he shut the door and started walking down the road back in the direction of his house. 'I said too much. 'Shut up kid, nobody likes a whiner.' A lovely line from Gozaburo. Heh, maybe he was right, the bastard, maybe I should just be quiet and keep to myself. I'm sorry Tea, I really care for you, but I think I have to get through this one alone. like always. alone.'

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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