Disclaimer: We don't own Yu-gi-oh! dancing elf just wants to keep Joey! *puppy dog eyes to Mr. Takahashi*

Author's note: I'd like to introduce my co-author, Sadira-Black. She did Seto in this chapter. Now, he isn't a cardboard cut-out that I can throw bean bags at anymore. Thanks, Sadira!

Chapter 2: TANGO

## Safe from the past ## ## I'm doing alright ## ## But not very well ##

Seto woke up, his breathing fast, his muscles tensed, and his heart racing. He was glad to escape that . He stared up at the ceiling, forcing himself to take deep, steady breaths, willing his body to relax and return to normal.

*It's over. It's in the past, I'm safe now. He cannot hurt me anymore.* Seto made himself linger over each word, hoping they would slice through the web of old fears and memories that enclosed him, smothered him.

It didn't work, so Seto began to speak the words softly, repeating them frequently, like a mantra to ward off all evil. He'd chanted the same words countless times before, trying to destroy those old fears. They would die down, for a the next time his unconscious mind crept along that gloomy corridor and used it's personal key to unlock that heavy steel door where Seto kept those awful, hateful memories imprisoned.

Seto turned on his side and reached for the remote on the night stand. He pointed it at the wall in front of him and pressed a button. The soothing sounds of "Waltz of the Flowers (Tchaikovsky)" floated over to him. He set the remote down, and closed his eyes, concentrating on the tone of each instrument, trying to drown those old fears in the music.

Sleep had never been Seto's friend, for that was the period of time when his body was most vulnerable to a physical attack. Since his adoptive father's death, that really wasn't such an issue for him any more. But even worse, sleep was the time when he could be attacked by the fears and memories in his own mind. Even the strongest guards and tightest security system known to man couldn't protect him then. Of course, Mokuba, Seto's younger brother, was probably the only person who knew that Seto had so many nightmares.

Seto looked at the clock near the bed. *5:15 am.I might as well get up now. I'll get to school early and read the report on that new dueling simulator.* He got out of bed, and headed for the bathroom to take a shower.

Seto's limo pulled up in front of his school about an hour and a half later. Seto leaned forward in his seat and ruffled Mokuba's hair. "Have a good day, little brother. I'll see you later." He pressed a button and spoke into the intercom. "Davis, drive Mokuba to school and make sure he gets to his first class ok." Seto got out of the limo and shut the door. He walked to the steps leading up to the main entrance. Just as he placed his hand on the handle, the door swung open. He stepped back. Someone carrying a large cardboard box was trying to keep the heavy door open and pass through it. Seto put his hand on the handle and pulled the door wide. The person holding the box paused. The box slowly lowered, and Seto found himself looking into Lyra's hazel eyes.

Seto did a double-take. It was HER. *Naturally. It couldn't have been someone I don't care about. Wait, I don't really care about-Bah.* Quickly, he composed himself, determined not to let anything show. She was, after all, just a girl. "Lyra."

Lyra looked surprised to see him. She opened her mouth to speak, but seemed to change her mind. "Um, t-thank you, very much. I was..." She trailed off at one of Seto's trademark glares. "Yeah, er, never mind. I'm sure you have better things to do..."

Seto silently reprimanded himself, but he couldn't help it. It had become part of his nature to give others condescending looks. Lyra certainly didn't deserve it, or need it.

Lyra began to continue out of the school, looking rather hurt and upset, until she stumbled on her way down the stairs. Seto instantly acted without thinking. He reached out and put his arm around Lyra's waist, steadying the girl. Then he realized what he had done. He was EXTREMELY close to her, with his hand on her-

Seto released her, angry at himself for slipping up. Lyra turned around, a faint flush rising up in her face. "T-thank you, Seto." She shifted weight and smiled faintly.

*Seto?* No one, save Mokuba, called him Seto. It was always Kaiba. Or Sir, or something similar.

"I'll take that for you." Seto said, not really thinking, just acting. His thoughts were racing. *Why am I helping Lyra? I barely even know her.* It was so strange. He never helped anyone freely, except Mokuba.. He sat down his briefcase and took the box from her arms. It was extremely heavy, and to think that Lyra had been carrying it by herself. "Where to?"

Lyra looked very shocked. "The dumpster, out back." She smiled and picked up his briefcase.

Seto glanced into the box. There were pieces of wood, styrofoam, paint- smeared rags and sawdust. He raised an eyebrow and began walking towards the dumpster, Lyra following closely. "What are you building? Let me guess...a torture chamber for Coach Hacker."

Lyra laughed. "Seto! You're evil!"

There it was again. *Seto* It didn't make sense...

"As I've been told..." Seto said dryly. He approached the green rust-heap the school called a dumpster. Seto lifted his arms and dumped the box in on the pile of assorted junk. Old art supplies, scrap wood, rotting cafeteria food. He wrinkled his nose.

"Actually, I was starting a Science project, but it didn't go too well," Lyra said, handing him back his briefcase. Her cool hands touched his for a moment before she jerked away. "I was thinking of trying to program a simple computer program, but I've been having trouble formatting it for Microsoft."

*No, no, no. You will NOT! offer help.* Seto scolded himself. *It may be your field of expertise, but you will not help Lyra, because you are Seto Kaiba, CEO of Kaiba Corp. and a multi-millionaire. You will not help some GIRL just because she's pretty, sweet, and-*

"I was actually doing practically the same thing. If you want help, just come to my house, after 7:00." Seto said, in the most casual tone he could manage. Naturally, a bitter tone crept in before Seto walked away quickly.

Lyra stood there, watching him leave. Panic and excitement were cheek-to- cheek, stepping to a wild tango in her chest. *Get a hold of yourself, girlfriend! Just because HE offered to help you, it doesn't mean that he really likes you. After all, he IS a genius at computers. It'll probably take him 5 minutes to correct your mistakes and send you on your way.* But no matter how fast panic twirled excitement, excitement refused to lose either her balance, or the red rose of hope clenched between her teeth. Lyra tangoed up the stairs and through the school's front door.