A/N: Okay, I'm doing something in here that I don't think you're allowed to do, but I did it anyway. I hope you enjoy. This is the last chapter. -_-
A Second Chance
A few days later, the long awaited call finally came in.
Sonja was asleep, resting after a mild anxiety attack when Sophie burst into the room with Mokuba hot on her heels.
"It's in! It's in!" she screeched, leaping onto Sonja and crushing the air from Sonja's single working lung. Sonja bolted up, flinging her sister onto the floor with a loud thud. She sat up, gasping and glaring at Sophie.
"You know darn well you can't do that anymore, you blockhead!" she rasped.
"Sorry, sis, but I'm so excited! The jury reached a verdict! We're gonna see whether or not it's good tomorrow afternoon!"
Sonja blinked, still letting it register. "They…reached a verdict?" she whispered in shock.
"Yeah!" Mokuba added. "And we're all positive it's good."
He laughed suddenly. "Oh, and I have something for you."
He pulled a small bouquet of red tulips out from behind his back and handed them to her.
"They're a gift from me, Ursula and Roland." He said with a grin. Sonja took them and smiled. "Oh, thanks, Mokuba, they're beautiful." She said. "How'd you guys know I love tulips?"
Mokuba jabbed his thumb toward Sophie who shuffled her feet and giggled.
Sonja pushed the covers back and slipped her shoes on. "I'll find something to put them in so they don't die." She said.
"That's my sister; ever the florist." Sophie said.
"Hey, it's better than being obsessed with My Little Pony." Sonja jabbed playfully.
"Hey!" Sophie snapped.
"Hay is for horses, I prefer oats."
"You only say that because dad used to." Sophie grumbled, folding her arms and pouting. "Besides. I happen to like horses. Horses are pretty."
"Do you ride at all?" Mokuba asked.
"I tried, but I fell off."
"You'll get it someday, sis." Sonja said. "It's always difficult."
"Yeah, but you had no problem the first time you rode a horse. It's like you were born to."
"You forget, I got about a half mile away from the stable and then Cannon decided to bolt toward some brambles and toss me off right there."
Sophie started snickering. "Yeah! And it took us an hour to get you untangled, too!"
Sonja made a face as she found a small plastic cup. "This will do for now." She said. She went into the bathroom and filled it with lukewarm water, setting them in the cup and arranging them artfully. Then she put them on the stand next to the television.
" Et Voila!" she exclaimed dramatically.
"How long do you think they'll last, sis?" Sophie inquired.
"Probably a few weeks. I can do better for them when we get back to the shop. They'll be fine, for now."
A sharp thud at the door made them all jump. It opened and Kaiba stumbled in, slamming it behind him and putting both locks and the chain on.
"Hey, what happened, bro?" Mokuba asked. Kaiba just sighed wearily and set his laptop case down on the bed. "It's even worse." He grumbled. "They're inside the building, now."
Sonja rolled her eyes. "This is really nice." She snapped. "Can't the hotel manager tell them to get out? It's been working the past few days."
Sonja's blood froze when she heard chattering voices outside the door.
"That's the problem." Kaiba answered. "The manager's on holiday and left his son in charge. Obviously, they won't listen to him."
"How are we going to get out?" Sophie asked.
"I'm calling the police." Sonja said. "This is officially out of control."
"The trial is tomorrow afternoon, so I'd suggest you stay in here, no matter what happens." Kaiba said. "I called Robinson and it's just as bad at the detainment center they're holding Allan at."
People started to knock on the door and all four of them turned. Kaiba's eyes narrowed.
"Excuse me! Pardon, I need to get through. Pardon me. Please, Hello?"
A different voice appeared in the crowd outside the door and started knocking.
"That's Roland!" Mokuba exclaimed. Kaiba moved toward the door and carefully undid the locks and chain. He opened the door a crack and Roland immediately hurried in, carrying two plastic grocery bags. This left Kaiba to attempt to close the door as a particularly large person with a video camera tried to push his way in.
"Sonja! Can I just get a shot?" he called.
Sonja pulled her ponytail out and flopped her hair over her face. Then she hurried forward and threw herself against the door with such force, it dented the camera as the reporter tried to pull it back out in time.
Kaiba took this opportunity to slam the door shut while Sonja redid the locks. She leaned against the wall and sighed in relief.
Sophie started to giggle and Kaiba just stared. "Um, Sonja?" he said. "You do realize you look ridiculous, right?"
"I'm aware of that!" she yelled. She stomped over to the other side of the room and sat down against the wall with a 'humph'.
Because of the density of her hair, you couldn't see anything of her face. She might as well have been wearing a veil. She flipped it out of her face and tied it back again.
Roland set down the bags and cleared his throat awkwardly. "I was sure that because of the reporters, you girls would probably be hungry. I got some sandwiches and fruit from the deli down the street if anyone wants anything."
Sophie laughed and enveloped Roland in a tight hug. "Thanks! I'm starving!" she squealed.
"Thank you, very much." Sonja said. "We really appreciate it."
Roland quickly resumed his professional demeanor. "It's not a problem." He said gruffly.
Sophie browsed through the sack and came up with a banana and a ham and cheese sandwich. "Yummy!" she yelled. She went over by the window and sat down to eat, watching the passerby below.
"What about you, Sonja?" Mokuba asked.
"I'll eat in a few minutes."
She picked up the room phone from the receiver and dialed down to the main lobby.
"Hi," she said cheerfully. "Yes, this is Sonja Gavens…yes, I understand you're hassled and I just wanted to know if you'd mind me calling the police to thin them out…why? Oh, no reason, only that we can't even open the door right now…thanks, bye."
She hung up.
"He said that he'd rather I don't call the police because it would create bad publicity for his hotel." She growled.
"Oh, like this is any better?" Sophie asked sarcastically, gesturing toward the door. "We're trapped in our room until tomorrow."
"Well, it could be worse." Sonja ventured.
"How?" Sophie demanded.
"How could it be worse?"
"It couldn't. I lied."
Sophie groaned in frustration.
The next day, police escorts arrived at around six in the morning to take them to the courthouse. Sophie was difficult to wake up because the reporters had caused a huge ruckus outside until around one in the morning and she hadn't gotten much sleep.
Sonja, in the same state, was forced to put on a little makeup to make herself look somewhat presentable. It was only a little cover-up, but she hated it all the same.
After almost literally dragging Sophie out of bed and forcing her to take a cold bath to wake her up, she got dressed and stared at the clock until their escorts arrived.
Kaiba and Mokuba had already gone to the courthouse and would meet them there.
"It's too early, sis." Sophie groaned as she came out of the bathroom, rubbing her eyes.
"Stop that, you'll make them red." Sonja chided.
"Yes, mom." Sophie grumbled irritably. Unlike her sister, Sophie wasn't a morning person. Sonja shook her head and sighed. "They'll be here, soon, so try to be agreeable until we get there. This is a very big day, don't you remember?"
At this, Sophie woke up some more. "Oh right! Today's the day we learn what the verdict is! Allan's going to jail! Allan's going to jail!" she sang out.
"Maybe, maybe not. We won't know for sure until we get there." Sonja said firmly. "Now, get your coat on and lets' go downstairs."
Down in the lobby, they found the officers ready and waiting for them. They nodded politely to them and led them outside a plain brown car with tinted windows. Sonja swallowed and proceeded forward, getting inside and facing forward.
It was now or never.
The courtroom was full to bursting with people anxious to see what would happen to Allan Muggs and the girls whose lives he'd turned into a living hell.
Sonja was taken in through the back entrance as before and led into the courtroom where Robinson, Kaiba and Mokuba were waiting for them.
"Your chances look good, Sonja." Robinson whispered to her.
"I sure hope so." Sonja replied. She sat down and closed her eyes, waiting.
Sophie took a seat next to Mokuba and sat stiff as a board. Mokuba glanced at her curiously. "Um, are you okay, Sophie?"
"Mm-hmm." She said shakily. "It was so easy talking about today. But now I'm actually here. It's nerve-wracking."
Mokuba patted her shoulder. "No problem, Sophie, we're here, too." He said. He leaned in a little. "And between you and me, I'm pretty sure Seto would rather trade places with Allan than leave Sonja, now."
Sophie smiled. "Glad to hear they're finally getting along."
But when they glanced at their respective siblings, however….
"Why didn't you let us know last night you'd be meeting us here? It would have saved a lot of trouble." Sonja whispered angrily.
"I've already told you, I wasn't the one who set the schedule, Sonja."
"Oh sure, like I'll believe that." Sonja snapped under her breath.
Sophie and Mokuba exchanged glances.
"Okay, so I spoke a little too soon." Sophie said dryly.
Five minutes later, the doors opened and they turned to see Allan in the orange prison uniform, being led in by two police officers. He looked smugly over at them and Sonja didn't particularly like the look he gave her as he passed, almost like he was telling her what he'd do to her once he won. Robinson noticed.
"Pay no attention to him, Sonja. You're just giving him what he wants."
Sonja nodded nervously.
After a little while, the bailiff entered as the jury arrived and took their seats.
"All rise." The bailiff announced as the judge appeared and sat down.
"You may sit."
He picked up the papers on his desk, looked over them and then motioned to the bailiff. He muttered something to him and the bailiff nodded. The judge cleared his throat.
"We are here today to hear the verdict in the case of Muggs Vs The State. Allan J. Muggs has been charged with drug trafficking, assault and attempted murder."
He paused. "The jury has had four days to come up with a unanimous decision."
Sonja felt her heart pound crazily and resisted the anxiety coming on. One of the women in the jury looked over at her sympathetically and this unnerved Sonja. That kind of look could mean anything. Was she sympathetic because of what she'd seen happen to her? Or was she pitiful toward her because Allan had been acquitted?
As her breathing started to grow rapid, she felt a hand on her shoulder and turned.
Kaiba was staring at her firmly and nodded slowly. Sonja could read his expression and swallowed, turning back around.
"Will the spokesman for the jury please stand?"
A tall, middle-aged man got to his feet. The judge looked at him sternly. "Has the jury reached a verdict?" he asked.
"We have, your Honor." The man said. "We find the defendant, Allan Muggs, guilty of all charges."
Sonja suddenly felt as though a great weight were lifted from her shoulders and her airways suddenly cleared, her breathing more free.
She glanced over at Allan. The smug look had disappeared and his lawyer was trying to console him. But Allan backhanded the poor man in the face and leapt to his feet. The officers restrained him as the judge commanded for order by ramming his gavel down several times.
"I hereby sentence Allan Muggs to sixty years in prison without the possibility of parole. Case dismissed."
He rammed his gavel down once more, confirming it.
Sonja was frozen and barely noticed it as her sister jumped over the little wall separating them and enveloped her in a huge hug.
"You did it, sis! We're free! We won!" she cried.
Sonja suddenly smiled and threw her arms around Sophie, hugging her tightly and laughing.
Kaiba just watched quietly. That was when it struck him; that was the first time he'd heard Sonja laugh.
He smiled a little as Sophie tackled Robinson, thanking him profusely for his help.
They all turned as several police officers rushed over to help with Allan, who was really putting up a fuss. He'd already given one poor officer a bloody nose as he fought to get to Sonja.
"I'll get you for this, you hear me?!" he screamed. "I'll get you! I'll make your life a living hell! You'll wish you were dead when I'm through with you, you hear me, you bitch?!"
Kaiba expected Sonja to say nothing. But he was rather surprised when she scowled suddenly and gently pushed her sister aside, making her way over to him. The officers and Allan were so stunned that they froze. Sonja looked Allan straight in the eye and smiled strangely.
"I don't see how you could have made it any worse. Besides, I've been wanting to do this for years."
Without warning, she suddenly slugged him so hard that he was sent reeling back into the officers holding him.
"That's for everything you did to me, you lowlife bottom-feeder." She snapped. She whirled and stalked back over to her sister. The officers just stared. One of them whistled.
"Now that girl can punch." He said. "I mean, she's a twig."
"Well, you learn something new every day." His partner said. He looked down at Allan and winced. "Ouch. That's a broken jaw, all right. Guess we should get him to the prison infirmary."
"Should we tell 'em a girl did it?" the other one said with a smirk.
"Only if he misbehaves." Replied his partner as they hauled Allan to his feet and dragged him out of the courtroom.
Sonja smiled sheepishly at Sophie. "Sorry." She said. "Guess I overdid it."
"Nah." Sophie said. "I would have done the same thing if I were taller."
"Come on, Sophie!" Mokuba exclaimed. "Race ya outside!"
"Yeah! Loser buys the winner a pop!"
They took off and Robinson shook his head, chuckling. He looked at Sonja and smiled. "You did good, kid." He said. "These kinds of cases are stressful and you did very admirably. You should be proud."
He tilted his head at Kaiba. "And it always helps to have a good friend in the wings."
With those parting words, he left.
Kaiba looked over at Sonja.
"So," he said. "How does it feel?"
She glanced at him curiously. "How does what feel?"
"How does it feel to have your life back?"
Sonja looked away, her eyes taking on a faraway gaze. "Well, it's still sinking in," she said. "But…."
She looked back at him and then, she suddenly jumped and threw her arms around his neck. "So far, it feels great!" she exclaimed.
Kaiba, stunned at first, hesitated but slowly hugged her back. A lot had happened the past several months and knew one thing for certain; he wouldn't change a thing, now that everything was the way it was supposed to be.
Sonja pulled away as she heard her sister's voice. Sophie appeared in the doorway and waved to them. "Come on! Lets' go, already!"
She hurried off and Sonja smiled. "I guess this is it."
"What?" Kaiba asked.
"The start of our new life. And you know I couldn't have gotten anywhere without you, you are aware of that, right?"
"Don't be ridiculous." He snapped. He started toward the door.
Sonja just sighed and shook her head. "Whatever. It's all over, now." She muttered.
There was a car waiting for them outside and Sonja was the last one in. Their things had already been packed and stored in the trunk and it was a half-hour drive back to the shop. Kaiba just stared out the window while Mokuba and Sophie started a game of "Guess the Monster" with Kaiba's deck.
"Umm…," Sophie mumbled. "I guess…Rude Kaiser!"
Mokuba groaned. "How'd you know?" he grumbled.
Sonja leaned her head against the window, gradually relaxing, but not allowing herself to fall asleep. That could wait until later.
One Year Later
It was dark outside.
Kaiba shut down his computer and rubbed his eyes wearily. After two months of dealing with botched up orders, he was finally finished. All he had to do now was wait for the next batch of screwed up forms.
He turned and stared out the window. For some reason, something felt wrong. He felt like he was forgetting something.
He sighed and packed his computer up. He locked his desk drawers and left his office.
Even though it was dark, it was still early. He could see Halloween decoration lights going up here and there whenever he went outside. As he made his way down to the parking garage, he decided he'd visit Sonja for a little while. It had been a year since she'd won her freedom from Allan. Upon checking his file in the state prison, he discovered that due to horrendous behavior and nearly killing an inmate, he'd been moved to a heavy security detainment center two counties away. Ever since, Sonja had seemed so much happier and he saw her smile a lot more these days. He wasn't really sure why, but something about that gave him a feeling of accomplishment.
As he drove the block or so away, he kept trying to figure out what he'd forgotten about or forgotten to do. It was nagging him incessantly, but for the life of him, he couldn't figure it out.
He shut the engine off beside the curb just as Sonja was closing the shop for the day. She glanced up and waved.
"Hey." She said. "What're you doing out here?"
Something about how she said that irked him.
"I came to see how you were doing." He answered. For some reason, it came extremely easy to him to talk to her.
"Oh, thanks. Come on up for a bit. Sophie's with Mokuba at the arcade again."
He followed her up to the second floor and when he stepped inside, he was surprised at how the place had improved since she'd moved in.
"Cool, huh?" she said in reference to the powder blue and white scheme she had going on in the furniture and curtains. "I sewed the curtains myself. But I was able to get some new furniture for half-off at a clearance sale."
He hadn't actually been up there since the night Sonja was nearly killed. He'd only visited during the day when she was working during the shop. He saw she'd also replaced the carpet and she noticed.
"Yeah, we had a bit of a problem with mold so I called a fumigator and we replaced everything. Thanks to a careful budget, I've become an expert bargain hunter." She said with a smile.
"Judging from your monthly reports, I'd agree." He remarked.
"Well, sit down, already." Sonja said. "I can't be a good host if I don't notice these things."
Kaiba rolled his eyes and sat down at the kitchen table, setting his laptop case beside him on the floor. He watched as Sonja searched through drawers, apparently looking for something.
"Dang it." She grumbled. "Sophie rearranged the cabinets and I can't find anything, now."
She gave up and sat down across from him. "Oh well. I'll come across it eventually."
"What were you looking for?"
"My pocket calendar." She said. "You wouldn't happen to know the date, would you?"
He shook his head. He'd always been terrible remembering the date. It was one of his quirks.
Sonja sighed. "It's fine. Actually, I'm glad you came to visit. I needed to ask you something and I was going to ask you to come over, anyway."
"What?" he asked suspiciously.
"Have you forgotten something, as of late?" she pried.
Kaiba wasn't about to admit to anyone about the thing nagging at the back of his mind all day.
"I doubt it." He said.
"Are you sure?"
"Sonja." He growled.
"Sorry. But I was informed by a little birdie that you forgot something."
Kaiba's eyes narrowed. What was she getting at? He couldn't believe how irritating she could be when she wanted to.
Sonja shook her head, smirking. "I knew it." She said. "You forgot."
"I have no idea what you're talking about."
"I can't believe you'd forget! Jeez."
Kaiba was losing his patience. "Sonja, what are you talking about?" he snapped. Sonja smiled. "Oh, nothing." She said.
There was a loud pop!
Kaiba found himself frozen as a long red ribbon appeared out of nowhere and landed on the table. He looked to the right as Mokuba and Sophie jumped into view.
"Gotcha, Mr. Kaiba!" Sophie squealed.
"Happy birthday, bro!" Mokuba exclaimed. In his hand, he held some kind of cardboard ribbon cannon.
Kaiba just blinked in surprise. Was this what he'd been trying to remember all day? His own birthday?
"I don't believe this." He grumbled.
"You'd better." Sonja said. "Mokuba told me you've forgotten three times in a row. So he planned a little mini surprise for you."
"I don't have time for this, Sonja. I still have work to do." He said, getting to his feet.
"Oh no, you don't." Sonja warned. She reached into her pocket and pulled something out. "You're going to stay, even I have to use force."
In her hand, she held a pair of handcuffs. Kaiba just stared in bewilderment.
"Um, Sonja, where did you get those?"
"The party store." She said casually. "Now you either willingly stay a little while and enjoy this little surprise your brother planned for you, or I handcuff you to the table and force you to stay." She said with a grin. Kaiba glowered at her, knowing full well that once she set her mind to something, there was no stopping her. He sighed in irritation and sat back down. Mokuba took a seat beside him and grinned.
"I knew you'd be a little ticked. But you forget every year, so I just wanted to jog your memory." He said.
"Thanks." He said irritably.
Sophie dashed out of the room and reemerged seconds later with a box.
"Nothing special, just Monopoly!" she exclaimed.
Sonja took a seat again and helped to set up the board. Kaiba again tried to leave and this time, Sonja tried less bizarre methods to persuade him to stay. She talked him into just one round and that's it. He finally agreed on the grounds that if he tried to leave again, she'd be serious about the handcuffs.
The pieces were distributed, the fake money passed around and the game began.
Kaiba had to admit that it was kind of a nice change from Duel Monsters. It wasn't nearly as challenging and didn't take much concentration. Plus, it was kind of amusing watching Sophie and Mokuba argue over who bought what property first.
The game lasted two hours and it came as a shocker to everyone when Sophie unexpectedly won the game. She jumped up on her chair and tossed her cards high, whooping. "Oh yeah! I won!" she chanted.
Kaiba had placed a close second, Sonja third and Mokuba fourth. He pouted a little at Sophie's show of triumph.
"Beginner's luck." He mumbled. Sophie heard this and scowled.
"Beginner's luck, my butt! I won by pure talent." She snapped, folding her arms.
She got down off her chair, went over and made a freaky face at him. This resulted in a high speed chase around the living room.
Sonja picked up the game and put it away in its box. Then, while Mokuba and Sophie exerted their remaining energy in a rather dramatic game of hide and seek, Sonja and Kaiba just talked for a little while, discussing how their various professions were operating nowadays.
A half an hour later, Sophie had collapsed on the sofa, out cold and snoring softly. Mokuba had fallen asleep in his hiding place behind a potted plant.
Sonja chuckled. "Those two were meant to be best friends." She said, shaking her head.
" I have to agree." Kaiba replied. He looked over at Sonja. "Despite your childish threats, this has actually been rather…enjoyable."
Sonja smiled. "Sorry about the handcuffs. I sorta figured you'd try to leave, so I bought them on a hunch. It turns out I was right."
Kaiba looked at the clock on the wall. "I'll get going." He said. He went over and woke Mokuba up. Mokuba, groggy and exhausted, stumbled over to the door and leaned against the wall.
"Thanks for putting up with this." Sonja said.
"Don't expect it to happen too often." He replied. But as he turned to go, Sonja came forward suddenly, leaned up and kissed him quickly on the cheek. He froze and blinked.
" What was that for?" he asked curiously.
"Two reasons." She said, moving over to the sink and setting some plates into some water. "One, for being such a good friend. And two, happy birthday. Now, get going before he falls asleep standing up." She said, gesturing toward Mokuba.
Kaiba woke him up again and stepped outside.
"Goodnight, Sonja." He said.
"Ditto." She said cheerfully.
Kaiba closed the door and made his way down the stairs, making sure his brother didn't trip.
Mokuba climbed into the passenger seat and closed his eyes, leaning on the door. Kaiba got in the other side and turned the engine on. As he drove toward home, he allowed his mind to wander. He kept thinking back, just wondering.
He thought about what his life might be like now if he hadn't met Sonja. But it was impossible to picture.
Sonja put Sophie into bed in the top bunk and then climbed under the covers on the bottom bunk. Breathing in the fresh scent of the pillow, she sighed contentedly. It had been a memorable year. And she hoped that the years to follow would be just as memorable as she drifted off to sleep.
A/N: Okay, the next story will be up soon. It's called Of Promises and Perseverance. It's a guaranteed satisfier for those of you who wanted Sonja and Kaiba to get together. And, especially for your enjoyment and mainly because almost every good idea in the sequel is her doing, and the fact that she's more excited about this hookup than I am (and possibly anyone else out there), Cauryn Terenkey is going to be the co writer for the sequel. So keep your eyes peeled and enjoy when it comes out.