A/N: Hey guys! It's been about three years since I've updated this story. I'm sorry! But I promise I'll try to keep updating! Anyway, please enjoy!
I DO NOT OWN YU-GI-OH!
Chapter 5- Deck The Halls
"Over there, Kisara!" Mokuba pointed to an open spot on the wall behind the staircase, as he stood at the top, observing Kisara and his older brother getting the decorations out of the storage bins. He needed to be up high to pinpoint where things went, and the Kaiba Mansion undeniably had one of the tallest staircases in existence. "I think that wreath goes there."
Kisara carried one of the biggest wreaths she had ever seen in here entire life up the enormous staircase in the Kaiba mansion. She could feel her balance wavering as she attempted to haul this thing up the stairs.
"Mokuba! She's gonna kill herself trying to take that thing up to you!" Kaiba shouted from below to his brother.
"She's got it, Seto, no worries!"
Kaiba shook his head in dismissal. If it weren't for this damn snowstorm, he'd still be at Kaiba Corp., getting holiday preparation and sales done. Earlier, he had gone home because of the snow. Kisara had given him the unfortunate news that Mokuba had wanted to decorate the house. Kisara said it was their 'tradition,' but it was not. Kaiba had always hired out decorators to make the mansion look festive, but apparently Mokuba wanted to do it with him and Kisara this year. That kid was always getting himself into the stupidest situations with his bizarre ideas. Kaiba just hoped that Mokuba realized how hard it was to decorate the mansion and never wanted to do it again.
"YIKES!" An immense yelp slipped through Kisara's throat as she began tumbling backwards down the stairs, along with the giant wreath and ornaments that were shattering and dropping all around her.
"KISARA!" Mokuba shouted, rushing his way to her, but his older brother was quicker.
The sound of ornaments being crushed underneath Kaiba's feet made him grit his teeth. The sound was like nails on a chalkboard. What was worse was the stinging pain he felt shoot up his legs as he stepped on the glass. Kaiba barked in pain but managed to dive for Kisara, grabbing her just before her head crashed onto the marble floor.
"LOOK OUT!" Mokuba cried. The wreath had followed Kisara, and was rolling rapidly down the stairs toward them. Kaiba quickly hoisted Kisara to her feet and pushed her out of the way, taking the blow from the wreath. He collapsed backwards onto the floor, crushing a dozen or more ornaments beneath him as he laid flat on his back, groaning in the misery that was this decorating nightmare.
"Seto! Seto, oh god! Are you okay!?" Came the panicked voice of Kisara. She ran to stand over him. Her compassionate blue eyes examined his current state with a look of complete stress and worry.
"Big brother! Are you all right!?" Mokuba ran down the stairs, avoiding the mess of glass as he did so, and joined Kisara in standing over the elder Kaiba brother.
"Ouch…" Kaiba grunted.
There was a pause. The two just stood over him, examining his state of being.
"I'm just dandy," was the classic sarcastic response Kaiba dished out as he rolled his eyes. "Want to help me up now?"
Both Kisara and Mokuba clutched his shoulders and helped the CEO into a sitting position. Kaiba winced the entire time, groaning as they lifted him from the floor.
"Seto, the back of your shirt is covered in blood!" Kisara's voice was still stricken with panic.
Mokuba turned to observe the damage to his brother's back. He made a disgusted face at the sight. "Let me call the doctor." He was about to leave but Kaiba grabbed his wrist.
"It's not that bad, Mokuba."
"No, really, it is." Kisara stated, she pointed to his feet, "The bottoms of your socks are covered in blood as well. I think you need to see a medic, you could have glass stuck in your skin."
He growled at her, "No one asked for your input!"
His outburst shocked Kisara and she backed away, looking down in defeat.
Mokuba saw the sad look in Kisara's eyes and defended her, "Hey! Don't yell at Kisara! This isn't her fault!"
Kaiba groaned as he got to his feet. The pain in his feet made him snarl. He lashed out as his brother, "Oh that's right? This was your idea! If we would've hired out to decorate like usual, this disaster wouldn't have happened!"
No one spoke. A harsh, rigid silence filled the room. It was infuriating.
Mokuba just glared viciously at his brother. His nasty glance was a clone of his brother's. The vision of his younger brother looking exactly like him rocked Kaiba a bit, making him turn his gaze away. He saw the maids standing in the doorway of the foyer staring intently at the situation. Kaiba criticized the maids; "This is your work now. Clean this up, immediately!"
"Y-yes Mr. Kaiba," They nodded and rushed to the scene and began to gather up the mess.
Kaiba grunted as he began walking towards the bathroom, wincing with every step.
"I'm still calling the doctor!" Mokuba spat at him.
Kaiba waved his hands in the air, "Do whatever you want!" Bitterness was extremely evident in the elder Kaiba's voice.
Both of the Kaiba brothers quickly dispersed, leaving a shocked Kisara all alone with the maids. One of the maids looked up from her cleaning to observe Kisara. "Do you need anything my dear?" She asked. Concern was written across her face.
Kisara shook her head, "I'm okay…" Her voice was soft and meek.
"My dear," one of the maids marched over to her, "your hands are bleeding, and there's a small cut on your face, lets go take care of that." The maid grabbed her wrist and began to drag Kisara across the room.
"No, no," Kisara said, "I can take care of it myself, don't worry."
"Are you sure?" The maid let go of her grip on Kisara.
The white haired woman nodded in assurance. The maid soon left Kisara and went back to her duty of cleaning up the mess Kisara had accidentally caused.
Kaiba hissed when he took off his shirt, the stinging spreading throughout his entire back. A few shards of colored glass fell to the floor near his battered feet. Carefully, Kaiba used his injured feet to swish the glass away from where he was standing. He launched his soiled shirt into the corner of the bathroom and placed his hands on the granite countertop. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, he noticed a few minor scratches underneath his eyes. He wiped the blood from the scratches with a wet washcloth and turned around slowly to examine the damage. He sighed in defeat. His back was now even more flawed than it was before. Using his index finger, he lightly traced the outline of a long, thick scar that was very visible. The scar was old and not from the recent incident. Kaiba hunched over, dropping his gaze to the floor and away from the scars that brought back horrific memories.
Gozaburo Kaiba was a wicked man and Kaiba had experienced that first hand. The beatings were merely a 'life lesson' according to Gozaburo. Beating a child until his back was raw, bleeding, and blistering, was just another part of life that 'Seto needed to understand in order to become successful.' Seto Kaiba was successful, that was a fact, but the journey that lead to that success, he'd never forget….
Lifting his gaze from the floor and back to the mirror, Kaiba examined the spots where the glass had penetrated and noted that there would be a few more notable scars to add to the cluster that covered the entirety of his back.
He looked away once again and reached for the washcloth. From the corner of his eye he spotted Kisara standing in the doorway of the bathroom. He jumped slightly at her presence and instantaneously went on the defensive.
"What the hell do you think you're doing?" His jaw was clenched firmly. He was irrationally nervous around her at the moment. He felt so naked and exposed, and hating the feeling of vulnerability, he looked around for his soiled shirt to cover himself up, but remembered that he had tossed his shirt to the other side of the bathroom.
"Oh my gosh! I'm so sorry! I thought this bathroom was vacant! I'll go! I don't know my way around here yet! I deeply apologize!" She began covering her eyes with her hands. Even though her hands blocked her eyes, Kaiba could tell she was about to cry. She truly felt bad about everything.
Kaiba exhaled loudly, and with a shaky voice he said, "It's fine. Apology accepted."
Kisara let her hands fall to her sides. "You mean that?"
"Of course I do. I just said so. I know you're sorry about now and before…. Just don't go crying on me, okay? I don't know if I can handle stuff like that right now…."
"Oh…" Kisara seemed a bit dumbfounded. She choked back her tears.
He sighed. He didn't want to ask her for help, but there were portions on his back where glass was stuck and he couldn't reach to get it out. He could feel the pain increasing and before long the wounds would become infected. Whether or not Mokuba had called the doctor, there was no way he was getting here in time in this snowstorm. He had no other option.
She didn't reply. She just bore her stunning blue eyes into him. It made asking her for help even worse.
"I need your help pulling the glass out of my back. There are plenty of shards that are still stuck. I can't reach them on my own."
"A-are you sure?" She stuttered.
He barely nodded. Kaiba was extremely nervous. Exposing his back to her would pose so many questions. Would she ask him about his scars? What would she think? Would she think he was ugly? Would she judge him? He sure as hell hoped not. He was vulnerable enough as it was and didn't need these questions pounded into him like a jackhammer. He just needed to get the glass out, now!
"I'm in a lot of pain. Get over here!" Kaiba demanded as he growled and winced in discomfort.
Kisara hurried to his side and waited for him to expose his back to her.
Kaiba swallowed harshly. There was a bead of sweat preparing to fall down the side of his forehead. He was nervous, no, more than just nervous… terrified! He hadn't even shown Mokuba these scars and now he was showing a complete stranger his gruesome past. Slowly, he turned around, revealing his bare, damaged back to Kisara.
She didn't say anything. Kaiba assumed she would, but she was completely silent. Kisara cautiously pulled out the glass without saying a word. Kaiba had recoiled and arched his back at the pain, but Kisara was mute and seemed to lack any type of emotion, which Kaiba greatly appreciated. Was she trying to cover up her thoughts with her silence, maybe she was judging him in her thoughts? Or was she simply being respectful? Kaiba prayed for the latter, but he couldn't be sure.
When the last piece was out she finally spoke, "All done."
Kaiba swiftly turned around and pointed a stern finger inches from her face. "Don't you dare speak of this to anyone, got it?"
She rapidly nodded, but Kaiba could see the terror in her eyes. He had jumped the gun on her and he knew it….
Dropping his finger and stern posture, he took a moment to recollect himself. "Look, I assumed you were judging me for my…" He had a hard time even admitting it. Taking another moment to recollect, he finally finished his sentence, "I thought you were judging me for my scars."
Kisara suddenly amazed him. Her shocked expression turned into a loving, warm, and caring one that Kaiba was not accustomed to. She smiled brightly, it was brighter than any other smile he had witnessed before and he blushed from pure reaction.
"Seto, it's okay." She looked so compassionate. "I will never judge you."
Kaiba was now the shocked one. She was the first person to ever genuinely say something like that to him. He was quite astounded. He didn't say anything. He just stood there, soaking in Kisara and all her empathy. Kaiba truly appreciated it.
"Thank you." The phrase came out hoarse and felt unnatural as it left his lips. Seto Kaiba was not used to thanking people. He couldn't even remember the last time he thanked someone.
Kisara just simply accepted it, "You're welcome." She flashed him a toothy smile. Reaching for the damp washcloth Kaiba had been using before, she rung it out in the sink, letting streams of blood flow down the drain. She wet it down once again before asking, "Do you mind if I wipe the blood from your back? It's beginning to drip onto the floor."
Kaiba turned around to glance at the floor. There was a lot more blood than he expected there to be. He granted her permission with a curt nod and she began softly dabbing cool water on his wounds.
In between seething at the stinging pain, and the embarrassment he felt at being so exposed to a stranger, he thought about how naturally comfortable he felt around Kisara. He didn't know what it was about this mysterious woman, but for some reason, he naturally trusted her, and for no reason at all. Granted, she was caring for him, but it was more than that.
She rung out the bloody washcloth once again. There was more blood than before.
"Why are you doing this, Kisara?"
"Because you asked me to."
"I didn't ask you to wash off my back. You insisted."
Silence washed over them as Kisara continued to dab at his bleeding back. Kaiba patiently waited for a reply. When she decided to finally speak, Kaiba wanted to feel surprised by her response. He wasn't.
"Let's just say it's one of the only ways I can say thank you for taking care of me. I had to somehow return the favor."
'Typical Kisara…' He thought, 'such a sweet response from such a sweet soul.'
A/N: So, as stated before, it's been about three years. My sincerest apologies. If you look back at some of my previous chapters, you'll see that I've made some edits, so feel free to go back and re-read. Nothing too major where the plot shifts or anything. Just a lot of grammar and spelling mistakes, and a couple continuity issues. Other than that, this story should be up to date and ready for the next chapter! Until next time!