"Wow, Yuugi, this is gorgeous!" Anzu held up the necklace, admiring how the gold reflected in the sunlight. A small cat-shaped charm with bejeweled eyes winked at Anzu from high above her head, a secret smile on its feline face.
"Grandpa has a whole lot of those things-- he's such a packrat," Yuugi groaned, "I've been trying to get him to sell or give away the items from his expeditions that aren't worth much, but he just refuses to listen."
"Well, with stuff like this, I can imagine him wanting to hang onto it!" Anzu smiled, handing the necklace back to Yuugi. The shorter boy shook his head, "Grandpa doesn't even take care of it! I want you to have it, Anzu."
The brunette stared at her spiky-haired friend, shock plain on her pretty face. "Yuugi... are you sure?"
Yuugi nodded his head affirmatively, "Yeah! Besides, what are me and Grandpa going to do with a girl's necklace, anyway?"
Anzu smiled, "Well thanks, Yuugi. It really is pretty. But what's with the cat? It has... pierced ears?"
"Oh, that's Bastet, one of the ancient goddesses of Egypt," Yuugi explained with a smile, "She's the daughter of the sun god, Ra. She was thought to represent power, and the gentle form of woman, the mother."
Anzu smiled awkwardly at her best friend; whenever he knew something about Egypt he prattled on about it for as long as he could, sounding like he was reciting from a textbook.
"In-Interesting." Anzu glanced at the cat charm on the necklace again, swearing to herself that the thing was winking at her.
'Impossible!' she berated herself silently.
"...magical properties, kinda like the Puzzle, I guess..."
"Huh?" Anzu blinked, suddenly realizing that Yuugi had kept right on talking and she'd just tuned him out.
"S-Sorry Yuugi," Anzu murmured with an embarrassed blush, "What did you just say?"
Yuugi frowned slightly, but repeated his words, "Back in ancient times, even the most mundane things --like the necklace-- were believed to have magical properties. It's kinda like the Puzzle, I guess."
"Hm," Anzu inspected the jeweled charm again, wondering if her necklace would cause as much trouble and heartache as the Millennium Items had.
It had been over a year now, since Yami --no, Atem-- had gone back to his rightful place in the Afterlife. And they were coping.
It was hard, most especially for Anzu, who had thought herself in love with the darker half of her best friend-- and had realized the hard way that it wasn't meant to be.
'He's in a better place now,' Anzu continually told herself. And it was for the best. After all, she knew that she didn't feel for Yuugi what she once had for Atem-- that they really WERE two different people, even if they shared the same face... the same soul.
Domino was much more peaceful than it had been since Atem's first appearance-- and everyone's years in high school were drawing to a close. There were no more dangerous duels, kidnappings, or Millennium Items; no more smart-mouthed duelists claiming to have this or that card...
'Well,' Anzu grimaced, 'There is one.'
And that one, of course, happened to be the class cynic-- and class genius, class rich-boy, class showoff, class thickheaded, air-brained...
"Anzu?" Yuugi's voice filtered through the clouds in Anzu's mind, snapping her back to reality.
"Ah, sorry Yuugi. Guess I spaced out again."
'Not going to tell him I was spaced out thinking of stupid Kaiba. Damn you, Kaiba! Distracting me like that!'
Of course, it wasn't Kaiba's fault at all-- he wasn't even there. But since he continued to treat Jounouchi, Honda, and herself with less than a modicum of respect, Anzu had no kind words for the young man.
Yuugi, at least, held some of Kaiba's grudging respect, but...
"Anzu, I have to head home now-- before Grandpa finds out I've been going through all his old stuff and hides it again. Later!"
Anzu nodded absently as Yuugi disappeared from her sights, leaving her alone in Domino Park as the sun dropped below the horizon.
Dangling the shining trinket Yuugi had bestowed upon her, Anzu stared at the cat charm.
"Magical properties, huh?"
The cat winked.
"Well, so if I can make a wish on you, then... then..."
She was coming up blank.
Of all the things she wanted, none of them came surging forth as her ultimate, one, true desire. Anzu was the sort of person who wanted to know that she had worked hard for her rewards-- that she'd put real effort into everything she did, and saw every attempt into doing something through.
What if the necklace really was magical? What could she possibly forgive herself for not trying to do on her own?
Suddenly, a thought came to mind, bidden only by Anzu's previous distractions.
'I wish that, before I graduate, I could see Seto Kaiba treat another living creature with the same respect and kindness as he does his own brother. I wish Seto Kaiba would at least try and make friends!'
The young CEO angered Anzu so frequently, she often wondered if one day, she would just snap-- and she'd be unable to control the impulses that flared up so wildly whenever she was around him.
She didn't know what she'd do if such a thing happened-- maybe she'd yell at him, and put real venom behind her words. Or maybe she'd slap him, as she'd envisioned herself doing so many times. He angered her that much.
Anzu hated violence. Yet... something about Seto Kaiba brought out the absolute worst in her.
Just thinking about him made her head hurt.
And suddenly, the world was spinning dizzily around Anzu, a mass of the sunset's red and gold hues... the green of the grass, the blue of the lake... and the black that Anzu unwillingly slipped into as her eyes closed.
Mokuba Kaiba was most definitely related to Seto. There was no question-- he was quite intelligent, adept at all sorts of games, and... utterly sneaky.
For the third time that week, he'd avoided the SPs Seto usually hired to pick him up from school. But Mokuba was eleven years old-- he didn't need any bodyguards! Besides, he thought to himself, going home meant only one thing-- being alone.
Seto was always holing himself up in his office, working on one project or another.
He never had time for Mokuba anymore.
As a result, Mokuba often found himself wandering the dirt paths of Domino Park close to the sunset hours, when Seto would usually insist that Mokuba be home.
'What's the point?' Mokuba groused to himself, kicking a stone. He followed the pebble's trajectory until it hit a weird lump on the grass behind a bench-- and much to Mokuba's surprise, the lump moved.
Mokuba inched towards the thing warily, poking the shifting bundle of cloth with a hesitant finger. The bundle moved more, struggling to be freed of the fabric restraints that kept it hidden from the younger Kaiba's sight.
"Whatever you are, you want out. Okay, so I'll let you out." Mokuba squatted near the thing, and shifted the cloth aside. It was a shirt, from the looks of it, but what was it doing lying out in the middle of the park? And more importantly, what was the thing stuck inside it?
Fumbling with the shirt for a moment, Mokuba found an opening from which the moving thing could emerge-- and to his absolute surprise, it did.
"It" was a chocolate brown kitten with the bluest eyes Mokuba had ever seen. Entranced, Mokuba stared at it with a huge grin on his face.
"You're so cute!" he exclaimed, picking up the kitten and holding it up to eye-level. It didn't seem to have a collar on, so maybe...
"I'm going to take you home!" he grinned, trotting off with the thing in his arms, toward the Kaiba mansion.
If Seto wasn't going to be there for Mokuba, the boy resolved, then the younger Kaiba would just have to make do without him. And what better companion than... a pet? Like an adorable, chocolate-colored kitten!
The tiny feline only blinked up at Mokuba in what could only be termed 'kitty confusion' and mewled softly in surprise.
'Wha- What's going on here?!'