Snow Child

Chapter 3

Chapter 3

Yukiko. It was still strange having a name again. but what a lovely name, and it's sort of poetic that my savior gave it to me. Kaiba has since told me it means 'snow child'. I suppose he thought it appropriate given the weather in which I turned up. I've been here for a while now. For some reason, my perception of time has been muddled, so I couldn't say how long it's been. I feel better though. I have gained some weight and my body hurts less. Now I think back, it felt as if my body hadn't been mine for a long time, like I wasn't used to it. I just wish I could remember something about how I turned up, naked, in the woods

"Yukiko, you know, you don't have to wear Seto's shirts anymore." A teen voice spoke rousing Yukiko from her thoughts. She looked around. She was sat in a large dining room, which it seemed needed the title 'hall' rather than room. It had a high ceiling with three chandeliers hanging down from it. The table was huge and could easily seat a small army. It seemed odd that only three of them used the table regularly. Yukiko looked at the two boys she was sat with. Kaiba was at the head of the table, Mokuba (his younger brother) on Kaiba's left, Yukiko on his right. Mokuba was staring at her, waiting for her to speak, his ebony fringe falling just shy of his dark eyes. He was smiling at her kindly. Yukiko gazed around at Kaiba, her cheeks burning.

"Well, erm… I…" she began feeling embarrassed. It was true. They'd been kind enough to buy her some new clothes including night wear, but she'd still insisted on wearing one of Kaibas baggy long sleeved shirts.

"I like the shirts. They don't feel tight and restricting," Yukiko said, gazing down into her bowl of mixed fruits. She toyed with the food using the end of her silver spoon.

"To tell you the truth," she began, looking back up, "Since you found me… naked…" She paused to blush furiously, "I don't really like the feeling of clothes. I'd much rather wear nothing," she said absently, and then realising what she'd said, looked up at them horrified.

"I'm sorry!" She exclaimed, "Too much information! I'm sorry! I swear I won't" she cried out. Both boys were watching her, but Kaiba had a much more cynical and bemused look upon his face, whereas Mokuba was holding back a giggle.

"Yukiko, you don't need to freak out!" He grinned, "It's okay for you to talk about what's bothering you. We don't mind, right big brother?" Mokuba laughed turning to his brother.

Kaiba nodded, acknowledging what his brother had said, but he was still staring straight at Yukiko, his arms folded, his piercing blue gaze fixing her with the same petulant glare. There was something about the innocence of this girl that really irritated him. No, it did more than that. It pissed him off, but he didn't know why. Just the way she sat, wearing nothing but his own shirt, her brown eyes wide and sickeningly innocent. Was it the fact, that despite his extensive searches, although he hadn't a lot to go on, he couldn't find any record of the girl? No missing persons or anything. It was as if she had literally appeared from nowhere. But Seto Kaiba knew better than to believe that rubbish. A person can't just appear out of nowhere, like magic. He wasn't a fool and he wouldn't believe that. Even so, it was odd.

"You are to accompany me to work today," Kaiba ordered, turning his attention back to the French toast before him. It took the girl a little while for the words he'd spoken to register, but when they did, Yukiko gaped at him, terrified. She hadn't left this house since she'd first arrived.

"What?" Yukiko eventually asked, not sure if she'd misheard him.

"It seems you'll be staying here for the foreseeable future. You need to earn your keep." Kaiba replied flatly. Mokuba had also turned to Seto, surprised.

"But, Seto?" He began, determined to start on his brother.

"No, no… It's okay, Mokuba. Your Brother is right. I do need to earn my way," Yukiko replied, smiling in what she hoped was a reassuring way. Yukiko jumped to her feet, noticing Kaiba was already dressed, his deep brown hair smoothed out, and his suit crease free.

"I'll… go and get dressed," She said before rushing to the door.

Yukiko ran her hands through the variety of clothes, admiring each piece, but not wanting to wear any of them.

"Why did he have to pick today for me to start?" Yukiko said biting her lip, tears forming in her eyes. She'd probably be fine, but the very thought of leaving the safety of the Kaiba home left her feeling petrified.

"And why does this wardrobe have to be so big?" Yukiko cursed, tears escaping her eyes.

"Because it's a walk in wardrobe," A voice almost drawled from behind her. Yukiko span on her heel, turning to meet the icy glare of Kaiba.

"I… I'm sor… sorry," Yukiko muttered. Kaiba walked forwards, backing Yukiko further into the closet. Yukiko found her heart beat increasing and her eyes widening with fear as he backed her into the small space, his piercing blue gaze never faltering. Yukiko found her voice choke in her throat. Kaiba glanced to his left. His hand reached into the array of clothing, pulling out a dress. He then gestured to a drawer at the back of the wardrobe, indicating for her to open it. For some reason, turning her back to him felt dangerous, like she was turning her back to a predator she knew was stalking her.

"The black pumps," He whispered in a deadly voice, Yukiko hadn't heard him use before. She did as she was told, pulling a pair of simple black shoes out and closing the drawer. She turned around, expecting his terrifying gaze to capture hers again. She breathed a small sigh of relief. He was gone. She heard the click of her bedroom door and knew he'd left for now. She walked out of the closet and saw the clothes he'd picked for her laid out across her bed. The dress was made up of a tight black pencil skirt and a cream blouse. While she'd been turned away, he'd picked out several other items, A black cardigan, black tights and even her underwear. Yukiko changed, trying not the blush viciously at the thought that Kaiba had picked out her bra.

When she'd dressed, she didn't even think to gaze at her reflection before running downstairs. Kaiba was waiting for her, looking impatient, by the front door. He glared at her when he saw her.

"You're leaving your hair like that?" He asked, almost sneering at her. Yukiko gazed at him, the hurt apparent in her wide brown eyes. Kaiba shook his head.

"Well, no time to fix it now. Out." He ordered. Yukiko exited the house, cool air whipping against her skin. Kaiba passed her and walked down the stone steps. He stopped by a long black car. A man, whom Yukiko suspected was the driver, opened the door and Kaiba got in.

"Hurry up!" He snapped at her, his eyes glaring. Yukiko forced herself onwards and almost leapt into the car. Kaiba was already sat belted in, his eyes focused on his PDA. Yukiko hastily fastened her own seat belt and started when the engine came to life. Luckily for her, Yukiko didn't see Kaiba roll his eyes.

Kaiba wasn't sure why he'd so spontaneously ordered her to come to work with him. It was very out of character for him to so suddenly make a rash decision. He glanced over at the girl. She was staring with those innocent brown eyes out of the window. He grimaced. He could feel his anger towards her building up. She was a pain and had been since she'd turned up naked on their door step. It took all his self-restraint and all his respect for Mokuba to not kick her out. He grimaced again. A part of him, deep, deep down knew the only reason he'd brought her with him today was the idea of her flaunting around his house in nothing but his shirt or in nothing at all had really pissed him off.

The Limo pulled up outside Kaiba Corporation in what felt like no time. Kaiba had been so immersed in his thoughts that the time spent inside his luxury car had passed quickly. He unbuckled his seat belt and climbed out of the car, hastily followed by Yukiko. He walked forwards and up to the glass doors. Two security guards opened the door for him to stride through, but stopped Yukiko from following. He turned to see her brown eyes wide and a terrified expression upon her face as the guards attempted to get more than a squeak out of her. Kaiba marched back to them, annoyed by the hold up. Somewhere in his mind, he blamed Yukiko for it.

"She's with me." Kaiba, CEO of Kaiba Corp, said flatly. The sudden regret flitted across the guards face as they stepped back, allowing Yukiko to pass.

"Sorry, sir." They both spoke in sync with each other. Without another word passing between them, Kaiba continued on across the marble floor of his lobby and over to his own personal elevator. He pressed the button to call the elevator and waited. When the lift doors opened, he walked in, followed by Yukiko. He pressed his thumb to the scanner and the lift doors closed. As the elevator began to move towards the top floor, Kaiba felt two big brown eyes upon him. He glanced over at Yukiko, who was indeed watching him.

"What?" He snapped, irritated by her eyes. She blushed instantly.

"Well, you own all this?" She asked, gesturing around her.

"How observant of you," He smirked. He felt Yukiko shrink back from him.

"I was just going to say, at your age, it's really impressive," Yukiko muttered, turning away from him embarrassed.

The lift came to a smooth stop and Kaiba stepped out, recognising the familiar surroundings. He walked forwards, ignoring the generic decorations and completely blanking his secretary as he walked past her desk and into his office. It was easily the biggest office in the building, three of the four walls made entirely of glass, looking out over Domino City. His desk was a large mahogany one, his laptop already upon it, ready for another days work. There was a large leather computer chair behind it, its colour a coffee brown. He also had a leather sofa and arm chair to the right of his desk, a coffee table between them, magazines stacked neatly upon it. There were two more chairs in the room, positioned before his desk, but these looked stern and uncomfortable, as if anyone who sat before the CEO's desk wasn't there for long. Yukiko watched as Kaiba walked around the desk, taking his seat and switching the laptop on. Yukiko remained silent for several minutes, awaiting instructions. She'd begun to fiddle with her restricting clothes when Kaibas voice spoke with a harsh snap.

"Stop messing," He growled sternly. Yukiko jumped and gazed up at him.

"I'm sorry," She muttered, "I'm not used to been in restricting clothes,". Yukiko heard his exasperated sigh as her surveyed her.

"Time for you to prove yourself to me," Kaiba spoke the words softly, but they sounded harsh and terrifying. Yukiko gulped back her fear before meeting his expression with one she hopped said she was ready for anything.

"Go down to the development and research department. I want you to bring back their full report on the progress of the new holographic designs." He ordered. Yukiko stared at him, not sure she'd understood any of what he'd just said. He rolled his eyes.

"Research department. Full report. Holographic designs." He repeated the key words, "think you can manage that?" He added scornfully. Yukiko nodded.

"Yes, Kaiba," she replied in a small timid voice. He scowled at her.

"At work, you will address me as sir," He said sternly. Yukiko blushed instantly.

"Erm… yes… sir," She replied her voice faltering. He waved a hand, clearly dismissing her. Yukiko turned to leave, but then realised.

"But, I… I don't know where the research department is?" She said, turning back to him.

"Find it." He smirked at her. His attention diverted back to his computer screen, ignoring her.

Yukiko left Kaibas office, her heart pounding and her fists clenched with determination. He expected her to wonder around this huge building, trying desperately to find the right department. Well, she'd just have to do it. Despite her self assurance, she was already beginning to feel sick at the idea of been alone. Taking a gulp of air, Yukiko walked past the Secretaries desk, giving her a nervous glance. The woman sat there was pretty, her blonde hair tied back with green eyes staring intently at a computer. Yukiko continued on, heading back towards the glass elevator. When she reached it, she gulped nervously. The whole wall was made of glass and she could easily see down the twenty odd floors, into the lobby. Her legs began to wobble, threatening to give way. With difficulty, she pulled her eyes away from the enormous drop and gazed around. There was a sign on the wall behind her. it had an arrow pointing right, the word STAIRS written in red block capital letters. Without hesitation, Yukiko headed towards the stairs, stopping before the big heavy door. She pushed it open and felt a rush of cold air, clamoring to meet her. It wrapped around her fragile body, pulling her into the stair well. She began to walk down the grey concrete steps, when the door swung shut behind her. She jumped at the sound, which echoed all around her. Taking a deep breath, trying to calm her nerves, she began to walk.

Yukiko reached the ground floor, deciding it would be best to ask someone where the department was, rather than wonder aimlessly around for hours. As her gracious host had decided to leave her clueless she would have to resort to asking the stony faced receptionist where the research department was. Lost in her thoughts as she walked across the marble floored lobby, Yukiko didn't see the small group of people crossing her path. She walked straight into someone, knocking herself back and falling to the floor crashing on her bum. It sent a shiver of pain through her, vibrating her head and making it hurt. Yukiko felt the rush of red come to her face instantly.

"I'm sorry!" She exclaimed guiltily, sounding as though she might burst into tears. She gazed up, expecting to see a short tempered and angry expression glaring back at her. As it was, however, she was pleasantly surprised. She met the gaze of three people. The first boy, the one she'd walked into, was fairly tall, slightly on the lanky side. He had caramel coloured eyes and blonde hair. The second boy looked skinnier than him and slightly shorter with dark brown eyes and white hair accompanied with a kind expression. The third boy was easily the shortest. He had black hair with purple ends spiked in the shape of a star fish, with a blonde spiky fringe. His eyes were the colour of amethyst. The blonde boy held his hand out to Yukiko.

"No sweat, It was an accident," He said in a strange accent, Yukiko could only place as American. Yukiko hesitated, but took his hand, allowing him to pull her to her feet. She stood before the three of them, her cheeks still flushed.

"Thank you," She whispered, dropping her gaze, still embarrassed by her clumsiness.

"You're not hurt are you?" the white haired boy asked kindly in a British accent. Yukiko, resisting the urge to rub her bruised behind, shook her head.

"Do you work here?" Yukiko asked, hoping to ask these friendly looking people for directions, instead of questioning the stern looking receptionist.

"Not properly," The trio colour haired boy replied. Yukiko felt her heart sink. The three boys could see her disappointment.

"Why'd you ask?" The blonde asked her, his caramel eyes watching her curiously.

"Oh… well… I… need to get to the… erm…" Yukiko said, stuttering. "The research center!" She exclaimed, trying to remember.

"Well, we're heading the that department now, if you mean the Development and Research department," The smaller boy smiled, inviting her to join them.

"Really?" Yukiko asked hopefully, her brown eyes lighting up.

"Yeh, we'll show ya the way!" The blond exclaimed boisterously. He marched forwards, the others following after him. Yukiko beamed and followed after them. They were heading towards the glass elevator she'd taken with Kaiba that morning. She was about to protest, when they turned left. Instead they walked over to a metal door stuck in the wall. The blonde pressed the button in the wall, calling the elevator.

"So what's your name?" The white haired boy asked. It was easy to see he was kind hearted and nice, just from the expression he gave Yukiko, who was still a stranger to him.

"I'm Yukiko," She replied smiling, already starting to relax around the three of them.

"Nice to meet you, Yukiko. This is Joey," He gestured to the blonde, "Yugi," He gestured to the other boy with strange hair, "and I'm Ryo," he introduced them all, smiling kindly. The metal doors opened to the lift and they all walked in. Ryo, pressed a button a on the metallic panel by the door and a second later the doors closed. Yukiko felt a dip in her stomach which meant they were moving.

"Are you new? We haven't seen you around here before?" The blonde, Joey, asked her.

"Yes, this is my first day," Yukiko replied blushing, remembering how she'd practically been forced to come today.

"Are you new to Domino City, Yukiko?" The boy, Yugi, asked friendlily. Yukiko nodded, smiling.

"Where abouts do you live?" Joey asked as the lift came to a halt. Yukiko was the first out the elevator. She smiled glad to be out of the metal shell.

"I'm staying with Kaiba," She replied.

"What?" Joey cried out, surprise in his tone. Yukiko turned in time to see Joey stumble out of the elevator. He should have gone flying into the ground if it wasn't for Yugi. As it was, the smaller boy managed to catch Joey before he hit the ground. Ryo chuckled to himself.

"Are you his girlfriend?" Yugi asked disbelief in his tone. Yukiko flushed a bright red. The very thought of such a thing scared her. In a way, she had begun to fear her host.

"No, I've only been staying there for about…" Yukiko quickly made an estimate of the time she'd spent with the Kaiba family, "Erm… two weeks," She guessed. They began walking down the boring corridor, stopping before white double doors.


Yukiko read the sign happily above the doors. She had found it.

"How come you guys are heading here?" Yukiko asked curiously wondering what had brought these kind hearted people to the ferocious company full of stony faced employee's.

"We help test Kaiba's new products," Yugi explained, moving towards the door.

"Yeh, Money bags needs a proper duelist to test his products," Joey exclaimed, leaping forwards and putting Yugi in a headlock while ruffling his hair. Yukiko watched as Yugi tried to get away, but not truly seeing the scene.

Duelist. The word stirred something inside me. I knew that word, but I don't know why and I can't recall the meaning of it to me. But the word scratched at my mind, right in the back, where I can't bring its meaning forwards to examine. Did it mean something to me in my other life, the life I must have had before I lost my memories?

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