Snow Child

Chapter 4

Chapter 4

They entered through the white doors and Yukiko couldn't help but mover closer to the three boys. The sheer size of the place was enough to frighten her. There were machines all around them, dozens of workers in white lab coats. Yukiko didn't have a clue what all the bizarre looking machines were for, and she didn't feel like observing them too closely. She followed hesitantly after the three boys, shadowed them through another set of doors and into an almost deserted room. Although this room was big, it was rather empty. There was only a table against the far wall, four brief cases set upon it and a man sat a computer. They walked forwards. The man looked up, his steely gaze meeting each of theirs in turn.

"Finally." An exasperated voice chimed out of the silence. The man by the table hadn't spoken. Yukiko glanced around, trying to work out who had broken the quiet. Leaning against the wall, besides the door they'd just entered through, a blonde woman was stood. This woman's eyes were purple, but dull in shade, certainly nothing like Yugi's. She walked forwards, her eyes skimming over them, resting on Yukiko.

"Who's the new girl?" She asked, clearly examining her.

"Mai, this Yukiko, she's living with Kaiba," Joey smiled, giving the introduction with a cheeky grin.

"Living with Kaiba, what's that like hon?" She asked, smiling curiously at her.

"It's… okay… I guess," Yukiko replied, blushing furiously.

"Come on, Yukiko, spill! Does Kaiba have any strange habits?" Joey asked, wanting to join in on the interrogation. The woman, Mai, hit Joey, half playfully, half seriously, around the head. She threw him an irritated look.

"Can't you see the girls shy about it, Joey? Honestly, hon, boys will be boys," she sighed.

Yukiko smiled at the woman, warming to her instantly. Then she remembered why she'd been sent down here. She walked forwards, examining the four brief cases on the table. They were silver and locked with a complicated mechanism. She looked towards the man sat next to them and cleared her throat, preparing to speak.

"Excuse me, Kaiba sent me down to… to erm… get the report on the… erm… hologra…holographic progress," Yukiko said timidly. The man glared up at her.

"The Holographic progress? Do you mean the report on the progress of the new holographic design?" He scoffed, clearly irritated that she'd not got it right.

"Erm… Yes please," She said quietly.

"No," The man replied turning away from her and back at his computer screen.

"What?" Yukiko squeaked

"Do you have a clearance badge?" The man asked.

"No," Yukiko replied, feeling small.

"Then no report." He responded this time without even looking at her. The four people watching this exchange of words leapt to her defence.

"Come on, hon, let the girl have the damn report," Mai sighed exasperated.

"Yeh, Money bags sent her! So give it her!" Joey quipped in.

"Look, she has no clearance. No proof!" The scientist exclaimed.

"Well, why don't you call Kaiba and ask?" Ryo said smiling. The man shot him an irritated look. He glared at them all, each in turn.

"Seto Kaiba does not like been disturbed." He replied shortly.

"And what do you think'll disturb him more, a quick phone call, or this girl going back empty handed an' him havin' to come down here himself to get the damn report," Joey growled. The man was clearly thinking it over; turning over the possible outcomes in is mind, examining each one in turn.

"Fine," The man said eventually. He picked up a phone, which was attached to the wall beside him and dialed a number quickly, his face quickly draining of colour.

"Mr Kaiba, sir, I have a young girl here, claiming she was sent by you, for the report… But she has no clearance sir… Yes sir." And that was it; the man put the phone back. He leant down and pulled a wad of paper out of a brief case. Without even looking at her, he thrust the papers into her hands. Yukiko turned to face the others.

"Thank you," She smiled, more to the four before her than to the man behind her.

"Any time hon," Mai grinned, winking at her. Yukiko walked back over to the door and turned to face them again.

"Hey, if ol' money bags lets ya, you should come back down and watch us duel." Joey grinned at her. The others nodded in agree.

"I'll ask him," Yukiko smiled, "Thank you, for everything," She smiled, bowed in thanks, and then left the room.

Yukiko soon found out the elevator she'd taken to the research center which was below ground level, didn't go up high enough to the floor of Kaiba's office. Instead, she took the last few floors by means of the stairs, clutching the report to her chest proudly. She walked along the corridor, feeling confident. She strolled past the secretary and practically skipped straight into Kaiba's office. The slight smile she'd been wearing faded quickly. Why hadn't she thought to knock? Kaiba wasn't alone. Stood before the young CEO was another man, older, with long silvery hair, wearing an expensive looking red suit. Both their eyes turned to her as she entered.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Kaiba, I'm sorry," She exclaimed, her face flushing instantly. Kaiba's face darkened. Yukiko felt her heart plummet.

"Oh no, I'm sorry, sir, I meant sir!" She exclaimed, flushing an even darker shade of red.

He frowned at her. He gestured over to the sofa, indicating she was to sit. Yukiko walked over to it, tripping over her feet as she went. She was glad to sit down on the soft leather, relief flooding through her as she knew it would be almost impossible for her to do anything stupid while sat down.

"Kaiba boy, where'd you find this delightful creature?" The stranger said, his eyes still fixed upon Yukiko. Ignoring the question, Kaiba continued.

"Do we have a deal?" He demanded.

"Certainly, I'll have a contract drawn up and sent to you immediately." The man smiled. The pair shook hands.

"Pegasus," Kaiba said, his serious face not changing. He nodded at the man, Pegasus.

"Till next time, Kaiba boy," Pegasus mused, turning and walking out of the room. Yukiko could see Kaiba's teeth were gritted. She didn't dare move, let alone speak.

Kaiba moved his eyes onto Yukiko. She was gazing down at the floor, a bunch of papers in her hands. Her wide innocent eyes held fear. A delightful creature, more like pathetic. She was so innocent, so fearful and timid, she was pitiful. Why had he allowed such a strange and fearful thing to stay in his home? It was beyond him.

"Girl, where's that report?" He demanded, crossing his arms. Her eyes, those innocent brown eyes, shot up to meet his harsh gaze. She stumbled to her feet, carrying the paper forward. She stopped before him, holding the paper out. He took them from her, without saying thank you, and flicked through them. When he was satisfied it was all here, he sat back down and placed the paper on the table. Yukiko didn't move. She was still glancing at him, which managed to irritate him even more.

"What is it?" He snapped glaring at her. Yukiko was ringing her hands together nervously.

"Well… I was… erm wondering if I could… I mean, if there wasn't anything else for me to do… could I possibly… watch the duel?" She stumbled over the words nervously. Kaiba grimaced. He'd forgotten the geek squad were in today, testing his new duel disks. He hated to admit it, but he knew their skills were an asset to the company when it came to testing his new products. Yukiko had clearly met the dweebs. Despite himself, he felt a deep pang in his chest, but dismissed it immediately.

"No. You work for me. You cannot just go and do as you please." He replied shortly, making clear that this was his final say on the subject. He sensed her deflate slightly and scowled.

The rest of the day drifted by at a slow speed. Yukiko was sent on the occasional errand, fetching Kaiba reports and other pointless jobs, his secretary would usually do. Yukiko hadn't anticipated how boring the day would be. By the time it was dark outside, she was ready for falling asleep in one of the leather arm chairs in Kaiba's office. She was dozing when she heard the snap of the door. She shot upright. Kaiba had returned to the office after one of his many meetings. He glared at Yukiko, obviously aware she'd been napping.

"We're leaving," He said shortly, turning on his heel and walking back out into the hall way. Yukiko scrambled to her feet, slipped on her shoes and pelted after him. She reached him, just as the lift doors opened. Kaiba walked in, Yukiko slipping in besides him. They remained silent as the lift moved down the 23 floors to the lobby. When the doors opened, Kaiba was already pacing across the marble floors, taking large strides, causing Yukiko to jog to keep up with him. They had just exited the building, the cold air taking Yukiko's breath away, when they heard a shout.

"Hey! Yukiko!" A familiar voice called out. Yukiko turned to see Joey, Yugi and Ryo running up to meet them.

"You didn't come back to watch the duel?" Yugi said, sounding slightly hurt. Yukiko blushed.

"Rich boy didn't let you did he!" Joey exclaimed, glaring at Kaiba, who was stood by the open door of his limo.

"She has a job. Not that I'd expect you to know about work ethic, Wheeler." Kaiba retorted coldly. Joey growled.

"The only thing I'd expect you to know about is how to fetch, mutt." Kaiba continued.

"Why you!" Joey growled again, leaping forwards. Luckily, Yugi and Ryo seemed to have expected as much, and restrained him from attacking Kaiba. Kaiba turned his cold blue gaze upon Yukiko, who had frozen with fear.

"We're going," He repeated shortly. When Yukiko didn't move, Kaiba grabbed her wrist and pulled her, almost shoving her into the car.

"Kaiba!" She heard Yugi gasp at his sudden rough handling of Yukiko. Kaiba climbed in after her, ignoring the protests of the idiots outside, closing the door with a snap. He glanced at Yukiko, who had turned in her seat to gaze out the back of the car as they drove off. He felt a stab of annoyance.

"Seat belt." He snapped. Yukiko turned instantly, fastening herself in.

They sat in silence for the entire journey home. By the time they had pulled up outside the Kaiba Mansion, Yukiko had fallen asleep, her head resting against the tinted window, her breathing heavy, but quiet. Something inside Kaiba softened, seeing her like that, in a peaceful sleep. He quietly un-clipped her seat belt and lifted her into his arms. Maybe he had been a little too harsh on her today; she was still recovering after all. She weighed very little in his arms. She still needed to put weight on. She stirred gently in his arms as she became exposed the cold elements of winter, but she didn't wake. Kaiba carried her towards the house. In the cold, she shivered, burying her head against his chest. He frowned, not sure what to do. He tried to ignore the warmth growing inside him and continued into the house.

As soon as he got inside, he carried the girl up the stairs and into her room. He laid her out across her bed, her tiny body barely stirring. He stared at her for a few moments, eventually coming to the conclusion he preferred her like this, asleep. At least she wasn't cowering away from everything. He frowned, standing up straight. He'd wasted too much time on her for now. He needed to spend time with his brother. He turned and walked to the door. He paused, glancing back at the girl. She hadn't moved position, other than to pull the covers up around her. Scowling yet again, he left the room, closing the door behind him.

He headed down the stairs, walking purposely towards the living room. As he drew nearer, he heard the sound of the TV blaring out. He entered the room. His ebony haired brother was laid across the floor, several books open around him, his eyes glued to the large TV.

"Mokuba," He spoke his brother's name in greeting. Mokuba jumped, startled by his big brother's sudden appearance. His eyes quickly diverted back to his open book and the pen lying forgotten on the floor.

"I'm doing my homework, I swear Seto!" His teen brother exclaimed. Kaiba couldn't help but smile. He walked around his brother, taking a seat on the leather sofa positioned before the large TV. Around the flat screen was an assortment of game consoles, state of the art and up to date naturally, plus a DVD player with huge surround sound speakers. Kaiba stooped down and picked the remote off the floor. He turned the volume down on the TV.

"When is it due in?" He asked curiously. Mokuba sat up, pulling the book with him, crossed his legs, and then cradled the book on his knees. His eyes glanced around.

"Where's Yukiko, Seto?" Mokuba asked his eyes rather accusative. Kaiba frowned.

"When is your homework due in, Moki?" Kaiba repeated the question.

"Monday. Now where's Yukiko?" He repeated his question. Kaiba sighed.

"She's upstairs, sleeping. She was tired." He explained shortly. Mokuba turned his attention back to his work book, satisfied he'd got an answer. There was a couple of minutes silence as the sound of Mokubas pen scratched against the paper. He looked up and grinned.

"Done!" He exclaimed, closing the book. Mokuba picked up all his books and shoved them into his bag. He stood up and flopped down, next to his brother.

"How was Yukiko's first day?" Mokuba asked, showing clear signs of interest. For some inexplicable reason, Mokuba seemed to have become quite attached to the girl.

"She did OK." Kaiba replied in his business like tone. Mokuba frowned at him.

"Seto, it was her first time out, since getting here. I think she was really brave." He replied. In his mind, Kaiba scoffed. Brave? She jumped at every tiny sound, blushed at every possible moment and stared at him with those stupidly innocent eyes.

Then he remembered back to finding out she'd met those idiots. The Geek squad. Not to mention that Mutt. He frowned, the feeling from earlier intensifying. If they even spoke to her again, he'd make sure they regretted it. Inviting her to watch them duel, did that pitiful bunch of idiots believe for one second he'd allow her to abandon her job? He shook his head, trying to rid the thoughts. They were making him angry. He fixed his eyes upon Mokuba, who was still watching him, clearly expecting a response.

"How was school?" Kaiba asked, determined to avoid the subject. Mokuba scowled at him, showing a sudden likeness to Kaiba himself, but after a few moments, he launched into a discussion about how his school day had gone.

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