I wrote this story, in its entirety, in 2006. Now, in 2014, I'm tacking on an Epilogue which I promised someone a very long time ago.


Seto Kaiba sat in his office on the hundredth and tenth floor. He was a tall man, with dark brown hair and eyes as blue as the sky and as cold and sharp as icicles. It was odd, but though he had only celebrated his nineteenth birthday five months ago, he could not be called a boy. He was, indeed, a man, and nothing short of that.

Many envied Kaiba. They envied him for his wealth, for his handsome face, and for his brains. Few knew that he had had the very human warmth which makes men, men, squeezed out of him. Few knew that the frost in his eyes had been brought about by a blizzard of abuse, hatred and scorn. All said, 'if only he would open up! If only he would let us know how he feels!' If only these masses knew that if Seto Kaiba ever did open up all that would be found would be an empty void where once his heart had been and from where it had been cut out and thrown in the gutter.

There was only one human on the earth that could bring a smile to the man's face. To be precise, one child. This was Kaiba's thirteen year old brother, Mokuba. But even the boy could see a painfully large difference between the brother he knew before, and the one he knew now.

Seto Kaiba's long, spider-like hands bulleted across the keyboard of his computer. As evening turned to night the CEO of the company showed no signs of sleepiness. That too seemed to have been seared out of him in his youth. His stepfather was largely to blame. He had made Seto into a wall of iron. He had worked the child day and night until there was nothing left in Seto to call 'child.'

It was well into the morning when one of the great, oak doors of the Kaiba Mansion opened just a crack, and Seto Kaiba entered. "Morris!" he barked though the house, his voice echoing off the walls in that great marble chamber that was the Entrance Hall. "MORRIS!"

An old man came scurrying out of a passageway. He was in his late seventies, and had worked for Seto's stepfather. Unlike his fellow butler, Hobson, who had been despicable to the Kaiba boys, Morris had been the only person in the entire house that had been kind to Seto and his brother when they had been adopted. However, the old man's kindness had been forgotten by the arrogant young man, and to him Morris was nothing more than a nuisance. "Fell asleep again, did you?" Seto asked nastily, opening his arms so that Morris could remove his great trench coat.

Morris himself was one of the last of a dieing breed. He was a true Gentleman's Gentleman. He was never seen out of his room without his tails – a kind of predecessor to the tuxedo – and he never left the house without his bowler hat. The old man spoke Queen's English, and he had a face like a raisin. He was old, withered and had a nose that looked like a lightly trodden on grape – round and slightly squashed. His eyes were a light brown, and where rather shocking; they shone like dazzling precious stones in an otherwise wilting face. There was such life and warmth there that it would have brought almost anyone to tears to see this good, kindly old gentlemen, roused so rudely from his sleep to greet his heartless master.

"I…I am sorry sir. It was very late, and, it being March, it was rather damp by the doorway. I became concerned for my throat and took the liberty of perching myself in the Red Hallway. I must have, as you have suggested, let my thoughts wander sli…sli…slightly." Even as Morris gave this hastily explanation while relieving Seto Kaiba of his coat, the old man could not prevent a large yawn, which exhibited five – three on the top row and two on the bottom – gold teeth.

Seto roughly pulled his arms out of his sleeves before Morris could fully take the coat off. Because of this, the coat was nearly wrenched from the old man's hands, and he stumble slightly to keep hold of it, nearly crashing into Kaiba. The younger man gave him a contemptuous look, before slowly ascending up the curved, red carpet oak staircase.

He forgot about the servant almost the second Morris vanished from the range of his eyesight. Kaiba's brain began to plus with the updates to his duel disk that he was planning and all the work there was yet to be done to it. It was only when he set foot on the next floor that he took care to tread more softly. He did not want to wake him. No, he certainly did not.

Kaiba made his way as quietly as he could to one of the oak doors. The hall he was now in was deserted but for these two rooms. The one he had stopped before was about half way down the corridor. The other made the end of the hallway. Silently Kaiba turned the knob on the door.

When he opened it enough to look in, a shaft of light fell upon a sleeping face. It was a boy. Unlike Kaiba there was no overlooking the childish features here. This boy's cheeks were still round, and his face was still kind. Kaiba entered the room, and quickly closed the door almost completely behind him, leaving just enough of a crack for him to be able to see the light from outside and to follow it back out of the room.

He then made his way to the bed side of the child. The boy would be turning fourteen in less than half a year. Yes, this was Seto Kaiba's younger brother. Mokuba. The boy's face looked so happy in sleep. So calm, so relaxed. Kaiba doubted that his own face would even look that peaceful in death. Mokuba's raven black, long hair was strewed all over his white pillow. He really was such a beautiful, kind, little boy.

A flicker of a smile flittered across Kaiba's face. It was not a sneer or a sarcastic smirk as he gave to far too many people. It was a smile. If that smile had graced his face but a little oftener he would have been considered not 'chillingly handsome,' but extraordinarily so. It altered his features completely. His sunken cheeks seemed to refill and his long-dead eyes sparked momentarily with life.

Then the spark went out…and his eyes were dead again.

Kaiba leaned down to his little brother, and gave him a soft kiss on the forehead. He then straightened up again, brushing a few stay, black hairs from the little boy's face back behind his ear. Seto Kaiba stood there for a moment longer, looking down at the only child...the only person…that he could ever, would ever…love.

Then he left the room. He continued down the hall to the last room, and entered his own bed chamber. He dressed into his white pajamas and fell into a deep sleep the second his head touched the soft pillow. The next morning he would rise with the sun and go back to his office on the hundredth and tenth floor, but not before looking in on his sleeping brother one more time. This was the daily routine of a man whom all envied and many admired. This was the life of Seto Kaiba.