Chapter 2: Understanding

Seto looked up from his book as Arisa walked hesitantly into the classroom she hadn't seen in almost a month, bowed to the teacher, and handed in all the assignments that he had brought her. The bruises had long since healed, but her nose was now slightly misshapen... and her eyes were dead and cold. Seto hesitated a moment before deliberately catching her eye and nodding to the seat next to him. He ignored the catcalls from the fools around him. They didn't know anything. They didn't understand and they never would.

Arisa slid into the seat without a word to anyone and put her books on the desk. "Thank you, Kaiba-sama." she whispered as the class started.

"Remember... I'm here if you need help."

Yuseke came in late, as usual, and lumbered into the room, his great, meaty body seeming to fill the room. He was the only student taller than Seto, and he was easily twice the billionaire's thickness, and as dumb as a post. The only reason he was still in school at all was because of his terror of a grandmother, who had once threatened to skin him alive in front of his entire class the last time he had skipped school. There was something very amusing about seeing the great lummox cowering in terror of an old woman who was barely taller than Yuugi.

The teacher took several minutes to give him a thorough lecture, none of which penetrated the giant's thick skull, then ordered him to take a seat.

Only two people saw Arisa flinch as Yuseke approached. One of them was Seto. The other was Yuseke.

Now, Yuseke wasn't smart... but he was fairly clever, and he knew a scared girl when he saw one. He shot Seto a quick glance and a nod, then veered off to the left and moved past them, sitting behind and slightly to the right of the young Kaiba.

Things went fairly smoothly from there. The woman Seto had hired to watch Arisa came and got her, and the other students filed out.

"Gram told me about what happened." Yuseke said quietly as he walked behind Seto. "About her Maw an' Paw... and she was real happy when she heard you were helpin' her out, Seto-kun."

Seto didn't answer him. He just kept walking.

"Seto-kun, you ain't the only one." Yuseke said before quickly walking past him. There was something in the larger boy's tone that made him pause. It was something that he had never expected to hear.

Understanding.