Disclaimer: It's December already? When did that happen? Better question, why do I still own nothing?

Author's Note: Christmas is finally here, it's time to celebrate~~~ sorry, I'll stop singing Christmas tunes. Weird editing this as it's so cold outside and the weather in this story is so… not haha. I had some reservations with this chapter - not sure how I felt about it at first. But I feel better about it now, even though it's rather long. I also had fun looking at all the nice fancy accessories and brands for Seto. Something about a finely dressed man is kinda great, no? Lastly, finally happy to finally use what in my head has been the theme song for this story in beginning of the chapter (suggested by the amazing HikariMokubasGuardian). Just fyi, haha. Anyway, onto the story!

Terms -

Matsuri - A Festival

Shinkansen - Translated as "Bullet Train", but literally means "New (tree) Truck Line" (funny lol, idk why trunk... I guess the tubes look like tree trunks but whateves). The Shinkansen are currently the fastest trains in the world.

Kendama - Traditional Japanese toy

Hikikomori - A societal recluse that shuts themselves inside their homes and away from society for extended periods of time, often months. Reasons for this vary, including psychological conditions, feelings of an inability to face societal standards or meet expectations, etc. In Japan, people treat Hikikomori with varying degrees of attitudes. In this chapter, Seto is taking a very negative, belittling attitude of "stop feeling sorry for yourself" towards Hikikomori - this is not representative of the Japanese as a whole at all and is more representative of Seto's character/personality.

Eki - Station

Sen - In this context, it means "Train line"

Domino Eki - Fictionalized train line that I based off of Tokyo Station

Higashi-Domino Sen- Fictionalized train line that I based off of the Keihin Tohoku Line in Tokyo.

Unagi - Eel

Maglev - The newest of the Shinkansen models. Maglev operates by essentially levitating and accelerating the train cars above the tracks using electromagnetic technology. Several test runs have been accomplished though I'm not sure where they are currently in terms of usage by the public.

Wearing surgical masks - Done in not just Japan, but also Korea along with some other Southeast Asian countries. Most often used to avoid spreading or catching germs, it's now starting to be used as a fashion statement, with decorated designs on the masks. Sometimes celebrities will wear these to go out in public to avoid being spotted.

Today's chapter title literally means "Dream". In the context of the chapter, it refers to the fastest trains on the Tokaido Bullet Train line which run from Tokyo to Osaka, stopping only in major cities like Kyoto.


"She said, where'd you wanna go?

How much you wanna risk?

I'm not looking for somebody

With some superhuman gifts,

Some superhero,

Some fairytale bliss,

Just something I can turn to,

Somebody I can kiss,

I want something just like this,

I want something just like this."

-"Something Just Like This" by the Chainsmokers and Coldplay

Chapter Sixteen: のぞみ (Nozomi)

Tea woke up the morning of the 16th to the sound of running water coming from the shower. Rubbing a hand over one bleary eye, she reached with the other for her phone to see it was a little after 9. She didn't have class today and considering how busy her week had been, sleeping was all she really wanted to do for once. Before setting her phone back down, she lazily typed out a text.

"U coming to the festival today? :)"

She then dropped her phone back to the side and rolled over away from the window, where light was steadily threatening to stream into her face. The sound of a hair dryer going off was the next interruption, but as she brought her pillow over her head to drown it out, her phone rang.


"Tea, it's Joey."

"What do you want, Joey?" She asked through half dead lips.

"Well, I was on my way to the game shop and was wondering if you were going to the festival in the park, 'cause if so, I'd stop by," He related to her.

Tea sighed and looked at her phone to see if there was a text message. There was none. She frowned a bit.

"Uh... I mean, I was, but I wasn't planning on leaving so soon... was thinking of getting into my yukata and everything, but I might not... I don't know..." She trailed off.

"Ah, well, uh, I can wait outside your door?" Joey asked, "I really don't have much of anything to do since the shop's closed today, so..."

Tea could tell Joey was bored. The real question to her was why he was up so early anyway, "Fine, you can come over."

"Cool, see you in half an hour."


She hit the end call button and dug her head back into her pillow. The sound of the sliding door from the bathroom opening hit her and she sighed. Rest didn't seem to be something she would be getting.

"Um, Tea?"

"Hm?" She rolled over to see Kisara kneeling next to her in a towel.

"Uh, sorry, but uh, I was wondering... do you have anything that would be really good for walking today? But also nice?" Kisara asked.

Tea rolled over and got to her knees to stretch, "Um... probably, we can look through my closet... let me brush my teeth and get ready..."

"Uh, Tea..."


"I kinda need to be ready by 10," Kisara told her.

"Eh, why?" Tea asked.

"I'm, uh... going to Kyoto today," Kisara explained.

Tea looked up at her oddly as a silence permeated the room, finally blinking a few times and speaking, "Kisara, the matsuri is at Chuo-Koen, by the game shop."

"I know, I'm, uh... I have different plans today... sorry," She said hesitantly.

"In Kyoto?"

Kisara nodded. Tea looked at the ground as she stood up and headed for the kitchen. Stretching again, she opened the fridge and pulled out a bottle of water. Kisara followed after her.

Tea then froze as a thought occurred to her still slow working mind, "Wait... what? I thought... I mean, didn't you say that money was tight?"

"Uh... it is but... I'm not paying for myself to go..." Kisara said, her shoulders scrunching up in nervousness.

Tea's eyes finally opened to their full capacity and she eyed Kisara oddly, "Well, if you're not paying for it, who is?"

Kisara rubbed her arm awkwardly, "Uh... Seto Kaiba?"

Tea choked a bit on the water in her mouth as it awkwardly made its way down her throat.

"Tea, are you okay?" Kisara asked in a panic.

Swallowing and forcing the water down her throat and not her trachea, Tea nodded before speaking, "Seto Kaiba?!"

Kisara nodded again, "Yeah, he asked if I'd join him today. His brother is apparently kicking him out of the house today and-"

"Wait, wait, it's going to just be you two?"

"I... think so...?" Kisara answered.

"Like, a date?" Tea asked, a sudden urgency in her voice.

"A what?"

Tea rolled her eyes, "You know, like when a guy likes a girl so he courts her? They must have had something like that in Kemet, right?"

Kisara thought for a moment, "Um... not... really... maybe? I don't know..."

Tea sighed, "Well, today when a guy likes a girl he doesn't give her father a cow or a goat or whatever. He asks her to join him on 'dates' and he takes her to nice restaurants and pays for her food and they do fun things together and he does this hoping to win her affections."

Kisara mulled over the new information, with a hint of panic hitting her chest. She had wondered what Seto's intentions had been since Monday. They had met yesterday as well, only mentioning today at the end when he informed her that he'd see her at 10. But was this really a date? He'd never paid for her at the restaurant and they had merely practiced Duel Monsters. So those couldn't be considered dates, but he was paying for her here...

"But... uh, Tea, how would I know for sure if this is a date?" She asked.

"Did he say the word date?" Tea asked in response.

"Uh, no..." Kisara answered, "But he said he'd treat me..."

Tea brought her hands up to her face and growled in frustration, "Typical. Idiots the load of them. Boys never can just muster up the courage to ask 'Will you go on a date with me?' It's always like deciphering code of some kind..."

Kisara's eyes widened, "So wait... this could be... I mean, he said as friends so..."

"He said friends?" Tea repeated, after which Kisara nodded. Tea thought it over, "Well... normally I'd say no then, technically this wouldn't be a date... but... Kaiba never uses the word 'friends'... so... but Kaiba... Seto freakin' Kaiba..."

Kisara waited for Tea to try to decode and translate this new information in her head. As she did, her stomach seemed to be rearranging itself inside her, knotting itself up in something unrecognizable. Win her affections... courting... that couldn't possibly be it... Could it? It wasn't until Tea had moved past her towards the closet that Kisara was pulled out of her own thoughts.

"Well, regardless, let's look for some good clothes..." Tea said, "I mean... Kisara, do you... want this to be a date?"

The question hit Kisara like a car going at 100 km per hour, "Huh? Oh, uh..."

Tea waited, paused at her closet for Kisara's answer, which seemed muddled in her mind. Finally, she answered, a bit of blush coming to her face, "I... I guess it would be nice... but... if it isn't, it's okay..."

Tea watched as her roommate tugged a bit at a strand of her hair that was in front of her. She wasn't sure if Kisara even realized it or had admitted it to herself, but Tea could tell there was a front of some kind being put up. She had a terrible poker face. Knowing her own dilemma when it came to Yugi and seeing Kisara's obvious front of 'not caring', she could only sumize that Kisara, whether she fully knew it or not, probably did like Kaiba in some way... somehow. That thought was enough in and of itself to be surprising. That someone could like Kaiba. Then again, he wasn't a bad guy or heartless (she hoped), just very stuck up and egotistical.

She heard her phone beep and picked it up.

"Yes, I have the night off. :)"

Tea beamed. Alright, so maybe she didn't have a great poker face at times either. Opening her closet, she saw her yukata folded up on the shelf. She momentarily debated whether or not she should let Kisara wear it, but then discarded the idea. A yukata in Kyoto, while cute, wouldn't allow for much in terms of walking and Kyoto had a lot of hills... A skirt caught her eye.

"Well, I think I have just the thing..." She began with a smile.


His first knock at the door had been met with a "You're waiting out there!" call. The second one, five minutes later, was met with a "We're coming, we're coming, just wait!". The third was responded to with a "Joey so help me...", which was enough of a message for the game shop manager to take a hint and chill. Leaning against the wall next to the apartment door, he took out a Kendama and began to try his hand at getting past the second stage of the toy, which he insisted to anyone who asked him that it was far superior then those new fidget spinners which admittedly, did nothing but spin. At least with these, he could practice some hand eye coordination and gain some bragging rights.

At about four to 10 though, the door nearly slammed right into him as the girls opened the door. Correction, girl. As his muscles relaxed, now knowing he wasn't about to face a barrage of physical injuries, Joey found his jaw dropping just slightly lower than it normally would.

"Oh my gosh, Joey, I'm so sorry, I didn't hit you, did I?"

Joey found himself tongue tied. His employee, normally dressed in a nice white button up and plaid pencil skirt, looked up at him wearing a flowy knee-length bright mint green skirt, her signature blue flats, and a pink blouse. Some of her hair was braided up in a crown on her head, while the rest flowed down behind her adjacent to a small light blue purse over her shoulder. In a simple phrase, it was adorably angelic.

"Uh... no, no, I'm fine," He said, stuffing the Kendama back into his bag, which was slung over one of his shoulders, "You uh... is Tea coming?"

"Oh, uh, she's still getting dressed," Kisara relayed, "I think she wants you to wait out here. I'll see ya later though, okay!"

It took a moment for Joey to realize that Kisara was leaving, but when he did, the question had to be asked, "Wait, you're not coming with us?"

Kisara stopped about five steps down the staircase to look up at him, "Oh, no. I'm going to Kyoto today."

"Kyoto?" Joey repeated, "How? And with who? You look like you're... uh... trying to impress someone or something..."

"Huh?" Kisara asked, "Oh, the hair is too much, isn't it? I think Tea just likes to try out things on pinterest sometimes."

As Kisara moved to undo it, Joey stepped down towards her, "Wait, no, I didn't say you had to do that. I just meant... well, you look really pretty today."

"Oh..." His employee's fingers stopped in their tracks, allowing the braid to remain, "Thank you, Joey."

Joey felt a blush coming to him and rubbed a hand behind the back of his neck, "Ha, no problem. But back to the original question, you're not coming with us?"

"Not today, I have plans with..." Kisara opened her mouth to continue, but suddenly found herself tongue tied, despite knowing that she really had to answer now.

"With..." Joey filled in, a bit of concern seeping into his tone.

"Uh, with Seto..." Kisara finally managed, biting the inside of her lip as she waited for Joey to respond, which seemed to take ages.

But eventually he spoke, "Kaiba? Why?"

"He, uh, he invited me to join him for the day..." Kisara said, trailing off.

"Like a date?" Joey asked.

"Um... I really don't know... he didn't exactly specify. He just said as friends..." Kisara told him.

Joey's brow furrowed at the news and the two stood there awkwardly when Joey finally sighed, "Well, alright, but uh, Kisara, you don't have a phone do you?"

"Huh?" Kisara asked, "Oh, no, why?"

Joey stepped down the remaining steps and pulled his out of his pocket, "Take mine then."

"Oh no, I couldn't-"

"Yeah, you can," Joey told her, "Anyone who would call me I'll be seeing within the hour. Just text Tea if you see I get a message."

"Joey, I can't-" Kisara started, when Joey picked up her wrist and placed it in her hand gently.

"Yeah, ya can," Joey said.

"But why?" Kisara said, suddenly feeling slightly uncomfortable.

"Because..." Joey started, "Because Kaiba... he can be unpredictable. And I don't want him having a hissy fit or something and leaving you in the middle of Kyoto and you not having any way to reach us. So take it. My passcode is 1120, okay?"

Kisara looked down at the phone and then up at her boss and smiled, "Okay. Thank you, Joey."

She placed the phone in her purse and turned to go, "I'll see you tomorrow, okay?"

"Right, and don't let Kaiba boss you around, that's my job!" Joey called.

Kisara laughed, "Right, thanks, Joey! Bye bye!"

As Kisara quickly made her way down the way he had come, Joey listened until he couldn't hear her footsteps rattling the metal steps anymore. He sighed and slouched as he turned to walk back up to the top step at Tea's apartment. Unfortunately, he was so lost in thought that when the door opened a second time, he was directly in the receiving end of it being slammed right into his face.

"Agh, ow ow ow, Tea, geez..." He moaned.

"Oh suck it up you big baby," Tea said, now dressed, "I'm not done, but you can come in now."

Joey rolled his eyes, holding his nose where she had smacked it with the door, and walked inside, where he leaned against the wall and slid down in a crossed legged sitting position. Despite the pain now in his face though, Joey's mind continued to be set on the revelation that Kisara was not joining them today and was instead spending time with Kaiba. Seto Kaiba. That in and of itself was a headache.


Seto adjusted his Maybach Monarch III Q Platinum sunglasses for what felt like the millionth time that day and leaned back in the limo. He really didn't have to. They were a custom edition made to fit his face perfectly... while also admittedly being tailored for his preference, complete with a sky blue leather detailing on the temples and of course detailed with pure silver rims.

He almost wished he had decided to drive today, but that made no sense considering that they were taking the train. He crossed his legs the other way and leaned his chin on his fist, attempting to calm his nerves. He didn't think it would be this bad, had it not been for Mokuba making a royal fuss over what he wore today. No suits. No dueling trench coats. No briefcase. He had been half worried that he'd end up in sweats of some kind as Mokuba went on through his closet rejecting anything he picked up.

Thankfully, that wasn't the case and he'd been allowed a light blue button up that Mokuba had insisted upon having the sleeves unbuttoned and folded up a bit, paired with a white pair of khakis and a pair of KaibaCorp Edition Louis Vuitton Major brown loafers. The latter had been a gift that Mokuba had gotten him, claiming that he had labored many an hour to convince Vuitton to forgo the LV logo for the KC logo instead. They were without a scuff, despite having been amazingly worn in and Seto was grateful to be allowed to wear them due the massive amounts of walking they would be doing today... which meant massive amounts of time... together. Just the two of them.

He crossed his legs the other way, fighting off the nerves. He'd shave Mokuba's hair in his sleep for this. The CEO could swear that if it wasn't for Mokuba's constant pestering and commentary regarding this... excursion that he wouldn't be as jittery as he was.

"Maybe she'll wear a super cute yukata! It would be adorable!"

Seto felt a deep blush rush to his cheeks at the memory. It would be... admittedly... cute. And cute wasn't a word he particularly cared for. Elegant maybe was one that he would use once in a while. But not 'cute'. Come to think of it, would she be wearing a yukata? No... but maybe? It was a festival. But then again, what about all the walking? Or wait, she'd never been to Kyoto before; what if she didn't take that into account because she didn't know? He resisted the urge to grab at his face in annoyance at himself, when his phone beeped.

10 o'clock.

He looked up and out the window to see the entrance to the apartment complex in the more suburban surroundings where he saw through the tinted glass the walkway where his guest for the day would be coming from his way, assuming she would be on time. He hoped she would; he hated being late. For a moment, he debated on if he should get out of the limo or not. He was pretty sure that there were already onlookers. He doubted anyone in this area of town had rode in a limo before. Not that they were poor, but, still... how often did a limo drive up to a dingy little apartment complex probably used by college students and single hikikomori playing video games most of the day? It was probably best to stay inside...

"You better be a gentleman, Nii-sama! Or I will lock you out of the mansion!"

Seto groaned and moved to open the door. He climbed out and shut the door, keeping his head down and hands in his pockets so as to avoid being recognized. Normally, he could go out without much of a fuss. But still. This was Domino City, where his face had been on thousands of television screens as the city's premiere virtual dueling CEO of the largest gaming conglomerate in the world, providing thousands of jobs in the main city center alone. There was always the chance that someone would recognize him and with the limo next to him...

Meanwhile, Kisara tried to catch her breathe as she rushed her way down the steps, after having checked the watch that Seto had given her (that she still needed to return) and realizing she might be late. Upon stumbling at the bottom and regaining her balance, she skidded to a halt by the open doorway. Looking up and out, where she saw perhaps the longest car that she had ever seen and in front of it, the tall young man with whom she would be spending her day with. Even with his sunglasses, it was easy to tell that it was him. As he glanced up at her, she felt her body freeze with a tingling, much like that original sparkling, electric feeling from the mall, exciting her whole system and rendering her unable to process anything before her.

After a moment, he nodded at her and she was brought back down to earth, which seemingly had disappeared moments before. As the sensation of the ground under her feet returned, she took a deep breathe, hoisted her shoulders back so that she was standing up straight, and smiled. The Kemet native did her best to keep from having a spring in her step as she waved and walked over to meet him.

"Hi," She said.

"Hello," He said, tugging at his collar.

Kisara rocked back on her heels for a moment in the silence, finally breaking it after a moment, "You look nice."

Seto glanced at her, before back at the ground, "Thanks... you do too."

"Thanks," She replied.

Like two fish that had never seen another fish before, they stood there, floating in a pool of awkwardness before one Mokuba's reminders came to Seto's brain and he realized he was supposed to actually do something at this point.

"Well, uh, shall we?" He asked.

Kisara nodded with a sound of affirmation, giving Seto the clue to open the door. She peered inside to see seats in a c-shape and a mini-bar inside the vehicle. In a way, it was similar to the bus she had ridden in, but not quite as tall. Seto waited patiently, his lips pressed firmly together as he resolved himself to remain calm throughout the day. Inwardly, the thought that he even had to resolve to that tickled the back of his brain with the fact that that must have meant this was... important to him today. He hated Mokuba for this.

Finally, Kisara stepped inside, scooting over to the other side of the car, figuring that she was meant to sit in this kind of vehicle, rather than stand. Seto followed in after her and closed the door, when he alerted the driver up front to take them to the station. He tugged at his collar again, the smell of his Sauvage cologne seemingly much to strong now that they were in the limo together. Again, he made a mental note to kill his brother for this.

As the vehicle began to move, Kisara found the sudden jolt a bit of a surprise, but quickly got used to the sensation. Momentarily, she figuratively patted herself on the back for figuring out that sitting was the appropriate course of action to take when dealing with this kind of transportation. On trains, you could stand or sit and there were normally never seat belts. On the bus, you could stand or sit or even dance and it seemed in most cars, you just sat down with a seat belt over your lap. She didn't even know if this could be considered a car, come to think of it, but she was glad regardless that she had made the right decision with this vehicle. She glanced over to her host, who was sitting, a leg over his knee and phone in his hand.

"So, uh, how long does it take to drive to Kyoto?" She asked.

Seto looked up, "From here, 3 hours by driving. But we're not driving today. We're taking the Shinkansen."

"The Shinkan-sen?" Kisara repeated, and it clicked in Seto's head that she didn't seem to know what that was.

"The shinkansen, the bullet train?" He repeated, "It's the fastest train in the world?"

Kisara shook her head, "Sorry, I've never heard of it... I actually have never even seen one of these... vehicles..."

As she pointed at her seat, a blush of red came to her face. Stupid, why would you admit to that? She thought.

"A limo?" Seto asked.

"Uh.." Kisara was brought back, "Yes. Is that what this is?"

Seto nodded, "Yeah..."


The CEO sat back in his seat, "Well... I guess they aren't super common in Japan. Finding a driver for this one was a hassle at the very least... ended up getting this guy from a bus company."

"Ah... then you don't normally ride in these?" Kisara asked, trying to make conversation on something other than about Duel Monsters.

"Depends," Seto said, shrugging, "I prefer to drive myself, but if it's more convenient to just have a driver drop me off somewhere..."

Kisara nodded, getting the drift. Drivers. Cars... Shinkansen... It reminded her of the omnipotence and power of the Pharaohs and their priests, having so much power and the ability to get whatever they wanted when they wanted it. Maybe it was because they had been only having lunch together for the past two weeks, but all of this just seemed to reaffirm what Tea had said to her before. Seto Kaiba was indeed 'loaded'. She momentarily found her fingers messing with the blue pouch of a purse she had on her shoulder as feelings of inadequacy began to push their way into her mind.

"Well, if you've never heard of a Shinkansen, I guess you'll get another treat today," Seto told her, pulling her out of her thoughts, "They're an iconic piece of engineering and a staple example of Japanese ingenuity."

Kisara smiled in affirmation of understanding, when her path of vision moved to the sparkles on her shoes. Seto swallowed, mentally berating himself for before. Over the past week or so, all they had talked about was Duel Monsters for the most part. They'd never talked about much of anything aside from that or daily life, so Kisara's partial amnesia never really was mentioned. But now, it was starting to hit him... there was a lot that she didn't know about. He uncomfortably crossed his legs again, a habit of his when he was mentally debating on what to do or say. How was he supposed to act in this sort of situation?

Though normally something he avoided doing, he tried to recall past experiences when he'd had interaction aside from business environments or family. Nothing, not even Tea's "friendship" rallies seemed to bring forth any good advice; they were mostly just irritating and annoying to graze over as his mind worked through the compartments of such memories. He browsed through the multitudes of "dating knowledge" that Mokuba had given him and yet, none of that seemed useful either.

At best, he tried to think of how he interacted with his brother, but it was... different. Mokuba understood that he could be rather short and ill-tempered at times, show-offy, even. Though to be fair, that last one was well deserved in his mind. It didn't change the fact however that probably the reason he had gotten away with it for years was because Mokuba was both irrefutably loyal and understanding of his brother's motives as well as undeniably infatuated with his brother's success and prowess (though the latter seemed to be wearing off with years).

Lost in his thoughts, it surprised Seto when the driver pulled up to the station as the realization that they had been quietly sitting in the back of the limo for at least ten or fifteen minutes. 'Stupid, why would you do that?' He thought. Shutting his eyes, he took a deep breath as the driver got out and went around to open the door for them.

"Kisara," He said.

"Yes?" She said, turning to him.

He breathed a bit of a sigh of relief as he realized that she had been looking out the window, watching the passing-by views, "You ready?"

Kisara nodded with a smile and Seto felt his heart seemingly rise a bit in his chest with helium, making him grateful for the fact that he was wearing his sunglasses and she couldn't see his eyes. The driver opened the door allowing Seto and Kisara out. Seto offered her a hand as she got out before their escort shut the door behind them. Without a word, the driver went around and drove the limo off, leaving the two of them alone to themselves, save for other pedestrians.

Kisara looked around. She recognized this station "Domino-Eki", but she'd never gotten off at this stop and the sights she had seen of it had been from the cars on the tracks of the Higashi Domino Sen. The outside was much grander and larger in size than most of the other stations she had seen previously.

"Well, let's go," Seto said, breaking the awkward silence.

"Oh, yes," She said, looking back at him.

The two walked side by side, heading into the station in silence. Kisara found herself entranced by all of the hustle and bustle around them. It was similar to De Maru Eki, with shops, konbini, and various signs directing travelers in what seemed to be a seamless glide to their end destination. As they passed by the ticket gates and down the steps towards the barriers, Kisara realized that she only had her JR Suica pass on her and it in no way would have enough money for something as… luxurious as a Shinkansen sounded. Would she need to reload it before the barrier? Or would they pay upon exit? Or was there some special ticket? As her concern over possibly getting separated at the barrier grew, finally, words sprung from her mouth.

"Seto... how-"

"Let's stop here for a moment," Seto said interrupting her.

As they stood near a concrete pillar, her companion pulled out three items from his wallet and handed one to her, a small, semi-glossy card with the KC of Kaiba Corp and the JR of the Shinkansen's operators beautifully interwoven together with the words "Gran Class" etched in gold upon it. The second item seemed to be the same, which Seto slipped back into his wallet, but the other appeared to be a white surgical mask, which he slipped over his face.

"I hope you don't mind," He said, as she looked up at him in question, "We've been getting attention. It should pass once we get on the train, but for now this should decrease any intrusions..."

Kisara found herself still a little confused when out of the corner of her eye, she noticed a group of young guys pointing and staring at them and then a group of girls giggling and shyly pointing their way. Wait, no. It wasn't them. It was Seto they were looking at and then maybe her, but primarily it was Seto.

He motioned to continue towards the gate, "You can use that pass for the ride."

"Okay," She said, nodding, "But, uh, you don't have to wear that for my sake... only if you want to."

Seto paused and looked at her quizzically. He normally never wore one out in public. He wasn't one to avoid public attention; quite frankly he enjoyed it. But Mokuba had told him explicitly that he should try to be more discreet because Kisara might not be okay with it. And now here she was telling him it didn't matter to her one way or another. His immediate gut reaction told him 'attention seeker' and 'user' in loud words, but seeing the earnest expression, the same one she had held when she had wanted to be friends, on her face somehow seemed to unlock his muscles from their tense position.

He pulled the mask down and off with one finger, revealing an amused smile, "Alright."

Stuffing the mask back into his pocket, the two continued on towards the platform, swiping their badges at the gate. He led Kisara onto the escalator where they stood in a single file line off to the side to allow others to pass as Seto thought over in astonished amusement what Kisara's words implied. Most people, when they were out with him, gloated over the glorious beams of public attention that came with being with the youngest multi-billionaire CEO in Japan. But Kisara's implication, that she would prefer him to be comfortable, not only discarded the notion that she was using their outing for attention, but also that she understood that he might even care a bit for the attention that fame brought with it. Was it a play in a game of chess? Or an honest desire for him to be happy? No matter how he looked at it, the slim chance that it was a play, a facade, just continued to slip back and away, becoming more unlikely the more he paraded around it in his mind.

As they walked over to stand by their car number and he replaced his shades back on his face though, the notion occurred to Seto that Kisara might not even realize the extent of his fame, considering she hadn't seemed to get it when he had first put on the mask... Kisara locked her arms behind her with a stretch before pulling her hands back to the front and letting them trail down the strap of her purse repeatedly as they waited.

Just who was this girl?

Though there was no way for him to really know it, that girl was at the moment frantically filing through all that she had learned since coming to this strange time and era, trying to determine if silence was the norm for friends on an excursion such as this... not to mention if this really was a date or not or how she should behave all day with someone who didn't know she was really from Kemet. She was so wrapped up in her thoughts that when she felt a rush of air hit her left side and a long tube with a white nose like the snout of a doberman coming towards her, she practically jumped back in surprise with a gasp.

The sound was enough to bring an unintentionally amused smile to Seto's face as the technologically advanced piece of machinery came to a smooth and gentle stop in front of them. The doors slid open allowing for passengers to get off before those waiting to board were allowed on. Seto went ahead in first heading to the familiar area where he and Mokuba usually sat, Kisara right behind him.

While Seto had walked swiftly through the aisle, Kisara found herself stuck at the opening as her eyes were met by six rows of soft, plush reclining seats fitted with gorgeous white leather. Leading her to her seat was a long red carpet which met white and rose gold walls that traveled up to large windows allowing for full views of the exterior of the train. She felt her chest swell inside of her, excited at what she was seeing. It felt like a carriage for royals. When she noticed people behind her, she quickly moved to catch up with Seto, who had moved into the window seat already.

As she sat down next to him and her fingers ran down the smooth armrests, she felt a tingle strike through her system and she beamed, watching passers by as they made their way to their seats. Seto glanced at her, when a realization hit him.

"Kisara, did you want the window seat?" He asked.

"Hm?" She turned to him, "Oh, no, that's okay. You can have it. I'll take it on the way back."

"By that time you won't be able to see anything though," He informed her.

"Oh... well, that's fine. We'll see a lot in Kyoto today, right?" She said, letting the notion go, "Besides, this way you can have a bit more personal space before we get there."

"Hm?" He watched her surprised she would catch that.

"It will help, to be away from the aisle, yes?" She asked, "You won't have to deal with the people passing by."

"Uh... yeah, thanks," He said slowly.

"Of course," She said with a smile.

As the rest of the occupants arrived and began to sit down, they soon heard the doors close with a quiet hiss of pressure as rubber linings sealed them in. It was time to go. Kisara turned her head around, waiting for the inevitable jolt that would let her know that the journey began, but none came. Confused, she turned to Seto to ask, when she saw him resting his chin on his knuckles by the window, out of which Kisara saw the station departing out of their line of sight.

"When... when did we start?" She asked.

"Huh?" Seto glanced out, "Oh, about thirty seconds ago probably."

"But... we didn't even feel it," Kisara said, amazed.

Seto raised a brow and sat up a bit, "Do you have any coins?"

A little surprised at the question, Kisara nodded, dug out her coin purse, pulled out a 100 yen coin and held it out to him. Seto reached over to pick it up, when the tips of his fingers graced over her palm. The softness made him blink a bit. He didn't think skin could be that soft. He brought a tray table down and placed the coin up vertically.

"We're probably going at about 100 kilometers per hour right about now," He said, when he let go of the coin, allowing it to remain perfectly balanced.

Kisara's eyes widened, "How... really?"

A side smile escaped him, "The Shinkansen is perfectly balanced and has ultimate control in regards to speed, which allows for such stability. Though..."

The coin fell over and Kisara looked from it to him, "Once we hit a turn, it becomes more difficult to maintain such balance, so the coin falls. However, the newest of the Shinkansen models, the Maglev, operate entirely off of electro magnetic technology. The poles in molecules repel one another with such accuracy that this 100 yen coin would stay balanced for the entirety of the trip."

"That's amazing!" Kisara exclaimed.

She didn't understand many of the scientific words that Seto was using and if she did, she had a hard time picturing it. Poles that would repel and electric technologies mixed with magnets... It felt like he was talking about some kind of magic, far beyond her understanding. But he seemed to light up a bit while talking about it, as though just as fascinated by the concepts of this magic as she was watching it. They were interrupted shortly after though by a personal attendant offering them a selection of bento boxes for a 'brunch' of some kind. It didn't take long for them to receive their bentos which they opened to reveal sweet smelling fragrances for their delight or rather, maybe more of Kisara's delight as the smells seemed so on point to make her taste buds water at the perfection of the scents.

Now much more confident with chopsticks, Kisara pulled hers apart and began to happily intake the mildly sweet unagi which seemed to swim down her throat bringing a pleasent warmth that she didn't know was possible in the heat of the summer. A happy, perkiness seemed to spread through from her smile to her shoulders, which she scrunched together as she began to devour her food while Seto seemed complacently satisfied to just eat the meal included with their passage in silence. Glancing over on occasion, Kisara found herself looking for any sign that Seto wanted to talk, but was just as well off when he didn't seem to want to. Just being here was enough.

A loud series of thumping footsteps suddenly interrupted the silence that they had been enjoying. The two met eyes and though Seto still had by this point replaced his sunglasses, Kisara could tell he was a bit perturbed as his lips became a bit pursed and his nose wrinkled. She swiveled around to the aisle to see who was producing the sound. A little boy, maybe around the age of five or so evading his pursuers as he slipped into the Gran Class car.

"You're not allowed in there!" Came the call after him, which he gleefully ignored, running at full speed towards Kisara and Seto from behind.

But it was short lived as an older passenger, annoyed probably as they were, stuck out their foot, effectively tripping up the evading party and producing a sound of pain, "Ofph!"

Kisara's shoulders scrunched together and reached a hand out to help the little one up, "Are you alright?"

The boy looked up at her, about to answer, when the attendant came forward, "That's enough, you'll have to come with me now..."

"Ugh, noooo!" Squealed the boy, wiggling to get free.

"Come on now..."

"No!" The boy screamed, now the center spectacle of all those in the Gran Class car as he hocked up and spit directly at the attendant's hand.

She gasped, falling backwards as she lost her balance after immediately letting go. The boy too fell and scampered to get back and up, but in the process, his eyes glanced over to Kisara again and her companion sitting by the window causing him to pause. His eyes widened and he gasped, quickly scrambling up and leaning in over Kisara's lap at Seto.

"Hey! You're Seto Kaiba! Right? I'm right, aren't I?" He asked.

Kisara's gaze shifted back and forth between the boy and Seto, whose face was void of a response, giving her a rather uncomfortable feeling. Seto pulled off his glasses and starred at the boy, almost coldly. Was she supposed to deny it? Let Seto handle it? She wasn't sure what to do as the boy continued, his face lighting up even more upon seeing Seto without his shades.

"You are! I knew you were! You're like, the coolest, best duelist ever! I love watching your duels! I've seen every one. You have the strongest monsters and the coolest spell and trap cards; I want to be a duelist like you someday! Oh, but I, uh, I don't have any strong cards yet. I think my strongest has 2100 attack points..." The boy rambled on, when an thought hit him and he dug into his pocket to reveal an amateurishly drawn picture taped to a card, "Oh, but I do have this! My older brother made it for me! It's supposed to be a Blue Eyes. He knows my favorite part of your duels is when you summon the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. I could only imagine dueling against a real one one day! That would be so- Uh, ugh, hey!"

"Mr. Kaiba, I'm so sorry for the intrusion. I'll take care of him now. Again, my sincerest apologies," The panicked attendant pleaded for Seto and Kisara to accept, when Seto raised a hand to stop her, much to Kisara's surprise.

"Let him go," He rebuked the woman.

"I- I'm sorry?" She stuttered out.

Seto eyed her with a stone cold glare, "Let. Him. Go."

The attendant, as though Seto had put the fear of death into her, released the boy almost immediately, who looked back to Seto in awe. Seto beckoned the boy to come back with a slight curl or two of his second and third fingers. The young kid, in complete awe, suddenly became remarkably quiet and stiff, as though in the presence of the most important person in the world.

"May I?" Seto asked, glancing to the card in the boy's hands.

"Uh... oh!" The boy, after a moment to comprehend what Seto was asking, handed over the card.

Kisara found a memory returning to her, one of Joey going on about how Seto had the "worst disdain" for weak duelists and "terrible tendencies" for doing irrationally, and even blatantly, "abhorrent things" to aspiring and fellow duelists, and a fear caught up in her throat. What was he going to... But it was short lived as Seto looked over the card, his features... not quite as cold as they had been moments ago with the attendant. His pupils traced over the card, following each color etched in with colored lead and ink. A small smile tugged at his lips as he sat back and pulled out a pen.

"You recognize that power is something you have to work to obtain in order to protect what's precious to you," Seto said, uncapping the pen, writing a small note, and signing the card, "That will serve you well as a duelist."

He blew on the card, letting the ink dry before handing it back to the kid who took it like he'd been given the best Duel Monsters card in the world as Seto continued, "I won't let you have the real Blue-Eyes, but I trust that you'll find a powerful card of equally great importance in your life too, as the Blue-Eyes is to mine. Then you and your brother can climb to the top together."

The boy gave a 1,000 watt smile, glowing brightly and nodded to Seto excitedly. Seto smiled back, "I'll wait for you there."

The boy nodded again as the attendant and Kisara watched in shock as the once squirming and high energy boy was brought into a calm and happiness by words spoken by none other than Seto Kaiba. It was... both amazing and heart warming to see, Kisara thought, though she might have been disputed in that by the attendant, had she dared to voice her relief that the boy hadn't irritated one of the few passengers on board who could likely get her fired.

The kid looked up to the attendant beaming, "Can I go back to my mom now? I wanna show her and my brother!"

The attendant nodded, doing a poor job at not showing her tension being released from her stance as the boy happily turned back to Seto to bid him goodbye, "Thank you, Mr. Kaiba!"

Seto nodded, leaning comfortably back into his chair as the boy made to return from whence he came, when for the first time the boy's eyes really landed on Kisara, who was still watching him. He tilted his head and paused in his path as his eyes locked on her. Suddenly, the center of the boy's attention, Kisara found her shoulders move closer to her chest, again, unsure of what to do, when the boy leapt forward, wrapping his arms around Kisara in a hug and kissing her square on the cheek.

Seto's eyes widened at the motion and he leaned forward again, when the boy let go with a smile, whispering to Kisara, "I get it now."

He turned to leave, skipping merrily away, while Kisara brought a hand to her cheek and the boy called out one last time in a final salute off, "Bye, Mr. Kaiba! Bye-bye, Blue-Eyed Girl!"

Both Seto and Kisara turned back to see him, astonished in some ways, as the boy and the attendant left the car. The child merrily seemed to slip out of sight as he skipped off, leaving the Gran Class car as it had been before. As the train carried on unperturbed by the incident in the slightest, they slowly turned back into their chairs, Kisara found her hand still on her cheek staring at the half eaten bento in front of her. What was that about? Blue-Eyed Girl? Yes, she had blue eyes, but... what did that have to do with... she looked over to see Seto, who was watching her, a look of complete bafflement, trying to mask feelings of panic that were bubbling up in his gut from showing on his face. Neither seemed able to speak.


"Um..." He started, "Uh, are you okay?"

Kisara nodded, "I am... are you?"

Seto nodded, trying to remain calm and leaning back into his seat as though it was nothing. It didn't feel like nothing though. The two continued on to Kyoto in silence, slowly finishing their meal and then keeping to themselves as the mountains jetted by them in a coolness that called to mind the distilled air of a fresh spring day. Though it was quiet, it was comfortable, Kisara felt, as she placed her chopsticks down and leaned back after their attendant came to take away her box.

She sort of understood what the boy had been implying, that Seto liked her because of her blue eyes because he had that card... the Blue-Eyes White Dragon. This... Blue-Eyes card... she'd still never seen it, but clearly it was important to Seto, linked to him in some way. She didn't know why, but it gave her a good feeling. A warm one, knowing that Seto had such a passion... that he seemed to want to pass on, to those he deemed worthy of it anyway. Though she doubted that Seto actually liked her in that way, having the chance to be his friend was enough for her, she thought. She glanced over his way, to see him looking out the window when an announcement drew her eyes away.

"Now Arriving in Kyoto."

To her left, she saw outside the window across the way the train come to a smooth stop, again without even the remotest sign that it had even been moving at all. She stood up, rolled her shoulders back and slipped her purse over her shoulder. Smiling as adrenaline hit her at the prospect of the beginning adventure, a realization hit her and she turned around to see Seto still sitting down in thought.

She smiled, "You coming?"

Seto's gaze cast itself over to her. His chin lowered after a moment with a brief nod as he stood to follow out behind her to what awaited in Kyoto.


A/N: Kyotooooooooo 3 . I'm very excited for the start of this section of the story. I went back to Kyoto this past summer and went to a bunch of the places, actually, just about all of the places that will be coming up in this part of the story. While Tokyo remains my favorite spot in Japan, there's something uniquely tranquil and beautiful about Kyoto that I hope I can relay to all of you as the story goes on. Also, just saying, Sauvage is the best cologne, haha. That's my vote anyway. Oh! And for those curious, Kyoto is a Shinkansen ride away from Tokyo and normally takes about 2 hours, depending on the rail line you get on. I have Domino being placed somewhere near Nagoya - so it's closer than Tokyo is to Kyoto in this story. Shinkansen are not usually that plush though lol - those are Gran Class cars and they're only on select trains and you pay out the wazu for those. Even so, a regular seat on a Shinkansen in my opinion is just as fantastic of an option to travel by. Absolutely wonderful. Anyway, let me know your thoughts! Love you all and have a wonderful holiday!