Unconditional Friendship

Author's note: This is my first Yu-Gi-Oh fic, and it is off of an idea that I had about Kaiba and Joey. This is not a slash story, I have nothing against slash, I just wanted to try something different, and the Kaiba and Joey thing is kind of old. Anyways enjoy, and tell me what you think.

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

Part one: Learning How to Fight Back

(Seto's POV)

When life started out for me, my biggest problem was trying to get my parents' attention away from my baby brother, Mokuba. I would spend hours purring over complex books in the hope that my father would smile at me proudly, and pat me on my back; while my mother would pull me in a tight hug. But then Mokuba would cry, and their attention would go back to "their little baby." I wanted nothing more then to have their undying love, but I never got the chance. I never learned the details, but one night, a bunch of uniformed men showed up at my house, and dragged Mokuba and me away.

We where brought to an orphanage, where I learned to put aside my jealous feelings toward my brother. I became over protective, and had a burning desire to protect the only family I had left. The boy grew on me, and it wasn't long before I depended on him just as much as he depended on me. But life in the orphanage wouldn't leave us alone.

It was like being at an auction. Adults would crowed around me, all wanting the "boy genius" as a son, but none of them were willing to adopt Mokuba too. I did everything I could to make their lives horrible, and eventually they would bring me back to the orphanage, where I was auctioned off again. It became a relentless cycle until nobody wanted to adopt my brother or me.

Things were just starting to turn out good, when a man by the name of Kaiba came to adopt me. He wanted an heir for his corporation, and what better way then to adopt a genius. So what if this man was rich and powerful, he made it painfully clear that he wasn't even going to consider adopting Mokuba. And with the way these rich people did things, my normal tricks of getting out of the deal weren't going to work. I couldn't bring myself to leave my brother's side, but nobody would get that into their thick skulls. So I did the only thing that I could. I ran away.

I had no idea where I was going, I just needed to get far enough away that Kaiba would give up, and let me be. Then I would return for Mokuba. But I was a child that had never traveled on my own outside of my rather sheltered life. Yes sheltered, I was always around adults, and being alone can be scary. And that fear can lead to many rather simple mistakes that one normally wouldn't make when they were in a calm state. It was that way with me, even though I was a genius, all my knowledge did nothing for an eight year old kid in the roughest part of the city.

I had no idea how it happened, but I was wandering around the alleys, and the day soon became night. My rational mind knew that it was dangerous to be out in a place like this, but by the time I decided to find a safer place to spend the night, I was unable to. How it happened, I'm still not sure, but I was suddenly surrounded by several teenagers. Each one had a sickening dangerous look to them, and I was afraid. My eyes wandered around my surrounding, looking for any means of escape, or a way to fight back. There was nothing. As far as I could see, the only option I had was to beg, but knowing these guys, they wouldn't care. I closed my eyes, waiting for a painful blow, that I swore would come.

"Hey you!" I opened my eyes hesitantly as I squinted through the darkness toward where the voice came from. A blonde haired boy approached the group with a determined look in his chocolate colored eyes. I heard an amused chuckle as one of the teenagers that stood behind me shifted his attention to the blonde boy.

"My, my, the drunks brat wants to play," the strongest looking boy, who I assumed was the leader, snarled staring at the boy with an interested gleam in his eyes. The boy who was my age, or maybe a year younger, gave the gang a challenging look before he took off down the alley. The leader growled in annoyance, before he and the rest of his followers took chase.

I shrunk into the shadows, grateful that I was forgotten, but also aware that if the gang couldn't catch the boy, that they would come back and find me. I stood and gazed around, looking for anyplace that I could hide. I was about to head toward a friendly looking store when a hand rested on my shoulder. A startled cry escaped my lips, before a hand was placed firmly over my mouth.

"Quiet, they'll hear you," the person said in my ear before he released me. I turned around, not sure of what I should expect. What I saw was a relief. The blonde boy was smiling at me thoughtfully before he took my hand, and started dragging me down another alley.

"Where are we going?" I demanded, unhappy that I couldn't hide my uneasiness in my wavering voice.

"To my place. You should be safe there, or at least I hope so," the boy said stopping, and listening carefully before we turned another corner. I watched him impressed as the boy continued to maneuver through the darkening streets with a calm and prepared manner. By the time we finally got to his apartment, I was more then relived to be off of the streets. Every time that I heard footsteps in the alleys, I felt an overwhelming fear, and if it wasn't for the boy grabbing my arm, and dragging me further toward our destination, I would still be frozen in the middle of some alley.

The boys apartment was small. There was a living room that was only big enough to fit one couch, and the kitchen counter was the only thing that separated the two rooms. The kitchen was only big enough for a fridge, a stove, and a small sink. The only place to eat was at the kitchen counter, where two chairs were placed underneath. Next to the fridge was three doors. One of the doors led to a room that had a double bed, and a dresser. The door in the middle led to a small bathroom, and the last door led to a room that was about the size of a walk in closet. "Well, home sweat home," the boy announced, picking up one of the many beer cans that littered the floor. "Dad isn't home right now," the boy said sounding a little relieved, but I couldn't tell why. "Umm, so are you hungry, or thirsty?" the boy asked again. I knew he was trying to start a conversation with me, but I couldn't help but stare at the living conditions he was being brought up in. I guess I was a little spoiled after all, but at least he had parents. "Hello?" the boy asked smiling good naturedly as he waved a hand in front of my face.

"Yeah, I'm a little hungry," I mumbled feeling my cheeks go red in embarrassment. Normally I'm not this rude, but the boy didn't seemed to be bothered by it, so I shook it off, and watched the boy go to the fridge. The whole fridge was pretty much filled with some sort of alcoholic beverage, and very little of anything else, but somehow the boy managed to find two sodas, and some bread and cheese.

"Common, lets go to my room," the boy offered carrying the stuff to the smallest room. I followed gazing around uncomfortable, but again the boy didn't seem to notice my nervousness.

As soon as I was inside the room, the boy closed the door, and handed me my drink. "So what's a kid like you doing in this part of the city?" the boy asked giving me a comforting smile, and waiting patiently for me to start talking. My gaze shifted toward me feet, while I played with the top of my can. "You're a runaway, I can tell. No offence, but you don't seem to know anything about street life," the boy pointed out when I refused to answer.

"Yeah, I ran away," I mumbled. There was no use denying it, it was pretty obvious that I didn't belong here.

"Do you mind if I ask why?" the boy asked, but I knew that I didn't have to answer him if I didn't want to, so I didn't. I just grabbed one of the pieces of bread, and began to nibble on it thoughtfully.

"Well, do you have a place to stay, because you can stay here for as long as you need," the boy said looking really proud when I looked at him gratefully.

"Can I, really?" I asked unsure if it was a joke, or if he was really offering me a place to hide.

"Of course, but when my dad is around, you're going to have to hide in my closet," the boy said pointing to the corner of his room. I gazed at him questionably before I made my way toward my designated hiding place. It was no more then a hole in the wall. The most I could do was stand in it. "Perfect, that will do just fine," the boy said smiling, but I could tell that he still seemed worried about something.

"Why do I need to hide when your dad is around?" I asked heading back toward the boy, and taking a seat on his bare mattress. The boy shifted uneasily, and I was about to take back my question, but the boy seemed to feel it was important to explain things, so I waited patiently for him to continue.

"I don't want him to hurt you like he hurts me. Listen kid, when he comes home tonight, you have to hide in the closet, and do not come out until I say the coast is clear. Got it?" the boy asked in a seriousness that I had never heard before. I stared at him in shock for a second, before I nodded my head in agreement. "Great, now lets finished this up, I'm starved," the boy said going back to his normal cheerfulness. We finished eating the rest of the food, and then the both of us fell asleep on the mattress.

I was awakened by the frantic shaking of the boy. I opened one of my deep blue eyes, and was met with the fearful brown eyes of the boy. "You have to hide now, my dad is home," the boy whispered, but I could hear the sense of urgency that he was trying to hide. My eyes shot open, and I scrambled over toward the closet. I threw myself in seconds before the boys bedroom door was swung open.

"Dad," I heard the boy say before there was a harsh slapping noise. I heard a small whimper before a man's voice began to yell out incoherent words.

"He's drunk," I realized pressing myself further against the wall of the closet.

"Bitch! You fucken Bitch!" I heard the man yell before another slapping noise could be heard. I felt my knees shaking in fright. I wasn't stupid, I knew what was going on, I've heard of many kids in the orphanage being abused by their foster parents, but I never thought that a child's real parents could do something like this. I felt my eyes water up, and I furiously blinked them away. I wasn't even the one being hit, and here I am, crying! A painful cry from the boy reached me, and I felt as though the little bit of food I had eaten was trying to escape. I swallowed hard, and bit down on my tongue. Another cry, and another. By now I was desperately clutching my stomach, while I had my eyes clamped shut, but the tears kept coming. The abuse continued till there was no longer any sounds coming from the boy.

Sunlight was just beginning to creep into the room, when I finally felt that it was safe to come out of the closet. The first thing that I did after I stretched out my cramped muscles was run to where the boy lay motionless on the ground. He really was a mess. His golden hair was now dark brown where the his blood had dried, and every part of him that I could see was dark purple and blue. "Oh God, no," I said desperately while I pressed my fingers against the vein on his neck. I allowed a small sigh of relief escape me when I realized that the boy was still alive. After I was sure that he was going to die on me, I quietly made my way out of his room. I made sure that the apartment was empty before I got some wet towels, and a few first aid things that I found hidden under the bathroom sink. I made my way back into the room, and carefully began cleaning the boy's wounds, before I laid him down on his mattress. After I was sure that he was comfortable, I went into the kitchen, and began to prepare something for us to eat. I was a really hard task, since there was hardly anything that was edible, but eventually I managed to find a few packages for instant noodle soup.

When I got back to the boy with the two bowls of steaming hot soup, I was relieved to see him sitting up. He looked a little dazed, but other than that, he acted like nothing was wrong. He smiled at me thankfully when I handed him the soup, and we ate in a peaceful silence, just glad that the present ordeal was over for now. But finally he put the bowl down, and looked at me closely. "Are you alright?" the boy asked me, causing me to almost choke on my soup. There he was, the injured one, and he was asking me if I was okay? I couldn't believe this kid, it should be me asking that question, but even as I thought this, I couldn't stop the tears that decided to run down my face. I wiped them away disgusted, but the boy grabbed my hand, and shook his head. "You shouldn't wipe them away, they are only showing what is going on in your heart," the boy said, while I gave a sarcastic snort.

"My tears are only showing you how weak I really am. First I ran away from my problems, and then I start crying like a baby," I pointed out turning away from the kid.

"I asked you this last night, and I'll ask it again, why did you run away?" the boy asked me, thankfully dropping the "crying" topic. I gave off a defeated sigh, I guess I owe him an explanation.

"I ran away because this guy wants to adopt me, and separate me from my brother," I said seeing a flash of sadness cross the boy's face.

"I know what it feels like to be separated by your siblings. When my parents got divorced, my mom took my sister," the boy said blinking away his tears before they could form. "Is there another way for you to be with your brother, or is running away the only way?" the boy asked. I sat thoughtfully for a moment before I shook my head.

"There is nothing I can think of that will convince this guy to let us stay together," I said feeling the boy's thoughtful gaze on me.

"Well, maybe I can think of something," the boy said scrunching his face in a sadly cute and overly exaggerated way. "Lets see, what are you strengths, what can you do well?" the boy asked me surprised to hear me laugh at his comment.

"Well, I've never lost a game of logic. Anything that involve strategy, or knowledge, I'm unbeatable with," I announced proudly. I watch satisfied as the boy smiled at me triumphantly before he gave off a triumphant yelp.

"That's it. I know how you can get this guy to adopt your brother too," the boy announced.

"How?" I ask feeling more hopeful then I ever have.

"Well, it's from my experience on the streets that if you want to survive, you have to play on your strengths. So if you are an expert at logic games, challenge this guy to one of those games, and make a deal with him. It's risky, but sometimes you have to take chances," the boy said, and I felt an excited smile creep across my face. "So, are you ready to go home, and face your problems?" the boy asked. I nodded enthusiastically, I knew now that I could win my brother's adoption, and I was ready to take the chance. The boy gave off another triumphant smile, before he carefully got to his feet. "Common, I'll take you home," the boy offered, and I eagerly accepted.

The walk back to the orphanage was spent with the two of us chatting about the littlest things, like what color clothes we preferred, to how stupid teachers are. But the walk ended all too soon, and I soon found myself standing outside of the steel bar gate of the orphanage. "Well, I guess this is goodbye," the boy said turning around to leave.

"Wait, what is you name, I want to thank you properly," I yelled causing the boy to halt. The boy turned around, and gave me a thoughtful smile.

"Don't worry it's alright," the boy said getting ready to turn around again.

"Are you going to be alright?" I asked causing the boy to stop and turn around again.

"Of course, no one can keep this puppy down," the boy announced smiling proudly and waving goodbye.

"Goodbye puppy, someday, I'll be able to pay you back for your kindness," I vowed while the boy ran off toward his home, unaware of the promise I had made.


As soon as I got back to the orphanage, Mr. Kaiba was called. The man came immediately to pick me up, but I wasn't going to let him. I sat at one of the chess tables, and waited patiently for the man to come, and as soon as he did, I rouse and gestured for him to take a seat. "I don't have time for silly games," the man announce, but I wasn't going to be intimidated by this guy.

"Mr. Kaiba, I have a proposition for you," I announced in as calm and business like tone that I could muster.

"Make it quick, I have an appointment in an hour," the man said, sitting on the seat that I had offered him.

"Mr. Kaiba, I challenge you to a chess game, and if I win, I want you to adopt my brother Mokuba," I said calmly, keeping my eyes glued to the man's face, waiting for his reaction.

"And if I win?" the man inquired folding his arms across his chest.

"If you win, I will do whatever you ask me to, and I wont run away again," I said glad to note that the man seemed to be interested.

"Alright kid, if this is the only way to keep you in line, I accept, but I doubt that a kid will be able to bet me," the man said. I smiled, knowing that the man had taken the bait. Soon, Mokuba and I will be Kaiba's heirs.

The game lasted for a long time. Neither one of us were willing to make a foolish move, and Kaiba was no push over either. But I was glad to notice that the growing crowd of orphans was causing Kaiba to lose his concentration. "Go Seto," Mokuba said, and I smiled at him thankfully. He knew that I was doing this so we would be together, and I was glad to see that he trusted that I will be able to do it too. I watched as Kaiba used his Queen to claim my Bishop. I heard the other kids cheering for Kaiba, but I couldn't help but smile at the man's stupid mistake. It had taken me an hour to manipulate the man into playing into my trap, and he finally did it. Giving Mokuba a triumphant smile, I used my Knight to take Kaiba's Queen.

"Checkmate!" I yelled triumphantly standing up, and grabbing Mokuba into a triumphant hug. Kaiba looked at the game confused for a second, before he nodded his defeat.

"Alright kid, you won. I'll keep my word, and adopt you brother too," Kaiba said making his way toward the front office to prepare for the adoption.

"You did it Seto, you got us a family," Mokuba yelled, pulling me into a tighter hug. My grin deepened as I squeezed back.

"Thank you puppy," I said under my breath before I lifted Mokuba up in my arms. I had learned my very first step in fighting back, and I will never let myself run from anything ever again.


Life as a Kaiba was hard. For the first few months, all I was allowed to do was go to business classes, where I was taught how to run the company. But after a year as a Kaiba, I had learned everything that I could, and I was allowed to pursue any type of schooling I liked. Thinking back to my hopelessness on the street, I decided to take up martial arts. I started training under a private instructor, until my abilities were beyond his. Life as Kaiba was hard, but I learned many useful skills while I lived with him. But life wont let me live peacefully.

Two years after I was adopted, one of the stocks for Kaiba corporation dropped drastically. Mr. Kaiba lost millions because of it, and it drove him crazy. I was sitting in my room, studying one of the new card games that had just come out, when I heard Mokuba crying. I raced out of my room, and into the living room, where I saw Mr. Kaiba yelling at my brother. Mokuba was laying on the ground, clutching his cheek, while he stared at me with pleading watery eyes. Mr. Kaiba rouse his hand to strike again, but the blow never fell. The man turned around staring into my cold blue eyes. I felt an uncontrollable rage inside of me. I hated the man for abusing my brother, and I was going to make him pay. I'm not sure what happened, all I felt was a cold darkness filling me, and taking complete control. I watched as my body threw the man out of the mansion window, to his death.

From that day, I became cold and ruthless, the only warmth I ever showed was toward my brother, and that was only because in my mind, I had registered him as a victim. Everybody else were my enemies.

I inherited Kaiba corps, and I brought it out of its debt. I made it into the biggest corporation in Japan, and possible all of Asia, but I wasn't satisfied. I needed to excel in something, anything that would make me even more powerful. I needed to find a strength that nobody else had, and I finally found it in the new card game. The darkness within me drew me toward those cards, and I soon found myself spending millions to get the strongest, most unbeatable card around. I had found my strength, and I wasn't afraid to use it.

I had lost all sense of who I was, and I continued to fall deeper into my corruption. It was like I was possessed by some dark and rather ancient feeling spirit. But then, something happened. I was beaten. I was beaten by a kid with wild hair, and large purple eyes. My strength was beaten, and for a moment, I was unsure how to continue.

I heard the boy yell something to me, seconds before an agonizing burning pain enveloped me. I felt like my body was being split apart, and when the torture was finally over, I felt an emptiness were the cold feeling once was. I was back to my normal self, but that realization brought only fear. I was vulnerable again, and I needed to get my strength and pride back.

When I heard about the Duel Monster Kingdom battle that Pegasus was hosting, I knew it was my chance to make my come back. A part of me was missing, but it was an evil part of me, so I felt like I would be alright. Again I was wrong. I ended up having to depend on Yugi and his friends, and I haven't trusted anybody but that boy. But Yugi saved me, and I knew I was indebt to him. I hope to pay him back someday, but first I need to find myself again. I needed to fulfill a promise I made years ago. And I need to save that boy from his father, before he becomes dark and corrupted like me.


So here I am, sitting in class, listening as Yugi and his annoying friends chat about the most childish things. "Oh common Tristan, why do you have to be so mean to me?" I hear the loud mouth one Joey say, causing me to growl in frustration. The brat was so much like that kid. They both had blonde hair, and brown eyes; but Joey is annoying and stupid, while that boy was calm, and calculating. True, I gave Joey the nickname I gave that boy, but it was only because if I imagined hard enough, I could almost see that boy in Joey, and that empty void I feel is momentarily filled with our short but true friendship. But Joey would always do something stupid, and the emptiness always returned. I hated Joey for letting me think that I had found my only friend again, and yet at the same time, I couldn't stop myself from trying to replace that boy with Joey.

"Shut up Wheeler!" I yell in my frustration. Joey glares at me, but Yugi puts a restraining hand on the "dog's" shoulder before he tries to pick a fight with me. I smile at him tauntingly before I turn back to the papers in front of me.

For the last few months, I have been trying desperately to try and locate that boy, but the boy no longer lived at the address he once did, and since I had moved away to Domino City, heading down there was out of the way. "But he was being a jerk," I hear Joey's annoying voice say, piercing into my thoughts like an unwanted plague.

"Damn it! Shut your mouth Wheeler!" I yelled, this time getting glares from both Joey and Tristan.

"Umm, Kaiba, is there something wrong?" Yugi asks me shifting nervously. I snort his way before I slump back down into my seat. Today was going to be a long day, and I knew that if I didn't find the boy soon, I would have many more days just like this.


Author's endnote: So how was that? I know that it is pretty long, but I needed to get out the history behind Kaiba and his friend. I'm also going to apologize for any spelling errors before hand. Well anyways, the next part will be out whenever I feel like it, or after I get five reviews. Common, I want to know your opinions, it makes me a better writer. Really, it does. So please, please, please, please review. ^_^