This story was inspired by Avril Lavigne's song, Too Much To Ask. If you would like to read this story in its original songfic form, check my profile for the link to my AFF . net profile.

Disclaimer: The characters from Yu-Gi-Oh! are the intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi. The lyrics from Too Much To Ask are the intellectual property of Avril Lavigne. This story, along with the original character Eshe Tutankhka, are the intellectual property of Lightning Sage. Do not copy this story, in part or in its entirety.

Disclaimer applies to the whole story.


Too Much To Ask

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Chapter 1: Lonely


Eshe's Point of View

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At last, I'm moving to Domino City. I'm finally going to get to see Seto again.

I pulled up to the curb of my new house on Main Street, taking a step out of my VW Bug. It wasn't a very big house, but it was satisfactory.

It took me a lot of hard work to get myself where I am. I am a successful music star, thanks to my enthusiasm and dedication to the world of music. My devotion to literature and poetry also helped me to become the flourishing songwriter that I am. I travel to places around the world approximately one time per month to perform. People pay very good money to see me. I no longer need to take many journeys out of the country. The people come to see me, instead.

I wanted a place to settle that would be somewhat quiet. I did not want to be constantly pestered by fans. In truth, I love my fans; I just don't like them ceaselessly badgering me for autographs. I know Domino City is rather large, but there are so many other important people in the area, that I will seem like an average person.

For example, Seto Kaiba, the C.E.O. of Kaiba Corporation, is one of the big guys in the area. His celebrity status dwarves mine. In addition, there's that kid, Yugi Muto, who is the Duel Monsters Champion. Supposedly he beat Seto at Duel Monsters; now he has claimed the title as the number one duelist in the entire world.

I unlocked the door to my house, motioning for the porters to start moving my belongings inside. They started with some of the heavier furniture, grunting and groaning as they went. They carried the fixtures into my house, making sure not to scratch the polished floor. Their flushed faces glistened with sweat.

I had to do a lot of begging to convince my stepparents to let me move here. I persuaded them when I assured them that I'd have more privacy in Japan than I would in England, where they lived. I told them that I'd pay for everything myself, and that I'd call if I had any trouble.

The real reason I've come to Japan is to see Seto. I hear about him on TV all the time, and see his face on the screen nearly every day. But I can tell something's wrong with him. I've known for quite a while now. It's been bugging me for years, and I've been longing to see him again in person. I've known him for nine years, and his temperament has changed dramatically. I can see it in his eyes. I want to be there to help him.

I decided I should pay him a visit today, and maybe surprise him. But I'm feeling rather nervous. I haven't seen him in six years. He's the only real friend I ever had, and we seem to have lost touch over the passing years.

I'm almost always surrounded by fans, people who adore me. I like that feeling, that feeling of acceptance, that feeling of being admired.

But it's not real.

This feeling of acceptance--it's not real. My fans don't admire me, they admire my music. Everyone who wants to be my friend--it's because of my music. And my celebrity status. They don't want to be friends with me.

That's why Seto was different. He knew me before I became famous. He respected me, because of who I was, because of my personality. He was the only one that would talk to me, or have anything to do with me before I became a well-known music star.

All of a sudden--BOOM! I became famous, my CDs were selling faster than any other young artist in England. Then, suddenly, everyone wanted to be my friend.

And I let them. I let them become my "friend." I let people, even the ones who were cruel to me in school, take advantage of my superstar status, and be my "friend."

I just had to get away from that school. In my old school, London High, I was the center of an endless swarm of bees. Instead, I'll go to Domino High to finish my remaining year of high school.

A few hours later the moving crew completed their grueling task of moving all of my belongings. I paid them each a gracious tip and thanked them for their help.

I knew Seto was a busy man, so I decided that it would be considerate to call him before barging into his office. Besides, if he didn't know I was coming, his guards probably wouldn't let me through.

I had his personal phone number, from many years ago, stuffed inside one of my bags. He'd given it to me before he and his brother, Mokuba, left with Gozaburo Kaiba…


It was a bright, sunny day. It was a little humid, due to the downpour the city of Tokyo, Japan. There was a rainbow, stretching across the sky, radiating with a beautiful light.

I was sitting on one of the swings outside of the orphanage, talking to Mokuba, who was sitting on the swing next to mine.

"I can't wait till tomorrow," Mokuba declared.

"How come?" I asked.

"Don't you know what tomorrow is?"

I thought about it for a minute, my expression slightly curious. Tomorrow was October 25…

"Oh, I know!" I exclaimed, my face brightening with recognition. "It's Seto's birthday tomorrow!"

"Yup," he agreed. "Look what I got him…"

I gasped when Mokuba revealed a stack of strange-looking cards. "They're called Duel Monsters cards," he explained. "He's been wanting a deck of his own for a while, because they've been advertising them a lot on TV. But you know the orphans are forbidden to leave the orphanage grounds. . ."

"You. . .left?" I whispered, still shocked.

"Yeah. I snuck out a few nights ago. I bought them using the money I've been saving up."

"Mokuba, you shouldn't have done that!" I chastised. "You could've been caught! Can you imagine what kind of trouble you could've been in?"

"But I wasn't caught, so relax, Eshe," he responded.

I sighed. No matter how good Mokuba's intentions were, I was sure this wouldn't bode well with Seto.

Seto approached me from behind, grasping my shoulders. "AHH!" I screamed, tumbling from the swing.

"Hey, what were you guys whispering about?" he inquired.

"Nothing," we both responded hastily.

Seto eyed us, his eyebrows furrowed with suspicion. "Aw, c'mon guys! You can tell me!"

"It's a surprise," Mokuba blurted out.

Seto raised an eyebrow. "A surprise?" he repeated. "What do you mean?"

"I can't tell you yet…"

Seto blinked in confusion. "Hey, what are you hiding behind your back, Mokie?" he wondered, noticing Mokuba's concealed hands.

"Nothing."

"Don't tell me 'nothing.' What are you hiding?"

Mokuba groaned. "I guess I'm busted." He grabbed Seto's hand, placing the Duel Monsters cards inside of it. "Happy early birthday, Big Brother!" Seto's hand closed around the cards, and he brought them up to his face to examine them.

"Wow! Duel Monsters cards?" he cried, his eyes glowing with animation. "Where'd you get these, Mokie?"

"From some convenience store…"

"Mokuba! You know you're not supposed to leave the orphanage grounds!"

Mokuba averted his eyes, his head held abate. "I know, Big Brother. I'm sorry."

Abruptly Seto wrapped his little brother in a warm hug. "Thank you so much, Mokie. This means so much to me."

Mokuba glanced up, his eyes watery. "Really?"

Seto nodded. "Yes, really."

The two brothers stood like that for a minute, embracing each other. At last they released each other, and the three of us walked over and took a seat on a bench.

"So, what's up, Seto?" I asked. "I thought you'd be inside right now bugging Mr. Kaiba with questions about chess."

"I did," Seto replied carefully. "I can't believe he actually visited OUR orphanage."

"Yeah," Mokuba chimed in. "I think he donated some of his money to this place."

"Well, I guess he's making things a little better for us," I remarked. "After all, this place could use some renovating."

Seto didn't respond. He merely sat there, staring at his shoes.

"Seto, what's wrong?" I questioned.

Seto finally looked up at me, his gaze meeting mine. "You, Mokuba, and I are going to be adopted."

I sat there in complete shock, having difficulty absorbing the information. "What?!"

"You heard me," he responded icily. "I challenged Gozaburo Kaiba to a chess match, making him promise that if I won, he'd have to adopt you, Mokuba, and I. I won."

"Seto…I don't know what to say…"

"It's our ticket out of this place, Eshe."

"Okay," I acceded. "Let's all go together."

The three of us walked back into the orphanage, greeting Gozaburo Kaiba at the door.

"Mr. Kaiba, this is Eshe," Seto proclaimed, gesturing towards me, "and this is Mokuba." Mokuba gave a small wave. "They're the two people that I was talking about earlier."

Gozaburo glared at me. "You're a girl," he stated flatly.

"Yes, I am, sir," I responded politely.

"I will NOT adopt a GIRL!" Gozaburo thundered. "It's enough already that I have to adopt you two brats!" Gozaburo slapped me across the face. I cringed, my cheek stinging. "Get out of my sight, you little monster!" he spat.

I sat there, on the cold, hard floor, weeping. I made no attempt to move; I was scared, curled up in a ball.

"GO!" Gozaburo roared, only causing me to sob harder. He kicked me in the ribs, making me slump further towards the floor.

I couldn't move. A sharp pain pierced my body. I lay there, my ribs smarting and aching. Gozaburo made another move to attack me, but Seto stepped in between us.

"STOP!" he yelled. "Don't hurt her!"

"Get out of my way, boy!" Gozaburo snarled. "Or you'll be next!"

"No!" Seto objected. "I won't let you hurt her!"

"Then maybe I shouldn't adopt her, or else I can GUARANTEE she will be hurt."

Seto stared down at me helplessly, knowing he was defeated. "I'm sorry, Eshe."

"You also may want to reconsider having me adopt you and your little brother," Gozaburo continued.

I stared at Seto, my eyes pleading for him to stay. Don't do it, Seto. You know you'll get hurt…this guy is bad news.

Seto turned back towards Gozaburo, his eyes filled with confidence. "Proceed with the adoption process. Eshe will not be included."

Gozaburo didn't seem surprised. "Are you sure?"

"Yes. Just don't hurt my brother. Leave him alone." Seto's assertive voice rang throughout the room. "Do we have a deal?"

Gozaburo smirked. "Yes. Indeed, we do." He spun on the heel of his polished shoe, and had disappeared within seconds.

Mokuba was watching the entire conversation, his eyes wide with confusion. "What's going on, Seto?"

Seto reached out, clasping onto his little brother's hand. "You and I are going to be adopted, Mokuba. We're finally going to get somewhere in life," he whispered, his eyes glistening with tears. "We just have to stick together, okay?"

"What about Eshe?"

"She can't come, Mokuba. Gozaburo won't allow it."

Seto strode over and knelt beside me. "I'm sorry, Eshe. You can't come with us. You know what will happen if you do."

"I know," I responded, nodding. Abruptly I burst into tears, realizing what this meant for Seto. "Are you going to be okay?"

"Yes. Don't worry about me."

"Seto, please don't do this. Don't go," I begged him.

"Eshe, I don't want to be stuck here forever. I want to BE somebody. I have a dream; someday, I want to help kids like us who don't have parents to take care of them. I want to build a nice orphanage, where the kids are happy and the staff is good. Someday, I hope that there won't be any more kids who suffer in a run-down orphanage like this."

It was true. The orphanage we had stayed in for the past few years was not good at all. The caretakers were mean; they made us do a lot of work during the week. Sometimes even on weekends. We had to clean the house, maintain the garden, make the beds; you name it. The work was rather taxing. In addition, the other kids were very cruel to the three of us. The bullied us, and we didn't even do anything to anger them. We were just…THERE.

"Seto, are you sure about this?"

"Yes. I have to do this. It's the only way."

I dropped it from there. I knew Seto wasn't going to change his mind; once he makes up his mind about something, he refuses to back down. He is as stubborn as a bull.

I just hope they don't get hurt, I thought. Gozaburo Kaiba doesn't seem to like them very much. And I don't think he always keeps his promises. Seto, I hope you know what you're doing…

I pulled Mokuba and Seto into a hug, despite the physical pain that it caused me. I didn't feel the physical pain as much; the emotional burden of seeing them leave was unbearable. I felt a ripping sensation tear through my heart. I didn't want to ever let go of them, but I knew I had to eventually.

"I'm going to miss you guys so much," I sobbed, my eyes brimming with tears. "It's going to be so lonely here without you two to brighten up my day."

"Don't worry, we can keep in touch still," Seto suggested. He held out a piece of paper that had ten numbers scrawled onto it. "This is Gozaburo's personal phone number. You can reach us there. Try to call us, even if it's against orphanage rules."

"Where'd you get that number?"

"I saw it on the adoption papers," Seto explained. "So don't forget to call us every once in a while, if you ever get a chance."

"Okay."

"Yeah," Mokuba agreed. "We'd love to hear from you."

I finally released them from my grip. Gozaburo appeared again, waiting for the two newly inducted Kaiba family members. "Let's go," he grunted.

"Goodbye, Eshe. We'll miss you," Seto told me, waving.

"Bye, Eshe," was Mokuba's farewell.

"Goodbye, you two. I hope I'll see you again someday," I murmured.

"Don't worry. You will," Seto responded, winking.

I didn't think this was possible at the time. I believed I was going to be in that disgusting orphanage for the rest of my life. When I was finally adopted my stepparents, however, I was given a spark of hope. I was adopted six months later by Mr. and Mrs. Abbott, a wealthy English family. The day I was adopted, I was taken to London, England. That day, I vowed that I would see Seto and Mokuba Kaiba again someday, even if it was the last thing I did.

As soon as I got to my new home, I called the number that Seto had given me. Seto picked up the phone, speaking in a neutral voice. I noticed his voice had grown deeper and somewhat raspy.

"Hello. Kaiba speaking."

"Seto! It's Eshe, do you remember me?"

"Eshe?" his voice brightened. "I can't believe it! How did you manage to call us?"

"I got adopted."

"Really? That's fantastic, Eshe! Is the family nice?"

"Yes, they're quite remarkable people. I was adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Abbott, of England."

"Wow! I've heard of them! They're really rich and famous!"

"That's right. So, how are you doing?"

"…I'm doing fine," came Seto's hesitant reply. His voice became noticeably downcast.

"Seto? Are you sure? You don't sound fine…"

"I'm fine…really."

"Seto, are you sure there isn't something you want to talk about?" I asked, feeling worried.

"I'm sure. The mansion's great and everything; there's so much cool machinery here."

"How is Mokuba? Can I talk to him?"

"No, sorry. He's sleeping. There's a time difference, you know. It's about ten o'clock here right now."

"Oh, I am so sorry, Seto. Did I wake you?"

"No, not at all."

I was concerned about Seto. Something didn't sound right. His voice was lifeless, and I could feel his sorrow even through the phone line. There was silence for a moment, until I heard a terrible shrieking.

"Brat, what are you doing?! Get down here right now!!"

My blood froze. I knew that voice. That was the voice of Gozaburo Kaiba.

Seto's breathing quickened. "Uh-oh, I gotta go, Eshe. Tell me your number quickly, and I'll call you later," he promised.

I told him my number, and he memorized it. I often wondered how he was able to memorize so many things. He has a gift, I suppose.

"Don't call me again. I'll call you. Gozaburo doesn't like me to use the phone," he informed me.

"BOY, WHO ARE YOU ON THE PHONE WITH?" came Gozaburo's thundering voice.

There was a sudden click; Seto had hung up. I hope he doesn't get into trouble, I thought, panicking. I'd never forgive myself if he got beaten because of my call.

Deep down, I knew what consequences awaited Seto. I broke down crying, tears streaming down my cheeks. "My Ra, Seto. I'm so sorry," I sobbed. "Ra, please help Seto. Don't let him be hurt."

Seto promised to call me that day. Days passed, weeks passed, MONTHS passed. I never heard from Seto. I knew Seto would never deliberately leave me in the dark like that. That's when I decided to risk another call, a year later. I just HAD to make sure he was okay.

But I knew he wasn't okay. Something was wrong. Seto was in trouble.


I sighed. I knew it wasn't good to dwell on the past, but I couldn't help it. If only I had tried to talk Seto out of going with Gozaburo. If only I had prevented him from walking into the clutches of that evil man. If only I had done something about what was happening to Seto, he might actually be happy now.

Because I knew he wasn't happy. Not now, not since he was adopted by Gozaburo. Seto has been ripped apart on the inside, beaten from both the inside and outside. What Gozaburo did affected him to the very core.

And now Gozaburo was gone. He got his just desserts.

But that didn't wash away the agony Seto went through all those years. Gozaburo continues to influence Seto to this very day.

And I am going to put an end to Gozaburo's evil once for all.


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