Note: This whole story was basically inspired by Raphael and all of his little issues with the guardians and what not, but he isn't in it at all. I really, really, hope you like this… it deals with some sort of weird stuff… but it isn't that bad. Please review (puppy dog eyes)!

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-gi-oh, and I never will, (If I did… Joey would still have his soul!) nor do I own Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott, which is far too good a poem to be written by me.

Summary: All people have a patron monster that guards them and guides them… when they are born. But in this day and age, people have stopped believing, and seldom few are still in touch with these monsters, and more still are too cruel hearted to deserve their protection. What can happen in this torn world to a few special people?

Intro: The Beginning

Like most epic tales, this once could very well start off with 'Once upon a time', but the narrator refuses to make it so, and therefore it starts off instead with this little paragraph explaining why it does not start with once upon a time.

But anyway, this tale begins on a fine, warm day in March, when a fair baby girl was born. Silent as just after a storm, this child came into the world, and most of her life was spent in the same silence. She had but one friend to help her through the loneliness; a fairy of light called Wingweaver.

When Karmina was only five years old, her parents died in a plane crash and her relatives wanted nothing to do with the strange little girl who talked to herself. They sent her to an orphanage and would take no responsibility for her.

And it was there that this girl grew up, hiding in a corner by herself, with only the presence of her guardian monster to keep her strong. She learned to accept the loneliness and to get on with her life, expecting to live at the orphanage until she turned eighteen, when she would move away forever and start taking control of her life. But fate, it seems, would not have it be so.

Chapter One: Interventions of Fate

Karmina threw the textbooks into her shoulder bag forcefully and headed off towards the orphanage that she lived at, against her will. School was over and so was the week; there was nothing to look forward to. She felt a soft touch on her shoulder and smiled at the glowing figure beside her.

"Thank you."

Wingweaver nodded and vanished with a smile. She never spoke, but she didn't need to. Karmina understood her well enough.

Lost in her thoughts, she ran into someone as she quickened her pace.

"Why don't you watch where you're going!"

She grimaced. The person she'd run into was none other than Seto Kaiba, the school outcast, besides herself, and the CEO of Japan's most powerful company. A typical blown up ego.

"I'm sorry," she whispered, picking up her books. "I was just in a hurry," she pointed cautiously to the orphanage.

"Why would anyone hurry there?"

"I live there," she muttered, checking her latest novel for scuff marks. It had cost her two day's pay to buy it and she wasn't letting it get messed up.

To her surprise, Kaiba made no smart comment about her living in a run down orphanage. Instead, he picked up the last book and shoved it roughly into the girl's thin hand.

"You shouldn't run into people who're better than you," he said in a half hearted tone.

Karmina watched him go in amazement. Never once before had he spoken to her, and now he was picking up her books. Perhaps there was a bit more to Seto Kaiba then met the eye.

"You shouldn't act heartless when you aren't," she whispered to his back. "It'll make people hate you."

She knew a lot about being hated. At school, she sat alone in the cafeteria and in class, and her free period was spent with her nose in a book, her mind blissfully free from the troubles of the real world. No one knew her or cared about her. That was just the way it was.

"Look everyone… Karmina's back. How was school, Karmina?" one of the younger kids mocked. Anyone in elementary school took classes at the orphanage, and she was the only one there who wasn't that young. Everyone else got adopted.

They all laughed and she shied into her bedroom to be alone. The days events were almost worth recording. After all; someone had talked to her. That was new.

The next day, as Karmina walked to school, she thought about her days of solitude with a sad smile. Last week, someone had sat on her, and just the other day someone had grabbed the tray that she had been reaching for. She was nearly invisible, and it was starting to get painful.

"Hey, you, girl!" a gruff voice said.

She turned to see a tall guy from the football looking at her. Her eyes widened and her cheeks turned pink, but she didn't say anything.

"You're in my way."

"Sorry," she whispered, starting to step aside, even though she was only halfway through putting her stuff in her locker.

"Why don't you bother someone your own size, punk," said another clearly male voice. Only this one she knew.

"Got yourself a girlfriend, Kaiba?"

"No, I don't like to see losers like you get to their lockers so easily."

Staring in amazed disbelief, Karmina forgot all about her locker. Seto Kaiba had sort of admitted to knowing who she was. Someone had retained her in their memory for more than an hour! It was a new record.

"Don't think I did that to help you, or anything. That freak was asking for it."

Trying to find words, she smiled and then got back into her locker, pulling out her math book and the one that she was reading. Seeing that her bookmark was halfway through, she sighed. That would never last her all day.

"Crap," she muttered, fishing for another book. "I could have sworn that I wasn't that far… Now what?"

She heard a snort from behind her and whipped around to see Kaiba still standing there.

"Do you always talk to yourself?"

"Shut up," she said, nearly incomprehensible. She was too nervous to say much of anything loud enough to be heard.

The bell rang and she ran off to class, sliding unnoticed into her seat in the back, at an excellent vantage point from her crush, Joey Wheeler, who, of course, had no idea that she existed. Typical boy.

The teacher took attendance, earning the usual uncomprehending stares when she said the name Karmina.

"And… Joey Wheeler," she said sarcastically, as if it was hard to tell if he was there or not.

"Here as always, teach," he said with a grin before leaning back in his seat, presumably to sleep once the lecture got underway.

"Today I thought I'd try something a little bit different for our lesson on the Middle Ages. We're going to do a play!"

There were some groans, but quite a few people perked right up. A popular girl named Sara raised her hand. "Are we presenting it to the whole school?"

"Well, that's generally the job of the drama club," the teacher said, frowning when they all slumped back down. "But they've decided to make an exception. So, there are plenty of roles to play in this play… which is my own interpretation of Tennyson's poem, The Lady of Shalott."

Karmina perked up as well. She loved that poem. This could be fun. She could play Elaine, the Lady of Shalott.

"Alright… now, as we've already read this poem in class, you've all a general idea of the storyline. Casting tryouts are tomorrow, and here's a tentative script for you all to look at tonight."

Joey glanced at the sheet and smiled. "I wanna be dis king dude," he said proudly, making Karmina's heart swell and then sink. There was no way that she could play a lead role. What on earth had she been thinking?

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Kaiba's eyebrows rise slightly as he looked at the script before shoving it carelessly into a cluttered briefcase and returning to his laptop. The teacher pretended not to notice. It made Karmina sick to see how easily money and status made people fall on their knees like well trained lap dogs. She may have been shy and scared of messing up, but she would not conform to others' shallow ways of thinking. It was easy to see that Kaiba was just like anyone else, save for his sour attitude.

"Karmina, I'd like to speak with you for a moment," the teacher said, earning more incomprehensive stares from her class. They were no doubt wondering if their teacher had voices in her head.


"I thought you might be interested in this singing contest being held in town square next week. Your music teacher tells me that you have a wonderful voice."

She shrugged and gazed longingly at the flyer. "I don't know. It's just… I'm not so sure that I have the spare time…"

"You need to stop taking a backseat in life, Karmina. If you want to go to this contest, then find a way."

"I don't think I can get a ride, anyway."

"Then you walk. Karmina, honey, you can't be like this. I know that you want to go, but you're scared. I just don't understand kids these days," she huffed. "Between you and Kaiba, my counseling skills are seeing quite a test this year."

"Kaiba?" Karmina asked before she could stop herself. "What does he have to be unhappy about?"

"You have no idea. He was an orphan, like you, before Gozaboro adopted him for some unknown reason. Too much sorrow in that boy's heart… Ah, but I'm rambling. Just take the flyer, Karmina. And no more staring at the back of Joey's head while I'm talking, okay?"

She sighed. Teachers saw everything. It was just so unfair. There was nothing in the world Karmina wanted more than a friend… but she didn't have the time and she couldn't be friends with a teacher.

"You dropped this," a kind voice said, holding out a purple flyer.

"Thank you," she muttered, taking it from the hand without looking to see who it was. She knew that voice too well. "Joey."

"You know me? I though you were new. But den… I do have a reputation."

New? How could he not know her after going to school together for all those years. "I-I'm Karmina," she stuttered. But he had already walked away, no doubt forgetting who he'd been talking to. No one held her in their mind for very long. No one cared enough to hold her there.

"Can you move any slower?"

A small gasp escaped her lips before she could stop herself. Kaiba was behind her, close enough that his breath was on her neck. She hadn't ever been that close to a guy before.


"Don't say much, do you? Can you even understand what I'm saying? Are you that stupid?"

"Shut up," she snapped, unable to stop herself. She hated being called stupid.

"What did you just say to me?"

"Nothing… I'm sorry… Really… I-I… just… tired…" she fumbled, rushing to her locker, shoving her things into her bag and trying desperately to escape. But when she turned around, there was no one there. He'd nearly broken the record of time someone remembered her. By tomorrow… she's be back to the same old loneliness. Suddenly, she missed having him there to make mean comments.

End note: Hope u like it! Please review ASAP and then I'll post the next chapter.