Nyeeh. Thanks to YamiShiningFriendship for beta-ing and the title.
The first, and only, happy memories she had of her father weren't actually of the man himself. It was of his trench coat.
Even though she couldn't remember his face, she remembered how, for the first two years of her life, he would swing her up into his arms and that coat would sway, as she would watch it. And long after she'd forgotten his face, his touch, the sound of his laugh, she'd never forgotten that trench coat, how white it was, how stiff to the touch, yet the softest fabric in her world. It smelled like him. Clean. She'd loved that coat of his.
He'd left them when she was two. But he'd left that coat behind.
She hated him for leaving them, abandoning them like that. She didn't understand why he had.
When her mother died and she was left alone, she hated him even more. For not coming for her, letting her be placed in the orphanage.
It made her wonder if he'd ever loved her.
But she kept the trench coat. It was all she had of his, to remind her that he must have at least cared about her once, if not loved her.
She kept that coat for years. Her whole life, really. The white faded to gray, the soft fabric became worn and thin.
She'd see him on TV often, but the man on TV never matched the faceless man with the trench coat in her memories.
She met him just once when she was sixteen, and asked her questions. The ones she'd been burning to ask since the day she'd understood that Daddy wouldn't be coming home.
She never received a satisfactory answer.
She never came face to face with him again after that, except in her dreams and in her memories.
But always, in her memories, Seto Kaiba was a faceless man.
A man with a white trench coat, swinging her into his arms amidst the sound of a child's laughter.