A/N: Hey guys! This is the first story I've written after going on a seriously long hiatus a few years ago. I didn't think I'd be writing again, but I've been reading way too many fanfictions not to. So yeah, this is a SetoxOC fic; don't like, don't read. Please read and review! This is my first story after a while so I want to make sure that it's worth the time. Please send encouragement and constructive critisism my way! :)

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! but i wish i did. =/


Rising From the Ashes

Seto Kaiba loved his little brother. Really, he did. But today, he was being extremely bothersome.

They were in Seto's office on the fiftieth floor of Kaiba Corp, facing each other. Seto was focused on his laptop and work. Mokuba had come to visit him after school that day to talk to him. It was unusual for the boy to come to the office on a weekday, especially right after school. Set's first thought was that something had happened to Mokuba. So he asked him whether or not there was something wrong.

"Nope!" was the boy's chipper reply.

Seto's second thought was He's up to something.

His thoughts were confirmed when the boy sat heavily on the chair in front of Seto's desk and sighed loudly. Mokuba opened his mouth to speak, but Seto knew what was coming.

"No." he said.

Mokuba's jaw dropped. "No what? You don't even know what I'm going to say!"

Seto chuckled softly. "But I do, which is why I said no."

"You knew I was going to ask you for a dog?" he asked incredulously.

Seto sighed as he looked to his brother. Mokuba Kaiba was now face to face with him, his hands on the ornately decorated Oriental oak desk and his legs standing on what had been a spotless chair just a moment ago. The younger Kaiba's boyish face was scrunched in a grimace that can only be associated with childhood. He glared at his beloved older brother.

"Well then, why not?" the younger Kaiba questioned.

"Mokuba, we are not getting a dog!"

"How 'bout a cat?"

"No."

"What about—"

Seto sighed and leaned back into his black swivel chair. "We're not getting any animals that can't be contained in a sealed tank." He replied. "And that includes reptilian beasts." He added, seeing Mokuba's expression.

The boy sat down properly on the chair he had been standing on. "Why can't I have any pets, Seto?"

"You know very well why not."

Mokuba pondered this. "Fine. So what does that leave me with?"

Seto shrugged and looked at his laptop. "Probably some fish."

"Ugh. I hate fish."

Seto didn't respond. He was completely focused on work again, and it seemed as though nothing could break his concentration. His blue eyes scanned several lines of text on the screen before he began to type aggressively. Incompetency. Must I do everything by myself? His long fingers flew across the keyboard, trying to type as fast as its owner's mind was working.

Mokuba peeked through his long raven colored bangs to look at Seto. He truly admired him—he was the most focused, dedicated, and hard-working person he had ever met. Maybe a bit too hard-working. Seto never seems to have time for me anymore. I was hoping that getting a pet would maybe make him want to come home earlier and not work for so long. Mokuba sighed inwardly. Maybe it was just too much to hope for. Mokuba watched Seto a bit longer before getting fed-up. It was time to take action. I'm going to get Seto out of this office one way or another.

The younger Kaiba stood up suddenly and pounded a small fist on Seto's desk.

"We're going for a walk."

Seto looked up for a brief second. "A walk?"

"Yes. A walk. Outside. Now." He replied, running over to him and tugging on a sleeve. "Come on!"

"Mokuba, can't you see I'm busy?" he asked incredulously, shooing his brother away.

Mokuba looked down sadly. "You never spend time with me anymore." He whispered.

The typing stopped. The young boy had cleverly played the trump card. He knew that his brother wouldn't be able to ignore him now.

Seto looked intently at his brother's sullen form. It was true—he didn't spend nearly as much time with Mokuba as he probably should. The kid's probably lonely.

He sighed and stood, closing his laptop and grabbing his blazer.

Mokuba looked up in anticipation.

"Let's go." Seto said.

Mokuba grinned widely and all but ran to his brother's side in excitement. Finally!

Employees of Kaiba Corporation gawked in wonder as they witnessed their boss leaving his office in the middle of the day. Seto sent them icy glares, which promised instantaneous unemployment to the next person caught gaping at him. This one look alone made the employees scurry back into their original places and busy themselves with work. A few of them couldn't help but smile—Seto Kaiba was human after all.

The Kaiba brothers walked down the long hallway—Seto taking determined strides, and Mokuba sometimes jogging to keep up. They stopped at an elevator at the end of the hall. Mokuba pressed the down button as Seto pulled out his Blackberry and dialed the chauffeur.

"Moore, be at the entrance in five minutes."

-Ding-

The elevator doors slid open and as its occupants came to realize who was standing before them, they jumped out, eagerly giving up their spots for the CEO and his brother. Mokuba smiled appreciatively, but Seto just rolled his eyes.

When they finally strode out the doors and slid into the sleek black KaibaCorp limo, Seto asked Mokuba where he wanted to go. Mokuba had to think for a minute. He was just so happy that he got Seto out of the office that he didn't think of where to go. "Um…maybe the park?"

Seto grimaced inwardly, but said nothing. "Domino Park, Moore."

They rode in silence, each one absorbed in his thoughts. Mokuba was trying to come up with different ideas to convince his brother to leave work at a reasonable hour while, ironically, Seto could think of nothing but work and the piles of paperwork that awaited him upon his return to the office. I have three reports to approve or deny today before the employees leave. Knowing the goons who wrote the report, they're sure to have left countless errors that I'm going to have to fix. Seto sighed. I have all this work to do, yet here I am, going to the park for a walk. At this, he glanced at Mokuba, who was watching the passing scenery. He sighed. He was right. I don't spend as much time with him as I should. He shouldn't have to grow up in KaibaCorp—he should be with people who have time for him, people his age.

"Mr. Kaiba, we've arrived."

Seto looked outside. "I could have told you that myself, Moore." He said coolly.

"My apologies, sir."

The chauffeur came around and opened the door for the brothers. Seto stepped out first and was blinded by the sunlight. He didn't often step outside while the sun was still out; he woke up before dawn to go to work and returned home long past sundown.

Shielding his eyes, Seto surveyed the park. He had donated a generous sum for the development of this very park, but never actually set foot in it afterwards. It was a large expanse of land with winding bike routes, jogging trails, and walking paths. Although located in the middle of the city, the park had nice, healthy looking green grass, trees, and even a small lake. All in all, it was picturesque and a great place to spend the day—if you weren't Seto Kaiba, that is.

Mokuba pulled on Seto's arm and led him to a walking path. "This is the nicest trail, Seto! Let's walk on this one." Seto allowed himself to be pulled onto the walking path.

The two walked side by side on the trail, Mokuba chattering excitedly about school and Seto half-listening, half-observing. The park was actually quite relaxing. Mokuba seemed happy to be there and the people were so absorbed in their own activities to be nosy that Seto made a mental note to maybe come back here again sometime. When he realized that there was nothing worthwhile to look at, Seto's mind drifted back to work-mode and he was lost in thought. His mind drifted back to the reports that were waiting for him.

"Seto!"

I wonder how long I'm going to have to stay at work to correct the mistakes that are sure to be in those reports. Ugh. Why do I even have employees? They just make everything ten times—

"Seto!"

Seto shook himself out of his reverie. "Hm?"

"Your phone is ringing." Mokuba said grouchily. Something told Seto that Mokuba had been trying to get his attention for a while already.

Seto picked up the phone. "Kaiba."

He waited for a response, but there was none. That was odd.

Where's the idiot on the other line?

Wait. Where the hell is my phone?! Seto looked around wildly. The phone was gone!

"Seto!" Mokuba shouted, "that girl took your phone!" He pointed at a girl who was running away at top speed, clutching what looked like Seto's Blackberry in her hands.

At that moment, three burly men in black suits exploded from the bushes behind the Kaibas.

When did the body guards get here? Mokuba wondered, in awe of their stealth.

"We'll get 'er for ya, Mr. Kaiba." One of them said as they began to pursue the culprit.

Mokuba started to run after them, but was stopped by a firm hand on his shoulder.

"Wait." Seto said, watching the men pursue the thief.

For men of their size, they were surprisingly agile and caught up to the girl in no time. One man grabbed the girl around the middle from behind and hauled her into the air.

"Hey!" she shouted. "What the hell? Let go of me!"

The one holding her chuckled. "No can do, thief. Yer gonna be placed under arrest."

She struggled against the man's vice-like grip. "You can't arrest me! You guys aren't even cops! Now let me go!" she yelled, hitting the man wherever she could reach.

"Keep on trying, scrawny." The big man laughed.

"Oh, I'll show you scrawny!"

Needless to say, the little scene had attracted a lot of attention. People who usually minded their own business gathered around in curiosity, making a circle around the three body guards and the thief.

"Well, well, well." Seto smirked, his voice coming from outside the throng of people. "So this is the little girl who thought she was clever enough to steal from me."

The crowd gasped in amazement as they parted and allowed Seto and his brother to step through. What was Seto Kaiba doing in the park like a normal man?

Seto was just glad there were people around just so that he could make a public spectacle of this idiotic girl.

The body guard who held her swung her around quickly so that she can face Seto.

That was a mistake.

As she was being swung around, the girl's leg accidentally kicked the hand of the body guard who held the confiscated Blackberry. It flew into the air and despite several attempts to catch it, the expensive business phone fell to the ground and broke into several pieces. Everyone, including the girl, looked at the mangled device in horror.

"This keeps getting better and better for you, doesn't it?"

The girl looked up at Seto. Her face which had been nearly apologetic, was now scrunched up in distaste.

The body guard who had held the phone fumbled for words. "Mr. Kaiba…I…my apologies, sir—"

Seto held up a hand and looked at the thief, who glared back at him. Her amber eyes did not hide her annoyance at being caught. She glared unfalteringly at the CEO, eyes smoldering with nothing but anger and even hatred. Seto was not impressed. What right did this petty thief have to be glaring at him like that?

"Let her down." Seto said.

The man put the girl down but did not let her go. Surprisingly, she didn't try to escape. Seto walked up to her, his arms folded and his face emotionless. "You stole my phone and broke it." He stated coldly, glaring at her with utter disdain.

The girl did not falter under Seto's harsh stare. "Yeah, so?" she asked, also folding her arms. "What are you going to do about it?"

"I'm not going to do anything. But you are."

She stared at him uncomprehendingly.

"You will be paying for it."

The girl scoffed. "If I could afford to pay for it, I wouldn't have tried to steal one."

"There are other methods of payment." Seto stated simply.

The crowd chuckled nervously.

"So what exactly are you suggesting?" the girl asked, unsure of Seto's intentions.

"You'll be working for me." Seto turned and beckoned to Mokuba. "You're going to be my brother's caretaker."

A ripple of disbelief ran through the crowd. Had Kaiba lost his mind? What was he doing?

The girl's eyes opened wide. "Wh…what?!"

"You heard me."

"Seto!" Mokuba cried. "Are you crazy? I don't need a babysitter! Especially not one like her!"

"The kid's right. Plus, I'm not going to work for you!"

Seto smirked. "I didn't ask for your input, you petty thief. But if you're sure, I'll just call up the police station right now and let them know of this little incident. I'm sure they'll be more than happy to lock you up."

"No!" she cried. She sighed in defeat and mumbled, "You win. I'll look after your brother."

"Good." Seto said. He took a business card out of his pocket. "Be at this address tomorrow at three fifteen sharp."

The girl took the card without looking at it and nodded numbly.

"Come on, Mokuba." Seto said as he turned heel and began walking back the way they came. Mokuba staggered after his brother; he was in shock—what had possessed his brother to hire this random girl? Never mind that; what was he doing hiring a thief? What was going on? Mokuba looked back at the girl—his new caretaker—with confusion written on his face. He turned to look at Seto, who slid into the limo and waited for him. Mokuba sighed and wondered if he'd ever figure it out.


Can't wait to see what happens next? Me neither! Please review and tell me if this is worth continuing. :)