Disclaimer: I do not own yugioh.
Mokuba hummed causally to himself as he drove a silver Lexus towards Domino Elementary and Middle School, on his way to pick up his nephew and niece.
Yes. Shocking, in fact, downright unbelievable as it may seem, Mokuba was an uncle.
Seto Kaiba was a father. He was a happily married, family man.
Perhaps more shocking was his choice for life partner, who was none other than the only female founding member of the "geek squad", Tea Gardner. Exactly when the two had overcome their dislike for each other and developed attraction, no one knew, not even them themselves. But no one really cared either. All that mattered was that both were happy. Mokuba wanted nothing more than a beautiful, loving, caring woman for his brother, and Tea fit the description and then some. From Tea's side, her friends wanted someone reliable, trustworthy, and loyal, and even though some doubted it (Joey, Tristan, and to an extent, Duke), Seto fit that description.
But Seto and Tea didn't care what the others thoughts, mind you. No, all that mattered to them was that they loved each other and wanted to be together. And after 2 years of dating, many fights and trials, Seto mustered up the courage to marry her, or perhaps it was her threat to leave him if he didn't.
Mokuba chuckled at the memory of their wedding, recalling what a nervous wreck Seto was the night before, but on the wedding day, Seto couldn't look surer. And Tea, well, she had always been sure of the happy ending she wanted. And now, they had two kids, an eight year old boy named Seth and a beautiful four year girl named Emiko, the ones Mokuba was on his way to pick up.
He parked the car in the waiting area outside the main entrance of the middle school, where many other parents were waiting for their children to come. Even though many cars were present, Mokuba knew this number was nothing in comparison to the number of cars waiting outside the elementary school building. Domino Elementary and Middle school was one school, but divided into two different buildings located side by side. Domino High was a bit away from them.
Mokuba eyed some of the women who were waiting outside their cars, trying to find someone worth his time. Many women exchanged glances with him, but none were up to his expectations. He sighed. How much longer was he supposed to look?
He was single, having recently broken up with a girl who couldn't meet his standards. When it came to dating, Mokuba was just as choosy as his brother, especially at this stage in his life when he wanted to be in a steady, stable relationship that he could see going somewhere. But so far, no girl had come close to the standard he had set. He didn't have high demands, no. He just wanted her to be like Tea or possess most of her qualities. A smile ghosted on his lips as he recalled telling his brother that, and the reply he had received.
I sincerely hope you don't spend your entire life looking because Tea is one of a kind. And Mokuba couldn't agree more.
Faint noise of children talking reached his ears and he straightened up, shifting his attention from the women to the gate. Soon, children came flooding, all yelling happily and chatting amongst themselves. Mokuba craned his neck to spot a chocolate brown head. He soon landed his eyes on his nephew Seth, walking with two boys. Once Seth saw his uncle, he hurried his steps.
Seth was a spitting image of his father, not just in looks, but in attitude as well, though he lacked the contempt Seto had for the rest of the world, thanks to Tea. Seth was well-behaved, though a bit proud and stubborn.
"Uncle Mokuba, what are you doing here? I thought dad said you couldn't pick us up." Seth said as he reached his uncle. Mokuba chuckled, taking Seth's bag and throwing it in the car.
"Yes. But I spoke with your mom, and she said I deserved another chance, provided that I don't take you to the arcade or for ice-cream after school. You are to report directly to your dictator dad, and after you have done your homework, I can take you out, with their permission of course." Mokuba said with a grin. Seth's face broke into a huge smile.
"Yes." He whooped in joy. "I knew mom would take your side." Mokuba laughed and opened the door of his car.
"Let's go tell the good news to your sister." Seth nodded his head, quickly said goodbye to his friends before getting in the car. Mokuba drove them to the adjacent building. The Elementary School finished at the same time, but it took the children longer to come out because the teachers had to help them pack and make sure they didn't leave anything behind. So Mokuba always picked up Seth before Emiko.
They parked their car and leaned against the door, waiting for Emiko. They tried to look for her, but today they couldn't seem to locate her. Normally, Emiko would be with all her friends, laughing and playing around, and upon spotting them, she would run to them, jump in Mokuba's arm and place a loving kiss on his cheek. But today, he couldn't see her or her group of friends anywhere. He turned to look at Seth and found his eyes still searching for his little sister as well.
"Maybe she is still in class." Mokuba said. "Let's go in to take a look." They walked inside the gates, heads turning to find Emiko. They soon spotted her, standing against the monkey bars, her head bent. Another girl and two boys were standing with her, worried looks on their faces. Sensing that something was wrong, Mokuba quickly walked towards them, Seth hot on his heels.
As they neared the children, they realized that Emiko was crying. Immediately, Seth ran to her.
"Emi, what's wrong?" Seth asked in a concerned tone, but Emiko didn't reply. Her sobs did get stronger though.
"Emi, tell me what happened? Did someone say something bad to you? Did someone hurt you?" Seth desperately tried to get a response from his crying baby sister. Mokuba, however, turned to her friends.
"Do you know what happened?" They shook their heads.
"No. she went to the bathroom, and when she came back, she was crying. She never told us what happened." The girl said. Mokuba nodded and turned to Emiko, kneeling in front of her.
"Emi, sweetie, let's go home." She sniffled loudly and then began walking towards the gate. Mokuba shot a small reassuring smile towards her friends and followed Emi and Seth towards the car. He watched Seth try to get Emi to talk, but fail miserably. He knew how Seth was feeling. Emi was the baby of the house, the little princess. She was pampered and cared for beyond extent, and every effort was made to make sure no tears ever appeared in her eyes. And now, seeing her sobbing was really tearing their heart, and just like Seth, Mokuba wanted nothing more than to find the reason of Emi's tears and fix it no matter what the cost.
Throughout the ride home, Seth continued to try to get Emiko to speak, but she only sobbed, shedding more tears. When they reached home, Emiko quickly ran inside and up the stairs to her room. Seth raced after her and Mokuba after them, leaving behind a baffled maid. Mokuba found Seth outside Emiko's room, a distressed look on his face.
"She locked the door and won't let me in." He said. "What is wrong with her uncle Moki?" Mokuba sighed and ruffled Seth's hair affectionately.
"I don't know Seth, but I'll try to find out." He then turned to the door and called out. "Emi, baby, open the door. I want to talk to you." They got no response.
"Emi, come on. Tell me what's wrong. You're worrying Seth and me."
"No." A loud yell was the response that came from the room. Mokuba frowned. Emi never yelled, or perhaps, never had an occasion or situation come when she had to. Now he really grew worried. What had happened to their Emi?
"Emi, please, won't you tell me what's wrong? Did some kid at school say something to you?" Mokuba asked.
"Tell me Emi and I'll hit him for you. I'll make him cry and make him apologize to you." Seth growled, already imagining inflicting hurt on the wretch who brought tears to his baby sister's eyes. Mokuba placed a hand on his shoulder to calm him.
"Emi-." Mokuba began, but her yell cut him off.
"No. I don't want to talk to you. Leave me alone." Seth looked horrified at what Emi had just said. Even Mokuba could not stomach her words or the way she had yelled them. She had always been so loving and friendly towards everyone, especially her family.
"Seth, come with me." Mokuba said, leading him away from Emi's room.
"But uncle Moki, Emi is…" Seth said, resisting Mokuba's hold.
"I know Seth." Mokuba said with a frown. "I'll call your parents. Maybe she will talk to them. They will know what to do. You should go eat something, or at least, change your uniform." Seth barely seemed to be listening as he kept turning his head in the direction of Emi's room. Mokuba finally got him to his room to change. He then went to the nearest phone and dialed Seto's cell phone. He knew only a handful of chosen people knew that number, and Seto never ignored a call on his cell.
But Mokuba wasn't worried about Seto not taking the call. He was more worried about Seto taking it and his reaction to the situation. Seto Kaiba was invincible, but he had one weakness, and that was Emiko. Seto loved all his family members to death, but Emi had a special place in his heart. She could get away with things no one could. She was daddy's little princess and Seto treated her as such, giving her anything that she wanted. He made every effort to make her happy, and finding out that Emi was crying would devastate him. Mokuba hoped Seto would remain calm and handle this situation without creating a big ruckus.
Mokuba heard a click and knew Seto had picked up the phone.
"Hello." Soon, Seto's voice came from the other side.
"Seto, it's me." Mokuba said, trying to keep the worry out of his voice.
"No Mokuba, you can't take them to the arcade, or the park, or anywhere until they have finished their homework." Seto said.
"That's not why I was calling. Emi…" Mokuba struggled with words. "Something is wrong with Emi."
"What?" Seto said in an alarmed voice. "What is wrong with her? Is she hurt? Is she there with you? What happened?" Seto's voice had gotten louder by the end and Mokuba knew he was panicking.
"She is not hurt, at least not physically as far as I can tell. But she has been crying ever since I went to get her. She was crying then and none of her friends knew what was wrong with her."
"Emi is crying?" Mokuba could feel the distress in Seto's voice as he spoke.
"I've tried asking her, but she has locked herself in her room and won't come out or talk. Seth is really worried too."
"I'll be there right away." Seto said. "Did you call Tea?"
"No, I'm going to call her right now." Mokuba said.
"Okay. Tell Seth not to worry." Seto said before hanging up. Mokuba sighed. Where Emi was concerned, one couldn't help but worry. Mokuba then dialed Tea's cell and explained the situation to her. Tea's reaction was even worse than Seto and Mokuba could hear other people in dance studio asking her if everything was okay. She too promised to get home from the dance studio as soon as possible. When that was done, Mokuba went to Seth's room to check on him, but found him before Emiko's room in changed clothes.
"Still nothing?" Mokuba questioned and Seth miserably shook his head. Mokuba sighed and placed an assuring hand on Seth's shoulder.
"Don't worry Seth. Your parents are on their way."
"But why would Emi do this uncle Moki?" Seth asked in a confused voice. "Why won't she tell us?" Mokuba could understand Seth's distress. Emiko loved Seth, and even as an infant had shown particular attachment to him. She would follow him everywhere, listen to him, and do whatever he asked her to do. And now, she refused to even talk to him.
"I don't know Seth. Let's just wait for Seto and Tea." Both waited in silence. They didn't have to wait for long because soon they heard running footsteps followed by Tea's worried face appearing. Seth quickly straightened up, turning towards her.
"Mom, I really tried to talk to her, but she won't answer. She said she didn't want to talk to me or uncle Moki." Tea's heart lurched at the pain in her son's voice. She gave him a small hug and smiled tenderly.
"Don't worry sweetie. It's probably nothing big. Emi will be out of that room and bothering you in no time that you'll wish she was back in the room." With that said, Tea stood in front of the door.
"Emi, baby, its mommy. Open the door." She cooed. Where there was silence in the room before, now sobs could be heard. Tea's voice had elicited fresh tears in Emi's eyes. Tea's heart cried out simultaneously at hearing her little daughter's cries.
"Emi, what is wrong? Tell mommy please." The calm facade abandoned, she begged. Emi only cried harder. At that moment, they were joined by Seto who quickly joined Tea.
"Emi, it's me." Seto said in a commanding voice. "Open the door."
"No. I am not going to open the door and you can't make." Emi yelled from inside the room. Seto frowned.
"Emi, I am your dad so I can make you open the door. Now I will ask again, open-."
"You're not my dad." Emi yelled. Tea let out a loud gasp at Emi's words. Seto's face seemed to have frozen, along with the rest of his body. Seth's mouth was open in shock and Mokuba looked like he had something stuck in his throat.
"Emi… what… what are you saying? Of course he is your dad and I am your mom." Tea said, her heart beating frantically.
"You are lying." Emi said from behind the door. "You are not my parents. I know." Tea quickly grabbed the handle, turning it desperately to open it as she spoke.
"Emi… it's not true. Of course we are your parents. Emi please open the door." Her voice broke down slightly and Seto stepped forward to place a comforting hand on Tea's shoulder.
"Emi, who put that rubbish in your head?" Seto asked in a surprisingly calm voice.
"It's not rubbish." Emi maintained. "It's true. I heard it from my teacher, Miss Leah. She was talking to our new vice principal and I heard them say that you were my step-parents. They said I was adopted." Emi screamed the last part before her heartbroken sobs continued. Tea desperately banged her hand against the door, all the while trying the lock.
"Emi, sweetie, that's not true. Believe me." Tea said, trying not to cry in front of Seth who seemed unusually pale.
"You are lying again. I won't believe you anymore. You are liars and you are not my parents."
"Emi-." Tea began speaking, but Seto beat her to it.
"Yes, it's true." He said, shocking everyone. "We are not your real parents."
Tea looked at him with an expression nothing less than that of a deer caught in headlights, a look of utter disbelief. Seth seemed like he had trouble breathing, and Mokuba, well, Mokuba just looked tired now.
"You… you are… not my… parents?" Even thought Emi had already said that and had sounded sure of it, Seto's words seemed to have elicited disbelief in her. It was as if she wanted them to continue denying it, to never accept it. Their words brought new cries.
"Seto… what…?" Tea said, looking at him, betrayal etched on her face. He rubbed his eyes in a tired fashion and spoke.
"We knew this day was going to come one day. We knew we were going to have to deal with this. Let's just get this over with."
"But… but she is not ready yet. We can't." Tea said desperately. Seto knew what Tea was trying to say. Emi was too young. Such information could have lasting effects on their relationship. But what else could be done at this point?
"We have no choice." Seto said. "We can't hide it any longer. Let's just put our faith in her and see what happens." Seto then turned to the door.
"Yes Emi, you are adopted. We adopted you from the Domino Orphanage. We had only gone to donate some money and check the state of the orphanage, but then we met you."
"We are so honored that you came to visit us Mr. and Mrs. Kaiba." A woman in her late thirties named Loretta, said as she walked in front of the pair. She was the Chairman of the orphanage.
"We just wanted to check the state of the orphanage, to make sure the children were being taken care of." Tea replied with a smile.
"Of course. With the generous donations we receive from you and your friends, the orphanage is doing better than it has ever. The children and we are very grateful to you. Thank you once again for all your help and support. I truly am thankful from the bottom of my heart." The woman said sincerely.
"Well, we have a child, so we feel it's our responsibility to help out these children. Even if they are not our children, we want to make sure they are given every opportunity in life to succeed." Tea said. They entered a large hall which seemed to be the playing area for small children.
"Many of these toys were a recent gift from your friend Mr. Motou. The children love him." Tea nodded while Seto grunted. "If you follow me, I can show you the renovations we have done to some rooms and the new furniture we bought." The woman said.
"You go ahead." Seto said. "I'll stay here." Tea seemed surprised, but decided to let him be and walked out after the woman. Seto looked around at the mass of kids and toys. Some of the kids had looked at them when they had arrived, but soon returned to their toys and activities, ignoring him, which was fine by Seto. Even though he had a child of his own, an adorable and intelligent boy by the name of Seth, Seto still wasn't comfortable with other people, least of all children. Seth was an exception; Seto always said and will say that. Other children, well they could be a handful. This was a radical changed of view from before his marriage and having a child when, to him, all children were nothing more than loud, obnoxious, careless, annoying, rude, and disrespectful creatures. Now, they were tolerable.
His personal musings were interrupted by a slight weight on his foot. Looking down, he saw a small girl playing with his shoe laces. She pulled on a string and giggled loudly when the lace continued to extend, and the knot came undone. She clapped with her small, chubby hands and looked up at him. Seto was met with big, grey eyes sparkling at him. For some reason, his eyes immediately softened.
"What are you doing? Don't you want to play with your friends?" He said. The girl giggled and crawled over to his other foot, her chubby hands going for those laces.
"No, no." Seto chided, sitting down in front of her. She was no older than 4 or five months, he assumed. "Don't untie my laces." He said, tying his laces together. The little girl watched him with fascination, and as soon as he was done, her small hands reached for the laces. Seto watched with an amused smile as she undid them again, giggling at the same time. When she was done, she looked up at him, shooting him a brilliant smile. This time, Seto did not tie the laces back. He knew the child would untie them again. When the girl didn't get the reaction she wanted or expected, she pulled on his pant leg, babbling in baby language.
"What?" Seto said. "You want me to tie them again? Now why should I do that?" The girl just smiled and pulled on his leg again. She was a persistent one. Smiling, Seto sat down again and re-tied his shoelaces.
"You know, you are lucky you are a baby. Otherwise you would be succumbing to my wrath." The child shot him a confused look, but soon decided that whatever he was saying wasn't as interesting as his shoelaces, and diverted her attention back to the shoes. Tired of the same game, Seto picked the child up, surprising the girl and him.
"Seeing your love of laces, I'm beginning to wonder if you are a cat in disguise." The girl made a confused face at his words, but then her eyes caught his shinny, silk tie and she began fingering it. Seto didn't know why, but the feel of her balanced on his arms felt surprisingly normal. While the baby girl was busy playing with his tie, Seto studied her carefully. She was definitely around 5 months of age. She had shiny black hair that framed her round, chubby face. Her eyes were grey, large, and very shiny, like crystals or diamonds. A small button nose and full lips also adorned her face. All in all, she was a beautiful child. Seto wondered how she had befallen such a fate as to land in an orphanage. He could feel pity for the little girl, which was saying something since he never felt pity for anyone or anything.
"I leave for a few minutes and you find yourself another girl? How rude is that?" Tea's amused voice reached his ears. Lost in thoughts, he had failed to notice her arrival, along with the Chairman of the orphanage. Seto glared at Tea who shot him a cheeky smile and walked closer. As soon as she laid her eyes on the little girl, she melted.
"Aww, such a cute baby." Tea cooed. "No wonder you got Seto's attention. He is a sucker for a pretty face." The baby girl giggled as Seto made a sour face and grabbed Seto's nose in her small hands. Tea could not help but laugh at the scene. Seto froze for a second before carefully and gently removing the girl's hand from his nose.
"No, don't do that. It's not nice." He said in a fatherly manner.
"Wow, you must be really special to not get even a glare." Tea said to the giggling baby.
"This is Emiko." The woman beside Tea said with a small smile. "She was recently brought here, after her mother was found dead from painkiller overdose. Her father had died a few months earlier. They had come from a different country as refugees and knew no one. No relative could be traced so she was brought here." Tea felt her heart go to the small girl. Maternal instincts kicking in, she reached for the girl who put up no resistance as Seto shifted her from his arms to Tea's.
"Oh you poor thing." Tea said as she hugged the child.
"It is quite tragic what happened to her. But even at such a young age, Emiko has coped with the tragedy quite nicely. Other children brought here cry a lot in the beginning, wanting their parents or a familiar face. It is very hard for them to try to adjust here and make friends. But Emiko didn't cry when she was brought here. She initially did seem to look for her mother, but the search ended in a few days, and Emiko accepted her new life. She has adjusted quite nicely now, and is a very friendly child, as you can tell." Seto nodded solemnly while Tea just held the girl tighter.
"Have there been any people looking to adopt her?" Seto asked and the woman shook her head.
"Her parents reportedly fled their country from threat of murder. No one wants to adopt her because they think it will endanger them." Seto frowned and Tea huffed.
"How stupid is that. Some people can be so ridiculous." The woman sighed.
"Emiko still has time. She is quite young. Hopefully, some people will look past that and adopt her. She truly is a special child and I can't hope but want a happy ending for her." Tea nodded in agreement. No one said anything for a while, and the only sounds in the room were the children playing and Emiko as she touched Tea's necklace.
"If you will come with me, we can sign the donation papers." The woman said. Seto nodded his head and turned to Tea who stood her ground.
"You go ahead. I want to stay here and play with Emiko for a while. Besides, it can work with only your signatures." Seto nodded and left. Tea turned her attention to Emiko.
"You really are special. You seem to have caught my heart and Seto's in a moment. And trust me when I say this, that man's heart is impossible to get a hold of. It took me months." Emiko smiled at Tea and pulled on her necklace.
"You like shinny things?" Tea asked Emiko with a smile, and got a giggle in response. "Maybe next time when I come, I'll bring you something. A pretty girl like you should have as many pretty things as she likes." Tea said as she began brushing Emiko's hair with her fingers. Emiko followed Tea's example and grabbed Tea's silky strands in her small hair. Tea laughed at her antics. This girl, she was beyond adorable.
Tea continued to play with Emiko until Seto returned and announced it was time for them to leave. Tea didn't know why but she found it hard to let go of Emiko. She looked into her grey eyes and felt herself become utterly powerless and unable to do anything. As if sensing the situation, Emiko grabbed the front of Tea's shirt tightly, snuggling her head in her chest.
"I… she…" Tea could barely make an excuse for not letting Emiko go. Finally Loretta stepped forward.
"I'll take Emiko from you." She said and grabbed Emiko's arms, trying to pry her off Tea. Emiko let out a protest and tightened her grip on Tea.
"Emiko is friendly but she never shows this much attachment in such a short amount of time." Loretta said and applied more force to get the child to let go. Emiko resisted harder, letting out a cry when her body was separated from Tea's.
"Seto, can't we stay a little bit longer?" Tea said, watching Emiko struggle in Loretta's grip.
"We can't. We have to get Seth from Yugi's place." Seto said, eyes watching Emiko. Tea's face fell and she lowered her gaze.
"Oh, right." She said in a small, dejected voice. "Okay, let's go." She quickly turned, not sparing Loretta or Emiko another glance and walked out. Seto stood there for a moment, watching Emiko extend her arms towards him to pick her up. He watched her eyes fill with tears when he made no such move. He watched her lean forward desperately towards him, babbling in her baby language, trying to communicate with him. And when he could watch no more, he turned on his heel and walked out, not bothering to glance at the broken child who now buried her face in Loretta's neck.
Seto watched Tea come out of the bathroom, dressed in her nightgown and climbed in bed beside Seto who seemed to be looking over some papers. She lay beside him and snuggled into his side. He moved one arm and wrapped it around her, bringing her close. She rested her head on his chest, listening to his steadily beating heart, but her eyes had a far-away look.
"What is on your mind?" He asked. She looked up at him for a few moments before shaking her head.
"Nothing." Seto sighed. He had a pretty good idea what she was thinking about. After all, he was thinking about the same thing, or more appropriately, the same person. For some reason, he could not shake the image of Emiko extending her arms towards him to hold her. The look in her eyes was etched in his memory, and even work hadn't been able to erase it.
With one last look at the papers, Seto placed them on the night stand and pulled Tea on top of him.
"You're thinking about that little girl we saw today at the orphanage." He said. Tea didn't reply for a while.
"I can't help myself." She finally said. "She held onto me so tightly. She didn't want me to let go of her, and I did. I feel so guilty about it. I feel like in some way, I betrayed her and hurt her." He held her tighter in his embrace. "When I went to put Seth to bed, I couldn't help but wonder if there was someone to put Emiko to bed too, if she had someone to kiss her goodnight. I…" her voice seemed to break down and she stopped talking. Seto rubbed her back soothingly to comfort her. No one said anything for a while, and silence reigned supreme.
"Let's adopt her." Tea lifted her head from his chest and stared at him in shock, mouth wide open, and eyes even wider.
"Wh… what?" She stuttered in disbelief. Seto smiled slightly.
"I said, let's adopt her." He repeated. "I know you want to as well."
"Yes but… I thought… you…" She couldn't formulate proper sentences. Seto had to be convinced by Tea, Mokuba, and their friends to have a child, and everyone had assumed that Seth would be their only child. And even though Seto gave generously to orphanages and had a soft spot for orphans, he had never shown any interest in adoption. That is why Tea hadn't dared mention it to him even though it had been on her mind. And now Seto had suggested it himself? You couldn't blame her to be a little surprised.
"I know what you are thinking." Seto said. "But I also know how you feel about Emiko." He looked away. "The truth is, I feel the same. I haven't been able to forget about her either. She looked at me with such love in her laughing eyes, and touched me so tenderly with her small hands, and I caused tears to come to those beautiful eyes. I feel like I abandoned her too." He sighed and looked back into Tea's eyes. "I have too many other things in life that I regret. I don't want to add this to the list. Emiko is special. She deserves all the happiness in the world, and I think we can give that to her."
"Oh Seto, I love you so much." Tea said throwing her arms around his neck and hugging him tightly. "This is a great decision. I am so proud of you."
"I will talk to Loretta tomorrow about the process. We will try to get this done as quietly and quickly as possible."
"Thank you Seto." Tea said, from her place on his chest. "I know Emiko will make a great daughter."
"I have spoken with Loretta. There will be no complications in the adoption process since no living relatives of Emiko can be traced. It will be kept quiet to not draw too much media attention. We'll get plenty of that once it is all done." Seto told Tea as they lay in bed the next night. Tea nodded her head, snuggling deeper into his embrace.
"I can't believe this is actually happening. We are going to have a daughter." Tea said excitedly, and Seto couldn't help but chuckle at her excitement. Even though they already had a child, Seth was very much like Seto. Plus he was a boy, and so Tea never got to shop for him or do his hair etc. Seto figured that was why she was so thrilled about having a daughter.
"She will fit perfectly in our family, I just know it." She said.
"I already told Mokuba and he says he can't wait to meet his niece." Seto said, running his fingers through her hair. "This reminds me. We have to talk to Seth about it."
"Oh yeah." Tea agreed. "Maybe we can take him with us to meet her once before we bring her home. That way, we will know if Seth is okay with this too."
"Hmm." Seto agreed.
"Seth sweetie, your daddy and I need to talk to you." Tea said as a four year old Seth entered the car. Both Seto and Tea had gone to pick him up, and the child was ecstatic.
"Okay." He said, moving closer to his mom as the driver began driving the car again. Tea shared a look with Seto before speaking.
"Sweetie, how would you like to have a little sister?" Tea said tentatively. Seth's eyes widened and Tea's heart beat furiously. She had feared that Seth may not take nicely to this suggestion. He had been the only child for so long and had grown used to getting all the attention and all the love. What if he didn't want to share any of it? With dread resting in her heart, she waited for his response.
"A sister?" Seth repeated.
"Yes. A baby sister to play with." Tea said. Suddenly Seth was bouncing on the seat in joy.
"Yay, I'm going to have a baby sister. Yay." All fears evaporated, Tea joined Seth in the celebration by laughing cheerily.
"I am going to have a baby sister. Roni has a brother and they always play together, and when I go to their house, they always team up." Seth babbled happily. "But now I'm going to have a sister and we can team up."
"Yes sweetie." Tea said, exchanging a smile with Seto.
"I'm going to teach her how to play all my video games, and then I'm going to teach her how to play soccer, and basketball, and how to roller-blade, and how to make a snow man, and we can both wrestle uncle Moki and win." Seth yelled loudly in joy and Tea laughed again. "When is she coming?"
"She will come home in a few days, but we are going to see her right now so you can meet her." Seto said.
"Really? I'm going to meet her now?" Seth couldn't believe what he was hearing. Tea laughed and kissed his cheek.
"Yes. And it looks like we are here." They got out of the car and Tea held Seth's hand as they entered the building. They met with Loretta who greeted an excited Seth and led them to the children's play room. This was Seto and Tea's second visit this week, and would be their second meeting with Emiko. They wondered if the child still remembered them.
"Where is she?" Seth said as he looked at the playing children. The others joined the search. Tea was the one who spotted the small child crawling towards them.
"Look, there she is." She pointed out to Seth who eagerly turned his head.
"Her?" He said in a somewhat disappointed voice. "But she is so small." Seto chuckled.
"Of course she is. She is a baby."
"But I can't play with her. She can't even walk. How can I play any games with her?" Seth whined. Tea kneeled before him.
"Oh sweetie, trust me. You'll get to play many games with her, so many that you'll wish she will give you a break." During that time, Emiko had covered the distance and reached them, her eyes focused on Seto's shoes. They watched in amusement as she pulled on Seto's laces, giggling in delight as the laces came undone. With a fond smile, Seto sat down and picked up the baby.
"Hello again. I see that you remember me." Emiko giggled again and grabbed his nose. Seth laughed.
"She is funny." He said, watching her play with Seto's collar. Seto kneeled on the floor in front of Seth.
"Seth, say hi to Emiko, your new baby sister." Tea said with a gentle smile. Seth only stared at Emiko who was too engrossed in Seto's tie now.
"Emiko, look at him." Seto said to the little girl who looked up at him and then at Seth. She shot Seth a smile.
"See, she likes you." Tea said to Seth who was back to being happy.
"I have all the legal documents ready Mr. and Mrs. Kaiba." Loretta said. Seto nodded his head and placed Emiko on the floor. She put up some protest when she lost contact with him but Seth was quick to gain her attention. Tea smiled at her son's quick thinking.
"We'll be back soon Seth. While we are gone, you can play with Emiko." Seto said. Seth nodded, watching his parents leave. Tea and Seto quickly signed the necessary papers and walked back to the play room to find Seth and Emiko happily laughing. Seth was busy pushing Emiko who was sitting in a toy car. Their giggles filled Tea and Seto's heart with joy. Tea walked towards them, interrupting their game and picking up Emiko.
"Looks like you guys are having fun." She said and Seth nodded his head excitedly. "Well, it's time for us to go home Seth."
"Okay, let's go." Seth said and began walking towards the door. Tea stood up and hugged Emiko who snuggled into her embrace.
"I am going now baby, but soon, you'll be with us and won't ever have to be away." She whispered gently before handing her off to Loretta, who, once again, struggled to pry the child off Tea. Seth, who had been causally walking, turned.
"Why are we leaving Emiko? Isn't she coming with us?" He asked Seto in confusion.
"Not yet." Seto said.
"But why?" Seth complained. "She is my sister now. She has to live with us, right?" Seto kneeled before the child and smiled.
"Yes. But we don't have a room for Emiko yet." He said. "Once we decorate the room, the baby can come." Seth seemed unsure.
"But she can sleep in uncle Moki's room. He is not here."
"Uncle Mokuba's room is not for a baby. Don't worry. We will have a room ready soon." Seth nodded and watched as Emiko began crying. Tea joined them with a strained face.
"Let's go." She said and they quickly left.
"Is Seth ready for bed?" Seto said, walking into Seth's room where Tea was tucking him in.
"Yes." Tea said, leaning down to kiss him on the forehead before standing up.
"Good night sweetie." She said before walking out of the room, but stopped when she noticed Seto was not following her. She raised a questioning eyebrow at him.
"I want to speak to Seth alone for a moment." Seto said with a smile. Tea seemed a bit surprised, but nodded her head and left, closing the door behind her. When the door completely shut, Seto turned to Seth's bed where the kid lay slightly tense.
"Don't worry, you're not in trouble." Seto said with a smile and the child visibly relaxed. "I want to speak to you about Emiko." Seth's face brightened.
"Mom said she is coming home tomorrow. Isn't that great?"
"Yes it is." Seto said. "Seth, I want to talk to you, man to man." Seto's voice took on a serious tone and immediately, Seth became alert. "Emiko is a new member of our family. We are adopting her but that doesn't make her any less lovable or special to us. She is just as important to us as you or your uncle Mokuba, and just as I say that I will always protect you, mommy, and uncle Mokuba, I will always protect her too." Seth nodded and Seto continued. "You are going to be a big brother now. Do you know the responsibilities of a big brother?" Seth blushed in embarrassment and shook his head. Seto smiled and kneeled besides his son's bed, running his fingers affectionately through his hair.
"A big brother always protects his little sister. He makes sure no one hurts her, and no one makes her cry. He tries to make her happy, and always looks out for her. He is always there for her when she needs him. Can you do that for Emiko Seth? Can you be her big brother?" Seth nodded his head, the trademark Kaiba determination shinning in his eyes.
"I'll be the best big brother ever." Seto kissed his forehead and whispered.
"I know you will be. Good night Seth."
"The thought of adoption never crossed our mind." Seto said.
"But when we met you, we knew we couldn't live without you." Tea said is a soft voice. "The moment we met you, we knew you were meant to be our daughter. It's true that we are not your birth parents, but that doesn't mean we love you any less than Seth. We have always tried to make you happy, and have always wanted and done what is best for you."
"I know you are angry because we hid this from you, but we were going to tell you." Seto said. "We were just waiting for the right time." They waited for a response from behind the door but none came.
"Emi, you can think of us as whatever you want, but to us, you will always be our family, our daughter, mommy's little angel, and daddy's little princess, and we will always love you, no matter what." Tea had barely finished when the door was thrown open and Emiko ran into Tea, tightly hugging her legs.
"I love you mommy." She cried. Tea quickly kneeled, engulfing the distressed child into her loving and protective embrace.
"I love you too honey." She said.
"I'm sorry I locked the door and didn't open. And I'm sorry that I was rude. I thought you didn't love me." Emi said, wiping her tearing eyes.
"Why would you think that?" Tea said, taking a tissue out of her bag to wipe Emi's nose.
"Because if I am adopted, that means you are my step-mom. And in Cinderella, the step-mom was mean and evil, and same with Snow White. Their step-moms didn't love them, so I thought you didn't love me too." Tea couldn't help but laugh at her daughter's innocent logic. She exchanged a glance with a now smiling Seto.
"Emi that was a story. Stuff like that is not true." Seto assured her. "Besides, both Snow White and Cinderella had ugly moms. And your mom is not ugly." Emi nodded her head.
"Yes, mommy is pretty." Tea smiled and kissed Emi.
"We love you Emi, all of us."Seto said, taking Emi from Tea's arms. "Never forget that, no matter what anyone says." Emi wrapped her arms around his neck and nodded.
"I love you too, and I'm sorry." Seto kissed the side of her head. Apology accepted.
"I'm sorry uncle Mokuba and Seth." Emi said, turning to them.
"I will forgive you if you finish your homework fast and help me beat Seth in the new video game I brought with me. His boasting is really getting on my nerves." Mokuba said with a wink.
"No Emi." Seth immediately spoke. "You have to help me beat uncle Moki first at all the games he has records in."
"You can't ask her after I asked her already." Mokuba said, turning to Seth.
"Yes I can. She is my sister." Seth retorted.
"Yes, but I asked her first. And she is my niece." Mokuba argued back.
"How about we all go out some place fun, as a family?" Tea suggested. They all turned to her.
"Yes. I can finish work by the time you will finish your homework and we can go out." Seto agreed.
"Where do you guys want to go?" Tea asked. Seth and Emi exchanged a glance before yelling Kaiba Land together. Seto chuckled.
"Fine. Your mom and I will be back soon. You guys finish your homework and get ready. Okay?" Both nodded. Seto kissed Emi on the forehead and placed her on the floor where she quickly joined Seth and Mokuba as they began walking towards the kids study room. Seto and Tea watched them leave.
"Now I know what they mean by the phrase 'they grow up so fast'." Seto said.
"I can't believe this just happened." Tea said as she let out a deep breath, leaning against Seto's side in a tired manner. "I didn't want this day to come for another 10 years, maybe more." Seto wrapped his arm around Tea.
"Ten years or later, it was going to come." Seto said. "At least it's over now and we don't have to worry about it anymore. Besides, Emi handled it quite nicely."
"Yes." Tea said with a fond smile on her face. "We did raise an amazing child. I'm so glad that we adopted her." Seto pulled her into his chest so she was facing him.
"Me too. She is one of the two women in my life I am thankful to have."
"And who is the other chosen one?" Tea said feigning innocence. Seto leaned forward and kissed her.
"Seto." Tea said, hitting him lightly on his arm. Seto just chuckled and kissed her again.
"Come on. Let's go back to work so we can finish fast and take the kids out. I want today to be memorable." Tea separated herself from him and began walking.
"Well the day might be, but don't expect anything from night." Seto laughed again.
"It's not a problem. My secretary can work overtime." Another yell of 'Seto' echoed in the hallways followed by masculine laughter. On the other end of the hallway, childish voices rang, yelling in joy, followed by Mokuba's yells of 'stop tickling me'. Seto and Tea stopped and turned their heads in the direction the voices had come from, sharing a small smile.
Things had officially gone back to normal.
This idea had been in my head for over a year now, but being the lazy person I am, I never got around to immortalizing it in writing :D
But here it is. Hope you guys enjoyed it. I was planning to make it a two-shot, coz I thought it was too long to be a one-shot. But I didn't want to keep you guys waiting for an update so... yeah.
Do review and let me know what you think. I'd appreciate constructive criticisms because I know one-shots are not my strength, which is a nicer way of saying that I suck at them.
So plz review.