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"Mama can't adopt you," Her large blue eyes fell, as if she were saddened by the thought and Seto felt butterflies in his stomach and his words caught in his throat at her look, "But, it doesn't mean I can't call you Nii-san, right?" Her smile was so big and cute and pleading that Seto felt he couldn't say no, even if the butterflies turned into dread.
"Yes, you can," He answered with a stiff and small smile, unable to pat her on the head like he usually did in his awkward way when she hugged him tightly, "But," Seto swallowed roughly, looking away when Kagome glanced at him with blinking eyes, "Why do you want to call me Nii-san?"
"Because wouldn't it be fun if you were my real brother?" The girl sounded so excited, "We could play all the time and stuff." She said with confidence, unaware of the internal conflict within Seto.
"But if I'm your brother," Seto began hesitantly, so quietly that he could barely hear himself, "We could never be anything more." He muttered, closing his eyes when Kagome leaned into him.
"What? I couldn't hear you!" Kagome giggled, resting her head on his shoulder and Seto stiffened at the close physical contact.
"It's nothing." He mumbled, growing irritated as Kagome insisted on calling him 'Nii-san'.
However, he could never take it out on her – after all, she was his only real friend...
"Wow! That's a lot of stairs!" Mokuba observed with wide eyes, glancing at Kaiba for his reaction, "Did you even contact them beforehand?" He asked, sulking a bit as they started up the many steps to Higure Shrine.
"No," Kaiba replied coldly, taking the steps faster than he really needed to. It was obvious that Mokuba was having trouble with keeping up, but Kaiba ignored it at the moment, "It will be a surprise donation."
"Do you think that they will remember you?" Mokuba asked curiously, panting a bit as he struggled to keep in stride with his older brother, "Kagome, I mean. That was her name, right?" He had no doubt that the counsellor would easily remember them.
That was the question that had Seto on edge, "I don't know." He simply answered, his outward expression not changing from his impassive standard. He wasn't sure what to even do, perhaps introduce himself as Kaiba? Or Seto, as she knew him?
'Or I should just see the girl quickly and give her the money. That way my dreams won't bother me anymore and I can just go on with my life.' Seto thought, seemingly settling on that idea, though something tightened in his stomach at just leaving and never seeing the girl again.
"How do they do it everyday?" Mokuba panted harshly, his breath on low supply as they finally reached the top. Kaiba didn't really show it, but Mokuba knew he was slightly tired from the numerous stairs as well, "I'm so tired!"
Kaiba glanced around with his keen blue eyes, not surprised at how serene it was at the shrine. He narrowed his eyes as he heard a low appealing hum and realised it was coming closer to them.
"Oh! Can I help you?"
Kaiba immediately stiffened at the very familiar voice and his eyes landed on a teenage girl a few years younger than him with a gentle and kind smile on her pretty face.
He recognised her instantly.