When I started "Paved with Good Intentions" two years ago, the idea behind it was that it would become a one-shot collection. It quickly became something much bigger than that; so big that it's become difficult to work out.

While I make strides on completing the first major story arc of GI, I decided to start a side project to keep my mind in the game while I work through the tedium that is revision, and hopefully to keep you all entertained.

Welcome to what "Paved with Good Intentions" was supposed to be.

Enjoy your stay.

"If you could have one wish…like, if a genie showed up and offered to give you one thing…what would you wish for?"

The two boys were sitting on a cracked, well-worn curb on the outskirts of the East Rivers Middle School parking lot, waiting for their respective rides. Mokuba Kaiba sat with his legs splayed out in front of him. His well-made but scuffed and battered sneakers, and his faded blue-jeans, belied the fact that he was probably the richest kid in Domino City. He also wore a custom-made t-shirt—purchased from his brother's fan club, of all places—with a picture emblazoned on the front of the richest man in Domino City. Seto Kaiba glared at everyone who looked at him, arms crossed above thick block lettering that read: HE'S MINE. YOU CAN'T HAVE HIM.

Connor Brinkley, on the other hand, looked the part of the rich kid far more effectively than Mokuba did. His parents weren't struggling but they weren't exactly wealthy, especially compared to the Kaibas. Connor, nonetheless, was dressed in clean khakis, brown loafers, a polo shirt and a thick brown jacket. Unadorned, professional…awkward. Where Mokuba's long black hair was shaggy and unkempt—he'd combed it that morning, honest—Connor's was short(er), cut at the nape of his neck, straight and tidy and very blond. Too blond, Mokuba thought sometimes.

Like, Draco Malfoy blond. Which…was seriously blond.

Huh, the young Kaiba thought idly. Does that make me Crabbe? Or Goyle?

"A wish?" Mokuba asked, raising a curious eyebrow. Connor leaned toward him, eager and interested. "I…don't know, really. You go first. Show me how it's done."

Connor frowned. He rubbed his thin chin, and seemed to be fighting with himself. Finally, after looking at his friend's face for a long moment, he said, "I…I think I'd like to…meet Benjamin Franklin." He averted his gaze almost immediately. "It's…stupid. I know. But…"

But Mokuba was smiling, and in the back of his mind he was putting a note on his mental to-do list: Ask Niisama if he can use his pod holograms to make a virtual Ben Franklin. He said, "No, that's cool. Ah…I think…my mom and dad."

Connor flinched. "Oh…I…um…" He seemed clearly unsure of what to make of that statement, and wanted to say something comforting. He couldn't. And honestly, Mokuba was glad. He'd never known his parents, and didn't feel much of anything when he thought about them. Except…

"Not…for that. I have Niisama. But…Niisama doesn't have anybody. I'd want a genie to bring them back…for him."

Before Connor could come up with a response, Travis Copeland pulled up in his pine green Subaru Forester, as polished and gleaming as if he'd just taken it from the dealership that morning. He stepped out of the shining SUV and stood there, tipping an imaginary hat to the pair and slipping his hands into the pockets of his slacks. He looked around at the other students milling about the lot, clambering into their family cars and lining up to climb up onto buses.

"I'll see you later, Connor," said Mokuba, and he slung his bag over one shoulder.

Connor smiled. "Sure."

The black-haired boy climbed into Travis's vehicle, clicked his seatbelt into place, and leaned back against the dark grey upholstery, brooding. He wouldn't ever tell this part of it to Connor, but that didn't mean he didn't know. Mokuba Kaiba didn't like to think of himself as selfish, but there wasn't any other word for it.

It was a stupid little fancy of imagination, but…still. If a genie popped out of some ancient lamp and offered to grant Mokuba a wish, he would indeed wish for his parents to come back. And he would, indeed, do it for his brother's sake.

But he wouldn't like it.

Draco Malfoy, Vincent Crabbe, and Gregory Goyle are—for the uninitiated—prominent side-characters in J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series. Those of you who read "Back from the Dead" are likely under the impression that I still hate this story. I regret to say that I have since swallowed my pride and my words. I've read the whole thing, and it's an amazing creation.

I'll be updating this project on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. Chapters will be short, and likely consist of only a single scene. Each will be a snapshot into the lives and times of the Kaiba brothers, where its predecessor is something of a panorama.

I dearly hope you had fun. See you all on Thursday.