Title: Aftershocks
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami
Spoilers: none
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: It's just another day in Domino, when disaster unexpectedly strikes…
Status: 1 / ?
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

This is a SHONEN-AI fic (male + male romantic relationship). If you are offended by homosexual relationships, please do not read this. Flames will be disregarded.

Setup for this fic:

* * *

Aftershocks

Ch. 1: Just Another Day

* * *

"Yeah, well… we'll probably fly back over when the holidays hit. Maybe I can convince Seto to take another week off. Uh huh… what!? Duct tape? No, I don't think that would be… yeah, it would stick to his skin!" Yami chuckled into the wireless headset as he finished mixing the marinade for the thin slices of beef round steak he was preparing for dinner.

"Valon, no! You do know they make bondage tape for that purpose, right? Mm… mmm hmm. Well, I wouldn't say it's perfect, but it's better than duct tape! How many rolls? Two I think… not that we ever tried it. Yeah, just two. Rafael? Probably three. What do you mean how often do I get taped down to the sofa? Oh, wait… what time is it? I have to go pick up the boys. Of course I do! Well, Noa hasn't been feeling well. He's been home sick the last two days and… Uh, NO, they're not my kids." Yami paused to glare down at the phone at his hip, as if that would shut Valon up.

"Yeah. No, I can't. Because Seto would kill me if I dented my car. Didn't I tell you about my so-called accident? Well, I'll tell you about it next time… just remind me. Anyhow, thanks for keeping me up-to-date on the kitchen remodel. Nah, Seto doesn't care about that. Uh huh. Only my opinion counts! Hahaha… okay, I'll talk to you later!"

With an amused shake of his head, the crimson-eyed teen ended the call, then quickly surveyed the kitchen. The marinating meat went in the fridge and the countertop got a quick wipe down. Satisfied with his clean up job, Yami grabbed a black denim jacket and his car keys, then headed out to the garage.

* * *

The entire class shifted nervously in their seats as Mr. Nakamura began explaining their assignment. "This project will encourage all of you to expand your perception of abstract terms. Now, I've had each of you randomly draw two pieces of paper, so you may go ahead and open them at this time."

Mokuba picked up the two squares of paper on his desk, unfolding the first to reveal the word "magnanimous." The second piece of paper had "banal" written on it. Oh friggin' yay. Seeing as the rest of his classmates were comparing words with one another, Mokuba turned to his brother and whispered, "Hey, Onii-chan… what did you get?"

Noa coughed a little, resting his chin on his hand. "'Insular' and 'fortuitous.'"

Mr. Nakamura raised his voice over the din of the students. "Class! Let’s continue, please. And no trading words, Miss Sato, Mr. Watanabe, as I'll be marking down the words each student has been assigned. Now then, your assignment will be to chose one of the words you have drawn, and by using both concrete and nonconcrete examples, to define what the chosen word means to you." The teacher put up a well-worn piece of poster board on the lip of the blackboard. "This is an example of a past student's work from one of my regular English classes. It goes without saying that I expect better of my honors students."

The display had what appeared to be a dried-out rose glued in one corner, pictures of various models and celebrities, and a sheet of song lyrics stapled to the other corner, along with a CD in a case.

"This student's assigned word was 'beautiful.' This… is subpar work, however it gives you an idea of what I'm looking for. You may use pictures, music, literary examples, your own words, actual objects, a live demonstration… almost anything goes. However, you will be required to give a five to ten minute presentation in front of the class in three weeks' time." A round of groans accompanied that announcement.

The teacher just frowned and adjusted his glasses. "All right, that will be all. Any questions, feel free to email me or approach me before or after class. I will now call each of you up one by one so that I may make note of the words you've drawn."

Five minutes later, the bell finally rang and the students got up and streamed out of the classroom. Mokuba packed up his messenger bag and waited for the teacher to leave the room before starting up his rant. "Man, why does Nakamura think that we're college or something? I don't even know what 'banal' means!"

"Because young Mr. Kaiba, you're in my honors class for a reason, blah blah…" Noa hoarsely answered in his best approximation of their teacher's voice. He finished packing up his things before looking up at his brother. "So not looking forward to that make up test for geology today."

"At least Kimura is letting you take a make up test. But you really should have stayed home today."

Noa scrubbed at his face. "What, and make Yami sick too?"

"Okay, so the three types of plate boundaries are?"

"Convergent, divergent and… uh… shit! I mean, shoot." Noa stood up slowly.

"Transform." Noa gave his younger brother a weird look. "Hey, I've been staring at your flash cards a lot the last few days, okay?" Mokuba held his hand out for Noa's bag, then began herding the green-haired teen out the door.

"Yeah, I know. Believe me, I don't want to take the test today. But I don't have much of a choice."

"If you had stayed home one more day…"

"Nah. Seto was already having enough of a cow." He paused to cough again. "I'm fine. And I know this stuff. Just… physically tired."

Mokuba made a sound of disapproval, but didn't argue back. Noa could be just as stubborn as Seto sometimes. But at least he could do his Onii-chan the favor of walking him to the science wing of the school.

"So which word are you going to do your assignment on?" Mokuba asked as they headed up the stairs. "I think I'm stuck with magnanimous, cause banal sounds… sexual."

Noa frowned. "It means commonplace; ordinary, not… the word you're rhyming it to. But I'll do fortuitous I guess. I can just bring Yami in and make him draw playing cards for ten minutes. Cause even if there's only four aces in a deck, he somehow can find five."

Mokuba snickered. "That has nothing to do with luck or coincidence. That's just… just…" He waved his hands, trying to think of an explanation for it.

"The heart of the cards?" Noa managed a weak grin.

Mokuba snorted in disbelief as they reached Ms. Kimura's classroom. "I'll buy that explanation for Duel Monsters, but for a regular deck of playing cards?"

"Maybe the aces like him. Face cards too." Noa took his book bag back. "Thanks."

"Mm." After reminding his brother to call as soon as he was done, the black-haired teen headed out to the school's parking lot, where the white Porsche should have been waiting. But it looked like Yami was running a bit late again, which probably meant that Valon had called once again and wouldn't take the hint to hang up.

It had taken a lot of cajoling to convince Seto that public high school was a viable option since Mokuba and Noa had been attending private schools up to that point. But the younger Kaibas had wanted to do something a bit different, and Yami was agreeable with whatever they wanted, so it became three against one, and Seto gave in reluctantly. Of course, if the young CEO had been given his druthers, he would have encouraged his younger brothers to skip a few grades or perhaps even go straight to college, especially in Noa's case. Not that the shift to public school had been easy, given the fact that Seto was still a public figure despite his "retirement" from tournament dueling. In the first day at school alone, Noa and Mokuba had been asked more than two dozen times about Seto's sexual orientation, or as one punk had pleasantly phrased it, "So your faggy wuss of a brother likes it up the ass, huh?" At least Jou's sister Shizuka, who was now a fairly popular senior at Domino High, had kept most of the upperclassmen off their backs. And most of the other students shut up when Seto unexpectedly tore into the parking lot at the end of the third day, eager to show off his brand new baby blue Koenigsegg CCR.

Mokuba shook his head and smiled at the memory, remembering how Seto had circled his car like a rabid guard dog to keep all the curious teens at bay, his infamous temper impressing even the jerk who had insulted Seto on that first day. Yami had been amused as well, especially since he had the task of informing the two younger teens that they had to ride in the Mercedes with Isono, since the sportscar only sat two. Speaking of sportscars…

"Sorry I'm late. Blame Valon for it," Yami said loudly through the open window as he unlocked the car door. "Where's Noa?"

"He's taking a make up test for his geology class." Mokuba threw his book bag into the back seat, then plopped himself in the front passenger's seat.

"Poor kid. Is he doing okay? Should we wait for him?"

"He was coughing and looks like crap, but he says he's fine." The black-haired teen rolled his eyes. "He didn't know how long the test would run, so he said he'd call as soon as he finished. Boy… I really do miss summer." He sighed and looked out the window at the school.

Yami chuckled and adjusted his sunglasses a bit before steering the Porsche away from the curb. "Well, it definitely was interesting, I'll give you that much."

"Interesting" was a bit of an understatement, considering they had gone through everything from Seto and Yami's one year anniversary to the unexpected purchase of a vacation home in California. And now Jou and Mai were going steady, as were Yugi and Anzu, and Valon, who was like this with Yami, was calling four or five times a week with everything from updates on the new bathroom fixtures to rumors and gossip about various up-and-coming duelists on the tournament circuits.

"So, where are we going?" Mokuba asked once he was done with his musings.

"I thought we could stop by that Chinese bakery again. Noa and Seto were fighting over the last piece of that coffee roll we bought last time."

"Eh, sure, why not?"

* * *

At the Dohi Bakery, Yami and Mokuba ordered two coffee rolls, a chocolate roll, and then decided to go for a half dozen assorted individual-sized pastries on top of that. Mokuba couldn't help but grin… Yami had such a sweet tooth. He truly was the proverbial kid in the candy store.

The elderly lady behind the counter packaged everything up in two pink boxes, tying them up with string. Yami handed them both to Mokuba while he fished out his wallet, and then just as he began pulling it out, there was a rumbling sound and a moment later, the ground began shuddering beneath their feet as if they were standing on a trembling mound of gelatin.

Yami, Mokuba, another customer, and the woman at the counter all turned towards the storefront window to see if a passing truck were the culprit, but there was no truck, and the items on display in the window continued to rattle against the glass.

"Huh, earthquake," Mokuba said calmly. It was a common enough occurrence in Domino.

Yami looked over at the younger teen as the shaking seemed to die down, then became very alarmed as the earth suddenly heaved violently beneath them. Instinctively, the ex-spirit grabbed onto Mokuba as they were both pitched to the ground, doing his best to break both their falls. Mokuba grunted in surprise as he fell on his side with Yami landing on top.

"Don't move," Yami warned in a low voice, his slender frame shielding the younger teen as tiny bits of plaster and wood shook loose from the ceiling and fell.

Mokuba coughed from the sudden influx of dust in the air and looked up at his brother's lover with wide eyes. Yami just looked back at him with determination, his jaw set. It'll be okay, his crimson eyes seemed to say.

Mokuba was suddenly frightened; he could hear an ominous groaning coming from the walls of the building and the two women in the store crying out in alarm, and then it was as if the entire world exploded around them. Before he could even find the breath to scream, the walls and ceiling gave way. Mokuba's eyes snapped shut… and then he heard Yami gasp, felt him collapse like dead weight on top of him, and everything went black.

* * *

TBC

Author’s Notes:

September 30, 2005