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: The earthquake has come and gone, leaving behind chaos.
Status: 2 / ?
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. 2: Shaken

* * *

Seto was in the middle of a meeting with a handful of conceptual designers and engineers for the newest KaibaLand theme park under development when the earthquake hit. The entire building began swaying and a large unsecured standalone dry erase board, already poorly balanced, suddenly fell over, startling a few of the people in the room.

"An earthquake?!" one man gasped, jumping to his feet. Others sounded their concern as well.

"This building is built to withstand a magnitude 8.5 on the Richter scale," Seto announced to the people in the conference room even as he folded his long legs and got under the heavy mahogany conference table. "But I suggest instead of running around in pointless panic, you all find a spot under this table."

The employees were quick to follow his example, grateful for their boss' composure under duress, but in actuality, the young CEO was far from calm. In the back of his mind, he had felt a slight prickling of surprise the moment the quake hit, and now there was fear mixed in as well. Yami? he called out tentatively over their mind link, but the only response was a sudden sharp explosion of pain and then… nothing.

* * *

Noa frowned at his cellphone, then tried dialing Mokuba's number again. After the quake hit, Ms. Kimura had decided to call off the rest of the make up test session just in case of severe aftershocks, and agreed that Noa's grade on the test would be based only on the questions he had managed to get to. But she did insist that he stay inside the classroom until someone arrived to pick him, especially since he was still sick.

Why aren't they picking up? Noa wondered, staring at the phone. He had already tried calling Yami and Mokuba twice each, plus the house, and nothing. But just as he went to put the phone away, the ringtone suddenly began playing, and Seto's name flashed across the screen.

The green-haired teen picked up quickly. "Seto?"

"Noa." He sounded relieved. "Where are you guys?"

"I'm at school… I had a test to make up. Yami came and picked up Mokuba a half hour ago, and then the quake hit." Noa paused to cough, giving Seto a moment to respond, but all he heard was the quickening of his brother's breaths. "Nii-sama?"

"They're… have you tried calling them? Calling the house?" There was the barest hint of panic in the brunette's voice.

Noa felt a cold chill run up his spine. Seto wasn't one to ever panic over anything, so to hear even the faintest trace of anxiety in his voice… "Yeah. Twice. Se…"

"I can't feel Yami anymore," Seto stated bluntly. "And I can't get either of them to pick up."

The green-haired teen sucked in a breath. No…

"I'm coming to get you right now." Noa could hear the sound of Seto's feet moving across a hard surface, and the soft buzz of conversation and other noise floating in the background. "I'll call you as soon as I'm there. In the meantime, if you hear from either one of them, call me right away."

"O… okay. Seto… be careful."

There was only a soft grunt, then Seto hung up.

* * *

As soon as the young billionaire ended his call with Noa, he began calling everyone else he could think of. He told Isono to inform him if Yami and Mokuba showed up at the mansion. He asked Yugi if he could mind link Yami, and when the shorter duelist informed him that he was about to call Seto and ask him the exact same thing, the brunette asked him to call the rest of Yugi-tachi and to tell them that if *anyone* saw or heard from Yami, they were to call him immediately. As an afterthought, he also called Ms. Nozaka and told her he wouldn't be coming back to the office that afternoon and to send out a company-wide email instructing employees to go home if they wished to.

I'll kill him for making me worry, Seto seethed as he pushed his car to take a turn far faster than it should have. I'll kill him if anything happened to Mokuba. He kept mentally casting for Yami. Still nothing. Even if his lover closed off the link Seto should have been able to sense him, but it was as if there was nothing there to sense.

Gritting his teeth, Seto forced his foot down on the gas and cut across two lanes to whip into the short drive leading to Domino High.

* * *

Mokuba slowly came to and for a moment, he couldn't recall what happened. His head hurt a lot, he felt bruised, and there was something heavy lying on top of him. He took an unsteady breath, then coughed violently as the particulates in the air clung to his dry throat. That brought the memories back up to the surface… the earthquake, the rain of debris from the ceiling, Yami throwing himself on top of him as they fell to the ground, that look of steely determination in his eyes. And then…

"Yami?" Mokuba whispered, suddenly afraid of what the warm weight on his chest was. "Yami?!" He finally opened his eyes to see strands of tri-colored hair, brilliant even in light filtered through the dusty haze, just inches from his face.

"YAMI!" No response at all, and Mokuba suddenly felt the need to throw up, but then logic kicked in. He feels warm. He slowly twisted one hand up to pull away the fabric of Yami's jacket sleeve so that he could place his shaking fingers against skin. Yes, still warm… he's alive. Relieved, Mokuba shut his eyes and tried to concentrate on finding a pulse. There it is. And I just felt him exhale. Thank God!!

Mokuba opened his eyes again and tried to take a look around at their surroundings. Since Yami was out cold, it would be up to him to try and get help. It looked like the old bakery had completely collapsed around them, though at least they weren't buried by the debris. Light trickled in from a large opening where the front window used to be, though the frame had been crunched down to half its original size. Of greatest concern was the large broken portion of ceiling which loomed above their heads. A single fallen support beam looked to be the only thing holding the ceiling up. And there was no sign of the two women who had been in the shop with them.

Okay, gotta stay calm… what would Seto do in this situation? We've got to get out of here; if an aftershock hits, that ceiling's going to come down. But I don't know what happened to Yami… I hope he's not badly hurt, or else if I move him… Argh! Think, think! Mokuba's hand began creeping down to his phone. Please let this work… He shifted his hip painfully to pull his cellphone out of the holster, only to discover it was broken. CRAP! A quick check on the phone at Yami's hip came back with a similar result.

Seeing little other option, the younger teen wriggled out from under Yami's body, aggravating all sorts of bruises in the process, then slowly rose to his feet, the world suddenly spinning wildly around him. Very cautiously, he picked his way over the debris on the cracked tile floor, following the light and the sound of approaching sirens.

"Hey, is there anyone in there?" a voice called out.

Mokuba felt tears of relief welling up in his eyes. Feeling his legs buckling, he dropped to his knees and yelled back, "Help!!!" as soon as he found his voice again.

A fireman cautiously stuck his head under the opening and spotted the disheveled black-haired teen. "Stay right there, okay kid?… Hey, I found someone over here!"

Mokuba nodded at the man who had already taken off to get more help, then glanced back at Yami lying still on the ground. He swore the room was beginning to tilt, then everything went black again.

* * *

Noa began running towards the parking lot as soon as his phone started ringing. Ignoring the burning in his throat, he picked up the call without slowing down, told his big brother that he was already on his way out, and didn't stop running until he reached the Viper parked at the curb, the passenger side door already open.

"Get in," Seto said tightly, and without even waiting for his brother to shut the door all the way, he hit the gas, threw the car in gear, and took off. Noa gave the door a hard tug, then fumbled with his seatbelt before looking over at his brother. The brunette was pale, his hands wrapped so tightly around the steering wheel that his knuckles threatened to tear right out of his skin, his breathing as erratic as his driving. And speaking of erratic driving…

"My God, Seto! That was a red light!" Noa yelled, his fingers digging into the handholds on the door. "Seto?! Where in the world are we going?"

"I'm dropping you off at home, then I'm going out to look for them." The CEO tensed up even more as an ambulance raced past them on the other side of the street.

"NO… no way! I'm coming with you!"

"Noa, you'll just get in the way…"

The green-haired teen scowled. "I will NOT! How can you expect me to go sit at home when the rest of my FAMILY is out there, missing!?" he yelled hoarsely. His head was starting to hurt.

Seto glanced over at his brother, a little surprised. He had never put much thought into what their living arrangement could be classified as, but he supposed "family" wasn't too far off. "Fine… so where do you suggest we start looking?" he asked, though he really didn't expect an answer.

Noa thought about it for a moment, then began fishing his laptop out of his bag. "Don't you have trackers on all the cars?"

"… shit! Yes! Why the fuck didn't I remember that?" The blue sportscar swerved over to the curb so quickly that Noa was thrown against the window, managing to keep a hold on his computer only through sheer luck.

"Nii-sama!" Noa complained, rubbing a sore shoulder.

"Start searching. I'm not going to drive around in circles and end up heading in the wrong direction if I can help it."

The younger teen gave a curt nod of understanding, and booted up his laptop.

* * *

Noa managed to track down the whereabouts of Yami's Porsche in only a few minutes and fed directions to Seto as the Viper raced through the streets of Domino. Traffic was far worse than usual, and they were forced to take a detour due to a sinkhole which had appeared in the middle of Hillcrest Road. They finally got to the block the car was parked on, but the area was blocked off by police barricades since an entire row of old storefronts had collapsed. Seto parked in a nearby lot, told Noa to stay put, then ran back to try and hop the wooden barrier, but a grizzled old cop stopped him as soon as his feet hit the ground.

"Nice try, kid. Get your butt back over that barricade! These old buildings are liable to completely collapse if an aftershock hits!"

Seto fought his natural inclination to simply punch the guy, and craned his neck to see if he could spot the Porsche while explaining, "My brother and boyfriend might be in one of those stores!"

The officer's eyebrows went up a little. "We have the fire department going through the buildings right now. They've already found several survivors and sent them to Hillside General Hospital."

"Survivors? Hospital?" Seto parroted, his eyes widening as soon as he spotted the familiar white convertible at the far end of the block. It seemed undamaged, but it also didn't look like there was anyone inside. The young billionaire took a step forward to try and get a better look at it, and the officer grabbed his arm and pulled back hard.

"Did you NOT hear what I said? You can't go any further! If your brother and friend…"

"Do you know what any of the survivors looked like? My brother's 14, long black hair, and my boyfriend has this fucking crazy spiky hair in three colors… you can't possibly miss it."

The cop gave him a thoughtful look. "I don't know about your brother, but I think I saw a kid that fits the description of your friend. And he was taken away in an ambulance about 10, 15 minutes ago."

* * *

Noa sat in the car and chewed his thumbnail nervously while keeping an eye on the rearview mirror for any sign of Seto. He was sorely tempted to defy his brother and chase after him, but he knew that Seto would be beyond livid if he did that; he was already stressed to the gills as it was. So nail biting would have to suffice as a distraction for the time being, even if it didn't help with the headache he had.

A sudden aftershock sent the car rocking for a few tense moments, but passed without doing much damage to the immediate area, though Noa swore that his heart stopped beating for several seconds.

Seto came running back a few minutes later looking much worse than when he had left. There was a rip in the sleeve of his blazer and dirt caked on his pants. Noa gaped at his brother, who obviously hadn't fared as well as he had in the aftershock.

"You okay?" the brunette asked as soon as he opened the door, flinging himself into the driver's seat.

"Uh… yeah. What about y..."

Seto started up the car. "We're going to Hillside General Hospital. Get me directions. Then get on the phone and call Yugi with the address and tell him to meet us there."

* * *

A little over an hour later, Yugi and Sugoroku quietly stepped into the large private hospital suite that housed both Yami and Mokuba. From what Noa had told them during their most recent phone call, both teens had been admitted with concussions, but while Mokuba had come to in the ambulance, Yami had remained unconscious.

The two younger Kaibas looked up at the arrival of the Mutous, but Seto, who was sitting at Yami's bedside, didn't react at all. His eyes were closed and sweat trickled down his forehead while he slowly stroked a crimson-tipped spike of his boyfriend's hair.

"Hey Yugi," Noa said tiredly before dropping his head back down onto the mattress next to Mokuba's shoulder. Mokuba just lifted his hand off the mattress an inch in greeting.

Yugi looked over at his darker half again, then paused by Mokuba's bed for a moment. "How are you doing?"

"Shitty, but alive," Mokuba whispered. "Go on… go see Yami."

Yugi gave the black-haired teen a slight smile, then grabbed a pair of chairs and pulled them over to Yami's bedside across from Seto. Still no reaction from the brunette. Worried, Yugi softly called out, "Kaiba?"

"He won't answer. He's been trying to mind link Yami pretty much since we in got here and got settled," Noa explained.

Yugi couldn't help but try accessing his own link to Yami, but just as with all his previous attempts, there was nothing there to latch on to. It was like trying to gain a handhold on a wall of glass.

Sugoroku frowned. "Has a doctor stopped by yet? Have they given out a diagnosis?"

"Mm, yeah." The green-haired teen paused to clear his throat. "Concussion of course, contusions and a few minor lacerations, and probably a fractured right leg, though they haven't x-rayed him yet. Mokuba's the same to a much lesser degree, minus the leg."

"I'd probably have a broken leg too, or worse, if Yami… hadn't thrown himself over me, shielding me," Mokuba added quietly, turning his head slightly towards his brother.

Yeah, that's something Yami would do all right, Yugi thought to himself as he reached out to hold Yami's hand. But as soon as he made contact he jerked away and jumped to his feet, because Seto had suddenly lunged halfway across the bed with a feral snarl and a dangerous look in his eyes.

"Jesus!" Yugi yelped, suddenly concerned for his jii-chan's safety as well as his own. The violet-eyed teen could feel his heart pounding in triple time from the shock. And Seto was still glaring at him with unnaturally cold eyes, hovering protectively over Yami's body.

"Seto, stop it!" Noa yelled, rushing to Yugi's side.

"Nii-sama!" Mokuba cried out, adding his voice to the chaos.

The brunette blinked once at Mokuba, clarity returning to his eyes, then slowly sank back into his seat. He lifted a shaky hand to his temples, then looked over Yugi and Sugoroku. "Sorry," he muttered, curling up miserably in his chair. He turned his attention back to Yami and began stroking his lover's hair again.

Yami… wake up…

Long minutes passed, though Seto was unaware of the passage of time. And he didn't hear Sugoroku and Yugi offering to take Noa home since he was still sick, nor Yugi's assurance that he would come back the next morning during visiting hours, since Seto was obviously planning to be the one to maintain vigil over Yami and Mokuba that night. Seto didn't hear any of it, because his entire mind was focused on only one thing.

Please wake up.

* * *

TBC

Author’s Notes:

October 4, 2005