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: Noa and Mokuba's lives are affected by the break up as well.
Status: 9 / ?
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. 9: Delay Tactics

* * *

Seto was tired enough to sleep for a whole day and night, but when the alarm went off a little less than two hours later, he got up anyways, glad to see that as usual, Yami slept right through the song on the radio. But he paused to gaze at the ex-spirit longingly, imprinting the vision into his memory… since he was determined to have Yami out of the house by the end of the day, he'd never wake up to such a sight again.

He shook his head at the realization. He was beginning to feel sorry for himself, and that was not a good thing. At least Yami, being prime boyfriend material, would be able to go on and find a lucky new lover who would be blessed with the privilege of waking up next to him every morning, but he'd have nothing but an empty bed. The knowledge that Yami was okay, was moving on to something better… that should have been enough. But it wasn't.

Seto granted himself the right to run his fingers lightly through Yami's hair one last time, then forced himself to get up and get dressed without looking back.

* * *

Yami wasn't surprised to wake up alone yet again. But at least he was still in the house even though Seto's deadline had passed which meant that either Seto had changed his mind, which was unlikely, or that he was confused and unable to decide what to do.

Rolling slowly over onto his side, Yami sighed. The whole situation was just fucked up. But oddly enough, Yami was almost thankful for what Yugi had inadvertently done, for it had helped him rethink the situation and renewed his faith in Seto's heart. He was now positive that whatever it was that Seto was trying to accomplish, he wasn't doing it to hurt him, at least, not purposefully. Although he had been half-asleep at the time, he had felt the gentle fingers combing through his hair, and that was all the proof he needed. Seto still cared.

Bolstered by that thought, Yami got himself up and began to get ready to start his day. But being a realist as well, he knew that he would have to confront Seto that evening to try and resolve matters. Enough was enough. He wanted his lover back.

* * *

Mokuba wondered how much longer all the Seto and Yami drama would last, because if it didn't get resolved soon, it was really going to affect his grades. Certainly he didn't mean to forget about the Bio test that morning, nor the essay for World History that had been due that past Friday.

But, if he were honest with himself, he didn't really give a damn about any of that stuff. Seto didn't graduate high school and look at where he ended up - CEO of Kaiba Corp. One of the wealthiest, most successful businessmen in the world. But then again, Seto probably wasn't the best person to look up to at the moment. Just because he was a genius and a billionaire didn't mean that he was happy, and those two things certainly weren't going to prevent him from ending up alone. Mokuba really was a little surprised that Seto hadn't tossed Yami out since he had apparently stopped by the mansion some time during night, but that was a good thing. He just wasn't sure how long that bit of luck would last. And he was also surprised that Yami hadn't just gotten fed up with Seto's bullshit and walked, but then again, he knew that Yami loved Seto. He just hadn't realized how much. It was too bad that Seto was blind when it came to that little fact.

What was Yami to him anyways? Not a brother, not really a parent - even though he played the part… but he was a member of their family nevertheless even if there wasn't a word to accurately describe him. He was just the person who took care of them all, especially Seto, who really needed it. He was the one who convinced Seto to eat and work regular hours, who got him to sleep at least six hours a night, who made him relax and smile like no one else could…

"Mokuba."

The black-haired teen broke out of his musings and turned towards his brother. It was amazing how a few random thoughts could distract a person from his lunch and the voices of thousands of chattering students. "Huh?"

Noa tossed his head at an unopened bag of chocolate frosted cookies. "Are you going to eat those?"

Sighing, Mokuba pushed the bag at Noa, who immediately tore into it. "Well, since Pegasus wasn't able to make much headway with that phone call… Nii-sama's going to try and kick Yami out tonight, isn’t he?"

"Probably. But we won’t let him succeed."

"How would we stop him? Handcuff Yami to the bedpost? Handcuff ourselves to Yami? He'd just get someone to come pick the lock."

Noa couldn't help but chuckle as he nibbled on a cookie. "I don't think we'd have to go that far. If he shows up at a decent hour, I say we lock them in the bedroom till they talk things through, and if not… well, maybe we could sleep in the doorway or something. I doubt that he'd go as far as throwing Yami off the balcony."

Mokuba's face scrunched up at that. "Geez, he better not! Maybe we should handcuff Yami to the bed, just to be safe."

"Uh… you really have a thing for cuffs, huh?"

"A thing for…" Mokuba's eyes widened. "That sounds so, SO wrong. Now I'm thinking about Seto's so-called 'secret' stash of… damn. Thanks a lot."

"You're welcome." The green-haired teen grinned, happy to have gotten his brother out of his funk, even if only temporarily. "Don't worry about it… even if our current plans fail, we've got plenty more on backup. Something's bound to work sooner or later."

* * *

The rest of the day after school passed in what had frighteningly become routine for the younger teens. They got home and plotted and planned their next move under the guise of doing homework. Yami spoke briefly to a few friends on the phone and fixed dinner. Seto was once again a no-show.

The crimson-eyed teen stayed up to watch some television with Noa and Mokuba after the brothers had finished their actual homework, intending to simply pass time while waiting for Seto to arrive home. But as the hours passed and the throbbing in his leg turned into outright pain, Yami finally caved, took his pills, and headed off to bed.

Mokuba waited until Yami left the room, then turned to Noa. "Crap, I can't believe Nii-sama hasn't shown up. I was so sure he'd come home at a decent hour today just so he could throw Yami out."

"I guess we'll switch to our backup plan then."

"You sure?" Mokuba asked, still a bit skeptical about how successful they'd be. Noa nodded. "Well… you go tell him."

"Me?"

"Yeah you. You're the older one and it's your plan..."

Noa sighed and headed up the stairs with Mokuba close behind. At his little brother's urging, the green-haired teen slowly pushed the door to Seto's bedroom open and stuck his head around the corner just enough to see the bed. Sure enough, Yami was still awake and struggling to sit up in bed, his eyes trained expectantly at a spot about six feet off the ground. "Seto, we need to… oh. Hi Noa."

Noa frowned at the worried look on Yami's face. "Sorry. Um… there's uh… we wanted to…"

"Hmm?"

Mokuba rolled his eyes and followed Noa in. "Yami, we were just in our room and we spotted a rat. Can we sleep in here tonight?"

"A rat?"

A rat?!! "Yeah, it was huge," Noa added lamely, turning just enough to glare at his younger brother for the farfetched lie.

"Freakin' huge!" Mokuba held his hands out about a foot apart.

"Well, I guess that'll be all right… does it matter whose bed I take?" Yami began reaching for his crutches, but Mokuba grabbed them first.

"NO! I mean… you need to stay here too. In case the rat…" Mokuba looked to Noa for help.

Damn it, why me!? "Uh, well, I've heard stories about rats eating people, you know?" Noa blurted out, desperately searching for something convincing. "And they have fleas, and the fleas can carry um… bubonic plague and…"

The former Pharaoh considered the brothers carefully, then sighed as he wiggled over to the center of the bed, lifting the edge of the comforter in invitation. The younger teens quickly shut up and scrambled into the bed, Mokuba to the left of Yami, Noa on the right.

"Thanks Yami!" Mokuba chirped, getting himself settled in.

Yami yawned, then smiled slightly at what the pair were trying to do, though if Seto really were determined to get rid of him, even Mokuba's presence in the bedroom wouldn't be enough. "There's… no rat, is there?"

Noa snorted. "Oh, there's a rat all right. He's just not home yet."

Mokuba rolled his eyes but didn't say anything to contradict Noa's assessment of their big brother. Hopefully Noa was right and this plan of his would work… "Boy, this is like a sleepover or something. Why haven't we done this before?"

"Because it would've been like getting in the way of two gay, hormone-laden bull elephants during mating season?"

"Oh yeah. Nasty."

Yami groaned and pulled the covers up over his head as the pair continued their back and forth banter. Where on Earth did they learn this stuff? "If you two… are going to stay, can you keep it down? Please?" He was starting to feel the effects of the medication, but at least the pain in his leg was down to a tolerable level, just sort of a mild discomfort really.

"Sorry," Noa whispered.

"Me too," Mokuba added quietly.

"Good night, boys. And if Seto… if Seto comes home, can you… mmm, nevermind…"

* * *

Seto hadn't intended to leave Kaiba Corp. so late, but since he had literally passed out from exhaustion at his desk some time in the early evening and then slept for some hours after that, he didn't manage to get home until after 1:00 AM. That put him in a bit of a jam… he knew if he didn't get Yami out that evening, his resolve might crumble completely, and he couldn't let that happen. But he really didn't want to have to wake Yami and force him to leave while he was disoriented and drowsy with sleep.

Feeling barely coherent himself, Seto headed up to his bedroom with the intention of waking Yami despite his misgivings and driving him back to the Kame Game Shop himself, but when he got into the bedroom and turned on the lights, he got a huge surprise.

What the…? The brunette jerked back as a mop of black hair lifted off his pillow and a pair of gray eyes opened and blinked sleepily at him. "Mokuba?" Taking a step back, he looked more carefully at the bed, and noticed Noa sleeping face down on the other side of the bed with Yami snoozing blissfully in between the two younger teens. What in the world are those two doing in my bed?

Before Seto had a chance to ponder the situation further, Mokuba scowled and whispered, "If you're here to kick Yami out, I won't let you!"

"Mok…"

"I swear if you wake him up, I'll… I'll kick you in the nuts!"

The young CEO started at the threat and unconsciously dropped his hand to shield his previously tenderized privates. Mokuba had never spoken to him like that before, ever. "But… it's my bed."

"And it's your boyfriend's too." As if on cue, Yami groaned and rolled towards the right, the sheets sliding off his shoulder. "He was up till midnight waiting to talk to you. You ought to be ashamed of yourself!"

"He's not my boyfriend. And I had… work," Seto said unconvincingly, his voice thick with guilt at Mokuba's accusatory tone.

"Bullshit. If you don't want to make up with him, go sleep somewhere else." Mokuba rolled over and turned his back towards his brother, then pulled the blankets back up over Yami's arm.

Uncertain of what he ought to do, Seto ended up wandering out of the room and crashing in one of the downstairs guest bedrooms for the remainder of the night.

* * *

TBC

Author’s Notes:

November 8, 2005