Title: The Boys of Summer – Epilogue: Follow Your Bliss
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13
Pairings: Seto + Yami, Rafael + Valon + Amelda, Malik + Bakura
Spoilers: none… takes place post-Orichalcos Doom arc
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. "The Boys of Summer" is performed and recorded by Don Henley. "Follow Your Bliss" is performed and recorded by The B-52s. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Sequel to "More Than Words" (can stand alone, but it makes more sense if read as a sequel). Vacation is over and life returns to normal in Domino on the Friday night following the trip.
Status: 9 / 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.

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Author’s Notes:

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The Boys of Summer

Epilogue: Follow Your Bliss

* * *

Seto leaned against the island countertop and watched as Yami tossed a salad with one hand while stirring a simmering pot of pasta sauce with the other. The brunette never understood why they didn't just order out for pizza, but if his lover got some weird thrill out of feeding a dozen or so guests on a weekly basis, so be it.

I don't get a "weird thrill" out of it. I like cooking, Baby. And since this is technically the second half of Mokuba's birthday party…

Yeah yeah, I know. Seto sighed aloud. So are you sure that he'll like…?

For the last time… he'll love it. I promise. Yami gave Seto a reassuring smile and let his sense of calm spread through their link. Seto relaxed a little at the warmth tickling the back of his mind and smiled back hesitantly after a few moments.

The former Pharaoh was still a bit surprised at how well they had both adjusted to being in a near-constant linked state, but the benefits definitely outweighed the detriments. Other than an instance early in the week where Yugi accidentally got caught in the loop during… a more intimate moment, Yami found that a even a toned-down mind link was useful for stabilizing Seto's mood, entertaining him during long meetings at KaibaCorp, and of course, having the most fantastic sex ever.

"Entertaining" huh? More like distracting. Especially when you sent me all sorts of triple X rated images while I was in the middle of a quarterly budget meeting. I'll never look at that conference table the same way again.

Kai-baby, you were half asleep before I decided to interfere, so it's not like you were paying any extra attention to the matter beforehand. Besides, I've been minimizing our link anyways while you're working, so it not THAT much of a distraction.

"Nii-sama!" Both Seto and Yami turned to see Mokuba standing in the doorway. "Did you hear me?"

The brunette looked over at his boyfriend, then back at his brother. "No."

Mokuba made a slight sound of exasperation, though he was more amused than upset. "I said that everyone's here, so we can start eating any time now, okay?"

"Dinner will be ready in… 15 more minutes," Yami said, motioning at two platters of bruschetta. "But for the time being, you can get everyone started on the appetizers."

"Okay! Cause the faster we eat, the faster I get my birthday gift…" the black-haired teen sang as he grabbed both plates and took them to the dining room.

He's going to hate it, Seto began complaining again.

Yami groaned and sent his lover a mental image of him beating his head against the wall.

* * *

Less talk, more eating! Mokuba grumbled to himself as he watched Yugi-tachi fire questions left and right at Yami and Seto about their vacation. Everyone wanted to know about the sights they had seen, and Pegasus' drunken antics, and the vacation house Seto had bought on a whim. And in return, Yami was pestering Yugi and Anzu about when they were going to go out for their first date while the pair tried to dodge the subject, their cheeks red with embarrassment. Even Jou and Honda were wasting their time with conversation instead of simply shoveling food in their mouths as fast as possible. While Mokuba really wasn't an impatient person, he was anxious to see what his birthday gift was. He had expected his brother to come home and dump a pile of video games on his lap, but when that didn't happen, he knew Yami must have convinced Seto to get him something different for once. But what was it? And why couldn't he get it earlier in the week?

After several more minutes of chitchat, Mokuba finally blurted out, "Okay, Yami, you already told us about how Nii-sama saved you from a horrible sunburn three times now! So can you guys like eat faster so we can get to my birthday gift already?"

Noa laughed. "You're not impatient or anything, are you, Otouto?"

"I want my birthday gift! I want to know what the big secret is!" Mokuba huffed, not caring that it made him sound like a 5-year-old.

Seto and Yami both glanced at the pouting young teen. "Mokuba, when…" Seto began.

Yami continued the rest of the thought. "… everyone's done eating…"

"It's creepy how you guys keep doing that," Honda commented as he helped himself to more tortellini.

"Doing what?" Seto, Yami and Yugi asked simultaneously. Yami grinned at his other half while Seto rolled his eyes.

"Okay, that was triple creepy," said Jou, waving a piece of bread at Yugi. "It was bad enough when you and Yami were doin' it, Yug. But now I'm gettin' it in stereo."

"I think it would be cool if we could all mind link to each other, don't you think?" Anzu asked, smiling dreamily.

"NO!" a bunch of voices chorused.

"Only if you want free porn," Malik clarified, snickering. Seto turned and glared at the tombkeeper, who wisely decided to shut up.

"Well, I think it'd be cool if we could all mind link," Mokuba volunteered. "Then you could all EAT while you were talking, instead of just talking…"

"What, your brother hasn't bought you enough video games yet?" Otogi asked.

"All right, all right… We get the idea, kiddo," Mai said, picking up her fork and digging into her salad. "Come on you guys, before Mokuba really pitches a fit…"

* * *

When dinner was finally over, Mokuba enlisted Noa's help to herd everyone into the family room while Yami went upstairs to fetch all the goodies they had brought back from California. Seto settled into his favorite recliner and watched as Yugi-tachi squabbled over seating arrangements. Mokuba, Noa, Yugi and Anzu ended up on the longest part of the sectional while Otogi, Shizuka and Honda grabbed the shorter half. Mai took the armchair. Jou, Malik and Bakura just picked out spots on the floor.

"Okay, I think I have everything," Yami announced as he juggled an armload of gift bags plus a digital camera, carefully placing them all on the coffee table. Taking the camera with him, the crimson-eyed teen sat himself down on Seto's lap and waited for some photo opportunities to arise. Several pairs of eyes darted in Yami's direction as he fiddled with the camera, but when Seto made no move to dislodge his lover and even went as far as wrapping his arms around Yami's waist, they all gradually turned back to the pile of gifts on the table.

"Me first!" Mokuba instantly darted to the pile of gifts and searched for his name on the gift tags. "Hey… where is it?"

Yami gave the excited teen a wicked smile. "Yours isn't in the pile."

"What?! Aww, man!"

"Geez, Yami, just give it to him," Seto groused.

"Not yet. Mokuba, I promise… it'll be worth the wait. But you can hand out everyone else's things in the meantime. Um… actually, wait a second." Which ones did you want to do last?

Mai's. And Malik's and Bakura's.

"Okay, just make sure to save Mai's bag and Malik's and Bakura's bag for last."

Gray eyes narrowed skeptically, but Mokuba went ahead and started doling out gift bags. There were murmurs of appreciation as everyone dug into their bags. Shizuka was quite happy with her new purse, and Anzu beamed at the sight of the ballerina in the little painting Yami had picked up, then helped Yugi try on his new jewelry. Noa instantly buckled on his new watch and both Honda and Otogi eagerly pulled on their new Hawaiian shirts right away. Jou watched his friends for a while, as he was a bit hesitant to look in his bag, but when he finally did, his jaw dropped.

"Oh my God… it's Chloe! Wow, Yami, this is great!" the blonde exclaimed, his fingers running over the El Camino painted onto a wooden plaque.

"Yeah, Seto has great taste, doesn't he?" Yami answered blithely.

Jou nearly choked as he looked up at the ex-spirit and the smug brunette behind him. "Se… Kaiba? He picked this out?"

Seto made sure that he had his best smirk plastered on his face, then said, "Articulate as always, Mutt. And yes, I did."

"Oh… shut up, Rich Boy."

"Hn. You're welcome."

Mokuba walked over and poked his brother in the arm. "Can I hand out the rest of the stuff yet, Nii-sama?"

"Mai's first."

The busty blonde cocked an eyebrow as Mokuba handed her a bag. "Okay, what gives? Why am I getting singled out?"

Yami laughed. "Just open it… it won't bite."

"Hard," added Seto, smirking.

Mai's other eyebrow joined the first. "Hmm…" She stuck her hand in the bag and pulled out the first thing she encountered. "Well, it's cute, whatever it…" And then her eyes widened and she began laughing hard, accidentally dropping item on the floor.

"Wait, you got her a squeaky toy? I don't get it," said Jou, leaning down to pick up the wrapped item.

"Hahahahaha. No… hehehehe… Jou, don't!"

"'I Rub My Doggie?' What's a… Oh crap, it's a sex toy?!" Jou threw his arms up and the vibrator went sailing through the air, landing on Yugi's lap.

Seto buried his face in Yami's hair as his body shook with nearly silent laughter. The former Pharaoh just grinned and snapped photos of Yugi tossing the vibe back at Jou, bouncing it off his forehead. "Mai, there's more…"

"Oh really?" She grinned and dug out the cock harness and leash. "Hahahaa, this is rich!! You guys are too funny!"

"Do I even wanna know?" Jou asked, eyeing the contraption in Mai's hands.

"Don't blame me for it," Yami remarked. "Seto said you two needed to, and I quote, 'Get a clue.'" Noa and Mokuba glanced at each other, then over at Seto, who just shrugged.

Mai smiled in comprehension. "I see… Well, Jounouchi?"

"Huh?"

Shizuka made a face at her brother. "Onii-san, ask her out!" she whispered harshly.

"Oh… OHH. Errrr…" The blonde teen blushed, then cleared his throat and looked around uncomfortably. He had been interested in dating the beautiful duelist pretty much from the moment they met, though he certainly wasn't expecting to be pushed into it, and not at that exact moment. But with his sister and friends all looking at him expectantly, and the realization that Yugi had just garnered the courage to ask Anzu out only a week prior... "So um… Mai… you wanna go out sometime? Or something?" he asked a spot of air between the armchair and the ceiling.

Not exactly sweeping me off my feet… but… "Well… I don't know, Jou," she began, watching in amusement as Jou's jaw went slack. "But I suppose Valon's out of the question now, and I've always had a soft spot for puppies... So I guess that's a yes, or something." She threw Jou a wink.

"Yay!" Shizuka began cheering.

Jou blushed. "Re… really? Ya mean that? Cool! …eh, wait, did you just insult me?"

"Wow, that was slick, Mutt."

"But she said yes," Yami added, nudging Seto in the ribs.

"She should have said no. Oh well… Mokuba, you can give Malik and Bakura their gift now. I truly hope you guys like it." He gave the pair a truly evil grin.

"Why do I have a bad feeling about this?" Bakura asked as Malik took the bag from Mokuba's hands.

Malik shrugged and began digging through the bag. "Oh look, I guess this is for you," the Egyptian said as he pulled out the penis enlargement pump.

The white-haired teen turned bright red. "Oh my word!!" he gasped.

Seto sniggered. "No no, all that shit's for you, Malik."

"Can we say, 'I don't think so?' Wow… okay, what the hell? Hey Ryou, I can hardly wait to use this on you…" Malik waved the boxed dong at his boyfriend, who made a wheezing sound in response. "Holy crap, this thing is huge! Where'd you guys find this stuff?"

Yami snapped another picture. "My Baby's a pervert; what can I say?"

Seto snorted. "You're the one who was all, 'Oh, let's get more butt plugs. This one matches my eyes.'"

"Um… hello? Some of us don't want to know!" Honda protested, but Yami cut him off.

"Yeah, and you were the one who wanted to get them the rectal speculum and cock restraint."

"Cock restraint?" Malik went back to digging in the gift bag while Bakura quite literally began choking on his own spit. "Ryou, breathe! Geez… see, I told you we should have picked up more hardcore stuff for their anniversary. No one wants sparkle powder and fluffy handcuffs."

"Actually, we used the powder up that night. It was tasty, right Kai-baby?" Yami purred, wiggling a little on his boyfriend's lap.

"My ears! My virgin ears!" Jou howled, his eyes bugging out.

"A virgin, huh. Hope you don't mind training the poor puppy, Mai."

"No, I don't mind," she responded, batting her long lashes at a horrified Jou.

"Oh, I know! We can do a double date!" Anzu suddenly decided, her eyes lighting up. "Right Yugi? It'd be fun!"

Jou instantly pounced on the idea. "That sounds like a GREAT idea. Whaddya say, Mai?"

Mai just shrugged. Awww, he's shy. "That's fine with me. Yugi?"

Aibou, Seto just told me that he wants to make it a triple date.

A triple date? You guys want to come along?

Hey Yugi, can you hear me? I'll even let you guys use the limo.

Yugi narrowed his eyes marginally at Seto. Okay, what's going on?

I'm just trying to be nice, but fine, whatever, the brunette responded peevishly.

Yugi blocked Seto off and turned his attention to his other half. Yami…

He suggested it. I was just passing the message on.

The violet-eyed teen sighed, then said, "You guys want to make it a triple date?"

"You mean with Malik and Bakura?" Anzu asked.

"Hey that sounds like fun!" Malik cheered while patting Bakura on his back. "Breathe, Ryou... nice and easy."

"Well…" Yugi turned to look at Seto and Yami. "Then it'd be a quadruple date, cause Kaiba's offering us the use of his limo if he and Yami get to come along."

"That's uncharacteristically nice of him," Otogi said, wincing when Yami, Mokuba and Noa all started protesting at the comment. "Okay, okay, I'm sorry, yeesh!"

"So can I get my gift now?" Mokuba asked, turning to give Yami a pleading look.

"All right… it's in your brother's briefcase, if you want to go get it."

Mokuba scrunched up his nose. "Buried somewhere under your…"

Noa slapped his hand over his little brother's mouth. "I'll come with you to get it!" he said loudly, dragging the black-haired teen out of the room.

Otogi quirked an eyebrow. "So what's in the briefcase, Kaiba?"

"None of your business, Dice Boy."

"I bet you have a huge gay porn collection in there or something, you kinky bastard."

Shizuka gave the green-eyed game lover a disapproving look. "Don't say that… it's not nice."

"But it's probably true!"

Yami shrugged. "Seto doesn't need porn. He has me." The young CEO grumbled and pinched his lover's arm for the comment, which earned him a slap on the hand in return.

Honda shuddered. "TMI… way major TMI."

Yugi crossed his arms and sat back. "All I can say is you should be glad you've never been caught up in a late night mind linked session with those two." Yami resisted the urge to tell his aibou that he wouldn't have asked Anzu out if it weren't for a "mind linked session," as he didn't think his other half would want that sort of info.

"Oh ewww… I think I'm gonna barf," Jou complained.

"Oh eww what?" Mokuba asked, walking back into the room with a silver wrapped box in hand and Noa following close behind. The brothers sat back down on the sofa and Mokuba began tearing into the gift wrap right away.

Seto frowned and pulled Yami to one side for a better view of his little brother. "If you don't like it Mokuba…"

"It was Seto's idea. And happy birthday, Mokuba," Yami said, cutting his lover off before he said too much. Kai-baby, for the last time…

If he hates it… I'm dumping you and never speaking to you again!

Don't say that. Relax. Yami tried taking some of Seto's anxiety into himself. He'll…

Mokuba suddenly squealed as he unwrapped the photo album and flipped it open. "Wow… oh my God… Setoooo!! This is so awesome!" He almost sniffled as he ran his fingertips over a photo of his brother smiling contentedly as he sat next to Yami, the bright blue of the ocean and sky reflecting in his eyes. "You really did have a good time, didn't you? I'm so glad… it means so much to me. And thanks for putting this together, Yami… don't you deny it! I know this was your idea since you asked me what I wanted right before you left, and frankly… Seto doesn't think of this sort of thing, you know? He probably wanted to get me more video games."

Seto frowned slightly, even though he knew Mokuba had read him right. Upon spotting the change in his brother's mood, Mokuba quickly stood up and jogged over to the recliner to give both Seto and Yami a hug. "It's okay, Nii-sama. I love it. It's the best birthday gift I've ever received. Thank you so, so, so much!" he said softly.

Yami nodded. "And I left the last few pages blank, Mokuba. Once we develop the pictures I'm taking today, you can add the ones you like into the back of the album."

Over on the sofa, Noa had picked up the album and began thumbing through it. "These really are nice pictures… good job, Yami."

"Is it okay if I look over your shoulder? Please?" Anzu begged, leaning over Yugi a little to get a better look at the album. Yugi blushed a little in response.

"Oh, I'd like to see it too," Shizuka said, and then everyone else began clamoring for a peek.

Mokuba broke off the hug and turned to Noa. "Onii-chan, can you put the album on the coffee table? And we'll start over from the first page, all right everyone?"

Yami smiled at Mokuba and Noa and all of Yugi-tachi as they gathered around to look at the pictures together. See, Baby? I told you.

Whatever. Shut up. But the CEO's eyes were bright as he watched his brother excitedly reading aloud the comments Yami had thoughtfully included in the memo area.

Make me.

All right. Seto suddenly pushed Yami off his lap, stood up, and threw the shocked ex-spirit over his shoulder. "If you guys are going out for coffee later, just make sure to bring Noa and Mokuba home at a decent hour, okay?" the young billionaire called out before hauling a somewhat indignant Yami out of the room.

Stunned into a moment of silence, Yugi-tachi just gaped at the departing couple. Then Jou began stammering, "Wait a minute… Are… are they…"

Noa nodded sagely. "Don't worry, you can't hear anything from all the way down here."

There was a rather muffled thump somewhere in the vicinity of the stairs. Mokuba didn't even bat a lash as he added, "Unless they don't make it all the way upstairs."

"Maybe we should leave for coffee early," Bakura nervously suggested.

"Does early equal now?" asked Honda, already standing up.

"Now is good," Jou agreed, also hopping to his feet.

"We can't leave right now. Your shoes and jackets are all in the foyer, and we can't go that way, just in case," Mokuba explained as he reached for the remote to the stereo system. "Give them a half-hour or so." Then he turned the music on and gave his friends a sly smile.

* * *

~ OWARI ~

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Additional Author’s Notes (regarding how this chapter came up):

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August 18, 2005