Title: Food for Thought - Chapter 3: Grilled
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami, Malik + Bakura
Spoilers: none… takes place post-Alcatraz Duel Tower
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. Sphincter Shrinker Hot Sauce is a product of Professor Payne Indeass (yes, seriously!) This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Sequel of sorts to "Remember to Eat Your Fruits and Veggies" (but can easily stand alone). A barbecue with Yugi-tachi gets messy and a new pair come out of the closet.
Status: 3 / 5
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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Food for Thought
Chapter 3: Grilled
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"And then he gave me that idiotic grin of his, and said, ‘I suggest you consider soundproofing your office, Kaiba-boy.’ …What is so funny?" Seto fumed, sapphire eyes flashing as he glared at his boyfriend.
Yami was laughing so hard that he had to put down his chef’s knife, tears welling up in his eyes. "Pegasus… he must have thought… I wish I could have seen the look on his face!"
The brunette smirked. "Well, I do have security cameras all over the building. I’m sure I could locate a still or two for you. But that’s not the point! He heard you…"
"Kai-baby. I’m sure he already knew. Everyone knows we’re together, even though we’ve never come out and said it." Yami regained his composure and resumed his task of chopping up carrots. "Besides… I’ve always had my suspicions about Pegasus. Can you hand me that large salad bowl?"
"What do you mean?" he asked, grabbing the requested bowl and pushing it over to Yami.
"You know…" Yami lifted his arm and let his hand dangle limply from his wrist, then cocked his hip, resting his other hand on it. "Those clothes, and that hair, and the way he talks? Kaiba-boy this and Yugi-boy that?"
"Hn. I thought he was married to a woman when he was younger."
"Yes, he was. Maybe he’s bi?" The carrots got pushed into the bowl and were tossed around with some lettuce, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, and sliced red onions.
Seto rolled his eyes. "I have no idea. I’d rather not put any more thought into the matter of Pegasus’ sexual orientation."
The shorter duelist merely smiled. "All right. Let’s talk about dinner then. Is this enough food for the evening? I’m working on the salad right now, but…" He turned and gestured at a pot of bratwurst boiling in beer, skewers of chicken breast marinating in a mix of orange marmalade and various seasonings, and a large stack of hamburger patties.
Seto’s brows went up. "You said the Mutt is coming over," he began, conveniently ignoring Yami’s growled protest at the insult, "so there can never be too much food. Damn freeloader." Seeing the look on Yami’s face, he added, "Don’t worry, I’ll ‘behave’ around the Mutt tonight. What does it matter what I call him when he’s not around?"
"He’s Yugi’s friend and mine as well, Seto." The crimson-eyed teen sighed and took the tossed salad to the fridge, then pulled out an assortment of mushrooms, summer squash and zucchini, which he dumped into the sink. Seto watched in silence as the younger duelist prepared the vegetables, turning out several veggie kabobs for grilling and finishing them off by brushing them with Italian dressing.
Yami laid the skewered vegetables on a plate and placed them on the counter, then surveyed the rest of the food laid out on the island. "Well, I think that’s all the prep work," he finally said.
"Hn." Seto poked at the veggie kabobs. "I assume these are for the rabbit? Because I don’t eat zucchini."
"If by rabbit you mean Bakura, then yes. He’s a…"
"… vegetarian. I know." Seto’s blue eyes met Yami’s crimson ones for a moment, and then the taller duelist smirked. "So… which are your weapons of choice?"
Weapons of choice? "I guess I’ll take the vegetables and chicken."
"And I get the burgers and brats? Fine by me." He picked up the platter of hamburger patties and headed out to the patio, where Mokuba and Noa were arguing over a playlist of songs.
Only Seto could turn a barbecue into a duel. With a slight smile, Yami picked up the dish of chicken skewers and headed out to join his lover.
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Yugi-tachi are like a swarm of something… bees maybe. Or locusts. Or a herd of horses. Definitely a herd of horses, plus one puppy, stampeding all over my house. All over my patio. Seto resisted the urge to chuck a hot bratwurst at Jounouchi as he ran by, screaming something unintelligible as he dove for the pool, causing Shizuka, Anzu and Mai to shriek in protest. God… can those idiots scream any louder? And Noa calls this noise music? Why won’t the intercom stop buzzing… isn’t everyone here already? Slowly, he put his hand on his forehead and tried in vain to rub away an impending headache.
Yami wandered over from his grill and bumped his hip against Seto’s leg, then turned and gave him a slight smile. Seto frowned in return. Yami tilted his head a little and murmured, "Are you all right?"
"Mm. A bit of a headache. But it seems to be fading for the moment." Yami grinned and the headache retreated even further. "Wait a moment." Seto glanced around to make sure none of their guests were watching, then leaned in for a quick kiss.
Yami chuckled as soon as Seto straightened back up. "How uncharacteristic of you. What prompted that?"
The billionaire shrugged. "Your apron says ‘Kiss the Pharaoh.’"
"And yours says ‘Kiss the CEO’ so I suppose I ought to reciprocate?" He began to lean in and stretch himself up on his toes…
"Awwwww! That’s so cute!" Both teens froze at the familiar voice and Seto mumbled something about "bastard" and "Mind Crush" before he quickly turned back to his grill, flushed with anger and embarrassment.
"Malik…" Yami turned and glared at the tombkeeper, noting offhandedly that Bakura was watching him over Malik’s shoulder.
"Well hello, Pharaoh." The tanned youth smirked slightly, but his cockiness dissolved under the weight of Yami’s glare. He waved his hand and began to turn away. "Well… I shan’t interrupt you any more. Carry on!"
"I wish he’d go back to Egypt," Seto ground out, once Malik and Bakura had moved on towards the pool.
Yami nodded once in agreement. Though he no longer felt any real animosity towards their former enemy, he was a bit of a prankster and had the worst timing, which seemed to irritate Seto to no end. Not wanting his lover’s headache to worsen, Yami took a quick peek around and then seeing that the coast was once again clear, pulled his boyfriend’s head down and gave him a hard kiss of his own.
"Better?" the ex-spirit asked, a bit breathless. His tongue flicked out to taste his lips.
Seto stared at him a for moment, then grabbed his shorter lover and practically devoured his lips, shoving his tongue in Yami’s mouth while the younger teen moaned and clutched at Seto’s belt with a free hand.
"Hey you two, get a room!" a voice called from the pool, followed by a lot of laughter.
Seto broke the kiss with a snarl. "I’m going to kill the shithead who said that," he muttered hoarsely, but Yami just smirked and patted his chest affectionately.
"You like games, right, Kai-baby?" Yami murmured slyly, and Seto quirked a brow in interest. "And I know you like revenge. I’ll be right back." The crimson-eyed teen wandered back into the kitchen for a minute and fetched a bottle from the refrigerator. On his way back, he thought he saw some movement around the side of the house, so he went to investigate.
At first Yami thought he was starting at the back of some sort of two-headed creature, then he realized one head had white hair and the other, platinum blonde. Bakura… and Malik? The two teens were walking slowly together, and Malik had his arm flung around Bakura’s shoulder while Bakura rested his head against Malik’s. This is… an interesting development.
Slipping away silently, Yami hurried back to the designated barbecuing area. Casually draping his hand around Seto’s waist, he dropped the bottle he had been clutching into his boyfriend’s apron pocket, then threw the brunette a wink.
Seto reached in and fished out a flask of red sauce. "Mmm. Sphincter Shrinker Hot Sauce, heh."
"Put some in Otogi’s burger," said Yami calmly. Seto felt a huge grin spreading across his face.
"Nice. I didn’t think you had it in you, Yami." He immediately began hollowing out a space in a burger patty and dumping the hot sauce into the indentation.
"Don’t underestimate me."
"Believe me, I’ve never underestimated you, Yami. Now… what about Malik?"
Yami turned and surveyed the pool scene briefly, noting that Malik and Bakura were both still missing, then turned and gave his lover a brilliant smile. "I think… I’ve learned something interesting about Malik. I’ll tell you in a moment." He cocked his head as Seto began doctoring a second patty. "What are you doing, Kai-baby? Otogi won’t fall for it twice…"
"Who said the second one’s for Dice Boy? Dogs love meat, right?"
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Seto thought dinner thus far was hilarious. Not only had he gotten revenge on Otogi for being a jackass, but Jou had bitten into his burger just moments after Dice Boy had returned from throwing the remainder of his burger away. The Mutt had spit out a mouthful of his burger all over Anzu just as she began scolding Seto for "pulling such a mean trick on poor Otogi," and the young billionaire laughed so hard that even Mokuba was starting to edge away from him.
"So…" and Seto paused to wipe tears from his eyes, "what do you think of my cooking? Not bad huh?"
Anzu managed to wrangle up a weak glare as she wiped her face off. Jou was still guzzling water like there was no tomorrow. He finally detached himself from his sister’s nearly empty glass of water, mumbling, "Shut up," as he narrowed his brown eyes at his tormentor.
Yugi joined the fray. "Yami, you knew about this, didn’t you?" he questioned his other half.
Yami put on his best innocent look and shrugged in response, which only made Yugi even more suspicious. With a smirk, he casually slid a leg over Seto’s thigh, though the table effectively blocked anyone from noticing this. "So far I haven’t hear any complaints about my cooking. I guess I win, Seto."
The brunette duelist picked up a skewer of chicken while surreptitiously running his left hand up Yami’s leg. "In this case, I’ll concede. As long as you’re willing to concede that you have no business making French toast." Yami chuckled softly and nodded.
"Yes, I admit, your French toast was far superior to mine."
"Of course. And as far as dinner, it was well worth conceding to you in exchange for making the Mu… er, Jou, choke on his burger." He pointed the skewered chicken at the blonde, then twirled it and swung it towards Otogi, who was grimacing. "And to get revenge on Dice Boy." The chicken finally went into his mouth as his blue eyes shifted and focused on Malik. Yami’s gaze followed his lover’s, then his lips curled up in a predatory grin.
Malik shifted in his seat. He’d already finished eating bratwurst and chicken, plus a few bites of salad, none of which had been messed with. Considering the "punishments" dealt out thus far, he knew he was going to be in for it sooner or later. And apparently all of Seto’s and Yami’s attention was on him now. If they ask me if I would like dessert, I’m going to say, "NO!" There was a painful lull in conversation at the table.
"So... Malik. How are you adjusting to life in Domino City?" Yami’s voice was sweet, but a dangerous grin was still plastered on his face. Yugi's gaze swept over his other half, then Seto, then Malik, before he decided against interfering, at least, for the moment.
The tombkeeper dropped his gaze to focus on a blob of salad dressing on his plate. "Mm, pretty well, I guess."
"I bet having Bakura around has helped a lot." Both Malik and Bakura suddenly raised their heads, then they glanced at each other for a moment before looking away. Yami’s grin grew even bigger. "So… when did this little love affair begin?" Malik flushed slightly, and Yami winked at him before continuing. "You we’re soooo cuuuute when I saw the two of you earlier," he cooed. Bakura eeeped and covered his face with his hands.
"Wait… huh?" Honda began, but Yugi cut him off.
"Yami! That’s not very nice."
"Of course it’s not nice. This is payback. No one gets away with calling me cute, or making sounds at me that should only be directed at puppies and kittens," snarled Seto defensively. Yami lightly laid a placating hand on his boyfriend’s arm.
"No one ‘cept Yami, huh?" Jou threw in.
Shut up, Jou, thought Yami.
"Shut up, Mutt," Seto spat back.
"Seto…" Yami said in warning.
"So you and Malik are an item? When did this happen?" Jou blurted at Bakura, completely ignoring Seto now. The taller teen was practically steaming in his seat.
"Um, well…" stuttered Bakura. Malik frowned, then narrowed his eyes at Jou.
"It’s been three weeks, and we’re just casually dating okay!?"
"Geez, okay. I just didn’t know you were gay. Don’t get all worked up like him," and Jou jerked his thumb at the brunette billionaire across the table from him.
"No one wants to listen to your fuckin’ bark, Dog!" Jou bared his teeth in response.
"Kaiba!" Yami’s crimson eyes flashed with anger, but Seto ignored the warning signs and pushed Yami’s leg off his own.
"What?! You know full well he’s doing this to rile me up! I don’t have to put up with his shit… This was a bad idea. I hate these dinners. I hate… mmmph!" Seto’s rant was cut short as Yami lunged at him, kissing him fiercely. The taller duelist froze, sensing that every pair of eyes at the table was now locked on him and his boyfriend. Startled, he pushed Yami away roughly, then sprang to his feet. The two former rivals locked eyes for a long, tense moment before Seto spun away and disappeared back into the house.
Yami watched as his boyfriend stormed off, then slowly rose to his feet. He went and laid a hand on Mokuba’s shoulder and then Noa’s in silent apology, then addressed Bakura without really looking at him.
"I didn’t really mean to get you involved in this either. But I wish Malik hadn’t egged Seto on earlier this evening."
"Oh! Well…" Bakura sheepishly rubbed the back of his head. "It’s okay, I guess. No real harm done. We would have told everyone sooner or later. At least this time you didn’t resort to using hot sauce," he finished lamely.
Yami gave the white-haired teen a slightly bitter smile. "Seto isn’t feeling well, and it’s rubbing off on me I think. Sorry," he added, then turned to follow his lover back into the house. No one said a word until the ex-spirit disappeared from view.
Yugi broke the silence with a sigh. "I hate to say this, but even though they fight a lot, Yami’s really done it this time."
"Well… it’s not like we didn’t know about the two of them," said Bakura. Several heads bobbed up and down in agreement.
"They’re pretty obvious about it," Otogi added.
Anzu joined in as well. "Kaiba’s probably not even aware of it, but his feelings are clear as day every time he looks at Yami. It’s romantic, I think."
"And it’s not like it really bothers any of us," threw in Mai, who glanced over at Jou and then gave him a nudge.
Jou just gave Mai a funny look. "Well, uh… I mean, I don’t get it. I truly don’t get it… but Kaiba seems to make Yami happy, I guess." It was probably the nicest thing Jou would ever have to say about Seto.
"Yeah, but Nii-sama doesn’t like flaunting their relationship," Mokuba pointed out, and everyone turned to regard the youngest member of their group. "At least, not in front of everyone, like this," he tried to explain, scratching his shaggy hair. It was hard even for him to explain why his brother thought and acted the way he did. "Sometimes he doesn’t mind… he’s always playing some sort of game with Yami. But they weren’t playing this time…" he trailed off, looking to Noa helplessly. The green-haired teen met his younger brother’s gray eyes, then gave him the most encouraging smile he could muster.
Yugi took the initiative to walk over and pat both brothers on the shoulder, trying his best to give them added reassurance. "Don’t worry, they’ll work through it. This isn’t a game to Yami, and Kaiba’s not a quitter. But we should probably give them a bit of space. Maybe… you guys want to go get coffee or something?"
Mokuba looked up at Yugi, then swept his eyes over the table and surrounding patio and pool areas. "Uh… I… Noa and I should clean up."
"We’ll all help, okay?" said Shizuka, who was already stacking paper plates for disposal.
Honda nodded, quickly following Shizuka’s example and picking up a few empty cans of soda. "And once we’re done, we can all go out for coffee together." Otogi bristled a little at the way he said "together."
"Hmph. I normally wouldn’t do this for something this silly, but I’ll even apologize to Kaiba, if that will help," Malik offered gruffly, but Yugi simply shook his head.
"If Kaiba’s still upset about it later, you can make it up to him at that time. I don’t think he’s really that mad about it though. He’s probably had a stressful week and we’re probably just a bit much for him to deal with on top of that. And now he’s got this issue with Yami..." Sometimes Yugi wished things were back to the way they used to be, when he and Yami shared their thoughts freely, but he wasn’t going to go back on his word and eavesdrop on the ex-spirit now. Without even thinking about it, he began toying nervously with the Sennen Puzzle hanging from his neck before he caught Mokuba looking at him oddly.
Yugi reminded himself that he was trying to make the black-haired teen feel better, not worse, so he turned to the youngest Kaiba and said, "Don’t worry Mokuba, you know that Kaiba means the world to Yami. They've been through so much together... they WILL work things out."
"Yugi's right. It's going to be fine, Otouto, you'll see," Noa added, a small but genuine smile lighting up his face.
Mokuba smiled back at his brother. "All right," he breathed. Taking another look around, the teen took a deep breath and set his jaw in determination before addressing his friends. "Well, the sooner we finish, the sooner we’ll be at the coffee shop. What are you guys waiting for; let’s get this place cleaned up!"
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Additional Author’s Notes (regarding how this chapter came up):
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May 16, 2005