Title: I Can’t Drive 55
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami, Yugi + Anzu, Jou + Mai
Disclaimer: "I Can’t Drive 55" is performed and recorded by Sammy Hagar. 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: Sugoroku's in for a little surprise when his old station wagon breaks down.
Status: 1 / 1
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
* * *I Can't Drive 55
* * *
Seto ended the call as Sugoroku looked on expectantly. "Well, they’re sending a car to come get us. And a tow truck of course. It shouldn’t be too long," the brunette announced as he folded his arms and resumed glaring at the broken down station wagon parked on the curb.
The old man nodded. They’d been on the way back from their usual Tuesday lunch outing when the engine of his station wagon had started making all sorts of horrible sounds. He’d pushed it an extra block at Seto’s insistence before he’d decided it wasn’t worth the risk – it really sounded like the engine was trying to shred itself to pieces – and pulled over. "I’m sorry about this. It used to be so reliable, but it’s been a little iffy lately. I guess… it really is too old. Like this old man," he tried joking.
"You’re hardly going to fall apart in the middle of the road," Seto scoffed, but at least he seemed to be taking it all in stride. He’d gotten a lot better about not sweating the small stuff. It probably helped that they’d already eaten, so at least lunch wasn’t ruined.
Sugoroku chuckled briefly at Seto’s somewhat clumsy attempt at reassurance, then turned back to the car. "I just hope it can be fixed."
"Why? It’d cost more than the car is worth. Hell, even an oil change would cost more than the car is worth."
"You’re probably right. I guess I’m just unreasonably attached to it."
Sugoroku turned to the younger man. Seto stared back. Sugoroku smiled. It was more than curiosity; Seto really did want to know. "I bought it back when Yugi was still in elementary school. I remember letting him choose the color. He’d been really excited about that." Sugoroku sighed. "I know that’s a lifetime ago for someone your age, but it doesn’t seem that long ago to me."
Seto snorted softly. "So it’s nostalgia then?"
"I suppose. Not that I didn’t want him to grow up, but sometimes I can’t help remembering how things used to be."
The brunette shrugged. He didn’t operate that way, but the old man didn’t need to be told that. He already knew.
"Maybe Honda will have time to take a quick look at it. Even if it can’t be fixed, I at least want to try," Sugoroku mused, looking back at his car. It was a long shot, but he didn’t want to throw in the towel just yet. Seto was probably right – the station wagon was old; repairing it wasn’t going to be cost efficient. But Sugoroku couldn’t help but calculate that against how much it’d cost to get a replacement. A new vehicle was pretty much out of the question unless he wanted to take out a loan. Something a few years old would be more in his ballpark. Perhaps if he could get his old car running for a few more weeks, he’d be able to take the time to find something he really liked, rather than buying out of desperation. Or if he really had to, he could go carless for a bit… the grocery store wasn’t that far away, and Jounouchi could do pickups and deliveries for the store for a little while…
"Well, in the meantime, if you need to borrow a car, I can lend you one," Seto offered.
Sugoroku smiled as he imagined himself sitting behind the wheel of one of the young billionaire’s luxurious supercars. If he were a younger man, he would’ve LOVED getting the chance to cruise around town in one of those. But it was too much to ask for. He couldn’t imagine picking up shipments in something with an engine that eclipsed its trunk. "No, it’s all right, but thank you."
"… It wouldn’t be a bother."
The old man’s smile broadened. He patted Seto’s arm. "It’s kind of you to offer. But I can manage without a car for a few weeks."
"Suit yourself," Seto replied with a shrug, though the wheels in his head were already spinning in another direction. He knew the elderly shopkeeper was too proud and stubborn to accept something like money, but he doubted he’d turn down an actual gift. But Seto’s taste definitely didn’t run towards station wagons or vans, so he had to think of something that would be more… appropriate, while keeping functionality in mind…
An approaching limo with caught Seto’s attention, and he turned away from the station wagon with a toss of his head. "Our ride’s here. How soon do you have to be back at the shop?"
"Oh, I’m not in a rush. You should head back first."
Seto nodded, then approached the limo to have a few words with the driver. "The tow truck should be by in a little bit… you said you wanted it taken to H-I Motors, correct?"
"Yes, I think so."
Seto thought about it as the driver got out and let them into the limo. Honda and Malik’s fledgling motorcycle repair business was on the other side of town from the Kame Game Shop. The elderly man would need a ride then. Perhaps he could work that to his advantage. "I’ll come by after work and give you a ride then."
"Wouldn’t that be inconvenient for you? Especially with traffic…"
The brunette mentally sorted through his afternoon schedule, decided there was nothing pressing that had to be dealt with, and then amended his previous offer. "I can leave work early if you can," he said, watching as the scenery began passing by as their ride pulled back onto the road.
"Oh… I suppose I could do that, if you’re really sure it’s all right?" Sugoroku replied. He couldn’t hide the surprise in his voice. Seto was being so accommodating. There was no way he could decline, although he had to wonder at the ulterior motive… the billionaire wasn’t exactly in the habit of chauffeuring people around. Maybe he was going to offer to pay for the repairs, though it’d be too presumptuous to ask him about it.
"Good. I’ll come by around 4:00 then?"
"Hmm… Yes, that will work, thank you."
Seto smiled and leaned back into his seat, looking rather smug, while Sugoroku continued to wonder what he was up to. All he knew was he was undoubtedly in for a surprise.
* * *
Seto showed up at the game shop five minutes ‘til four, early as per his usual habit, but not so much so as to make Sugoroku feel like he was running behind. The timing was pretty close to perfect; they managed to beat most of the traffic that was starting to clog the streets downtown and made it to Honda-Ishtar Motors with little problem. Honda came out to greet them as Seto’s Ferrari tore into the small parking lot.
"You have to stop acting like we’re your personal mechanics or something," the slightly shorter brunette groused, but he was just joking. He was always happy to lend his friends a helping hand. Even though their business specialized in motorbike repair and custom builds, that didn’t mean they couldn’t take a look at a friend’s car in a pinch.
"Have you had a chance to diagnose it yet?" Seto asked evenly.
"Yeah, I took a peek." Honda then turned to Sugoroku. "Well, I think we can probably fix it. But the bad news is it’s going to take a while to get parts, I think."
"What’s wrong with it?"
"Um… transmission. Just needs a bit of TLC, that’s all."
The old man sighed in relief. "I see… Well, that’s better than I expected. I wasn’t sure if it could be fixed, or if it’d be too big a project."
Honda smiled and nodded, though the entire time he was thinking, Actually your transmission is deader than dead, far as I can tell. But Seto had called him shortly after the vehicle had been towed in and told him that if the station wagon was beyond help, to tell Sugoroku that it was fixable anyhow, and that it’d take a few weeks. Why, he wouldn’t say. But since Seto had loaned them some money to help start the business, Honda knew they owed him big time. And more than that, he’d been the shop’s first customer too; he’d brought in his old CBR1100XX Blackbird for some bodywork after Mokuba had scraped it up while learning to ride. It meant a lot to both Honda and Malik that Seto trusted them enough to let them work on his motorcycles, that his support wasn’t just a display of financial strength. So he simply had to trust that the young CEO had a reason for wanting to deceive the old man, and left it at that.
"It’ll likely be a few weeks, is that okay?" Honda added as Seto glanced his way.
"Yes, of course! I appreciate you taking the time to do this," Sugoroku said. "Oh, but, how much will the parts run? Transmission problems aren’t cheap, I know that much."
"Don’t worry about it," Honda began saying, but Seto jumped in and blurted out the same thing before Honda could finish.
Sugoroku just smiled tolerantly. He’d figured Seto would react once money was mentioned. "I appreciate it, but I can manage this much. Now then, Honda…"
"Well…" Honda scratched the back of his head a moment, then, thinking quickly, answered, "I won’t know for sure ‘til I get the parts. Probably a couple hundred? Like I said, it’s not as bad as it could be. I’ll call you once I have more details though."
"Hmm, all right then. But if it turns out to be more expensive, please let me know first?"
Honda nodded. "Sure thing, Jii-chan."
The elderly shopkeeper looked relieved and pleased. Normally that was all Honda would’ve cared about. But he couldn’t help but look over Sugoroku’s head to the tall brunette standing behind the old man’s shoulder. There was a generous smile gracing his face as he tipped his chin at Honda in appreciation for his cooperation.
Well, it wasn’t his business to ask Seto what he was planning. But whatever it was, it looked like Honda’s act had been good enough to pass muster.
* * *
Seto put his plan into action almost immediately. When Mokuba and Noa got home, he pulled them aside to enlist their help – his youngest brother especially shared his love for fast, showy rides after all – but kept the details of his plan a secret from Yami. Not because he thought Yami would spill the beans, but he wanted it to be a surprise to his lover too, just to see his reaction when he finally unveiled it.
It didn’t take Mokuba long to come back with a single, perfect suggestion: the brand new Lamborghini Urus SUV. Seto grinned as soon as he saw it. No, it wasn’t a station wagon, but Seto doubted the old man would care about that much once he saw how sweet it was – it looked more like an oversized sportscar than anything else, with sleek lines in accordance with its pedigree. And with nearly 600 HP it topped Yami’s Porsche, Mokuba’s Tesla, and his own Ferrari and Viper in raw horsepower. The only downside was that it hadn’t been released quite yet but in a situation like this, he didn’t mind letting his money do the talking; all he had to do was wave enough cash and sign enough contracts, and promise some publicity… who would turn him down?
During dinner, Yami asked what everyone was so happy about, but after Seto deflected the question while the younger Kaibas busied themselves studying the oh so interesting ceiling, the crimson-eyed man didn’t ask again. But he had his suspicions what the subject was at least, as he’d heard about what happened to the Mutou’s old station wagon from Yugi.
The question now was, just how far would Seto go to help out the man he now considered his grandfather?
* * *
A week passed, and then another. During that time the only hint Yami got as to what was happening was Malik letting slip that he and Honda weren’t fixing the station wagon despite having told Sugoroku that they were doing so - Malik had of course presumed that Yami was in on Seto’s plan and wanted to know what it was. Yami in turn played along, smirking as if he knew everything, before leaning in and telling Malik he’d find out soon enough, just like everyone else.
Then, just before the third week came to an end, Seto suddenly asked Yami to meet him for lunch, and the shorter duelist knew he was finally going to get the answer he’d been waiting for. Not that it was terribly unusual for a man to ask his lover to lunch, except it was a Thursday – their usual lunch day was Friday and Seto was a stickler for schedules - and more than that, Seto was asking to meet him at a rather unconventional locale.
Just come to the game shop at 1:30, okay? Seto insisted after Yami asked why they weren’t simply meeting up at Kaiba Corp.
Are we having lunch with Jii-chan then?
Seto paused for the briefest of moments, before casually answering, Yeah, if that’s okay, though the ex-spirit could easily detect the undercurrent of excitement running through his boyfriend’s mental voice.
Of course it’s fine. Why wouldn’t it be?
Seto sent a smile in response.
Okay then. And uh, is there anything I need to bring or anything like that? Yami sent an image of a camera along their link.
Now why would you ask that? Seto replied, chuckling, before "hanging up."
Yami laughed even though there wasn’t anyone there to hear him. Seto wasn’t trying very hard to hide the fact that he had a surprise to unveil now that it was so close to time. Though of course, he wasn’t going to voluntarily give away any additional information either.
The former Pharaoh turned back to the laundry and pushed up his sleeves. There were a couple of hours to go before it was time to leave, so he still had time to get things done around the house. No point in worrying about what the big secret was when he’d find out soon enough. But considering Seto’s good mood, he knew it’d be something pretty special… and new and shiny, on four wheels.
* * *
Yami got down to the Kame Game Shop a few minutes ahead of schedule, knowing that Seto had a penchant for showing up early. He wanted to see the car pull up, to see everyone’s reactions as it happened. That was what he anticipated more than anything else.
As soon as he walked in, Yami looked around for Sugoroku, but the old man was nowhere to be seen. Yugi and Jounouchi were there though, minding the counter and assisting the few midday customers they had. After an exchange of greetings they instantly began peppering Yami with questions, asking what was going on, why was Seto suddenly coming by to take Sugoroku out for a late lunch on an off day. Even they knew that Seto didn’t deviate from his schedules on a whim. Yami just laughed; he genuinely couldn’t answer their questions since he wasn’t in on the surprise, not that they believed it. The only thing he could suggest was that they all keep an eye on the shop’s front window, but Jou quickly pointed out that they did that all the time anyhow, so that wasn’t much of a hint.
But before the two friends could further interrogate Yami, the racing of a car engine caught everyone's attention.
Yugi reflexively looked out the window at the sound, and his jaw dropped a little. "Is that… Kaiba?" He didn’t know why he was so stunned – Seto was always springing surprises on them, whether it be a brand new vehicle, an attack pony, or even a restaurant. But it seemed a little thoughtless of him to come and show off his car when their grandfather didn’t even have… Uh oh… don’t tell me… he couldn’t have…
Jou caught sight of the same thing, and let out a low whistle. "Damn, he got a new ride, eh? What a showoff."
Yami shook his head. It wasn’t surprising that Jou would think Seto was just rubbing his newest acquisition in his face. The young billionaire wasn’t above doing something like that – hell, when they’d had first started dating, he’d debuted his Ferrari in front of the shop, in front of everyone. But this time, Jou was dead wrong.
"It’s not Seto’s…" Yami began saying as the door to the back opened and Sugoroku walked in.
"Oh, Yami! I didn’t hear you come in."
"Hey Jii-chan, check out Kaiba’s fancy-pants ride," Jou said, gesturing at the window. Most of the customers were staring out the window as well, murmuring to one another about the unusual vehicle, and the famous driver who had just climbed out of it. "Uh, wait, what were you saying Yami?"
Yami shut his mouth and just smiled. It was Seto’s surprise, so he’d wait for Seto to come in and do the big reveal.
Sugoroku looked over in the direction Jou had indicated, and grinned. He waved at Seto through the glass. "Well now, that certainly is a nice looking car," he commented as Seto strolled in.
The brunette beelined for the counter, placing the keyfob on the middle of the countertop before resting his hand on it, covering it. Although he looked as if nothing was amiss, the reality was, Sugoroku’s comment worried him. He wondered if Sugoroku had been tipped off ahead of time. Maybe leaving Yami out of the loop was a bad idea after all. You didn’t tell him, did you? That this is for him… because I hadn’t told you…
I figured it out for myself, so don’t worry. I didn’t say a thing. This is your surprise after all… I’m just here to witness it. But Jou thinks you’re showing off a new car, and I guess Jii-chan’s assuming the same.
Ahh… well then, I’d better clear things up. Seto suddenly smirked, looking so smug and triumphant that Jounouchi’s eye began twitching reflexively. He took a breath, then pushed the key over towards Sugoroku, then lifted his hand back up. "So I guess we’ll be taking your car to lunch then."
The elderly shopkeeper looked down at the keyfob, which he'd mistaken for a cigarette lighter, then back up at the tall man standing before him. "Seto?"
"Go on, it’s yours," Seto urged, wondering if he hadn’t been clear enough.
"WHA?? Kaiba, you serious?" Jou yelled. He was so loud that he woke Hitomi from her nap. Her cries forced her father to hastily excuse himself to go deal with the situation.
"Seto…" Sugoroku repeated, a little more weakly than before. He was still so surprised that he didn’t know what to think or say.
Seto’s smirk faltered slightly. He’d expected Sugoroku to explode with excitement or something when he delivered the news, but instead, he was just standing there, looking befuddled.
He swallowed. Did Sugoroku not like the new car even though it was far better than his previous one? Maybe he really did have a thing for weathered, outdated old station wagons and Seto had been too presumptuous in picking something based on his own preferences. He glanced at Yami, wondering if he had a better read on the situation.
Yami gave him a tiny half smile in reassurance. Give him a moment; he’s probably in shock. It’s not every day that someone gets handed the keys to a new car and told, "Here you go, it’s yours."
I think you just really, really surprised him, that’s all.
Seto sighed softly. Wanting to clear everything up, he began trying to explain himself as quickly as he could. "The day your car broke down, I called Honda before I came to get you and asked him if it was feasible to fix it, and he said it wasn’t. But I asked him to tell you otherwise because I figured I’d need time to find a suitable replacement. And then I had Mokuba and Noa help me look around for one, and they found this, and I thought it was perfect, but… Look, if you really don’t like it, I’ll get you whatever you want instead, all right?"
Sugoroku’s hand slowly closed around the keyfob. He picked it up as his eyes went back to the window to gaze at the golden yellow… well, what was it exactly? It looked like a sportscar, but it was larger and sat higher than the typical sportscar.
"It’s a pre-production SUV called the ‘Urus.’ I know you’d prefer a station wagon, but Lamborghini didn’t seem to have one of those in the works," Seto remarked, seeing the confusion on the old man’s face. "Go figure."
"Lam…LAMBORGHINI?!" Yugi suddenly shrieked, wincing when he heard Hitomi crying again in the backroom. All the customers were surreptitiously looking his way now too. "You bought him a Lamborghini?! Are you crazy?" he said, more mindful of his voice this time.
Sugoroku suddenly looked down at the unmistakable bull logo on the keyfob that was now pressing heavily into his palm – he didn’t know why it hadn’t registered with him earlier - and shook his head, visions of thousands upon thousands of dollars flying through his head. "Oh Seto, there’s no way I could… Even if I could accept it, the insurance alone would be beyond me!"
But his protests died when he got a good look at Seto’s face. This wasn’t a joke; the younger man really had bought the car specifically for him. He’d be hurt if Sugoroku insisted he take it back. And what would he do with it anyhow? He couldn’t just return it as if it were an ill-fitting shirt or something. But still, the over the top extravagance of it all… it was just too much for Sugoroku to wrap his head around.
"Is that the only problem?" Seto asked carefully. "I’ll pay for the insurance and maintenance too, of course."
"But I don’t even know if I could handle driving it…" Sugoroku protested weakly. "And where would I park it? On the street? That doesn’t seem right. It’d get damaged or stolen within days."
"If you really need it, I’ll give you a lesson on the way to lunch. And I’ll have a garage built for it too, if that’s what you want; there’s enough space in the parking lot for an addon to the house," Seto answered, sounding more reasonable and practical than his actions would indicate.
"You’d have to give driving lessons to Yugi then as well," Yami said. When Seto glanced at him, he added, "You know, they were sharing a car."
"You’re not helping, Yami!" Yugi hissed. Yami was taking it all too well, even though he’d already confessed through their link that he hadn’t been expecting anything like this. Then again, Yami was used to having expensive cars and things heaped on him… he had no clue just how insane things like that seemed to everyone else. Hell, Seto could buy him a small country or two and Yami would just smile and accept it without batting an eyelash.
"Yugi knows how to drive," Seto said casually, as if the little duelist hadn’t spoken.
"So does Jii-chan. But we don’t know how to drive a sportscar!" Yugi shot back.
"It’s an SUV," Seto retorted.
"It’s a Lamborghini!"
Seto shrugged and turned back to Sugoroku. "Well?"
The elderly shopkeeper slowly turned the key over in his hand. Like Yugi, he’d been shocked by the brand and the price tag, but he shouldn’t have gotten so caught up on those. Yes, it was undoubtedly an expensive, desirable car… but more than that, it was a gift, one that had been carefully chosen just for him. And the reality was, this was how Seto operated. He’d seen proof of that first hand with Yami.
Sugoroku closed a fist around the key, and reached out with his other hand to lightly touch Seto's forearm. "Thank you so much. I... I really don’t know what else to say. I’ll treasure it - not because of what it is of course, but because it came from you."
Seto visibly relaxed, relieved. "I’m glad you like it."
"I do. And it really is a beautiful car. I love the color… it’s like sunshine."
"It’s not my style, but Mokuba said it reminds him of the Sennen Puzzle, so I guess it’s not a bad…"
Yugi blinked. "Wait a minute, Jii-chan? So you’re really accepting it?" But as soon as the question left his lips, he realized what it was that had really surprised him, and it wasn’t the fact that his grandfather had just taken ownership of a car that was worth more than their shop. He’d known that Seto and his grandfather had been growing closer, but until this very moment, he hadn’t realized just how close they’d become. But he should’ve known. Seto wouldn’t have started calling Sugoroku "Jii-chan" just because everyone else did… he was the kind of guy who'd only say what he really meant. And it looked like his grandfather felt the same way about Seto too, or else he certainly wouldn’t have accepted such an extravagant gift.
Sugoroku smiled at his grandson, seeing the understanding dawning in his eyes now. "Well, we do need a car… and I guess station wagons are out of fashion now, so an SUV is a reasonable alternative?"
"Yes, Seto was trying to be practical," Yami said with a laugh, earning him a look of disbelief from his other half.
"And I’ll certainly catch the attention of all the ladies to boot, oh ho!" Sugoroku cheerfully added as he began laughing along with Yami.
"Jii-chan! Geez, you’re all crazy," Yugi sighed, though now that his grandfather had made up his mind on the matter, he was kind of looking forward to taking a turn behind the wheel too. Though he didn’t know about having Seto Kaiba of all people as his driving instructor…
"Well, you don’t have to drive it if you don’t want to, Yugi. I didn’t buy it for you after all," Seto sniffed.
"Hey now, I didn’t say that," Yugi protested. "Maybe I want to drive around in a chick magnet too!"
"Now Yugi, don’t let Anzu catch you talking like that!" Sugoroku mock scolded his biological grandson. They paused to exchange grins before Sugoroku turned to his other grandson, the one he’d unofficially, unintentionally adopted and who’d adopted him in turn. "Now then, I believe we have lunch on the schedule as well?"
Seto checked his watch. "Yeah, we need to get going. Ready for your driving lesson then?"
Sugoroku gave the key one last squeeze. He was a little nervous but giddy with anticipation as well. Even an old man like him still entertained fantasies about cruising around in a sleek, powerful exotic car… except it was no longer a fantasy now; it was HIS sleek, powerful exotic car. "No time like the present, right?"
"Have fun then, Jii-chan," said Yugi. He’d already returned to his post behind the counter, intending to see them off with a big smile even as he began ringing up a purchase for a customer who’d been patiently waiting while watching the whole scene.
"Thanks Yugi, I will. See you after lunch!"
Yugi waved goodbye as the trio left the store. Once he was done with the customer, he went back to straightening up the shelves, though he kept the corner of his eye canted in the direction the SUV whenever he could spare a moment. After a few minutes he finally heard the engine roar back to life, and then… the car began backing up ever so slowly before turning and heading through the parking lot, creeping along like a giant yellow tortoise, or perhaps an old station wagon with an equally aged driver behind the wheel.
The little duelist couldn’t help but giggle. When the intended driver really was a sensible old man, it didn’t matter how fast or powerful the vehicle was – it was going to be traveling at the speed limit, at best.
Or at least, that’s what he thought… until the Lamborghini reached the road, where it suddenly jumped to life as if struck by lightning, bolting down the street like a bat out of hell. Yugi cringed. Seto really was a good guy, but at the same time he was a horribly bad influence on driving habits… Yugi had no doubt ho’d been the one to goad his grandfather into "flooring it."
Unable to do anything about it for the moment other than sigh – and to tell Yami to remind Sugoroku that it was a 30 MPH zone just past the shop - Yugi shook his head slowly and got back to work. But it sounded like his warning had come too late, because moments later, he heard a police siren blaring from somewhere down the street.
Yugi sighed again. He just hoped Seto’s generosity extended to speeding tickets as well.
* * *
September 3, 2012
* * *
* * * * OMAKE * * * *
I didn’t write this; hubby did when I was picking his brain for ideas for the ending. So it doesn’t exactly fit in with the events from the chapter but I thought it was cute nonetheless.
Grandpa: Yugi! Yami! Look! I got a speeding ticket!
Yugi: Grandpa, that's terrible!
*Seto has an innocent look*
Grandpa: Terrible? Are you kidding? I haven't even been pulled over in decades, let alone given a speeding ticket! It made me feel so young again!