Rating: PG-13 to NC-17
Pairing(s): Seto x Yami, Noa + Mokuba, Jou + Mai
Disclaimer: "Landslide" and "I Don't Want to Know" are performed and recorded by Fleetwood Mac. 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: It’s Mokuba’s 18th birthday, and Seto has a difficult time accepting that his little brothers have grown up.
Status: 1 / 3?
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
This is a YAOI fic (male x male sexual situations) and is not appropriate for minors. If you are underage or offended by homosexual relationships, please do not read this. Flames will be disregarded.
Setup for this arc:
* * *
Part 1: I Don't Want to Know
* * *
I took my love, I took it down
Climbed a mountain and I turned around
I saw my reflection in the snow covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down
- "Landslide," Fleetwood Mac
* * *
There was a running joke in their family that Yami slept enough for both he and Seto to get by. There was probably some truth to that, thanks to the effect of their mind link. But even without that, Seto wasn’t going to get any sleep, not tonight. He just didn’t want to get up yet either.
For the umpteenth time that night, he ran his fingers down Yami’s arm, from shoulder to elbow, savoring the feel of warm skin laid bare. His hand moved down and traced along a rib, down the spine, over the curve of the backside and down the thigh. Yami didn’t wake up or stir; he merely took a deeper breath than usual and continued right on sleeping.
It was nice being able to press himself against a naked body, to caress it as he pleased. They rarely slept nude – for one, there was nothing more unpleasant than accidentally pinching one’s balls while rolling over – but also because given a choice between fucking and sleeping, it was obvious which was preferable.
Seto groaned softly to himself. They’d already tried the former. He’d failed miserably, and he didn’t understand why. He didn’t think there was anything physically wrong with him… But he’d been unable to get fully erect and trying to force it to work had only caused them both pain and frustration. He’d offered a blow job and foot massage to try and make amends, which Yami had accepted without fuss. And then after much sucking and touching and rubbing, they’d drifted off to sleep… or at least Yami had, which led back to Seto’s current dilemma, with him staring at the back of his lover’s head.
He had a momentary thought that he ought to wake the shorter duelist just so he’d have someone to keep him company, so that he wouldn’t have to think about… things. But that would be unfair to Yami, and besides, Seto knew his boyfriend would only manage to direct the conversation back towards what he didn’t want to talk about.
Seto sat up and swung his legs off the bed. He sighed, reluctantly facing the truth - he wasn’t going back to sleep. And he wasn’t doing anything productive just sitting in bed, his mind spinning in circles. He got up, got dressed, and headed downstairs to the kitchen, opting to focus on the one thing he had resolved to do, as if that by concentrating on that task, he could forget everything else, even for a few moments.
* * *
By the time Yami was up and out of bed, Seto was already wandering back upstairs with a breakfast tray in hand. Yami caught a glimpse of the taller duelist as he disappeared into Mokuba’s room, and he immediately ran to catch up, curious as to what was going on.
What are you doing? a slightly sleep addled Yami barely managed to ask before there was a yelp and Mokuba and Noa began screeching their big brother’s name.
That woke him quicker than cold water to the face. "Seto? Mokuba, Noa, is everything okay?!" Yami called out in alarm just as Seto backed out of the room, bumping into the shorter man in his haste to get out and shut the door. "What’s…"
"They’re… they’re …" Seto began mumbling. He swallowed and tried to gather his thoughts before starting again. "They’re… together…" was all he managed to get out.
Yami frowned slightly. He didn’t need more details to understand. And he didn’t really want to talk about what was going behind closed doors either. Not that he thought of himself as a parent, but it seemed it’d only been yesterday that Mokuba was a kid, barely chest high on him, with big gray eyes and an unruly tangle of black hair. It was just wrong to think of him now as an adult, doing adult things.
But he couldn’t just leave Seto floundering either. "At least they waited, like they promised," Yami said, though as soon as the words were out he realized that that wasn’t exactly the most useful thing to point out either. He could understand the teens’ desires to take their relationship to the next level, but still…
"It’s all right, isn’t it? That they’re…" Seto faltered, swallowing hard. All of a sudden it felt like his legs had turned to jelly, and before he knew it, he was sitting on the carpet, his back against the wall, with Yami kneeling beside him, his eyes dark with concern.
He didn’t like it. He wanted to yell at Yami, wanted to scream, "Don’t look at me like that!" – but the words wouldn’t come. He just felt weird. He didn’t remember ever feeling so strange before, not when the police had told him his father had died, not when his relatives had told him that he and Mokuba wouldn’t be living with them anymore...
"… He’s grown up…" Seto whispered, as if even he couldn’t believe what he was saying. Nothing made sense anymore.
"Yes." Yami shifted so that he could sit beside his lover.
"It’s not like I wanted him to be a kid forever." Seto glanced back at the door, then looked away again. He didn’t say anything for a minute. Then suddenly, he jumped up and shook his head. "I can’t stay here. I have to go to work."
"Seto…" Yami reached out to snag his boyfriend’s wrist, but Seto neatly twisted it out of his grasp.
"Mokuba might take the day off. I told him it was okay yesterday… " Seto said as he hastily began retreating back to his room.
"Wait!" Yami called out, but Seto was long gone. Frustrated, the shorter duelist let out a big sigh. He glanced back at the closed door to Mokuba’s room, grateful he couldn’t hear any more sounds from that direction. Seto wasn’t the only one left flustered by what was going on in there; Yami wasn’t looking forward to that awkward moment when the teens finally emerged either.
He wasn’t normally one to avoid the inevitable, but after some thought he headed back towards his bedroom to grab some riding pants and a T-shirt. It was a bit early for it, but suddenly a morning ride sounded like just the thing.
* * *
Jounouchi frowned at the persistent knocking on the shop’s door. Surely no purchase was so urgent that a customer couldn’t wait until they opened in 10 minutes, right? He knew they had their hours clearly posted, and he’d just put Hitomi down for a nap on top of that.
But the person at the door was insistent, and Jou found himself marching over to the door to tell them to knock it off. "Sorry, but we’re not open ye…" he began saying, irritation making his voice sound sharper than usual, but then he pulled back the shade on the door and realized who was standing there. "Oh… uh, just a sec, ‘kay?"
The blonde quickly ran to get the key, then began unlocking the door. He wasn’t sure why Seto was there, but he figured it was probably none of his business anyhow. Maybe he just wanted to get Mokuba a little extra something for his birthday and was in a hurry to get to the office?
But Seto sure had an odd expression on his face. He was dressed like he’d been on his way to work, but the look he wore said he’d gotten lost.
"Everything okay?" Jou asked once the door was open and Seto stepped in.
The taller duelist paused. Part of him wanted to snap back, to viciously throw every insult in the book at the other man just because he’d dared to question if something was not quite right… but he couldn’t seem to find his voice.
Then Sugoroku stuck his head into the shop. "Seto? What are you doing here?"
Seto mutely stared back.
Sugoroku’s expression grew a little more serious. He beckoned to the younger man, waiting until Seto was standing right in front of him before asking him in a hushed tone, "Come into the house, okay?"
Seto couldn’t even nod. He just silently followed the elderly shopkeeper into the house, into the small dining area next to the kitchen. It wasn’t until Sugoroku sat him down that he finally managed to speak.
"I don’t know why I’m here," Seto admitted. "I meant to go to work."
Considering he was dressed in a suit and tie, that much was obvious. But he didn’t seem like he was in the right mental state for a day at the office. He probably shouldn’t even have been driving.
Sugoroku thought about what he could do to open up the dialogue further; Seto was always a hard nut to crack. But thankfully he’d had a bit of practice with it over the years. "Is Mokuba taking the day off?"
"He’s 18 now," Seto mumbled.
The brunette shrugged helplessly, then finally tilted his chin up enough so that Sugoroku didn’t have to talk to the top of his head anymore. The old man couldn’t help but notice the confusion in those normally clear eyes. "I don’t know what I’m doing."
It was so out of character for Seto to be floundering so badly that, had the mood been lighter, Sugoroku might have laughed. But Seto hadn’t come over to the shop for someone to joke around with; Sugoroku knew he’d sought him out because he was the closest thing Seto had to a parent. And because he’d been in the same position before, watching a child grow into a man under his care.
Sugoroku remembered thinking that he’d had it tough as an elderly man having to raise his grandson by himself after losing his wife, after losing his only child. Yugi had been a good kid, but at times, the enormity of the task had been overwhelming. But Seto, who had lost even more, had managed to raise two boys – and himself – to adulthood, even though he’d been a child himself, really… Or was it disrespectful to think of it only in terms of age?
"Birthdays are a pretty big deal, aren’t they?" Sugoroku said. "Especially 18th birthdays."
"As that’s the requirement to become legally recognized as an adult, yes," Seto automatically responded.
"That’s not what I meant. I mean, when you turned 18, surely you did something to celebrate – something different… something fun?"
Seto thought back to the events of that day, then shrugged again. "I slept in a little and went to work late. And Mokuba ordered a cake and brought it to the office. We had some for dinner."
"That’s it?" Sugoroku blurted out in surprise. Nevermind the fact that the young CEO considered a slice of cake to be a meal, but to have cake and an extra hour or two of sleep be the most extraordinary memories of the day…? No party or dinner out, no friends over, not even the day off?
The brunette stared at the old man, unsure of what he was asking. "And Yami and Yugi sent me an email wishing me a Happy Birthday…?"
"Did… you want something more?" Sugoroku asked cautiously. Seto didn’t seem to be upset about it – in fact, the change of topic seemed to have pulled him out of his funk a little – but at the same time, he couldn’t imagine anyone not being disappointed by such a… lackluster, lonely 18th birthday.
"I wasn’t dating Yami at the time, so what could…"
"I wasn’t referring to just you and Yami."
Realization dawned in Seto’s eyes. "Birthday parties are for children," he scoffed.
Sugoroku wisely refrained from pointing out the obvious contradiction with Seto planning to give his now 18-year-old brother the exact thing he considered childish, while at the same time wondering just how many of Seto’s own birthdays had passed unnoticed. But at least he’d finally gotten a reaction out of Seto; he was starting to open up and converse instead of just robotically answering the questions posed to him.
"Mokuba’s not a kid anymore, but I know he likes hanging around with everyone. So of course I’d throw him a party," Seto lamely added, as if he felt a need to explain away any implied insult.
"Yes, and this evening will be his. But wouldn’t you like to do something to celebrate your achievement, today?"
"Achievement?" Seto looked flustered. He couldn’t think about what a "good job" he’d done raising Mokuba without thinking of all his mistakes; hell, he’d just run from the house rather than deal with… well, he wasn’t sure exactly what that counted as. And of course there was no forgetting Death-T, no matter how much time had passed. He knew Sugoroku wasn’t dumb enough to forget about it either. So why was he so insistently dredging it up? Did he really think the little things he’d done right since then outweighed such a great wrong?
"I have work," Seto finally responded, going with the most obvious escape route.
"You could ditch..."
"Is that a joke?"
"No. In fact, I’ll come with you."
Seto seemed to consider it for the briefest of moments, then began shaking his head slowly. "I can’t do that. It’s completely irresponsible."
Sugoroku almost felt like the kid in this situation, like a bored schoolboy goading his straight-laced buddy to join him in doing something stupid. He couldn’t help but smile at the thought. "You can be irresponsible for one day. It’s not like you’d get in trouble with your boss."
Seto’s eyes narrowed, and Sugoroku felt his smile withering as he wondered if he’d pushed things too far. But then, to his surprise, the lines on Seto’s face softened a little, then a little more, and he gave a curt nod.
"Well then… where should we go? What do you want to do?" the elderly shopkeeper quickly asked before Seto had a chance to change his mind.
"Why ask me? It was your idea."
He was right about that. Sugoroku stroked his beard as he mulled over the options. Unable to settle on any one in particular, he finally suggested, "Then, I’ll drive. And we’ll go where the road takes us."
Seto stared at him. He had always said that the road under his feet would lead him to the future. But he’d never thought about following it in such a literal manner. Oddly though, that made it more appealing…
The younger man slowly stood up, stuffing his hands in his pockets as he did so.
Sugoroku went to fetch his keys. He considered leaving a note for Yugi and Jou, but if he did that, then it wouldn’t really be ditching, would it? Besides, Jou would probably figure out that they’d gone somewhere as soon as he heard the station wagon rattling its way out of the back lot.
"Are we going to take your car?" Seto suddenly asked, his voice soft but a little steadier than before.
With a touch of annoyance, Seto added, "That old car?"
Sugoroku couldn’t help but grin. "Would you rather I drive yours?"
Interestingly, Seto stopped to think about it. There was something encouraging about that. But the old man wasn’t surprised when he finally said, "… No."
Chuckling softly, Sugoroku let his keys jangle against his palm. "Ready to go then?"
* * *
December 16, 2011