Title: More Than Words – Ch. 1: Electric Blue
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami
Spoilers: none… takes place post-Noa’s arc
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. "Electric Blue" is performed and recorded by Icehouse. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Prequel to "The Boys of Summer" (but can stand alone). Seto and Yami are approaching their first anniversary, and Mokuba, Noa and Yugi intervene.
Status: 1 / 4
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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More Than Words

Chapter 1: Electric Blue

* * *

If a boy had a chance, a chance with someone like you
Are you gonna break his heart, let him cry for the moon
Are you hiding somewhere behind those eyes?

I just freeze every time you see through me
And it's all over you, electric blue.
In too deep, standing here waiting
As I'm breaking in two, electric blue.
I can see, can see that it may be
Just a vision of you, electric blue.
On my knees, help me baby,
Tell me what can I do, electric blue.

(Help me baby)

Are you hiding somewhere behind those eyes?

- "Electric Blue," Icehouse

* * *

"Boy, Seto sure has been working a LOT lately," Mokuba said to the lone figure in the kitchen. He had just come down to snag a plate of cookies and was surprised to see Yami still in the room.

Yami turned his gaze to the black-haired teen for a moment. "Mmm… he has," he answered in a slightly flat tone before returning to his task of putting away the leftovers. It was already well past dinner and he didn’t want the food to spoil, even though he knew that Seto would never touch leftovers. Leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch… again.

Mokuba frowned. There was something fundamentally wrong about seeing Yami depressed. Not that it was obvious, but he knew the ex-spirit well enough to sense the difference. Yami was always so fiery, so dominating, that despite his small stature it seemed that nothing could possibly bring him down. Apparently one stubborn CEO could, simply by missing out on dinner for a week and a half straight. "Well, has he called?"

"I called him. He just said he was going to be late again. This new project is taking up all of his time."

Inwardly, Mokuba winced. They both knew that "I’m busy with a new project" had to be some new form of Seto-speak for "I’m having issues but I don’t want to talk about it," since no matter how busy things got at KaibaCorp, Seto had always came home in time for dinner. At least he had been, ever since Yami moved in. "I know. Don’t worry about it, I’m sure it’s just temporary."

Yami nodded and managed to quirk a lopsided smile. "You’re right. And don’t eat all those cookies," he said, grabbing one off the plate.

"Hey! Get your own!"

* * *

"Mou… I could just kill Nii-sama sometimes. What’s going on with him?"

Noa looked up from his computer at his fuming little brother. "He’s not home yet, huh?"

"Of course not." Mokuba angrily stuffed a cookie into his mouth. "Doez he eben remumber dat hiz…"

"Mokuba, sit. Swallow." Noa helped himself to a cookie as well and waited for the other teen to continue.

"Does he even remember that his one-year anniversary is next week? Or is he going to be ‘too busy’ for that as well? Yami’s really looking miserable, well, not really miserable… he looks miserable for him and… Crap, I forgot to get some milk."

"I’ll get some in a minute. So you think he really forgot? Or is he hiding for some reason? Maybe he and Yami got into a fight?"

Mokuba sighed. "If it was a fight they’d have resolved it by the end of the day, and Yami wouldn’t be depressed."

"Hmm." The green-haired teen considered things for a moment. The timing was too precise to be coincidental. "We’re pretty smart, wouldn’t you say?"

"Huh? Well yah, of course."

Noa smiled. "Yugi, you and I managed to set those two up. Now we’re going to set them up again. I’ll go get some milk, and you call Yugi. Tell him we’ll meet him after school tomorrow at the game shop. Then you and I have some… ‘research’ to do."

* * *

The next day, Noa and Mokuba joined Yugi at the Kame Game Shop to plan out what the brothers had loosely dubbed "Project Anniversary." Mokuba had already briefly filled Yugi in on the events of the last week or so, and the violet-eyed teen was eager to add his input.

"All right guys, here’s what I know. First of all, Yami told me last week after dinner that he already had a 'gift' in mind for Seto."

"And that would be…?" Mokuba prompted.

"Well... it's a little unconventional. He wants to take your brother to a tattoo parlor so they can get matching tattoos." Yugi received two identical surprised looks. "I know, it’s a little weird, but he said he was thinking they could get a matching pair of Blue Eyes inked on their backs."

"At least he wasn’t thinking of getting ‘Yami loves Seto’ or something like that," commented Noa.

Mokuba rolled his eyes. "But the Blue Eyes is Nii-sama’s card…" he pointed out.

"Yes, I asked about that, and Yami said he wanted to do it because that way he’d have a little piece of your brother with him permanently, no matter where Kaiba happened to be. But he doesn’t want just any Blue Eyes. He wants a custom design with two dragons, mirror images of one another, and he wants each of them to be curved in the shape of a half heart, and in attack mode. So the dragons will represent the two halves of one whole, as well as the fact that they were and are still rivals."

"Wow," breathed Mokuba. He was pleased to hear about how much thought Yami had put into this.

Yugi continued on. "Now… here’s what I was thinking. I’ve already placed a call to Pegasus and asked him to create a custom design for the tattoo. But… I’m not sure if Kaiba would go for it, and I figured you two would know."

Noa smiled. "If it’s a Blue Eyes, I’m certain Nii-sama will agree to it. And if it’s Yami asking, he definitely won’t say no."

"I think that’s a great idea too! And if Pegasus hassles you about it, well, he owes me too, so I can call in a favor as well."

Yugi sighed in relief. "Well I’m glad you two think it’s a good idea. I wasn’t sure how Kaiba would feel about it. I told Pegasus I’d call him back once I had a chance to confirm things with Yami, but I guess this is just as good. Now the second thing… I was thinking the three of us could arrange for those two to go on a vacation or something, since Kaiba has been working so hard."

"Just a minute, Yugi," interrupted Mokuba, "That’s something that Onii-chan and I needed to talk to you about." He turned to Noa for his report.

"There is no big urgent project at KaibaCorp. We hacked into Seto’s emails, conference calendar, security tapes, and nothing. There’s no mention of any sort of project, at least, nothing urgent that would be taking up Seto’s time like this. No meetings, no conference calls, no extra overtime or reassigning of employees. Nii-sama has been spending his evenings doing all sorts of mindless tasks that he’d normally never bother with. We even saw security footage of him stocking a copy room with paper! So he’s been lying to Yami. "

"But… why?" Yugi’s mind swam with all sorts of possibilities.

"We don’t know. And they haven’t been fighting or anything. So… we want you to talk to Seto," begged Mokuba.

"Me? But…"

"Seto won’t listen to us because we’re his little brothers. But you’re the closest thing he has to a friend, and he trusts you," said Noa, hoping for a positive response.

Yugi sighed. Now things were getting a bit more complicated. "All right, I can try… but I’m not sure if he’ll even agree to see me."

"We, uh…"

"We already put you on his daily calendar for tomorrow afternoon," finished Noa. "You’re now Mr. Kazama, 4:00 PM."

"Oh. That’s… really soon!" Yugi stammered nervously. But he smiled in spite of the situation. Yami and Seto didn’t realize how lucky they were to have a trio of guardian angels around.

"Now that that’s settled, about this vacation idea… what did you have in mind?"

"I wasn’t really thinking of it as a vacation. More like, a honeymoon?" The two brothers laughed at his choice of words. "Well, it’s true… they’re like a married couple only it’s not on paper."

"Nii-sama would freak if he heard you say that!" Mokuba exclaimed breathlessly.

Yugi grinned. "Well, this would be a surprise of course, so hopefully he won’t hear it from my mouth!"

Noa nodded, deep in thought. "So where would we send them? And when? And how long? Seto hasn’t had a vacation in… well, since I’ve known him."

"Actually, I can’t remember him ever taking a vacation. Oh, maybe a day off here and there when I begged him, but otherwise… he’s just a workaholic."

"Maybe he had other reasons," Yugi added thoughtfully. He shook his head. "Sorry… I’m already thinking of what I need to say tomorrow."

"Well, how about this? Yugi’s got the toughest job of all, so you and I will take care of the rest. I’ll look online for some vacation destinations and Noa, you can take care of travel arrangements once we pick a place. But we’ll have to plan it for after their anniversary, maybe at the beginning of the month, since Nii-sama will need to wrap up any loose ends at work."

"Sounds good to me," said Noa with a determined nod.

"Okay, I guess," agreed Yugi, still a bit nervous.

Mokuba fixed his gray eyes on the older teen. "If anyone else can get through to Seto, it’s you, Yugi. And we’ll keep an eye on Yami for you in return. All right?"

What am I getting myself into? "All right, all right." He let loose a very big, dramatic sigh. "So remind me... what time was my ‘meeting’ scheduled for?"

* * *

Yugi fidgeted with the Sennen Puzzle in the reception area in front of Seto’s expansive executive suite. Nervous as hell, he had arrived nearly a half-hour early and spent every second after that thinking of what he should say. The violet-eyed teen couldn’t help but wonder what exactly Noa had put into Seto’s calendar, but he already knew it didn’t read: 4:00 PM – Have a heart-to-heart with Yugi Mutou.

Precisely at the appointed time, the secretary’s intercom buzzed and Seto instructed her to send in his next appointment. She nodded at Yugi and surreptitiously whispered, "Good luck," at the short teen, who only managed a nervous smile before heading off into the office.

Not surprisingly, Seto was quite surprised to see Yami’s other half walk through the door. "Yugi? What are you… whatever it is, it’ll have to wait. I have an appointment with a…"

"Mr. Kazama, right? Er… there’s no Mr. Kazama." Yugi slid into one of the leather guest chairs as Seto’s face twisted in confusion. Well, this was going to be fun. Ten seconds in and Seto’s temper was already beginning to show. "That was Noa’s doing," he added lamely.

Seto’s brows knit together for a moment, then he mumbled a few curse words and something about grounding and Noa’s hacking abilities. "All right, what’s going on? I’m really busy with a big project, so I don’t know what you guys are trying to pull with this little stunt."

Yugi gulped. He was nervous, but it wasn’t the young billionaire’s legendary temper that scared him. What worried him was the fact that the one person who could really get hurt by this interference was Yami. And he didn’t want to see his other half get hurt for any reason. "Well… I got volunteered to talk to you. And I guess your brothers figured the only way I’d get in was if they rearranged your schedule for you."

Seto sighed deeply and ran his fingers through his hair. "That’s just fuckin’ fantastic. I assume this has something to do with Yami, right? But I really don’t have time for this; I have a…"

"Look, Kaiba, Noa and Mokuba say there is no big project. I don’t know the details, but they’re certain of it."

"Great, now they’re spying on me? And scheming behind my back? What the hell is this?"

"They’re… we’re all worried, Kaiba. About Yami. And about you too."

Seto’s blue eyes flashed dangerously. "I don't need you to worry about me. I want you to leave, now."

"I won’t, and I know you won’t throw me out either. But at the same time, I can’t force you to talk to me."

"Damn straight. You think that just because you’re Yami’s shitty little aibou that I’m supposed to spill my guts to you?"

Yugi ignored the insult. "I don’t expect that at all. But there’s something going on here, and I promised your brothers that I’d do my best to figure it out. If you won’t talk, then I will. I can’t talk as much as Jou or Anzu, but I can still talk for a long time; you know that."

"Hn."

Since Seto seemed to be giving him a green light, Yugi decided to go ahead and get to the issue at hand. Looking the young CEO straight in the eyes, he said, "All right then, I’ll start by saying that we’re guessing the reason why you’ve been an absentee boyfriend has something to do with your one-year anniversary next week." Yugi caught something that flicker in the depths of Seto’s eyes, but otherwise the brunette’s face was set in stone. "Now I’ve been brainstorming since last night, and I think I’ve considered every option from you carrying on an affair to you deciding that you’re suddenly straight. But I know your reasons are never as simple as that."

"Hmph. You’re letting your imagination get the best of you. Nothing has changed."

"Yami said you haven’t been going home for dinner. And you didn’t show up for last Friday night either."

"I’ve been busy," retorted Seto, with a look that just dared Yugi to challenge him.

"You’ve always been busy. That never stopped you before."

"Look, Yugi… this really isn’t any of your business, no matter what you may think. And the same applies to my brothers."

Yugi frowned. "You’re right, it really isn’t any of our business, but we do care about the both of you. We don't want to see either of you get hurt."

"How kind of you. I can guarantee that neither one of us is hurting right now."

"How can you say that!" Although Yugi rarely got angry about anything, he was protective over those he cared about. "Maybe Yami’s not curled up on a sofa crying, but it’s pretty obvious to those of us that know him that he’s upset. I can sense it, your brothers can sense it… you can’t tell me that you haven’t noticed! He’s your boyfriend; don’t you care? Don’t you love him?" As soon as the words escaped his mouth, Yugi wanted to smack himself in the forehead. Nii-sama doesn’t even use the "L" word with me, he remembered Mokuba saying.

Not surprisingly, Seto chose not to answer.

"I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to get angry," Yugi said placatingly. Time to direct the conversation elsewhere. "At least… well, I'm sure you were planning something nice to celebrate your anniversary."

"What makes you think I was going to do anything? It’s just another day," Seto spat out bitterly.

The younger duelist felt his anger spike again, and rose to his feet. "Honestly, Kaiba! Are you trying to drive him away? Even Yami won’t put up with that attitude forever."

"Who says I want to stay with him forever?" the other scoffed.

"You want him to leave? Is that it?"

"What if he does anyways?" Seto yelled back, but Yugi detected a slight change in the tone of his voice.

"Is… that it?" he asked, slumping back into the chair. "You think he’ll leave? But… why?"

Seto's eyes widened momentarily. "I didn’t say that. Things are fine as they are now. I see no reason to change the nature of our… arrangement."

Yugi blinked and tried to figure his way through the older teen’s reasoning. Arrangement? "Relationships change, Kaiba. So do people. They have to, in order to grow and improve."

"What if… people change, in a different way?"

In a different way? "I… I don’t understand. What way?"

For the first time in the conversation, Seto looked away. He spent a long moment considering his next words, and even longer wondering whether or not he should voice them. "I don’t want things to change," he finally admitted. "I don’t want Yami to change. If he does… what if he decides this was all a big mistake?"

Yugi winced, but he sensed he was close to finding out the source of the problem. "Um… but I don’t understand what this has to do with the anniversary. Or was that not it at all?"

Seto flushed a little. "What if he doesn’t want…" He let the thought trail off as he began rubbing his forehead. "Look. I’m satisfied with the way things are now. We’re just dating; it’s not like we’re in a committed relationship or something." The brunette shrugged.

"Um..." Yugi pressed his lips together and fought the urge to point out that when two people were dating exclusively and living together, that was no longer "just dating."

Seto looked back up at Yugi, but his eyes were now blank. "People who are just dating don’t have anniversaries or whatnot. So there’s nothing to special about a day one year from the time we started dating."

"But… uh, don’t you want a committed relationship?"

"Does it matter? I don’t know what Yami wants," he replied dully.

Oh God… Now Yugi was beginning to understand, and frankly he was more than a little shocked. Seto had always seemed like such a pillar of strength, and even with Yami’s insight and what he knew of the taller duelist’s tragic past, he never imagined that the heart inside remained so fragile. He’s afraid to commit himself fully to Yami, because if Yami ever left him, it would destroy him. So he’s not willing to open his eyes and see that they’ve already progressed far beyond that point, and pretending that their anniversary doesn’t exist is just the icing on the cake. This was going to take some careful handling.

"Kaiba, you and Yami have a bond that stretches over 3,000 years. Through that life and this one… do you really think that after all that time, he isn’t committed to you?" he asked gently.

"I don’t know."

"Oh Kaiba…" Time to pull out the big guns. "He loves you. And you love him. But he thought you weren’t ready to hear it yet." The older teen twitched momentarily in response, so Yugi added, "Maybe you are, maybe you aren’t. It doesn’t matter. Even if you try to pretend it doesn’t exist, it doesn’t change the fact that you’ve both already bonded yourselves mind and body, heart and soul. You need to understand that the commitment has already been made, but you just haven’t acknowledged it yet. I know you didn’t mean to hurt Yami; you were protecting yourself. And he understands that. I guess that’s why… he hasn’t pushed the issue more." Yami… is that why you haven’t talked to him about this? I know you knew that Kaiba was using his work as an excuse to hide from you. Yugi felt his heart thud at the thought of Yami's selflessness.

Seto’s eyes slid shut as he mulled over every word. Finally he said, "For a guy who doesn’t even have a girlfriend, you presume a lot."

Yugi gave him a small smile. "He would do anything for you, you know. In fact, that's what he's doing right now... exactly what you need, despite how it makes him feel. And I think you would do the same for him."

"Yeah, well… whatever." Seto gave him a small shrug, then sat back in his chair, his lids still heavy over his eyes.

"Well… I know you’re thinking about what I’ve said. But even if you can’t make a decision right now, I just hope you at least show up for dinner on time tonight. That’s a start in the right direction at least."

Seto finally opened his eyes again, and Yugi noticed they had warmed up a tiny bit. "There is no decision to make," he said firmly, and the faintest hint of a smile touched his lips.

"I see." Yugi’s eyes smiled back in response, and he stood up. "Well, I know you’re busy, so I don’t want to keep you from your work…"

"Hn." But Seto stood as well, and walked Yugi to the door.

Just as he was about to leave, the little duelist smiled up at Seto and added, "Oh yeah, Noa asked that you go easy on him, assuming that everything works out as you hoped."

"Hmph. The brat," he muttered, but his eyes were soft with affection now. "Goodbye, Yugi."

"Bye, Kaiba. Thanks!"

After returning to his desk and having his secretary cancel his remaining appointments for the afternoon, Seto pulled out a flat gift box from a locked cabinet in his credenza. He carried it over to his desk and placed it on his lap, thinking about what Yugi had said. Although he hadn’t mentioned it to the violet-eyed teen, Seto had in fact ordered an anniversary gift for Yami months ago but until that afternoon, he had been unable to decide whether or not he would actually give it to his lover. And now…

Seto Kaiba had a phone call to make.

* * *

"Yami…"

"Seto. I know you’re busy, but…"

"I’ll be home at 6:00. What’s for dinner?"

* * *

As soon as Yugi was out of the office, he had placed a call to Mokuba. Much later that night, Mokuba made a call of his own.

"Hi, this is Mokuba Kaiba… I’m sorry for calling so early. Oh, good. No… err… it’s about a project you’re working on for Yugi Mutou. Yes, um hum, he did. And it sounds fantastic! But I have a… tiny request. Well, you do owe me, don’t you think? Of course. No no, it’s more of an addition. There’s something else I’d like to have you paint…"

* * *

TBC

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

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May 25, 2005