Title: Sixteen (Going on Seventeen) Series
Pairing(s): Yami + Seto, Noa + Mokuba, Jou + Mai, Yugi + Anzu, Malik + Ryou, Rafael + Valon + Amelda
Disclaimer: Yu Yu Hakusho is the creation of Yoshihiro Togashi. 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: The principal of Domino High has some news for the Kaibas, and wants to deliver it in person.
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/
Setup for this particular fic:
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Principal and Interest
Sixteen (Going on Seventeen) Series
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Seto strode into the Domino High School administrative offices as if stepping into his own corporate office – his pace brisk, his head held high. Too bad he wasn’t as confident as he looked. Actually, he was dreading the meeting. He’d rather be facing down a bunch of angry shareholders than sit down for a "parent-teacher" conference with the school principal, especially since he didn’t know the reasons behind it. Had Mokuba or Noa done something wrong? It just didn’t seem possible. He couldn’t imagine what they might’ve done to require his attention to such a degree…
The lady on the phone said very specifically, "This isn’t about anything bad. There’s just something important that the principal would like to discuss, face to face," Yami reminded his lover. So don’t start worrying until we find out what he wants.
The brunette merely grunted. He didn’t get how Yami could be so damn calm about it, but after years together, it didn’t irritate him as much as it used to. That was how it worked – he worried and fretted, and Yami calmed him down, like an anchor in rough seas.
He turned to the plump woman closest to the counter, who was now staring at the two of them. "Seto Kaiba, here to see the principal," he told her.
She blinked at him, then stared at her computer a minute before saying, "… Oh, oh yes! Of course."
Seto muttered something under his breath about employee competence.
"Principal Takenaka, Mr. Kaiba is here," she said into her speakerphone. Then she paged Mokuba and Noa via intercom, asking them to come to Administration as well.
The door behind her opened and a heavyset blonde man in a bland, tan colored suit appeared in the doorway. He paused to take a good look at his pair of guests; they were barely older than his students, though Seto’s suit was probably more expensive than all of Takenaka’s combined. On the other hand Yami was even dressed like a student, in a burgundy prep school style blazer, cuffed plaid slacks, and a v-neck t-shirt printed to look like a button up shirt and tie.
"It’s nice to see you, Mr. Kaiba. Please…" And Principal Takenaka took a step back and gestured into his office.
"As long as it’s good news," Seto grumbled, but he walked in without another word of complaint, with Yami following right behind.
The office was rather small and the décor dated, all the fabrics and carpet and even the paint done in shades of scholastic tan and beige, but it was fairly tidy at least. It looked a lot like its owner.
"Thank you for coming," Takenaka said once he’d shut the door behind them. Seto turned around and saw the man extending his hand to him, so he shook it. Takenaka then did the same with Yami as well. "And you are Mr. Kaiba’s partner, correct?"
Truthfully Takenaka knew who Yami was; anyone who regularly read the business or entertainment sections of news sites would know. But it seemed too presumptuous to not ask for an introduction.
"Don’t call him that," Seto replied sharply, the day’s tension seeping into his face as well as his voice. Yami already had a partner in Yugi, just as Seto had Mokuba. Using that term to describe anyone outside of that and it sounded like they were talking about business associates or something. "He’s a member of my family," Seto settled on saying, not wanting to share any other term with someone he didn’t know.
The shorter duelist eyed his boyfriend, then sighed softly. "Yami Mutou," he introduced himself, offering his hand.
"It’s nice meeting you, Mr. Mutou."
At least Yami understood… no offense had been meant; Takenaka had only been asking for an introduction, but Seto had been too caught up in his own thoughts to hear anything else. Good thing Takenaka had plenty of experience dealing with all sorts of teenagers and young adults, though from what he remembered, Seto hadn’t been like any other kid he’d ever met.
The young CEO had been a student at Domino High for only a month or two. He’d literally shown up out of the blue one day, in a limo, with a pair of bodyguards in tow. Takenaka always made an effort to welcome new transfer students, but Seto hadn’t been interested in exchanging pleasantries, or in explaining why he, already a successful businessman with the equivalent of a college education, wanted to attend public high school. He had wanted to enroll, he’d wanted it done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and he’d made a huge fuss over his class schedule too, because he hadn’t wanted to be there more than half a day. Takenaka had found himself bending as many school and district policies as he could to accommodate the pushy teen, and even then Seto hadn’t been happy.
It had seemed things were okay after that though, once Seto had started classes. His grades had been untouchable and he hadn’t caused any trouble. But one day, without warning, Seto had stopped attending. He hadn’t given a reason in withdrawal forms he had sent. Takenaka had figured Seto had only been attending on a whim and had lost interest, so he hadn’t given it further thought until years later, a Kaiba Corp. limo pulled up on enrollment day, and Seto stepped out with his two younger brothers.
At the time, Takenaka hadn’t had the chance to talk to them, though he had been able to hear the brunette even from a distance. He’d thought that Seto hadn’t changed much – he was still very demanding and to the point. His brothers had been smaller copies of him as far as attitude, just a little quieter, a little more laid back. Thankfully, like their older brother, they’d been good students as well and had caused no real problems during their years at school.
Speaking of whom, the two of them would be arriving any moment for the conference…
"Please, go ahead and have a seat." The principal pointed to some well-worn chairs, then returned to his side of the desk and sat down himself. "We’ll start in just a moment."
Yami took a seat, but Seto just looked at the chair in front of him, then shook his head. "Just cut to the chase."
"I’ll explain once Noa and Mokuba get here. Since it affects them, I’d like for them to hear it at the same time. But let me reassure you, it really is good news," Takenaka told him, smiling.
Seto grunted. He saw no reason to trust the principal’s assurances. Once he found out why he was there, he’d make up his own mind whether it was good or bad news.
"Principal Takenaka, Noa and Mokuba Kaiba are here."
"Good, please send them in." Takenaka managed to not sigh in relief. Seto had been glaring at him off and on ever since he’d walked into his office. Maybe he should’ve just given him the news over the phone, but in the past the parents and students always seemed to enjoy being told in person.
The teens looked a little confused when they walked in. Their confusion only grew when they saw Yami and their big brother there.
"Uh…" Mokuba began, though he stopped himself from asking if they were in trouble.
"Have a seat boys," Takenaka said. He gave them the same smile he’d given Seto just moments earlier, but the younger Kaibas didn’t seem to be buying it either.
Mokuba and Noa looked at each other, then slowly sat down next to Yami.
Takenaka took a small breath, then began. "I’d like to extend my congratulations to you two. Noa, you are this year’s valedictorian! And Mokuba, you’re our salutatorian!" He began clapping for their accomplishments, then trailed off as the quartet on the other side of his desk stared at him in awkward silence.
Seto would’ve snapped, "And you couldn’t tell me that over the phone?!" but Yami had reached over and taken his hand and was now tugging on it a little.
I don’t know what that means, Yami said to Seto, although he was smiling as if he understood.
Seto stared at him a moment. Hmm, I guess Yugi wouldn’t have had that on his mind while he was in school… he finally commented.
While Seto explained the honors via mind link – and Yami scolded him for his comment, which finally put a smile on his face, the younger Kaibas exchanged glances again, then Noa turned back and said, with a touch of arrogance, "Well, thanks. But I already figured that out, since the teachers here like posting grades outside of the classrooms…"
"Of course we also take into consideration factors other than grades," Takenaka clarified. "We were impressed by your leadership skills as Junior class president last year and student council president this year, and also your work as president of the scholastics club. And Mokuba, the same applies to you, with your work as student council secretary on top of your excellent grades."
"Thank you," Mokuba said, punctuating it with a smile. As always he was far more diplomatic than his boyfriend.
"Good job, both of you," Seto finally told them. He really was proud of them, even though it wasn’t like anyone else at the school had had a chance at the titles once his brothers had decided that was what they were aiming for. Too bad they couldn’t both receive top honors though… Mokuba wasn’t stupid, lazy or incapable by any means. Seto didn’t want anyone to think less of him just because Noa had taken the top spot.
Mokuba looked up, as if he’d heard every thought filtering through his brother’s head. He gave Seto a lopsided smile, as if to apologize for not doing better, though he wasn’t really all that sorry. Noa had worked hard for the top spot and deserved it. Not that Mokuba was necessarily the sort to be satisfied with being second best, but it was far more important to him to support those he loved than to worry about his own position.
A now clued in Yami clapped them both on the shoulder – and gave Noa’s stub of a ponytail a quick ruffling, earning him a rolling of the eyes and a groan - as he congratulated them before courteously thanking the principal, since it was obvious Seto would not do so. Mokuba looked over at his other guardian, his grin broadening a little. If anyone understood his mindset it was Yami, who somehow managed to balance being a supportive boyfriend while maintaining his crown as the King of Games. Not that Yami ever wanted to lose at anything, but he was also okay being the power behind the throne instead of the one sitting on it.
After seeing that the quartet had absorbed the news, Takenaka went ahead with the rest of what he had to say. "Obviously, being valedictorian and salutatorian also means the two of you will have the honor of leading and addressing your class at the graduation ceremonies. I’m sure you both can find some words of encouragement or inspirational stories to share with your peers."
"Graduation, huh?" Seto murmured, only loud enough for Yami to catch.
"Guess taking Speech and Debate will come in handy after all," Noa said with a laugh. But he didn’t think it’d be too hard to come up with something. He figured he could wing it and babble about hard work and corporate ladders and the kids would just naively eat it up. If that was good enough for Kaiba Corp. it certainly was good enough for high school. It wasn’t like they were getting their doctorates or accepting a Nobel Peace Price or something.
"We’ll work on it," Mokuba promised.
Takenaka nodded, satisfied. The group across from him simply smiled back with the type of smiles people put on when they had nothing else to say and were wanting to leave, but were too polite to do so. All except for Seto. The brunette now looked bored, as if after building up all that anxiety while waiting for the news, the conference had ended up being a waste of his time. But Takenaka didn’t think that was the case. He’d heard the pride in Seto’s voice when he’d congratulated his brothers on their accomplishment. So despite Seto’s earlier protests, Takenaka knew he’d done the right thing by calling him in to deliver the news.
With everything now said and done, Takenaka quickly wrapped things up. "All right then. I won’t keep you boys any longer. You may return to class. We will be making an announcement over the intercom at the end of the class period, but of course I wanted to deliver the news personally. So congratulations once again." He turned to Seto and Yami. "And thank you both for coming. I know you’re a busy man, but I’m sure you’ll agree, this was quite the achievement and it meant a lot to the boys that you came."
"Yes, thank you," Yami answered, standing up as Seto muttered into his head, He does realize this is a public school with no record of academic excellence, right?
Seto wondered if he should have protested when Mokuba had asked to switch to a public school and settled on Domino as the one he’d wanted to attend. Domino High had always struck him as some sort of dumping ground for mediocre students. They’d let the Mutt graduate after all! Seto himself had only ended up there because of some strange compulsion he’d felt at the time – which he now figured was either because of his connection to the fourth Blue Eyes, or to Yami. Mokuba didn’t even have that much. But he’d never explained himself, and Seto hadn’t asked.
But despite Seto’s opinion of the school and his seeming unimpressed, Yami knew better. Considering the younger Kaibas had both put in a good number of hours at work throughout high school and that their home life was pretty unconventional by most standards, Yami didn’t think it’d been easy for them to excel, even at a school with no reputation for academics. Still, they did well. So just smile and pretend to agree.
Seto grunted and after a moment’s consideration, inclined his head at the principal before ushering Yami and his brothers out.
They took a minute to say their "have a nice days" before heading their separate ways – Noa and Mokuba to class, Seto and Yami to work and home respectively. The older couple watched as the younger pair walked off, chatting cheerfully about how their classmates would react once the principal’s announcement went out, then once they disappeared around a corner, Seto and Yami turned and walked out of the school together in near silence.
"Are you okay?" Yami had to ask once they were out of the building, as Seto escorted him to his car.
"It’s not that I don’t care," Seto said. Yami looked at him, then it dawned on him that his boyfriend was talking about what he had said last in the principal’s office.
"I know. And Noa and Mokuba know too. This wasn’t a waste of time."
Seto didn’t respond to that. Instead, he glanced back at the school, then muttered, "Graduation is in what, 2 months?"
"About 6 weeks, I think."
Six weeks. Seto had barely lasted that long during his stint as a student. Each day, each week, had felt like forever back then… And now Mokuba and Noa were on the verge of graduating. "It’s just high school. Is it such a big deal?"
Yami shrugged. Technically he hadn’t even attended high school, and of course Seto hadn’t finished either. So it didn’t really mean anything to him, though he remembered how Yugi, Jou, and his other friends had been so excited, and how they’d celebrated the entire day and all the way into the night. But it wasn’t like Seto was really looking for an answer to his question anyhow.
"I suppose we should go somewhere nice for dinner, to celebrate…" Seto awkwardly suggested. He did want to reward them with something. His brothers deserved it.
"I’ll pick a place," Yami offered, his voice gentle. Then he stopped, and reached out to stop Seto as well. They had arrived at his car.
Seto nodded a bit absentmindedly. It was fine. Yami would choose some place appropriate. "I need to get back to work, then."
The crimson-eyed man smiled and gave his lover a quick hug, then got in his vehicle, started the engine, backed out of his parking spot, and slowly drove away. But as he left he took one last glance in the rearview mirror. Despite what he had just said, Seto was still standing there in the parking lot. But he wasn’t watching Yami leave. Instead he was staring at the school, his hands in his pockets, motionless as a statue… then he finally gave a shake of his head and turned away, and began heading for his car as well.
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July 24, 2011