Title: Taboo
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Main: Noa + Mokuba, Seto + Yami. Minor: Yamato + Kouya, Anzu + Yugi, Mai + Jou, Malik + Bakura
Spoilers: none
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. "Taboo" is from the musical Taboo, by Boy George. "The Morning of the Dragon" is from the musical Miss Saigon, by Claude-Michel Schonberg, Alain Boubil and Richard Maltby Jr. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Yami decides to approach Seto on his own turf.
Status: 7 / ?
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

* * *

Taboo

Ch. 6: The Morning of the Dragon

* * *

It was just a routine meeting, the type held frequently during work hours. But Seto couldn’t concentrate on anything going on, barely registering his employees’ often timid questions of concern. He hadn’t slept at all the previous evening, choosing instead to spend his time at the entrance of his bedroom watching Mokuba sleeping, then moving on to Mokuba’s old room to do the same with Yami. And of course, since Noa was in the same room with Yami, in the bed closer to the door… he couldn’t help but watch him as well. The green-haired teen had been restless in his sleep, and Seto wondered what sort of nightmares he had saddled him with. He hadn’t really planned on staying up the entire night, but before he knew it, the darkness had receded and gave way to faint morning light, and now he was running on caffeine and guilt while his underlings prattled on about projected attendance at the new KaibaLand.

Fuck projected attendance. What good did it do him to have a perfect grand opening, have everything at the park go to plan… and have everything at home crumbling to dust? KaibaLand may have been his dream, but he was too practical to have his head in the clouds. And he knew by now, he couldn’t do it all alone.

Yami had to still be pissed off about what he had done. And not just the fact that they’d be separated for two months, a decision which Seto was already wavering on despite his determination NOT to change his mind, but… he had seen what Seto had done to Noa. And he himself had been the undeserving recipient of Seto’s anger when all he had tried to do was be the voice of reason.

Seto knew he shouldn’t have taken his anger out on Yami. Even though Yami… wasn’t the type who’d leave him over that, judging by the number of arguments they’d survived, he deserved to be treated so much better. He deserved, at the very least, to not have to sleep alone.

But it was already hard enough worrying about Mokuba this and Mokuba that. And Mokuba had to be his number one priority. Yami needed to understand that. Perhaps he did. If he didn’t he’d have been long gone, and Seto couldn’t have really held it against him if that had been the end result. But thankfully, Yami was a much better person than that, and Seto was grateful for the faith Yami had shown in him.

He really wanted to make up with his boyfriend. He hated it when they fought. It bothered him almost as much as the fact that he had flown into such a rage and attacked Noa. Whether or not his so-called younger brother deserved it… he honestly wasn’t sure. But he shouldn’t have let Noa get to him so badly. And he definitely shouldn’t have lost control like that. As angry as he had been… he hadn’t actually wanted to kill Noa. He hadn’t even wanted to hurt him. But without even realizing it, he had put his hand on the teen’s throat, leaned his weight into it…

Seto had almost killed Mokuba before. It had to be why Mokuba didn’t trust him. He had tried to kill Yugi and Yami and Sugoroku too. Yami had returned the favor. Maybe that’s why he and Yami got along so well once they had advanced beyond being merely rivals. Seto wasn’t sure. They had never really talked about it. There had never been a need for it.

Then, suddenly… as if Yami had felt the direction of his thoughts … Seto sensed him nearby. Abruptly he stood up. The discussion in the room died down to an uncertain murmur.

"M… Mr. Kaiba?" someone stammered.

Seto took a breath, focusing on the nothing more interesting than the tabletop. Yami was in his office. "Meeting is cancelled."

"Ah!" a female voice gasped. "But Mr. Kaiba… this is very…"

"I said it’s cancelled." Seto didn’t even wait for his employees to move to comply, he just wheeled around and headed for the doors at the end of the room.

* * *

Sure enough, when Seto got up to his office, Yami was there, perched on the edge of the desk. The shorter duelist’s head swiveled to face his lover as soon as he heard the door open. He looked tired, and a bit sad, and that same weariness was evident in his voice as he asked, "Since you just took off this morning, I guess I should let you know that the boys are at school and yes, I drove them there myself, and yes, they behaved themselves the entire way there."

"Thanks."

Yami scrubbed at his face. "I don’t suppose there’s any point in talking to you about your trip when you’ve already decided how it’s going to go, huh?"

Seto went still for a moment, then he shut the door quietly. Leaning against the wood, he considered the question carefully. He didn’t really have an answer though he supposed Yami deserved one, an honest one at that. "We can talk about it, but… I have no intention of changing my mind. You’d… be a distraction."

"How am I a distraction?"

"Well, like… you’re in here right now, distracting me. I ended up walking out of a meeting," Seto said, though he neglected to mention that he was pretty distracted before he even realized that Yami was around.

Crimson eyes widened in disbelief. "I didn’t even tell you I was here! Nor would I have asked you to put aside your work obligations just to come and talk to me."

"But I knew you were up here. It was enough. And there’s so much to do before the new park opens. I can’t afford to be distracted at all."

Yami looked away for a moment. He knew what Seto was implying, even if he didn’t say it out loud. Did he honestly think that their relationship was only about sex? "I see."

"Yami, I… I’m not doing this to hurt you. I mean, I didn’t want to, but… Mokuba…"

"… still isn’t finished with his school year here. And yet he’s going with you."

"I’d have gotten him a tutor," Seto mumbled, having considered the subject beforehand. "And I don’t see why that matters to you. It’s not your concern anyways."

"Not my concern?! I know he’s not my little brother but…"

"He’s not your anything!" Seto yelled, immediately regretting it as soon as he saw the unhappy expression on Yami’s face. He hadn’t meant that… why’d he have to open his big mouth and stick his foot into it all the time? "Fuck… I didn’t mean that."

"And what, I’m your ‘permanent house guest?’ Why don’t you tell me how you really feel?" Yami bit out. "Do you really have so little faith in me?"

"I’m sorry." And he really was. But he just kept digging the hole deeper and deeper with every word he said. Taking a deep breath, Seto tried again. "I know that you worry about them, even if they aren’t your brothers. I couldn’t have a relationship with someone that didn’t care. But… I just got so used to thinking that I couldn’t rely on anyone else." He sensed Yami’s uncertainty lingering at that, and quickly added, "I trust you, Yami. I don’t know how many other people I can say that to. Especially right now."

The ex-spirit looked deep into his lover’s eyes, letting the sincerity of the words sink in. Seto looked worn out and frazzled, but in his gaze was steady… and Yami realized that just as much as he had wanted to hear Seto say "I love you," he had always wanted to know that he was trusted as well. Oh, not that he hadn’t already known it… it had been there for such a long time, but by Seto saying it, it was as if he were finally willing to admit it himself.

Well, if they were going to speak of trust, then Yami definitely had to be candid about what he thought. While he appreciated Yugi’s advice from the day before, he was tired of beating around the bush and watching Seto brood over things by himself. And time was of the essence. He couldn’t stand the thought of Seto leaving the country and leaving this whole mess unresolved.

Without breaking eye contact, Yami said clearly, "You NEED to talk to them. Both of them. And you need to figure out what exactly it is about their little relationship that is bothering you the most, and address that directly. Let me help you. There’s no reason for you to have to handle everything on your own. I know it goes against your nature, but this is something that’s affecting all of us. "

Seto nodded slowly. Yami was right. And he did trust him. But it was hard letting go of the belief that he had to deal with his problems on his own.

Our problems. This isn’t a your problem / my problem situation, not anymore.

The brunette gaped at his boyfriend. Had he been thinking so "loudly" that Yami had picked up on that? Yami?

Yes… you’re thinking everything very loudly.

Ah…

So can we talk about this?

Seto considered it, then gave the go-ahead with a tilting of his head, though he was unsure if Yami was referring to the business trip or the Mokuba and Noa issue. But he wasn’t comfortable discussing things as if they were having some sort of business transaction, so he got up and motioned for Yami to follow him to the wide padded bench flanked by the Blue Eyes White Dragon sculpture in the corner.

After they both sat down, Yami surprised Seto by gently tugging his at sleeve until he tilted over, Seto’s head ending up in Yami’s lap as slender fingers began methodically running themselves through strands of brown hair. Despite everything, the young billionaire could feel the tension in his body fading away as Yami did his thing. He was pretty tired, and it felt so nice to be close to his lover like that…

Yami could feel Seto starting to relax against him, but as much as he may have wanted to see his lover get some rest, they still had a lot of things to discuss. Baby, I know Mokuba is the most important thing in the universe to you. And maybe I don’t have the right to interfere. But this… it can’t go on. As far as I can tell, the two of you haven’t said anything of note to each other since Friday night.

I don’t know what to say to him, Seto said plaintively.

What is it that is bothering you the most?

Seto pursed his lips. There were so many things, but when it came down to it… He rolled onto his back and looked up at Yami, who just stroked his cheek and waited with saint-like patience for him to respond.

He still didn’t want to talk about it. But he knew he needed to. Mokuba… doesn’t trust me. I was a fool to think that after what I did, that he could ever trust me again.

Death-T.

Yes.

You tried to kill me too. Do you think that that means I don’t trust you either?

Seto shut his eyes. His head was starting to throb. Do you?

Of course I do.

It’s different with Mokuba though. You and I… I mean, we both took our shots at each other. And somehow we managed to get through it. Hn, none of the things you did to me even bother me in the least anymore. And I can tell… you feel the same way. But Mokuba hadn’t done anything to make me mad… he just wouldn’t go away. I was trying to protect him, but all I ended up doing was hurting him and betraying him. He’ll never trust me again, I know it.

Seto… he loves you. You believe that, don’t you?

I… do.

So how could he still love you if he hadn’t forgiven you a long time ago? How could he love you if he doesn’t trust you?

Seto looked back up at Yami, whose crimson gaze, like a mirror, reflected the hurt he himself felt. Then why didn’t he tell me about Noa?

Why do you think?

It had to be Noa’s idea. It doesn’t surprise me that he’d betray me. Especially with all that venomous filth he spewed last night. Who does he think he is talking to me like that? He’s no better than his old man.

Yami frowned. I didn’t catch most of what was said. But I heard enough of it. Noa was out of line. And so were you. But… it was a fight, so I can’t say I’m surprised to see some low blows. You both said things that you didn’t really mean.

I didn’t mean to choke him either…

I know. And you didn’t, not really… He seemed physically fine this morning. A sigh. Seto, do you really think this was all Noa’s doing?

Yes. I’m sure of it.

So Mokuba is going along with it because what, he has no free will?

… If Mokuba trusts me like you said, then he couldn’t have lied to me.

Seto…

Suddenly agitated, the brunette made a move to sit up. "Why would he lie to me? If he did, and I know he didn’t… wouldn’t that prove that he didn’t trust me anymore? It had to be Noa… there’s no other explanation."

"Even with the assumption that this was all Noa’s idea, Mokuba still had to agree to go along with it. So at the very least, he deceived you by his inaction."

Seto’s eyes momentarily flashed in anger, but that quickly faded into a look of bewilderment. If Mokuba wasn’t being brainwashed or anything, and certainly there was no sign of that…

"Maybe he was afraid that he’d lose your approval if you found out. Maybe he was afraid that you’d react just as you have, fighting with Noa and stuff. I don’t know," Yami said gently. "You’ll have to ask him."

Seto grunted. It still didn’t make sense. If Yami was right and Mokuba trusted him, then why would his little brother lie to him? Didn’t Mokuba know that he would accept him unconditionally no matter what? Or had there been some truth to what Noa had said during their argument, that maybe Mokuba was outgrowing the need to be with him, that he’d rather spend his time with Noa instead? Mokuba was 14 now, almost 15. Maybe he thought he was an adult already, ready to make adult decisions. After all, by the time Seto was 15, he’d been running Kaiba Corp. for two years.

Just as the taller duelist thought his head was going to explode with so many jumbled thoughts, Yami had Seto’s head back down in his lap and was rubbing at his temples and forehead, working away the worst of the pain until the pressure was tolerable once again.

Yami…?

Hmm?

I don’t want you to be sleeping in the other room any longer. I want you back in my room.

That put a smile on the former Pharaoh’s face. That’s good.

… But… do you think that that’s what gave… do you think we’re, that I’M a bad influence?

No, we did not make your brothers gay. Seto made a slight sound at that, but didn’t stop Yami from completing the thought. Now granted, we probably should learn to lock the doors, and maybe the kitchen is best served for just cooking, but then again, Mokuba could also learn to knock before barging into a room.

But do you think… they’re not, you know, messing around… right? I mean, if I thought they were… Noa would have been out the first night, but I… I think I’m pretty sure that… oh hell, that makes no sense!

Noa said they hadn’t done anything. Seeing Seto about to protest, Yami was quick to add, And I believe him. You do too, because, as you yourself said, if you thought for a moment that Noa was doing anything inappropriate, you’d have kicked him out at the very least.

You think I could have stopped all this from happening if I wasn’t so busy with work?

What would you have done differently? You couldn’t have kept an eye on him every moment of his life. And he wouldn’t have wanted that either. Seto… stop blaming yourself for this.

He’s my responsibility!

I know. And I respect that. But he’s his own person, and he has to make his own decisions, decisions that maybe you won’t agree with. It’s part of growing up.

Seto couldn’t say much against that. He had been making his own decisions forever so it seemed. Mokuba had that same right. It was just hard to think that Mokuba wasn’t a little kid anymore. It made him feel older than he was.

I think you forget that you’re only 20 sometimes… Yami said thoughtfully. You’re hardly old.

I know. But… how 20 is supposed to feel? And it’s just a number anyways. It doesn’t change anything.

Yami nodded. You’ve never let it stop you from doing what needed to be done, from making the decisions that you needed to make. I’ve always admired that about you. But, while we’re on the subject of decisions… I still don’t see why I’d be a distraction if I came with you on your trip. It really wouldn’t be any different than the way we approach our relationship at home. Personally, I would think that it would be far more distracting if I weren’t there.

I plan on working very long hours, Yami. And I know you wouldn’t approve. But it’s getting so close to the opening; I need to focus all my energy on that.

Yami furrowed his brow. Like I wouldn’t be able to voice my disapproval over the phone?

Seto gave the younger duelist a slight smile. I’d just hang up, or block your calls.

SETO! Yami gasped in faux outrage.

That earned a small chuckle out of the young CEO, but he grew silent after that as he carefully considered everything that his lover had just mentioned.

For his part, Yami just sat there quietly and let Seto sort things out. He would respect whatever decision Seto came up with now that he had said his piece, now that Seto was giving it some thought. That was all he had wanted.

Finally, Seto seemed to come to some sort of decision, and he rose back up to a sitting position to deliver his verdict. Yami, it’s not that I don’t want you there with me, I do. And you’re right. I’d miss you terribly, and you know I’m talking about more than just sex, right? I always want you with me, but… well… you’d look after Mokuba for me, wouldn’t you?

Of course. But… I thought Mokuba was going with you? Yami responded, though he felt his heart drop a little at what that meant for him. He had stayed behind with the younger Kaibas many times before, while Seto was away, but this time, the trip was far longer, and… things were different. It was more than just simply "babysitting."

You were right; I do want Mokuba to finish up the school year here, where he’s comfortable, and I need you to keep an eye on Noa too. Please, Yami… I don’t want to do this either, but I don’t trust anyone else in this the way I trust you, Seto added hastily, seeing the crestfallen look on Yami’s face.

Seto…

Seto grabbed his boyfriend’s hand and pressed a kiss onto Yami’s palm. I’ll make it up to you, I swear.

You can make it up to me by talking to Mokuba when you get home. And none of this hiding out in the office to avoid it either.

Yami… I will. I promise. Anything you want.

I just want to see you happy, Baby. And I want to see your dreams come true. Just… can you please open future theme parks in a more convenient location?

There won’t be another one for at least a few more years. And by then, Mokuba would be an adult. You could probably all come with me, I guess.

Ahh, good enough.

* * *

Yami left not too long after the end of their conversation as Seto had a conference call scheduled with some of the creative and engineering staff over at the new KaibaLand. And almost immediately after Yami walked out, the brunette wondered how he was going to survive almost two months without his boyfriend around.

Hm. Boyfriend. Yami was much more than just that. Even "lover" wasn’t sufficient a label. For despite what Seto had said earlier, when he had told Yami that he wasn’t Mokuba’s anything, Yami was an integral a part of their "family." He was patience and rationality, content to play a supporting role, wanting only the best for all of them. He deserved so much. And Seto hadn’t known what to do to thank him for all that, to show him how incredibly important he was… but he thought that maybe he had finally figured something out… a gesture which he hoped Yami would understand the significance of.

As late as Seto was for the conference call, that was something far more important that needed to be taken care of. So he asked Ms. Shiroi to apologize to the attendees of the conference call for the delay while he placed a call down to the legal department. He wanted them to start right away in drafting the documents needed to make Yami Mutou the co-legal guardian of Mokuba and Noa Kaiba.

* * *

TBC

Author’s Notes:

July 6, 2006