Title: Tastes Like Christmas Spirit
Pairing(s): Yami + Seto, Noa + Mokuba
Disclaimer: 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: Mokuba finds the perfect Christmas gift for Seto… sorta. A sequel of sorts to "’Tis the Season" (though this takes place a year later).
Status: 1 / 1
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.
Setup for this fic:
* * *
Tastes Like Christmas Spirit
* * *
It had seemed like a good idea at the time.
Mokuba and Noa had begun the search around mid-September, browsing online for something interesting and unusual to get Seto for Christmas…
Was it because the teens were just eager for the holiday season, being young enough to still wrap themselves in the infectious good mood that accompanied that time of the year? Or were they just being organized like their big brother, and trying to get an early start?
Well, there was something to both those assumptions…
Their excitement was easy enough to explain: Seto had already revealed that he intended to get both of them cars for Christmas in anticipation of their respective 16th birthdays. Yes, it was still a bit early – Noa wouldn’t be 16 until April, and Mokuba, July – but they were beyond old enough for driving lessons, at least in his book, and he certainly had no intention of teaching them to drive in one of *his* precious speed machines. Yami had offered up his Porsche for lessons, but Seto figured it made more sense for the teens to learn to drive in whatever they were going to drive once they had their licenses, and besides… he had a surprise for Yami, or more specifically, his car, as well.
Ironically, they had almost gotten into an argument over that. Yami had thought Seto was planning to get him a new car since the Porsche was two and a half years old, which was technologically obsolete as far as Seto was concerned. And yes, Yami knew that both Noa and Mokuba had gotten too tall to fit in the miniscule back seat, which was a concern since he’d still be driving them to school for at least a few more months. But that car had been the first thing Seto had given him, and he didn’t want to let it go, not for something newer or faster or anything. He had been so adamant about it that Seto had been forced to spill the beans on what he had actually been planning: a new "Mystichrome" type paint job, because he thought that better suited Yami than the current white color… Plus, he sorta had this weird anal retentive thing against having cars that matched in color, and the Porsche and one of the Mercedes sedans were practically the same shade of safe and boring white, although once he thought about it, the sedans and the limos were the same colors...
Yami had relaxed and smiled in acceptance, liking his boyfriend’s idea regardless of reasoning, and with the crisis averted, he and Seto wasted no time in making up. Not that the ex-spirit really cared what color his car was, but he liked the thought of having a paint job that would match his hair…
… And as far as the other thing, trying to Christmas shop for a billionaire did require both organization and forethought, and the teens knew it. After all, Seto could technically buy anything that caught his fancy. He just usually didn’t. Well, not unless it had four wheels, leather seats, and a powerful engine. Or the other exception… *ahem*, things that were supposed to be inserted somewhere or clamped onto something, though the thought of handling those was enough to make Noa and Mokuba want to gag. Bad enough that Yami had pretty much told them that he was planning on converting the unused bedroom across the hall into a "playroom" as his Christmas gift to Seto. If it had been anyone else, that might’ve seemed like an innocent enough statement; like a game room could sort of count as a playroom... But the only playing that’d be going on in Yami’s playroom would be things like bareback riding and nude wrestling and hide-and-go-seek with a… NO. Seto and Yami could go collect their things by themselves.
And although Mokuba was hopeful that maybe having a playroom would encourage them to curb their penchant for having sex in every corner of the mansion, admittedly, he wasn’t overly optimistic about that. Yami hadn’t made any attempts to relocate any of the damned lube packets or toys "hidden" throughout the house. Ah well…
So now that he knew what they WEREN’T going to get Seto, the only thing left to figure out was what they were going to get him, not always an easy task. So maybe it was just providence, but for once it didn’t take Mokuba much time at all to spot that perfect something. It was unusual and whimsical but still elegant, almost over the top but still tasteful…
"It"… was a gigantic, hundred foot long, dragon shaped topiary.
"Hey Noa, come check this out," Mokuba whispered excitedly when his boyfriend wandered back into their bedroom. He turned the laptop so that the older teen could get a better look at it. "For Seto…"
Noa peered at it. A topiary seemed like an odd choice of gift, being that it was neither a sex toy nor a piece of technologically, but he supposed if they could do a Blue Eyes, it’d work. "That’s kinda cool, if they could customize it."
"It says they can." The black-haired teen cocked his head. "And if what I have in mind would be too hard or whatever, I bet I could find someone else who could do it. But… it really is a neat idea, ne?"
Mokuba looked really excited. Noa couldn’t help but smile at him, nodding. "Yeah."
So the following afternoon, Mokuba covertly placed a call to the number listed on the website to get all the details and hopefully, place an order. The lady who was the special contact for that particular item seemed a little miffed to be talking to a teenager, but Mokuba just pushed past that – though he was already mentally composing a letter of complaint to the woman’s super – and fired his list of questions at her anyway. Yes, the gift could be customized as mentioned in the catalog, though the price would of course be higher than stated. Certainly, it would be set up by Christmas. No, it wasn’t a problem that they were in Domino… again, it’d cost more, but it was doable. Was there anything else she could do, little boy?
Sighing, Mokuba gave her his credit card number and wondered if Seto would be willing to buy out an entire department store chain just so he could have the satisfaction of showing that woman a thing or two about how customer service ought to be handled. But that, on top of a car, especially the particular car that he had in mind, would probably be too much to ask for…
Besides, he’d honestly rather have the car.
* * *
Early one morning on the second week of December, while Seto was at work and the teens were at school, Yami received a call from the guard station. Apparently there was an entire convey of trucks loaded with steel tubing and plants lined up on the street leading to the mansion. And they didn’t have Seto’s permission to be let onto the grounds, having been told specifically that "Mr. Kaiba" was not to be contacted in order to obtain permission. It was a Christmas surprise, after all…
"Ah, that's Seto's Christmas gift then. Just give me a minute to go grab the pony, okay," Yami told the security guard on the other end. He was relieved that Seto’s present had finally shown up, though it wouldn’t be a secret for much longer, since of course the young CEO would spot it as soon as he got home. But Yami figured that was okay since his lover had already told them all what he was getting them. And it was the thought that counted, right?
In a good mood despite the rather early hour, Yami headed out the front door and began whistling for Kuriboh, though he knew it was unlikely that the pony would come since he only reliably responded to Seto’s hails. So after a minute went by with neither hide nor hair of the little guy turning up, Yami went searching for him. As silly as it may have sounded, Kuriboh’s reputation as a guard animal was well deserved – better to be safe than sorry when there were going to be so many people milling around.
But it turned out that the pony had already spotted the line of delivery trucks, and had gone over to the fence to investigate. And he had already deemed them unworthy of being in his territory. He was trotting rapidly back and forth along the fence, his head held as high as he could manage, emitting high pitched sounds of displeasure. Yami could see the occupants of the vehicles chuckling at the pony’s antics, though the former Pharaoh noted with a smirk that none of them had gotten out to approach the rather rabid looking animal.
After clipping a lead rope onto Kuriboh’s jingle bell laden halter – for some reason Seto had decided the pony needed to look as festive as a Christmas tree – he went ahead and waved the convoy in. Kuriboh was just going to have to stay locked in the stable while they were working, though once he realized where Yami was taking him, he began to protest, digging his heels in like a mule, forcing Yami to drag him the entire way.
Once he was secured, though not without further LOUD protest, Yami headed back up front to check out all the stuff that was being unloaded by the fleet of workers. There were dozens of pine trees in pots and a jumble of welded steel pipes that needed to be pieced together, just like a puzzle, to form the skeletal support for the topiary. It seemed like an insurmountable mountain of components. But from the way the crew hustled around, they knew exactly what they were doing. He was probably in their way. And he had no intention of spending the day watching the structure being assembled anyway…
He headed back into the house and went straight to the kitchen. The crimson-eyed man had cookies to make – gingerbread, with lots of icing and candy and sprinkles that still needed to be sorted through. Yugi-tachi would be over the next evening for their usual Friday night get together… he figured it’d be fun if they could all decorate cookies and assemble a gingerbread house, a sort of edible centerpiece. They had done it last year and it had gone over well, though this year… not all of his cookies would be going to that cause, as he had just bought a set of "special" cookie cutters…
Okay, fine, so he was making a batch of phallic cookies. He could already hear Mokuba and Noa groaning over how perverted it was. But if he was expecting Seto to participate, he figured he ought to at least provide him something… fun to frost and eat. He bet that they’d even need an extra batch of royal icing. And if they couldn’t find enough cookies to… dribble it on, well, they could always find even more creative uses for it…
* * *
And so the rest of the day passed by quickly in a flurry of baking and organizing and cleaning up. And before Yami knew it, Mokuba and Noa were home from school and all abuzz over the spicy smell of fresh cookies and the arrival of their highly anticipated topiary. It was even bigger and more impressive than they had imagined… the way a dragon should be! They didn’t even mind that it would take years for all the greenery to grow in; the crew was stringing thousands of lights onto special brackets on the metal frame, so at least at night, the dragon would come alive, bathed in the glow of tiny bulbs.
"I can hardly wait for Seto to come home and see it! I hope he likes it!" Mokuba yelled, giddy as a five-year-old as he and Noa raced into the kitchen, hoping to snag a cookie before dinner. He grabbed one that had already been decorated with gobs of white… "Oh gross! This cookie look like a pe…"
Yami had been placing sheets of cookies by the open windows, letting the cold winter air hasten the cooling process. But as soon as he heard Mokuba’s words, he spun around. "Eat one of the undecorated ones if you’re that hungry. That one’s for Seto."
Mokuba made a face, carefully setting the cookie back onto the plate. "No, it’s okay… I think I lost my appetite… Homework is almost starting to sound good in comparison..."
Noa shook his head as his boyfriend wandered out of the room, then looked back down at the cookie. It really did look like an erection spurting… ugh, he didn’t even want to think about it! And the sprinkling of cocoa dusted coconut flakes at the base was supposed to be… hair? Nasty! "You are a sick man, Yami. A sick, sick man," the green-haired teen sighed, not that he was honestly all that surprised by it considering how Yami and Seto usually behaved. And he knew Mokuba wasn’t actually upset or shocked either… the entire thing was a long running joke within their family. But that didn’t mean they had to encourage the older couple's behavior either.
He slid a glance in Yami’s direction. The ex-spirit winked at him, and walked off, laughing.
* * *
Like clockwork, Seto pulled into the driveway at his usual time, glad to leave the stress of work behind for the comforts of home. But work hadn't been too bad this week, and he was in a pretty good mood; the company was doing well, and for once there were no unexpected surprises to deal with. Except... the mansion grounds looked quite a bit different than they had that morning.
First off, Kuriboh was missing, though Seto swore he could hear him screaming some distance away.
Secondly, there was a… oh, 110 foot long steel framed behemoth sitting on the front lawn.
Seto parked, got out of his car, and approached it, recognizing it immediately as a Blue Eyes White Dragon made of some sort of dark green lacquered steel tubing, with huge, brilliant blue glass pendants for eyes and shrubs of some sort planted within it. Ah, a topiary then! It was constructed in such a way that it neatly fit the curve of the circular driveway, like it had just landed and was looking to settle itself into its nest. And there was a giant silver ribbon tied around its neck with a dangling paper tag that read: "Merry Christmas, Nii-sama. Love, Mokuba & Noa."
The young billionaire smiled. He was eager to get inside and thank his brothers.
But… he had something to take care of first. Following the sound of frantic whinnying, he ended up walking to the stable behind the mansion, where he found indignant little Kuriboh secured in a stall, his eyes wild. Seto frowned slightly as he leaned over the stall door to ruffle the pony's black mane. Even in the worst weather, Kuriboh had never been locked up like the other horses… He’d always been allowed to come and go as he pleased, and usually chose to spend both days and nights out on the lawn. They even had all the pasture fences altered so that Kuriboh could simply walk beneath them. He was a free spirit, like a hippie or something. With a bad disposition… and lots of teeth.
"Dunno why you’re in here," Seto muttered, undoing the latch, and the pony tossed his head in appreciation before bolting for freedom.
Pleased with his good deed and seeing no reason to go through the front door, Seto headed for the kitchen door instead, inhaling the delicious scent of cinnamon and ginger as he walked in. Yami grinned broadly upon seeing him, then sauntered over to hand him a cookie. "Prefer the rear entrance?"
Seto smirked, then looked down at the cookie in his hand. "Uh…" There was no doubt as to what it was. "Obscene gingerbread? You’re such a romantic."
"I know." And there’s more where that came from, Baby.
Seto smirked. You like my smart ass.
Of course I do. Now eat your cookie.
Shouldn’t I save it for… dessert? Or is this your idea of foreplay? He made a big show of licking the heavily frosted tip, then began to slowly, languorously, insert the length of it into his mouth and…
"Seto!" hissed a scandalized voice. Seto groaned as Mokuba suddenly marched in, a look of disapproval etched on his face. The elder Kaiba swore that his little brother either deliberately planned his interruptions by hiding behind whatever door was convenient, or that he had some sort of radar that was tuned in to his state of arousal. Or maybe both.
"It’s Yami’s fault!" Seto protested, even though he knew it would be in vain. He had literally been caught with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar. Why do I always look like the guilty party? I didn’t even bake this thing! I didn’t even ask for it to be baked!
"You were about to suck off that cookie, weren’t you?" Noa added, seemingly appearing out of nowhere to add in his two cents. If Mokuba had "Seto acting like a perv" radar, Noa definitely had "Mokuba has spotted Seto acting like a perv" radar. How else could one explain how the green-haired teen always magically showed up in time to make a snide comment or two? "And why is Seto the only one to get dessert early, anyhow?"
"Because he’s too skinny," was Yami’s response.
"It’s not dessert, it’s foreplay," Seto informed Noa with a smirk, then he bit the tip of the cookie off, just to spite everyone.
"Nii-sama!" Mokuba took a deep breath to quell his annoyance, then tried again. He had spotted his brother pulling into the driveway, and had seen him walking around the topiary, but they’d gotten so far off topic… "Oh, by the way… did you notice anything different about the… front lawn?"
Seto nodded. "Yeah. Yami’s pony was missing…" he mumbled, his face carefully neutral.
"NII-SAMA!" Mokuba yelled in exasperation just as Yami snidely threw in, "He’s your pony."
"… and someone dumped a giant dragon-plant thing by the driveway."
Quirking an eyebrow, Noa crossed his arms. "Giant dragon-plant thing?! It’s called a topiary."
"You… don’t like it?" Mokuba asked suspiciously, searching his brother’s expression.
The brunette couldn’t hold on to his blank look. A smile slipped out, and blue eyes softened. "I love it. Thank you, and Noa too," Seto said sincerely, opening his arms to his little brothers.
Laughing, Mokuba threw himself into Seto’s embrace. "You’re so mean!" he scolded. He could feel Noa nodding in agreement beside him.
"Sorry. I couldn’t resist." Then he looked over their heads at Yami, who simply grinned at the heartwarming sight. "I’m surprised you weren’t in on this as well."
"I was, kinda. But I have my own special gift for you," the former Pharaoh purred. Mokuba made a choking sound, which elicited a snicker from both Noa and Yami. "But you know, I haven’t been seen the finished product yet. The topiary, I meant - shut up, Noa!"
"Too busy making anatomically correct gingerbread men?" Seto quipped, letting go of his brothers to resume snacking on his cookie. He snapped off a good-sized chunk of the coconut-covered balls, a feral gleam in his eye.
Yami beamed. "Now there’s an idea!"
Noa rolled his eyes. "Why don’t you just make a mold of your dick and…"
"NOA!" Mokuba yelled as everyone else laughed. Damn it, was he the only sane one in the house? "Well, I know it cuts into your ‘playing with dough’ time," he told Yami, sticking his tongue out for emphasis, "but you ought to come out and see it. It’s really cool!"
"Yeah, I suppose I should," Yami said, looking around the kitchen. The soup was in the pot and could stand to be left unattended, the garlic breadsticks had just gone into the oven a few minutes earlier… there was enough time to run out and look at it before night completely covered the grounds.
* * *
In the meantime, having finally been freed from the hated confines of the stable, Kuriboh did his usual rounds, checking the perimeter of the property for edible, unknown humans before returning to his usual sentry spot on the front lawn. But lo and behold, there was an intruder… right there in the middle of HIS lawn!
Offended, the Shetland pony let out a battle cry and launched himself at the object that had landed on his turf. It was many, many times larger than him, and yet, he felt no fear – probably because it didn’t move or breathe fire or anything.
Upon reaching the intruder, Kuriboh looked up slowly, taking in the length and breadth of the topiary. It didn’t appear to be a threat despite its immense size…
Then his eyes began glazing over like tempered chocolate. Not only was the object not a threat, but it was composed of a lot of plant matter, like… a buffet! A whole lovely buffet of pine trees, neatly arranged and trussed up like roasted turkeys. They were practically beckoning to him, begging to be tasted and torn apart.
It was just too much temptation for Kuriboh to resist. Tiptoeing up to the tail end of the dragon, he lifted his head as high as he could, and began tucking in.
* * *
While Yami, Noa and Mokuba headed out the front door, Seto lagged behind, having had to fetch his shoes from the back stoop. As he paused to pull them on in the foyer, he heard some sort of commotion going on outside. He rushed out, slightly alarmed, and joined his shocked family at the base of the stairs. "Okay, what the hell is… Kuriboh?"
The pony’s head swung around and he looked up at his beloved owner, his eyes seemingly getting bigger and more cow-like, as if that would somehow convince them all of his innocence. But all it did was make him look like a tiny, shaggy, guilty not-cow, since he was still chewing on a mouthful of pine needles and dripping sap all over himself.
"I can’t believe… that stupid pony!" Mokuba muttered, as if that would somehow fix everything.
Seto stepped forward to examine the extent of the damage done. The dragon was now missing a good section of its tail, as well as part of both right legs. A number of carefully tied pine branches had been broken or chewed up… bark had been stripped off, as well as needles. He didn’t know much about plants, but it was a safe bet that many of the badly damaged trees would have to be trimmed and resecured, or even replaced, in order to get the topiary back on track.
After finishing with his examination, the brunette turned to his unrepentant pet – not that he’d ever admit that Kuriboh was his – and sternly said, "Well, what do you have to say for yourself?"
Kuriboh swished his tail as if carefully considering his response, then began to slowly look around, as if contemplating escape.
Seto tapped his foot, seemingly annoyed by the delay, though the corners of his lips were twitching upwards. He didn’t want to give in and laugh since that would just encourage the pony to misbehave, though it was getting really hard not to, considering the fact that Kuriboh was now saucily sticking his tongue out at him.
Noa slapped a hand to his forehead. "Nii-sama, I’m sure he’d love to answer your question… except he’s a PONY, and he can’t TALK."
Kuriboh and Seto both snorted, then turned to give the green-haired teen matching glares, though one glare was decidedly more equine in nature than the other. Noa rolled his eyes in disbelief. Great, they were both crazy…
Seto turned his attention back to the pony. "Well?"
Unable to think of anything better to do, Kuriboh curled his lips back in a sort of horsey smile, then walked right up to Seto and began contentedly rubbing his sticky, saliva-y, sap-laden muzzle all over his pant leg.
Yami, Noa and Mokuba all froze, awaiting the inevitable explosion. Kuriboh would be lucky if Seto chose to simply kill him on the spot. But it was doubtful that the young CEO would let him off that easy… Kuriboh would probably spend the rest of his days at a petting zoo, or something equally dismal. Not that he seemed to care… he had started to drool on Seto’s shoes…
Mortified, the trio finally looked at Seto’s face. He was as red as a tomato. His eyes were starting to bug out. But he hadn’t moved, hadn’t made a sound… until a choked gasp slipped from his lips, followed by another, and another, each louder than the one preceding it…
… It was an explosion all right… of hysterical laughter.
Seto threw his head back and began laughing so hard, for so long, that he was literally shaking from head to toe. He ended up plopping onto the cold grass when his legs finally gave out from beneath him. He knew he ought to be mad; Kuriboh had eaten his Christmas present, which Mokuba and Noa had so carefully chosen for him, and had spat bits of it all over his pants and shoes and now, even his shirt and tie. And he doubted the sap would come off. And everyone was looking at him as if he had gone off the deep end. Maybe he had. It was so impossibly stupid, so incredibly unbelievable… of course it had to happen to him.
"Nii-sama, you okay?" Mokuba finally asked as his brother panted for breath.
"Oh yeah… yeah…" he breathed, then, seeing the disbelief on everyone’s faces, he grinned and added, "This shit only happens to me. But… I should’ve expected it, I guess. After all, I’m the one who bought him."
Yami slowly smiled and sat down beside his boyfriend, putting his head against Seto’s shoulder, though he was careful to avoid the drooled-upon areas. "And now you know why I locked him in the stable."
"But I couldn’t just leave him in there..." Kuriboh nickered in agreement with Seto's sentiment, then lifted his head, his attention being drawn elsewhere. He inhaled deeply, then began trotting off, probably to wreak havoc elsewhere. Seto watched him go, his eyes still bright with amusement. He tsked, shaking his head. "It’s okay though, I won’t kill him."
"How thoughtful of you," Noa commented dryly.
Seto leaned back slightly and looked up at his brothers. His grin faded slightly when he realized that the pair were probably pretty pissed. Clearly a lot of planning had gone into their gift… "I’m sorry it got ruined. I was a nice present, and I appreciate the thought that went into it. But I'll get it fixed up. He didn't do any permanent damage."
Noa simply shrugged it off, while Mokuba knelt down beside his big brother, patting him on the shoulder despite the pony saliva wetting it. "Nah, if you’re not mad, then… I’m not mad either," he reassured Seto. "And we can get the plants replaced pretty easily, though… if he’s gonna keep eating them, maybe that wouldn’t be a good idea."
Feeling uncharacteristically goofy and strangely content now that he knew his brothers weren’t really upset about it, Seto slung an arm around Mokuba. "He won’t. I’ll give him a good talking to," he said, trying to sound serious and failing miserably at it.
"As if he’d listen to you?" Noa retorted as he squatted down by Mokuba, thought truth be told, there actually was a good chance that Kuriboh would heed Seto’s words. It wasn’t like he’d listen to anyone else, that was for sure. When Seto looked at him, the green-haired teen snickered, indicating that he too was just kidding. "But hey, at least you got a good laugh out of it, though it makes me wonder what else he might try eati…"
Before Noa even had a chance to finish, Yami suddenly sprung to his feet in a panic. "Oh shit, my cookies!" he yelled as he began sprinting in the direction Kuriboh had been heading in… towards the kitchen… towards his oh-so-lovingly baked trays of gingerbread cookies…
Seto just tilted his head back, looking up at the sky, wondering why he had to be struck with the mental image of Yami’s pony mowing through dozens of obscene cookies and dribbling icing all over his chin. It was just so wrong…
GRRRRRRR… DAMN IT! I’m going to KILL your stupid pony! He busted through the screen and everything! Yami screamed.
He’s your pony, Seto shot back, but he finally rose to his feet. He figured he had better head over there to save Kuriboh’s furry rump from Yami’s wrath since no one else was going to do it. He wasn’t in much of a hurry though. Kuriboh wasn’t stupid enough to stick around and wait for Yami to Mind Crush him. And surely with double the number of legs, even stumpy legs like his, he’d have to be a lot faster than Yami.
Besides… if Kuriboh was busy eating cookies, at least that meant the topiary was safe.
* * *
~ OWARI ~
December 25, 2007