Title: 'Tis the Season
Author: bnomiko
Rating: R
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami (main), Anzu + Yugi, Mai + Jou, Malik + Bakura, Rafael + Valon + Amelda
Spoilers: none
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. Scrabble, Monopoly and The Game of Life are products of Hasbro, Inc. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: What do gamers do best? Play games, of course.
Status: 3 / ?
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

* * *

'Tis the Season

Ch. 3: A Marshmallow World

* * *

Despite the fact that Seto had agreed to and signed the contract Pegasus had offered him, he really wasn't that much closer to befriending the silver-haired man or his trio of employees. Yami watched his lover alternate between ignoring their guests and glowering at their backs for a full day, then finally late that Sunday evening, he decided that he had enough of it and was going to do something to break the stalemate.

"There's nothing good on TV," Mokuba complained before finally shutting the television off and tossing the remote onto the sofa beside him. How was it that they could have over 700 channels and not be able to find a thing to watch?

"Would anyone be up for a board game or a card game?" Yami asked casually, knowing that a room full of gamers wouldn't be able to say no. "Poker, Scrabble, Monopoly..."

Seto smirked. "I'd be up for a game of Monopoly."

"Oooh, no! I've got something better!" Valon suddenly yelled. "I'll go get it!" The Aussie sprung to his feet and dashed out of the room. He didn't return for several minutes, but when he finally did, triumphantly plopping a long cardboard box down in the center of the coffee table, everyone noticed that he had switched into his dark blue flannel pajamas.

"I thought it was game time, not bedtime," Rafael commented.

Valon threw himself back on the loveseat, tucking one of his socked feet up under his thigh. "What? Figured I might as well get cozy..."

Pegasus scratched his chin. "Hmm... you know, that's not a bad idea! I think I'll go get my PJs too!"

"Uh, NO," Seto protested, but by that point everyone was starting to agree that sleepwear was appropriate since it was rather late at night, and then Yami volunteered to make mugs of hot cocoa with marshmallows as well, so despite Seto's objections, they all trotted off to go get changed. Seto eventually relented thanks to a lot of prodding from Mokuba, who spent about five minutes arguing with him through the bedroom door, and so finally the whole group ended up back into the family room in their loungewear. Seto and Yami wore similar robes, one blue and one red, and had split a single set of pajamas between the two of them. Seto had on the black cotton bottoms and Yami had on the shirt, but it was only obvious since Yami didn't bother cinching his robe all the way. Valon took one look at Yami's bare legs and had to really refrain from making a smartass comment about who wore the pants in the house.

After he settle himself back on the recliner with Yami lying draped on top of him like a warm blanket, Seto took a good look around at the assembled group. Mokuba and Noa were in their usual PJs, which were exact duplicates of Seto's except for the colors. Amelda wore a leopard print velvet robe and beside him, Rafael was in a beige thermal weave shirt with brown striped knit lounge pants. But it was Pegasus' ensemble that really made Seto's eyes bug out. The silver-haired man was dressed in a pink-red sleepshirt with bunnies printed all over it. "Yay, it's like a fucking slumber party. So, when are going to start doing each other's makeup or whatever it is that girls do?"

"Kaiba, I think lipgloss in a shade of light, cool pink would suit you best," Amelda replied in such a deadpan voice that for a moment, everyone stared at him with mouths hanging open. "What? ... It was a joke!"

"Riiight. Okay, so let's see what we've got here. The 'Adult Game of Real Life?'" Noa asked, warming his hands on a mug of chocolate goodness topped with so many marshmallows that it looked like a cup of shaving cream. "Never heard of it before."

"I bought it two days ago from an, ah... adult store," Valon explained. "See, it's like the Game of Life, but..." and then he picked up the box and read straight off the packaging, "so realistic you'll think it was REAL LIFE. Play as singles or couples or even as a group of swingers! Get a job, get fired, get married and divorced. Hot and sexy fun for all your adult friends."

"Mokuba and Noa are NOT adults," Seto snarled, "and mentally, neither are you!"

Yami and Valon both rolled their eyes, then snickered as Yami successfully fought off Valon to swipe the last of the mini marshmallows in the dish, eating most of them straight instead of dumping them into his cocoa.

"Well, if mental maturity is all it takes, then we're mature enough," Mokuba pointed out, giving Yami a weird look.

"No, you're not," Seto argued back.

Noa snorted. "Oh, but it's okay for us to see you and Yami rolling around on the..."

"NOA!" Seto yelled, obviously flustered.

Yami didn't know whether to laugh or be mortified. He sort of has a point, Baby.

The green-haired teen smirked inwardly as Seto offered no further verbal protest. The game hadn't even started yet and he had already scored a point. Certainly this had to be a sign of good things to come.

* * *

The game turned out to be a little different than they imagined. The rules were quite simple: roll a die, advance your tiny car the required number of spaces, and follow the instructions on the space, which usually required the drawing of a card from one of several stacks and the earning or losing of play money. The winner would be the wealthiest individual or pair at the end of the game, and they all decided to start off in pairs to make things easier. But Seto and Yami especially were not happy to find out that if they had a bad roll of the die somewhere, they could end up paired up with someone else.

The game started on a spot marked "Now leaving Childhood... Welcome to Adulthood!" With the high roll of six, Seto and Yami were the first to go and before they could even roll to advance their car, they were each required to draw a card from the 'Career' stack.

"Let's see here." Yami looked down at his card and began laughing even before he read it aloud. "'Congratulations! You've decided a lucrative career in the oldest industry on Earth is right for you. That's right, you're a pimp! Every time you pass a space marked $, slap yo' hos! Roll the die and multiply the result by $200.' Hehehe... okay."

Seto raised an eyebrow. "Gee, congrats. Let's see what shit I get; it can't be worse than that. 'Congratulations! You've just dropped out of community college and have started a career as a stripper named Kandy Kane! Every time you pass a space marked $, you get tipped! Roll the die and multiply the result by $100.' What. The. FUCK!?"

Valon began sniggering and reached into his small pile of play money, fishing out a $50. Handing it to Seto with a wink, he said, "Thanks for the lap dance, Kandy."

"Valon darling... are you already cheating on me?" Pegasus asked his gaming partner, then both burst into peals of laughter.

Seto snarled and crumpled up the slip of paper, but Yami placed his hand on his lover's arm to stop him from taking things further. But he couldn't resist flashing a wicked smile and then pushing a $100 at Seto. "Keep the change, Baby."

"I am NOT going to be a stripper! This game is stupid!!" the brunette billionaire yelled as he tried to get up to leave, but a still-chuckling Yami stopped him.

"Hehehe, I'm sorry, Kai-baby... oh damn, that's too funny. Look... what if we trade careers? You can be the pimp, okay?"

"I don't want to be a pimp either!"

"That's not fair," Pegasus complained. "What's the point of playing if you can just change the rules whenever you want?"

"If it keeps Kaiba in the game, I say let him switch with Yami," Amelda said, and next to him, Rafael nodded in agreement.

"But there's spots further on for a change of careers. So it's not like he's stuck as a stripper for the whole thing," Valon noted as he wiped tears of mirth from his eyes. "Come on mate, be a sport. Just live with it."

"It's just a silly game, Nii-sama. I bet the rest of us will draw things that are just as bad," Mokuba added, his eyes taking on a slightly pleading quality.

Seto ground his teeth but amazingly, didn't leave, although he was thinking about all the ways he could dismember Valon and stuff him down the garbage disposal. Stupid Valon and his shitty game - I bet he rigged the cards knowing that we'd be the first ones to go.

Seto, it's just a board game, and a very silly one at that.

It sucks balls!

A devious smirk crossed Yami's face. Behave yourself and try to enjoy the rest of the game, and I'll do that for you later.

... Really?

Of course.

The Kaiba Corp. CEO considered the offer. All right, you have a deal. Not that I'm doing it for *that*, but whatever.

* * *

It ended up that no one else drew a career card as humiliating as Seto's, though some of the assigned careers were equally as amusing. Mokuba became the owner of a gay bar called WoodyPecker, Noa an internet entrepreneur who ran a porn site, Rafael a controversial radio talk show host, Amelda a movie star with a propensity for sleeping around, Pegasus an unemployed ex-con on parole, and Valon... he ended up with the glorious position of burger flipper. Seto never got any happier with his career assignment, but he secretly had to admit that it could have been much worse. At least he and Yami weren't getting financially trounced like Pegasus and Valon, who currently had only $100 between the two of them...

"Oh thank goodness! Valon darling, I can hardly wait for our divorce to be finalized," Pegasus crowed as he read the 'Life Altering Decisions 1' card that he had drawn. In no way did he hate being paired up with the Aussie, but between his pay of $0 and Valon's $50 times a die roll, they were rapidly falling further and further behind the other teams in the game.

"Ahhh, snookums... you're breaking my heart. What will we tell our precious children?" Valon asked, smirking mightily. Then he drew a card as well. "Well, it looks like our divorce has caused me to develop a crack addiction. 'Every time you pass a space marked $, you must pay $50 to the local drug dealer (if one is in play) or to the bank in support of your habit.'"

Pegasus tsked. "Those poor kids... to think that their mommy is a dope fiend... wait a minute. OUR children? Oh no no no... the twins Nolan and Nylan are YOUR children. Only little Peggy Sue is mine. Or did you forget about that affair you had with Noa?"

"I can't believe you guys named your plastic pegs," the "father" of the twins muttered under his breath.

"You should be grateful that I successfully sued him for child support!" Valon continued, ignoring Noa's little comment. "As if anyone else would pay for your classes at clown college... But oh well, now you're going to have to support me instead."

Pegasus grinned and began moving pegs from his car into a separate vehicle for Valon. "The card says I have to pay 50% of my income for any child that's biologically mine or that I've legally adopted. The rub is, of course... my income is zero."

Valon scowled and snatched the card up from the table. Sure enough, the silver-haired man was right. "I hate you, you bludger." The younger brunette drummed his fingers on the table, then looked around at the assembled group. "So, who wants to be my new spouse? Ya..."

"Don't even think it, druggie," Seto growled. "It's bad enough that you had kids with my brother."

"You do realize how silly this all sounds," Yami pointed out quietly, though he was happy to see that Seto was getting into the game, odd as it was.

"Well, I need a new spouse or boyfriend more," Pegasus chided. "My income is still zero."

"Shut up... deadbeat dad."



"Two-timing trollop!"

Valon gasped at that. "How dare you speak to me that way?! I... I want a divorce!"

"You can't divorce me because I'm divorcing you first!"

While the two continued play arguing, Seto smirked and commented with amusement in his voice, You were right, Yami. This is kinda fun.

Hehe, told you.

* * *

By the time the game moved into its final stages, Yami was glad to see that Seto had indeed relaxed a bit, the tension that had been plaguing him all day melting away like marshmallows in hot cocoa. Of course, it had helped immensely when Seto dumped his initial career of stripper for the much more lucrative world of lingerie modeling, then finally graduated to the position of evil overlord bent on taking over the world. Even lingerie modeling didn't pay like evil overlord did.

"Ha! One more roll and Yami and I will have this stupid game in the bag," Seto gloated, though no one in the room was contesting that fact. Despite their slightly rocky start, Seto and Yami had gotten through the game virtually unscathed, though it came as no surprise to anyone since Yami had remained Seto's partner throughout.

"I think we're just fighting for second now," Amelda confessed, rolling the die and advancing his and Pegasus' piece the required three spaces. After Valon and Pegasus' break up, Amelda and Rafael had been forced to go through counseling for infidelity and ended up divorced as well, and Amelda eventually got paired with Pegasus, who by that point had switched "careers" to trophy wife/husband, which meant his income was still a big, fat zero. While they were doing okay, Amelda guesstimated that they were behind the team of Noa and Mokuba, as well as Rafael. The two youngest teens had done pretty well for themselves despite the setback of a temporary break up, and were the first ones to reach the final square "Retirement" and tallying up their total earnings. And Rafael was doing just fine as a solo player even after paying to send his and Amelda's daughter to Harvard University, but ah, poor Valon... he ended up as a single parent to four children and his career path lead ultimately to being a seller of his own biological samples on eBay.

"Oh, rack off," Valon snapped, "I'll be lucky if I don't finish last. Damn, how'd I end up with four kids? What a stupid game."

"You probably have a lot more than four kids out there with all that sperm floating around in cyberspace," Rafael commented, which elicted a series of groans from the other players in the room. It wasn't exactly a pleasant visual image, but at least no one made a "slut" comment.

"Valon, don't be a sore loser. You're the one who wanted to play," Seto reminded him from behind Yami's shoulder.

Valon snorted at the irony that of all the people in the world, it was Seto Kaiba lecturing him on being a sore loser, but Yami caught his eye right before his mouth opened and something in his expression made the Aussie shut up and think. And then... he figured it out; Yami had planned the whole thing from the beginning, before the plastic wrapper had even been removed from the game box. Didn't matter the game, he always knew he would win whenever it suited him and from the confident, relaxed smile on Seto's face... it obviously suited the ex-spirit to clinch a win this time around. Whatever had been bothering Seto all day - and yes, Valon had noticed it earlier - was forgotten in glowing light of victory. Heh, the King of Games... ah well, I guess it doesn't really matter. "Yeah, you're right. So... rematch once this is over?"

"Not for me. It's getting rather late," said Yami, settling back against his boyfriend in contentment, glad that his friend understood.

"Nothing says it has to be today..."

Seto instantly accepted the challenge. "Best two of three then, but it'll be my pick of game for next round."

Valon nodded. "Fair enough. So tomorrow then? And which game?" I bet he's going to say Monopoly.


* * *


Author's Notes:

January 26, 2006