A/N: Kaiba x Jounouchi. Shounen ai and character analysis and obscure references to the song "Falling Is Like This." Lyrics at the end if you want 'em, but I'm afraid I forget who it's by. Anybody know?

Hey, I wrote this in one night- go me! -^__^- *makes her little brother's Harry Potter and Draco Malfoy Lego figures smooch in a celebratory sort of way*

"Three Simple Rules"

Jounouchi and Kaiba, Kaiba and Jounouchi. The two most precious counterparts of the King of Games- Jounouchi who is his foundation, and Kaiba who is his rival, who he fought so very hard to defeat. The ones who build him up and tear him down and love him as much as they hate him.

Jounouchi was a rival when he and Yuugi Mutou first met. He stole his priceless puzzle piece, mocked him, spoke as harshly as he could yet still not harshly enough to irreversibly wound. Then he just turned around; a complete one-eighty that changed him from a schoolyard punk to the Game King's closest friend.

Then Seto Kaiba, who has honestly tried to kill that same Game King on numerous occasions, who treats Katsuya Jounouchi as if he is nothing. Who loves his brother so deeply, as deeply as Jounouchi ever loved Shizuka, and is so cold and ruthless that it hurts to think of what in his life made him that way.

Why are they so alike? Such perfect contrasts, such gorgeous foils . . . so unalike, so exactly the same. Brown eyes, warm and sweet and soft and always smiling vs. blue eyes; cold, icy, impassible blue that so rarely thaws. Sometimes people forget whose are whose.

And the soft, wild blond hair, and the neat, sharp brown locks . . . the ferocity, the anger, the refusal to surrender; both lanky and smirking and so damn good at what they do. If either of them were lost, what would the King of Games be? With no conflict, he could not play his precious games; with no support, he could not win them.

This strange pair, who contrast in color and persona, and yet at the same time are exactly the same. Put Jounouchi in Seto Kaiba's world, he would turn out exactly the same as the other had, and vice versa. And together, what are they? Some have seen them dance, seen them fight on the same side- albeit unwillingly- and nothing could be more fascinating than to see them both struggling for control when it is clear that neither has any.

It is certain now: even if they try to deny it, even if they cannot bring themselves to admit it to anyone, Seto Kaiba and Katsuya Jounouchi are in love with each other. They are drawn to their warped reflection and desire more than anything to become it. Kaiba wants friends, loathe as he is to confess such a weakness; and Jounouchi wants control over his own fate.

Still, they try to fight it, to deny what it is their hearts beg to have. But it's like trying to fight gravity on a planet that's insisting: this is love, and you're falling. Get used to it and enjoy the ride.

They're falling alone, though, and it's dark and lonely and they're both so afraid. And they aren't even so far along yet- they're still just barely scratching the surface. They still imagine that they can talk themselves out of it. Give them a week; then they'll know what a sweet agony love really is. Give them a month, they'll be ready to die for each other without flinching and still never say a word as to why.

But right now, they still think they can escape, that they can fight gravity and get back to where they were, though it's been too late for that since the day they met. But they still resist, still don't understand how much better things would feel if they simply gave in and fell together into that place that isn't dark and lonely at all.

So together they're alone and frightened and so certain that this feeling inside will not ever be reciprocated. Together they're falling, but not with that irreplaceable one that they want to.

And they hate and they hate and they love and they love and lust makes them hold each other for just a moment too long when they collide even as loathing makes them shove too harshly away.

And Jounouchi hides too often under false laughter, as Kaiba hides too often behind his glare, and both of them are falling faster and faster as the days go by, and really, all hope for escape has long since died, and they both know with utter, absolute certainty that those three simple rules of descent now rule their lives.

Because when you fall, only one of three things ever happens.

Sometimes, you wake up before you hit.

Sometimes you don't, and it kills you.

And sometimes- just sometimes- when you fall . . .

You learn to fly.

* ende *

"Falling Is Like This"

You give me that look that's like laughing

With liquid in your mouth

Like you're choosing between choking

And spitting it all out

Like you're trying to fight gravity

On a planet that insists

That love is like falling

And falling is like this

Feels like reckless driving when we're talking

It's fun while it lasts, and it's faster than walking

But no one's going to sympathize when we crash

They'll say, "you hit what you head for, you get what you ask"

And we'll say we didn't know, we didn't even try

One minute there was road beneath us, the next just sky

I'm sorry I can't help you; I cannot keep you safe

I'm sorry I can't help myself, so don't look at me that way

We can't fight gravity on a planet that insists

That love is like falling

And falling is like this.

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