Chapter 71: Filling In

Yami was beyond exhausted by the time he was allowed to privately say goodbye to Kaiba. "I wish you didn't have to go," Yami sighed as he embraced Kaiba. He hated being apart from Kaiba and it seemed so much worse at night.

Kaiba shared the sentiment, but he only said, "We both wouldn't fit on that couch."

"It really makes me look forward to Sunday. Even if I hate that it means Monday is almost here," Yami commented as he puled back to gently kiss Kaiba.

"Go get some sleep," Kaiba told him when they parted. "It's been a long day."

"I'd much rather have a long night," Yami teased as he firmly groped Kaiba's ass and pulled their bodies closer together.

The action gave Kaiba ideas that they couldn't make into reality at the moment. Resisting his natural inclination to escalate things, Kaiba kissed Yami one more time before stepping back and saying, "I'll see you tomorrow."

Pouting in a way that made Kaiba want to kiss Yami senseless, the former pharaoh conceded to their parting for the night. "Good night," Yami finally said with a sigh, but not before stealing one final kiss.

Refusing to allow himself to linger any further, Kaiba left with a final parting word to Yuugi before getting into the limo where his brother was waiting. "Sorry that took so long," Kaiba apologized as the limo began to move.

"It's fine," Mokuba reassured him with a grin. "I figured I would be waiting longer for you two to say good night."

Pushing aside all of the other ways Kaiba wished he could have said good night to Yami, Kaiba asked, "So what did you go upstairs to talk with him about earlier tonight?"

"I think Yami put it best when he said that it's one thing to hear you say that it's fine, but it's different hearing it from the actual person themselves," Mokuba told Kaiba.

"Okay," Kaiba replied, but there was still some confusion in his tone.

"I just wanted him to know that I'm really okay with the two of you being together," Mokuba explained, knowing that speaking bluntly was always the easiest way to get his older brother to understand. "Having you tell him I'm fine with you two dating and hearing me reassure him that I feel that way are two very different things."

"Ah," Kaiba said with understanding, knowing that it had probably helped relieve some lingering doubts Yami may have harbored. "I suppose I should thank you for that."

"Nah," Mokuba decided, waving it away. "He really likes you, nii-sama."

"Yeah," Kaiba admitted with a faint smile, knowing that it would be pointless to argue otherwise.

"And you really like him, too," Mokuba continued with a grin.

"Yeah," Kaiba repeated, this time with a slight blush starting to color his cheeks. "I'm…happy with him."

"That is so awesome," Mokuba gushed, thrilled to know that his brother actually managed to find someone to bring joy to his life in such a way.

"Mm," Kaiba agreed, still finding it surprising at how fulfilling he found being with Yami to be. He never would have thought such a thing was possible for someone like himself and never had Kaiba been so glad to be wrong about something.

Mokuba easily could have continued talking about how amazing he found their relationship to be, but he restrained; he could tell his brother was embarrassed enough as it was. "So what's going on with the American division?" Mokuba asked, transitioning onto an easier subject for his brother to address. "Are things getting any better?"

Scowling a bit, Kaiba had to admit, "Things are starting to improve now that Evans is in charge, but it's slow progress. We're still a far way from things being back to normal."

"Still, at least there's some positive progress," Mokuba pointed out, trying to find the bright side to a bad situation. "The fact that Evans managed to stop what was happening is a miracle in and of itself."

"I should have acted sooner," Kaiba complained, regretting that his oversight had contributed to the worsening situation.

"The important thing is that it's starting to get better," Mokuba consoled his brother.

"I should still go out there," Kaiba said with a heavy sigh. He knew what he needed to do, but it was difficult to manage with his school and work obligations that kept him in Japan.

"Give Evans a chance to take care of everything first," Mokuba counseled. "He's just getting started and so far he's doing a great job from what I can tell."

"Normal kids your age read manga for fun, not interpersonal corporate memos," Kaiba pointed out with a chuckle, figuring that was most likely where Mokuba had found the details of the situation.

"I know, but I'm worried about it, too," Mokuba defended himself. "If it's not better by the end of the semester, then we can go out there during summer break."

Kaiba's mind was unintentionally distracted by a stray thought of an American summer vacation with Yami, but he quickly pushed the image aside to focus on the conversation. "True," Kaiba admitted, even as he hoped it wouldn't come to that. "I just need to be careful that putting so much of my attention into the American division doesn't hurt the Japanese one as a result."

"You forget that my randomly showing up at the office inspires them to behave better," Mokuba joked. "They're all so paranoid the little spy is going to say something to his older brother, I think that they're twice as efficient when you're not there just to prove to you that you can trust them."

Kaiba had to laugh at that, but he knew there was an element of truth to what Mokuba was saying. His employees at the main office seemed to be doing even better than normal when Kaiba was regularly in the office; he contributed it to the fact that they were overly conscious of the consequences of disappointing him during his absence. "It will be good to return to work this summer," Kaiba commented, surprised by how much he missed being at the office regularly, even as he enjoyed the relief that the distance gave him.

"Hopefully you won't overdo it trying to make up for your absence," Mokuba said with a pointed look at his brother because they both knew he was prone to such behavior.

"In my defense, I'm not doing that now on my visits home," Kaiba pointed out, although sometimes it was a challenge not to do so when he stopped into the office during his weekend trips home.

"True," Mokuba conceded, "which I appreciate. I know that's not easy for you when you're away for so long."

"You are always my priority," Kaiba reassured Mokuba, knowing he would always come first over work.

"Besides I'm pretty sure Yami will be able to convince you to stay out of the office all the time this summer," Mokuba teased with a laugh.

Trying very hard not to think about what specific methods of distraction Yami could employ against him to keep him away from work, Kaiba could only shake his head with a sigh as he admitted to himself that Yami was far too good at doing such a thing. "He will certainly give it his best effort," Kaiba predicted with a wry grin, trying to remind himself that he shouldn't be looking forward to such a thing.

"I would like to think that all the time away from the office has shown us all that Kaiba Corp won't burn to the ground if you're not there to watch it all hours of the day and night," Mokuba stated, even though he was still amused by what his brother had just confessed.

"Having this break has been good for me in a lot of ways," Kaiba admitted, "but it's also been frustrating having to conduct so much business by phone and video conference. Plus, I can't help but worry that some asshole is going to think this is the perfect time to try a hostile take over of Kaiba Corp because they think I'm not looking."

"If they're dumb enough to think you're not watching in your absence, they deserve whatever you do to them," Mokuba commented as he rolled his eyes at the thought of anyone being that stupid.

"Then again, my being there hasn't stopped them in the past, so why should my absence be any different?" Kaiba mused as he reflected on the various attempts people had made at taking his company away from him over the years.

Not wanting his brother to fixate on such negativity and ruin his night, Mokuba switched gears and asked, "Do you think Yami would be able to come with us if we end up having to go to America this summer?"

The thought of spending a summer with Yami on a beautiful private beach was endlessly tempting and Kaiba had to resist when his mind wanted to play out a sexy fantasy. "Possibly," Kaiba said, knowing it would largely depend on if he could get Yami a passport in time. "However, somehow I get the feeling we would end up with the whole damn Yuugi-tachi coming with us…"

"That would be so much fun!" Mokuba exclaimed, thinking about all the things they could do as a group on vacation.

"Provided their behavior doesn't get us deported," Kaiba dryly retorted, causing Mokuba to laugh. As much as Kaiba didn't want to deal with the whole group, the thought of rewarding Yami for studying English so diligently and providing him incentive to keep at it was a tempting one.

Sensing his brother starting to waver on the issue, Mokuba pointed out, "They wouldn't have to stay with us the whole summer. I'm sure they all have their own things they want to do this summer, but surely two weeks or a month would be okay…"

When Kaiba conceded, "I'll think about it," Mokuba could hardly believe his luck, even if Kaiba was just considering it because it was a way for him to spend more time with Yami. "You're the best, nii-sama," Mokuba told him with a bright smile.

Smiling kindly at Mokuba, Kaiba reached over and ruffled his hair fondly as he said, "You make it easy." It was true, too. Kaiba felt so fortunate to have someone like Mokuba as his little brother; he could only imagine how much worse his life would have been without his constant love and support. "So tell me about what's going on in school."

Mokuba happily filled in Kaiba on the details of his last two weeks at school and it was an easy way to pass the rest of the time until they reached home.


A/N: I know it's not exactly the most exciting return, but hey, I'm back!

It dawned on me that I wrote the first chapter of this story in 2008 and it's absurd that it's now 2018 and it's still not done yet. I'm making it my goal to try and get this story finished within this year. It's currently at 89 chapters, so I've got a shot at actually getting it done.

I can't promise I'll be updating every single week, but I'm going to try really hard to give more consistent updates. I feel awful that my hiatus keeps getting so prolonged…

Due to my not updating regularly, I temporarily suspended my P-atreon awhile back, although I sincerely thank those of you who supported me when it was active. It was such a huge help and it meant the world to me.

For those of you who still follow me on Twitter, you have undoubtedly seen that I have been hard at work on an original novel series about a monk and a fox demon, so I'm also hoping to get at least the first book of that published as well. Hopefully that is something that everyone will be interested in checking out once I get it published!

I'm also doing another study abroad in Japan, plus I'm still working, so it's a lot to tackle, but that's my goals for 2018 at this point.

NEXT CHAPTER:

"It doesn't stop me from wishing," Yami retorted as he leaned forward and began trailing kisses along Kaiba's neck, "or wanting."

Thank you for all of your patience with my shitty schedule and for sticking with me on this story. It's still one of my favorite versions of Kaiba and Yami and I really want everyone to enjoy their relationship progress—and not just because I'm dying to share the upcoming crossdressing Kaiba chapter. ^_~

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this chapter! It's been so long and I miss getting to hear from everyone like I used to.