I just learned what 'deus ex machina' meant from a friend of mine who is taking Latin. The saying kept popping up into my mind as I though about Seto…Hmm. Anyway!

Warnings: Not technically incest, the rating is mainly because it can be construed that way. No language or anything. Slight insanity warning. Nothing much other than that.

Can I have a drum roll please!

*drum roll*

Merry Christmas, Rayemars! Hope you enjoy your fic!

Deus Ex Machina

(God from a Machine)

" The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives." – Albert Schweitzer

The hum of machinery comforts the lone figure in a room filled with complex circuit boards, innumerable wires, and flashing, blinking, florescent computer screens. The wires all weave intricate roads towards the only source of light in the room; the computer monitors. The figure sits, working diligently on a circuit board that is roughly the size of its upper torso. Hands move, or rather dart, quickly about. A flash of a tool there, a metallic spark here. After a few moments the figure stands and stretches cracking various body parts in an attempt to make himself comfortable.

Sharp ears pick up movement on the upper floor. A shuffling of feet, a sound of a heavy package or knapsack striking the floor, and the pitter-patter of sneakers at the top of the stairs all find their way back to the young man. Azure eyes soften a moment, conveying a deep emotional well that anyone could tell was not often tapped into.

He can hear all the small noises his brother makes as he climbs down the stairs. The small breaths that go in and out as he pants from exertion. The sound that his wet sneakers make as they descend the stairs. They all bring a small light to an otherwise dark world. A world that had much practice in closing out light.

"Seto, are you down here?" The voice is somewhat loud and echoes off the complicated machinery. Azure eyes blink a moment, composing himself the figure stands and turns to regard his only living relative and link to the human world.

You are busy. You cannot talk now.


Mokuba lets a smile break open on his face. He was down here, again, but he was still here. Running down the steps, Mokuba embraces his brother about his midsection. He stops almost a millisecond after hugging him and steps back quickly.

"Whatcha doing?" Mokuba's eyes light up with curiosity at whatever wonder his big brother was accomplishing now.

He's working. Leave him be. Let him work.

'Go away.'

Seto tried desperately to keep any emotion out of his eyes, but felt his barriers slowly lowering around his kid brother. Mokuba would never hurt him. Never. The thought was comforting and Seto felt the beginnings of a small smile begin.

"Nothing much, Mokuba, just working. How was school?" Seto crossed his arms, a defense mechanism by most psychiatrists' standards, but neither boy noticed the action. Neither seemed to care.

"It was great. You should have come today. There's snow everywhere. We played Duel Monsters outside anyway, because we didn't want to miss out on it!" Mokuba was barely able to contain the excitement that threatened to overflow from his small short sentences. Today had been great. With snow and his friends and all kinds of excitement because of the holiday season streaming out of the school. "And Yugi—"

Seto's eyes hardened for a fraction of a second. "Yugi?"

A small short laugh made it's way out of his younger brother. His cheeks were still flecked with melting frost and he had a rosy hue to him, as though his body was desperately trying to blend in with some of the poinsettias that adorned the table in the dining hall. Mokuba shuffled his feet a few times, feeling like he had been caught in an act of immense stupidity, but his brother managed that with just about everyone.

"Yeah, me and him—"

"Him and I."

"Him and I…were playing Duel Monsters. He beat me, but I'm getting better." Mokuba reacted instantly to the grammar correction, righting the speech and continuing with his thought process. Seto had always been on him to keep his grades up and to make sure he studied. Besides, whenever Seto corrected his grammar it made him realize that his big brother was paying attention to him. "We could play if you like, big brother."

Seto raised an eyebrow inwardly at Mokuba's tone. It was hopeful. There was always so much hope around him. A sense of hero-worship that followed Mokuba around. He wanted to play cards with him. Was seeking him out even. Seto was never less than stunned anytime his brother asked for his attentions. That Mokuba still thought so highly of him was amazing.

But he had work to do. Too much work. There was always so much work to do. His lack of trust in his company members had forced the burden of extra work on him. Thus, resulting in much overtime. The sole reason for his staying home actually.

Azure eyes softened once they looked back at similar ones. He wanted him around. Mokuba wanted to spend time with him and only him. His brother was the only human being he had ever let get this close to what he would like to think was his heart. Should he actually have one. But he had so much work to do…


Work, work, work, work.


"Really?!" Mokuba's eyes lit up instantly and he ran forward to hug him again. Seto tightened at the unexpected movement, expecting a blow or some other offensive physical tactic. The smaller of the two Kaiba brothers skid to a stop once he read his brother's body language. Both boys let their eyes meet.

'He knows I'm a monster. He knows.'

Swallowing his fears, Seto reached out and slung an arm as nonchalantly as he could fake around Mokuba's shoulders. "Yes, really. Are you hungry or anything? I'll have the help—"

Mokuba sprung away to stand in front of Seto, who has to quell the urge to take a step back. "We can do it, Seto! We can make some popcorn, and get some soda, and make some more popcorn…"

As his brother continued to list off things that he had planned for the evening, none of which included eating a decent meal, Seto slowly let his walls lower. A slight nod to his brother indicating that yes, he was still listening, and Seto continued to figure in his mind just how much more work he had to finish.

Mokuba would want to stay up late and it wasn't a school night, so technically they could. He had about three reports to finish, complete with statistical analysis of the prototype he had to show the board tomorrow…It was going to be a late night. Though it wasn't like he got much sleep anyway.


Azure eyes snap to attention and regard the curious figure of his brother.

"Are you okay? You don't have to if you don't want to. We can do it some other time."

'No, don't recant. I want to, Mokuba. I do.'

Work, work, work, work.

Seto shook his head to force both of the thoughts from his mind. He was going to take a break, he would spend some time with his brother who was more than deserving of it.

"Yes, I'm positive. Run upstairs and start the popcorn. I have a few things to shut off."

'I am human.'

Work, work, work, work.

'Stop it!'

Skeptical eyes meet his own, and Mokuba gives him his best mock glare. "You're going to go back to work and just hope I forget."

A genuine smile this time.

"No, I won't. If I take any longer than ten minutes come down and get me."

Smiling, Mokuba accepts his brother's term and goes back up the stairs. Seto listens intently to the small sounds of his brother's shoes on the stairs. He can hear him tromping around in the kitchen, though it's quite a distance away from here.

Work, work, work, work.

'Oh shut up.'

If possible, the hum of the machinery seemed to get louder. A mock hymn, signing to him to stay in his place of worship. To stay where he belonged. Wires, cables, screens, electrical currents…this was his home. Not upstairs with a living breathing human. Someone who had hopes and dreams and feelings.

Suddenly the world spun, and everything goes in and out of focus. The machinery drones on and on, the sound filling his ears and lulling everything into the background. The throb of the blinking monitors, drone of the hard-drives, the smell of the ink from the printers. This is where he belonged. With things that could not feel, with machines that did not cry and did not fear and did not feel pain.

Work, work, work, work.

'Shut the hell up.'

Work, work, work, work.

'Be quiet!'

Work, work, wo—

"Seto!" His brother's voice managed to break through the thoughts. A light appeared in Seto's mind. He was human. He was. Perhaps he could survive in a world that wasn't defined by wires and circuit boards, but by hopes for the future and fond memories of the past…

"Come on! You've been down there fifteen minutes already. The popcorn and stuff is going to get cold!" Even though he knew his voice sounded harsh, Mokuba couldn't help but smile at his brother.

Seto looked at him, and let another genuine smile slip through his façade of lies. This was his home. With screens and wires. Not with humans. He wasn't human.

Mokuba could see that his brother was struggling with something. God only knew what it was, but he was here for him, and he would never stop being here for him. He bounded down the steps and wrapped his hand in his brother's. He winced at how cold they were. His brother shouldn't stay down here for so long. Or at least turn the heat on.

"You're hands are cold…come on. We should go upstairs where it's warm."

Seto nodded and followed him up the stairs, not caring that he hadn't turned anything off in the basement. He didn't care if the stupid thing blew itself to Kingdom Come. He was out, and he was going to spend some time with his brother.

The two wandered into the kitchen and gathered the massive amount of popcorn that Mokuba had made, and carried it to the living room. They sat together on the couch, with all the lights off and only the TV's florescent glow to light the room.

Like a computer screen…

"Shut up!'

The two watched movies for most of the evening. Mokuba ended up curled in his brother's lap, asleep, around 1:00 in the morning. Seto absently let his hand brush through his brother's hair. It was so soft…the feel of touching another human thrilled him. He could hear the pulse of blood, the sound of the lungs contracting and expanding to let air into the mainly veins of his little brother's body. Seto had all of these things.

'Then I'm human.'

You're not human.

'I am.'

Do not lie to yourself. Your home is with technology, and that is where you belong.


No what? You cannot lie. Machines are all you know. You are not hu—

"Night Seto…Night big brother…" Mokuba's voice again broke through the endless clashing and gnawing of thoughts in his head. Mokuba murmured a few other things in his half-sleep state. Along the lines of candy, and how fun tonight had been. A small smile formed on Seto's lips. He was human. He was. This was his home, he thought, hugging his brother closer to him. This was his family.

Work, work, work, work.


This time the voices didn't come back.

~ ~ ~ Owari ~ ~ ~

That was interesting. I started writing this, and it was falling in and out of first and third person. It was driving me insane for most of the story. Anyway, it is finished. Rejoice…and stuff.