Disclaimer: Ha, ha… that's a good one. No, I don't own "Yu-Gi-Oh!"
Author's Note: So I had this inspiration hit me and decided to make this a birthday present for HikariMokubasGuardian here on Fan Fiction. Net, with the thinking "Oh, it's about the Kaiba brothers, she'll love it!" And then I realized, no, no she won't. Because it has my dark, twisted spin on it. But I am going along with it with the hopes that the fluff at the end is worth it…. Dang it all, please let it be worth it. I know some followers might be thinking "So she's writing brother fluff instead of working on blueshipping fluff… I am disappointed." And… I get it, my brain's buzzing with stuff for "Defying Destiny" too. I promise it will all come. I'm actually really excited for the next bit there. But until then, until I make it perfect, please do enjoy this. And beware, my darker tendencies towards what I write for Teen Titans came out quite a bit in this one. XD Anyway though, enjoy!
It had been a simple walk. Well, maybe not simple. Well, maybe not a walk. More like an angry stomp. One following screams and yelling at his older brother over something… something probably very stupid. In hindsight, he couldn't really remember what it was about. Something about letting him do things his way for once. Going out on his own more.
Again, in hindsight, his brother would likely say that yes, it was all very stupid.
But the pain he felt in his chest over the self-hatred he had at the moment was nothing compared to that in his stomach. He was starving. His skin was peppered with goosebumps and dried up scratches. His favorite shirt was torn here and torn there and he didn't have the strength to move. He didn't know how long it had been. Maybe a week? Had to be at least. He couldn't remember going hungry for this long and in the past when this had happened, the hunger had never gotten this bad. As past abductions in which he had gone hungry had never lasted more than a week, he felt his guess was a fair one.
He shut his eyes tightly.
Why was it always him?
The sound of a bang from an old rusty door opening reached his ears, as light spilled into the room. He shut his eyes to avoid the burn. The whole time, he'd rarely seen light either. Only in these brief instances. These times where they'd interrogate him, try to get information out of him. Information on his brother.
But he'd never spill. He'd never say a thing.
"Well well," Said the guest, pulling a string above them and illuminating the room from a single dangling light bulb. "You're still breathing I see?"
Mokuba said nothing. He owed this man nothing. He knew that well.
"You still don't want to tell us where your brother hides his cards?" They continued, shutting the door.
The younger Kaiba's lips sealed themselves tightly. Now this was stupid. His brother never hid his cards. Never. He carried them on him. All the time. Everyone knew that. The reason no one had ever managed to get them was because his brother had a swift left hook. Not because they were hidden.
Still, it kinda hurt. It hurt that this was the reason he was all tied up, barely able to move. For something as simple as a deck of cards. But...
Honestly, that was okay. His brother had so little in his life that actually made him happy. So if this was what he had to go through on occasion… then that was fine. After all, Seto wouldn't abandon him. He'd get him out of this, no matter what.
"Is it in here?" The man asked, picking up the necklace around the younger's neck and clicking it open. His captor scoffed, "Pff. What a schmuck."
Immediately, he pulled back and Mokuba felt the snap of his necklace's chain as it broke behind his neck. Clicking it shut, the man swung it around his wrist, taunting him.
"Well then, I guess we have no choice," The man said, "Unfortunate though, I doubt this will do any good, other than give you a bloody mouth."
A what? Mokuba looked up at the man. He had no idea who he was. He supposed it didn't matter really. There was always some no name out to get them. But it did slightly frustrate him. How could there be so many that they were unaware of? Seto had once told him that most of them were just nameless nobodies. Nameless, sure, but worth knowing about? If they could do this, then in Mokuba's mind, then they definitely were.
He heard a tiny tripod being set down along with a phone mount, before hearing the familiar sound of a phone dial. But this was likely an unmarked, untraceable call. No hope there.
He felt the man grab him by the collar and bring him up to face the camera. This was so humiliating. Every time. Every time! And why… why was it always him...
Finally, the other line answered. It was a video session and there on the other line, in all his dueling glory, was his brother, sitting at his desk.
"I presume you wish to return my brother," He heard Seto say.
"Nii-sam-" He felt a hand cover his mouth, the owner of which, interrupting him.
"More like, we trade."
Mokuba glanced at the camera. He rarely heard his brother say 'no' in these hostage situations. But maybe Seto knew something he didn't. He'd just have to trust his brother. After all, Seto consistently, nay always, had Mokuba's best interests at heart.
"No? Well that's a shame then? After all, right now, I'm offering him in good condition. Refuse my proposal and my later ones will not be nearly as good."
The screen in front of them flickered. Seto continued to stare at the camera with a blank expression, "What do you want?"
"Your cards of course. I want them all. Including your precious Blue Eyes."
Mokuba's eyes went wide. There was no way. No way his brother would give up his most prized cards. That was a constant. An unmovable pillar. What kind of idiot would even think that Seto would give up his Blue Eyes- and then the realization came to him. This idiot… whoever he was, wasn't just gambling anything. He was gambling with him. It was quite literally, him or his brother's most cherished possession.
He watched as the monitor didn't flinch. It drifted in and out of focus. Seto blinked, saying nothing. It was just a constant silence, only dotted by a staticky reception.
"No? Alright then," The man said, pulling Mokuba up closer and grabbing him around the chest. Mokuba attempted to move, but found himself too weak, when the man grabbed his face and forced it up to the light.
"I warned you Kaiba. Your brother may not recover from this one," Mokuba tried to squirm away, but it was no use, he felt the man's hands force his mouth open and his captor looked inside.
"Well, well, I didn't expect you to have so many of your adult teeth," he said. And that's when Mokuba saw it, a small tool in the man's other hand above him, "But you do have it looks like one baby tooth left here."
No, he couldn't be. He wasn't going to- Seto wouldn't. Mokuba glanced at the screen, seeing his brother's emotionless face. No. Please, Seto, please. Do something! Hot salty tears began to form. Say something. Anything, anything, Seto, please!
"We'll start with your last one, but after that, we can go right ahead to your pretty adult pearls," The man said.
Mokuba felt the tears fall as a whimper escaped him while he attempted to get away. The word he always said, always calling out in these situations gargled by the man's hold on his jaw. Nii-sama. No, no, please, he couldn't. Not over some cards. Not over-!
Another bang shot through the room, with light once again spilling in. And that's when he heard it, a shot, from a gun, and the slow release of the hold that was on him. He fell to the side back onto the ground. Through blurred vision, he saw men race in. One picked him up and began to carry him out of the room. That's when he heard it. The familiar tone and pitch. The one he'd heard all of his life.
"Where is he? Where's-" Pushing through the large group of guards, Mokuba saw his brother make his way up to him, "Mokuba, are you okay? What are you all standing there waiting for - untie him!"
The man holding him pushed him up and he felt someone snap the cords with a switchblade off his wrists, while another in front of him got the ones on his ankles. Immediately, a burning sensation over his swollen and scabbed wrists stung as cool fresh air reached the infected areas.
"Put him down, he can walk on his own. He's not a child," Seto demanded.
Slowly, Mokuba found himself on his feet, standing in front of his brother, who got down on one knee to look him in the eye, "Are you alright?"
He could barely see. His muscles ached, inspite of the adrenaline pumping blood quickly through his system. It was so fast he could hear his heart beat in his own ears in a loud pulsating manner. But he was safe… he was….
Seto quickly moved forward as his brother collapsed in front of him to catch him. Seto looked his brother over. It wasn't… it wasn't the worst, but… it could have been. Every moment that video feed had gone through and that pre-recording had just stared at what was going on, his chest had been tight, his heart racing. There had only been so much time.
He brought a hand up to Mokuba's cheek. Thank the heavens. He brought his brother in close for a tight hug. He couldn't… he couldn't have forgiven himself if…
The CEO looked up at the dead man before them. Grabbing Mokuba up in his arms, he stood up and walked over to the corpse, his men moving out of the way. Bending down, he picked up his brother's locket, which had still been wrapped around the kidnapper's wrist. Gripping it tightly, Seto glared, before giving the dead man a swift kick to the face. Even though he was clearly dead, the men around him winced. Everyone felt that.
"Back to Kaiba Manor," He ordered, gripping his brother's frame tightly in a protective manner, striding out of the small, unfinished space, an icy aura following after him, one so palatable it would have been taken someone just purely dense not to notice.
It took a special kind of person to get away with kicking a dead body right after a special unit authorized to shoot to kill by the Domino police force had actually used said authorization. That rarely happened ever, getting the order to shoot to kill, let alone anyone showing such disrespect for the dead. But that was Seto Kaiba.
The few days afterwards had felt like a blur. Attorney calls from the office with doctors at home. Thankfully, Mokuba had woken up the next day. Doctors said his brother was stable, but nutrient deficient and had recommended simple foods to help get his strength back. Otherwise, Mokuba was thankfully in a relatively healthy state.
But as the days went on, Seto couldn't help but notice his brother not leaving his room. He ate in his room. Didn't call for Seto. The brief times he left his bed were to use the restroom or bathe. It didn't take a genius to notice the isolated behavior and Seto couldn't help but wonder… What else had happened in there? Was he really okay?
Normally, Seto didn't like to push Mokuba for information, other than for what was needed for tracking someone down. Obviously that wasn't necessary now. Still, he would let Mokuba talk when he was ready. Regardless though, his brother's silence worried him.
Meanwhile, Mokuba… paid little mind to anything. His body began to heal, but he still felt it ache. Most of the day, he'd just stare at his closet door, eyes half open, watching his hand gripping the sheets to his bed, before burrowing back into them, as though doing so would make it all, make all of those thoughts, go away.
And then, there it was, a click at the door, like usual.
"Mokuba?" He heard from the doorway.
Mokuba shifted slightly under his covers, not looking up, and Seto let out a quiet sigh, "You ready for dinner tonight?"
Mokuba shrugged under his blankets, but Seto could recognize the motion nonetheless, "Do you want anything in particular?"
There was silence for a moment before he heard it. A tiny little, "No."
Again, Seto sighed. Maybe he should pry a bit.
He walked over to his little brother's bed and sat down. Funny, looking at him now, he was so different than how he was when he was two or three. But even still… he was still and always would be his little brother...
"You wanna talk about it?"
Mokuba didn't move. He wasn't sure if he wanted to or not. Normally they had talks shortly after things like this had happened, when they had happened in the past that is. But the memory of the recording and his brother not reacting… It had honestly scared him.
Seto let out a sigh, "It's alright. We can talk when you want to."
He stood up from the bed and moved for the door, when Mokuba forced himself upright in his bed, "Nii-sama…"
Seto turned to see his brother, his eyes cast down at his sheets, before the question came, "You… you would never… I mean, I'd… I'd do everything to make sure you were happy and all, but you… you'd always come for me, right? You wouldn't, you wouldn't ever not care, right?"
Seto's eyes shot open wide as he watched two streams of tears drain down onto his brother's cheeks. In the racing, swift motion, he brought himself back to the bedwise and sat next to his brother, looking at him directly, "Of course I would, why would you think…"
"Because… he… he wanted your Blue-Eyes… And… I know that they're important to you, and, and Nii-sama, I'd… I know they make you happy, I wouldn't ever tell, but just…" The fear from that day seemed overwhelming as it returned to his mind. He'd never been threatened like that before. Not once. It was chilling and manipulative, cruel...
"Mokuba, look at me," Seto said firmly, and finally, Mokuba managed to look up at his brother.
"You make me happy. Of course those cards… they represent everything… everything I've gained in my life…" Seto trailed off, before returning his gaze to his brother, "But I can always get those back. If something were to happen to you, I could never do the same."
Mokuba swallowed as more tears fell, "I just, I was so useless. I'm always useless. I even stormed out because I thought I could handle myself and then that…"
Seto placed his hands on Mokuba's shoulders, "Mokuba, you're 12. I don't expect you to be able to 'handle' everything. I just want you to live your life, safely. That's all."
Mokuba nodded as his brother struggled to finish his thoughts, as awkwardly mish-mashed as they may be, "And listen, as much as I understand the gesture, don't you dare do anything to put yourself in harm's way for those cards just for me. You… you mean far more to me than that, ok?"
The younger of the Kaiba brothers nodded, a weight slowly lifting off of his chest, an anxiety ceasing to burn. Instinctually, he leaned forward and buried himself into his brother's chest in a hug. Seto stiffened slightly, but soon Mokuba felt an arm around him too. Mokuba's heart swelled with a warmth that he so desperately had wanted to overwhelm him since the whole nightmare had begun.
His brother was calculating. Oftentimes cold. Smart. Deceitful. Cunning. It made him hard to read at times. But one thing never changed and it was something that Mokuba found himself relieved by. He always felt safe in his brother's arms. And he always would. Because if he was there, no one would ever hurt him. Ever.
And he knew that.
He knew that.
He knew that to be his constant.
A/N: And then the outtake ending was:
"And Mokuba, just don't go spreading that around. We don't need you getting abducted any more than you already do."
"Hey! I take offense to that!"
Sooooo how was it? I told you, a bit darker than what I've been writing as of late. But… it's sweet? At the end anyway? Yeah, I don't have an excuse. Though I will say I did try to keep it lighter. Just trying to make it through quarantine like the rest of us are. Until then, I'll be working on "Defying Destiny" some more and maybeeeeee some Final Fantasy VII fan fics? -shrugs- Who knows.
As far as who kidnapped Mokuba, I didn't have any character specifically in mind. I didn't feel it was important anyway as I wanted to try to convey that there are sometimes just nuts out there. Even if Mokuba wasn't, well, Seto Kaiba's younger brother, at 12, it's still possible to get abducted by some weirdo. I remember being in high school and walking home and some sketch in an old beat up Volvo said to me "Hey, wanna ride?" I didn't know him and so I shook my head. He drove off, but 5 minutes later, he returned and said "Come on, I'll give you a ride." I shook my head again and ended up going into a nail salon and calling my parents, who in turn called the police. Really creepy and they never caught the guy. And I was way older than 12 at the time.
Sorry, got all serious there. Guess my point to the story is that, it's important that kids understand that there are just bad people out there at times and if something happens to them because of these bad people it is in NO WAY their fault. Kids are not responsible for things like that. Not to mention, no matter what, true family will always care far more about your safe return than anything else.
Anyway, till my next update, stay safe and take care of yourselves! And happy birthday Hikari! Love you doll!