Disclaimer: Unfortunately, none of these guys are mine. T_T Yu-gi-oh! and all characters belong to Kazuki Takahashi.
Warning: oh lets see...nothing much...shounen ai, a little angst, a little fluff

Kagi's notes:  This is, I guess, my entry for the April challenge on the Pharaoh's Palace ml...I wasn't planning to enter, but I woke up yesterday with the scene and the song in my head, and a few hours later I had a one-shot and I liiiikes it. ^^ I was kind of wondering what Seto and Yami's everyday life might look like, living together. This is what happened. It takes place sometime vaguely near the beginning of their relationship, when they are lovers, but haven't been together all that long. Oh, and I *heart* Mokuba. That is all. ^__^ *bow* Thanks muchly to Nenya85 for a very quick beta job!

A Winding Road

I've been swimming in a sea of anarchy
I've been living on coffee and nicotine
I've been wondering if all the things I've seen
Were ever real, were ever really happening

Everyday is a winding road
I get a little bit closer
Everyday is a faded sign
I get a little bit closer to feeling fine...

--Sheryl Crow, Everyday is a Winding Road

Seto decided that it was a fairly good morning, as mornings went. He had slept well, for once, he had caffeine, and he wasn't late. Yet. He put down his cup of coffee, and leaned toward the mirror to fix his tie. He frowned at it, not sure if he liked it or not. On the other side of the room, the bathroom door opened and Yami came out, running his fingers through his spiky hair.

Seto watched him out of the corner of his eye, feeling that familiar sense of mingled wonder and confusion which Yami often gave him. Sometimes, he still found it hard to believe that Yami was here, that they had managed to forge a relationship out of their rivalry--that they could be lovers. He found himself wondering now and then, late at night, if it had all really happened--if he would wake up alone, and it had all been a dream.

Yami headed toward him and Seto hastily refocused his eyes on the mirror. Yami had probably caught him anyway, but if he was lucky, he wouldn't say anything. And he didn't. He came over and slipped his arms around Seto's waist from behind. A soft sigh of content came from his lips as he molded his body against Seto's back, and almost against his will, Seto found himself relaxing back into the embrace. Sometimes it was still so hard to trust this, to let himself go in this fragile bond they had. Every instinct he had screamed that it was not safe. But it felt so good....

Loosening his hold, Yami slid under his arm and looked up at him. "Good morning, lover," he fairly purred, nuzzling the side of his neck. Seto tilted his head, his eyes sliding closed for a moment as he enjoyed the caress...then he remembered what time it was and straightened, gently pushing him aside. He frowned at the tie again, tugging at it, wondering if he should try to find a different one quickly before he had to go.

"Mmm, I like it," Yami said, reaching out to fix it with deft fingers--it settled neatly into place, and Seto shook his head, bemused. Even his tie liked Yami. "You look good, lover," Yami informed him, a teasing smile on his face, but Seto could see in his eyes that he meant it.

He stopped worrying about the tie, something relaxing inside him with the statement of approval. A tiny flame of warmth flickered inside him, a glow that was due entirely to that look of appreciation in his lover's crimson eyes.

As quickly on its heels came anger, and annoyance. Annoyance, that he had become so transparent, had been read by Yami so easily. Anger that the words had made him feel good, that it had mattered--why should he care so much what Yami thought? He was Seto Kaiba, he didn't need anyone's approval on whether or not he was well dressed.

It was things like this in their relationship that threw him totally off guard, the fact that such a little thing, coming from Yami, could have such an effect on him. He didn't like it. He didn't like it at all. He growled in irritation, giving Yami a curt nod, and headed for the door.

"Wait," Yami called, his voice firm, but without the overtone of command that would have hardened Seto's irritation still further. He had not missed the small, pleased flush of acknowledgment that had preceded the flicker of annoyance, and he understood the reasons for both. With quick, light steps he crossed to where Seto had halted, his back still turned, and came around to face him. "Were you going to leave without saying goodbye?" he asked, and though his voice was light, his eyes were serious.

Without waiting for a response, he pulled Seto into his arms, holding him tightly for a moment, until he felt a tiny bit of the tension flow out of the hard frame pressed against him. God, he loved this man. Then he released him, stretching to place a kiss on the sensitive spot just below his ear. Seto shivered, but Yami didn't stop there, feathering light kisses down his jawline, finally sealing his mouth in a brief, fierce kiss like a spark of fire. "I love you," he murmured against his lips.

He pulled back then, smiling slightly at the startled confusion in Seto's eyes. "Have a good day, Blue Eyes," he said gently.

Seto opened his mouth, struggling for a response, shaken as hell by the simple gentleness of the touch. Yami just smiled, a tender look in his eyes, and said simply, "Go on, you'll be late."

Seto blinked, having nearly forgotten his hurry. "Right," he agreed mechanically, turning to go. He stopped halfway out the door, glancing back over his shoulder. "I--you--" But he couldn't say it. "Y-you too," he managed finally. "Have a good day." And he meant it.

A slow grin broke over Yami's face. It was as close as Seto got, he knew, to 'I love you too.' He waved him on, motioning for him to continue his arrested exit. "I will," he called as Seto vanished out the door. "Thank you!"

He sighed then, leaning back against the chest of drawers, arms crossed and his head bowed. 'At least he let me kiss him goodbye,' he thought. 'That's an improvement...I think...god, lover, what you do to me.' When he considered 'have a good day' to be an improvement, in response to 'I love you'--the irony of that was almost amusing. Almost. He sighed again, raising his head and reaching up to run a hand through his hair as he stared into space.

Sometimes he wondered if it was worth this--but the look in Seto's eyes this morning when he'd made that halting reciprocation always reminded him. Because he did love him, and that was all that mattered. He smiled wryly. "Heart and soul...you jerk," he muttered ruefully. [1]

And he was going to have a good day--he was going mini-golfing with Mokuba. Well, good was a relative term. But he was looking forward to spending time with him, and if that's how Mokuba wanted to spend it, so be it.

He went to look for Mokuba. Finding him down in the kitchen, he stopped to grab a piece of toast and a cup of coffee while he waited for the boy to finish eating.

Mokuba had his cloud of black hair pulled back in a ponytail today, presumably to keep it out of his way for the afternoon's fun, though his bangs still hung in his eyes. He was dressed in shorts and a t-shirt, and looked generally ready for anything. Yami thought affectionately that he looked rather scruffy.

Mokuba had apparently seen Kaiba on his way out of the house, and after a couple minutes of silence, he gave Yami a sharp look. "Nisama was in a hurry," he commented blandly, the tone of his voice saying nothing. "What happened?"

Yami blinked, reminding himself yet again what a wise child this was. Not really a child, in some ways. He weighed his answer, not sure what to say. "I told him I liked his tie," he responded finally.

"And?" Mokuba narrowed his eyes, knowing there was more to it than that.

Yami shifted, slightly uncomfortable with this topic of conversation, though he knew Mokuba would understand if anyone did. He finished his piece of toast and swallowed it down with drink of his coffee. It was only lukewarm; he made a face. "He was glad I liked it," he answered Mokuba at last. 'And not happy about that,' but he didn't say that part aloud. Mokuba would know.

Indeed, Mokuba nodded in understanding, saying only, "Aa." He turned back to his plate, shoveling in the last of his breakfast and standing up. "That's how he is," he said finally, with an encouraging grin. "You just got to keep telling him. As long as you keep coming back, eventually he'll stop fighting it. You get a little bit closer each time." He left the empty plate on the counter and came to stand beside Yami, looking up expectantly.

Yami grinned and ruffled his hair. "Ready to go?" he asked, unnecessarily.

"Yes!" Mokuba's answering grin went from ear to ear.

Yami chuckled, amused by the energy of this bright spirit. It never ceased to amaze him that Mokuba still remained so cheerful and light-hearted, having grown up the way he did. "I've never seen you this excited about school before," he teased gently.

Mokuba rolled his eyes. "It's not school I'm excited about, it's afterwards!" He tugged on Yami's hand. "Come on, let's go...the sooner I get there, the sooner I can leave!"

"Alright, alright," Yami said, laughing, "let's go then." He allowed Mokuba to pull him along as they left the house, listening absently to the chatter about the plans for the afternoon. It was more the tone of voice and the infectious enthusiasm for life that he was paying attention to, amazed again at the way that Seto had managed to protect his younger brother's happiness. They were so much alike in their gutsy determination, the fierce loyalty and competitiveness, that take no prisoners approach to life. It was almost astonishing to note the one key difference between them: the simple joy that Mokuba radiated in everything he did.

He wondered when he had gone from being so used to the differences between the Kaiba brothers, and shocked by the occasional similarities, to being so aware of how alike they were that he was startled by occasional evidence of the differences. It seemed Kaiba wasn't the only one who had someone sneak into his heart when he wasn't looking, he mused.

And Mokuba was right--Kaiba's anger stemmed from the fact that Yami was now a weakness, someone he would care about losing. From the fear that one day, he would lose either his love or his respect, or both. That was never going to happen, Yami promised himself again, and he determined to keep proving it to Seto one day at a time. Mokuba was right about that, too--each day he got a little bit closer to accepting that this was real, that it would last. To feeling alright about being loved, and loving.

As long as Yami kept going, kept loving him no matter what...they would be okay. They would keep getting closer one day at a time. Just a little bit closer to feeling fine.

He smiled, remembering the look on Seto's face when he kissed him. It was going to be a good day, indeed.


[1] with apologies to Sunhawk, for stealing her line--some Gundam Wing fans may recognize it, from her Road Trip arc. ^^