I own Yuu-gi-oh! laughs as she is dragged to Copyright Prison by heavily armed guards
Chapter One: We Wish you a Merry Christmas...
"You're fucking kidding." Kaiba Seto glared at the crowd gathered on his doorstep. He wasn't in the best of moods, having been aroused from sleep by the irritating jangle of the doorbell, and bothering a pissed-off Kaiba was about as safe as kicking a sleeping wolf. A sleeping, fire-breathing wolf with rabies. And three heads.
"Language, Kaiba," Yami trilled in a sugar-induced imitation of his hikari. He tried to push past Kaiba, but the CEO blocked the doorway with his body.
"Get off my property." Yuugi, Yami, Malik, Marik, Honda, Otogi, Jonouchi, Ryou and a very angry-looking Bakura were all grinning stupidly at him. Well, except Bakura. He was glaring and occasionally sneaking glances at Kaiba's bare chest.
"Da whole city's ya property." Jonouchi rubbed his arms and stamped his feet in an attempt to warm himself up.
"Be that as it may, mutt, I want all of you out of my sight in the next ten minutes, or I'm calling security."
"What security?" Honda said innocently. "Don't tell me you make your staff work on Christmas?"
"Believe me, I'm considering it," Seto growled. He was starting to get cold, probably because he was wearing only his pajamas, which consisted of blue silk pants. His chest and feet were bare, and he was freezing. "What the hell are you doing here?"
"Well, we figured it'd be awfully lonely here, what with Mokuba at boarding school and all, so we figured we'd—"Yuugi began.
"If the next words have anything to do with bringing me Christmas cheer, I'm going back to sleep."
"Nah," Jonouchi said, hefting a rather large bag in one hand. "Presents!"
"And alcohol," Honda added.
"Look, either let us in or tell us to go away, because I know you're cold, and I really don't want to keep freezing out here." Otogi put his hands on his hips in his typical drama-queen pose. You'd think he'd be warm in all that fur and leather, but Otogi never passed up a chance to complain.
"Go away," Seto said, with little conviction, stepping aside and letting them by. Gifts? For him? Were they insane?
He thought guiltily of the stash of boxes hidden under his bed, boxes that Mokuba had shoved at him.
"You give them to the person whose name is on the label," his little brother had snapped, sick of Seto's antisocial attitude. "It's really very simple."
"Mokuba's home for the holidays, you know," Seto said, trailing after them. "I wasn't going to be alone."
He regretted the words as soon as they were out of his mouth. Alone? What was he supposed to care if he was alone? For that matter, what were they supposed to care?
"I mean, not that I wanted company—" And that sounded even worse, like he was trying to cover up for something.
"Yeah, yeah," Jonouchi drawled, smirking at him. "We all know what a big softy ya are, Kaiba."
"Shut up, mutt."
Seto glowered. His normally witty comebacks seemed to have abandoned him in his time of need.
"Hey, what's—um, Seto, do we have company?" Mokuba was standing on the balcony of the second floor.
"Yes, we—Mokuba! Put some clothes on!" Seto had turned to glance up at his brother, and immediately regretted it.
"These are clothes," Mokuba said, tugging at the waistband of his black boxers.
"I meant a shirt," Seto snapped. "And some pants, if you think you can handle that."
"You're not wearing a shirt," Mokuba pointed out.
"That's because I was planning on hosting a party in my pajamas!" Seto snarled sarcastically.
"Fine, fine," Mokuba said, disappearing into his bedroom.
Jou whistled approvingly. "Ya brother sure has grown up, eh, Kaiba?"
Seto's glare could have melted steel. "Don't even think about it, mutt."
It was true that Mokuba, now eighteen, was considerably more attractive than he had been as a kid. He'd cut his hair so that it barely brushed tanned shoulders, and a few well-placed tattoos accented his fine bone and muscle structure. Seto just wished that he'd wear something other than black, and decide what his sexual preference was. It was getting awkward going to wake Mokuba up in the morning and never knowing what gender to expect in his bed.
Seto at twenty-three didn't really look all that different. Still tall, handsome and forbidding, his icy eyes had only gotten sharper over the last seven years. He was a ruthless businessman, and Kaiba Corp had nearly doubled in size over the last years. Seto was one of the wealthiest men in Japan, and he knew it. His living room alone could have easily housed a family of four, although only he (and Mokuba, during break) and the servants lived in the manor.
Yuugi hadn't grown much taller, to his dismay, and still could have passed for an eighteen-year old. He'd added a bit of muscle tone, thankfully, so he managed to be slightly more threatening than he had at sixteen. His eyes still glimmered with honesty, which Seto personally found a bit revolting, but they'd gained an awareness, a fierceness at times, that clearly stated that he was not as naïve as he looked. After hearing of Yuugi's success in Battle City, people had flocked to the Kame Game Shop, and the Mutous had opened a massive megastore with every kind of game possible. Yuugi's grandfather had died when Yuugi was twenty, leaving the game shop (shops; by that point, Kame had become a chain) to Yuugi, who proved himself to be quite good at running a business. Seto wasn't worried about competition; he'd bought out Industrial Illusions and thus currently owned Duel Monsters, so the Mutous would always be one of his biggest customers.
Ryou looked nearly the same as he always had. Small, slight and pale, he was taller than Yuugi by a few inches, but much more delicate-looking. Fortunately someone had introduced him to the concept of a mall, and he'd given up his collared-shirt-and-sweater style. Instead he wore a fitted green turtleneck and jeans. The incredible thing was that Ryou, although he'd done more than a few modeling jobs, had absolutely no idea how adorable he was. He'd taken up writing recently, and rumour had it that he was working on a manga based on Ancient Egypt. It wasn't really a surprise to anyone that knew him. Ryou had always been a wonderful artist, and he did, after all, have an accurate source of information on Egypt. A source which was standing next to him with a protective arm wrapped around his waist.
Otogi was nearly as tall as Seto, and the number of ear piercings had only multiplied over the years. A silver stud even glimmered in his left eyebrow. Frankly, Otogi's clothes scared Seto. Leather, fur, glitter—nothing was too strange for him. He'd even taken to occasionally wearing skirts, which Seto took to mean either than he was very secure, or having an identity crisis. Take today for example—black leather pants, short red shirt that ended well above his navel, black leather jacket trimmed in red fur, and chunky boots covered in buckles. He looked like he belonged in a whorehouse, not in the Kaiba Mansion. But, Seto supposed, so was the curse of an actor. Otogi turned out to be rather good, and had even managed to land the lead of an upcoming movie, which, Jou never failed to point out, was about a drag queen.
And Honda? Well, he'd grown his hair out, thankfully, and gotten rid of that weird half-mohawk. He was about the same height as Otogi, although his shoulders were much more broad and his body wasn't as petite as the actor's. He'd taken up professional biking, and he was currently one of Kitsune Motorcross's best riders. He wore a Kitsune jacket with his name emblazoned on the back, which was partially why it had taken them so long to walk to Kaiba's manor; people kept stopping them for autographs. And Ryou's home phone number, but most of the girls had given up when Bakura made it quite clear that Ryou was HIS, thank you very much. A few of them had run screaming.
Malik (and thus Marik) had followed Isis's footsteps and had become an archaeologist. A rather famous one, as it turned out. Yami had been quite a help in locating long-forgotten tombs. Malik had mercifully abandoned his short purple shirt and khakis, preferring instead a much more comfortable jeans-and T-shirt-type style. Seto wondered if he'd cut his hair at all in the last seven years, since the braid that wound down his back was considerably long. Of course, the jewelry and the eye tattoos remained, since Malik claimed they were a part of his heritage, like it or not.
The yamis, of course, looked no different, save their clothes. After five thousand years, they weren't going to grow any, and besides, they could change their appearance if they really wanted to. Bakura, for instance, had decided that his eye colour should be blue, rather than Ryou's chocolate brown, and that he wanted streaks of black in his white hair. He was much more tan than Ryou and taller, more angled, the end result being that he didn't look quite so much like his hikari. Considering their relationship, Seto supposed that it was rather disturbing to have a boyfriend who looked exactly like you. Yuugi and Yami didn't really have that problem, nor did Malik and Marik. The yamis had never looked much like their hikaris, save for hair colour and skin tone.
And then there was Jou. Seto had been deliberately leaving him for last. Jou hadn't changed a bit, he was still the same tough-talking, ass-kicking little bastard he'd always been, but it seemed that people liked that. He got along well with nearly everyone, which was why he managed the Kame Game Shop. Yuugi had made him a partner a year after the young Motou had gained control of what was quickly becoming known as the "Kame Empire." Apparently the two were quite good at running a business together. Jou was working his way through college, and seemed happy, although Seto was sure that it was hard to maintain an apartment while trying to pay tuition and support a dying father. Jou's father had developed lung cancer a few years back, and the boy was on his own from then on out, working to pay medical bills and so forth. He remained cheerful, if somewhat idiotic. It took a lot to get him down, and even more to keep him there.
Jou had grown. He was only a few inches shorter than Seto, and his ragged blonde hair was constantly flopping in his eyes. As a result, Jounouchi had developed a stunning way of flipping his hair back so casually that it seemed he was posing without even knowing it. Paired with that easy crooked grin, lean muscular body and smiling honey eyes, he could inadvertantly stir the blood of nearly everyone he was around. Unfortunately, 'everyone' included Seto. The eldest Kaiba deliberately avoided looking at him.
"I—I'm going to go put some clothes on," he said, aware of the stammer in his voice. This was absurd. Kaibas don't stutter.
Mokuba fairly bounced down the stairs, and Seto was relieved to see that he was by himself. Thankfully, it appeared he'd spent the night alone, which meant no awkward encounters with a half-dressed man or woman on the way to Seto's room. Of course, it seemed that lately there had been more guys than girls hanging around, though Seto didn't really want to analyze this fact.
He met Mokuba at the landing. "You didn't invite them, did you?"
Mokuba gave him an innocent, wide-eyed look, which clashed oddly with his tattoos and eyeliner. "Would I do that?"
"Yes," Seto snapped.
"Well, if you're going to be so bitchy about it! Lighten up, Seto, it's Christmas."
"You planned this, didn't you? That's why you gave me all those gifts for them."
"Of course I did. It would be so rude of you to not have anything for them after they went to all this trouble ... "
"Mokuba ... " Seto warned.
"Hey, are you going to ask Jou out?"
The lecture Seto had been about to give died on his lips. "Hunh?"
"Are you going to ask him out?"
"You ... how did you ... why?"
"Oh, please, you're so lovesick it's not even funny."
"I. Am not. Lovesick," Seto said through clenched teeth.
"Is that a no, then?" Mokuba asked.
"Why does it matter?"
"Because if you're not, then I will."
"Nope. You've had your chance, Seto. He's hot." Mokuba grinned and licked his lips in a rather suggestive manner, a manner that he knew nauseated onii-chan to no end.
"What? He is."
"You are not dating the mutt."
"You mean your mutt?"
Seto glared at his brother. "I remember when you respected me," he snapped.
"Payback's a bitch, ain't it?"
"Mokuba, shut the fuck up and go downstairs."
"Yes, nii-san," Mokuba said sarcastically.
"And don't call me that. I'm not a car company." (A/N: Nii-san ... Nissan ... come on, I'm not the only one who noticed that!) Seto whirled and stalked down the hallway.
"Seto, just tell him how you feel," Mokuba said, all harshness in his voice gone. He'd just wanted to rile Seto up enough that he might actually make a move. "What's the worst that can happen?"
Seto froze. "He could reject me."
"You? Come on, you've got everything. Looks, money, a really nice ass—"
Seto turned and gave his brother a bewildered and somewhat disturbed look.
"Okay, so I'm guessing about the last part. Your personality could use a bit of work, but—"
"I like my personality," Seto said stubbornly, all too aware of how childish he sounded.
Mokuba sighed. "Look, the worst he can do is say no. At least you'll know, right? No more guessing. There's plenty more fish in the sea."
"And you've slept with most of them," Seto said, trying to lighten the mood in his own sarcastic way.
"There ya go," Mokuba grinned, completely missing (or ignoring) the insult. "You should smile more."
"Oi! Mokuba! Wha's a guy have ta do ta get some food 'round here?"
"I can think of several things offhand," Mokuba called to Jou. "I doubt they'd be very pleasant for you!" Turning back to Seto, he said, "Get dressed, get their gifts, and make sure Jou doesn't open his until the end."
Seto nodded, slightly confused, as Mokuba took off down the stairs.
Once in his room, he collapsed on his bed and buried his face in the white silk pillows. He'd as much as admitted to Mokuba that he like Jounouchi. He was surprised at how easy it had been, since he'd never really admitted it to himself.
He rolled over, staring up at the constellations painted on his ceiling. His eyes flicked immediately to Sirius Major. The Dog Star.
No. He had to stop thinking about Jounouchi. Had to. He was Kaiba Seto, he wasn't supposed to fall in love with a mutt like that.
Wait, love? Who had said anything about love? Sure, Jou was cute and sexy as hell, but love?
Seto pulled on a black T-shirt that fit his broad shoulders nicely, and ran his hands through his hair. Since when did he care about appearences? Surely he wasn't grooming himself for Jou? Yet he found himself turning and twisting in an attempt to see himself from every angle and wondering if he was attractive. He barely managed to make it down the stairs carrying the multitude of boxes.
"Seto! Jus' in time!" Jou was opening a wine bottle with what looked like a pocketknife. Seto stopped dead when he saw what Jou was wearing.
The removal of his olive-green trenchcoat had revealed a baggy emerald dress shirt that looked like silk and black leather pants that he probably borrowed from Yami. The dress shirt was unbuttoned halfway down his chest, displaying quite a lot of skin.
"Mutt, it's ten in the morning. At least wait until tonight to break out the alcohol." Seto managed to keep his voice even, and tried to slow his heartbeat down. He deposited the boxes on the counter, busying himself so he could avoid looking at Jonouchi.
"Tonight?" Yami echoed slyly. "You two have an appointment I didn't know about?"
"And since when do you call him 'Seto?'" Honda asked with a grin.
"I call him dat 'cause dat's his name, ya moron," Jounouchi snapped in that adorable Brooklyn accent.
"And I suppose that was my brother's way of inviting you all to stay the night." Mokuba gave his brother a pointed Look. "Right, Seto?"
"Yeah, sure, whatever," Seto said, shrugging and trying to look as if he didn't care. A night? With Jou?
Seto firmly cut off that train of thought before it went any further.
"Geez, don't sound so thrilled," Jou said, arching an eyebrow at the flustered CEO.
"I can't stay," Honda said. "Anzu's plane comes in this afternoon, and I want to be there to pick her up."
Jou grinned at his friend. "Sure ya do, buddy."
Honda blushed. He and Anzu were trying to pull off a long-distance relationship, since the girl was currently attending Juliard in America for ballet. She was going to come back to Japan to see her friends, and then fly back to New York in time for term to start.
"What about the rest of you?" Seto snapped in a tone he hadn't intended to be harsh. He flopped down in a chair, glowering at them, completely unaware of how frightening he looked.
"Uh ... um ... " Yuugi stuttered, glancing at Yami nervously.
"Seto," Mokuba said stiffly, "Smile. You're scaring them."
Seto gave a pathetic sort of smile. "Sorry," he said, trying to keep a rein on the attitude in his voice. "I'm not used to human contact."
"Never woulda guessed," Jou said. Seto almost shot him a withering glare, but he caught Mokuba's eye and stopped himself just in time.
"You want him, start being nice," Mokuba hissed at his brother, who blushed somewhat, praying that no one had heard.
"So, Kaiba," Malik said, looking around. "You're not real into the holidays, are you?"
Seto shrugged. "You should see the dining room," he said. "That was the only room we ever decorated for Christmas, and I guess I just kept up the tradition even after Gozaborou was gone."
An awkward silence followed. No one ever knew quite what to say when conversation turned to Seto's abusive stepfather. Granted, Seto himself didn't really care. He'd paid the best psychiatrists in the world for at least five years of therapy; he was over it. Heavily medicated for a year and a half, but over it.
Mokuba, on the other hand ...
"So, who wants to play Truth or Dare?" Mokuba said a little too brightly, seating himself on a plush couch next to Otogi, who gave the boy an approving sidelong look.
"Ooh," Yuugi said eagerly, glancing up at Yami. "Can we?"
"Whatever you like, aibou," Yami said, nuzzling his hikari's neck.
They eventually settled into an amoeba-like circle with Seto on the very outskirts. The elder Kaiba noted with some embarrassment that Jonouchi had seated himself next to his chair. It would be a simple matter to reach out and touch that sun-kissed hair—
Kaiba mentally shook himself. No thoughts like that. Not now.
"Ryou, you go first," Mokuba said.
"Oh, um—"Ryou stammered, glancing around the circle. Seto watched with interest; he'd never played this game before. He had the distinct impression that he'd missed out on a lot of childhood experiences. "Okay, Yuugi," Ryou said. "Truth or Dare?"
Yuugi thought about it for a minute. "Truth," he finally replied, earning a snort from Bakura.
"What's the strangest place you and Yami have done it?" Seto stared at Ryou, who seemed quite unabashed at the incredibly personal question.
"I'm not so sure I want to know this," Seto mumbled.
"Shut up, Seto," Jonouchi hushed him with a hand on his arm and it was all Seto could do to not flinch away.
Yuugi blushed crimson "Midleoflittlkidplayground," he said quickly, hiding his face in Yami's chest. Yami grinned and stroked his hikari's hair.
"Sorry, what was that?" Ryou asked.
"Donwannasayit," Yuugi mumbled.
"Come on, Yuug'," Jou said. "It's part 'a the game."
"In a little kid's playground," Yuugi choked out finally, his blush darkening.
Marik laughed. "I bet that put some kids in therapy. 'Mommy, what are those boys doing?'" he said in a high-pitched imitation of a traumatized child.
Yuugi glared at him. "There wasn't anyone there," he snapped.
"Yuugi, it's your turn," Ryou reminded him, giggling. Yuugi's face was still bright red and Yami pulled him into his lap, wrapping strong arms around him.
"Okay ... " Yuugi glanced around the room, seeking out his next victim. "Seto. Truth or Dare?"
"Truth," Seto replied instantly. If the truths were this embarrassing, he shuddered to think of what a dare might be.
"Coward," Bakura muttered.
"Are you straight?"
Seto blinked at Yuugi for a minute. Was the whole point of this game to humiliate each other? "I need a drink," he said, half-standing up. Jou grabbed him by the wrist.
"No ya don', Kaiba. I been wonderin' dis myself." He had?
"Come on, Kaiba, it's not like we can make fun of you," Malik reminded him.
True, Seto thought. Very true.
"But—I'm not—I mean, I don't—"
"Damn it, Kaiba, answer the question!" Marik snapped.
"No," Kaiba muttered, staring down at his feet. He could feel his cheeks blazing red.
Yuugi catcalled, and Seto blushed even more. "You're gay?" Honda asked incredulously.
Seto nodded miserably. The hikaris were giggling at him, the yamis flat-out laughing. The only one not mocking him was Jonouchi, who was looking up at him with an unreadable expression on his face. "Now that we've humiliated Seto enough for a lifetime—"Seto growled, burying his face in his hands.
"So much for not makin' fun 'a him, ya assholes," Jonouchi snapped, glaring around the room. "Leave 'im alone, it's not like any of ya have room t' talk."
"Hey," Honda protested. "I have a girlfriend."
"Yeah?" Jou asked angrily. "So what da hell were ya doin' in Otogi's apartment las' month?"
"Hey, that was before Anzu and I got together—"
"Still means ya swing da other way, don' it?"
"So leave 'im alone," Jou said, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Why the hell are you getting so defensive of me, mutt?" Seto snapped. "I can defend myself without you stepping in."
"Y'know, dis whole dog thing is getting' a little old," Jou said, completely unfazed by Seto's attitude. "I think I'd prefer my name, if dat's all right with ya."
"Actually, it's not," Seto said in a clipped voice that clearly signaled 'End of Conversation' in big neon lights.
"Your turn, Seto," Mokuba reminded him.
"Mutt. Same question."
"You can't do that," Malik protested. "Can he do that?"
Mokuba shrugged. "I guess."
"Shut up, will you?" Seto snapped. He wanted—no, he needed—to hear the answer. He could feel his heart thudding in his chest, and his mouth was suddenly dry. He mentally shook himself, berating himself for caring so much. It was becoming more and more difficult to pull off cold and apathetic.
"Nope," Jou said casually. Yuugi, Ryou, Seto and everyone else in the room stared at him.
"Jou! Since when?" Yuugi asked, shocked.
"Y'know, I'm not sure I want to play anymore," Honda muttered. "I'm learning way more than I ever needed to know."
Jou ignored Honda. "Since foreva'." He shrugged. "I just neva' brought it up." He turned an amused eye on Bakura. "Your turn, Kura."
"Don't call me that."
"What, only darlin' Ryou can call ya dat?"
"That's right," Bakura growled, glaring at Jou. Ryou gave him a Look.
"All right, all right," Jou said. "Truth or Dare?"
"Dare," Bakura said immediately, as if determined to prove that he was braver than these humans.
Jou grinned wickedly, a smile Seto found incredibly sexy. "Make ou' wit' someone—and it can't be Ryou."
Bakura's eyes widened. "Ryou?" he asked, glancing to his hikari.
Ryou shrugged. "If you don't mean it, I don't care."
Bakura sighed and glanced around the circle. Yuugi was noticibly avoiding eye contact with him while Yami was glaring, as if to say 'Touch my hikari and I'll eviscerate you.'
"Marik," Bakura said finally. The Egyptian jumped, wide lavender eyes blinking at him in confusion.
"No, the Marik sitting behind you. Come here."
Marik looked slightly panicked and kept glancing back and forth between his hikari and the tomb robber. Malik grinned and squeezed his hand. "It's just a game. I don't mind," he assured his yami.
"Yes, go on."
Marik stood up and walked over to Bakura, sitting down next to him.
Bakura put his hand on the side of Marik's face, brushing a thumb over the Egyptian's lower lip. "Don't look so nervous," he said, smiling in what he hoped was a comforting sort of way.
"How long?" Marik asked, unable to tear his eyes away from the tomb robber who was leaning in towards him, blue eyes halfway shut.
"Three minutes," Jou answered.
"See, it's not that bad," Bakura whispered huskily, hands on Marik's waist. "Open your mouth."
Marik complied and Bakura kissed him, tongue sliding in between Marik's lips. Marik looked startled for a moment but then relaxed, wrapping his arms around Bakura's neck.
Ryou was looking slightly distressed as they began to ease onto the carpet, Bakura pinning Marik to the floor, still kissing him hungrily. Marik moaned into Bakura's mouth and Ryou flushed.
Bakura counted to a hundred and eighty as quickly as he could, then broke away, leaving a rather flustered Marik lying on the floor, shirt hiked up over his stomach. Blushing, the Egyptian scooted back to his hikari, nuzzling Malik's neck in silent apology.
Bakura pulled his lighter half into his lap, nipping at his throat, and Ryou's blush only worsened. "What's wrong?"
Ryou buried his face in Bakura's chest and mumbled something incoherent. A slow grin spread across Bakura's face. "Is that all?" he asked. "We can take care of that later. After all, it's my turn," he said, grinning evilly.
"Okay," Mokuba said, catching Bakura's comment before anyone else did. "Everything has to be done in this room."
"Fine by me," Bakura said, casting a sidelong glance at Ryou.
"Without damaging the mental health of anyone in here."
Bakura's face fell. "Take away all my fun. Fine. Dice-boy." He glared at Otogi. "Truth or Dare?"
"Uh—"Bakura thought. "Well, thanks to Jonouchi we all know about you and Honda,"—Honda turned bright red—"So asking you about him would be pointless ... Alright, out of all the people in this room, who would you want in bed?"
"Oh, that's easy," Otogi said flippantly. He grinned ferally at the boy sitting next to him. "Mokuba."
Mokuba's smile widened and Seto paled.
"I swear to God, Otogi, if you touch my brother—"
"Woah, he's not a little kid anymore. He can decide for himself, onii-chan," Otogi said, flashing Seto a Look.
Seto rubbed his temples. "Not in my house," he moaned. "I can't deal with that imagery ... "
Jou patted his hand sympathetically. "Y'know, dey're both so domineering—I wonda' which one'd be on top?"
Seto glared at him. "I'm going to throw up on you," he announced. Jou hastily withdrew his hand.
"My turn," Otogi said, running a hand down Mokuba's arm. "Truth or Dare, Mokuba?"
"Dare," Mokuba purred throatily. Otogi leaned in close and whispered something in Mokuba's ear, something that brought a hint of a blush to the young Kaiba's cheeks. "Mm," he agreed. "I accept."
"What happened to 'in this room'?" Yuugi asked, arching an eyebrow at the two.
Mokuba shrugged. "I get to make the rules, and I just changed them."
"Mokuba, I said no." Seto half-rose from his chair.
"I'm not a child, you can't keep taking care of me, Seto! Not when I don't need it. Not when you can't take care of yourself!" Mokuba snapped, regretting it when he caught sight of the hurt that flashed into his brother's eyes.
"Moku ..." Seto began tenderly. He shook his head and the concerned look vanished, replaced by that horrible coldness. "Fine. Fuck whoever you want." He slouched down in his chair, jerking away from the comforting hand Jou tried to lay on his arm. "You don't need me anymore, I got it."
Mokuba looked stricken, pained and relieved all at the same time. "Onii-chan," he said, crouching down in front of Seto, who glared pointedly in the opposite direction. Mokuba spoke quietly, so that only Seto could hear. "I love you. You know that. I promise you I won't do anything with him until I mean it and he means it. I think I could love him, Seto. I think we could be happy."
Seto snorted. "Mokuba, don't patronize me. You've slept with more people than I can count, why should this be different?"
"Because Otogi's starting to mean something to me. I don't care if you believe me or not, onii-chan, the thing that matters to me is that I'll keep my word." He stood up and strode back to Otogi.
"Er—"Ryou said, watching the two walk up the stairs together. "Do we have to wait until you get back?"
"We're going to be a while," Mokuba said. "Malik, it's your turn."
"Um ... "Malik's gaze darted around the circle. "Ah ... Kaiba."
Seto inwardly groaned. He was beginning to hate this game. "Truth." No way was he going to make out with someone in front of these people, especially now that they knew he was gay. How could they treat something like that so lightly? For Mokuba to sleep with Otogi ... just because the actor had expressed an interest in his body? Was that how it was supposed to work? Perhaps he'd been disillusioned all along, fooled himself into thinking that love was involved.
"How boring," Marik commented.
"Are you a virgin?"
Jou watched Seto for some sort of reaction; he knew the eldest Kaiba hadn't had an easy life thus far. But Seto's face remained impassive, his eyes cold, though Jou could hear something much like a sharp, hissing intake of breath. "No."
"You've done it before? With who?" Malik realized that his turn was over, but curiosity had the better of him.
"Kamimura Yutou. He was one of my stepfather's business partners. He was twenty-six, I was fourteen." Kaiba's voice was flat, harsh, and his eyes glinted fiercely.
"He didn't—"Yuugi broke off.
"No. He seduced me, not raped me."
"Same thing in my book," Honda said. "You were just a kid."
"I know that," Seto snapped harshly, deriving a sick sort of satisfaction from the stricken look on Honda's face. "You don't think I regret it? Every day of my life, Honda. Every goddamned day of my life." He stood up abruptly. "I'll be outside."
"No, Kaiba, wait. We didn't—" Ryou began, but it was too late. He was already gone.
"What do you want, mutt." It wasn't a question.
"I jus'—I thought ya'd be cold. I brough' ya a jacket."
"How fucking considerate." Seto didn't turn around, just continued glaring out at the sky. Jou tossed the jacket to him.
"Look, it's jus' a game. Ya didn' have ta answer Malik."
"He didn't have to ask such a personal question."
"It's not like he forced ya ta answer," Jou snapped. "He didn' know ya were raped! Maybe ya jus' like tha attention!"
He regretted the words the instant they were out of his mouth. Kaiba turned those intense blue eyes on him for an instant, his expression neither angry nor upset, only mildly bemused. "I like the attention? I suppose I never thought of it that way. Perhaps I do." His eyes again turned to the clouds, fiercer than before. "That would be what, a result of my father's neglect? Lack of parental support? Help me here, pup, you're the one taking psychology courses. What do you think is wrong with me?" He grinned, though there was no mirth, no emotion in his expression, save the frighteningly mad glint in his eyes. "I could be unstable, for all you know. I could be a mass murderer. Maybe a masochist? Maybe I liked being fucked while he held me down, hm?" Jonouchi flinched at the barely-repressed fury in Seto's voice as the taller man shoved him against the wall, hands on either side of his head, palms flat against the brick. Seto was volatile, that much was plain, and although Jou had no idea as to his intentions, he knew that he wanted to be as far away as possible right now. Seto could kill him easily, were he so inclined.
"Oh, I know yer unstable, Kaiba," Jou said with the barest hint of an attempt at humour as he tried to wiggle away from Seto's grip. "Don' think ya'd be tha masochistic type, but I could be wrong." Damn, what was wrong with him? His mouth didn't want to listen to his brain, it seemed.
"I think it's time for you to leave," Seto said after a brief and tense silence. He released Jou and turned away from him, as if he mere thought of having to stare into those honey eyes hurt him.
"I'm sorry," Jonouchi said sincerely, not quite understanding just why he was so upset. "Look, wha' I said ... it was outta line."
"Yes, it was."
"You said that already."
"You haven' forgiven me."
Kaiba looked at him then, his eyes clouded with something that might have been pain, but Jou was too entranced to know how to help. Kaiba reached out a hand and Jou took it, stepping closer to Seto. "I was never angry, pup."
And then Jou's world stopped, narrowed until there was only Seto and the way his fingers pressed against the small of Jou's back, guiding the blonde toward him, the way his lips sought Jou's gently, questioningly, and dare he say it, fearfully.
They broke apart all too soon, Seto apparently realizing what he was doing. "I could never be angry with you, Jonouchi." His voice broke and he looked away. "I—I'm sorry." Most un-Seto like.
"Fer wha'?" Jou asked, smiling. He wrapped his arms around Seto's neck, entangling his fingers in the short hairs at the nape. He kissed Seto deeply, his manner insistent but not domineering. "Ya got nothin' to apologize for."
They froze instantly, Seto's arms wrapped tightly around Jou's waist, both of them blushing more than seemed possible. Seto looked up, dreading what he was sure he would see ...
Mokuba and Otogi were hanging over the balcony of Mokuba's room, grinning stupidly at the flustered pair below them. "See, onii-chan? I didn't do anything with him—we just wanted a better view!"
"Oh, I don't know," a voice behind them, unmistakably Yami's, said. "I could see pretty well from here."
Jou glanced over Seto's shoulder and then buried his face in the elder Kaiba's chest, his own body shaking with laughter. "Seto ... they were watchin' us ... "
Seto turned slowly. Indeed they had a rather sizeable audience, though how they'd all managed to open the sliding glass door and step onto the balcony without Seto's notice was beyond him. He glanced down at the lithe young body in his arms and smiled hesitantly, as if the expression was afraid to show itself on his stony face. He had been a bit distracted, after all ...
"Took you two long enough," Bakura commented, burying his face in his blushing hikari's hair. "Although having people making out all over the place doesn't seem to be helping Ryou's problem any ... "
"Don't need to hear that," Honda said, looking nauseated. "I'm going to split ... I'll see you guys tomorrow, okay?"
"Bye, Honda," Jou said cheerily, impishly, Seto thought. Jou. Here. In his arms. Jou's hands slid around his waist, tightening in an almost possessive manner, or so it seemed to Seto.
An all-too-sudden wave of panic gripped his heart, crushing his chest, choking him. His smile gave way to a horrified expression, the farewell he'd been about to bid Honda turned into a low animal-like keening deep in his chest. His muscles tensed and he shoved Jou away harshly.
"Seto? Wha's wrong?" Jou grabbed him by the shoulder and was startled to find that the Kaiba was trembling. Seto's wide blue eyes stared at him, although Jonouchi was fairly certain that they didn't see him. He embraced Seto gently. "It's okay, Seto. I'm 'ere."
Seto gave a choked sob struggling against his grip. Jou held him tighter, afraid that Seto, in his condition, would hurt himself or someone else. "Seto, calm down. Don' cry, babe."
"Don't cry, babe. You wanted me, remember?" A blow, a dizzying blow that drove fourteen-year-old Seto to his knees.
"I never wanted you—"Seto coughed hoarsely, spitting blood. His head was spinning, and the words were thick in his mouth.
"Don't lie, you're awful at it. And stop looking at me like that, it's creepy." The boy's rage-fueled eyes bored into his, sharp as an ice-blue blade. "You've been flirting with me for months, boy." Seto flinched.
"Is he giving you trouble, Yutou?" Seto's head snapped around.
"Father!" Seto reached out a hand, praying to whatever god cared that his stepfather would help him, would save him from this madman who'd bound him to his desk and stripped him of his clothing. "Father, please get me out of here!"
Gozaborou sneered at the battered, terrified boy. "You'd best be quiet, Seto."
"Father! Surely you can't mean—"
"Seto, I said to shut up, didn't I? Now be quiet while I talk to Yutou!"
Seto automatically quieted; although he longed to protest his violation at Yutou's hands, his body was trying to spare him more abuse by following Gozaborou's orders. Yes, the eldest Kaiba son had been trained well.
He couldn't hear what they discussed, wasn't entirely sure he even wanted to. They spoke quietly, too softly for his fevered, panicked brain to even attempt to decipher the mumblings. Gozaborou left within the space of a few minutes, leaving him to the mercy of Yutou.
"Yutou, please, don't—"He was begging, begging a psychopath not to rape him. Kaibas don't beg, he reminded himself, repeating the mantra in his head.
Kaibas don't beg.
"Ahhn! Oh, God, uhn, don't touch me!"
Kaibas don't beg.
"Open wide, boy."
Kaibas don't beg.
"Ah! Please, oh God, oh, oh, hnn!"
--don't beg. Kaibas don—
Laughter. Cold, cruel, biting, mocking. The stripping away of his dignity hurt worse than that of his virginity.
"Ba—hnn! Bastard! Ahh!"
"Stop it! Nn—hnn—stop!"
"NOOO!" Seto thrashed desperately, panic aiding his strength. Jou clung to him desperately.
"Seto, calm down! It's all right!"
"No! Let go of me! Stop!"
Jou kissed him gently, soothingly, but Seto only jerked away.
"Stop! Don't touch me ... please, please stop touching me ... "He collapsed against Jou, clutching his shirt. "Stop ... "He was so tired ... he could barely stand. "Don't ... Yutou ... someone help ... "
Everything went dark.