You Really Got Me
"You know what really gets me?" Mokuba asked almost idly.
"What?" Yugi asked curiously, turning to the younger boy. He and Yami had come over to the Kaiba mansion, ostensibly to hang out with both Kaiba brothers, but in reality, Yami and Seto had spent the past ten minutes 'getting drinks'.
Most likely they were making out, and would be for a while, but Yugi didn't really mind, since he liked hanging out with Mokuba. The fourteen-year-old was a lot like himself: mature for his age, but also young at heart.
"That most people seem to think I'm nothing like my brother," Mokuba replied.
Yugi thought about that for a moment. It was true; at first glance, the Kaiba brothers didn't seem to have that much in common. Just a moment ago, he'd compared Mokuba to himself, after all; and while Seto was a good friend – now, anyway, especially since he and Yami had been dating for almost two years – Yugi knew they had very little in common besides a love of Duel Monsters and Yami. He had more in common with Mokuba than with the elder Kaiba; but that did not preclude the two brothers from being similar.
They both devoted one hundred percent of their attention to whatever goal they sought, and they sought these goals with relentless determination. They were both extremely stubborn. Neither of them were very good at making friends; both were introverts, though Mokuba was nicer to people, and better able to interact with them in a social setting. They both thought things through, almost obsessively so, examining a situation from every angle. Seto was worse – or better, depending on your point of view – about this than Mokuba. They were both stubbornly loyal to the few people in their lives they cared deeply about – each other number one on their lists.
"Well, as your brother would say, most people are idiots," Yugi pointed out, delighting in Mokuba's quicksilver laugh. "But it's just because most people don't look beyond the surface."
Yugi nodded. "On the surface you and I don't really have all that much in common, either, you know," he continued. "It's only when you know more about us – any of us – that you realize that we're not that different."
Mokuba seemed to ponder the other's words for a moment, before finally saying, "What always amuses me are the people who see how smart Seto is…and think I'm just a dumb kid. They overlook the fact that we share seventy-five percent of the same genes."
"Seto is a literal genius, isn't he?" Yugi asked, wondering exactly where Mokuba was going with this. "Are you saying you are, too?" It would be pretty surprising – oh, he knew Mokuba was smart, smarter than himself, even. But he'd never noticed anything approaching the brilliance of his own whiz kid older brother in the younger boy. Seto was a savant with computers; maybe Mokuba was with something else, but Yugi thought he would have noticed something like that in the past few years.
Mokuba chuckled and shook his head. "No…well, yes, sort of."
Yugi cocked one eyebrow. "Sort of? How can you 'sort of' be a genius?"
"It's the IQ scale," Mokuba explained. "The average IQ range, which most people fall into, is 85 – 115. Ani-sama's IQ is almost off the scale; it only goes up to 200. 192, I think his is; what they call Highest Genius. Mine is somewhere around 140, 145. 146 – 165 is the Genius range; 136 – 145 is 'highly gifted and appearing to be a genius to most others'. So, to most people, I would be considered to be a genius. But I'm not anywhere near Seto's league."
"It's perspective," Yugi realized.
Mokuba's head dipped in a nod. "Exactly."
"And it bothers you?" Yugi coaxed. He sensed that Mokuba needed to talk about…something. What it was, he wasn't certain, and he was pretty sure that it didn't involve his brother. He was just using Seto to skirt around the real issue.
Mokuba picked at a loose thread trailing out of a small hole in the knee of his jeans. "What bothers me is how most people seem to put more emphasis on biological age versus mental age."
Inwardly smirking, Yugi said, "I was just thinking something along those lines." It was scary how their thoughts seemed to mirror each other sometimes.
Nodding, Yugi said, "I was thinking how alike you and I are. Physically, I'm older than your brother, but mentally I think you and I are about the same age." He chuckled. "Actually, mentally, you're probably older than I am," he admitted ruefully.
Mokuba smiled widely. "I was thinking pretty much the same thing."
Yugi grinned back and, going back to their original conversation, asked, "And what bothers you about the emphasis on biological age? You dying to get your driver's license?" This last was said with a teasing tone; Yugi knew that Seto had taught Mokuba to drive already. The younger boy was a better driver than most people with a license; he drove defensively, obeyed the traffic laws and the rules of the road (unlike his brother), and was very conscientious of other drivers.
"No," Mokuba said simply. "I just get tired of people treating me like a little kid."
Ah, the crux of the problem. Nodding in commiseration, Yugi said, "I've been there. I'm so short people think I must be younger than I am. I still get cops pulling me over occasionally, asking to see my license."
Mokuba snorted. "Yeah, I know. I was there the last time, remember?"
"Yeah, I do," Yugi griped. "You almost got me a ticket for insulting him!"
"But the look on his face was worth it," Mokuba insisted. "And I would have paid for the ticket."
Yugi sighed long-sufferingly. "The arrogance of youth," he said mock-mournfully.
Mokuba bopped him with a pillow. "So I'm not a fuddy-duddy yet; that doesn't mean I'm a child."
"No, it doesn't," Yugi said soothingly. "But what is it you want to be older for?"
Mokuba remained silent, fidgeting slightly. At length he said, "You know something else Seto and I have in common?"
"What?" Yugi asked cautiously, for some reason feeling like Mokuba's next words were going to turn his whole world upside down.
"We're both in love with members of the Moto family," he said expectantly, eyes trained hopefully on Yugi's own.
Said lavender orbs widened almost comically. "You…with me?" Yugi stuttered. Oh, boy… So I'm what he wants to be older for.
Mokuba ducked his head shyly. "I know you'd probably never think of me like that…but I can't keep it inside any longer."
"How…how long have you felt this way?" Yugi asked faintly, his thoughts in a whirl. And how long have I felt more than just friendship for Mokuba, without letting myself realize it because of his age? he asked himself. It should have surprised him – but didn't – when he realized that the first thing on his mind after the younger boy's declaration was reciprocity on his part for the sentiments expressed.
A thoughtful look on his face, Mokuba said at length, "A little under a year, I think. It was right around my fourteenth birthday when I first realized that my feelings for you were more than a crush."
Yugi swallowed. Which means the crush started even before then. "I…I don't know what to say, Mokuba."
"Say the idea isn't completely unappealing," Mokuba replied. "Dating me, I mean." He fiddled nervously with his hair; his eyes never left Yugi's.
"Actually, the idea is very appealing," Yugi admitted. Mokuba brightened at that, but before the younger boy could continue, he went on, "But I'm not sure it would work between us, Mokuba."
Mokuba frowned. "Because of the age difference?"
"Partly. I'm five years older than you, Mokuba," Yugi reminded him needlessly. "I'm in college; you're still in high school…"
"I'll be in college next year," Mokuba broke in.
Yugi blinked. This is news. "You will?"
Mokuba nodded briskly. "Uh-huh. I skipped a couple grades back in elementary school."
Absorbing this news, Yugi went on, "Okay, so you'll be in college with me next year. That still doesn't mean it could work. You're very mature for your age, Mokuba, but you're not an adult yet. You're still in that in-between, 'discovering who you really are' stage."
"So?" Mokuba asked, frowning.
Looking away, Yugi asked softly, voice sad, "What if you discover that who you really are…is not in love with me?"
Expression softening, Mokuba said, "Yugi…what makes you think that I don't already know who I really am? And even if I don't…that's the risk you take with any relationship. That the person you're with might some day fall out of love with you."
Looking up into the younger boy's eyes, Yugi huffed a laugh. "I told you that you were more mature than me," he said ruefully. "Smarter, too, obviously."
Mokuba managed to hide his 'Told you so' grin behind a soft cough of mirthful laughter.
Yugi heaved a mock-reluctant sigh. "You're sure about this?" he asked needlessly.
Eyes lighting up, Mokuba nodded vigorously. "I'm sure about you," he confirmed. "If you want me…" he trailed off leadingly, a coy smile on his face.
"I want you," Yugi admitted, blushing slightly.
"Then you got me."
"Really?" Yugi asked hesitantly.
"Really," Mokuba promised.
Yugi grinned. "Yeah, I really got you," he agreed softly, pulling the younger boy in for a gentle kiss. And I hope I don't ever have to let you go.