And, to celebrate the New Year…an update.
"Kaiba…c'mon…it's gonna be okay." The "-san" seemed kind of pointless now. With courage born from the knowledge that I was crashing and burning any way I played this, I wrapped my arm around Kaiba's shoulders and pulled him close. Amazingly, he didn't immediately break my arm. Instead, he allowed me to hold him. Granted, it wasn't exactly how I'd drawn it in my diary, but I was still holding Kaiba in my arms. I shifted to better comfort my former employer, leaving my letter of resignation lying quietly on his desk.
Dead & Dying
I woke up with a severe headache. Sometime in the middle of my self-loathing session last night I had just fallen asleep. Great.
My mouth tasted sticky and my clothes were rumpled from my restless sleep. Light was flooding the room from the open…windows…dammit! This is Yugi's room, you idiotic bastard! Hello! Where the hell is he? What are you going to do? Where are Auru and Rino!
I stumbled out of bed and into the bathroom. I slurped some water from the faucet after washing my hands and face. I flattened my shirt a little, a rather pointless gesture. My hair had decided it wanted to point to the left instead of straight up. Liberal application of water took care of that. Yugi watched me passively from the mirror, his reflection almost taunting me.
My headache was still pounding in my skull with full force. I wasn't hung over—at least, I was pretty sure I wasn't. I called a shadow. It sat on my shoulder and wiggled.
What's going on?
/Auru and Rino are in their room and they're…um…fine. Kaiba-san is in his office, but he's fallen asleep./ The shadow's voice stabbed at my skull.
What's with my headache?
Oh, just great. What did Rino and Auru do?
/Um, it wasn't them./
/Not him either./
Oh, damn! It's Bakura-san!
/Um, hello? Magic barrier? He can't get in here./
Well, this isn't Twenty Questions! Tell me who screwed up an enchantment!
/You aren't going to like it./
I said to tell me, not to baby me!
The shadow coughed. /Um…it was Yugi./
Ah, damn. Headache. How much sake…? I opened my eyes blearily, Rino's thigh in my right hand. I was lying on my stomach, face firmly implanted in my pillow. Rino was out cold, pillow half over his face. He was lying on his back. The blankets apparently suffered last night, as half of them weren't even on the bed anymore.
Hmm. I can't remember there being sake…oh well. There's only one way to deal with being hung over.
I slid my hand up Rino's thigh…oh yes. Oh, fuck yes. Going commando to bed is the best! I licked my lips and started stroking…any second now….
"Unh—wha—Auru!" Rino's eyes flew open. "What are you d—ohhh—unnh—never…mind."
Light was stabbing me in the eye. Ouch. Whatever I was sleeping on was extremely lumpy in places. What the…?
I opened my eyes, squinting against the light, and sat up. My hand was stuck, literally stuck, to a child's face. I had never seen the child before, or the room we were in. The canopy over the bed we had been sleeping on (or passed out on) was green. Pictures of Kaiba-san and the child were on the wall nearest me. I was still in Kaiba-san's mansion. Good.
Events of yesterday trickled back into my memories. A flaming blush spread across my cheeks at the thought of Yami. God, why can't I be straightforward about this…him…anything! I remember writing on that pad of paper, and then falling asleep, but I could've sworn I fell asleep in Yami's room.
I had never sleepwalked before, so that seemed highly unlikely. It also seemed stupid for someone to move me to this other room and glue my hand to someone's face. Alright, Yugi. Let's get your hand unstuck and then figure out what's going on. One mental pep talk later, I scooted closer to the child's face.
The child had long black hair and a faded suit on. I half-wondered if I was still asleep. This certainly qualified as crazy dream material. I tried pulling my hand away from the child's face. The child's head lifted off the pillow, tugged along by my fingers. I let my hand drop back down.
I tried peeling off one finger using my other hand. The only thing that told me was that it wasn't glue sticking the child and me together. Great.
I tried prying different fingers off, pulling on different fingers at the same time, and pushing the child's face away and pulling at the same time. My hand didn't budge. The child didn't even twitch. He was out cold, but still breathing normally.
I bet this is magic. What else would stick my hand to someone's face without giving me a sane way to remove it? Crud. How am I supposed to get Yami's help like this?
Maybe Yami's shadows are listening.
Feeling kind of stupid, I let myself 'feel' for shadows around me. My senses seemed to flow outward, from my head to my heart and then out through my hands.
Blue light erupted from the hand attached to the child's face, separating the two with a sharp crackle of static. The child sat up, gasping for air, as I yanked my hand back.
He looked around, seemingly terrified. Shock was written all over his face as he took in his surroundings. He didn't notice me, apparently, and took another gasping breath.
Dammit, my legs are asleep. What the hell is on my lap?
I clawed my way to consciousness. My butt was squished down into a plush chair and something heavy and warm was sitting on my thighs.
I managed to crack one eye open and immediately clenched it shut again. Why does Kaiba-san have so many windows in his office?
My eyes flew open. My boss was sitting in my lap, his arms around my neck and his mouth disturbingly close to my jaw. Oh. My. God. Heat started rising in my face. My resignation letter lay untouched on top of Kaiba-san's desk. A clock on the desk informed me that it was 9:28 a.m. I hadn't missed my flight, miraculously. It left at noon. It was the cheapest one I could find on short notice. I had intended to stay the night in a hotel near the airport and get an early start, but I could still make it.
Kaiba-san shifted in his sleep, causing interesting reactions in the lower half of my body. Oh, shit. I have to get out of here!
I slid one arm under Kaiba-san's knees and one around his back, very slowly and carefully. He didn't respond. I lifted very gently. Pins and needles instantly attacked both my thighs as Kaiba-san's weight was removed. Kaiba-san's chair was just a few inches in front of mine. If I could get him into the chair without him waking up, I'd be good to go.
Slowly I leaned towards Kaiba-san's chair, my legs protesting the movement and my arms protesting the weight. Kaiba-san's head tipped back, away from my shoulder. I froze, but he miraculously didn't wake up. Just a few more inches…I leaned forward precariously.
And suddenly Kaiba-san was very, very awake.
The only thing I registered was Mokuba's voice calling out my name. I thumped to the floor on my back and flipped over. I stood up abruptly, barely noticing Katsuya-san in the chair in front of me, and shot towards the door to my office.
I pounded down the stairs and dashed across the foyer. "Elevator!" I shouted at the wall.
"The elevator will be here in 6.3 seconds."
I nearly screamed. Those were the longest 6.3 seconds in my entire life.
I thought I heard Mokuba shout out. Oh, damn—Yugi must be with him—. I dashed into the elevator. "Mokuba's room," I told it. The doors slid shut agonizingly slowly. "Hurry up!" I told the elevator uselessly.
"Safety protocols prevent that without the proper authority code," the elevator snidely informed me.
It seemed the elevator was going painfully slowly just to spite me. Finally, the doors burst open. Is Yugi okay? "Yu—?"
Kaiba-san blinked at me. "Mutou-san," he acknowledged.
"Kaiba-san," I replied, feeling stupid.
"Mokuba's room," Kaiba-san told the elevator.
"That is the current destination," MOKI replied. The elevator doors shut and Kaiba-san gave me a funny look.
Two seconds later, however, the elevator doors slid open and Kaiba-san and I both fought for door space. Doors, curse them, are generally not designed to admit more than one person at once. Both Kaiba-san and I popped into the room and dashed toward the bed.
When Kaiba-san saw Mokuba, he stopped as though he had run smack into a brick wall. His mouth worked silently for a moment. "M…Mokuba!"
Mokuba just opened his arms. The Kaiba brothers embraced, Kaiba-san squeezing Mokuba tightly as though to confirm he was indeed real. Mokuba was crying freely, and tears kept slipping out the corners of Kaiba-san's eyes. No words were exchanged, just years of pent-up love.
Yugi was leaning against the wall, watching Kaiba-san and Mokuba. "Can…can we talk?" I whispered.
Yugi nodded. "We should leave them alone," he said quietly. We exited Mokuba's room. The elevator doors slid shut behind us. I doubt Kaiba-san or Mokuba noticed.
In the first several seconds after Kaiba-san's abrupt departure, I was a little stunned. First, Mokuba's memory was somehow back. Second, Kaiba-san didn't strangle me on sight. And third, I could now escape. Excellent, I told myself.
I left my letter of resignation where it lay and exited Kaiba-san's office for the last time.
I had to wait a bit for the elevator, but I wasn't in too much of a hurry. When the doors slid open, I stepped inside. It couldn't hurt to make a short detour to the kitchen for a big breakfast. Airline food sucked. "Kitchen," I told the elevator. My stomach rumbled its appreciation.
Yami and I sat in the most awkward silence ever known to man or vampire on the roof of Kaiba-san's mansion. The garden here was still as dead as ever, but as I realized winter was approaching, it didn't seem so out of place.
Yami cleared his throat nervously. I turned towards him a little too quickly. Our eyes met and then snapped apart. Yami focused on his feet. I focused on mine.
"Uh…Yugi. I…I would really like to apologize for my behavior last night. It was totally uncalled for and very inappropriate. I hope you can forgive me and still consider me a friend."
"Of…of course," I managed. "I—I would like to apologize, too. I was being stupid, bleeding all over the place when I knew how that would affect you. I mean…uh…yeah. I'm sorry." Damn. This is awful. Awkward silence reigned again.
"Yugi, did…did you want me to stop?"
I squirmed. "Uh…."
"You didn't say so. I, uh, was kind of preventing you from doing that. With the…kiss and everything," Yami said, studying his shoes. "I'm sorry."
"I—I didn't want you to stop!" I blurted out. I slapped my hands over my mouth as Yami turned to look at me. "I…didn't. Really," I mumbled.
Yami was confused. "Um, Yugi…?"
"I just—I just have no idea where this is going, okay? Are you going to be with me tomorrow? Am I going to have a bed to sleep in? Food to eat? Are you just being this way because I'm food? I can't stay here forever, and I'm still a minor. I don't have much money or a home to return to, or—."
"Yugi! I can take care of all of that," Yami said, cutting me off. "You are certainly not just food! And I can never leave you. You lost your reflection to me and now I am completely yours."
I took a deep breath. "S—seriously?"
"Yes. I have, uh, accumulated a lot of wealth over my lifetime," Yami said awkwardly.
Yami's lifetime? "How old are you?" I asked, more to avoid discussing Yami's declaration of ownership.
Yami focused on his feet again. "Well, I was 16 when I was turned into a vampire."
"When was that?"
"Um. About five thousand years ago," Yami mumbled.
"Whoa. So do you age at all?"
"A year for every thousand," Yami said.
"So technically you're 21," I said.
"Sort of. We count our age chronologically, just like humans. My body is 21, but my real age is 5216," confirmed Yami. "Does that bother you?"
"Uh, no. Should it?"
"Not really. Rino was freaked out when he learned that Auru was 5218, so I thought you might be."
"Not really," I said. Yami didn't seem old at all. "But…Yami, will you die?"
"Yes," Yami answered. "I will."
"Do you know when?"
Yami looked at me. "I die whenever my reflection does. So I will always be with you."
Auru hugged me close. "Thanks," I murmured. "It was kind of surprising, but it was a very nice way to wake up."
"No problem," Auru replied, grinning. He slid to the edge of the bed, running a hand through the black curls on his head. The vampire looked at the clock. "Hmm. 9:43…I guess we should eat breakfast and blow this pop stand. Kaiba-san said we had to clear out today. I'm going to go shower." Auru faced away from the bed and stretched provocatively.
"Okay," I said, still content to lie in bed and um, enjoy the view.
"Hey, sleeping beauty! I'm not taking a shower by myself, you know." Auru grabbed one of my ankles and dragged me into reach. He picked me up and held me bridal style, despite numerous protests.
"You're so cute when you're saying no…with your mouth," Auru said lasciviously, glancing at my nether regions.
"Auru…." My face was probably as red as my hair. Auru's fangs were sprouting and he was grinning.
I swear Auru has a secret stash of aphrodisiacs somewhere.
On a scale of one to ten, the excellence of my day so far rated somewhere around six hundred and two. My little brother was back, memories and body intact. Life was good. No, life was totally beyond good.
I should take Mokuba somewhere to celebrate! For about an hour we had simply embraced, reassuring one another that we were both real. Now I felt I needed to do something to reacquaint Mokuba with his life.
A theme park! A classic icon of human culture and very fun. I should ask Katsuya-san to organize security and get going immediately. I was still sitting on Mokuba's bed, one arm around my little brother. I picked him up and walked over to the intercom.
"Put me through to Katsuya-san."
There was a click and then static.
"Hmm." Yasuhito-san was back on the line. "Katsuya-san's radio is apparently off the network, sir. Should I send someone to find him?"
I paused. Hadn't Katsuya-san wanted to tell me something last night? Oh, he had that letter to give me. It was probably a notice of some vacation time he intended to take.
"No, Yasuhito-san, I'll deal with it."
I clicked off the intercom. "Moki, we're going to go up to my office, okay?"
"Sure." Mokuba snuggled closer.
"My office," I told the elevator, and the doors opened. We were whisked off to the foyer of my office (the elevator didn't go to the top floor). I stepped out of the elevator and walked across the carpet to the marble spiral stairs. It was amazing how energetic I felt. The enchantment was very draining, but now that I had Mokuba back I felt like I could conquer the world.
I went up the stairs and into my office. The two chairs Katsuya-san and I had slept in were still behind my desk. The envelope lay on my desk, the kanji for my name written neatly in the center.
I walked around my desk and set Mokuba down in a nearby chair. Having him close was basically a necessity. I sat down in my office chair and picked up the letter, slitting it open with a sharp letter opener from the top drawer of my desk.
The paper inside was pristine white with dark black ink on it. Katsuya-san used really nice paper…and penmanship, I noticed. I started to read.
I am so glad Mokuba is back. I hope you know how much I mean that, being one of the people who saw what originally happened. I am very happy for you.
I also realize that you are probably considering firing me right now. I am aware that you have at least seen my sketch diary. I understand that its contents depict something totally inappropriate and impossible. I would like you to know, however, that the diary's pictures aren't a passing fantasy or the products of a sick, twisted mind. Every picture was drawn with the love and action that I couldn't exhibit in real life.
As you read this, I have already started my search for employment elsewhere. Thank you for your tolerance and the five years of enjoyable business relations. I wish you the best of luck.
I had to read it through three times to understand what Katsuya-san was saying, which was an uncomfortable first. The phrase EMPLOYMENT ELSEWHERE seemed to poke me in the eye.
He's leaving, Seto. Are you going to do anything about it?
I picked up Katsuya's diary from the corner of my desk. It had been under a few books and papers, but Katsuya must have seen it when he was in my office earlier. Why did he leave it, though?
I let the diary fall open in my hands. The large party scene unfolded before me. The couples in love, me in my tuxedo, and the empty space beside me….
For the second time that morning, I shot out of my office at top speed.
I finished my giant stack of pancakes with a satisfied sigh. I was in the employee dining area, off the kitchen. Long tables with many chairs crowding around them dominated the room. Light blue drapes fluttered around the open windows. Morning sunlight was streaming into the room. Leaning back on the back two legs of my chair, I swiped a stray drop of syrup off my face with a napkin. I was certainly going to miss the kitchen of Kaiba-san's mansion.
A couple of other employees were eating, but I was alone. I guess I'm really not employed anymore, I mused. It was very weird, being without both a home and a job for the first time in my life.
I mentally ran through my packing list again. I didn't want to leave anything here, because I certainly didn't want to come back. Suddenly my chair tipped forward and clunked back onto the floor.
You are a certifiable dumbass, Katsuya, I told myself. You spent 12 entire hours in Kaiba-san's office and DIDN'T LOOK FOR YOUR DIARY. That red-headed guest told you where it was! Are you going to LEAVE IT?
I stood up abruptly, pushing my chair back. I grabbed five rolls, two apples, a banana, and a wedge of cheese out of the basket in the middle of my table and stuffed them in a large napkin. I strode over to the part of the wall where the elevator connected to the dining area and waited the second it took for MOKI to realize someone was there.
"Kaiba-san's office," I told the elevator as I stepped inside. The doors whooshed shut and the elevator sped into motion.
I leaned against the wall of the elevator nervously. Then I shook myself. You're just retrieving a possession of yours. Kaiba-san isn't even your boss anymore. Chill.
The elevator doors opened and my nervousness returned in spades.
Kaiba-san was striding towards the elevator, my letter of resignation in one hand and my diary in the other. Oh, shit.
Kaiba-san was a little surprised to see me, but took it in stride. I stepped out of the elevator so it could move on, but didn't move any farther into the room. Neither did Kaiba-san.
My former boss gestured with my letter and diary, as though looking for words that didn't exist in any of the languages he knew. Finally, he settled for, "Katsuya-san, what is the meaning of this?"
"Uh, I thought I made my letter pretty clear, Kaiba-san," I replied. Kaiba-san was silent.
"Can I have my diary back?" I finally asked. Kaiba-san didn't move. It was like he was trying to say something, but couldn't. That didn't happen every day. His face went from confused to angry very quickly.
"Why didn't you go to art school?" he blurted.
Kaiba-san waved the diary back and forth. "I mean, these drawings are very good—."
"Isn't it obvious why, Kaiba-san?" I asked quietly.
Kaiba-san just stopped.
I walked closer and took the diary out of his hand. I stepped back and bowed. "Thank you." I turned and made to leave.
But suddenly there was a hand on my shoulder spinning me around and another hand gripping my jaw and lips pressing against mine deeply and firmly. I was blown away.
Kaiba-san broke the contact and stepped back, looking away. "Um. Your letter of resignation has not been accepted. Katsuya-san. You will continue your employment as usual."
"Uh…yes. Yes, sir," I said, shocked and confused and happy all at once. "But I would like to revise the terms of my contract."
"How so?" Kaiba-san asked.
"Well, first, I would like part of my duties to include…this," I said, stepping forward and capturing Kaiba-san's lips again. My hand slid around Kaiba-san's neck and drew him even closer. The elevator dinged, but I ignored it. Kaiba-san licked along my bottom lip and I returned the favor.
"ALRIGHT!" Auru shouted. "I knew it! Fear my matchmaking abilities! I totally—mmph!" Rino slapped his hand over Auru's mouth. The younger was bright red and the older turning slightly purple.
"Uh, we wanted to talk to Kaiba-san about Mokuba, but it can…uh…wait. Bye!" Rino punched the elevator button to close the doors as Auru started to struggle and left Kaiba-san and me alone.
"So…Auru-san needs to die," I said offhandedly.
"Yes, but…later," said Kaiba-san, closing in for another kiss.
"Auru! What the hell was that about?"
Auru squirmed. "Well, I just helped 'em get together. All I did was give Kaiba-san Katsuya-san's diary. I mean, really, they were never going to get together otherwise."
I crossed my arms. "What did I say about playing matchmaker?"
Auru paled. "Rino—you wouldn't. Please." Auru folded his hands together and turned up the puppy-dog eyes as far as possible. "You wouldn't."
I turned away. "No sex for a week."
Auru fell to his knees. "Rino—please—that's cruel—cruel and unusual—."
"I warned you."
Auru shuffled closer, until his face was uncomfortably close to my crotch. "You wouldn't, Rino." He smiled.
"I would," I said firmly.
"You would," Auru conceded, "if you could." He grinned and rubbed his face between my legs. My knees wobbled and my resolve wavered. Auru's fangs were growing and so was that infernal grin of his. He knew I couldn't make good on my threat. His hands reached up and snapped the button on my jeans open. Auru looked up at me with the most innocent fanged grin ever as he pulled down my zipper.
Happy New Year!