Disclaimer: Yu-gi-oh! Is the creation of Takahashi Kazuki.

Nightmare Syndrome – A phone conversation with Honda reveals all the insecurities that Otogi has, ones that he may never fully wake up from despite the role he plays before his lover. Kaiba-Otogi, short Otogi-POV drabble.

I believe this story was the result of the fumes of my dorm neighbor's week cigarettes. Thus, although it is still technically my fault that this story was written, I can try and pretend that it wasn't.

I was originally thinking about making this a longer story, but during my newest fic-genocide which mainly consists of me going through old fanfic files and purging the ones that I know I will not finish, this one fell victim to becoming a very short one-shot. Probably it is better this way because I started it as an experiment in writing Ryuuji-POV, but at the same time, it's cut off a little more abruptly than it probably should have.

!-!

"Shouldn't you tell him?"

That question again. Always that same question. Even if I told him to stop asking, he'd just keep asking away like a broken record. Seeing that it wouldn't be polite to tell him to shut the hell up makes it all a moot point, but until he either gets the message or my severely limited patience snaps, I'll just keep giving him the same answer over and over again until I finally find something heavy and within arm's reach to throw at him.

"No."

He's going to keep talking. I know he's going to keep talking. Honda-kun's oddly like Jyounouchi-kun in that particular aspect – neither of them understand the concept of subtleties. It's like their brains are too wired on the obvious for them to realize that there's something else going on behind the picture.

Some people might claim that I'm just being paranoid, but by this point I know that there's always something going on behind the picture.

"He's going to find out eventually, you know. Shouldn't you tell him before that happens?" Honda continues stubbornly, eliciting a pleasant growl from yours truly.

Why thank you. Thank you, Mr. Observant. This just happens to be one of those things that I'm trying to avoid, and I'd be damned if you don't know that already. I swear, the bastard's trying to spite me except as I said before, he's not exactly a master of subtleties. He just says what's on his mind, and that just makes it all worse because not only does he believe he's right, but then I know that he's right too.

That isn't something I really want to admit right now.

And although this growling and soft cursing is very entertaining, I suspect that Honda-kun isn't going to be thrown off that easily. I need to figure out a way to answer him, a way that doesn't sound like I'm lying between my teeth and would shortly after condemn me to hell for the rest of my life.

"He's not going to find out."

I want to hit myself as soon as the words come out. Haha, yeah, and then after that, pigs are going to fly out of the phone and somehow get Seto to play a game of poker with them.

It's at times like this that I wish Honda-kun really could be more stupid. However, like Jyounouchi-kun, he might be a little bit slow but unfortunately, he's highly perceptive to the point that I want to take his perception and stuff it in his mouth in a desperate attempt to shut him up. At least that way, even if heard the unsightly high-pitch my voice decides to take, he wouldn't be able to comment on it. And then I wouldn't need to compose a hit list with him at the very top in bold print, italics, and lots of swirly pink flowers around his name.

And it's not that I don't appreciate what he's trying to do. Deep down, in that little part of me that I would like to bury neck-deep in the middle of a scorching desert, I know he's right and that… perhaps I do need to say something soon.

But just because he's right doesn't entitle him to continuously sweep into my life and fuck everything up, especially when I'm doing a plenty good job of that on my own.

Honda-kun sighs impatiently, as if he can't believe I can be this slow or just plain stupid. I'm neither, thank you very much. I mean, just because stubbornness happens to be a combination of the two doesn't mean that I'm either.

"He is going to find out, Otogi. In case you've forgotten, and somehow I doubt that, he's Kaiba Seto. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if he already knows."

There it is again. There it is again, that annoying twinge of self-doubt that for some odd reason likes to plague me at times like this. It's not the first time he's brought this up, and it's not the first time that I've thought of it myself because he's right – Seto's not exactly the type of person who would let secrets be kept for very long. Granted, I'm not either, and we've swapped our horror stories as easily as the boy scouts exchanging scary legends around the campfire, but there are certain things that I'd rather him not know, and this just happens to be one of them.

But then, like Honda-kun just pointed out for the umpteenth time, there's the distinct possibility that he already knows. And it would be just like the bastard not to say anything, although this time I can't be sure whether or not I appreciate it because in a way, him not saying anything would be a continuation of this pleasant little charade I keep playing.

The only difference would be that I'd know that he knew, and then everything would change because of that one little fact.

He'd say that I'm overreacting, and even though I know he'd do the same thing in my position – in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if he is hiding something from me right now – it doesn't change the fact that nothing will be the same anymore. Even if he doesn't do anything, even if we don't bring it up anymore, just the fact that he knows….

It's not something easy to hide, and I'd rather not do so. I've always planned to tell him anyway, but the time has never come up and it's something that happened months before we even started dating. It doesn't matter anymore; it shouldn't matter. The only reason why it does is because I let it, and with a little more self-control, I'm sure I'll be able to do something about it before it drives me completely up the wall.

And I tell him that he's a bad liar. I can already see him laughing at the irony at this, and that inspires a rather pleasant image of me shoving a die down his bloody throat. If he doesn't choke on his own spit, anyway.

"It's not like they release the names to the public, Honda-kun," I finally snap, grasping at straws because quite frankly, Kaiba Seto isn't the public. He's more like a towering threat with sharp, pointy teeth and a lot of lawyers. For some reason, this tends to get him what he wants, even when it should technically be illegal. But since I've already trapped myself in such a stupid excuse, I don't have much of a choice but to continue along this path, "There's no way he should be able to find out. So you can stop obsessing already; it's not going to change anything. Why can't you just leave well enough alone?"

Unspoken are the words. The carefully practiced lie that always crash lands on its face when I try to use it.

And it's not like I need a constant reminder of what happened. It's not like I need a constant reminder that I haven't told Seto everything even though we never made any promises to do so. I don't need any of blunt hints, those knowing looks, the never-ending questions and suggestions that I should tell him. I already live with it every single day, and I spend so much time trying to avoid it that I can never get it off my mind, not even for a moment. The other side of the line is silent for a moment, and finally Honda speaks what I've been living for so long.

"You're never going to get better until you tell him."

I laugh, and it's so fake and idiotic that I don't even bother entertaining the remote possibility that he might still think I'm sane. "What makes you think that I'm not fine already?"

It's a rhetorical question, Honda-kun. You don't need to answer it, except he still will. Because he's Honda Hiroto, and even if he did know that it was a rhetorical question – or what a rhetorical question was for that matter – it wouldn't stop him from answering a question when it's asked.

And he calls me stubborn.

"Haven't you bothered to look at yourself lately?"

"What, you mean in a mirror?" I shoot back, smirking slightly even though he can't see it. I can imagine his face if he did see it though; he'd probably scream at me about how I'm not taking any of this seriously.

"Perhaps," he replies, completely missing what little humor the last statement might have had before continuing with an observation that would have stunned the world. "You've changed, Otogi."

"Yes, Honda-kun. That's generally what happens to people as time passes."

I feel inexplicably tired, and whether or not that is because my patience is rapidly running dry or because I've long ago lost the emotional stamina to deal with this type of shit, I don't know. But I want this conversation to be over, even with the realization that it's just me running away from the whole mess again.

Unfortunately, I think I've reached the happy point where I couldn't care less.

"Yeah, but you've changed too much. It's been nearly a year, and you're just as bad as when it happened… maybe even worse, if that's possible. I thought you were getting better when you got together with Kaiba two months ago, but now it just seems like you're so scared of him finding out that you're just getting worse."

Sometimes, Honda-kun, I really wish you could be a lot less perceptive. It's not like I need somebody to point out all my flaws and cracks – I do that fine on my own, thank you. I don't need you of all people to tell me about them to, especially when it's taking all of my effort to try and escape them.

Oh, I know what people say. You can't run away, you have to do something about it. But seeing that nobody's handing me a huge tube of superglue and some cement and plaster, I'm not quite sure what they expect me to do right now.

"You really should tell him. It might help."

I snort, "Since when did you get a degree in psychiatry?"

"I'm just telling you what I think. You can't spend all your time hiding this from him, Otogi. You have enough on your mind; you don't need more to worry about. Don't you think it'd be just a bit easier on you if you would just tell him, and then you can stop being scared about what would happen?"

Ah, but don't you see? I'm not scared of what will happen because I know that nothing will happen. Seto isn't exactly the type of person to fly into a rage and send a team of private investigators around to discover who was behind all of this. Or he might, but he wouldn't let me know about it until it was too late. And he's not the type of person who would offer pathetic comfort because he knows how annoying it is, and therefore he would be smart enough not to try it on anyone else.

But just the fact that he would know. Even if it didn't change anything between us, even if everything stayed the same exact same as it was before, I'd still know that he knew, and so would he. And that, more than anything, is what I'm afraid of, although I suppose that I really shouldn't be.

I know it doesn't make sense. Never said it was supposed to. But I wish it did because then I could explain it to Honda-kun, and hopefully it would shut him up when it comes to this particular line of thought. Otherwise, he's just going to keep asking every single time why I don't just tell him. It'd be so much easier, he says. And he's probably right, except for that one teeny tiny detail.

I don't want him to know.

I don't want him to know that somebody took me against my will, and I don't want him to know that I'm scared out of my wits that it can happen again.

I don't want him to know that that's what is behind all my nightmares, and I don't want him to know that he can't do anything about it, should he attempt to try.

I don't want him to know that although I can tell him that I love him to his face, I can never tell him that I trust him.

"Honda must be saying something really important if you're standing there with such a stupid look on your face."

I impress the world by letting out a screech that Yami no Malik could probably hear from the afterlife, not to mention the fact that I also throw up the phone like a baton – except nobody catches it, and so instead it falls to the tiled floor with a surprisingly satisfying crack.

Seto raises an eyebrow, "That phone was expensive."

The only thing I can do is shrug and say, "Well, it's not expensive anymore. How'd you guess it was Honda-kun?"

"Hrm. I guessed," the ass says simply before wrapping his arms around me suddenly. It's a good thing I've finally gotten used to such sudden movements or he might have noticed the way I would have tensed if this had been a year ago. "You going to call him back?"

All I can do is shrug again and look at the broken remains of the idiot phone, "If he needs to talk he'll call." And I'll immediately hang up on him. "And what the hell was that about me looking stupid, eh?"

He smirks, his usual, overconfident, and self-righteously cocky smile that was the sole reason why justified murder was created. And I suppose it's that confidence which, in a way, is so attractive because it shields me from myself and the lies that keep on building.

Although it still doesn't stop me from wanting to strangle him with a tie.

!-!

If the story had continued, Kaiba would eventually have found out. Or at least I think he would, although things could have changed. But that was what I had in mind, anyway, although I don't know why it even matters since I won't exactly be writing anymore.

And yes. I'll just shut up now so you don't have to listen to my inane ramblings. :p

PM (12-17-04)