I've decided to make this the last chapter.
It was about six thirty am when Jounouchi came to the conclusion that perhaps, just maybe, Kaiba was right about Serenity's bracelets. He winced, as he attempted to button his shirtwithout making it seem like he was trying to play Beethoven's appassionato sonata on a piece of jewellery. He wasn't succeeding particularly well.
After what seemed like an age of slow, gently tinkling movements, he looked around Kaiba's bedroom room for the jeans he'd been wearing yesterday. Finally, he found them under the huge, four-poster bed. He sat on the floor where he'd reached under to get them, and pulled them on, zipping them up as he stood.
Just as he reached the bedroom door, sneakers in one hand, he heard Kaiba shift. The CEO lifted his head, though he didn't turn to face Jounouchi. Jou froze, one hand on the doorknob.
"There's plenty in the kitchen if you want breakfast."
Jou stared, looking like he'd just heard Kaiba declare he was giving up his gaming empire to write shoujo. "…What?"
"Or you can go back to sneaking out, whatever." Kaiba pulled the sheets up around his neck and buried his face in the pillow.
"How long have you been awake?"
"Since you first got out of bed."
Kaiba's prone form failed to rise to the bait.
"Why, good morning, Jou! Imagine seeing you here!" Mokuba grinned up from his seat at the kitchen table as the blonde entered the large penthouse kitchen. The unruly teen was wearing a pair of Superman boxers, and apparently doing homework as he ate.
Jou ignored the comment. "Are those Fruit Loops?"
Mokuba shrugged. "Yup." He shovelled another spoonful into his mouth.
"…Got any toast?"
"Bread's mouldy. No one's been shopping this week."
"Where are the bowls?"
"Cupboard behind and to the left of you."
Jounouchi moved to the cupboard that Mokuba, still smiling widely, had indicated. He took out one of the plain, white bowls, rummaged in the drawers until he found a spoon, then sat himself down at the other end of the small, white plastic-finish table.
Mokuba gave up the pretence of studying and pushed the cereal box across to him. "Sleep well?"
Jou gave him a scrutinising look. "Not really."
"Because you weren't sleeping, or because all wasn't well?"
Jou began to pour milk on top of the colourful bowl of sugar he was about to ingest, raising one his eyebrow at the younger boy. "I don't think I ought to discuss it with you."
"Pfft." Mokuba ran a hand through his messy hair. "If it's going to be on national news broadcasts, you can probably tell me beforehand."
Jounouchi stared into his bowl as the fruit loops soaked up the milk with a slight crackling sound. "Fine: your brother is messed up."
Mokuba scowled in response. "Come on, give be serious."
"Okay, okay…" Jou sighed. He poked at his cereal with the spoon. "I'm concerned because I have no idea what your brother wants from me, and I don't think he knows either. Last night was probably another big mistake."
"…But you know what you want?"
Jounouchi bit his lip, then scooped a heap of coloured loops up and followed Mokuba's earlier example by gulping down a mouthful of his breakfast. Mokuba waited patiently.
"I've known what I wanted since highschool, when I finally figured out why your fuckin' maniac sibling pissed me off so much."
Mokuba's dark blue eyes looked thoughtful. "Just give him a bit of time. Seto's not so good with his feelings, especially - anyway, Seto will probably be another half an hour before he has a shower." Mokuba changed tactics halfway through his statement, all too casually. "Plenty of time to enjoy my company."
Rather than questioning the change, Jou's relief showed through his eyes. "You're up early; it's not even seven yet."
"Didn't do my English. Don't suppose you ever studied Othello? This archaic language is doing my head in."
Jounouchi swallowed his mouthful. "Sounds about right - I guess the curriculum in school hasn't changed much, eh?"
"Okay, well, I don't get what Iago's saying here: 'The Moor – howbeit that I endure him not - /Is of a constant, loving, noble nature/And, I dare think, he'll prove to Desdemona/ A most dear husband. Now, I do love her too…'"
"Lemme see that." Jounouchi gestured for the book.
It was to Seto Kaiba's great surprise that he entered his kitchen almost a half hour later - clothed in a business suit, his hair still wet from the shower - to find Jounouchi standing and gesturing eloquently with a breakfast spoon, reading lines from Shakespeare to the rapt, barely-clothed younger Kaiba.
"'…And out of her own goodness make the net/ That shall enmesh them all!' …This soliloquy shows again how Iago uses everyone's good and bad points against them, right? But it's made more confusing when he brings his own motivation into it, because no one's really sure what his motivation is…"
Mokuba nodded, and then finally registered his brother standing in the doorway behind Jounouchi's still somewhat animated figure. "Oh crap, is that the time? Thanks for your help, Jou, I gotta go get ready or I'm going to be late again."
"Morning, bro." Mokuba smiled as he passed his brother. Seto smiled briefly down at him, then went back to staring at Jou – who, in turn, was looking with some surprise at the lips which had briefly been graced with a small, upward curve.
The two watched each other with a measure of wariness a moment longer and as Mokuba walked out the door, the tension in the room seemed to rise exponentially.
"I thought you might have fled by now," Kaiba said eventually, his tone calm.
"And miss out on Fruit Loops? I mean, I always wondered how the other half lived, but now I don't see how I can go back to plain cornflakes!" Jou grinned. It was only slightly obvious he was nervous, shown in way the smile didn't quite reach his eyes.
Kaiba, much to the other's increasing anxiety, did not seem to appreciate the humour. "…I hope you left some for me," he said, eventually.
"Don't tell me the way to start the successfully businessman's day is with a bowl of sugar and food colouring?"
"Bread's mouldy," Kaiba retorted.
"Ah yes, I heard that rumour too."
Kaiba moved to get a bowl out the cupboard, and Jounouchi stepped aside to let him pass. Jou stared at the floor for a moment, then as Kaiba walked across to the seat Mokuba had previously occupied, the blonde collected his own, now empty bowl and took it to the kitchen sink.
"Speaking of rumours…" Jounouchi started again, uncertainly. Why did Kaiba have to be so stoic all the time? He started to rinse out his bowl, speaking slightly over his shoulder, much as Kaiba had to him earlier from the bed. "What's your take on the rumour that CEO of DuelMonsters fame, Seto Kaiba, might be gay?"
Jounouchi was careful not to turn his head too far and actually look the other person in the conversation.
Kaiba sighed audibly from behind him. "It's a load of shit."
Jounouchi's shoulders stiffened. He paused, the water running over his hands.
"There's a distinct possibility that he's bisexual, however."
Jou switched off the tap. "I see."
"No, you don't really."
"Nope," Jou agreed, amiably.
"Would you turn around?" Kaiba sounded irritated. "I refuse to have this conversation with someone's back."
Jou complied, but couldn't resist on a retort for the rudely-phrased request. "And here I thought I was just giving you a nice view of my ass."
"You're a clown."
"Yep." Jou was still affable.
"An infuriating one."
"And when did you become a genius at Shakespeare, anyway?"
Jou's eyebrows flew up in surprise. "Hey, contrary to what you always claimed, I'm not a complete moron, Kaiba."
Seto calmly ate a mouthful of fruit loops.
"I might not be that great at math, but I was always pretty good at English."
Jou stared at him, serious for once. "You really don't know anything about me since highschool, do you?"
Kaiba put down his spoon. What? Like he had been supposed to covertly check up what his highschool rival had been doing with himself when not causing annoyance in Domino? "I know you like jumping into bed with men even when they've thrown you out that same morning."
"Jerkoff," Jou exhaled. "I can easily leave again."
Kaiba stared, obviously torn between his usual refusal to put up with threats, and the desire to restore some semblance of order to his life. He was still in a state of shock that it had been taken away from him so abruptly.
"It might interest you to know that my English is perfectly fine after going to an art school in the state of Maine for two years - before spending a couple of years in Los Angeles building up my portfolio."
Kaiba stared passively, refusing to let this information surprise him. "We've all been busy since school."
Jou threw his hands in the air. "Do you have ANY IDEA how difficult it is to make some kind of human contact with you?"
Kaiba ate another spoonful of cereal.
"It's like trying to talk to a freakin' mannequin half the time!"
"What about the other half?" Seto replied with irritatingly calm logic.
Jounouchi sighed with frustration. "The other half - it's all I can do to keep my hands off you."
"You don't know whether you want to punch me or fuck me." Kaiba's pale eyes gave nothing away.
"That's it; I'm leaving. Once I can blame you, twice and I've just been an idiot. Fucked if I'm making this mistake a third time, because then I'll just have to go and kill myself to save the rest of humanity from my stupidity."
"The feeling's mutual!" Kaiba finally raised his voice.
"Oh, well good, I'm glad we're clear on that," Jounouchi replied sarcastically, as he headed for the door. "Without of both of us the world might actually function normally."
Kaiba stood, his chair scraping across the floor roughly. "Not that feeling, you imbecile!"
Jounouchi turned, hands on hips. "What feeling, then?"
Kaiba's long legs crossed the room in a few strides. He stared down at the blonde, only slightly shorter than himself. Jounouchi's gold eyes were filled with the same passion they always were – anger and something more, open to interpretation.
"I mean," Kaiba snapped, impatiently, "That I don't know whether I want to punch you or just fuck you."
He closed the small space between his mouth and Jounouchi's, backing the blonde up against the doorframe - one hand tilting Jounouchi's face towards his own, the other grabbing the edge of Jou's shirt by his hips and bunching it in his fist, knuckles grazing the soft skin underneath.
Jounouchi met the kiss with fervour, his uncertainly only betrayed by the fact that his hands hung at his side, unmoving. His tongue met Kaiba's and he let out a small moan.
"Holy shit, guys!"
Kaiba broke away abruptly, his mouth slightly parted, breathing heavily.
"There are minors around here, you know!" Mokuba, now dressed in his school uniform (though he was wearing black jacket that was definitely not regulation) was grinning wildly.
"Mokuba - "
"So Seto, can I call Jou your boyfriend now?"
Startled, the two in the doorway looked at each other. Jounouchi grinned again, nervously. Seto bowed his head, clear gesture of defeat.
"It's beginning to seem that way," he said, dryly.
"Oh, good - now I know the answer is yes when the reporters ask!"
Seto's head snapped back up, a panicked look on his face.
"You little bastard imp!" Jou shouted, ducking past the CEO, who for once didn't know what to do.
"Gotta go, school time!" Mokuba ran for the door.