A Matter of Wanting- samuraiduck27

A/N: I know, I know, I should be working on my other stories. But this one-shot just came outta nowhere and was begging to be written. This is in Seto's POV, and is a bit angsty…so just warning ya ahead of time.

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO- but Ra, how I wish I did! Then again, what fan doesn't?

Kaiba Mansion, Donimo City- 10:30 pm

A knock on my office door distracts me from my work.

"What?" I call out to the person waiting behind the large doors.

Mokuba opens the door, a small cheery grin on his face. Evidentially he wasn't fazed by my tone of voice as he walks in and sits in the chair in front of my desk.

"Shouldn't you be in bed, Mokie?" I ask, typing away on my laptop.

His small grin widens at the use of his nickname- it's been a while since I used it, and it reminds us of better times, "Shouldn't you be in bed too, Seto?"

I frown and look over at him from the top of the laptop, "No- too much work to do. Now go on and get some sleep."

My omouto's grin fades and takes on a frown mirroring my own, "Nii-sama! All you ever do is work! Even you need rest, you know. Look at you! You're exhausted!"

"Am not." I say, but a yawn escapes me as I say it.

"Sure you're not. Why won't you just shut off the computer and get some shut eye?"

I sigh and put a hand to my forehead. Was it that obvious? When was the last time I did sleep, exactly? I think it might have been what- 2, 3 nights ago? Must really be showing if Mokuba's concerned as much as he is.

"Promise me you'll get some sleep, Nii-sama." he begged, leaning over the desk and giving me the full puppy-dog pout: big eyes, lip, and all.

Ugh. I hate it when he does that. Almost god-damn irresistible. Almost.

"I can't Mokuba. I have too much work to do." I tell him, even though it's not the truth.

He sees through my lie- I can tell. But instead of prying into it, like I expected- he shrugs, gives me an exasperated look, and gives me a hug before heading towards the door.

"Oyasumi nasai, Nii-sama." he yawns, hand on the door handle, "But, will you promise to go to bed when you're done?"

I smile inwardly at this attempt- he just won't give up, will he?

"Fine. But only when I'm finished." Little does my brother know that I have enough work piled up to last me until dawn, courtesy of myself not doing much all day and then saving it for tonight. Solitaire can really make the hours fly by- as well as trying to figure a new combo to crush Mouto with instead of working. But that's my little secret.

Mokuba smiles triumphantly before heading out the door and closing it behind him. As I hear his footsteps fade down the empty hallway, I can't help but feel a little guilty for lying to him. But it's best if he doesn't know the real reason I work all day and all night.

I turn my chair around to face the balcony window in back of my desk. Mokuba just doesn't see the whole picture. He thinks I pour my heart and soul into KaibaCorp day after day and night after night as a benefit to the company- to keep it going and be the best of the best. He's not all wrong there.

But the real reason is much more personal than that.

For those who want to know- if I had a wish, it would be for myself to never have to dream, or to sleep. It's kind of pathetic, really. Imagine- the great Seto Kaiba, afraid of going to sleep. Then again, anyone would be, considering what I have to dream through every time I close my eyes.

I relive the death of my parents, the years in the orphanage- where it was every child for themselves and few friendships were made. I recall the childhood I had- if you could call it that. But the worse nightmares come from my memories of him, my stepfather.

Gozaburo was the reason I had no childhood, why today I'm labeled my many as a heartless tyrant, an icy bastard, cold, and unfeeling to name a few. But that's not my fault. Do you really think I wanted to end up like this? Gozaburo always told me that feelings, emotions, all of that is for the weak. That all they did was make you vulnerable and hold you down. When I refused to accept this lesson of his- he beat it into me. That's where I got my icy mask.

His "lessons" are thing I dream about most often; every hit, every blow, every time he lashed out at me- both verbal and physical. I've been called every name and insult in the book. I went through it for years- forced to study without ceasing, to observe, to be raised as the heir of one of the most powerful men on Earth, Gozaburo Kaiba.

I wish I had never challenged him to that chess game. I wish I had never set eyes on that snake in the grass. All I wanted, those years in the orphanage, was to find a way for myself and Mokuba to get out of there, together. A good home, where me and Mokie could start over…

To think I was naïve enough to believe that Gozaburo could give that to us.

The day I challenged him, and won, was the day some could say I sold my soul to the devil- a devil with grey hair and a red business suit. The second we arrived at the mansion, he made it clear that I had the highest of expectations to live up to, and there would be no tolerance for mistakes.

But through the years of torment- he never laid a hand on my brother. I wouldn't give him the chance to. My brother was my weakness, one that has been exploited and taken advantage of many times over-

But he is also my strength.

He gave me something to live for- something to strive for. The Blue Eyes White Dragon drawing he made me, it gave me strength so one day I would be worthy of owning a real Blue Eyes. In frequent bouts of stubbornness against my stepfather, when I was sure I had the upper hand, he would say to me in a cool, calm voice-

"If that's how you feel, Seto, I guess I can always train your brother to be my heir."

I always backed down after that- I couldn't let Mokuba go through what I had. Mokuba doesn't know the severity of the "lessons" though I'm sure he knows of them. He's too smart not to have noticed. That's why I wake with icy sheets of sweat covering my face and neck from the nightmare of seeing Mokuba take my place in the beatings, where all I can do is stand there, frozen, while my omouto cries out in pain for help.

Those are the worse. Those are the ones that make me feel glad that I pushed Gozaburo out that window. No one hits my brother and gets away with it. No one messes with my family without getting something dealt to them in return.

But with that action came a wave of guilt- of having blood on my hands. That's probably what triggered the nightmare of myself falling in Gozaburo's place- and his smirking face being the one thing seared into my memory as I fell.

It's my never-ending nightmares that haunt me and prevent me from sleeping at night. For it is only when I close my eyes I see his face and hear his voice. The only time I get some decent amount of rest would be when Mokuba forces me to, or when I fall asleep at my desk. And yes- it does happen. Never do I get any sleep because I want to.

Because, after all, it's not a matter of whether I can sleep or can't. It's a matter of wanting...

And I think it's clear that I don't. But for Mokuba's sake, so he doesn't worry, I'll brave the memories tonight- so at least one of us can get a good night's rest.

Sighing, I shut down my computer and leave my office. Mokuba's light is still on as I pass his room. I knock and he opens the door.

"What's up, Seto?" he asks me, confused.

"I'm going to bed. You should've turned in half an hour ago." I reply.

I see my little brother smile and wonder when was the last time I smiled like that. He wraps his arms tightly around my waist, "Night, Seto."

"Night, Mokie. Sleep well."

"You too, Nii-sama."

I can only wish…

A/N: Well, that's it. A bit depressing, but yeah. Please r and r- tell me how I did! Flames, criticism and etc. are accepted!

Ja ne minna-san!