DISCLAIMER: >pokes mic I want to take a sec to thank Kazuki Takahashi-Sensei for creating the beauty that is YGO and its fantastic characters. And not hunting down our sorry heads for all they have to endure in our fiction. Thanks.
>cue recorded applause
WARNINGS: Angst. Massive Melodrama. Abusive situations… – ack, it even hurts to type it down, but there won´t be explicit stuff. Luckily.
A/N: I don´t really know what hit me, or what it is about Kaiba that makes me want to see him in pain... and I´m not even a huge supporter of the whole "Abused!Seto"-Issue!
I believe Gozaburo´s and Seto´s relationship WAS abusive, but in a totally different way… No matter how much of a horrible person Gozaburo was, he always appeared to me far too cold and self-restrained to be some kind of pervert sex fiend…but I was really tempted to write this down from Mokuba´s POV, so I gave it a shot.
It´s a piece from the Kaiba´s past, how it could´ve happened…or rather not.
First Non-Humor/Romance-Fic. Whoa.
xxxDon´t Look Now
One day - it was a perfectly insignificant day, really, any insignificant summer´s day – I passed by your room and found the door half-open.
It must have been around lunchtime... I recall I had a handful of sticky chocolate stuffed into my pockets. Screw nutritious food and all that. It was you whose smallest steps were monitored with the utmost concern – while no-one really cared what I was doing. That was my blessing. That was your curse.
However - the door was only ajar, and at first…I really didn´t plan to look, I swear. I knew, you wouldn´t approve.
You wouldn´t want me bursting into one of your never-ending training sessions. You always took a lot of concern making the moments between us precious and private, no occasional hectic meetings.
We wouldn´t get the chance to talk, anyway – to your teachters, I was a noisy annoyance, and I would´ve been out on my ass within a second.
And most important, I knew already back then, you hated to have other´s eyes in your back – including mine.
But you know, I can´t resist doors that aren´t quite closed and give an idea of what might be going on behind them.
I looked anyway.
On that insignificant summer day, behind that door, I saw the most ugly thing I should ever see in my life.
I saw your secret. The secret you shared with the man who signed a slip to be our father.
The one secret that you ceased to share with me.
And what was even worse - you saw me, too.
I don´t think I really understood what I saw at that time. My small, sugary childish brain would´ve collapsed under the load of... however, those images burned themselves indelibly into my retina.
And nothing that happened since then – the victories, the journeys, the games, the money, your gigantic construction measures - nothing can ever erase those images from my mind.
Today, sure, today I understand what it was that I saw. And sometimes, in sole moments of cowardice, I wish I wouldn´t. I wish I could be that ignorant kid I used to be back then.
And you would carry that burden on your own. I´m ashamed - but however, that´s how I feel.
I still see it today - if I close my eyes and find nothing else to occupy my mind, I still see this blurred moment, and all I see is terrifying ugliness.
I see naked twisted flesh, painfully distorted muscles, I see movements too disturbing to name them... sad, hopeless movements, I see your body, bent as if it would actually break.
And I hear the noises. Oh God. The noises.
I see a little blood here and there, but I don´t remember much of that, because my brain chooses not to.
But above all I see one thing - your broken eyes, a lot of white with only a little trace of blue left in the center.
I see my horror reflecting in yours.
That´s how it was… I was much too small to understand what our signature father did to you...but I was not too small to understand the terror in your face when you saw me standing there.
This rare display of fear on your features was the only thing that kept me from doing something foolish...who knows what Gozaburo would´ve done if he found out he had a witness. He looked upon me as waste, as left luggage. Who knows what he would´ve done to shut me up.
You looked straight at me - it is hard to believe, but despite the things that your body had to endure, you looked me right into the eyes.
And you moved your lips, slowly, soundlessly, although they were distorted from pain. And you sent me the silent request I´ll never forget.
Don´t. You. Look. Please.
It was the first and only time you pleaded me for something.
And I did something that still baffles me nowadays... Although it was probably the only right thing to do. I followed your request.
I turned away from the door and continued walking down the corridor as if nothing had happened.
I went into my room. I think I put on the TV and stuffed myself with sweets. I was numb. Was I in shock? Probably. I don´t really know.
Somewhat later, I had succeeded in stowing these images away in some abandoned corner of my brain. I was a kid, it was the only thing I could do.
Later that day you paid me a visit... something had won you two study-free hours...maybe even the something that happened to you earlier that day. And I think we did something pretty mundane... playing some board game, watching a kid´s show, something like that. We did not talk much that afternoon.
It must have been vital for you to do something everyday with me - to make sure that between you and me, everything was like it used to be. That my little mind was not stained from what I had accidentally walked in on. I played along.
I believe to know what scared you so much when you saw my tiny frame in that door. I mean, apart from the fact that what happened to you is terrible enough for ten lives.
It was the realization that I learned something about my big brother that I was never meant to find out.
That it was possible to degrade you.
That it was possible to hurt you.
That it was possible to drive tears to your eyes.
I know you never forgave yourself that you didn´t lock the door behind you that day. As if it was all your fault. I was never supposed to see this. And I did as you pleaded me, and I didn´t see it.
You never uttered a single word about it to this very day. And me…?
Well. The hell I will do and wake up sleeping demons.
And now, we´re restlessly chasing down some nameless American highway. Chasing your dream - Kaiba Land.
The monument of your – our! – triumph and the tomb to seal Gozaburo´s defeat.
Or at least that´s the plan.
You drive by yourself, no employees accompany us on our mission this time. There´s no tail of henchmen following us. It´s weird, but in spite of the dimensions, Kaiba Land is a very, very private issue.
You drive in silence, two frozen blue eyes focused on the highway in front of us. Aware, unescapable eyes. You love it so much to have all under control these days. Once you got a hold of everything, you never let it down again. You won´t slip anymore.
You are always wide awake. Today, it is no longer possible to degrade you. It is not possible to hurt you. And your eyes haven´t seen a single tear for quite some time.
The man who made you feel weak and helpless is long gone, ended as a smudgy mark on the pavement in front of the Kaiba Corp. Tower – an appropriate farewell, I think. And a few days ago, the island which embodied his power went down in a whirl of dust and fire.
No doubt: You´re well on your way.
Perhaps Kaiba Land is only a further monumental milestone on your endless journey - perhaps that still won´t do for you to cleanse your soul from what has been done to you..
But perhaps – and this is the dream that I´m chasing– perhaps it´s the terminal point that erases the past. And we can rest for a while and take a look at the present.
That´s what I wish for, brother - that you can stop and look and finally like what you see.
And it´s this hope and longing that makes me finally say it. We drive by a ruinous restaurant, no sign of active civilisation around us – and I open my mouth, and I finally say it.
I had kinda hoped it would come up one day. That there would be something like the "appropriate moment" to talk about it, and bury it together. But there are certain things for which there aren´t "moments", much less "appropriate" ones.
And if there´s no appropriate moment, this moment´s just as good as any other…
And I say: "You know…I´ve seen."
Your icy stare does not flicker. "Seen what?"
I close my eyes and – the devil knows why! – keep myself talking. "Back then. You told me not to look. But I did. And I... I know, I´ve seen."
For only the shadow of a moment, you loose control of your massive vehicle…it drifts, we slide unsteadily, I hear the screech of the tires on the wet asphalt…-
I think: Perhaps we die. The funny thing is, this thought doesn´t frighten or shock me at all.
Since we were born, nearly dying has become some sort of a habit.
But it´s only a second until you got hold of your car again – and your composture.
You hardly get your teeth apart as you speak. You say, and I realize that it is the only thing I´ll ever hear from you about it:
"I do´nt know what you´re talking about, Mokuba."
And that´s it. Your voice is cool, and it does not invite any form of contradiction.
Of course you know what I´m talking about.
I lower my head. Tears sting my eyes from the inside, like little needles. But I won´t cry... because I know what it´s do to you, if I cry.
And so, I simply stare likewise out the window. And as we continue to chase down the highway in silence, something comes to mind:
You are just like this car, speeding down a dark, abandoned, nightly road. Invincible, swift, precise, a powerhouse – however, a small instant of weakness, one moment of inadvertence - and this powerful engine would slip, and tumble to its own demise at top speed.
And I understand that you cannot allow yourself to slip. And that I cannot expect you being soft. That is something that you cannot permit yourself to do - even for me.
I swallow hard. "You know what, Seto? I don´t know what I was talking about either. I forgot."
You nod. You know I´m lying, but you also for whom I´m lying.
"Good. Then it must´ve been something inessential."
I look up at your frozen features, eyes still fixed to the road. "Yeah," I croak hoarsly. "That´s what it was. Inessential..."
You take one hand from the steering wheel, in order to ruffle my hair, briefly, but resolutely. Those are the little bits of affection you have to offer. I like them.
Don´t you look, please. That was the one and only pledge you ever gave me. And I will not deny you this favour.
The rain whips against the windows. I had asked you for some music as we drive, and you put some on. It´s some tedious Kaiba Corp. Elevator chill out-crap, because you actually don´t listen to any music, and my CDs are stowed away in the trunk.
It´s really sucky music. But who cares. I know you put it on because I asked you to.
Phew. English is so not my first language (as you probably know by now)! But I did my very best with the translation…it´s a bit more on the pretentious side than it used to be in German… But anyway, if anyone cares to read this and has suggestions on how to improve anything, please let me know!
Apart from that – thanks for dropping by! T.T.