Pairings: Seto + Yami, Rafael + Valon + Amelda, Malik + Bakura
Warnings: swearing, some sexual innuendo
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. "The Boys of Summer" is performed and recorded by Don Henley. "Something Happened on the Way to Heaven" is performed and recorded by Phil Collins. "That's What Friends Are For" is performed and recorded by Dionne Warwick. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.

This is a SHONEN-AI fic (male + male romantic relationship). If you are offended by homosexual relationships, please do not read this. Flames will be disregarded.

Setup for this fic:
- AU… takes place sometime after Orichalcos Doom arc (fanfics are technically AU anyways)
- Noa has been brought out of the virtual world, has a new body, and is living with Mokuba and Seto. The how and why isn't important.
- Yami has his own body and is separate from Yugi. The how and why isn't important.
- Ages of characters: Seto and Yami are 19, Noa is 14, Mokuba is 13 going on 14. For the three swordsmen of Doom, I'm putting Rafael at 25, Amelda at 21, Valon at 19.
- Both "Ryou" and "Bakura" throughout this story refers to Ryou Bakura, the hikari, and "Malik" refers to Malik Ishtar, the hikari.


The Boys of Summer

Prologue: Something Happened on the Way to Heaven


Seto finally found Yami on his second sweep of the house. The former Pharaoh lay curled up like a kitten in the middle of the bedroom floor, partially concealed by piles of clothing and open suitcases.

My God… you'd think we were leaving for a month, thought Seto as he surveyed the piles of clothing, accessories and various sundries. Despite his headache, he could feel his lips tugging into a smile. Yami was really excited about their pending trip and had spent the last week shopping and researching information on the city of Laguna Beach, California. Conversely, Seto spent the last week working extended hours in an attempt to tie up as many loose ends as possible at KaibaCorp, and worrying about how well Mokuba and Noa would manage during his absence. At least Yugi had agreed to stay over at the mansion for the duration of the vacation, which eased his anxieties a little.

Glancing back down at his peacefully snoozing boyfriend, Seto decided that the floor was definitely a bad place to sleep when a cozy bed lay waiting just a few feet away. He crouched down and picked up the smaller teen, who made a small mewl of protest. Amused, Seto carried Yami off to bed, then stripped himself down to his boxers and climbed in after his lover.

The young billionaire had to grudgingly admit that this vacation was probably a good idea, even though it had been sprung on him without much forewarning. He was rather tired, no… exhausted, if he were to be honest with himself. It wasn't something he had ever put much thought into before Yami came along but now, things had changed. Yami wouldn't just let him ignore his exhausted state. Spooning up behind his lover, Seto settled himself in a comfortable position and let his eyes slide shut. I'm just resting for a minute… he told himself. Not going to fall asleep.

Meanwhile, the younger duelist lay still, eyes closed, regulating his breathing until he felt Seto's body relax heavily against his back, his heartbeat inevitably slowing to match Yami's own. With one smooth movement, Yami grabbed his pillow from under his head and slid down on the bed, pulling the pillow into the gap previously inhabited by his body. Seto made a muffled sound of protest and wrapped his arms tightly around the pillow.

Mission accomplished. Yami got up and went right back to packing.


Mokuba and Noa snuck into the bedroom some time later, followed by a hesitant Yugi. "Good job, Yami!" Noa whispered, jerking his thumb at the sleeping figure on the bed.

Yami looked up from his travel brochures and smiled. Told you so, his eyes seemed to say.

Yugi peered at the bed and resisted the urge to giggle. "He's almost cute like that, you know. Like a puppy."

Mokuba's eyes widened and he put his hand over his mouth. "Nii-sama would sooo kill you if he heard that, Yugi!" he murmured gleefully.

Yugi couldn't help but snicker softly in response. Yami put on a matching grin as he stood up slowly and stretched.

"So, almost done packing?" Noa asked. Two large packed uprights were sitting open on the floor, along with Seto's silver briefcase and a messenger bag which had a stack of brochures and maps jutting of it.

Yami nodded in affirmation and began herding the group out the door. "The zippers on the luggage are a bit noisy, and I don't want to wake Seto just yet. Let him sleep a bit longer. He's been working himself too hard lately."

Mokuba rolled his eyes and waited for Yami to shut the door behind them. "Just say it. He looks like shit," he stated flatly.

"Mokuba!" chided Noa.

"Well he does! I thought he was going to fall asleep on the lasagne last night. This vacation idea was the best idea in like… forever! Bet you're excited, huh Yami?"

Crimson eyes lit up. "Yes, I'm really looking forward to this. And Seto really needs a break, even if he won't admit to it. But I am sorry we'll be missing your birthday, Mokuba."

"Naw, don't worry about it! If Seto has a good time, that'll be the best gift of all. But if you were to bring something back with you… I wouldn't complain." The young teen winked.

"I'll bring back something for everyone." He ruffled Mokuba's hair. "Is there anything you want, Noa? Aibou?"

"Anzu would be nice," Yugi instantly responded, then he suddenly slapped his hands over his mouth.

Noa and Mokuba laughed heartily. Yami grinned. I thought you were finally going to ask her out to a concert, Aibou, he asked over their mind link.

Well, I was, but, um… well, the timing was off, since I'll be here all this week. But don't even think of apologizing! I don't mind doing this at all. I'll just have to think of something for another day.

Yami resisted the urge to apologize anyways, as he did feel a little bit guilty about it. He was just about to make a suggestion when he heard Seto's voice at the back of his mind.

Yami? Even though his mental voice sounded tired, the crimson-eyed teen could hear his boyfriend fairly clearly. Obviously their practice over the last week and a half had paid off.

Yes, Kai-baby? Can you hear me?

Mmm… Where are you? asked Seto.

In the hallway. I'm heading back to the bedroom right now, Baby.

Um… I can hear you too, Yami, Yugi added wryly.

Oops.


Seto flopped over onto his back as Yami wandered back into the bedroom. The younger duelist sat down on the bed and smirked. "Have a good nap?"

"I wasn't planning on taking a nap, Yami," the taller teen said with a glower, but the effect was ruined when he yawned.

"I know, Kai-baby." Yami climbed over and parked himself on Seto's pillow, rolling the brunette onto his side and cradling Seto's head in his lap. Seto sighed and let Yami play with his hair and stroke his back, fingers slowly tracing around the outline of his newly healed tattoo. "I still can't believe you got this," he whispered softly.

Seto grunted. There wasn't anything else that needed to be said.

For a several minutes, Seto drowsed while Yami continued his ministrations, then reluctantly the shorter teen shook his lover's shoulder. "We have to leave in a few minutes."

"Mmm… we packed yet?" He yawned again.

"Pretty much. We just need to zip up the suitcases and I need to put some brochures back in my bag. That's it." Yami rolled out of the bed and padded over to the messenger bag on the floor.

Seto sat up slowly and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. "Okay."

"And… there's one more thing…"

"Which is?" He began fishing for his shirt.

Yami fought the urge to laugh. "Jou wanted to show us his new car, so he'll be driving us to the airport." Three… two… one…

"What do you mean the Mutt is driving us to the airport?" Seto exploded, practically leaping out of the bed.

"Because you didn't want to take the boys to the airport and insisted that Isono stay close by the house to keep an eye on them, and Jou was kind enough to volunteer, so I accepted," Yami explained patiently while he snapped his messenger bag shut.

"I do have other drivers and bodyguards available, you know. I'll just call…"

"I gave the rest of the staff the week off."

"You what?! You don't have the authority to…"

Yami finished zipping up their luggage and smirked. "No, but Mokuba does."

Damn!! "But… couldn't we just rent a…"

Mokuba suddenly burst into the room. "Nii-sama! Jou's here... uh, but put on some pants first, okay?"

Seto blanched and grabbed his pants off the floor. "Yami, please… call a cab! Call anyone! Something, anything!"

The crimson-eyed teen gave a short laugh while his boyfriend dressed hastily. "Seto, he's already here. Besides, how bad can it be?"

The taller duelist rolled his eyes. How bad can it be? Let the Dog drive us to the airport. Blah blah blah…

By the time the pair made it out to the front of the house, Yugi, Mokuba and Noa were already in the driveway looking at Jounouchi's new ride. The blonde had the engine running and the hood popped open and was gesticulating at some gasket or another while making twisting motions in the air with his hand.

Seto eyed the shaking charcoal gray car with trepidation. "I am NOT getting in that… that…"

"Hey, that's my Chloe you're talkin' about there. My brand new 1979 Chevy El Camino. Nice, huh?" Jou slammed the hood shut and patted it affectionately.

"Brand new?! 1979?!! Oh hell no!" Seto blurted out.

"Nii-sama!" scolded Mokuba and Noa simultaneously.

"Well I think it's great! I know you worked extra hard for it, Jou," said Yugi in all sincerity. Jou beamed proudly at his friend.

"Please, Yugi… it's an old piece of shit," Seto spat out, now glaring at the car.

Jou crossed his arms and glared back. "Hmph. Not all of us are made of money, Rich Boy. I had to get a second job at Burger World to buy this puppy. I fixed her up myself. She's an antique."

"I like it. It suits you, Jou," said Yami quickly, cutting off any retort Seto might have made. "Time for us to go. Get in, Kai-baby." He threw the luggage into the bed of the car for emphasis.

Seto just gave his lover a horrified look and clutched tightly at his briefcase. "Yami…"

"Course, if it bugs ya that much, you could always let me drive one of your cars, Kaiba."

"I'd rather eat broken glass and walk on fire, Dog." Disturbingly, the blonde only laughed at that before he got back into the car, followed shortly by a smiling Yami. Seto just gawked at them both.

"Come on, Kaiba, get in already!" Jou yelled as he revved the engine. Yami chuckled and beckoned to his boyfriend, patting the seat next to him.

"Please… kill me now," groaned Seto, gingerly stepping into the car and shutting the door.

"Bye! Have a good time!" yelled Yugi as the car began lurching away.

"Remember to call us, Nii-sama!" Mokuba and Noa added, both waving furiously.

The brunette slumped into his seat as Yami leaned over him and waved his arm out the window. He had the feeling that this was going to be the longest ride of his life.


Somewhere on the way to the airport, Seto came to the realization that the ride in the old junker could have been much more horrific. After all, we could have been kidnapped by aliens and gotten anal probes, or a volcano could have exploded and showered us with ash and poisonous fumes so that we ended up like those stiffs in Pompeii, or…

"Oh! I love this song!" the Mutt barked, and began howling along loudly and off-key.

Or the Mutt could begin singing friendship songs. Fucking fantastic.

And then Yami joined in.

This is a conspiracy. He hates me. He wants me to have a nervous breakdown. Are you listening to me, Yami?

Yami's answering chuckle rumbled in his head. No, I just want you to relax. We'll be at the airport in just a few minutes. Seto looked over at his lover, who merely winked and leaned against him a little more. The brunette automatically draped an arm over Yami's shoulder in response.

"Hey now, no hanky panky in my car," said Jou, wagging a finger at the pair.

Hanky panky? "Oh really?" Seto sneered and began sliding his fingers under the collar of his boyfriend's shirt. Yami grinned and purred faintly.

"Quit that! I'm trying to drive here."

"I'm not doing anything to stop you from driving," the young billionaire retorted as he began nipping on Yami's ear.

"Mmm… Kai-baby…"

"No no no!" yelled Jou. He turned the radio up even louder.

Seto responded by pulling Yami's shirt up with his other hand. "Mmm, Yami-kins, you have such nice skin…" he cooed wickedly.

Yami's grin grew even broader until he realized something which apparently the other two hadn't. "Uh… ah… wait, Seto…"

"Stop that! I mean it!" Jou shrieked, cupping his hand against the side of his face to keep himself from accidentally seeing anything.

"Seto… Jou? Uh… I think we…"

Seto laughed evilly and began sucking noisily on Yami's ear. Jou tried to steer the car with his knee while lamely swatting at Seto's face.

Yami reluctantly pried his boyfriend off of him. "JOU! We passed our exit!"

"We… we what?" Sure enough, they had not only gone right by the exit, but were almost completely past the airport now. "Why didn't you say so earlier, buddy?"

"I was trying to but… oh, nevermind!" the ex-spirit huffed, his face flushed.

Seto and Jou both began snickering at Yami. Then the two taller teens glanced at each other and suddenly burst into peals of laughter. Yami just looked at the two of them in bafflement for a moment, then smiled and joined in. It was nice seeing Jou and Seto getting along for once, even if it was at his expense.

"Well… lemme just get turned around here," Jou said between chuckles as he finally exited the freeway.

"You suck, Mutt," Seto threw out, but Yami was pleased to see that he was relaxed for once and grinning.

"Actually, you suck, Rich Boy. That's why we missed the exit. Messing with my head and all."

Seto shrugged and smirked. "Not much to mess with, is there?"

"You missed the exit too, smarty pants. So I don't even want to hear it." But despite the insults, Jou didn't seem to be too upset either.

Huh… This was an interesting development. Well, it seems like they've decided to get along for the time being.

Then Seto's smug voice floated into his head. Hn. We're not getting along. I just need to find a better way of getting him back.

Seto, you weren't supposed to hear that.

Oops, again.


"Bye, Jou. Thanks again for driving us," said Yami courteously as he put his luggage onto the sidewalk in front of the departure terminals.

The blonde nodded. "No problem, Yami. Behave yourself, Rich Boy."

Seto smirked. "Go chase your tail, Dog."

"Jackass!" yelled Jou, grinning like a goof, as he pulled his car away from the sidewalk and sped off.

"I swear, some people…" Seto began to complain, but his eyes showed his amusement.

Yami nudged his lover. "Are you ready?"

"Vacation, huh…" Seto took a deep breath. It still hadn't sunk in yet. "Well… I guess. Let's go."


TBC

Additional Author's Notes (regarding how this chapter came up):
- I chose Laguna Beach as the vacation location because I'm decently familiar with it, and it's a nice low-key getaway locale. Also it has a large gay and lesbian scene, so I don't have to worry about how people might react to our little couple.
- Obviously I'm playing up the mind link between Seto and Yami a bit. This was always something that fascinated me since it's actually canon. At this point in my continuum, Seto and Yami are actively working on learning how to push their thoughts at one another on a more regular basis while maintaining the privacy they desire, which is why the ability waxes and wanes and why Yugi got caught up in it. As far as the timing of this… let's just say that their one year anniversary celebration had a pretty profound effect on Seto's view of the relationship.
- Re: Jou and his car. I gave Jou an El Camino simply because those cars always amused me, and also it forced the three of them to sit in the same row of seats. And why did I arrange for Jou to drive them to the airport? The official reason is that Yami preplanned it, because he wanted Seto to let loose a little (Seto seems to relax a bit whenever he insults Jou), but the unofficial reason is just because it was funny.
- I was going to work in the lyrics of "The Boys of Summer" as the song Jou was singing, but I decided that wasn't torturous enough. So I decided on "That's What Friends Are For" instead since that would just drive poor Seto up the wall.
- I'm not implying that Jou is homophobic. He's just being himself. He may not like Kaiba but he's obviously accepted the relationship by this point.
- Just to clarify… when I wrote "Sunday Morning" I was asked why I made Seto take a commercial flight when he has his own planes. So I thought about it and I agree, he would take a private flight whenever practical and for short flights, he would definitely fly himself. But it's not always practical to charter a plane or take one's own planes (i.e. international flights that don't involve other employees of KaibaCorp). Even though Seto is prone to extravagance in many things, I don't believe that as a businessman he could justify the enormous cost of taking private planes everywhere all the time, especially for business flights. In this case, since this is a vacation set up by Mokuba, Noa and Yugi, I'm having Yami and Seto take a commercial flight from the airport because that's how the trio set it up. Don't think this means that they aren't getting the best accommodations possible; of course they're flying first class.