Pairing: Seto/Yami, maybe a bit Yami/Seto
Genre: AU – Romance
Summary: "Your beauty leaves me speechless" – A mysterious spiky haired punk in a jazz bar, who doesn't speak but nonetheless manages to get Seto's attention.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh. The characters are nice but clearly undernourished. What would I want with them? Kinky sex games and me watching? The answer is yes but you don't have to know that. Ignore it and just remember that I don't own them.
Author's Notes: First of all, I've never met a person who can't speak in all my life. So I can't guarantee what I'm telling here is true and right. I'm trying to research but it's not easy on that subject, so if anyone can give me more information I'd gladly accept hints and explanations. Yeah, I know they say "Write what you know" but this story has been bugging me for months, I'm writing it for the sake of my peace of mind…
Additional Chapter Disclaimer:
Three jazz songs mentioned in this, partly with the lyrics:
"Bewitched" – Lyrics: Lorenz Hart, Music: Richard Rodgers
"Fever" - words & music by john davenport & eddie coole (or at least that's my best guess)
"Blue Moon" – Lyrics by Lorenz Hart, music by Richard Rodgers
Actually, he had no idea how he had ended up here. Sceptically, Seto Kaiba let his gaze wander over the patrons of the "Bluebird's Nocturne", one of the smaller but still very popular jazz clubs in town. The faces were unknown to him, the atmosphere unfamiliar but not unpleasant. Still standing in the door he could smell puffs of smoke drifting by, but the majority of the people in the room were not smoking, but standing together and talking. There were a few tables hidden in the background, he noticed with satisfaction, but also a number of smaller ones in front of a modest stage.
However classical the jazz club seemed in its interior, the music coming from that stage was produced by electronic guitars, a skilful bass and a carefully stroked drum set accentuating a wild jazzy guitar solo.
Seto didn't give it much thought as he strode past the stage, past the small dinner tables and the people dancing behind them to find a solitary corner. He didn't feel up to socialising with any of the other patrons, he was seeking the anonymity of a club to get his mind off the business meeting he had attended all evening.
Gracefully, he sank down into a cushioned chair positioned next to a table in a secluded spot of the club, and leaned back, relaxing muscles that were stiff from sitting rigid and alert for a long time, eyes incessantly scanning his business partners. One minute or even one second of unawareness could prove a fatal flaw, held too high a risk for him to tolerate. He hated the stiff dinners and reserved small talk but it was inevitable. On many occasions he was too tense afterwards to simply go to sleep. Thus he often found himself in small clubs for a drink or two before he called his limo and headed home.
A young waiter appeared next to him, unusual white hair tied up in a ponytail.
"Good evening. May I help you?", he greeted politely, in a gentle voice, "Would you like to see our menu? I'm afraid we offer only appetizers, though. Non-alcoholic drinks can be ordered, alcohol is served at the bar over there." He pointed to the other side of the club. Seto instantly liked him. He told the important things without much ado, then stood back and waited patiently. Alcohol it was, Seto decided shortly, out of a simple mood. Normally he didn't act upon simple impulses, but since he had already ended up here he might as well make an exception.
He thanked the waiter and stood, making his way over to the bar. The band seemed to have finished already, people were applauding enthusiastically. It was quite a large crowd standing around the stage, the musicians seemed to be famous.
The bar definitely was the point of attraction for the younger patrons, boys and girls of his age or only a little older, though you wouldn't have noticed. He was the tallest and most adult looking anyway, especially in the formal black trench coat with the white shirt underneath he preferred over the usual business suit. What he liked best about this particular piece of clothing was the silver embroidered dragon on his back, only noticeable in dim flickering lights like, for example, a jazz club.
A blonde bartender handed him his order, grinning broadly at him. "You're new here, right?", he attempted to start a conversation. "I am", Seto confirmed simply and turned away, not in the mood to talk. The boy smirked and proceeded to clean his glasses. After a while he began to chatter happily, not minding in the slightest that Seto ignored him and refused to listen.
"…but people usually come over for a second glance, you know. It's not like we're that popular, but we got the great bands. See, just today we had those awesome fellows here and they got the crowd going, I tell you. That's 'cause we got the connections, the lead guitarist's an old buddy of mine, so I just have to ask and they play. Gets us lots of new fellows, of course…."
Seto let more relaxed eyes scrutinise the crowd again, taking a closer look now that he felt he had the time. People were dancing, sipping drinks, acting civilized as characteristic of a jazz club, looking normal enough, except for that punk standing not too far away, hair a furious red mixing with pitch black and blonde bangs, sticking up or hanging into his face. Strange taste, Seto mused, though it didn't look too bad on that guy.
He was about to look away when the other raised his head and their eyes met. Unintentionally, Seto furrowed his brow. Something about that gaze was odd, foreign but intriguing. Try as he might, he could not figure it out. With a shrug he averted his eyes, perhaps a second too late. He could feel those eyes still on him, a prickling sensation at the back of his neck. It annoyed him but glaring back now would make matters worse. Sooner or later the other would have to look away and that would be the end of the problem. Indeed, only a few seconds later, the strange sensation left him and he was almost sure the punk had turned away.
Having finished his drink he turned back to the bar and set his empty glass onto the wooden surface, only to find it replaced with a full one of startling crimson colour. With a glare, he addressed the bartender.
"Look, I'm not drunk enough for that kind of trick, trying to make me pay for something I didn't order"
"Geez", the bartender sighed, "Calm down, big boy, you're invited to taste tonight's special."
Seto snorted, "Invited by you? Thank you very much, but I'm not interested."
The blonde boy gave him an annoyed look. "No, as a matter of fact, you were invited by my buddy over here and now keep your mouth shut before I forget my good manners"
Narrowing his eyes at the boy, Seto's curiosity won out and he turned around to where the other had pointed his finger only to be greeted by the sight of the spiky haired punk smirking at him. He was standing closer now, close enough for Seto to be able to take in his body and clothing. Purple pants with a set of silver belts attached to them brought out his slim legs but what Seto noticed first was a black top that left his shoulders exposed. Written on it was in red letters,
'Your beauty leaves me speechless'
Seto raised his eyebrow. The second he had taken to admire the unusual outfit had been enough for the boy to notice his lack of repulse and now he was slowly stepping closer, taking his seat next to the brunet business man with a smile on his face. The bartender winked at the smaller boy and handed him another drink of the same crimson colour. When he turned to him again, Seto expected the punk to speak but he simply raised his glass, then brought it to his lips to slowly sip the colourful liquid, eyes never leaving Seto's. He could see now what had intrigued him about them. The punk's eyes were the same colour as the drink, a dark red that he had never seen before in a human face. An albino? Certainly not, his skin was too dark, deliciously tanned. Then it had to be contacts or a weird freak of nature.
Hesitantly, Seto began to nip on his own drink, mostly to escape that crimson gaze, but soon discovering that he liked the strange liquid a lot. They drank in silence and Seto wondered why that was so. Did the other expect him to make the second move after he had made the first? Wait, he didn't even want this to continue, he wouldn't make any moves at all. The strange silence they had settled in went from annoying to unbearable and still those eyes weren't leaving his, still he tried to avoid their gentle intensity. When he felt he could not stand the tension anymore he lifted his eyes to finally meet the others', and strangely, in that very second the uncomfortable feeling started to fade away, leaving only their eye contact, foreign but heavy, almost solid, and challenging. Then, suddenly, the other tipped his head back and emptied his glass. Noticing that his own, too, was almost devoid of the red drink, he followed the punk's example, setting it down onto the bar next to the other boy's.
"Well, thanks, I guess", he said, finally breaking the spell of silence.
The other didn't answer, simply nodded, smiling.
"Oh, I see. 'Your beauty leaves me speechless', hm?", Seto smirked. So the punk wanted to play a game. That was to his liking, he was a master of games and the idea of taking the letters on the black top so seriously was definitely new.
The smile didn't waver, holding an offer but also a number of secrets hidden in those eyes. A puzzle he was, and one that made Seto want to try to find the pieces and put them together.
Like an alarm bell reality all of a sudden rang in his mind, roused his vigilance from its sleep. This had being going on for far too long.
The reserved business smile slipped onto his face to replace the smirk that had indicated acceptance of the challenge, and he nodded his head, rising to feet and putting the cash onto the bar, leaving without so much as a glance at the other.
Again the strange boy surprised him by standing as well and falling into step next to him, skilfully winding through the crowd to accomplish staying by his side. When they passed the dance floor, he simply stepped in front of Seto, eyes full of demand. A game had been initiated and he made it clear that none of the players would back out. Torn between pushing the other out of the way and reaching out for him it was again the look into the other's eyes, an instant longer than necessary, that spared him the decision. The punk raised his hand, gracefully, ladylike, light teasing in his eyes, and so many secrets waiting for him.
Seto didn't take the offered hand, but turned and stepped onto the floor of polished wood where couples were wrapped in each others' arms, bodies swaying to the melody now coming from large speakers. His silent admirer recognised the grudging acceptance for what it was and followed.
He knew the song, had heard it before, believed to remember that it was called "Bewitched", thought that he discerned the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, an old recording, but all of that faded away entirely along with the other people, reducing the world to the crimson challenge and the purple movements. They were not holding each other and Seto saw yet another challenge in it. A fool could cling to his partner and follow his steps but dancing on his own was another thing altogether. It was a game he could master, although he was insecure at first about what to do with his hands. Then he simply orientated himself on the other dancer's movements, finding that the rest of his body moved on its own accord.
The song was too slow for his long imposing strides, but it matched the other's slim body and twisting hips. It was beyond Seto how a punk like him could move with so much elegance. He also suspected the long lashes were only half hiding those crimson orbs. The boy had to know he was watching, those movements couldn't be coincidental.
When a soft but insistently driving bass filled his ears signalling the beginning of another song, that tanned hand was raised again, repeating the offer, and this time it didn't seem surreal to take it and get lost in the dance, now dancing together, though not yet close.
"You give me fever…When you kiss me, fever when you hold me tight…."
The song was practically dripping with heat, Seto realised, as they spun around in slow, sensual circles, eyes never losing contact. A step back, a step to the side and with a smirk the shorter boy turned, his lack of height allowing him to draw Seto's hand over his head effortlessly and put it onto his stomach. So this was how they had ended up back to chest, Seto reflected, not quite touching, hips swaying left, then right, then left again.
"Fever….Till you sizzle - What a lovely way to burn…What a lovely way to burn…"
Gradually, the music faded away, leaving Seto in an uncomfortable position. Should he turn away, step back, let go of the other's hand or at least lift it from where it was touching the boy's shirt?
Hesitation, though, was his weakness today, giving the other the chance to twist is body awkwardly to suddenly face him, just as a new song started, slower than the first.
"Blue Moon, you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own…"
Those eyes were closer than they had ever been and oh so easy to sink into. It was as though they willed him to listen to the lyrics, the soft music, and he could almost taste the importance those words held to the young man whose hands were now on his sides.
Slowly inhaling, he noticed his own hands had slipped onto the other's hips. For lack of space to move them away, restrained by the punk's arms, he left them where they were, hoping the other couldn't feel the tiny indication of sweat from the last and much faster dance through the black fabric of his shirt.
"Blue Moon, you knew just what I was there for, you heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for…"
Seto felt heavy and light at the same time, strong and weak at the same time, hating and loving the feeling at the same time. Staring into deep wells of crimson promises, he distantly thought that he should go home, should go to sleep. Would he be able to sleep? Would those eyes haunt him?
It was not right, he reasoned, finding at the same time that he liked the thought of those eyes appearing in his dreams tonight. How disturbing. He needed to go, this was getting out of control.
The song was ending and this time he didn't hesitate to untangle himself from the other's arms, finding the other's eyes closed as he stood unmoving. Seto knew he should not care how lost the punk looked, standing like this, how vulnerable, how beautiful. Someone bumped into the boy, almost unbalancing him and Seto reached out to pull him out of the way. Dark eyelashes opened, a smile of thanks gracing supple lips. He nodded. Now he only had to turn away and leave. He really shouldn't be falling for that look anymore. And yet he found himself being led towards the bar again, found another glass of red liquid in front of him topped with the teasing smirk of the bartender who had most likely watched the scenario.
Shooting him a glare and turning away, Seto drank, faster this time. The annoying voice of the blonde man interrupted the silence.
"My buddy asked me to make the introductions. He thinks you would be interested in his name"
Seto grunted. It only occurred to him at this very moment that he didn't know how his dancing partner was called.
"Hey, you ungrateful git, he already paid for your second drink, you could at least look at him."
Strangely infuriated, Seto halfway spun around, placing his hands flat on the bar and hissing into the bartender's face, "Then tell him that I want to talk to him alone."
To his surprise the blonde didn't let himself be pushed into a fight but only gave him a small headshake, putting the glass he was drying with a soft cloth away and leaning closer.
"I don't think you'd manage, Mister", and hearing Seto's snarl he added, "Unless you know sign language"
"Sign language?", Seto demanded, louder than he had intended. "What kind of crazy game is that?"
Suddenly there was a light touch on his arm, and looking down he noticed that the punk had placed a tanned hand there. Raising his eyes to meet his, he saw the other smiling almost sadly. The hand that wasn't resting on his arm was lifted to the other's face, and placed on his lips, then on his throat, then resting over his heart. Then there was a headshake, slow but firm.
Seto cleared his throat, realisation dawning although his mind had not yet accepted the conclusion his brain was coming up with.
"You are….you can't speak?"
He received another headshake. No.
Unbelieving, he looked at the bartender, whose brown eyes were suddenly so much darker.
"Why can't he speak?"
"He's mute from birth", explained the other, slowly, "His vocal chords didn't develop right. But he's a great person and he manages quite well without his voice, you see." He reasserted his comment with a lopsided half-smile.
Seto was silent. This was not a secret he had expected to lie hidden within this boy. He was at a loss. For a brief moment it occurred to him that he could simply leave now, go home and let himself be haunted by those eyes for a few nights, then perhaps forget them as he settled into his normal routine.
He was still indecisive when he made the fatal mistake again. He looked up to meet those crimson eyes and again a challenge was waiting there, a different one now, laced with insecurity, with hope, with tension, with promises, but hiding nothing, offering everything for this one, single moment unguarded.
Closing his eyes, the look remained almost as vivid before his mental eye as it had been a second ago and suddenly leaving wasn't an option anymore, at least not now.
Allowing a slow smile to play around his lips he continued to stare into those eyes but addressed the bartender.
"What is his name then?"
"Yami", came the answer, unable to hide the bright beam the boy must be sprouting. "Yami Mutou"
Yami, smiling back at Seto in a way that had a strange tingle running up and down his back, performed a few casual hand movements in the bartender's direction.
"And he wants me to tell you that I'm Katsuya Jounouchi, but most people call me Jou. He wants to know if you like the drink."
"I do", Seto nodded at Yami, satisfied to see the smile widen as another hand movement signalled the next question.
"And your name would be?"
"Seto Kaiba", he said, without thinking, then quietly regretted spilling out detailed information about himself like this.
Yami looked surprised, almost as surprised as Jou sounded. "The CEO of Kaiba Corp, the game company? Man, I think I've never stopped dreaming about owning one of your duel disks! And I thought I had grown out of the duelling age! Yami and I used to play for hours, didn't we, bud?"
Continuing to look at Seto, Yami nodded, moved his hands. Jou laughed.
"He said he's sorry he doesn't have his cards with him so he could play with you. Such a child, ain't you, mate?"
Only for a second did Yami take his gaze away from Seto to beam at Jou and converse some more with him in sign language. Fascinated, Seto watched the exchange, feeling the odd desire to learn how to speak to Yami in this way.
His eyes fell onto the clock above the bar and widened in surprise. It was so late already? Damn, he had to get up early tomorrow!
"I have to go", he stated, standing. The two boys turned towards him, both faces holding confusion and apprehension in different degrees. "I have a company to run tomorrow", he smirked, and watched two pairs of tense shoulders relax.
A few determined waves of Yami's hands and fingers made the young bartender laugh as he winked at Seto. "He would like to escort you to the door. Good night, Kaiba. Night, buddy," he blew his friend a kiss, "And don't climb in the cars of strangers, no matter what they offer"
It was odd to travel through the crowd again with Yami at his side, it felt final, although Seto knew it wouldn't end there, that this night was only the beginning. But something was still waiting for him, he could feel it tingle in the air between them. How then could he be surprised at Yami's smirk as they stood outside of the club, his face barely illuminated as velvet darkness surrounded them? The street was silent, a soft wind was blowing and something inside him spilled over like hot, steaming water in a pot. Indeed, how could he be surprised at himself leaning down, feeling the singing drive of the inevitable, following instinct alone?
Their lips met, and for a moment simply rested unmoving, red and blue orbs wide with fascination at the electric shiver racing through both of them, then Yami's eyes slid shut as he tilted his head just a fraction, lips brushing softly against Seto's. Closer, was the taller boy's only thought as his arms went around a slim waist, and closer was what Yami's hands screamed as they roamed through Seto's hair, tugging their heads together as their lips moved, as their tongues touched gently, teasingly drawing back and returning. Then Yami lifted his head a bit, abandoning his mouth, kissing the tip of Seto's nose instead, then up the ridge, planting a last, chaste kiss onto his forehead. A wavering sigh escaped Seto's throat as Yami stepped back and when he opened his eyes there was a smile on his face that made him catch his breath.
An envelope was slid into the pocket of his trench coat, a fleeting peck on his cheek, then Yami was gone, back into the club, and he was alone.