October Twenty-Fifth

K+

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO or Silly String or anything.

This story was somewhat inspired by the Teen Titans episode, 'Birthmark.' But the only reference is the resentment of celebration. Nothing scary or cryptic.

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It was October in Domino. The wind blew coldly, the leaves on trees were turning orange, and the crisp autumn air snapped at Yugi's face as he walked home from school that day. That day October twenty-fourth.

"Brr!" he shivered when he got inside. "It is so freakin' cold out there!"

"You could help me sweep the shop, that ought to work up a sweat! Ho ho ho!" suggested Solomon, Yugi's grandpa.

"As thrilling a workout as that sounds, Grandpa, I have homework to do, so…bye!" Before he could escape to his room, he heard the jingle of the shop bell. Someone had come into the store.

"Why hello there!" said Solomon.

"Hi," said the customer, timidly. It was Mokuba.

"Hey, Mokuba!" said Yugi. His cheerfulness unnerved even the younger Kaiba at times. "How's it going?"

"Not so good, actually," admitted Mokuba. "Tomorrow is Seto's birthday, and I have no idea what to get him."

"Oh, I'm sure he'll like anything, Mokuba. As long as it's from you," said Yugi, trying his best not to sound like he was humoring the child.

"Are you kidding? All he ever does is work! The most practical gift I could get him is a fancy paperweight!" said Mokuba.

"Well, you could get him some plastic coverings for his Blue-Eyes," suggested Yugi, showing Mokuba a pack of them from off the shelves. "Except they come in packs of twelve…"

"Seto already keeps his cards in an air-tight safety-deposit box when he's not using them," said Mokuba. "But thanks for trying."

"What about a card? You could make him one-"

"Trust me, Seto wouldn't even notice if I gave him a card. He doesn't like normal things like C.D.s or video games, and I won't even discuss getting him a book," Mokuba said bitterly.

"Um, no offense, Mokuba, but…why didn't you think of this until the day before your brother's birthday?" asked Yugi.

"I was hoping by then he'd be in a good mood and want to do something fun for his birthday. But he's so wrapped up in work I'm surprised he hasn't lost all track of time."

"Well, I have no idea what you should give him, Mokuba. But Kaiba's not the type to get upset just because he didn't get a nice birthday present," said Yugi.

"You're right. Thanks anyway, Yugi. Bye!"

"Bye, Mokuba!"

"Yugi, I really admire the way you never give up trying to be friends with Kaiba," said Yugi's grandpa.

"I think deep down he's a good person. But we just have to dig a little- oh, I'll get it!" said Yugi as the phone rang. "Hello? Hi Joey! I was just going to start the homework, hold on. …Yeah. Mokuba just stopped by. Seems it's Kaiba's birthday tomorrow…" and Yugi went on upstairs.

The next day, Mokuba and Seto didn't acknowledge the significance of the day. Seto said nothing mainly because he didn't care that it was his own birthday, and Mokuba said nothing because he still hadn't found a decent present.

When Seto got to school, he was horrified to find a balloon tied to his locker. It said 'Happy Birthday!' (A/N: Well, of course it that's what it said.) and the ribbon tied to it was all curled. Seto only growled under his breath and got out a pen from his pocket.

People in the hall turned and looked as they heard a loud POP. Seto ignored the shattered remains of the balloon, opened his locker, removed the necessary contents, and slammed it again.

"Yeesh! Some gratitude," said Joey, from around the corner. "Not dat I expected anything else from Rich Boy!"

"Come on, Joey," said Yugi. "Maybe we can get him to loosen up." And off they went to class.

Yugi, Joey, Tristan, Tea and Duke pretended they didn't know about the balloon. Seto of course, knew it had to have been on of those 'geeks,' as he referred to them.

It wasn't until lunchtime that things really got out of control. As Seto walked down the halls to go eat lunch in peace somewhere, he was assaulted. Sort of.

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAIBA!" came some voices. Seto managed to use his arms to block the Silly String™ attack. Yugi, Joey, Duke, Tristan and even Tea were giggling madly as they sprayed colorful string onto Seto. When the cans ran out they gave him a chance to come up for air.

Seto was furious. Absolutely pissed. He combed the Silly String™ off his face and swept it off his torso while barely containing his rage.

"Hey, how about a thank-you?" said Joey. "It's nice dat we remembered your-"

"How did you know it was my birthday?" he demanded.

"Uh…Mokuba told me," said Yugi. "So…you're…seventeen?" Seto was seventeen and on the end of his rope.

"What is WRONG WITH YOU GEEKS?" he yelled. "Of all the efforts you've made to gain my friendship, why in the world would you think THIS would work?"

"Sorry, Kaiba," said Tristan.

"No, really!" said Seto. "Giving me some dorky balloon was one thing, but did you actually think you were going to get away with spraying me with your childish string?" Yugi looked as if he was about to cry. Even he had to admit…he'd really screwed up.

"Oh lighten up, Kaiba!" yelled Joey, standing up for Yugi. "Why don't you take a flying leap into Lake Asshole!"

"Why don't YOU walk yourself back to the pound?" Seto countered. Then, he stomped off into the Boys' room.

"Yugi," said Tristan. "I knew this was a bad idea, but since it was yours, I think you better go fix it."

"Why me?"

"Because Kaiba won't beat you up. You're half his size!" said Duke.

"Okay…" Yugi sighed as he pushed open the door.

Seto was looking in the mirror, pulling the bits of string out of his hair. When Yugi came in, he rolled his eyes. "Can I at least have some privacy, Yugi?" he growled.

"I'm sorry, Kaiba. It's just that…we really wanted you to lighten up. I mean, we've never seen you happy. Content? Sure. Proud? Constantly. But we hoped you'd loosen up. For us…"

"It's not my job to entertain you with my feelings, Yugi. Why can't you just leave me alone!"

"Kaiba…" said Yugi. "Mokuba came by the shop yesterday…he was looking for a gift for you."

"So?"

"So you may not like celebrating, but he does. You can treat my friends and me like dirt, but please don't mistreat Mokuba!" said Yugi.

"I was hoping he'd forget this day…" grumbled Seto. "Now will you please leave me alone?"

Yugi merely nodded and left.

That afternoon, Seto went down to his office. Still pissed off from the day, he just wanted to bury himself in work, and forget about it all.

But then Mokuba came in.

"Seto…?" he asked timidly.

"What?" sighed Seto.

"Um…I…I got you this," he said. He held a neatly wrapped present for his brother.

"Thanks," said Seto, bitterly. Mokuba bit his lip as Seto removed the wrapping paper. A grin crept across Seto's face. "Thank you, Mokuba," he said. "It's perfect."

Mokuba's face lit up and he gave his brother a big hug. "I'm so glad," he whispered. "I was afraid you'd hate whatever I got you."

"Mokuba, I'd treasure anything you'd have given me," said Seto, returning the hug.

"You mean it?"

"Of course I do."

"Cool! So what are we going to do to celebrate? We could-"

"No, Mokuba. This is still my birthday and I intend to spend it working," said Seto. Mokuba sighed.

"Okay then. Happy Birthday, Big Brother!" he said as he left.

Later that night, Seto worked contently, while drinking coffee from his new present; a mug that said

'Damn, I'm good.'

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My sister actually has a mug like that. Please review, thanks!