A/N: Well, here I am with another Yu-Gi-Oh! fic. Yay I suppose. It's just a random little one-shot that I've been working on because Seto's birthday is only two days after mine (I'm Oct. 23 and he's Oct. 25). Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I don't own any of the awesome characters mentioned in this fanfiction.
Warnings: Mild shounen-ai
Seto sat in his usual rigid position in front of the high-tech computer in his office adjacent to his bedroom, his fingers busily clacking on the keyboard in an attempt to finish his computer program by the end of the evening. He had been working on the program consistently for the past few months, so it was about time he got it finished.
He kept his eyes glued to the screen as he typed, not even bothering to notice anything going on around him. Had he simply turned to his left and gazed out the window for even a moment, he would have seen that for the first time that day the thick layer of wispy clouds was finally beginning to disperse, allowing a few bright rays of warm sunlight to pass through. But Seto' s only concern with the weather had been the temperature; and he had earlier shut the window to prevent the entrance of any chilly autumn air, therefore solving the problem.
Seto paused and leaned forward, placing his elbows on the edge of the desk so he could rest his forehead against his folded hands. Now that he was no longer typing, he was able to hear the faint murmur of a television drifting in from somewhere across the hall. He couldn't be sure of exactly where it was coming from, though. There were so many televisions located throughout the many rooms of the Kaiba mansion that Seto had lost track of the number long ago. But it didn't really make much of a difference since Mokuba was always the one watching them.
Seto was about to turn back to his work when he heard the playful laughter of his younger brother, which caused a tiny smile to find its way onto his usually frowning lips. The raven-haired boy was most likely watching cartoons, as he so often did while Seto was working.
This last thought instantly erased the smile from the young CEO's expression, replacing it with a frustrated scowl. He could barely remember the last time he had actually spent the day with Mokuba that wasn't completely filled with interruptions of him running off to work or answering phone calls from Kaiba Corp. about how he needed to handle something one of his idiotic employees had screwed up. By now Seto was immune to the boredom of performing the tedious tasks of running a highly successful company, but he bet Mokuba wasn't. He always dreaded the crestfallen look he received when he had to cancel any plans, even if it was something as simple as a trip to the movie theatre. But today, Mokuba had seemed more disappointed than ever and Seto was having a rather difficult time trying to wipe the flicker of sadness he saw in the young boy's large, dark eyes from his memory.
"I know you didn't want me to work today, Mokuba, but this is the only chance I'll have to finish the programming for my new virtual gaming system," Seto had tried to explain that morning, which had proved to be much more difficult than he had previously anticipated.
"But niisama!" Mokuba had argued, jumping up from the kitchen table so abruptly that he nearly knocked his chair to the floor. "You can't work today! You have to at least take a day off on your birthday!"
"I run an entire company," Seto had replied with a small shake of his head. "Everything doesn't just stop for a day because I turn one year older."
Seto shook his head in an attempt to clear his thoughts and decided that he was better off returning to work before he became lost in a sea of unpleasant memories and ended up falling behind. He shouldn't bother thinking about things that he couldn't change anyway.
As he lifted his eyes back to the computer screen, his vision blurred and he was forced to look back down at his hands. It wasn't until now that he realized how tired he was from staying up late the past few nights, probably achieving an average of three or four hours. Just a bit less than the recommended eight to ten. But he would have to catch up on those lost hours later, because he still had a program to write. He placed his slender fingers back onto the keyboard, but hadn't pressed a single key when there was a knock at the door.
"Mokuba, I'm still working," Seto interrupted, "Can you wait a little while?"
"I know that, niisama," Mokuba called back, "I don't need anything."
Seto sighed, now slightly irritated. He was about to scold Mokuba for bothering him for no important reason when the young boy added another statement that Seto never would have expected.
"Yuugi's here to see you."
Seto turned to the closed door and for a minute he was unable to speak. He had no idea why Yuugi had come to visit him, but he had no time to ponder this because before he was able to utter a word Mokuba had already thrown the door open. He motioned for Yuugi to enter before walking off, most likely to go back to the cartoon he had been watching before the unexpected guest had arrived.
"Konnichiwa, Kaiba-kun," Yuugi said cheerfully as he walked up to where Seto was sitting. Seto inexpressively looked up at the small boy without responding, since he was still at a loss for words.
When Seto didn't even offer so much as a greeting, Yuugi looked down at the floor and his cheeks turned a light shade of pink.
"H-happy birthday," he said shyly, obviously indicating that he felt extremely uncomfortable at the moment.
Seto suddenly felt the muscles in his jaw begin to loosen, but fortunately he was able to regain control just before his mouth dropped wide open. The two simple words of "happy birthday" coming from someone else's mouth other than Mokuba's sounded so foreign that at first Seto believed he had imagined it. After all, lack of sleep had the power to create hallucinations, didn't it? So that meant the Yuugi he saw was nothing more than some strange delusion created by his sleep-deprived mind. That was the only reasonable explanation he could think of because the chances of his rival Yuugi Mutou walking into his office and wishing him a happy birthday was so impossible that it had to be some sort of psychological illusion.
Hoping to rid himself of the apparition, Seto shut his eyes and roughly massaged the bridge of his nose with his thumb and index finger. But when he looked back up, the small teen was still standing before him, a bit of concern now showing in his large, amethyst eyes.
"Kaiba-kun? Are you okay?" Yuugi asked slowly, taking a small step forward.
"I'm fine," Seto said rather harshly, which had been the first two words that had escaped from his mouth since Yuugi had arrived. And now that his voice had returned to him he was also able to manage, "What are you doing here?"
Of course he knew what Yuugi was doing there because he had just said so. But there had to be some other explanation. If the Yuugi standing in his office at that very moment was in fact Yuugi Mutou and not a figment of Seto's imagination, then he wanted to know exactly why he had just been wished a happy birthday by him. Considering that the two of them had been rivals for years now and Seto wasn't exactly very pleasant to him and his friends, Yuugi was in the position of someone who should hold at least some amount of malice towards the cold-hearted CEO of Kaiba Corp. He knew that Yuugi didn't, though, because the cheerful young boy seemed unable to hold any sort of grudge towards anyone no matter what the circumstances. But despite his overly-friendly nature, his present actions still seemed to be, for lack of better words, odd.
Yuugi's eyes drifted down to his shoes as his face became a bright red only a few shades lighter than the tips of his tri-colored hair. He nervously shifted from his right foot to his left, then back to his right, continuing his awkward swaying a few times before he had gathered the courage necessary to look Seto in his icy blue eyes.
"Well…since today is your birthday…" he began, pausing every few words, possibly to contemplate what to say next, though Seto couldn't tell for sure. "I was just…y'know…wondering if…"
Unconsciously, Seto began to impatiently tap his finger on the edge of his desk. He was becoming more and more agitated with every second Yuugi spoke and failed to state the point of his visit, because the sooner he got it out, the sooner he could leave. And then Seto would be left in peace to get back to the work waiting right beside him.
Yuugi continued to speak, his words still coming in slow, short spurts. His gaze had returned to the direction of the floor.
"Maybe you wanted to…um…go do something with me and my friends?"
It was at this moment that Seto's mind went completely blank, and if he had tried to say anything the only thing that would have come from his mouth would have been a jumble of nonsensical syllables. But a portion of his brain must have been working on auto-pilot because he suddenly heard himself say, "No."
Yuugi's expression briefly faltered and he dropped his head even lower until Seto could no longer see his face.
"I just thought it might me fun," Yuugi said meekly, unable to mask the disappointment in his voice.
"Can't you see that I'm working?" Seto asked almost angrily, still unaware of his words until after they had slipped from his mouth.
"Yes…but it might be fun to take a little break," Yuugi suggested, looking up once again and revealing the hopelessness in his expression.
In an instant, all of Seto's frustration, irritation, and fatigue caught up to him at the exact same time. He stood up so that he was now towering over the other teen as he stared through him with his cold eyes.
"I know you don't know what it's like to run a multi-million dollar company, because if you did, you wouldn't be coming to bother me about doing something as trivial as hanging out with your second-rate friends!" Seto blurted, the level of his voice beginning at a normal volume and gradually rising until he was practically yelling.
"Kaiba-kun…" Yuugi said so softly that it was nearly inaudible. But it might as well have been because Seto kept going.
"And even if I did have any spare time on my hands, I'd want to spend it with Mokuba!" he continued. He saw Yuugi flinch as if he had been physically hurt, but Seto didn't make any effort to stop himself. "Why in the world would you even think that of all the people on this earth, I'd choose to associate myself with you, the mutt, and the other two!"
As soon as the last word had slipped out of his mouth, Seto finally became fully conscious of his actions. His senses returned just in time to see Yuugi take a step backwards in surprise.
"Gomen, Kaiba-kun. Never mind," Yuugi mumbled quickly before turning around and departing from the room so fast Seto barely had a chance to take a breath and refill his lungs after everything he had just said.
Without a single thought, Seto instinctively returned to his computer chair, sitting down and blankly staring at the monitor for what seemed like hours. Almost as if he were being controlled by some outside force, his hands raised and his fingers placed themselves in their proper position on the smooth black keys of the keyboard. But this was as far as they went. The work needed to get done, he knew that, but his fingers wouldn't type. All he seemed capable of doing right now was sitting motionless and staring at his computer while the events of the past few minutes replayed themselves over and over until he thought his head was going to explode.
He struggled to regain his focus, but the second his mind was clear, he became annoyed with how unnaturally quiet the office was. The only sound he could hear was the steady hum of his computer which was now reverberating in his head. But when he closed his eyes in an attempt to shut out the annoying buzzing, the image of Yuugi's crestfallen face appeared before his eyes.
Seto scowled. He'd ridiculed, mocked, and belittled Yuugi and all his friends numerous times in the past. So why was he being bothered by it now? He used to be able to blatantly insult all of them without a second thought. But this time he just felt so…empty.
Now more and more questions began to form themselves in his mind. Had Yuugi really come there just to invite him to hang out? Or was there some other underlying reason? And why had he seemed so crushed when Seto had turned him down? Better yet, why had he reacted so strongly in the first place? Why did he feel so bad about it now? Did he have some sort of problem that caused him to be hostile towards everyone except his own flesh and blood? After all, Mokuba was the only person he didn't judge and ridicule every chance he got.
A shot of pain suddenly burst through his temples and Seto bent forward to clutch his forehead in his hands. He had never been so confused before in his life and the feeling was highly unpleasant to say the least. Especially because it had just caused him to acquire a pounding headache.
He looked back to the screen of his computer, where the tiny cursor that marked where he had left off was blinking as a constant reminder that his program remained unfinished. All he'd planned to do that day was work on the program and get it completed so that he could finally take it off his overwhelmingly long list of things to do. He thought that even maybe, since it was a special occasion, he'd be able to watch a movie with Mokuba before he went to sleep. Not in a million years would he have thought that he'd end up sitting in front of his computer with a dreadful migraine, and not working, but thinking of Yuugi Mutou.
His work needed to be done, but it would never get to that point if Seto's conscience kept eating away at him like it was. So with this in mind, the tall CEO stood up from his seat and walked out of the room and the mansion without so much as a word. His program would have to wait, at least for a little while, because he currently had other business to attend to.
Ten minutes later, the limo had pulled in front of the Kame Game Shop. He had only been here once before, and Seto grimaced at the memory. It was that one trip to the game shop which had led to his first Duel Monsters defeat by Yuugi. He would never forget that.
"You're dismissed for now," Seto told the driver as he exited the limo. "I'll send for you when I need to."
With that said, the driver took off, leaving Seto to do what needed to be done, although he wasn't quite certain about what that was. One thing was for sure, though, and this was the fact that nothing would be accomplished if he stood there all day and did nothing. So he walked in the direction of the shop entrance, figuring his first step should be to go inside. He could decide what to do next afterwards.
He neared the door, but right before he reached it, it swung open. And standing in the doorway, looking unbelievably irritated by his presence, was none other than Katsuya Jounouchi. Seto's first thought was to feign unawareness of the blonde's very existence and push right past him, but Jounouchi had purposely blocked the entranceway.
"Get outta here, Kaiba!" Jounouchi snapped, his eyes glaring angrily from beneath his mop of tawny hair.
"Move, mutt," Seto said in response.
Jounouchi didn't budge an inch. Instead, he slightly spread the position of his feet to widen his stance as he folded his arms across his chest.
"What the hell are you doing here, anyway?" he demanded, narrowing his eyes even further.
"That's none of your concern," Seto answered in his usual emotionless tone. He hadn't raised his voice yet, but Jounouchi was already trying his patience. In all honesty he really didn't know why he was there, but he wasn't about to let a lowly dog like Jounouchi know that.
Jounouchi was making him highly aggravated, but he wasn't going to resort to force when none was necessary. The two of them stood there and attempted to stare the other one down in an obvious stalemate. Seto had never been one to give up easily, but the blonde seemed to have no intention of backing down, either.
"I'm not moving," Jounouchi announced finally, confirming Seto's previous assumption. "So you're just wasting your time."
Knowing from previous experience that Jounouchi was highly stubborn and would refuse to back down once he had decided to do something, especially if that something involved doing anything to inconvenience Seto, he deemed the staring contest pointless and walked away without a word. Jounouchi may have won this round, but that is only because he had been right and Seto was wasting his time by just standing there in a futile attempt to get the headstrong blonde to move.
Seto pulled his cell phone from the inside of his trench coat, ready to call his driver back. But just before he heard the door of the shop shut, he heard Jounouchi call out, "Uh, nobody, Yuuge', don't worry about it."
Don't think you can get rid of me so easily, make inu, Seto thought to himself, dropping the cell phone back into his pocket and walking across the street where he could bide his time.
Seto could barely believe he was actually doing this, but here he was, sitting in his limo waiting for Jounouchi to leave the game shop. He had previously planned to stay across the street by himself, but he then thought better of that. The mutt may have been stupid, but he would surely notice if Seto was standing in plain sight. So he had gone ahead and called his driver back, giving specific orders to park in the empty lot across the street and announce if a brainless-looking blond boy exited the door of the game shop. He figured this way, he had a much better chance of remaining undiscovered.
Finally, after waiting for at least forty-five minutes, Jounouchi finally emerged from the shop door, waving a quick goodbye as he left. Just as Seto had thought, the blonde didn't even glance in the direction of the parked limo where Seto was waiting. As soon as Jounouchi had finally disappeared from sight, Seto stepped out and dismissed the driver once more before making his way to his destination.
As he stepped inside the modest shop of toys and cards, accompanied by the gentle ringing of the bell above the door, the same question that had been in his mind since he set off for Yuugi's home resurfaced. Why was he even here? He still had no idea whatsoever, but he was hoping that by the time this visit was over, he will have found the answer.
"I'll be with you in a minute!" he heard Yuugi call from the back room. A few seconds later he appeared in the doorway with a large cardboard box in his arms, which he nearly lost hold of the instant he saw Seto.
"Kaiba-kun," he said quietly, obviously startled at Seto's arrival. But it was understandable, considering the way Seto had treated him only an hour ago.
Seto tried to formulate an explanation for why he was there. But of course, he had no answer for himself, so there was no possible way to provide one for Yuugi.
"I'm sorry if I bothered you earlier," Yuugi apologized slowly, avoiding eye contact with his visitor by fixing his gaze on the box in front of him. For some reason, those words caused an uneasy feeling in the pit of Seto's stomach as a wave of remorse washed over him.
"Just forget about that," Seto said with a quick shake of his head, trying to mask how terribly sick he felt at the moment. "I came because I had less work than I realized. And since I had nothing else to do, I figured I might as well take you up on your offer."
Yuugi's face instantly brightened when he heard these words. And as a smile slowly spread across his lips, Seto felt some of his weighted guilt being lifted from his shoulders.
"What about Mokuba? You said that if you had free time, you would rather do something with him."
Seto hadn't thought of this. But his mind was quick enough to formulate a plausible answer.
"He went over to a friend's house for a few hours."
Yuugi nodded in understanding. "Oh, okay. But…my friends already left."
Even better, Seto thought to himself, but instead said, "Well, if you want me to leave, I'll go."
"You don't have to!" Yuugi said quickly and at a volume that could almost be considered a shout. He must have done this unintentionally, because after the exclamation had spilled from his mouth, he blushed and looked down to the floor. Seto pretended he hadn't noticed the small boy's obvious embarrassment.
"I guess I could stay for a little while, then."
"Um…okay," Yuugi said, looking up slightly to show a weak smile. "I don't have a cake or anything, but I think I still have some cupcakes in the kitchen."
Seto shrugged. "That's fine."
As he followed Yuugi through a second door in the back of the shop, he couldn't help wondering why he was going along with all this. He'd thought that all he needed to do was alleviate his guilt by making Yuugi happy so he could go back to work. But now he had just agreed to have a cupcake when he was still feeling just a tad queasy.
When they arrived in the small, ordinary kitchen, filled with only the bare minimum of appliances, such as an oven, microwave, and a few other items, Yuugi motioned for Seto to take a seat at the round table situated in the center of the room. He did so, and busied himself by studying the wooden surface of the table until Yuugi sat down across from him with a plate containing two chocolate cupcakes. Luckily, Yuugi had saved both of them some embarrassment by deciding not to light a bunch of birthday candles and burst into song.
Seto felt his stomach turn when he laid eyes on the dessert. Despite the fact that the chocolate itself looked so rich it would probably be enough to make ten children hyper, it was topped with a white frosting that was most likely composed of pure sugar. Seto hadn't shoved anything so unhealthy down his throat since he was a young child, and he would only allow Mokuba to have this kind of a teeth-rotting sweet if it was a very special occasion. But considering that he had come this far, he might as well take at least a bite to appease the boy sitting in front of him. He just hoped he wouldn't throw it up soon afterwards.
"You can go ahead and eat now," Yuugi said.
Holding back a grimace, Seto slowly brought the cupcake to his mouth and took a small bite. He had greatly underestimated the amount of frosting on his "treat," however, and ended up with a thick line of it across his top lip.
"I need a napkin," he said with a frown. He must have looked ridiculous right now and he simply couldn't stand to appear as anything less than his best in front of others.
"No, I'll get it," Yuugi said as he clumsily climbed onto the table on all fours. Before Seto could even comprehend what the teen was doing, he felt a warmth on his lips and it wasn't until Yuugi pulled back that he realized he had just been kissed.
Seto sat there in pure shock, and Yuugi quickly took the opportunity to slide himself to the back of the table and out of the brunette's reach. He must have anticipated for Seto to attack him for his actions, because he was sitting alert and ready to run if Seto were to have a negative reaction.
But instead, the young CEO took a glob of frosting with his finger and approached Yuugi, who now seemed partly confused and very uneasy. Seto smirked as he spread the white frosting across Yuugi's mouth, then preceded to press their lips together again, not caring how much he hated the taste of the sugar paste as he greedily licked it from Yuugi's lips.
When they pulled away a moment later, both were partly out of breath and spots of frosting were still clinging to the corners of their mouths.
"I'm glad you decided to invite me over," Seto said with a grin.
Yuugi smiled back and briefly stuck out his tongue to clean off a bit more of the sugary mess. "Happy birthday, Kaiba-kun," Yuugi whispered.
Seto leaned back in once more to get the rest of the frosting he had left behind. Now he knew why he had come here, and he was truly grateful that he had stuck around long enough to figure it out.
A/N: For those of you who are unfamiliar with Japanese terms…
Make inu-Pathetic dog
So that's it. I know it wasn't that great, but I wanted to post more than one thing today on account of it being my birthday. Woohoo! So what are you all waiting for? REVIEW!