Authors Note: So I was going through some old notebooks and I found this, which I wrote about three years ago, I think.
I know Halloween isn't celebrated world wide, and I hope it doesn't bother anyone that the residents of Domino celebrate it in this fanfic. This was written just as a fun piece to show my love of both Halloween and the Kaiba brothers. As always, reviews are appreciated. If you do leave a comment or critique, I'd also love to hear if you have a great costume planned for this year.
Happy Halloween, and I hope you enjoy!
---Why I Don't Mind Halloween
I know what people are thinking.
They see the looming mansion, with the garden lamps lighting the path to our grandiose door. They see our bay windows, the glass a pristine wall between our home and the dusk.
And then they learn the residents of this lavish house are mere 'children', and they smile.
I know what those people are thinking; that our house will be the jackpot on Halloween.
But really, just because I run my own multimillion dollar business, does that mean I'll hand out king sized candy bars to any visiting freak?
Well, yes. But that's Mokuba's fault.
My little brother is currently pacing the foyer, his navy cape billowing with each turn. From my seat at the desk in our living room, I can watch him while I work on the latest diagnostics on my computer. A headache is starting to build behind my eyes, so I take a moment to close them. I can still hear Mokuba's steps, and can still see him behind my eyelids.
This year he is dressed as Lord of Dragons, and the detail he has put into his costume is impressive. I don't know how many servants he used his pleading eyes on, but I certainly didn't help him make it. Every year he likes to keep his costume a surprise for me. This morning is the first time I saw it; he came bounding down the stairs while I was drinking my coffee. I nearly spat it out when I saw my brother in a navy body suit adorned with bone armor, his hair pressed down around his face by a dragon-skull helmet.
Mokuba had noticed my reaction, of course. Nothing gets by him. "Forgot it was Halloween, big brother?" He laughed and spun around to better show off the cape. "Can you guess who I am?"
"Hn, I think the real question is: can you summon a dragon?"
Mokuba gave another grin and pulled a flute of summoning dragon out from under the cape. Before I could protest the flute was at his mouth. The resulting sound was somewhere between a foghorn and a dying cat.
"It's a great costume, Mokuba," I said when the ringing in my ears had stopped. "But please don't blow the flute again, all right?"
Mokuba spent the rest of the day preparing for trick-or-treaters. We get many- more and more each year. I remember that none came when Gozaburro was around, and despite my dislike for the event, I am proud that Mokuba has inspired such change.
The first Halloween after Gozaburro died crept up on me. I didn't even remember the holiday until my secretary brought a small pumpkin to decorate her desk. I came home that night wondering if Mokuba would ask me to take him trick-or-treating. I wondered if I would take him if he asked. I hated the thought of moving from house to house, standing silently behind Mokuba and doing my best to melt into the shadows, so I had just made up my mind to let him down gently when Mokuba surprised me by asking to hand out candy instead. Perhaps he anticipated my reaction to the holiday.
I remember how nervous he was that evening. He asked me several times if anyone would come, and I shared his doubts. Gozaburro was not fond of children, and kept the gates closed on Halloween. Why would anyone bother to approach the house this year?
Both of our worries were put to rest when a group from Mokuba's class came. My little brother was so relieved that he loaded their bags with handfuls of chocolate, chatting happily with his costumed classmates. Watching his expression, I too was relieved.
I glance up to see that Mokuba has stopped pacing and is looking at me with concern. "What is it?" I ask.
The gruffness of my question doesn't faze him. "You should take a break," he tells me. "You've been working too much, as always." He crosses his arms and looks at me sternly.
Sighing, I turn off the computer. I need a break, so there is no use aggravating my headache by arguing. When I stand up I get a wave of vertigo, but Mokuba has turned away and doesn't notice me stumble.
I make it to the couch and sit down gratefully. Mokuba crawls up next to me and leans against my shoulder. For a moment neither of us move, and I get the feeling we are both savoring the moment.
Finally he starts fidgeting again. "Shouldn't people be here by now?"
"The sun is still setting," I assuage. "Soon they'll come in droves." Absently, I pluck his helmet off his head and place it on mine. I'm rewarded with a brilliant grin.
My words become prophesy when the doorbell rings. Instantly Mokuba is swinging the door open. I can't see the trick-or-treaters from where I sit, but I can see Mokuba as he happily distributes candy. The sounds of the visitors and my brother seem to fade as I rest my head on the back of the couch. My eyes shut on their own accord.
I'm drifting somewhere between worlds, dark and comfortable. There are voices, faintly recognizable, and I listen to them without catching the meanings of their words.
"Hey, Mokuba! I love your costume!"
"That's a duel monster, right?"
"He's the Lord of Dragons, Anzu. So... can you summon any dragons?"
"Yup! Watch this!"
The piercing blast of Mokuba's 'flute' drives right through my dream, waking me instantly. I bolt upright, then rub my hand over my eyes. Irritated at loosing my peaceful rest, I stand up carefully and stalk towards my brother. Mokuba should know better - after all, he's the one constantly bugging me to sleep more.
"I told you not to blow that thing," I growl.
Mokuba ignores me, grinning at the visitors at the door. "See, I summoned the Blue Eyes White Dragon!"
Irritation turns to surprise when I see the new trick-or-treaters. Anzu and Yugi are at the front of the group. Anzu is wearing a simple black dress with large monarch butterfly wings stretching out behind her. Jonouchi stands, slightly hidden by the wings. He is sporting a grin to match Mokuba's, along with a pair of horns sprouting from his wild blond hair. Honda and Yugi seem to be the only ones with sanity remaining; they're just in street clothes.
I'm all set to humiliate the group bold enough to come here, but Jonouchi speaks up first.
"Nice hat, Kaiba"
Huh? Oh, no... A faint blush creeps to my face; something I'd normally be able to control. Without a word, I take off the dragon helmet and toss it back to my brother. His eyes are trying to tell me something, but my mind still feels too foggy to sort it out.
Yugi breaks the awkward silence. "We wanted to stop by and see how you and Mokuba were doing. You haven't been in school lately, Kaiba."
I stare at Yugi. Of course he would notice - and even worry - that I've been absent from classes. But now the whole group is watching me. I glare at Yugi. "I have a company to run," I state coldly and leave the room. Once out of their sight, I sink back onto the couch. I feel even more exhausted than I did before my nap.
Apparently the mutt took offense at my exit, because I can hear him growling vague insults. Never mind that he's at my house, of course. Yugi chides his friend gently, and then Mokuba is speaking.
"Don't be mad at Seto," he says. "He's been very tired lately, and grumpier than normal. The doctors say he has mono. Until he gets better, he's dropping school so he can still oversee Kaiba Corp and sleep more, and of course spend time with me."
I close my eyes in frustration. Why does Mokuba feel the need to tell those geeks everything about our lives? Maybe they'll leave and stay away if I exaggerate mono's contagiousness.
"Oh, that's too bad," Anzu sympathizes. The rest of them make various sounds of agreement. Unfortunately, none of them sound nervous. "Why didn't he tell us? We'd be happy to help out." Again, the noises of agreement. Is Anzu their collectives' spokesperson? Sometimes that group seems more like the Borg than anything. I imagine Yugi concluding a friendship speech with 'Resistance is futile', and shake my head. I want to laugh, but I'd probably end up scaring Mokuba.
So instead I school my voice into low growl. "Are you going to stand there all night? You're letting out all the heat. Do you have any idea how much it costs to heat this house?"
Joey grumbles something about me and hot air at the same time Mokuba says, cheerfully, "Oh, I didn't mean to be rude! Come in!"
No! No, no, no, no...
I love Mokuba. He is the single most valuable thing in my life. But I've made it abundantly clear that... surely he knows how I feel about... damn it!
I swallow back my anger and get to my feet. I won't ruin this day for Mokuba, but I won't show weakness in front of my rivals, either. My computer offers a handy barricade to place between me and my intruders, so I walk to it as quickly as I can without looking as if I am fleeing. I turn it on before Mokuba can protest. It doesn't stop him from flashing me a reproachful look as he leads his friends into our house, though.
It's late. There's school tomorrow, and I know I should tell Mokuba to go to bed. I don't, though, and so he's sitting beside me as I stare out my bedroom window. The moon is full and a coppery red, looking as haunted as this special night. Everything feels heavy, including the weight of Mokuba's eyes on me.
"I noticed," I say softly, "that Yugi and his friends didn't have any candy or bags when they arrived here. Which means that they weren't trick-or-treating. Which also means that they came here specifically." I tear my eyes away from the haunted moon and look pointedly at my brother.
Mokuba nods. "I figured you'd notice. I invited them. I'm sorry I didn't tell you."
I can't help but feel angry. "I realize you might want to go out and have fun on Halloween. If you wanted to trick-or-treat that badly, just tell me! I would have let you go with them!"
"No. You don't understand." Mokuba hops up from his chair and paces away from me. It's a habit of his that allways reminds me of our father. I clamp down on the urge to tell him to stand still as Mokuba continues. "Yugi called here yesterday. He invited me to his house for a Halloween party, but I turned him down."
"Why? I know you want-"
"I wanted to have fun." He interrupts me, voicing my own thoughts. I fall silent. There's something painful and quiet growing in my heart. Mokuba looks at me from where he has stopped. He's smiling. "But more importantly, I wanted to spend Halloween with you."
The pain eases immediately. Mokuba walks back towards me, and sits on my lap. My arms go around him automatically, and soon we're curled in an affectionate hug. "I know you don't like them, big brother," he whispers, "but I didn't know how else to get what I wanted. So I asked him to come by. Sorry for being selfish."
"You weren't. You deserved it. You really spoil me, don't you?"
Mokuba snorts. "Like you wouldn't believe. You have no idea what most big brothers have to deal with."
I grin. It feels like the first real smile I've had in ages. "Happy Halloween, Mokie."