Disclaimer – I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!
*Rated M for Mature
Chapter 22 – Sunday
What is love?
That's the question Seto kept asking himself as he stared at Joey, who was currently sleeping next to him in bed. The blond's hair was tussled cutely around his face, showing off his adorable lips. His Puppy meant the world to him, but how could he truly express how he felt if he wasn't even sure what love was?
It wasn't about sex. Sure, their relationship was strengthened during the intimacy they shared with one another, but that wasn't all there was. And attraction only went so far. They'd get old and wrinkly one day and then where would they be?
Seto knew something was there between them, some unseen bond that held them together, making them one. But he could not for the life of him tell what that was! What was it that made them…click?
"What's got you so deep in thought?" inquired Joey sleepily as he yawned and turned to face Seto.
"There is something. You avoid eye contact and you frown when there's something you don't want me to know," continued the blond.
Well…his Puppy sure had him pegged. "I was just wondering…"
"Go on," Joey encouraged him.
"What is…love?" Seto collapsed with his back against the pillows as he stared up at the ceiling. He was waiting for Joey to respond. He was waiting for his reaction: hurt, pain, sadness…laughter?
"Seto, is that all?" the blond chuckled.
"It's not funny!" the brunet declared.
"I'm sorry," said Joey, his laughter subsiding. "It's just that…you're thinking about a question that's been asked since the beginning of time. Love has no definite answer and it probably never will."
"But…we say that we love each other…and express it, but how do we know it's…really love."
The blond had to admit, he was surprised. He'd never seen Seto so…insecure. "What brought this on?"
Seto shrugged his shoulders. "I don't know. I guess I feel like…I haven't done right by you."
"Do you know what I think love is?" Joey asked thoughtfully.
"Sure, but I have to say, it's a step up from how you felt the past two days."
The blond ignored his statement and continued. "I think love means being together. It means sharing your joys and your sorrows with one another…you understand each other. And if need be, you'll give each other space yet be there for each other regardless. Five years from now, ten years from now, the way we feel about each other won't be the same. I know that for a fact."
Seto looked disheartened. "Are you saying that we won't love each other like we do now?"
"Exactly," added Joey. He had to fight a smile when the brunet's expression plummeted. "Because we'll love each other a whole lot more. The longer we're together, the stronger our relationship will grow and our love will blossom even more."
His Dragon beamed, but there was an odd look in his eyes. "You just managed to manipulate me."
"I learn from the best," teased Joey. "But I meant what I said. Our love can only grow stronger from now on and not the other way around, Seto. Sure, we'll probably argue from time to time, but as long as we spend as much time fixing the problem as we do arguing about it, we'll be fine."
Seto couldn't believe how easy Joey made it all sound. It was then that he couldn't believe that there were some couples out there who'd been faced with many problems, got through them, and just…left each other. And after all he and Joey had been through together, he could never imagine ever leaving him because of it. Why was it that people ran away when things got tough?
"You give really great advice, Puppy," said Seto, nuzzling him. "You're my best friend…my confidant…my lover…You've provided me with so much, and all I want to do is return the support and love you've given me tenfold."
Joey ran his hands through Seto's hair and smiled up at him. "You're really sweet when you're being romantic."
"I'm not through yet. You also make a wonderful parent. And I will cherish every moment of our lives together. Every little thing you do shows that you care for me and your family."
Seto smirked. "Like the way you pick up my towels off the bathroom floor."
The blond's eyes narrowed. "You leave them there on purpose so that you can just stare at my ass, don't you?"
"That wasn't my intent, but thank you for the idea." The brunet chuckled when Joey glared at him. "But I'm serious, Puppy. All the little things you do make being with you that much more worthwhile…because I know you're doing it out of…love."
Joey placed his head in the crook of Seto's neck and cuddled closer to him. "So, you do get what love is."
"I guess I do. I just didn't realize it until now. Love is…multi-faceted; it has many sides and comes in many shapes and forms, but all are connected to love."
"And it's very good that you've realized this, especially now."
"And why is that?"
"Because we aren't going to make love until I can walk again. The doctor says I should stay in the wheelchair for the next few days and do some simple exercises to strengthen my legs," said Joey.
"Can you make it two?"
"And now…we have problem," Joey growled. "Right now, I barely have the strength to even move my legs, let alone walk. My recovery is going to take time and I don't…I don't have the extra energy to…to see to your…sexual needs!" he exclaimed exasperatedly, not really sure how to put what he wanted to say into words.
"Puppy, you misunderstood me!" Seto argued frantically. "I didn't mean two days because I wanted to have sex!"
"Then what did you mean? Because that's what it sounded like!"
"We have all the time in the world for something like that. Your recovery is more important. I want you healthy before anything else. I was just hoping that we could get you from the wheelchair to crutches within two days instead of a few because…well…Jaden's birthday is coming up and I thought that…you'd be happier moving around on your own rather than being pushed around in a wheelchair when we have his party," Seto finished lamely.
Joey stared at him for a full minute, not blinking. It unnerved Seto slightly. "You are really sweet when you're being romantic…a sappy romantic, anyway."
"Only for you." Seto paused. "And I truly am going to help you through this. I'll be with you every step of the way…no pun intended," he added as an afterthought.
"I know you will. That's why I love you," Joey sighed, kissing Seto sweetly on the lips.
"I love you, too, Puppy."
They kissed for a few minutes before Joey moved away. "What kind of a birthday party did you have in mind?"
"A pool party," Seto answered without thinking. "With your friends and such."
"You're inviting the Yamis?" Joey asked incredulously.
"To a pool party?"
Seto nodded. "What's your point?"
Joey huffed. There was still a lot Seto needed to learn about their friends. And the brunet would definitely find that out when he discovered that the Yamis and water did not mix very well…and seeing as how it was also their first summer, things would be a bit…unpredictable.
"Sometimes I really do love your obliviousness, but now is not one of those times," said Joey. He was definitely going to need the help of Yugi, Ryou, and Malik on this one. Supervision to the extreme.
It was a good thing Seto was extra cute when he was oblivious, so he just pulled his brunet lover down for another heated kiss.
Check out the sequel, Summer Bash!