Author's Note: This is so fluffy I think I might just vomit. WHAT. Don't judge me this song is awesome when sung by Eartha Kitt! D:
Seto slammed his laptop shut and scowled, then ran a hand through his hair in frustration. Again. His hair was beginning to stick up awkwardly from all this stress. If it stuck like this permanently, making him some sort of Yugi-hair-wannabe, he was going to shave it all off.
Speaking of Yugi. Or thinking. Whatever. Yugi's best friend. The mutt. His boyfriend. His infuriating boyfriend.
Seto slammed his hands on the desk and stood, roaring in frustration. "WHAT THE FUCK DOES HE WANT FOR CHRISTMAS!" When nothing answered him, he roared again and slapped a stack of papers from his desk, then turned and kicked his chair. "FUCK. EVERYTHING." When he saw the mess on the floor caused by his hissy fit, he roared a third time. "WHY DO I DO THIS TO MYSELF!"
Seto glared at the papers and willed them back onto his desk—preferably in order. When it didn't happen, he snarled and grabbed his paperweight, then turned and pitched it at the wall so hard that professional baseball players would have admired it.
Mokuba opened the door to see what had upset his brother and squeaked when the glass orb that he'd given his brother a few years ago punched into the wall only inches away from his face. "…I'm glad to see the paperweight I got you is virtually indestructible," he commented helplessly as he stared at the hole in the wall.
"…Sorry," Seto muttered, scowling, and went to sit down in his chair.
He'd forgotten that he'd kicked it away and ended up falling backward, cursing.
Mokuba stared at him for a few minutes, then hesitantly asked, "Are you okay?" He jumped as his brother appeared from behind his desk, sprawling on top of the poor furniture with an expression akin to despair. "Seto?"
"…I don't know what to get Joey for Christmas," Seto mumbled.
The younger boy shifted his weight awkwardly. "Have you tried asking him?"
The brunet slammed his hands on the desk and stood again, glaring at him with an expression half of insanity and half of denial. "Have I tried asking him? Have I tried asking him?" His voice rose in pitch and volume. "I have asked him at least a dozen times. Do you know what he says each time, Mokuba?"
"Um…" Mokuba stepped behind the door but continued leaning around it to maintain eye contact. He'd learned that that was the best way to deal with Seto until he could make a break for it. "What did he say, Seto?"
"HE. SAID. I'D. FIGURE. IT. OUT!" Seto bellowed, then, grasping beneath his desk, used all of his fury and strength to flip it over it. "GRAH!"
Mokuba stared at it in horror, then looked up at his brother nervously. "…I could help you."
Seto seemed to calm immediately at that. "Would you really?"
"Yes." The teen looked down at the toppled desk and swallowed thickly before looking back up at him. "Yeah. I really would, Seto."
"Alright." The brunet tilted his head. "How?"
Mokuba inched a little further behind the door. "Um, all we have to do is go to the mall. It'll be fine." He paused. "…I think." He frowned as he directed his gaze back at the desk. "…I hope."
"I'm surprised ya got Seto t' come outta the house with us, Mokie," Joey commented, smiling. "He's been a real grump for the past week!"
Mokuba laughed nervously as he felt his brother tense behind him. "Yeah, well, I finally convinced him that he just needed to get out."
He did not mention that Seto had to wait for a new desk to be delivered because he'd cracked the back of the one he had when he'd flipped it.
Seto fumed to himself for a moment. Why hadn't he thought of this? It was such a simple idea. He was supposed to be a genius!
As one of the sullen looking elves cried 'next,' Mokuba immediately extracted himself from the tense situation, nearly leaping onto the Santa's lap. "Oh God help," he gasped, looking up at the man wildly.
The Santa 'ho ho ho'ed and patted him on the head. "And just what do you want help with, young man? Aren't you a little old to be seeing Santa Claus?" Seeing the younger boy was looking up at him earnestly, he added, "I'll try my best to help you get what you want this Christmas!"
Mokuba squeaked nervously but answered, "I just want you to listen to what Joey says he wants for Christmas so my brother can hear it because he's already broken his desk and made a hole in the wall with the paperweight I gave him for Christmas years ago!"
The older man frowned. "Are you safe in a home with him, young man?"
The teen blinked innocently. "Yeah, why wouldn't I be? We throw things when we're mad all the time. …But never at each other!" he added quickly. "We're not abusive or anything. We just have the money to throw around to repair and replace everything."
Santa gave him a look clearly stating that what they did wasn't healthy but sighed nonetheless. "Alright, young man. Is there anything else you'd like for Christmas?"
"I already gave my brother the list of things I wanted, but if you find some nice striped sweaters, I have nothing against getting clothes for Christmas," Mokuba replied swiftly.
When the man merely stared at him, he stared back.
Joey laughed nervously and walked up to collect him when Seto only tilted his head and raised his eyebrows inquisitively, as if asking 'isn't this normal?' "Well, Mokie, if you're finished, we should let the younger kiddies have a turn with Santa."
"Tell Santa what you want," Mokuba ordered, seeing his brother only a step behind the blond.
Joey blinked at him and rubbed the back of his head. "Uh… Some booster packs for Duel Monsters, I guess, if ya find the time." He smiled. "And candy canes! Lots o' candy canes!"
Once they'd retreated from Santa's Workshop, Seto gave his brother a deadpanned stare. "That was useless."
"I did my best," Mokuba griped, glaring up at him. "Do your own dirty work next time then, genius."
Joey blinked at them in confusion. "What're ya talkin' about?"
Seto turned a glare on him. "That's really all you want? Booster packs and candy canes?"
"Well, not everything." The blond smiled sweetly and rocked back on his heels. "But you'll figure it out eventually, Seto."
The older boy immediately snarled. "I am slow when it comes to these things! You said so yourself! I don't want to figure it out in the middle of March and feel like an asshole!"
"…You'll figure it out in time, Seto; don't worry," the blond assured again, patting his cheek, then wandered into the nearest electronics store.
Seto bristled and knew that he should really start practicing the coping techniques his therapist had given him to deal with his skyrocketing blood pressure and stress that came with his company, his infuriating brother, and boyfriend. This just wasn't healthy.
He stomped after his lover to see if he could figure out what he was looking at, but Joey never really examined anything long enough for him to peg anything as something he wanted for Christmas.
It was official. Seto hated Christmas.
It was getting much too close to the twenty-fifth for Seto's taste. He'd been ripping through everything in Joey's room to find something to inspire him as to what Joey would want, but had found nothing. And, when Joey had walked in on him as he raged at everything for being so unhelpful, the blond merely stared before he turned right back around and walked out. When Seto had questioned him later as to why he hadn't gotten mad and belted him, Joey had explained that he knew better than to poke an angry dragon in the eye. He was clueless sometimes, but not stupid and definitely not suicidal.
Since Joey had been in such an explaining mood, Seto had once again asked what he'd wanted. Joey had only smiled at him.
Seto had nearly thrown Joey out the window for that.
Grabbing an entire box of Duel Monsters booster packs, he slammed them down at the register, grumbling to himself. "All of these."
Yugi blinked at him. "Er… There's forty booster packs here, Kaiba. You're sure you want all of them?"
"Considering it's the only thing I can figure out to get Joey for Christmas, yes," he hissed, glaring at him.
The smaller teen blinked again. "Joey hasn't told you what he wants yet?" He immediately regretted his question when the brunet turned his full attention on him, looking desperate and murderous all at once. "Eh-!"
Seto narrowed his eyes at him and growled, "Has he told you what he wants?"
"N-not in so many words," Yugi squeaked. When the brunet growled again, he hurriedly added, "He only mentioned that one of his favorite Christmas songs had a really good idea. A really famous, really old song." When the older boy stood up straight with a wild look in his eyes, he exclaimed, "Oh, God, Kaiba, I've told you all I know! Just take the cards! Please don't kill me!"
"That. Stupid. Mutt." Seto slammed some money on the counter, picked up the box, and stomped out of the shop.
Yugi nearly fainted with relief. "Joey if you ever do this to me again I'll kill you myself," he whispered, lifting the money with shaking fingers to count it. When he found that he had fifty dollars of change, he paused, then decided that it would be payment from both Seto and Joey for having at least five years scared off his life.
"One of his favorite Christmas songs—all of them are his favorite!" Seto muttered, scowling, as he paced his office.
Joey knew the words to all of the holiday songs, and a lot of them were older than time itself. He had no idea which song Yugi was talking about and he was running out of time to find a Christmas present. He knew that Joey would enjoy all of the new cards, but somehow, he knew it wasn't enough. He needed to get a gift that really meant something, and—
Seto spun toward the door immediately, mouth watering even as the scents of chocolate and gingerbread wafted through the vents. While he didn't necessarily like sweets, there was just something about Christmas and cookies that made him into a sugar-craving monster.
And if he snuck quietly enough, he might get to see Joey in the pink, frilly apron he'd bought him as a joke but Joey still used on occasion.
Seto made his way down to the kitchen as quietly as possible, knowing that Joey still had his street instincts and might sense him if he wasn't careful. Peeking into the kitchen through a crack in the door, he smirked. Joey was stirring something and looking as happy as can be—wearing his pretty pink apron, too.
Joey looked up sharply, and the brunet held his breath. He'd thought he'd done so well at hiding his presence this time, but apparently, not well enough—
Joey smiled and walked over to turn up the little stereo he had. "Oh, this is one of my favorites!"
Seto immediately perked up. Yugi had said something about a favorite. Perhaps this was the song that would help him find out what his puppy wanted for Christmas?
"And it's Eartha Kitt's version!" Joey squealed, clasping his hands together. "Yes!"
Seto leaned his head against the doorway and smiled as the blond began to sway a little, humming quietly to the tune. His puppy was so cute when he really got into things. And when the blond started singing, he almost melted.
Joey moved back over to the dough he had been making before the song had come on, stirring it slowly and unaware of his hips beginning to rock to the beat. "Santa baby, just slip a sable under the tree, for me. Been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight."
Sables. Those were animals. Joey didn't like wearing animals unless it was leather, and even then he was okay wearing faux-leather. Seto immediately discarded the idea.
"Santa baby, a fifty-four convertible too. Light blue. I'll wait up for ya dear, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight." Joey chuckled to himself and reached over to grab the flour.
Seto frowned. A car. Joey had never mentioned wanting one, but perhaps…
"Think of all the fun that I've missed. Think of all the fellas that I haven't kissed."
Damn straight he hadn't kissed any other fellows. Seto was a jealous man.
"Next year I could be just as good, if you'll check off my Christmas list." Joey hummed as he licked some dough off his finger in a way that the brunet could only describe as naughty.
'Good my ass. You're the naughtiest person in the world.' Seto scowled.
"Santa baby, I want a yacht. And really, that's not a lot. Been an angel all year, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight."
Joey didn't even like the yacht that Seto already owned. Discarded.
The blond hummed quietly and turned to grab a rolling pin. "Santa honey, there's one thing that I really do need. The deed, t' a platinum mine, Santa honey, so hurry down the chimney tonight."
Seto frowned. Joey was a practical person. He didn't think that the blond would actually appreciate the deed to a platinum mine, if he could even figure out where to get one. It was probably the most impractical thing he'd ever heard of. So it was just part of the song and Joey didn't actually want it. …He hoped.
Joey set the sugar-cookie dough on the counter and began rolling it out. "Santa cutie, and fill my stockin' with a duplex, and checks. Sign your X on the line, Santa cutie, and hurry down the chimney tonight."
Hmm, that was an idea. A nice duplex, perhaps with sound-proof walls between the two. Mokuba could have one; he was sixteen now, he could take care of himself, and Joey had been his lover for four years now—five, in couple of months. It would be like having their own house to themselves, but with Mokuba nearby so that he could still keep an eye on him. After all, Mokuba was mature, but he was still a teenager.
"Come and trim my Christmas tree, with some decorations bought at Tiffany's. I really do believe in you—Let's see if you believe in me."
Seto frowned. Well, that line was useless. Their Christmas tree was already decked out with expensive ornaments. He'd have to check if any were from Tiffany's, but he didn't doubt it.
"Santa baby, forgot t' mention one little thing. A ring—and I don't mean on the phone, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight. Hurry down the chimney tonight. Hurry, tonight."
Joey finished rolling out the dough as the song finished and was immediately followed by a low voice singing 'White Christmas.' Setting the rolling pin down, he looked at his left hand and sighed, frowning a little. The corners of his lips managed to quirk up into a sad little smile as he gently rubbed the base of his ring finger, then he shook his head and turned to grab some cookie cutters. "Wishful thinking. Seto's so slow t' pick up on these things that he'll probably take years t' figure it out."
'A ring. A ring? Joey wants a ring? Oh God. His left hand. Engagement ring. He wants to be engaged? …Engaged to be married?' Seto was aghast.
Joey had never hinted that he'd wanted to get married, but the more he thought about it, he realized the subject had never really come up. Seto had joked about not wanting to ever get married simply because it was easier that way at the beginning of the relationship. Joey had laughed and agreed with him, and that had been the end of it. Had Joey remembered that conversation and assumed that Seto's opinion hadn't changed? Was that why he'd never brought it up?
Seto frowned. 'Shit.'
Seto stepped into the jewelry shop and immediately felt like he didn't belong there. But, he was Seto Kaiba, and if there was anything he was good at, it was pretending that everything was okay. He swallowed his pride, ignored his discomfort, and walked over to one of the cases of jewelry as if he owned the place. As he looked at the dozens and dozens of rings, however, he realized something.
'I have no idea what I'm doing.'
One of the jewelers seemed to sense this and approached him with an easy-going smile. "Hello, sir. Anything I can help you with?"
Seto stared at the rings a little longer before sighing quietly and looking up at her. "I'm looking for a ring."
"I see. What sort of ring are we looking into?" She kept her voice light and upbeat.
The brunet felt himself relaxing despite the anxiety he felt. "An engagement ring."
She smiled brightly. "Oh, I see! She must be a lucky lady!" When she only received a blank stare, she raised an eyebrow. "Er… Lucky man?"
"…Right. Well! What did you have in mind?"
Seto frowned. "Something round. To go on a finger."
The girl pursed her lips. "I see. This might take a while. Do you know what stone you'd like and how you'd like it cut, at least?"
"…Well…"The brunet rubbed the back of his head and sighed. "…I was thinking… a ruby and a sapphire beside each other." He paused, then nodded firmly. "Yes. A ruby and a sapphire positioned beside each other." Remembering the part of the song he'd disregarded, he reconsidered it, then nodded again. "On a platinum ring, please. Actually, make that one large ruby with a smaller blue sapphire on either side of it."
Seeing that he'd finally figured out what he wanted, the jeweler smiled pleasantly again. "What sort of cut would you like? Fancy? Princess?"
The blank look reappeared. "…Pr…incess?"
"…I'll go get some samples so you can see the differences," she muttered, turning to go to the back room. "Wait just a moment, sir."
Seto had never felt so stupid in his entire life.
"…Underwear. Really." Mokuba looked up at his brother with a deadpanned expression. "…Thanks, Seto."
Seto raised an eyebrow. "Mokuba, when did you last buy underwear?"
"…Point taken. Thank you, Seto."
Joey fell across the brunet's lap and smiled up at him, reaching up to brush the hair out of the older boy's face. "Your hair is almost as bad as mine in the mornin', Seto."
"Hardly." Seto eyed the clumped chunks of hair. "If you took a shower before you came to bed, you wouldn't have all that mousse in your hair when you woke up. You have Yugi's hairstyle."
"Hey, the mousse is the only thing that keeps it as nice as I get it," the blond complained, frowning. "And I need my hair to be wet so I can put the mousse in it. I don't wanna wash my hair twice."
"You don't have to wash it, you just have to rinse it out," the older man mumbled, running a hand through his own messy locks. Sighing when the blond only scowled at him, he rolled his eyes. "How did you like your gifts, Joey?"
Joey beamed at him. "I'm gonna improve my deck tomorrow and challenge Yugi to a duel when I go back to work!"
Seto smiled a little. "I got you more than cards, Joey." It had been quite amusing to see Joey's face when he opened the box and found all of the booster packs—even more so when he'd immediately torn into them with a squeal of glee. Just because he was twenty-two didn't mean his passion for dueling had waned any.
The blond hummed and shrugged happily. "Thanks for the coupon book. I especially like the 'take one weekend off of work—good once a month' coupon." He smiled coyly. "Almost as much as I like the 'two week family vacation' one."
"Good. Mokuba said you'd like it." Seto leaned down to kiss him lightly. "Did you like the pants I got you?"
"You just wanna see me in leather pants," Joey cooed, reaching up to grab his hair and pull him down to kiss him lightly.
Seto hummed kissed him again. "Yes. But I mostly want to peel them off of you after a long night of dancing."
"I'm still here," Mokuba snapped.
Seto raised an eyebrow and looked up at him. "Why? I bought you half a dozen videogames. Go play them."
"Ugh, fine. I'm going out to a few Christmas parties later, though," he said petulantly.
The brunet snorted. "More food for Joey and me, then." He watched the teen go, smiling a little, then looked down at the younger man lying across his lap. His smile faded when he saw the wistful expression on his face. "Joey? Are you okay?"
Joey's smile returned as if it had never been gone. "Yes, of course. I got wonderful gifts, had a great breakfast, and I'm sure later we'll have a very good night."
"Dinner comes before dessert, love," Seto murmured, smiling when the younger man's brows furrowed together in confusion. "I knew Mokuba was going out tonight with friends, so I arranged for dinner for us." He trailed his fingertip over the blond's nose and chuckled when he jerked his head up to gently catch his finger between his teeth. "Maybe you could put on something sexy and meet me in my office at five."
Joey raised an eyebrow and smiled playfully as he released his finger. "When ya say 'somethin' sexy,' do ya mean bedtime sexy or casual sexy?"
Seto hummed and tilted his head, then chuckled again. "Casual sexy."
"Hmm. I'll try t' be super sexy for ya, then. I can't imagine what's gotten into ya, though. I didn't even hafta use one of my coupons!"
"I can be romantic without the use of a coupon," the brunet griped, scowling a little.
Joey smiled and reached up to cup his cheeks. "I know, Seto. It just happens so rarely that I can't help but tease ya about it."
Seto grumbled but kissed the blond back when he pulled his head down.
Seto leaned his head on his hand as Joey smiled at him from across the table he'd had brought into his office until his new desk was delivered. He'd moved all of his work to the desk in their bedroom but hadn't managed to touch any of it. He'd been too busy getting everything set up just right, because tonight was going to be perfect and he would be damned if he'd ruin it just because of paperwork.
Joey giggled quietly, cheeks flushed from the wine they'd been drinking. "What are you plannin', Seto? You've been smilin' a lot tonight, and ya planned dinner for us when I woulda just made us some sandwiches—not t' mention ya set the table yourself. What's goin' on?"
"Maybe I just wanted to have a romantic holiday dinner with my lover," the brunet replied idly, reaching across the table to gently grasp his hand. Feeling the younger man's fingers curling around his, he chuckled quietly. "Isn't this nice? A candlelit dinner in the comfort of our own home, with a gorgeous view of the backyard, covered in snow and bathed in the moonlight as Christmas music plays in the background?"
The blond's cheeks flushed further as he bit his bottom lip, still smiling in amusement. "Okay, now I know somethin's up. You're usin' pretty words t' make me fall even more in love with ya."
Seto hummed. "Well, I suppose since you've figured it out, I should just stop, hmm?"
"Wha-! No, I like it! I dunno anything!" the younger man exclaimed helplessly. "Seto!"
"Calm down, puppy; I was just kidding." The brunet patted his hand gently, then paused. "…But if you really don't know, I suppose I can still surprise you then."
Joey blinked at him in confusion. "What are ya talkin' about, Seto?"
Seto kissed the back of the blond's hand and smiled at him before sliding out of his chair and onto one knee.
"You… Seto, what are you—Oh my God-!" Joey whispered, lifting his free hand to cover his mouth as he watched the older man pull a small, velvet covered box from his pocket. "Seto!"
"Joseph Wheeler," Seto began, smile growing as the blond's eyes widened and glazed over with tears. "I know I'm sort of slow when it comes to figuring out these things, and I'm sorry for that. But…" He opened the box to show the platinum ring with its three stones, a large ruby hugged by two blue sapphires. "Would you overlook how romantically-challenged I am sometimes and allow me the honor of marrying you?"
Joey looked at the ring and gasped quietly. "Oh, God, Seto, it's beautiful." He looked up at the brunet and sniffed. "Yeah. Yes. Yes, I'll marry ya. Seto…" He sniffed again as the brunet slipped the ring onto his finger before throwing his arms around his neck and hugging him tightly. "I thought ya hadn't figured it out and I really would hafta wait for March—or that you'd figured it out and ya just didn't wanna—"
"I watched you while you were making cookies. Why didn't you just ask me if I wanted to get married?" the brunet muttered, hugging him back just as tightly. "I would have said yes."
The younger man nuzzled into his neck. "I just couldn't stop rememberin' what you'd said about not bein' married. I wanted t' ask ya about it so bad, but I kept thinkin', what if ya hadn't changed your mind? What if I made things awkward between us 'cause ya thought I wanted to and you didn't? I couldn't take that chance."
"You should have. I wouldn't have minded." Seto turned his head to kiss his neck and sighed. "You're lucky I saw you singing that song. You could have been waiting years, Joey. I never would have figured it out on my own."
Joey chuckled quietly even as a few tears rolled down his cheeks. "I guess I'm just glad that you were peepin' on me then."
The brunet sat up in disgruntlement. "I wasn't peeping! You can't peep in your own house!"
"Uh huh." The younger man smiled at him sweetly. "Don't pretend ya weren't lookin' at me in that apron."
"…Guilty as charged."
Joey's smile grew as he heard the song coming from the stereo. Standing, he pulled the brunet to his feet and wrapped his arms around his neck. "Dance with me."
Seto hummed and wrapped his arms around his waist. "It's been a while since I've danced like this. But somehow… it's better than waltzing at a dinner party or grinding on a dance floor."
"Isn't it?" The blond smiled and held his hand up so he could see the ring again as they began to sway back and forth in small circles. He hummed to the song for a few moments before beginning to sing along quietly. "I really do believe in you. Let's see if you believe in me."
The older man chuckled quietly and leaned down to kiss his neck. "I believe this song is becoming my favorite, too."
Joey's smile grew as he tilted his head to give him more room to kiss. "—Santa baby, forgot t' mention one little thing. A ring, and I don't mean on the phone, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight."
Seto brushed his lips up the blond's jaw before whispering, "Hurry down the chimney tonight."
"Hurry." Joey went up on his toes to kiss him deeply on the mouth. "…Tonight…"