We Laugh Indoors

Don't let the title deceive you; this is not a happy story filled with fluff and cute kisses.

But it isn't a pointless story filled with unending smut, either.

This is Tabloidshipping, and that means incest. Don't burn my house down if you read this without knowing.

This is also slash, mxm, yaoi, or any other variations of a term used to describe two males in a sexual relationship.

This has a bit of disturbing imagery. It's not bad, or anything. But just a precaution.

The sex isn't smut.

Disclaimer: I have no rights to Yu-Gi-Oh! and nor do I claim to. I make no profit from this story, and I'm just a fan.

Thank you.

- zlae

Mokuba, now turned eighteen, had asked me if I was okay some days ago. I can't recall when, because all of the days have blurred into one repeating cycle as of late. But it was so like him to be worried about someone else when he had so recently crossed over the day that had brought him into my world.

How had the days gone by so quickly? Now he was eighteen and I was ancient, and it was like I could remember our days of childish innocence as a fond and new memory.

Some frightened, non-confrontational part of me desperately wished we could go back to when we had happily and unabashedly laughed together with grins on our dirt-streaked faces.

I thought I had become somewhat of a good actor over the past years, and my many masks had seemed to fool the majority of the population.

But not him.

No, it was never him.

Because it seemed that no matter the thickness of my masks – even as I wore them through this continuous suffocation – he saw through it all.

He saw who I really was, and it didn't turn him away.

It just drew him closer.

I could've pretended to push him away; I could've turned around and never looked back. I might've stumbled, but I would never have let him see me amputate a part of myself.

But that was only through my selfish dreams; as in reality, I needed him to need me. It kept me anchored, like a free-floating balloon suddenly tied to an unwavering string. It tied me down, and it left me enough room for the noose around my neck to only suffocate me slowly. He provided me this luxurious death, and that's the only mercy I have been given.

And now I know that when I die – and I feel that it is approaching soon – I would like to stare into the ashen depths of his steady eyes, and listen to his voice as he told me all of his secrets. I would absorb them like a sponge, and we could share them like guilty men. I would have something of his for once, without giving him anything in return but my death. I would help him end my unlived life, clasping my hands around his.

I would not allow him to think that I was burdened by his many confessions.

They couldn't weigh me down anymore; I was already drowning at the bottom.

I felt like a man in a battlefield, having brushed the edge of death and survived. It was the elation and satisfaction I felt from having survived such a situation that made me reckless. I hadn't checked, and it was then that someone had taken the opportunity to thrust a jagged knife into my unprepared body.

The man wielding the knife twisted and his hands were sweaty. The notched edges caught onto my bloodied innards, and he withdrew the blade. The knife was wrenched through my skin, and my detached entrails flooded out of my now-collapsed body.

Not a word of protest had escaped from my trembling, pale lips, and I had remained silent as my insides were exposed to the world. They wouldn't be able to make sense of what formed me, I had nothing to fear.

Death was merely a way to escape this world and enter another without your previous past and experiences.

But I would never let that happen, as I only had my past to cling onto.

Because it was the only valid excuse I had for the monster I had become.

It was at that moment that I noticed something was wrong. I looked down (still calm in the face of death) and only then did I did I see the black, rotting tar that encompassed what remained inside the empty shell of my body. The man screamed, terrified of what I consisted of.

Truly, I didn't blame him. I had the same reaction when I saw what had rotten and festered inside of me.

But that didn't mean I hadn't felt the sting of pure pain and anguish at having seen Mokuba scream in pure terror once he saw what made me.

Now that I think about it, I didn't even question why he was the man in my delusion that stabbed into where my heart was supposed to be.

I just excused it for the thought that everyone would do the same.

"Morning," Mokuba said in a soft voice as he walked into our large kitchen, rubbing his tired eyes with a yawn. As he stretched out his arms, his shirt rose and exposed his flat, pale stomach. I averted my gaze almost immediately, my right hand clutching onto the edges of the marble counter. They were white knuckled with such intensity that I felt moderate aches of pain radiating from it.

His stomach only made late memories come to mind, and such intimacy was unknown to me.

"How can you do this?" I asked, turning my back to him and scoffing some of my coffee down so quickly that it scorched my throat.

"How can you just dismiss what happened, and pretend that everything's okay?" I continued, softly massaging the skin wrapped around my throat, still not looking at him.

"I've been acting all of my life for you, Seto," Mokuba replied almost nonchalantly, but I could hear the slight waver in his otherwise believable voice.

At least he had control at that moment; it was something commendable, really. It just reminded me of when I had lost control, and how he had urged me to.

"Don't," I said abruptly, hating the harsh tone it was delivered in. "I can't handle this right now."

I couldn't even handle his voice. It just reminded me of how panicked he had sounded that night, with his throat hoarse and his voice wanting. That same voice – that sounded so soft and innocent right now – had screamed at me to help him reach his climax. It had whispered sweet nothings into my ear; it had given me such satisfying sounds of gasps when I nipped his collarbones; such sensual moans when my hands encompassed his body.

I heard his response; I hated the arousal that had so obviously announced itself in my slacks by the memory of our encounter. It was even worse when he noticed.

"You could handle me now," he almost purred.

"Do you have no self-respect?" I whispered to him. My breathing became irregular, and I rushed past him immediately, leaving the coffee cup on the counter; never full, and never completely empty. I was rushing through the corridors to escape into my study. Work could clear my mind. It was all I could do to lose myself in it, to attempt to forget the memory of him so passionate and exposed beneath me.

The thought should've repelled me. It was my blood flooding through his veins, after all.

But it did nothing to quell my desire for him, and I believe that was the first time I had truly despised every part of me (even the part of him that was intertwined into what I hoped could be my heart).

That is, if I even had one.

So many people have claimed that I no longer had one that I had begun to believe them through simple repetition.

So what was hurting so much?

Downstairs I could hear constant banging, but I had no idea of the source.

I didn't know that Mokuba was punching into our dining table; the house was too large for me to pinpoint its' location. I couldn't hear his muffled screams of frustration; I was oblivious as his body shook from withheld tears.

And it's these moments where he needed me most; when they were (supposed to be) filled with tender comfort, rather than the sexual tension and lust we had given into.

But now, because we fucked; we fucked everything else up.

All it had taken was one night to destroy the gradual building of our fragile relationship, only for it to crumble and burn.

I wanted to cry, to scream, to express any emotion, just to let the world know that I felt something, but I couldn't.

I simply didn't know how to anymore.

I slammed the door behind me and locked it, sliding down onto the floor, back against the wooden door. I chewed on my knuckles so hard it drew blood, and still I sat, uncaring as the blood that flowed through both of our veins stained the carpet.

We spent the next month avoiding each other whenever possible. Whenever I saw him, all I could remember how he looked beneath me, with the taste of him on my tongue and the feel of him in my grasp.

I'm sure he felt the same torment.

In fact, a sick and twisted part inside of me hoped he did, just to know that I wasn't the only one affected so drastically by one night.

I never had a sip of alcohol again. I didn't have it to laugh; I didn't have it to cry.

I didn't need the effect of alcohol to wallow in my failure like so many others.

It just happened automatically.

Yugi Mutou had visited our house last night, and of course I had to make an appearance. It was the first time I was in the same room as my brother for more than two minutes since this past month.

Yugi, I had no problem with; it was just that dark version of him, the confident one. So, I had donned my mask and set downstairs into the living room.

My apathetic and disinterested façade was excellent.

I knew it was.

I had spent the past month perfecting it whenever I was in Mokuba's presence.

Mokuba and I restricted our interaction; I still couldn't tell whether I wanted to hit him or kiss him. So we had awkwardly and stiffly revolved around Yugi, to make sure we didn't touch or even lock eyes.

I felt like we were the sun and the moon orbiting around the earth.

I had even laughed that night.

But while I expelled air through my lungs as rare bursts of laughter, I could only have felt hollow.

There was no joy; no mirth.

There was just us.

And we were only human, after all.

I knew this would tear at me. It would pull at my seams, and the noose around my neck would sprout thorns, the flower blossoming and feeding off of my pain. I welcomed it, really; I was waiting for my lungs to pop and for my eyes to roll up into my head.

I wish it would come sooner, so I wouldn't have to deal with this unending tension and discomfort.

But that would be the coward's way out.

And although I was a coward, the only person that had ever meant anything to me was the only one that knew.

I only prayed he could keep it a secret, unless he would take sadistic pleasure in unravelling me and pushing me inside out, laughing in delight as I dripped like wax from a candle.

My stomach growled, and I realised I hadn't eaten since yesterday. I looked at the clock; it read 5:03AM. Good, he never got up this early.

Shame I didn't end up sleeping.

My steps were quiet and deliberate, and I cringed as I saw light flooding through the long hallway. Of all the times he could be up, he was up today.

Just my horrid luck.

I turned around to leave, until my stomach growled again. Mokuba chose that exact moment to be extremely silent.


"Who- Who's there?" Mokuba asked hesitantly, and only then did I remember. He was afraid of the dark. He had such an over-active imagination that any random noise would leave him paranoid and trembling, and he did the damage to himself by imagining countless scenarios that involved the destruction of himself.

'It's just three words, Seto. You can do this. Speaking to him shouldn't be this difficult; stop being so scared. It's pathetic.'

'I love you!' Was what I wanted to scream, but then I thought that changing 'love' to 'hate' was more accurate.

And that left me even more confused than before.

I inhaled deeply, and my breath came out shaky.

"I-It's just me." I stated, and the silence that remained afterwards almost killed me then. One thing, just anything but this heavy silence would be bearable.

"Oh." He replied, and I started walking.

'Grab food, and leave. Don't look at him. Don't talk to him. Don't touch him. Don't think about him. Don't even acknowledge his presence.' I chanted in my mind, drilling the words into my head.

I refused to look at him, though I knew he was there. I quickly grabbed an apple and bit into it, facing the wall.

"Good morning," Mokuba said in a strained voice, and I cursed inwardly. Of course he had to try and be polite; it was one of his few faults after all.

Being polite, that is.

I knew he was flawed; I was not so ignorant. But he was a lot closer to perfection than I was.

His words only made a previous conversation come to mind, and such a simple thing as talking was unknown to me.

"How can you do this?" I asked, keeping my back to him and biting into the apple again.

Once I said it, I realised that sounded wrong almost instantly. It was too stiff; too formal. My voice was strained and as we awkwardly tried to converse with each other, I noticed that we sounded like a couple of strangers forced on a blind date.

It was like the flower that had bloomed between us had wilted.

"How can you just dismiss what happened, and pretend that I don't exist?" I continued, grabbing a mandarin and peeling it while the apple rested on the counter.

"I've been acting all of my life," Mokuba replied almost nonchalantly, but I could hear the slight waver in his otherwise believable voice.

There was no 'for you' this time.

And that completely destroyed me.

At least he had control at that moment; it was something commendable, really. It just reminded me of when I had lost control, and how he had urged me to.

"Don't," I said abruptly, hearing the harsh tone it was delivered in and doing nothing to soften it. "I'm leaving in a minute. Then you won't need to worry; it'd probably be better if I left for more than a minute anyway," I continued, snacking on the now-peeled mandarin.

"You don't need to." Mokuba replied quickly, and I felt something in my chest I didn't know I could.

It confused me; I thought Mokuba had already let me feel every emotion possible.

I tried to rush past him immediately, and in my haste I left the apple half-bitten on the counter. Work could clear my mind.

Work could make me forget the lust I had for my brother.

It was so wrong.

Mokuba outstretched his hand quickly, and he gripped my arm with pale, shaking hands.

"Seto." He said.

I inhaled sharply. It was the first time we had touched since then.

"Seto, we can't just ignore this." He said, and I knew I was trying to escape him. But he was everywhere. His smell was in my nostrils; his black, unruly hair was in my vision. His touch was on my arm, and electricity currents ran through both of our blood-shared veins like adrenaline.

"You're right." I said, shaking his arm off. I hated the feeling; I hated the way he could influence me so easily.

"But I can try to."

In my dreams, I saw us when we were children. Before we were adopted by Gozaburo; before we grew to love each other as more than brothers.

I actually smiled back then.

I had felt whole. And it's been so long since I've felt that way without the help of Mokuba that I used to spend hours drawing circles in books, wondering where my other half was.

I wanted to feel complete. I desired to be whole, like any other human did. I didn't want to exist only by the help of another person.

Mokuba was still himself, and for that I applaud him.

I used Gozaburo's treatment for the reason I became so fucked up, but then I thought of Mokuba, and how he still remained so vibrant.

I must've always been this way.

Perhaps Mokuba was so good that he made me realise.

My steps faltered and I looked back at Mokuba. His head was down-turned, his fringe hid his eyes.

I walked back to him without realising what I was doing, and I crushed him to me.

There was silence, and all I did was hold him. I began to doubt myself, since all he did was stand there; immobile.

Then his breath hitched.

He cried into my shirt, and his fists balled up in the fabric. My hands wrapped around him, and they clawed into him like talons.

"I missed you." He cried into my chest, and I rested my chin on his hair.

"I missed you too." I said, tears threatening to fall.

We were like strangers in this huge house, or like previous-lovers having to deal with the awkwardness after having been so intimate with one another. I tried to convince myself that I gripped him out of habit; that the tightness in my lips and the watery substance trickling out of my eyes were my imagination. My body wasn't shaking. I wasn't relieved.

Maybe I just wanted to hold him.

But I didn't care.

At that moment, for the first time in my life; I didn't think.

I just wanted him in my arms. We could sort everything out later.

All I knew was that I wouldn't let him go.