Chapter 3Mature

When they all awoke that morning, Mokuba was gone and there was a note on the fridge detailing that they were welcome to stay as long as they wanted. Yami and the remaining guests had a quiet breakfast at about ten thirty, with everyone getting the sleepy out of their system. Yuugi was the only one with a chipper attitude—Yami certainly wasn't used to getting up early. If anything he cursed not being able to see Mokuba on his way out. After that confrontation with him the day before, he wouldn't have minded giving—or receiving—a pick-me-up as Mokuba was leaving. Things didn't happen that way, however, so Yami enjoyed his pancakes and sausages just like everyone else.

Despite Mokuba's invitation, everyone else began to trickle out early; although they didn't have class that morning, Jou and Anzu wanted to use the time at home to study, and Honda was already late for work. When the three of them left, Otogi called and arranged an earlier flight back to California and he split, too. They were kind enough to drop Yuugi some money for the breakfast and even stayed long enough to help wash dishes and clean Mokuba's place with them, which Yami appreciated. It was nice to know that his friends weren't dicks. Soon enough, the flat was empty, just Yami and Yuugi there, but it was noon by the time everyone else had gone, and even the two of them needed to be getting back to the Game Shop.

"I don't want to leave Mokuba's apartment unattended," Yuugi said, his voice already sounding worried. "He didn't leave a key, and I don't feel comfortable leaving the house knowing that his door is wide open..."

Yami knew what was coming. "Fine, Yuugi; I'll go cover for you at the shop when Gramps ends his shift."

Yuugi shook his head. "You covered for me yesterday for the party. It's fine. I'll go."

Yami considered his options. Staying there in Mokuba's place had seemed like a good idea at first, but he stuck out his tongue, both to the notion and to Yuugi. He didn't want to be stuck at Mokuba's place like a little bitch waiting to be fed by its Master. He'd get another chance with Mokuba if it was that important. "Nah. It's fine. I've had enough of this dump."

Yuugi rolled his eyes. "Don't be so rude. Mokuba was very nice to us yesterday."

"Of course," Yami answered coolly, with a laugh. "I'm just exaggerating, Yuugi. I'll see you whenever you get back."

"Ah..." Yuugi said, fishing in his pocket. "Here, take the car."

Yami shook his head. "I got the truck. You forgot about that yesterday."

Yuugi giggled, like the idea of Yami possibly being stranded without a ride yesterday was a joke. "I'm sorry." Yami rolled his eyes this time, turned on his heel and left, closing the door behind him.

Being home and taking over for Gramps was nothing new, but it seemed to take forever for Yuugi to get back. Almost as though to spite him, the day was a slow one at the shop, to the point where Sugoroku didn't mind working the counter for another hour or so after Yami had gotten home. So he had returned for nothing. He supposed it was nice to have the time, though. He went ahead and took a shower and put on some fresh clothes—today, black jeans and a T-shirt that said ("Fuck you" in binary) with smaller text underneath that detailed "...if you can read this." A gift from Yuugi for one of his birthdays, and it was actually his favorite shirt. He even chuckled putting it on. After that, he just lounged about until about two thirty, when Sugoroku entered saying that he was a bit tired, he was going to take a nap and that he wanted Yami to mind the store.

He'd been doing nothing for about fifteen minutes when he heard a car pulling up outside. Finally, Yuugi was back. It wasn't as though Yami had anything better to do that day, but it was nice having the company to talk to. Gramps didn't do much but sleep these days and watch his "shows", so there wasn't much to dig up there... The familiar tinkle of the door opening sounded and Yami looked up in just enough time to see that Yuugi was already in the store and that Mokuba was stepping in behind him.

"Yami," Yuugi said, "that's not a work appropriate shirt..."

"It's brilliant," Mokuba said, smiling brightly. Of course a Kaiba would be fluent in binary; he'd recognized the language on sight, which was indeed a bit scary. On the other hand, the younger Kaiba wasn't quite looking himself with his own wardrobe. Mokuba had his hair back in a ponytail, like he had at the party but the strands were slick, like he'd pressed his hair before leaving that morning. And he was wearing a suit. Not bad, Yami thought, but he liked the jeans and the leather jacket better.

"Has the shop been slow all day?" Yuugi asked, looking around as though he was expecting to see a customer trudge in.

"Yep, pretty much, but we should get busy soon. School's out for the kids in an hour or so," Yami answered.

Mokuba removed the band from his hair and let it fall straight; Yami's eyes glided over him for a moment, slowly, like a tongue over a popsicle. The straight hair looked better down, and it matched his suit that way. He had been about to say that Mokuba looked like shit, but now that was the farthest thing on his mind to say. His thoughts were blank because there were so many different ideas for commentary trying to cram their way into his brain at the same time. "..."

Yuugi had turned away from him to face the door, and he stretched. "Well, I'm back, so I can take over the store if you want. Mokuba said he'd had nothing to do, so I brought him along. I hope you don't mind; I didn't ask if you had any plans."

Mokuba sauntered up to the counter, leaning over it dramatically, outstretching a hand to lift Yami's chin. To the Pharaoh's surprise, his mouth closed with a snap that he swore should have been audible. "You're slipping," Mokuba whispered, just the right touch of that delicious bass in his voice as he gloated. "Am I that impressive?"

Yami had been caught off guard. He'd lost that round, and he had been planning to allow himself to blush in some offhanded perversion of shame—until he saw Yuugi turn around to face them again. Mokuba's hand dropped quickly and began to drum on the glass as Yuugi asked, "What are you two doing? Mokuba, are you teasing Yami?"

"Yes," Mokuba said without missing a beat, standing up and straightening his suit jacket. "I was just saying that he looks like a game store clerk. Boring and impossibly geeky."

Yami scowled. Yuugi flushed, and he smiled sheepishly, replying, "I'm a geek! There's nothing wrong with that...and Mokuba, don't lean on the counter..."

"Ah, okay; sorry," Mokuba responded, taking a step back. "And you're right; there is nothin' wrong with that. Yami likes to pretend to be tough, though, so I was just making fun of him."

Yami tried to force his expression back into one of impassiveness, but he was sure that his agitation was showing on the surface. Did he look like he was Mokuba's bitch? "Well, you look like your brother. 'Nough said," he retorted.

Mokuba raised his eyebrows. "Good comeback. How long did that take you? Two minutes? I've been hearing that all my life; you'll have to do a bit better. Besides, looking like Seto's not that bad. He's doing better than you, binary boy."

Yami opened his mouth to say something inherently evil, but Yuugi waved his hands in the air, capturing their attention. "Hey, time out! What the hell is going on between you two?"

Mokuba flashed his winning smile. "I was just kidding..." Yami saw the small bit of remorse in Mokuba's face when his smile faltered, but Yami knew it was manufactured. The Pharaoh rolled his eyes; they hadn't been serious and Yuugi was being too sensitive.

"Here, let me take the counter," Yuugi said, entering through the side partition and pushing Yami out to where he had been. "You clearly need to go and chill in the house. If I hear fussing or fighting, I'm going to go get a water bottle and spray you. That's what they do to scrapping cats, you know."

Mokuba made a face. "Not the water! I'll melt!"

Yami raised his left eyebrow. That joke went over his head. Yuugi's expression was blank, so apparently he had missed it, too.

"Wizard of Oz reference," Mokuba said. "It's an American thing; sorry."

"Is that a movie?" Yuugi asked.

"And a play, and there are books based on it, too," Mokuba said.

Yami saw Yuugi opening his mouth to ask another question or make another comment, and there was that curious light in his eyes that told him that there were many more comments and questions aside from the one that he was trying to make. Yami tugged on Mokuba's arm, pulling him away and cutting Yuugi off before he could start a whole new educational conversation. "We're going, Yuugi. You can ask questions later."

"Aww..." Yuugi's voice echoed behind them as they entered the staircase that would take them up to the house. He let go of Mokuba's arm as soon as the door closed, leading the way through the dark stairway to their home.

"Well, that was rude," Mokuba said, his voice mocking. "I actually wouldn't have minded having that conversation. I liked Wizard of Oz."

Yami rolled his eyes. "Be quiet. Come on," he said.

Mokuba put a surprisingly light hand on his shoulder. " you're really going to just take me upstairs and do nothing with me all day?" his other hand was playing in his own hair, as usual.

Yami smirked; Mokuba couldn't wait, could he? "I thought I was a geek?"

"You have 'Fuck You' written on your shirt in binary," Mokuba parried. "What else am I supposed to conclude?"

"Ah, but it only took you one second to read it," Yami replied.

"...Mn. Touché," Mokuba said, voice trailing off. Yami began his trek up the stairs, and the brunette added, "You're really serious about going upstairs?"

"Yuugi's in the shop. What else would you suggest?"

"That we hightail it out of here and go somewhere else?" Mokuba said.

"Like where?"

"Anywhere. You can ride on my bike with me."

Yami thought about it for a moment. "...back to your place?"

"Of course not," Mokuba said. "That's lame. We'll find something to do."

"...alright," Yami said, and he turned to open the door again. Before Yuugi could say something, he interjected, "Sorry. We decided that we'd go out instead."

Yuugi groaned. "I want to go..."

"Too bad you're stuck with the shop, then," Yami replied.

"You're not missing anything," Mokuba said, smooth as silk. "We'll probably just walk around and see how many people actually get the message on Yami's shirt."

"You're hopeless, Mokuba," Yuugi said, but Yami certainly hoped that wasn't what they were going to end up doing.

Outside, Yami surveyed Mokuba's bike, a mode of transportation that he hadn't been on in a long time. Honda had been the one to teach him how to ride, being a mechanic and all, but it was only to do in his spare time, nothing serious. He wondered if he would be able to—

"You're not touching my bike," Mokuba said, his voice as steel. "I'll have you know that LaShonda is very picky about who gets to drive her."

Yami tried not to laugh, as he couldn't tell whether or not Mokuba was serious. "LaShonda?" he asked.

"I didn't name her, but I love her," Mokuba said, throwing a leg over "her" to situate himself in the front portion of the seat. There was enough room for Yami in the back, but he wasn't sure if he should even approach the damned thing after the intervention that the younger Kaiba had just made. "She's the only woman I'm interested in riding at the moment." He smiled.

Yami did laugh this time, and he got on. Mokuba handed him the helmet, the kindest gesture that he'd made all day, and off they drove. He wasn't really sure where they were going to go in broad daylight in the afternoon; they were just wasting time, he and Mokuba. At the first red light they encountered Mokuba tied his hair up, and doing so gave Yami the urge to pull it, just to annoy him—which led to thoughts of pulling Mokuba's hair in ways that would be more sexy and less annoying; and by the time they'd gotten to their destination Yami's mind had already gone through several thoughts, involving Mokuba on his back, on his stomach, in a chair and bent over a desk...

"We're here, you know," Mokuba said, making a right from the street into a parking lot where he paid about 600 yen.

"What's this?" Yami asked. It looked like a hotel if the building that was very visible on the right was any indication.

" 'S a hangout spot," Mokuba said. "Alternative. I found out about it the other day and I wanted to check it out. Objections?" There was no witty retort this time; Yami simply shook his head.

The End

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