Sequel to Dark Clouds. Can Mokuba survive without Seto's support? What lengths will Kaiba go through to restore his brother to former glory in his eyes? Will Jounouchi make a decision about his and Mokuba's relationship that they'll both regret?
Even when they’re alone, people want to share
Their feelings, but it can be so hard.
Words are powerless to express one’s feelings,
And sometimes they become a silver knife.
You didn’t think I’d leave you without a story ending, did you? Of course not! “Kaibas never leave anything unfinished!”, is what my brother always said. Besides the fact that his bitching about my relationship with Jou was killing me, I didn’t hate him. I found that I couldn’t. I couldn’t do anything but wait until he came to his senses, until he came to grips with the fact that I loved Jou.
I knew life would be hard, considering that I’d pretty much disowned the Kaiba name and almost starved myself to death—but I was ready for it. I’d do anything for Jou (although I know I’ve said it so many times.)
Jou had let me stay with him, although for a while we had the small crisis of how I was to actually live there, having left all of my things at home. Jou tried to convince me to go back and get my things; I wasn’t buying it. Seto would have to find me to talk. I had tried too many times. My invitations to the concept were withdrawn.
Yuugi was an angel—he gave me a job helping Gramps to keep money in mypocket. And he lended me some clothes he had gotten that were too big for him—from Christmas gifts and stuff—for me to wear. And my uniform? I was wearing it when I’d gotten to Jou’s, so I wasn’t really worried about that. After all, after saving up some money, I could buy new ones. I told everyone that I’d pay them back, though, and their responses were all refusals. I still told them I would, and I planned to.
The first couple of days, though, other than arranging everything with Yuugi, I stayed at home (I liked the sound of that) with Jou, and he took care of me, since I was still suffering from my partial starvation. He had three classes a day, I knew. He had a complex schedule, and I also knew that sometimes he worked night shifts to get extra money.
I was determined to not be that extra money factor. Gramps was pretty generous; Yuugi and I were the only two who worked for him, and he insisted that he paid me the same amount per hour as he paid for Yuugi. Did I mention that he paid Yuugi on the basis of helping him through college? It wasn’t KaibaCorp money, sure, but it was enough to buy the few things that I needed, and then some.
I felt like I was lucky. Not only for Jou, but for them all. Yuugi, Gramps and the others…they didn’t hesitate for a moment after they found out what happened. Then I’d remember—Seto never had friends to support him like this. For a moment, I would feel bad for him. But he had made his own choices, and I had made mine. And that made me think: Had I expected too much of him to understand? Had I forced it on him?
I shook those thoughts away, then a new one popped in.
I had regained my strength in a few days. And I would need to go to school the next day. Seto would probably be waiting for me. That night, before I was supposed to go back to school, I had a pretty interesting conversation with Jou. I remember I was sitting on the couch, not really doing anything except staring into space, when he sat next to me.
“Hey, Moku,” he said in a quiet tone, and I knew that he was worried about something. But before I could ask, he told me himself. “Do you…regret coming here?”
My eyes widened in surprise. “Of course not, Jou! I love it here. You’ve been so nice to me!” I smiled. I didn’t deserve him. I really didn’t. And moments like this just reminded me.
Jou sighed, and I took that opportunity to snuggle against him. “Jou, don’t worry about anything, okay? I love you. That’s why I’ m here. I’m not leaving you.”
Jou’s melancholy expression didn’t change, but he began to stroke my hair. He always did that when he was thinking. “And what if,” he said pensively, “what if Kaiba says its okay…that we’re together? Will you go back home?”
I still kept my smile. “Do you want me to leave?”
Jou shook his head. “I love you being here, even if you’re stubborn sometimes.” He smiled a bit. “I’d want you to stay.”
“Then I will.”
He paused, his smile fading. “It’s not that simple, Mokuba.”
“It is the way I see it. It’s my choice.”
“But, Mokuba, you have to think about it. If Shizuka were in the same situation—”
“You mean if she were gay.”
Jou seemed taken by surprise that I said that so bluntly. “…yeah. I’m pretty sure that I’d be upset if she ran away and didn’t contact me. If can’t believe I’m saying this, but you could actually be hurting your brother. It's not everyday that you hear your younger brother not only likes men but is dating someone you hate.”
My smile remained intact. Jou was so considerate. “Yes,” I said, “but I gave him chances.” I looked down, and my smile faltered. “He watched me walk out the door, and …he didn’t care enough to stop me.” I looked at Jou again. “You wouldn’t have done that to Shizuka. If anything, she would be coming to you for support. It’s not the same anyway, Jou.” Jounouchi still looked worried, so I added, “It’s not like I’m mad at him. I just removed myself from the situation. I’ll still talk to him; I’m only refusing to live with him. There’s nothing wrong with that. You left your dad until he got his life back on track.”
Jou said nothing, only clutching me to his chest, as if he though if he’d let go, I’d leave him.
“I promise, Jou,” I said comfortingly. “I’m not going anywhere as long as you need me here.”
I wished he always would.
The next morning, I woke up, still entangled with Jou; his arms were around me in a very protective grip. If I hadn’t planned on going to school, I would’ve stayed there. Instead, I shook him slightly, knowing I wouldn’t be able to move if he didn’t release me. “Jounouchi…” I whispered. He stirred, and his grip on me tightened. “Jou.” I said more sharply, “Get up.”
“Hmm…? He groaned. Then he opened an eye. “…what?”
I laughed. Jou had never been a morning person. “Jou. Let me go.” I said. “I have to get ready for school."
His arms didn’t remove themselves, but instead pulled me closer, kissing me good morning before fully slacking enough for me to move. “Need a ride to school, kid?” he asked groggily.
I shook my head. “I can walk.” I lifted myself from the couch.
Jou tiredly shook his head. “I’ll take you.” He rolled over on the couch, and fell off with a thump. “Fuck!”
I laughed. “That’s exactly what I mean. If you can’t even get off of the couch without hurting yourself, then why would I want to get into a car with you?”
“That was an accident. I can drive.” He said, picking himself off of the floor.
“No thanks. Besides, I won’t let you use me as an excuse for not getting enough sleep.”
He shrugged, and laid back down on the couch. I rolled my eyes and left to get dressed. Of course, by the time I was ready to go, Jou was already asleep. I smiled and shook my head. He looked so cute, as most people do, when he was asleep. I kissed him slightly, to which he gave the usual response of a groan and, “Not now, Moke; I’m too tired now,” and he rolled over, making me smile again. I wrote him a small note and stuck it to the fridge, wondering if he’d notice it.
Then I noticed the door. One of the largest problems of my day. Of course, it looked simple; leave and shut the door. But no, no, no, its nothing like that;... drawing you into its wooden clutches of demise. I couldn’t leave the door open; someone could break in and hurt Jou. But at the same time, was I allowed to use his key? Keys are serious things. Keys are important. What if I took the key and he didn’t want me to have it? Was his wrath at me for having the key worse than risking his life without it?
Damn that goddamn door!
I went around with that in mind for a moment, and came up with a good enough solution. I locked the door with the key, and then slid it back under the door.
...I think I made a bigger deal out of it than necessary, looking back on it.
Still, I left without a second thought at the door. Now I was worried about how I could possibly get to school on time at this rate. I ended up just walking as fast as I could, and I smiled to myself on the way.
At least I can truthfully tell my gym teacher I power-walked today, I thought.
It was a fifteen minute walk from Jou’s apartment to my school, a walk I’d enjoyed almost everyday that I had also looked forward to seeing him. Of course, I was walking the other way, but my point has been made. Now, I was also worried about Seto waiting for me at school. What if he called for me in the middle of class?
That would be so embarrassing.
I kept my eyes on the school as soon as it came into view. I kept walking; maybe I should’ve done that, kept walking and not have looked around. But I did. I turned my head for just a second, just to say hello to someone that had been about to enter the building beside me, to tell them that I was okay, and then I saw it—
The KaibaCorp limo. Big Brother was here.
I took a deep breath, looked away from it, and went inside. I would ignore it. He would see me, know that I was alive, but I would ignore it. Ignoring him or not, I still couldn’t concentrate in any of my classes that day. The moment just kept replaying in my head…
You know, the moment when I left.
That solitary moment where my love for Jounouchi came before anything else, even my health. But, I still don’t regret it, and I didn’t then, either; I loved Jou. More than I thought I would ever love anyone in my life. That thought comforted me, throughout the memory. At least until it was time to go. I managed to get through the day, be normal and talk to the few friends I had (none of which knew about Jou), take notes in class that I would never look at—
But the limo was still out there when I stood on the front steps of my school. I sighed, resolving to see if Seto was inside; it had just hit me that it might try to follow me home to Jou’s. It would really irk me if Seto came up there just to start a fight with him, which I could see happening; their shouting collectively would be loud enough to be heard on the top floor.
I shook my head. This morning, I had just said that I would ignore it. I was making excuses.
But was it really so bad to want to see my brother again? To see if he had changed? You couldn’t blame me. I had never been separated from Seto more than a day in my life. I wasn’t used to defying him, not doing what he wanted. Seto had always done things for my own good. Even now, he only tried to keep me from Jou because he didn’t think that Jou was good for me.
But that didn’t change the fact that he was wrong.
I knocked on the window of the limo, despite my inner musings, and it lowered, revealing Seto’s face. I’d expected that, for him to be there. On his face was his usual frown. “Seto,” I said, “What are you doing here?” He looked at me, and for the first time in my life, I saw the coldness in his eyes that everyone else saw, and it sent a chill up my spine, though I managed not to reflect it in my expression.
“You were out of school the last two days,” he replied. “Why?”
“I was sick,” I said accusingly, “From not eating for a week and walking in the rain.” I could be just as cold as he.
“Where are you staying?”
“Where else? With Jou. I walked to his apartment.”
“Apartment?” Seto spat out the word as if it were poison.
“Yes, Seto, apartment.”
“Mokuba, you can’t keep this masquerade. He can’t possibly take care of you. He’s not even out of college.”
“Actually, Seto, I got a job.”
“To help with expenses. I’m employed.”
Seto shook his head. “You’re really going all out, Mokuba, and for what? The heir to KaibaCorp can’t be seen working an average minimum wage job.”
“The heir to KaibaCorp isn’t supposed to be dating Jounouchi Katsuya, either, but hey…” I said sarcastically. Seto growled.
“I see you’re still convinced you’re ‘in love’ with him.”
I nodded. “And I’m sorry, but I’m not coming home until you accept that.”
Seto shook his head again. “Mokuba, why don’t you just end this and come home?”
“I’m not giving up Jou without a fight, Seto. And even you have to admit, I’m putting up a damn good one.”
“I expect you learned that language from the mutt?”
“He’s not a mutt, Seto. And I ‘learned’ that language from life. You should try living it sometime.”
“You’re becoming more like the mutt everyday. I’m wondering if I should let this continue.”
I laughed. “You still don’t understand, Seto. You’re not ‘letting’ anything happen. The control has been ripped from your grasp. I run my own life now.”
“I could easily tell your employer I don’t want you to work there. I can get you fired.”
“I doubt it’ll work, Seto. I’m working for Yuugi’s grandfather. He knows about what’s happened between us.”
Seto’s eyes widened, and I could tell that he had just realized he could do nothing to stop me from living the way I was. It was a look that said, “Oh, shit!”
I smirked. “I suppose I’m going to go now,” I said. “Neither of us is yielding; I’m wasting my time here.” I turned to walk away.
“Mokuba,” Seto said, “There’s always room for you at home.”
I couldn’t help it; something in me snapped.
“Yeah, right,” I said coldly. “Where were you when I fell unconscious? Yes you revived me, only to tell me that we were still fighting!” People were looking at us now, but I didn’t care. “And when I fell out the second time, you weren’t even there. But guess who was? Jou. He’s been there for me when you haven’t been!”
“When haven’t I been there for you?”
“What about all those nights when you weren’t home, when you left me for your damn KaibaCorp outings?”
“You were probably with the mutt.”
“Damn right I was! You never once asked me if I wanted to go, if I was interested, and now you’re mad because I found someone else worth my time besides you, Seto? You’re my damn brother, not my co-worker! Why don’t you treat me like a person? What’s so wrong with falling in love, Seto? Is it because you never did?”
I could tell that I hurt him when I said that, because he averted his eyes from mine. But I didn’t regret it, because it was true. He had no right to get angry because I fell in love. He had no right to destroy my life because he never had one.
He closed his eyes as if he were in pain. “Jounouchi, Mokuba. Because you fell for Jounouchi.” He looked at me. “Of every being on this earth, you had to fall for him.”
“And you can’t find any way past that, Seto? You can’t find any way to come to grips with it?” He turned his face away from mine. Why was he being so stubborn? “Okay, Seto,” I said. “You can keep being a jackass. Be my guest. But I’m not coming home. Now, when you’re done getting over whatever complex it is that you have about Jou, I’ll be waiting. We’ll be ready; Jou and I will wait for you.”
He snorted. “Fine, Mokuba,” he said, and I walked away.
I didn’t get to tell Jou about it until that night, because he wasn’t there when I got home, though he did bother to leave the keys to the door under the welcome mat for me. He had left a note on the door, telling me that he was working late to put in extra hours. I left after that, walking to Yuugi’s house to help out at the shop. When I told Yuugi about everything that happened, all he could do is shake his head. Jou’s response, when I finally told him, was more elaborate.
“What? He was waiting for you after school?” Jou said. “And you said all of that? What happened? What did he say?”
“Nothing happened. We’ve made absolutely not progress,” I said. Jou was sitting on the couch, and I lay on top of him, my head in his lap. “I think that it's sunken in though, that I can live without him. Oh, and he actually called you Jounouchi, although I had to yell at him before he did.”
Jou shook his head. “Sometimes, I wonder if this is all worth it.”
“Of course it is,” I said without a doubt, “you love me.”
He leaned down and kissed me. “Yeah, it is…” I blushed. “What are you going to do now?” he asked me.
“Nothing,” I said. “He has to come to me now.”
“So you’ve given up everything. KaibaCorp, Seto, everything?”
“Well,” I replied, “It’s more like that part of my life is on hiatus.” I smiled. “Don’t worry, though; you’re worth it.” I said up in his lap then, leaning my head on his chest and playing in his hair. “Besides, school should be out for Christmas vacation soon,” I grinned mischievously. “Then we’ll have a whole week to ourselves.”
Jou grinned, too. “Yeah, a whole week,” he repeated, nuzzling my neck. “I wonder how we would pass the time…”
I laughed. “I have an idea. Want an example?” I asked, fingering the buttons on his blouse.
“Of course. You know me; I won’t really get it until you show me…”
Yup. Life with Jou was never boring. There were times when I really wish Seto would just get over it so we could be friends again. But I won’t force it. If he didn’t want to be a part of my life because of Jou, then…there are just some people you can’t win over. If was in his hands now.
I used to believe without a doubt that I could
Reach my dreams, no matter how far off they were.
But that me from long ago now sleeps inside my heart.