There were just some days he looked at the people around him and wondered 'Why the hell do they put up with me?' Not that he allowed all that many people to be around him, but they seemed to keep ending up there all the same. If it wasn't one member of that little mutant growth group that hung off Mutou Yuugi, then it was another, till he sometimes almost wondered if they were mitotic; and he wasn't too sure where they were all coming from otherwise.
Then again, in all honesty, he knew only a couple of them were truly mitotic: Yuugi and Bakura... and sometimes that strange Egyptian kid that nearly ruined his Battle City. They'd even somehow managed to briefly force it upon him.
But he was resolutely not thinking about any of that. In fact, he never wanted to think about that again. No matter what he'd seen - or perhaps only thought he'd seen - nearly a year ago no longer mattered in the grand scheme of his world. Like the computer that had been unceremoniously carted out of his office yesterday, those thoughts and experiences were now obsolete.
There were only a few things he was willing to carry over from his experiences with those people, a few things he had been forced to learn: no matter how hard he may deny it, magic apparently did exist; mitosis apparently did apply to humans; there were people out there he could be himself around; and he apparently did have a heart, and it could encompass more people than his younger brother... damn it. And thus were the reasons why he was throwing himself into his work with a little more abandon than usual, why he had barely been home in the seven months since they'd returned from Egypt, why he had only shown up at school for tests... and a myriad of other little things. Because if he ignored or avoided this problem long enough, it might just go away.
There was a knock on his office door. Then again, maybe it wouldn't. He glanced up from his computer screen, a little surprised to find his office to be much darker than it should have been. The windows at his back showed a sun setting behind the other buildings of Domino City, and the clock on his computer revealed he'd already put in another fourteen-hour day. Nonetheless, that was neither Mokuba's nor his secretary's particular knocks. That, in and of itself, was a curiosity, something he rarely afforded himself. If it hadn't been so odd, he probably wouldn't have taken the time to bark out a rough "Come in" before burying himself once more in the spreadsheet open before him.
Perhaps the person who'd entered spoke, and perhaps not. He couldn't imagine himself so far out of it that he'd miss someone speaking to him... but then again he was having to fix yet another mistake in the production schedule sheets. If it were at all possible, he'd love to fire everyone who worked for him and run the whole business himself from top to bottom.
A less dignified person might have been said to have jumped, but never Kaiba Seto. He couldn't think of a term for the slight stiffening his body did, but it was not that he was startled. Kaiba Seto did not startle, he didn't jump, and he certainly didn't yelp because someone managed to sneak up on him.
"Kaiba-kun? Are you okay?"
"Something in my throat," he excused himself, and never mind how blatant the lie was. "What are you doing here?"
"It's been months since anyone saw you. We were worried about you."
He rolled his eyes. Of course, the Friendship Brigade... which was curiously down to one. Didn't they usually travel in a pack of some sort? "Yeah, sure." He cast his eyes back down to the spreadsheet before him.
"We were!" How the hell did he manage to worm his way between Kaiba and his laptop? Not even Mokuba could do that one. "You haven't been to school, Mokuba-kun said he has to come here to see you now, and I'm - we are worried about you!"
"Well, now that you've seen I'm fine, could you clear out so I can finish here?" It was hard, but he made it a request. It was just something about those eyes..
One eyebrow rose suspiciously. "Are you trying to get rid of me, Kaiba-kun?" Surely, he had to be joking. He thought he was making it perfectly obvious that all he wanted was to be left alone.
"Why are you still here?" he snapped off instead.
He didn't have to look away from the computer to know the other's eyes were narrowing. Change the hair just slightly, and he might be speaking to the other version of the older boy. "You're not getting rid of me that easily, Kaiba-kun." Was there something special about his name, the way he kept repeating it? Not that he wasn't prone to that anyway, but this was a bit above and beyond the pale. "You need a keeper. The other me mentioned that to me several times, and now I think I see what he meant."
That bordered on something his other might say, he thought to himself. Outwardly, he let himself bristle slightly. "And who are either of you to talk to me that way?"
"A friend, Kaiba-kun," the other shot back. "You know, that thing you try to pretend you don't have?"
He glanced up from his computer, and suddenly the other was right there beside his chair and close enough that he could now feel his breath against his skin. A hand gripped his jaw and pulled him in closer; he found himself curiously without resistance, even when he felt cool lips press to his own. If he wanted to, he could put a name to what was happening or categorize the individual flavors in the other's mouth. But he didn't. He couldn't, not when he was trying to imagine this was the other Yuugi instead.
20 March 2006
Well, this might be my last story published as Eternal SailorM. Given the way my little poll is going, my writing username might well be changed very shortly. It's been a fun nearly 10 year run with this name, but I think it might be time to change it out; it's a little too 'Sailormoon'-ish for full-time shounen-ai. So, please keep an eye out for stories from 'Apollymi' from here on out!
As for "Mitotic" itself, I asked Katsuko for a first line to a story. The one here is what I got, and "Mitotic" built itself around it. Even I wasn't expecting the ending, though. Poor Yuugi. Stuck in a story with an author who likes to torture the boys.