It's a bit after 3 AM, and by now everyone but Seto has left the banquet hall. He's still sitting at the head table, digesting everything that's happened tonight.
Since when did he become the younger brother?
It's as though Mokuba's more of an adult than he is now: Mokuba isn't a little kid anymore. Mokuba isn't even working at Kaiba Corp anymore - instead, he's successfully running the largest charity organization in Domino. And now Mokuba is married; he and his new wife are looking at houses, and he's got a life of his own.
Marriage is one of those momentous events in one's life that signifies adulthood. Old people are supposed to be married, not his 20-year old little brother. Despite being the older sibling and supposedly further along, he's not married yet. Nevermind that it's also one of those things that he can't do legally.
Somewhere along the way, something had become stagnant in Seto's life, stuck day in, day out, at a job that is now more of a stressful obsession than a source of prideful enjoyment.
He still lives in the estate they had inherited from Gozaburo. Sure, they have other houses, but they're vacation homes and only used when Mokuba is around.
Come to think about it, he didn't even have a plus-one to the wedding. Then again, it's not that it mattered logistically; Joey had still been invited.
He's thinking back on how this whole train of thought was first catalyzed the moment Mokuba announced his engagement. It seemed to come out of nowhere. (Or did it?) Perhaps he'd been too wrapped up in work that he didn't notice a significant thing like this.
In any case, he wasn't expecting it and it wasn't just a shock in his mind; it was also a shock to his system. He remembers the pain and collapsing to the floor and the look of worry on Mokuba's face before everything faded out.
When he was in the hospital, ordered against doing any work, Seto had a lot of time on his hands. There was enough time to rethink his life and how it wasn't moving along as fast or as forward as his brother's; there was enough time to think about what he really wants, enough time to think about who he wants and why he doesn't have him.
Mokuba had said he'd been working too much. Exhaustion and his Type A personality was a dangerous combination now that he wasn't a teenager. Afterwards, Seto was embarrassed that it even happened.
His brother's the only person he's had in his life and there's this small, irrational thought in him that Seto doesn't want to lose him, as if Mokuba is going away forever.
His brother's the only person he's had in his life because he's never taken a chance on Joey.
Seto's honestly happy for his brother; Seto just wishes he could be as happy as Mokuba is.
Maybe he could try.
There's a soft clack-clack of dress shoes walking across the dance floor towards him. Seto looks up and his heart aches a little bit when he sees the familiar mop of blond hair.
"Hey. Whatcha doing here by yourself?"
Joey's got an amused smile on his face and glows in the dimmed lights of the banquet hall. He looks really good done up in a nice suit.
"Nothing," Seto replies, but when he does it sounds a bit more dejected than he had originally intended.
"Really." Joey's not convinced and he sits down next to him, where Mokuba sat during dinner.
Seto sighs and maybe that fourth flute of champagne is catching up with him.
They sit in a quiet but strumming silence for a bit.
"He's really grown up, isn't he?" Seto finally says.
Joey nods. Seto sighs before turning to his left to look at Joey.
Joey's smiling at him and Seto returns with a half-hearted smile before turning his eyes away. There are so many things he wants to say. He honestly wants to try.
"I..." he starts.
Seto pauses, as if he wants to continue but doesn't know what to say next. He swallows.
"You were right, you know; I am - I was - a miserable person."
Joey lets out a disbelieving scoff. "You remember that?"
Seto nods and sighs again.
"I don't want to be alone any more." His voice is quiet, but Joey can hear him just fine.
"You're not. I mean, Mokuba's still here. You've got friends..."
"That's not what I mean," Seto says stiffly.
Joey at him in soft revelation.
"You don't have to be, you know."
Seto looks into Joey's eyes slow and deeply, but his heart is pounding madly in his chest. He swallows and raises his hand to brush Joey's cheek.
Joey smiles again and leans into it. Then he's leaning forward and kisses Seto softly on the lips.
When they break away, Seto rests his forehead on Joey's and smiles.