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Complex Marriage

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The walk back to the house was a bit quiet, so it was quite the shock to the system when Jounouchi opened the back door, and the sounds of acrimony fell out.

Somehow, Bakura and Atem'd been left alone in the living room together, and they were getting along about as well as one would expect.

"If you'd’ve just fucking listened to me, you wouldn't've died!" Bakura, who was standing behind an arm chair, scowled at the pharaoh, who was sitting on the couch, holding a video game controller.

Closing his eyes, very obviously trying to tame his temper, Atem took a breath and paused. "I told you: I don't NEED your help!"

A droll laugh dropped out of the other's mouth. "To suck? Yeah. I see that; you've got that perfectly covered."

Atem's eyes narrowed when he looked in the other yami's direction. "You can take your unsolicited advice, and--"

"WE'RE BACK!" Ryou practically screamed in an awkwardly cheery tone. "Who's ready for a bonfire?"

Both yamis shot Ryou a look.

The hikari leaned over to Jou, bringing his voice to a whisper. "Go find Seto. I'll deal with this."

"Godspeed," he whispered back.

The hikari nearly laughed, then gave him a little push.

Taking the hint, he gave Ryou a grin, then dashed toward the foyer...but instead of going upstairs, he beelined into the bathroom.

Once the door was closed, he fell onto his hands, grasping the counter. Closing his eyes, he took a slow breath, trying to steady himself.

But it was to no avail: he could still feel the soft hair slipping between his fingers...could still see the flush over porcelain skin.

You love Seto. You love your relationship with Seto. You love working with Seto. You love LOOKING at Seto. You love everything about Seto. And he loves you, too.

"So, stop being an asshole," he whispered.

Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, THUD!

Somebody was booking it down the hall, past the bathroom.

"Yugi!" Ryou cried; it sounded like he was at the stair's landing.

Oh shit! I was supposed to get Seto!

He yanked the door open and jogged over to Ryou.

"Yuuuuugiiiii!" the hikari cried again, looking upward.

"Hey," he placed a hand on Ryou's shoulder, "sorry. Had to see a man about a horse. I was just about to go up there. Everything OK?"

One look at those frenzied brown eyes, and he immediately knew the answer.

Jou's eyes went wide. "I'll go get Seto."

"PLEASE." The hikari twitched.

But just as he began his mad dash up the stairs, he nearly crashed into Yugi, who seemed to be running for his life.

"OH!" the little one squeaked. "Sorry, Jounouchi!"

"You're cool; is Seto up there?"

Eyes widening to cartoon-like proportions, Yugi looked away, then ran past him. "Yeah."

Jou raised an eyebrow.

...What the hell was that?

"Thank God," Ryou cried, grabbing Yugi by the wrist as soon as he got to him. "I need you NOW."

"How bad is it this time?" he asked, as Ryou dragged him down the hall.

"There was talk of live mummification."

"Oh jeez...again?"

Their voices faded out as they headed back toward the kitchen, and he continued his dash up the stairs.

"Oh, Darling...!" he called out in a teasing tone the moment he reached the upstairs hallway.

"In here," the familiar voice called back.

After trekking down the hall, he entered their room to find Seto, sitting on their bed. "Hey." He smiled. "Whatcha up to?"

Giving him one of his famous 'I-got-you-mother-fucker' half grins, Seto presented a very familiar sweater. "Care to explain how this wound up in YOUR closet?"

He gave him a toothy smile. "...No?"

After rolling his eyes, his partner got to his feet. "How're they doing down there?"

"The Egyptians want to pull each others’ brains out of their noses."

"Beautiful." Seto walked over to Jou's closet, then started digging through the collection.

He cocked his head. "What're you doing?"

Seto emerged, one sweater richer. "Grabbing another sweater. It's going to cool down out there."

Pulling one corner of his mouth taut, he pouted; the sweater his partner held was one of his least favorites, hence the reason he tried to maroon it in New York. But, with the look he’d gotten earlier, he didn’t dare say a word about it.

“I just want you to be warm.” Seto handed him the one he’d scolded him about.

A touched smile curled his lips as he accepted the offering.

...Followed by a pang of overwhelming guilt.

Giving him a half smile back, Seto started past him. “Let’s get down there before fur starts flying.”

But he caught his partner by the arm before he could pass through the doorway; Seto turned toward him, those blue eyes looking inquisitively back at him.

“I don’t think I tell you often enough that you’re the best part of my life.”

Seto’s eyes widened before they blinked; he averted his gaze, but not before Jou realized his partner was fighting an overcome smile. “Like I don’t already know that.”

Drawing his partner’s arm toward him, he pulled him into a loose embrace, wrapping his arms around Seto’s thin waist. “Even if you do, smart ass, you deserve to hear it. And I need to say it to you.”

Even though the brunette looked at his face, he wasn’t looking into his eyes; expression unreadable, he drew in a breath as he tucked some of Jou’s hair behind his ear. “As long as you believe I deserve you, I don’t need anything else.”

“You probably deserve better.”

“There’s no such thing,” he whispered.

A warmth grew throughout his body; Seto leaned forward, touching their foreheads together, digging his fingers into his hair. Despite the fact that the brunette was still holding the sweater in his other hand, it came up to his head, as Seto planted a lingering, closed-mouth kiss on his lips. Fingertips pressing into Seto’s lower back, he let out a sigh as his partner released his lips.

“Let’s not get too carried away,” Seto whispered, dropping his hands from his head. “Once again, we’re being poor hosts.”

Giving him a reluctant nod, he slid his hands down to Seto’s rear, giving him a quick grope before letting go. “You’re right. But let it be known: If we ever do this again, we’re coming alone a week before anybody gets here.”

The sound of footsteps running up the stairs silenced them both; they looked toward the doorway as somebody with little feet ran into a room, rummaged around, then ran back out, and down the stairs.

He cocked his head. “That didn’t sound very good.”

“No. It didn’t. We’d better go.” Seto dashed out of the room, and he followed along behind him.