The Unclean Prince
Copyright© 2013 by Serena Jones
Fan Fiction Sex Story: Chapter 1 - Ten years after "Sow and Reap", Seto's son William must learn how to love - and then learn how to let go. Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh or any of it's related. I am not making nor do I seek to make any financial gain from this. I just wrote a fanfic based on the sources mentioned.
I was in my studio, painting. I always come back to painting. I did sculpture - mostly clay - for a while, and metalwork. I get an idea and spend a year or so experimenting with a new form or medium. The Tokyo Museum keeps a space open for me in the Kaiba Gallery and I rotate pieces about every six months.
But I always wind up back here - at home in Domino, in the studio at Kaiba Manor, painting.
I think it's easier to express myself through color and line. Other media can be fun, but when I finish I feel like I've made a craftwork - something pretty or useful - not an artwork - something that has meaning and feeling. My older sister, Auset, has no idea what I mean when I say that. My younger brother, Nobuyuki, nods. He's a musician; he gets exactly what I mean.
I was actually listening to one of Nobu's older CD's as I worked. I was doing a portrait for my uncle's upcoming wedding.
My favorite uncle was marrying a woman he'd met while at a gun show in America. She had a gun on display that he wanted to buy; she wouldn't sell. It was a KG with a single-digit modification number, and worth thousands as a collectible, but for Uncle Moke, it was priceless. He offered her double its book value and she declined. He offered her a flat million, US for it and she laughed. For a year, every time Uncle Moke saw her at a trade show, he tried to purchase the gun. She refused - even after she learned that he wasn't lying about being Kaiba Mokuba, CEO of KaibaArms and son of the late Kaiba Gozaburo.
Uncle Moke said he realized that he wasn't interested in the gun anymore when he noticed that his schedule had 14 US trade show stops over the next 60-day period and she hadn't brought the weapon in question to a show in at least three months. The next time he saw her, he asked her to dinner. She said yes. That was two years ago and my uncle, whose bedroom had previously needed a revolving door, hadn't dated anyone else since.
Then, a few months ago, she told him that she was tired of waiting for him and asked him to marry her. Uncle Moke said that was the moment he realized she was perfect for him. He, of course, said 'yes.'
The whole immediate family had gone to the American wedding last fall. She was from West Virginia and the small town where they held the service left me speechless with its autumnal beauty. I stayed there an additional month after the wedding to do a photographic essay of the town, the 'hills', and the various limestone caverns beneath. I gave the resulting book to the bride as a belated wedding gift.
Now, spring had arrived and they were having a traditional Japanese ceremony at our shrine the weekend the cherry blossoms peaked. The entire household was swept up with 'wedding fever'. Father had decided that no expense would be spared and no tradition overlooked. Then he ordered Ryou-Sensei to handle the details.
I managed to avoid most of the plans by retreating to my studio - ostensibly to work on my gift for the couple. I promised Ryou-Sensei that I'd have six new paintings to decorate the manor finished the week before the event. Five were finished and hung.
I had painted the bride in her hunting gear, aiming. It sounded somewhat gruesome, but her expression at the time the photo was taken was one of introspection and peace. She looked at one with her world. Two of the other paintings were scenic views of the town and the church for the American service. The remaining two were scenic views of Domino and the Kaiba Shrine.
The sixth was still in front of me. The wedding was tomorrow. I was still trying to finish the portrait of Uncle Moke. It wasn't the first portrait I'd done of him - just the first one I'd painted after...
I sighed deeply.
The only thing stupider than falling in love with my uncle was sleeping with him. This wedding was crushing me.
I graduated from the Duel Academy high school program when I was fourteen - two years earlier than average for DA students. Auset, of course, was twelve when she graduated, but that surprised no one. To my credit, I was a year into my Fine Arts degree at the time and I'd already had several gallery shows around the world. But if you want to feel good about your educational progress, don't compare your scores to Auset's. Just don't.
Thankfully for my ego, she could just barely manage to draw a legible stick figure. Thus, every time she thought of a new card to submit to I2 or she needed a rendering of one of her science-y things, she came to me for help.
"Will!" My sister shouted as she banged on my studio door. I keep it locked. "Open up!"
My studio was a two-story pagoda on the eastern most corner of our property. It was my first attempt at architectural design and I was very pleased with it. Dad let me build it a twenty-minute walk from the main house in hopes that he'd never hear my mp3 player again. Nobu's music studio was just as far to the western edge of the property for a similar reason.
Inside, my studio had enough space and light for almost any project I wanted to try. I had a pottery corner complete with a wood-burning kiln on one side. Opposite that, I had a wood and leather workstation. Under the eastern window, I had my drafting table and drawing supplies. Most of the rest of the space changed with my mood and current projects. I was finishing my first attempt at welding and the bossa nova/French jazz I was playing at full volume fit the mood of the piece I was creating.
I heard 'Set during a break between songs, paused the music and opened the door. "What?"
"Can't I just come see my big, handsome brother?" She asked sweetly.
I snickered. It was true that I was taller and broader than 'Set, but 'handsome' was something of a stretch in my opinion. "No."
She rolled her eyes. "You were the one that said I should try being nicer."
"Yeah, 'being', not 'acting'."
She pinched me. "Like you can talk." She pushed past me as I rubbed my stinging arm, and peered around my private space. "So whatcha working on?" She saw the metal sculpture. "Oh cool!"
In truth, the need to 'be nicer' was the only thing my siblings and I had in common. Auset - the eldest at 20 - had shoulder-length chestnut hair and blue eyes like our adopted father, Kaiba Seto. When she was younger, she dyed her hair a different color every other month, but at some point she, started wearing it in the same cut Father wore. Also like our father, my sister already had two PhD's in scientific disciplines. Unlike Father, she was extremely social and was usually right behind Papa or Dad on any wild idea they had.
Nobuyuki, my 13-year-old brother, was short and angelically cute with violet eyes and the trademark Mutou tri-colored hair - especially odd because he was adopted and it wasn't dyed. Our adopted Dad - Mutou Yami - insisted that Nobu's hair and height were proof of the outlandish story of my brother's 'birth'. To me, it was one more verification that strange things happen around people named 'Mutou'. Nobu had two loves in life - music and the last girl he spent more than ten minutes with. He fell in love daily and fell out of love almost as fast.
I was the dark one. Black hair - never longer than my chin - and black eyes. I was taller than anyone but Father, and heavier. A wolf not a mutt, Jounouchi Katsuya, our third adopted parent - 'Papa' to my siblings and I - sometimes teased me when we were alone. 'In a house full of cats, ' he'd tell me, 'we dogs have to stick together.'
I closed the door with a resigned shake of my head and a slightly affectionate smile. 'Set had never taken 'no' for an answer and wouldn't know 'tact' if it smacked her in the face. "Just a bit of fun. I was thinking it would be nice in the guesthouse foyer."
"Very cool." She nodded, agreeing. "It reminds me of Nobu."
I looked at the piece. It did have a rather 'musical' flow to it. I'd been considering etching some designs into several of the panels; I picked up a nearby pen and added a musical note in one of the places I was considering.
"Oh no!" 'Set took the pen from me. "I have a question; you can get all vapor-locked when I leave."
"Can you do tattoos?"
I hadn't thought of that one; the human body as canvas. "I haven't trained for it." I said, thinking. "That uses needles so there's health stuff involved."
"What about designing one?"
I shrugged. "It's just art. I can do that."
"Cool. Hian and I want to get matching tramp stamps."
Papa had a tattoo - a scarab hiding a scar on his chest - but that in no way meant he'd approve of 'Set or Hian getting one. "You realize, of course, that Uncle Hiro and Papa will race to see which one can kill you first, if they see it." She shrugged and grinned. "You'll be grounded until you're fifty." I went to my drafting table and found a blank sheet of paper. "What did you have in mind?"
"What else? The KC dragon." She grinned. "I want it curled up like a sleeping kitty."
I smiled as I started drawing. Papa might have a fit, but Father wouldn't care about it if was the corporate logo. Auset stayed quiet as I worked out a few ideas on paper, only commenting if she wanted something different than I was designing. I pulled out my pens after a few minutes and added color to the design.
Then I began to worry about how big it was and whether there was too much detail to be visible. I stopped drawing and looked at my sister. I could use the permanent markers, draw it directly on her and see what works. It would solve the design issue and if our fathers hated it, it would wear off eventually. Plus, if she liked it, and they Ok'ed it, the tattoo artist wouldn't have to reproduce my design, just follow the original.
"What?" 'Set asked. I realized with a start that it was the third time she'd asked.
"Turn around and take off your shirt." I said, making my decision.
Without hesitation she did both. We'd stopped being shy around each other years ago. 'Set was lovely, but I'd already figured out that girls didn't do it for me.
She leaned against the wall and called Hian on the phone as I drew the dragon at the base of her spine where only her theoretic lover could see it.
As I was coloring and adding shading, Hian yelled for me to open the door. "Don't move." I ordered 'Set and let my cousin in.
Hianko was my cousin both by marriage and by law. When her parents got married, Father, as Head of the Kaiba Family, made them part of The Family - which would mean a whole lot more if we lived in feudal Japan. Here, now, it's meaningless except as a testament to how much Father values Aunt Anzu and Uncle Hiro. The fact that Uncle Hiro's dad married Papa's mom was a much more concrete connection. Like her mother, Hian had short, chestnut brown hair and blue-brown eyes; like her father, she was tall - at 6ft, she was my height.
"Oh, that so rocks!" Hian went straight to 'Set and critiqued my work. "I thought you wanted it in black?"
"I did!" My sister tried in vain to look at the artwork. "What did you do, Will?"
"KC's dragon is white." Duh.
"Yeah, but I wanted black."
"Yeah, but the KC dragon is white."
"It does look very cool the way he's done it." Hian observed. "You should leave it. Can you do mine just like it, but in black?"
"Blue." I began pulling out the colors I'd need for Hian.
"Why not black?" I ignored the question. "Ok. White, then. Like 'Set's."
"Blue." I repeated. Why do they come to me for art if they don't want to listen? "Turn around and take off your shirt."
"Why not white?" she asked, not moving.
I sighed. "'Set's skin is dark enough that the white stands out, but it doesn't clash." I took the white marker and drew a circle on the back of my dark, East Indian wrist. "On me, this would look silly and as pale as you are, on you, it would be virtually invisible. ' Set's is white with blue eyes. I'll do yours blue with white eyes."
"Oh!" Her eyes lit up, as she understood the obvious. "Cool!" She tossed her top aside and took her place beside my sister.
I used Auset's dragon as a guide and created a mirror image for Hianko, reversing all the left/rights and colors. I filled in the details for both of them at the same time. When I was done, I had to admit that they both did look pretty cool.
I put the pen down. "Can I finish what I was doing now?"
They ignored me in favor of squealing with glee over their new 'accessory'. I put my pens away, filed my earlier sketches, and wiped my workspace clean.
I looked up just in time to see 'Set standing upright after, apparently, having kissed Hian's stamp. Hian was more than an inch or so taller - even though she was four years younger - so she had to lean down to catch my sister's lips with her own.
It made me uncomfortable for more than just the obvious reasons.
I turned away and turned my mp3 player back on. Astrud Gilberto's "The Girl from Ipanema" filled the room. Supposedly, no one knew that 'Set and Hian were fooling around, but they often seemed to forget that around me. It was a bit annoying; I mean, yes I preferred boys, but two topless girls kissing was a bit much for any teenage boy to watch, regardless of preference.
I looked at the welding piece. If I was planning to do any real etching, I should do it properly. I covered the piece with a spray-on wax and let it harden while I found my tools.
I paused to watch my sister and cousin making out. It was an old yoga/mental focus trick that Uncle Ryuji taught me that helped me ignore my own physiological responses to sex. They didn't always work, but when they did I could view sex as art - which definitely was a useful way to view it. I wondered, as I watched them, if I could get them to model for me. Much of the art throughout ancient history had overtly sexual themes. I had wanted to try some lost wax bronze statues, and a casting of the two of them would be perfect in the theme of a 2nd century Kamasutra piece.
If I could talk them into it, I could do a great companion casting with Ryou-sensei and Uncle Ryuji as well. Despite being almost forty, neither of my uncles looked over twenty-five - Uncle Ryuji still got hit on by teenaged girls at the mall! Ryou-sensei was simply beautiful. More beautiful than most women, in fact. When they dressed to impress, together they were always the center of attention.
If I could find a heterosexual couple, I could make a trio. Maybe Nobu could find a suitable girl. I made a note on my calendar to see if I could get the University to include the project as part of my Master's program on Oriental Art forms and got back to my etching.
Of course, Aunt Anzu saw the faux tattoos first, right before dinner. Of course, all five parental units had meltdowns over them. Father was the least upset, but only because they were temporary.
It had been a huge adjustment for me to go from no family at all to having effectively five parents. It was more than overwhelming at first, but I did learn finally. The simplest way was seek the parent with the skill you needed at the moment: Aunt Anzu if you needed mothering, Dad if you needed to solve something intellectual, Uncle Hiro if you needed to solve something emotional. Talk to Papa if you had a problem inside the family, and to Father if you had a problem outside.
All in their mid-thirties, my fathers still looked young and handsome. I would never have targeted them in Agra. Men like these did not seek out poverty-stricken dalit children in the streets - the unclean and untouchable by anyone of even the lowest caste. They would never use them, use me that way. I was blessed to have such parents.
Even when they were angry over inconsequential things. Nobu pointed out that Papa had a tattoo and was sent to his room by Uncle Hiro. That, for some reason, was a taboo subject. Ultimately, the girls were grounded for a month and I got a week on probation for helping them.
The following weekend, I was again in my studio. This time I was writing the proposal for the bronze works. My advisor agreed that the projects had merit and - if I kept them to implied rather than open sexuality - he felt that I could display them and the technique for making them on campus. I had Hindi sitar music blasting.
So I nearly jumped out of my own skin when a hand touched my shoulder.
My Uncle Mokuba laughed at me as he turned off my music. My heart was still racing as I looked over and saw the open door.
"A little breaking and entering skill I picked up." He laughed. "You look like you're about to have heart failure! If you're gonna keep the music up like that, don't sit with your back to the door!"
"You're supposed to knock!" I snapped as my nerves began to settle.
"I did!" He grinned at me. "We've got quieter military jets." He ruffled my hair. "You ok yet?" I nodded; annoyed but ok. "Good." He continued to look at me for a moment before shaking his head. "It's amazing. You look nothing like him, but you are so Seto's son. He gets wrapped up in his work like that too. Not with the music, but that level of concentration."
"I have to concentrate. The music's just to block out everything else." I frowned. "The world annoys me for the most part."
Uncle Moke laughed again as I stood up. "Are you sure you're adopted?"
I shrugged. "Reincarnation does odd things with the soul." I said.
"It does to hear Yami tell it, at least." He agreed. He looked over at my proposal. "So what is all this?"
"School." I said as I pulled the pages into an orderly stack. I'd just as soon he not see the nude test photos of the girls.
"Ugh." He looked around the studio.
I looked at him.
Uncle Moke was stunning. Taller than Father, jet black hair that he kept at shoulder length, but always looked windblown, dark eyes that seemed to absorb mine every time I found myself looking into them. Broad shoulders, muscular chest, six-pack abs, tanned. My father's brother looked very little like my father although they were utterly devoted to each other emotionally.
It was illicit and wicked, but every time I saw him, I found myself thinking about sex. The focus tricks were powerless in the face of That Face.
I knew it was wrong, but it was truly my favorite fantasy; looking at Uncle Moke and wondering what it would be like to trace my fingers down his chest, over his abs, below his belt...
Of course the problem was always that once I got physically aroused, the guilt and shame issues all popped into my head. That was why Uncle Ryuji taught me how to block my own responses in the first place; he thought I'd feel better if I had more control over what I felt. I know what Father told me and I know what Ryou-Sensei told me, but I still had to wonder if I would ever feel ok about sex; if I'd ever want to touch anyone that way. Want to allow anyone to touch me that way. Again. Or if I'd ever actually enjoy either.
Looking at Uncle Moke was a form of masochism.
"Did you need something?" I asked him.
"Huh?" He looked up from the metalwork I'd done, a bit confused. "Oh, yeah! Joey wants you back at the house. He said you weren't answering the phone so I volunteered to come find you."
"Oh." I began shutting my workspace down.
Papa had said something at breakfast about he and I going to the market downtown. There was no real need for us to do that sort of thing - the household staff took care of groceries and such - but Papa liked to do some kind of errand with each of us kids at least once a week. He said he and his mom had their best conversations while shopping for melons or looking for a new teapot. I didn't know if they were the best conversations, but I hated missing my turn to hang out with Papa for those errands.
"Oh, right!" Uncle Moke snapped his fingers. "That's the other thing I wanted to talk to you about. Hian and Auset's tattoos. Wicked cool, dude."
"So, I was wondering if you'd do one for me."
"A tramp stamp?" Uncle Moke bent over in front of me as I decorated the top of his ass ... Oh my...
He laughed again. He had a loud, easy, open laugh. I could have listened to it for hours.
"No - well, not this time at least." He sat on the edge of my worktable. "I want three dragons. One on each arm, and one across my chest. Black, white and red."
I closed my desk drawer. That was a lot of ink. That was yakuza-level ink. I looked at him. The right design would highlight the strength of those arms. I'd never mar that chest, but around his shoulders, a dragon would...
I snapped out of my reverie and found my mouth dry. "Uh. Yeah. Is - uh - does Father know -"
"Nii-sama can have a stroke if he wants." Uncle Moke chuckled. "I'm almost thirty; I'm old enough to make a decision or two on my own."
Almost thirty. He barely looked twenty.
"So? What do you think?"
"Uh -" I tried to pull my mind out of the gutter and think about the project realistically. "That's a lot of ink. It'll take me a while to design and draw. And of course, someone else will have to do the real tattooing."
He shrugged. "I can work from Domino for a while. And you can get the license for this stuff can't you?"
"I'm sixteen?" I reminded him.
"Fuck that. I'll pull a couple strings." He grinned. "It's good to be Kaiba."
He'd probably make one phone call. It was amazing the kind of high caste power my family had. I shrugged and opened the drawer where I store my pens. "Take off your shirt." I'm never going to relax about being in lust with my uncle so I may as well get the project started.
"What, now?" He laughed yet again. "We really should rename you Seto, Jr! You have a date with Joey and I have a date with..." He paused and frowned for a moment. "New chick ... works at the White Dragon ... Kayuko! That's her name - Taro Kayuko."
As it turned out, I was not willing to do the five-year apprenticeship required to learn the true art of tattooing in any reputable shop, so together, Uncle Moke and I found a shop with an artist I thought was capable of finalizing my designs.
It took us a couple weeks to visit all the shops we were considering and during that time, I got to spend more time, one-on-one, with Uncle Mokuba than I ever had before. He was smart and funny and perfect.
A crush, I told myself over and over. A perfectly normal, adolescent crush. The fact that he was my father's brother was irrelevant; teenage hormones do not acknowledge appropriate boundaries. I had a crush on an older man whom I admired and respected. There was no possibility that he could feel the same way. And since I felt guilty even touching myself, there was no chance of me doing something that made the whole thing awkward.
"Hey, you do metal and woodwork, right?" He asked me one afternoon as we were heading to the office so that he could attend a meeting. I had a meeting with my advisor so I was going to campus after we dropped him off.
"What about weapon design?"
"What about it?"
"Have you tried it?"
"No." I hadn't even considered it. "Why?"
He shrugged. "I just thought it might be something you'd be good at. I was hoping you'd help me with a design problem."
He wanted my help?
It's only a crush. It's only a crush. It's only a crush.
He went on. "One of the Imperial bitches thinks that her security's weapons are 'ugly' and common. So, she commissioned KaibaArms to make her something 'pretty'." He snorted. "And since we're Imperial Vassals, it is naturally my privilege to create something worthy of the delicate royal pain in the ass."
I wasn't sure what to say; what's a pretty gun?
"Yeah," he nodded. "That expression's about what I said when Nii-sama dropped the damn thing on my desk. I'm losing my mind trying to come up with something functional and 'pretty'. I thought you might have an idea or two."
I thought about it. With weapons, form follows function so you can't really do anything about the basic shape. But you could do some aesthetics with the exteriors.
"Here." Somehow, Uncle Moke read my mind and handed me a note pad and a pen.
The first thing would be material for the grip. Polished wood was the old style and any number of metals and stones can be inlaid. But both ideas would fit my definition of 'common'. Etching and anodizing would create something more unique. And I could include both the Imperial Kamon and the Kaiba dragon.
I glared at the driver. "What?"
"Oh." Then I realized that Uncle Moke was not in the car. Then I realized that we were at my advisor's office. I'd missed the entire trip working on the idea. "Thanks." I got out of the car.
I was meticulous in researching gunsmithing and designing the weapons for the Imperial Princess. I used a number of different techniques and wound up spending a lot of time in the KaibaCorp office building. I took some time off from my Master's degree - it was self-paced anyway - and concentrated on making a line of security weapons fit for royalty.
I acid etched the Imperial Kamon and the KaibaCorp logo. Over the entire remaining surface, I etched a floral pattern. Then, I carefully anodized the metal to give it a rainbow color effect that was iridescent yet subtle. I made a pistol, a revolver, a rifle and a stun gun.
Each took its own effort and modifications, and I spent far more time than I ever dreamed I would in the KC smithy. Since I wasn't allowed to have the whole room filled with music, I had my headphones on at full volume.
When my phone rang, I heard the old Star Wars Imperial March - which is still one of the best pieces ever for a dramatic entrance.
"You're here late." A familiar and somewhat amused voice said softly.
"I'll go home with you." I replied. "Is that ok?"
"If you are leaving with me, then I suggest that you put away that acid."
How the hell... ? I looked over my shoulder and saw my bemused father putting his phone away. I took off the headphones and put the lid back on the jar as he crossed the room.
"Lovely." He said, carefully turning the pistol I had been finishing. "How will you finish this section of the barrel?"
"A jade inlay, I think."
He shook his head. "It will crack if the weapon is ever fired. Most gemstones will. How on earth did you get this extraordinary color so consistent?"
"I used that." I gestured to the modified welding tool.
Father put the gun down and studied the contraption. "New design?" he asked.
Obviously. "I needed the intensity of a welding arc applied to the entire piece at one time. I couldn't find anything that did that, and I got tired of looking. So I built this."
He turned it on, watched the eight flames burn for a moment, and then adjusted the heat levels. He turned it off, and studied the fuel sources and the, admittedly, makeshift wiring. "Brilliant." He said at last. "Utterly amazing." He pulled out his phone and left a voice mail for the R&D manager to come see me about the tool first thing in the morning. "Now. When will the weapons be ready?"
"Well, if I can figure out what to do with the pistol barrel, I can have the prototypes finished tomorrow. I don't know how many were ordered so I don't know how long it will take to finish that part.
"I want them on my desk before you leave for the day tomorrow." He said. "Enough for today. Joey is undoubtedly annoyed because we'll turn into pumpkins if we arrive an instant after midnight." I glanced at my watch; it was already after 1am. He put his hand on my chin and lifted my face to his. "I am genuinely impressed with your work here." He actually beamed. "I am exceedingly proud of you, William."
Father, Uncle Mokuba and I waited, on the floor, properly humble, while Her Imperial Highness examined the array of weapons we presented to her in a custom-made, black lacquered box with purple velvet and red silk lining.
She had ooh'ed over the color, and aah'ed about the engraving. She hadn't bothered to consider the mechanics of the guns; she handed the booklet containing the technical specs to one of her aides. She was more interested in the box than in the quality of the weapons.
She asked a great number of stupid questions before one of the men sitting with her sighed heavily. "Sister, enough! Do you like them?"
"Well..." She turned the pistol around in her hands. "They are the prettiest one's I've seen so far."
"I doubt you will see any," he rolled his eyes, "prettier."
"Can I keep these?" She asked.
"No!" I snapped. They were my prototypes!
"Of course." Father said smoothly. "They are our gift to you, Highness. Imperial Prince, if you would prefer, we can discuss the commercial matters of quantities and cost at another time."
"There is no need." The Prince gestured and a military-looking man handed Father an envelope. Father slipped it into his pocket without opening it. "That is what we require."
"Your Imperial Highness is most considerate." Father said.
"Our cousins are most kind." The Prince replied. "The weapons are truly works of art."
Cousins? I looked at my father and uncle who seemed to have no response to the word. The Prince hadn't used the Japanese word meaning 'close friend of the family'; he used the one meaning 'blood kin'. They were cousins of the Imperial family? That would explain a lot.
Then, we were suddenly standing and bowing, and exchanging farewells.
The princess bound over to me and I realized that she was much younger than I was. "Thank you so much, Kaiba-san!" She hugged me. "I'll keep them forever."
I frowned, but over her head, Father gave me a rather expectant look. I tried not to sigh aloud. "It was my pleasure, Princess." I managed without any sincerity at all. "The Kaiba Family is always happy to serve."
We made it all the way to the car before Uncle Moke burst. "Holy fuck! What a little brat! Did you see that? She didn't even ask if they'd been test fired!"
"And those were my originals!" I added. "I always keep the originals!"
Father chuckled. "And neither of you is even vaguely interested in what she is willing to pay for those originals she didn't test fire?"
"Gimme that." Uncle Moke reached for the envelope that Father had pulled out, but Father moved it out of his reach. Despite his earlier irritation, my uncle smiled. "Seto! Come on! I know you already know what's in there."
"Me?" Father failed to look innocent. "How would I know?"
"You always know, Nii-sama. Come on, big bro; it is my contract."
Father pretended to think about it, and then tossed his brother the envelope. Uncle Moke opened it, flipped to the last page, and laughed.
"I trust you approve of the profit margin?" Father asked.
"Yeah. I can live with 24%."
I frowned. With a margin that high, I was unlikely to get my prototypes back. 'Paying the cost, ' Father would say.
I cleaned my studio, set up a workstation with a low backed chair I hoped would be comfortable, and picked music I thought Uncle Moke would like - at a volume that we could talk over without shouting. It was summer so I had all the windows open.
I had a few ideas for the dragons that I'd been contemplating, but I didn't know how elaborate Uncle wanted the designs. I'd done a few sketches based on things like his car and the decor in his room. I was looking them over again when he knocked on the door.
"Come!" I yelled, not looking up from my work. I'd left it unlocked for him.
"Hey! How's it going?" He asked cheerfully.
"Fine." I frowned at the drawing. I was missing something. Then I realized what. "Why?"
"Why?" I repeated. "Why multicolored dragons, why this placement?"
"Oh." He actually looked embarrassed. "It's, well, ok. It's corny." He hesitated. "You want me to sit over here?" He asked, still not answering the question.
"Yes. Take off your shirt." I managed not to blush when I said it.
But he blushed as he did it! "Sure. Of course." He sat down. "Ok. Don't laugh. The dragons are for the ancestors. Not all of them, just the last generation. My father and my two aunts."
"Oh." That was nothing to laugh at. I honestly thought he just wanted something 'cool'. I forgot about Uncle Mokuba's deep, traditional, reverent side. He was sharing that part of himself with me.
It's just a crush. It's just a crush. It's just a crush.
"Ok." I stood behind him. "Which dragon did you want here?" I used one finger to lightly trace the back of his shoulders. Firm, smooth, taut. The kind of shoulders I wanted to rub my cheek against.
His shoulders stiffened slightly. Then he cleared his throat. "I'd been thinking of putting the red one on my chest, not my back. I figured the black and white on my arms."
"It will look better on your shoulders." I pointed out. "And if it's the black one. They should all be black." It would be sexy as all hell and then some.
"The red's for Auntie - Noah's mother. She died before you were adopted; before you were born, really. She was the closest thing I had to a mom growing up." He smiled at the memory. "She used to bring us almond cookies on me and Seto's birthdays. Dad tried to ban sugar from the house, but she always found a way to sneak them in to us." He laughed softly. "She even shipped them to me the years I was in Paris." He looked at me. "You've never been inside the family crypt, have you?"
"Why do we have a crypt?" I asked. I thought everyone in Japan was cremated.
He chuckled as he put on his shirt again. "We're Kaiba. We have everything." He picked up his phone and dialed. "Bring my NSX to the main house." That was the car he used when he didn't want a driver. He hung up and dialed again. "Dude! Hey! William's with me. Yeah. Cool. Later." He hung up and grinned at me. "You ready?"
"Ready for what?"
"Field trip. We're going to the crypt. I'll tell you what I know about my aunts on the way. And about Dad." We walked back to where his car was waiting. "I know Nii-sama doesn't talk about him much."
"Not at all."
"Yeah." My uncle sounded sad. "Dad was - he was difficult." He didn't say anything more for a while.
In the wedding portrait, Uncle Mokuba is smiling. You can just see the grip of the revolver he was holding as he looks into the distance. What he was looking at was Papa and Auset racing to see who could get to the target first, but in the photo all you see is Uncle, smiling.
In the few portraits that I've done of Uncle, I have three small dragons - red, black and white - with him. A running joke alluding to his tattoos, which were seldom visible. This time, White was peering out under his gun hand with the same smile as Uncle. Black and Red were watching from his shirt pocket.
Uncle always laughs when he sees the dragons. He seems to love finding them. Now I feel like I'm painting them for the last time. They were our joke. Our secret.
Now, he was marrying her.
It was two weeks of false starts before Uncle Moke sat in my studio, half-naked, and I began drawing the first of three full-sized dragons across the back and shoulders that I'd begun to dream about holding.
I had learned, during the intervening time, a lot about Uncle's relationship with his father, and with the aunt he knew.
"I think Nii-sama knows more about Aunt Kisara than he's told me." Uncle said as I worked on his shoulder. "I mean I know Blue Eyes, White Dragon is his signature card, but sometimes it seems like there's more to it than that." He paused. "Like he did know Aunt Kisara - like she was his mom." He turned and looked at me suddenly, making me smear the line I was drawing. "That didn't make any sense at all."
"Father rejects your father." I pointed out with a shrug. "Maybe he has adopted the Aunt he never knew as a parent he can accept."
He laughed. "Seto? Emotional escapism? Never!"
"It was only a thought." I looked at the smudged line and tried to correct it. "Hold still."
I concentrated on drawing, on seeing canvas not his skin. On the dragon, not the muscles beneath.
But I couldn't escape the feel of him or the musky scent of his sweat during the heat of the day. I couldn't avoid my own arousal or my own pounding heartbeat. No mental trick could overcome spending that much time touching him.
It's only a crush. It's only a crush. It's only a crush. It's only...
His face was next to mine. His lips were next to mine. He was panting. I did the boldest thing I'd ever done.
I kissed him.
His lips were firm, but soft. His tongue tasted like the cola he'd been sipping. His strong hand caressed the back of my neck, making it impossible for me to think of anything else. I realized that my shirt was gone, but I had no memory of removing it only of the pleasure his hand brought me when it stroked my chest. I could feel my own hardness rubbing against his. Throbbing. Our pants were in the way, dulling the sensation. I dropped one hand to his belt.
Uncle groaned into our kiss and leaned forward, pushing us both to the floor. We struggled to remove his pants first without releasing our mouths. Then, he pulled me sideways and began removing my pants. I wound up on top of him and, perhaps wickedly, took the advantage.
I slipped down, between his legs, forcing him to sit up slightly to keep hold of my lips. My hands stroked his lingam - long, hard, pulsing. I reached lower and cupped his stones. He groaned again and his kiss became greedier.
I reached further, found his opening and used my fingers to explore it. Uncle quivered, held me tighter, kissed me deeper. I could not control myself.
I inserted my lingam into his opening.
I could not stop my own moan of ecstasy. Uncle clung to me and growled, and it was a moment before I realized that his hands were attempting to push not pull.
I lay very still as I realized that I had just done to Uncle Moke what so many men had done to me. I found myself shaking. My stomach turned.
And yet, even with my guilt, it felt so good to be joined with him.
"It's ok, William." He whispered, his arms wrapping tightly around me. "I just wasn't expecting that. It's ok." He kissed me again. And again. "Don't stop now." He breathed. "We're just starting the good part."
I'd never been seme before. The men in Arga always wanted to take a young boy, not to be taken by one. Uncle Moke whispered how good it felt. He spread his legs wider. He told me to speed up. He guided my hand along his lingam until he gasped and burst.
"Come for me, Will." He groaned. A minute or so later, I did.
And for the first time, I did not want to slit my own wrists.
I found myself waking in my Uncle's arms, feeling more loved and safer than I had ever felt in my life. I looked up to see him smiling down at me.
"Hey." He said softly.
"Hey." I replied with a smile of my own.
"We should probably talk about that." He observed.
I sat up, my guilt cascading in on me. "I am Dalit." I remembered. Unclean by caste. By birth.
"The fuck?" My uncle sat up beside me. "Who said that?"
"It is my karma." I sighed. "Dad says..."
"Bullshit!" He turned me by my shoulders to face him. "Yami would never say anything like that to you."
"Dad says we cannot escape the karma we are born with."
"I don't give a damn what you were born!" He grabbed my chin the way Father would have and made me met his eyes. "You are a son of the House of Kaiba, William. Not even the Emperor is greater caste than you."
I shook my head sadly. "You would not say that had you known what I was before."
He rolled his eyes. "Ryou told us where and how he found you. You thought we didn't know? Of course we knew. If Seto hadn't adopted you, I would have. No kid should have gone through what you did, Will. But you aren't less than anything because of it. I'm amazed by you." He stroked my cheek. "So strong no matter what life does to you. So much like Seto."
At that moment, I realized that I'd found the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
"So what do you think?"
It had taken most of the summer for me to finish the art, and for the subsequent tattoo artist to complete all three dragons. Black dragon guided Uncle Moke's right hand, White dragon tempered his left, and Red dragon gave him support and courage. He unveiled the three at a family pool party.
Naturally, there was a split - largely along age lines. My sister, brother and cousins all thought the tattoos were yet more proof the Uncle Moke was the only 'cool' adult in the family. The family adults took them as a sign that he was still the oldest 'child'.
"Mokuba, do you know what people will think when they see all that?" Aunt Anzu asked him. "Why would you do something so reckless?"
"Reckless? Oh come on!" He laughed. "I didn't get my whole body covered."
"One has to wonder if that's next." Dad commented.
"No, it's not." My uncle sighed, irritated. "You all could at least appreciate William's art!"
"Oh, is that what you two were doing, locked up in his studio day after day!" Papa observed. "I knew something bad was going on."
I blushed. That was part of what we were doing in there. When we weren't making love to each other.
It had become a regular activity for us. At least once a week, in my studio, kissing, and groping, and making each other cry out. He helped me feel ok about feeling pleasure. He helped me feel pleasure in making him feel pleasure. Both were things that I had always felt guilt and shame about before.
"That's what's supposed to happen, Will. It's good." He laughed, a bit ironically. "Not with someone twice your age or related to you, of course. But in general, when someone does this, you're supposed to like it."
'This' included sucking my lingam, licking my entrance, and letting me enter him.
"But, I should not." I said repeatedly over the summer. "You should not be the woman."
He'd kiss me and stroke my neck. "I'm not doing that to you until you're ready. Besides, it feels good when you do it. I'm enjoying this - us." Then, he would always turn serious. "Besides, it can't last forever. We can't keep seeing each other."
And of course he was right. Once I finished the art and he'd begun the tattooing itself, I'd only seen him twice. This family gathering was the first time in two weeks we'd been in the same building at the same time.
We could not be together openly, and yet, I did not want our relationship to end. Not yet. Not ever.