Third Time Breathing
This story is a solo work by Pharaoh.
Chapter One: Perfect World
Yami's eyes opened, blinking out sleep as the visage of his upscale manor came into view. The sun was peeking out from behind sheer, feathery white curtains, officially morning. It was a Saturday, the twenty-something-year-old knew, or else his alarm would have gone off by now. The sun was never up by the time he was.
He only had awoken because he was uncomfortably hot. Sticky with sweat, even. Yami let out a heavy sigh, shuffling in the sheets; he felt long, slender fingers bury into his wild hair. His wine-red eyes peeked upwards.
He saw a rare sight: the handsome, infamous Kaiba Seto was lost in deep sleep. His chocolate hair was tousled messily, half of his gorgeous face plastered against the white pillows. A single down-feather was caught in his bangs. Yami couldn't help but smirk a little. He looked ridiculous.
But, as ridiculous-looking as Kaiba could be in the morning… the CEO was still his.
It was Kaiba's body keeping him warm, burning like a furnace. Yami lay still for a moment, pondering if he should move away and try and get more sleep, or if he should get up and stop wasting the day. He was surprised Kaiba was still asleep, as the executive was normally up before him… but he remembered that the other man had just wrapped up a very large project the day before. He was probably trying to catch up on sleep.
Yami watched the sun filter on Kaiba's face for a few moments, before finally leaning into the man's embrace, kissing his exposed cheek. The CEO acknowledged the action with a groggy "hnn", but otherwise ignored him.
"Good morning," Yami said, running a honey-brown hand down along Kaiba's waist. The brunet opened one eye.
"...Morning," Kaiba greeted back. He seemed to consider the other man for a moment, but in the end chose not to say anything more. Yami slid in closer to him, kissing Kaiba's face over-and-over again. Underneath him, the brunet made a noise, turning his face this way and that as his lover assaulted him with kisses.
The two wrestled for a moment in bed before Kaiba decided to make a hasty retreat. Yami mischievously followed him, kicking off the sheets as he slid out of bed, the two naked men heading towards the master bathroom. Kaiba practically slammed the glass shower door in Yami's face, a smirk on his features as Yami protested at him from behind the door. However, it didn't stop the smaller man from entering, heading deep into the stone-set, two-person shower. The stone dragon head on Kaiba's side spat out hot water, the blue-eyed man already beginning to wash off as Yami stepped inside.
"You're feisty this morning," Yami commented. Kaiba glanced at him.
"You're walking," The CEO replied simply, and Yami felt his ears tint pink as he started his own showerhead.
The two bathed quickly, Kaiba exiting first, kissing Yami on the back of his neck as he moved past, the other still washing his wild hair. By the time Yami exited, Kaiba had already taken care of his morning regimen, patting dry his face with a hand towel. Yami slid beside him at his own sink, brushing his teeth, a sleepy look still on his face.
Kaiba gave his beau a sideways glance, before nudging Yami in an attempt to further rouse his small beau. Yami pushed back against him with an elbow. Kaiba returned the gesture.
They emerged from the bathroom minutes later grumbling at each other, rubbing at their sides.
Kaiba turned left at the back of the room, and Yami to the right, shoving each other childishly as they disappeared into their separate closets. They glanced at each other from across the way; Kaiba pulled on a pair of grey dorm pants and a navy-blue house robe. Yami settled on a silk white robe that stood out against his deeply tanned skin. Whether he was wearing anything underneath it was anyone's guess. Kaiba toed on a pair of house-slippers… his lover opted to go barefoot.
Yami managed to exit the room first, heading down the hall and towards the staircase. He heard Kaiba exit behind him, toting what looked to be a laptop underneath his arm. Yami headed down the staircase; a pretty maid greeted him on the way up.
"Good morning," She greeted, holding an empty laundry basket as she made her way up the stairs. Yami smiled pleasantly to her; Kaiba offered a nod, already wrapped up in his Intelliglass phone, thumb sliding over the clear device as he checked his messages.
The two headed into the sunroom. Yami took a seat at the breakfast table. He glance to the now-empty third seat as Kaiba took his own, blue eyes following Yami's own. Mokuba, Kaiba's younger brother, had just moved out of the house a few weeks ago, now a proud university student staying at the dormitories. Kaiba let out an audible huff of his nostrils, setting the Intelliglass laptop down onto the table. Yami was already sliding his hands over the panel on the side, ordering an orange juice as she checked to see what was being served for breakfast.
The year was 3752. Kaiba was busy on his computer, looking over the results of his project that was due to be launched next week. Yami noticed that he hadn't bothered to touch the menu panel; he ordered Kaiba a cup of coffee.
"Do you plan on working all day?" Yami inquired, and while his tone was innocent, his lover knew when he was being scrutinized. Kaiba pulled his eyes away from the screen, looking at the other.
"Do you plan on antagonizing me if I do?" The CEO rebuttaled, and when Yami smirked back at him, Kaiba let out a long sigh. "...No."
Yami seemed satisfied with the answer, still smirking at his lover as a maid came out with their drinks. Kaiba glanced to the coffee he didn't remember ordering, looking towards Yami who was now sipping on his crystal glass of orange juice. The brunet glanced back to his mug, picking it up and taking a drink.
The two were mostly silent, even as breakfast came out. Yami dug his fork into the spinach-and-feta omelette, savoring the sweet tomatoes and spices buried inside. Kaiba was eating his with half-interest, still absorbed into his work. For now, Yami decided, he would allow it. Kaiba's morning could be dedicated to Kaiba Corp… but the rest of the day…
"You haven't touched your computer all week," Kaiba commented suddenly, and Yami looked up from his plate. Kaiba's brows were furrowed. He wasn't looking at his lover. "Is it confidence? Or egotism?"
"Kaiba, you are the last person to judge me for egotism, of all things," Yami replied smoothly, and Kaiba's gaze lifted just long enough from the computer to give his partner a half-hearted glare. "The new world expansion for Dark Rebellion is complete. I've had more meetings in regards to its design than I can count on both hands in the past week. Once your new technology green lights and goes on sale next week, you'll see. Everything is fine."
Kaiba eyed Yami for a moment, but eventually gave up. He shrugged noncommittally. "You're just as impossible to work with as you were before we started fucking," The blue-eyed CEO lamented.
"I can say the same for you, Kaiba, even after three years," Yami replied, and from across the table, the two gazed at each other momentarily, taking in each other's features.
Both of them looked back down to what they were doing, but a small smile graced both of their faces.
It was the following Friday evening, and the Kaiba Mansion was bustling with activity. The next day would be the big reveal of both Kaiba's new gaming technology and Yami's new game expansion for the most popular MMORPG in the entire world, Dark Rebellion. Yami somehow managed to keep his lover anchored to the mansion that night, citing that Kaiba would have plenty of time to speak to his employees the next day before the press conference.
"They're pulling up to the gate now," Yami stated, calling up the stairs to Kaiba, holding his Intelliglass phone in one hand. "Grandpa should be here any moment!"
There wasn't an answer.
"Kaiba!" Yami shouted again, and one of the maids jumped as she slipped past him to finish preparations to the guest room. "Get out of your office and come down here, now!"
Kaiba emerged from his office, just as Yami had predicted. The CEO was dressed in grey slacks and a blue-tinted, white button up, a dark blue tie in place. His uniformity was thrown off by the striped blue-and-red socks he was wearing that Mokuba had gotten him for Christmas.
The brunet leaned his elbows on the bannister, folding his arms over the polished wood. "I don't respond well to orders."
"You'd better change your tune in the next thirty seconds," Yami shot back heatedly, Kaiba's eyes watching his boyfriend with interest. "Grandpa will be here any moment. This is his first time meeting you, you know! I want him to have a good impression of you!"
"Isn't what he sees on TV enough?" Kaiba inquired with an arched brow.
"Oh, that you're a cold and calculative businessman?" Yami put a hand on his hip as he spoke with Kaiba from separate levels. "That might be who you are to everyone else, Kaiba… but not to me. You're the person I want to spend the rest of my life with. I want Grandpa to like you."
"What, are you going to walk out the door if he doesn't?" Kaiba asked, but he was looking away now, color tinting his ears from Yami's confession.
"No, but it would make my life easier." There was a ring that sounded throughout the mansion, and Yami spun around hurriedly, walking quickly towards the front door. "He's here!"
The large double-doors at the entranceway opened as Yami entered the foyer. The door was held open by one of their many butlers. Mutou Siamun, Yami's grandfather, looked around the grand entrance to the Kaiba mansion as he rolled his suitcase behind him. The floor shined of white marble. A crystal chandelier dangled overhead, illuminated with bright lights. A grand red carpet led from the front door and into the rest of the manor. The ceiling vaulted up three stories, with perfectly clear, large windows showing off the evening sky and ocean from their seaside perch. Siamun hummed a bit in appreciation, looking over to see his grandson walking over to him quickly. Instantly, the old man's face lit up.
"Yami!" Saimun exclaimed, and the man removed his khaki-colored hat, grinning towards his grandson. Yami walked up to him, and the two embraced briefly in the hall. The butler closed the door behind the old archaeologist. Siamun pulled away, looking over his son.
"Well, you're a bit too old now to comment on you growing!" Siamun stated, and Yami made a face as his grandfather continued, "But you look healthy! Thats the most important part." He looked around the mansion one more time. "...And this house! Much nicer than our little hovel back in Domino, hm?"
Kaiba walked into the foyer, catching Siamun's attention from behind Yami. Yami glanced back to see his lover heading over, and he moved beside his grandfather.
"Kaiba, this is Siamun Mutou, my grandfather and archaeologist," Yami introduced, and Kaiba nodded his head towards Siamun. "Grandpa, this is Kaiba Seto."
"Well if it isn't the famous Kaiba-kun himself!" The old man exclaimed, and the CEO's lips pressed into a straight line at the honorific tagged to his name… but said nothing. Siamun walked over, reaching out and taking the man's hand, shaking vigorously. "Its great to meet you! I hope my stubborn grandson hasn't given you any trouble!"
Kaiba smirked a bit, shaking Siamun's hand back. "He has." The brunet looked over to his lover, who was frowning towards him. "Not enough to kick him out yet, however."
Siamun chuckled good-naturedly, pulling his hand away. He looked over to Yami. "You can certainly pick them, can't you? That's exactly what I expect from my grandson… no less than the best." Siamun looked towards Kaiba. "He was always a spoiled one, you know. Sharp as a tack, too, even when he was tyke."
"Grandpa," Yami interrupted, getting the feeling his conversation was heading into embarrassing childhood-story territory. "You must be tired. How about I show you to your room? We're about to have dinner soon, once Mokuba gets here."
At the name, Kaiba seemed to straighten, nodding his head in agreement. He moved to the side of Yami, touching the other's shoulder as he leaned in, brushing his lips against Yami's forehead. Siamun glanced to them as he tugged his suitcase down the red carpet, Yami following him as they left Kaiba in the foyer.
The two started up the stairs, Yami taking Siamun's suitcase as they made their way up.
"He seems like a fine fellow," Siamun commented, and Yami glanced over to him. "A bit of a stick in the mud. I always thought you'd got for someone a bit more exciting…. though I suppose you're filled with enough dramatics for the both of you, hm?"
Yami shot his grandfather a look. Siamun merely smiled back.
"You still call him 'Kaiba'?"
"I called him that when we were just associates," Yami replied, and he opened the door to the guest room.
"You've been together for three years, haven't you? Isn't it about time you call him by his surname?" Siamun looked a little disappointed. "You're ruining a perfectly good storybook romance." He watched as Yami inspected the guest room, making sure everything was prepared swimmingly. "I read about both of you in all the tabloids. How was your trip to Cancun?"
"They found out about Can-?" Yami let out a sigh, and he looked over to his grandfather. "It was good. Kaiba stayed in the hotel most of the time, though. I practically had to drag him out to the beach." Yami crossed his arms, smirking a little as he recalled their beach adventure. Kaiba looked damn good without a shirt on. Dripping wet, water coursing out of his hair, down his chest and abs…
"You're daydreaming again," Siamun suddenly spoke, and Yami snapped his head over to the other man, cheeks flushed. "...You really love him, don't you?"
Yami remained silent. His wine-red eyes glimpsed to the side, and he nodded his head.
"I'm glad you're happy," Siamun stated, and he moved over to his suitcase. "That's all that matters. Ever since Child Protective Services brought you to my doorstep that cold night…
"Seeing those eyes of yours, wide and filled with tears… all I ever wanted was the best for you."
There was a long pause between them. Yami stood in the middle of the room, watching as Siamun continued unpacking his bag. The old man began settling his clothes in the dresser of the guest room, but breaking the silence, he spoke again.
"...Do you still not remember your name?"
Yami was silent for a moment. Siamun glanced back to see his grandson shake his head.
"Hm, interesting. I thought perhaps if you were finally at peace, you'd remember your life before I took you in." And with that, Siamun turned away from his grandson. "Well… some things are not meant to be discovered."
"Is that what you tell yourself when you can't find something during an excavation?" Yami asked with a smile, and in turn Siamun let out a chuckle.
"I have to keep myself sane somehow," The old man stated. At that, several repetitive rings sounded around the mansion. The two looked towards the door.
"That must be Mokuba!" Yami looked towards Siamun. "That's Kaiba's younger brother. He just started University last month so this is his first time back home. I'm sure Kaiba will be excited to see him… and I think Mokuba would be interested in hearing stories about your travels, Grandpa."
Siamun nodded his head, closing his empty suitcase. "Lets go meet him, then."
The two headed out of the room and down the stairs. Already, Mokuba and Kaiba were exchanging pleasantries as they walked out of the foyer and into the main area. Mokuba looked over and spotted Yami; his violet eyes lit up upon seeing him.
"Yami!" Mokuba exclaimed, shoving his backpack into Kaiba's hands. The CEO started in surprise, grasping hold of his brother's bag as the raven-haired youth charged towards Yami. Yami smiled as he and Mokuba embraced, Mokuba looking down at the smaller man with a grin on his face. He had grown tall like Kaiba, but still had yet to meet his older brother's impressive height. The youth was currently in a pair of black jeans and a studded tank top. A silver Dark Rebellion logo necklace dangled from around his neck, and Yami couldn't help but feel proud at the boy's support. "How's it been? I hope Seto hasn't been too much of a pain while I've been gone." Mokuba threw an arm around Yami's shoulders, slinging him over to him as he glanced back at his brother. "He's been treating you right, yeah? If not, I don't mind taking his place~"
"Mokuba," Kaiba stated firmly, and both of his loves glanced up to the blue-eyed executive. "Go put your stuff away. Dinner's about to start."
"Oh wait, Mokuba," Yami interrupted, and he gestured to his grandfather, Siamun walking up as the game designer spoke, "This my grandfather, Mutou Siamun. Grandpa, this is Kaiba's younger brother, Mokuba."
"You still call niisan 'Kaiba'?" Mokuba lamented, and he looked to the old man with a wide grin, shaking his hand. "Hi! Nice to meet you! Yami's told me all about your travels. Where did you fly in from?"
"Mokuba, you can ask Yami's old man all the questions you want after dinner," Kaiba stated, and he jerked his head up the stairs, tossing his brother's backpack at him. Mokuba caught it as his brother continued, "Put your stuff up."
"Right!" Mokuba smiled to Yami and Siamun before heading up the stairs. "See you soon!"
Yami watched Mokuba charge up to his room before looking towards Kaiba and Siamun. Wordlessly, he started walking towards the main dining room, already smelling the scent of their steak dinner sizzling in the air.
Dinner had passed without any hitch, and the four men sat in one of the sitting rooms of the house. The room was a perfect circle in shape, windows and shelves of Kaiba Corp prototypes alternating on the walls. Framed cut-outs of Kaiba and Yami's separate ventures and successes hung proudly on display, and several chairs and couches sat in a circle, perfect for conversing in private. Kaiba never had guests, but it wasn't the same for Yami, even if Kaiba was hard-pressed to allow most of them through his personal threshold (especially ones like Katsuya Jounouchi). Currently, Kaiba and Yami sat upon the large, deep blue couch in the room, Kaiba engrossed in something on his Intelliglass phone, Yami sitting beside him with legs crossed, drinking a ritzy cocktail of plum wine and apple juice on the rocks.
Mokuba, however, was sprawled out on the dark blue carpet on his stomach, a chessboard in between he and Siamun. Kaiba continued to glance up repeatedly at the game's progression, Siamun smiling easily as he sat cross-legged in front of the younger Kaiba.
"Then what happened?" Mokuba inquired, moving a pawn slowly across the board.
"I survived, of course," The old man spoke, and he looked up towards the glass oculus in the sitting room, violet eyes on the black sky above. "...And discovered the most elaborate tomb I had ever seen! Some of the carvings were damaged, of course, but it depicted one of the great ancient pharaohs of Egypt combatting another man using what looked to be powerful monsters!"
"Whoa…" Mokuba let out. Siamun moved his Queen forward.
"Huh?" Mokuba looked down to the board with a bewildered gaze. Kaiba let out a sigh, shaking his head before returning to his work. Yami reached a hand out, resting it over the screen of the CEO's smartphone, forcing Kaiba to look up.
"The press conference is tomorrow," Yami spoke. "...If something's gone wrong now, then there's no hope." He kept his hand over the screen, even as Kaiba tried to move it.
"I can't wait to see the new world reveal!" Mokuba exclaimed. "I bet its going to be awesome!"
"And impossible without my technology," Kaiba grumbled, rising from the couch. "I'm heading to bed. Mokuba, you should do the same."
"Seto, I'm in college," Mokuba groaned, but the boy was forced to his feet by his brother's unrelenting gaze. He wished Yami and Siamun a good night as he slipped out the door of the lounge after his brother. Yami watched them leave for a moment, before turning to Siamun, who was busy setting the chessboard up again. The old man looked up to his grandson, offering him a smile.
"How about we play a game, just like old times?" Siamun asked. "Or are you too important now to sit on the floor with your grandpa?"
Yami smiled to him. The young man set his drink to the side, sliding down to the floor in front of the older Mutou. The two sat crosslegged in front of each other, and with a small bow, the game began. Yami went first. He safely slid a pawn out, and Siamun followed suit. They moved pieces quietly for a few moments, before Siamun spoke.
"What I failed to mention about my trip to Egypt," Siamun spoke, and he reached into his back pocket, fishing out his own Intelliglass phone and setting it down in front of Yami. "Is exactly what I saw upon the stone tablets. I think it might interest you, Yami."
Yami glanced to the side as the glass projected in image in the air before him. Hovering on display, was the picture of a stone tablet just as his grandfather had described it: two men combatting with the use of magic and powerful monsters. However…
Wine-red eyes snapped open at the picture on display.
"That…" Yami let out, and his eyes were wide as he beheld the image before him. "...The man in the tablet… he looks just like me!"
The picture on the hologram merely flickered in response.
"I thought exactly the same," Siamun commented. "...There were several treasures there, all beautiful and golden. The museum is looking into safely extracting them for further study, but the one in the tablet that the Pharaoh is wearing is missing."
"Interesting. So he was the Pharaoh…" Yami felt his heart flutter a bit. it was a little exciting, to think that he may have resembled someone so important thousands of years ago. His eyes ran over the imposing figure on the tablet, wondering whom he was combatting on the otherside. "What's his name?"
"That's just the thing," Siamun replied, looking at the picture flickering on the hologram. "...His name has been marked out, and scratched out,in every mention of where it could be. So far, we're calling him the Nameless Pharaoh, but we need a name to refer to him as. Since I discovered him, they're giving me the honor."
"Really?" Yami let out, and he looked towards Siamun. "That's amazing." He slid another piece across the board. "Have you decided on anything yet?"
"No, not yet," Siamun spoke. "...But I was thinking, since he looks like you…
"Why don't you pick?"
Yami looked up at him quickly. "Me?"
"It makes sense," Siamun continued. "When you were brought to me all those years ago, you couldn't remember your name. For days after, you'd wake up in the night, crying, and crawl into my bed. You wouldn't fall asleep until dawn, and I had to stay up all night with you." Simun smiled to him. "When you still couldn't remember, I gave you the name 'Yami', remembering those nights. Even to this day, you've kept it. So I think this time…" And Siamun slid a Knight on the board. "...You should choose.
"You've become a legendary person, Yami. You deserve to name a Pharaoh who was the same. He would be honored, I think, to receive a name by someone who is also heralded as a King of Games."
"That silly title…" Yami let out with a smile. He picked up a Bishop. "Well then if that's the case… I accept the challenge."
He set down the bishop by Siamun's King.
"Huh?" Siamun blinked down towards the chessboard. There was a moment of silence, before he let out a laugh, tossing his head back. "Well, I'll be. You beat me again, Pharaoh Yami!"
"That would sound ridiculous." And Yami rose from the floor. "Don't worry. I'll think of something more suitable, soon enough." He needed to head to bed. Yami stole a glimpse at the ancient tablet on display, before turning away. "I'm headed to bed, Grandpa. I'll see you in the morning."
Yami walked up the stairs to he and Kaiba's room. He wished a butler that passed him a good night, before slipping inside. As predicted, Kaiba was still awake in bed, sitting up against the headboard with his face lit up a pale blue from the light of his Intelliglass. Yami closed to door after him, sauntering over to the bed with a smirk. He snapped a hand out, slapping Kaiba's hands down into the bed.
Kaiba shot him a dirty look.
"You don't scare me," Yami stated blandly, and he crawled into the bed, lifting his shirt up above his head. Kaiba watched him with a careful expression as Yami's shirt came fully off, dropping down on the bed. Eyes never leaving his smaller lover, Kaiba set his smartphone onto the bedside table. He reached a hand up, gliding his fingers along Yami's smooth, tanned flesh.
"I should," Kaiba retorted. His blue eyes flit over the other's figure.
"Perhaps if you put all that money you possess where your mouth is I'd believe you." Yami's hands slid down Kaiba's chest, already unbuttoning his silk night shirt. "...How about instead…
"I show you something money can't so easily buy?" Yami's lips began kissing down Kaiba's chest and to his stomach, tasting the CEO's skin.
"You can buy hookers, and I have you, don't I?" Kaiba replied, and he smirked as Yami smacked his jaw with tiny fingers on the way down.
However, this time, when Kaiba murmured Yami's name deep into his skin… the young King of Games couldn't help but wonder what his real name would sound like on Kaiba's lips…
...And if he'd ever remember it.
Thank you for your support, and your love of Prideshipping!