Copied from my account (Brightwinter) on Ao3.

This is a head-canon universe that takes place a few years post series. Any major changes will be noted.

In this, I would assume Domino is in Japan and therefore I have tried to treat the holidays accordingly. Christmas is more for loves while the New Year is about family. I hope you enjoy.

Slight warning; implied sexual content.

Find me on tumblr under PastTheVaultedDoors!


The late afternoon sun fell gently over Domino, illuminating the first snowfall of the year like pinpricks of diamonds. The laughter of children could be heard as they ran around the outdoor festival, merchants called out their special seasonal sales, and joyful holiday tunes pumped out of the speakers. But the most satisfying sound Kaiba had heard all day were the curses coming from Atem as he fell on his butt for the umpteenth time.

It all started when Mokuba wanted to visit the German Christmas Festival at the outside shopping district of Domino. Little huts were set up to mimic the country to sell curios and decorations, as well as food and spiced drinks. It was supposed to be an easy outing for Kaiba to satisfy the two men in his life; his little brother, Mokuba, and his boyfriend, Atem.

But, of course, when Kaiba invited Atem to join them, the little pest had to bring along his entire entourage as well. He suspected Mokuba was behind it so he could invite a few of his schoolmates as well.

If he were to be honest with himself, Kaiba couldn't say the day was completely disappointing. It afforded him the chance to watch Joey and Tristan get kicked out of a photo booth for lewd pictures (if picking their noses at the camera was considered "lewd") and Téa got tipsy off mead she thought was cocoa (Kaiba was quite sure she was aware of its contents and really wanted an excuse to hang all over Yugi). Yugi and Atem got into a feisty debate over who had the better reindeer ring toss throw (they baffled the booth attendant by winning every turn, but Kaia was certain his toss was the best), and Mokuba happily catered to his two female friends while the one male of their group sagged behind (his little brother was turning out to be quite the heartbreaker… way to go, Mokuba!).

So, yes, maybe it wasn't the end of the world to have a group of friends to spend the day with, even if he clashed verbal swords with Joey several times and Mokuba's group parted off at one point. Still, it was a decent day, although he'd never admit it out loud.

But the best part—the cherry on top—was witnessing Atem's first step out onto the ice rink and watch his arms flail about like pinwheels before his feet left the ground. Yugi, who was helping him out, was beside himself in laughter. Lucky for the Pharaoh, the festival was still light in attendance, as it was early in the season, and their two bozo friends, Joey and Tristan, were already busy on the ice scaring off the patrons with their attempt at synchronized skating, so there were few people to witness the king's hilarious downfall.

"And here I was thinking you thrived on perfection," Kaiba teased as he stepped onto the ice himself. After taking a moment to find his balance, he glided around the duo as Yugi was helping the distraught Pharaoh upright.

"Mock me again and you'll regret it," Atem ground out between clenched teeth. Yugi, hardly more stable than Atem, wobbled with him. The two pineapple-haired boys clung to the railing for support before Téa swung around them.

She was putting everyone to shame with her skills and too much of a tomboy to pretend otherwise. "Come on, guys," she jeered happily at them. Kaiba wasn't sure if she was 100% sober yet. "Get off the rail and let's have some fun!" She wheeled about backwards, almost running into a passing couple.

"We're uh…" Yugi began, blushing red at the cheeks. "We're kind of stuck here."

Téa rolled her pretty blue eyes then swept forward to hold out her hand to Yugi. "Really, Yugi? Come on." His blush seemed to grow, if possible, but he did take the offered hand. After a surprised yelp he was carted off further into the rink.

When silence of conversation settled once again, Kaiba openly ignored the pathetic scraping sounds of Atem's skates on the ice as he fumbled again. Instead of helping, he crossed his arms tightly over his chest and waited for the pipsqueak to say something.

It didn't take long for the protests to begin.

"Well?" Atem practically growled.

"Well, what?"

"Aren't you going to be a nice boyfriend and help me out like Téa did?"

Kaiba finally looked at his other half—his half, not Yugi's, his—and raised a cool brow. "Are you calling Téa a man?"

"Wha- no! Damnit, Seto, help me out here!"

When Atem reached for him, Kaiba decided to be his smug-ass self and drifted a few feet backwards, along the wall so Atem could follow, but just out of reach. "Oh, I don't know, I'm rather enjoying this. Did they not have ice in Egypt?"

"Seto, you-!" Atem didn't get a chance to finish his scolding as he suddenly fell into an ungraceful heap onto the ice.

Kaiba couldn't stop the sudden burst of laughter as he watched the ancient pharaoh stumble to get back onto his feet. When murderous, ruby-bright eyes promising a death-wish fell on him he began to laugh so hard he had to hold his sides. This was… this was truly priceless.

There was no way Kaiba was going to demean himself to public displays of affection. He wasn't going to hold his lover's hand and snuggle to the tune of White Christmas like some dimwitted fool. However, he didn't feel the need to be a jerk. Atem would only ask for help if he truly wanted it, so Kaiba crept up beside the smaller man. He didn't reach for his hand, or offer an arm of support, no, he didn't need to belittle Atem's pride like that. So, he simply moved beside him, hands in his pockets, but an easy grab for the other.

So, when Atem's arm linked with his own, he knew he got it right. He didn't need to teach him anything, Atem was a smart guy, and he'd get the hang of it sooner or later.

Far be it to him to recall just how stubborn the Pharaoh's resolve was, he did improve impressively fast even if he did continue to fall on what looked like some painful pressure points. At first it was a pathetic slump against the railing, then, as he watched how Kaiba moved his own blades over the ice, he matched his footing and was able to stand with Kaiba for support. Slowly, Atem crept off his arm to meet the taller man at a slow, leisure pace around the rink, side-by-side.

By the time Atem had decent track record without falling, the sun had set and his friends had wandered off to get some food. Atem pushed them off, so determined to learn by example he couldn't be shaken from his focus.

"Happy now? You officially stopped looking like a dork fifteen minutes ago," Kaiba jibed coolly with a wicked smirk upon his lips.

"Don't belittle the genius," Atem said pompously and went to hold Kaiba's hand but the CEO would have none of that.

Oh, the sweet timing was perfect to shove the Pharaoh over for his impudence. Yugi and his friends had returned and were gathered at a table to munch on holiday fudge and pretzels. It was only a nudge—a simple, innocent thing, really—and Atem was suddenly flying across the rink in their direction.

He crashed right into the railing with a painful clang and slumped onto the cold, hard ice.

Of course, the group broke into snorts of laughter. It wasn't every day their fearless, ever calm leader faltered so hilariously at a task so simple.

Chuckling, Kaiba came up to Atem and, for the first time that day, offered a hand up. "Some genius-"

"I can't believe you did that!" Atem scoffed and slapped his hand away. He struggled to his feet.

Still laughing, Kaiba went after him. The Pharaoh wasn't even trying anymore; he simply used the rail to support himself to get off the rink. "Atem, wait," the young CEO elated, but Atem was having none of it.

"No, that was uncalled for," Atem barked and left the rink. He ripped off his skates even before he reached the rental kiosk.

With a heavy sigh, Kaiba knew better than to follow his boyfriend. His friends could probably get away with a follow-up, but they had worked so hard to build trust between them that he forgot how weak it was on occasion.

When he turned to the group to ask if they knew where Mokuba and his posse were so he could high-tail it out of there, Joey gave a low whistle and Tristan laughed yet again. "Nice going, Rich Boy!"

"Oh, shut up!" Kaiba snapped, his own laughter having faded with Atem's. He decided to screw them and find his brother himself but Téa came up behind him and tapped him on the shoulder.

"Here," she said cheerfully and dropped a bit of fresh herbs into his hands. "I think you need this more than we do." She giggled and went back to the group. It took Kaiba a moment to realize he was holding a fresh sprig of mistletoe. He stared at it for a long few moments before he curled his fist around it and shoved it into his coat pocket. Without another word, he spun away to return his skates and find his grumpy boyfriend.