NEWTON'S THIRD by Kiraya
Here's to Takahashi-sensei and one winter's sick day spent reading our first Prideshipping fics to the dulcet sounds of Coldplay's "Clocks". Many thanks to both our Muses and our reviewers, and we sincerely hope you enjoy this last, ridiculously late chapter… and the citrusy little epilogue that follows.
There was snow on the ground all around them — crisp, fresh, clean snow that glittered in the sunlight as it formed shallow drifts around the tombstones, somewhat alleviating the usual sombre atmosphere of the cemetery.
Yami stood at Seto's right side, held firmly against him by one strong arm as the brunet spoke his usual litany of the past month's events to the silence of his little brother's grave. He could feel the other's sorrow, still strong even after all these years, but eased by the comfort his tall lover found in his presence.
It made his heart ache, and his hand tightened around the object in his pocket.
"…and Yami and I are still together," the billionaire concluded, just as he always did. "It'll be four years next week." He sighed. "I wish you could see us now. You always urged me to find someone to love… Isn't it strange that I found that someone in my greatest rival?"
The dark one looked up at his lover, withdrawing his hand from his pocket to rub the other's chest comfortingly.
"Isn't it strange," Seto continued, his voice dropping to a whisper, "that it took your—" he swallowed hard "—your death for me to find him?"
The King of Games nestled closer, feeling the brunet's tears falling into his hair. After a long silence, he said softly, "It's not so strange; it's one of the laws of life. Newton's Third, to be specific."
Seto blinked. "That's not one of the laws of life; it's one of the laws of physics. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction."
Yami nodded against his chest. "Exactly. For every death, there is a birth; for every loss, there is a gain; for every end, there is a beginning. There is a balance to existence; it's like that new math where you have to add when you subtract so it still works out, you know?"
"You mean algebra?" the billionaire summarised, amused by the other's nomenclature for it. ::"New math," indeed. After all, it's only been around for fifteen hundred years or so.::
The dark one's only response was to shrug and snuggle against his lover for warmth.
They stood together like that for long moments; then, with a sigh, Seto drew away enough so they could walk together back to the limo.
"Koibito — wait." The words crackled in the still, frosty air.
The taller one turned back to his pharaoh, pulling him into his arms again. "What is it?"
Yami's hand dipped back into his pocket, this time withdrawing the object within. "I… want you to have this," he whispered, pressing it into the other's broad palm and closing his fingers around it.
Seto opened his hand, and his eyes widened. He held a platinum ring mounted with a sapphire cabochon, flanked by two smaller ones. Delicately incised hieroglyphs encircled the band. "Yami…"
The spiky-haired one fidgeted. "Do you like it?"
"Very much… it's beautiful." He ran one long finger over the ancient symbols. "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine. A Hebrew sentiment, not Egyptian, but still wonderfully appropriate, considering."
The pharaoh gaped. "How did you— You can read that?"
The brunet smirked, reaching into his own pocket. "Well, yes," he replied cryptically, handing something to his lover, "but that's beside the point."
Yami's eyes narrowed as he looked at it, but he couldn't help a smile. "I suppose you asked Yuugi to help you with this, too?" he asked, chuckling. He held between his fingers the twin of the ring he'd given his former rival, though wrought in gold the same bright hue as the desert sands, and adorned with rubies instead of sapphires.
Seto nodded, his own grin broadening. "I should have suspected something when he agreed so readily to it."
The dark one laughed delightedly. "The little fox! Even after all this time, he still surprises me," he admitted almost ruefully.
The other smiled at that, but said nothing. For a moment they simply stood there, each examining the gift the other had given him.
"May I?" the billionaire asked suddenly.
The King of Games nodded, suddenly shy.
As he slid the gold ring onto Yami's slender finger, his lover slipped the platinum one onto his, murmuring something in a tongue that sounded tantalisingly familiar. For long moments after he finished, they gazed at each other in silence.
Feeling rather strange, the taller duelist spoke in a hushed voice. "Beloved… what was that?"
"An Egyptian blessing — a wedding prayer." He bowed his head. "You are truly mine now, Seto," he whispered. "Our souls are bonded for eternity."
"And you belong to me, too… always?" the brunet asked quietly, lifting his chin so their eyes met.
"Always, koibito… I will never leave you," the other returned softly, and reached up to capture his lips in a deep kiss.
They parted reluctantly long moments later. His long golden bangs moving gently with the light wind that had so suddenly risen up, Yami smiled at his life partner. "Ai shiteiru, Kaiba Seto."
The billionaire's sapphire eyes shone. "Ai shiteiru, Yami-chan," he murmured, and took the other's hand, feeling strangely elated. "Come, ore no koibito… or should I say ore no shujin?"
The other's smile broadened. "I rather like the sound of that… my husband. Let's go home."
They departed the cemetery hand in hand, and their footprints were the only sign of their passing but for one small thing…
On the new-fallen snow before the grave of Kaiba Mokuba lay eleven primroses, whose white petals fluttered slightly in the joyous breeze.
Note: Due to its graphic content, the epilogue has been removed.