This has been cross-posted to ao3 and also tumblr. Takes place in post-canon au where Atem/Yami has his own body and all his memories


"If I had all the riches of my kingdom back again," says Atem, very seriously, "all the gold and the jewels and the power, the temples in my name and the people at my command, I would lay it all down at your feet without a moment's hesitation."

His head on the pillow is framed by messy uncombed hair and one cheek is red from pressing against the fabric, but his eyes in the dark are intent and solemn. There's a far-off grandeur to his voice that makes Yugi think of ancient halls and a gilded throne room.

"I don't think that would be necessary," says Yugi. "Your riches and your power could stay where they were." Nonetheless, a thrill runs down his spine at the utter certainty in Atem's voice, those eyes trained on his face.

"I would," insists Atem. "If I had that kingdom at my disposal once more, not a one of your wishes would go unfulfilled. You would have only the finest gold, the most exquisite food, the comfort of the royal bed. You could look at anything - a treasure, a palace, an island - and express a liking for it, and it would be yours."

The tone and phrasing of his voice is reverting to something rich and formal, the way it does in the small hours of the night when the past swims up around them.

"I'm pretty sure that last one would be an abuse of your power," says Yugi, taking his hand under the sheets, "and anyway, I like it better here. Just the two of us in a little room over the game shop. It's nice."

"That's true," admits Atem, and sounds almost surprised in a sleepy sort of way. "You have bettered me, I think."

Yugi gives his hand a squeeze, feeling the firm squareness of the palm, the sureness of the fingers. "Other Me."

"Yes?"

Yugi moves his head forward on the pillow, closer to Atem, and says, "If you had all that kingdom and treasure and stuff, even if you offered it all to me, I'd take you over them any day, because you're worth more to me than that entire great empire put together"

and in the instant before he kisses Atem, he catches a glimpse of his wondrous and open face, his delighted surprise - and Yugi knows that that expression doesn't belong to a pharaoh or an emperor or a god; that's just a human boy, with a tousled bedhead and earnestly romantic ideals, whom Yugi loves very very much.


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