I'M SO SORRY GUYS i just remembered i've had this chapter up on ao3 for more than 3 months and somehow never remembered to post it on here? anyway sorry for the wait, here's uh a bunch of dick jokes instead of the plot you were probably expecting
The next duel was Atem's payment for being able to set up a bank account. Seto went into it almost cautious, not sure how different this one would be from last week's careful testing of the ice. He played it safe on his first turn, keeping things simple and setting up for a later move, only for Atem to hit him fast and hard with a triple attack that cut his life points in half and oh, that was how it was going to be. Seto felt all his nerves spark into life.
This was what he'd been waiting for and dreaming of. This was the fierce back and forth, the soaring exhilaration, blow and counterblow with thoughts and hands always racing ahead to the next move. It was thrilling, it was beautiful, it was -
It was intensely arousing.
It took him a while to realize that the hot thrumming excitement he was feeling was in fact concentrating itself in one specific area, and even longer to realize that effect was visible. When it finally came to his attention his first reaction was almost panic. He tried to cover it with his duel disk, but that was far too obvious and made the disk difficult to use. Buttoning his coat up over it would be even more obvious. He had no choice but to just stand there, dueling the duel, with a raging boner.
Yugi, to his faint horror, was the first to notice. At least, Seto was fairly certain that was what it was. There could be no other explanation, after all, for the way he blinked, leaned forward, stared, then brought one hand to his mouth in an oh, dear expression. His eyes immediately flicked to Atem, probably to see if he'd noticed as well, but Atem was still explaining the effects of the magic card he was about to severely damage Seto with.
Right, that. Seto remembered the trap card he himself had set and activated it. Atem's monster effect negated it, and Seto took the damage anyway. Business as usual.
Then why was the problem getting even worse?
Seto cursed his own hormones and Atem's singular prowess and grace, then drew.
The next person to notice was, to his eternal rage, Jounouchi. Much like Yugi, the blond suddenly leaned forward and stared for a moment, then his mouth opened wide in a sort of gleeful incredulity. Seto was already planning some kind of murder, then Jounouchi elbowed Honda, whispered frantically in his ear, and pointed straight at Seto's crotch, which nobody had any right to be pointing at ever. A wide grin spread across Honda's face.
Make that a double murder. Disguised as an accident. No one would ever find the bodies.
He ended his turn and only then realized he'd been so distracted he'd forgotten to take advantage of the effect that let him summon another monster, as he'd planned. Shit. There went the next few moves he'd calculated. This was all highly inconvenient and he really wished it wasn't happening.
Across the field Atem was staring at him, brow slightly furrowed; no doubt he was wondering what was wrong with his opponent. But he neglected to look down, even as Jounouchi and Honda snickered audibly. He seemed completely oblivious to the situation. Thank god for that.
"Are you going to take your turn anytime soon?" called Seto. He knew this was hypocritical, since he'd been dawdling and stumbling plenty himself, but he really wanted to pull attention away from the awkwardness of the moment before Atem noticed.
Atem frowned at his cards, biting his lip a little - biting his lip, dear God, that wasn't helping at all - then said "Yes," and drew.
Seto ended up losing even more thoroughly than usual that day. To add insult to injury, on the turn that did him in - a beautiful succession of chain-reaction attacks, boom-boom-boom like a gun salute, Atem so powerful and sure - it all became too much, and he made a noise, loud enough to just be audible over the explosions of monster attacks and the quick beeping of falling life points. Thankfully, Yugi seemed to be the only one to hear it, but Seto caught the way his mouth dropped open and his face turned red - not ideal, not at all.
When the holographic smoke cleared Seto turned on his heel to go.
"Is that it?" said Atem from behind him.
"Yes," said Seto decisively, ignoring another round of snickering from Jounouchi and Honda. "I have business to attend to, you know."
Said business consisted of locking himself in the bathroom and staring furiously at his boner in the hopes it would somehow go away. Eventually, after several minutes of crossed arms and glowering, it did - just in time, really. If it had gone on for another few seconds he might have become aware of how ridiculous it was to be glaring daggers at a part of his anatomy that did not generally respond to glaring.
A brief image flashed into his mind of Atem's serious eyes, brows a dark slash of concentration, or perhaps righteous fury.
Well. That was to say, not self-inflicted glaring.
One day the heating system in the building was malfunctioning, the wrong air being directed to the wrong rooms, and Seto's office was hot and stifling. It was putting him in a foul mood, and he was half listening to Yugi and Atem discuss the particulars of Atem's backstory and half contemplating the murder of whoever was responsible for this.
(And if a part of him was paying appreciative attention to the way Atem looked with his face flushed and his eyes half-lidded from the heat, well, that was neither here nor there.)
It was only when Yugi picked up a packet of papers and started fanning himself with it that Atem asked, "Why is it so hot in here anyway?"
"I've been wondering the same thing," mumbled Yugi. "I thought maybe it was just me - like if I ate something weird for lunch."
"No, it's not just you," said Atem. He started to take off that ridiculously wide leather collar of his, and Yugi started and shot him a panicked look that clearly said don't do that!
Atem hastily redid the collar, but not before Seto caught a glimpse of a cluster of dark reddish-purple marks, round and clear against his skin.
The room suddenly felt even hotter.
"Ahhhh," said Yugi, long and wavering and as awkward as ever in embarrassing situations, "I'll open a window, maybe it'll be cooler -"
Those were - well, they were hickeys. Suction marks. Bite marks? Did Yugi do that? Was Atem into that?
Seto had a sudden and very vivid mental image of Atem with his head flung back, his spine an arc of ecstasy, sweat-slicked skin and fingers twisted into the sheets as Yugi kissed those bruises into his neck.
Now was not the time. He pushed the thoughts to the back of his mind, but carefully, making sure to keep them intact. Just in case he might need them later.
Yugi pushed the window open, and a rush of cool air entered the room. "That's better," he said, and returned to his seat. His gaze darted between Atem, who was fixedly staring at a list of possible aliases, and Seto, who was - well, he could only imagine how he looked, red-faced and staring. There appeared to be a desperate need to change the subject. "How did the room get so hot anyway?"
"System malfunction," said Seto. "I'm going to fire whoever's responsible."
Atem shot him a fierce glare. "Don't do that."
It was a very arousing look. Not the time, thought Seto, and tucked it into the back of his mind along with the previous thought. "All right, fine, I'll be lenient. I swear, you people and your softness. You're rubbing off on me."
"But that's good," piped up Yugi immediately, as if he'd been waiting for the opportunity. "Don't fight it! People will like you more if you're more lenient."
Whatever. More friendship bullshit. Seto waved it away. "Shouldn't we get back to the subject at hand?"
"Of course," said Atem, and flourished a piece of paper in front of Seto with all the expansive grace of drawing a card. "I've been thinking that, backstory-wise, an orphan with no known family might be the most viable - here's a list of possible orphanages -"
It took them another half hour or so to hash out the immediate details, and by the time Seto ushered the two of them out the door he had a lengthy to-do list of phone calls to make. He didn't make any of them, though. Instead, he made sure he was alone, then carefully dusted off the illicit fantasies, carefully locked himself in the bathroom, and very carefully did not think about the fact that he was masturbating to thoughts of a once-dead former pharaoh. Who was dating Yugi. Who was taken -
- taken, yes, Atem would let Yugi take him, he'd open himself up and let him in. They'd be gentle to each other, hushed and soft like the lovebirds they were; unless Atem wanted it, unless he asked Yugi to mark his neck and make him scream -
- with Seto it'd be different. He'd be rough, they'd be rough to each other, pushing and pulling, but there'd be a rhythm to it, a concord, an order; it would be like the give and take of a duel, your turn, now my turn to try and outdo you, I won't let you win - the hot pulse of a competition, with Atem's hands in his hair, Atem's teeth on his lips, Atem's compact and lovely body burning between his thighs -
Ah, there it was. He'd come in record time.
He was washing his hands and feeling - well, certainly not as ashamed as he should have been - when there was a banging on the door. "Big brother!" It was Mokuba. "Open up!"
Seto found himself ejected from the bathroom while Mokuba loudly complained about there being only one toilet on this floor, even though it was Seto's own personal floor and any more would be unnecessary. He returned to his office and stared at the list of phone numbers in front of him, the one they'd drawn up between the three of them. Some were in his own neatly professional handwriting, some in Yugi's quick scribble, and some in Atem's strong firm hand, the numbers a little too big and a little too sharply pressed into the paper.
Well. He had some work to be doing. And it was still too hot in here, not even the open window was helping, where was that damn technician? Seto was going to fire him twice over, just for the embarrassment he'd put him through.
He remembered Atem's gaze. Don't do that. Which was ridiculous, because Atem would never know if he decided to have some grunt kicked out of work for exposing him to such, such -
In the end he didn't fire the technician.