Confessions After Midnight

It was not intentional.

Of course it wasn't. Things like that were never meant to happen. They were never meant to happen to normal people. Seto Kaiba did not fall under the category of normal people, he was quite sure of that. But it didn't matter of course, that it wasn't intentional. Mokuba was going to kill him.

Probably not.

Definitely not, he thought dully. Maybe yell and scream at him for the next few years, but no murder involved. He stared at the IV line attached to the back of his hand. It was pale. Paler than normal and the usually extremely prominent myriad of veins spreading across the milky white stretch of skin were absent. Mokuba was kind enough not to mention how terrible he looked at the moment but he knew he must look like death warmed over.

He sighed, raising the hand he was just staring at so he could rub one of his eyes tiredly…

It may not have been intentional but he should have seen the signs that this was going to happen. Well, not this, definitely. But something like it. Only less dramatic and not as difficult to conceal as this whole mess.

He had been planning out the next two phases of Domino's Kaiba Land for the past three months. It was all almost done, only the finishing touches being added to two brand new stretches of land to be filled with state-of-the-art games and amusement attractions. Things had settled down dramatically and he was now entirely focused on making these new phases perfect successes, because to be completely honest, he hated the glitches and the disturbances that marred the opening of USA's Kaiba Land with the stupid interferences from Siegfried Schroeder. The perfectionist in him ached at what was perfection when that violet haired nuisance had to step in and mar it.

Fueled with the anger and dismay at having a less than perfect grand opening, he decided to pour himself entirely into the development of his childhood dream.

Unfortunately, he was fueled only with that rage for the past while. He was running on adrenaline from the stress of deadlines he put up for himself, along with meager amounts of crackers, maybe a handful of nuts here and there…and coffee.

Lots and lots of coffee.

He cringed now that he thought of it.

Eventually, the lack of nourishment started manifesting as headaches. A light pounding behind his eyes at first that he ignored and continued working into the night in spite of. It usually passed when he slept for a bit. But sometimes, sleeping was a luxury that –in his mind, of course—he couldn't afford. The six hours of sleep he usually allowed himself swiftly dwindled down to four… then became catnaps or at most, two or three hours of precious sleep.

Naturally, the headaches got worse…

And naturally, he countered them with more coffee, ibuprofen tablets and sheer stubbornness.

It really was dumb. And he really should have noticed that something was off.

It started with mere discomfort, he could remember now. About a week ago. Of course, at that time, he brushed the burning pain in the center of his chest and upper abdomen off as an unimportant hindrance and continued typing dutifully at his laptop. The burning pain became a constant dull ache, and soon, nausea accompanied it. He ignored that as well and was a bit grateful, to be honest; he didn't feel like eating anyway.

He was too busy for this; he was almost done and surely, some headaches and abdominal twinges and changes in appetite weren't at the forefront of his worries. He was stronger than that, he decided.

He remembered thinking that just two days ago. When the nausea was getting too bad and he seriously couldn't just ignore the burn that seemed to be scalding his innards. And on top of all of that, the headache just wouldn't go away.

And so, he did what he knew would solve the problem: he took two ibuprofen tablets and downed them with a glass of a double shot espresso that he bought on the way home from KaibaCorp.

He could honestly say it was the single most stupid thing he had ever done in his life.

He had gone home, started working as usual and continued working well into the night. It was past five in the morning when he realized that something was really wrong. His fingers were shaking on the laptop's keyboard. And not just the tiny tremors he was used to from drinking too much coffee. No, he couldn't continue typing with how badly his hands were shaking. His vision was darkening as well and he felt clammy. His lips were dry, cold sweat beading on his forehead, plastering his brown hair to his temple and there was a peculiar feeling of being both hot and cold at the same time settling at the back of his neck.

He had swallowed, closing his eyes for a few seconds and getting up slowly. He was dizzy. He thought he should probably drink some water and he walked slowly out of his study towards the kitchen. He had pushed the dispenser's hand using the cup with utter difficulty, waiting patiently for it to fill the glass with cool water. He raised the cup to his lips with shaking hands, drinking a small sip tentatively.

For a few blissful moments, he remembered that the weird sensations were gone.

However, after that, what happened was simply purely nightmarish.

The burning pain intensified. It was as if someone suddenly stabbed him behind his sternum and the initial pain lasted forever and ever, never stopping, never giving him a chance to take his breath, because yes, the pain was so intense, he couldn't breathe. Over and over again the sharp pain shot through him without mercy.

From that moment, everything seemed to happen all at once. He remembered the nausea growing after that one, single, terrible moment of agonizing pain that dragged on and on. The glass fell from his hand, its plastic making a noise he clearly remembered until now and the sensation of spilled water soaking through his suit pants still engraved in his mind. He remembered how grateful he was for the powder room intended for guests who never came. He remembered each agonizing step towards it, as the pain seemed to get exaggerated with every iota of movement his body made.

He had blindly reached the toilet seat, raising its cover just in time as his stomach's meager contents all emerged through his mouth. It was horrible. It burnt so badly, he couldn't take it. He started coughing. To his mortification, a moan of agony tore through his mouth unsuspectingly as the cough seemed to open an unseen, agonizing wound once again behind his sternum, contributing to the nausea that never gave him a break.

He was caught in what seemed to be a nightmare. He couldn't stop himself from vomiting the unbearably acidic contents of his stomach, which in turn made him cough, which made the unexplained pain increase and so on. And to add to it all, his shaking increased, his heart seemed to pound like a thousand drums at once in his ears and he was just so damn cold so suddenly…

It had been too much, apparently, even for the great Seto Kaiba. He hated to admit it but in that exact moment, he was scared. He didn't know what to do to make it stop and he didn't know what caused this to begin with. He couldn't even calm down enough to figure a way out.

Thankfully, the dilemma was solved because everything following that horrid moment of extreme agony was a blur. There was brief moments of lucidity; the cold, red on the beautiful tiles of the powder room, someone's shocked gasp… crying and something damp on his face. Then, there was sudden commotion…too many hands on him, too many foreign sensations. He hadn't known where he was, what was happening, where they were taking him. He couldn't do anything to find out, either.

He woke up in this hospital room just today afternoon. Apparently it has been a whole day and a half since he collapsed. Mokuba informed him in choked tones that it was a perforated gastric ulcer and he bled out into his abdomen and needed a blood transfusion and an upper endoscope.

He couldn't bring himself to ask any more details from Mokuba who looked paler than a sheet, with horrible dark circles around his eyes that were bloodshot, contrasting in a most alarming way with the grey of his eyes. He kept quiet, placing his hand in his brother's dark locks and trying to comfort him as much as possible. It wasn't that he didn't try speaking. To his mortification, he found the effort of communicating simple phrases draining him in an alarming manner. To avoid another scene, he opted for silence.

Mokuba had left half an hour ago at his insistence. The boy obviously didn't get a wink of sleep since yesterday morning when he found him, Seto guiltily observed. He didn't know if he ate anything or not and he dared ask that question, only to have the younger Kaiba hiss and screech at him that he had no right asking that right now. He wisely didn't bring that up again, but quietly asked him to go home to get some sleep. After a lot of reluctance from Mokuba and a promise from him that he too was going to sleep since he had nothing else to do, the boy finally conceded.

He had the bed raised a bit so he was lying propped up slightly with his head supported on the super-fluffy pillow. His eyes were fixed on the IV drip beside his bed, attached via a sophisticated looking dial-flow to the IV cannula resting on top of his wrist and fixed in place with neat strips of clear medical plaster. The bag had a million things written on it and none of it Seto could understand. He gave up on trying to memorize all of the contents for the moment, wishing he had his iPad to research what exactly was being pumped into his veins, drop by drop as he watched.

He was counting the drops when he fell asleep.



He woke up to the sound of light rustling coming from beside him.

He blinked blearily in the darkness of the room trying to get over the disorientation of that post-sleep haze. There was someone standing next to his bed, fidgeting with the IV infusion bottle, running a finger over the words written in tiny font on it. He was short, so apparently he had to stand on tiptoes to reach the IV bottle. He kept losing his balance slightly and leaning too much on the bottle, before regaining it again. The back and forth motion of the bottle itself made no sound but it tugged on the tube attached to his cannula. That was the source of the rustle.

He followed the slender fingers on the bottle, up and up the slim arm it was attached to, to stare at the familiar mop of blond, black and red hair and the crimson eyes that were narrowed in utmost concentration as their owner tried deciphering what exactly was the gibberish written down. He clearly didn't understand a single letter written there.

Of course he didn't, Seto thought to himself and blinked, a frown crinkling his brow slightly as his mind registered who it was standing beside his bed and he mechanically found himself asking, "What are you doing, Yami?"

His voice was still low and weak, he was dismayed to hear. But it had the effect of making Yami jump slightly, losing more of his already precarious balance at the tip of his toes and almost toppling over to fall on his face, if it wasn't for the IV stand which he held onto as if for dear life.

He wasn't above the evil little chuckle that bubbled up his chest at the spectacle, only to have instant karma get back at him. The pain that was previously an ache that he disciplined himself to deal with since he woke up flared up and he found an involuntary groan of pain breaking through his mouth against his will. His hand immediately rose up to press against the middle of his chest trying to relieve it.

There was a glass of ice chips held near him after he opened his eyes from where they slid shut against the pain and against his will. His mouth was dry and had a horrible metallic taste so he did not protest the cup placed at his lips and the small hand gently propping his head forward. He took two of the chips into his mouth then the cup was removed.

He settled back into the bed, watching as Yami placed the cup back on the nightstand beside the bed.

There was a moment of silence, then…

"Really what are you doing here?" he repeated his earlier question.

"I brought you flowers!" Yami declared, the excitement in his eyes so deeply genuine that Seto did not have the heart to balk at the immense bouquet of sunflowers that Yami placed on him.

Flowers. Sunflowers.

He stared at it in silence, placed on his stomach above the covers. Ten large, plump, black faces stared back at him and he looked up at Yami, then back again at the flowers. They seemed to be judging him darkly and he realized he had to say something.

"Thank you," he managed to say. He wanted to slap himself at the automaticity that seemed to be taking over his body. Yami's eyes, if possible, brightened even more. "Interesting choice. Did you pick them or did the vendor trick you into choosing them over others?" now that sounded a bit more like him, he congratulated himself secretly.

The smile that lit up Yami's face faded a bit and Seto felt like slapping himself. "You don't like them?"

"It's not that I don't like them," he hastily tried to amend. "I just…don't know… they're a strange choice."

"I like them," Yami confessed, picking them up and walking towards the window where there were several vases placed with beautiful, exotic flowers of all shapes and colors and sizes were placed. Seto didn't need to ask who they were from but resisted the strong urge to groan unhappily because the with the amount of fancy-looking flowers in those other bouquets, he deduced they were from business associates. And if those found out then the media for sure found out as well. "They look so cheerful. It's as if they are smiling."

Seto ignored the stupid comment at the end.

"Your acquaintances got you such lovely flowers though…" Yami was still ranting.

"An interesting choice of words."

Yami hummed in agreement, "I can't call them your friends, honestly… most of them were brought by delivery boys from the florist." He then paused, looking up from where he was placing the vase he filled with water. He looked apologetic. "I am sorry," he said. "I hope I did not upset you."

Seto frowned for a moment, wondering what his –former?—rival was apologizing for and how he could have upset him. Then he laughed softly, trying not aggravate the pain once again, "Oh no, don't worry about it. it's just business. I probably wouldn't have bothered to send anything." He said the last part a bit sheepishly.

Yami smiled, shaking his head in exasperation. "I am amazed at their speed, though, to be honest."

"So am I," Seto dryly responded. "They probably all need something or the other from Kaiba Corporation."

Yami chuckled lightly. It was such a pleasant sound, Seto admitted to himself, not even trying to acknowledge the big puddle of denial wanting to drown out the thought.

"I haven't seen you for a while," he said instead, before he could stop himself.

Yami looked up at him with a smile, trying to arrange the sunflowers into the vase while maintaining the shape they came with from the florist. "You haven't challenged me to a game of duel monsters for a while," he observed.

"We're not meant to duel unless crazy axe-murderers are after us…" Seto observed.

"Seems so," Yami answered, still fidgeting with the flowers.

"Just leave them," Seto said with an exasperated smile. "There's nothing you can do to make them look pretty so don't bother."

Yami chuckled again and Seto gave himself a mental pat on the back. "I guess they really are just a bit ugly," he admitted, returning to the bed's side and sitting in the chair that seemed to meet his approval since he smiled and reclined back in it, crossing his legs and comfortably staring up at the infusion bottle he had been toying with just a few minutes ago. "I just wanted you to have flowers that weren't brought by the florist's delivery."

It was such an innocently muttered confession. It rolled off Yami's tongue with ease that Seto had to wonder what the hell was going on and if he was suffering from brain damage from the blood loss and he gaped in shock, grateful that Yami's eyes slid shut as if he was resting them for a while.

"Really, Yami, what are you doing here? What time is it?" Seto insisted, not knowing what to say. He watched, marveling at his unexpected visitor who wandered around his room fixing this and examining this bottle of medication and poking at that and settling comfortably in his bedside chair as if it was perfectly normal.

"It's almost midnight," Yami answered with a small smile, opening his eyes and tilting his head to return the gaze. "I am here to make sure someone's with you in case you need something."

Seto scoffed at that. "I am not a child!"

Yami's smile widened. "Maybe not. But Mokuba felt better if I stayed with you anyway."

Seto shut up at that. Because really, what he had done to himself over the past three months just proved his protesting remark wrong. And he did not want to disagree with anything that made Mokuba feel better.

"I was going to come by anyway and I offered to stay the night with you here," Yami declared.

They still held each other's gaze. It didn't have any of the heat it usually held. Seto felt a calmness settle over whatever petty grudge he held against this person before him. He didn't want the serenity of the atmosphere to dissipate. Here in the absolute silence surrounding them in what he was sure was one of Kaiba Corporation's private hospitals. The curtains were drawn open and the faint orange light of the street drifted in, casting shadows on the partially dim room. He felt settled, somehow. The pain had dulled down considerably. The aches that he didn't know his body suffered from for the past while were being cradled by the soft mattress and the fluffy pillow.

"You really scared us."

Yami broke the eye contact first, reaching for one of the books that were placed on the bedside table. It was clear he wasn't the least bit interested in it since he leafed through the pages too quickly, not even glancing at its title or the synopsis at the back.

"It was not my intention," he said, detecting an almost nonexistent hint of apology in his own voice. He was a drama queen, he knew. But that didn't mean he was exactly comfortable making others worry. He felt awkward and really remorseful. But he wasn't exactly so willing to let that show and hence mentally slapped himself for the slightly apologetic way his statement came out.

"You should not be so selfish."

He felt the tranquil atmosphere quickly dissipating and he was quick to snap back a reply, "I said it was not my intention! I didn't exactly mean for all of this to happen."

The crimson eyes rose up to meet his with mirroring anger. "How is it not your intention when your Duamutef has been damaged so by your failure to mind your own body and respond to its basic needs?"

"My what?" Seto blankly asked him.

"Your Duamutef!" Yami repeated, obviously distressed and annoyed at Seto's ignorance. "Your stomach…"

Seto was silent at that. Obviously this was some ancient Egyptian nonsense Yami believed in. He wisely didn't comment any more on the matter, seeing how upset Yami was that he didn't know what the hell Duamutef means and what has it got to do with his hole-riddled stomach. He didn't have the heart to tell him that whatever garbage fed to him as a child about the afterlife wasn't true and that everyone decomposed beneath the ground or got burned and kept in an urn nowadays.

"Everyone was so upset when Mokuba called…" Yami's voice dropped low again.

"Everyone who?" Seto asked, blankly blinking and deep down, a part of him dreaded the answer.

"Yugi and the others…"

There it was. Seto almost groaned. "Why did Mokuba have to tell them!"

At that, Yami stood up, his arms straight beside him, fists bunched angrily by his sides and his face reddened angrily. His eyes were flashing dangerously and he looked absolutely livid. If Seto was a lesser man he would have cowered at the sight. "So you wanted your brother to go through walking onto you lying unconscious in a bathroom drenched in blood and half-dead with how much blood you lost, alone?"

"That is not what I meant, obviously," he seethed back, pushing himself so he could sit up to properly face Yami. He felt at a disadvantage, having this argument semi-seated this way. "We don't need anyone butting into our business!"

"Stop speaking for your brother; he is almost an adult now and he has enough sense of judgment to take responsible decisions," Yami angrily spat back. He was about to counter that when Yami resumed, not giving him a chance. "And stop being so selfish!" he repeated his earlier statement. "You can't even begin to fathom how upset he was and the traumatized state he was in when we came here. You can't just abuse yourself half to death, collapse and expect him not to turn to someone for help when you are supposed to be the only other person he relies on. If you are so intent on being so lonesome and dragging him with you into this loneliness, then start taking care of yourself!"

Seto seethed. His eyes narrowed and his hands tightened into fists as well around the covers.

"Don't you dare give yourself the right to tell me what to do, Yami. You don't know what relying on others did to us before and you can't even imagine with your head wrapped in the cotton-candy cocoon of your precious friends." He was off on a rant and was trying to be as scathing as possible but something was wrong. The pain in his stomach was a maddening ache and he felt clammy. But he had to say this… he had to make Yami see. "Things were and are different for us and I don't think anyone could underst…" talking was difficult, for some reason. He felt faint and weak. "No one can understand… how…how…"

His vision was rapidly darkening around the corners and the world spun dizzyingly around. He stopped all attempts at speech as he realized with humiliation what was happening. His sense of position was completely off kilter and he wasn't aware of himself toppling sideways until the very same person he was directing his anger at halted his plunge.

Yami took his weight against his lean chest, that was seemed unexpectedly solid to Seto, despite how slight it looked compared to his own broader physique. An arm wrapped with ease around his shoulders and with gentle pressure, he was pushed to his position back to the center of the bed and gently guided him back so he could lie down. His eyes closed against the nauseating dizziness and he swallowed repeatedly, trying not to vomit knowing the agony and embarrassment that would entail. He found himself focusing instead on the warmth Yami's body emitted located so close to him and he only just realized he was a bit chilled.

The arm around his shoulders gently shifted, Yami's hand supporting his head with tenderness he couldn't remember the last time someone treated him with. His pillow was adjusted beneath his head and he was dismayed to feel the slim fingers withdrawing from where they were half-buried in his hair.

He opened his eyes, studying Yami's defined jaw line and the long neck that he only now took notice of, since it wasn't covered by any chokers or dramatic ancient Egyptian jewelry.

Yami drew back before Seto could get his bearings back.

Fearlessly, as usual, he met Seto's eyes that were fixed on his. They were now close enough for him to notice the dark smudges of tiredness adorning the space below them and that the whites were riddled with miniscule burst capillaries. There was a mixture of guilt and fear swimming in pools of crimson, mingling with disappearing traces of anger.

"I'm so sorry," Yami said, his voice much lower than before. "I… I didn't mean for this to happen. I wasn't trying to make you angry. Please just rest and calm yourself."

Seto blinked and watched as he pulled back and sat down in the chair once again, looking just too damn guilty. The tranquility was slowly wrestling the tension that hung in the air just a few moments ago and Seto tried to will himself to relax.

Silence surrounded them for a while.

"I'm really sorry," Yami repeated, his voice barely higher than a whisper.

Seto swallowed, took a deep breath and spoke when he was sure his voice wasn't about to fail him like the rest of his body was betraying him. "It's alright, Yami… it's hardly your fault," he reassured, hating the way the guilt dimmed the light in Yami's eyes. "I guess the situation is more serious than I thought," he admitted.

"It is…" again, it was barely higher than a whisper. Yami wasn't meeting his eyes. He fixed them on his hands which were fidgeting with the drawstring on the hoodie he was wearing.

Seto noticed it was the first time he saw Yami in such casual attire, with the dark grey hoodie he was wearing over a pair of clean dark blue jeans. For the first time, he seemed so…human, Seto realized suddenly, comparing the scene before him with the untouchable image he had of Yami in his mind. Proud, invulnerable in front of whatever life threw at him. Now he looked almost…fragile.

Especially as his voice seemed to be breaking over the words he was speaking at the moment. He forced himself to focus, as Yami cleared his throat and attempted to speak again after the falter in his voice.

"The doctor said your heart stopped once."

"Oh…" he said, regretting paying attention. It seemed unreal. That maybe Yami was making this up. But then again, why would he? Obviously he was there when the doctor was explaining what happened. And since he couldn't get any details out of Mokuba, he curiously asked, "Urm… you know what happened, exactly? I wanted to ask Mokuba but he wasn't very…easy to talk to about this."

Yami nodded mutely, visibly swallowing. "Mokuba called us at 9am yesterday. Yugi and me were here at 9:30. You were in the resuscitation room for almost an hour after that. They said you needed blood…" he paused. Seto patiently waited for him to compose himself. "Mokuba said he will provide it. I offered mine but they refused it."

Seto nodded in understanding, "Mokuba is a better candidate."

"I didn't understand why but he was too upset and I didn't want to make it worse for him."

"We're brothers. We're the same blood group," Seto explained. He realized that Yami had no way of knowing such basic things. "Do you understand?" he asked carefully, seeing the confusion on the pale, drawn features. "Blood is categorized into types…in order to give someone blood or receive from them you have to have compatible blood types. Because Mokuba is my brother, he has the same blood type as me…"

"Oh…" it was Yami's turn to exclaim softly.

He seemed thoughtful for a few moments and Seto patiently waited for him to be ready to talk once more. It was obvious it was difficult for him to recall an account of what happened and Seto gave him his time.

"They took you to another place. They said they needed to stop the bleeding. I didn't understand what the doctor said but you were gone for almost another two hours. The doctor said that your heart stopped in the resuscitation room but they managed to bring it back. He said that they stopped the bleeding. I don't understand how they did it. I don't know what an endoscope is and I wasn't too keen on finding out." Seto nodded, urging him on. "They moved you here from a place called the recovery room. You gave you another bag of blood yesterday at the roughly the same time as now and you woke up three times but you weren't lucid until today afternoon."

Seto nodded slowly. Yami was still tense. "Did someone tell you why this happened?" he asked carefully.

Yami nodded abruptly. "He said…He said it was taking a lot of some medication. Not enough food and too much stress and coffee."

So it was his fault, Seto thought to himself.

He sighed.

"I really did not mean for any of this to happen." He miserably repeated, staring up at the ceiling, wanting to look anywhere but at Yami's defeated posture and tired face. "I didn't think this would happen. I thought it will be alright, just like any other time," he softly admitted, more to himself than to Yami.

There was a rustle and then he felt Yami leaning on the side of his bed. "There is nothing about this that's alright or will be alright, Seto."

He turned to meet the tired crimson eyes with his own drooping blue ones.

"I am so sorry," Yami said, a slight shake in his voice. "I am sorry that there had to be 'other times', where you had to do this to yourself. I am so sorry that you went through this alone before. I am sorry we didn't make more effort to make you accept that we want to be with both of you. Please do not regret that Mokuba called us."

"Yami, this is not necessary," he said; calmly on the surface but deep down he was in turmoil. "This isn't your fault. You have no obligations towards us."

Yami bit his lip for a moment, looking down at his hands with interlaced fingers resting on the bed. Then he looked up, "Please don't say such things."


"No… just… just don't say such things, please," he cut him off, and Seto sighed, once again staring up at the ceiling. "I know this is difficult for you, hearing this from me. It would have been difficult for me as well, but it is okay to accept help. You may think you don't need it and maybe you don't. But you need to know that you are not alone. You can still have help even if you don't need it."

Seto didn't say anything.

"I understand that you have been raised to rely on yourself only. And you have done a fantastic job so far, for yourself and for your brother. But maybe it's time to let go for a bit and lean on someone else for a change. You will always find me there for you if you need anything."

There was utter determination in Yami's eyes when Seto turned to him again.

"I know, Yami…" he acknowledged. He gave a tight little smile, which Yami returned with one of his own.

"That's great…" Yami sat back in his chair, the tension visibly leaving his body and he relaxed back as he was before this whole spectacle took place. "Do you need anything now? I can get you something to eat or drink if you like…"

And that was why Yami was just so different from most… Seto smiled at the not-so-subtle way Yami changed the subject. If it was over, it was over for him. He didn't need to keep pressing things and did not need to annoy the hell out of the person before him. It may not have been a smooth change in subject but Seto appreciated it nonetheless.

"I was wondering where my iPad was…" he replied.

Yami looked uncertain. "Mokuba didn't bring it. He knew you'd use it for work."

Seto agreed in his head. "I probably would have," he voiced out his thoughts, looking sheepish and chuckling slightly. Yami laughed a bit at that. There was a hint of unease in the sound, as if the tension still didn't completely leave him. "But it would have been nice to have something to do other than stare at the ceiling or fighting with you."

At that, Yami's face lit up with a smile that made Seto completely pleased with himself.

"He didn't bring your iPad… I have mine…" his former rival uncertainly raised his eyebrows. "Watch a movie? Or play a game?"

He thought of all the times he and Yami half stabbed each other in the eye over a game and he replied with a grin, "Let's watch a movie and keep games for when my body can handle the stress of one of our games…"



He woke up to sunlight flooding the room.

He blinked, squinting against the bright light and looking around him, unsure of where he was at the moment. His eyes met the unfamiliar white and grey of the room and he remembered where he was and what happened.

Immediately, his eyes flew to the chair beside the bed, searching for Yami, but they met an empty chair and he looked around the room.

"Good morning," Mokuba brightly greeted, approaching the bed from where he had been standing near the window. He sat down beside him on the bed, smiling.

"Hey," he greeted back, smiling back. "When did you get here?"

"Just half an hour ago," Mokuba explained, pulling the covers from beneath him and arranging them fussily around Seto, who wanted to ask where Yami was but wanted to be subtle around him because he probably wouldn't let him hear the end of it. Unfortunately, Mokuba picked up the unasked question and in a strangely mature and quiet voice explained, "Yami just left to get some sleep."


There was so much more he wanted to ask and wasn't sure if his luck was going to last and Mokuba's calm maturity would continue until he asked everything he needed to know or not.

Apparently, it was going to last a bit longer.

"He didn't leave at all until today morning," Mokuba explained. "I called Yugi when the ambulance brought you here two days ago," he seemed apologetic, looking up to stare at his brother. When Seto raised his hand to place it comfortingly on his arm, showing him that it was alright and that he wasn't angry at that, he resumed, "He and Yami came here and…err…the others as well. They've been around on and off… brought me something to eat and stuff I needed."

Seto swallowed, remembering all the times he was an ass to them yet they insisted on helping out and his conversation with Yami last night rang in his ears clearly and in avid detail.

"Yami's been here since, though…"

"I see…" Seto remarked.

Mokuba smiled again, tightly. As if he really didn't feel like smiling and was trying to hold himself together. Seto felt his throat closing up at the sight. Mokuba was trying so hard to appear strong and Seto was nauseated to realize that he was the reason why the kid was going through the extra shit of trying to appear tough when clearly, the situation was not at all easy for him. He reached with one hand to press the button that raised the bed so he was semi-sitting like yesterday. He then grasped his brother's hand in both his. Beneath his fingers, he could feel it shaking.

"I am sorry," he said. Mokuba looked away, but not before Seto saw the bright gleam indicating how close to tears the younger boy was. "I know I worried you and I promise this won't happen again. I'm sorry," he repeated, reaching to gently tug on Mokuba's jacket, wanting him to look back at him.

His brother's tight, forced brightness and the smile completely disappeared. "I thought you died…" he admitted, his eyebrows rising in a matter-of-fact way.

The brightness of his eyes became the watery distortion of tears barely held from falling. It was physically painful to watch but Seto knew this was only fair since he was the one who caused Mokuba this anguish, he must watch the painful sight of those tears flooding the distance across the usually-happy gray eyes and starting to fall unchecked.

"I thought you died…" he repeated, closing his eyes and leaning forward. "I thought you died," it was almost a mantra now. Seto wrapped his arm around him, letting him cry on his chest. He was completely silent, allowing Mokuba this breakdown and only gently patted him on the head with one hand, while the other arm held him tightly, giving him time to release the stress of the past two days and being patient.

His gaze drifted over to the window. The bright yellow sunflowers sat comfortably amidst more expensive, more beautiful flowers. But only the big yellow petals and the black centers caught his interest, looking so unfamiliar. Confident, bright and welcoming with the haphazard way they were placed in the vase amongst otherwise fake and pretentious arrangements.

He thought of Yami and the sincerity in his tired crimson eyes last night. He thought of his anger at him, the way he heatedly defended Mokuba and the way he scolded him. He thought of their conversation and the tension it caused which ebbed away as they sat watching a superhero movie together, laughing at the funny moments and booing when the antagonist would do something rather stupid. He remembered feeling safe enough in his company to drift asleep without worrying about his intentions towards him or Mokuba…

It was nice.

He wouldn't mind having more of that.



Duamutef is the name of the canopic jar where the stomach is kept.