Seto let out a tired sigh, placing the phone down and pinching the bridge of his nose, before brightening a bit as he looked over to what had fast become his favourite sight in the world. He himself had seen enough cartoons to last a lifetime; but he'd never get sick of Mokuba and Yami watching them.
"So," Yami was mumbling. "Is the Sponge Bob the same thing as a Sea Sponge? Or are they a difference species?"
Mokuba didn't even need Seto to relay the message. At this point, he'd become accustomed to guessing what the spirit had to say, and he was almost always right. "It's just a gag. Sea sponges look nothing like dish sponges, but it's funny to pretend they do."
"I see," he replied. "Modern humour is very strange." Nevertheless Yami, along with Mokuba, assured the Captain that they were, indeed, ready kids.
Seto chuckled softly and returned to his work. Due to the whole Pegasus ordeal, the company had suffered. Not irreparably so, but Seto now had an entire executive committee to replace and shareholders to soothe, at the very least.
Yami didn't seem to mind spending his time relaxing with Mokuba and watching cartoons, or listening to the boy catch him up on what had happened in the world since he lived in it. They could spend hours reading history books or watching documentaries. Only occasionally did Seto have to speak on Yami's behalf. And on days like these, when Seto would have to work so late that Mokuba would fall asleep on the sofa Seto kept in his office for that very reason, it was almost nice for him to have somebody there to keep him company.
"I think that's it for the day," Seto finally announced sometime after ten. The room was dark, lit by only a desk lamp and his computer's screen. He raised his arms in the air and stretched, bending this way and that, trying to revive his sleepy limbs.
"You need a break," Yami observed. "You do nothing but work lately."
"I know," Seto answered quietly. "I'm just trying to get through it so we can pick up where we left off."
Yami didn't need him to elaborate to understand. "It can wait."
"Are you telling me you don't want your memories back?" Seto raised an eyebrow.
"Of course I do, I just-!" the spirit sighed. "I like being here with you and Mokuba. No matter what was in my past, nothing that could've happened will ever change it."
For reasons he couldn't identify, Seto found himself wanting to comfort Yami. "It's not like you can't be afterward. Unless…is there something you're afraid you'll see?"
Yami shrugged, averting his gaze. "I'm not really sure. All I know is, no matter what, I want to stay with you."
Maybe it was because the hour was late and the room was dimly lit, giving the atmosphere an unreal, almost dreamlike feel, but Seto got to his feet so he was standing toe-to-toe with the person he'd come to consider his best friend and said, "It's not much…my memories aren't particularly pleasant. At least, not most of them. But I'd share them with you if it'd keep you around." He checked himself and hurried to say, "I mean, Mokuba really enjoys having you here. Besides, you're the one who keeps saying that you came to me for a reason, and I'm not going to betray that so quickly."
Yami smiled. "Thank you, Kaiba. I wonder if you'll feel the same when we find out who I was."
"Look, I don't care what's in your memories. The past is over, but the future is infinite. It doesn't matter who you were, only who you are. And right now, you're someone who helped me risk everything to save my brother. I won't forget that."
"I'm glad to hear you say that. Our bond got us through our duel with Pegasus, but somehow I feel as if that's only the beginning. Like there's something else coming."
Seto rolled his eyes. "You listened to Tristan's little bedtime story, didn't you?"
"He seemed genuine," Yami defended. "I think we should take him seriously."
Once Seto had safely landed everyone in Domino again, Tristan pulled him aside and told him all about how he rescued Mokuba from the dungeon – as well as a rather unique story concerning his friend Rito. He, too, had a Millennium item; a ring, in fact, that hung around his neck. It seemed that Seto wasn't the only one sharing his body with an ancient spirit; but unlike Seto's, Bakura's partner was much less benign.
Seto had zoned out during the tale, his mind going to the many, many things back at the office that would require his attention once he returned; but as Yami summarised to him later, the spirit was acting dangerously, even borderline sociopathically, so Tristan tossed Bakura's millennium ring far, far away into the island's vast forest. He was subsequently separated from his friend for a time in his effort to find Mokuba, but they reunited in the courtyard before too long; and that's when Seto showed up.
Tristan hadn't seemed too concerned as he reiterated the events, clearly contented by the fact that the ring was apparently long gone. But even so, as he'd told Seto, "I thought you should know. It might be important later."
"I suppose it wouldn't be too far-fetched," Seto conceded. "After all, I have somebody living inside my Millennium item. It's not a stretch that Rico does, too."
"Ryou," Yami corrected.
"That's what I said."
"Anyway," Yami went on, "I don't think this is a threat to take lightly. We must tread with caution. I know Tristan said he threw away the ring, but for some reason, that doesn't afford me very much comfort."
"I tossed away the puzzle and it came back to me," Seto pointed out.
"Precisely. At this point, nothing is certain, except that we have a long way to go." Just as he'd done back at Pegasus's castle, Yami balled up his fist and held it out to Seto, who rested his own against it. It had become almost a vow in and of itself between the two. A physical representation of their intangible bond; a gesture only they understood. "I hope you're ready for this."
Seto nodded once, determinedly, before picking up his sleeping brother and locking the office down for the night. Of course he could feel when his phone began to vibrate in his pocket, but as he'd done all week, he ignored it.
"Alright, then. Let's go home."