Disclaimer: Still writing these? Alright. I own nothing. Wait that's not true; I own a sewing machine and a laptop

Author's Note: Sorry everyone, wanted to get this out the first week of the month, but… things happened. There was a death in the family that was pretty close to me, so I've been assisting with the upcoming funeral. (Miraculously, this was almost complete when I got the news, so I was able to edit this and finish it during some down time). Not sure what will happen coming up in regards to my time, but in anycase, I hope you enjoy this chapter! Onto the story then…

Terms -

Kanzashi - Traditional Japanese Hair Ornaments; there are many kinds - my personal favorites are "Hana Kanzashi" which often involve textured fabrics folded into flowers that dangle on strings from the base comb piece that is stuck into the hair, a bit like a wisteria - so that's what I picture Tea wearing here.

Ikayaki - Grilled Squid with soy sauce on top. In this case, Joey's referring to a grilled tentacle on a stick that's popularly available at Japanese festivals

Smoking sections in Restaurants - It's very common in Japan for there to be smoking and non-smoking sections that are not necessarily blocked off from each other (some are, some are not). In cases where they are not, smoke can easily spill over into other areas of the restaurant.

Bon Odori - Lit 'Bon Dance' meant to welcome the spirits of the dead during Obon - styles vary from region to region in Japan.

Kamo River - (Also known as the Kamogawa) the primary river running north to south in Kyoto.

Takano River - A river that breaks off from the Kamo river and heads east, up the mountain side. The fork of these two rivers is an iconic spot in Kyoto close to the Shimogamo Shrine.

Today's Chapter Title is the name of an annual event held in Kyoto at the end of Obon and literally means "The Five Mountain's Send Off Fire"


"'Cause we were just kids when we fell in love

Not knowing what it was, I will not give you up this time

Baby, I'm dancing in the dark with you between my arms

Barefoot on the grass, listening to our favorite song

When you said you looked a mess, I whispered underneath my breath

But you heard it, darling, you look perfect tonight"

-"Perfect" by Ed Sheeran

Chapter Eighteen: 五山の送り火 (Gozan no Okuribi)

Kicking his motorcycle into high speed, Tristan did what he rarely thought logical and weaved between traffic. He was so late. Turning off the speedway, Tristan followed the overpass down to street level and took a turn that technically he shouldn't have. He winced hoping no cameras caught him.

At least he was close to Chuo-koen now. Just a little farther and he'd get to the game shop. There! It was in his line of sight. He brought his bike around and parked, just before the crosswalk. He let out a sigh of relief. He wasn't going to hear the end of this from Joey. And Serenity! He let out a regret filled groan. Screw Joey. Serenity though... He pulled off his helmet.


The sound of his name made him nearly jump out of his skin. He turned around to see a face he hadn't expected.


Bakura smiled, "Yeah, long time no see. How have you been?"

Tristan looked Bakura up and down, his conversation with Yugi from the other night still fresh in his mind, "Uh, fine, man. How about you? Still fighting off all the women?"

Bakura shrugged with an embarrassed sort of expression, "Uh... sort of. Doing alright I guess. Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you though."

"No no, no worries," Tristan said, "Just... wow it's been a while. I thought you were in Europe or something."

"I was, but I got called back to Japan by Pegasus," Bakura explained, "I've been working with Yugi the past week or so on that disaster that happen at the gala... Yugi didn't tell you?"

"No," Tristan lied, hating himself because he was pretty sure he had about the worst poker face in the world, "He didn't mention it... so then... are you here for the festival?"

"Kinda," Bakura told him, "Also just revisiting old places, the nostalgia of it all, you know. Haven't had the chance, Pegasus is a slave driver."

"That's... an appropriate comparison..." Tristan said slowly, not sure if it was or not. Accurate, probably, but appropriate...

"Are you on your way to see Yugi and the gang?" Bakura asked, breaking Tristan's train of thought.

"Huh? Oh, yeah, we were all gonna go to the Obon festivities in the park like old times... want to join us?" He added as a bit of an afterthought, but immediately regretted the wording. To be fair though, Bakura had sort of cornered him into it.

"Sure! Are you all meeting up at the game shop first?" Bakura replied, a warm smile on his face, "Are you going there right now?"

"Yeah, uh, and actually, if you're going to come, let's go now. Serenity will likely hit me for every additional minute that I'm late," Tristan said, thankful for a reason to move towards the game shop.

Inside his destination, Yugi continued to fume, albeit, as quietly as he could. He had gotten the rundown. That Kisara had been having lunch with Kaiba for over a week now. That Kaiba had practically smacked Joey whilst taking responsibility for Kisara's tardiness, or so Joey claimed anyway. And that instead of joining them for the Obon festivities, they were instead on what might be a date in perhaps one of the most popular cities in Japan during the Obon season, Kyoto. Yeah, all of that.

Joey served up a plate of an almost American-sized Yakisoba Pan and sat it in front of Yugi, who didn't touch it. Joey rolled his eyes.

"I don't see why you're in such a sour mood," Joey said, sitting down and pulling out his current deck to look over it, "I mean, I don't like it any more than you do; Kaiba's a prick and I don't know why she's spending time with him, but you don't have to throw a hissy fit about it."

"I'm not throwing a hissy fit," Yugi muttered, glaring at his plate.

"You're about as bad as Tea is when she's on her period," Joey told him, when Yugi swiped away one of Joey's cards, the Time Wizard, "Oi!"

"Joey, what you don't seem to get is that there's a lot more at stake here," Yugi said, "It's a lot more precarious then a simple flip of the coin."

"Alright, oh mighty game king," Joey started, grabbing his card back, "Do elaborate for me so that I may learn of your stratagems."

"Joey, stop," Yugi said, not in the mood for the 'Game King' crap he was spewing.

"No, you stop," Joey said, "Unless you've got a good reason that you care to explain to us as to why you're in such a tizzy, then you gotta lighten up."

"Joey, you should know better than anyone; Kaiba's got a temper. He's meticulous and judgmental. And worse, he suspicious of everyone and everything. He treats everyone like an enemy and I'm trying to figure out a way to convince him that he can trust me on this in order to get his help. Kisara becoming friends with him before we explain anything will just make it so that when we do say something to him, he's going to think we're trying to use him," Yugi said, all of his worries spilling out.

Joey shrugged, "Kinda sounds like you want to do that anyway."

"No, I don't want his money, I just might need... I don't know; his cooperation. We might need him to send her home," Yugi explained.

A silence followed, broken only by Joey opening his drink, "You really think you can get him to help send her home?"

Yugi replied sarcastically, "Well, I'm not so sure anymore... I just, if I were in his position, I would think that she was using me."

"Ha, that is just like Kaiba when you put it like that," Joey remarked, "So what's the plan?"

Yugi brought his head down on the table again, muttering, "I don't have one."

"What? Sure you do," Joey said, "You're the Game King, you can figure this out."

"Joey, I'm not the 'Game King'," Yugi complained, "Atem was the Game King."

"And you took on that mantle when you beat him," Joey responded, before eyeing his friend suspiciously.

"What?" Yugi said, looking up after a moment of silence.

Joey shrugged, taking a sip of his Pocari Sweat, "Nothin'. Just... why are you so against that title? I woulda thought it'd make you happy, but for the last four years, I haven't seen you once take pride in it. Maybe briefly when you beat Atem, but..."

The Game Store manager watched his friend quietly contemplate an answer, the only sound a quiet roll of chopsticks as Yugi pushed them back and forth with a finger.

"It's... I just, I don't know. I don't feel good enough for that title, Joey," He muttered.

"Hey, man, just because you haven't played in a while, doesn't mean you've lost it or-"

"No, no, just... I don't know," Yugi said finally, "But I don't feel like a 'Game King'."

"Then what do you feel like?" Joey asked.

Yugi sighed, "I don't know... just, myself I guess."

Joey took a sip again, "Well, in my humble opinion, you are a 'Game King'. You don't have to be born a pharaoh to undertake that title, you know. You just gotta beat every game before you and to my knowledge, you haven't lost a game since then, so..."

"Yeah, and at this rate, I'm going to lose this game when it comes to Kisara and any leads on reaching Atem again..." Yugi said.

"Why would you lose in regards to finding-"

"Hey guys!" Tristan said, coming in from the side door, "Look who I found!"

Yugi and Joey turned and what they saw made Yugi's stomach feel like it had dropped out of him.

"Hey! Bakura, man, long time no see! How's it been?" Joey said standing up and running over to give Ryo a tackle hug.

"Uff, it's been, it's been alright," Bakura said laughing, through the hug.

Behind him, Tristan eyed Yugi whose own eyes were so big one might think they were back in high school. Mouthing a quick 'What's he doing here?' got him a shrug of apology from a defeated spirit. Yugi sighed and stood up as well.

"When'd ya get back in town?" Joey said, "Were you planning on surprising us?"

"Uh, no, I uh, I thought Yugi would have told you," Bakura said, "We've been working together for the past week or so."

"What?!" Joey exclaimed, "Yugi, when were you plannin' on telling us man?!"

Yugi found himself stiff, as though attached to the floor boards he was standing on, "I... wanted it to be a surprise..."

"Well, you both really pulled one over on us, right Tristan?" Joey said.

Tristan nodded, trying to communicate with telepathy to Yugi, who seemed unable to focus on anything other than what Tristan could only suppose Yugi saw as the opponent in front of him.

"Is it just going to be you three today?" Bakura asked, "No girls?"

"Well, Tea's changing right now and Serenity should be here shortly," Joey started.

"Wait, she's not here yet?" Tristan asked, a kind of irritated moan escaping him.

"Naw, she slept in a bit late," Joey said, "Anyway though, she'll be along and Kisara won't be joining us today; she got other plans."

"Kisara?" Bakura repeated and if Yugi could get any more horrified than he already was, he would have at that simple question.

"Yeah, oh wait, yeah, you haven't met her yet," Joey said, "Real cutie. She's been working at the store lately, helping out and stuff; got this smoking hot long white hair and-"

"She's been a big help," Yugi said, finally cutting Joey off.

"Oh," Bakura replied, "Well, perhaps I'll meet her next time then."

"Yeah, for sure," Joey said, "Just stop on by anytime and you'll probably see her. She's been rooming with-"


The four boys turned to see Tea coming down from upstairs in a beautiful floral Yukata, her hair up in a bun with a stunning purple and white set of Kanzashi trailing down from her locks, stopping just short of her shoulder. While the other three boys smiled, Yugi found himself unable to move, but this time, for a completely different reason. She was beautiful.

"Tea," He said, after swallowing.

"Looking good girl," Joey said, giving her a thumbs up.

"Wha.. wait, Bakura, what are you doing here?" She asked, rushing down the steps and past Yugi to give her friend a hug.

"I was in town and I thought I'd stop by," Bakura said, receiving the hug warmly.

"So glad you did!" She exclaimed, "Are you going to join us for the festival?"

"I can, if that's alright," Bakura answered, "You look wonderful by the way."

"Aw, thanks!"

"Of course it is man!" Joey inserted, "But you better be prepared for an ikayaki eating contest."

"I am not doing that again this year!" Tristan snapped.

"Oh, because you lost last year?" Joey asked.

"Because we both threw up last year," Tristan corrected.

As the boys continued to argue, somewhat only encouraged by Tea's laughter, Yugi watched quietly in the background. When Tea turned back and smiled at him, he found himself completely caught off guard though.

"You ready to go down to the river then, Yugi?" She asked.

He nodded slowly as the group all made their way towards the door to get their shoes on. Waiting until everyone else had gotten theirs on, Yugi sat down and slipped his boots on. When a shadow appeared above him though, he found himself looking up to see Tea again smiling.

"Come on, we're gonna be late," She said, holding a hand out to help him up.

He paused, looking at her hand and then up to her again. Slowly, he took it and came up to his full height with her help. As the group exited and began to make their way to the river for the beginning of the night's festivities, he listened, watching mostly from behind as Joey, Tea, and Tristan argued, laughed, and talked with Bakura. At some point, he could have sworn though that Bakura had glanced back at him ominously, but he couldn't be sure. Maybe it was just his own mind playing games...

Yes, he hadn't been defeated in a game in four years. Yes, Atem had passed on the title to him. But no, he certainly did not feel like a "Game King". Game Kings always knew what to do. They always knew what cards to play. They always knew how to direct a situation in the way they wanted it to go. And here he was, completely and one hundred percent, out of the loop, lost, and unsure of what to do. He closed his eyes briefly as they walked.

'Could really use your help here, Yami,' He thought.

But like every time before, Atem was nowhere to be found and Yugi knew that he was on his own.


Turning down Hanamikoji, Kisara's eyes were met with a new time period. Unlike the sleek chrome and concrete that seemed to coat much of the futuristic world that she was in, this street seemed to utilize the simplistic smoothness of sanded cherry wood to enhance the decor of the exteriors of the buildings surrounding them. In many ways, it was similar to the style of buildings that she had seen at Ginkaku-ji, but not as elaborate. All around them, cameras clicked and people peaked around trying to get a better view of the stone path they walked down.

Seto watched as Kisara looked around, peering through the spaces between pedestrians to see the path they were on. Her eyes seemed completely entranced by what was around them. While part of himself was relieved by that, knowing she likely had dismissed his forwardness earlier for chivalry, a sense of obligation took hold of him as she spotted a crowd of people clicking away as a woman in a pink, green, and gold kimono, white face makeup base, and hair up in a perfect bun revealing the back of her neck emerged through an alleyway to cross the road to another building.

"This is the Gion District," He elaborated, "It's famous for the Geiko, or Geisha, here. That one looks like a Maiko though, not a full fledged Geisha."

"Gei- what?" Kisara asked, turning to him.

Seto eyed her with scrutiny, "You're kidding, really?"

Kisara shrugged apologetically and Seto sighed, "They're famous for the upholding the art of traditional Japanese entertainment and hostessing."

Kisara nodded slowly, "Oh... what kind of entertainment?"

Seto shrugged, "Conversation, music, dance, games... I don't remember it all. Last time I was here I remember going with my step-father and some of his associates. It's uncommon to actually be entertained by a Geisha. You have to have connections..."

Connections. It sounded like a seating at the Pharaoh's court, she thought, when a realization hit her, "You have a step-father?"

Suddenly, Seto straightened up, realizing this was the first time he had even mentioned Gozoboro to Kisara. He hadn't even thought about it really. Normally everyone seemed familiar with the history of the Kaiba family lineage. But Kisara...

"I did," Seto said, "He's dead now."

Kisara's eyes raised, "Oh, I'm so sorry."

"Don't be," Seto told her, "He was a slave driver."

"A... slave driver?" Kisara repeated, not sure if Seto was being literal or not.

"Just a wretched man," Seto explained, not catching her uncertainty, "A tyrant, but even tyrants have connections. That's how we ended up going that one time. But still, it was awkward."

"Why?" Kisara asked, hesitantly.

"They got drunk and were very loud, my step father and his associates that is," Seto clarified, "I was about thirteen or so, so I didn't drink. The Geisha were very hospitable, but it was an embarrassment to me nonetheless. I mean, here was this CEO of a weapons manufacturing company drunk with his colleagues, if you could call them that."

Weapons Manufacturing company? She thought Seto's company specialized in games, but before she could ask, he continued.

"There were times where my step-father would nearly overstep his bounds, but thankfully, I think the Geisha were used to that and somehow gracefully avoided the situation... honestly if I wasn't watching so closely, I don't think I would have noticed. In that regard, it was fascinating to watch them, like they were guiding puppets through the course of a dinner and evening without their knowledge," Seto mused.

Despite the crowds around them, a quietness enveloped the two of them as they walked. Finally, Seto spoke again, "I don't think you'll see any Geisha here today though. It's too crowded. But that's why I haven't and still don't drink. I don't want to be in that kind of situation, at the mercy of a puppeteer."

"It seems you learned from his mistakes then," Kisara said, as she stepped lightly over the stone pathway.

Seto smirked, "I prefer to think of it as took advantage of them."

Kisara tilted her head at the phrase, a bit confused, but let the conversation drop as they walked. There were many young women out now in yukata, their hair up in buns and decorated to hold curls where naturally there would be none. Again, her hands in the silence, found the strands of her own hair in front of her and began mindlessly brushing them through the gaps. Seto swallowed, wondering if he shouldn't have brought up his step-father at all, when a noise met their ears. That of a growl that came from his own stomach, much to Seto's own surprise. Kisara looked over and up at him, her eyes wide, before a funny grin overcame her and she laughed.

"I don't have any more yatsuhashi," She laughed.

Seto blushed, but tried to brush it off, "Let's find somewhere to eat."

It didn't take long for them to find a nice restaurant, but it did take them a long time to find one that was not already backed up around the corner with people waiting. Everywhere they looked in Gion, it was packed. Eventually, Seto pulled out his phone and searched through a list of restaurants that Isono kept on hand anytime they went out of Domino for business. Making a quick call to reserve a table took no time at all.

Upon arriving, Kisara felt the AC hit her like a breath of fresh air and smiled. Awkwardly, Seto took the lead and followed their waiter to their table. They almost sat down when Seto noticed the ill placement of the table in regards to other diners; it was near the smoking section and there was no air circulation. Not to mention, it was loud. Quietly, he slipped the waiter a 5,000 yen bill and requested a better spot without Kisara noticing. The waiter nodded before taking them to the back of the restaurant to a little alcove which would allow them some privacy.

"Please have a seat," the waiter said.

Listening to all of the "pleasantries" they had each heard in one another's presence a thousand times over by this point, they soon found themselves in the comfort spot of silence that followed. However, it soon grew unbearable, leading Seto to question why. They weren't playing Duel Monsters, that's likely why. They'd actually be forced to have a real conversation this time that wasn't initiated by card games or history or things around them. He wasn't sure why that made his face feel hot. They'd been conversing all day after all. He could do this. He snuck a glance up at Kisara, who was taking a long gulp of water. When she noticed him watching her, she swallowed, set the cup down, and smiled at him.

Oh yeah, that's why, he thought to himself.

"You know what you want?" She asked.

"Yeah, you?"


Maybe it would have been better to be around loud people after all.

Seto pulled at his collar, noticing the smell of his cologne still surprisingly strong. Well, it was better that then the alternative he supposed and it was what he had paid for, but he couldn't help but wonder if it was a smoldering smell now. At least it was Sauvage... Whatever the case, Kisara said nothing to him about it. He reviewed the day's events in his head. What had they talked about? History, UNESCO, Shinto and Buddhist traditions, his step-father now, dreams... wishes... Seto glanced up when she spoke.

"So... what exactly is the purpose of Obon?" She asked, "I mean, there has to be a reason why they're doing all this, right? It's not just a big party..."

Seto blinked, "Uh... it's to honor the spirits of deceased ancestors. It's a Buddhist belief that during Obon spirits come and visit."

Kisara slowly nodded, taking in the knowledge. The spirits of the dead... had she known anyone who had died? If she didn't back in Kemet, then most certainly... now that she was in the future, everyone she once did know was dead now. A kind of solemnity overcame her. What was she anyway? A ghost? A living being? She didn't know and it gave her chills. Seto watched her. It was true that throughout the day, he had explained a variety of things to her, but it was startling to him how little she knew. Just how bad was her amnesia?

"Kisara, you really don't remember anything about this?" He asked slowly.

Kisara looked up at him and after a moment, shook her head, "No... I don't remember anything about Obon."

"Nothing? Not family gatherings? Not sending fires? Bon Odori dances?" He asked.

Again, Kisara sheepishly shook her head uncomfortably, "No... I'm sorry."

"It's nothing to be sorry for. But festivals like these tend to spark memories," He said, repressing some of his own, "You'd think something like this would be familiar to you..."

"Well... does everyone celebrate it?" Kisara asked, trying to change the subject.

"No, but that's not the point," Seto said, their time at Fushimi Inari coming back to him, "You'd think that this would help you recall something to help you find your home."

Kisara's eyes widened, as though she hadn't thought of that, before she wrinkled her brow in thought. Suddenly, a thought came to mind that saddened her. What if she couldn't remember because... there was nothing to remember? A saddening kind of disposition overcame her and Seto felt a sharp pang in his chest.

"What?" He asked.

"I... I just... I don't know. I wish something here could help me find my home..." She said hesitantly, skirting the real issue.

As much as he hated to bring him up, Seto sighed, "Has Yugi managed to find anything to help you?"

Kisara's head popped up again and instantly she shook her head, "I don't know... I don't think so. It's hard to go off of nothing but my name..."

"What if I said I could help you?" Seto asked, as appetizers were brought to their table.

Kisara's whole frame seemed to freeze, the conversation going right where Yugi had warned her not to go with Seto, "N-no, I couldn't ask you to-"

"Why not? Yugi clearly isn't getting anywhere; why would you decline help?" Seto said, "Besides, I don't offer help to just anyone and I likely can gain access to more resources than that archeologist."

What seemed to be a compliment passed over her briefly, but again, she shook her head, the whole idea just becoming a bit overwhelming to her. As she spoke, struggling to be honest, but avoiding what Yugi had told her too, she felt a guilt and another wave of sorrow overcome her, "I... I'm just... I guess I'm just afraid. What if there is nothing? What if I don't have anyone to go back to? You'd think I'd remember at least faces, eyes, mouths, noses, anything, but there's nothing... Even if I go back... find my home... what if there's nothing there?"

Seto watched as Kisara rattled off worries into her lap, sheepishly avoiding his gaze. For someone who smiled so much and at times seemed a little naive or clueless, Kisara surprisingly was just as capable of worrying about a number of things, many of which much deeper and graver in nature than Seto expected. He sighed, pulled out his phone, opened the photos, and slid them over to her across the table.

"Look," He said, beginning to swipe through the pictures one by one for her to see, "Even if there's 'nothing' where you came from, you'll be taking all of this back with you."

All the photos were of their day. Fushimi Inari, Ginkaku-ji, Gion, the Philosopher's Path, and Kinkaku-ji... As Seto stopped, Kisara took the phone and began to swipe through the pictures on her own. Many were of the places, but the majority of them were of her, smiling and laughing. Her fingers stopped as the one picture they had taken together flicked onto the screen. A small, bittersweet smile came to her face.

"Even if you came from nothing, it doesn't matter, you're building things now," Seto finished, "You can continue to make a future for yourself."

Kisara bit her lip, a kind of ominousness sinking into her stomach. Sure, she was building her place here now, originally for the time being, but what if... what if this wasn't permanent? And what if she had left something behind? What if she was desperately needed somewhere else? In another place or another time? Would she have to leave this all behind? All of them behind? Was that really... could she...

She glanced up at him, "Is that possible? To really build up from 'nothing'? Even if there might be something behind you that you're forgetting, ignoring?"

Seto awkwardly nodded, "I did. I see no reason why you couldn't."

He built up from nothing? That was news to her. How much did she really know about Seto anyway? The more she learned about him, the more questions seemed to arise. The phone in her hand vibrated and rang. An older foreigner's face appeared on the screen with the sub-caption of 'Necessary Evil Idiot' coming up for her to read. A bit startled, she handed the phone to Seto, who looked at it before rolling his eyes and answering it.

"What do you want?"

"Kaiba-boy!" Exclaimed the receiver so loud that Kisara actually winced and Seto found himself pulling the phone away from his ear, "So glad I caught you, do you have a moment?"

"No," Seto said bitterly, "I'm in the middle of something."

He moved to hang up when a quick reply interrupted him, "Waitwaitwait, don't hang up yet, Kaiba! I have a proposition for you!"

"A proposition?" Seto repeated.

"That's right, listen, here at Industrial Illusions, we're planning on rolling out a new series of cards based on famous people in history and in today's day and age," Pegasus explained.

"Have you run out of ancient egyptian tablet crap then?" Seto spat sourly. Kisara found herself tense at the phrasing, but thankfully, Seto didn't seem to notice.

"Oh no no, but it's slow going, we can only release so many at a time; anyway, though, I was hoping to ask, what would you think of us creating a card based off of your person?" Pegasus finished.

Seto blinked and Kisara tilted her head, still able to hear the conversation. A card, based off of him? Though his automatic instinct was to smile like Mokuba would at something childish, Seto repressed it, his more logical and scrutiny-possessed side maintaining control over his mannerisms.

"We'll discuss it," He said shortly, "But at another time."

"Great! Oh I'm so glad to hear that. We're thinking of calling the card Kai-"

Seto hung up right on time for their waiter to arrive with their food, "Enjoy."

Kisara watched as Seto placed the phone down slowly, both of them taking in what had just been heard. Maximillion Pegasus, creator of Duel Monsters, had just asked Seto if he could make a card based off his likeness. Kisara wasn't sure if this was a good or bad thing and Seto's blank reaction wasn't helping.

"Seto? Are you... okay?" She asked hesitantly.

Seto nodded, "Yeah, I just... ha, he's a nut job."

"Mr... Pegasus was it?" Kisara asked, trying to recall the name Yugi and Joey had mentioned to her a few times prior.

Seto brought a hand to his forehead and nodded, his eyes covered as an ironic kind of grin came to his face, "A card based off of me. He's lost it... probably trying to detract from the reveal of our new upgraded Duel Disk systems..."

Kisara found herself grinning a bit, as the realization came to her, "But... that would be kind of cool, right? You being a duel monsters card?"

Seto brought his hand down to see her smiling at him. The kind of thrill that came to him at the idea of going down in history as part of the most popular game the world had ever seen was just kind of fantastic. But seeing her smile... that seemed to be just a bit more spectacular... suteki. Seto looked down at his phone, where he saw the photo she had last been looking at stare back at him, the one of the two of them at Kinkaku-ji, and a deep heaviness hit his stomach.

He swallowed, "It would, if Pegasus is actually being legit for once."

"So you work with him at times?" Kisara asked, "Even though you work in different companies?"

"More like own different companies, but yeah..." Seto said trailing off.

"So... wait, you said your step-father was in charge of a weapons manufacturing company, is KaibaCorp the same company?" She inquired, confused.

Seto nodded, taking a sip of his drink, "It used to produce weapons, yeah. But when I assumed control, I changed that and I don't ever intend on changing it back. Not only do we not need more weapons being made in the world, but Duel Monsters is more economically beneficial by far."

He paused and shrugged, "Even if I had known that I'd have to deal with Pegasus as regularly as I do, I wouldn't have changed my decision to morph KaibaCorp into a gaming company."

"You love Duel Monsters that much?" Kisara asked.

Seto watched her, knowing that she had just hit the nail on the head. Uncomfortably, he nodded a bit before quietly answering, "It's spectacular... you know, you should come to the unveiling of the new system... it will be quite a sight."

Kisara nodded, "Well, maybe..."

"I'll send you an invite," Seto said, a funny little smile on his face and she could tell he was a little tickled by the conversation from before.

After, Kisara watched as he stuck his phone back into his pocket. The rest of the evening was rather quiet. Seto told her about various elements of obon, such as the bon odori dances done to welcome the spirits as well as the floating lanterns that people let go down the river to bring souls back to the afterlife. Secretly, Kisara found herself grateful they weren't seeing the latter. This was her future and she didn't want to somehow risk being so close to something meant to carry away souls. Thankfully, the subject changed to other traditions such as the cleaning of the family graves. Seto told her the only reason he bothered to even send someone to the Kaiba family grave was for appearances' sakes.

"You hated him that much?" Kisara asked.

"I'm glad he's dead," Seto said flatly, "He deserved everything he got. Just like I deserved everything I earned. I took the time that he never did."

Kisara listened, her hand about to grab another bite when the watch on her wrist glittered in the low light, catching her attention, "Oh! Seto!"

He looked up as she proceeded to take the watch off, "Here, I'm so so sorry, I, well, you, you didn't mean to give this to me, did you?"

She held it up for him to look at. He squinted, "Yes I did."

"But-" She started, flabbergasted by the statement, "But, I know you were making a point with Joey but, it's so much, isn't it? You couldn't have possibly been thinking when you gave it to me."

"Are you saying I don't think?" Seto asked, dead panned and serious.

"No, no," Kisara said, with a sigh, "I just, I mean, it was the heat of the moment right? You just acting instinctively, right?"

"Yes, I acted instinctively," Seto said, cutting into his steak, "What's your point?"

Kisara felt like a ton of bricks had fallen into her gut. Was this guy thick? "But... I... I can't accept this, I know you wanted me to get a watch. I'll get one on my own; you don't have to lend me this one anymore-"

"Who said I was lending it?" Seto said, annoyed as he took another bite, "Just keep it."

"Keep it?" Kisara repeated, "I can't- Don't you want it back? It's special, isn't it? It's got the KaibaCorp logo on it and everything!"

Seto looked at it again. For once, it wasn't a gift from his brother. It was something he had bought for himself. He knew the exact pricing of that model of watch. The crafting, the coloring, the materials used. He knew all of it. It was made for someone important, of great worth and status. A man like him. But for some reason, even though it had been custom made for his wrist, he seemed to like it better on her's, where it had dangled all day, holding on like a beautiful bolt of lightning to her very essence...

"I can get a replacement." He muttered.

"Seto!" She practically yelled, "Please, I can't-"

"Then keep it as a favor," Seto snapped, "Jeez, it isn't that big a deal."

Kisara sat back and pouted, "Yeah, it kinda is... besides, how is keeping it a favor for you?"

His blue eyes glanced up and met hers. Why was it a favor? It wasn't, or rather, it shouldn't be. But even still, it felt like it was. His eyes flickered away from her own. This whole day, he'd been explaining things, telling her about Obon, Kyoto, and Japanese History, even his own history for goodness' sakes. But what had he learned about her? Next to nothing. That's what he'd learned. So why would her keeping his watch be a favor? He looked back up at her intently - an answer not coming in words, only in a gut instinct that seemed to come from her very presence.

"It just is," Seto said, when his phone suddenly buzzed. Looking at it for the third time that night, his eyes bulged, "We gotta go."


"We've got 15 minutes till the lighting," He said, standing up and pulling out a bill, "Come on."

Kisara barely had time to put her hat on as they quickly made their way out the door. Seto glanced around, trying to find a cab that was open. Nothing.

"Come on," He said, starting to walk and pulling his phone out.

Looking at the little blue dot on the map, he could see they were nowhere near where they wanted to be. The second best option would be where the Kamo River split and even then, they wouldn't get there in time without a car. He held his tongue. Not good, it was going to light any second and this had been the whole reason they had come.


He turned to see Kisara; she had somehow managed to hail a cab. Letting her slide in, Seto followed in after her.

"The split of the Kamo River and Takano River," He said.

The man in the front nodded, though Seto felt a hint of skepticism coming from the man. That's what he was afraid of. As the car sped off, Seto watched the little dot on his map move with them down the roads, closer to their target. However, the closer they got, the slower they moved. Kisara peered over at the map as well.

"That is us?" She asked.

He nodded, "Yeah, we need to get here."

She too nodded. The drive began to get painfully long. They only had 10 minutes, then 8, then 6, 5, 3... Seto felt his foot tap impatiently. They had moved only a block in the last minute. And it was a short block, not one of those long blocks in a place like New York City. One of those tiny three small house blocks. And then it hit him as Kisara leaned against him to see the map better. They were literally sitting right next to each other.

"How much farther?" He asked the cab driver, urgently, trying to force the thought from his mind.

"About five more minutes," The cab driver said.

They'd miss the lighting.

"It's only a couple blocks away, right?" Kisara said pointing at the map.

"Yeah, why-"

"Let's get out here," She said, doing her best to quickly memorize the map.

"Wait, what?"

"Come on," She said, jumping out of the cab.

"Huh? Wait, Kisara-" He quickly pulled a bill out of his wallet, threw it up front, and jumped out of the car, despite the protests of the driver (not that it mattered, he'd easily paid him twice what he owed him with that single bill).


"This way," She said, grabbing his hand and beginning to run.

"How do you-"

"Come on, it's not that far ahead," She said.

Slinging her purse over her shoulder and holding her hat, Kisara pulled Seto through the streets, weaving in and out of the crowds of people who seemed to come out in even more droves as they got closer to the sounds of the river. Upon reaching the Kamo river, Kisara's head darted around and turned them to their right, darting this way and that, Seto having the hardest time keeping up. Finally, when he thought he'd get dizzy from all of the passing of people, Kisara stopped.

In front of them, huge crowds gathered below at the gap in the rivers, many looking up at the mountain just due east. There was silence, as though everyone was holding their breath and then, there it was. A flame. Then another, and another. Like stars coming out one by one forming a constellation of one of the most basic kanji characters, the one they all learned probably before even going to school. "Dai".

Seto glanced around. Many people his age and younger looked on excitedly, some taking selfies, video, and pictures. Children begged to get on their parents' shoulders to see better. Meanwhile, the older generation seemed to watch on in revered silence. He felt a bit of anger burn in him at said reverence. It was nothing that these people did, but the notion that people would be so stuck on the past, the very idea that perturbed him so much, seemed to dig into a sore spot in his back. When there were so many other things to do, so many better things to be doing, and people, year after year did the same thing over and over again wasting their tim-

His eyes fell on her, seeing the sparkling fascination and awe of what was before them. The wonderment of seeing it for the first time couldn't have been more obvious. Kisara watched as the large symbol appeared before her, the one that she had seen in pictures. The first guide for the souls to the afterlife... A unsettling feeling, like before at the restaurant, started to enter into the back of her heart.

What if it took her? Was she even supposed to be here? In this beautiful time? This lighting that symbolized the end of the spirits' time here on earth... she felt herself shake a bit. What if this wonderful day was actually going to be her last? Why was she here? Why was she being allowed to see this futuristic time of great marvel and wonder? Would it so happen that, her time would run out? What if it all ended tonight? She didn't want it to be the end... she loved it here...

Fear? Was it fear that he was seeing? Seto couldn't be sure. Kisara took a step back, holding her clutch close to her. Why...

"You okay?" He asked.

Kisara's head swiveled around to see him standing next to her and immediately their eyes locked. Her hands, which had been quivering a bit moments ago, became calm as a peace seemed to envelop her as she watched his stoic face watching her's. Why? Was it... because of him?

"Yeah, I'm alright," She said slowly, before giving a reassuring nod.

Yes, it would all be alright. That's the feeling he gave her and it turned her smile, that was then briefly a facade, into something genuine. She didn't know how. She didn't know why. But something... something about Seto Kaiba, gave her peace... she couldn't place it... but at this very moment, she felt safe just standing next to him, being with him. It felt... right.

Her blue eyes returned to the mountainside and that's when it hit him. That smile. That genuinely perfect smile.

That's what made her different. It was her acknowledgement of bad things, scary things in the world, omens, that was balanced by her ability to hang on and look for the good... it was that dazzling quality, that seemed so elusive to him, that she contained, that he found to be absolutely mesmerizing. And everything else just piled on top of it. Her laughter. Her goofiness. Her curiosity. Her fascination. Her desire to see it all, to take advantage of it all, even when there were reasons to fear... She was just real.

In that moment, he wished the watch on her wrist would stop time... just for a little while.

As the fires lit overhead, Kisara and the rest of the crowd continued to watch, even as up to the north, other fires were lit. The event would be over soon enough, but Seto was content just taking the time to watch her. So what? He could see videos on youtube and dailymotion and all other kinds of travel blogs on the lighting if he wanted. What he wanted most was to watch her, because really, that was the real spectacle, her brilliance, her beauty, her.


A/N: So pretty long chapter, but I hope it was worth it. Due to things going on at home, not sure what my status is going to be next month, but I'll do my best to get something up. Writing is very therapeutic for me… Anyway, let me know what you thought and I look forward to seeing you for the next chapter!