Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-gi-oh.

My notes: Post-Battle City. American dubbed names, unfortunately.

Ancient Relic

"And you want me to do what with this thing?" Seto Kaiba asked as he fingered the Millennium Rod in his hands. The golden weapon shone in the office lights displaying its metallic heritage. "It's bad enough that I had to lose my own tournament to you, Yugi, but to think you have the nerve to offer me a runner up prize is an insult to my dignity! Take this thing away from my office and leave me in peace!" Cries of protest arose as Kaiba shoved the artifact back to its bearer.

"Big Brother! Shouldn't we hear Yugi out?" Mokuba pleaded. "He's saved us countless times and I don't think he would do anything to hurt us."

"Listen you miserable jerk, dontcha get it? Yugi's just trying to give something back to you." Joey voiced as he was being restrained by Tea and Tristan. Wheeler's insult did little to settle the mood.

Kaiba stared out to the landscape, turning his back on all. "I've never seen that thing before Battle City, and it was only being used by Marik if your memory still works."

"But Kaiba, listen to me. The spirit of the puzzle says that you were the original owner of the Millenium Rod. That's why Ishizu took us both to the Domino Museum. That's why the rod activated during your duel with Ishizu and you were able to stay in the finals. That's why we both traveled backwards in time when Obelisk and Slifer fought one another." Yugi stared up at the back of Kaiba's head. "After all this, you're just going to turn your back and deny your past, your destiny?"

"Yugi," Kaiba began, "what happened at the Battle City Finals was more likely to have been group hallucinations, chemical imbalances, and general stress we all felt. Combined with the latest state of the art holographic technology, the line between what was apparent and what was real were blurred beyond all recognition." He turned to face them. "I designed my tournament to push each participant to the limit. The Semi-Finals and Finals were intended to increase that limit to the very breaking point. Under such pressure, there is no way of knowing what did or did not occur."

"Are you telling me Kaiba that all my pain and suffering didn't happen?" Joey asked.

"There's no way to say one way or another."

"WHAT? It was definitely real, you money grubbing..." Joey's protests were cut short as he was again restrained by Tea and Tristan.

"Still Kaiba," Yugi said, "I want you to have it."

"And I don't want it," Kaiba stated. "Now I have a business to run so unless you want security to escort you out, you better leave." With that, he resumed sitting in his executive chair at his desk, and began reading some design papers.

As Yugi and company were heading out of Kaiba Corp. HQ, Yugi was mentally talking with the spirit of the puzzle. 'I just don't understand why Kaiba won't just accept the Millennium Rod.'

'He doesn't want to accept what he doesn't understand. Fear is a great barrier preventing the truth,' the Pharaoh stated.

'I just wish there was a way for him to see the truth.'

'There just might be a way.' The spirit turned back to stare at the glass building. The sound of running footsteps was audible to all.

"Mokuba!" Yugi exclaimed as the breathless boy caught up with the gang.

"I'm sorry for what happened in there. Seto is still angry for losing the tournament. And for not winning the Egyptian God cards." He continued to pant.

"I'll say," Joey said. "First he hosts this tournament, and manages to get his hands on Obelisk. Then he fails to face Yugi to duel before the finals for the Slifer. Then he loses to Yugi, and the duel was broadcast around the world." He recalled watching it over and over again as the two Egyptian God Cards fought it out before cutting to static. "Well part of it at least."

"No all of it was." Mokuba stared at his feet. "We resumed the live-feed as soon as we could. Everyone saw Seto's three Blues Eyes go down." His voice became quieter. "I didn't have the heart to tell him, but when everyone started calling him the third place duelist, he soon found out." He paused, his face showing signs of concern.

"There's something else, isn't there?" Tea asked. "Come on, spit it out."

"It's just...after a few days, he was all quiet. Then he said he would never duel again. He said he needed to make a fresh start. I saw him take all of his cards and his deck and lock them down in one of our storage safes. Since then he's been working non-stop on Kaiba-land."

"Never duel again?" Joey asked. Mokuba just nodded. "Man that's rough."

It was a long time before anyone spoke. "Mokuba." Yugi handed the long-haired boy the Millennium Rod. "Will you give this to your brother?"

The Kaiba sibling looked Yugi in the eye. "I don't know if I should take it. You saw how pretty upset Seto was."

"Come on," Joey said. "It's no big deal."

"Yeah," Tea added. "Just keep it stashed away with your brother's other priceless stuff. The worst he can do is sell it, right?"

Mokuba smiled. "Yeah, I guess you're right. It does look pretty cool." He took the rod from Yugi. "Thanks Yugi. I better hide it so Seto doesn't see me carrying it."

"Well I guess we better get going," Yugi declared. "So long Mokuba." Everyone said their goodbyes. As Yugi walked on, he knew in his heart that he had done the right thing. The spirit of the Pharaoh also thought they had acted wisely. Neither of them knew how wrong they were.