Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.
Chapter 10: Seto Decides to Fix Things
The next morning at the breakfast table Seto scooted his chair even closer to mine than was necessary; and he kept sliding his hand along my thigh under the table. I ate my breakfast slowly, trying not to choke, with my face burning the entire time. Mokuba, the little fiend, pretended not to notice; but I saw his smirk. Sometimes the Kaiba brothers were so alike it made me want to scream- or at least run away from the pair of them.
Unfortunately, since I had violent hallucinations every time I moved two feet from Seto, that wasn't exactly an option.
As soon as Mokuba left for school, Seto's ceased his hidden advances (though I think he got a thrill from them) and began openly kissing me. He trailed wet kisses from my shoulder up my neck and jaw, ending on my mouth with a teasing taste of his tongue. Grinning, I responded with a teasing kiss of my own- which quickly degenerated into a lustful encounter against the kitchen table.
As I blissfully ran my fingers along Seto's smooth, lean torso, I wondered vaguely how someone so cold and distant to the rest of the world could in reality be so fiery and passionate; so eager to love and to feel love in return. But then, I suppose it shouldn't really surprise me, since Seto had always thrown himself avidly into everything he ever attempted, directing his fervent passion into whatever project he happened to care about.
Now, thanks to whatever generous deity that awarded it, I was the recipient of that passion. I would never take that for granted.
Seto lightly nipped my collarbone and I let out a blissful moan, gripping his silky hair in my fingers, when someone cleared his throat uncomfortably in the doorway. We froze, giving simultaneous guilty glances to the servant (Ned), who shifted awkwardly on one foot. "What do you want?" Seto growled, reluctantly pulling away.
"Er…Yami has a phone call from a woman named Isis," Ned muttered. "She says it's extremely important."
Seto crossed his arms and glared at the poor servant until I sighed, eyeing Seto warningly. "Kaiba, don't start. You know we probably need to hear anything Isis has to say," I admonished. He just scowled and waved me away dismissively, so I followed Ned into the hallway and picked up the phone. Isis began speaking almost before I put the receiver to my ear.
"My Pharaoh, we have a serious problem," she told me in her mysterious, melodic.
"There's another one?" Seto (who had followed me and was listening over my shoulder) put in dryly. I rolled my eyes at him.
"I have discovered the source of the Dream World's power. If you can cut off its power source, you will be free from it forever, without any more spells," Isis continued, ignoring Seto.
"I don't understand. How is that a problem?" I asked in confusion. "It sounds like good news to me."
"She's not telling us everything. That b- ("Kaiba!" I warned) just likes to string us along," Seto spat bitterly.
"Pharaoh, the bad news is that your host and his family are the power sources," Isis said.
"See?" Seto put in sarcastically, as I gaped in horror.
"What do you mean?" I breathed.
"I'm afraid that when the spirit possessing my brother created the Dream World, he used Yugi and his grandfather's energy as…well, fuel for the nightmares," Isis replied. "It's been draining them ever since. Yugi's grandfather collapsed first, since he's older and weaker."
"I was afraid it was something like this," I whispered sadly.
"That's the stupidest thing I've ever heard!" Seto snapped at the same time.
"Kaiba, I told you all this was my fault!" I countered, narrowing my eyes.
He grabbed the phone from my hands and slammed it into the receiver. "For the last time, it is NOT!" he snarled, and snatching my hand, began to drag me along the hall and out the front door.
"Seto, what are you doing? Why are you so angry?" I gasped, hurrying to keep up with his rapid strides. He stalked to the front gate and barked at one of the guards to call for a limo before answering me.
"I don't care what Isis says. I'm sick of her and her crazy brother upsetting you and making you lose confidence in yourself; I miss the old, proud Yami," he said, and noticing my stricken expression, quickly added, "not that I care about you any less. It's just time to fix things."
I smiled weakly and stood on my tiptoes to give him a quick kiss on his still-swollen lips. "Thank you, but what are you doing? Where are we going?"
"To find the psychopath," Seto replied darkly.
Seto stormed into the museum as I huffed along resignedly behind him, and as soon as he burst through the doors he sent a random museum worker a withering glare. The poor woman's eyes widened in fear as Seto growled, "Where is Isis Ishtahl?" The woman pointed shakily toward a back room, and Seto stalked away with me at his heels, calling an apology to the woman over my shoulder.
"Pharaoh, Kaiba," Isis greeted us with a nod, as soon as Seto burst through the door to her office. "I rather expected to see you."
"Tell us where to find your brother," Seto ordered levelly, giving Isis his coldest stare. "I know that he can get rid of this Dream World, or at least his 'evil side' can. I don't know why I didn't think of it before." (Seto rolled his eyes and made sarcastic air quotes when he said 'evil side,' and I had to fight down a snigger; I hated it when he made me laugh at inappropriate times.)
"Malik's darker side has disappeared," Isis replied coolly, meeting Seto's glare with one of her own.
Seto snorted. "Sure. Just tell me where your brother is," he snapped.
"Why? What do you want?" a voice drawled from the doorway behind us. We whirled to find Malik leaning casually against the doorpost, idly twisting a lock of his platinum blonde hair. "She wasn't lying, you know. My darker half has disappeared- I don't doubt that he'll come back, but I don't know how to make him show up and I'd rather not try," Malik continued nonchalantly.
Out of the corner of my eye, I could almost see the steam rising from Seto's head as he glared furiously at Malik. "You'd better try! He almost killed Yami, and he put Yami's family in the hospital!" Seto shouted angrily.
Something flickered across Malik's face before he shook his head slowly. "That may be, but making my dark half come out won't solve anything; it'll just cause more prob…" Marik broke off, grimacing in pain, and clutched his head.
"Brother!" Isis cried worriedly. "Brother, what's wrong?"
Malik straightened and gave a maniacal laugh, and I realized that his hair had suddenly grown spikier and his violet eyes had narrowed into tiny, angry orbs. "So, you fools finally decided to confront me, hmm?" he scoffed.
"Marik!" I growled. "What have you done to Yugi and Jiichan?"
"So unselfish," Marik mocked. "Shouldn't you be more worried about what I did to you?"
I glanced briefly at Seto before replying. "Believe it or not, Marik, you did me a favor," I said. The psychopath narrowed his eyes in confusion before deciding to ignore me.
"Hah, so you want to know how to get rid of the Dream World completely? Too bad, because I'll never tell you," Marik teased in maniacal glee.
"Listen, you crazy, evil…" Kaiba threatened, but Marik suddenly held up the Sennen Rod and Seto froze. Then Marik turned to me, smirking predatorily.
"How did you get the Rod back?" I gasped, but he ignored me and began chanting something in ancient Egyptian. Isis cried out for her brother pleadingly and I made a move toward Marik, but I found myself frozen to the spot as familiar swirling colors enveloped the walls.
"This time, Kaiba can't help you," Marik called, before his voice faded into the distance.
I blinked my eyes and examined my surroundings. I was back in the Dream World; but somehow it seemed different- the landscape, though sickeningly outlined with shifting colors, was no longer hazy; instead the flat plains and monstrous shrubbery had sharp outlines. It seemed much more…real.
"Seto?" I whispered weakly, though I knew he wouldn't come. The only answer I received was a rush of wind reminiscent of mocking laughter. Slowly I began walking along the harsh plain, not sure of where I was headed, but my feet led me on of their own accord. After a long period of stillness and eerie silence, I started to wonder about this new Dream World.
"It doesn't seem like much of a nightmare," I mused. "The only thing really wrong is that I'm alone, without Seto…or Yugi." Remembering the Yugi from my original sojourn in the Dream World, I shuddered. "Of course, I would rather be alone forever than see Yugi so evil and vicious again," I whispered faintly.
"Is that so?" a familiar voice drawled, and I turned to see the very person I'd come to dread- Yugi, with his sweet young face twisted in vicious amusement. I knew he was merely a hallucination, but found it hard to convince myself that he wasn't real. Like the rest of this world, Yugi seemed more natural; more sharply defined. No swirling colors distorted his face- he looked exactly like he should.
Except for the cruel expression.
"What do you want from me?" I asked tiredly.
"Do I have to want something, besides wanting to spend time with the darker half of my soul?" Yugi asked in a bored tone, and I bristled.
"I may have started out as merely the darker half of your soul; a formless spirit locked inside a Puzzle, but now I'm something else. I'm my own person, with my own goals, my own interests…and my own love," I replied heatedly. An image of Seto's crystal-blue eyes and soft pale skin burst into my mind and I suddenly felt stronger.
"Love?" Yugi scoffed. "How would you know what love is? You let me- your so-called 'best friend' –and Jiichan waste away, feeding your nightmares, while you wasted your time flirting with your 'love'!" Yugi smirked knowingly. "What do you think is happening to Jiichan right now? Haven't you wondered why everything is so clear here? Your little fantasy world gets stronger the more we waste away."
Yugi waved a hand over his face and suddenly his visage changed to what it had been the last I saw of him- haggard and drawn, with dark circles outlining his dull violet eyes. "There's not much time left," he whispered vindictively, and waved his hand again, reappearing as the healthy (but cruel) Yugi he had been moments before.
The apparition smirked at me for a long moment as I stared at him in wonder, still seeing the weary Yugi in my mind; as well as Jiichan lying in a hospital bed, too weak to speak to me. "Yugi, I'm so sorry," I breathed. "But it isn't my fault this is happening, and there's nothing I can do to stop it. All I can do is accept that it's out of my hands- there's no point in tormenting myself with guilt and grief; but I will never stop caring about you and Jiichan or loving Seto, even if I'm stuck here for the rest of my life," I said determinedly.
Then I reached out and hugged the vicious Yugi- cruel smirk and all.
Wearily I cracked open my eyes, slowly becoming aware of vague blurs surrounding me. A soft sound came from my right- a low, sniffling murmur, and I realized someone was crying. Now if I could only figure out who and why; oh, and maybe find out where I was while I was at it.
"Yami, I'm so sorry," the person mumbled. "I had to drag you over there, and then all I did was stand there while Marik tortured you…" Full, wracking sobs broke out from the person, and I blinked slowly as the person squeezed my hand tightly and lifted it to his lips. He kissed my fingers softly as the world gradually came into focus, and I saw unkempt brown bangs sweeping over soft blue eyes. He cupped my hand to his cheek and I felt the scratchy sensation of stubble, since the person apparently hadn't shaved in a few days.
"I love you so much," he whispered, and suddenly everything clicked.
"Seto!" I cried, wrenching my eyes open fully and bolting upright. He gasped and squeezed my hand nearly tightly enough to break it.
"Y…Yami? You're awake? But-but they said you would never…that you were…" Seto stuttered.
"What happened?" I asked, gently prying my hand from Seto's death grip. "The last thing I remember is seeing Yugi in the Dream World…he said that I was draining his and Jiichan's lives away," I murmured softly.
"Yami- it was NOT your fault…" Seto began, but I interrupted him.
"I know. That's what I told him. I said that I couldn't help what happened, and I refused to feel guilty anymore. Then I hugged him and told him I cared about him…even though I know it was just the dream version of Yugi and not the real one…" I said evenly.
Seto stared at me in disbelief. "Yami…what happened to you? You seem like…like…" Seto gasped.
"Like who?" I asked tiredly, swinging my legs over the side of Seto's bed and silently noting that I was in his room. It was a relief to be home…
Huh, that was an interesting thought.
"Like…yourself," Seto replied, and a dazzling smile appeared on his face. He quickly stood, motioning for me to stay seated. "Yami, you know I'll never leave you, but I think we need to test something." Seto rushed from the room, closing the door behind him.
I waited. And waited. Finally he stuck his head cautiously back through the door. "Well?" Seto asked. "What happened?"
"Nothing," I replied, shrugging. Then my eyes widened and I leapt to my feet. "Nothing! Nothing happened! Seto, it's gone, the Dream World's gone!" I cried. He rushed to me and lifted me in his arms, spinning me around in triumph.
"You beat it, all by yourself," Seto breathed in wonder, and lowered me to the ground. Decisively his lips found mine, and he plunged his tongue into my eagerly opened mouth. His kiss spoke of triumph and joy- and love; and I responded with love, showing him with my soft kisses all the gratitude and longing I felt for him. I stood on my tiptoes and wrapped my arms around his neck, propping my body weight against his slim form as we kissed for a long, unforgettable moment.
Finally I pulled away, frowning, as I remembered something. "Seto, what happened to Yugi and Jiichan? Are they alright?" I asked worriedly. "The Dream World was so real this time; it must have drained nearly all their energy away! Jiichan…he couldn't hold out much longer…he's not…is he…?" I couldn't bring myself to say the words.
To my immense relief, Seto smiled. "Marik is such a liar," he said.
"Huh?" I intelligently replied.
"Yami, the Dream World was probably clearer this time because he changed the spell, obviously," Seto informed me knowledgeably. I don't care how much I love him; I still wanted to slap him right then.
"What are you talking about? You're starting to remind me of Isis," I retorted.
Seto scowled and hurriedly explained himself. "Since you had had your own body for a while, I guess you gained enough strength to be your own sort of…fuel, I guess, for the Dream World, without Yugi and his grandfather," Seto said.
Remind me never to ask Seto Kaiba to explain anything having to do with magic or spells.
"Huh?" I asked again.
Seto sighed. "When Marik did whatever he did to you a few days ago, he changed the spell so that it wasn't draining Yugi and Jiichan anymore. It was draining you. It should have killed you…" he told me, choking slightly on the word 'killed.'
"So they're alright?" I asked, and Seto nodded.
I reached for his hand and twined our fingers together. "I wonder how I broke the spell," I mused. "I guess it was because when I quit feeling so upset and guilty, I pretty much ended the nightmare Marik had set up for me."
Seto grinned and kissed my forehead lightly. "You finally started listening to what I've been telling you," he boasted.
"Kaiba, you are so arrogant," I laughed, rolling my eyes at him. I pulled away from him slightly and scrutinized his face. "So what happens now?" I asked.
"You move in permanently, of course," Seto replied, as if it were the most obvious thing in the world.
Well, maybe it was.
A/N: Thank you so much to all who read and responded to this story! I ended up with over 100 reviews! Yay! I'm so grateful to you all! And I hope that you read my next story; I'm posting the first chapter today. It's called "Heart of Darkness" and it's Seto/Yami, of course.
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