Title: Oidche Shamhna
Author: Crimson Eyed Dragon
Warnings: Language, angst, character death, lemon
Summary: Halloween – a time for families to go out and enjoy themselves, but to one man, it's a night worth staying home.
Status: 4/4 COMPLETEItalics - Atemu's thoughts or flashbacks
Dragon: Since most of you have figured this out by now, this warning should come as no surprise. WARNING CHARACTER DEATH
Mokuba threw his overnight bag on the floor against the wall before bending over and unclasping the leash from his guard dog's collar, watching contently as it wondered off down the hall. Quickly unlacing his shoes, he placed them beside Atemu's hiking boots and then grabbed the strap of his bag and lifted it up again to his shoulder, walking away from the door, following the path, the German Shepard took to the living room.
Dark eyebrows furrowed and a small frown formed on his face. Walking straight into the living room, he sat down on the couch, letting the strap of the bag slide off his shoulder and onto the floor once again. With a sigh, he reached out and let his fingers drift over the objects on the table. First, the gold Rod, tracing the Eye – the symbol of the Sennen Items- before letting his fingers move to his brother's soul cards, lighting running the tips over the paper as if it was made of fragile crystal. Gray eyes drifted to the staircase, looking on with a bit of concern before turning back to the worn out Blue Eyes.
For three years Atemu had been going through this yearly ritual of laying out everything that his brother once held dear. And every Halloween – or Samhain as his guardian insisted it being called – Mokuba willingly disappeared for the night, leaving them alone. And it wasn't that Mokuba didn't want to see Seto, but what was the point when he couldn't see him anyways? Only Atemu had that gift.
It hurt a lot to know that he was around, that he 'talked' to his lover and not him but he didn't blame Atemu, it wasn't as if the once Pharaoh could help it. And he also knew that if the Egyptian could, he would grant the younger Kaiba the power to do so, but even 'gods' have their weaknesses.
Sometimes, miracles just didn't happen no matter how much you want them.
And sometimes, they had a funny way of giving you what you asked for.
The door creaked open, showing the need for oil, as Mokuba silently walked into his brother and guardian's bedroom. Sad gray eyes peered around only to spot a forlorn figure sitting in a rocking chair, alone and in a shadowed corner. It rocked, slowly, the owner's feet absentmindedly pushing ever so slightly to give it movement. Dull, crimson eyes were staring off into space, his chin resting on the palm of his hand.
"Atemu?" Mokuba asked quietly as he ventured further into the room, not bothering to shut the door since he knew the older man liked to keep them open now.
Solemn eyes blinked, looking over to the direction of the voice that invaded his thoughts. He smiled when he spied the younger Kaiba standing a few feet from the door, looking at him with barely concealed concern. "Mokuba, I didn't know you were home. How was the costume party?"
Looking around the room, Mokuba's eyes settled on the perfectly made bed. "Great. By the way, everyone says hi." When no reply came, he glanced back to the rocking chair to see Atemu also looking at the queen-sized bed. "Did he…?"
"I take it he's gone now?" He didn't even bother to hide the disappointment in his voice.
Atemu just nodded his head, crimson eyes now watching the face of his young charge. "He'll be back next year." Planting his feet firmly on the carpet, the chair stopped its rocking, allowing the Egyptian to stand and walk silently over to stand in front of Mokuba.
Crimson and gray studied each other before Atemu's whispered voice broke the silence. "He loves you, you know."
"Do you hate me because I can see him and talk to him and you can't?"
The younger Kaiba's eyes went wide, staring in disbelief. "What? How can you ask that?"
"Its an easy question to ask. I would understand if you were."
Mokuba's expression turned into one that reminded Atemu way too much of Seto, the perfect Kaiba scowl had been learned well. "How could you even think that after all this time? Granted at first I was jealous, I mean I'm his brother!" He stopped for a moment, gathering and restraining his growing temper, replacing it with a softer, more child-like look. "But isn't it better that at least one of us is able too? This way I know what's going on even if I have to hear it second hand."
"No buts Atemu. I know Seto loves me and you, just as you love both of us and I love the both of you. We're family even if you never got the chance to become a Kaiba legally." The last part was said with a sad smile, gray eyes shimmering in the early morning light that filtered through the still open window. Suddenly, Mokuba shook his head as if to cast his sadness aside and launched himself at the unexpecting Egyptian, wrapping his arms around his waist and burying his face into Atemu's chest. "Now, why don't we get ready so we can go?"
Returning the comforting and much needed embrace, Atemu kissed the top of Mokuba's head. "Yes, Seto's waiting on us."
Sweat trickled down Seto's face as his breathing increased to keep up with the demand he was putting on his body. His feet pounded the tract mercilessly as forced himself to go another mile so he could best his previous self track record.
The sun shown inhibited down on the track that the CEO had installed the previous year and Seto was glad that he had chosen this day to take one of his rare days off. The weather had turned out perfectly for this small personally time he had allowed himself. His gray t-shirt and running shorts were now darker then when he started out, the dampness seeming further down the material as the sun rose even further into the sky. But that didn't stop him; after all, he had come out here to think.
Sapphire eyes briefly cut to his right and a scowl settled on his face when he spotted two of his newly hired bodyguards. Personally, he didn't think he needed some other man watching his back. He was skilled enough to take on any foe but something about this latest threat had both Atemu and Mokuba more anxious than usual. So in order to keep his sanity and to keep his lover from following him around everywhere he went, he had given in and upped the amount of men in his personal security. Atemu and Mokuba had even weaseled him into buying a dog for protection.
He shook his head, his sweat soaked bangs slightly unplastering from his forehead with the motion. He couldn't figure out why they were so worried this time. He was a CEO of the biggest corporation in all of Japan; idle threats were just another part of his life.
Honestly, they should be used to it by now. He sure as hell was.
He continued running, letting his breathing and the pumping of his heart become his way of keeping his rhythm as his mind kept drifting. But in all seriousness, he guessed he couldn't really blame them. Every single time some threat had been made against his brother he hadn't even had to think about it, just picked up the phone and demanded that his brother be watched like a hawk, sending a few threats of his own if they failed in any way.
And he had to admit, this one had been slightly different from any of the others he had received just for the simple fact they had included his lover, and that, he had to admit, unnerved him. He knew Atemu could take care of himself, if there was one person that needed less protection than himself it was the former Pharaoh and a powerful Shadow Mage.
He smiled, closing his eyes and let his instincts take over as he headed down the straightway of the red track. They were quite a pair the two of them. One the youngest CEO of a huge company, an adult before his time, both father and brother to Mokuba and the other a spirit made flesh, over three thousand years old, wielding something that Seto's scientific mind didn't care to believe in most of the time, and yet, they loved each other in ways that others could only dream of.
There souls were bound to each other, and not in the yami-hikari way either. No, it was something altogether different but just as strong or stronger. Time had not shaken their feelings, if he went by what few fleeting flashes of his supposed past life had shown him. Through life, struggle, death, and rebirth, they had loved and completed each other.
And as he opened his eyes, turning his head when a glint of silver in the trees caught his attention and his chest seared with pain, he prayed that they would get another chance.
There was no breeze when Atemu and Mokuba walked down the pebble-covered path further away from the two bodyguards that were waiting at a respectable distance away. Shadows from the nearby trees around them played at their feet, shifting as they continued closer to their destination. Mokuba toyed with one of the petals of the white lilies in his right hand, gray eyes fixed on the elaborate black marble tombstone just up ahead.
Atemu pulled his denim jacket closer to his body and took a quick sideways glance at the young man beside him. He knew the boy's heart was just as heavy as his was right now, both of them not wanting to be here, yet needing to all the same. It was a painful reminder of what happened that day a few years ago and even thought they lived with the outcome of it everyday, it still hurts to see such a permanent and depressing reminder. The pebbles and dried leaves crunched and shifted under their feet as they stepped up to the stone etched with their loved one's name. Kneeling down, crimson eyes traced over the fine carving with sadness and longing.
As a bronzed hand ventured up to lay on the top of the smooth, black surface, the wind suddenly picked up, like invisible fingers caressing Atemu's face, his blonde bangs fluttering across his eyes. He smiled, unconsciously leaning into the phantom feeling and closed his eyes.
I miss you.
The flutter of air seemed to shift, running across his chest, over his heart, sending a welcoming, loving feeling over him.
"Is that him?" A curious voice asked from behind, startling Atemu. Snapping out of his daze, he opened his eyes, smiled and nodded his head in the young man's direction.
The wind moved, leaving the kneeling figure and sailed through thick black hair, ruffling it, making it even messier than before. Gray eyes were wide and a childish, happy giggle escaped his lips.
"I love you too Nii-sama."
Humming to himself, Atemu continued to slice through the deep red apple, placing the slices perfecting on the white china plate, setting up Seto's snack for when he came back from his run. Soon he moved on to the green apples, carefully removing the stem before he began to cut those too. When he knew he had enough, he placed the remaining whole apples back in the basket, knowing that if he cut those now they would be brown by the time Mokuba came home from school.
Satisfied everything was set, he moved the plate over to the island, placing it in front of Seto's 'spot' then turned to the refrigerator and pulled out the juice that his lover liked to drink after a good run. Opening up the cabinet, he grabbed the first glass he saw and began to pour the dark liquid when suddenly his chest seemed to constrict, not in a painful way, but more in a sense of something was wrong.
Placing the juice container down on the counter, he stood there, his eyes closed as he tried to breathe a bit easier and calm the twitching in his chest. There was something, something foreboding about the feeling that had come over him and it confused him. It wasn't magical, he could tell that. His shadow powers had not sent 'alarm bells' ringing off in his head, so it had to be more natural, more….
Opening his eyes, he walked over to the sink, still carrying the glass of juice in his hand, to stare out the window about it. Gazing out, he noticed nothing abnormal, the weather seemed to be fine, all was quiet, and Mokuba wasn't due home for at least another hour…. He shook his head, raised the glass to his lips and began to take a sip. It couldn't have been Yugi's emotions filtering across to him; their link had been severed the day he gained his body.
A brief flash of pain and shock flashed before his mind just as his chest seemed to constrict again causing him to drop the glass, it shattering at his feet, splashing the drink on his feet and legs.
He couldn't ever recall running so fast in his life as he raced out of the house and across the yard towards the track. His mind was in state of worry and oddly enough denial that anything was wrong and he was just running for the hell of it. He have expected to show up at the track and see Seto looking at him like he was stupid or crazy for worrying over a idiotic thing such as a 'feeling' but when he arrived there, all he could do was stop and stare in shock.
There was one of the men Seto had hired standing in the middle of the rust colored area, holding a phone to his ear and pointing in the direction of the trees that flanked the place. The other man was nowhere in sight but Atemu didn't worry about that as he kicked his numb body back into gear and ran over to the fallen body.
Immediately, he went down to his knees, the scraping of his skin on the rough surface never fazing him as he reached out a hand towards the still, prone male, "Seto?"
He never heard or saw the hired guard that kneeled in front of him as he called out his name, telling him what had happened. The words fell deaf ears as Atemu shook his head at the lack of response from his lover and carefully used both his hands to roll Seto's body over, only to gasp, eyes wide with shock at the dark red stain in the center of his gray shirt that seemed to grow as every second ticked by.
"Sir! I must advise you to go back inside!"
No, no, no….
"…we haven't found the person who did this…."
Oh gods no….
"….must have had a silencer, sniper from the looks of it…"
The guard, tired of being ignored, not wanting to lose another one of his employees, grabbed Atemu by the arm and began to roughly haul him to his feet. "Sir, inside now, there is nothing you can do for Mr. Kaiba…"
Crimson eyes narrowed and snapped towards the direction of the man that had dared try to take him away from his lover. They glowed an eerie red, looking menacing despite the glassy wetness to them causing the guard to blink and stare in shock before he was roughly shoved off of his smaller employer.
"No," the word came out almost in a feral growl, "I will not leave him. And you can not make me."
"But… sir, he's dead, there's nothing you…"
"Fuck off! He's not dead! I can heal him, if you get the hell out of my way."
Not bothering to waste any more time with the ignorant human, Atemu kneeled back down, and placed his hands on Seto's chest, grimacing at the feel of the thick wetness that began to latch on to his hands. He felt sick to his stomach when one of his fingers accidentally slipped inside the bullet-sized hole, noticing the lack of stimulus to the pain the simple act should have made, Atemu felt his resolve slipping.
No, Seto is not dead. They had a life to live together, wasn't that the reason Seto called him back from the Land of the Dead in the first place? If his lover had called him back, then he would call Seto back too. Atemu concentrated, sending his dark magic into the still body. Seto couldn't die, he wouldn't allow it…. His magic flared, seeping from his hands into the wound.
"Sir? What are you doing?"
What the hell had Seto been thinking, jogging on a day like today? Didn't he know better? Why didn't he just stay inside where he could have watched over him? Stubborn fool…
He shook his head, his magic wasn't working. Pushing harder, he poured all his power into Seto's chest, not noticing how the bodyguard was slowly backing away with both a look of fear and sorrow on his face. Nor did he hear the other man finally emerge from the woods telling them he had lost the man who had done this.
The tears that had failed to fall were now freely flowing as his magic slowly died away. He cursed the gods, himself and the damned puzzle for him not being strong enough. He was a god among men, a spirit reborn with enough power to destroy the world ten times over but he couldn't even breath life back into the one person that was his heart and soul….
He had failed.
A gut-wrenching scream emitted from his lips as he poured all his agony into it before collapsing onto the unmoving chest, crying for the first time in years.
Please, let me follow….
Atemu sighed as he rested his back against Seto's tombstone, shifting a bit, trying to get as comfortable as he could since he was sitting on the cold ground with Mokuba leaning against him fast asleep. Having spent several hours out there already, he was still reluctant to leave the place. And the feeling that something just wasn't right bothered him enough to want to remain to puzzle it out.
He couldn't feel Seto's spirit anymore. The air was perfectly still, not even remaining leaves on the trees fluttered. Even the temperature seemed a bit warmer than normal. It was odd though only to him, if he had mentioned it to anyone passing by they would have thought he was crazy but having lived with the wind being his almost constant companion and the coldness that always seemed to linger, he felt lost.
He couldn't help but think that Seto had finally left him and he couldn't help but shudder at that though, unconsciously drawing the sleeping Kaiba closer to him. Though, why would Seto choose now to leave? He had forgone going into the afterlife that day so he could stay on Earth as a wondering spirit so he could be close to both Atemu and his brother. And it had been a wonderful surprise to both of them when they realized that Atemu could 'sense' him.
Please don't leave now. I want to follow but I can't, you know that. Mokuba still needs me.Where are you?
That had been the only reason keeping Atemu on Earth as well, knowing that the young Kaiba had no family left and just inherited a major corporation that still needed running. For all Mokuba's intelligence and famous Kaiba stubborn will, he was still merely a child. Atemu would have never forgiven himself if he had abandoned him for his own selfish desires.
But everyday he longed to leave this world and go to his lover again. He wanted nothing more than to look into 'living' beautiful blue eyes and hopefully banish the haunting memory of that lifeless stare he last saw that day.That's what I want…
The stillness of the air around him broke, a cold caress on his face, a word seemingly whispered around him…
Atemu closed his eyes with a smile, never noticing the glint of metal or heard the two shots that were fired from the trees around him.
Dragon: And there you go, it's all done! For anyone that wants to know the history of Samhain, or about certain hints and things that happened, please visit my LJ (link is in my bio) There is too much information for me to place in the AN.