A/N - As always thank you Pysche for editing.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone!
Light snow fell from the sky and landed on the tall, handsome brunet who scowled as a white fluffy flake dared to fall into the palm of his hand. Kaiba Seto detested snow; to him it was a constant reminder that Christmas, a time he loathed, was less than a month away.
It had been snowing non-stop for a few days, which only further irritated the brunet's mood.
The fallen snow had been piled up against the sides of the streets creating mushy roads for cars to drive down. The sidewalks were just as bad, slushy from a bad plowing job.
A snarl escaped Seto as he sloshed down the slushy sidewalk, carrying his briefcase with one hand. Traffic had become atrocious only two blocks from the Kaiba Corporation Headquarters so instead of sitting in the back of the limo for hours waiting to go the two blocks, the famous duelist and CEO had decided to get out and walk. Now he was wishing that he had stayed in the limo, waiting in boredom instead of trudging through the snow.
Ahead of Seto on the sidewalk, the brunet watched as some kids with snowballs pummeled a fat kid with the cold, white substance from hell. Anger filled Seto; he had hated bullies ever since the kids from the orphanage picked on Mokuba. Before he realized what he was doing, the brunet hurried forward and grabbed the closest child who was ready to throw another snowball at the fat kid.
"Let's get out of here!" The child yelled as he struggled free from Seto's grasp. The small group ran off and Seto turned to the child they had been picking on only to discover that the kid's entire face was covered; a crimson toque over his head, thick gray scarf coving his mouth, black earmuffs over his ears and dark sunglasses on his eyes.
"Are you okay?" Seto asked the child who barely came up to his chest. Looking down at the chubby child, Seto watched as the kid mumbled something under the scarf. "What?"
The child pointed behind the brunet, across the street to Java the Hutt, a coffee shop. Seto knew he should continue on to work, but he was intrigued by what the child wanted.
Silently he nodded his head and the two of them walked across the street to the coffee shop. After ordering for both of them, Seto sat down at a table near the large windows and waited for the child to start talking.
Instead the child began stripping off his clothes, which surprised Seto, as he didn't think it was that cold out. He only had on a thick, black trench coat and leather gloves yet this kid was dressed up as if they were in the Artic.
First came the gloves, and as they were placed on the small table Seto noticed that the child was wearing three pairs, a thick pair and two thinner ones. The jackets, all four of them, came off next and were hung on the back of the chair, leaving the no longer fat child in black snow pants and a smoky gray fleece pullover. A yellow and scarlet Gryffindor scarf remained around his neck but he pulled off the solid gray scarf that was covering his mouth.
In one swift motion he pulled off his crimson toque and sunglasses. "Thanks for saving me Kaiba."
Seto had not seen the former Pharaoh in months, not since the spirit had regained his memories and acquired a body for himself. Things had been busy at Kaiba Corp plus the sexy brunet had been having weird dreams lately involving the Pharaoh and himself in Ancient Egypt.
"Glad to see that you remember me," the ex-spirit replied as he removed his earmuffs, placed them on the table and casually took a sip of the drink in front of him. A small smile crossed Atemu's face, which Seto ignored.
"So what was up with those kids?" Seto asked, getting down to business; he still had to get to work some time that day and couldn't spend the entire morning with the former Pharaoh whether he liked it or not.
"I think they thought I was a classmate of theirs," Atemu replied with a sour look on his face. "Can you believe it that someone would mistake me for some kid!"
"Umm…I wonder where they got that idea…" Fingering Atemu's earmuffs, Seto picked them up and playfully threw them in the ex-spirit's face.
Atemu easily caught the earmuffs and set them down in his lap. "I'm from Egypt, remember. The first time I saw snow, I was curious what it was; the second time, I was ready to head to visit the Ishtars on an extended vacation."
"Why didn't you?"
Atemu cocked his head and gave Seto a surprise look. "Because then I would miss Christmas with Aibou and the others."
"It's only Christmas," Seto grunted. "It's not like you'll never see them again."
"It figures you'd say something like that."
Cobalt eyes narrowed at the former Pharaoh. "Hn."
The two duelists remained silent as they continued to sip their drinks. Finally Seto had had enough of the silence. "If you're not going to talk I should be getting to work."
"Hmph." The Pharaoh grunted as he looked away from the CEO and stared out the huge window next to their table. "My intentions were not to keep you away from your business."
Picking up his briefcase, which had been sitting on the floor next to his chair, Seto stood. "It was good seeing you again Atemu."
Surprised, Atemu sharply turned his head back around to watch the handsome brunet exit the shop.
"Aibou! I'm home!" Atemu yelled as he struggled out of his layers of clothes. He had hurried to the kitchen as soon as he had kicked off his boots so he could warm up with some homemade hot chocolate.
"Did you find the gifts you were looking for?" Yugi asked walking into the room.
Absentmindedly Atemu nodded his head. "I couldn't wait to start buying; this whole Christmas thing seems ever so exciting."
"Well at least you're back in time to help me watch the store this afternoon," Yugi said as a smile crossed his face. "I doubt you have plans to go out any more times today since even though I think it takes you an hour to put all your clothes on you still end up acting as if you were walking around naked."
"Hmph; I know. Although Kaiba didn't say anything about it you could tell that he was thinking the same thing."
"Kaiba?" Yugi asked in surprise. "You saw Kaiba today?"
Atemu nodded his head. "Kaiba saved me from some punks with snowballs this morning."
"Wow. Kaiba really did that?"
"I don't think he knew it was me."
"Even better! This proves that Kaiba is a nice guy!" Yugi cried with a gleeful grin. "You should invite him to that Christmas party we're throwing in a few weeks."
Atemu sighed. A few months ago when his aibou pressed him on why he didn't ask Anzu out on a date, he had finally admitted to Yugi that he was still thinking about his lost love from ancient times; his priest, who shared the same name as the modern day Kaiba Seto. Since then Yugi had insisted that Atemu ask the brunet CEO out but the former Pharaoh always balked. Although the current Seto was the reincarnation of the past one, Atemu knew they weren't the same person.
"I know, I know; but I think if you got to know Kaiba a bit better you'll find that really not that different from the priest you remember."
"Aibou I think that it's time we took over watching the shop for Jiichan."
A week went by and all thoughts of Kaiba Seto had vanished from Atemu's mind. Then it happened one day; he was minding the store one afternoon all alone when the handsome brunet strolled in through the front door.
"Good, it's you," the blue-eyed CEO said as he strolled over to the counter, which Atemu was leaning across, his elbows rested on the countertop. "Since when does an Egyptian Pharaoh become a store clerk? Talk about falling low on the totem pole of life."
Crimson eyes narrowed at the brunet. "I'm watching the shop so Jiichan and Aibou can get some Christmas shopping done. But since you don't celebrate Christmas you wouldn't know anything about that."
"Who says I don't celebrate Christmas?"
"You did! Last week!"
"No, I believe I said that it's only Christmas and that you would be able to see your friends again even if you went to Egypt to get away from this pathetic weather."
"I disagree." Placing his ever so trusty briefcase on the floor, Seto decided to taunt Atemu a bit more before he got down to business. "Now be nice or I'll take my business elsewhere."
"Then do it." Angry red eyes glared at the brunet. "I'll never bow down to you even if it means I lose a sale for the shop. So either buy something or get out and if you have anymore problems we can handle this in a duel."
"Good," Seto said with a hearty laugh. "I'm glad to see you haven't lost your edge. There hasn't been a decent tournament since KC Grand Prix kicked off the opening of Kaiba Land US and I was afraid your competitive nature would have grown bored without any excitement in your life."
"You're a strange one," Atemu replied, still slightly annoyed but he couldn't help grinning as well. Their relationship was bizarre; they understood each other well, until they got on the other's nerves.
"No stranger than you."
"So why are you here if it's not to annoy me?"
"I told you I have business here," Seto repeated as he turned his head to look around at the gaming items. "I'm Christmas shopping for Mokuba and despite having a great love for electronics I also think it's important for him to get some more traditional games since we had none growing up."
Atemu laughed. "So even though you told me to go away and miss Christmas you planned on celebrating it all along?"
"It's just something small," the brunet explained with a small shrug. "Mokuba and myself."
"Let me show you some things he would like."
For two hours, Atemu took Seto around the small store, showing the brunet every type of game they until Seto finally said he had to go and get back to work; but not before buying over 100 items from the game shop with promises that an employee would be back that night to pick everything up so that his younger brother would not be suspicious.
Atemu had to admit that spending the past few hours with the CEO had been nice. They had talked a lot while the former Pharaoh was showing him everything and Atemu was sad to see Seto go.
"We're having a party in a week and a half," Atemu finally blurted out when the blue-eyed brunet was halfway out the front door. "You can come if you want. Mokuba too."
"I don't like parties. I only go to them when I have to for business reasons."
"Oh," Atemu said in disappointment. For a minute he had thought Yugi had been right about Seto.
"We could go out for coffee again sometime when you're not watching the store…"
A bright smile crossed the former Pharaoh's face. "Okay."
"I'll see you then."
A smirk crossed Seto's face as he left the game shop. Ever since he bumped into the former Pharaoh a week ago, the dreams had become more intense and Seto had found himself being drawn towards Atemu.
The smirk changed into a small smile as he thought more about the former Pharaoh. The brilliant CEO had to admit that the ex-spirit was sexy with his exotic spiky tri-colored hair and intense crimson eyes; no one had eyes like Atemu.
The sky darkened as it began snowing again; but not even that could dampen the brunet's mood as he continued to think about the ex-spirit.
"Thanks for inviting me out," Atemu said once he had stripped off all his layers of clothes. Once again Atemu and Seto found themselves in the Java the Hutt coffee shop. "I've been working a lot lately to help out since we're so busy from the approaching holidays."
"Why doesn't Sugoroku just hire additional help? Your friends always seem eager for money."
"School. I mainly help out in the afternoon, which isn't too bad as most people are at school or work. Besides it keeps me busy when everyone else is busy."
"What about dueling? You could duel someone to pass the time when the others are away."
Atemu threw Seto a small sexy smile. "Dueling has lost its edge since the only person worthy enough to be considered my rival retired from dueling to concentrate on his business."
"I'm not retired," Seto snorted. "I'm simply busy making sure no other nutcases have decided to take over my company."
"Who said I was talking about you?"
"Okay, it's you," Atemu laughed, giving Seto a smirk. "Aibou is a good challenge but he's always too busy between school, work and Anzu so he doesn't have time to duel anymore either."
"What about Bonkotsu?" Seto asked, referring to Jounouchi. "Even his mediocrity dueling skills could keep you in practice."
"Mai decided to visit for the Holidays." Both duelists rolled their eyes, as it was common knowledge that Jounouchi's mind turned to mush whenever the sexy blonde was around.
"You could come visit me sometime when you're bored during the day. It's not like I can get in trouble with a boss."
A bright smile crossed Atemu's face, his eyes lighting up in the process. "Thank you."
Another week went by and when he could, Atemu took Seto up on the offer to visit him at Kaiba Corporation. Mainly it was only for couple of hours every other afternoon but every time he visited, to Atemu's amazement, the handsome CEO seemed to enjoy the time they spent together.
For the most part they talked, never breaking out their duel decks once; but sometimes Atemu would quietly sit as Seto continued with his work, both enjoying the simple presence of the other.
"How much time are you taking off for the holidays?" While Seto sat at his desk typing on his computer, Atemu was lounging on a nearby leather couch, relaxing.
"Just a few days for myself. Everyone else is getting a week off."
"Why only a few days?" Turning his head, Atemu looked at the brunet. "What about Mokuba?"
"He's going on a skiing trip on the 28th so there's no point in taking days off after that."
"We could do something together," Atemu suggested, rolling on his side to be more comfortable. "Once Christmas is over I'm not needed to watch the shop anymore and doing things with the others is no fun as they always tease me for being cold."
"I always tease you for being cold."
"Yeah but you're different…" Atemu really couldn't explain it. He would have thought the more time they spent together would have resulted in more arguments but that wasn't the case. Seto hadn't annoyed him since the day at the game shop and the brunet was beginning to remind Atemu of his lost love. 'Yugi was right. I needed to get to know Kaiba better.'
"I don't know Atemu…I'm going to be falling behind on a lot of work as it is."
"Half days," Atemu countered, sitting up. "You can work in the mornings and in the evenings, leaving the afternoons free for us to do something. Besides it'll only be two more days until the end of the week. Come on Seto you need a break."
"That's the first time you've called me 'Seto'." The two men stared at each other for many quiet minutes until Seto finally nodded his head and spoke. "Alright; if it means that much to you."
A smile crossed Atemu's lips. "It does."
Atemu yawned as he rested his head down on the counter. It was December 22nd and a lot of last minute shoppers had been in that day. At the moment Atemu couldn't wait for Yugi to get home from school to take over but even his aibou would be later that day as the shorter spiky-haired person had to pick up a present for Jounouchi after class.
The bell on the door chimed as it opened once again. Seeing that it was a group of teen boys entering, Atemu sighed once more, raising his head in the process; young boys were the worst for stealing things and he would have to keep an eye on them no matter how tired he was.
"Hi Atemu," one of the boys said, breaking off from the pack and walking over to the counter. Blinking a few times, Atemu eventually recognized the younger Kaiba brother.
"Mokuba! What are you doing here?"
"We heard you got in some new Capmon capsules and decided to check them out," the raven-haired child explained.
"We've been selling a lot of them today," Atemu replied while absentmindedly nodding his head. "At least it seems you managed to get all your shopping done early."
"What are you talking about?" Mokuba asked giving the ex-spirit a look.
"You're not finished yet?"
"Oh, I'm sorry," said Mokuba with a laugh. "I know you've been spending time with Niisama so I figured he would have told you we don't partake in Christmas."
"Huh?" Atemu gave Mokuba a dumbfounded look. That was impossible; the brunet CEO had been in there two weeks ago buying presents.
"Well last year Niisama was in his coma so I didn't feel like celebrating," Mokuba said as he began explaining, Atemu avoiding the child's glaze at the mention of the coma. "And before that was Gozaburo who thought Christmas was just another business day. Before that, was the orphanage and they couldn't afford it." Mokuba took a second to scratch his head as he thought about what came next. "I kind of remember the Christmas before the orphanage; Father was already dead and we were living with our aunt and uncle who gave us each a pair of socks while buying their own kids all kinds of presents with the money Father left us. I know we had Christmas at some point with Father but I'm too young to remember it."
"Haven't you mentioned it to Kaiba?" Atemu asked, his anger growing. Seto had told him that he and Mokuba were having Christmas.
Atemu hated liars.
"Once or twice but Niisama always changes the subject," Mokuba replied with a small shrug of his shoulders. "He remembers Christmas with Father and I think it bothers him to think about this time of the year."
Atemu was furious now. Mokuba deserved to have happy memories of Christmas as well and Seto was denying him it.
"Mokuba! Come on!" a blond boy cried and with a wave of 'good-bye' Mokuba hurried back over to his friends who were ready to leave.
As the children were piling out the door, they bumped into Yugi who was struggling to get inside carrying a huge box.
"Don't ask," he told his yami seeing the look Atemu was giving him.
"Whatever; watch the shop for a while. There's someone I have to see."
The slamming of his office door drew Seto's attention away from his computer. To his surprise he discovered an angry Atemu storming across his office.
"You're a bastard."
An eyebrow arched. "I realize that but you're going to have to narrow it down if you want me to know what you're talking about."
"Mokuba came by the shop today and while I was talking to him I discovered that the two of you have no plans for Christmas." The former Pharaoh crossed his arms over his chest. "That's a far cry from what you told me."
"That's what this is about?" Seto asked as if nothing was the matter. "Look I can-"
"I don't want to hear it Kaiba!" Seto winched upon hearing the ex-spirit revert back to his family name. "You're a lying jerk."
"And you're an idiot who doesn't bother to stop and think!" Seto yelled back, slamming the palm of his hands against his desk as he stood and glared at the former Pharaoh.
"You know, not only did you let me down by lying, you let Mokuba down because he deserves this."
"I told you; I can explain!"
Spinning on his heels, Atemu stormed from the office, making sure to slam the door extra hard on his way out.
"Will you stop moping around? It's Christmas!"
"I'm not moping Aibou."
"Do you prefer the term pouting?"
Silently Atemu glared at his aibou who was sitting on the floor in front of the Christmas tree with discarded wrapping paper around him. The former Pharaoh on the other hand was curled on the couch, legs drawn up to his chest as he hugged himself while pouting. In the kitchen, clattering could be heard as Yugi's father and grandfather attempted to mooch some of the food his mother was currently cooking.
"Look, just go and apologize to Kaiba. I'm sure he'll forgive you."
"I did nothing wrong!" Atemu protested as he sat up. "Kaiba's the one who lied and then called me an idiot!"
"You're pathetic," Yugi grumbled as he rolled his eyes. "First you take forever to talk to Kaiba and now you're coming up with the stupidest reasons to break up with him."
"Am not!" Atemu crossed his arms as he pouted again. "Wait! Did you say 'break up with him'?"
"Stop comparing him to the Seto of the past and instead enjoy the good qualities he has."
"Aibou why did you say 'break up with him'?"
"I'm sure he could have explained everything if you had allowed him but knowing you, you probably barged in there, yelling, screaming and flat out not listening."
"Seriously, why did you say 'break up with him'? We were just friends!"
"That's not important," Yugi replied with a wave of his hand. "Whether you want to apologize or not you should at least go talk to him. You've been moping for three days and with everyone coming over this afternoon it would be nice for you to be your old self."
The former Pharaoh stared at his aibou as he allowed everything to sink in. "You're right as always," he finally said as he sighed and hung his head. "Life was easier when I didn't have my memories; things were good between Seto and me then."
"I wouldn't necessary call it good when you were undressing him with your eyes every time you saw him," Yugi muttered under his breath but fortunately Atemu didn't hear him.
"The Kaiba Mansion is on the other side of the city though," Atemu said with a frown upon his face. "I'll have to wait until someone can give me a ride." Although the ex-spirit had learned how to drive he didn't own a car.
"Otosan!" Yugi hollered towards the kitchen. "Atemu needs to borrow your car!"
"If it makes him stop pouting, he can!" came the yell back and Yugi grinned at his yami.
"You're all set."
A small smile crossed the former Pharaoh's face. "Thanks Aibou."
"Don't worry," Yugi replied as Atemu stood up and began getting ready to leave. "Just concentrate on making new memories instead of relying upon your old ones."
Atemu swallowed heavily as he punched in the security code for the front gates. In a cold bare hand he clutch the piece of paper Seto had written the code on in case Atemu needed it in an emergency.
The ex-spirit's teeth chattered as he fell back inside Yugi's father's car and covered his bare hands with gloves. In front of him the gates swung open and he began the long trip up the driveway.
During the drive up to the house, Atemu wondered what was going to happen when he got there. Seto had been angry the other day at his office and rightfully so.
Before long, Atemu found himself standing in front of the doors that led inside. Taking a deep breath, he cautiously pressed the doorbell.
A few minutes went by until the door creaked open to reveal Seto standing on the other side. He was dressed casually, wearing black slacks and a matching black turtleneck. His intense blue eyes were wide with surprise as he looked down at the former Pharaoh; clearly he hadn't expected Atemu to drop by.
Atemu stood shivering on the steps as they stared at each other. Several minutes of silence went by until Seto finally spoke.
"Want to come inside?"
"YYYeesssss," Atemu chattered.
Grabbing Atemu's shoulder, Seto tugged the ex-spirit inside and slammed the door shut. "Follow me," he commanded, releasing the freezing former Pharaoh.
Atemu's arms wrapped around his body, in an attempt to warm himself, as the brunet led him through the massive home. His eyes locked on the back of Seto's head, Atemu didn't see the remote control XYZ Dragon Cannon rushing across the floor.
"Watch out!" a voice cried as the toy banged against the former Pharaoh's shin. Toppling over, the only thing that kept Atemu from falling to the ground was Seto spinning around and catching him.
"Mokuba go play in your room for a while," the brunet commanded looking over at his guilty brother who was still holding the remote control in his hands.
"Sorry Atemu," Mokuba quickly said. Retrieving his toy, the raven-haired child hurried away before he got in any more trouble.
"Are you okay?"
"Yeah I think so."
Seto scooped up the light ex-spirit and began carrying Atemu in the direction they had been walking in.
"Hey! What are you doing?" Atemu protested. "I'm fine!"
Seto carried Atemu into a room with a crackling fireplace and placed him down on a leather couch before sitting down next to him. Rolling up the multiple layers of pants, the brunet investigated Atemu's shin. Deducing that it was fine, Seto sat back and watched as the former Pharaoh began struggling out of his clothes, warmed from the fire.
"I'm sorry about Mokuba."
"Forget about it," Atemu replied as he began looking around the room, wondering for the hundredth time if he should just leave. He then spied a Christmas tree against the far wall with torn wrapping paper around it and a pile of toys; some of the toys he recognized as the toys Seto had bought from the game shop. Confused, he silently turned his attention back to the CEO.
"What I didn't get to explain the other day was that Mokuba had no idea what I was planning; it was a surprise," the brunet replied, answering the unasked question. "I'm not completely heartless."
Atemu hung his head. "I'm sorry."
Crimson eyes glared at the handsome brunet. "Look I'm trying to apologize here, you could give me something more then your trademark 'Hn'."
Atemu would have killed Seto if it weren't for the amused look on the brunet's face. "Stop teasing me," he said while pouting.
Seto laughed and Atemu continued to pout. When the laughter subsided, Seto once again looked at the former Pharaoh. "Thank you for coming by," he quietly said.
"Yugi made me."
"Stop doing that!"
Atemu began pouting again and before he knew what was happening, Seto was leaning forward, capturing his lips in a sweet kiss. Feeling the pressure of Seto's lips against his, Atemu began to slowly kiss back as he wrapped his arms around the brunet's neck.
"What are we doing?" Atemu gasped when Seto moved his mouth down to the ex-spirit's neck and began greedily sucking on the flesh.
Atemu's fingers dug through Seto's hair as he brought the brunet's head up so they could kiss again.
He liked kissing Seto.
"So how long have you liked me?"
It was now late in the afternoon and they were currently cuddling together on the same couch from earlier. The fire roared in front of them and they were both sipping hot chocolate that Seto had made.
"Who said I liked you?" Seto asked. His arm was around Atemu's shoulders and the shorter man leaned against his side.
"A while. But I only started admitting it to myself after I saved you that day from the kids with snowballs."
"Hn; took you long enough to realize it."
Atemu closed his eyes, the peaceful sound of Seto's heart lulling him to sleep. Ever since the fight a few days ago, the former Pharaoh hadn't been sleeping well. Although he hadn't wanted to admit it then, he needed Seto in his life.
The musical tune of Atemu's cell phone woke him from his relaxing doze. With a grunt he reluctantly pulled out the phone and answered it. "Aibou," he said knowing only Yugi would be calling him.
"The others are here but not you," Yugi said in a singsong voice. "Plus Otosan is wondering what you did with his car."
Reaching around Yami, Seto grabbed the phone and snapped it shut. "Forget about him for now."
Atemu turned his head, glaring at the sexy brunet. However one look at Seto's loving face made him quickly settle down and fall back asleep.