I don't own Yuugiou. Work and Play Can't say I was never wrong,
If you only once would let me,
Only just one time,
Then be happy with the consequence
With whatever's going to happen tonight.
Don't think we're not serious.
When's it ever not?
The love we make, is give and it's take.
I'm game to play along.
But some blame rests on you.
Work and play, they're never ok to mix
The way we do.
Work and Play
Can't say I was never wrong,
All I can say, I shouldn't say.
Can we take a ride?
Get out of this place while we still have time.
Work © JimmyEatWorld
Kyoto, though a booming and still growing city of 1,470,159 people, still did not have an international airport. The nearest was in Osaka, and thus, Yuugi Mouto was forced to drive the 27.0 miles to the larger town to catch his flight. It didn't take too long, if he took routes that avoided traffic. This time, however, he had forgotten to do so.
Mouto Yuugi, the Managing Director at the Kyoto office of Kaiba Corp., had woken up late. As his alarm went off, he was forced to crawl over his wife, and smallest child to reach it.
Lately, his little girl had been having nightmares and had taken to sleeping between him and his wife, Anzu. Little Shizuka was his pride and joy, and Yuugi took every measure to give the girl everything her heart desired- her being adopted didn't make any difference to him. Anzu grunted half-sleepily when he crawled over her to his daughter, leaving it to him to deal with her. Yuugi cared much for his children, and his wife's disinterest of late was starting to bother him. They were arguing a lot lately about spending too much on their children instead on furnishings for their house, and Yuugi couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't just the furnishing Anzu was talking about. The threads of their marriage were slowly unraveling, and they both knew it, but while Yuugi chose to ignore it all in favor of the perfect family dream, Anzu took to shopping and reading decoration magazines.
After his late awakening, he was forced to shove as much paperwork into his briefcase. He called out to Anzu, asking for help, but received only a tired grunt in return. Yuugi sighed, and threw in a few suits in his suitcase before dashing out the house to his car. It was winter-time in Kyoto, and snow was beginning to swirl about him, but had yet to stick to the ground below.
An hour later, Yuugi pulled into the parking lot of the Osaka International Airport. He ran towards the shuttle, nearly missing it, and tipped the driver.
"Bad day, mate?" asked the driver, in what sounded like an Australian accent.
"You have no idea…" replied Yuugi, who pulled his glasses from his nose and began to clean them. The glinting frames reflected in his violet eyes, and he half listened to the driver ramble on about the weather.
Once Yuugi arrived at his terminal, he gave his ticket to the flight attendant and waited for his flight to be called.
An hour later, the plane touched down in the Domino City airport. Yuugi stepped off his plane, and shivered. The cool air swirled around him, carrying more hints of snow. His indigo eyes gazed around him before stopping to rest on another man, who was beckoning to him.
"Mouto Yuugi?" The stranger had golden hair—an oddity, Yuugi noted, especially in his surroundings. Then again, his own appearance of tri-colored hair, violet eyes, and sharp features were not typical to Japanese citizens. "That's quite an odd name, ain't it? What is it anyway? 'Game'? Who names their kid 'Game'?"
The man's eyes scanned Yuugi's own appearance. "Ask my parents… I have no idea" Yuugi said simply.
"Ah, well, I have a friend with an odd name too… He's Egyptian, you know? Like with the mummies and all that? 'Course, he doesn't really have any mummies or anything… But still…" The man shivered at his own mention of the Egyptian burial practices. "Gives me the willies, really…"
"Interesting…" again, Yuugi replied shortly. "Anyway… are you going to be leading me to meet my Domino City liaison? Ah…"
"Jounouchi! Katsuya Jounouchi, at your service! And you bet I'll be taking you to meet him! Follow me!"
Yuugi began to follow Jounouchi into the terminal, and as he did so, he reflected on his reason for being far from home, far from his wife, and far from his children. Since he had moved to Japan to take up the Management position at Kaiba corp. Yuugi had lost much of his connections with family and friends in his hometown of Domino. Now, all he really had to be familiar with was his career, his family, and his few friends in Kyoto.
Then, a week ago, his boss had notified him of an important meeting he had to attend. It seemed Kaiba Seto felt the need to introduce Atemu to his Domino City counterpart. Yuugi knew nothing of the other man, except a name: Hka-haswt Atemu (1).
When he had heard the name, Yuugi had not been astonished to learn how close a friend Atemu was with Kaiba. The man was renowned for his skills in developing games that were big hits in the market. Still, Yuugi knew nothing of him, but a name.
If Yuugi was truthful with himself—a rare occurrence; he had yet to admit to himself that he wasn't exactly happy with his life at that point in time—Yuugi would've admitted that he was intrigued to meet the man. At his point in life, very little excited Yuugi or interested him. Life had become mundane and repetitive, with his only solace being in his ability to excel in any form of logical game. His gaming skills were part of what allowed him to secure such a high position at Kaiba Corp. Competition in the company was fierce, and it had been Yuugi's quick wit, intelligence, and kind personality that helped him to the top.
Still, with his high position, beautiful children, popular wife, and good friends, Yuugi felt that something was missing, and he had yet to figure it out. Work was becoming drudgery, his children misbehaved at times, and his wife tended to spend more time away from home and more money on their home than Yuugi cared to admit.
"Here we are!" Jounouchi's voice jostled Yuugi from his thoughts, and he found himself in front of a sleek company car. "Hop in and I'll take you over to the hotel. You'll meet Atemu there. Atemu got a dinner reservation for ya both for tonight, so you can freshen up and all that 'fore you go."
Yuugi nodded and slipped into the passenger side of the car. Jounouchi slid in as well and started the car. Yuugi had barely enough time to fasten his seat belt before Jounouchi sped off down the street, maneuvering quickly through traffic. At the speed Jounouchi drove, Yuugi could not get a good view of the city before they arrived at his hotel, but his eyes glanced out the window nonetheless.
Hearing a soft sound of someone lighting a match next to him, Yuugi turned to see Jounouchi lighting up a cigarette. "You dun mind, do you?" Jounouchi asked him. How he managed to steer the car at such speed while lighting his smoke, Yuugi was unsure.
"Not at all…" he replied and turned back to the window.
Twenty minutes later, the car screeched to a stop in front of a standard tourist hotel. It appeared neither elegant nor decrepit, and Yuugi wasn't one to argue standards.
"Here we are, bud! Do you need any help with getting your stuff inside? 'Cause if you do, I'll call one of the bell boys… I gotta jet!"
Turning to Jounouchi, Yuugi snorted and shook his head. "I'll be fine, no doubt. It was... interesting… to meet you, Jounouchi-san." He didn't bother to bow or shake hands after he crawled out of the car. Had he listened closely to Jounouchi, he might have heard a crude word or two, but once again Yuugi's mind was on meeting his company counterpart. He had only an hour before he had to meet Hkr-haswt Atemu in the hotel lounge, according to Jounouchi, and Yuugi felt he needed a shower.
The Kyoto resident made his way inside, pausing just inside to brush off a few flakes of snow and then walked to the lobby desk. After asking, he received his key and walked towards the elevators. Before he leaned forward to press the up key, the reflective metal door gave a resounding "ding" and a "woosh" as the doors slid away. Inside, two young boys about the age of 16 dashed out, one calling for the other to wait.
Yuugi watched them go and then stepped inside the elevator. A long finger found the floor he was on and depressed the button. The doors slid shut again, and Yuugi felt the sensation of a quick moment upwards. Another "ding" resounded around him and the doors opened once again, revealing a low-lit hallway filled with numbered doors. His was easy enough to find, and using his card key, Yuugi made it inside.
He placed his suitcase and briefcase on the bed and turned without giving either a second look. Quickly finding the bathroom, Yuugi undressed and he took a quick shower. When he finished, he wrapped his towel around his waist and walked back to the bedroom to open his luggage. He pulled out the suits that had wrinkled due to his hasty packing, and hung them up, hoping the wrinkles would smooth out before his meeting.
A mirror on the door of the closet reflected Yuugi to himself, highlighting his aging features. Despite being only 32, dark circles lined his eyes and wrinkles were forming. He grimaced and turned his attention to his hair. Even at his age, it remained a vivid shock of three colors: red, black, and blond. It even stayed in its position of jutting towards the heavens despite all attention he took to make it lie flat.
Yuugi finally gave up on his appearance and turned back to his luggage. He fished out fresh underwear, socks, and a casually-elegant shirt that would be suitable for the night. Once he had put his attire on, he turned back to the suits hanging in the closet and pulled down a pair of dress pants. Inside the closet was a small, portable ironing board, along with an iron on the shelf above. Yuugi pulled both of these out as well and set about ironing his pants. The steam rose around him as he worked out the wrinkles in the cloth, making his now dry hair droop once again. Using one hand, Yuugi brushed aside golden bangs and finished his chore. When the pants were devoid of any creases, Yuugi slipped into them and glanced at the clock. It was fifteen minutes to eight, enough time for him to make it downstairs to meet Atemu.
After locking up his room, again, Yuugi made his way to the elevators, and a short ride later, he arrived in the hotel lobby. His violet eyes scanned the room, looking for someone that might appear like a major corporation official. He didn't see anyone, so he walked to a near-by bench and sat down to wait. A glance at his watch told him he was still a few minutes early. He closed his eyes, crossed his legs, and relaxed slightly until Atemu arrived.
Suddenly, a hand dropped onto his shoulder, startling him, and an accented voice floated towards him.
Yuugi turned towards the man that addressed and was astonished to see someone that could've been his reflection in a mirror. The man was only a few inches taller than Yuugi's petit height and had hair similar to his. The major difference between them both was their eyes, which Yuugi noticed immediately. He had to stop himself from gasping as he looked into the sharp, crimson depths of the man in front of him.
"Y-yes… A-are you Hka-haswt Atemu-san?" he asked softly, cursing himself inwardly for stuttering.
"Yes, that is my name. Am I to presume you are my Kyoto counterpart?" Yuugi could see the laughter twinkle in Atemu's eyes, and Yuugi was suddenly struck with an odd feeling he hadn't experienced since he had been a teenager. He was blushing.
"I am… Um… Kaiba-san hadn't mentioned that… that…" Yuugi's eyes flickered over Atemu's shared appearance.
This time, Atemu could not help but chuckle out loud. "Yes, it seems Kaiba likes to 'forget' to mention a lot of things. An odd occurrence, is this not?"
Yuugi simply nodded, too dumbstruck to speak again. Then, Atemu offered a hand, which Yuugi took, expecting to partake in the Western tradition of shaking hands. Instead, Atemu pulled Yuugi to his feet from where he had been sitting on the bench. Yuugi's eyes widened at the gesture, but shook off the shock and smile at Atemu.
"I believe we have a dinner date to attend to. Would you like to join me in attending a dinner at a fabulous restaurant?" Atemu's eyes were still warm with laughter as he led Yuugi towards the door. Again, Yuugi nodded and walked forward as Atemu held open the door for him.
Outside, an elegant black car awaited them. Again, Atemu held the door open for Yuugi, and if the shorter of the men had known better, he would've thought Atemu was being deliberately gentlemanly. Yuugi thought none of the sort, believing Atemu was simply being courteous to another business partner.
During the drive, they spoke little. Atemu's eyes remained on Yuugi, but Yuugi ignored him. The constant attention was making him slightly uncomfortable and he shifted nervously in his seat. "So…" he finally spoke. "I hear you're developing a new game... Kaiba-san said something about a card game?"
Atemu's eyes lit up as Yuugi spoke, and he smirked light. "Yes, I am designing a new game. It is quite an important project for me, because the game has roots in my own culture and native land."
"Egypt?" Yuugi inquired, interrupting Atemu.
The smirk gracing Atemu's lips grew, and he leaned forward. "I see you spoke with Jounouchi-kun. I do hope he wasn't too rude. He can be quite… unmannered at times…"
Yuugi nodded again, and felt the need to lean back to avoid the closing space between them. "Yeah… So… about your game…"
Atemu relented and leaned back again. "Ah, yes. Well, it is to be a game similar to the American game "Magic" in that monsters will duel each other with the help of magic cards. The key difference, however, is that this game will feature a different point system and a series of traps that will be available for the players."
"It sounds complicated," Yuugi said, a slight tone of skepticism in his voice.
"Well, I think anyone who wanted to dedicate themselves to the game could excel. A sharp wit and intelligence would help, of course. In fact, I might ask you to have a trial run with me later. You seem like a worthy opponent. Someone who would be difficult to dominate…"
Yuugi wasn't sure to make of Atemu's last statement, so he disregarded it completely.
"Ah… yeah… I'll have to do that…"
The car began to slow as it pulled to a stop in front of a building that appeared nearly run-down on the outside. Yuugi glanced at the building and then turned to Atemu.
"Is this some kind of joke? Where are we? This doesn't look like a restaurant!"
Atemu simply clucked his tongue, and swept out of the car, making sure he held the door for Yuugi once again. "Appearances are not always what they seem. Sometimes, it is what is on the inside that counts. Hm… what is that phrase? This place is a… diamond in the rough, I should say. Yes, very much so."
Before Yuugi could protest, a hand settled on the small of his back and guided him inside the building. As they walked through the doors, Yuugi was surrounded by a room draped with elegancy and wealth. Atemu leaned down to whisper in his ear, making Yuugi shiver slightly. "If you only once would let me… you never know until you try…"
(1) Atemu's last name is Ancient Egyptian, meaning "rulers of foreign lands" and was applied to the Hykso rulers of Egypt during the fifteenth dynasty. The reason behind my use is because Atemu is "the king of games" in Japan, and thus a ruler of a foreign land. :D