A/N: Another fic born from a pic…yeah…I could have made it into a two- or three-shot, but I was lazy. And that would have made the chapters too short. It's only 3,000 words…oh…that might be long…anyways, read and enjoy!
Yami is separate from Yugi in this fic, the last test never occurred.
Warning: spoilers, bad plot, inconsistent flow, slight shounen ai, anime plot-twist.
Summary: Yami is watching the stars and contemplating his existence, Can someone help him find the answers he desperately needs?
Disclaimer: Don't own YGO characters. No idea where the difference between spirits and ghost came from so don't quote me (I think spirits were never human in the first place…)
Watching the Stars
He gazed at the night sky as he stood in the darkness. He didn't mind the darkness, in fact, he embraced it. That was why he wasn't staring up at the stars in wonder and awe, but with a sense of longing. He should be up there. He should have travelled up there millennia ago. He wasn't supposed to still be here, 5,000 years after he had sacrificed his life. Yami bowed his head in regret.
He had freed Yuugi and himself. He had done what he needed to do and the young boy needed to get on with his life. Yami had even severed the mind link between them. No-one – except Manna – knew how much Mahad had taught him. But now that his duty was done, he was restless. He floated through the city, looking for answers, or a purpose. He had yet to find either.
Sharp blue eyes gazed in concern at the dark ghost. If he had had a human form, the watcher was certain he would have jumped. As it was, the ghost in question hovered a foot higher than the actual building and two feet off the ledge.
'Yet he still manages to hide in the shadows, why?' mused the watcher. 'He has so many things to be proud of, he has achieved so much.' Here the watched smirked. 'He has made so many people change their ways. Including one blind, stuck-up CEO.' The smirk changed back into a frown. 'He should have moved on. Not that anyone really wants him to move on…' A light bulb flashed. Down on the raod it flickered and then went out. Not that the two watchers noticed. After all, they were well over 30 stories above the street.
The Pharaoh continued to gaze up at the night sky. There was a full moon tonight, he noted distantly. He used to love going out in the full moon, playing with Manna and getting called back by Mahad. Alas, those times had long since passed. Manna and Mahad had been reborn – in a sense – but it was their souls that he craved to meet again. Not spirits filled with his memories. Though he loved it, Yami stayed out of the moonlight. He glowed too much and he reasoned that he would attract attention if there was a sudden beacon of light hovering in the middle of nothing. He ignored the small voice that said he was lying. He had been doing this subconsciously for so long that he hardly registered that little voice anymore.
Sighing, the silent watcher decided to go and confront the Pharaoh. Not that he had any idea of what he was going to say. He wasn't too good at the comforting thing. And his younger sibling often said he had no tact. Oh well. Maybe he could 'wing it'.
The young man strode silently up to the ghost, but didn't say anything. He knew his presence was enough to announce his arrival. Yami had always known where he was. It was a bond that had survived through time immemorial. Even when one was dead and the other a mere reincarnation.
Yami's monotone cut through the silence. "Kaiba. To what do I owe this pleasure?"
"My name is Yami. I'm not Atemu…not any more."
Kaiba frowned when he heard that. It sounded like the former King had been talking to himself. And the hidden pain in the words tugged at the cold man's heart.
"Very well then. …Yami…can you come here please?" One black eyebrow rose in surprise. Kaiba never spoke civilly to anyone. What was going on? Yami calmly floated down to where Kaiba was standing, but remained at the brunette's eye level. This was slightly disconcerting to the man since he had been so used to looking down at the spiky hair.
"Could you…" Yami tilted his head to the side. Kaiba blushed faintly and the eyebrow went up again. "Could you please stand at your usual height?" The spirit complied with an amused expression. Kaiba had a heart-stopping moment when the ghost decided to tease his by sinking further into the ground than need be. He rose back to his normal height, very much surprised since the other man had been about to lunge after him. Kaiba swallowed thickly.
"I will ask you again Kaiba, why are you here?"
"Enjoying the view?" Kaiba visibly winced at his poor excuse. The dark boy regarded him coolly. Well, he might have been surprised but Yami face was hidden in the dark already, never mind the fact that he was transparent.
"My name is Seto. I'm not a Kaiba really. Only by adoption." Kaiba was relieved to see a smile flit across the sad face as their previous exchange was repeated.
"Kaiba," said man frowned but the youth ignored him. "Why are you here?"
"…I was looking for you." Kaiba admitted. Both eyebrows shot up now, but the voice was clam and collected.
"I…I…I don't know." The eyebrows went down and the tri-coloured head tilted to one said. Kaiba was glad. Atemu – Yami – always looked rather untouchable…not that he would ever admit that to the teen in question. "I wanted to know how you've been since you left Yugi and the cheerleading squad." The former Pharaoh turned away from the reincarnation of his priest and gazed once more at the stars. Kaiba stood silently behind. Yami knew he wanted a reply. He also knew that he was – finally – sick of lying.
"How do you think I am Kaiba? I'm an ancient ghost wandering around in a modern-day metropolis. I once was a great King of a great country. I sacrificed myself to help my people, but was not allowed to rest. I've done nothing but fight since I 'returned'. Now that all the trouble is over, I have no purpose. Nor do I have a body."
"You could have stayed with Yugi and his grandfather." Suggested Kaiba. The ghost shook his head.
"Yugi needs his own life. I was restricting him and I put him – all of you – in danger too many times to count. It's time I left. But since the Gods don't want me I'm doomed to wander the Earth. I just wish I knew what I had done to offend my ancestors. Are they that displeased with me? Father…" here his voice dropped. "Father…do you hate me too?"
"Enough!" snapped Kaiba. He stepped up behind Yami. "Ate- Yami! Turn around!" The teen refused to budge. He had just bared his soul to his rival. Not only that, but looking into Kaiba's sharp blue eyes would bring back far too many memories. He was about to breakdown and he did NOT want to do so in front of Kaiba.
The brunette had had enough. Without thinking he grabbed the shorter teen's shoulders and twirled him around so that they were face to face. Yami continued to hang his head. Kaiba growled and grasped his rival's chin, jerking it up and forcing their eyes to meet.
Kaiba gasped and involuntarily stepped back, letting go of Yami's chin. He had never expected to see tears in those eyes. Those eyes were now staring at him with a mixture of emotions so strong that Kaiba nearly reeled back from the force of it.
People may have realised – Yugi certainly had – that the ancient Pharaoh and Kaiba – his priest's reincarnation – were more alike than different. Both were strong-willed and could back it up, both in and out of the duel arena. They were both mature for their age with wisdom that others could only wish for. But both were somewhat cold-hearted beings. In Kaiba it was obvious, but it was only Yugi's influence was the only thing that kept the Pharaoh from acting the same way. Neither boy really reached out to friends. Again, it was Yugi's group that had accepted Yami. No-one really had any say in the matter. And both were hiding from the World. Yami was invisible to most while Kaiba tried to make himself invisible. Yugi and Mokuba had handled the majority of the publicity.
As these thoughts raced through Kaiba's mind, he saw his own emotions reflected in the crimson orbs. The barrier that he had so carefully constructed was breaking down around him, just as Yami's had. Moving on instinct, Kaiba wrapped the small body in his arms, pressing Yami into a tight embrace that he wouldn't be able to get out of if he tried.
But Yami didn't try. He was tired – no, exhausted of hiding everything. Knowing that Kaiba did not see it as a weakness, he allowed the gates to open. Kaiba gently rocked the small form as 5,000 years of sorrow, guilt, regret and remorse poured out. Though Yami was screaming on the inside, he made no noise and Kaiba only hugged him tighter.
After an immeasurable period of time, Yami's shoulder stopped shaking as violently as ha calmed down. Returning to his normal cold demeanour, he tried to push away from the brunette. He was shocked when Kaiba wouldn't let him go.
"Seto. My name is Seto."
"Stop running away."
"That's why you can't join your ancestors. Because you haven't moved on."
"Kaiba," Yami snapped exasperatedly, still struggling, "I can't move on. Something's stopping me!"
"Your feelings." Yami stopped struggling. "You had to come to terms with your feelings. You had to acknowledge them. You have to realize that it's not your fault!"
"But it is-"
"Fine, Seto, whatever. It is my fault bec-mph!"
"No." repeated Kaiba, glaring at the surprised teen whose mouth he had just covered. "It is not your fault. You have done nothing wrong Yami. You were a hero to your people and you are an inspiration to your friends and fans!" Kaiba moved his hand slightly in fear that he was suffocating the young teen since Yami had stopped struggling.
"I played-" Kaiba cut through his protests.
"Everyone makes mistakes. You are human no matter what those idiots in Egypt said." Yami smiled faintly, tear tracks still visible on his face.
"You're the re-incarnation of one of those idiots you know." Seto waved the comment aside.
"Beside the point! You are human and as a human you are entitled to make mistakes. After all, you were only, what…18 when you sacrificed yourself? That makes you a minor in some countries!"
"Yami, I can't understand you. Speak loudly and speak clearly. Burying your face in my chest doesn't help you enunciation. And it's already bad." Yami blushed, but didn't look at Kaiba.
"It's not my fault that Japanese isn't my first language. And I said I was sixteen." Kaiba's blood suddenly froze. He stiffened and as a reflex action, brought Yami back into a very tight embrace.
"You were sixteen, you had just lost your father, never knew your mother and was expected to take over the throne to what was one of the most powerful countries at that time?"
"Knowing that you would have to sacrifice yourself for said country and said people?"
"Yes…" Yami was wondering where this interrogation was going when he caught sight of Kaiba's eyes. The tall CEO was practically snarling in rage and Yami jerked hard, managing to get out of the bruising grip. Kaiba's eyes immediately softened and Yami was again surprised when the CEO caught him around the waist and hugged him. Tightly, but gently. Almost as if he was protecting something precious. Yami was so confused at all these contradicting actions that he didn't know where to turn.
"I'm sorry Yami. I didn't mean to frighten you." Yami slowly brought his own arms up to return the embrace. He felt that Kaiba needed it. "I was angry at the fact that you have done so much for other people and dare to call yourself selfish. You've given up everything you ever had, immaterial or solid; your feelings, your friends, your family. And I shut myself away from the World on purpose. I guess I'm angry at myself too…" as the brunette trailed off; it was Yami's turn to be the comforter. He softly massaged Kaiba's shoulders as the taller boy still hadn't loosened his grip. He felt Kaiba's tense frame relax under his gently fingers.
"You may be a genius Kai- Seto, but you're wrong. You are a good person. You changed the company into a toy company that spreads happiness rather than death. You little brother idolizes you because you never give up. You would – and have – risked your very soul for your brother. And as much as you might hate to admit it, you've helped us – me – more times than I could have asked for. You know what the World's like, that's why you shut yourself away. You're only protecting yourself. It's natural. If you really were the cold-hearted bastard like everyone says, then Mokuba wouldn't love you so much."
The brunette had cried no tears. Instead, he had – for the first time in over 10 years – leant, both metaphorically and literally, on someone else. He sought and found comfort. Kaiba pulled the young Pharaoh closer and rested his tired head on soft, gold and black locks.
'I could easily stay this way forever' Kaiba thought as Yami buried his head in the elder's chest. 'I actually feel…safe…and warm. It's comforting to hold someone close. Yami is so-what the hell!' Kaiba jerked back in shock, causing Yami to look up anxiously.
"Yami…I…I'm…I'm holding you!" Yami now looked extremely worried. He tried to extract himself from the arms around his waist, but Kaiba didn't move them. Yami wasn't sure why, especially considering his last statement. 'At least he doesn't have to sound so surprised. He was the one who acted first!'
"Yes Kaiba," Yami replied warily. "You haven't let me leave your arms for the past, oh I don't know! Two hours?"
"Exactly!" replied Kaiba, getting excited. He didn't notice that Yami had used his last name again. Yami inched backwards slightly, not that he could do anything else. "Yami! You're supposed to be a ghost!" Those words hit Yami like a lightning bolt. Yes, he was supposed to be a ghost, a wandering soul. That was what had started this whole situation to begin with. So…how come he could feel Kaiba's skin on his, how could the brunette hold him in his arms without the Pharaoh slipping through?
The answer was simple.
"I guess I'm not a ghost…not any more…I'm a spirit!" A grin broke across the previously heart-broken face and the crimson eyes sparkled. I was happy, but extremely confused.
"Yami, I don't understand…what's the difference between a spirit and a ghost?"
"A ghost is just that, a ghost. Someone with unfinished business who wanders the Earth looking for answers. Spirits have successfully resolved whatever was wrong in their previous lives and are then able to move one. See, you were right. When I confessed my feelings, I became solid because I was facing that which blocked my path. I acknowledged my emotions, and with your help, 'moved on' as you put it. Helping you come to terms with who you are was the final step!"
He looked so joyful that I couldn't help smiling. He bounded out of my arms and cavorted recklessly around the roof, skin glowing in the moonlight. I could easily see the young boy he must have been. I felt a sharp twinge knowing that it had come to an end so quickly, but that was in the past. The Ancient past. It was all behind him now. It was good to know that his endless days had come to an end. Finally, he could join his father – who I was sure loved him very much. Suddenly the reality of what I said hit me. Yami must have sensed it because he stopped dancing.
"Ka-Seto? Is something wrong?" I swallowed down my tears. He was happy again and I was determined to keep it that way.
"What…what will happen to you know?" His face immediately became serious once again. Damn, guess that plan didn't work. He walked over and placed a soft hand on my cheek. I subconsciously leaned into his touch.
"I must leave now K- Seto. I can now go to the other side and join my ancestors. My friends and family." I nodded.
"You've waited 5,000 years for this."
"5,004." He replied with a straight face. I rolled my eyes. Wise guy.
"Tonight?" I couldn't help asking.
"Now." My eyed widened. NOW?
"What about the others?" I asked quickly. "Don't you have to go say good bye to them?"
"They haven't been able to see me or sense my presence since I started wandering. Even if I floated though them they wouldn't have noticed me."
"But I could?" I couldn't help but gasp out. It's not a secret that I don't believe in the supernatural. At least, that's what I tell the media. Certain…events…led me to change my mind. Yami takes my hand and smiles up at me.
"Strong bonds can last for eternity Kaiba. I had a very strong bond with Seto. As his reincarnation, we still maintain that bond." He hugged me and I returned the embrace. But soon he drew himself out of my arms and walked backwards and into the moonlight. "Goodbye Seto Kaiba. Remember what I told you."
I looked on as his body became filled with light, became light. Then the light shattered, similar to the Duel monsters that we constantly attacked each other with, and the thousands of sparkling lights travelled upwards, towards the moon.
"Goodbye Pharaoh Atemu," I whispered and closed my eyes. "I'll miss you Yami."
I felt a cold breeze on my chest and a tingle on my lips. I snapped my eyes open and frantically scanned the rooftop with my eyes. They found nothing. I slowly mad my way towards the stairs, stopping for one last look around before descending. I could have sworn…
"I will miss you too, Seto."
A/N: Don't even ask…I guess this did turn out to be quite shounen ai after all…sorry…I like the couple nervous smile I hope it wasn't too ooc. Actually, anything regarding either of them talking about emotions would be ooc. Remember that time when Yugi's soul go trapped by Dartz? Instead of saying anything, Yami went to be alone before he started beating himself up about the incident. I really think Yami and Seto are very alike…
So, please tell me what you think! Anything goes! Relevant or not! (Preferably relevant and preferably nice…)