A/N: I said I'd be having short chapters from this chapter onward, right? Apparently, I lied. I didn't even know until earlier. So because my hand is kinda sore with all the writing I've been doing since 3 p.m. (Time check: 2:03 a.m.), I'd apologize first for every typo that you'll come across. This was a fun chapter to write, despite the agony of bearing with my hand after that. Oh, and right. Last two chapters left!

Funny how one year later, I still haven't finished this story yet. How productive. ::rolls eyes:: About this chapter—this may have just increased the rating of my story. But it's up to you to decide. Also, you may or may not despise me after this. Long-ish chapter, flashbacks galore. Be warned.

Also, thank you, barrie18, for all the insights. (I figured I'd change something a bit, though. I hope you'll still like it despite that.) They've, as you already know, really helpled. Anyone is welcome to give their own insights, y'know.

Tell me what you think? Reviews would be nice.


Chapter 11: See Through

"I get it now."

Seto's voice is soft and wistful, as if he is revealing a secret that he's not supposed to reveal. Yami stands near the couch, hands holding a tray of freshly brewed coffee and biscuits. Seto knows Yami enough to know that he's listening. Waiting, not pushing. He looks up and meets the former pharaoh's gaze.

Yami doesn't say, "Get what?" but his body language screams it. The anticipation is coursing through his veins, making him fidgety. Quiet. Seto seems to have stopped talking; resting his head on the pillows as he leans back on the couch. Yami hasn't even started thinking about Seto's physical state. Has decided to put it off until the CEO has left. Doesn't want to start thinking about it when it reminds him too much of the dream. And Seto's just as close now that it takes a great amount of self-control for Yami to stay still and not touch the brunet. To make sure Kaiba really is here, albeit worse for wear, and not in an abyss he and Seth had fallen into. Yami remembers the fall and shudders.

Seto notices and looks at him, fascinated by how the moonlight bathes Yami with an ethereal glow. The window isn't that far from them, and he sees how it casts a halo on the standing figure. But it's too dark to see Yami's face. Thing is, though, familiarity teaches him a lot of things. Teaches him that the evident slump of Yami's shoulders isn't a sign of weariness, or exhaustion. Yami is upset. The antsy behavior, the slight trembling of his calloused hands tell Seto that the former monarch is thinking about Egypt. And the way he refuses to meet Seto's gaze? It tells Seto that it's about him.

"You," Yami starts, voice raspy. "You came here to talk. So talk."

Seto's been waiting for this—Yami coming closer, taking the space beside him. They're nearer than they ever were and it grants him access to the emotions he's certain to find. Impatience, he gets. Worry, confusion, wariness. He sees longing and grief. Regret. All flashing thousands of miles per second in Yami's eyes.

"What's wrong?" He instinctively asks. In one moment, he witnesses Yami shut off like a huge blackout, killing the power of an entire city. Yami's face is suddenly blank. Evasive.

"What do you want to talk about?" Yami asks again, and this time the brunet glances at the window. Grudgingly, he answers: "Seth."

When he hears Yami's sharp intake of breath he shakes his head and rests his palms on his knees to steady himself. He doesn't like admitting things that he so badly wants to disprove. Blow to the ego and what-not. But the thing is, there's only so much Egypt that he can take. And he needs someone to tell him what the fuck is going on.

"He fell first," Seto begins.

"What?"

Seto meets his eyes and suddenly their game of stalling and half-truth begin to end. Yami isn't used to Seto being overwhelmingly open, the effect of knowing what he's about to tell Yami visible in his normally masked azure eyes. He cannot stop being wary, though. Fears he already knows what Seto has to say only to realize it's no help at all. The brunet sighs heavily and it's so human, so unlike Seto that Yami's chest constricts painfully at witnessing it. Embarrassed to see the brunet in a vulnerable state, in a private moment. But said brunet doesn't notice. Has begun to speak.

"He was away for three years," Seto tells, his voice just above a whisper. "Sent to a neighboring kingdom to learn their ways…."

The sun is shining brighter, hotter than the last time Seth was here. Egypt has undergone and experienced several changes, Shadi wrote to him two moons back. Seth witnesses it in the way the people act bolder, less cautious and more cautious as his steed struts down the road to the palace. Due east he sees the pool that he threw Atemu into when they were younger. They had been arguing with each other, a debate over whose steed was faster, and he had lost his patience. As simple as that they went home drenched and ready to face their fathers' ire. That was before Mahado and all the other priests were introduced to them. Seth smiles at the memory, ignoring the stares he is receiving.

When the guards at the vanguard of the palace recognize him, calls are made and the gates, opened. Seth nearly pulled the reins to his horse to a stop as he stares ahead. Dumbfounded. Exhilarated.

It looks different. Marvelous in its pristine structure. There are more fountains and wider gardens. From the lush green sight of the gardens that greets him, Seto knows they are well taken cared of. But at the same time, he wonders whose decision this is. Knows this cannot possibly be his uncle's. The Pharaoh had never spent time on infrastructure and aesthetics, prioritizing internal and foreign affairs. (Hence, Seth's spur of the moment, secret 3-year trip, he thinks wryly.)

"Admiring our haven, aren't you?" It is Shadi's amused voice. Seth comes down from his horse, greeting the other priest with a distinctive eyeroll.

"How are things?" Seth queries, eyes wandering back to the gardens. Shadi sighs and looks at the palace for a moment. As if torn between telling the truth and lying outright. Of course Seth notices. "Well? The place is standing so I doubt any of you has devised a plan to blow it up."

Shadi visibly flinches.

Seth frowns. But he doesn't get to ask because they've already reached the main hall. He shakes his head, deciding to question things later, and walks ahead. Heads to the throne room and to inform his uncle of a pharaoh what he has learned. Until he hears laughter coming from the east wing. Familiar peals of laughter, although wrung out by the cursing fellow he is accompanied with. Seth shakes his head in exasperation, following the sound. Three years pass and obviously Atemu has not changed. At that he walks in, smiling smugly.

"Three years and still playing, brat?" He mocks. Because that's how he and Atemu had parted. Had parted as. Rival cousins, who used to be so close, antagonizing each other. The insult he's about to throw gets lodged in his throat as he realizes what's happening. Seth's eyes widen.

Mahado has grown taller, not as tall as Seth but still, a change. But that isn't what's caught Seth's attention. He gapes as Mahado is straddling a smaller, slender figure. The other priest has hands held in his grip. Upon seeing Seth, Mahado releases his 'prisoner' and stands. Flustered.

"Seth!" Mahado cries out. The shock evident on his face. That catches the attention of the other man, standing slower than Mahado. Disbelieving until he meets Seth's gaze. Atemu gasps and Seth stares. Speechless.

Atemu… is stunning, for lack of better term. He's still shorter than Seth but he has grown; lithe body framed by muscles. Atemu's hair is wilder, the gold yellow streaks more visible and bangs falling to the sides of his face. Seth guesses Mahado had been tickling his cousin from the way Atemu still looks disheveled and breathless. He looks flushed, cheeks burning up and tears of laughter pooling at the edge of his eyes. Atemu looks ravishing. Innocent.

Has he always been this exquisite?

"Dear Ra…" Seth mutters at the realization. The trance is broken and Atemu opens his mouth for a greeting. Seth speaks first, though; discards Atemu's attention away. "We shall talk later. After I have spoken to the Pharaoh."

And it hits him, that pang of guilt when Atemu pales, face falling as he nods. Acquisces to Seth's decision. Did something happen between father and son, Seth wonders? Before Seth can utter a word, Atemu turns and walks away, a hurt expression on his face. The brunet doesn't know why but he feels like that time when he shouted at his dying mother for coddling him too much only to regret it as his mother dies that night. The guilt almost ate him then. This one with Atemu feels no different.

Later that day, Seth is summoned by the Pharaoh, only to find the throne occupied by Atemu. He has gone back to masking his emotions, Seth sees, and all he wants to do is take the pain his cousin is obviously hiding. Same pain he has caused. It's a vow. He doesn't want grief and pain to mar Atemu's face ever again.

"What do you want me to do, Kaiba?" Yami asks the moment Seto finishes. "I cannot give you answers which I do not have."

Seto nods. "I've already talked to Ishizu. We must be in the temple by noon tomorrow."

What? Yami stares. Come gain?

Seto sighs tiredly then, casts the former monarch a glance. "I'd get some sleep if I were you. I was told that it wouldn't be a smooth trip back to memory lane."

Confessing the story of how an Egyptian High Priest falls for his Pharaoh isn't as easy as it's thought to be. It left Seto feeling raw.

"Fine," Yami grits out and heads back to the bedroom. In an instant, Seto relaxes. But Yami comes back a few minutes later, bringing a pillow and a blanket for the CEO. Seto takes them without question as Yami nods and starts to walk away.

"Seto?" It's the first time Yami calls him with his first name.

"Yeah?"

"Thank you." For telling me.

Seto nods and watches Yami enter his room. He lies down and stares at the ceiling. He doesn't get any sleep after that.

XXX

The temple looks far from how Seto has envisioned it to be. It's been quite a time since they were here, after all, and last time he checked, the temple was in ruins. Now it stands as if untouched by time. It feels strange somehow to see it the way it was before weather and time eroded it. He glances at Yami and thinks either the other man knows this has happened or is simply unbothered by it.

"Come on," he says and leads the way inside, his mind apparently remembering the right pathway from the last time they were here, by instinct. When Yami falls into step beside him, he stops at the sight on the wall near his ex-rival.

This wasn't in the temple before—Atemu on an altar of some sort, eyes fixed on the sky while Seth's raised dagger is directed at him. Where did this come from? Does this mean Seth actually killed Atemu?

"Atemu needed to die by Seth's hands. That was the sacrifice the Sealing Ceremony warranted," Yami's soft voice breaks through Seto's reveries. He's looking at the wall, too; eyes lost in some distant place where neither reality nor fantasy can touch him. Looks more to Seto like he's back in Ancient Egypt, watching everything through his own perspective. When Yami's explanation sinks in, Seto shifts his gaze back to the former pharaoh. (Funny how Yami referred to himself—or his past self, whichever—Atemu when he and Atemu are the same person.)

Wait.

"I thought he and Seth were—"

"Lovers?" Yami continues bitterly, meeting Seto's gaze for the first time and refusing to let the uncertainty reveal itself before the brunet. "They were. But the thing is, I've always known Atemu's too much of a martyr to even wait for them to find an alternative solution."

It sounds so bitter. So hurt. And really, with that confession, how in the world can Seto even respond properly?

"Come on," the brunet answers instead. Indicates that it's time to move on and so he does. Starts walking to the hearth, where everything ended for Atemu and everything began for Yami.

It's a couple of steps later when he notices that Yami isn't following him. He turns around and catches the wistful look on the other man's face. Seo knows where that look is focused on and he's suddenly angry. The emotion bubbling in him makes him wan to smash the slab. Because the thing is, this is unfair. Downright unfair. Seth killed him. Hadn't tried enough to stop Atemu when he wanted to die.

If you love someone, you just don't let him die.

There's always been a wall between him and Yami. They understand each other but underneath it all, Seto can't cross the wall and make Yami see that whatever their future holds doesn't involve their past. That Seto simply isn't Seth, and he never wants to be. But this… Seto's never going to get what he wants, will he?

"The wall's not going anywhere. Let's go," he breaks in.

"Why do you want to know so much?" Yami quietly asks; his gaze turned to Seto, waiting for a response.

"What?" There's something in Yami's voice that Seto cannot identify. Hesitance? Uncertainty?

"You draem of Seth and his possible feelings for Atemu and instead of discarding them like you usually do, you seek me for answers. Why is that? What changed, Kaiba?" Yami questions, walks towards him. A curious gleam in his narrowed red eyes.

"Is it a crime to inquire, Yami?" Is it wrong to prove that he and Seth are different, Seto doesn't say. He matches Yami's gaze with his own. Unyielding. Cold. Pushing Yami away so he doesn't figure out the brunet's real intentions. So he won't make Seto reveal his cards before the game has even begun.

Yami chuckles sardonically, eyes warming afterwards. He raises an eyebrow at his former rival and at that, the stalement ends. "You can't blame me for being suspicious," he teases almost playfully and the change surprises Seto.

"People change" the CEO offers offhandedly and starts to walk again. "They're always changing."

It's silence that greets him this time. He even turns around to heck if the former pharaoh is looking at the stone slab again. He isn't but he's looking at Seto like he just figured out something. And then Seto realizes what he has said and he freezes visibly. They stay that way—eyes wide and locked at each other, still. When Yami finally nods, a slow movement of his head, Seto can breathe again. He lets Yami take the lead this time; lets him walk ahead as he stays behind to look at the embedded sculpture of the High Priest.

"We look so alike," he says in bewilderment, his fingers absentmindedly following the outline of the dagger and the direction it leads to—Atemu. He stares at the pharaoh, knows that used to be Yami. "But you're not Yami. And I'm not Seth. Never was."

Because he can believe that once upon a time someone who coincidentally looked like him fell in love with Yami. He can never believe that what he feels for Yami now is the byproduct of some tragedy. This is real and this is what he honestly feels. No one is making him react this strongly.

"Kaiba?" the former pharaoh calls impatiently, worriedly.

"Don't get a heart attack. I'm on my way. Mokuba called," he lies.

"Whatever."

When he gets there, Ishizu and Malik are already waiting. Yami sits on the altar that Seto realizes is the same altar on the sculpture. Malik hands him a dagger crowned with the brightest rubies he has ever seen. He looks up and the worry must have shown on his face because Ishizu shook her head.

"We need your and Yami's blood in the goblet to star this ritual" Ishizu explains and reveals a golden cup decorated like the dagger.

What follows is a simple step-by-step procedure. Seto sees Yami use his own dagger to slice through the flesh of his arm. The blood drips onto the goblet and Yami sways a little. He watches Malik guide Yami to lie on the altar, let him rest. Worried, Seto walks towards the former pharaoh and fingers the blade tightly. Ishizu tells him to do exactly what Yami did and he does unflinchingly, eyes fixed on Yami's slightly dazed ones all the time.

"Are you okay?" He asks Yami, who nods.

Within moments, the CEO's vision goes blurry as he slowly slips to his knees. Ishizu continues with the ritual, though, and the last thing he sees before he loses consciousness is Yami smiling at him and slipping his eyes shut.

XXX

Seto blinks thrice before realizing that his head is throbbing. The sand burns his back almost instantly as he sits up, taking a quick glance of his new environment. He's in Egypt again—Ancient Egypt anyway but it looks unfamiliar. Like he hasn't been dreaming about this place since he followed Yami from Japan weeks ago. Speaking of Yami—where the hell is he?

Someone groans beside him and it's Yami. Thankfully. At least he doesn't have to search the entire place to look for the former monarch. Yami gasps and sits up, realizing where they are. He doesn't ask if Yami's alright, though, knowing there's nothing wrong with him. But when the brunet stands, he offers Yami a hand, intent on answering this crazed puzzle as fast as he can.

"We need to go to the palace," he tells Yami. At Yami's confused gaze, Seto rolls his eyes. "I invent games, Yami. Get your head out of the gutter. We have a couple to find."

That seems to do the job because Yami stands up, eyes back to its normal clarity. Alert like he usually is. Yami leads him north, obviously knowing where they are and continues to guide him until they see the palace in the distance. There are people everywhere and it fits perfectly where they are. The marketplace. Despite the crowd, they pass by unnoticed until they reach the palace.

In the main hall, they hear raised voices.

"Ra curse the day you have gotten so stubborn!"

It's Seth's voice.

"Leave me alone, Seth!"

Atemu.

Pharaoh and priest pass in front of their future counterparts, unaware of the commotion they're causing in the palace. The slaves are avoiding their path, heads bowed and postures hunched as if they can be invincible that way. Yami sees Mahado walk towards them, determined to stop them from arguing but he suddenly stops and turns to Yami instead. Yami stops though he knows Mahado cannot see him. But Mahado… oh God, he looks alive. Human. And Yami guesses he misses Mahado. This Mahado. The priest. The loyal best friend—Yami's ally in the past and in the present.

God, he misses Mahado so much!

"Yami." Seto interrupts as he starts to follow Seth and Atemu. Yami nods reluctantly and follows, his ears picking up the bickering duo's conversation.

"You could have died!" Seth roars, crowding Atemu, who's caught between the tree trunk and his angry cousin. Atemu glares at him.

"What was I supposed to do? Let Shadi die? The beast was about to kill him, Seth!" They're furious at each other and for different reasons, Seto realizes. He watches them in awe, their volatile tempers almost matching the intensity of his and Yami's verbal spars. He glances at Yami, knows he has reached the same conclusion.

Seth shakes his head in annoyance. "We can heal him. You weren't supposed to be there! What were you doing in that place?"

Atemu looks sheepish for a change even though his voice remains unapologetic. "I went out for some air."

"In the Red District? Are you out of your mind? Anyone could have recognized you and attack you, pharaoh."

"No one did so why are we even having this conversation?"

Seth and Seto stare at him, both incredulous. Then Seth slams his fist on the tree, knuckles breaking at the impact. He's livid. Yami winces sympathetically while Atemu's mask falls. He looks worriedly at his cousin.

"When's the last time you slept, cousin?" Seth inquires. Atemu stares in shock and if he had the space, he would have stepped back. Seth smirks t the reaction, antagonizing the pharaoh further. He yanks Atemu's hands, reveals the callouses he thought no one noticed. They're fairly new. They stare at each other, Atemu flushing angrily under his gaze. "I see you ride out every night. You leave the moment the guards outside your chamber shut the door. You always bring your dagger."

Atemu grabs his hands back, eyes ablaze.

"You're hallucinating."

"Am I?" the priest challenges "Then I may have hallucinated seeing the servants return your untouched food to the kitchens, huh?"

"Yes."

Seth narrows his gaze. Pushes Atemu harder and knows he'll find bruises where his fingers were on the pharaoh's chest. "Do. Not. Lie. To. Me."

Seto and Yami watch helplessly. See Atemu's body trembling, apparently considering this a fight-or-fight situation. Yami frowns, wonders what the pharaoh is dealing with to react so strongly.

"Stop!" Atemu shouts panicking. Labored breathing, shivering, eyes widening. The priest stares in horror. He pushes Seth away and visibly relaxes for a bit. "I dream of dying, Seth. To save this kingdom."

For a minute, Seth doesn't speak. Only stares until he gets to stutter:

"A-and?"

"I dream that it is you who kills me." With that, Atemu flees.

Seto and Yami stare at the direction Atemu has gone to, speechless. Behind them Seth leans on the tree. All of his anger somehow evaporating into ice cold dread.

Yami gasps out of the blue. A painful hitch of breath that catches the CEO's attention. When the brunet turns around, he falls on his knees, clutching his abdomen in pain. In an instant, they both vanish and re-appear without each other.

When the pain goes away, Seto realizes it's dark and freezing. He's outside the palace for sure and there's no sign of Yami anywhere. He curses and follows the only path available. They're too similar that upon catching glimpse of familiar tri-colored hair, he instantly calls him. Upon closer inspection, he watches Atemu put the hood up and sway a little. A little bit exaggerated. What the—Is he drunk?

"Sikh, you old fool, come here and be my company!" Atemu calls. The palace guard he's referring to laughs and jogs towards him. Sikh, Seto finds out, isn't old. He's probably two years older than the pharaoh and he has the unblemished looks of a youth.

"Does your father not look for you? Scribes have many tasks, don't you remember?" Sikh teases but pats the space beside him. Atemu frowns for a second then grins, plays the part of the happy drunk well. Seto stares at him, knowns now that he isn't drunk at all. His eyes do not show it. And he isn't any scribe's son, either. But Atemu pouts and grudgingly reveals a flask of wine from his robe. Sikh chuckles. "A gift, eh?"

"My father bought a barrel five years ago from some merchants. It tastes exotic," the pharaoh explains and takes a gulp. "Rare."

He stares at the palace guard under half-lidded eyes while Seto's guts flips in nervousness. He glances at Sikh, scowls at the barely concealed lust in the man's plain brown eyes. He thinks back to when Yami was assaulted several days ago. He shudders at the memory.

Sikh finds his voice later, raspier. "How does it taste?"

Atemu smirks. Leans in until his breath is ghosting over the guard's lips. Sikh gulps nervously at the distance. "Wouldn't you like to know, palace guard?"

"I would. Very much so, scribe," Sikh leans in, too. Closes the distance as his hands wrap around Atemu's neck. Seth, through it all, gapes. Stands in surprise. Confusion. Where the hell is Yami?

"Seto!" Yami calls in relief. A figure dashes past Seto.

"Atemu," Seth growls, pulling the hood down and catches the palace guard's eyes widen in abject terror. Atemu does, as well, but his cousin's grip is tight around his arm for him to even move. Yami gasps for breath beside Seto, his cheeks aflame with body heat. He has apparently ran all the way from wherever Seth was.

"You shall speak of this to no one," the High Priest warns and it's to his satisfaction that the guard nods fervently. "Leave."

Several futile attempts at escaping and struggling later, Seth drags Atemu into his private chamber. The Pharaoh's is farther so he headed to his own, instead.

"Let me go, Seth!"

The High Priest sighs and bodily slams Atemu to the door, shutting it tight. Atemu stares at him through the pain of the impact before renewing his struggles. He doesn't do much, though, since Seth already has both of his hands trapped at the sides of his head.

"Listen to me!" Seth exclaims and Atemu still immediately Although he doesn't cower, Atemu flinches. "Sikh is a spy."

" I know." The pharaoh mutters guiltily.

"It was a trap." Seth says matter-of-factly. Realizing, finally. His cousin nods, all the fight gone. Now he's just waiting for the priest to say his piece. Seth won't have that, however, as he lets Atemu go. Seth blows a sigh; wearily. "Go."

"What?" Yami and Seto responds.

"Seth?" Atemu reacts like he cannot believe it. Doesn't want to. He approaches his cousin and sighs sadly when Seth takes a step back. The tables are turned, apparently.

"You have no idea how hard it is to look after someone who's afraid of you" the priest confesses. He looks so open. Honest. "I can't keep pushing you when you'll always pull away. You have to push back, too, Atemu."

"Seth, what are you talking about?"

"I was only gone for three years. We were always antagonizing each other and when I come back, I find out you've learned to destroy yourself. What are you trying to do?"

Atemu chuckles darkly. "You try being left behind."

He doesn't voice it but everyone knows who he's talking about. Seth flinches. But he refuses to back down. "At least I didn't despise you."

"I never despised you! It was friendly competition. Antagonizing, true. But we are cousins, what do you expect? You were like a sibling to me, Seth."

"And now? What are we now?" Seth questions, stands his ground as Atemu comes closer. "Because what I feel for you isn't so platonic anymore, Atemu. It stopped being that way."

The pharaoh grins. More confident. The nightmare still lurks at the edges. As if he's equally terrified and attracted to the brunet. Then again, is that not what has happened in the past years in spite of the priest's absence? "Maybe… you're not just a cousin to me anymore, Seth."

Seth refuses to believe him.

"What happened to me killing you?"

"A nightmare that will never come true," Atemu answers and pulls Seth down for a kiss.

The thing is, Seto knows he should be looking away by now. Mystery solved, damsel saved; happily ever after going on. But he can't—CAN'T—look away. He watches as Seth cradles Atemu's face tenderly, as Atemu shuts his eyes and lets his hands lie simply on Seth's chest. He should leave as soon as Seth slowly undresses his cousin while Atemu nips his jaw. But Seto doesn't. Like he's stuck in a spell time has woven for him. Keeps him there standing. Watching. It's Yami's gasp that breaks the trance and he sags back. Relieved.

When Atemu pushes Seth on the bed and crawls up to him, starting a trail of chaste little kisses as he does, Yami looks away. Flustered. Uncomfortable, like he has caught his parents making love to each other. Worse. Like he's a voyeur in a couple's private time. He doesn't feel like he's Atemu anymore—and he doesn't, isn't affected by the groans Seth breathes out. The sounds Seth make him turn to Seto, whose gaze is still directed at the couple.

"Oh Ra…"

It isn't something produced by pleasure and that's what catches Yami's attention. He reluctantly walks towards the bed and gasps as he sees a long angry line mar the skin of Seth's left thigh. He also catches the horror on Atemu's face, stares as the pharaoh leans closer and kisses it softly. Seth hisses and drags him up for a hungrier kiss. More passionate. Devouring. Atemu moans when Seth's hand slips between his legs, wraps his manhood in a tight circle and squeezes hard. Not as hard as Atemu wants to, but hard enough to silence him. Seth's practically devouring Atemu's mouth now when Yami decides he's had enough.

"Seto, what are you waiting for? Come on. Let's go back."

He waits. But Seto doesn't move.

"Yami." Seto calls and it sounds ragged. Pained. "I can't move."

"What?"

"I can't—" Seto's gasp forces Yami to rush forward, catch the CEO as he falls to his knees. He's breathing hard as if he has a wound. When Yami touches something damp on the left leg of Seto's pants, his eyes widen in realization. Now the unhealthy warmth in Seto's cheeks and how his body shudders make sense.

"You've never—" Yami breathes hard as they stumble to the ground, Seto too heavy for him to bear just by crouching. "You forgot to repeat the phrase, didn't you? Damn it, Kaiba! You don't participate in blood rituals when you don't want to use phrases! They're testimonies of belief!"

But Seto isn't listening anymore. Eyes slipping shut way too fast, body trembling even more visibly.

Yami's panicking. Trying to hard to keep it together as he wraps his arms around Seto's frame. When he feels the familiar tug of the spell calling them back, he hugs Seto tighter and loses consciousness altogether.

TBC