Notes: 1) Totally different from anything else I've written. I don't plan on making a story of it.
2) JP Cultural Note: In Japan, unless you are very close, you call people by their last names (Jounouchi is one such example). You also give endings to these names, depending on the relationship. Yuugi is shown offended because not only did Atem use his first name when they were definitely not close, but also did not include an ending. They might do this in YGO all the time, but it is extremely rude.
3) Yuugi is not actually twelve. Atem merely thinks he is. I'm going with the Toei/Season Zero look, where, in the anime, they commented quite often on the fact that he looked like an elementary school kid. That seemed a bit of a stretch for me (though, technically, you could be in elementary until you're twelve—it goes through sixth grade). He's 16 in this story. Atem, though it's not really relevant, is 20 or 22. Couldn't decide which.
Disclaimer: YGO = Not mine. Enjoy. ~ Shadow
This was new. "Boy, don't you think you might be in the wrong place?" Said 'boy' was small—couldn't be more than twelve with looks like those. The tanned Egyptian was not picky with his customers, but children often could not afford his wares.
The child swallowed and his wide—strangely violet—eyes shone with unshod tears. It was obvious he was afraid. Why was he here, then? "N- No. I'm here to save my friend, Jounouchi-kun."
Atem—or, "Yami", as he was known in the Japanese Underworld—felt an eyebrow raise of its own volition. Odd. He couldn't remember any of his customers being so young as to fit in with this boy. Well, it was no matter. "...And you think you can save," the word sounded (and felt) so foreign on his tongue, "this 'Jounouchi' here?"
The young boy shivered in place before nodding shakily. "You're the one who gives him those drugs." That word did not belong in the vocabulary of one with a child's voice. "He told me."
Ah. So that's what it was. He gave a brush off gesture with his hand, the gold bracelets he wore sending an almost pleasant echo about his office. "...And?"
This moment was the first the boy had truly hesitated. Atem assumed it was both fear and confusion at being questioned—a young boy such as this could only harbor so much intellect. "A- And...?"
He sighed quietly and leaned forward onto his interlaced hands, peering down at the frightened child. "What would you have me do?"
"I... want you to stop giving that stuff to him." The boy's stance squared off suddenly and a determined gleam surfaced in those plum irises. Oh? What was this? The child actually had some backbone, after all. "It's killing him!"
If he were not such a prominent member of the Underground, Atem may have felt some admiration for the young child's well-intended quest. However, he was such a member, despite any personal feelings, and had been for much of his life. No emotions could be spared. "I am a businessman, Mr...?"
"H- Huh?" Atem closed his blood-red eyes briefly. Had this boy never met a businessman in his life?
"...Oh." At least the child had the decency to look embarrassed—a trait most modern Japanese sorely lacked. "Mutou. Mutou Yuugi. It's nice to meet you." Auto-pilot introduction? A mumbled one, at that. How very cute.
"A pleasure." He allowed a smirk to claim his lips, and crossed his legs under his desk, the sun and ankh earrings hanging from his left ear waging a momentary battle of sound. "Well, Yuugi," he rolled the name around his tongue a moment longer than necessary in order to receive the best reaction possible. He was rewarded when the boy looked down right affronted at his lack of manners. All the better. "As I said, I am a businessman. I do not give my wares to anyone."
The boy looked as if he were about to refute his words, but Atem took extra care to cut him off before he began. It was best to destroy the child's hope in one fell swoop, rather than let it gestate and gain further hope of recovery. "If I were to stop selling, he would only go elsewhere. I do not control this 'Jounouchi's' actions, Yuugi." The name rolled along his tongue again, this time quite without his intentions behind it. The name did have a pleasant sound to it and he rather enjoyed the smooth texture of the word in his mouth.
Done ruining hopes, Atem allowed the child his small reprieve. His countenance was one of chaos—numerous emotions flying across his features, one after the other, though shock was always present, and he thought he'd spied some despair in there. The boy would be gone soon.
"But..." Yuugi's (oh, the name sounded nice in his thoughts, too—Yuugi... Very nice.) gaze turned downward to fix on the lush Persian carpets beneath his feet. The first tear came. Then the second. It would be very soon.
"No!" The shrill voice of the child before him rang out in defiance. The sound sent an unbidden shiver of delight through him and Atem was forced to bite his lip to suppress it. What he wouldn't give to have that voice yell other things.
'Tsk, Atem. How naughty.'
"There has to be something we can do! I have to save Jounouchi-kun!" Even his slight preoccupation with Yuugi's perfect voice did not allow him to miss the unintentionally planted 'we'. Did the boy not understand that he could do nothing? He dealt in money and wares: nothing more, nothing less. Others were employed to handle the people. Usually the ones who did not honor "Yami's" generous transactions.
"Yuugi," his tongue simply refused to let go of that name. "I cannot help you. Your friend's," there was a word he hadn't used in years, "habits are beyond my control." His words came out a little thicker than he'd intended, the suppressed arousal obviously still having some effect on him.
The boy took the two steps to the edge of his desk, quite effectively invading Atem's personal space. Or would have, if businessmen had personal space. "Please."
Atem heard the child's breathing come and go in quick succession—each breath relayed the boy's anxiety and desperation to his attuned ears. His face was a strong mix of strength and determination, quite odd for such a timid boy. A naïve boy.
He allowed another smirk to caress his lips and held a business card in the half-meter between his and the boy's—Yuugi's—faces. He savored for a moment the quiet gasp of surprise that emanated from the child's lips. It was upon that sound that Atem knew he had made the right decision. "My card."
His personal business card (complete with personal mobile number) was taken by the boy's unsteady hand. "Thank you." The voice of those words revealed the child's disbelief, hope, and, mostly, gratitude. Only a true innocent knew gratitude.
But while Yuugi must have now revered him as some sort of selfless saint in the modern world, he was far more informed to the reality. His investment may incur a deficit at first, but he knew he would gain a profitable return in the end. Atem, after all, was a businessman.