This is a gift-fic for Candyworld - may this bring you a little happiness during the uncertain times ahead… And to all Prideshippers and non-Prideshippers (you know who you are) - please enjoy.
Warnings: Yaoi, multiple phone interruptions, a possibly annoying OC and a 'one-shot' that is now a 'two-shot' because I waffled too much~.
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! Th cover image used is a gift from eternityvalkyrie at DeviantArt
The glare of the afternoon sun filtered through the large windows, brightening the pale interior of the room and warming the man sitting at his desk. Working through a stack of papers before him was a dreary task and he paused several times to stretch his stiff limbs whilst giving an impatient glance to the clock on the wall.
I wonder if he is coming today, the occupant thought lazily, allowing his mind to stray from the mind-numbing tedium that was book-keeping. Absent-mindedly spinning his pen around his thumb, he was startled when the buzz of the telephone cut through the silence. Answering it with a push of a button, the man asked, "Yes?"
A slight tremor could be detected as the voice on the other end announced, "Motou-san, Kaiba-sama is here to see you."
Astounded, Yami was about to leave instructions to have his guest sent in when the door was unceremoniously flung open - his 'guest' had appeared, exhibiting an air of discontent and a look of boredom.
Unfazed by the rude intrusion; Yami leant back into his chair and grinned at the imposing figure that stood in the doorway. Tall and strikingly handsome, the man with piercing blue eyes exuded authority as much as he oozed sex appeal. Kaiba Seto was undoubtedly eye candy with a massive fortune to boot and half the population in Domino City, regardless of age and gender, was swooning over this eligible young man. It was a feeling that Yami, himself, understood all too well and appreciated every time he laid eyes on the brunet. However, if appearance and wealth made Kaiba desirable; his overbearing personality annulled the effect. His aloof attitude and haughtiness did his good looks no justice at all and his rudeness was legendary.
Pity his manners are still somewhat lacking, thought Yami drolly with a lop-sided smile as he greeted his guest.
"Kaiba, what an unexpected pleasure," he quipped. It was indeed a surprise; Yami hadn't been expecting a visit from the busy CEO of KaibaCorp - his current employer.
Typically a man of few words, Kaiba made no reply as he walked toward Yami, his long strides made his movement seem effortless. Upon reaching the desk, he pulled out the chair that was tucked neatly beneath the desktop and gracefully sat down on it. Once comfortably adjusted on the seat, Kaiba looked at the man opposite him, the manager of his most recent venture: 'The DC Gentlemen's Gaming Club'.
Motou Yami looked every bit regal as the Pharaoh he once was - even in that over-sized chair. With his legs crossed on top of each other, a pen balanced precariously between finger and thumb and a wide grin plastered across his finely-chiselled features, he still managed to look hauntingly majestic. Kaiba inwardly groaned as his cool blue gaze met his rival's fiery crimson, the latter's were twinkling with merriment as it sadistically suggested promises of mischief galore and merciless teasing.
His appearance had not altered much in time except for the trade in leather attire to designer suits and his tri-colour hair was as wild as ever. Yami's unchanged presence was, in some way, comforting to Kaiba though he didn't know why. Maybe it was the past connection they shared or the nostalgia it preserved, the CEO was always baffled when it came to the former Pharaoh. The man was every bit mysterious now as he was many years ago.
If Kaiba had anything to be thankful for, it would be the 'existence' of the ex-spirit. It was ironic how he had always denied Yami's presence in the early days of their acquaintance; never acknowledging him and never accepting him… yet years on, he could not think of Yami as not being by his side. It wasn't a relationship that had sentimental attachments to it – or at least, he didn't see it that way. No, the dependence for one another was established through employment and that was what Kaiba held invaluable.
Since the beginning such arrangement suited the two amicably; Kaiba needed a person he could trust and Yami, who chose to remain in the present after winning the Ceremonial Duel against Yuugi, needed assistance to kick-start his new life. Kaiba provided the ex-spirit with an identity and a job at KaibaCorp and the latter was able to thrive. As expected, Yami quickly moved up the corporate ladder, his managerial and leadership skills ensured he caught Kaiba's attention and within five years, the former Pharaoh had become his most trusted employee; the overseeing of this establishment was a testimony to that conviction. If Kaiba had to be honest, their relationship had its ups and downs where their past rivalry would sometimes get the better of them but generally, it had been pretty harmonious if they had a common goal to strive for.
But now that Yami no longer worked in the company's headquarter, they barely spoke to one another let alone see each other. There were times when Kaiba would miss that partnership, that work-related intimacy that he, with the exception of Mokuba, shared with no other. Perhaps this was the reason why he unwittingly showed up, without warning at the club. Kaiba mentally cursed himself for the relapse.
Noticing the uncomfortable silence that was becoming oppressive by the second, Yami attempted to dispel the awkwardness with the art of small talk. If working here had anything to go by, he had perfected the technique quite well.
"So what brings you here, Kaiba?" Yami asked flippantly, still twirling the pen in one hand. "If it's for the accounts," he gestured at the papers on his desk with the other, "I will have them ready for you tomorrow, the earliest. You've made a wasted journey if you came here for that."
Kaiba's pose tensed at the comment and Yami was alerted to it, "…or was there something else?" he asked suspiciously.
The CEO's dour expression confirmed Yami's suspicion though he tactfully remained silent.
"It's nothing," dismissed his employer. "I just wanted to clear my head so I went out for a walk… somehow I just ended here." Trying to avoid eye contact, the speaker idly surveyed the room.
"What! You walked all the way here?" asked Yami incredulously before breaking into a chuckle. "So what happened - the urge to fire some employees too great that you needed to escape?" he prodded in a wicked manner. "How many was it this week already, ten…fifteen?" Aware of Kaiba's track record of firing his staff on a daily-to-weekly basis, Yami was not shy about teasing the former about it.
Yami's feigned innocence and over-exaggeration bothered Kaiba. "It was only four!" retorted the CEO defensively; it wasn't as if the former didn't know already. Gossip travels fast within the company and if one works in a gaming house; it's a given perk that the staff used to their advantage. Kaiba could almost visualise the club staff placing bets amongst themselves on how many people in KaibaCorp will be made jobless by the end of the week – it must be a lucrative past-time, he mused.
Patiently, Yami waited for Kaiba to continue, the former Pharaoh, understood his ex-rival too well to know when something was on his mind. Finally, Kaiba rewarded him, "As I said, it was only four so far… with the addition of one that I wish to throttle!"
Yami sniggered at the remark. As much he'd like to agree that some of the employees at KaibaCorp were hopeless, compared to their slave-driving and fastidious boss, he couldn't openly concur; it would be an invitation for disaster that could result with a moody CEO and a string of redundant victims in its wake – a temperamental Kaiba was a dangerous Kaiba.
"Just be contented to fire them, Seto." Yami gently advised using the CEO's first name to soothe away the irritation. It wasn't often Yami did that as it wasn't deemed professional nor did they seek that kind of closeness, but Kaiba looked agitated and if he had walked all the way from the 'KC' headquarters which was quite a distance away; something must be on his mind.
"Well, technically Mokuba isn't an employee therefore I can't fire him so—"
"—you'd rather 'throttle' him instead!" Yami finished off, laughing out loud. "Considering the two of you are stubborn asses, it's no wonder you are constantly at loggerheads with each other. Trust me, many a time I wanted to throttle you but that didn't mean I could right… unless of course, you'd wished to set a new precedent over that rule?" Yami arched a brow questionably at Kaiba who remained sullen and silent while directing his trademark death-glare at the speaker.
"I thought so too," affirmed the shorter man. "Besides, I am sure that—"
The buzz of the phone interrupted the sentence. Reaching over the desk to the phone, Yami promptly answered it. "Yes," he responded, his mirth-filled eyes never leaving his companion's face.
"Motou-san, Sakaki-sama is here," was the reply of his security man.
Yami broke his gaze from Kaiba.
"Oh. Okay, Sudo. Patch his image through to me now," he said flatly, the elation from the playful encounter with his boss diminishing as he was reminded of his occupation and the responsibility it entailed.
"Yes, Motou-san, I will do that right away." With a click of a button, the line went dead and Yami sat back into his chair with a sigh. He pinched the bridge of his nose, a little wearily.
So he came.
Kaiba noticed the action and it immediately piqued his interest.
"If I didn't know better, I'd say you look a little tensed," he sneered. "Who is this 'Sakaki-sama' that has the ex-King of Games' feathers all ruffled?"
It was Yami's turn to glare at Kaiba. He didn't give an answer as he picked up the remote control on his desk and activated the large monitor on the wall. Kaiba's eyes widened as an image of a man flashed across the screen.
Judging from Kaiba's reaction, Yami assumed the CEO knew the identity of the man. "Sakaki Ryuichi," he introduced. "Twenty-three years of age and heir to Sakaki Incorporated - the largest advertising agency in Japan." Naturally, Yami couldn't add 'Playboy extraordinaire' and 'Big Jerk' to the summary as much as he'd like to; besides this client did provide some entertainment whenever he showed up - it was just regretful that he had to show up now!
Luckily, Yami weren't able to dwell on his disappointment for too long, not if Kaiba's outburst could help it.
"What the fuck is he doing here?" he growled. "Shouldn't he be cavorting somewhere around Tokyo rather than here in Domino City…besides, I don't remember him applying for membership."
"He didn't," offered Yami with a shrug of his slim shoulders. "He comes with his uncle, Takaya Kousei… since we allow our members to bring guests, as long they meet the conditions and requirements we set out, in which he does; Sakaki gets in by default."
"Hnn," Kaiba conceded, crossing his arms over his chest. He had to grudgingly admit that Sakaki was more than qualified to be a member of the club especially as he had nothing but respect for the Sakaki elder on the rare occasions they've crossed path. Kaiba had even employed the agency's services a few times to promote his gaming products; they were efficient which is what he'd expect from such an impressive advertising company.
However, Kaiba couldn't help but smirk proudly that KaibaCorp still beat them five times over when it came to influence and affluence. The KaibaCorp building in Tokyo was the second tallest in the country under the Asano Tokyo Financial Group. It was an achievement that Kaiba could not help but be a little smug about… despite it was bane to one of Yami's ongoing taunts. In truth, much to the CEO's chagrin, the ex-duelist wasn't exactly vocally discreet when comparing Kaiba's ego to the size KaibaCorp Tokyo. The said egoist wasn't sure if he should be altogether annoyed or pleased with that representation considering it was coming from someone whose conceitedness matched his own!
With that said, Kaiba turned his attention back to the studying the coloured image of the man on the screen. On close inspection, the man seemed tall and slim but well built. The expensive suit he wore complemented the physique of the said wearer though Kaiba was sure it was the wearer that made the outfit appealing and not the other way around. His dark hair was the colour of night with a hint of blue when light reflected off it. Features were evenly set, a straight nose, full lips that was set in a lazy smile and sparkling eyes that were the colour of burnt charcoal. Kaiba felt a strange sensation from within him, one that he could not quite put his finger on but it brought about a sudden urge to erase the satisfied look on the man's handsome face. With his mind lost in comparative rivalry and possible acts of petty vindictiveness, Kaiba's attention was abruptly recalled when he heard a groan from his companion...
Sakaki was sitting at one of the gaming tables and judging from the chips he had in front of him, he looked as if he was on a winning streak. The CEO grimaced at the unfortunate turn of event that was rapidly unfolding before him. With a quick glance at Yami, Kaiba saw the latter looking a little troubled and slightly…flushed?
Kaiba did a double take. Peering closely at the smaller man, the hint of pink that tinted his face was unmistakable. Was Yami blushing because of Sakaki? Kaiba was shocked at Yami's expression. What the fuck—
A sigh escaped from Yami and he shifted in his chair, his crimson eyes never leaving the screen. "He's been coming here every day for the past week," was the explanation he gave, his voice completely solemn as he assessed the situation "… and he is one very persistent and very lucky man."
"Lucky?" asked Kaiba curiously; an ominous feeling began to form in his gut. As much as he tried to suppress the sensation; the more it irked him.
"Yes, he is one lucky man… well, almost!" Yami added as an afterthought, "He had luck enough to draw me out to the playing field, at least-"
"Since when?" demanded Kaiba abruptly, his temper quickening.
His manager looked questioningly at his employer but seeing the man was not going to enlighten him further regarding his brusque line of questioning; Yami lifted a slender finger and tapped lightly on his lips, frowning in concentration as he considered the answer.
"…I think it was on his second day," he replied after a brief pause. "He won quite a large sum on the 'Black Jack' table and I was called out to challenge him. Actually, since that time I've had to confront him on a daily basis to win back the money he had won - it's been a little over a week now."
Kaiba's eyes narrowed at the statement. Something about the way the man managed to get Yami's attention rubbed him the wrong way. Moreover, the way Yami seemed to praise the man's accomplishment had pissed him off as well. Why was he getting worked up over an insignificant wannabe like Sakaki? And more importantly, why did Yami's reaction annoy him? Kaiba bit back the sarcasm that was on the verge of escaping his lips, he knew better than to criticise Yami let alone accuse him of attachments.
The ringing of the phone sounded deafening over the thoughts of its occupants and Yami swiftly responded to it. The concerned voice of Sudo could be clearly heard over the loudspeaker.
"Motou-san, you are urgently needed in room eight," he said.
"I'll be there," answered Yami readily… maybe a little too readily, thought Kaiba as he watched his employee hurriedly pushed back his chair and get up. Mouthing the words "sorry" as an apology to his employer, Yami weaved pass Kaiba as he made his way to the door…
A firm hand shot out and caught his wrist, preventing him from departing. Yami looked down at his arm and then looked at his captor in a quizzical manner. Kaiba stared dumbfounded at his hand that was encircled around his captive's narrow wrist. He wasn't even sure why he did it; he just acted spontaneously without reason, without thought. Impulse told him to hold on to Yami but… why?
"I…" he began but words utterly failed him. Unable to explain the reason for his action to Yami or even to himself, he could no longer detain the other. Reluctantly, Kaiba was compelled to let Yami go.
"Seto…?" asked Yami hesitantly, unsure of what just occurred but Kaiba remained obstinately silent. The ex-spirit's eyes softened as he looked at the man before him. "I will return shortly, Seto… I promise," he assured gently and with those departing words, left the office.
Kaiba sat in the stillness of the room; his mind repeatedly replaying the incident. Trying to fathom an excuse for his actions and failing miserably, he scrubbed his face with the palm of his hands and began to massage his temple. A sudden movement of colour flashed within his peripheral line of vision. He turned his attention to the monitor and his eyes widened in recognition; Yami had entered room eight…
A/N: A penny for your thoughts… Please review.