A/N: For Tier 5 of Season 8.5 of the YGO fic contest here on ff-net. The pairing is Bayshipping – Priest Set x Noa Kaiba.

...I just threw out 2K worth of plot for… this. I blame Rurutia's Seirios. Also, I solemnly swear that I will sit down and write out the backstory to this. Because it's just too much of a clusterfuck not to.

Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Yuugiou! franchise and I claim no association with any of them. No copyright infringement intended with this and no money is being made from this. Please support the creator by purchasing the official releases.

Warnings: disturbing mature content. Read at your own risk. (Look at the pairing. No, really. Look at the pairing. Now to the warning. Now back at- okay, I shut up now before this turns into Old Spice ad.)


The Man in the Wind and the West Moon

"I hate you," Noa whispers, his face turned away because he doesn't want to see. It's more than enough just feeling Set's hands on his body.

It is a place out of time, out of space. It is a place out of life. And yet, a semblance of life persists even here and Noa can't bring himself to think of the hows and the whys. He wonders if this is the world beyond. The place beyond metadata, the place beyond Recycle Bin; or the ghost space of any poorly-maintained computer system where files sometimes disappear to. He wonders if he disappeared in that battle. Or if, maybe, he lost. If, maybe, this is the part of the Hard Drive that keeps the compressed records of all Deleted Files, which can then be restored only with a special program. Though his upper-hand in that battle should have been a fact – he spent considerably more time existing as a binary code and thus had more skill and knowledge – it was also possible that, in the mean time, in the real world his father created a modernized version of the same and overruled his code with a few core changes. Overtook his system with a virus. Is this what it feels like to be infected by a virus? Or is he now the only uncorrupted file amid damaged ones?

"Do you?" Set teases, and Noa is willing to bet that he has a smirk on his face, but he won't look to confirm his gut feeling.

It's been such a long time since Noa has felt anything, anything at all…

"Hate you," he whispers defiantly, intent on proving himself right on this one account; intent on convincing himself that it's true. He is trembling under the much bigger man, afraid and thrilled all the same because this is something new, something wrong, something challenging. Because he is Seto and yet he isn't, and Noa doesn't know what to believe anymore.

Set says nothing. He lets his hands roam and touch, exploring the plains of Noa's pale skin, fascinated by the contrast of dark and light, young and childish. He watches Noa intently, catching every shaky breath, every small shiver; the tiniest of reactions. He hasn't, during his human life, consorted boys, contrary to Noa's angry words and implications from just a few moments ago. He simply hadn't the time for small selfish things like pleasure. After losing Kisara and then after Atem's passing, everything he did was duty, duty, duty. Marry, have kids, rule over Egypt, repent for father's misdeeds, wage wars with barbarians and aggressive neighbours, dodge assassination attempts, partake in parades, placate angry priests who are trying to create a rift in their power by securing a more stable position for this particular deity or that, and every now and then throw down gifts for the commoners from the palace balcony for being exceptional subjects. His life has been nothing but duties and obligations in all of the long years of his rule. What is happening right now, for Set, is just as new as it is for Noa, and the late pharaoh is somewhat at a loss.

Noa, too caught up in pretending to hate, cannot help a breathy moan escaping his lips. He regrets it instantly and bites his lip so hard it throbs long after his teeth have let it go. Set's amused chuckle sounds somewhere near his ear and Noa tries to pull away, but strong hands hold him in place. Set's nose brushes Noa's hair and his warm breath caresses his ear, as he whispers in it.

Infuriated, Noa wiggles free from Set's hold and attempts to lash out at him.

"You! How dare you!" he snarls viciously and struggles, but Set pins him down again easily.

"I prefer being looked at," Set informs the boy with a small smirk that is only too familiar for Noa. "I prefer seeing the person I'm with, instead of engaging a slab of meat."

Noa scoffs and glowers, but doesn't turn away this time. He glares right up at the older man and tries to keep himself in check, but the moment Set's hands set to work again, letting him free, he finds it increasingly difficult. First, he has no idea what to do with his own hands – where to put them. Second, it gets embarrassing to look at Set and watch his hands doing… Noa moans, startling himself. Set's touches are gentle and caressing, as if he's afraid to hurt him, and when he keeps on repeating the same motions over and over again, Noa has to ponder if, maybe, the other is feeling just as nervous. And if there is one thing that Noa has come to excel at, it's processing and analyzing data. It doesn't take him long to confirm his suspicion.

Thrilled with his discovery, he settles more comfortably under Set, amusing himself with the concentrated and calm expression on the other's face while under it – Noa is certain now – rages turmoil of uncertainty and hesitation. Noa startles Set – and himself – by reaching out to trace his fingertips down the other's tan chest. He smirks, daring against the other's stalling; lulled to safety by the freedom allotted to him.

"Are you going to do anything? Or shall I show you how it's done?"

Noa sneers at the odd expression on the other's face while his mind scrambles together some recluse knowledge, picked up through the World Wide Web and pushed to the far recesses of his consciousness. His mind parses data from porn webpages with maximum speed, and the brief flicker of uncertainty on Set's face is exactly what Noa has been waiting for. It is the breaking point he has been subconsciously been on the lookout for. He flips their positions and sits on top of Set, grinning in satisfaction at the other's surprised expression.

"For all that you claim yourself to be a Pharaoh," Noa shifts above him, sliding forward and leaning in to Set's ear to whisper wickedly, "you clearly lack in performance." To his own satisfaction, he finds that he can hold the other down with ease, even while retaining his childish form.

"Now then, great pharaoh," he mocks with a grin, watching Set's eyebrow ride up, "I'm going to take your kingdom and make it mine."

Set's laughter of 'if you can' rings in his ears when he leans down. Noa hasn't felt so lightheaded in a long, long time.

Set doesn't want to struggle. He had heard many a time of officials and several men of his own court who courted boys, and he had been well aware of the person who provided and groomed such toys. His attempt to eradicate this business had yielded nothing. He had only learned – yet again – how strong the lower officials were and how secure in their positions with their cross-alliances in the high court, and how little influence did a Pharaoh have where actual law enforcement was concerned. Set wonders now if this makes him the same as the others.

"Pay attention to me," Noa hisses, biting Set's shoulder in warning. This, he thinks, will be his revenge; his great comeback at life itself. "I don't like being ignored."

Set couldn't ignore him even if he tried. Noa is startlingly skilled with his hands, running them over Set's chest and touching him in ways that are sure to get a reaction. He resembles a cat, lazily stretching over him. It's skin on skin, as Noa trades touch for touch, flick of his tongue against heated skin for each moan that Set cannot hold back. Set feels the urge to reach out and touch Noa, to get the rest of his clothes out of the way and…

Noa's hands circle his wrists and bring them down on the ground, hard. If this is afterlife, then it's one where they feel everything they have lacked during life – unjustly short in once case, undeservingly empty in the other. And Noa is going to take all that he can while it still lasts.