A/N: Hey there everybody! This is a two chapter YuGiOh mini fic I wrote especially for you lovely lot for Christmas though there's no Christmas in it. Excuse the irony. Anyway my sincerest wishes you enjoy your holidays, where ever you are, and a big thank you to anyone who still comments on my old YGO stuff.
Chapter 2 will be out in the next three or so days but as this is a rush job everything is badly edited. However hopefully you can forgive me knowing Chapter 2 is the second and final half of this fic.
Chapter 1: Flashbacks
Jonouchi was a pain to watch in any kind of nightclub and Yugi was accustomed to being embarrassed by him. Since eighteen had rolled around Jonouchi had taken to celebrating in the claustrophobic cluster fucks that punctuated Japan for no reason at all. He hated to drink, which was one small benefit, but he seemed enthralled with the pounding music, the girls, the trash talking, the nonsense…
Yugi appreciated not having to be the designated driver for once, as he often was miserably, but being the sensible type and having absorbed plenty of adventure when he was sixteen he would rather have been home reading. A little console gaming, a little fudge and a bath were Yugi's preferred ways of spending a Friday night but no one else would go clubbing with Jonouchi anymore. He'd gotten Honda and Otogi involved in enough bar fights for them to refuse so the duty fell to Yugi, as his best friend, to keep him from getting himself in another. Yugi supposed it was that sense of duty, or at least knowledge of the kind of gang related trouble Jonouchi easily got embroiled in, that made him feel obligated to attend the outings with Jou.
He had always felt a little bit of pride in protecting his friends and the prospect wasn't so daunting anymore. As always Yugi was just happy to have friends. Besides even though Jonouchi did have a lot of fun Yugi knew it was a touchy line for him between that fun and foul memories. Clubs tended to transport him back to a bad place: a crew of trash talking guys or some drunken slob backhanding his girlfriend were enough to send Jonouchi into a fury. Yugi wasn't afraid of dealing with any of the above. He'd faced enough near death experiences that as far as he was concerned so long as the world didn't end anything else that could go wrong was just underwhelming. It certainly made the whole university process calmer.
So Yugi had accompanied Jonouchi on one long, tedious, train ride to Tokyo for a Friday night spectacle. He went under the condition that Yugi would be home and sober enough to put in a few hours at the Game Shop Sunday for his Grandfather.
Jonouchi was set to score, even if he was a clutz all over the dance floor and too sober to have any excuse for it. That was just the nature of his indomitable luck. Yugi watched him after a few blurry hours, taking a breather, from a bar stool in the technicolour dreamland. Jonouchi moved like a cat caught in a washer but he had charisma. The girls gravitated to his lean body and thick blonde hair if for nothing else. Jonouchi didn't come across as the type to be overtly sexual which made him a safer target to more girls but he certainly looked like the type to put out for a one night stand. Jonouchi had promised Yugi there'd be no such fooling around but Yugi was quietly assured there would be and by the end of the night he'd have to find himself a place to stay.
He didn't mind at all. He was happy for Jonouchi and Yugi wasn't any better with girls now than he was eight years ago. Though that might've been a slight exaggeration… Yugi knew enough of gaming to see their moves, their strategy, anticipate and defend but he just wasn't exciting material in a place like this. What do you say to a group of drunken Tokyo Lolitas? Hi my name is Yugi, I'm the world champion in Duel Monsters and I'm currently studying in history and archaeology? Yes because saying he liked rocks and card games would go down well. Saying he was a twenty-two year old virgin would break the ice even better! This wasn't to say Yugi wasn't confident in himself or his ability to date, those two things had been filled with self esteem after all that world saving business, it was just that a club like this wasn't the best locale for quiet guys like him.
He sipped a little of his drink, something obnoxiously fluoro and fruity, which would be called a girly drink if any of his guy friends had been around to tease him for it. He was quite content to just keep an eye on Jonouchi for a while. He appreciated peace now. Oh he was still dying for wild excitement but he'd learned to appreciate the slow times when he had the fortune of receiving them. The universe, as it so often did in the life of Yugi Mutou, seemed to have decided however that tonight was as good a night as any for a grand new adventure. The universe was a bitch like that. Yugi considered it interstellar PMS to explain the coming and going.
Yugi knew he was being watched before he bothered to look at whoever was watching him. They were a little ways away and Yugi had a sense they were fairly harmless. He was simply surprised his fighting instincts hadn't left him yet after his latest six month lull. When they seemed to make no move closer Yugi eventually cast a little look over his shoulder as though generally regarding the bar. His little observer was-
Yugi kept his face tightly calmed and fighting the urge to glue his eyes on the man scanned the rest of the bar before turning back to his drink so his could gape to himself. The man was an illusion, surely, he looked just like…
No, Yugi thought about it. There was no way it could be the Pharaoh. There'd been no big bad feelings of shadow magic stirring in his gut lately and his friend was at peace in the afterlife he so rightly deserved. The Pharaoh wouldn't come back to face some new foe now Zork was defeated but he would always watch over Yugi, he knew, so then this man was some kind of imposter. It might not be anything sinister just that Yugi was so highly strung he was suspicious. For all he knew it was just a Duel Monsters' fan boy. There were plenty of them in Tokyo and there were enough gawdy Lolitas and Gyarus around for some cosplayer to be fairly comfortable. Still, he had his doubts.
He cast another curious little glance at the man, who seemed to be pretending not to stare back, and considered him more carefully. Nothing about his hair, his face or his eyes seemed fake at all. Every bit of him looked effortless and organic. Even his straight posture was like the Pharaoh. The way he held his drink or the colour of his skin weren't practiced they were just like Yami. There was no way anyone could replicate Yami so perfectly without knowing him because this man had such an easy way about it all. Besides that he didn't look like Yugi did when he was being possessed by the Pharaoh. His skin was dark and his eyes were brilliant vermillion. He looked like the Pharaoh had back in Egypt.
He considered talking to him. Was it a trap? A test? Would the Pharaoh need to test him again? No, he still hadn't made sense as to why the Pharaoh would be back in the first place. Then, who would know enough or hold enough against him to try and make a trap like this? Well either way the man didn't seem to be giving him much choice to dodge a confrontation when he approached Yugi.
"Hi," he began as an attempt to gather Yugi's attention which he didn't seem to register was already acutely geared towards him, "are you Yugi Mutou?"
His Japanese was fairly dreadful but it was clear enough even with an accent. It was a familiar accent at that, Arabic? There was a beautiful lilt to his words.
"Hi," Yugi greeted as charmingly as he could, "I am yeah."
"I knew I recognised you!" He elaborated thrusting out his hand. "My name's Atemu I'm a duelist."
Yugi felt himself cringe visibly as he took the man's hand weakly. His fingers tightened around the hot digits as he let his mind race. No one knew the Pharaoh's true name. It had been a secret, buried with the Items, but his eyes roamed Atemu's face and he couldn't find any obvious deception.
"Really? Where are you from?"
"Egypt," he answered without any hesitation, "Duel Monsters hasn't really caught on there until the last few years. The competition circuit sucks."
"I know some great Egyptian Duelists," Yugi assured him as the Ishtars ran through his mind.
"Haven't had the pleasure of finding them yet myself then," he shrugged dismissively, "it's nice to meet you."
"You too," Yugi nodded a little surprised to find he was still holding the man's hand, their eyes locked. Embarrassed he snatched it back but it didn't appear to off put the man who took a seat beside him at the bar. "So what are you doing in Tokyo?"
"Apparently it's the gaming capital of the world," Atemu replied inducing another almost visible cringe, "and Duel Monsters is huge here. I figured there'd be some good competition, high stakes, a sort of working holiday."
"Plenty of good competition," the smaller boy promised as their knees brushed a little, unhappy that this man, this Atemu, was still taller than him like the Pharaoh had been even after Yugi had grown. "I'm here with my friend Katsuya Jonouchi."
"Oh right," Atemu murmured barely glancing away from Yugi, what little he did seek out the blonde Yugi felt was only to be polite, before focusing back on the pale young man like he some sort of phenomenon. "I'll have to challenge him later."
"Am I first?" Yugi joked.
"No," the tanned man assured him, "you're having a night off aren't you?"
"Yeah," Yugi smiled lightly, "what are you going to do in the mean time?"
He didn't think he was flirting but apparently something had been lost in translation because the handsome doppelganger gave him a saucy grin.
"Dance with you I think," he answered hotly, leaning in close enough to push their knees together firmly and bring their faces dangerously close. "If you'd allow me?"
"Sure," Yugi conceded brokenly despite himself.
It was all the permission Atemu needed to pull him to his feet by the hand and drag him out into the dance floor like a desperate kid. Atemu was quick to let his hands settle on Yugi and move them closer. Frankly Yugi should have been a little less touchy feely, he wasn't usually friendly with strangers like this but this man had Yami's face, his cheeky smirk, you couldn't turn that away. That face tricked Yugi's body into thinking it was the Pharaoh and hence already part of Yugi, safe, and relaxing. That wasn't a switch that flicked off easily.
"I can gloat about dancing with a world champion now," Atemu laughed, "will that do me any good here in Japan?"
"More good than most of the world," Yugi grinned allowing his arms to rest easily around the warm tan shoulders. "Duel Monsters is big but I doubt I've ever made a front page here even with all the Kaiba Corp tournaments and theme parks."
"You don't know?" Atemu seemed terribly amused by the fact.
"Don't read a lot of news papers," he admitted, "usually too distracted."
"So I don't have to worry about ending up in some tabloid?" The handsome man joked as they swayed along the rim of the packed gyrating crowd away from the throbbing music.
"I don't think so but so what if you do?" Yugi shrugged. "It's just gossip. Might even be a nice souvenir for your trip, especially if you're an attention whore."
"I tend to be," Atemu nodded seriously before a wicked grin spread across his features, conspiratorially enough to make even Yugi laugh merrily. This guy had a face and a name that were like passwords, express paths, to Yugi's heart. "Do you travel a lot?"
"As much as I can," Yugi answered happily, "I love it. I used to do it loads during high school but it's settled a little the last few years."
"Have you ever been to Egypt?" Atemu enquired curiously.
"Multiple times," he revealed in response. Any memory of Egypt made him happy. It was a place that brought his soul home, close to all the things that made Yugi himself, and all the things that had made his life so fortunate. He loved it even if he'd lost the Pharaoh there or perhaps becausehe'd lost the Pharaoh there. He felt more under Yami's protection in Egypt than even Domino. "I love it desperately."
"For our modern cities or our liberal sensibilities?" The other joked bumping their hips together with emphasis.
"Combination of reasons."
"Oh come now," Atemu pestered as he led the motion of their bodies without Yugi really realizing as much, "you have to give me more than that!"
"Well…" Yugi sighed lazily, his wrists hooking behind the warm bare neck. "I'm a history nut, if you don't think I'm a big enough nerd already, and it's got a lot of good memories for me."
"You're a bit pale to have relatives there, surely?"
"My grandfather and father were archaeologists," Yugi elaborated trying to keep himself as tight on details as he could. "I have some great friends there or from there too."
He had kept so much of those years as secretive as possible. That time was sacred to him, special, and no one apart from his friends who had been there could really understand the feeling. Other people didn't need to know, especially as they probably wouldn't believe him, but with Atemu it was so difficult to hold himself tightly. He had always been able to lean on Yami, always, Yami would catch him and would know every bit of him with utter acceptance.
"So well travelled, a great gamer, and cute," Atemu sighed glancing up theatrically as he counted off the list, "I don't know if I should be jealous, intimidated or horny."
Yugi laughed but he flushed furiously. He'd heard filth and flirting but this was a sacred face those little profanities were emerging from. Yami had been another part of himself, his best friend, his everything. To have his image talking to him like this felt sacrilegious and inappropriate. It was a sensation somewhere between masturbating in public and having a family member come onto him which weren't necessarily bad feelings they just threw him.
"You're taller than me if that helps." He shrugged struggling for a coherent response. He was tempted to flirt back but he couldn't yet bring himself too. It was only then it hit him that his suspicious thoughts had flown away in the last few moments.
"It's an advantage." Atemu grinned bringing their noses together pointedly as if to demonstrate the ease with which their height difference facilitated that movie-esque perfect kiss.
Perhaps that was just Yugi being hopeful.
"You do a lot of clubbing?" Yugi asked awkwardly at last to dispense the silence finally.
"No," he answered, "not at all. First time actually."
"Liar!" He accused the confidence. "How old are you?"
"Twenty-three," Atemu answered, "but I have excuses!"
"Oh really? You get so many girls naturally you don't need to hit the clubs?" Yugi made the jab before catching himself. He realized a little too late he'd fallen into the nearly sexualised banter Atemu had started. It made him flush and duck his head immediately.
It made Atemu, on the other hand, laugh boisterously.
"I wish!" He cackled. "No, I was locked up in a tower for all the good years of my adolescence."
"Really?" Yugi was sceptical but he already knew three Egyptians who'd, literally, been living under a rock for most of their lives. "Did you have a fire breathing dragon?"
"Almost," Atemu replied tightly, though Yugi suspected he had no intention in being tight lipped. Rather Atemu was more amused in keeping the mystery that allowed him to pull the pale boy along for longer. His hand ran along the small of Yugi's back and it's twin ran up from his hip to his waist. Yugi kept close attention on those arms till they were wrapped around his hips entirely.
"You have to tell me more about you," Yugi demanded gently, "I've told you plenty about me and if you're going to grab me like a girlfriend-"
Atemu broke back into cackles.
"Darn, well," he sighed conceding. "I am fairly boring. A terrible nerd, avid gamer, fairly well off parents, private school… I'm not Islamic, obviously," he gripped Yugi tighter in emphasis, "butI am a bit of a traditionalist."
"I shall fetch the pitch forks then."
"Should've know you Japs couldn't handle exotic gentlemen," Atemu sighed pointedly.
"What about your tower?"
"Ah, well that's the fun story of how I became a wild gambler," he revealed. "When I was seventeen I… well I spent two years in the hospital in a coma."
"How?" Yugi leapt at that detail in amazement, he was a clever boy, he'd clung to every little revelation of info including their tiny age difference and what it meant in this context.
"I don't know," Atemu shrugged, "just dropped like a rock one day and didn't wake up for two years. When I did I had a little catching up to do and I got really into Duel Monsters. Won a contest or three and thought I'd travel."
"You're not pulling my leg?" Yugi demanded as gently as he could.
"It is a great story to get laid isn't it?" He grinned dismissively but relented when noticed, almost immediately, the apprehension in Yugi's tightened eyes. "No, I'm not pulling your leg, but I don't know what happened really. The doctors never really had much of an explanation. One day I just nodded off, no mental activity at all, and then I just popped back up all of a sudden."
"That doesn't bother you?" Yugi insisted. "Not knowing?"
"So long as it doesn't happen again," Atemu shrugged, "I feel great now. Better than ever actually. I suppose it forced me into the mentality of living every day like you might die if nothing else."
"Do you have any theories?" He asked and Atemu had begun to slow down their motions to focus totally on Yugi's face and voice as though he could hear the pale boy's racing heart. "The doctor's didn't find any abnormalities or anything that might explain it?"
"None amazingly," he revealed almost conspiratorially, "but I would wager I went on some great astral adventure. I might have saved an alternate dimension for all I know."
He was chuckling, joking, but Yugi could feel all the heat and colour drain from him. Atemu frowned as Yugi ran thoughtfully through it all inside his head. His heart was pounding, he was nearly shaking in every inch of his body and there was little he could do to keep it from his face. Was this fate then? Had the Pharaoh been reincarnated while he was waiting for the puzzle to be solved and Zork to be defeated? Had it only been his memory self, the memories of the Pharaoh, in the puzzle? Had his soul been split? Had his soul entered Atemu after they defeated Zork?
No… No… Yugi felt his head shaking all by itself. He was supposed to be the Pharaoh's reincarnation which was why he could solve the puzzle. The Pharaoh couldn't have two reincarnations, surely? Besides, the part of Yugi that had been the Pharaoh had been rewarded by passing to the afterlife, with all his family and companions, once everything was settled and the gods surely wouldn't drag Atemu back to earth after all that. Not the gods Yugi believed in anyway. Even though Yugi missed the Pharaoh he deserved a rest…
So then this man had to be a fake. There was no way. Which meant Yugi was being manipulated by someone, or the gods forbid something, that knew about the Pharaoh. If this man knew about the Pharaoh and would use that to get close to Yugi then they had to be dangerous… Or was he being too suspicious? He felt safe with Atemu, and Yami had always taught him to follow his instincts, but he couldn't help feeling insecure. Was Atemu just a young man with an amazing coincidence that tangled Yugi's life? Did he just happen to be the spiting image of Yami? No, only Kaiba believed so strongly in coincidence, so unwaveringly, so blindly. Yugi had never trusted his world to coincidence because in all his years of adventure he'd never encountered it. It had always been fate.
"Are you alright?" Atemu asked gently finding the sudden turn of silence ominous and Yugi realized they had almost ceased moving entirely. His finger tips had settled against the small of Yugi's back, his thumbs arching about to touch graze his hips, Yugi's resting on his shoulders.
"I…" Yugi couldn't breath, his chest was seizing up, he needed to stand and fight but his legs were quaking. "I need to go."
It was all he said before he disentangled himself from the handsome body and darted away like a kuribo down a rabbit hole. Yugi dodged the crowd, small, slender, fast and well practiced, quickly establishing a gulf of space between himself and the handsome mystery man before even a moment had passed. Atemu had barely registered what had happened before Yugi was gone and it was only when Yugi was almost out the door he heard the man calling after him.
He was up the stairs descending into the club and down the crowded, brilliantly lit, Tokyo street like a flash out of hell. He wasn't thinking, he was running his hands through his hair, clutching his skull, as he wandered aimlessly forward. He had to get distance, get the momentum out of him, to escape. He found himself struggling to breathe or to blink through burning eyes.
When he finally stopped he was near a monorail station and a bustling twenty-four hour Manga Café covered in a cold sweat. He inhaled, his throat aching, and foraging in his pockets sought out his cell phone. The little charms Anzu had bought him rattled against his fingers as he text Jonouchi.
Sorry, felt sick and had to run. Getting fresh air for a while. Meet up with you later?
It was a good half hour of wandering the city before Jonouchi replied.
Sure Buddy, feel better! Meet up with you tomorrow morning.
Tokyo was magnificent at night but Yugi was barely focusing on it. He was full of doubts. Was he meant to stay and enjoy himself with Atemu? What would the Pharaoh tell him to do? His heart throbbed, his body along with it, his everything hurt with indecision. He hadn't wanted someone to take over and tell him what to do like this since he was little. Gods it hurt so much to walk away from Atemu… How would he find him again? Had he done the right thing? What if it wasn't a trap and he never saw him again or what if it was and he had to fight a carbon copy of the Pharaoh?
He stopped himself, hands out, and tried to slow his heart rate. He'd done the right thing. If he needed to see Atemu again he would. Had fate ever forgotten about Yugi Mutou? Had coincidence ever had any hold over his life? Never! This was just a new tribulation. It would all work out. Yugi had to trust that and just follow his instinct. He gambled for a living, he was a world class gamer, he knew strategic risk.
All this didn't stop him wondering however.
"Pharaoh?" He whispered eyes half inclined to the sky. "I'm trying to do what you'd want, the right thing, but I just don't know. Please look over me where ever you are Mo Hitori No Boku."
The train ride back to Domino was filled with reluctance and trepidation. Yugi feared that while he was stuck in one spot he'd once again come face to face with Atemu but by the same note he hoped he would. It was all for one big fat anticlimax however as he returned to Domino without a hitch. Saturday night held nothing significant and even his hours at the game shop Sunday were listless.
The only significant detail Yugi could note in the proceeding days was a particularly vivid dream he had early Sunday morning. He didn't really remember details so much as he remembered the feelings and the sensations. He was warm, safe, snuggled up in his bed as if he never had to get up with that oh-so-foreign sensation of being held while he slept, one body curled around his own. He longed for that feeling.
Yugi might have been afraid of very little but that didn't mean he didn't want someone to take care of him on occasion. Yami, for one thing, had been the longest most intimate relationship he'd ever had and even if they had been partners Yami had taken the lead, looked out for Yugi, and perhaps he still wanted that. He and Yami had never been…'like that' but he had still been closer to Yami than any proceeding girlfriend or partner.
Sunday dragged. By noon he was mashing buttons on his DS, with his little drawer of goodies beneath the register opened behind the counter for easy dipping. He leant in on his elbows, digging them into the glass of the counter until they bruised lightly. Not for the first time he wished he had more studying to do.
Grandpa eventually began moving upstairs. Sunday was his only day off, though Yugi wished he'd take more, and he was obviously keen to spend it in front of the TV with a cup of tea and a couple of documentaries which he'd inevitably begin hollering at. He had an eye for inaccuracies. Yugi chuckled at the thought, still inducing carpal tunnel.
He raised his head just a second before the bell chimed, jingling over the door frame, and it was like the world shattered upon the impact of tin against wood.
Atemu stood not all that far away looking uncomfortable but keen to speak and Yugi let his level run without him to stare.
"How'd you…?" He was at a loss for anything more eloquent.
"Google," Atemu shrugged. "Aren't that many Kame Game Shops in Domino."
He'd all but run out of ideas of what exactly to do next. This was fate then, that was clear enough, and hey if the universe wanted Yugi Mutou to talk to this guy then he'd just have to. Atemu however had apparently come with his own ideas for conversational topics.
"Why did you run away like that?"
"It's complicated…" Yugi answered lamely. "I'm sorry I was rude…"
Atemu was across the store in long, elegant, strides weaving his way around behind the counter to plant one hand on the glass and lean in towards Yugi.
"What did I say?" Atemu wasn't angry, Yugi could see that clear as day in his eyes, but he was insistent. He had that cool, plain, authority in his voice that the Pharaoh used to emanate while they were at tournaments. Now that Yugi thought of it he had the same lazy smile and chuckle too.
"Does it matter to you so much?" He was honestly a little astounded and once again he was finding it difficult to be suspicious when Atemu was so clearly sincere in his confusion. "You barely know me."
"Yes," was all he said at first, blunt and sharp. "I…well there's no way I can say this without sounding like some obsessive stalker but I suppose that went out the window when I tracked you down from Tokyo…"
"Sorta." Yugi conceded. It wasn't that creepy. He'd heard weirder.
"I just wanted to see you, I hate that you ran away so suddenly," Atemu grumbled, "for no reason I can see. I feel as though I know you and I'll regret it if I just let you disappear."
"That kind of why I left." Yugi sighed, resting his console miserably on the glass so he could run his hands up his arms hugging himself. "You remind me of a friend I lost a while ago. I got freaked out. I'm superstitious you could say, I believe in a lot of crazy stuff, and it scared me."
"I have nothing against the weird and wonderful," Atemu assured him, "I have enough faith in the unexplainable. Did your friend pass?"
"Yeah," he nodded squeezing his arms against his sides, "in the best possible way. It wasn't sudden or dreadful but he was so incredible everyone was sad to let him go."
"When did it happen?" Atemu pried gently, that warm downy arm returning around Yugi's shoulders as though it had never left. All his frustrated anger had left.
"When I was eighteen," Yugi sighed, it was so easy to tell Atemu whatever he wanted to know. He just couldn't keep his mouth shut around Yami when he was with him, he had told the Pharaoh everything and he had no way to hide anything their minds being connected as they had been. Atemu enticed the same trust immediately.
"So then he died the same year I woke up," was the inevitable conclusion, "so you panicked."
It wasn't a question. Atemu understood, which in itself was amazing, and Yugi considered that if he truly felt this comfortable around the foreigner then there was good reason. His whole heart trusted Atemu effortlessly so then perhaps all his paranoia was for naught. Darn.
"I'm sorry," he murmured, "I just didn't know what to do."
"It's reasonable enough." Atemu's Japanese wasn't perfect, especially now, but he was still oddly eloquent which may have simply been down to his body and posture. The accent was comforting, reassuring, familiar…there were so many trickling details of the Pharaoh.
"I'm glad you tracked me down," Yugi laughed weakly.
"Good," Atemu grinned softly his hand squeezing Yugi's opposing shoulder, "because I'm certainly not apologising for doing so. Are you alright?"
"I think so," he shrugged, "you?"
"Curious but much less affronted." The young man chuckled. "I'm still glad to see you, pleased I tracked you down, and I just want to hug that look off your face."
Yugi laughed, He remembered conversations like this frequently, the 'something phenomenally weird just happened, any ideas? No? It's okay we'll figure it out together!' conversation. Hell he and the Pharaoh used to get paranoid when things were peaceful for too long. He'd felt that niggling feeling of waiting for a new foe even since the Pharaoh had left. He supposed combat and threat had been drilled into him heavily.
Still, when he glanced at Atemu there was that uncertainty. Was this right? What was this? How did he explain what was going on? His suspicions might be down but they weren't out for sure. Even if Atemu didn't appear to be threat he was so much like the Pharaoh that, sure enough, Yugi could spot that inkling in his eyes that he was holding something back. If it had been Yami he would've pried, would've said; "oh come on Pharaoh you know you can't hide anything from me! Now what's up?" but now wasn't the time, especially if Yugi himself wasn't being totally honest.
"Can I take you to get some lunch?" Atemu offered. "I get the feeling we still have a lot to talk about."
"Yeah," he agreed, "let me just tell my Grandpa I'm stepping out."
In short time Yugi had his jacket and they were perusing Domino. An idea only occurred to him halfway through their walk. Yugi decided to lay off leading the way, ever so subtly, and fall back instead to follow Atemu. He was curious as to the effects of his little scheme. He'd already lead them halfway to Burger World. That cheap and nasty little place he and Jonouchi had often eaten at, where Anzu had gotten her first job, where the Pharaoh had set a man on fire… He wondered if Atemu did remember anything that the Pharaoh had lived, somehow, or if he was just his unsuspecting double.
Atemu didn't even realize Yugi was now following him, he walked with the same purpose, but sure enough he led them the last leg of the way straight through the back street to Burger World. He halted on the pavement, across the empty road, and seemed to taken a back for just a second.
"Is here any good?" he asked cautiously, his eyes burning a whole into the cartoonish billboard overhead. He was thinking far too hard about it for Atemu to feel nothing about the place.
"It's alright," Yugi shrugged, "generic but it'll be quiet today, mostly the high schoolers eat here, or there's ice cream in the park?"
"Not a substantial meal," Atemu considered, "but the park will have fresh air."
"I do have my theories the air in there is recycled and deep fried." Yugi grinned.
"Park then," the elder laughed, "I wish there were more exotic restaurants in this part of Japan then I could take you somewhere with decent food."
"And show off," Yugi added with a little slathering of sarcasm.
"Never," Atemu defended and as Yugi took a step down the street he followed.
Before too long, with the same care, Atemu was leading the way yet again to the park by the Museum and sure enough he led them to the ice cream vendor as though he'd been there a thousand times before. Again he halted about twelve feet away, his hands in his pockets, and frowned. There was a long, curious, moment of silence before he glanced suspiciously to Yugi.
"I did it again didn't I?" He muttered not even bothering to elaborate on what he was eluding to. "I feel as though someone's playing a very nasty trick on me."
"It's not my fault," Yugi surrendered, "are you sure you've never been here before?"
"Not so much anymore." The man sighed heartily. "You know more than you're telling me though I'm certain."
"Really?" he pried cautiously.
"I can just tell," Atemu apparently found it difficult to restrain something of a grin at that, "you have this cheeky look in your eyes like you're playing a game with me."
"Maybe," he admitted, "not intentionally but I'm curious by nature."
"This is part of your faith in the weird and wonderful isn't it?"
"Maybe," he repeated quietly and Atemu was grinning quite widely despite himself now and it wasn't too long before Yugi couldn't help following suit.
"You owe me Ice cream then," the foreigner demanded, "I'm dreadful with your currency."
"Alright then," Yugi laughed. "What flavour?"
"Guess," Atemu half teased.
Yugi snorted but couldn't refuse an outright challenge, he even found himself smiling, he wasn't unaccustomed to being happy but the nostalgia of almost being with an old friend was more than most things these days could muster from him. Atemu was obviously a little lost in the feeling himself by the way he glared down the birds from the park bench, his long tan arms thrown over the iron backing in a way half haphazard half elegant. When Yugi returned, with that smile on his face, Atemu's brows rose ever so slightly as the smaller boy handed him his cone.
"What flavour?" He asked.
"Not telling," Yugi answered dragging his tongue over his own to effectively end the dialogue, even as he carefully observed his opponent.
Atemu sighed but smirked allowing his own tongue to dart out, sceptically, causing not a waver in Yugi's confidence. There was a dramatic deliberation that ran over Atemu's eyes before he collapsed the façade to chuckle.
"This is bizarre."
"I've seen weirder." Yugi promised.
"I'm inclined to believe you. So I look like a friend you used to have yes?" He prodded as he examined the thought. "It's funny you should say that you know."
"Why?" Yugi knew there was more here and he had a feeling he might be about to hear what Atemu had kept concealed at the game shop.
"I've had dreams about you before," he revealed cautiously, "about this country and others. I had a lot of dreams while I was out actually, and I half remember a great deal of them. I remember you plainly. In all honesty that's probably one of the reasons I wanted to come to Japan. I saw your photo a few months after I was released from hospital."
"So that's the real reason you followed me from Tokyo?"
"No," Atemu promised, "half of it maybe but I meant what I said before. I feel as though if I don't talk to you I'll regret it for the rest of my life."
"So..." Yugi wasn't sure what little he should give away in turn so he held it all, "am I like this in your dreams?"
"Sort of," there was something dazed about the answer, maybe even a little tinge to the dark cheeks. "I've seen two of you. In some dreams I had you were here, in this city, with me and in others we were in Egypt at Karnak together. I remember calling you…"
"Heba, oddly," Atemu sighed and Yugi frowned.
He could expect Mou Hitori No Ore, or Hikari, or Aibou but… Heba?He didn't recognise the word at all. It didn't even sound Japanese.
"Heba?" He repeated dumbly. Why Heba of all things?
"It's Egyptian," Atemu puzzled aloud, "it's an old word for 'Game'."
"Well 'Yugi' means 'Game' in Japanese," he pondered, "which is a little embarrassing just as a side note."
"Maybe that's why then…" Atemu seemed to conclude. "Maybe it was some kind of mental translating."
"I don't know," the smaller shrugged over his forgotten treat, "I haven't dealt with this kind of weird specifically unfortunately for us."
"That's a shame. Do you know anyone who might've?"
"Tonnes," Yugi promised with a sigh, "I just don't know who to ask first."
"What about this friend of yours?" Atemu continued. "What was his name?"
"Um…" Yugi struggled to think of an appropriate answer, "his name was Atemu too actually but he went by Yami. That was how I knew him. I called him Mou Hitori No Boku, Aibou, Pharaoh…"
"Pharaoh and Atemu huh?" From the look in his eyes Atemu found this latest development serious. "What do Mou Hitori no Boku and Aibou mean?"
"The Other Me and Partner," he answered switching between Japanese and what he had picked up of Arabic, a little red faced at the admission which did not for a second go unnoticed.
"Sounds like you two were close," Atemu implied one fine eyebrow arched in perfect synchronisation with the matching quirk of his lips. "Boyfriend?"
"No! Nothing like that!" Yugi's face heated exponentially however.
"Almost like that?" The tanned man continued to insist. "Surely you wouldn't blush so furiously for nothing."
"Well…" Yugi faltered, "we were never…we never really had a chance to be… I guess… I don't know what I'm trying to say…"
"You never talked about it?"
"We never thoughtabout it," he shrugged, "we had so much going on that it never came up. Not that either of us ever tried to define our relationship as anything in particular. We knew it was special, I know I won't ever be as close to anyone ever again, but we never seemed to need to label or discuss it. He was the kind of person I felt secure with, confident with, I just knew we'd always…"
"Sounds like he left too soon." Atemu supposed.
"No," Yugi insisted, "it was his time and I'm glad for him now that he's somewhere better. I know he's watching over me. I know he cared about me more than anything."
"You don't miss him at all, and you really don't wish he'd had more time? How old was he anyway? If he was your age it couldn't possibly be fair for him to be taken from life so soon."
"It was the right time," Yugi defended stubbornly, "the stars were aligned. I always knew he'd have to go one day and he made sure we were all ready for it. If I wasn't ready he wouldn't have let go. Of course I miss him, of course I wish he was still here but I can't spend my whole life moping. Not when he brought everyone joy and he left a lot of it in the world."
"Sounds like a saint," Atemu chuckled, "I should hope someone as eloquent as you is around to defend me when I pass on. Tell me he had faults at least or I'll give up all hope in being like him."
"Oh you are like him," Yugi sighed, "and he was definitely far from perfect. When I first met him…" Yugi laughed at the thought (As much as he could at the memory of the violence of that time). "Lets just say he had a 'bat shit crazy' phase."
"Oh good, then he was human," Atemu joked consolingly, "I have a chance."
"Comparing with him."
"And how do I compare to Heba?" Yugi diverted carefully, trying to force his blush back into non-existence.
"You're just as lovely," he was assured, "in the dreams I had of you in Egypt you were a little bit aloof, untouchable, at least at first."
"Was I Pharaoh?" He half teased to inquire as gently as possible.
"Oh no," Atemu grinned, "I was."
"Then what was I?"
"I couldn't say."
"Yes you could." Yugi pressed.
"Let's just say even coma patients have testosterone," Atemu winked at Yugi's vermillion cheekbones, "they were some of my favourite dreams."
"That's filthy!" He squealed.
"You asked," the foreigner shrugged, "I warned you."
"Have…" Yugi couldn't believe he was even asking this, he should be sticking to the important stuff, "have you ever had a boyfriend?"
"Not in Egypt," Atemu answered casually, "it'd be a death wish. That's part of why I love travelling but even then I haven't had a long term partner. I've never found the right person, I'm an all or nothing guy, even if I do love a challenge. You?"
"Girlfriends, after he died," Yugi shrugged, "but they've never really gotten anywhere."
"I bet I can guess a secret," the tanned young man declared as he passed off his almost melted treat to the stuffed bin just beyond the bench languidly, "and regain some points after you guessed my ice cream preferences."
"Really?" He inquired handing Atemu his own half eaten ice cream to discard. It seemed the whole idea of getting lunch was a big of a farce between the two of them to have an excuse to talk. "What's that?"
"You're a virgin."
"That's no secret," Yugi snorted gesturing from his head to his toes, "do I look like I'm getting all the ladies to you? I'm a twenty-two year old geek who lives with his grandfather."
"From what I've heard from you," the other resumed, "you're a well travelled, intelligent, talented little mystic with enough self confidence to compliment it. That, of course, isn't mentioning the physical attributes that would make me sound like a devious pervert because I'm far too classy for that."
"Right!" Yugi laughed. "Obviously."
"Of course," Atemu grinned, "that's another detail however that you do force me to mention: you're very good at diverting the conversation away from yourself. You took the one thing I said about myself and focused on that instead of everything I said about you."
"I…" He blanked at that. "I guess."
"Is that because you don't want to talk about yourself or because I'm charming?" Was the next question fronted.
"So the options are: I'm secretive or you're dashingly handsome?"
"Well I'd prefer it if you responded in one of those two formats yes."
"Then you're dashingly handsome," Yugi scoffed good-humouredly.
"From which we can conclude you're secretive."
"You shouldn't psycho-analyse me if you still don't have any points."
"Every thing's a contest with you isn't it?" Atemu sighed dramatically though he appeared to be fighting quite hard to keep a straight face.
Yugi couldn't hold it and broke up into laughter which Atemu inevitably had to follow. Eventually the giggling died out but Yugi felt surprisingly peaceful, at home, and in good company. He liked the joy of comfortable silence between friends and Atemu appeared to feel the same. Yugi wondered, briefly, what was on display at the museum but truth be told he was a little afraid to find out. He wasn't sure he could take fate moving terribly fast on this. He didn't want to get to whatever end of the world evil was coming just yet.
"Come on," Atemu urged, stretching to his feet after however long Yugi had failed to register in time, offering his hand to the smaller to assist him up. "Let's go back."
"Atemu," Yugi asked from the bench, taking the offered hand but not rising immediately instead subconsciously savouring the feeling of skin on skin for as short a moment as it lasted, "how long are you in Japan for?"
"However long I like." He answered squeezing Yugi's hand and tugging him up against him. "I don't have a job, I don't have any plane tickets. I gambled my way here and I can gamble my way back. There's nothing eagerly waiting for me back in Egypt, on the contrary, all the excitements here."
It took Yugi half a second to regain his bearings as he stumbled into Atemu's chest, his hands flat against the pectorals for balance, but he heard the words well enough for his head to keep spinning even after his feet had become grounded. They stayed like that for little longer than was probably necessary but eventually air drifted between them and Atemu instead grasped his hand.
"Don't look so serious," Atemu chided pleasantly, "it doesn't suit someone so friendly to be a pessimist."
"I'm not," he sighed letting Atemu lead as he ponderously turned his focus to the sidewalk, "not normally. This is just usually the point where something goes terribly wrong. First the weird unexplained new mystery, then usually an evil cult or organisation, then disaster or potential disaster, next all my old friends come out of the woodwork, then road-trip history-lesson combo, then eventual victory and reprieve."
"Does this happen to you often?"
"Frightfully so," Yugi groaned, "I always look back on it fondly. I love my life but right now I don't want things ruined."
"If I spot any strange men in dark hoods we'll take a vacation to Vegas for a few weeks till it blows over," Atemu promised. "Have you ever tried that before?"
"No but I'm now tempted." He raised his chin slightly a little peace welling back into his heart and soothing his worries. It was only now however he noticed what region of the city they'd wandered to as they passed the imposing figure of the Kaiba Corp skyscraper. "Atemu this isn't my house."
"No," he replied cheekily, "my hotel's in this district."
"You used my moment of distraction to lure me back to your lair?" Yugi groaned. "You're dreadful."
"I always try my very best to be," Atemu teased plainly.
The hotel was grand. It had to be to fit into the same district as Kaiba Corp and the associated companies. Yugi didn't even pause to wonder how Atemu could afford such lavish accommodation. It made total sense to him that he should be skilled enough to win some high class games. Yami had never been above dealing with all manner of underground types: gangsters, convicts, bullies, pyromaniacs and con-men. He'd gotten a thrill out of setting them in their place with his high handed manner.
The whole lobby, the elevator and the balconied rooms were a maze of twinkling lights and European décor. Yugi couldn't resist the urge to press his hands to the glass and glimpse the floors as they rose up the elevator. He loved glass elevators. He'd stayed at hotels like this only once or twice in his travels. They had a sort of grand blandness that made them universal to all countries. They transcended languages or cultures in that famous chain hotel staple. It was fascinating to someone who'd seen several countries and several more periods of history.
Atemu's suite was so neat in a lazy way Yugi chuckled when he was only half way through the door. It was so like the Pharaoh to want everything in its place but be so surrounded by the chaos of adventure not to bother cleaning completely. Things were in open drawers, in stacked files in specific zones, but none of it was really 'put away' in the conventional sense.
"I didn't know hotels had comedic value." Atemu called as he secured the chain of the door.
"Just you," Yugi elaborated.
"Laughing at me or with me?" He asked skceptically.
"Both," he swore displaying his pinkie for the purpose of reliability.
Atemu was courteous enough to pay for room service in the way of dinner but he didn't bother getting a great deal. It was an unspoken conclusion that neither of them would eat the majority of it but even so there was something cathartic about sharing one plate of food for Yugi. After all he used to eat for two for lack of any more eloquent phrasing.
The conversation didn't progress particularly far. Atemu seemed content not to push for details in the evening and Yugi wanted to revel a little longer in the dullness of it all. He showered and slipped back into his boxers and a generously offered top from Atemu while still covered in a thin sheen of moisture. It was maybe a size too big, nothing outrageous, but it hung just a tiny bit. It made him feel like a girlfriend after a night over.
"Should you call your grandfather?" Atemu inquired, preparing for his own rinse, as Yugi sunk happily into the plush couch flicking through the cable.
"He won't worry," Yugi assured him, "I once went to the market to get some olives and didn't come back for a few months. He's used to this."
"Was this before or after your friend passed?" The foreigner asked plainly bemused.
"Before and after," he shrugged fractionally at the ridiculousness of it, "I used to miss a lot of school."
"You skipped school?" Atemu's eyes twinkled at the very prospect. "What a terrible influence he was!"
"Never," Yugi scoffed, "we only did it in emergencies. We just had a lot of emergencies. My attendance to University is still pretty C grade, come to think of it, but I get plenty of life experience."
"What kind of emergencies do you have exactly?"
"Um…" again Yugi was at an impasse between how much he should lie and how much honesty was merited. Just like the weighing of the heart the lighter won out. "This and that."
"You are a curious creature Yugi Mutou."
Luckily for Yugi the unspoken details rested there and a good thing too because he wasn't entirely certain how much or how well he could lie to Atemu. Yugi's lies had always been more deferrals, diversions, or an overlooking of certain parts of conversation and not flat out fantastical falsities. He tried not to ponder what he would tell Atemu too deeply. He'd have to face that as it came up for the moment he was more interested in what to do over all.
Yugi turned the word over. The real issue here was how the Pharaoh could be outside the afterlife if Yugi was his reincarnation. His fingers stilled on the remote, the screen flashing the vibrant colours of some wishy-washy anime, as he leant back into the plush of the sofa to consider his options. Should he tell Jou? No he had no flair for subtly. Ryou and Anzu were out of the country currently, one of the perils of Yugi's active globe trotting social circle, and Honda or Otogi weren't exactly clued up on all the details. Kaiba had gone back to confidently believing that it was all coincidence or illusion or whatever other nonsense he fabricated to pretend he didn't believe any of it.
That only left a few options, good options, but slender options. He'd deal with those prospects in the morning.
"Anything in Arabic?" Atemu ask lazily patting down his thick, rather luscious, hair as he returned from his shower.
Yugi was taken aback slightly by Atemu's partially naked physique. He'd never seen the Pharaoh in such a state of undress though, come to think of it embarrassingly, the Pharaoh had seen him naked one more than one occasion. He'd seen the Pharaoh shirtless of course but that had always been dressed up in royal garb not intimate or private in anyway. Atemu had a tanned, lean, body and the moisture clinging to him only seemed to accentuate the details and the colouring of the skin. His hips seemed to merge with his pants. Atemu was a little overwhelming.
"Hmm?" Was Yugi's eloquent response through the mingled observation.
"I'm sorry, should I leave you and my abdominals alone for a moment?" Atemu grinned spreading his arms. "Shall I stand here quietly and look pretty?"
"I have a good aim!" Yugi cried uselessly in retaliation waving the remote about threateningly in his hand. "You shouldn't pick on me."
"I'm not," he was so terribly smug as he approached, "I'm at your command."
"We should sleep." Yugi muttered weakly, viciously crimson for the tenth time this evening.
"Off to bed then?" Atemu smirked offering his hand to the vermillion boy.
Yugi knew he should've thought more of climbing into bed with an almost stranger. He'd known Atemu for two days but it didn't bother him. Atemu didn't want anything filthy despite his teasing he was sure. They pulled the covers back together from opposing sides of the bed and Atemu watched with that smug little smile as Yugi easily threw himself face down on the mattress, clutching at the pillows to smother himself amongst them. He exhaled deeply into the bedding as, without a word of complaint, Atemu pulled the quilting back up around him before squeezing in alongside.
"Shuffle over," he ordered.
"There were three in the bed and the little one said…" Yugi whispered in a sing-song voice rolling languidly onto his back. It was immediately lavish being in a King sized bed, ignoring all puns and ironies, taking into account his single at the Game Shop.
When the lights went out Yugi twisted onto his side. He wasn't thinking about whether the locks were locked or if he needed to check them, if his alarm was set, or if his deck was somewhere nearby but safe. All that faded under a recently remembered security that the Pharaoh had once induced. Even before Yugi knew the Pharaoh was there, back when he was sixteen and had just solved the puzzle, he found he always slept deeper with it beside his bed or around his neck.
Atemu shuffled onto his side, arms wandering across the mattress to grasp at the smaller, accommodating, body. Yugi let Atemu's arm slide under his neck, his chest press up against his back, his arm rest across his hips, his nose slip behind Yugi's ear… It was…Yugi found himself drifting, content, girlfriends tended to expect him to do the cuddling and snuggling but Atemu wanted that duty all to himself.
"You're…" Yugi eyes fluttered at the whisper while Atemu struggled for words, "perfect."
"You're warm…" Yugi murmured dazedly as he drifted nuzzling into the warmth.
Atemu chuckled, too pleased to be offended, Yugi had a inkling the words 'adorable' or 'cute' were circulating through that devious head but he couldn't be assed to care. Not even when he felt that fleeting prickling of lips against his neck.
"Hmm…" he grumbled.
"Don't think I've forgotten about everything you've neglected to tell me," Atemu whispered, "I'm going to want details eventually but for now I'm just so happy you weren't a dream. Mysterious Yugi Mutou."
It must've been close to three in the morning when Atemu disentangled himself from Yugi and pushing himself up began to move from the bed. Groaning Yugi tossed thoughtlessly.
"Hmm…?" He murmured still asleep, his hands folding under his cheeks as his eyes strained to open up at the other young man.
"It's alright Aibou," Atemu whispered long fingers hand carding through Yugi's hair to scrape soothingly against his skull, "go back to sleep."
"Yami," he sighed, Yugi wasn't thinking, he wasn't even really awake. "Missed you…"
"I missed you too Little One," he promised sincerely, "sleep tight, I'll be back soon."
"M'kay…" Yugi turned, "no killing…"
In the morning Atemu was in bed, half atop Yugi and half across him, so tightly tangled the smaller boy could barely move amongst all the long tan limbs suctioning to him. Yugi didn't recall anything peculiar not even a dream. He'd slept like a rock. It took a little careful weaving but eventually Yugi manoeuvred himself free slipping from the bed and rifled across the floor for his discarded jeans. He didn't particularly like the idea of pulling his dirty t-shirt back over his head so he left Atemu's on as he tugged up his pants.
Finding his phone and his shoes in the next room was significantly easier as he could toss open the thick hotel curtains, to the rather magnificent early morning view, and scour the lounge room floor without being afraid of waking the equally magnificent specimen in the bed. Fuck, it'd been far, far, too long since Yugi'd had any excuse to event think that. Shoving his particulars in his pockets he carded through the little desk for the spare room key, testing that it worked with the electronic lock after unhooking the chain lock.
'Gone downstairs, back in a bit, don't freak.' Was all Yugi spared to sprawl over some cheap hotel stationary on the low coffee table in the lounge, squatting on his knees. He reread it once and added '3' but decided that was all Atemu was getting this morning.
The lobby was comfortably temperate, one of the great wonders of air conditioning, when Yugi made himself comfortable in one of the fine white leather sofas punctuating the long, high ceilinged entrance foyer. The receptionist shot him a little look but Yugi was quick to flash his room key and she was quick to nod curtly and ignore him for the breakfast crowd.
He sat there, punching through his contacts before pressing the speaker to his ear, waiting elbows on knees, as the dial tone chimed.
"Who the fuck is this?"
"Konnichiwa Marik," Yugi grinned in a mockingly friendly sing-song tone, making an effort to sound as stereotypically Japanese as possible.
"Fuck Yugi," was the next moan which earned his poor victim a giggle, "why me?"
"I wake you up?"
"No," Marik answered saucily, "I was just receiving wild fellatio from a pair of ADHD Russian twins who've now been thoroughly distracted by your ring tone."
"Gomennasia Marik-chan," Yugi teased.
"Oh don't give me that shit Mutou. The fuck do you want?" Yugi could envision very clearly Marik rubbing exhaustedly at his eyes with the heel of his palm as he grumbled.
"Business sadly," he revealed leaning back into the leather so he could slouch more comfortably, the initial tension of the purpose of his call rising and receding in waves. "Do you and your sister still have access to all the artefacts from the Pharaoh's period in your collection?"
"That and a shit load more you better not mention to the National Society of Antiquities."
"Do you know if the word Heba is used oddly in any of them? In a cartouche?" Yugi prodded.
"You called fucking Egypt to ask me that?"
"I got a great international cell plan years ago," he scoffed, "so?"
"Well given it's a period rife with 'Shadow Games'," Marik sighed, "Heba probably turns up a crap load. I couldn't tell you off the top of my head Yugi."
"Can you look into it for me?"
"Yeah," Marik answered with easy generosity, "is it important?"
"Might be critical," Yugi murmured.
"What'd you get yourself in this time?"
"Not entirely sure yet," he replied honestly, "can you see if your sister has Shadi's number too? I might need to get in contact with him."
"She will, probably," Marik grunted, "but Shadi exists in his own fucking world. I don't think that jackass even has indoor plumping wherever the fuck he is."
"Neither did you for a while," Yugi shrugged. "Thanks though Marik. You're amazing."
"Better believe it." He scoffed. "Should I warn anyone?"
"Not yet," the Japanese boy declared finally after a moment's deliberation, "just you and your sister keep your eyes out for anything okay? Shall I let you get back to your Russians?"
"If you don't mind," Marik replied with a liberal amount of drama.
"Thanks Marik, sleep tight, bye!"
Atemu was still in bed when Yugi returned to the suite, sprawled like a King, half awake and entirely contented. His focus was settled on Yugi before he'd even made his way through the door and there was something worth smiling about in that.
"No breakfast in bed?" He sighed.
"Oh no, it's laid out in the lounge for you," Yugi declared gesturing in a bow towards the door, "shall I put it on a tray and bring it in for you Majesty?"
"Yes," Atemu replied deadly straight-faced, flipping his wrist dismissively. "Off you go peon."
"You're spoilt rotten," he cackled merrily as he kicked off his shoes and clamoured back onto the mattress beside the lounging foreigner. Yugi lay on his stomach, feeling the tickle of the sheets against his stomach as Atemu's shirt hitched up his torso, kicking off his socks with his toes as he rested his chin in his palm.
"Almost," Atemu clarified, "I had hoped to wake this morning next to a gorgeous Japanese celebrity but something got lost in translation apparently."
"Well the embassy couldn't find any gorgeous Japanese celebrities available at the moment so they sent me in instead. It's depressing I know."
The foreigner didn't bother answering directly rather Yugi found himself grabbed and drawn up against him, rearranged easily, like Atemu was accustomed to such things. He forced Yugi onto his back so he could lay his weight upon him. Though that wasn't to say there was anything rough about the jostling. If there had been Atemu, who'd been nothing but a gentleman till now, might've lost an eye for his trouble. It was more that the actions were filled with authority. Yugi even found himself encountering sever difficulty refusing the warm look in Atemu's eyes as he dominated the situation.
Yugi wasn't used to playing the girl, to taking the back seat, not in the past few years anyway. It wasn't insulting at least, matter-of-factly coupled with Atemu's satisfactory smirk it was…hot, gooey, good.
He was a likeable man but Yugi found his mind wavering between seeing him as the Pharaoh and seeing him as a stranger. Both options were attractive and awkward in their own fashions.
"Let me?" Atemu asked suddenly after a moment deliberating Yugi.
"Let you what?" Yugi clarified carefully. The nose against his suggested his opponent wanted a kiss but the hand inching down his waist towards that bare skin implied something different.
"Let's start with a kiss," Atemu murmured, "after that I can only hope things will escalate."
"If I let them," he retorted to the other's amusement, "and I'm not sure if I should. What if I have Uni today?"
"Skip it," the man ordered. "You do that a lot from what I gather."
"Oh shut up!" Yugi laughed shoving the chocolaty shoulder inclined above his weakly but it did little to dissuade Atemu's smirk. "Fine…kiss me."
"If you insist," he teased swooping across the tiny divide parting them.
He'd never had the pleasure of kissing another man before, it'd failed to ever cross his mind, but Atemu's lips were warm, moist, and firm. They expected resistance and yielding all at once and as Yugi squeezed his shoulders he found the pressure irresistible. His knees pressed together reflexively as Atemu bore down on him in a little dance of wet contact and quick retreats. Their lips ran over each other inquisitively, Atemu would break away half a millimetre for just a second and then be back, prompting Yugi to let his arms ease and settle round the delightfully bare shoulders.
He had his expectations about partners but Yugi suspected no one in the world kissed quite like Atemu. Somewhere between the realm of ancient romance and internet hentai there was a consuming passion there. He wasn't rough, never rough, firm, insisted, nearly desperate to devour but never ungraceful in it. Yugi felt as though he was robbing the female population of Egypt of a national treasure. He imagined, in a flicker of thought, that Yami would've kissed him like this if they'd ever had the chance: with love and devotion. Lots of it.
His index and fore finger were tracing up and down Atemu's spine encouragingly when his phone began buzzing. One arm around Atemu's shoulders Yugi kept their lips tangled to let his second arm slide down the fine forearm towards his pocket. The foreigner apparently had thoughts of his own on the matter, the hand settled on Yugi's waist slipped down his hip over his pocket to hold the little buzzing electronic fortified from its owner. Yugi's fingers pushed at Atemu's, his teeth nipping at the other's lower lip pointedly, as the hand refused to waver.
Yugi nipped Atemu's lips as they rubbed against his and that seemed to prompt the fingers to move eventually. The tanned digits fished in Yugi's pocket, grasped the phone in a fist and extending his arm to one side Atemu held it out of reach as the buzzing continued loudly. Yugi stretched his arm alongside the other's but his straightened fingers only served to flex against Atemu's unhelpful wrist. Yugi twisted his head in a final moment of resolve, Atemu's lips running over his flushed cheeks instead a charge which they took up with the same eagerness.
"Phone," Yugi demanded quietly his fingers pinching and squeezing at Atemu's wrist, "it could be my Grandpa."
"Five minutes," Atemu conceded, "then I'm unbuckling something and I don't care if it's my mother."
"Tyrant," he chuckled despite himself as Atemu slipped the phone into his waiting palm. The tiny tip of a wet tongue trailed over Yugi's jaw bone, stringing a little sigh out of him as he brought it to his ear. "Hello?"
"Oh," he whispered a pair of perfectly white teeth nipping at his earlobe, "Jou it's you, what's up?"
"Just checking in," he answered dreadfully oblivious to the kisses assaulting Yugi's arched neck or the strong hands sliding over his hips with a squeeze, "you were weird Friday and I heard from your Grandpa when I dropped by that you've been gone all night. Everything okay?"
"Yeah I'm fine," Yugi promised. Jonouchi was accustomed to being included in the forefront of Yugi's supernatural disasters and had a sense for them. "Nothing to worry about. I'm just researching."
"Where?" He pondered bluntly. "What kind of research anyway? You're strange naturally Yug but…"
"I can't believe after all these years you still gotta question it Jou," he laughed lightly his voice traipsing a line towards high and breathy, "everything's okay. I don't have anything to write home about yet but you'll know the moment I do."
"So something is going on?" Jonouchi prodded sharply.
"Something for sure," Yugi squirmed, "but I'll tell you later when I know more."
"Promise," he sighed, teeth digging into his bottom lip suddenly as Atemu dragged his tongue up behind the curve of Yugi's ear. "Bye Jou, don't worry!"
"Kay Yug, bye buddy."
"Stop it," Yugi whined as he extinguished the call, bucking his hips against a wayward hand trespassing terribly close to his belt buckle. "That was only two minutes and thirty seconds you cheat."
"Prove it." Atemu demanded and sighing Yugi waved the call record in his general direction squirming under the kisses. Atemu raised his head briefly from Yugi's neck to grumble at the loss and resumed lapping at the shell of his ear. "At this point I'm inclined not to care."
"Sadly you're a man of your word."
"Hmm," he pondered tugging at his stolen shirt to expose a little of Yugi's clavicle for inspection, "unfortunately."
"You'll have to content yourself with stolen patches of skin instead," Yugi grinned breathlessly. The phone call over with he found himself sinking back into the sensations.
Atemu felt fabulous the tingling smell of early morning sweat over him was so masculine Yugi was surprised to find himself enjoying it. Atemu was definitely keen for Yugi to enjoy himself and for his part Yugi couldn't think about the gender, any previous girlfriends, or anything except Atemu who obliterated anything else from Yugi's memory.
"Speaking of contentment actually," he paused, pushing up upon his elbows to regard the smaller man pinned beneath him properly. "I think it's time you told me a story."
"About what?" Yugi felt his stomach sink slowly through his hips.
"Your old friend Yami," Atemu wasn't stuffing around this morning but Yugi's cringe was visible it seemed. "Now don't look like that. We'll share. I'll tell you whatever you want to know but you've got to give me an inch or two here as to what exactly is going on. You're starting to give me strange Dr Who conspiracy vibes to be honest."
"Sorry about that," he sighed.
"It's peculiar but sexy, all this mystery," the young man assured him with a little smirk, "still my head is starting to spin."
"From the top then?" Yugi sighed resting back against the mattress with his arms secure about Atemu's welcoming shoulders.
"Am I right to assume my dreams and your friend are connected?"
"I'd say so," Yugi found himself boring a whole into the ceiling with his thoughts, "but I can't quite figure out how you or your Heba fit into this… everything used to fit together so clearly but this throws everything I thought I knew out of whack…"
"Who was this man?" Atemu asked boldly securing Yugi's jaw between his fingers to tilt the younger's chin and his gaze back towards his. "Honestly?"
"Would you believe me if I told you he was the spirit of an ancient Egyptian Pharaoh trapped within a rare mystical artefact?"
"I'd consider it with mild trepidation…"
"Okay then, well, how about I tell you the grand story of the Nameless Pharaoh?"
A/N: So that would be the first half of this mini-fic. Part two out soon. Please review and let me know your thoughts. For anyone curious I promise there will be lemon. It's compulsory for Christmas presents. Again please forgive my post party 1am editing.
Chapter 2 Fairytales next time.
Have a lovely time everybody!