AN: Part two darlings and I really hope you enjoy this as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Part: 2/2
Warnings: did I mention there's a 21 page lemon? Oh and this chapter is 25 pages?


Pressure and tension seemed to bleed out of Yugi at the promise of reprise. Assured he had an escape Yugi found himself with limbs that weighed like lead and collapsed. The rocky grogginess he encountered when he woke with the dawn knocked him off his feet and left him weak in himself. He had slept like a log, exhausted and sharp with hunger. He awoke sprawled like a nesting animal in a hive to shamble up in the blankets.

It would be okay.

He'd get out before the bombs hit. That thought had given him freedom to rest properly in a way he hadn't in what felt like months. He was running, retreating, because it was the best strategy. He'd get out of this snare and get what he wanted.

The dawn was pale and the desire to lull in bed, to curl under the comforter and actually rest was dire. He could do that a Ryou's. He would sleep all damn day. He'd eat an entire pizza and once his stomach was sated, finally, he'd find a veggie wrap which sounded delicious, mouth-watering even. He could maintain himself, clean properly, take a bath, move about the house and throw himself across the couch. He promised himself that knowing Ryou would be permissive. Ryou would probably let him roam, watch him for wounds and blink as if Yugi was some savaged animal returned in from a storm like a cat running under the bed.

With that second layer of security he dragged himself, struggling, out of bed. He seemed bonier as he crept into his clothes and stacked his bag, making it puff to the seams with contents, and supposed the stress was withering him. It would've made him angry to see himself withered but if anything he dismissed it as something to make him lighter.

Five thirty am, on a Saturday, was ungodly but perfectly pristine for Yugi's intentions. He'd shower and gorge himself on breakfast goods at Ryou's. First he was taking the bank card, which he'd been sure to sequester close after Yami's onset of kleptomania, and getting a cab across town. First he was getting the fuck out of dodge.

Let Yami rage.

He quite liked that idea actually. Smug for a flicker of an instant as, boots tight, he wandered down the quiet morning steps. There was a peaceful silence in the house that came with warmth, sleep, and security. It was weekend atmosphere and Yugi might've been sneaking up to watch the cartoons before his parents woke.

He forced himself to be smooth, brisk but nearly silent. He'd gotten very good at being light footed which was half the secret it seemed to evading Yami once he'd shut the Pharaoh out of his mind. He crossed the lounge, fingers gliding over the back of Grandpa's as he passed the dull TV set and snuck into the kitchen. His bag was heavy on his shoulders but it would do, the bank card was burning a hole in his jeans after all, and flipping the lock he twisted the handle to exit out the back alley.

The door didn't budge. Yugi twitched, must've been half asleep still, and tugged. The lock was down, the handle moved, the piece slid out of the joint but the door wouldn't budge from its socket. Yugi rattled the handle, panic rising, and squeezing heaved.

Nothing.

He felt the windows, pushed at them, and found nothing would yield to him. Curses whirring through his head Yugi bundled every ounce of self-control to pace, rather than run, into the store strong. The door there wouldn't falter either.

Fuck.

Swearing furiously in his mind Yugi considered upstairs. It meant going closer back to Yami now he'd made something of a racket. The pounding of feet up the stairs might be enough to stir the Pharaoh and Yugi didn't think he could either make it up to the ceiling window and then down the side of the building or out the side window and leap to the tree. Not when he was so tired. His body was in no mood to lurch like a squirrel in an attempt like that.

His mind whirred and bunching his fist he returned to the kitchen door. He felt it carefully, tracing it, and reaching with what Shadow Magic he had tried to feel it out.

"Ow!" He hissed, whipping his hand back, a minor shock.

Yami's magic. He was positive. It had infused every inch of the house and the Pharaoh it seemed had initiated a lock down. Clutching his hand Yugi rubbed at the burn. His magic wasn't strong enough to punch through this. It would be a mammoth effort just to force Yami's magic away from the door let alone long enough for him to run out.

Eyes darted, player's instinct ran through his options, and strategy formed. If magic wouldn't work, if Yugi couldn't go round it, and if he couldn't unlock it well, his eyes settled on a kitchen chair, he'd go through it.

Call him ballistic, he would be in a second, but there was something cathartic about wrapping his hands round the chair and, revolting, sending a big, fresh, 'fuck you' to the Pharaoh. He swung the chair, to beat it against the window over the sink, and there was a raw ripple of pleasure as it shattered with an almighty calamitous roar.

A second of air, a second to consider mounting the sink and hobbling out through the broken glass before-

Shadow Magic whooshed to fill the broken hole, black and tangible, blotting out the world outside from view.

"No!" Yugi shrieked.

The chair fell back onto the floor, clattered on the tiles, and feet pounded down the stairs as Yugi screamed to himself. It was more a howl really, frustration falling out of the overfull rim, making noise simply for the relief of making noise: shrieking, groaning, high vocal, wordless, anger. Hands over his temples, knees together, swearing he bent at the waist to almost curl in on himself.

Yami's feet were hesitant on the linoleum, mindful of the glass on the floor, and Yugi was aware of the Pharaoh reaching out to him.

"Are you-"

"Don't touch me!" Yugi shrieked, choking round the lump in his throat as he whipped his head back up, wild eyed, to meet the stalwart expression of the king. "What did you do to the house?"

"I'm not sure." He confessed mildly. Yami's fingers twitched at his side as he spoke, glancing over the boy, no doubt curious to find fault or injury on Yugi's body. "Going somewhere?"

"You spied on me." The boy spat, nails digging into his palm.

"I had to." Pharaoh sulked stubbornly. "You won't let me in your head-"

"I wonder why!"

"You're hysterical." He groaned pitifully. "Are you hurt?"

"Fix it." Yugi ordered refusing to acknowledge him properly. "Open the doors."

"I…" Yami fumbled confessing eventually. "I can't. It's out of my hands. I tried last night. The magic round the house won't go down. It's panicking. You'll leave me if it goes down."

"Tyrant," was all the boy could manage to get out, panic crashed against spite and burning the harsher of the two won out. He was sure his passion would burn him to a husk inside out.

"If I could just…" He struggled. "If I knew you wouldn't go maybe it would stop?"

"But I will." Yugi warned, rolling his shoulders, letting the bag thump against the floor onto the glass carelessly. Watching Yami put one hesitant foot after the other closer. "I'll hit another continent and, so help me God, I won't ever speak to you or think of you again."

"I need you." Pharaoh appealed.

"I need a good exorcist." He snapped carelessly.

"No." Pharaoh was deceptively languid with that body. He could be fast with it when he wanted to be. Yugi's hips hit back it the kitchen counter, Yami pressed along the length of him, his arms fumbling back while Pharaoh's grasped the rim of the counter either side of him. "I'd give you anything you could want but you can't leave me. I'll go mad."

"Go mad?" Yugi taunted.

"I need you." He repeated insistently, voice rough, the baritone was escaping harsh into a growl. "You don't understand. My soul's in shambles. When you cut me off the qualities that usually settle between us have to pick sides. I lose all compass on my own. It's like the Orichalcos. The longer I slave on without you the worse the darkness inside my heart gets."

Yugi wouldn't waver, bound against the spot, the small of his back bitten by the roll of the counter top. Nothing prickled the fury which had sprung up, fully bloomed, and impenetrable.

"Yugi, please, I…I was trapped in that godforsaken puzzle for five millennia. I forgot everything. I went wild, savage, I wasn't a man anymore. It felt like eternity in torment. My soul room was a ruined construct trying to fight Zorc out." He pleaded. "When you put the puzzle back together I was primal. All I knew was your voice, your warmth, your light. We were connected and the peace, the contentment, in your soul room taught me to relearn sanity. I would do anything for you. I was terrified of letting you know I was there, I thought I'd break you, thought I'd scare you. I couldn't contemplate how anyone could think of hurting you. To think of you being taken from me, of you being hurt, it made me vicious."

"I don't get what you want anymore," Yugi moaned lowly, prompted to the precipice which forced him to speak. "I don't know what you want me to do! You're suffocating me."

"I know," Yami groaned, resting his brow against Yugi's and that old bile twisting in him the boy tilted his head again. The Spirit seemed to wither. "Gods, I can feel how much you hate me. I can't stand it. I need you to open the door between our minds, our souls, again. I need you to let me touch you. I need to have your heart near mind, body and soul."

"No," he whined feebly, "I don't want you to touch me and… I don't know if I canopen up my mind again. The idea makes me panic. I don't want to. I don't want you near me."

"Please," Pharaoh pursed, aching to move closer. "I'll do anything."

"I don't trust you." Yugi confessed sourly, mournful for something lost but not at all apologetic.

"I know," Yami admitted sighing, "let…just stay with me a little while longer. Give me one last chance to show you I'd never hurt you. Let me apologise. Give me a chance to win your trust back. Please. Nothing will happen that you don't want to happen. I promise."

"Promise you'll let me out of this hellhole either way," the boy demanded softly, eyes refusing to waver above Yami's clavicle.

"I swear to you." Pharaoh whispered. "I will get you out of here."

"Then get off me." The venom was gone but simmering just submerged beneath Yugi's stiff exterior. Cautiously unwilling Yami withdrew and Yugi relaxed, disgust ebbing back away, but the adjectives still flying through his head bitter. "Where?"

Where were they going to play their game this time?

"My room," Yami revealed.

Yugi considered immediately refusing but concept of having Yami defile his room was even worse. His toes wanted to curl in his shoes and turn it down all together but where Pharaoh made vows they were crisscrossed implicitly with ones expected of Yugi. For Yami to play along, keep his promises, Yugi had to play fair and meet him somewhere in the middle as expected.

"Nothing will happen unless you want it to." Pharaoh repeated solemnly. "I've only ever wanted to make you happy."

"Fine," Yugi consented reluctantly, Yami's softness was having a difficult time reaching him as the Pharaoh still seemed as much a predator as ever. The hunger hadn't abated and Yugi despised it. Pharaoh wanted them sweet. Yugi wanted to snap and destroy and push.


Yugi wasn't sure what to do. His body was so stubbornly displeased by the whole affair it had clamped up to a vice reactant to move or speak or watch the proceedings currently underway. He'd consent to whatever it took to fix this unfathomable break cracking at the normal order but he wouldn't do it smiling if only to smite the Pharaoh for the trouble he'd caused. Yugi was, he'd admit, awash with resentment that was poisonously unfurling in his gut just like greed was consuming Yami.

He suddenly understood why Yami hated this room. Yugi hated it too sitting on the edge of the mattress with the Pharaoh beside him trying, so gently, to stir that kindness and unconditional love of Yugi's back to the surface through the venom seeped into every pore of the boy and directed solely upon Pharaoh. Warm, adoring, arms came round his hips till one had rested, stroked, over his clothed navel where he was tender. Pharaoh caught his closest cheek over the yoke of his shoulder with a kiss, then another, and pressing his chest into Yugi's back tried to inspire the smaller to rest back into him. That wasn't happening, Yugi was a besieged city, and in his attempts to try and fold them back together Yami was building the resistance that was driving him mad.

Still, Yugi had submitted to trying anything necessary to amend this they both knew and, strategists to the core, they both took that very seriously and almost literally. Yugi was unyielding and angry, bitter, but he'd given the Pharaoh permission to explore that and soothe the avenue if he could and like a gamer the other would take that as a challenge and Yugi's resistance as a strategic barrier to overcome. Typical gameplay.

To make Yugi unwrap would be a struggle. Yami had ensured that with a lousy opening strategy while he'd been trying to figure out the rules of the game. Yami tightened his hold, a moment of desperation creeping over him, burying his face into Yugi's shoulder to inhale the scent of him and the boy stiffened dishearteningly. The Pharaoh eased immediately, reluctant to raise his head, and those warm fingers became gentle against Yugi's clothed sides. His palms strolled, back and forth, down Yugi's waist and the shift from tight to immediately soft kept the boy's hackles raised but the tension had eased somewhat.

Yugi hated him right now. Yami seemed to understand. Yugi was so insistent to keep the Pharaoh out of his mind however, tightened unhelpfully, that he could only brush the barest outline of the Pharaoh's thoughts without worrying his own would be caught. The wall, the lock, into Yugi's mind from the outside was immensely strong as a knotted coil of near contestant pain that through Yugi's hatred was maintained. Not even Yugi could seem to order it to untangle. Regardless of it Yami's mind was hidden from him, obscured, by the veil he propped up when he was strategizing like a good gambler hiding his hand till he had it on the board but Yugi could feel that he was strategizing. Yami was buzzing with thought, suggestion, and caution about what move to make where and when. Yugi almost wanted him to lose. He was so mad he half wanted Yami to always be this despised to him. Had Yami gone so far Yugi didn't want to go back to the glory days even with the option? That was dire Yugi mused.

Yami ran his hands down Yugi's upper arms distantly, almost Yugi reminded himself because Yami never made any motion around him without supreme thought, and raising his head placed another gentle kiss against the plush of Yugi's cheek.

"Can you wait here for a minute little one?"

Yugi almost railed against it, gut twisting, he wanted to hit the Pharaoh but too stubborn to un-sew his lips and bound by his word consented to nod curtly. It was haggard and took stupendous force to make himself comply with the gesture but it was less intimate than using the mind link at least.

Another kiss to his temple, no sulking, no complaints that Yugi had kept his mind wrapped and Yami rose to rifle quietly through the cupboards. When he sat back, gently, beside Yugi the boy curled his fingers in the quilt as the Pharaoh produced the little mp3 player and began switching through playlists. They shared a lot between them since Yami's unexpected return to the world of the living but the Pharaoh had insisted Yugi, who could hardly be removed from his music player, kept his and that he would steal the old ruffled one.

It unnerved him. Yami was a brilliant gamer whatever the mode of combat and Yugi, genius he was, couldn't quite figure out the point of it. There were plenty more obvious modes of forcing Yugi's compliance but that wasn't Yami's style. No, Yugi realized, chains and whips were garish, brutish and obvious. Yami planted seeds to pay off turns later. He planned for eventual victory not a combat win. So Yugi's stomach turned when, inconspicuously, Pharaoh returned one arm round his waist, shuffling closer, and held the mp3 to Yugi in his other palm.

Yugi frowned.

"Can you put the headphones in?" Yami appealed, baritone whisper soft and nearly hoarse. Yami had such a beautiful voice Yugi couldn't fathom why he hated speaking to him so much. Was it because of the intimacy of the mind link?

"Why?" He knew he wouldn't get an answer.

"Just trust me, just a little," Pharaoh pleaded but both of them had to concede it was just as much code for: 'you agreed to play along' as anything else.

Yugi's fingers were stiff when they pealed from the sheets and slipped the plastic buds into his ears. Yami took the mp3, thumb paused over the play button and murmured:

"Close your eyes."

Yugi watched him, carefully heavy with suspicions, but unable to predict Yami's next move had to fold this turn and let his lids flutter shut. The Pharaoh clicked play, deposited the mp3 to rest in Yugi's lap and returned both hands to resume stroking along the length of Yugi's arms.

Yugi made a guess before the first cords started. He tried to plot for the next turn but Yami had thrown him again with the wafting, ear filling, sounds of delicate instrumentals. It was almost a lullaby, soft chorusing hums all the human interruption over the violins, but the combination of elements was eerie. It wasn't the background tracks to sleep it was the riffs of Celtic forests and midnights sneaking in the dark. Yugi didn't trust it but it was nice.

Yami kissed his cheek, Yugi jumped ever so slightly, but the hands gliding up and down his arms never ceased. He moved on the mattress, chest brushing Yugi's back and it was comforting at least to know exactly where Yami was and to feel the motion or stability of all his limbs within reach. This wasn't as disarming as it should have been Yugi considered. What was he after? What was he planning?

The Pharaoh's lips fluttered down the junction of his jaw, applying the traces of pressure to the skin just below his ear where the bones met and the neck began as his surprisingly warm palms squeezed Yugi's elbows. He twitched, poison coiling in his stomach unhappily, but found something inside him cracked when Yami planted the first tiny, wet, kiss behind his ear. His tongue just tipped the skin as he kissed up behind the arch of Yugi's ear, nose nuzzling under the boy's hair, and teeth squeezing together Yugi weakened despite himself.

Soft elements, the lack of sight and sound all compounded to create the effect he knew, recognised, immediately as Yami's aim. Like this it was easier to forget, as a warm arm enfolded his hips, another hand skirting just under the hem of his tee, that this was the Pharaoh. Yugi loved music, padded his life with it, and Yami knew that. He knew how Yugi responded, knew what soothed him unconsciously without his immediate notice, and it appeared Yugi was spiralling through a playlist of it.

That removed one physical element, calmed some of the immediate frazzled hatred with rhythm, but the eyes were just as genius. Closed up like this the Pharaoh could have been anyone at first, circling the bare skin of his bellybutton, planting a trail of firm but gently insistent kisses down the column of Yugi's neck, urging him to lie back into his arms a little. At the same time somehow this was more like Mou Hitori no Boku. Less physical, less human, older, more like they had been, more like the Spirit had been and to that version of Yami Yugi had always responded.

Yugi felt a shiver run up his spine, felt the anxiety of his wavering grip in the sheets. Every second Yami seemed content just to stay like this: following the same circuit of kisses, stroking his navel, squeezing his fingers firmly round Yugi's hip. Yami licked, ever so subtly, immediately resuming the kiss behind his ear and Yugi's fingers flexed. Back down the trail Yami worked his mouth, a little wetter, down Yugi's neck till the tip of his collar where he found the junction of Yugi's neck and shoulder and sucked the skin between his lips.

Yugi inhaled, stubborn, but something gave just an inch and his tense spine lapsed control to Yami just momentarily. The Pharaoh swept it up, hand skiting up Yugi's bare side under his tee, leaning the smaller back into his taunt weight to cradle the boy deeper as Yugi's body eased ever so slightly to fall back into him. Yami squeezed his hip with the opposing hand of the set crossed round Yugi's torso and the boy let his head lull back still stubbornly holding his sighs and his swoons. He wouldn't give Yami that satisfaction, not at all, but the Pharaoh grasped at what he had relented fiercely with those gently insistent touches.

Please relax, please let go, please let me have you back… Yugi could almost hear the thrum of the chatter between their walled off minds but refused to indulge in it by looking further and opening himself up.

Yami used his legs to shuffle himself a bit further onto the mattress and, reclining almost in his arms, Yugi's heels dug in the carpet as his legs filled with tension. He knew Yami well enough to be aware of every little gesture. He caught that vein of strategic thought at the bud then when he could feel the Pharaoh's desire to lay them back down. That would be giving him an inch too far if Yugi allowed it and it would be an inch the Pharaoh would run with before he could reclaim it. Getting them back up if the Pharaoh got them down would be almost impossible Yugi warned himself.

His opponent knew he'd been caught out in a motion. Yugi wasn't far enough gone to be unaware of that intent and Yami wasn't anywhere near appealing enough for Yugi to allow it knowingly without deception. The Pharaoh's palm rubbed a course up his chest, never really stilling, and emerging from under Yugi's taunt collar brushed the opposing side of his jaw with his fingers. Yami kissed his cheek, thumb and palm flattering its twin, and tilted Yugi's face ever so slightly towards him to catch the corner of his mouth with a kiss.

Yugi's whole body, dependent now on Yami's strength as it reposed, became taunt and unresponsive refusing to turn towards the heat or reciprocate. Yami pressed on, recklessly bold as ever, and peppered another lingering touch against the corner of Yugi's mouth. The boy reacted, grasping Yami's knee almost fumblingly and gripping it hard through the jeans dug his nails in. He wouldn't open the mind link but he would make it apparent in his gestures that: I don't like this, I don't like you, no, no, no.

Yami stroked his cheek, contorting his arm till Yugi's shirt was distorted enough for him to feel the cool of the room against his bare skin, and gently urged Yugi a fraction closer. The arm slung round his hips hugged him more securely but Yami refused to move his leg from out of Yugi's painful grip. He was as equally unrelenting in his progress as Yugi in his resistance. Yami would not back down and brave, unwilling to turn back down the tangent, brought his lips back stronger. His mouth pecked half of Yugi's stubbornly pursed lips, drew back from the warning shot, then returned to kiss the boy properly.

A first kiss, Yugi's first kiss at that, it should have been better, happier, and coursing with sharp, icy, frustration Yugi found himself lashing out to dig his teeth warningly into Pharaoh's plump bottom lip. Yami tightened, ceased, face close and licking his lips pressed them into Yugi's harder refusing to withdraw or retreat. Yugi felt his breath quicken, ice nesting just behind his belly button, and tight as a bow turned his face. Yami's hand caught him, thumb gliding over his plush bottom lip, and turned the boy back to continue his fool's errand of a kiss.

Yami would not stop, thumb over Yugi's cheek bone, finger tips straying into the hair along his neck and lips insistently hot. Pharaoh needed this, he'd fight for it, and as he kissed those unresponsive lips adoringly Yugi felt himself shudder. Not with disgust, or cold, or anger but a frustrated kind of respect that was reverent at Yami's gentle desperation.

Just one little kiss, Pharaoh seemed to plead, and exhaling some tension from his bones a second time Yugi became nearly pliant. He flexed his lips, tried, attempted to get the feel of kissing back and, stroking his face, Yami clutched him closer unable to withhold a veiled purr through his nostrils.

A little heat crept into Yugi at the sound, something in him responded to that desire rather than turned away from it, and pushing back into the kisses he encouraged Yami to show him what the Pharaoh was aching to. Yugi allowed Pharaoh to present his feelings for inspection. Yami seemed to burn with that victory, hungrily, kissing Yugi with another fraction of exposed passion as he cloyed for more of that willingness he was plainly dying for.

His tongue ran, teasing and brief, along the sewn purse of Yugi's lips and tasting it, tempted, the boy removed some of the tension walled up round him. They came back together, Yugi's lips a little more parted, wetter, more inviting and eagerly aware of the tiny window of opportunity present Yami dipped his burning tongue into Yugi's mouth. Yami moaned, really moaned, making Yugi's knees rub together and the boy's vicious grip upon the Pharaoh's knee finally, eventually, relented. Yugi shuddered and Yami moved in for the kill as they kissed again with the same wetness and the same curious interlocking of the Pharaoh's tongue into Yugi.

Yugi's lost hand, which had been warningly perched nastily on the Pharaoh's now released knee, came fumbling up cautiously to trace the side of Yami's face in the dark. He felt his jaw, his hair, curious appraisal making Yami moan to kiss him harder and, breaking off, catch the inside of Yugi's palm with a praising kiss as Yugi ran his fingers dangerously across the other's face.

That's it, please, so close… Yugi almost heard the gibberish but keeping the mental wall high refused to openly respond to or swoon.

Yami was burning raw with intensity, it churned inside him, but unwilling to swoon or sigh still Yugi only half responded. The boy was just peeking out from behind his defences and forcing himself to tone down his ferocity Yami's kisses began to unwind slowly back down to that teasing, perfectly consisted, softness. Yugi let him, pushed back, let their noses brush. Yami's fingers cupped and stroked his face as he kissed the details of Yugi's bone structure and peppered his lips with what was, for the boy, an all but forgotten tenderness.

This was, with his eyes closed, more like the Yami that Yugi knew or had at least liked. This was the middle Yami between the violent, unknown and primal Spirit of the Puzzle he'd first awoken and the final, obsessive, tyrant of a Pharaoh he'd been recently residing with. Yugi liked this kind of Yami, he had always responded better to this Yami, but had almost forgotten the Pharaoh could be like this. So, cautious, Yugi rewarded it's reappearance with a little uncertain willingness. All, mind you, without fully giving in for the briefest glimmer of a second.

The Pharaoh seemed willing to take that and press on further to try, viciously desperate, to win the game. Yugi remembered this mingle of intensity, unwanted qualities and almost goodness in Yami a little better. When they had fought Dartz and Yami had cycled through terrible to miserable for Yugi at their separation or when in Duellist Kingdom Yami had strayed too violent, too like when he first awoke him, tried to kill Kaiba and forced Yugi to reel back from him almost entirely. He remembered this same aching, crying, cling from Yami begging Yugi to come back his way, to stray back to him, and fold him back. Yami had grovelled for Yugi's presence before and Yugi wondered if perhaps he'd been too forgiving in this past.

Yami kissed his forehead lovingly, Yugi was sure, with the memory of where he'd flared the eye of Horus in the name of justice upon the boy's forehead so often. Arms easing down the boy, unfurling a little, Yami attempted once more, ever so gently, to try and urge them down onto their backs on the mattress.

Yugi considered the coaxing, the press of the hand into his navel and the curl of the experienced arm cradling him. He wavered, tensing, and predatorily hesitant pulled his legs up onto the bed with him to let Yami lay them back and arrange them on the sheets.

The shadow magic enshrouding and consuming the house was humming now. This was a dangerous development, a step closer to a final round, and Yami was, Yugi could guess, just like he had been for so many of their greatest duels: caught no doubt between exuberance and keeping a straight, calm, manner as he fought to claim his prize. Yugi hadn't been the prize before. He didn't like it now. He felt corralled as the Pharaoh tried to work him into a corner and find some submission within him. No, that was the wrong word. Yami wanted what Yami always wanted when Yugi pushed him back out of his heart: forgiveness, acceptance, closeness, permission to possess and protect what he wanted to be his.

Yami lay beside him, carefully arranging the mp3 above Yugi's head as the music lulled on slow and smooth refusing to let it stop and break the atmosphere. Yami slipped his arm under Yugi's neck to cradle him, hand curling back to rest against the top of Yugi's head, as the Pharaoh leant down to resume kissing him. He was careful to keep his legs, where he asserted his weight, to one side of Yugi's and running his outer hand up and down Yugi's side mapped out a greater portion of his flank.

Yugi let him. Let himself be encouraged to place his arms back on the Pharaoh but left them, fingers twitching, by his sides. Yami stroked over the clothes from just beneath his armpit down his waist, following the contours, over his hip and purring ran his hand down the outside of Yugi's thigh.

Yugi could garner some relative security from the assurance that, as unsure as Yugi was in his placement and motion, Yami, for all his talented strategy, was going mad. If anyone was going to make the wrong step it would be Yami if his hunger pushed him too far off the edge of sense back to the primal.

If Pharaoh pushed too hard Yugi knew, from the tingling flex of his fingers, that he could lash out with shadow magic of his own. It wouldn't be enough to break him out of the house, in fact it would get neither of them anywhere, but Yugi took pleasure in knowing he could drive home a hit if the Pharaoh infuriated him. If the Pharaoh stepped across the line and failed to listen to a rejection Yugi could make him stop.

It was cruel but, trapped and resentful, Yugi had a rush of pleasure, even as they kissed, knowing that he could hurt the Pharaoh in some small way with his rejection. He could attack with shadow magic and Yami, crazy but devoted, would never think of raising his hand back at the boy. Even primal, brutal, Yami's inner most backbone would never allow him to turn shadow magic on Yugi or force the boy. He would trap them, lash out at others, but Yugi knew by now that his hatred, his loathing, was a more effective weapon against Yami than anything on Earth.

The Pharaoh wasn't interested in having his body, not even now really, no what Yami seemed to want was for Yugi to want him. Having Yugi meant nothing, held no pleasure, if Pharaoh couldn't coax the boy to letting him make love to Yugi. He wanted that, not submission, he wanted Yugi to let him worship him, adore him, and deeply seared by hatred Yugi was going to require a great deal of grovelling before he'd permit Yami's adoration.

Yami pushed up onto his arm, slipping it from behind Yugi's neck, to crouch on his hands and knees. Just as Yugi frowned, tempted to open his eyes, Yami peppered his lids with kissing a reverent thumb rubbing over the boy's bottom lip with the same hidden hunger Yugi had felt creeping, wafting, off the Pharaoh for days. Yugi relaxed back into the mattress, compliant to wait a moment, as Pharaoh's weight crept off the bed entirely.

He didn't leave the room, Yugi was sure of that, and stretching slightly he waited with more anticipation and trepidation than trusting contentment. Yami, he figured, wouldn't spring anything on him suddenly. The Pharaoh knew, acutely, how little Yugi trusted him right this instant and how disrespectfully the boy held his existence or his touch. This wasn't about lust, or force, or showmanship. Springing something too extreme now would have a counterbalancing effect to what Yami desperately desired to woo out of Yugi. He didn't want the boy frightened, unknowing, of where his touch might come from next. Yami wanted Yugi to know it was his decision to keep his eyes shut, that he could open them, but that Pharaoh would give him no need to because Pharaoh would reassure him with everything he wanted to know about his whereabouts.

So the boy contented himself with that prediction as he felt Yami rest his knee, testing, on the end of the bed and slowly ran his fingers down Yugi's calf. Pharaoh was warning him, in not to many words given how Yugi refused to use the mind link, of his intentions and slumping back a little from where he had raised his shoulders in Yami's direction Yugi permitted it. He could feel Yami lean more of his weight into his knee, letting Yugi know exactly where he was, hoping to let the boy trust him a little.

Cautiously, very cautiously, Yami's hand skirted under his pant leg and fumbled deftly with the buckles of his boots. It was just another mark of defiant resentment that Yugi had kept his shoes on and another symbol of the bridge Yami was trying to build by attempting to remove them. He moved gently, raised Yugi's leg by the knee and with his other hand unbuckled the boot and glided down his ankle to begin tugging it off in a smooth even motion.

Something about it, about how he stripped Yugi, placed the boot to one side and let his hand flutter back on the exposed ankle churned the boy's stomach. It was as if he was being stripped for service, nearly objectified, and for a sudden second, again, he hated the Pharaoh.

Yugi kicked. Filled with intent as he lashed out and equally as firm Yami's hand flew to tighten, vice like, round his ankle and force his violent outburst into submission. Yami caught him so easily, so purposefully, that when he held Yugi's ankle prisoner in one strong hand that made the boy's leg still despite its' every intention and desire to kick something in Yugi rolled over with a lurch. Yami's grip eased and then flexing tightened to demonstrate that same dominating strength he'd been so careful to hide till now. This was how Yami could force him but how he wouldn't.

Mine.

Firm, strong, and baritone it rumbled warningly at Yugi even with the mind link off. Yami may not have been able to hear his thoughts, may not have been able to infiltrate the boy's mind, but Yugi would hear him when Yami wanted to make himself heard. There was such an emphasis that Yugi could hear the grating of Yami's control wanting to tumble over into primal means of domination. The Pharaoh was trying, very hard, not to surge and conquer and something about the brutally poised strength of it made Yugi flutter.

Yami asserted control and Yugi, to his own surprise, found himself submitting meekly to flood all the tension from his deviant leg. It became limp, submissively plaint, and rubbing his thumb against the ball of Yugi's ankle the Pharaoh slowly released his leg back onto the bed. Yami had proven he could conquer but would not.

Good, it was a quiet purr at the gate way of Yugi's locked mind, now let me be one with you again.

Yugi bolstered. Frightened by the concept he refused the idea of losing himself but moving as they had to the next stage Yugi couldn't find the strength to lash out with his opposing leg when Yami stripped it also. He inhaled, biting his lip, and unminding or unhesitant Pharaoh's hands rubbed, grasped, at the tension in his bare ankles skirting only barely up his bare calves inside the jeans. Yami contorted. Although Yugi couldn't see it he could feel the weight redistribute on the end of the mattress and, thumb brushing his toes, Yami planted a kiss against the ball of his ankle as if it were the most precious point in the world. To him maybe it was.

Pharaoh's fingers ran up his covered calves to his knees and applying gentle pressure bid them to part and make way for his weight. Yugi refused. Arms splayed by his head he held his knees together pointedly at the insistence. Yami relented, unwilling to force, but unwilling to back down crawled back onto the bed beside him.

Sitting the Pharaoh took Yugi's hips in his hands, warm digits daring under the hem of his top and the waist of his jeans. Yugi's hands found his, even though he refused to open his eyes, and without pushing away rested on Yami's palms expectantly ready to reject the advance. Yami didn't shake them off. He rather seemed to welcome them, stubbornly, grinding his thumbs into the junction of Yugi's hip bone knowingly. That possessiveness, the tyrant, flared between them in Pharaoh's motion and Yugi's imaginative memory. It was pleasing nearly but tension mounted and acutely aware of it the Spirit moved to dispel it. This wasn't about dominance, possession, this was about forgiveness.

Yami leant, lips warm and unexpected against the junction where Yugi's hem met his waistline. The boy jumped, fingers tightening round the Pharaoh's pulsing hands but still not forcing him away, and nuzzling Yami very reverently pushed the shirt up to unwrap, reveal, a portion of Yugi. He buried his face back, warm and tender, into Yugi's navel to pepper it with idolatrous kisses in a headily slow procession that was prayer like. Yugi was tense, unaccustomed, to this and bit his lip viciously when Pharaoh's tongue darted wetly into the indent of his bellybutton.

Yami covered every delicate, unexplored, inch between Yugi's navel and the waistline of the jeans Pharaoh's groping hands had pulled low and taunt on his hips. He claimed the skin here, nipped, just above Yugi's pelvis and insulted by it Yugi was torn between the pleasure of it and the hatred invited.

Pharaoh nipped, sucked at the skin, just underneath his thumb where the flesh was tight over Yugi's hip and it made the boy bend like a bow though he refused to sigh or swoon for the man. Pharaoh was, either through impatience or strategy, apparently discontented with that silence now and kissing Yugi's navel drew in his hands to the button of the boy's jeans.

Pharaoh popped the button free and the tension through Yugi skyrocketed. His hands, which had been left abandoned hesitantly on his own almost bare hips, flew to curl in the fabric bunched at Yami's shoulders. He quivered, Yami refused to cease unless ordered plainly and the pair of them were transfixed as Yugi allowed the Pharaoh to unlock that defence.

There was a second of trepidation on Yami's part, waiting, for Yugi to strike out but when the boy remained unyielding but poised he moaned lowly into Yugi's skin, just within the range of the other's obscured hearing, kissing his navel fiercely. He tugged, slow and steady, fingers hooked in both Yugi's jeans and underwear knowingly and patiently the pair of them waited to see how far Yugi would let him go. An inch, then another, unfolding, unwrapping, Pharaoh purred and rumbled. Till hooking his arm under Yugi's knees Pharaoh lifted them so his opposing palm could slide over the bare calf and work the jeans the last inches off Yugi's feet.

Pharaoh didn't release his knees, hefted under his arm, but instead holding Yugi's hip peppered kisses further down the arch of his hip bone along the pelvis. Yugi's fingers tugged at the shirt on his shoulders, pulled Pharaoh away from the newly exposed skin and up but not totally away. Yami seemed to ripple, greedy but caught between purring at new permission and permission denied. His elbows either side of Yugi's torso he let the boy's legs be and reverently peeling shirt from skin bunched Yugi's tee up round his collar under his armpits.

Pharaoh kissed warningly at his clavicle and Yugi's fingers, flexing, easing, groped at his shoulders in an acknowledgement of sorts. Yami seemed to quake, bow string tight, and Yugi had the oddest thought that he was glad the Pharaoh was still clothed. He didn't want the intimacy of nudity, didn't feel the other deserved to press bare skin, and didn't think yet that Yami wasn't fatally infectious. Yami's tongue grazed the tip of nipple, testing, trying and waiting as Yugi tensed in shock before easing as much as he could. Circling the bud with his tongue Pharaoh closed his lips round the hard, pebbled, skin and suckled. Yugi gasped, sound escaped, and purring Yami's teeth dug into the bud.

Yugi's hand smacked against Yami's cheek, his other still curled on the Pharaoh's shoulder, as he cringed in pain. Yami kissed the skin reverently, ran his tongue round it soothingly, and caught by a strange impulse of power Yugi slapped him again. Yugi's hand was weaker in its blow the second time, tingling palm resting on the man's cheek once he was done and turning his face into it Pharaoh worried his lips against it with equal devotion. Amazed, struck by it, Yugi's fingers carded curious through the hair he couldn't see and traced the soft skinned but elegantly featured jaw. Yami moaned, caught his fingers with kisses as they passed and strangely satisfied, confused, Yugi settled his hands back on Pharaoh's shoulders.

Pharaoh buzzed, kissed the opposing bud he'd yet to touch. He suckled it, licked it, and very, very, carefully flexed his teeth round either side of it. Yugi found himself sounding out, a tiny wisp escaping his opened lips which made Yami purr and, surprised, actually arched up into it. It was weirdly pleasant. Pharaoh repeated the gesture on both sides, slight sharp pressure very carefully dolled and wet heat which, rubbing his knees together, strung out another little grunt Yugi himself couldn't hear but knew he was making.

Yami sat back hands sinking hungrily across the outside of Yugi's thighs and, without pushing, left his thumbs rubbing against the boy's knees. Yugi found himself considering it as Pharaoh diligently plucked his navel once more while he waited. Patient he may have been but Yugi could make out the pulse of intent pleasure when Yugi softened his tension and shuffling his feet fractionally parted his legs.

Gods!

It must've been in his head. The music was still thrumming in Yugi's ears. A harmless stray thought Yami couldn't totally keep to himself when, running his hot palms up the inner flesh of Yugi's thighs he parted them wider for himself. Yugi's mind had uncoiled, ever so slightly, some of the pain had soothed and sheepish curiosity returned.

Disgust was nearly gone but there was yet a mild sensation of letting something slimy crawl between his legs when Pharaoh settled between his parted thighs. Yugi inhaled through his lips, waited, toes tight and swooning Yami leant over him. Pharaoh cupped his cheeks, kissed his forehead, stroked his fringe and brought his mouth to the ear bud of one side his whole body over Yugi's.

"It's okay," Pharaoh whispered intently just within Yugi's hearing, "I promise. Everything will be fine. Tell me to stop when you're ready."

Kisses peppered his cheek and Yami ebbed away. Yugi felt cleaner, Pharaoh seemed less a thing and more a man but not yet a king. Tender fingertips stroked his legs, the other moved in closer and Yugi, warmer, kind of liked him there. Lusher, no longer so totally unwieldy, Yugi waited expectantly for Pharaoh to make his choice about his next move but he needn't have waited long because apparently Yami had been long decided about what he wanted to try.

His palms seemed warmer, sandy nearly, running under Yugi's knees and along the back of his flanks to arrange, or encourage, the boys knees to rest bent over his shoulders. Yugi complied the ice in his belly melting, slowly, making him slicker, responsive, to temptations under the proper coaxing. Yami likewise was getting better at that a portion of his own tension, his ferocious greed, had vanished with minor victories and satisfaction. Pharaoh felt cleaner, Yugi felt him become less contaminating. The boy's knees over his shoulders, thumbs curled under and round to stroke Yugi's hips Yami ever so slowly began to pepper kisses, licks, a nip and a suck between the most tender parts of Yugi's inner thighs, deep and close.

Yugi arched, impassioned, Yami pressed on hungrily licking almost at the junction where the boy's pelvis formed. First sucking against one side, tilting his head to pepper the other, devouring stirring a moan a proper, uncertain, moan from within Yugi where he was churning warmth. Yugi's legs tightened in at the pleasure, unfolded to part somehow wider and willingly with his ankles crossing against Yami's arched back. Yugi turned his cheek into the bedding, lips found the curled second knuckle of his index finger and found a string of little wonderments falling out of him.

This wasn't lust. Yugi's mind uncoiled further stingingly peaking at Yami's to confirm the feeling. This didn't feel like raw, nasty, conquering no…This was worship. Pharaoh adored, pulsed, against him with ancient, utter, devotion and kissed prayers into Yugi's sacred skin.

He lost the strength in his legs, one slipping weak from Yami's shoulder and as the Pharaoh held its twin hoisted over the opposing side, kissing into it, he messaged his hand along the fallen milky leg which left Yugi sprawled open. The boy's head went back, purring, and Yugi felt a responding shiver of satisfaction wrought out of Yami.

Yugi pulled his lids apart, quaked under a surge of emotion, fingers tearing at the headphones and in response to the panic Pharaoh froze, fumbling, to cast his eyes up into Yugi's panting face. The boy had no strength to speak anymore, another coil crumbled, and scrambling onto his elbow reached out to hook his fingers in Yami's collar and whining tugged harshly. Pharaoh cooed, hushing, untangled his arms and drawing himself to sit up between the boy's legs fastened his arms round Yugi as the boy's locked viciously round his neck.

Pharaoh felt the small of his back in one hand, trailed up his spine to cup the back of Yugi's neck with the other, hushing, brought to moan when, like his arms, Yugi's legs hooked round his hips as he crouched on his knees bent.

"Should I stop?" Yami checked nuzzling against Yugi's cheek, panting with desire, and hazed with it himself Yugi fell into mumblings.

"No no no," he ordered under his breath, shaking his head into Pharaoh's neck panicked somehow.

"Let me try?" Pharaoh appealed temptingly, bundling him up into his lap as he sat and brought close Yugi found himself in warmly wandering hands blinking up at gooey crimson eyes.

"Take these off first," the boy instructed, fingers wandering curiously over Yami's shoulders.

It was bizarre that he had a body, supernaturally insane, and it hardly felt real at this second. Yugi was sure he was dreaming, wondered if seeing the skin would break the spell and help him relocate the monster inside the Pharaoh twisting under the creamy pallor. He didn't know what he wanted. Trust had come back to life a little, part of the dead garden bloomed back resilient but trepidatious and Yugi's retreating repulsion warmed up his tense, pained, corners like a withdrawing tide. Still the uncertain newness of the recent loathing had left him as sharp and acute, sensitive and darting, as a wild animal.

Yami purred, rumbled, like a beast. Kissed his temple, squeezed him close, licking up the column of Yugi's neck like an animal in heat, possessive, as the boy's fingers found the bare small of his back. Pharaoh's hands withdrew from him, half frenzied, and ignoring buttons settled instead for tugging his shirt over his head and tossing it aside. Pharaoh slumped his arms back down, exhaling heavily, and suddenly strong Yugi's hands hit his shoulders and forced Yami down onto his back.

Pharaoh blinked up at him but didn't move as Yugi found himself sitting atop him, curiously intense fingers mapping the freshly exposed skin. Yami slumped his head back, let Yugi move utterly unrestricted in a fast ambling search and moaned softly to himself. The process was somehow utterly contenting to Pharaoh, perfect, and Yugi found himself at liberty to move however he liked. Yugi shuffled back on Yami's thighs, planted in place, tracing the broad chest and the clavicle in fascination. The body of the other was new toylike yet utterly, despairingly, alien in its qualities.

Yugi's fingers unexpectedly hit the waist of Yami's trousers and, bumping them, tilted curiously:

"Can-?"

"You can do whatever you want," Yami purred, eyes fluttering and rather than cocky appeared innocently euphoric just to be a spectacle for Yugi to play with. A Pharaoh prostrate before his god Yugi realized, suddenly a little bemused and still wandering fumbled with Yami's zipper.

He wasn't as respectful, nor as careful, nor as knowledgeable as Yami but mingled dislike falling back to suffuse with old fondness made something new as if they'd never met before and left Yugi fearless. He didn't care if Yami watched, being as non-offensive and un-opinionated as Pharaoh was currently. Yugi knew he could technically do no wrong. His simple curiosity to touch Yami, the dumbfounded willingness to explore, was soothing enough to Pharaoh after weeks of vicious rejection of Yami's mere presence. When he had riled at Pharaoh's shadow, offended, and that now Yugi would inspect him mysterious was balm enough for Yami's endlessly aching hunger.

Yugi tugged the pants down, rolled them over Pharaoh's hips as, carefully mindful not to disturb Yugi's balance the man raised them helpfully. The boy felt the bones of his tense pelvis and followed the thin trail from the navel to the thick, coarse, curls he ran the tips of his fingers through. Yami moaned fingers fumbling, fighting to be gentle, as they grasped Yugi's thighs settling either side of his and found the boy's hips during Yugi's explorations.

Cruel, torturously so really, Yugi fluted his fingers over Pharaoh's burning arousal. One hand tucking his hair back the other just tracing the vein, the structure, the wet tip idly rather amazed how subtle the differences in anatomy could be. Biting back Yami's fingers tightened harshly round Yugi's hips at the gesture, nearly hard enough to bruise, but driven by devotion he forced himself to relent his grip so as not to harm the boy. Struck by it, Yugi ran his idle hand along Yami's tense forearm and was tempted to test him.

Without pitying kindness to bridle him, or embarrassment to falter him, Yugi ran slowly curled his fingers round the shaft and absentmindedly regarding Yami's face stroked languidly. Yami's moan was strangled by the fight to not pull his hands away from Yugi. Having to quell his initial reaction to grasp the boy tighter, instead curling his hands to fists and digging his nails into his palms against Yugi's thighs, Pharaoh's pleasure was mingled with the torture of self-restraint.

Yugi repeated the gesture, hand motioning up and down, testing. Head back, heart fluttering, Yami swore through tight moans and withheld what vicious ferocity pulsed within his belly to capture Yugi and ravish, conquer, through the pleasure.

"Yugi…" He managed thinly, brows twitching as the boy refused to stop. "Little one if you don't stop…ah…god…" Yugi watched him fight through it but Pharaoh couldn't seem to find the conflicting strength to really tell the boy to cease.

Yugi had the sudden urge not to speak, not to open his mouth, whatever had stripped him of his vocals was strange instinct but deciding he'd tortured Yami enough for his own assurance glided his hand up the shaft and dipping down kissed the tip in a lightning fast motion that was suddenly done. Pharaoh purred, bucked, a second too late to catch anything and slumped back as it passed.

Yugi sat rather patient, rather unhelpful, on his thighs and collecting his breath Yami found his arms again to sit up and enfolding Yugi hold him to his chest.

"Can I keep going?" Pharaoh checked, heart pounding into Yugi's upper arm, tilting down against the smaller face to kiss from the top of his cheek up his temple.

Yugi nodded. Yami's mind brushed his hesitantly, hands still stroking along the bone structure of the boy's bare body, and hopeful in a feather gentle motion tried to coax Yugi's. There wasn't pain it struck the smaller curiously, nothing hurt, and fidgeting, frozen, Yugi stiffened a little physically to try just-so to nudge back mentally. For the first time in weeks it didn't hurt, didn't repulse, and as they met a little at the in-between space at first Yami didn't seem to feel him. Yugi nudged again with his mind at Pharaoh's trepidatious inspection and the King stiffened, physically, suddenly rigid against the boy. Yami's mind, the part of it reaching across the link to Yugi's fluttered in a delighted, shocked, spasm and Pharaoh gave a dazzled, utterly relieved, laugh before he caught himself.

Yami's mind seemed at once to want to lurch at Yugi's like a fish hook, almost flung itself at his peaking tip creeping out from behind the uncurling wall, but as Yugi panicked at the wave of it Pharaoh forced himself to be restrained. Like two cats circling. Yugi eased when Pharaoh seemed to find the shaking will to relent his desire to invade Yugi's almost pried open mind and surrendered to being gentle. Creeping back together Yugi let the edges of their minds touch, not intermingling, just rubbing and the mind lock uncoiled another knot. The mind link seemed to regenerate a fraction but as Yami's consciousness brushed his Yugi felt a shock and squeaking found it hurt from an old wound.

Instinctively Pharaoh's physical arms, which Yugi had all but forgotten existed, clutched him closer and cooing, fretting, ran fingers through his locks. Yami's mind pulled back at Yugi's sudden falter, sudden pain, but amazed, reminded, suddenly that Pharaoh had a body Yugi grunted into Pharaoh's neck trying to make him come closer again.

Naked almost, wrapped round each other, a new, weird, level was added to Yugi's sensations, Yugi's sense of being, when Yami tenderly brought the edges of their tentative minds back together. Yami ran his hand down Yugi's spine, kissed his temple, brushed their consciousness's and shivering Yugi found it felt good. Pharaoh somehow buzzed, physically and mentally, with joy some of the infection within him cured but that baseline hunger only seemed to intensify for more.

Like pulling the plug, snapping shut the lid of a box, Yugi's mind darted back unknowably and Yami groaned but forced himself to remain pliantly gentle round the boy's body and not chase after his mind like a fox after a rabbit.

"Bad?" Pharaoh supposed, aching to use the mind link, trying to find the cause of the retreat. Yugi's arms came up his back to grasp his shoulder blades and still soft the boy shook his head into Yami's clavicle.

"Keep going?" Yugi ordered softly, voice barely making it out at a whisper, but immediately responsive to his desires, having a line to follow, Pharaoh was eager to comply.

Arms very, very, carefully handled Yugi as they laid him back not as if the boy might break more, Yugi realized, concerned that he might lash back if he was displeased. From a small animal that had needed coaxing had Yugi become some vengeful god for Pharaoh to sacrifice for and please mindfully? Truth be told that didn't so much bother Yugi as the other option. He didn't want to be weak, he didn't want to be conquered, he wanted Yami to know that nothing would happen to him unless he allowed it and Pharaoh apparently understood that. Indeed Yami doted.

Pharaoh's hand rested on his bare navel and Yugi covered it with his own set to trace the knuckles and regard the warm weight as Yami leant to the bedside. He came back, not empty handed, and hand dragging down the boy's body returned to cup Yugi's knee.

"Still hate me?" Rather than accusing Yami sounded to be taking stock, worrisome, and unable to totally discern the inside of Yugi's head as the boy rolled over the question.

With Yami watching so intently Yugi had to think about it but the fury seemed neutralised, doped away, as if Yugi's damage had finally been treated, cauterized, with proper antiseptic. Mild, still unsure of his voice or unwilling with it, Yugi shook his head slowly. Pharaoh smiled.

"Like me?" He wondered offhanded.

Yugi considered it with equal thought. The pain, or most of it, was gone from his interior but the body, the heart, the mind was now numbed in a new cold way. Curiosity, interest, old nostalgia crept out from behind his uncoiling wall but weren't tempered with anything greater yet. Slowly, deliberate and distant, Yugi shook his head.

"I'll work on that," Pharaoh promised, smile mournful but hopeful. "May I?"

He squeezed Yugi's knee gently and, nodding, the boy drew up his leg to let Yami slip closer and re-extending it let the Pharaoh back between his lithe legs as he remained splayed on the mattress.

There was a strange... absence of sensation to Yugi. Not literally, physically, more what he expected to feel was numbed. Was it because he didn't like Yami enough to be nervous or because he had so much control? Regardless that virgin's nerve was steeled, subdue, under a critical eye. This didn't feel like sex, didn't feel sexual or violating really, wasn't infectious or heated or truly cold more Yugi found it seemed some religious experience, voodoo, black magic, some supernatural attempt to resew energies. Maybe he shouldn't have been surprised by that.

"This hurt?" Yugi inquired surprised by his own casual nonchalance and freezing Pharaoh's gaze flickered to his face as the smaller batted a strand of hair out of his own eyes.

"If you do these things right," Yami murmured, "then they never hurt. It's a myth to suppose that they always do. If something hurts then it means something's wrong. If I hurt you then I'm a clumsy fool. Pleasure isn't rushed, it's an absolute, if I sacrifice one moment or pleasure for another one later then I've failed."

"You think?" He pondered.

"There's always a little discomfort in experimentation but that's different to pain," Pharaoh rued. "I should never hurt you. I wouldn't dare, not with you, because if I hurt you you're not ready. If I hurt you again I think I'll just die."

"Would you hurt someone else?" Yugi quirked, a little more sharply this time and Yami chuckled.

"That's impossible," he answered, "I'd have to want someone other than you."

"I don't get you sometimes."

"I know," Pharaoh sighed, "I'm sorry. I don't think shadows are typically very eloquent."

"You didn't talk to me," Yugi frowned, "you didn't try."

"I tried." He insisted. "You wouldn't talk to me. You wouldn't even look at me."

"You scared the crap out of me." He shot.

"I'd never hurt you."

"He says now," Yugi mulled stubbornly, eyes rolling over the ceiling before they fell back on Pharaoh. "I'm not the one who mind crushed school kids, or killed competitors, or tried to kill Kaiba, or used the Orichalcos, or broke promises. How many times have we had this conversation where you apologise for hurting someone? I think I get to be a little scared when you start acting like a psycho. I think I get to want to be an adult without you breathing down my neck every day. I think there's a point where you get to take responsibility for yourself. We worked through Zorc, your memories, we fixed it so I don't think that just gets to be the excuse you use for not talking to me."

"I…" Yami floundered, nearly coloured, and sighed under the appraising eye. "You're…you're right."

"Yeah I am." Yugi snorted, almost laughed, nearly smiled but let Pharaoh frown longer.

"I'm sorry. I thought… I thought I had more control. I didn't want to scare you. I don't want to stop you growing up. I just…I adore you. I needyou, literally not figuratively, and I think it's hurting you too when we're apart."

"I'm not sixteen Pharaoh," he reminded extending his fingers, reaching, to brush Yami's navel appealing. "We can't hide in my bedroom anymore. I want to go places. I want you here but I want to know I can have privacy if I want it, that you trust me, that I can trust you. I want to know I don't have to let you into my head. You need to stop holding so tight. I'm not going to break. I'm okay."

Pharaoh grasped at his fingers. Hurried but struggling to be tender and squeezing them between his digits pressed his lips to Yugi's knuckles.

"I don't know what I'd do if I lost you." He nearly whimpered.

"You'd kill everyone. Go totally berserk." Yugi found himself laughing, smiling, "it'd be a rampage."

"Don't even joke. That would be hell."

"They're all gone," Yugi insisted, struggling up onto his hands to meet the Pharaoh eye to eye. "We won. Not everyone is out to get us. We're alive. Stop acting like I'm dying."

"Does it hurt you too?" Yami prodded suddenly, eyes running curiously over his face as he brought his hand over the boy's cheek.

"What?" Yugi tried to fathom.

"When I can't touch you, when I can't feel your mind or you soul the pain's acute." Pharaoh explained. "When you…did somethingto the mind link you were in pain too…?"

"Yeah…" He withdrew a little at the confession.

"How much?" Pharaoh pushed.

"I…" Yugi floundered.

"Tell me,"he compelled. "If we're trusting each other then I need to know you'll tell me when you're in pain. I want to know if your half of the soul needs me like mine needs yours."

The residual anger, the spite, twisting in Yugi refused to admit reliance if only because it gave Yami some share of power. It was selfish, stupid, but Yugi's knees wanted to draw in, away, resume some distance and cling to utter independence. He wanted to be all grown up, needless, but he had to admit in the human race that was something of an unhappy rarity. Pharaoh's fingers hooked under his knees as Yugi almost folded in and, tugging stoutly, kept them right where they were with the elder between his waiting thighs. He felt them tinged, felt the powers tug at each other for dominance, and forced to remain openly exposed Yugi relented however unwillingly and stubbornly.

"It hurt." He confessed tightly.

"Since when?" Pharaoh dug.

"Since…" Yugi dragged his teeth over his lip and, fingers flexing round the boy's knees, the Pharaoh refused to relent imposing himself. "Since I locked my mind."

"How much?"

"It's…" he wanted to down play it but he grazed Pharaoh's glance and found himself hesitant, guilty, to lie. "It's agony."

Yami eased, resumed a certain plushness, and sighing swept his arms round Yugi's waist to hold him closer. When the Pharaoh buried his face into Yugi's fridge and the boy found his neck a part of him, unwilling, unwound.

"I can barely sleep. I can barely eat. I'm anxious and I'm angry. I just feel dead." Suddenly Yugi couldn't shut up. Confessions came pouring out and with them dragged hidden tears. "It hurtsall the time."

"You need me too." Pharaoh concluded strangely contented.

"Don't be so smug!" He snapped.

"Shh, I'm sorry," Pharaoh placated immediately fingers carding through his hair. Yugi squirmed and wrapping him up tighter Yami peppered the boy with kisses. "You've been in pain. I can make it better. Are we agreed?"

"Are you going to be sane?" Yugi snorted irritably. He was rubbed all the wrong way again, hackles raised, at the pleasure, the security, Pharaoh felt in his dependency.

"If I can be one with you, trust you're safe, you can be assured of it." Pharaoh promised smoothly batting the hair from Yugi's vengeful face business like in his proposed contract. "I won't ask for much. You can have my support for anything. Now, can I make you feel better?"

"You can try," he sighed, but even now the spur of passion was retreating with a lighter pace. Fog clearing the Pharaoh was, finally, starting to reach some kind of clarity inside Yugi's mind. The more he cut the haze the lighter he felt and apologetic he let Yami's mistake, insult, slide with better intentions murmuring; "I think I'm a little crazy…"

"You're perfect." Yami stressed cupping his cheek to lavish the arch of the other. "I worship you."

"I'm not sure how healthy that is." Yugi soured weakly as Pharaoh pushed him back, directed more like, with tender fingers.

"If I was some boy at that punk filled school maybe," Pharaoh supposed belligerently, "but I'm a man who spent five thousand years in torment after ruling a country. I think we can safely escape with a little…obsession."

Pharaoh's fingers smoothed over his sides, down his thighs, inhaling with that same note of possessive totality. Yugi flickered a little at the dampening of Yami's eyes watching them darken and became hesitantly taunt under the coaxing. This was the side of Pharaoh now he'd never liked facing: the greedy conqueror who wanted to bottle Yugi up for himself somewhere far off and secret forever. Was that why he had wanted Yami to leave for the afterlife? Because in staying Yugi knew, unknowingly at once, that the Pharaoh would never consent to let go of him?

Slick fingers, cold, brushed slimy at Yugi along the ring of muscle and while he gasped, uncertain, Pharaoh almost seemed to smirk when the corners of his lips twitched up pleased. He'd wanted this, Yugi understood, for some time perhaps since getting his own body or even before. The physical craving for intimacy had never been an issue before now when Pharaoh could posses him at a moment's notice. When Pharaoh lived inside his body, his mind, his soul Yugi had very little choice to flex in keeping him out. Now Yami had his own body and a world to invade if he wanted to be here, opening Yugi's thighs, circling slick against his entrance as if he was savouring the intimate vulnerability it unlocked in the boy he wanted.

"I would've killed them if anyone touched you," Pharaoh whispered, and Yugi realized he didn't mean in aggression.

"How do you know someone didn't?" He murmured sharply, inhaling through his lips as the tip of Pharaoh's index finger dipped pushing, prying, past his resistance to rest just inside. He groaned, soft, not pained but locked at the strangeness of it.

"No one touched you, no one even kissed you, I know." The King warned resting his palm beside the boy's neck to lean over him as the cool digit curled and Yugi became more intimately aware of the man's weight between his parted legs. The boy gasped a little, tiny sounds, at the motion and Yami seemed to devour it with a soothed inhale in satisfaction. "I made sure of it."

"Why?" Yugi snapped weakly, hair falling, fringe sticking as Yami pressed to slip the digit languidly to the second knuckle and he was forced to bite his lip for the groan that wanted to escape in reaction. The touch was strange, almost nigglingly unpleasant, unnatural and infesting but carrying the molten heat of a fever which made his raised knees quake.

"They couldn't," Yami seemed to struggle to word it, "they don't deserve you. I… I couldn't let someone touch you like this and fail."

"What about-?" He struggled to speak, to call up friends names in suggestion, maybe render to push Yami back thoughtfully but was unable to when the King bottomed out inside him to the third knuckle and drawing back fractionally thrust to make the boy flex round him. "Nh…"

"Shh," Pharaoh soothed, "they don't deserve you."

"Do you?" Yugi strained, mewling breathless despite himself, as rumbling Yami guided the slick finger out creating some mild sensation of relief that was bizarre before thrusting slowly back in from tip to stern. It was a ripped sound Yugi made, befuddled, caught straddling discomfort and an eerie kind of metaphysical yummy heat.

"Maybe not," he admitted, "but I have you. I need you. You need me."

Bound, stuck, to each other Yugi had all the imagery; cancerous, tumours, parasitic…then Yami thrust and something shambled messily. Good. Nice, yummy, hmm...oh again… he bit his lip. He was falling backwards over a precipice. He didn't want Pharaoh to catch him but this beast wasn't going anywhere. Maybe it never had. Maybe this old savagery was an inescapable curse he'd invoked upon himself as payment for his wish. He could have friends, a charmed life, but perhaps the cost of all of it was to let Yami have him in return?

That should've been a more distressing idea but it seemed fair somehow. The puzzle was supposed to bear a curse. Yugi had avoided it, gotten his wish, and of course there should be some cost. You never got away scot free with magic. It wasn't the law of humans who were flawed and who appealed court cases or lost evidence. No, magic always caught you eventually. Yugi was tangled up in it quite literally, toes curling, groaning-moaning behind his teeth, calves tight, knees weak as Pharaoh conquered. Resistance lessened in his muscles as Yugi caught the hang of it. Once it started to feel sickly pleasurable, once Yami got the hook in, Yugi couldn't seem to make himself uncomfortable anew.

Pharaoh withdrew the padded tips of two digits brushing then sinking in, like teeth into skin actually, and Yugi's lips came apart as if reopening a wound when his head fell back.

"Ngah…" It was a senseless, stupid, breathy sound, feverish gibberish, when Yugi turned his cheek into the sheets and curled his fingers for purchase. He inhaled, mewled, and his tongue appeared unsure at the syllables it was attempting.

"Hmm…" Yami was arched over him, seemed to be drawing pleasure from Yugi's pleasure almost via osmosis, taunt as a bow.

"Ah!" Yugi hiccupped. As the sensation suddenly layer, his body coiling with a spasm, when Yami's mind brushed back into his, which was fast coming unlaced as if Pharaoh was plucking open the ribbons of some mental corset, when he tangled a third digit to thrust deep bottoming out into Yugi.

"Shh," Pharaoh's fingers escaped from tormenting Yugi's nerve endings, and stroking up the flanks of his thighs Pharaoh's hands were strong when they found the grooves of the boy's hips and drew him closer to the apex of his own thighs.

Something was strange, older, and Yugi felt bizarrely small and young and flush suddenly. He couldn't trace the vein of the feeling but Pharaoh had changed to peel back some other layer. They were reaching the core of this, the mind link was flared almost back to life and very soon Yugi sensed Yami would see everything he had sequestered behind his defences. It was like breaking a dam, they'd flood and mingle, Yugi could feel it coming and Pharaoh wanted it while he lingered on the edge of trepidation.

Yami kissed him out of a thought, tugged him back into fever with burning lips from the antiseptic quiet of Yugi's private mind and tongue dipping into Yugi's mouth strung them both to purr. Leaning up into the kiss Yugi was vaguely aware of Pharaoh brushing the tip of his arousal along his entrance. Steadily Pharaoh built the pressure, Yugi felt himself restrict tensely and then at the coaxing press against his nerves, unable to hold himself, he gave in instinctively.

"O-oh…" The initial gasp fell into something of moan? Groan? Ache? It didn't hurt when the head parted him, entered, but it was immediately too much without there being any real sharp pain.

He strained a little to accommodate Pharaoh, to relax, as hands fast round his hips, thumbs in the grooves, Pharaoh refused to still. It was slow, insistent, burying a sword to the hilt refusing to stop but able only to inch, crawling, inside him. Yugi forgot how to breathe.

"Ah!" He gasped.

There was a pinprick, a needle through the surface of the skin, inside Yugi's mind. The membrane between he and Pharaoh, what was left of his mental wall, was breached and at once Yami's conscious came flooding to mingle with his.

Yugi's back arched, a plucked string, hands scraping above his head to push into the wall and more against Yami. The Pharaoh moaned and shaking Yugi found himself unable to stop the hiccupping mewls he made on every inhale because very suddenly his pleasure was doubled with Yami's own. It was nearly as if he could see both sides of the mirror, feel how tight he was round Pharaoh's arousal as it bottomed out totally inside him to the hilt, and clawing at the wall Yami was everywhere. Under his skin, in his mind, in his heart and Yugi knew he was rushing back into the Pharaoh when he moaned thickly, soaking up the satisfaction and total domination with which he had Yugi under him.

Mou Hitori No Boku!

It rippled out of Yugi's mind on reflex. Not a scream but a moan bubbling out of his throat to couple with it. Yesyesyes. He wasn't sure what Yami could perceive but at that thought, he felt the other's mind and knew Yami heard everything. The name, those old words Yugi hadn't used for so long, felt perfectly right now. Puzzle piece back in place.

Pharaoh-

Mou Hitori no Boku, he corrected softly in prompt, nipping at Yugi's jaw.

Yugi folded, turned towards those lips and would've whimpered if they hadn't immediately sealed on his. The other seemed to want to test it, crash them more enfolded, and bucked a little hips rocking into Yugi without ever really thrusting. There were splinters of physical and mental pleasure from all directions. Yami's thoughts, his desires, his pleasure, mingled with Yugi's own. Perfect. Yugi fractured. Felt a rush low in his pelvis of being utterly, fathomlessly, safe and adored.

The Spirit of the Puzzle, Yami seemed to like that old title just as dearly given how he coaxed it from Yugi, squeezed his hips as Yugi's fingers peeled up his arched back and withdrawing half an inch thrust back slowly into the captured boy. Oh. Yugi's knees tightened round him, fingers flexed, and his mind fell back into shambles. Yes. This was perfect, so good, Yami could have him then. Forever! However! If it felt like this to surrender. Yugi folded, submitted and Yami's hips asserted themselves more fully in reward accentuating the tease of skin on skin contrasted with the fullness, totality, of being one. He seemed to prove his point.

The nasty things in Yugi: the resentment, the anger, the bitterness and doubt and fear… seemed to be weeds and somehow Yami ripped them up to crumble back to their foundations and sneak back to his side of the ocean. They were qualities of hate, darkness, things the Spirit retrieved for himself and with them gone Yugi felt himself lighten, unfold, old spark refilling sacred and sudden like spring had hit. Yami peppered his cheeks with kisses, tangled Yugi up, stole him and locked the boy back up under his own protection. Yugi moaned rising his hips to meet the tangible slap of Yami's against him, inside him.

He was totally possessed again. Yugi had lost this one. Yami won, greed won, but it felt so good to give up. Yami took back the weapons, gave Yugi back his toys and his happiness and in having Yugi's image returned to what it should be the Spirit surged with possessive desire for him. When Yugi became softer, gentler, pliant Pharaoh instantly wanted him impossibly more.

Yami was back to a presence in his mind, dark, but overlapped with that Yugi could feel his body pressed impossibly hot, ruddy and physical. Thick, hot, slick Pharaoh pivoted his hips slowly, tense on his knees and elbows as Yugi's fingers felt the strength of the muscles under the thinly spread skin. Yami could've taken Yugi harder but when he paused inside the boy at the end of each purposeful, sticky, motion it was somehow fuller in how it conquered and possessed.

That's it. Let me take you. Was that his thought or Yami's? They seemed synced but Yugi's colours were different. Must have been Yami…

He was forgetting how to breathe. His heart was drumming. Weak and claimed. Yami's arousal, his languid invading thrust, throbbing and melting and stretching made Yugi think he was going to unravel entirely to goo. Yami jerked, found a firmer rhythm, and Yugi matched the tempo without much choice. He could feel how raw, savage, the Spirit was with victory and worship. Yami was lost in his own pleasure, in Yugi's pleasure, in the tight plush of Yugi's willing body to last much more of the torture. This was what he'd wanted: oneness completed, merged, till Yugi was moaning his name and willingly spread his.

Yesyesyes.

Yami chuckled, breathless, half panting and nearly giddy. Yugi may as well have been consumed, eaten alive, letting himself be shackled. Wrong, so wrong, but yet with it came a total certainty and order beyond human simplicity. The puzzle, the magic, their souls, the mind link that wasn't going anywhere, Yami who wasn't going anywhere… Yugi could give into it, the voodoo witchcraft of black magic, for his own bloody kind of curse. Goddontstop.

Yami whispered, sewing them, against Yugi's ear to let the boy fully taste the rumble of the baritone that was cutting.

"No one can ever have you like this. No one else can ever be one with you. You're mine," Pharaoh asserted, rolling his hips between Yugi's thighs as he held the boy down. "I'm sorry for that Yugi. I know I need you more than you need me but the only consolation I can offer is to promise you that: you will have the happiest life the universe can afford. No one will ever love you more than I do and no one will ever hurt you because I will destroy them."

Yami sealed it, officially, set the conditions of Yugi's paradise-imprisonment and nodding, breathless, he didn't dare bother to argue.

"Mou Hitori…" he lost it, purring, aching. Yes.

Yugi got it, he understood, this needed to be if he was ever to know any kind of peace or else Yami would hunt and haunt forever. His assent too, the contract of it, and how Yugi pushed up into Yami's body with it gave the old darkness there plenty of gobble for itself.

"A-ngh-ah!" It was a choked, soft, brittle little sound Yugi mangled as his calf buckled in and he hit his breaking point rapturously.

Yami held him through the spasms, purred, thrust hard once then continuously at a sickly-sweetly soft pace ridding his own orgasm and extending it by savouring the feel of the boy contracting and flexing round him milking his seed. What an old thought, a novel idea, 'seed' was and Yugi fluttered half convinced it had come from the darker caverns of Yami's abyss of a mind wrapping round Yugi's.

There was quiet, Yugi was butter, the thrum in his head had evaporated to a tingle and his body seemed wracked free of all pains, aches, to a heady, warm, gooey glow he used to associate with putting on the puzzle after removing it to shower. It was as if, slapped back round, he'd been healed. He felt like Yugi again. All good.

Yami panted, leant into his hands, forehead on Yugi's clavicle reminiscence of a hunched lion while Yugi sprawled limp. Their minds, hearts, souls and bodies smashed back together there was blissful, radiant, peace. Yugi could feel the double edge of that sword, the danger of what he'd just signed to in his deal with the devil but didn't care. He'd made that deal years ago. Trying to weasel out of it these past few months had achieved nothing. With Pharaoh back inside him, no secrets, he was freer somehow and everything was set pristine like glass. Yugi didn't feel as if he was wading through wet cement anymore. Yami would fix, Yami would bend and mend and face anything to make everything right. Yugi was devoid of concern.

The Spirit let him soak in those thoughts, examining each note from Yugi like it was something made of glass, something precious, before putting it back down in the boy's mind without tampering. He kissed Yugi's clavicle, seemed to encourage the train of thought, let his own greed be the corner stone to trust.

Yugi squirmed, thighs flexing, and felt, befuddled with bed warmth, the peculiar new sensation of Yami hardening within him.

"Hmm," he pushed his fingers against the Pharaoh's shoulder and hushing him gently Yami's hands stroked his hips to tempt them up a little.

"That's it," he purred, "relax…"

"Mou Hitori no Boku…?" Yugi whispered weakly.

Yami purred, low ripple of baritone into a sigh, and began flexing his hips back into a teasingly slow, delicate, rhythm. Over sensitive and boneless, weightless, Yugi hardly had any strength to struggle and couldn't fathom how Yami could want him again already let alone find the will to actually take him.

"Mine," he sighed, "beautiful Mou Hitori no Ore."

Yugi quirked, laughed a hair, and nearly cooed into the forgotten pseudonym.

"Aibou," Yami murmured just as softly creeping up to extend his arc, hips rocking, as he pressed his lips at the shell of Yugi's ear and scrapped to bury his face into the junction of the boy's jaw. "Hikari."

Yugi hadn't heard Yami use that one before but where Aibou caused him to shudder in nostalgic bliss Hikari made his toes curl shyly. Pretty words that formed little prayers of adoration as Yami tasted the thrill of being able to take Yugi how he wanted, like he wanted, when he wanted a second time in only so many moments.

Yugi drifted, anchored at port only by Yami, too tired to be any more frazzled but to lay back and let the other wring a tiny bit more pleasure out of him. It felt good to have Yami flex, move, inside him through the heartbeats but he was still giddy when with a quiet shudder the Pharaoh filled him with heat a second time. Yami's shoulders slumped, finally medicated, and Yugi himself felt drugged when the other rather delicately untangled them and collapse back onto the mattress beside him.

Yugi's mind fluttered he wanted Yami to hold him but-

Pharaoh kissed his temple, before Yugi could finish the thought, and catching the end of the image Yami grunted pushing himself off the bed. He traipsed, deliciously naked and stunningly handsome for someone so transfixed on Yugi, and putting his elbow into it Yami pushed up the bottom panel of the window to let midday air flood the stagnant room.

Yugi cooed, curled to his side, the last pieces of tension dripping out of his spine as he felt the shadow magic peel back from its lockdown to open the house back, reconnect it, with the rest of the world. Detoxed Yugi was relatively clingy when Yami tangled up, all legs, with him and kissed his forehead.

Yugi's arm folded up Yami's back, sagging to sprawl across his hip, and the Spirit traced curves up his spine.

"Love you," Yugi mumbled brainlessly, off with the fairies.

It came wafting up from some back channel of his mind and like a key into a lock made the Spirit of the Puzzle glow desperately. Yami had kept his promise, won the game, won the trust, exorcised the house's shadow magic from lockdown so they could come and go freely so he was rewarded.

Yugi burrowed against his clavicle and could see, taste, the plots checking off in Yami's never ending regal mind. It was commander's logic jumping from one battle to a next with a keen focus upon Yugi. Pharaoh wanted to bathe them, feed him, and clean him up because he could feel the aches in Yugi and sense how the boy had nearly starved himself with anxiety. Yami held him closer stroking his back and tried to keep his grip lax as if Yugi might scare or break.

"Hm," Yugi whispered, snuggling down. "I want to go to Ryou's."

Yami baulked on the interior, like a startled cat, started to clamp like a vice and Yugi nuzzled him as the darkness wrapped round him so close Yugi couldn't even feel cold in his nudity.

"He's going to be worried," Yugi muttered to elaborate, "and if you want me not to leave you've got to be reasonable."

He tried to appeal, let Yami riffled through his thoughts, tried to make it clear the need here: to be free to move on his leash, mutual trust, security that came from knowing Yami wouldn't hamper him from flourishing… The Pharaoh retracted a little, sighed, and Yugi could see the political strain of negotiation forming in the other's mind when Yami knew he was right.

"Take a bath first?" Yami appealed gently, hopefully, but still adamant inside. "It's not even noon."

"After I call him," Yugi nodded.

"Take a cab there and home?" The other added, tentatively pushing, and when Yugi seemed to scoff internally added. "It's a long walk."

"Okay," he consented in forfeit, Yami had a decent point and he was going to be aching from all that use, love making, they'd just committed. Yugi remarked to himself how funny the adjectives he used still were but let it pass like a bottle floating out to sea.

"Have a big meal, relax, spoil yourself." Yami pleaded hand tracing the bones of Yugi's flank. "Text me?"

"Heh," Yugi smiled a little, "okay."

He almost offered to take the Pharaoh with him but they both quelled that though together without speaking. Yami wouldn't be welcomed or trusted in Ryou's home right now. He did himself more favours, endeared himself more to the pale schoolmate, if he didn't breathe down Yugi's neck. If he let Yugi go and come back he endeared himself to Yugi.

"Can I have you all day tomorrow?" Yami suggested. "When you get home."

"Yeah," Yugi nestled, rubbing up into him like a cat and the Spirit of the Puzzle, possessive, quite crooned at it when he did lavishing Yugi mentally and physically with kisses. "I can do homework with Ryou, it'll be easier together, and curl up with you tomorrow."

"Okay," Pharaoh liked that, he couldn't express it vocally very well but having Yugi draw up his knees and suggest such things as simple as spending a day letting the Spirit fawn over him was a shudder of pleasure.

Yugi got the impression he'd spend the greater part of tomorrow locked in Yami's lap protectively, spoilt, and no doubt fondled all of which Pharaoh didn't deny. Wouldn't deny really considering how bashful he was not about the whole affair. Pharaoh would make no apologies apparently for wanting him. Needing him, he stressed to Yugi over the mind link, and the boy had to consider how much of tomorrow he'd spend toying with or being toyed with or with the Pharaoh in his mouth or…

Oh now who thought of that?

Yami wasn't owning up to it, neither was Yugi, it seemed to be unanimously both their faults and if they were sharing blame with a little smirk the Spirit suggested he wouldn't quite mind that outcome. Yugi snorted lightly, shimmed out of Pharaoh's arms and sat groggily. Still laying Yami's hand stroked the small of his back. As Yugi tried to find the strength to rouse fully Yami rather forced himself to follow and pressed his lips dotingly to the supple patch of Yugi's bare upper arm.

So they had an accord settled then: Yugi's compliance for Yami's docility. The boy decided it would have to be an even trade. It meant no girlfriends, or boyfriends, meant only Pharaoh as the Spirit had so clearly professed. It meant no household all Yugi's own. It offered security, nearly perfect romance and loyalty or fealty and as Yami stroked his arms Yugi knew he had a prize. Anzu would be jealous. He could've done worse to entangle himself. Given a few more days he'd forget all this entirely for Yami's lavish better qualities and how the other tangled them together with so much talent. Yugi could still have relatively the same life he dreamed of, really, what adventure would Yami dare hold him back from?

If this was the cost of peace Yugi would face it. If this was the face of love Yugi would have to embrace it. Mou Hitori no Boku would always refuse to let him go.

Yami kissed his plush cheek.


1 That was a massive lemon I think it's safe to say.
2 'Hikari' in my experience is more a fanon term than an actual canon term which is why Yugi's rather surprised to hear Yami use it for the first time. In the anime Yami talks about his 'Partner/Other Self', Yami Bakura talks about his 'Land Lord/Host' and Yami Marik prefers to call Marik his 'Weaker Half' (which is kind of a dick move really).
3 sort of a semi-dark ending eh?

Sending you all lots of love!