Title: Shades of You and Me - Ch. 1: Cherry Red
Author: bnomiko
Rating: PG-13
Pairing(s): Seto + Yami
Spoilers: takes place post-Noa's arc; vague and non-spoiling reference to Pharaoh's Memory / Ancient Egypt arc
Warnings: swearing
Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the creation of Kazuki Takahashi. "Midnight Blue" is performed and recorded by Lou Gramm. This is a not-for-profit fanwork and I do not own any of these characters.
Summary: Chronologically, the first fic in my "Life with Kai-baby and Yami-kins" AU. Yami and Seto go out on their first date... against their will, of course.
Status: 1 / 4
Archived at: http://www.phenixsol.com/Miko/FF/

This is a SHONEN-AI fic (male + male romantic relationship). If you are offended by homosexual relationships, please do not read this. Flames will be disregarded.

* * *

Setup for this fic:

@>'--,---'--- @>'--,---'--- @>'--,---'--- @>'--,---'---

Shades of You and Me

Ch. 1: Cherry Red

* * *

You were the restless one
And you did not care
That I was the trouble boy
Lookin' for a double dare
I won't apologize for
The things I've done and said
But when I win your heart,
I'm gonna paint it cherry red

- "Midnight Blue," Lou Gramm

* * *

Yami shuffled reluctantly behind Yugi as the younger teen led him to the fountain in the center of Domino Plaza. Sure, the ex-spirit had told his other half that he owed him a favor for covering his shift at the Kame Game Shop several weeks prior, but he hadn't expected anything like this. Frankly, Yami resented being set up on blind dates; the last time that had happened, he had been stuck with Anzu for an entire day. Not that she isn't a good friend, but Yugi hadn't known at the time that I'm...

Yugi's voice disrupted his internal dialogue. "Well, it looks like we're a bit early," he commented, eyeing the clock at the north end of the fountain. "But don't worry!"

"Aibou... are you sure this is such a good idea?" The crimson-eyed teen fidgeted with the buttons on his sleeveless black shirt. "I really don't think..."

The little duelist swatted at Yami's hands and leaned in close to whisper, "Don't worry, this time I got the gender right! And this guy is a perfect match for you. He's... strong willed, and smart, and I know you'll find him attractive."

The former Pharaoh sighed. "Why won't you just tell me who he is? Or at least show me a photo or something? Are you even sure that he's gay? Last time, when you just dumped me at the coffee shop with Anzu..."

Yugi gave his other half a tolerant smile. "I already said I'm sorry. If I had known about your sexual orientation, I wouldn't have tricked you into going out with her."

"Speaking of Anzu, are you ever going to ask her..."

"Hey, Yugi! Yami!" came a familiar voice, and both spiky-haired teens turned to see Mokuba Kaiba running towards them at full speed.

"Oh... hi Mokuba," said Yugi cheerfully. "What are you doing here?"

Yami suddenly had a very bad feeling about the entire situation and he took the opportunity to try and bolt, but Yugi grabbed onto the collar of his shirt and refused to let go. "Yugi! Please!"

"No! Just relax. Your date will be along in a minute, I'm sure."

"You're going on a date, Yami?" The black-haired boy blinked cutely. "With who?"

Not him, not him, please not him...

"It's a blind date," Yugi answered for him as he transferred his grip to Yami's wrist. Yami frowned as Yugi winked at Mokuba.

"That's cool. Hey, Nii-sama, Onii-chan!"

Yami winced. He threw Yugi another pleading look, but the younger teen only smiled back and patted his hand in reassurance.

"What are you losers doing here?" asked Kaiba, as he approached the trio with long strides, Noa trotting along beside him. The tall brunette was way too well dressed to be out for a simple Sunday stroll, and Yami fought the urge to stare at him.

Osiris, take me now! With a deceptively calm voice, Yami greeted the pair. "Kaiba. Noa."

"Yami's waiting for his blind date," said Yugi, grinning slyly. Yami squirmed a little.

"Really? Would you believe that Seto's here for the same reason?" Noa practically shouted back, grinning broadly. He wasn't nearly as good of an actor as his younger brother. Kaiba quirked his brow and stared at Yami, who began backing away slowly.

The young billionaire crossed his arms. It was damn obvious now who his mystery date was, but he was willing to play along for the time being since that would give him the opportunity to bait his rival. "I'm amazed that anyone would want to date a shrimp like you. But I guess that explains why you'd need Yugi to set you up," Kaiba said haughtily.

Yami's eyes narrowed. Two can play at this game. "And what about you? Did you finally realize that no one would want to date a conceited, temperamental ass like yourself, no matter how much money you might have?

"Please. I'm only putting up with this nonsense because I made the mistake of promising Noa that I'd take a day off and spend it however he chose." Blue eyes fixed on the green-haired teen, and Noa practically shrank under the gaze. "That's a mistake I don't intend to make again."

"And I'm only here because... well, does it matter? I can get dates if I wanted to. Girls are always looking at me." He stepped in closer to Kaiba and tilted his chin up proudly, utilizing every inch of his height.

Girls huh? What a lousy liar. Kaiba unconsciously swept his gaze over his shorter rival, taking in the fitted shirt, low-slung pants with a web of straps crisscrossing the back, the sweep of spiky blonde bangs and the cant of blazing crimson eyes. He looked good... but then again, he had always looked good, even in the bizarre, kinky clothing he and Yugi favored. And he smelled nice too... the faintly spicy and woodsy with a trace of cinnamon, honey and chocolate. Kaiba's nostrils flared a bit. Hn... I hate my hormones. Kaiba roughly pushed aside his admiration of his rival as he put his hands on his hips and leaned down. "They're looking at you because you're shorter than they are. And I practically have to fight off all the girls who want to date..."

A sudden snapping noise and the feel of cold metal caught the attention of the two older teens. Yugi suddenly let go of Yami's hand and Yami brought his wrist up just as Kaiba did the same. And then that's when they realized... Mokuba had handcuffed them together.

"Mo... Mokuba!! What the fuck is this?!" Kaiba yelled, his face turning red as he yanked at the chain in frustration. His sudden tugging only succeeded in pulling Yami off balance and the former Pharaoh stumbled forward and fell against the brunette's chest. Scowling outwardly, Yami secretly thanked every god in Egypt for giving him the opportunity to press himself against Kaiba's body. The brunette was an ass, plain and simple, but there really was no denying that his body was hot. Too bad it wasn't hot enough to thaw out his personality a bit.

Mokuba wisely ran and hid behind Yugi, then made a show of putting the keys to the cuffs in his shirt pocket. "Seto, Yami. Yami, Seto. Congratulations, you're on a date now!"

"What?!" Kaiba looked down at the crimson-eyed teen who was now glaring at his other half. "I'm not..."

Aibou... Yami growled through their mind link.

Uh... there's no one here at the moment? Please leave a message?

You planned this?! How could you? I can't go out with HIM.

Well, actually all three of us planned it. We figured you guys would be a perfect match as long as you gave it a chance. Hence the handcuffs. And I don't see why can't you go out with Kaiba. You're always lusting after him, thinking about how hot he is and how you want to do... all sorts of obscene things to him. It's gotten to the point where it's leaking all over our link... I SO don't want to be thinking about Kaiba's ass every time I see him!

Yugi... I was just looking! It's... it's a hormone thing! I'm not used to having to deal with those yet! You can't be serious; there's no way this will work! And if it doesn't...

It's more than hormones and you know it. Back when we still shared a body, you'd just pop in and take over whenever he was around. Admit it... looking wasn't enough. You liked bantering with him, dueling against him, dueling with him, standing uncomfortably close to him...

While Yami and Yugi argued back and forth telepathically, Kaiba tried to convince Mokuba to unlock the cuffs.

"Look, I don't want to be here. He doesn't want to be here."

"Nii-sama... it's just one date. It won't kill you."

Kaiba groaned and rubbed his forehead in frustration. "And why the hell would I want to go out with Yami for anyways? Even once?"

"Well... for one thing, you're obsessed with him. And you guys have a lot in common," Mokuba answered brightly.

Kaiba rolled his eyes. "I'm 'obsessed' with beating him, not... not... *grrr*... And name one thing other than Duel Monsters that we would have in common."

"You're gay, and he's gay?"

"Kaiba, are you really?" asked Yami, suddenly taking an interest in the conversation. It had never occurred to him that his rival might prefer men as well.

"What the fuck is it to you, you stupid freak?"

Yami's brows slammed together. "Why do you always have to be such a jerk?" He gave the cuffs a good tug. "I can't do this. I swear on the Eye of Horus, if you don't unlock these cuffs right now, Mokuba, I'll..."

Yami! Control yourself!

"Don't threaten my brother, you little shit!" Kaiba yelled, and even Noa edged in front of his younger brother.

Safely ensconced behind Noa and Yugi, Mokuba crossed his arms and gave Yami a good approximation of his big brother's "Don't Fuck with Me" glare. "You'll do what?"

... must... Mind Crush...

Yami, you are NOT going to Mind Crush him, Yugi ordered firmly.

"I'll... I'll..." He sighed in defeat. "I'll chew my own arm off?"

Noa groaned, then waggled his finger. "No losing limbs, either one of you. And to make sure the two of you don't make a run for the nearest hardware store, we're going to chaperone your date. And one final thing..." He stepped forward, quickly reached into his brother's coat pocket, and boldly relieved Kaiba of his Duel Monsters deck and cellphone.

"Noa... what the hell do you think you're doing?" Kaiba's fist clenched in anger and Noa instantly ducked in behind Mokuba.

"No dueling. And no phone calls. Yugi, you have Yami's deck right?"

"Yep. And I have the movie tickets too."

"Perfect!" chirped Mokuba, switching moods instantly. He picked up his cellphone and placed a call to Fubeta, who was waiting in the limo around the corner, asking him to pick them up right away.

* * *

It was a simple date. Yugi, Mokuba and Noa only planned on a movie and dinner. But the younger youths were smart enough to know that Kaiba and Yami would try to make a break for freedom. So once the limo dropped them off at the Domino Multiplex 12, Mokuba forced the somewhat reluctant duo to sit one row down from the back corner of the theater, then reserved a block of seats directly behind them while Yugi and Noa went to check out the concessions stand.

Well, Yami had to admit that his date could have been worse. He could have been matched up with someone like... Insector Haga. At least Kaiba was nice to look at. Yami had always admired that tall, lean figure and those intense blue eyes from afar during their duels. And he certainly didn't have any complaints about the fact that Kaiba was absolutely dressed to kill in a cinnamon brown suit with an iridescent blue-black finish and a matching tie in a brown and yellow check. And beyond his fabulous physical qualities, he was intelligent and cunning, brave and loyal, and had the quirkiest sense of humor. And he was also conceited, belligerent, and a general pain in the ass whenever it suited him. The crimson-eyed teen wasn't sure if the pros outweighed the cons. But since they were being forced into a date, he figured he might as well enjoy it while he could... or they could make an escape attempt. Or perhaps a little from A and a little from B.

With a sly smile, Yami leaned over a little and whispered, "Kaiba."

"What?" he snapped, but the familiar sound of Yami's voice was almost comforting in a way

Yami could only hope that Mokuba wasn't eavesdropping. "You know how to pick a lock?" The shorter teen fished a Swiss army knife out of his pocket and flashed it at the brunette.

"Hn. After the movie starts."

Yami inclined his head slightly in agreement, then palmed the knife in his right hand and reached out for Kaiba's left hand. The young billionaire quickly slid his hand under Yami's, allowing the knife to drop into his palm as their fingers brushed together.

The shorter duelist smirked and left his hand where it was. Let's see what his next move will be.

Kaiba stared stupidly at the hand that was still dangling over the armrest. Of all the stupid people to be even remotely attracted to. Stupid testosterone! So I like looking at him, and smelling him, and listening to his voice, and having him smash himself against my chest. Doesn't mean I want to date him. The jerk's probably just trying to find something else to hold over my head, and I don't need that crap, especially from the King of Games!

"We didn't miss anything, did we?" came Noa's voice. He and Yugi came back down the stairs with some drinks and a bag of chocolate covered peanuts. Yami's hand jerked reflexively, but Kaiba grabbed it before he was able to pull it back. The two older teens glanced at each other in surprise.

Behind them, Mokuba grinned, just as the lights began to dim. "Nope... you guys came just in time for the show!"

* * *

Perhaps the first escape attempt would have been successful if Yami hadn't nodded off during the middle of the movie. Kaiba had managed to pick the lock after several attempts, but by the time he finally freed himself from the manacles the crimson-eyed teen had fallen asleep, leaning over slightly against the brunette's shoulder. So as Kaiba tried to slide out from his seat, Yami tilted and fell over him, pinning him in place as Yugi squawked and began giving the two of them a severe tongue-lashing while the other moviegoers shushed him.

Not surprisingly, Yugi commandeered the Swiss army knife as Mokuba reattached the cuff to his brother's wrist.

The second escape attempt came just as the movie ended. As the afternoon crowd streamed out of the theater, Kaiba turned to Yami and simply said, "Run."

The crimson-eyed duelist smirked and instantly moved to comply, and the two of them wove through the crowd in unison and made it through the door with ease. Well, almost. Yami went through one door, Kaiba through the other, and neither one gave any thought to the fact that their wrists were still connected and that the doors were separated by a divider.

Departing moviegoers gawked at the two teens sitting on the ground, moaning. But a glare and growl from Kaiba sent most of them on their way.

I knew I should have chewed off my arm earlier, Yami thought while he rubbed his throbbing right forearm after having it slammed into the metal support divider.

Yugi made a tsking sound and crouched down to look his other half in the eye. "It's kinda funny how well you two work together when you're trying to escape from each other, don't you think?"

"More like how well we don't work together," snarled Kaiba, hand over his left shoulder. "If the dumbass here hadn't fallen asleep, I would've gotten away on the first try. Then he has to go through the wrong door. What the hell, Yami, didn't they have doors in ancient Egypt?"

"They certainly didn't have doors with... with... some stupid piece of metal in the center of it!"

"You two... are really something," said Noa, trying in vain to hide his amusement. Who would've thought tagging along on a date could be so much fun?

Mokuba grinned, then did his best to put on a straight face while turning back to his oldest brother. "Okay, here's the deal. We already have dinner reservations and we ARE going to finish this date. If I take off the handcuffs, will you two promise to stop these insane escape attempts? It's not like we don't know where you both live."

Kaiba rolled his eyes at that. "Anything to get these ridiculous handcuffs off."

"Just dinner huh?" asked Yami. Noa and Yugi both nodded. Other than the bruising of his arm, the crimson-eyed teen had really been enjoying the little teasing game with his rival.

Kaiba smirked. "That eager to get rid of me, Pharaoh? Do I frighten you that badly?"

"Hardly. Why would I be afraid of someone who can't even beat me in a duel?" Yami automatically responded, also smirking.

Yugi sighed loudly. "Will you both quit that and just promise us so we can take the cuffs off already?"

Yami and Kaiba both turned their attention to Yugi. Without missing a beat, Yami said, "You do realize how ridiculous this is, Kaiba. We're been outmaneuvered by my aibou and your two little brothers. But all right. You have my word, Yugi."

Kaiba scowled. "Hmph. I refuse to be manipulated like this. I'm going to get you back for this, shrimp. And the two of you are grounded as soon as this is over." Because there's no way this could possibly work out and I'm wasting my time here.

"What?! No way, Nii-sama!" Mokuba looked like he was about to pitch a fit right in front of the theater.

Noa put a reassuring hand on Mokuba's shoulder. "Otouto... if Seto agrees to finish the date as planned, I won't argue if he really wants to ground us. So... do you agree or not, Nii-sama?"

"You're a brat, you know that? But fine, whatever..." He held his wrist out.

"Good." Noa nodded at Mokuba, who dug out the keys and finally released the cuffs.

* * *

The restaurant that was chosen for dinner turned out to be Orange Hill, which billed itself as the most romantic restaurant in Domino. Located on top of a hill overlooking the city, it offered spectacular views all the way to the ocean. It was a nice night, so Noa had reserved two tables out on the patio in the very farthest corner.

"You know, we did promise to stay through dinner," Yami commented idly as the younger trio sat themselves at the next table, effectively blocking off any potential escape attempts in that direction.

"We're just making sure that neither one of you is tempted by the thought of throwing yourselves off the patio afterwards," Yugi answered cheerfully as he began flipping through the menu.

"Aibou, we're on top of a hill... it's a 100 foot drop from here."

"Not taking any chances!" Yugi sang back.

"Hn. I'm tempted to throw myself over the edge right now just to shut you up, Yugi," Kaiba said with a smirk.

"Good thing we aren't handcuffed together any more then," Yami responded, smirking in turn.

"Seto, you realize you're setting a terrible example for me and Onii-chan," said Mokuba with a dramatic sigh. "I don't think I'll ever be able to go out on a date without trying to find escape routes first."

Kaiba just eyed his little brother, then got up, picked up the patio table the trio was sitting at, and moved it as far away from his table as possible. "Now, do I have to physically move all of you or can you move yourselves?" Yami couldn't help but laugh as he heard the squeaking of three chairs being dragged away.

Satisfied, Kaiba returned to his table and sat back down. "Easily amused, Pharaoh?'

"Oh stop it, Kaiba. We're here... might as well make the best of it." He peeked out from behind his menu and threw the young CEO a quick wink. "And at least we're out of the cuffs, like I said."

"Hn. Admit it, you liked it you kinky bastard. What's with those pants anyways?" I wonder what you'd look like tied up in those straps... uh, I did NOT just think that. Even more alarming was the fact that his dick had jumped at the very thought.

Yami looked down. "These pants? They're called er... bondage pants."

"Ha! You're such a freak, Yami."

Yami smiled broadly. It was one of those moments... either he and Kaiba could continue to pointlessly pick at each other all evening, or he could just up the stakes in this little game... though Yami was now more interested in the prize than the fight. "Yes, I suppose I am. Tell me, Kaiba, do you like it freaky?" he teased.

The taller teen blinked. "Huh?"

The ex-spirit's grin grew. "You know, I never did get the chance to ask you earlier. You have nice, large hands. Is it true what they say about the size of a man's hands?"

Kaiba actually flushed at that. "Wha... what?!" Is he toying with me?

"Oh... I thought that would have been one of those things you'd have memorized, you know. Of course I can't say which is more attractive, your intellect or your hot ass."

"My... hot... ass." So he wants to play games, does he? "At least I'm not wearing pants that scream 'tie me up and fuck me.'"

"You seem obsessed with my pants. Is it the front view or the rear view that's doing it for you?"

"Your... hmph. Nice try. I'm not falling for that." However, he couldn't stop his mind from recalling images of Yami walking around in his usual leather pants, every step highlighting lean muscle and firm buttocks.

"Speaking of falling, there's a little secret I should tell you." Yami leaned closer to Kaiba and beckoned to him, setting his menu upright on the table like a screen.

The young billionaire scowled but dipped his head down behind the menu. "What?"

"During the movie..."

"Uh huh..."

"I wasn't actually asleep." The crimson-eyed teen sat back and gave Kaiba his biggest, smuggest grin. I just needed an excuse to throw myself all over your delicious body. Because once wasn't enough.

"You weren't... you did that on purpose?!" Kaiba yelled, jumping to his feet and towering over the shorter teen. Mokuba, Noa and Yugi all whipped their heads around in alarm and glared at the brunette, who frowned and got right in Yami's face. "What the fuck, Yami?" he hissed, not wanting to give his little brothers the opportunity to eavesdrop on the conversation. The dirty rat! I knew he was trying to play me for a fool!

The ex-spirit put his hands behind his head. "You look good. I couldn't help myself, and the opportunity was there. You make a nice pillow, by the way."

The taller duelist just stared at Yami as if he had sprouted extra limbs. Is he kidding? He has to be. Damn that son of a bitch! "Can it, Yami. No one wants to listen to your crap, especially not me. What are you really after?"

Yami mentally sighed. He enjoyed pushing Kaiba's buttons so much that sometimes he forgot to stop himself. I guess I should stop playing games with him... we're not going anywhere like this. But do I really want this? Would he really allow himself to be receptive? Crimson eyes narrowed momentarily, then Yami steepled his fingers under his chin and said in a low voice, "It wasn't a joke, Kaiba. You look really nice tonight... actually, you always look great. I guess I can't blame Aibou too much for trying to set us up. This lust thing has been driving him crazy."

Kaiba sank back into his seat, but unconsciously scooted it a bit closer to Yami. "What lust thing?"

"Oh, it's just... wait a sec." The waitress approached, asking for their orders. "I'll have the grilled swordfish, please."

"Chicken Marsala." Kaiba waited for the woman to walk away, then turned his attention back to his rival. "What lust thing?"

"Yugi claims that since I find you attractive, it's leaking into our mind link and affecting him as well."

"Mind link," Kaiba snorted dismissively. "You and your stupid... wait, did you say you find me attractive?"

"I told you, you look good."

You're such a liar... I really hate this. "So you're really gay? This isn't a joke?" Of course it's a joke. This is all a game to you, isn't it?

Sometimes Yami thought he would have better luck talking to a wall. And walls were more receptive, though far less alluring. "Yes, I am. And you?"


The ex-spirit rolled his eyes. "At least make an effort here, Kaiba."

"Does it matter if I am? And... well, you look... okay, I guess." What the fuck am I saying?! As if he cares. "That doesn't change the fact that you're still a weird, freaky little guy."

"Gee, thanks. You really know how to boost a guy's self-esteem."

Kaiba made a waving motion with his hand. "As if you needed an ego boost."

Yami let loose a sigh and pouted a bit. "I guess I was mistaken. I figured since we were already on a date, maybe if I opened up to you a little, you'd have the grace to do the same." He began to fidget with the buttons on his shirt again.

The young billionaire frowned. Yami certainly sounded sincere, but Kaiba knew that his rival was just trying to get another advantage over him so that he could rub it in his face during a duel. But a tiny part of him almost hoped that Yami was telling the truth. He's never lied to me before. But he's my rival... of course he's going to take advantage of the situation. I almost wish... He quickly squashed that possibility. "Uh, look, Yami... you do look good, all right? And you smell nice too. Sorta like spices and shi... er, stuff."

Crimson eyes sought out blue ones. "Not the best way to put it, but coming from you, it's a nice compliment. Thank you."

* * *

The black-haired boy turned back to his co-conspirators. "Finally, it looks like they're actually talking to each other. Like talking talking, not screaming challenges or exchanging insults. Yugi, are you sure you can't eavesdrop, just a tiny bit?"

"Mokuba... I feel bad enough as it is, keeping them here like prisoners."

Noa chuckled at that. "I don't know why they're fighting it so hard. You've already confirmed that Yami was um, 'lusting' after Seto, and Mokuba, we both know that Yami is the only person Seto has ever shown any interest in at all."

Yugi smiled and simply summed it up by saying, "Let's just say that things are never that simple when your brother's involved."

* * *

"You know, Kaiba, I like talking to you. Even when you're an ass. I like arguing with you sometimes, and trading insults, and yelling at you across a dueling arena. But a change of pace is nice too..."

Shut the fuck up! his brain snarled, but Kaiba couldn't help relaxing a little at the remark. Truth be told, he did enjoy bantering with Yami. "Hn. You really have a preoccupation with asses, don't you?"

"I especially love how you can take one word out of an entire sentence and center your whole reply on it." It's annoying, but that's the way you work, isn't it? Look at the big picture, Kaiba.

Kaiba rolled his eyes. "Now that's complete and utter bullshit."

The shorter teen grinned and tried again. "But we get along pretty well, don't you think? Even though we don't quite match on the surface. Only you would turn up for a casual blind date in a full suit and with two little brothers in tow."

"Well, we can't all be walk around in bondage gear with a miniature version of ourselves. But... there is something I've always wanted to know."

"Oh? And that would be?"

What the hell do you want from me? But the question that he actually voiced was "How the hell you and Yugi get your hair like that? Please don't tell me it's natural." Why am I flirting with him?

Yami sat back and laughed. "I can't tell you. It's a secret. But I'll let you know that bleach is involved."

The CEO suddenly had an urge to touch that wild mane of tri-colored hair. Should I or shouldn't I? His hands spasmodically clenched as Yami casually ran his fingers through his blonde bangs. One of Kaiba's hand shot up in response and before he even realized what he was doing, his fingers were sliding through a spike of black and crimson. It's a lot softer than it looks. He let his fingers drift down to catch a hold of the blonde strands as well. The younger teen shivered involuntarily. "Are you cold?"

"No. I'm fine." I'm not cold... just don't stop stroking my hair.

"You're stupid for walking around without a jacket," Kaiba scoffed, but he almost felt badly for the younger teen. Yami apparently hadn't expected his blind date to last so long. The brunette stood up and removed his blazer, handing it to Yami without further explanation.

Yami happily accepted the jacket and draped it over his shoulders. It smells like him. Oh, by Nefertem's lotus... he smells so good. Like a light fall of rain mixed with amber, musk and citrus... "What cologne are you wearing?"

"Uh... Dunhill Desire Blue."

Desire blue? He glanced at Seto's eyes. Oh yes I do. "I'm wearing something called Fahrenheit, I think. Yugi picked it out. Do you like it?"

Does he actually care if I like it? "Can't be. Fahrenheit doesn't smell like honey, chocolate and cinnamon."

Yami felt himself blushing. "Er... that's my hair, actually. Yugi's shampoo and such. I'm surprised you noticed."

"Oh. Well, I uh... hmm..." Why did I tell him I noticed that? Now he's going to think I'm going to want to smell his hair, or some crap like that.

"It's okay, Kaiba. And thank you for the jacket." It was nice of you... really nice.

The brunette shrugged. "Yeah, well, my brothers would get pissed if I let you freeze to death."

"Just say 'You're welcome,' Kaiba," Yami complained, but he finished it off with a genuine smile.

Kaiba smirked. "You're welcome."

* * *

The rest of dinner passed in a similar fashion, and the next two hours were over and done in a blink of an eye.

By the time Kaiba picked up the tab and Mokuba called for the limo, Yami was rethinking his perspective on his dueling rival. He had always admired Kaiba's quick mind and even quicker wit, his willpower and pride, and of course, his handsome appearance. There was even something comforting about being in his presence. But beyond all of his bravado, Kaiba really seemed uncertain of himself, certainly nothing like the mindlessly angry lost soul he had first dueled two years prior, or the blustering rival he had faced after that. And that uncertainty tugged at Yami. It was easy and comfortable enough to trade repartees, but that wasn't what he wanted, was it? I wish I knew how to make him more comfortable around me, the way I feel when I'm with him. He only seems to enjoy himself when I'm baiting him, because I guess that's what he's come to expect from me.

As they stood side by side waiting for Fubeta to arrive, Kaiba also thought back on what he learned about Yami during the day. The ex-spirit was as fiery and competitive as ever and had a sense of humor just as wicked as his own. And when was the last time he had conversed with anyone worth talking to, besides Noa and Mokuba? Yami had always held his interest in that regard. And there really was no point in denying the physical attraction either. But he's only here because he was forced into it. Who knows why he agreed to do this? I bet all of Yugi-tachi are going to have a good laugh at my expense tomorrow.

Behind the pair, Mokuba, Noa and Yugi all stood together whispering quietly. Yami and Kaiba had finished dinner without making any escape attempts and were now standing together without any further prompting from them; they certainly didn't want to do anything to upset the situation. Yami even had Kaiba's jacket on still! But in the interests of keeping the date going a little longer, all three of them had to think of a new plan.

Once the limo arrived, all five piled in for the ride back to the game shop. Kaiba and Yami seemed comfortable enough in the silence that had descended over the group, but it was driving Mokuba and Yugi crazier and crazier as the miles passed.

I can't take it anymore! "So, uh... did you guys have a good time?" Mokuba asked hesitantly.

"It certainly wasn't the worst dinner I've ever had," Kaiba answered smoothly.

"But did you have a GOOD time?"

Yami smiled. Mokuba was so eager to get a response. "It was unexpected, but this turned out to be a very nice date. Except the thing with my arm. And although I don't condone the three of you acting behind our backs, I do appreciate the concern."

"Well someone had to break the stalemate," said Yugi, toying with the Sennen Puzzle hanging from his neck. And so now what?

Now what what?

What are you going to do with the rest of the evening?

Aibou, I thought we were going back home?

I'm going home. You don't really want to go home too, do you? The man of your dreams is sitting right next to you...

Yugi, he's hardly...

At least think about it, okay? Don't make me get the handcuffs from Mokuba. "So, Kaiba... if Yami wanted to um... hang around a bit longer, you'd be able to drop him off later, right?"

"Hn. Don't assume too much, Yugi. I only agreed to stay through the duration of dinner." What is this, another part of your bet? See how far Yami can get with me?

Yami's protective instincts kicked in and he glanced over at his date. "The asshole routine is getting a bit old, Kaiba. If you would like me to hang around a little bit longer, my answer would be yes. But I'm leaving that up to you."

"Spare me, Yami. You just want to get into my pants to..."

"Uh... Nii-sama, we're still here!" exclaimed Noa, blushing a little.

"I'm not trying to get into your pants. I am trying to get into your head. This isn't just physical anymore, I already..."

Then the intercom beeped. "Mr. Kaiba, we've arrived at the Kame Game Shop."

Moment of truth, Yami. Are you staying or going?

Yami mentally sighed. It's not my decision. I already stated my position. If Kaiba isn't interested, then that's that.

With a sigh of his own, Yugi turned to Kaiba and gave him his most earnest look. Ask him to stay with you a little longer! he willed his eyes to convey. It was at times like this that he wished he were a more imposing figure.

Fubeta stepped around and opened the door. No one moved. Mokuba looked from Yugi to Yami to his big brother. Seto, please... I know you don't want him to go. "Well, uh... even if Seto won't say it, I know he had a good time today. He just doesn't get to do this a lot, you know, with his schedule and all. And um..."

Yami smiled again. It was nice seeing what everyone was trying to do for them, but he had no intention of browbeating Kaiba into accepting anything. He began shrugging off the borrowed jacket. "I had a good time too. Thank you, Kaiba." He held the blazer out to his date, who took it wordlessly, then stared at it as if it held the secret to some great mystery. Perhaps it did.

"Seto..." Noa began to say.

Kaiba suddenly cleared his throat and addressed Yami without even looking at him. "If I ask you to... come over, for coffee..."

"My answer would be yes." The brunette stared at him with disbelief. "Just let me go grab a jacket and I'll be right back."

Kaiba shook his head. "You don't need it," he said, and thrust the blazer back into Yami's hands. Yami clutched at the fabric and grinned.

Yugi simply beamed at the little scene. "Well, good night then. I'll see you later you guys..." And Yami, don't feel like you have to come home tonight or anything on my account.


* * *

Once they returned to the mansion, Kaiba took Yami into the parlor and went to make some coffee. Noa and Mokuba were a bit reluctant to leave the two older teens to their own devices, but of course they knew nothing would be accomplished unless their brother took this next step on his own. That didn't stop them from giving some parting words of advice to Yami however.

"You already have his attention and his interest, Yami, so don't give up! I know Seto's difficult to deal with. He won't admit to it, but you're really making him think things over," said Noa in a hushed voice.

Mokuba added, "Remember, Nii-sama really isn't a bad person underneath all the crap he feeds you. He's just really confused right now, and maybe that's a good thing. He's so used to thinking of you as a rival that he doesn't realize that you're not trying to play him. But be careful. I do like you, Yami, but if you hurt Seto at all I'll never ever forgive you. This is NOT a game." He reiterated his point by shaking his finger right in Yami's face.

"I know. I'm doing my best. Kaiba is... infuriating at times. But I've always admired him and yes, in that way as well. And now that I know that he's at least open to the possibility... well, I think I'm willing to take my chances."

Then Kaiba walked in with two cups of coffee and a scowl. "Are you two still here? I told you both to go to bed."

"We were just saying good night to Yami, right Onii-chan? Good night!" The two younger brothers gave Yami a reassuring smile, and left the room.

"Hmm. Now that I think about it, we're rather fortunate, aren't we?" asked Yami, taking the proffered cup of coffee. "I have my aibou and you have your brothers, and they're all looking out for us. And thank you for inviting me in for coffee, Kaiba. I've only been here once in my own body, I think."

Kaiba ignored the first half of Yami's statement. "Will you stop thanking me already?" he snarled, folding himself into an armchair next to the sofa Yami was sitting on. "I only asked you to come here because I want to know the truth. What do you want from me, King of Games?"

Yami took a sip of his beverage and mulled his reply. "There's a time for games and a time for truth. You're comfortable around me when you think it's a game. And I do so enjoy matching wits with you. I admit I was playing with you a bit earlier on... I didn't think we would really get anywhere with this date, so I figured we could at least amuse ourselves to pass the time. And I know you didn't mind... you were enjoying yourself too. But I've been telling you the truth for most of the evening, and that's what's upsetting you. You want to believe me, but you can't. The truth is... I don't want anything from you, Kaiba, at least, nothing that you don't want to give me of your own will."

The brunette ground his teeth. So many questions flooded his head. He finally went with asking, "Why didn't you make a move sooner then?"

"Hmm. Being that I was unaware of your... preferences, I didn't think you would be receptive, and I didn't want to drive you away. I value our friendship, even if you don't consider me a friend."

"Hn. If I wanted to have friends..." Now it was the young CEO's turn to consider where he wanted to take things. The proverbial ball was in his court. He could simply send Yami home, or...

"If you wanted to have friends then...?" Yami prompted.

"I suppose... I could do worse than you."

Yami grinned and scooted over on the sofa. "Come here," he said, patting the seat closest to the armchair.


"Because technically we're still on a date I think, and I'd like you to sit next to me."

"You're not going to pull that 'fall asleep on my shoulder' shit again, are you?"

"No. And I'm sorry that upset you. I just wanted an excuse to touch you again... it was pretty lame, wasn't it?" But the taller duelist got up anyways and grudgingly moved over to the sofa. "I'm not trying to tame you, or break you, or whatever it is that you may fear. We will always be rivals. But that doesn't mean we can't be friends as well."

"But you're not just asking for my friendship, are you?" Kaiba practically sniffed at the word "friendship."

"Honestly? I'm not sure yet. What about you?"

Aw shit. He doesn't really want to know, does he? Kaiba wasn't sure how he felt, but he sure as hell wasn't going to admit it. I can just tell him I don't care and kick him out, or I could just refuse to answer, or I could change the topic... "So, uh... see any good movies lately?" he asked lamely. Why did I say that? Could I be any more obvious? Stupid, stupid, stupid...

Yami turned his head and looked Kaiba straight in the eye. "If you aren't sure, there's nothing wrong with just saying it. It's not a weakness, Kaiba."


The younger duelist smirked. "Well, Yugi rented 'Interview with the Vampire' last night. That was interesting. Though I think I paid less attention to the storyline than to the fact that the male leads were all very attractive."

"Wait... huh?" He's letting me switch subjects?

"'Interview with the Vampire.' Have you seen it?"

"No... I don't have time to watch movies. I only... well, if Mokuba asks..."

"If you like vampires you'd like this one. Would you like me to tell you about it?"

He's got to be kidding. "All right, I guess."

* * *

Long sunkissed limbs tangled with his as a delicate hand swept through his hair. They were both sluggish and breathless after a long bout of lovemaking, their naked bodies hot and fevered even in the shade beneath the palm trees which shielded them from the blazing desert sun. Smiling, Yami pushed himself up on his arms and looked down at tall, lithe figure beneath him. Eyes as blue as the Nile and as clear as the sky gazed back, framed by fine hair the color of exotic, earthy spices. His lips were moving slowly, the deep voice but a harsh whisper now. But Yami frowned as a sudden gust of wind drowned out his lover's words.

"What? I cannot hear you," he said loudly as the winds slowly died backdown.

The brunette smiled and began to speak again, but once again, his words were muffled as the wind picked up again.

"I'm sorry... please, you must speak up!"

The brunette shook his head, then gently pressed a finger to Yami's lips while curling his other hand into spikes of hair. Then his lips parted and he pulled Yami down for a deep kiss, a kiss so amazing that it stole their breaths away...

* * *

Yami awoke with a start and found himself sitting on an unfamiliar sofa in a room he didn't recognize. He frowned as the already faint whispers of his dream faded away, leaving him more than a little disoriented. But even more confusing was the fact that right beside him, Seto Kaiba was asleep and sprawled over the sofa cushions, his head lolled back and his breathing deep and even.

This is Kaiba's house... did we fall asleep? His mind was still a bit sluggish and his memories jumbled. From what he could remember, they had been on a date... movies and dinner, with Yugi, Mokuba and Noa in tow. Then Kaiba had invited him back to the mansion. They had started talking about movies and then special effects, then switched to music videos and music tastes in general, shortly followed by video and computer games, cars and motorcycles, and then a strange discussion had begun about the dichotomy of terms like "jumbo shrimp" and "glow-in-the-dark sunglasses." The last thing I remember was scolding Kaiba for calling Yugi a shrimp again...

Yami shook his head and eased off the sofa, looking around for a clock. It's almost 4:00 AM?! Yugi must be worried about me. But at the same time he really wasn't sure if he wanted to leave, either. He turned back to look at Kaiba sleeping on the sofa and suddenly images from his dream sharpened and forced themselves into the forefront of his mind.

Long limbs and a delicate hand in his hair... Eyes as blue as the Nile...

The ex-spirit staggered as the memory hit him. He had only a few vague recollections of his ancient past as a Pharaoh, bits and pieces really, but never before had he recalled anything like this. Was this part of my past from 3,000 years ago? And Kaiba's Egyptian incarnation... my priest, was also my lover? Is this... fate at work? Oh Hathor... I loved him, he realized, and suddenly his heart lurched. And I know Kaiba's not the same... but still, I...

Yami wasn't sure what Kaiba would have thought if he had woken first and found out that the two of them had fallen asleep on the sofa. Yami wasn't even sure of his own feelings now. Part if him wanted to stay, wanted to rouse Kaiba from his sleep just to talk... and the other part of him couldn't run away fast enough.

With a sigh, the crimson-eyed teen made a decision to leave. He really needed time to reevaluate his perspective on Kaiba. What exactly did he want from him; what was it he was expecting? He knew that his far more analytical rival would probably need to do some thinking of his own as well. However, Yami also needed to make sure to leave an opening for Kaiba to exploit, and that at least was something he had already figured out.

Quietly, Yami crept out of the room and began looking for a pen and a pad of paper. It wouldn't do for him to leave without saying anything, even if his explanation was a half truth at best. He found a notepad in the kitchen and scribbled a quick note, then headed back to the parlor and left the note on the coffee table. Then he snuck out the front door, but not before stopping in the foyer to grab Kaiba's brown blazer.

* * *

Kaiba frowned in his sleep as he felt someone staring at him and awoke to find Mokuba and Noa both peering at him as if he were on display at a zoo.

"Hiiii!" said Mokuba as soon as his brother's eyes opened.

Noa rolled his eyes. Mokuba was downright scary in the morning. "By the way, Yami left you a note," he commented, holding out a sheet of paper.

"Yami? Huh?" Wait a minute... why am I on the sofa? I didn't fall asleep here, did I? Kaiba pushed his bangs out of his eyes and stretched his stiff back a little before taking the note. Squinting for a moment at Yami's chicken scratch, he finally managed to make out the following:


I'm sorry I had to leave without telling you good night. You were already asleep and I didn't want to wake you, but I needed to get home before Yugi and Jii-chan started worrying about me. Anyways, I had a great time yesterday and I hope you did as well. Maybe we could try it again sometime (but without chaperones).

By the way, I'm taking your suit jacket with me. It's cold out. If you want it back, just come and get it.

- Yami

He silently folded the note in half and then looked up at his brothers. Mokuba was still grinning at him, and Noa looked like he was trying to hide behind Mokuba's mop of hair. "By the way, you can stop looking at me like that. You're both grounded."

* * *

Yugi was busy shoveling a piece of toast into his mouth when a bleary-eyed Yami stumbled down the stairs, Kaiba's jacket draped over his shoulders. The violet-eyed teen practically spit out an entire mouthful of half-chewed bread at the sight of his other half. "Wha rr yew doin hom? Wherth Kaibr?" he managed to mumble.

Yami blinked one eye at him. "Uh... what?"

I said, "What are you doing home? Where's Kaiba?"

Why wouldn't I be home? And I imagine Kaiba's probably at KaibaCorp by now.

Yugi just stared at him. You were supposed to spend the night!

I was? Since when?

You were supposed to get him to invite you into his bedroom and make sweet, passionate love all night long. Yugi threw as much exasperation into the thought as possible.

I... I was what?! Aibou! I couldn't... you can't expect... you've been watching too much television and it's rotting your mind!

Yugi continued on as if Yami hadn't interrupted. Well, I suppose I should have gotten you a pack of condoms and some lube. I just figured Kaiba would have some, cause I didn't figure he'd be a virgin. But you think maybe he is? Cause he didn't throw you down and...

Yugi! Yami's face was beet red by now. By Bastet's sacred cats, of course there was no throwing down or... anything like that! We didn't even kiss. We just talked, a lot, and it was nice. I guess I fell asleep on the sofa and so did Kaiba, and after I woke up I snuck out and got one of his security guards to drive me home. And that was it.

You didn't kiss? And you snuck out without telling him? Oh Yami, where did I go wrong? Now he'll never call you for a second date, Yugi's mental voice wailed.

Yami privately wondered why Yugi was so adamant that he get "thrown down" by Kaiba when he was too shy to even ask Anzu out on a casual date. Aibou, I'm beginning to think you're trying to get rid of me, he said dryly, and his other half just winked. I thought you'd worry about me if I didn't come home. And I did leave him a note; besides... well, there's something else.

The violet-eyed teen detected the note of worry in Yami's mental voice. Something else? Did something bad happen?

No, nothing bad... it's just... I had a dream about ancient Egypt. You know that Kaiba is the reincarnation of one of my priests, even if he denies it, but... tonight, I dreamt that my priest was my lover as well as my rival. And although I can't remember any significant details, I do remember that I loved him.

You think it was real? A recollection of your past and not just a dream?

I don't dream about Egypt. I never have. This was the only time it's ever happened. And every part of my heart and soul tells me that it was real.

Ohhh Yamiii... what are you going to do?

Honestly, I need to think about it. If I chose to pursue something with Kaiba, I want to do it for the right reasons and not just because he's the reincarnation of someone I once loved. And I need him to figure out what he wants as well. I refuse to push him into anything that he's not ready for.

Oh... so now what? Yugi sounded sad.

A smirk broke across the ex-spirit's face. Don't get discouraged, Aibou. I didn't say I wasn't willing to encourage him. Maybe he'll call. But don't be surprised if he just shows up. After all, I did take his jacket.

That's right! I'm so proud of you, Yami!! Now let's go get you some condoms for next time!

Yu... YUGI!!

* * *


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Author's Notes:

* * *

June 16, 2005