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Open Arms

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It was Mokuba’s fault, really. If his little brother hadn’t guilted him into allowing the Mutous to stay at his mansion while their house was remodeled, then he wouldn’t be in this dilemma.

Seto closed his eyes and tried to will his body to sleep but after a few moments of irritation, he gave up the feeble quest and glared into the darkness around him. He was thinking far too much to be able to find rest tonight. It was frustrating – especially since he had already been up for almost 24 hours because of work and a new Duel Disk design he had been obsessing over.

The arm around his torso twitched and the hand that was pressed against his chest slid down a fraction.

It was all Mokuba’s fault.

He certainly wasn’t to blame. The great Seto Kaiba was hardly ever in the wrong. So what if he had gone to the pharaoh’s guestroom wanting to duel after a glass of wine? So what if the pharaoh had looked especially captivating in the moonlight that gently poured in through the floor-to-ceiling windows of the guest bedroom? So what if the pharaoh’s skill still impressed him even after all these years of playing against each other? So what if Seto’s longing and selfishness and greedy nature had caused him to give the pharaoh a celebratory kiss after the ruler won their duel? It didn’t mean this situation was Seto’s fault. The kiss had just been the accumulation of years of pining for the spirit and then fear of losing him and then relief when Atem told Yugi and the others that he wanted to stay on Earth in his own body...

It wasn’t his fault that Atem proved to be a really good kisser.

Wasn’t his fault that one kiss turned into two and then three and then a tumble into the guest bed with Atem’s wicked smiles and gentle fingers working their magic along Seto’s untouched body. Wasn’t his fault that kissing Atem felt so right and perfect and made everything in Seto’s overworked mind and body just click neatly into place.

Atem stirred in his sleep behind Seto and the game developer felt soft puffs of breathing against the back of his neck.

It was frustrating how easily Atem had made him come undone and feel at ease – especially considering Seto had never known physical comfort like that before. But now that Atem was asleep and no longer an active partner, Seto’s mind was left to wander and it brought him to a dark place. What if Atem decided that Seto wasn’t good enough? What if this had just been a one-time thing? The Mutous would be moving back into their newly-refurbished abode soon enough. Atem would leave him and then when would they see each other? Their duels had been frequent in the time that had passed since Atem got his own body but Seto was selfish. He wanted more of Atem’s time. He wanted to see him when he came home from work. He wanted Atem there when he woke up. He didn’t want him to leave. Their tumble in bed had been amazing but Seto wanted more.

“Seto…” the pharaoh mumbled in his sleep.

Hearing his – what? Lover? Partner? – call for him made his heartbeat pick up. Slowly, Seto lifted his hand from its spot beside him on the bed and covered Atem’s with it. The pharaoh made a pleased sound in his sleep and entwined their fingers together.

He stared at their hands for a long moment.

Their passion hadn’t lasted nearly as long as he would have liked it to, he thought somewhat remorsefully. He wanted to explore more of Atem’s body – learn all the ways to make him shiver and moan and beg for release. The very thought of them doing something like this again made Seto’s face color in the darkness of the room. He couldn’t help but admit that he wanted it. There was so much involved with Atem that he wanted – it was part of the reason why he had taken the initiative in the first place and kissed him – but Seto was scared. He had never been in a relationship before – had always only thought about the company and winning and his brother and card games – he didn’t even know if he was capable of holding a relationship.

Distracted, he didn’t realize his thumb was rubbing lightly against Atem’s hand.

If Mokuba hadn’t invited the Mutous to stay with them then Seto never would have seen Atem in such complimentary lighting. He never would have acted on impulse if his brother hadn’t intervened.

But Mokuba had started this. And now Seto was being Atem’s little spoon.

“You’re thinking too much,” a pair of lips whispered against the back of his neck.

Seto resisted the urge to shiver at the low voice and sensation of Atem’s lips against his skin as he rolled over, breaking their shared hand contact, to face the pharaoh. Purple eyes so full of sleepy adoration locked Seto in place. He couldn’t move away, even if he wanted to.

Atem was beautiful.

“What are you thinking about?” the pharaoh asked quietly.

Seto’s gaze slipped to the pharaoh’s lips – lips that had done such wonderful things to his body – and wondered how to tell the man beside him what he wanted to say. He had never been the most ‘emotionally-in tune’ as Mokuba liked to put it. It was hard for him to explain what he was feeling.

A gentle hand reached up and cupped Seto’s face, causing his eyes to close as he leaned into the comforting touch. He knew that Atem would stay awake and wait as long as Seto needed to take to find the words.

“Was this a one-time thing?” He knew his voice cracked slightly at the end of the question but he tried not to get upset or discouraged at the sound. Atem wouldn’t judge him for it. Atem would understand.

He always had.

“I do not want it to be,” the pharaoh replied, gliding his thumb across Seto’s face to rest over the brunet’s lips. “I was thinking we could make this a regular thing.”

“Just this? The physical stuff?” He didn’t want to open his eyes but Atem coaxed him to look. The pharaoh was smiling as he shook his head.

“No, not just the physical stuff.”

Seto could have left it at that but he didn’t. He needed to know. His mind wouldn’t rest until he knew for sure what Atem wanted. “What else?”

“I believe you call them ‘dates’…I would like to take you on them. And I would like to spend far more time around you, work permitting.”

Seto’s heart was thudding against his chest as he took in Atem’s nervous smile. “You would like to date me, then?”

“Yes,” Atem whispered against his lips. When had they gotten so close? “I would like to date you, Seto. I would like to be yours and for you to be mine.”

“I don’t understand why. I’m a real bastard when it comes down to it.”

“You’re not the same as you were,” Atem replied softly. “You’ve changed. We both have. And I see the heart of gold beneath the rough exterior.”

“I’ll wind up pushing you away.”

“Well, then I guess it’s a good thing I’m so stubborn.”

Seto’s eyes slipped shut as he closed the gap between them, hoping that his kiss could convey all of the pent-up emotions that his voice couldn’t. He didn’t want to lose Atem. He didn’t want to make a mistake. But he believed the pharaoh would help him work through it. Atem wanted him. And Seto would keep him for as long as he could.