Ceremonial-Duel

anonymous asked:

When it comes to the ceremonial duel, do you think Atem "decided" to go to the afterlife for himself or was it for the sake of Yugi's confidence and independence?


I wrote a ficlet on the topic here

For the rest of my answer:

We don’t know what Atem would choose if the choice was completely free because the manga never shows us Atem’s thoughts and it’s something that never gets discussed.  When both Yugi and Atem talk about the ceremonial duel it’s always in terms of what they see as their responsibility to their partner.  Both are acting out of a pure, selfless love for the other.  Yugi wants to win because he sees it as his responsibility to help Atem reach the afterlife.  Atem is willing to follow whatever the duel decrees – if Yugi proves that he is strong enough to stand alone, Atem will leave, if not he will stay.  

I like it that we don’t know what Atem’s own dreams and wishes might be, because that emphasizes two very important things about Atem.  As a Pharoah, he was willing to protect his people at the cost of his life.  As a spirit he came to life to protect Yugi and always lived up to that mission.  Atem feels guilty when Jounouchi is in a coma at Alcatraz because he blames himself for pursuing his own identity, believing it led to Jounouchi’s condition.  Think of that: Atem feels guilty for wanting so basic as an identity and memories.  I think Atem doesn’t consider his own desires because he doesn’t know how to even frame those thoughts into words and possibly doesn’t feel that he has the right to them anyway.

Atem believes very strongly that duels exist to test beliefs and that they are guides to future actions.  So it seems entirely fitting that he would believe that it was proper for a duel to decide his fate and not to question it further.

@pharaoh-atem. I compiled all of our role play responses together, so that when or if we decide to continue this role play, it’s all here for us to read over and remember what the hell happened. 😛

(No-light-without-darkness) *Kaiba’s hand quickly darted out, snatching the other’s in a tight firm hold* “You’re not going anywhere.“ *he told him, eyes meeting his with a look of challenge * ((Could we imagine this after the ceremonial duel? Like, Yami/Atem has just been defeated by Yuugi and Yami is like, ‘see you guys, I’m going home’ and Kaiba is like, 'I don’t think so’.))

Atem felt the tension befall the room as he felt the tight grip of his rival, around his wrist. He was so dedicated to looking forward without another glance backwards. He could feel the pull of another world coercing him to come inside for his eternal rest. His partner had even understood enough to let him leave, and he thought Kaiba would hold him to the same respect.
“Kaiba… this is what fate decided. Let me go.”
He kept his voice firm, without a hint of unwavering. The truth was that his heart was so close to falling through with destiny already. Why did Kaiba have to make it more difficult?

“No.”
His voice was firm. He was not about to let this person go, even though the others around him could and had. He had expected Yuugi to argue more with the spirit, but after his victory and a few kind words spoken to him, the young teen was now shedding tears for the friend that he was about to lose.
Kaiba would not share the same weakness.
“I’m not about to watch you walk away, without one last duel.”
‘Or without telling how I really feel about you,’ Kaiba thought quietly to himself, though, he wouldn’t say that out loud. Demanding for one last duel to buy Kaiba more time around Yami was easier than voicing his real emotions and having Yami reject him.
Though, there was certainly a strange look in his blue eyes as his hand tightened further around Yami’s wrist, “I won’t take no for an answer.”
‘Please,’ he quietly begged, 'do not leave me so easily…’

'No’? Had he really just said it so bluntly? Atem contemplated this to a point until Kaiba’s next words mentioned a duel. Of course, dueling was all that he had really wanted. He didn’t want to believe that their relationship could be reduced to only that, but somehow it made leaving easier if he did. Even Kaiba could not reach through the gates of the afterlife to demand things of him. The thought of that made him… sad.
No longer having this sharp emotion, this routine back and forth, seemed foreign to him at this point. He flinched a bit as the taller boy’s grip tightened. Any more and it might be to the point of bruising. Finally he decided to turn to him, meeting a deep and piercing gaze matched only by his own.
“My final duel is done,”
He said in a somber tone. 
“If that’s all you want me for, you will be disappointed.”

Kaiba’s hold on Atem’s wrist loosened, slightly. Did he just say that? Did he really turn down a duel with him? Even though he was fine to duel with another who didn’t deserve his attention like Kaiba did.
He wasn’t going to accept that answer, especially when it meant that Kaiba could prolong Atem’s departure.
“If you can entertain Yuugi with a duel,” started Kaiba, his tone not unwavering despite the waves of emotions that he felt, “then you have the time for a real challenge.”
He locked eyes with Atem, his heart hammering inside his chest, desperately praying that his words could persuade Atem to stay just a little bit longer so that Kaiba could build the courage to tell Atem the truth.
Please…
As his eyes lingered longer on Atem’s, he could tell that the other wasn’t going to accept his duel. Then what else? What else would work? What else could persuade Atem to stay?
His mind rushed with half thoughts and ideas, but nothing sounded good enough to break Atem’s strong will to leave. He wasn’t just about to leave his friends and Yuugi, but he was going to leave him here, too.
“Why do you need to go?” he asked in such a quiet, almost defeated, voice.

Atem remembered well – back on the boat ride to their destination, how adamant Kaiba had been about being the one to face him where Yugi stood instead. He had even been willing to let Yugi use his own cards, something he never would have done.
“I hardly call this ‘entertaining’,”
Atem muttered, still having a lip despite the situation. Even if he did accept Kaiba’s duel, this was his only chance to walk into the other world. If he accepted the duel, then the threads of fate would be altered, sealing him on this side forever. His mind was made up. He didn’t intend to change it.
“You’re always trying to interfere with fate’s design,”
Atem said to him, a softness in his voice.
“Tell me, if you lost would you face your consequence? I lost this duel. I must face the consequence. That is fair.”

“I’m true to my word,” declared Kaiba, in his obvious-sounding tone. He turned to exchange a look with Yuugi, the boy he had offered his cards to not only for this duel, but in others as well. There was almost an unspoken trust among the two.
A trust that had been extended to the spirit who had inhabited Yuugi’s body.
“Tell me what your conditions are… Atem,” he said, trying out the pharaoh’s true name for the first time, unsure how he felt about it, it was like almost like admitting that all of the craziness that he had experienced since first meeting the young amethyst-eyed boy was real. Though, standing here now, Kaiba knew that he could no longer deny it. “And I’ll consider your offer.”
He pretended that he would decide on what would happen next, but every ounce of him knew that no matter what Atem would propose, Kaiba would accept.
No matter what.

Atem tensed a bit at the sound of his name falling from Kaiba’s lips. He hadn’t expected it, though he felt perfectly fine with Yugi and the others using it earlier. Not that he had minded if they stuck to “Other Me” or even “Yami Yugi” like they were used to. Something about Kaiba saying it in that way of his, made his heart race.
“There is something I want from you,”
he said, after a moment of pensive silence.
“I want the truth. Why do you want me to linger here? Is it just for a duel?”

The question was so direct and without a way out. There would be no way to respond, Kaiba decided, without actually giving himself a way.
He turned his head, not meeting crimson red eyes with blue as he admitted, “No.”
That wasn’t the real reason that Kaiba wanted Atem to stay. For a duel? No. But the real reason was more than the blue-eyed teen had the courage to say, especially if it meant that he could risk the chance of rejection. If he were sure that his attraction was mutual, then Kaiba would be less hesitant to confess his feelings to Atem, but he wasn’t and Kaiba was.
Shyly, he met Atem’s eyes and then frowned. How had he let Atem to get inside his head and heart so easily? Who did Atem think he was to command Kaiba’s heart so easily?
“Leave,” he decided, “if you want to leave your friends behind.”
If he wanted to leave Kaiba so easily…
His hold from around Atem’s wrist disappeared as Kaiba turned around completely and started to walk back over to Mokuba, “Come on, Mokuba,” he started, “we’ve wasted enough time here. Yuugi, I expect to see you tomorrow so that I can get my cards back.”

Though they were separated now, he could still feel the energy from his partner. Yugi’s aura had been full of concern since the moment Kaiba grabbed onto his wrist. Now he was sure his other half could sense it, the rage that was welling up inside of him when Kaiba turned his back to him after such a disrespectful display.
Truly he had a heart of Pharaoh. Though Kaiba thought he was some special brand of person that could deny ever rule, every fact clear as day in front of his face, Atem was the only one that wouldn’t stand for it. How dare he imply that he wanted to leave his friends behind. He had friends in both worlds - how was he supposed to choose between them? A person without any close friendships of his own wouldn’t understand.
Before Yugi had a chance to speak, his angry voice came booming.
“You interrupt the wheel of destiny to make demands, and then when you don’t get your way you storm off? How dare you waste my time with ridiculous claims.”
Atem was glaring now, as if he were trying to pierce through Kaiba’s very being.
“You have… no idea what it’s like to be torn between two worlds, two experiences, two sets of people! You’re too busy thinking about yourself!”

Kaiba stopped in his tracks.
“Of course… *Atem*. Make me seem like the heartless one.”
What the *hell* was Atem playing at? Couldn’t the other tell that by his unusual, frantic, actions that the very thought of losing Atem was killing Kaiba?
He shoved a finger through the air, furiously, at the young amethyst-eyed teen who now looked so uneasy, like a deer in the headlights.
“For someone who went to some extreme lengths for him, and then to contact me for my help,” he started, “where I then dropped everything, put my little brother in danger and even lost my soul FOR YOU! You decide that after all of that, you’d rather leave him and me to go hang out with the dead than the living. THEY’RE DEAD, Atem!”
His anger made him scream out any thought that was currently in his head, and when he had a chance to replay his words over in his mind, he stopped.
Shit. Did he really just say that? Did he really just tell Atem that he not only put his own little brother in danger, but himself as well, all because Atem had ASKED?

Atem reeled back in shock and curiosity. He wasn’t trying to make Kaiba seem like anything, he’d done that all on his own. He eyed the finger that cut through the air as if it were a tangible object, seen only by him.
He turned over the words Kaiba said to him in his mind, they raced wildly in his head. It was true, the boy - no, the man - before him had gone through extreme lengths for him. Done anything he’d asked. He’d even cooperated with him several times when he gained nothing from it.
“I know they’re dead,”
he said quietly, his eyes averting to the ground now.
“But I died too, Kaiba… I had my chance to live again. But I lost…”
He clenched his teeth tightly, fighting back against the strong feeling of wanting to stay. Of telling Kaiba there was a reason he wanted their destinies to align.

Then why?
Why would Atem choose to go back to a life that had already ended, when there was a new life, here, with his friends and… Kaiba?
There had to be something that could be done to prevent Atem from returning back to the afterlife, to fulfil a wish that both of their hearts wanted.
“Then duel me,” he declared, “If I lose, then I’ll go to the afterlife in your place.”
It was a selfless ask, maybe one that couldn’t ever be granted in the first place, but if it meant that Atem could stay than Kaiba would literally do just about anything to make it happen.
That’s what he did for the people that he loved, and God forbid, if fate would steal Mokuba away from him, he would do the same for his little brother, as well.
He stepped over to the crimson eyed pharaoh, a hurt look in Kaiba’s eyes, “I will not lose you,” he declared, “so grant me the same as you had done for Yuugi, and duel me!”
If that was the only option that Kaiba had left. To throw his lives at the wolves and not know what would happen next, if he would die or not, then he would do it. Maybe Atem could find a way to save him, like he had done before when Kaiba had lost his soul?
Please…
His eyes searched Atem’s, emotion swimming in his deep blue orbs.
“He would’ve done the same for you, wouldn’t he?”
Priest Set… His… reincarnation or whatever none sense the others had told him? Sometimes still, he would choose not to listen to half of their rubbish, it was better to accept things at face value.

Atem didn’t want to admit that he could hear the raw passion contained in Seto’s voice. It was clear that he was absolutely serious in making him stay, to win a duel – or more- he still wasn’t one hundred percent sure on all of his intentions but… something deep inside himself told him it would mean the world to Kaiba if he walked down those stairs and away from those doors. He wanted so badly, to give Kaiba the world.
He was about to speak, until the taller boy mentioned ‘him’… He could have only meant one person. That very person was on the other side of those doors and yet, also standing right before him. Though they had different souls, they were still the same person bound together. Atem loved his Priest… did he love Seto?
His stomach twisted into knots as these thoughts began to overwhelm him.
“Kaiba…. Let’s duel,”
He said with a shaky voice.
“Show me how strong your will is.”

With the very acceptance of his offer to duel, Kaiba could feel the tension in his body melting away.
Yes.
He could make Atem stay.
But, for a price…
“You better bring me your a game, Atem,” he told the other in that tone he would get while duelling, so arrogant, yet… not so much this time.
This time, it meant more than just seeing who the better duellist was or who could develop the best strategy. This time, it was about… duelling with Kaiba’s heart.
“Yuugi,” he met eyes with the other, “my cards?”

Atem kept on a brave face, but he was worried for several different reasons now. Kaiba never joked around when it came to putting his life on the line, he’d almost lost his soul several times for eternity. Whenever Kaiba dueled, it was with sheer dignity and a sharp force, specific strategy and ruling… this time, it was somehow different.
Could it be that Kaiba would actually put his raw emotion into the duel, rather than relying on technicalities and movement readings? If that were the case, he would be an even more formidable opponent - one that Atem had never faced before.
“Don’t think I will go easy on you just because you set your life as a token,”
he said, taking his place on the other side of the “arena” where he had faced Yugi. He watched his partner nod and quickly run to Kaiba, handing him his cards.

This duel, Kaiba knew, would be different and harder than any he had experienced before with Atem. No longer was he proving that he was the better duellist, stronger person, like his adoptive father had taught him to treat others, but he was now dealing with a frightened and heavy heart.
He was fighting for a more pure reason than his pride. He was fighting for his love.
Would Atem recognise that? Would it make it harder for him to duel Kaiba, like it was for him?
His hand slightly trembled as Yuugi returned the cards that he had given to him, “I won’t.”
His words were a promise, if not for Atem, then for himself. He would duel his hardest. He would.
He started to shuffle his cards, his eyes occasionally glancing over to Atem, “By the time that we’re finished here, I hope that you’ll realise that you don’t always need to follow your destiny or whatever nonsense has led you here.”
“Let’s duel!”

The light from beyond the ancient gates to the side of them, acted like a spotlight on their stage. It illuminated the two of them, both ignited by fear and passion. Atem had smirked when Kaiba claimed that he could cheat destiny just as easily as always. He recalled the time when Kaiba dueled Ishizu, a woman that could see into the future, and rewrote his fate.
“It’s my move,”
Atem said in a bold voice, trying to place his cards as if it wasn’t hard to focus. Though no matter what physical toll emotion put on him, his heart was attuned to each spell, trap, and monster. He ended his turn with confidence.
His lips pursed together keeping him silent, but his eyes said all the words that were meant for Kaiba. They were fierce and challenging, daring him to draw his next card.

“It’s my turn,” declared Kaiba, drawing an additional card from his deck to add to his hand.
As long as Kaiba didn’t draw any of his most powerful cards, like his Blue Eyes, then victory would be assured to his opponent. It was strange… a strange thought that fluttered through his head, to not play as well, and as brutual, as he normally would. He almost wanted to play clumsily, and ignore any tactic that he’d normally go for, just so his worried heart could rest knowing that this man that he-… He shook that thought away. Not needing it here, in this moment. He had promised to duel just as well as any other time.
“I summon a monster in attack position, and I also set two cards face down.” Their holographic images appeared on the field that separated him from Atem. He glared at his opponent’s monster and with a swift gesture of his hand, shouted, “Now, *nameofduelmonsterbecauseimtoolazytogoandfindathreestarmonsterofkaiba’s*, lay waste to *nameofAtem'smonsterbecauseagsin, lazyandyoudidntstateanactualmonster*!”
“I end my turn,” he said, a smirk teasing at his lips.

Atem wondered if Kaiba had neglected the effect of his monster as he obliterated it from the field. Once that had activated and he set a new monster, it was clear the upper hand was his again.
“I thought you were playing at your best?”
He mocked, setting a face down card to follow the monster that he had played.
“If you lose to me on purpose… I’ll never forgive you.”

Kaiba gasped as he watched himself make a rookie mistake - no, not a rookie mistake. A Joey fucking Wheeler mistake - and his opponent’s monster special effect activated. He looked down at his hand, letting several different thoughts fire off at once as his planned his next attack, something that would put him back into the lead again.
He growled at Atem’s taunt. Smug bastard. Didn’t he realise how hard just standing here, summoning monster after monster with his mind torn in two was for Kaiba? Did he simply just like tormenting him?
“This duel is far from over,” declared Kaiba, pulling a card from his deck and setting it down, “I special summon a monster to the field.”
A dragon appeared onto the field, snarling at the other monsters and awaiting for its master to give the command, which it didn’t have to wait long for as Kaiba shouted, “Now, Crawling Dragon, attack!”
The dragon snarled and the holographic images flickered as Kaiba’s monster attacked one of Yami’s.
“It’s your turn.”

He observed that Kaiba was acting differently in this duel - and he did not blame him. He was trying his best to keep his normal face as well, though his very being was trembling on the inside. He remembered this was the new Kaiba that he was dueling, and he wasn’t about to underestimate his opponent.
Atem frowned as he drew a card that was not useful at the moment, and set down a defense. He began forming the perfect backup artillery of traps and spells behind his meek wall. All he needed was Kaiba to fall for it.

Kaiba watched as Atem set a monster into defence mode. “What? Running off scared already? The duel has just begun.”
He laughed out loud, though, his laugh sounded hollow, like his mind was too occupied on what these events could lead to if he wasn’t careful.
He would not, could not, let Atem go to the afterlife without Kaiba telling him how he really felt.
He would not, could not, let the only person who had ever provided Kaiba with a real challenge and a sense of excitement in his otherwise mundane life just walk.
“I place one card face down.”
He looked over to Atem’s side of the field, weighing his pros ad cons of attacking. Just what was Atem planning here?
He stared at the cards a bit longer, continuing to weigh his choices before he returned his blue eyes to the cards in his hand. He plucked one out and placed it on the field, “I should’ve known this would be too easy.”
With another swift move of his hand, he pointed at the monster in defence mode, commanding his dragon to attack. His dragon snarled, moved in on the monster in defence and then-..

Atem was used to Kaiba’s taunts, knowing all too well that the other was about brute force and power. It became his downfall at times, especially when his opponent was not intimidated. He thought that Kaiba had a bad habit of thinking he’d won before the match even started most of the time.
“The only thing that comes out easy in duels with you, are the incessant words you spit during them,”
he said, as Kaiba’s monster took the bait and attacked his facedown card. As it did so, Atem activated a trap that ended up causing Kaiba to lose a large chunk of life points, taking the monster along with it

Kaiba growled as Atem’s move wiped out his only monster on his side of the field and a chunk of his life points. Part of him felt relieved, he was that much closer to ensuring that Atem would no longer be enslaved to his ridiculous thoughts of destiny and fate, but another side of him, was angry that he again, allowed himself to play such a foolish move and have Atem have the upper hand.
“Is that the best you’ve got?” he snarled at the other, his fingers sliding another card into his hand and then observed them all, he smirked. Perfect.
“I activate a continuous spell, Atem! With it, with each of your standby phases, my card will decrease your life points by 500. Guess you should’ve thought twice about activating that trap card, huh, Atem? Too bad…”
He returned his eyes to his hand and while his Blue Eyes White Dragon was staring right at him, he couldn’t play it. Not yet. Not without sacrificing two monsters that were on the playing field, and with Atem’s last move, he currently didn’t have any. That was fine, though, he could wait to annihilate Atem’s life points and wipe that stupid smirk right off of his rival’s face.
“I set a monster. It’s your move, Atem, if you dare.”

“The best I’ve got is reserved for true challenges,”
Atem bit back, and then observed Kaiba’s next move. He admitted that it was an annoying one. He dared to call him a coward for placing a defense, and yet he used a cheap trick to dwindle away points constantly without a real strategy behind it.
Still, he let Kaiba have his moment, trying not to let his bitterness show. He had no spell card to counteract that one, at the moment. It was like a thorn in his side, but it was one he intended to pluck eventually. If he were so lucky, on his next turn.
“Oh I dare,”
he said, effortlessly drawing his next card and eyeing quickly. It was a card that would line up quiet nicely with the rest of his setup. He placed it and filled the last available spot next to his other two facedown cards.
He also summoned one monster himself, and commanded it to attack

Kaiba ‘hnned’ at Atem’s statement. True challenges? Nothing could be more of a challenge than what the two were doing now, not only mentally but emotionally, as well.
Or, at least, it was for Kaiba.
Who knew how Atem truly viewed him, or what emotions the other crimson-eyed man harboured for Kaiba, if any.
He knew that Atem would continue his offensive tactic and fight Kaiba with each turn that he had in this duel, that’s why Kaiba had changed to the defence when he knew that he didn’t hold any strong monster cards in his hand, or ones that he could use without tribute summoning. And as his monster on his side of the field exploded into whiteness, Kaiba frowned, it was going to be hard to summon his blue eyes through a tribute summon if he couldn’t even hold a single monster on his side of the field for one turn let alone two.
“My turn.”
He needed… his fingers swiped another card into his hand… just one particular card…
He smirked.
Perfect.
“You may have had the upper hand for a moment there, Atem, but it’s now my turn!”
He placed the card on his duel disk.
“I activate a card that allows me to call forth one of my dragons, and while it allows me to bring forth two, there’s only one that I really need. Blue Eyes White Dragon! Come forth!”
His eyes met crimson from across the field with a defiant look, “Are you ready for this?”
“Blue Eyes White Dragon! Lay waste to *nameofAtem'smonster*. White Lightning attack!”
He watched as, with a blinding light, his Blue Eyes followed Kaiba’s command, “I would save any snide remark that you have, Atem, and start worrying about how you’re going to get out of the mess that you’re in. I end my turn.”

Atem smiled at the sound Kaiba made in response to his remark. He liked that he could still get a rise out of him, even now. He had control over the duel, and while Kaiba’s resolve was a strong one, he had no intentions of giving that power away.
It was predictable that Kaiba would place his Blue Eyes on the field. It was predictable that he would claim himself the victor in every regard, before even proving it. Everything about Kaiba was predictable to Atem, who was hoping that somehow he would steal his breath away with a surprise in this battle.
Atem kept a straight face as his monster dissolved from the field, washed away with the white light that enveloped it. He decided to do what Kaiba wanted, and spared him from his snide comments. He wouldn’t deny that he had many saved in particular, just for him.
“Since your turn is already over, allow me to show you what I’ve been waiting for.”
He drew his next card- it was a monster that would coincide nicely with his facedown cards. One after the other, he flipped spell and trap, each one a link in the chain of the next effect. His turn ended with Kaiba’s dragon still alive - but unable to move due to the card he had placed. This would bide him some time to find a way to destroy it.

One of his arms moved to cover Kaiba’s eyes as he let out a growl, strong winds pushing over him as another large chunk exploded from his remaining life points. His life points were fading fast while Atem, as usual, remained untouched.
Untouched…
A brief wave of doubt washed over Kaiba. What if his strong feelings, and attraction, was not mutual? What if Kaiba sacrificing the last of his living moments with his little brother were for nothing?
He had to act, and he had to act fast.
He was not about to lose this duel, and his life, for someone who would value and appreciate his sacrifice. Who would not understand why he had chosen to do this, in the first place.
“My turn,” he declared, all but growling. He could turn this duel around, even now, and he planned to.
“I draw!”
Another card was placed into his hand, and Kaiba’s eyes narrowed, no longer letting his heart decide this duel, but his strength and talent.
“I hope that you’ve enjoyed your small victory, Atem, because I can promise you from now on, not a single move you make will be better than mine. This duel is mine, and it’s time that I end it!”
He set two cards down, and activated a spell card, increasing the attack points of his Blue Eyes and decreased the attack points of Atem’s.
“Now, Blue Eyes White Dragon, lay waste to *nameofAtem'smonster*! White Lightning Attack!”
His opponent’s monster was all but wiped from the field, the excess attack points coming straight off of Atem’s life points.
“I’ve wasted enough time here,” thinking that Atem could feel the same as him, “so make your last pathetic move so that I can finish this!”

Atem grimaced as the life points where shaved away. He’d stalled long enough in finding a way to destroy his Blue Eyes, and fortunately this turn he had just the thing. If Kaiba was going to try and win with his most trusted monster, Atem found it only natural to do the same.
The cards he placed effectively, let him summon his Dark Magician with no tributes. He was able to boost the attack points significantly with just the right hand, paired with Thousand Knives there as no denying he could break through Kaiba’s defense. Unless… Kaiba had a card waiting on the field or even in his hand.
He had no time for second guessing.
“It’s over, Kaiba!”
With a wave of his hand he commanded his knives to wipe about the might Blue Eyes, with all of the face of zero hesitation. Though his heart beat wildly - Kaiba wasn’t really going to die… was he?

Kaiba growled at the oncoming onslaught, his eyes darting down to his cards as he knew that he didn’t have the cards on the field to stop this, and that’s when he noticed… a single card. A card that could buy Kaiba some time, and not have Atem’s current move wipe out his remaining life points, until he could strengthen his side of the field.
But…. a strange thought occurred to him, did he really want to?
Yes, while his emotions were still torn in two from not knowing whether or not the feelings he felt were mutual and realising, there has never been anyone else who had provoked these thoughts or emotions from him before. Not in this lifetime, at least.
And when you loved someone, really and truly, you were meant to put them before yourself weren’t you?
He could feel tears in his eyes as he turned to look at Mokuba. “Forgive me,” he said, voice hoarse and pained from the realisation of what was about to happen. Yugi and his friends would be alright, Yami was more than capable of looking out for himself, but what about his little brother? What would happen to him? “Mokuba…”
With a deep exhale, he turned to face Atem, eyes containing both emotions of sadness and defiance. He would not let the other know how his sacrifice hurt him so, or that the thought of never seeing his brother again, broke apart the final seams of his heart.
As the attack finally reached him, and the winds picked up again, feeling his life points drain away, Kaiba had to steady himself with the podium in front of him.
“Atem…”
He could feel himself growing weak, like something had not only chewed through the rest of his life points but was now feasting away at his very soul.
“I… expect you to keep my brother safe.”
His knees buckled every so slightly, the very act of just standing too much for Kaiba.

Atem was shocked that Kaiba hadn’t countered his move - he’d expected him too. It almost seemed if the other was hesitating for a moment, but he passed it off as a trick of light. He heard Kaiba’s words.. but he refused to accept them.
“Seto!!”
He called his first name this time when he saw the other waver, weak at the knees. He ran to his side to prevent him from keeling over.
“You can’t really take my place. You realize that, right? You can’t possibly do that,”
he said in a rushed voice, clearly frantic.

Atem before he fell to the ground, his legs too weak to hold him now. “It’s already been decided.”
They had both agreed to this, and now, Kaiba was fulfilling his deal. He would soon reach the after life, all of his future moments robbed of him, and that… scared Kaiba. What would happen to him now? What would happen to his little brother? Who would look after him?
“Look after Mok-.. Mokuba,” he managed to croak out, his breath becoming short as his lungs started to refuse the air that Kaiba’s body desperately needed. “L-let him know the comp-.. company is his now. Don’t let anyone steal it from him.”
He tugged at the locket from around his neck, pulling it up and over his head to place into Atem’s hand, “Atem…”
The world started to fade from Kaiba’s vision, blackness taking its place and the last thing that Kaiba saw before his eyes closed were red crimson eyes of the man that he loved.

Atem held Kaiba in his arms, trembling at his final words. Hearing the weakness in his voice, breaking his spirit.
“Seto… don’t go,”
he murmured, as the locket from around Kaiba’s neck was placed into his hand. He held onto it tightly, as if to never let go.
“Seto?!”
He questioned, once the brunettes eyes had fallen shut. Despite it all, Kaiba looked peaceful. Atem began to shake him frantically but with no avail. Yugi and his weeping brother had to come beside him to stop him.
When it sank in, Atem’s face became stained with tears. He loved Seto - he knew that now - with all of his being. Just as he did 3,000 years ago in another life.

Ra, this gif makes me want to burst into tears EVERY SINGLE TIME! I seriously can’t put it into words but just the way Yami transforms into Atem exactly like how Yugi transformed into Yami and then seeing him walking away from us… It breaks my heart!!! Like, it makes me happy that Yugi won so he wouldn’t be trapped in the puzzle for another 5,000 years but just the fact that we went on this journey with him for over 5 years and just seeing him leave… I think I know what parents feel like when they send their kids off to university

Ficlet: Atem’s Final Triumph


TITLE:  Atem’s Final Triumph

AUTHOR:  Nenya85

AUTHOR’S NOTE/SUMMARY:  

I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ceremonial Duel.  This is a darker take on why Atem was so ready to go to the afterlife.


It was late.  It was night.  It was their last night together.  They sat facing each other on the bed just like always.  It was strange how that familiar position reminded them that everything would change when morning hit.  Neither spoke.  But both knew that the night couldn’t end in silence.

Yugi cleared his throat.  That too, was familiar: Yugi would be the one to push his feelings into words first.  “I love you.  I’ll do my best tomorrow so that you can go to the afterlife without looking back… so you can finally rest.”

The first genuine smile he’d shown in weeks flashed across Atem’s face.  “I knew I could count on you.  Promise me that you won’t look back either.”

Keep reading

So I forced my best friend to whatch Duel Monsters last month and she cannot stop making puns about Atem’s name (Ger. Atem = breath) like:


“That ceremonial duel was absolutely BREATHTAKING”

or

“Guess it must be hard to run for Yugi now that he’s constantly out of BREATH”

And I really wanna punch her right now-

anonymous asked:

What are your reasons for hating Shadi so much?

I kinda feel like I may have talked about this before but what the hey I’ll talk about it again.

Basically, he’s a manipulative, cruel, and nearly unfeeling bastard who doesn’t give two shits about anyone outside of his “duty”.

First of all, he considers himself as having the right to judge people’s sins and punish them for them.  Sure, the museum curator was an asshole, but did that mean he deserved to die in the way that Shadi killed him?  I don’t really think so.  And Professor Yoshimori, yes, he desecrated a tomb, and while I’m not 100% behind archaeologists disturbing actual bodies (it’s one thing to retrieve things of historical value from the tombs, its another entirely to steal corpses and put them on display, in my opinion), Yoshimori is a generally good guy, but Shadi was planning on killing him for just having the gall to want to learn about the past.  He has a very narrow-minded worldview and anyone outside that is dispensable and useless to him.

And then let’s move on to what he does to Yugi and his friends.  He kidnaps and brainwashes Anzu.  He mentions that he sort of feels sorry for doing it, but that doesn’t stop him from my giving a crap about putting her in danger, threatening to order her to kill herself, and putting her life on the line in a game he had already assumed he was going to win.  Think about that.  He used Anzu as the stakes for his game against Yami no Yugi, and was legitimately shocked when Yami no Yugi won.  He was fully prepared and even expecting him to fail and her to fall to her death.  It just didn’t matter to him.  In fact, the fact that he said he “felt sorry for having to brainwash her” just makes it worse to me.  It’s like abusers who say they feel bad they “have” to do this to someone.  He is not above manipulating and harming innocent bystanders to walk on the path that he has chosen.

And then there’s the matters of Pegasus and Marik, the two main antagonists before Bakura reappears.  Both of whom never would have become Yugi’s enemies without Shadi’s influence.

I’m not saying that Pegasus didn’t develop his villainous tendencies on his own, because he did, but it was Shadi who gave him the resources and the motivations he needed to become the single-minded and ruthless enemy that he became.  It was Shadi that forced Pegasus to take the Millennium Eye, taunting him with the thoughts of maybe seeing Cyndia again and persuading him to go through incredible pain for the sake of an evil item that was going to slowly drive him insane.  It was then Shadi that gave Pegasus the nudge towards discovering the Shadow Games, bringing Duel Monsters into the world.  It was Shadi that implied to Pegasus that gathering the Millennium Items might bring his love back.  It was Shadi who led Pegasus to the tablet of the Gods and conveniently forgot to tell him about the horrors they would bring upon the world until after Pegasus had already created the cards, manipulating the man into creating the Pharaoh’s weapons.

And of course Marik.  Marik was definitely messed up and definitely already had problems tending towards villainy, but it was Shadi who gave him a drive behind his actions.  Shadi told Marik, for whatever reason, that his father’s death was the pharaoh’s will, turning Marik into the pharaoh’s enemy.  Why would Shadi do this if he was supposed to be serving the pharaoh?  It comes back to Shadi’s very narrow-minded and driven worldview.  He believed, irrevocably, that the pharaoh had to win the God cards through his dueling, and for the pharaoh to have that motivation, it was necessary for there to be a villain to oppose him for the cards.  So naturally, he first turned Marik against the pharaoh completely, giving the already troubled child something to turn his unhealthy emotions on, he then manipulated Pegasus into creating the God cards, which would fall into the hands of Ishizu, which Marik would find out about because that was his sister, and voila, one ready-made villain who desired to take the God Cards and you have an instant conflict for the pharaoh.

Like couldn’t there have been a more peaceful and less dangerous solution?  Sure the pharaoh needed to win the cards, but why did Shadi think that the battle for them had to be world-threatening and dangerous?  Why couldn’t the pharaoh have won them through a low-stakes ceremonial duel or something?  In my opinion, the short answer is that Shadi is a dick.  He believed the Pharaoh needed a villain for some reason, and when one didn’t seem forthcoming, he made his own.

tl;dr Shadi is a manipulative asshole who created villains for the Pharaoh because he’s a dick.

iamseraplz  asked:

Blindshipping. "That was the last time he'd say that to anyone."

I’m going for angst on this one:

“I heard that Yugi rejected someone again.”

“He’s never gonna date anyone, is he?”

“It’s strange that he even rejected Anzu. Though, that one makes more sense, as they would have a long distance relationship and I’m not sure either would handle that well.”

Jounouchi nodded, sighing as he sipped his drink. He was sitting in a cafe with Honda and Ryou, their current discussion was about their friend Yugi. It’s been over two years since Atemu was last seen by Yugi, that day with the duel with Diva.

In that time, Yugi has been… keeping mainly to himself. He has gone on a few dates with people over the years, but they don’t last long. The longest relationship was seven weeks, and then Yugi called it off.

“I have a good idea of why he won’t do much with relationships.” Ryou frowned, toying with the pink macaroon between his fingers.

Honda blinked. “Yeah? Spill, what’s the problem?”

“…” Ryou decided to just put the treat into his mouth. Jounouchi watched him, shaking his head.

“It’s because of him, isn’t it?” He spoke up. “Atemu.”

Ryou nodded and Honda sighed, shaking his head. “He has to learn to move on, I’m sure there’s someone else out there for him to love.”

“That’s the problem, Honda.” His blond friend stated. “He can’t move on. Those two had a thing going before the Ceremonial Duel. Yugi took the loss harder than any of us not just cause of their bond, but because of their relationship…”

Yugi, in a quiet moment between himself and Jounouchi, had poured his heart out to him, saying how his relationship with Atemu was that of love. He had wanted so badly to lose the duel, so Atemu could continue to be with him, but… it wasn’t fair. If he had done that, then he wouldn’t be able to show his true strength, nor would he allow the pharaoh to finally find peace in life.

He loved him so much that he had to let him go.

Jounouchi smiled sadly, looking at the table. “He told me, that before the duel, when they had their last moment alone… Yugi told Atemu that he loved him. And you know what I think? I think… that was the last time he’d say that to anyone…”


I haven’t watched DSoD yet but the thing that just appeals to me the most about it, is that it makes so much sense for Kaiba to go after Atem.
Throughout Yu-Gi-Oh! Kaiba’s principles centre around the idea that winners live, losers die. When he beat Gozuburo, he threw himself off a building. In Death-T Kaiba makes a chamber that simulates death for the loser of the duel. On Pegasus’ tower when he realises he’s losing he puts himself in danger to fall and so on. This is a strong belief of Kaiba’s that Yugi and the gang have to literally beat out of him. Especially Yami, as Kaiba’s greatest rival (and centre of his attention).
So when Atem loses the Ceremonial Duel and immediately dies after, I can see Kaiba finding out and being like; OH HELL NO!!!1! After spending the last three major arcs and five seasons being told that dying isn’t the answer to losing, Atem immediately demonstrates the exact opposite of his ‘Lessons with Kaiba’.
And this is what endears me so much to prideshipping is because I can see the rest of the gang accepting and making a distinction between Atem passing on and Kaiba’s situation but I don’t think Kaiba would. I think it makes sense that Kaiba would be angry and want to get Atem back because in his mind Atem would be going against the very principles he taught him.

tl;dr: Atem goes against everything he taught Kaiba, and that’s why Seto is desperate to get bae back.

anonymous asked:

Took me a while but how about Yugi taking care of a sick Atem? c:

that’s alright, dearie! Glad to see yah! Step into my trash can and let’s see what we can do…

This one is simply titled Sickfic because titles are Strange


There is a reason Atem retained his Ceremonial Duel body. Modern bacteria and his ancient blood would not have mixed well at all. So when he’s told he has bronchitis, he sighs―as much as he can―in relief and says, “Good.”

Yugi face-palms. “Atem. Bronchitis isn’t good.”

“Yugi, I have lived through plague epidemics. To me, this is a blessing.”

Keep reading

Since Vrains has been announced, folks have been making these DM/Zexal, GX/Arc V, and 5Ds/Vrains parallels. Another one struck me about a month ago, but I had to wait until Arc V ended in order to see if it was really true. 

Time for another YGO pattern! You guys ready?

Keep reading

Although legit; you wanna talk about break downs?

In the Reduxshipping AU, after they escape Sharo and end up back in the tomb, Yami loses the Ceremonial Duel to Yuugi but is unable to enter the Afterlife cuz UH DUDE YOU AREN’T DEAD YOU CAN’T GO ON TO THE OTHER SIDE WHEN YOU AREN’T DEAD

And he literally kinda loses his mind because he thinks that the gods want him to stay to fight ANOTHER Great Evil and legit he just crumples at the base of the doors to the Afterlife and refuses to move. Literally just quits.

Tristan has to carry him out of there and Yami spends the entirety of the next day just curled up in a pile of blankets in the hotel room, staring blankly at nothing and refusing to speak to anyone, even Yuugi.

Because I am a horrible human being, that’s why.

malik tries to be all buddy buddy with ryou after the ceremonial duel. ryou’s like ‘oh hey you’re the guy that got me stabbed and convinced the ring spirit to use me as a human shield against osiris! sure we can be friends :D’

so malik’s immediately backing away like ‘oh fuck i fucked up now i fucked up’ but ryou is being 100% genuine.

ladysparklefists  asked:

Yami/Atem and Kaiba, of course! (For the concepts-to-keep-in-mind ask)

@ladysparklefists

Thanks!  And for once I’ve even managed to be concise!  Well, relatively.

SETO KAIBA

(Since Kaiba is so extra, I went with six instead of five.)

  1. Kaiba is struggle.  He’s named for a god of storms and chaos; this applies to his psyche as well as to the havoc he brings.  
  2. He’s frighteningly young and way too volatile for the responsibilities he’s undertaken. Although he wouldn’t recognize mere effort as a virtue, his determination to see them through is his saving grace.
  3. Since he was eight (or possibly five), he’s never had anyone make his emotional welfare their priority.  
  4. Kaiba’s view on the past is that of a child loudly proclaiming that he knows there aren’t any monsters under the bed, but who’s afraid to look underneath for fear that the monsters will grab him.  Only in Kaiba’s case, the monsters are real.  
  5. He says “I love you,” by telling his brother, “With you at my side, I can fight.”
  6. The first part of his life is the road to Death-T.  The rest is the road back.

I answered Yami/Atem earlier but I couldn’t break up the matched set, so I’m repeating it here.

YAMI NO YUGI/ATEM

I divided this into Pre-AE/Ceremonial Duel and Post-AE/Ceremonial Duel because there are important additions when I’m thinking post-canon.

Yami no Yugi (Pre-AE/Ceremonial Duel)

  1. He’s a powerful confident amnesiac: his story is the story of forming an identity.
  2. He lives for his missions and his destiny; does he know how to live for anything else?
  3. The first thing he knows is that he’s here to protect Yugi: he comes to understand why Yugi is the hero of the story. The second thing he knows is justice: he has to learn everything else.
  4. As he learns kindness and mercy from Yugi, he wonders: are these traits his or are they borrowed, a plating over a baser metal that can be worn away through use and time?
  5. He would die to protect his friends: he’s surprised to realize they would do the same for him.

Atem (Post-AE/Ceremonial Duel)

  1. His sense of justice and mercy finally merge when he goes to Kul Elna willing to offer both – and receives both in turn.
  2. He is ready to go to the afterlife for Yugi and for destiny, it’s possible that he never asks what he would want for himself.
  3. He dies twice without having a chance to live out his life once.
  4. How does someone who comes alive through challenge and conflict lay down their sword?