Next to Your Heartbeat. Part 2.

His Eyes.

On the one hand, I started this project to get a handle on what would draw Yugi to Seto, since I spent basically the entirety of last year trying to figure out what drew Seto to Yugi.

On the other hand, I’m basically using this project as an excuse to gush about my baby. So, y’know, take from that what you like, I suppose. It’s probably relevant on some level or another.

He looked at you like you were the only human being on the planet.

Once you earned the privilege of his acknowledgement, anyway.

Seto Kaiba was a difficult machination to pin down, and Yugi didn’t think he would be able to truly figure out the whole of him if he spent the rest of his natural-born existence trying — which, if he was being perfectly honest with himself, didn’t sound too bad. Regardless, Yugi had learned a few things, and one of those things was why people always said his eyes were so frightening.

Seto’s eyes were aware.

Yugi wasn’t taking philosophy or sociology classes, over at the community college halfway across the city where he was earning an Associate’s Degree primarily so that his mother would stop pestering him about it, but all the same he liked to think of himself as a studier of people.

Was that a word? Studier? Whatever. Yugi wasn’t going for an English degree.

It had started as a defense mechanism — any kid faced with bullying on a regular basis learned to watch their own back — and had eventually become something of a hobby.

Any competitive gamer worth their salt had to read an opponent, and besides … when you didn’t have control over your own body, there wasn’t much to do except read your opponent.

Yugi had spent an inordinate amount of time reading Seto, being as how Seto was that opponent much more often than not.

As a result, Yugi had a lot of experience staring directly into that blazing blue glare.

He had to give some of the articles and blogs he’d read credit where it was due: looking directly at Seto Kaiba was like trying to stare down a lightning bolt; but, fancy metaphors aside, it was also just kind of unnerving. Because if you had his attention, Seto looked right back. He looked into you. Something about modern social interaction just … didn’t prepare people for that. Oh, sure, folks talked a good game about maintaining eye contact. Whether it was to show confidence, or earnestness, or simple politeness, it was just one of those rules people stuffed into their back pockets and pretty much forgot about.

But not this man.

Seto Kaiba set his eyes on a person and locked onto them, so focused and impossible to distract that it sometimes felt like the lock had a chain. You couldn’t look away. There were two options: weather the storm, or crumble. Was it an intimidation tactic? Was it a holdover from his years under the brutal tutelage of an urban warlord? Or was it just part of his essential nature, tempered by nearly two decades of relentless honing?

Whatever it was, most people in Domino City found it unsettling. Frightening. Others, like Joey Wheeler, found it insulting. Atemhotep, the indomitable Ghost of the Golden Age, pegged it as exhilarating.

And then of course you had Mokuba Kaiba, in a league all by himself, who was so used to his brother’s attention that he was completely desensitized. He’d literally been born into that attention — had grown up directly under the scrutiny of those sea-storm eyes — and couldn’t be fazed.

And Yugi?


Yugi didn’t know what he felt when Seto Kaiba looked at him like that.

But he was reasonably certain that he liked it.

I hold that Yami’s real name is Atemhotep. I have reasons, but for right now consider it a mere touch of flavor. I have a lot of random ideas that pretty much came out of nowhere, and by now I honestly don’t remember whether half of them are canon or not.

signs as shit dub!kaiba said
  • aries:we've come this far and i'm not gonna blow it. actually, yes i am.
  • taurus:stop saving the world and get a hobby.
  • gemini:if i had a dime for every time you used the word destiny, i'd be even richer.
  • cancer:boooring. let's duel.
  • leo:i want him to see what he missed out on so give him a good seat for the next duel. aHAHAHAH! i'm funny.
  • virgo:oh great. if it isn't the dweeb patrol.
  • libra:that's it! i'm not gonna stand here and talk to some mutated hood ornament. i'm just gonna blast you into next week.
  • scorpio:mokuba, what do i always tell you? if at first you don't succeed, blast them with your blue eyes again!!
  • sagittarius:so you have a dweeb army? am i supposed to be scared to attack?
  • capricorn:me? duel you? i would have more of a challenge playing solitaire.
  • aquarius:anyone who's late for registration will be disqualified. mokuba, make sure wheeler's late.
  • pisces:oh great. i'm hallucinating again.