This is part of a yugioh au I've been writing over on ao3 for a long time. At this point I'm not going to post all of it here, because there's just too much of it, but the parts that stand well enough on their own, or at least some, will probably find their way on here. This might be the first part of the au that I've posted on here, but oh well. You don't need to know anything about it for this to work, so I won't explain it I will tell you here that Arc V and DM exist in the same world here. This story also involves 5ds, even though I can't have 3 categories as far as I know... so 5Ds also exists in the same world, but that's kind of already implied with DM. This is pre-5Ds, post-Arc V, and takes place during the early manga/season 0 of DM (no specific point in that timeframe, just pick a spot). If you want to read the rest of the AU, you can find it on ao3 at tatersalad5001.

I wrote this back in December (2020), and now it's March 2021, so obviously it's been a while between writing it and posting it. When I wrote it I was super busy, so I couldn't post anything I was writing and ended up with a backlog. Once I started having more time, I started going through the process of posting all of it (at my own pace), which has taken quite a while. This was the last fic in the backlog, so thankfully I'm done now and can go back to writing and then immediately posting what I write when it's ready. Essentially, I've been sitting on this one a long time, and I'm excited to finally post it.

I apologize if there's any formatting errors here. What happened was I handwrote this story and then used a text to type converter and then had to fix the several formatting errors and typos made by the converter. I spent a long time trying to fix it all, but I doubt I've caught everything just from how much there was of all of it.

Mokuba is genderfluid in this au and uses he/him pronouns for this story. Riley is agender and uses they/them pronouns for this au. Akiza hides behind a mask and never really reveals her identity in this story, so from Mokuba's pov he uses they/them pronouns for her. I use dub names in this au for the most part and most of the characters in this au I use dub names for, but I'm not a fan of Reiji's dub name (i'm mostly mad it's not something along the lines of Reggie) so I use his sub name.

The vice-presidential position included a lot of duties in its job description, but babysitting was not one of them.

To be honest, Mokuba felt a little insulted. He oversaw a lot of important projects within KaibaCorp, and usually wasn't involved with any big meetings with other corporations. Either that was Seto's thing, or they both were too important and busy to get involved. So when Seto told Mokuba he was needed for a meeting with the Leo Corporation, he was surprised. When Seto told him he was seeing the CEO's younger brother, he wasn't happy. As the VP of KaibaCorp, Mokuba was aware of the hierarchies of many of the corporations his brother did business with. Even if he and Riley were around the same age, Riley held no position within the Leo Corporation . This was glorified babysitting while the 'grown ups' talked.

What did a kid their age who didn't help run one of the biggest companies in the world do? Before Seto acquired KaibaCorp, Mokuba spent most of his time being bullied and being rescued from bullies by Seto. Sure, he liked to duel and play capsule monsters and stuff, but that didn't mean Riley would. He'd never met Riley in/person before, so he didn't know what to expect.

Eventually, Reiji Akaba brought Riley into Mokuba's office himself. He introduced himself as well as Riley to Mokuba. Then he bent down to Riley's level and calmly told Riley they would be spending time with Mokuba until he returned. Once he was sure Riley was okay with that, he left to attend his meeting with Seto.

The two of them were alone.

"I'm Mokuba." Mokuba had no idea whether to offer Riley a handshake or not. Riley stared at him blankly, not seeming to expect one." To be honest, I don't know what we're supposed to be doing," Mokuba admitted. Talk business? Play with cars?

Riley shrugged. "Don't know."

Well, great, this was already going well.

Unfortunately Mokuba couldn't give up on this meeting altogether. Seto had warned Mokuba to leave a good impression with Riley; leaving a good impression with Riley meant leaving a good impression with Reiji, and good impressions were everything. Mokuba had to do his best to like, make friends and interact. Ew. He had to think of something.

"Do you like dueling?"

"Uh huh."

"Do you want to duel now?"

This was a more difficult question for Riley to answer. It took them over a minute to think. "Okay."

Well, for being such a hesitant duelist, Riley sure was a good one. Not better than Mokuba, of course. He liked the occasional Ritual Monster (Hungry Burger was a given), but he was mostly a dragon user. It was hard not to be a fan of dragons when your brother was Seto Kaiba. At least Mokiba had some monsters to help set himself apart. But while Mokuba's deck used a lot of special summoning, Riley's was on a whole other level. Fusion, XYZ, they had it all. Mokuba wouldn't be surprised if they had any Ritual Monsters in there, too.

Mokuba still had the upper hand, obviously, but he never should have underestimated his opponent.

The duel never got to end.

At the sound of glass shattering, Mokuba immediately was alert. The glass came from the big window in his office - it was supposed to be bulletproof, and he didn't work on the ground floor, but somehow this wasn't the first time this had happened. He'd been kidnapped enough times to know a kidnapping attempt when he saw one. Who was after him? Why now? He was the middle of very important work with a business partner. At least they should wait until Mokuba was alone. That's Kidnapping 101! He turned to the window, but he couldn't immediately see anyone there.

Mokibar looked towards Riley. They were staring at the broken glass, their hands covering their ears. Tears were forming in their eyes as they dropped to the floor.

This was all going to leave a really bad impression on the Leo Corporation.

At least both of them still had their duel disks. Maybe they could duel their way out of this.

Vines covered in thorns stretched through the hole in the window and into Mokuba's office. Someone climbed up and jumped into the room. The way their face was covered by a mask prevented Mokuba from knowing if he recognized them or not.

"Who are you?" Mokuba demanded.

"I am the Black Rose Witch."

A stranger, then. Mokoba forced himself to relax. "If you want to meet with me or my brother, you'll have to make an appointment with our secretaries. Both of us have very busy schedules; as you can see, I'm in the middle of an important meeting."

"I don't need an appointment with the likes of you," the witch said, as they turned their face in Riley's direction. Tears were falling down Riley's face uncontrollably, but they seemed to be trying to pull their hands away from their ears. "Besides, this meeting does not seem so important."

Mokuba rolled his eyes. So the witch thought they were above everyone else, but that was nothing new to him. He grew up with Seto Kaiba. "So if you don't want an appointment, what are you here for, then?"

"I am here on behalf of the Arcadia Movement."

"Arcadia?" Mokuba blinked. He hadn't been expecting that, though the plants made more sense now. "The psychic duelist group?" Cult, more like, but he had no interest in calling out his would-be kidnapper on that and aggravating them. Of course he knew about Arcadia. KaibaCorp knew about everything.

"Psychic duelist?" Riley whispered. They didn't seem capable of much more than that. Mokuba was barely close enough to hear them.

"Duelists that can summon duel monsters and card effects to the real world," Mokuba explained. "My brother doesn't believe in that stuff, but I'm not him. I mean, we do actually know a psychic duelist. Though they don't really call themself that." He glared of the witch. "What do a bunch of psychic duelists want with me, anyway?"

"I told you, you are not the one I seek!" A violent wind started whipping through the room. There was no way the wind outside was this strong!

Mokobe reflexively lifted his duel disk in front of him. Yeah, that'll help a lot against a psychic duelist. "Then what do you want?"

"The Arcadia Movement is here for Riley Akaba." The witch took a step towards Riley and Mokuba. The wind picked up, pulling cards from their duel disks and sending them flying around the room.

"The Leo Corporation apparently does a good job of making sure Riley is never alone, like a possession to be guarded. That's why we're here to free you. Of all the people you were to be around, Mokuba Kaiba, despite being the vice-president of Kaiba Corp, was determined to be the least threat, which is why we are here now."

"Hey!" Mokuba allowed himself only a moment to feel hurt by that. He knew he had to be the one to act, he was used to these situations while Riley still didn't look like they were doing too well. This was weird, though. Mokuba was used to the one being kidnapped, but not so much to being there during the kidnapping while not being the target. What was he supposed to do? What could he do? He jumped in front of Riley, putting himself between them and the witch. "Not on my watch! You'll have to get through me to get to Riley."

The Black Rose Witch seemed unphased by Mokuba's declaration (though it was hard to tell under their mask). They held up a card. "Ivy Shackles!"

Mokuba felt himself thrown towards the side of the room. He couldn't stop the scream that flew out of him. He didn't feel himself make contact with the wall, but the next thing he knew he was next to it, tangled up in a bunch of plants. This must be the Ivy Shackles, huh?

Riley turned to look at Mokuba. Tears were still falling down their face, slowly now. Yeah, this was going to leave a great impression. At this rate, Kaiba Corp would never get to speak to the Leo Corporation again, Shakily, Riley stood up on their feet. As they looked at Mokuba, he saw something change in their eyes. A darkness appeared that he hadn't seen before now.

The witch took a step towards Riley.

Riley's head snapped back in the witch's direction. One remained in their Extra Deck; Riley looked down as if as if he were listening to something, then drew the card out of their duel disk. "Psychic duelist... " They stared at the card as they held it in their hand. "Dark Rebellion Supreme King Dragon, I need help."

A huge dragon curled itself around Riley, roaring; there was bavely enough room for it in Mokuba's office. Riley placed one of their hands against it. It was as real as the Ivy Shackles of the Black Rose Witch. The dragon bent its head towards Mokuba. Mokuba flinched, not knowing what to expect, but the dragon used its mouth to tear away the Ivy Shackles and free him.

The Black Rose Witch took a step back. "You're..."

"I don't need your help. I don't need to be freed." They bared their teeth, scowling at the witch. "I want to be here! I want to be with my brother and my friends. This is what I want!"

Dark Rebellion Supreme King Dragon stepped around Mokuba and Riley before roaring at the witch, swiping at them with its claws. Pretty soon the witch was retreating, even though Mokuba had the feeling they could have fought back. He wondered if they would come back, if they would go after Riley again.

Mokuba looked to Riley again. He could still see that darkness there, but it was disappearing. Now he couldn't believe the way he'd looked down on them , how incompetent he'd thought they were when they first walked into his office.

"I'm not being watched because I need to be guarded. It's because I'm dangerous."

"Uh, thanks," he said weakly.

The door to Mokuba's office flew open. "What happened?" Reiji ran into the room; the commotion must been able to be heard in Seto's office, then. Reiji ran to Riley's side to check on them. He did not appear phased by the giant real dragon in the room that disappeared the second Riley saw him.

"I am so sorry, we should have better security than this," Mokuba immediately said. "I did my best-"

Reiji silenced Molaba with a look. His expression was hard to read. "I am not mad with you." Reiji was able to quickly tell that Riley was unharmed.

"Someone tried to kidnap me," Riley told Reiji. "But Mokuba and I were able to chase them away."

Mokube really hadn't been able to do much besides getting smacked around, but at the moment he didn't have it in him to protest.

He blinked, and Seto was by his side. His brother had come, too. "Mokuba, what happened?"

"It was Arcadia." A wave of exhaustion was hitting Mokuba. He hadn't realized it until it really hit him that they were safe now.

Selo frowned. He looked closely at Mokuba. "This meeting is over. You need to get checked out"

"I'm fine," Mokuba protested. He wasn't so weak that he needed to be helped with every little thing. Reiji and Riley Akaba were right there. This was embarrassing.

Seto rolled his eyes. "You're covered in scratches and you hit your head against the wall. I won't let you take chances with your health like this, Mokuba."

Did he hit his head against the wall? Mokuba didn't remember that happening, but his head did hurt. The scene melted away for a second. For just a moment it wasn't KaibaCorp's president checking on his vice president after an attack during a business meeting. It was Seto and Mokuba alone in the world, Seto checking on Mokuba after a bully came after him. Mokuba tried not to tear up. He hadn't thought about those days in a long time. He'd hardered up since those days, a conscious effort to become more self-reliant. Seto had changed since then, too.

But in all the time that had passed, Seto still had Mokuba's back when he needed it. In all that had changed, they hadn't lost each other.

As a fun easter egg, most of my yugioh fic names are card names, and at least once I named one after a skill in Duel Links. This one's different, I named it after the name of Splendid Rose's attack as said by Akiza in Duel Links. It's more obscure than what I usually do, but it's the best I could find for this.

Thanks for reading!