DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.
AUTHOR'S NOTE: For anyone who has ever thought that Bakura is sweet ^_^
"Ryou! How many times have I told you not to walk through that park while I'm asleep in my soul room?" Bakura strode restlessly from the bathroom door to the bedroom window and back again. Hands on hips, he glared at his light. "The same thing happens every single time! You know how dangerous that park is! What were you thinking? No, forget I asked, you weren't thinking! Not at all! If you had been thinking, you would have listened to me and not gone strolling through that park and straight into that cursed gang of bullies! Look at you! You're a mess! If I'd woken up a moment later…" Bakura bit off his tirade and glared at Ryou some more before whirling around and continuing his agitated pacing.
In the bathroom, Ryou winced as he carefully applied antiseptic and a plaster to his skinned knee. As he repacked the first aid kit, he could hear Bakura still stalking around the bedroom, although he'd apparently run out of things to say. By the time Ryou had returned the kit to the medicine cabinet, there was nothing but silence coming from the bedroom.
Ryou went to the doorway and peeked into the room, wondering if his yami had calmed down. Bakura stood with his hands on the windowsill, staring out at the twilight. At first glance, he seemed calm, but Ryou could see the tension in his body. "Bakura." His knee still hurt, but he tried not to limp too badly as he crossed the room. He stopped a few feet behind his yami.
"I'm all right, Bakura." He smiled slightly. "It really wasn't as bad as it looked. It was sweet of you to worry though."
"Sweet?" Bakura slowly straightened. "You think I'm… sweet?" His hands clenched into fists, then he whirled around so quickly that Ryou instinctively took a step back. He backed away another couple of steps at the look of fury on his yami's face.
"Um… Bakura… I'm sorry! I didn't mean it like that! Honest! Bakura?" Ryou kept backing away as Bakura stalked towards him. Suddenly, he hit the wall. His hands immediately came up in a conciliatory gesture. "Really, I didn't mean to insult… Bakura? What are you doing?"
Bakura kept moving forward and now a chill ran down Ryou's spine, as though someone had slipped an icecube down the back of his shirt. The look in his yami's eyes was something more than mere anger. "Bakura… please stop… you're… you're starting to scare me."
The weak protest was barely audible but it brought a smirk to Bakura's face. "Good." By this time he was right in front of Ryou. "Let's see how 'sweet' I am while I'm in control of your body!"
"Bakura! No!" Ryou's gasp was cut off as his yami suddenly pushed forward, merging his spirit form into Ryou's physical body. It didn't hurt, but it was a shock. One moment, Ryou was in his body, the next he was being pulled into his soulroom. Ignoring his light's protests, Bakura pushed Ryou down onto the bed and then stormed out of the room, slamming the door behind him as he left.
Ryou immediately slipped off the bed and hurried to the door. He tugged on it, but it refused to open. After a few moments, Ryou gave up. He knew he'd never open the door if Bakura didn't want him to. Although some things had changed since Battle City, one thing remained the same.
Bakura's will was still stronger than his.
Worried about what Bakura was going to do, and even more worried about what Yami would do to Bakura afterwards, Ryou curled up into an unhappy ball on his soulroom's bed. There was nothing he could do except wait until his yami's temper cooled, and hope for the best.
Exhausted by his anxiety, Ryou soon fell into a troubled sleep.
A light breeze ruffled his hair, the dappled sunlight was dazzling to his sleep-blurred eyes, the grass beneath him was soft and fragrant and there was an odd muffled sound coming from somewhere behind him. Ryou stirred and slowly rolled over, blinking in sleepy confusion at Yugi and Yami before he woke up enough to realise what he was seeing.
"Oh my! Yugi! Yami! Are you both all right?" He scrambled to his knees, so intent on his friends that he barely winced when his weight fell on the knee he'd injured earlier that evening.
"Mmmpphh!!!" Yami complained as best he could through the gag tied around his mouth. His crimson eyes glared at Ryou and he struggled against the ropes binding his wrists and ankles.
Yugi smiled weakly and raised his bound hands slightly so he could give Ryou a little wave. For some reason, he wasn't gagged. "We're fine." His yami turned his glare onto him and Yugi shrugged. "Well, we are… Bakura hasn't hurt us."
"Oh, that's good!" Ryou began untying the knots around Yugi's wrists. "What happened? Where are we? Where's Bakura?" Leaving Yugi to untie his ankles, Ryou untied Yami's gag. The spirit glared at him.
"You mean you don't know?"
Ryou hesitated as he started on the knots at Yami's wrists. "No," he admitted softly. "Bakura… took over. He locked me in my soulroom. There was… nothing I could do. I… I'm sorry…" He started as a small hand rested lightly on his shoulder.
Yugi smiled at his friend. "Don't worry, we know it's not your fault. Bakura lost control, didn't he?"
Before Ryou could answer, Yami growled, "Well this is the last time! He's had his chance! Obviously we were wrong to trust him."
A soft whimper of distress broke through his rage, as did Yugi's reprimand. "Yami!"
Yami looked down and could see only the top of Ryou's head. The boy had bowed his head and his shoulders were shaking. Yugi was trying to comfort him, gently patting his back, but it didn't seem to be working. The spirit's heart and voice softened.
"I'm truly sorry, Ryou. But who knows what he would have done if you had not woken when you did. He brought us all here for a reason and…" He hesitated. "We don't know what he's done with… Malik and Marik." His voice was now so soft Ryou could barely hear it.
Ryou looked up, confused. "Malik and Marik? Are they… here too? Where… where are we anyway?" He glanced from Yami to Yugi, wondering what was going on.
Yugi explained. "We're in the Shadow Realm forest. Bakura came to the shop and said he had something to show me. When I went outside, he tied me up and pushed me through a portal to here. Of course, the moment I came through, Yami came out in his physical form to stop Bakura. Only… Bakura used Kunai with Chain on him. He came through the portal then. When you didn't appear, we were worried. Yami started demanding to know what he'd done to you. That was when Bakura gagged him." Yugi glanced at Yami as the spirit made a displeased sound.
"Anyway, Bakura went back through the portal. A little while later, he did the same thing to Marik and Malik that he'd done to Yami and I. He pushed them to the ground over there, by that tree." Yugi pointed to a tree several feet away.
"Then Bakura went away again, through the forest though, not through the portal. When he returned, you were with him. He was pulling you by the arm and your eyes… they were blank… soulless." Yugi was quiet for a moment. He'd obviously been very worried about his friend. "He made you lie down and close your eyes." Yugi paused, a thoughtful frown on his face.
"I must have still been in my soulroom," Ryou said softly. It was more than a little disturbing to know that he'd been walking around without either his or Bakura's soul in control of his body.
"So, what happened to Malik and Marik?" Ryou looked curiously at Yugi as the boy shook his head as though he'd been lost in thought.
"Oh, well, Yami got really upset with Bakura."
Yami nodded. "I thought he had stolen your soul," he admitted quietly.
"He managed to grab Bakura and he tried to pull him down, only Bakura broke away. He pushed Yami back down and Yami landed on me. By the time we… sorted ourselves out again, Bakura had gone… and so had Malik and Marik."
Ryou frowned slightly. There was something there that didn't make sense. He glanced over to where Yugi had indicated the other two had been lying. "But… he would only have had a moment or two, how could he have gotten them away so quickly?" When his only answer was silence, he glanced at Yugi and was surprised to see that the boy's face was red. A glance at Yami showed that he, too, was more than a little embarrassed about something. "Yugi? Yami?"
"It… was more than a few moments. Yami knocked the breath out of me and he was… afraid he'd hurt me. When he found out I was okay… he…" Yugi shot a glance at Yami.
"I was very relieved." The only sign of Yami's lingering embarrassment was a slight trace of colour in his cheeks. Ryou frowned at them both in confusion for a moment before he caught on.
"Oh. Oh! Right." Flustered, Ryou looked away. Something caught his eye over by the tree where the other two had been. Curious, Ryou started to get up, intending to see what was lying in the grass. It looked like rope… He froze when a husky voice spoke up from behind him.
"Couldn't resist freeing them, could you? Oh well, I guess I'll just have to tie them up again. Maybe I'll tie you up as well this time."
Ryou slowly turned around to face his yami. "Bakura… Please… Don't do this. I know you're angry with me, but there's no need to take it out on them!"
He started towards Bakura, but Yami grabbed hold of his arm, holding him back. Ryou noticed the anger flare in Bakura's eyes as the spirit glanced down at Yami's hand. Ryou gently eased out of Yami's grasp, giving the concerned spirit a slight smile as he did so. "It's all right Yami. I don't believe Bakura will hurt me, but even if I did, I have to do something. This is all my fault."
Yami frowned. "Stop saying that, Ryou! You cannot take the blame for his actions!"
But Ryou wasn't listening. He had already started moving towards his yami again. His movements were slow, but there was no hesitation.
"Bakura… I have to know. Where are Malik and Marik?" His eyes anxiously searched his yami's for an answer, but the look of surprise his question caused wasn't the answer he'd been expecting.
"Huh? What do you mean? Didn't you untie them?" Bakura blinked at his light.
Yami moved to stand beside Ryou. He glared at Bakura. "Don't try to trick us! It won't work! Now answer the question! What have you done with them?"
Bakura scowled. "I have no idea what you're talking about! The last time I saw them they were right there!" He stabbed a finger at the tree in question.
Yami started to respond, but Ryou suddenly turned to him. "Yami, wait! He's telling the truth! Look! He's as surprised by their disappearance as we are!"
"Ryou…" Yami looked down at the gentle light in surprise. "How can you still believe him after what he's done?"
Ryou lowered his head. "Because… he's my yami and he didn't mean to do any of this. He just got frustrated because…" He took a deep breath. "Because he stopped some bullies from hitting me earlier today and he ranted about how I needed to be more careful and how I should have waited until he was awake and how I should have listened to him and all the time…" Ryou paused to catch his breath. It had all just come out in a torrent of words.
"And all the time?" Yugi prodded softly.
"He was worried about me." Ryou's cheeks were burning with embarrassment, but he forced himself to continue. "He was really worried and I… I thought it was… sweet of him…" He bowed his head, wincing at the stunned silence that greeted his admission.
"You mean… all of this is because you called Bakura… sweet?" Ryou raised his head and nodded silently. Yami blinked in disbelief and then turned to stare at Bakura, who was scowling at his light.
"Bakura…" Yami's eyes suddenly widened in surprise and he gasped. It was the only warning Bakura had before a pair of strong arms wrapped around him from behind, one around his waist and the other across his chest.
"What the…? Marik! Let go!" Bakura struggled, but Marik was holding him tightly and he couldn't escape. "How in the Shadows did you get free?" It was bad enough that Marik had been able to sneak up on him, surely he hadn't been able to untie the knots too! Bakura knew he was out of practice with that sort of thing, but surely he wasn't that bad!
Marik smirked. "Cut the ropes with the Millennium Rod's blade."
Bakura winced. He'd forgotten all about the Rod's little addition.
Malik suddenly popped his head out from behind his yami and blinked curiously at Bakura. "Ryou called you sweet so you decided to prove him wrong, huh?" Moving around his yami, he shrugged at Yugi, Yami and Ryou. "Makes sense to me!"
"It would," Yami muttered. Before he could say anything else, he was distracted by Yugi's chuckles. "Yugi? Something amuses you?"
Yugi smiled up at his yami and then turned to Ryou. "A bit of advice, from one light to another. Whenever you think your yami is sweet, and you will think it because they can be at times, don't tell him! It only upsets them and that usually leads to trouble. Or duels with Kaiba," he added with a wink and a mischievous grin.
"Yugi!" Yami turned a rather interesting shade of red.
Malik laughed. "Marik likes it when I call him that. I guess your yamis are just sensitive about it. You're sweet, aren't you Marik?" He grinned up at his yami. Marik smirked back. Both of them had identical gleams in their violet eyes.
"Yes! And you're sweet too, my light." Marik tilted his head and looked consideringly at Bakura. "I wonder…" He shifted his body, his head disappearing behind Bakura's.
Suddenly, Bakura's whole body jerked and grew tense. His eyes, suddenly wide with shock and panic, darted to Ryou's and he instinctively reached out to his light. "R…Ryou!" His voice was little more than a gasp.
Ryou ran forward. Grasping Bakura's hand he pulled him out of Marik's hold, glaring at Marik when the yami didn't immediately let go. Bakura collapsed against his light, trembling as he tried to recover his composure. Ryou held him lightly and frowned at Marik. "What did you do to him?"
Marik's eyes widened into his 'who, me?' look. He shrugged, smiling slightly. His violet eyes gleamed with laughter and mischief. "Nothing much."
He smirked as Bakura turned his head to glare at him. Ryou shook his head and looked at his yami, who seemed to be recovering from whatever Marik had done to him. He hadn't pulled away yet, but he had stopped trembling. "Are you all right, Bakura?"
Bakura tensed and glanced at his light. For a moment, they looked at each other and then Bakura slowly nodded, drawing back from Ryou as he did so. "Yeah." He looked away, a slight flush colouring his cheeks.
Ryou put his hand lightly on Bakura's arm. "I'm glad. Can we go home now? It must be getting late and we have school tomorrow." He darted an anxious glance over at Yami as he spoke. It was obvious that he wanted to get Bakura out of there as fast as possible, before Yami had a chance to do anything even remotely like revenge.
Bakura glanced at his light and then at Yami. He winced slightly and nodded. "Yeah. Let's go."
Raising one hand, he concentrated and a black portal shimmered into view a few feet away. Ryou turned and waved to the others, but Bakura just looked steadily ahead. When Ryou had gone through the portal though, Bakura hesitated and glanced over his shoulder at Yami again. There was a question in his wary eyes.
Yami nodded once and a look remarkably like relief flashed across Bakura's face, although it was hidden before anyone could comment on it. He quickly followed his light through the portal.
Yugi glanced at Yami. "I'm glad you didn't do anything to him. I think he really does care about Ryou. He just has a funny way of showing it sometimes. When he brought Ryou here, did you see how gentle he was with him?"
Yami smiled down at his little light and nodded. "Yes. I noticed."
Yugi smiled back at him. "So, does this mean you're not mad at him anymore?"
"Not exactly. I still believe he overreacted, however…" He glanced at Marik, who had a very smug look on his face. Yami tried not to grin. "I believe he has… already paid the price for his actions." He shook his head slightly and glanced back down at his confused light. "Come Yugi, it is time we too returned home."
Yami waved his hand and another portal appeared. He and Yugi went through it immediately. Marik started to follow but Malik pulled him back. The light raised an eyebrow, his violet eyes gleaming with anticipation.
Marik smirked, understanding what his light wanted to know. He nodded. "Ryou's right. Bakura is so sweet he's just like candy. I love candy." Marik's eyes glowed faintly as he slowly ran his tongue over his lips. "I wonder why Bakura doesn't like his light saying it though?"
Malik laughed. "I'll explain when we get home." Grabbing his yami's hand he started for the portal with Marik following him happily.