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.
By Shadow's Mirror
It was early in the evening after a very long and exhausting day.
The snow that had been falling for most of the week had stopped just long enough that afternoon for Ryou and Bakura to go and do some shopping, but the mall had been so full and busy that Ryou had been worn to a frazzle trying to keep his Yami in sight and out of trouble.
Feeling more guilty than usual over it, Bakura had promised that he would behave himself for the rest of the week.
He had then sent his tired Light to lie down for an after-dinner rest and had treated himself to a nice hot bath while working out a few new strategies for the cards Ryou had bought that day. He was looking forward to trying them out against his Light that evening. As he dried himself off, he grinned at the thought of beating his Light in a few dozen games with his new strategies, but then he paused and frowned, listening intently. Was that a kitten mewing?
His yami-sense tingled with warning. Something was very wrong! Grabbing the first thing his hand touched, Father's old bathrobe, to pull on, Bakura hurried out of the room to follow the sound. Was it coming from the kitchen?
At first glance, everything in the kitchen seemed fine, but the mewing sound was definitely coming from the door that led out onto the back porch. Moving further into the room, Bakura spotted the source of the sound. Ryou's small white puffball of a kitten, appropriately named Fluffy, was sitting at the door mewing for all she was worth.
As he walked over to her, he happened to glance outside through the door and his heart skipped a beat. A very familiar, very wet and very grumpy kitten was sitting on the back porch, in the middle of a mound of snow.
Bakura ran the rest of the way, flinging open the door and dashing outside to get his kitten in.
"Dragon!" His kitten glared at him and Bakura skidded to a stop and then continued his approach more slowly, wary of his kitten's infamously bad temper when wet, cold or otherwise miserable.
"What happened? Are you all..." His kitten stood up and shook himself vigorously, sending a fine spray of snow over Bakura as he knelt down in front of him. Dragon then stalked around Bakura, ignoring him completely.
"Hey, where are you..." Bakura turned to watch his kitten ignoring him. Dragon trotted to the door and went inside. Only then did he look at Bakura, the gleam of pure vengeance in his kitten eyes sending an icy chill up the Yami's back that had nothing to do with the fact that he was outside in the snow wearing only a bathrobe.
"Hang on... you wouldn't..." Bakura stood, but got caught in the overly long robe. As he struggled to keep his footing, Dragon used all of the weight of his plump furry little body to close the door. As Bakura finally sorted his robe out and started towards him, Dragon gathered his strength and jumped up. "Dragon!"
The click of the door lock caused Bakura to stop in his tracks. "You would... and you did." He groaned. "Dragon... I'm sorry, okay? I don't even know how you ended up outside! It's not like I put you out. What, did you run past us while Ryou and I were bringing the shopping in?" He sighed as his kitten returned to his favourite hobby of ignoring Bakura. "Dragon... come on... let me in!" He banged on the door, but his kitten just turned his back and mewed at his sister to stop her from helping Bakura either. Fluffy gave Bakura a sad look and mewed softly before running off to get Ryou.
Bakura sighed again. He knew there'd be little chance of help from that quarter. Ryou was so soundly asleep, he doubted the boy would wake even for a mewing kitten. So, it was up to him to find a way out of this mess. He headed around the side of the house, hoping that one of the windows there was unlatched. He thought he remembered Ryou opening the living room window earlier.
His happiness at finding the window unlatched lasted only for as long as it took him to lift it up and start going inside. It was at that point that he was spotted.
Mrs Ibachi was walking her dog past the Bakura residence when the dog began barking at something down the side of the house. One look at the oddly dressed figure almost made the lady faint, but when she realised which house it was, she gathered her wits about her and quickly let go of the dog's lead. "Sparticus! Go get that nasty burglar! Go on, get him! Serve him right, trying to break into that sweet boy's house!"
Sparticus leaped joyfully into action! Barking loudly, he charged down the side of the house as if he had a whole army of dogs behind him. He jumped up, grabbing the figure's clothing in his sharp teeth and growling loudly as he tugged on it as hard as he could.
Bakura was just congratulating himself on foiling his kitten's plans when he heard the barking, but he disregarded it as not having anything to do with him. When he felt something pulling on his robe, however, he changed his mind. One look at the determined dog and he knew his luck was determined too. To go as far downhill as it possibly could.
"Hey! Will you let go? I'm not a... Why am I trying to reason with you? Let go, now!" He pulled, trying to get away, and felt something give. The next moment, the whole robe slipped off his shoulders. He let it go, too busy trying to stay on his feet to bother about maintaining his modesty. The robe fell over the dog and Bakura took advantage of the opportunity and all but jumped through the window to safety.
He slid down the wall and sat on the floor, panting hard. He heard the dog's mistress call him back and mentally poked out his tongue at the dog, still too busy catching his breath to do so for real. It was several minutes before he'd recovered enough to stand up again and head upstairs to get dressed and reassure Fluffy that he didn't need Ryou's help.
He was just finishing combing his hair, a quarter of an hour later, when there was a knock at the front door. Since Ryou was still asleep, Bakura went down to see who it was.
The first thing he saw was the dog that had terrorised him.
The second thing he saw was Father's robe. "Oh. Thanks. I really didn't want to explain where that had gone to." He reached out for it as he spoke, then paused as he belatedly noticed two things that weren't quite right.
The hands holding the robe were male.
The male had a pair of handcuffs hanging off his belt.
So much for his promise about not getting into trouble for the rest of the week.
The policeman frowned at the white-haired teenager. "So this is your robe, sir? Would you mind explaining to me why one of your neighbours said her dog removed it from someone attempting to break into this house?"
Bakura sighed. "Actually, I would mind, very much, but I know that was just a polite way of saying I have to tell you."
The policeman frowned more. His frown deepening again as the lady watching spoke up. "Officer! That isn't the sweet boy who lives there! He might look a little like him, but that is definitely not Ryou Bakura!"
Bakura winced and noted that the man was reaching for the handcuffs very slowly. Time for explanation number 17.
"I'm Ryou's cousin, Kah Bakura. I'm staying with him for the holidays."
"I see. Where is... your cousin now, sir?" Said in an 'I don't believe you for a moment' tone that Bakura found annoying.
"He's having a nap. He has a headache from our shopping trip earlier. The mall was too noisy and crowded for him."
Sometimes Bakura found the truth was so much better than any lie. This truth made the officer hesitate to ask for Ryou. Maybe he'd get through this without Ryou finding out about it.
"I see. Sir, there have been several complaints from people who claim to have seen a robed man attempting to enter, then succeeding to enter, this house via a ground floor side window. The complaints also state that, following an encounter with a neighbour's dog, the man... er... disrobed and entered the house while..." He stopped as Bakura quickly held up his hand. The yami knew what had happened and really didn't want to hear it from someone else's point of view. Especially when that point of view wasn't quite right.
Bakura frowned, his annoyance growing as he thought back over what the guy had just said.
"As I said, I'm staying here at the moment. I went outside after my bath to let my kitten inside and the door locked behind me. I was just trying to get back inside when that woman set her dog on me. As you can see, I'm now fully dressed and I can assure you that it was just an accident and will not happen again."
He continued before the policeman could speak. "Also, a couple of points. Firstly, you can't see the ground floor window down the side unless you're walking past and there was only one person there at the time, so I know she was the only one who called you. Secondly, it was not an 'encounter' with her dog. She set it on me and encouraged it to not only attack me, but to hold onto my clothes. I heard her tell it to get me and also not to let go, once it had my robe. Finally, if she had any decency, she wouldn't have looked when her dog pulled my robe off me. The fact that she did look, combined with the fact that her dog was the one who pulled my robe off me, and was trained to do so in the first place, makes me wonder if I should consider pressing charges for voyeurism. It's only the fact that I know Ryou likes her and she likely did it out of concern for him that I'm not going to."
The officer winced slightly and nodded. "I see. Thank you for explaining the situation, sir. However, please do try to remain... er... clothed in the future."
"Oh don't worry, I will!" Bakura shuddered. "I never want to go through that again."
He stayed at the front door long enough to see the officer walk back to the sidewalk and start talking to the lady there, her dog standing beside her and staring at Bakura as if he looked particularly tasty, then closed the door and leaned his head against it, letting out a sigh of relief.
Ryou would never have to know what had happened.
The Yami froze at the sound of his Light's voice, right behind him. He slowly turned and managed a small smile at the boy standing in the doorway to the living room. "Uh... hi Ryou."
"Bakura..." Ryou looked worried. "Why was there a policeman at our door just now and why was Mrs Ibachi's dog barking so much a little while ago? Did something happen?"
Bakura took a moment to consider his options, before realising that no matter what he said, Ryou would no doubt hear the full story from Mrs Ibachi sooner rather than later, anyway. He sighed heavily.
"My Light... any woman who gives the name 'Sparticus' to a Pomeranian has a few issues, but teaching it to strip innocent yamis who have been locked out of their home by a particularly devious and vengeful kitten, then stands by and watches it happen, is just wrong. I really don't want to talk about it anymore. Now if you'll excuse me... I have a kitten to find and give a very stern talking to."
Gathering every shred of dignity that he had left around him, Bakura stalked off towards the kitchen... ignoring the sound of his Light's laughter as it filled the air behind him.