Kisses and Roses
Warning:Shonen ai alert! This story involves mainly Y/Y, but also some brief mentioning of B/R. Be forewarned!
A/N:I have returned! This is actually based on a true story. I'm not a big fan of Valentine's Day, but this one girl broke up with her boyfriend, and he did this for her. Of course she told everyone about it. Though I'm extremely jealous she had someone, I decided to "borrow" her experience. Anyway, enjoy!
Disclaimer:If you think Yu-Gi-Oh! belongs to me, I must shatter your delusions and tell you that it doesn't.
//What's wrong, aibou?//
Yugi jerked his head up from the homework he hadn't really been thinking about. His grandfather was minding the shop while his other made dinner. (All three had been surprised at Yami's aptitude at cooking, and Grandpa had gladly turned the duty over to him.) Apparently, Yami had felt his sadness through the link.
/Valentine's Day is this Friday,/ Yugi told his darker side sadly.
He waited a few moments for a reply.
The boy giggled a bit at the simple answer. The ex-pharaoh's confusion and curiosity ran down the link with no real words, the only real way to translate it as a simple question mark.
/It's a holiday, Yami, though I don't get off from school. You show someone you love them and sometimes give them flowers or candy or balloons,/ Yugi explained.
He waited once more for a reply. He could practically see Yami frowning as he worked this out while he was doing something or other to the stir-fry cooking downstairs.
//It seems a bit pointless, aibou,// Yami admitted.
Now it was Yugi's turn to be confused. /What do you mean?/
//You should show someone you love them every day, not just on one day out of the year. If you love someone, you shouldn't just save that love for one day of the year, shower that person with gifts, and go back to normal the next day.//
The more innocent of the two blinked, then started giggling again. Perhaps somewhere under those nerves of steel and calm exterior lay the heart of a hopeless romantic. It sure sounded like it!
//So why does this holiday make you upset, Yugi?//
Yugi stopped giggling and imagining Yami reading romance novels or other such nonsense as Yami inadvertently reminded him of why Yami had asked about Valentine's Day in the first place. /I can't help feeling a bit…well…jealous of all those people who have sweethearts who give them all that attention and love…even if it is only for one day./
//There are people who love you, aibou.//
There was a bit of tenderness in Yami's "voice" that Yugi couldn't quite place. He had heard it a few times before but was never really sure what it was. Yet every time he heard that bit of tenderness, it made his heart go warm and fuzzy. Not an unpleasant feeling at all.
/I know Grandpa loves me. And you and the others love me. But I mean someone who loves me like they'd want to spend the rest of their life with me./
Downstairs, Yami barely saved himself from cutting his finger off instead of a strip of chicken. Making a mental note (unheard by Yugi) to actually watch what he was doing instead of staring off into space as he talked with his other, he repositioned the knife and sighed.
//I'd be willing to be that there's someone,// Yami assured his light, letting that note of tenderness creep back into his "voice".
In fact, he was one hundred percent sure that he knew someone who wanted to spend the rest of his life with Yugi: himself. He couldn't pin down the day and reason his heart flew into Yugi's gentle hands, but he knew that Yugi owned it…even if Yugi didn't know it.
/Thanks for the vote of confidence, Yami,/ Yugi said, his mental "voice" holding a smile.
Yami forced himself not to be disappointed that Yugi had missed the hint yet again. //You're welcome, aibou.//
The ex-pharaoh felt his other return his complete attention towards his homework at last as he finished slicing the meat and thew it into the stir-fry. To put it simply, it was maddening to be able to be so close to the object of his affections yet so far away!
From vague memories that had returned to him in dreams, he knew he had never kissed or touched another with the feelings he felt for Yugi. In fact, he had never kissed or touched another period. He had been a bit confused over that (after all, he'd read about in the library how pharaohs used to take slaves into their beds for pleasure), then reasoned that perhaps he'd been so sick of being around people during daylight hours, he just wanted time alone at night. It made sense to him since he enjoyed having a few moments of privacy every day.
Yami mulled over what scant information his aibou had told him about this "Valentine's Day". A pointless holiday, maybe, but it might just aid him in his situation: telling his little light. His inexperience in the matters of love would've made even "let's-not-laugh-at-someone's-ignorance-unless-it's-Joey" Téa fall to the ground in hysterics. He was over five thousand years old for gods' sakes! Never mind that much of that time had been sent in the solitude of an unsolved Puzzle!
He shuddered as he remembered the total sensory deprivation an unsolved Puzzle equaled. Quickly he shoved the memory away, not wanting to relive that time here and now. Instead he chose to divide his focus on the stir-fry and the strange holiday.
He would need more information on Valentine's Day. What little his aibou told him didn't fully satisfy his curiosity. He made a mental note to stop by the library while Yugi was at school. (Grandpa normally handled the store by himself while Yami made them both lunch or idly read. It was better than having to come up with some story that explained why Solomon's number of grandsons had doubled mysteriously.) Yami had gone to the library alone once to register for a library card, the librarian not even paying attention to the information he wrote down and simply handing him the card after she plugged the information into the computer. For all Yami knew, he could've put "Age: 5000 (give or take a decade or two)," and she wouldn't have noticed.
Yami finished the stir-fry and set it out on three plates, placing the plates on the kitchen table. As Solomon followed his nose into the kitchen, mouth watering, Yami smirked as he made a mental imitation of the triangle he'd seen the cook in a Western movie Yugi had forced him to watch use to summon the cowboys to dinner. The reaction proved immediate as he heard Yugi's feet racing down the stairs.
Yami leaned back in his chair and closed his eyes, reviewing the information he had just received from the stack of books before him. It had been a real challenge to gather these books among the thousands of others in the library. Especially by using that accursed electronic card catalogue! (However he was getting better at using computers, though he mainly remained "not IBM compatible", as Yugi put it.) He had taken the books from their shelves, carefully noting which book went where so he could return them later, and found a quiet corner of the library where he was promptly ignored by the rest of the world.
These books contained various aspects of the strange holiday that had captured his curiosity: the legend of St. Valentine, decorations, poems, and other things. (One book, seemingly harmless because of the title and summary, had contained information on how to get your sweetheart into bed with you, but Yami had quickly snapped that book shut, face red with embarrassment. He felt certain that if Bakura, Ryou's yami, had been there, he would never be able to live down that blush.) He mentally sifted through each bit of information, thankful that being a pharaoh had given him some talent at remembering things he read. (Most likely a necessary talent back then, but he wasn't sure.)
Two phrases had continually popped up in these books, especially in the poems. The first was "kissed the ground she walked upon"; the second, "shower her with roses". He puzzled through those phrases until he decoded their actual meanings: "worship your love like the goddess she is" and "give her so many roses that she hardly knows what to do with them to show her your love". After deciphering those meanings, he gathered that neither was a half-bad idea. Of course, he still thought that someone should do these sorts of things on a regular basis, not just on one specific day, but doing that even one day out of the year was better than never.
He opened his crimson eyes and leaned forward, gathering up the stack of books in his arms as he stood. He strolled back towards the shelves as his mind worked out an idea for what to do on Valentine's Day for his aibou.
Now all he had to do was check to see if he had saved up enough of the allowance Solomon gave him on a semi-regular basis.
Friday came all too soon for Yugi's taste. He sighed as he watched girls squeal with delight as their valentines gave them roses, balloons, chocolates, and (almost sickeningly) cute stuffed animals that proclaimed "I love you". He made a mental note of who had gotten the most things. Normally, that was a bad sign that signaled that their boyfriend would break up with them the next week. He hated seeing even the snotty popular girls who laughed at him cry.
There was one exception to that rule, of course: Ryou. Bakura had discovered the holiday and had obviously showered his hikari with visible affection, a rare sight indeed. Ryou had come into school with his arms laden with chocolates, balloons, and three dozen red roses. Every person who saw him in the hall couldn't help but stop and stare. When Yugi asked about it, Ryou explained that Bakura had made him bring at least that much stuff (there was more at home, apparently) in order to show anyone who had any ideas about claiming Ryou as their valentine that he was taken.
"Possessive," Yugi had teased, referring to Bakura who he knew lurked in the Ring at the moment.
Bakura had decided to accompany his aibou to school in the Ring. (The most time the yamis stayed in their respective Items now was at night to sleep. Though they'd been granted separate bodies, they still had to return to their Items once every few days for a few hours to keep their life force going. Their bodies could still use energy from food and drink but also relied heavily on the Items' power.) Yugi had guessed (correctly) that Bakura was making doubly sure that no one dared move in on his valentine.
Ryou had blushed as he explained, "Bakura's only possessive about the things and people he cares about. I guess it's a throwback from when he was still a tomb robber."
The final bell rang, and all of the students rose as one, chattering as usual. Yugi sighed once more as he walked outside the classroom with Ryou. As they exited the school building and met up with the rest of their friends, Bakura exited the Ring, wearing a duplicate outfit to his aibou. He slid an arm around Ryou's waist, making Ryou blush. The former tomb robber shot a look towards the others that clearly could be interpreted as "Jealous?"
Yugi laughed merrily, though he was still a little disappointed by the day. Still, a few more hours and Valentine's Day was over.
"I'm surprised that idiot pharaoh didn't give you anything," Bakura commented, raising an eyebrow.
Yugi blinked innocently, not understanding the comment as Ryou not-too-subtly stepped on Bakura's foot.
"Be nice," Ryou ordered, "or no treat."
Judging by the horrified look on Bakura's face, Tristan and Joey wondered just how badly they wanted to know what this "treat" was.
"Speaking of Yami, he hasn't talked to me all day," Yugi noted. "Whenever I try to contact him, he doesn't answer."
The hikari-yami link could reach across several blocks without fading, so the distance from the school to the game shop was no problem. (They had yet to discover how far the link could reach before it started to fade, but it seemed to be a considerable distance.) The yamis used this link to their advantage to find out what was happening with their hikaris when they were separated from each other. Of course this worked both ways, and it never was a bad idea to check up on your yami…especially if he wasn't exactly sane (like Malik).
"Maybe he's busy," Ryou told Yugi.
The group reached the game shop at last. Solomon rushed out to meet them.
"Yugi, thank goodness you're home!" the old man told his grandson.
"What's wrong, Grandpa?"
"It's Yami! He's been up to something all day!"
Whenever Yami was "up to something", it always made the old man nervous. After all, the Spirit of the Millennium Puzzle had enough power to do God-knew-what to whoever made him angry. When Yami seemed to be plotting something, Solomon interpreted it as him plotting to do something bad to someone. When the ex-pharaoh was in one of those moods, it was best to find Yugi to calm him down.
"I knew something was up when he didn't answer!" Yugi muttered. Louder, he asked, "Well, what's he been doing?"
"Mostly leaving out the backdoor, coming back in the same way with bags, and running up to your room or you two's bathroom. I tried going in once or twice, but he always locked the doors."
Téa raised an eyebrow as she asked, "Why didn't you just use a key to get in?"
"Don't you think I tried that?! He put some sort of spell on the lock that morphs the lock whenever I move to put the key in the hole!" Solomon shouted in frustration.
"Well, where is he now?" Tristan asked.
"Maybe he'll let us in," Yugi reasoned.
The old man took a calming breath. "Well, I guess there's only one way to know."
The group trooped upstairs in the silent game shop. Grandpa pulled the key out of his pocket for the bathroom and, sure enough, the lock morphed.
"Fortunately, I don't need to use this bathroom during the day," the old man grumbled as they moved down the hall towards Yugi's room.
This time, the lock stayed the same. The door opened…
…and nobody could help but gape at the sight.
Hershey's kisses covered the floor. Not one square millimeter of the carpet could be seen. Kisses wrapped in silver and red foil shimmered in the light filtering through the window. Toys and games that had once lay strewn about the room had been neatly placed back in their respective places (Yami's obvious work).
"What…gives…?" Joey asked, eyes blinking.
In the corner of the room, red kisses dominated a large area of the floor. It took them a moment to realize that they were in the shape of words: "I love you."
"Woah…" Tristan commented, eyes nearly flying out of his head.
Yugi saw a note near the doorway. He picked it up, examined it, and read it aloud. "'Go to the bathroom.'"
Everyone by now was reading over his shoulder. The handwriting was distinctly Yami's: no one else in the house wrote with that strong a hand or with that weird little slant to the letters.
Téa asked the obvious question, "What's in the bathroom?"
They trooped back down the hallway. The entire time, Yugi thought to himself, 'Why would Yami cover the floor with Hershey's kisses?' He blushed as he remembered the message in the kisses. 'And why would he say that? I mean, I already know he cares about me.'
As they reached the bathroom, Yugi took the key from his grandfather and reached towards the lock. The lock didn't shift this time.
He slid the key into the lock and froze.
"What's wrong, Yuge?" Joey asked.
"I guess I'm a bit nervous about what I might find in there," Yugi admitted. "I mean, if we found Hershey's kisses all over the floor in my room, what could he possibly put in the bathroom?"
Joey's eyebrow twitched as possibilities ran through his mind, each one more horrific than the last. "Guess you're right." He turned to Bakura. "Quick question: did ancient Egyptians sacrifice animals or anything to show their affection for people?"
Ryou sweatdropped as Bakura snorted at the idea. The tomb robber answered, "Sacrifices to the gods? Yes. Sacrifices to loved ones? I knew a few Egyptians who might do something like that." Bakura coughed in such a way that it sounded suspiciously like "Malik". "But mostly, no. I don't think the pharaoh would've done something like that."
As reassured as possible, Yugi turned the key and opened the door. Once again everyone gaped.
The bathtub and the shower were filled with roses.
Roses of every type of color overflowed from the two places. Deep reds were mixed in with bright yellows, blinding whites, and sunset oranges. The scent of the roses was almost overwhelming to the senses.
Yet another note could be found, also in Yami's handwriting.
Yugi read it, gaped, and ran downstairs, shouting his yami's name. Joey picked up the note as he and the others chased the suddenly hyperactive boy.
Yami sat sideways in his favorite chair, legs draped over one arm. He seemed deeply engrossed in the book he was reading.
As Yugi rushed towards him, getting ready to spring over the back of the chair, the hints clicked into place. He understood now why Yami had spelled out "I love you" in the kisses, and it wasn't love in the sense he'd originally thought it was. He cursed himself for not realizing it sooner.
At the same time, he couldn't help thinking that maybe Ryou had the right idea when seeking out someone to love.
He leaped over the back of the chair, his aim a little off as he smacked into Yami's upper body, making the ex-pharaoh yelp and tumble out of the chair, Yugi on top of him. Yugi wrapped his arms around Yami and kissed him. Hard.
After a few seconds, both came up for air, and Yami had never felt so blissfully happy. He sat there in a kind of daze with Yugi hugging him, his arms instinctively circling his small light.
The others watched from the stairs, smiling…though Ryou had to shift everything in his arms to cover Bakura's mouth when he started to make gagging noises at the sheer cuteness of the scene.
Joey read the note once more to himself:
"Now that I've kissed the ground you walk upon and showered you with roses, will you be my valentine?"