Naming the Flame


Summary: Ryou is caught in his father's Jacuzzi with more than just bubbles. In fact, that something more is a *someone* with bizarre violet eyes. Now Ryou has about five minutes to explain himself before his father tries to impale Malik with a plunger. Yaoi.

Chapter One

Most men write cars, television sets and large boats at the top of their "most treasured" list. Ryou Bakura's father, however, was in love with a bathtub. A Jacuzzi, to be more specific. But, as the middle-aged archaeologist would argue, it was a very manly Jacuzzi. And one similar to the one he had met Ryou's mother in. But, of course, Ryou never pushed his father to elaborate on that specific detail.

The Jacuzzi even had a name engraved on the side. Not its brand (which was Kohler), but a real custom-engraved name. Ryou feared for his father's life whenever he brought back an ancient artifact from Egypt, always expecting a flair-haired psycho to come out like some twisted genie in a lamp. He'd had quite enough of that when he'd received his Sennen Ring (1), so graciously presented to him by his Jacuzzi-obsessive parent. But when he'd discovered the Jacuzzi Room while doing laundry, well, Ryou started worrying about his father's rational stability as well.

Not that any of this was actually breaking through to Ryou's psyche at the moment. To be truthful, not even Italian opera sung by a dying rooster could have been strong enough to penetrate the haze. To an outsider, one would think the boy himself was dying he was groaning so loud. But in all fairness, that really wasn't Ryou's fault.

If one were to place blame, one would look to the half-drenched blond tangled in his arms, masterfully casting lips and tongue to work that was driving Ryou to the precipice of his sanity. The only source of light was a feathery wisp of flame from a vanilla-scented candle near the doorway. If another outsider were to ask, the candle would have replied that never in its waxy life had it observed something so decadent. Its former owner, Isis Ishtar, never had such beautiful boys in her bathtub. In fact, the woman didn't even have a boyfriend, don't you know. And she never put a scrap of mousse to that flat hair, either….

In a futile and halfhearted attempt to search out reality, Ryou snagged desperate hold of Malik's neck, dragging the already heated kiss to feverish temperatures. This, however, only served to fuel the loss of reality rather than add to it. Not that either was too concerned, mind. No, they were content to lie in that frothing, tempestuous water while absentmindedly hurling logic and reality off the precipice of Ryou's sanity.

Malik was never one to go halfway with anything and lost the freedom of his hands to Ryou's ethereally diamond-encrusted hair, moaning with content into the softened lips his were crushed against. He felt Ryou's ankle digging into his back, but in the long run, he decided he could suffer a few bruises. Especially with bath times like this one. World domination could screw off with the opinionated candle for all he cared. This Jacuzzi was the only thing worth dominating right now.

Ryou wondered absently in the tiny crumb-sized corner of his mind that still held conscious thought what time it was. His father, by a horrible twist of fortune, was home for a bit of the summer holidays. ("Egypt is hot enough without me burning what's left of my hair out under that sun…. I'd much rather spend the vacation with my son," was how he'd jokingly put it.) As far as Ryou cared to remember, his father had left this morning around ten, promising to be home before dinner. Well, it was past dinner…. Or rather, it was past Ryou's dinner with Malik. Or rather still…dinner of Malik.

A deceptively graceful hand wove trembling fingers through Ryou's, squeezing until their palms ached from the strain. Again, neither was bothered too greatly at present, seeing as how neither could feel anything but the other, see nothing but the other and want nothing but the other. The candle would have a field day of gossip when it got back to Isis' bathroom. Cocky faucet had insisted that Isis' younger brother was as heterosexual as Bruce Willis, but ohhh no. Here was flat evidence that that drooling faucet was lying through its tap.

The couple were connected and flushed in every place imaginable. Yes - even there, you gutterdwellers. Ryou's breath came out in a gasp as Malik pulled up for air, soaking in vanilla-saturated mist that merely helped along the red fire in both pairs of eyes. And while Ryou struggled to breathe correctly, Malik leaned in and feathered an affectionate kiss against the blazing plane of his koi's forehead. Ryou interrupted a gasp in order to smile dotingly before dropping his head back onto the lip of the Jacuzzi, sucking air through passion-reddened lips.

Malik chuckled and nuzzled the exposed ivory throat, catching the sensitive skin between the younger boy's neck and shoulder impishly. As expected, Ryou's body shuddered and the boy involuntarily squeezed his arms around Malik's slick back with a sultry moan. "You - couldn't - let me…" Ryou's breath sharpened as the torturous mouth plagued his neck. "Catch my - breath?"

Dipping his head to the side, Malik responded by biting down on the formerly visited vulnerable spot with fervor. Ryou cried out and forgot how exactly coherent speech was performed. His nails gripped for purchase at Malik's shoulder blades, absently sliding his supple fingertips over the taboo marks engraved there. If he'd known of the short surge of panic that caused for Malik, he would have apologized, but as it was, Ryou could barely string a rudimentary thought together let alone a whole spoken word.

"No," said the Egyptian teasingly, possessively reclaiming Ryou's lips. The other boy was only too glad to respond, his lids dropping listlessly over dreamy molten chocolate gems. "And - I don't think - you mind," Malik added breathlessly, caressing Ryou's forehead with tenderness he usually reserved only for his motorcycle (which he hadn't been barking mad enough to name, thank you very much).

Annoyed with banter, Ryou impatiently put Malik back in his place, which was presently kissing the hell out of his koi. The Egyptian countered Ryou's haste with excruciatingly slow motions that drove the very soul from Ryou's poor worn throat. Malik distracted the younger boy by slipping his tongue through Ryou's badly defended lips and ravished his koi's lurid mouth, subtly taking a hand from the willowy locks.

A moment later, the elegant wrists locked around Malik's neck jerked the older teen into a roasting kiss that very nearly blistered the Egyptian's sun-gingered lips. Ryou's groans were no longer the sole source of noise coming from the torrid embrace. The candle's flame flickered pryingly at their gasps and ravenous moans. Heterosexual indeed.

Subsequent minutes followed a similar pattern until both drenched teenagers came down from their reckless high and nuzzled close in a warm, tender cuddle. Malik dunked his head back into the calming water, glad that Ryou had turned down the idea of using the Jacuzzi's rather strong jets. His face freed of glistening, sopping wet blond, Malik surfaced and drew in a voracious breath. Then he pulled Ryou's svelte figure to his chest and spent the next ten minutes bedecking the younger teen's throat with lazy open-mouthed kisses. Ryou replied with contentment, holding their entangled hands against his lips while he leaned his head against Malik's shoulder and submitted himself entirely to the Egyptian's will.

It touched Malik to sense how genuinely Ryou trusted him. No one else would abandon their defenses so easily in Malik's arms. Ryou was the only one who had never in his life feared the Egyptian (2). Perhaps that was the reason they had lasted so long as the starry-eyed couple so many of Ryou's family and friends would scorn if they knew.

But that was the beauty of treachery. No one did know.

Ryou softened the tense muscles in Malik's hand with deliberate strokes of his thumb, absently snuggling his face deeper into the crook of the Egyptian's shoulder. Trust was in the younger boy's very breathing, gentle showers of cool air that had helped bring Malik back from the deranged madman his tormented childhood had twisted him into. His Ryou. His tenshi (3). His koi.

It was after one particularly prolonged throat-kiss that Ryou said, "I think I'd better call my father."

Well, if there was any other way to make Malik Ishtar yelp, it probably wasn't as effective as Ryou's. "You mean leave me all alone?" he asked, marinating his voice in a reasonably deep puddle of hurt.

Ryou turned his head and caught Malik's lips in a softened, promising kiss. Then, in a voice richer and smoother than melted butter, he whispered, "You'd rather I stay here until I freeze to death?"

A moment's hesitation, then, "You wouldn't have to freeze." And he emphasized this implication with a kiss that stole not only Ryou's breath but his memory as well.

What was it he was going to do?

"Oh, Malik…."

Oh, well. It probably wasn't important anyway.

Moments of impassioned desire passed like melted water streaking impetuously down the slope of an icicle. It wasn't until they were so close it hurt that the kiss became cause for worry. Ryou knotted his hands in Malik's hair and moaned loudly into Egyptian lips with reckless abandon. His body, so heated by Malik's, began to tremble under the slightest touch, which included Malik's nimble fingers holding his hips steady.

One of them cried out, though who was unclear through the blankets of passionate vapor.

Malik's lips were fixed on Ryou's as he drove the slender body to a low platform, trapping the smaller boy easily. Positioning a knee on either side of Ryou's hips, Malik hovered over his koi and with a heartfelt smile, descended on Ryou's mouth again.

"Love you," he gasped sharply.

Ryou smoothed a hand through the sunkissed locks amorously in reply, telling Malik in actions what he currently could not with words. Sometimes words were better expressed when nothing was said at all.

Seconds later, Malik was entirely and willingly enmeshed in Ryou's arms, bewitching his sweeter koi's lips with sinful lust. Daunted by the emotion flowing between them, Ryou reached up an urgent hand and clutched Malik's slick arm weakly. Every string of energy in him was being utilized by his lips, still thrashing against Malik's in a battle he was all too enthusiastic to lose. Still, the rate of their actions was making him nervous and he knew he wouldn't be able to stop if it went on for much longer.

Malik felt the urgency of Ryou's kiss, but at the same time sensed his koi's reluctance to take that next step. So, lowering the passion of their exploits, the Egyptian slowly pulled away from Ryou, still holding the smaller boy like a jeweled treasure. "Only - when you're - ready," he gasped softly, kissing Ryou's feverish forehead gently. Then, winking cheekily, he said, "But - when that time comes…you'll have to - convince me it's worth it."

Blushing vividly and panting as if wounded, Ryou smiled shyly and leaned the side of his face on Malik's collarbone, breathing in the Egyptian's exotic scent. "Thank you," he whispered gratefully.

Malik softened his palm over Ryou's face tenderly. "Anything for you, tenshi."

Then Malik loosened his hold on Ryou and let the younger boy nestle comfortably against him. After the formerly turbulent water surrounding them had pacified and contented itself with gently lapping against the wistful pair, Malik took to running a hand through Ryou's feathery hair, nuzzling his face close to the natural perfume of jasmine and cherries.

Then there was a creak on the stairs above the Jacuzzi Room.

Oh. That's what Ryou had wanted to do before.

Malik noticed the sudden loss of color in Ryou's face and struck an expression of inquiry. He hadn't heard anything. But he heard the next noise easily.

The door opened with an audible "snap" and Mr. Gave-My-Son-a-Gold-Thing-With-Mental-Psyche-Issues appeared in the door, looking slightly bemused. Then his eyes fell on the Jacuzzi. His Jacuzzi. And then his son. And the startled Egyptian on top of his son.

Ryou immediately withdrew his arms from around Malik's neck and tried to speak. "Father…." But what else could he say? "Hey, Pops, this is Malik. A few months ago he was trying to take over the world, but he's relatively safe now. Er, just don't give him sharp objects and anything with caffeine and he won't attack you right away."

Unfortunately, Malik was also fond of imagining humorous situations. And the problem with that was he also liked to act them out as well. "So, this is your father, Ryou?" he asked with a smirk. "I've been wondering…. Does he use this oversized bathtub to its potential?"

Ryou's father turned white, then green, then red and then a rather amusing shade of purple. "You…" he choked out. "Who are you!? What are you doing here!?"

Malik smiled sardonically and before Ryou could reach out to cover his koi's overactive mouth, said lazily, "Why don't you ask your son?"

Ryou eyed the water, measuring it carefully. He wondered how long it would take for him to drown under there. But no. His father wouldn't let him get out of a more mortifying death so easily.

"Ryou," Malik whispered into his koi's ear amusedly, "your father looks ready to spear something."

Or someone, Ryou thought with a twinge of alarm as his father suddenly grabbed an idle plunger from beside the toilet and swung it headlong at Malik's head. Ryou could have sworn he saw the candle laughing at them as Malik ducked the blow. A shame his father hadn't decided to throw that at them…

Well, it wasn't the traditional "Hey, Dad, I'm gay," Christmas dinner fiasco he had imagined, but hey, it was something at least.

To be Continued…

1. Sennen Ring: another name for the Millennium Ring. Most frequently used in Egypt.

2. I'm of the opinion Ryou's braver than most give him credit for. And Isis and Rishid have probably at one time or another been a little nervous at their brother's lunatic performances. Hell, even Yami has to get scared sometimes. Fortunately, Ryou's got the license to be perfect in this chapter.

3. Tenshi (angel)