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.

The Christmas Party Plan
By Shadow's Mirror

The fluffy white kitten's tail swished from side to side in a gentle motion that was completely at odds with the glare in his deep brown eyes as he looked at his current source of annoyance. Said current source of annoyance glared back.

"I don't care how much you glare at me, Dragon. You are not going to Kaiba's Christmas party. You and your sister are staying here to guard the house. I need you to warn us if Father comes home. He's due any day now."

When his argument was only met with a darker glare, Bakura sighed. "I don't even know why you're so determined to go. It's boring. Just a bunch of people standing around drinking some horrible stuff that probably costs more than Mai's entire wardrobe. Well... maybe not all of it." His attempt at a joke fell flat as his kitten just kept glaring at him.

"Honestly, the best thing about the whole evening will be Yami and Kaiba's inevitable duel. Followed by Joey and Kaiba's even more inevitable duel." The anticipation alone made him grin, however his kitten's glare brought Bakura sharply back to the situation at hand. He shrugged at the irritable ball of fluff.

"Look, it's impossible. Just admit it. Even if your sister is fine with watching the house alone, Ryou would never agree."

He was not ashamed to use his Light as the 'bad guy' in this case. While normally a role he relished for himself, he couldn't quite bring himself to do it with his own kitten. Even when the kitten in question was glaring at him as if he'd rather like to stab him several times with the new set of steak knives Ryou had 'treated' himself to a few weeks earlier.

Bakura was making a mental note to hide those knives, just in case, when Ryou's voice came from behind him.

"What would I never agree to? Ah... Sorry, Bakura. I thought you knew I was here."

Deciding to ignore the fact that both his Light and his kitten had just witnessed him jump three feet in the air with a noise that he refused to even think of as being anything resembling a squeak, Bakura turned to look at the boy standing in the living room doorway. "Dragon wants to come with us to Kaiba's party tonight. I've told him no."

Ryou blinked. "Oh. Er... Why does Dragon wish to...?" He trailed off as Bakura was already shaking his head. "You did not ask him?"

"Of course I asked him. But he's stubbornly refusing to talk to me. Er... meow at me. Ever since I said no the first time, he's been giving me the silent glare treatment." He pointed to the glaring kitten. "Just like that."

"Ah. I see." Ryou studied Dragon for a long moment as he considered the situation. "Well, I do not see a problem with him coming." Before Bakura could do more than blink at him in shock, Ryou spoke as sternly as he could to Dragon. "However... you have to be on your best behaviour and no running all around. There will be quite a lot of people there and they might step on you or trip over you. Can you keep out of trouble?"

Dragon's glare had turned to a delighted smile, but the look he shot Bakura at that last question was pure smug smirk. He raised his little fluffy head proudly and gave a single mew.

Bakura sighed heavily as Ryou shot him a questioning look. "He said 'of course'."

Ever since he'd accidentally turned himself into a kitten, Bakura had found himself able to understand feline speech. It was more than a little annoying, considering how many cats there were in Domino City and how Bakura kept finding himself running into far more of them than he ever had before. He was starting to suspect it to be at least one of the Ancient Egyptian Gods' idea of Divine Retribution for the number of times he'd used their names as curses.

Ryou smiled sweetly at his dark half. "Now that is settled, we should start getting ready. I will find a nice ribbon for Dragon to wear. It is a dressy occasion, after all."

The look of alarm on the no-longer-smug kitten's face was more than enough to restore Bakura's good mood.

An hour later, the Spirit of the Ring had just finished snickering over the bright red bow around his kitten's neck, when they all arrived at Kaiba's mansion. The look of surprise on Kaiba's face when he opened the front door and saw the pouting kitten lying in Ryou's arms set Bakura off again, though.

Ryou sighed softly and shot his darkness a mildly annoyed 'must you?' sort of look as he greeted Seto and Mokuba and wished them a Merry Christmas, before going on to explain that Dragon had wished to come also and he hoped they did not mind?

Bakura managed to stop laughing long enough to appreciate how quickly Kaiba schooled his features and how politely he told Ryou that the kitten was welcome, before he was set off yet again by Mokuba's cheerful "Kittens are always welcome here. Seto still will not let me have one of my own and I need all the opportunities I can get to show him how much we need one!" A good part of Bakura's amusement was due to the wince Kaiba didn't quite manage to hide.

Leaving Kaiba and Mokuba to continue greeting new arrivals, Ryou and Bakura moved inside to the party's location. All three of them paused in the doorway of the mansion's ballroom to take in the tastefully understated green pine garlands hanging from the ceiling and the seventeen elegant white trees spread around the room with all the precision of one of Kaiba's duelling strategies. Each tree was decorated with simple blue glass baubles and clear lights in an obvious homage to Kaiba's beloved Blue Eyes White Dragon, but Bakura was too relieved at what wasn't in the room to make any comment about that. He grinned at Ryou and leaned close to mutter in his Light's ear. "Oh look, no tinsel in sight. My eyes may send Kaiba a thank you card."

"Bakura!" Ryou tried to sound like he was scolding him, but he was barely holding back a laugh at the reminder of Yugi's party, the week before. In charge of the decorations, Téa had gone a bit too far with the tinsel. It had been everywhere... right down to a small piece on top of the pudding that Marik had eyed curiously before ever-alert Isis had plucked it off, her action accompanied by a stern warning that 'no, Marik, tinsel is not edible'.

Bakura grinned at Ryou. He was about to respond when he noticed that the kitten currently riding on his shoulder had started quivering. He looked at him. "I told you, Dragon. There are too many people here for you to... hey!" He gasped as his kitten suddenly jumped off his shoulder, his wings snapping out before he landed so he glided up instead. The startled yami stood frozen in shock as he watched his kitten fly across the room before landing on the... "Oh, Ra."

Ryou had also been surprised by Dragon's jump and flight, but Bakura's curse had him immediately focusing on reassuring his dark half. He gently patted Bakura's arm and his voice was soft but urgent. "No, it is all right, Bakura. He has that spell on him, remember? The only ones here who can see him are those with the Shadow Magic. We know them all and they all know about Dragon already. No one else saw him fly just now."

Bakura shook his head slightly. "I know. That's not the problem." He glanced at his Light and was met by the boy's questioning gaze in return. "Look at where he's landed." Ryou looked. Bakura could tell the moment the other boy realised the true horror of the situation, when he suddenly tensed.

"Oh. Oh dear." Ryou sounded a little faint. Bakura couldn't blame him for that.

"Yeah. Now we know Dragon's reason for wanting to come tonight." He sighed heavily. "If we get in trouble for this, at least we can tell Kaiba it's his own fault."

Ryou glanced at his yami then back to the buffet table, where Bakura's overly-fond-of-food kitten was pouncing with gleeful abandon on anything that he liked the smell of. "It is?"

Bakura nodded "That day Kaiba came to the house to invite us personally, remember how he couldn't resist boasting to us? He just had to tell us that he'd be ordering only the best and most expensive catering options for this party." He glanced at Ryou in time to see the other boy's eyes widening in realisation.

"Yeah. It's all Kaiba's fault for talking about the good food that would be here, when Dragon was in the room with us."

The End