The Twelve Days of Christmas

Lieutenant Motou's eyes blinked open, his ears greeted with the sound of....silence.

Damn. This was a first. The entire building seemed completely devoid of life. There wasn't even a crazed Bakura stalking the halls. He sighed in contentment, glad to be able to wake up without stress. In fact, it was the most peaceful awakening he had received since leaving the ship. He frowned. That was sad.

And for some reason, this revelation made him just a little more sad. He didn't hear Yami purring behind him as he slept. He rolled over, noticing the bed was empty aside from him. And it literally felt that way....empty. Oh, Kami...I'm becoming attached.

Yuugi rolled back over when noises drifted his was from the closet. He lowered an eyebrow warily, wondering what was going to pop out of there. The noise stopped.

Yuugi nearly jumped out of his skin when Yami's blushing face popped into view. He threw a hand on is chest, feeling his racing heart pump furiously. "Gah, don't do that Yami! You scared the daylights out of me!"

"Ne....Ne-entnah metu," The Aldar blushed. He grabbed Yuugi's hand and shoved something into them. "Behteb tsunet. Be na meh tu. Meh tu." He patted at his offering, looking up to Yuugi for approval.

The Earthen Lieutenant looked at what had been given to him.

Rocks.

Yami just gave him rocks.

Wrapped up in a pretty little yellow bow.

Where the hell did he get rocks with over eight feet of snow on the ground???

"Um...thank you," he tried. Yami's bright red eyes were begging for approval. Yuugi leaned over, using a hand he placed on the Aldar's cheek to draw him closer, and gave him a kiss.

Yami pulled away, smiled, then laughed. Well, no, more like a giggle. He got up and practically skipped out of the room.

Yuugi scratched his head, looking at the 'gift' in his hand. The rocks had actually been packaged quite well. Decorative plastic wrap was wrapped around the small bundle of about six or seven rocks, the yellow ribbon tied with infinite care.

The rocks themselves were actually quite pretty. One was a deep cobalt blue darker than an ocean. Another was clear and crystalline, and yet another a cloudy yellow.

Yet another bizarre day was ahead of him. Yuugi wondered what other strange things would pop up in front of him. Getting up, he carefully placed the rocks on the journal he kept on the desk, and placed a pen next to it. He would get to that later. Right now, the shower was calling, and he could already here food cooking in the kitchen, even if he wasn't down there yet. His stomach rumbled, reaffirming the need to eat.

xxx

Yuugi stretched his muscles as he came down the stairs, feeling refreshed. He hated mornings, and the only way he could wake up was if he got clean. Just as he was thinking what it was he might have wanted for breakfast, Yami took him by the hand and guided him to the table. Yuugi sat down, seeing in fact a multitude of things laid out before him.

Oatmeal, steak, and an Instant Omelet, with glasses of orange juice (his personal favorite) and milk. Steak and eggs...I'm sure it's the breakfast stable of the Aldars.

Yami smiled at him, handing him a....small pink flower.

Yuugi recognized what it was. He immediately flashed back to his trips to California as a boy with his grandfather. There were a lot of museums out there, and Santa Cruz seemed to be his Ojii-san's favorite place to go. Yuugi remembered walking the miles of the coast, California wild roses blooming on acres of bushes. They didn't really look like roses, but rather conventional blossoms, but their smell was incredible.

Where in the bloody hell did he get this?

Yuugi was almost too shocked to respond. He took the flower, twirling it around in his hand. Where did he find this? He smelled it, his memory doing a time warp to his past.

He registered that the Aldar's hand was still holding his, and he squeezed it gently. He looked up. "Where did you find this," he asked. "How?"

Yami smiled at him, kneeling down to his level. Yuugi rested his forehead on the Aldar's and sighed. He brought up their clutched hands and kissed the back of Yami's wrist. That seemed to be the only reassurance he needed, for Yami jumped up giggling again, and left the kitchen, but not before swiping a piece of toast on his way out.

Ishtar walked past him as he came in, his eyes still hazed over in sleep. "What's he so happy about this morning?"

"Captain, where would someone get flowers and rocks at this very moment?"

Lavender eyes spared him a glance as the owner progressed towards the fridge. "Hell if I know. Why do you ask?"

"Because it seems Aldars are resourceful little buggers. Yami just gave me both this morning. I think he's on a gift giving spree. Look, he even made me breakfast!"

Ishtar looked over and noticed the steak and eggs in front of him. He winced. "Bakura's going to kill us before we leave here."

"Oh, you think so too, do you?"

"Why, did you receive a death threat yet?"

"Yeah, and I know Jou has too. Who else is on his hit list?"

The Earthen captain grabbed a frozen waffle from the freezer. "Yami right now, as soon as he sees more of his steaks are missing, and Malik hit it yesterday when he happily greeted him in the morning."

Yuugi winced. "We've got to teach him most humans aren't morning people." He started on his meal. "By the way, where is everyone else?"

"Still asleep. I think Ensign Kaiba had a rough day yesterday."

Yuugi snorted.

"Good morning to you all!"

That little nerve above Yuugi's eyebrow started twitching again. Damned perkiness!

"Beautiful day, is it not?"

"Morning," Ishtar grunted, catching his waffles on a plate as they bounced out of the toaster.

"Good morning is an oxymoron," Yuugi stated philosophically. "Just like military intelligence. And jumbo shrimp. They just can't go in the same sequence without completely contradicting each other."

Malik blinked at him curiously. "Jumbo shrimp? My, that reminds me of the time my bloggle gots got eaten by a glisp glanting zorg! He was giant, but the smallest of his egropie!"

If hitting ones own face did not hurt so direly much, Yuugi would have smacked himself blue. "Never mind."

Ishtar snorted as he sat down at the other end of the table, armed with a fork and some heavy duty, extra thick syrup. Oh, and the butter.

"By the way," Malik went on, pulling the near empty container of orange juice out of the fridge. He frowned when he looked at how much was left. Yuugi pulled his glass closer. "I saw Lieutenant Tiyaku skipping down the hall. Is he well today?"

"He's happy as a clam," Yuugi muttered, now guarding his orange juice as the Aldar captain starred longingly at it.

"Just curious." He put the juice container back and pulled out the milk, which was also almost empty. Yuugi pulled his milk glass closer, too.

"Lieutenant....you wouldn't happen to be planning on drinking all of that, would you?"

Yuugi suppressed a growl. "Melaseh," he replied shortly. Ishtar raised an eyebrow, unsure of what it meant. Malik, however, pouted.

"Fine, I'll...." he looked back into the fridge. "What in the name of Begglesbot is this?" He opened the top and tasted it, his face brightening. "I'll have this delightful little yellow beverage." He happily sat down in another chair, and started to consume.

Yuugi almost chocked on his breakfast, and Ishtar laughed. "Captain, that's mustard! You're not supposed to drink that!"

Malik looked at him confused. "Why?"

How was one to explain the supreme purpose of mustard as a condiment to compliment ketchup? Yuugi thought against it. Malik just might start drinking the ketchup, too. "Never mind, captain."

The Aldar shrugged, and started downing the mustard again.

xxx

Yuugi sat quiet and still in the living room, looking at the clock on the wall. It was exactly in the middle of the day, and he was so far bored senseless yet again. There was so very little to do in that cabin.

So he sat with his sketchbook, an old pencil, and drew. He usually sketched up new ideas for guns and weapons all of the time, but at the moment he was designing a new pilot ship he could see himself flying one of these days. In close combat out in space, he was sometimes shoved into the cockpit of a fighter jet and sent off to kill. No one could catch him, and he had an eye for targeting that was nothing short of dangerously deadly.

But the one he was drawing now would be used for recreation only. His mind was still mourning the loss of a relaxing vacation, so he was attempting to appease his saddened state by making his subconscious think that one day he was actually going to be able to hit warp speed with a little pilot ship complete, all with a mini fridge full of orange juice. Don't forget the chocolate pudding, a voice in the back of his mind cried. It's Yami's favorite! Yuugi stopped, blinking as he just realized the thought that had crossed his mind. That was bizarre. It was the first time he had actually considered another person when planning out anything, even though it was just fanciful dreaming.

"Istahleh!" Yami popped up next to him again, and once again, Yuugi nearly jumped out of his skin.

"Argh! Don't do that! How is it you're the only one who can sneak up on me?" Yami looked at Yuugi and pouted, and the Lieutenant felt his heart twist again in regret. "I-I'm sorry. You just scared me, that's all." He took Yami's hand, who seemed to brighten up again.

"Istahleh, meyentuk anenta. Belues netenk ne." He pushed something, once again, into Yuugi's hand. He looked at what had been handed to him.

A stack of paper.

Yami had just given him a stack of paper, wrapped up this time in a pretty little pink bow.

And once again, the Aldar was waiting breathlessly for approval.

Yuugi sighed, put his drawing down, and leaned over, kissing Yami softly on the lips. This time, the Lieutenant kissed back, enjoying the attention almost greedily. When they broke apart, Yuugi smiled at him, and Yami got up giggling, skipping down the hall.

Damn this was weird.

He looked at the gift in his hand, running his fingers over the smooth surface. Shit...this is good paper! Where did he get this???

Yuugi was a paper fiend. He loved paper. Whenever he went to buy some, he would sit there for hours feeling each surface. It couldn't be too smooth, like printer paper, because it didn't erase well. It couldn't be rough, because then it would get torn up by simply touching and rubbing easily. It had to be just right, rough enough to hold the pencil and not let it smudge, but smooth enough for fine detail.

And this paper was just about perfect. How the hell is he finding this stuff?

An idea for a new photon blaster jumped into his head, and Yuugi wanted to use that new paper so bad he could have cried. .....Mine.

xxx

"Gaaah!" Yuugi screeched again as Yami surprised him for the third time that day.

The Aldar had practically jumped him in the hall, pinning him to the wall, and yet shyly handing him another gift. It didn't register in Yuugi's mind how someone could be so direct and yet so abashed at the same time.

He took what was offered to him, once again scratching head.

Soap.

Yami gave him a bar of soap.

This time wrapped up in a bright red ribbon.

Yuugi wasn't exactly sure about the soap, but he gave Yami another encouraging kiss and watched as a happy Aldar squealed with delight and bounced his way out of the hall. The little white bar of soap did feel nice. He brought it to his nose, and realized it smelled pretty good too.

Hm. He just might use it in the morning.

xxx

Jou walked into the living room, seeing Yuugi sitting in the middle of the room on the floor, keeping a close eye on all of the entrances. "Hey pal, what are you up to?"

Yuugi looked up at him, eating a bit more of the popcorn in front of him. "Keeping an eye out for Yami. He's been scaring the shit out of me all day long. No one has been able to sneak up on me the way he does." He downed some more popcorn. "How's Kaiba, by the way?"

"A little embarrassed about the past couple of days, and feeling a bit under the weather. He's staying in bed today." He plopped down on the couch.

"That's not surprising. He'll be his usual stoic self tomorrow." He leaned over, trying to see down the hallway outside of the door.

"I'm sure glad you're not armed right now, Yug. Last time you had this stance we were infiltrating an enemy vessel."

Yuugi almost growled. "Any more surprise encounters and I'm going to die young of a heart attack." He checked behind him, seeing nothing but an empty wall.

Both heads turned when they heard the shuffling of feet from their right, the Aldar Lieutenant walking shyly in from a different area of the cabin. He ignored Jou completely as he made his way over to Yuugi, his face brighter than a tomato. He kneeled next to Yuugi, shoving yet another thing in his hands.

It was a can of soda.

Wrapped up in a bright orange bow.

And where the hell is all of this ribbon and these bows coming from???

Yami hesitantly brought his face closer, tentative as he pushed his lips against the Earthen Lieutenant's. Yuugi pushed back, sealing the kiss. He slid one of his hands across Yami's neck, and the Aldar shuddered heavily underneath his touch. Yami abruptly stood, laughing as he ran out of the room.

Yuugi looked at the can of soda in his hands. It was cold, and it was... a diet coke.

Now how did Yami know that's just what he needed with his popcorn? And aside from orange juice, it was Yuugi's one Achilles heel.

"Wish I had someone to bring me sodas," Jou mumbled.

Yuugi grinned, cracking open his beverage. "Seto may be bonded to you, but he'll still act the same. This time if he's angry at you he'll smother you, rather than pummel you."

Jou pouted, and Yuugi laughed at the reaction.

xxx

Yuugi shed his shirt from the day in his bedroom, night having finally descended. Yami had only popped up at random intervals during the day, spending a lot of time rummaging through god-knows what to find those elusive gifts he kept shoving in Yuugi's hands.

Strange thing was, the Lieutenant was finding himself a little sad, this being the first time in a week that he had gotten ready for bed alone. He counted it out in his head during the day, realizing that it had been exactly seven days ago Lieutenant Tiyaku had gone into his mating period, and Yuugi had been forced into his room that had been under lock-down.

And Yuugi was finding himself becoming ever more attached, even though many of the things should have driven him into the psych ward days ago.

He held his arms over his chest, not feeling dusky arms wrapped around his. He frowned hard. I've got it bad.

This time he didn't jump nearly so high when a warm chest pressed up against his back, Yami's cheek coming to rest on the back of his head. The Aldar hugged him firmly, sighing in contentment at the contact. Lieutenant Motou found himself leaning into the embrace, sighing as well. "I was wondering where you were," he stated.

"Nestehb nu. Ben ta."

Yuugi turned in Yami's arms, coming to face him. His taller duplicate was blushing again, reaching behind himself and pulling out the last gift of the evening. Yuugi took the object in his hands, feeling the soft texture run softly under his skin.

It was a stuffed animal. A little brown rabbit with long floppy ears, with a shimmering amethyst bow around its neck. Yami tugged on the bow a little bit. "Ameyan a set. Petiacue."

Yuugi recognized the last word as 'pretty.' Then he felt a finger run lightly over his eye lids, and then Yami tugged at the bow again. "Petiacue enteah."

The same color as your eyes. Pretty.

Yuugi's heart melted all the more. He gave a slightly choked laugh. "I'm going to be a pile of mush by the time the twelve days are up. You know this don't you?" He fell into Yami's arms, hiding his face in the crook of the Aldar's neck. He rained a few kisses lightly up his neck, causing the other to shudder and pull him desperately close. "Istahleh," Yami whispered lovingly.

Yuugi led the both of them over to the bed, slipped in and pulled the covers up after Yami had joined him. Yami wrapped him up in his arms tightly, just like he did every night, and before Yuugi even fell asleep with the stuffed rabbit pressed against his chest, the Aldar was off and purring again. And he could have sworn he heard Ryou's voice yell from down the hall. Where the hell has all of my Christmas gift wrapping things gone? Bakura?!

Love was never supposed to be easy, though, right? So all of this craziness has to be logically explained somehow... That was Yuugi's last thought as he drifted off to sleep, a small grin still on his face.

Seven down...five to go.