Dedicated – to Trei-samachan, my excuse for superfluous suffixes and who trusted her game, Ten-Sided Kiss, to my oh-so-careful hands. She beta'd. Deify her.

Disclaimer – Super toilet. This is part one of two (1/2)

Pass the Mistletoe by Dana K.

Part One:

Mistletoe literally put Malik to sleep. Apparently, the plant had a bizarre narcoleptic effect on him – something to do with an allergy to any flora incapable of living under deserts.

Thus explained the excess of blond spilled over Ryou's shoulder and the sprig of said plant tangled in one loose fist.

Ryou risked the curious stares of the coffee shop's early evening patrons and let Malik sleep; that way the idiot would have to compensate for public humiliation as well as a thoroughly ignored boyfriend.

Around seven, a new and familiar face bobbed rosily into the shop and picked out Ryou's vividly reflective hair immediately. "Bakura-kun!"

Ryou found both of his arms pinioned by a certain blond annoyance and so merely smiled as Ryuuji gracefully strolled through the miasma of coffee haze and docile chatter. Once relatively close enough, the dice master vaulted over the back of the couch opposite Ryou's and settled in to share his goodwill toward his fellow men.

"I love you, Bakura-kun."

"No, you don't," Malik told him confidently, eyes still shut.

Ryou spared him a mild look. "You're awake."

"Kill me later."

Ryuuji unraveled his scarf and shook out his hair, oblivious or indifferent to their sprawled state. "Jounouchi-kun told me he'd meet me here," he told them blithely. "Isn't this such a beautiful season?"

"So beautiful I could choke on it," said Malik earnestly.

Maintaining a fixed gaze with the door, Ryou stabbed an elbow between Malik's ribs.

The look on Ryuuji's face was irritated. Malik shrugged mildly. "Choked up, then."


Ryuuji looked around his shoulder and smiled. "Jounouchi-kun!"

"Konnichi wa, Bakura!"

"Konnichi wa, Jounouchi-kun."

"Konni - "

"Silence or I gnaw the cartilage from your ankles."

Jounouchi smiled tensely and sat a respectful distance from the belligerent breathing couch cushion.

Ryuuji restrained his curiosity as to whether or not ankles could be pierced.

Jounouchi inclined his head and studied the table at his knees contemplatively. Nodding as if deciding on something of great importance, he declared, "I'm in love."

Malik's teeth glinted. "Not with Ryou."

Jounouchi blinked. Considered. Saw lavender death. Grimaced. "Iie, not with Bakura-kun."

Ryou looked at Malik evenly. "I would like to have friends someday."

Eyes closed, Malik kissed the general area of Ryou's chin. "We'll talk about it."

Jounouchi winged an eyebrow at Ryuuji.

"Mom and Dad are fighting again."


Malik levered his eyes open. Studied Ryou appraisingly. "Mommy," he confirmed.

Ryou's fingertips traced the circular outline underneath his sweatshirt. "Divorce-y."

Malik blinked and lowered his head back to Ryou's shoulder meekly.

Ryuuji tugged a blond strand of Jounouchi-hair. "You're in love," he reminded the hair.

The head of the hair nodded. "With Seto."

Malik stirred. Blinked. "Seto?"

Ryou nodded absently. "He had one of your god cards."

Malik's eyes narrowed slowly. "That insipidly dressed kleptomaniac," he sniffed. With a decisive grunt, he buried his face in Ryou's neck. "He only got that card because my sister is a bitter, jealous old fart."

"She was trying to save your soul from unending torment," said Ryuuji.

"Fuck torment. I could take it."

Ryou tousled Malik's hair and fondly listened to the following cry of anguish.

"So…I'm in love with Seto Kaiba the Badly Dressed Prick of Domino." Jounouchi measured this. Then looked to Ryuuji. "You're single, aren't you?"

Ryuuji's lips drew together. Both eyes peered half-lidded across the table. Head tilted to one side. Grimaced. "Gomen, Jounouchi-kun. You reek of CEO."


Ryuuji smirked. "Is this what you wanted to meet me here to talk about?"

Jounouchi seemed prepared with a denial on his lips, but one wrong move, a glance at a meaningfully smiling Ryou, evaporated his Egyptian river and he dropped his face into the shields of his hands. "I have no life," he moaned.

"Not much in the way of taste, either," Malik muttered in Arabic.

Ryou scanned Malik's innocuous face suspiciously. Then stabbed him doubly hard in the side with a sharp elbow for even trying to outwit him.

"So, you're in love," Ryuuji confirmed slowly.

Jounouchi nodded. "With Seto."

"With Kaiba."

Ryou smiled. "The fashion victim."

"Fashion felon," Malik grumbled and quickly kissed Ryou's cheek.

Ryuuji thumbed his die earring, eyes distant in a psychiatrist-on-his-fourth-patient-dreaming-about-drowning-in-gold-plated-toilets sort of way. "So, what do you plan to do about it?"

"Have you done anything about it?" Ryou's eyes were wary.

Malik grinned lazily. "He means, have you done anything to make you look idiotic and cheap."

Jounouchi flushed considerably and shrilly retorted, "You're a horrible influence on Bakura-kun, Malik Ishtar!"

Malik smirked. "I only told him to speak up when he makes snarky comments about you all."

Two stung boys whirled heads to gawk at Ryou.

Ryou chuckled and delved his cold fingers into the warmer waves of Malik's hair. "I'm very fond of you all, but you frequently act like idiots," he said placidly.

Ryuuji blanched and glared at Malik. "I liked him mute."

"You wouldn't if you knew the noises he can make."

Jounouchi looked at Ryuuji. "Didn't he go back to Egypt?"

Malik shrugged eloquently. "My snakes didn't recognize me when I arrived back home."

Jounouchi grinned. "My bishounen has dragons."

Ryou lifted both eyebrows in a double display of nonchalance. "My bishounen has a motorcycle."

"My bishounen could wail on your bishounen."

Malik slipped a hand over Ryou's mouth calmly. "His bishounen is secure enough in his masculinity to decline the offer."

"You're wearing a shirt girlish enough to rival Mai-chan's clothes," Jounouchi pointed out.

"What is it with Mai-chan's clothes today?" wondered Ryou behind Malik's hand.

To Jounouchi, Malik explained evenly, "I lived for a decade in a hole, had violent and unsupervised acupuncture performed on my back on my tenth birthday and was evidently so scarred by the events following my first venture into sunlight that I developed a rather nasty personality disorder bent on killing the reincarnation of some dead upstart Pharaoh." He mused a moment and looked to Ryou. "That's all, ne?"

Ryou nodded passively.

Malik smiled winningly at the two bloodlessly gaping bishounen frozen on the opposite ends of the couch. "I thought I deserved a little treat after that and a childhood of wearing a potato sack."

Naturally, Ryuuji found his voice first. "All you wanted was a bloody whore top?"

Malik turned his nose distastefully. "No, you idiot. I had too much of my father's blood on my other clothes to be interested in that look."

Ryuuji and Jounouchi sweatdropped.

Ryou stifled a giggle with Malik's still-present hand.

"Oh, and I wanted a motorcycle, too," Malik added, offhandedly.

Jounouchi's round eyes began to deflate to normal size. "C-can we talk about Seto now? Please?"

Malik shrugged disinterestedly and serenely resumed his nap on Ryou's shoulder-pillow.

"What do you want to do about it, Jounouchi-kun?"

"For Seto, specifically? Ideally, whatever you did for Malik to cure his mental predicament."

Ryou's serene expression remained unchanged throughout a supposedly comatose someone's giggling.

"…Or maybe just tell him I love him."

Ryuuji snorted.

"Why, what's wrong with that? It's true!"

Ryuuji turned to Ryou for help. "Did you tell Malik you loved him on the first pass?"

Ryou shook his head.

"There, I told – "

"It's a bit difficult to speak around tongue, you see."

Ryuuji blinked. "Ignore him. His boyfriend grew up starved for normality."

One lavender slot flashed open. "I wasn't kidding about the snakes."

Jounouchi jumped tactics quickly. "I want him to know before we graduate. That way I can at least have one night with him and keep up my reputation."

Malik's lips parted and found Ryou's palm already blocking them.

"It's too easy."

Malik sighed his agreement.

Ryuuji tapped his chin with a tapered thumb. "So do what Malik did," he advised at last.

Both of Malik's eyes widened to near chibi size. Ryou's ears were a forbiddingly mortified shade of red.

Ryuuji's face dropped. "…You didn't just kiss him, did you?"

Malik's breath huffed indignantly. "I'm seventeen, I have no restraint over my hormones."

Ryou jabbed him in the abdomen again.

"…I was drunk?"

Ryou sighed and dropped his face into the comfort of his hands.

Malik pursed his lips pensively. "We need to plan that out better."

Ryou nodded his head into his hands.

"Seto won't react well to – "

Ryuuji was pale. "Don't do what Malik did. Does. Ever. Never."

"So, what should I do?"

"Is it too late to go back to hating him?"


"You've heard my best piece of advice, then."

Jounouchi sighed in Ryou's direction.

"Don't look at me. I'm dating the abnormal whore of Cairo."

Malik scowled. "Just you wait 'till your jewelry's ghost starts wreaking havoc and everyone hates you."

"My jewelry is better behaved than yours was."

Jounouchi leveled the couple with a pointed glower. "You've been trying to change the subject for the past ten minutes, haven't you?"

Malik blinked. "I thought you knew."

Ryou frowned. "We should have planned that out better."


Jounouchi sighed explosively. "I should have stuck to girls. Being gay sucks."

Malik smirked. "Yes. Yes it does."

Ryuuji tapped his chin thoughtfully. "Actually, Jounouchi-kun, your chances of living through sexual harassment of Kaiba Seto are better than you'd expect."

"Really? Why?"

Ryuuji snorted and flipped his hair impatiently. "That boy of yours is a prick for one reason and one reason only."

"His life sucks?"

"Yeah, and why?"

"…His parents were killed in a car crash, he and Mokuba were nearly separated in an orphanage only to move in with a jerk of a CEO who later dove out of a relatively tall building's window due to circumstances I'd prefer never to know about and he hasn't gotten laid once in his seventeen miserable years of life?"

Ryuuji blinked. "Who's Mokuba?"

"…His little brother."

"Oh, the leach with black hair?"


Ryuuji smirked. "There's no way that kid came from both of Kaiba's parents."

Ryou grinned slightly. "There's a bet going around about that."

"Really? How big's the cash pool?"

Jounouchi coughed.

"Right, sorry. So, the only part of that I want you to think about is the length of time that boy has gone without sex."

Jounouchi considered. Grimaced.


"You think sex will cure his seventeen-year-old bitch of an attitude?"

Ryuuji frowned and turned to Ryou. "Did I say that?"

Jounouchi rolled his eyes and slammed his head into the cushy back of the couch.

Ryuuji clarified, "I said it would increase your chances of getting the boy into bed. I didn't say anything resembling a cure for cancer would take place. Sex can only perform so many miracles." He shot a poisonous look at the suspiciously quiet couple. Malik closed his half-open mouth tetchily.

"So, I should kiss him?"

Ryou's nose wrinkled in silent protest.

Jounouchi lifted an eyebrow. "You have a better idea?"

Ryou smiled, pleased. "Hai."

Ryuuji glared at Malik suspiciously.

Ryou sighed. "He didn't help me with it."

Ryuuji smiled.

"I think," said Ryou, "that as smart as he is pragmatically, Kaiba-kun is as stupid as any other teenaged boy when it comes to love."

The other three grunted reluctant agreements.

"Besides that, you have no way of knowing how he'll react if you go and kiss him out of nowhere."

"And so…?"


"The plant you're supposed to kiss under?" Jounouchi looked doubtful. "Won't that make things more complicated afterwards?"

"If you fuck up, it will," Malik said, helpfully.

Ryou stifled a smile badly. "It won't be enough to simply corner him under mistletoe. He's too smart for that. I'm afraid you'll have to trick him for this to work out safely."

Ryuuji grinned. "You really do have a plan, don't you?"

"Rough draft of one," Ryou admitted. "I was planning to use it on Malik, but he beat me to the first move."

Jounouchi's face shone brilliantly. "Maybe I – "

"Kaiba-kun couldn't stay awake for the sex-ed teacher, Jounouchi-kun, I doubt he'll do it for you."

Jounouchi resumed sulking.

"We do have a semblance of hope, however."

Warily, Jounouchi lifted an eyebrow. "Hai…?"

"Otogi-kun, do you know where your trick dice are?" Ryou's expression was placid.

Ryuuji blanched. "I don't have trick dice," he lied anxiously, eyes darting from left to right.

Malik's eyes were cold. "We're having words later, you and I."

Jounouchi scowled. "Hai."

Ryuuji twirled his hair and chewed his lip thoughtfully.

Ryou continued, nonplussed, "There's a game going around school called Ten-Sided Kiss – "

"I definitely liked you better mute."

" – Where ten players choose numbers and roll dice to see who kisses who."

Malik frowned. "I don't like that."

"You like very little," Ryou said lightly, still gazing at Jounouchi.

"We simply give you the number the dice always falls on when it's Kaiba-kun's turn and voila."


Ryou bent his head in defeat.

Ryuuji hmm'd. "Sounds foolproof," he nodded.

Malik's mouth was firmly blockaded by the back of Ryou's hand. His eyebrows drew together crossly.

"How does the mistletoe tie in?" asked Jounouchi.

"Collateral," said Ryou, grinning.

Ryuuji glared at Malik. "You did help."

"Say I roll four and that's Malik's number – "

"Small wonder, there," Ryuuji muttered.

" – He has to hold the mistletoe until I'm satisfied with the kiss he gives me. Then, I take the mistletoe and give it to the next person rolling."

Jounouchi grinned slowly. "So, I roll and get Seto's number and he has to kiss me."

Ryou nodded. "Until you're satisfied, then he can give the mistletoe back to you."

Malik gazed at them all one by one. "This is supposed to work?" he asked Ryou.

Ryuuji and Jounouchi began combing out the finer knots of the plan while Ryou lifted a smile at his koibito.

Malik tilted his head appraisingly. Eyes widened slightly. "You're doing it again, aren't you?"

"Doing what, koibito?"

"Toying with people's heads!"

Ryou's expression flattened. "Pot, kettle."

Malik pinned his arms to the couch's back sternly. "You will let me in on the subterfuge or the only rod of mine you'll be seeing before the new year will be gold, stiff and in Yuugi's hand."

Bordering on the whiter shade of pale, Ryou hastily babbled all he knew. Item wordplay was the final straw for any involved duelist.

With family blackmail and an extracurricular activity for the holidays in tow Kaiba Mokuba sprinted through the door into the night before Christmas.

{End of Part One}