Clash

by Lethe Seraph

Chapter Seven: Drawing Nearer

            I'm listening to 'Beloved' by VNV Nation.

            It's pretty. ^____^

            Many thanks to everyone who has reviewed! ^___^

            I have decided that I am an official Semicolon Addict.  Heh heh heh.

            And special thanks for this chapter go out to those individuals who persuaded me to get my lazy self up and writing. ::grin:: You know who you are.

            It should end soon.  At least, that's what I'll keep telling myself.  It will end soon.  It will end soon… what?  Where'd that cliff come from? …Kidding, ha ha ha…

            Or am I? ^_~ Read on.

            --

            Oh, gods, God, I can't breathe.

            I…

            I don't know what to do anymore.

            If I had known things would turn out like this-

            What would I have done?

            What could I have done?

            I admit it to myself, readily now:

            I am in love.

            It's strange; I find it far more bizarre that I am in love with a male than that I am in love with a millennia-old dead male.

            Bakura.

            Does it matter whether that is truly his name?

            So many names for the feeling I call love…

            …If I had known things would turn out like this…

            If I had…

            --

            Slowly, the eyes reopened; a new fire was alight within.  So familiar, alluring…

            His lips, lightly pink – beautiful – opened, shaped words.

            "I'm back."

            Malik managed to breathe out. 

            His chest felt constricted; a sharp pain invaded his head and wouldn't leave.  It was insistent – a bizarre, twisted form of the feeling he would normally recognize as thrill or excitement.  It was so much more demanding, though, he could hardly think for it.

            Love.

            How could he dream to speak when he could hardly breathe?  He was lightheaded, dizzy.  Bakura…

            In the end, all he could manage was a faint "Yeah."

            Bakura smirked slightly.  "No witty comment, Malik?"

            Breathe.  Just breathe.

            "How much… how much did you hear?"

            "How much do you want me to have heard?"  His voice was intense.  Malik wondered whether the other Bakura could have been right in guessing that his feelings were returned.  No, it wasn't possible…

            …was it?

            Now was the time to tell him everything. 

            He just knew.

            "All of it," whispered Malik. 

            "Then that's what I heard," said Bakura lightly.  How could he be so flippant?  Maybe he hadn't really heard.

            "Bakura," said Malik.  "I said that I loved you." 

            Bakura smiled.

            Bakura was – he was smiling –!

            Malik stepped closer to the thief hesitantly.  "And… I want an answer.  Bakura."

            "You do, do you?"  The smile hadn't left his face.  He was playing with Malik now; the same old game.  Malik couldn't help but smile back for the nostalgia it evoked. 

            "Yes, I do."

            Bakura closed the distance between them and met Malik's eyes – ah, another glimpse of that crimson flame – bringing a hand to lightly touch Malik's cheek.  The tomb-keeper's heart raced and pounded painfully in its cage.

            Bakura spoke.

            "What will you give me for the answer?"

            Bakura: ever the thief, ever the cunning one, looking for a profit to be made.  Was that all?  His fingers were so slender.  Soft.

            A fallen angel… 

            Malik took Bakura's hand, eclipsing the pale skin with his own deep auburn tones and reveling in their difference.  He brought his other hand around Bakura's waist, pulling him yet closer.  I wonder what we would look like to anyone else?

            Two boys, almost dancing…

            One about to get his heart broken…

            Maybe not today, though.

            Maybe.

            He hadn't pulled away yet.

            There was hope.

            "Myself," Malik answered.  The burning eyes danced and sparkled.

            I wonder what will come tomorrow?

            Will I still be able to see him?

            This person that I love?

            He was afraid, true.

            But if Bakura loved him, then wouldn't that make it worth it?

            Wasn't a little risk all right?

            I wonder…

            "Sounds good enough."

            "All right, then," said Malik, his voice seeming distant to him.  His mouth was dry.  Was he really that nervous?

            Hell, yes.

            "Malik, I-"

            That, of course, was when the phone rang.

             "-should probably get that."  Bakura grinned and pulled away.  Malik stifled the urge to groan.  Well, he was really enjoying himself, wasn't he?

            Of course.  Torturing Malik seemed only to be one of his favorite pastimes.

            Bakura's 'other' voice drifted in from the other room.  "Hello, Bakura sp- oh!  Oh… yes, I'm well… you?"  He laughed lightly.  "That's wonderful… what?  Ten minutes…?  No, no, I'm not holding any wild parties… all right.  See you then."

            "What was that?" said Malik when Bakura returned.

            "The host's father.  Apparently, he's back in Japan for a few days."

            "And he'll be here in about ten minutes," said Malik.

            "Didn't anyone ever tell you that eavesdropping wasn't nice?"

            "Who are you to talk?"

            "Anyway," said Bakura, "I don't think that you should be here when he arrives."

            "Ah."

            "So.  Tomorrow?"

            Malik smiled.  "Yeah.  But this time, you're paying."

            "We'll see about that."

            There was hope.

            And if Bakura didn't return his feelings, what then?

            If the other Bakura wasn't right, what would come?

            It didn't matter.

            Not today.