Ryou loved him. Him, Bakura, Egyptian tomb-robber, thief, and occasional (but not in this time) assassin.
Dear Ra, the boy was messed up.
And yet… It was…nice…having someone care about him. The only people who had cared about him were his family…and they had been dead for over three thousand years. He couldn't remember anyone else caring about him at all in his life, beyond what you might feel for a friend. And a fair weather friend that you were only nice to because they could do something for you, at that.
It was almost incomprehensible. Almost, because, through their soul link, he had actually felt Ryou's emotions; he knew first-hand what Ryou's feelings for him were. His hikari – and wasn't that a joke on him, the King of Thieves with a light half! – loved him. Ryou was aware of his faults, had gotten up close and personal with quite a few of them – not the least of which being his loathing of the Pharaoh – and in spite of them, still loved him.
And it was getting to him. Under his skin, like one of those flesh-eating scarabs in that movie, The Mummy, that they'd all gone to see last week. Joey and Tristan had drooled over the librarian, he and Yami had actually had a pretty civil debate over how much of the fictional script was historically correct…he'd kept himself from comparing Seti the First to Yami, and Yami had refrained from comparing him to that little weasel, Benny…and Yugi and his Ryou had gotten slightly sick at the sight of those bugs, though he'd made sure to remember it. A lovely form of torture. Pity he didn't have a use for it in his present incarnation.
Wait…back up. His Ryou?
Oh, Ra, he was in such deep shit.
Several hours later, after four aspirin (two of which he'd taken after banging his head against the wall resulted in a headache, and the other two of which he'd taken after consuming an entire bottle of rice wine, which also resulted in a headache) and a long, hot shower, he was finally able to admit to himself that maybe…just maybe, you understand…he might, possibly…have…feelings…for Ryou.
It was true that since he was Ryou's yami, and Ryou was his hikari, that made Ryou his, in a sense…just as it made him Ryou's, but he wasn't going to go there at the moment. But the sense of…possession he felt for the mortal was disconcerting. If it was only what a yami would feel for his hikari, then it would be friendship…which wasn't really something he did, but he supposed he could handle that.
But friendship was akin to what he felt for his favorite dagger – nice, comfortable, and if he lost it he would be upset, but not devastated.
What he felt for Ryou, however…somehow he didn't think he could get over losing the other half of his soul.
He wasn't sure that was love…but if it wasn't…then what was?
Bakura groaned and dropped his head into his hands.
And all this thinking was giving him another headache.
It may have taken three months for Ryou's feelings to get to Bakura enough that he felt the need to do something about them, but it only took three days before he decided on what to do.
It was probably because subconsciously he'd been planning what to do since the first time he sensed more than platonic interest directed at him from his hikari.
It did make Bakura wonder, though, how he could be so sure Ryou loved him. Not liked him, not just fond of him, or even just had a crush on him, but actually L-O-V-E, love. He had nothing to compare it to. It wasn't like he'd ever been in love before…right?
Bakura told himself it was just that Ryou thought it was love, which was how he was sure. He conveniently forgot that Ryou hadn't actually started thinking about his feelings until a few days ago, which is what prompted Bakura's own thoughts on the matter. But how could Ryou be so sure? Ryou's life hadn't been as cruel as his own had been, but Ryou's relationship with his father was…depressing to say the least.
And all his thinking on this subject had led him to a decision. A painful, nerve-wracking, 'If we had never mind-linked, I know this wouldn't have happened, but since it did I'm not about to run away like a scared girl' realization.
He had similar…'feelings'…for Ryou. And didn't admitting that make him feel as if carving his own heart with a spoon would have been easier.
He wasn't ready – no, the word 'ready' implied he was scared, and Bakura was scared of nothing – okay, he wasn't willing to call it love, but it was definitely more than fondness.
Now, the only question was, what to do about it?
Of course, that decision wasn't any easier arrived at. It took him another three days to come to a decision. He knew what he should do – tell Ryou how he felt. But that was also easier said than done.
And besides, Bakura had never really been one for doing what he should do.
Chances were, no matter much he stressed to Ryou that he wasn't in love with him, his hikari would probably still think he doth protested too much.
And since when did he start channeling Shakespeare? He was never letting Ryou talk him into watching Masterpiece Theatre again, no matter how cool the swordfights were.
Anyway, back to the problem at hand: if…no, when he admitted his feelings for Ryou, his hikari would probably go all mushy and expect him to be nice all the time. He didn't do nice. Hopefully he'd be able to get that across to Ryou.
And convince his hikari that sex would be better sooner, rather than later.
Day seven of what he was privately referring to as his 'Ryou Feelings Hell' dawned bright and early, doubly awful since he didn't do either bright or early.
Bakura decided he might as well get up anyway; it was a Friday and everyone was off from school because of a teachers' meeting, so he and Ryou would have plenty of time to talk.
Coming down the stairs, he saw that Ryou was in the kitchen, making pancakes. As Ryou had to get up to go to school five days a week, he ended up fixing breakfast more often than not, simply because he was up first. But pancakes were a special treat since they took longer, too long for school mornings. Bakura slept in most mornings, and on those he didn't, he normally fixed something quick. He had managed to master the microwave, but spending 5,000 years trapped in a gold ring, while giving you the ability to be patient, also makes you sick of patience; so anything that took longer than a few minutes to fix, he didn't like to bother with. And Ryou always made enough for Bakura, too, even though the yami only got up early enough to eat with him about once a week. It was just another one of the things Bakura appreciated about Ryou.
"Ra, why is it so bright?" Bakura groused, shielding his eyes from the sunlight pouring in the kitchen windows with one arm while scrubbing the sleep out of his eyes with his other hand.
Ryou started and turned to face him. "Bakura?" he asked, surprised. "You're up early."
And he was. The tomb-robber would have been quite happy to sleep till noon everyday; the only reason he got up any earlier was to spend some time with Ryou before school. Since Ryou didn't have school today, it would have been expected for him to have slept in. However, this morning he needed to talk to Ryou, so he got up at the ungodly hour of seven AM, even though he didn't have to.
"Yes, well…everyone has off days," Bakura said gruffly.
Ryou rolled his eyes at him and turned to flip the pancakes off the griddle and onto a plate. Grabbing some napkins from the sideboard, he placed them and the plate of pancakes on the table. Plates, forks, butter and syrup were already there. "Dig in," he invited, forking some of the flapjacks onto his own plate.
They ate in relative silence, Bakura offering Ryou a compliment on his cooking and Ryou accepting graciously. Other utterances such as 'Pass the butter' or 'Is there any more syrup?' were the only other words.
Once they finished, Bakura helped Ryou put the dishes in the dishwasher and clean up the kitchen. When everything was neat and tidy once again, Ryou turned to his yami. "All right, what's going on?" he asked.
"What do you mean?" Bakura said innocently. Well, as innocently as he could, at any rate.
Folding his arms, Ryou glared at his other half. "You're up early on a day when I don't have school, and you helped me clean up the kitchen. The odds of even one of those happening are extremely low; both of them happening at once is a sign of the world ending, or at least Hell freezing over."
"Ha-fucking-ha, Ryou," Bakura grumbled.
"But I'm right, aren't I? You wanted to talk to me about something," he guessed.
"Yes, well…" Deciding he might as well just get it over with, Bakura said, "You do realize that our mind-link lets me hear your thoughts? That I can hear your thoughts about me? The ones along the lines of 'He's so fucking hot, sometimes I just wanna throw him to the ground and ravish him'?"
Surprisingly, Ryou didn't appear all that stunned. He blushed a bit, but that was all. "And?" he asked in a strangled voice. "Are you gonna send me to the Shadow Realm for finding you attractive?"
"What? No, I just wanted to tell you that…I feel the same way." Bakura shifted uncomfortably.
Ryou's brows climbed up his forehead to hide in his sleep-tousled white hair. "You're attracted to me?" he squeaked, then coughed to clear his throat. "I mean…"
"Yes," Bakura hissed out. "And don't go thinking this is some grand declaration of love, aibou," he warned. "I don't do love; I have no idea what love is. You might fancy yourself in love with me, but that doesn't mean I feel the same way."
"I know that," Ryou said huffily. "I know you have no idea what love is; I don't either, really, but I know what I feel for you is more than friendship and more than lust. And that link works both ways, you know – what I feel, you feel, which is how you knew I was in love with you. And what you feel, I feel – which is how I know that you love me, even if you don't realize it."
"So, basically, you're saying…?" Bakura prompted, a confused frown on his face.
Raising one eyebrow, Ryou asked, "Wanna fuck?"
Bakura blinked, stunned. Maybe his hikari wasn't as innocent as he'd thought.
And why was that idea such a turn-on?
"Nothing I'd like more," he managed to get out.
Ryou grinned widely. "Good," he purred as he stalked over. Fisting his hands in his yami's shirt collar, Ryou dragged Bakura close for a searing kiss. Ryou's arms wrapped themselves around Bakura's neck and his hands wove their way into his yami's hair, clenching it tightly as their lips moved against each other's.
Bakura shuddered as Ryou simply devoured him, and the feelings reverberated throughout his body, making his knees go weak. He barely had the strength to wrap his own arms around his hikari and hang on for dear life.
When they pulled apart long minutes later, both gasping for breath, Ryou said, "Oh, this is gonna be so good." He yanked Bakura up the stairs and to his room, not even bothering to close the door behind them.
Bakura could only agree – silently, as his mouth was being devoured again.
But he had to wonder – what, exactly, had he gotten himself into?
And did he really care?
As he fell back on Ryou's bed, Bakura decided, that no, it didn't.
And, if he ever managed to get enough of his wits together after what was sure to be a mind-blowing day (and, maybe, if he was lucky, also night), he was going to have to find out what had gotten into his hikari.
And make sure that whatever it was, Ryou got a steady supply of it. He could get to like being dominated.