Into the Midnight Sun
Bakura watched the sun from his position by the lake. What if she knows? His mind was tormenting him as he watched the sun skin further below the mountains. You wouldn't have to worry about that had you just told her. Who are you to think she would want you, Tomb Robber?
His thoughts were interrupted by the sound of soft footsteps slowly approaching him. A smile broke through his face when he saw Anzu coming towards him. The look on her face quickly wiped his smile away.
"Anzu? What's wrong?" he asked, rushing towards her and taking her hands in his.
"Tell me it's not true," she whispered, her large blue eyes staring up into his dusty ones. "Please, tell me it's all a lie."
"What? Anzu, what is it? Is everything okay?"
Anzu's lip quivered, but her voice remained calm. "Tell me it is a lie and I swear I will believe you."
"What Anzu? Tell you what is a lie?" Bakura's heart had begun to pound and his palms were growing warm with nervousness.
"Are you really a thief?" she whispered, a tear falling from her eye.
"Who told you that?" he asked coolly, his eyes narrowed slightly.
"That doesn't matter Bakura. Is it true? Did you really steal from the tombs and try to steal from the sacred temples?"
"I need an answer. Tell me it isn't true and I will never doubt you," she pleaded.
Bakura hung his head, releasing her hands from his. "It's true," he whispered, not wanting to behold the look upon her face when she learned this information.
Anzu swallowed, trying to hold back the tears which were falling freely down her face. "Did you really murder five of the Pharaoh's guards and several other men?"
A gasp of pain escaped her lips as she prepared herself for the answer to the next question. "Did you really attempt to murder the Pharaoh?"
For a moment, Bakura was silent. He could answer in the negative, and not technically be lying since he never had the chance to attempt, but he knew that to Anzu, considerations and attempts were nearly the same thing. In an almost inaudible voice, Bakura spoke. "Yes."
"No," Anzu cried, raising a hand to her mouth. "No."
"Anzu, please, let me—"
"No, you lied to me! How could you pretend to be someone you're not? How could you lead me to believe that you actually cared!"
"Were you planning on stealing from my family? We don't have anything of use to you Bakura! Is that how you got this?" she cried, raising her wrist to show the bracelet he had given her. "Did you steal this?"
"I want you to leave Bakura. I want you to go towards the Nile and never turn back. You led me to believe that you were perfect, that you—"
"I do care Anzu! If you would only listen to me!" Bakura growled, his eyes narrowed at the woman before him.
"Why should I believe anything you say? You lied to me, what's to stop you from lying more? Please Bakura…just go."
"No; I've lost too much in my life to lose you go too. You will listen to what I have to stay and if at the end, you still want me to leave; I will leave."
Anzu wiped her eyes and found herself sitting on the grass, trying to focus on the lake before her.
"In the fourth year of my life, my father was murdered by the Pharaoh's guards. At this time, Akunumkanon was the Pharaoh. Their reasons were that my father owed a large sum of money, and because he could not pay the money to those who had given it to him, he paid with his life. In my sixth year, I was coming home from a day of playing with a friend. When I entered my home, a guard grabbed me from behind and I watched as my mother and sister were brutally murdered before my eyes." At this statement, Bakura snarled softly, the images playing within his mind. How he hated those men with all his being.
"This scar that you asked me about; the guard who grabbed me gave it to me. I was able to escape his grasp and I ran. I ran as far as I could until I could run no more. By this time, I was near the Nile. I barely survived. When I was in my seventh year, I met up with a band of thieves who took me in. They taught me all I know today. I began to fill with anger and hatred for the men who had so ruthlessly murder my mother and sister. Their faces were forever etched in my mind.
"I had just celebrated sixteen years when my opportunity for revenge came. Those same guards were chasing me after I had robbed a local vendor. I purposely turned into a dead-end street and waited. I gave them what they deserved: death." Bakura paused, turning to glance at Anzu to be certain she was listening.
"For three years, I robbed people and tombs, and murdered those who were in my way. It was the life I knew; living only had one meaning to me and that was to kill. In the first month of Akhet, I was so filled with anger and hatred for the Pharaoh that I planned to murder him seven days before his eighteenth birthday celebration. I had no care for whether or not I would survive; all that mattered to me was to run my knife through his heart." A sadistic expression appeared upon Bakura's face but quickly subsided as he noticed Anzu shudder.
"I was discovered and captured by the Pharaoh's guards two days after I had planned this. For five days, I went with no food and barely any water. The Pharaoh was unsure what he wanted to do with me and waited until his eighteenth birthday to decide. I was certain he would have me executed, but he looked down on me with a strange sense of pity and had me released. I am to never return to his city, or I will be killed. I traveled nonstop and you found me." Bakura shrugged, turning to face a very silent Anzu.
I'm so confused, she told herself. I despise him for the life he has led, and yet I can not ignore the feelings within my heart. What do I do?
"Anzu, I swear I would never hurt you," Bakura whispered, tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear.
The Pharaoh gave him a second chance…but he is not in my situation. Come on Anzu, think. Think! There's never a problem you can't solve.
"Anzu, please say something."
In that moment, memories began to flood Anzu's mind as she turned her head and gazed into Bakura's dusty orbs.
"Where are you from? You certainly could not have crossed the desert with one camel skin."
"The city of the Pharaoh," was all he said as he tried to stand but found himself stumbling.- -
"What is your name and how have you come here?"
"My name is Bakura and I crossed the desert."- -
"And for her care, I am genuinely thankful and forever in your debt."- -
"I suppose it is because the gods have some great purpose in store for me and couldn't allow me to die."- -
"The city of the Pharaoh? And why would you leave for a village as humble as our own?"
"For the change of scenery," Bakura shrugged, smirking.- -
"I've never seen a more beautiful color in all the land of Egypt. And your eyes sparkle more than the sun on the Nile," he whispered, his hand running down her cheek and cupping her chin.- -
"How is it that a beauty such as you is not promised to anyone?"- -
"Anzu, are you frightened of me?"- -
"But he is not the eldest."
"This is true. In our village, the eldest is not required to marry first. I know it is different from the customs in the Pharaoh's city, and among all Egypt, but it works best for us if those who wish to marry soon do so."
"And what about the eldest daughter?"- -
"Anzu, I look forward to seeing you dance, as well as hearing you sing."- -
"You do realize that you have the voice of a goddess."- -
"Maybe I did that because my heart is set on you and I won't stand for anyone else's to be the same."- -
"May I go with you? I walked across the desert, I'm certain I can walk to this town."- -
"When I was young, I was playing with my sister and some other children. My mother had told me to stay inside because the streets were wet and slippery. I didn't listen and wound up falling and hurting my knee, only I remember it looking much worse than yours. And now I'm right here," he said, a crooked smile appearing on his face when Jumoke smiled at him.
"And you're okay?"
"I'm okay."- -
"I admit that I have never felt this way in my life."- -
"Anzu, promise me you will give me your day when the moon has come three times."
"I promise."- -
"Anzu?" Bakura whispered, breaking Anzu from her memories and bringing her attention to him.
"Was it all a lie? Everything you said to me?" she asked softly, her heart pounding as if it might break.
"No, it was all truth," he answered tenderly, staring into her face.
"I…my father and brothers would never…I don't know…"
"Anzu, can you forgive me for my past?"
Anzu drew in a shaky breath. No matter how hard the words had hit her and hurt her, she couldn't see a murderer before her. All she could see was a gentle man who had crossed the desert to her heart.
"You are not who you were," she whispered softly, moving close to him and throwing her arms around him. "I have seen you in your hour of despair, and this is who you truly are. You're not a murderer. If the Pharaoh has freed you and pardoned your past, then what more can I, someone who cares for you, do?"
"What does this mean?" he asked quietly, brushing her hair from her face and staring down into her bright blue eyes.
"It means that I can forgive you for your past. But you must tell my father."
Bakura sighed, somehow knowing she would say this. He drew in a deep breath before rising from the ground and bringing Anzu with him. "Then we shouldn't waste any time."
- - -
"And that's my story," Bakura finished, hanging his head in shame. He was almost unaware of Anzu seated beside him with her hand holding onto his. Not only had he shared his past, but his plan to make Anzu believe he was interested in her and then to leave. But, he had told them his plan left his mind when he began to care for Anzu in a deeper meaning. And although Anzu had not known this information, what matter most to her was that Bakura had relinquished that idea from his mind days ago.
In spite of his age, Thabit's eyes never missed a thing. He could see the love his daughter held for the former thief, regardless of whether or not she had admitted it. He could also see a true remorse in the former tomb robber's voice.
Adio watched in silence, taking in the scene before him. His little sister cared for a thief and a murderer. The thought was outrageous to him, and even caused him to fear for Anzu's safety. But when he remembered the times he had spent with Bakura in the fields and the honest conversations they had shared, he replaced those thoughts with ones of acceptance towards the white haired man.
Ubaid's reactions were similar to that of Adio's, with one exception. Because he was already married and deeply in love, he could relate to both Anzu and Bakura on that level. It had always been Anzu's philosophy that when a man would capture her heart, she would be his forever, no matter what. And Anzu remaining by his side, regardless of his past, was all the proof he needed that Bakura would never let her go.
"How did Anzu hear of this if you had not told her yet?" Adio questioned.
All eyes, including Bakura's, turned towards her in question. Softly, Anzu revealed Kasiya's name.
Bakura's eyes narrowed and a low growl escaped his lips. Had Anzu not had a hold on his hand, he was certain he would be close to fighting this man, and possibly murdering him.
"While it seems Kasiya was trying to look out for you Anzu, it also seems like it was a selfish reason. He has always had an infatuation for you and wanted you as his bride. Adio and I will speak with him in the morning," Thabit said, smiling gently at his young daughter.
"Bakura, because of your honesty to my family this evening, I give you this. The truth is better told late than not at all. No matter where your life will lead you, even long after I have departed this world, you are a member of my house." With these words, Thabit handed Bakura a ring with a small seal on it.
Bakura bowed his head in thanks. "But I don't understand. Why do you so willingly accept me? After all that I've done…"
"Because everyone deserves to live life, even if it is on a second chance. Now go and rest. And do not worry about Kasiya; I will speak with him."
A crooked smile formed on Bakura's face as he rose from the ground and helped Anzu up. Silently, he led her from the tent into the darkening evening and to her father's house. With no words, he caressed her cheek before disappearing behind the curtain that led into his own small room.
Anzu sighed softly, her dreams filled with visions of her white haired love. It was amazing how she had lived such a carefree life and suddenly, she's thrown into this whirlwind with Bakura. From how he acted in her home and village, she never would have seen him as a murderer. She never would have seen Kasiya as a vindictive person either. With that thought, she drifted into a peaceful slumber.
- - -
Seven days passed by, and Bakura's past was never spoken of. Kasiya had avoided Anzu since her father had spoken with him and most definitely avoided Bakura. A gentle laugh would escape her lips each time Bakura mentioned seeing Kasiya and giving him a glare that could kill.
The reason for their meeting at the oasis had not been revealed to her, but she felt deep within her heart that it would be soon. Meanwhile, Bakura's twentieth birthday had come and gone, and a small celebration had been held among Anzu's family.
Jumoke was the only one who knew nothing of Bakura's dark past, and never would. Bakura had become his role model and he would often follow him to the fields, asking to be taught how to watch the flocks, or how to sheer their wool. Bakura found it annoying at times as he seemed to never have a time to be alone with Anzu, but he never let Jumoke know this.
It was on the eighth day that Bakura was finally able to find a time alone with Anzu. Once more, in the morning, he had left her with the words, "Meet me at the oasis when the sun is dipping below the mountains." And once more, Anzu spent the entire day watching the sun and willing it to move quicker across the sky.
- - -
The sun had just begun it's descent below the mountains when Anzu found herself alone at the oasis. The last time she had met Bakura here, she was the one who was late. Sighing, she glanced at the sun, her foot tapping impatiently.
"Anzu," the voice of Adio called out to her. "Bakura has to tend the flocks tonight. He told me he was to meet you here. He sends his regrets."
To Anzu, disappointment would be an understatement. She had spent her day looking forward to being alone with him at her oasis, and now he could not make it. She sighed, accepting Adio's arm, and went home.
- - -
A gentle shaking awoke Anzu from her slumber. She groaned and turned over in her sleep, but the shaking persisted, followed by a soft, "Anzu!"
Slowly, she opened her eyes and glanced at a figure whose face was illuminated by the moonlight streaming in through the window. "Bakura?"
"Come on," he whispered, pulling her to her feet.
"What are you doing?"
"Just follow me," he replied, pulling her away from the village. "I'm sorry I couldn't meet you here earlier, but I thought this might be better."
"It's not your fault; Adio said you had to—"
"Adio covered for me. I had to slip into town today but I didn't want you to worry." A smirk formed on Bakura's face when Anzu looked at him with question.
"What's going on?"
"First, this looks better on your wrist than it did on the table," he said, slipping a bracelet on her – the same bracelet he had stolen earlier, which had mysteriously appeared on the man's table, only to be bought the same day. "And don't worry, it's paid for."
Anzu smiled, slipping her hands into his and looking into his eyes. "Is there more?"
"Yes. Anzu, I'm in love with you."
Bakura chuckled, looking deep into her eyes. "I hope you know why I'm telling you this."
"Because I love you too?" Anzu teased, her eyes rimmed with joy and laughter.
At this, Bakura brushed his lips against hers before pulling out a small golden band. "I know this goes against all traditions around Egypt, but I don't care. Anzu of the House of Thabit, I love you and want you to be my bride. Say you'll marry me."
Anzu grinned childishly, glancing from the ring to Bakura, and back to the ring. "Do I get to keep the ring, or will you have to take it back to pay for it?"
"You get to keep it; it's paid for."
"I would have no other man," she whispered, her voice softly floating in the night air.
Grinning like a madman, Bakura tried the ring on all her fingers, searching for one where it would fit. This caused Anzu to burst into giggles. He finally found the perfect fit, which happened to be the second finger from the left on her left hand. "Perfect."
Anzu smiled, her arms slipping around Bakura's neck as she leaned against him. "And what do we do until the marriage ceremony? Which, by the way, will take place in seven days if we tell Father tomorrow morning."
"He already knows. At my request, the ceremony will be in three days."
Anzu's eyes widened at this knowledge, but she refused to move. "Three days? That's not much time."
"It's plenty of time. Your father has provided us with a home of our own, and your brothers have been moving things into it."
"And where does this house happen to be?" Anzu asked in skepticism.
"Right beside your fathers," he said, all the while, grinning. This was what was missing from his life; she was his missing piece. All his life, he had tried to fill the emptiness inside with revenge and thievery, but it had never worked. Had he the chance, he would refuse to change the choices he made for one reason. If his choices had been different, he never would have met Anzu.
"And what do we do the rest of the night? I'm not going to be able to sleep because of my excitement," she exclaimed, her grasp tightening around him.
"I propose that we take a walk by way of the midnight sun," he whispered softly.
And with that, he lifted her chin to him and covered her lips with his own in a kiss of passion that had been lost so long ago. What he had never deemed possible in his life had happened and he was now madly in love with a simple shepherd's daughter. But he wouldn't trade her for anything, not even the jewels in the temples of the gods. No, Anzu was his and his alone. She was his only light and would forever be.
To Anzu, he was the brightest star in her night sky. His love for her was strong, and for her, he had given up his plans and chose to live out the life of a shepherd in her father's fields. He had come to her by the way of the midnight sun, and he alone had captured her heart.