2003 one-shot --- Bakura/Ryou --- PG --- FINISHED

Featuring Logical-Unabused-Ryou! Hurray! A radical new path for B/R fics, I know, but I've always wanted to be a trendsetter... Actually, this ficcie nearly borders on Ryou/Bakura, but not quite... Now, it starts off as a discussion on civility and degenerates into fluff- so you get a little social commentary and some squee. Enjoi.


"Good morning, Bakura," I said lightly, closing my eyes. When I opened them, he sat across from me, looking annoyed. I took another sip of tea, ignoring it and his ways of sneaking about the house.

"And what's so good about it, eh, hikari?" he held his chin in his hand and regarded me with his elbow on the table.

"Nothing in particular," I glanced out the window; there were sparrows in the apple tree, and a breeze was shifting the leaves.

"Then why say that?" he followed my gaze, and as he did an apple fell to the ground.

"It's how civilized persons greet one another in the morning hours," I glanced at him over my teacup. How different we were for being the same person. Everything about him is sharper- calculating... even the gaze which he sends out the window.

"Ryou," he regarded me without looking my way, "How do uncivilized people greet each other?"

I smiled. As sharp as he was, how thoroughly uncouth... he was charming to me. "'Good morning', I should think."

He looked at me sharply then, dropping his arm to the table. "But you said only civilized people said that."

I took another sip of tea- it was best to occasionally make him wait, the better to teach him patience. "I never said that."

Bakura narrowed his eyes incredulously and let out a terrific exasperated huff, "You did!"

"I never said it was only civilized people."

He frowned, "All right. Fine-"

I blinked; Bakura rarely conceded, even to me, with whom it seemed he was closest.

"-answer me this. If both civilized people and uncivilized people say 'good morning' why are they any different?"

I set my cup down, still holding it in both hands. "What a question..."

"Well? Can't you figure it out, hikari? I thought you knew what you were talking about."

He was challenging me. I sensed it in his tone; in the look he was giving me. He wanted knowledge in the form of a debate in which he knew he would lose. Such strange customs he carried on his shoulders.

"I'm not sure; I suppose it's a lot of things- and how people perceive it."

"What's that supposed to mean?" he reached over and removed the tea from my grasp.

"Different people look at the world in different ways. 'Uncivilized' might mean rude or spiteful, uncouth. Or simply refer to a place that lacks what is considered 'civilized'- electrical appliances and indoor plumbing, for instance. And in the first sense I've given you, there are those who would consider you quite uncivilized," I said slyly as he took several sips at the amber liquid.

"Are you one of them?" he challenged, setting the cup on the table, mimicking my holding on to it earlier.

I folded my hand under my chin and surveyed his face; he wanted me to say either 'yes' or 'no'. In both cases, I would be lying, and he would know.

"Sometimes, Bakura, I have no idea what to think; there are times when I think I've got you figured out, and then you turn around and surprise me."

"Does that statement apply to you, as well? We are the same person."

"It does. But really, that's not true. We are two halves of a whole. Yin Yang principle: You are the dark half, I am the light. In theory, we should be mostly opposite while exhibiting certain characteristic's associated with the other."

"Oh?" he took another sip and again placed the cup back on the table.

"Yes; for instance, I consider myself a fairly civilized person, but," I reached over and reclaimed my tea, to which I received an odd look, "when I do this, am I uncivilized? Was it uncivilized for you to take it without asking in the first place?"

He eyed the cup as I raised it to my lips, like a second-hand kiss, and I felt a blush creep up.

"I don't know," he admitted, shockingly, but not very much so.

"Like I said earlier: different perceptions for different people. One person might say we were both being uncivilized for not saying, 'may I' or 'please', another would argue that it was only rude- that is, uncivilized, for you to take it in the first place and that I had a right to it afterwards. Philosophically, you had a right to it from the beginning, because as halves everything goes to the whole; the tea was never mine. It was ours."

"So you won't mind if I do this-"he seized the tea cup, now half-empty, and took a large swallow, "-because I am, after all, uncivilized."

I smirked, "I never said you were uncivilized."

"You did!" he grinned, "'I consider myself a fairly civilized person'; wasn't that it? Well, if we're opposites, and you're so damn 'civilized', then I must be uncivilized, you see?"

"Ah! Astute of you! Fine, then- but remember that, according to the design, in the heart of Yin there's a little piece of Yang, and in the heart of Yang there's a bit of Yin. So..." I shot my hand out to capture the mug from under his nose and drained the remainder of its cool, amber contents, "I'm sure you won't mind if I do that."

"Touché!" Bakura laughed, tilting his head back. I paused, taking him in. He seemed genuinely happy; and proof he was listening to me: he'd used "touché". And suddenly I felt very proud, elated, so I began to laugh too. It was a beautiful feeling.

"Ryou..." Bakura addressed me again (wonderful) as he caught his breath, but didn't continue.

"...Yes?" I turned the cup in my hand.

"You never did answer me..."

I groaned, "But I have! I find you fine! Savage, gentle, barbaric, perfectly charming! You're..." I blushed and glanced down, where my hands had traveled, "...very special and... important to me..."

"You... you really mean all that, hikari?" I heard the scrape of his chair as he stood and the sound of several footsteps being taken. Was he leaving me...?

"Bakura- I'm sorry!" I called out weakly, not glancing up, for fear of his gaze. His icy-cold gaze. My hands shook. The calm had disappeared, the pleasantries dissolved; I was going to cry. Bakura wasn't... he didn't...

I shut my eyes tightly, when I opened them a kind face was looking up at me, and a pale hand was gently covering mine. "What's wrong?" Bakura asked quietly.

"W-Wrong?" he didn't hate me?

"You got all upset all of a sudden," he frowned, "did I say something?"

There in his eyes was a genuine concern that shone through his voice. He cared. "Bakura..."

He reached up to brush away the tears, and I leaned into the touch, to which he cradled my face. "Thanks for answering my questions."

I nodded, blinking my brown eyes rapidly. "Yes."

"But I have just one more. How should I greet you in the morning?"

I let out a strangled laugh, how sweet he was. "J-Just say 'g-good morning', all r-right?"

He nodded, eyebrows drawn, "Yes. That makes sense. Thank you. Ryou- good morning."

I giggled, running the back of a hand over my eyes. Bakura stood from his kneeling position and pulled me up.

"B-Bakura!" I gasped as he held me closer, wrapping his arms around my waist, "What...?"

"Sh. Relax, Ryou." He led my chin to his shoulder, and there I rested it. He was so warm, so gentle... I sighed and placed my hands on his shoulders. My eyes shifted to the picture window- a sparrow quirked its head at me and flew away.

"There you go; do you feel better?"

Sometimes you turn around and surprise me. "Yes, thank you."

"Good!" he squeezed me, running a hand over my hair. "Even though it seems I've upset you-"

"No! Of course not!" I protested, trying to push him away, "It was-"

"Be quiet." He looked at me carefully, frowning. "You're so self-effacing. Relax. Now, what I was trying to say: I want to ask just one more thing. Okay?"

I sniffed, nodding. Everything changed when Bakura wasn't being icy and indifferent; I could be reasonable and nonchalant then... but when he was warm, when he was affectionate... He made me weak and soft; and I think he knew it.

"If I'm a little bit of both civilized and uncivilized... how... that is, would you mind if... I just..."

A conflicted look skittered across his face, his eyebrows knit as if in concentration. His eyes spoke volumes, and as his intention dawned on me a heated blush rose to my face.

He leaned closer, almost imperceptibly, arms tightening around me. My hands gripped the cotton cloth on his strong shoulders; I had to hold on to something: my head was reeling, my knees were weak.

"If I just..." scant centimeters from my flushed face he paused, breath brushing my lips. I shuddered, wanting more. It was first a gentle pass, a breeze there and gone again as he tested the waters. My eyes closed in reflex; I felt limp, my lips were parted and it was as if I were floating. Maybe I was.

"Ryou," he whispered, into my mouth. I tried to reply, but managed only an imploring 'un' from my throat.

He pressed his lips, hot and desperate, to mine again, slipping a hand up to cradle my head. Wrapping my arms around his neck, I pressed back, quivering.

He suddenly employed the use of his tongue and it sent an extraordinary shock up my spine. My knees buckled; I was overwhelmed. All of his emotion was going into me, touching me, enfolding me. I gasped as he slowly pulled away; we were sitting on the floor- me posed between his legs, my own under his left.

He held me close, smoothing again my hair.

"Bakura... what a gentleman you are."

He let forth a short, bark of a laugh, "Whatever you say, hikari."

"Mm." I leaned against him, inhaling his sharp, spicy scent. It made me feel warm and safe. His arms around me made me feel it.

"I love you," I whispered.

There was a brief pause, followed by another squeeze and a husky, "I love you, too, Ryou."

I leant up to face him. He gave me a dubious look. "Are you all right?"

"I'm wonderful," I kissed him solidly, firmly, and touched his face, "You're wonderful."

Outside, a sparrow broke into a high, imperfect song, and Bakura smiled wryly, "Good morning."

And it was.

(A.N.- What did I tell you? Fluff Fluff Fluff. Sap enough to drown a maple. Well, okay, maybe not that much, but hey, whatever. I especially like this fic (so modest --) because not once does Bakura beat Ryou. Ha ha! All right, I'll stop )