A Few Loose Screws

"Arrgh!"

Joey's eyebrow rose as he turned his gaze to follow his boyfriend's progress into the room. "Problem, Ry?" he asked dryly. Of course there was a problem, Ryou wasn't one for sudden outbursts of anger for no apparent reason.

That was Bakura. Normally after he'd lost a fight, an argument, a duel…well, after he'd lost to Yami.

Ryou sighed and flopped on the couch next to Joey. "Oh, nothing," he said in a singsong voice. "Just the teachers have apparently noticed Bakura a lot more than we thought." He growled, sounding eerily like his other half whenever he'd lost to Yami.

"Did you get detention 'cause a' him?" Joey asked, not quite understanding Ryou's problem. He knew that Bakura, as well as Yami, had figured out how to form temporary corporeal bodies; but whenever either of them showed up at school, they normally went transparent to anyone not in the know.

Bakura, however, did like to play pranks on people. And for that, he went corporeal, and while he didn't look exactly like Ryou, there was a certain resemblance

"No – well, yes, but that's not the problem," Ryou complained.

"Then what is?" Joey asked tersely, beginning to lose his never-extensive patience.

"The Principal is making me see the school counselor," Ryou ground out. "Apparently talking to yourself is considered a sign that you need therapy, or something. Do you believe that?" he asked in mock shock.

Joey snorted and nuzzled his nose into Ryou's snow-soft hair.

Snuggling into Joey's side, Ryou sighed happily as his koi wrapped an arm around him. "What am I going to do, Joey?" he pleaded anxiously. "I can't tell anyone about Bakura."

Joey shrugged with the one shoulder not supporting his boyfriend. "Tell 'em you have EPPS."

Frowning, Ryou craned his neck to the side slightly so he could look Joey in the eye. "What is EPPS?"

"Extra Psychotic Personality Syndrome." Joey chuckled.

Ryou nodded his head against Joey's shoulder, a small smile forming on his lips. "You're right, that fits Bakura."

He fell silent after that, but Joey could tell he was still brooding. "Goin' ta the school counselor's not dat bad, Ry," Joey assured him. "All's ya gotta do is tell 'im that ya have a habit of talkin' ta yerself, dat's all. Lots of people do it."

"Yes, but most people don't answer themselves, Joey," Ryou countered.

"You could tell 'im you were practicin' for a play," Joey offered. "But as long as all the guy's got ta go on is hearsay, you can fob 'im off with my first suggestion. Worst comes ta worst, I know Bakura would be willin' ta do a little selective rewritin' of the guy's memory."

Ryou wrinkled his nose at that last bit. "I know, but I don't like him having to do that. It's not fun for him – takes a lot of energy – and the poor counselor doesn't deserve to have the week-long headache that will result from Bakura's rewriting."

"Yeah, but it's better than you havin' ta have weekly sessions with a shrink or somptin'," Joey pointed out. "They might decide ta put ya on medication or somptin', which would really screw with yer head, since ya don't need it. Plus, if so many people have noticed, he should probably do it anyway, just so's no one gets suspicious."

"I know," Ryou admitted. "But it really does take it out of him when he does that; and I would prefer to keep Yami off my case."

"Yami?" Joey questioned. "What's he got ta do with dis?"

Ryou turned a slightly bewildered gaze on his koi. "I thought you knew," he said.

"Knew what?" Joey asked, exasperated.

"Bakura and Yami are dating," Ryou said plainly.

Joey's eyes went wide and he barely refrained from choking. "What!?" he squawked. "But they're always fighitn' with each other."

Ryou shrugged, discomfited. "It's their version of foreplay, I guess."

A slight flush crossed Joey's face.

"Joey?" Ryou asked.

"I was just thinkin'…" Joey trailed off. "That information gives new meaning ta Bakura's favorite invective."

Running over the long – extremely long – list of insults that his other had at his disposal, Ryou still had to ask, "Which one is that?"

One eyebrow quirked, Joey quoted, managing to sound just like Bakura when he was furious, "'Screw you, Pharaoh.'"

Clapping his hand over his mouth, Ryou still couldn't help his giggles. "Is…is that," he croaked out between gaps for breath, "…an…an offer, J-Joe?"

Joey looked at his lover, and expression of mock-thoughtfulness on his face. "Well now, Ry, I t'ink dat dat could be arranged."

As Joey leaned down to kiss him, Ryou purred, "Oh, yes, Joey, screw me."


THE END