Fate: [pets ficu] It's all fluffy. nn I had fun writing it, even though it took bloody well forever.
Disclaimer: Not ours. Bakura curses his head off somewhere in the middle in a rather uncreative but definitely pissy fashion. Go forth and be happy.
One. Two. Three. Four.
"What the hell are you doing that's taking up your entire attention span?" Bakura demanded.
Ryou stared at the reflection of his shadow half. "Nothing."
Five. Six. Seven.
"Brushing your hair can't possibly be that captivating."
"You'd be surprised, yami." Eight. Nine. Ten. Eleven.
"Why? Don't you think I brush my hair?" Bakura flopped indignantly onto Ryou's bed and glared at the reflection-face of Ryou.
"You don't." Twelve. Thirteen.
"Hn." Roll over and stare at the ceiling. "So what's so interesting about your fucking hair?"
Fourteen. Fifteen. "It reminds me of my sister." Sixteen. "I don't know. I've been missing her lately."
"Not because of those nutty murders what with people running around getting knocked off by those damn machines." Sighing, Bakura began, "Dammit, yadonushi – "
"I'm an idiot. I know." Seventeen. Eighteen. "Empathy's a failing I'll have until I die, I suppose." Nineteen. Twenty. "If I die."
"Ku." Smile like ashes and bones. "Worried about death again?"
Twenty one. Twenty two. Twenty three. "You're one to talk. Isn't death all you ever think about? All you ever obsess over?"
"Mmm." Dark sleepy red eyes in the light-dark of the room, looking into muted green via the mirror again. "But I've been there. I've been dead, I've been alive, I've been deadalive. I've been stuck in limbo. I've killed and been murdered and hurt myself and tried to die and willed everything away. I've done everything, tried everything, been everything related to death."
"But you're still here." Twenty four. Twenty five. Twenty six. Twenty seven. "You're still here." Ryou's voice was softer this time, like the brush pulling the tangles and mats out of his hair.
"Maybe." Bakura's fingers tracing the stitches in the blanket, Bakura's body shifting restlessly on the bed. Or so it seems. "Maybe not."
"There wasn't anyone to remember you when you died, was there?"
"Hmm, no. Maybe, just maybe, it had something to do with the fact that the pharaoh kind of killed everyone who knew or cared about me!"
Thirty. Thirty one. Thirty two. Breathe. "I suppose it doesn't matter. Amane died easily enough."
Ryou's eyes fell closed.
can feel her breathing when she sleeps, breathing, just awake for a second. can feel her breathing on my neck, leaning on my shoulder. breathing. breathing.
she's not breathing on my neck any more.
"You think loudly." Bakura spoke in his ear.
Breath on his skin.
Ryou took a deep breath. Thirty four. Thirty five. Thirty six. Thirty seven. Thirty eight.
"And you have all the guile of...of...what is guile, anyway?"
"Are you saying I can't distract you?"
"Hmm. Very well then." Thirty nine. Forty.
Slump back on the bed and sigh as loud as possible. "Yadonushi..."
"Yes?" Forty one. Forty two. Forty three.
"Get over here." Forty four.
"Get. Over. Here. Do you speak – what is this damn language called again?"
Forty five. Ryou stood, allowing himself to be pulled back over to sit on the bed. "Yes?"
"You're so fucking polite." Bakura flopped back onto the bed again. "I'd've smacked myself by now."
Forty six. Forty seven. "We are polar opposites, aren't we?" Forty eight.
"I wonder sometimes, yadonushi." Forty nine. "If we were, I'd have as much a right to live as you, wouldn't I? But I don't." Pause. "I don't." Quieter this time, almost desolate even.
Fifty. "I never thought I'd hear you say that." Fifty one. Ryou turned to look at his yami, a splash of harsh black and white across the bedspread. So domestic. So dissonant. So wrong.
So strangely normal.
"Well, there you go. Now you have. Happy?" Fifty three.
"What do you mean?" Ryou inquired. Fifty four. Fifty five.
"Doesn't that cheer you up? To know I can be broken, to know that I know that I'm less than you will ever be? To know that next to you I'm nothing but shades and emptiness?" A smile, mocking and twisted and radiant. "Don't you want to evict me, deep down?"
Yadonushi. A strange, teasing nickname. Strange and almost respectful but not quite, since it's Bakura speaking and he's never been respectful and probably never will be.
"I can't, and you know that." Fifty six. "That's a trick question and you know that too." Fifty seven. "I can't take it off." Fifty eight. "But you know about that too." Fifty nine.
Bakura's hand fell heavily on one shoulder, holding him still as his other hand dragged along Ryou's chest, tracing the old, pebbly scars. "You could if I let you."
Sixty one. "But why would you do that?"
"Mmm. I don't know. Maybe I'll be feeling..." Bakura trailed off, searching for the word. The strange, careful hesitancy of a non-native speaker. It's a tone that oddly suits him. ?"
Sixty two. Sixty three. "You could never be kind." Sixty four.
"Don't you think so?" Sixty five.
"You couldn't." Sixty six.
"Ah." Fingers along his neck now, tilting his chin back. "What are you muttering in the back of your mind, yadonushi?"
Ryou blinked, frozen with his head just a hair from Bakura's shoulder. "I'm counting."
"You brush your hair a hundred times," Ryou explained. "Amane used to do it all the time."
"Amane, Amane, Amane," Bakura repeated, pushing Ryou away abruptly.
"Enh!" Ryou squeaked, hitting the ground. "Why did you do that?"
Bakura merely glowered at him, then tossed the hairbrush down after. "Catch," he added when it hit Ryou on the head. "I'm not kind, yadonushi. You said it yourself." Swinging his legs over the bed, he rose and stalked towards the door. He could have just vanished, but this was more dramatic.
Sixty seven. Sixty eight. The tangles were mostly gone now, his hair falling over his shoulders in silvery loops. Sixty nine. Seventy.
"And you don't fucking care, do you." Bakura was facing away from him, leaning on the door jamb and staring at the window. "You don't give a damn, yadonushi. I just...live here. I pay my rent, much though you don't like it. I'm here by your grace." Soft, soft laughter. "And it's never occurred to you. And even now that I've told you...you don't care."
"Keep brushing your fucking hair and keep fucking daydreaming," Bakura burst out. "Why the fuck do I waste my fucking time fucking trying to fucking talk to you?"
Seventy three. "You're angry at me."
"At least you've got some grasp on reality, you fucking ditz." Bakura threw his hands up, whirling back on Ryou. "Is this your idea of retaliation? Because it's fucking working! Keep it up and I'll consider that you've gotten a backbone! Well hell, if you don't want me, then just throw me out! I couldn't care less! Someone else is bound to pick up that cursed Ring!"
Seventy four. Seventy five. "What did I do this time?" Almost exasperated, but not quite there.
"You're fucking hopeless! Gods, I'd rather poke my eyes out with this fucking pendant than talk to you any more! Ah, gods, at least I don't have to spend all my time in your fucking mind any longer if I don't want to." Bang.
Seventy six. Seventy seven. Seventy eight. Seventy nine. Eighty.
Breathe and look into the mirror.
...what did I do?
"Amane's dead, yami."
"I know." Soft and muffled, like he's speaking to the door between them. The slam of one fist against the wood punctuated it. "I know."
"You always do this." Eighty one. "Why do you always do this?" Eighty two.
"Because you don't fucking know why!" As always, Bakura's cursing picks up with his anger. Lost in a foreign country with his only means of expression a language he barely knew, swearing and violence suddenly became quite appealing.
Eighty three. "And you don't ever tell me." Eighty four.
Bakura's fist slammed the wood again, this time in frustration. "I don't know how!"
Eighty five. "Are you sure?"
"Goddammit, of course I'm fucking sure! What, do I not say anything when I fucking want something?"
Eighty six. "Yami, I think I need to teach you a few more curses." Eighty seven.
Ryou barely flinched as Bakura hit the door a third time. There was a very pregnant silence.
Eighty eight. Eighty nine. Ninety.
"A...ånet-hrå-k, neb seÅep Ñ enti het hert, keku samau...Ä«-nå xer-k, xu-k uå, Äb-kuå, ÄÄui-å ha-k...tenå-k tepu-Ä-k...tÄ-k nå re-å t'etu-å åm-f...sem-å åb-å en unnut-f nebtet kerh..."
Ninety one. Ninety two. Ninety three.
"Do you know how to respond to that?"
Ninety four. Ninety five.
Ninety six. "I...don't know how." Ninety seven.
"Heh." Bakura hit the door again, though without his previous force. "Now we're at an impasse, yadonushi."
"Come back in." Ninety eight. Ninety nine.
The door swung open. Slowly. Reluctantly. Painfully.
Bakura stalked back into the room and dropped onto the bed again. "What?"
"Tell me what that meant?"
"Hn." Bakura promptly looked defensive. "You've got to figure out what's wrong with you first."
"You could just...tell me," Ryou replied, crossing the room and sitting next to Bakura.
"I'm trying. Dammit, I'm trying!"
"It's to do with Amane, isn't it?" Ryou tentatively raised one hand and started pulling his fingers through Bakura's far more tousled hair.
"What're you doing?" Bakura grumbled. "Couldn't get enough of your own hair?"
"Haven't...haven't you ever had someone brush your hair?"
Bakura stared at him as though he'd asked if he'd ever painted himself bright orange and then gone skinny dipping at high noon in the Dead Sea. With Yami no Yuugi for friendly company.
"...that's a no, then?"
"That's a no," Bakura agreed flatly.
"...do you want me to?"
Blink. Blink. Stare. "You're kidding, right?"
"No, not really."
Bakura threw his hands in the air again. "Ah, gods! Entertain yourself," he added to Ryou. "Do whatever you want. It's your body."
"Not really," Ryou repeated softly, retrieving his brush.
"Hn. Dislike me that much?" Bakura ground out, frozen in a tense, awkward pose that looked like he might bolt for the door at any given moment.
Ryou smiled and returned to his former seat on the bed. "You're so moody. No, don't turn your head," he added when Bakura seemed about to stare at him again. "You'll hurt yourself if you do."
"You're so concerned," Bakura mocked. "Ow! Jesus fuck, yadonushi!"
"I really need to teach you new swears," Ryou muttered into his ear, wrestling the brush through another tangled lock.
"Fine. Teach me," Bakura agreed.
"In exchange for you telling me what I'm doing wrong and telling me what you said to me in that other language, I will," Ryou replied primly, tugging on another snarl.
Bakura made a quiet growling noise. "Since when were you in position to bargain? Ow."
"Can't you just...tell me?" Ryou finally whispered.
"Ow! Dammit! Can't you be more...more...whatever," Bakura finished irritably, twitching away from Ryou once more.
"Stop moving," Ryou ordered, grabbing a fistful of hair and yanking.
"Motherfucker! Yadonushiiiiiii!" Bakura howled, scrabbling for some sort of retaliatory weapon.
Ryou determinedly hung onto the handful of silver hair. "Stop moving and you won't get hurt."
Bakura subsided into a full-out sulk. "Hn."
Ryou sighed and put the brush down, attacking the snarls in Bakura's hair with his fingers. "All right, if you don't know what to say, I'll just have to guess. What do you have against Amane?"
Bakura tried to keep from shuddering at the strange new feeling of fingertips on his scalp. "You're obsessed with her."
"She's my sister. I love her," Ryou corrected.
"She's dead. But you won't let her die."
"I don't understand," Ryou replied, running his fingers through Bakura's hair in search of any more extreme tangles.
"You...you talk to her more than you even talk to me," Bakura finally said.
Ryou raised one eyebrow, even though Bakura couldn't see it. "I wasn't under the impression that you wanted me to talk to you."
"You're mistaken about a lot of things, yadonushi."
"Is that it?" Ryou inquired. "Amane? Is that why...?"
"She's dead, I'm dead," Bakura snapped, flinching when Ryou's fingers caught in his hair. "We're both dead. But I'm still hanging around in a body and she's not, and you still act like I'm not here and she is." Bakura dragged his feet up onto the bed and rested his chin on his knees. "I'm just your tenant. Your ghost, your demon. I'm nothing."
Ryou stopped moving for a long minute, fingers still twined through tangled silver strands. "You don't understand," he said softly, barely breathing at all.
"What don't I understand?" Bakura demanded, sounding a little more like his normal self.
Ryou let his breath out and picked up the brush. "Come back here."
"Unh? Erk!" Bakura squawked when Ryou again tugged on his hair to pull him closer. "Would you cut that out? You're not supposed to be scalping me!"
Ryou quietly resumed work with the brush. "Am I hurting you now?"
"...no," Bakura finally said grudgingly. "Wimp. You couldn't hurt me if you tried."
"So all that screaming, thrashing, and swearing, that was just for show?" Ryou retorted, starting to count brush strokes mentally.
"You're doing that counting thing again," Bakura answered, dodging the question. "Gods."
"What's wrong with it?" Ryou inquired.
"It makes me..." Bakura blinked, fighting for the word.
"Edgy?" Ryou suggested.
Ryou smiled at Bakura's all-purpose fill-in-the-blank word and let off counting in favour of simply running the brush through Bakura's hair. "I won't, then."
"I'm not her, you know," Bakura said suddenly. "I'm not."
Pause. "I know."
"Then why are you...grooming me?" Bakura finally managed.
"Because you said no one had ever brushed your hair for you before," Ryou said simply, taking hold of one of Bakura's side locks and turning his face so he could reach his bangs.
"This isn't brushing," Bakura announced as Ryou put the brush down and went after his hair with just his fingers again. "This is full-scale preening."
"Mmm," Ryou agreed. "It is."
"You ever do this to Amane?" Bakura asked.
Ryou sighed. "No. I didn't." He bit his lip and started fussing with Bakura's bangs idly. "Despite what you might think, I have no secret aspirations to be a hairdresser. Why are you so convinced that you're nothing?"
Bakura blinked again at this rapid topic change. "Because it's all I am."
"No, it's not," Ryou replied. "I'm sure the pharaoh wouldn't call you nothing."
"I meant to you," Bakura retorted. "I don't give a fuck what the pharaoh thinks of me."
"But you care what I think?" Ryou asked. "Since when did you do that?"
"Since forever! Ah, gods, don't you see? I'm your other half! This is an agreed-upon fact! I'm not planning on striking out on my own. I like this arrangement! I like you. I need you to survive." Bakura stared at the coverlet, worrying it through his fingers. "But you don't need me. I'm a...a parasite."
"Where did you get the idea that I don't need you?" Ryou asked softly.
"You don't act like it!" Bakura burst out.
"Well, neither do you!" Ryou sighed. "Come over here."
"What, I'm not close enough for you?" Bakura demanded.
"No, you're not," Ryou replied. "There's no room for me to move around you."
"All right. Fine. Okay. Whatever," Bakura complained, unwinding himself from his huddled position to inch closer to Ryou, reluctance oozing off of him.
"At least I don't have to teach you how to agree," Ryou said vaguely, reaching out and pulling the spirit over to him. "C'mere."
"Unh?" Bakura replied coherently.
Ryou sighed again and hooked one arm around Bakura's waist. "I don't have enough room to reach your hair if you're going to keep twitching like that, so just come over here. What did you say outside the door?"
Ryou's tactic worked. While Bakura tried to come up with a response, Ryou simply kept one arm slung firmly around Bakura's hips and resumed brushing out his hair.
"I..." Shift. "That's not..." Fidget. "You haven't..." Sigh. "Fine," Bakura muttered into Ryou's shoulder sulkily, keeping his arms folded between them. "It's...it's the...do you know what a holy thing is? Like a book?"
"Yes, I know," Ryou replied, running the brush through Bakura's now somewhat tamed hair. "I know my – our – hair is on the fluffy side, but these horns are ridiculous," he added, poking them.
Ryou could feel Bakura glowering into his neck. "Can you ever stay on topic for more than ten seconds, you flaming ditz?"
"What about a holy book?" Ryou prompted.
Bakura blinked, sending his eyelashes flickering against Ryou's skin. "I have one."
"Is that what you were saying?" Ryou inquired, the brush pulling Bakura's hair out straight before it sprang back into more familiar, spiky ways, though without their former wildness. "I am definitely taking care of your hair from now on," he added quietly, trying to get the spikes to flatten out at least somewhat.
Bakura laughed, his breath hot on Ryou's neck again. Deja vu. "So domestic of you."
"Do you like it?"
"Do you like having your hair brushed?"
"...did you want to know what I said?"
"You are dodging the question," Ryou said severely. "You like it, don't you?"
"Mrr." Bakura almost sulkily let his folded arms relax somewhat.
Ryou smiled. "I do want to know what you said."
"All right. Let me think for a minute." Ryou could feel Bakura brushing his mind, searching for the words from their collective link. It was something the Egyptian did rarely, and only when he was either completely frustrated with his inability to communicate or when he wanted to say something that the other person had damn well better understand. "Homage to...to thee, lord of...radiance? Radiance, at the head of the Great House, within night and darkness." Bakura stopped and searched for words again. "I have come to thee, I am...glorious, I am pure, my two hands are behind thee; thy...portion? Thy portion is with thy ancestors. Give thou to me my mouth that I may speak with it...may I follow my heart at its season of fire and...night."
"What does that mean?" Ryou inquired, bewildered.
"What the hell is all this thee-thy-thou stuff?" Bakura demanded. "I've never heard anyone talk like that. What was it?"
"It's a more...sacred way to talk to someone, I think," Ryou said slowly.
Bakura rolled his eyes. "Ah, gods, I knew this language was crazily polite, but now it gets sacred too?"
"...but what does it mean?"
"It's from the Book of Coming Forth by Day," Bakura replied after a long moment. "You know. Osiris goes to the underworld, does a lot of stuff, everyone celebrates it and is all like, ooh, Osiris is the shit!" Bakura paused again as Ryou tangibly bit back a snicker and kept brushing at his hair. "That's the part where he's given his mouth in the underworld. You know, so he can speak and do stuff. And he has to be pure and worthy first, or he won't make it."
"'May I follow my heart at its season of fire and night'?" Ryou quoted.
Bakura shrugged. "That's just how it ends. I don't know. I just remember some bits of it. It's not like I was so fucking religious that I memorized the whole bloody Book."
"Mmm," Ryou said. "What else do you know from it?"
"Stuff," Bakura said helpfully.
"What stuff?" Ryou shot back, putting the brush back down and starting to toy with Bakura's hair.
"What're you doing?" Bakura demanded.
"I'm done brushing it," Ryou said. "I can keep brushing it if you want me to."
"Mrr. This is fine." Bakura shrugged again.
Ryou half-smiled and kept running his fingers through Bakura's hair. "Are you purring?"
"So tell me some more from your book-thing," Ryou said, changing the subject yet again.
"Why?" Bakura asked.
Ryou shifted so that he could actually look at Bakura's face, fingers trailing over the skin. "Because I want to know everything about you that there is to know, and more. I want to know everything."
"So I can be like your precious Amane?" Bakura asked bitterly.
Ryou smiled. "So you can be you." His fingers brushed over Bakura's eyes, closing them.
"May...may my heart be to me in the House of hearts...may be to me my heart, may it rest in me...I know my heart, I have gained power over my heart. Not shall...shall imprisoned my soul with my body at the gates of Amenta, at my entrance in peace, and coming forth in peace..." Bakura trailed off, unfolding his arms and slipping them around Ryou's chest.
"That's..." Ryou shivered slightly at the fingers trailing over his shoulder, the odd icy burn of Bakura's skin on his own. "That's really...I don't know how to describe it."
"Oh, good, something else we have in common," Bakura replied. "At this rate, you might even end up liking me."
Ryou looked up quickly and bit his lip just as quickly to stop whatever he might have said impulsively. "I..."
"...I give up on words," Ryou said, and kissed him.
Fingers in hair and on skin and on clothes, breath mixing and no one speaking.
Break apart and stare, eyes wide and faces flushed, fingers clenched around whatever they can reach of the other.
"Did you ever kiss Amane like that?"
Ryou laughed and pulled Bakura backwards with him, flopping back onto the bed. "No, I never did."
"Good." Bakura's hair fell down around them both, long and loose and pale. "Then I get you all to myself, yadonushi."
"Wha – mmm...okay..."
Fluffy: Look. Fluff. Or, well, our sort of fluff. The angstythoughtprovokingwehope kind. Yes, we played a lot with Bakura not knowing Japanese fluently. It doesn't make any kind of sense that he would. Honestly. And yes, we referenced the Book of Coming Forth by Day profusely. The last passage – the one that was entirely in 'English' – was cribbed from various sections of one plate. The original was typed out, stared at, realized to be well over a page long, what with Bakura's confusion over words, and edited severely to be a source of severe waff. Hurrah for being Kemetic Orthodox. [waves Kemet banner, then scuttles off to hide]
Duel: Yo. Review if you made it through this monster. Please.