Oh yeah! I met the set date this time. 4 days and the future is lookin' bright. I'm going back to updating this story once every week (or shorter). I now have all this free time and nothin' to do but write.
To Dragon-Charmer16: lol, I thoroughly enjoyed reading all of your reviews! Each one made me smile more. Thanks for taking your time to do that :)
Chapter 15: The Rules of the Heart
"Yami...it's just water," Yugi reasoned meaningfully.
Yami eyed the boy with unhidden consternation. "It's not just water." He tightly clasped the collar of his new white shirt. Both Yugi and himself were relatively the same size, though Yami was a bit taller, so Yugi told him to wear whatever he liked of his. "Do you know how many lives are lost every day due to this seemingly harmless compound?"
"…No. Do you?"
The Guardian Angel could only sigh. "No, but I've seen enough people-turned-angels who had drowned to know it's dangerous."
"In their bathtub?" Yugi smiled and sat the fluffy towels he was holding on the sink counter. "Trust me, the only way you'll drown in this tub is if you laid down and curled up in a ball. You really worry too much."
"Maybe you don't worry enough. Everywhere there are hazards just waiting to happen. Remember the incident with the car?"
"But Yami, that was almost four days ago. I've forgotten already. Besides," he straightened the shower curtains, "you saved my life."
Yami pondered his words and nodded. "Yes."
Yugi paused in his work and looked back at him with a focused stare. "Yami…I know it has to be hard for you. I mean, you came from Heaven—something I can barely even fathom. I know this probably doesn't even come close. It's just an old Game Shop with living quarters attached. You've barely even spoken a word to me in almost 96 hours and you rarely speak at all." He laid his hand on the doorknob and turned his gaze there. "If you ever want to talk, even if it's to yell at me, go ahead. I'll be glad to hear your voice."
"I'll give you some privacy now." He opened the bathroom door. "I'll be in my room if you need me." And with a small wave, Yugi left and closed the door.
To say the least, Yami felt bad. To be blunt, he felt horrible. Yugi had been nothing but kind to him. Everyday, he straightened up his room and asked him if he needed anything, all while running the Game Shop in his grandfather's absence. And he did it all with a smile.
Yami was the complete opposite.
He spent all day in his room and almost pulled his hair out over the most recent events. It wouldn't take long for the other angels to notice he was gone, and when they did, they would have a field day. This mistake would definitely not go unnoticed.
And then Yami realized one very important thing—he was only thinking about himself. Yugi was trying to do everything to help Yami, but Yami was also only trying to help Yami. That really didn't make very much sense at all seeing as Yami came from a place that thrived upon aiding others. Besides, Ange Tutélaire specifically stated that a Guardian Angel's role was "to serve and protect", no matter what.
With a determined look on his face, he opened the door of the bathroom and charged right up to Yugi's bedroom. After knocking, he barely gave Yugi the time to answer before walking in and grabbing him by the wrist.
"Uh—Yami?" That was really all Yugi could get out as he was led down the steps and back to the bathroom. There, he at least managed a "do you need something?"
"Yes," Yami said simply, expression stern. "Stop worrying about me. Go in there and take a nice, long bath. Enjoy yourself for once instead of worrying about everything else."
Yugi was a bit puzzled. "I can't now. I still have to clean up and watch the Shop."
"I'll do it, just please…let me help you for once. I want to do this right."
"Okay, I guess," he still looked at Yami strangely. "Thank you…"
"It's an honor to serve you in any way I can, Yugi."
"An honor?" Yugi raised a brow. "I could get used to this. But really, you don't need any help?"
Yami was about to force the boy inside. "No, just enjoy yourself."
"Okay…" He broke into an appreciative smile. "Thank you very much, Yami."
Well, what exactly had he agreed to?
Cleaning the Game Shop was proving to be more than Yami had bargained for. Heaven bore no dust or dirt, and it definitely housed no germs.
Here, Yami nearly shuddered.
He tried not to think of all the things he could get infected with; it made the job a little bit easier. Grabbing a broom, he swept the floor and when that task was completed, he even mopped it. During the latter job, he was sure to don plastic gloves and a bizarre mask that looked like something out of a hospital. It sort of bothered him that his stickler attitude didn't change at all, even on earth, but that didn't disturb him the most.
Maybe what really bothered him wasn't his new bodyguard duty, but rather the one he was to guard. Yugi was unlike any human Yami had ever known or heard about. He had always had the impression that humans, for the most part, were greedy and self-absorbed, rarely ever lifting a finger to help someone else. It seemed as though Yugi made it his duty to care for everyone else's well being.
Still, did it go deeper?
Yami barely had time to comprehend that thought when the bell on the Shop door jingled. Standing up, he faced another guy, taller than him still, with golden hair and cheerful brown eyes.
"Hey Yugi," the mystery-blonde said immediately, mistaking Yami for him. "I'm in a hurry right now, so I can't stay and talk, but I wrote you this." He jogged up and forced a letter in Yami's hands. "I'll hopefully call you tomorrow." He ran back to the door in record speed but before he left, he faced Yami with this huge grin. "It's about Kaiba." And then he was gone.
"Kaiba?" Yami repeated with slight awe, doubting it was the same one he was thinking of. The one he knew was secluded, quiet, and quite antisocial. He would never bother coming to earth, especially not for a human.
Yugi's voice interrupted the angel's thoughts. Whirling around, scarlet eyes met violet for a moment before Yugi continued to look about the room.
"Yami…you did all this?" He walked to the counter and wiped it with his index finger then inspected it. "…No dust?" Then he looked at the floor. "And no footprints?" Yugi's happiness was immediate. "It even sparkles!" Throwing his arms around Yami's neck, he embraced him in a short hug. "Thank you so much!"
Yami felt his cheeks flush. "It was…no problem."
Pulling back, Yugi blinked as he noticed the mask. "…What's that for?"
Yami cleared his throat and stood straighter, ready to defend his position at any cost. "I wanted to be prepared."
"For what, an operation?" he teased. "Let's see…" Because of their slight difference in height, Yugi had to lean on his tiptoes in order to untie the mask. This brought their faces relatively close and as Yugi seemed unbothered, it was Yami who gasped slightly and seemed somewhat troubled by the proximity.
If there was one thing about Yami, it was that he didn't let people get close to him. He worked hard to achieve this, considering how many angels actually liked him, and sometimes very blatantly made it clear. He was the Lawmaker, not some vivacious cupid, and he didn't have time for something as trivial as love.
But, as Yugi leaned in even closer, determined to conquer the persistent knot, Yami suddenly couldn't remember why he had made that rule in the first place. Laws, laws, laws. Yami was good at dealing with laws, but the rules of the heart were quite different.
"There!" Yugi said enthusiastically and pulled the mask off. "You really had that on their good, although I will admit: A Guardian Angel that's afraid of water and oxygen probably won't make it that far."
"Um…" Yami looked away and handed Yugi the note. "This was delivered to you."
"I thought I heard someone at the door." He looked at the note and smiled. "Jou must've delivered this. Was he blonde and all ecstatic looking?"
"Yes. He said it was about 'Kaiba'."
"Kaiba?" said Yugi, finally looking more attentive. "Well, this is interesting. I wonder if he talked to the landlord yet…" His eyes lit up. "That was the day we met."
"About that…" Yami finally met his soft gaze. "Why weren't you afraid?"
"I just…I found it kind of strange that, after only a few minutes of my explaining that I was an angel forever trapped on Earth, you would believe me. I just thought it would take more…"
"Convincing?" Yugi added for him.
"Exactly. But you, you believed me right away."
"And why not?" he said, a confused look on his face. "You were very persuasive."
Yami frowned. "You weren't even skeptical. How can you be that trustworthy of people? Aren't you at all afraid that someone will let you down?"
Yugi only smiled that eloquent smile. "Of course, but the same thing can be compared to falling in love. Anyone can let you down, but I think it's worse if you care about the person. So, I trust the people I don't know more and the people who are closer to me a little less. I don't have to worry about "breaking up" with someone I don't know."
"Isn't it unavoidable sometimes?"
"Definitely, but relationships with people are like going to a big, fancy restaurant and getting a grand dinner you've always wanted. When you get the check, that's breaking up. It's inevitable. But, I'd rather spend all my money having fancy meals than to always just settle for some microwave dinner that I know won't make me happy."
Yami really didn't know what to say. He was surprised at Yugi's sensibility. "…That's a very interesting way of looking at things."
Yugi just shrugged, his eyes still revealing his optimism, and with a laugh, he said, "…Sometimes you just have to go through a lot of checks."
In Malik and Bakura's side of earth, things were going even stranger. Both were more open around each other and more themselves, but when it came to dealing with the relationship, they were somewhat at a loss.
Bakura's demon side kicked in every time and he started getting all these familiar feelings that he only seemed to possess in Hell. Now that they were official, he was cool and calm, his true self, and he just wanted to spend his remaining time together with Malik.
But Malik, well, he might've been the problem. His angelic side took over every time he thought about whether or not he was playing his part right. Just how exactly did humans act when they were in a relationship? He wanted to be perfect.
"Do you think it was a premonition?" Bakura suddenly asked. They were sitting together on the couch watching, but not really watching, television.
Malik looked at him, a little confused. "What?"
"Well," he sighed, "a little while back, I had this dream that…you and I were together. I mean, I didn't think much of it then, but now I can't stop thinking about it."
"That is weird. Was it any different than now?"
"You were, and I guess I was. We were at the church, and then we were in a car." Bakura really seemed to be pondering the details, but he couldn't remember the entirety of the dream.
Malik smiled though. "If a car was involved, it was most definitely a dream. You were probably just remembering when we really did meet and then the dream went weird as all dreams do."
"Yeah…I guess." He turned and flashed Malik a small half-smile before casually reaching an arm around his shoulders.
It really was meant to be harmless, but Malik's eyes widened a tad and he unconsciously flinched. Bakura didn't even seem to be paying attention at all, but Malik was blushing furiously. He was, after all, a bit new to these feelings. He hadn't expected Bakura to kiss his when they stood under the willow branches, but he did want him too. He hadn't liked anyone since his meaningless crush on Yami, but it felt like he really liked Bakura.
In Heaven, he rarely bothered over things of that nature; he considered it to be a bother in the first place. Why would people trouble with things like feelings and love when there were so many other important things to be dealt with?
It was fun to have someone else around, even if you didn't get along. It was fun to care about someone. It made you feel like a million dollars even if you had no money to your name. Malik wanted to spend forever with Bakura; he wanted to share Heaven with him. It was the oddest, most wonderful feeling in the world.
"Are you okay?" Bakura asked suddenly.
"Hm?" Malik looked at him. "I'm fine." And then he smiled. "I feel fantastic."
Bakura looked at him with worry. "…Okay."
As Bakura learned more about Malik, he learned how weird he was as well, but it was a good weird. Actually, as Bakura and Malik grew closer, the demon almost felt better and better himself, kind of like wanting to become a better person, per se. It was the kind of thought that gave demons nightmares. They called it "converting" but it was anything but smiled upon in Hell. Very rarely did it happen, but it was dealt with very. Kaiba had converted when he returned from Heaven, but he was back to his old ways within a few hours.
But really, the punishment for converting wasn't that bad; one was either sent back up to Earth, or reborn once again to start over. There was much controversy over the second choice because it was thought that a person would relive their life exactly as they had before, but that was the whole idea. Still, demons had it better than angels, who were banished altogether and declared a Fallen. That place had very strange rules.
Bakura really had to stop thinking about this.
Through and through, he was a demon. He was happy being a demon. He couldn't think of it any other way.
"I think I'm gonna go take a walk."
"At this hour?" Malik looked at a nearby clock that read 9:46 PM.
Bakura shrugged it off and stood causing Malik to immediately miss the imminence. "I just have to walk off some stuff. Don't worry about it."
"Well…okay." Malik was a little concerned in his sudden change in reverie, but it was becoming a more gradual and accustomed process.
"I'll be back soon."
Outside, there was a slight chill in the air, but Bakura didn't quite feel it. He was really confused. Ever since he met Malik, his thoughts and even dreams had taken a strange turn. In Hell, he would've never been this way. It was as if he wasn't himself anymore.
His thoughts were cut short when someone grabbed his wrist, twisting it painfully behind his back, and whispered, "got any spare change?"
Bakura seriously did not have time for this crap. Using his free arm, he elbowed the person sharply in the chest causing them to stumble a bit backwards, but they quickly regained control and grabbed Bakura, pulling him to the ground in mid-wrestle. Bakura sat up slowly, trying to regain his bounds, but the other person caught him and pinned him on his back.
Bakura cursed his body for reacting to pain now that he was on Earth, and slowly opened his eyes to face his assailant. "What the bloody hell…Marik?"
Marik flashed one of his trademark smirks. "Dearest Bakura…we need to talk."
Can't say much, as I'm about to leave, but the YxY motivation hit me! Squee!