Disclaimer – I don't own them, and probably never will. But if a certain Tomb Robber doesn't stop trying to beat me over the head for writing this, I might just have to change that somehow. Then I can make him do this shit on screen grins evilly as Bakura shudders

Author's Notes – Well, here it is . . . the final chapter. Now I suppose I had best get my butt back to working on Going On and Redemption before I'm hunted down. Before I do, however, a little reminiscing (yes, I know you will all skip this).

First off, I have never EVER done something so very . . . ummmm . . . sporadic? This was a major challenge for me . . . not because of the couple, but because I dove into it without a lot of forethought, and with an actual timeline that I intended to follow (too bad that part didn't happen, ne? Kids will do that to you, let me tell you). As you can tell by many of the chapters, I often got a chapter done and then posted it right away, without the usual triple/quadruple reading of it that I do with all my other stories.

I'm surprised it turned out as well liked as it did, and I thank all of you for giving me such wonderful support. My reviews are the reason I keep writing, so keep feeding my ego, and I keep writing you stories ; )

With that said, I will go over one review that I got that I would like to point out. Not forgetting the rest of you, but there is only so much I can say in the face of such beautiful and heart-boosting reviews.

So, to Anon, on – Thank you for pointing out my typo. That's what happens when you write at 2am on little to no sleep. At least you were nasty about it, for which I thank you. I hope that small detail didn't ruin the rest of the story for you.

And Now, without further ado, the final chapter of Twelve Days, several days late, but done before the holiday season is over, thank heavens. Happy New Year everyone!

Chapter Twelve – On The Twelfth Day of Christmas – Twelve Happy Signs

Having slept in Yami's room, unwilling to risk disturbing Yami or Bakura, Yugi awoke slightly disoriented with the feel of a warm body next to his. Turning amethyst eyes toward the wall, he smiled and relaxed as he spied Joey, snoring softly. Shaking his head in amusement at his boyfriend, he ruffled the blonde's hair lightly.

Sliding out from underneath the blankets, he strode down the hallway, pausing in his bedroom door to check on the yami's. They were both sound asleep, and the bright flush that had cursed Yami's golden complexion appeared to be gone. Sighing with relief, he padded down the stairs, his smile widening as he spied the clustered bodies in his living room. Joey was supposed to go over to his mother's later in the afternoon, as were the others . . . mostly, their parents had just been glad for the chance of getting a full nights sleep, so had allowed everyone to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas morning here at Yugi's house.

He drifted into the kitchen to make breakfast, his thoughts dwelling on his dark and Ryou's. They had been asleep an awfully long time . . . fever or no fever, Yami should have awoken at least once by now.

Humming Christmas carols to himself in an effort to keep from falling into worry, he set about making eggs and bacon in large quantities for his friends.


Yami and Bakura awoke pretty much as one, staring at each other sleepily before contented smiles flickered across their expressions and they leaned in for a brief, gentle kiss.

"Good morning, thief," Yami murmured, laying a hand over pale skin, feeling Bakura's heart thumping gently in time with his own through the soft flesh.

"Those two words should never be in the same sentence," Bakura growled softly in reply. He smiled slightly at Yami's frown, and used his free hand to brush the golden bangs back from the garnet orbs lovingly. "However . . . in this case I suppose I can make an exception." He chuckled as Yami rolled his eyes, a long-suffering sigh escaping firm lips as the Pharaoh took his teasing in stride.

"You're hopeless, 'Kura," Yami said, sitting back slightly so he could take in the full view. Tousled white hair lay spread out over the dark pillow, only adding to the rugged beauty that Bakura unconsciously portrayed as he lay there, staring up at Yami before one snowy eyebrow rose in silent question to what was going on in his mind. He merely shook his head, declining to answer for at least a few moments as he memorized this moment, storing it away safely with his most treasure memories to look at later, whenever he liked. He shifted uncomfortably as skin stretched, the feeling accompanied by white flakes falling to the dark blankets below.

Rubbing at his chest and stomach with his fingertips, he grimaced slightly before glancing back at his love.

"We need a shower before we go say hello to everyone," he murmured. Bakura nodded, feeling the stiffness of his own skin. He stood and then reached down to help Yami to his feet, frowning slightly when the Pharaoh staggered a little before gaining his equilibrium.

"Are you sure you're all right?" he said, red-brown eyes darkening with concern. To hell with the fact that he sounded like a sap . . . it was Yami, and he wasn't about to have his one love keel over because he'd pushed himself too hard. Someone had to protect Yami from his own stubbornness. Yami smiled at him, and he simply wanted to melt into a puddle before mentally smacking himself for such stupidity. Anubis take him, he was turning into Ryou.

"I'm fine, Bakura," he replied, shaking his head at the concern. Bakura being over-protective . . . who would have thought it was possible? "Come on . . . we'd best get in there and back before anyone wakes." Reaching out, he captured one pale hand and tugged, pulling the thief along behind him as he crossed the hallway to the bathroom, shutting the door quietly behind them. Leaving Bakura to stand by the sink, he strode to the shower and turned the water on, fiddling with the faucets to get the temperature at an appropriate level.

Red-brown eyes ran hungrily over the golden form, taking it's fill of the long, muscular legs and lean back . . . and backside . . . happily. Did Yami even realize how purely delectable he looked when he wasn't in leather? Of course, in leather he was downright lethal to look at . . . but that was a view he had to share with everyone. He was the only person who would get to see Yami like this . . . all golden skin and lithe muscle, strong and yet soft somehow. Whatever god had decided to take him in their favor, he was grateful.

Padding over to the still bent figure, he pressed into Yami's back, letting his lover feel his renewed passion as he nipped at the exposed neck teasingly. Yami purred in response, pressing back against his hips and bringing their flesh into more delightful contact.

"Bakura . . ." he moaned as pale fingers danced over his skin before probing him. "By Ra . . . you really are insatiable." He chuckled slightly, and then gasped as he was penetrated slowly.

"I have five thousand years of celibacy to make up for, as do you," Bakura murmured into his ear, running his tongue over the fragile golden shell lovingly. "I don't see why we can't start making up for it every chance we get."

"Our shower . . ." Yami choked, feeling another finger enter and slowly begin to stretch.

"Water is a good thing," the thief replied, trailing kisses down the shivering back before going to his knees to reach through the parted legs with his other hand, fondling Yami gently. "That way we'll get clean and messy at the same time." Yami sighed with loss as he rose and moved away, only to squeak slightly as Bakura stepped over him into the shower, pulling him inside before pulling the knob to redirect the water. They stood under the running water together as their lips met in a hungry kiss, hands exploring water-slicked flesh with abandon before the pale man lifted his lover and impaled him. Yami threw his head back, a moan drifting on the misty air as he was filled by Bakura's flesh, wrapping his legs around the slim waist as his back hit the slightly cooler tile of the wall. It was a good thing he was so much lighter . . .

Such considerations flew rapidly out of his mind as Bakura moved against him, thrusting into him as the man leaned in to suckle on one coral colored nub. Golden fingers wrapped around the pale shoulders, holding on desperately as his vision began waver at the immense pleasure.

"So . . . Ra damned . . . tight . . ." Bakura growled against his chest, worrying the nub of flesh between his teeth as Yami rocked against him impatiently. His bangs dripped water into his face, and he shoved them out of his way irritably as he glanced up and met the hazy crimson gaze of his lover.

"I'm not . . . going . . . to break . . ." Yami panted, trying to get some leverage so he could add to the movement. "Damn it, Bakura . . . harder, please . . ." he murmured, finally giving up on getting his own leverage to increase the pace. He whimpered as Bakura did the exact opposite, slowing down to the point of almost not moving and then growled at his lover as the thief smirked at him. "Tomb Robber . . ." he growled warningly, and then bit back a scream as his white-haired love rammed into him, sparks flying up his spine to explode before his eyes. The friction of their bodies rubbing against each other meant that his own flesh was far from neglected from sensation, and he gasped as Bakura took a nip at his exposed throat harshly.

Another thrust sent him over the edge, and he shuddered in the thief's grip as his mind and body shut down. He felt Bakura join him moments later, warmth flooding him as the thief growled out his own passion against the flesh of his neck

"Now we can get clean," he murmured hoarsely, and felt Bakura chuckle against him before the thief moved back, disengaging from their intimate position reluctantly.

"I suppose," he replied, reaching out to pull Yami into his chest as one hand reached for the soap. He poured some onto a bathing puff, lathering it gently before running it over the golden skin, washing away the remains of their passionate dance from last night and moments ago. Yami sighed in pleasure, relaxing in his grip as the warm water and even warmer hands did their work before accepting the soapy item to return the favor. He lingered over the scars in the pale flesh, running gentle fingers over them before leaving the questions for another time. He would have an eternity to ask where those wounds had come from.

Setting the puff down after rinsing it thoroughly, he reached for the shampoo, rubbing it between his hands before forcing the lithe, pale figure to turn around and burying his hands in the snowy locks, running the white strands through his fingers lovingly as he washed it, massaging into Bakura's scalp until the thief was practically purring with delight. Filing that bit of information away for later, he lightly ran his nails down Bakura's spine, grinning as shiver's crept under the pale flesh before the red-brown eyes turned to look at him over one shoulder.

"Merry Christmas, 'Kura," he whispered, and warmed at the genuine smile that crossed the elegant features of the thief. If he had his way, he would see that smile for the rest of his unnatural life, and love every glimpse of it.

"Same to you, my Pharaoh," Bakura replied. The rest of the shower was spent in silence, simply enjoying each other's presence.


Yugi smiled as the sound of running water finally faded, glancing at the ceiling in amusement. Why Joey had felt the need to take a shower first thing in the morning was beyond him, especially since the blonde had been so pushy about trying to open presents last night. Yugi would have thought he'd be too impatient to open the gifts to bother with a shower. Shrugging, he lay plates down in front of the remaining friends, who had already awoken and gathered around the kitchen table. Presents came after breakfast . . . it was a tradition in the Motou household, and not one that Yugi was going to break, whether or not his grandfather was here.

He was nearly startled out of his wits when Bakura ghosted into the kitchen, ruffling Ryou's hair in an oddly affectionate gesture before snagging two plates off the counter, threw a smile Yugi's way, and then promptly drifted back out of the kitchen to the living room. Five pairs of eyes stared after him in confusion before a round of raised eyebrows and questioning looks were shared before Tristan, Tea, Duke, Ryou, and Yugi all headed for the living room to see what the hell that strange moment was all about.

Amethyst and chocolate widened as the two young hikari's found their yami's comfortably entwined on the couch, settling down to eat the food Bakura had just come in to snag. Everyone else was equally as stunned at the strange sight.

Yami glanced up, smiling at the flabbergasted looks on his friend's faces before snuggling back into Bakura, who had one arm comfortably draped around his shoulders while eating with the other hand, bare feet propped up on the coffee table.

"Good morning everyone," he murmured, breaking the stunned silence. The shattered silence served as a tension breaker, and the five friends surged forward to welcome Yami back among the living before a low growl from Bakura warned all but the two hikari's to back off.

"Are you okay, Yami?" Yugi asked in concern, settling lightly onto the couch next to his dark. Yami nodded, his gaze flickering across his friends to include all of them in the answer, another soft smile crossing his lips as they all relaxed.

"Far better than I have been in a long time, little light," Yami said warmly, causing Yugi to flush slightly at the endearment. The amethyst eyes widened as his dark reached up to caress the pale hand draped over his shoulder lightly before he turned to share a bemused glance with Ryou.

"Did you two . . ." he began, and then paused, trying to figure how exactly to ask the question he wanted an answer to. It certainly seemed like the two of them had gotten everything straightened out between them . . .

"Everything is fine, aibou," the former Pharaoh murmured, and Bakura leaned down to nuzzle his hair before nodding in support of the answer. "We have sorted out our . . . differences." Bakura chuckled at that, causing Yami to swat him over the head, while everyone stared at them in shock.

"That's great!" Tea joined in, clapping her hands together in front of her happily. "I'm so happy for you two."

"That much is obvious," Bakura grumbled in Yami's ear, which caused the Pharaoh to snort in an attempt not to outright laugh. Bakura did have a point . . . Tea did tend to get rather overzealous when she went on one of her happiness/friendship streaks. He shook his head and glanced reprovingly at his lover, who looked not a bit put out by the rebuff.

"Bakura . . ." Ryou murmured hesitantly, unsure of how much leeway he had with his own dark. He squeaked slightly when Bakura wrapped his free arm around the young boy, pulling him onto his lap and ruffling his hair lightly. Yami had shifted to pull his own aibou into a hug, and they all remained in a warm pile on the couch as Ryou settled against his dark's chest, a confused wonder evident on his face at his dark's more affectionate nature.

The remaining friends shared amused, happy looks between them, pleased with the turn of events. Admittedly, seeing Bakura in such a different mood was . . . well, frankly, it was frightening, but the happiness that seemed to simply flow off of Yami in waves more than made up for that unsettling change. They settled into different chairs, happily chatting amongst themselves while occassionaly casting amused glances at the four individuals residing on the couch.

The momentary peace was shattered when Joey came thundering down the stairs, skidding to a halt in front of the tree.

"Time to open presents!" he announced, drawing chuckles and sigh of tolerant amusement from his friends. "Hi Yami, hi Bakura." That made him pause, his thoughts slithering to a halt as he spun around to face the two amused yami's, one of which was grinning up at him while the other glowered at him over a shoulder. "Holy shit!"

"Shut your mouth before I do it for you, mutt," Bakura growled, red eyes narrowing at the blonde. He grunted slightly as his ribs took a double impact . . . one from Ryou's elbow, and the other from Yami's fist. This, of course, gave Joey ample time to stick his foot in his mouth again.

"When did the two of you become chums?" he asked, amber eyes widening as Bakura turned to glare at Yami instead, who shook his head reprovingly at the thief.

"Last night, Joey," Yami replied, clapping a hand over Bakura's mouth as the thief went to make a scathing retort . . . probably along the lines of 'we're not chums, you idiot, we're lovers'. "We straightened everything out."

"I know a couple of things that we bent too . . ." the Tomb Robber mumbled against his hand. Yami blushed as everyone looked at the two of them with wide eyes. Yugi decided to rescue his dark from further embarrassment by rising to hug his lover and then turning to the presents to begin handing them out.

Amid the flying wrapping paper balls and bows, Bakura reached down and pulled up a box, handing it to Yami reluctantly. One dark eyebrow rose in question, but he didn't bother to speak as he bent to the task of opening it carefully. He gasped as he revealed what was in it, raising confused eyes to Bakura as the thief actually flushed slightly.

"I . . . acquired it from you back in Egypt," he murmured, as Yami lifted the heavy gold bracelet from the box, settling it on his arm with a feeling of rightness. "I thought you might like it back." Yami nodded slightly, turning wondering eyes to the piece of jewelry. A piece of his past . . . one that Bakura had kept for five thousand years, had been restored to him. Shaking himself out of his reverie, he quietly asked Yugi through their link if he would get the box behind the tree for him. Yugi brought it to him, smiling secretly as he watched Yami hand it to the thief. He knew what was in there . . . and he knew how heart-broken his dark had been while he'd wrapped it, thinking that it was going to be one gift that would never be opened again.

Bakura, unlike the Pharaoh, tore into the wrapping like a hurricane, flinging the wadded up paper at Joey before turning back to the box. He opened it warily . . . Ra above only knew what kind of practical jokes Yami might have felt like playing at the time . . . and red-brown eyes widened as he spied the matching pair of rings, carved with ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Across time and space

Two hearts become one

United for eternity

My love for yours

He raised slightly watery eyes to his lover, who reached across him and picked up one of the bands before grabbing his hand and sliding it onto his ring finger.

"I couldn't think of anything more appropriate at the time," Yami whispered, and then squeaked as Bakura tackled him, pinning him to the couch before taking his lips in a passionate kiss. For several moments they dueled, before remembering that they had an audience. They parted, both looking towards the assembled friends, who were staring at them with bemused and slightly embarrassed faces. Backing off of the Pharaoh, Bakura snatched the other ring, sliding it onto the same finger on Yami that his own rested on before raising the hand and pressing his own to it, palm to palm.

"Eternity," he whispered. Yami smiled, nodding slightly.

"Eternity," he replied, equally as soft. Bakura gave him an answering smile before flopping backward, dragging him with the movement until he lay sprawled against the pale man, his head tucked under Bakura's chin. He chuckled slightly at the predicament before cuddling into the embrace, closing his eyes to listen to the thief's heartbeat in contentment.

'My Pharaoh,' Bakura thought possessively, tightening his arms around the golden figure. He stared down at their entwined hands, gaze resting on the matching rings that adorned them. He may never get along with the others . . . actually, he considered it highly unlikely . . . but he could tolerate them for Yami, because they were his love's friends. However, that didn't mean he had to be one wit nicer to them . . . he did have a reputation to maintain after all.

Speaking of his reputation, there was at least one person in the room who he would have to change that with . . . his hikari. Glancing towards Ryou, he was surprised to find that his little light had not moved very far . . . was actually sitting beside him, on the floor near the couch.

I know I haven't been the best yami to you, Ryou . . . he began, only to stop when the boy rested a light hand on his arm.

What's in the past is in the past, Bakura, Ryou replied quietly. You and Yami have put aside your differences . . . can I really do any less? I happy for you, my dark. The two of you need each other. Bakura shared a small smile with the young Brit before his eyes roamed over the others. They were all studiously ignoring him and Yami now, which was all to the good. He hated being the center of attention . . . well the center of anyone's attention other than the Pharaoh's. Maybe that's why he'd been such a pain in the ass for so long . . .

Putting that aside for later thought, he settled into the couch comfortably. For now, he had everything he could have ever thought to want . . . and it was more than he had ever hoped for.

"Merry Christmas, everyone," Yugi said from where he stood in Joey's arms. The other's echoed the sentiment, and in the back of two former spirit's minds, it was the best first Christmas they could ever have had.