baby-steps
yuugiou fanfiction
ryuujitsu co.

Disclaimer: Saying Yuugiou belongs to us is like saying oranges grow on apple trees.

A/N: Um, pretty much a series of incredibly short related drabbles. It's something new for me, so hopefully it doesn't come out too badly. Happy anniversary, Itooshi. :chu:

Bakura must learn to walk again. Tendershippy with weird formatting, pour Itooshi.

-

Ryou had been complaining of a headache.

-

Bakura woke to find himself face down on the bathroom floor, his nose and lips numb against the tiles. That in itself was a new luxury, a novel little concept. His mouth creaked into a smile, pressed against the floor as it was. I can feel.

He couldn't remember what he had done, or how long he had been lying there. Where was Ryou?

"Ryou?" A dry rasp of air. The name had evaded his tongue entirely.

His first shock came when he tried to push himself onto his elbows, and found that he couldn't.

-

"We'll take it slowly, okay?" said Ryou, propping the glass up against Bakura's lower lip.

The boy's hands seemed steady enough. Bakura tilted his head back. The milk was warm and thick and faintly sweet, but before he could begin to marvel at the taste, the milk slipped past his mouth and down a lung.

Ryou hit him frantically on the back until his coughing stopped. The milk had spilled over the kitchen table and Ryou's hands in wet splashes of foggy white. "Alright?" the boy said, resting the palm of his hand lightly on Bakura's back.

Bakura managed to contort his face into a frown as Ryou wiped the last drip of milk from his chin.

-

Sometimes Ryou would work long into the night huddled behind his laptop, and his back would become cramped and sore. Bakura would sit cross-legged behind him and knead the knots out with his new fingers, his movements stiff and unsure.

"Mm, right there," Ryou would say, and the left corner of Bakura's mouth would give a mysterious twitch as though it wanted to smile.

-

Ryou agreed to let the walking go—for a time. Bakura tottered around on his own, dragging himself from place to place with his hands and, because it was faster, made himself crawl—all fours like an animal—when Ryou wasn't looking.

His legs were like jelly beneath him; standing was difficult.

-

He was hungry for the first time in three thousand years. It was becoming easier to chew and he choked less when he went to swallow. He ate four crackers and washed them down with milk when his mouth became dry.

-

Ryou filled his hands with silken hanks of Bakura's hair and explained how his mother had done this for his father's mother, a long time ago when the woman had had a stroke.

Bakura sighed and felt Ryou's fingertips in his hair, fluid and controlled.

It was humiliating to sit as Ryou dressed and undressed him, combed his hair like he would a doll's. But the boy seemed to have some sense of this, and he left Bakura to his own devices after a few days.

So when Ryou came across Bakura sitting by the window, wild-haired and half-dressed, he said nothing and smiled tremulously as though he was about to cry.

-

Bakura's hair was damp with perspiration and heavy against his neck. He gathered it up with one hand and held it back, scissors in the other hand.

I will choose

How easy it would be—to reach up—and—

how I die

He held the crisscrossing blades with both shaking hands. When he was done, his hair tumbled past his shoulders in a silver stream and spread across the floor like a sheet.

Ryou gave a little scream when he saw the hair and the dull-edged scissors and understood. When he pressed his hand to Bakura's cheek it stung, and when he pulled his hand back it came away stained a dusty red, two strands of spun silver crimsoned in his palm.

-

When Ryou came home early one day and pressed his face into Bakura's collarbone, Bakura was surprised.

"It's different," said Ryou, his voice muffled and a little warped by Bakura's skin, his breath hot and damp. "I'm so used to having you in my head. You're still here, but now—" He sounded somewhat watery to Bakura's untrained ears. "Now. . .well. It's different."

Then Bakura's arms lifted inelegantly and came around the boy, and they were both surprised.

-

That night Bakura dreamt of blood and fire. It was Ryou who woke weeping.

-

Bakura remembered a soldier.

On his knees, the child made a desperate grab for the dagger at the soldier's hip. I will choose how I die. His village was crumbling around him. I will choose how I die, and it will not be by your hands. His eyes did not reflect the fire around him but they glowed with the heat of the flames. Unnerved, the soldier backed away.

On his knees, the boy wailed into the sand burning his skin and filling his hollowed eyes. I will choose how I die, and it will not be by your hands.

On his knees, the young man snarled into the boy-king's face. I will choose how I die, he said, and spat. And it will not be by your hands!

"Whose hands, then?" whispered Ryou, in a voice made rough by tears.

Bakura stared at the ceiling. "Go back to sleep," he said, and his voice was soft but clear.

-

His legs were becoming sturdier and he could stand without leaning on anything. Sometimes Ryou would catch him when he fell, but most times he practiced walking alone, and at night he would press his fingers to the bruises and smile when he felt the pain.

"Alive," he said. "Alive."

His hair was soft and white under his fingers and he wondered if Ryou's felt the same.

-

"You look like Robert Smith," said Ryou.

Bakura pulled at a tuft of his hair and glared at his reflection with black-rimmed eyes. The lipstick that reddened his mouth had a sickly-sweet smell. "Do I, now," he said, and narrowed his eyes at the boy playfully.

"Kiss me kiss me kiss me." Ryou puckered his lips, then grinned.

-

Ryou spent the weekend curled in the corner with him, head in his lap. "You can wiggle your toes," he murmured. Bakura's hands tangled themselves in the boy's hair, squeezed and pulled and felt.

"Why did you do it?" said Ryou sleepily. "We were fine the way we were. . ."

The individual silver hairs felt grainy between his fingers. He glanced down at the fluttering silver lashes and brushed an absent finger across the boy's mouth. Ryou's lips were chapped and dry. I will choose

"I got bored," he said.

how I live

"Oh," said Ryou. Neither of them had eaten in hours. "That's nice."

Bakura twisted Ryou's hair around his fist and yanked the boy's head back. The kiss was awkward and messy.

-

Six days later, Bakura walked the full length of the hall and staggered into Ryou's waiting arms.

-fin-

Notes:

The Cure song "kiss me kiss me kiss me" is actually pretty dark and icky. I don't really know why I put that there; let's consider it an inside joke between Ryou and Bakura. They're allowed to have those, ne?

Lyrics for "the kiss" can be found at www. azlyrics. com/ lyrics/ thecure/ thekiss. html. Delete the spaces.

A/N: Happy Year of the Rooster to everyone! And Happy Birthday to yours truly, haha. Please review.