Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi

Author's Comments: MY GOSH! This is chapter 7! I think at one point I thought these were going to be blips! Silly me. I would like to thank Arcer, Ryou VeRua, and all the other people who left amazing reviews and keep leaving them every time. I look forward to the reviews as much as you do the chapters, so thank you!


On Magical Legendary Snow Wars and the Meaning of Holiday Cheer

'Christmas comes but once a year. Once. A. Year. Once a year. Once a year…' Those were the words droning on in Bakura's head as he listened to the endless songs about a happy fat guy and the constant little ringing bells in front of the shops, and the weather reports that promised more cold and more snow!

An "open fire", for future reference, did not mean in the middle of the floor and "snowmen" looked nothing like men.

Bakura was sick of the holidays. Unfortunately for the ex-tomb robber, Ryou did not share his opinion. No, Ryou was just getting started. Ryou, the little snow bunny, had insisted that they celebrate Christmas with "their" friends early so that when his dear, stupid, never-present father arrived on Christmas Eve, Bakura could be stuffed into the Ring for a week and conveniently forgotten. Wouldn't want to disrupt daddy dearest's perfect little world after all. Bakura was so mad … he could have just spit. And to make matters worse, Ryou absolutely refused to address this dire situation. No, Ryou was perfectly happy ignoring the problem and just to spite Bakura further, he was singing that 'open fire' song while he pulled cookies from the oven that Bakura was not allowed to touch. Bakura knew how to use the oven – any idiot could use the oven. Was it his fault that the basic laws of physics did not apply to it? That when you turned the heat up, food did not in fact cook faster but instead caught on fire? No. It wasn't his fault that songs speaking of open fires were actually lying to the masses either.

Bakura snorted and Ryou turned around, smiling merrily down at him as he dropped one of the fresh cookies on the table in front of his nose. Bakura stared down at the cookie miserably until he finally gave up and ate it.

Ryou's chocolate chip cookies were always extremely perfect. Ryou brushed it off, saying that he just followed the recipe but Bakura knew better – perfection didn't come from recipes. And it wasn't just the cookies either. Ryou had made a snowman in the front yard – and that was perfect too. It was the best snowman on the entire street and it had only taken him a half an hour to make.

As Bakura munched on the chocolate chip Christmas cookie, he got an idea. A slow, evil grin spread across his face. "Ryou," he said, stuffing the rest of the cookie in his mouth and standing "I'm going outside."

Ryou spun around, eyes wide in shock. "What!" This really was an unheard-of event. Sure, Bakura went out in the snow … when Ryou dragged him out, but to volunteer…?

Bakura shoved his feet into his boots and threw on Ryou's coat, which was hanging over a chair, and before Ryou could say anything further, he was slamming the front door behind him.

Ryou moved to the kitchen window curiously, watching as Bakura tromped into the snow and started digging around and packing a snowball with an obvious grin.

Ryou sighed, turning back to his baking. Bakura was plotting again.

Seven hours later, after having been shooed back into the house three times, and unable to watch out the front window as Bakura had covered it with snow, Ryou was beginning to get worried.

Granted, it was still a pretty warm day (as cold snowy days go) but it was still December and insanity could only keep one warm in the snow for so long.

Just as Ryou was heading toward the door, ready to demand that Bakura come back inside, said door was thrown open, revealing a snow covered and grinning Bakura.

Ryou gasped. Bakura's face was red from the wind, the tips of his hair stiff from the damp snow refreezing there, and his eyes were sparkling with mischief.

"God, Bakura," Ryou stated in an exasperated tone as he felt of the other's cheeks – they were warm and fevered "you're just lucky this stupidity can't kill you."

Bakura's grin only widened as he took Ryou's hands from his face, ignoring the insult. "They're ready." Bakura whispered excitedly.

Ryou blinked back at his other innocently and Bakura rushed around to gather Ryou's outdoor things. Ryou ended up wearing Bakura's navy coat as Bakura had soaked his own and was still wearing it.

Bakura dragged Ryou outside and Ryou gasped at the sight that met his eyes. The entire front yard was filled with snowmen! Snowmen everywhere! There were even three snowmen on the roof! Well, two and a half. The last one – the one next to the snow-less slick where Bakura had obviously fallen off the roof – didn't have a head. In between the snowmen on the ground, Ryou could see the green and brown grass that Bakura had uncovered. A few barren bushes nearby were suspiciously thin. Ryou looked to Bakura with his mouth hanging open.

"What do you think?" Bakura asked, sneaking up behind Ryou, talking softly in his ear as he encircled his light's shoulders with one arm, preventing escape. "It's our army."

Ryou could feel his dark's seductive grin. "Army? … What do you mean our army?" he asked, trying to turn his head to see Bakura.

"They'll call it 'The Great Bakura/Motou War'. We'll march them on the pharaoh's store. We'll bury it in snowballs! You can be my general." he added in a sweet voice. (Ahh, an offer of power – such a sweet talker.) "Little Ryou likes power, doesn't he?" Bakura asked, petting the teen's hair fondly.

A slow smile spread itself across Ryou's face. "Let's go."

Ryou grabbed Bakura's hand and dragged him back inside. Setting his mittens next to the phone, Ryou dialed Yugi's number and waited for him to pick up. "Hi, Yugi. It's Ryou. Wanna have a snowball fight?"

Two minutes later, Ryou and Bakura were out the door and preparing their army. Ryou had mentioned nothing of snowmen to the Pharaoh's confused other. Bakura grinned insanely to himself.

I suppose that the sight of an army of marching snowmen making it's way across town in the dimming evening might have concerned a good deal of innocent bystanders but, strangely enough, no one came to stop them.

Meanwhile, at the Motou house:

"Why would Ryou call you for a snowball fight at this hour?" Yami asked suspiciously.

Yugi shrugged his shoulders, packing another snowball to add with the four at his feet. "Maybe he was bored. We weren't doing anything."

"I'd wager Bakura has something to do with this." Yami returned, eyes narrowing at the thought.

"Bakura hates the snow." Yugi argued. "Why would he want to have a snowball fight?"

"Bakura would trek across the North Pole if he thought he could steal Santa's sleigh." Yami argued back with a frown.

Yugi rolled his eyes at the pharaoh. "You're being paranoid."

Yami turned, gazing off into the distance. "You're far too trusting, aibou. Someday I'm afraid you'll find that Ryou is not so innocent as you may" SMACK!

Yugi stared wide-eyed as the remnants of a snowball slid down the side of his dark's face. Just as Yugi turned to investigate the source of the ambush, a second snowball splattered across his own nose. Yugi blinked through the snow in shock.

Down the sidewalk stood Ryou. Bakura stood to the side and behind him wearing a lavender winter coat that was very out of place against his wide, psychotic grin. And behind the two of them stood a small army of snowmen! In each one of their stick hands was a snowball and they all looked ready to throw. Yugi stared in shock.

"Attention!" Ryou shouted in the stillness. "I, Bakura Ryou," and he pronounced his name with the tone of one who was damn proud of it "have come to make war against the house of Motou! Your home shall fall before the onslaught of my invincible troop of magical snowmen! What say you to that, Yugi of Motou?" he asked, pointing at the other light.

Bakura squealed happily, glomping the dark-clad general like an overly excited child. "I love you so much!" he squealed.

Yugi sweatdropped but Ryou retained his stern, fake glare.

During the exchange Yami seemed to have regained some of his dignity and he turned angrily and pointed a shaking finger at the Bakuras. "How dare you trick my aibou like this, Bakura! And how dare you use that boy so unashamedly in my presence!"

Yami might have said more, had Ryou not chosen then to pelt him with another snowball to the face. Yami blinked in shock.

"Snowball fight!" Ryou cried and Bakura wasted no time throwing the next one at Yugi who retaliated in Ryou's direction followed by the snowmen, driving the pharaoh and his light back until both were packing and throwing snowballs blindly like crazed children.

"Bakura, you cheat!" Yami cried. "What have you done to those snowmen?"

"They're infused with shadow creatures!" Bakura shouted back and Yami gasped, giving Bakura the perfect break to hit him with a snowball and laugh while he spit out snow.

Yami narrowed his eyes and ran to hide behind Yugi while he searched for what he needed. A moment later, Yami stood, holding a card to the air and shouted "I summon Weather Control!"

Now it was Bakura's turn to gasp as a duel monster in the form of a snowman appeared holding up an umbrella. And suddenly snowballs were falling from the sky!

Bakura screamed as he covered his head and hid behind his snowmen, urging them to take down the enemy. Ryou too was forced to take cover, ordering his troops to fall back slightly.

Encouraged by this turn of events, Yugi held his own card in the air and called out: "I summon Dark Magician!"

Bakura choked.

The Dark Magician appeared and Yugi ordered him to attack Ryou's snowmen.

The Dark Magician looked back at Yugi and sweatdropped.

Of course, that was when Ryou chose to hit him with a snowball and Dark Magician turned back in shock and grinned as he chose to follow his master's orders.

One blast did in three of Ryou's snowmen and Ryou squeaked.

The white-haired teen recovered quickly though, and pulled out his own monster. "I cast End of the World and summon Goddess of Extermination – Ruin!"

Ryou sacrificed two of his snowmen for the ritual. The goddess with flowing silver hair appeared holding a gold and crimson double bladed pike. A dark shadow took form behind her holding her to it possessively and she smirked at her enemies.

Yami's eyes widened and Ryou pulled another card. "I activate Black Pendant."

"Cripes!" Yugi cried, diving for cover. Yami joined him. Bakura meanwhile was staring at his light in shock.

"Goddess," Ryou cried "attack the Dark Magician!" she did, and the Dark Magician disappeared into the shadows.

"Weather Control," Yami screamed "heat wave!"

When all had settled, four people were standing in the Motou's front yard in ankle-deep water, staring at each other in silence.

"That was amazing." Sugoroku said, patting his camcorder from his place at his grandson's bedroom window.

"Did we just win a duel?" Bakura asked, looking at Ryou in shock.

"Now just hold on!" Yami said, finally getting a hold of himself. "That wasn't a duel. There were no life points involved and even if there were, you called it a snow fight anyway."

"My hikari beat the Pharaoh." Bakura said, ignoring the other entirely.

"Well, I…" Ryou started, not wanting this to get out of hand.

"Ryou, you duel really well." Yugi complemented him and Ryou blushed.

"Why don't you boys come inside and have some hot chocolate." Sugoroku called down and Bakura and Ryou looked up at him.

"Thanks anyway," Bakura said and scooped Ryou off the ground "but we should be going."

Yami mouthed the thank you, trying to fit the words with Bakura saying them…it wasn't quite making sense.

"Thank you for the snowball fight Pharaoh, Pharaoh's hikari." and he nodded to them. "I'm sure we'll remember this experience for quite some time."

Ryou struggled in Bakura's arms, embarrassed by the attention. "Yami, I can walk." he said but Bakura ignored him, turning and walking back the way they'd came.

"Yami…" Ryou complained.

"I am so proud of you." Bakura whispered and Ryou fell silent. It was the first time Bakura had said such a thing, the first time he had ever confessed to being proud of him and Ryou wanted to keep that in his heart. It was a priceless treasure.

When they returned home, Bakura made hot chocolate for Ryou. He remembered every microwave instruction perfectly and he even sat with him on the couch in the dark while he drank the warm liquid. Ryou didn't know what to say, so he didn't say anything and the silence was comfortable. It was a strange, comforting feeling for Ryou. When Ryou fell asleep on the couch, slouching into Bakura's side, the dark spirit carried him to his room and lay him in bed and covered him with extra blankets. And then Bakura sat in Ryou's windowsill and stared at the moon until dawn, lost in his own thoughts.

Christmas for Ryou and Bakura rolled around three days before December 25th. All of Ryou's friends stopped by. Even Malik came to give Ryou a present, which Ryou thought was especially sweet seeing as Malik did not celebrate Christmas.

Ryou thought the jewelry box that Malik had given him for nick-knacks or maybe jewels that somehow happened to find their way into the Bakura household was sweet, he was less impressed with the necklace Marik had placed inside it made especially for him of various unidentifiable bones and what he swore up and down were bear's teeth, however.

Bakura was not less-than impressed with the "hideous monstrosity" as he called it. He was downright pissed. Of course that may have been due to the fact that Marik had claimed it could replace the "gaudy bling" Ryou was currently wearing. Bakura did not know what "bling" was, but he attacked and strangled Marik on the living room floor for the comment anyway.

In addition to the scarf that Yugi had gotten for him, was a blue and black one for Bakura, which was the point when Bakura stalked upstairs never to be seen again. It should be noted that he took the scarf with him.

Bakura did not get anything for any of Ryou's friends but Ryou had gotten them gifts and he would have said they were from Bakura too, if he had not been threatened over the matter.

Late in the evening, after everyone had said their goodbyes and Ryou had cleaned the house, he took the last unopened package upstairs to Bakura's bedroom, hoping he was still there and had not snuck off somewhere to do mischief.

Bakura was there. He grunted at Ryou's soft knock: Bakura-speak for "come in" whenever he was in a mood – or pretending to be in one.

Ryou went inside, closing the door softly behind him.

"Yami." Ryou said, filling the silence in the room. "Thank you."

"For what?" Bakura asked harshly.

"For coming to my party."

"You threatened to throw the Ring into a river if I didn't!" Bakura shouted back, annoyed at the memory of that unpleasant interaction.

"I know." Ryou spoke softly. "But thank you anyway. … I…got you something. A gift for Christmas. I know you don't believe in celebrating anything but you could just look at it as a gift from me. It doesn't have to represent anything."

Ryou held out the small box and Bakura eyed it for a moment before reaching out to take it from him.

Bakura sat it next to him on the bed and reached over the side, laying on his stomach to rummage around underneath his bed.

"Here." he said, tossing a poorly wrapped square package at Ryou.

"Oh, yea." he added, standing and holding the Ring up to the box in Ryou's arms. The Sennin Ring glowed for a moment and Ryou stared confusedly at Bakura. Suddenly the package jerked in his arms and Ryou started, holding it away from him slightly.

"Open it." Bakura urged and Ryou set the box on the floor, slowly tearing away the wrapping.

Ryou removed the lid of the plain brown box and a yellow helmet bobbed up, followed by a white kitty, mewling up at him. Ryou's heart melted. "Awww!" he squealed, scooping the kitty into his arms and cuddling it happily. "It's a Rescue Cat!"

"Yea, it was cute so I thought you might like it." Bakura said, trying to sound unmoved.

"Thank you Bakura!" Ryou squealed, hugging Bakura, squishing the kitty slightly between them.

"Yea, sure." Bakura dismissed, shoving him away and falling back onto the bed.

Bakura's cold exterior did nothing to quell Ryou's happiness and he plopped down on the floor with his new kitty waiting anxiously for Bakura to open his own present.

"Now open yours." he said, excitedly.

Bakura turned to the small box Ryou had given him and picked it up thoughtfully. Ryou must have hidden it at the Pharaoh's house, because Bakura had no idea what it was and Bakura knew the identity of every item in this house.

Slowly, he peeled back the wrapping paper, neatly folded and perfectly taped down, unlike his own shoddy job. A shinny wooden box was revealed; polished cherry wood or maroon wood or whatever it was called, reflecting the light in the room in shifting swirls of red and brown.

Ryou bit his lip as Bakura opened the wooden case. Inside was a shinny silver dagger. Bakura stared at it with an expression somewhere between awe and shock before he finally lifted it from its case. The dagger was displayed next to its sheath and Bakura held it up to the light watching as the glint reflected off of the blade. Engraved in black on the shimmering blade were words in an ancient language.

"I had it engraved myself." Ryou said quietly and Bakura studied the engraving, running his fingers over the symbols. "I had to ask Malik how to say it and spell it. I hope it says what it's supposed to."

"Great Lord of Thieves." Bakura read, his voice catching slightly.

"I know I complain about all the weaponry in the house but I know you like them and I wanted to get you something you'd like."

Bakura bowed his head, unruly white hair covering his eyes as he clutched the dagger close.

"Is it ok?" Ryou asked, leaning forward.

Bakura looked up and Ryou was taken aback by the tears in his eyes. His expression remained firm and the tears never fell as he spoke.

"I will only use this dagger to protect you."

Ryou stared back into his dark's eyes and right then and there he decided that he was lucky. He was no longer jealous of Yugi. Ryou knew then that he had been blessed.


Post Comments: It's getting kinda fluffy as Bakura settles in. It sounds kinda weird but it wrote itself that way so... I like it, anyway. I can picture a Bakura who's just as protective and attached to his hikari as Yami but it's harder for him to show it and of course ... Bakura has that evil tinge to him when he's crossed. He's not a fluffy cuddley person but he has his moments and to Ryou, that makes them more precious.