DISCLAIMER: This is a work of fanfiction produced for entertainment purposes only. Yu-Gi-Oh! and all related characters are the creations of Kazuki Takahashi.

I Will Protect You
By Shadow's Mirror

"Bakura! I am going now!"

Ryou's irritatingly cheerful voice rang through the house. Bakura scowled and shifted, sinking deeper into the couch.


The voice was coming closer. It was only a matter of time before...

"Bakura? Oh! There you are!"

Bakura sighed. "Yes. Here I am."

His scowl deepened and he crossed his arms as he felt his light lean on the back of the couch to see him better. He didn't look up. He knew what he'd see if he did. A slender boy with large brown eyes and a tousled mop of silvery-white hair, wearing faded blue jeans, a loose greeny-blue t-shirt and brown sneakers. He'd also be carrying his school backpack, even though he'd only arrived home from school an hour earlier.

One hour. More than enough time to completely ruin his yami's plans for the entire weekend.

"I am ready to go. Are you sure you do not wish to come with me?"

"I am sure." Bakura still didn't look up.

"The invitation was for both of us, you know."

"Only because Yugi wrote it."

"Bakura..." There was a note of concern in Ryou's voice and Bakura silently cursed himself for not being able to ignore it. He looked up. Just as he expected, his light was biting his lip and looking worried.

"No." Bakura's voice was a low warning growl. "You want to go to this... sleepover thing. So go. But I am staying here." He shuddered in distaste. "The last thing I want to do is spend an entire night in the presence of the Pharaoh and his little light. Nothing would sicken me more!"

Normally, that would not have been true. The two yamis had reached the point where they were usually able to at least tolerate each other's presence. A week earlier, Bakura wouldn't have hesitated to accept the invitation, if only to annoy Yami and possibly get the chance to duel against him. But they'd duelled each other since then. Bakura had forfeited due to the fact that he had been unable to get through the wall of Kuriboh that was Yami's idea of a defence tactic. The white-haired yami was still fuming over it.

Ryou sighed softly. "All right, Bakura. In that case... I have left Yugi's number on the pad beside the phone in the kitchen, and I put together a plate of leftovers for your dinner. It is in the refrigerator. The cookie jar is full if you want a snack tonight, and there is cereal in the cupboard for your breakfast. I should be home sometime tomorrow morning. I will call if I am going to be late."

Bakura blinked as his light rattled off the list. "Ryou..."

"I know, I am only going to be away for one night, but still..." A faint blush tinted the boy's pale cheeks. "Just... be careful... Please?"

"Fine. Whatever." Bakura shook his head. "You'd better get going. You'll be late."

"Oh. Yes, I should." Still Ryou hesitated. "Bye Bakura, I will see you tomorrow."

The yami nodded, but refused to meet his light's eyes. "Bye. Have fun."

Bakura waited until he heard the kitchen door close before getting up and moving to the window. Careful to keep well back and barely move the curtain, he watched his light walk down the driveway and along the pavement until he turned the corner and went out of sight.

With a sigh, Bakura went back to the couch and flopped down to watch some television. With a little luck there would be some randomly violent movie on, to take his mind off his light's absence.

- - -

A loud pounding sound echoed through the dark and otherwise silent Game Shop.

Yami grumbled as he entered the kitchen, fumbling for the light switch and wincing at the sudden brightness. The kitchen door shook as the pounding continued. "All right! I hear you! The entire neighbourhood hears you," he added with a growl as he unlocked the door and pulled it open. "What do you... Bakura?" His annoyed demand became a shocked gasp as the white-haired yami pushed past him.

"Bakura! It is barely 2am in the morning! What gives you the right to cause such commotion at such a..." Yami's irritated complaint trailed off as he suddenly found himself pinned by a pair of wide chocolate-brown eyes filled with panic. "Bakura? What is it? What is wrong?" Yami tensed, expecting news of some sort of world-endangering catastrophe... like Marik and Malik becoming bored with being 'good'.

The other yami shivered. "N... Need... R... Ryou. N... Nightmare." He could barely speak.

Yami blinked and then nodded, immediately understanding. "I will take you to him."

As they went upstairs, Yami wondered why he hadn't heard Ryou crying out, if the boy had suffered such a bad nightmare that Bakura had sensed it and come all this way just to calm him.

He was even more confused when he opened the guest room door and saw Ryou sleeping peacefully.

"Bakura..." Yami turned, whispering so as not to awaken Ryou. Before he could say another word though, Bakura pushed past him and almost ran into the room.

"Ryou!" The cry caused Ryou's eyes to snap open, a moment before Bakura threw himself onto the bed and into the arms of his light. He buried his head against Ryou's chest and trembled violently. Ryou's arms wrapped around his yami and held him close. He gently rubbed Bakura's back as he crooned softly to him.

Yami's eyes narrowed in thought as he watched Bakura and Ryou, a suspicion growing in his mind. But surely he was wrong. Surely the tough tombrobber had not been so frightened by a nightmare that he had come almost halfway across the city, just to be comforted by his light?

As impossible as it seemed, that did indeed appear to be the case.

First Bakura had settled into living with Ryou with hardly any trouble, now here he was seeking out his light for comfort. Yami shook his head and smiled slightly as he stepped back and eased the bedroom door closed again. Every time he thought he had Bakura figured out, the tombrobber did something surprising.

Perhaps there was some hope for him after all.

- - -

Ryou waited patiently until Bakura's trembling had eased, then went to work on getting the other boy more comfortable. Within a few moments, he had his yami settled beside him, cosy and warm beneath the covers. He snuggled against Bakura's side, one hand gently stroking his yami's hair to soothe him.

Again, Ryou was patient, this time waiting until Bakura's deep and even breathing told him that his yami was sound asleep. Then he moved his head a little, just enough so he could whisper in the other boy's ear before he too drifted off to sleep.

"Bakura. My darkness. You are safe now. I will protect you."

The End