Note: The bit on the beginning isn't lyrics, it's actually part of the fic. So yes, don't skip it! Also, this chapter is long, I was going to make it two but I'm far too lazy to split it. It has some Malik and Otogi fun in there to lighten the mood, because I realise how pathetic Bakura is in this. Well, not pathetic, exactly. Anyway, there's a reason I wrote him like that, but you'll find out later.
Things will get better. It won't always be this hard.
How do you know?
Things always get worse before they get better, but they will get better.
When? I don't want to do this anymore, it was a bad idea.
You worry a lot more than you used to.
Who are you?
Bakura was woken by Ryou's yell, muttering something obscene and turning over to bury his face in the pillow. "Phone!"
The thief groaned and reached out to pick up the line in his room without thinking, holding the cordless phone to his ear and turning slightly away from the pillow so that he could breathe properly. The click of Ryou hanging up in the other room sounded, and Bakura growled his name into the receiver, not appreciating being woken up before the afternoon.
"You sound as though you're in a good mood," came Seto's deep voice across the line, and any type of positive mood Bakura might have been cultivating for later instantly flew out the window. He didn't want to deal with this right now.
"Yeah, I'm great." The thief muttered, dragging a hand down his face tiredly, trying to get his brain to wake up a little. He needed to be able to think his way out of this one, but everything was fuzzy. The headache from the night before was lurking in the back of his mind, a low throb waiting to pounce on him at any moment. "I feel like shit…" He groaned.
"Well, if you're feeling any better tonight I have something you might enjoy a little more than a restaurant." Seto suggested, his deep tones soothing Bakura's impending headache a little.
"I don't know," The tomb robber sighed, wondering how to get out of it. "I thought I wanted to do this whole dating thing, but I don't know what the hell I'm doing."
I sound so pathetic. Bakura thought, closing his eyes and running the fingers of his free hand through his wild hair.
"Try tonight. If you hate it I'll leave it at that," Seto said, and Bakura stared at the ceiling, wondering why the CEO actually cared enough to try and make him go out again.
"…Alright, where?" The thief finally gave in, cursing his attraction to Seto and what it was putting him through. He thought about his little shower session from the night before and squeezed his eyes closed, wondering when he'd become such an idiot.
"The movies. I thought you might like something with gratuitous amounts of blood in it, so there's a horror movie starting at nine."
Bakura smirked slightly, resting his arm over his eyes to block out the light.
"Sounds fun. I'll meet you there, then." The thief agreed, stifling a yawn because it was still before noon and he wasn't used to waking up so early.
"I'll be waiting." Seto said, then hung up. Bakura switched the phone off and set it back on its cradle, then rolled over and closed his eyes again. There was no way he was getting up yet.
As he began to drift back to sleep, all he could think of was that wherever there was a cinema, there was always a back row. He wasn't sure how to feel about that just yet.
XxXxXI hate the way he stares at me… Why?
Ryou says he makes me nervous.Does he?
I don't know. I'm not good at this.
I'm trying. It's hard, I don't think I can do thisThen why are you?
I want what Ryou has. I don't want to be alone anymore.
You've never been alone.Who are you…?
Bakura awoke hazily, trying to remember what he'd been dreaming about. It seemed important, but it faded away from his memory like mist and he couldn't seem to catch any of it. Deciding that it didn't matter, he dragged himself out of bed just in time for Marik to walk in without bothering to knock, catcalling when he saw the sleepy thief wearing absolutely nothing. Ryou popped up next to Marik and giggled, but Bakura just glared at them and grabbed a sheet, wrapping it around his waist.
"Haha, you have a girly waist like Ryou!" Marik cackled, earning himself a murderous look from Bakura and a punch in the arm from Ryou, who folded his arms and pouted until Marik kissed his cheek.
"I do not have a girly waist you Dragonball reject, get a haircut." Bakura glowered, stalking past the couple towards the shower.
"Ka-me-ha-me-HA!" Marik laughed, then dived on Ryou and knocked him onto Bakura's bed. The hikari giggled as he was tickled and Bakura rolled his eyes, still not awake enough to be dealing with other people.
"You have your own room, use it!" He yelled, then turned and stomped off to the shower. After dealing with those two together, seeing Seto was going to be a relief.
After a refreshing shower that thankfully managed to wake him up a little, Bakura towelled off his wild hair and slinked back to his room, noting with relief that Ryou and Marik were long gone. There was a note on his bed that read: Gone to walk Marik, back later. Have fun! XXX
Muttering, Bakura screwed the note up and tossed it into the waste paper basket, opening his closet and staring at the clothes hanging inside as he wondered what to wear. Pretty much everything he owned was tight and black, but from what he could tell Seto liked that. It took a while, but finally he decided on an outfit that looked good. Tight black jeans, a belt with a silver fanged skull buckle and a very, very tight black Danzig t-shirt that had yet another skull on it and stretched across his chest, outlining the muscles. He was glad he at least had some muscles there, unlike Ryou, who was far too androgynous for his own good.
Stretching and deciding he looked good enough, Bakura fastened his heavy silver chain at the back of his neck and found a few black bracelets with silver studs. A flying V guitar stud through his ear and a little skull-and-crossbones navel bar were the finishing touches, although he wasn't sure if he was going to let Seto see the last one. He'd gotten drunk with Malik and Otogi and woken up with several new piercings, but at least he wasn't the only one. Marik had ended up with an eyebrow bar and even Ryou had a stud in his ear now – a gold and amethyst one that he hardly ever took out. It was probably symbolic or something, but Bakura didn't care enough to think about it.
Looking over at the zombie CD clock on the wall, Bakura figured he had about four hours to kill before he headed off to meet Seto. Not even wanting to think much about it and what he was going to say to the CEO yet, the thief wandered into the kitchen to find something to eat when the phone began to ring. He picked it up, answering it the way he usually did when he wasn't half asleep.
"We don't want any."
Whoever was on the other line giggled, and Bakura knew right away who it was. He could hear Metallicasnarling away in the background and someone – probably Otogi - singing along to it badly.
"'Kuraaa!" Malik's voice shrieked, followed by a thump, and Bakura got the impression he'd just been tackled by his lover. "Bitch! Ow!"
"You love it." Otogi said, then stole the phone. "Hi honey!"
"What do you idiots want?" Bakura asked, smirking slightly. At least they were amusing.
"We heard you're going out with Kaiba." Otogi said in a voice that definitely meant he was grinning.
"Yeah, come over and tell us all about it! We have pizza and beer! And we stole a lifesized cardboard cutout of Lemmy from the guitar store! You have to see it!" Malik cackled, stealing the phone again.
"Malik keeps licking it!" Otogi laughed, followed by the sound of Malik slapping him across the head.
"Lies! You lie!" Malik claimed, although Bakura didn't believe him.
"Fine, I have a few hours to kill anyway. You'd better feed me, though. I'll be over in ten minutes." The thief smirked, hanging up the phone.
"Oh my RA you're hot! Who are you and what did you do with Bakura?" Malik and Otogi greeted as Bakura stepped into their black-painted heavy metal lair of an apartment above a 7-11 in the middle of Domino.
"Har har, shut up." The thief replied, stalking inside. The first thing he noticed was that there was indeed a life sized cutout of Lemmy from Motorhead standing against one poster-encrusted wall, wearing a pink feather boa and a bright green wig.
"Lick him, Malik." Otogi ordered as Bakura sat on the leather couch and started rifling through the pizza boxes on the glass-topped coffee table. Megadeth's Sweating Bullets was playing from the huge sound system, especially for him. Malik had long ago decided that it was his song.
"Never!" Malik folded his arms, shifting closer to the Lemmy figure.
"You know you want to…" Otogi grinned evilly, and Bakura wondered how on earth he'd ever managed to get the pharaoh's friends to believe he wasn't a complete maniac. "Lick Lemmy! Lick him!"
Malik was twitching now, and Bakura couldn't see why he was trying to stop himself. It wasn't like they could think him any more insane than he already was.
"Fine! Damn you!" Malik finally shrieked, then dived on the Lemmy figure and ended up sitting on top of it, licking it all over.
"That is so very wrong." Bakura commented. "You should keep him on a leash or something."
"He'd chew through it, he has really sharp teeth." Otogi replied, picking Malik up and dragging him over to sit on either side of the thief, who'd found leftover pepperoni pizza and was eating it contentedly.
"So, we hear you're fucking Kaiba. How's that working out for you?" Malik asked, suddenly jumping up and bouncing over to the kitchen area, coming back a moment later with an ice-cold beer each. Bakura took his and popped the top off with his teeth casually, having finally found a use for having overly pointed canines.
"I'm not fucking him. I'm dating him." The tomb robber corrected, taking a swig of the beer and reminding himself not to drink too much because he still had to meet Seto.
"You? Dating?" Otogi blinked, as Judas Priest's Devil's Child screeched over the speakers. It was a given fact that in Malik and Otogi's apartment there was music playing every minute of every day, even when they weren't there. They had to buy a new sound system every few months, but luckily Otogi was well off enough, and Malik worked at his game store with him because the Egyptian could sell anything to anyone with enough flirting.
"What's wrong with that? I can date too," Bakura growled defensively.
"Didn't think you'd like that sort of thing," Otogi replied, using the bottle opener to open his own beer because only Bakura and Marik could do it with their teeth.
"I don't." Bakura muttered, running a hand through his hair and throwing the rest of the pizza down on the table because he wasn't that hungry. "I'm not cut out for this crap."
"Poor 'Kura." Malik patted him on the back. "So you don't like Kaiba?"
When Bakura sat cradling his beer and didn't answer, Otogi grinned.
"You do like him!" The dice player laughed, looking pleased. "I knew you two'd get on, he's totally had a thing for you for ages!"
Bakura looked up sharply at that, eyes slightly wide.
Otogi clamped a hand over his mouth and giggled nervously, but Malik leaned over and punched him in the arm.
"Tell!" The Egyptian demanded, and Otogi knew he couldn't get out of it.
"Ok, but you didn't hear it from me!" The dice player gave in. "You know how we get invited to all those stupid fundraiser things? Well last year I met Kaiba at one and he was looking all pissy about something, so I spiked his drinks until he cheered up a bit and made him talk to me. We ended up talking about whatever Yami was saving the world from at the time, and then he started asking about you," Otogi grinned at Bakura. "I asked him why he wanted to know and he wouldn't tell me, he just said you were interesting."
Bakura took this in silently, unable to believe that Seto had asked about him more than a year ago. He understood now why the CEO had wanted him to try the whole dating thing one more time and not give up so quickly, but the ever cynical part of his mind told him he shouldn't believe it.
"What did you tell him about me?" The thief finally asked, feeling slightly light headed. He placed his finished beer down on the coffee table and sat hunched over, his elbows resting on his knees, thinking.
"I dunno, it was ages ago. I think he just wanted to know what you were like, you know, from someone who doesn't think you're a totally evil bastard. Well, not all the time." Otogi grinned, leaning back and stretching like a cat. Malik watched, virtually drooling, and Otogi raised a pierced eyebrow with a smirk at his boyfriend.
"So what did you tell him I was like?" Bakura asked, dreading the answer.
"The truth!" Otogi claimed, trying to look innocent.
"Oh Ra…" Bakura moaned, raising a hand to his forehead. "No wonder he was staring at me all night. He probably thinks I'm some kind of paranoid jailbait."
"But you are!" Malik giggled, squeaking when Otogi pinched him.
"I have to talk to him." The thief stood up, although he had over two hours until he was supposed to meet Seto. "Do either of you idiots know where he lives?"
"Yep, hang on and I'll get you his address." Otogi grinned like the Cheshire cat, heading over to the telephone, where sticky notes covered the wall with various names, addresses and telephone numbers. "Let's seeee… Aha! Here we go." The dice player copied the sticky note onto a piece of notepaper and handed it to Bakura. "Huge mansion, ridiculous dragon statue in the front yard, you can't miss it."
"Hn. I'll see you two later, I'm going to go see if I can catch him." Bakura decided, heading for the door.
"Good luck, don't do anything we wouldn't do!" Malik called, as the thief left.
Is there anything you wouldn't do? Bakura thought wryly, making his way down the stairs to where his bike was parked.
The rain started when he was about halfway there, and by the time he eventually found the Kaiba mansion he was soaked. The leather jacket he'd been wearing hadn't helped much, and since he hadn't bothered wearing his helmet his hair was hanging heavily down his back, dripping wet.
Shaking a little of the water off and wiping it from his face, Bakura headed up the marble steps to the front door, ringing the bell. The place was huge, but it was pouring too hard to really get a good look at it from the outside.
"What do you want – Bakura? What are you doing here?" Seto asked, holding the door open and changing his tone when he noticed who was standing there, soaked to the skin. He quickly let the shivering thief inside, taking the drenched leather jacket from Bakura's shoulders and hanging it on a coat rack by the door, not really caring that it was dripping everywhere.
"I need to talk to you, I couldn't wait for tonight." Bakura said, looking up at Seto. His hair looked a lot longer weighed down by the rain, and Bakura hoped he didn't look too pathetic standing there dripping on Seto's expensive polished wooden floor.
"Alright," Seto ushered him through into one of the many bathrooms, "dry off and I'll find you a new shirt." The CEO left Bakura standing in the bright bathroom, finding it hard enough to drag his eyes away from the thief. Bakura turned and looked in the mirror, wondering why Seto had been staring at him like that, and noticed that his shirt was stuck to his chest with the water.
"Crap…" He muttered, pulling it off and wringing it out into the sink. He towelled off his hair and dried the water from his arms, glad his jeans were relatively dry. He was just hanging his shirt to dry when Seto walked back in, stopping in his tracks when he saw Bakura's bare chest, pale skin, the silver chain and a few scars scattered in various places. The thief noticed the CEO's eyes lingering on the circle of scars that he'd gotten from the business end of a broken bottle on one side of his waist and clenched his teeth, knowing that Seto probably thought he was a thug now. His eyes darkened and he turned away slightly, reaching for the towel to cover himself up, but Seto stepped forward and handed him a dry black shirt, smirking slightly.
"Very nice," the CEO purred, tracing an elegant finger around Bakura's navel piercing. The thief gasped, not expecting that, and stood very still because he couldn't figure out whether he wanted to lean in or jerk away from the touch.
"Don't…" He shivered, arching a little when Seto's fingers moved to run in a circle over the scar at his waist, making his damn skin tingle.
"What are you so afraid of?" The brunette asked in his deep voice, noticing that Bakura had tensed up and had his jaw clenched. The thief knew what it was about Seto and his touch that made him so nervous – the CEO was more dominant than him. He'd always been the one doing the touching, always been the one in control. He didn't know if he could cope with someone else doing that to him instead, it made him feel weak.
"I just wanted to talk to you…" Bakura managed between his clenched teeth, trying to force his heart to stop beating so fast. He didn't know why Seto could do that to him so easily; nobody else had ever been able to. He hated that he gave in to it, he felt like a cheap whore and he couldn't wait to get out of there, away from Seto. The CEO seemed to see his distress and backed off a little, holding the door open and showing Bakura out into the dark hallway. The thief took the opportunity to calm his burning blood, following Seto into one of the television rooms and watching the tall brunette take a seat on the couch. Perching on the armrest of a large armchair, Bakura drew one leg up to his chest and rested his forehead on his knee, squeezing his eyes closed. He hated this.
"Listen… I don't know what Otogi told you, but whatever he said isn't true." The tomb robber growled, knowing Seto was watching him again but refusing to open his eyes and look. He liked the darkness behind his eyelids a lot better than trying to avoid Seto's intense gaze.
"He told you about that?"
"Yeah, he said you were asking about me. I don't know what kind of impression he gave you, but I'm not… I mean, I know you saw the scars and everything, but…" Bakura trailed off, wondering how he could explain to Seto that he wasn't what Yami told everyone he was. Then again, maybe Yami was right and he was a monster. He'd done a lot of things he wasn't proud of, although he'd always had his reasons.
"Otogi is your friend, isn't he? Do you really think he'd say anything bad about you?" Seto said, trying to be reassuring even if it wasn't something he was used to. Bakura let out a strained laugh and looked up finally, raising a fine white eyebrow.
"Otogi? Yeah, I guess he's a friend. He's a stupid fuck though, and he and Malik aren't living on the same planet as everyone else. I just don't want you to think I'm some…well, whatever the pharaoh says I am." Bakura growled slightly, knowing full well the things Yami said about him.
"I'm not exactly well-known for listening to Yami." Seto pointed out, getting up from the couch and walking across to stand over Bakura, who watched him with dark crimson eyes. "I don't think you're a monster. To be honest Otogi hardly told me anything before he started off on some tangent about all the bands you like and lost me completely." The CEO laughed slightly at Bakura's relieved look, tilting his chin up with gentle fingers. He noticed the thief tense then give in, and thought about this for a moment.
"Do I make you nervous?" The brunette asked suddenly, and Bakura looked up sharply because those were the exact words Ryou had used. Jumping up, the thief backed off with a low growl, narrowing his eyes. Even Seto thought he was weak, there was no way he was letting the brunette touch him if that was what it led to.
"Why should I be afraid of you?" The tomb robber hissed, eyes widening in surprise when Seto suddenly strode forward and buried a hand in his hair, yanking his head back and kissing him forcefully. He struggled a little then relaxed as Seto's tongue forced its way into his mouth, drawing a groan from the smaller male.
"I don't know, why should you be afraid of me?" Seto asked as he released the dazed tomb robber, who shook himself and tried to step back. Seto wouldn't let him go though, and drew the thief against his chest, holding him there. This time Bakura didn't even bother to struggle, he just stood there and wrestled with his pride.
"You make me feel weak…" The thief whispered, not really wanting to say it out loud. Seto looked down at him and stroked a hand through his hair, pleased when Bakura unconsciously turned into the touch before realising what he was doing and turning away again.
"What do you mean?" The CEO asked, although he already had some idea.
"All this." Bakura growled, turning his head away and glaring angrily at the floor.
"You're used to being in control, right?" Seto guessed, knowing he was right from Bakura's reaction. The thief tensed up again and his jaw tightened, fists clenching by his sides.
"I don't want to do this." He hissed, looking up at Seto and getting pinned once again by his stare. "I hate the way you look at me."
"Just relax. Nobody's going to think you're weak. I don't think that." Seto said, and Bakura frowned slightly as something came back to him from earlier.Relax…
"I'm trying." The thief murmured, and felt Seto lean down to kiss him again. Concentrating on how good it felt instead of how pathetic it made him feel, Bakura lost himself in the warmth, focussing on Seto's fingers sliding up his side. When the CEO drew back after a minute or so Bakura was panting for breath, his red eyes glazed slightly with lust. Smirking, Seto stepped back a little and let Bakura collect himself, glancing at the clock on the wall.
"We can still catch that movie if you like," the brunette suggested, pleased when Bakura paused a moment then nodded.
"Alright." Bakura agreed. Just go easy on me.
Bakura is complex and full of issues. There are more of them to come, too. This thing's growing a plot! Anyway, yes, I am obsessed with the idea of 'Kura with piercings, and the cardboard Lemmy thing… We won't talk about where that one came from. O.o Oh, and for whoever asked, Danzig are a muchly great band. I was listening to She Rides at stupid o clock in the morning. Yeah.