Speaking is silver

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Warnings/notes: Bakura/Joey, ooc, drabble-ish shortie, very strong hints of what might be interpreted as (unrequited?) Kaiba/Joey (sorry about that, CharcoalCat -blushes-).

Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 22nd february 2005, by Misura, in reply to an Anniversary-challenge made by CharcoalCat which offered as a pairing: Bakura/Joey and as a virtue: 'knowing when to shut up'

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Bakura, Joey thinks, is really fond of the sound of his own voice. He's kind of like Kaiba in that, even if Kaiba can also say a whole lot by remaining silent and just giving you one of those glares of his, that tell you he's about a million times as smart as you are.

The advantage of people that give you looks instead of words though, is that you can talk back.

Whenever Kaiba stares at him in a way that Joey finds offensive, he can yell things at Kaiba that he doesn't really mean, but that make him feel better nonetheless. Kaiba responds by another look, or maybe he'll dignify Joey with a more verbal answer, if he's in a special mood. (Joey hasn't yet figured out if Kaiba getting talkative means he's in a good mood or in a bad one.)

Recently, Kaiba hasn't spoken to him very often, and Joey is sure that signifies something, even if he hasn't got a clue -what-, and, frankly, he doesn't care very much either. Why would he? It's not as if he likes Kaiba or anything, and in all the years they have known each other -although Joey sure wouldn't claim he knows the smallest part of Kaiba's mind- Kaiba has obliged him by returning that feeling.

And maybe, no, probably it's not a good sign that his mind wanders to people like Kaiba while Bakura chats on and on about his deeds in some distant past -and 'distant' means seriously distant in this case, and Joey hasn't got any idea why he'd care about something Bakura has done five-thousand years ago.

Now, if it were -someone- Bakura has 'done' a long time ago, Joey might be interested. After all, Yugi got to be a reincarnation of a Pharaoh -well, a look-alike actually, but close enough- and Kaiba, that jerk, got to share a soul or something mystical like that with a High Priest. Bakura, of course, used to be a thief -the King of Thieves, even; Bakura and Kaiba also both have big heads, it seems.

Joey figures that he deserves a past life too.

Of course, people rarely get what they deserve -look at Kaiba, for example, the richest guy of Japan, as well as the most arrogant and biggest bastard- so Joey doesn't really have his hopes up.

Bakura talks on and on, and Joey starts to wonder why. Does the guy really not notice that his supposed audience isn't listening and, worse, is thinking about another person? Or does he simply not care, does he care about himself and his own story far more than he does about Joey and keeping Joey's attention on him instead of on other things like Kaiba and the clock that indicates it'll be another half hour until dinner?

He guesses this line of thought, depressing as it may be, is at least better than pondering how much Bakura and Kaiba have in common. It's probably not a good thing, to decide that the person who's supposed to be your boyfriend -or at least half of him- and the person whom you'd miss least of everyone if he was to vanish out of your life one day, are actually really very much alike.

And he should stop thinking about that right now, only it's impossible to order yourself not to think about something, because no matter what Kaiba says about his ability to think -or lack thereof- you can't stop your brains from functioning and jumping from subject to subject, or keeping on circling back to one subject in spite of your best efforts not to.

And so Bakura keeps on babbling, and Joey keeps on finding memories of Kaiba in the cellars of his mind, until it's five to six, and Bakura withdraws to allow Ryou out to prepare dinner, because Bakura can't cook one bit, even if he loves food at least as much as Joey. (Finally, Joey thinks, his mind has come up with something he and Bakura share, instead of Kaiba and Bakura.)

Later that evening, he talks with Ryou, and he mentions that he can't seem to shut Bakura up.

"I think it's because he's a little nervous around someone whom he cares about but whose thoughts he can't read," Ryou replies, with a smile. "He babbles just to prevent the silence from getting awkward."

Joey makes some noises of appreciation at this obviously deep insight in Bakura's psyche, but points out that this doesn't exactly help him in any way. (Just like knowing that Kaiba has become such a control-freak because, aw, he had an evil stepfather who was mean to him, doesn't make Joey enjoy the guy's company any more.)

"There's one sure way to shut anyone up," Ryou declares, with a wink.

Joey makes some more noises, a little less appreciative this time, because Ryou is being coy, which isn't like Ryou at all, and Joey isn't sure if he doesn't prefer the timid, soft-spoken Ryou who blushingly asked him to go out with him one afternoon in June. (Maybe, Joey guesses, he's a sexist for thinking like this, even if he didn't think there was anything wrong with Mai and her attitude.)

"You seem pretty distant," Ryou observes, with a frown.

Joey has to admit that this is true, even if he doesn't do so out loud. Instead, he starts telling Ryou about the way he keeps comparing Bakura to Kaiba, even though he likes the first -or tries to, at least, for Ryou's sake- and hates the last -though he tries not to let it show too much, for Yugi.

After he's been talking for five minutes, Ryou leans forwards and kisses him.

Joey discovers it's somewhat difficult to keep talking when your lips have been sealed by another person's lips. And then, he feels Bakura taking over, making the kiss different, less sweet and more something of a battle, a contest, a way to determine who belongs to whom.

And, unbidden, the thought occurs to him that Kaiba probably kisses just like that, just like Bakura.

OWARI