Lookie! Another new... Thingy. Bleh. XX

Disclaimer: I own nothing



Ryou sighed to himself, a frown wrinkling the bridge of his nose as he rifled through his pockets of his thick blue school jacket. His case was discarded on the floor beside him, leaning against the wall. Don't tell me I've gone and lost my house key… The whitenette groaned, raising chocolate eyes heavenwards. This is not fair. Ryou tried the back pockets, deft fingers the colour of ivory sifting through the scraps of notebook paper, but to no avail.

Bring bring!

The teen jumped, his heart in his mouth as the phone rang, it's harsh trill only slightly muffled by his dark green apartment door, adorned only with the number 12-E, and the paper-thin walls that could have done with a fresh coat of paint. Ryou cursed under his breath, clenching perfect white teeth as he quickened the pace of his search, his white plastic phone on the kitchen counter still ringing dutifully.

Bring bring!

"I'm coming!" Ryou called out, searching the breast pocket of his white dress shirt in a wild attempt to find his precious key. "Yes!" The brown-eyed boy drew the silver-coloured piece of metal aloft in triumph, before bringing it to the scratched lock on the door, hurriedly turning the key.

Bring bring!

"All right!" Ryou hollered, flinging open the mossy green door, and sprinting towards the phone, snatching it with long pale fingers. The door still swung slightly on its hinges, displaying more of the boys' apartment to the world, dark and shadowy in the afternoon, cream curtains still closed.

"Hello?" He answered the phone somewhat breathlessly, sinking to one of the wooden dining chairs about a foot away from the phone and the aqua-and-white counter it rested on.

"R-Ryou? Ryou son, is that you?" The voice on the phone was tinny, and crackled slightly from static, but Ryou knew that accent, that cadence, and a wide grin spread across his youthful, pale face, reaching from ear to ear.

"D-Dad?" Ryou gasped, his heart lifting higher and higher with each second. The voice on the other end chuckled, and the smile on the whitenette's face was so wide, it would have pained him, had he not been in such a euphoric state.

"It's good to speak to you again son. It's been a very long time." Ryou took a deep breath, feeling as though he were going to explode in laughter and joy. It really was his dad! The man who hadn't called since June, hadn't even seen him since Christmas, was talking to him!

"Dad." Ryou let out all of his breath in that word, his shoulders, rounded and feminine even under his heavy school jacket. "Oh Dad…"

"I'm glad to have caught you, Ryou. I was scared I had missed you." Ryou grinned wider, subconsciously twisting the phone cord in one skinny finger.

"No, Dad, I'd lost my keys for a little while and couldn't get in." The whitenette rolled his eyes, and his father chuckled again.

"Oh son… Well, how have you been? How is school treating you? Made any new friends?"

"Well…" Ryou tilted his head. "I've been all right. You know me Dad, at home studying every night. They're piled so much work on us this year, you'd never believe it. It's been two weeks and I'm already barely caught up with all of my homework. Any Junior in school barely has a social life if they want to get good grades, and I have this house to take care of as well… But enough about me, Dad, how have you been? Made any big discoveries lately?"

"Well, no, it's been pretty quiet over here." The man gave a chuckle. "I'm doing paperwork more than anything right now. We're investigating the whereabouts of a tomb fabled to exist in the southern Sahara, and it's a hard time sorting fact from fiction." Ryou smiled. "So many legends have been passed down from generations, many of the actual facts are pretty hazy- But you don't want to hear about stuffy old archeology Ryou, I'm sure. I didn't call you at this hour to talk about work anyway… Well…"

"Well what?" Ryou frowned, leaning back into his chair, the wooden frame battered and knocked, but still standing. "Dad, are you okay?"

"Well, son." The whitenette's frown grew deeper at his fathers' tone, a feeling of unsettlement stirring his chest. "Do you remember that talk we had six months ago? When I agreed to let you stay there instead of traveling with me?" Ryou bit his lip. He remembered the conversation pretty clearly, but what did that have anything to do with it?

"Yes, Dad." Ryou twisted the cord tighter around one finger. "You didn't want me to stay by myself, and stuff, but I couldn't travel all around Africa with you… You don't want me to move with you again, do you?" Despite himself, The teens heart sank another inch. Move with Dad? Sure, he would have been able to travel all around Africa and all that, but he would have had to learn school by correspondence and leave his friends, and Bakura…

"No son… Well…" Ryou gulped. "I think you may have to, Ryou. If things continue the way they are now…"

"Dad, what are you talking about?" The brown-eyed teen felt his breath quicken. "M-Me go to Africa? To Egypt? I-I-"

"Please, hear me out first, Ryou." His father interjected. "Things have been very quiet in Egypt, son… Too quiet to tell you the truth." Ryou frowned. "My crew and I haven't made a discovery in several months, and… There's no easy way to say this, but our funds are running very low." The whitenette bit on his lip, the flutter of nerves in his stomach fluttering. "I don't think I can send you so much money every month, Ryou."

"B-But, you're only giving me eight hundred dollars!" Ryou's chin trembled, the butterflies in his stomach had increased to the size of a bat, battling and struggling painfully. "I-I'm barely paying off all the bills here!" His father sighed, a long, deep sigh of guilt and regret.

"I know son, I know. We have to stretch our money as far as we can, and have as little expenses as possible if we want to find this tomb before the money runs out. I don't know what to do, but I'm going to have to take two hundred dollars a month off, at least." Ryou's eyes widened.

"T-Two hundred dollars?" The whitenette felt sick. "Dad… What am I going to eat then? Or do I have to go and live with you?"

"I would rather you didn't. There are very few schools over here that speak English, and none of them have any reputation. You're a very smart young man, Ryou, but without proper qualifications, you could never establish a solid career."

"So, what do I do?" Ryou was trembling, the phone cord wrapped so tightly around his fingers they were turning purple. "I have school Dad, and homework… Do you want me to get a job or something?"

"That was what I was going to suggest." His father said gently. Ryou's tense shoulders sagged. "Just a part-time job in a supermarket or something, a few hours after school. That would easily make up for the two hundred I can't give you. Please, Ryou, I need you to co-operate here. Most boys your age have a job anyway, and granted, you wouldn't be saving up for a car, or spoiling a girlfriend, but-"

"Dad." Ryou cut in, disentangling his long fingers from the phone cord. "It's okay. Really. It's just a bit of a shock, that's all. Of course I'll get a job if that's what it takes to stay here- Oh, not that I don't miss you or anything, it's just…"

"You don't want to move anymore?"

"Yeah." Ryou lied, casting a gaze up to the clock. 3:55 PM. "I mean, I'm settling down here and making friends, and it would be nice to go to this Domino High for an entire year. You understand, don't you, Dad?"

"Perfectly." His father said, and Ryou could here a smile in his speech. "Oh Ryou, I'm so glad you're co-operating with this." The teen smiled. "Thank you son. Thank you."

"You're welcome Dad." Ryou said softly, subconsciously playing with the phone cord again. "I don't mind getting a job to help things out. I can even send money over if I find a job that pays more than fifty dollars a week, if you want."

"No, son. That won't be necessary. Any extra money you earn, you keep for yourself."

"But you send me money." Ryou argued. "It's only fair if I do the same…"

"Ryou, I'm forty-two years old. You're sixteen. Sixteen year old children are not expected to take care of themselves." The brown-eyes teen smiled.

"Sixteen year old children are not expected to look after themselves, either." Ryou reasoned. "And yet you let me get away with that." His father chuckled.

"You're such a character, Ryou." The boy grinned. "I love you so much."

"I love you too Dad."


"What the hell are you doing?" Bakura slammed the door behind him, jarring Ryou instantly out of his intent scouring of the paper. The boy jumped, wide brown eyes staring accusingly at the demon, who hung his trench coat on the required hook, kicking off his boots before taking a beer out of the fridge. Ryou blinked, and looked back down at the employment section, twirling the red marker idly in long bony fingers.

"Hello, yami." Ryou murmured, circling a shelf-stacking job in the local bookshop. "How have you been today?" Bakura frowned, unscrewing the top of the alcoholic drink and flicking it expertly between long taloned fingers, the metal disc hitting Ryou on the side of the head. The whitenette cried out, the red marker slipping from his fingers as his hand went to the side of his head. He glared at his tenant, but with his angelic features, it looked rather comic. Bakura snorted, taking a swig of the beer as he leaned against the wall, still staring at the teen.

"I repeat, what the hell are you doing?" Ryou blinked, and then looked back down at the paper, nibbling thoughtfully on his lower lip. Bakura raised an eyebrow, waiting for an answer, and flopped into an armchair behind the couch, leaning into the worn but comfortable maroon upholstery.

"I'm looking for a job." Ryou muttered, taking the marker in his hand again, his tongue between his teeth as he looked down the columns of printed ink. "Dad told me I have to get a part-time job." Bakura narrowed his eyes.

"Or what?" He challenged, looking over the rim of his bottle at the teen, who fidgeted in discomfort at the demons' scrutinizing glare.

"He's taking a chunk out of my monthly allowance because it's too expensive for him." Ryou explained, circling another potential career. "So unless I find something that pays fifty dollars a week, I'm going to have to either switch off the electricity and go and live with Dad permanently." Bakura almost spat out his beer.

"Are you serious?" He said incredulously, his mouth falling open. "A job? You?" Ryou bit his lip, lowering his eyes. "Heh. That's funny."

"That's not very nice." The teen murmured quietly, staring at his newspaper. "I think I could get a decent paying job, yami." Bakura snorted, rolling crimson-mahogany eyes heavenwards.

"Whatever. What the hell can a kid you age get a job doing?" The demon took another swig of beer, draining the last of the amber liquid. Ryou frowned, slightly hurt.

"There are lots of things I can do." The whitenette argued. "I could work in a bookshop, or a café, or even at a fast-food restaurant." Bakura merely rolled his eyes, throwing the brown bottle of beer at the wall. Ryou winced as it hit the cream wallpaper with a crash, spraying tiny shards of brown glass and the remainder of amber liquid down the wall, puddling on the floor. "I wish you wouldn't do that…"

"Oh, shut up." Bakura snarled, glaring daggers with his crimson-mahogany eyes. "I don't want to hear your bloody complaining." Ryou let out a long sigh.

"I'm not complaining, Bakura." The whitenette said in a calm, even tone. "I'm only asking you to please stop throwing bottles around. Is that really too much to ask for?" Bakura rolled his eyes.

"Do you think you can tell me what to do?" Bakura rolled his eyes. "Honestly, Ryou. When will stop trying to control me? You know how much I hate it." The teen sighed.

"I can't win with you."


"Well, how did it go?" Bakura smirked the next day, as Ryou closed the door behind him with a somewhat despondent look on his face. The whitenette hung his school coat on the hook beside the door silently, and plodded towards the sofa. Ryou sat down on the red leather and bowed his head, his hands clasped in his lap. "Well?"

"Not well." Ryou murmured quietly, nibbling thoughtfully on his lower lip. "I-I went to everything in the paper, but they said I was too young…" The whitenette leaned back and drew his knees to his chest. "So I applied at a burger joint down the street, and I start training next week." Bakura raised an eyebrow at the teen who sat next to him, staring down at the floor.

"You sound less than happy." The demon remarked, taking the last swig of his beer. "I thought a job was what you wanted." Ryou let out a long sigh.

"Yes, but at Burger World, the starting rate it only eight dollars an hour, and- Bakura!" Ryou blinked, and his forehead creased into a frown as the demon extracted the carton of cigarettes from down the side of the red leather couch. "You are not going to smoke." Bakura ignored the teenager, taking a lighter from the pocket of his pants and lighting up a cigarette. "We talked about how unhealthy this is."

"What's it going to do?" Bakura snorted. "It takes years to die from smoking Ryou. I don't have years." Ryou rolled his eyes, coughing and waving his hand as Bakura exhaled the smoke into his face. "And besides, I don't care about what you think." The demon took another drag of the cigarette.

"You never do." Ryou murmured softly. "I might as well talk to a wall…"

"I wish you would." Bakura snarled. "At least you'd stop irritating me." Ryou visibly slumped further into himself, and the demon stared at Ryou for a moment, who was blinking very fast. "Don't cry."

"I'm not." Ryou sniffed, his voice thick. "I-I… I wish you would be nicer sometimes, Bakura. Y-You never think about my feelings, and you hurt me…" Bakura snorted, taking another puff of the cigarette.

"You're just soft." The spirit put his feet on the coffee table. "Idiot. You're a pushover." Ryou looked down, hurt.

"You just treat me terribly." The teenager whispered. "I'm nothing but a slave. I'm a person Bakura." The demon rolled his eyes.

"Sure Ryou, just keep telling yourself that." Ryou blinked again, wiping at his eyes. "Pathetic."

"S-Stop it." Ryou whispered, burying his head in his knees. "Please…" Bakura's grin widened, as he stared at the light. "Don't say those things…"

"Scared of the truth?" Bakura glared at Ryou, taking another drag of the cigarette dangling between long bony fingers. The whitenette shook his head, sniffing.

"You're hopeless Ryou."


"Okay… Four hundred-and-seventy-fifth…" Ryou muttered quietly to himself, wrinkling his nose as he gazed at the burger joints, bars, and various clubs he passed. There was a waitering job the teen had spied in the paper yesterday that had caught his eye, and since there had been no phone number, Ryou decided to inquire at the address given. However, the further he walked down the rundown street, the more nervous the teenager become. Chocolate eyes lingered on scantily clad women on street corners in broad daylight, and he had to step over the drunken, passed-out form of a middle-aged man sprawled out on the sidewalk. The nerves in his stomach grew, and Ryou couldn't help but wish he was at home, in his neighborhood. Inner-city, but still moderately safe, as opposed to this… seedy area.

475. Ryou gulped as he stood in front of the building. It was small, and somewhat shabby-looking on the outside. The neon lights over the door proclaiming the name of the bar (That was what Ryou gathered it to be) was switched off, being four O'clock in the afternoon. Was this the right place? Ryou licked his lips nervously, his dark mocha eyes looking back to the slip of newspaper in his hands. Yes, unfortunately. 475 on 56th street. Oh dear. Ryou took a step, and turned around, getting ready to walk away. He had no idea that the place would be so sleazy. All the ad said was 'attractive young male needed for waitering job on 475 56th street east. High pay and good tips.' Although, the more Ryou looked at it now, the more suspicious the newspaper advertisement sounded.

"Get the hell out of here!" Ryou spun around, eyes wide in shock. What did I do wrong? Do they not like schoolboys over here? His slender shoulders slumped in relief, however, when he found out the interjection was not aimed in his direction. "I've told you about harassing the dancers, and it's gone far enough!" Ryou blinked at the scene before him, instinctively taking a step back. The drunken man on the sidewalk moaned, an arm over his eyes from the bright sunlight. The other man stood over him, hands on his hips, which were clad in an olive-green apron that reached his knees. The man -who couldn't have been older than twenty- felt Ryou's eyes on him. "Hey, what are you staring at?" The teen blinked, fear seizing up in his stomach again. Ryou took another step back, his chocolate orbs widened to an impossible size.

"I-I'm s-sorry." Ryou finally managed to stumble. "I-I was just looking for something…" The teen crumpled the paper in his hand. "But I-I think I will be going now…" The man who stood a few paces away from Ryou frowned, hazel eyes looking deep in thought. The drunk had staggered away, lost in the crowd of scruffily-dressed men and women.

"What are you looking for?" The whitenette blinked at the question, and flushed slightly, shoving the newspaper clipping in the pocket of his school trousers. The man raised an eyebrow, still staring thoughtfully at Ryou, who opened his mouth to respond.

"W-Well, there was this job offered in the paper, and I came to have a look, but it's not… not quite to my liking…" The look on the mans face changed in an instant, and he started looking Ryou up and down, the whitenette blushing deeper and dug a toe of his shoe into the cracked pavement. "I-I think I shall be going now…"

"Wait!" The man yelled, jumping forward and managing to snag Ryou by the corner of his royal blue jacket. "You were interesting in the job serving drinks at this place?" He jabbed a thumb at the building behind them. Ryou blinked, and nodded. "You have to come inside and meet the boss."

"B-But I-I don't know I-If I can work here…" Ryou stammered, looking terrified at the seedy bar. The man, who still held his coat, sighed, and crossed his arms, nibbling on his lower lip.

"The pay if twenty-five dollars an hour, plus tips." He offered, brushing a lock of chestnut hair out of his face. Ryou's eyes widened at the price, and his mouth fell open. He shook his head slowly from side to side, blinking furiously.

"T-Twenty-five dollars an hour? Just for serving drinks?" He breathed. "Are you serious?" The man nodded, and finally let go of Ryou's shirt when he realized that the teen was weakening.

"Please. We really need someone to come and work here… I know it seems bad on the outside, but it's not so bad in there. It's quite nice. And the guy's don't harass the barmen, they have their hands full with all of the guys on stage." Ryou blinked again. It's a gay bar? Oh great... But twenty-five dollars an hour! That's amazing... I would be able to earn the extra money by only working a few hours a week, it wouldn't affect my studies. "Where's my manners? My name is Kano Kiyoshi, by the way." He extended a hand. Ryou smiled, and took the mans hand, feeling somewhat more confident.

"Bakura Ryou. It's… Very nice to meet you, Mr. Kano." The man chuckled, rolling hazel eyes.

"Please, call me Kiyoshi. Formalities are redundant here… Can I call you Ryou?" The teen nodded and smiled dropping Kiyoshi's hand. Although he was still nervous, it had greatly reduced, and Ryou was feeling even more confident. "Do you still want to come inside?"

"Yes." Ryou nodded firmly. I have to do this... It's only serving drinks. I'll be behind a safe counter all of the time. This place obviously has dancers and strippers to satisfy the customers, I'll be fine... And twenty-five dollars an hour! That's triple that of Burger World. Ryou swallowed a gulp as he stepped inside with Kiyoshi.


"Where were you?" Bakura complained the instant Ryou stepped into the apartment, routinely hanging up his coat. "I'm fucking starving." The whitenette blinked at his darker counterpart, and casually bent down to unlace his shoes. "Ryou!"

"I'm sorry, Bakura." Ryou said as calmly as he could, his hands shaking. "I was late because I went to apply for a waitering job." Bakura raised an eyebrow, and stood up from the couch, his hands on his hips.

"Okay Ryou. I don't care." The demon narrowed his eyes. "You were supposed to be home an hour ago to fix me something to eat." Ryou let out a long sigh, lowering his chocolate eyes. "Now."

"O-Okay Bakura." Ryou finally managed to murmur, his shoulders slumping. "What do you feel like?" The yami snorted, stalking back to the sofa and slouching into the red leather.

"Steak." He muttered shortly, fumbling around for the remote. Ryou bit his lip, but nodded, opening the fridge with a rock in the pit of his stomach. What have I done? It took ten minutes of persuasion from Kiyoshi to accept the position, but Ryou had to cave in. Twenty-five dollars an hour! It seemed like so much money to the sixteen-year-old. The money he had now barely stretched over his living expenses. He'd sorted out his hours- eight 'til midnight on Fridays, and seven 'til one on Sundays- which meant he was getting two hundred and fifty dollars a week. Two hundred and fifty dollars! The sum made Ryou feel euphoric. He imagined what he would be able to buy, a bed for him to sleep in (Bakura had claimed his months ago), a larger television for Bakura, a better computer for his schoolwork… And with so much money, he would be able to spend so much more on food! Bakura –being the carnivore he was- demanded to eat huge slabs of meat for dinner each night, and his diet put a major strain on Ryou's food budget- Which was only intended for one person anyway, and the teenager often had to go without any dinner. Ryou was a bit iffy about the extremely late hours, and the fact that he would have to make his own way home through a bad neighborhood, but his new boss, Sadahiro Makoto, promised that he would organize a ride for Ryou. The whitenette also worried about what Bakura was going to say when he found out about his new job. The demon had a major issue with other people looking at Ryou, and nobody, absolutely nobody was allowed to touch him. Ryou hated it, but there was nothing he could do about it, without making Bakura angry, something the teen tried to avoid at all costs.

"It's done." Ryou said a few minutes later as he walked into the lounge, His nose twitched at the smell of the meat and his stomach rumbled (He'd missed his lunch) But the teenager pushed the sensation away, and curled up into a tight ball on the leatherette couch. Bakura grunted and headed into the kitchen, leaving Ryou alone in the lounge. What do I tell him? Ryou wondered, resting his chin on his knees. He's going to flip, especially when he sees the um, uniform... Because none of the male uniforms fitted Ryou's slim waist, he had been given a pair of shorts that were made for a woman. At least they didn't fall down. Ryou inwardly groaned, remembering how scanty the clothing –which he had managed to fit into his school bag- looked, and how he was going to look in it. Like a whore.

"So anyway." Bakura sat down fifteen minutes later beside Ryou, who jumped in shock and surprise. "This job, huh? What exactly are you doing?" The whitenette blinked, his mouth falling open.

"W-Well…" Ryou began, twisting his fingers, biting his lip. "I-It's a job at a um, a bar. I'll be serving some drinks." Bakura frowned, narrowing his crimson-mahogany eyes at the teen.

"And you got this 'job'?" The demon sneered, glaring at Ryou, who looked down uncomfortably. "Without asking for my permission?" The whitenette gulped, keeping his brown eyes downcast.

"I-It was so much money." Ryou finally managed to whimper, his chin trembling. "I-It's twenty-five dollars an hour, Bakura. It's three times as much as I was going to get a Burger World, I couldn't turn it down…"

"You know how much I hate people looking at you." Bakura spat, glaring at Ryou. "How could you go against my rule without consulting me, you little brat?" The whitenette looked away, blinking furiously. "Well?"

"I'm sorry." Ryou finally whimpered. "I-I just…" The teenager let out a long breath. "I'm sorry Bakura. But it's two hundred and fifty dollars a week, I couldn't turn it down!" He finished desperately, his heart pounding in fear. This isn't good. I made him mad, oh no, this isn't good... He closed his eyes, flinching away from the demon. Please don't hurt me.

"Idiot." Bakura snorted, leaning back in the sofa. "I'm not going to hurt you. You just better watch yourself. What the hell would you want that much money for?" Ryou bit his lip.

"Well, I could get a bed for myself, that would be nice, and enough food for the both of us." Ryou whispered. "I get really hungry sometimes, Bakura, and it would be nice to have food everyday." Bakura snorted.

"You're just weak, Ryou." He muttered. "Can't handle a little starvation." Ryou shifted uncomfortably. "Whatever. Keep your stupid job. See if I care. Maybe of you have some more money, you'll stop whining in my ear." The whitenette gulped, still blinking away his tears.

"I wish you would stop being so mean." Ryou whispered. Bakura snorted in laughter.

"You're beyond pathetic."