-1The last chapter! 8DD Look at mee! I am finishing! Whee!


Ryou's lips were just as soft as he'd known they would be.


Ryou couldn't quite circulate exactly what was going in his mind; a haze had engulfed him and reeled him in so deep. He couldn't see. He wasn't sure if this was real; could he feel what was going on? Was it just his imagination? But a soft murmur arose in his throat and his eyes were sealed so tightly shut: he didn't want to open his eyes. If he opened his eyes, he was afraid he'd be met with the exact image he didn't want to see.

His mouth was opening with ease and Diabound's strong tongue was slipping smoothly in, muscle immediately colliding against Ryou's tongue. Diabound's tongue was so warm against Ryou's and the kiss was so nice in itself. Diabound was holding onto Ryou just like Ryou liked and Ryou was succumbing to every move the elder male made. He smelt so good, having used the same cologne as…

And with Ryou's eyes closed so forcefully, it wasn't even recognizable who he was kissing. If he just pretended hard enough and never looked up to find blood red when they should've been brown-he could've been with the exact man that he loved and wanted so badly. For this wonderful, blissful second, all in the world seemed to disappear and their strange falling out was far away from Ryou's mind. Bakura's arms were holding him so tightly and he could smell cinnamon gum on his breath. Bakura was making that lovely, deep growl he made when their kisses were just so enticing that Bakura couldn't pull away. Bakura's hand was pressed on the small of his back because Bakura knew it set Ryou a flame when Bakura's strong hand was placed there. Bakura was all around him and he was drowning as always, lost in time as if nothing else mattered.

He wanted it to be real; he wanted to open his eyes and see that face he missed so badly. But…

He held his breath as his eyes slid open and his day dream came to a screeching halt. Diabound's face was next to his, mouth hovering centimeters away from Ryou's. He could feel Diabound's steamy breath on his lips and knew he was just waiting to go in and kiss Ryou more. But this wasn't Bakura and it was so obvious to him, more so than ever now.

The kiss, no matter how good it was, was missing something-that unnamed something being the man who…his heart absolutely belonged to. There was no replacing Bakura in his heart and had anyone ever been able to, he was sure Diabound was a top contender. No matter what though, Bakura was Bakura and Diabound could never be him, no matter how alike they looked, nor how alike their voices could sound. For a second, Ryou had gotten so swept away in time, he was willing to give up everything he believed in, just because…

Diabound had set a spark in him when he had jokingly been impatient and childish, reminding Ryou so much of Bakura. Diabound was flirting with him and that much he was aware of-but that was nothing new. Diabound was always saying weird kinds of things like that to him but this time…

He had been such a fool and had fallen for it, all because he was willing to trick himself out and settle for…

For all the wrong reasons. Diabound was great, Diabound was attractive, Diabound was everything-everything except Bakura. And because of that, it could've never worked, not in a million years. "U-Uhm!" Ryou piped up nervously, eyes wide with uncertainty and fear. He was afraid what Diabound would say now that the kiss was over and all Ryou wanted to do was get away. "I have to go g-get something from the break room! Err!" Before Diabound could even let go of Ryou fully and say a thing, Ryou had torn himself away and taken off in a run to break room.

What was I thinking?


Diabound stood there, awestruck, brilliantly vivid eyes trained on the exact spot where Ryou had just been standing. He wanted to smack himself in the head for that one. Ryou was vulnerable and Diabound had just taken advantage of him knowingly. Obviously, Ryou had only given in for one reason alone: because Diabound was like his little brother and probably reminded the teen of him.

And then…there he went and fucking kissed him, even though he knew Ryou didn't want it, not really. Ryou was in such a confusing time in his life and he knew the boy wanted so badly to believe Bakura would come back to him. He knew Bakura wanted to go back to him. It was so…inconsiderate on his part and he already knew from the beginning, kissing Ryou would definitely not make Ryou his own.

So why did he do it then, when he knew it was such a mistake?

Kissing Ryou like he had could make their friendship rocky from now until the end of it. Kissing Ryou would make Ryou feel awkward around him and he was sure, Ryou would always be secretly wondering if Diabound would ever try something like that again. By kissing Ryou, he knew he had lost quite a bit of Ryou's trust but…

At the same time…

How else would he have known what it would've been like? Wasn't it better to at least have a small sliver of what life could've been like, say, if Diabound were in his brother's shoes? Though the kiss meant nothing to Ryou, he still didn't want to take it back. Now he could move on with his life and never think about it again. He didn't have to contemplate or think of Ryou in ways he shouldn't have. He had tasted exactly what it could've been like and it was good but whatever Ryou put into that kiss, it wasn't meant for him. His brother was such a lucky bastard.

A lucky bastard who had the most adorable and scrumptious of admirers who would treat him so well, if his brother would've been smart enough to just accept it. He didn't know if his brother would ever truly come around, if he was honest with himself. Maybe he had been wrong about the two the entire time and things between them would never work out. Either way though, he had still given something Bakura had never had-his first love. And Ryou as well. Even if they never took each other back and his initial plan failed, he was sure he had still given them both something to look back on years from now and smile about.

There was someone who could worm their way into Bakura's heart to make him a changed person and actually care about something other than himself. Maybe at this age, Bakura wasn't ready to acknowledge that and really, it was okay. After all, his brother was still young and so was Ryou. If they really did love each other as much as they seemed to, well, there were years and years to make up. He wasn't going to meddle between them anymore because going back to Ryou should've been Bakura's choice and his alone.

Bakura was…an adult now and could make his own decisions. He wasn't the little boy he used to be who needed Diabound's watchful eye over him at all times. If he loved Ryou, he would make that decision and go back in good time. Of course, he held good faith in his brother and hoped that would come sooner than late but…

Either way, now he had given them something and taken his payment in return-even if that payment cost more to receive than its actual payout.

He left his feelings for Ryou there that night and walked out those double doors to wait for Ryou so they could go home as friends and never more.


Everything is alright.


Ryou, on the other hand, was still freaking out. He had pressed himself up against the break room door, having no idea what to expect when he walked back out to find Diabound. What sort of thing could he say to take back what he had done? The whole ordeal had been wrong; there was no way he could tell Diabound he had only kissed him for such a greedy reason. He'd have to think of something to say though because Diabound was going to ask!

Did…Diabound like him? He supposed he shouldn't be ignorant and should think of all the clues that pointed toward the answer. There was a large possibility Diabound liked him but Ryou didn't feel the same. He didn't want to hurt Diabound or their friendship by turning him down but…

How was he going to work alongside Diabound now, knowing they had kissed? And if Ryou ever did get back with Bakura (which he prayed for), how could he break to Bakura that he had kissed his brother? It was unfair, somehow, in Ryou's mind. Though they weren't together, it still managed to feel like cheating.

Such confusion: was this what Bakura had felt that night he had gone to Malik's? Had he been in search of one thing, only to find a very different answer? Maybe it was the same with Diabound; part of it was because he was so in love with Bakura and Diabound reminded him so much of the male. There were other parts as well though, parts Ryou was a little more ashamed of than that. He had only kissed two people he could remember in his entire life time. The first was a dare and the second was enchanting; so good, he could still feel Bakura's lips on his own and that excited, yet nervous feeling running throughout his veins. But was what he felt really love? Because Diabound had given him some strange feeling, a feeling like Ryou wanted to kiss him…

Ryou took that chance, just to see if he was an idiot and there really was no difference in who a person kissed as long as some sort of chemistry was nestled there. He had been wrong though because kissing Diabound was nothing like kissing Bakura and now, Ryou was more sure of it than ever; what he felt for Bakura…

Was real and somehow, he was going to make sure Bakura knew that still. Of course, what exactly he could do was drawing blanks in his mind. He still felt anxiety thinking about the situation but when he had a clearer head and was ready to face Bakura again, he was going to make sure Bakura knew how he felt and he wasn't going to leave until Bakura was honest about how he felt. If it had been a lie, fine, Ryou would take that but-he just knew it couldn't be that. There was something Bakura had hid from him and dammit! He loved that jerk of a guy, no matter what anyone said! He was going to find out, absolutely!

Of course, right now, dealing with Diabound was a little bigger of a dilemma. He couldn't hide in the break room forever though so he decided to quit pretending to be doing something in there and finally leave, though he was scared exactly what Diabound would do. Positive thinking never hurt though; he would get through this, just like he was with Bakura. He wasn't going to let himself be so weak anymore! He was going to be strong, no matter what life threw his way. Diabound was definitely one of those curve balls and Ryou was determined to get past it and when it was over, things would be better than they were before.

"And hopefully…it'll be like that with Bakura, too." A small smile tugged at his lips, hearing that name roll off his tongue. He turned off the light and opened the door, shutting it behind himself as he stepped out into the dim lighting. His heart was beating because he knew he should've seen Diabound but Diabound was not in sight! Perhaps he was outside? Most likely.

Heading to the doors to lock up for the night, he did just that and let himself out into the winter breeze, smiling to himself when he found Diabound there, standing at the curb. His jagged white locks were flowing in the bitter wind. And snow, -perfect snow-, was slowly beginning to fall, ground finally dry enough for the tranquil flakes to stick.

He slid his coat on over his shirt, keys jingling in his hand as he did so. Diabound's head turned around, eyes taking notice of him there. Ryou gave the male a gentle smile, looking up to the snow with placid orbs. "I…am really happy the rain has finally let up."

"I know." Diabound sighed, managing a small smirk of his own as he looked upon the boy in the same eccentric way as always. "Of course you are; you love snow."

"It is true…" The snow began to fall harder, white flakes dabbing onto Ryou's nose as he gazed upward in wonder. "I do love it. I always have, ever since I was little." Diabound chuckled low, shrugging his shoulders, eyes trained on Ryou's face.

"I know, you've told me again and again, just how much you couldn't wait til it snowed again."

"I know, I guess I am a schmuck for things like that, aren't I?" Ryou rolled his eyes, grinning as he looked upon Diabound, hands linking with his keys dangling in front of him. "I don't know why but I always feel like such great things happen when it snows, you know?" Because of Bakura, Ryou was now sure of it. That day in the snow with Bakura would always be one of his most cherished memories, no matter where life would take him.

"Mm." Diabound didn't move, simply eyeing Ryou calmly from the curb, surveying his behavior as he turned back up to the sky with a childish radiance, flakes meshing in perfectly with his pure white mane.

"I…in there…" Ryou began to spout out so quietly. He tried to remain as collected as possible but he couldn't look at Diabound because he was afraid of the look he might receive. Diabound didn't seem fazed by it in the least though and instead, just stood there watching with an aloof and confident look upon his face, lips twisted into one of his signature smirks. "I really…don't know w-"

"Ryou, save it, okay?" Diabound stated bluntly, "It was just something…weird. Very fucking weird; how about we blame it on that, okay?" Diabound chuckled heartily, lowering a foot down onto the pavement backwards. "I am willing to forget it if you will."

Ryou smiled brightly, eyes flashing to Diabound happily. He couldn't quite manage to put into words how happy this made him. He really didn't even want to mention what happened in there, mostly because it was just so hard to understand for himself. He was lonely, missing Bakura, and Diabound's reasoning…?

He didn't know that but he was sure, he was much better off being clueless to it all-and perhaps Diabound was for his reasons in return. "Yeah!" Ryou chimed delightedly, beginning the short walk towards his car. "That sounds good, I think!" He was sure though, no matter what, he'd never be able to forget that kiss or completely push aside the fact that Diabound had been the one to kiss him. But then again, who knew? Maybe things could go back to the way they were before, only better now because he'd never question his feelings for Bakura again"Are…you hungry?"

"Why? Are you trying to make me buy you food or something?" Diabound eyed Ryou playfully, raising a brow as he continued his backwards stroll to the car. Ryou laughed, walking along side him.

"Oh, you know me so well! But where should we go anyway?"

"Hmm." Diabound gave a shrug, grinning at the boy as he backed around the car, still continuing his ridiculous walk to the car. "Any ideas?"

Ryou thought about it for a second, an idea flashing into his head. "How about the one Chinese place that stays open really late?!" Ryou exclaimed excitedly, already able to taste the delicious won ton soup in his mouth. Diabound laughed and nodded in agreement, leaning against Ryou's passenger's side door.

"Mm, sounds good to me-but this time Ryou, I swear-if you tell me you are still hungry after we eat those huge portions, I think I am going to kill you."

"Diabound!" Ryou sulked, sticking his key in the keyhole to unlock his driver's side door. "That isn't fair! I just…have a big appetite and you know I haven't been eating much! I just feel so hungry tonight, as if-"

"As if you could eat the whole fucking Chinese restaurant and then some?"

Ryou giggled happily, shaking his head as he lowered himself into his seat, leaning his limber body over to unlock Diabound's door. "Mm, I wish! I think that would cost too much though-I swear, if I ate as much as I wanted to all month long, my food bill would be bigger than my rent!" Which, suddenly, reminded Ryou of something a little bit sadder. His eyebrows knitted worriedly as he started the car, gazing to Diabound. "I…know I shouldn't ask but…"

Diabound lifted his eyes with interest as he shut his door, reclining back in his seat. "But?" He replied, sprawling out in his seat, body pressed back against the chair lazily, not bothering with a seatbelt.

"How…is Bakura eating?" Ryou knew it was probably silly of him to ask since Bakura had money and could buy anything he wanted but…

Without him, he was stuck at home with his mother's food that he loathed and his own terrible cooking skills. Diabound laughed at him, as Ryou had expected. After all, it was a ridiculous, though innocent question. He just hoped…Bakura was okay.

"I don't really know, I have been so mad at him. I don't think he's eaten much at all though, now that I think of it," he mused, eyes wandering to the ceiling.

"Oh, really?" Ryou tried not to sound too worried but he was sure he was easily read through. Well, maybe tonight instead of letting Diabound pay, he would do so and order extra food and then send it home to Diabound in hopes that it would somehow end up in Bakura's empty, probably suffering stomach. He would've rather gone over there himself to make something especially good for Bakura but that was not going to happen right now with the way things were. But if Diabound brought home tons of extra food, surely Diabound would offer his brother some?

Ryou really hoped so because it was the least he could do.

'Bakura, please be okay…'

And at that, they pulled out of their work parking lot on their way to the restaurant, both quieted by their own thoughts.


Bakura's eyes had just been closing when he heard the sound of the doorbell. Fuck! Last night, he hadn't slept again because his mind had been so cluttered, keeping him from ever relaxing. He felt like complete shit and everything just seemed to be going wrong in his goddamn life! Finally, it was after school, and he had been able to -lay- down, too tired to even think of how shitty his day had been.

He had watched TV mindlessly for an hour and only finally, was he able to actually feel himself slip into sleep mode.

But then the doorbell and oh FUCK, Bakura was going to just go all out and murder whoever had rang that thing! A whole week of four or less hours of sleep and once again, today was going to be no different. He was beginning to get so frustrated-he was half a second away from getting into his mother's pill drawer and downing a handful of tranquilizers just so he could pass out for a whole night, finally! It'd be so perfect too because he'd sleep so soundly, no doorbell could -ever- wake him.

Now that he was so pissed off, he wasn't even -sure- he wanted to answer that door. The person out there? Yeah; they could just go fuck themselves because Bakura was going to stay right here on the couch and not move any of his tired muscles because the person at the door was not worth his time.

…At least they weren't until they kept at it. "Fuck!" He cried out to the room, throwing his feet to the floor. His toes curled at the mild temperature at the room, having fully preferred the comforting warmth from the blanket Bakura had just tossed aside. It was cold enough in the room and he was only in boxers! Now he had to go answer the goddamn door and feel the icy wind upon his face which was BELOW freezing and highly unpleasant-and it was only going to infuriate him more!

He glared hatefully at his door as he stomped over, kicking aside the shoes in the hallway that were unlucky enough to cross his path. Surely, the poor, innocent person outside was worried by just how much noise Bakura was making-but who fucking cared! If they pissed themselves out of fear, it was all the more worth it. He wanted them to know just how much they were ruining his day.

"I'm fucking coming!" He seethed, hand sluggishly grabbing the door handle, turning the lock so he'd be able to open the door. Twisting the knob, he took a step back, scowling immediately as he opened up the door to reveal the asshole who had woken him up.

When Bakura saw just who it was…

He bit his tongue. Hard-so hard, in fact, he could taste blood. Just fucking perfect! What thing had he done that was so horrible as to deserve this?! Yami, bastard, fatheaded, hag-faced Yami was standing before him and…

What bugged him even more was the fact that Yami wasn't staring at him with the same amount of loathing as usual. Instead, the male was standing on his front porch shuffling on his feet in a nervous manner, head down with his eyes set hard on the door ledge. Words did not form, leaving Bakura speechless. He stood there rather, door wide open, letting the freezing winds rouse his hair as his eyes stared at the male unsurely.

"Hi…" He mumbled low-so low, in fact, Bakura almost couldn't hear him. Yami's arms were fisted in his coat's pockets, pulling the thick jacket down from within them awkwardly. Bakura raised his eyebrow, mind still at a complete blank. Was this some sort of sick dream? Bakura cleared his throat, finally realizing just how cold it was. "Look!" He grumbled agitatedly. He stepped to the side, giving just enough room to let Yami enter. "If my dick wasn't shriveling from the fucking snowy-ass winds from outside getting into my house, I would never fucking do this but hurry up and get in before it just falls off!"

Yami's head finally rose, eyes meeting Bakura's. He frowned but complied, moving inside against the wall submissively, allowing Bakura to close the door to stop the icy air from getting into the house. Yami began to slide off his trainers habitually, since it was customary to do so before entering someone's house.

"Uhh what the fuck are you doing?" Yami paused his movement, heard whirling to look up at Bakura, who stood before him with his pale arms crossed over his chest. "And just who said I was going to let you stay? I said come in, not make your fucking self at home!" Bakura bellowed, eyes slitting darkly as they stared at the male in front of him. Yami simply gave a drained sigh, brushing off Bakura's words and continuing to take off his shoes.

"You don't have to raise your voice so damn loud you know? I am right in front of you," Yami murmured back sharply, using his foot to scoot his shoes up against the wall neatly. "I just wanted to talk to you for a minute."

Bakura frowned heavily, not liking that idea in the least. "And what makes you think I have anything to say to you? You don't even deserve to be in my house, let alone have me give you my precious time. Hurry up and spit whatever you have to say out because I don't have time for this." In fact, he was already regretting letting that ass in! Any stupid thing out of that bitch's mouth and he swore, he was going to grab Yami by the collar and just toss him out onto the stairs.

"Look." Yami's eyelids lowered over his unusually calm eyes, staring at the male across from him. "Just 10 minutes, please? I am not here to fight with you or bring anything up from the past-I simply…I want to end this shit between us already because I just think…" Yami looked a little unsure of himself for a moment. "It's stupid. I want to make a truce." Bakura's eyes watched the male suspiciously, not buying one word of what he was saying. How long had it been since they hadn't been friends? How many times had Yami done him wrong and flat out insulted him? Why now, out of seemingly nowhere, would he just up and decide to apologize?

"…I don't believe you." Bakura said flatly, gaze unwavering. Bakura was not going to be played for a fool-there was something to this Yami wasn't saying. Yami was not -that- kindhearted to just suddenly come and right any wrongs from his past. How many days ago had he once again said shit to Bakura, reaffirming exactly what Bakura had known for the past few years? Yami hated him. He hated Yami.

There was just no way an apology was all Yami had come to give. Something-someone had sent him here.

"What? Why?" Yami said suddenly, eyes filling with surprise. "I really just want to talk, I swear!" Bakura still did not look convinced. Yami began to fidget again, indicating exactly what Bakura was thinking. Yami was nervous because this was not his idea.

"No, no you fucking don't!" Bakura spat at him, an arm falling from his chest to fist at his side. "Forgive me for not just fucking falling to my knees and believing you the minute you happen to randomly walk onto my doorstep! I am not a moron, Yami, whatever you're here for has nothing to do with you!"

'Goddammit!' Yami's mind echoed to him. Bakura could see right through him and he wasn't sure how long he could hide it. He had never been much for lying and always felt awful for doing so. He couldn't let Bakura find out though because he was sure Bakura would just throw him out-but then, with the way things were going anyway, it didn't look like that was far from happening. He tried to problem-solve and think of a better plan but nothing came. Shit. "Really Bakura," he huffed, "I am here because I want a conversation with you-that is all."

…Bakura's mind still remained unchanged. He turned his nose up at Yami, head turning to the side, eyes closing defiantly as he pointed robustly to the door. "Go. If you are not going to tell me why you are here, get the fuck out. I am tired and I, as always, don't want to deal with you."

"Bakura, fuck!" Yami cursed, hands leaving his pockets to throw them at his side in a frustrated manner. "What can I say to make you fucking talk to me? Come on! Just five damn minutes!" Yami glowered at the male pleadingly. Somehow, he just had to get Bakura to speak with him!

"Tell me why the fuck you are here and I will consider it then!"

"FINE." Yami rolled his eyes in defeat. Well, it didn't matter anyway. If he didn't say it, he'd be forced to leave. If he did say it, he would be forced to leave too. What good luck he had. "Yuugi asked me to talk to you, okay? There!" Yami turned toward the door, pouting. "Happy now?!"

"Yuugi?" Bakura uttered, turning to Yami suddenly. His eyebrows knitted in confusion, feeling completely thrown back by that. "And just why the fuck would he have you do that?!" Wait-

Yuugi. Yuugi was Ryou's good friend, probably his best friend. That only meant one thing…

"Ryou…" He said without thinking, Yami's head looking back to stare at him. His expression fell and for a second, Bakura forgot just who he was in a room with. Yuugi had been worried about Ryou so he had sent Yami here to ask him about…well, about something. What could Yuugi possibly have wondered about to send Yami here for? Surely Ryou had told Yuugi -why- Bakura had supposedly ended it and what he had said was so cruel; surely Yuugi wouldn't send Yami his way to ask him to apologize to Ryou? No friend would want their friend to date an apparent cheater.

"Yeah…" Yami trailed off suddenly, head turning back to eye the floral picture before him uninterestedly. "Yuugi sent me to ask you about, well, Ryou. And why you broke up with him and all that crap."

"And why would he do that?!" Bakura seethed out, rolling his eyes. "Didn't Ryou tell him what I told him? Was it not fucking blatantly obvious?"

"Well…yes, actually," Yami spat back emotionally. Hah, finally; Bakura was getting to him. Oh… Bakura smirked miserably. He knew Yami couldn't hide his true feelings for long; Yami had never been much of a liar, had he now? Yami whirled around, the true hateful expression returning in his eyes. He was looking at Bakura so disgustedly, just like he always did. God people never fucking change. Not in Bakura's life anyway. "You did make it blatantly obvious that you were a jackass to such a nice person and that you screwed him over completely-but you see, Bakura, people who are not evil and actually have a good bone in their body seem to think that -you-" Yami's hand lifted up, finger pointing toward him. "Lied about what you did, or hope that you lied. I know much better though, especially now!" Yami cried, face heating up from anger. "You lied to Ryou completely, just as I suspected! You lied to him and let him fall in love with you and, just as I told Yuugi, there was no way you could ever love someone back because if you did, the last thing you could do was hurt them so badly with such a horrible lie!"

"Oh, is that so?" Bakura chuckled manically, arms crossing over his chest in a satisfied manner. "Mm, then I guess you're no better than me, now are you?" He lulled, stepping away from his current place to press his back against the wall for support, eyes gazing down deep into the hall, staring at nothing. So somehow, Yuugi came to the conclusion that Bakura might not have meant what he told Ryou? Did Ryou not believe him?

But…who wouldn't believe that… Wasn't that everyone's worst fear when they were with someone? He had broken Ryou's heart and yet, Ryou thought he was lying? Was it really because Ryou knew or because Ryou was just so devastated, he didn't want to believe Bakura was the shitty person he really was? Still, it felt good to know that maybe, there was a chance that Ryou knew him better than he ever would've liked a person to.

"And just what is that supposed to mean!" Yami barked, eyes slitting as he glared at the male who had his head turned away from him. "I am not the one who is selfish and completely scarred such a sweet person! I am not the one who went and-"

"You can shut your mouth, I know what I did Yami." Bakura sighed fervently, crooking his head back against the hallway's ledge, eyes closing. "All too well, I really do…"

"Then why! Why would you do something like that?! You're just!" Yami couldn't think of the right words, Bakura was so horrible in his mind! He stomped over and grabbed his shoes, knowing his time here was finished. Exactly what he thought had been confirmed and that was all he needed to know, from now until forever. "You're just like I always knew you were!"

"Yep," Bakura said softly, giving a smile no real joy touched upon. "I really am, aren't I?"

Yami's head snapped to look at Bakura. That hadn't quite been the response Yami was expecting. Why was Bakura accepting his words so easily? That wasn't like Bakura at all-he wasn't laughing about it, nor did he show much emotion at all. Still-it didn't sound quite like…he would've thought Bakura would if Bakura really was proud of what he had done. "I bet you're real pleased about it too," Yami hissed, feet finally inside his shoes, heading to the door. Bakura said nothing and he knew that was it. His hand reached out for the knob, gloved hand curling around it.

"Is…he doing okay?" Bakura knew asking would make things pretty suspicious but he had been thinking about it for so long. Diabound wasn't talking to him and he couldn't have mustered up the courage to ask him, anyway. In fact, the last time he had talked to Bakura it was to offer him Chinese food-types that Bakura swore he'd never known Diabound to like. He swore, he could remember Ryou ordering that snow pea dish before, though…

"What the hell do you think?" Yami's hand froze on the door, eyes falling to stare down on his shoes pensively. "Ryou loves you and you did him wrong-of course he isn't really okay…" He began to pull the door open, heading to exit out. "But he hides it well now." Yami frowned. "He really does…"

"I see…" Bakura's eyes opened slowly and he glanced up to the ceiling, unsure of the feeling welling within him. So Ryou was still in pain, after all? Of course, it had only been a week and a day-it hadn't been forever. Yet, it felt like it had been so much longer to Bakura. Nothing had gotten easier and he still missed Ryou the same as he did the day he last saw him. Was Ryou at home in that lonely apartment, feeling the same way?

Even if he was though, what could he do? What did he even want to do? He felt so incomplete and fucked up, in every sense of the way. His heart was in pain, his head was in pain; his life seemed so depressing and for no reason at all. It was just as it always had been-what was so sad about that? Hadn't that been the exact thing Bakura had spent so much time wishing for? Now that he had it, he wondered if he ever really wanted that wish in the first place-if he could go back in time only a month, would he?

The answer was so lame. He wanted to be strong and be over this, over him. He wasn't, not at all. "Tell him…" Just as the door was about to close, it stopped, Yami jerking back in to peer to Bakura oddly.

"Tell him?" Yami frowned unsurely. 'Haven't you already said enough to him for a lifetime?" But it was so strange-for someone who had played a joke, Bakura seemed so troubled by it. Why was Bakura so sad if he never cared for Ryou in the first place? If he had never liked Ryou, how Ryou was doing should not have mattered. Then, Yami realized something…

Hadn't he considered it before? If Bakura really did do that to Ryou, why would he come out and admit it to Yami-or anyone for that matter? Bakura had never been one to gush out his emotions. He kept his true feelings to himself, even when they were younger. He was always quick to point out negative things like what annoyed him and what he hated but never things that actually hurt him or troubled him-and most of all, never anything he loved. Yami had been so blinded by his own grudge towards Bakura, he had forgotten again just how Bakura really was. Maybe there was a chance for Ryou, after all…

Bakura was right, wasn't he? Yami smiled small to himself. By judging Bakura so quickly, he really was no better than the male.

"…Just…fuck it," Bakura said, shaking it off. Besides, what could he say? There was nothing he could do to take what he had done back and this was what he had wanted so badly-Ryou was not going to take him back. He shouldn't have-he didn't want him to…

But hell. He spent so much time talking himself out of things and contradicting everything he thought; just what the fuck did he want?! He didn't know, just like he didn't back then. One second he would feel so sure and the next, he'd be stuck in his bedroom, attacked by thousands upon thousands of questions, left without a clue.

But really…wasn't feeling like this so much worse than he had ever felt before? 'Those eyes…Ryou's eyes…' He missed him so much sometimes; was it even possible to feel this low?

"You know…if you have something to tell him, you should tell him yourself. I'm sure he'd like to hear from you," Yami mused, voice friendlier than it had been before. Bakura noticed it too. He was quick to turn his head, putting on a cautious expression.

"You said it yourself, didn't you?" Bakura rose from the wall, turning out in the hall fully to face Yami. "I said such fucked up things to him and pushed him away-I'm pretty sure he has no interest in anything I have to say." But if that was true, why had Yuugi brought Yami here in the first place? Surely, Ryou was somewhere out there, wondering about him too.

"Well…mistakes get made, don't they?" Yami raised an eyebrow. "And if you actually knew Ryou well, you'd know…he could never stay mad at anyone for long, no matter how badly they'd treated him. Bakura, don't be an idiot anymore." Yami rolled his eyes, smirking to the male knowingly. "If you feel the same way, why the fuck are you at your house, hiding like this? If you did what you told him you did, you deserve to rot but if it's something else and you're sitting around blubbering to yourself like the baby you are…" Yami laughed lightly, making Bakura scowl at him. "Figure it the hell out and get back to him-he deserves to be happy and you know what?" Yami took gave him an honest look, smiling. "So do you. Anyway, I think I took up enough of your time for one day so…I'll be going now."

Yami gave Bakura a curt nod which Bakura did not respond to and closed the door behind himself. Bakura was once again left standing, having no idea how to react. Since when did Yami think he deserved much of anything, save a quick trip to the slammer? Somehow though, his words had helped Bakura, even if only a small amount. What he had done was…was it really a mistake?

What was it he really wanted in life if this wasn't it? Yami was right, that was for sure; he had been so messed up lately with everything going on around him-he felt like he was sinking deeper in, as if he'd never be able to escape.

He really did just…need to figure things out, with Ryou and -everything-. But hopefully that could wait because damn, he needed a nap.

With the possibility that Ryou still believed in him, how could he help the fact that he slept a little bit better that afternoon?


"Wow Ryou!" Malik exclaimed, sneakers treading through the doorway of Ryou's apartment. His eyes widened and an excited grin crossed his lips as he looked around the apartment in glee. "You are so lucky to live all alone!" Malik sighed heavily, throwing a gloved hand over his heart. "I would kill to live alone-ugh; seriously!"

Ryou laughed at his friend's response, giving a weightless shrug as he closed the door behind himself, the shutting sound echoing against every wall. "You're silly-it isn't that amazing, really." Ryou smiled happily, eyes turning from his friend to the light switch, fingers flicking the switches to light up the entire apartment instead of just the entrance.

"God, you don't have to be modest-fuck; everyone I know would kill to be left all alone by their parents or," He stressed, eyes rolling in irritation. "Certain overbearing, annoying sisters but-I digress. But shit Ryou, seriously!" Malik grinned manically, tearing through the living room to jump hazardously onto the couch. His shoes hit the couch ledge, having not bothered to take them off before entering.

Ryou only giggled, shaking his head as he neatly removed his own shoes, setting them beside the wall out of habit. "You're ridiculous Malik; really…" He trailed off, crinkling his nose for a moment to emphasize this point. "Did you want anything to drink though?" His eyes lit up curiously. "After all, even if you are a bad house guest," Ryou grinned jokingly at this, "I still should be the best host I can be."

"Haha, indeed. Uhm, milk?" Malik's eyes lit up. "With ice preferably; I like my drinks extra cold." Ryou's brow raised; an odd request-whatever. If that was what Malik wanted, than so be it.

"Sure thing, freak-boy. I will go get that and be right back!" He began to tread to the kitchen but halted after taking a few steps. "I'd say make yourself comfortable…" Ryou laughed, "But it seems you've already done that plenty well so."

"Oh, you're such an old man, Ryou!" Malik countered back, chuckling. Ryou continued on his way with a smile, leaving his friend to laze around on the couch. The click of the TV sounded out from the living room, filling in the silence. "Hey!" He screamed out, an idea rolling into Malik's head. "And if you have whipped cream, it'd go pretty nice on top of that milk!" Ryou stopped in place for a moment, wondering if he should say something. His eyebrow rose peculiarly. One thing was certain; no one had ever warned him about Malik's strange eating habits.

As Ryou reached the fridge, however, he couldn't shake his friend's words off of his mind. Was he really so lucky? Is that what living all alone was considered at 18? Was it silly of him to wish he could've traded Malik? He'd always wished for those sorts of things-to never be so lonesome. However, it hadn't hit him so hard until after Bakura…

His apartment was missing so many things-that thing being love, or any sort of companionship. His father was always gone and his mother and sister were long since dead, leaving Ryou with absolutely no one save his cat. Wasn't it lonely? It was and it yanked at his heart every day to notice how much was missing from his home. His cat was always good company and Yuugi and Yami would stop by every couple of days but it wasn't the same as having him here.


He leant against the fridge for a moment, on his side, eyes staring forlornly to the window the dining room table stood before. The blinds were opened and Ryou's oak depths could see the slightest ebb of the stars outside that littered the night sky. He wished, though it was so foolish, that he could see a shooting star outside, tearing across the horizon. Because just maybe-maybe…Maybe he could wish for things to patch up somehow and he'd be able to believe in it a little bit more.

Ryou hadn't lost hope completely but it had been a week and four days; two weeks had almost gone by and he'd heard nothing from Bakura. He knew that wasn't a very long time but if Bakura truly felt for him, wouldn't he have known by then? For that matter, shouldn't he have known before? It was all so complicated and it made his head ache just to think of it. Still, no matter what went through his mind, the thought that struck him most was…

How much he loved that idiot. And no one's words could ever take that away from him or make him lose all hope. Sure, it was hard to deal with and he felt so unsure every now and again but if he didn't believe in Bakura, who would? He wanted so badly to just go over to that house and bust through that door to tear his way to Bakura. He wanted to jump in those pale, strong arms and feel his body pressed against Bakura's and see that look Bakura only gave to him. He wanted to tell him how much Bakura meant to him and do anything in his possession to force that dummy to just…

To just return his feelings. He wanted Bakura to feel the same so badly. He wanted Bakura to…to finally tell him he was in love with him or needed him or just-just anything! But how could he do that and get those results when he couldn't face Bakura? Bakura wasn't in any hurry to come to him obviously and Ryou felt so lost in it all. If Bakura felt the same like he thought, why wouldn't Bakura realize and feel this pain? Why didn't he feel just how much Ryou needed him?

He couldn't run and tell Bakura that. He couldn't force his feelings on the male or try to coerce anything out of him. He wanted Bakura to come to him and tell him all on his own. He wanted Bakura to come back because Bakura knew-not because Ryou threw himself at the male. Who could say if Bakura even wanted him back anyway? Sure, he talked with his friends over it and they all thought his behavior had been weird but…

Ryou wanted so badly to go and scream-scream to Bakura at the top of his lungs. He wanted to be confident in the fact that he knew the truth. He was so shy though and he still had doubts; what if his friends only agreed with him because they were being supportive of him? What if they were lying to him and pitying him behind his back because, "oh, the poor bloke! He couldn't even see what was so obviously in front of his face!" He didn't want to believe that but he had such a hard time believing in himself and believing Bakura could really feel anywhere near the same.

He wanted to be confident and reckless and show Bakura…

But his fears kept him from it. He spent so much time fighting himself over it, he'd never come to a final decision-he didn't want to wait forever but he knew he'd never have the strength to do exactly what his heart desired.

An emotional pang struck him and he found himself feeling so low. He knew he couldn't go back out to Malik in such a depressed state. He didn't want Malik to know he was still so torn up but it was so hard; how do you take knowing the person you love most is so far away, yet so close at the same time?

"Ryou…tick-tock, tick-tock, woman!" Malik shouted belligerently from the living room. "My belly needs its beer so step on it!" No! Ryou tried to be strong and pull himself together. He wasn't going to break down, not here; not now. His weaknesses were what were making him so sad in the first place; he couldn't let his self get to him. He had to talk himself out of it and be positive and optimistic and just…

Move on because being so depressed for so long was no good for anyone. He tried to leave his thoughts of Bakura there in the kitchen as he poured a glass of milk for his friend. Yet, even when he laughed halfheartedly and walked out to give Malik his cup filled to the brim with milk and whipped cream

He still couldn't shake the male away.


Malik, while waiting for Ryou, had decided to idly flick through channels. Malik had always been one for VH1 and MTV and was currently obsessing, changing back and forth to decide just what show to choose. He finally came to a decision and settled on VH1, a re-run of 'Best Week Ever!' running. He hadn't seen it and immediately became enthralled by it, lavender eyes widening with interest as they stayed glued on the screen.

A commercial break came and by then, he noticed just how long Ryou had been gone. What was he doing? He couldn't hear any noise from the kitchen but he remembered hearing Ryou go back. That was strange; maybe Ryou had gone to another room without him noticing? He decided to call out to Ryou, smirking slightly as he did so. "Ryou…tick-tock, tick-tock, woman!" Malik called out. "My belly needs its beer so step on it!"

A moment later, he heard rustling again and a laugh and realized Ryou was, yes, still in the kitchen. Had the boy just been standing around in there, doing nothing? Malik felt a little strange thinking about it. After all, it was no reason to feel so worried. Surely Ryou had just gotten caught-up in his thoughts; oh, but what would those thoughts be of?


Malik frowned at his next thought, biting onto his lip as he sunk back into the sofa's cushions. How was Ryou feeling? It had only been so many days ago Ryou had left him, crying as he ran out of the book store. It had been such a minimal amount of time; there was no way Ryou had gotten over Bakura completely by now. Bakura had to be fresh on Ryou's mind, constantly eating at him every second of the day. He had seen Ryou all evening now and something just shook at him; Ryou still wasn't right.

What could he do though? He didn't want to make his friend hurt by bringing Bakura up but at the same time, letting Ryou keep quiet about it wouldn't be healthy either. "Sorry, darling fucking husband," Ryou cattily remarked, "I was just so busy thinking of you, I couldn't help but be mesmerized and completely forget all about your needs!"

Malik snorted, head tilting back to grin as Ryou's hand reached out to him, holding a glass cup filled with ice and milk, just as he'd asked for. Mm, and a lovely swirl of whipped cream! "Mm, that's what Mariku says too, only I beat the crap out of him for forgetting about my requests, even if just for a moment!" He snickered, lifting the cup to his mouth to take a sip. "You're lucky though Ryou." His eyes pierced the male, grinning slightly. "I just like you so much; I'll let you off just this once."

"Hah!" Ryou rolled his eyes, a grape soda can in hand as he plopped down beside his friend, pulling his feet up to curl upon the couch. "I should be so lucky, ne?"

"Chh, truly." Malik smiled slightly, turning his head to his friend. He stared at Ryou for a moment, biting at his lip. He wondered if he should ask-it wasn't really his business but…

He just didn't want Ryou to be sad. He seemed fine now, yes, but maybe that was just the mask he put on to seem okay to everyone around him. "Hey…" Ryou turned his head, doe-like eyes meeting Malik's. He gave him a friendly smile, eyebrows lifting in curiosity.

"What is it?" He chimed, meeting his friend's gaze. Malik's expression changed uncertain for a moment but he decided…

It was better to make sure than leave it to dig at Ryou all alone. No friend should have ever had to go through something so difficult by themself. Malik was lucky enough to have Mariku (of course now that was in more ways than one) and likewise, Malik was determined to be there for Ryou. "I…was just wondering…" Malik frowned softly, staring at his friend seriously. "Are you…you know; okay?"

"Okay?" Ryou gave the male a blank look for a moment before he laughed and nodded wildly. "What do you mean? Yes, I am! I mean, I haven't caught any mysterious cases of Bird Flu or anything so yes, I am just fine!" Ryou chuckled, "But why do you ask?"

Malik grinned as well, eyes rolling. "But seriously Ryou, I mean…of course you haven't recently acquired AIDS or anything but…" His eyes filled with concern for his friend. "Concerning Bakura, I mean…" Malik was sure Ryou hadn't meant to give himself away so easily. Surely the boy tried to conceal the pain that revealed itself in his eyes at the name and the pure uncertainty he felt in himself concerning the subject. Ryou tried to quickly cover it up with a smile but…

It was so haphazard and forced; Ryou tried but Malik could see the truth in it all. "I'm fine, really. You shouldn't worry-I mean, I'm not going to let it get to me. Really!" Ryou said it so cheerfully yet, Malik felt sympathy welling inside of him for his new friend. He liked Ryou so much; he hated to see his friend so obviously troubled.

"If…you're sure. I mean, have you heard anything from him yet or…?" But Malik already guessed that answer would be "no" or Ryou wouldn't have been so bothered by the mention of his name.

"In all honesty…" Ryou's eyes fell to the couch cushion line, staring at it harshly. "I've heard nothing at all. I wish I had but…what can I do, you know?" He smiled small, shrugging his shoulders heavily. "I can't make him want to talk to me."

"Well, Ryou…" Malik sighed. Hadn't he told Ryou before that Bakura was an idiot? Even if he was so "macho" in persona, he was definitely not that way when it came to his true feelings. If he loved Ryou, surely, the teen would have to take action before that dumb ass ever would. Perhaps it was his own bias speaking but Malik was just too sure; Bakura was too much of a coward to ever make such a huge step. Perhaps he would, yes, but if it were Malik and he had such deep feelings…

Why wait when you were always doing that? Ryou was so patient and considerate and those were great qualities, Malik supposed…

But really-to train a dog you have to be dominant and show that dog how to act accordingly. Bakura was no different to Malik-he needed to be guided somehow; he needed someone to lead him by his leash to show him what he was supposed to do because he was, likely, at a loss of what to do in a situation like the one he found himself in. Perhaps Ryou needed to show Bakura exactly what Ryou wanted and Bakura would see that was exactly what he had been trying to do all along, in his own twisted sort of way.

"I don't think you should wait for him to make the first move. If it were me…" And Malik knew, at times, he could be a bit ruthless in getting exactly what he wanted-still, the principal was there. "I would tell him exactly what I thought of him!" He glared at his friend passionately; free hand fisting upon the couch seat. "You can't let him treat you the way he does, Ryou. If you want him so bad, tell it to his fucking face, just how much he is messing with you! Don't let him always drag you around-show him what you're made of, Ryou! If you love that mother fucker, make him yours and don't you dare let him tell you "no"!" Malik took a deep breath, staring into his friend's gentle eyes as they lifted to meet his. "If you really don't think he lied about it, you need to throw it in his face." Malik didn't mean to seem so enflamed by this but he couldn't help himself. How long had he worked and prayed Bakura would care for him? The ass didn't get it then but now, for Ryou, Malik found that he didn't want the same story to replay. Bakura wasn't the one for Malik but for Ryou…

There was still a chance. And right now, Ryou seemed taken aback by his response, not looking like he had been expecting such a powerful display. Ryou shrunk back in his seat making Malik feel worse. Hopefully he hadn't gone and said the wrong thing? It would figure though! The times he was actually trying to help someone, he would go and end up making it worse!

"I want to Malik! I really do but…" Ryou dug his back into the cushions, eyeballs screwing shut. "I just don't know how to break through to him and make him see…I swear, I feel like he lied but I don't know how to approach him!" He cried in frustration, throwing a hand upon his forehead. Malik smiled reassuringly, eyeing his friend.

"Then, we'll figure out something! Bakura is so stupid, Ryou!" Malik exclaimed, grinning to his friend. "You can't let him do this to you-you have to tell him what he is doing to you. Don't let that fucker make you so sad anymore!"

"It…it seems so easy when you say it but," Ryou said disbelievingly. "It is so hard. I, I mean…how can I approach him after what he said? Malik, if I even saw his face, I…I think I'd just…crash all over again." Ryou turned his head to stare to the ground pathetically. Ryou made Malik feel so horrible; he wanted to fix this for him so badly! But how could he fix a thing and make Ryou confident that he could get Bakura back if Ryou didn't believe it?

"Then wait until you can face him Ryou, or just suck it up and do it!" Malik answered honestly. Ryou turned his head to look at him uncertainly. "I mean…you have to be able to sometime. Ryou, if you really love him, you'll find a way so…what are you waiting for?"

Ryou looked as if he were contemplating Malik's words. He stopped suddenly, eyes widening. "But…if I do, will…you help? I mean, I don't even know what I would say to him!" Ryou cried, tugging at a strand stressfully. "There's just so much, you know?"

"Hah, I do. Then…we'll work something out, really." Malik beamed, reaching a hand over to pat his friend's shoulder. "I promise you, Ryou. Somehow, I'll make sure you speak to Bakura and get this dumb thing fixed, okay? Just cheer up!"

"But…" Ryou smiled small in gratitude. "You really don't have to do that, Malik. I, I mean…thank you so much. I want to talk to him and I know I can but I just need to figure out how to go about that."

"I know and now that you're lucky enough to have me at your side, well!" Malik laughed. "We'll figure it out, you and I. Somehow, you're going to bring that mofo to his knees." Ryou was laughing again and that was as good a sign of any. His eyes looked so bright and it seemed as if some of the weight had been lifted from his shoulders.

"Gosh, you make it sound like I am going to run up to him and kick him in the, uhm, groin or something!" Ryou giggled. "But alright! Let's figure this out then!" And suddenly, Ryou's world seemed so much lighter than before.


I'm outside of you and I can't break through.


Mariku was currently sitting on his sofa drinking a beer and Bakura was…

Staring out the window again.

Holy fuck; was Mariku the only person on earth who found his friend's newfound behavior more annoying than sad?! Seriously. Mariku frowned, vivid lavender hues glowering at the show upon the TV screen. Bakura and he were supposed to be watching '300' and discussing, like usual, just how bad ass this movie was. God, how many inside jokes did they have for this stupid movie, anyways? Well, in any case, Bakura wasn't even paying attention. This was highly unusual; when was the last time they had grown bored watching this movie? Was it now so old that they couldn't laugh about it any longer?

But Mariku knew this wasn't even the case. Bakura had been like this for a week-no, it had even gone on longer than a week. Fuck, when had Bakura ever been this bad at hiding that he was so downright upset?! And all over Ryou too. Mariku wasn't quite sure what had went on but he had the sneaking suspicion it was not Ryou's fault. Instead, it was likely the dicklips sitting on the other end of the couch had made an utterly moronic move to get himself in such a position. Mariku almost wanted to ask but seriously; he was afraid his friend would just downright burst into fucking tears, god.

Bakura always looked so pissed off, scowling and all but right now? He looked so distant and sad, in a way Mariku was sure he'd never seen his friend look before. Had Ryou really been so good in bed that having him gone was an all-out crisis? "You know, you could at least fucking try and act like you're having fun." Oh, but then Bakura wouldn't be Bakura. They'd hung out nearly every night the past few days and every time, Bakura would be moping off to the side, practically ignoring all his friends. If he said anything, it was only to snap or yell-in other words, Bakura was just being an all around little bitch.

Mariku, being the helpful friend he was decided maybe Bakura just needed some good ol' one-on-one time. They loved this movie and alcohol, so what was a better combination?! Of course, that wasn't the first suggestion but at the mention of a gay strip club, Mariku was pretty sure Bakura was five seconds away from slamming his fist right in Mariku's adorable little nose.

"Huh?" Bakura stirred, eyes gazing tiredly from the window to Mariku beside him. He gave the male a small frown and shrugged his shoulders. "We've seen it a million fucking times; it isn't like I don't have the whole movie memorized." Mariku wanted to throw his beer at Bakura's head. Way to be a fucking downer!

"Well okay then Mr. fucking I-am-too-good-for-Sparta! Let's just watch something else!" Mariku was about to get up but Bakura didn't look thrilled with the idea. Instead the bastard just turned to look back out Mariku's window.

"Whatever you want to do."

…"Bakura, how much longer are we going to play this little fucking game of yours?" Mariku's eyed the male agitatedly. "If something is really bugging you this damn much, quite brooding and spit it the fuck out or quit acting like you've been raped already!"

Bakura whipped his head around, raising a brow in question. "What the hell are you talking about, idiot? I am not acting like I got raped." Bakura seethed, throwing his head back against the ugly brown couch cushion. "And nothing is wrong. I am just t-"

"Tired," Mariku said bluntly, not impressed with this answer in the least. Maybe because that is what Bakura had been telling all of them ever since this whole problem had come about. "Bakura, you are not tired-yes, you look like shit in general but I am too smart and too clever to not know that sleep is not your biggest problem." Mariku lifted the silver and blue 'Bud Ice' can to his lips, taking a gulp as his eyes traveled from his friend to the TV screen.

Bakura scowled at him in response, arms fisting at the male's thin sides. "No, the real problem is your big mouth just doesn't know when to shut it! I have no damn problem that you need to bury that big orange nose of yours in!"

"Bakura, quit beating around the bush, you pussy!" Mariku shouted out in frustration. "We both know the problem is Ryou so suck it up and go get that hot little bitch of yours back already!"

"Ryou is not the damn problem!" Bakura yelled back, throwing a fist on his own knee violently. "I swear, okay?! I am not broken up about it so just leave me the fuck alone and let's watch this dumb movie already! Fuck!"

"If you really don't fucking care about him, Bakura, then why the hell are you screaming about it so loud dude?! Why are you dissing Sparta?!" Mariku raised an eyebrow exuberantly, wondering why his friend kept fighting this. Why was Bakura so keen on keeping it hidden, as if he had ever been that good at keeping secrets of any sort?!

"I…" Bakura started but he couldn't quite seem to finish his sentence. He calmed in his seat and just rolled his head lazily back to the window. "I just don't want to talk about it," He answered lamely in response. Gee Bakura; way to hide your feelings well.

Mariku sighed and settled down as well, head resting back on the cushion as his eyes drifted to the ceiling. "So, why don't you just talk to him?"

"I…don't know." Was that all Bakura could come up with? Mariku's head tilted to the window, gazing outside. It was dark tonight and not a cloud was in sight. The stars gleamed so flawlessly out there, reminding Mariku of summer. It fooled him and perhaps, had it been a billion degrees warmer, he would've forced Bakura out to lounge and get wasted on the trampoline. Unfortunately, even if he were feeling that adventurous, the trampoline was caked in snow and his nipples froze over the second he stepped outdoors. It was a nice thought though.

"Well, what are you going to do then?"

Bakura shrugged his shoulders dejectedly. "Nothing." His eyes gazed from outside to the stained arm of the couch his hand rested upon. "I can't do anything."

"Why, have you gone retarded or something within the last week?" Mariku screwed up his face, eyeing his friend as if the male were crazy. Since when was Bakura so docile about things? He wanted Ryou, didn't he? So why was he being such a baby about it, acting like the poor kid had just up and died?

"No," Bakura snapped, feisty tone returning for a moment. He closed his eyes, lips pursing together a second. "I just don't want to."

"…Says the guy who is all but bawling on my couch."

"I am not fucking about to cry, you idiot," Bakura mumbled, eyes glaring at Mariku, head tilting slightly to see the blonde's face.

"Chh, then act like it, bitch. So, why did you break it off with Ryou anyway if you knew it'd make you so terrible to be around?" Bakura's eyes lowered angrily.

"Thanks for being so concerned for me, ass. And honestly…" Mariku stared at his friend, who looked at a loss for the right words to say. Seriously, why was this so hard for Bakura? "I didn't know…I'd be like this."

"Then go and get him back?" Mariku stated, as if it were obvious-well, it was. It really fucking was; unfortunately, Bakura was the only one in the world who didn't see the bluntness to it all.

"You act like I have never fucking thought about it!" Bakura snapped back, emotions getting the better of him. "But I just…I can't, okay? I don't want a fucking leech of a boyfriend who won't leave me alone for a damn second!"

"Wait-are we talking about Ryou now or Malik?" Mariku blurted out, scratching his head. Bakura's eyelids lowered. "I can't remember a time when Ryou called you that you didn't look happy to pick up the phone-and every time you text him, you didn't seem too annoyed by that." Mariku's eyes widened, a memory dawning on him. "Especially after the night you guys finally did it. Seriously, I don't ever remember seeing you in a better mood."

"…Fuck off," Bakura spit in response, obviously having little better to say. He looked away from Mariku again, only because he knew Mariku was right. Ryou had never been clingy and he certainly hadn't called Bakura or invaded on his alone time with friends. Surprisingly, Bakura had even picked Ryou over his friends a night or two, which had shocked the hell out of all he and Jou. And every time Ryou was around Bakura was somehow nicer to be around. He made Bakura a little calmer and altogether, the boy kept him together well, in ways no one else ever fucking could. Ryou had Bakura wrapped around his cute little finger and that killed Bakura because…

As with Malik and anyone else, Bakura was the one who called all the shots. When he got what he wanted, he was done. With Ryou, Bakura couldn't get enough-he was always in such high spirits when he was around the teen, so why had Bakura dumped him? Surely, Ryou wasn't Bakura's long lost brother or something? (Because fuck, could Mariku swear he saw the slightest resemblance)

"Dude, you really should just face the facts and go get him. I don't know why you are letting him go to the wolves-I highly doubt he cheated on you so I know that can't be it." After all, it was disgustingly obvious that boy was in love with Bakura's every move-there was no way Ryou cheated.

"It's not even…" Bakura sighed heavily. "I don't want him back. I thought about it already and it just isn't what I want. It really fucking isn't…"

"Well you seem so obviously happy by that decision," Mariku pointed out, lips twisting in sarcasm. "So what about him made you decide then that you didn't want him back? If he makes you happy, isn't that enough? Who fucking cares what anyone else thinks if you love the guy that much?"

"I don't fucking love him, shit!" Oh, so Mariku had finally struck the right chord. Bakura made it too easy; he always did. Bakura leant over hurriedly, snatching a Vans shoe from the ground. "I'm fucking going-I don't want to talk about this bullshit anymore."

"Oh pissy, pissy! Geez Bakura, quit being such a wimp about this!" Mariku countered, glaring at the male. "It's really not that hard to fix! You did something wrong with him, fine. He likes you a lot, he'll forgive you and you can fuck like there's no tomorrow; problem fixed and done with!"

"That is not the fucking problem! Just shut the hell up already!" Bakura hissed now, shoes finally on his feet. He stood and stomped over in front of Mariku, blocking the TV screen from the male's view. He was trying to be intimidating but it was hardly working. Mariku had already had enough Bud Ice to get him a good buzz going, not to mention Bakura's gangly little body hardly gave Mariku a single shiver.

"You know…" Mariku's eyes drifted up to Bakura's face mundanely. "You're blocking out a good part of the movie and might I add…it is kinda annoying."

"I don't fucking love him!" Bakura boomed, eyes looking as if they were about to just shoot out lasers at any moment. Fuck, Bakura looked so pissed! Had Mariku not been so faithfully tied to Malik, he might have thought of tapping that.

…If it hadn't been his best friend of who knew how many years? Ewe. Whatever; he blamed the alcohol for making him think such a disgusting thought. Mariku teased Bakura further, giving him a confused look. "I was talking about the TV, not your little hubby. Could you please step aside so I can-?"

"TAKE IT BACK!" …Jesus Christ! Bakura's arm was fisting at his side and color was rushing to his face in anger. He was so mad, he was shaking. Okay, so maybe Mariku was a little freaked now. What the fuck? He had only been teasing, well, teasing in a serious sort-of way, that Bakura loved him! That was hardly a good enough reason to all out attack him! But then, this was Bakura talking and ever since the break-up, Bakura had been completely off his rocker.

…Too bad Bakura wasn't a fucking dog so Mariku could just call animal control to have a tranquilizer shot at him-cuz god, did Bakura need it. "Uhh, Bakura, what the hell is your problem?" Mariku found a hiccup rising to his throat. "Do you realize you are about to punch me for telling you that you love someone? What are we, in first gr-" Luckily, Mariku wasn't quite so tipsy as to not react to the fist that was charging for his poor nose. He leapt to spring across the couch, clumsily moving to his feet.

It all happened so fast! Mariku's brain was having a hard time catching up. Bakura was now coming toward him, looking as mad as ever, obviously not ready to give it up quite yet. "Bakura, fucking stop!" Mariku cried, Bakura throwing another punch at his friend. Obviously, Bakura wasn't even thinking. Mariku had taken capo era for years and was well aware how to dodge an attack-especially such a poorly thought out one.

"Take it back, fucker!"

Mariku immediately spiraled away, Bakura fuming. Bakura was making such idiotic moves, it didn't even take Mariku a second-all Bakura had to do was come at him one more time and Mariku worked his foot the exact right way, tripping Bakura to the ground, flat on his back. Once again, it happened in a flash so Bakura had little time to do anything about it. He landed hard on his back, heart racing.

Mariku's own hand came up to clutch his poor, overworked heart, eyeing the male upon his floor oddly. "So please, go over what the hell this is all about because I am a little confused. You're not even putting up a fight for me." Bakura's hand was thrown over his eyes and he wasn't saying a word. He wasn't moving off of the floor so obviously, it was okay to assume Bakura's weird behavior had passed.

"I…" Bakura tried to say in between breathes, sounding almost as if he were hyperventilating. "Mariku, what the fuck is wrong with me?" Bakura asked in a strangled moan. Mariku's eyes went serious, really beginning to feel bad for his friend now. He lowered himself to his knees, hands set in his lap as he watched over the obviously troubled male. "I just attacked you for no fucking reason and I feel out of my goddamn mind half the time!" Bakura threw an arm upon the ground, teeth gritting. "I haven't slept properly in days and I feel so tired all the time! I can't concentrate, I can't even fucking think because I am so busy worrying and thinking about Ryou!" Finally, Bakura was admitting it aloud, as if it had been a secret to anyone save possibly himself. Mariku didn't say anything yet and instead; let his friend have his much needed rant.

"I tried to stay away and I thought if I just lied to him and dumped him, it'd be done and over with and I'd be able to move on but I just…I have never felt so fucking miserable and sad in my entire fucking life and it is killing me!" He let his arm recoil, hand falling limply across his stomach. His eyes gazed up to the ceiling moodily, lips formed into a powerful scowl. "Since when did I become so fucking weak that I needed someone just to be okay with my fucking life?!"

"Well…" Mariku began, searching for the right thing to say. Hopefully it would come out right-he had found out from Malik he was not one for the deepest of words. Ugh; this heart-to-heart bullshit had never been his specialty-making great screwdrivers had. "Maybe he was just unlike anyone else and that is why you're going through all this shit?" Mariku sighed heavily, running a hand through his bangs. "I'm no love psychic or any of that but I do know Ryou loves you and I am sure, right now, he's feeling the same way-actually, I can't lie, I know he is because Malik told me."

"What?" Bakura hoisted up his upper body, leaning his hands forward, eyes staring at Mariku. "How does Malik know something like that?"

"He saw Ryou at work and they've been hanging out since then." Mariku waved this off dismissively, shaking his head. "But in any case, he tells me that Ryou is still so smitten with you and that all he wants is to talk to you."

"Why would he want to do that though?" Bakura spat out, glaring at Mariku angrily as if Mariku had offended him in some way.

"Hey!" Mariku lifted his hands in the air defensively. "Don't shoot the messenger!"

"Ugh, I know but why would that little…!" Bakura growled, hand lifting to press into his forehead roughly. "Why would he still want to talk to me after I lied and told him I…"

Bakura's eyes widened. "Oh no!" A hand quickly covered his mouth and his stomach churned. Bakura looked positively ill.

"Uhh? What the…" But then Mariku remembered something-one night when he had been thrown from Katsuya's car to Malik's front porch, he could've sworn he remembered Malik ranting to him about something or another about Ryou and him. Malik was pissed because Bakura lied to Ryou and told him…

"Oh!" Mariku grinned evilly, suddenly recalling the entire tale. "Yeah, of course…the moment the two met up, Ryou about flooded Malik's work in tears. Ryou ran out of the store because he was so broken up over seeing Malik and Malik was all, "what the fuck" because Malik told you," Mariku pointed to Bakura, "To tell Ryou he was sorry for everything but of course, like many things, you didn't bother doing that so." Mariku laughed, absolutely tickled by the story of the incident. "Malik told him that you never slept with him but that you did go to his house unrepentantly one night but nothing happened. I know too, after all, I was the one who had to listen to Malik sob for hours over that damned bottle of Crown Royal." To this, Mariku rolled his eyes. "Anyways, long story short; they know you lied and now Ryou only wonders why."

"Fuck! How could I have made such a stupid…!" Bakura looked frantic. "I never thought they'd talk again and I didn't think Ryou would ever want to see me again after that happened! I…fuck!" A hopeful look crossed Bakura's face for a moment. It quickly fell to a much grimmer one though, making Mariku want to just kill the male.

"Ugh, just get back with him already!"

"I still…can't," Bakura shook his head, eyes falling to the floor. "I am sure Ryou is just hurt over it and wondering why I did it-he can't want me back and in any case, if I really loved Ryou, I wouldn't do such shitty things to him, right?" Bakura didn't sound so sure of himself.

"I really don't know, Bakura. I am not you, I cannot tell if you love someone or not. You're the only one who can know that," Mariku stated dryly, "And in any case, Malik told me that Ryou missed you so much-I think the last thing Ryou is would be angry. So it's just up to you now and whether or not you want him back."

"I…" But from Bakura's point of view, how could Mariku understand what he had gone through or how he felt about anything? Bakura only shook his head, trying to harden his expression once again. "I am just not sure. I want him but at the same time…I don't feel like I should go and try until I am sure that is what I want. Does that make sense?"

Mariku only shrugged, crawling upon the floor toward his beer. "Dude, I have no idea what you are talking about. If you love him, go to him-you can figure out the other bullshit later. All that matters is being happy, right? Does Ryou make you happy?"

"Yeah, but-" Bakura tried to protest but Mariku murmured, interrupting him.

"Then what the fuck else matters?" Bakura glanced to his friend, whose eyes were closed in joy, downing the rest of his beer.

"I…should get going. I need to study for a test tomorrow," Bakura muttered, back cracking as he stood. The pain from falling had finally subsided.

"Mm, if you're sure. Next time I see you…Ryou better be on that arm of yours, okay?"

"Hah." Bakura nodded and slid his hands into his sweatshirt pockets as he made his way to the door. He threw his friend a wave as he descended through the living room to the kitchen and out the front door.

Mariku lay back down on the floor, head turning to eye his cell phone which, thankfully, was sitting upon the carpet beside him. Well, time to call Malik and tell him this bullshit like they had planned. This Ryou and Bakura crap had gone on for too long and if Bakura didn't handle it within the next couple of days, well, he and Malik would.

…And they'd make sure of it, too. Somehow, if Bakura and Ryou didn't work it out, they'd force the two together so they could fix up this pointless break up and both be happy again. After all, what were friends for? Sleeping with them was out of the question (which oddly, Mariku was still contemplating) so helping them with problems came next, he supposed.

Too bad too; the sex would definitely have been easier and much more pleasant to endure.


"So Ryou, what are you going to do for Christmas this year?" Malik piped cheerfully, gloved hands carrying shopping bags filled with Christmas presents. Ryou's own hands were filled too, making it a little bit harder to walk side-by-side with his friend, since bags kept hitting them both upon the shins.

"Oh," Ryou smiled small, giving off a gentle shrug. "I really don't know…I'll probably just stay home and relax since the quarter is finally over now. Yuugi invited me over too but I really don't like to intrude so…" His soft eyes looked solemnly out to the snow-covered side walks for a moment before he looked to Malik again, beaming. "What about you?" The café the two were walking to was coming up soon. It didn't matter much to Ryou though-he really was not that hungry. Then again, somehow within the last three weeks, he hadn't had much of any appetite. He had lost a good four pounds and he was sure he'd be in trouble if he kept this strange eating habit of his up.

Still, every time he came around food he felt so sick; he could only think of him and cooking for him and just how happy he looked eating it. He knew with all the help Malik had been giving him lately, he should've felt better but when Malik and Yuugi weren't around for company…

He still found himself curled on the couch, the only thought being of Bakura and how he was doing and if he'd ever see the male again. Ryou had been so hopeful for couple of days because Malik and he had talked about possibly going to Bakura house to confront the male but…

Every time they got the chance, Ryou chickened out. They had even driven there once and Ryou had completely freaked out, not able to unbuckle his seatbelt. He was so scared of seeing Bakura and hearing what the male might have to say to him. How was everyone so sure Bakura wanted to see him again? He had been so optimistic for so long but now it was really starting to deteriorate at an increasing rate.

He had been so lonely, some nights, Ryou would find himself dialing Bakura's number halfway but never quite reaching the end before he just hung up the receiver. He still missed that sure smile of his ex-boyfriend's so much. He could still smell him; taste him…

And all through these snowy days, he could only ever think of that night and end up with tears in his eyes because…

"Ryou? Ryou?" Ryou jumped, realizing he was falling into his own little world again. He quickly apologized and recomposed himself, having not meant to completely zone out and ignore his friend.

"Sorry Malik!" Ryou smiled softly, shaking his head. "I am not quite sure what came over me! Just lost in the times, I guess!"

"Mm, I bet…" Yet even Malik knew better than to think that. The past couple of days, Ryou's depression seemed to have come back tenfold. Ryou hardly paid attention when he was talked to and on both occasions, ate only three or four bites of food, than threw the rest away. Hadn't he heard from Katsuya that Ryou could even outdo him when it came to food? "Well, in any case, I am probably just going to go to Mariku's-if Isis will let go of me for a fucking night." Ryou laughed at the miffed look that crossed his friend's face. "But yeah! His parents left for the weekend so we were just going to stay there and have the house to ourselves and do, well…"

By the blush that was creeping on Malik's face, Ryou was sure he did not need to know any details. Still, a small twinge of jealousy ran throughout him. He felt horrible for feeling so envious of the male about something so silly but still; he couldn't help but wish his Christmas could be spent with the person he loved, too. However, that person still seemed completely unaware of him and did not care that Ryou was hurting for him in the least. Instead, who knew what Bakura was feeling right now? Still, Ryou wouldn't let the bitterness get to him…

He hoped Bakura was happy and would have a good Christmas, though Ryou would definitely not be spending it with him. "Well, I hope it is fun!" Ryou said in response, wanting to hurry up and end that conversation before Malik could say anymore because Malik definitely would if Ryou was silent for long enough. Malik had already told him enough horror stories of he and Mariku for an entire lifetime and it had only been a few weeks!

"Oh, it will be. Ugh, it'll be perfect!" Malik gushed, smiling in a dreamy sort of way. Ryou let out a chuckle at his friend, rolling his eyes at the male's antics. "It always is with him. Fuck, I just don't know what I was thinking before, dating other people!" Ryou and he both knew exactly who he meant but Malik was sympathetic enough not to say it. "Mariku just gets me so well, I swear!"

"Well…" Ryou gave the male a questioning gaze. "Didn't he say, when he picked you up the other day that you had just kicked him in the balls only a day before for not buying you dinner like you wanted?" Mariku made it seem like Malik was Adolf Hitler and he had to go along unless he wanted to get lynched.

"Oh, you're so funny Ryou!" Malik laughed as if that hid how malicious the boy could really be when he didn't get what he wanted. "Besides, it was only because when I mentioned the place I wanted to go to, Mariku said he remembered sleeping with some hot waiter who worked there." Malik's nose crinkled in disgust. "And what person wants to hear things like that?!" Well, Ryou was right, Malik supposed. He wouldn't have liked to hear something like that, but still. Wasn't going for a good knee in such a sensitive area kind of harsh? "Besides, we made up for it." Malik smiled mischievously. "Trust me."

Ryou gulped, hoping Malik would -not- elaborate on that one. The café was within a few feet of them so Ryou hurried ahead to get the door for his friend, since, fairly, Malik did have more bags in his hands. "Thanks, little woman." At the nickname Ryou had begrudgingly picked up, he rolled warm chocolate hues but smiled and went inside after the male.

"Mm, anytime. So, you said this place was good, right?" Ryou chimed, eyeing his friend expectantly. Ryou had never been here before so he was highly unfamiliar with the menu. From the looks of it though, honestly, it didn't look like much. It was a rather plain place, mostly decorated in white. The room itself was quite small, only four small circular white tables on either side of the door. The menu on the sign above the counter didn't look too large or special either. Still, Ryou wasn't going to judge until he had the food in front of him.

…Not that he wanted much, or anything at all. In the glass cabinet at the counter, there was an assortment on goodies and cakes to choose from but still, none were all too appealing to Ryou. There were cream puffs though but even those didn't look quite as appetizing as they usually did. Ugh; what was wrong with him? He was trying so hard to be upbeat and good company but he felt anything but. Today, especially, he was having a hard time keeping up good conversation and putting on his usual happy-go-lucky smile.

He felt so…lonely. Though Malik was with him the entire day, he just wanted the one person who definitely would not come to this place, not in a million years. No, he could be sure this was not a place where his fate would ever lead him to bump into Bakura. His eyes became solemn at this and he let Malik tell him all about the menu, though he wasn't really listening. They took a seat at the table that was closets to the full windows, looking out to the packed downtown streets outside. Everyone was bustling about, doing all their Christmas shopping, catching up on all the sales.

…But Bakura; at this very moment in time, where was he in all of this?

"So, after what I told you, what do you think you will have?" Malik asked excitedly, eyes staring at his friend, awaiting an answer.

"Uhm!" Ryou immediately snapped to peer to Malik, smiling shakily. "Just order me whatever you are having?"

"Are you sure?" Malik looked shaky about that response. Probably because he realized just how much Ryou was not paying attention to him. "I'm going to order something with no meat so you might not like it?"

"Y-Yeah, whatever is fine…" Ryou nodded, giving the male a smile.

"If you're sure." Malik gave Ryou a strange gaze but stood and left his friend at the table alone, heading up to the counter. To order their food. Ryou, on the other hand, just sank back into his seat feeling awful. He knew he was being impolite and was hardly good company to Malik right now but…

He didn't know what was wrong. He just couldn't seem to get into the spirit even with all the snow around and the lovely decorations. It still just felt… He rested his head in his palm, staring gloomily out the café window. No matter how hard he tried, everything still felt wrong without him there.


"So, why are we going out here again?" Bakura snapped, gazing to his blonde haired friend in rage. "Not only are these streets fucking crowded from the damn mall shoppers but it is fucking colder than hell!" Bakura's teeth chattered as they both walked along the cramped sidewalk, trying their best to just stay the hell away from the other people taking up all the spaces upon the streets. Bakura was certain he'd never seen this area so packed before! Every one and their goddamn mother must've been out shopping! Of course, there was only a week before Christmas left but fuck! More people really needed to discover online shopping so they could just get out of Bakura's way!

He frowned somberly, eyes staring roughly at the icy sidewalk beneath his feet. Fuck, even wearing two pairs of socks within his shoes, his feet were still freezing! "Well gee, you dumbass, maybe if you wore more than a sweatshirt and that damn blazer out here, your dick wouldn't wrinkle up so badly, now would it?" Mariku snarked back smartly, smirking in a highly satisfied way. While Bakura only wore a limited amount of clothes (mostly because he cared more about looking cool than being warm) Mariku didn't really give a fuck. He threw on his thickest jacket, even if it made him look 30 pounds heavier. Being out here like this made it all worth it in the end, though he no doubt looked stupid.

…Besides, Malik thought it was cute, so who else did he have to impress? "At least I don't look like a fucking bloated porcupine like you." Obviously not Bakura-Bakura could never be pleased though, so trying was useless in itself. "I don't get why the hell you even wanted to go to this stupid place so bad-I've been there before with Malik and the food absolutely sucks," Bakura stated bluntly. Not to mention the place wasn't even that nice on the inside. All the décor was so boring-Bakura wondered how the place was even still open. He swore the Rueben sandwich he had bought there tasted like snot.

"Yes well, Malik said they were serving some kind of really good tea there that I just had to try and you know how he gets when you don't listen to him," Mariku replied easily, shrugging lightly as he slid his gloved hands into his pocket. Mariku's eyes traveled to Bakura's hands, finding them about as white as the snow upon the ground. Unfortunately, Bakura hadn't remembered gloves, either-nor did he have a scarf.

"Since when the hell do you even like tea, may I ask?" Bakura stopped in his tracks, eyeing the male suspiciously. Bakura swore, something about this whole situation was funny. Here he was at 1 PM in the day on Christmas break when he did not work, already awake, fully dressed, and outside? This was hardly normal for him. He had yet to figure out why Mariku had bothered barging through his door at noon. Bakura had been fast asleep on the couch, warm beneath 3 comforters, sleeping so soundly…

And then the cocksucker woke him up, told him they had something important to do and before Bakura could say "fuck off!" Mariku had thrown clothes into his face and told him to "hurry the hell up". Of course, Bakura would've argued it but now, after being woken up, he doubted he could've gone back to sleep anyways. Besides, he had nothing else planned for the day and sometimes, Mariku's "things they had to do" ended up pretty interesting.

Of course, by interesting, Bakura hoped that meant going somewhere warm with plenty of alcoholic beverages and horror punk music. Unfortunately, that was not the case and he found himself outside, going to some café he'd been to before that he knew was bad. Fuck, what a waste of an afternoon. He would've just said "no" but Mariku didn't tell him a word of it until they were already downtown and out of the car.

Fuck, his luck this week was sucking. Sleeping was still such a hassle and he had caught a cold somehow. His nose had felt like a waterfall and every three seconds, he had to stop and wipe it on his shirt to get it to stop dribbling down his face. Not only that but his voice was so raspy from his throat aching, making him unable to eat anything but semi-warm broths and ice cream. Bakura barely even liked soup, so, all week he had been starving and pissed off, surely annoying his friends and family even more so than before.

Also, there was something else…

After his strange talk with Mariku, he had really been thinking about his life and the way things were. It was so blatantly obvious to him things were sucking really bad. Nothing had been looking up and he felt so lost in it all because this was what he had asked for, wasn't it? He tried so hard to want this single life. He wanted to like hooking up with near strangers and tossing them aside like they were nothing but…

He still only thought of one thing and it seemed to stick to his brain like glue. He had felt so sure this was all what he wanted but now…

What did he really want more than ever? He wanted Ryou back. He desired to talk to him and to make things better with the boy and he had even told Mariku he was going to try but…

He had yet to be brave enough to give it a try. Now, it had been over a week and he was still afraid to approach Ryou. He didn't know why he was taking his time to do this when it was what he wanted so badly but…he just felt like going to Ryou would be so pathetic. He swore, there was no way Ryou could've truly believed and liked him so much still. Surely, Ryou couldn't have seen so well through it all? Even if Malik had confirmed Bakura's words were a lie, it was still bad that Bakura had made that story up. Ryou should've hated him…

It didn't add up and because of that, Bakura was really hesitant to try anything. He wanted Ryou back so badly but it was so hard to just go up to his doorstep and beg for forgiveness. He'd been wrong about everything but getting the courage to actually go up to Ryou and admit that to him was so much harder to put into action than it was to simply talk about it. He was starting to feel a bit…pessimistic about it now because…

He couldn't do anything about it. He didn't have the mental strength to go and confront Ryou. He wanted to say "sorry" so much but he couldn't work up the guts to actually do it. But he…

He just missed him so horribly. This life without Ryou; it was hardly worth living. Being single and being able to flirt was not enjoyable when the only person you wanted to be with was completely out of reach. What if Bakura's single life had really ended and he did only have eyes for Ryou? He felt like he did-and feeling this meant so many things…

Somehow, he knew now that he could not go back to the way things were before. Someway, he had to be able to approach Ryou to fix things and tell him the truth. He wanted to go and get that boy back but it was such a hard thing to accomplish for him. Love? He was no good at it, and that was his reason for dumping Ryou in the first place.

"Tea? Oh, uhh…" Mariku's words wavered and Bakura was so sure Mariku was making this up. But what kind of secret would have Mariku lying about liking tea? Surely, there was nothing Mariku could do that would heavily astound Bakura-Bakura was all too confident about this. "Well, it's okay I guess." Bakura's eyebrow rose as he stared out to road beside him, watching the cars go about. Thinking tea was just okay seemed like a silly reason to drive 10 miles out of the way just to get it.

"Then how about you take me home and you and Malik come back here and drink all the disgusting tea you like? I really don't want to go," Bakura complained, Mariku stopping to turn around and eye him dangerously.

"You are going so shut the fuck up and come on. It's like a block away now. We're almost there. After we get this tea, you will see just how great it is and you will be amazed."

"Chh, I highly doubt that." Bakura sulked but continued on, a good couple of feet behind Mariku. After all, he was in absolutely no rush to get there, save maybe to be warm. He certainly wasn't about to buy any food or drink from such a horrible eatery. His thoughts turned back to Ryou and they continued their walk in silence, Bakura's ears clogged with the sound of traffic and the conversations of others as they walked past the two friends.

Christmas was coming soon and Bakura knew Ryou's father was not coming home for it. What would the male do over the holiday? Would he simply stay at home with his cat? He could already see poor Ryou, curling up beside that fat feline, the house empty save the two. Ryou would be watching those cooking shows he liked, taking in extravagant recipes he'd absolutely love to use but then he'd come to that conclusion that he'd told Bakura about before. "There's hardly a point in making such intricate dishes when there's no one around to eat them with you." And Bakura had simply laughed and told Ryou that Ryou could cook whatever he wanted for him and Bakura would make sure to be at the table waiting. Then came Ryou's melodic laugh and his sweet smile, along with those kisses to his throat that Ryou gave he always liked so much…

Ugh; why did he always have to do this to himself-think about the one thing that depressed him the most? Ryou would be alone on Christmas and Bakura would be at his own house, surrounded by his family and their friends he didn't want to be around. He'd still be having the same thoughts of Ryou and his delectable cooking, thinking about the fact that he'd never get to taste either again.

…And Mariku? Ugh; he shuddered thinking about his best friend's Christmas. He could practically already envision the vile scene. Mariku would come down the stairs with a bow over his package and Malik would be at the foot of the stairs, naked, screaming "gimme, gimme more!" And the two would fuck all day long. Talk about creepy thoughts…

They finally approached the café and Mariku, deciding to be nice for once, took a hold of the door handle and flung it open, stepping back against it so Bakura could enter. "After you, little Princess." Bakura rolled his eyes and flipped the male off, stepping inside. The moment the door was closed, he could've sworn he heard the most familiar of voices.

His eyes widened and he stared at Mariku for a moment. "I didn't know Malik was meeting us here!" He said, frowning at the male. Mariku chuckled wholeheartedly, eyes swiveling to the table, giving it an all-too-fond glance.

"Oh but did you look over there? Because he isn't the only one waiting."

"You fucking didn't!" His heart stopped abruptly and his head immediately snapped to the table, that eccentric tone of Mariku's only meaning one thing…

His head went completely blank and his eyes could only stare, mouth dropping open in bewilderment when he saw a head of the most gorgeous, fluffy white hair and heard that gentle yet contagious laugh...

Malik's head turned to peer at Bakura, giving him a sinister smile. Ryou must've been curious because suddenly, his head was turning too and the smile was wiped right from his face the moment his eyes caught sight of Bakura. Bakura was sweating all over suddenly, heart never having raced faster.

Ryou's eyes were on him and he wasn't sure whether to run to him or back out that door.

Mariku leant into Bakura's ear, grinning from ear to ear as he began to hiss low. "Merry Christmas, Bakura."


Oh, how cruel geniuses could be. The moment he saw his boyfriend's big ass head of hair walk through that door, he knew it was time for their brilliant plan to finally come into effect. Now that Bakura was finally here, they could really start. After so much time waiting, planning with Ryou, finally, Malik was going to get those two to finally get together and make up.

Sadly, it had taken so much more planning and time than it had really needed to. They wouldn't have even had to force them together like this if either of them would've just been the bigger man and made the first move. Both were too unsure of themselves to do a damn thing! They both had talked about it and came to conclusions that they each needed to face each other but both would only sulk and do nothing about it! Malik and Mariku had finally grown tired of waiting so they just had to take matters into their own hands.

At first Mariku had been reluctant because he wasn't sure how Bakura would react but after so many days of this horrible behavior of Bakura's and his little break down, he was more sure than ever that he needed to intervene so his friend would quit being so damn strange all the time. And likewise, Malik just wanted Ryou to be truly happy again, 100 percent of the way.

So they had worked this out; that if the two did not fix things up by that Thursday, well…

Since both had days off, they would just be forced together. By then, Bakura would've had more than enough time to decide what he really wanted with Ryou and it was obvious he was still missing the teen so what better thing to do but solve his problem so easily? So here they all were and it was obvious both were more than ready for it.

Ryou had been so sulky all day, trying to hide the fact that he was thinking about Bakura-not that he wasn't every time, but today it almost felt worse to the male. Well, today had been Ryou's lucky day because today, their problems were going to be sorted out and they were going to get back together. They both cared about each other so much and it was time to get over this bridge so they could both be together again

"O-Oh m-my…" Ryou was stuttering and Malik was trying his hardest to hold back a laugh. It was just so obvious to him; Bakura was staring at Ryou so intensely, unsure what to do. Ryou was looking back all the same, giving Malik the impression that he was contemplating jumping out of his seat to go and attack the male.

…Which, after what Bakura did, Ryou should've done-yet, of course, had Ryou ran to attack Bakura, he was sure the only thing that would've been thrown out was kisses because Ryou didn't have a mean bone in his body-what a shame that was too. Malik would've loved to see Ryou go and kick Bakura's ass. In any case, it was time to get this show on the road. "Well Ryou, what are you waiting for?" Malik breathed, leaning in close. "Go get him before you lose your chance."


"I…" Ryou's eyes were still locked with Bakura's, unable to look away. He raised a hand to his mouth, legs beginning to quiver. So many emotions were flooding throughout him and he was having the hardest time figuring out what he should do. But Malik's words…

This was what he had wanted, wasn't it? He wanted to see Bakura and he knew it was no accident; the two had brought them together and now, it was time for one of them to take charge. It had to be him. He knew it did. Even if he felt so uncertain and shy, he knew this was what he wanted more than ever now, Bakura's eyes on him. Bakura was finally here and he couldn't hide away any longer. He had to do just as Malik and he had talked about.

It was time to go and get Bakura, just like he desired. "A-Alright." Shaking, Ryou stood up from his seat, hands over his mouth as he eyed the male so timidly. He took in a deep breath and told himself to be strong. He wasn't going to back down this time and he was going to show that…that idiot just how much he…

He was shocked to find himself running when he should've walked. He could feel other people in the store staring at him now but he wasn't paying attention to them. He had to keep his eyes on his goal and get what he came over here for. He halted in front of Bakura, feeling so self-conscious as the males eyes raked over him. Somehow, Bakura looked just as unsure as he did about this and it was comforting to know.

But…Ryou had already decided; he wasn't going to be so docile and afraid anymore. He wanted to get back together with Bakura and he was determined to do it the right way this time. This time, he wouldn't be discouraged so easily because…

He loved Bakura and he knew, somehow, Bakura had to feel the exact same way or else their friends wouldn't have gone through all this trouble.

"Bakura!" His voice squeaked when it should've been strong but he wasn't going to let that dishearten him.

"Ryou, I…" Bakura's voice was unnaturally soft and he knew his love was having a hard time finding the right words to say. Ryou smiled timidly, bowing his head for a moment, hands linking in front of himself.

"Please," he spoke strongly, voice confident. "Don't say anything Bakura. I have something I really want to tell you and I need you to hear it." Ryou's heart was clambering in his chest. He could hear his heart pounding in his ears, feeling so damn nervous.

"But Ryou, I-" Ryou looked up to the male pleadingly, throwing a hand up to the male's mouth. Bakura's eyebrow raised, eyes glancing down to the mitten-clad hand that covered up his lips. Ryou shook his head, trying to indicate that he wanted to speak before Bakura could say a word.

"No, please!" He kept his hand there for a minute, sighing stressfully. "I really…look…" Ryou took in a deep breath and finally decided; he was going to get this out. "I know you lied! About everything!" He was shouting and he wasn't sure why. By now, all of the shop was staring at him. His face began to redden, knowing he was causing quite the scene. He couldn't help himself though; he was going to continue until he was through! Bakura eyes were large, staring at him in an estranged sort of way. "I know…you never really cheated on me and that you…you tried to push me away! Bakura, what you did is absolutely horrible!" Ryou's hand fell and he actually glared at the male, in a serious male. "It hurt so much and I just…I didn't know what to do! I never felt so horrible in my life but…" The pained expression left his face and he shook his head, smiling sadly.

"But it doesn't matter now because…I am just as sure as I was that day when I told you before. Bakura, I…I love you, whether or not you like it and there isn't a thing you can do about it!" He yelped, pointing a finger accusingly at the male. "You can't push me away again because I know the truth! Please stop making me sad! Please don't make me do this anymore-I don't want to!" Ryou's eyes began to glisten, shaking hand extending out to grasp onto Bakura's blazer. "I only want you and I swear…I feel like you only want me too, no matter how hard you try to fight it so please!" He sniffled, glaring pointedly at the male. "Either say you feel the same way or just walk out right now because I am not going to wait for you forever!"

Clapping could be heard from the table on the far left. Bakura wanted to roll his eyes at that much; Malik always had to make situations more dramatic than they needed to be; didn't he? Ryou had told him so much; it was hard to take in all at once. He wasn't sure whether to laugh or cower because the nicest boy in the world had just screamed at him.

…Was it sad Bakura was a little turned on by the whole ordeal? Bakura had never felt better in his entire life and now that Ryou was in front of him, acting so dominant, he was sure of it…

The whole time Ryou had been yelling, he had somewhat drowned the teen out, only being able to think about how hot he looked, face so red and angry, yelling at Bakura liked that. Bakura never wanted to miss another chance seeing that ridiculous face on Ryou; Ryou who, he was now surer than ever…

Even if he sucked at relationships and was, in general, an asshole that was selfish and constantly indecisive, it didn't keep him from suddenly having the answer to the question he had been asking himself for months.

When it came to Ryou; did he or didn't he?

A rare, true smile crossed his lips and immediately pulled Ryou against him. He only wished Ryou was wearing that ridiculous marshmallow jacket so Bakura really could've had a good laugh. Ryou was obviously startled, looking up at him so defiantly; eyes clearing asking, "WHAT SAY YOU!" and Bakura certainly wasn't going to ignore that question.

"Ryou, you talk too much, you know?" Bakura couldn't help himself; he began to laugh, unable to contain himself anymore. Ryou immediately turned the color of a tomato, clearly embarrassed he had just made such a huge scene for the male before him and all Bakura could do was chuckle! Ryou's mouth had just opened to retort when he felt a pair of lips kiss him passionately, a gasp leaving Ryou's throat. He immediately threw his arms around Bakura's neck and gave in, mouth opening the moment Bakura's tongue dared to boldly ask permission.

Before Bakura's tongue went in though, both mouths were opened against each other, able to feel each other's breath wash against each other, Bakura's eyes opened half-liddedly, finding Ryou's soft depths staring right into his own. "Ryou, I'm sorry I've been world's biggest dickhead." He grinned hazily, nose pressing against the boy's own. "And…I'm in love with you." The smile that spread across Ryou's lips-Bakura was sure he'd remember it for a life time. His insides swelled with a rush of pride for being able to make Ryou so happy. He wasn't going to be so off standish about it anymore. Ryou; he adored Ryou and from now on, he wasn't going to deny it.

"I! Bakura!" Ryou's lips hungrily caught Bakura's in another kiss and at the sound of Mariku's feigned puking; Bakura only flipped him off and continued. Fuck everyone; this was -his- day and he wasn't going to let any mother fucker ruin it for him. He was back to his old self again, only better. He was in love and it was definitely right. His tongue crept into Ryou's mouth and tangled with the boy's own, each kissing the other until they couldn't any longer.

The cashier heading the store wasn't quite sure what to do. She looked at the two confusedly and gazed all around the store. "U-Uhm, excuse me, could…could you please move so, uhm…" Bakura and Ryou finally parted and looked to each other, laughing. Ryou stood on his tip toes, kissing Bakura's eye corner, making the other male murmur pleasantly.

"Yes, sorry miss…" Ryou trailed off shyly, giving her a sympathetic smile. He had been about to say something when he suddenly found himself being picked up off the ground, Bakura's arms lifting him up into the air. "Ahh! Bakura! What are you doing?!" He immediately curled his legs around the male's waist, holding onto him tightly as to not fall.

"Whatever I want to, marshmallow-boy." He grinned manically and kissed his Ryou. Ryou's nose crinkled at the nickname but he didn't look as if he were going to fight that.

"Well, Mariku, it seems I have better things to do suddenly than drink bullshit tea so I will be on my way. I know Malik is a little bitch and doesn't drive so feel free to pay him his corner fee and I am sure he will come home with you." Bakura snickered, immediately dodging the piece of bread that was thrown his way from across the room.

"You're still a prick, do you realize that!" Malik shrieked from across the room, making them all laugh.

"I am." His eyes turned to Ryou, who was fidgeting uncomfortably in his arms. "And if you don't stop fidgeting, Ryou, I am going to be a prick with a hard-on so I suggest you stop." He eyed the boy amusedly, not surprised when a blush immediately crept on his cheeks.

"You're…you're unbelievable!" Ryou breathed, glaring at the male. His eyebrows furrowed when he felt warm lips on his cheek.

"And you like it so much. So, did you have anything here? If so, let's get it so we can take off!" Bakura rolled his eyes in disgust, heading toward Malik's table, arms shifting Ryou carefully in his arms as they walked. "I have seen enough blonde hair for a lifetime." Ryou laughed and nodded, letting a hand come off to point to all the bags by his seat.

"I have all those and I would get them if you'd just put me d-"

"No." Bakura glowered at the boy, swooping down to use two digits to pick the bags up. "I'm not letting you go until I'm ready!" Which would likely be soon because even if Ryou was light, he was still going to strain Bakura's back if he carried him too long. He hoisted him up more, bags in hand as he flashed Malik a grin. "Well, we're out then."

"I'm sorry Malik!" Ryou cried, giving his friend an apologetic smile. "I owe you lunch next time, okay?"

"Haha, alright!" Malik waved at his friend, Mariku sitting down beside him. He smiled and leant on the other male's shoulder, watching the two head out the door.

"Just remember to use protection Bakura!" Mariku blurted out, hands around his mouth as the whitennettes made their way out the door. "Ryou's been hanging out with Malik and you know how many diseases he has!" Malik's head whirled to glare at Mariku and within seconds, Mariku had yet another bruise forming on the back of his head from Malik's fist. "GOD! FUCK! You hit so damn hard!" Mariku sulked, eyeing the male dejectedly. Malik only 'hmphed', arms folding up over his chest and turning his head the other way, smiling proudly.

"That is what you get for being such a dumbass. I hope you know, I could just break that dumb skull of yours at any second and-!" Malik had been about to finish his sentence when he noticed a tall, burly man in black slacks and a button-up white shirt standing in front of their table. His neck was pouring over his shirt collar and his face looked swollen, eyes bulging from their sockets, reminding Malik somewhat of Jabba the Hut. He wore a nametag on his shirt's pocket reading, 'Yuki, Manager'. Whoa shit.

"I am sorry," the man cleared his throat, eyeing the two males in annoyance. "I am going to have to ask you to leave and to not return, along with the two men who just exited out. Here at our café, we just don't think you people are right for the environment of this place." Usually, Malik would've suspected it was because they were openly homo-but not today; today, he wasn't sure if it was throwing that bread at Bakura, screaming curse words at each other throughout the building, or Ryou and Bakura's wild scene. Whatever; it wasn't like the food here was that amazing anyways. Malik only liked it because he could flirt with the cashier and she would give him the discount she got for working here.

"Oh, well, sorry sir!" Mariku grinned, bowing his head. "We didn't mean to offend you in such a way! My gosh, Malik and I are ever so sorry!" Mariku stood and pushed his chair aside curtly, leaving room for Malik to stand. Malik smiled twistedly and stood as well, hand linked with his boyfriend's. He used a foot to kick his chair in, albeit a lot less gentle than Mariku had done. It didn't matter if it was their own fault for getting kicked out; Malik still would not take it so lightly.

"Oh yes sir, we really are. Well…" Malik grabbed his sandwich and shopping bags, turning his head to give his boyfriend a crazed look. He then turned back to the manager who was eyeing the two, obviously awaiting them to just hurry up and go. Malik motioned for Mariku to begin walking and he did so, pausing when the two were a good table and a half away. "I would take my sandwich to go but…" He laughed, tossing the sandwich at the guy's head. The cheese slice seemed to splatter right upon the male's gigantic nose, mayonnaise caking his cheek. Suddenly the manager's face changed from irritated to irate. Before he could do anything though, the two blondes were dying of laughter, dashing toward the door. "It seems it just liked you better!"

The cashier was eyeing the two, trying her hardest not to laugh. Before the pissed off manager could even do a thing, Malik and Mariku were dashing down the street, so much faster than the portly manager could've ever run.


Just a couple of blocks in the opposite direction, Bakura and Ryou were trying to make their way to Ryou's vehicle. Because it was so hard to find parking, Ryou had to park in a garage four or five blocks from where they had been. It didn't matter though because both were enjoying each other's company highly. Ryou's feet were once again planted on the ground and his gloved hand was wrapped within Bakura's, even though the air outside was making poor Bakura's hand cold. Ryou had offered him a glove at least for that hand but Bakura had refused-mostly because he would've rather had Ryou's hands warm than his own. Besides, Bakura didn't care; he was enjoying this too much to let the weather get to him at this very moment. He had all day to bitch and moan about how cold it was.

"I'm not sure what will happen when I go home with you," Bakura murmured to the boy, smirking slightly. Brown depths looked up adoringly with a curious ring to them.

"Oh?" Ryou's brow rose, giving his once-again boyfriend a lovely little smile. "And why is that?"

"Because-it appears I am not the only one around this city who's fallen in love with you. My mom bugged me about you for so long and Diabound, well," Bakura rolled his eyes. His brother and he were still not exactly getting along right now but he was sure, with Ryou back now, he could find a way to patch things up with the male again.

At the mention of Diabound's name, Ryou found an uneasy feeling settling in his stomach. Had Diabound ever told Bakura…? Ryou highly doubted he would. Surely, Bakura wouldn't have taken it so easily if he had known. Maybe it was better that way? After all, he was aware by Diabound that the two weren't getting on well. Bakura knowing what Diabound and he had done could only make that worse. One day, Ryou would tell him but that day would definitely not be today. Things were just too new to let something petty like that come between them. "Yes…I'll be glad to see her and your dad again. I like them so much!" Ryou chimed happily, beaming up to the male.

Bakura, of course, did not understand why Ryou liked his parents so much. Still, it brought a slight smile to his face knowing that everyone who was important to him in his life could get on so well. Maybe it was destined to be? The first person he brought home that everyone else loved, he loved too. And his friends? Even his friends were crazy for Ryou. Now that he thought about it, it all made sense-why had he been so blind to it before? A person that everyone could like, who was so strikingly different…

Bakura's eyes washed over Ryou's face softly as they walked along, a gust of snowy wind drifting by, rousing Ryou's white tufts of hair. Had it always been so obvious to everyone? He could remember after only a date how Diabound had been bugging him about Ryou and being in love. He was so opposed to it then, he didn't want to think about it; but now that he was sure of himself it was really a smack in the face. All along, everyone else he knew who cared so much about him, they could all see it before him. If only he had listened those days ago to the words everyone had said; why had he ever thought it was bad to be in love, anyway? Like Mariku had said; if it only made him happy, how was that bad?

"Bakura? Err…" Ryou turned his head, staring at Bakura worriedly. "Is something wrong?" He gave the male a most concerned smile, hand squeezing Bakura's lovingly. And Bakura realized that it never had been bad, save the times when he had doubted himself. It had never been about Ryou, but more about himself. Ryou always knew he was good enough for this but he was the one who swore he couldn't do it. In truth, Bakura was the most insecure of them both. Ryou might have gotten nervous when it came to being nude or talking with strangers but in the end, Ryou was the one who was able to throw himself out and wear his heart so vulnerably on his sleeve. Though he did it and got hurt from time to time, in the end, how many people had Bakura introduced that boy to that had told him they instantly liked him? How could being a little -sensitive- from time to time be a bad thing if it only brought on good?

Sure, Bakura wasn't about to go and just cry out a damn river every time he stubbed his toe or anything but…

When it came to Ryou, he was going to listen to his heart and show a slightly wimpier side to him, should the situation call for such a thing. The next time Ryou needed him, he'd be there at his side; if Ryou ever needed reassurance that Bakura still cared, well…

Even if it was in a crowd his best friends and people who thought of him as such a macho being who could never get that close to anyone, well-he would tell Ryou he loved him then, even if the music was so loud he had to practically scream it in Ryou's ear. It didn't matter anymore; nothing would be worth losing him again because…not only was Ryou an absolutely delicious sight, he was a great person and he knew just what strings to pull at when it came to Bakura's heart. Being with Ryou made things better; being with Ryou made him better-and because of that, at the end of the day, even if he was stuck in a room with Yami all day long and they did nothing but fight, he could come home and calm immediately down because what else mattered? As long as Ryou was there to keep close and spend time with, nothing could bring Bakura down.

…Except a refusal on Ryou's part to have sex, maybe. After all, Bakura had been gone for so long and being in love was fucking weird because it seemed to only make him think about Ryou -more- in that sense. Having Ryou deny him of that would definitely be wounding. But there were no worries; the look Ryou got in his eyes when they were doing it; whoo boy, he knew Ryou was a little sex freak in the making and all for him. God; he felt on cloud nine just thinking of it!

He grinned at Ryou and shook his head wildly, eyes meeting his boyfriend's in a gentle way that Ryou would only ever deserve. "Not anymore there isn't." Ryou's smile grew and Bakura could make out the slightest of blushes creeping on the teen's face. They stopped walking and ignored the "watch outs!" from other people trying to get by, hindered by their abrupt pause.

"I hope there never is…not between us, at least," Ryou admitted softly, moving in to allow more room for people to get by. He smiled up to his boyfriend, bashfully leaning up to give him a kiss that was eagerly returned. Bakura silently cursed the shopping bags in his hand that kept him from being able to pull Ryou in closer.

"No plans on my part," Bakura countered, eyes opening to peer into Ryou's. "But…" He gave Ryou a look of suspicion though his eyes were highly teasing. "You are quite evil so I don't know what you'll cook up in your spare time-hopefully something highly worth it! Which reminds me!" His eyes widened and he clung to Ryou's hand as something seemed to dawn on him. "I am so fucking hungry all of a sudden. Damn! Here I was, hoping to go to your apartment and feel you up but now I just remembered…" At that, Ryou couldn't help but roll his eyes and giggle.

"Well, what do you say we just get to food before the former?" Ryou piped cheerfully. Bakura was surprised Ryou wasn't more freaked up by talk about possible 'feel-ups'. Ryou so fucking wanted it; Bakura could just tell. "I don't know what I have at home but I am sure I can fix you something up!"

"Mm." Bakura nodded in delight, mind probed by the prospect of getting such awesome food; oh, how he had fucking missed out on actual good cooking. "It sounds fucking perfect to me!" Bakura smirked devilishly, leaning in to press his lips against the corner of Ryou's mouth. "But then, you sound perfect to eat too, so I guess I am not too decisive."

"Oh, you're such a pervert!" Ryou cried, eyes closing tightly as he scowled jokingly at his boyfriend. He laughed lightly though, catching Bakura's lips in a real kiss, purring happily within his throat. "But you know…it is rather cold out here. I don't have a Jacuzzi like your parents but, uhm…" Ryou's cheeks darkened but Bakura swore it was all for show; no one that innocent would propose such naughty things! Bakura didn't care though; it was what made Ryou so appealing in the first place.

"And you know I could never turn that down." Bakura's eyebrows wiggled in a creepy way, making Ryou giggle uncontrollably.

"You're such a weirdo! Now come on, you!" Ryou tugged his hand forcefully, capturing his attention. Ryou was starting off again, Bakura in tow. "We have things to do! Besides, we have to go out tonight! I already promised Malik that we'd go out to the park to have another snow ball fight with some people!" Bakura's eyes narrowed in an unimpressed manner. Fuck; and just when Bakura had thought he'd have such a relaxing day, busy eating and screwing Ryou's brains out. Amazingly though, it didn't faze Bakura too much and even if he didn't admit it, it did sound like a little bit of fun.

"Oh, my fucking favorite." Bakura's eyes rolled, smirking slightly at his boyfriend. "You're so lucky I love you or I would just run right now because-" That was one sentence Bakura never got the chance to finish because within a flash, Ryou's mouth was clashing with his, Ryou's tongue friskily slipping within his mouth. He nearly dropped the shopping bags in hand from shock. Well, fuck! Ryou dominating a kiss was never something typical but it sure did feel fucking great! He was blown away, unable to think. How, when he got kissed like this, had he ever been able to walk away from him?

"I!" Ryou pulled away, panting. His cheeks were flushed and it turned Bakura on so much. "I didn't mean to, err, it's just…" His eyes looked away shiftily for a moment before he was able to look at Bakura confidently. "When you say that, uhm…" Ryou's whole face was red. Bakura stared at him in confusion. What the hell? He swore, he hadn't said anything quite so perverted for Ryou to be this embarrassed! "That you love me, it kind-of…turns me on."

"Well!" Bakura caught his own breath, a grin spreading from ear to ear. "I certainly won't be afraid to say that again, now will I?" And not only because it turned Ryou on (though that was a good portion of it) but because in his heart, it really was what he felt.

Diabound­-his friends and idiotic family…

They were all right about him; he was in love and it was fucking stellar.


The end.


Gosh, it feels so weird to be able to write those words. ;-; I cannot believe I am really finished! This story has taken so much time and effort and I hate to see that I am all done!

…Well, sort-of. Cuz I still have my epilogue-or is that really more of the last chapter? I don't know! I couldn't decide. XD Cuz this is definitely a good end but then, next chapter would be too! I think next chapter has to do less with Ryou and Bakura though and more to do with everyone, especially Diabound! Of course, they are the biggest part still but, you know, you know! Or, you all really don't because it isn't written yet but I think it is more of an epilogue than the end. Uhm, maybe I will change my mind later! So yes, the epilogue when I get to it and a completely new story which I hope you all will stick around to read! 8DD

Gosh, I wish I could go through personally to say to every single reader just how glad I am you have stuck through the story! I mean, I do for reviewers but dammit, I want to tell people who only read too! I think I will ghost mode and just appear in your dreams at night and leave a ghastly 'thank youuu' then suddenly disappear. Wouldn't that be awesome? ;D Haha! But thank you to everyone and I hope the ending was all to your liking! I think it was filled with happy! If it isn't happy enough for you, I don't know what would've been!

…Ryou/Bakura/Thief King Bakura porn? Maybe that would've been better! But with Bakura and Thief King being brothers that might've been kinda weird. Lol. Maybe some other story. Anyways, I hope so much that you all enjoyed! For those who reviewed, you all really helped me along and kept me going! Thanks so much for everything! 8D

Oh! And someone's request (lalala) was to know how to pronounce "Ryou". I am pretty sure it is -supposed- to be something like, "Rye-o" or "Ree-ew" but those are both yucky so in my head, I will always say/think it as, "Rye-ew". It sounds so much softer and nice to me!

I say all this now because the epilogue might take a while to get out? If it does or if the chance comes where it never quite makes it, I just felt like I should say it now!

You guys are so rockin' and I hope you all enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Please have the best of holidays!

Much love for real! ;D

-Pork steak.