Title: Shattering Glass

Fandom: Yuugiou

Characters/ Parings: Yami no Bakura/ Ryou Bakura Tendershipping

Rating: PG-13/ R

Warnings: Mild yaoi, Bakura being the sadistic bastard he is, and really bad analogies.

Disclaimer: Yuugiou is copyright Kazuki Takahashi and all related affiliates.

Challenge: Written for Halys, because she made me a lovely set of LJ icons.

Bakura had the boy pinned back down on the pantry floor, macaroni littering the dimly lit surface, when the request first came: "Tell me about your village."

For a fraction of a second, the thief was taken aback by the bold words, so out of place on his meek, pale landlord's lips. But then surprise rolled over into scorn. Bakura smirked, looking at Ryou with just the right amount of malice, and replied simply, "No." before smothering the boy in a cruel parody of affectionate gestures that carried on well into the evening.

When all was said and done, and the crushed shards of macaroni disposed of, Bakura made sure to slam the door especially hard upon leaving for his nightly wanderings. It was punishment, cold and hard, he told himself, not the backlash of painful memory. That had dissolved into the oceans of time long ago.

But the next night found Bakura hearing the same quiet demand. This time they were sprawled across a role play tabletop. The thief shifted to keep a spiky dice from digging further into his knee before snapping, "I don't answer stupid questions."

Ryou looked away. "I just thinkā€¦it might be good for you, and I want to know--,"

"No," Bakura replied, "You don't want to know." And he kissed the boy for such a long interval that it nearly asphyxiated them both.

When he returned at six that morning with veins full of adrenaline and a smirk tracing his lips, Ryou was slumped in the nearest chair, his head lolling gently upon his shoulder. A scowl slunk onto the thief's face, and he walked past the young man and into his room without so much as a second glance.

Stupid dolt, he thought, as he turned his stereo up to full blast and hit PLAY.

Ryou had to work late the next evening, which brought Bakura both peace and restlessness. Granted, the boy was annoying and weepy and weak, but being alone and bored was far worse than spending time with one he could easily torment. Television provided no amusement for a millennia-old spirit, aside from an occasional sardonic chuckle, and the books Ryou kept were just plain boring. He threw them aside as quickly as he picked them up, snorting at their tales of giants and cats with fiddles.

He was just leaving to roam, donning an expensive black coat and boots, when the boy walked in the door and asked without a word of greeting, "What was your favorite toy as a child?"

"A top," Bakura answered unthinkingly, and froze. He whirled to face his landlord, expression for once balanced between shock and anger. But Ryou was already leaving, darting from the room like a ghost. Tricky in his own way.

That morning, the thief dreamed of an enormous golden top spinning through Kul Elna, destroying huts and crushing livestock. He ran from the toy on little boy's feet, ears filled with the screams of three-thousand year old souls. Blood stung his eyes and nose, and his pillow was shredded by the time he woke.

Bakura didn't speak to his landlord until that evening. The boy had grown silent and gloomy with loneliness and the onset of a summer storm. He moved about the house without animation, listening to the patter of drops on the roof and humming gently to himself. Time passed; dinner was served and consumed. Ryou was cleaning the dishes when he was shoved against a nearby wall with a lazy twist of Bakura's right hand. In his left was a grimy glass container, which Ryou recognized from their basement.

"You like stories, don't you, landlord? Fables and myths and western fairy tales? Well, here is another for your little collection." The thief waved the jar in front of Ryou's confused eyes. "Once upon a time, in a land where such things were possible, there was a vase known as Kul Elna. It was old and neglected and full of dirt and dust. Unlike the other vases in the kingdom, it did not have flowers to offer to the one who called himself king. All it contained were small, dirty things that most hated and avoided. But it didn't care. It had no use for kings and lovely tokens; its goal was simply to survive.

"Then one day the land of jars and vases was attacked, and the aforementioned lord panicked, for if his subjects were destroyed, who would be left to hold his flowers and sparkle prettily in the light? To appease his enemies, the king decided that a sacrifice must be made. Which vase do you suppose he chose to smash, landlord? Not a lovely, long-necked container of porcelain and lilies, but old, dirty, diseased Kul Elna. He crushed it and ground its shards and melted it down in order to make the most pure of glass with which he did as he pleased. The sacrifice was accepted, and order restored, and that, the king thought, was that."

Bakura leaned close to Ryou's ear, gripping his shoulder with all the intensity of a wild cat taking down its prey. "But the king missed a single shard, landlord, left it on the earth for dead. He thought the winds of the world would wear it and shatter it. He was wrong. The shard used the wind to sharpen its edge. Angry at what the king had done, it swore revenge, and has been searching for it forever after."

The clock ticked. Ryou breathed, closing his eyes against the thief's insane, enraged grin. His shoulder throbbed where the nails dug into his flesh. Bakura placed the dirty vase upon a nearby counter and turned back to the boy.

"If you ever ask about my village once more, I'll break this and slit your neck with a piece of its glass. We'll see how curious you are as a corpse."

Though his eyes widened and the muscles in his neck stiffened, Ryou managed not to shudder. The thief didn't look back.

And Ryou did not say "Tell me about your village." again.