Sorry about the lateness, I didn't mean to leave it this long... Life has just been hectic and argh.

Disclaimer: I own nothing

"Oh Seto, do you know what would be an absolutely smashing idea, jolly old chum?"

"Don't even talk to me..."

"How about we get a rather small ship, fill it with incapable naval men, and attempt to invade a pirate ship without any advice from the main strategist!"

"I told you not to talk to me!" Seto hollered, standing up and kicking the bars. "Shut the bloody hell up!"

"Truth hurts, doesn't it." Atemu sat on the floor of his cell, arms and legs crossed. "If you'd have listened to me-"

"It would not have made a difference!" Seto shot back in a shout. "We were overwhelmed, you idiot! Everyone underestimated this ragtag bunch of vagabonds!" He leaned against the bars of his cage, head in his hands. He felt sick.

"Bet you didn't expect to ruin your career so young, either." Atemu remarked, peering through the gloom at the shadowy figure of Seto. A small lantern had been lit, which hung on the wall.

"Don't remind me." Seto raked his fingers through his already unkempt hair. "Jesus Christ... Even if I make it out of here alive, I would be kicked out of the country, my brother pulled from school, my property handed to the crown..."

"Ouch." Atemu muttered. "You knew all this. You were greedy."

"All right, yes! I was greedy!" Seto rounded on the Egyptian. "How the hell can you sit there and be so calm! You're in just as much trouble as I am!"

"Oh, hardly." He droned. "I'm the son of the governor of Egypt, remember? Unlike you, I am important, and irreplaceable. My father will bargain to get me out."

"Oh, sure." Seto said nastily. "But what if he does not do so?"

"There's no reason for him to not." Atemu said evenly. "Do not attempt to foist your discomfort off on me."

"Just, for the love of God, please stop TALKING!" Seto's voice rose with every syllable, until he was essentially screaming at the man, steeped deep in frustration and despair.

"Would you rather sit in silence?" Atemu raised an eyebrow. "Bickering is much more amusing, is it not?"

"No!" Seto shot back, eyes narrowed. "Look. I have enough on my plate right now, without you and your smart-aleck comments! So do me a favour, and keep your big mouth shut!"

"Not in the mood for talking." Atemu murmured, before settling into a broody silence.

When Ryou pushed open the bedroom door at a quarter to one in the morning, the deck was just as loud, and raucous as before. Feeling a little afraid, he closed the door behind himself, lowering his head as he made his way across the floorboards. The truth was, he was hungry and thirsty, and if he said it was mainly for Bakura, they would be sure to give it to him, no?

However, as he crossed the deck, cautiously ducking and dodging the party, he found a familiar tanned figure with a mop of unruly blonde hair sitting by himself, away from the loud action, a rather large bottle in his hands.

"M-Malik?" Ryou called out, making his way towards the Egyptian. Malik looked up, and gae Ryou a rather morose wave, before returning to his torpor. "Malik, whatever is the matter?"

"What?" Ryou could immediately tell by his tone that Malik had had a little too much of whatever black substance was in the bottle. "Oh, nothing's wrong. Nothing, nothing, nothing..."

"But?" Ryou asked cautiously, looking around before taking a seat on the salty floorboards next to Malik.

"But we're all doomed." Malik mumbled, looking up at the sky. "Oh, we've really done it now, Ryou. That's why I'm forcing this rot down, to try and forget... Although it's not really too bad, actually..."

"What do you mean?" Ryou pressed the boy for more answers, beginning to get worried. "Why are we doomed?"

"Ryou, did you not see the man Bakura held prisoner?" There was almost a pleading tone in Maliks' voice. Ryou shook his head slowly. "Well, it was the bloody governor of Egypt's son. His son, Ryou! Egyptian royalty, more or less!"

"O-Oh." Ryou stammered, unsure of what to make with the news. "Well, I am sure that if you tell Bakura, he'll-"'

"He won't do a thing." Malik took another swig of the rum, making a face. "He won't do a damn thing. Meanwhile, I'm gonna have to be the one to give them food, Ryou! How the hell can I do that? How can I sit there and not try to help him escape! If I don't, then it's high treason against my nation! But if I do, then it's treason against Bakura... Oh bloody hell..."

"Well..." Ryou looked thoughtful. "Just think of it this way. Who are you more scared of when they are blindingly angry? Bakura, or the Governor of Egypt?"

"... Bakura." Malik muttered, rubbing at his eyes. "And besides, Joey would do his nut and probably go insane on me and kill me anyways, if I did anything. I'm just so trapped Ryou? What do I do? What the hell do I do?"

"Well, first thing is, you can stop drinking." Ryou gently took the bottle from Maliks' hand. "The second thing is to go and sleep this off. Look. Um, how about I bring the food and water to the prisoners? If you are not seen by him, then he will not know you exist, and besides, if you never see him yourself, then you can easily say you never knew he was on board."

"But he has seen me." Malik moaned. "In Bakura's room, remember?"

"Oh, that does not count." Ryou waved it away. "Look, he was far too focused on Bakura at the time, he wouldn't have spared you a glance. Do not worry about this, all right?"

"... Yeah." Ryou squeaked as Malik wrapped him in a tight hug. "Thanks Ryou, you're really the best."

"I try." Ryou blushed as Malik embraced him.

"Can you stop pacing!" Seto raged at Atemu, clinging at the bars tightly. "I mean, seriously! Come on! You are simply doing this to antagonize me!"

"I am actually trying to think." Atemu murmured. "You see, unlike you, I have a suitable head on my shoulders and can think up a way to escape."

"Oh, yes." Seto muttered. "Escape from this. I would like to see that. And even so, what the hell are we going to do when we get out? Somehow take this ship and capture the captain? No fear!"

"The captain is fighting for his life, perhaps dead." Atemu said smoothly.

"What, Bakura? The white haired man?"

"Of course I mean him." Atemu snapped. "I managed to land a blow on the men I fight, as opposed to prancing about like you..."

"Oh, whatever." Seto snapped at him. "I bet you stabbed him when he wasn't looking. Look, even if the captains down, he's got a first mate. And from what I've seen, he is not a man to be trifled with. I just want to know if Ryou is here and alive. Perhaps he can help us..." Atemu bit back a smile.

"Oh, but he is here." He smirked. "I saw him."

"You did?" Seto started. "A fifteen-year-old boy, long white hair, looks like a woman?"

"One and the same." His smile widened, although Seto couldn't see it in the weak light. "He pulled a gun at me."

"He what?" Seto frowned. "Not Ryou, he would never!"

"Oh, yes, he did." Atemu leaned against the wall thoughtfully, his hands in his pockets. "I think you are quite confused about where his loyalties lie..."

"They lie with me!" Seto growled. "With the King and Crown and England! Ryou would not give that up and join a band of filthy pirates!"

"Is this not the same boy that suffered exile from your oh-so-beloved King?" Atemu pointed out. "What would England have left to offer him?" Seto simply looked at him, rather lost for words. "Exactly."

"No." Seto said firmly. "I knew him. Quite well. And I know that he would never do that."

"Desperation may push him." Atemu noted. "Look, I know what I saw. And I saw a boy willing to kill me for attacking the captain of this ship."

"You..." Seto sighed, and slid against the wall, his head in his hands. "Oh hell." He groaned, his hands trembling. Just before the pair were about to sink into a miserable silence once more, however, the door creaked open, and a small figure stepped into the room. Originally, Seto didn't pay any heed to the noise, too sunk into his own moody thoughts, but a small voice in the gloom made him start.

"E-Er, hello. I am dreadfully that this took so long, but I did not dare to attempt to pilfer any food... I managed to convince Joey that you needed food, but it is naught but a hunk of bread and some porridge... I know that this is unacceptable for a man of your standing and I wish I could do more..." Atemu stared as Ryou slid the small plates through the bars of the cage, a mug of rather stale water following.

"Ryou." Seto slowly stood up in disbelief, and Ryou jumped, turning to find Seto's hands on the bars, staring at him in the weak light.

"... Seto." The bottom felt as though it dropped out of Ryou's stomach. "What... are..."

"I was the captain of the ship that tried to attack." Seto explained hurriedly. "But... Oh, are you all right?"

"Y-Yes, I am..." Ryou stuttered, hardly believing what he was seeing. "B-but... I..."

"Good. Ryou, you have to listen to me." Seto kept his voice low and urgent. "You have to help me escape. If it is timed excellently, then it can be done, and you can be freed. All you have to do is get for me a sword, a dagger, and two guns, at least, with which I can arm myself sufficiently. In the dead of night, if you could subdue or drug the watchman, and release me and my colleague from these cells, we can load one of the lifeboats with supplies, and take it upon the water. The coast is not far, and if we have several hours leeway, we would make it with luck, even with the faster speed of the-"

"No." Ryou managed to cut over Seto, both his lip, and words, trembling. "Seto... I-I cannot..."

"Ryou, what are you talking about!" Seto growled. "You have to help me! Look at what I did for you! If you do not help me then-"

"I must go." Ryou said abruptly, and then stood up. He backed away, and ran, out of the room, fleeing the scene as fast as he could, the door closing behind him. His heart thudding, Ryou leaned against the wood, shaking.

Seto... He was the one that attacked the ship. He did it to rescue me. He... put the lives of all those men in danger. They all died... For me. Ryou swallowed deeply. I am responsible for this... He felt sick. What have I done? Sixty men died... Seto is imprisoned... He let out a long sigh, and, legs still shaking, made his way back up on to the main deck. The crew were still offloading from the recently invaded ship, massive casks of water, barrels of gunpowder, and the like, as well as luxury items, spotless white linens, fine, spindly furniture and thick, downy blankets. The lesser items the crew fought over, little brass ornaments, shirts, and the like. A small stack caught Ryou's eye, and the boy lit up as another armload of books were dumped onto the pile, which contained more than a dozen tomes.

"Oh, my!" Ryou crouched beside the books, eyes wide. "Cervante's Don Quixote, Honoré d'Urfé's L'Astrée, Barclay's Agenis..."

"What the 'ell?" Ryou jumped up, and found Joey hovering over him, one eyebrow raised. "Whut yer doin'?"

"I-I was merely perusing these titles out of interest..." Ryou stammered. "I-I-"

"Huh." Joey kicked at the pile of books, earning a wince from Ryou. "Useless bits of paper. Use 'em on t' fire, Devlin."

"No!" Ryou burst out, and all those in the vicinity froze, as Ryou in-avertedly challenged the acting captain of the ship.

"What." He took a step towards Ryou. "Did." His voice grew lower, frighteningly threatening. "You." Ryou took a step back. "Say?"

"W-Well..." Ryou swallowed, and tried to stand his ground. "I-It's just... These are very expensive books... Most are not even in English. Y-You could not think of burning them, surely!"

"I shoulda known ya were a nosy little bookworm." Joey sneered, quite cruelly, and the rest of the crew laughed. "Ever get ya stupid little head outta the books and had a look at t' world?" Ryou's face was flushed a deep crimson, and Malik looked up from the crate he was poring through, hands clenching.

"How dare you accuse me of stupidity!" Ryou's pent up anger had gotten the best of him. Anger, not just at the crude insult, but at Joey's abuse, his blackmail, his lies, every little thing that he was constantly doing to keep Ryou in a state of discomfort, was bursting out of him. "A filthy, disgusting peasant like yourself, thinking that you are somehow better than someone with an education and standing as mine? Oh, I bet you're so bitter towards literature because you can't even sign your own name, let alone read a single page!" Malik's eyes widened, the rest of the crew waited with bated breath for the attack. Joey Wheeler would never let such an angry rant towards him pass unnoticed.

"You!" He didn't disappoint. Joey grabbed Ryou by the throat, his nails digging hard into the soft white skin as he strangled Ryou, almost blind in his rage. "I'll teach you, ya little shit!"

"Joey, stop!" Malik grabbed at the mans' arm desperately. "He didn't mean it. Stop it, you're going to kill him!" Ryou scrabbled desperately at the hands squeezing his throat, his clipped nails raking ineffectually over tough, weathered skin. Devlin aided the Egyptian, both grabbing one arm each. "Come on!"

"Joey!" Devlin pleaded. "For Gods' sake, you'll kill him!" His cheeks slowly growing blue, Ryou squirmed and struggled desperately in the mans' hold, but to no avail. Finally, however, Joey let the boy go, Ryou slumping to the floorboards, coughing and choking.

"Never." He wrenched his arms free of Malik and Devlin, stomping very close to Ryou. "Speak t' me like that again." He didn't need to further the threat, Ryou understood very clearly. Malik grabbed at Ryou's arm, and hauled him to a standing position.

"He won't." Malik started to back away very quickly, Ryou weakly obeying the boy. Malik made his way towards Bakura's room, aware of the pairs of eyes that followed him, and sighed deeply in relief as he managed to shut the door, Ryou taking a very shaky seat on the edge of the bed.

"What the hell is wrong with you?" Malik gasped, trying to keep his voice down for the sake of Bakura, who was still asleep. "You can't just go talking to Joey like that, it's suicide! He could have really hurt you, Ryou."

"I-I know." Ryou rubbed at his neck. "But... He was..."

"A total bastard, I know." Malik said patiently, "But he was about to strangle you, you idiot. Just keep your mouth shut around him if you know what's good for you."


"I have to go." Malik stood up abruptly. "I'm not angry at you, just worried. And I got a lot of work to do, all right? Just try and keep in here, and I'll come back in an hour in case you or Bakura need anything."

"... All right." Ryou eventually nodded, smiling weakly as Malik left the room. As the door was closed softly, Ryou flopped down on the bed, staring dejectedly up at the ceiling. He was still as angry as ever with Joey, although obviously being terrified towards him. And Seto... Ryou rolled over onto his side, guilt-ridden. How on earth can I make this right? How can I let him go free without people realising that all of these deaths are my fault?

"Ryou?" Bakura mumbled, earning a gasp from the teenager. "You there?"

"Y-Yes I am." Ryou smiled weakly, and sat up. "You've been asleep for a long time. It's just gone nine."

"Mmmm, I needed it." Bakura's eyelids cracked open, and he gazed at Ryou. "How are you?"

"I am fine." Ryou lied. "Look, there is no need to worry about me. How are you faring? Is there anything you require? You must be starving..."

"I can manage." Bakura slowly sat up, wincing a little. "You're pale. More so than normal I mean. What's wrong?"

"I said, nothing!" Ryou sounded testier than he meant to, and sighed. "I mean, nothing." He said in a gentler tone. "Just a little tired I guess." He looked over to Bakura, something warming in his stomach. "I did not sleep very well."

"Come here." Bakura gestured, and Ryou obediently shuffled across the bed, and rested his head on the mans' shoulder. "I hope it wasn't due to me."

"It was not, please do not worry." Ryou smiled a little as Bakura wrapped his arms around his slim shoulders.

"Feeling better?" Bakura teased, giving the boy a small peck on the tip of his head.

"Oh, very funny." Ryou's eyes were already half-lidded. "You are such a hoot."

"Oh, I know I am." Bakura teased, and wrapped his arms a little tighter around the boy. "Sleep."

"... All right." Ryou forced down a yawn. Already, he felt calmer, lying in Bakura's arms. What do I have to worry about? Ryou wondered. Bakura would never let anything happen to me. Never. Unless... His stomach tightened a little as he thought of what Joey knew. The kiss. The stupid unrequited kiss.

"Bakura, did you ever read Othello?" Ryou asked, seemingly out of the blue. Bakura blinked.

"No, but I saw it performed, several times." He frowned. "Why?"

"... When Othello kills Desdemona for being supposedly unfaithful, is it the right thing for him to do?"

"Of course not." Bakura's frown deepened. "He was an idiot. Anyone could see she was completely faithful."

"No, no, I do not mean it like that. I mean..." Ryou let out a long sigh. "Hypothetically, even if she really did sleep with Cassio, did she deserve to die for it?"

"Ah." Bakura was still as confused as ever. "Well... She most definitely didn't deserve to be smothered. But in some countries, adultery is punishable by death."

"So she did deserve to die." Ryou felt a little cold inside.

"No, I never said that." Bakura said defensively. "She didn't, just because someone isn't faithful, it doesn't mean they should die. I'd like to think the human life is a little more worthy than that."

"But you kill people all the time." Ryou pointed out, significantly more relieved.

"Only because if I didn't, they would kill me in a heartbeat." Bakura pointed out. "I don't do it willingly. What brought all of this on?"

"Nothing." Ryou lied. "I was just wondering." His eyes were closed by this point, and he felt considerably sleepier.

"Silly." Bakura sighed, and he waited until Ryou was asleep before reaching for the bottle of vodka.


Seto only eyed the blonde with intense dislike, his arms tied behind him, bound firmly to the chair.

"Oh, I will not speak a word to you." He snarled. "Or your captain. You are wasting your time, attempting to interrogate me."

"Oh, these'll be more than attempts." Joey rested a hand on his sheathed sword. "Who sent ya!"

"No one." Seto said calmly.

"Liar." Joey hissed. "Ya too young t' have any real power in t' navy. Who sent ya?"

"How do you know I am not?" Seto was slightly affronted. "I could thirty for all you know."

"Ha!" Joey only ran a finger along Seto's completely unbearded jawline. "I say again." He narrowed his eyes. "Who sent ya?"

"And I shall say again," Seto repeated. "No one."

"So, ya did this all yourself?" Joey started to walk back and forth, starting to get agitated.

"I never said that." Seto smirked. "Look, you can keep this up all you like, I am not going to tell you a single thing."

"Ya think that you're bein' funny?" Joey raged. "Playin' this game?" Seto only shrugged, and with a fit of rage, Joey grabbed the male by his hair, and, forcing his head back, Joey pressed the sharp blade of his dagger against Seto's throat. "Listen." He muttered, in a very low voice, his lips less than an inch from the brunette's ear. "I wanna know why ya attacked us. Tell, or else..."

"You would not." Seto growled. "Kill me, and you will learn nothing."

"Oh?" Joey raised an eyebrow. "What 'bout your friend in t' cells..."

"Just my second-in-command." Seto said calmly, knowing how stupid it would be to reveal Atemu's identity. "Nothing more."

"I bet 'e'll talk, though." Joey muttered in a low voice, the blade still very close to Seto's throat. "Spit it out."

"... No." Seto wondered how long this would go on for. Really, this young man was so rudimentary and crude in his interrogation, lacking in any real sophistication and creativity. Were all of the crew members this ineloquent?

"... Fine." Joey relented, and straightened himself. "Hunger and thirst'll make ya talk." He gave Devlin a nod, then left the tiny, dimly-lit room, the door slamming shut behing him.

"What a marvellous character." Seto remarked to the near-empty room. "Please tell me your captain is a little less brutish."

"No comment." Devlin muttered. He cut half of the bonds, leaving Seto still tied, and grabbed him by his rather dirty collar, the dagger still in his hand. "C'mon." Seto rolled his eyes as he was roughly pushed out of the room, but had sank into deep thought. Really, he was disappointed, of sorts, that he wasn't able to meet Bakura, whom he could have perhaps gotten on with a lot better, as he was renowned as being more articulate, and calculating than the average brutish pirate.

"Hands out." Atemu shook his head as Seto was shoved back into his cells, and at Devlin's command, Seto silently extended his arms through the bars of the cell, the ropes sliced off of his bony wrists. Seto and Atemu both watched as Devlin left the cells silently, then Seto let out a long sigh, leaning against the wall.

"Went well?" Atemu smirked, then took a seat on the floor, looking thoughtful.

"You could say." Seto hated talking to the stuck-up prick, but in such reduced circumstances, he didn't have anyone else to talk to. "That blonde mans' a common brute. How he rose to be first mate I have no idea..." He shook his head. "I told him nothing. And if he asks about you, do not say who you are."

"What do you take me for?" Atemu sounded quite disgusted. "I'm not an idiot. Look, if we can hold out for a little bit longer, then maybe we will be all right."

"Oh, they will not kill us... Yet." Seto stared at the single lantern on the wall. "If they find out about why we are here, they will kill Ryou." He sounded regretful. "I have put him in more trouble than if I stayed."

"Personally, I think he should." Atemu grumbled. "That little brat is caused all of this trouble."

"No." Seto snarled. "He had nothing to do with it. I am the one that thought a navy of sixty men could overpower two dozen pirates."

"We would have been quite all right if you had listen to me-"

"Do not start that again!" Seto growled, teeth gritted. "Goddamn, you will not let up on this!"

"Not until I am free from this dismal prison." Atemu found his fingernails interesting. "I will get off of this cursed ship, Seto. With or without you."

"... You devious bastard." Seto's voice was low and cold. "If you get Ryou in trouble-"

"To be perfectly honest, I could not care less about the boy." Atemu muttered. "Now, you listen to me, Seto. Because of your ignorance, your arrogance, and your detestable pride, you have managed to lose a crew of sixty men, have a fine English naval ship stripped and more likely than not sunk, and have landed the both of us in a near-inescapable prison. I did not sign up to become anybody's prisoner. And I will not be treated like a mangy cur any longer."

"Yeah? Well, good luck with that." Seto's boiling rage was muffled by his incomprehensible feeling of futility. "You will never get off. Neither of us will."

"That's what you think." Atemu's brow was furrowed, sunk very deep in thought.

"Hello?" Malik gently tapped on the bedroom door, then pushed it open. "You awake?"

"Yes." Bakura waved as Malik entered the room, one hand behind his back. "Ryou, you've been asleep for over an hour. Wake up now."

"Mmm..." Ryou mumbled weakly, eyes still closed. "Soon..."

"I have something for you." Malik gently sat on the edge of the bed. "I managed to save it."

"Wh-what?" Ryou rubbed at his eyes, and slowly sat up. "What is it?" He perked up as Malik revealed the book, his eyes lighting up. "Oh!"

"I grabbed the closest one while Joey's back was turned." Malik explained. "He didn't miss it, and Devlin carted them downstairs a few moments later." Ryou took the book eagerly. "But I must stupider than I thought... I can't even read a word." He sighed, eyes downcast.

"Oh, Malik." Ryou shook his head, staring at the title, while Bakura looked on in interest, vaguely tipsy. "Of course you could not read it." He showed Malik the title. "Don Quixote is a Spanish Romance. Not a single word is in English."

"O-Oh!" Malik blushed, scratching the back of his head. "That's why..."

"Yes." Ryou leafed through the book. "I wish I could also... But Spanish was never taught to me, other than the necessary basics."

"I can read it." Bakura offered, breaking into the conversation. Ryou looked over at the man in surprise. "My family was Catholic, of course I learned Spanish-"

"What?" Ryou was surprised. "You never told me that you were raised in a Catholic family..."

"It wasn't important." Bakura shrugged. "I don't believe in all that bitter enmity between Catholics and Protestants. You don't, do you? I thought you were smarter than that."

"I... Of course I do not." Ryou finished lamely, his cheeks flushing. Bakura raised an eyebrow.

"I have to go." Malik announced, standing up. He gave the pair a small smile before leaving the room quietly.

"You have a problem with it." Bakura noted, shaking his head.

"N-No, I do not." Ryou protested. Bakura only snorted. "What?"

"Like I said, I couldn't care less." Bakura murmured. "I don't think I have a shred of faith left, to be honest."

"... Oh." Ryou's voice was very small and weak, and he looked down at his hands. He was still nervous, a product of his soft, adventurous kiss the night before, and feel unsure of himself, of what he should do.

"You're awkward." Bakura noted, sitting up properly. "What are you not telling me? Come now, spill it." Ryou looked away, hands twisting and turning in his lap. "Ryou, what is it? I thought that we would be past all of this discomfort. What's wrong?"

"... I kissed you." Ryou eventually raised his eyes, but not yet able to look Bakura in the eye. Bakura stilled. "Last night... When you were asleep."

"Oh." Something trilled in Bakura's chest, although he forced it down. "And did you... Like it? What?"

"... Yes." Ryou's voice was very small, his face red. "I am beginning to think that my original judgements of you... May be inaccurate."

"Well, that's always nice to hear." Bakura wore a wide smile. Ryou sat next to him, eyes still lowered. "Then... Is it all right for me to kiss you?"

"Wh-What?" Ryou looked up, his blush deepening.

"Is it all right for me to-"

"No, no, I heard you, It is just a... surprise." Ryou murmured. "I have never heard you ask for permission before..."

"So, is that a yes?" Bakura ventured a hopeful guess, his eyes never leaving Ryou's face.

"Yes." Ryou blurted out, his face positively flaming. His heartbeat quickened as Bakura leaned in gently, the fingertips of his right hand cupping his jawbone. Their lips met softly, Ryou's heart thrumming with pleasure. Still incredibly nervous, Ryou's hands rested on Bakura's legs, feeling clumsy, awkward, unsure. But as Bakura tilted his head a little and deepened the kiss, all trepidation dissolved, and Ryou opened his mouth to Bakura's intrusion, the pirate captains' bony hand on his cheek. All too soon, it seemed, Ryou pulled away reluctantly, his breathing coming out in deep sighs, face still as crimson as ever.

"You have the cutest blush." Bakura noted with a smirk, one finger trailing along Ryou's cheek. "Is kissing me so embarrassing?"

"N-No." Ryou shook his head. "I-I am just... a little nervous."

"Oh! Well, there is no need to be." Bakura said. "You feeling better?"

"I have been for a while now." Ryou admitted, tracing a pattern on the quilt. "You have an odd charm about you, Bakura. It is strangely compelling."

"Glad to know I'm so attractive." Bakura teased. "And you're a complete stunner yourself. Honestly, Ryou, I don't think I've ever laid eyes on someone as beautiful as you before."

"You are simply trying to flatter me." Ryou protested, but the blush was back in full force. Bakura shook his head, one hand still on Ryou's face.

"I am not. Your skin, hair, eyes, voice, lips... It's like you should be carved from marble or in a painting." Bakura said softly, almost dreamlike in his tone. "Everything about you is so sweet and gentle and perfect. Why you chose to be around a dirty old pirate like me, I'll never know."

"Because you are more than a dirty old pirate" Ryou argued. "You're a handsome, charismatic, intelligent man, with a hard past. You have flaws, yes, but so does every human. And that you acknowledge, and address some of them, as opposed to caving in to arrogance, is admirable."

"... Thank you, Ryou." He leaned in even closer, their noses a minute distance apart. "Say... Is it all right for me to kiss you again?"

"... Yes." And this time, it was Ryou who took the plunge, tilting his head forward and closing his eyes.



Savour it while it lasts MUAHAHAHAHA!

-cough- anyways.