At Sixes And Sevens
Status: One-shot, complete
Summary: Jounouchi, perhaps due to a little ignorance on his part, decides to confront Yami Bakura about a certain best friend of his.
Notes: Wow, this fic (according to the documents properties) was started Friday, December 22 in 2006. About time I finished this beast, I suppose, and breaking the writers slump I've been experiencing as of late. It's felt like forever since I've attempted to do Yami Bakura and the practice helped to unhinge my talents somewhat, hopefully my more recent attempt at his character wasn't a complete bust. I tried improving on his language in this one. :3
Disclaimer: I dun own YuGiOh!; wish I did like everyone else. They should put YGO! in stock, then I'd buy it all!
Jounouchi had done a lot of downright dumb things in his life. He didn't have enough fingers and toes left to count off how many times he'd answered a life-threatening dare, or done some stupid stunt, or said the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. The blond could easily admit to all of that, and he could easily enough admit that what he was about to do took the cake as far as anything previous he'd attempted was concerned.
"Hey, Bakura. Sup?"
He could concede that he felt the temperature of the establishment drop as the other slowly swiveled his head in his direction. It was kind of like taunting a venomous snake that had merely wanted to mind its own business and slither on by – it was docile until you went and got up close to it. And by 'up close' he meant (at least in this instance) sitting down next to it and saying hello.
He hadn't really expected a greeting in return, so he'd taken the liberty of obtaining the nearest seat. In fact, he'd have bet his life savings (if he had any) that he would've never so much as imagined the white-haired man to attend this gathering to begin with. Not like Bakura made it a habit to show up for anything generally peaceful in nature. Yet here he was, lurking in the back of the room while everyone else enjoyed the party Yugi was hosting for New Years.
Jounouchi suspected Yami had something to do with it. Actually, he was positive Yami was the only reason period. How his friend had talked Bakura into it, Jounouchi didn't want to know. Lord no, he didn't want to know.
Bakura appeared to have returned to ignoring him and the place's occupants altogether, a gesture that left him a tad more than miffed. He hated being unacknowledged by people to begin with, but when it's this guy, then it's another story entirely.
"So…enjoying the party?"
A response, be it negative or positive, was relative to Jounouchi. Thus, any feedback whatsoever was a good thing.
"Oh, so having a nice time?"
"Yeah, me too."
"What do you want?"
Ah, a straight-to-the-point type of guy. He could respect that. Kind of sucks he couldn't sort of worm, weasel and warm up to said point like he'd been hoping, but really, he couldn't expect anything less from the notorious tomb robber.
But damn, this brought him all the way to plan D.
"Just to, ya know, talk. Like, man-to-man."
The thief looked at him as if that point was debatable on several levels, the act now pushing the blond to grind his teeth together.
"And we have what to…'talk' about, exactly?"
"Oh, ya know. Stuff," he emphasized, looking at the other as if he could mentally hint at everything the single word could mean through blatant eye contact. The other didn't back up, at least, at his intent gaze, but Jounouchi did sense some skepticism. He was probably questioning his sanity in comparison to his own. With a flippant tilt of his head in Yami's direction, Jounouchi tried to reiterate. "Stuff-stuff."
He received a hard stare from Bakura before the tomb robber hesitantly looked in the direction he'd indicated. Upon spotting the second-shortest person present, realization seemed to dawn on him, his shoulders tensing and a twitch ticking at one eye. With a low, cold tone, he didn't hesitate to state, "That," and here he seemed to pause for some effect, "sort of 'stuff',' as you put it, is none of your concern."
"Oh, but I believe it is," the blond said, trying to mimic the other's deep sense of voice and failing miserably in comparison. But he hoped the attempt at such an act would count towards something.
"Because you see, and I mean this in the most humble and pleasant of terms, with your current track record of shall we say…" He took his own pause, waving his fingers around as if putting on airs when in fact he was wracking his brain for the biggest and most sophisticated phrase he'd ever heard, "unbridled animosity towards Yami in the past, as his best friend I feel I'm entitled to be concerned for his immediate welfare."
Jounouchi didn't bother hiding his smirk at the thief's blank expression, knowing for a fact that he'd probably taken the other by surprise, if only due to borrowing a couple certain words from one Seto Kaiba. In a million years you couldn't get him to admit to it, but right this moment it felt worth being put through all those verbal beat-downs with the CEO if only so he could get a reaction like this. No one expects the street brawlers to say something intelligent until it's too late.
Finally, the man scoffed.
"Hey! I'm being serious here, if you-"
He wasn't a liar; he could admit he'd made another mistake just then. The minute he lifted his finger to get his point across, a sense of immediate foreboding washed over him like a black tidal wave. Jounouchi knew it was coming, and he knew it was too late, but he wasn't quite ready for the consequences when they came. With an unrivaled swiftness, the white-haired man had the offending finger curled back into his hand into a tight knuckled fist, Jounouchi nearly unable to hold the yelp of pain back to keep away unwanted attention. This was between him and Bakura…and if Yami saw this, he'd probably send them both to the Shadow Realm. Jounouchi for purposely confronting (and agitating) the tomb robber, and Bakura for physically retaliating. It didn't stop him from nearly biting his lip to bleeding, though.
With no effort whatsoever, Bakura slowly forced Jounouchi's hand back at the wrist, his joints protesting all the way. Leaning in close enough that only he could hear him, but still distanced enough to make it appear as if they were casually conversing, Bakura spoke up again.
"Listen, and listen well. Mind your own business." There was an 'or else' implied in there somewhere that Jounouchi was able to pick up, and it was almost enough to get him to back down.
Almost being the keyword.
Gritting his teeth, he put up with the current abuse his body was taking on, since he'd dealt with worse before. Bakura wasn't immortal or unbeatable – he could sweat, break, and bleed like any mortal, and if Yami could beat him then so he could Jounouchi. The guy was just really, really creepy…especially with that occult deck of his.
"No, I won't!" he said a tad too loudly; he caught himself a second later and tried again. "Not until it's clear that I won't let anyone hurt my friend, even if ya both lost your sanity and decided to date."
"Then permit me to point out that, first off, perhaps you should be a bit more concerned for yourself right this moment than the one man here who can truly contend with me."
He was about to snap that, yes, of course he'd considered it…until by chance he took that moment to rethink it. The evil one did have a point there, as frightening as it was to admit. Yami had beaten the tar out of this guy so many times that, if the past was anything to go by, he could and would continue to do so if such a chance arose. That and, what had he been thinking when he thought he could take on the same guy who used both magic and muscle to destroy his enemies without a second thought? So not fair.
"Second of all," the other continued as Jounouchi was busy thinking of all that, "and I'm sure I shouldn't even waste by breath asking this since the answer is so terribly obvious, but did you ever consider that if I had intentions to harm your…friend, or any of your other associates, I would have proceeded to do so already?"
He couldn't blink. If he did, his complete and utter annihilation would be at hand; he just knew it. A blank expression only looks stupid when your lashes start batting or your mouth unhinges or shit he just did it. Having unintentionally given in to his one mental request, he figured he might as well try to, as a certain bane-of-his-existence, Mr. Kaiba, would have stated, retreat with his tail safely tucked between his legs. But not without gnashing some sharp canines, first.
"Yeah, yeah…" he grumbled, shaking his fist back to be released from the other's grasp. It took a little work, but after a while the thief seemed to find the task unworthy of his time. His knuckles were numb, as if bitten by frostbite; thankfully his body listened to him this time and didn't shake his wrist wildly about to get the feeling back into them like he really felt like doing right then. That kind of childish weakness would make him even easier prey, which he couldn't afford.
"I guess I can buy that," he conceded, hating the acidic taste that came with each word he uttered and trying with all his might to keep from pummeling the other's superior look from his features. Instead, he retaliated with words to the best of his ability, "I'll just leave ya with a kindly warning then – ya hurt him in any shape or form, and I have no qualms with goin' backta jail, capeesh?"
"Your worthless threats bore me," Bakura stated, his voice relating the truth of his statement. "If all you have to say to me is such pointlessness, then leave. You're wasting my valuable time."
"Ya don't think I'd go through with it, do ya?" His tone, one which Honda had described as his only form of seriousness, seemed to finally catch the other's attention enough to get a good eye-lock in. If ever in this lifetime they were to come to an understanding, this would be it.
"When it comes to the people I care most about, I don't make 'worthless threats.' For him…" he took a quick moment to crane his neck around to look at the man in question, Yami, "or them…" he swept a look over his friends – Yugi, Anzu, Honda, Ryou, "I'd gladly do whatever I have to make things right, the law and anyone else who gets in my way be damned."
Nothing visible changed on the man's face, but something about his shoulders or over his head seemed to dissipate a little. For the life of him, Jounouchi couldn't make out more than that.
A small sneer finally emerged. "While your loyalty is commendable, if it will get you to get away from me, I solemnly vow neither to harm nor foul my 'boyfriend' – as you all so eloquently befit him – so long as we both exist. Is that suitable, or would you prefer it in writing?"
"Actually, yeah, and add in a clause about not hurting my other friends either while-"
"You dare continue to push me, you insolent-!"
"Is there a problem here, gentlemen?" a familiar baritone voice effectively broke into the tirade and verbal brawl most likely to commence between both him and Bakura. The blond shifted around so fast he nearly experienced whiplash. Coming nearly eye-to-eye with a certain ex-monarch whose expression clearly stated his already-made-up mind about their situation, Jounouchi carelessly broke into a white-toothed grin, slapping a hand on Yami's shoulder.
"Yami, my man; nice to see ya! Hey, is that punch for me?" He didn't wait for a response, choosing instead to just grab the extra cup he was holding and taking a large swig from it. "Ah! Great stuff, great stuff. Me and Bakura here were just having an enlightenin' discussion about dueling, specifically sportsmanship, weren't we, buddy?"
The white-haired man wisely deigned not to comment, leaving the blond to either sink or swim with his own life. Getting up, Jounouchi excused himself, stating that it wouldn't be right to have Bakura hogging him all to himself while his adoring fans and closest comrades needed him, too. As he walked away, he distinctly heard the pharaoh basically asking the thief whether anything he had said had a grain of truth to it, to which Bakura replied, "Oh yes, we've come to quite the understanding."
"Yes, I've concluded you surround yourself with imbeciles."
At the moment, Jounouchi couldn't really argue with that, considering he'd admitted something along the same lines, save his being the idiot in question. Brushing off a bout of the shivers at the thought that he and that nutjob, in this instance, had the same line of thinking, he rejoined his friends, basking in their company and the mighty vantage point from that corner of the room, to keep an eye on things.
He could understand Bakura's points and, as far as he could tell, when he made a promise of his own, he'd keep it but… uh…better safe than sorry, ya know? If Yami needed his help kicking the man down, Jounouchi wanted to be the first one there, or at the very least be able to watch.