Title: The Black Tattoo
Warning: AU, BL
Pairing: eventual YYxY, YxA, other pairings yet to be realised.
Summary: He didn't know when it came, or where from, but he'd been cursed with a mark on his back. A tattoo of a pyramid with an Egyptian eye, a black tattoo. What some people call a hero, and others a menace, emerges under the name of The Black Raven, and Yuugi's life has never been more complicated.
A/N: Pleaaaaaaaase don't ask for a sequel or an epilogue or something. This chapter took me soooo long and I'm just... I never want to write another archaic word again and it was a real struggle to force myself to write this chapter.
So don't expect an epilogue, and I know this chapter isn't what it should be, and it's unbeta'd and probably with so many errors, but you won't believe how over writing this story I am.
I deeply apologise for the delay but I've been really really busy.
And without further ado, enjoy the final chapter of "The Black Tattoo".
Chapter 9. Ready Set Go.
Most babies are crying when they're born, but Yuugi was silent and still.
He had always committed this to memory. His tiny eyelids closed, breathing slow and steady as though he was not quite ready to wake up just yet, his tiny fists loosely curled. He was just like a ragdoll, unmoving and quiet. Technology assured them that while Yuugi didn't cry he ate and drank, that he was nourished even if it was with pipes. His back was cold, the rest of him softly warm. A medical anomaly.
Mutou Surogoku had never forgotten the serene look on that frail baby's face as it continued to sleep on, unaware that it had been born and should be crying, screaming out to return to it's warm sanctuary. His mother had cried and cried, wondering what was wrong with her child, but she was never given an answer, Yuugi merely slept on. It was not unlike currently. His body warm, back cold although this time prickling with energy, face serene as he slept on unaware of the worried eyes constantly watching him for a sign of change and that faint glimmer of hope that maybe, maybe it was all okay.
His wings had receded into his back three days after this seemingly endless sleep began. They had taken it as a sign of recovery, and were relived as they could finally take him to the hospital. And so he lay, in a tangle of wires, delicate, frail, and dwarfed by the machinery and whiteness of the sterile walls. Still and silent as the day he was born.
His heart rate was strong and steady, his lungs inhaling and exhaling without any sort of extra labour. Briefly, jokingly, he entertained the idea of possibly screaming that breakfast was ready and steaming on the table and if Yuugi wanted to eat it hot he was going to have to get out of bed, but a quick look at the machinery attached to his small grandson quickly stole that idea away. No, yelling that breakfast was ready wasn't going to wake his grandson up.
He'd received quite a start when he woke in hospital and been told shortly after that his Grandson and his friends were in the hospital as well, though thankfully only three of them were occupying a bed.
Honda's head injury had cleared up relatively fast, as had Jounouchi's multiple injuries. They'd hurt for a while but eventually the bruising would go down and scars heal without any medical treatment beyond some antiseptic and a band-aid, something for which he was eternally grateful. Anzu had been the first to tell him everything, the terror of an incredibly angry Yuugi, the possession of Bakura and Ryou by their previous life counter-parts Dallin and Anthony, even the identity of Yami as a man once known as Mars. Although she didn't understand the complete mechanics of the situation she could give the basic gist of the thing to the elderly man to ponder as he stared at his Grandson.
As a baby Yuugi had woken up eventually; he'd just have to trust his grandson to pull through. Yuugi would wake when he was ready; they just had to wait until then. He sighed, leaning back into the rests of the chair. He just didn't know how long he could stand the wait.
"When am I going to wake up?" Yuugi asked, staring at the ceiling of Yami's container in sheer boredom. "I really don't understand this, I've never woken up like this before, I mean, I've just slept like a normal person and woken like a normal person."
"Thou art no longer an ordinary person Yuugi. The ties between thyself and both the tattoo and the shadows have become inexplicably stronger." Yami replied, sprawled on the floor of his container as he usually did, eyes closed and utterly relaxed, once more content to enjoy existence although there was a distinctly nervous, unsettled energy about him.
"And so...?" Yuugi said, somewhat irritated by the lack of information.
"So thy mind has become restless and normally thou wouldst sleep through it, but instead thou hath been drawn away from thy body as it is used to the separation. Thou travelled so deep into shadow that thou aren't as tied to thy body as most mortal beings are."Yami replied listlessly.
Yuugi's mouth formed a small 'o' and he flopped back against the dull grey floor, feeling no change in the temperature between his skin and the ground. It was a strange sensation.
"Will I be able to move when I wake up?"He queried.
Yami shook his head. "If thou could, it would be a miracle."
Yuugi shot a look to the other spirit. Yami was usually so much more... alive, or intimidating or, or something. Usually he was something, something that was usually intense and nerve wracking. Given, he'd never actually been with Yami inside his container before, in a spiritual body instead of just being the brush of minds when they switched, or the intense passion of a solid compression of spirit matter into physical being, but still. He'd at least expected Yami to be more, well, excited to see him. So he was slightly irritated by the profoundness of Yami's inattention as he merely lay with eyes closed on the floor all the time, an air of exhaustion lingering around him although he was past the point of being well-rested.
He huffed quietly, annoyed with Yami, just as he had been in that dream. Speaking of which..."Hey Yami?"
"What was that dream I had before all about? Like, it seemed weird, different from all the other dreams I've ever had. What was with that I kept saying the Dark but I couldn't hear it? The whole thing was weird, I was called two different names, and you had three names, and I swear I've seen Mahaad's face somewhere before I'm just not exactly sure where, but I have a feeling that I have seen it and seen it fairly often. I mean I didn't really used to believe in past lives before but then there was the whole Dallin thing and so my views on that have now been severely warped, so you think it was like a warped memory of a past life, or just some dream created by the shadows? I mean there were enough of them in our body to be doing all kinds of weird things, but then again I don't really know the effects that the shadows would have on those sorts of things. It was a pretty ominous dream though, what do you think it meant? Did you dream it too?" He quickly spat out.
Yami's reply to this was a simple nod, no other muscles moved or flexed or gave any sign of movement or reaction. He paused, giving him time to add more to the simple answer, but Yami said nothing. Exasperated, he continued on.
"Okay so we shared the same dream. What did it mean though? Heba... Heba and Atemu, Mars and the Dark, and Me and You. All in the same dream, who in the heck is Heba anyway? Where did I get that name? And Atemu?! Though it seemed to fit right?" He grunted in frustration, tugging and a blond forelock in agitation. "What was it? It seemed like a memory, and then later like a dream, but in the end, it felt like neither."
Yami sighed."It was an illusion. The crossroads of destiny aren't often a literal crossroad. It was neither dream, nor memory, nor reality, but a combination of all wrapped in illusion. The crossroad to destiny, where thou submit thy choice to the dark." Yami replied, voice deliberate and slow.
"What? Wait... submit a choice to the Dark?" Yuugi asked, brow furrowed in confusion, He propped himself up on one arm, lying on his side now to look down at Yami sprawled on the floor beside him.
Once again Yami nodded.
"But hardly any of that stuff made sense!"
"Read between the lines Yuugi." Yami breathed.
"What do you mean? Argh, you're being so... dead."Yuugi grumbled.
Yami gave a self-depreciating chuckle. "I am dead, Yuugi. Perhaps though, I should be properly dead. What use am I to thee now that thou art able to control shadow and protect thyself? Thou no longer have need of a protector." And Yuugi could hear the echo in his head. Atemu's tired words after the Dark had asked for his decision were ringing through his ears without source. "There is no longer need for a king, what am I to you if I am not Pharaoh?"
Something clicked within his mind. A definite, resounding, click as something slid into place and connected perfectly. Read between the lines.
"You mean..." Yuugi's throat tightened, unable to finish. If Yami was/is Mars and Atemu and there was a choice, the dark had been there, and, and... that meant, that the dream, the illusion... if it really was a crossroad of destiny, Yami had almost... he'd almost gone to the dark.
"There's not a life for me with you... is there, precious bearer?"
"I am so tired."
If in that illusion Atemu had truly given into the offer of rest, then would Yami have gone? He was Heba, and Yami was Atemu and what they had said in there must've been the truth and he had... Yami had wanted, had nearly, chosen to die. To fade away and rest as the Dark had offered him, but he'd convinced the dark spirit to stay. He'd walked into that room as Heba and staunchly defended him. The Dark had wanted him but Heba, he, had stopped him. Yami had a chance to end years and years of suffering. Years of being at the mercy of shadows and later, at the mercy of some teenage boy. He'd had a chance to finally go into the afterlife, he'd redeemed himself in the eyes of the Dark and so was being welcomed into death, a death that was so long overdue. He'd existed for so long, and what Ryou(Anthony?) had said, about what Yami had been through. All this time, the existing in shadows, constantly being ebbed away but unable to die.
A chill ran down his spine as he remembered his short time in the shadows. Their single, ominous, mass filling him; slowly taking away awareness while keeping consciousness. He hadn't even been there long and he shook just thinking about going back there. What must it have been like to exist in something that was constantly dragging at your soul? No life, no body, no memory, no true existence, a hairs breath from completely and utterly ceasing to exist, but never crossing that line. Trapped in limbo. Anthony had said it with such pity, he'd felt Yami's entire mind shake with the thought of it, that longing for an end that never seemed to come. But Yami didn't... he gave it all up.
"You chose to stay." He whispered.
Yami graced him with a crooked smile. Something in the upturned corner of his mouth reminded him of the smile that Atemu had given him (Heba?).
"Of course bearer. I need thee too much to leave." Yami replied.
His mouth was dry. He licked his lips nervously at the declaration. It had never really been this way. His friends would sometimes say that they needed him, but that was only in jest or light hearted situations, none of those times compared to the weight of this. Yami's life or death choice, had hinged on him, and he'd stayed. He'd stayed because Yami needed him. He was truly needed by someone, as a life and death matter. His heart thudded and he tentatively reached out a hand and lay its palm against the inside of Yami's wrist.
"You need me?" He asked, shakily.
"I do." Yami confessed.
His hand clenched instinctively, wrapping around Yami's wrist, hard. "I..." He was at a suddenly loss for words. His mouth opened and closed, but he couldn't get any coherent thought out, but Yami understood and smiled. He was carefully drawn into a single armed hug, half of him lying on Yami as he was coaxed into the position. And so he lay against him, being awed by the choice, the simplicity of the answer. Yami really... he really, he just admitted it, and it was so simple and sincere, he needed him. Not want, need.
He didn't know why the answer brought tears to his eyes. The weight of it he supposed, and that nag of indecision he'd kept in his mind. He'd wanted to trust Yami from the start, but his mind had told him it wasn't a good idea. He'd been fighting this want to trust, and really he'd had no need to. Yami, wasn't exactly evil after all, and he wasn't entirely bad. He was completely trustworthy. He hadn't lied, or pretended to be something he wasn't; he was honest.
"I... I need you too Yami." He replied, voice quieter and shakier, but no less sincere. It was true.
Yami's arm tightened around him, pulling him close, and breathing deeply into his chest and back out again. Yami didn't really need to breathe as he was by all means and purposes, dead, but there was something strange in how very slowly he was breathing. That lingering sensation of exhaustion seemed to press into each breath. Yami's eyes weren't in their usual state of guarded brilliance, but instead were somewhat dull as they appraised the grey ceiling sightlessly. Yami didn't even respond to him staring, He just continued to lie motionlessly, staring at the ceiling, breathing ever-so slowly.
In the end he had to ask. "Is something wrong, Yami?"
Yami shook his head, a grimace lightly tainting the stolidness of his expression. "I am fine, it is thee whom I should be worried for."
"What do you mean? I'm fine." He replied, propping himself up a little to stare more directly into Yami's face, watching his eyes slip away from contact with his.
"But thou weren't fine, bearer." Yami's voice was quite and yet forcefully hard.
"But I am now Yami. I'm fine. See me, lying here, fine. I don't know why it's bothering you now when I'm okay." Yuugi replied.
Yami shook his head before releasing a quiet admittance. "I was scared for thee."
The arm around Yuugi tensed impulsively. "I was so... I couldn't feel thee... I had thought that maybe, the dark, that thou had fallen too far into shadow." He answered, a slight unsteadiness in his tone, the confident cornerstones of his speech cracking and chipping at their edges. "But thou art well, you are okay, you're here."
His hand tightened and Yuugi understood, neither saying a word more. Together they lay in the quiet, surrounded by soft hums and whispers, a light breeze stirred, drenched in the scent of sweet jasmine and the crispness of the sea, letting it lull him to sleep.
Often Yuugi had enjoyed a pleasant stream of nightmares that originated from having a malicious anti-evil with shadow magic possessing his body when threatened. So it wasn't much of a surprise when nightmares were the first thing returned to him; however instead of being filled with Yami's menacing red eyes and his blood stained hands, he was staring at himself. Terrible power and white sightless eyes. The dangerous glow and wicked dark of the tattoo's marring him. He trembled, and shook before himself, watching in horror as the other Yuugi attacked him, screaming in blind fury and pain.
It was scary. He was scary.
It was only a slight surprise that he didn't dream of Yami as the murderer, but of himself, when he'd lost control. The fear was almost all consuming and the dream impossible to escape, so it was much to his relief when after one terrible attack he woke, jerking up into a seated position, heart thudding, and sweat seeping into the sheets of the hospital bed. His body shook and his muscles gave way, utterly weak he started to fall back.
"Yuugi!" His arms were suddenly full of a soft and familiar body.
"A-Anzu?" He stuttered surprised, had he actually truly woken up this time?
"We thought you were never going to wake up! Grandpa called us when you started moving and we've been here ever since." She explained, eyes tearing as she shook with relief.
"What's going on?" He croaked before suddenly something collided into his side and Jounouchi's familiar bone crushing grip engulfed him.
"Yuug'! You had us worried there for a little while." He said, voice strained with held back tears.
By this point Yuugi was thoroughly confused. Wait a minute, this wasn't his room.
"Uh, guys?" He said.
Jounouchi seemed to come back to himself and coughed lightly moving back to give Yuugi some room Anzu following suit though she remained perched on the edge of the bed. Without them holding him upright Yuugi was forced back in to lying down, he didn't have the muscles strength to keep himself in that position.
"Your Grandpa and Honda just went to grab some grub, should be back soon. Man, they're gonna be sore they missed you waking up!" Jounouchi declared jovially.
"What's going on?" Yuugi asked again weakly.
"You're in Domino Hospital Yuugi'!" Jounouchi cried, as though it were the most obvious thing in the world, though given that Domino only had one hospital and the terrible scent of antiseptic that was creeping into this nose, he supposed it should be obvious. Though why he was there, was another matter. "You just passed out on the floor, and it took like hours before 'dose tattoo's of your's faded and your wings went away so we could take you to the hospital. Well that's what I heard anyway." He finished sheepishly. It was then Yuugi noted the bandages visible on Jounouchi's body. Of course! He'd been beaten by those Shadow Reapers!
"The ambulance got your grandpa and me from the game shop and hauled us into hospital." He continued to explain.
"Grandpa! Is he, is he okay?" Yuugi croaked out, throat clenching against an oncoming cough. He probably shouldn't have tried to be that loud after just waking up.
"He's fine. He's all recovered. But yeah, next mornin' Anzu found us an' told us about what happened, and that you were in the hospital too, doctors couldn't really tell what's wrong wit' ya, just that you had lots of muscles stress, exhaustion or summa' like that." Jounouchi explained. "Man I'm glad to see you awak little buddy, you've been sleepin' for ages!"
"Shut Up Blondie! I'm trying to rest!" Cried a voice from the next bed over. The room was dim but he could tell who it was.
"Hey Midget." The voice groaned. "Get them to shush, I'm trying to sleep."
Yuugi smiled. As charming as ever.
"Yuugi!"Honda's voice suddenly roared from where Yuugi assumed to be the door.
"Oh god." He heard Bakura mutter from over, the soft shift of blankets.
Suddenly he was being smothered by yet another bone crushing hug.
"So we're related?" Bakura said flatly, looking over to stare at his long time boyfriend.
"A long long time ago apparently." Ryou said carelessly.
"And that doesn't bother you?" He asked incredulously.
"A long long time ago." Ryou emphasised.
Bakura continued to stare.
Yuugi smiled from his bed, craning his neck slightly to look at Bakura. "Well you know it's said that souls seek each other out you know." He added to the conversation. "All throughout time, souls that care about one another find ways to be together, lovers, brothers, father and son." He listed.
Bakura shuddered. "That makes it worse. You mean I could be sleeping with someone who was my son in a past life?"
Ryou frowned. "Hey, why am I the son?"
"Because I'm older, more mature, and I already take care of you."
Ryou sputtered in disbelief. "More mature?! Take care of me?!" His arms flailed wildly. "Who was the one who had to go collect you from gaol when you thought it might be fun to ride down a hill on a wheelie bin into a crowd of mourners?!"
"Hey, be careful Ryou! The nurse's will come back of you keep that up." Yuugi warned.
"Oh, sorry Yuugi." Ryou apologised sheepishly, remembering that the nurses seemed to have formed a small fan group around Yuugi and were always looking for a reason to come back and fuss over him. Needless to say Bakura found it all very amusing and had no sympathy for 'the dwarf' but Ryou could sympathise, after all they would flock around him whenever Yuugi wasn't there.
"It's okay." He replied with an easy smile, and the room settled back into quite. A quiet that was harshly broken when Yuugi's rambunctious blond friend flung the door open loudly to announce his presence.
"You excited yet Yuug'? Ya get to go home in three days!" Jounouchi exclaimed as he walked casually into the room.
Yuugi sighed "I'd rather be Bakura and Ryou." He murmured. Not that the staff weren't nice to him or anything, but he hated being in hospital, and he hated being confined to a bed just as much. He'd much rather be going home tomorrow like they were.
Jounouchi chuckled. "I wouldn't. I've seen their house since you were there." He declared before he turned grinned towards Bakura who glared at him fiercely in return.
"I've been trying not to think about it." Ryou groaned, shifting in his bed uncomfortably.
Jounouchi just continued to laugh to himself about the state of the Bakura Household. From what Yuugi could recall, the house had been in fairly poor shape when he'd been in control, let alone afterwards when Yami had been in control.
Ryou could vaguely remember what kind of state his house had been in, and could vaguely recall what had happened on what they had dramatically dubbed 'That Fateful Night'. Bakura remembered even less. He only had a vague memory of coming home after searching for Ryou and some hazy recollection of someone he thought he hated though he wasn't really sure, and he thinks that that person's name could've been Mars, but didn't know who Mars was, or rather, is. He only remembered waking up in hospital feeling like someone had torn up the inside of his body with sharpened pieces of lead.
He'd heard about what had gone on from Yuugi's little cronies though, and then forced Ryou into telling him what happened in those hours that he couldn't' account for. He still felt guilty about it, and Yuugi could tell by the one or two hesitant glances that Ryou threw Bakura that the trust between them was slightly frayed by the spout of kidnapping and abuse. It was hard to get that trust back, even if wasn't Bakura's fault at all. Worse was that Bakura knew it, but it'd heal over in time.
The house on the other hand...
Yami's mind pressed gently against him in enquiry for the sudden activity and the slight tint of guilt colouring the interior of his container. Yuugi quickly brushed it off with small wave of reassurance. Yami accepted his reassurance and settled back, trusting that if his host needed help he would request it, especially since having experienced recently the effects of holding his emotions in.
Yuugi sighed, the coarse hospital blankets shifting slightly with the large inhale exhale. The air hadn't changed its scent, always the same antiseptic smell. His back itched slightly, his body had the slight dull feeling of weight and ache, the kind that came from having been lying for too long. Once he was free from hospitals and his grandfathers worry (or at least enough of the worry) the first thing he'd do would be a walk in the park. Maybe even a run. Sprint across the oval at its centre. Dodging Frisbees instead of fists, running in fun and not fear, pretending that at any given second wings would burst from his back and he'd take off into the sky. The fact that he now could wouldn't dawn on him until after he sat panting and sweating against the trunk of some old tree, Yami's voice tickling the back of his mind with humour and wonderment at his bearer's antics.
It would be great.
The smell of dirt and trees and whatever food stand was closest, and the ever present stench of car fumes, wood fires, cigarettes and other city pollution not as potent at the centre of the park, or at least strong enough to bother him as he nestled down at the base of a tree watching some kids running around. Maybe Jounouchi would run by with some coffee, and they'd sit and talk and joke, and laugh about how that one kid was running just like Honda used to whenever Anzu got 'that look' in her eye. Tilt their heads in pity as some excited little girl steps on the hem of her pant legs and trips over, scraping hands and knees, crying one second but fine the next as one kid initiates a game of tag.
It'd be great once he was out of hospital. As was, he was still stuck, partially sitting partially lying, Anzu and Grandfather both fussing, Yami laughing at his plight and his two roommates leaving tomorrow. Until he got out the park was a dream.
"Orright Yuug', so yer not gonna beat me this time!" Jounouchi declared loudly, shuffling his deck and settling at the end of Yuugi's bed.
He smiled. "Right Jounouchi."
"Holy Shit! What the fuck happened to my house?!"
His heart had stopped in his chest. There were scorch marks and furniture with chunks missing from their sides. The innards of a pillow were sprawled across the living room floor. The walls were a Picasso of black marks and holes. His carpet looked melted in the middle. The furniture, as torn as it was, had been righted again and was now patiently awaiting someone to sit on it, which would undoubtedly be the final straw for it. As some sort of bleak revenge to the endless years of mistreatment, the furniture seemed on the verge of toppling but not quite. As Bakura went to rest his weight down in shock, the chair collapsed in a frenzy of splintering wood and the victorious sigh of defeat as it finally gave in.
Although all this may be far too complex for a chair comprised of some timber, fabric and padding. Bakura was sure that the house now hated him to its bricked heart, and its contents hated him too.
As he'd first walked in the door, Ryou had all but fainted as his mind instantly kicked into high gear and began listing damage and repair. This was too much for a newly recovered hospital patient and Bakura had ordered him to lie down, in the mean time he'd taken it upon himself to look around the house and check the full extent of the damages. He also noted that some items of the house had vanished entirely and there was some graffiti in his laundry. Damn hooligans breaking into his home.
He'd never been an optimist, and if he had to hazard a guess he'd say that he was never going to be an optimist, but he did realise that bitching about the state of his home to the crumbled furniture wouldn't improve anything. So it was with a suppressed angry grunt that he fetched an roll of garbage bags from the kitchen drawer and began packing all the unsalvageable rubble into what would be their coffin. They'd have to get some new carpet, putty in some of the large holes and gouges in the walls and then repaint... the couch still looked serviceable enough. The television wasn't in great working order but he could probably temporarily get it working until he could filch one from work at a later date.
They had some money they'd been saving so they could go on holiday so that Bakura could "get away from those insane friends" who seemed to call by at all the wrong times, that could probably be tapped into helping recarpet and paint the place. The Mutou's had recently re-painted one of their rooms so probably had some left over paint they could steal if they were short on cash. They could write it off as creativity if they had each wall a different colour.
He sighed looking up at the stairs to where Ryou was sleeping. Thankfully it was only really the dining room and the lounge room which had sustained a terrifying amount of damage. It wasn't really that bad, upstairs was fairly untouched. He still couldn't believe that he'd done this much damage, though apparently a bit of it could be put on 'The Black Raven's' head as well.
Having finished collecting hobo firewood he decided to go and check on his Ryou, to see if he was still sleeping. He quietly made his way upstairs, opening the door a fraction and peering inside. Ryou was lying on his back staring at the ceiling. Seeing as his boyfriend was awake he opened the door fully and stepped inside. Ryou turned his head in reaction, watching him walk in and, spotting the slight crease of worry in Bakura's face, smiled lopsidedly.
"Hey." Bakura replied, sitting down beside Ryou who sat up to be closer to his height.
"Our lounge room is pretty trashed."
The conversation was short and meaningless, but the subtext was fairly important. They were back in their bedroom, they were alone, and the trust hadn't had time to re-grow yet. They hadn't really talked about it or the ramifications of being back here, what it meant, and the memories it inspired. Ryou was slightly edgy, which made Bakura nervous which he hated which in turn made him uncomfortable, which he hated slightly less but still hated. The situation was entirely awkward as they sat in uncomfortable silence, neither of them quite knowing what to say as the unspoken words filled a gap between them.
"So..." Ryou echoed. He turned his head to stare more directly at Bakura. He just wished the awkwardness was gone already and they were back to normal but it just wasn't happening!
"I'm sorry." Bakura said quietly, rather forcibly. "About what happened, Ryou."
"It wasn't you." Ryou was quick to reply.
"But you still haven't forgiven me."
"I..." He trailed away. "There's nothing to forgive." He replied, trying to be convincing but it was hard. He knew he shouldn't have anything against Bakura, but it was hard when the person who'd tied you up was identical to the person coming close to you.
"You are... we're not normal. It's just, and I fuckin' can't remember any of what happened but you're acting like a sheep Ryou, and you've probably got every damn right to be a sheep after what I heard I'd done, but I heard it and shit Ryou." Bakura finally snapped out angrily.
Ryo almost cringed away, but he knew Bakura. Bakura wasn't made at him, he was more than likely just frustrated. Bakura was angry at himself and in turn everything around him. He reached out a hand, albeit a little hesitantly and put it on Bakura's shoulder, a gentle contact with no trace of guilt, forgiveness, anger, fear or anything else negative. Just a simple tender contact to reassure.
"I don't blame you Bakura."
"I'm supposed to protect you! Instead I fuckin' kidnap you, tie you up!" He growled, his hands clenching into fists. He hated feeling like this; he just wanted to wreck things but he'd done enough damage, he couldn't afford to break anything else in this house.
"It wasn't you. How could you protect me from being possessed?" Ryou wasn't sure when he'd stopped trying to convince himself and was now set entirely on forcing Bakura to realise that he wasn't the problem, wasn't the one to do it and Ryou would forgive him, and, and... "I'm sorry."
"Why are you sorry?" Bakura snapped, head swiftly turning to look at his boyfriend, the anger in his eyes not meant for him but still intimidating Ryou into shedding away from him slightly.
"I'm sorry that I still seem afraid of you, I can't help it that I'm a little nervous, but its not you I'm nervous about, and Dallin... he was a lot like you. He didn't hurt me or anything, and he was only trying to defend someone from a long time ago. If it had been me, what would you have done in Dallin's situation?" Ryou said softly, not quite up to looking at his lover.
"I..." Bakura grunted, gritting his teeth. Ryou had a point. If Ryou had been the one sacrificed all those years ago, he would have done anything and hurt anyone to seek revenge on the one to take him away.
Ryou wrapped hesitant arms around him. "I still love you."
Bakura took a deep breath, releasing it slowly feeling some of the tension leave his muscles and his anger fade. He still wanted to be angry, but he was less so now.
"You're an idiot." Bakura said somewhat quietly and Ryou could only grin.
He was reclined on his floor contemplating with a somewhat dark look on his face. The first attack since Yuugi's release from the hospital has occurred and the moment was awkward. Yuugi had control of the shadows (well good enough control) and was capable of managing the tattoo, the transformation, and the shadows all on his own. As a result Yami wasn't entirely sure what his role was now. There was a moment where he hesitated. Did he take control? Did he even have the right to? His excuse of Yuugi not having the required knowledge had passed, what reason was there now?
As it was the situation had pushed them past the awkwardness of the moment and straight into action. Yuugi had panicked and shifted back, Yami had taken control and mercifully disarmed their would-be attacker. But the problem went pass that moment.
The tattoo's faded, he returned back to his container and everything came under question. Should he protect Yuugi now? What was happening between them now? The dynamic had changed from innocent host with no shadow knowledge to a still innocent host with a crude but working knowledge of shadows.
The thoughts were plaguing him like some dangerous infliction to his mind. Although, one thought remained utterly pristine within his mind, that first thought – he wanted Yuugi. Later he'd came to accept that he needed Yuugi as well but first it was want, pure and unhindered want. He believed to his core that Yuugi was his and no one could ever lay claim to him, that Yuugi was destined to be his, just as destiny had always intend him to belong to Yuugi. That was just the way things were. No matter the circumstance, that's how things were meant to be, no one else could appreciate Yuugi as much as he did.
He sighed. "Thou dost have me Yuugi, but do I have thee?"
There was a soft shift, his mind was nudged gently as Yuugi seemed to be attempting to hand control over to Yami without the tattoo. He hadn't really noticed it earlier but the shadows were gently active as Yuugi shifted away from control, in turn forcing Yami to assume temporary ownership of the body.
'Yuugi?' He questioned. He received only the feeling of a smile in return, the twinkle of shy mischievousness gleaning dully.
The first thing he noticed was that his wings were out, and the second was the reason why. He was atop the highest point in Domino. The city was sprawled beneath him in a display of a million glowing lights, the moon was large and full like a saucer of cream, hanging above the city and looking down on it from its place in the heavens.
The view was spectacular.
He breathed in sharply, eyes turning skyward as a rush of cool wind glided along his skin, rustling his clothing and hair. It was so sweet and held the chill of the night, a million different scents riding on its back like a gaggle of excited passengers. He couldn't even describe the swell in his chest as he gazed at the sky and the city from his fantastic vantage point.
"Yuugi." He breathed.
A somewhat timid and yet determined voice ran through his mind. "I just wanted to, to thank you. For everything Yami. I always used to see you staring out the window from the end of my bed, so I thought..." He trailed off into the impression of a smile.
Yami briefly forgot exactly how to form words and sound. Yuugi was thanking him? It must've taken him forever to get out this way, and then to fly up here. Yuugi had never even really flown at all and he would've had to fly pretty vertical.
Yuugi smiled feeling waves of gratitude slipping along his senses as Yami took in the view. He deserved it. Yami had remained a captive under Heba's(Yuugi's)request, it was only fitting that he was allowed to experience the freedom of wings and wind and a conquerors view of the city.
"Yuugi, thou needn't thank me. The pleasure is mine, thou did not need to do this for me, nor thank me at all." Yami replied still savouring the chill of the wind.
"Yes I do Yami. I mistrusted you without any real reason, and all you've ever done is defend me, and you've suffered and I'm s- I just wanted to thank you for all you've done for me you deserve it"
Yami released a steadying breath and basked in moon and the graciousness of his bearer. He remained in the position for at least an hour before shifting, thanking Yuugi once more and returning control to him, instead opting to be a solid spiritual form beside him. It didn't quite feel the same without the wind ruffling his wings, but it was spectacular nonetheless.
He gently took up Yuugi's hand, seizing the opportunity to voice the thoughts that plagued him. "Yuugi... I know what thou hast said... Yuugi, dost thou still have need of me? Thou can summon and control shadow, so now I no longer know what purpose I may serve thee. "
"You don't serve me Yami." Yuugi replied impulsively.
Yami chuckled slightly. "That doesn't answer my question, Yuugi."
"I can't fight. I don't like to fight at all, and the shadows..." Yuugi made a dismissive motion and shook his head. "I'll never be the Black Raven Yami, that will always be you."
Problem 1 solved.
"And what am I to thee? Thou implored me to stay when we were at the crossroads, as one lover does implore it's other. I am thine, Yuugi. I want, no I need to know, art thou mine?"
Yami's red, soul searing eyes bore into him and Yuugi shifted uncomfortable under that stripping stare. It was a fairly loaded question, and the possessive streak that coloured Yami's tone sent a shiver down his spine that was nothing to do with the wind and its creeping hands. He licked his dry lips and let his eyes wander to the hand gripping his.
Yami was dead, but here he was solid and warm, breathing before him. There was no way if he saw him in the street that he'd know that this man's body had stopped existing hundreds of years ago. His eyes lingered on the slowly fading burn scars visible on Yami bare skin, his chest clenched with guilt.
"I also mean this as an apology of sort, about the burns." He said softly. Yami's hand tightened around his in acceptance.
"It wasn't thy fault Yuugi." He opened his mouth to protest but Yami stopped him and continued. "But I accept the apology anyway."
"And thou art avoiding my question."
Yuugi's smile faded to thoughtful frown. He hadn't really wanted to think about it. To define an answer. To lie beside Yami, clasp his hand was another thing entirely to agreeing that he was Yami's. "I..." His voice trailed off into uncertainty.
What was he really trying to say? What was the truth? He had faith in Yami, trust, belief, and he didn't want to be parted from him. He knew that. He knew that in the illusion that the drive to keep Atemu wasn't Heba's alone. He kept Yami from the Dark, he kept him from rest, he'd kept him, wasn't it only right that it work in reverse?
Wasn't it only right that if Yuugi was to lay claim to the soul of Mars, to want him to stay, to keep him, that Yami could in turn keep him? Would it really be that bad? He wouldn't lie about the attraction, wouldn't lie about the flush that burnt his skin when he recalled that heated scene once his identity as the Black Raven had been exposed. Yami's hands on his skin, lips on his embracing hotly, sweetly, wetly and so very nicely. The soft touch of their minds. Ripples of consciousness and the gentle thoughts and assurances that had come from Yami during times of stress in rehabilitation.
He owed it to Yami. That shouldn't be the reason though. That couldn't be the reason because that wasn't the right reason for any choice of this capacity. No. He owed it to Yami to be honest with himself and give an honest answer. Which made it harder but... He looked at Yami, waiting patiently, watching him with his intensely coloured eyes. his eyebrows a set of fine lines, face impassive, hair was soft and tugged gently by the wind. His skin glowed in the moonlight with the softness and temptation of white satin.
Yami was gorgeous, honest, wanting and... to be honest...he wanted Yami in return. And if he wanted Yami and Yami wanted him, and they were bound together through the tattoo, and his newly found trust in the dark spirit was pulsing strong between them, they had more than what he'd ever had with Anzu. Yami knew him, everything about him, and still wanted him.
He looked at their hands, and made up his mind. Without much hesitance he grabbed Yami around his neck and tugged him into a hard kiss. At first Yami didn't respond but soon was kissing back enthusiastically his arms moving to cradle Yuugi flush against him – well as flush as possible with their current position and altitude.
Yuugi felt his cheeks grow slightly warm and as he parted from Yami he was pleased to note the same tint of pink on Yami's cheeks.
"Does this mean?" Yami asked breathlessly, fighting temptation to end all conversation right then and there.
"It does." He replied, kissing Yami chastely. "Though I'm not exactly sure that you can date someone who exists inside you, because technically we aren't ever apart so it's not exactly 'seeing' someone is it? I'm not really sure how I'm going to explain it to Grandpa, Jounouchi, Anzu and Honda... maybe not Honda until after I tell Jounouchi and he tells me that I'm insane and that I shouldn't tell Anzu in case she attacks me with a pitchfork, and I'm not sure how it'd work really but I think that... that I... that we... and besides, it just feels right doesn't it?"
Yami felt the corners of his lips tug into a smile as Yuugi ranted, resting his forehead against his counterpart. "Yes, it does." He replied calmly, kissing Yuugi soundly to forestall any continuing nervous ramble. Yuugi mumbled something into the kiss which if anything only made Yami happier.
Problem 2 solved.
"Now we just have to teach you to speak properly and everything's perfect." He joked.
Yami laughed, holding Yuugi tight against him. He'd look forward to learning.