Disclaimer: I dueled for control of YuGiOh, but lost. Dammit.

Author's Note: This is based on an RPG a friend of mine and I used to play. I've changed the scene a bit, taking out some OCs and the like, but I enjoyed the scenario so much I couldn't help writing it up again. XD

Please enjoy!

Warnings: Puzzleshipping and Ringshipping. Language. Sort of AU-ish in the fact that Yami and Bakura (and Malik and Merik) are friends now. And that they all have their own bodies. Oh, and when I say "Bakura," I mean "Yami Bakura;" "Ryou" is… well, "Ryou." Eh heh.

I think that's about it…

Dedication: For Lessa, for insisting I re-write this scene for general audiences. And because I haven't been online as much as I should, lately. Sorry! T.T




"You look like you've swallowed a frog."

Momentarily startled, Bakura's head snapped up from its resting place against his chest and whipped around, searching for the speaker. It wasn't a long search; in less than a second, his trademark glare had fallen upon the approaching Yami: dressed casually in flowered swimming trunks and an unbuttoned white shirt, both of which hung loosely on his dark, slender frame.

Normally, the tomb robber's piercing, venomous stare would frighten any sane person away, but the pharaoh simply shrugged it off, nonchalantly shuffling the deck of playing cards that he held in his hand. Once he reached the disgruntled thief—who was pouting beside the beach houses in the shade of a lone palm tree— he plopped down, back against the tree. "Truth hurts. What's up?"

Bakura returned to leaning broodingly against the water-stained wall, crossing his arms in a show of annoyance. The cream-colored terry-cloth robe that covered his bare chest rubbed against his wet skin, barely covering his own swimming trunks. "Nothing," he snarled after a beat, nose curled in distaste. "Nothing at all."

But his lie was ruined by his body language: he rubbed his rug-burnt knees, crushed a small clump of dirt in his hands, and curled his toes around the thongs of his green sandals.

Yami arched an eyebrow, instinctively dealing out a round of Blackjack. "You sure? Dealer takes push."

"Abso-fucking-lutly," Bakura grunted in return, picking up the cards and glancing over them. Well, squinting over them was more like it— the light from the brilliant tropical sunset reflected off the glossy sheen of the new cards, making them shimmer like desert mirages. Four and a two. Damn.

He placed them face down in the gravel, dangling a foot over the wooden steps that separated the sand, grass, and gravel pathway.

"Dealer has one ace up," Yami declared, slapping his own cards down on the sand-dusted stairs before looking back up at the Ring Spirit. "You sure don't sound fine. What happened between you and Ryou earlier today? I heard from Malik that he's locked you out of the hotel room."

"Hit me," Bakura demanded, in a gruff voice that told the pharaoh he was being ignored. Yami rolled his eyes and handed his friend a card before whacking him lightly across the face. "…Ha ha."

"Now tell me," the ancient king insisted with a frown, glancing at the face-down cards that made up Bakura's hand. "It couldn't have been that bad."

"I stripped Ryou out of his bathing suit in the hotel room and Yugi came in while Ryou was trying to get it back and tackled me because Ryou was panicking and your little boyfriend assumed the worst." Right, now he had a four, two, and six. "Hit me."

Yami's eyes widened, his tanned face pale as he mechanically dealt Bakura a fourth card. "Guess I was wrong," he then said simply, his voice flat and full of a fake calm. It didn't last long, though: "Why the hell would you do that, you idiot?!"

Bakura's response consisted of threats and curses muttered sourly under his breath. As he did so, he lifted the cards he'd set in the gravel and rearranged them all in his hand. Four, two, six, three. Still not enough. "Hit me."

"Believe me, I want to," the pharaoh glared, coolly tossing him another card. "How stupid can you be?! Don't you want to make up with Ryou?! He's still furious about that stunt you pulled last week with Merik. You really hurt his feelings, you know…"

His eye twitched; it was too much to block out. "Yeah, maybe," the silver haired man snapped loudly, all but throwing his cards in a fit of frustrated rage, "but how the fuck am I supposed to do that when I don't know how to tell him how I feel?!"

With a strained moan, he pulled his fingers through his hair, as if trying to rip it out. Yami watched unblinkingly.

There was a pause.

"I tease him because I can't express myself like I want to," Bakura then confessed with a groan, sounding desperately pathetic as he hid his face in a hand. "Sure, I wanna make him happy and love him and hold him and all of that romantic shit, but I don't know a thing about it myself! I'm a tomb robber for the love of the gods— not some sappy teenage fangirl! Damn the fact that I sound like a stupid soap opera, but it's true! I don't know how to tell him that I love him!"

"…How about 'Ryou, I love you'?" Yami suggested dryly, shooting the thief an exasperated look.

"Right. Like that would help," the Ring Spirit grumbled, rolling his eyes and straightening out his cards. Four plus two plus six plus three plus five equaled twenty. Good hand.

"Better than stripping him naked," the pharaoh drawled, fanning himself with the rest of the deck.

The tomb robber glowered, making sure to keep his eyes on his cards. All right, he had a point there… he admitted grudgingly— Not that I'd ever tell him that.

"Plus," Yami was adding as Bakura mused, speaking in that annoyingly familiar, superior-sounding lilt that he was wont to do, "it worked for me and Yugi."

Yeah, well, a lot of things work for you and Yugi that I'd never try—like those stupid dog collars… But that had nothing to do with anything. Besides, there were more important things to do than discuss Yugi and Yami's oh-so-lovey-dovey, perfectly perfect, blissfully happy, unspeakably wonderful, seeing-them-interact-makes-fluffy-puppies-wanna-projectile-vomit-and-commit-hari-kari relationship.

Like win at Blackjack.

"Twenty," Bakura announced loudly, throwing his cards onto the gritty ground and smirking arrogantly at the pharaoh. "Beat that."

Yami grinned.

"Blackjack," he cooed, flipping over his face down jack with a cackle. Flashing his bright white canines at the now-fuming thief, the almighty pharaoh rested his chin on one haughty fist and sneered. "You loooooooose, sucker."

"God, I hate you."