Uh… hi::pauses awkwardly:: Well, this is a fic about Bakura and Malik and Seto being in a weird controversial band. It should take another two or three chapters to piece together the background story so I can actually move on with the fic, but I'm hoping you'll enjoy everything anyway! Yeah, my first chapter was lame, but… uh… ::pauses awkwardly again:: Dammit!
I think this is the result of too much Queen of The Damned. That, and I was listening to some music the other day, and I tried to picture Bakura singing them and I was like 'SEXY!'. And well, the fact that I've started to read Gravitation is going to make everything a million times worse. Lol.
Please enjoy and tell me if I should continue! If I get negative feedback I'll take the thing off, because this isn't how I had planned the first chapter to be anyway.
/Chapter One: Cold Comfort\
The long awaited recording had gone on the Internet: it was his warning. His alert. It had spread like wildfire: what was going to be his next stunt? What was he going to do? Was he going to die? Some wanted it to end: the evil references, the pornography, the lewd lyrics, the openly sadomasochistic performances. But others- and this was the majority, mind you- were kept on the edge of their seats. They wanted him to persevere, to be their dark and morbid beacon, to eulogize the evil that fed like a parasite off of them all. They wanted more, and in the end, it was always what they got.
"Good day," he had said calmly. Stark white hair fell in front of red eyes, his pupils like little blood drops. Kohl as dark as night framed his eyes, giving him a gaunt yet mournfully attractive look. A lush and broad mouth bended with inconceivable ease into a smirk that exposed bawdy, filed teeth. His clothes, a Victorian era style suit made of some peculiar silky lace, gave him a strange and macabre uniformity. His alabaster like skin, something as fragile as porcelain, seemed to be made of almost the same insubstantial material as the suit, contributing to the soft and queer homogeny. His voice, husky, droning and monotonous, added the final piece to his sinister symmetry. He seemed to ooze charisma; he was dangerous and fascinating like a sharp and shiny knife. He captivated them all, rendered them in a drugged and comatose trance with his first, inevitable sentence. The chuckle that followed was whimsical, mysterious…
"I know I have kept all of you waiting for my next Venture… you are fully aware that I try to give my adoring public two or three every album."
That's what he always called them… 'Ventures'. As though it as just a trip, it was just a walk to the grocery, to the Seven-Eleven at the corner, he'd be back in a matter of minutes. He was not going to try to kill himself and then turn back at Death's Door; he wasn't going to fight some sort of epical battle with the Grim Reaper. 'It's a stunt, a ploy' they all said, 'He uses a dummy, special effects… it isn't him. No one can come back from death that many times.' Those were the non-believers… they followed his Ventures even more than the actual fans did. Their eyes were blank, listless, waiting, while Bakura would reel them in with something alluring… that exotic, dark taste with which he enticed the tongue of the youth, the tongue of the media… the tongue of the world.
"Seeing as I am standing here, I am pleased to report that my last Venture was wildly successful… not that you didn't know that already."
All of the recordings were the same, and that donated to his obdurate equilibrium. They went a certain way, always: The greeting, reporting his last Venture in detail and explaining its success, and then with some sort of shadowy hypnotism, he would writhe and twist into the elucidation of his newest Venture, and then, before you knew it, the footage was over, and you just had to wait until he kept his promise the week after.
The demo always came a full seven days before he would try to commit suicide. Always.
"I am also happy to say that I've broken a record: after my last battle with death, I spent a grand total of only four days in the hospital."
He smiled again: its ease was tormenting, captivating. Then, moving with an alien elegance, he pulled back his ruffled lace color to expose the stately alabaster neck, and black and crudely done stitches ran through it in a serrated line like a forked and jagged crack would run through near-broken porcelain. He laughed, as though he saw the shocked and horrified faces. In a way, everyone believed that he saw them… that they were in the same room with him. That was how cadenced he really was.
"For those of you that did not attend my last concert in Domino, I shall provide a full account: After my throat was slit by my manager, the illustrious Miss Ishtar, I was left to bleed for a half an hour where I was rushed to the hospital by my band mates, Seto Kaiba and Malik Ishtar. By this time, I believe had lost about a quarter pint of blood."
He always came back to his hometown to do his Ventures: Domino. It was believed that if he failed, if he couldn't come back from the Other Side, he wanted to be buried in his hometown. Also, tickets for what he dubbed his 'Venture Concerts' sold at double the price of his normal concerts because, who knew, each Venture could be his last.
"A complex surgery was performed at Domino General Hospital, and thus, I live. I was unconscious for one day, and it was sincerely believed that I would not return from my Venture. Those who hated me rejoiced, those who loved me mourned, and I managed to hear through the grapevine that VH1 was even going to do a Behind The Music on us."
He had laughed, and he laughed hysterically. He lured them all in with his blackness, the enigmatic coiling undertone of it. His arachnidan hands were playing with the stitches, and his chest heaved, and his eyes were closed, and his hair swung to the liquid pulse of his laugh: gently to the right, gently to the left. One of his eyes then eased open, and his tempting smile expanded, causing the glint in his eye to come off as slightly demented.
"Those of you who want to be a part of my next Venture, come to my concert at the Domino Pier for the debut concert of my newest album, Brotherly Love, which will hit shelves tomorrow."
The other eye had then slowly opened, and the condescending smirk had extended, the alabaster skin on his face moving almost animatedly to accommodate it. He cocked his head, and the stitches in his neck tautened slightly, and one of the jutting strings had decreased in length, being pulled by the strained filaments. He showed no sign of pain, no sign of alarm, he just continued in his uniform, enthralling craze.
"Oh, and to our wonderful rivals, Black Nail Polish: you can't beat us, so just go fuck yourselves over, if you'd be so kind, because Ra knows nobody else will."
The end would usually seep out into something about Black Nail Polish, a mainstream Goth Punk band that spoke out against Yami no Bakura's crazy stunts. There was heavy antagonism between the two bands, which was mysterious since the two lay in totally different genres of rock. There were rumors though: something about Black Nail Polish's drummer's sister, Serenity, suddenly leaving the band after a freak accident, and the ongoing feud between Seto Kaiba, who was the head of Yami no Bakura's label company, Kaiba Corporation, and Noah Kaiba, who worked as Black Nail Polish's manager and was the main reason for the ascent of their record company, Industrial Illusions(1).
"So to my well wishers, stay tuned next week, and to my ill wishers… dig a fucking tomb and lie in it."
With that runny, fluent sort of flair, he upturned the collar of his attire once more. The long and narrow pale neck, the juxtaposition of the frighteningly black stitches, zigzagging through… it might as well have all been a dream.
"Until my next Venture, fanatics and dissidents alike, I bid you each adieu."
He had smiled, and he had raised a hand, and in a lingering, arid manner, he waved his followers goodbye.
He had a glint in his eye.
His mind was straying all over the situation and the noise around him nagged his clouded mind. Seto Kaiba absently passed a hand through his thick, chocolate brown hair, and he scowled down at the tear-stained face of his little brother, who was pulling relentlessly at his shirt.
"Big brother," the boy said, a tragic, unpleasant frown screwing up the pale smoothness of his face, "Is Bakura going to be okay? How long will he be gone for this time?"
Seto opened his mouth to reply, and then reconsidered. He would only have brash reactions towards his little brother at a time like this. Instead, he ushered him to go and wait in the band's limousine with Roland. The floodlights from the amphitheatre caused Mokuba's wide and pleading eyes to look haunted and hungry, contributing to the CEO's ineptitude. The younger brother opened his mouth to protest to Seto's orders, but the brunette shooed him away wordlessly before he could unleash his vat of frustration on his unsuspecting little brother.
"You shouldn't do that, you know."
Seto craned his head around to face his band mate: a tanned blonde with amethyst eyes outlined with a profound amount of kohl. His shredded black shirt exposed a rippling, toned abdomen glistening from the sweat of their performance, and his thumbs were casually hooked into the front pockets of a pair or vintage leather pants, securing him a cavalier posture. His head was cocked at a blasé angle, but it was the distrust in his eyes and the criticism in his voice that made Kaiba disregard his open stance, and the listless, underlying tone of anguish and fatigue.
He's challenging me… he has the audacity to challenge now, when I'm frustrated, cold and haven't had coffee for the day… and about Mokuba nonetheless?
"Screw off, Malik… he's my brother."
Seto's voice was cold, hard and intolerant, and it cut through the air like a knife.
Malik raised his eyebrows, simply and questioningly. The blinding light played on his face, making the caramel skin seem smoother than it really was, the lilac eyes sadder and more innocent, and offering his face a light, choir boy curiosity that was a razor contrast to his Gothic apparel.
"I'm going to go and find sister," he sneered indolently over his shoulder, veering off unthinkingly in another direction, "Your doctors would have told her what's wrong with Bakura by now."
The words ghosted on the vapor of breath Malik left behind him in the cold night as he wandered away, leaving Seto by himself. The drummer was half surprised to find that his hands were stiff at his sides, balled into angry, trembling fists. The chill of the night had him feeling raw, and the din from the concert hall muddled his brain, and the white light made things move… so… slowly… it was so bloody hard to concentrate. All movement drifted across the films of darkness as though everything was a halfway paradox of some illumined, jumbled nightmare.
Who the hell does he think he is? He cant talk to me like that! I'm the reason this bloody band is where it is right now!
He stood off for a moment, and seriously considered following Malik as he watched breath stream from his mouth in semi-transparent, puffy little tendrils, but thought better of it. The only thing that would develop from him following the guitarist was a fight… he didn't have time for that. He was too important, he couldn't let himself be tempted into some low, common fowl thing like throwing punches that was so very beneath him. That's why he had Roland: to do that sort of dirty work for him.
Seconds trickled by, and he became fastened to an intricate web of thoughts, fierce concentration showing on his face as he pondered over everything and nothing all at once, and it that moment, it seemed as though the world was shaped around him, as if he was some sort of stiff center piece amongst the frenzied movements whirred and turned around him, the white light's illumination making everything hazy and effervescent. His steely eyes followed the third paramedic team of the evening as they trekked in the general direction Malik had headed, to the far off corners of the flashing ambulance where he dare not venture.
Maybe I should go and give instructions to Roland to carry Mokuba back to the mansion.
He stood there, shimmering, still and motionless, his face hard in concentration as sobbing fans exited the stadium, passing him by. Yes, if he stayed like this, no one would notice him… he couldn't hide now. It would be like running.
His cell phone vibrated against his hip.
Reassigning his mental capacity to have some sort of vague interest towards his mobile, he slipped it out of his pocket to see that he had a new voice mail from Mai Valentine. Pressing the phone to his hears, he listened, his face hard and intent, and then returned the cell phone to his pocket after a minute or two. He walked slowly but surely in the direction of the toilets to save Mai from a publicist's worst nightmare.
"'Dead'? As in caboot? Cabooey? I'm talking afterlife, heaven and hell, six feet under sort of deal here, doll."
Mai's features were tight in desperation, and her apprehensive face displayed a anxious lack of credence. Her perfectly manicured fingers- that came from the last paycheck where she had to deal with something like this- were tightly wound around half of the ten dollar note, very unwilling to let it go… because if she let it go, she would be accepting this as the truth.
At the other end of the bill was an impatient, yanking hand. The boy, who could have been no older than seventeen, rolled his emerald eyes delineated evenly with dark eyeliner, and using his free hand, carelessly brushed jet-black bangs from his pale face.
"I told you," he repeated, annoyed, "I'm just a radio jockey… but I was here for the late half of the concert. Bakura sang, he fanned out his arms like this-" Not wanting to let go of the money, he then did a lame (somewhat cynical), one handed imitation of someone opening their arms to the fullest extent- "and the timed guns went off. He collapsed, lots of blood, yada, yada. He looked pretty dead to me, I mean, I know he's Bakura and everything, but…" he trailed off, cocking an inquisitive eyebrow and saying with poorly restrained aggravation, "Can you let go of the money now? You promised you'd pay me if I told you what you wanted to know."
Mai's face paled visibly as she slowly released her grip on the note. He jerked it from her with wanton force and rolled his eyes again, putting it in the back pocket of his leather pants. As he turned to leave she softly mumbled her thanks.
"Don't thank me," he replied uncaringly, pushing his way through the restroom's swinging doors, "I should just suggest that you get the hell out of the male bathroom before somebody less… accepting comes along."
Barely conscious of herself, Mai dragged herself into a cubicle and dropped her backside on a lidded toilet seat. She could feel her perfectly manicured/pedicured, Mercedes Benz-ed life crashing abruptly around her pretty little ears adorned with one-thousand dollar earrings she had bought with her last six figure salary.
She was reminded of the life she lived before this one. It as just a month ago, before they fired the previous publicist for embezzlement. It wasn't a tragic story, and it wasn't depressing… it was just devoid of this level of luxury. And with that realization, something snapped and whirled in her head, triggering a speedy reel of what promised to be a good two-to-three hours of incessant bitching.
"Damn it, Bakura," she growled, whipping out her cell phone (something else she managed to purchase while in her current financial position), "you're not making me lose my job… there is no way I'm giving up all this money… not without a hell of a fucking fight… got my ass that nice apartment downtown, paying down on it later… no way in hellll…"
The cell phone's screen displayed 'Calling… Seto'. Her threats petered out and she ended up biting anxiously on her bottom lip, hoping the drummer would pick up. He would know what was going on, seeing as it was his medical team that treated the band to injuries and what not.
"I'm either not around, or I'm screening my calls and I don't want to talk to you. If you honestly feel that your insignificant life is worthy of my attention, leave a reason after the tone. If your reason is stupid, then you won't be hearing from me."
"Arrogant little…" she growled into the mouthpiece, and then redeemed herself, "you're going to tell me what's going on babyface, because I'm stuck in the bathroom paying the outside little dipshits that want to take a wee-wee to tell me what's going on because I cant face the press right now, do you hear me? I am not adequately informed, dammit! Next thing you know everyone is suing me for misinformation… I'm not you, ya know? I can't afford it, people looking for lawsuits every Monday morning, Sir Moneybags." She took a deep breath and began to whine in a tone that dramatically differed from the insistent voice she was using before, "Oh, Christ, I'm sorry… I didn't mean it love, come on, you know me- actually, you don't, you just hired me last month, but still, you would like me if you did know me, I'm sure, but you wont know me for much longer if you let the press get to me. I'll be dead. And you wouldn't want to miss out on getting to know a fab gal like me, mmm?" Pause. "Please call me back, hon… Seto… Mr. Kaiba… or come get me." For good, whiny measure, she decided to add on, "I'm in the little boys' room for godsakes… please…"
She went blank and removed the mobile from her ears, looking at it perplexedly.
Uh… I suppose that's it then, she thought dumbly, How very anticlimactic. She terminated the voice message with the END key, hoping that Seto would be a more anti-social, snotty adaptation to the prince charming from fairy tales and come and get her. She lost those evil TV reporters at the concession stand, but she knew it was a matter of time before they found her again.
She began to agitatedly tap her stilettos against the tiled bathroom floor, brooding over what to do next as she gnawed at her lush, bottom lip.
"What's a gal like me s'pozed to do…"
She was on speed dial, so it took Mai a little less time to reach her. The blonde's face glowed with hope as the phone rang-
-and then she was crushed as she heard a prompt of Isis' cool voice.
"I am currently unavailable. If you would be so considerate as to leave a message after the tone, I'll get back to you when I am less occupied."
"What a nice fucking pair those two make, leaving little messages with big words in 'em, will ya," Mai sneered, exasperated, "And good Christ knows Seto's got the hots for her and… ah." A neat, concise beep followed the recording, and Mai streamed into her cell phone, "Isis, hon? Isis? It's me, Mai. Mai Valentine, the publicist you guys hired last month and- well, cutting to the chase… The reporters are hounding me, babe- how long has it been since the concert finished? ten minutes?- I'm sure it hasn't even been ten minutes yet, I've been hiding out in the fucking bathroom." The publicist's voice rang around her, and she squared herself into a position of better comfort on the hard, plastic toilet seat. She laughed nervously. "How pathetic is that, huh? Hiding… guys bathroom, if you'll have me… I think you guys need to call me and tell me what's going on. Bakura, well, bless his soul, but everyone knows he supposed to be in the loony bin by, I mean, chrissakes, man," she rambled on, looking forlornly at an elaborate pattern pasted on her nails, "I don't really want to give the media any… wrong information, I mean, you guys just got me last month, I don't wanna screw up on you like that but… everyone is saying that he's dead, like, really kicked the bucket this time, but-" The blonde sharply withdrew her breath when she heard a frantic "Someone said that they saw her go in here!"
She knew that girls in the boys' room wasn't really an everyday thing (or maybe it was), and that hungry, crazed tone of voice was signature media. '…Her go in here'… 'her'. Yup. Mai Valentine. One and only. Good times. Damn them, damn them all, looking for her when she could be taking a dump. How rude.
"Oh, gorgeous, please call me back," she babbled desperately, "Or come get me or something, I called Seto but you know how much of an arrogant moron he can be, he's probably ignoring my calls, riding home with his little brother and the bodyguard guy… what's-his-name… Ronald? I don't have the other bastard's… I-I mean Malik's number either- isn't he your brother? Sorry, little out of my mind right about now… oh please, oh please, you know how fucking irritating the press can be, I must sound like a godforsaken ass-"
The babble sounded crystal clear now, the door creaked as it swung open.
"Miss Valentine, this is channel fifteen news, can we have a word with you?"
"You know, Malik, we never had that threesome with Seto… shame I have to pass on before our dream could be realized…"
"Why would I want a threesome with that jackass?" Malik said passionately, tears rising in his eyes, and a quirky, watery smile passing over his lips, "Don't talk, baka, you'll hurt yourself-"
"There is always his little brother… such a young, delicate looking thing-"
Just then, he began to cough violently, and deoxygenated blood came out in a thin spray, soiling his lips. He wiped at it with long spidery fingers and looked at it with his red eyes, smiling sweetly.
"What a nice, pretty color-" he said eloquently before he was interrupted.
"Malik said not to speak, Bakura-sama, and I quite agree."
Isis glided through the bustling paramedics to the ambulance, neon white and red light washing over her bronze skin. Her crystal blue eyes floated in the center of her face like a dream, and her lips were drawn into a taut, worried line. When she came to stand beside her brother, the look she gave the lead singer bound to the stretcher was severe.
"It's nice to see that when you're bleeding to death you still find enough energy to act like a-"
"Ah, Isis, my love," Bakura said huskily, "we never had that threesome with Seto… shame I have to pass on before-"
"Stop being a moron! Stop fucking talking!"
After his outburst, Malik rolled his eyes, which were beginning to steadily leak tears.
Bakura was about to come with a rebuttal before Isis promptly clasped a bronze, gold adorned hand over his mouth.
"If you cannot silence yourself to save your life, I see that I will have to assist."
The lead singer's eyes crinkled at the corners, Malik could tell that he was smiling. Isis then cocked an eyebrow and said coldly, "If you sincerely think licking at the palm of my hand as you are doing now will make me move it, I'm sorry to inform you that you're mistaken."
Malik began to laugh in spite of himself. Laugh and laugh and laugh… yes, Bakura was dying. Would slip into unconsciousness soon…
They were all gonna die.
Erm… as said before, this chapter came out wrong and weird. The ending sucked, I know, but if I drew it out, I would have killed it, and that's a fact… BELIEVE IT::cringes:: Too much Naruto, dammit…
I had typed it a long time ago and I looked it over, realizing that this was probably as good as it was going to get with my disgusting laziness. It's kind of depressing really… TT.TT
Okay, just letting you know, the radio jockey from the bathroom is Otogi… or Duke. Whatever. It was a bit difficult (challenging!) to keep everyone in character, particularly Mai and Isis. I don't think I pulled it off very well, but then again, I'm posting this because I want you to be the judge of that. Don't ask me why Miss Valentine's so afraid of the press. I needed something to write to introduce her. There is a reason for Malik's sappiness. I suppose I'll have to disclose it later. ::Sigh::
BlackNailPolish is revealed next chapter! Um, lots of shit goes on with their band, so they should be fun, seeing as none of them like Bakura, all for good reasons (Me thinks… . )
(1) Oh, and explaining something, I know Noah isn't the head of Industrial Illusions. Obviously. So, yeah, Pegasus is the label man for BlackNailPolish (btw, my friend gave me the name for that band because it was stupid and we wanted to give Yuugi's band a stupid name,) and Noah is their manager. Bit young? Well, I'm bending a lot of rules.
Oh, does anyone know what stuff Bakura and Yuugi (erm, should Yuugi even be lead singer? I know Tea was his back up vocalist, but…) should sing? I was thinking Cradle of Filth and/or Lamb of God for Bakura and Ten Years or Junior Varsity or something for BlackNailPolish. Something to fit the vocals from the show… I'm terrible with things like this, so I'm asking for help. Oh, also desperately asking for a beta. Need a beta… badly.
Bakura is based loosely off of- you guessed it!- Lestat and Marilyn Manson (I can see you all cringing, don't worry, I did too when I realised)! Well, the Marilyn Manson hasn't come in yet, but those of you who read VC can see (or read, actually… lol) the Brat Prince-ishness everywhere. I like fics that make Bakura articulate and cool. He is still going to be a thieving, unmannerly, inconsiderate little bastard though. Oh, and he's a bit of a whore. Giving you FAIR warning. But don't worry, its comedy relief mostly!
P.S. Getting this out of the way, Bakura lives. Duh! (nyer! Sound like Kirihara-kun!) Just clarifying.
Thanks for reading!
Evanescent Whisper, sadly, does not own Yuugiou. This should make you one happy little bastard, and if it doesn't, you are screwed in the head. Fic dedicated to Mama-chan.