Proud Is
written by RL.Angstshipping
you drag the name through dirt

Disclaimer: We do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!

Author's Note: This is the prequel to Feel on the Dark and the story of how Bakura and Mariku met. Also, for the sake of this fan fiction, Bakura refers to Yami no Bakura and Mariku refers to Yami no Malik. This fan fiction takes place (roughly) in the 50's. If their are inconsistencies for the time period, forgive us. We're dense. xP

Chapter One

A Beautiful Stranger

God damnit. Mariku winced as he was pressed up against the wall, a quiet grunt escaping his lips. An elbow jabbed into his lower back before all pressure let up. Turning around and rubbing his wrist (had they really needed to grab so tightly?), he narrowed his eyes at the man before him. An elder white man, the owner of the damned bar. It was amazing how little the employees cared about Mariku's presence but the moment this man walked in, shit hit the fan.

"You'd be surprised to learn that I can walk on my own," Mariku hissed, spitting, though he was careful not to hit the other. As confident as he was, he didn't need to get shot the moment he turned his back on the man.

The owner shouted something at him though Mariku had tuned him out by now, starting on his way down the sidewalk. He dragged his feet along the pavement, listening to the sound they made as they ground against the surface. The soles of his boots must look like hell but what did that matter? The rest of them looked almost perfect; Mariku's shoes were his pride and joy.

"You've got quite some nerve, don't you?"

The voice caught the Egyptian off guard, Mariku spinning around to get a good look at whoever was speaking to him. The man before him was hard to miss: long, silver hair, a dark trench coat that concealed most of his pale form, and piercing, brown eyes. These eyes were settled on Mariku now, shining with something that seemed to be amusement.

Mariku recognized the man. He'd been at the bar, sitting by the counter and sipping a drink that looked far too classy for the atmosphere. Tongue running along his bottom lip, Mariku ignored the man's question, posing one of his own (though it came out more a statement than anything), "You were watching me play pool."

The man chuckled, a dark sound, as he let his hands slide into his pocket. The gesture reminded Mariku of the knife that lay hidden in his own pocket. Safety precaution. Would he need it now? "It gave me something to do," he responded casually, stepping towards Mariku. "Where are you headed?"

Tanned fingers tapping against his side, Mariku pondered the question, violet eyes narrowed coolly at the other. While he might have given the other a truthful answer due to his own morbid curiosity about the other's intentions (whatever they were, Mariku knew he could handle himself), he wasn't, at the moment, aware of where he was headed. He'd planned on spending his night at the bar, getting drunk enough to feel something but not lose complete control, and then head home. His plans were obviously in shambles now so what to do? He could always hunt down another place but it seemed tedious as well as pointless.

He might as well head home.

Did he really want a stranger following him home? He started on his way again, one hand sliding into his pocket, fingering his knife. There was no reason not to go on. Nothing to lose in the hellhole that was his apartment.

It didn't seem to phase his stalker that he hadn't answered; the man picked up his pace and managed to keep up with Mariku. For a while, neither of them said anything, one walking in step with the other. It was strange; try as he did, Mariku couldn't come up with a logical motive for the other. He didn't look like a typical mugger and even if he were, he would have acted sooner. They'd been in plenty secluded areas, plenty of places where he could have gotten away with it.

So why? Rape? What would a prestigious (in appearance only, perhaps) white man want with someone like Mariku? Unless, of course, it was fetish. Mariku got a small sense of delight in thinking that might very well be what it was. Fetish -- he had a few of his own.

Stopping in front of a rundown building, Mariku glanced over his shoulder at his guest. "I'm afraid I'm home so our delightful evening together must come to an end."

He seemed to amuse the man. Watching as the pale man's lips tugged into a smirk, Mariku examined him once more. He was attractive in that strange mysterious stranger sort of way. He looked more like a shadow than anything and idly, Mariku noted that he'd never tasted a shadow. It was something to consider.

"You're not going to invite me up? How rude." There was something dignified about the way his stalker spoke, something alluring.

"Forgive me, I seem to have forgotten my manners." Mariku motioned the door of the apartment building, metal and rusted with age, his bracelets clanking against his wrist. "Would you like to come in?"

"I would."

Common sense should have persuaded Mariku not to invite this stranger home but perhaps he lacked common sense altogether. Wasn't there a saying about how it was impossible to have book smarts and common sense?

Opening the doorway, Mariku stepped inside first, momentarily forgetting that he was trying to appear equally dignified. The musty smell was a warm welcome though a quick glance over his shoulder informed him that his guest (and he really was his guest now) didn't think quite the same thing. The building was a wonder of its own though the wonder came from the fact that it was still standing. Moving on, Mariku headed to the stairs, completely bypassing the elevator. Though it appeared to be decent enough, it hadn't been in working order the entire seventeen years that the Egyptian had resided in this building.

The stairs creaked dangerously beneath his boots as he walked upstairs. He lived on the third floor, apartment C, so it really wasn't a long journey (though he had passed out on the stairs a few times). As they reached the third floor, he couldn't help but chuckle at his company's disgusted expression.

He jiggled the doorknob to his apartment, opening the door and narrowing his eyes at what welcome him. His mother lay sprawled across the floor, one hand positioned in a manner that he could only wonder how the door hadn't at least brushed up against it. She didn't appear as if she'd moved any time soon.

Mariku stepped over her, ignoring the fact that she was there, most likely, to wait on him. He had company, after all, did he not? It'd be rude to keep them waiting. As he stepped, he felt a hand grab the back of his pants leg. Well, at least he knew she was alive. Pausing, he turned slightly and kneeled beside her, resting his chin on the palm of his hand. "Can I help you, Mother?"

She looked up at him, eyes desperately searching his facial features for any sign of compassion. "Mariku..." This was her son. What had she done wrong? "Mariku, why are...?" She didn't finish her sentences though from the expression on her face, she thought she had.

"You're high," Mariku commented dully, brushing his fingers across her cheek, a gentle gesture. "Why don't you sleep and we'll talk in the morning?"

She clearly didn't like that idea. He needed to talk to her now, needed to tell her everything now. Her violet eyes dilated, closing and opening quickly as she tried to focus on the stranger behind her son. "Leave my son alone." There was a decent amount of fear in her voice, the sound of which caused Mariku to groan. "Please, just leave--" She stopped speaking as Mariku stood up. "Why are you leaving me?"

Mariku didn't answer her, only motioned for his guest to step over her and follow him to his room. He stepped down the hallway, ignoring his mother's desperate pleas for him to come back. He knew his visitor had followed him, giving his mother a disgusted passing glance.

Nudging the door to his room open with his foot, Mariku stepped inside and flicked the light switch up. The room, even with the light, was dimly illuminated. The windows were blocked with heavy, dark curtains, sealing away any hopes for natural light the room could have. For the most part, the room was bare. Mariku's bed was pressed up against the far wall, one black, ratty blanket used for covers sprawled messily across it. A dresser was to the right, one drawer partially open due to the fact that no matter how hard it was shoved, it wouldn't close. In the drawer were a few loose pieces of gold jewelry, the only signs of wealth in the apartment.

Moving to his bed, Mariku took a seat and began working on untying his boots. Kicking them off, he looked up at the man, violet eyes running over his form once more. He still, technically, didn't know why the other had followed him here. The answer to that would come soon enough.

The silence was unnerving. "Welcome to my humble abode," Mariku chuckled, waving to the room casually, as if showing it off.

The paler man stepped inside, giving his own laugh and approaching Mariku. "Lovely, I assure you."

There was something about the way he spoke. The way he seemed so on top of things, the way he seemed so in control. Part of Mariku wanted to destroy that, to steal every ounce of self-confidence the other had. The other part wanted to let it destroy his. Reaching up, Mariku pulled the other into a kiss, mouth parted hungrily.

His stranger, and he was his now, seemed hesitant at first before he leaned in and returned the kiss, his own hands moving to rest on either side of Mariku's shoulders. Slipping his tongue in between the other's parted lips, he gave a pleased groan when Mariku sucked obediently on the muscle. The Egyptian's hands tugged at his trench coat before pushing it back over his shoulders. He shuddered, pulling back long enough to let it hit the floor before crawling into the other's lap.

Mariku pushed up at the bottom of the other's shirt, clawing at his sides. He was pushed down back against the bed, his body sinking in to the comfort of his own mattress (as cheap and stiff as it was). As his stranger crawled over him, straddling him, Mariku wrapped his arms up around his neck, licking hungrily at what was showing of the other's collarbone.

Fetish. It had to be fetish.

You've Got It All Wrong

Groggily, Bakura opened his eyes, blinking as the room around him came into focus. Fuck. He really hadn't meant to sleep with the kid. Mariku? If what his mother had called him was his name, that is. She'd been so out of it that he had his doubts, even if it was her own flesh and blood.

The worst part about the situation, though, wasn't the fact that he'd slept with a kid, or even a black kid. The worst part was the fact that not only had he slept with Mariku, Mariku had actually woken up before him. The entire quest had been simply to rob the boy. It was amazing that he hadn't been robbed before, the way he flaunted his gold jewelry -- the bracelets that adorned his arm and the necklace around his neck.

How Mariku had lured him in, he didn't know. The kid was dirt, the kind of grime found in sewers, and yet his false sense of importance had dragged Bakura to him like a moth to a flame. It was a miracle, too, considering Bakura wasn't easy to impress.

As he became more aware of his surroundings, he let his gaze linger on the Egyptian who had slipped on a tank top and was now working at his pants. He gave a soft grunt, mostly just to inform the other that he was awake.

Mariku glanced over his shoulder, tongue running over his top lip, mouth curving into a smirk. How the hell could something so disgusting be so attractive?

"Do you want coffee?"

The question surprised Bakura so he simply shrugged his shoulders. "That's fine," he answered. He didn't even really like coffee but it was one way to get the other out of the room.

Mariku nodded before slipping out of the room. Bakura watched him go, eyes studying the way the boy's hips shook when he walked. As soon as he was sure the other was out of earshot, he climbed to his feet, quickly throwing his clothes back on himself. No use running around the house naked, right?

He moved to the jewelry, examining it for a moment. This is what he'd come here for and yet, he didn't quite know what he wanted to take. He'd planned to steal what was on Mariku's body but...

Pocketing only a ring (and slightly disappointing himself), Bakura slid out of the room, walking quietly down the hallway. He located the kitchen easily enough, moving to stand in the doorway. Mariku was by the counter, their coffee, and apparently discussing something with his mother. Said woman was sitting at the table, both hands to her head, rubbing her temples. Served the scum right.

"You're late," she was murmuring, shaking her head. Clearly, she'd been saying the same thing for quite some time now because Mariku only gave a frustrated grunt. "They'll kick you out of school."

Mariku gave Bakura a quick glance before his attention turned back to his mother. "No kidding," he mumbled. "It doesn't matter. They're probably about to kick me out anyway." Then, to Bakura, "How do you like your coffee?"

"Black," came his mother's response, her cold, violet eyes glaring up at Bakura. Bakura only flashed her a grin; she was a strange woman and she had to be half crazy. He'd been surprised the previous night to find that she was a white woman (though that was hard to tell from her dirt-caked skin) but it did help to explain why Mariku's skin was lighter than most of the other's in the area. "Why did you hurt my son?"

Mariku rolled his eyes, nails scratching at the top of the counter. "Ignore her," he instructed, licking his lips.

She clearly didn't like that idea. "L-leave." Despite her weak voice, she sounded rather demanding. It shouldn't have amused Bakura but he found himself chuckling anyway. "Get away from my son. Leave."

She was beginning to sound desperate, Bakura noted. Flashing Mariku a quick grin, slightly sadistic in character, he gave a quick shrug of the shoulders. "It appears I should be going," he informed the other. "It was truly lovely being with you, Mariku." He gave a wave of his hand before turning and exiting the apartment.

Heh, it really wasn't lovely at all.

End Chapter One