Disclaimer: Has it ever been mine before? (If it has, I wasn't aware of it…)

Author's Note: Inspired by the song "U + UR Hand" by Pink. I sort of misunderstood the words the first time I heard it, so now the song always makes me think of a pole dancer. And the first person I always think of pole dancing is Yugi, thanks to Ocean's fic "Jasmine's Scent." (Though Yugi pole dances in a lot of fanfics, I've noticed. Ah well.)

In any case, please enjoy!

Warnings: AU, puzzleshipping, yaoi, pole dancing… you know. All that good stuff. Also, this is sort of like a small snippet of a larger story (though this IS a one-shot), so if you're confused when you're done… well, that's to be expected, I guess. Eh heh… yeah.

X Summer Snow X

He knew it had been raining by the way the boy looked that night: his spiked hair glistened slightly in the blinding spotlights, as though kissed by fresh dew. His pale skin, too, was damp long before he'd finished one song— a testament to his lack of umbrella. And then there was the ease with which his glossy leather pants had slid around that pole, as if recently lubricated…

Atemu shook his head pointedly, stopping that train of thought before it could leave the station. He wouldn't appreciate it, he reminded himself, snatching a discarded shot glass off the counter and plucking a cloth from the front pocket of his apron.

Though he knew that wouldn't stop him, in the end…

Hope it's not too bad out there, he mused— attempting to be trivial, trying not to watch the way the boy's slim hips cradled the pole, the way his back arched with pleasure, the way his smoke-colored eyes glittered like gemstones… I didn't bring a jacket or anything.

For meteorological reasons only—or so he told himself— the bartender shot another sideways glance in the direction of the stage, looking for other signs of the weather on the dancer's gyrating body.

Slick, smooth, shivering… though, by this point, it was probably from sweat. Still, it couldn't have been too wet out there, Atemu supposed, or else the boy would have looked more bedraggled and less… iridescent. He mulled over this as he retrieved an amber-colored bottle from a top shelf, watching the strobe lights and neon radiance bounce off the droplets clinging to the dancer's half-bare body, making him throw rainbows.

He looked more like a dream than ever before in this prism of color and sound and light…

He wouldn't appreciate that thought, either, Atemu thought with a dark smile—the kind of smile that made his customers blush and slop beer down their fronts. At least, when he had customers. But he was alone now, and glad to be so… for a few different reasons. His leer lengthened an inch; long, thin fingers drummed along to the pulsating techno rhythm that had swallowed the room, his coal-red eyes bright with smoldering ideas.

The dancer—mid-grind—gave a small jolt, as if someone had run a finger up his spine. Without a word, he shot Atemu a glance from over his shoulder, his emotionless face tightening with frustration.

But the bartender didn't return the glare. Rather, he beamed invitingly and gestured at the stool before him, his free hand tracing the rim of a glass already filled with scotch. His canines flashed white in the light; he brought his finger to his lips and sucked the drink's lingering wetness from the tip.

Unsurprisingly, the boy seemed more annoyed than aroused. And yet, Atemu didn't care. He always came over anyway…

He merely had to wait.

With a light sigh and easy shrug, he turned away from the distant pole and began mopping up the surrounding countertop, as if he'd already lost interest in the dancer. But inside, he had started the countdown: 1,289… 1,288… 1,287…

He began humming to the music, swaying his hips lightly, rhythmically. More than a few eyes turned to follow his progress, rather than the scantily clad bodies on the stage. Customers crept back to the bar, lured by the hypnotic man with the sin-red eyes and apple-sweet smile.

652… 651… 650…

"Sorry, that's for a regular," he purred, gently batting the hand of a middle aged man away from the glass of scotch. "Can I help you with something else?"

236… 235… 234…

"Let me take care of that," he soothed in a voice of black velvet, dabbing at a small spill that had moistened the pants of a young college student. "It's what I'm here for, after all..."

The student nearly choked on the remainder of his beer, but his eyes wondered if it might be beneficial to "accidentally" spill the rest…

48… 47… 46…

"Anything else I can get you?" he asked, his voice a husky rumble that hinted at strangely soft emotions, like amusement and affection. The teenage girl— who one might have assumed had stumbled in on accident… if it wasn't for the well-endowed female dancer towing her towards the private rooms— merely flushed magenta, as if too embarrassed to ask for what she truly wanted.

He could guess, anyway.

3… 2… 1…

"You enjoy doing that to people, don't you?"

Atemu's grin widened a fraction; he didn't need to turn around to know who was sitting behind him, playing with an emerald swizzle stick and the ice in his scotch.

"I don't know what you're talking about," the bartender retorted lightly, batting a stray blonde lock from his face as he pointedly kept his back to the newcomer. "Enjoy doing what, exactly?"

He could hear the frown in the other's voice. "Dazzling them, of course," he grumbled, puncturing the statement with an angry clatter of ice. "Leaving them speechless, breathless… wet from drool and other fluids that one shouldn't mention in polite conversation. Really, it's despicable what you do…"

Atemu couldn't keep the chuckle from bubbling past his lips. With another easy smile, he spun to face the irritable dancer, who had slouched over his drink with a scowl. "That's a good one," he murmured silkily. "Now let me tell you the one about the pot and the kettle…"

"Very funny," the boy sighed, flicking the rim of his glass with a finger. A tinny ring echoed momentarily, then was swallowed by the pounding music and bustling people. "But might I remind you, Yami, that seduction isn't in your job description… unlike some of us."

"Self-pity isn't all that attractive, Yugi," Atemu countered readily, propping his elbows beside the dancer and leaning closer to him. "You'll lose customers if they see you pouting like that. Buck up; it's not all bad. You're getting the money you need, right? You may be selling your soul, but at least you're getting something in return…"

Yugi glowered bitterly, staring at his reflection in the amber liquid as his fingers clenched. "Nothing is worth this," he spat, and sent the glass flying with a violent sweep of his arm.

Atemu watched the drink's descent, unperturbed by the sound of shattering glass and the sea of scotch now forming at his feet. Yugi silently seethed, eyes jammed shut and lips a tight line.

There was a moment of silence…

Then the bartender sighed quietly, pouring the boy a replacement glass. "What's the matter now?" he asked, crossing his arms on the countertop and sliding even nearer to the dancer, close enough to feel the warmth radiate from his flesh— to smell the strange juniper musk that clung to him.

Yugi shivered as the question hit his ears, Atemu's breath tickling his skin. But in response, he merely turned his head away.

"Yugi," the bartender reproached, gaze narrowing in warning. And still, nothing.

So he tried:


Yugi flinched, eyes snapping up to pierce Atemu with daggers of fury and hatred. "Don't call me that," he snarled, his voice full of primal rage. "Don't ever call me—!"

He was cut off by the faintest of touches— the soft brush of Atemu's lips against his, so swift and so gentle it was like a sudden gust of spring air.

Yugi froze… and Atemu watched him wordlessly all the while, his blood-red eyes half-hidden by thick ebony lashes, curtained by unruly strands of gold. When the dancer didn't speak for a full minute, he leaned down a second time, pressing against him with a little more authority, a little more desire… Yugi leaned forward, into the suggestive embrace…

Again, Atemu broke contact abruptly— though he lingered this time, waited this time, hesitated just a breath away.

Yugi was already panting— his rasping gasps reverberating through their ears and body. His midnight eyes, the eyes that pulled people to him—enchanted them, bewitched them, called to them— were clouded with indecision, hatred, lust… and some other emotion that neither wanted to name.

"Well…?" Atemu prompted, the tip of his tongue darting out to taste the remnants of the kiss. "How about tonight?"

The boy blinked once… then his round eyes narrowed into slits.

"You know," he whispered, swallowing loudly— still able to taste the bartender on his tongue— "some of the other dancers… they think you're the devil— with your eyes like fire and your too-sweet smile…"

Atemu couldn't keep the amusement from showing on his face. "Oh?" he pressed, voice silken with intrigue. Their noses brushed; the air between them crackled with Want. "And what do you think?"

The ice in the glass of scotch tinkled merrily as Yugi pushed away from the counter, his bar stool scraping loudly against the floor.

"I think you give the devil a bad name," he muttered, chest heaving and eyes alight. But though the hatred, indecision, and lust continued to glow brightly, cutting through the heady air like sharpened knives, the foreign emotion had vanished into the blackness of the boy's amethyst irises.

The bartender grinned nonchalantly, resting his chin in his palm. "I take it, then, that my invitation has again been denied?"

Yugi's cheeks pinked, but his stare hardened.

"All right, all right," Atemu interpreted breezily, "I can take a hint. Well, in any case, I think the cost of the drink—," he tapped the side of the scotch, and the crystalline chime of the glass cut through the bar like the toll of a bell— "should cover all 'touching fees.'"

The dancer made a face, holding out an impatient hand. "Keep your damn drink," he sneered. "I'd rather have the cash. After all, if I'm going to sell my soul, I want something more than a buzz in return."

Atemu grinned wickedly, then fished his night's tips out of a pocket of his apron. "Here, then," he purred, skimming his lips over the top bill before tossing the small roll of paper money to Yugi— who, in return, turned cherry red. "And I'll see you tomorrow."

The boy snorted loudly, turning for the door. "I doubt it."

But Atemu didn't. He'll come back, he smiled to himself, bustling around to clean up the scotch. He always does.

Always, always.

The bell on the front door jangled; the bartender looked up in time to see a flash of maroon spikes quickly whirl around the corner and disappear into the night.

At least it doesn't seem to be raining anymore, Atemu mused, quickly eyeing the cold golden glow of the street lamps before they, too, disappeared behind the door. No telltale droplets could be seen streaking through the brightness like chips of falling shadows… Rather, beads of mist hung and swirled through the night, dancing carelessly beneath the street lights and sparkling like a sheet of summer snow.