When Angels Cry 8- Of Blue Hair and Demons.


Yaoi/shonen-ai. If you don't like, please don't read. Flames will be extinguished with great prejudice due to the fact that it is bushfire season and I hate bushfires. Many Australians do.

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Rated for bloody descriptions of battle, torture and later limes. (You know I can't resist!) Considering a lemon in due time... ;)

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Dedicated to my reviewers! (Italics anonymous)

Cavialover

YugiTheDarkPharaoh

Nusku

ShadowCat17

Minasantaria

lynwoo

Shadow Over Egypt (Thanks for all your beta help! x3)

Starshinesoldier

leencze (I'm burning, I'm burning! XD)

Shoy (Thank you for your offer, and I realised you were probably too busy, so I asked one of my other friends as well! Please forgive me!)

Natzu

Yami-no-Hikari-7

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'Tis sorry I am for taking almost a year plus to do this! I had many troubles in real life, most of them school-related. But I shall no longer have the problems of school! For I have graduated on Friday the 21st November!!!

I also have a beta who will be working on a few of my stories for me, including this one- Thanks Shadow Over Egypt for your excellent work!

So here we go- back to at least semi-regular updates. I plan to work on WAC, ItD, Matagot, DT and From Egypt Till Eternity at the same time, depending on how my muses strike me. If you are interested in seeing a Death Note/Yu-Gi-Oh crossover, take a look at From Egypt till Eternity- Darkshipping/Casteshipping, LxLight and there will be possible hints of Bakura/L and Bakura/Light. This one is not my top priority, because I want to get WAC and ItD finished at least before I work on that one.

Do forgive me for my failure at updating, and I hope you continue to enjoy reading! If you feel like it, I do enjoy reading your reviews- Critique is encouraged! (or how else am I to get better?)

Enjoy! :D
~Ireina


"Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages."- Neil Gaiman

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Seto had to admit it - this delusion was a well thought out one, not that he'd expected any less from such a mind as his own. Absent sapphire orbs roamed over the limp form on the bed, taking in the exquisite detail his mind had seen fit to give the 'angel', from the long aqua hair fanning over the pillows, still in its clasp, to the long lashes only a shade darker lying in semi-circles on the rather pale skin.

Moving from the other male's face his gaze slowly took in the slender man's body. 'Slightly taller than me - broad-shouldered with slender hips and a proud carriage.' he noted. 'I wonder why he keeps his hair that long though. Surely it'd get in his way. And why he chose blue - well it's really more of an aqua…' He ignored the slightly disturbing fact he was, in essence checking out another man, albeit an 'imaginary' one. '…to dye it is beyond me. Surely that colour would draw too much attention for his liking. He seems to be the sort of man who hates to be the centre of everyone's attention, apart from those strange ramblings of his…' Seto wondered. 'He's a bundle of contradictions, this one.'

He sat there several more minutes later, trying to ignore the strange impulse to release that long hair from its clasp ('…It must be uncomfortable to sleep wearing that thing.') his mind reasoned. His right eye gave a twitch.

"All right already." he muttered to himself and with uncharacteristic gentleness he undid the clasp holding the unconscious man's long hair, whereupon he inadvertently discovered the purpose of the clasp- the waterfall of hair fell to pool on the floor!

When Dartz was standing, Seto would've guessed that it would've all fallen at least to the other man's ankles, perhaps even lower.

Seto carefully pulled up the thin sheet and blanket, tucking it around Dartz's shoulders as though the angel were a small child and brushed the strands from his face. He lifted the mane of aqua hair from the floor in order to place it on the bed or pillow, just to keep it out of the way, but as small tendrils of the stuff slid through his fingers he realised that, not only did the hair feel as thought it had never seen a bottle of dye in its lifetime, it in actual fact felt soft and lush and almost silken against his skin. Cerulean eyes widened in wonder and he indulged the whim to keep running it through his hands like the waterfall it so resembled for a brief time before he realised just what he was doing.

'What in God's name did I do that for?!' he thought, somewhat disgusted with himself. 'I'm petting the hair of a complete stranger! While he's asleep, no less!' The young CEO shook his head as he carefully gathered the array of long hair and in the most impersonal and businesslike way he could muster he followed through on his original intention, arranging the hair on the bed beside the miraculously still sleeping angel.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, I didn't know anyone else was here," came a soft voiced apology suddenly from the general direction of the door.

Seto started, feeling slightly guilty, like a child caught with their hand in the cookie jar before turning to see yet another person with wings, these an emerald green. What was it with his imagination and wings?

"Whatever. I'm-"

"Kaiba Seto. I know." The green-winged man said, smiling gently. "I was just going to check on Dartz. I heard what you did when I arrived. Marik owes you much."

"Atemu-chan and Dartz-san helped too." replied Seto, flapping a hand dismissively.

"What you did brought Marik great happiness - he loves Malik so, but being the way he is he did not realise it for such a long while. He was actually looking for Malik to confess what he felt when he found his body. The poor man was destroyed by it. You gave back his life, not just Malik's, and he will feel honour-bound to return the favour sometime."

"Marik-san loved Malik-san?"

"Do not sound so surprised. Love knows no gender." Ryou chastised, pain flickering through his brown eyes.

Seto (being astute at reading expressions.) caught this, but dismissed it as being none of his business. The angel fluttered over to the bed, placing his fingertips at either of Dartz's temples and closed his eyes briefly, before nodding.

"He's just magically exhausted. He'll be fine in several days, but he should sleep for most of it. If he wakes up, the others will know what to do, just don't let him bully you into letting him get out of bed. Though-" Here he gave Seto a sombre, appraising look. "I think he'd have no luck bullying you."

'Damn straight.' Seto thought to himself with a small smirk directed at the prone man on the bed, not bothering to read into Ryou's statement.

Ryou caught the smirk and shook his head, a smile teasing at the corners of his lips before he left.

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The newest arrival to the house's next item of business for Ryou was to visit Malik and check on him, but the noises singular to a thorough make-out session coming from his room quickly dissuaded him from that. It was not urgent, and so he decided instead to find Bakura.

He was rather surprised to hear a quiet sniffle come from one of the rooms. Raising an eyebrow, the angel's compassionate nature urged him to trace its source. His surprise only increased when he discovered Atemu there, Bakura sitting on the bed, bandages being the only things covering his torso. Bakura gave Ryou a guilty, pleading look before he stood and almost ran from the room.

Ryou narrowed his eyes at the closed door the fallen angel had left through, mentally promising to half-kill his friend if he'd had anything to do with the innocent boy's distress.

"What's wrong, Atemu-chan?" he asked gently, moving to sit on the edge of the bed, patting the space beside him. Unexpectedly, the younger male threw himself into the angel's arms, tears flowing freely into the startled tenshi's clothing.

"Atemu-chan?"

"I can't believe I did that! God, I swear I was so naive! Bakura must be disgusted at me!"

"Did what Atemu? What happened?" asked the doe-eyed angel, brow furrowed in confusement.

"I didn't know- he was right, I didn't understand what I was getting myself into and I misinterpreted everything and it's all a big mess…"

Ryou sighed; automatically rubbing the sixteen year-old's back in circles in an attempt to soothe him. This was going to take far longer than he'd thought.

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"You know Sumiko, it's the strangest thing! I could have sworn that there was a piece of blue hair on the ground when we were sent in to retrieve that demon and clear up its mess." the grey-winged male angel said nonchalantly, sending a look to his pink-winged companion. "The others keep telling me that they didn't see it though." he continued, still staring into the woman's eyes.

"Blue? You mean like Rain's hair or more green-tinged like the Chief Librarian's?" replied Sumiko with feigned interest.

"Almost exactly like the Chief Librarian's now I come to think on it." he replied, with faux realisation, removing his stare from her. "But I must've been mistaken. After all, he's been here with you, not gallivanting around the Mortal Realms." he said smoothly, glancing sideways at her.

Taking his thinly veiled hint to mean that she was beginning to become more suspicious of her precious Dartz, the female tenshi tilted her head to one side, wisely deciding not to tell him that the Chief Librarian had in fact not been with her in the libraries for several days now. After all, he would have no choice but to report it to her.

"Thank you for telling me that." she told him shyly. "I know… the risk it…"

"Telling you what?" he replied, cutting her off with a mischievous smirk before leaving the room.

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"You are absolutely sure it belongs to him." the Lady demanded, fingertips digging into the arms of her chair, as thought the news she'd just been given caused her physical pain.

He closed his eyes. "There's no mistaking it, my Lady." he said softly. 'I'm sorry…'

"I was sure he was a staunch supporter of mine! I was sure he'd support me even when I came into the open with the plan! How can it be…? Why would he do this? He can't yet know of our true plans of course, we've been so careful… But, even then, why did he enter the Mortal Realm without clearance?!"

"I do not know, my Lady. Due to his routine rejection of socialising, everyone thought he was holed up in the Libraries on one of his experiments. Even his assistant, Sumiko…"

"I know who Sumiko is, I suggested you place her there, remember!" she snapped, holding a hand to her face, frowning at the beginnings of a headache.

"Yes, of course. Anyway, even Sumiko thought he was doing work on some personal project."

"There's really nothing for it now. I had hoped to win him completely to our side, he's a logical man, and he would have come. With his power and intelligence he would've been a great boon to us. But with this incident… He must be eliminated. We can't afford to have him against us." She shook her head slowly, the familiar dull ache beginning to gnaw at her mind.

"Here, Lady." The male with the large grey wings stepped forward and laid his hands on either side of her face, closing his eyes in concentration for a moment, before reopening them. "There, that ought to feel somewhat better." he said with a bright smile, making to move back. Before he could lift his hands from her face, she laid one of her own daintily pale ones over his much larger and marginally darker hand, offering a small smile, eyes gleaming.

"Thank you. It is good to know I have such… truly loyal followers."

The grey-winged man gave her an unreadable smile in response. 'Truly loyal. Hmph.' he thought bitterly. 'I had to tell her. Telling Sumiko also was the best I could do to circumvent her plans. I'm so sorry…'

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Bakura sighed absently, slipping the fresh shirt on. It was Marik's and as such, rather large on his smaller frame, but his other shirt was apparently being washed (for he couldn't find it anywhere) and the second had had to be burnt. (Ryou had insisted- apparently it was possible the contagion caused by the Tears could re-infect the still healing wounds.)

He did up the top button but before he did the second he rubbed frustratedly at his temples. He was feeling terrible about how he'd had to treat Atemu, but there was really no help for it.

Someone in Heaven was orchestrating the whole issue, and Atemu was probably only a piece of the jigsaw. An important piece, but only a piece nonetheless. From what he'd seen they wanted, no, needed Atemu dead. They'd 'eliminated' Bakura from the picture (or so they seemed to think), Malik (and, by proxy Marik) as well as whomever had been Atemu's original Guardian, thereby destroying anyone who was powerful enough (and motivated enough) to offer the boy protection.

He knew that he would rather sacrifice himself than allow them to lay a finger on the teen, and from their reckless attack at the school, he knew that was a highly likely scenario. They were either getting desperate or were so powerful they simply didn't care if they were discovered- either one could be fatal.

Continuing to button the shirt he frowned. If he were to die, he would not leave Atemu unprotected. Sure, Marik was extraordinarily powerful as was Dartz and Malik was no pushover, nor was Ryou. But even Dartz did not have the strategic mind for warfare that Bakura had- and a mind used to strategic thinking would be needed for what would eventually become out-and-out guerrilla warfare.

'No, the only way to ensure Atemu's safety would be to find out who the mastermind behind this whole thing is, and then unmask them.' he thought. '…and the best way to do that is to find his previous Guardian- if they still live. Surely they would know something about this.' Grimly he finished buttoning up the shirt. 'The best way to do that is for me to simply disappear- I can work fast, unhindered by other people or attacks. The only drawback is that once I am completely out of the picture, there is the possibility they will send more and more of their minions against the boy.' he thought, deliberately not using Atemu's name in an effort to distance himself from his ward. 'Not even with Dartz's inheritance will only four be able to stand against a blitzkrieg style of attack. But… I'm afraid I may have to take that chance. Yes, I'll have to go. But I can't just leave the poor boy to think that that incident before was his fault.' he thought guiltily, the lightly spicy taste of vanilla rising to the forefront of his memory.

Bakura still couldn't believe that Atemu could affect him so! He had believed he had better control over his desires. It was completely disgraceful behaviour, especially considering the magnitude of years (and experience) between them.

That decided he strode purposefully from the room, heading back to the room he'd only just left.

He neared the door, slowing as he heard Ryou's voice murmuring and… Atemu's voice replying. With growing apprehension he reached for the silver handle, pressing and pushing it open in one swift movement.

He was sure his heart stopped for several seconds at the sight that greeted him. Ryou's arms were wrapped tightly around Atemu in what appeared to be a loving embrace, Atemu's head on his shoulder, face against his neck.

Hurt and anger flared inside him. Forcing back the temptation to rip them from each other, he choked out; "I'm terribly sorry for interrupting..." before swivelling around and near running from the room, ignoring Atemu and… him calling him to come back.

'Why in God's holy name am I so upset?! I have to leave the boy anyway, and it was my purpose to drive Atemu away so I wouldn't hurt him when I did, but…' He unconsciously grimaced in pain as he continued fleeing blindly down the halls. 'This… the image of him and Ryou…together still hurts.'

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A pleasant, sort of tickling sensation gently tantalised him into a state of semi-awareness, travelling down along his body, before the feeling stopped for a second then returning. He realised his hair was unbound, which gave him the sneaking suspicion he knew what that sensation was.

Leaving his eyes closed, he ignored the pleasant tickling as best he could. Soon enough, he felt it stop and he heard, as though from a great distance a small 'tutting' noise before he felt the weight of his hair completely lifted and laid back on the bed beside him. Almost as soon as this was done, the tickling stopped, confirming his suspicion.

He would have wished it back if he hadn't known what it was, and what it heralded.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry; I didn't know anyone else was here."

Dartz only half-listened to the conversation from there, content to drift comfortably in and out of the pleasant state of sleep he kept finding himself in. He was vaguely aware of two fingers pressing to either of his temples briefly before he felt the gentle brush of Ryou's familiar power.

"…just don't let him bully you into letting him out of bed." came Ryou's voice warningly.

'I do not bully.' he thought somewhat indignant at the suggestion. 'I make forceful suggestions.'

"Though- I think he'd have no luck bullying you."

Knowing that infuriating mortal he appeared to have been Bonded to, Ryou was (as much as he hated to admit it) quite possibly right. His nature, his very heritage would not allow him to argue with his Bonded's happiness, even if they technically weren't Bonded yet.

(If asked, when completely aware, awake and whatnot, Dartz would have denied fervently any and all thoughts pertaining to Seto possibly being his Bonded.)

And with that last thought, he finally wandered back to the temptation of deep sleep that went with magical exhaustion.

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He found himself reawakening to something heavy resting across his hips and lower stomach and that same odd feeling from earlier roaring across his nerve-endings, demanding more.

Golden eyes flew open in shocked disbelief, searching for the source of the weight. He almost had a heart-attack when he saw a familiar brown-haired teen slumped across him, almost using him as a pillow, cheek against his stomach.

His eyes widened for a minute, raw panic flaring in their depths before returning to normal as he forced himself into calm.

Seto shifted slightly, a lock of brown tumbling over his face. Hesitantly, and with a tiny smile Dartz carefully returned the hair to its previous place, tucking it behind the curve of the other's ear, resisting the urge to stroke his cheek, his usually cool and unreadable eyes unusually soft as he looked at the younger male with an odd expression on his face.

He shook his head at the unusually affectionate gesture (and the increasingly irritating urging of his body to do something about their intimate positioning.) and promptly directed his thoughts down a somewhat safer route.

It seemed that Seto's untrained use of power was like to be the cause of his slumber- he slept much too deeply for it to be natural. Absently his fingers tangled themselves in the short brown hair as he thought. Seto's power… The natural powers of a mortal mage. Could that be the cause of this?

'In all the history of my people, not once has anyone been Bonded to a human, and contrary to popular belief there were plenty around. The only difference in this case I can think of that might be at fault is Seto's magery.' (Which, when he thought about it was highly ironic- a hardened sceptic having such powerful magic?) 'But why such a thing could allow a Bond of this strength with one such as me…It's an unusually powerful Bond, even stronger than between two purebloods of the aristocracy.'

Finding a knot among the warm strands, his nimble fingers automatically began to unravel it with great care. He watched with mild interest as the knot slowly disappeared under his skilled attentions.

How many times had he un-tangled knots from his daughter's hair as she grew? He sighed, a barely audible sound of regret.

'Perhaps if…' But no, it was no use. It had happened and it would not do to dwell on the past.

Carefully he extricated his hand from the chestnut locks, letting the limb flop beside him. As though drawn by some force otherworldly, Dartz's eyes travelled down to the finely boned face of the younger man currently sprawled across his hips. ('It is lucky I have complete control over my body…' he noted with wry pride.)

He really was exquisitely built, Dartz had to admit. Seto Kaiba had the delicate bone-structure typical of the Japanese culture to which he was native, but with all the height of a Westerner, almost the same height as Dartz himself, give or take a few centimetres.

While it was hard to tell under the school-issue blue jacket, the lines of his body were accentuated with lean ropes of softly defined muscle. 'But,' he thought, 'it is those eyes of his that make him truly attractive…'

Those azure-hued eyes, so uncommon among the people of Seto's birth, in fact that exact hue of blue also being rare among the Western societies.

They had been the first thing that Dartz had noticed, sparkling with a sarcastic wit beyond his years and yet also the fiercely repressed curiosity of a young child. A contradiction, a paradox.

That was Seto Kaiba.

The angel sighed once more. He definitely did not like the suddenness and intensity of this second Bond, so much stronger than the first. He knew all too well that he had no choice in the matter, even if the Bond was to another of the same gender. Still, the sheer force of it was frightening.

The teenaged male lying across Dartz stirred, and so, to the angel's utter horror, did his own body. Despite his 'complete control' over it.

Stretching like a cat, Seto woke properly, blinking slightly as he looked up at his 'pillow,' and ran a hand through his slightly tousled hair.

"Good then. You're awake." he said with the usual straight-to-the-point tact… and… was that a blush creeping onto the young mortal's cheeks? "I… well, it wasn't… on purpose… that is, I didn't mean to… fall asleep, you know, on you." he said, his words stumbling over themselves. Then, as an afterthought; "I apologise for that."

His voice was abrupt in tone, but the blush coupled with the sudden refusal to look him in the eye told Dartz something very important.

Seto felt the Bond too.

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"Why did he run off like that, Ryou-san?!" huffed a tired Atemu despairingly. "He couldn't have thought we were…" He went a delicate rose colour. "And… even if he did think… that, why would he care? It doesn't make sense."

"Atemu, he probably did think we were doing that, and as to the reason he cared? You should really be asking him that, not me." replied a similarly gasping Ryou. "And in order for you to do that, we have to find him first."

"But Ryou-san, he's nowhere!" cried Atemu somewhat childishly. "What if he…"

Ryou cut him off. "He's here and we will find him."

Nodding his head Atemu agreed and they continued through the dwelling.

In his head Ryou was cursing. 'That complete idiot! Did he not notice that Atemu had been crying? Honestly, he knows I can read him like a book, he knows I know he cares for Atemu more than he lets on. He ought to know I'd never betray him like that! Even worse, how could he honestly think I'd be over him after I'd been in mourning for him for almost seventeen years?! That insecure, untrusting, imbecile! Why, it's his fault Atemu had been crying in the first place!' Ryou thought furiously.

Though, after all the events leading up to Bakura's first 'death' (and consequent transmigration) it really was no wonder that he was so mistrustful.

After all, trust had cost Bakura his mortal life.

Ryou sighed. "You go that way, and if you see him call out. I'll hear." he ordered.

Atemu nodded, biting his lower lip before rushing in the direction indicated.

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Thoughts rushed through the young mortal's brain at an increasingly high speed. 'Bakura thought Ryou and I were about to make love. He went so white, like snow. Even paler than he is normally. He almost looked as thought he'd been hit before he ran off. What am I missing? Why did he react that way, when he just told me-'

He blushed in embarrassment, not so much at the earlier confrontation with Bakura, but at the remembered sensation of the angel's mouth on his neck and the still lingering minty, exotic taste as those beautifully shaped lips touched his softly, the taste which had made him understand something; the taste that had driven to seek more of that deliciousness…

'-that, in essence all he felt for me was lust. If he just wants my body, surely it wouldn't matter to him whether or not I have sex with someone else. Would it? Besides, if he feels nothing but lust for me than what right does he have to be so upset about me sleeping with someone else?' he thought somewhat self-righteously, before he paused as a strong sense of premonition crossed his mind, the same sort of sense that had come over him in the car with his aunt and uncle.

The one that had urged him to scream, or do something, because something bad was going to happen.

The one that he'd ignored.

He stopped dead, dread suddenly slamming into his mind. Atemu turned and ran through the halls, heading for the door in the entranceway.

Instinct proved him right as he saw the familiar curtain of white hair and gaunt black wings that sprung from an equally emaciated (1) back.

"Bakura-san." he whispered. Before he knew it he was moving and his arms went around Bakura's waist, Atemu's cheek pressing to his bony back between his wings.

"Let go of me Ate- Takimura-san." came the response, almost robot-like and without any inflection or emotion whatsoever.

"Don't leave." Atemu didn't know what made him do it, but he buried his face in the soft feathers at the base of the black wing on the left. Bakura sucked in a breath.

"Remove yourself from my person now, boy." he ordered.

"Please… don't do this."

"Now."

Atemu's ruby eyes closed in despair. It seemed he was completely unable to thwart fate after all. It was then the feeling became sure, and he somehow knew that this was truly the last time he would feel the angel's warmth. Several tears spilled over onto the feathers before he obeyed the request that was not a request.

Without turning, Bakura said; "Goodbye…" adding something under his breath that was inaudible to Atemu's ears as he left.

Atemu heard a rustling behind him, and a pair of darkly-tanned men entered the hall, the taller one calling Bakura's name.

"Why didn't you stop him?!" came the furious voice of the newly-revived Malik, the one-winged angel surging forward and shaking Atemu by the shoulders, his lover tensing as though ready to take flight.

Atemu looked away from the tenshi, tears flowing faster down his cheek, despite his best efforts to force them away. "Do you think…I could have stopped him? He wanted to go." the mortal said morosely, dashing away several of the damning tears with a sniff.

Pale lavender met darker lilac over the teen's head and the crying teen was sandwiched between the two older winged males in a fierce hug.

"Don't cry kid. He'll come back. He probably just went to get something." the black-winged man gruffly assured him.

'How do I tell them that I know he won't?'

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"So. That's… that then." Bakura said aloud as he flew above the cottony clouds. "All… all I have to do now is find his previous… Guardian."

All of a sudden (or so it seemed) he found his eyes itching. "Stupid… bugs." he muttered viciously as he rubbed at the itching/burning sensation, ignoring the liquid on his hand.

And the fact that bugs rarely flew on an altitude common to small aeroplanes.

He wasn't going to admit those heart-breaking pleas had had anything to do with the slightly glowing liquid that was falling from his eyes. It was all the fault of those stupid bugs.

Yes.

Stupid bugs,

At any rate, yes. The last known location of Atemu's ex-Guardian. That would be the best place to start. Bakura had been a warrior-angel at the time, and rarely had he heard anything from the Upper Quarter, save intelligence. Oh, of course he heard some things, but not nearly so much as perhaps Dartz or Ryou would have.

He fluttered back towards the ground, weakened wings still unable to fly long without frequent breaks and rests. He leaned his forehead against the slightly rough pale brown bark of the tree he was using for cover from watching eyes. "Atemu…" he repeated what he'd whispered, squeezing his eyes shut and pounding the tree half-heartedly with his fist. "I'm sorry, but this is for the best…"

"Who's there?" came a slightly husky feminine voice. "Are y' a friend of his?"

From behind a cluster of several trees stepped an older lady wearing a plain cream kimono with patterns of dark green plum-blossoms along the hem and sleeves. She had steel-grey hair and a milky-white sheen to her eyes.

She was blind.

Bakura's eyes widened. He hadn't realised she was there. "I- no, I wouldn't say I'm his friend…"

"You know y're the second angel to tell me that." she grumbled peevishly. "I wish you winged folk'd figure out what y'are to people before you go mumbling their names."

"Angel?" he asked disbelievingly.

Ignoring him, the odd woman turned and began to amble back from where she'd come.

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"Seto Kaiba, I am not going to be pushed around by you. I am going to get up and I am going to take a bath, and there is nothing you can do to stop me, damn it!" The proud angel proclaimed as he struggled for all he was worth (which wasn't terribly much in his much weakened state) against the slender hands on his chest that were currently holding him down into the pillows effortlessly.

"Dartz-san, I have been told not to let you up. Even if I hadn't been, do you honestly think I'd let you up after you'd fainted into my arms not four hours ago? I am not as stupid as you appear to think." Seto pointed out calmly, ignoring the firmly muscled chest against his hands.

"I. Am. Fine, leannan. Let me bathe at least. I promise I will return to the bed straight after I am finished." Dartz bargained, pausing in his struggle to capture the blue eyes of mortal in front of him with his own yellow ones.

Seto shook his head, ignoring both the request and the strange fluttering in the region of his stomach caused by those cat-like eyes. "What does 'leannan' mean, Dartz-san?" he asked, suspicious of this foreign word.

Dartz froze. "Do not concern yourself with it." the angel sighed, pink slowly creeping up his cheeks as he placed his hands on Seto's shoulders, pushing. "Let me up!"

"You would need help to get into the bathroom and likely help to bathe also. There is no-one here to do that." Seto reasoned. "And don't change the subject like that… why on Earth are you blushing? What does 'leannan' mean?" he asked again, suspicion increasing.

"Oh for Hekate's sake, are you so incapable?! Surely you could manage to offer a little assistance." exclaimed Dartz, sounding irritated.

Seto's eyes went wide as he froze. "You can't be implying..."

"Your culture treats communal bathing very casually, so what is your damn problem?" Dartz exclaimed. Irritation spread over his features at Seto's shocked gaze and frozen facial expression. "Oh never mind! If it offends your delicate sensibilities so very much, I'm sure Ryou would be up to the task." Dartz huffed snippily. "Let me up, and I'll call him."

Seto ignored this, looking down at the (currently scowling) face of the older man beneath him. He had, of course been to a bath-house before, and in truth he didn't know what his problem was with helping someone who was not at their best to bathe. There wouldn't be anything… like that going on- it would, of course be perfectly fine for him to assist- they were both male after all.

The young man sighed, unable to find a reason to refuse to assist. "Fine. I'll help you." he grumbled, sitting back and crossing his arms. "But you can damn well sit up and stand by yourself before we go anywhere."

Dartz gave him a slightly disbelieving look at his sudden compliance before tentatively sitting up. When met with no resistance from Seto he pushed back the blankets and shakily stood properly, thick aqua hair tumbling to pool around his feet. Irritably he batted at a strand of the stuff, swaying slightly as he did so, wings automatically spreading to help balance him. His jacket had, of course been removed before he'd been put to bed, and his slacks were (though still zipped) unbuttoned at the top, causing them to slide to hang precariously around his hip-bone. With his shirt rumpled and untucked, and his hair unclipped and hanging around his face in such wild disarray (not to mention the highly tempting position of his slacks) he looked thoroughly eatable.

"Would you hurry up, Seto-kun. I am still weak you know. Using that much energy's not a picnic… Remind me never to do that again." he added thoughtfully.

Seto shook his head, sternly ordering himself to 'Get a grip!' and standing, he swiftly caught the winged man, steadying him and supporting his weight just as the other's knees buckled.

Golden eyes stared up at him. "Thank you." Dartz told Seto.

Out of automatic response more than anything else Seto replied; "You're welcome."


(1)- Bakura has been out of captivity for several weeks now, however after such a long period of semi-starvation, he still has troubles eating the amount of food he needs to recover properly due to a shrunken stomach.

So there we go- I hope you all enjoyed this chapter- keep an eye out for more to come! I'm back baby!!

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Smile! :D

~Ireina