Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters presented here and am not making any profit off of this whatsoever.
Title: Are You Afraid?
Word Count: 4,356
Rated: R
Romance: Yami no Bakura x Mutou Yuugi
Notes: This was written for the fourth season of the Yu-Gi-Oh Pairings Challenge. Comments and criticism gratefully accepted.
Summary: Yuugi has never been afraid of the Spirit of the Millennium Ring.

Yuugi had never actually been afraid of the Spirit of the Millennium Ring. Why should he have been? He had the Spirit of the Millennium Puzzle, the other him, always with him. And the Ring's spirit had said something about turning over a new leaf when they'd run into each other at Otogi's. Yuugi wasn't certain if he believed him, but he was also willing to give him the benefit of the doubt. He'd even been a little helpful at the time.

So he thought nothing of it when Bakura Ryou had called one evening shortly after he'd gotten out of the hospital and asked if he could come over.

"I need some help with that history assignment," the white-haired teen said in his quiet voice. "I'm just not getting all of it."

"No problem. Do you want to stay for dinner? It'll just be us, Grandpa is off visiting some of his friends for a couple of days and since Dad's in town, he and Mom are going out to eat together." Yuugi told him cheerfully.

There was a bit of a pause, and then Bakura replied, "Sure. As long as it isn't too much trouble."

"It isn't. I'll see you when you get here!" Yuugi bade him farewell and hung up, starting to go through his own history notes while he waited. He'd kind of been expecting tonight to be a little boring, since he'd be almost all by himself. It was a little hard to really be alone in his case, but even his other self appeared to be elsewhere at the moment.

It had been like that ever since Duelist Kingdom, really. There was something that was bothering him, and Yuugi had no idea of what it was just yet. But he was certain the other him would tell him, in good time.

Before very long, Bakura was there, and the two of them were settled comfortably in Yuugi's room, going over what they'd done in class.

"Thank you so much, Yuugi," Bakura said with a quiet smile as they got started. "I really could use the help."

"It's no problem at all." Yuugi reassured him. He couldn't tell right offhand if Bakura had the Ring on or not, and he wasn't really thinking that much about it. All things considered, it was most likely that he did. The question of why lingered in the back of his mind, but he held off from asking it. Bakura hadn't come over to be questioned about his Item.

But the thought wasn't going away, and when Bakura leaned a little to pick up some of the notes, Yuugi caught sight of a cord around his neck, leading down underneath his shirt. That's it. What else would it be?

He still couldn't feel anything from the other him, and he absently petted the Millennium Puzzle. He wasn't in any danger as long as he had that on.

Together they worked over the homework, and Yuugi managed to push all manner of questions out of his mind in the interests of getting this done. As they got it out of the way and other topics of conversation came up, Yuugi also found that he liked talking to Bakura much more than he'd thought he would have.

Partner? The questioning voice of the Puzzle-Spirit came through. That was all he said, but Yuugi picked up nearly at once that he was curious as to why Bakura was there. He couldn't blame him; the Spirit of the Ring had been troublesome after all, and it was part of his job to protect Yuugi.

Bakura's just here to do some homework and we're going to have dinner later, he reassured his other half. Nothing's wrong.

The other sort of mentally nodded and resumed whatever it was that he'd been doing. Yuugi could only smile at the implied trust by that.

"You were talking to him, weren't you?" Bakura asked, and Yuugi glanced over at him with a quick nod. The other shivered some. "He talks to me sometime."

"What does he say?" Yuugi wondered. The thought of how the other person with a Millennium Item that had a spirit inside of it interacted with their other interested him, now that he thought about it.

"Nothing you'd really want to know about." Bakura turned his attention back to the paper he'd been writing, then put his pen down, his stomach rumbling. "Could we take a break for a while?"

Yuugi nodded at once, putting his own pen down. All of the words were starting to blend together in his head anyway. "I think it's about dinner time. I'll get started on it. You can stay up here if you want."

Bakura bent his head a little in assent, and Yuugi hurried downstairs to the kitchen to start getting everything going. It probably wouldn't be anything too extravagant, much less like anything Bakura himself could cook. It had been a blessing that he'd come with them to Duelist Kingdom, since none of them really could cook anything. If it didn't come out of a candy bar wrapper, he was fairly certain Jounouchi didn't know how to make it edible.

What Bakura had said about the Ring-Spirit intrigued Yuugi as he gathered food items, bowls, and plates. What did they really talk about? Why wouldn't he want to know about it? What had persuaded Bakura to put the Ring on again when he'd been so determined that he wouldn't? All of those were questions that he really wanted to know the answers to.

To be honest, everything about the Spirit of the Ring intrigued Yuugi. Who was he? Where had he come from? Why did he do what he did? Why was he even there? Those were some of the same questions that had crossed his mind about the Spirit of the Puzzle, but he knew for a fact the other him didn't know the answers. They'd talked a lot since Duelist Kingdom, and of that much they were both certain: the other him didn't know a lot about himself. Not even his own true name.

He worked his knife across the vegetables, cutting them up quickly, but not quite as finely as he thought he remembered seeing his mother do it. While his hands could draw cards quickly and easily, handling a knife was a bit out of his usual experience. But he did his best.

"Yuugi?" Bakura spoke from behind him, and Yuugi jerked in surprise; he hadn't heard so much as a squeak on the stairs! And they usually squeaked at anything! Then he jerked again, and stuck the finger he'd just cut into his mouth.

"Bakura!" He spoke around the cut, but the word was understandable at least. He couldn't tell yet if it were a bad cut, but it hurt!

It was just as well that he'd dropped the knife because he was even more surprised when a slender, but strong, hand wrapped around his wrist and pulled his finger out of his mouth. Yuugi's jaw hit the floor as he stared into the cool eyes of the Spirit of the Millennium Ring: who took his injured finger into his mouth and slowly began to lick at it.

He wanted to say something else, but the feeling of that tongue on his finger completely and utterly blew his mind. The sight of those wicked eyes, and they were wicked, and tinted with a hint of amusement at the same time, looking at him at the same time destroyed any remaining chance he might've had to say anything as well. He could feel the sudden curious and worried presence of the other him in the back of his mind and managed to send a quick feeling of reassurance. As stupid as it was, he did not want this to be interrupted.

Slowly, the Ring-Spirit pulled back from Yuugi, and licked his own lips as if hunting for any traces of blood that might've remained there. Yuugi swallowed a few times. He'd never actually been alone with the Spirit of the Ring before, and he had no idea of just what to say or to do at the moment.

"You taste delicious," the other said, a faintly mocking twist to his lips as he spoke. "But you should be more careful playing with sharp objects."

Yuugi struggled for something to say, and finally found it. "Bakura surprised me, that's all." He checked to see if he would need a band-aid, and decided to get one whether he needed it or not. For one thing, there was somehow a shortage of air in the room, and he wanted to get in a few breaths if possible.

The other didn't move as Yuugi darted into the bathroom and quickly bandaged his injury. That same sardonic smile was on his lips when Yuugi came back in. "Are you scared of me?" he asked as Yuugi started back over to where his preparations were.

Yuugi blinked a few times. He'd been thinking something of that nature, after all, all that evening. "Well, no. Not really."

A soft laugh issued from him. "I see. And is it because of this?" A brief flick of his fingers towards the Millennium Puzzle showed just what he meant.

A sudden flush across his cheeks was the only answer Yuugi could give, and the other laughed, hints of cruelty and mirth in the sound at the same time. "I will not hurt you, Yuugi." He shifted closer to the young gamer, and Yuugi had the sudden mental image of a hawk hovering over its prey. "I could, but I won't."

"Why not?" Yuugi asked without thinking. Then he did think of something to ask. "And what should I call you?"

"Call me Bakura." The Spirit smirked at him. "It is my name after all."

Yuugi blinked a few times. "I thought that was his name." After all, the other him used his name. He'd thought it was the same with these two.

The thief shook his head. "It was mine first. It's always been my name. Call me that."

"All right…Bakura." That didn't quite feel right, to be addressing the Spirit of the Ring by that name, but he had asked, after all. "So, about why you won't hurt me…"

Bakura's lips thinned briefly. "There are two reasons." He paused for a moment as Yuugi started to work on cooking dinner again. "The first is a secret." That won a smirk as Yuugi shot him a glare. "The second is because I don't need to. What do you have that I could want to hurt you for?" Before Yuugi could open his mouth, Bakura shook his head. "I told you that I'd turned over a new leaf. I don't want that."

Yuugi was not necessarily a genius, but he wasn't an idiot either. He wasn't going to take those words at face value, but it really didn't seem as if Bakura were going to hurt him today. And even if he did, just as he'd thought, the other him could take over and handle it.

"Are you going to let …Bakura back out to have dinner?" he asked curiously, putting the vegetables on to fry.

"No, I don't think so. I was the one who wanted to come over here anyway." Bakura leaned comfortably against the wall and crossed his arms over his chest. "And if you have a steak, make it." A feral and amused smirk appeared. "You don't need to cook it for very long. If it moos when I bite it, I don't care."

Yuugi frowned some; they didn't usually get too many steaks. "I don't know if we have one or not. I'll check." He'd never actually made one before, but it couldn't be that hard, could it?

As it turned out, they did indeed have some steaks in the freezer, and since they'd only went shopping earlier that day, they weren't too frozen. He set one out in a bowl of hot water to thaw and went on with making everything else.

"You're almost as good at that as my host is." Bakura laughed softly. Yuugi tried to ignore the comment, and managed to do so successfully.

It was, however, a little harder to ignore the fingers that suddenly descended on the back of his neck and trailed across his shoulders. "However, seeing you do this certainly gives me ideas that seeing him work doesn't."

Yuugi began to stammer out something that might have been a question, at least up until there was a sudden kind of jerk, and the chain that the Millennium Puzzle hung from was suddenly off of his neck, and Bakura had pinned his arms behind him and pushed him over to the nearest chair.

"Bakura…what are you doing?" Yuugi just managed to blurt the question out then jumped a little as Bakura wound the Puzzle and its chain around his wrists and the back of the chair, tying them together. "Let me go! Now!" Without the Puzzle around his neck, the other him couldn't have control of his body. He was still there, they'd known that since they'd met Shaadi, but he couldn't do anything at all.

"No." Bakura sat himself on the table in front of Yuugi and stared down at him thoughtfully. A long-bladed knife was in his hands and he toyed with it briefly before he leaned over and turned off everything that was on the stove. "We won't be needing that for a while."

Yuugi tried to find a crumb of hope in what he said. Whatever Bakura was doing, it wouldn't take long, then. Of course he still had no idea of what it was that Bakura was trying to do.

Bakura settled himself back on the table and resumed looking down at him. Yuugi didn't have time to wonder what he was doing this time before the thief reached over and slit each of the buttons off of the front of his shirt, watching as it fell open. Then he neatly cut off the sleeves, slicing them into ribbons without so much as touching the skin underneath.

Yuugi flushed a deep red at the way Bakura stared at his chest. It wasn't all that impressive of a chest, in his opinion. Jounouchi and Honda were both much better built. His mother had assured him over and over again that he would be fine once he had his growth spurt. He was sixteen and hadn't had it yet. And the more he looked at his grandpa, the more he was convinced that he wasn't going to have one.

But regardless, Bakura was eyeing him in much the same way that he tended to eye a well made hamburger or an unopened pack of Duel Monster cards. He licked his lips slowly. "Do you know how good you look right now?" Yuugi didn't know if he was actually meant to answer the question or not, and when he didn't, Bakura didn't appear to care.

The thief placed one hand on his chest, right over his heart, and kept it there for a moment. Yuugi wondered if he were actually feeling his heart beat. He could hear it himself, trip hammering in his chest, at least twice as fast as he was used to it beating. He wanted to be scared of Bakura, but he couldn't bring himself to be even now. The thief was obviously insane, more so than he'd ever thought, but while he was nervous and worried…he wasn't scared.

Bakura leaned forward, his hand still on Yuugi's chest, and stared into his eyes as if he were searching for something. Yuugi stared back, his heart beating harder at how close they were. He'd never been this close to anyone in his life before. The way he was close to the other him was of an entirely different nature. This was…this was kind of like what he wanted to be to Anzu, but nothing like what he could imagine Anzu being like. Sure, she was tough and strong, and that was part of why he liked her, but this was something else entirely, as far as he knew. He just couldn't wrap his mind around her doing something like this to him.

"You're thinking of someone else." Bakura's voice was low and dark, a ripple of black velvet. "Who?"

Yuugi swallowed some, noticing those ice-like eyes so close to him. He was a truthful boy for the most part by nature anyway. But with that look bent on him, he didn't think that he could have lied if he'd wanted to. "A…Anzu."

"Her." Bakura was not happy to hear that at all. He leaned in more closely and fastened his lips roughly on Yuugi's, kissing with a passion and a fervor that Yuugi had neither experienced nor imagined nor dreamed could be possible between two people. It didn't precisely blow Anzu out of his mind completely, but when Bakura asked who he was thinking of for a second time…

"You." And it wasn't a lie. The fact that someone who he knew he had to consider an enemy, someone who had tied him up and had cut his shirt off and was kissing him like this was first and foremost in his thoughts. Anzu was a very special dream that he would never give up completely, but this was heart stopping reality.

Bakura's pleased smile was only visible for a moment or two before he leaned back a little more and watched Yuugi again. "Are you scared of me?"

"No." Yuugi shook his head, wondering just why he was asking that again.

"You don't have him to protect you right now and you're not scared of me?" Bakura raised one fine white eyebrow. "Are you stupid?"

Yuugi flushed some as he shook his head again. "No. I'm just not scared." He hesitated a little, then went on. "I should be, I guess, I'm just…not."

Bakura stared down at him a little more, and Yuugi wished intently that he could read his mind, and find out what was going on behind those shuttered eyes. The thief had the most perfect control over his expressions that he'd seen. Nothing gave away an inner thought by so much as an eyelash flutter.

Then he moved forward again and kissed Yuugi, his hands both on Yuugi's chest now, moving up and down in patterns that sent streams of fire scorching through Yuugi's veins and mind. He'd been able to think some during Bakura's earlier ravaging of his mouth, but not during this. Every sense he had was suddenly filled with Bakura, his sight, his taste, his touch, his scent, his hearing…

Sight, those gloriously cold eyes and that wild white hair so very close to him.

Taste, that mouth on his, that tongue probing fiercely past his lips.

Touch, feeling those hands on his bare skin, leaving trails of ice and flame in their wake.

Scent, something very like cologne, but different, something that wrote itself all over his mind as Bakura, the Spirit of the Millennium Ring.

Hearing, the soft scrape of the chair across the floor, knowing it was Bakura pushing him, the sound of Bakura's breath as he moved back, licked his lips, and then plunged in again…

Somewhere in all of that, Yuugi realized that he was on the floor. He was still tied to the chair and Bakura was still on top of him, and he still couldn't manage a coherent thought to save his life, but the chair had tipped over, and he could see the ceiling of the kitchen.

Then Bakura once again was there between him and the rest of the world, kissing and licking and nipping at him as if failing to do so would be tantamount to failing to live. Questions of why was he doing this and why him burst into life in his mind, only to fade a few bare seconds later, torn away by the emotions and desires that spun through him.

Yuugi never quite knew when he started to kiss back. He only knew that somewhere, somehow, being as close to Bakura as he possibly could be was the only event he wanted to have happen at this precise place and moment. He didn't care that his Grandpa or his parents could burst in on them at any time. What mattered was getting just that much closer to the person on top of him, getting inside of Bakura's skin if he could, even knowing that it wasn't possible. Possible or impossible, it was what he ached for.

Never in his life had he felt this entirely wanton, dedicated and devoted only to getting as much pleasure out of what he was doing as he possibly could. Everything else that he wanted was still there, but this burned so much brighter, and he had no name for any of it, only that it was something he'd searched for all of his life, and never known it until this moment, tied to a chair by the chain of his own Millennium Puzzle, with someone who had tried to kill him not that long ago on top of him, all but sucking the life out of him through his lips.

"Are you afraid?" Bakura's question whispered into his ears, and he shook his head quickly, eagerly, wanting more, wanting to stop talking and do more.

Then Bakura's hands were on his jeans, opening them up as easily as if they weren't all but painted on himself. It was easy for him to get into and out of tight clothes, with how thin he was for his age. That was one of the reasons he wore what he did, as well as the fact that it looked good on him. He really did wonder now and then if the other him was right. Maybe some silver chains would look good on him. They weren't really his style, but…maybe…

The minor detour his thoughts had taken vanished when Bakura's hands slid into his pants and his fingers clasped coolly around his length. Yuugi's eyes all but crossed at the sensation and he groaned deep in the back of his throat. "Bakura…" The word came out raggedly and thick with desire, a way he'd never heard himself speak before.

"Shut up." Bakura's voice was cool and almost unemotional, in stark contrast to the way he was staring down at Yuugi. His eyes were full of a lust that matched and dwarfed Yuugi's, as well as other emotions that Yuugi did not want to name at the moment. He was aware of the great strength evident in Bakura's hands, and wondered if it was because of his spirit holding domination over Bakura Ryou's body or if the more gentle teen would have the same feeling.

Comparisons vanished as Bakura began to stroke, his hand moving with great care and skill that Yuugi had never dreamed someone could possess. Tonight was bringing him so many experiences that he hadn't ever dreamed of. He'd seen the videos that Jounouchi had lent him, but since most of the details had been pixilated out, he didn't have a very clear idea of what had been going on. But he was quite convinced that a lot of it was just like this. At least where the action was concerned. He doubted that the actors, or even the characters they were supposed to portray, felt anything like what he was feeling now with that grip around a part of him that no one had ever seen or touched like this before, that movement that was just a little too hard, but which caused a delicious sort of friction that sent any real logical, coherent thought scattering to the four winds.

None of that was anything that Yuugi himself thought to any real degree. It was just something that he felt, something that he considered when he looked back on that brief, shining, unbelievably real moment.

The moments passed by far too quickly, as far as Yuugi was concerned, and at the same time, he was certain it had only been a few seconds before his vision blurred out in a haze of bright light, and Bakura's hand stopped moving, and he jerked, and he knew that he'd had his first orgasm caused by another person. To be perfectly accurate, it had been his first at all. Before he could see clearly again, Bakura was kissing him once more, and there was a strange taste on his lips, one Yuugi had never experienced before.

"Are you afraid?" Still the question, and still Yuugi shook his head. There were many words that he could have used to describe how he felt at the moment, most of which he'd picked up from books somewhere. Sated, at peace, complete, replete. He hadn't understood what any of them meant in this context until now. But afraid wasn't one he would ever use to describe how he felt. "Good."

It took him a moment to realize that Bakura meant that it was good he wasn't afraid. He still didn't know why, but at least he understood that much. He closed his eyes, wanting to rest a little so he could recover from what had happened.

When he opened his eyes, he was standing by the stove, watching as Bakura Ryou picked up the steak neatly and set it on a waiting plate. He blinked a few times, wondering what had been going on. Had that been some kind of weird fantasy of his? He glanced at the clock; it was later than he'd thought it was, but he was dressed, the Millennium Puzzle was around his neck where it belonged, and there didn't appear to be any worry coming from his other self at all.

"There we go. This should be enough for both of us." Bakura said with a happy smile as he started to cut it up. "I don't really eat steak that often, really."

"Neither do we. I hope Grandpa doesn't mind." Yuugi found himself replying. It had to have been some kind of fantasy. That was the only answer that made sense. He checked the rest of the food, and soon the two of them were seated at the table and had begun to eat. He glanced briefly over at Bakura, and for one moment the other looked back.

And for that moment, the other Bakura smirked at him, his eyes glinting with twisted amusement, and his lips formed a question that Yuugi knew all too well.

Are you afraid?

And this once, Yuugi knew that he was.

The End