A/N: Heyyyy, a YGO fanfic... Haven't done one of those in a while...
Well, this is just a little drabble, with not much plot and an OOC Ryou. (Well, I don't think he's too OOC, but I have been told otherwise.) I hope you guys enjoy!
When I first see him, he is helping himself to my mother's jewelry.
I wake up and automatically slap my alarm clock – except the time is 2 AM, and the buzzer isn't going off - so eventually I realize that I have not been awakened by the normal clatter and screech, but by a notably different sound. I seize the nearest weapon (a lamp) and edge down the dark hallway towards my mum's room, where the clinks and whispers are coming from.
In all honesty, I think for a minute that she's come back. Maybe she didn't realize she'd died, I fancy, and is going about her business like she always had before she and Amane went out for a rare night on the town – covering up the bruises with makeup, carefully painting dark colors around her eyes and red onto her cheeks, making sure her lipstick was perfect – yes, I could picture Mum coming back for that.
Except when I open the door, it isn't Mum. It is a skinny, tall guy rummaging through drawers and closets. He'd tossed Mum's clothing everywhere, only interested in her earrings and brooches – meager though they are. The moon streams chalky through the window, lighting up the disturbed dust and turning his hair silver. I drop the lamp I'd grabbed.
His head comes up, his hands come down, and I hit the floor before I even really register what the bloody hell is happening. He presses both hands over my mouth, keeping my arms pinned against my chest with the weight of his body.
His voice is rough and a little panicky. "You scream, they'll never find your remains."
I mumble through his fingers. "You're nicking my mum's stuff!"
"You're nicking – she died – you can't take them – bastard!" Normally these would be fighting words, but he is rather heavy and I am rather weak, so really I'm just sort of wiggling a bit underneath him.
"Shuttup shuttup!" He bangs my head against the floor. "I was never here, a'right? You never saw me. In-out-boom, done, it's best for everybody. Sorry 'bout your old lady, but her diamonds are not worth your life."
I glower at him. "I could kill you with that lamp over there; my friend taught me how."
"Sure you can." He bangs my head a couple more times until I can see stars, just like in the movies, and then I feel his warm weight roll off me. When I can see straight he's gone, and the window is open, and what is left of Mum's jewelry is scattered in gleaming arcs along the dusty floor.
"So didja see 'is face, 'Kura?"
I sigh again. "No, Jounouchi-kun, I'm afraid that it was very dark, and I was very tired, and he did keep slamming my head against the floorboards. So, no, I'm afraid I cannot be counted upon to recognize the thief's face."
Anzu looks horrifically sorry for me. "Oh, but that's awful! All your mother's keepsakes!"
I mumble, hoping that that is a sufficient response. She seems to think so, happily.
"Yuugi's late," Honda says unnecessarily. I sigh once more and let my head fall down on my desk.
The classroom door crashes open, and Yuugi enters with a hasty apology to the teacher. Yami stalks in after him, looking very peeved indeed – he's even forgotten to polish the buckle on his enormous leather choker.
"We got robbed last night!" Yuugi expostulates. "Some white-haired guy -" everyone's eyes travel to me and my hair, "- showed up at three AM and cleaned out the register! Yami was downstairs and he got hit from behind with a chair!"
"I woke up in the broom closet," Yami mutters, and I get a mental image of him, sprawled over the various mops, brooms and bottles of cleaning fluid, with his hair ungelled and a massive welt on the back of his head. He probably looked slightly less pissed off than he does now. I giggle.
Everyone looks scandalized, particularly Yami no Yuugi. I rearrange my face into an appropriate expression of woe.
Wait.… "White-haired?" I say after a moment. Of course everyone immediately looks at my snowy head again. But I'm not thinking about me, it's that bastard from last night that came to mind. Eyes so deep red they were almost black, skin dark against the silvery spikes, cords standing out in his neck, the heavy heat of him on top of me…. Hell. Bastard. Stole my mum's jewelry!
"What'd he take?" Honda asks.
"It was weird. There were all these rare cards up front, but he didn't take those. Not the cash register either -"
"'Cause of course, you'd think of the cards being more valuable than the register."
"Shuttup. Anyways, he just stole this old puzzle thing Yami and me've been working on for a while."
"Maybe he liked it 'cause it was shiny," I suggest.
I shrug. It's what I would do.
Through the rest of the week, kids keep coming into school with stories about the white-haired thief. He stole Otogi's gold-plated dice, he stole Machiko's silver hoop earrings, he stole Kaiba's… well….
"Kaiba has… he has… Blue Eyes White Dragon… it's a toothbrush!" Jounouchi howls into Kaiba's livid white face the morning after. "You had… diamond-inlaid Blue Eyes toothbrush… and it was stolen!" He dissolves into rib-cracking, earsplitting laughter, which renders him immobile just long enough for Kaiba to subtly knee him in the groin. Jonouchi goes over like a bowling pin. Ah, those two always are ones for entertaining foreplay….
"It's strange, though," Yuugi comments, reaching over to help Jounouchi up, "it seems like the thief has weird taste. I mean, come on. A toothbrush? Kaiba's house is probably filled with expensive stuff."
Malik suddenly crashes in, late like always. He has his school bag, spewing loose papers, clutched in one fist, and his Marik, spewing toast crumbs, in the other. He also has a big grin.
"We caught the thief!" he crows.
Everyone gathers around him in a yapping crowd. Was it really him? He had white hair, right? What was he doing? What was he stealing? How had they caught him?
"More importantly," Kaiba shouts from the back of the classroom, "did he have my toothbrush?"
I stay in my seat. My stomach feels strangely tight.
"Well, if you must know…." Malik is hamming it up. "He snuck into our room, right, and he was so quiet we didn't even wake up. I feel so weird thinking he could have just been standing there for hours, all dressed in black, probably with lots of horrible sharp knives and stuff hidden on him, just watching us sleep…. Isn't that creeeepy?" he asks the group of girls clustered around him, and they all nod with big eyes. "Anyways. So we were just lying there totally defenseless, right, and he'd probably have been able to kidnap and rape and kill us and still have time to go snatch all our stuff… IF…." He pauses for dramatic effect. Everyone stares at him goggle-eyed.
"…if….?" Anzu finally prompts, after a good minute and a half.
"…if I hadn't woken up to go to the bathroom."
There is an awkward silence.
I dunno, that just seemed rather anti-climactic….
Malik is visibly disappointed with our reaction. "Then I screamed and Marik beaned him with our alarm clock. Knocked him out cold."
Yami finally speaks up. "This is the same guy who robbed Ryou of his dead mother's jewels and assaulted me with a chair? This guy? Who was taken out by an alarm clock?"
Malik looks miffed. "Fine, go down to the station if you don't believe me! You can oggle him and his tight leather pants all ya want there, ya gel-encrusted fruitcake!"
Yuugi lunges across three rows of desks in order to restrain his boyfriend, who seems violently intent on making Malik regret his insult about Yami's (over)use of hair gel. I continue to sit with my stomach feeling funny.
"Bastard stole my mum's jewels," I mumble to myself. "I need to go get them back."
He's a lot shorter than I remember.
He certainly has white hair and dark eyes, but in the daytime, with bulletproof glass between us and harsh fluorescent lights glaring down on him, he looks much less ethereal and a lot more like a scared, skinny kid from the seedy part of town. The florescent orange of the jumpsuit is also really not his color.
He glowers at me through the glass, leering, "When they said I had a visitor, I didn't think it'd be some pasty pastry of a pansy-ass… plum."
"That's very good alliteration," I say lamely as I sit down. I slide the school bag off my shoulder, not looking at him. "So… er… what sentence did you get?"
He rolls his eyes and slumps forward onto his elbows, somehow managing to make it look very graceful and catlike. The effect is somewhat lessened by the big green bruise right between his eyes, courtesy of Marik's well-aimed alarm clock.
"The usual, I expect. They tried me as an adult. My birthday's in two months."
"Ah." I fidget.
He blinks at me. "…"
"Alright, sorry," he says finally, "but just who the fuck are you?"
"MynameisBakuraRyouandyoustolemymother'sjewelryandshediedlastyearandyou'reatotalbastardwhocompletelydeservestogethitwithclocksandIwantmymum'sstuffbackrightnowIFYOUDON'TMIND." I'm panting. He's staring at me like I'm a freak. "HAH! And now you think I'M the freak. WELL. I'm not the one who goes breaking into people's houses just to steal shiny crap, you know that? Besides, I can be just as freaky as I want and I AM! Because I'm HALF BRITISH."
He's still staring at me, with a very blank expression. I notice that his face is so thin that I can see all the bones in his sharp jaw and cheeks, the ridges beneath his eyes and at his temples, the gleaming forehead. He's fucking beautiful and he's a bloody bastard thief.
Then he shrugs, and breaks the spell. "I sold 'em," he says offhandedly.
My stomach curls in on itself. I gape through the glass at him. "You… you sold…?"
"I sold 'em," he repeats, and leans back in his chair, all proud of himself in his dusty orange suit. "I sold everything I took. That fetish-y toothbrush? Yeah, that went for a good five hundered. Y'know what that is in yen?"
My fingers are knotted together. The knuckles are turning white. "How," I say, remarkably calmly, "how much did her jewels go for...?"
"Can't remember. There was a lot of stuff." He doesn't even have the decency to look at me, but raises an eyebrow at his own fingernails instead as he inspects them. "Tell you what, I could probably snatch you something else in exchange. Everybody's so mellow in this town; it's easy. Least I can do for a cute, weird little wimp like you."
He falls out of his chair as my bag hits the glass. I can feel my eyes tearing up as I look around for something else to throw at him. In the dead of night, while he robbed me, I had thought he was my mum.
"I WOULD NOT TAKE ANYTHING YOU EVER GAVE ME," I yell at him, but I'm too far away from the glass, so I don't think he can hear me, "I HATE YOU, YOU'RE A BASTARD AND A JERK AND A BLOODY BLOODY THIEF!" I drag my bag up onto my shoulder. I'm really crying now. My eyes hurt. "GO TO HELL."
I turn around and leave the jail quietly and politely. I don't know why people are edging away.
A week later, he's back again. Only this time, he's standing properly on my front stoop instead of clambering in through the window. He has on a jacket that's too small for him, and a pair of jeans that are too big, and he has no socks. His face is flushed maroon, from the cold or what I can't tell.
I blink out at him from my safe haven, the hallway. He has snow in his eyelashes.
"You posted my fucking bail," he hisses at me. "You bloody fucking idiot. You posted my bail?"
"Said I was your cousin," I tell him, and his mouth opens and shuts a few times. I wait.
He doesn't do anything; he just keeps turning an envelope over and over in his hands.
"Why'd you steal all that crap?" I ask finally. He shrugs.
"…I like shiny stuff." (I KNEW it!!) He cocks his head and talks to the snowdrifts. "Why'd you get so mad about the jewelry? I'd've been more mad about the whole… tackling… thing."
I fold my arms. I don't want to pout. I'm pouting. Oh shit, I'm crying. "…They were my mum's. My dad never loved her. My sister loved her. I loved her. She died and everything fell apart and I'm alone now all the time, and you had the bloody nerve to take something from her. Something of hers from me!" My throat hurts. "And when you were in that room, taking it all, I thought – I thought either she was back, and she'd take care of everything, or – or I'd died, and then everything was okay after all, and – oh hell, just – go on, you sold it all already anyway." I turn away from the door. "My dinner's getting cold, so if you don't mind."
He suddenly grabs my hand and yanks me backwards. His fingers are stiff and blue with cold. He smacks a kiss onto my cheek, shoves the envelope into my hand, and turns tail and runs. His white hair vanishes quickly into the snow.
I stand there for a few seconds, dumbstruck. Then I touch my cheek with two fingers and give a little shiver. "Bastard," I mutter, and it'd probably be a lot more convincing if I weren't grinning so hard.
The envelope is pretty heavy. I peel it open.
Inside are rings, necklaces, bracelets and earrings. Diamonds wink at me, the sapphire my father bought Mum for their tenth anniversary, the pearls she had planned to give Amane on her thirteenth birthday. My breathing stops.
There's a scribbled note.
"Thieves are always liars.
I kept them. Sorry I told you I sold them.
I'm grinning down at a brown envelope full of jewels, and rubbing a warm spot on my cheek, and freezing in my socks out in a snowstorm and somewhere in this city there is a now-liberated beautiful shining-white-haired thief probably searching for more toothbrushes to swipe.
If Mum came down now, she'd know not to take me back with her because I am just too damned happy.
R&R-ing is good for the soul! D