The Pharaoh's Ring: Chapter I
By Amphitrite II

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For their one year anniversary, Bakura surprises Yami with a beautiful ring.
Disclaimer: This story is based on Yu-Gi-Oh! and its characters and situations, all created and owned by Kazuki Takahashi.
Pairing: Darkshipping (Yami no Bakura/Yami no Yuugi)
Warnings: Yaoi. Established relationship. Swearing. Some fluff.
Notes: It's wonderful writing again! I'm in the midst of an insane Darkshipping fixation, churning out Darkshippping stories like whoa and reading just about every single Yami/Bakura fic out there, haha. It's great! Hope you enjoy this; after "Defeat", I wanted to write something happier…

Feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for reading!

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When Yami woke up on the morning of the 22nd, everything felt different. The sun seemed to be shining brighter through the blinds, the birds seem to be chirping louder, and the bed seemed to be more comfortable than usual. Most strangely, he felt a strange sense of achievement that he couldn't put his finger on.

It wasn't until he'd gotten up, brushed his teeth, gotten dressed, and made himself breakfast that it dawned on him.

One year.

Today marked the one-year anniversary of the day he and Bakura had decided to give their relationship a try. Grinning wildly, he stuffed his slice of toast into his mouth and ran downstairs to where Yuugi's grandfather, Sugoroku, was maintaining the shop.

"Jii-chan (1)," he called out.

"Ah, mou hitori no Yuugi (2)," Sugoroku greeted. "Good morning. You sure look happy today. It is a beautiful day, ne?"

Yami smiled. "Yes, it is. Jii-chan, do you mind if I take a day off? It's my… It's a very special day."

"Of course," Sugoroku beamed. "You barely ever take any days off, my boy. Go outside and enjoy the sun." Yami nodded, grinning, and dashed out of the door. "Have a nice day!" Sugoroku called, humming to himself and wondering if it really was the weather that had the other Yuugi so cheerful.

In no time, Yami found himself at the doorstep of Ryou's apartment. Practically bouncing on the balls of his feet, he both rang the doorbell and knocked on the door impatiently. He heard grumbling and then a vague, "Okay, okay! Calm the hell down!"

The door flung open, revealing an extremely irate Bakura, shirtless, with his hair even more disheveled than usual.

"What?!" he growled, eyes squinting against the murderous sunlight.

"Good morning!" Yami said brightly.

"Pha—umph!" Before Bakura could protest to the early morning visit, Yami had him pinned against the now-closed door and was kissing the living daylights out of him. "Okay, fine, you can come in," Bakura grumbled, scratching his head before collapsing in bed again. Yami followed happily, settling next to Bakura's shoulder, cross-legged. He brushed a few stray strands of hair away from his lover's face, smiling down at the rumpled thief.

"What is it?" Bakura finally growled, covering his face with his pillow.

"Hmm?" Yami answered innocently.

"Why are you a fucking ray of sunshine today?"

"Do you know what today is?" Yami said cheerfully.

"Monday? I don't know, who cares."

Yami pouted. "It's our anniversary!"

Silence, then a groan. "God, have I really been dealing with you for that long?"

Yami grinned impishly and pulled the pillow away. He leaned down to peck Bakura on the cheek. "Mmm," Bakura murmured, pleased. "C'mere, you," and with that, he pulled Yami closer to kiss him on the lips.

"Happy one year, Bakura," Yami said softly.

"Mmm," Bakura said again, yanking Yami down to lay beside him. Then, he settled his head to rest in the crook between Yami's chin and shoulder, throwing a long, pale arm across his chest. Yami smiled again; it wasn't often that Bakura would—willingly or unwillingly—snuggle with him. It felt…nice. Foreign, but nice. Strange, but right.

"Bakura? Are you going to sleep our entire anniversary away?" But his only answer was a soft breath on his neck and the weight of a thin arm across his stomach. He sighed. Bakura was so lazy. Knowing him, he'd probably stayed up watching violent horror movies again. Annoyance flooded him momentarily; his lover obviously didn't think that today was anything special. But what did he honestly expect from Bakura?

As if reading his thoughts, Bakura sighed in his sleep and tightened his hold on Yami.

It wasn't fair to ask so much of him, Yami decided. Just the thief letting him into his carefully constructed barriers was enough, not to mention the quiet, tender moments like this one that he allowed to happen. It was more than he could ever ask for. Bakura clearly esteemed him highly—that was apparent by the year they'd spent together—and that was what really mattered, not a random day. Having convinced himself of this, he nodded and closed his eyes, drifting off to sleep, his hand covering Bakura's protectively.


Hours later, Yami woke up with an unfamiliar but not unwelcome weight on his chest. Looking down blearily to see who his bedmate was, he jumped a little to see Bakura staring back up at him, the presence of clear eyes suggesting that he had been awake for a while. Had he been watching Yami the entire time?

"Good morning," Yami said again, aware that morning was probably long gone.

"You're beautiful," Bakura whispered suddenly.

Silence.

"Wha… What did you just say?" Yami croaked.

Bakura rolled his eyes, but Yami could still see the vulnerability in them. Understanding that this was a one-time admission that daunted his companion, Yami smiled and ran his hand gently through Bakura's hair.

"Thank you," he said, genuinely touched. "You…you make me feel beautiful."

Bakura laughed quietly, seemingly satisfied. He cleared his throat, looking embarrassed. "I…uh, I like this." The cuddling, Yami read his expression for the words he couldn't seem to bring himself to say. He held him tighter, chuckling.

"Knew you were a sap all along," he teased.

Growling, Bakura nipped at his lower neck. "I am not a sap," he argued.

Yami rolled out of their languid embrace and pressed Bakura to the bed, arms on either side of his head. Grinning, he crowed, "You're a sap, and you love me."

"You're fooling yourself, Pharaoh," Bakura dissented, but the open look in his eyes told Yami otherwise.

"Mmm, really? I don't know if I believe you…" He swooped down for a passionate kiss, warmth flooding through his body and pooling in his chest and in his stomach when Bakura tangled his hands into his wild hair and kissed back just as enthusiastically. Maybe he'd just have to draw a confession out of him through other means…

Freshly showered, Yami went into the kitchen and began scrounging Ryou's refrigerator for something to cook. Fifteen minutes later, he'd made eggs and seasoned potatoes and heated up some leftover rice. Humming happily to himself, he set the table and poured two glasses of juice. Suddenly, he felt two thin arms snake around his waist and warm lips press tenderly to his cheek.

"Did my little wifey make me breakfast?" Bakura teased, kissing his other cheek and holding him firmly against his hard body. Yami could hear the pleased grin in his voice, and he rolled his eyes. Bakura was always so cocky after sex. But he was also more affectionate, so Yami had decided a long time ago to just let him gloat.

He swatted at his head, growling playfully. "I am not your wifey!"

Bakura nuzzled his cheek, and Yami couldn't help but smile at the affection radiating from his lover. "Mmm, really, Pharaoh? I think you are… Mine, all mine. My treasure," he declared reverently.

Yami blushed; Bakura definitely wasn't in his right mind today. What had that nap done to him? The thief nipped playfully at his neck, strong hands tight around his stomach.

"C'mon, Bakura, let's eat," Yami laughed, prying himself loose.

"Hmm, my little wifey is so impatient," Bakura lamented, pouting. Yami scowled at the nickname, but Bakura just laughed.

"I'm joking, Pharaoh."

Yami rolled his eyes, sitting down at the table. "Yeah, yeah."

"No need to get your wifey panties in a twist, "Bakura smirked, joining him at the table.

"Oi!"


After their breakfast, Bakura convinced Yami to just throw the dirty dishes in the sink—"It's our anniversary, Pharaoh! You said it yourself!"—and they lounged on the couch for a few hours, alternatively watching inane TV shows and making out. Yami had never been happier, with Bakura's warm arm around him and his hand stroking his stomach absently.

"I love you, Bakura," he whispered suddenly during a commercial.

Silence reigned as Bakura stared at him. They had never used those words before, and Yami sincerely hoped that Bakura wouldn't run away. In the beginning, he'd cowered away whenever Yami had declared his feelings for him, preferring displays of affection instead. Yami hoped that things had changed over the past year. He didn't dare look up from where he'd perched his head on Bakura's shoulder.

But then he did look up, and their eyes met—and Bakura had the most brilliant smile on his face. Yami's breath caught at the sight.

"I—me, too, Pharaoh," Bakura said softly. He kissed Yami's hair and released him, standing up. "I have something for you," he said awkwardly, looking oddly nervous as he exited the room.

Yami waited on the couch, both confused and curious. A gift? For their anniversary? Bakura didn't do sappy things like that. But Bakura didn't usually tell him he was beautiful or admit that he loved him, either…

What a strange—but lovely—day this anniversary was becoming.

Reentering the room with something hidden behind his back, Bakura sat back down with Yami. He cleared his throat, looking uncomfortable and uncertain.

"Me, too," he said again. "A lot. I really… You are… Uh…"

Blinking, Yami sat quietly and waited for Bakura to say what he was trying to say. But instead, the ex-tomb robber took Yami's left hand and deposited something small and cold into the palm of his hand.

"This is for you," he said uneasily, trying to sound nonchalant but clearly anxious about Yami's reaction. A little shocked, Yami opened his palm. In it lay a thick gold ring with a slightly raised sapphire embedded at its center.

Speechless, Yami could only stare at it in disbelief. "This is…for me?"

"Who else would it be for, Pharaoh?" Bakura rolled his eyes but remained tense.

"Bakura, I…" Yami laid his free hand on the other's knee and squeezed it. "I…I don't know what to say. This is… It's beautiful."

Surprising Yami, Bakura's cheeks began to turn pink. "Are you going to put it on or not?" he snapped, clearly embarrassed.

"Will you put it on me?" Yami smiled shyly. Grumbling, Bakura took the ring between his fingers and slipped it onto Yami's left ringfinger. He held the hand in his for a moment, caressing the band with his thumb.

"Maybe this will finally stop all those girls from hitting on you," he said lightly.

"Why's that?"

Bakura shrugged. "Yadonushi(3) said that married people wear a ring on this finger. I saw it on TV before, too."

It was Yami's turn to blush. "So we're married, now?" he chuckled and then stopped when Bakura didn't laugh.

"Effectively," Bakura said softly. Yami's heart caught in his throat. "You look surprised. I'm not in this for anything less than forever, Atem."

Trying to stop the wild fluttering in his chest at Bakura's words—he'd said his name!—Yami could only stare in shock. They had never discussed the terms of their relationship, both just happy to be together exclusively. They had never discussed what would happen if Yuugi or Ryou moved away or some other complication came up.

"Bakura…"

"Shut up, Pharaoh," Bakura said, face red again. He pushed Yami down on the couch and pressed their lips together roughly, forcing his tongue into Yami's mouth. Wrapping his arms around his lover and happily kissing him back, Yami felt his heart burst with love. Eyes wet, he gave Bakura a watery smile, overwhelmed by how sweet he was being.

"You're one of a kind, Bakura," he said affectionately.

"I try," Bakura smirked. "Aww, Pharaoh, are you crying?" He wiped away the unshed tears with his thumbs.

"No," Yami lied, but he didn't swat the hands away. Bakura kissed him again, and Yami 'mmm'-ed happily, and the two tumbled onto the ground…


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(1) Jii-chan: Japanese for "grandpa"; what Yuugi calls Sugoroku

(2) Mou hitori no Yuugi: Japanese for "Other Yuugi"; what Yuugi's friends call Yami

(3) Yadonushi: Japanese for "host/landlord"; what Bakura calls Ryou


Additional Notes: If you'd like a visual of what the ring looks like, I have a link to a picture of it in my profile. Please review! Thank you for reading.