The Pharaoh's Ring: Chapter 2
By Amphitrite II
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. Swearing.
Additional Notes: Wanted to get this out before I started on my NaNoWriMo piece... Keep your eyes out for that story; Darkshipping is featured heavily in it. As is expected from me, heh. Anyway, enjoy!
I apologize in advance for the weird changes in format. FF.N can be so psycho sometimes...
For his gift, Yami took Bakura out to dinner. Using the money he'd been earning from working at the Game Shop, he treated them both to an expensive restaurant in a small corner of Domino.
After they'd been seated by the snobby host, Yami whispered, "Apparently, they have really good steak. Kaiba recommended it." Bakura's eyes lit up.
"I hope you know that I'm going to take full advantage of this gift, Pharaoh," he grinned, scouring the menu. Yami smiled.
"I wouldn't expect anything less of you."
After they had made up their minds, the waiter came over to take their orders.
"And how would you like your steak, sir?"
"Can you make it raw? The bloodier the better."
The man looked startled. "R-raw, sir? Do you mean 'rare'?"
"No," Bakura said, baring his teeth. "I mean raw. But if you people have stupid health rules or whatever, I'll just take it extra rare."
"He'll have it raw," Yami interrupted with his no-nonsense voice. "Let me see your manager. We had an agreement about this."
Warily, the waiter pressed a button on his belt and a moment later, a nervous bald man joined them.
"Manager, tell your waiter and chefs to bring out a raw steak for my friend here, in addition to my chicken."
"Sir, I-I don't think that complies with our health regulations…" He mopped his head with a silk handkerchief.
"Now, now, Manager, remember our discussion…"
"O-Oh, yes, that, I…"
Yami smiled sweetly, but his voice was coated with poison. "Don't forget who I am, Manager."
Swallowing nervously, the man stuttered, "Y-yes, sir, I won't." He led the waiter away, whispering frantically to the confused man.
"What discussion?" Bakura asked curiously the moment the men had turned away. Yami smirked.
"Oh, you know, just scared him a bit by dropping a few titles and names…"
An echoing smirk on his face, Bakura licked his lips. "Have I ever told you how sexy you are when you're bad?"
"You can show me later," he laughed, throwing him a playful wink.
"Mmm," Bakura eyed him hungrily, eyes glinting. "I like you today, Pharaoh."
Yami stared in morbid fascination as Bakura tore at his enormous steak gleefully, making a mess of himself and the table.
"You're the best, Pharaoh," Bakura said happily between ripping apart and bestially inhaling the poor steak. Despite his disgust at Bakura's lack of etiquette, Yami felt his chest fill with warmth at his words.
But then Bakura splattered some 'juice' onto his cheek, and he wrinkled his nose. Bakura laughed at his expression. "Really, Pharaoh, I mean it."
"Yeah, yeah," Yami grumbled, taking a bite of his own dish.
Yami never took the ring off. He wore it in his sleep, in the shower, and during sex. He often found himself distracted by it: when he was putting money into the register, when he was carrying boxes of cards, when he was dueling or solving puzzles with Yuugi. He cleaned it obsessively, loving the way it glinted after being shined.
"I swear you like that ring more than you like me," Bakura teased, catching him twisting it on his finger absently again.
Yami blushed. "I like it because you gave it to me."
"Aww, Pharaoh," Bakura grinned mockingly, "how sweet," but he looked pleased with himself so Yami didn't object to his teasing.
Yuugi noticed it during dinner a few days later. "Other Me, is that new?"
"Hmm?" Yami answered absently, in the midst of drinking soup. "Oh, the ring? Yes, Bakura got it for me."
Yuugi snatched his hand and examined the ring, eyes wide.
"Hey, I'm eating!"
Yuugi laughed. "Sorry," he said sheepishly. "It's just really cool. And wow, that was really nice of Bakura."
"It was for our anniversary," Yami added, smiling from ear-to-ear.
"Wow, it's been a year already? Time passes by so fast," Yuugi mused. "You're growing up so fast, Other Me!"
Laughing, Yami answered, "You're not getting rid of me just yet."
Yuugi smiled. "Good. But one day, Bakura will sweep you off your feet and you'll elope with him and leave me all alone…"
Startled, Yami said seriously, "I'll never leave you, Partner."
Yuugi nodded. "I know. I'm just happy that you're happy, Other Me."
Yami smiled again. "Thank you."
"Aww man, Yuugi, you won again!"
Yuugi laughed as Jounouchi groaned and mussed his hair in frustration. He glared at his leftover cards. Grinning, Honda pushed him out of the way.
"My turn, my turn!"
Next to him, Anzu rolled her eyes, smiling at the boys' antics. "You know Yuugi will win anyway," she teased. Honda scowled, shuffling the deck of cards.
"Anzu, c'mon, don't be like that! You go first, Yuugi. Yuugi?"
Yuugi was staring at the television, looking worried. The newscaster was talking about the burglary of the Ancient Egypt exhibit at the local Domino Museum. A valuable ring, which had just arrived a week ago, had been stolen. The thief had left them no clues, and they were still trying to figure out how he had infiltrated the new security technology had just been implemented.
Then, the screen focused in on a photograph of the ring before it had been put on display, and Yuugi gasped. He'd seen that exact ring on Yami's hand less than twenty-four hours ago!
And it all clicked in his mind. Of course—how else would Bakura have come up with the money for something like that? Also, where would he find a ring that looked so much like an antique—an artifact? Bakura definitely had the clever mind and dexterity to bypass any kind of museum security. Yuugi frowned. He had to tell Yami to return the ring to the museum… But Yami was so happy with it that Yuugi wasn't sure if he'd be able to tell him that it wasn't rightfully his and that he would have to give it up.
"Eh, Yuugi?" Jounouchi asked. "You okay?" His friends peered at him in concern.
"Yeah," he said, smiling, "but how sad about that ring."
"I can't believe people would steal things like that," Anzu said, frowning. "They're worth so much more than just money."
"I hope they catch the thief," Honda replied. "Anyway, ready to lose, Yuugi?"
Pushing his worries aside, Yuugi grinned and drew his cards. "You wish!"
After he finished his homework that night, Yuugi decided to talk to Yami about the ring. He found his other self in the living room, polishing the ring while working on a crossword puzzle.
"Other Me," Yuugi prompted.
"What is it, Partner?"
"I wanted to talk to you about something."
"Just give me a moment to finish this," Yami said, filling in the remaining boxes. Smiling he picked the ring and the cloth up again and looked at Yuugi. "Yes?"
Frowning, Yuugi watched Yami polish the gold lovingly. "I…" He hesitated. "I just wanted to ask if you and Bakura wanted to join us on Saturday at Anzu's place. She's having a little get-together for all of us, and she invited you guys."
"Sure, I'll come. But no promises about Bakura."
Yuugi laughed. "That's expected."
"Is that all you wanted to say?"
Yuugi glanced at the ring again. Yami's fingers were caressing it absently.
"Yeah," he replied. "Yeah, that's all."
"C'mon, Bakura," Yami pleaded. "I don't want to go by myself!"
Bakura snorted. "Then you shouldn't have agreed to go. Did you really expect me to want to go to some dumb little party? With your twerp and your stupid friends?"
Yami crossed his arms and pouted. "He's not a twerp, and they're not stupid."
Bakura just rolled his eyes.
"No," he said for the third time, not even bothering to take his eyes off of the television screen.
"I'll give you a blowjob," Yami offered.
Bakura chuckled. "You can't exchange sex favors to get me to do stupid things, Pharaoh."
Bakura looked thoughtful but shook his head.
"Three?" Yami proposed desperately.
Bakura glanced at him and smirked. "Three and you tied up." Yami sighed. He hated being tied up. But he did really want Bakura to accompany him…
"Deal," he said in resignation. Bakura turned off the television and leapt out of his seat, grinning in a feral manner.
"Well? What are you waiting for, Pharaoh? Let's get going!"
Laughing at his sudden enthusiasm, Yami stood up as well and kissed his cheek. "Thanks," he murmured.
Bakura winked at him. "Just don't forget, you owe me, big time."
"I'm bored," Bakura whined to Yami an hour and a half later as the group began to play a new round of "Bullshit".
"Oh c'mon, this is fun," Yami said. "Isn't this your kind of game? It involves cheating!"
"You only say that because you keep winning. And it's not fun to cheat if everyone can do it."
Yami sighed and turned to Anzu. "Can he watch TV or something?"
"Yeah, yeah, of course!" She stood up and pointed a scowling Bakura to the living room. Yami frowned, feeling bad for dragging Bakura to the gathering. Playing four kings, he decided that he'd join his lover after he won this round.
"Hey, Yami, is that new?"
"Hmm?" Yami looked up from examining the cards in his hand. He saw Anzu peering at his left hand. "Oh, this? Yeah, Bakura got it for me," he said proudly, smiling at it.
Anzu shared a glance with Yuugi, who refused to meet his eyes for some reason.
"Where did he get it?" Anzu asked cautiously.
Yami blinked. "I don't know. Why?"
"Yami Bakura doesn't have any money, does he? How did he afford something like this? It looks pretty expensive."
Yami narrowed his eyes. "Are you accusing Bakura of stealing it?"
Anzu shrugged, but her eyes were sharp. "I'm just suggesting that I find it suspicious that Bakura turned up with an expensive gold ring for you out of nowhere. And given his past…"
Yami glared at his friend, his forehead turning warm.
"Other Me, calm down, Anzu's just curious," Yuugi said placatingly, feeling Yami's surging anger. Yami growled.
"Just because Bakura used to be a thief doesn't mean that he's incapable of buying something. He wouldn't steal something and give it to me. I know he wouldn't," he said firmly.
"I'm not trying to insult Bakura, Other Yuugi," Anzu asserted. "I'm just… Look, there was a robbery at the museum recently, and your ring looks just like the one that was stolen."
At this, Jounouchi and Honda peered at Yami's hand as well.
"Whoa, it does!" Honda exclaimed.
"I can't believe he would steal that!" Jounouchi added.
"You have to return it to the museum," Anzu quipped. "It's an artifact!"
"I know you love it, Other Me, but it belongs to the museum," Yuugi said sadly. Biting his lip, Yami didn't say anything, instinct and reason battling within him.
"Maybe you should talk to him," Otogi suggested.
"He won't be happy, though," Ryou warned, looking apprehensive.
"Yeah," Yami said quietly. "Yeah, I'll go talk to him."
"Hey," Yami said. He handed Bakura a glass of soda and joined him on Anzu's fuzzy couch. Bakura grunted and downed the drink. "Bakura, how much did my ring cost?"
"Isn't that rude to ask?" Bakura replied easily.
Yami frowned. "Did you steal it?"
"Are you lying?"
Bakura raised an eyebrow. "No."
"Anzu says there was a robbery at the museum recently, and the ring that was stolen looked just like mine," Yami said carefully. "Do you know anything about it?"
At his words, Bakura tensed, and the entire atmosphere changed. He turned to Yami, glaring with narrowed eyes. "One of your little friends says something and suddenly I'm the bad guy again? Don't test me, Pharaoh," Bakura hissed dangerously.
"So you didn't steal it? Just answer the question," Yami prompted. Silence followed his words, but he kept in eye-contact with the other spirit.
Finally—"So what if I took it from the museum? Excuse me for trying to do something nice," Bakura spat.
"You…" Yami sighed, disappointed that his instincts had been wrong. "We have to return it. It's not rightfully mine."
"No!" Bakura exclaimed. Yami blinked at his sudden vehemence. "It's yours, Pharaoh. It was yours, back in Egypt. I…stole it from you back then. I'm…I wanted to return it to you."
Staring at the ring, Yami pondered this new revelation. "It's…it's mine?" It did feel familiar, and he remembered always wearing a lot of rings, but he had never really noticed which were which. He bit his lip. Bakura must have felt contrite and wanted to let him know that he was sorry for the trouble he had caused him in Egypt—which was extremely thoughtful on his part. Technically, the ring was his, but not in this era. "I…I still have to return it," he said uncertainly. "It's not rightfully mine anymore."
Recommencing his glaring, Bakura snapped, "Fine. Return it to the damn museum; see if I care. I don't' know why I went through all that trouble to get something so stupid anyway." Enraged, he stormed out of the apartment.
Yami sighed. He knew it'd been a bad idea to bring it up in the first place. Bakura had hidden it carefully, but there had been hurt in his eyes .Rubbing the ring sadly, he hoped that he would be forgiven for doing the right thing.