See chapter one for disclaimer.
I can't believe I had a large chunk of this written ahead of time and it still took me over a year to finish posting. But I'm finally there! \o/
It was a nice late-summer day only a few weeks later. Bakura's – well, Ryou's, but he couldn't get ride of the name officially – new apartment was remarkably in order and clean, considering the two psychotic people who where living in it since a while. Visibly, they were making an effort.
The past days had been so stormy one could barely leave the house, and most people in Domino had quickly taken advantage of the return of the nice whether, which was almost bound to be short, and flooded the streets and parks of the city. Bakura, however, was stretched out on the sofa across of the TV, lazily staring at the ceiling; a packet of chocolate cookies was on the table next to him, but he didn't deem eating them worth the effort of sitting up; as he heard the phone being put down in the next room, he dragged himself up a little, leaning against his elbow, and conceded to open his eyes.
Instants later, the door to the living room opened, revealing a worried looking Ryou. A worried looking Ryou still wearing pyjamas at a little after midday, which, in Bakura's opinion, looked rather appealing – if only because the lose fabric was particularly handy. A thief had to think ahead.
Ryou blinked at him, as if he had just only noticed he was there, which, under other circumstances, Bakura would have found insulting: after all, he was sprawled out on Ryou's sofa with no shirt on, and he could appreciate this a little more. But then, Ryou tended to have weird priorities, and didn't notice many things at all when he was upset, and he just had to accept that.
"Do you have any idea where Yuugi could be? I can't reach anyone at the game shop since two days."
"Hm?" Bakura sat up further and wondered, once again, how exactly Ryou's hair could look that soft and well-kept even when rather in disorder like now; it needed an hour of brushing every day to be as Ryou preferred it. "Oh, yes."
There was a sound of something heavy falling on the floor and shattering from the kitchen, followed by a couple of curses; Ryou and Bakura automatically glanced at the door, before turning their attention away from this trivial event again: Malik shattered things a lot. Bakura had a nagging suspicion he did this on purpose, now that his possessions weren't as rare and precious anymore, but in doubt, he'd give the tombkeeper some credit for once, and assume that he was just clumsy.
"Yes?" Ryou repeated, turning his eyes back on him, and still seemed oblivious to his state. "What...?"
"He's in Egypt."
"Why? How do you know?"
"To do that whole 'showing the god cards in front the old stone panel'-thing," the thief explained indifferently, as if he hadn't spent half an eternity trying to put his twist on that very event; "Unlock the pharaoh's memory, all that. He called a few days ago."
"He – what? Why didn't you tell me!"
"Oh, I didn't? Must have slipped my mind." Like he would have let Ryou go stand between the pharaoh and his foe!
"You..." Ryou could just stare at the thief's relaxed form in anger; his soft voice failed to sound the slightest bit threatening. "You know I wanted to come with them! I wanted to support Yuugi when he gets there! Bakura!"
The thief wasn't answering; he was new to this attempt at this, at being something other than a dark presence in his host's life, and he had found that the most effective method to deal with Ryou's rare moments of anger was to just let him yell: he wasn't very persistent, not when he was the only one slighted. Perhaps it was his own influence that had twisted something in his mind, which would be odd, considering he'd never quite managed, despite trying, to make thoughts of rebellion seem wholly fruitless or unappealing. The hint of disregard for his own well-being that seemed contained in it had always been infuriating, but it was difficult not to take advantage.
Thus, Bakura was trying very hard not to smirk, but Ryou caught the amused look in his eyes anyway. His shoulders sacked down.
"Why did you do this?" he asked in a defeated tone. "I wanted to be there for him. It was important to me..."
"Oh come on. He'll be just fine without you. And they'll all be back in a few days."
Ryou let himself fall on the sofa next to him; Bakura sat up further to leave him more room.
"Do you think so?" he asked.
"Of course. He'll win easily. If I was still part of the game, it'd be different, but –"
"Because of course, you have managed to beat Yuugi Motou countless times."
Malik was standing in the doorway, a sandwich in one hand, a small kitchen broom in the other.
"Like you ever did!" Bakura snapped back, as the tombkeeper walked over to them. "You managed to lose against your own personality disorder!"
"You were holding the cards!"
"You were the one who didn't even know how to properly use his own deck!"
"Well if you'd just listened to me when I –"
He glanced at Ryou and trailed off. Bakura smirked.
"Fuck you." Malik sat down on the chair next to them. "What's wrong?" he asked, as Ryou passively dropped his head when Bakura leaned over him to place a kiss on his neck.
"Egypt," the thief answered between two kisses.
"Oh. I see."
Ryou's head snapped up.
"Of course, you knew as well," he said bitterly.
"Uhm – well. I was supposed to be there to fulfil my duty."
Ryou sighed and pushed Bakura away as the thief tried to continue his ministration.
"You'll never change."
"Excuse me?" Bakura repeated, unbelieving. "I don't change?"
"Your previous self is hardly a reference," Malik remarked, taking a bite from his sandwich.
Bakura cast him a dirty glance.
"On whose side are you?"
"You're not seriously thinking I'd ever be on your side?" Malik asked, surprised.
"Stop it," Ryou asked softly. "Please."
They both looked at him, and, not knowing what to say, let the silence stretch out. Malik hesitantly ran a hand over Ryou's cheek; Ryou looked up.
"I'm worried they'll lose. I should be there to help them."
"They'll be fine," Bakura repeated immediately.
Malik nodded vigorously.
"Look I – I'm sorry. If you want, we can still fly to Egypt to see them, after the pharaoh comes back and it's all over."
"Yeah..." Bakura smiled happily. "Watch his little pet defeat him before he disappears to the afterlife."
"Bakura," Malik growled. "Shut up."
"Thanks, Malik," Ryou said in his soft voice, and straightened back up. "Can we..." He paused, added more resolutely. "I'll go see them in any case."
He looked at his two lovers but didn't get much of a reaction: Malik was looking at the floor, and Bakura stared back at him bashfully, so he turned round and left the room; he would get dressed, and pack and take the next plane to Egypt – if he got a ticket, that was. It probably wouldn't be possible that fast – maybe they were already on their way home, and he would never find them without Malik's help anyway...
Back in the living room, Malik and Bakura spent about a whole minute simply looking at each other.
"So," Malik eventually said, waiting for Bakura to continue.
"You don't have to come," Bakura answered
Malik shook his head.
"No. I should have gone anyway." He paused. "If they lose, it won't make a difference where we are...?"
Bakura took a chocolate cookie.
"They won't. They've won."
"How can you..." He interrupted himself, realisation dawning on him. "The storms?"
"Mm-hm." Bakura nodded. "That must have been the worse of the fight, but it's over now. I hope we can still get tickets. He'll be so angry if he comes late..."
He trailed off. Angry wasn't necessarily the right word; Ryou wasn't much good at persistent anger – he should know. But he'd be cold, distantly polite, and depressed.
Malik pushed himself up.
"I'll call Rishid. If he doesn't, Isis will find a way to get us there." He paused and turned back towards Bakura. "You're not planning anything, are you?"
"With the whole group there? Don't be stupid."
Malik stayed where he was, glaring at him.
"If you try anything, anything against Yuugi, I swear, Ryou and I won't lift a finger to help you," he warned, his voice stern. "And you're mortal enough for it to have consequences."
Bakura crossed his arms and glared back.
"I am not planning anything," he repeated.
"Good," Malik said, tone still stern.
They were distracted from this almost-argument by the return of Ryou, now dressed, to Bakura's secret disappointment; he looked at them questioningly, sensing that something was up; Malik came towards him, put an arm around his shoulder, and murmured into his ear:
"I know something you don't. Good news," he added, when, in spite of – or maybe because of – Malik's cheerful tone, Ryou seemed anything but hopeful and eager at the statement; Malik didn't think he could blame him for still having some doubts about the fullness of his redemption. The amazing thing was that he was here anyway; as he'd said to Bakura not long ago, he could leave them now; and Malik was determined not to make him regret that decision.
"What is it?" Ryou asked, leaning into Malik's touch, and turning a slightly dubious eye on Bakura, who glared at Malik.
"The world isn't going to be destroyed," Malik said, grinning amusedly at the thief now. "Bakura is understandably upset."
Ryou pursed his lips. He didn't think this was very funny – for all they knew, Bakura was upset, and that didn't bode well for the future. And yet. Here they were, and it was better than anything he would have dared hope for.
"Are you sure?" he asked, hardly daring to believe. "Yuugi's won?"
"Of course I'm sure," Bakura answered, and stood up to come towards them. "You probably need to hurry if you want to be there in time."
Ryou nodded, absently joined his lips with Malik's, tasting, oddly but not quite unpleasant, of cheese and salad, and less absently leaned in when Bakura placed a kiss on his brow, before detangling himself from Malik's embrace.
"I'll pack too," Malik said, and raised his eyebrows at the thief, who shrugged; he still hardly owned anything of his own. "And I'll pack some clothes for you," he added, giving Bakura's bare chest a long look that he didn't manage to quite keep annoyed.
Bakura grinned at him; Ryou smiled and took his hand.
I don't remember whether this also happens in the manga, but in the anime, during the fight in the ancient Egypt game, there are storms in the "real world", so that's what they're talking about here.
So... yeah. This was basically a story about how bad people get good things they didn't deserve and possibly didn't even want (bad people meaning Bakura mostly), but no-one said that it was going to be a very moral story. And their relationship is still kind of unhealthy, but... well.
As always, I would love to hear from readers (last chance! XD )! I'm probably not going to make any major changes to this now that it's finished, so if you have constructive criticism, that would be welcome but probably just be kept in mind for future writings, unless it's something easily tweaked.
Many thanks to everyone who's followed/read this story!