One Step Closer

"It's really nice of you to be driving us to the concert, Bakura," Ryou said with a smile as he pulled on his blue-and-white-striped t-shirt.

Bakura looked away quickly. "It's nothing. I'm surprised that Marik didn't want to take you on his motorcycle."

Ryou shrugged. "He said he didn't want it to be stolen while we were there." Unexpectedly, he threw his arms around Bakura's waist in a hug. "I don't know what I'd do without you."

"Neither do I," Bakura muttered—not loudly enough for Ryou to catch—as he carefully extricated himself from the boy's embrace.

DING-DONG.

"That's him! Do I look all right?"

With a sigh, he replied, "Yes." Not that Marik really cares what you look like. As long as you remain the innocent child you are, he'll just keep coming back to take advantage of you. Reluctantly, he followed Ryou downstairs, just in time to see Marik kiss him. He closed his eyes and suppressed a growl.

"Hi, Bakura!"

He looked back up with a forced smile. "Hello, Marik."

"Thank you for agreeing to drive us!"

Remind me why I'm even bothering. "Are you two ready to go? You'll want to be there a few hours early if you want a decent spot."

Ryou's face lit up. "Yeah!"

Oh, yes. Because I like to see Ryou happy. He silently cursed himself for having such a soft spot for the kid.

Marik wrapped an arm around his boyfriend's waist and began whispering into his ear, eliciting a giggle from him.

Without a word, Bakura walked through the door and started up his car.

I cannot take this anymore
Saying everything I've said before
All these words, they make no sense
I find bliss in ignorance
Less I hear, the less you say
You'll find that out anyway
Just like before

He bit back the urge to shout in fury when the two followed.

Ryou was leaning against Marik, who was resting his chin on the boy's head. The way the position forced them to walk made them appear to be half-drunk. Eventually, they made it to the car and climbed into the back seat, sitting side-by-side and sharing the middle seatbelt.

"Please sit properly," Bakura said. "I don't want you two getting hurt if I have to make a sudden stop." And I don't want to have to see the two of you making out in the rearview mirror.

Marik moved into the seat on the right and Ryou scooted as far over as he could, still in the middle.

Damn it. They were still visible out of the corner of his eye. As he started down the road, Bakura asked, "What band are you going to see?" in an attempt to distract them from each other.

"Linkin Park!" replied Ryou as he laid his head on Marik's shoulder. "I'm so glad their tour brought them so close to Domino!"

"I've never heard of them."

"They're an American rap-rock group," Marik explained as he ran his fingers through Ryou's hair.

Bakura tightened his grip on the wheel.

"They're why we ever got to know each other," Ryou added, smiling up at his boyfriend.

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
I'm about to break

Bakura tuned Ryou out as he started into the story of how the relationship between him and Marik had begun. He tried to keep his focus solely on the road as they left the city limits. He took a quick glance in the mirror at the boy's elated expression. It made him feel better to know that Ryou was already enjoying himself. That's why I'm doing this, he thought. Because he asked me to. With those puppy dog eyes he can make so well. A sigh escaped his lips. His gaze shifted up to Marik, and he narrowed his eyes. But why does it have to be Marik who makes him so happy? Their eyes met, and Bakura could have sworn he saw a smirk cross the other's face. His foot pushed a little harder on the accelerator. Ryou, why do you have to be so damned naïve?

I find the answers aren't so clear
Wish I could find a way to disappear
All these thoughts, they make no sense
I find bliss in ignorance
Nothing seems to go away
Over and over again
Just like before

Bakura glanced down at the clock. Forty-five more minutes. Then they'll be out of this car and I won't have to watch them hanging on each other. His eyes flashed as he saw Ryou drape his arms around Marik's neck. He hit the gas a little harder. Maybe I can make it in thirty.

"Marik, do you think we'll have any trouble getting in?"

"Nah. We'll get there in plenty of time," he answered as he slid his hands up Ryou's arms.

"What do you think, Bakura?" the boy asked as he returned the gesture.

"You'll be fine," Bakura growled.

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
I'm about to break

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break

Bakura tried everything he could to ignore them: adjusting the rearview mirror so he couldn't look into it and see them, moving his seat forward until he could no longer see them in his peripheral vision, everything but closing his eyes. But when he had finally rid himself of the sight of them, he started hearing them. His imagination filled in the details his eyes were missing.

A soft giggle came from Ryou as Marik whispered something to him and kissed him.

Marik's hands pulled the boy nearer and continued to caress him.

Ryou laid his head on Marik's shoulder and shut his eyes, wearing his angelic little smile. He gave a short squeal as his boyfriend nuzzled his now exposed neck. Slowly, he pushed Marik away. "Not in here."

"Why not?"

He shot a quick glance at Bakura.

Marik took the hand that was separating them and intertwined their fingers, removing it from his chest and drawing Ryou back in to him. "He can't see us," he murmured. "It's fine."

Ryou relented and laid his head back down.

Throughout the entire scene, the car had gradually been gaining speed. Bakura was livid. He snapped the rearview mirror back to the two in the backseat, just so he could prove his imagination wrong. But no: there, in the right of the back seat he saw the two intertwined, Marik's lips on Ryou's neck. Bakura was no longer able to suppress his fury. "That's it!" He punched the horn, breaking the lovers up as they jumped.

"B-Bakura?" Ryou asked. "What's wrong?" His gaze chanced out the window, where the landscape was whizzing by so quickly it was impossible to tell whether they'd just passed a tree or a car. "H-How fast are we going?"

Bakura glanced down at the speedometer. "A hundred forty-five."

"Bakura! The speed limit is eighty!"

"So?"

"Slow down!" Marik pleaded.

"Then let go of him NOW!"

"What?"

"LET GO OF RYOU!!!"

"But—"

"NOW!!!"

With an expression of terror, Marik complied. "Bakura, what's going on?"

"YOU! YOU ARE WHAT IS GOING ON! I AM SICK OF YOU RUBBING IT IN MY FACE THAT IT'S YOU BACK THERE AND NOT ME!"

Ryou choked. "E-Excuse me?"

"HOW LONG HAS IT TAKEN YOU TO FIGURE THIS OUT? HOW MUCH MORE DO I HAVE TO DO TO MAKE YOU SEE?"

Shut up when I'm talking to you
Shut up, shut up, shut up
Shut up when I'm talking to you
Shut up, shut up, shut up
Shut up
I'm about to break

"I HATE HAVING TO KNOW THAT YOU TWO ARE ALONE TOGETHER ALMOST EVERY DAY! I'VE SAT UPSTAIRS IN MY ROOM, DAY AFTER DAY, WORRYING WHAT HE MIGHT BE DOING TO YOU!"

Ryou gaped ahead, wide-eyed. "I…I…you care?"

"You have no idea." Bakura turned off the engine and steered onto the shoulder, where the car came to a gradual stop. He pulled the keys out of the ignition and rested his head on the steering wheel, taking deep breaths, trying to calm himself down. Eventually, he felt composed enough to speak. "Ryou, we only have about fifteen minutes of driving left. Please move over into the left seat. And keep to yourselves. Once you get to the concert you can be as physical as you want, but if you want to get there alive, you have to stop cuddling. Try to be quiet, too."

Ryou complied without a word.

The silent drive gave Bakura time to clear his head. He shouldn't have voiced his suspicions about Marik. He shouldn't have confessed that he cared. He should have just ignored them. But how could he have? He did care, and that was all there was to it. He didn't want to see Ryou get hurt. But now, looking at the kid in the rearview mirror, he saw the forlorn expression on his face. It pained Bakura to know that he had been the one to put it there. He came to a stop at the back of a long line of cars.

"We can walk from here," Ryou volunteered. "It'll be fine. They're just waiting for parking spots."

Bakura unlocked the doors and watched Marik climb out his side. He was reaching to put the car in reverse when two arms wrapped around him from the back seat.

"Thank you, Bakura. Really. It means a lot to me that you brought us, even though you don't like us being together."

He sighed. "That's what I'm here for."

"Please don't worry about me, Bakura. I can take care of myself."

Bakura leaned his head back to see Ryou looking down at him from over the seat. "I'll try to stop. But if anything ever does happen, I'll always be here for you."

Ryou's smile returned. "Thank you." He let go of Bakura and climbed out the right door.

"Let's go!" Marik called. When his boyfriend reached him, he put an arm around his waist. Together, the two waved at Bakura as he did a u-turn and started back toward Domino.

Not half a mile away from where he'd dropped the two boys off, Bakura's rage returned full-force. This time he hadn't been mistaken: there had been a wicked smirk on Marik's face as he'd waved. Now he would get to enjoy tormenting him by showing off how close he and Ryou were. The speedometer began to climb rapidly, topping a hundred forty-five in less than a minute.

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
I'm about to break

Ryou was so sure he would be able to stand anything Marik might try to pull; Bakura knew he was wrong. The kid tried his hardest to seem tough, but he was still just an innocent boy. Bakura's vision clouded with tears of fury. How could Marik live with himself knowing he was taking advantage of someone who had freely given him his heart and soul? The one thing that made Ryou a truly beautiful person was also his biggest downfall. Bakura pushed the gas pedal as hard as he could, flooring it, taking out everything on the car and the road. "WHY?!" He pounded his fists on the dash, sending the car spinning out of control. It hit the guardrail on the side of the road, sending Bakura surging forward into the steering wheel…

Everything you say to me
Takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break
I need a little room to breathe
'Cause I'm one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break


This is the first in a short series of songfics to a few Linkin Park songs. I hope that, though it was kinda depressing, you still enjoyed it and feel like reviewing (hint, hint)! Sequel will be up really soon! Promise!

By the way, the speedometer was reading in kilometers per hour, NOT miles. Bakura was going about 90mph in an approximately 60mph zone.