AN: I do not own YGO, blah, blah, blah.


Malik hated his birthday. From his day one, the 23rd of December was a cursed day. The day his life began, was the day his mother's was ended. Ishizu tells him every year that it was not his fault, and he knows she is telling him the truth, but he could never shake the pain that plagued him on this day every year. As always, Malik had requested to be alone, so Ishizu and Odion had left their ground level apartment for the day. His siblings did not want to leave, knowing he would do nothing but stew in his misery. Such a thing was not healthy for anyone, least of all someone as tormented and emotionally unstable as their little brother. Malik gazed out the window and watched the soft snow falling to the ground. It wasn't just guilt that haunted him this year. Ever since the tournament at Battle City he couldn't seem to get a certain thief off his mind. It confused him, and the confusion caused hot sparks of anger now and again. When he thought about his partner, Malik could feel his heart speed up in his chest; his breath catch in his throat; his stomach knot uncomfortably. He glared furiously at the powdery white snow, angry that the color and soft look had made him so readily think of Bakura's hair; of his smooth, pale, complexion. Malik crossed his arms on the windowsill and buried his head in them. He closed his lilac eyes, hard, wrinkling his forehead. Immediately he saw Bakura standing before him. Malik frowned as he watched the Bakura he saw in his mind's eye flash him one of those lopsided, smirking, grins he always donned when things were going his way. Malik opened his eyes halfway, relaxing his face. He was too tired to feel angry anymore. He missed Bakura. He admitted that to himself. He even missed things that he never thought he would miss with anyone. Like the way they bickered like an old married couple. He smiled at the memory and at the fact that he knew he would give anything to have another argument with the thief, just so he could be near him again. There was a sharp rapping at the door and Malik was shaken from his thoughts. He looked at the door in annoyance, hoping that whoever was there would just go away if he didn't answer. A few seconds later, however, the knocking came again. Louder and more drawn out, as if the person behind the door was just as annoyed with Malik for not answering as he was with them for interrupting his thoughts. Malik got up roughly, and stalked toward the door. He closed his eyes on a coming headache and swung the door open.

"Can I help you with something?" Malik asked rudely.

"Is that how you always greet your guests?" a husky British accent chided him. Malik's eyes snapped open. This couldn't be. He thought he would never see Bakura again after Battle City but there he was, standing in his doorway, dressed in a thin, dark brown, winter coat, and an untied grey scarf draped over the back of his neck, wearing the very same grin that Malik had imagined earlier. Malik stared at Bakura in shock. He looked beautiful. His silvery white hair and pale skin blended with the snow outside, but the jacket provided a perfect contrast and drew out the color of his mahogany eyes. If Malik hadn't known the man, he would swear he was an angel. Bakura coughed impatiently and rolled his eyes, bringing Malik crashing back to earth.

"C-come in!" He stood to the side so Bakura could walk through the door. "What are you doing here?"

"Don't tell me I wasn't invited to your birthday party." Bakura said mockingly.

"My birthday…"

"Ah, but there doesn't seem to be anyone here! Looks like it's just you and me." Bakura smirked. Malik's heartbeat sped up at those words, though he wasn't sure why. He focused on calming his erratic heart, as he spoke,

"I missed you, you know." Bakura looked at him with mild surprise. "If you were back, why didn't you show up sooner?"

"The opportunity didn't present itself."

"I thought I would never see you again." His voice shook with repressed anger and frustration. He felt stupid for even having these emotions to fight. Bakura was cruel, bitter, and cared only about himself. Though he had come all the way here to see Malik on his birthday. Malik cared so much for him and he only wanted Bakura to care for him too.

"…Here." Bakura said, flinging an arm over the distressed young man's shoulders and dropping a small box into his hands. Malik took a deep breath, enjoying the weight of Bakura's arm. He pulled at the lid of the little box and looked inside. It was empty. Confusion etched his features and he turned to look at Bakura. Before he had time to react, he felt the thief softly press his lips against his own. Malik was stunned, and didn't move as Bakura's lips moved gently against his frozen ones.. Bakura raised a hand and gently cupped Malik's cheek as he kissed him deeper. Malik snapped to and tentatively kissed him back., feeling a smile spread on Bakura's lips. Bakura slid his arm off Malik's shoulder coming to a rest in the small of his back, pulling him closer. He licked Malik's bottom lip, letting the Egyptian know he wanted more. Marik nervously obliged and parted his lips. He felt lightheaded and giddy as he felt Bakura's tongue playing with his own. He hadn't even noticed he was moving until his back pressed against the wall. Bakura released Marik's lips, leaving him grasping at air. Bakura sighed quietly and kissed Marik on the forehead.

"Happy birthday, partner,"