Author's Note: Thanks for clicking here! Enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh! ™; it belongs to Kazuki Takahashi. I just own the storyline written under here.
Warnings: It's an Alternate Universe fic. There is foul language. This will eventually contain strong homosexuality themes.
The names of the characters are written last name first, followed by first name. I gave Bakura a new last name (杳代), or Youtai, which loosely can be interpreted as "mysterious or obscure era." It sort of has to do with his unconventional origins from the actual Yugioh! series. This is using the "Chinese" pronunciation, also called the on reading. I had originally used 有待 with the loose meaning of "uncompleted", with the kanji 有, meaning "possess", and 待, which is the same character from 待つ, the plain form of "to wait". Err, it was supposed to contrast with the kanji of Ryou's name, 了, which means "completed." I changed the kanji spelling because for some reason, there was just something off about 有待 that I couldn't put my finger on… I'm not a kanji expert or anything, but... I tried. Hahahaha, that's what counts, eh?
Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
Youtai Bakura was known for using the time in his apartment building's elevator to get his well-deserved breaks from the rest of the world.
Kaiba Seto was an uptight jackass when it came to giving his employees even five minutes of break to let them smoke in peace, so Bakura never dared to light up in the workplace. The employee in question seriously needed the job, even if he did work only on designing characters for the pretentious asshole's video games. Taking a few minutes away from his job might as well equal a permission slip for death, and knowing Kaiba, that death wasn't going to be a pretty one.
He wasn't allowed to smoke on this train rides to and from Kaiba Corp either, and though Bakura had indeed tried it once or twice, a few quick hauls to Domino Police Station and some serious monetary threats stopped him from trying again permanently.
His apartment building neighbors knew better than to tell him off for lighting up in the elevator. No one has ever been able to stop him, or even bothered to file a complaint. Looking like a crazed man with his long white hair sticking up at odd angles and his blood-red (and often blood-shot) eyes did that to people.
Most neighbors have gone to ignore it, and majority of those also prayed daily that they wouldn't be misfortunate enough to be in the elevator with a lit cigarette if there was ever an occasion where the large contraption would become stuck between floors.
Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
Luckily, the elevator rarely broke down, and so, life in Domino City goes on relatively smoothly.
Inhale. Pause. Exhale.
It was late one Thursday evening, and naturally chilly for late February. Throwing out the stub of the cigarette he had just finished, Bakura briskly walked into the elevator. He didn't bother to hold the doors open as a second person briskly walked in, or even look up; Bakura wasn't known for his brilliant conversations with his neighbors.
After pressing the button for the seventh floor, he leaned comfortably against one of the chrome-colored walls with a foot against it for balance. Bakura fumbled for his cigarette pack and shook another stick out. Taking out his lighter and flipping it open, he dangled the other unlit stick from the corner of his lips before letting it catch afire.
He closed his eyes, letting the back of his messy head of white locks hit the silver wall he rested against, and exhaled a deep sigh. He could almost try to forget the inane bullshit his job partner, Mutou Yuugi, made him suffer through today. He couldn't really remember whatever insanity had spewed forth from the short man's lips this time, but only that it was something along the lines of 'Youtai-kun! What do you think about making a game based on trading cards?'
That Yuugi. What a dreamer.
Other than Yuugi's memorable Quote-of-the-Day, the hours had gone by quite smoothly. It would even have been a nice ride up, but then his fellow elevator rider started coughing quite heavily.
Bakura's eyes opened slowly and shoot a disgruntled look over to him.
…Or was it a her? The way whatever-the-hell-it-was was bundled up made it look like a blizzard was about to hit— black, long pea-coat, thick light blue scarf, and black cotton gloves.
It was staring straight at the red no-smoking sign right next to the doors. Bakura lazily looked down at the burning cigarette in his mouth.
Well, talk about suave.
Just for the hell of it, Bakura purposely inhaled deeply on his cigarette and blew it in its general direction.
"Excuse me," the thing snarled. It would have sounded menacing, but the baby blue scarf wrapped around the bottom half of its face made the muffles hard to take seriously. "There's no smoking in here."
Bakura grinned, mildly interested at this daring individual's fighting words, and blew another ring. "You got a problem with it, lady?" He was actually still unsure of whether it was female or not—the clothes and scarf covered any gender-specific clues—but hey, his interest in this health-conscious avenger was certainly spiking now.
"I'm male," the Good Samaritan snapped viciously.
Ooh, this guy was a keeper.
"Could have fooled me," he drawled back, blowing the smoke directly in the irritated man's face.
He leered as the other man said nothing, and believed it to be the end of it when the man looked away, but was taken by surprise again shortly after.
"I'm asking you nicely, would you mind putting out that cigarette?" The bundled-up man sounded angry now. That was unquestionably a tone Bakura had rarely, if ever, been on the receiving side of.
Bakura raised a thin dark eyebrow, and cocked his head to the side. Delicately plucking the cigarette away from his lips with slender fingers, he turned on his heel to face the other man in an abrupt, swiveling motion, and leaned in until he was only a few inches away from him.
"I don't give a fuck if you're saying it 'nicely' or not. And yeah, actually I would mind," he said, narrowing his eyes. "What the fuck are you going to do about it, asshole?"
This was hilarious. Some dude was actually trying to stand up to him. Bakura reached forward in a rather dream-like attempt to touch him, just to see if this was real.
The man appeared startled at the sudden close proximity Bakura had advanced to, and gave a violent twitch when one of Bakura's hands touched his wrist. He jerked his arm back, and pushed Bakura away with a hard shove.
"Don't touch me," the man snarled loudly as Bakura stumbled and was knocked against one of the side walls, which reverberated the impact with a hallow, metallic echo.
Bakura grinned madly at him, and didn't even register that his head had started to hurt from the impact. "You have fucking guts, you know that?" There was rarely any one who dared defied him, yet this man was quite able to attack him for his rudeness... Certainly different. "You're new here, aren't you?" he asked.
Before the man could bother with an answer, the doors rolled opened pleasantly with a crisp ding sound.
"Excuse me," the man said coldly, barreling past Bakura as he exited the elevator. Bakura didn't bother following him; instead, he stared, still unable to completely grasp what had just transpired.
Bakura's mouth twisted into a one-sided grin as he leisurely placed the cigarette back between his lips, and as the doors closed, he looked up at the screen inside the elevator that marked the floor number.
It was the sixth floor.
After departing from the elevator one floor above, Bakura sauntered his way to his own apartment. Snubbing the half-burned cigarette into the ashtray that doubled as his mantelpiece on the sole table he owned, Bakura opened one of the beers he had bought after work and took a deep swig. Kicking his legs out from under himself, Bakura looked up at his grayed ceiling, a gleam in his eyes.
"Yep," he concluded to himself. "That guy must have just moved in."
Though Bakura paid relative little mind to any of his neighbors in general, he could tell when something was unusual. And this guy was without doubt unusual.
He was liking him already… In a rather predatory way, of course, but that was besides the point.
Now how to learn more about this man? He knew nothing else about him other than that Pissed-Off Elevator Rider lived on his building's sixth floor. He supposed he should have followed him off the elevator when he had the chance... but now the more he thought about it, the more he realized that doing so would have ended his new source of entertainment way too abruptly.
Having shot down that idea, Bakura unexpectedly set down the opened can onto to the scratched, worn table, spilling a bit of its contents as he leaned back on the ratty couch, the rusty springs of the aged seat squealing in protest. Ignoring the pitiful cries, he smiled to the shadows in his dimly lighted home.
The white haired young man made no move to contact his target of amusement over the next few days. His work hours at Kaiba Corp were too arbitrary at the moment and interfered with inspecting the 'subject' too thoroughly. However, Bakura quickly came to the conclusion that if he did do all his shadowing work as quickly as possible, that would again quell his rare bout of interest into that of an average, nosy neighbor, and who the hell would want that?
Instead, he contented himself with slowly learning about the new neighbor downstairs simply by taking a step back and observing him from afar. Before and after his work started were the prime times to do his observations.
He noticed that his neighbor could constantly be found in the lobby in the morning checking his mail, always dressed in warm clothing. Upon closer inspection of the tiny label inserted in the designated metal frame, Bakura realized that the man's name was Bakura Ryou; the kanji of his last name was the same as his follower's first. 'Ryou' was a rather odd name, but then, his own last name wasn't listed under the one hundred most common names, either.
Each time there was post, the man would quickly shuffle through the sparse amounts of letters he would receive, as if searching for a specific letter in particular. It apparently never arrived, for the anxious man never seemed to portray any body language that contrasted to the usual, stoic form he exposed in the general public.
He certainly never acted like how he did that one time on the elevator with Bakura.
Bakura also noticed that it would only be this Bakura Ryou who would check the mailbox, leading him to believe that the man probably lived by himself. The meager amount of groceries that Ryou carried home every other day reinforced this theory. Whether he was married or not was hard to deduce; the man always had gloves on, which would cover any traces of marriage.
After he checked his daily mail, the man would either disappear off back into the elevator or go out of the building, presumably for home or work respectively.
He appeared to do some kind of office work, or something that required the use of a briefcase, which he carried without fail every weekday morning and evening...Not very exciting. But then, it appeared as if Ryou's life was nothing out of the ordinary, that he was only a quiet man that spoke and acted when required, and nothing more.
Score one for Bakura's powers of deduction.
Ryou was polite to fellow neighbors; but though he appeared to be soft-spoken, Bakura highly suspected that the pleasantries were all a façade that hid the persona of the much more spiteful man he had met.
Bakura would have had no problems with silently watching the man for a few more weeks, but as fate would have it, the two met crossed fires just about two weeks later on an initially peaceful Saturday morning.
Bakura had worked overtime at work last night, with the impending deadline of Kaiba's newest game's character designs being the next morning. With his temper running high and his patience running low, even Yuugi looked awfully close to turning his usual happy grin into a parabola of misery.
He returned home at three o' clock in the morning on the same Saturday and immediately fell asleep on his couch after only shedding his coat, which rested crumpled on the floor right next to him.
Not even three more hours had passed until he was awoken by something. Bakura accidentally rolled off his couch at the unfamiliar noises that resonated from somewhere, promptly waking him up.
"Shit!" he hissed as his forehead suffered a nasty blow from one of the corners of his table. He clapped his palm roughly against his forehead to check for blood, which probably wasn't such a great idea in the case that the table really did rip a hole in his head. Luckily for him, there was just a sharp, but fluid-less pain there.
Bakura reckoned that he was alright.
He squinted in his pitch-black living room as he listened closely to where the sounds were coming from. They were wafting in from somewhere, and after a few more moments, he finally recognized that it was music, and that the tune was coming from directly downstairs.
Bakura growled, cursing the bastard who was playing music at six—he had checked his cell phone for the time— in the morning.
"Shut the hell up!" he roared at the floor. The floor didn't answer back, but the music continued.
"You just fucking wait 'til I get down there, you little…" Bakura muttered as he pulled his coat on and stormed out the door—but not before groping for the floor lamp to find the cheap jacket and adding another dent in the wall where the chipped glass shade had tipped over and smacked the plaster with an awful crack.
Being sleep-deprived usually made his brain churn over a little slower than normal, but if he lived in 701, whoever it was that was blasting the music directly downstairs had to live in…601. Right. 601.
Bakura congratulated himself for the surprisingly quick thinking.
He stood there now, white knuckles banging away on the painted door. He had pressed the side of his face there, and strained to hear if the music was indeed coming from this apartment. He was right; though the sounds were muffled, he could definitely make out the same melody that had blared on much louder upstairs.
He banged on the door with a boot-clad foot. The music immediately stopped, and there was a short silence. Bakura grunted, and turned to leave, until the door surprisingly opened, and a man hissing "What are you doing here?" in contempt faced him.
Bakura's bad mood immediately strengthened tenfold. Not only were his eyes hurting due to the sudden flood of bright lights that appeared when the man opened the door, rendering him unable to make out anything past simple, blocky shapes, he had been the one that was woken up by the music, and here was this man acting like he was in the wrong. He grabbed onto the person's collar to begin a nice sound shouting match, but then a familiar twitch and shove allowed the irritated white-haired man to realize who the resident of 601 was.
It was the man from the elevator—Bakura Ryou.
"You!" Bakura roared as his eyes adjusted to the light. He gaped at the man, who now stood only in a cotton button-down and slacks instead of his winter attire, though the gloves were still on, oddly enough.
Bakura Ryou bore an uncanny resemblance to him; though their hair was slightly different in style, the color and length were more or less identical. They were of similar height and age, but Ryou appeared to be paler and a lot thinner than he was, almost sickly so, attributes he could not note before.
"What do you want?" Ryou gritted through clenched teeth, enunciating each syllable quite clearly. Dark brown eyes bored into the crimson ones of Bakura's.
A sliver of Bakura, deep inside of the man's mind, was immediately excited by the attitude that Ryou was displaying towards him— the mannerisms that he exhibited for him only. Another part of him was even miffed over why Ryou acted so brusquely in his presence. Yet, both were currently being squashed by the largest portion of the aggravated, sleep-deprived man that wanted nothing more than to hurt something. Or someone.
Whatever was more convenient to hurt at the moment.
Bakura narrowed his eyes. "I want to know what kind of idiot would listen to music at six in the morning, that's what. Turn it down—I'm trying to sleep."
Ryou snorted, and stepped around the words. "And since when were you so courteous to others? If I remember correctly, you were the one who was smoking in an elevator, despite my requests for you to stop."
"Hey, the only one who was fucking bothered by my smoking was you!" Bakura hissed. Who the hell cared about all the other terrified residents at the moment who feared death by a little second hand smoke or an accidental fire , Bakura was trying to make a point here. "Your stupid music is fucking waking me up—!"
"Don't you dare say anything about my playing!" Ryou suddenly shouted. Bakura twitched at the unexpected rage in spite of himself.
"Bakura?" Both white haired males wheeled around to face a blond young man, who currently stood in front of apartment 605, rubbing a sleepy eye. "What the hell is all this noise?"
"Go back to sleep, you bastard," Bakura snarled at the intruder. "This doesn't concern you." The blond man blinked at Bakura and scowled.
"Hello, Jounouchi-san," Ryou greeted stiffly. "This noise that you speak of, was it from the piano? Or from this man," he flicked a finger towards the ruffled Bakura, "over here?"
"Huh? I woke up from the yelling." Jounouchi scratched at his knotted blond locks. "You were playing the piano?" he asked incredulously to Ryou, who gave a rather ugly sneer in Bakura's direction.
That pissed Bakura off.
"He woke me up from it!" Bakura shouted, livid over the fact that no one seemed to acknowledge the fact that it was the piano, not him, causing the disturbance. "Are you deaf? You couldn't hear that?"
Jounouchi blinked again, taken back by the rudeness— he walked the six flights to and from his home everyday for exercise instead of taking the elevator, so he never had the misfortune of meeting Youtai Bakura. He crossed his arms defiantly, and nearly rivaled Bakura's boss in terms of intimidation levels. "What the hell is wrong with you is more like it. Bakura Ryou's a nice guy. He wouldn't do stuff like that on purpose."
That pissed him off more.
Ryou bowed his head politely to the compliment. "You may return to bed if you wish," he said to the innocent bystander of the situation. "Thank you for your help."
Jounouchi shrugged. "As long as the shouting stops." He went back inside and closed his door behind him, leaving the two snowy-haired males alone in the hallway once again.
Bakura faced Ryou again. "You think you've won?" he snapped, pointing an accusing finger at the man.
Ryou clicked his tongue with a look of disdain. "Yes, actually."
"Well, you're wrong!" Bakura yelled, waving his arms about angrily for emphasis. "I'm fucking warning you, you liste— play, whatever the fuck it is you're doing— this early in the morning one more time, and I'm gonna get you fucking thrown out of here."
Ryou sneered at the man. "And say I were to complain that there was a man smoking in the elevators—who do you think will be left homeless first? Me," he continued innocently, placing a gloved hand over his chest mockingly, "or you, the one endangering the lives of fellow passengers every time they were to go up and down the building?"
Bakura barked out a dry laugh. "You do have guts..." His lips twisted into a pained smile despite himself. He pointed an index finger menacingly at Ryou. "Just you fucking wait, Bakura Ryou..." He grinned madly at the Ryou's slight frown at his knowing the thinner man's name. "Yeah, I know who you are. I'm gonna make this place hell for you."
Ryou smiled peculiarly at the threat, as if he doubted it. "We'll see," he said simply. Then he scowled. "Now leave." He slammed the door shut, leaving a very flabbergasted Bakura standing in front of his closed door.
The little time that Bakura spent standing there eventually cleared his thoughts. What the hell had he been thinking? He had lost all his composure in the few minutes that he had spent talking with this Bakura Ryou. That has never happened before; even Yuugi's insane drabbles could not compare to the thrill he had felt in that one conversation alone.
He wasn't willing to make him leave... That would ruin everything that he had been doing so far. No, he just wanted to torture him a little, and wipe that ever present leer off that highfalutin face.
That meant that he would make life difficult for this Bakura Ryou. Very difficult indeed.
As Youtai Bakura made his way up to his own apartment upstairs, he vowed that he would refrain from losing his self-control in front of Bakura Ryou again. That was giving the bastard way too much satisfaction.
He had said that he would make the man's life 'hell.' Easily said, but not so easily done, Bakura thought to himself as he walked up the flight of stairs.
He paused in mid-step.
There was something he could do. Bakura was sure that Ryou had to be hiding something, or at least had one fact he wouldn't be comfortable with people knowing. A little more observation would be needed to pinpoint exactly what that would be, but so be it. He prided himself on being stubborn. And when that little secret became exposed into the sunlight, Bakura would make sure to use it to knock the arrogant little bastard down a couple of notches.
Smirking to himself at the grand idea, Bakura jauntily jogged up the rest of the steps.
No one ever said he couldn't be a jackass either. It took one to know one, after all.
Author's Note: I hope the first chapter was enjoyable!
The line "That Yuugi. What a dreamer." is borrowed from a book I read a long time ago referring to a girl's grandfather: Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee. The line "he just wanted to torture him a little" is based off Little Kuriboh's/ CardGamesFTW's Yugioh! The Abridged Series, from Marik to Yuugi.
I tried to place this storyline as close as possible to the Yugioh! series; in particular, I've tried to incorporate facts from the original series (before all the card playing came into…well, play— though there will be some of that, too). Hahahaha… the reason why I've done this is because I have copies of the original Yugioh! manga in my possession… Well, in this chapter, I made note that Ryou and Bakura live in an apartment building that is exactly fourteen stories tall, and that Ryou lives in 601. You can check the facts yourself in volume 6, which is when Ryou makes his first appearance.