Take two. I rewrote the first two chapters of this some time ago and just decided to post it on a whim. I am hoping to continue working on it but that is not usually how it ends up working out! But maybe uhm, this time will be different...


Ryou resides in 209 but Bakura's at 208.

Ryou finds himself stuck in the elevator of his new apartment complex with an individual that has a soft spot for Prada and making out with strangers in elevators. Ryou is tormented by this, and even more so by the fact that elevator-guy just so happens to be his next door neighbor and the boyfriend to the newest object of his roommate Mariku's affections. [RxB, MxM, slight BxR)

"Malik, how are you doing today?" A nose crinkled in disgust. The owner of said nose looked at the bronze reflection in the mirror critically, his eyebrows nearly smooshing together as he strained his facial muscles. "No, just..." Just no! He lifted a hand to grab hold of a chunk of sandy locks. "That is all wrong; how ducking awkward does that sound, anyways!" His eyelids squeezed together as he yanked his hair, the many rings upon his fingers clamping together as he tugged. "Now let's try that again, you damned moron!"

Oww, oww. Taking the frustration out on his own defenseless hair didn't seem to be bringing any sort of relief. A heavy sigh escaped. Shaking his head he began again, giving the mirror the most confident toothy grin he could muster. "Malik~, I have a question for you," he purred lucidly to his own reflection, licking his lips. What are you, a cannibal?! What kind of fking message is licking your own lips going to send?

The embarrassment at his own behavior was almost too much to bear. His hands came to cover his face as he let out a heartfelt groan. Duck. Ing. Moron.

He was sick of losing so many great opportunities to do this. He couldn't let another slip on by again. It was all he'd been thinking about since the first moment he'd laid eyes on Malik. Malik, with his caramel skin, wild blonde hair and lavender eyes; Malik, who was barely seconds from being plucked away from right under his nose. If he kept choking, some undeserving soul would surely take the opportunity and whisk his attractive, sultry young neighbor right off his feet-and that he was determined to avoid.

He had been gruesomely waiting days to do this. All he had to do was figure out the right choice of words to lure his neighbor over. It shouldn't have been as difficult as it was but for some reason, Malik made him unbearably nervous which was so foreign an experience for Mariku Ishtar.

After all, Mariku Ishtar was a drummer in a band and was hardly one to be deemed as shy. He was the type of guy who was always the life of the party, right out there in the center for everyone to admire and fawn over. It was a role he played up to well and as of yet, it hadn't failed him in getting the attention he sought after. Up until now, the 22-year-old had more dates than he could count on any given night. Of course, all those relationships were short-lived but who could blame him? He was an up-and-coming star, a member of a band that had recently been scouted for a big time record deal; he had it made and everyone seemed to know it.

…That is, everyone except the neighbor he was going positively crazy for.

"Wow Marik, this really is such a great place!"

"Of course it is, Ryou." His eyelids lowered as he peered to the white-haired male, who just so happened to be the band's longtime manager-but one of Mariku's best friends first. "After all, you're the one who chose it for us," he deadpanned, frowning as he glanced down the rather plain hallway with its grey office-like carpet and plain oak doors with small metal plates upon them with the room numbers etched on.

Ryou blushed, giving off a sheepish laugh. "Heh, I guess that is true but don't you like it? It seems like a nice quiet place that'll be secure so no fans can get in when it starts getting crazy here in a few months!" he explained, hands curling tighter around the two large suitcases he was lugging in either hand. "Don't you think?"

Marik shrugged, nearly wheezing as he adjusted the boxes he was carrying in his arms. "Ehh, it's fine, I guess." He grimaced as he kept on with his struggle to get to his new front door. What in the hell did he put in these boxes to weigh this fking much?!

"…" Ryou sighed, smile faltering. "You're still mad at me for selling the old apartment and getting this one for you without you really agreeing to it, aren't you?" he asked guiltily, stealing a glance at his friend.

Mariku grumbled, glancing away from the numbers on the doors. 204...205... A journey to an apartment had never felt so arduous. "I'm not mad Ryou. I know why we had to but I just really liked the old place is all." His lips formed into a slight pout.

Ryou's eyelids lowered, mouth twisting unamusedly. "Only because it was a low priced complex that only college students lived in, so you could drink and run around like the crazy person you are."

"So?" Mariku countered, looking down to make eye contact with his friend. "At least they understood my needs there. Here, fuck, it is probably surrounded by all sorts of old people who will come at me with their canes the first time I even have my TV on past 10 PM!"

"Oh, you're so dramatic!" Ryou seethed, glowering playfully at the male. "Like that will even keep you from having parties here-even though I and the company both informed you to keep this place secret and to take your…" Ryou's nose wrinkled. "Your odd company to motels from now on instead of bringing them here to…" The boy cleared his throat uncomfortably. "Hang…out."

"Hang out?" Mariku cackled, eyeing the shorter male. "You're 22 now Ryou, and you still can't say the word "sex"! I swear man, we have to find you a nice dude to bone."

"A-And just how do you know I prefer men!" Ryou cried back, face looking as if it were sun burnt by just how badly his cheeks were flushing.

"Fine then." Mariku rolled his eyes boredly, then glanced to the ceiling in contemplation. "Girls then. Vag-rina, va-jay-jay; whatever it is you're trying to slither into." A smirk dawned his lips as he glanced to Ryou. "After all~, we're getting into money now, it should be easy for even an uptight dork like you to get some tail!"

Ryou gave Mariku a loathing glare, mouth opening as he was about to shout back at the male. He then heard the unmistakable sound of footsteps trailing behind them and quickly turned his head around, just as the stranger began to speak.

"Getting into money?" A pair of mirthful lavender depths looked over the two, a small smile pulling at the stranger's lips. "I hope it isn't bank robbers and drug dealers moving next door to me!" he exclaimed sarcastically, a hand raising to press against his chest.

Marik's mouth about fell to the ground at the sight of the male. Tight, holy jeans, checkered vans, a black tight tee shirt with "The Clash" upon it, and a variety of studded belts slung sideways upon the male's thin, sexy hips…

Not to mention the heavily lined eyes and the expensive looking golden bands jingling as he moved his arms about-and the skull ear rings, the industrial piercing, the eyebrow piercing, and the 3 or 4 tattoos upon his arm...

Mariku was mentally in a pool of his own drool right now, practically drowning. Ryou, on the other hand, began to wonder if he should be holding onto the suitcases a little tighter, just in case this stranger tried to pull something funny. Ryou stood alert, puffing his frail chest out to look a little more intimidating…but that was kind of hard when he was standing next to Mariku, who was much bulkier in muscle than him, and taller as well.

…And when the supposed opponent was taller too, by a good couple of inches. Ryou's eyes lingered to the male's biceps. Yeah, those were definitely a little better defined too; in other words, gangly little Ryou didn't stand much of a chance. He sniffed, twitching his nose to hopefully make his rectangular black glasses go back up over his eyes properly. It didn't really work all that well but it was better than having them fall off, which would leave him practically blind and give the stranger the upper hand so he could easily disorient Ryou and grab the bags…!

"…" The male looked between the two friends strangely. One was looking at him like he was scared he was about to go and ruffle up his sweater vest and the other…well, his mouth was opened wide and the stranger was not sure how to react to that. He nervously shuffled his feet, hands lacing behind his back. "Uhh…" he began, trying to figure out how to make this situation become less awkward. "You…are the people moving into 209, right?"

"W-What's it to you?" Ryou asked, voice quivering though he tried to sound tough, though all he managed to sound was tired from carrying two heavy suitcases, which, from standing here so long, were managing to make him feel like his arms were about to just fall off.

Mariku stared dazedly at the male, a hazy, slightly eerie smile crossing his lips. "Yeah…we just moved into apartment 209," he purred out in a dreamy tone, eyes half-lidded. "What about you~?" Mariku leaned down for a moment to settle the boxes to the ground.

"Oh!" The stranger chimed, seeming quite comforted by that answer, even if the blonde male was still eyeing him weirdly and the dorky one with the sweater vest and glasses was still attempting to glare at him. "I live in 208!" And oddly, the dorky one's "intimidating" expression disappeared, giving the male a wide, friendly grin.

"Oh! Okay!" Ryou chimed, dropping the suitcases with a thud in order to walk over to the male. He extending out a hand. "Hi! I am Ryou and that," he crooned his head toward his friend, "Is Mariku!"

"Oh! Nice to meet you." Malik smiled as well, reaching out to take the boy's hand. His hand stilled suddenly as he caught sight of Ryou's fingers. He was perplexed at just how nice Ryou's nails were-perfectly rounded cuticles, all his nails were the same length and well-buffed and filed. He took the hand finally and gave it a gentle shake. "Nice to meet you both; I am Malik."

"Mal…ik…" Mariku hissed to himself quietly, a goofy grin taking over his face as he walked over to the two mechanically, shoulder bumping against Ryou "accidentally", maneuvering him out of the way.

"Oww!" Ryou hissed, glaring up to the male, knowing all too well what he was trying to accomplish here. He groaned and turned around, catching sight of Marik's key landyard hanging out from the back of his jeans pocket. He snatched them out and went back to his abandoned suitcases, huffing as he hoisted them up. "Well…" he glowered at Mariku's back, then leaned over to smile at Malik. "I'll be going to put this stuff inside! Nice to meet you, Malik!" Ryou turned his head around and frowned. All he could think was smh.

Mariku had completely disregarded every last word that had just been said to him. Ryou was practically invisible to him now as he stared down into Malik'sbrilliant eyes, his stomach squirming within him as his adrenaline kicked in. He stuck out his hand, offering it for Malik to shake. Malik smiled and took it calmly, blinking rapidly when Mariku held onto it for a few moments before he began to shake it. "It's so…nice to meet you, Malik."

Malik's eyebrow raised, gazing down to their hands, which, after shaking, the guy still had a hold of. "Same to...you." He glanced back up to the male's face, blushing slightly as the male still stared so pointedly down at him.

Mariku finally let go of the warm, very soft hand, making sure to brush his fingers against Malik's as much as possible as they let go.

Malik bit his lip, eyes turning away from Mariku for a moment to glance down the hallway, where he could see Ryou entering. "So…"

"Yes~?" Mariku purred, placing a hand upon his hip, leaning in Malik's direction. Malik unconsciously stepped back, hands lacing behind his back.

"What was with the way your friend was looking at me when I first talked to you?" Malik quickly changed the subject, grinning slightly. "I mean, he looked ready to jump me."

"My friend…?" Mariku replied cluelessly. He blinked and turned around to find no one standing there. "Oh!" Ryou. "What do you think? He's a very paranoid individual; you would be too if you were picked on as a kid as much as he was." Mariku snorted. "I mean, the kid wore his shirt tucked in all the way with a belt and pulled his pants up almost past his belly button; if it weren't for me…" Mariku's eyes glanced towards the way of their apartment door while Malik chuckled. "That boy would still have a fanny pack and high waters."

"No way!" Malik gasped out, in between laughs. "There's no way he's that bad!" He looked at Mariku fondly, gaze lingering upon the male's eyes. "I mean, he's a little plain-looking but…"

"Well, of course now he's okay. He only wears turtle necks every once in a while now," Mariku explained, waving a hand dismissively. "But on the inside, he is still a little nerd who doesn't like to stay up past 9:30-unless of course he got his hands on one of those weird RPG games like World of Warcraft or something." Mariku rolled his eyes, grinning. "I remember when he first got that; he was late to school for the second time in his life and didn't sleep for two whole days because of it." Mariku feigned a sob, covering his mouth, a hand extending out to take Malik's hand…"jokingly" of course.

"I…I almost lost my friend to WoW!" Malik only continued to laugh, a hand covering his mouth now because he was snickering so loud. "It's a heartbreaking story but…I think he's an inspiration to nerds everywhere now!" Mariku pleaded, stomping his foot down passionately. "If WoW tries to take your life away, there's always a chance you can win it back!"

"You know!" A scream came from down the hall, where a door remained cracked. A very unhappy looking Ryou popped his head out from the open door, teeth gritting as he eyed his friend violently. "The hall echoes LOUDLY. Now quit flirting and come help me so we can get this done and get out to the club by 8 like I promised!"

Mariku shot the male a dirty look. To hell with you and your phenomenal time-management skills, Ryou.

Malik laughed and glanced to his feet in a timid way, a slight smirk playing on his lips. "Flirting, hmm? Is that what you were doing?" Mariku turned his attention back to Malik, eyebrows lifting. If only I didn't have to work tonight. I swear, I'd whatever it takes...

"Why~? Is that what you want me to be doing?" Malik blushed slightly, head tipping up to glance at Mariku's throat, where a silver pendant of a pentagram hung.

"I..." Malik's eyes lifted to Mariku's perplexedly.

"Heh, just messing." Mariku sighed, turning away from the male. "I guess I'd best be going before my mother comes out again."

"Mm, that would be the smart thing to do, I suppose." Malik watched as Mariku hoisted up the boxes into his arms. "It was cool to meet you though. Hopefully next time, your mother will let you stay out past your curfew."

"Yeah." Mariku grinned, backing away toward his apartment. "Well for you, I'd even risk sneaking out."

"Oh, risky~!" Malik gave the male a wave. "We'll have to hang out sometime! You can even bring your mom, if you'd like!"

"We will. We definitely will."

Days had passed and Mariku had only run into Malik once. Malik's arms had been full of grocery bags and Mariku's with a guitar and an overnight bag, off upon the road again to do another couple of shows. Had Ryou and his other bandmates not have been there with him, he would've probably stalled and found a way to worm inside of Malik's apartment to offer "help". Unfortunately, Ryou had been watching him like a hawk, his skeletal little fingers pushing the bridge of his glasses up in annoyance. He'd only managed a three-minute conversation and two very suggestive hints, and then he was dragged off back to his busy life, leaving Malik all alone in apartment 208 once again.

Well, perhaps luck hadn't been on his side last week but now that he was done with that leg of shows, he was back at home with a little less on his plate-at least for a couple of days. Funnily enough, it was a Friday night and Mariku was all alone, no Ryou there to nitpick at him about how much there was in the large three-bedroom apartment to still unpack. Perhaps even more impressive than that was the fact that it was a -Friday- and he had no party to go to and nothing better to do than relax-possibly the reason whyhe was actually taking Ryou's words to heart and unpacking boxes within the small kitchen at that very moment.

However, that was definitely not his plan for the entire night; it was only a filler while he took on his main task, which was thinking of a clever way to get Malik out of that apartment and over here. Then, after he talked with Malik and lured him in just right, he'd pop the question he was dying to ask-"want to go out sometime?"

He grinned to himself as he imagined Malik standing there, a slight blush dusting over his golden complexion. Malik would grin in a sexy little way and say, "yes" in that mystifying voice that Marik just could not seem to make leave his brain. Then Mariku would take those flawless hands into his own and tug that hot thing in for a kiss, which would soon lead to his tongue in Malik's mouth, then Malik falling beneath him onto the kitchenfloor. His hands would tease beneath Malik's clothing, which would lead to Malik's clothing strewn on the flo...

"Mariku?" His mouth was salivating, he realized. He glanced down to the box he had been leaning against as he sat there, kneeled on the floor and lost in his own imagination.

Shit, my name! His head perked up and he moved to stand up, hurrying out of the kitchen. It didn't sound like Ryou or any voice he could easily recognize. He did have one guess but he was sure he was kidding himself to truly think it would've been…

His eyeballs felt as if they'd drop out of their sockets, mouth hanging open wordlessly. There Malik was, double pierced brow, tight band tee shirt and the sexiest tattered jeans Mariku had ever laid eyes on, patches of perfect golden skin peaking through, as if daring his brain to ponder what those legs would've looked like with those jeans gone. Oh, this boy was on fire; Mariku felt himself sweat a little as he approached the male.

Never before…had someone been able to turn him on so much by just standing there in his doorway. It took all of his attention, hence why his foot pivoted against a large moving box, making him stumble. He managed to catch himself, yet what he couldn't do was pull his eyes away from Malik's physique.

"Oh f—Malik?"

"Hey," the other male greeted, flashing Mariku smile. He gave a small wave and leaned against the doorway, eyes trailing around the living room which looked more like a warehouse at the moment.

"I saw your door was open and…I just couldn't help myself; I wanted to see how the packing was coming along." He smirked, eyeing the makeshift entertainment center of boxes the TV and cable box sat upon. "Obviously, you're getting a lot done."

"Ehh." Mariku shrugged, grinning as he met the male's gaze. "I'm a busy guy." And obviously, also a very lazy one-one more perk of having Ryou as a roommate-because Ryou would get so fed up with the mess and Mariku's antics that he'd just do everything himself.

"Apparently," Malik commented as he took a step inside. The multiple guitars lined up neatly alongside the balcony doors caught his eye. "Well, seems like you cared enough to unpack the instruments at least?"

"Of course; they're my babies." Mariku's eyebrow raised, flashing Malik an all-too cocky grin. "I am in a band, you know?" He laced his hands behind his head, glancing up toward the ceiling. "We're actually gonna do our first music video in about a week!"

"Oh, that's awesome! ...But I kind-of figured," Malik replied, giving off a laugh. "About the band part, anyway. I heard a lot of noise coming from here the other night and well, even if you all sounded kind-of drunk, I was impressed!

"Oh," Mariku chuckled, hooking a thumb into his torn jeans pocket. "Sorry about that; housewarming parties, you know; friends had to come and bake for me-nothing but the usual."

"I highly doubt that," Malik countered, "There is no way your friends come to bake for you. Though..." Malik twiddled his fingers on his chin. "I could picture Ryou doing that maybe."

Mariku cracked up at that. Pff. Ryou can't cook worth balls. "Nah, he isn't that nice of a roommate. I'm lucky if he even heats up a Cup o' Noodle for me."

"I see." Malik folded his arms up over his chest, smiling modestly as he glanced down to his feet. Mariku's eyes once again found themselves roaming up and down Malik's pert body, just wishing it wasn't entirely inappropriate and taboo to just leap over and grab that the man and proceed to kiss him until he couldn't breathe. "And what about you~?" Malik ebbed closer, hands falling behind his back. "What does a guy like you do-I mean, when your friends aren't "baking" for you?" He tilted his head to the side, giving Mariku a curious gaze.

"Mm…" Well, now his past time was going to be masturbating to the thought of Malik as many times a day as his body would allow. He thought very hard about it, giving the floor a disgruntled look. What -do- I fking do? "Drink, play music, watch slasher films with Ryou, get yelled at by Ryou, more drinking, maybe the occasional romantic walk on the beach…"

"A lot of Ryou in those sentences." Malik's smile seemed to falter. "Are you dating him?"

Bingo. A wild grin spread across Mariku's lips. I am so in now! From the look on Malik's face when he asked that question; there was no way he wasn't interested! Now all Mariku had to do was pop the question which he knew he had in the bag. Malik was going to be his; he could already feel it. "Are you kidding me?" he said, shaking his head. "Hell no. Ryou and I are from two separate worlds; he makes a to-do list every night before he goes to bed and arranges his closet by shirt type and color. Do you realize what a waste of time that is?" Malik shook his head with a smile. "But enough about him; what brings you over here anyways~?"

"Well." Malik looked slightly relieved; oh, Mariku swore, this had been too easy-what was it about him that made people drool at his feet? Sure there was his good looks, his talent, his unique personality... "To be honest, I sort of, uhm…" He licked his lips feverishly, eyes averting Mariku's gaze. He looked down at the floor, the slightest of blushes dawning on his cheeks. "I… wanted to ask you if…"

This is it. He's definitely gonna ask me out. Mariku's grin reached his eyeballs, completely zoning out as he ogled the male in front of him. "…in the middle of...cupcakes for my boyfriend and," Malik shook his head, pressing his palm against his cheek anxiously. "I completely ran out!"

Mariku felt dizzy, fingers going numb. "Yes," he answered airily, "We can go where ever you like."

"…" It was then that Mariku realized how bizarrely Malik was staring at him. Wait; rewind. Mariku's eyes nearly popped from his head as he tried to recount the last few moments. Middle of. Cupcakes. Boyfriend.

"Hold on," he hissed out, eyes closing tightly for a moment. "What did you say?"

"O-Oh," Malik stuttered, shifting uncomfortably. "I just wanted to borrow a couple of eggs-uhm, if you have any, that is!"

"…Because you're making cupcakes for your girlfriend." Malik gave Mariku another weird look.

"For my boyfriend, yes."

"You mean your girlfriend." Malik's mouth opened as if to say something, and yet no noise came out for quite some time. He pressed his lips together tightly, eyes averting Mariku's perplexed stare. "R-Right. My boyfriend, who just recently moved in..."

Mariku felt like a bomb had just exploded in his face-his ego was knocked back into a manhole, one so deep that no amount of rope could ever help it out of. In fact, he wasn't just blown into it; he was shattered now, into tiny fragments that even the strongest super glue couldn't put back together. Malik was too delicious, too perfect, and completely off the market. FUUUUUUUUU. "We. Don't. Have. Any. Eggs," Mariku rasped out, sounding almost as if he were dying. Eggs. There were eggs in the fridge since Ryou had definitely gone grocery shopping but he just couldn't bare to think of Ryou's eggs being shoveled down into the belly of the hideous mongrel that was Malik's boyfriend. Ryou's eggs just deserved better-like maybe to be thrown into the boyfriend's rat-like face.

"Oh, w-well." Malik gave a nod, slowly inching toward the door. "I guess I will just go and…uhm, ask someone else."

11 PM and Ryou was exhausted from spending all day at the record company, going over paperwork and spending hours upon hours on the phone. He yawned loudly as he tapped in the code to be let inside the apartment complex, the door buzzing and unlocking for him. He trudged in warily, carrying an assortment of bags he was bringing in from his car, odds and ends from the move that just hadn't made it upstairs yet. His tired eyes glanced disdainfully to the black plastic bag in his left hand, undoubtedly Mariku's forgotten 7-11 trinkets. Porn, cigarettes n' gummy rings, I'm sure. He rolled his eyes. All of Mariku's must-haves.

It always amazed Ryou that Mariku even bought porn featuring women since he never slept with them. "Good to look at but not too touch," as Mariku had always said. Not that Ryou would've known; he'd been on about as many dates as a nun.

When was the last date I even went on? Ryou screwed up his face as he tried to recollect said event. Oh—oh. He bit his lower lip as his stomach began to churn sickeningly at the memory. Okcupid...

It had been a year ago and Ryou had been exceptionally desperate during that period of time. He'd heard a couple of good things about the online dating site from friends and was thrilled about the free aspect of the site—because Ryou certainly wasn't going to lose all of his dignity and be made fun of by all his friends for signing up and paying for a matchmaking site like Eharmony—so he gave it a go since he had thought it seemed legitimate. Wrong choice.

They based matches primarily on answers to mostly irrelevant questions and expected you to find matches that way. The higher a person's percentage, the better the match-unless of course it was high in the enemy column. Nevertheless, Ryou had rested much misplaced faith in the system and exchanged messages with a couple of females and one extremely ambiguous gay male-all had been rated above 70 percent for love, so he felt like he had a good chance. The dates went something like this: one girl mistakenly thought he was transgendered and was transitioning into a female; one was a dominatrix (which she had forgotten to mention in her profile); and as for the male, he had showed up to the restaurant with polished hot pink nails. Since then, he had primarily resorted to his hand and daydreams that sparked from the romantic novels he read once in a while in complete secrecy.

It was rather depressing really but he had just tried to brainwash himself into believing it was because he was so wrapped up in all the work he had to do for the band. While the band did have him tied up for multiple hours a week, he was never so busy that he wouldn't have had time for at least a couple of dates. Then again, what kind of person would be his type anyways? He had never quite figured it out for himself. Definitely not someone in the music business, that was certain; never would he want to have to deal with any musician. He lived, befriended, and worked with enough to know that they were all either alcoholics, bipolar, past criminals, narcissistic, promiscuous, drug addicts, or just a mix of any and all. Not to mention that almost all had to put on fake fronts and who wanted to spend their lives wondering if the people around you were really into you or if it was all for show? Better to stay away from the whole world of artists, though he considered himself (loosely) one as well.

Though Ryou was only the manager, he had also written a good portion of the band's songs-though they all tried to keep that under wraps. It never quite made sense though; usually their lives were the ones Ryou wrote about and yet, they couldn't come up with anything themselves. After all, they were the crazy partiers who went in and out of relationships like an obese family at McDonald's. They were the ones who had lived on the streets, been poor, been neglected as children, and had issues with mental health and substance abuse.

As for Ryou? He was a simple white boy from England. He was born into an upper middle class family that had only turned into a lower middle class family once his mother had died. His life had hardly been difficult, save the death of the aforementioned and his sister; after England, they'd moved to a moderately wealthy neighborhood in Connecticut, and then once half his family had perished, his father had moved them into a decent apartment complex in a nice residential area in Domino City, Japan. His father wasn't around much, leaving Ryou mostly on his own during his teenage years because of excavations in different parts of the world. It hadn't bothered Ryou one bit, despite what everyone claimed; it was practically every teenager's dream to live on their own. Yeah, it had been lonely from time-to-time but after Ryou had met his best friend Mariku and the others that came with, his life was pretty much surreal.

Ryou had always beenan optimistic, happy individual who was extraordinarily responsible, despite the crowd he ran with. Hence why he was management and despite his innocence to certain elements of life, he was extremely clever and quick-witted. When it came to his friends, he was a pushover but when it came to business, Ryou stuck to his guns and was quite the hard-ass negotiator.

"Maybe he unpacked some," he muttered to himself as he shuffled around, using his elbow to hit the bright red "up" button for the elevator. His eyelids lowered presumptuously. But I suppose that is giving Mariku a little too much faith. Because Mariku was primarily lazy and probably just sat around playing guitar and guzzling down Bud Ices all day long—and how could he forget, Mariku's unfortunate new habit of stalking the next door neighbor. If only he spent as much time unpacking as he did checking the halls to see if Malik was out; maybe then there would be a room besides Ryou's that was unpacked.

The elevator chimed, doors sliding open to allow Ryou in. No one came out so Ryou simply trudged in.

Buzzzz. The sound of another tenant entering the front doors.


Ryou pursed his lips, eyebrows raising at the curse. What in the...? Ryou rolled his eyes. "Kids these days have no manners," he said under his breath, sticking his nose up in the air. He pressed the button for the second floor and then settled his bags upon the floor neatly beside him. Ryou folded his arms over his chest, glancing over his shoulder to the mirror nearest him so as to avoid facing the rude delinquent making his way inside.

"Fuckitall, what floor does he live on?" The stranger mused to himself, standing in front of the numbers. Ryou chanced a glance from his spot on the floor to the form of the other in the mirrors that ran around the elevator's upper walls. Ryou's eyes scanned the male observantly, deducing that he likely asn't a teenager after all. He was dressed rather nicely in black shoes Ryou could only recognize as Prada; the male paired them with well-tailored black slacks and a thick wool pea coat buttoned up all the way, just a little past the man's well-chiseled jaw line. About the only thing unprofessional on him was his thick head of Bill Kaulitz-style hair, locks as white as milk sticking out every which way; he looked a little like he'd stuck his fingers in an electrical socket.

Then again, I guess that is sorta the "in-look" these days, he mused. The stranger even had a single layer of black hair beneath the white-definitely too trendy for the average businessman.

Ryou supposed he could give the man a little lenience for his trash mouth; he did have good taste in apparel, at the least. As for Ryou, today he wasn't dressed quite as nicely. Because it was simply an office work day, Ryou had settled for a pair of plain dark blue jeans and a Ralph Lauren striped blue and white button-up, as well as the cashmere charcoal grey sweater vest he wore over the blouse. Despite Marik's pleads for Ryou to roll the sleeves up to look a little cool (or better yet, cut them off), Ryou kept to his usual style and kept the cuffs buttoned neatly at his wrists.

It seemed the stranger decided on a floor because instead of standing at the buttons, he'd taken to standing beside Ryou, a little closer than Ryou would've thought normal. Unconsciously, Ryou leaned back a little to be able to stare at the male's face some more, surveying his high cheekbones and dark, mischievous eyes that…

Ryou gulped-were now turned and staring right back at Ryou in the mirror. "Why…hello there~," the man purred in a way that was quite devoid of chastity. Ryou nearly had a heart attack. He jumped back into place, staring straight ahead.

Ryou cleared his throat, wondering for a moment if he should respond. The man wasn't entirely threatening—well, actually that was a lie. Ryou was scared to death of him, but not in the same way he was scared of the kids that wore the tall tees and South Pole gear; his knees felt languid, like they could buckle in at any given second. It reminded him of how he felt when he ate creampuffs and Ryou didn't like anything as much as he liked cream puffs. He felt obscenely shy, and yet, he was still too polite to ward off the need to respond. Dammit.

"Good eveni-iii-iiing!" Was supposed to be his curt reply; instead, it came out in patches due to the fact that the elevator had a nasty habit of shaking as if going through an earthquake every time it started up. This time, it was worse than ever. It shook so much that it caught Ryou off guard, making him stumble on one of his bags. He proceeded in falling forward, right into the stranger. And of course, the man was taken aback so much that he lost his own footing. Luckily, the male was fluid enough to stick his arm out and catch them so that he simply fell by sliding down onto his backside with Ryou half in his lap, noses pressed together. The man's knee was lodged into Ryou's stomach and it was very painful-and yet, all Ryou could think of was how this was the closest to another person he'd been since that awful seventeenth birthday party of Yuugi's where he'd had to play seven minutes in heaven with Miho, who proceeded in biting a hole through his lip (he tripped then too).

"Well, it looks like it's a good evening for me after all," the man lulled, breath steamy against Ryou's lips. Goosebumps popped up and down Ryou's arms, back arching the moment he realized the man's arms were snaked around his emaciated waist. Ryou opened his mouth, speechless as he gazed from the stranger's profound eyes the color of dark, exotic coffee beans-and they had to be foreign because Ryou had never seen eyes quite so velvety and brown that they bordered on the outskirts of black-to his delicate lips; perhaps the only thing delicate about the male. His smell made Ryou's head spin, able to easily pick up the scent of Polo Black from the stranger's coat. My mouth is watering; why is this happening to me...

The elevator made another turbulent stop and Ryou then came to life. "I…should get off of you?" It sounded more like a question than a statement. Ryou's cheeks heated to a rose color, gracelessly climbing off of the man. Instead of removing his arms instantly, the man let the other slip from them, fingers tickling Ryou's sides as he pulled away.

"I'd rather you get off on me but then, elevator sex has always been a wild dream of mine." The stranger wiggled his eyebrows in Ryou's direction, grinning in a way that made Ryou's heart swoon. Ryou made an awkward noise in his throat. He sniffed indignantly, blushing so hard that he had to look away from the man as he gazed to the elevator door-the elevator door that should've been opening by now so Ryou could breathe and save himself from this very inconvenient situation that was slightly turning him on.

"Shouldn't, uhh, the door be opening by now?" he asked, completely avoiding any response to the man's distressing and yet, not all that unattractive statement. No denying he was a sucker for a well-dressed man, and one with a dirty mouth and devilishly good looks no less. Suddenly, it felt as if he didhave a type after all.

The man seemed to be paying little attention to the elevator, quite more entertained by Ryou's presence. "I'm Bakura," he said, "And I've obviously never had the intense pleasure of having you on me before."

Ryou nearly choked. What do I even say to that! His soft chocolate orbs nearly popped out of their sockets as his head turned around to stare at the male. "E-Excuse…me?"

"Well," Bakura started, licking his lower lip feverishly. His eyes looked Ryou's lithe form up and down. "What can I say?" The grin came back, making Ryou shiver. "I've neverseen you before-and believe me, I'd remember a face like yours, babe."

Ryou was oblivious to most things but at the age of 22, he had learned that when people said things like that to you, they were definitely coming onto you. They wanted to make you squirmand melt until you were a puddle at their feet; well Ryou wouldn't have that-probably. He tried his best to remain aloof to Bakura's advances. "Babe?" he questioned, raising an eyebrow as he stared at Bakura. Bakura smirked in return. "I would much prefer Ryou; actually, Mr. Suzuki would be most preferable," Ryou answered back icily, using an index finger to push his glasses up the bridge of his nose. He thought it made him seem more mature-quite the opposite obviously, because Bakura started to laugh.

"Mister? What are you, like 18? I didn't even tell you to "mister" me and fucked if I'm not older than you." If Ryou hadn't been red like a Coke bottle label before, now he certainly was. When Ryou got nervous, he had a habit of attempting to act stuck-up and snobbish to escape situations; for some reason unbeknownst to himself, he had forgotten that, yes, Bakura didlook as if he might've had seniority.

Ryou looked away, completely mortified. "Well, I'm 22 and I don't appreciate being referred to as…"

"Babe?" Bakura offered. Ryou pursed his lips and gave a curt nod.

"Precisely." Now that they had that squared away, Ryou could begin to freak out and have a panic attack because the elevator door had still not opened.

"Then…" Bakura hissed seductively, leaning his head towards Ryou's ear. "What about…foxy?Gorgeous, maybe?" Ryou's ears felt as if they were burning-obviously, the problem was only increasing. "Or…" Bakura tilted his head, pressing his mouth into Ryou's ear, making the boy's shoulders freeze as he let out a gasp. "Perhaps you're more with that urban speak? How do you fancy…lollipop? Shorty? Dime, mm?"

"T-That's absurd!" Ryou whispered harshly, closing his eyes. And yet, he didn't make any moves to get away. He puffed out his cheeks, head turning as he leaned away from Bakura to make eye contact with the male sternly. "Am I going to have to 911 you for sexual harassment?"

"No, baby," Bakura lulled, eyelids lowering. "Let's make that rapebut by the way you're squirming and blushing, I'd think you'd just lap it up." True story-and that was exactly why they were both surprised when Ryou's palm came out and abruptly smacked Bakura on the cheek. Ryou turned his head to stare at the wall again, hands coming up to press against his fiery cheeks.

"Don't talk to me like that," he snapped, though it came out much weaker than he had initially planned. It then came to Ryou's attention that he was still sitting insanely close for someone who wasn't "liking"the attention. He took this in mind and scooted a couple inches away from Bakura, keeping a safer distance.

Bakura simply howled with laughter, not bothered by the slap at all-if anything, he seemed to enjoyit. "Way to hit like a woman, Misses Suzuki." Bakura hit right where it hurt-Ryou's eyes immediately flared with anger, head turning to glower at Bakura.

"Should I punch you instead? Would you get itthen?" Bakura bit back laughter.

"I think it would only make me moan," he answered honestly, shrugging. Bakura stretched out his lean legs out in front of him. Ryou wondered if it even bothered him the least that he was stuck in an elevator. Bakura laced his hands behind his head, relaxing back. "I'm into that pain thing. It works well for me."

"How pleasant that you'd tell a complete stranger that," Ryou lashed out, still glaring at the man. He pulled his knees into his chest, wrapping his arms around his legs in a dejected manner. Leaning forward, he set his chin atop his knees.

"Well, we're stuck in an elevator-I figure I should at least make this as fun for you as it is for me." Ryou snorted, pulling his legs in closer.

"And how, pray tell, is this funfor you?" Ryou sniffled, staring straight ahead to nothing.

"Because…I'm with you." Ryou's cheeks warmed up again and that fuzzy feeling shot down through his spine; was it sad that was the most romantic thing anyone had ever told him? It made his head spin. Please, please say something to ruin it. "And I think…I couldn't get stuck in here with anyone whose pent-up frustration was so obvious and exhilarating." Ryou's stomach did cartwheels as Bakura glanced up to the ceiling, Ryou's gaze following. Bakura smirked. "You're cute."

Ryou gulped. "W-Well." He could either reply rudely or simply accept that right now, he was in one of those once-in-a-lifetime situations. "I still…don't know how we're going to get out of here." Maybe if he just kept ignoring the male's derogatory statements, Bakura would pay more attention to the situation at hand.

"But…" Bakura turned his head, leaning forward to be able to see Ryou's face. "Still doesn't answer what you think of me, Mr. Suzuki." Was it weird that when Bakura said his name like that, his toes curled?

Ryou tried not to look at the male, but to no avail. "I…think I just want out of this elevator."

"Why?" Bakura canted his head to the side. "What's so pressing that you need to get out of here so quickly?" Before Ryou could do a thing, Bakura took a hold of his hand, surveying his fingers. "I don't see a wedding band," he said, surveying the male's ring finger.

Ryou's found his hands getting clammy as Bakura's fingers grazed over one of them. He couldn't move his hand away-instead, he found himself surveying Bakura's well-sculpted, large hands, ones that would probably feel so nice exploring Ryou's body. Ryou bit his tongue, trying not to walk down that road. His eyebrow raised when he noticed something rather odd though; Bakura's hand did contain a gold band. "But you have one!" And suddenly, Ryou just felt both filthy and guilty for thinking of someone's husband in such a cheap way.

"Oh, this?" Bakura chuckled throatily, lifting his hand to wiggle his fingers. "Nah, I'm not married; it's just convenient to pretend I am sometimes." Ryou removed his hand from Bakura's immediately, tucking it into his chest.

"And why on earthwould that be?" Ryou looked at the other male, dumbfounded.

"Because!" Bakura seemed aghast that Ryou would even ask. "Being married only makes women want you more-not to mention it can fend off the bad, persistent ones pretty fucking easily."

Ryou nearly smacked Bakura again. "You're kidding me, right? What are you supposed to be, the ultimate bachelor or something? Last time I checked, being a player was just cruel and completely unattractive." At least enough so to make Ryou feel rather deathly limp again.

"Oh, but you never asked me who I live with~." Bakura shrugged, looking Ryou over again in a roguish manner. Ryou stared back rather mundanely.

"Gee, I don't know, your girlfriend or something," he replied flatly, not finding it hard to believe; Bakura was much too good looking to be single—and a little too handsome to be truly interested in a D&D geek like Ryou.

Bakura shook his head, beaming. "Nope, not that," he answered proudly, eyes flitting to the hand Ryou was still cradling to his chest. He reached a single finger out to drawl it along Ryou's knuckles. Ryou stilled again, uncaring expression fading to reveal wide, curious eyes. He looked from Bakura's face to the single digit. Why are you still doing this...

"Then…roommates?" Ryou smirked wickedly. "Your mother, maybe?"

Bakura laughed. "No and especially no; don't I look a little too nice to be at home with my mom?" He paused, grinning. "Not that I could if I wanted to; that bitch was a crackhead and dropped dead when I fifteen." Ryou was a little shocked to hear someone talk so foully about their own parents like that without a single care.

"I…would usually say "I'm sorry" but I feel like congratulations is more what you're looking for." Ryou's eyes met Bakura's, wondering if he should be surprised that Bakura still smiled at that comment-Bakura looked intrigued, eyes flashing from Ryou's eyes to his lips. Ryou noticed this and only felt more self-conscious.

"You're…interesting," Bakura mused, setting his palm down on the ground as he leaned into Ryou. Slyly (or so Ryou thought), Ryou careened toward the male as well, smirking slightly.

"Well…I hope for the better, at least-you never did tell me how old you were."

"25-and you never did guess who I lived with." Ryou began to laugh softly, shrugging.

"I really don't care-I mean, does it really matter?" Bakura shrugged as well.

"I don't know, babe." Ryou rolled his eyes. "You tell me."

"Well…" Ryou licked his lips in a way that was a little too racy to be innocent. "Babe," Ryou's voice lowered, giving Bakura a flirtatious glance. Bakura grinned lopsidedly, watching as Ryou's hand moved to set itself near Bakura's. Bakura was quick to take action and scoot his fingers closer, brushing the back of his thumb against Ryou's. Ryou shivered. "You tell me."

Bakura lustfully scanned Ryou's lips yet again. "Kiss me and I'll tell you who lives with me." Ryou scoffed; like that was going to happen! He tried to steal his hand back but was surprised when Bakura's strong appendages took hold of it, lacing their fingers this time. Ryou bit his lip, cheeks heating up all over again.

"You're…kidding me right? I'm notgoing to kiss some pervert who pretends to be married." Ironically, Ryou's fingers intertwined with Bakura's quite peacefully-for holding hands with a "pervert", anyways.

"Well…what makes you think I won't make the first move?" Bakura raised his eyebrow questionably, staring at Ryou in all seriousness. Ryou couldn't help but let out another soft laugh, rolling his eyes.

"What difference would it make? I'd turn away." No I wouldn't.

"No you wouldn't."

Ryou's heart raced as Bakura's words echoed in his head, eyes shifting meekly. "Besides…I don't see how that has anything to do with who is in your apartment." Bakura smiled incredulously.

"Well…I guess we'll just have to see then, won't we Ryou?" It was the first time Bakura said his name-it set a flame inside of Ryou; one so hot, it shot down to his toes and immobilized him, making him vulnerable to an attack. He blushed hard, moaning as soon as Bakura's lips pressed themselves against his own. The taller male's hand gave Ryou's a squeeze as his tongue drawled out to lap at Ryou's lower lip. Ryou shuddered, eyes closing as he enjoyed this spontaneous and delectable kiss, leaning into Bakura and shyly opening his mouth, making another delighted mewl as Bakura's tongue slipped inside. Bakura growled, tongue brushing up against Ryou's unabashedly-and as soon as it started it seemed, the door's bell dinged and the doors began to slid open-due to Ryou's sudden heightened senses, he jumped backward, nearly bumping his head against the wall. Whoa.

Bakura licked Ryou's flavor off of his lips; he then snickered, lifting a hand to run fingers through his disheveled hair. He sighed heavily, slowly rising to his feet. Ryou refused to look at Bakura as he did the same. Ryou frantically picked up his bags, trying to do anything but direct his eyes toward where they pleaded to go.

"Looks like we didn't have to worry about being stuck, after all. Too bad, really." As Ryou stood with all his baggage in hand, he glanced to Bakura's expensive footwear.

"You…never did tell me who you lived with," he replied gently, a small smile breaking onto his lips. Ryou's heart fluttered. What if... His mind seemed to fill with fantasies of Bakura in his bedroom, of his neighbor towering over him in his door frame; of coffee dates, handholding, and the possibility of laying there on his living room floor listening to Indie music together.

Bakura stepped forward, glancing over his shoulder at Ryou with amusement dancing in his eyes. "My boyfriend." Ryou's eyes widened, gaze snapping to Bakura's face.

"W-What?" Ryou began to hyperventilate, feeling the stirrings of a panic attack coming on. How could someone with a boyfriend do that so heedlessly? Ryou thought he should be enraged but really, he was only a little mystified-though he wanted to believe Bakura was single when their lips met, there was still a deep burning in his belly telling him something was a miss; why else would Bakura have been so keen on making him guess who he lived with? I am such a moron! "Are you..."

"I am, but-" Bakura looked up to the ceiling thoughtfully before his eyes set themselves on Ryou in all seriousness. "You taste muchbetter." Ryou nearly dropped his bags when Bakura said that. Bakura stalked away, leaving Ryou alone in the elevator just as the doors began to close. Ryou yelped and darted forth, stopping the doors just in time. He exited the elevator, not much wanting to get stuck again. Like a robot, he walked blankly down the hall toward room 209. At that second, he remembered Bakura pressing a completely different floor number.

"B-Bakura!" he stuttered out. The man didn't stop. "What…apartment do you live in?"

"208." Ryou's jaw dropped in an instant. Two-OH-Eight. Two-fking-zero-eight. The number that seemed to represent where dreams came to die. The next door neighbor; Mariku. His limbs began to shake.

Bakura stopped suddenly. "And...you live in 209."

Ryou bit his lip, gulping down the lump that had formed within his throat. "I…reside in 209, yeah." They walked the rest of the way to their apartment doors in silence. Fuck. My. Life. He stood facing his door blankly, the sound of fumbling keys lost to his ears. What do I even...

"Nice to have...gotten acquainted with you, Mr. Suzuki." Ryou look toward Bakura, mind blank as he caught the male's stare. Bakura smirked, giving a slight nod as he stepped within the apartment.

"Ye-" Bakura's door shut, right as Ryou's thoughtless reply fell from his lips. "ah." Holy. What did you just do!

"Just get inside Ryou, just get inside," he hissed, settling his bags down so he could search for his house key. Frantically, he let himself inside, dragging in his bags after him. Freeing his hands, he watched as the bags fell against an already toppled-over shoe rack and a stack of boxes that blocked off the right hallwing, unable to even muster up the energy to be irritated because his roommates couldn't even place an already assembled shoe rack correctly and, obviously, had done minimal unpacking, if any.

Wordlessly, he shut the door, collapsing back against it.

"Whoaa. You look rough, man." Ryou looked over to find a familiar head of spikey blonde hair peeking around the kitchen doorframe at him. Ryou just blinked in response. "Is it 'cuz of the boxes in the hall? I swear I'ma get to it, Ryou. It's just. I started writing a new song! And then we were out of dish soap and... and then Jou called, and..."

Dish soap? Ryou didn't even think Mariku knew which aisle dish soap would beon. Ryou held a hand up to silence the male, shaking his head. "I-It's not..." He closed his eyes slowly, taking in a deep breath. He exhaled, pressing a hand against his forehead. "I just...I think I just need a drink."

End chapter!

Reviews are greatly appreciated! Much love and hope it was enjoyable~.