summary: When Ryou gets a job at the museum, he thinks it's going to be easy. It's a museum! But when Bakura falls through a giant dream catcher of unknown origins (the ghost dream catcher from Danny Phantom), how will Ryou and his friends deal with the after effects?
Cracking my eyes open I notice that it is eight am. My alarm didn't go off! Quickly, I toss the blankets off myself and rush roll out of my bed and jump to my closet. I don't have any time for a shower so I just tug my shirt off and grab the first thing that looks like a shirt. Putting that on around my arms and trying to do the buttons while putting on pants is not the easiest thing I've ever had to do. I almost fall completely over but catch myself just in time on my night side table. Unfortunately, that knocks over the alarm clock.
I hold my breath and flinch when it hits the floor. My eyes dart to the door. A few seconds go by and I just stare at the door expecting it to burst open and slam against my wall, making another hole that I would have to plaster over. But it doesn't and I sigh gratefully and continue to dress myself.
I stopped rushing myself too, so I didn't knock anything else over and I am extremely thankful that I haven't yet given out to high blood pressure. But now that it's almost eight fifteen I remember why exactly it is that I was hopping around my room like the Easter bunny.
I've made it down the stairs to the kitchen but there is no time to make Bakura breakfast so I leave a note of my apologies. I take a look at his room's door. Thank goodness he is such a heavy sleeper, though with his habit of not waking up until at least ten always makes me wonder how he made it as the renowned tomb robber he brags about being.
Shaking my head I place the sticky note on the fridge door (right on the handle where I know for sure he'll have to see it) and grab my jacket as I lock the door behind me.
I'm so glad I have my driver's license, I don't even know how to express my joy of knowing that I'm going to be on time for my interview at the museum. I even have a full tank of gas! Considering how my morning started I get the feeling that today is going to go well for the most part. Because I know for certain that good things never last. I am not about to get too over the top with the excitement, but I am going to milk this good day for all it's worth.
Then I notice what it is I'm wearing. What I had been hoping was a shirt, while it is indeed a shirt, is a short sleeve button up kitten shirt. It's cute, I'll admit, but it's not something that I would have actually chosen to wear. I sigh. I can't change it now anyways.
When I get to the museum I rush inside. I try to control my speed but I know that I am late and that is never a good first impression. I make a quick scan of the front area and I see the front desk lady, there is no line so I make some large steps to get over there.
"Um, excuse me could I have some help?"
She looks up at me and smiles. "Yes, how can I help you?"
"I, uh, came here for an interview on the job you were hiring for." I start to hate myself for how almost everything I say sounds like a question.
"Ah, you are," She looks away at her computer "Bakura, Ryou?"
I nod "Yeah."
"Yes, you are expected in room 31." She smiles at me and goes back to looking at her computer.
"Uh, I'm sorry, but could you please tell me where that is?"
She looks back up at me and then to the other end of her desk. She grabs a piece of paper and it turns out it's a map of the museum. I look down at it as she starts to point out directions. Mapping out the route in my own head as she speaks and points at different rooms, and when she is done I thank her and ask to take the map with me. She politely tells me, "Sure, yes, you can have that one."
I thank her and smile another good bye and thanks.
The halls here are really white, I notice. There could have been a speck of dust on the casings but I doubted it. The people here are never very busy so they must just go around cleaning. Would that be what I would do? I mean, I wouldn't mind doing that for my job here, but I do that at home too -if it can even be called a home these days. I'm more of the house maid, but that doesn't matter. Once I get this job Bakura will have to fend for himself during the day. Well, if I get this job. And hopefully Bakura won't just call Malik over while I am gone.
I get to room 31 and knock on the door. A gruff voice, barely audible, tells me to come in. Nervously I step inside and immediately look down and start to apologize about being late, "I'm so sorry I'm late sir."
"No, no it's fine. Have a seat boy."
I nod and look up at him. He's a fat man; a roll of neck fat globs over his dress shirts collar and the top knot of the plain black tie. He's obviously got a lot of money, and I can't help but think for a second that Bakura would get a kick out of messing with this man's head and probably stealing every penny off of his person.
I try to listen to what he is saying about my credentials and community service hours but my mind wanders off to the thoughts of the note I left on the fridge. I wonder if Bakura will be mad enough to punch me for leaving just a note. But I can't think of that right now, I have to get this job.
"-point I'm trying to make here Mr. Bakura is that with the way your grades slipped in that time period and how they have at least slightly turned back up I need to get a confirmation from you that you will put diligence and effort into your work here."
I nod. "Yes sir, I can completely promise that I can put forth the effort to do a great job here."
His neck rolls jiggle a bit and he goes for a cup of what I assume is coffee, considering the smell, as he tells me, "And I hope that there isn't much to worry about at home so you can keep that promise. Because there are other kids trying to get work here."
I know a threat when I hear one, but I understand the message the manager is trying to get across. I nod once again and say yes, and share how grateful I am that I at least go to have this interview.
While I am going back down the hall I hear the man start yelling in his garbled speech. I don't understand what it is he's saying but I almost hear my name being said somewhere in there…It's just my imagination. I'll get a call when I get a call and I'm just going to have to hope that it's about me getting the job.
There isn't much to think about as I drive down to the store. The interview didn't take nearly half as long as I thought it would. There is also the problem of what I would do if I didn't get the job. I could search for a different place hiring but I don't have the resources.
Of course, there is always turning to Yuugi and asking for a job at the game shop. Yuugi would be glad to have me over. He's so nice it's almost rude, really. It's really quite funny though, how hard he tries to keep everyone he knows in a good light and when it isn't he still does his best to get them into it. It's a good thing he isn't as naïve as he acts.
I come to a stop at a red light when my cell phone vibrates from my back pocket. I can't very well answer it right now so I just let it vibrate, willing the light to turn green as fast as it can. Finally it does and I pull over at the curb.
Turns out it's a text message from Yuugi. Speak of the devil. 'Hey Ryou. Was wondering if you'd like to hang out in a few days.' It says. I think about it, wondering what the ups and downs are. The first excuse is that Bakura wouldn't like it if I left to go hang out with Yuugi. The second is that I have to wait for that phone call. The second sounds like the better one to share.
So I do and I wait for a reply. What could Yuugi want to do? This is a sudden request and I'm not sure if Atemu is behind it trying to get at my yami, but I trust Yuugi (to an extent of course) so I continue to wait in the same spot for the next text message.
When it comes I immediately open it and read his reply. 'Alright, but call back if you change your mind, kay?'
A quick reply of 'k' and I'm back on the road. I should probably go to the store though, just to give Bakura an excuse he's more liable to agree with. I think about what it is I could buy and my mind skips over topics easily. Going from what I could buy for dinner to what I had already had last night and remembering what I wanted to make for the rest of the week.
Unfortunately, before I get to any more thoughts I notice I've driven back home. Dam subconscious driving. I don't even have my wallet with me so it doesn't really matter, I guess. I should just grab my wallet and go. No need to say anything or ask what he wants for lunch. Nope, but I know that plan is going to be thrown out the window the minute I walk in the door.
When I open the door I hear the T.V. So he's in the living room. He must have heard me, no use in pretending not be here.
No reply straight away, but that's just how he is. At least he can't use me ignoring him as an excuse to hit me. I'm in the kitchen looking through my wallet when he enters the doorway.
"Where were you this morning."
"I had an interview."
"For a job at the museum."
"Why are you going to work there?"
I hate it how he plays twenty questions with everything I do. He doesn't let up and I try my best to stand my ground but I always end up the one begging.
"Bakura, I really need to be getting a job. My dad's been getting later for sending in checks and as worried as I am for him I need to be able to supply the money to pay for this apartment and the food."
"What about school?"
"I've already talked about it to the principal and gotten approval from them."
He's glaring at me and I'm looking down at the table. I've been brave so far, now I just need to keep my composure until I'm out.
"I'm going to the store, is there anything you want?"
"Make lamb tonight."
I nod and he still glares at me but walks away. I have no idea what he's thinking or planning or anything of the sort but I've made it through this conversation with myself intact and that's always something to be grateful for.
The store, right. I guess I'm cooking lamb tonight then, and that isn't too bad because I'm okay with eating it too. One time I tried to go vegan, I didn't really force it onto Bakura but I had been making my dinner before Bakura's and he had gotten mad and slammed my food onto the floor and punched me in the gut before walking away, leaving me on the kitchen floor gasping for breath.
The store is pretty much empty and I'm kind of glad for that. Today really is a good day, now that I'm thinking about it. I woke up late but made it just on time for my interview. I got a text from Yuugi to hang out and now the store isn't crammed so I'm not fighting for a spot at the cashier. That's definitely constituted as a good day for anyone, I'm sure!
Here I am, at the cashier counter punching in the last digits of my dad's credit card number when I see the receptionist from the museum at the other cashier. She's already got all her groceries in her cart and is paying right now. I try not to realize that I'm tapping my foot in anticipation.
She and I are in the parking lot now talking about my interview.
"Oh! You're the Bakura kid, yes?"
"Um, yes, and you're the receptionist?"
She nods furiously, smiling wide she says, "You are just too cute, you know that?" She shuts her trunk door after putting all the groceries in there, "And I overheard some of the talks that Mr. Bangle had after you left and I'm sure that you'll be getting that acceptance call any time soon now."
"Thanks, I guess. I'm sure I'll be getting a call any day now too, but I'm trying not to get my hope up-"
"Nonsense! I've read your file too you know. Well, not a file, it's your résumé, and you are definitely a shoe in. Besides that, you're cute so I know that that gives you points right off the bat."
"Um..Thanks, again. Well, I'm sure that you need to get going. Don't want the food to spoil or anything."
"Oh, yes, yes. You too I assume. It was lovely meeting you outside of the museum Ryou."
She pushes her cart into the return and waves at me as she gets in her car. I push my cart out of the way and I wave back at her car as she drives away. I hope; somewhere deep down, that if I do get the job I don't have the exact same hours as her. That's very shallow of me, isn't it, I look down the aisle of cars to mine. Well, maybe I'll see her again and she won't be as hyper, or loud.
Back home at last. It was too bad that the radio stations didn't work around my house (apartment, really, but I'm going to be starting to pay for it soon so it's like the same thing), so I had to drive home in silence, besides the other cars around me. And lucky I am that I got out of the store when I did because the traffic was heading my way.
The groceries put away, the bags under the cupboard, and the lamb soaking in warm water to cook later, and that's when I notice that Bakura isn't here. He's not in the living room and he isn't in my room or any other kind of place that has a door leading to it.
He's probably with Marik. He'll be back later, as usual.
Only, this time he wasn't. I waited for hours after the usual times he came home, including the rare yet popular 11:54pm. I have school in the morning so I couldn't wait any longer for him to show up. Maybe Yuugi would know something. Doubtfully, but maybe. But I'll talk to him tomorrow, so for now I go and put away the lamb and dump out the water it has been sitting in and go to change into my pajamas.
Around midnights I hear the door open but no lights seep in from the crack at the bottom of my door. I can't tell what is happening but I'm sure that it's only Bakura so I just lay my head back down and fall asleep.
Turns out, it was Bakura. But he brought Marik with him and he's sleeping on the couch; I see him when I get to the living room. Trying not to wake him, I make my way to the kitchen to start some breakfast. 'I'll do ham and eggs, hm.'
So I get that started by buttering the pan. And it seems that Marik has a very keen sense of smell because when I crack one egg open onto the pan, he's getting up off the couch.
"Good morning, Marik."
"So am I getting some of that breakfast?" He smiles with his teeth showing and I smile back.
"Of course. I wouldn't just let you go hungry while you're here."
Marik sits at the table while I continue to shuffle the eggs around in the pan. Knowing Marik, I start to add some more things to the eggs: onions, pepper, and salt, hot sauce-mild-chunky, milk, basils thyme, grated cheese. He's slept over here before, and sometimes he did it while I was at school. Though Bakura and he usually just went out for breakfast when they did that. Or lunch, since neither would get up until at least eleven when they slept at the same place. I guess you could call it brunch, but that'd be much too complimentary to their kind of relationship.
"I guess I should apologize for just dropping by with Bakura while you were asleep."
I'm holding the pan of eggs over a plate and about to scrape them onto it. "It's fine Marik. I don't mind if you come over. At the very least it gives me someone else to talk to besides Bakura. Do you want a tortilla for these?"
I hold the pan into his view.
"Hmm. Sure, I guess."
When I've set the pan back onto the stove and open the fridge; Bakura is standing in the kitchen door way.
I'm getting nervous and I can almost see myself stuttering. I grab the tortillas and set them on the counter.
"Do you want anything to drink?"
The question hangs between us. I don't know if I truly expect an answer from Bakura or not, but before he opens his mouth and I get the chance to crack another egg (we're almost out now) Marik blurts, "Orange juice for m, thanks."
I stifle a release of breathe under a smile as I say, "Alright." And when I've got the orange juice in my hand I ask, "Water, Bakura?"
Once I've gotten them their drinks, Marik is wrapping his eggs up in the tortilla, and I've got Bakura's eggs cooking on the stove, that's when the awkward silence begins. This is usually how every morning is when I'm making breakfast for the two of them. The last time I tried to start up a conversation, Bakura's glare silenced me and I watched as they had their own silent conversation.
Marik really is better at reading Bakura then I am. I used to think it was just because he was really good at reading expressions since Bakura always seems to only have that angry look, but when I asked he told me it was because Bakura and I have almost the same exact face. Even if Bakura expresses differently from me, I'm almost a totally opened book and that he's seen small ways that Bakura's face expresses the same way as me.
I stir the eggs around and flip them. I really can't stand it when it's this quiet but there are people around. Even if it is Bakura and Marik. Honestly, Marik is the only one of my friends that visits so-riiing—riiing
"I have it."
Marik answers the phone before I get the chance to set down the spatula.
I watch him as he listens to the phone.
"For you, Ryou."
Bakura is looking at me. I don't look back at him as I reply. "Huh, o-kay"
Marik hands me the phone and I speak into it.
"Hello, this is Bakura Ryou speaking. . . .I-I did? . . . Oh, um, yes, I can come in tomorrow . . .Six, ye-yes, I can make it. . . .And thank you so much for this . . . yes, yes, thank you again. . . .Yeah, I'll see you tomorrow, bye."
I'm grinning like a cat, I can feel it. Yet I can't help myself I'm so happy!
"What was that about?" Marik asks.
"I just got a job at the museum."
"Really? But like, can't you not get jobs while you're in school?"
"No, but I've been talking with the principal and my teachers and I got their approval for it a week back."
"Well then, I guess congrats are in order, huh!"
"No no, thank you, but no."
"Heh, thank you, a lot, Marik, but I really don't think I need any congratulating on this. I'm sure it was pretty biased decision that got me in."
I nervously scratch my chin. As I scrape the eggs-and ham-onto Bakura's plate Marik asks me when I applied at the museum in the first place. I explain the situation the same way I did for Bakura. And as I put the fryer into the sink and turn the water on, I get asked, "Why didn't you just ask me for the money?" Marik, he's so kind hearted.
"I couldn't ask you for money, Marik. I'd feel so bad because I wouldn't be able to pay you back."
"I wouldn't have minded, man. But fine, fine. And still, congrats for getting the job."
Later in the day when Marik has long since left, Bakura is walking down to his room. As he walks away and I am going to grab the remote, he says, "Told you, you couldn't rely on that old man."
He says it with such spite towards me that I can't help but look away and close my eyes, fighting back tears.
When I wake up in the morning, I immediately see that I've woken two hours earlier then needed. Six o'clock, right. My motor functions are sluggish and I can't really register what I'm going to do right now, but I get up anyways. There's no chance I'm going to start making noises like taking a shower right now, so I decide to start the coffee maker.
All the lights are off and I don't want to chance Bakura waking up this early by turning on all the kitchen lights, so I turn on just the stove light. It's enough, and I can see what it is I'm doing now.
A little while after, when the coffee maker was going and I was sitting at the table, my thoughts started to wander. Silly things popped into my head now and then, but mostly my mind was blank. Just sitting at the table, barely awake, is not a productive way to spend a morning.
I started to drift off every now and then. And what I had thought had been almost a hour turned out to have only been ten minutes. Groining in frustration, I get up and glare at the coffee maker. Still a long way to go. Nnh.
I sigh, walking back to my room to grab some clothes for the day, I realize I'm much too tired to care about making anymore first impressions. Grabbing some clothes that are at least semi decent for first day on a job, I go down to the hall closet and grab a towel; doubtful that Bakura would even wake up while I'm in the shower.
Doubtful, I had been. Because of my doubt I'm now in the bathroom, a half hour before I should leave, rubbing make up onto my face. I really should know better about pissing Bakura off in the morning. When he's also barely awake he's less sensible. I grumble at my reflection and wonder what I had been thinking at the time. Probably not much, that's for certain. Also that I'm definitely going to be suppressing this event.
There isn't much else I can do to conceal the slight bruise on my check so I give up on that to do something else to get ready.
Before I leave out the door I check twice that I have everything: keys, wallet, and cell phone. Check. I check my watch and I'm out the door on time. I guess there is a first for everything.
I walk into the building and almost trip over myself when I hear a load 'hello' from behind me. But I catch myself quickly enough and turn around to see…the receptionist. Only now do I realize that I don't know her name.
"Uh, hello." I squeak.
"Bakura, isn't it?"
"Ryou, please. And uh…" I point my hand at her.
"OH! Yeah, my name is Colette."
We shake hands and she tells me to follow her. She talks on about how wonderful it is that I got accepted and that the job isn't going to be hard, how 'honestly, it really is going to be a breeze. The wages are good and there isn't much you have to do'.
There's a list of things that doesn't fall into the category of 'not much to do' though, and I mentally list them in my head. The hours and halls are explained, what section I can work in and which ones I don't have to be near at certain times. She covers everything and I never would have expected her to know all these things since she's a receptionist.
We keep walking down halls and seeing the exhibits. When we walk passed a door that she doesn't point out, I question her of it.
"Where does this one lead?" I know for certain that this is a question that's asking for trouble.
"Huh? Well, back there is where we have some of the most rare and unexplained things. Mr. Bangles doesn't want these on display, but they were donated and since he's not one to give up something that was willingly given to the museum, well, you know."
I get it.
"You ready to keep going?"
"Yeah. But uh, just asking, but when will my shift be?"
"Oh RIGHT!" She laughs and scratches her head. "Follow me and we'll talk about the hours and all that."