A/N: Ah time for the final chapter in the Unreal Truth's saga, but it certainly won't be the last we see of this verse', so long as my muse keeps up with me that is. I apologize so much for the lateness but I had a lot of trouble getting the inspiration to finish this chapter and I wanted you guys to have the best ^^; I am sure you all hate me by now, but please enjoy the extra-long chapter as an apology! Anyways, It's been a great ride and I appreciate every one of my readers and reviewers and I want to squish you all with love! Now, on to the final chapter! There may be several epilogue chapters and spin offs as inspiration hits me so I hope you all stick by me as I continue to write! Cheers, CQ!
Chapter 35: Happiness
Ah, what an excellent morning to just sit down and enjoy myself. It had been nearly a year since the whole debacle with Bakura and Mariku, and now we were all living relatively peacefully together.
Albeit a little cramped.
It was nice though, being able to have a functional relationship with three others that you never could imagine having several years ago. I was happy to be with these people who obviously cared about me and each other.
I was jerked suddenly out of my internal thoughts by the sound of a loud crash and my smoke detector in the kitchen going off.
Though to be honest, living with the two formerly inhuman yamis was starting to be just about more than I could handle.
"It wasn't me! Blame your boyfriend!"
A different voice answered this time, sounding guilty and apologetic, "I followed the instructions!"
Bakura's voice barked back, "Good lord Mariku, 30 SECONDS! Do you even know how long that is?"
Life certainly wasn't boring anymore, that was for sure.
Sighing softly, I grabbed my paper and walked into the kitchen, using it to fan away the smoke, "Well…there goes the microwave…"
"I am so sorry Fluffy! I didn't mean to do it!" Mariku looked panicked, his hair a bit riled, as it was only a few inches longer than when he had nearly cut it all off, and it gave him an adorable and youthful look.
"Well Bakura should be watching you."
"Excuse me landlord, but since when am I the babysitter?" Bakura cocked an eyebrow, looking over his own paper from where he sat at the kitchen table, feet propped up and chair reclined.
"That's right; you are both too irresponsible to be left alone. My bad." I smacked both yamis over the head with my paper before going to clean up Mariku's mess.
I then heard a bit of shuffling behind me and I put on a smile to greet Marik as he slowly made his way into the kitchen.
Mariku gave a gleeful sound of joy, waving to Marik and grinning like a loon, "Omote! I tried to make breakfast for you and Ryou but Bakura ruined it!"
"Shut up you asshole! You ruined it all on your own!" Bakura grumbled as he got out of his seat, walking over to Marik and wrapping his arms gently around his recovering boyfriend, "How are you feeling this morning?"
Marik smiled and pressed his head into the crook of Bakura's neck, his wig fitted securely on his head, "I'm doing good, just tired is all."
Bakura nodded and helped Marik over to the kitchen table and I poured us all a small glass of orange juice, "So guys, I think we need to have a talk about some things."
"I said I was sorry!" Mariku squeaked as he returned to his seat and Marik chuckled lightly as he remained in Bakura's lap.
I gave an exasperated sigh as I sat down and shook my head, "No it's nothing you did, it's just something I have been thinking about ever since we really started to get friendly with one another."
"Oh God he wants us to have a foursome. I knew it would happen eventually!"
I groaned and shot Bakura a dark look, "No! That's not it at all!"
"I think it would be fun!" Mariku matched my dark look with a shit eating grin and I returned it with a bird flipping finger.
"No, I don't want a foursome! Now let's try to be serious here for a moment okay?"
Bakura snickered but said nothing more and Mariku obediently leaned back in his chair, trying to mimic Bakura's earlier pose.
I took in a long breath and let it out, sipping from my glass of orange juice before continuing on, "I think this place is getting a bit too cramped for all of us. Granted we bunk together with our respective boyfriends…" I gave Mariku a small smile and saw Bakura do the same to Marik and nip at the other's ear, much to the Egyptian teen's chagrin. "I think it would be best if we went house hunting. I am sure Bakura can procure us some funds…" I trailed off and gave my yami an expectant look and he returned my gaze with a self-satisfied grin.
"Are you asking me to steal Ryou?"
"I am not asking you anything, I am just assuming that if you wanted a nice place for Marik to live, you would help us come up with the extra money that we need. Granted Marik and I have been saving for a bigger place for some time now, I just don't think we are anywhere near being able to afford a house, so I thought maybe you could…help?" I groaned as Bakura feigned ignorance and I found myself having to restrain from punching him.
"I don't care how you do it Bakura, just please get us some money for a house? And for the love of God do not get caught!"
Bakura laughed and kissed Marik's cheek, being more affectionate than I had ever seen him before this morning, "All you had to do was ask Landlord. Of course I want the best for myself and Marik, and well if we have to put up with you two as well then I guess that won't be so bad."
I shook my head, though I couldn't hide the growing smile on my face, "Thank you Bakura. I thought that today we could all go out and do some house hunting, maybe even find something we like. I have never done this kind of thing before, but it shouldn't be too hard I hope…"
The only thing I was concerned about was looking suspicious. Four young men in their twenties looking for what would probably be a multi-million dollar house to all share and live together in.
Oh well, as long as Bakura did his job right and didn't get caught then we wouldn't have to worry, and really, the damn thief could probably do this stuff in his sleep.
Actually he probably did, using my body.
Shaking myself from my internal ramblings, I looked back to Bakura and gave him another appreciative nod before turning to Marik, "I wanted to make sure you were well enough to come with us, after all, I think all four of us need to have a say in this purchase since it will most likely be where we all stay for the rest of our lives."
Marik smiled gently and lifted his head slightly so he could better meet my gaze, "Thank you Ryou, I appreciate it." The Egyptian teen still looked awfully pale, but he certainly looked much, much better than he had the night after the surgery.
"I already picked out a few locations for us to go see." I smiled and pulled out a book of homes for sale, certain pages tabbed and some houses on those pages highlighted in yellow.
Bakura took the book and used one hand to open it to the first tab while he held Marik tightly with the other, "Well? See any that you like?"
Marik glanced over each paper and book carefully, violet eyes studying each choice before he separated five of them from the pile, "I think we should go see these first."
I nodded and grabbed the ones Marik chose, standing up and tucking the papers under my arm, "Well, if we are all ready, then let's get going. Today seems to be open house galore and I want to beat the crowds."
Mariku made a delighted sound and hopped up, looking like a kid on Christmas, "This is going to be fun."
Oh yeah, real fun.
"Mariku, don't be touching anything! I mean it! We are just looking okay?"
That was the last thing I needed, Mariku going around and destroying every house we went to.
Mariku gave me a pouty look, but I knew he was just playing. The others didn't give him enough credit. Bakura was actually the bigger trouble maker.
It didn't take long for everyone to get ready, since Bakura was an early riser, as was Mariku and so the two of them were already dressed. It just took a few minutes for Marik to get dressed fully and for me to tame my wild mess of hair before we were set to go.
I drove to the first house, since neither Mariku nor Bakura had licenses or could really be trusted to drive and since Marik wasn't supposed to drive for another few months as his brain injuries healed.
Let's just say the picture gave some very high expectations that the actual house did not live up to.
They had to have used Photoshop, that was the only explanation I had for this run down piece of shit being the same house as in the picture.
"A…are we s…sure this is the r…right place?" Marik's voice put my thoughts into words and I pulled out the paper to double check the address.
"Well….it's the right address…"
"This place is a shit hole."
"…Eloquently put Bakura." I sighed and looked up to the front porch where the real-estate agent was waiting eagerly for us.
"We aren't seriously going to consider this place are we Ryou?" Bakura frowned deeply and Marik leaned against him.
"We m…may as w….well. We drove the whole w…way out here after a…all."
I nodded and turned slightly to face our little group, "Never judge a book by its cover guys. Maybe it isn't so bad on the interior. Maybe it just needs a little love. Let's give it a chance shall we?"
Mariku and Bakura exchanged a look then turned back to me, Bakura's eyes narrowed slightly in disgust, "Alright fine, let's just get this over with."
I gave a light sigh and put on a fake smile before turning back to the realtor and walking up the stairs and praying to God that this all went smoothly.
The man greeted us enthusiastically and lead our small group inside, "Well, here is the main entrance-"
"We can see that." Bakura snorted and walked past the confused-looking agent, going into the kitchen and dragging Marik along with him.
"I'm sorry, do excuse them." I gave a small smile and waved my hand as if this really was nothing out of the ordinary, and really, it wasn't.
"If you don't mind, we can just check out the place on our own and call if we have any questions. That okay?"
The man nodded reluctantly, holding his files close to his chest as if they would protect him from this strange group of young men, "Uh sure, I will just wait right here for you."
I nodded in thanks and walked into the living room, while Bakura and Marik checked out the kitchen. It really wasn't all that bad, though the house definitely could use some tender loving care.
Bakura and Marik soon joined me and we walked together back the hall, inspecting each of the bedrooms, finding them each too small for our liking.
"Well…" I sighed gently and turned to my two companions- Wait…two?
"…Where is Mariku?"
Bakura and Marik each exchanged a look and I felt my heart leap up into my chest.
Shit, I couldn't turn around for two seconds could I?
I jumped at the sound of Mariku's yell and I left the others behind to run for the upstairs.
Turns out Mariku had decided to wander up the stairs to look on his own and walked onto a rotten floorboard.
I couldn't help but giggle at the sight of my boyfriend on the floor, his leg stuck through the wooden floor. The Egyptian yami was squirming and struggling to get up, but every time he tried it would fail and Mariku would find himself face planting into the floor.
"Fluffyyy helllpp! Hey it's not funny!"
I really couldn't help it; I laughed.
There was the sound of running and before I knew it Marik and Bakura had joined us, along with the real estate agent.
The young realtor gave a surprised cry and rushed over, immediately beginning to try and get Mariku unstuck, "Oh my I am so sorry sir!"
Mariku freaked out even more, obviously not wanting the man to touch him and I rushed over before the poor realtor got his face clawed off, "It's okay! I will help him!"
The man stepped back and I knelt down, still snickering slightly as I heard Bakura roar with laughter behind me.
Honestly, I don't know how I do it some days.
"Relax Mariku, I will help you out."
Mariku gave a little huff but managed to stay still long enough to let me dislodge his foot.
As my boyfriend stood I turned to my other two roommates and the realtor, "Well…I think that gives us our answer."
"Gentlemen I am so, so sorry! Is there any way that I can make it up to you?" The agent looked panicked, probably afraid that we were going to sue him.
"Don't worry about it." I help up my hands in reassurance as a flush red Mariku walked back over to join Marik and Bakura, "We are just going to keep looking. Thank you."
The man looked dejected as we left the house, and I couldn't help but feel kind of sorry for him. I would hate to have his job.
"That w…went…well." Marik gave a halfhearted smile as he climbed in the back seat, Bakura joining him as Mariku and I got in the front.
"I know…I am sorry guys, that could have gone so much better." I sighed softly and started the car, setting the GPS for the next house.
The car ride was surprisingly quiet, though I think it was because Mariku was still recovering from his bought of humiliation and Bakura was too busy necking Marik in the back seat.
I gave them a dirty look in the rearview mirror but decided not to say anything. I supposed Mariku and myself really weren't all that much better.
The next house was much better than the first and was actually a decent contender. It was closer to the city but still far enough away where we wouldn't be bothered with all the traffic and stuff and it had a lot of land that came with it. Four bedrooms, each with their own bathroom and a large living and dining room; it seemed almost perfect.
Something still wasn't right though.
"Well guys?" I turned and looked behind me to Bakura, the former spirit frowning as he stared at the house intently.
"I don't know landlord…something just doesn't seem right."
"It's not h…home." Marik sighed and shook his head, walking dejectedly back to the car, "We need to keep looking."
Marik was right, and we all knew it. So it was with his decision that we kept looking.
We searched all the houses on the list yet none of them felt right. By the last house it was just Bakura and I inside, as Mariku refused to go inside anymore 'cannibal houses' and Marik was beginning to get run down from his injuries.
"Bakura…" I sighed as we walked back into the living room, moving over to the recliner to sit down, "I am so sorry…this is turning out to be a horrible idea…"
"Since when were you one to give up so easily Landlord?" Bakura gave me a scrutinizing look before sitting down on the table in front of me, fixing me with an unwavering gaze, "Just because we had a tough day doesn't mean we won't find the perfect place."
I cocked an eyebrow, a slow smirk spreading across my face.
Bakura blinked and gave me a funny look, "What is that crazy grin for?"
"I never thought I would hear a pep talk coming from you Bakura."
"Precisely! It shouldn't be happening! So get your lazy, pathetic ass up out of this chair and get moving. We have some more house hunting to do!"
Bakura was right for once, so I took his advice and stood up, walking with him out to the car, "Hey guys, another dud."
Marik and Mariku exchanged looks, and Marik turned back to me, "I think we should call it quits for today…go home and choose a new selection and start over tomorrow."
Bakura nodded and gave Marik a hug, Mariku crawling so that he was in the front seat.
Once everyone was situated I made the half hour drive home in silence, lost in my own thoughts while Marik and my former yami made out in the backseat.
Going inside, I made a beeline for the kitchen, Marik slowly following behind me as I heard the door shut.
"Would you like some tea Marik?"
"Y…yes, thank you Ryou." The Egyptian teen moved to the kitchen table and sat down, pulling out his laptop and beginning to type rapidly; most likely searching for our next house to visit.
"Marik…I am sorry today didn't go as planned-"
"Ryou…" Marik laughed lightly, looking up from his screen, "There is no need to worry! It's not l…like we were going t…to find the perfect house on the first trip." He gave me a reassuring smile before turning back to his screen, "No worries, we will find that perfect place."
Of course Marik was right, and I started feeling really silly about doubting him.
"Hey Bakura, Mariku, you two want any tea?"
There was nothing but silence to answer me, and I looked to Marik in confusion.
The Egyptian teen met my gaze with a puzzled one of his own, turning towards the living room to see if the two yami's were there and just not paying attention.
There was nothing in the room except the furniture however, and I felt my heart speed up a bit in nervousness.
"Where do you think they are?" Marik stood out of his chair, walking slowly into the living room.
"Knowing them it can't be anything good." I heaved a heavy sigh and followed Marik into the living room, raising an eyebrow in confusion as I saw a piece of scrap paper laying on the ground, seeming very out of place.
"Marik…I think I know where they went." I rolled my eyes and waved the note in my hand, reading the scribbled note upon it.
Mariku and I have gone off to secure some funds for our future residence. I trust you and Marik to continue searching. No budget required.
"They are robbing a bank aren't they?"
I crumple up the note and looked at Marik with a serious look on my face, "We don't know anything about this okay? We let them do whatever it is they are doing and just pretend everything is fine and dandy."
Marik and I stared at each other a long few moments before bursting out laughing.
I really couldn't believe this is what my life had become.
What's more is I couldn't believe I was perfectly okay with it.
3am…That's what time Bakura and Mariku came bursting through the front door like they were being chased.
They probably had been, but I didn't want to know about it.
Marik and I had stayed up the whole night on the couch, watching television and worrying about what kind of trouble those two were getting themselves into.
"About fucking time you morons!" I immediately stood, going over and whacking Mariku across the head, "Ever hear of planning ahead for this kind of shit?"
"Of course, but I had a different plan of action Landlord, one that actually worked out rather well if I do say so myself." Bakura had a cocky smirk on his face as he dropped two large duffle bags by the door.
At my slightly horrified look, Bakura gave out a light huff of annoyance, "Relax Ryou, it's not like the cops are going to come busting down our door. I promise we were discreet."
"That's the problem." I pulled Mariku close to me before shoving him hard into the recliner, "That one there doesn't know the meaning of discreet."
"He actually helped me a great deal."
"Hear that Ryou, I helped." Mariku stuck his tongue out at me and I straddled him in the chair, nipping at his tongue.
"Yeah, yeah I heard him."
Marik smiled tiredly from the couch, looking briefly at the duffle bags before glancing up at Bakura, holding his hand out to the tomb robber.
In typical 'wrapped-around-Marik's finger' fashion, the thief moved in, crawling onto the couch and taking Marik's hand gently in his own, "Told you I would take care of us."
"I never doubted you for a second." Marik kissed Bakura's lips gently before pulling him close as they both laid there on the couch, looking ready to fall asleep.
I myself was ready to crash, and one look at Mariku told me he was feeling very much the same.
"Alright, well I guess we can go to bed now that I know you two aren't going to end up in prison." Though I really didn't feel like leaving this chair much at all. Mariku was awfully comfy.
I heard Bakura chuckle and Marik give out a light sigh of relief, "Yes well, I think I am just going to lay here…I am comfortable."
Bakura shifted and pulled Marik closer to his chest, the couch large enough to accommodate the two of them.
Mariku put his own arms around me and I laid my head on his chest, the steady sound of his heartbeat lulling me off to sleep.
Let's just say the next morning proved to me how dumb of an idea sleeping in your boyfriend's lap in a recliner was.
"Fucking hell my back hurts." Bakura groaned as he rolled off the sofa, landing in a crouch on the floor.
"S…sorry Kura, I didn't f…feel like moving." Marik frowned as he sat up, looking like he actually had a good night's rest.
At least someone had.
As for me, my own back felt like it had been contorted into a pretzel, but I wasn't going to complain. It was my own stupid choice, "Alright Mariku get up." I tapped the Egyptian yami's cheeks and grinned as he attempted to swat me away, "Marik found a really good potential looking home while you guys were out committing questionable acts and I am rather excited to check it out.
Marik nodded and got up, "Yes, I think it will be a good place to start our second days s…search."
I got up as well, dragging Mariku back to the bedroom so I can shower and get a quick change of clothes before heading out.
"Alright let's get moving then." Bakura grabbed the keys off the table and tossed them to me as Marik pulled out his phone to enter in the address on the GPS.
Once again the search was on.
The place Marik had picked out was far enough away from the city without being out in the country, though it was still close enough that if we wanted to run to the store it wouldn't take more than twenty minutes. The entire house was white, two levels with a large front porch that wrapped the whole way around.
Marik let out a soft gasp and walked forward, holding Bakura's hand tightly as he did, "Guys look…it's perfect!"
Bakura smiled warmly and kissed the top of Marik's head, walking with him to the front door, myself and Mariku following close behind.
The house was massive, with six bedrooms and an equal number of baths. Hardwood floors continued throughout the entire house and there was a gaming room and mini theater. There was a pool and hot tub in the back yard, along with a four car garage with a mini apartment above it for guests or renters. It was about a forty minute drive from the city and was surrounding by forty acres of woods.
It was the dream house we had been looking for all this time.
Turns out the home was just newly built, and the realtor took great joy in showing us around, probably already counting on the commission he would get. Maybe we shouldn't have let our excitement show so easily.
I was more preoccupied with keeping Mariku out of trouble.
The second we walked into the kitchen, Mariku raced inside, looking around with wide eyes.
"Fluffy look! They left perfectly good food laying out!" The Egyptian yami gave an excited squeak and rushed to the fruit bowl in the kitchen with plastic fruit inside.
"Mariku no! Stop it, that's-"
Mariku gagged and threw his fake apple on the floor, giving the little plastic fruit a nasty look, "It's gone bad."
Bakura was snickering from his spot in the doorway, Marik rolling his eyes with a soft smile on his face.
I smacked Mariku lightly across the head, dragging him out of the kitchen and making sure I had a tight hold on him in every room we went into.
After we had gone through the entire house, I excused us briefly from the realtor and called a small group meeting out in the backyard by the hot tub.
"Well guys, what do you think?"
"I like it a lot." Bakura was the first to speak, laying his hand on the hot tub with a hungry look in his eyes, probably thinking of all the sex he could have with Marik in it.
"I agree." Marik smiled as he looked back into the house, a dreamy expression plastered on his face, "It's just…everything we have been looking for all this time…"
"We should get it!" Mariku hopped up on the cover of the hot tub, tilting his head to the side as he looked around, "This place is very nice, besides the crappy food."
Bakura saved me from having to move by reaching his hand up and smacking Mariku's head, nearly causing the yami to go tumbling to the ground.
Marik laughed and moved to the side as Mariku reached out to him to try and catch his balance. Marik's sudden movement caused Mariku to over extend his reach and the next thing I knew, my boyfriend was tumbling over the railing into the swimming pool below.
Thank God it was filled with water.
Bakura erupted into another fit of laughter and I gave a gasp of shock, looking down at the pool as Mariku came to the surface, sputtering about and gasping for air.
Marik began snickering and a slow smile broke its way across my face, leading soon into a fit of laughter
It was in that moment that I knew this was the place. We could all live happily here together with no arguments, no shadow duels and no fighting over millennium items.
We were going to have a normal life if it killed us.
The realtor came out upon hearing the commotion, eyes wide as she saw Mariku climbing out of the pool.
"Oh my is he okay?" She made a move to go help, but Mariku had already made it out and was laying on the pool deck with a silly grin on his face.
Marik, Bakura and I followed the agent down, and I held my hand out to help Mariku stand, brushing his now soaking hair away from his face.
"Oh dear I am so sorry! I will go get you a towel!" The women turned to go but Mariku put up his hand to stop her, "No it's fine…We won't be much longer anyways."
The realtor's face fell, obviously thinking that we no longer wanted the place.
She was definitely surprised when I spoke up…
"We'll take it."
The realtor gave me a shocked look, eyes widening by my statement, "W…what?"
"Did he s…stutter?"
That comment was followed by another splash as Marik sucker punched Bakura in the gut and shoved his boyfriend into the pool.
Bakura gave a low growl as he climbed out of the pool, shaking his hair free of water and walking out towards the car with a laughing Marik in tow.
I smiled and rolled my eyes at my roommate's antics, giving the realty agent a soft smile, "Yes it's perfect. We will definitely be taking it."
The realtor gave a small leap of delight and smiled widely, "Well then! I shall write up the paperwork and we can do some negotia-"
"No negotiations needed." I turned as I saw Bakura returning from the car with a rather large duffle bag, unzipping it to show the contents inside; stacks upon stacks of hundred dollar bills.
"We will pay asking price…in cash."
Marik gasped and gave Bakura a look, to which the thief shrugged, "I had a hunch we would be needing it."
I gave Bakura a look, wondering if he could have been any more obvious. If he got arrested for robbing a bank then I was not going to be the one to bail him out of prison.
Bless the saleswoman for not freaking out and calling the police right then. Instead she smiled sweetly, though it was a bit strained, and nodded, "Well of course then…right."
Bakura gave me a wink and walked off with the woman, forcing the rest of us to fall behind as we signed the papers.
The whole thing didn't take as long as expected, and we were told that we could move in immediately. It was a great feeling, and I stood in silence just to bask in it for a little while.
"You still with us Landlord?"
I smiled and opened my eyes, looking to Bakura and nodding, "Yeah, I am."
Marik walked over and gave me a hug, and I returned the gesture, feeling Mariku move in as well, squirming in delight. Marik had to shoot Bakura a dark look before he approached, obviously put off by the whole concept of hugging, but once he got close enough Mariku caught his wrist and dragged him in.
"You can't escape us now Bakura, you're stuck for life." I grinned and Marik laughed, kissing the tomb robber's cheek as he scowled, marking the picture perfect end to a picture perfect day.