A Wonderful Present

Bakura had been standing beside the door for the past ten minutes, awaiting his hikari's return from school. Today was September 2nd, and his idea of a birthday surprise was hiding and scaring the boy the moment he walked in the door. Ryou had spent the past several months attempting to rehabilitate him—ever since the hikaris had finally figured out how to give the yamis their own bodies—but so far the effort had only served to make Bakura respect—well, respect wasn't quite the word for it—his hikari. Putting an end to his perpetual mischief-making was on the to-do list; Bakura didn't intend on allowing it to be crossed off anytime soon. At long last, he heard the door click and tensed. He watched as it swung in and Ryou stepped inside. The moment the boy had turned his back, Bakura sprang out from his cover and tackled him to the ground. "Surprise," he murmured.

The only response Ryou gave him was an irritated grunt. No expression of sheer terror. No agape mouth. No nervous giggles. No scolding. Nothing Bakura was used to receiving. Ryou pushed the other off of himself and got to his feet without a word.

Even Bakura could tell that something was wrong. And even he knew that nothing is supposed to go wrong on your birthday. He put his hands on the boy's waist and rested his chin on the boy's shoulder. "What's going on?"

Ryou pulled away with another angry noise and quickened his pace, obviously attempting to reach the staircase before he could be stopped.

There was never a chance that he could make it. Bakura jumped in front of him and caught him around the waist again, this time with a restraining grip. "What. Is. Going. On?" he repeated more slowly, punching each word a little more than necessary. He gazed straight into the boy's eyes as he waited for an answer.

After several moments of holding a defiant glare, Ryou collapsed against Bakura, who gently knelt to keep a hold of him. Ryou buried his face against his other and choked on the tears he was trying to restrain. "Him."

A dark expression crossed Bakura's face even as he spoke with a tone he hoped was comforting. "What about him?" Him was the nameless boy that Ryou had been pursuing for about as long as Bakura had been a separate entity. Bakura felt Ryou shaking, and he guessed the only logical explanation for the boy's gloom. "He turned you down, didn't he?" He continued at Ryou's nod of affirmation. "It was bad, wasn't it?"

Ryou pushed away and gazed at Bakura. "Yes. He…he knew that it's my birthday, and…and…he came to me." A horrible aura passed over him as he told his story. "I was at lunch, and he came up to my desk and asked to talk to me. We went outside, under the tree, and…he introduced me to his girlfriend. She started yelling at me, things I can't even repeat. And he was just laughing. He knew the whole time. And he let me make a fool of myself. I ran away and hid for the rest of lunch…but I had to spend the rest of the day seeing him smirk during class." Ryou leaned against his yami again.

Bakura wrapped his arms around Ryou and ran his fingers through the boy's hair. Secretly, he was ecstatic over the rejection. Not for Ryou's misery, but for Ryou's best interests. His infatuation with him had been unhealthy, and Bakura had suspected that it would end something like this. Of course, Bakura had his own selfish reason for hoping that he would finally reject poor Ryou: he wanted the boy for himself. The word for how he regarded his hikari wasn't quite respect, but rather something more along the lines of admiration—that admiration was quick to evolve. For the past month or so, Bakura had begun looking at Ryou in a strange new light. It was not so unlike Ryou's own infatuation with the nameless him, but unlike that, Bakura knew that he had a pretty good chance of getting what he wanted. "Hey, Ryou," he murmured.

"Hmm?" It was obvious that he was quite comfortable and feeling worlds less miserable than he had not so long before.

"I have a present for you."

The boy's arms slid around Bakura's waist. "Can we maybe just stay here awhile? This makes me feel a whole lot better."

Though this caught him off guard, by no means did Bakura protest. It was nice to know that Ryou wanted to be held. The thought sent his mind wandering into just why he might want that as he continued pulling his fingers through the boy's hair.

Some amount of time passed before either of them moved. It was Ryou who pushed away once more to look into Bakura's eyes. "What did you say about a present?" There was a spark of the usual light that illuminated his being.

Bakura shook his head as he registered the question. "I said that I have one."

"If you st—"

"I did not steal it. You told me that you would take it back if I did." The threat had recently arisen because Bakura stole a shirt that Ryou wanted but could not afford to buy at the time. "I didn't steal anything for you."

A faint smile stole over the boy's face. "I guess I've done a little in the way of rehabilitation, then. Thank you for not. So if you didn't steal anything, how long did it take you to come up with something?"

"About two seconds before I mentioned it."

Ryou raised his eyebrows. A hint of suspicion crept into his voice. "Oh?"


"It's nothing ille—"

"No, it's nothing illegal. I swear that I'm not going to put you in danger of jail or even a slight scolding."

"You're killing me, Bakura!" laughed Ryou. "What is it?"

Bakura leaned forward and pressed his lips to the boy's. He didn't even bother keeping his eyes open to watch his hikari's reaction. However Ryou reacted, he reacted; Bakura was determined to enjoy the kiss while it lasted. The first thing he saw when he pulled back was Ryou's stunned expression. "I thought a nice present might be letting you know that someone's been waiting for you to be over him."

Ryou blinked several times before a grin broke his face. "It's a wonderful present."

"I always have been good at guessing."

Hey, I'm on time this year! Granted, it's not my best work since I wrote most of it in one hour today, but it's here. Happy birthday, our dear Ryou! Happy birthday, indeed...

Oh, and by the way, REVIEW!