Title: Weapon of Choice
Author: Nietzsche's Itch
Pairing: Antagoshipping (Yami Bakura/Seto Kaiba)
Genre: Romance, Hurt/Comfort
Status: In-Progress, Incomplete
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh!
Summary: Kaiba finds that aggression isn't always the way to win , and Bakura wonders if he has anyway.
If asked to describe the infamous Seto Kaiba in one word, a number of adjectives or, as the case might be, expletives, might come readily to mind.
And the man himself would concur with all of the above, approving of the image he had meticulously crafted for himself, an impenetrable facade that none but his brother were granted the privilege of seeing falter, and his lingering humanity give one last hurrah, before disappearing beneath the cloak of the tyrannical, obsessive man whose existence revolved around the protection and preservation of his only family, and his only true weakness.
Growing up in Gozaburo's household was a trial to be overcome, with a battle lurking around every corner, traps laid down to capture the unwary, with trickery the order of the day as a pauper boy sought frenetically to unseat an unworthy king from his lofty throne. Kindness and compassion had no place in this dreary new world he knew found himself imprisoned in, and only under the shroud of concealing darkness would he allow the armour of conceit and aggression that allowed him to keep standing tall, to endure the despots attempts to assassinate his spirit, and turn him into yet another weapon, to be used in his wars fall.
Aggression became his first line of defence. The best defence is a good offense, and he took this lesson to his rapidly hardening heart. He searched for the worst in human nature, and turned it against them, justifying his belief that everyone has the potential to betray you if you let them get too close. Everyone was an enemy until proven innocent, and even then he was more than aware of the allure of power and wealth, and how it could bring about the downfall of the most honest of men.
The company he had rebuilt according to his own designs became his fortress, an impenetrable stronghold high in the sky where he reigned over them all, where nothing could touch him, where nobody was greater than he, and he could feel safe.
His words became as deadly as the artillery Gozaburo would have had him create, barbed and venomous, capable of striking down a man with one flick of the tongue. He had no need of tanks or missiles, when the mere anticipation of an outburst of vitriolic temper sent them running for cover.
With his dragons as his sword and sarcasm as his shield, he went through life as a juggernaut, using his anger to clear the path ahead, decimating all obstacles that came between him and his ambitions.
What he didn't expect to find was someone who functioned along the same premise, and exuded raw fury on a level that was palpable.
He was animalistic in so many ways, snarling out his words, stalking about with an undeniably predatory grace, teeth bared as if preparing to tear into the throat of the next unsuspecting passerby. And when it came down to it, he found it entirely more believable, even than finding out that that that pharaoh and his runt were not one and the same to learn that Ryou Bakura wasn't simply suffering a rather pronounced case of MPD, but was actually possessed.
Yugi and his pharaoh were both afflicted with an incurable sense of morality and an infallible belief that good would always prevail over evil. It was one of the things he had despised most about them, that for them it seemed to hold true, while for people for him and Mokuba, the opposite was the truth.
This other spirit was vicious, deviant, unabashedly violent, delighting in the misery of others. He had plenty of duelling talent, and had succeeded in making the pharaoh squirm on occasion. Even if he hadn't won, and even if it wasn't himself duelling against the brat, it was still satisfying to watch his rival stare helplessly at his cards, at least until he miraculously produced the one that would win him the duel. Seto thought he allowed him to build up false hope out of sheer spite. He wouldn't put it past him.
He had no concerns as to the others sanity, it was apparent that it was totally nonexistent. And when he attained a body of his own, and the unnerving contrast between him and his hikari began to show, Seto decided that taking a more active interest in this Yami Bakura was in order. Mokuba protested that this had not been what he had in mind when he had insisted that his brother socialise more. He wasn't sure if it was because he objected to the choice of person, or because he didn't consider stalking him to be socialising.
The first man he set to following him ended up minus his wallet, stark naked and dangling upside-down from a tree branch by his shoelaces. The shoes could not be retrieved.
The next one had his car stolen and towed back to his house, completely burnt out.
The third man was incoherent, and developed a sudden and extreme phobia of knives, and a propensity to shriek in fear and horror at the sound of laughter, and had to be checked into a clinic for a few rounds of intensive therapy
He was liking him more by the minute. Someone who took even more perverse pleasure in tormenting fools than he did, and they were good at it. Now if only one of the idiots could find him. But as they said, if you wanted something done right...
He just hoped Bakura would be willing to play.
If he was being honest, not that he was usually, but there's a first time for everything, he had been getting bored as of late. His new body came with conditions, that he wasn't to cause deliberate harm or distress to Ryou, not that he would have anyway, the improbably sweet boy having grown on him enough that he allowed him to fuss over him, to cave in to his insistence that he stay with him even after they had been separated, and to defend him to the pharaoh and his fan club when they protested the offer. He was the only one Bakura would have wanted or dared to call a friend, if he had been inclined to believe in such nonsense in the first place.
The other condition was that he genuinely had to try making in this life without supernatural assistance, and to prove that Shadi hadn't been remiss in his responsibilities by granting him a new body, not that he cared what the pestilential nuisance thought, but as much as he loved the shadow realm, the thought of being trapped there for all eternity if he turned back and his thieving and murdering ways was an unsavoury one, so he took a cue from his hikari, and pasted an appropriately benign expression on his face every time the finger of suspicion was wrongfully pointed at him for one reason or the other.
However, Ryou was beating him seventeen games to four in ping pong, and Bakura was desperate for a break in the monotony. The discovery that he was stalked, by Kaiba's goons no less, gave him the chance to work off some of his pent up frustrations. And the best thing about it was, that if they found out what he did to them, he could claim to have feared for his little mortal life, for being a spirit had the advantage of making you invulnerable to death, he had found, and they could kiss his ass if they didn't believe him. He didn't care if they didn't, he was lying after all.
He wondered if Kaiba had any staff left after his assault on his covert workforce, or if he had forced them all into early retirement or the psychiatric ward after he was done playing with them. Either way, he appreciated the distraction it had provided, even as he wondered at the reasoning for it. The man practically defined denial, and only after he had made Bakura tickled pink by asserting that the pharaoh was no less of a parasite now he had his own body again was it apparent that he had finally succumbed to the truth of all that he had seen with his own eyes. He was not stupid, and there came a point where denying the obvious began to work against you.
The sudden interest in Bakura was puzzling however, when he had never duelled against him. He hadn't tried to take over his precious company, his commandeering of his brothers soulless body at Duelist Kingdom was years ago and he didn't even hang around with the friendship freaks, regarding them as accidents of evolution, much like Kaiba himself. The vendetta, if it was even that, was unjustified, and aroused his curiosity as to what the snarky brunette wanted with him.
He had never been one to deny himself what he wanted if he could help it, and he thought a little breaking and entering just might be in order. Bakura didn't intend to steal anything, so as long as he was careful, he had nothing to lose.
Got to love loopholes.
His childhood had been good training, when he might be thrown into a wall, struck without warning, or any other form of assorted nastiness, for knowing when he was being watched. Mokuba joked that it was his chronic paranoia acting up, but even he had to acknowledge that his brother had an uncanny knack for anticipating an attack.
Thus, when the almost inaudible click of his bedroom opening sounded, it was more than enough to rouse him to alertness.
The door had been locked with an old fashioned key. An incident with a rather presumptuous maid who thought that sexual harassment only applied to women and that her frigid employer was only playing hard to get had ensured that she would never work in Japan again, and that he never went to sleep with checking and double checking the locks. Mokuba had a spare of course, it wouldn't do for his beloved brother to be unable to reach him in the event of an emergency, and his own door required a code to get in. His desire for the others safety far eclipsed his own any day of the week.
The intruder had to have picked the lock, and had done it so skilfully and silently that they had completed their task before he realized they were in the room. There weren't many who could boast to having achieved this, particularly after evading the guard dogs, the night watchmen, the infrared sensors, the motion detectors and the hidden cameras dotted throughout the mansion.
The prey had taken the bait.
Suppressing a smirk, Seto regulated his breathing so that it sounded as if he was still soundly asleep, and cracked his eyelids open just enough so that could watch the shadow move slowly around the room through his bowed eyelashes. If the mysterious trespasser was who he thought it was, then they wouldn't be fooled for long, but he wanted to see what they would do. There were priceless paintings, the gold watch on the mantle ripe for the taking or perhaps he was feeling ambitious and would unstring the priceless, diamond encrusted candelabra that hung overhead.
He supposed he should be afraid, but after his stepfather had died, he had made a vow never to let anyone make him fear them like that again. This spirit turned flesh and blood was dangerous, he already knew that. He was ruthless enough to be a match for Seto himself in exacting retribution upon those who crossed him. He was seemingly devoid of a conscience, although reports had shown that he lived with his former host in relative peace. Perhaps he had regained a sense of humanity with his return to life. Then again, he hoped he hadn't become completely docile, it was his feral nature that had drawn his attention in the first instance.
What he didn't expect was for the shadowy form to traverse the room in a few long strides, for the bed to dip down as someone sat down behind him, for them to yank back the bedcovers and slide in beside him, pressing up against his back, for fingernails to come whispering across his scalp in a obscene mimic of a spiders scurrying gait, or for them to pull his hair back and close moist lips around his exposed earlobe and raze it with one sharp incisor as if they were thinking about forcibly giving him a new piercing.
(Link to full version plus lemon on my profile)
"I lost" Seto muttered, half asleep but not quite there.
"Does it matter?" Bakura yawned, suppressing a chuckle at the sight of the famously antisocial CEO snuggling into him. No one would ever believe him if he told them that Kaiba was about as fierce as a lamb after sex. And sinfully adorable too, when he wasn't being a total and utter bastard.
"Yes...no...maybe..." he sighed, staring at Bakura with sleepy sapphire eyes.
"You know what I would do?" he asked softly.
"What?" Seto murmured tiredly, his eyes beginning to flutter shut against his will
"Sleep on it. It'll all be clearer in the morning Seto" he said soothingly, stroking the others back like one would a child. An indistinct hum of assent followed his suggestion, and the brunette's breathing became deep and regular.
He didn't know himself why he had been so solicitous with the other, when it had been made clear from the start that all either of them wanted was a good hard fuck to work off their frustrations, and then in all likelihood never talk to the other again beyond perfunctory salutations. He told himself it was because it was because the other man was attractive, because he hated the pharaoh too, that because aside from his abnormally forgiving lighter half, he was the first person that hadn't treated him like he was worth less than the rats in the sewers since he had returned to life, even if it was just to acknowledge his skills in thievery and use them to draw him into his bed, a feat he doubted many could boast of.
But most of all, he knew it was because the stubborn asshole had forced him to start to accept himself, and show him that he wasn't entirely adrift in this tumultuous sea with a boat, and that once a rope was thrown he could use it to pull himself back to shore.
'Hell, maybe you have won and I'm the only that sees it' he mused, watching the sleeping man nestle closer in his sleep. Bakura tightened his arms around him and let himself begin to drift away.
'And you'll probably never know'