I has updated- Is you proud of me? XD


Bakura had been pacing the floor of the kitchen restlessly for the past three hours, muttering strings of ancient Egyptian under his breath. Ryou couldn't very well sleep either- even though he had an important test tomorrow. He tossed and turned in his bed, becoming increasingly frustrated.

He threw back the covers and stood up, shaking his head and rubbing his eyes. He looked at his nightstand, debated for a moment, then picked up his cell phone. He hoped Marik won't be too upset if he called this late at night.

The phone rings a few times, then Marik answered, his voice raspy and heavy from sleep.

"Ryou?"

"Marik...I'm sorry- did I wake you up?"

"Nah, it's alright. I just got to sleep anyway. Are you alright? What's wrong?"

Ryou scratched the back of his head, feeling a bit flustered and self-conscious all of a sudden.

"Oh. I was just lonely, I suppose. Bakura won't talk to me. I needed someone to talk to. Do you have a minute?"

"Yeah, sure." Marik seemed more awake now. "What do you want to talk about?"

Ryou smiled in relief. He searches his head for a decent topic of conversation.

"Let me think... do you go to school at all?"

"Not really. I learn stuff at home, and I go to the library a lot, but that's it. Ishizu and Odion don't want me in public places where they can't be with me."

Marik sounded simultaneously sad and angry, Ryou suddenly felt very sad. He found it kind of hard to talk.

"I'm sorry..."

"It's fine. Don't worry."

"Hey..." Ryou said tentatively. "I get off work early tomorrow. Do you maybe want to get together and have dinner?"

A silence.

"Really? That'd be great!" Marik said, sounding surprisingly uplifted. "I'll come get you when you get off. What time should I come?"

"Um...seven thirty."

"Great. I'll talk to Ishizu and pick you up then. Is that okay?"

"...Yeah. That's perfect."

Ryou wondered, in the back of his mind, whether he's just asked Marik out on a date. He wonders if that will be awkward, especially with Bakura around. He pushes the nagging thought aside.

He's going to have dinner with Marik. He's going to go out and have a good time, regardless of what Bakura might think about it. He is determined to do that.

He goes out into the kitchen, where Bakura is still pacing like a caged lion.

Ryou puts a hand on his shoulder to try to calm him. Bakura grabs his wrist so hard it bruises. When he realizes who it is, he relaxes his grip.

"Landlord..."

Ryou smiles at him sweetly, fakely.

"Come on. We should go to bed."

Bakura shakes his head, sighing heavily and murmuring something in Egyptian.

"Huh?"

"...I'm not tired."

Ryou made a sad noise in the back of his throat. He returned to his bedroom and tossed and turned until his alarm went off to call him to class. He dragged himself to the shower and nearly fell asleep under the hot water. He dressed himself in his usual attire and emerged to bid Bakura a quick farewell. He didn't say anything in response, but he gave a jerky sort of nod in his landlord's direction. Ryou stuffed a change of clothes into his bag, then hurried off to catch the subway to the university.

It was becoming increasingly difficult for him to pay attention in class. He took notes on what the professors were saying, but he didn't really register what was being said. He would have to reread his textbooks when he got the chance.

When his classes are over, he headed over to the pharmacy where he worked. He puts on a happy, focused face in order to get through the day. It was hard, but he managed to play the part of the courteous, friendly employee until seven thirty came.

Marik arrives right on time, pulling up in front of the pharmacy on his sleek, black motorcycle. Ryou runs into the bathroom to change out of his uniform before going out to meet him. Having put off doing laundry for the past couple weeks, all Ryou had left was the same old blue and white striped shirt and worn out jeans he'd kept in the back of his closet for years. Marik offers him a shy smile and hands him his helmet.

"Hey."

"Sorry about the clothes," Ryou said, a little embarrassed. "I don't really have a lot else."

"It's fine. Are you ready to go?"

Ryou nodded. He got on the motorcycle behind Marik and, after a certain awkward pause, put his arms around his skinny waist. His pale cheeks turned light pink. Marik revved the engine and took off down the freeway. The rush of adrenaline made Ryou gasp, then start laughing from sheer euphoria. He gripped Marik tighter so he wouldn't go flying off.

His hands started trembling. His heart started pounding. His head started reeling- the most amazing thing ever.

Marik led the motorcycle to a sushi bar downtown. Ryou had been there before, and he knew it was good- he had high hopes for tonight.

He let Marik take him by the hand and led him into the restaurant. The friendly waitress leads them to a table in the very back. Ryou was glad for the privacy.

"Marik, is it alright if I ask you something?"

He tenses up.

"...Yeah?"

"If it's alright me to ask...what exactly was your relationship with my- with Bakura? What happened between you two while you were together?"

A deep crimson flush spreads across Marik's dark skin. He has to hide his face from the waitress as she brings them their orders. As soon as she leaves, he speaks as quickly and as bluntly as possible.

"We had sex. A lot of it."

It was Ryou's turn to blush fuschia. He realized that he had lost his virginity long before he consciously made the decision to have sex- years. It's a profoundly embarrassing realization.

"So...you and he...you and I..."

Marik nodded, ashamed with himself.

"I didn't really want to, at first... but it felt amazing once he finally talked me into doing it. HE was amazing..."

Ryou blushed darker still.

"I'm sorry. You didn't really get a say in it, did you?"

"N-no- i-it's okay!" Ryou stammered. "I'm just a little shocked, is all. I guess I never thought of Bakura as someone who wants something so..."

"Human?" Marik offered helpfully.

Ryou sighed, nodding in agreement.

"...Yes. I suppose that's what I mean."

"It shouldn't be so surprising. He's still human, after all."

"I know. I just... well, I didn't know much about him back then. I still don't, I suppose." He rested his chin in the crook of his elbow. "Sometimes, I still think of him as the one who had hurt me so much... even though it wasn't all his fault. It's hard to think of him as someone that was ever human at all."

"I know. I have to deal with the same thing, even now."

"...I know that, too."

Marik sighed and struggled trying to use the chopsticks, fumbling and dropping them at least a dozen times. Ryou didn't feel that hungry all of a sudden.

The rest of dinner passed in a tense and rather awkward silence. Marik picked up the bill afterward, after a brief argument when Ryou insisted on helping. He took Ryou down to the harbor, and they sat on a bench overlooking the restless ocean. Marik looked like he was struggling to find the right words to say.

"Ryou...about Bakura and I..."

"Hm?"

"It wasn't really a relationship. We were just...I don't know. Partners in crime with benefits, I suppose. There wasn't any real emotion involved...on his side, anyway."

Marik sounded a bit sad as he said this.

"Hey, it's alright. I understand. Don't worry about it."

Ryou offered him a kind smile and put a comforting hand on his shoulder.

"Would it be alright if I kissed you, just once?" Marik asked.

Ryou was a bit surprised by this. He nodded before he had a chance to think it over. Marik tentatively took his hand and leaned in closer, his eyes clouded over with desire. He pressed their lips together softly, just a bare, nervous touch at first. Then he pressed in more forcefully, and Ryou felt the most anxious brush of his tongue.

It wasn't his first kiss. But it was somehow different from the others. More intense, he supposed.

When they broke apart, both of them were flushed and out of breath.

"Wow..."

"I'll take you back home," Marik said quickly, to hide his bewilderment. "I had a good time with you."

Ryou nodded. They got back on the motorcycle and went back to Ryou's apartment building. Marik accompanied him up the stairs and to the front step, leaving him with a quick goodnight and a kiss on the cheek. This left Ryou oddly light hearted as he goes inside.

"Bakura?" He called out to the dark apartment. "Bakura, I'm home."

He kicked off his shoes and walked down the short hallway to the bedroom.

"Bakura?"

He finally found Bakura on the bed, bundled in blankets like a giant fluffy blue burrito. He pokes his head out to glare at him bitterly.

"Have fun out with Marik, Landlord?" He asked bitterly.

"How did you-"

"I'm not deaf, Landlord. I heard you talking last night. You ran off to spend time with him, right?"

Ryou found himself getting defensive.

"I can spend time with other people, Bakura! It's no business of yours whether it's with Marik or anybody else!"

Bakura burst out laughing mirthlessly- an angry, cold sound without any joy in it at all.

"You finally have a backbone, it seems."

"Bakura..."

Before Ryou could do or say anything else, Bakura had disappeared once more into his sky blue cocoon of depression. Ryou huffs indignantly.

"If I didn't know any better, I'd say you were jealous of me!"

Bakura merely grunted in response.

"You're absolutely impossible."

Ryou got ready for bed and got in as far from Bakura as he possibly could. A short while afterward, Bakura started groaning and crying out, wrestling with his nightmares.

I can't stay angry with him. He can't help the way he is.

Ryou reached out and started gently stroking Bakura's hair.

"You really are hopeless," he whispered softly.


Thanks to everyone for reading- please review :D