Ryou glared sullenly at his yami, his piercing eyes conveying his anger and thirst for blood. His stare tore down all hints of civility, his normally angelic face contorted with rage. No one would dare confront him when he looked so fearsome.
Or at least, he attempted to instill such terror in the subject of his irritation. Unfortunately, Bakura met his hikari's frown with only a slight raise of an eyebrow, completely undaunted.
Ryou sighed, wondering why such expressions had come so naturally when Bakura held control, but looked so foolish otherwise.
"Bakura. How many times do I have to tell you to pick up your socks?" Ryou sighed again, walking across the room to pick up the offending objects. His yami watched him emotionlessly, not moving an inch.
Truth be told, they both knew Ryou wasn't discouraged by the socks, but Bakura refused to examine his landlord's discontent any further than the surface.
"If it bothers you so much, pick them up yourself, weakling," he replied smoothly, ignoring Ryou's unimpressive scolding.
The former spirit did notice, however, that Ryou's usual patience had disappeared and he'd uncharacteristically raised his voice, even if it was only for the briefest of moments. Bakura raised his eyebrows slightly, but otherwise his expression revealed no emotion. Ryou's attempt at a scowl was feeble and admittedly, rather pathetic, but it was still more animosity than the thief had ever seen on the boy.
Yes, his hikari was definitely acting strange, but then again, Bakura didn't particularly care. Ryou could never keep up his temper for long, and the boy would probably be smiling a disgustingly sweet, idiotic grin within an hour.
"Ugh. Why do I have to live with you, anyway?" Ryou muttered, the last of his anger leaving his voice and replaced with a defeated slump of the shoulders.
Bakura looked away indifferently, flipping through his magazine with casual disinterest.
"Deal with it, you self-centered brat. You think I want to be stuck in the same house as you?" the thief asked coldly, not a trace of guilt in his voice.
"If you hate me so much, why can't we live separately?" Ryou asked morosely. "I don't like it here, either."
"Oh, please. Spare me the dramatics. You'd think that by now, you'd realize I could care less about your stupid complaints," Bakura muttered absently.
The thief nearly rolled his eyes at the pathetic creature across the room, unable to believe that the boy still tried to argue with him. They'd shared a body for several years, certainly, but Ryou was exceptionally stupid if he thought he'd accomplish anything by defying his tenant.
Bakura may have chosen Ryou to host his ring, but it had been agonizing to know he'd be relying on such an effeminate moron.
The thief glanced briefly at the person in question, noting that Ryou was looking miserably at the floor. His eyes narrowed, unable to believe the boy had the nerve to mope in his presence, especially when the entire mess was completely Ryou's fault. His fault, because if the boy hadn't been such a weakling, Bakura wouldn't have tried so hard to figure out how to separate bodies.
And if they hadn't separated, Bakura would never have lost the power of the Millennium Ring.
Bakura tossed his magazine violently across the room at the thought, causing Ryou to jump at the sound. The thief stood with swift but dangerous grace, glaring at the startled boy with a hateful passion.
"Yami, even if you say that, it's been three months. You're no closer to figuring out how to rejoin our souls. And even if you do figure it out, there's no guarantee you'll be able to use the ring's powers again," Ryou said softly. "Maybe you should just give up."
"I told you to shut up," Bakura snarled, taking several strides forward so he could tower over his slumped hikari. "You have no right to complain when you're the one to blame."
"How is this my fault?" Ryou demanded, angry tears of frustration welling up in his eyes. "You're the one who'd take over my body against my will. Why don't Ihave any rights?"
"Because I was the one stuck with such a worthless hikari," the thief snapped. "I was the one who would have defeated the Pharaoh and ruled the world, but instead I ended up with you."
"You hurt my friends and destroy what's left of my life," Ryou said angrily. "And now that I'm finally free, you're holding me captive and forcing me to be your slave!"
"No one asked you to clean my apartment," Bakura retorted, ignoring his host's attempt to guilt him. It never worked.
"It's my apartment, and yes, you did," Ryou said loudly, raising his voice for the second time in one day. "And even if you hadn't, this place would be filthy if I didn't clean. You're a pig!"
"Better a pig than a girl. You're pathetic," Bakura sneered.
"I'm not a girl. And better pathetic than an uncaring jerk," Ryou said bitterly, his eyes watering, but he refused to let them fall.
"You're such a wimp," Bakura hissed in disgust. "Ra, you're the most repulsive creature I've met in three-thousand years. Do you even realize how much I despise you?"
Ryou stepped back at the statement, and if Bakura had a conscious he might have felt just the slightest pang of guilt when Ryou's bottom lip trembled. Bakura generally made it clear that he disliked Ryou, but he'd never been so blunt.
"I know," Ryou said, his voice cracking. "So why don't you let me go?"
"Because you're the only way I can regain my power," Bakura stated simply, stalking out of the room and officially closing the subject.
The thief had the oddest and most irritating pain in his chest, but Bakura found it was most easily avoided so long as he stayed away from his hikari.
The man frowned at the thought, but he figured the meaningless pain was a leftover side-effect from the time they had spent as spirit and host. The stupid connection had forced Bakura to feel these irritating emotions before, and they had been why Bakura had been so desperate to find a way to get his own body.
Unfortunately, even a separate body hadn't been enough to fully break the bond.
Bakura left the apartment building briskly and walked purposefully down the street, casually plucking the wallet from a passing pedestrian. Counting the bills discreetly, Bakura abruptly decided he felt like a movie and headed to the theater at the end of the block.
He thought his host would be extremely satisfied if the brat ever learned that the thief had actually paid for his snacks. Then again, his hikari would probably just be upset that the money itself had been stolen.
After his movie had finished and he had devoured the majority of his food, he decided to head home and give Ryou the leftovers. Not a peace offering so much as collateral. His landlord had a history of defying him when he was angry, no matter how harshly Bakura punished him afterwards.
Most days Bakura would have found great pleasure in crushing the boy's spirit, but Ryou cooked well when he didn't rebel. Tonight, the thief decided he wanted steak that wasn't grossly overcooked.
Bakura certainly didn't bring the boy food because he regretted what he said.
He entered his apartment silently, but slammed the door behind him so Ryou would hear. Apparently, however, the ungrateful brat didn't feel like greeting his captor. He waited several moments, but no footsteps were heard coming down the hallway.
Bakura growled in annoyance. Ryou always came out to welcome him home, even after they fought and even despite how miserable the boy claimed to be. Bakura scowled at the lonely sight, unnerved even if he'd never admit it.
He must be asleep, Bakura decided. The weakling was probably tired from their argument. There was no way Ryou could have maintained his anger for more than an hour, and Bakura had been gone three.
"Wake up," Bakura commanded coldly, striding down the hall and opening the door to Ryou's room without bothering to knock. "I want steak tonight-"
Bakura cut off mid-sentence, realizing the room was empty. Furrowing his eyebrows in confusion, he checked the bathroom, but found it empty as well. Growling in annoyance, he searched the entire apartment, but there was no sign of his other half.
Puzzled, the thief returned to the living room and sat down on the couch to think. He knew that the answer to this was obvious, but it seemed to be eluding him.
Staring blankly at the table in front of him, Bakura eventually noticed a piece of paper with Ryou's tidy handwriting scrawled neatly on the note. His heartbeat picked up, but he had to read the letter three times before he finally understood.
I left. The door was unlocked. Dinner is in the fridge, heat it in the microwave.
Bakura stared at the abrupt message, uncomprehending. It was true that Bakura never really bothered to lock the door anymore since Ryou had no place to go, but his hikari had never tried to leave before. The boy's family was either dead or never around, and they had moved out of Domino City over a year ago. The Pharaoh and his twerp were hours away, and it was unlikely Ryou had enough cash to take the train.
Bakura suppressed his irritation, shaking his head. His hikari would come back. There was no place for him to go. He had no money, no food, and no friends. Ryou would come back because the child had no other choice.
Bakura crushed Ryou's note in his hand, throwing it angrily across the room next to the magazine he had discarded earlier in a similar fashion. He stomped into the kitchen and heated the last dinner Ryou had made, but electronics he had never enjoyed the electronics of the modern world.
After leaving a piece of frozen meat in the microwave for ten minutes but seeing little progress, Bakura furiously snatched a bag of chips from the pantry, cursing Ryou under his breath for leaving him without dinner.
He'd give his hikari hell when the idiot came back from his stupid escape attempt, Bakura promised himself with vicious satisfaction. He'd make the dark rituals of ancient Egypt seem downright pleasant compared to what he had in mind.
Of course, his hikari would need to come back, first.
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