Getting to Know You in Monster World, a Softshipping Oneshot

He wasn't sure how he had gotten in this situation.

He had never really dealt with a situation like this before now.

He wasn't really sure how to proceed.

"So… it's like playing pretend."

The young girl with long auburn hair peered into the glass cases against the walls of the room, her smile widening at a few of the prettier painted figures on the shelves.

Bakura nervously put a hand behind his head, wondering if this had really been such a great idea.

They had started chatting at the latest gathering at Yugi's house, and when Serenity had asked him what he liked to do for fun, he found himself telling her all about his favorite game: the table top Role-Playing game Monster World.

Instead of laugh at him and walk away, as he expected her to do, her eyes had lit up in interest and she had asked him more and more.

He had talked for what seemed like hours, telling her all about the various situations and adventures of the game, as well as all the work he put into it making game pieces and elements of his table-top world.

He was sure she would become bored with him at some point; just pass him off as a hopeless geek and find some cooler friends to talk with, but she continued to listen with interest, hanging on his every word and asking sincere questions about the game.

When she asked if she could come over some time and play the game with him, he had been so shocked that he agreed immediately, before really thinking about the fact that they probably needed more than two people to play, and that her brother might not be too happy about the two of them being alone together.

But regardless of those facts, just a few days later she showed up at the door of his apartment, smiling and pretty and excited to play a game.

Serenity continued to walk about the room, peering into each exhibit case with unveiled curiosity.

"Well, it isn't exactly 'playing pretend'… it does require some strategy, and imagination, and…"

Bakura was beginning to ramble at this point, wondering why it was she was really here and what he was supposed to do.

She turned around quickly, looking slightly alarmed and said "Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to insult the game or anything! I just meant… well, looking at all of these figures and how different they are… you could really be anything you want! I mean, you were telling me how you can make a character based around a person, but… what if I want to be something else? Like a monster or a dragon or something? That's what I'm trying to say – you can be anything you want in this game!"

Bakura smiled, starting to understand the point she was making.

Linking his hands behind his back, he strode forward to join her in front of the cabinet, glancing over the array of figures that currently held her interest.

"See what you'd like to be then?"

She placed a finger to her lips in thought, though her lips were curved up into a soft smile.

"Actually, I was thinking of being…" She raised her finger towards the glass, twirling it around with a flourish until she stopped in front of a particular figure with a triumphant "This one!"

Bakura looked to see which she had chosen; a female figure, small even for the exaggerated proportions of the Monster World game pieces, with flowing white robes and silver battle armor. She was fairly unremarkable, but there was one aspect of her that set her apart from the rest; her hands were placed over her eyes.

"The White Mage Seer…." Bakura said, surprise lacing his voice. "That's… very interesting."

Serenity turned to him with a smile, though her head was cocked slightly in thought.

"Why? Is there something special about it?"

Bakura tore his eyes from it to look at her, reading her face for signs as to why she chose this one in particular, and said, "Well, yes… As I was telling you before, there are different races in Monster World, and each has a different strength or ability. This one… she's human, but she also uses magic. A sorcerer if you will. Normally a human mage's magic would be fairly basic and would also rely on physical strength; the white mages are much stronger, but in her case, she… she's blind. She's always been blind. So she's learned to compensate for her lack of physical attack strength with magic and the power of her mind."

He paused a moment to slide the glass cabinet door open, gingerly lifting the White Mage Seer from her spot on the shelf and turning her over in his hand. "Her magic abilities are quite high, but it's her mental powers that really make her strong."

Serenity's eyes were fixated on the figure as Bakura explained, "You see, she can predict the future; see things before they happen. She's a real help in a battle, because she can warn the rest of the group as to whether a monster or some other danger is approaching."

"Really?" She breathed, entranced by his words.

"Yeah, and get this: she can even read people's minds and see into their hearts. Since she can't physically see, she's become able to understand feelings and things that can't be seen. Sometimes she even has the power to change people's hearts."

He handed the figure to Serenity, and she cradled it in her hands, lovingly gazing at it as if it were real.

"But Serenity… are you sure you want to be this character? She doesn't have too much attack strength, and well…."

She looked up at him expectantly, wondering what other drawback there might be.

"After all you've been through, are you sure you want a character who's… blind?"

His voice was so hesitant, not wanting to offend her, but she only laughed brightly.

"Of course I'm sure! That's why I chose her! Maybe it's not all that imaginative, but, I think… there's something different about her blindness. She's learned to overcome it and become stronger because of it. She doesn't even need her sight. I was always so worried about going blind because I thought of all I was going to miss; I guess this is kind of a way of overcoming that old fear. Even though she has a disability, a handicap, she doesn't give up and is able to do so much more than anyone else. You mentioned that she can see into people's hearts and minds; well, if you ask me I think that's more important than seeing someone's face. I told you that I liked how you could be anything you want in this game, and… with her, I can be everything I wasn't. I can be stronger. I can be the person I wish I had been in real life."

She trailed off, her head bowed as she examined the figure, missing the soft smile on Bakura's face as he watched.

She was truly impressive, he thought. There was much more to her than he had ever expected.

His hand twitched at his side, and before he could really think about it he raised his hand and took one of hers, holding it firmly and reassuringly.

"There's a lot of wisdom in that, you know," he said softly, trying to hide his nervousness, "but I think you underestimate yourself. Even if you were afraid… you were still strong. You still had hope, you still showed kindness… I think the fact that it didn't change you, didn't harden you against the world and make you bitter… I call that overcoming your weakness. And even though you didn't go blind, you don't know that it would have weakened you. In fact… I think this character suits you rather well."

Her face lit up, eyes sparkling as she looked from his smile to his hand holding hers.

"And besides," he said, reaching his free hand into the cabinet and fishing around, "You're not fighting alone."

He pulled out another figure, with jagged white hair and blue and white robes.

She could immediately tell that it was his character.

"This is the White Mage; he's a powerful magic user, and when he teams up with other mages, well… they're practically unstoppable."

Her eyes watered as she clutched his hand, but she rubbed away the trace of tears with the back of her hand and giggled happily, swinging their joined hands as he laughed lightly along with her.

"Thanks Bakura."

His smile deepened, and his eyes seemed to look deeper into hers. "I should be thanking you, you know."

Serenity's own smile faltered a bit, and her brows creased as she asked confusedly "Why?"

"Because you took such an interest in all of this. In me. Not a lot of people take the time to do that."

"Well they should."

Bakura's eyes widened for a moment, but then he smiled, his cheeks heating up with a blush.

"Yes, well… there're still a few things to do before the game can start… for one, I'd like to personalize this figure for you a little more. Change the colors, make her hair a little more like yours – anything you'd like!"

Once again a smile lit up Serenity's face and she nodded, following as Bakura led her over to his computer and paints, his hand still grasping hers.

"You know," she started, catching Bakura's attention, "we figured out my character, but I'd really like to know more about yours! You have so many options here; is there any reason you chose the White Mage?"

He looked back at her thoughtfully, and after a moment said hesitantly "It's kind of a long, complicated story."

Her gaze didn't waver; she simply gripped his hand tighter and said resolutely "I'm not going anywhere."

*Author's Note:

Woot! My first softshipping fic!

I haven't written much from Bakura or Serenity's perspectives before… they're kinda difficult. For some reason I find it harder to get in their heads than I do Marik's. Weird.

Anyways, please review and let me know what you think of the idea and my take on the characters! I might extend this story to a series of oneshots about these two, though at the moment I don't really have any other ideas… I'm working on it. :P

Oh, and as much as I would love to, I've never played an RPG, and I don't know if what I wrote is actually accurate or not, but since Monster World isn't an actual RPG, I feel I have some leeway.