Yu-Gi-Oh!, Taming Bakura

Title: Taming Bakura [Bakura]
Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for Bakura’s potty mouth. There’s some yami/yugi and a little pre-Ryou/Bakura, but the fic isn’t really pairing based.
Summary: Ryou is missing, Yugi is devious, Marik is insane, and Bakura is not having nearly as much fun as he wants.
AN: mention of the Season 0 YGO stuff. Yami used to be a little crazy, is all you really need to know. also, ‘aibou’ sounds a lot better than ‘partner’ to me, but i know you guys have isues with the random japanese.

Taming Bakura

“This,” Malik said, peering into his lunch bag, “this is the last straw.”

Yugi, Joey, Tea, and Tristan all exchanged glances.

“They raise me in a cult, carve shit into my back, make me go to public school, public school, and now,” the bag crumpled in Malik’s grip, “I swear to Ra I will not take this indignity any longer!”

“Egg salad again,” Tristan shook his head.

“Oh man, that’s the third day in a row,” Joey said sadly.

“When I get home, Isis is SO TOTALLY in for a Shadow Game!” Malik snarled, shooting to his feet. “I’ll send her so far into the Shadow Realm she won’t be able to find her ass with a…”

“Here,” Yugi interrupted, “I’ll trade you my pudding cup for it.”

“Okay.” Malik flopped back down to the bench.

“Nice save, Yug,” Joey slapped Yugi on the shoulder and turned back to the Duel Monsters game he had going with Tristan.

And you wanted butterscotch this morning, Yugi teased. The spirit leaning over Yugi’s shoulder to peer at Joey’s cards wrinkled his nose.

I wasn’t aware lives were hanging in the balance while you were sleeping for ‘five more minutes’ and I was packing your lunch, Yami commented dryly. And I still say that there is nothing natural about the flavoring in vanilla pudding.

“Because butterscotch is a flavor found in nature!” Yugi laughed, then turned busily back to his newly acquired sandwich when he noticed Tea giving him an odd look.

“I play Obnoxious Celtic Guardian in attack mode!” Joey announced.

“You know, I’ve always wondered,” Tristan mused, shuffling his dead monsters off into his graveyard, “why he’s called Obnoxious in the first place.”

Ra, that man would never shut up about the damn oak trees
, Yami shook his head. Yugi laughed out loud again, and earned another glance from Tea.

At that moment, Ryou Bakura came across the yard and threw a leg over the end of the bench Yugi and Joey were sitting on.

“Ryou!” Joey greeted him without looking up from his cards. “Want to play winner?”

“No,” Ryou said sharply. Yugi set down his sandwich and dusted the crumbs off his hand while giving Ryou an even glance.

“Hello, Bakura,” he said. Tristan and Joey gave a simultaneous twitch that sent cards scattering.

“How can you tell?” Tea asked.

“He looks taller,” Yugi said, “his hair is different, and he doesn’t have a British accent.”

Everyone looked confused. Yugi and Bakura both rolled their eyes.

“And he’s got the Millennium Ring on,” Yugi added.

“Ooooh.” The group nodded in understanding. Joey and Tristan began gathering up their cards, and Yugi turned back to Bakura.

“I need to talk to the Pharaoh,” Bakura ordered.

I’ve got no intention of talking to that tomb-robbing imbecile, Yami sniffed.

You behave, Yugi ordered, then out loud asked, “What about?”

“It’s my…” Bakura groped for a word for a moment, “it’s Ryou. He won’t come out.”

“That’s a pretty big step, you know,” Joey offered his support. “It ain’t exactly easy for a kid as scrawny as Ryou to admit that he prefers choking the weasel to cranking the clam, if you know what I…”

“Of his SOUL ROOM!”

“Oh!” Joey flushed red, and Bakura’s glare sent him diving under the table. Joey covered by searching for the rest of his cards.

“Is something wrong?” Yugi asked, concerned. “Is Ryou okay?”

“How should I know!” Bakura snapped. “He won’t come out!”

He’s not going to yell at you like that! Yami bristled.

Down boy. Yugi was starting to wish he had packed the butterscotch pudding just so he could distract Yami. “Did something happen?”

“No!” Bakura said, too loudly. Yugi eyed him steadily. “Nothing unusual. Ryou was writing some boring thing for hours, so I took a nap, and then I watched TV until like four or five. See, normal! But then when I woke up this afternoon, he wouldn’t come out.”

“Bakura!” Yugi said reprovingly. “You keep Ryou’s body up all night? No wonder he always looks like he’s about to keel over!”

“Well, I…”

“And that boring thing he was writing was his history paper!” Yugi continued, eyes round. “You turned it in, didn’t you? Did you even bring it with you?”

“I…what?” Bakura floundered. “I just got here! What the hell are you talking about? It’s probably still sitting on his desk, how the hell should I know?”

“What are you just sitting there for?” Yugi exclaimed, giving Bakura a shove. “You have to go get it! You’re going to mess up Ryou’s grades!”

“Hey, don’t shove me!” Bakura elbowed Yugi back, hard enough to push him an inch or so down the bench. When Yugi looked up, a flicker that might have resembled the Millennium Eye crossed his forehead.

“Back off, you tomb-desecrating bastard!”

The entire group went silent, staring at Yugi. He shook his head a little and grinned sheepishly.

“Heh, sorry!” He flashed everyone a V even as he eyed his darker half with a corner of his mind. You are so going to pay for that. Yami crossed his arms sulkily, but didn’t otherwise respond. “Bakura, you have to go get Ryou’s homework and turn it in.”

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Bakura stared at him, “I just got here!”

“I’ll take you.” Malik sat down his pudding cup and stood. “C’mon, my bike’s out front.”

“Class is in ten minutes!” Tristan called after them as Bakura scrambled to his feet with a scowl.

“No problem,” Malik tossed his own V over his shoulder, “I’ll let Marik drive.”

“Are they gone yet?” Joey asked from under the table.

“Yes, Joey.” Yugi rolled his eyes as Joey banged his head on the table trying to crawl out.

“Good.” Joey slapped his cards down on the table with the rest of his deck. “Man, he gives me the creeps…hey, where’s my soda? Tristan!”

“What?” Tristan asked as Joey snatched his drink back. “It looked like you were done. Ooh, a pudding cup!”

*****

“Ryou!” Bakura pounded on the door to Ryou’s soul room some more, even though it was clearly going to effect nothing and his hand would have been too sore to try if it were in the real world. “You can’t stay in there forever!”

Not a peep. Bakura opened his eyes in the real world and stared down at the kitchen counter, where a pot and a jar of dried rice were sitting.

“Okay,” he said out loud, “how hard can this be?”

Twenty minutes later, the phone shrilled, and Bakura gladly fled the kitchen to answer it. He found the handset under the coffee table after searching for half a dozen rings, and only accidentally hung it up once.

“Hey, thief,” Malik said on the other end. “Tried to make dinner yet?”

“Shut up,” Bakura snapped. He suddenly noticed the air kind of smelled like smoke and trudged back into the kitchen with the phone.

“Not going too well, I assume?” Marik inquired.

“Shut up.” Snatching the smoking pot off the burner, Bakura peered into it long enough to see that things were not going well, then accidentally shifted his grip to the non-plastic part of the handle and dropped the whole thing with a yelp. There was a snicker on the phone, and Bakura yelled “Shut up!” again.

“I’ll be over in ten minutes,” Marik said. “Don’t touch anything else.”

“Shut—” Bakura started, but the line was already dead.

When Marik arrived, he found Bakura sitting at the table with a nice safe glass of water, glaring at the pot, which was still laying on the floor.

“What were you making,” Marik snickered, “Shadow Rice?”

“Fuck you,” Bakura grumbled.

“First thing’s first.” Marik eyed the scattered rice and scorched pot speculatively, then pulled out the Millennium Rod and sent the whole mess to the Shadow Realm. “Now then, let’s start over. There’s got to be another pot here.”

“Took me twenty minutes to find that one,” Bakura snarled, but he got out of his chair and opened the cabinet where the pots and things were. Marik selected one of proper size and sat it on the stove.

“Rice isn’t that hard, really,” Marik picked up the jar of dried rice, which was still on the counter, and shook some of it into the pot. “We just need to add water.”

“Tried that,” Bakura reported. “Doesn’t work.” He glared harder when Marik laughed again.

“Oh it does, trust me.” Malik stuck the pot under the faucet long enough to cover the rice liberally with water, then shut it off. Bakura tried to watch without looking interested. “What’s the matter, did the mean old rice outsmart you?”

“Civilized people shouldn’t have to put up with this!” Bakura raged. “Just give me a firepit and a stick!”

He was not pleased when Marik laughed so hard he collapsed into a chair, face bright red even underneath his tan.

*******

“Hey,” Yami said, “weren’t you supposed to be angry with me?”

“Mmm?” Yugi asked sleepily, Yami’s bare chest buzzing pleasantly against his cheek. He yawned, and the top of his head bumped Yami’s chin. “Oh, that’s right. You distracted me on purpose!”

“It isn’t hard.” Yami smirked as he stretched a little, the silk of his soul room’s bed sliding underneath his back. Yugi slid off Yami’s chest and sat up on his knees.

“You shouldn’t be so mean to Bakura,” he said.

“He shouldn’t be such an unwashed miscreant,” Yami responded. He repressed an indulgent smile when Yugi crossed his arms and gave him a Look.

“Just what do you have against him, anyway?” he demanded.

“Are you kidding?” Yami sat up on his elbows. “You mean, aside from the part where he tried to kill us repeatedly?”

“You’re exaggerating.”

“He sends people to the Shadow Realm,” Yami lifted a hand to poke Yugi in the chest, “and makes them play punishment games!”

“I don’t know anybody else who does that.” Yugi rolled his eyes, batting Yami’s hand away. “Certainly there aren’t any other Millennium Item spirits here like that.”

“He takes over your little friend Ryou’s body, does bizarre things with it all night, and poor Ryou doesn’t even know what happened in the morning!”

Yugi didn’t even dignify that with a response, he simply kept staring at Yami until the Pharaoh sighed.

“It was different,” he said.

“Different?” Yugi asked. “Do you mean in the sense that it was exactly the same?”

“No!” Yami exclaimed, sitting up. “Those people were…”

“High school kids?” Yugi interrupted with innocent eyes.

“They were threatening you and I was just…”

“Turning their own minds against them?”

“Listen,” Yami raised his voice, “I…”

“Wasn’t in your right mind because you’d been trapped in a Millennium Thing for 3000 years?”

“Do you think,” Yami growled, “that I might get a full sentence out?” Yugi blinked up at him innocently. “So maybe it’s slightly similar. Why do you care if I don’t like Bakura anyway?”

“Yami,” Yugi said, “even when you were a raging psychopath, I wouldn’t have let anyone take you away from me. Bakura’s a little unhinged, okay, but he’s Ryou’s. It doesn’t help when you antagonize him all the time.” Yugi stuck out his lower lip a little, which was completely unfair. “Can’t you be nicer? Please, Yami?”

Staring down into wide purple eyes, Yami cursed the cuteness of his Millennium Boyfriend.

“I suppose,” he said grudgingly, “that it would not kill me to try.” It must have been the right answer, because Yugi launched himself into Yami’s lap and threw his arms around him.

“Thank you!” Yugi chirped. Yami sighed and ruffled his hair.

“You aren’t going to tell me I have to be nice to Marik next, are you?” Yami asked suspiciously.

“Of course not,” Yugi kissed Yami’s collarbone. “Marik’s insane.”

*******
“No luck yet?” Malik asked as Bakura slunk into homeroom.

“No,” Bakura snarled. He had rings under his eyes, and even his hair seemed limp.

“He’s okay though, right?” Yugi asked. Bakura stared down at his desk with a tight expression, and Malik and Yugi exchanged glances. Yugi was opening his mouth to say something else when Joey leaped out of his seat and seized Bakura by the collar.

“Enough is enough!” he exclaimed, shaking Bakura. “What’ve you done to Ryou?” Bakura said nothing. “You got rid of him, didn’t you? Didn’t you!”

“Don’t you think I’d bring him back if I could!” Bakura shouted, startling everyone else into stillness. He shoved Joey away and slumped in his seat with his arms crossed. “Do you have any idea how lonely…never mind. You don’t understand.” Bakura turned away and stared out the window, jaw set.

In the back of his mind, Yugi felt Yami shift uncomfortably and repressed a smug smile. Joey mumbled an apology, but Bakura didn’t respond.

*******

“See?” Yugi finished writing the math problem and looked up at Bakura expectantly. “It isn’t that hard, really.”

Bakura muttered something mutinous and peered at the homework problems as though he could set it ablaze with his mind. Marik had a troublesome habit of sending Malik’s textbooks to the Shadow Realm, so Bakura had been forced to turn to Yugi for Geometry help. Yugi told him to try the next problem on his own, and Bakura began scratching an attempt. After days of this, the pencil barely even felt strange in his hand.

Yugi leaned back in his chair to stretch his neck, and out of the corner of his eye saw Yami leaning against the windowsill with a closed expression.

You’ve been quiet, he said. I thought I’d have to fight you off for sure when Bakura threw the calculator at me.

I have been thinking, Yami replied.

Ah, something new, Yugi teased, and got a scowl in return. He turned back to Bakura when he heard a string of low curses. “Do you want…”

“No!” Bakura snapped. “If that little tomb-guarding reject can do this, then so can I!” Another obscenity-filled minute passed, but just when Yugi was about to intervene Bakura let out a victorious swear. “By Ra’s glorious golden ass, I’ve got it!”

Yami twitched at the epithet, and Yugi gave Bakura a broad grin.

“Good work! Now there’s only seventeen more of them to go.”

“Oh come on,” Bakura moaned. “You can put people on the fucking moon, but you don’t have slaves to do this shit for you? Even we managed that much!”

Yugi giggled as Bakura grumbled something about having to build your own pyramid.

*******

When the phone rang, Bakura cursed blearily and switched the light back on. He’d only been in bed for ten minutes, and his head was still aching from that crap math business.

“What?” he demanded of the phone after successfully negotiating the ‘talk’ button.

“Bakura.”

“Oh Ra,” Bakura rubbed his eyes and sat up, “what do you want, Pharaoh? Going to tell me to stay away from Yugi?”

“No, Yugi is asleep.” Yami paused. “I…may have been unfair. To you.”

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Bakura groaned. “You woke me up because you have a guilty conscience?”

“Look,” Yami’s voice sounded strained, “The Seal of Oricalchos took Yugi away from me once, so I know how you feel.”

“No, I don’t think you do,” Bakura spat. “Yugi didn’t hide from you on purpose, not because of you.”

“It was my fault.” Yami’s tone was clipped, and he clearly didn’t want to talk about it, which was fine with Bakura.

“Even if it was the same,” Bakura said, “why tell me about it? I’m the bastard who hurt all your little friends, remember? What’s with the daytime talk show touchy-feely act?”

“I…” There was a silence which made Bakura quirk an eyebrow. “Let’s just say that 3000 years of quality time with myself in the Millennium Puzzle did not leave me in the best frame of mind either, and leave it at that.”

“You…” The gears in Bakura’s brain ground away slowly at that statement. “Are you admitting that you used your hikari to play Shadow Games too?”

When Yami refused to answer, Bakura erupted into mean-spirited mirth, and he could practically hear Yami’s scowl making the phone line crackle.

“I said leave it,” Yami ordered.

“Fine, fine,” Bakura cackled, before the mental image of twerpy Yugi’s body threatening somebody in a Punishment Game made him wheeze with laughter all over again.

After he calmed, there was an awkward silence.

“Is that it then?” Bakura asked finally.

“Yes, I suppose it is,” Yami answered. “Yugi says that he is sure Ryou will come back, and I believe him.”

“By Isis, you are whipped,” Bakura retorted, hating that Yugi’s words actually did make him feel better.

“Fuck you, tomb robber,” Yami answered.

“You too, Pharaoh,” Bakura said sweetly, then hung up on him. Dropping the phone to the floor, Bakura rolled over on to his side.

He did feel better, but he still couldn’t sleep. After a few minutes, he closed his eyes, and when he opened them, found himself standing in front of the door to Ryou’s soul room. He pushed on it just in case, but it was locked as usual.

“Ryou?” he called. Still no answer. “The Pharaoh just called. He said he used Yugi to play Shadow Games too at first. I thought you might want to know you weren’t the only one.”

Nothing. Was Ryou even in there? Bakura loitered in front of the door for a moment, and in the end sat down on the floor and leaned his back against the door. The stone of the floor was warm, like sandstone that had been in the sun.

“Can you even imagine Yugi threatening somebody with a Punishment Game?” he asked. He felt silly, like he was talking to himself, but he probably couldn’t go any crazier than he already was. “He probably was just as insufferable. ‘Now I will take your soul…with the heart of the cards!‘ Probably didn’t even play real Punishment Games, it was probably Shadow Crazy Eights or something…”

********

The door to Ryou’s soul room creaked inward cautiously, and a white head peeped out. When he saw Bakura was still slumped against the door, he let it fall open the rest of the way. Bakura tipped back to sprawl against the floor, but didn’t wake. He rolled over onto his side and kept right on snoring.

Ryou toed his yami with a small smile. Bakura had sat in front of the door talking for a good half hour before he finally nodded off, about the Pharaoh’s phone call, and doing math homework, and Malik sending his pot to the Shadow Realm, and how Marik drove like a lunatic.

Ryou closed his eyes and opened them, then stretched his body in his bed. His body felt a little strange as he untwisted himself from the sheets after having been away from it so long, a little heavy and clumsy. It took him two tries to make his fingers push the tiny phone buttons in the right order.

“H’lo?” Yugi slurred sleepily.

“Yugi?”

“Ryou!” Yugi exclaimed, and Ryou heard rustle of bedclothes as Yugi sat up. “How’d it go? Where’s Bakura?”

“Perfect,” Ryou answered, and he gave a cheerful laugh. “Bakura’s out cold still, he’s passed out on the floor in front of my soul room.”

“Serves him right.” Yugi laughed too. “Oh man, you should have seen him doing your geometry homework!”

“The plan worked like a charm,” Ryou agreed. “I’m going to go put Bakura in his soul room and give him a nice surprise. See you tomorrow!”

“Bye!” Yugi hung up the phone and snuggled happily back under his covers.

A moment later, he felt his shoulder being poked, and opened his eyes to find himself in his bed in his own soul room, a none-too-pleased Yami sitting giving him the Eye.

“The plan?” Yami inquired. Yugi grinned unashamedly. “I find this devious streak of yours most disturbing, partner.”

“I have no idea where I get that from, my other me,” Yugi replied sweetly. “And everything worked out, right?”

“I’ll show you what works out,” Yami growled, then tickled his tricksy hikari until he begged for mercy.

*******

“Fifteen pages!” Malik moaned at lunch, stabbing at his assignment with his Slyfer the Skydragon pen. “I’d like to take my Millennium Rod and…”

“Here,” Yugi shoved his pudding cup under Malik’s nose to quiet him, and Malik pounced on it eagerly.

“Hi, guys!” a familiar white head bounced into view, and Joey tensed for his usual dive under the table.

“No, look,” Yugi ordered, grabbing Joey’s wrist.

“Ryou!” Tristan exclaimed, slapping him on the back as he sat down on the bench. Joey looked relieved and gave him a high five, and Yugi hugged him with a big smile.

“I don’t know what any of you are talking about,” Tea said, making both hikari giggle cryptically.

“Butterscotch!” Malik roared. “This is the last straw!”

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