In the roughly four days Bakura had been here, he could safely say that this was the least he had seen of him. Presumably, he was getting things ready for tonight, but what did that entail exactly? If it were him, he would be taking the time to get rid of files and such, thoroughly erasing any hint of his presence here, but then what did he know? He wasn't the... whatever Bakura was.
And that was the question of the day, wasn't it? If it hadn't been for Bakura's little demonstration, he might have thought the man even more mad than the situation had originally implied. And while the whole slitting wrists thing seemed to carry with it a sort of madness, there was that show-and-tell that had done a good bit to convince him that there was something else going on.
But that just brought him back to the questions of what Bakura was, what he was planning, and what was really going on with him. Better still, why was Bakura, being whatever the hell he was, interested in him? After all, Bakura had come here and had taken the time to befriend him, before declaring he was about to leave. He had even offered to bring Kaiba with him wherever he was going, but why?
And that was what he was having trouble figuring out. Why him? All he could come up with, the only possible reason he could determine, was the voices. That made less sense than the rest of this, though. Schizophrenics weren't exactly a dime a dozen, but he certainly wasn't the only one out there; he didn't even have a typical case of the disease.
So, once again, it came back to the same question: why?
With Bakura gone wherever he was, he was suddenly very alone. Not even the orderlies were coming near him. At least he still had Mokuba. That was a relief.
"So hit me, niisama. What are you thinking?" The boy was sitting on one of the cafeteria tables, swinging short legs back and forth. Normally, it would be a bit of a surprise to be allowed in here between meal times, but right now, it was actually no shock at all. "Any ideas on this one?"
Slowly he shook his head. "Not a one. You're the creative one. What's your take on all of this?"
Mokuba chuckled. "Where would you like me to start?" Thankfully it seemed to be a rhetorical question because he continued immediately instead of waiting for his older brother to try to come up with some sort of an answer. "So, he actually did ask you to run away with him? Which, I still have to say, is pretty damn sweet. But he said if you did, then things were going to get weird. And he, what, hypnotized one of the nurses?"
"One of the doctors, actually," he corrected. "And he said that was 'the least of what he could do' or something like that."
"Well, frankly, niisama, it sounds like you're leaving the realms of Regency Romance and moving into the perils of Paranormal Romance. Because mind control? That's pretty well on up there as far as I'm concerned. And if he says that's at the bottom of the list, then he's capable of some really amazing shit, niisama."
He took a deep breath, actually a bit nervous about asking his next question. "Do you think he used it on me?"
Mokuba paused, staring at him slack jawed. "What? Do you think that, niisama? Because if anyone's trying to whammy my niisama, I'm going to show them a world of hurt. Christ. Is it even possible?"
"I don't know. That's the entire point." He roughly ran a hand through his hair in frustration. "I don't know anything about any of this. I have more questions than I have answers, not the least of which being why me. Out of all the people on the planet, why me?"
Mokuba shook his head slowly. "I don't know, niisama. I really don't. I can say this: I do think you have been happier with Bakura than you have been in years, and that has to count for something. And I didn't see him slip the verbal roofies on your doctor, but he's been nothing but nice all the times I've met him. He seems to like you, and maybe that means something. Maybe it doesn't, though, and if that's the case, I know where to get my hands on a shiv. I can shank him for you, if you'd like."
There really was nothing quite like the sound of family making death threats for you to brighten your day. "I don't want that to be. I don't want to think he -- what was the word? -- whammied me into liking him. It's a possibility, though."
"So," Mokuba thought aloud, dragging the word out long as he pondered, "we have two possibilities. He might have mind-whammied you, in which case he's an asshole and you ditch him as soon as you can once you're out of here, or he didn't mind-whammy you and you're being paranoid, so you stick with him once you're out of here. Either way, I say take advantage of the chance to get out of here."
"So either he's an asshole or I'm crazy." He chuckled darkly. "Well, one of those is proven fact already. I guess I go with option b: he hasn't whammied me, and I'm just being paranoid."
"Or you could, you know, ask me," a familiar voice cut in from behind him. Damn it, why hadn't Mokuba told him Bakura was slipping up behind him?
"'Bakura, are you possessing my mind and making me cluck like a chicken, or do you really actually want me to leave with you? Which one is it?'" He turned in time to see the white-haired man roll his eyes impressively. "Which one do you think, Seto?"
"'Seto'?" Mokuba echoed.
For once, he ignored his little brother talking though. "I don't know. I don't know anything about this. Why me?"
"Here's another question for you then: why not you?"
Now that was something he wasn't quite prepared for. "Well, for starters, I'm crazy."
Bakura shrugged. "So am I, if you didn't notice."
"I mean, I hear voices on a semi-regular basis. One of them delights in telling me to kill myself."
Oddly enough, the other man nodded in response to that. It didn't seem like agreement, though. Instead it seemed more like he was putting something to memory. "I'll deal with that shortly."
"And you whammied the hell out of the doctor! I mean, what the hell? I don't even know what you are. Are you even human?"
"Sometimes. Right now, in fact, I am. On an ongoing basis, though, no, not usually. It's a trifle restricting."
He could almost swear he could hear Mokuba's eyes growing wider in their sockets at the answer. Rambling though it was, it was miles outside of anything he was prepared to deal with. "So if you aren't human, then what are you?"
"Complicated. There's another question you're wanting to ask again. Go ahead and spit it out. You might actually get an answer to it."
"Why me? If you're... whatever you are, why me?"
Bakura sighed, hopping up to sit on a table opposite Mokuba, leaving him between the two of them and suddenly feeling like he was in the crossfire range. "How honest of an answer do you want on that? All the way?" Kaiba nodded a 'yes', and in turn, Bakura made another heavy sound. "I'm not too sure how well I can say this, but we found you because we need you. We need someone who can hear us. I came here to try to convince you to help us, but... I guess I got a bit sidetracked."
"'Sidetracked'?" both he and Mokuba echoed as one. He sounded confused, while his little brother sounded belligerent.
"Yeah. I wasn't expecting to find someone I could like when I went looking for you. I was expecting just another crazy, not someone who's intelligent and -- if I may say it -- very easy on the eyes. I get along well with you, and that's more than I can say for anyone in a long time. Usually I hate people, especially humans. No offense, but you people tend to get on my nerves."
"I'm not exactly a people person myself, either, but still..." He trailed off, uncertain what he wanted to say exactly. "So you're not human, you didn't whammy me, and I sidetracked you. Is that about the gist of it?"
Bakura shrugged. "More or less."
"So do you actually like me, or is it just because I can 'hear' you or whatever?" He frowned. "And what does that mean anyway? I'm really not sure I'm following all of this or if I want to follow it."
"First off, the explanation behind why we need people who can hear us is rather long and involved, and I'm not completely certain it's something we should get into right now. And secondly, I think I might be a little insulted. No, scratch that, I definitely am. Did I not just finish saying I like you more than I like your species in general? And I don't exactly toss out compliments left and right either. I mean, I'm not Atemu or anything." He blew out a breath hard, sounding more and more annoyed by the second. "Let me put this simply then. I like you, Kaiba Seto. I just like you. No ulterior motives behind that, not in the least. I haven't wanted anyone in a long, long time, but I can see that changing now." Behind him, Mokuba made a quietly cheerful squealing noise, like this was the best news he had overheard in years. "I would like you to come with me when I leave here tonight, Seto. I would like to get to know you better, in whatever way sounds best to you. But I don't want any mistakes between us. I do have a goal, and while it is hard to put into words, I do need your help on it. I don't want that to be the reason you come with me, if you decide to do so, but I will accept it. I will accept you however you want me: a ticket out of here, a friend, or something more. I'm leaving it in your hands from here on out."
"One question," Kaiba blurted out as the other man stood to leave.
"Yeah?" Bakura actually sounded tired, and that was actually a bit sad in a way.
"If I leave with you, can Mokuba come too?"
Bakura paused in front of him, studying him intently with those oddly pale eyes, before finally he nodded. "Of course. I have the feeling that wherever you go, Mokuba goes."
"Then I'll go with you." Just saying it seemed to lift a huge weight from his shoulders, and it was a huge relief. "I'll definitely go with you. About the rest, though..."
Bakura shook his head, lifting a careful hand to cup Kaiba's cheek. "You don't have to say anything about that now if you don't want to, Seto. I can understand if you aren't ready or anything."
"That's the thing. I wouldn't know if I was ready or not. I don't know anything about being friends, much less anything else. Mokuba says we act like something out of a romance novel as it is, so I don't know what could be so different from here on out."
"I'm sure I can come up with a few ideas," Bakura returned.
"I'll second that one," Mokuba piped up. "Go for it, niisama!"
It was going to be bad when the two of them really started teaming up on him. "All right. I can do this then. Just... I have no idea what the hell I'm doing, so go easy on me."
That got a gigantic grin and a nod of nearly the same size from Bakura, as well as what sounded like crowing from his little brother. It was the white-haired man who spoke though. "All right. I can do that." Bakura lifted one of Kaiba's hands to his lips, pressing a gentle kiss to the wrist. "Just get your stuff together and wait for me here when it starts getting close to dark. I'll deal with everything at that point."
He nodded. "Okay."
"Okay," the white-haired man returned. "I need to finish getting things sorted out. I don't want there to be anyone from here looking for either of us once we're gone. I think we both need a clean break. Wouldn't you agree?"
"So just take it easy until then, and once everything's settled, we'll get on our way."
Bakura was gone again before he even remembered that he had had one more question to ask: where they were going.
10 July 2010
So, why yes, I am playing catch-up. Thank you for asking.