Third Chance
by Apollymi
Word Count:
Genre: Action, Adventure, Shounen-ai/Yaoi
Pairing: Bakura/Kaiba, background Ryou/Jounouchi
Summary: It was strange. Until recently, he'd never felt too inclined to reminisce like this. The past was the past and was better left behind him, after all. Maybe it was the upcoming date that was making him think like this...
Rating: R
Author's Note: Yu-Gi-Oh and all its characters are copyright to Takahashi Kazuki and associated copyright holders, of which I am not one. I do own the storyline, such that it is, though. So the moral of this story is: Mine, steal, die.

He didn't really remember when he started bracing himself. After the first few times, when it hadn't hurt, maybe he should have stopped then.

But he hadn't. Now he wondered if, perhaps, he ever would. It was ingrained, as much a part of him as his unusual eye color and his devotion to his brother: everything in his life was supposed to cause him pain at some point or another. Where there was happiness, there was pain. Where there was excitement, there was pain. And especially where there was pleasure, there was pain. At least, that's how it had always been, up until recently.

Bakura was playing some kind of a game. He knew it; he could feel it deep down inside. Of course, that wasn't the only thing he could feel deep down inside.

Despite what everyone must think, knowing him from either the board room or dueling, in their bedroom, he rarely took charge. For that matter, he could count on one hand with fingers left over how many times he had topped -- and each of those had been at Bakura's insistence. So why was Bakura making him set the pace now? He had to be playing some kind of a game. That, or he was trying to prove something to him. Knowing Bakura...

He ground down, so close he could almost taste it, and let out a breathy chuckle as Bakura growled. Maybe it wasn't all so bad. It was the chance to drive Bakura as mad as the other drove him.

Another slight lift and fall of his hips -- and that was it, he fell over the edge. He could feel Bakura release inside him before he collapsed over to lie on top of the other man, holding him within himself for now.

It hadn't hurt this time either. What was so different about now with Bakura?

There were a lot of things about him that he'd never told Bakura, never told anyone for that matter, but sometimes he got the feeling Bakura knew anyway. That was how the other man was, after all: if it was hidden, he'd find it. There were a few things Bakura had already as good as admitted to knowing as it was, usually without saying anything.

The first few times he'd let Bakura touch him, he'd been fully clothed or it had been dark. He wasn't a very body conscious person except for one thing: the scars left on his body as souvenirs of a lifetime with Kaiba Gouzaburou. When Bakura had first touched one, he'd written it off as accidental or the other just following the pulse line. When he'd lifted his arm to his lips and placed kisses along the scar a single selfish thought had left, though, he'd known. That Bakura had then cut on the light and repeated the action only drove the point home.

Bakura had been back half a year -- and living with him two months -- before the first time; he'd been in his bed a few weeks before he'd decided he was ready for the next step: Bakura inside him.

He liked to think the other man didn't know he'd spent a lot of the time bracing for the pain that never really came, but somehow he got the feeling that he did, that he knew.

Bakura treated him almost like he was one of the other's precious stolen items. Not gold, because the white-haired man still had a hard time adjusting to how valuable it was now, but instead the silver that was precious in his own lifetime.

Oh, he knew a lot more about Ancient Egypt than he was really ready to own up to. When Bakura had come back, he'd started reading up on the subject; before, he hadn't wanted to believe it was real till Atemu went into the Afterlife. From then till Bakura returned, it seemed pointless to blindly pursue that information in his extremely limited free time, but with the white-haired man back, he had made time.

And... He remembered a lot more about the High Priest than he was willing to admit to. He remembered a secret love affair involving one person sneaking into and another creeping out of the royal palace, right under Atemu's nose, for several years as he rose in position through first Akunamukanon's then Atemu's court.

He also remembered watching his lover die and not being able to do anything. Being high in the court did not grant him the right to overrule the Pharaoh's decisions regarding prisoners and executions, after all. He almost wondered if Atemu had known there was cause for concern; he'd had Bakura killed on a busy market day, when the most people were guaranteed to be present to witness the death of the Thief King. All the priests had been ordered into attendance, but it was he who had been commanded to stand nearest the Pharaoh, though Atemu had said it was because he'd just been appointed High Priest. Maybe that was indeed true, but it had seemed a simplistic for the so-called god king.

Then again, even he'd been 'the other Yuugi', he'd been known to over-analyze the spiky-haired asshole. Atemu didn't always thinking as far through as he sometimes gave him credit for. It could go either way.

He remembered the shock that the past time version of himself had felt when his dead lover had reappeared to attack the court. He remembered the confusion when Bakura had not seemed to recognize him. And he remembered the cold dead feeling in himself when he'd realized what had happened.

And... he remembered things that Bakura didn't, things from when he was still in high school and Bakura had still been possessed by Zork. He didn't want to keep remembering any of that, but that wasn't the way it worked with him: he couldn't forget.

It was always cold this high above ground, he told himself as he pulled his coat back on. Not that he'd been on the rooftop of his company building very often, but it was a good assumption. It made sense, a lot more than what had just happened.

Mokuba was still unconscious, which -- for once -- was just as well. The fake gold 'eye' he'd been given and that he knew had belonged to Pegasus before that lay innocuously at his younger brother's side.

The dawn over Domino was cold, but at least the night was over. He had his brother and Mokuba was okay other than the unconsciousness, so there was no reason to concern himself with the various... aches making themselves known in his body: his wrists, his elbows, his knees, his back, and... other parts of his anatomy.

It wasn't as bad as it could have been, of that he was imminently aware. Past experiences had taught him that all too well. What confused him was how Bakura had seemed to... change part of the way through. Not a lot, but in that close a proximity it was hard to miss, and while it hadn't been for very long, it had be long enough to notice.

That it happened at all... no, not confused -- perplexed him the most. In his experience, though it might be several years in the past, these things didn't spontaneously become easier on the person it was happening to. Like the other Bakura, Gouzaburou hadn't been known for mercy in the least. Somehow he'd managed to receive something almost like it, though. It hadn't stopped, but it had gotten... easier. It had quit hurting and started feeling... good. That made it all the more... disturbing.

This was also the first time in his life that he'd been kissed.

Of course, now he knew it hadn't been Bakura that attacked him, though it had been him to kiss him. Not that the other had ever come straight out and said that Zork had done that to him to further motivate him to join them in the Memory World, but one of the first things he'd said to him upon his return was that Zork had made a game and an art of perverting his desires. It was at once both a confession of what had happened and an admission that Bakura desired him.

When he'd first come to realize that little revelation, it had been a huge shock to him. He liked to think he was a very interesting person, one that, hypothetically speaking, people would want to be around, but the actuality of that occurring boggled his mind. That someone wanted to be with him nearly -- what was the expression? -- blew his mind. Not that there was a lot of choices where Bakura was concerned; the other had a way of creeping up on you like a vine and not letting go, and you never even realized he was there and it was happening till it was too late.

It did confuse him, though, how this had come to be. He wasn't known to be the most forgiving man in the world, and giving second chances was an anathema to him. Third ones were unheard of for anyone not blood-related to him. But... Bakura might as well be soul-bound to him. They were entwined in each other now and forever, for better or worse.

Yet as awful it sounded when he phrased it that way, there were thousands of ways it could be worse. They could still be in Japan, the friendship idiots could have followed them, he could be stuck around that idiot Atemu... he could still be alone. He could complain about his lover till he was too exhausted to form a single coherent thought -- and on more than a few occasions, he had, much to his friends' and Mokuba's amusements -- but that didn't change the way he felt about him or how Bakura made him feel, as trite as the lines sounded.

In the five years that had passed since That Year and the four since the white-haired man's return, he'd had to do some serious reevaluating of his priorities. It was odd to have moved his company down on the list, but his family -- Mokuba and Bakura -- were above it now. Changing locations, leaving Japan and all the memories that were there, had made it a little easier.

Bakura never said anything about the harassment he was getting from Atemu. The Pharaoh was a subject they very rarely broached in the limited time they had together. Why bring up something that was an unpleasant subject for both of them, after all? But sometimes exceptions had to be made, and this was one of those times.

The mind-numbing endorphins had faded, and even if he was loathe to admit it, sleep wasn't too far away -- but if he didn't say this right away, he'd only put it off... again. So with his typical bluntness, he broached the subject: "I know what Atemu has been doing."

Bakura released him and rolled over to sit up, bare legs dangling over the edge of the bed. "Now there's a mood killer, Seto."

He sat up in the middle of the bed they shared more nights than not. (He'd almost started thinking of it as their bed. It was a nice thought, one he enjoyed indulging in.) "He's been giving you problems ever since you returned."

"It's nothing I can't handle, nothing I'm not already well used to."

If it were in his nature to rail at mere words, those would have probably been the ones. "I don't want you to have to get used to it. I've heard some of the things he's been saying." He took a deep breath and released it slowly before speaking again. "No one I love is going to have to put up with that."

Bakura turned to face him so fast that it was a wonder he hadn't hurt himself. He couldn't blame the man; that wasn't a word he'd broached yet. To his credit, though, he recovered quickly. "Do you know a way to shut the idiot Pharaoh up, though? I've been trying for three thousand years, after all."

He drew his legs up to his chest, the only sign of nervousness he allowed himself. "We're moving to England."

The other blinked, staring at him a second, before a smirk slid across his face as he crept back across the bed to where he sat. "Can I tell yadonushi?"

Pale fingers, tips calloused from months of getting back in practice thieving, ran across one of his thighs, and he shivered, relaxing his legs so Bakura could move in closer. "O-of course."

The smirk grew as the white-haired man brushed light kisses across the skin of his hip. "You've been thinking about this a while." He couldn't quite form coherent words, but he managed to nod. How was it that Bakura seemed t o be able to talk during sex when he could barely string together a short sentence? What would it be like when they finally took that last step and Bakura was inside him? Would he even be able to think? "When do we leave?"

"T-two weeks."

A soft cry burst from him and he fell back on the bed as a wet tongue ran along his cock. "Then we have time."

England suited them well, all of them. The London offices of Kaiba Corp were a great deal more relaxed than the Domino one had been. Mokuba liked the school he was in: it hadn't taken him long to establish himself as the number one bachelor on campus. He had one hell of a public relations associate in Jyonouchi Katsuya and an equally talented human resources coordinator in Bakura Ryou. So what if he'd had to hack a few records to fix their birthdays so they were all eighteen before the move (never mind that Katsuya already was -- he and Ryou had yet to have their birthdays) and so that Bakura had an actual identity.

It had been simplest -- and easier to explain and remember to -- to make his lover and Ryou twins. No one would ever think to ask about it. Despite the different eye colors, they looked almost identical: there were just the eyes and a few centimeters to tell them apart before Bakura cut his hair off to his shoulders. When the other first came back and had first convinced him to see him, he'd asked about the similarities; Bakura had said the magic that had brought him and Atemu back simply copied their former hosts' bodies. It made sense to him, as much as anything about this magic stuff did.

He had yet to find out how Bakura came back. He'd asked shortly after the white-haired man moved in with him. Bakura had dismissed it as unimportant, not an answer he usually accepted, but the thief had a way of erasing thoughts from his mind. It'd be another two weeks before he invited Bakura into his bed, but he could kiss thoughts out of importance with no small skill.

When the thought of asking returned to him, it didn't seem to be of as immediate urgency as it had before. Bakura was back and with him. Before he came to be here didn't matter nearly as much as it had before -- as long as no one thought he was giving him back.

Back then, Bakura's patience had confused him. He'd definitely felt a close connection to the other, and he'd not objected when the other showed up with the duffle bag that contained everything he owned. (He was willing to bet only a fourth of the items in there had been paid for. As Bakura had said it to him, once the Thief King, always the Thief King.)

But remembering what he did from Ancient Egypt and the relationship his former self and the thief had had before, he'd completely expected Bakura to want to jump right back into a physical relationship. Well... He'd almost definitely wanted to, but Bakura hadn't pushed him for more than he was ready for and had basically allowed him to set the pace of what happened when for them, in effect making their relationship this time around mostly his own doing. So, as he was definite Jounouchi would point out if he knew the details -- and he wasn't going to, as far as he was concerned -- technically this entire situation was his fault.

Still... it was strange. Until recently, he'd never felt too inclined to reminisce like this. The past was the past and was better left behind him, after all. Maybe it was the upcoming date that was making him think like this.

It wasn't to say he wasn't excited, because he was, really, but ever since the press release ran last week, he had been living in worry -- if not outright fear -- of who might deign to put in an appearance. Bakura seemed singularly unworried. He could try to pretend he felt the same.

All the same, he'd be glad when Bakura got back. He still wasn't quite used to worrying about someone else, not like this. Okay, so he had a GPS locator built into the watch Mokuba always wore, and he'd debated on doing the same for his lover. It wouldn't do any good right now, though: when Bakura was on a job, he didn't wear a watch or carry so much as a cell phone, for the sole purpose of making himself harder to trace.

And he was indeed on a job, but that wasn't the part that had him more nervous than usual: it was where the job was. He had objected loudly -- but ultimately unsuccessfully -- against Bakura taking this job because it was just too damn close to where all this started. But, as the white-haired man had pointed out, who else did he have in his employ that could sneak into Industrial Illusions, find out what Pegasus was working on, and sneak back out without being noticed?

Tokyo was just too damn close to Domino, though. The last thing he wanted was for Atemu to realize Bakura was in the country. And beyond that... Well, he missed Bakura when he was gone.

"Are you sure you want to do this?"

If he could have gathered his concentration a bit more, he might have growled. As it was, forcing a strained "Yes" out was almost more than he could manage.

It wasn't like Bakura to be timid, he thought vaguely to himself. He had appreciated the question the first time the other had asked it; now, on the third time, he was almost starting to feel like Bakura wanted him to say no, even if the proof to the contrary rested against his own erection.

Bakura leaned down to capture his lips swiftly as he repositioned himself. Something blunt and slick with lubricant pressed against his entrance. That was... certainly a lot bigger than the fingers he'd begun to become accustomed to. As the other slowly pressed into him, he pulled away from the kiss to hiss out a shallow breath. It didn't hurt, but it was definitely more than he was used to.

Immediately, Bakura froze, giving him time to adjust. A calloused hand gently stroked his side, willing him to relax.

Once he could breathe again, he leaned up those few inches to kiss his lover. "I'm okay," he whispered.

He was better than okay.

He needed to stop worrying. If anyone could take care of themselves, it was Bakura. That was part of what first fascinated him about him about him: the man who needed no one needing him. And there were a thousand other things that demanded his attention. Arrangements were already made for Mokuba to be in charge for a month; Jounouchi and Ryou had both volunteered to help him as needed so he didn't take too much time away from studying for his A-Levels. He'd arranged for his private jet months ago, but it couldn't hurt to make triple sure; he'd put Isono on that. Tuxes had long since been purchased, even with a thousand eye rolls from Bakura, who hated the so-called monkey suit.

It sounded like everything was all set for Friday, which unfortunately left him nothing to work on. Now all he needed was for Bakura to get back.

"I leave you alone for a few days, and you go right back to your workaholic ways." He started at the sound of Bakura's voice at the doorway to his office. Surprised, he looked up to see the white-haired man pushing the door closed and quickly thumbing the lock behind him. "What are we going to do about that?"

He pushed himself to his feet. "Were there any problems?"

Bakura circled around him, and he turned to follow him, leaning against his desk. The other man stopped in front of him, a smirk building on his face. "Not with the job, no. I got the intel, and it's good."

If not the job, then... "With what then?"

Pale hands ghosted up his sides, and he shivered. Finally, they came to rest on his cheeks as Bakura pulled him closer for a brief kiss. "I missed you," kiss, "I need you," kiss, "and I want you, right now. I don't have to wait till Friday, do I?"

"Not if you know what's good for you," he answered a little breathlessly, already yanking at the black shirt Bakura was wearing.

"Good. I don't think I can wait that long, and I have plans for you. They are not waiting till after Friday." That Bakura was actually half-fumbling with his zipper was a sign of just how impatient he was feeling. Good, it wasn't just him.

"Till we're in Mexico?" he managed to ask. The words ended in a gasp as Bakura's lips found that one place on his shoulder that always made him shudder.

"Not waiting that long."

And that was the best thing he'd heard all day.

12 February 2009

Holy crap... I was seriously starting to think I was never going to finish this. I mean, I started it a few years ago. Seriously, years. I think I actually started it in 2006.

And yes, it's quite a bit... stronger than what I normally write. I'm as shocked as you. You should have seen the look on my roommate's face when she first realized it. It was sorta O.o, which made me giggle.

But, yeah, here's Third Chance, at last. More on other stories to come soon -- and Amaranth should be out for purchase after this weekend! Keep an eye on Amazon and Cacoethes Publishing for it!

Much love to all,