Have I ever mentioned I don't believe in happy endings? No? Well, I
don't. In fact, they're pretty much impossible as far as I
can tell. 'All's well that ends well' is for the birds and shoujo manga.
And even if I did believe in them, seeing Yami standing in
front of me, red eyes blazing, might shake my belief a bit. At least
the foot isn't tapping... I spoke too soon.
"Yami..." I begin. I haven't the foggiest what I'm going to say. I guess I need to smooth things over with him. All things considered, the past two months have been some of the happiest of my life, having someone to give a damn about me besides my brother.
"You handcuffed me to the bed." Every word is a tightly bit out sentence. Maybe I should have let Fuckwit shoot me dead earlier and saved all the problems because I think my boyfriend's going to kill me now. Is he still my boyfriend - lover - whatever - if he's obviously thinking about wreaking grievous bodily damage upon me? "You handcuffed me to the fucking bed and went traipsing off to Tokyo. You asshole."
"So it wasn't that you were handcuffed down, but that I left you there that's pissing you off?" And that just came out of my mouth, didn't it? Fuck.
A low growl escapes him, and it's his best one to date. It's almost a shame it's because he's pissed at me. Otherwise, I might jump him for it. "I am incredibly pissed at you. Don't even think about making jokes about this right now."
"Niichan..." Mini-Me starts. Faintly, I can hear him stepping around me.
"Not onnly is it pretty much saying you don't trust me-"
"Hey, I never said that!" I try to interject but fail miserably because he keeps on like I never spoke.
"-it was fucking irresponsible to boot. What if something happened to you? If you got shot again or something? I'd never know. Or if-" He breaks off, as if he suddenly realized we have an audience. Not just Yuugi anymore either; out of the corner of my eye, I can see the shorter half of the Kaiba clan staring on with rapt interest. "What if something happened like at the restaurant again?" he asks, his voice softer.
What? Oh. Fuck. "It did."
That catches his attention. "What?"
"It did happen again," I admit, almost whispering, not that it makes a difference around two vampires. "It was worse this time." And that's all I'm saying with this many sightseers. I'm smoothing things over with Yami (hopefully), not the whole damn house. "Can't we talk somewhere less-"
"-open?" he finishes, giving Noa and Mokuba another sidelong glance. "Yes, please." He starts twoards the library, and I follow.
"Bakura-kun?" Mokuba cuts in. With an exasperated sigh, I glance back at him. "Two things. One, your shoulder's bleeding, and it's really distracting. Two, why is there another Yami-kun behind you?"
It's kind of amusing. I can literally see Yami freeze for several seconds before turning his attention to his little brother. Mini-Me looks sheepish as he chuckles nervously. "Surprise, niichan?"
"Wha- H- How?" I'm impressed. It takes bringing his brother back from the dead to render him speechless.
"I'm not really sure, but here I am! Alive, seventeen, and kicking. Isn't it cool?" Yami nods mutely. "One second I was dead, then Bakura-kun pushed me, then I was alive again." Oh great. Not only is he in full-on babble mode, but he also mentioned the shove I gave him. I'm gonna be in trouble for that one.
Or maybe I would be if Yami had paid attention to that part. I think maybe he got stuck on the 'I'm alive again now' part. I can't say that I would blame him either. Only a couple of months ago, he was having hardcore denial of the fact Mini-Me was dead, and now suddenly he's alive again, none the worse for wear, though slightly older now than when he died three years ago. If it was my little brother... Well, for starters, heads would have rolled about him dying. After that, it'd be murder, death, and mayhem till I figured out how to fix the problem. Not to mention I'd spend a lot of time doing what Yami is right now: patting him down to make sure he's real, hugging, etc.
Finally, Yuugi apparently gets tired of the attention - at least from his brother - and steps back away from Yami. "I'm going to go see Ryou-kun now. You need to talk to Bakura-kun, niichan." He probably thinks he's whispering as he says, "He was worrying all the way back here if you were still mad at him."
I wince. "Okay. That's enough, Mini-Me."
He continues like I didn't even speak. "You're not still mad at him, are you, niichan?"
Yami looks up at me. I'm not even going to try to guess at all the emotions I see represented in those red eyes. "No, I'm not mad at him." Saved. "Why don't you go see Ryou-kun while I see about Bakura's shoulder?"
"Sure!" he chirps before dashing up the stairs past Noa and Mokuba at somewhere around Mach Three. The shorter Kaibas follow till it's just me and him at last. And suddenly I'm feeling a whole lot less nervous than I was before about this. All the same, though, I do have one question.
"Did you mean that?"
"Hmm?" He seems to be a bit distracted. Understandable, I suppose, with the circumstances. "Yeah, Kura?" And I'm back to the shorter form of my name; I guess that's a good sign too.
"Did you mean it, that you're not mad at me?" I am not whining, I am not pleading, and I'm damn sure not begging - or at least I can tell myself that. I'm not nervous anymore, no, but there's still that lump of dread in the pit of my stomach that says nothing good lasts for long around me. And... Damn it, it's mushy, but I don't want to lose him.
"Yeah, Kura, I'm furious. That's why I'm going to patch up your shoulder - again - before the Kaibas start drooling."
Ahh, familiar sarcasm. I think I might have missed it. "I don't know," I shoot back. "Now that the tree's out of his ass, the Ice Prince is starting to be one hot number." When in doubt, play the Treeboy card.
He moves forward like he's going to hit me, and I have to hold back a smirk as I catch his raised hand, using it to reel him in for a kiss. God, I missed him.
The next nightfall finds us in a scene that I'd normally consider far too homey for my tastes. Yami and Yuugi are playing Duel Monsters on the newly cleaned carpet in the den. The brat's got his head in Mini-Me's lap as he lays on his side watching the match. Kitty and Ishtar just wandered off for food not two minutes ago. Treeboy's supposed to duel the winner of the Mutou match and so is at the coffee table arranging his deck. Seth looks just as enthused about all this Duel Monsters shit as I feel (in other words, not at all), but he's at least attempting to go over the cards with the Ice Prince. I haven't seen Noa or Mokuba yet tonight and that might be for the best. And as for me, I'm sprawled over the chair Yami's leaning against, absentmindedly trying to figure out how the hell his hair can be so soft and yet maintain its odd shape. It must be genetic, since Mini-Me's and the Old Man's have the same general shape.
I have all of half a minute to look around the room as Yami triumphantly lays down one of his favorite cards, the Saint Dragon of Osiris or something like that, and wonder completely to myself at how my little family has grown in the past few months. Six months ago, it was the brat and me and sometimes Kitty, and that was it. Now it's exploded, and I could learn to really enjoy this.
And that's all the time I have to think before there's a tap at the door, and an unusually timid-looking Kisara steps in the room. "Seto-sama?" You know, for being a gaijin, her Japanese really is flawless.
Treeboy barely glances up. "What?" Politeness, thy name is not Kaiba Seto.
"There are some men here." Finally he looks up. It took him long e nough. She's had the rest of our attentions from the first hesitant word. "They're from the Tokyo police."
Fuck. Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck! I wasn't expecting them this soon! How the hell did they trace us to Domino so soon? Shit... Of course, Bakura isn't that common a family name, and the brat is enrolled in school under his real name - and it's not like either of us blend in, looking the way we do.
There's alarm on entirely too many faces in this room, so deep breath, Bakura; we'll handle this somehow. Thought it might be a bad sign that the two calm ones here are me and Treeboy; even Seth's gone scary vamp.
"Let them in, Kisara." There isn't a person on the planet - human, vamp, Were, or otherwise - that's ever going to touch the Ice Prince for his unshakeable exterior. It's that impressive. Besides, even I couldn't just keep going through cards with police on their way in, though to be fair, I've probably done a lot more illegal things than Treeboy. Anyway... Two men step into the room. Seto barely gives them a moment to look around before he continues in his most bored voice, "Can I help you with something?" Oh, I know that tone he's using: that's Seto's version of service with fangs and a hearty 'fuck off' tone, not that it's terribly different from his other tones, but still... I rate the 'fuck off' tone. I didn't think he liked me that much.
One of the cops actually flinches at the tone (and the glare that accompanies it), shifts nervously, and then finally gets out, "We need to speak to someone here about an... incident in Tokyo last night."
"Oh?" Is that an icicle I see hanging from the ceiling? Treeboy's voice does have the room below freezing, after all. "What would any of my people be doing in Tokyo?"
The other cop speaks up now. "'Your' people?" Wait for it... And there's the pad and pen. "Your name, sir?"
I think the temperature just dropped another ten or so degrees. "Kaiba Seto." He pauses a moment to see if they recognize the name. When they apparently don't, he heaves a nearly inaudible sigh and adds, "The Master Vampire of Domino City." You have to be really listening and really know him to realize just how much he doesn't enjoy owning up to it. Sometimes I wonder if he wouldn't rather Seth act as Master in his stead to free him up to do the real work. Far be it from me to suggest something helpful, though.
Cop Number One pales a bit and starts eyeing the door like it's the only door from Hell. Apparently he's of the 'err on the side of caution' thinking when it comes to master vampires. Dealing with a pissy Treeboy, it's a wise way of doing things. Cop Number Two, however, apparently disagrees with this philosophy since the next word out of his mouth is "Bakura?"
Whoops, the brat and I just went stereo on that. Cop Number Two looks away from Seto and blinks. I can get doing that: there are a lot of look-alikes in the room, and the brat and I probably look the closest of all the sets. After all, the only real difference between us are our eyes and my scars.
"I... was told Bakura Takuto's son lived here?" We made him lose his cool. I'm only barely holding back a smirk.
"Surprise," I'm unable to resist mouthing off, adjusting my new sling to sit a tad more comfortably against my chest, "we're twins."
"What does our father want?" The brat's so much more polite than I am as always. At least he's finally sitting up, even if he is still leaning on Mini-Me. I guess that means I should sit up as well.
"Nothing anymore," Number Two returns.
"I'm sorry to inform you, but he's dead," finishes Number One.
"So where were both of you last night?" This is like the brat and me when we're playing the twins thing to the hilt, back and forth. At least they aren't finishing each other's sentences. Yet.
Yami and Treeboy stiffen simultaneously, but of course it's Yami who speaks first. "Just what the hell are you implying here?!" he snaps.
"And you are?" Cop Number Two has a death wish.
"Mutou Atemu, and spell it right: A-t-e-m-u. And I'm Mutou Sugoroku's grandson." Red eyes narrow sharply, and I can see cop blood in them. Damn, it's pretty. "Now what exactly are you trying to say about Ryou-kun and my Kura?"
Cop Number One is edging back towards the door. Smart man. Number Two is slowly getting the point, I guess, because he's finally developing a slightly more respectful tone. "Begging your pardon, Kaiba-san, Mutou-san, but I do need to know where both Bakuras were last night."
"Ryou-kun was at the movies with us - Kaiba Noa, Mutou Yuugi, and myself - last night." Holy shit, Mokubas out of thin air. Can we not repeat that trick, please? "Do you need to see the ticket stubs?" Apparently, Seto isn't the only Kaiba here with a glacial glare. I'll have to make a mental note of that.
And suddenly all attention in the room is focused on me. I open my mouth to speak, even though I have no idea what I'm going to say, but it's not my voice that comes out. I'm not Yami, after all. "Kura was in here with me all night."
"Mutou and I were trying to teach him to play Duel Monsters." Holy shit... I have Treeboy and Yami for my alibi. "He's a most unwilling student though."
"I can't help not being as game-obsessed as the two of you are." Might as well run with it, since they all but offered it up to me on a silver platter. I mean, this hands down beats the time Cynthia gave Malik and me an alibi that one time. (Never mind that both times I actually did do what I was accused of.) Actually, I think the cop who tried to bust me that time might be Number One. I wonder if he still has nightmares about it.
"You'll have to give us sworn statements." And that tiny bit of respect seems to bleeding into outright fear. I guess maybe I am rather well connected these days.
The Ice Prince's eyes narrow slightly. "I will have them on your chief's desk first thing after dark tomorrow." Ah, that's our Treeboy, going for the hit that'll hurt the most. "Now, I'm sure you have better things to do tonight than accuse my people of murder, so why don't you go do them?" What did I say: service with fangs and a hearty 'fuck off'? I meant it.
I don't think I've ever seen two cops make a break for it quite so fast in my life. I've seen Diceboy vanish like this once, but never cops. They should add it to the Olympics or something. Toss in some midget wrestling and popcorn, and you've got some quality programming there. Mini-Me could star in it; it'd be great.
The minute Kisara pulls the heavy door closed behind them, I let out a sigh of relief that's echoed around the room, only Treeboy and Seth not participating in it. "That was way too close," Yuugi breaths, somehow wrapping his arms around the brat without dropping or revealing his cards. "Do you think it'll turn out all right, niichan?"
Yami doesn't answer immediately. He's too busy pulling me down to where he's sitting and slipping an arm around me. Ah, post-adrenaline cuddles. I could get so spoiled on them. "I think they'd better leave all of alone if they know what's good for them." And I could get very used to all the pretty threats.
"They'd be stupid to try anything now that they know how well connected you are," Mokuba puts forth. "I mean, going against the Mutous alone is one thing-"
"Hey!" Yuugi interjects, but Mokuba ignores him to continue speaking.
"-but the Mutous and the Kaibas? It's career suicide." Wow, every so often, the halfpint says or does something that really reminds me that he's Treeboy's brother.
"Thank you for the save, Mokuba-kun." Ryou really is so polite, especially compared to me. How are we from the same family again? Still, there is something to be said here. Yami will get his thanks when we're alone (if that ever happens again), so...
I turn slightly in time to see Treeboy looking back down at his cards in a hurry. Cute. Well, let's see if I can get this out. "Hey, Seto, I-"
"Aren't you two finished yet?" he snaps, glaring up at Yami and Mini-Me. "I'd like to get a duel in some time tonight."
A quick snicker escapes me. I guess the Ice Prince is as uncomfortable about receiving thanks as I am about giving them. I get the feeling that, if he'd fed more yet tonight, there might be a flush on his face. Maybe. Perhaps. That's fine, though. I'll just find a way to pay him back one day, but first, I have a couple of Duel Monsters games to try to sit through.
13 March 2006
Holy gods, it's finally finished! I was starting to think I'd never finish the bloody chapter. All that's left is an epilogue - and then we shoot directly into Automatic Paranoia. B&S has been a fun ride, but I'm ready to get into the real fun. *evil grin* That is, at least, providing I don't get sucked into all the requests for a sequel to Metal Heart before I can start work on AP.