The last thing Kaiba Seto expected to see when he came home after a particularly exhausting day at his office, was his brother Mokuba slumped on the couch, eyes closed, with someone sitting next to him - someone the exclusive, state-of-the-art alarm system failed to warn him for.
"What are you doing here?" Kaiba gritted his teeth. Looking around, he saw no sign of forced entry, nothing that even proved someone had entered his home but him.
"Just take it easy, Kaiba-san." His voice was low, but not menacing.
"You have exactly five seconds to explain how you entered this mansion and what you've done to Mokuba."
"Your brother is fine." A faint glow and a familiar object appeared on the chest of the intruder, just out of nowhere. Kaiba hated - and hates - everything he can't explain, and the Sennen Items were one of the very few things he simply couldn't comprehend. It was bad enough that Yuugi of all people wore that Puzzle around his neck, but this... person... showed him in person how a certain phenomenon can exist without a plausible explanation. Magic. Kaiba swallowed, but refused to show any insecurity.
"Tell me what you've done to him!"
"I'm not here to cause any trouble. I just wanted to talk to you." He glared at the young boy, breathing even, eyes closed. "He's asleep. It was past his bedtime anyway. He won't wake up until I'm finished here."
"You have no business here," Kaiba snarls at him. "Go away!"
The intruder - he refused to think of him as Bakura Ryou, even though he knew it was his name - traced the outlines of the Ring with his fingers, slowly touching each of the five prongs. Kaiba stood, watching with morbid fascination, in the middle of the room as if he was nailed to the ground. His anger was still there, his indignation fighting alongside with trepidation and a little bit of fear - Kaiba didn't like unpredictability either.
"You were the one to duel Yuugi at the Battle City tournament," he continued. "Why have you come here? To talk? Then talk, before I call the police!"
"I'm unarmed and have no intention to murder you, or anyone else for that matter." A cheeky grin. Then, with a swift motion, Bakura got up from the couch, the black trench coat he was wearing sliding behind him like a royal cape, the fabric rustling with the movement. He dug something up from the front pocket of his jeans and threw it at Kaiba, who had no difficulties catching it. He opened his hand and gasped.
"You recognize it." Not a question, just a mere statement. "It's one of the Items, and pivotal in the upcoming events."
"I don't want this." Kaiba returned the Item by throwing it at Bakura, and the thief plucked it out of the air. He rolled the object between his nimble fingers, and smiled almost affectionately.
"You've been to the National Museum, right?"
"So what if I have?"
"There's no need for hostility. I haven't done..."
"You broke in and attacked my brother."
"There's no scratch on your brother." This time, Bakura sounded annoyed. "Let me finish my sentences, Kaiba. I don't like to repeat myself. You've been to the National Museum. The Ishtar woman has shown you the Ceremonial Tablet."
"I should've known you believed that crap as well," Kaiba said, disdain audible in his voice. "You and Yuugi, and your precious Items. When will you stop clinging to the past, and decide to make your own future?"
"Oh, but this is all about making my own future, Kaiba." Bakura's grin was unsettling. "Everything I do, has a purpose. A purpose that I won't reveal to you yet. We all have a part to play."
"I'm not interested in any mumbo-jumbo you have to say or show me." Kaiba squashes every little nervous thought. If Bakura had come here to babble about the past and Items and his ‘magic', then he would be done with it pretty fast. "I'm not interested in your past, future or any of your purposes. I want you to leave."
"Don't be in such a hurry." Bakura took a few steps forward, still rolling the Eye between his fingers. "You can see me as a... messenger. I just wanted to tell you that something's about to happen, and I want you to play a part in it."
"Perhaps you need more conviction." Tilting his head, Bakura's eyes darted over Kaiba's face. "Yes, yes I think you do need more conviction. You're not ready yet."
"I'm never ready for lunatics who don't make sense. Start speaking up more clearly, instead of your ‘riddles'."
The slap to his face was unexpected, and Kaiba felt his teeth rattle from the impact of the blow. He almost lost his balance, arms flailing and suddenly - his body was frozen. The Ring danced in front of his eyes, enveloped by a dark-purple glow.
"Do not ever call me names, do not ever mock me, Kaiba Seto." Dark-red eyes, flared with anger and a hatred of three millennia worth, crossed his face, and the voice in his ears was a dangerous low, hissing and dripping with contempt. "I decide how I speak, I decide who I speak to, and I decide whether you live or die. You do have a part to play in what's to come, being tied to the Pharaoh as you are, as much as you want to deny it, and you will choke on your disbelief, rather sooner than later."
A short laugh, a chuckle. Kaiba tried to free himself, but to no avail. The Ring chimed and he crashed to the floor, missing the sharp corner of the coffee table with mere inches. His breathing burned in his lungs and he coughed. His hands clawed at the rough carpet, and he quickly looked around to see if he could find himself something useful, as a weapon, the laughter still ringing in his ears.
"Nii-sama? What are you doing?"
It took him quite a few moments to realize that Mokuba, albeit groggily, was talking to him. Rubbing the sleep out of his eyes, his younger brother sat upright on the couch, and gave a huge yawn. "I tried to stay up for you, but it was getting late. What are you doing on the floor?"
Kaiba got up and used another moment to gather his wits, as he adjusted the sleeves of his shirt.
"I tripped," he answered brusquely. "Did you have dinner yet?"
"Yes, did you?"
"No." Kaiba's stomach growled at the same time, reminding him that he hadn't eaten since breakfast. But when he got home, the first thing he wanted to do was to check up on his brother. Mokuba jumped off of the couch, not saying anything about his lame excuse that he tripped. Mokuba believed his answer, as he believes everything his bigger brother says.
Bakura called him a disbeliever.
"Let's go to the kitchen," Kaiba cut him short, and he put his hand on Mokuba's shoulder.
"Sure!" Mokuba's eyes lit up, always in for a late snack. Kaiba left the living room quickly, and didn't bother to look back. He would double security the next morning.