Four days later
Bakura slowly inched open the window, alert for even the slightest squeak. With one hand, he waved to Marik, who immediately padded over silently on bare feet, wordlessly handing Bakura the oil for the hinges. Bakura poured a little of the oil on each hinge, then gradually opened the now silent window. Yami snorted in his sleep and turned onto his other side and Marik and Bakura froze, waiting tensely for Yami to either wake up or – hopefully – settle down.
Finally Bakura motioned to Marik, who climbed out of the window and awkwardly clambered upwards, disappearing from view. Bakura followed, stopping on the ledge and closing the window, careful to put a piece of cardboard between the lock and the frame to enable their return. He speedily climbed up on to the roof where Marik was already waiting for him.
"/I wish I could do that,/" Marik said enviously. "/You're as agile as a cat!/"
Bakura grinned. "/You're not to bad yourself,/" he said, licking his lips suggestively.
"/If it weren't for the fact that we're on a narrow rooftop 40 feet above ground, I would jump you right now./"
Bakura pouted. "/Why let that stop you?/"
Marik glared. "/You might manage that, Bakura, but I would definitely fall off and probably break my neck in the process!/"
"/Alright, point taken,/" Bakura placated his lover. "/Get any louder and they will hear us. In any case, we're not out here to discuss our agility./"
Marik turned serious immediately. "/Yami. He just won't come around!/"
Bakura heaved a great sigh. "/I know! He won't even listen to us. Frankly, I'm at my wits' end./"
"/Well, the way I see it, we've tried confronting him with it suddenly. We've tried waiting for him to come around. We've tried "courting" him,/" Marik said, drawing the quotation marks in the air, "/we've tried talking to him, but he'll even lock himself in the bathroom for an entire day just to avoid us. He just won't listen!/"
"/Then we'll just have to make him listen,/" Bakura said decisively. "/Tomorrow is our last chance. At home, we'll never get him to sit still long enough to hear us out unless we tie him to the chair./"
A familiar glint appeared in Marik's eyes. "/Now there's an idea…/"
"Excuse me?" Marik asked innocently.
The teacher looked up from the tests she was correcting. "Yes, dear?" she said kindly.
"I was wondering if the three of us – Bakura, me, and Yami – could be excused from the hike this afternoon," Marik said in a low voice.
"And why should I allow that?" the teacher asked. "This trip was meant for class bonding, and you can't bond with your classmates if you're not with them."
"Well, class bonding is sort of the issue," Marik said wryly. "It's just that – well, Yami is avoiding us like the plague, and I have the feeling that he won't loosen up unless we tie him to a chair and tell him that he won't get out until he tells us why he hates us so much!"
The teacher's eyes softened. "Poor you, that must be horrible! I'm sorry for forcing you and Bakura to share a room with him, but I had hoped… well, no, you are right of course. I'll excuse you from the hike – but I better have misheard that bit about tying him up!"
Marik grinned guiltily at her.
"Alright, now go and enjoy yourself with Bakura till lunch!" The teacher said with a knowing twinkle in her eyes.
Marik ducked his head in faked embarrassment and thanked her profusely before he followed her advice and went off to find Bakura.
Yami jumped when he heard the distinct sound of the key turning in the door. He spun around only to find Bakura standing in front of the door smugly twirling the key around his fingers. With a wild look on his face, Yami turned his head left and right, searching for an escape. Marik was sitting on the windowsill, conveniently barring the way out through the window and holding up the key for the bathroom demonstratively in his hand. He could hide under one of the beds (what good would that do?) or try to wrest the exit key away from Bakura (he'd never manage that – he was outclassed and outnumbered) – no. There was no way out. It was time to stop avoiding the issue. Yami slumped down onto a chair and asked in a defeated voice, "What do you want?"
Instead of making a sexually-charged wisecrack, Bakura answered seriously, "/We want to talk to you./" He came over and sat down cross-legged on the bed nearest to Yami, resting his elbows on his knees.
"/You must realize by now that we are serious about pursuing you,/" Marik started from across the room. "/And I know for sure that you feel some degree of attraction to us – the psychic gift runs in my family, you know./"
"/I understand that you might hold a bit of a grudge against us –/"
"/A bit of a grudge?!/" Yami interrupted. "/Bakura, you have been trying to kill me for over five thousand years! You think that kind of enmity can just vanish overnight? How could I possibly trust you? No matter how often you say you are no longer a danger to me, it just doesn't compare! You knowingly shut yourself in a piece of jewelry just so you could kill me! You don't honestly think I can suddenly just forgive and forget?/" His voice had risen to a hysterical shriek.
“/I wasn't trying to kill you, I was after the power of the Millenium Items. You just happened to be in the way,/” Bakura stated matter-of-factly.
“/So if the Millenium Items hadn't vaporised, you'd still be trying to get rid of me?/”
There was a moment of silence.
“/I don't know,/” Bakura answered honestly.
“/Oh great. Just great,/” Yami muttered.
“/What about me?/” Marik asked.
“/What about you?/”
“/Well, do you trust me?/”
“/Well, I suppose I trust you a little,/” Yami admitted reluctantly, “/More than Bakura, at any rate. The reason you wanted to kill me was just that you were misinformed, and you did help us after the Battle City tournament./”
“/Do you trust Joey?/” Bakura asked suddenly.
“/With my life,/” Yami answered immediately.
“/But he bullied Yugi at first, before he'd solved the puzzle,/” Bakura pressed on, “/And he threw a piece of the puzzle into the pool! If he hadn't had a change of heart, you would have stayed trapped in the puzzle forever!/”
“/Your point is?/” Yami asked warily.
“/You and Yugi forgave him pretty much immediately. Won't you at least give me a chance?/”
“/I suppose I should,/” Yami answered reluctantly.
“/Great!/” Marik chirped and jumped off the window ledge. “/I think it's my turn to kiss you now, since Bakura already got his chance weeks ago./” He mock-pouted at his partner-in-crime(1).
Yami eyed the approaching blond nervously. “/Isn't getting together supposed to involve, I dunno, more romance?/”
“/You were the one being difficult,/” Bakura interjected in amusement.
Yami opened his mouth to respond, but he was distracted by Marik's lips suddenly meeting his and ----- his eyes drifted shut as he sighed into the kiss.
“/Mmmm, caramel,/” Marik murmured finally.
Bakura snorted. “/People don't usually taste like sweets. You're just being unbearably cheesy again./”
“/No I'm not,/” Marik insisted stubbornly.
Bakura looked at him dubiously. “/I don't even want to know what you think I taste like./”
“/Chocolate,/” Marik responded immediately.
“/Why is it always chocolate or caramel or strawberry or vanilla?/” Bakura asked sceptically. “Why not apple? Or... or rosehip, or something?/”
Yami effectively stopped Marik from continuing the pointless discussion by tugging him down for another kiss.
In a moment, Bakura was standing next to them. “/I want in,/” he demanded with a grin.
An hour later, the three of them were lying on Yami's bed, doing something that a week ago Yami would have thought impossible: having a friendly conversation.
“/So, you moved here because of Bakura,/” Yami addressed Marik.
“/Nah. I came here because of an exhibition which Isis wanted a psychically capable and trustworthy guard for,/” Marik corrected. “/I then just stayed here because of Bakura./”
Yami shook his head at the trivial distinction but said nothing.
“/Do you know what you want to do when you leave school?/” Bakura asked lazily after a while.
“/Not really, no.../” Yami sighed. “/I would have liked to join the police force or the fire brigade, but – well, I'm just too short. I might do something with game design, but.../” he trailed off. “/What about you?/” he asked half-jokingly to distract himself from the unsolved problem of his future. “/What will you do now that you no longer want to rule the world?/”
“/I never said that.../”
“/So... your goal is actually to rule the world?/” Yami asked slowly.
“/Yup!/” Baura said brightly. “/Together with Marik, of course. And you, if you want in./”
“/But – why would you want to rule the world? What are you going to do with it?/”
Bakura laughed. “/No need to be so suspicious, Pharaoh-dear! I just intend to drag it kicking and screaming into the twenty-first century. Subtly, of course./”
“/Of course,/” Yami repeated sceptically. “/And what exactly is your definition of the twenty-first century?/”
“/Peace, love, and unicorns,/” Bakura teased, “/or whatever the serious equivalent of that is./”
“/So it's not because you want everyone to do your bidding?/”
“/Well, that too, of course./” Bakura grinned unrepentantly when Yami tried to swat him.
Yami considered this for a long while.
“/Well, I suppose I can support that,/” he finally decided with a smile.
“/Awesome!/” Marik exclaimed and lunged to envelop Yami in a bone-breaking hug.
As Yami laughingly tried to extricate himself from the stranglehold, he thought, This could even work out.
(1) At this point I'd like to take the opportunity to recommend YGO the Abridged series to anyone who hasn't yet watched it or hasn't checked back for new episodes in a while. Because the last twenty or so episodes were hilarious . And the songs were quite possibly even better. How this is relevant? Writing this line made me think of this little exchange from YGO TAS: Bakura : Let's be partners! :D Marik : *clueless* You mean like partners-in-crime? Bakura : … Yes. That is exactly what I meant. -.-