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Now is the Month of Maying

Chapter Text

It was the first of May, and the YGO gang were in geography class, working in groups of four on a ridiculous project assigned to them by their overenthusiastic teacher who apparently still thought they were all elementary kids. They were supposed to shape Europe with sand in a shoebox lid. Yami thought it was pathetic. He and Yugi had somehow ended up working with Ryou and Bakura, of all people. Yami strongly suspected he had Ryou and Yugi to blame for this. They made a cute couple, but ever since they had gotten together they seemed to share some misconstrued notion that Bakura and Yami should "make up". Yami snorted. Fat chance of that ever happening.

"What's so funny, Pharaoh?" Bakura chose that moment to make his obnoxious presence noticed. "Won't you share the joke with us?"

Out of habit, Yami glared at him. "I was just contemplating the futility of certain activities," he retorted. "Like trying to break into Kaiba's mansion every week. When will it get into your thick little heads that you're never going to succeed? It's about as hopeless as trying to beat me at Duel Monsters," he finished smugly.

Bakura didn't seem fazed by Yami's barbed attack on his dueling skills nor on his and Marik's weekend activity. "Oh, don't you worry your pretty little head about that," he replied airily. "Trust you me, I will beat you one day. And we are developing the perfect means for taking over the world, never mind breaking into one mansion."

Yami rolled his eyes. As if. "Kaiba won't be happy to hear that," he said dryly.

Bakura raised an eyebrow. "What, so you gonna tell him?" He smirked. "So the rumors about you and Kaiba are true?"

Yami narrowed his eyes. "What rumors?"

Bakura leered and made a rude gesture. "That you're screwing him to gain his favor."

"Screwing?" Yami repeated cluelessly.

"Yes, screwing, fucking, whatever, having sex if you wish" Bakura said impatiently.

Yami went red in the face. "I – you – he –" he spluttered. "I don't – those rumors are entirely untrue! Whoever started them is a fool and a liar! Why on earth would I need to gain the favor of Kaiba anyway? I'm the King of Games, for Ra's sake!"

"Methinks the lady doth protest too much," Bakura said lightly.

Without even noticing the uncharacteristic knowledge of classical literature that Bakura was displaying, Yami lunged at Bakura, entirely disregarding the table between them. While Yami was busily throttling Bakura and spitting insults in his face, Yugi and Ryou stared in dismay at their formerly almost completed project that now lay overturned on the floor. Yugi's despairing cry of "Yami!" finally brought Yami back to his senses and he stopped trying to throttle Bakura and looked guiltily at all the sand spread out on the floor around them. "Oops?" he said feebly.

"What is going on here?"

Oh great. Now the teacher was interfering too.

"Bakura and Yami had a… discussion and in the process they ruined our project."

Oh dear. If even Ryou sounded annoyed… that was not a good sign.

The teacher drew herself up to her full height. "You two!" She addressed Yami and Bakura in an exasperated voice. "You are constantly disrupting class with your incessant fighting! Since you obviously aren't able to lay your differences aside on your own, I'll just have to force you. For the rest of this period, you will hold hands, and I hope you learn from it." With a last glare at the two culprits, she turned on her heel and marched back to the front of the room.

For a moment, the room was silent, then Yugi and Ryou suddenly fell about laughing. Bakura seemed shocked into silence. "But-" Yami tried to object, but quailed under the irate stare of their teacher. "Hands. Now," she bit out. Reluctantly Yami reached his left hand towards Bakura and was taken aback when the thief grabbed his hand forcefully. "Good," the teacher said, "now get to work!"

"But how-" Yami gestured to their hands.

"Well, then you'll just have to learn to work together for a change."

Shooting a surreptitious glare at the back of their teacher, Yami picked up the showbox lid and stood up. Yugi got a dustpan and brush from somewhere and started gathering the sand back into the lid.

"Okay, let's get started!" Bakura said brightly. "I'm doing Iceland!"

The rest of the group just glared at him.

At long last the bell rang. Yami sighed in relief and tried to pull his hand away from Bakura. To his surprise, the thief held on.

"Tomb Robber, what the hell?"

Without answering, Bakura hefted both his and Yami's bags on one shoulder and pulled Yami out of the classroom and down the hallway.

"You idiot thief, could you please let me go and explain what the hell is going on? You have no right to-"

"Oh shut up, you're attracting attention," Bakura cut him off irritably. He dragged Yami into a deserted corner and turned around to face him. Yami put his one free hand on his hip and stared at Bakura. "Well?" he demanded.

Bakura looked at him intently. "You really have nothing going on with Kaiba?" he asked seriously.

"No! I already told you I-"

"Good. That means you're still free, no?" Bakura smiled mischievously.

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"Oh nothing, nothing at all," Bakura said lightly, then leaned forward and kissed Yami full on the lips.

Yami was so shocked that Bakura was already half way down the hallway before Yami even registered what exactly had just happened. "Bakura – wait!" he called.

Bakura stopped and halfway turned around.

"I thought you were together with Marik?"

Bakura smirked. "Ever heard of a threesome?" he asked craftily. When Yami mutely shook his head Bakura winked and told him, "Well then I suggest you find out! Ask your hikari, he should know all about it." With that he turned around and vanished down the hallway.

Yami stood still for a moment before he noticed that Bakura was still carrying his bag and that, in fact, he better hurry towards his next class if he wanted to make it on time. He refused to think of the way the warm lips had pressed against hi- Donuts, Yami told himself firmly. Think about donuts. (1)

XXX

"Er, Yugi, what's a threesome?" Yami asked his hikari as they were having dinner.

Yugi almost choked on his mouthful of water. After he'd recovered he looked over at Yami and asked warily, "Why do you want to know?"

"Well, Bakura mentioned the word and told me you'd know what it meant." Yami blushed as he remembered The Incident, as he had mentally dubbed it.

"Well…" Yugi began hesitantly, "it's like… well, instead of just two people being together, you have three people involved with each other."

"Oh." Yami swallowed heavily. Bakura and Marik? Both of them? At once? One might barely be bearable, but – wait, why was he thinking like that? He didn't want to be involved with either of them in any way, shape, or form! The way he was thinking, it sounded almost like – no. Better focus on the other issue at hand – "So why did Bakura say you should know all about it?"

Yugi blushed, then sighed. "I'm sorry, aibou. I fear I haven't been entirely truthful with you."

Yami dimly sensed his impending doom behind his hikari's words. "I don't think I want to-"

"No, it's been nagging at my conscience for a while now," Yugi interjected. "It's best I get it over with now. You see – I'm not just together with Ryou… we're together with Mokuba, too."

"WHAT?"

oO()Oo

(1) Tribute to "Like a Pack of What?" by Kishiro Kitsune (on fanfiction.net). Because that story is awesome and you should all go read it. And the sequels.

Chapter Text

After that interesting conversation Yami avoided both Bakura and Marik as well as the now public threesome of Yugi, Ryou, and Mokuba as much as possible and thus bizarrely found himself spending more and more time with Kaiba, who was outraged that Mokuba was together with Ryou and Yugi. For one thing, as he frequently told Yami, he was together with boys (could Yami possibly imagine the effect on the public image of Kaiba Corp?), for another, he was together with two boys (again, think of the public image, Yami!), and, most outrageously, he was together with Kaiba's most hated rival. Privately Yami thought Kaiba's rage at the whole thing might have had something to do with the fact that he had found out about it last.

Yugi was just glad that Yami was finally getting on with somebody, at least, though he felt sorry for Mokuba for having to put up with the ire of Kaiba. He did not say anything to Yami, however – he knew Yami needed some time to wrap his mind around the mind-blowing concept of his innocent little hikari being together with not one, but two boys, one of them being the younger brother of Kaiba himself. He never suspected that Yami's strange behaviour might have another source.

Three weeks after "The Incident," the class went on the long-awaited (at least by some) six-day trip to a farm-turned-hostel somewhere in the middle of nowhere. It had originally been a planned as a week long, but their math teacher had decided to schedule a huge test that very Monday, so they had had to shorten the trip by a day. Needless to say, the math teacher would never get back into their good graces as far as the class was concerned.

The day of the departure started out rather promising for Yami. The sun was shining brightly from the clear blue sky, the birds were singing, and – okay, admittedly the real reason Yami was in such a good mood was because he had got to sleep an extra hour. Whatever the cause ultimately was, Yami was in high spirits as he walked to school with Yugi. He could barely restrain himself from skipping – a five thousand-year-old pharaoh did not skip.

To his surprise, the bus that would take them to their destination was already waiting in front of the school. It was a small bus, with rows of three seats next to each other and not the usual two-and-two. Yugi immediately sat down next to Ryou and began chatting avidly with him. Yami hesitated a moment, then quickly sat down in the middle seat in the row farthest back, glad to be so far away from the watchful eyes of the teacher. This way, he might even get away with playing Duel Monsters on his gameboy instead of "socializing," especially if he managed to keep others from sitting next to him. To this end, he set his backpack down on the seat next to the aisle and leant back onto it, laying his feet up onto the remaining seat. He closed his eyes and let himself relax, tuning out the noise of the other students arriving and settling down in the seats.

He was rudely jolted out of his contentment with a tap to his shoulder and a "Move over, Yami, others need the space, you know?"

Yami scowled as his good mood mysteriously evaporated. He opened his eyes and glared at the two… shall we say troublemakers that were standing in front of him, waiting for him to move. Reluctantly, but mindful of the looks the teacher was sending his way, he put his backpack under his feet and sat up. He wasn't about to make anything easier for the two by moving over to the window seat and so he remained stubbornly seated in the middle.

This turned out to be a bad move as Bakura simply clambered over the back of the seats in front if them and plopped down on Yami's left. Now Yami found himself wedged between the two fiends. Why did this always happen to him?

"So, how's it hanging, Yami?" Bakura asked brightly.

What in the name of Osiris does that even mean? Yami wondered.

"Yeah, you seem to have been avoiding us lately," Marik added, mock concern lacing his voice. "What's wrong? Haven't we always been the best of friends to you?"

"If trying to kill each other repeatedly constitutes a good friendship, then yes, I would have to say that you've been very good friends indeed," Yami said moodily.

"Aw, he admitted it!" Marik said chirpily. His supposed concern had suddenly vanished, Yami noted dully. He felt like a coat of lead had settled around his body. There was no escape.

XXX

"OH YEAH! I WON! I BEAT THE PHARAOH!" Bakura shouted as he jumped up onto his seat and broke into song and dance. "I rock, I rule, uh-huh, uh-huh!"

By now everyone had turned around towards the three in the back row. "I'm glad your so happy, Bakura," the teacher said with a smile, "but please quiet down. We wouldn't want to distract Mr. Wrode from the road, now would we?"

Everyone ignored her.

"You're loosing your touch, Yami," Marik drawled slyly. "Weren't you the King of Games? Doesn't that mean that Bakura is the King now?"

Yami glared. "We were playing Scrabble, not Duel Monsters," he ground out. "That title refers only to card games."

"Aw, he's getting defensive!" Bakura winked at Yami. Up at the front, Ryou turned around to look at them and then whispered something in Yugi's ear. Both giggled. Yami glared futilely at the back of their heads. That was it; everyone had ganged up on him.

"I wanna beat Yami too!" Marik whined.

"Don't worry, you'll get your chance," Bakura said, leering at Yami, "we both will."

"You already beat me!" Yami growled exasperatedly. "What more do you want?"

"/Oh but you know what we want, o great pharaoh./"

Uh-oh. Bakura had switched to Ancient Egyptian, a language only the three of them understood. This did not bode well for Yami. Where were those near-death experiences when you needed them?

Bakura inched closer to Yami and breathed into his ear, "/We want you./"

"/And we won't rest until we have you, body, mind, and soul,/" Marik added.

Yami felt like a deer caught in the headlights. To his left was Bakura, and to his right was Marik, and – Oh Ra, please get me out of here, Yami thought frantically, staring wildly at the two fiends grinning lecherously at him. "Would you – please – just – leave me alone?" Yami managed to whisper.

Bakura and Marik cackled in unison. "/Oh would you look at that, the pharaoh is scared of us!/" Bakura crowed.

Marik winked at Bakura. "/So much for all-powerful god, no?/"

"/Yes. It seems demons are more powerful than gods after all…/" Bakura leaned over Yami to get to Marik and Yami finally cracked. "WOULD THE BOTH OF YOU JUST LEAVE ME THE FUCK ALONE?"

"Yami! That is quite enough from you!" the teacher barked, hurrying towards the trio. "I was hoping you had stopped acting so childish around Marik and Bakura, but apparently that was not the case!" She stopped and took a steadying breath. "Right. It seems I need to be a little harsher in this case. For the duration of this trip, you will share a room with Marik and Bakura, and should you have time for – how do you young people call it? Ah yes – chilling, I expect you to spend that time with your roommates." With a last stern look at Yami, she turned on her heel and marched back to the front of the bus. Yami only dimly heard the snickering of the class as he drowned in his own little well of blackest despair. Oh Ra, Horus, Osiris, Isis, Bastet, Hathor, Anubis, Seth; all ye gods of Egypt, which one of you did I anger so to deserve such a punishment?

Bakura and Marik looked as if Christmas had come early and someone had just told them of a one-million inheritance each from some obscure uncle nobody had ever heard of. Then they looked at the frozen Yami and, as one, licked their lips suggestively.

Do they share a brain or something? Yami thought while wishing for a convenient God Card to knock him out until this whole farce was over and he could go home and crawl into his own bed in his private room with no-one else there. Or maybe Shadi could randomly appear and send him back to Ancient Egypt… the Bakura of that time only wanted to kill him, after all…

For the rest of the bus ride, Yami remained uncharacteristically quiet, stuck in his own little cloud of doom. Neither of the other two bothered to rouse him from his near-cataleptic state.

Finally the bus pulled into a courtyard enclosed on two sides by a large farmhouse with annexed barn and a pasture on another. The horses, sheep, and cows grazing on said pasture did not seem too bothered by the noisy bus, but the chickens and geese fluttered around the courtyard squawking wildly.

Yami looked at the plethora of farm animals in horror. He was a Pharaoh, for Ra's sake! Well – he had been a pharaoh, but once a pharaoh, always a pharaoh, no matter the circumstances!

The rest of the class seemed less fazed by the feathered monsters as they fought to get out of the bus first, glad to be out of the stifling air and into the fresh countryside breeze. Complete with the wonderfully refreshing aroma of fertilized earth - fertilized with manure, naturally.

The teacher vanished into the house, reappearing moments later, triumphantly waving a piece of paper at the students milling about. "Quiet!" she called over the chattering students. When that proved ineffective, she called, "If you don't stop chatting right now, you can sleep in the pigsty!"

The sudden silence was practically tangible.

"Good," the teacher said in a satisfied tone. "Now, I have here a list of the rooms we have. They have one room of two, two rooms of three, two rooms of four, and one room of five available. Girls and boys separately, of course," she admonished, "and now please, no quarreling, I want to know your rooms." She glanced at the two yamis and Marik. "I will have a room reserved just for you."

Bakura and Marik tried not to look too gleeful while Yami tried not to look like he was walking towards his execution. All three failed miserably.

Ryou glanced at them in amusement before turning to the teacher and announcing in a quiet voice, "Me and Yugi would like to share a room."

"That would be the room for two then –" she paused as she scribbled something on her sheet of paper. "Those of you who have told me their rooms can go unpack!" she called.

Ryou and Yugi wandered off towards the farmhouse, pulling their luggage behind them. Yami felt both his arms grabbed – he didn't need to look to know who it was – and was practically dragged to the farmhouse by two overenthusiastic psychos. He mentally tried to prepare himself for five very long days.

Chapter Text

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…/"

 

XXX

 

"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.

 

XXX

 

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.

 

XXX

 

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.


oO()Oo

 

(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. -.-