Genre: AU, Romance
Main Pairing: Bakura/Ryou
Other Pairings: Yuugi/Atem, Malik/Jyonouchi
Word Count: 4,617
Status: Part 1 of ? complete
Notes: The story title comes from the Within Temptation song "Jillian (I'd Give My Heart)".
You know, it wasn't the whole dying thing that confused Bakura. Or being stuck in a shiny piece of dangly gold thing. Or even coming back to life thousands of years later. Even the whole other half thing made a kind of sense; it explained to Bakura why protecting the host was so damn important. The Nameless Pharaoh, the Sennen Items, screwy Egyptians with rubbery necks - all of that was stuff Bakura could handle.
No, what Bakura was having trouble with was of a more... personal nature: namely, what the hell was that supposed to be, and why was it between her legs?! How the hell had she ended up with a... a... boy for an other half? And why did he have to be a boy with urges? At least Ryou looked at men as well as women; she didn't feel like too much of a pervert when she took over, to find her 'innocent' other half had his eyes fixed on Anzu's chest or the Pharaoh's ass.
If that wasn't bad enough, there was also the fact she'd been so close to getting to bond to a fellow girl, but no, their father just had to give the Ring to Ryou instead of Amane. Probably just as well. The boy was girly enough as it was; the girl just made her sick with all the pink and the frilly dresses and the cutesy dolls. It was enough to make her want to puke.
But worse than all of that was the fact she was in the Memory World at last, and there was this thing between her legs. What the hell? If this was Ryou's doing, he was going to catch hell for it. Of course, she doubted Ryou had the guts to try something like this; he'd witness one of her bouts of temper before. Apparently, he'd taken away from the experience to stay on her good side... and present her with lots of this 'chocolate' stuff.
No, she had a healthy idea of where to place the blame here: as always, squarely at the Pharaoh's feet. These were his memories after all, with him and Zork firmly controlling the game from above, and the Pharaoh saw her as male. She checked under her shenti. Apparently, the Pharaoh saw her as an exceptionally well-endowed male.
This could work, she mused to herself. This form should have a great deal more upper body strength than her true one did. She felt like she was a good deal taller as well. She doubted she'd be nearly as fast or as silent with the extra bulk, but she'd work around that. She was very good at that, after all.
Still, in a brief petty moment, she flipped off the sky in the direction she imagined Daijyashin Zork was sitting. A laugh escaped her, followed by another one as she realized her voice hadn't changed too much. A third came as she realized she was using a gesture that had not yet been invented - and wouldn't be for some time to come. "Hey!" she called up. "If you're going to stick me in the game as your avatar, the least you could have done was give me my real body!"
A smug silence met her words, and she resisted the urge to flip off the sky again. Instead she trudged back into the ruins of her village to scout out the materials she'd need to start her part in the game.
"Do you mind hurrying this up?" she huffed. "I don't have all day here. Let's get this show on the road." Should she be so amused that the great god actually paused and looked to her in confusion? How many people really challenged the gods, on their own grounds after all?
'You speak as though you already know the outcome of our judgment.' It sounded like a thousand voices speaking at once. And she'd just started to forget what that felt like from Zork.
"Fuck! One at the time!" She barked the order out, resisting the urge to cover her ears; experience told her it would do no good. "Yeah, I already know what your scales are going to say: my heart is miles heavier than your feather. So let's just get this over with."
Were the gods always annoying bookworms? If they didn't start moving it along, they were going to get another first: her telling them where to shove it. Really, there was no need to keep checking the book. If they were going to throw her to Ammet, they should go ahead and do it before she died again, this time of boredom. It was becoming a real possibility.
She tapped her foot impatiently as her heart was extracted, only vaguely confused than she'd always assume it would hurt worse than it did, and placed on the scale opposite Ma'at's feather. No, where she was really lost was when the scales tipped back and forth and finally settled on the feather being the slightly heavier of the pair. Hell, even the gods looked baffled. She supposed it was a good thing no one came through this Afterlife anymore; she'd have just completely gummed up the queue, she thought with some amusement as Anubis inspected and reinspected the weighing.
'They aren't weighing my heart,' she finally realized. 'They have to be weighing yadonushi's. That's the only way I'd be passing.'
"And people say you're stupid." That voice... the only voice that annoyed her more than Zork's: Atem. She turned to face him with a sneer on her face. "Osiris gave me the option to go back. Do you want come back as well?"
"Do I have that option as well?" she asked over her shoulder to Thoth.
The gods consulted amongst themselves in hushed whispers before nodding an affirmative. 'It would be a recommended option for someone like you.' She started to bristle, her mind providing a myriad of different meanings for those words. 'You would set the Afterlife asunder.'
She smirked. There was no disputing that. She turned back to Atem, and her eyes narrowed, though. "Hey, Pharaoh! They don't talk back. You want an answer, talk to my face."
Crimson eyes finally lifted to meet her own silver ones after a moment. "Where did those come from?" he demanded.
She sighed. "Do we need to have a 'birds and the bees' talk, Atem?"
"But you're a guy," he protested. "You've always been a guy."
To herself, she thought dourly, 'This is why we kept having people trying to take over. They knew our god-kings were all inbred idiots.' Behind her, one of the gods snickered; apparently, her private thoughts were not entirely private. She wasn't taking her eyes off Atem to see which one it was though. She wasn't taking her eyes off Atem to see which one it was though. Inbred he might, but he was also a pervert and had been residing in the body of a pervert. If he so much as thought about touching her, she'd kill him again.
"No," she finally answered, voice strained, "I always pretended to be a male. Then I was in yadonushi's body, so it didn't matter. And now-" She trailed off, abruptly confused. She turned her attention slightly to Thoth. "Yo! Do I get to keep my body?"
'By all means. Just go.'
"Only you could get thrown out of the Afterlife."
She turned slitted eyes back onto the other. "One more word out of you, Pharaoh, and I'm going to feed you your own entrails."
"Oww...," she complained, sitting up gingerly and looking around. Of course she recognized where she was. How could she not? This was the living room of yadonushi's apartment after all. She pulled herself to her feet, trying not to be nervous about how stiff she felt this time. "Yadonushi!" she called out. Silence met her. He must not be back from Egypt yet.
Her stomach growled loudly, reminding her it had been quite a while (like several thousands of years) since she'd eaten. First things first, though. Yadonushi's father sent someone over to clean once a week. She wasn't sure if today was the day or not, but there was no sense taking any chances.
She wandered back into the bedroom and rummaged through the closet till she found a shirt baggy enough to cover her breasts and a pair of jeans that almost fit. If the clothes were any indication, she was apparently about the same height as yadonushi, just built differently. Getting his jeans on her might be a fun trick, though. Perhaps she should have somehow anticipated getting her own body and 'acquired' clothing of her own before now. Oh well, as yadonushi's father was fond of spouting off, hindsight was 20/20, whatever that meant, she mused to herself as she started changing, leaving her clothes where they feel near the door before putting on the others. She'd let her neat freak other half take care of them when he got back. (How long did it take to go to and come back from Egypt these days anyway?) Right now, she had her own priorities: food then sleep. The rest could take care of itself later.
It was weird, though. He'd tried to sleep on the boat ride to the temple and again on the airplane, but both times it had proven impossible. Somehow he had the feeling that, no matter how tired he was, as long as there was this empty hole inside him where his other used to be, he wouldn't be getting any rest.
This trip had left scars for most of them. Kaiba-kun had been unusually quiet from what he'd been able to see, never letting his little brother out of his sight - well, more so than usual. Jyonouchi-kun had been acting oddly ever since they saw Malik-kun again. Anzu-chan seemed to be bordering on depression. Yuugi-kun... was hiding whatever he was feeling rather well behind his usual smile. And he felt like he'd been ripped in half.
As he stumbled across the living room, the phone began to ring, but he ignored it. A moment or two later, the machine picked up, just before he started down the hall to his bedroom, and Yuugi-kun's voice filled the apartment: "Bakura-kun? Are you home yet? I have the best news! Are you sitting down? Guess who's-"
He entered his bedroom and pulled the door closed behind him, effectively cutting off the rest of the smaller teen's words. He nearly tripped over a pile of clothes on the floor but ignored that too to flop down on the bed still dressed. The oddest sensations floated up through his sleep-deprived mind: his pillow didn't smell like it usually did; the covers on his bed were awfully rumpled; the mattress was tilted slightly, like it was bearing more weight than just his. None of that compared to the bed shaking and the sheets pulling back slightly to reveal a shock of white hair and silver eyes glaring at him in sleepy irritability.
He bolted back upright, staring down in surprise. "What-? Who-?" But he knew who it was, in his soul if nothing else.
An arm slung itself around his waist and pulled him back down. "Don't be stupid, yadonushi." Bakura's voice was gravelly with exhaustion but definitely a slightly higher pitch than his own despite that.
"Are you... real?" he had to ask.
"Didn't I just say 'don't be stupid'? Of course I'm real. I'm not some figment of your imagination or anything. However, I am a very tired thief so let me go back to sleep."
He bit his lower lip then hesitantly spoke again. "Just one question, please." Bakura sighed but didn't object. He took that as assent. "How are you here? Are you the only one that came back? Is that your... real body."
"That's more than one question." He opened his mouth to apologize but was cut off. "The Pharaoh's back too, but I think maybe we're it. How? We struck a deal with the gods. And of course this is my real body. I wasn't keeping that one Atem conjured up for me."
"So you're..." He trailed off, unsure how to say what he wanted to in the least offensive way.
A hand grabbed one of his, and the next thing he knew, it was filled with warm, soft flesh. "Yadonushi, meet tits. Yes, I'm a woman."
If he hadn't already been contemplating passing out from exhaustion, it was definitely in the realm of possibilities now. Oh, he'd known the spirit living in his head was female; she'd had no qualms about telling him that on a regular basis (usually followed by 'Stop looking at him/her; I'm sexier') when they'd shared a body. But it was one thing to know that with a spirit, but it was a wholy different matter to have the tangible proof in his hand.
"Y- Y- Yami!" he barely managed to squeak out. He hated to think how red his face was, but he was pretty sure it had to be about the color of ketchup because he was starting to feel a bit lightheaded.
She gave him a dirty look, releasing his hand, though to be fair, it seemed to be frozen in place. "What? Not good enough for you?"
"I- I- It's good enough proof for me! I mean, I knew you were a girl before." He forced himself to take a deep breath and release it slowly. "But, yami, it's one thing to know it and another thing to see it."
She quirked an eyebrow and glanced down at his hand. "And another thing to grope it, yadonushi-dear?"
His breath caught in his throat as he realized he'd been squeezing and releasing the flesh in his hand. He yanked his hand back abruptly, tucking it behind his body before she could take a notion to relieve him of it. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! I didn't realize-"
"I didn't say it was a bad thing," she interrupted him. "Just not too hard."
"Yami?" She couldn't be saying what it sounded like she was saying, could she?
Silver eyes slipped closed again, and she tugged him closer. Nervously, he crawled beneath the sheets with her and held his breath as she arranged herself, her head on his shoulder and a leg thrown over his. He was almost positive, if he'd been breathing, he'd have missed her next words: "If I can't trust my other half, who can I trust?" They were spoken so quietly that he couldn't be completely certain, though, and she'd drifted off again.
Well, he was awake now, that was for certain. He didn't think he could go to sleep any time soon if he tried. She'd given him way too much to think about.
He moved slowly and picked up the phone. "Huh?" He sounded as awake as she felt. She yawned and was just about to settle back down to sleep some more when he shrieked out a "What?!"
Startled, her eyes flew open and she rolled off him, body completely tensed. If her knife wasn't in her clothes on the floor, it'd be in her hands. As it was, her back was against the wall and she was springloaded and ready to fight. "What?" she echoed.
Yadonushi dropped the phone back in its cradle after missing twice. "Yami!" he was yelling before the phone was even disconnected. As he turned quickly back towards her, she tried reflexively to move further away.
'It's yadonushi,' a quiet, sane part of her mind attempted to remind her. 'He couldn't hurt a fly, let alone me. Calm down.' At the moment, though, it was nearly being drowned out by fight-or-flight instincts that were yelling at her that, gentle-seeming or not, he was still male and males weren't to be trusted.
He stilled when he saw her. "Yami?" The more reasonable part of her mind informed her she was being an idiot - she was more likely to hurt him than vice verse - but she couldn't make herself relax. "Kura? What's wrong?"
He hadn't moved from the far side of the bed, had come no closer to her than to drop his open hand towards the middle of the bed. That helped her to relax minutely; she untensed enough to put one of her hands in his.
Yadonushi was speaking, his voice soft. After a moment, her mind began to process it as words and ones directed to her at that. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I shouldn't have done that. I didn't even think, not with Yuugi-kun... I'm so sorry, yami-mine."
"Wha-" The word started out strangled, so she forced a deep breath and made herself start over. "What about Yuugi?"
Yadonushi eased forward a little bit. When she was still, he moved to sit next to her, his back against the wall as well. "That was Jyonouchi-kun on the phone." She nodded her understanding. "Apparently, Yuugi-kun called and said something about coming over here to see...," he glanced down at her chest and back up, "so he was letting us know before Yuugi-kun showed up." He sighed, sending a faint glare at the door. "Atem-san too, I guess."
"... damn loose-lipped Pharaoh," she muttered under her breath. "Probably told the mini pervert he could get a free show over here."
She had to hold back how startled she was when he let out a growl that she'd be impressed to produce. "No way." A hand touched her hand and slowly slid up her arm to settle around her shoulders. "I'll cut their eyes out first."
She supposed, somewhere deep inside her, she realized most women would take a pronouncement like that as a sign of a stalker or something. Maybe she was weird, she decided, since it brought a smile to her lips. After all, this was her other half; they were allowed to get possessive over each other. "You say the nicest things sometimes," she said quietly. Before she could talk herself out of it, she leaned over to press a quick kiss to his lips.
A light flush touched his cheeks, bringing a smile to her face, but a knock at the door interrupted him before he could reply. He let out a sigh and climbed off the bed to his feet. "I could kill Yuugi-kun sometimes. Would you-"
"I'll be out in a few," she cut in, "if you can handle them them without bloodshed that long, yadonushi-dear?"
"I'll try." He paused at the door and looked back at her. "I'm really glad you're back, Kura."