Chapter Five
by Katsuko

Disclaimers and warnings can be found in Chapter One.

Dedications: My wonderful beta reader Eternal SailorM, who flew solo for this chapter. Also the kitties Aya, Biscuit and Mika for keeping me company while I type.

It's getting dark by the time I hear the front door open again. I don't have to look up to know that Dorobou and Yami are here; most of my attention is focused on my kit, who has been curled up in my lap ever since....

I feel the man next to me tense slightly, and glance to my right to find Marik's attention focused on the air close to the front door. The wolves are all too upset to notice if there's anyone else--particularly anyone of the non-breathing set--in the house; a subtle sniff of the air brings a hint of ozone mixed with jasmine.

Fuck me sideways, but someone takes her job description seriously....

"Jounouchi-san." I glance left to see Dartz crouched next to me. This hit him hard, but nothing like me or the wolves or even the kit. It's like he's detached himself from the situation. And he's still whispering. "Should I take the kit to his room?"

I nod slightly and pass Ryuzaki to the other Cat. "Thank you," I murmur in reply. He nods and heads quietly up the stairs and I stand up. I'm on my feet when Magnum speaks.

"Bakura? Where were you?"

Dorobou smells on edge--that's not all I scent on him, but I'm ignoring that for the moment. "We--"

"Mai sent us to Kaiba Corp," Yami cuts in. "She said we'd be safe there until dark."

Oh, yes, taking her job description way too seriously. I manage not to roll my eyes. And Marik is practically buzzing with energy; he won't strike out, but he's keeping note of exactly where she's standing at any given second. I'm the love interest of a living ouija board.

I see Dorobou start to turn again and decide to paint a clear picture for everyone. "Dorobou." I wait until he's looking at me to speak again. "Who the fuck are you talking to?" Hey, who knew I could actually speak calmly at a time like this?

Dorobou points over his shoulder:"Her. Tell me you see her, Kitty. Please." His voice is strained, like he'd been screaming and his throat hasn't recovered yet. Add on the fact that he said 'please' and I can tell this has been one hell of a day. I wish I could lie to him... but I've already lied enough; he still thinks I don't remember my turning.

It pains me to shake my head. "The only people I see over there are you and Yami... but I smell three." Fuck, I hate when my voice breaks like this. I'm eighteen, almost nineteen, and I haven't cried since the night I was turned; I can't break down now, not when my family needs me to be strong. The only thing that keeps me grounded is the hand resting against the small of my back.

Dorobou suddenly starts laughing, liberally mixed with sobs as he turns to face the spot where the ozone-and-jasmine smell is 'standing.' "I've heard of job dedication before, but seriously, Mai, this is just too fucking much."

Shit, this is worse than... actually, I've never seen him this close to breaking before. Quite frankly, it scares me stupid. I'm moving before I can process that the wolves are getting nervous, catching Dorobou's arm. Yami meets my gaze, and he looks as scared as I feel.

"Dorobou... Bakura. Come on, let's go to the den," I say a whole hell of a lot calmer than I feel. "It's quieter there. Just you, me, Yami and Marik."

That one eyebrow quirks when I say 'Marik,' but Yami whispers to him, "Come on, Kura. Let's go," before he can say anything. I just know he's going to come back to that later, but right now, I need to get him out of the front hall.

"Okay." Dorobou sounds... cheery, and that's almost scarier than the laughter. I let Yami guide him towards the den, moving ahead to get the door. I wait until they've moved past me to turn a look to the wolves. Apparently Magnum caught on because his eyes are locked on the spot by the door.

"Please take the body to the boathouse," I say to the nearest wolf, a redhead who turned tear-filled eyes to me. "Her soul is still here; your Ulfric can decide what to do with the shell."

Marik pulls me back from the door and closes it then wraps his arms around me from behind. It would be very easy to collapse into him, but no. Dorobou needs us; I'll worry about myself later. Still, I turn my head slightly and nuzzle Marik's cheek. Somehow I know Malik is pretty close as well, and the thought helps me level out a bit more.

"I'm fine."

Bullshit, Dorobou still sounds half out of it, and if he honestly thinks any of us is buying that then he's got another thing coming. Marik licks my neck before loosening his grip so I can cross to where my brother and friend are by the windows. He isn't too far behind me, but he stops at the fireplace.

"Still," I say, "maybe you should sit down. Both of you," I clarify with a nod to Yami. Hell, I think we could all just use a nap right about now,. but you'll never hear me say that around this group. For all I know, it could resolve into a round of where is the strangest place you've ever had sex, and I really don't feel like going there right now.

I have maybe half a second to wonder why Dorobou's looking at all of us that way before he speaks up again. "I'm not going to freak out again. I mean it; I'm not crazy." It sounds like he's getting all worked up again, and I hope Yami's able to calm him since I don't know how much longer I can maintain 'oniisan-mode,' as Ryou once called it (hey, he was sick at the time, and I am an older brother, you know).

Yami steps around Dorobou, one hand carding through my brother's hair. "We know, Kura," he says in a soothing tone. "Of course you're not crazy. Remember, I saw her too." And I think Marik did too, but he's (thankfully) keeping his mouth shut. Yami sits down on one of the couches, patting the seat next to him. "Come here."

Dorobou moves--and the next second I hear glass crack and my brother cry out in pain and Yami shouting and the window is exploding since I'm turning it into an exit. If Marik is behind me, I can't tell; I'm chasing gunpowder and sweat. The shooter can't outrun me now, I've just caught his scent--oily, unclean--and I shift without thinking about it.

Enemy. Rival. Hurt pard. Hurt brother. Gunpowder. Human, no powers. Where? Up. Left. No, further. Right. Left. Here!

Human smells of fear. Good. Human hurt brother, human will die. Quick death, one bite. No, slow. Claw and scratch, human will bleed out. Wolves close by. No! My prey! Stupid human prey will die at my claws!

Strange scent, doesn't fit. Not trees. Not earth. Nice smell. Human--no, not human? No, not-human can't have prey-human!

"Calm yourself, suncat."

Strange not-human doesn't small of fear. Worry? Why? Is not-human pard? Scent is familiar, spicy. Strange not-human... is mate?

"Do not kill him. The Boss needs answers," strange not-human still talking. Voice concerned. Why? Not-human concerned over me...? Yes. Mate. Mustn't worry mate. Mate will help make prey-human suffer. "Let's take him back to the house now, suncat."

Strange name. Pleases me. Mate is closer, hand scratching ears. Prey-human still smells of fear. Good. Shift? Cat-human is weak form, still stronger than human though.

"If you run, I will rip your throat out with my teeth," I hiss to the shooter as I stand. I haven't fully shifted back yet; a fine layer of fur is still covering my body and my claws are extended. Hell, my tail is twitching; I almost want him to run.

"Get up," Marik snarls. The feline side of me takes notice and purrs; the rest of me is torn between irate over this waste of flesh and frightened over my reaction to Marik's actions. What the hell was he thinking, following an angry Were? I could have killed him... but I--the Cat--let him come close. Why?!

And the dumb shit on the ground responds to the ahmet's command by grabbing for his rifle. I don't know which of us nails the bastard first, but I know I cut him to the bone with my claws and Marik kicks him in the face. And he's down for the count.

"My, he follows instructions well," I deadpan, shifting back to my fully human form before moving to grab the would-be assassin's ankle. Before I can lean down, though, Marik nudges me aside and wrestles the trench coat off the guy. Hmph, now is not the time for fashion critique... and why the hell did said coat just smack me in the face?

"Put that on, suncat," Marik says, eyes averted to the lump on the ground. I'm about to ask why when he adds, "The Boss'd kill me if I jumped you out here."

...oh yeah, Dorobou said something once about me being attractive (I don't buy it) and that it'd be a bad idea to run the streets naked for that reason alone. I slip on the coat and button it most of the way before grabbing the assassin's ankle.

"Coming?" I call back to Marik. And I'll be damned, he's blushing.

"Not yet, but if that coat slips open..." I hear him mutter before falling silent. We walk the rest of the way without speaking.

Until dumb shit wakes up.

"I'll never talk! You can't make me! I swear I'll kill you both!"and so on for a full five minutes. He's about to start the rant all over again when I decide that's enough.

"Look," I snarl. "I. Am so close to eating your tongue. And I don't mean in a fun way. So shut the fuck up with the threats." He only has enough time to yelp before I fling him through the window to the den.

"You're hot when you're being evil," Marik says, and I almost swear he's devouring me with his eyes. I opt not to answer (I am not blushing, I'm just hot from the chase), and climb back in the window just in time to hear Yami say something about busting the guy up... and return to sender?

"Special delivery via Leopard Express," I can't help but quip. "I kinda left the gun behind. Good luck getting anything useful out of this fuckwit."

"Well, he makes good threats," Mar--shit, no, Malik offers. What, do they have a revolving door in their head or something?! And it's not helping the Malik is giving me the exact same look as his brother was outside.

"I'm not telling you who sent me!" Great, fuckwit's gotten a second wind. "I'd sooner die than--"

"Fuckwit, we already know who's paying you," Dorobou cuts in. "I want to know who the leak is. Where's Shachou"--and damn, Dorobou sounds pissy and sarcastic!--"getting his information?"

Aaaaand fuckwit's clammed up. Great. I stalk over to him, crouch down, and flash a dangerous grin.

"Sweetie," I purr/growl, "we can do this the easy way or the hard way." Malik is giving me a complete 'what the fuck' look, but I'm busy working at the moment. "The easy way is, you give us a name, and I won't do anything else to you. You can walk out the front door and leave. The hard way is, you keep quiet, and Ishtar gets to cut you up. After he gets bored, Yami uses you for target practice. After that, even if you're dead, Dorobou will make you tell us what we want to know. And there won't be a body to find because I'll eat it. So, dear, what's it going to be?"

I could have mentioned Magnum and the wolves... but if he picks option one it'll be so rewarding to hear him scream as the pack rips him apart. They deserve revenge for their Lupa, after all.

"I don't know, Kitty," Dorobou chimes in; I'm glad to hear him sounding like himself again. "I bet Fuckwit here would give you indigestion." He flashes an innocent smile, and I know he's going to, ahem, sweeten the deal: "I vote we fill the pool with acid and toss him in."

"No, no, no. We should slice him up into bite-size pieces and dump him in the shark tank at the aquarium," Malik chimes in. "Sharks'll eat anything. I saw one eat a Volkswagen once."

...I don't wanna know.

And now it's fun for the whole family as Yami joins in: "I hear there's an Egyptian exhibit at the museum. We could always mummify him alive and add him to it."

"Mutou-kun!" Don't tell me Varon-- "You have to at least remove the stomach and liver before you mummify him." Yep, he's getting in on it too. If we keep this going maybe my Beta will have a few suggestions.

And the stupid bastard bleeding on the carpet (Seto will not be pleased) gives in before we can really start having fun. "Amelda!"

Instantly a flash of reddish fur and rending flesh goes through my head, and I have to bite back a snarl. I hear Dorobou attempting to curse, but he's too pissed to finish his thought.

"Bastard!" No, wait, he did get one out.

McFuckwit is speaking again: "That's all I was ever told. Just Amelda, no last name." He looks at each of us, obviously worried that we'll go back on our word. "C-can I go now? Please?"

...it is so tempting to just eat this guy. Really. Instead of saying so, however, I merely nod. "Get the fuck out of here; go bled somewhere else." And I've never seen a human move that fast before.

Maybe ten seconds pass before Mall--no, fuck, will they quit that?!--Marik speaks up. "Shouldn't you have mentioned the large, angry wolf pack on the front lawn, suncat?"

I smirk. "Where's the fun in that?"

And I think I'm going to get jumped sometime in the near future if the look in Marik's eyes means anything.

"By the way, nice job missing Kura at the restaurant earlier, asshole!" When the hell did Yami get to the window?! "I'm sure Cynthia-san and Mai-san appreciated you shooting them!"

I was right; his shrieks as my wolves tear into him is music to my ears.

"I still think you should throw on a shirt."

I ignore Marik's complaining as I stride past him down the stairs. I had to wait for the screams to die down before I could call Kajiki, and used the opportunity to grab a pair of jeans. And, since McFuckwit's coat fits me so nicely as is, I opted to forgo the shirt.

Cue Marik bitching. Honestly, you'd think he'd be happy I'm showing skin here....

"At least button it up!" And now it's the other twin whining at me. I'd smack the pair of them if it were possible; this revolving door thing is making me dizzy.

"Shush," I say over my shoulder, cell phone to my ear. On the other end I hear a click followed by 'hello.' I never can resist: "Four on one."

"You are never going to let me live that down, are you?" Kajiki sighs.

"Nope, it's too much fun to aggravate you. Listen," I add without a segue, "are you guys still in Domino?"

"I sent most of the Cats back with Cynthia-sama," he replies, his tone curious. "The only ones still here are me and Sasame, and that's only because she has a pilot's licence."

I perk up immediately; Malik looks confused. "Got room for at least four passengers? I have information for Pegasus and I so want to deliver it in person."

"Are you at the mansion?"

"There's a helicopter pad behind the house."

"See you in fifteen."

Neither of us bothers to say goodbye since he'll be here soon, so I snap my cell shut and continue down to the den. Malik is still right behind me.

"You are not going to Tokyo without us," he says, his tone bordering on dangerous. The Cat in me sits up and takes notice; the rest of me wants to know who the hell the Ishtars think they are, my keepers?

"Did you miss the four passengers part?" I shoot back. "Four. You, me, Yami and Dorobou."

No sooner is that out of my mouth than I hear, "You're not going to Tokyo."

"Maybe just the three of us," Malik says with a smirk; I ignore him and step into the den just as Dorobou replies.

"I am going," he insists, and I don't blame him. If someone hired assassins to kill me, I would want to deal with the man signing their checks myself.

"There's no way in hell," Varon snaps back. "Jounouchi and Ishtar can handle it."

...let's just ignore the fact that Jounouchi is all for Dorobou coming with.

"I'm the one they want dead. I want to see for myself that no one else tries for me."

"Well, that's great and all, but if you go off and tear the stitches I just oh so lovingly put in that shoulder of yours, I'll just stand here and watch you bleed everywhere," Varon shoots back. "I might give you a sponge to soak it up, but I'm not a seamstress. Besides, I'm invoking my doctor status to order you and Mutou-kun to stay the fuck in Domino!"

...note to self: don't piss Varon off.

"Okay." The hell?! Dorobou gave in?! "You win. We'll stay here." He sounds... like he's up to something.

"So glad you see it my way," Varon says with that little smirk/smile of his. I take this opportunity to speak up, if only to keep Dorobou from cackling over his ruse working so far.

"Then I guess we'll call from Tokyo." All eyes are on me, and I see Dorobou quirk an eyebrow. Yeah, he's taking a train as soon as he can get away from Varon and Yami. "Kajiki and Sasame are picking us up; I want to be there when the Tigers find out."

And I almost swear Malik just moaned. I glance at him from the corner of my eye, but I can't see any reason... unless I did something. Maybe it was that growl on 'Tigers find out,' I don't know.

"I'll have my cell phone on me," Dorobou says; I'm not sure what he's thinking by his tone, but he shot a look at Malik.

"We'll see you when you get back then." And Yami finished the thought. I really, really should behave myself... but I have to say it.

"Wait till we're all out of the room before you jump each other again. Seriously, did you even attempt to shower?"

And Yami is all sorts of fun colours. Embarrassed and angry; ten points for me. Dorobou is smirking, so I know he's not upset. "Well," he drawls, "there was a shower involved."

"How 'bout soap? And I don't mean as an alternative lube."

"Yes!" Yami snaps, and the embarrassment has won out. I have to make things worse.

"Not thoroughly, though. I can still smell you all over each other." I smirk and add, "Sex and my brother are two things I'd rather not think about in the same sentence."

"We've got a ride to catch, don't we?" Malik interjects, interrupting my fun. His voice sounds a bit off to me; a sidelong look doesn't reveal much to me, though his scent has shifted somewhat. Hmm, strange. I hope he's not coming down with something....

...I swear, the Cat is controlling my life more each day.

"Malik?" Dorobou says, drawing Ishtar's attention. "Remember what I told you." And Malik just went red in the face; I'm curious, but not too sure I want to know.

"Like Malik said, our ride's waiting," I say with a tiny shrug. "We'll call you after Amelda's kitty chow." I can feel Malik's eyes on me again and that odd shift in his scent become stronger. What is that?

"Sure," Dorobou agrees. And there's the smirk; I knew he couldn't hold it back too much longer. "I'll keep an ear out for you."

"Later, guys," I say, waving over my shoulder as I leave the room, Malik right behind me. I wait till we're just out of earshot before commenting, "Dorobou is so on the next train to Tokyo."

"He'll hijack a chopper," Malik insists. How he got next to me so fast, I have no idea, but I do know his hand slipped around the coat and into my back pocket. His scent is still off, and it's driving me nuts that I can't place it.

"Make a bet on it?" I smirk at him before continuing: "If you win, we spend a whole day doing anything you want. If I win, we do whatever I desire for a day."

"Deal." Somehow I don't trust that gleam in his eyes.

We cease speaking when we get to the helipad, where the Crawfords' helicopter is just setting down. Kajiki throws open the door and gives the pair of us a searching look. "Where's Bakura-san?" he calls over the sound of the propellers.

"Taking alternative transportation," I reply. "It's just us this time."

"Hop in," the Tiger says with a smirk. "The sooner we get to Tokyo the sooner you'll tell me what the hell is going on."

"Thanks. You know Ishtar?" I ask as I climb aboard, Malik right behind me; I think he's annoyed that he had to take his hand off my ass. Kajiki and Sasame both glance back at the Egyptian as he sits down next to me.

"I know of him," Sasame says after an appraising look. "Should we be worried that you're making the trip as well, Ishtar-kun?"

Malik grins. "Not if you keep your pretty eyes facing front," he says brightly. Both Tigers blink, glance at me, smirk and take their places in the pilot's and co-pilot's seats. I frown and am about to ask them what that was all about when Malik reaches over and pulls me across the seat. The next thing I know is his lips are crushed to mine and his hand is down my pants.

Mmm, so that's how arousal smells on Malik Ishtar. Somehow I think this flight just got more interesting.

And that's it for chapter five. I know, no sex again, but it was taking me too long trying to add one in. Maybe when I get Avarice done I'll write a PWP side story set during the trip to Tokyo as well as one other occurring while the boys are still in Tokyo, I'm still undecided.

Chapter six coming soon.

[ Cursed Gold 01 | Cursed Gold 02 | Cursed Gold 03 | Cursed Gold 04 | Cursed Gold 05 | Cursed Gold 06 | Cursed Gold 07 | Cursed Gold 08 | Cursed Gold 09 | Cursed Gold Epilogue ]
[ Avarice 01 | Avarice 02 | Avarice 03 | Avarice 04 | Avarice 05 | Avarice 06 | Avarice 07 | Avarice Epilogue ]
[ Endear ]
[ Unbreakable ]