Cursed Gold
Chapter Two

by Katsuko

All disclaimers and warnings are posted in chapter one.

Dedications: My wonderful beta readers Eternal SailorM and Kleptomaniac Can Opener. Also the kitties Aya and Biscuit for keeping me company while I type.

Archive: if ESM wants it; The Asylum;; Katsuko's Obsession. All others please ask.

There are few things in the world that can make me forget to curb my instinctive reactions. When I'm angry, I keep from snarling; when I'm frightened, I hold back on hissing; when content, my purring is mental only... at least in public. That's changed over the past couple of years, but I'll get to that later.

Apparently following a friend into his apartment to discover a tanned duplicate sitting on the couch--eating Cheetos, watching anime and swearing at the characters, I might add--is one of those things. It was only when I found one pair of brown eyes and one pair of silver locked on me with varying degrees of confusion that I realized my myow of confusion was uttered aloud. At which point I blushed and willed the floor to open up and swallow me whole. Bakura claims to this day that I clashed with the couch....

After a few seconds--during which the floor refused to cooperate--the duplicate spoke up: "I thought you were bringing home a friend, not another cat."

"Niisan!" Let me note that that was the first time I'd ever hear Ryou sound scandalized. It sure as hell wasn't the last; actually, it's almost a daily occurrence....

The other Bakura sibling smirked. "Well, brat, does he have a name or can I just call him 'kitty?'"

Apparently Ryou recovers quickly: "Yes, Niisan, like I told you yesterday. And you shouldn't be rude, Jyonouchi-kun hasn't had that good of a day."

"Poor kitty."

Did I mention that up until this point I was waiting for the floor to open up and swallow me? There's just something about sarcasm directed at me that pisses me off, though (even if I can be a sarcastic bastard myself...).

"Yeah, well, we can't all sit on our asses and watch Sailormoon all day," I countered before realizing that my mouth had run off without me... again.

"Jyonouchi-kun!" Like I said, Ryou sounds scandalized often. Hell, I probably looked scandalized! You know how people say they see their lives flash before their eyes when they think they're about to die? I was watching the opening credits.

"Hmm. Kitty's got a backbone." The Bakura on the couch looked oddly pleased. "Good. Maybe I can trust you around the brat." He turned off the TV and smirked--I've kinda learned that that's his default expression. Hell, your default is kinda I know, I'm the greatest, but that's not a bad thing, really!

I was trying to process the fact that I was still breathing when he reached out and grabbed my wrist, pulling me down to the floor. Before I could ask what the hell he was doing he'd caught hold of my chin and forced my eyes to meet his. I'll have to admit that I felt just a little like something that should have been in a laboratory the way he was examining me. After a moment he tilted my head back to focus on my collar. It was only when he reached for the clasp that I broke out of my apparent paralysis, one of my hands catching his and forcing it away.


Bakura's eyes narrowed slightly; it wasn't until, like, a month later that I found out he wasn't directly that particular glare at me. "I thought your kind healed quickly, kitty," he ground out, forcing my eyes to meet his. "And although I know Weres have a slight leather obsession you're the first one I've seen in a collar. Someone try to kill you before you were turned, or did you piss off the wrong vamp?"

I didn't even hear Ryou yelling at Dorobou--yeah, I do call him that. Didja think he was making that up?--all I could hear was my own blood pounding in my veins. My vision sharpened to the point that the lights seemed too bright and I felt my canines sharpen. It was only a minor shift, but purely unconscious. I usually have tighter control than that, but Dorobou had pushed the wrong buttons.

"All honesty, I should be dead right now," I hissed; I could hear Ryou draw in a sharp breath at the change in my voice. "Someone did try to kill me. More than that, actually. Excuse me for leaving out the details as I don't remember them, but my Nimir-Raj intended for me to die, not turn."

You've heard of uncomfortable silences. 'Uncomfortable' didn't even begin to describe the silence that fell after I stopped talking. I was mildly pissed off and primed for a fight, which meant I'd likely track down my pard upon leaving and see how much damage I could do before they forced me back into my 'place'; Ryou was still staring as if he expected one or both of us to spontaneously combust if he blinked; Dorobou was still glaring through me. After what seemed like forever, Bakura let his hand drop and stood up.

"I've gotta job tonight," he announced with absolutely no inflection. "Lock the door when I leave and keep it locked, brat. I'll be a bit late. There's... something I need to look into." The last part was added with a sidelong glance my way.

"Alright, Niisan," Ryou replied, dredging up a weak smile. "Should I put your dinner in the fridge?"

I figured now might be a good time to leave and started towards the door. After all, I really needed to get out before I shifted further. That plan came to an abrupt end when a hand attached itself to my arm. I turned slightly to find Bakura staring at me once more.

"And just where do you think you're going?"

"Mew?" And yes, I know how stupid that sounds now. I realized it sounded stupid the moment I meowed, but like I said, the Bakuras have a tendency to cause me to act instinctively.

Dorobou turned slightly to address Ryou: "Nah, I'll nuke something when I get home. Just feed yourself and Kitty here. And if the damned door isn't locked when I get home--"

"I know, Niisan."

Bakura nodded and let go of my arm, moving past me to pick up... something from the side table. He shot me a look before speaking again: "You and I will talk when I get back."

...I couldn't help myself.

"Oh, so I've got to have an interview now? Whatever happened to 'hi, let's be friends'?"


"Smart ass."

"Seriously," I asked, still annoyed but really, really curious, "what are you, some kinda P. I. or something?"

"Information services."

"Industrial espionage."

...for the record, the Bakura twins should never, ever speak in unison. It's damn freaky.

Still, I caught the important information. "So you're a thief?"

"'Thief' is such a strong word," Bakura said, tugging on a black trench coat. "I prefer the term 'borrowing technology and information.'"

"Whatever. Dorobou." The only reply I got was a smirk and an absent wave as Bakura headed out the door. Before I could even think about making an escape, Ryou latched onto me.

"I'm sorry about Niisan," he said softly. "He... he tries. We both do. We never really had positive role models growing up so...." Ryou trailed off with a vague shrug, but I understood. With my pard and Oyaji as my main support system, it wasn't my place to judge anyone.

"It's okay," I replied. "No worries. So... what's for dinner?"

I was rewarded with a bright, grateful smile. "Let's see what we come up with."

That's all there is for chapter two. More to come as soon as it's written.

[ 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 ]