Blood and Sacrifice
Chapter Four
by Eternal SailorM
Disclaimers:  Same disclaimers as Chapter One. This is the sequel to Color of Life, also by me, and is the second story in the Endless Loop saga.
Archive: DarkMagick(dot)net, DarkMagick eFiction Archive, MediaMiner(dot)org, FanFiction(dot)net, AnimeRevolution(dot)net, and MysticalLegend(dot)com.  Anyone else, ask first.

It's incredibly quiet as we step out of the taxi at the front gate of Kaiba Mansion.  Now, granted, the vampire guards are a lot quieter than the wolves, but this is quiet even for them.  Not even a word of hello, just a single nod for all three of us.  Something's wrong.  You don't have to be psychic to see that.  The vamps are quiet, but more alarming is that I can't hear the wolves having one of their parties out by the pool like they do almost every night.

Yami and I exchange a worried look, then I glance over to see one of the vamps paying the cab driver.  From what I can tell, it even looks like he's giving the guy a pretty good tip.  When he stands back up, I give in and ask the question that's been kicking around my mind these past few minutes.  "What's wrong?"

"Kaiba-sama wants you in the house as soon as possible."

Alarm crosses Yami's face, and he demands, "What happened?"

"You'll find out inside."

We now exchange bewildered looks before shrugging nearly in unison.  I look over my shoulder to Mai, who simply shrugs as well.  Oh well, nothing else to do but go inside and see what we can find out.

The vamp guards have a car waiting to drive us up to the door, and we pile in.  Hell, Mai even breaks routine and sits in the back with us, hurrying in the car after me before the door can be closed behind me.  "I don't like this," Yami intones.  "Something has to have happened to get them like this."

"The shooting today maybe?" I hazard a guess.  "Cynthia got hit.  Maybe Pegasus is giving Treeboy some grief about that."

He nods in response.  "Sounds like that would be mostly likely, I think.  It could be something else though."

"Like what?"  But really, I dread to think what else could have everyone like this.  If it's not Pegasus, I'm pretty sure I don't want to know.

And I'm saved from hearing a response by the car stopping at the steps and the car door immediately opening.  Mai's out the door like a rocket, leaving the two of us to stare after her a moment.  "Move it or lose it, boys."  Somehow I don't like that threat coming from her, so I scramble out with Yami right behind me.  "Let's get this over with."

Again, I shrug, careful to only use one shoulder.  Really, it's not much more than a scrape, but it did bleed a bit.  In fact, between the blood from it and from Cynthia, I had to trade in the shirt I'd been wearing for one of Seto's I found in the attached bathroom.  It was a little odd dressing without a mirror and the shirt hangs awfully big on me, but at least I'm a bit more presentable, which is extra amusing given I caught me talking to myself in the lack of a mirror about which button went in which hole.  Chances are getting better and better that I'm losing it big time.

Yami opens the door... and it's like walking into a tomb.  It's completely silent, and that in and of itself is more disturbing than the fact it looks like almost everyone who lives here is in the main hallway.  I have to repress a shiver.  It's that fucking cold in here, and that's just what I'm getting off the living people.  If there's a homeless soul in here, I think I could lose it in the mix.  The wolves look like something the cat dragged in, and weirdly Magnum looks the worst off of the bunch.

I half-turn to the woman standing behind me and hiss, "What's going on here?"

"Bakura?" Magnum cuts in before she can say anything.  He may look like hell, but there's still something awfully commanding about him.  "Where were you?"

"We-" I start before Yami cuts me off.

"Mai sent us to Kaiba Corp."  He always does this.  If it looks like there's the slightest possibility of trouble, he tries to step in and take it for me.  "She said we'd be safe there till dark."  Yes, ladies and gentlemen, chivalry is not dead.  Still, the whole room is practically vibrating from the tension - and I'm not usually sensitive to those kinds of things.

I start to turn and talk to Mai again when Jounouchi-kitty pipes up.  "Dorobou."  That was awfully calm for the cat, I think to myself as I focus my attention onto him.  "Who the fuck are you talking to?"

I can't help it.  I point at the blonde woman over my shoulder.  "Her."  Please, don't tell me-  I don't think I can take another one.  "Tell me you see her, Kitty.  Please."  My voice feels strangled in my own throat, and it's all I can do to get words out.  Between the shooting and that voice screaming in my head earlier, I don't think I can take another incognito spirit.  I dimly note Yami's arm squeezing my waist, but right now, Jounouchi's answer is more important.

He shakes his head slowly.  "The only people I see over there are you and Yami... but I smell three."  His voice is breaking slightly, but I can barely tell that over the fact that this is all really funny.

I turn to where Mai's standing, staring at me like I've fucking lost it at last, and manage to get out around what are probably hysterical chuckles, "I've heard of job dedication before, but seriously, Mai, this is just too fucking much."

I faintly feel a hand close on my arm, and I follow it up to see amber eyes staring at me almost levelly.  I'm pretty sure another thick, wet laugh escapes me before Kitty starts speaking.  "Dorobou...  Bakura.  Come on, let's go in the den."  My my, he sounds so calm.  It could almost drain the humor out of the situation.  "It's quieter there.  Just you, me, Yami, and Marik."

'And Marik'?  'Quieter'?  Isn't that a contradiction in terms?  I can feel an eyebrow quirk up before Yami gives me a light tug.  "Come on, Kura.  Let's go," he whispers.

"Okay," I agree easily, letting my boyfriend (nope, need to change that to 'lover' now) lead me towards the den.  I call it 'the den' anyway.  Seth and Seto call it 'the family room', but I don't see anyone spending any quality family time in there, at least not of the less-than-R-rated sort, so it's 'the den', damn it.  And what do you know?  It is quieter in here.  Even Marik's being quiet (and that's saying something), and Kitty's relaying something softly to someone on the other side of the door.

Of course, the minute I think that, Marik pulls Kitty in the room, closes the door, and wraps his arms around him.  Hmm, he's definitely seeming better for my cat than Kitty's last love interest, but then again, a rock might be better for Kitty than Icecube Seto - and oddly, Kitty seems to be a calming influence on the Maliks.  Was Malik or Marik around last time something like this happened back in Tokyo?  No, wait, I met them after that.  Never mind.  Anyway, they've moved on to full-fledged nuzzles, and I almost want to ask if they'd like us to leave because I don't want to think of my cat having a sex life, but I really don't want to leave; all I want to do is stand here at the front of the room and do some of my own cuddling with Yami because, excepting what happened a few hours ago in Seto's office, it has been a fucking sucky two days.

I can feel the worry radiating off Yami, and he gives me a light squeeze again.  "I'm fine," I respond to the silent question.  And I don't think anyone's looked at me with so much visible disbelief in their eyes before.  So many that didn't come out totally convincing, but I should still get points for trying to spare their feelings, should I?

"Still," Kitty says smoothly, "maybe you should sit down.  Both of you," he clarifies with a nod to include Yami.

...And the way everyone's staring at me, I feel like the lab rat that did a neat trick once and they're waiting on me to repeat it.  "I'm not going to freak out again.  I mean it.  I'm fine.  I'm not crazy."

Yami moves around in front of me, his hand moving through my hair.  "We know, Kura.  Of course you're not crazy.  Remember, I saw her too."  He drops down on one of the couches and pats the seat next to him.  "Come here."

I get about half a step close and - pain.  White, shooting, hot pain lacing through my already injured shoulder.  Fucking hell.  Next thing I know, Yami's jumped me and we're on the floor and I think Kitty just went out the window, maybe with Marik right behidn me.  Yami leans off my body when the door opens.  I don't even look to see who it is, but I know the voice:  Kisara.  "Are you-  What happened?!"

"Call a doctor!"  Yami's yelling.  Me, I'm trying to curl into myself to make the hurt go away, but I can't because Yami's still holding me down.  Remind me when it doesn't hurt to thank him for that, because this way I can't move and tear the wound, and hit him, because it fucking hurts and I'll feel better when I've made myself a smaller target.

I can almost hear Kisara's eyes goggle, but then she yells, "Varon!  Where are you, Varon?"  Did we set up an intercom to his apartment or something when I wasn't looking?

Okay, yes, this sucks, but pull it together, Bakura.  It's not like this hasn't happened before.  If you didn't whine like a baby when you got shot a lot worse at fourteen, there's no reason to do it now at eighteen.  It's just the fleshy part of your shoulder and it went all the way through.  Suck it up.  Deep breaths, in and out, push past the pain, just calm the fuck down.  Now open your eyes and deal with everything else.

Yami looks frantic.  I think I've already noted I'm probably the worst person in the world for him, given how many people want me dead and how hung up he is on not being abandoned, but I'm not giving up the ghost just yet.  He glances down, and I try to summon a reassuring look to my face.  "I'm good," I whisper.  "Let me up."

"But, Kura!  You've been shot!"  His stage whisper has definitely improved in these last two months.  "You shouldn't move or you might tear it."

"I know.  It's not like it's the first time."

"The one earlier today doesn't count."

"I wasn't counting it."

I think I might have actually surprised him.  His grip eases, and I slip by his hands to sit up.  I need something to clog the bleeding because someone needs to make sure Jounouchi doesn't kill the guy before I get my answers.  Oh well, I think this shirt has had it anyway.  I'll just have to buy Seto a new one, I concede to myself as I start working on getting it off.

"What're you doing?"  And now he sounds horrified.  Great, I guess at the rate I'm going today, I'm going to break my boyfriend before I can get in his pants again.

"Someone needs to go after Kitty," I grit out, "someone whose scent he recognizes.  I don't fancy walking around bleeding, so..."

"You're not walking around anywhere."  Holy fuck, when did Varon learn to teleport?!  I'm glad I hadn't made it further than my knees because they give out abruptly and I flop back against Yami.  Immediately I have to grit my teeth against the pain as the back of wound hits his chest.  Yami's arms are around me again to hold me still.  And Varon's smirking at me, one of those annoying as shit 'I told you so' ones that I detest to no end.  "What'd I tell you?"

"Fuck you, asshole," I growl.  "Jounouchi's going to eat the shooter while you babble at me, and I won't find out the source."

He gazes back at me steadily.  "There was a blond out there after him."

Oh hell, Marik.  "That's not much better than him being out there alone.  They'll end up sharing the kill."  Marik'll eat the soul after Jounouchi's done with the body.  Bloody efficient, if you ask me, which I'll note no one is.  Yeesh, one little bout of nerves...

"Nevertheless, you're staying in here till I'm done with you," he breaks in, dropping a bag that probably weighs more than I do on the floor next to me.  He's digging around it as he continues, "And if you try to get away, I'll have Mutou-kun cut you off."

...I hate him.

A little more than half an hour, several stitches, a few packs of gauze, some bandages, a sling, and a shot of painkillers later, the asshole's finishing taping the bandage in place when we hear a startled shriek from outside that ends in a body thumping on the floor inside.  And me being me and my slightly less than normal self, not to mention hopped up on painkillers, I have to quip, "Did anyone order this?  I don't think it's mine."

Yami pushes himself to his feet smoothly and glares down.  "It's not mine.  I think we should bust it up a bit and return it to the sender."  Yeesh, I think I just went weak in the knees for a new reason.  Yami's pretty when he's being dangerous.  If he gets any prettier, I might have to jump him, Varon here or not.

"Special delivery via Leopard Express."  And there's Kitty and Malik.  When'd they sneak back in here?  "I kinda left the gun behind.  Good luck getting anything useful outta this fuckwit."

"Well, he makes good threats."  I have to snicker at Malik's commentary, but really it is a bit surprising the guy's still drawing breath.  If the look on Yami's face is any indication, he may not be much longer though.

"I'm not telling you who sent me!"  Wow, 'fuckwit' really is an appropriate name for him.  "I'd sooner die than-"

"Fuckwit, we already know who's paying you," I interrupt.  "I want to know who the leak is.  Where's Shachou," I throw as much sarcasm as I possibly can on the word, "getting his information?"  And for the record, I'm glad Varon and Yami moved me on the couch; it's nice to be able to look down on this idiot.

Kitty stalks over to the nitwit and crouches down next to him; whatever else he does, I lose because his back is to me.  "Sweetie," he growls, "we can do this the easy way or we can do this the hard way."  Malik looks lost.  Good, I'm not the only one.  "The easy way is, you give us a name, and I won't do anything else to you."  I'll note he didn't mention the rest of us though.  It's so hard not to smirk.  "You can walk out the front door and leave."  Ignoring the giant pissed-off wolfpack, of course.  "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?"

Hmm, you'd have to be looking hard, but I think Yami and Varon both just went a little green at the gills.  So of course, let me be the first to make things worse.  "I don't know, Kitty.  I bet Fuckwit here would give you indigestion."  I beam angelically enough to put my little brother and both Mini-Me's to shame.  "I vote we fill the pool with acid and toss him in."

"No no no.  We should slice him up in bite-sized pieces and dump him in the shark tank at the aquarium."  And apparently Malik's joining the game.  "Sharks'll eat anything.  I saw one eat a Volkswagon once."  Oh yeah, I nearly forgot about that."

"I hear there's an Egyptian exhibit at the museum.  We could always mummify him alive and add him to it."  The first chance I get, I'm so jumping my boyfriend's bones.

"Mutou-kun!"  I nearly jump out of my skin when Varon joins in.  "You have to at least remove the stomach and liver before you mummify him."

And I think Fuckwit just pissed himself.  "Amelda!"  

"Motherfucking-  Son of a-  I can't believe that-  What an-  Bastard!"  I can't believe that asshole!  Stupid tiger!  I'm going to-

The guy on the floor is still talking though.  "That's all I was ever told.  Just Amelda, no last name."  Like that asshole needs one.  "C- can I go now?  Please?"

"Get the fuck outta here.  Go bleed somewhere else."  Thank you, Kitty.  I think we've ruined Seto's carpet enough for one night.

The guy's out the door and running fast enough to rival Mokuba on a caffeine trip, so thankfully he's out of the room before Marik pipes up, "Should you have mentioned the large, angry wolfpack on the front lawn, suncat?"

Kitty smirks in a way that eerily reminds me of myself and Malik in our Tokyo days.  "Where's the fun in that?"

And before I realize what's happening, Yami's marching himself up to the broken window and yelling out, "By the way, nice job missing Kura at the restaurant, asshole!  I'm sure Cynthia-san and Mai-san appreciated you shooting them!"

...I'm jumping Yami the second he's in range.

And the wolves tear the guy apart is music to my ears.

"You're not going to Tokyo."

I seriously hope Varon doesn't think he's winning this argument.  "I am going." 

"There's no way in hell.  Jounouchi and Ishtar can handle it."

"I'm the one they want dead."  And I'm going to be the one to deal with Oyaji, one way or another.  Amelda's just another step on the road to there.  "I want to see for myself that no one else tries for me again."

"Well, that's great and all, but if you go off and tear the stitches I just oh so lovingly put in you," yeesh, guess I got Varon in a bit of a tizzy, "I'll just stand here and watch you bleed everywhere.  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!"

This is going nowhere fast.  I have to bite back a smirk and heave a dramatic sigh.  "Okay."  I think I just broke Kitty.  That, or he and Malik are onto my little charade already.  Still...   "You win.  We'll stay here."

"So glad you see it my way."  He's even smirking.  Damn, I'm good.  Maybe since I'm semi-retired from my usual job, I can go into acting.

"Then I guess we'll call you from Tokyo."  Thank you, Kitty, for diverting the attention back off me.  I quirk an eyebrow in a silent question.  "Kajiki and Sasame are picking us up; I want to be there when the tigers find out."

Does he realize he's got this bloodthirsty glint in his eyes?  I'm not going to mention it, but I'm surprised Malik - or worse, Marik - isn't jumping him now.  Oh, I think I feel sorry for the tigers.  They might be getting a free show, if the more psychotic Ishtar has anything to say about it.  And if he keeps growling, Malik might have to do more than that 'I'm holding myself back, but I don't like it' moan.  Hmm, haven't heard that one in a while.

And I might be mistaken, but I think either Yami's embarrassed by their little demonstration or he's annoyed by it; whichever it is, he's a little flushed.  (Of course, there is always a third option, but I don't want to ponder why my boyfriend would want to be a voyeur with Kitty and Malik, because ugh... Kitty's like a little brother to me and the Maliks I've known forever.)

"I'll have my cellphone on me," I reply easily.

"We'll see you when you get back then," finishes Yami.

Jounouchi does this slight mouth-twitch-that-might-be-a-smirk that is always my best bet he's about to say or do something that will be... fun, since I don't think he knows he does it.  "Wait till we're all out of the room before you jump each other again," he mouths off.  "Seriously, did you even attempt to shower?"

I will not look at Yami.  I will not look at Yami.  I will not look at Yami.  If I do, I might lose it.  He'll be starting to either bristle in anger or flush in embarrassment.  "Well, there was a shower involved."

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

I will not start laughing.  If I do, I won't be able to stop.  But it's so hard to resist when Yami yells, "Yes!"  ...Especially when I'm already thinking about that in other connotations.  I can't stop the snicker that gets out though.

"Not thoroughly, though.  I can still smell you all over each other."  Kitty smirks, though I have to wonder if he sees Malik beside him.  I know that expression; Jounouchi is definitely getting jumped in the helicopter because Malik is not known for his self-control.  "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?"  That comes from Malik, amusingly enough.  At least, it seems surprising to some people in the room, namely Yami and Varon.  Like I've said, I've known Malik-  Gods, has it been eight years?  I'd say I'm starting to know him pretty well.  Which reminds me...

"Malik?" I prompt.  He half-glances over at me.  "Remember what I told you."  And told you and told you, from the night we first started sneaking into some of the more interesting clubs in Tokyo.  And... there's the flush.  His mind just gutter-dove.

Kitty shrugs.  "Like Malik said, our ride's waiting.  We'll call you after Amelda's kitty chow."

"Sure," I agree, not able to hold back the smirk that's emerging.  "I'll keep an ear out for you."

That should be just long enough...

This is going to be tricky, is all I can think as I step into my bedroom after Yami.  The supplies I need for this little venture are in the top drawer of my dresser, pilfered a few weeks ago from Noa's room, of all places, though they do have the initials 'M. K.' engraved on them.  Yeah, I'm not even going to ask.  I really don't want to know.  Still, I've got to get past Yami, retrieve them, and put them to use.  Oh well, nonchalance should work best in a situation like this, I decide, walking over to the dresser and pulling the drawer open to rifle through it.

"I wasn't expecting you to back down so easily," Yami's saying as I half tune in, just in case I need to answer.  "It probably wouldn't have been a good idea-" ah, there they are "-to go to Tokyo right now anyway."  Tuck them in the sling so they don't any noise.  Now... bed or door?  He's slowing down closer to the bed, so I guess that'll be it.  He sits down on it and pats the spot next to him for me to sit as well.  Really, he's making this entirely too easy.  I take a seat next to him, a little closer to the foot of the bed, arranging my bound arm with a wince.  "Still hurts?"

"A little," I admit, leaning closer, "but not too much."  This is actually a bit uncomfortable; I guess I might be pushing myself a little too far too fast, but I have to do this.  I can rest later.

I lean a little closer and press my lips to his.  He obligingly opens his mouth when I nibble at his lower lip and even lets me press him down into the bed.  God, he tastes so good; I could almost forget what I'm doing if I let myself.  His leg shifts against mine, and I feel a groan escape me.  I grab one of his hands in my free one and pin it above his head.

The first clicking noise is eerily quiet, but the second is as loud as a gunshot, I muse to myself as I sit back up.  "What the hell do you think you're doing?" Yami squalks, trying to get enough leverage to get free or at least sit up.

"I'm going to Tokyo," I state as calmly as I can.  I fish my lockpicks and spare pain meds out of the bedside table, pocketing them, and slide the phone out of his reach.  "I'll call Varon or someone to let you out in a couple of hours, but I have to do this."

"Why?"  You know, that was one of the most impressive snarls I've heard him do to date.

"No one is killing my father except me."  I sigh, standing and starting towards the door.  I can't even make myself look back at him as I finish, "You can beat the crap out of me or hate me if you want because God knows I deserve either one, but after all that bastard put us through, I've earned the right to be the one to kill him.  Later, Pharaoh."

"Bakura-"  I close the door behind me, cutting off whatever else he was going to say.

Hmm, I wonder why my chest  feels so tight.  Not now.  If it's not life-threatening, not now.  I've got a job to do.

09 October 2005

Wow, sorry for the delay, everyone!  I ended up joining a novella challenge (idiot me, I joined with two stories), and I have just now been able to get back to work on my regular stories (i.e., the ones that don't have to be 10,000+ words). -.-;;  Hopefully, the next few chapters shouldn't take nearly as long.

[ Color of Life 01 | Color of Life 02 | Color of Life 03 | Color of Life 04 | Color of Life 05 | Color of Life 06 | Color of Life 07 | Color of Life 08 | Color of Life Epilogue ]
[ Blood and Sacrifice 01 | Blood and Sacrifice 02 | Blood and Sacrifice 03 | Blood and Sacrifice 04 | Blood and Sacrifice 05 | Blood and Sacrifice 06 | Blood and Sacrifice Epilogue ]
[ Spellbound ]
[ Automatic Paranoia 01 | Automatic Paranoia 02 | Automatic Paranoia 03 | Automatic Paranoia Epilogue ]
[ Route 666 | Route 666 Epilogue ]
[ Cyber Fake 01 | Cyber Fake 02 | Cyber Fake 03 | Cyber Fake 04 | Cyber Fake 05 | Cyber Fake 06 | Cyber Fake 07 | Cyber Fake 08 | Cyber Fake 09 | Cyber Fake Epilogue ]
[ Last Waltz ]