Characters: Yami no Bakura, Yami no Malik, Kaiba, Yuugi
Rating: ...Who even knows. Lots of violence?
Notes: Pseudo-challenge from Nevi. She wanted bunnies. There is a mention of them, in fact.
One is company.
He has been following the man for days. He's spent hours seeing rabbits race along the highway. That's when he isn't watching the sleek blue car zip further and further ahead. He's stuck on a bus, in an aisle seat next to an old woman coughing into a blanket.
The only town for miles around only has one hotel, a relic of old movies, sitting slanted to the side like a gunslinger standing in a doorway. The car isn't in the parking lot, but the town is small, he finds it at a house up above the town. If it had been in a city it would've had a gate at the driveway, but out here it's just a misplaced palace.
His hands itch to pick the lock if they even get used, but he waits, he has no end of patience. He goes back to the motel and the squealing mattress and the dirty sheets.
Two is a crowd.
He should be surprised when he sees Malik in a dark hallway, carving a symbol into a door. He should be surprised, but he isn't, he just folds his arms and offers a condescending laugh as greeting. Malik just turns his head slowly and the knife drags over the wood, shedding splinters.
“I'll get to him first,” he says, just so they're clear. Life has never offered him anything predictable, so he likes to balance it out by being as forthright as he can be. That isn't saying much, when you're a man who spends his eternity leading people in circles just to watch them trip.
“Now now,” Malik croons, facing him fully now, slouching like a sick panther. “We can share. He's big enough for two.”
“Go away.” His tone is superior and dismissive, and he doesn't care that Malik has a weapon. He turns his back and walks away. He needs his rest, it's been a long year.
All night he hears the boy prowling the halls, breaking lights and silencing screams.
Three is a party.
Morning comes and it's almost time. But first, breakfast.
He walks down the stairs, the carpet squelches under his tennis shoes, leaves them red and slick. He pushes someone mangled off of the table and eats a stained muffin. Blood and cranberries and oranges and butter; not a bad meal.
It's an easy walk back to the house, and he's glad—but unsurprised—to see that he beat Malik there, after all. He'd suspected the boy would be tired. He has to admit, for a young thing, Malik is dedicated to his work.
There's a woman, which is surprising, though she's clothed so he holds off his suspicions. They don't matter anyway. He doesn't take his time like Malik does, just flicks his wrist and steps over her as her life spurts out her neck.
He finds the man on the balcony looking at the pool, or maybe at the valley, or maybe at nothing at all but his ambition. He drawls the name, making it at once guttural and euphoric because it's finally time. The man whips around, his long coat swirling around his feet, it looks theatrical but it's perfect--
And the man twists around again when he hears—they both hear—Malik, laughing, calling them down.
The man's back isn't turned, not really, it's his side, it's not that dishonorable to take first blood, so Bakura does. It costs him a cracked tooth and a fat lip, but it's worth it, he licks his mouth and spits rose.
Malik is impetuous, and when they don't come to him he hikes up the stairs until he's high enough to vault the marble railing. Then it's bones breaking like they're porcelain, skin slicing like cheap leather, and grunts and words and laughter, ecstatic.
As the sun peaks and glitters on the pool it isn't three men on a balcony, it's two men and a pile that was once fighting and often winning.
He'll never win alone, it's a curse handed down day to day, but he's never believed it and thrives on each loss. This is Malik's win, just like the first 'win' was really Kaiba's, and look where that led: a messy end on a balcony in a desert, his wealth divided up between rabid lawyers and ravenous associates.
Malik dives into the pool, leaving rusty clouds as he swims, and Bakura watches, and Malik's death spreads out in his mind like a map, chaotic lines and impossible destinations since he can't win alone.
He turns without a word, off to the next dot on the globe, his mind churning every step. And when he ends up in a clean bed in a quiet hotel, he picks up the phone and listens to a voice croak, "Hello?"
“Yugi-sama. We need to talk....”