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A Yule Tide Birthday!
shiktani
Title: A Yule Tide Birthday.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh!
Genre:
Shounen-ai
Rating: pg-13 (i think theres a swear there XD) Word Count:6,583....
Summary: Malik's been acting strange lately...why? Yuugi send a few people to trail after him..and what's this..a birthday?! For the character Malik Ishtar's Birthday 12-23-09 (i think he was created 06?..05? cant rememberXD)
DisFuckingClaimer: I DONT OWN THEM!!!!!!!!!!!! QUIT STARING!!!!!


A/N: The point of views in this changes alot..I hope it doesn't confuse any of you..This is un-beted and un edited..so please forgive any mistakes. This is part one of the Grandpa Mutou's photo album series!

~*~*~

"It's so peaceful..." The shorter boy breathed out as he continued to watch the falling snow, giving the hand intertwined with his a slight squeeze. The older boy only nodded as he turned his attention back to the window. They both jerked when the door next to their room slammed open then shut along with an equally loud thumping noise that stopped right at their door.

"Yuugi?!" There was a call outside the door before it was suddenly flung open. Standing in the door way was a very distraught and albeit confused young boy.

The smaller boy sat up from his comfortable spot leaning against the older male as he blinked. "Yes Malik?" he asked in a slightly worried tone upon seeing the other.

Blowing a lock of sandy blonde hair from his face a few times before giving up and shoving a bronzed hand through his unruly hair, he answered. "That's not powdered sugar out there right?" He pointed outside at the window, the light of the afternoon sun caught his gold banded bracer.

The older male shifted and sighed. 'So much for it being quiet..' he mused looking to Yuugi, who still had his fingers laced with his own.

Yuugi laughed heartily and shook his head from side to side. "No! It's not sugar...It's snow, Malik". He answered between his laughing. He continued to smile when he heard Atem give out a small chuckle.

The blond's lavender eyes widened to the size of saucers as he took a few steps towards the window. So..this is what snow looks like. He'd seen and read about it in numerous books, but had never actually seen it. A childish smile crept across his face as he suddenly turned on his heels and rushed out of the bedroom, earrings clinking against his gold collar, leaving the other two boys blinking in confusion.

Atem turned to look down at Yuugi with a quirked brow, hoping the smaller boy knew what just happened better than he did.

Yuugi shrugged and looked up to Atem, then it dawned on him. "This is his first time seeing snow!". He exclaimed as he stood up and faced his companion. "I think it's his first Christmas to..."

" Hm." Atem hummed as he turned to look back out the window, he pulled his shorter companion up against him and looked down at the yard. There Malik stood in the middle, his arms spread open as if welcoming the wind and flurries of snow about him. He was shivering a bit, Atem could see that much and shook his head.

"He's going to catch a cold!" The shorter boy exclaimed before he pulled away from the other and turned to head out of the room. His wrist was caught by the other and was pulled in for a chaste kiss. The shorter boy blushed and gave the other a small smile before he rushed out the door. Yuugi thudded his way down the stairs and just before he reached the door he spotted something moving out of the corner of his eye....and a distinctive whine. 'And...there he goes...' he mused pulling his coat on as he watched Grandpa Mutou clicking away with his infamous camera, no doubt he was taking pictures of Malik in the snow. It was a hobby of his..to take pictures of his grandson and his now adopted grandson and their friends any chance he could. Click click whine click was heard as the shorter boy opened the front door, he shivered from the gust of wind that had greeted him, he tightened his scarf around him and shifted Malik's jacket and scarf to his other arm and headed out, shutting the door behind him.

The Egyptian boy couldn't help his awe, he spun around, arms open wide and face tilted up to the sky. Yes, he was cold..... very cold! Though he didn't care, he'd risk it just to stay out there and relish in this new experience. He heard soft crunches coming up from his side. He quickly twirled around to see Yuugi standing there with his jacket and scarf in hand.

Yuugi smiled softly upon this unusual display of innocence the Egyptian played out. Normally, he was snarky and a bit sarcastic, though he was also very naive and kind. "You'll catch yourself a cold". He started, holding out the scarf and jacket to the other, before he continued "Put these on".

"Oh...uh...Thanks." The Egyptian smiled sheepishly as he reached for the offered garments. His hands and arms were shivering as he quickly placed the jacket on and zipped it up, careful not to catch his hair.

"First time seeing snow?" Yuugi asked suddenly, shoving his hands deep into his coat pockets for warmth.

"Ah?..Yes!" Malik started at the question, but nodded enthusiastically, "It's way better than what the pictures show!"

"Colder as well." the shorter boy exclaimed with a chuckle.

"Indeed..." Malik agreed through now chattering teeth looking from Yuugi back up at the sky, flakes of snow adorning his cheeks and golden hair. A mischievous look crossed his features as he tossed a sideways glance over at the other.

Yuugi turned his head up skyward and stuck his tongue out in hopes to catch a bit of snow. What he got was a face full of it and heard the Egyptian cackling. "HEY?!"

"Bet you can't get me!" was all the Egyptian said before he turned on his heel and started to bolt for the other side of the yard as quickly as possible.

"Bet I can!" Yuugi called as he bent down to scoop up a handful of snow and chased after the other, while laughing the whole way.

Meanwhile, inside the cozy little game shop/house Atem along with Grandpa Mutou were watching the other two's antics. It would be a little bit better, if it wasn't for the constant click and whine noise from that damnable camera! Atem rolled his eyes bringing his hand to rest below his chin, he let out a small chuckle as he saw Malik get hit in the back with a snowball and Yuugi retreating away.

"these will be wonderful editions to the boys' photo albums!" Grandpa chortled ecstatically as he continued to click away.

"How many....ah never mind." Atem thought it better not to ask as he shook his head, rolling his eyes. Both he and Grandpa broke out into laughter as Yuugi tackled Malik and they both fell to the ground.

*~*~

The following week Yuugi noticed a few changes in Malik's behavior. Example, this past Saturday Malik got up surprisingly early and was gone all day and had come home exhausted and gone to bed right away. He'd also been very subdued during classes. No arguing with the teachers, his snarkyness and sarcastic remarks were little to none at all. Something definitely
was up..but what? Yuugi sighed and shook his head from side to side slowly. Deep amethyst eyes narrowed in thought as they fixated on the empty chair to the front of the class. 'He's late....again' he pondered. Yuugi started from his thoughts as a hand placed itself on his shoulder, giving it a gentle squeeze before the owner of it spoke up.

"Everything ok there Aibou?" Atem asked gently as he took his seat next to the shorter boy. He grabbed the other boy's hand and gave it a slight squeeze, his gaze never leaving his companion's face.

"Ah..Yeah. Well...I think it is...Though I'm really not sure." Yuugi began, squeezing back and smiled. "Is it just me...or has Malik been..."

"Odd?" A voice from behind them deadpanned.

"Yes." Yuugi and Atem said in unison turning their attention to the back of them. Dark russet eyes gave them each a level stare behind a curtain of white bangs.

"Do you know why, Bakura?" Yuugi inquired as he fidgeted slightly with his armbands.

"No" Came the clipped reply of the ex-tomb robber as he leaned back in his seat, kicking one foot onto the desk before him.

"I'm glad to see you're of much help." Atem stated sarcastically as he rolled his eyes. Bakura's left eye only twitched at the statement.

"Ishtar late again?" Jou inquired incredulously. He was answered with a sigh and a nod from Yuugi. "Yeesh, ya know...I was all for him being like this for 'bout a day or two. It was nice..But a week?! That's jus' pushin' it man." Katsuya continued on, fixing his blue opened uniform jacket. Anzu, Honda, and Otogi smiled and waved in greeting behind the dirty blonde male before taking their respective seats.

"I'm kind of worried about him.." Yuugi said in a small voice as he continued to look at the empty seat. "He hardly spoke two words to me in the last four days..."

"You shouldn't worry so much Yuugi." Anzu chimed in, her normally cheery voice was that of one that feigns concern. She quickly cast a glance over at Atem before continuing, "It's probably nothing to serious anyhow."

Atem ignored her blatant staring as he nodded his head over at Honda and Otogi in greeting. Crimson eyes then shifted their focus over to his companion before he spoke. "He's probably just feeling a bit distant is all, Aibou."

"Yeah, c'mon Yuugi it probably isn't that big of a deal." Jou shrugged, as a cheesy smile spread across his face as he slapped the shorter boy's back playfully.

"I wish you wouldn't do that Jou." Yuugi grimaced with a weak grin as he looked over to his rowdy friend.

Bakura silently watched on for what seemed to be about five minutes before the bell had rung signaling the students to quiet down. He watched as the teacher shuffled her notes into a neat pile before standing up and giving her usual morning speech. She continued to drawl on and on, and still no sign of the Egyptian. The white haired teen pushed out the feeling of disappointment as he rested his chin in the palm of his hand, staring straight ahead. He heard the door to the class slide open with a loud bang and smirked, maybe class won't be completely boring after all. He turned his attention to the Egyptian who skulked inside, practically dragging his feet. One thing was for sure, he was absolutely tired.

"Late again Mr. Ishtar...Please take your seat and get out your book and turn to page two-fifty-five please." The teacher commanded then went on with her lesson.

Malik dragged his feet over to his desk and plopped down taking out his books. His eyes were sunken in and hair was in disarray, all in all he looked like shit! He felt like it to. Oblivious to the stares of his friends behind him, he dutifully took notes and said nothing. As time passed his eyelids started to droop close and in no time he was asleep, chin propped up by a bronzed palm.

Maybe it was something to worry about. Bakura barely managed to mask his concern for his ex-partner as he continually glanced over at the snoozing Egyptian.

"See...this is what I mean!" Yuugi spoke in a hushed tone to the others, casting glances over at his friend with worry. The others nodded, splitting their attention from Yuugi to Malik and back to the teacher.

"Something is seriously up with him." Otogi agreed as he kept emerald eyes focused to the front.

"Maybe someone should follow him." The Pharaoh drawled out sarcastically as he rolled crimson eyes. Well what he thought was sarcasm.

"That's a great idea Atem!" Yuugi chimed in as he looked over at Atem.

'I..really didn't mean it..' Atem mentally sighed as he placed his hand to his forehead.

"I'll go tail him..Yuugi ya got yer cell right?" Jou inquired, that stupid grin still plastered on his face.

The smaller teen nodded before he spoke up "Take Otogi and Honda with you!"

"Do we get a say in this?" Honda pondered aloud, and was answered when Jou shook his head.

"I'll go too!" Anzu chimed in. Otogi shuddered mentally while Atem cheered...mentally of course!

"Atem, Bakura, and I will be at my place waiting...make sure you don't make yourself known." Yuugi told the others quietly.

~*~*~

The Egyptian couldn't shake off the suspicion that he was being followed, as he entered the quaint little flower shop across from their school. He waved politely to the owner as he placed on the apron and went to the back. He balanced two Poinsettias in one arm and carried the watering can in the other, he could of sworn he had seen Jou behind the Fuchsia pots. He started to head over towards the pots when someone tapped him on the shoulder, he spun around and came face to face with an older woman.

"Excuse me young man...but do you mind telling me what this plant is?" She asked politely as she held up a large pot with long dark green leaves and bright orange Rhododendron like flowers.

Malik's lavender hues narrowed in on the plant "hmmmm" he hummed then answered "I think it would be the...Clivia miniata. Or Also known as 'Prince of Orange'. They're very hardy plants." He finished with a smile, but quickly turned his head when he thought he saw a tell tale black pony tail. 'This..is getting just a little bit annoying!' he silently fumed. The lady spoke up again dragging him out of his thoughts. "Hmmm?"

"I said" she began with a more annoyed tone. "How much is it?"

He bit back a snide remark and ground out in an equally annoyed voice " It's seventy-six ninety-five Ma'am." He turned and went to the back silently thanking Ra that he only had to do this for another day! He busied himself in the back maintaining all of the plants there, he kept this up for about two hours and was on his way out, still wary if someone was following him or not.

~*~*~

"Shhh! Get down here Jou" Anzu hissed as she pulled Jou from behind the bright Fuchsia plants as Malik looked his way.

"....." Jou blinked and poked his head around the corner of an Easter Lily to look over at the oblivious Egyptian. "He didn't see..so don't get yer panties in a bunch." he spat back lowly.

Duke's bright emerald eyes narrowed at the spot where Honda, Jou and Anzu were and where he needed to be. He stayed low and made his way over to them, though his pony tail poked up through the row of plants, this caused Honda to shove his head down when Malik looked their way. Duke cringed in protest as his nose slammed into Honda's knee. He quickly covered his mouth with his hands to quell the yelp that almost escaped his throat. Who knew Honda had stones for knees?

Jou shoved a hand through his dirty blonde hair as he popped his head up over the plants just in time to see Malik headed for the back room. The blonde then pulled out his cell phone and dialed Yuugi's number. It rang for a total of three rings before he heard Yuugi's cheery yet anxious voice on the line.

"Yuugi here...Everything okay? What did you find out?! Is he-" Yuugi's frantic questions were cut off by Mai taking the phone away from him

"No...I'm putting it on speaker phone..No Yuugi..No!" Mai scolded over the line before a loud beep was heard. Speaker phone was now on. "Alright Kat..Whats the deal hmm?" She commanded, in the background Bakura was heard mumbling something about fools.

Jou smiled crookedly as he spoke into the the cell phone. "He is working..." He started.

"What?!" was screamed into the phone from what seemed to be Mai, Atem, and Yuugi. Apparently this surprised them.

"He works at the Flower shop across the street from the school." He finished, he could still hear Yuugi and Atem talking about Malik's job. He quickly ducked down as he saw Malik took off his apron and waved goodbye to the owner. "He's leaving again." he stated into the phone and to the others.

"How long has he been there?" Yuugi suddenly asked.

"About two hours..." Jou stated as he got up and went to follow the Egyptian out. He listened to Mai tell him to continue following Malik and to report in at the end of the day and to take pictures."Got it..yes...We'll have to pick a disposable one on the way..yep..alright. Bye" He finished up the conversation and flipped the phone shut and shoved it into his pocket.

"So?" Anzu asked raising a chocolate brow.

"We'll continue to follow him..Honda?" Jou turned to his other best friend with a sheepish smirk. "Ya think ya could pick us up a cheap camera?"

"Ah. Sure?" Honda nodded and walked past the others "Call me to let me know where you guys are alright?" He tossed back over his shoulder giving them a half wave before he walked out of the shop.

~*~*~

Meanwhile back at the Mutou residence, Mai, Yuugi, and Atem were all huddled on the couch, the cell phone on the coffee table in front of them. Bakura opted to lean against the wall on the other side of the room, obviously not interested in the slightest.

"Who would have thought the twerp had a job?" Mai mused aloud as she reclined into the over stuffed cushion.

"Atleast it gets him out of the house..." Atem began and then finished mentally 'annnnd away from my aibou!'

"Well-" Yuugi was cut off when the house phone rang, he sprung up off the couch and jogged his way over to it and picked it up he was about to say hello when two very distinct voices shouted over the phone happily in unison.

"Happy Birthday Malik!!!"

Yuugi blinked large amethyst eyes and answered politely back "Malik's not here right now...."

"He's not? Oh!! Hello Yuugi how are you?" Ishizu's motherly like voiced chided through the line.

"I'm doing well and yourself? Hi Odion!" Yuggi asked, he even physically waved to no one in particular. "Hmm?..Yes! Yes I will let him know You called. What?..Oh..Yeah sure..I'll have him call you on Christmas..Okay..You too!..Buhbye!" He then placed the phone back down and walked back over to the couch and plopped down.

"What was that all about?" Mai asked tilting her head a bit to the side.

Yuugi smiled and looked from Mai to Atem who was equally curious. He answered normally a finger held up out in front of him "Oh it was just Ishizu and Odion wishing Malik a happy Birthday and to have him call on Christmas."

"......"

"Oh My God!! It's his Birthday?!" Yuugi then bolted up off the couch and started to run around the it pulling at his tri-colored hair.

Bakura's russet eyes widened only a tad bit as he heard this, he watched Yuugi panic for a few before he pushed himself away from the wall. "I'm..going to head out for a bit. Let me know what's happening." He stated and he shoved his hands into his pockets and left, leaving the other two to deal with a frenzied Yuugi.

"We need to get a party together!" Yuugi exclaimed as he waved to Bakura's retreating back. "It needs to be perfect!"

"We should just throw it in with Christmas..." Atem suggests before earning a hard look from Mai and Yuugi. "Or not....."

"How about we just do a small one tonight? Just cake, cards and a little something for him?" Mai added as she sat forward and pulled Yuugi onto the couch to keep him from running in circles.

"That sounds like a plan..Let me call Jou and tell him!" Yuugi agreed pulling his cell up off the coffee table and dialed.

~*~*~

"What?!" Jou quietly exclaimed into the cell phone, he side stepped a parrot that began squawking in his face and managed to slide behind a shelf of cat food before Malik saw him.

Anzu glared over at him before she scolded "Could you be a little bit more quieter?"

Honda poked himself up from behind a fish tank to snap a picture of Malik snuggling a kitten, instead of grooming it like he was suppose to. Turns out Malik had two other jobs. One at the flower shop, one at the coffee shop..which he just lost from cussing out a rude customer, and now a pet store.

"Yeah..I'll tell them..kay..Bye." Jou hung up and pulled Anzu and Duke away from the puppies in the corner and motioned Honda to follow them. He lead them outside and went to lean against the cold brick wall.

"So?" Duke asked crossing his arms expectantly.

Jou sighed out, his breath visible in the cold. "Today's Malik's Birthday."

"Huh?" Anzu blinked

"Yuugi's gonna throw a small party for him later tonight..." He continued, smirking. He ran his hand through his hair again shaking the newly fallen snowflakes from it.

"He didn't have the gaul to tell us..that little shit." Duke waved his hand dismissively in the air as he closed his eyes.

"Malik probably didn't want us to know for this exact reason." Anzu chided as she tightened her scarf around her.

Honda, without warning shoved the others into the alleyway as Malik opened the door and walked out, his eyes already starting to look sunken in. The Egyptian then jogged across the street to the little bookstore on the corner and went inside. The others could only gawk at him..Why did he have this many jobs? They, for the lack of a better word were baffled. From their little spot they could clearly see Malik step behind the counter and started helping a fellow co-worker out. Honda took out the camera and took three pictures. "No wonder he's swamped!"

~*~*~*

Malik bowed politely to the bookstore's owner as he clutched his paychecks close to his chest before he turned on his heel and started walking down the street. He was beyond tired at this point, his other job he was supposed to go right to after the bookstore had told him it was to slow to come in, so he'd just have to pick up the check and start his Christmas shopping for everyone. He rounded the corner and bumped into someone. "oof!"

"Watch it!" A familiar voice snarled out and shoved the blond away.

"Seto!" a child's voice called out. "It was an accident..and-Malik!!!"

"Hey Mokuba..Kaiba." Malik smiled softly looking from the two brothers. "What are you guys doing?"

"We're Christmas shopping!" Mokuba giggled as he hugged the exhausted Egyptian. Kaiba rolled his eyes at this.

"Oh..same..." The Egyptian yawned, his bright lavender eyes closed as he did so.

"Come with us? We can give you a ride back to Yuugi's place." Mokuba looked up at his older brother giving him puppy dog eyes "Please Seto?! I want to see Yuugi to!!"

Kaiba sighed, and tried to ignore his brother's face...but it was a losing battle and he caved and snorted in reply. "Fine...Come on." He turned around his long white trench coat fluttered behind him.

Mokuba smiled up at Malik and clung to his arm as they followed Kaiba.

Malik smiled gently down at Mokuba and patted his head softly. This was going to be a long night for him, he could just feel it. The blonde was ushered into a sleek looking limo, he sidled in and Mokuba followed in suit. Kaiba glanced from him to his little brother and sighed out and told the driver to go. The Egyptian smiled softly as he watched the people bustling by on the streets and the snow swirling around them. As the limo turned a corner he thought he saw Bakura headed into the flower shop. 'Why'd he go in there?' he thought to himself quietly as he sat back.

"You think we could stay over Yuugi's place, Seto? Even for a bit?" the dark haired child pleaded to his older brother, who sighed out again and huffed.

"Sure..Fine, whatever." Kaiba shook his head, his left eye twitched when he heard the blonde snicker.

"I think Yuugi would love to see you again Mokuba." Malik chided, as he grinned over at the slightly agitated Kaiba. He felt his coat sleeve being pulled and looked over to the child.

"C'mere!" he whispered and motioned for Malik to lower his head. The blonde did so and Mokuba whispered in his ear, "I got Seto a new trench and a model of the blue eyes!"

"Really?..I think he'd really like it Mokuba!" Malik exclaimed as he sat up, he watched the child's face light up happily as he smiled over at his older brother. Malik couldn't help but think of how he acted when he was Mokuba's age. He sighed out softly as he turned his attention to the window, they had stopped off at the mall. 'Yay for mall hell..' he rolled his eyes at the foreboding thought as he slid out of the limo.

"Ready?!" Mokuba all but shouted happily as he latched himself between Kaiba and Malik and pulled the other two foward.

Kaiba chuckled softly as he followed, he looked over to the Egyptian and spoke "So..How do you like your first holiday so far?"

"It's...busy..." Malik said quietly, the question caught him off guard as he turned lavender eyes to the taller male. "I really like the snow thought...but I hate how cold it is!!" he finished and emphasized his point giving an over exaggerated shiver.

"It's Mokuba's favorite holiday." Kaiba stated as he watched his brother eye all the displays with unmasked fascination.

"I can see this." Malik agreed as he to was in awe at all the displays in the store windows. Now to figure out what to get everyone....

~*~*~

His hair whipped into his face as the wind blew harshly, maybe he should have thought this through a bit more and asked for a ride. Was to late now he supposed as he tightened his floor length black trench coat around himself and continued to treck onwards. He didn't know exactly where he was going, nor what to get when he got there. He just kept moving and hoped that his feet carried him somewhere useful. 'The idiot could have atleast told us!' he mentally snarled as he shoved a pale hand through his snow-like hair. No, Bakura was not angry with Malik at all. He was more frustrated with the blonde not telling him this important peice of information. Of course he didn't care if the others didn't know...but him?! He winced and internally berated himself for getting so worked up over this. Really, why should he care?

His feet landed him infront of the little flower shop and he shrugged and pushed his way inside. 'Alright...now what?' he pondered as he walked along the rows of plants. He stopped to admire a few of them, even one that had beautiful orange flowers though he cringed at the pricing. Almost eighty bucks! He was about to leave when his eyes caught something in the front of the store next to the register. A sly smirk crept itself across his face, he quickly strode over towards it and plucked it off the counter and handed it to the women.

"I'd like that in a box...an wrapped please." He requested to the lady as he dug into his pocket for his wallet.

The woman blinked at Bakura and smiled before she spoke up "What color?" she averted her eyes to the ribbons before her.

Dark russet eyes narrowed in on the dark purple ribbon and he pointed to it. "That one please..."

After he paid for the gift he headed back out to the street, the neatly wrapped package tucked under his right arm. He crossed the street and started to head back to Yuugi's.

~*~*~

"No!!! You need to wrap it this way!!!!" Yuugi exclaimed as he yanked the package away from a very fluistered Atem. "This way!" the shorter boy emphasized while showing the taller male. "See not that hard!" He needed this party to be perfect! He sent Mai to go pick up a cake, while the others returned and he even put them to work decorating the house with purple and gold streamers.

"I really don't see the big deal, Aibou." Atem sighed as he rubbed his temples, he cringed at the look Yuugi gave him.

"It's a huge deal!!! It's going to be his first Christmas, and quite possibly his very first actual birthday party! This has to be perfect so he'll remember it!" Yuugi exclaimed as he set the small package down on the table. He gave out a small chuckle when he heard a distinct click click whiiiiiiiiine click behind him. 'Seems Like Grandpa is having a field day!' he mused as he grabbed Atem's hand.

Crimson eyes looked to their intertwined hands and he smiled. "Alright..I see your point..Though honestly, I don't think he'd forget this." Atem gave in, he let himself he pulled over to Duke and Honda, and was ultimately shoved to them. "Hey?!"

"Help them out I will finish wrapping the presents!" Yuugi called back over his shoulder as he walked back to the table.

"He's a bit bossy, tonight." Honda said chuckling nervously, as he handed Atem a streamer roll.

"He's trying to make this as perfect as possible." Atem sighed as he unwinded the roll a bit.

Jou walked passed them, juggling the neatly wrapped presents and placed them on the table next to Yuugi. "Yeesh..ya think you went overboard Yuu?"

"No...I think I didn't." Yuugi stated matter of factly as he continued his ministrations. Jou only laughed.

The door was slammed open and everyone stopped what they were doing. In waltzed Mai with a small white box in her hand, presumably the cake and behind her Bakura followed. "Sorry I took so long, but the man said it was to short notice to make the cake...Can you believe that?! I had to guilt him into doing so!" She huffed placing the cake down on the table next to the presents. She opened it up and carefully took the baked delight out and set it down neatly onto the table.

Bakura rolled his eyes as he took off his trench coat and hung it up by the doorway, he chose to hold onto his gift. He walked over to the couch and plopped down kicking his feet onto the coffee table. Yuugi and Mai followed soon afterwards. The others finished with what they were doing all gathered around the couch and sat. Grandpa Mutou came back in with a tray of hot coca and handed them each a cup. Now all they had to do was wait.

~*~*~

"Come on!!!!!" Mokuba giggled out as he ran up the walkway to the Mutou residence.

"Be careful Mokuba! It's slippery!" Kaiba called back as he helped Malik carry all of the gifts and bags the blonde had bought.

Malik smiled softly as he watched the child spin around, he promised earlier he would help Mokuba build a snowman later on. As he neared the front door, he tried shuffling for his keys but the door opened. Standing in front of him was a very happy Grandpa Mutou. The Egyptian smiled happily down at the kind old man as he was ushered in. Kaiba and Mokuba followed, though Mokuba tackled the older man with a hug. Malik heard Grandpa and the child laugh and he smiled more to himself, he placed down his things and took off his coat. When he turned around his bright lavender eyes widened at what he saw.

There stood his friends behind a table of gifts and a small little purple cake. "What's this?!" He inquired, he barely kept his curiosity in check as he walked forward. Then...it dawned on him. He slapped his forehead and laughed.

"Happy Birthday Malik!!!" The others exclaimed happily.

"It's his birthday?!" Mokuba asked in shock as he gave the blonde Egyptian a tight hug. "Why didn't you tell me?!"

"It sorta...slipped my mind?" Malik tried to think of an excuse. It sounded pathetic, but it was the truth. He'd been so busy that the dates and times seemed to run into one.

Yuugi all but threw himself at Malik and hugged him tightly. He pulled away and smiled up at his friend. "I hope you like it!! It's not much since it was short notice buuuuuuut...." he trailed off shuffling his feet.

"I really...I don't know what to say..." Malik spoke softly, he glanced over the room and at all of the streamers, it looked like everyone worked really hard for this. He felt the corners of his eyes start to well up with tears and he pulled Yuugi into a tight, bone crushing hug and whispered "Thank you! Thank you so much!!"

Yuugi mentally breathed a sigh of relief and patted his friend's back before pulling away. "So..I guess you like it?" he asked with a wide grin plastered onto his child-like face.

Malik nodded furiously, then blinked and rubbed his eyes just as furiously as a loud whine and a bright flash went off. Grandpa Mutou was going photo happy he presumed.

They all enjoyed cake and refreshments, and they went to the living room. Malik sat down on the couch, Bakura on one side and beside him sat Mokuba. While on the Egyptian's other side sat Yuugi and Atem. The others crowded around and started to shove their gifts in front of his face. He chose Yuugi's first.

"It's not much..but seeing as how you like to draw and all..." Yuugi began as Malik finished opening the neatly wrapped gift. He was awarded his a hug from the blonde. Yuugi returned the hug then leaned against Atem, who ran his fingers through the shorter boy's hair.

One by one Malik opened everyone's gifts and hugged them. Well everyone's but Bakura's. The blonde looked to his friend and gave him a soft shy smile as he accepted the neatly wrapped package with a deep purple bow. He ran his fingers over the bow softly before he took it off ever so carefully.

Bakura watched Malik's face, as the blonde unwrapped his gift. He couldn't shake off the slight anxious feeling he had deep within his stomach.

He finished unwrapping the gift and lifted the box top off, there inside was a small bunch of red and white berries bounded together with deep green leaves. A puzzled look came over his face as he lifted the strange little decoration up above his head so it caught the light. "What is it Bakura?" He asked, still holding a quizzical expression.

Bakura only grinned, he heard the others chuckle and shook his head. He leaned in swiftly and kissed the blonde on the lips softly and lingered there for a few moments before pulling back. "It's a Mistletoe." He stated simply, though a tinge of pink dusted his pale cheeks.

Malik blushed furiously and only continued to look over at Bakura. Bakura fidgeted slightly in his seat next to the blonde. The others watched on quietly. "Oh....." Malik looked down at the plant, his cheeks still felt like they were on fire but he smiled slightly and looked back over at Bakura. "Care to show me how this works again?" He grinned broader as he held the small plant over his head again. Bakura chuckled and lent in and kissed him a bit deeper, it would have lasted longer if it weren't for the bright flash of Grandpa's camera and him saying "That will be a nice addition to the album." Malik pulled back and spluttered and the others laughed, some even clapping there hands. Malik glared but it was ruined by the smile that was present on his features.

"Happy Birthday...Malik." Bakura spoke softly next to the blond's ear as he pulled him into a light hug.

Yuugi and Atem smiled on as the cuddled on the couch. "You did good Aibou." Atem said softly

"I know..Thank you!" Yuugi giggled and cuddled into the taller boy's chest.

Somewhere out in the kitchen, Grandpa Mutou discovered the photos from when Jou and the others were following Malik. He swiped them up and placed them into his pocket. He had alot of sorting to do for the albums and the holidays weren't even over!!!

 


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