It took a week for Yugi to find out about Bakura’s nightmares. He already knew Bakura had a habit of staying up late, yet always was up before Yugi would be. Even his Grandpa saw him awake as early as he was.
Yugi had come down for a glass of water one night, and heard sounds from the guest room where Bakura was staying. What first came to mind had Yugi quickly going to the kitchen, planning to get his water and pretend he’d heard nothing.
It was a distressed cry in a language Yugi didn’t know that made him go investigate. He knocked on the door gently and when there was no answer, he opened it a bit to check on Bakura.
What he saw was alarming, Bakura sat bolt upright in bed, staring ahead at nothing. His eyes shone with unshed tears in the dim light, and Yugi immediately knew something was very wrong.
“Bakura? Are you okay?” He called into the room softly, opening the door enough to be seen in the doorway.
Bakura didn’t respond at first, then he brought his hands slowly to his face. “Dammit. Did I manage to wake you this time?”
“No, I was just getting water.” Yugi held up the cup still in his hand, stepping in the room more.
When he got closer to Bakura, he could see the sheen of sweat on his brow. “Do you get nightmares a lot, Bakura?”
Bakura frowned, then nodded. “I can deal with it. They’re only dreams.” he huffed, rubbing the sleep out of his eyes before taking a look at Yugi. “S’fine, go back to your room.”
Yugi could have done as he asked, but had a feeling Bakura would just stay awake alone. Seeing how disheveled Bakura was, he was very reluctant to believe Bakura would be fine. He held a hand out to Bakura, and Bakura finally looked up at his face.
“Come with me, we can watch the stars again.”
Bakura blinked, it seemed like he was still slow to process what Yugi said.
“You told me you used to do that when you can't sleep, right?” Yugi smiled. “It’s better than just staying down here by yourself with that dream on your mind.”
Bakura blinked again, then chuckled and swung his legs over the edge of the bed. “I did say that, didn’t I?”
Yugi smiled and patted Bakura’s back. After getting Bakura his own glass of water, they went up the stairs to Yugi’s bedroom. The stars were hardly visible through light pollution and clouds, but that didn’t stop Yugi from setting up pillows.
Bakura just sat by Yugi, staring at the wall as he drank from the glass. After a moment, Yugi sat up with Bakura. “You can just...talk, if you want to.”
Bakura paused, setting his glass of water beside him. “I was glad, at first, when Malik brought me out of the Shadows. I have my old body, my own will, I’m no one’s puppet or slave.”
Bakura frowned, his face strained in a way that told Yugi he was struggling to say what he wanted. Like he had the first night, Yugi put his hand on Bakura’s arm to show he would listen.
“I started to remember things I thought were lost to me, and that’s when these nightmares began. Dreams so real that their shadows danced in front of me when I wake, and I cannot move or speak. Sometimes it is shadows of the dead, and sometimes I see Necrophades glowering over my frozen body.”
Yugi moves his hand to squeeze Bakura’s, even as they balled into fists. “Does… Did Malik know this was happening to you?”
Bakura snorted and shook his head. “He understands nightmares well enough, and left me be.”
Yugi was quiet for a bit, thoughtlessly stroking his thumb over a small scar on Bakura’s hand. They sat in the dark and quiet, a neutral peace settling between them.
“If you’re not sleeping because of it, I don’t think you should be alone.”
Bakura glanced at Yugi, before lying back to look through the skylight. “I suppose not.”
Yugi joined him, letting go of Bakura’s hand. “You don’t have to be alone, you know–” Yugi turned his head to look at Bakura– “I don’t mind if you need to come in here to help you sleep either.”
Bakura grunted in agreement and said nothing more. Yugi moved a bit closer, tucking himself against Bakura’s arm. And then suddenly… “Can I hug you?”
“Eh?” Bakura propped himself up, looking down at Yugi
Yugi flushed from Bakura’s reaction, and found himself fumbling for an explanation. “W-Well, you did just wake up from a nightmare and if it’s about people you cared about in the past? Especially with Zorc thrown in, I thought you might…”
Yugi blinked, noticing the somewhat embarrassed look on Bakura’s face. His frown was almost pouty when Yugi didn’t move right away. “Well, what’re you waiting for? Go ahead.”
Yugi sat up and, once Bakura did so as well, pulled Bakura into a firm hug. It was somewhat awkward for Bakura at first, but slowly he began to relax. If Yugi noticed Bakura hugging him back and resting his head on Yugi’s shoulder, he didn’t mention it.
After they pulled away and laid back down to look through the skylight, Bakura was the one to move closer to Yugi first. For the first time since he’d been brought out of the Shadows, Bakura was able to fall asleep after a nightmare.