yes, I'm starting ANTOTHER fic...i know, I should be doing chappie one of interactive fic, but I don't have the energy..i'll do that tomorrow. This is just a lil' something I'm throwing out, inspired by my mom's medical text books and an interesting conversation I've had with someone. Lemme know what y'all think! Can be shouen-ai or not. Depends upon what you like. I know what it's gonna be for me ^_~


The hospital room was dark and quiet, the shut door blocking the lights and noises of the occupied hallways. Yami sat with Yugi's little form cradled in his arms, rocking back and forth, using his foot to propel the rocking chair. He held Yugi with in one hand and used the other to brush his golden bangs back. The small boy remained still, as he had been for hours. Yami wasn't worried; Yugi needed to be well rested for tomorrow. He would need his strength once he was discharged from the hospital. Yami tucked the blanket tighter around Yugi and shifted so his small, injured hikari was resting higher up on his chest. He bowed his head, burying his face in the little one's soft, tri-colored hair.

Tears full of hot guilt trailed down his cheeks, dripping onto the sleeping Yugi. How could he have let this happen? He had sworn to protect Yugi, yet this had happened, and now his precious hikari would never be the same again. He knew, deep down, that it wasn't his, nor anyone else's, fault. There was nothing he could have done to prevent it from happening. It had been an accident. A common, everyday accident. He unconsciously clutched Yugi tighter as he remembered Yugi's smiling face appearing at the top of the stairs as he rushed down for breakfast. The smile being quickly replaced by a look of surprise and horror as, in his haste, his foot tripped and sent him tumbling down the stairs. Each rounded wooden edge of practically each step had smashed into little Yugi's back; not breaking the spine, but bruising it severely.

A silent sob stuck in his throat. Yami swallowed it with difficulty, blinking futilely at his tears and dragging himself out of those memories. Yugi's soft, little hand clutched at his black sweatshirt, and Yami took his hand in his larger one, bringing it to his lips and kissing it gently. "I promise, Yugi, everything will be all right. I promise. I'll always be here."

The silence and solitude of the room was interrupted by the low sound of the door clicking open and shutting with a dull thud. Yami instinctively held Yugi closer to him, his body freezing. A hand was placed on his shoulder, causing him to jump. He looked over his shoulder, and saw none other than Bakura, who was supporting Ryou with one arm. The silver haired hikari leaned heavily on the ancient spirit, and also clutched the metal rod of his IV stand. He smiled softly, comfortingly, at Yami.

Yami met the soft brown, weary gaze, then the grimmer grey one. He quickly looked away, for Bakura's face mirrored his own. Normally serious, straight and strong, Bakura's face was shadowed by exhaustion and worry. His stature had lost all confidence and cockiness. He was a tomb robber humbled by the illness of his little hikari.

Bakura squeezed Yami's shoulder briefly before letting go. "How is he?"

"Aibou's doing better. He's getting discharged tomorrow. Finally, after 3 long months, he's getting to go home, where he belongs." Yami's voice rang with the strain of tiredness, yet had an underlying strength fed by hope. "The doctors don't know if he'll ever walk again. They only took the back brace off 2 weeks ago. The spinal tissue is bruised, but healing." Yami blinked his tears back and turned Yugi over in his arms, pulling aside the blanket and revealing Yugi's soft little back through the open, tie back hospital gown. The internal damage to the spine had healed; that's why the brace was removed, but the outer damage had yet to heal. Various spots on Yugi's back, right on his delicate spine, were massive, dark black, blue and purple bruises where the hard steps had bitten into vulnerable flesh and bone. They were nasty line bruises; their color had faded only a little, but the swelling had stopped and reduced to its normal size. It was only the skin that was still damaged.

Ryou buried his face in Bakura's shoulder and whimpered slightly. Kissing the top of his hikari's head to soothe him, Bakura felt his own tears and gruffly pushed them back. "How far down is he paralyzed?"

Unable to speak, Yami merely pointed to where the first of the nasty bruises were. The bruise was a couple of inches below Yugi's shoulder blades. Bakura felt his heart twist with sorrow for the pharaoh and his hikari. He still recalled the sight of the small one hooked up to all those machines, so still and lifeless. Much as his own aibou had been. He reflexively tightened his hold on him, resting his chin in his soft, fluffy hair. Yugi was paralyzed from the waist down.

"It's amazing that he's even come this far."

Yami nodded in the silence that followed. "What of your own hikari?"

Bakura's small smile was bittersweet. "He's getting better. This disease will not beat him."

"He's had it all his life."

"I know. He's survived for 16 years now. This relapse won't faze him. Will it, Ryou?" Ryou leaned heavier on his yami and shook his head.