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Stigmatize - 1. To characterize as disgraceful; brand. 2. To mark with stigma

-------- Stigma - 1. A mark or token of infamy or disgrace.

While this describes Yami Bakura, the title is also mocking the authoress. It is my feel at this story so far if it represented me. Lots of love, eh? Go look up infamy!

Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh to the surprise of none, neh? I do own a 6-string acoustic guitar: spin-off of a Gibson. If you want to know, it stays in tune uncannily well.



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Stigmatized

Chapter 1: Sleep

Ryou was sitting down, back to the computer desk. Hanging from his neck by a bit of leather rope was a gold circular trinket about as big around as a large cup's saucer. It was style as a ring around a right side up triangle with the Eye of Thoth in its very center. At separate intervals in the design there was hardly intelligible hieroglyphic inscriptions. Ryou ran his fingers over them lightly in the dim room. On some invisible impulse, he wheeled his seat around, turned on his desk lamp, and scooted in towards the wooden surface. He moved his homework out of the way and placed the Millennium Ring on the table.

Ryou reached down into the desk drawers and pulled out a thick volume on Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics. Adjusting the light's beams, he opened it and sighed at what greeted him from the many pages. Every paragraph, every symbol, had been painstakingly inked out with a black marker.

Disappointed, Ryou closed the text. Now why had the Spirit of the Ring [Ryou knew it hadn't been his father] taken so much time to keep his Hikari from translating the Item's writing? Surely the information wasn't that important or incriminating?

The white haired boy shrugged and leaned back, hands behind his head. He'd never get the answer to THAT for sure he knew.

It was late. The sun had long disappeared behind the modern cityscape of Domino. Ryou had been watching it through the window, as the office grew ever darker. That had been hours ago. He was reasonability tired from just sitting for the whole evening. His eyes, without his knowledge or official consent, began to droop down.

Ryou lay in his chair, hands up behind his bushy white head, eyes half closed and slipping, for several minutes. The dim glow of his lamp's low watt bulb casting deep shadow across the office and the low, rolling hum of the heater sent lucid relaxation vibes in the boy's direction. The deep blue eyes were soon blinded to the pleasant darkness of looking into the back of their weighted lids. The moment was peaceful, the effects were soothing. The usual tenseness in the child's posture was smoothly drawn away. A fear ever present tried vigorously to claw it's way back into Ryou's present state, but he shoved it to the back of his mind as caution, pain, and worry were moved to some deep foreign region for the time. The boy's arms fell limply to his side as he inched ever nearer to the calming resurrection sure to arise from a good long dreamless sleep courtesy of a rather forgiving Mr. Sandman.



There was an almighty, extremely violent crash. Winged seraphs of the sky passing on some errand might have slightly winch at the sound and felt it from were ever they sang, as the chair fell over backwards onto the hard wood. Ryou let out an alarmed high yelp of pain as his head knocked on the floor with force enough to have cause demons burning below to glance up at the thud in mild surprise.

Ryou lay sprawled out on the floor stunned and blinking as he tried to digest what had just happened. It was obvious after a few seconds on speed flashback that he'd slowly leaned a little of a lot too far back. This had considerably altered his center of gravity.

Slowly, Ryou tried to get up. There were sprinkles of light flashing hazily before his eyes, obscuring his vision. The child trembled rather viciously from the sudden shock, his lungs burning for he'd temporally forgotten about breathing. Ryou was quickly sitting up, taking short gasps of air as his surprised heart tried to calm down as well. His face, now paler that his alabaster locks, began to regain its little original color while the blood rushed back.

Falling out of a chair, Ryou knew now, in mid doze was not a pleasurable experience in any way, shape, or form. He rose steadily to his feet. There was a dull throbbing in his skull from the traumatic connection with the hard wood floor. Sighing, he picked up the seat and placed it next to the desk. Tired now again, he decided he's better get to his room before he passed out. He exited, holding slightly to the wall for support.

"Hello, Dad." Ryou greeted his father as he entered the living room.

The dark haired lightly tanned man looked up to his unusually pale son from his seat on the couch. His eyes were worried and more than a little frightened. He could only imagine what the violent sound earlier had been.

"Ryou, what _was_ that sound? I heard a crash in the office. Was it..." his father's voice lowered, "...was it.Him?"

Ryou knew his father meant the Spirit of the Ring. He shook his head,

"No, I just fell asleep in my chair. It fell back and I was startled. Nothing happened to me past being slightly disoriented, really." The man sighed with relief at this.

"Okay. I think you should go to your room then. You've completely totaled your bedtime. Don't let me keep you from your sleep." His father said turning back to his paper work.



Ryou left, continuing to his room. His entered quietly. The moon through the window illuminated the area with a foggy blue glow before he turned on the light. Hastily putting on some bedclothes, he soon switched the bright away, making a blind beeline to his mattress. Safely under the covers, he took out a concealed flashlight and a small navy blue book and pen.

Opening to a clean page, he began to write:



"Journal,

'Is it me, or are Sundays extremely dull? Nothing happened at all today. Nothing good on TV and the radio full of music countdowns. Extremely boring day.

Where in the circular lake of damnation is the Spirit of the Ring? I haven't seen Him at all today. Not once have heard His voice in my head, sending me those terrible images and thoughts. I'm actually worried. Did something happen to Him? I would check through the Ring but it might anger Him. I don't want Him mad at me. You know I don't entirely loathe my Yami. Father is of a different opinion. He thinks I should hate the Spirit with every fiber of my being. But, I think the Yami Ryou Bakura can change.

Hehe, maybe I am crazy like He always tells me. I don't quite know. I've written before here that I do love Him in a way. I can't understand why. I don't see why I should repeat all those paragraphs again now because I miss him.

Father would be disturbed and wouldn't understand if he ever found this out. He hates my other side and wants me to get Him exorcised. I admit, I do really loathe my Fiend at times. I fear Him and He is very intimidating. I think father fears Him too. I don't remember Dad helping me during my "punishments" since Yami Bakura sent him to the Shadow Realm for a week. I don't think I would have tried to help me either.

It's strange that my Yami has an often-misunderstood way of showing His emotions: violence. I don't really think He loves me as well. It's depressing to think this way, but I really don't have much to go on to wonder otherwise. If Father didn't care about me so much, I think I would have gone and killed myself by now. Just slit my wri-~-~-~~-~-'"



"How are you, Little Hikari?" came a voice from across the room. Ryou's hand froze in mid sentence. The Spirit sound peeved about something. The boy swallowed and instinctively tensed up.

"Y-yami?" he asked closing his eyes and not turning around. He shut the book and let it fall with a light thud between the bed and the wall.

"No, Ryou, I'm your brother come to wish you salutations after slipping in through the friggen window cause I'm simply terrified of Daddy-Dearest. Really...." Ryou's Dark smirked.

Ryou turned around and sat up on his bed, facing his admiration. His movements made a ripple affect that caused the flashlight to fall and roll away, casting long quivering scepter shadows upon the floor and walls.

The Spirit stood at the foot of his Light's bed, watching him with some alien glint in his eyes. Ryou timidly removed himself from the covers, switching on his bed lamp to retrieve the rollaway flashlight from the corner were it had been halted. His Dark observed the process of crossing the room and lifting the object. The look in his eyes was evil and malicious, yet savoring and desiring, that would disturb anyone willing to look into the twin pools of darkness. He growled softly and smirked.

"Ryou." he breathed heading towards the child now turning the flashlight off. The Hikari didn't hear this, but felt his Dark's approach. He looked up terrified as he was pinned to the wall by two strong arms.

Ryou averted his eyes away from the Fiend before him. Instead, he settled his glaze over the other shoulder and onto the open closet door where the graceful neck of an acoustic guitar shown through the light. The white haired boy decided he would distract his mind from what was to happen to him, instead, focusing on the 6-strings in as perfect tune as they ever could be. He thought of the cords he knew and how each sounded and was fingered. Maybe he'd be able to play the instrument later if his Yami didn't get to it first and snap the strings [Ryou had just gotten new ones put on from before]. Maybe he could work on those ditties he'd made up. Fix the voice parts he'd jotted down to hold better with the A minor that dominated most of the refrain and bridge. Probably drop the pick and finger-style it for the verses. In his head at the moment it sounded good enough. (AN: Sorry, my only love interests are my two guitars so I throw them into fics.)

This happened to be Ryou's plan whenever the Spirit of the Ring felt like hurting him. Locking his thoughts away from the physical till it was over. He'd ponder over his guitar, or all his friends dueling strategies. The boy had even gotten a habit of contemplating his schoolwork. Anything to ignore the reality of whatever the Fiend was doing.

This plan, though usually very affective, could not block what his Dark was getting ready to do. The Fiends cold, pale face was inches from the other's so like his own causing the boy to look into his eyes.

Ryou saw the desire and wrongful intent reflecting it the dark spheres. He didn't want to imagine what the beautiful Demon was about to do...again. In a rush he noticed how close the other's body was to his own and took in a sharp breath. He loved his Yami, but he wasn't in the mood for this, which he knew would be torture. His Dark had stopped truly seeming to love him a long time ago. The Hikari's emotions were just another thing with which to hurt him with.

"Ryou." the Spirit muttered and smirked. Ryou's eyes grew with fear from his slight paranoia as he tried to move the other way. He couldn't though; two iron arms caged him in.

"No, Yami, please," he pleaded looking at his Dark fearfully, "Please not today!"

"That, Hikari, is not for you to decide. You blindly assume I'm giving you a choice in this..." he brought his mouth to Ryou's ear, "...I'm not."

"No, please, not now!" Ryou begged heart fully as the Spirit of the Ring tossed him onto the bed with force.



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Ryou's father heard his son's pleas and the Spirit of the Rings laughs, not unlike he had many times before. He knew what was happening by the sounds through the wall and it disgusted him. He wished he'd the courage to stop his youngest sons suffering, but knew it wasn't so.

The man poured another shot of amber liquid into the small glass before him. It was downed in two gulps and roughly slammed back on the table.

"Why did I ever give the child that Ring?" he asked himself as he took yet another swing, this time not bothering to fill his shot glass. His face puckered slightly at the burn of the liquid as he wiped his mouth with a sleeve.

Ryou's father slipped into a restless sleep listening to his son's begging and cries. He couldn't do much of anything about it. He never could.



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A little navy blue notebook, forgotten, now rested open under the bed. The entry chosen randomly by fate to collect dust expressed the boy's recent musings of the separate being:



"Journal,

'My Dark confuses me. Why does he only love me when it suits him and never when it's okay for the Hikari? He will enjoy me for however long, and then act like nothing happened at all. It hurts. Whenever he feels like intimacy, he expects me to give it too him. If I don't comply, he'll get violent in forcing it from me. Then, after his efforts, he ignores me the next day and goes of to some place gods know where, coming back at strange hours. I wonder where and for what reason. I fear the truth, though.

If the Spirit keeps this up, I think the emotion strain will destroy me. My father and friends don't want to see me broken, so I've a fa├žade of normalness plastered to my face at the moment. I think father suspects I take my treatment worse that I let on. He might snap and go the Egypt or Greece again. Poor Father, I pity him. He must think my current state is his fault.'"



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AN: Okay, ya'll review please. If I get more than 7 I'll keep adding chapters. So far I've gotten the four after this one written, but they don't go up unless I see some comments. This story will live by your reviews alone. You have POWER!

Flame me if ya want. If burning remarks incinerate me entirely to ash, I promise I will not go any further with this fic, as not to annoy ya'll with something you don't want to read. Kay?



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