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.


HIKARY CHERRY WOLF: Damn, the review must have been about three pages. Awe, fluffy…. We all need a bit more fluff in our live, hm?

MARMALADEGIRL: I don't know how long this story is. I was thinking about stopping here.

DARKDRAGON: Lovely, how I take forever to update, eh?

ASSASSIN OF THE SHADOWS: Everyone feels sorry for Ryou. I think someone needs a hug.

GWINNY: Actually, this may as well be the last chapter. Not any better though.

CHEESEPUFF: I'm of the mind this fic is terrible. I'm not paying enough attention, argh…. I'm glad you like it though. It's rewarding.

MALIK'SGURL: If you forgot to review chapter sixteen, you are forgiven.

HAPPY YAOI LOVER: That it so weird, reading birthday wishes almost a month later. Wow….

ANGELUS-2040: I didn't connect it to the chapter, but I've heard points of authority. My hole in the ground isn't too deep.

KEMU: I picture Bakura on the plane hunched over and glaring-only to fall asleep in a car later on.

A.K.A. TALENTLESS: Awe, I don't consider you stalker-ish. You review all my stories, yes, but the even brighter side (reviews are great) is I now have your name memorized. That's you and about three others.

KAEHIMI: Cake = good. Update = good. Writer's block = tired, uh, I mean bad.

ONLYHAUNTED: Look, I continued. You can live.

R AMYTHEST: Ha, well now most fics are confined to disks. *is happy*

YOKOMON52: Yeah, I think Honda-kun was a bit angry after the Ryou/Seto. Heh, took it out on Yami Bakura when he was trying to take Mokuba.

ASHURI CHAN: Look, I'm still writing. *gets off the ego train* Gomen, here's the next chapter.

ESCURO DE LA LUS: *gets low and whispers so other reviewers can't hear* See, the reason I have to put some fluff in is that people tend to get, well, bored. Don't worry, this chapter isn't too lovely. *smirks* It's not. *gets loud so all the curious reviewers go away* Oh, yeah, as I was saying, Malik is fine. He's in this chapter actually. ........ Congrats, I visited your site recently. Love the Otogi pics. *grins insanly*

DRAGGY: Thank you. This chapter isn't as sweet.

RENEE THE RABID SQUIRREL: Everyone loves the cake. This is the second time I've given away nonexistent items in a fic.

DRAGONEYES: I have AOL, I don't know if the Yahoo thing would work.

YAMI KRISSY: Yes, there is more! This is the last more! Make sure all you voices see it!

NADAKO-MIKA: Yeah, Ryou is spirit and Yami Bakura is mortal. There's a better definition, but it escapes me now.

THE CHAOTIC ONES: Ryou doesn't die…. I have yet to kill a character [physically].

MIMIRU: I've had to change my name too from "The Evil Laugh" to "A Laugh That's Evil" to avoid people. Once my joint authorship with The Evil Laugh ended (she has her own name now), it became "Just Ego," which may change to avoid even more people I know. …………. Awe, I was getting good at remembering your name had two 'l's and now I can't spell it at all (copy&paste). *grins* Gomen, I didn't update too soon.

Look, the last real chapter. I really should look into my sequel. This took way too long, I'm sorry.

Uh, yeah, just read. I don't know what else to say.

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Chapter 17: Optimism

Ryou was still watching the wall in the morning. He wasn't exactly sleeping, but he didn't know his Yami was gone till he heard the bedroom door close. The Spirit was saying something to the boy's father and kicking his suitcase down the hall. Another lay still on the floor.

Quickly, Ryou tried to get up, forcing himself out of the mesh of blankets. The Fiend reentered the room as his light reached a sitting position only halfway free of the covers.

The Spirit walked behind the boy and grabbed to two small shoulders lightly. He directed the body back down. Ryou was soon staring at him upside down.

"You don't get up till I'm gone," the Spirit informed him. Ryou opened his mouth in protest.


Once again the Yami thought it necessary to cut Ryou off with another kiss over the boy's lower lip. He caressed the skin softly with his mouth before pulling off and shushing the child. He brought his head up to stare into Ryou's eyes, his chin in the white hair and lips less than an inch away from the smooth pale forehead.

Ryou was breathing heavily, looking up at him. There was the slightest trace of tears in his eyes from both sadness and anger. He silently waited for the Yami to speak.

"You mustn't move until I'm gone, Hikari," the Fiend commanded in a quiet yet threatening voice, "I don't want to be delayed. You understand, Child, I have to go. Even if Romania is the middle of nowhere, at least I'll know where the middle of nowhere is. I suggest your sorry mind doesn't dwell on me too long."

Ryou nodded quietly. The Fiend released him and retrieved his last piece of luggage. Ryou watched the Spirit cross the room and exit, his footsteps fading down the hall. He heard the deep voice speaking to the boy's father but the thick walls muffled it.

At the sound, Ryou felt a pain in his chest, a heartbreaking wretch at his insides. He bolted from the bed and ran to the living room. The Fiend turned around glaring at him.

"Don't leave me too!" the boy exclaimed, crying as he stopped, "Everyone leaves me here. I don't want to be left behind."

"That's because no one can stand you, Mortal," the angry Fiend snapped, not looking Ryou straight in the eye.

"But without you I'll be completely alone."

"So, get over it," the Spirit shrugged coldly.

"I know you say you hate me," Ryou continued, "But you stayed longer than anyone. You're always there, but if you leave it will prove you'd given up too. I just can't be made into you by you or anyone else, and my Father knows this too. I can't be like him, you know. He thinks he failed too. He can't stay in this place because, as you said, no one can really stand me."

"Then why did he want to take you to Romania?" the Fiend asked sharply.

"To see if I'd become interested in what he was doing. But now you're going instead. You are abandoning me."

"Do you have a point to make before I go or are you just wasting my time? I'm getting bored," the Yami growled.

"Yes, I do," Ryou replied, letting his voice get louder, more confident, "You'll miss me. You'll never forget me. While you can be miles away from my presence, you're a mirror away from my face, our face and expressions, your face. Have fun repressing."

The Spirit grew instantly angry with the child and rushed at him.

"Shut it!" he roared, knocking the boy down.

Ryou lost his balance at the blow and fell back, his skull knocking the floor with a disturbing clunk. The Spirit did not flinch, just stared down emotionlessly. Quickly he grabbed his suitcase and left the room.

Outside he tossed the bags into the boot of the car violently and slammed it shut.

"Hurry, let's go," he commanded, getting in the passenger side. The boy's father started the care and sped out.


When Ryou came around again he knew the Spirit had been long gone with the boy's father. Malik, obviously as it was now safe, was soon to arrive. He looked at Ryou in shock.

"Ryou, you're bleeding," he informed, seeing brown and rusty red on the usual white.

"Am I?" Ryou asked vaguely.

"Yes, there a cut on your forehead, Einstein," Malik answered, leaving to get a wet towel.

Ryou sat patiently as the other cleaned his forehead. The injury he hadn't been aware of slowly started to throb. He bit his lip and kept quiet until the task was finished.

"Why are you still in town, Ryou?" Malik asked finally done.

"Yami left. He wouldn't listen to me. I'm all alone now."

Malik nodded sadly. He tried half-heartedly to correct the boy's error, "You're not alone, and you have friends in Domino."

"Good for me," Ryou mumbled again. Malik scowled.

"Snap out of it, Ryou. Your yami left and moping around all day isn't going to bring him back."

Ryou nodded, not caring. His eyes watched the floor remotely.

"Ryou, I'm going to slap you if you don't quit it," Malik threatened.

"Quit what?" Ryou asked, looking up quickly.

"Looking at your own world. You need to wake up,"

"Oh yeah, sorry about that Malik," Ryou apologized quietly.

The blonde's expression lit up slightly with a sudden inspiration, "You need something to do Ryou, get your mind off things."


"NO!" Malik corrected, "Play guitar or something."

Ryou shook his head and smirked faintly.

"A parting gift from my Yami: He cut the strings on my acoustic."

"Get new ones then."

Ryou pouted slightly at this, "I don't feel like it."

"I don't care," Malik mocked in the same tone. Ryou frowned at him.

"In fact, Ryou, I'll personally make sure you buy those new strings. You need to get out of your house."

Ryou shook his head as he was unwillingly dragged out the door. The absence of a car in the street only made his heart sink lower. Malik was trying vainly to make him cheer up and it wasn't working. Nothing was working.

"Owe!" Ryou yelped as Malik just jabbed him in the ribs, "What the-?"

"You were spacing out again, Ryou," the blonde haired Egyptian announced, "You aren't allowed to do that."

Ryou frowned. There where lots of things he couldn't do and now they involved thinking as well? He didn't agree with it. He wanted his Yami to come back and chase Malik away for him. It's not that Ryou didn't like the blonde, it was just he tended to be so annoying.

"Malik, I don't want to go."

"I'll use the Millennium Rod," the other threatened.

With a sigh, Ryou trailed behind. He thought of where his Yami must be. Maybe he was on a plane in one of his several flights to reach Romania? The boy didn't know. He didn't want to know. He just hoped the Spirit would miss him; notice he didn't have zero feeling for his hikari.

Ryou believed his Yami loved him and would realize this eventually. His dark was sure to return and not flat out apologize, granted, but maybe make up for his behavior someway.


"You walk so slow, Ryou," Malik admonished, stopping and waiting for his friend to catch up.

With a faint grin, Ryou sped up, causing Malik to smile. No point in upsetting people, right?


Ryou flipped through the pages of his small blue notebook carefully. He reached a clean page and with his pen wrote, simply:


'I can wait. I will wait."

With a sigh he closed the pages and walked to the window, staring down the street.

"Goodnight, Yami," he muttered.

Ore no fuku kuchibue wa wari to akarui uta de

Zen sekai no hitotachi ni sasagerareta noizu

Dare hitori shiru hazu no nai kono merodei ga, omae ni wa kikoeru ka?

Sayonara da

Love me

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Don't ask me what optimism is, I couldn't tell you.

And which song do you want to thank for this update inspiration? Uh, "Love Me?" I think it's by The Hong Kong Knife. Ending song to Yami no Matsuie *grins impishly*. Last lyrics translation:

"The whistle I give is the bright noise / that's dedicated to the people around the world / Can you hear this melody that no one knows? / It's over / Love me" (Note: Dashes are where line ends, not sentence. Yeah, one's cut in half. ^^U)

AN: *grins* Heh, last chapter I can think of. Not what you expected, eh? First it wouldn't update, next I got cold feet, and then I was kicked offline for a week. I'm so very sorry for that. You all must be ticked!

*grins sheepishly and ducks rotten vegetables*

I though so much. I should write a sequel or something.

Thanks to all the reviewers, you people are very encouraging. I didn't get one flame, that was so kind of you guys [ehem, girls]! Wow, this is my most reviewed fic. I'm surprise people read it, and didn't just all review because of my threats! Wow, I remember typing this in my grandparents house during Christmas, and not it's done! You people have been reading this for what, thirty plus weeks? Now it's over (my plot is done).

Arigatou, everyone! You people kept this fic alive for so long. You're amazing!

Bright side: I'm writing Otogi Ryuuji (Duke Devlin) fics now and "Plans" is doing great. If you haven't read "Plans," I suggest you do if you like insane Ryou.

Just saying, you don't have to. I'm not trying to promote my self.

Well, not that much.

Heh, I don't want this to end. The AN's getting so long….

Argh, thank you! I'm stopping now, I hope everyone enjoyed this and don't get too mad at the ending.

Shutting up now.

The End