Silvara ~ Okay, I've had this lying around on my computer for a while, so I thought I'd send it out and see how it does. Blame my Malik muse for this, who's currently laughing at me, the evil little bastard. (And, btw, thanks to everyone who read Slave, and I swear I'm getting to the sequel!)

Warnings: Bloody, a little violent, possibly vaguely disturbing, chock full of symbolism, and the tiniest bit of yaoi (depending on your viewpoint, really… It wasn't meant to be when I started, but a certain area can be construed as such)

Disclaimers: I don't own YuGiOh! If I did, there'd be yaoi hints between every possible pairing of guys for the fangirls to play with ^_^

Whispers in the Darkness

I tip my head back and pour the liquid into my mouth, forcing myself to swallow. It burns down my throat, settling warmly in the pit of my stomach, and I throw the fragile glass to the side, disgusted. I ignore the shattering sound as it hits the wall as I pick up the bottle of alcohol to put it away.

It continually strikes me as odd that Father kept his alcohol in a cabinet with poison, and sometimes I wonder what it would be like if I accidentally took the poison instead.

It's not like anyone would care.

Fuck, I don't even like alcohol.

The label on the container of aspirin says it's 'fast acting' and it better be, or there will be hell to pay. I flop down in a chair and rub my aching head. Perhaps downing half of the aspirin in the bottle with vodka wasn't the best idea, but I don't really care. My head hurts, and my stomach's churning around nauseously. My chest feels like it's about to burst; there's an inferno blazing from my mouth down my throat, and I just want to sink into the blissful oblivion that occasionally overtakes me.

Isis and Rishid look at me with pity in their eyes sometimes, and I think that they think I'm crazy.

I'm not though. Not really.

They just don't see it's all the Pharaoh's fault. The blood runs in rivers and rushes down in waterfalls; it forms pools of black that I drown in, that make me deaf and blind and choke me. They're his, all his doing, but Isis and Rishid just don't see that.

Sometimes I draw pictures with it on the walls trying to show them, but I still don't think they understand.

They're rather slow, aren't they?

He wanted this, he did. It's because of him that Father hurt Rishid and that Father died; I know it is. I don't remember Father dying; one minute I was watching him slowly kill Rishid, then the next I was cradling his broken, bloodied corpse in my arms. But I know that it was all because of him.

I can't remember crying.

I wanted to so much.

I don't think I did.

I always tried so hard to please Father, to be worthy of his love and understand why he needed to do what he did to me. And now I won't get the chance to ever be enough, because the Pharaoh took that away from me. He'll pay for that, though; he'll fucking pay for every torture I've ever endured for his sake.

Sometimes I think things like that, things I don't like, and it scares me a bit.

There's a sharp pain, and I look down in surprise. The dagger is unsheathed from the Sennen Rod, stabbing through the heart of the teddy bear sitting on the chair with me. I put it away and toss the bear to the side, watching in fascination as my pants slowly stain a dark crimson.

Father gave me that teddy on my fifth birthday. He never did give me anything quite like that again, only books and clothes and things I would need to learn.

I hate the Sennen Rod.

Well, at least I think I do. I want to throw it away and never think of it again, but part of me wants to never let it go. It's disgusting, damn it, to want it like I do, yet hate it twice as much. It scares me; it just feels wrong whenever I pick it up, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it.

I curl up in the chair and clutch my stomach, because it feels like I'm going to vomit. My vision blurs and darkens as I shift uncomfortably, and a hateful voice whispers seductive murmurs in my ear. It's soft- I can barely hear it- but it feels like a violent, violating caress; it tries to fool me, but I can hear the malice in it as it feeds me honeyed poison.

Isis and Rishid can't hear it, but I can.

It's always there, all around me. It wants things and says things that make me want to throw up, but there's always a distant ache, a longing that answers it. I can't stand it, and the thoughts bounce painfully around my head until I succumb to it, all the violence and anger and blood, and I drop down into the black void that I like so very much.

When I was small, I used to be afraid of the night, of the darkness.

Now, it's comfortingly familiar, and I can't imagine why I was ever afraid of it in the first place.

I start walking aimlessly in that wonderfully dark place, feeling the sand shift beneath my feet, because there isn't much else to do. I can't see, because it's pitch black. I can only feel the tiny grains of sand rolling under and over my feet and the cool breeze that steadily blows against my bare arms and legs. My body starts to numb quickly, and soon I can't even feel that. It's nice, really it is, because everything inside numbs too in a brief respite from all the thoughts and feelings constantly tumbling around in me.

My head is heavy, and all I really want is to sleep, I think. I can't, though, because then I'll fall into the Pharaoh's trap. It's what he wants; for me to let my guard down so he can try to drown me again. The liquid is always thick and warm, and choking doesn't provide me with that blissful oblivion that wandering here does. It just makes the ache in my head more acute until I can't feel anything but that, and I have to do something to get rid of it.

I wonder how many people he drained to get all that blood.

The darkness around me shifts slightly, revealing the many dunes and crests of the waves of sand in a colorless landscape. Something else is here, I know there is, so I look down. It's a fox, small and sleek with fur that's muted in color by the graying darkness; it rubs its lithe body against one of my legs and looks up at me with large eyes.

I can't feel its fur against my leg, but I'd bet it's very soft; it looks very soft.

Once, before father died, I had a dream of a crow. I don't know how I knew what it was, but I did. It landed on the head of an ape, and I could see the large black clouds building on the horizon, crackling with lightening. I didn't like the animals; they bothered me for some reason. I don't know what happened after that, but I do remember shooting them with a gun and being vaguely annoyed when nothing happened.

The fox trots off back the way I think I came, then stops and looks at me. I follow it, because it seems that's what it wants, and we set off in a companionable sort of silence. It feels familiar somehow, like I've seen this fox before or there's something I should know about it, and it's disconcerting. I don't like it, but it looks at me again and even that brief thought freezes under the numbing cold.

The ground is getting harder, and my gaze drifts downward. The sand is becoming more compact, giving way to solid ground. I wonder how far the darkness above me stretches? Does it continue on to infinity, stretch out into oblivion like I imagine it does? I never knew silence could be so loud, but it rings deafeningly in my head and mingles with the numbness.

There's a sharp pricking in my foot, a fleeting pain and feeling of surprise that bleeds away, swallowed by this place that I'm in just as quickly as it comes. There's no more sand; it's gone. I can't see any behind me, in front of me, or to either side. I stumble slightly as I walk because the floor crunches and crumbles under my feet as I move.

Briefly I register that I'm by myself again, but I can't be bothered to dwell on that and just continue wandering in the direction I'm already walking in. The shapes that make up the floor are all hollow, piled onto each other to make something solid enough to walk on and forming tiny peaks in places. I can't tell what it is, just that it's smooth and light and brightly colored in places.

As I pass one of the delicate miniature mountains, the top of it tumbles down the side and rolls to a stop in front of me. I gaze back blankly at the decapitated porcelain head, watching the one eye, a bright lavender in contrast to the gray all around me, as it moves up and down, blinking lazily.

I wonder where all the blood leaking out of it came from?

The darkened pool creeps slowly toward me to merge with the one surrounding my feet, and I'm very suddenly aware of the pain as the sharp edges dig into my feet. It feels rather nice though, the pain, and I think I like it very much. I bend to gather some of the liquid on my finger, drawing an idle path across the smooth white surfaces to join the two.

Just before I reach the bright eye to smear out the color, though, it cracks, then shatters as the blood comes gushing forth from it. Everything is covered in it, such a pretty, pretty shade really that's as vibrant a color as the eye, and there's nothing beneath my feet anymore.

Thick, warm liquid pours down my throat, tangy and coppery and rather nice overall, and fills me. An ache starts at the back of my head, spreading until it's a pounding between my temples, and my body is heavy, weighed down by the fluid slowly pouring into every space, into my lungs, my stomach, through my veins and muscles and bones. The lovely, numbing cold is burned away, and I wish for it back as everything I feel rushes upon me at once even as I welcome the pain.

I can't hear, and my vision is blinded by a dark, vivid red, but everything I feel is made just that much more acute in contrast to the lack of sight and sound. I burn everywhere, from the inside out, and I can't breathe at all. The pounding in my head increases to a raw, agonizing pain, and it hurts, gods it HURTS! FUCK! STOP IT! STOP IT! MAKE IT GO AWAY! STOPSTOPSTOPSTOP…

I gasp for breath, taking it in with huge gulps, and ignore the strain in my arms because I can breathe again! The pain in my head is gone, and everything quiets until I'm almost detached from myself. Every sensation- the twisting of my body, the sharp twinge in my arms, the cold metal against bare skin- is acutely clear, but my mind feels disconnected from all that.

I wonder how I fit through the bars to get into the room?

It reminds me of a cage the way it's built, and the delicate links of my chains are made of gold. I don't know how it is able to hold me up, and it bites into my skin as it strains with the effort. The bars in front of me melt away into a curtain, a velvety black night strung through with blood, and I watch for the strands to part, for someone to come in.

"Looking for me?"

It's that voice again, whispering into my ear, and I turn and twist uncomfortably to try to see the body I can feel pressed up behind me. I feel the shifting of the thin cloth that separates me from those hardened muscles, and suddenly I realize I'm very, very naked.

"Malik, Malik… Don't you know who I am?"

No, and I don't care to, either. I don't like you, don't want you… Just go away…

"I can help you get out…"

Not again; stop it… I don't believe you; just go away. You lie to me. I don't like the things you want me to do. Why do you always want me to do them? All I ever wanted was a hug…

"And why shouldn't you believe me? Why should I lie to you? Malik, I am you."

Stop it… No, I don't want to hear it. How can you be me? I've never wanted any of the things you want…

"Haven't you?"

No, no I haven't… Something warm oozes down my back, over my scars, and fingers gently start to trace them.

"Haven't you?"

Just once or twice really, but it was always a fleeting dream.

"I can make it a reality."

The fingers run up and down my spine, and I shiver. There's something I should remember; I didn't want this, but I can't recall why. There was a reason, I know there was, but I can't grasp at it. It burns away and fades into the darkness. A pressure starts to build up in my head; it doesn't hurt, but it overshadows everything else.

Oh well, why shouldn't I want this? The fingers trace over my arms, across the chains, and I can't feel the pain from them anymore.

Did I really come through that tiny opening in the bars, or have I always been here all along?

"Yes… Do you know who put you here?"

Put me here? I've been here all along; why would I need anyone to put me here? I'm sure I've never been to the outside… These chains are mine, and they've always held me here, haven't they? The pressure in my head increases, and it's starting to become hard to think.

"They're not yours. They're the Pharaoh's… He made them for you."

They're really quite uncomfortable, and I can't move to see whoever's behind me. Hands start running down my chest and over my stomach, and I struggle to stop them. I can't move, though; the chains hold me tight and cut into me so I can feel them again.

"He put you here… It's all his fault. If you wish to get out…"

Get out? Yes, oh yes please! I hate this; I hate it! I'll do anything to get out please… The hands continue lower, running over my hips and the tops of my thighs.

"Then kill him."

…Kill him? But… all that blood. It'll be mine then, and I'll be no better than him…

"Kill the Pharaoh."

Kill the… Pharaoh… Kill him. A double surge of hate runs through me, one that's my own and another separate and yet the same. The pressure in my head explodes, and something terrible fills my mind. Oh yes, kill him! Kill him! I hate the Pharaoh for what he's done, and I want him dead!

"Kill him and free yourself from these chains… I will help you."

You… will help me? Something rises in me, fights against the voice and the hands, tries to warn me of false promises, but the grip on me tightens and it slips away again, leaving only one word to answer with.


Something… The presence in the back of my mind is overpowering; it overshadows my own, fills it with something else. It makes me feel sleepy and lazy, and I just want to lay on this bed forever. Sharp pain alternates with searing pleasure, and my mind whirs with possibilities. To be free of these chains that bind me… to kill the Pharaoh… to get my revenge…

My body convulses; it aches for something and burns, and I cry out for it.

"Yes, free yourself and kill the Pharaoh, get your revenge… Take it out on all those that hurt you."

Anger and longing build up in me, and warm liquid flows over my fingers and drips down my hands. I drag my nails down, feeling the soft, wet warmth, the sticky pulp beneath them. Something nibbles at the back of my mind, the perfect way to hurt them all back, but I can't find it right now.

"Take control… Own them all and rule in the darkness."

Yes, it's such a nice darkness, isn't it? Nobody around if you don't want them, nothing to feel if you don't want to… Why can't I go back to that? I'll drag them all down with me and stay there always, except when I come to this place.

"You like it here?" There's a dark sort of amusement that I don't like in the voice…

No… no I don't. I hate it here, I hate it… I hate you too. More wet warmth gushes under my fingers, and something even bigger builds behind it.

"I hate you too."

Pain explodes within me, followed quickly by an overwhelming pleasure. The two mingle together, and I can't tell them apart. All I know is something coppery is trickling over my dry lips and down my throat, and I lick greedily at it.

The God cards.

My limbs are heavy, and the chains are still there cutting into me. I can't feel the body anymore, so hard and cold against my own, and I lift my eyelids, straining to see in the dark. Large eyes, a striking shade of purple, but dull with no depth, fill my vision before I plunge back into the sea of blood.

My eyes snap open, and I roll off the chair, choking and sputtering. The blood is gone, but my body still aches, and I can still feel the thin chains biting into me. I grab the edge of a table and drag myself up, stumbling out of the room and down the hallway.

I need a shower.

I feel… dirty and angry. I think the clock on the wall is wrong, because I look at the time as I pass it, and it's three hours earlier than when I had first entered Father's study. Whatever happened in there… The things I saw or dreamt or did… It all fades into a blank spot, one of the many that clouds my memory, but there's something powerful in the back of my mind, wrapped around it, and it frightens me a bit.

I turn on the water as hot as it can go and soap up the washcloth. It's one big ball of white bubbles before I stop, and I start scrubbing my reddened skin. The God cards…

Isis buried them for some man… I don't remember who. But they were powerful cards; I do know that. Stronger even than the legendary Blue Eyes White Dragon cards and twice as dangerous. I could… I could use them.

For what?

The presence tugs at the back of my mind, and a surge of hate rises within me.

To kill the Pharaoh.

Yes, I'll kill the Pharaoh. Kill him for what he's done and to free myself of the chains that bind me, that bite into my skin and tear it up.

The grip on my mind tightens.

Then, I'll drag everyone down with me. I'll drown the world in the darkness and show them that there really isn't anything to fear from it.

The only thing they should fear is me.

I watch as the red water spirals down the drain and drop the washcloth, turning off the shower as I get out. My skin feels taut and sticky, and I still feel disgustingly dirty. Anxiety rises within me, and I drop the red towel on the ceramic tile floor, walking out of the bathroom naked.

Since when have we had red towels?

Isis is leaving tomorrow to do something; I don't remember what, but I can use the opportunity to leave. She watches over me so closely, worried about me for some reason, and tries to tell me things sometimes that don't make sense. I think she's going to be gone for a while, so I can use the time to find the map with the locations of where she buried the God cards marked in a red X so she wouldn't forget. Then, I'll go dig them up and take them.

My fingers burn as I use them to snuff out the lit match, but it's only a small pain, really quite pleasant. Smoke clouds my vision and fills my lungs as I inhale it. Isis always disapproved of what she deemed a "bad habit", but this is my room and I'll do whatever I damn well please in it. She has no right to come in here and nag me about it anyway; it always annoys me when she does, and I don't think I could sit here and take it if she did again.

My grip on the Sennen Rod tightens, and hazy, red-tinted pictures rise to the forefront of my mind.

I recline lazily on my bed and continue inhaling the smoky air, soothing my nerves and dulling my senses. Even the shadow in the back of mind seems blurrier now, not as vivid or connected or frightening. It's not as nice as living in the darkness, as wandering that blank void, but it'll have to do.

I hear my name being called and turn my head to see Rishid standing in the open doorway. His words flow in and out of my ears, but I can't understand them. It's just noise, some gibbering nonsense that he made up. I run my finger along the cool metal blade that's inside my Sennen Rod, and Rishid freezes.

He ceases to spout his nonsensical noise and stands there with a frozen, somewhat horrified look on his face. Vaguely, I can feel a prick in my finger and watch as pretty, pretty red blood swells and drips and slowly runs down my hand and dagger. It doesn't hurt though; it tickles, and the chains tighten around me as my body convulses.

I hit the ground and roll over to find Rishid's worried eyes looking into mine, and I wave the Sennen Rod at him to show him the pretty colors. He makes that face again- it's quite an amusing one, his eyes all wide and face stiff with shock- and I can't help the shaking and convulsing that wracks my body.

Don't worry Rishid; it'll be all right. We'll break these chains off of me and rule together in the darkness, and you'll be there with Isis too. We'll get our revenge on the Pharaoh and free ourselves from our bondage, because really we're both bound together, don't you know? It's okay if you can't see it or hear it; we can, and we'll do it.

A howling, maniacal laughter echoes across my mind in answer to my own, and the darkness streaks across my vision in alternating bands of clear colors and black night.

Don't worry Rishid, because tomorrow… Tomorrow I'll start my plan. Tomorrow I'll search for the God cards, and then…

And then the Pharaoh will die.

Silvara ~ Please, review and tell me what you think! Reviews inspire me to keep writing. ^_^ (Er, and just incase you didn't get it, Malik was wrong and not the clock. He'd been passed out for nearly a day.)