Notes: As always, the characters aren't mine! The storyline is, tho Many thanx to JP for the idea and all the medical help! The medical methods I used in here are real, so please don't tell me they're not. I have a medical dictionary to refer to! Also, this story carries my usual "this is NOT slash/yaoi" reminder! And a Kleenex warning! WAAAH! I'm sorry about the removal of the song, but with the newly stated policy I had to remove it.
"I can't believe it, Yami!" Bakura cried. "How can you do horrible things like that!" His Yami had once again tried to get rid of Yugi to take possession of his Millennium Puzzle, and once again had failed, but Bakura was still reeling from the whole incident. "Don't you have any kind of conscience at all!"
"What do you think, you foolish, disgustingly innocent boy?" Yami Bakura growled in reply.
"Have you ever cared about anyone other than yourself?" Bakura demanded.
Yami Bakura shoved the normally soft-spoken boy backwards. "Stupid dolt! I don't have to tell you anything." He slapped him across the face. "Ridiculous boy. I must say, I do wish we had never met."
"Be assured, the feeling is mutual!" Bakura replied shakily, backing up slowly and touching his injured cheek. Quite by accident, he knocked the coffee table over, nearly tripping Yami Bakura. The thief backed out of the way angrily, fire in his eyes.
"You dolt! What do you think you're doing!" he growled, grabbing Bakura by the shoulders painfully and shaking him. "You know you don't stand a chance against me!"
"Stop, Yami, please!" Bakura screamed, panic in his eyes. He could see that his Yami's short temper had completely flared up after his failed attempt to get the Millennium Puzzle and that there was no telling what he might wind up doing. "It was an accident!"
He never did know how it happened, exactly . . . One minute he was frantically grappling with his Yami . . . The next his Yami was flying backwards, crashing into the bookcase and slumping to the floor.
Bakura stood still, his eyes wide. Had he done that? He hadn't meant to hurt his Yami; he had only wanted to get away. Of course, his Yami couldn't be seriously injured except by other spirits, but still Bakura was horrified when the thief raised his hand to his head and it came away red with blood. Yami Bakura just stared at his fingers, seeming to not know exactly what to think.
"Oh Yami!" Bakura cried, shaking now. "I'm so sorry. I . . . I didn't mean to, Yami!"
Yami Bakura looked up at him and growled. "Get away from me! I don't want you around. I wish I never had to see you again, you foolish, ridiculous, stupid boy!" He began to curse poor Bakura in Egyptian, and the boy backed up, feeling tears come to his eyes. "Are you deaf!" Yami Bakura screamed now. "I want you out of my sight!"
Without another word, Bakura turned and fled.
Bakura ran for hours, tears streaming down his face. Why did he have to be stuck with the Millennium Ring and the evil spirit inside? He and his friends had tried to get rid of the Ring several times, but it had never worked. He was doomed to deal with his nasty Yami forever.
And it seemed that no matter what happened, no matter how Bakura tried to show kindness to the thief, he continued to treat Bakura as nothing. The only reason he kept Bakura around was because he needed him in order to further his plans of someday conquering the world, Bakura was certain, and if it wasn't for that, the tomb robber wouldn't give a darn if Bakura died.
And his father hardly ever paid him attention anymore. Most of the time he was gone away on trips, and Bakura had to admit that he wondered if his father would even really notice if he was gone. Bakura did have friends who truly cared about him, but he knew that they had gotten into horrid trouble because of his Yami's evil plans more than once. He didn't want to continually have to expose them to the dangers. It would be better for all concerned if he was dead, Bakura decided as tears continued to drip down his face.
He looked around, suddenly realizing that he was nowhere near the city. He was standing in a clearing, with forests on all sides and rain pouring out of the sky. He hadn't even realized it was raining until just now.
"Oh, Yami, why can't you be nice . . . even just once!" Bakura bemoaned aloud. "And oh dear . . . what am I going to do now?" He looked around again. He had ran clear out into the sticks. No one was around for miles.
A loud clap of thunder boomed overhead and he jumped. He was about to make a run for it when a searing pain exploded through his body and he screamed pitifully before collapsing lifeless to the ground. I am going to die, he thought blearily as the darkness closed in.
Yami Bakura pressed his fingers against the cut to see how bad it was. He was used to blood by now, but he was quite perturbed that he had been the victim this time. It was only a very minor wound, he determined shortly, and the bleeding had already stopped. He leaned under the faucet in the kitchen sink, washing the blood out of his hair and muttering angry things about Bakura. He despised that boy, always interfering with his plans! Why couldn't it have been someone else who came into possession of the Ring? Someone less annoying and more willing to do what Yami Bakura wished?
But such was life, and Yami Bakura knew he couldn't change things. He would be stuck with Bakura forevermore. He straightened up and looked around for a towel to dry his hair.
Suddenly the ancient thief started, a terrible cry of agony echoing through his mind. He doubled over, feeling a prick of the pain that Bakura had just endured. "Stupid mortal!" the thief gasped when the pain passed. "Now he's gone and gotten himself into some absurd predicament!"
Feeling angry and irritated, Yami Bakura turned and headed out the door, forgetting about his wet hair as he was quickly becoming completely drenched from the steady rain outside. He had to find the fool before it was too late . . . but where was he! Drat it all!
"Ring, where is he!" he demanded. The Millennium Ring glowed and the spindles pointed ahead, leading out of town. Yami Bakura's eyes narrowed in frustration. "He left town?" he muttered. "And on foot! Where would he be!" One thing he would make certain of—Bakura would be sorry when the thief caught up to him.
It was ages before he ever found Bakura. The Millennium Ring eventually led him out to the abandoned field and the tomb raider looked around, pushing his wet bangs out of his eyes. "Bakura! You dolt, where are you!" he yelled, walking ahead.
Suddenly he saw what looked like a body laying in the tall grass and his blood ran cold. "Bakura?" he ventured, forgetting all about his anger and kneeling next to the prone form. It was Bakura, and, much to Yami Bakura's horror, the boy was completely quiet and motionless. Both Bakura's sweater and shirt were torn, revealing an unknown but painful-looking mark on his back. The thief could see no breath or life in the boy's body whatsoever, and that quite worried him.
Being more gentle than he had ever remembered being before, Yami Bakura turned the motionless boy to face him and then carefully pulled him up into his arms. Bakura was so still . . . so lifeless. . . . Why, he looked almost . . .
"No, Bakura, no! You dolt, you can't go and die on me now!" Yami Bakura yelled, and it suddenly dawned on him that he was genuinely concerned about the boy, and not because he needed him in order for his plans to conquer the world to succeed. He growled at the realization that he had a soft spot for the dolt. He knew he'd have to do something . . . and fast.
Thunder boomed overhead and Yami Bakura gasped, suddenly realizing what must have happened to the unfortunate boy. Struck by lightning—how absurd! He looked around for somewhere he could take Bakura and saw the forests. He quickly scanned Bakura with the Millennium Ring for spinal injuries and was relieved to find none. A bolt of lightning touched down several yards away and Yami Bakura knew he didn't have a moment to lose. Without another thought, he stood up with Bakura in his arms and carried him quickly into the thick forest just ahead.
"Foolish imbecile," the ancient tomb raider muttered once they were deeply among the closely-knit trees. He gently laid Bakura down on the ground and again looked into his pale face. "Breathe, you dolt, breathe!" he yelled, close to panic. He realized that he had absolutely no clue on how to perform artificial respiration. The only thing he knew was an older method that for all he knew wasn't even used anymore, but it would have to do for now.
He grabbed the boy's limp arms, crossed them at the wrists, and brought them down hard on Bakura's chest. Then he jerked them up, out, and over the boy's head. Was that correct? The thief didn't know, but he had to try something, and that was all he could remember. He had no idea how that would even help, and indeed, it certainly didn't seem to. Bakura remained quiet and unresponsive.
The only other thing Yami Bakura could remember was a method that involved pressing on the boy's chest, but that didn't seem to work either.
After the thief had been trying for what seemed like ages with no results, he grabbed the boy's body and shook him fiercely. "Idiot! Breathe! Just breathe, for pity's sake!" he screamed, but to no avail.
He took the boy's lifeless body into his arms, shaking his head in denial. "No, Bakura, no . . ." He felt a tear run down his face. Had he ever cried before? He couldn't remember, but he was crying now. "Bakura, you fool," he muttered, cursing in Egyptian. "I don't want you to die! Don't you understand that!" He paused. "It's not because I need you in order to eventually conquer the world," he growled, but then didn't know how to explain.
Bakura still lay motionless, his flesh deathly pale. The boy had been the only one who had ever shown kindness to Yami Bakura, but the thief had never quite known what to think about that and had always treated Bakura harshly. It was a strange, foreign experience for Yami Bakura—to have someone care about him. He had never wasted his time caring about anyone else before. He had always been too busy planning how he would take over the world. But, he realized now, he had come to care about Bakura—as a brother and as a friend. And now Bakura was dead—dead because Yami Bakura had screamed at him and kicked him out of the house.
Yami Bakura was so caught up in his angst that he didn't notice at first the slight movement of Bakura's hand. The boy was struggling to return to life and had been ever since he realized that Yami Bakura was trying to revive him. Somehow he sensed the tomb raider's feelings. He sensed what the thief was not saying and he felt bowled over at the realization that Yami Bakura did care about him. But what Bakura didn't know now was if he'd able to survive. He let out a low moan from the pain, and Yami Bakura suddenly snapped to attention.
"Bakura!" he said in disbelief. "You're . . . you're alive!"
Bakura involuntarily shuddered from the cold and started to go completely limp again. He didn't see how he could hang on, not after the way he'd been injured.
Yami Bakura, however, would have none of that. "Bakura, you fool! You're not going to die now! Do you hear me! You're not!" He shook the boy roughly.
Bakura moaned again, not liking being jerked around. He didn't have the strength to speak; he wasn't even fully conscious. The only thing he was really capable of doing was trying to send his Yami a message through their mental link. Yami . . . I'll . . . I'll try . . . my best. . . . Then the pain shot through him again and he could attempt a reply no more as he passed back into the darkness.
Yami Bakura was alarmed when Bakura again went limp, but he quickly realized that the boy was still clinging to life. He had to get him away from here . . . immediately.
Quickly the thief stood up, holding Bakura's body close to his chest. He looked around wildly for a place he could go to escape the rain and found none. "Ring, point me in the direction of shelter," he ordered, and the Millennium Ring's spindles glowed and pointed to the right. Yami Bakura dashed through the trees as fast as he could, knowing that time was of the utmost importance. "Hang on, you dolt," he muttered.
It seemed to take ages, but at last Yami Bakura found a cabin nestled among the closely-knit trees and went to the door. It didn't matter to him if anyone was inside and he disturbed them by suddenly breaking the door in; all he cared about was making certain that Bakura would be alright.
When he got into the cabin, he discovered that no one was occupying it—but that was fine with him. It was nicely furnished and modern with two floors, and Yami Bakura carried Bakura's body up the stairs and into one of the bedrooms. Gently he laid the boy on the bed and began to remove his wet clothes. "Foolish mortal," he muttered, leaving Bakura's things on a chair to dry out.
Now he turned to examine the burn mark. Yami Bakura did know how to treat burns, and after finding a first aid kit in the bathroom he was able to bathe and bandage it. Bakura moaned once or twice, but really seemed to be mostly out of it.
Next he needed to get the boy warmed up. Bakura had been laying out in the cold rain for heaven knows how long, and the dolt was shivering and shaking, Yami Bakura observed.
After rooting through the drawers of a bureau, Yami Bakura found a pair of pajamas that looked like they would fit Bakura and wrestled them onto the boy's shuddering body. "You fool," he growled, pulling the quilt up around Bakura's shoulders, "look at all the trouble you've gotten into! Now you'll probably go catch a cold on top of everything else!"
Yami Bakura turned to the fireplace and discovered some logs already there. Before long he had a fire started and went to sit next to the bed.
Of course he found it a bit strange that the cabin was set up with all these things. He supposed that the people who stayed here would be returning shortly. But no matter. He would stay until Bakura was well enough to travel . . . if that ever happened.
Bakura felt cold . . . extremely cold. And when he looked around him, he saw why. There was snow surrounding him at every turn, and when he tried to get up and walk, he fell through the thin ice underneath it.
He screamed and sputtered, splashing frantically in the water and pleading for someone to come rescue him. He went under once, the water rushing into his lungs before he could prevent it. With a gasp, he broke the surface and spotted his Yami standing on the bank. "Yami!" he cried. "Please . . . please help me!"
Yami Bakura regarded him coldly. "I have never helped anyone besides myself before," he replied, making no move to rescue the boy. "Why should I start now?"
Bakura went under the second time and again came up, frantically trying to grab hold of the ice. It crumbled in his hands and he splashed wildly, trying to swim but being unable to.
Yami Bakura only observed his struggle, shaking his head. "Foolish mortal."
Bakura went under the third time, and the darkness closed in.
Yami Bakura watched Bakura with increasing alarm. The boy was thrashing around in agony, screaming and crying out as he'd never heard a mortal do before. "Bakura! You fool—settle down! You'll only make the wound worse if you continue to go through such antics!" He tried to restrain him, but in vain. In the boy's delirious state he shoved the thief against the wall, and Yami Bakura cursed in his ancient tongue.
"Yami!" Bakura wailed. "Please . . . please help me!"
"What do you think I'm trying to do!" Yami Bakura responded grouchily, but he knew Bakura was delirious and completely unaware of what was happening. The tomb raider didn't know what to do, but he did know that Bakura was very sick. Not only had the boy been struck by lightning, but he'd apparently been laying out in the pouring rain so long that he'd come down with something else—just as Yami Bakura had feared.
Now Bakura lay still again, but he was moaning softly and said weakly, "Why wouldn't you help me, Yami? Why did you just let me drown?"
Yami Bakura was taken aback. "You weren't drowning, you dolt!" he growled at last, laying a hand on Bakura's forehead. The boy was burning up with a fever. "Of all the absurd . . ." Yami Bakura disappeared into the bathroom and returned with a damp cloth, which he gently sponged across the boy's face. First he was chilled and now he had a high temperature. It was going to be a long night.
Bakura screamed in pain. He had been dropped into a fiery building, and the flames were everywhere—burning him, scorching him. . . .
He stumbled through the debris, trying to find his way out, but everywhere he turned there were more flames. There was no escape.
Frantically he ran down a hallway, only to have cinders flung into his eyes and blind him. He dropped to the ground in horror, pain shooting through his eyes. "I can't see!" he screamed in agony. "Please . . . help me!" The flames lapped at him and he struggled to inch forward, feeling with his hands, but it was no use.
Yami Bakura was very panicked by now. He had been up with Bakura all night, and he no idea how to help the boy at all. His fever didn't seem to be going down—if anything, it was going up.
And the boy's frantic cries were piercing through what was left of the thief's heart. He hadn't heard anyone scream so pitifully—and certainly never anyone so young as Bakura.
"I can't see!" Bakura cried in terror. His brown eyes were wide open, but he was obviously still not 'there.'
"Fool! It's not real!" Yami Bakura said in exasperation. He didn't know how to deal with this. "Wake up, Bakura!" He grabbed the boy's shoulder forcefully.
"Let me go! Let me go!" Bakura screamed, jerking away. In his tortured mind he was being attacked by a legion of demons in his fire prison. "Please! I have done nothing wrong!" A tear fell from his eye and trickled down his face.
Yami Bakura was at a loss for words. "No, Bakura," he said at last, "no, you haven't. You would not even hurt your worst enemy if you could at all help it."
Bakura was running down a hallway coated red with blood. It was everywhere. He couldn't escape it. The sight sickened and repulsed him, but there was nothing he could do about it. If he closed his eyes the blood would start to drip down over him, so he had to continue running frantically ahead, trying to ignore the walls.
But there seemed to be no end to this long tunnel. It wound on and on, and the deeper he went into it, the more blood he found.
Then he came to a dead-end and the blood began to wash over him.
"No! Stop!" he screamed in vain. "Help! Someone please help me!"
There was nothing he could do to stop it.
Yami Bakura watched helplessly as Bakura struggled and screamed.
"It's everywhere!" he wailed. "I can't escape from it!"
"Bakura! It's an illusion!" Yami Bakura said harshly, feeling a strong sense of panic. "It's not real!"
Bakura didn't seem to hear. Suddenly he stopped his wild thrashing and lay on the bed, breathing heavily. "This is it, then," he said softly. "I am dying."
"You fool! You are not dying!" Yami Bakura protested, but he knew with a sinking heart that the boy definitely might be. He had tried his best to save him, but maybe his best hadn't been good enough.
"I . . . I wonder where I shall go," Bakura said, barely above a whisper.
"You'll go nowhere, you dolt," Yami Bakura shot back. "You're staying here!"
Bakura's eyes closed tiredly and his head turned to one side. Again there was no breath or heartbeat in his body. Again there was no life.
Yami Bakura was aghast. "No, Bakura! . . . No!" He gathered the innocent boy's body into his arms and held him in shock. He had thought Bakura would survive after he had got him to the cabin. But Bakura had died anyway, and if it wasn't for Yami Bakura, he would still be alive.
Bakura was free of the pain now, and his mind was clear, but he felt an unexplainable sadness as he hovered in this strange, yet beautiful, meadow. It seemed unearthly somehow, and Bakura wondered exactly what he was supposed to do or where he was supposed to go. "Hello?" he called softly, looking around. "Is . . . is anyone here?"
He heard the sweet voice and knew it in an instant. "Mother?" he cried happily. His beloved mother had died when he was only five years old, and he had missed her so much. Now here she was again, standing before him—as beautiful and kind as he had always remembered, but now even more so. Her long silvery hair, so like Bakura's own, framed her heart-shaped face. Her soft green eyes were bright and dancing as they had always been.
She took the boy into her arms, holding him close. "Oh Bakura," she whispered. "My precious son. . . ."
Bakura felt the warm touch of his mother's soft hands against his back and on his head. "Mother," he said softly, "I've missed you so much!"
"I have always been with you, my dear," she told him gently. "I have been with you through everything."
Bakura looked up into her deep green eyes. "Oh Mother, can I stay here with you?" he asked pleadingly.
His mother tenderly brushed the long bangs out of his eyes as she had often done when he was younger. "I wish you could, my love," she said, blinking away what seemed to be tears in her eyes. "But it is not your time to leave the earth behind."
"But there is nothing for me there!" Bakura protested. "Mother, I don't want to go back! I want to stay here with you!" Tears spilled down his cheeks. "I want to be where I know I'm loved," he said softly.
His mother held him close again. "But you are loved, my dear," she said softly. "Wherever you go, you are loved. God loves you. Your father and I love you. Your friends love you. And . . ." She paused. "Even the spirit from your Ring does as well," she finished softly. "You are the only one who has ever shown him kindness for five thousand years," she told him, "and it has not gone unnoticed by him."
Bakura suddenly remembered how Yami Bakura had so frantically tried to revive him after the lightning strike. "I don't want you to die," he had said. "It's not because I need you in order to conquer the world." The thief hadn't finished the sentence, but Bakura had sensed his Yami's true feelings. Bakura was a friend to Yami Bakura, and the tomb robber didn't want to lose him.
"My love, you have a special mission in life," his mother said now, stroking his hair gently.
"I do?" Bakura looked up in awe.
His mother smiled and nodded. "Each of us has something we were placed on the earth to complete," she explained. "My mission on earth is finished, but yours is not, my son. You have touched so many lives with your sweet and kind ways, and there are so many more who need to meet you, so many more who need your unconditional love." She paused. "Including your father," she said softly.
"But he's never around anymore," Bakura said sadly.
"He is full of much pain, my son," his mother replied. "He travels to try to relieve the hurt. But all the traveling in the world will never ease his aching heart. But you, with your kind example, can help him overcome the pain."
Bakura was silent, considering this. He looked up at his mother and she gazed back at him, smiling lovingly as only a mother can.
"Oh Bakura," she said quietly, "if only you could see how special you are to so many!" She brushed aside the stray locks that had fallen across his cheeks.
Bakura finally made his decision. "I will go back, Mother," he said at last.
His mother smiled. "I knew you would, my darling."
Bakura looked up at her again, his brown eyes shining. "I only wish I could still be with you somehow. . . . I have been so lonely without you, Mother!"
"I am always with you," she replied, kissing her son on his forehead. "I love you, my sweet Bakura."
"I love you, too, Mother," Bakura whispered.
Yami Bakura laid Bakura's body back on the bed and sighed in defeat. This was it, then. Bakura was dead. He had tried to save him, but the boy had died anyway. It was foolish of him to start caring about someone. He never had before. What good did it do? He had always looked out for himself only, and that seemed again like the best policy. "Foolish mortals," he muttered. "You are all pathetic creatures, and someday I will rule over every last one of you!" He clenched his hands angrily, staring out the window at the rain.
He hated himself right now. It was his fault that Bakura was dead, but he knew he had to put that behind him. All he should concern himself with was his ultimate goal—to conquer the world.
A soft voice interrupted his inner turmoil. "Yami?"
Yami Bakura turned back in shock. Bakura was still pale and weak, but his eyes were open. He was alive after all! "Bakura!" he gasped, coming back over. "But . . . how?"
Bakura smiled weakly. "I . . . I said I would try my best, Yami," he replied. "It wasn't my time to die."
Yami Bakura was speechless. Bakura was alive! He was alive! The thief couldn't explain his feelings at the moment, but he was relieved . . . grateful . . . even elated. He sat down in the chair next to the bed and gave the boy a searching look. "How are you feeling?" he asked gruffly.
Bakura was actually in quite a bit of pain, but he only shook his head and smiled in his sweet way. "I am alright, Yami," he said.
Yami Bakura wasn't fooled. "You dolt. You got struck by lightning, caught a chill, went into delirium, nearly died twice in the night, and you are 'alright'?" He pulled the quilt up around the boy's shoulders. "Get some rest."
Bakura had to chuckle, but he was very exhausted, and he was grateful for the chance to drift off to sleep. "Yami?" he said quietly.
"What?" Yami Bakura sounded irritated, but Bakura knew he wasn't.
"You saved my life," Bakura stated in that same soft voice. "I . . . I know you've been caring for me, trying to restore me to good health. And . . . I thank you, Yami."
Yami Bakura grunted. "I couldn't have you dying on me. Now go to sleep." He clicked off the light.
"Good night, Yami," Bakura said softly.
There was a long silence. "Go to sleep, Bakura," the thief said at last.
Bakura smiled and closed his eyes, saying a thankful prayer in his heart that he was loved and that there were those who would miss him if he was gone.