Yu-Gi-Oh!
Under Heaven's Eyes
By Lucky_Ladybug


Notes: You know the drill by now, right? XD The story is mine, the characters are not! ^_~ Oh, and Kleenex will probably be needed. Yes.



Bakura slowly finished adding his name to the letter and then folded the sheet of paper up with care, a sad and faraway look in his eyes. "Well, Amane, it's been another year," he said softly.

Yami Bakura, who was sitting at the other side of the table drinking chocolate milk, gave him a strange look. "What in Heaven's name are you babbling about?" he demanded.

Bakura started and blinked, apparently having forgotten that the ancient spirit was watching him. "Oh . . . I . . . I was thinking about Amane," he said quietly, placing the letter in an envelope.

Yami Bakura didn't look any less confused. He had no idea who the heck Amane was, but he wasn't interested enough to press the matter further. He shrugged and turned away, then stood up and headed over to raid the fridge.

Bakura stood up as well, but he turned to head in a different direction. "I have to be going now, Yami," he said, walking to the door.

Yami Bakura blinked. "You'll be the first person at the school," he muttered, looking at the clock.

"Oh . . . there's somewhere else I must visit first, Yami," Bakura replied softly, going out the door before the old thief could make a reply.

Yami Bakura pulled the meat off a cold piece of chicken, looking thoughtful and annoyed. Ordinarily he wouldn't think anything of any of this, but Bakura had become increasingly sad over the past few days and he seemed especially gloomy today. Since Yami Bakura didn't want the boy to go do something foolish, he decided to follow him and see what in Heaven's name he was up to.
****
Eventually he tracked Bakura clear out to the edge of town, to the hill where the Domino City Cemetery was.

"The cemetery?" the thief muttered as Bakura slowly walked through the gate, seemingly mindless of the pouring rain. "Perhaps he is here to visit his mother's grave." But that didn't exactly make sense either, if Bakura's visit had something to do with the name he had uttered earlier. After all, he wouldn't have been calling his mother by her given name.

Stealthily Yami Bakura crept forward, keeping hidden behind the monuments, until he was right behind where Bakura was.

The boy, quite unaware of the tomb robber's presence, was kneeling next to a headstone that was adorned with a lamb at the top. He didn't care that he was being drenched by the rain as he gently caressed the marble animal and spoke softly.

"You always did love lambs, Amane," he whispered. "I never have forgotten all the things we did together. You were always my special friend." He reached up to brush aside the tears. "I still miss you so much!" He smiled shakily. "But I know you're happy in Heaven with Jesus and the angels. And Mother." Gently he slipped the envelope under the lamb's front paws, where it wouldn't get wet.

Yami Bakura had now come up from behind the boy, admitting to himself that he was curious. While he was debating on whether to speak or not, Bakura spoke up instead.

"She was my little sister, Yami," he told the thief softly. "She died in a car crash when she was only seven."

"You know I've been here?" Yami Bakura said in surprise.

Bakura looked up and smiled. "Of course, Yami."

The thief was silent for some time. "Were you close?" he asked at last, sounding gruff.

"Yes," Bakura replied softly.

Yami Bakura snorted, but Bakura was certain he caught a wistful look in the tomb raider's eyes as he sat on a nearby bench monument.

Now Bakura smiled again, a faraway look coming into his eyes. "We used to write notes to each other," he recalled. "We'd put them in each other's lunchboxes, pillows, and just anywhere they'd be found."

"How sickeningly sweet," Yami Bakura grunted sarcastically.

Bakura seemed to not hear, his mind drifting far into the past. Then he slowly began to tell the story aloud to his audience of one.

Flashback

As Bakura got off the school bus and headed up the walkway to his house, he heard a cry of joy from inside and then Amane was running out the door and leaping into his arms.

"Bakura!! Big brother!!" she exclaimed happily. "I've missed you!"

Bakura smiled, holding her close. "And I've missed you, Amane," he said softly.

The two siblings walked up the steps and into the house, where their father was examining some Mayan artifacts he'd discovered on his last dig. Ever since his wife—Bakura's and Amane's mother—had died from cancer several years before, he had taken to traveling more frequently. He always tried to leave a baby-sitter to tend his kids, but sometimes they were no-shows and Bakura would wind up caring for Amane all by himself.

"What are you looking at, Daddy?" Amane asked, fascinated by the sight of a jaguar carving.

Mr. Ryou smiled at her and at Bakura. "This," he stated, using the intriguing tone that he knew both his children loved, "was a statue the Mayan people used to ward off evil spirits."

"Did it work?" Amane wanted to know.

"You know something?" Mr. Ryou laughed. "I have no idea. But they seemed to think it did."

Amane giggled, then looked up at her brother. "Bakura, can we play Duel Monsters?" she begged.

Bakura smiled down at her. He himself had played the game for quite some time—his mother had even played it with him—and now his sister was getting caught up in the excitement of the game as well. "Of course," he said. "But I doubt I have any hope of defeating the undefeated champion," he added with a wink. Amane was quite the skillful player for one so young, and more often than not, she did manage to win.

Today's game was no exception.

"Let's see," Amane said thoughtfully as she looked at the cards Bakura had set out, "if I play Remove Trap, you can't use Just Desserts on me. Then if I sacrifice my Wingweaver to play the Horn of Heaven, I can vanquish your Man-eater Bug and take your life points down to zero!"

Bakura held up his hands in defeat. "You win," he chuckled. "I daresay you're better at this game than I am."

Amane reshuffled her deck and then climbed onto her brother's lap. "You're so fun to be with, big brother," she smiled.

Bakura smiled back and put his arms around her.

Mr. Ryou came into the room and clicked on the TV. "It's time for the news," he said, settling into his favorite chair.

Amane sighed. She didn't like the news.

Today's edition was especially disturbing to both Ryou children.

"A sad story today," the news anchor was saying. "A little girl was killed in a car crash just off the interstate not an hour ago."

Amane gave a little shriek. "That's so terrible!" she wailed, looking up at Bakura with tear-filled eyes.

Bakura held her comfortingly and looked at Mr. Ryou. "Please, Father, can't we hear something not so depressing?" he asked.

The man was already getting up to change the channel. "There's too many depressing things in this world to ever escape from them all, Bakura," he said quietly, and the boy knew he was thinking of their mother's death again.

Amane still seemed shaken after hearing the tragic story. "What happened to her, Bakura?" she quavered. "When she died, what happened to her? Did she go to Heaven to be with Jesus and the angels?"

Bakura looked into her eyes and gave her the sweet, kind smile that only big brothers can give. "Yes," he said softly, brushing away her tears, "she's with Jesus now, and she's very happy. You remember how much Jesus loves the little children, Amane."

Amane snuggled next to him again. "Do you think she saw our mommy?" she asked wonderingly.

Bakura bit his lip to keep the tears from coming into his own eyes. He missed his mother so very much. Amane was really too young when Iyoko had died to really remember much about her, but Bakura remembered plenty. "Yes," he said now, gently stroking Amane's soft, silky hair, "I'm certain she did."

"Bakura?" Amane said softly.

"Hmmm?" Bakura looked down at her kindly.

"Will you tell me the story of Jesus and the children?" Amane asked. It was her favorite Bible story of all and she loved to hear it over and over again.

"Of course," Bakura smiled, beginning to speak in his "story voice."

Amane listened, captivated as always, and at the conclusion she reached out to hug Bakura tightly. "You're the best brother in the whole world!" she declared.

Bakura pulled her close. "And you're the best sister a brother could have," he whispered back.

"Will we always be together?" Amane asked softly, starting to feel a bit sleepy after the long day.

"Always," Bakura promised. "And even when we're not together physically, we'll still be together here." He touched his hand to his heart and then to hers.

Amane smiled peacefully. "I'm so glad," she said. "Mommy's always with us here, isn't she?" She touched her hand over her own heart, copying Bakura's motion.

Bakura smiled. "Of course she is," he assured her, holding her close as he gently rocked her to sleep.
****
The next day when Bakura woke up, he found a note taped to his mirror in Amane's familiar scrawl.

I love you always forever!

Bakura smiled softly and decided to leave the note there throughout the rest of the day. He had saved all of Amane's messages, of course—in a special locked scrapbook that only he had the key for. It was his most treasured possession and he never wanted to lose it.

He went downstairs to fix Amane's school lunch as he always did. Once it was all packed and ready, he slipped a note of his own into the bag for her.

Before long she came bounding down the stairs, happy as usual, and gave Bakura a hug.

"Are you ready for school?" he asked once greetings were exchanged.

Amane nodded, smiling broadly. Bakura always walked her to school before taking the bus to his own, but usually their dad or one of the teachers would bring her home.

"Alright, then," Bakura said cheerfully, "let's be off!"

After calling goodbyes to their father, the two headed out and all too soon arrived at the elementary school.

"I'll see you in a few hours, Amane," Bakura called as she hurried off. "I love you!"

Amane waved as she ran onto the front steps and hauled the door open. "I love you too, big brother!" she declared, disappearing inside.

Bakura, of course, could not know what would happen in those next few hours—but he did know that he felt a strange foreboding feeling. After fervently saying a silent prayer that everyone would be safe, he hurried off to catch the bus.
****
Bakura knew that something was horribly wrong when he arrived home that afternoon. Amane was nowhere around, and his father was talking with two policemen in the living room.

"Father?" the boy asked uncertainly. "Father, what's happening?"

Mr. Ryou exchanged a look with the police officers that could only mean it was serious. "Bakura," he said softly, "there's been an accident."

The color drained from Bakura's face. "What? Father, what do you mean?! Oh, is Amane hurt?!"

Mr. Ryou headed for the door. "Her teacher was bringing her home when there was a head-on collision with another car," he said quietly. "The teacher suffered some broken bones, but she'll recover. But Amane . . ." The blue-haired man shook his head, a tear slipping down his cheek. "They don't think Amane will survive the night."

Bakura felt like his world was crumbling around him. "NO!!!" he screamed. "That . . . that can't be true!!! We must go see her, Father! She'll get better!! She will . . ." He trailed off as his father laid a hand on his shoulder.

"No, Bakura," he said softly. "I'm afraid she won't make it."
****
Bakura couldn't stop pacing the floor of the hospital waiting room. He had lost his mother those long years back; how could he possibly be losing Amane now?! She had always been his best friend! They had done everything together and had hardly ever quarreled at all. And whenever they had, they had always made up almost immediately afterward. They loved each other so much that they just couldn't stay mad for long.

"Mr. Ryou?"

Both Bakura and his father looked up.

"You can see Amane now," the nurse said kindly. "But one at a time, please," she requested softly, leading Bakura's father off down the hall. Bakura watched them go, then turned to the window, tears pooling in his soft brown eyes.

"Please," he prayed shakily, "please save my sister!"

After only a moment, Bakura's father was back, shaking his head. "I can't do this again," he said softly, shaking his head. "I can't."

Bakura touched him on the arm worriedly. "Father?" he asked uncertainly.

Mr. Ryou looked up at his son, a blank look in his eyes. "I already lost Iyoko," he said, turning away. "I can't lose Amane too."

Bakura didn't know what to say. He could feel his father's pain so acutely, for the same pain was his own.

"Bakura?"

He looked up at the kind-faced nurse.

"You can come see your sister now," she told him.

Wordlessly the boy went to follow her after looking back uncertainly at his father, who was still standing at the window.

When he went into the room, he found Amane lying silently on the bed, her many wounds covered with blood-soaked bandages. The boy's tears spilled over as he rushed forward and collapsed in the chair next to the bed. "Amane!" he sobbed, taking her small, cold hand in his and holding it close.

It seemed that he stayed with her for hours before she started to awaken, but at last her fingers gave the slightest movement and he perked up hopefully.

"Bakura?" came the weak voice.

Bakura looked into Amane's pale, bruised, and cut face, trying not to cry in front of her. "Yes, dear Amane, I'm here," he whispered comfortingly.

"Am . . . am I going to die?" she asked softly.

Bakura shook his head fiercely, gripping her hand tighter. "No, no, Amane, you won't die," he said firmly. "You're going to get all well again and then we'll read stories and play Duel Monsters again, just like we always have." He smoothed her hair back tenderly and she looked up into his pain-filled eyes.

"I . . . I think I am going to die, Bakura," Amane told him quietly.

"Don't say that, Amane!" Bakura wailed. "Please don't say that!!"

Amane leaned back into the soft pillows, looking quite at peace. "It's alright, big brother," she assured him. "I'll be going to see Jesus and the angels, just like that little girl yesterday!" She paused, staring off into the distance. Bakura watched her eyes light up in excitement.

"What is it, Amane?" he asked shakily. "What do you see?"

"It's Mommy," Amane replied breathlessly. "She's here! Oh, Bakura, now I remember her!" There was another pause. "She says to tell you that she loves you and that everything will be alright," the little girl said now, squeezing his hand. "It *is* alright, big brother," she said softly.

Bakura couldn't control his tears now. They slipped freely down his face. "But Amane, how will I go on? How will Father? Please don't go!!!" He felt so helpless, like his heart was shattering into millions of pieces, but at the same time he felt a calming peace slowly taking over.

Shakily, with most of her remaining strength, Amane reached up and gently brushed the tears away from her brother's face. "Mommy says that you'll both get through this," she said softly, "and I know this too. We'll only be apart for a little while, big brother, and then we'll all be together again!" She held out her arms and Bakura embraced her tightly, not wanting to let her go.

"She also says that soon you're gonna meet a whole lot of special friends, even some unlikely ones," the little girl whispered.

"But no one could ever replace you, Amane," Bakura sobbed.

They stayed there in silence for several minutes until Amane suddenly asked softly, "Bakura, will you tell me my favorite story again . . . one last time?"

Bakura choked back a cry of anguish. "Of . . . of course," he said at last, speaking shakily as he again told the story his sister loved so much.

When he'd finished, Amane looked up at him with her peaceful smile. "You tell it so vividly, big brother," she said softly. "You're so fun to listen to!" She drew a painful breath. "I . . . I love you, Bakura" she managed to choke out.

Bakura sobbed freely once more as he held her broken body and kissed her on the forehead. "I love you too, Amane," he whispered, feeling the life slipping away from the little sister he loved so much. A soft but brilliant light bathed the whole room in a magnificent glow, and when it receded, Bakura found that Amane had peacefully died in his arms.

As he looked at her, unsure of what to say or do, he discovered a piece of paper clutched tightly in her fist. Gently he tried to pry it away and then he realized what it was—the note he had slipped into her lunch early that morning.

"Oh Amane," Bakura whispered shakily, pulling her little body close once more as his own was racked with heavy sobs.

End Flashback

Bakura tried to brush away the tears that had gathered in his eyes while remembering this tragic part of his life. "No one could get that note out of her hand," he said softly. "She was buried with it." He reached out to touch the lamb statue once more. "Sometimes," he admitted now, "I still write special notes and letters to her and then bring them here where I hope she may come and find them."

Yami Bakura was silent for a long time, just pondering on everything Bakura had just revealed to him. At last he said quietly, "At least she cared for you. Neither of my siblings would have cared in the least if I had died."

Bakura was now sitting on the bench monument with the old thief, and he looked up at him with saddened eyes. "I'm so sorry, Yami," he whispered.

Yami Bakura shook his head. "Don't be." His own mind began to wander, remembering his unusual heritage. His mother had been an Egyptian, but his father had been a Hebrew. A relationship between members of those two cultures was unthinkable back then, but somehow his mother had wormed her way into his father's heart and they had decided to go off someplace they could be married in peace. Later on they had returned to Egypt, where they had had three children—the youngest of whom was Bakare—Yami Bakura. Neither of them had really wanted any children, and they had never treated the ones they had very well. Eventually Yami Bakura had had enough and he had ran away, never looking back. No one had ever tried to find him, of course. He knew to this day that none of them had really cared for him.

"Yami?" Bakura laid a hand on the thief's shoulder. "My mother was right, you know. A couple of years later I transferred to Domino High School and met Yugi and all the others. And . . ." He smiled. "My father brought me the Millennium Ring. Yami, you are my friend," he whispered softly. "You mean as much to me as any brother ever could."

Yami Bakura just stared at him through the rain and at last looked away. "Come on, you fool," he ordered, standing up. "You're going to catch your death of cold."

Bakura chuckled, but then stood up as well and prepared to follow his Yami out of the cemetery. "Goodbye, Amane," he whispered. "I love you."

As he turned to leave, a sweet girl—invisible to mortal eyes—knelt down and picked up the envelope Bakura had left at the base of the tombstone. "I love you, too, big brother," she said softly.