Ryou walked home in a daze, a cold perspiration clinging to him while he fingered the plastic around Yami's true birthday gift.  "Leave it to a yami to give me something so powerful... something so destructive."  The very thought that he owned such power frightened him, and the boy's thoughts began to wander haphazardly.  "What if it is a mistake?  What if I can't do it after all?  Somebody please… tell me what to do, or stop me." 

                    Before he knew it, he stood before the door to his own home again.  Entering quietly, he found no traces of his yami hanging around.  Bakura still had not returned.  "You've alluded me again, Bakura.  It wasn't Yugi, so who did you hurt this time?"

                    Still captive to the spell he created in his thoughts, Ryou didn't bother taking off his shoes before he entered and started a pot of coffee.  Bakura wouldn't be happy until he had his fill, and he certainly didn't want to upset him.  Placing Yami's gift next to the coffee pot, he walked unsteadily to the bathroom and stared at his reflection in the mirror.  Time paced slowly by while Ryou attempted to gather his thoughts together.  Gazing not so calmly into the mirror, his vision blurred, altering his reflection until the image on the smooth glass was no longer his own.  He scowled at it, hating everything from the dirty smirk to the cruel laughter that echoed in his mind.  "Bakura, how many times have you hurt the people most dear to me?  How many times have you made me a prisoner within my own mind?!  Using my hands to harm them… my hands…" As he stared at his sweaty hands, his eyes rolled in and out of focus.  A sickening feeling enveloped him, and his stomach lurched, heaving last night's dinner into the sink.  Clumsily, he pulled at the water faucet to wash the mess away, drawing rapid shallow breaths in a somewhat futile effort to calm his nerves.  "… my hands… to almost… kill them."

                    He had barely finished washing his soiled hands when he heard the door open and slam shut, familiar footsteps echoing through the house.  "I have to face him… I have to do it."  Ryou walked with determination into the kitchen to find his yami lounging at the table, reading the newspaper advertisements.

                    Without even glancing up, Bakura commanded, "There you are, get me my coffee."

                    Silently, Ryou removed a mug from the cabinets and set it by the glass coffee pot.  Picking up Yami's gift, panic struck him again as he silently lamented to himself, "Can I really do this?  It's not right… I know it's not, but he's done so much… he's hurt so many people."  He poured the coffee about three quarters full and read the label on the plastic container silently.  "Ambien –10 milligrams.  Take one pill by mouth before sleep.  Warning: Do not exceed maximum dosage of one pill per 24 hour period."  Opening the plastic container, he stared inside at the plethora of tiny white pills. 

                    "Lazy cunt!  What's taking you so long?!  I'm almost through the whole paper already!" The tomb robber demanded with an angry flip of his paper.

                    Tipping the container, Ryou watched all the tiny pills cascade silently into the coffee.  Retrieving flavored creamer from the refrigerator, he filled it almost to the brim, the way his yami liked it, and stirred in the creamy substance until he was sure all the pills had dissolved.  Leaving the spoon on the counter, he carefully set the mug on the table next to his yami.  Silently he reflected again, "Bakura… I wanted to believe you would change."

                    "About time." Bakura grumbled took a sip of the coffee.  He frowned and glanced suspiciously at the light brown liquid.  "Dumb fuck, did you think I wouldn't notice?"

                    Ryou felt his heart skip a beat.  Panic invaded his system, and again he wondered if he had done the right thing.  Bakura had noticed the difference, of course he would, and now he was done for.  Bracing himself for the worse, he cast his gaze downwards.

                    "… I told you to stop throwing that flavored creamer shit into the coffee yesterday."  Shoving the mug aside, he went back to reading his paper.  "Make another one.  No creamer."

                    "Y-yes Bakura…" Ryou walked slowly back to the coffee maker and retrieved a new mug from the sink.  He had come so close to actually doing it, to killing his yami.  At least Bakura had only noticed the creamer.  He thought anew as he lifted the coffee pot to pour a new cup.  "I couldn't do it now anyway… I have nothing but this coffee pot in my hands…"  His eyes widened momentarily and a new thought dawned upon him.  The pot was made of glass.  To Ryou, time seemed to slow down to the speed of a snail as he released the glass container.  The boy felt his heart pounding with anticipation and dread, watching it slowly fall to the tile floor, shattering and spilling the coffee all over.

                    Irritated, Bakura folded his paper down and glared at the troublesome boy.  "Clumsy fool.  You're paying for that after you clean it up."

                    "I am sorry…" Ryou lied quietly and knelt down to pick up some of the larger glass fragments.

                    "You better be, I'm stuck drinking this shit now." Drawing the tainted mug back to his lips, he took a few more gulps.  "Whoever invented this crap needs to go to the shadow realm and die a horrible and painful death."

                    Ryou threw away the large glass fragments and fetched a mop from the cabinet.  He had done it on his own, he had doomed his yami.  Still, something didn't feel quite right.

                    With a sidelong glance at Ryou, the tomb robber muttered, "What's wrong with you?  You look like you've spent the last half hour puking in the bathroom.  You sick?"

                    "No, only worried." Ryou murmured and continued to mop the floor.

                    "What does someone like you have to worry about?" He laughed off his hikari's comment.  Finishing the paper, he set it aside and started to chug the coffee down. 

                    "I am worried that I didn't act soon enough, that you hurt one of my friends again."  The boy's tone gained a slight air of confidence as he spoke again.  "Why do you have to be so cruel to everyone?  Who was your victim this time?!"

                    Finishing the mug, the crazed Egyptian spirit slammed it down to the table and smirked.  "Nobody!"

                    "W-what?" Ryou stammered.

                    "Gotcha by surprise didn't I?"  He shrugged. "My dear hikari, I have a surprise for you."

                    The boy was awestruck, silently listening and waiting across the kitchen while Bakura sat unaware that he was a living time-bomb.  How long would it take for the sleeping pills to affect him? 

                    "I think you'll like it.  I stole it just for you."  He stood up and began advancing on Ryou when suddenly he stopped and grasped the kitchen table.  A light dizzy spell had struck him and he felt the air around him grow a little warmer.  Using the other hand to clasp his chaotic hair, he muttered, "What the fuck…"

                    He glanced up and saw Ryou silently staring at him with pity in his eyes.  He was feeling drowsier, fatigued though he had barely done anything today.  The coffee wasn't even decaf, and he didn't feel sick.  Ryou was still staring at him, with that nervous look, like he was gaping at some fantastical circus display.  "Ryou…" Finally, he understood what had happened.

                    "You… poisoned my coffee... didn't you?  Looks like… I could have made you evil."  A weak laugh escaped his lips, nothing compared to what it used to be.  Bakura grimaced, fighting off the drowsy toxins as they ran freely through his veins.  His eyes hardened, and he took a few shaky, but determined, steps forward. "I should have known that you would do something like this someday… how could I fool myself… thinking you wouldn't?" 

                    Ryou found himself immobile, unable to run or speak.  He could only watch his yami struggle horrifically forward.  Perhaps it was because he had expected anger and resentment from Bakura.  Instead, all he saw was a strange unnatural look of sadness in his eyes.  He barely noticed when Bakura finally stood before him and threw his arms around him to keep from falling.

                    Precariously, he held onto Ryou, determined not to fall into the darkness yet.  With a quivering hand, he reached into his coat pocket and removed a tiny wrapped package.  "But I… I did it… I told you this morning I would… and you can't stop me.  My first act… of kindness to you."  Weakly, he placed the pretty present in Ryou's hand and breathed in an almost inaudible whisper before releasing his hikari and falling to the ground, "Happy Birthday, my cruel hikari."