Knife on a Tabletop

Disclaimer: I own nothing. Especially Yugioh. Why don't the stupid lawyers get it into their heads?

AN: A rather one-sided r/b. Pretty angsty if I do say so myself. And kinda scary. Part I of "Filling the Void"

WARNING: NOT for younger readers. Potty mouth and a little OOC on Ryou's behalf. Much darkness. Yup. Muchmuch.

Note: This story was originally posted awhile ago, before I had more or less "mastered" the art of fanfictioning. So it was basically one big paragraph. ^^;;;

Yup. So now that I'm baa-aack I've decided to re-post it. Kudos to everyone that got through a 2000 word paragraph to give me reviews, and I hope the new version is easier to read.

*

Ryou sat on the couch, sipping tea with shaking hands. Outside, snow drifted down lazily to settle on a blanket of silver much like his hair.

As he brought the mug up to his lips again, his sleeve slipped down to reveal scars running in a crisscross pattern up his arms, stopping just under his elbows.

Almost fearfully, Ryou glanced up the stairs, as if expecting his Yami to be awake, and staring balefully at him.

He quickly set his cup down on the coffee table, and pulled the sleeves of his bulky sweater down. Over the scars that Bakura had made.

At least that was the official story.

He still remembered the day when he Yuugi-tachi had found the scars. Ryou had been tongue-tied, afraid of saying something wrong, until Bakura had growled through their mind link

//just tell them that _I_ did it//

/but…yami…are you sure? They will condemn you…/

//it's better than having them find out the truth isn't it? And I don't care what people think of me. _Especially_ not that bloody pharaoh//

So Ryou had glanced fearfully—and I'm awfully good at _that_ aren't I?—down toward his Ring, and his friends had understood instantly. He still remembered the horrified and disgusted look on Yuugi's face, and how his-Yuugi's-Yami had growled, "If that tomb robber does anything else, Ryou…"

But he didn't do anything…—

Anzu had looked properly worried, and Honda wore a look of anger.

"Yeah, Ryou. Just give us the signal, and we'll pound that bastard into a bloody pulp." Jou had tried to look menacing, but the result was almost comical, if anyone took their mind off the problem at hand to laugh.

That was the worst part of the charade. The fact that they thought it was his yami. It was always his yami's fault. After all, he was psychotic, a rather convenient excuse. And wasn't it his yami that had suggested it in the first place?

Ryou had wondered what their faces would have looked like if he had told them the truth-but he could never tell them the truth. No, of course not. Ryou was the cowardly one. The one who was too shy to say anything. —It wasn't Bakura you fools! It was never Bakura! You think you have us all figured out; but these scars on my arms, none of them were Bakura's doing!—

"They were mine." He whispered to himself, gazing out the window.

prettyprettyscarslikeapatternnoamessagewhatdotheysay

He was the one who had cut himself, in fits of self-rage and depression, and Bakura had been the one to find him, to find the little pieces left of him, and put them back together. How strange it seemed to him now, having the dark part helping the light part out of the darkness.

Yami no Yuugi thought that Bakura was obsessed with pain and with suffering, but it was Ryou. It was Ryou, who loved to cut himself with the knife, watching the crimson blood flowing down, sucking his breath in against the white hot pain that flickered up and down his arm, drowning him.

Sometimes he would just sit there, and watch the blood lovelylovelybloodsoredanddrippingandwet fall into puddles on the floor, stainingandrainingandnevercomingoffsolovelyandyummyandwhee lookittheprettycolors watching it until he was dizzy with the blood loss, and the amount of energy that it took to close the mind link between him and his yami, until he fell, slipping into unconsciousness, still bleeding, and until his yami would find him passed out on the floor and yell and scream, and bandage him up, and make him promise to never never do it again, and he wouldn't, not until the next time anyway.

But that hadn't happened for months now, ever since they had moved to Domino. Ryou had come to his senses.

He supposed-in a detached sort of way-that he owed Bakura a lot. More than Yuugi probably owed his own yami, who had only won a few duels for him, as far as Ryou was concerned—after all what did saving the world from destruction matter when compared to saving the life of his hikari—and whom Yuugi viewed only as some sort of older brother, but Ryou looked at his Yami as more. So much more.

Against his will, Ryou's eyes roved up to the stairs again. He knew in his mind that his yami was sleeping, and probably would remain so for a few more hours at least. It was only nine in the morning, and his yami usually slept until after one.

Ryou would never admit this to anybody, but he was in love with Bakura. With himself-how egotistical did _that_ sound?

Bakura often wondered-out loud-why Ryou was so depressed. —_You're_ the reason why!— For a yami, Bakura could be surprisingly innocent sometimes.

And,— Ryou thought to himself rather listlessly, —the worst part-other than the suicidal tendencies, the introversion, and obvious weakness- the worst part of the whole affair was that Bakura had no idea what was going on-most times-in my head, and that if he did, he wouldn't know what to say to convince me that he wasn't in love with me, but not in a rejected way. Yup. That was the worst part. By far.

Fuck, I'm depressed. It doesn't take much, does it? Har de har har. Ryou is _so_ funny it scares him. Me. Whateveri—Bakura had also wondered why Ryou had the strange tendency to refer to himself in the third person. Ryou remembered how he had replied.

—It's personal yami.—

"It's my way of detachment." Ryou whispered softly. "My way to get away. I can't be Ryou if Ryou doesn't think that way."

He glanced at the coffee table. Beside his cup of forgotten tea, sat a knife. A rather ordinary knife, the kind you buy to use in the kitchen. But rather sharper.

Ever since Ryou had moved to Domino, he had taken to drinking tea in the mornings-when he wasn't rushing around, going to school, of course-and in some strange way, it seemed to soothe him. It had become a habit-no, a ritual. It was time to be away from his yami, and to be alone. Truly alone. Not that he ever wanted to be alone. Not really. He craved being by himself, but also despised it.

He wondered sluggishly if Yuugi ever had such contradicting thoughts about his yami.

Ryou never felt truly alive unless Bakura was with him, but when he was alone, _truly_ alone, -like right now-he sometimes felt that the times he spent with his yami were just a dream, a dream that he was just now waking from. And Ryou wasn't quite sure if the dream had been a good one. —Was it a nightmare? The one with the maze and the clowns…and the blood? I remember the blood. Sometimes, the blood is all I can remember.—

_Demons_ cry blood tears… a voice seemed to whisper in Ryou's ear…a soft and slimy voice…full of mysteries and evil. He started and looked around. There was nothing…always nothing. —I had that dream again last night. Rivers of blood…waterfalls of blood.— He chuckled softly at a joke he didn't quite get the meaning of, and wasn't quite sure he had heard. —But I'm getting off topic…do I even have a topic?—

But the knife. Ah, now _that_ was a paradox.

After a few weekends of sitting, and drinking tea, Ryou realized that something was missing. His knife. The absence of a knife-but mostly the fact that he noticed the absence-was shocking to him. He had spent much of his life-after he met Bakura anyway, isn't it strange that his obsession with blood soredandprettyprettyprettygleaminginthesunlightmoonlightdusklight began after he met Bakura, his darker half? It was almost as if Bakura was somehow, subconsciously of course, he would never do anything to hurt his hikari despite the public's opinion, had caused Ryou's pain and suff- no, that was a dangerous thought. —I didn't just think that. I didn't just think that! Burn the thought out! Burn it!—

Or better yet…Ryou was pretty sure he just heard the voice again, Cut it out!

//Firesobrightandpretty// Bakura would sometimes —ah yes a safer topic, even though this really wasn't— chortle through their mind link as they stood, watching something burn. Hiss yami would seem so innocent at those times, so unlike a yami, it was slightly frightening to Ryou. He wondered if he seemed unhikari-like when he was cutting.

He had never been without a knife before, but he had never thought of one that way, as a _comfort_ item.

Like a blanket…a _security_ blanket

He would never admit this to Bakura, but he felt better drinking his tea with a knife on the table in front of him. It made drinking tea-the ritual, the weekend ritual-somehow more comforting. It was hard to explain. And the knife was always sharp.

Ryou watched the knife gleam-shinysoshinysososososhinyandshimmeringwithredbutnotrednownobloodonitjustyetbutsoonwillbeyesyesyesyes –he supposed 'knife' was another one of those words which set him off but not all the time, just when he was thinking of the knife and the blood together all at once. He knew Bakura sometimes felt that way about the word 'knife' but only when it was knife and death together, and blood was just part of the deal, —did that make sense?— in what must be the snowlight, since the snow blocked out everything else, including the sun. Everything filtered through it in a kind of half-light. —How fuckin' poetic did _that_ sound? Really, Ryou…it's bad enough that you're a pansy…but do you have to _think_ like one too?

I'm gonna ask you a question, and you're gonna answer it. Honestly. Am I crazy?…no. of course not. Bakura's the crazy one. I'm the hikari…but if I'm not crazy…then who am I talking to?—

Do you wanna play a game Ryou? A game about yourself?…of course you do. But the question is…how far are you willing to dig? To _cut_, so to speak. Ryou strained his ears to hear an echo of a laugh too faint to catch.

Let's play a game boys and girls!

There was another thing that he would never admit to Bakura. Besides the whole I'm-in-love-with-you-but-would-never-admit-it thing, and the whole, I-think-the-words-'knife'-and-'blood'-are-so-pretty-prettyprettyandred-he stopped himself before he could get any further-thing.

He supposed that he kept many secrets from Bakura. Certainly more than Bakura kept from him. —Maybe I am really the darkness and he is the light? Maybe it is all a big misunderstanding, and that I was supposed to be the trapped in the Ring? But of course that isn't true. Is it? No don't think that! Erase that thought!—There. All done and erased.—Poor Ryou. He's officially fucked up.—…well, except for that last one.

Another thing that he would never admit to Bakura was that the knife talked to him. Not in the way that yami did of course-knives don't think in sense—did I just think that? Did I just think that?— But he could understand the knife. After all, hadn't it been talking to him all through the morning?

—Maybe I am crazy. Maybe everyone else is, and I am the only one that's sane. Do you ever wonder that at night? Lie awake and wonder if this is all a dream, someone else's dream? That you are just trapped in someone else's rules of reality, someone else's truth? Well? Do you? Do you ever wonder what would happen if you went back in time and shot your grandmother? Would you still be here? Ever wonder if your grandmother is already shot, that you're already dead? That nothing is real except for pain? But hey, I'm not crazy. You all are.—

There were no conversation, just the knife asking for something-

you know you want to Ryou, you know it and I know it, we all fuckin' know it

-and Ryou refusing—no no not again. Not like last time. YOU CAN'T TALK!—until finally the knife got what it wanted. Which usually resulted in Ryou lying in blood on the ground.

"But not today." Ryou whispered. But even to his own ears, the defiance sounded puny. Weak. Like he was. Is. "No wonder Bakura doesn't love me."

You know it; I know it. So why do you still resist me?

"Because…"

Yes? I'm waiting. Because…?

There was a silence. An unbearably long silence.

Well? Why kid yourself Ryou? You know you crave the pain, the blood-

—Bloodyesblooddrippingdownmyarmmingledwithpainsweethotpain—

And we both know that I can help you get it. Use me Ryou.

He thought it was rather funny-not really though-because he's often heard the excuse that a crime was committed because a weapon told someone to do it-it wasn't me officer; it was the knife! It told me to stab that old lady crossing the street-not that he's ever done anything like that.

—No that would make me crazy, and I'm not the crazy one Bakura is.—

Bakura doesn't love you; he never will. Why do you kid yourself Ryou? We both know that _I_ am your escape, your way out.

"B-bakura _does_ care about me." —Great Ryou, stutter. That'll really convince yourself.—

Ah…but does he _love_ you?

"…"

Does he?

"…I… I don't know."

_Exactly_

—Maybe Bakura does love me.— Ryou thought wildly, the thoughts of a condemned man, one trying to say whatever he can to get out of something…_anything_ —Maybe he's just kept it all in, like I have. Maybe when he wakes up the first thing he'll say, the first thing he'll _think_ is, 'today I tell Ryou how I really feel about him.'

Maybe…—

Well? The knife demanded. What's your decision?

—…maybe I should just give up. After all, what did it matter? This is just the ranting of a crazed man. …but I'm not crazy…am I?—

I'm waiting…and I don't like to be kept waiting, Ryou. You know that.

They both sat there, just a boy in a couch, staring at a knife glistening dully in the snowlight.

I can help you fill your void Ryou. —…not crazy…— Maybe we all are.

Let's play a game boys and girls. How deep can you cut? Well Ryou, what do you say? You wanna play?

~Owari~

AN: o.O OK. I scared myself. Let me just tell you that the fic I started to write is nothing like the fic it turned out to be. And don't blame me for the psychotic Ryou! He's one of my favourite characters! Honestly! And I know he kinda sounds OOC in this fic, but this is how I see him. sometimes. I know this is a kind of fic usually protrayed by Malik or Bakura, but Ryou seemed to jump out at me. now you know why there's a warning. Please review!! If people like it enough, I might even do a sequel, even though I think it might ruin the story. Other than that, it's a one-shot. And please don't be _too_ brutal in you reviews. It's my first fic after all.

Okay…I added a few more sentences so that (hopefully) it enhances the story more. But man, reading this again was like a trip down memory lane. A trip at night when all the lights are out…and the footsteps are getting closer. But this story is what you get when you decide to put "Crawling" by Linkin Park on repeat and write a story, neh? And read the other parts! I know where I'm going with the series, but I seem to have encountered MAJOR writer's block. And Part V wasn't my best work I think. But whatever. I'm hoping rereading everything I've written will help me get that mood back…and I'm rambling.

"Awake and Dreaming" will be done soon!