Ryou used the wall to help him to his feet. He stumbled upon shaky legs and leaned lightly against his abusive yami.

                "Pathetic. Don't you have anything to say for yourself?" Bakura spat.

                "I love you," it was so quiet Bakura couldn't quite make out what Ryou had said.

                "What?" Bakura snapped viciously.

                "I…love you," Ryou sighed. Bakura's eyes narrowed and his body became rigid. Ryou closed his eyes tightly and prepared himself for the impending blow. Sharp maniacal laughter filled the air as Bakura pushed his hikari away.

                "How fitting that such a worthless sentiment would come from such a worthless being. And I suppose you expected I would repeat them back to you as though you meant something to me? It was foolish of me to think you possessed some grain of intelligence that your companions lack."

                "Yugi's yami…" Ryou whispered.

                "What?" The fragile boy realized his mistake and started to back away. Panic, as well as a dull pain shot through his body as his back pressed against the wall. There was a glint of silver and the cool blade sent hot blood rushing down Ryou's cheek. "Love," Bakura said it with absolute disgust. "What was it you were so afraid of Ryou…being alone?" And without a second glance the sadistic grave robber was gone.

                Ryou's eyes snapped open as he choked on a sob. He wondered when, during his nightmare, he had begun to cry. He hated it, every night reliving that horrible encounter. He sat up slowly, pulling his blankets close around him and hugging himself fiercely. Through blurry, tear filled eyes he saw the sennen ring sparkling in the moonlight on his bedside table. An unsteady hand reached for it but at the last minute Ryou sent it flying through the room to clatter on the floor. Why did you come to me?" He yelled bitterly at the lifeless object, "Why did my father have to bring you home?!" His father. His father wasn't home, Bakura had left him…he was alone. An insane and unreasonable panic filled Ryou and he quickly turned on the light as though the darkness of his empty room would swallow him whole. Still unsatisfied the small boy went to his closet, digging in the back for a stuffed animal. He always kept them hidden because Bakura would always tear the heads off. Bakura…Ryou began pulling them all out, daring his yami to come, begging. He put all of them on his bed, grabbing his two favorites, the ones Bakura had always neglected to destroy, and hugged them tightly. 'I'll always have my Blue Eyes Plushie Dragon and the Plush Magician [1], they won't leave me alone.' Alone. A fresh wave of tears sprang to his eyes and he sobbed helplessly into the soft creatures until sleep overcame him.

                Ryou walked down the park pathway quietly, after two weeks he had decided getting away from his empty house might help. Ahead of him he heard a laugh and a voice that sounded familiar. He looked up and saw Anzu, Jou and Honda playing at the edge of the lake. He stopped walking; Anzu was one of the few people Ryou truly disliked, when Yugi and Jou dueled she always had something to say about the strength of friendship but she had never backed Ryou up. 'She's not my friend.' A pang of longing shot through him. Alone. Anzu didn't like him because of Bakura…but then, even the evil spirit of the ring had protected him before.

                Ryou remembered clearly the first time Bakura had saved him, a pack of bullies had bean dealing him a harsh beating when Bakura emerged from the ring and sent them all running for their lives. Bakura pulled Ryou off the ground and wiped the blood from his lip with a gentle thumb.

                "Th-thank you Bakura."

                "Don't be ridiculous, if you die I'll be trapped in that accursed ring for another millennium [2]," he had begun to walk away, then turned his head slightly and added, "Besides, only I have the right to touch you."

                Ryou's thoughts were interrupted by a small voice beside him.

                "Ryou? Are you okay, you look…ill?" Ryou looked down at a very concerned Yugi.


                "Has he been hitting you again…Yami and I could…"

                "No." They stood in silence a few moments, "He left."


                "I told him I…" Bakura's venomous words came back to him, "…and he left." Yugi could fill in the blank; Ryou had confessed it once when Yami had insisted on dealing Bakura permanent harm.

                "I'm sure he'll come back," Yugi insisted. Tears came to Ryou's eyes and he started to collapse. There was a quick transition from Yugi to Yami and the stronger, taller boy caught the broken youth in his arms.

                Rage rose within every fiber of Bakura's being, not only was his hikari in the arms of another but it was his worst enemy. 'How dare that rotten Yami touch my Ryou!' But Bakura knew it wasn't his Ryou, he had abandoned him, left him to his worst fear. How ironic it was that he himself suddenly felt alone. 'Why do I always hurt him?' Bakura knew the answer, innocence. Ryou was one of the most innocent beings in existence and at first his abuse had merely been an attempt to taint him. Next came jealousy, no one could have his perfect innocence; and so when Bakura began to suspect more than friendship between his Ryou and that filthy Muto boy he unleashed his wrath upon both. 'But that isn't why you abused him that night.' Fear. Bakura's worst fear, in fact, was that he actually would taint Ryou. Loving someone purely evil seemed, to him, tainted enough. 'But he still loves you, tear filled nights and lights that don't turn off are proof enough of that. But I don't have him…I miss him.'

                Once again Ryou awoke crying in the night, however tonight powerful arms encircled him.

                "Sh Hikari, it's all right. I'm here," Bakura whispered in the darkness. Ryou snuggled closer, tears disappearing quickly. 'I'm not alone anymore.'

[1] I just couldn't resist.

[2] I'm not sure that's true but it seems semi logical in my head so I'm keeping it.

I hope this wasn't too bad, it's my first complete Yu-Gi-Oh fic and I've been refraining from writing one because I wanted to get to know the characters better. Unfortunately my plans were foiled when I read a Bakura/Ryou fic that was so unbearably bad that I had to correct the grievous mistake. Therefore I would like to thank an author (who I'm just kind enough not to name) for writing a story (that I'm not gonna tell what it was called), which was filled with multi chapters of absolute crap. Domo arigatou gozaimasu. Don't panic and worry that it was you, it probably wasn't. Anyway, again I hope it wasn't too bad because that would defeat the purpose. Short, yes. Out of character, probably. But bad? I hope not. I'm just rambling now so I'll wrap it up.

Flames and complements appreciated. Thanks for reading, bye!