Can You Hear Me?

by WSJ

WSJ: ^^; I have so many story ideas running around in my head right now I have no idea how I'll ever get them all done!! *tears her hair out in frustration* Gahhh!!!

Elyssa: *casually whacks her on the back of the head, sending her falling over* Hmph. You need to chill out itsuji....

WSJ: @_@ Look at all the pretty birdies... *twitches Ranma-style*

Elyssa: -_-;; Ah, the joys of working with WSJ... We don't own YGO, and the song isn't ours neither.

WSJ: *sits up rubbing her head* Either.


Time passes by so quickly,
But I guess I thought you'd be here forever.

Ryou Bakura, eighteen years old and just about to leave home for college in America, sat down on the damp grass and leaned back against the cold, clamminess of the headstone. It had rained last night, something that made this trip rather less pleasent then it usually was. But it was one he had to make, he'd promised it to himself, and to his sister.

He ran a hand over the short grass over top of the grave. Some of the graves he'd passed on the way in had been fresh, but Amane's was old and weathered. Almost ten years his little sister had laid in the ground, and Ryou still couldn't believe it had been so long. Wasn't it just yesterday that he and his one-year-younger sister had been having their usual fights, their usual matches of who could insult each other the loudest? It seemed like such a short time ago that they'd strived their best to beat the crap out of each other in their martial arts matches.

Thinking of the martial arts, Ryou sighed deeply. He really wished he'd kept up with his studies, but events following his sister's death just hadn't allowed for him to continue studying the way of the martial artist. He knew that if Amane was watching him now, she'd be disappointed in him. Why did that bother him so much? He and Amane had always been at each others throats, it seemed like. He really did love her though. I mean, obviously! She was his sister, of course he loved her...

He was just a little late telling her, that was all.

I never even had the chance,
To say goodbye.
There's so many things to tell you,
Left unsaid until now.

Hesitantly, his fingers idly running through the wild daises over her grave, Ryou began to speak. He smiled slightly as he remembered when he and his mother and father had planted the daises on Amane's grave. That had been just before mother died and left him too... Over the years, he and his scatter-brained father had never had a chance to keep the grave neat, and the flowers had grown wild. Ryou almost prefered it that way, the wild flowers reminded him of his sister's own wild, firey temper and her untamed spirit.

"Ohayoo Amane-chan. Sorry dad or I haven't come by in so long. Things have been really busy. Dad's going out to another dig in Israel soon, and I'm headed off to college. I guess that's what I really came to tell you, we won't be around for awhile. But don't worry, we'll both be back, dad probably before me. We always come back, you know that."

Ryou remembered the day clearly, and he shut his eyes, hard-pressed to keep the tears at bay. It wouldn't do to have his kawaiikune imouto-chan see his tears, she'd just laugh at him and call him weak, like she always did.

He remembered walking to school with Amane, and she was telling him all about going home with a friend that afternoon. He remembered that he'd gotten mad at her, because she'd already promised him that they'd train together that afternoon. It had escalated, as always, into a shouting match, and they'd parted ways mad at each other. By lunch time that day, Amane'd had time to cool off. She'd apologised, promising she'd spar with him extra long tomorrow. But Ryou'd still been too mad that she could blow off their plans together that easily, and turned his back on her. That made Amane just that much angrier, and she'd stormed away.

That night, on the way to her friend's house, Amane had been killed in a car accident.

That was what really hurt the most, that he and Amane had parted in such bad blood. Ryou would give anything now, just to take back the words he'd said. He wished even more that he'd been able to say good-bye to his sister, or even better, told her he loved her.

Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do the words I say ever make it through?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew!

It was that guilt and those wishes, he supposed, that kept him coming back to her grave time after time. He visited Amane almost twice, maybe three times as often as he went to see his mom. And he never, ever talked to okaasan while he was there, just Amane.

He wrote Amane letters too, sometimes as many as three a week. For as long as he could remember, Ryou had used his allowence money, meager though it was, to buy balloons so he could send his letters up to his sister. He didn't know if she ever got them or not, but it was nice to wish and pretend.

His yami, Bakura, the evil spirit who lived in his Sennen Ring, thought that it was foolish, childish even, to try and talk to his dead sister. He mocked Ryou, telling him that he should be tying his letters to a rock and sending them downward instead. Ryou tried his best to ignore the spirit, and most of the time he could. Sometimes it made him mad though, and once he'd even dared ask if Bakura had anyone he missed. Ryou knew he was an ancient spirit, and had once lived a life, so it seemed logical that maybe he'd once had a family, didn't it?

Bakura had gotten very quiet when Ryou asked if he missed anyone, and for a long time he'd said nothing. If Ryou listened hard, he thought sure that he heard his other singing quietly in a language Ryou didn't know. It wasn't Japanese, and it wasn't English either. Finally Bakura had just brushed him off gruffly, and Ryou hadn't heard from him for a long time after. But that, in itself, gave Ryou all the answer he needed.

He often wondered if Bakura wished he could visit the graves of his loved ones like Ryou did. He never found out whether he did or not. One thing though were the dreams, and they gave Ryou answers too.

Some nights Bakura would dream of Egypt, of a smiling woman with bleach blonde hair, and a grinning little boy and girl, both of whom looked like their father, and Ryou would share the dream. On nights like those, Ryou would often wake in his soul room, finding that Bakura had taken control of his body, and advantage of the body's mortalness to cry out his greif and anguish. On nights like those, Ryou would be lulled back into an uneasy sleep by his yami's sobs, semi-content that the spirit of the Ring wasn't heartless after all.

Some nights, Ryou dreamt of Amane and his mother, of a time when his father had loved family more then job. These nights it would be Ryou who cried, and his yami would comfort him as best he knew how with Egyptian lullibies and prayers of peace. These nights Ryou almost treasured, not only did he dream of his family, but his yami was much different then the hard, calculating thief he was by day.

Ev'ry night, I have the same dream.
The one where you get to hold me.
We laugh an' talk until the morning,
An' then you vanish, yeah.

Amane was almost a diary to Ryou. He told her everything without fear of it turning into gossip. He told her about Bakura, about school. After Bakura had maimed Pegasus and removed his Eye, it was to Amane's grave Ryou ran and fell trembling. When Bakura and Malik had made their horrible pact during Battle City, Ryou turned to Amane as soon as he was given a moments peace.

She was almost a salve for his every wound, and he would have given anything, just to have his little sister, his beloved imouto-chan, back again. Bakura had hinted once that it was possible, if the powers of all the Sennen Items could be combined. That was why Ryou went along, if not willingly, then at least without complaint when Bakura came up with one plan or another to steal the Sennen Puzzle.

He wanted his sister back more then anything in the world.

It always leaves me feeling helpless,
When I wake up an' you're not there.

Can you hear me when I talk to you?
Do you know how much I'd love to be with you?
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew!

Sitting next to Amane's grave, her name and death date pressing into the bones in his back, Ryou almost smiled. One hand reached up to stroke the Ring as he chuckled quietly. "Do you remember, Amane, the time we swapped dad's shaving creame with whipped creame? It's such a classic gag, I'm surprised he didn't spot it! But then mom made a pie with shaving creame! Oh the look on her face when she took the first bite was priceless!"

Then slowly the mirth drained from his face and he sat staring up at the rapidly dimming sky. It would be night soon, and while he had no qualms about sitting out and watching the stars with Amane, Ryou knew his dad would worry. Which meant that it would soon be time to go home.

"That was the only thing we could agree in, wasn't it Amane? Jokes. We never got along about anything else. Jokes and martial arts..." He sighed deeply. "And now we don't even have that in common anymore. Do you play Duel Monsters up there Amane? Make sure you have a deck ready, cuz when I get up there I'll give you a run for your money!" He smiled slightly, then lapsed into silence once more, his mind in the past.

Living in this world without you,
I constantly search through my mem'ries.
Hoping that I find some treasures,
That I passed over, yeah.

After awhile, when the wind had picked up and it was beginning to get cold, Ryou spoke again. "Amane, I know I wasn't a very good big brother to you. Not like Jounochi-san is with Shizuka-chan. But then agin, you've never met them, have you? You would've really liked Shizuka, I think, maybe just because you're so different." He paused, realizing he was straying off-subject.

"I'm sorry Amane. About everything. I should have been there to protect you. I'd give anything to have you back! Trade my life for yours, even! I've just made a mess of everything... You could really make a difference in the world. Hell, you already have. For me, at least."

All that I took for granted,
Means so much now, an' I won't let it go.

Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I never said some things that I meant to.
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew!

Ryou climbed to his feet and dusted himself off, making a face as he flicked damp grass off his jeans. Leaning over, he placed a kiss on the cold stone of her tombstone, wishing it was her warm hair instead. A tear slid down his cheek and landed, where it glistened in the rapidly growing starlight. A few hotaru, or fireflies, were beginning to come out, and one landed on her headstone, its tail flashing brightly, as if telling Ryou that everything would be all right.

Ryou smiled slightly as he again brushed his fingers over the gray stone. "I'll be back for winter break, okay imouto-chan? See ya' then."

You know, I never said some things that I meant to.
Can you hear me when I talk to you?
'Cause I'd give anything if I just knew...

"I love you Amane..."


WSJ: Jeez... This one was almost worse then Streets of Heaven... *blows a raspberry at her muses* Ah well, time to go work on You're Leading Me. ^^ Aaaangst is fuuuuun...

God bless minna-san!