Brother Against Brother

By Lucky_Ladybug

Notes: Nothing out of the ordinary to say here XD Just the same ol', same ol'—the characters ain't mine (except the villainess), neither is the song (it is Adelianna's and she wrote it specifically for this fic! Everyone give her a big hand!), the story is, and this is fluffy sibling cuteness! ^______^ Ahhh. I luv sibling cuteness. If you don't, you're missing out! ^^;;; Enjoy!

Looking back on it now, I cannot believe it ever truly happened. It was a nightmare, a dark chapter in my life that I can barely stand to remember. And yet . . . I know I will never forget it. . . .

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever


The unfamiliar boy who insisted he knew me gazed up into my eyes as I towered over him with a knife.

"Rishid, I know you won't attack me." He stood firm and determined, his golden earrings clinking slightly. "Even if your mind does not remember me, your heart does."

I growled at him. "I recall nothing about you," I retorted.

"He's your enemy," the rough voice hissed in my mind. "He was always trying to kill you. Destroy him now!!"

I clutched the knife tighter and prepared to advance . . . but something stopped me. I couldn't harm this boy . . . I knew I couldn't. Looking into his eyes, I saw only concern for my welfare, sadness at my behavior, determination to stand strong, and . . .

Traces of tears. The boy was crying.

"I know you couldn't control what happened to you, Rishid, but still . . . still your actions have wounded me greatly, my brother. You could stab me with that knife, but I have already been pierced through to my heart. There is nothing you could do now that could possibly hurt me any worse." He paused. "And yet . . . I know this isn't truly you at all."

The knife dropped from my hand. I still couldn't remember him, though I was trying so desperately, but I knew that I couldn't harm him. This boy wasn't my enemy! He couldn't be!

The voice in my mind gave a scream of anger. "You dare to disobey me?!" she shrieked.

"Yes," I replied solemnly, also through our mind link. "I refuse to do anything to hurt this boy. I can see now that I have been lied to. You are truly my enemy, not he!"

"Then in that case . . ." The woman's voice hesitated and then laughed evilly. "You are of no further use to me, Rishid. I'm afraid you will have to die."

Slowly her minions began emerging from the shadows, each holding a deadly weapon.

"Rishid!! Rishid, look out!!" the boy screamed. "They're going to kill you, Rishid!!! They've turned against you!!"

Before I could answer, one of them lunged for the attack. I managed to dodge it and then flip the assassin over against a wall, but my concentration could only be divided so many ways. While I was fighting with two more of the fiends, I was suddenly shoved to the side by the boy.

Immediately I turned to look at him . . . and witnessed him staggering back, having been hit painfully in the chest with the ammunition from one of the weapons. I knew that I would have been hit had he not been there.

Slowly he sank to his knees, shuddering as the blood splashed from his wounds onto the pavement. "Rishid . . . you may not remember me . . . but I still love you, my brother. . . ." He smiled at me one last time before collapsing over onto his side, dead.

That was when the memories flooded back. I remembered him! He . . . he was my brother! My adopted brother! Tears of shame and horror filled my eyes as I stared at his lifeless body on the ground.

"MASTER MARIK!!!" I screamed then, running to him and holding him in my arms. "Master . . . please . . . say something!"

Blood trickled from the boy's mouth and he remained completely still as he lay dead in my embrace.

Dead . . . he was dead! And all because I had betrayed him!!

Yes. I had betrayed him—the one I love more than life itself. He did not hold me at fault, but I considered it as such. How could I not? How could I have ever forgotten the adopted brother I held so dear?

I could recall having been ambushed violently several days before and stabbed in the back. After that, everything was mostly a blank—until I regained consciousness with altered memories many hours later.


"Rishid? Oh Rishid, do awaken!"

I struggled to pry my eyes open. The voice calling me was unfamiliar, and so was the person it belonged to.

"Where am I?" I asked in a raspy voice, trying to sit up and feeling as though I had just come through an extremely trying experience.

The woman pushed me back down gently. "You need to rest, Rishid," she purred.

"What happened to me?!" I demanded to know.

Now the woman leaned down and looked into my eyes. "Poor thing. You were attacked viciously when you tried to protect yours truly and my adorable nieces."

I narrowed my eyes. "I remember nothing," I retorted.

"No," she said softly, "I know you don't. You've been drifting in and out of consciousness for days. But tell me—does the name Marik Ishtar mean anything to you?"

"Marik Ishtar?" I repeated, racking my mind for any recollection of him. What came to light was a (false) memory of this Marik standing over me with a maniacal grin and a gun pressed over my heart. I narrowed my eyes. "Marik Ishtar tried to kill me," I rumbled in a low tone.

"Yes!" the woman exclaimed vehemently. "Yes, he did!! He's been your arch-enemy for so many years now! And he will stop at nothing . . . not even attacking little children."

That got my immediate attention. "Where is he?" I growled.

"Somewhere loose in the city of Domino!" the woman replied. "You vowed to me that you would get rid of him because of what he did! You will, won't you?" She gazed up at me with her pleading emerald eyes.

I gazed back. Again I struggled to remember things but found only that I recalled that this woman was somehow connected to me. Perhaps I was her servant of sorts? A bodyguard? One thing I did know—I wasn't an assassin.

"I cannot kill a man," I told her.

"Marik Ishtar isn't a man—he's a demon!" the woman told me. "You know what he did to you and to those children! Please! You must do something to stop him!!"

I clenched my fists. "I will confront him," I said. "And if he truly harmed those children he will pay."

The woman turned away, a trace of a smirk on her lips. I had no way of knowing that she and her minions had been brainwashing me for the past few days and changing my memories. I had known when it was first happening, but somehow those memories would not surface now.


Looking at first through the eyes of a child

You were always there faithfully by my side

Protecting me when in danger

Comforting me when I was hurt

Wiping away tears when I raged, and cried

I traveled through Domino City for hours, not having any success in my mission at first. When I finally did find Master Marik, I recognized him instantly—but only from the altered memories. I was startled, however, to see that he was much younger than I had been led to believe. Why, he couldn't be older than sixteen!

"Rishid!" he screamed when he saw me, climbing off his motorcycle and running forward. "Rishid, you're alright!!" He tried to embrace me, but I roughly shoved him back.

"What have you done?" I growled, almost unable to comprehend the thought that this boy had tried to kill me and had attacked innocent children.

Master Marik blinked, his poor soul in confusion and pain. I could tell that from the look of stunned shock on his face, but I brushed it aside. "Rishid, what do you mean?" he asked softly. "And where have you been?! I . . . I was so worried when you didn't come back. . . . I . . . I knew that something terrible must have happened to you!"

"Something terrible did happen. You did," I hissed, grabbing the strange boy by the front of his shirt and pulling him close to me in a threatening manner.

He struggled to free himself. "Rishid, what have they done to you?!" he wailed, a look of sheer horror in his soft eyes.

"What have they done to me?" I narrowed my eyes.

"Rishid," the woman's voice from earlier spoke in my mind. "He will try to confuse you. He will try to make you think that I am at fault here! But you won't allow yourself to be taken in by his lies, will you? He's an expert trickster. Right now he's probably trying to make you believe he's innocent, isn't he? Looking so sweet with those bright lavender eyes. But he's only trying to fool you, Rishid! Please! You must understand that!" She sounded desperate and frightened.


The boy's voice brought me back to the current situation. I was holding the youth aloft in the air above my head, and he was starting to look highly upset.

"Rishid, what the devil is the matter?! Put me down!!" he yelled.

Viciously I threw him backward against a fence. He cried out as a stray wire dug into his arm and then he looked up at me with a heart-wrenching gaze.

"Rishid? Don't you know me at all?" he whispered.

For a moment I faltered. Could this boy truly be my arch-enemy?! But then the dark memories returned. He had tried to murder me. Now he was taking advantage of the fact that I barely remembered anything and was trying to twist it to his own benefit.

"No," I replied at long last. "I don't know you."

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever

Master Marik caught his breath sharply. "I expected as much." He spoke quietly and turned away, tears glistening in his eyes. "You would never behave this way if you knew who I am."

Fire burned in my eyes. "I know who you are!" I growled. "Murderer! Assassin! Manslayer!"

With each untruthful title Master Marik backed up a step, his eyes widening. "Rishid, what are you talking about?!" he cried.

Fiercely I grabbed him once more, raising him up to my eye level. "You attacked children and tried to kill me!"

Master Marik stared at me with what I can only describe as a crushed expression. It still haunts me to this day. "Rishid, I would never, ever do that," he said quietly. "What has been done to you, my brother?! Please tell me!"

"Anything that was done to me, you brought about," I replied coldly.

The boy grabbed for my wrists, staring into my eyes. "Rishid, how could you say that?" he said in disbelief, trying to pry my hands away from his shirt.

I ignored his attempts at freedom. "You caused me to lose my memories when you nearly killed me!" I growled. "You are not my brother. I have no brother."

Master Marik's eyes widened and he looked down sorrowfully, the fight gone out of him.

When I struggled from the darkness within

You stuck by my side no matter what happened

Consumed by hatred of things gone awry

You protected me, a friend you stayed

Even when I lashed out at you from my pain

"Rishid, where are you?" At last he raised his eyes again to meet my own. "I do not see my brother here. I see only a stranger. My brother would not treat me this way."

"Silence!" I pressed him up against a wall. "I know of your trickery."

"Oh, Rishid, do be careful!" the woman's hysterical voice screamed in my mind. "The boy's deadly!"

Master Marik looked down at me firmly. "I know you are in there somewhere, Rishid. Somehow you must remember!" He grabbed at my wrists again. "I don't know who did this to you or why, but it certainly wasn't me. I would never harm you on purpose, Rishid."

I glared daggers at him. "I won't believe your lies."

Master Marik took a deep breath. Now that I look back on it, I know how hard he was struggling to not lose control of himself at this point. "Why do you think I am lying, Rishid?" he asked softly. "You have known me all of my life, and this other person for only a few hour or days . . . and yet you trust her more than you do me."

I wavered for a moment, loosening my grip on the boy's shoulders and staring into his saddened lavender eyes.

A flash of memory came back to me then, of the boy viciously slapping me and looking furious. Wincing, I unconsciously grabbed him again, digging into his shoulders.

"You slapped me," I muttered, and Master Marik looked down in shame. In the current state I was in, I didn't realize that many of my thoughts had been influenced by the woman speaking to me in my mind.

Another flash of memory came to light, this one very much untrue. "You slapped me and then you drew some sort of dagger," I told him. "You told me that you'd had enough of my inability to do what you wanted and that you were going to get rid of me."

Master Marik's eyes widened in horror. "No, Rishid!!" he cried, his voice climbing. "I never said anything of the sort!! I never would!!!" He shook his head, his platinum blonde hair flying about. "I admit, I did slap you . . . but it's not something I'm proud of at all." The boy looked up at me again, pleading for me to listen and believe his words. "I didn't mean it, Rishid! It . . . it was so long ago . . . I had been so angry and foolish then . . ."

"Lies!" the woman whispered. "It's all lies!! He's just trying to redeem himself!"

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever

Master Marik looked at me again, his eyes full of pain. "Don't believe her, Rishid," he begged.

I gave him a strange look. "How can you even hear her?!" I demanded.

Master Marik blinked. "I . . . I don't know," he admitted. We assumed later that he was able to hear her because of the strong bond the two of us have and because that villainess was intruding in on it.

I snarled at him now. "You've been trying to kill me for years. Everything you've been telling me now is a lie!"

Another flash of memory came to me, this one of the boy harshly shoving me and then a woman to the floor and then grabbing a child and grinning wickedly while holding him out over a balcony railing. Furious, I grabbed something out from Master Marik's belt and discovered that it was the strange dagger. Shoving him viciously to the ground, I towered over him in anger.

"You harmed women and children!" I hissed, pointing the blade at him. "And you were never concerned about me! They were right, you have always been my enemy!"

From the darkness of shadows

You led me back to the light

A difficult journey, and a tortuous flight

Even though the jaws of death

Nearly took away our last breath

You would never give up

And continue against evil to fight

Master Marik sprawled on the ground, gazing up at me—completely unafraid and instead sorrowful. "I am sorry, my brother," he said quietly. "I am sorry you believe those things. They are not true."

Once more I wavered, the dagger nearly slipping from my grasp.

"I know you are still there somewhere, Rishid," he continued. "Somewhere you still remember how close we have always been. Somewhere you yet remember how you always stood by me, even during my darkest hours. You won't turn against me now, will you, Rishid? Rishid?"

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever

That was when I knew I couldn't harm him. He had been right—my mind didn't remember who he was, but my heart did. Most all of the images I had been seeing in my mind were not true, I knew now. The boy never would hurt me intentionally . . .

. . . And I realized that only too well when, moments later, he was struck down by the blasts that were meant for me.

The boy looked so pained as he collapsed to his hands and knees and shuddered uncontrollably. . . . I could only stand by in disbelief and shock as he uttered his last words and then lost all strength as his body gave out from the intensity of the wound.

"I never thought I would go like this," he said ruefully, now laying on his side as his eyes closed. "Goodbye, Rishid . . ."

Now after everything we've been through

How could we end up on opposite sides?

Do you really not know me as you say?

Down on my knees I hope and pray

That my friend will shine through the darkness

That keeps his memories bound

That one day they will be discovered, and found

Everything came back to me in that one instant. Who I am, who Master Marik is, how close we are as brothers. . . . I also remembered parts of the brainwashing episode and how that woman and her minions had forced the false memories into my mind, much against my will.

"You will come to hate the one you once loved as your brother!" the woman had screamed maniacally. "And I will have my revenge on what you fools have done to me in the past!"

"I will never hate Master Marik!" I had retorted angrily. "Nothing you ever say or do could possibly change the way I feel about him!"

"Oh no?" The woman had looked undaunted. "Very commendable and sweet, Rishid darling, but I'm afraid I'm way ahead of you. I have my ways. And you will hate him when I'm done with you."

I still wasn't certain how she had done it, but somehow she had managed to first erase all my memories and then replace them with a few false ones of her own creation. She had done exactly what she had sworn to do . . . if only for a short time.

And now . . . now it was too late to tell my brother how sorry I was. It was too late to tell him that I did remember. Master Marik was dead. He had sacrificed himself to save me, even after the wretched way I had just treated him!

End Flashback

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever

I cradled the boy's body and looked up with hatred at those around me, those who had ended his life.

"Why?! Why would you kill him?! Why would you torment us like this?!" I screamed, watching as they melted back into the shadows, one by one.

"Oh Rishid, aren't you happy with me?" the woman's evil voice purred. "You wanted him punished. I would say he got no more than he deserved for his crimes."

"SILENCE!!" I screamed, pulling the still form close to my chest. "He has done nothing wrong!! And anything bad he did do he has repented of!" Tears filled my eyes as I gazed down at the adopted brother I loved so much.

Vivalene's wicked laughter echoed in my mind. "You know, Rishid, you were responsible for his death," she purred before breaking our connection.

"No," I whispered, but I knew it was true. I had killed him. This had come about because of my own actions.

Vivalene had known this would happen. Why else would she have gone to all the trouble to have me abducted and brainwashed? She knew exactly how Master Marik would react and exactly what would happen if I refused to attack him. She had had it all planned out.

"Master Marik . . . how can you ever forgive me?" I whispered in a pained voice. "I know that I can never forgive myself for what I have done."

Marik's Point-of-View

Now as I lay dying for my best friend

The blood that pours from me bright red

I will always care for you

And never believe you at fault

Even though my breath falters

And my heart begins to halt

Am I floating in a strange, endless space or am I still in my body, suffering from delirium? And where is Rishid? Has he been harmed?

Rishid . . . my best friend . . . my adopted brother . . .

Someone has turned him against me. Rishid no longer knows who I am. Perhaps he will never know again. But I am dying . . . does it really matter now if he never knows?

What will become of Ishizu? Rishid doesn't remember her, either, I'm certain. . . . Who will take care of her? What will she do, losing both her brothers on the same night? She wouldn't lose Rishid to death, but his fate seems . . . much, much worse somehow. He remembers so very little of how everything truly is . . . he's been made to trust that witch. . . . It seems to me that it would be more painful to live remembering nothing about your loved ones than to die knowing how much they meant to you.

I will die, won't I?

Am I already at least partially dead? I can hear nothing, see nothing, feel nothing except a dull pain where my chest is.

I can no longer speak either . . . or can I?

"Rishid," I gasp, never knowing whether my voice is heard by him or just if it's heard by me alone. Perhaps I'm crazy.

"Rishid, help me!" I scream.

Then some semblance of sensation returns. I feel his strong arms around me, can hear his surprised, joyous voice. . . .

"Master Marik?!"

He hears me . . . he knows me again. . . . Somehow I have gotten through to him. And there is nothing else I could want more. I can feel myself slipping away, going limp in my brother's embrace. . . . He hasn't forgotten me. . . . Maybe death won't be so painful after all. . . .

Do you remember me?

Through the hazy grey

that clouds your memories

of the times we shared together

The best of friends we said forever

End Marik's Narration

It has been days now, many days since I betrayed my brother. I have never left his side since then. I cannot leave him.

The doctors say they can do nothing for him. The shock of the blast from the strange weapon Vivalene's malicious hitmen struck him down with sent him into a deep coma from which they say he will never awaken. They say the best thing is to bring him home and allow him to die in peace. We have brought him home, but we must keep the faith that he will not leave us. He has survived this long and he is breathing on his own, despite the fact that he is unresponsive to all we say and do. Perhaps someday . . . someday he will revive again.

I look up in exhaustion. I have barely slept since this all happened. How can I sleep knowing that Master Marik is laying at the gates of death because of me?

Lady Ishizu is here as well. She does not blame me for what happened. She says she knows that I was not at fault for this, but still I cannot help but blame myself. Why couldn't I have been stronger and resisted Vivalene's brainwashing? Why had I turned against the boy I love as my brother?

In complete exhaustion I start to drift into oblivion against my will, leaning back in the chair next to the bed.

Through the mists of the sleep that is trying to entice me I feel a shaky hand grab my arm. "Rishid?"

Instantly I am awake again, looking up in sheer joy at the sound of the voice I have longed so badly to hear.

"Master Marik?" I say hopefully, and the boy smiles weakly.

"Rishid . . . I . . . I've missed you, my brother," he says in a raspy voice. He tries to reach out and embrace me but he is still too weakened from his experience. I gather him into my arms, holding him close to my chest.

"Master Marik . . . how can you ever forgive what I have done?" I ask in shame.

"You did nothing, Rishid." Master Marik smiles again, looking up at me. "The person who said and did those things wasn't you. He may have looked like you and spoken like you, but I know it wasn't you. You would never turn against me."

Now I smile as well. Master Marik will never turn against me, either, no matter what happens.

Lady Ishizu is hastening over now. She had been dozing in the other chair but now is wide awake.

"Marik!" she cries happily, warmly embracing the boy as well. "You are awake!"

Master Marik chuckles as he finds himself being hugged by the both of us at the same time, and then he reaches out to place an arm around each of us.

"I am glad to be back," he says quietly, "but more than that, I am glad that you are back, Rishid."

"As am I, my brother," I reply, holding him close again.