Calai'di-This last chapter is from Ryou's point of view. It contains a little yaoi, emotional disturbances, and, as Lemony Snicket might say, the person reading this might do better to read another, happier fanfic. But I'm not Lemony Snicket, so read on my friends!
Rating: PG-13 for a few scenes.
Disclaimer: I do not, never have, and will not own Yugioh and it's characters. Some of the info at the end is my personal opinion or what I interpreted from the show. Do not take my word on it.
* * * * *
Ryou woke up lying in a hospital bed, corporeal again, with several wires leading off his body to a collection of machines nearby. Tentatively, he tried to sit up, but fell again trying not to writhe in pain. His whole body screamed out in agony, pain shot up his legs and back down his back, his head felt like it would burst. Lying still again, he glanced around the room. Yugi was dozing next to the bed with Yami leaning against the wall behind him; Ryou could tell he was trying not to cry. Bakura was sleeping with his head by Ryou's hand; the boy was surprised that his yami hadn't roused when he'd moved. Speaking of moving…
Ryou groaned. Even breathing hurt. How long had he been here? Yugi was sleeping so peacefully Ryou didn't want to wake him. He relaxed and closed his eyes; somehow the agony was lessened when he was like that.
No answer. Well, if Bakura was asleep, there was no reason to wake him. Ryou tried to move again, but this time the torture was so extreme that he cried out. So much for not waking anyone. Bakura groaned with displeasure as he slowly sat up; he had probably been having another dream about ruling the world. Yugi was quicker to wake; he jolted upright when he heard Ryou's yell and watched him anxiously. Yami had already been awake, but now he was looking at the boy with the same concern as his hikari.
"You finally awake?" Bakura drawled. "I was worried. How are you feeling?"
Whoa, now that was unexpected. Bakura said he was worried about his hikari. Bewildered, Ryou tried to signal that he was okay, but stopped abruptly as the torment became too much. Bakura twitched with worry as he saw Ryou's distress.
"Wh-where is Yo-shiko?" Ryou managed to gasp. Dread and sorrow emerged in his yami's eyes. Ryou stared at him fearfully. "She i-isn't-"
"No," Yugi answered for Bakura. "Yoshiko's still alive, but she's lucky. The doctors said she might not have lived any longer if we hadn't gotten her here when we did. She still may not make it." Tears formed in the other's eyes. "I'm sorry Ryou, none of this should have happened."
Ryou closed his eyes again, thinking about the girl that was now in the hospital because of him. He may never play with that silken lavender hair again; those captivating eyes may never sparkle with joy. It was because of him. Trying to ignore the agony, Ryou attempted to sit up but was pushed back down by both Yugi and Bakura.
"Stay down," the yami hissed, "you're not well enough to get up."
"I have to see her," Ryou whispered. "I have to tell her I'm sorry."
Ryou managed to sit up, which ached twice as much with two people pushing him back down, but had to focus all of his strength on staying there. His head swam with the increasing agony his body was using to ask him to lay down again. One leg over the side, two legs over, Bakura caught him as he fell backward.
"You've gotta help me walk, yami, please help me," he moaned as Bakura crawled up onto the bed behind him. He succeeded in sitting up again and tried to slide off the bed onto the floor, but his legs wouldn't support his weight. Yugi caught him in the front, Bakura in the back, and, using them as supports, Ryou cautiously stood up. Legs shaking, he took a step toward the door.
"Where is her room?" Ryou asked. He leaned heavily on Bakura and barely noticed where his legs were taking him. Opening the door, he was almost blinded by the brilliance of the white hallway beyond; he hadn't noticed how dark his room was. Bakura guided him down the hall to another room, opened that door, and helped him to the bed. The slow beep, beep, of a machine was the only sound as Ryou looked down at the girl he'd hurt. The turquoise eyes were closed, and the pale purple hair was spread out upon the pillow. She looked so calm as she lay there, so beautiful, causing Ryou more pain in his heart than he thought possible. He sat on the edge of the bed, taking care not to sit on one of her hands, and fondled her hair, played with it, caressed her cheeks. He felt Bakura's spirit merge with his own for the first time so that they were both stroking her soft hair. Then, under no will of his own, though probably Bakura's and he didn't mind anyway, Ryou bent down and brushed his lips against hers. She stirred slightly under his kiss but didn't pull away and relaxed a little more. Fearing the worst, since his senses had long since filtered out the sounds of the room, he separated from her abruptly and jerked upright, which he soon regretted as pain lurched up his back, but it wasn't as bad as it had been before since Bakura had a higher pain tolerance the his host and they were merged. The eyes that had been closed stared up at him in sadness and confusion, but also in tranquillity and content, as if they knew what fate awaited them but happily welcomed it.
"Ryou?" she whispered. Ryou could see she was in as much or more pain than he had been at first, and she wasn't used to dealing with it.
"No," He heard himself say; it must be Bakura controlling his actions right now, he was just a passenger watching what happens, "both of us are here. You'll be okay, Yoshiko."
"Sorry Ryou, I've been defeated. Are you okay?"
"Good, I'm glad you're all right. I love you, Ryou Bakura. As long as you're okay, I'll be okay."
Uh-oh, she was using his last name, which either meant she knew for sure that she was talking to both him and Bakura, or she was sinking towards death very fast.
"I love you too, Yoshiko," he said softly as a tear rolled down his cheek. Ryou leaned over and kissed her again, longer and more elaborate this time and he lingered upon her lips even as the beeps in the room became one long, shrill, tragic note. Finally, he broke from their kiss, collapsed to the floor, and fell asleep sobbing with his head by her hand.
When Ryou awoke again, he was in his hospital bed, and his father was sitting nearby. Before Ryou could explain that they had to move back to Domino, though he wasn't going to say his other was ordered to go back there by a three-thousand year old Pharaoh, his father told him they would be leaving for their old home as soon as Ryou was well enough to leave the hospital.
"He was a very polite young man," Mr. Bakura had explained, "and he had a certain regal air about him. He told me there was nothing wrong in Domino, and reminded me that you'd never come to much harm there and look what happened now! Besides, you have good friends in Domino, and the only one you had here, well… Anyway, what he said made sense, and there was something about him that I couldn't refuse. He reminded a little of your friend Yugi; they must have been related."
A large "Welcome Back" party awaited Ryou when he got back to Domino, hosted by Yugi and Yami, and there were an assortment of people he hadn't expected to be their, or even for Yugi and Yami to invite. Seto Kaiba was there, much to his displeasure, and Ryou figured Mokuba had dragged his brother to the party. Marik made a grand appearance dressed up like his yami, which scared most of the other people there. Ishizu was present, as was Mai, and Joey brought his sister, who invited Duke Devlin, to Tristan's annoyance. But even though most of Ryou's friends were at the affair, one being was missing- Bakura. Ever since they had merged and Yoshiko had died, Bakura hadn't spoken to Ryou or tried to possess his body. In fact, the only way Ryou knew his yami was still there was when he went to comfort Bakura; then he was violently rejected. Ryou also had a feeling that the party was partially arranged so Yugi could make sure Ryou was all right.
"So, how did the doctors explain about Yoshiko?" Yugi asked.
"They said it was a 'freak accident'. To tell to truth, I don't think they had a clue what happened themselves."
"Well, it's better that way, isn't it? If we ever said what really happened, they'd think we're insane."
"In a way, we sort of are, or at least Bakura is. For us it's Multiple Personality Syndrome or something like that."
They stood around in silence watching the others dance and converse until, after a few moments, Yami asked, "How's Bakura doing?"
"He doesn't want to admit it, but he's a lot more hurt than I am," Ryou answered, rubbing a spot on his arm that was covered with a bandage. "He's been sulking around in the Ring, and anytime I try to talk to him, he pushes me away. He truly loved Yoshiko; I'm not sure he'll ever be the same. He's blaming himself for her death and the injuries I've suffered. I just hope Bakura doesn't leave."
* * * * *
What Ryou never figured out:In Yoshiko's card reading, the card Possessed Dark Soul did not mean she would become evil or possessed. The picture shows a humanoid figure being consumed by flames, which represented death in a painful way. The monster's effect includes tributing it, which means sending it to the Graveyard, and sending something to the Graveyard usually means killing it. The card Dark Spirit of the Silent did not only refer to Bakura; it also referred to Yami. They are both yamis and they both stayed in hiding within their hikaris originally. In fact, the gang knew about Bakura before they knew about Yami.