Summary: Ryou and Bakura - along with a few 'residents' - spend a few early morning hours together in the cemetery. Those few hours will change everything. *Companion to 'Hello', NOT shounen-ai*

Rating: PG-13 for Bakura's mouth, and because seeing your family be chopped into little pieces and seeing your sister killed by a car are not happy things. 0.0UUU

Disclaimer: Have I ever owned any of 'em???

Mojobubbles: Ooh, we have mucho notes.

Kamilah: First of all, let's start with what inspired this.

Mojobubbles: GRAVEDIGGER BY DAVE MATTHEWS! DUH! ^___^ That song rox my sox.

Kamilah: ^.^ Uh.....fwee.

Mojobubbles: See, in 'Gravedigger', he talks about random dead people and stuff that happened to them, so I'm basically picking different names and making them the same people as the people in the song. Gots it?

Kamilah: Tis a bit confusing, yah.....

Mojobubbles: And I'm following the music video for 'Gravedigger', btw. For example, when I first heard the song on the radio and I couldn't catch all the words, after hearing 'he rode his bike like the devil til the day he died' I figured it was about some guy who had a motorcycle....then I saw the video and it was some kid on a two-wheeler.

Kamilah: Yuuuup. Oh, and let's just restate the fact that this is *not* technically a shounen-ai. If you want to interpret it that way, then go right ahead. But for this particular fic, we just decided not to make it a real shounen-ai.....


Oniichan: I can't really translate the word itself, but I can break it up into parts for you: o- is a prefix that shows honor/respect, nii is 'big brother', and -chan is a suffix that shows friendliness/intimacy.

Midori no oka: hill(s) of green

Sumimasen: excuse me, sorry

Go-shujin-sama: respected landlord

Ne: right, am I right, etc.

Hikari: light

Mou hitori no ____: (roughly) the other side of ___

O-tosan: father

Ka-chan: mom

Imoto: little sister

Yami-sama no boku: respected dark of me (WHAT!? That's what it means!!)

Ore-sama: -sama means 'master, lord, etc', yah? Well, ore is a rough vulgar way to say 'I' whoever uses ore-sama is someone rather coarse and rather conceited......any idea who this could be? ^.~

Oh, and just keep in mind that in Japanese the last name comes first. So........Bakura Ryou, Mutou Yuugi, Jounouchi Katsuya, Ishtar Malik, etc........

Kamilah: Mm........think that's it....

Mojobubbles: *nod nod* Oh, and we made a fanart for this! It was one of our not-so-good ones, I'm afraid. O.O



Why was she just standing there?

Ryou reached out to her, and she smiled and began to run to him.

"Oniichan!" she called joyfully.

Ryou grinned at his Amane-chan. She was so fragile, but she was always smiling.......

But suddenly, she vanished into thin air.

It was just like the day she died; one minute she was there, her frail heart beating steadily, the next she was silent, gone from the world of the living forever.

Ryou stared at the spot where his sister had been only a moment before.

Suddenly, he heard laughing. He recognized that laugh.....

Ryou looked down, and realized he'd been holding the Sennen Ring all along.

"Mou hitori no boku....." His eyes widened.

The laughing grew louder, and louder still, and Ryou let the Ring fall to the ground with a clatter.

He collapsed to his knees, trying to block out the laughing.

"STOP IT! STOP!" he screamed.

He choked back a sob.



Ryou's eyes flew open, and he sat bolt upright.

"It was a dream......" he told himself, trying to calm his rapid heart beat.

"Was that me laughing?" asked a voice in his ear, sending Ryou into another panic.

"Don't do that!" he exclaimed, turning to face Bakura, standing there in transparent form, looking (much to Ryou's surprise) pensive and weary.

"Well? Was it me?" Bakura asked.

"I-I think so," Ryou sighed, rubbing his temples.

Bakura sighed too, and reached out for the glass of water on Ryou's nightstand, forgetting he was in transparent form. He swore as his fingers passed straight through the cup.

He reached out, and once again his hand went right through it. He tried again, and again, and again.....

Ryou had to smile inwardly at his yami's actions.

Finally, Bakura closed his eyes and concentrated. Slowly, his fingers became opaque, and when he reached out again he was able to grab the cup. Bakura lifted it up, grinning triumphantly, ready to hand it to Ryou, but his hikari had suddenly swung himself off the bed and headed over to his closet.

Bakura's concentration broke, and the glass fell from his once-again translucent hand. He swore loudly, as the water splashed on the carpet.

Ryou turned from the closet, navy blue sweatshirt in hand, and sighed.

"Hey, it was your fault!" Bakura said, waving his hands in Ryou's direction, as if directing the blame to his hikari.

Ryou sighed again and pulled on the sweatshirt. He crossed the room again and shut off the alarm on his clock, which read 6:15 in the dim light of the early morning.

He left the room, and Bakura heard him putting his shoes on.

"Just where are you going?!" the spirit demanded, following him out of the room and to the back door.


"Well, yeah, but where?"

Ryou shrugged. "If you're so worried, give me the Ring, and you can come too."

Bakura gave him a suspicious look, but the Ring suddenly materialized next to Ryou. He picked it up and put it around his neck, carefully tucking the Item under his hooded sweatshirt. (*using Steve-kun the Inu-Ripper's hoodie voice* Hooooooodie! RYOU HAS A HOOOOOODIE!)

"Why do you always hide it?" Bakura asked, cocking his head.

Ryou shrugged again, walking out the door. "It's just a habit, I guess. I learned that when I didn't wear it, it hurt, so I wore it all the time; I just kept it hidden."

Bakura stared after him for a moment, then followed.


"Where are you going?" Bakura persisted, as Ryou walked through the apartment complex.

"You'll see," he smiled. Finally, they passed the last building, and they found themselves on the base of a hill.

Bakura stared up at the sky, and realized that in the night this area would be filled with stars.

"I used to take her up here," Ryou said suddenly, stopping dead in his tracks. "When Ka-chan and O-tosan fought, and Amane-chan woke up. We'd sneak out here so she didn't have to listen to it."

Bakura nodded slowly, hesitant about what he should say, or what Ryou wanted him to say. Ryou stared at the ground, his bangs covering his eyes, and Bakura was unsure as to what was going through Ryou's mind.

"C'mon," he said abruptly, straightening up. "I wanna go to one more place."

He walked off, and Bakura followed.

"How long is this gonna take?" Bakura asked impatiently.

"Not long," Ryou rolled his eyes.

But as soon as Ryou stooped over and picked up a couple dandelions, Bakura knew where they were going.

About fifteen minutes later, the two of them reached Midori No Oka, Domino's cemetery.



Ryou, instead of heading straight to the corner where his mother and sister were buried, zeroed in on a grave to the far left, one that was weathered and mossy, and crouched down in front of it.

Bakura walked up behind Ryou and squinted at the inscription on the headstone.

"Ichisuzu Kazuo. 1810-1913," Bakura read aloud. "Bet everyone thought he was weird; lived to be 103.......'course, I'm roughly 3021, so I guess I shouldn't be talking......"

Ryou rolled his eyes. "What kind of person do you think he was?" Ryou said suddenly, looking up at Bakura.

Bakura stared at the grave some more. "A bit rough around the edges, but he was a good person. Everyone came to him for advice, even though he wasn't exactly the brightest jewel in the tomb, if ya get what I mean......."

Ryou sweatdropped.

"He had a rough life," Bakura said. "A servant, somewhere in Japan.........pretty cruel masters."

Ryou looked at him in bewilderment. "How do you know all this?"

"He's dead, I'm dead, we're kind of connected, ya know?" Bakura said shortly. "C'mon, Ryou, you're a necrophiliac, can't you at least feel 'em?"

Ryou frowned. "I am *not* a necro-" He paused, his eyes widening. "I-I'm feeling something........a kind of presence, you know?"

Bakura smirked. "Kazuo says you're funny."

Ryou sighed and shook his head, but he smiled. Suddenly, he turned and stared in the opposite direction, chills running up and down his spine.

"I......I think we're supposed to go over there," he said softly, getting up and taking slow steps.

He was inexplicably drawn to a grave, feeling an overwhelming wave of sadness wash over him as he crouched down in front of the grave.

"Iwabashi Kioko," he read, swallowing a lump in his throat. "1903 to 1954."

"Two sons......Seita and Keitaro........Both of them died about a decade before she did," Bakura said softly.

"Mm.......during WW2," Ryou nodded.

".......huh?" Bakura blinked.

"World War 2," Ryou sighed exasperatedly.

"Well sorryyyyyy, not all of us were born in this century," Bakura retorted.

"I just can't stand it when you do that attitude thing," Ryou said, regretting that he'd offered to let Bakura come.

"Sumimasen, go-shujin-sama," Bakura mocked.

"Stop it," Ryou said suddenly. "She doesn't want us to fight."

They turned to the grave. "Sumimasen, Iwabashi-san," they chorused.

For a few moments, neither said anything, listening to Kioko's story being told on the wind.

"It killed her!" Ryou exclaimed suddenly, his eyes widening. "W-when she was at the funeral for her children.......she lost everything......10 years later she was dead." He blinked back sudden tears.

"I wonder if that's what Ka-chan was feeling when we buried Amane-chan," Ryou said quietly, staring at Kioko's grave.

"Well, couldn't you tell? You were there, y'know," Bakura pointed out matter-of-factly, perching himself on another grave a few feet away and facing in the opposite direction.

"For one thing, that was 7 years ago," Ryou sighed. "For another, I was too busy hearing voices in my head telling me I'd killed her to pay attention."

Bakura froze, turning slowly and staring at the back of Ryou's head.

Ryou whirled around to face Bakura. "Why'd you do that?!" he demanded furiously, despite the tears rolling down his cheeks. "Did you think it was funny!? Did you enjoy using the death of his sister to manipulate a 9 year old boy!?" He turned away again, choking back a sob.

(Random voice off to the side: PSST! RYOU! GIVE HIM THE FINGER! FIIIIIIIINGER!

Mojobubbles: *accusingly* KIRSTIE! QUIT THAT!)

"At the time........yeah," Bakura sighed. "But now that I look back on it.......I dunno what possessed me to do that."

There was a pause.

"Actually........ya know what?" Bakura said, suddenly sounding rather angry. "I do know why I did that. It was all because of Kuruelna."

Ryou didn't say anything.

"You ever even heard of Kuruelna?" Bakura asked, still sounding angry.

"N-no," Ryou said finally, wondering what on earth it was about 'Kuruelna' that made his other half so angry.

Bakura's expression softened, as he realized he was scaring Ryou.

"'Sokay. I would've been really surprised if you had," he sighed, the anger gone from his tone.

"Ok, Ryou, you might wanna get comfortable.......this is kind of a long story.

"When I was 8 years old, I guess, there was this big war going on in Egypt. The pharaoh, who was mou hitori no Yuugi's father, was out of options, so someone made the suggestion to create these seven items that were mentioned in some evil shadow book......thing."

"Sennen Items......." Ryou turned around and looked at Bakura. "Ne?"

"Hai," Bakura said.

"But what's a Kuruelna?" Ryou asked abruptly. Bakura scowled.

"Keep your pants on, shujin, I'm getting there. In order to make the Items, they needed a sacrifice of 99 people. So.......and now that I look back on it, I really don't know who it was, though I thought it was mou hitori no Yuugi, but........they decided to sacrifice Kuruelna."

"It was........a village?" Ryou blinked.

"Very good, you get a prize," Bakura said bitterly. "I bet they picked it just because it was kind of like the tomb robber capital of Egypt." He sighed, and the anger melted from his face.

"I-I watched them do it, Ryou," he murmured. "Everyone was screaming and running and trying to get away......."

"Yami-sama no boku......" Ryou said softly. "Th-that's awful, but I don't understand. What......why did Kuruelna make you so bitter?"

Bakura didn't say anything for a moment. "Don't you get it!?" he snapped. "Everyone who lived in that village was killed.......everyone except me."

Ryou's eyes widened.

Bakura suddenly mumbled something in a tongue Ryou didn't recognize.

"Uh........I didn't quite catch that," Ryou whispered.

"Ain," Bakura said simply. "They killed her, too."

"Who.......who was Ain?" Ryou asked hesitantly.

"Imoto no ore-sama."

Ryou's eyes widened even more. "Oh!"

"My parents didn't give a crap, my brother was an asshole, but.......I-I loved her, I really did......." He clenched his hands into fists.

"AND THEY KILLED HER!!" Bakura screamed suddenly, slipping off from his perch on the tombstone and landing hard on his knees. He clutched the grass, accidentally ripping up handfuls of it.

The bodies had been everywhere.

Some had been missing their heads, others their limbs.

The dirt road had been stained with blood.

And Bakura, the future king of thieves, had stood staring in shock and horror at the place where his sister had fallen only seconds before.


Bakura hid behind the wall, Ain's voice still echoing in his head.

' me......'

His heart pounding, he turned out of the alley and ran in the direction of the village's boundaries.

That was a mistake.

"Oi, wait! There's still one!" a soldier yelled, and Bakura panicked. He ran faster, but the soldiers were too much. One grabbed his sleeve and yanked him backward.

Another one handed Bakura's captor a knife, who held the weapon to the boy's throat.

Bakura squeezed his eyes shut, waiting for the inevitable, when Ain's words came back to him.

'Live......niisama......for me.....'

"I will," he whispered. "I'll live......"

His eyes snapped open, and he began to struggle fiercely, despite the tears streaming freely down his face.

The soldier blinked in surprise, his grip loosening, but not wavering altogether.

Bakura screamed and kicked at him, and suddenly felt an excruciating pain on his (*thinks for a minute*) right cheek.

He screamed again, and his leg shot up and kicked the soldier hard in the shin.

Swearing loudly, his captor finally let go, and Bakura turned and ran as fast as he could, blood mingling with the tears on his cheeks, blood from a wound whose scar he would carry with him the rest of his life.

~*~End Flashback~*~

For a few moments, neither said anything.

"That was why I tortured you like I did," Bakura said numbly. "I hadn't fully......woken up, I guess, when Amane died........And that got me started. It reminded me of the pain I went through, when I watched them slaughter my sister, and you were just like I was, lost and alone, and I remembered just how much I hated mou hitori no Yuugi, and I took it all out on you."

He swallowed. "Sumimasen, Ryou," Bakura said quietly.

"It's ok!" Ryou choked, making his way over and collapsing on the ground next to Bakura. "You missed your could I blame you for that?"

"I-I......." Bakura didn't know what to say. He looked up. "Yamamoto Toshiro."

Ryou blinked. "Who?"

"Look," Bakura said, pointing to the grave they'd fallen in front of.

"Yamamoto Toshiro, 1967-1975," Ryou read. "Oh."

"Amane was only 7, ne?" Bakura asked.

"Mm-hm," Ryou nodded, his tone trancelike.

"Someone crashed into him," Ryou murmured, his eyes darting back and forth as if reading something inscribed on the grave that only he could see. "He was just riding his bike, when some drunk driver came along......."

He sighed heavily and stood up, beginning to pace. (This part be saaaaad T.T)

"He didn't get a chance. He didn't get a chance to drive a car, or see another country, or fall in love.......because he didn't know.......

"Just like the others. Just like Ain, and Amane, and Kioko, and Kazuo......

"They were just going, living like always, when everything changed completely.......

"Kioko got a letter, Toshiro was just being a kid, Ain didn't hear the soldiers coming, Amane didn't see the car, Kazuo just gave up one day......."

"But why!?" Bakura choked, pounding his fist on the ground. "Why couldn't someone else's sons be killed!? Why couldn't those two drivers have run over two different children!? Why couldn't someone else have Kazuo's masters!? Why did they have to slaughter Kuruelna?!"

"Because.....that's just how things are," Ryou said quietly.

"BUT IT'S NOT FAIR!" Bakura screamed. "I SAW THEM COMING!

"I could've saved her, but I didn't," he whispered. "I should've gone and warned her! I should've known something was wrong!"

"But you didn't know that they were going to kill all of Kuruelna," Ryou said suddenly. "Just like I didn't know that the sun would come out."

Bakura stopped. "What......?"

"Ka-chan was sick when she was pregnant with Amane, so when Amane was born there were a lot of things wrong with her......for one thing, her eyes were partially underdeveloped, and she didn't like the sun because it hurt her eyes so much......

"The morning she was so cloudy. I didn't know.....I didn't think that the sun would come out later. I didn't know that the afternoon bell at my school would be broken, meaning I'd be late to pick her up......

"I didn't know she'd try to cross the street by herself, with her head bowed.......

"I didn't know that the sun would reflect off that van......."

He bit back a sob.

"I didn't know she wouldn't be able to see it until it was too late......"

He squeezed his eyes shut, trying to keep the tears from coming.

"I remember people were grabbing me, trying to keep me away.....I just fought through them all, because I had to be with my imoto.......She didn't really feel anything, thank God. T-the ambulance came, but there wasn't anything they could do, so I just sat with her.....I think she knew she was dying, even though she was smiling until the end.......

"But I remember at one point, I looked down at my hands, and saw that I was covered in her blood.

"That's when I lost it. I was screaming, and they were grabbing me again, and then I felt one of the people from the ambulance stick a needle in my arm, to sedate me, I guess, and then I don't know what happened; I just sort of lost consciousness.

"But I will never, ever forget when I woke up, in the hospital, next to my mother....."



Ryou moaned suddenly, his eyes still shut tight, and he began to stir.

"'mane," he mumbled.

"I'm sorry, oniichan......."

Even though his mind was groggy and slow, he knew that there was no way Amane could be talking to him.....she was dead.....

"Ryou, it's alright, Ryou, wake up," someone else whispered.

Ryou suddenly sat bolt upright, slipping out of the hard plastic chair he'd been sitting in. The blue-speckled tiles blurred together, engulfing him in a sea of gray. He looked up, blinking confusedly, his mother's concerned face becoming sharper.

"KA-CHAN!" he cried, leaping into her arms. She drew him up onto her lap, holding him close.

"It's alright," she whispered. "It's going to be just fine."

"Where are they?" Ryou murmured. "Where's O-tosan? W-where's Amane-chan?"

"Your father's coming," she murmured in reply, stroking his hair. "But....Ryou, Amane's.....she's gone."

Ryou nodded, burying his head in his mother's chest.

But suddenly he realized that he needed to tell her.

"KA-CHAN!" he cried again, pushing away and staring up at her, his eyes wide. "It was my fault! I saw her crossing the street, and she wouldn't wait, and I didn't make her, and now she's dead, and it's all because of me!"

He was shaking now.

"I'm sorry, Ka-chan.....I'm so sorry," Ryou whispered, the words fading into sobs, as it finally sunk in that his sister was dead.

"N-no," his mother whispered, and he realized she was crying too. "It wasn't your fault. Never, ever blame yourself," she choked, pulling him back into her embrace, never wanting to let go.

Ryou didn't want to let go either, and he let himself cry.

~*~End flashback~*~

Back in the present, Ryou fell to his knees once more, sobbing.

Bakura stared down at the ground. "I don't know what you're seeing, but I know it's something really awful," he said quietly.

Ryou didn't say anything for a moment, wiping his face roughly.

"Uh, it's ok," Bakura said gruffly, wondering exactly how to put his thoughts into words. "I mean, I don't, I mean, it's ok.....if you cry, you know....."

Ryou shook his head and smiled at the thief's inarticulacy in spite of himself.

"But what about you?" he asked quietly. "Don't you ever want to cry?"

Bakura was taken aback. "I-ie....."

"I mean, after everything you've seen......don't you ever want a friend?"

"Iie," Bakura said flatly, folding his arms across his chest. "I'm not about to go cuddling up to someone one second just to have them ripped away from me the next."

Ryou blinked in surprise. "Y-you don't have to be scared to love....."

(*streaming 'Gravedigger'* ^_^ *sings* Sooooo....Cyrus Jones lived forevah......)

"Look, Ryou, you don't get it; that's not it," Bakura snapped, going from sympathetic to his normal bad temperament in seconds. "I'm alone. I'm supposed to be alone. That's why the gods took everyone I ever loved. It's my destiny."

"Oh, stoppit!" Ryou said, getting impatient himself. "Would you just open your eyes? Just because....just because it's been hard for you, doesn't mean that you should give up...."

"Oh, c'mon, Ryou! I'M DEAD! I'd say that's a damn good reason to give up!" Bakura shouted, turning his back on Ryou.

There was a deafening silence.

"No one would have cared, anyway, back then. No one would've cared if I'd died the very next day. No one would've cried," Bakura whispered bitterly.

"Don't say that," Ryou said, his voice barely above a whisper. "Mou hitori no boku.....if I had been there...."

Ryou smiled.

"I would've cried for you."

Bakura turned to him, his eyes wide.

Ryou suddenly leaned forward, chewing his lip, and flung his arms around the thief's neck. "It's ok," he whispered. "I know you've been alone."

The look on Bakura's face was almost comical, although inwardly he felt so confused. Why didn't he push away? But he hadn't been hugged like that for so long.....but then it's not like Ryou really mattered to him.....

But as the thought entered his mind, another pushed it aside: if that were true, then why had he listened to everything Ryou had to say?

"S-shut up, Ryou," Bakura murmured roughly. "You're not my therapist." But before he had even finished his sentence, he'd thrown his arms around Ryou and hugged him back.

(Ok, now it's a tad freaky/really sad......)


About 50 feet away, standing back, unseen by all but his companions, a man rolled his eyes. "I wondered if the lad would ever get over himself." (*just reread that sentence really fast and thought it said 'get laid'* oOUUU)

"Hush," the woman standing next to him admonished, tears slipping down her cheeks. "He's just spent too much time alone, that's all." She wiped her face and turned around. "Children, come here," she called softly, gesturing to a small group of children playing tag among the moss-covered graves.

The oldest was a boy who didn't look more than eight or nine years old, while the youngest was a girl with tan skin (that contrasted greatly with her pale silvery hair) who looked to be about five. The third girl, who strongly resembled the smallest, ran over to the man and the woman, and the others followed her.

"Aww!" she squealed, bouncing on the balls of her feet, watching Bakura and Ryou. The boy crossed his arms and rolling his eyes, although he looked pleased.

"You get excited over everything," the boy sighed.

The middle-aged girl crossed her chocolate brown eyes and stuck her tongue out at him, tossing her silvery-white hair over her shoulder and facing the smallest girl.

"Why don't they see us?" the smallest girl whimpered.

The middle girl reached out and put her arms around her friend, realizing that she hadn't seen her brother for years and years and years.........

And then she realized that she wanted them to see them all as well.

"Niisama........" the smallest girl whispered, her gaze locked on Bakura. "Please......"

The middle girl blinked away sudden tears, saying nothing but chanting over and over in her head: oniichan, oniichan......


And suddenly, Bakura's eyes widened, and he turned, staring straight through them all.

The smallest girl gripped her friend tighter. "Niisama......"

Bakura stared, breathing heavily.

Ryou turned as well. "W-what's........." He gasped.


The middle girl grinned. "They see us!!" she cried excitedly, ignoring the tears that slipped down her cheeks.


Ryou grabbed Bakura's arm. "Amane.......B......Bakura, it's them.....!"

Bakura was shaking, and he collapsed to his knees. "I know that!" he sobbed.

He looked up, his eyes locking with his sister's, and he realized they were both crying.

And they were both smiling.


Mojobubbles and Kamilah: 0____0

Malik: *sighs in frustration* Here it comes......

Mojobubbles and Kamilah: *burst into tears and grab each other*

Malik: Could the ending have been any more rushed?

Mojobubbles: *sob* YES IT COULD'VE! NOW SHADDUP!

Malik: 0.0

Kamilah: *shniffle* Review, onegai? ^____^