ashes doesn't own yu-gi-oh

- warnings -
AU-ish. Characer suicide (all in the name of love, *sigh*).

"Bakura-san," Jounouchi said respectfully, inclining his head slightly as the older man passed him – Ryou's father. The blond pitied him. He continued down the hill, headed towards a small teen sitting between two stones, hair askew, knees drawn up against his chest. Jounouchi could tell by the shaking of his shoulders that Yuugi was crying. He knelt down beside the boy, rubbing his back gently. "Hey," he said softly. "Are you going to be okay?"

"I'm fine," Yuugi sniffled.

Jounouchi shook his head. "It's been almost two weeks – that's pushing the limits of okay. There was nothing you could do."

"I know," Yuugi sighed, leaning over against Jounouchi. "I just... I can't help it. I wantto believe what everyone says – you know, that it was all Malik – but... god damn, have you seen their tape?"

"I've heard about it."

"I've seen it." Yuugi's body shook with sobs. "And anyone who sees it can tell that Ryou wasn't some victim; he was willing. Hell, at one point... he even looks excited." The smaller teens voice cracked, and he turned his face into Jounouchi's shoulder. "I can't believe it... How... Why... I don't understand!"

Jounouchi shook his head, looking at the two headstones before them. He sighed. "Neither do I." Silence passed between them; clouds passed overhead, and the sky darkened ominously.

Just like the morning they had all found out.

"Do you want to see it?" Yuugi asked softly.


"The tape – do you want to see it?"

Jounouchi bit his lower lip. "Is that... right?"

"They made it for people to see." Yuugi looked at him. "Maybe I'm just a coward, but I want to know that someone else has seen it. Bakura-san saw it, but... He doesn't want to talk about it."

With a nod Jounouchi stood. "Then I'll watch it for you."

* * * *
Two Weeks Previous

"Let's commit suicide."

Malik often had weird ideas, but most of the time I just ignored them and distracted him from them. After all, this was the guy who wanted to go jump off the house nude, just to see what the neighbors would do. Maybe it was the moment, or maybe it was the tone of his voice – calm, without even an inkling of fear – but I found myself paying attention, pulling the cigarette from his fingers and taking a drag.

That was how a lot of our nights started – lying on the roof of his house, nothing but some cigarettes and casual conversation between us. Then we would eventually go down to his room and have sex. Sometimes I remembered to go home, sometimes I didn't. It really just depended on how I felt afterwards. A lot of times I just wanted to hold him, as though he would disappear if I didn't.

Maybe a part of me saw our conversation coming. "Why would we do that?"

"Why not?" he countered simply. "All things considered, it seems like our best option."


He nodded, stealing back his cigarette. "Well, what do we have going for us? I have to deal with some 'personality disorder', and you get possessed on a semi-regular basis. We don't have much of a family left, and our friends are few and far between. We have to tiptoe around each other at school so those assholes won't know what we do behind closed doors, and even then you still get shit on a daily basis, just for being pretty. And lets not forget that psychologist who wants to fuck me through that little couch of his – I'd rather be dead than have someone else touch me."

"How devoted," I said softly. I guess he had a point; we didn't appear to have much going for us except each other. "So you'd rather die than be together?"

"No," he said vehemently. "That's the beauty of it – we'd be a fuckin' Romeo & Juliet story. Lovers with shitty lives destined to have eternity together. Think about it, Ryou; we could experience hell together."

There was something sexy about his cynicism, his negativity, his random bouts of insanity; something about it was attractive as hell. But that wasn't why I loved him; I loved him because he was worth loving. I couldn't really explain it, but I'd die for him if he needed me to, and at that moment he sounded painfully serious. "I always knew you were a romantic," I said dryly.

"Yea – we could be buried together... Just imagine the looks on their faces when they found us! Oh, the things they would say! Of course, in their version of the story, I'll be some demon who corrupted you to the 'dark side', and the whole thing will be all my fault."

I nodded. "So what do you have in mind?" A part of me wondered why I wasn't more freaked out by what he was saying, why I wasn't afraid about the idea. My heart started beating a little faster as he turned to look at me.


I shrugged. "Well, why not? Like you said, we haven't got anything going for us."

"You're the greatest!" He pounced on me, and for a minute he seemed like a child promised a new toy. He kissed my cheek. "I don't know; there's so many options." He rested his head against my chest, hands splayed on my shoulders. "I want to hear this when I die – I want to hear your heart stop, and know that I'm the only one in it."

It probably would have seemed sick to anyone listening in, but it brought tears to my eyes. He was romantic, in a strange way. "I love you," I whispered. He nodded against my chest.

"Me too." He sat up suddenly. "But before we do anything, we need burial plots!"


He looked at me seriously. "I want to be buried beside you. I'd prefer to be with you, but I doubt our families would be up to that."

"And how exactly do you intend to get burial plots?" Malik never was particularly logical about anything he did.

He grinned at me. "I've got some friends who work in the graveyard – I'll talk to them tomorrow. Hmm, so how do we want to do it?" He pulled his knees up, resting his chin on them as he thought; I settled back onto the roof, leaning on my elbows and looking at him. "We could just shoot ourselves, but that'd be gross. I'd rather like to have people look at us in the funeral and think 'Damn! They were too pretty to die' – but fuck 'em – it'll be too late! They never noticed before!" He laughed.

"So no shooting." Just to state the obvious.

"Right. I'd say we could jump off the roof, but that wouldn't be a guaranteed why to die, and we'd be pretty mangled."

"And you couldn't hear my heartbeat." The idea of him listening to my heart seemed important; it even turned me on.

"Of course. We could slit each other's throat." His expression was feral as he crawled towards me, pushing me back and running his tongue along my throat, as though mocking the path of a knife. "Right there," he whispered huskily. "Could you imagine anything more intimate? But that would be homicide, and that kills the mood of it."

I nodded. "Why not – " My breath hitched as his hands moved beneath my shirt, his mouth tracing my jugular. He was probably having fantasies about cutting it; I knew him too well to dismiss the idea. "Why not do it traditional Romeo & Juliet style and poison ourselves?"

"That's terrific," he murmured against my skin. "Then we could have sex until we die."

We didn't speak after that – his mouth was devoted to my skin, and I was busy keeping mine shut so we wouldn't wake the neighbors; it was after two in the morning. He stripped me, claimed me, and whispered in my ear. He loved me. He worshiped me.

"We're finally going to be rid of this place and all it's bullshit," he breathed in my ear. "They aren't worthy of you anyway."

I never could understand why no one else seemed to love him except me.


"I got 'em!" he shouted triumphantly, running into the room and jumping on my bed. My father was downstairs on a rare vacation.

"Shh," I said urgently, holding a finger to my lips. "Got what?"

"Where we're going to be buried."

My heart jumped, and I did the thing that came instinctively – I pulled him to me, kissed him. He giggled against my lips.

"That's the spirit," he said. "We're at the bottom of a hill, in the back of the city cemetery; pretty isolated spot. I was surprised no one had it already." He looked down at the open math book on my bed. "Why are you doing that shit – we're gonna be dead tonight."

I raised an eyebrow. "Already?" I should have been nervous – my voice should have shook, or I should have felt fear clog up my throat... but I all I could think was that I loved the boy nestled against me. I guess love really is blind. "What's the plan?"

"My sister is out tonight," he said mischievously. "I figure we'll decorate my room, have a couple drinks, have some great sex, poison ourselves... and just die. I'm gonna set up a tape."

I had to laugh – I could just imagine someone finding the tape. We must have been two immensely disturbed boys. "You want to record us dying on tape?"

He nodded. "Just so everyone knows. I want them to see."

"See what? Us naked, sweaty, and dead?"

"I want them to see the love."

I couldn't say no to that.

* * * *

I went all-out for our death scene; I'd be damned before I'd watch Ryou suffer a less than perfect death. That pervert of a psychologist would probably tell me that I was demented, and would send me to someone for medication – they tried that once. I never took it.

But back to the room – I ended up spending the money I had on sheets, beautiful, soft black sheets, fitting of a deathbed. I found every candle in our house and used it to light up my room; Ryou had always looked best in candlelight, and I felt a pang of jealously that people would see that on our tape. Then again, he was dying with me, so it didn't matter what they saw. Besides, I wanted them to see what they had been snide to, what they had missed out on when they ignored him. What I had, by pure chance, taken to my bed.

The tripod holding our video camera was at the foot of the bed, set to record our final scene perfectly. I'd taken out the clocks; I didn't want them to know what time it was when we recorded the video, and I didn't want any reminders of time – time didn't matter to us anymore; ours was almost up.

Most importantly, there was a bottle of wine on the bedside stand.

Poison in the wine.

It seemed romantic.

"Hey." Ryou was standing the doorway, smiling. I had to smile back. "It's beautiful," he whispered, eyes scanning the room.

I shrugged, even though I wanted to hold him to me and thank him for sounding so impressed. "It had to fit."

"It does." He entered, closed the door, and my breath hitched and he fell back onto my bed, lying on his back for a second before sitting up on his elbows. For a second, he looked almost giddy, and as much as I loved it, it broke my heart. He should have been worth something more than this, more than me... "So what's the plan?"

I gestured toward the camera, grinning despite how much I already grieved for his loss. "We'll tell them all about it, let them know what assholes they are – then we'll fuck and die."

He grimaced. "Poetic." Surprisingly, he was the one to go to the camera and turn it on; I watched with a lazy smile as the red light started blinking at me, telling me that it had started recording.

"What happened to the timid little boy I coerced into my bed?" I asked mischievously, and he came back to my arms.

"You never coerced me," he said seriously. "I wanted every second of it."

I kissed him before turning to look at the camera. "You heard it, folks," I said, an almost bouncy edge to my voice. "He wants it, so I don't want to hear any horror stories about me being some unfeeling devil, got it? Ooh, how to tell this story... Should we start from the beginning?"

"No," he said. "It'll take too long, and I much prefer the end anyway."

He was staring up at me with clear brown eyes, and I saw the excitement there... Once again, I hadn't coerced him like I feared; he wanted this. I took his lips in a kiss, my tongue met and teased his, but even as it happened I felt tears burn my eyes. "Gods, there aren't words for you," I murmured against his lips.

"Fuck the story; it'll be ours," he said suddenly. "They don't need to know it; they can see this and wonder."

I nodded and moved, pushed him back against my sheets, kissed him again. "You're too good for me," I whispered in his ear, and my voice was choked. Damn it, I didn't mean to sound this weak! "You probably deserve a real life."

He forced me to look him in the eyes, cradled my face between his hands; no words could describe the love in his voice as he replied, "You're what makes it real."

The tape was rolling as we made love, as we memorized each other's skin and voice, as we tasted each other one more time, came together for the last time; every moment was immortalized in ways that we never could be. Not that I ever wanted immortality. I only wanted him.

When it was over we curled against the pillows; my head was nestled against his chest, and his arms were wrapped around my shoulders – just how I wanted it, just how I wish it could always be. If he could have been buried like that, I would have been happy.

The tape was still rolling.

"Ready?" I asked. It was perfect; I could feel it. It was time for us to get the hell out.

He was the one to reach for the bottle. "Let's blow this popsicle stand." He gulped down the some of the contents, waiting a minute before passing the bottle to me. His eyes were slightly clouded – with love, lust, or poison, I'd never know – as my lips wrapped around the edge of the bottle, as I swallowed the most bittersweet liquid I'd ever tasted. I heard him gasp, and I ended up throwing the bottle off the bed. To fuck if it made a mess; it wouldn't be mine to deal with anyway. I nestled as close to him as I could get, and it still wasn't close enough.

His heartbeat was still steady; his chest still rose and fell with each breath. I figure we had some time.

"Ryou, did you ever actually read Romeo & Juliet?" I asked, remembering my own reference to it.

"Of course," he answered softly. "It was part of the English curriculum where I came from."

"Oh. I haven't, I just know that the lovers die in the end."

"It was a morbid love story," he replied.

I think I heard his heart skip.

"Who would we be – individually, I mean." I couldn't resist wondering.

He was silent, so still, and if I hadn't heard the proof of his life in his chest, I would have been afraid that he was already dead. "You'd be Juliet," he finally said. "It was really her idea to play dead. And I'd be Romeo. He decided to kill himself with poison, and that was my idea."

"Beautiful," I whispered.

I don't know how long we spent lying there, the tape watching us in our non-movement; it could have been two minutes or two hours for all I knew. I could feel sweat forming on my body, and breathing was getting more and more difficult with each passing second. I could hear Ryou's heartbeat changing – every now and then it seemed to skip or flutter. I had never heard anything so beautiful. His skin was heated under mine, and I looked up to see his eyes fixed on me. I could tell they were losing focus fast.

"You're going to be the last thing I see," he said, smiling slightly. "I wouldn't want it any other way."

His heart skipped a few more beats, and I pressed a kiss to his chest. "Me neither."

We were silent; I didn't want to breath anymore, it hurt. I wondered if I even could talk – wondered if he could either. His breathing was harder, and his heartbeat didn't seem to be following much of a pattern any longer. "I love you." The sound was sudden, and his voice was ragged and hoarse.

"Love you too," I murmured, pressing my ear closer to his chest. I could hear it. Not just his heartbeat, but his death; it seemed so close that it was audible. I didn't sound any better, did feel any better. I was shivering slightly, even though I was sweating; it was getting cold.


God, how could he love me so much? No one had ever been so devoted to me, so damn in love.


It was romantic; I'd never had a Romeo before. If we weren't dying, I would have made a note to read that book. Maybe I'd remember to in another life.


His heartbeat was so slow.

And then it was gone.

I closed my eyes and clung to him, as though it would help me follow; I wanted to be wherever he was.

Thankfully death came for me just as quickly.


- authors notes -
Dear thanks to the Goddess, who proofread for me. *smooches*

This was inspired by one line that I thought up – "there was blood on the bathroom wall." It just evolved into this. Needless to say, I never even got near the blood on the bathroom wall idea, lol.

It's sort of weird – I don't condone suicide in the least; it frightens me that someone would want to take his or her own life, that someone would have the stomach for it, so I'm not so sure why I romanticized it. As for the beginning, it seemed important to some extent that it start with the end result, and more interesting in any case. I also liked the quick glimpse at how things were dealing. Plus, it's hard to show the aftermath of two dead main characters, and I thought the flow was better with it in the beginning, you know?

So overall, I like it, I'm just wary of it, lol.