Title: Spider Web

Author: Pikachumaniac

Category: Psychological

Couplings: YnBakura/Otogi (one-sided)

YGO Timeline: After Battle City but prior to YnYuugi's return to his memory world in the manga, thus working under the assumption that the ancient Egypt arc did not take place immediately after the end of Battle City.

Thank You's and So On: Many thanks to Kei Kazama, Nalan-san, Nephthys-san, Ninetails-chan, and Sarah for suffering through this. And of course, the usual thanks to the ever-wonderful rayemars-san for making this story better than it has a right to be. :p

Disclaimer: Yu-gi-oh is the property of Takahashi Kazuki.

Rating and warnings: R for violence, mentions of rape, shounen-ai

        "… a spider does not enjoy the luxuries of scruples…." [1]

        The water is cold and tinted red with blood. Mine, most likely, considering how I feel.. but usually it isn't. True, I often spill my own blood… but I take greater pleasure from spilling the blood of others.

        A sudden movement catches my eye, although I don't bother to look up. I already know who it is, and have no need to move anymore than is necessary. I knew who you were and where I was from the moment I woke up and recognized these surroundings. After all, we've been here many times before, haven't we? Except those times, the roles were switched, with you in the bathtub washing away the blood that goes so well with your eyes. They are complimentary colors, I think.

        That's what the yadonushi [2] calls it. I don't know why he bothers to tell me such useless information, nor do I care. He has his reasons, I'm sure, but it doesn't change anything.

        This contrast really is quite nice, if I say so myself. It would make a remarkable piece of work, your emerald-green eyes emphasized by the red of the blood running down your face. Any artist would die for such a composition, and at times I convince myself that you are masterpiece. A personal one, unshared with others.

        You do well in hiding what I do to you from your so-called friends, but what do they care? They don't, and we both know it. Why else do you think I'd choose you if it wasn't for this distance that you maintain from them?

        I needed a challenge, someone different from the yadonushi. He only fights and struggles when it is for the sake of his friends, and the rest of the time he just lets me to whatever I please… a poor challenge. But I know he would fight me if it involved his friends, and he is not the only one. The ever-dutiful pharaoh, with typical idiotic possessiveness, would be all over me if I foolishly chose someone from his legion of brainless individuals. But you?

        He doesn't fight for you.

        He notices, I am sure of that. How couldn't he? It's right under his upturned nose, and even one as arrogant as he couldn't fail to notice our little game.

        You're good at hiding it considering the circumstances, I'll grant you that, but the pharaoh is easily capable of looking past that weak façade you so desperately put up… yet he doesn't. What do you think of that, hmm? Do you notice and pretend that it's not true, that you're not really that insignificant in his eyes? Or are you as blind as everyone else, choosing to believe in that pathetic lie you made for yourself… that your cocky, swaggering attitude can shield you from all the weaknesses that you have hidden within?

        Do you even know what I'm doing to you? Do you notice? Do you understand everything I'm doing to mold you into something that is easily controlled?

        You must, surely. No one can be that stupid, unfortunately… although I suppose I could be wrong. The world would be much easier to deal with if you were all that stupid, but then it wouldn't be as interesting.

        But instead of capitalizing on your stupidity, I take advantage of less obvious faults. It's more difficult task and the result is often distorted and unsatisfactory, but the results can be fascinating if done properly. You are not the first person I have done this to, nor will you be the last. But I've learned from my previous subjects that a great deal of precision is needed when molding, and I sometimes believe that my art is nearing perfection….

        I must have succeeded at something with you, or why else would I be here? Why else would I be lying here, in a tub of water mixed with blood, when you could have left me there to die? What else could possibly have possessed you to rescue your tormenter, rather than ridding yourself of my presence forever?

        You press a wet towel against my face, but I don't move or acknowledge your actions. You also say nothing as you wipe the blood from my forehead, lost in your own thoughts most likely. Your movements are precise and experienced, as if you have done all of this before. Which you have, of course… for how many times have I sat in your place watching you clean off all that thick red blood?

        I doubt you want to let all those unsightly bloodstains remain on your beautiful face, even though it hurts to remove them. That is not a compliment, mind you. It is an observation of your better merits… one I am sure you prefer to do without if it would finally grant you the freedom that you desperately seek.

        But then again, this… this is a contradiction to everything you scream at me when you try to get away. I wonder now if you really were trying to escape all those times before… what a notion that is, eh?

        I could bring up your prior behavior.

        I could ask you about this sudden change of heart.

        But I don't, although I'm not sure why. Probably it's because you're being oddly gentle as you wipe the blood off my face, and I'm in no mood for any more stinging pain when I'm trying to think about whatever motives you may have in this.

        It's odd that I'm thinking about something like this, especially when I've always prided myself in staying one step ahead of. But it seems that you've finally caught me by surprise… and surprise is something I am not particularly fond of.

        Most people would let their tormenters die in agony… but you? Why not you? The last thing I remember seeing before I lost conscious was your startling green eyes staring down at me with all the hatred they always possess, and I thought it likely that I would never wake up again. Many people would have benefited from that, you know. The yadonushi, the pharaoh, the priest, the world….


        Despite that, I would never flat out say that I wouldn't survive because that simply isn't the case. I've never believed in the possibility of survival as being zero. After all, I based my life on those slim chances of enduring that most people would flee from. I, however, always managed to survive on those chances that nobody else could.

        And again, I was proven correct when I woke up in a bathtub filled with water made opaque by the bright red blood. It's interesting how the colors swirl, as if they are in some type of demented, frenzied, and uncontrolled dance.

        It's difficult to stay in this type of a situation without saying anything, and the uncomfortable silence stretches on as you finally move away and dip the towel in water. The entire time, I don't look at you, and you don't look at me except to focus on the blood that you're still working to clean off. There is quite a lot, and I can't help but wonder how careless I must have been in order to let this happen in the first place.

        I can't remember the faces of the people who did this to me… I should though. I would like nothing more than to find them and repay their treatment with some generosity of my own… yet I can't.

        But then again, if none of this had happened… we wouldn't be here, would we?

        "You're getting better at this," I rasp dryly as I finally turn to look at you, and not bothering to think about how weak I might sound. Even if you notice, there's no point in hiding what is clearly visible to both of us. "Been getting plenty of practice lately, have you?"

        You flinch slightly, and I let the sadistic smile slip onto my face to mask any of the physical pain I might feel. "Well?"

        "I want you to leave me alone." The words are said so quietly that they are barely audible, and certainly not about to have any effect on what I plan to do with you.

        I bark out a harsh laugh even though it hurts. Still, it's much better to do that than to let such an insolent demand go unanswered. "And why should I do that, hmm? Since when did you have the right to demand anything of me?"

        There's no reply; instead, you turn away to hide whatever emotions are currently flashing across your face. But I know what I would have seen, and the smirk remains. I find myself gazing at your midnight black hair, as dark as the night when I first hunted you down. The expression on your face as you stared at me, unaware of why I was there or what was to come… the expression which quickly turned to anger and fear… there was so much fear in your eyes… when I forced my way into your home and your life.

        Was that really the first time you learned how to wipe the blood away… or was it from when you still lived with your father? He was quite angry with you when you lost against the pharaoh's brat… and I wonder what he would say if he knew what Yuugi's savior was putting his son through [3].

        Would he be offended on your behalf, or would he simply laugh at the irony?

        The truth?

        He would laugh, I believe… and if he's the person I think he is, he would do it to your face. He is like me, in his own way, a spider that thrives and prospers on blood.

        Yours was a particular delicacy with the way you struggled and fought. They say that the hardest won battles bestow the sweetest victories, and although I cannot always agree with that statement, I must say that it applied in this case.

        You cried that time, and it wasn't the last time. It's interesting how something this salty could still be sweet, but I never bothered to question it. It's contradictory… very much like you, really, especially considering how annoyingly erratic you can be. You submit one day and fight fiercely the next… it's exciting, really, that you could be so turbulent despite how much I've tried to break you down.

        What could have possessed you not to let me die out there when anyone else would?

        You should have, you know. You should have known better than to save me… or did you honestly think that I would bother to take this situation into consideration when I next dish out punishment to you?


        Very doubtful.

        It's taken me too long to notice that you are already finished, and are now busy wringing the rag into the bathtub. I could reach out and grab you… watch you squirm and whimper or struggle violently… I wonder which one would you do now?

        If I should bother to reach out to you, I would have to follow it up with our usual games. And right now, I have no interest in doing that, so I continue to sit here in the water that is rapidly turning colder.

        As you concentrate on getting all the bloody water out of the towel, I stretch out and brush my fingers against your arm. Your skin seems rather dark compared to mine, and it's surprisingly soft as I look into your eyes. My touch is not harsh enough to make you overly worried, but you know that there's always a possibility of the unexpected… especially with me. There it is, that wary caution in your eyes… but it's nothing new, is it?


        You don't reply. Instead, you just continue to gaze at me warily, your green eyes darting nervously at the door as you try to move away.

        But to let you do that… to let you gain the smallest amount of control… might have some unforeseen affects in the future. Messes that I would not want to clean up… modifications that would take too long for me to change.

        Quickly, before you can move away, I dig my nails into your skin deep enough to draw blood and fixate on the smooth liquid runs slowly down your arm. You wince from the pain but it's nowhere near as bad as what I have done to you before… nowhere near as much as I can do to you even when I'm in this state.

        "Aren't you going to answer my question?" I whisper. It would be so easy to force you closer… close enough to feel the soft skin of your face… close enough to make your tears blur that streak of black paint coming down from your left eye.

        Why do you keep painting your face like that, as if needing to place a permanent symbol of your despair? Doesn't it get tiring, having to paint it back on each day? Or is there some reason you put yourself through this… some physical or emotional scar that you do not want the rest of the world to know about?

        Do you truly believe that there ever will be a time when I do not know everything about you, no matter how you try to hide it from me?

        You should be used to this… it's not as if I was the first person to do this to you. Perhaps not to this extent, of course, but this utter lack of control of your own life….

        Shouldn't you be used to this?

        Nobody would think it when they look at you… at first glance, you seem to be in control of your life, as if nothing could ever hold you back. But then there are all those nasty little secrets… even if you try and hide from them, they will never go away.

        "Let go of me."

        Your voice holds no conviction, as if you already know that whatever you say will have no effect on what my decision will be.


        Slowly, since it hurts, I force your arm close enough to press my lips against it and relish in the sweetness. I sometimes wonder why there aren't more spiders in the world… wonder why there isn't a small minority dominating the world and taking whomever they please from the rest….

        When you try to pull away, I release my grip; instead of physically restraining you, I let my words ensnare you in the trap that you have been tangled in for so long. I let my words overpower you until you can no longer run away… cannot escape no matter what you do. You can fight and struggle as much as you like but there is no way to fight against your own mind.

        Your mind is what saved me… what brought me here. Why did you bring me here? You don't know the answer to that, do you? You have no idea why you were foolish enough to save me instead of dancing in the streets with the knowledge that your tormenter was dead.

        … do you, Ryuuji?

        Your name fits you… the son of a dragon yet no more than a pale comparison of the original being who gave you life. He manipulated you… used you… and you did nothing about it. You didn't let Yuugi win; the brat did that on his own. You didn't leave him… he was taken away because of petty crimes. And you will not leave me, even though you know as well I'm the worst thing that has ever happened to you.

        But perhaps you are unable to escape. Just as you were unable to escape him… why don't you fight, hmm? Why don't you do the things that you should do in order to escape into freedom? Or… perhaps… do you not want it?

        It, it, it, it, it.

        Do you even know what I mean by 'it'?

        Did you ever?

        Right now, you just stand there… staring at me with a variety of emotions that are closely intertwined to the point of being completely indistinguishable. I catch the usual glimpses and flashes of what is always in your eyes… hate, fear… and that.

        What is that, pray tell? It's always in your eyes, and I can't figure out what it is.

        But even without knowing what it is, I know that it is what keeps you from running right now… it is what draws you closer, entangles you farther, keeps you within my grasp even as you try to fight me off.

        So contradictory.

        So contradictory.

        I'm not the one who keeps you here.

        You are.

        "Why should I release you, Ryuuji?"

        You recoil from my use of your first name; you always do. The yadonushi, ever polite and ever desperate to try and get me to understand culture, once tried to explain that people don't use first names except when they are very close to each another.

        But you… no one ever used your first name except him… and now no one ever uses your first name except me. But who else knows you as well as the two of us? Your body, your mind, your very being… who else but us deserves the right to use the most intimate of terms?

        "Why should I do anything for you…" I whisper as I draw myself ever closer… and I can see my reflection in your green eyes. Your skin is pale from what? Fear? Fear of finally being found out… from having your pathetic facade ripped off and your every thought and belief brought out for the world to see? Do you hate me for knowing what you're thinking… understanding what you're thinking… when you're not capable of it yourself?

        "…when you can't seem to do anything for yourself?"

        It's not to my surprise when you immediately turn and run out of the bathroom, slamming the door once you reach the safety of your room. But there's no telling sound of the lock… we did away with that months ago. It doesn't matter what you want… you can't attain it even with the help of others.

        I was lying there… broken.

        It would have been so easy for you to walk away.

        It doesn't take me long to realize that I no longer care what went through your mind when you dragged me back to your home. It doesn't matter to me what your reasons were, or if you understood them yourself. None of it matters because it doesn't make a difference to me, and all I want now is to make you regret your decision.

        Dragging myself up, wincing as the water in my soaked clothes weighs me down, I step out of the bathtub and slowly make my way to the door. It'll be difficult to take you in this condition, but that never stopped me before.

        As I force myself on you, what will you think? Will you wish that you never did this… that you should have instead left me there rather than try and….

        Ryuuji… Ryuuji. Tell me the truth, yes? Tell me… what did you think you would accomplish? Did you really think that you could stop me from breaking you down just because you helped me?

        Did you?

        You should have known, Ryuuji. You should have known.

        You should have known from the beginning… from the very beginning… that kindness and sympathy would never have any affect on me. After all, none of this would have started if not for that simple fact.

        The spider has no morals to affect… no heart to twist. The spider is the one who's always in control, and the prey is the one who remains trapped in the tangled web.

        Not me.

        Never me.


[1] George R. R. Martin's "A Game of Thrones", page 633

[2] King's property, innkeeper, host. What YnBakura calls Ryou.

[3] Reference to volume 16 – 17 during the DDD (Dragon Dice and Dungeons) arc. Yami no Bakura helped Yuugi win against Ryuuji, who was playing against Yuugi not because of Pegasus (that was only in the anime) but because Ryuuji's father (known in the character guide as Mr. Clown… I'm not kidding.) wanted revenge on Sugoroku through Yuugi.

        It's funny what can pop up after trying to ponder how YnBakura/Ryou works when you're sleep-deprived, and it's even funnier what can pop up after about three-fourth's of a year of hiatus.

        It's also funny how a story can completely change from what you originally intended. I wanted to write a story that comprised of flashback and introspection, but the story lent itself to be only introspection. And although it is not what I want, I suppose it could have been worse….

        But anyhow, I hope you enjoyed this odd little ficcy. It's been a while since I actually wrote it, but I have a short follow-up hanging around in my computer so I decided to give this little a chance to breathe in the fumes of FF.net before publishing the sequel. ^~