(A/N: Grrrr. I can't believe ff.net has got rid of the double slash marks and asterisks that my fics are filled with. Thanks to them, half of my fics don't even make sense anymore, as the speech is all muddled up with the rest of the text. So of course, I have to go through ALL my fics and replace the slash marks with brackets. Stupid website…it'll probably fix that error five minutes after I've re-uploaded all my fics, irony being what it is.

I suppose I should mention that I haven't actually seen any Yu-gi-oh episodes beyond the first half of Duellist Kingdom. If that seems crazy, well, I don't have Sky or anything, and they stopped doing it on ITV. However, I've read about twenty different episode guides of ALL THREE SEASONS (don't you have 5 seasons in the USA? Or Canada, or something? Well, in England the seasons are longer, but there are only three of them) and I practically know them off by heart. Anyhoo, if I have some of my facts a bit wrong, that's the reason why.

This is set in the Battle Ship season, when Malik is living in Ryou/Bakura's head. Bakura is just about to duel Yami Malik. I wrote this fic along these lines cos the thought really fascinated me of having THREE minds in one body. And all three of those minds are both my fav characters AND the three characters that appear in this fic.

The speech in this fic is as follows:

Malik Ishtar

(Ryou Bakura)

((Yami no Bakura))

(Don't worry, I just call 'em good ol' Ryou, Bakura and Malik in this fic. Well, actually I call Ryou's yami 'Yami Bakura' instead of 'Bakura' but I DO have a reason. You'll see as you go along.)

The Japanese words I use, in case people aren't too sure, translate as follows:

Hai: yes

Omote no Bakura: the surfacefront of Bakura (what he is called in the manga. I don't use the word 'hikari' (light) in this fic (but I do in others.)

-sama: used as a suffix, on the end of someone's name. It kinda means you consider them your superior, honourable, your master, etc.

-kun: another suffix, but I think it translates as being more friendly. Still respectful, kinda, but mainly used for friends.

Koe: a voice. What Ryou refers to his yami as in the Japanese version.

Mou yami no ore: The dark me. I kinda altered this from the more commonly known 'mou hitori no ore' (the other me) because I don't think Malik would like referring to his yami as a part of him, you know? Oh, and 'ore' is an arrogant form of I/me. It's used by people like Yami and Yami Bakura, and probably Malik, although I'm not sure about that. (The modest form of I/me is 'boku,' which Yugi and Ryou use.

Yadonushi: host/landlord (yeah, I know most people know what this means, but decided to put it in anyway.)

Ahou: fool

And, of course, I don't own Yu-gi-oh. I wish I did, but there you go.

Oh, and this is A ONE SHOT so please STOP TELLING ME TO CONTINUE IT!!!

Anyway, REVIEW REVIEW REVIEW, just so I can be assured that my hard work was not in vain.

Mental Stimulation.

Malik paced restlessly to and fro, around the confined space that now represented his entire universe. Nothing left to do but wait, wait in this mind that wasn't even his own. Of course, he could split off, of a sort, but when you were only a spirit, a pale shadow of what you once were, the world suddenly seemed much less friendly. At least I don't have to hover six inches off the ground like a stereotypical cartoon ghost, he thought bitterly.

Sighing, he looked down at his hands, and then at the rest of his body. They were translucent, a forceful reminder of the wraith-like being he had become.

Leaning back against the wall, he allowed his anger, the emotion he usually buried deep, to wash over him. Consuming him again. How dare he, Malik thought. That bastard. The one who calls himself my darkness. How dare he do this to me?

Malik wasn't given much to self-pity, but at the moment he had nothing better to do. It wasn't fair, anyway. He hadn't even known about this thing within him, this strange spirit which the Japanese called a yami, until it (not he, but it) had taken over his body. Robbing him of the freedom he had always enjoyed, but never appreciated.

Malik slung his fist into the wall, imagining it was his other's face, the lack of pain just serving to incense him further. Ra dammit, he couldn't even feel even more. And he so wanted to. He wanted to grab that arrogant little thing that had stolen his body, the thing that grinned maniacally back at him, and squash it out of existence. He had only seen his other's face once, but it was enough to make him hate it. More so because it looked like his own, a warped, twisted version. And when his yami had looked at him, Malik could see his eyes laughing. He had laughed out loud as well, a crazy unnatural sound, like a violin hitting all the wrong notes. His body slouched casually, just oozing arrogance. And amusement. Malik hated being laughed at.

Wait. Was that laughter now? Malik scrunched up his hands into little balls and listened, trying to sense the source. It wasn't Yami Bakura, he could tell that much. When he laughed at him it was in a quietly mocking fashion, not the same high-pitched cackle that he used on everybody else, but similar.

Malik let his eyes rove around his surroundings. After a few moments he sensed something and frowned, his lavender eyes narrowing slightly. In the furthest corner he could make out a small grey door, a sort of dreary no-coloured block. He hadn't noticed it before, but then he hadn't expected it.

Taking a step forward with the intention of walking over, he suddenly found himself right next to the door, and smiled. It was one of the few advantages of being here – although it seemed vast, almost limitless, you could cover distances in a matter of milliseconds. He surveyed the door more closely. Now that he was nearer Malik could see that it seemed to be made of steel, solid and unrelenting, with thick bars at eye-level. Curling his hands around them, he peeked through.

Looking in, he was involuntarily reminded of a prison cell. Dull and bare, he wouldn't have been surprised to see chains hanging from the walls. Patiently, he waited for his eyes to adjust to the darkness.

After a few moments, through the gloom he could just about make out a solitary figure. He (Malik was fairly certain it was a boy) was sitting on the bare bed, head in hands, his back hunched over slightly as he stared at the floor.

Hello? the Egyptian called softly. He had expected the boy to jump, but instead he waited a few moments before looking up.

(Hai, Malik-sama?) he answered dully.

Who are you? Malik thought he knew, but wasn't sure.

(The other.) The boy's mental voice was dry and husky from weeks of disuse.

The Egyptian had to think for a moment before he found the right words. You're…how do you Japanese say it? Omote no Bakura?

The answer was slow, almost thoughtful. (Yes, Malik-sama. I am, as you put it so bluntly, omote no Bakura.)

You don't have to call me Malik-sama. The Egyptian liked respect from people, but not that much respect. I'm not your master. If you have to use a suffix, at least, I dunno, use 'kun' or something. I mean, I'm not much good with Japanese etiquette anyway, so if you just call me 'Malik' I won't be offended or anything.

The other boy gave a sort of half-shrug. (You are a friend of my koe. Therefore I must treat you with respect.) He spoke as if reciting from a book, the words cold and emotionless.

Why…why do you call him a koe? Malik asked curiously.

Another shrug. (He is the voice that tells me what to do, and I do it. Or, if I don't do things well enough or he doesn't trust me, then he does them himself.) There was no trace of self-pity in his voice. He said this calmly, as if stating a fact, like the sky was blue or grass green.

Oh. Malik's eyes narrowed again. Wait. Was that you laughing at me earlier?


The inevitable question: Why?

Another movement that was not quite a shrug. (You are angry because your darkness has stolen your body. I am angry for the same reason. Yet my koe has agreed to help you reclaim your body and destroy your other, while content to continue using me to conquer the world, or steal the Items, or whatever else he wants to do.)

And you find that funny?

(I find it ironic. But my whole life is made up of irony. And being amused is better than being depressed.)

Well, omote no- Dammit, I can't keep calling you that! Malik stamped his foot impatiently. It's such a mouthful! What does everyone else call you?

(If, by 'everyone else,' you mean Yugi and his friends, than 'Bakura,' my surname.) There was a definite trace of bitterness in the lacklustre tone when he uttered the word 'friends.' (You may call me that, if you wish. To my koe I am his 'yadonushi.' You could also call me that. Seeing as you are living through me, I suppose I am your host as well.)

Oh, Malik said again. Neither term really appealed to him. Everyone calls me by my first name. What's yours?

A pause. (…Ryou.)

That'll do. OK, lets start again. Hello, Ryou.

The boy looked at him as in disbelief, then rose slowly from the bed and walked over to him. His face was only a few inches away from Malik's, and the Egyptian saw that his looks were similar to his yami's, but at the same time somehow softer. His snowy hair fell messily around his face, framing his sharp yet not unpleasing features, and his eyes were dark and hollow, as if he had been recently suffering pain. The fingers that gripped the bars were long and slender, their paleness contrasting with Malik's, which were tanned a deep umber.

(H-hello Malik-kun.) The words were uttered in barely more than a whisper, a secret rebellion. The boy named Ryou smiled, an action which transformed his face totally, lighting up his eyes.

Now that we've got the formalities over and done with, what is there to do round here? Being a spirit is so boring.

The smile faded almost instantly. (Usually I…just sit on the bed. Thinking to myself. Or sleeping. It's better not to think too much.)

Why not?

(Because I end up feeling sorry for myself. And because he can read all my thoughts. And then he comes over. You know what he does then?)


Ryou's eyes bored into him, the deadened, haunted look returning. (He laughs.)

For a moment, before he could block it out or push it away, Malik saw his own yami standing there, giggling to himself. He shivered. I can't wait until mou yami no ore is destroyed…

(Yes.) Again Ryou spoke as if stating a fact. (My koe will duel him, and win. You will get your body back, and my koe will get the Millennium Rod.)

Do you think it will really happen?

(What does it matter what I think?)

Malik peered suspiciously at him. Do you really mean that? Because I don't know if you're quite as battered and broken as everyone seems to think.

Silence greeted this remark.

Oh, come one. I'm sure there's a small spark of rebellion left in there somewhere. The Egyptian gazed searchingly into Ryou's eyes. For a moment he saw it, that last shred of defiance against Yami Bakura, then Ryou's eyes veiled themselves and it was gone. There we go.

More silence, stretching out between them.

Do you hate him? The question was sudden, catching Ryou off guard.


Malik suddenly felt a presence at his side and whirled round, to see Yami Bakura standing silently next to him.

((I see you've met my host.)) His eyes were silently mocking, a flicker of cold satisfaction dancing behind them. The ex-Millennium Rod holder drew back slightly without realising it.

((Are you afraid of me Malik?)) Another flicker of amusement.

The Egyptian gave him a disdainful look. Dream on.

((No? That's good. We are partners, after all. And you do owe me a lot.))

It was true, but Malik didn't answer. Yami Bakura sauntered up to the door of his host's soul room and glanced casually through. Ryou shrank back.

((How are we today, my little yadonushi?))


((Good, good. You know that I would never let anything happen to you. Aren't you lucky, hmmm? Having me here to protect you?))

When Ryou didn't reply, his yami lashed out mentally, smashing him into the wall. ((Answer me, weakling.))

(Y-Yes, I know. I'm a very lucky person,) Ryou recited in a lifeless voice.

((Mmmm-hmmm. And don't you forget it.)) Yami Bakura's voice was silky, but with an undercurrent of poison running through it. He watched as his host's hand went up to his left arm, where the bandage had unravelled and was trailing loose. Being thrown against the wall of his soul room had re-opened the wound. Ryou re-tied it slowly, his fingers shaking slightly as he kept one eye on his yami.

((Make sure you tie it nice and tight.)) Yami Bakura smiled nastily. Looking at Malik, he commented casually, ((Honestly, I don't know why my host lets such things happen to him. He's so clumsy.)) His gaze travelled back to his lighter half, who had straightened up and was huddled in the furthest corner of his soul room. ((But of course, you don't know how it happened, do you?))

Ryou shook his head slowly.

((Silly little ahou.)) Yami Bakura's tone was almost affectionate. ((Haven't you worked it out yet?))

He watched in satisfaction as his host's eyes widened.

(It was you…) Ryou whispered in disbelief.

Yami Bakura glanced back at Malik, who was standing there expressionlessly, and burst into laughter. ((Aww, listen to him. He gets smarter all the time.))

Yeah, Malik replied tonelessly.

((Anyway, come on. It's nearly time to duel that Psycho of yours. Do you want to watch? I mean in spirit form. It's not like he can hurt you.))


Noticing his apprehension, the Ring-spirit continued, ((Hey, you think I'd let him do anything to you? I'll beat him, don't worry. He'll be a pushover.))

Malik heard the confidence on his tone, and was forcibly reminded of his yami again. Yeah. You'll probably beat him easily.

((Of course I will.)) Yami Bakura vanished as he took control of Ryou's body. ((You coming or not?))

Yes. Malik took one last glance at Ryou, who was sitting back down on the bed again, his eyes averted. Um, well, bye, the Egyptian said awkwardly. When Ryou didn't answer, he shrugged and turned to go.

After a few moments he heard a last faint whisper: (F-farewell, Malik-kun.)

Yeah. You too.

(Good luck.)