The loyal readers of my lj were my beta readers. I thank them.
It had been a while since the last time Ryoh had been kissed like that. He'd forgotten parts of it -- not the essential electric feeling, but some of the details. Mainly the warmth and wetness, the simple physicality of another mouth, of muscles beneath the skin.
These were the thoughts distracting him in the back of his head and making it difficult to listen to what his parasite was yelling. When the spirit paused for the slightest moment, Ryoh interrupted.
"It wouldn't upset you half as much if it was anybody else, would it?" the teenager asked, still a little distracted but filing away the recent memory for later examination. "It's not like it could work, anyway. He's leaving."
Yami Bakura seethed while Ryoh spoke, further upset at the interruption. He was quick to resume his tirade when the boy ceased. "Don't lie to make me feel better; I'm as good as dead and gone already. All I can do is yell at you like this! I know how helpless I am; I don't need any lies to cheer me up."
Ryoh shrugged. The loss of Yami Bakura's power over him had sunk in enough that most of his fear of the fiend was gone, but not enough for him to actually act on all the hate and anger he'd repressed. Though he didn't even know what he would have done -- he wasn't violent, and nothing he said would ever affect Yami Bakura, even if it would have been satisfying to scream at him. Without the Ring, Ryoh's body was completely under his own control, and his mind was blissfully free from the thief – the teenager didn't have to listen to a word his parasite shouted unless he chose to ("listen" used in the most general sense of the word, since their conversation was taking place completely in Ryoh's mind anyway). Yet he apathetically watched the thief's last loss of control, as Yami Bakura let him see how absolutely powerless in the face of death he finally was.
"You know Yuugi's going to throw the match," was the last hissed remark.
"You think so?" Ryoh raised his eyebrows. "But that's what Atemu's going to do. Not obviously, of course, but he's still going to lose on purpose."
Yami Bakura stayed silent. Ryoh watched him, frowning slightly. It was hard to remember how much he hated the thief when he actually acted human. He should have been happier to see Yami Bakura so helpless.
"He doesn't belong here. He's fucked up Yuugi's life so badly." Ryoh elaborated a bit, then stopped. He doubted the parasite cared much.
"So he's leaving."
"I'm not losing you to him."
A moment where he wanted to scream that he never belonged to the thief – but it was still hard to be angry when there was sadness in that voice.
"Not to him, no."
Yami Bakura stopped trying to be seen by Ryoh then, deciding to keep his final moments to himself, and after a moment the Ring and the Items and the Pharaoh were gone. It was a distinct and almost painful lack of closure, but Ryoh knew that when the regrets came, they would be that he'd never hurt the thief nearly as much as the thief had hurt him.
He wondered if Yami Bakura would have kissed him if he could've. He wondered if Atemu had done so only because he considered Ryoh to belong to thief, and thus to be a sort of "forbidden fruit," one last challenge begging to be overcome. He had been unavoidably in the middle of anything involving the two spirits, and had in that sense become something to be fought over.
The thoughts were unpleasant and made Ryoh feel more like a thing than a person. But even Atemu had been dark inside – it was just hard to remember all the time.
It had been a long while since Ryoh had been kissed like that, though.
[je ne suis pas de chose.]