Chapter 9: Epilogue or The Parting of The Ways.

"Fucking asshole piece of crap!" The blind yami irately threw the toaster in a random direction, smirking when he heard the shattering of glass and then, a few seconds later, a thud. Stupid thing, served it right for daring to shoot toast into his injured eyes. And he really hadn't needed glass in that window, after all.

Blinding himself had backfired quite a bit. Originally, among the shreds of his mind that were not consumed by anger and grief at the time, he had meant it just as something to make Malik regret turning him down; he had reckoned that the All-Seeing Eye of the Sennen Items, which glowed on his forehead, would guide him. What a cop out that had been. That bloody eye didn't do a thing; it was apparently just there for decoration or to make him look stupid. He had yelled and cursed when he found out he actually was blind, but there was nothing he could do or could have done.

He had tried to appease his sadness by telling himself he would be satisfied with a couple of young boys, but it seemed paedophilia wasn't for Marik, as he had suffered an embarrassing blow to his ego after he finally caught a young boy only to realise his body didn't much feel like giving him an erection.

Not only that, but there was some crappy advert playing over and over again on the radio, making the damned thing sound like Anzu, going on about friendship and shit. Marik had never been social, let alone friendly. He quite often found that having people around him did things with his conscience, and, yes, Marik did actually have a conscience. It was just very small and quite warped, wrapped tight around his loose morals, and he found that having people messing with it really didn't help the image he had created for himself of an evil and abusive psychomaniac.

The stupid radio joined the toaster out of the window.

"Ra motherfucking damn it all!" Throwing a punch at something he couldn't see, Marik let his inexorable and infamous rage engulf him again. So what if he had let it down to try and get Malik back from those stupid white-haired bitches? Fundamental laws of physics were that a) gravity pulls you down, b) upthrust is friction against gravity and c) Marik is always pissy.

Well, to be honest, Marik couldn't be bothered any more. He was fed up of being turned into a soppy, pathetic 'loving' yami. Damn it, he was beginning to act like that stupid Pharaoh asshole, and that really was the end of the line. He hated himself even more for acting like such a weakling, dismissing it as a phase he had been going through. What had he been thinking? Had he really been so distraught because his little slave had run away?

At the moment, he no longer cared about anything, no longer cared about what Malik might think, about what effects his actions might have on other people. He cared only for himself, he knew this and told himself this over and over again, and, somehow, it made him feel better. It made him feel like that selfish, psychotic monster he knew he was deep inside, and that was a good feeling.

So, with one hand, he searched the table next to the bed blindly. He didn't want his sight back anymore; he no longer had any use for it. As his heated fingertips brushed across the cold metal, he smirked a twisted expression across his thin face, bringing what he had found to his lips so that his tongue could dart out and taste it. It was the right metal, which meant he had picked up the right thing.

Cool on his forehead and somehow relaxing as he pressed it to his skin, the hard angular contraption seemed almost to melt around his fingers enticingly, pulling him in. Grinning inanely, he let himself run his other hand along it, feeling the jagged contours of the shaft, the deep cavern of the barrel, the smooth texture of the handle.

As he pulled the trigger, the loud shot deafened him, ringing through his mind as though it was repeated on a scratched CD, echoing over and over again, still somehow relaxing. As a being not alive, he could not die, and that was why he consciously felt the single bullet leave the revolver, pass straight through his skull and lodge deep within. Right between his eyes.

Laughing and crying both at the same time, pain searing through his entire body, Marik reflexively spun the barrel and pulled the trigger again and again, discharging no less than four of the heavy metal shots into his head before he hurled the gun across the room and collapsed in the middle, consciousness lost, blood mixing with grey cranial matter as it seeped across the uncarpeted floor from the holes in his head.

And as he indirectly died, he was the happiest he ever had been.

His body wasn't found until three or four days later, when he was rushed to hospital and his status checked. It was a miracle, the doctors said amongst themselves, that he was still alive.

A landowner from the council was dispatched to where the authorities knew Malik to be staying, the house of Ryou and Bakura. As Marik was no longer capable of living his rundown property, the council wanted to reclaim it and build a small office block on the land after demolition, but as the rightful owner of the house now Marik was incapacitated, Malik had to sign the documents selling the land.

"What do you mean incapacitated?" Bakura demanded as Ryou helped Malik fill in the form that would entitle him to the money raised by selling the land. "How the hell could someone incapacitate Marik?"

"It appears that someone entered through the door and shot him four times over in the head before he could react, sirs." The authority representative answered. "There are no signs of struggle, so it could always be attempted suicide. Ishtar-san survived, but barely; he is in a state of suspended animation – a coma, and though his condition his stable, he does not wake up. The doctors are at a loss as to what should be done. I am sorry, gentlemen."

"Take your condescending pity and go fuck yourself with it!" Bakura snapped, annoyed at the carefree manner the official used while speaking of Marik's decease. "Asshole. Have your crappy permission slip or whatever it is. Come on."

This last was to Ryou and Malik, who were each taken by the hand, Bakura tugging them gently towards the hospital, Malik appearing to be in a state of shock.

"Do you think he'll be ok, Kura?" Ryou asked softly so the Egyptian would not hear. "I'm worried, he shouldn't be so upset over Marik… I know Malik's got a big heart and all, but I really am worried."

"He'll be fine." Was the only answer Bakura offered.

Ryou hated hospitals; he had done ever since his mother and his little sister Amane had died in a car accident several years before. The unnatural white of the wards seemed to make him panic every time he saw them, but for some reason today he didn't feel like panicking. Perhaps he was as subdued as Malik, though he certainly hadn't felt any attraction for the milder Egyptian's controlling yami.

Somehow, however, as Malik sat sobbing by the comatose Marik's bedside, clutching the other's hands in both of his and rubbing it desperately as though to bring some of the life back into it, he felt as though Marik had actually been human. A human misunderstood, perhaps? No, Marik had displayed himself as a monster all the time, even though Malik was so frantically trying to bring him back to life.

"Are you ok?" The Briton asked as Malik finally gave up and just turned into him, drawing the paler one into his arms tightly. Ryou knew far too well how Malik's psychology was made up. He was blaming himself for this. "It's not your fault, you know. Marik had a choice and he chose to. You weren't the one holding the gun."

"But I gave his bike back, I must have hurt him!" The stubborn Malik insisted, weeping softly still. "If I hadn't, he'd still be here…"

"Malik, please listen. He's far safer like this. He's alive and there's a chance he'll wake up, and in the meantime he can't be hurt or hurt anyone else." Ryou insisted, trying to calm the other. "Please listen to me, it wasn't your fault and even if it was, Bakura and I would still love you, please tell me you understand this?"

After a while longer of such coaxing, Malik finally relaxed, brushing Marik's pale forehead briefly with one hand and then leaving the ward with Ryou, who had suggested going to a café to get a drink and mull things over. Hopefully that at least would calm Malik down some more.

Fully agreeing, Bakura was the one who stayed in the small private ward, getting up and locking the door as soon as the two lights had departed. Not about to get weepy over nothing, but reviewing the situation, he could understand exactly why Marik had acted so drastically. Thinking about it, he knew he would have done the same if in that same situation.

"You're an asshole, aren't you?" He murmured softly to the comatose figure on the bed. "You didn't do it to escape from sadness. That's probably what they believe but I know different. You wanted Malik to feel guilty and to say that he loved you. What would you do if he had done, miraculously regain consciousness? You're as transparent as glass."

If he would not be a hypocrite by feeling so, Bakura would have been disgusted by the intentions behind the suicide, but it was a purely dark thing to do. The only person who could truly understand the makeup of yami psychology was another yami, and that was precisely what Bakura and Marik were in relation to each other. What was transparent to Bakura was as clear as mud in the eyes of the hikaris, and that was Marik's reasoning.

Finding himself taking up the hand that Malik had dropped, Bakura mulled over his thoughts as he sat in the silent, ungodly white room with the unconscious Egyptian. He reassured himself that Marik was not dead, therefore there was a chance he would regain consciousness. Perhaps then they would be able to have a lengthy discussion which did not result in one attacking the other. Perhaps then Bakura would be able to sort his confusion out. That was if, and only if, the minute chance that Marik would wake up became a reality.

Meditating as he was, and stroking Marik's hand at the same time, Bakura realised with a morbid humour that there was perhaps some truth in that old saying he had heard so often before. Perhaps when Marik awoke, he would be able to sort it out, no longer feeling like a third wheel in the Ryou and Malik relationship. With him being the only person who would understand Marik, it seemed natural that, if he should ever wake up, they would patch up their shaky relationship. In Bakura's mind, it all worked out.

After all, two's company, while three's a crowd.