River of Time

by WSJ

Just a strange little introspecty fic that popped out of no where at me. O.o; Enjoy!

Disclaimer: *insert witty synonym for 'I don't own YGO or the song' here*

()()()()()

I was lookin' back on faded dreams from yesterday
Like a brush from my past they painted the evening sky

Looking down at you... it hurts me to see you this way. How had it ever come to this? One thing just came after another, year after year, and I guess they just piled up too high for me to see what was happening to you as the time went by. And now...

Damnit, I don't want to lose you!

But the current's so strong, I couldn't hold on.
They kept rollin' by
And all the colors bled into a river of time.

You're so pale... My little angel hikari. Laying on that bed, hair as white as snow, skin pale as sin... What's happened to you? Has time really moved so fast? Already? It seems only yesterday I saw you for the first time, eyes shining with youth, asking me to be your friend.

Why have I stood by you this long? I could have been gone long, long ago, but for some reason I stayed. Why? I'm not even sure myself. I wanted to see you grow up, wanted to see you love and be loved, wanted to be with you.

But I never thought it would come to this.

I wonder, would I have stayed if I knew it would come to this?

The innocent child fades into the mist on the river of time.

I would have, I suppose, even if I had known. I love you, hikari, more than anything else. Not in the same way you love your wife, or the same way you love your children. You're my little brother. No, you're more than that. You're my hikari, a part of me, and even after all I've done to you, all that's happened, you still love me too. That's why I stayed, I guess. The same reason the pharaoh stayed with his hikari. We need each other.

Even if you no longer remember who I am.

It hurts, hikari. Did you know that? Did you know I was capable of hurt? Well, I am. You've changed me, hikari. Changed me for the better. I know love, now. I know happiness and compassion. But you've taught me tears and sorrow, too, with this illness of yours. My hatred's long vanished, too many years away to count.

But some of it has come back, lately. Not my bitter hatred toward pharaoh. No, that is gone forever. Would it amuse you to know that lately he and I have become something of friends? That we're sharing an apartment? Watching you and Yugi, both struggling under the ravages of this disease... it's been enough to pull us together, to put aside our dislike.

You would have liked that, wouldn't you?

The hate I carry now is for the doctors, the supposed "experts". Why can't they help you?! Why can't they make you better?!? They should be able to bring you back to me!

Please... I don't want to be alone again...

An angry young man is shaking his fist on the river of time
Roll on river of time, rage on river of time.

It's been fun, hasn't it? Over the years, I mean. Me and Malik finally getting you to loosen up in college... Man, that was a miracle! Going drinking and partying, the three of us... Good times, weren't they?

I've never really understood why we can't still do that. Why not dress up in leather and go clubbing again, just like the old days? I know you're sick now, but before that... What made you stop?

I know Malik's gone now, but still... You and I could have gone, to honor his memory.

There are faces and places I hold sacred
Some I've passed along the way
Some live on in memory, some I've passed along the way.

Maybe the children had something to do with that. I grew up with an alcoholic father, so I guess you didn't want the same for your own offspring (of which there are far too many, in my opinion). But it's not like I would have let you get addicted!

All right, I'll stop. I'm sorry, I didn't mean to upset you. No, no, you're right, booze is a poison. It's a nice one though. Much better than this stupid disease that eats away at you right before my very eyes...

Damnit! I hate it when there's nothing I can do!

With the rain from a storm, a river is born
Winding down to the sea, and the river of time
Keeps on rollin' thru eternity

...It's been fun, though, hasn't it, hikari? Fun, but trying. Me, never aging, bound forever to the Ring... Pretending to be your son as you grew too old to be my brother. And then, eventually, your grandson...

It breaks my heart, hikari.

Yes, I'm calling you hikari, after all these years. I'm sure the name has no meaning for you now, but it brings me a little comfort, at least...

I wish...

It's foolish of me, but I wish I could have grown old with you. I know Yami wishes the same. We're still young, still teenagers, never getting to experience the prime of life. While you and Yugi...

"Mr. Bakura?"

I look up to see the nurse standing in the doorway. She's a pretty young thing, but I don't really care. "What?" I snap. Seeing you has put me in a foul mood. It always does. I hate feeling so helpless! If only there was something I can do...

She frowns a little, used to my tempers. To her, I'm just a cocky eighteen-year-old, the son of your oldest son. Hah, if she knew the truth...

"Visiting hours are nearly over."

I nod at her, scowling. "Tell Yami I'll meet him in the parking lot."

She rolls her eyes and nods, and then leaves me alone. She's been working here for almost a year now, and is well accustomed to Yami and I coming together to visit you and Yugi every day. Hell, three-quarters of the staff here knows us by name, and coo behind our backs about how nice it is to see two young men so devoted to their grandfathers.

Sighing softly, I lean over your bed to brush some snowy hair away from your eyes. You sigh a little, as if echoing me, and your eyes crack open, peering up at me. "Do I know you?"

I wince when I hear your voice, like I always do. It sounds to tired, so worn... I can't help remembering how it used to be, laughing and full of life. I plaster on a fake smile and lean closer so you can see me better. "I'm Bakura, your yami. Your other half."

You frown, as if trying to call up an errant memory. "Oh." But there's no recognition in your voice or your eyes, and after a moment you lose interest in me and turn your face away. I close my eyes against the tears, leaning over to give your frail body a gentle hug.

The angry young man learns how to forgive
On the river of time
He holds an innocent child in his arms
On the river of time.

A moment later I sit back again, wiping at my eyes with the back of my hand, and I feel a hand on my shoulder. Looking up, I see Yami looking at you sadly. Neither of us even attempts to hide the sorrow and the tears in our eyes. Time has softened us both, even as it's strengthened our friendship.

I take a shuddering breath and stand up from the chair where I've been sitting all day, giving you one last false smile. "I'll see you tomorrow, Ryou."

Yami pats my shoulder, and the two of us turn away, to head back down to the car and our apartment, leaving you and Yugi wallowing and suffering in this disease we cannot catch, this disease we do not understand, this disease called Age.

Roll on river of time
Rage on river of time...

()()()()()

Don't know where it came from, but I kinda like it. ^-^ Internal monologues are fun. Reviews please!

God bless minna-san!