Sorry about the wait... I meant to have this chapter out, uh... weeks ago? To try to make up for my disappearance since Thanksgiving? And yet I cause another wait...

And I got a few reviews saying that these past few chapters haven't been very funny at all. I'm really sorry about that. I've been trying to add humor in, and I thought I had been doing that, but apparently I haven't been doing a very good job of it. The main reason it's darker is probably a mix of several things I have no idea where this story's going from here. You see, this all started with a dream I had years ago. I woke up right as Malik was about to be taken out to be Euthanized. And so now? I'm winging it. Not only that, but I've been rather severely depressed lately... It's affecting everything. xD; My drawings, my writing... Hopefully I'll get help about it soon, though (since this depression has been going on, and getting worse, for roughly eight years). But for now? I'll still attempt at humor. Fortunately, however, I've been obviously blessed, because my role-play partner, amazing friend, and soul-mate (who are all the same person, nya Your Darling Mana) has helped me more than she could ever know. It's a possibility that I might still need professional help, but because of her, I am slowly getting better.

While I'm on the subject of her, though, I might mention our joint-account. xD We only have one fanfic posted, but. Well. You all should read it. The link to that account is in my profile. (End shameless plug)

But back to MY story.

The next three chapters after this one will be strictly working on the relationships.

IMPORTANT!: I somehow messed up the documents, and it took away "--" and all the bold and italics. If you see something that DOES NOT MAKE SENSE, I probably forgot to re-put the -- there. I'm very sorry; alert me to spots, and I'll fix them.

.: Chapter twenty - Lost in Translation :.

"I swear to fucking God, if you don't put me the fuck down right fucking now--!"

Obviously the overly loud temper tantrum was getting him nowhere, but Malik was still trying his damndest. Landing a rather abrupt knee to his abductor's ribcage, he was satisfied to feel the other stumble. But then he became quite distressed at the fact that the stumbling continued, and then gave a cry of startled unease when the both of them went down. Of course, it looked as if both of them were, but really, it ended up being Malik who wound up on his back, pinned down to the ground, staring up with wide eyes, the air gone from his lungs and apparently locked out because he felt his chest spasming with the need for oxygen. The people walking around them gave them both strange looks, wondering what exactly the two were doing, though several of them recognized Mariku and immediately decided that whatever was going on wouldn't make sense to them anyway.

The larger blonde grinned in an almost sadistic way down at his new friend who really didn't wish to be involved in this "friendship" at all. "I can't understand anything you've said," he cooed before he leaned down and licked his way up Malik's left cheek, causing the victim to struggle, which was a hard thing to do when one had no breath to do so. Gasping out the word "stop", he was finally released, and tried to sit up, though he was unable to get far on his own. And so, Mariku took it upon himself (or perhaps he just took pleasure from doing so) to wrap his arms around his Malik and lift him up into his arms the same way a husband would his bride, before he continued heading in a direction that could have lead to anywhere.

Gasping again, body convulsing, Malik shuddered, his head flopping almost lifelessly against the Althasian's shoulder, his airway finally beginning opening back up, though the human was too dazed to really pay that too much thought. He was too busy trying to remember how to inhale and exhale effectively, the other half of his mind half-heartedly wondering what the lump was that was pressing against the side. "Bastard," he sighed irritably, already wearing down. First he'd been molested, then kidnapped, then attacked, and then kidnapped again by none other than the molester. When was this day going to end? Come to think of it, why was the sun back up...? Hadn't it been nighttime? Oh, he was getting too old for this...

Smiling like the cat who got the cream, Mariku practically skipped in his steps, which was jarring Malik's neck, and he wore a pained expression in response. There was only so much he could take, tired or not! Throughout this entire on-the-go experience, Malik felt uncertain fear tremble in his heart, threatening to break free and cause him to have another breakdown. He was truly terrified of Mariku, but right now, he was pretty damn proud of how well he was containing it. Despite all of this, however, he could feel himself shaking, the smell of the other's musk forever imbedded into his mind and would most likely attack his nerves every time it touched his nose.

"I want to be put down," he said quietly, hoping that, perhaps, if he were more submissive, maybe Mariku would act like he could understand...

"I know, isn't the view wonderful?" replied the taller male, completely oblivious to the other's actual words, his mind ad-libbing what he wanted the other to say. "The suns are sometimes very bright, but in my house, it's dark and comfortable!"

Malik grew irritated at the Althasian's chipper tone of voice, and growled low in his throat, his fear and confusion turning into anger. "Just wait until you're asleep... you'll be lucky if I don't kill you with a pillow..."

"Oh, you're hungry? Mariku will feed you until your stomach is large and happy."

A heavy, shaky sigh and Malik gave one last struggle and attempted elbow, which wasn't very successful, before he slumped, finally giving up. At least, for the moment.


If it were possible, the hallway was even more plain and whitewashed than the others. It was enough to send a cold chill down Ryou's spine, though the exact reason was really more of a vat of different things all jumbled into one ominous feeling. He felt like he was walking through a morgue, going to identify a body...

Suddenly hit with a sense of deja vu so strong that he was literally knocked backwards and lost his breath, the pale teenager lifted a hand to his chest, his eyes wide and mouth opened, sucking in air unconsciously. The man before him heard the sudden change and turned, concerned that perhaps this boy was not well and needed medical help. "Are you alright?" he asked, but received no answer, at least, he didn't at first. Then the boy glanced up, sweat gleaming across his face, noting the look or worry on the worker's features, before he forced his suddenly far-too-dry lips upward into a smile that was meant to ease the other's concern.

"I'm fine," he whispered, even though he knew his words wouldn't be understood. Without assistance, he straightened up, lifting his hand to swipe the moisture off of his forehead, folding his lips inward so that he could wet them in the privacy of his mouth. Once more creating the empty smile, he shifted, unsure of what to do, so his fingers absently twisted and gnarled his shirt. After giving the boy a once-over, the suited man seemed to understand that what ailed the human was not physical, and continued to lead the way down the gloomy, unlived walkway.

After a bit more walking, he stopped at a spot where there was a number panel on the wall, though nothing else surrounded it to give an indication that it was worth stopping for. The man local to this planet, however, seemed to think otherwise, for he stopped, and pressed several keys, which Ryou half expected to beep, but made no sound at all. After a moment, the green-eyed male wondered if anything was supposed to happen at all when a sharp noise so abrupt shattered the air, he gasped, jumping, his heart thundering in his chest. Beside him, the wall had separated like blinds on a window would, only these seemingly disappeared, revealing a large glass panel that was so clean Ryou wouldn't have been surprised if there was nothing there at all. Inside, he could see a room just as plain as everything around it, bright, florescent lighting caused everything to glow in a manner that was not homey, but seemed to give off the feeling of a place one was not supposed to get too comfortable in. Standing on his toes, trying to get a better view, the human suddenly caught a glance of Bakura, who seemed to bled in almost completely to the room. He had been changed out of his bright orange one-piece jail suit and into a white gown. Idly, the thought leapt into Ryou's mind that, wherever they were, these people hadn't strayed far from generic hospital garb. But the longer he watched the typically moody male, he noticed that the Althasian seemed... almost listless. He didn't lift his head as all, and just sat on one of the chairs provided, remaining still, though with the troubled rising and falling of his slouched back, the teen wondered if he was truly dying already. But no, nothing on Earth could possibly attack someone and bring them to the edge so quickly! But the words Yami had spoken drifted back to him, and he realized that these people must have hardly any trouble with illness at all. Everything was so sterile...

Jerking his head up, he eyed the person he assumed was a medical worker, and nodded. He wasn't sure what he was nodding for, but... The other replied with the same response, going back to typing into the pad before a compartment that had not been there appeared, revealing some type of... thing. It was amazing how well and how perfectly everything here blended in so that, unless one knew they were there, were otherwise invisible. Reaching in, the man grasped the... container? With a tube connected to it. The taller turned, handing it to Ryou, who blinked down at it. It was surprisingly light, but he had absolutely no idea what it was. Seeing the confused expression, the other tried to give an example of how to put it on. After a few moments, Ryou came to realize that it was a breathing tube. But... why? Was he supposed to wear it while he was inside...?

A door opening just as everything else had startled the teen into nearly dropping the contraption, but in the end, he ended up gripping it tighter, his knuckles turning white. Obviously jittery but trying to calm the bugs that were crawling around in his stomach, Ryou, holding on tighter than he should, pressed the mouth of the mask onto his face, not knowing how to work it, before he was gently lead into the room. The man behind him remained outside, as Ryou noticed when he turned for approval or for wordless instructions on what to do. He got none as the door whipped shut so fast, his already tangled nerves twitched and caused him pain. With a gasp, he tried to find a way to ease his body, but the bugs in his gut were starting to get too restless. He felt like he was about to throw up, and he knew it wasn't from anything less than stress. Continuing to hold the clean air to his face (though, the tube that fed him air lead into small bubble, and Ryou wasn't even sure how he was getting air from it at all) he turned his gaze ahead, seeing a pair of brown eyes staring back at him. For a moment, his heart froze, but it melted away into a searing heat that caused his body to flash with the warmth. Bakura's eyes were nowhere near as intense as they usually were, and, in fact, they looked... weak. They were glazed, and the part that was usually white was tinted pink. The other's face was pale and the rims around his eyes were dark. He looked close to falling unconscious, and the sight in whole was enough to cause Ryou to lose his hold on the tube, dropping it to the floor. He scrambled to pick it up, but soon realized that the air tasted and smelled just the same as it had through the mask. And if it was truly an Earthen virus... he had probably already gotten it, and most likely was immune to it... or something like that...

Deciding to leave it where it lay on the floor, the human slowly stood, his eyes connected still with Bakura's. The other looked both surprised and irritated. He opened his mouth and made to snap at the softer boy, but the sound that crawled out of the darkness of his throat was nothing but a shadow of the fierce man's usual voice. And suddenly, it turned into a rough bout of coughing, the kind that tore its way from the chest and sounded more like a painful bark than anything else.

How was it possible for something to attack a person's system this quickly and severely...? Without knowing what else to do, Ryou inched forward, his wide and sympathetic eyes looking up into the other's own. He soon noticed that he was on his knees, his hand creeping up to set against the larger male's face. Bakura twitched and jerked away from the touch, sneering at Ryou.

Damnit. He did not want to be seen like this. It was humiliating and he wanted to be alone. He didn't want to be watched like a specimen. He wanted to curl up and sleep and wake up to a body that didn't ache so terribly, to a nose that wasn't running, to eyes that weren't burning, to a head that wasn't pounding with every beat of his heart. He was also cold, and wished they would have given him something more than this pathetic piece of rag to dress in.

Though the contact had only been held for a second, Ryou could feel the fever lying behind the lightly flushed skin. It was almost ironic how the body gained such a contrast in colors when there was something wrong -- the skin paled in illness and turned red with fever .

"Oh, goodness," he muttered to himself, quickly standing and looking around the room. There wasn't much, but he did spot a bed at the far end How was he supposed to...? "Bakura," he began, hearing the other grunt and vaguely give off the general idea that he was acknowledging the human talking to him. But he still didn't have the Althasian's attention -- he needed Bakura's eyes. Grabbing the larger man's hand before the said being realized what was happening, Ryou tugged him to his feet, which were unsteady and Bakura lost his footing, causing Ryou to cry out and just barely caught him. His back was creaking and his muscles were shuddering with the effort, but he was able to keep the other standing long enough for him to find his balance.

"I'm sorry," Ryou whispered, feeling bad about just uprooting someone who was this sick so abruptly... "You need to lie down, okay?"

Had he not been pointing towards the bed with his free hand, Bakura would have been absolutely lost as to what was being said. With a weak glare, he pulled himself out of Ryou's grip and slumped over to the bed, practically falling onto the stiff mattress.

This was not a good way to start a relationship, even if was going to be just a nurse and a sick patient.

Not that Ryou considered himself a nurse, of course.



"Or I could very well just walk out and leave you alone to figure out what's going on and to be at the mercy of idiots who assume you're nothing more than an animal."

The thought was not a pleasant one, nor was the way they were spoken. In fact, the tone was hard and chilled.

But neither was anywhere close to backing down.

"Go ahead. Sounds like something you'd do."

The spark of anger flared into a raging inferno. "How dare you--"

"How dare me? How dare you!" Yuugi rarely got this worked up, but the pressure had been building up and finally, it had gotten to the point where his petite body could no longer hold in everything he had been bottling up until now. "I gave you a place to stay when you had nowhere! I fed you when you were hungry! I tried to make you comfortable and happy! You lied to me! You got me in trouble with the police! You... you kidnapped me! And you have the gall to say 'how dare you' to me? You're lucky I don't punch you!"

The loud and emotional outburst was followed by silence. Yami had not been thinking of the past in those terms, and he could not grasp onto exactly what he should say. Should he fight back? The answer to that quickly emerged at the sound of a sob, which came from the boy who was now having to hold himself up with the help of the wall, his other hand pressed against the middle of his face, his shoulders shaking and his head tipped forward, body shaking.

"I trusted you and you do this to me..." came the pitiful mumble that was nearly drowned out by the tears that were filling the large grey eyes. Any ground the argument had been standing on crumbled and the reasons dissipated.

"Yuugi..." Yami said quietly, suddenly feeling far more guilty than he had ever remembered in the majority of his life that he actually did remember. Without continuing to rattle on with a sentence that held no definite subject or direction, the center of the guilt continued on with Yuugi's monologue.

"I don't think I could ever trust you after this... you've just... ruined it all..."

About to repeat the mantra of the other's name, Yami was interrupted by the hazmat-man entering the room once more, utterly ruining the moment. He obviously sensed the tension for he froze up, looking completely unsure of what to do. And so, without a word, he slunk off around the two, trying to be inconspicuous, which was quite a task when one looked like he was dressed for a nuclear war. Yuugi, in the background, tried to control his erratic breathing and occasional tearful gurgles. He hadn't meant to cry and yet here he was doing just that. Wasn't that just like him, though? He had cried when a bully had taken a puzzle his aunt had given him when he was little, which he had brought to show Anzu. But, in his defense, it had been smashed and broken into an irreparable mess...

"I'll... go get you something to drink. That usually helps..." the prince began awkwardly.

"If you leave, you're not going to come back."

Of course, he had every intention of sticking around, but he somehow got the feeling that the slighter boy wouldn't believe him no matter what came from his mouth. Sighing, Yami reached out and took the smaller male's hand, holding tight even when the said teen attempted to yank it away (though it was a weak and half-hearted pull). "Then get up, you're coming with me. I'm not going to let you sit here by yourself, especially right now." What else was there to say? Yuugi really wasn't leaving him with much choice in the matter, was he?

The said human gave the Althasian a look, as if to say a mixture of many things at once, but none never made it past his lips. Part of him wanted to remain defiant, especially after everything he had been put through, but the rest of him did not wish to be left alone in such a strange place without any other means to communicate with anyone. And so, with his mouth pressed into a thin line, he shrugged, as if that were the answer to everything. "Only if you'll let go of me," he muttered distastefully. He wasn't a child that needed to be lead around by the responsible (HA! As if!) adult or else he'd get hurt or lost. He wasn't stupid.

But Yami was quick to respond, "I'll let go only if you'll promise to stay close to me and not run off."

Both seemed to become involved in some sort of staring contest, neither willing to break the gaze and show submission. At least, it remained that way until Yuugi finally made a noise as if to say, 'whatever,' and then closed his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest as the taller finally released Yuugi's hand from his grip. "Fine."

It certainly didn't seem like much, but even this was considered progress to the prince. "Thank you," he murmured before turning and taking a step, weary of the other's presence. He refused to let the boy slip out of his reach. Glancing over his shoulder, he eyed the slightly pale teen (who still held obvious signs of just recently having had a breakdown somewhat hoarse voice, red eyes, and others if one looked closely enough) and could only manage to give an awkward attempt at a reassuring, warm smile when the said teen frowned up at him, stopping just before being at the Althasian's side.

"Would you walk next to me?" he asked, and though he hardly got a reply at all, it was enough of one to tell that Yuugi got the point of his words. "Thank you."

It took little time to travel back to the control room so that he could alert his surpervisors of their intentions. As he took the translator off of his throat, his language once more fell back into that of his usual one, and, behind him (he had fallen back a bit when they had entered -- after all, Yuugi still wasn't exactly Mr. Outgoing) Yuugi looked around, taking in the flashing lights and the soft whirrs of machinery. Set to the side of a chair that had been knocked over for whatever reason and not picked back up, was an odd-looking puzzle of some sort. Having always enjoyed puzzles (at least, he thought it was one), and being curious and refusing to speak, or try to speak, with Yami, he slunk around the people, before kneeling down in front of the strange thing that emitted a dim glow. It looked... like a cylindrical, one-color Rubix Cube attached to a box just barely larger in width with small, handheld game consol-esque buttons around it as well was what appeared to be just a flat screen. Frowning, the human gently reached out, touching the surface of the thing. It did nothing, though Yuugi quickly snuck a look back to make sure no one was watching him. They weren't.

And so, he quietly picked the piece of technology up and, after a moment of hesitation (hey, it might be a bomb, right?) he gave a quick flick of his wrist, turning it. The boxes clicked into place, but nothing else happened. Was this even a puzzle? Brows knitted further, and he moved the sides, re-aligning the blocks in a new manner. The whateveritwas suddenly shifted in color, going from a radioactive light green to a pale lilac. What the...

"I'll come back here after we've been to the kitchens. It might be a little longer than intended, depending on whether or not he's hungry," Yami said, speaking to his boss. The old man stared down at him before sighing and nodding.

"Keep a close eye on it, will you? We've already had one go missing thanks to a certain..." But instead of ever finishing his sentence, he only trailed off, having gone from watching the prince to watching the prince's... human. "What is it doing?" Great. Already there was a mess being made, or about to be at any rate. By his standards, however, he felt rather proud of himself for using such a calm tone and demeanor, instead of the irritated, frustrated one he had to push back.

Yami (though annoyed with the fact that the other was calling what was obviously male an 'it') turned, looking in the same direction as his leader, eyes widening slightly. "I have no idea what that is," he finally said as he began walking over towards Yuugi.

"Something Otogi's been working on." And the poor scientist had already been caused enough grief for now, so if that invention got broken...

"Yuugi, do not mess with anything. If you want to know what something is, ask me, alright?" the prince said, his voice a little terse as he had the translator on secure enough to remove his hand from it. Did the boy not understand? He could very well hurt himsel--

But when Yami had set his fingers on the contraption, attempting to bring it from the smaller's grip, he froze, gasping. It felt like his entire body was lit in fire and he began to shake visibly, red orbs narrowed and mouth hanging open. Scalding waves rushed throughout his bones and his tremors grew in intensity. Yuugi had started shouting, fearful and confused, but his alien lookalike could not near a thing. Was he also screaming? He couldn't tell. His throat was numb and it sounded as if he were in a wind tunnel. Then everything stopped, and, as if his limbs were liquified and could not hold weight at all any longer, Yami collapsed to the floor, Otogi's creation rolling out of his grasp and a few inches away across the tile. It beeped twice and then the glow faded, as if the machine had been automatically turned off.

And suddenly -- for the prince, at least -- the world went black.

.: Chapter end :.

And yes. That's all I could come up with for a chapter. Dx It would be longer, but... then I wouldn't have a solid area to stop on, and then it would go on forever (which I'm sure you all wouldn't mind, but those kinds of things are a royal pain to type up). So yes. Pretty much a filler chapter leading up to the good stuff.

Oh, and be prepared for a rather unexpected turn of events for Yuugi and Yami. Ahurhurhur. Some of you are probably going to hate me for it, too, but. Rawr. MY STORY. So there.

As I said, the next few chapters will focus on relationships. And other things, but still. Mainly those. xD