Title: Living to love you/ What I can't have
Author: Voice-sama (Me XD)
Warnings: None. . .
Working Music: Fusion-China in your hand/ Sarah Connor-Living to love you
Dedication to: Readers and Reviewers of the Paper Flower series
A hollow, piercing scream echoed through the thick darkness covered with a layer of silvery moonlight being sent out by the nearly full moon, the beautifully, in light shades colored veil writhing in the soft, bright light that surrounded it, and as the scream ended and the veil began to fade dramatically slow, soft murmurs could be heard, increasing in volume until a last word was shouted, and the veil disappeared, only a small ball of light remaining, which gently slid through the night towards its captor.
A slender, pale hand caught it, and the owner of said hand turned the palm upwards, long fingers curled just slightly, the light floating inches above it. It illuminated only a small area, and as the person holding it gave the ball a gentle, almost loving tack with the tip of his index finger it rose, the light revealing a tight, silken, black shirt hugging a slender waist, then higher a broad, muscled chest, and part of a long neck halfway encased in the shirt's collar, as body-hugging as the whole shirt was, until it came to stop in front of a lush, smirking mouth, pale skin of the young face, lighting a glimmer in the narrow dark blue eyes lined with black kohl beneath a mop of spiked, snowy-white hair. A kiss was placed delicately on the ball as the deep eyes closed halfway for a moment, then it was send tumbling again, rising a few feet into the air, and higher still, until it merged with the stars glowing dimly through the layer of mist.
"Why did you let it go?", an agitated voice asked from behind the man, and as a cloud vanished from in front of the moon, lavender eyes glared mildly at him, who had turned to face his companion with a strange smirk on his face.
"No clue.", was all he answered before burying his hands in the pockets of his wide black pants. "Let it down, Malik."
The other man ran a tanned hand through his blonde locks, rolling his eyes. "I can't believe you Bakura."
Shiroi Bakura, to be exact, nineteen years of age, shaman, soulcatcher, or whatever you may call him; his profession was clear. In an era where heaven's gates had closed for the dead to join the stars above conclusively, people with magic abilities had to step in to force those lost souls through a backdoor of heaven's estates – and most of them used their ability for their advantage, selling the souls to the highest bidder in unbreakable glass containers to use as decoration.
Usually, Bakura did that too, with the help of his best friend, Ishtar Malik, a chatterbox extraordinaire; to put it frankly, the blonde eighteen year old could sell anything to anyone, even souls for way too high prices. Not that he minded, though.
"Tomorrow's Halloween, Malik. . . and the moon is almost full."
"Don't you know, stupid?", Bakura sighed, turning to him as they exited the clearing in the forest behind a small village. "Full. Moon. Malik. Plus it's the night of the dead, isn't that what they say? By the day after tomorrow night, we'll both be that rich that we never have to work again."
"Yeah, I know it's fu- hold on. You won't. . ?" Malik's eyes widened, and he glanced up at the large, dark, somewhat creepy castle that stood proud and ancient on the hill, in the middle of the forest, over towering the village easily. The blonde shuddered at the shrieks of the bats that echoed through the night and down the hill, and the howling of the wolves that lived deep in the forest, fortunate enough to miss the shaman's devilish smirk.
"Yes, I will. Tomorrow, I am going to catch the young prince's soul."
"This is madness! Barely no one has ever even seen the soul!", Malik tried to reason with Bakura as the soul catcher pulled off his boots when they were back in their room at the local inn.
"Because everyone's too afraid to go search for him. Are you afraid too Malik?"
"No, no I'm not.", the blonde sighed, shaking his head as he sat down on his bed. "I mean, only a few children said the soul was there. . .they probably made that up."
"Tomorrow night is the prince's birthday, and the day of his death as well. He will be there, I know it! Just remember the tales Mal, the boy was the most beautiful child in all lands! Imagine how many coins his soul would bring us if we sold him!"
"Well. . . "
"Come on, even if he's not there, we won't have lost anything."
Malik sighed, and surrendered, crawling beneath the thin woolen blanket, and curled up pouting. "Fine."
Bakura smirked, laying back, his arms crossed beneath his head as he stared up at the ceiling dreamily. 'The most beautiful child in all lands. . . I am going to get you'. He closed his eyes, content, and fell into deep slumber, unaware of sad eyes watching him.
"I did some research."
"Don't you always?"
"Nonono, Bakura, listen to me! This book the innkeeper gave me says the prince was the only child of the resident king, the queen died as she gave birth to him, and his older sister was assassinated as the heir to the throne."
"I know that.", Bakura said, rolling his eyes, and stared out of the window as nightfall approached slowly. "Everyone knows of that story."
"Well, did you know he was executed on his sixteenth birthday for loving a commoner? A love so deep and pure he gave his life for it, willingly, with a smile on his face. Its said he was in love with a man from this village, someone tall, and mysterious, with peculiar hair and stunning blue eyes. . . ergh, this book sounds pretty old, such mushy words – but the guy here sounds like you 'Kura! What a coincide- Bakura?"
But the shaman had zoned out, and stood in front of the window, one hand at the cool pane, and seemed to stare at the castle – but his eyes were clouded.
Bright green eyes watching interestedly as he stopped the horse he was riding on, halting next to the young one.
"It's a nice day for the gardens your majesty. . . what are you doing here of all places?"
The prince smiled sheepishly, innocently blinking up at the offered hand before being pulled up onto the large horses back, squealing in surprise, clinging to the man's waist.
"Come on you bolter, I'll bring you back where you belong."
"Am I not there already?"
"Ohh, nice going you know-it-all.", he chuckled as he nuzzled his nose to the young prince's affectionately.
"Well one of us has to know at least something, right?", the younger one smiled, then 'eep'ed as he was being cuddled tightly by his amused lover, gentle kisses placed all over his slender neck, making him purr. . .
A slap to the back of his head plus Malik's annoyed voice snapped the white-haired one out of his trance. It had seemed so real. . . and for once, Bakura had felt as if he was where he belonged, content, warm, bursting with happiness.
"Uh, sorry, what did you say?"
"Forget it. Come on, night falls already, we have to get there before midnight."
The now full moon sent an eerie glow, shining bright and silver just above one of the towers of the old castle as Bakura and Malik made their arduous way up the withered path of the castle, the once-glamour and beauty of the building and the gardens turned into the deathly appealing façade of ancient mysteries and dangers Bakura loved so much.
Now, as they stood outside the heavy gate, surrounded by freely, wildly growing vegetation that were once neat, pretty flowers beds, Bakura was overwhelmed by the thick sadness that everyone talked about who even approached the castle by accident or driven by foolish curiousity; it seemed to hang in the air like the mist. He noticed that Malik flinched as bats surrounded them for a few moments, but he barely noticed the animals – he himself was driven by an unknown force, making him want to hold and comfort and sooth and kiss the sadness away from whatever was so sad.
When the bats were gone, leaving Bakura completely unfazed and Malik with tousled hair, they assaulted the gate to open. It opened with just one well-placed kick, the angles rusty and broken already, and the soul catchers found themselves in the inner courtyard, a huge place full of prettily decorated wells –which were mossy now, the angels and fairy creatures decorating them missing several limbs- more once-flower beds, and behind that all, the castle, black, crumbling.
"That was where they killed him. . .", Malik whispered, scooting closer to Bakura for the man was his only protection; who knew how many souls resided this castle, how many were peaceful, and how many violent? "After the prince died, the villagers dragged the king out here and killed him as well; since then, no one laid a hand on anything in here."
Bakura nodded, his throat suddenly very dry and constricting, and he was about to cry, tears already gathering in the corners of his eyes. "What. . . what happened to the prince's lover?"
"They say he went insane from grief and vanished into the woods. . . some say he killed himself, others that he gave his life to the fen fires, and still others think he still lives, driven by the urge to see his love again, but unable to enter the castle when it appears for his eyes on Halloween, as the prince is unable to exit it in that night until dawn comes.
"Shh, be quiet, or they'll hear you. . . "
A quiet, echoing giggle in Bakura's mind, the sweet voice ringing in his ears.
"Come on, if we get to my room quick they won't notice!"
"I'm building a castle of ice for when I'm not with you, so the crystal lake of my tears is sheltered within – I'll cry them only for you."
"I love you."
"Will you stay with me tonight?"
"I'm living to love you."
Bakura gave a frustrated tug to his hair along with a groan. Where were those sentences coming from? They couldn't possibly be his own, no, this wasn't his voice. They were uttered by a voice that soothed his soul, and made him want to cry all the more for he knew he couldn't have what he wanted, what he loved so dearly. He shook his head sharply, and tugged Malik along, climbing up some stairs in the abandoned gardens, staring at something a few feet away. . . a small podium, which was covered with something dark, faded.
"Oh, gods above. . . ", Malik whispered next to him.
"I am not going to change my mind."
A second voice booming something, making the softer sob almost inaudibly.
"So be it; if I deserve punishment for loving someone, I will take it."
Bakura blinked at this voice, it sounded so familiar too. . . and before his eyes he could see what happened decades ago, the second-latest event in the courtyard. A frail boy stood on that podium, and Bakura could see through him, and suddenly Malik was gone, and a crowd had appeared around him which looked at him distastefully. . . and Bakura noticed, it had been his own voice crying out as a hooded man lifted a sword to kill the child.
And beautiful he was alright, smiling softly while standing there bravely and upright, hands bound on the back, awaiting a punishment he didn't deserve, soft, long white hair flowing in the wind gently while bright green eyes were fixed on him, directly on him, as the full lips opened, a well-known sentence rolling from them smoothly, before the sword was being embedded in his chest to the hilt.
"I'm living to love you."
"No! No. . ."
"Bakura? Are you alright?"
Bakura panted, he realized, and gripped his chest tightly with one hand, because it hurt, hurt so badly he wanted to scream and rip his heart out to stop the excruciating pain.
"Too many memories around here.", he answered gruffly after a few minutes as he had caught his breath, causing Malik to frown, but the blonde didn't say anything. Bakura never had had problems with memories of the souls he hunted. And the younger one was even more surprised as his companion headed for the castle gates, pushing them open, and stormed along a hallway, up a flight of stairs, and through another hallway while he himself stumbled after Bakura.
"Where are you going?"
"To his room."
"Why do you know where his room is?!"
Malik never got an answer, because as soon as Bakura had pushed open a once-beautifully decorated door, the albino fell to his knees, choking on sobs while gripping his chest again; the memories must have been strong here.
"Mmh. . . kiss me, love."
"Are you sure you can't stay?"
"Please don't leave me. . ."
"I love you."
Bakura's head spun, so many sentences repeating over and over in his head, merging, forming new ones, words of love and adoration and sadness.
"They will kill you if you don't go!"
"Do what I do. . . I'm living to love you."
"I will take our punishment."
"Please, you can't come back. . ."
"Oh god, I don't want to lose you. . ."
His head snapped up; had that been his name? It really got stranger and stranger, and Bakura stumbled to his feet, eyes widening at the soft-colored veil flickering at the window, transforming into a transparent figure sitting on the windowsill, looking at him with sad, gentle green eyes.
"So you came back to me. . .Bakura.", the soul whispered, and Bakura found himself approaching it slowly, tentatively, stunned by beautiful young features.
". . . Prince Ryou."
"I told you, so many years ago. . .", the royal soul whispered, slipping from the windowsill and actually walked over to the frozen male, though even the steps seemed like floating. ". . . not to call me 'prince', didn't I." A small, frail, transparent hand was lifted to Bakura's cheek in an attempt to cup and caress it, Ryou smiling sadly as he wasn't able to touch the warm skin. Bakura nodded slightly, staring into the soul's eyes.
The sweet-bitter moment was interrupted by Malik's agitated growl. "Stop fawning Bakura, catch it already! Think of the money!"
Ryou's eyes got bright with silvery tears, and he took a step back, his legs transforming to the veil appearance very slowly. "You are going to sell me?"
"I. . . well. . . "
"After I waited for you that long to come back to me, after I took death as punishment for loving you? I hoped you were going to be reincarnated, but I certainly didn't hope you were born a soul hunter!"
The soul's sweet voice was teary even, pearly, transparent droplets running down cheeks that couldn't flush anymore. "I hoped. . . you would relief me."
Bakura couldn't take seeing him cry it stirred something inside him. Reincarnated? So the prince thought he was his love? The living albino turned to Malik who stood there waiting, nodding to him.
It broke his heart to lift his palm and mumbled the words that would seal Ryou's soul, but he did it, the soul watching him motionlessly with empty eyes. Slowly, he became a veil again, then a ball of light, the brightest light Bakura had ever seen, and he took the ball, kissing it, though not in mockery this time, no; it felt right to do it, and put frankly, he couldn't wait to do it again. Tears streamed down his own cheeks as he turned to Malik with the ball in his hand, looking down at it, smiling softly.
"I'm living to love you.", he whispered, put both hands around the ball, and send it to the skies.
"Wha? NO! Bakura, not again!"
"I'm sorry Malik. . .", Bakura apologized, looking at his friend.
Malik's eyes widened as Bakura's hair became shorter as it had been, and his skin gained a light tan.
"I am waiting to hold him for almost fifty years now."
"That's not possible. . . come on Bakura, tell me you're joking!"
"I'm sorry, I have to. . . "Bakura gazed at the ceiling; strange memories filled his head, but they were welcome, the hole he had felt in his life finally filled.
Ryou attached to his arm, giggling.
The first time he had kissed the prince and the cute expression of shock, surprise, and delight on the sweet face.
All the nights he had spent in Ryou's arms, and all the days with the boy by his side.
And Bakura put his palm onto his chest, closing his eyes tightly to brace himself for the pain when his soul would be separated from his body as he spoke the banning words with a slight twist.
He smiled at Malik as light engulfed him, and all the blonde could do was stare as his best friend's soul was sent to heaven to join his love for eternity.
Malik turned, and exited the castle, deep in thought. He didn't even notice the castle vanished slowly after he was off the land, nor did he look up as glowing violet eyes watched him from the shadows. . .
But that is another story.
ww Owari ww