All You Wanted

Lyrics taken from 'All You Wanted' by Michelle Branch

He was gone.

Bakura was gone.

Wiping the tears from his eyes by reflex – he'd been crying so much these past few months it had become business as usual; wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home, cry for an hour, eat dinner, go to bed and cry himself to sleep – Ryou fell back on his bed. He couldn't take much more of this. When Bakura had first shown up, at first all he wanted was for his 'yami' to leave.

Now that he had…

"Oh, Bakura…where are you?" Ryou asked of the ether.

The ether, of course, did not answer.

But that was all right. Ryou knew – if Bakura was anywhere, if he still existed now that Yami had Mind-Crushed him… – that Bakura was in the Shadow Realm.

And from what little he knew of that otherworldly plane, aside from Bakura, Yami was the only one who knew how to get there.

Well, Marik had, and Malik might still, but the former had been 'Obliterated' by Yami, and the latter was back in Egypt with his sister and brother. Yami was the only 'yami' – and consequently the only welder of Shadow Magic – still in Domino City.

And Ryou really didn't think that Yami would be willing to help him bring Bakura back.

Arrested by his thoughts, Ryou sat up straight, his tears drying in his eyes before they could fall. "Bring…Bakura…back?" he whispered haltingly. He could, couldn't he? He could bring Bakura back, and then this crushing loneliness would leave him.

I wanted to be like you.
I wanted everything.
So I tried to be like you
and I got swept away.

"I can be you."

Those four little words had sealed his downfall.

But, considering he was so far down in the darkness that he couldn't dig myself any deeper…maybe it was his uprising?

I shouldn't try being philosophical; it's not my strong suit, Bakura decided.

He'd always wanted to be the sole possessor of the Millennium Items; that was his only goal…at that particular point in time, at least.

Well, that, and wiping that smug, self-satisfied smile off the Pharaoh's face. But one would lead to the other, if only because with the loss of his precious Puzzle, the Pharaoh would cease to exist. In any corporeal capacity, at any rate.

But he couldn't complete his goal without Ryou's help. Unfortunately, Ryou…was not exactly willing.

Who could blame him? Bakura brooded, automatically brushing away another Shadow seeking his life force with the habit of long exposure. I didn't even know why I wanted those things, all I knew was that I had wanted them for five thousand years, and I wasn't about to give up the chance just because it made Ryou cry.

That didn't mean he didn't think about it, however. Seeing Ryou cry was like…

Well, now that he'd remembered his past, seeing Ryou cry was like seeing his younger sister cry…only…something more. Maybe because he's my reincarnation, my…hikari, Bakura mused, brow furrowing in thought. But he hadn't wanted to see Ryou cry, so he tried his very best to keep that from happening.

Bakura sighed morosely. Not like I succeeded.

So Bakura had had to pretend to be Ryou. Which led to his previously mentioned statement: "I can be you." I was so confident, so cocky, so sure I could handle it…

Oh, how right – and wrong – I was, Bakura thought in resignation. My masquerade as my hikari fooled even the Ra-damned Pharaoh; no one could see through it.

But…I only meant that I could act like Ryou. And I could, only…

While pretending to be Ryou, Bakura had started to become like Ryou. The former tomb-robber had discovered he liked living a quote-unquote 'normal' life. One where he didn't have to steal to eat, one where each day wasn't a constant struggle for life in the face of an all-too inevitable death…one where he actually had people who cared for him, even if it was only an illusion. He'd gotten swept away in Ryou's yearning for friends, his need to do the right thing, his fucking intrinsic honest nature…

A spark of anger lit inside him – both at his thoughts and the questing tendrils of Shadows that still plagued him. Slapping them away with a growl, he returned to his thoughts. If he was so honest, then why, when I lied about how I felt – told him I hated him – didn't he say the same? Instead of replying, "I hate you, too," he said, "I know."

I have no earthly – or, in my case, now, Shadowy – clue.

Bakura sighed one more. But considering that I've been consigned to the depths of the Underworld – in actuality, the depths of the Shadow Realm, being slowly swallowed by the bottomless pit that is the 'Void'; by my greatest enemy, no less – for all time, I should have plenty of time to think about it.

I didn't know that it was so cold
and you needed someone to show you the way.
So I took your hand and we figured out
that when the time comes, I'd take you away.

He'd done it.

Peering at the shadowy darkness that surrounded him, Ryou grimaced. Though my elation seems a bit premature. How am I ever supposed to find Bakura here?

As if in answer to his thoughts, his Millennium Ring – which Ryou still wore after all this time to help him feel closer to Bakura in said yami's absence; Yami had assured him that Bakura couldn't get himself out of the Shadow Realm this time, so the magical Item wasn't deemed dangerous for him to own – started to glow. The five points jangled softly against his chest and pointed slightly to his left.

"Of course!" Ryou shouted, the echoes of his jubilance swallowed up by the darkness around him. He slapped himself on the forehead at his stupidity. "The Ring can find him. Why didn't I think of that before?" he chastised himself. With his most important question answered – namely, which way should he go? – Ryou turned until the golden points were stretched out straight in front of him and started walking.

From what little he had gleaned of this magical place from Bakura, he knew that time held no real meaning there. It did pass, but it didn't always correlate to what happened in the real world. That's why Yami's duel with Pegasus at Duelist Kingdom had seemed to only last a few minutes to those watching in the real world, but the duel itself had taken over an hour in the Shadow Realm. As long as Ryou was focused on time not passing in the real world, he – and, if he had his way, Bakura – would arrive back in his house at the same time as he'd originally left.

An unearthly shriek resounded through the air. Ryou jumped and spun around. Not seeing anyone – or anything – in sight, he relaxed fractionally. Ryou swallowed down his fear, though his eyes were darting frantically around the never-ending blackness.

He hoped.

Ryou shivered, wrapping his arms around himself as he plodded onward towards his destination. I had no idea this part of the Shadow Realm was so cold. He grimaced wryly. Hell, I had no idea the Shadow Realm was real. I had no idea the Shadow Realm even existed.

Not until he'd shown up.

Bakura, I'm…sorry?

Truth was, he wasn't sure. Life before Bakura had shown up had been lonely, but he'd been used to it. With Bakura there, it had been by turns dangerous and depressing, but never dull.

And with him gone again…

Well, suffice to say, he couldn't live another day contemplating different ways to kill himself; to release himself from the miserable existence he'd been forced to live with without his yami in his soul.

Without his yami as a part of his soul. What happiness could be wrought by just half of a soul? A half of a soul without the other half?

Ryou sighed longingly.

He'd always wanted somebody who…

No, that was stupid. To think that Bakura of all people could care about…


Up ahead, something pulsed. It wasn't a light, exactly, but it was life.


If you want to, I can save you.
I can take you away from here.
So lonely inside; so busy out there.
And all you wanted was somebody who cares.

He's here.

Bakura gaped in awe at the sight before him. a sight he'd thought never to see again.

He's here.

Ryou Bakura, my reincarnation, and the one person in this life who should hate me more than even the Ra-damned Pharaoh

Is here.

But why? That Bakura could not figure out.

To gloat? No, that's what I'd do.

And Ryou is, thankfully, nothing like me.

But if not to gloat, then why…?

"Bakura," came Ryou's soft voice, British-accented with a Japanese lilt. The language didn't matter to Bakura – everyone spoke the same one in the Shadow Realm. The inherent magic acted as a translator.

Good thing, too, since Bakura was sure that in his monotonous and strength- and memory/knowledge-draining time trapped in the Void he'd forgotten everything except ancient Egyptian and a smattering of Japanese and English curse words

"R-Ryou," Bakura responded, unable to help his stutter. He winced inwardly at the sound. It's been months here, with no one to talk to. And I haven't, so of course my voice is rusty, he consoled himself.

But did I have to sound so…happy to see him?

Bakura sighed inwardly. I'm too tired to be deceptive, he admitted, if only to himself. And I am glad to see him.

Glad to see anyone…especially a familiar and…loved…face.

Startled by the sappy, sentimental turn his thoughts had taken, Bakura's voice was rather gruff when he asked, "Why are you here?" though he couldn't keep the note of longing disbelief from seeping through as well.

Startled by the – for once – honest emotion in his yami's voice, Ryou stuttered, "I c-came to get you back."

Shocked beyond belief. That was a good way to describe Bakura's mood at that moment in time. "W-what?" he croaked out.

"If you want to," Ryou added diffidently – as if Bakura actually wanted to remain in this Ra-forsaken hellhole. "I can take you out of here with me when I go."

"You can?" Bakura said almost soundlessly. Ryou could, he knew. His light – and yes, Ryou was still his whether the boy knew and acknowledged it or not – was still a part of the real world and could take anyone from the Shadow Realm back out with him.

If he has the strength of will, whispered the ages-old caution in Bakura's mind. Yes, that was true. If Ryou didn't have the resolve to hold onto him when they left…

Then they'd both be trapped here. Forever.

I don't want that to happen to him, Bakura thought forcefully. He doesn't deserve to be trapped here…with me.

Sadness rippled through his being as he saw the hopeful look that had taken over his hikari's face. Ryou looked…lonely. As if he'd missed his other half as much as Bakura had missed him.

It's been so lonely in here… I never thought I could get used to the hustle and bustle of this modern world, but it's not the busy streets of the world out there I miss.

It's him. Ryou.

A small smile lit his face as Bakura gazed at the other boy. I think he's missed me, too. He…cares.

About me.

Taking a deep breath, Bakura said, "How are we going to do this?"

A smile broken across Ryou's face like a new dawn, making Bakura glad he hadn't pushed Ryou away.

Speaking of pushing…

Or, rather, falling…

Bakura had been trapped in the Void; basically a collection of the deepest, darkest Shadows, which were constantly trying to pull him in. It was only the incredible will he'd developed over the five thousand years trapped in the Ring that had enabled him to resist the pull of its oblivion for so long.

And now that Ryou was here…

The Shadows knew.

I'm sinking slowly, so hurry hold me.
Your hand is all I have to keep me hanging on.
Please can you tell me so I can finally see?
Where you go when you're gone…

"Bakura!" Ryou gasped, seeing his yami starting to disappear feet-first into what he now saw was a pool of Shadows, not a floor. Instinctively, he reached out one hand, grabbing onto Bakura's and holding onto it with all his strength.

"Ryou!" Bakura gritted out from between clenched teeth. The Shadows were pulling him in deeper; only Ryou's hastily given grip kept him from being sucked all the way in.

But it won't be long now… came the unwelcome, unbidden thought to the thief's mind.

"Bakura, what's going on?" Ryou asked, fright clearly etched on his features.

"The Void doesn't want to let me go," Bakura said, trying to keep his explanation succinct. "If you want to take me out of here, you have to drag me out. If you don't…"

"If I don't?" Ryou asked, unable to see where his yami was going with this. If he didn't drag Bakura out, Bakura would be taken somewhere else in the Shadow Realm? Where would his yami go once he was gone, disappeared into that pool of darkness? He should still be able to use the Ring to find Bakura.


"It will drag us both down…and we'll never be able to leave." Bakura growled as a tendril of blackness wrapped around his free arm, trying to throw him off-balance. Twisting quickly out of its grip, his other hand reached out for his hikari. "You have to decide now, before it's too late," he gasped.

"Decide?" Ryou asked, panicked. "Decide what?"

"You can still leave," Bakura said bluntly, free hand still waving in the air. "If you leave now, it won't go after you."

"But it will still have you," Ryou argued with sudden clarity. It's all…or nothing.

Resolve firming, Ryou snatched up the offered hand. Better no existence than only half of one.

If you want to, I can save you.
I can take you away from here.
So lonely inside; so busy out there.
And all you wanted was somebody who cares.

I have to save him, Ryou thought frantically, hands desperately giving Bakura his only link to salvation. His yami actually looked…frightened. He'd only ever seen Bakura wear that look once before.

Back in Battle City. It was the first time Ryou realized Bakura might actually…care about him.

No, that wasn't true. Even before Battle City, when he saved me from Marik's blast – I knew Bakura cared about me, Ryou realized, arms straining to keep Bakura from being sucked deeper into the shadowy quicksand pit of the Void.

Though I'm not sure he did.

It's been so lonely out there, in the so-called 'real' world. But everyone – even Yugi, Yugi who got to keep his yami with him – has been too busy with his own life to take much notice of me. I haven't felt as alive as I do now since Bakura was with me.

He saved me…now it's my turn to save him.

With that decision made, Ryou's two-fisted grip firmed up and he carefully stepped back form the edge of the pit, pulling Bakura with him.

Bakura was leaving him over his dead body.

All you wanted was somebody who cares.
If you need me, you know I'll be there.
Oh, yeah…

Seeing the fierce, almost protective look in Ryou's eyes, Bakura finally, realized what it was he'd really wanted since his village was killed.

Somebody who cared.

Ryou…Ryou cares, came the dawning realization, almost shocking Bakura into letting go of his human anchor.

About me.

And he'll be here for me… was the last thought that flashed through Bakura's mind before, with one last tug, Ryou pulled him free of the darkness.

And then they were falling…endlessly.

If you want to, I can save you.
I can take you away from here.
So lonely inside; so busy out there.
And all you wanted was somebody who cares.

Please can you tell me so I can finally see?
Where you go when you're gone…

Blinking eyes rendered almost useless by the sudden influx of bright light that they were forced to endure, it took Ryou a moment to realize where he was.

Back in his bedroom, where he'd been when he used the Ring to take him to the Shadow Realm and find Bakura. Focusing inward, Ryou almost wept when he didn't feel the familiar niggling the base of skull…or the welcome warmth around his heart…that signaled Bakura was in the Ring.

He'd passed the test, hadn't he? He wasn't trapped in the Void with Bakura, so…where was his yami?

Where had his yami gone?

"Please…" Ryou whispered, hiccupping with soft sobs, unable to continue. …tell me, he finished silently, praying to whatever deities watched over hikaris and their yamis, whether they be Japanese or Egyptian, he didn't care.

He just wanted to see Bakura again.

A loud groan reached his ears, stopping his sobs in their tracks and making him stare across the room to where the sound had emanated from.

Emanated from the…body…of his yami!

"Bakura!" Ryou shouted, bounding over to his yami. He starred down at the moaning form in front of him. It looked almost exactly like him – the boy was even wearing a copy of his rumpled school uniform, and there was a matching Millennium Item hanging on his chest – save a little taller, with more muscles.

Well, actually, it looked exactly like what Bakura had looked like when he'd taken over Ryou's body.

The moaning tapered off and the boy's – Bakura's – eyelids fluttered open to reveal blood red orbs covered by a haze of confusion. He stared unseeingly at Ryou for a few moments, before croaking out, "Ry-ou?"

Tears pricking his eyes once more at the surprised, yet joyful tone to his yami's voice – his yami's own voice –Ryou clasped Bakura's hands in his own. "Yes, Bakura, it's me."

And with the physical connection of their hands, the Ring on Ryou's chest – and the matching one on Bakura's chest – flared to life.

Ryou gasped in happiness. The link was back! Staring down Bakura's equally happy visage – was Bakura actually smiling? – he knew that it didn't matter what happened to them now. No matter where Bakura went, he'd never be gone.

They'd never be separated from each other again…in heart.