Ocean Deep

By – Hime no Ichigo

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, FIRE-SAMA! (confetti)

Pairings: Bakura/Ryou

Genre: Romance

Rating: PG-13

Story Type: One-shot

Summary: Bakura Ryou has been going through a lot with his yami. Now coupled with dreams, can his situation get any worse?

Warnings: Some angst, fluff, and all things to expect from me. Low level of thinking. LOL. Oh yeah, and this is told in Ryou Bakura's POV, okay? Now, because of the "no-song-fics" rule, I'm forced to take out the lyrics. T.T So... the little "-----" lines you see are where the lyrics are supposed to be.

Keys: "Speaking", Lyrics, Dream/Flashback/Thoughts

Disclaimer: Don't own Yuugiou. No questions asked.

-----

"No, please, stop…"

"Shut up, you worthle-"

"Please, stop…"

"I said, 'shut up'!"

A painful sensation hit me right there in the ribs. Well, that was not such a big surprise – in fact, I had expected it coming. Then another. And another. I could have easily dodged them, since the same moves were used on me every time he hurt me, but that would infuriate him further, and that was not something to be part of on my agenda tonight. I had the sudden urge to run to the bathroom. Hmm…another uncommon thing for me.

"Master, please…"

His eyes flashed dangerously. I whimpered slightly, which angered him even more.

"Don't. Talk. Unless. I. Give. You. Permission. Got it?" he growled.

"Yes." I answered softly, voice still a bit quivering.

He turned swiftly on his heels and stomped out of the room. My form relaxed visibly, sagging against the wall.


-----

The door that led to the outside world slammed loudly, making me jump a foot into the air. Ow… My middle hurts. That was certainly not a pleasant experience.

I looked out the window to see the last bit of white hair vanish around the block's corner. I sighed. Every night was like this. Him gallivanting off into the night after beating me, and then leaving me behind at the house, sometimes making my pillow all damp before drifting into a fitful slumber.

I feel so used…unwanted…

Unloved.

I got up slowly and made my way to the washroom. Turning on the tap and letting it run for a bit, I inspected my wounds. Ouch…somehow, I get the feeling that I'm going to be questioned a lot tomorrow at school.

The running water brought some sense into me. I looked up and saw my reflection in the mirror, ragged and looked like I was about to fall apart into a million pieces. Dunking my head back into the sink, I let myself think: How and why did I fall in love with my darker half in the first place?

I mean, sure, he seemed mean, but I knew that deep down inside he is really nice! What, you don't believe me? Fine. I'll prove it. Well, there was the time when he protected me from Osiris's attack when Yami was going to win in the semi-finals. And…that's about it. What? Loving someone doesn't mean you count all the times they save you.

I love my yami as he was, is, and will be.

' "But I don't appreciate you loving me," ' a voice echoed in my head. I immediately recognized it. It was Bakura's favourite line. He hated anyone who showed signs of weakness. And in his opinion, love was the biggest sign of weakness.

'Love brings you only sadness. And the only thing you can trust in this world is yourself.'

I shuddered yet again at that line. It was not the truth; I knew deep in his heart he was scared – so very scared, that he was afraid he will lose everyone if he did show signs of love.

-----

I had to disagree with Bakura's previous statements. I just had to! The only reason why the Sennen Ring chose me as its owner was because it wanted me to change Bakura back into a kind, loving person, right?

Right?

I had the Sennen Ring for eight years now.

Since my Otou-san was frequently away on dig trips, and often it lasted for at least a month, he has never quite grasped the fact that I was stuck at home with an eviler version of myself. Each time my Otou-san came home, he demanded of the bruises and cuts, and I meekly told him I had been careless.

And that earned me another slap.

Come to think of it, that wasn't the last time something like that happened.

I looked out the window again. The moon was shining extra bright today, with promises of rain clouds coming later this night. My mood exactly.

Though I pretend to be cheerful and nothing has ever happened, my insides were crumbling. Crumbling as if something poisonous had been injected into my body, eating me away slowly. Yuugi suspected something, but every time he asked, I veered off the subject.

Now I wished I had not.

I wished I could talk.

Talked freely.

With no doubt in mind, and just be myself.

-----

I had once pursued the subject with you – yet you chose not to listen. The subject that you despised and hated in every way, but I was so determined to make you come back, just for a night. Or maybe for a short little while, long enough to let me see the real you.

Do not deny it, Bakura. I have seen you when you thought me to be asleep. You cried. Yes, the famous Tomb Robber cried. You do have emotions, like everyone else…why can't you accept that fact and just be like the rest of us?

Or you thought you would be teased when we take advantage of that fact?

Why?

I had never felt so frustrated in my life. And it was not just about me, it concerned other people's lives as well. Why else would you have taken over my body when I was cornered in an alley?

A million questions spun across in my head, making me go even dizzier. I clutched on to the bathroom sink's counter, letting my nausea pass. I decided to let my curiosity go for the night, and just settle for a good night's rest.

But I knew that can never happen in my life.

Never.

-----

Blinding white light made me squint. I raised my right arm to shield some light from my eyes. The first thought entered my mind: 'Where am I?'

"Welcome, Bakura Ryou…" a female voice rang out.

"Who are you?" I cried, a bit frightened.

Against the white background, I could not make out who it was. But I could tell this was not part of my usual life. Not that my life was usual to begin with.

"Bakura Ryou…who would have thought you would be stopping by so early?"

I was confused. Deeply confused. "Where am I?"

Twinkling laughter reached my ears, so very different from what I got used to hear at home. "Ryou, I would have thought that you would recognize your own mother at her place!"

My eyes widened dramatically. "No…" I whispered. " 'Kaa-san? Honto ni? Is that really you?"

Her pleasant voice chuckled at my facial expression. "Hai, segare…" She gave me a light pat on the head. I giggled at the contact. I have not felt this happy and…childish, since what? 10 years ago?

Stepping back, I looked at my Okaa-san more carefully. She looked beautiful. Ethereal. Just like the way I remembered her. Clad in flowing white robes, her hair tied back in a ponytail, she produced an image of a pure angel. Well, technically, she WAS one, but let's skip over that fact. I smiled.

"Ne, 'kaa-san, why am I here?"

She gave me a hug. "Have you not realized yet, segare?"

I shook my head. "Iie."

"It's your time…"

I wrenched myself awake at that last statement. No…it was impossible. I was only sixteen, for Ra's sake!

The pillow sunk under the weight of my head. Deciding to ignore the dream for the night, I tried to fall back into sleep.

And a very fitful slumber it was.

-----

The next morning dawned bright. But I could tell it was chilly. I dressed warmly, silently making my way through the house. I felt really ridiculous, really. This was my house, and I acted like a thief weaving himself through the alarm system. Passing the calendar, I stole a glance and found out it was Saturday. I sighed. Like I was going to spend time with my friends with all my injuries anyway. Steering myself away I headed towards the kitchen. There, on the table, to my surprise, laid a dish of pancakes and a glass of milk all ready to go for me. I was amazed, to say the least. Who would be so kind as to make me breakfast?

Bakura?

I shook my head at this disbelieving thought. Maybe I was too deeply in love with him – and the situation was getting serious, to the point of giving me hallucinations. Nonetheless I ate the pancakes gratefully, thanking Bakura internally. I washed the dishes and put them there to dry. The door closed with a gentle snap behind me as I headed towards Domino High.

And I had never noticed the twin brown eyes that stared out from the window with a twinge of hurt in them.

-----

I was surprised, to say the least. Not only did my friends not question me a lot about my bruises, they invited me over to Burger World to have a "gathering" (or so they called it) after school. I had tried to politely decline, but you know Jounouchi. He hated to have people turn him down, especially when it came to food. So I forced a smile out, accepted their kindness, even though I knew that Bakura would get angry tonight.

It was a jolly afternoon that I spent with my friends. I laughed, jested, and even became the center of attention (not because of the injuries, for which I was thankful). But my voice sounded hollow to me. It seemed to have lost its twinkle, like the spark in my eyes that have died out.

"Ryou," a soft voice brought me out of my misery. I looked up. It was Yuugi.

"Hey," I replied, offering a weak smile.

"We need to talk," he said in a serious voice. I froze. Coming here to discuss my situation was not what I had in mind.

"About what?" I pretended innocently.

Yuugi's eyes darkened. "You know very well what we're going to talk about."

I grew frightened. I seriously do NOT want to blurt out everything to everyone. "Onegai, you must understand, Yuugi-kun…"

"Ryou," he interrupted a bit too harshly. "You can't keep defending Bakura! He'd hurt you enough times all ready!"

I shook my head violently. "It's not what it seems to be…" I was cut off again, this time by Yami.

"The Tomb Robber will just keep hurting you if you don't stand up for yourself."

Tears stung my eyes and I knew they were on the verge of falling. "I don't care," I whispered, the words barely reaching anyone's hearing. "I don't care!" I repeated the phrase again, this time louder, and bolted from my seat.

Not pausing to see whom I bumped into, I ran all the way home.

-----

I burst through the threshold and ran blindly up the stairs, not caring if I met Bakura on the way. The door to be room, surprisingly, stood wide open. I stopped dead in my tracks, suspicious. I was very much concerned about this. I knew – no, I was positive – that I had closed my door this morning before I left for school. I stuck my head in cautiously, just in case Bakura was plotting something.

I blinked at the sight that met my eyes.

My bed was all made up, curtains drawn up so the whole room was bright. My desk, which was usually littered with papers, was all tidied up, stored in piles, separating one subject from another, vertical-horizontal style. The garbage has been emptied, and the room smelled of roses – oh, no wonder, a flower vase stood on my desk, roses at full bloom, standing tall and proud. How long have they been here? Certainly no more than this morning. I walked further into the room, fully unaware of the shadow that lurked in the halls.

My closet has been cleaned out as well, clothes ironed and washed. My whole room just seemed so…clean. Impossibly clean, I corrected myself. I don't remember seeing it ever this clean in my life! At least, not when 'kaa-san still liv- I stopped short. There I go again, the dream repeated itself, and I felt the world reel before me.

Darkness claimed me before I had the chance to grasp the light once more.

-----

I blinked. This place was, well, a bit unfamiliar. I certainly was not dreaming. I winced as a huge wave of pain invaded my whole being, starting from the head. I suddenly remembered everything that happened minutes, or hours, before. It had happened so quickly – thinking, then dissolving into a world of pain.

Well, enough of that; I still had to figure out where I am. I looked at my surroundings. The room, or so it seemed to me, was bright, despite the downcast feeling I am experiencing right now. There was a bed at one corner, blankets ruffled, and there was a teddy bear sitting beside the pillows. I recognized it instantly.

Flash!

I ran over, grabbed it, and hugged it close to my chest. This was the only reminder left I have of my mother. And I wouldn't lose it even if my life depended on it.

Instantly I realized – this was my soul room! I had felt a little odd and hesitant when I saw Flash again, knowing that I had 'misplaced' it when I was little. This place always cheer me up; rather it was because Bakura's soul room is just right next door, or because all of my most treasured memories are stored in here. It just…refreshed me somehow.

But I knew I was being childish – who dwells on the past and not make advances in the future? Or even the present?

-----

I sighed. This was all too so confusing! My head burned with such intensity that I was surprised I was not sent to the hospital yet. Heck, had I known that I was suffering from this type of "disease", I would not had the nerve to walk out on Bakura.

No, he would have been furious, without informing him of his actions…

But since when had he actually cared?

I was astounded to hear that from myself. I thought I liked my darker self…no, even more – loved! What has happened to me?

I hugged the teddy bear closer to me, only to realize it had slipped from my grasp.

Like everything else in my life…

-----

I had no recollection as to what happened before I came to. How long had I been here? I heard hushed whispers all around me, them apparently unaware that I was waking up. My bleary eyes peered open, and found myself surrounded by at least ten people.

Hazy outlines of the people floated across my vision – Yuugi, Yami, with their easily recognizable hairstyle. Jounouchi and Kaiba, the former looking genuinely worried, the other hugging his lover tightly, Mokuba dangling at his older brother's side, anxious. Mai and Shizuka were standing off to one side, Mai comforting the latter. Otogi and Honda, side by side. The Ishtar family with Rashid – I grew really surprised, because the last time I checked they were still in Egypt.

But the person I most wanted to see was not there.

I shifted, and the blankets moved with me. That caught everyone's attention.

"Ryou!"

Yuugi promptly attached himself to me in a bear hug. "Oh thank God you're okay, Ryou!"

"Easy on the hug there, aibou, or you'll break off his oxygen supply again," Yami joked.

"Be a talking point," Otogi said.

Yuugi's grip on me loosened and my vision sharpened. I looked around and saw nothing but white beyond my friends.

"Am I in the hospital?" I whispered, unable to talk loud.

"Hai," Yuugi said softly, answering what everyone else had to say. "You were brought in two days ago, by your father, whom had also notified us to watch over you." Yuugi smiled bitterly. "Your father left a message for you."

Curiosity spilled before I could stop it. "What did he say?" This was a time for a true confession, whether my father loved me or not.

Yami silently handed me the note my father wrote.

Son,

I have another archaeological dig in Egypt. I expect I will be gone for another month or so.

Dad

That was it. A short note, like short times he spent with me. Well, I suppose it was all for the better…I placed the note on the table beside my bed. I tried to look indifferent.

There was a silence that followed my actions.

Finally, I voiced the question I had been aching to ask.

"Where's Bakura?"

The others exchanged significantly dark looks.

"Well?"

Mariku answered, in a strangely gentle voice. "We have no idea where he might be at the moment. We're sorry, Ryou…"

Yami added his bit in. "I don't know what you see in him, Ryou, really…he's such an irresponsible person!"

"Yami!"

The said person immediately fell silent meekly.

I smiled, glad to see others happy.

Kaiba checked his watch. "Oh no, visiting hour is almost over! We'd better go before the nurse in charge of this ward comes hurtling in and shooing us out like flies…Bye, Ryou, hope you feel better soon!"

I was really glad Jounouchi had brought such a positive change to the once-cold millionaire. "Thanks, Seto…" For once, I used his first name.

The others filed out, and I, was left alone.

Again.

-----

So is this it? This is how it's going to end?

"Come, son…"

No…

The voice persisted. "It's time…"

I screamed with no sound in my mind. No it's not, I can't die yet…!

I tossed, turned, and messed up the blankets that wrapped around me. Cold sweat broke out and I felt my hair cling to my face.

Unwilling to wake up, I moved my hand to wipe away the locks without opening my eyes. I hit something hard.

Huh…?

There was something wet against human skin.

I quickly brought back down my hand. Can it be…? My heart quickened. I slowly opened my eyes, and drowsy, dark chocolate eyes met mine.

I froze before venturing forth one word. "Bakura?"

His head bobbed slightly in confirmation. He remained silent, still staring at me with a look I couldn't quite place.

I tried to sit up; it was painful. My darker half quickly helped me straighten the pillows, the blankets to make me comfortable.

I couldn't help but stare at him. Well, this was new…

A change of heart…

"I'm sorry, Bakura, did I slap you?" I asked gently.

He shook his head, hair swaying, silent.

"Well…" I never realized it would be this awkward to talk to him.

"…" He mumbled something.

I tilted my head to one side, eyes wide – despite my drowsiness – with a questioning glance. Did he just say something? I mean, I've never heard his voice being so soft-

"I'm sorry."

I blinked. This was another new thing. "…I…I beg your pardon?" I stammered, afraid that my ears deceived me.

"I'm sorry," he repeated a little louder. There was a slight crack in his voice. "I'm sorry, for all the times I beat you, I didn't realize that the injuries would land you in the hospital…"

"Oh no, no, no!" I hurriedly straightened forward to put a consoling hand on Bakura's arm. "It wasn't your fault!"

My darker half looked up at me. For some reason there were fury and frustration in his eyes.

"Yes it is!" He angrily rubbed his eyes (was he crying?) and looked ready to slap me. "Why, Ryou? Why are you always defending those who have hurt you? Why-"

I took a steadying breath as he continued asking me questions. "Because," I began softly, and he stopped in the middle of his rant, and listened. I took another breath. Moment of truth. "I love you."

I hated silence, but yet there it was, hanging in my room like a curtain that separated two worlds. A dark one and a light one

Bakura opened his mouth to say something, but I cut in, scared of rejection. "I'm sorry, Bakura, I shouldn't have said any-"

What he did really surprised me.

-----

He hugged me tightly, and the next minute I found myself almost suffocating from the lack of breath.

"Aaack," I managed to choke out. My face was turning blue too. Oh, ouch, my ribs…

He buried his face into my hair, loosening his grip slightly. "You're right, Ryou, love isn't a weakness, it has meaning… And now that I found it, I don't plan on letting it go."

I beamed, and the Sennen Ring glowed slightly.

I had done my job.

- Owari -

Authoress Notes: Tada! I finally finished it… x.x;; A grand total of 10 pages! …I know, for some, it's not a lot, but it is, to me…

Now, read and review, please? n.n Constructive criticism adored, and again, happy birthday to firedraygon / Fire-sama!