Disclaimer- No, I don't own Yu-gi-oh or any of the characters within this story.

Authors Note - This is a birthday fic for Paladius. Warning: contains light hints of incest and necrophilia. If you're not into that, or can't stomach it, please hit the back button. All reviews welcome.

The day was just like every other day.

He woke up to the angry screaming of his alarm, placidly turning it off and yawning. He always set it fifteen minutes before he really had to get up, just so he could lounge around and enjoy the feeling of slowly regaining consciousness.

He leaned onto his side and gave her a soft kiss, lips brushing against chilled skin.

"You're cold," he murmured, tucking one of the many blankets tighter around her. She didn't respond; she never did. She was always cold, no matter how many sweaters he swathed her in, how many blankets he bundled around her, how high he jacked up the heat. Some people were like that, he supposed. She never did complain, not once, and he thought that admirable of her, so he did all he could to keep her comfortable.

Gradually, he got out of bed and went about his daily routine, poking his head into the bedroom now and again to check on her. She looked so peaceful, so sweet, so serene, he was deliberately quiet so as not to disturb her. It would break his heart if he woke her from her deep slumber and upset her; he know how much she loved her dreams, such a pleasant distraction from reality.

As he brushed his teeth, he thought about bringing her home a new sweater. She would like the new coral colors that came into fashion with the fall – they would compliment her skin tone perfectly. And of course, what girl didn't adore random presents? He would have to remember to stop by the mall on his way home. He knew the perfect store to hit, knew just the right style to offer to her to make her eyes light up.

Eating his morning cereal and perusing over the paper, he felt a vague tinge of annoyance that she hadn't gotten up and packed his lunch. She hadn't done that for years, honestly, but every morning he still grew a little angry. The emotion flittered away quickly, and he set about hunting down his shoes.

School went by as it did every weekday. He ignored the lectures and daydreamed about her, mentally choosing what presents he would bring her today and what lavish dinner he would cook for her. So distant were his thoughts that he ignored almost everybody without even meaning to. People occasionally tried to speak to him – girls more often than boys, giggling and blushing and being generally irritating in their deliberate shyness – but he ignored them all. The boys just wanted to be friends, something he could do without, and none of the girls held a candle to her.

One girl broke him out of his thoughts. When the sunlight hit her hair just right, it looked like blood, he noted almost absently. It took him a while to place her, but as usual he was polite and accepted her plea for help. Class came easily to him, even when all he did was think about her, and he didn't mind tutoring. After all, the girl was pleasant enough, and she didn't seem annoying. So long as she didn't come between them, things would be fine.

It would also put him back in Yuugi's good graces, and some odd pestering in the back of his mind informed him of how important it was. The reason never seemed to rest in his hand long enough to examine, or remember for that matter, but he was sure it was a good one. After all, why else would he be so concerned about it?

Excusing himself as smoothly as he could, he set off for the mall, whistling a tune. She didn't like it when he came home too late. She was probably afraid of being in the apartment by herself, such a small, slight thing she was. He didn't really blame her, and so did his best to come home by suppertime every day, no matter where he was or who he was with.

After all, nothing was more important than her.

The day was not just like every other day.

His alarm did not go off. He stared bleary-eyed at the angry red numbers, almost disbelievingly. He couldn't have slept this long, this far past school's beginning, the alarm should have gone off, she should have awakened him, how did he sleep so damn long?

He turned on his side and froze. She was facing away from him, almost dangling off the bed. Rejecting him.

Slowly, he reached out and turned her around, pulling her towards him and tucking her head underneath his chin. She did not resist, so he supposed she was willing to forgive. But what had he done?

He softly apologized, pleading with her to tell him what was wrong, what sort of grievous insult he had dealt, but she remained firmly silent about the matter, and tears leaked unbidden down his cheeks. Laughter coiled in the back of his mind but was easily ignored; it wasn't important. Only she was.

And she was angry with him.

Eventually he disentangled himself and got up. He accidentally put face wash on his toothbrush instead of toothpaste, and had to spend several minutes washing out his mouth. It was her face wash, the kind with the little exfoliating beads that she loved so much, the scent clean and refreshing. Frowning, he properly brushed his teeth, ignoring the sudden urge to drop the bottle of face wash right into the waste basket. That would only displease her even more.

He dropped his bowl of cereal on the floor, and spilled milk all over the table. It was as if a black cloud hovered ominously over him, smoky tendrils reaching down to set things improperly in motion. Eyes flitting briefly towards his closed bedroom door – had he closed it? He couldn't remember – he knew what was causing this. Those tendrils were shaped like her hands, and within the dark cloud her eyes glowed portentously.

He pondered as he tied his shoes. He postulated as he buttoned up his blue jacket. He thought deeply as he packed his lunch – thankfully nothing went wrong with that, unless she had poisoned the peanut butter while he slept – and still could not figure out what he had done wrong.

Sighing, he set off for school.

It wasn't until his free period that he figured out what the problem was. It struck him as someone gently tapped his shoulder and he turned around, looking down in faint bemusement.

The problem was encapsulated into a small, red-headed form with large, inquisitively innocent eyes. The newest addition to his life, a rather pretty thing, requiring only study aid from him and nothing else, was the only disruption in his life. Apparently, she thought the girl was after more, and he was interested as well, and that was why she'd given him the cold shoulder and completely ruined his morning.

"Shizuka-chan," he said warmly, a plan already formulating in his mind. He had to get back into her good graces, and if this little one was the problem…

"There's someone I would like to introduce you to."

"Oh Bakura-san," she gushed, hands clasped in front of her nervously. "I'm so glad you're finally going to introduce me to your sister! You talk so much about her, I have to admit I've grown curious."

"She's wonderful," he replied, an odd look in his dark eyes. "For a long time, she was all I had. Everything I am, I owe to her. She kept my sanity intact."

Shizuka didn't know how to respond to that, so she didn't. Smiling her sunny little smile, she bounced from one foot to the other impatiently as he fitted the key in the lock, taking his time as if nothing important were happening. She didn't know why she was so enthusiastic about meeting this elusive girl; perhaps it was the fact that she never seemed to be around when she was over for tutoring, and the fact that Bakura simply spoke so warmly about her. He was a very quiet, distant boy, and she had originally doubted that he considered anyone in his life to be important, but apparently she had been wrong.

Slowly the door opened, and he went inside first, flicking on a few lights for her; he normally kept it dark. She followed like a placid little lamb, eyes taking in the surprisingly sterile surroundings. Nothing seemed the least bit out of place – no clutter, no mess, nothing. She felt surprised, and a little envious, thinking about her own apartment and, more specifically, her bedroom.

While she stared around, Bakura slipped quietly into the kitchen, easing a drawer open and withdrawing a rather long, serrated knife. He could practically hear his sister whispering from his bedroom, urging him on, insisting that everything would be all right again as soon as this pest was disposed of. She couldn't have anyone else vying for his affections, trying to displace her in his life, and truly, no one could ever replace her. He had spoken truly to Shizuka; his sister was his all. He took a deep breath to steady himself, cloaking himself in the thought of things going back to normal once this was over. He shivered, eyes darkening; his sister would certainly reward him for this, and his body was already preparing.

Stepping back out into the living room where the girl waited, he easily hid the knife behind his back, and her naive gaze never seemed to pick up the fact that he was concealing something.

"Your place seems so clean," she gushed rather happily, clasping her hands together again. Likely to keep from touching things; he had noticed her eyeing his bookcase. There wasn't much he didn't notice these days. For instance, the way she blindly trusted him; it disgusted and intrigued him at the same time, and he almost pitied her. Almost. Until he remembered that she was trying to pull him away from his beloved sister.

"Tou-san likes it clean when he comes home," he replied easily, "and nee-chan is very particular."

Shizuka nodded complacently and glanced around again, seeming surprisingly impatient. Hiding a grin, he motioned with his free hand towards his bedroom door, coaxing her to go first. With the unbridled delight of an innocent child, she bounded over, opening the door slowly and quietly and poking her head in.

Her entire form stiffened, and she turned to him and whispered, "I think she's asleep." Then her nose wrinkled. "What's that smell?"

"Incense," he said. "And she's probably just resting. Go on in. She's been eager to meet you."

Amber eyes met his, so damn innocent and trusting that he wanted to put the light out right then and there, but he forced himself to wait. His sister would be displeased if he acted too soon and didn't allow her to watch. Nodding towards the door, he urged her, "Go on."

Hesitantly, as if for the first time realizing something was a little off, Shizuka glanced back inside his bedroom. A shiver ran down her spine when she noted that the girl in the bed didn't move; there wasn't as much as the stirring of breath. And that smell, that sick, cloying scent, seemed distractingly familiar, causing warning bells to go off in that rarely used, primitive section of her brain. Trying to collect herself, she stepped through the threshold.

Not bothering to hide his lopsided grin, he followed after her, closing the door behind him.