This is Chapter Two.

I construct my stories in a very specific way. It's a praticeborrowed from Banana Yoshimoto-san. My philosophy is to stimulate many senses though my writing, and that's why you'll see some words in bold, or capatalized. Yes, it is meant to have you take notice of that word. I also suggest that you reflect on why I have chosen to modify the way a certain word appears.

Yuugiou/Yu-Gi-Oh is the intellectual property of Takahashi Kazuki-sensei, and I only play in his world as a reprieve from my own.

Now that that's all covered, on to Chapter Two...


Shadows obscured his form from the rest of the world. Yuugi sniffled pathetically and scrubbed at his eyes. "I'm sorry, Other Me!"

Some of the darkness broke away from the rest, and mimicked the form of the Host. Two white patches shone like human eyes below the glowing Horus eye. Arms encircled him, and Yuugi shivered.

It's okay, Aibou...

"Should I call Bakura-kun to make sure he's okay?"

Shadows gave the appearance of shaking it's head, Give him time to rest, Aibou. I'm sure he'll be fine by tomorrow.

"All right..." Yuugi resigned like a petulant child who had just been denied a great treat.


It hurts...

"I know, Ryoh, I know."

Why does it hurt? Tell me, please...

Darkness growled, "you have something inside of you, Ryoh. It's trying to come out. Just stay where you are!"

I'm scared!

"I KNOW ." Darkness snapped. "Stay where you are! I'll help you soon!" Ryoh sobbed helplessly within their shared mind, and Darkness could feel the Dark God pounding the barrier that He had set up. Darkness stumbled into the apartment building and bolted up the stairs, His lungs burning from the lack of oxygen. He nearly fell as He threw open the door to the sixth floor. He got them into the apartment and locked the door behind Him before heading into Ryoh's bedroom.

Darkness cursed as he tore off their jacket and tossed it on the floor. He flopped onto the bed and wrenched open Ryoh's door. He was greeted by His Memory sitting on the bed, clutching Ryoh against his broad chest as the boy sobbed weakly. Darkness sank down to his knees next to the pair. He put His hands on Ryoh, and eased the boy back. Just as He feared, the front of the boy's shirt was wet with blood.

"Wh-what is it?" Ryoh asked, rubbing at his eyes childishly with one arm.

"It's that 'something', Ryoh." Darkness pulled the boy's shirt up and grimaced. There was a deep vertical gash across Ryoh's belly that started at his lower chest and disappeared into the waistband of his pants. The edges of the wound were jagged and raw, as the skin had literally been torn apart.

Ryoh was speechless as he stared down at himself. Memory had been holding the boy's other hand, and he now moved to grip Ryoh's wrist. Darkness steadied the boy's other arm, and Memory grabbed Ryoh's shirt. He held it back as Darkness drew on the defiled power of the Ring. Ryoh's breathing grew heavy, and white bone flashed under a sea of red and rent muscle. Darkness narrowed crimson eyes, and He placed His free hand at the precipice of Ryoh's wound. A loud hissing began, and liquid black smoke rose around them. As Darkness drew his hand downward, he left behind an angry line of fused skin. Ryoh was quiet in awe during the procedure, never having seen how his Darkness took care of him.

"On your back." Darkness commanded. Ryoh stared at him in confusion - or just without understanding. Darkness and Memory locked gazes for a few seconds, and Memory nodded. He let go of Ryoh's arm, and snaked his hands under Ryoh's arms and hauled the boy to the centre of the bed. He then stretched Ryoh out on his back as had been commanded, and then took the boy's hand again.

Darkness hmph'd and settled between Ryoh's spread legs. He pulled the waistband of Ryoh's pants roughly down over his hips. Drawing on the Ring again, He resumed healing the Host.

When He had finished, the boy snapped out of his semi-trance. The tears and confused noises returned, but Darkness hardly cared. He was exhaused. Memory wiped off the blood that had pooled on Ryoh's belly, and pressed a kiss to the boy's forehead. Ryoh responded by curling against his tanned chest. Darkness crossed His arms across His chest and stood up.

"Look after him. I'm going to rest." Darkness tried to force a note of authority into His voice, but it just came out flat and tired. Memory nodded and Darkness walked into the hallway without so much as a backward glance.


"GO, GO, GO!" The gym teacher yelled after a set of students doing a 100m race. "Bakura-san, get up and take your place in line!"

Ryoh looked up. "I-I can't." He admitted in a pathetically weak voice. He was seated on a bench near the track and his arms were crossed over his chest.

"I hate the word "can't" - you've just earned yourself an extra lap. Now get to it or you'll have detention as well!" Ryoh shook his head and blinked tears out of his eyes. His chest hurt so much...

"Hey, Bakura? You alright?" Jounouchi had finished his race and had wandered over to check on the other boy. He leaned down in front of Ryoh, breath coming in heavy pants and lines of worry etched on his face. Ryoh sniffed and shook his head.


Jounouchi looked over his shoulder. "Shut up, coach. You're useless!" The man hmph'd and turned his attention back to the other students.

"Com'on Bakura." Jounouchi grabbed his arm and pulled him to his feet.

"Jounouchi-san?" Ryoh began uneasily, "won't you get into trouble for that?"

"Fer what? He's a blowhard and everyone knows it. Just don't worry about him. It's obvious that you're in no condition to be running anyway." Ryoh nodded absently and allowed himself to be led back to the locker rooms.

Jounouchi guided him to sit down on one of the benches that ran the length of the room. "I'm gonna get a quick shower before everyone else comes in. Will you be okay?" Ryoh nodded again, crossing his arms over his chest. "Ok, cool. Be right back then." He grabbed his school uniform from an open locker and disappeared behind the divider. The sound of running water followed.

Ryoh? Came the sleepy question from inside his mind.

"Yes...?" Ryoh mummbled hesitantly into his shirt.

What did I tell you about talking aloud to Me? Darkness appeared before him as a transparent copy of the Host, only with wilder hair.

Ryoh didn't move. "It makes me look crazy." Darkness nodded and sank to His knees in front of the boy. He reached out and touched the boy's hair - fingers running through the thick mass like mist.

"It hurts a lot. Do you want one of us to take over?" Ryoh shook his head.

"I-I'll be fine. I'll be back in class soon, and then I'll be better." Ryoh met his gaze, and spoke with a kind of shaky resolve. Darkness nodded again.

"Baku-...woah." Jounouchi rubbed his eyes with his towel and looked up again. "Oh, that's better. I thought I saw two of you." Jounouchi laughed and sat down next to him, using the towel to dry off his hair. "How come you haven't changed back yet?"

Ryoh stared at him for a second before realization dawned. His eyes widened and he looked down at himself. He was still wearing his gym uniform. "I...was thinking. Sorry, Jounouchi-san."

Jounouchi threw up his hands, "hey, don't apologize to me, man. It's okay!" He smiled amiably. Ryoh's face pinked slightly, and a hint of a smile touched his lips. "Get changed already!" Jounouchi reminded, still scrubbing at his dyed-blond hair.

Ryoh stood up and removed his uniform from a near locker. "You know," Jounouchi began, "your uniform is so different. Did they really let you keep it?"

Ryoh nodded, "I change schools a lot. There's no use in getting a new uniform every time. I think this one was from three schools and a two years ago..."

Jounouchi raised an eyebrow, "you an Army brat or somethin'?" Ryoh shook his head.

"My father travels all around the world. I'm just what they call "challenged" - I got expelled from my last school." Ryoh said nonchalantly.

Jounouchi choked, "expelled, really? I'm not the best student in the world, but I've never gotten kicked out. What'd you do?"

Ryoh turned around and stared at him. "I got sick a lot." He stripped off his gym shirt and reached for his jacket.

"Man, Bakura, you're full of surprises today." Jounouchi remarked, trying to comb out his hair with his fingers. Ryoh looked up.

"What do you mean?"

Jounouchi stood up and prodded his chest. "Looks like you lost. That's a nasty scar. Was that why you couldn't run today?" Ryoh nodded and turned away from the other boy so he could finish dressing.


"Amane?" Ryoh shivered, and snuggled further under the heavy blanket despite the unseasonably warm weather. "I don't remember..." He coughed weakly into the sheets.

There was a dull glow from the Ring that rested next to Ryoh on the bed. Darkness appeared, glowing faintly and disapproving. He leaned down and touched Ryoh's face. He couldn't feel the physical warmness against His fingers, but through the Ring, He could feel the sickness in the boy's body.

"Ryoh-dono." Darkness addressed him softly.

"I-I wrote to you. Everyday." The boy was in a fever dream then - talking to His dead sister like he was wont to do when ill. Darkness sighed as well as a ghost can and sat down on the floor. He rested His arm on the bed and used his other hand to brush back Ryoh's hair. Strands stuck to Ryoh's forehead, which was sticky with sweat due to his fever. Ryoh continued to talk in his sleep, saying that he didn't feel good and pleading with his sister to fetch their mother.

"It's all gone, Ryoh. They're all dead." Darkness murmered, as He continued stroking Ryoh's hair.

"Mama!" Ryoh gasped. His arm freed itself from the heavy blanket and reached out into the open air, right though Darkness' chest. He looked down and grimaced.

"Beloved landlord, wake up," Darkness growled. He ripped the blanket off the boy and watched as Ryoh curled into a little ball when the cool air met his overheated skin. He leaned over and pressed a kiss to Ryoh's cheek. The boy shivered violently and opened his large green-brown eyes.

"Voice...?" Ryoh questioned, looking at the translucent form before him. He sat up sluggishly and rubbed his face with his hand.

"Your body temperature is high, Host. Go soak in cool water." Darkness crossed His arms over His chest.

"You're not my mother..." Ryoh muttered as he rolled out of the bed.

"No, but I have to use this body too. Now take care of it!" Darkness snapped. Ryoh sighed and shuffled into the bathroom. He filled the bathtub quickly and shivered as he slid into the cold water. He relaxed, and let the water sooth his hot skin. He took a deep breath and slid further - letting the water wash over him.

Taking control of the body was easy. Darkness lifted His head clear of the water. Feeling refreshed. He got to His feet and stepped out of the bath. He shook Himself and placed the towel over His shoulders. In their mind, Ryoh's soul slept sprawled out across his bed. Darkness checked on Memory, and found His better half wrapped under a blanket and fast asleep as well. His face twisted with an evil smile.

He padded to a small room at the other end of the apartment and unlocked the door. Even before he had unpacked his cloths, Ryoh had set up his game board in this room Before Darkness sprawled a massive landscape. A small village was nestled amoung miniature trees, forests sprawled across the terrain and a grand castle rose up from the other side. Near the village sat four figures that their Host had constructed under His guidance. Darkness surveyed all of this, and a quiet laugh built in His throat until He had thrown His head back in mirth. His mad cackling echoed off the walls of the tiny room. He would entice Yuugi into the apartment and take the Puzzle from him in His game. It was perfect.

Content in His plan, Darkness exited the room into the dark hall and locked the door again. His Host was still exhausted from fighting back the Dark God and there was no way he would protest in the forthcoming RPG. Ryoh and Memory would only be able to watch from afar as Darkness killed Yuugi and took the Puzzle. Even though the Items threatened to wake the Dark God within Ryoh, they still remained a link to the past, and were all the remained of the village of Kuru Eruna. It was clear to Darkness that Memory had forgotten much of the past, and all that remained was the drive to protect his family. So be it. Let His better half have the boy. Ryoh was of little consequence and only needed to remain alive long enough for Him to gather all the Items.

Darkness returned the body to the boy's room. He had a little more planning to do now that He was content in his plan. He hid the key to the room, and His smile stayed in place long after he had turned over control of the body.


"Bakura-san!" Ryoh glanced at his watch, and turned around slowly. Karita-sensei stood before him. "Didn't I tell you you have laps to run for me as punishment for your laziness in class yesterday?"

Ryoh didn't meet his gaze. "I'm sorry Professor. I can't run for you today. I-I don't feel well. Now please excuse me, I have to get home." He turned around and continued walking.

"I don't THINK so!" A hand fell heavily on his upper arm, and he was thrown back against the wall. "Now look here, you little brat! I am not going to put up with this act of yours!"

"Wh-what act?" Ryoh asked, still without raising his head.

Karita growled low in his throat and grabbed Ryoh's hair. "You act like a woman. You even look like one! Get you hair cut by tomorrow or you'll be running laps after class for the rest of the year!" He pulled Ryoh away from the wall and shoved him forward. Ryoh overbalanced, and fell to his knees. His bag was knocked from his hand and it's contents spilled all over the floor. "Now go ahead, go on home!"

Ryoh rushed to retrieve his fallen books, and Karita cackled behind him merrily. Ryoh froze. His breath grew heavy, and came in gasps.

Karita's eyes narrowed. "What's wrong with you?" He leaned down, still laughing. "Are you going to cry?"

Darkness lashed out and caught the man around the neck. He tossed the man back and pinned him against the wall. "There's nothing wrong with Me, as you will soon find out!" Karita stared at Him wide-eyed as He pulled out the Ring.

"Penalty Game!"


"Hmm?" Ryoh looked at his watch, and then up at the sky.

Don't dawdle, Host. You're still ill. Get home quicky.

"Right..." Ryoh said uneasily. There was something strange in his hand, and he looked down. "A new Monster World figure?"

Consider it a gift, dear Landlord. Now hurry up!

A sudden pain seized Ryoh's chest and he stumbled. "Okay." He took off running down the street.


Chapter Two: End.