A/N: Written in first person, using Ryou's Point of View. Reviews will be most appreciated.

Disclaimer: I do NOT own Yu-Gi-Oh! and I never will.

Warnings: implied Malik x Yami Bakura

So Close No Matter How Far


Not that voice again…

"Ryou, is something wrong?"

I force myself to smile. "No. It's fine, Malik. I'm fine."

But in reality I want to scream. Nothing is fine. Absolutely nothing. And it can never be fine. It never will…

I can hear him. Inside my head. A low, maliciously amused chuckle, because he knows. He always knows. I can never hide anything from him; I can never be free of him. Only in death, but he won't let me to do that. Then again, I'm too pathetic and cowardly to put hands on myself.

He always remembers to tell me that.


And the worst is – he is right. No matter what I try to tell myself, no matter how I try to convince myself, to shoot my confidence up, the fact remains. Like lurching shadows or the imaginary monsters Amane was afraid of at the age of four this reality is lingering in my mind. I am afraid, no – terrified of dying.

I used to think that after death I would be able to meet Amane again. And mom. But he told me otherwise. He told me everything about it. There is nothing there after you've died. Only emptiness and darkness. It's worse than Shadow Realm, that's what he says.

Though I cannot picture how anything could be worse than Shadow Realm since it's such a dreadful place.

So depressing, so abysmal…

I cannot suppress the frightened shudder upon remembering how it felt to be there.

Among nothingness.

Drowning in emptiness.

But I have to believe him. He's older than me and he knows everything about Shadow Realm and… death. He's a part of it. He even died once.

It scares me to no end – knowing that after death there is nothing. That I will never see my sister and my mother again. That nothing expects me after I'm gone. I'll be dead and that's that. This knowledge is so overwhelming. When you stop breathing, your body is buried six feet under where it slowly rots away, worms chewing on swollen, inflated meat until it crumbles to ashes and dirt.

Death is the end.

And I believe him.

I'm weak, too. He never forgets to remind me that one as well. And I know that he's right. He's a lot stronger than I am, than I ever will be. I often run short for my breath. Then I'd start choking and my chest hurts like someone's driven a red-hot stick through my ribcage. I'm asthmatic, but the doctors say it's just the stress. When I was younger and mom was still alive, I recall myself using an asthma inhaler. I think I might still have an empty flask or two lying around somewhere. After my mother died, my father completely forgot about my existence. He never bought the medicine for me and I had to accommodate to life without it. I wonder if he even knew that I needed it?

Suddenly I freeze.

It's him.

No! Please, don't!

Too late…

I'm thrown in the darkness again. Now he controls my body. If only I could escape him. In any way. But that's impossible. Even if he locks my mind away, I still can feel him. Sense him like a hunted animal feels its pursuer.

His intentions mirror in my mind, his feelings mixing with my own. I know what is about to take place and I wrench myself in the dark corner of my Soul room, sinking to the ground, curling up in a helpless ball in a desperate attempt to become invisible, nonexistent.

But it's all in vain. I force myself against the wall behind me and cover my ears to shut out the sounds they are creating. Sounds of pleasure for my darker half and sounds of torment for me.

He's with Malik again.

I squeeze my eyes shut, but despite my efforts I still can see everything he sees, hear everything he hears and feel everything he feels. It's practically singed into my mind. My mind that is an open ordnance yard for his feelings to go barging through my insufficient mental barriers. I fell like I'm in the middle of a crossfire.

Every time this happens, I hate him. And I hate myself. And I hate Malik, although he doesn't know what's happening to me. No matter how far away would my yami lock me, I still feel everything.

I feel his passion.

His excitement.

His desire.

His flaring need.

His aggression.

His satisfaction.

And every time it slices through me like a knife through butter. I cannot take it. But I have no choice. I'm forced to witness everything he does because our minds happen to be locked, and for that I hate him. For making me be there, right next to him. To follow his actions, to share his passion. I hate him because my feelings have gotten tangled up. I can no longer tell what is mine and what is his. I hate him because of his release of passion while mine is always kept bottled up. And it's not even entirely mine, either.

It's all borrowed.

It's all forced.

I'm just a hollow vessel with no mind of my own.

With no feelings of my own.

With no will of my own.

It's not like he does it on purpose. We just don't have the choice. I no longer know whether it's him I hate so much, or myself. I no longer know what my feelings towards Malik are. I feel so weak whenever I'm in control of my body and so strong whenever my yami takes over and I'm locked aside in this dark, dreadful place.

It's all so twisted, so tangled…

Even when my darker half hides away in the most shielded corners of my mind, our mind – his reign – and it almost seems like he's gone, I still feel his emotions reflecting on me. He doesn't need to be near me to torment me. It doesn't even matter if it feel's like he's finally gone forever.

He will never be gone and I will never be free.

It's that simple, and it's that complex.

No matter how much the both of us try to distance from each other, we're still together. We're never truly alone so that should be a good thing, but also we can never have a piece of solitude, some time only for ourselves.

This bond is a gift as much as it is a curse.

We have to share everything. We're too close for anyone to understand and too far to reach out to each other.

I wish I could get away. I know he wants it too. The distance between us is wider than the Great Canyon. Sometimes I think I could just turn around and walk away from him. But every time I do, he's already there. Facing me.

We are miles away from each other and yet we are standing side by side, our hearts beating as one.