A holiday fic, of sorts. This written in much of the same style as The Road Home (fic id: 2530538). Merry Christmas, everyone. :)

Frozen Sentiments
By Halys

It was already night. Outside Ryou's window, snow was falling. Occasionally, a snowdrop——not frozen enough to be a flake, too icy to be rain——would glance the cold glass, stick, and melt into a rivulet and run down the pane. Ryou watched, as outside the streetlights illuminated the falling snow. It was beginning to stick on the sidewalks and pavement.

Ryou stood from his seat near his apartment window. He had been doing his homework, when the falling snow had distracted him. Now, he had no mind for studies. Instead, he walked to his closet door and withdrew a heavy coat from within. He turned from the closet to a set of dresser drawers, and from the bottom level, he pulled a warm hat, gloves, and a scarf.

As he pulled on the winter clothing, he felt the shadow in his mind stir, but remain silent. The cold metal resting on his chest shifted slightly, but made no further move. 'All the better', Ryou figured.

Ryou left his room, and stepped into the dark hallway of his apartment. He made his way through the empty room until he reached the closet near the entryway. He opened it, and brought forth a pair of winter boots. Ryou exchanged his house slippers for the boots.

When he was satisfied with his apparel, Ryou left the warmth of his apartment to join the swirling snow, outside.

By now, the snow had gained an accumulation of a few inches. In the morning, Ryou was sure he'd hear on the news of one or more traffic accidents that had been caused by irresponsible drivers. For now, the snow remained untouched by man or automobile, save for the footprints that Ryou left behind as he walked down the street. There was a park several blocks down, which was where he was headed.

The Ring stirred again, beneath his many layers of clothing, and Ryou sensed the spirit drifting along next to him. He could feel shadowy fingers sift through his memories to find the name of the cold substance falling from the sky. The sensation was nothing new, as the thief often did so when he could not remember the word himself.

Snow? The thief inquired.

Ryou felt a slight sense of smugness for knowing something his parasite did not. Then, a mental barrage whip lashed through Ryou's soul, and he winced. He had forgotten his place, it reminded him. The small smirk he had slipped.

"Yeah," he replied, his voice as soft as the falling snow that tumbled down to kiss his pale cheeks. The flakes lingered in his lashes until his breath melted them, and they blurred his vision.

I've seen it before…From another host, maybe? The moment of indecisiveness was only a glimmer, but by now, Ryou had learned to catch the moments when the thief's façade slipped. Even if only a fraction of an inch.

"It's frozen water. When the air gets too cold for water, rain solidifies; freezing and crystallizing before falling."

It's cold, then?


Hm… A hint of dislike colored the mental speech.

A streetlamp stood several feet ahead. It flickered sporadically, illuminating the nearby bench off and on. Shadows lengthened, and then disappeared, only to repeat in the same process.

Ryou reached out a gloved hand, and wiped away the snow on the bench. When he was sure that the bench was clear enough for him to sit without becoming cold and wet, he settled down, and let his soft, brown eyes follow the path of descending snowflakes.

The thief settled in the similar stance next to him, but he ignored Ryou, in favor of also watching the snow.

Silence reigned for several moments, with Ryou casting glances at the translucent being next to him. In the distance, Ryou could hear cars passing by the park where he sat. Finally, after a moment, he spoke.

"Do you know what it feels like?" he asked the spirit. Ryou's breath misted in the air, curling up around him in wisps as pale as the hair that peaked out of his winter hat.

A flash of annoyance, for interrupting the thief's perusal of the snow, sped down the link between the two. No.

"Would you like to?" Ryou figured since he never had much of a chance to converse with the man that inhabited part of his soul, now was a better time than any.

There was a pause as the thief considered. He looked over at his host, and as he did so, Ryou could feel the spirit mentally search for any ill will Ryou might've been planning. When he found none, the spirit nodded.

The exchange was imperceptible, unless you knew what to look for. It was a sensation Ryou had never before experienced, having only been shoved in his soul room on the occasions that the spirit wanted control, only to be thrust back into the real world when everything was over. 'This must be what Yuugi feels', he thought to himself. If the thief heard, he made no response.

Outside, the other Bakura held out a hand. As soon as the trade had taken place, he felt the sting of cold air and relished it. He held out a hand, and watched as snow flakes cascaded downwards, and landed in his palm. Feeling nothing, as the snow melted, the thief pulled the glove off. A shiver involuntarily ran down his host's body, as the cold air met the pale skin. The snow continued to fall, and the thief thought the sensation of the flakes melting on his skin was not unlike pins pricking. However, no blood was drawn.

When he was satisfied with the experience, he pushed his landlord back out into the waking world. Ryou replaced the glove, and looked over to the thief, who had taken up his seat next to him again.

"Did you like it?" Ryou asked, watching the thief for any for of response. He saw none, save an unholy smirk, and then the thief disappeared, remaining silent for the rest of the night.

There was a sound of crunching snow that advised Ryou that someone was approaching. Ryou looked up, and was surprised at who he saw.

"Bakura-kun?" Yuugi inquired. "What are you doing out here?" The Pharaoh's vessel was also dressed in a heavy coat, a hat, and gloves. The puzzle gleamed in the flickering streetlamp's light, and caught Ryou's eye.

"It's snowing," he said, looking up at the dark sky. "I thought it'd be nice to enjoy the first snow of the year."

Yuugi smiled at his friend, and sat down next to him on the bench. It had been the spot that the thief had previously occupied, but Ryou didn't mention it.

"I was thinking the same. The other me has never seen snow, so I thought I'd come out and show him."

Ryou glanced over at Yuugi, whose cheeks were glowing and a grin was plastered on his cheeks. "What did he think?" the paler boy asked.

"He said he doesn't like it." A frowned marred Yuugi's features, and Ryou felt confusion cover his own.

"Why's that?"

"It reminds him too much of the puzzle. The cold of it, that is…" Yuugi seemed to cast his thoughts inward, for his eyes glazed over for a moment. In his gloved hands, he cradled the puzzle.

"I see. I guess he won't be coming out too often this winter, then." Ryou kicked at a petite snow drift that had begun to build around his booted feet.

Yuugi blinked, and looked back at Ryou. "No, probably not. Which means I should be heading back. 'Sides, we've got school tomorrow, and I haven't finished my homework."

"Me neither. So, I guess I'll see you tomorrow."

"Yeah." The shorter boy stood, waved good bye, and began trudging back the way he came, through the snow.

Ryou waited until Yuugi was out of sight and stood as well. He brushed off the snow that had settled on his coat, and began his own trek, back to his home. The snow was still a pristine white, and Ryou relished the wonderland that was forming around him. Come tomorrow, the snow would become dirtied and trampled, no longer having the glittering luster it had now. 'Oh well', he inwardly figured. It was nice, at least for a little while, to have his own little slice of heaven. Even if it was only silver and cold.

Comments, please?