Dark, very dark, weird, and an attempt on my part to write that weird-but-ohsocool style. I think I failed though…And, as usual, Yuugiou is not mine.

By Halys

His father owned a pistol and it was always locked away, never to be held in the small hands of a child. Ryou saw it once, when he was younger, but only for a moment. The handle was carved and intricately designed. It reminded him of the guns that cowboys used in American movies. His father said it had been a gift from a museum there. Ryou never saw it again, after that, but the image remained in his mind.

When Ryou moved out, his father gave him a hand gun. It took some time to go through all the training and paperwork that was required for Ryou to keep it with him. Once the government had given Ryou's father the ok, his father insisted that Ryou keep it with him always. It would not do to lose the only family member he had left, even if they never spoke to each other.

Ryou didn't like the handgun. It was small and matte black. Sterile, and precise. He found no interest in it, like he had with his father's pistol. And he had no will to carry it with him. So it remained in his closet, locked away and never used. Ryou couldn't bear the thought of actually using it either.

Until the voice came. Taunting and taunting and he was certainly going mad. The spirit of his ring rarely spoke to him, but when he did, Ryou wanted nothing more than to burn away his own mind, if only to silence the laughter. And then his friends started dying. Those who weren't killed were sealed away. It was more than Ryou could bear.

Finally, one night, when Ryou awoke to find himself standing in his living room, soaked with blood and who knew what else, Ryou decided to take matters into his own hands—his trembling hands. With shaky legs, and an even shakier resolve, Ryou dug in the dusty hall closet for a box he had nearly forgotten. When he found the old shoe box, he opened it. There sat the gun his father had demanded he keep.

As the dark laughter crescendoed in his mind, Ryou pulled the gun out of its hold, and stared at it. He swallowed nervously, and with an unsteady hand, brought the muzzle to his temple. The cool metal kissed his skin as the thief's hateful mind kissed his thoughts.

The laughter got worse.

Ryou could no longer move his arm.

And the dim light in front of Ryou bent, shivered, and changed.

The thief looked down at him (he was always looking down on him), and smirked. You think that will help? You don't have the courage.

Ryou could only glare at the spirit who held his body in control. He had left Ryou's mind free, only to mock him all the more. His lips could not move, and he could not wipe away the tears streaming down his face. But he could still think. Still beg. Still plead. Still hate. Still rage.

The hand that Ryou could not control slid the safety off, and cocked the gun. Ryou winced as the end of the pistol pressed painfully against his hairline.

Would you like me to do it? You wouldn't be able to do it yourself, the voice jeered. Just a squeeze and it would be over. All over, and you'd have your silence.

Ryou struggled against the thief's control, only to see the translucent man before him fade away. The laughter in his mind grew louder, but Ryou had control of his body once more.

"With just this, I—and the world—will be rid of you forever," he ground out, through his tears. Ryou shifted the grip of the gun, and his hand trembled again.

Not forever. I will still be here, even when you're gone. Darkness is eternal.

"NO!" Ryou shouted, and pulled the trigger. The gun fired, emitting a loud blast, only to leave Ryou with ringing ears. He fired again. And again. And again. Each time, only to fill his ears with the white noise of temporary deafness.

Sobbing, Ryou threw the gun away from himself. He had failed again, and he could not hear anything outside the laughing in his mind and the loudness in his ears. Darkness took Ryou, at length, and he passed out.

Dreams came that night, though none he would've liked to remember. Dreams of the kind of pleasure others would've believed sick. Bodies wrapped around each other, sweaty and slick. Laughter, and so much dark, cold laughter. Always, again, taunting, taunting, taunting tintinnabulations, until he came.

When he awoke the next morning, Ryou found himself in his bed. Sheets were tangled around him, and his lap was wet. The ringing in his ears returned, reminding him of the night before. He shuddered, but pushed himself out of bed.

In the living room, Ryou saw the gun still lying on the floor. For once, the dark voice was silent, only because, Ryou believed, the ringing overwhelmed the laughter.

The cruel conversation from the night before whispered in his mind.

I will still be here, even when you're gone…

Slowly, Ryou picked up the pistol from the floor, and pulled the cartridge from the handle. He peered inside, and could not suppress a hysterical laugh. There was one round, and he hadn't fired enough blanks to get to it. Ryou slid the cartridge back in, and clicked the safety in place. Then, he put the gun away, to gather dust again.

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