A/n: Okay- I was bored, so I decided to post the last chapter of this little side-project! Hope you all enjoyed!

The Note, Chapter 3

Chocolate eyes snapped open, some unnamable jolt waking him.

Uncertain and almost afraid, he glanced around. The moon was visible from his window, though a cloud was rolling past it. The room was dark- he almost couldn't see. The room appeared to be empty but for himself.

'I'm just scaring myself.' Ryou thought, but then his eyes turned back to the window.

The window was open, curtains flapping lightly in the breeze.

They had been closed when he had gone to sleep, and he was certain none of the nurses would have opened the windows.

His eyes darted around the room, somehow knowing that- even though he had been told his room was pretty high up- someone had broken into the hospital. He had a sick feeling he knew who, too...

Just then, the cloud rolled back from the moon, revealing a pair of crimson eyes, their owner still covered in shadow at the other end of the room.

Currently, the blood-red eyes were burning with anger. Ryou instinctively tried to back up, but he was frozen by shock.

"Bakura." he said quietly as the figure stepped forward, mouth opening and closing several times as he tried to figure out what to say.

Unable to come up with words, he looked away from his yami.

"Look at me, yadonushi."

Bakura's tone allowed for no argument. Ryou's eyes lifted to meet Bakura's before dropping back down.

Weight settled on the bed, a hand coming and lifting his chin so yami and hikari were face to face.

Ryou swallowed, wishing he could bring his arms up to defend himself, if only from the look in Bakura's eyes. Bakura seemed really, really angry, and while Ryou knew his yami wouldn't hurt him physically, it was the others words that frightened him the most.

"Care to explain this?" Bakura held up a single sheet of white paper- a single sheet Ryou knew very well. Ryou opened his mouth to speak, but words died in his throat.

Bakura waited impatiently, still holding the paper up.

"S-sorry. I'm sorry, Bakura. I- I just..." Ryou stuttered, mind clouded by both what he was asked and how close Bakura currently was. It was an intoxicating proximity, and Bakura's eyes looked as though they could see right through him.

"Unless you're apologizing for this-" Bakura's hand left his jaw and gripped one of his wrists tight enough to bruise. "-don't bother."

Ryou's eyes followed the path of Bakura's hand, wincing slightly at the pain of his dark's viselike grip. He opened his mouth to speak, but again found himself unable to utter a word.

"Are you going to tell me why?" Bakura's voice was cold, making the question seem more of an order than a request. Not trusting himself to speak, Ryou shook his head.

Bakura's grip tightened, moving even closer to his hikari.

"I said, are you going to tell me why you did this?" The level of iciness in the thief's tone had increased. "It's not a request."

Ryou swallowed hard, breathing shallowly as he felt tears rise up in his eyes again.

'I can't cry- not now. I've done too much crying today- stop. Stop it!' he commanded himself, squeezing his eyes shut in an effort to keep the tears in. He couldn't recall a day he had cried more than this, except perhaps the day his mother had died, along with his beloved sister.

"Tell me."

Ryou shook his head.

"No. Please let me go."

In response, the yami's grip again tightened.

"Tell me!"

"I won't!" Ryou tried to pull away from his dark, but couldn't move. He was tied too securely for that.

"Why not?"

"Because... because..." Ryou's voice trailed off, and he transferred his gaze to his lap to avoid looking at the strong, pale hand gripping his wrist. "Why do you care?" he asked in a near whisper.

Suddenly, Bakura moved.

He simultaneously released Ryou's wrist and moved to straddle his light. He drew back his fist, punching the pillow less than an inch from Ryou's face.

The hikari's eyes jerked up, staring with shock and fright at his yami.

Crimson eyes caught and held chocolate.

"And why wouldn't I care? You're my hikari." Bakura growled. "Now explain."

Voice wavering slightly, Ryou finally complied.

"No one needed me." he stated quietly. "I didn't think anyone would care or even notice if I was gone. It seemed like such an effort just to live- I was so tired. There was nothing keeping me here- I just wanted it all to go away. It just... it really hurt. I felt like everything was just so dark, like there was nothing and no one that wanted me around anymore. Like maybe it would be better if I just disappeared-"

"Bullshit." Bakura hissed. Ryou bit his lip, looking back down as the crimson gaze became too much to withstand.

Bakura's other hand- the one that had held the note aloft all through the conversation- jerked his chin back up.

"Did you honestly believe I wouldn't notice? Did you think that the Ra-damned Pharaoh and his little band of misfits wouldn't notice?! For who would it be better if you fucking disappeared?!"

"N-no... I just didn't think it would matter..." Ryou stammered, suddenly feeling extremely guilty for what he had done. "I'm sorry... I'm so sorry, I'm sorry! I never meant- I didn't want- I'm sorry..."

"I don't want to hear your apologies. You are NEVER to do this again, do you understand?" Bakura commanded. Ryou nodded. His yami straightened, then folded one arm under the other to hold up the note. "You are also to explain this."

Ryou shook his head vehemently.

"I can't."

"You can't? Or... won't?" Bakura's voice was low and dark, tone clear he would not be denied an answer in either case.

"Won't." Ryou whispered. He swallowed nervously. "The note should explain itself. Please don't ask me about it."

"I wanted to hear it from you, but I suppose simple yes or no questions shouldn't be too difficult for you to answer." Bakura growled lowly. "First of all, did you really believe I hated you?" The yami's tone was more accusing and defensive than questioning.

Slowly, Ryou nodded, flinching slightly from some imagined strike.

"Did you mean everything you put into the note?" Bakura's tone had softened somewhat, but it was still nowhere near friendly.

Ryou looked away. He had hoped the conversation wouldn't have come to this so quickly- he just wasn't ready to discuss his real feelings after keeping them locked up inside his heart for so long. He shook his head, knowing it would be taken as refusal to speak rather than a 'no'.

"If you won't answer that, then I'll simplify it for you. Did you mean it when you said you loved me?"

Ryou squeezed his eyes shut, pressing himself as far away from his dark as he could get.


"So what if I did?" Ryou murmured quietly. "What does it matter now? You probably hate me even more now, and I-"

Ryou cut himself off. He was just making himself more upset. He allowed Bakura to turn his head so they were once again face to face, keeping his features carefully neutral.

"Say it." Bakura ordered. The unexpected command broke through the thin mask of neutrality protecting Ryou, and his confusion showed clearly on his face.

"What?" he asked, flabbergasted.

"Say it. It was you who wanted to tell me to my face at least once, wasn't it?" Bakura's lips had stretched into an odd half smile, smugness and... some other emotion radiating from his being.

Ryou shook his head.

"No." He couldn't say it- the words wouldn't pass his lips. He was so afraid- he knew Bakura already knew of his feelings, but why did they have to be lorded over him like this? What if Bakura only wanted him to confess vocally so he could tear him down- him and the fragile thread holding his sanity in place?

Bakura leaned forward, practically nose to nose with his light. Ryou gasped, eyes widening with shock.

"B-Bakura...?" he stuttered. Bakura's eyes stared directly into his own, the crimson orbs suddenly so expressive.

"Say it." the yami murmured, coaxing Ryou to speak. As Bakura spoke, his lips nearly brushed those of his light, they were so close.

"I... I..." Ryou choked up, biting his lip. He closed his eyes in defeat. "... I love you. I really do."

"That's good, hikari- very good."

Chocolate orbs snapped open in shock as he felt two hungry lips crash down on his own, a soft tongue pressing past his lips. He could feel one hand tangle in his hair, holding him still as Bakura's talented tongue explored Ryou's mouth, taking a long, slow sample of the hikari's taste.

Ryou could feel Bakura's body press closer to his own, and the small movement brought him out of his shock.

His eyes closed again and he pushed his body up, returning the kiss with equal passion, if not equal skill.

By the time they broke apart for air, both were panting. Chocolate stared up into crimson with a look of shock and wonder, amazed at all the emotions on display in those usually guarded blood-red orbs.

"I love you too, Ryou. Is that enough of a reason to keep on living?" Bakura asked simply. Ryou nodded, tears of joy forming in his eyes as he tried to lift his arms to wrap around his dark.

His arms didn't move, bound as they were.

Bakura turned his gaze to the bindings, annoyed. He quickly undid both, settling on the bed by Ryou's side as the hikari embraced him.

Ryou buried his face in Bakura's chest, pulling him close as if he was afraid Bakura would disappear. The yami's arms wrapped around Ryou, one hand at the small of his light's back, the other stroking through soft waves of hair.

"Never do that again." Bakura commanded again. Ryou didn't need to ask to know what Bakura meant.

"I won't." he promised, though a part of him knew it wouldn't be so easy. He clutched tighter to his yami. "Just don't leave me. Please?" He may have been begging, but he needed his dark with him.

"I won't leave you. You're mine." Bakura pulled back from the embrace to punctuate his words with a kiss. Ryou returned the passionate joining of lips with just as much emotion as his yami, though this kiss was more comforting, more of a confirmation than the hungry meeting of lips earlier.

Slowly, Bakura lay them both down, adjusting their position so Ryou was partially on top of him. Ryou's head rested against his chest, one arm curled on top of him while the other lay between their bodies. Ryou's legs were curled up slightly, one placed shyly on top of one of his own. As for Bakura, he had one arm around Ryou's body, holding the teen close. The other arm was bent behind his head, adding more cushion to the pillow he was using.

"Goodnight, Bakura." Ryou whispered, chocolate eyes closing sleepily.

"Goodnight, Ryou."

Not long after, both teen and centuries old spirit fell asleep, content in each others arms.


A/N: Okay- not gonna waste time on a long A/N, but I hope that wasn't too horrible!