Co-Written/RP'd with ComputerFreak101. Thusly, dedicated to her for entertaining me long past the point of sanity.

Love you Nokoba! ;D

Anzu leaned forward, smiling vaguely at Marik, moving a pawn.

"Your move."

Marik eyed the board casually, as if this was a friendly game and not one that held the fate of mankind. ...God that sounded too cliche. Lips twitching, he moved his knight and stole her pawn.

"You've lost another one." Like it mattered. In their game, she had millions of pawns, a luxury he didn't have. She nodded, pursing her lips.

"I have." She put her hand out, wavering for only a second before her next pawn claimed his knight. "Another Fallen has lost."

"So it would seem." He could hear the ghosts of dying screams with each piece lost. "However..." His hand reached out, and then suddenly one of the many rooks moved across the board, claiming another pawn. He knew she could hear the screams too. "Fallen are easily replaced." He set the - now black - taken pawns on his side of the board, one taking the place of his fallen knight. And he wondered who heard the loudest screams.

Anzu barely flinched, taking the screams silently. "Many times I wonder why we play this game," she said, as she moved one of her two kings. "The True King."

"Because you and I are both very stubborn." He watched the True King with an air of detached annoyance. "You have an unfair advantage, God." It was the first time he'd said it, and he had come to terms with it. Anzu had two Kings, two true and loyal and powerful kings. Marik only had one, but he was fiercely proud of his king, his false Liar King. His king was born in the darkness, had ripped off his wings the minute he'd got them and fallen into Marik's open arms. His king was powerful, but against two Kings it was a struggle. And - he moved a castle forward - Anzu, on top of the True and Puzzle King, had the Queen. The Angel. Marik had no queen - he had barely half the number of pieces Anzu had. Yet, together with his false King and Fallen, he had lasted in this game for eternity. And he would continue doing so.

"Perhaps. Perhaps not. My True King has been wavering lately. Perhaps you will gain an advantage, Marik. Perhaps you won't." She paused, her gaze flickering to the Queen. "My Queen is beginning to look to the Fallen as well." Another pawn moved, and another Fallen fell. "If she goes, I fear I may lose."

"Then you'd best protect her." Move the Fallen pawn - defense. Protect his Liar King. Protect his Fallen. Protect himself. "As for your True King," his fingers listlessly grazed over the carving of his chair, tracing the mouths forever stretched in screams. "What makes him waver?"

"I do not know," she admitted softly. "Perhaps you call to my King in ways I can not. I know your King calls to my Queen, and she knows nothing of his existance. It is the unknown which calls her from me." She moved another pawn hesitantly, sorrow in her eyes as it was sacrificed. He chuckled.

"The Darkness has always been alluring, my dear." Move the rook, take a knight. Another Fallen appeared to replace his Lost.

"Yes, it is. It is why I lost you," she responded calmly. "But that is not important."

"You lost me," hollow purple matched sorrowful blue, "Because you had nothing to offer me." And his mouth suddenly parted into the wicked smile he was so known for. "Please, enlighten me- what is important?"

"I had much to offer.You did not want it." Her eyes went back to the board beneath her hand. "And the game. That is important now."

"You did not offer enough. And it's your move."

"I offered all I had." She moved her Old King. "One day, when the world can survive it, maybe you can come home."

"It wasn't enough to satisfy me. And it never will be." He eyed her Old King and subconciously held his Liar King. He didn't move it, just held it gently. "We've been over this." He moved another Castle. "I will never return to the Light."

Her Queen moved. "I do wish you'd reconsider, Marik."

"I will not." Move the Fallen, the Dark Pawn. "It would make things much easier for everyone if you came to me." His long fingernail tapped the empty space on the board, on the King's right side. It had been empty since the game had started. "I still need a Queen."

"If I could Marik. If only I could. But they need a God, and you need a player. Chess requires two."

"You can. You are the only thing that's stopping you. Your duty, your pride...all meaningless. You want the Darkness, Anzu." He moved the Liar King, moved him close to the Angel Queen. A Fallen stood between them, protecting the King; yet allowing the darkness to wrap around Her. "You both do." He looked into her eyes again, capturing her, holding her. "Chess can be replayed. The board reset. All you have to do is surrender."

"But I can not. They need a God, and it pains me to say, but you could never be a God." She paused, eeyeing the board. "I think a wager is in order." He did not mention that he already wasa god.

"And what would that be?"

Clack. "My Queen. Your King."

"Go on."

"If she can find and persuade him to come to me, you concede our game."

"And if she can't?"

"You win; I concede, and I come to you."

"What will my King be doing? I refuse to place him on Earth with the sole purpose of evading your Queen." His eyes narrowed. "He has proved his loyalty - I refuse to degrade him with this unless he has a goal of his own."

"The goal is for you to decide. You and him together."

"His purpose will be to find your Queen, and kill her."

She nodded. "Agreed." She held out a hand. He leaned back in his throne and kept his eyes on her, the only light - the only pure light - in the darkness that surrounded them. He grudgingly admired her - they had been playing this game since the start of Time, in the playing field of his own choosing, yet her light had never dimmed. Not once. He didn't take her hand.

"Why suddenly propose this? Are you growing tired of our game?" He hated her light. He wanted to extinguish it.

"No. Never tired of playing with you. I simply seek to understand. To level the playing field."

"And yet, no matter who ends, the game ends. The Devil surrenders, or God steps down. That's hardly a "level playing field"."

"I will take her memories. She will remember nothing but her name and that she seeks the Liar King. And once one has conceded, we will begin a new game."

"You make no sense. This game," he gestured to the board, "Determines mankind's fate. To concede is to leave that fate up to the winner. Starting a new game is pointless." She shook her head.

"The new game will pick up where we left off here, simply in another format. Chess can only be played for so long." He eyed her.

"I wonder how you will feel when your Queen shatters."

"The same you would feel if your King turns from you." He laughed.

"I say when, you say if. My dear Anzu, it seems as if you may want to lose." Something flashed through her eyes.

"We shall see." He took her hand, and made sure she felt the Darkness seep through his hand to hers.

She shook it. "It is done." He smiled, and gave her hand a miniscule squeeze.

"Then let the games begin."