Marik x Ryou

Dedicated to mystralwind


Sometimes I feel that I should go and play with the thunder
Somehow, because somehow I just don't wanna stay and wait for a wonder
I've been watching, I've been waiting, in the shadows for my time
- The Rasmus

For a boy that radiated such innocence and happiness, Ryou Bakura's life had been filled with shadows for a very long time. Certainly not as a young child; he'd had a happy, if normal, childhood, until his sister had passed away. Even that, though, hadn't quite daunted him, and although he missed her terribly, he continued on as a bright, if slightly more quiet, young boy.

The shadows had set in about a decade after his birth.

Ever since, in fact, he was gifted a piece of jewellery at this young age, his life had never been quite as light again. The shadow in his mind was a permanent fixture, crawling, for the most part, along his subconscious, on occasion infiltrating his actual conscious, so the white-haired boy heard a voice, a command, or was shown something he didn't want to see.

For a long time, when this shadow became particularly aggravated, it would simply drown his mind, taking complete control, leaving Ryou with carnage and destruction surrounding him when he was 'gifted' return of his own body.

When Ryou learned that the shadow was more than he believed, that it was in fact a spirit possessing his necklace, he was quite sceptical. It took a while for him to realise the truth.

Once he did, he learnt to live with it.

That might strike some as strange- that Ryou could live with the sadistic murderer in his mind, and simply… get used to it. But it was not out of choice, and only a little out of fear. It was more the sense of familiarity, and the fact, that after a while, the shadow had cured his phobia of the dark.

Because, even the young age he was, (because although his first encounter with the spirit was several years on, it is still a youthful time, and not an age one should see the devastation one leaves behind) he had understood that the most he had to fear was not lurking in the darkness of his world, but in the rather more sinister shadows of his own mind, which he now had so little control of.

One thing Ryou had always believed was that he was unique, and although never able to make up his mind whether that was a good thing or not, he'd always thought that no one would be able to understand, relate to, or even be told about the voice in his head. I mean, you phrase it that way, and anyone would think you're insane.

But there were two more like him, and although both were different from him, a fragile bond was never the less formed between them, because those three people were the only three people who could ever really understand.

When, after many duels and explosions of shadow magic, his now-dubbed 'yami' was gifted his own body, he didn't feel quite how he had expected to. There was the relief of course, at first, as anticipated, but that soon settling into a strange loneliness, an almost sick melancholy for the voice that once invaded his thoughts, made his life painful, but yet, protected him.

His shadow was still there though, simultaneously fiercely defensive and cruel, as he always had been, understanding him, then disregarding him, because that was simply how he was, and Ryou didn't mind, because he was used to it.

Another thing he hadn't really thought about was the other 'yamis', a term which Ryou was never one-hundred percent comfortable with using, because although it meant literally the dark, it never seemed to quite fit, because dark suggests absolute blackness, and the shadow was much more complex, a whirling vortex of colours that were almost, but not quite, as pitch as pure blackness. There was the slight cold blue of his anger mixed in, a red sheen of his own pain, and a further innumerable colours for each emotion, stunted and shrouded in darkness, but there.

So, in his mind, he still referred to them as shadows.

Ryou Bakura was well versed in knowledge of shadows.

But another's shadow had thrown him. He wasn't expecting it. His own shadow was one thing.

Malik's was another.

Just as Ryou's shadow soon became commonly referred to as 'Bakura', Malik's was soon called 'Marik'. It had been the white haired boy's own suggestion, to give them names other than them being known as their old host's darkness'. It had caught on with the two wilder darks, appreciating the independence and difference from their lights.

For a few months, Bakura and Marik entertained themselves. The allies (for it would be pushing it to call them friends) roamed the streets, finding trouble, robbing valuable artefacts and generally getting away with murder.

And although the murder of which I just spoke was meant metaphorically, no one was ever quite sure if it was literal as well.

But they soon became bored with repetitive nights of destruction, and Bakura set off on thieving expeditions of such complexity and skill that Marik could not, and did not wish to join in, not being the thief at heart that Bakura was. Bakura was a tomb-robber, at heart, a past-time that spawned from a life-style thousands of years before, but Marik was from a tomb-keepers soul, and although he enjoyed thievery, he didn't get quite the same buzz of exhilaration from it that his ally did.

And, after finding that violence was never as fun without an accomplice or at least a group of mind-slaves, which he had been banned from using, Marik decided to entertain himself with something a little different.

Ryou had always been an enigma to him. Forced into submissiveness before the shadows were incarnated, he didn't seem to hold that much of grudge against any of them. When they created havoc, he simply sat, serene and silent, not expressing an opinion or judging them. He just… accepted.

And, comparably, Marik was an enigma to Ryou. He was different in essence to his Bakura and Yugi's Atem. He was not an ancient spirit, nor did he have an Egyptian past life, or anything like that. He was born solely from Malik's own fury, but if he was purely anger and rage, how could he ever express joy, or calm, which on occasion, he actually did. It confused Ryou no end, who seemed to be the only one who had actually thought fully about it.

He hadn't visited often, at the start. Three, maybe four times in the first month, just in an evening, when Bakura was out. Ryou had been disconcerted at first, not sure what to make of the monosyllabic blonde in the corner, who would watch the white-haired boy keenly. He had been slightly uncomfortable at how the blonde's eyes would follow him. His stare itself was impassive, analytical, not a lust-filled stare of interest, nor a stare of a violent nature, both of which he was very used to,

Ryou soon got used to him though, and the visits increased as Marik's input into the conversations grew, until Ryou didn't have to ramble as much, and most nights ended up in laughter, fuelled by drinks and an unbridled chemistry.

Neither could have pin-pointed a specific time that it had happened, but just as the shadows slip forward, growing, unwatched, as the sun sets, their friendship grew, and before long they were engulfed, intoxicated in each other, a lack of physical contact only encouraging them, the fact that neither had admitted anything become not a deterrent, but stimulation.

Passing brushes of skin turned into lingering touches, posed as accidental, Marik still worried about the delicacy of the boy, Ryou still slightly cautious of his friend's (because it would be right to call them friends now) violent, explosive temper.

Bakura was wary of both these things, his protective feelings to the boy he considered his little brother, a subservient and dominated one, but brother none the less, soon overcoming the cruelty he normally showed.

It took nearly two months of visits for Bakura to relax, grudgingly give his blessings, as it were, in its unique form, to Marik. The blessing itself came on the back of many threats of mental and physical pain, none of which Marik took lightly- he'd seen how quickly Bakura could break a person's spirit, with no regret afterwards, and although he suspected he'd outlast everyone, he knew that in the end, Bakura would get him.

It took nearly four months of visits before anything considered to be a break-through happened, and to the watcher it would have been anti-climatic, but to them it was alien, exciting, nothing either of them had ever experienced before.

Ryou slipped bringing another pair of drinks through, his trip testament to the alcohol prior to that. Landing on the floor at Marik's feet, the drinks soaking into the blonde's torso and upper legs. The white-haired boy panicked, attempting to dry the other, running over the damp material with tissue, trying to soak up the moisture. Soon, his slim fingers were stroking the skin through the shirt, Ryou's normal demeanour temporarily removed by lust and alcohol.

Ryou had looked up into the eyes he adored, and seeing no anger, had continued, both of them silent, until the shirt was merely damp, not saturated.

A simple act, perhaps leading to more.

The next week Marik had kissed him as he left, his hand on the back of the others neck, the other tilting his chin upwards, a hard and chaste kiss on the lips, the rough skin grazing, the brief contact warm.

The week after that, Ryou kissed him, reaching up on tip-toes and wrapping his arms around the taller blonde's neck, but unlike Marik the week before, Ryou didn't run away afterwards, although they were at the door again, and the shadow pulled him closer, slipping his tongue between the light's lips and swallowing up the other in the shadow that he was, and always will be.

Ryou knew it was the way Marik's arms would support him, because he had to reach up so far to kiss him, so far he'd loose his balance. It was the heat of his body that kept him warmer than he'd ever been, and the way that Ryou drowned, literally drowned, in the solitude and beauty of the others eyes. He knew it was the roughness of the others lips, and something in a almost clumsy way the other held him, as if expecting him to break.

Marik knew it was the feel of the others fingers at the hair on the base of his neck, and the way that he'd softly stroke the skin with the ends of his nails, which sent little shivers down his spine. He knew it was the tightening in his chest when he'd tasted Ryou, and the way that afterwards, Ryou had rested his forehead against his own, and blushed, smiling cutely.

They were little reasons, little, stupid reasons that both never really could explain, but they both knew it had made it special, in a passionate, and beautiful, way.

Ryou Bakura was well versed in the knowledge of the shades. He'd grown up with them inside him, the strangest of child hood companions. He lived surrounded in them, both sets different yet similar, both intertwined in his life irreplaceably. He loved and was loved in the arms of one, held close, held ardently, and he'd die in the shadows, that he was sure of, and it was a surety that he had welcomed.

His shadows were not like him. They were infused with rage and darkness, and to them blood came without guilt, pain without their sorrow, as long as it was not Ryou's. Both of his shadows watched him, protectively, turning to each other to bicker with each other about the said boy, both determined to win more favour with the light in a way that became increasing child-like, and endearing.

Ryou Bakura knew there was more to shadows than the dark. There were colours, if one looked hard enough, a myriad to explore and love, and so many forgot that the most important factor to make a shadow was light.

And he believed that if you looked close enough at either of his shadows, of his own, loved shadows, he could see a little light burning, nourishing them, proof, he claimed, that there was goodness in them.

But if you asked either of the shadows, they would tell you that the only real thing fuelling them, warming them, keeping them one-foot in sanity, was Ryou.