Some people are afraid of the dark.

Of the secrets it keeps wrapped up in its shadowy folds, and of the monsters of their imaginations that lurk in the shadows and shades.

...Fools.

Don't they know that some secrets are best left hidden?


-- Rebirth --


Those who fear the darkness have never seen what the light can do.

The darkness offers sanctuary, more than any illumination ever could. It shelters you from the world when you need peace and solitude; it grants mercy from the adversity that roams in broad daylight.

It also masks more unnerving existences from those living in the light worlds; it keeps them from becoming known, and with the secrecy prevents the havoc that knowledge of its existence would cause. It keeps the best secrets, and the worst, from the oblivious mortals who would seek to destroy themselves to escape them, were they not hidden from view.

The darkness is not malicious, but benevolent.

And it is the light that burns away the protective shadows, and reveals to us things we aren't ready to accept...

:-----:-----:

"We have to, Ryou; it's for your own good."

I stir within my soul room, raise my head slowly. Pharaoh... The name drifts across my consciousness, and I growl lowly. How many times have I heard that line before? How many times?

Too many.

And every time the same.

"No."

My hikari's voice is shaky.

Even from within the depths of my soul room I can sense the Pharaoh's exasperation, irritation.

I smirk; that fool always was too impatient to be competent.

"Don't be foolish, Ryou," he tries again, tactlessly. "You know you can't carry on as you are now."

"Why not?"

I laugh lightly to myself. 'Why not?'

Because I'll kill you if you don't give up now.

"Ryou, please." This must be a message from the Pharaoh's host; manners are being used. "We only want to help. Yami Bakura is--"

"The best thing that ever happened to me!"

I glance in the direction of my hikari's consciousness.

This is new.

Fool; why is he telling them reasons now?

"He's brainwashing you, Ryou," the Pharaoh growls angrily, "he's twisting your mind! If we don't act now you'll die! He'll drag you down with him and--"

"Well at least I'll be with someone!"

I have never heard my hikari so bitter before. His pain with me is much different, a hopeless, helpless, physical pain that resounds throughout his entire body, touches every nerve and makes him scream without restraint or shame.

Delicious.

But this is different. It touches deeper things: his mind, his soul, his heart.

And I don't like it.

His mind is mine alone to torture; his soul is mine alone to own.

His heart...

"Ryou..."

The Pharaoh is gone; his hikari stands alone in his place.

"Ryou," he asks tenderly, "why do you want to keep living with Yami Bakura?"

My hikari is trembling, and close to tears.

But he looks up at the other boy defiantly nonetheless, lifts his chin fractionally.

"Why do you keep living with your yami?" he asks boldly.

A pause for thought. Good; at least the simpleton has the grace to give my hikari's question enough consideration for a sincere answer.

"Because he needs me," is the eventual reply. "And because I have developed a strong bond with him. We support each other, and now... it seems strange to even consider not having Yami in my life."

"Then why can't I have the same feelings for Kura? Why would you try to sever the bond I have with him?"

Yugi is exasperated.

"But Ryou, Yami Bakura isn't like Yami. He hurts you, and--"

"You don't know."

Anger is starting to well in my hikari's voice, welling up with the saltwater and emotion. It's turning into a tidal wave, gaining momentum, and the dam holding it back is suddenly too frail, and far too old and worn to hold it back for too much longer.

Things are going to break.

"You don't know anything about what Kura does to me! You don't know!" Tears are crawling down my hikari's cheeks, slipping over their smooth curves, pale skin, old wounds; I want to lick them away, whisper words into his ear and feel him trembling against me.

"So don't judge. Yes, Kura has taken many things from me; some things I didn't want to give. But... I let him have them anyway. Because he needed them. Surely you have done this for your yami?"

Yugi is uncomfortable.

As am I.

Let me have them? What nonsense is this? I am the one that leads us; he has no control over me, against me. Foolish hikari...

"And Kura has given me lots of things too," my hikari continues. "He's given me will to live; he has given me hope."

"Hope?"

Yugi is disbelieving.

Hypocrite.

Though I find myself skeptical as well. What could I possibly have done to--?

"Yes. He needs me to exist in this world."

I... need him?

Ridiculous. He--

"I wonder, sometimes, if he knows it," my hikari murmurs quietly, "but I know I am the only one that can sustain him. If I were to die, he would have to wait in the Millennium Ring for another five thousand years, maybe even more, for another one like me to find him." His voice grows hushed, and sad. "...I don't want that to happen. I couldn't bear it... if Kura had to be confined again. No matter what anyone else says or thinks, he doesn't deserve that. No one deserves that, let alone twice. So... I have to live. For Kura. With Kura."

A sense of unease is spreading, and I shift uncomfortably. Surely he is not the only one that could support me? If the Ring were to pass to another person, then surely I could take over that mind and body just as I have with this one.

But then I remember his surprising resilience to my advances, attacks, assaults both physical and mental,
and I begin to wonder.

"So I won't let you have him."

My little hikari is being defiant again. How cute. It makes me want to throw him against a wall and make him bleed, my foolish little hikari.

"I won't let you take him from me." His voice fills my mind, echoes softly around me. "His company has lifted me. Before, I was alone. Now I have Kura, everything is alright. I'm not alone when I'm with Kura."

"And you are when you're with us? With me?"

"Yes."

There is no hesitation, just simply stated truth.

And the short one is dumbfounded.

I am watching, listening, and unable to form opinions anymore. Previously, I would have been pleased with my hikari's answer; after all, my foolish little hikari has to be alone around others to need me, and only me.

But somehow now, knowing that I am all he has brings an emptiness to my soul, something almost resembling regret.

Why?

I feel like there is a ray of light slicing through my darkness, and it is eating at my mind, my self, and all that I feel - felt - to be reality.

My world is shifting, reforming, dying, reviving, out of my control, against my will, and there's nothing I can do to stop it.

Nothing but...

"Leave," I growl, startling the young boy in front of me. "Leave now before I make you regret you were ever born to encounter my wrath."

He almost squeaks, and takes several steps backwards.

"Yami Bakura," he stutters hurriedly, "Yami and I--"

"I don't give a damn about you and that fuckhead Pharaoh yapping in your head," I snap back. "Leave us alone or Ra help me I'll tear you limb from limb right here."

"And you think I'll let you?"

The Pharaoh is back, all geared up for a fight. So be it; I'm not feeling too passive myself. An unfathomable rage is burning through me, and I want to draw blood, spill it across the floor in bold crimson lifelines.

"Like you can stop me," I hiss back. "Go the fuck away before I finally rip that obnoxious tongue out of your head."

"Not before I free Ryou from your hold," he roars back.

And then I'm back in my soul room.

"Go away," my hikari is saying. "I won't have you upset Kura like that. Leave or I'll make you leave."

Ryou talking tough? I almost laugh, except I'm still full of rage, and annoyed that he somehow forced me - me! - back into my soul room before I could carry out my threats.

The Pharaoh scowls, and retreats to lick his wounded pride.

Until next time.

The rage has not subsided, and my lust for blood will not be sated.

...Kura?

Fuck off.

But--

Fuck the hell off.

No.

I glare at my hikari, but for once he is unfazed.

No, he repeats, I won't. And you can't make me. Then, more softly, And you know it.

I recoil slightly, like a threatened snake, one might say.

The rage disappears.

You...

I can feel his warmth embracing me, wrapping me in his soft light. A half-hearted shrug dissipates it for a while, but soon it comes back, and I'm just too tired, too empty after the rage to push him away again.

There are no apologies, no explanations, no words. I don't have any words to say, and there's nothing left in me to tell him; I feel like my entire soul has been dissected, and laid out for him to rearrange.

I'm at his mercy, and I can't even bring myself to care.

What has happened in these past minutes? Hours? How long have we been breaking each other down now, rebuilding walls around ourselves? What am I now?

What am I doing?

I feel lost.

I've never felt like this before.

No, I lie; I have felt something similar, in a distant memory that is barely mine. I didn't deal with it so well back then either...

I turn to him.

Ryou.

The light slowly, tenderly, tearing my world down around my head.

I think my eyes must be pretty dulled. Maybe he's thinking he can see an anxious plea in them.

Maybe he can.

Kura, he says softly, you know it's true. All of it. The light wraps more securely around me, and I can feel it eating away at my self, breaking me down as my protective shadows wail piteously and float away from me to die and in the deep recesses of my mind, a thought wanders in: When the darkness in me is gone, what will be left?

Ryou is whispering soft words into my ear, gently nudging tender truths into my soul.

I need you, Kura, and you...

And then there are no more words.

Just feeling.

Knowing.

And light, illuminating my scars, and leaving me to bleed.


:: sonryz ::
Hm. I know it's a rather sudden ending. Apologies.

And I feel like I've taken someone's idea and worked with it... Apologies there too, if I have. : P.

I wonder if my storyline actually came through in the end...? It seems hard to tell, when you know what was meant to be said, whether it was said or not.

So, if you would, could you please tell me: what on earth happened just now? XD;