Chocolate Black

Disclaimer: I don't own YuGiOh.

She always did like dark chocolate. Couldn't stand the sweetness of the milk chocolate he liked. She also loved the color of it – pure black, she said.

Bakura walked by the chocolatier's shop slowly, forcing himself to take each step, trying not to look in the window. They had put a new display up, a few days before Mana ran away – "Chocolate Black," it was called, ninety-three percent chocolate with no sweeteners. Mana had loved it; there were still a number of half-empty boxes scattered around their apartment, boxes she had meant to finish, surely.

But the fight-

No, he wouldn't think about that. It was better not to.

She had been missing for a week now, an unendurable week. And no word from her, only the news reports, endless stories of vicious murders throughout the city. Was she safe? Would they discover her dead, mangled body in a few days, on a side street like all the others?

But the candy. The candy was killing him; why couldn't he have just gotten her something for Valentine's Day? Why hadn't he, knowing how important it was to her?

Because his pride was more important to him than his girlfriend's feelings.

Without thinking, he doubled back and stood before the chocolatier's shop, his hand on the doorknob. It was too late now, of course, but when she came back he would have it for her; the best they had.

A bell jingled above his head as the door opened. The sound stopped him in his tracks – how many times had he heard the sound of Mana's little silver bell, summoning him to dinner?

Telling himself he would hear it again soon, he moved further into the store – stiflingly warm, he thought. Wouldn't the chocolates melt?

But maybe not – he saw that they were kept in refrigerated cases along the walls. So the boxes in the window display were empty.

He approached the counter slowly, eyes moving slowly over the chocolates in their little paper cups, his hands shoved impatiently into the pockets of his jeans.

"How can I help you?"

Bakura's eyes flickered to the man behind the counter, then back to the chocolates. Which ones would she like…? "I want those, and those, and those," he said, pointing. He didn't raise his gaze to make eye contact, but kept studying the candies, thoughtful. She would like them, wouldn't she? And she would forgive him?

"How many of each kind, sir?" the clerk asked, picking up the metal tongs and one of the small black paper-lined boxes.

"All of them."

Hiding his surprise, the clerk quietly picked up a bigger box and began filling it obediently, one chocolate at a time.

Bakura followed the man over to the register, his wallet already in hand. He handed over a credit card without saying a word, his eyes moving to the small tv mounted on the wall behind the counter. It was tuned to a news channel; another body had been found the night before.

He barely felt the clerk press the credit card into his hand, didn't notice as the black box was slid over the counter towards him – he was transfixed by the image on the tv, the mangled body of a young woman.

Blonde, the big blue eyes wide open, face covered in blood where it wasn't cut open, revealing the bone underneath.

"Mana XXX," the caption read, "discovered dead at midnight; autopsy revealed her to be twenty-three, and two months pregnant. Any relatives wishing to claim the deceased may call –"

He stopped reading, stared at the box in his hands. What…? Oh yes, chocolates. For Mana. She would be home soon.

Chocolate Black. She'll love it.