A/N: I have written one pairing with Ryou before. |D Oh boy...

For those who don't know, since it's a somewhat obscure piece of information, Bakura had a younger sister, Amane, who died. Since he WRITES LETTESR TO HER, I figured he took it pretty hard. Also, in the manga they address that he never had friends for very long because the Thief King kept sealing their souls into things. ^^;; But Bakura didn't know that.

Takes place in Duelist Kingdom, after Yugi had won. I... kinda forgot that it was Mokuba with the gang, not Kaiba, so we'll just pretend Kaiba for the sake of this fic. Sorry about that. Blame my midterms.

"We went that way already!" Honda protested.

"No, we went THAT way!" Jounouchi jabbed his thumb down one of the castle's many hallways, opposite of where Honda was pointing.

"No, we didn't, bonkotsu," Kaiba growled. Jounouchi glared at him and muttered something about 'just want to disagree with me'. Kaiba rolled his eyes and headed in the direction Jounouchi said they had looked.

"This is my problem anyway," Kaiba called over his shoulder. "I'll find him on my own."

"Kaiba-kun, we all care what happens to Mokuba--" Yugi started, but Kaiba held up a hand to silence him.

"Never learns, does he?" Anzu said coldly. Kaiba ignored it, their voices fading as he put distance between them. He walked in silence for a time. Hearing footsteps behind him, Kaiba stopped and whirled around.

"Figured you shouldn't go off on your own," Bakura said, half-waving. Kaiba raised an eyebrow.

"So you decided to follow?" He questioned, irked, turning back around. Now that he thought of it, he had no specific problem with Bakura. But he didn't like people in general, and it nagged at him with every step he took, watching Bakura out of the corner of his eye.

"I don't need any help," Kaiba said curtly. "If that's why you're here."

"He's your brother. You must be worried," Bakura replied, looking at Kaiba. He answered with a scoff.

"Did Yugi tell you to say this stuff?" Kaiba asked suspiciously. "Let me know that you're all there for me and all that other boring friendship crap?"


Kaiba eyed him, wondering what his game was. "What, then YOU want to make me feel better?" That was worse. "So now it's pity instead of Yugi's dirty work."

"It's empathy," Bakura cut in. There was silence as Kaiba stared at him for a few moments. "So... if you want to talk or anything--"

"What, you think you know what I'm feeling?" Kaiba argued defensively. "You think you have any idea what this is like, the only person I care about in the world--"

"'I think'?" Bakura shot back. "And you! Assuming that no one in the world can understand you! Where do you get off? To think that you're the only one with pain, the only one who's been alone, the only one who's had that taken away?!"

Kaiba blinked, shocked at hearing Bakura speak at all, let alone yell. They both had stopped walking by this point, too engrossed in the argument.

"What..." Kaiba started in a small voice. "What happened?"

"It doesn't matter," Bakura muttered. Had they been walking, their footsteps would have drowned it out. He continued, louder. "But stop assuming you're alone. We all share pain more than you think."

No you don't, Kaiba wanted to said with his usual arrogance. None of your parents died when you were eight, left you abandoned at an orphanage until THE most demanding businessman in the world picked you up and forced you to learn to take over his company in six short years, beating you when necessary. None of you sacrificed every human connection in the world save that businessman, a butler, and your brother. None of you lived with just one person left in the world that you even remotely cared about.

But they had been alone. They had been separated from parents, loved ones, friends, and each other. They had siblings, had expereienced death, had taken their share of beatings, been excluded, made fun of, had their souls sealed into plastic figures--the list went on, farther than Kaiba could imagine. And he did imagine, and wonder just how much everyone could empathize with him after all.