This is somewhat personal. Also because I've recently fallen in love with Ryou and love writing back stories for him, alternate endings and what not. But I'm still always drawn to an evil Ryou, even if it's toned down in this. This is canon based. Of course I don't think Ryou is the depressive type, but- And it's not supposed to be Tendershipping, even though, well- It focusses more on betrayal and emotion, not the pairing. But since I, along with the rest of fandom, love the ship, you can see it as the forefront of the fic.


Ryou was sad, and he had been for a long time. A very, very long time. Ryou was sad, and nobody knew it. How would they? Ryou Bakura was supposed to be happy. He was the one who smiled and joked and laughed. On the outside, he had the perfect life. Smart, talented. And he was rotting away inside. Rotting, disintegrating… Superficial. His life was superficial; he was supposed to be happy, and Ryou Bakura bled on the inside.

It wasn't really something that he understood or had control over. Sometimes, he could distance himself from his sadness and look at it with an analytical point of view. There was no reason for him to be sad. He was the only one hurting himself. Logically, his emotions did not match up with his environment. But it didn't stop him from feeling.

It wasn't something sudden. It just- grew. Small bits of sadness grew, mounting to a summit. Year after year. Day after day. Second after second… second… second. When he was young, it was evident. He had been alienated by his peers as a child. Not because of how he dressed or acted, but mentally, he alienated himself. He was his own murderer. They were different from him. He didn't belong.

Something in his programming, his mind, kept him wary. From a very young age, the wool had been pulled away from his eyes, and he saw the world for what it really was. Disgusting, dirty, scary, and cruel. His childhood didn't have magic. There were no princes or princesses. No fairy tale castles or wizards that other kids his age imagined. It was fake, and he had always known it. He didn't understand why they pretended fake games where they saved the world when the most they could really do was follow their parent's rules and not get grounded. It was dull, very dull. Mentally, he was above them. He had no interest in them, or making friends. He played alone in his sand box. Still, it hurt.

School was easy to excel in. It always had been. He was smart, and didn't fuss around like most other kids in his grade. It kept his mind occupied and busy, and he put his heart into it.

'If I get good grades,' he had thought, 'I'll be happy later on in my life. I'll invest in my own happiness.'

It was a beautiful lie while it lasted. Because Ryou learned quickly: nothing mattered, nothing was ever good enough, no matter how many perfect scores he got. Perfection is a misnomer; Ryou's eyes had become dull when he realized there was no such thing.

Perfection… His life should have been perfect. It could have been a phase, his sadness, even though he was very young. He could have overcome it. But then his mother died. But then his sister died. And then it didn't matter, didn't matter at all. Ryou never cried for them. He just gave up. Gave up. Threw in the towel, and let his school pencil drop from his fingers. He had been seven.

For about two years, his life remained dull, and he looked at life through grey tinted glasses. He was still a kid, and he knew he should have been outside playing, but he didn't really want to. He never really had an interest in it. Outside stayed the same, inside stayed the same… He figured that inside was better because then at least it wasn't hot or cold. Games became his friends.

His father was worried about him, he knew that. But he had never really said anything. Looking back on it, Ryou knew that he had had a crap father. Neglect was most that was given to him. He had baby sitters, people to stay with while he was away at work, and almost no parenting directed his way. So with no friends and no family, Ryou buried himself in the world of gaming.

It was like his imagination had come back to him, all those years when he had been younger rushing suddenly back. He was hit and struck over by wonder. Ryou smiled when he discovered role playing. In the world of the game, he could be anybody. Any character, with a life so much different from his own. The characters were not sad, and when Ryou played as them, he wasn't sad either. The aching dulled a bit, and Ryou thought that everything would be fine.

And for a long while, it was. He was a kid again. He started talking to his old friends, he loved school. Ryou was living his life like someone his age should have. Happy, without worries. Naïve, foolish… Nine, ten, eleven, twelve. One, two, three, four. Four years. Four years, they were the best of his life. Life wasn't superficial, it was real. Really real, and he loved it. He opened his arms up to the sky, smiled, and drank in every bit of life that was handed to him.

Then he felt a drop on his nose. Ryou looked up from where he had been smiling to stare at the suddenly dark sky. Another drop of water on his face, and it started to rain. Ryou's eyes dulled and his shoulders slumped as he dragged himself back inside, back to his room, confinement, where he belonged as it rained outside.

He was twelve when the depression returned.

This time, it was different. Maybe because he was older, but the sadness was heavier. Depression before had been himself standing in low tide, so that if he looked down, the water was murky but he could still see his feet through the water. Depression now was violent waves as they dragged him underneath the surface and beat him with the current.

It was a cycle. Sadness, then happiness. It had happened before, and it happened again. A year later, he was thirteen, and the depression left. He was happy. Friends, school, Monster World… Then High School hit. It was the summer before. He was fifteen. And it was the same as before. The depression grew heavier and stronger, like it fed off of him. Again, it was different.

This time, it was more like dripping water as he was chained to a single chair in an empty room. It wasn't violent, but it was persistent. Plop. Plop. Plop. The water dripped and didn't stop. There was no break. It made him go insane. And it was the same with sadness. It didn't necessarily hurt like before, it caused the pain. If anything, he would have described it like an aching. A constant ache that never left him. A constant ache that made him go insane with the pain. He didn't know how to deal with it, either. What was there to counter it with? He had no happiness, and his hobbies no longer meant anything to him other then the figures they were.

Starvation. That was the answer. Starving himself, the pain dulled. The only hurting left was the agony that he created himself. And it felt good. He was so empty, mentally, and being hungry left him feeling relieved, like he was purging himself of every horrible thing he had ever done. He would count the days that would go by that he had not eaten, sometimes for weeks on end. It made him feel weak, but it was also his way of coping. He never showed his suffering on the outside.

Then it was his birthday. He had to be reminded. He had forgotten. His father had actually come home, something that had surprised him. He held him on a pedestal, like almost all children do with their parents, even though he knew he wasn't the best. The present he bought with him was disappointing at first. When he took the wrapped gift from his hands, his eyes lit up a bit, excited to see what he had gotten. But when he unwrapped it, his heart dropped just a bit.

It was a necklace, a ring. Pure gold, his father said, so it must have been expensive, but what was he supposed to do with it? He was a boy, he wasn't going to wear jewelry. But it was interesting, and he thanked him for it. Since he had never understood fantasy as a child, he had been interested in other countries. They were their own magical lands, but they were actually real. He had been fascinated with Egypt, so when his father told him the back story of the Ring, he understood it's value just a bit better.

The Ring had intricate carvings, excellent craftsmanship. For a while, that all it was. A ring. Jewelry. A material possession. Then, it was words in his head. Wonderful, horrible, beautiful words of death and plotting and suffering. The words rode like a current through his head, because they weren't words at all. They were thoughts. But they weren't his thoughts. It scared him just a bit, and it took him a while to link the thoughts to the ring. But he was crazy, had to have been crazy. Manic depressive and a schizophrenic.

But- was he? Because the thoughts told him he was not. The thoughts told him that he was not alone, and that he would never be alone again. He was scared, terrified. But he had been scared before. So, inside, Ryou Bakura became excited. It took his mind off of sadness. Still, the thoughts were not palpable, so even though it was his saving grace, it was easily forgotten.

Life returned to normal. Not happy, but at least not agonizing. School was school. Not as interesting as it had once been, but it occupied him none the less. Straight As, as usual. But during class, he didn't take notes. He tapped the end of his pencil in his desk and listened. Listened to the thoughts. And for the first time, while he should have been listening to a lesson on the French Revolution, he thought of the things the thoughts did on his own. Death, pain, killing, agony. He thought of them on his own, his own fantasies as his thoughts and the other thoughts became intertwined. In the back of his mind, he heard laughter. Real, piercing laughter. His eyes widened and he dropped his pencil, his heart thudding. He was brought suddenly back to reality, and his heart continued to race as he decided that, maybe, it would be best if he concentrated on school.

Days after, the thoughts came back. They were stronger, almost like a voice now, and he could clearly think and hear them referring to themselves in the first person. I, I. And Ryou no longer imagined it as his own schizophrenia. It had it's own voice, own personality, own- …person. It was a person, and they had invaded his body and mind.

'I'm going to kill the Pharaoh,' it said, 'I'm going to get revenge. I've waited so long. Thousands of years. Second after second… second… second.'

"No! Stop it! Leave me alone! I don't want this! I-I don't even know who you are or where you came from! Please, stop! Please, I-!" And Ryou Bakura screamed, cried, and begged. It was too much to take, to handle, to live with. His life was a fraud, and now he didn't even own his own mind. Vaguely, he wondered why he opposed the Voice so much. He didn't have anything left to lose…

'The Ring.' Their reply was quick and amused. 'The Ring, you stupid boy. I'm bound to it, my own cursed chain. I inhabit the owner of the Ring, and you are my new host. You have no choice.'

Ryou's eyes had widened. The- Ring? He had stared down at it where it hung on his chest.

"I-" He didn't know what to do… "I'll- I'll throw it away! I'll melt it!"

Harsh, cold laughter. 'Try, my host! But it will never work! You are bound to me, our souls are intertwined! I will only come back. Over and over. I will never leave you, not unless you die.'

And so Ryou cried in the corner of the dark room as the Voice talked to him about his plans and ambitions, and about Ryou's role in it all. He gave up, he gave in and cried. Something, someone, somewhere was controlling his life, and watching as he suffered. So Ryou went back to how it was before. Hurting, starving, and smiling in the face of his friends, even after he moved to Domino High School. Inside, Ryou bled, but he was no longer alone.


Bakura was trying to impress him. That was what he called him. Bakura. Bakura, his own last name. Truly, a parasite. He was trying to impress him in his own way, with the figures. Ryou had supposed that Bakura didn't want his host to hate him. But, it only made him hate him more. He was stealing his life from him, taking over his body, having him wake up hours later with no knowledge of what had happened, only with figures of his classmates clenched in his hands. It was scaring him, and he didn't have a way out.

He had promised Yuugi and his friends that he would never wear the Ring again after meeting Bakura in Monster World. He had smiled when he had said so, too. But Bakura never lied, and his voice told him to put the Ring back on. Later that night, he turned out the lights, and held the Ring in his hand.

In the dark, it wasn't threatening. It was just a ring, just the gift his father brought him. A lump of metal, a weight in his hands.

'You know I'll never leave you, right? So long as you do everything I say?'

The voice was quiet, and he could almost feel it's breath next to his ear and it's hands on his shoulders. Ryou's hand ached where it had been stabbed, almost to warn him to be cautious.

"Yes." His voice was soft, a whisper. The Ring seemed to have a pulse.

'I need you. I can't live without you, you're what keeps me alive. If you help me, I'll give you whatever you want. If I succeed, you will be blessed. Put on the Ring, Ryou.'

He supposed he had always been a fool, from the very beginning. Whether or not he was naïve or realistic, he would always be a sheep following the herder's command. Ryou bled as the Ring's spikes dug into the same spot on his chest as they had before. But, Ryou no longer suffered on the inside.

He was not alone.

-

Something was different inside his mind. Something had changed, and not the added weight of Bakura who would make comments periodically. No, it was something of his own as his eyes surveyed Duelist Kingdom and Battle City. Something had been- replaced. It was the sadness. It was gone, and he had felt like it would have been gone forever. He knew why.

Bakura.

Bakura.

Ryou was no longer alone. Bakura was there and Ryou was needed. For the first time in his life, he felt as if someone had truly cared. Not like his friends did or his father did, but in the way that, if he was gone, Bakura would suffer too. And he would, and Ryou loved it. It gave him a thrill and it made him happy. He loved to feel needed, important, like he mattered. And Bakura would constantly reassure him that he was. Ryou no longer minded Bakura using his body, or the abuse that happened to it while he was in control. He wanted to please Bakura to keep him near him, to keep him wanted.

It was an easy enough task. Play the part of the kind, quiet Ryou as he followed his friends through the endless rounds of Duel Monsters. Inside, though, he had changed. He had taken Bakura's words to heart, and had started wishing for his revenge as much as he did. And he was rewarded with good behavior.

Bakura at first had been cruel. His nature was to be cruel. But as the days and years went by, he warmed up. The walls fell, and he no longer turned his back on him. They would talk, for long hours, inside their mind. Not just about killing the Pharaoh, but about everything, anything. Ryou had felt that he meshed with Bakura, and gradually, everything he did and said became perfect. Bakura was strong and confident, while Ryou was often not. Bakura could do everything he couldn't. He completed him.

Eventually, he supposed that he had realized he loved him. It was a strange concept. Bakura was never physically there, only his words, and he didn't know what he looked like, but still, he loved him. Bakura filled the void that no one ever could, and nobody would ever understand. They spoke of Bakura in a horrible way. They said he was evil, and Ryou clenched his teeth. Bakura was only evil because they didn't understand anything other then black or white. If he wasn't good, he was bad. Ryou hated them, all of them. Yuugi and Jounouchi and Anzu and Honda. They didn't know, they wouldn't ever know! Bakura was all he had!

Ryou needed him. Ryou loved him. Ryou depended on him, just as Bakura did. It was no longer parasitic. It was symbiotic. Ryou gave, and Bakura took, took, took. Ryou spent hours at night telling him how much he loved him as he sat Bakura upon a pedestal inside his mind. It filled him with a wonderful feeling, his love, a feeling that had made him so optimistic. He had given Bakura everything he had had. His body, his mind, his love. Still, Bakura wanted more. He never said it in a demanding way, but Ryou knew that he was unsatisfied, and it made him disappointed.

"What do you want, Bakura…" It was night. It was always night when Ryou talked to him. It was the only way. During the day, people would call him schizophrenic, thinking he was talking to himself. "Let me make you happy."

Bakura was quiet in his mind, and he imagined him turning to face him. Sometimes, he could faintly see him sitting on the edge of his bed, just like Yuugi said that his 'other me' did. It took him a long while to reply. 'I want to kill the Pharaoh.'

"Oh…" His heart had dropped. It was always the same answer.

There was silence before Bakura looked over at him.

'Do you love me?'

Ryou looked up. "I-" What was he supposed to say to that? Of course he did. If anything, he loved him. If there was anything he knew in the world, it was that he loved Bakura with everything he was. He gave him everything, would give him anything. "I do. I love you. I love you, Bakura. I love you, I love you."

He didn't know how to describe it. He never did. He had begun to cry, and he couldn't remember why. Because- because he was still lost. He could replace depression with love, but Bakura was never truly there. It was not perfect. There was no such thing as perfection.

'Good.'


Ryou remembered well when Bakura finally achieved his goals. He remembered the faces of his friends as they watched him jab that knife up into Yami no Yuugi's throat. He remembered it well because it was not Bakura who won, but him. And he remembered Bakura's surprise, his shock, and then his immediate praise.

It was at the end, right before Yami no Yuugi won. Or… would have won. He felt Bakura's terror at the realization that he was going to lose, and Ryou couldn't stand it. Not Bakura, Bakura couldn't die. Not Bakura, who had… saved him. Not Bakura who was his saving grace that grabbed his hand and pulled him out of the waters of depression to keep him from drowning. He wouldn't let Bakura die. So he took over.

It was the only time that he was able to. Bakura was always very strong when he took over Ryou's body, but he had been weak for a while. It was easy to gain control. And it was easy to kill. Bakura always carried a knife with him. So reaching into his pocket, Ryou cried as he lunged across the table and jabbed the knife with both hands up into the bottom of Yuugi's throat. He cried as he felt bone, and cried as he twisted it, feeling the knife grind against his vertebrae.

Yami no Yuugi had been taken by surprise. It was cards. That's how they battled. But Ryou was sick of calculations. All his life he had calculated. It was time for action, and he would be the one to take it. He had tried pleading with him, asking how he could have done what he did, but Ryou knew it was no good. He would die, even if he stopped then. But he didn't. He didn't stop. He stabbed and stabbed and stabbed. He tore the blade out of his throat and screamed as he plunged it into his chest, hearing the glsh and splggg sounds of flesh and blood splattering against the floor. Yami no Yuugi had died, but Ryou did not stop. He mutilated Yuugi's body. Cut his face. Slashed his arms. Cried and cried as he let the pain and sadness finally seep out of him, letting it take the form of Yuugi's blood as it almost literally gushed out of his warm body onto the floor.

And then he stopped. Just- stopped. There was blood on his face, on his arms, on his shirt as he stood above him and looked down at Yuugi's body still sitting on the chair. He had never tried to defend himself. Ryou's hand loosened. The knife clanged against the floor as he dropped it. Ryou's body followed shortly after as he slumped to his knees. He stared straight ahead of him, not looking at the horrified looks of Yuugi's friends. None of them had ever moved.

He did it.

He won.

He paid Bakura back.

He would finally be happy.

He won.

He won.

He won.

The last thing Ryou had remembered was Darkness as it had seeped out of the Ring on his chest before he passed out.


Bakura was gone.

Ryou was empty.

Ryou was alone for the first time in four years.

He was locked away inside a single room, alone with himself and the Ring. The empty Ring. The first time he had woken up he had been happy. He had won! His life would be perfect! Bakura would be happy! Bakura loved him! But when he picked up the Ring with a smile on his face and tried talking to him, he heard nothing. Nothing. Nothing in his mind. Nothing. No feeling of Bakura in his mind. Ryou's eyes immediately dulled.

What came next was torture. Literal torture. Five trillions time worse then anything he had ever felt before. Worse then all his previous depression combined. An aching, stabbing feeling. His stabs into Yuugi's body came back to himself, slashing against his chest. And it never left. His mind was always full with agony. Because Bakura was gone. That crevice that he had filled suddenly filled with agony with every second that passed of his absence.

And he cried through all of it. He laid next to the corner of the wall and sobbed. He grabbed his hair, squeeze his eyes, moved his head between his knees and screamed. He screamed and screamed and screamed. Bakura couldn't be gone! He couldn't really be gone! He would die if he was gone!

Die.

He would die.

Ryou withered away. Day after day. There was nothing to do, nothing he could do. There were no windows or doors in the room that he had been confined in. He didn't know where he was. All he knew was that he needed Bakura. He needed him. He needed him to hold him and love him. He loved him. Ryou loved him so much. He had done everything for him. He gave everything to the man who had given him his life back.

He would stare at the ring for hours. The Ring was supposed to bind them together! The Ring was supposed to keep them together, to keep Bakura needing him. But now all it was, was just a ring. Jewelry. Just a hunk of carved metal inside his hands. And no matter how hard Ryou squeezed it to his chest, the spikes would never move into his chest and Bakura would never come back.

Ryou was bleeding inside. Sometimes, he could almost feel it pouring out of his mouth, like he was regurgitating his suffering. And he wanted to. He wanted to bleed. He wanted to hurt. Anything to get rid of the internal ache, the internal pain. Ryou was going insane. There was no time, no light, no hunger. Just simple existence inside a simple room.

Ryou wanted to die. It was then that he realized it. He had always wanted it, from the very beginning. Bakura had just muted it. And now, with him gone, the want had only increased. Ryou missed him. Ryou needed him. Ryou loved him. Ryou was nothing without him.

"Ryou."

Ryou's sobs stopped when he heard Bakura's voice. Bakura's real voice. Ryou turned to face him. His eyes remained dull as he looked at Bakura's body. Bakura's real body. But, for some reason, it didn't matter. Ryou clenched the Ring in his hand.

"…Bakura."

Slowly, he stood. Slowly, he walked towards him, step after tentative step. His limbs felt heavy. He reached Bakura quickly, and he moved stoically as he reached out to him. His fingers touched his skin. His arms wrapped around him. Ryou hugged him, but his eyes were dull. It was what he had always wanted, to just touch him, hold him, and yet- and yet Bakura didn't hug him back.

"Ryou, I won. The world is mine. I have the senen items. Zorc has returned."

Ryou closed his eyes and pressed himself into Bakura's chest. He was tan, muscular, and taller then he had imagined.

"…Are you happy, Bakura?"

He could imagine Bakura's cold eyes softening just a bit. "…Yes, Ryou. I'm very happy. I have everything I could have ever wanted." Ryou almost melted as he felt Bakura's hand on his head.

"I'm so glad… Was I useful?"

Bakura was suddenly silent. Ryou's heart seemed to pause before it beat quickly faster. He squeezed him harder, a cold sickness creeping into his chest.

"I love you."

Bakura, again, was silent. The ache returned. Still aching, even though he finally held Bakura inside his arms.

"Ryou, you were the host."

"I was, Bakura!" His voice held a touch of hysteria to it as his eyes grew wide. Something was wrong. Something was very, very wrong.

"You were the host, and I made the decisions."

"I-"

"You did not think, you betrayed me. You took over the body without my permissions."

"Bakura, you were going to die!" Ryou stepped back, looking him in the eyes as his face began to show terror. Bakura looked down with his own purple eyes. He was unwavering.

"I wouldn't have. It was the wrong time, Ryou."

"Bakura, I gave you everything! Everything! Every. Single. Part of me! My body! My heart! My soul! Take it! I give it willingly!" His eyes were wide as he gave into hysteria, taking Bakura's hand and clenching it to his chest so that his palm was above his heart.

"You disobeyed. You thought on your own. I have no use for you. I don't need you anymore."

He knew it was coming. He knew it would have come, but still, it hurt. It hurt very, very badly. The knife that had been stabbing him in the heart became a cleaver as it hurt more then ever.

"YOU CAN'T! YOU CAN'T! I NEED YOU, I LOVE YOU! I'M NOTHING WITHOUT YOU! I GAVE YOU EVERYTHING, WHAT DO I HAVE LEFT!?" Bakura's hand never moved off of his chest as Ryou screamed and cried, his mind breaking, breaking. Bakura was cold. So, so cold.

"Nothing, Ryou. Calm down, Ryou, I have to help you move on."

But Ryou didn't. He screamed and cried and accused and cursed and- did everything. Everything he could. Everything within his power to make Bakura how much he needed him, how much Bakura needed him.

"Come here." Bakura's voice was sudden, almost as if he had become tired of Ryou expressing his agony.

Ryou stopped screaming suddenly, and looked up at him, his tears drying. He did exactly as he asked. It was subconscious. Ryou had gone so long with obeying that he didn't know anything else. Ryou loved him too, after all. He would do whatever Bakura wanted.

"There…" Bakura reached out for him and pulled Ryou to him. Then, there was a bed where there had not been before. Ryou realized that this was their soul room. They were still connected… Bakura set him down next to him, and took his hands into his own. The Ring rested in his lap.

"The world is perfect, Ryou." Bakura's voice was soft, soothing, comforting, just like his hands as he touched him. "I killed them, all of them. Every single one of them. A mass genocide. Zorc has returned, and I thank you for it."

His words were perfect, so perfect. All Ryou had ever wanted was to be praised. He was melting in love.

"You're talented, Ryou. You're dedicated and smart and hard working."

Ryou felt like he could die as Bakura gently took the Ring into his hands and looped it around his neck, gently moving the hair away from the back of his neck. Soft and kind and… Bakura.

"I love you." Ryou smiled, closing his eyes as he soaked in everything that was happening.

"I know." There was something in Bakura's voice, but Ryou didn't pay any attention to it. Now was too… perfect. Bakura continued. "You deserve so much. The world doesn't deserve you. I don't deserve you."

"No, Bakura, you do! I'll give you everyth-" Ryou's eyes grew wide, looking up at him.

Bakura shushed him. "No, let me talk, Ryou. You're so good. You're so very good." Ryou calmed, paying attention to his words as Bakura's body pressed closer against his, moving the rope of the Ring around his neck, twisting it very slowly and gently, looking kindly at him. "That's why I have to do this. There will be no place for you in the new world, my new world."

"Bakura…" Ryou's voice shook just a bit. He didn't- he didn't understand. Bakura was telling him that he loved him, but-?

"Shh, calm down Ryou. I'm going to help you. You need this, you want this. It's the only way."

"Bakura-?"

But Ryou didn't have time to cut his word off properly as the rope suddenly became tight around his neck. Not just tight. Suffocating. Ryou's eyes were wide as Bakura kissed him and jerked the Ring against his neck, pulling hard. Ryou's breaths came in raspy, and often not at all as his hands shot up to the rope. He mouthed Bakura's name over and over, terrified and confused. Why- why was Bakura strangling him! He loved him! He couldn't die!

He couldn't die!

Using the strength within him that he had only used to kill Yuugi with, Ryou shoved Bakura away from him, gasping for breath as he sprawled on the floor. His eyes were wide, terrified, and his throat burned. Just like his mind. Bakura, Bakura! Bakura Bakura Bakura! Ryou sobbed, and his stomach dropped when he saw Bakura sit up on the bed and take the Ring into his hands, a sad expression on his face. And when he started walking towards him, Ryou instantly started to run.

In their soul room, it was no longer room, but an endless hall. And Ryou ran and ran and ran as his heart thudded inside his chest and his mind bled. On his own, he suffocated from betrayal and terror. But Bakura was in charge, had always been, and the hallway ended suddenly. Ryou skidded to a halt, and was tackled to the ground. He screamed as loud as he could.

"Ryou! Stop! This is the only way!"

"No, no help me! I don't want to die! I love you! You told me you loved me! You told me you needed me!" Ryou sobbed and screamed as he felt Bakura loop the rope around his neck. And he couldn't run away, this time. Bakura had gotten him onto his stomach, sitting on his back, he could pull as hard as it would take.

"I never- said- that! I don't need- you anymore! I have my own body! You want to die! I've always known, I know you thoughts! This- is kindness, Ryou! You can't survive any longer!" His voice was choppy as he fought to keep Ryou under him, and to keep his hold on the Ring. Eventually, though, Ryou felt it. Bakura's unshakable control as he slowly felt the beginning of suffocation.

"I-I-" Ryou gurgled, gasping, hardly able to speak. "D-n't wt to di-ie! D-n't wan-t to- DIE! ILOVEY- OU!" He couldn't breath, couldn't see straight. His eyes started to roll up. Gasping for breath. Scrambling for a handhold on life. He couldn't die. He couldn't die, not at the hands of Bakura. But-

But there was no choice. He would do anything for Bakura. For three years, he had lived. Truly lived. And Ryou knew that there would never be years like those again in his life. So if he did survive, what would he have left? Ryou's mind began to turn hazy. Ryou's body began to feel numb. Ryou began to feel very, very tired. Ryou cried.

"I'm sorry, Ryou. I'm sorry that it has come to this." Bakura's mouth was next to his cheek as he pulled harder, feeling Ryou start to slip. "Sh, shh… Just let go. Move on, Ryou. Move on to a better life."

"I-" Ryou was empty. Empty of pain. Empty of love. Empty of breath. It was black, so black. "I love you."

"I know." And Bakura kissed him before jerking one last time.

One last gasp, and Ryou slumped to the ground.

Bakura breathed shakily, numb to what had just happened. The Ring felt heavy in his hands as he slowly unlooped it from Ryou's neck. He looked down at Ryou's body. It didn't move. He did not breath. He was still, lifeless, dead. Ryou was beautiful, and he was in death, too. Slowly, Bakura stood.

It was the only way that it could have been. It was- it was what they both needed. Bakura could not create a world when he was in love with Ryou. Ryou was his narcotic, and Bakura could only build on pain. Turning away from his body, Bakura walked away, the sound of his footsteps echoing around him as he pulled the Ring over his neck.

Alone.


I'm too tired to think up a reason of why you should review other then maybe if I get enough reviews, it'll bring Ryou back to life. Or something. So review if you want more fic of him being just awesome.