It was exactly three hours, four minutes, and fifty-three seconds before Marik said a word to his Yami. Yami Marik knew this, because he had counted the seconds. In the time he spent pulling himself together again in the back of Marik's mind, he had spent a lot of time just counting the seconds, the hours, the days, the months. He realized that time might not be passing at all, so he was pleasantly surprised when he saw his lighter half looking quite a bit older.

He was happy to see anything, but to have his first sight in four years be his feeble host twitching incoherently on the ground at the mere sight of him made it just that much sweeter.

"I can't wake up." Was all Marik managed to get out.

"I can't wake up." Yami Marik repeated, in a mocking tone, "You're awake, I'm afraid. I couldn't be here, otherwise. I cannot dream, host."

"I've dreamt of you before," Marik said, "You always go away."

He scoffed, "Your poor imitation of me goes away. I know you as well as you know yourself, host, and you do not have the capacity to reconstruct me as I am now. That thing you see in your dreams is a ten-year-old boy's poor coping method. I am not that anymore. I have surpassed you, pathetic thing."

"You're not even human," Marik said, standing up, now attempting to act tough, "You're just my creation."

Yami Marik laughed, and Marik winced. If there was a sound he never wanted to hear again, it was his other half laughing. He felt as if that terrible laugh alone was enough to shred him to bits.

"Your tough act fails miserably after you just spent three hours cowering. And is inhuman such a bad thing?" the Dark Half said, licking his lips, "You could never come back from what I've been through. You'd never come back. You'd be sedated by your pleasant thoughts, given nothing to do but dream for the rest of time."

And with that, he backhanded Marik, who fell back down to the ground. Even though he was inside his mind now and not really hit, it still hurt.

"Always dreaming, how pathetic!" the Yami said, a look of crazed anger on his face, "I sleep as though I'm dead, but I've watched you. You turn and sigh and – sometimes smile. You are lucky we share a body, host, because if I saw that sleeping smile on another I'd cut it out."

Marik crawled back against the wall as his Yami's mood changed from anger to absolute ecstacy. The Dark Half paced back and forth along the dank corridor that was Marik's mind, "I can feel again, host! It's been so long since I've felt this much. See? This is why I don't even kill you. On my own, I almost forgot what it was to have someone else to fuel my hate."

"If you don't want to kill me, what were you doing using me as a sacrifice in that duel?" Marik asked, not able to hide the fear he had at questioning his Yami.

Yami Marik's expression turned dead serious for a moment, "Just because I do not actively desire to doesn't mean I won't. The dirt should not forget it is dirt, even if it hasn't been stepped on."

With that, the Yami delivered a swift kick to his host's chest. Marik winced for a moment and tried to catch his breath again before remembering he couldn't actually have the wind knocked out of him here. Yami Marik laughed at the display, "Remember also that there are things I can do to you worse than death. More fun for me, too."

Marik stood up again, trying in vain to look for a way out. He was used to being in control. He didn't have to deal with this place often. "You'll never get out of here," his Yami interjected, as if he knew exactly what Marik was thinking, "Not until I let you. And I'm never letting you. I'm sorry, I didn't even let you say goodbye."

He stood silent for a moment, "No, I lied, I'm not sorry."

"You can't just take over by yourself," Marik said, "You never could. Even if you're here-"

"That was then." Yami Marik interrupted, "I have been through death and back. I have had my soul torn to shreds. I've seen things that could make you die of fright, just to hear me describe them. And I've enjoyed every moment. So, who is going to help you now? Rishid? Your sister? I am warning you now, you even try to call on them and I will drive you mad faster than you can make contact."

"You can't do anything like that without the Rod." Marik said, trying to find a loophole in this.

"Oh yes, you gave that away, didn't you? I expected that." Yami Marik said, "Another insignificant matter. The Rod is just a fraction of my power now. I should thank you for letting me die, host, or I'd still be dependant on that object. I am a self-made man now, Marik."

Somehow to hear his Yami call him by name was worse than the usual call of 'host' or 'rat' or whatever else hw could come up with. He didn't like to think that this thing had enough of its own identity to call its creator by name.

"Would you like to see the source of my power, Marik?" he said, able to read his Light's feelings like an open book, "It is in your final resting place. Take a look around this place, host, drab as it is it's the last other place you'll ever see."

Yami Marik grabbed his host by the arm and led him to a thick iron door, the entrance into the Dark Half's chamber of the mind. Marik looked back, struggling to get away, but he wasn't strong enough to escape. His struggle only seemed to fuel his Yami's strength, his slender fingers digging into Marik's arm. The door opened and Marik was dragged inside.

Inside of the room was very small. At least, the portion that could be seen was very small. There were no walls, just darkness beyond that small illuminated area. The floor looked like a normal stone floor, but after a few feet even that twisted off into some material Marik had never seen before it melted into the darkness.

"Welcome home. As you can see, there is not enough room to lie down here, so I wouldn't try sleeping. My power source down there likes to gnaw at dangling limbs." Yami Marik said, grinning.

"What's down there?" Marik asked, squinting in a vain attempt to see something.

"Just listen." The other half said.

After a few seconds of quiet, Marik could hear something moving beneath the floor. It sounded like something in between crawling and chewing, he couldn't quite put his finger on it. All he knew was that he did not want to be in the same place as that thing.

He turned to run, only to find his Yami already outside the room. "No!" he shouted, running towards the closing door.

He didn't make it in time and the heavy door slammed shut, never to be opened again.