Chapter One
Leave Me Alone

A dark laugh rang through the alley. "Nothing like a Shadow Game to start the day." Bakura looked down at the boy rocking back and forth, staring blankly ahead of him. "Perhaps now you have learned your lesson, you fool!" He receded into the Ring, allowing a very dazed Ryou to emerge.

"What happened?" the boy asked. "Last I remember, I was…" He gasped at the sight of the boy in the corner. "Oh my! What happened here? Are you all right?" Ryou shook him, but he didn't answer. "What was happening when I blacked out? All I…" He looked down at the Ring around his neck. "Oh no. Not again. I have to get out of here. But he needs help…oh, why does this always happen to me?"

He was insulting us. Why should you care if he gets any help? He deserved it.

"No, he didn't!" Ryou cried. "No one deserves that. Not even you, or that Marik."

Marik's dark side deserved it. I would have done it myself had Marik known all the secrets of the Winged Dragon of Ra. Where exactly are you going today?

"What does that have to do with this?!"

Nothing. I figured it would be safest to get off the subject.

"It would have been safest not ever to have met you!" Ryou pulled the Ring off and threw it into the dumpster. "Just leave me alone!" He turned away and began to walk off, but stopped when he saw the glow on his chest as the Ring reappeared around his neck.

Ryou could hear Bakura's laughter in his head. I'm afraid it's not that simple.

"You think I don't already know that?" He held the Ring in his hands and thought back to all the attempts he—and others—had made at ridding him of the evil spirit locked away inside it. Tristan Taylor chucking it into the woods at Duelist Kingdom; the time Ryou tried to sell it at a flea market, then on eBay; countless trash cans and dumpsters, like the one right behind him. And it had always come back, every time, no matter how far away he managed to get it. He sighed and allowed it to drop to its place on his chest.

Where are you going today?

"Out," mumbled Ryou.

Obviously. Out where?

"Leave me alone."

Oh, come on. I'm making an effort to be nice to you, and you're being a jerk.

"Me? The jerk? It's a little late to be making an effort to be nice to me."

I've made efforts before.

"Like what? You trapped me in the Change of Heart, forced Tristan to knock me out—"

That was entirely his choice.

"You were kidnapping Mokuba Kaiba!"

What's your point?

"You've assaulted me, tempted Yugi to attack me with his Slifer the Sky Dragon—"

I didn't let him, did I?

"Because you need my body to survive!"

Once again, your point?

"And got me banished to the Shadow Realm while you lived comfortably in the Millennium Puzzle!"

That wouldn't have happened if Marik had known the secrets of Ra.

"It wouldn't have happened if you weren't here in the first place!"

But I am here, and there's nothing you can do about it.

"I could kill myself."

Would you really?

Ryou's breath caught. "If I had to." He started walking again. "I can't be talking to you in the city. People will think I've gone mad."

Don't they already?

"No!" There was a short pause. "Not all of them."

But most.

"Just a few. There aren't that many who have met you."

More than you know.

"What do you do, go out while I'm asleep?"


"You can't be serious!"

And what if I am? Would that be enough to make you have to kill yourself?

"Maybe." Ryou came to a halt just before the end of the alley. "You have to stop talking to me now."

I don't feel like it. I'll talk as much as I please, and whether or not you answer me is your choice. Where are you going?

Ryou groaned and stepped out onto the sidewalk.

So you are going to try and ignore me. Let's see how long you can keep up that losing battle. Are you going to see your friends? Maybe I can put my warm-up this morning to good use. I'm still after that Puzzle, you know.

The boy growled but said nothing.

Yes, that Tristan should make a nice addition to my collection of victims. He needs to be taught a lesson about respecting the ancient powers of the Millennium items. So I take it you are going to see them? How long do you think you'll be able to hold me back? A minute, tops? That sounds about right. And after I get Tristan, I'll get Tea. She's an irritatingly loyal little girl, and her friendship speeches are starting to get on my nerves. Then Joey. I have the perfect Shadow Realm torture for him: I'll make him invisible to his sister, so he'll always be beside her, but she'll always believe he abandoned her. Yes, that will work nicely. Yugi…ah, I'm sure that Marik's dark side won't mind if I copy the punishment he used on Mai. That would suit Yugi perfectly. And finally the Pharaoh. I think I'll give him the same treatment as Joey, only I'll use Yugi instead of Serenity. I'll give you a choice when I'm finished: you can join your friends in the Shadow Realm, or you can use one of their bodies. They won't be needing them after all. What do you think of it, Ryou? Do you like it? What's your favorite? I like Pharaoh's torture myself, but of course, I also happen to particularly hate him so—

"I'm not going to see my friends today!!!" Catching sight of several people staring curiously, he smiled and said, "Sorry! New cell phone. Don't even need an ear piece for it!" He glared down at the Ring as they turned away.

I knew you'd break.

"What do I have to do to make you leave me alone?"

Find me my own body. But I may not take it. I like yours.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

I like looking this way. And I like being your alter ego. It makes sending people to the Shadow Realm all the more satisfying.

"You're sick."

Your point?

"Stop saying that!"

Where are you going?

"If I tell you, will you please be quiet?"

I might.

He sighed. It was worth a try, however unlikely it was that it would silence him. "I'm going to the mall to get my little cousin a present. Her birthday's in a few weeks, and I have to get it shipped to America." Realizing he was attracting more stares, Ryou hurried on. Once he was past them, he pulled out his cell phone and pretended to be talking on it.

I didn't realize you had an American cousin.

"You really don't know much about me at all."

I'll start now. What's your favorite color?

"You said you'd be quiet!"

I said I might. What's your favorite color?

Ryou was beginning to resent Bakura's sudden sociability. "Leave me alone." He put his phone back into his pocket.

What's your favorite color? You know I'm not going to stop until you tell me. How long will it take for you to give in this time? Last time you lasted for all of about five minutes. I give you two and a half. How long do you give yourself? Do you know my favorite color? I suppose you would say you didn't care if you intended on answering me, but you obviously don't intend on answering me, do you? No? Ah, well, I can keep talking all day. I like to talk. I'll tell you my favorite color: red. Long ago, I had red eyes. People feared me. I was the ultimate thief. Then—

Ryou pulled out his phone again. "Blue. My favorite color is blue."

I was right. Two and a half minutes. How old is your cousin going to be?

"She's going to be eleven."

Which side of your family is she from?

"My father's. She's his younger brother's."

What does your uncle do for a living?

"He's an archaeologist. My cousin is living with our grandparents in some state in the Midwest."

What's her name?


"Bakura! Hey, how are you?"

Do you mind if I send Tea to the Shadow Realm? Like I said, she gets on my nerves.

"Yes I mind! I'm sorry, but I really have to go now. Please don't call back. I'll call you! Good-bye, now!"

Don't count on me waiting.

Ryou put his phone away and turned to face Tea. "Hello, Tea. I'm fine, thank you. How have you been?"

"Great! Hey…Yugi, Joey, Tristan, and I are meeting at the arcade this afternoon. You wanna come?"

Ryou's expression shifted from pure annoyance to one of nervousness. "Um, sorry, but…I'm shopping for a birthday present for my cousin."

"That's awesome! Can I help?"

"Well…no, actually. He's very into army men and G.I. Joe and pirates."

Tea's face fell. "Oh. All right. See you later!" She waved and walked off.

I thought you said your cousin was a girl.

He pulled his phone back out. "That's because she is. I just don't want to risk bringing Tea on a shopping trip with you present."

Do you not trust me? Bakura asked with a hint of mock hurt to his voice.

"No, I do not trust you." Ryou entered the mall. "I wish I knew what to get her."

What's her name?

"Leave me alone."

Don't put that phone away! I'll just talk until you can't take it anymore. I give you a minute and fifteen seconds this time. I'll start where I left off. I was the ultimate thief. Then the Pharaoh stepped in and destroyed me. My spirit was locked inside the Millennium Ring. So really, it's your friend Yugi's fault that I'm here. After all, he is the reincarnation of the ancient Pharaoh. You know, I think I enjoy this. Keep ignoring me. I like talking, and it's time you learned about your dark side. I like watching you squirm. Five thousand years ago—

"What do you want to know?"

What's her name?

This is definitely not my best work, but it came out of my head so fast that I knew I had to continue and put it up no matter how much it sucks. I'm going to be putting up the first six chapters immediately because I don't know the next time I'll get to get on the internet with this computer. I hope you enjoy this!

P.S., this is my first shonen ai, so please be considerate. Be considerate anyway, of course. As my yami says, "Flamers can go to hell and burn in the flames they've sent." Thank you for choosing to read this!