D: Yu-Gi-Oh belongs to Kazuki Takahashi.
A/N: Inspired by a certain scene in the brilliant work of Alan Moore's Watchmen.
In the Middle Ages, those who suffered from mental disorders were thought to be possessed by evil spirits. Two feasible methods were used to cure these patients. The first was to exorcise the body with religious ceremonies. The second was to drive the spirits out of the body through torture.
"Tell me what you see."
The man in the white lab coat flipped over the first card from a stack left face-down on his desk. He tried hard to mask his confidence in this pseudo-scientific method but, ironically, the psychiatrist had a terrible poker face.
"Ryou, do you need more time?"
The image was in black and white and depicted four blobs roughly equidistant from each other with peripheral specks off to the side. His first instinct was to say something phallic but that was his teenage mind talking. The fleeting thought was replaced by fear as two-dimensional blobs liquefied and shone against the light of the room. The individual bits melted together in a runny, thick mess that oozed like molasses downwards on the card. As it came to life, it was no longer black but red and Ryou could smell the substance taking physical form. His heart raced. His eyes followed each red stream as they ran out of space and dripped onto the carpet, making no sound at all.
His body seared in pain as he made the first cut into his upper arm. The result didn't satisfy the spirit, so he went at it again, right on top of the initial wound. Blood streamed in the path of the damage and coated the blade of the weapon metallic. From his point of view, the spirit didn't feel a thing, either that or he was hiding it very well, but the man kept going as if he was doing it to someone other than himself. Ryou did not have mental strength to regain control of his body so he endured helplessly as the assault continued. He was aware of the deal the spirit made with Malik but he didn't have the mental capacity to intervene at that time either. He clenched his teeth to suppress a scream, taking deep breaths in and out from his nose until he thought his head would explode. His body went rigid and he tightly wrapped his arms around his body for self sustenance. Finally, he couldn't take it anymore. The scream ripped his way out of his throat and threw itself at the furthest distance it could possibly reach.
"Okay," The man in white nodded and scribbled something down on the page, then he flipped open the next card. This one was in colour and consisted of spiky lines of various lengths. They went in different directions like a starburst. This one looked unusually bright and Ryou found himself squinting to protect his eyes. All the colours blended together until they became white light, like a rainbow merging in a prism. The rays blasted mercilessly at him. His fingers twitched, a primal reflex telling him to shield his eyes. But Ryou gripped tightly to the side of his chair to stop the upswing of his arm. He'd stared into the sun before and he can do it again.
The spirit laughed as he defiantly faced the Winged Dragon of Ra. He knew he'd return so this was not the great terror it was for the others. Ryou was held in place by the spirit's stubborn will. He faced his death with the worst possible scenarios playing in his mind. But whatever conceivable end he'd meet, Ryou knew did not even scratch the surface of the reality the Egyptian God was about to unleash on him. His mind and body desperately sought escape but neither could find a means to do so. The body the spirit and Ryou shared disintegrated on the spot by the atomic force of Ra's attack. Although it was only for an instant, Ryou could feel his body char at about a thousand degrees in an inconceivable agony. His body was peeled layer by layer, each going up in flames until he was nothing but the spirit's grin.
Again, a 'correct' answer and more scribbling on the page. The third card went up. The figures in this one were less uniform than the first two. It was made of rounded and straight lines that seemed to make the rough outline of a face, or a house. Ryou was suddenly gripped with despair. The smell of fresh earth accompanied it as well as the haunting chime of church bells. Despite the colours, the church's stain-glass windows all looked very dark. The despair became increasingly heavy and he shifted in his seat bring himself out of it. Ryou eyed the therapist and faked a smile.
Often, the last resort for those who had nowhere to turn was to seek religion. That was one of the reasons why Ryou found himself at a church. Instead of assurance, however, he was overwhelmed by coldness. His hope for a sanctuary, which he realised was grounded on nothing, could not buffer against the ghost that haunted him. The voice gave a bone-chilling laugh as the unlit candles inexplicitly sprang to life. Ryou mentally beckoned any god in the supposedly sacred place to save him but nothing came to his rescue. He louder the laughter became, the harder Ryou prayed but it became apparent that the disembodied voice would drown out his feeble attempts. Which it did. The complete and utter sense of helplessness overtook Ryou once more and he knew there was nothing he could do to struggle against it. This time, however, he felt more despair than fear. Against obvious odds, he'd always held onto the hope that there could be something out there that would save him. Something, somewhere, no matter how fleeting the chances would be his cure. There was no point in believing in this anymore. Ryou gave up.
"A happy face."
"Alright then." The therapist finished up what he was writing and closed the folder, looking up at Ryou with a smile. "You're recovering at a remarkable rate. I think it won't be long until you'll be all better and go back to your family and friends. What do you think about that?"
"I look forward to it. Thanks to you, doctor."
The therapist chuckled, "I'm just doing my job, Ryou. Now go get some rest."
He slowly got up and left the room. The movements, though, weren't his. It had been years since Ryou inhabited that body and that was the way it was going to be for a very long time. Time for him had stopped a long time ago. Or may not stopped but stuck in a loop. Ryou was very busy duelling, running, hiding, screaming and seeking for the sake of seeking. And he was going to be doing these things for a very long time.
A/N: Yup, I pulled scenes from the actual show but tweeked them a little bit. I know this was weird so I'd really like to know what people think :).