A/N: Written for the Livejournal 78 tarot writing community for the prompt 18 – The Moon.

Warnings: none. Worksafe.

Disclaimer: Yu-Gi-Oh! is the intellectual property of Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies. No profit is being made from this story and all the creative rights to the characters depicted herein belong to their original creator.


The afterlife was not the nicest place to be, even compared to the ones the Thief King had been in during his life. And a gold artefact was definitely not some place one would expect to end up in. Yet that was exactly where Bakura had spent several millennia, awaiting the moment when the gears of time would start to shift and the proverbial wheel of fortune would stop in a beneficial for him position.

And so it had come after a long, torturous waiting, after millennia spent seething in wrath and thirsting for revenge. He knew not how many years had passed since his imprisonment, but it did not even matter. The long wait had made him different. It had driven him insane and it had changed all the small things about him and turned him into a merciless, bloodthirsty ghost of his former self. He had been stewing in the darkness, dreaming of vengeance, and now he wanted to live it out. He had made plans and discarded them; he had planned the most intricate ways of disposing of all his adversaries, if there would be any, and restructured them a thousand times to make them infallible, foolproof. He couldn't have too much time for planning; not when planning had been the core of his existence for all this time.

What had been trapped inside the ring once, came out now. And what came out was a brand new person with only the barest traces of the original, but with all the recollections and bloodthirst multiplied. How he had known that his time was right he could not explain. There had only been that strange pull that had unsettled him after centuries and centuries of silent stewing in rage. Something had whispered that the times were changing, that his hour was approaching and he had found the power in himself to break the seal that bound him to the piece of gold that was made of blood and bones of his kin to find that nothing stood in his path but a meek little boy, grief-stricken by his recent loss of his loved ones.

Bakura had laughed then. He had found someone who could have been a mirror image of him in a different life, but whose life he was now going to make his own. Taming the young unruly mind wasn't that hard. They both had lost people they loved, they both had been abandoned, left on their own, and Bakura played on those feelings. He took the grief and silent resentment and twisted and warped them until he made a safe blanket for the little boy. And then he became the boy. He welded their souls together, he linked their minds together, but he kept up that one blanket of grief to separate them forever.

He cast a shadow over the boy's life so that he would never be able to move on, to put the pain and loss behind him and build up a new life, to become strong eventually. Bakura would have none of that. This boy, his host, his vessel, his new life would forever stay in the shadows while the Thief King reclaimed his life and his dominion.