Disclaimer: I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! or Hocus Pocus (the song at the beginning of each chapter is from that movie) I do own Rina. Thank you for your understanding.
Crimes of the Soul
Part 1: Return
Chapter 1: Ryou
Come little children I'll take thee away
Into a land of enchantment.
Come, little children the time's come to play
Here in my Garden of Shadows…
Ryou stared out the window, watching the rain streak against the glass. He sighed and looked over his shoulder. Kia was still asleep. She looked so peaceful, her chest rising and falling rhythmically, a small smile on her face. He didn't want to disturb his wife's sleep again.
He turned back to the window and continued to think about the dream. It was inconceivable that he should still be thinking about him after all these years. Shaking his head, he closed his eyes, listening to the soft tapping of the water drops. He shook his head because he knew that it was silly. The thoughts running through his head were nothing more than fabrications of his paranoid imagination. And yet, he thought the thoughts all the same.
When he felt the soft pressure of a hand on his bare shoulder, he turned his head and gazed into Kia's soft blue eyes. He gave her a small smile.
"The dream again?" she asked. Kia knew him so well. He nodded, and watched her eyebrows draw together with concern. "Should I be worried?"
"No. I'm fine."
"Well, you haven't convinced me."
"I didn't think so." He chuckled. Turning completely to face her, he gently grasped the hand from his shoulder and held it. It was good to have her here, even if she couldn't understand. She moved closer to him, pressing up against him and placing her other hand on his other shoulder. A contented sigh escaped her lips as she rested her head on his chest. His chin moved automatically to the top of her head, and he stroked her long black hair as he held her close. But she could tell his mind was wandering. Sixteen years of marriage had told her enough about him to know that sometimes, he just needed to not think about it, whatever 'it' might be. Kia lifted her head to his and kissed him, long and soft. He returned the kiss less gently. Twining her fingers in his long snowy hair, she leaned into him. He guided her by the hips to the bed.
"Father, Mother, I'm home!" The girl cried as she came through the door, depositing her backpack in the front hallway of their large apartment.
"Rina," Kia greeted from the kitchen as Rina joined her father in the living room. Kia walked in, wearing an apron. She sat in the chair, taking a break from working on dinner to talk to her daughter. "How was school today?"
"Good." Came the simple reply.
Ryou laughed as his daughter sat beside him on the couch. "Yes, but what happened? Anything exciting?"
"Well," she began, running her fingers through her white hair. Kia reflected often on how much her daughter looked like her father. With the exception of her mother's blue eyes. But this thought was buried by her amusement, for she knew how good her daughter was at telling stories. "Today at lunch some mean guys were picking on Haru."
"Oh no, is he alright?" Kia knew Haru; he had come over to study with Rina a few times before. He was smart, strong, but was kind and preferred getting beat up to hurting his aggressors.
"Mom." She said with mock annoyance.
"Sorry." Kia laughed.
"Anyway, it was those three guys in that gang that have been stirring up trouble at school. The teachers don't really care, so at lunch today they decided that since their lives were worthless as it is, they might as well show everyone else how worthless they were by picking on Haru."
Ryou smiled. His daughter had a very interesting way of expressing things, but it was who she was, and it didn't hurt that it was so entertaining.
"So the first guy, obviously not the leader, comes over to Haru and I and says, 'Hey dork, what you doing with our girl?'" she paused. "Oh! I forgot to mention that they were stupid enough to think they had lain some sort of claim on me even though I had never actually met them before. I still don't even know their names. But anyway, Haru looks around and says, "Well, I don't see any cattle around here, so you must have the wrong person.' The blatant mockery of his stupidity by Haru made him mad, but he wasn't smart enough to fight a battle of wits with him, I'm not sure anyone is, so he turned to his friends. They looked just as dumbstruck as him. However, they did have one element on their side; strength. One of the other guys, who was the leader, immediately told the other two to 'Get him, boys!' Haru stood up and I prepared for him to just stand there and let them kick his butt again. But to my surprise, when the first one took a swing at him, Haru blocked it as easily as if he was solving a geometry problem. In fact, he blocked every move they made to try and hurt him from then on. It turns out that he had been taking self defense classes! Who would have thought Haru could do that?" She crossed her legs and folded her arms as if to say, there, you see?
"Wow," commented Ryou, "He's really growing up."
"Yep. It didn't take long for them to get tired of throwing punches that didn't work at him and they left with some stupid, 'We'll get you next time!' comment." Then she tilted her head and sniffed. "Mmm. Whatever you've got cooking for dinner mom, it smells really good!"
"Thank you, Rina. It's almost ready, will you set the table?"
Kia smiled as her daughter rushed off, happy to do her chores. She had no idea how that girl could be so happy all the time about everything, but she didn't complain.
Rina sighed and leaned back in her chair. She had finally finished her homework. It was past finals, and getting close to the end of the year, so why did the teachers make the workload bigger? Oh well. She pushed away from her desk and packed up her backpack as she checked the time; eleven o'clock. That was late. But thankfully it was Thursday, and no matter how early she had to get up tomorrow morning to make it to the bus- she lived on the far side of town from where her school was- she would be able to catch up on her sleep the coming weekend. She had changed out of her school uniform as soon as possible, and was now wearing her favorite jeans and long sleeved shirt. She cold think better when she was in her normal clothes. Those short skirts they made them wear were just uncomfortable. Not to mention the thigh-high stockings.
As she shoved her homework into her backpack, she felt something that wasn't there before. Huh? What's this? She pulled out a long, skinny silver colored cardboard box. Why would she have this in there? She didn't remember getting it. After a moment, she recognized it as a jewelry box.
Lifting the lid, she gasped at what she found inside. It was only a simple necklace; a gold chain with a matching golden pendent on it. The pendent was shaped like a skinny cone and was only about the length of her middle finger. Someone must have slipped it in there. A secret admirer? Ha! That was a laugh. The only boy who had every paid attention to her in her entire life was Haru, and they were just friends. Besides, this wasn't Haru's style. It was probably meant for Kiki, the prettiest girl in school who sat next to her in math class. She sighed, deciding that she would take it back in the morning and try to find out who had lost it.
Just as she was about to put the lid back on the box, she noticed something. The pendent was glowing.
Ryou woke with a start. What had woken him? He looked around. As he was about to go back to sleep, he heard a crash. Kia awoke, having heard it as well. He told her to stay put and made his way out to the living room, and shivered as he crept through the halls. It was dark and cloudy outside and cold in the apartment. It didn't help that he slept without a shirt on. A burglar must have broken in. he just hoped Rina was alright.
He stayed against the wall, peeking out just enough so that he could see into the dark room. It was too dark to see in detail, but he could see the outline of a figure moving through the dark. He saw the outline of the toppled lamp, obviously unseen by the perpetrator in the dark and had therefore been run into and broken. Lightning flashed, and he saw who was making their way towards the door.
"Rina?" He said stepping into the room. What was she doing up this late? He flipped in the lights. She had her back towards him, and when she heard his voice she turned around.
The color drained from Ryou's face and his stomach dropped as he recognized the cold smirk that crossed his daughter's face. "Not quite." Came the sneering reply.
In his moment of shock, the girl crossed to the door and gave a cruel laugh as she disappeared, closing the door behind her.
Kia came out behind him. "Ryou, are you alright?"
He turned. She had never seen him so afraid in her entire life. His fear quickly turned to determination as he placed his hands on her shoulders. "Kia," he began, and she knew where this was going. "Stay here, for your own protection. I'll get her back."
Tears fell from her eyes as she realized that her daughter was gone. She sniffed and nodded. He turned and ran out the door. Kia hoped that she would see them again.
Ryou ran. He ran as fast as he could, not even bothering to take the elevator down to the lobby. He ran out into the night, and as he left the apartment, he saw her form disappear down a side street. He followed as fast as he could, but she was always just ahead enough so that he saw her turn down another street as he turned onto the one he had just seen her go into. Eventually, he turned a corner to see her stopped at the dead end of an alleyway. But she didn't look cornered. She was facing him, that sickening smirk plated on her lips. "Well, I must say, Ryou, that you did surprisingly well for a man of forty. I know many a man who couldn't keep up with a fifteen year old at your age and younger."
"Let her go!"
"What, no 'hello'? It's been a while since we've talked, dear hikari of mine."
"Release her now, Bakura!"
The man possessing his daughter only laughed. "Now why would I do that? I need another hikari."
"In that case, take me! How did you get back? Your soul was destroyed!"
"One thing at a time, please. Now to answer question one, no. I don't need you as my hikari anymore; Rina is much more effective for my plans. As for question two, I got back with this;" She reached down her shirt and pulled out the gold pendent. "a piece of the Millennium Ring!" he laughed at Ryou's shock and horror. "Before you ask, yes the Millennium Items were lost into the darkness. Lost, but not destroyed."
"What?" He jumped as lightning split the sky.
His laugh burst from Ryou's daughter's lips. "I can see that you're still as weak as ever. You'll never be able to stop me."
"Let her go."
They stood facing each other for a moment. Inner pain was written all over Ryou's face, and Bakura took enjoyment in that. Ryou opened his mouth, but said nothing for a long time, pleading with the look in his eyes. He couldn't take Rina; he had already taken everything else in his life, but not her. Please, not her, not her!
"You know, Ryou," began Bakura, a sinister look crawling onto his daughter's once innocent face, "You have been a good little host, so I'm going to do you a favor." He stressed the last word, favor. It dripped through Ryou's ear like poison. "I'm going to let you see your daughter."
In a flash, Ryou was no longer looking through his eyes. He blinked and looked around him. He was in a white expanse, no floor, no walls, no ceiling, just a white nothingness for forever. But he was standing on something. Ryou saw that he was wearing nothing but white pants. No shoes, no shirt. The beating of his heart increased as he recognized this place. He had trod here before, over twenty five long years ago, when this all had begun. He never thought he would return here.
In front of him stood Bakura; not Bakura in his daughter's body, but Bakura. He was dressed similarly to Ryou, and Ryou flinched slightly at the sadistically happy look in this former yami's eyes. But this was no time to be weak. "Where is she Bakura?" He demanded, trying to keep the shake out of his voice. Bakura however was not impressed. He threw back his head and laughed, and the scene before Ryou changed in an instant.
He saw his daughter standing a few yards in front of him. She was dressed in the same white pants as the two men, but with one difference; she was wearing what appeared to be a white strapless swimsuit top. It brought some relief to him as he saw her standing there. She smiled her familiar smile when she saw him, and he smiled back in relief. But before he could ask her if she was alright, before he could even find the words, Bakura appeared behind her, the sinister grin still plastered on his face. Ryou watched in horror as Bakura wrapped an arm around Rina's waist. Rina's smile fell, and her eyes glazed over, as if she was suddenly hypnotized. Bakura took advantage of this and used his free hand to lift her limp arm by the elbow, pressing his lips to the inside of her slightly flexed arm. Ryou felt nauseous at the sight, but shoved the feeling down as he was determined not to let him hurt her. He reached out a hand and called her name, trying to wake her out of her stupor. He took a running step forwards only to fall to the floor. He pushed himself onto his knees, looking back to find that his right ankle was encircled by an iron shackle with a chain that faded into oblivion, somehow inhibiting his movement. He knelt with his hands spread in front of him. Dreading his helplessness, he turned his head back to the menacing scene that lay before him. Bakura's lips were now making their way up the side of his daughter's neck. He stopped when he pressed them into the hair falling over her ears, pausing only to throw a sickening smile at his former hikari. Ryou blinked, and the scene changed again. His daughter was now pressed front side against a wide pole, her arms tied hugging the wood. Her face was turned so that she looked at her father. But her eyes were closed, anticipating the pain to come. Bakura stood a few feet behind her, sneering. He produced a long, intimidating white whip. Ryou cried out as Bakura pulled his arm back, than forwards, the end of the leather torturing device sliding through the exposed skin on her back and cutting part way through the swimsuit-like top. Rina bit her lip, obviously in pain but too brave to cry out. Again the whip was pulled back, then forward. A tear escaped from her eye as the whip was brought down on her time after time, leaving her once white skin streaked with red blood, which seeped into the fabric of her top and pants, the red spreading down the back of her legs. Tears fell from Ryou's own eyes as he watched the torture that she was being put through, while he knelt helpless. Again the scene changed, and the torment his daughter had to endure changed. She was chained against a wall several inches from the ground, shackles around her wrists and ankles. Bakura leaned against the wall next to her, then for no specific reason pushed himself off of the wall and went over to Rina. The smile stayed on his face as he began running his hands over her. Again she tried not to scream.
A thousand different visions flashed before Ryou, all of his daughter undergoing different torment at Bakura's hand. He saw his daughter being beaten, raped, abused, and assaulted in ways he didn't even know existed, and when it finally became too much for his soul to take any longer, he closed his eyes and bowed his head. But then the screaming started. Bakura had obviously antagonized her to the point where she couldn't take it anymore either. Rina's voice called to her father, screamed, called again. But above all of this was one constant noise; Bakura's maniacal laugh. The same laugh that Ryou had heard in his nightmares for years, during and after Bakura's possession. He remembered this room, from the first time Bakura had shown his face to Ryou, the first time Ryou realized that all of the strange black outs he'd been having, the disappearances or hospitalizations of people he'd met had been Bakura's doing. He remembered seeing himself in tortuous visions, but those visions had been of things Bakura had done to others, true tortures that he had inflicted upon the innocent. Ryou's mind reeled back and forth between horrors of the past, and horrors of the present. Stop, stop, stop, stop!
Rina awoke. She was lying on a bed, that much she knew. But where was she? She rubbed her eyes and sat up. Her confusion grew when she realized what she was dressed in; a… swimsuit top? That's not normal…
The confused fifteen year-old looked around. She appeared to be in some kind of bedroom, but something was off. Rina knew she had never been here before, and yet it seemed so familiar, as though she came here every day. The right wall was closer then the left. There were some bookshelves on the wall to her left, and a mirror on the wall to her right. Her heart skipped a beat when she realized she was not alone. At the foot of the bed sat another. She blinked. "Father?"
He turned, and Rina pressed herself backwards against the headboard as she realized that this man only bore a passing resemblance to her father. "Ah, Rina darling. You're awake."
"How… do you know my name?" her eyes narrowed. She was probably kidnapped by some psychopath who had already done who knows what.
"Oh, come now, no 'hello'?" he smirked, and his gaze made her shiver. "You really are your father's daughter, aren't you?"
"Who are you?" her voice was stronger this time, more resolved, but still uncertain.
His smile widened. "I'm Bakura."
This just annoyed her. He was trying to pass as her father. "No you're not. I'm not stupid enough to think that you're my father."
He laughed. "Wrong Bakura."
He leaned over to her, pointing to himself. "I'm Yami Bakura." He talked slowly, as if speaking to a five year old, but the smirk on his face said that he did the purely to annoy her. His finger went from pointing to him, to pointing to her. "Your father is Ryou Bakura, and you," he flicked the end of her nose, "are Rina Bakura, his offspring."
She frowned at him, making him laugh. "Well, then, what do you want? And why do you look like my father? And where am I? And-"
"So many questions." He rolled his eyes. "I couldn't possibly answer them all at the same time." His brown irises rested once again on her blue ones.
She let out a puff of air in annoyance. "Fine. Mr. Yami, I-"
"Far too formal." He cut her off with a sneer, then a laugh. "You wouldn't be nearly so nice to me if…" but he stopped.
"What?" she narrowed her eyes. She didn't like this guy. He didn't answer her, but merely put a finger over his own lips and shook his head. Rina bit down on her tongue to get the annoyance out. "Okay. What would you prefer I call you?"
He thought a moment, then the smile crept back onto his face. "Just call me Bakura." Rina wasn't sure about the look that was written over his features now. It seemed like he was enjoying an inside joke, and she was on the outside.
"Alright. Bakura, who are you?"
"Didn't I just answer that question?"
Rina's mouth twitched. He was trying to annoy her, and he took enjoyment in the fact that it was working. She had met these kinds of people before, and all she needed to deal with them was a little self control. She took a deep breath, then made her features overly formal and dull. "Forgive me, and let me rephrase." The corners of his mouth turned down slightly, and she knew it was working. "Do I know you from somewhere, and why do you know me?"
He was outright frowning now. He crossed his arms over his pale chest and answered, the venom of annoyance thick in his voice. "You and I have never officially met, my dear. However, I knew Ryou on an extremely personal level. Your father was my host for five years."
This threw her. "Host?"
He lightened up when he saw the look of shock on her face. "How much has your father told you of his teenage years?"
She thought a moment. "Actually, he's never mentioned anything from before he met mom…"
"Ha, ha! So then you don't know about his… questionable past?" he was taking pleasure in their conversation again. Not a good sign.
He leaned closer to her, now mere inches from her face. Rina noticed that he actually looked about her age, but the way he acted betrayed that he was older. "Do you believe in spirits?"
"Spirits?" Rina was distracted from her thoughts. He just kept throwing out one interesting remark after another. "You mean like ghosts?"
"Similar, but not quite." He laughed. "Well, if you can believe it, I'm a spirit."
"Uh…" skepticism was scrawled all over her features, and this only made his laugh harder.
"You may not believe me now, child, but you will soon."
I doubt that Rina thought.
"You do, do you?"
This startled her. She was absolutely positive that she had said that in her mind. Maybe it had slipped out of her mouth…
"No, you spoke only in your head, I assure you."
"Well, this is where it gets sort of awkward. Remember how I said your father used to be my host?"
"You're my new host."
"Wait, wait, wait. You're telling me that…" this was unfathomable. What did he mean that she was his host? It sounded like he was a parasite or something.
"Parasite is a little harsh, now." His fake chiding nature returned, the smirk changing into a victorious grin. "I'm in control of you."
Rina was in shock for a moment, not knowing how to respond. She didn't know what to think anymore. Should she believe him? Or was he just some crazy psychopath that thought he was a spirit?
"Hmm. I should have known it wouldn't be that easy to convince you. So I guess we're going to have to do this the hard way." He pushed himself up off the bed and walked over to her. Her heart raced as she thought of what the hard way might be. There were numerous things he could do to her, none of them pleasant. But he only held out a hand. She looked at it, then tightly folder her hands around her knees in defiance. He narrowed his eyes.
Without a second thought he grabbed her wrist and yanked. He didn't look as strong as he was, for now Rina was lying face first on the floor, her right wrist still grasped tightly in his pale fingers. She pushed herself to her feet with her legs and one remaining free arm. He dragged her, ignoring her glare, over to the floor-length mirror. He shoved her in front of it. "What?" she asked in confusion. He rolled his eyes and turned her face towards the shining glass. She gasped.
There was no reflection. Instead she saw what appeared to be another place entirely, like looking through a television set. But it was different, because there was no light being produced from the 'mirror', so it was obviously not a recording of any kind. What made her gasp was not the fact that it was so different, but the vision that filled the glass. Her father was kneeling on the ground, if that's what you could call it. The whole background was white, so there was no distinguishing between floor, wall, and ceiling. His eyes were closed, and his head bowed, but horror filled scene after scene played out in front of him. What disturbed Rina the most was that all of them featured her, being tortured in various indescribable ways, all by the mysterious man, Bakura. She touched the glass, as if trying to reach out to him, to tell him that none of it was real, that they weren't her screams. But it was only a window into wherever this was taking place. He closed her own eyes, and the hand toughing the cool surface balled into a fist. After a moment she turned to Bakura with determination in her eyes. He sneered back at her, but she opened her mouth and made her proposal. It was the only way to save him.
Ryou's mind was whirling, around and around in a never ending cyclone of negative feelings. The screams got louder, and the laughter rose in volume along with it. Just when Ryou thought that it was going to be too much, that he was going to slip over the edge to insanity, it stopped. Just as quickly as it had begun, and maybe even quicker, it halted. His eyes flew open, and again standing In front of him was Bakura, the smirk plated firmly on his features. Sometimes Ryou wondered if that was the only facial expression he had.
"I've made a little deal with my new host." He stated as he walked around Ryou, circling him like a vulture.
"What have you made her promise, Bakura?" Ryou's fear returned as he realized that the visions must have been fake, and that he had her locked up in some portion of his mind.
"Oh, don't fret, little Ryou." Bakura still spoke to him like he was a child, even after twenty five years. "Rina was the one who came to me with her request. I never forced her into anything." He squatted down beside Ryou, pointing in front of Ryou. "Look, there she is now." He stressed the last phrase, his words again became poisonous, viscous, syrupy. But Ryou obeyed, and his eyes rested on his daughter. He got up and strode quickly, covering the distance between them in seconds.
"Rina, are you alright?" His voice was thick with worry as he swept her into a hug.
"I'm fine, father." But her voice shook slightly, and Ryou could tell by her tone where this was going before she even uttered the dreaded words.
"Rina, tell me you didn't…"
She dropped her eyes, evading his accusing gaze. The silent conversation flew between them, and neither of them needed to say anything. They both understood the situation they were in, even if they didn't enjoy it. Finally Ryou sighed and put his hands on her shoulders. He looked her in the eye, the sincerity of his tone masking his worry and despair. "Just promise me that you won't let him take you."
Her azure eyes looked back into his earthen ones, and she understood perfectly his meaning. "I promise."
He pulled her into one last hug, and she faded from his arms as he found himself standing back in the alleyway. The entire incident had been in their heads. He swallowed, then shivered as raindrops started sprinkling onto their heads. Bakura in his daughter's body was standing in front of him, but somehow their orientation had been changed so that Ryou was now the one cornered. The smirk on his daughter's features sent a pang of guilt through him. He felt so deeply sorry that he couldn't do anything for her.
Bakura laughed. "You might be able to save her you know."
"I'm going to give you the chance to save her, purely because it works out so well for me. It will fit neatly into my little plan. You're going to do a favor for me, Ryou."
"Anything." He spoke before he thought, but there was no time for regretting words spoken against his own safety when his daughter was involved.
Bakura saw the look of immediate regret on his counterpart's face and scoffed. "Don't worry, you won't be alone. We're going to take this one step at a time. Step one; find Yugi Moto."
"Yugi…" He hadn't seen him since the wedding, and that was, what, twenty years ago?
"Yes. I'm sure you two will have so much to talk about. You know, it's almost sad that none of you have kept in touch for twenty years. But, that's none of my concern. I only want you to find him. After you do this one simple thing, then we'll discuss step two." He turned, and Ryou watched his daughter sweep off into the rainy night. He could feel his hair growing wet, the water soaking through and running down the back of his neck. He trembled when he thought not only of the past events, but facing his wife. He sighed and started off towards home, wherever home may be. It would be quite something for him to find his way out of the twisting maze of brick. As he started off, he swore that he heard Bakura's classic laugh echo through the stormy night.