Summary: Only one Yami really left after the final duel between Yugi and Atem. Back from the shadows for round two, Bakura and Mariku come with a new plan for world domination. Only problem is that they need the cooperation of their Hikari's. Now Marik and Ryou must face their pasts once again, along with the possibility of a new future.
Pairings: Deathshipping , Citron/Thiefshipping and Prideshipping. Minor hints at Stepshipping and Pyschoshipping and possibly others.
Author's Note: After getting back into Yu-Gi-Oh for the second time in my life I decided to try my hand at fanfiction after a certain friend got me into some new shippings. We challenged each other to write a deathshipping fic as close to canon as possible. We are now attempting this impossible challenge with our pens held high! To check out my fellow author's similar fic please look up Domino Effect by orchid-unscripted. Seriously! Do it! Support her amazing Deathshipping fic!
Also, Please no flames. Constructive criticism is welcome but not a requirement. If you read the story and enjoy it, drop a note. I will be pleased to hear from fans. That is all from this ranting author. Do enjoy.
PS: Mariku is Yami Marik and Marik is the Hikari to prevent confusion.
Chapter 1: Aftermath
Everyone was in mourning for what seemed to be forever once the Pharaoh moved on to the spirit world. Well everyone except me.
Now don't get me wrong, I thought the Pharaoh was a good person and an even better friend, well unless you were one of the bad guys.
Unfortunately, thanks to my own personal Yami, the blasted tomb robber who went by the name Bakura as well, I was thrown into the villain category.
No matter how hard I tried to distinguish myself from him, Yugi and his friends always considered me and the thief as one. Well everyone except him that is.
Snapping out of my internal thoughts I look over to Marik Ishtar. The former tomb keeper was lying on my couch, shirtless and drooling all over my cushions. I shake my head and think about the situations that landed us here, in my new apartment, living as roommates.
I never planned on moving away from Domino, it just sort of happened. Of course I was still within a thirty minute drive of downtown, but I didn't go there often anymore.
It all started with a slow progressive drift away from my friends, if I can even call them that anymore.
At first I didn't even notice what was happening, I just thought we were all tense about the Pharaoh's abrupt departure. I guess I was wrong.
It first started with Joey and Tristan. I would join them, Yugi and Tea for lunch and right away the tension levels seemed to go through the roof. I tried to ignore it and join in their conversations, but as soon as the words were out of my mouth everyone just looked at me awkwardly. Joey would look at me as if any moment I would start screaming and ranting about the millennium items and Tristan would mutter things under his breath. After awhile I just stopped talking.
It didn't end with Joey and Tristan. I knew I was in trouble when even Tea began to give me less and less positive attention. She used to greet me each time she saw me with a wide smile and a wave. Now I am lucky if I get a nod. Yugi must have begun to notice his friends mistrusting glances and the awkward silences that ensued because he was always trying to drag me into different discussions. I appreciated his efforts but I knew it was useless. Finally I just took the hints and I began to sit elsewhere.
Yugi must have hated to see me sitting all by myself because every day for a week or so, he would come over and try to get me to rejoin them. I continued to turn him down until finally even he gave up.
Every so often I would look over and observe them laughing and joking around, it was never like that when I was with them. One time Joey caught me looking and narrowed his eyes at me. All I could do was frown and turn away, wondering what I did to deserve this sort of treatment. I knew the answer as soon as I thought of it, 'nothing, I have done nothing to deserve their scorn, but Bakura did so they continue to dish it out as if hurting me will make everything right again'.
I was snapped back to reality as I heard a noise from the couch. Marik was rolling over and stretching, giving me a full view of the expanse of scars along his back. I found myself frowning. I didn't like Marik like that, but I cared for him like he was my brother and I couldn't help but feel angry every time I saw the damage his father had inflicted upon him all those years ago. I knew it wasn't Atem's fault, and that he had not asked for Marik to suffer such a fate but he didn't show any sympathy or gratitude towards him either.
Marik noticed me looking at him and gave me a questioning look, "Is something wrong Ryou?"
I smiled despite myself. I only had to ask Marik to not call me Bakura once and he took it to heart. Yugi-tachi never granted me that request, never understanding the pain it caused me to hear the thief's name.
"Yeah, I am okay Marik, just thinking is all." I leaned back into the chair I was sitting in and cracked my neck.
Marik slowly sat up and rolled his shoulders, "Seriously Ryou, they aren't worth your time."
I shook my head; Marik was so intuitive, always able to read me like an open book, it was very disconcerting but relieving at times, "I know. My mind just wanders a lot."
Marik nodded at my reply and stood, heading into the kitchen to make some tea. Ever since he had moved in with me, he had become as much as a tea addict as I was.
Watching Marik boil the water shifted my thoughts back to the past.
I had been trying to put together a shelving unit I had just bought from the store when I heard a knock on the door. I don't know who I had been expecting but it certainly had not been Marik.
I remember staring at him blankly, not knowing what to do. I didn't remember a whole lot of Marik except for the few instances of him helping me during Battle City, even though I later found out that he had been teaming up with Bakura the whole time.
I almost considered turning him away but found that I couldn't. I was doing exactly what Yugi and his friends were doing to me; expecting him to cackle darkly and start screaming crazily about taking over the world and killing the Pharaoh. After shaking such thoughts from my head I held the door open wide and invited him in. It was then that I heard his story and learned that we really weren't all that different.
I set about to make some tea for Ryou and I. Frowning to myself I thought about the distant look in his eyes I saw whenever he thought about his former friends.
It made me upset to know that they were affecting him so much. It wasn't fair to him that because the spirit of the millennium ring was a raging psychopath Ryou was treated like dirt.
I chewed on my lip thoughtfully as I reached for the tea bags. I hadn't thought of Bakura in a long time. I hated the thief with everything in me, but not for the same reasons Ryou had.
Bakura and I were a team, and a good one at that. If not for our pathetic bickering we may have actually gotten somewhere with our plans. I admit I even started caring for the damn tomb robber. That is until he up and left to fight the pharaoh and perished doing so.
I had to shake my head to stop the tears from forming. Damnit, I thought I had cured myself of these blasted feelings. He's gone and there is nothing I can do about it.
I walked over to the sink and splashed water on my face, my mind switching gears to the day I came back and met up with Ryou.
I remember looking at Ryou Bakura in anticipation. I really had no idea how he would react to my presence here in Japan. I had been surprised when the door didn't immediately slam in my face the moment he saw who was knocking. At first he just stood there and stared at me for a long moment. I shuffled my feet nervously before looking down at the ground. After all I had put him through, I probably should have thought twice about coming here.
Finally after what seemed to be an eternity Ryou stepped back and a new light seemed to come into his eyes. I didn't feel so nervous anymore when he gave me a warm smile and beckoned me inside.
"Would you like some tea?" Ryou looked at me with kind eyes and an expectant smile.
I found with him looking at me like that I couldn't say no, "I would love some, thank you."
He gave me a satisfactory look that told me he would not have taken no as an answer.
"I don't want to be rude Marik, but why are you here?" Ryou turned and looked at me while he filled the tea kettle up with water.
I took a deep breath, "Well it's a long story if you're ready to hear it."
Ryou walked in and joined me in the family room and sat on the couch next to me, "I am all ears."
"I suppose I should start with why I moved here." I shifted to a more comfortable position on the couch. "Everyone has been acting so strange lately. At first I thought Odion and Ishizu were tense because of all that had happened to us over these past few months, and I suppose over our entire lives. I figured it was just left over tension from finally being relieved of our duties as tomb keepers."
"After awhile though, it began to seem out of place. Odion never left me by myself and Ishizu was always watching me when she thought I wasn't looking. I found that they would never leave me alone and were constantly asking me if I was okay. I realized that they still thought that my dark side would come back and that they constantly hovered around just in case he did." I sighed heavily and ran my fingers through my hair. Ryou gave me an encouraging look accompanied by a smile and I continued on.
"Finally I just couldn't take it anymore. Each night I slowly started to pack my things into suitcases so that when I was ready I could take off without causing too much of a scene."
"I really had no idea where I was going to go. I figured I would come here but that is where my plan ended. I didn't want to bother Yugi and I really didn't need the other's judgment." I stopped my fidgeting and looked to Ryou. "I figured I would see if you would let me crash with you and if not, well, I was going to go to a hotel for a few days until my money ran out."
Ryou was staring at me with a funny look on his face, "And when your money was all gone?"
I shrugged and played with one of the golden rings on my fingers, "I didn't really think that far ahead. I guess if I was desperate enough I could have went to Yugi. I know he's too..." I almost said 'too nice to turn me away' but I didn't want to offend Ryou. Luckily he said it for me.
"Yugi is too nice for his own good. He would probably house Bakura if the situation ever arose."
I chuckled softly, I couldn't help it, he was right. Yugi was too nice for his own good.
"I just hate to bother him". I sat forward on the couch and looked at Ryou, "I know you're expecting this but I have to ask. Can I crash here for awhile? I can pay you rent." I noticed my mistake as soon as it came out of my mouth but I couldn't take it back.
At the word 'rent' Ryou stiffened visibly. The tension in the room skyrocketed and I felt like a complete ass for the first time since Battle City.
"Bakura I…I'm sorry", I tried to stammer something out but he stopped me by putting his hand up and looking at me with this eerie look on his face.
"No, it's fine. Just…stop."
I shut my mouth and looked away. Way to be a huge Jerk Marik.
Ryou took in a deep breath and squared his shoulders, "I'm sorry Marik but you cannot stay here with me."
I felt my heart sink immediately. I didn't know what I expected Ryou to say but it wasn't no. I must have really blown it with the rent comment. I was just about ready to get up and leave when he began talking again.
"You can't stay here, because I am moving." He looked at me with a shimmering light in his eyes," Though, you can come with me to my new apartment and we can split the…you know."
I looked at Ryou, my jaw must have dropped to the floor in disbelief because when he saw my face he laughed out loud.
"You really mean it?" He nodded and relief flooded through me.
Ryou smiled and stood, "I have been preparing to move for the past few weeks. Looks like you arrived just in time to give me some help."
I nodded eagerly, "Oh of course!"
Ryou walked over to the kitchen and began to pour our tea, "I already have a decent sized place picked out and it's not far from here, about thirty miles. There are three bedrooms so it's more than enough room for the both of us."
I gave him another nod of my head, "Yeah I didn't really bring anything. I have my boat at the docks and my bike outside." I jerked my head towards my backpack sitting by the door, "That bag is all I really need. I have some more stuff in the ship if I need it though."
Ryou nodded and looked around, "Good because I have a lot of stuff to bring. I really need to buy a car, I didn't think about how I was going to move all this stuff until now. I suppose I will have to rent a U-Haul."
While Ryou was trying to figure things out, I looked around the apartment for the first time.
It looked like any typical apartment, and by that I mean that anyone could live here. It was surprisingly plain, but various boxes were piled about the room ready to be moved to their new destination.
I looked back to Ryou, who was now on the phone with U-Haul to arrange for a truck. Taking another sip of my tea I sighed. Here was to my new life, whether I was ready for it or not.
I was snapped from the flashback as the tea kettle started to whistle. I walked over and poured two cups and slipped the tea bag into the steaming water, carrying them into the living room for Ryou and I.
He was still sitting on the couch with a distant look in his eyes. I scowled and set the tea down, "Hey! What did I tell you about letting them bother you."
He shook his head and laughed, brown eyes sparkling, "And I should say the same thing to you about Bakura."
I flinched slightly at his name but smiled. Ryou always told me I was intuitive, but I think he could read me just as easily as I read him if not more. I told Ryou about the feelings I had for Bakura not long after I moved in with him. I didn't think it was fair to conceal something like that from him since he had been so open to me.
"Sometimes the mind wanders." I grinned and playfully shoved him as I sat down, using the same line on him that he used on me earlier.
Ryou laughed and gently picked up his cup of tea, "Yeah well we really need to stop that bad habit."
"No kidding." I shook my head and took a small sip of tea and yelped as it scalded my mouth, "Damn that's hot!"
Ryou snorted and rolled his eyes, "You think a guy would learn after the last fifty times."
I gave him a playful glare and grinned, "Sometimes the mind wanders."
Ryou fixed me with a look and laughed, "And it took the rest of your brain with it."
Biting back any retort I had, I rolled my eyes and smiled, leaning back into the couch. Things seemed to be finally looking up for once. Of course, how does that saying go again? Things are never as they appear to be.