Jointshipping drabble. This is sometime after Mariku's duel with Jonouchi. Atem probably had his deck in his pocket, but for the sake of plot devices, let's pretend he didn't…

He entered the room.

Normally, he was against this sort of thing. It was no fun to just waltz in and take his prize. Especially when he was so close to the ultimate Shadow Game. He salivated at the thought.

In the corner of the room was a dresser, where a golden box sat idly. He sauntered over. It somewhat surprised him to discover that the box remained unlocked. Not that he had been all too concerned; a little lock was not going to keep him from this.

Inside was a deck of cards. He used his index finger to shift the top one over slightly so he could glance at the card underneath as well. A grin spread across his face. The two remaining Egyptian god cards. He didn't pick them up right away, but rather, savored the moment of touching them, feeling his skin rub against them. His eyes closed as he sighed in slight ecstasy.

Finally, he pulled from his pocket his own god card. He picked up the other two and held them together in his hand.

"The Three Egyptian gods – united at last…"

Of course, it would be easy. It would be so easy…

Just leave, right now.

He had them. He had them. He had them.

Leave.

The Pharaoh would return at any moment now, not that he would be able to do anything at this point. After Mariku had put his friend into a coma, the nameless Pharaoh had become distracted long enough for Mariku to enter his room and take a look at his future prize.

He sighed.

Yes, just look.

It was too soon to take them.

The hatred that had brewed inside him for years needed to be relinquished, and that could only be achieved by destroying the Pharaoh. He had to be patient.

So he returned his card in his pocket and set the other two back inside the box. Just before he placed them down, however, he caught sight of the card underneath.

He paused… and just… stared.

He knew that card. He recognized it. He had first seen it through the eyes of his weaker half, during a duel between him and the Pharaoh.

The Dark Magician Girl…

At first, it had seemed like a harmless card. He hadn't really given it a second thought, although he did notice a certain… connection between it and the Pharaoh. He had an attachment to his deck, each card possessed value to him.

But this one…

He took another glance at the god cards in his hand. The Pharaoh valued them, but only because he knew the power they possessed. He held respect for the gods, but no genuine care. Not like this card…

He shouldn't…

Foolish idea…

The Pharaoh would be back at anytime… he should have left by now anyways.

But he couldn't resist…

He set the god cards onto the desk before reaching in and lifting up the Dark Magician Girl. The sun glistened off the card and he had to hold it closer to keep flashes out of his eyes.

That was fine, because now he got a much better look at her…

This card. This was what the Pharaoh truly valued. He didn't seek power, he wasn't like Mariku. He honored… emotions.

And he had… emotions… towards this card. He felt similar towards other cards as well, but this was the only one which Mariku's feelings were mutual.

Dark Magician Girl…

He would admit, he admired her features. During his short existence, Mariku had only come to know of one female – his sister. Any female – anyone, really, that looked attractive was a special treat for his eyes.

She smiled on the card, almost as if to be smiling at him. Had he not been so focused on her, he may have noticed the small grin on his own face.

He had no wicked thoughts of this girl at the moment, just seeing her, just holding her, made him… content.

This was the Pharaoh's true treasure. His whole deck, and his partner, was his only treasure. But Mariku had interest in only this one.

Well, and the other two god cards…

Mariku turned his head and looked over at them, suddenly with a slight feeling of disgust. Come to think of it… he didn't care much for power, either.

What was his goal?

Destroy the Pharaoh…

Destroy…

Everything.

And then… what?

Mariku looked back down at the card in his hand. He looked back down at her smile.

Her smile…

His smile…

The two of them… smiling.

Mariku closed his eyes before returning all the cards back to their original place. Then he quietly left the room and headed back to his own, peering around slightly to ensure that no one knew of his whereabouts.

As he walked back, her face appeared in his mind again. That smile…

He would win. He had no doubt in his mind that his victory was absolute. And once it was… he would have everything the Pharaoh treasured. The three Egyptian god cards… the life of his partner… and her.

He smiled as he thought of her smile.

By the time he had finished his thoughts, Mariku had reached his room. He crawled on top of his bed and fell asleep.

This second half is told through the hikari Marik's POV, in dreaming.

I watch as you pull her closer. It's strange – watching two people sleep while they're in a dream. Not that I'm complaining. You do whatever you see fit. I don't care what you choice to do with your spare time.

I thought that you of all people wouldn't rest like this… that you wouldn't sit still until the Pharaoh was defeated. Then again… you have been very patient these past several days, and I won't deny, I'm proud of you.

Stills, it drives my curiosity – it almost annoys me – that you would chose to rest instead of plot. Probably because of the past six years plotting. Old habits die-hard.

But still, neither of us would have expected someone like her to enter the picture…

She had been entering my dreams the past few nights. There was a connection between my darkness and the darkness that preyed on the Duel Monsters. That was her access into my mind.

It started off as a simple task – she was here of her own free will. Her master, the Pharaoh, had decided to shed mercy on me. A flattering offer, even if I don't fully understand why. He was planning to save me on his own, to keep the ones he loved safe from harm.

Needless to say, no one knew she was here. Her first arrival was a surprise for us both.

My darkness had concealed me. He didn't yet have the strength to finish me off, so instead he kept a close watch on me. It was late, and I merely sat there with my head in my knees, feeling sorry for myself. I almost think I heard my darkness mutter how bored he was.

Suddenly there was a light that flooded my mind, and she appeared.

The girl hovered over the ground, keeping a fair distance between herself and my darkness. The look on her face reflected boldness, but we both saw her shaking.

My darkness reached for the Millennium Rod. He held it out and stepped forward. He stopped when the item had pressed against her chin.

"This is no place for you, little girl…" he told her firmly.

My distraught and utter despair in knowing that I would never be free again was momentarily subsided by this extremely rare event. I sat up straighter in my confinement, giving full attention to her reaction.

Sure enough, she fought back. She whipped out her own weapon – a wand, which was comparable in size to the Millennium Rod. Now it was her turn to threaten him.

"Don't tell me what to do, big boy…"

Everything stood still.

My goals, my actions of the past six years, my entire life… gone. My complete an utter attention was on this one moment, on this one girl.

The room tensed. I could see him spread out his legs just slightly, as if trying to maintain balance. She breathed deeply as she anticipated his move.

Then… he laughed.

I felt a sigh of relief escape from me, as I knew she would be safe… for now.

"Very amusing, little girl." He went on. I could tell she was getting annoyed by the title he had given her. "You're lucky the Pharaoh isn't here. Killing you off wouldn't be any fun unless he was around to watch…"

She flinched back at his words but stood her ground.

He then proceeded to question her – why was she here?

To free his light-side.

Was this an order from her master?

No. She was here on her own accord.

Did anyone know she was here?

No.

Why was she doing this?

She blinked at the question. "It's the right thing to do."

Another snicker from my darkness. He stepped aside, allowing her access to approach me.

"Go ahead…" he taunted. "Free him."

She stared at him before turning her attention to me, and we made eye contact for the first time. I don't know what expression I wore, but it must not have been too pretty. She sighed deeply, as if she saw all the pain, torment, hatred I had by that one glance.

Slowly, she turned back to my darkness.

"Well?" He asked.

I saw past him. Even though it seemed as if he was handing her an invitation, I could clearly see that he kept a firm grip on the Millennium Item. With a quick turn of my head, I saw that she too kept hold of her wand.

"I won't fight you." She stated.

He chuckled to himself. I couldn't determine if it was out of nerves or if this was truly amusing him. Either way, I didn't like it.

"Do you think that this is fair?" She continued, trying to stay strong. "Locking him up like that? He's part of you – he's your light. Darkness can't exist without light."

His smile faded somewhat. The grip he had on his weapon weakened, slightly.

"Part of me? Once, perhaps. But I don't need him anymore."

"You can't exist without him."

"I am the main character."

She stopped hovering at his last sentence. She landed on the ground with a light 'thud'. I could see both of them tense up.

"You are, huh?" She replied coolly. His eyes narrowed, focusing in on her next move. "Tell me then, can you love?"

Silence again.

I watched him squirm – he was trying with all his strength not to laugh out loud. Why he was restraining himself, I didn't know. Maybe he had developed a form of respect for this girl. Maybe.

His snickering fit ended and he straightened himself up.

"What?"

"Can you love? If you're the main character, then you should possess all human emotions. They say that you were born out of hatred and anger. Is that really all you feel?"

"No. I also feel joy when I see people being tortured by my hatred and anger."

"Don't joke with me, please."

Her last word was a mistake. Her attempts at being polite reminded him that she was not much of a threat. He inched closer to her.

"What does love have to do with anything?"

She lowered her head a little. Her back was to me, so I couldn't see her expression.

"You're so convinced that you're the main character. If that was true, then you should be able to feel all human emotions. That includes love."

He smirked. "Well, I don't feel."

"You don't, or you can't?"

He stepped back, surprised by her comment, but he as quick to respond.

"Are you saying that you believe that I'm the main character?"

"I believe that there is more to you than everyone thinks."

They stood there again. The silent pauses they kept having were really starting to bother me. I almost spoke out, but for some reason decided to remain quiet. It was best to just leave these two alone.

Suddenly, he moved closer. Not in a threatening manner, his movements were almost casual. Still, she lifted her wand ever so slightly.

"Why are you so interested in me?" He asked.

There was nothing sinister in his voice. He showed genuine curiosity. This – frightened me. Seeing him, in any ways beside the monster he was, made me nervous.

Was she right? Could he truly feel other human emotions? If so, what did that mean?

Was he really the main character?

She sighed deeply. "I can see I'm making no progress at the moment. Oh well. There's no point arguing in circles." She hopped up and remained in the air as she hovered passed him.

"Where are you going?" He asked.

With slight hesitation, she turned around. "Oh, I'll be back. It'll be a while before you reach full power – if you reach full power. I intend to help my master in his conquest to free your light side. Until next time..."

With that, she was gone.

She kept coming back, as she promised. She never seemed to make any progress, at least not to her knowledge. But she didn't know my darkness like I did. I could see the changes.

This little tug-a-war game they played continued. She was convinced that he could feel emotions, and so was he. He was also convinced that he didn't have to feel these things if he didn't want to.

If only he wasn't so stupid…

He had been drawn to her, like a moth to a flame. Her idea for him was like a challenge. Could he feel? Can he feel?

Obsessed with the idea that he was more than hatred, my darkness became attracted to her. He remained convinced that this was all part of the game, that his feelings weren't real. He merely had the ability to feel, but not the desire.

And now there they were, not too far beneath my imprisonment, holding each other as they rested. I didn't mind that. I rather enjoyed watching them like this… at times. There was only one time I ever turned my head, and I sincerely prayed that they never decided to go that far again…

He was halfway on top of her now, with one arm wrapped around her stomach and the other beneath her head. She snuggled into his forearm. They looked more like children than lovers, to me.

Of course, that was just my jealously speaking. He was my darkness. I created him, in a moment of panic, yes, but to serve a purpose. His original meaning was to take away my pain.

And now I see him here… with her. If she could crossover, there was no telling what else could as well. The way he held her… he was protecting her. Protecting her in a way he never protected me.

I finally had to look away. They were both fools, really.

What had started off as a rescue mission had twisted into a game.

She had a good heart and refused to believe that anyone could simply be hatred. He had played along, much to her delight. She must not have many playmates, then.

I felt sorry for them, really. They were both wrong. He had no emotions. He was a projection of my hatred, nothing more. Any other form of feelings he may have came from me. In a way, this whole situation was a projection of my affection, my lust for her. It was a projection of my need to reach out to whoever was willing to help me. Just as she was a projection of someone else.

Once there was a real person like her, who possessed her powers. But now they were gone and she was all that remained of them. And when there's nothing left of me, he will still be around.

But my darkness… he was so stupid…

That fool… you fell in love!

As did she.

I felt sorry for them. I knew this would all eventually end. But I was ready to die. And when I did, so would any feelings he had for her.

It would all fade to darkness.

I think WAY too deeply on a pairing that doesn't need to be thought deeply on! It's Yami Marik/Dark Magician Girl, for the love of crack…

I'm also a Staffshipper, which is Mana/Marik.

PS: I usually say Marik and Yami Marik, it's not too often I actually use the name "Mariku".

I think the second half turned out better than the first, which is ironic really, since the first half has been in my head longer. But, I liked both ideas and thought they'd go well together.

Sorry if it's not as clear as it could be. It's just drabble, so I really didn't try too hard. Plus, I like it when stories aren't entirely explained. Leaves room for the reader's imagination.