"Boy." I call for you. I don't feel like getting off the couch. you're not doing anything right now, you can come to Me instead. I'm comfortable, and that is important to you.

As always, the sound of scrambling feet accompanies your arrival. you look so flustered, how can that be? Well, I really don't have to wonder the reason. you've been moving that furniture around for hours, boy.

Back and forth, back and forth, and not one of them is very light, is it? I can't help but laugh at you. you're so predictable. A creature of habit.

Ah, no. Don't fall. you can last longer, you've only been two days without food. I'll only hold you up for a moment, you know I don't like touching you unless there is something in it for Me.

Well, actually. There was something I wanted to ask you. Sit down, forget what I told you. No, no. It is fine, you can sit on the couch with Me.

I move over, just enough room for you to sit - this couch is Mine after all, like everything else here - why would I want to share most of it with you?

I told you to sit down.

"Now, Ryou Bakura. Look at Me." I love the way you hesitate, the rules are so ingrained into your mind. It is completely natural now, isn't it? We took so long to get here, but it was worth it. I know you'll agree.

you listen so well. "Tell Me something." I'm curious. you nod, of course. you aren't allowed to speak, yet.

I hold something small in between My thumb and forefinger, just so you can see. Have you figured it out yet?

"If I asked you to swallow this, yadonushi..would you do it?" your knee-jerk reaction by now should be 'yes.' Still, you hesitate.

The debate is still on in My mind of whether or not to actually make you. This is nothing but a simple question, but if you do not answer quickly, well..

I let you think it over a few moments more. I love watching how your little mind works. Most things should be automatic by now, but things like this..

you give Me that pathetic look again, your eyes pleading Me against the answer I want.

I nod towards you, you can speak, for now.

"H-hai.." Apparently you can't bear to look at Me anymore, though I did not tell you to stop.

A short, one word answer. Was this just to please Me? Or would you do it because I want it of you?

I'd love to see what makes you tick. you have a beautiful mind, Ryou Bakura.

Why did you answer that way? What took you so long? you know to disobey means more pain - though I had no intention of making you swallow this screw. What makes you tick?

Well.

There is only one way to find out.

I set the screw down on the table beside this couch. My table, My couch.

I rise from My couch, and glance at you for a moment. you should already understand. I am no longer seated, you shouldn't be either. I'm going into the kitchen, you know you should follow Me - I didn't tell you to go back to your..work.

Sure enough, you teeter off of My comfortable loveseat, falling into slow step behind Me. your eyes are on the floor behind My feet as I walk. I did not tell you to stop looking at Me.

No matter. Not right now.

I'm looking for something specific here, something..something. Ah. There it is.

I pull the carving knife from the holder on the counter - This is the one I prefer. you don't use this one often. It is as sharp as the day I bought it.

Perfect.

you are still behind Me. I know you watched Me pull this knife out, Ryou Bakura. What are you thinking now?

What are you thinking of?

Do you think I'll attack you with it? - Ah, don't get nervous. I haven't had to do that for months. you are so well-trained. I know if I would let you speak, you would thank Me.

Do you think I'm going to make you something to eat, now? No, you know better. you have a few hours left before I'll feed you, and you sure as hell know it won't be any of the meat in My fridge.

I hold the knife out before you, you who are still not looking at Me, so you don't notice - although I watched you flinch, just now.

As I thought, you thought I would attack you.

Why? Why would you think that?

What makes you tick?

"Ryou Bakura." I didn't want to have to resort to this, but you seem to have forgotten the rules. As if on cue, you look at Me again, I can tell you are uncertain - about a lot of things. Was it because of what I asked you before, boy?

you nod at Me in response. Good, you know enough to remain silent when I haven't given you the word.

I dangle the knife a few feet from your face now, your eyes flash from worried to...

What is that? I can't quite place that look..

No. It can't be..

I won't allow that. I won't allow you to enjoy things like this.

This is a disciplinary measure. This is not something you are to enjoy. Do you understand?

Something occurred to Me just now. Was that look because I am the one holding this?

What makes you tick? What made you think this was acceptable?

"Take it." I know you won't take it without Me telling you to do so.

you reach out your hand in answer, tugging the blade from Mine. So gentle. you give Me a confused look, holding onto the knife as if you had never seen one before in your life.

you don't know what to do with it, do you? The way you stare at it, and then back at Me, suggests that I am right - I am always right.

Not without instruction, you don't. Let Me solve this problem for you.

"Boy." you nearly jumped out of that sorry sack of flesh, didn't you? your attention is now on Me completely, the knife forgotten in your hand.

Don't forget about it too quickly now, Ryou Bakura.

you have a beautiful mind. Show Me how it works.

"you will take that knife, and you will stab yourself in the hand with it." This is a direct command. This is not a request.

you are gaping at Me, something I haven't seen for some time. Hesitating again, I shake My head at you. What the hell are you doing?

you are not capable of conscious thought right now, obviously. your mouth won't stop opening and closing. you want to say something - you want to disobey?

"Ryou Bakura!" you flinch, inhaling as if you had forgotten to breathe. "Now."

I will not tolerate this. I see how your mind works. you won't do anything to yourself if it causes you ha-

Interesting.

you didn't even cry out. Yet, there it is. All the way through the middle of your hand - the left one, hm? Did you do that for Me? Did you remember it was your left arm, from before?

you are bleeding all over My floor, yet you have made no attempt to move. you are watching for My reaction. Have you done well, you wonder?

I won't make it that easy.

you have a beautiful mind. I will see how it works.

"Ryou Bakura." your breathing has quickened, of course I notice. you do not have as high a tolerance for pain as you seem to think. your eyes look so hurt. Are you upset that it was not I who did it to you?

"you wil bring that knife up to your temple..." your hands are shaking now, the blade is quivering in your grasp. you are panicking. Still, you obey, that blade is mere millimeters from your flesh.

Are you thinking I'm bluffing? you're gasping for air, I'm not even choking you. I haven't done that for months. you've been a good boy.

"...And you will sink that blade into your skull." you are likely wondering if I'm being serious.

I'm always serious, Ryou Bakura. Or have you forgotten?

you've dropped the blade now, shaking your head at Me as if it would help.

"...P-please...!" Speaking without permission? Ah, ah. you know better. Get away from My pantleg. Clinging to them like that isn't going to do you any good.

Really, begging for your life, boy?

I will let you cry. I suppose this is a sad thing. But you have such a beautiful mind, I'm just dying to see what you'll do.

your tears are mixing with the blood from your hand on this floor, My floor. I won't let it be that easy.

I pick up the knife off of the cold tile for you. "Take it." you are shaking so violently, you can no longer stand. It is a wonder to Me that you can still breathe, gasping like that, bleeding. So pale.

you still sob, plead to Me, even as you hold it where I told you to? It is as if your hand has a mind of its own. Mine.

"..p-please..d-don't make..." I shake My head, I will not give the command again. you have to follow it. I said it, you have to follow it.

you've stopped shaking, yadonushi. Could it be you have a shred of willpower left? I'm afraid I can't let you do that.

There is only one will you should have. My will. I've noticed you don't have it in you to lower your hand.

"Yadonushi.." I sigh, I'm fed up with you. The way you've started shaking again tells Me you know this. Still, you plead. you are only making this worse for yourself.

"..I c-can't..." Though you've brought your bleeding hand to help hold up the knife with the other. you don't have much strength left, boy. Best do it soon, now.

Whether or not you can do it, does not change My command. you will do it.

"you will." I'm not going to waste My breath on you anymore. I am not arguing with the likes of you. There is nothing to argue.

you will. you continue to stall. you're losing the strength in your arms, aren't you? I will help you, but I will not do it for you. you will obey.

I kneel down in front of you, your blood is soaking into the fabric of My jeans. I'll help you. My hands move forward to caress your cheek, and yet your own hands do not fall. I know you won't drop the knife again.

you almost flinched, I saw it. Still, your eyes have widened, are you surprised? you're hoping I'll do it instead, aren't you? you'd like that. I won't.

you need more help, hm? your whimpering has convinced Me. I'll give you this, if you give Me what I want.

I lean forward, My hands have not fallen from your face, nor have you moved an inch. Kiss Me, boy.

As if I need to ask. We've never done this before, have we? I suppose I'd give you something new, for this trade. We're even now.

you've lingered too long on My lips, yadonushi. you're shuddering from the lack of air, coupled with the loss of blood. There isn't much time left, Ryou Bakura..

"Obey." you have no reason too hesitate anymore. I can see you realize it, too. you will comply.

you need both hands, don't you? It is alright, I didn't specify if you needed to use one hand or two, continue.

I'm watching, don't worry. your arms finally begin to move, almost as if they are filled with lead, and I notice something familiar. you're using the movements you learned from Me, when I used to have to discipline you. you remembered, how sweet.

you are such an amateur. you broke the skin, but did not have enough force to pierce through the temple. you're looking at Me, and I know what you're thinking.

Was that enough?

No, yadonushi. No, it wasn't. "Again." the blood pouring off of your head has blinded you in your right eye. you can still see out of your left. As long as you can see Me, it is fine.

your sobbing will only tire you more quickly. Stop. you've remembered that you do not have permission to speak, or maybe you just can't anymore.

The instant that followed - I'll remember it, always. - you did it. I was so proud. your breathing became so erratic, you crumpled to the floor. The sound of the blade piercing your skull was interesting, I will admit. thunk.

And then, you started convulsing. I can only imagine the pain you are feeling.

Still, you did not let go of the knife, though your arms had ceased to function properly in that moment. you're watching Me, I see your lips moving, though you are completely silent.

'Do You love me?'

What a beautiful mind, yadonushi. Even now, you think I care about 'love'?

"No." It is time to be honest with you. Why would you think I loved you? you don't deserve it.

you manage something of a strangled sob, and here I thought you couldn't speak - though calling that speaking at all would be a stretch.

I know what you think, but I still have something to tell you. Listen closely, I'll move in so you'll be able to hear Me.

"you had such a beautiful mind, Ryou Bakura."