MBP: Okay... Um... not much to say here... hope you enjoy...

Rini: She owns nothing! Nothing at all! Ha, I win the energy contest!

Kio: ...Enjoy...


Promise

I don't remember the day I found out I was going to die. It just always seemed to be natural, like it was meant to happen. I always knew I wasn't going to live to be an old woman, live to see any grandchildren, and I knew that I wouldn't see my brothers get married.

I knew. I knew that I would die young, before I really had a chance to live. Maybe that's why I turned out the way I did, and the way my brothers did too.

I'm not perfect. I'm not the sweet, innocent child that everyone thinks I am. Or was, because by the time you read this, I'll already have passed on...

See, since I already knew I was dying, I had two options: 1) I could act out, since nothing I did would really matter much anyways, or 2) I could try to be the best person possible, and try to make sure I was remembered when I died. I chose option two, but it hurt sometimes to try.

Ryou never knew... so this is all a huge surprise. But Bakura... he knew, because he was at the hospital when the doctors told Mom and Dad. That's probably why he was so protective, always watching out for me and trying to protect me from everything. I hated to worry him, so I went along with it, even though part of me wanted to rebel and fight back.

I didn't tell you, because I never thought we'd get so close. You were just Bakura's best friend, so there was no reason to. But when we did get close, and I knew I should tell you, and everyone else... I got scared. I was scared to tell you all, scared that you'd treat me differently if you knew I was dying. Scared that you'd never look at me the same again. I... I couldn't get the words out, no matter how many times I told myself I needed to at least tell you.

Marik... I love you. That's why I needed to tell you, but it was also the reason I couldn't. I didn't know how, I'd never told anyone before, and never even considered telling someone I loved that I was dying. And in these last few months since we came to Domino, I knew that the time I had was short, so I kept telling myself I'd never be close enough to anyone to hurt them when I died. Sure, they'd be shaken that someone close to them, someone so young had died, but they wouldn't be hurt. But somehow, you broke past that, all my walls, even past my brother.

Remember how distant I was towards the end? That was guilt... I wanted to tell you, really I did, but Marik, can you understand that I couldn't? I never, ever wanted to hurt you... And I will never forgive myself for not telling you, for making you find out I was living a lie after I'd gone. Please Marik, I'm begging you to understand, and not to blame yourself for not knowing. How could you? I'd hidden it for years, so well not even my own brother had suspected anything was wrong!

Marik, for me... please, don't blame yourself. You act like a rash, reckless, angry rebel, but I know that you feel things a lot more than others do, and with your past... I don't want you holding onto me. I want you to try to be happy, and live your life to the fullest for me.

I love you Marik, even beyond death...

~Amane

()~~()~~()~~()~~()~~()~~()~~()~~()

Marik closed his eyes and leaned back into the wall wearily. He'd been running for hours, trying to run from the cruel reality he was living in. Trying to run away from the fact that the wonderful, sweet girl he'd fallen in love with was gone forever. Maybe he thought that if he ran hard enough, she'd come back. Maybe he thought he could get away from the fact that she hadn't told him. Maybe he thought if he ran fast enough, he could get away from the idea that he had never been able to tell what she was going through.

Marik was torn between feeling pity for himself, and anger at Amane for doing this to everyone.

He had claimed to love her, to want to protect her from everything, but he couldn't be with her when she passed from this world. He had left her alone to hurt, to worry about who she was leaving behind, and he couldn't do anything to help.

Amane had left him, abandoned him just like Ishizu had, leaving him alone in a dark world without a chance for light to come through. She had gotten closer to him than anyone, carved her figure into his heart just like his father had carved the tablet on his back.

He had loved her, and she left him. She had loved him, so she couldn't find the words she knew would hurt him until it was too late. Either way, it meant one thing for him.

Marik was alone.

Marik collapsed onto the ground, holding the crumpled letter that Bakura had handed to him when he had ran to the hospital, hearing only that she had fainted, and that she'd been admitted. Bakura wouldn't let him see her, but he hadn't been cruel. That should have been a hint for Marik, but he was too worried about Amane to notice. Marik had opened the letter, read it, and then ran away from the hospital, away from the people trying to stop him, away from the words that now refused to leave his head.

I always knew I was going to die young...

Marik didn't want to believe it. He wouldn't believe it. He couldn't let her leave, not when she had so much. Marik knelt on the ground and did something he hadn't done in years... he prayed.

What seemed like years later, Marik's phone rang. Bakura. Marik picked up, sighing into the phone, waiting for the horrible news he knew would come out of Bakura's side of the phone.

"She made it." Marik's eyes snapped open, and his heart quickened. What... She...

"She's... alive?" Marik asked hoarsely, unable to believe what he was hearing. After all that worry, the letter, after his heart felt like it was being torn to pieces... she managed to live?

"Yeah... barely... the doctors are calling it a miracle," Bakura's voice sounded properly disdainful, but not too much. The relief was still evident as well. One of the reasons Bakura and Marik got along so well was the fact they didn't believe in miracles or other things like that, but when it came to Amane, it seemed that policy didn't apply.

"A miracle..." Marik said breathlessly, thinking about when he'd prayed that Amane would live. Could it actually have helped?

"Yeah, I said that," Bakura replied gruffly. "Are you coming down here or not?"

"You're letting me?" Bakura had made his ideas about Marik's feelings toward his sister perfectly clear. In fact, Marik could remember a few death threats that had come his way whenever Bakura had found Marik and Amane alone together.

"She's asking for you," Bakura said, not sounding pleased. "Be here in ten minutes or I'll lock you out." He hung up the phone and Marik stared into space for a moment before he began running again.

He was panting when he made it to the hospital, and he ignored the nurses as he ran, searching for Amane's room. "You're late," Bakura said, standing outside the door, but not making any moves to stop him.

"Sorry... Didn't have a ride," Marik replied rudely, entering the empty room, and saw the girl laying on the bed.

"Amane..." He whispered, worried the phone call was a dream, that she wouldn't wake up. She didn't move, seemingly fast asleep, and Marik turned to leave.

"Marik?" Amane's voice called weakly from the bed when he almost reached the door. "I thought... you wouldn't come..."

"Dummy," Marik said, trying to act casual as he sat next to the bed. "Why wouldn't I?"

"The note..." Amane looked about to cry.

"I read it," Marik replied simply, brushing her hair away from her eyes.

"I thought... you'd hate me... for not... telling you..." Amane's voice was weak.

"I could never hate you," Marik replied after a moment. "But don't ever hide something like this again, okay?"

"Okay..." Amane's eyes were worried, and Marik could tell what she was thinking about.

"Amane..." Marik bent over her and gently pressed his lips to hers. "I love you too... But don't tell your brother I told you, because he threatened to cut something important off of me if I told you."

Amane giggled, which was Marik's intention. "Okay..." Amane held his hand in her own, looking sleepy. "Promise you'll stay with me?"

"I promise," Marik said, keeping her hand in his, smiling when he noticed she was already asleep.

"I won't ever leave you," He promised quietly, trying not to wake her, or let Bakura hear him. "And I won't let you go."


Rini: Marik's so... cute... isn't he normally more psycho?

MBP: A bit... He's kinda... OOC...

Kio: Um... at least it wasn't sad...

MBP: So... hope you enjoyed... and review please!

Rini: Please review!

Kio: Jaa nee!