A/N: Written for 500themes writing challenge community. The prompt – 386. Yesterday's tomorrow.
Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi and all associated companies are the rightful owners of the Yuugiou! franchise and I claim no association with any of them. No copyright infringement intended with this and no money is being made from this. Please support the creator by purchasing the official releases.
We Were Standing
(At the end of the world)
No promises had been exchanged between her and the man who saved her life twice. No secret wows, no straightforward answers; there was nothing between them worthy of revisiting in some other life. Like grains of sand, they had brushed sides before being swept away by the wind who turned them around, made them tumble and roll across the plains that could have been life itself, polishing their sides until they lost all of their edges and fell into dust. They were a complete cycle.
There was, however, one promise made for her, with her by a man who almost took her life, once. It had been a chance encounter in a village which she had thought to be her safe haven. No one treated her like an outcast there; at least not the same way she had been treated elsewhere because of her outlandish appearance. This village was a safe hideout for all outcasts who managed to reach it through the deserts of sand and rocks and tales of roaming monsters. No one chased her away from here, she was mostly ignored here… until he came.
He bore a striking similarity to her own appearance – outlandish white hair, eerily burning eyes that saw everything and nothing, and the will to challenge gods themselves. (Kisara believed no gods for they had all long since abandoned her.) He noticed her and he desired her and the creature inside her. He was, as he introduced himself to her, a thief and stealer of souls, and every Egyptian had at least a few to spare. In his eyes, it was only fair that he took the ones they weren't using. He began hunting her relentlessly, and against her own best judgement the creature within her broke free and razed down everything to shield her. Even though she became the very creature itself for a moment, she still felt his eyes burning into her through the curtain of white flames. She felt the air sizzle and whip around her while he stood opposite her, his own soul tearing free and marching through the fire, reaching for her.
Kisara ran. She ran and ran, and ran without looking back, without stopping until her breath failed her and she fell into darkness. His promise still rang in her ears loud and clear.
I'll find you. I'll hunt you down.
Eternity was a long time to chase and longer still to run and hide, and wait. The man who had made no promises had taken only one soul of her five while the rest still lived on and remembered, and sought. For as long as she retained her Ba, she could continue her way through eternity without moving on to the afterlife. She knew that the thief lived the same way. She knew that he, too, sought for something other than eternity. Recognition. Remembrance. Revival. Resolution, maybe.
They met; stood across from each other the same way they had been standing millennia ago, but with no creatures inside them to burst forth and battle it out. He remembered everything; she had forgotten some things. But it didn't matter. Just the way he looked at her, took her in – all of her – with a single glance was enough to no longer care for the things she no longer remembered. He held her Ren, her name in his memory, and for as long as someone knew it and could call it, she could live.
"You have been waiting a long time," Bakura said, a slow smirk spreading across his lips. A greedy fire lit up his eyes.
"No one remembers me," she replied, as if it explained everything. As if it was a response to everything.
"I can burn you into their memory." Bakura didn't gloat. He offered.
Kisara responded to it with a calm smile, her gaze piercing through him and seeing that he was speaking the truth.
"I can burn them myself," she corrected him and watched the grin on his face spread before the stillness was broken by his maniacal laughter.
He may have underestimated her.
"You have not waited in vain," Bakura noted, still trying to decide if he should cross the distance between them. He had wanted her once. Desired. She was here now, right at the tips of his fingers and he only needed to reach out and touch… Wind, eternity, a living memory. The sands of time sifted through his fingers, again.
"I have waited too long," she pointed out, accusing. "Long enough for you to forget me." She had waited, expected a mad chase through time, which never came. She continued to move on until she grew tired of waiting and began searching, chasing. She got close to him quite a few times, but the winds of eternity blew them apart again without allowing them as much as brush sides, touch edges, grind into dust.
"You don't have to wait anymore." Bakura tilted his head. "I remember everything."
"Do you?" she wondered; her words a shy breathy whisper. Disbelieving.
"I can destroy the world. I have the knowledge."
Kisara nodded. It was impossible to go through the world, through lives without picking up on some patterns. The one, for example, which had brought them together like two halves of one broken shell; tossed and turned around until a chance washed them up onto the same shore and somebody's hand picked them up and pieced them back together.
"You forgot to chase." It wasn't an accusation, merely a statement.
"Did you run?" he inquired. Should he reach out… now?
Kisara nodded. "From life to life. I rushed through one into the next to see if something would be waiting for me at the end."
Bakura bared his teeth in a broad grin and spread his arms. "I'm here. Waiting."
Kisara shook her head in dismissal and took a step toward him. "You're not waiting for me. You're waiting for the end of the world."
Bakura continued to grin and let his arms fall down to his sides. He had been trapped in a place out of time and existence, waiting the same way she had waited while moving through lives. He watched her take another step closer to him, unafraid. He had sworn to hunt her down, but that had been another time when both of their Ka monsters had been intact; when they had burst to life, ready to tear down everything in their path. At this time, in this era, there was no room for such beings of ether and thought, and will; and what little magic still existed shied away into the darkest corners and the deepest crevices of the world. Yes, he was waiting for that one moment when the world came crashing down, caving in on itself.
"Well…" Kisara's voice cut the momentary silence. She took one more step forward, her eyes – the same blue in this life as well – locked with Bakura's intense brown. "Here I am."
Bakura responded her motion by taking a step forward as well, meeting her halfway, and reached out to touch her, but his hand stopped a small distance away from her cheek. He hadn't touched her when they had first met, hadn't been able to, and something stopped his hand even now. He believed her though; he had known it from the very first moment. She was the key. She was the end of the world. And she had come to him knowing it – even if she remembered little else – knowing that he was chasing after it, seeking to capture eternity itself and tear it apart.
"Here I am," Bakura echoed her words and let his arm fall down to his side, his chest trembling with wild and victorious laughter which burst forth before long. The end of the world had come to seek him out. The end of the world had answered his call and waited for him to speak his final wish out loud. The Pharaoh was dead and only his shadow roamed the lands, and faint echoes of those who had once stood between him and his victory. The end of the world was waiting on him.
And then, in one swift motion, everything was over.
"Caught you," Bakura whispered in her ear, his arms tightening around her, never to let go.
"Caught you," Kisara echoed, her breath a gentle whisper against his neck.
The world around them was silent, as though before a heavy storm.