Rate: M

Warning: Death and Guro (I think)

Pairing(s): Maybe Thiefshipping... Sort of Thiefshipping. Yup.

"You know today is Valentines Day," Marik had said suddenly, his voice resounding from the stretch of mahogonay plush that created their couch. Bakura had paused, eyes ticking to the blonde figure that occupied the piece of furniture. He felt something akin to a small sliver of ice slithering down the bumps of his spine, nestling itself down in the core of his stomach, the ice becoming a shimmering glacier that rested on choppy waves.

Something about the sentence had been off, Bakura supposed. Perhaps the tone of distance that happened to color the voice, or the odd way in which had been said. Random. Like a psychotic chip tossed in when you were to intoxicated to think of what you were really doing. That, or you just didn't have enough wits about you to realize the entirety of what was happening.

Then again, Bakura couldn't say he was surprised.

Marik had never been quite right, he didn't even need to reflect to call this to mind. As he rose from his seat in the kitchen, mug clasped tightly between his spindly fingers, his mind reflected back to the vast difference between this Marik, and the one who had seemed to have recovered after his dark side had been banished.

It seemed as if everything was progressivly down hill. A small decline of sanity, if one wished to say as such. Everything that Marik had hoped to claim, and hoped to do with his life had crumbled brick by painful, bloody brick before his watchful eyes. Everything Marik had stood for had toppled to the earth in a cascade of blank retchedness that now seemed to envelop the once thoughtful parnter.

Bakura took a small sip from the tea, allowing it to brush past his lips and traverse down his throat, all the while his gaze locked upon the boy seated beside him. Marik was hunkered over, gaze vacant as he stared forward, eyes staring dully at the wall as his hands hung limply before him. As Bakura watched, a small tic began in his cheek, as if his teeth were constantly gnashing against one another.

Grimacing, Bakura's mug was soon placed on the coffee table, his hand reaching out in all hesitancy. Human contact was something he still didn't entirely relish in. Not to say he didn't want it - he'd just never dealt with it. How did one react to a sudden onslaught of something that was so alien?

His hand soon lay on Marik's thigh, squeezing the muscle in a silent gesture. He didn't know what to make of this shell of a man that sat beside him on the couch. There seemed to be nothing residing of the Marik Ishtar that had captured the Spirit of the Ring's attention. No more flash of vengeance, or the cunning look in Marik's eyes as he concuted a new plan to further avenge both he and Bakura.

Nothing at all.

If anything, Marik had become a whole new entity. Much like he'd created his darker half, Bakura could almost entertain the notion that Marik had created yet a whole new side of himself. The thought never lasted long, but it was certainly always lingering there, tickling the back of his mind no matter what he did. And he often thought about the Marik that he knew never recovering, and never returning to him.

With a slow, measured blink, Bakura wasn't entirely sure what emotions that thought stirred, if any at all. Removing his hand, and positioning in his own lap, he stared at the mug. It was a simple, white, brown staned mug. Porcelain, he guessed. He'd never really stopped to think about it, or to break it.

Just like Marik, he thought, eyelids fluttering momentarily as his thoughts gave a vicious churn. Nobody ever stopped to think that Marik would break because of their actions. No one stopped to think just how fragile Marik was, or what he was made of. In his already precarious mental state, everything that had happened had just been a vicious, thirty foot drop to a stone cold tiled floor, shattering his pieces into little splinters. Now the glass just lay splattered haphazardly around, each glinting piece their, but none of them joined together, and he would never be whole again.

Heaving a slight sigh, Bakura's thin chest rose and fell, ribs pressing against his skin as he shook his head, white strands fluttering about his pointed features. Marik had stayed fully silent after his first sentence, not even reacting at Bakura's movements or lapses into thought.

But now he spoke again.

"I think I'd like something for Valentines Day." The voice was rough and cracked, like an injured animal loping free from Marik's throat. Each syllable was a pain, and Bakura winced at the mere sound of Marik's deteriorated vocal chords. Once Bakura had had problems getting Marik to be silent. Now, it was the exact opposite, and yet again Bakura was brought to attention the mystifying question of: how did such things make him feel?

He wasn't sure.

"I think I'd like for you to snap out of this," Bakura replied smoothly instead, voice throbbing softly free unlike the crippled, pathetic croaks Marik had produced. Straightening his back, Bakura pushed his hair back, almost like a preening animal preparing for a show to either mate or enemy. His eyes stayed locked upon Marik's features, snowy lashes dipping occasionally into his line of sight, rejuvinating his eyes as if one second missed would leave him in a black abyss - Marik's reaction forever unknown.

The response was certainly disappointing. "Maybe a heart," Marik had murmured, his line of sight flickering to rest on that of a book. Bakura stared at it for a moment, noting that it appeared to be some sort of romance novel. He wasn't sure why they had it. He recalled buying books, and he supposed he'd just gotten a bit grab happy, and had just snagged something up. Perhaps in an attempt to sell it later for a higher price?

Either way, he noted that the cover had a cartoon version of the heart. That stupid symbol of curved lines, nothing at all like the pulsing, powerful muscles in the cavity of his chest, pounding away and keeping him alive. The thing humans seem to take for granted at how precious each little pulse of it was.

Bakura gave a disdainful sniff, turning his head slightly. Marik was clearly talking nonsense, and he wanted nothing to do with it. It would only irritate him that such gibberish was leaving the mangled mouth, coming straight from the mess that was Marik's mind.

Staning up, he snagged up his mug, downing the tea. As the comforting liquid slithered down his throat, soothing his nerves and relaxing him, he made his way to the kitchen. Each step brought forth memories of Battle City, in all their grandeur, when Marik had been such a prideful partner, so bright and strong with a life of conniving crimes stretched ahead of him. All of it gone.

Bakura went to put the mug in the sink, and his fingers fluttered for a moment, a small spasm of the muscles. He watched as the mug slipped free of his grip, and went tumbling towards the aluminum. Dismayed, he saw the pieces fracture, erupting into a spiderweb of cracks that soon deviated from one another in a splurge of tinkling shards.

Hissing, Bakura fully retracted his hand, staring at the uninjured appendage. Giving it one more glance over, he stared at what had once been his mug. Some of the solid chunks had already slithered down into the drain, becoming large obtrusions for the smaller fragments.

Giving it one more final glance, he passed it off with a wave of his hand. He didn't want to deal with that just yet. After a small night's sleep, he'd come in with the wet washcloth and swipe it up. For now, however, he was calling a 'good night' over his shoulder to the practically comatose Marik, not really caring if the other male heard or not. It wasn't like he'd react, either way the pendulum swung.

Clambering into his bed, Bakura reflected that the rest of his life might very well be spent like this. A quiet, awkward state of existance with a partner that couldn't even talk about relevant subjects that didn't pertain to something his mind had already been set upon for a prolonged amount of time.

Clamping his eyes shut, Bakura sneered at the very thought. He wouldn't stay for long, if this was all that was left. He couldn't. He wouldn't. This was no way for him - a Master Thief and an exactor of revenge - to act. He'd hoped Marik could swing back around, and offer his knowledge and cunning, sly personality to the equation. Those chances were slim to none, though, and he wasn't going to wait forever.

In the morning, he'd leave.


Marik slunk into the bedroom. Small squares of light from outside streetlamps filtered in, throwing small patches of white light splashed across the carpet in rows, mimicking the pattern of the blinds. Occasionally a car would drift past, illuminating the pale blinds in their soft red glow.

Marik stared at the light for a moment, gaze seemingly stuck on the alternating colors. Each vibrant dash that rose and fell had captured his interest, his brain working in a wholesome rut that trundled along, thoughts abstract and focused on pulsing life and the ever-constant scenery now chaning with each second all because of miniature factors that were wild cards thrown into Marik's ordinary mix.

A slight shudder wracked his body, though, and he was brought about to the initial task of even entering this room. Peering around, he realized he'd never actually been in the room. Never had the motivation nor the reason. He only knew it was Bakura's room due to the Spirit continuously disappearing into it night after night, leaving Marik to sit slumped over on the couch.

Marik was surprised Bakura had stayed so long.

There were small moments, after all, where Marik could recieve some type of clarity. He could practically see himself there, body limp like a corpse as he doubled over on himself. His eyes had become sunken and black, skeletal in every appearance and regard.

It was in those moments that his mind had pieced together that Bakura would not stay. Bakura had bigger ideals, and his life had not come crashing down around his ears. He had faced bitter dissappointment and a rough slap in the face that his vengeance could not yet be completed. But yet he hadn't fallen to his knees, thick in dread and confusion, as Marik had.

Bakura was still raring to go, and was willingly to not only climb back on the bull, but take it by the horns and give it a few bucks to match its pace. And that was where they differed. Marik had taken the path of cowering beneath the scarlet blanket, and ignoring the calls and jeers, for in his sheltered state he was safe. If Bakura was busy distracting the bull, then Marik need not dirty his hands any farther.

Marik was certainly not proud of what he had become.

But as much as he detested it, and rejected it, it was still there. A lingering cloud he could not push through, but could only sit and watch as it obstinantly blotted the sun from his world, fixating thim in this cold, blackened lifestyle that he so despised.

Tilting his head, Marik took a step forward, that black cloud still shrouding him from existence, still causing his brain to malfunction with its cruel, surrounding air, suffocating and pressing around him on all sides. He felt almost sticky with the pressure.

Then he realized it was sweat when the knife in his fingers began to slip. Swallowing sharply, Marik quickly tightened his fingers about the handle once more, plastic heating against his flesh as the palm of his hand kept it covered fully, clutching desperately at it. He couldn't lose it. Couldn't drop it. Bakura would awaken, and he would never get another chance.

Another step.

Another drop of sweat gathering among the masses.

Another thought pervading his mind of how Bakura could not leave. Of how he could not be alone. Not in this state. Not after all of this.

Yet another step.

Yet another few drops dribbling cooly down his back, slicking through the scars while leaving salty trails of pain rivuleting down his scarred flesh. His muscles twitched and undulated beneath his shirt, and he felt the fabric clinging achingly to the skin.

A grimace joined the progression.




A repetitve dance he knew every tune to, until he reached the bed, and suddenly the tempo changed. He felt his arm rising up, eyes wide and crazed as the sleeping figure before him began to rouse itself. Bakura's eyes were fluttering open, his mouth slightly open in confusion.

He'd grown rusty, living in such peacefulness with Marik. The once great thief had grown careless and had made a few simple mistakes of not being on his toes. And Marik could only reflect that it was what had caused the thief's death.

Arm thrusting down, Marik let out a terrified gurgle before the knife was puncturing flesh, slipping through a thick vein. Blood splurted free, and Marik felt something like shock rip through him as his body fumbled forward, following through with the fatal motion.

His hand quickly released the knife, watching as Bakura's body flailed, pupils shrinking as blood spewed from the gash. Marik felt a shudder wrack his body, before the vapidness was returning, and his mind was to busy turning the thought of how gorgeous Bakura's blood looked flying free from his flesh - a wondrous, deep scarlet that soon splattered the walls and blanket, dying it a delicious red.

Marik found himself feeling almost dissappointed as the blood slowed, and turned into small shuddering pulses, nothing like the fountai he'd first been rewarded with. And the longer he watched, the smaller the trickle became, and the feeling kept returning. He wanted more. Wanted more of Bakura's blood.

With a starling flash, Marik's mind roused forth the earlier memories - It's Valentines Day. I want a heart. Blinking, Marik rose, clambering onto the sticky bed covers. He could feel his fingers swimming in the oozing elixer, watching as it swarmed up around his flesh, sinking it in the glorious bath.

Licking his lips, Marik reached a hand up, ignoring the distant look in Bakura's eyes as he extracted his knife. A little fascination sparked within his core as a little spew of blood followed his knife, but it wasn't long in lasting, and gave no satisfaction he could truly revel in. He still needed more.

The knife soon lay flat against Bakura's collarbone, and Marik trailed the blade slowly along, slithering it against the flesh. With a few tapping prods, he slit the skin more and more, little cuts left speckling Bakura's bare torso as Marik reveled in this action.

He hadn't felt this alive in a long time. The dark cloud that always hid him away seemed to be slowly lifting, replaced with a hazy red mist that filled him with a pounding need for more and more - he wanted to fuel this new atmosphere, to fully envelop himself in such a pleasurable activity and haven for his mind.

So he took the next step.

Bracing himself, he punctured Bakura's chest, dipping the knife in. Bones blocked his way, and he gave an annoyed grunt, but allowed himself to continue. He needed to do this. If he didn't the redness would leave him, and he couldn't deal with the loss of such a lovely color settling around him. Couldn't go back to the blackness that had once swarmed among his thoughts, collecting and growing and mutating into something so horrid Marik couldn't even think straight any more.

He couldn't.

And just like Bakura, he wouldn't.

Giving a sharp twist of the wrist, he dragged the knife along, edges ripping at flesh, pushing it open in a gruesom display. As Marik cut straight down to the hips, he watched as the skin severed, opening up. The edges were uneven, just like the teeth of the knife. Blood was rippling around the corners, rolling down the white flesh and staining Marik's new favorite color.

He felt alive! So alive!

Ducking down, he tossed the knife to the side, allowing it to sink within blood, disappearing within sight, just as Marik's hands soon did beneath the flaps of flesh framing his arms. Fingers grasping and tearing within, he felt wet coils greating him, their slimy exteriors greeting him joyously. They were partrons to the Red Haze as well, and Marik immediately felt as if they were his kin - not the rest of the Ishtar clan. No, these delicious, sloppy organs that he slowly drew from within Bakura's punctured body were his real family.

He could bury his face in them for comfort, and so he did, face pressing into their comforting, odd texture. It felt wondrous against his skin, offering more comfort then Bakura's little thigh squeazes had ever offered. More then any hug Isis had ever attempted. He felt as if these little coils felt genuine affection, for they knew of the Red Haze, and could relish in it as he had done.

But they weren't his main task, and he soon set them down. They formed a little pile beside Bakura's prone body - a small meaty mountain that had a side trail disappearing within the cavernous body beside them.

Slipping his hand inside once more, Marik felt his fingers tightening around his true prize. Teeth gritting, he felt veins snapping, giving way to his force as he slowly drew the warm muscle free. Bakura's body shifted beneath him, and for a moment he froze, hand still trapped within the warm confines of the heated flesh.

Peering down, he felt himself relaxing once more, hand continuing to pull the heart free from Bakura's cavernous chest. All that had happened was that Marik's extensive tugger and jerking had jostled the deceased Spirit.

Giving a sharp squeeze, Marik peeled the heart free finally, glorious red gushing free of the artery to roll down his arm. With a sudden spark, he thought of how pleased the Red Haze would be if he ate it. How the Red Haze would stay, with a part of it always in Marik.

Only a small bit of hesitancy followed, before Marik's tongue was greedily lapping at the heart, teeth puncturing the flesh about it and sinking into the muscle. He felt his throat convulse as he swallowed the gritted chunks, blood helping to wash it down with a rush of red.

Everything was red.

But everything was perfect when it was red.

"A Happy Valentines," Marik mumbled distractedly, slipping down fully onto the bed, shoulder pressed against the pillow as he stared into Bakura's vacant stare. As he peered at the deceased body, he slipped forward, lips latching around Bakura's, moving softly against the soft, cold lips. He felt them warming as his tongue stroked them, fingers reaching up to roll along Bakura's sharpened features. His body aligned with the one he had destroyed, his body rubbing and writhing against the corpse.

With a sharp noise, he tangled his hands in Bakura's hair, rushing his hands through it time and time again. Each stroke brought forth a violent red streak, and each soft, sensitive trailing of Marik's tongue across the snowy skin only brought about more red, coating Bakura in the color that had saved Marik.

He'd cover both of them in it, and they'd boy be happy. Both boy joyful. Marik knew. The Red Haze would fix everything - fix Bakura - if only there could be enough delivered. Bakura would have to show the Red Haze all the affection that Marik had shown it himself.

With a startling, gutral laugh, Marik pressed his lips to Bakura's neck, whispering encouragement that he couldn't have said earlier. The black, oppressing cloud of shadows had stopped him from saying such words, and had held him back, clawing at his body and suspending him in a state of nothingness. He supposed that was where Bakura was now.

But that would all be over soon.

As soon as the Red Haze set them free.

It's very hard to write things like this when Pandora seems fixated on playing Backstreet Boys, NSync, and all my favorite 80's pop.

But then again Piece of Me came on at a wondrous time. Taken out of concept it worked rather nicely.

But other then that...

Pandora you never cater to my needs...bitch.