"A debt? What the hell does that mean?" Bakura demanded of thin air.
"I will show you."
And suddenly, Domino museum was gone. The tile beneath his feet was gone, glass cases with tarnished finery replaced with tables laden with sumptuous foods and fine wines.
But the only thing Bakura noticed was the lean young man seated on a cushioned throne. He peered at Bakura with violet eyes, surveying him as he sipped wine from a golden chalice.
A hatred rose up in Bakura's heart so fiercely he thought that it would burst.
"Pharaoh," he spat, clenching his hands into trembling fists.
If the Pharaoh caught on to the hatred in his voice, he didn't let it show.
"It's been awhile, Bakura," he said, in a deliberately formal tone.
"Not long enough."
The Pharaoh sighed and pinched his brow, setting down the chalice.
"I am the one who petitioned for your resurrection," he said, deciding to dispense with the pleasantries (if these could be called that) and getting straight to the point. "It was no easy task- the gods were not willing to give a man like you any second chances."
"How nice. The almighty Pharaoh condescending to pity me," Bakura scoffed.
"Not you," Pharaoh corrected. "Ryou."
"Huh?" Bakura cocked his head, his stance switching to something less threatening. "My...Landlord?"
"Yes." Pharaoh set the chalice down, his brow knitted together. "You owe him."
"What do you mean, I owe him?"
"You used his body. His mind was your haven. And you abused his flesh and wounded his mind. You must repay him for that."
Bakura narrowed his eyes menacingly.
"Who are you to decide what I owe anyone?" He asked, slowly, deliberately.
"I know what you put him through. I know what you did to him in Battle City."
"You didn't seem so keen on helping my little Landlord while you were still on Earth to do it, Pharaoh," Bakura said sharply.
"I know." It was blunt. Pharaoh didn't feel like mincing words. "I admit I didn't raise a hand to help him. And I do regret that."
"Out of curiosity, Pharaoh, why didn't you?"
The Pharaoh sighed, closing his eyes and shaking his head
"Coward," Bakura growls. "You've always been a coward."
"Regardless of my bravery or my motives," Pharaoh said, pointing to Bakura, "The gods have agreed that you must repay your debt to your host. The terms are simple. He gave you life, and now you must give him life in return. Once you have done that, then you are free to join the afterlife."
"What does that mean?" Bakura demanded. Damn it, why was Pharaoh mocking him with that calm smile? Why didn't he explain, instead of talking circles around his head?
"You aren't a fool, Bakura," Pharaoh said simply. "You'll figure it out.*
And then he's back in Domino museum, collapsed in Ryou's arms. Marik and Ishizu flanked his sides; Marik looking confused, Ishizu looking annoyed.
"Bakura?" Ryou asked, shaking him gently. "Are you alright?"
A few of the passersby stopped to stare at the scene, before politely walking away a few moments later.
Always looking, never helping. No one cares about Bakura, the dirty little street rat.
"I'm fine," Bakura snapped, shoving Ryou away.
Pharaoh. Pharaoh. Why the hell would he try to help him? Why did he care about him now? Why did he care about Ryou now?
Marik held out his hand to help him up. Bakura slapped the hand away and made his own way to his shaky legs.
"What happened?" Ryou asked.
Ryou furrowed his brow.
"Is that the voice we heard?" He asked. "My word, I thought it sounded familiar."
"What did he say?" Marik asked, face alight with curiosity.
"He told me that I owe my Landlord a debt, and that the gods gave me this chance and this body in order to repay it."
"Me? The gods...the Pharaoh...actually did this for me?" Ryou went just a little cross-eyed and frowned.
Bakura looked around. There was no trace that anything out of the ordinary had just taken place. But the Pharaoh's words still rang in his mind like an annoying chime that wouldn't cease.
"He was speaking in riddles," Bakura growled.
He once gave you life. And now you must give him life in return.
What the hell does that even mean?!