Marik watched his little capture sink into a deep rest- the first deep rest he'd ever reached, at least in Marik's presence. It made the soft smile on his face grow softer, a tenderness spread through his 'heart'. At least, that was the term- in reality, of course, he knew it was only his minds' response to Bakura's stimulus, his... helplessness. But the romanticism of his heart being the source of emotion had always appealed to his less reasoning side. And so the gentle smile remained. In rest such as this, the harshness of Bakura's expression faded. The tough, arrogant, chiseled sort of look vanished, his face becoming all the more pretty and smoothe. Half of Marik loved this, as well. The other half wasn't sure what to feel. As cute and innocent as it was, it wasn't the real Bakura's fiery spark. And in this sleep, he looked so like poor Ryou...
Ryou. The smile he word turned more wistful at the name...
Slowly the present faded, replaced by short clippings of his memories relating to the boy. Ryou hadn't been nearly as much of a problem as Bakura, that was for certain. He'd been quiet and meek, happy with anything he'd offered him. Marik had never had to bind him in any chain or rope. He had allowed the boy freedom around his castle, and Ryou had never made a lie of his word to stay inside.
He was a daydreamer, as well- and told such great tales to Marik, ones that came from those imaginings. That was what had appealed to Marik the most, the stories. He had always had an obsession with books and such, going through them so fast he ran out of new tales quickly, and any new stories that he could find were always cherished. Time and time again he'd called him from his sleeping chambers, to tell a story or two... and often times he fell asleep on his bed, too exhausted to return to his own. Most the time Marik left him be, savoring the latest tale or retelling in peaceful silence, but sometimes he'd be so impatient for another that he'd urge him to tell just one more- with a slice from the knife at his delicate skin.
That was how his knife had killed Ryou, actually. A pure accident. He'd cut too deep, and Ryou cringed from pain so much harsher than he was used to. The shifting had made his injury fatal. Hopefully, this injury wasn't fatal also. Just as slowly as he'd entered, he let his mind exit the past and merge back into reality. He watched the soft, snowy face of Ryou shift into the angular and crystal-like face of Bakura. Yes, there were still some differences between the two... one of which being their physical maturity. Bakura was also stronger, and most likely more... experienced; but those traits, tasty as they were, would be useless unless he survived to use them.
Reaching into a side compartment of his bag, he felt around until his slender fingers came in contact with cold steel. His hand curled around it, pulling out the small, tarnished key, feeling it slowly warm to his touch as he watched his capture rest. Panic was a feeling he rarely felt, the same with any kind of anxiety or need to rush- and this moment was not an exception. He allowed his eyes to get their fill.
He soon grew bored with merely looking. The fingertips of his free hand stretched out, tracing Bakura's hard, smoothe lips with a touch that was barely there. In sleep, there was no fight against him. His lips parted meekly on contact, a soft noise from his throat accepting the touch willingly, almost urging it on.
But he was asleep, unaware of the happenings, unaware of each action Marik gave and his reaction in return. And that was no fun. Leaving the interaction at that he pressed the small key into the lock of Bakura's chains, turning it and setting him free. He collapsed in a heap on the ground without the suspension of his bindings. Marik sighed warmly. Poor thing.
Firstly, Marik tended to the wound itself. He opened the lid to the alcohol, stretching out the injured neck and tilting the bottle slightly so that the liquid trickled into the wound. The pale, bloodied body shuddered, gasped, the feel of it frothing inside his veins making him twitch and groan in pain. Lust softened Marik's lavender eyes, a smile playing on his face.
Soon Bakura lapsed into silence, and with delicate fingers he continued with the patching of his newfound pet. The expression on that usually steely face stayed vulnerable throughout, as he hadn't injected too much of the tranquilizer, the only responses slight twinges of his temple when his touch became too rough. Naturally, this made him treat him with slightly less care. It satisfied him, to see him suffering quietly for once.

"Good kitty." he crooned after he'd finished, patting his fair head. His expression became less pained, less stressed, once his hand moved from the highly sensitive flesh of his injury.
Deft fingers led Bakura's chin, pulling his head in to rest against Marik's tan cargo pants, comfortable in his lap for the both of them. The same long, slim fingers rested atop his head, stroking gently down his shoulders before retreating and starting down their path again. The absentminded petting of his new kitten was relaxing, almost therapeutic. The repetition of it made it easier for Marik to think. About Bakura's surprising weakness.
His pet was terrified of needles. Or at least of what they inject. He was sure his eyes weren't deceiving him when they'd seen the proud spirit cringe from the tranquilizer, and certainly not when they saw the fear jump into his pretty hazel eyes. He was terrified, certainly. And it seemed to have occurred because of the shot. Marik took note of that quietly, grinning as he mulled over his newly revealed advantage. Maybe Bakura would behave himself if he kept the weapon handy... He heard the door creak open, from behind where he sat. Marik continued to stroke Bakura's silvery hair and soft, pale skin, listening intently.
"M-master Marik?" Yugi's tentative little voice whispered after a minute, so quiet he could barely pick up the sound. "I-I see I'm disturbing you, I'll just-"
"No, it's alright. Come in." he murmured, gesturing widely and with a flourish for him to enter. Like a mouse, the servant scurried inside.
"Master, you didn't eat your dinner!" he cried, before his voice dropped to a tiny quaver. "Was it... was it displeasing...?"
"No, no. There were just other matters that needed to be attended to." A slow smile came to reside in the lower regions of his face. "I trust you'll make something equally appetizing out of it for tomorrow."
Immediately Yugi brightened. "Yes, master Marik! I'll start planning for it right away!" Marik nodded, expecting the child to leave. But to his surprise he continued to hover over his shoulder anxiously.
"Yes?"
The unexpected sound made him squeak in fright.
"O-oh- sorry. I was just wondering... well, will he be alright? He looks to be in sorry shape," he explained, lowering his head obediently. "But it's none of my business, master Marik!"
Marik shook his head, chuckling. "I think it's a legitimate question. Yes, he'll be fine. No worse for wear, once he's healed."
"Good. Uhm, is there anything I can do to help?"
"No. Just don't disturb his rest."
"Yes, master." Finally Yugi picked up the plates, having much trouble balancing it with his tiny arms and body, then paused at the door. "Uhm... one more thing..." he stammered softly, "What... what happened to him, to make him like that?"
"That's none of your concern." Marik snapped, growing just the slightest bit irritated with the question. His voice made the boy jump, and bowing one last time- while nearly toppling the plates in the process- he scampered quickly from the room.
Alone once again with his kitten, he accepted the sudden, strong urge to tightly cuddle with him. He only did this a minute, long enough to satisfy the craving, and Bakura didn't seem to particularly mind. Actually, he seemed to rather enjoy it. A light smile played on his usually so hardened face.

Then, he whispered. And the one word he uttered was enough to honestly leave Marik wide-eyed and speechless- with what emotion, he couldn't tell.
"Ryou..." he had murmured, tightening his arms around his bare midriff. "...Ryou."
He and Ryou...?


I'm sorry I took so long to upload, anyone who cares enough to need this apology. I've been distracted. And any reviews for improving the story are very much welcome. *grin*