A/N: Was intended for Season 9 of the YGO fic contest here on ff-net, but never got around to being published, even if it was written on semi-time. I just wasn't satisfied with where the fic ended up at. I'm still not happy about all of it, but I can't make a logical way to resolve the corner I wrote myself into with it, orz. The pairing is Gameshipping – Yami Yuugi x Ryuuji Otogi.

This was written to the tune of Sadame by Satō Naoki. Great song. Magnificently haunting.

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.

Warnings: some might find the content below disturbing to an extent. Nothing gory or overly gross, or physical though.

White Light Out

The mornings were always slow in coming. Otogi discovered that he could barely wait for the dawn to break because the darkness was too suffocating. The nights were too deep and too long and sometimes it seemed that the light would never shine through.

Of course, all of that was in his head. Or tried to be. Should have been.

Otogi pushed the covers away and stood up from his bed, casting a slightly hesitant (but he never hesitated, no, not prior to…) look back at the other person still sleeping in his bed. Sometimes, he could swear that the changes happening right in front of his eyes were just a figment of his imagination. There was no difference. There never was any difference. (There shouldn't be, no, no.) When the other sleeps, he seems to be a different person than when he awakens and Otogi can't help but think that it's mental – thinking like this.

"It can't go on like this," Otogi mutters just as the other opens his eyes. (His, his! It shouldn't have been this way.) Otogi doesn't know how much longer he can take it.

There is an instant change in posture, one that Otogi pretends to not notice, and he feels a heavy gaze rest on him.

"Good morning."

A smooth, calm tone so unlike anything Otogi is feeling right now. He reaches for his discarded clothes and starts to dress. He needs to get out. He needs to be away, and isn't it strange – this is his home, his room, his own bed that he's wanting so desperately to get away from.

"It can't go on like this," Otogi repeats in the same low voice.

"No, it can't," the other echoes in a deep voice, sounding slightly amused, and Otogi tries not to look at him; the way he lounges back against the pillow like it's the most important thing in the world to do.

"You haven't told me," he implores. "You won, but you never told me how you cheated Pegasus."

Otogi avoids thinking about his name because he doesn't know what to call him. Yuugi? But he isn't, according to his friends and to himself. Pharaoh? But Otogi can't believe that fairytale-like story they've given him. And he can't believe that some ancient artefact has brought him all the victories over the best of the best. That's cheating, he thinks angrily. Cheating, cheating, cheating. He needs to get outside. He needs fresh air. Clear mind for a little bit of thinking. The puzzle the other man-teen-ghostly apparition in a teen's body is currently adjusting around his neck doesn't explain anything. It doesn't prove anything. Guy just has a liking for puzzle-shaped accessory just like Otogi has a thing for dice.

Otogi doesn't look Yami in the eye when the other says, sternly, "I already told you. You're still not convinced?"

"Your story is a load of crap. Do you really expect people to believe something like that?"

"Not people," Yami interjects calmly. "Only one would be enough."

There's something odd in the way he looks at Otogi, as if it's there is a hidden meaning to it, but since Otogi is heading for the door, he doesn't notice.

"Sure. Whatever. I'm going out."

For the Pharaoh, being left behind is something not quite new, but something he'd thought to already be a thing of the past. He gets up, gets dressed, and makes to leave the apartment as well, listening to Yuugi's attempts at consoling him. Somehow, that made everything worse.

Five weeks later found Yuugi all alone in a white padded cell, dressed in plain white hospital robes and seeing nothing but the four walls, doctors, nurses, and other asylum's patients. The Puzzle had been taken from him and his mind was solitary once again and unbelievably empty. He hadn't believed that Otogi would go so far as to have him locked up. Or that he even had enough resources, connections and influence to pull it off. (Truly, he had thought Kaiba more capable of something like this.)

"You need help," Otogi had said more than once during the past few weeks.

The Pharaoh had thought nothing of it at first, used to Otogi not believing his story. Used to him refusing the obvious and denying his words. In some ways, he was just like Kaiba, except the Pharaoh had shared a more intimate relationship with Otogi than he ever would with Kaiba.

Which is why it hurts all the more. More, even, than the finality he is facing in his current predicament. Nobody believes him and the power of the ancient Egyptian artefact. They label him with medical terms and claim to be helping him. Outside, the world might as well be going down the drain – Yuugi can't do a thing about it and the Pharaoh isn't around. It's a betrayal if he's seen one, and one he should have seen coming.

Within weeks, the world finds itself a new King of Games with a psyche much more stable. Yuugi can't help the bitter laugh as he watches a dice earring dangle across the screen of the TV some of the patients are watching in the sitting room. He can't help commenting on it, turning to speak with the Pharaoh who isn't by his side anymore. Who'll never be. And every claim Otogi has made about him before comes true in the most twisted way imaginable. He is mad and he needs help, but that's one thing he'll never be getting. The game, as they said, was on him.