Authors note;
I wrote this story for the Light and Dark challenge (http : Heart_of_the_ ?showtopic=81 (take out the spaces)). It's supposed to turn into a twoshot. Only this story goes out of challenge's usual rules a bit. It'll still be about a hikari and a yami. Only not connected ones. Yes you guessed right. Prepare for some Malik & Bakura inner monologues! :3
I just started writing and this is what came out of it. Not as good as I had hopred but I still hope you like it. I will forever be fascinated by the depths of Bakura and Mariks relationship and mutual understandings.
For anyone who may share this, maybe consider being my Bakura on http Heart_of_the_ ?act=idx It's a rp board in it's baby steps and we are still looking for a good Yami Bakura to create chaos, thiefship with me and abuse our poor little Ryou.
Please R&R or check out the side. :) It's a fun place, has been renewed & is ready for a fresh start.

Why do you haunt me so?

Who is he?

That was the most pressing question on Mariks mind when he had met the spirit of sennen ring for the first time. Bakura, as he claimed his name was, had appeared out of no-where. Claiming to be a collector of the sennen items, knowing the secrets only Marik his family should know. Wielding his item and the shadows so skillfully. Using people like a graceful puppeteer waiting for the right moment to strike.

That Marik was impressed would have been an understatement. At first he had just assumed Bakura was some shady character who had somehow somewhere found the secrets. Not for a moment had he considered he was talking to ancient spirit. The pharaoh's long lost rival. But Marik was no fool. When a willing, and possibly very useful ally, had crossed his path he took the opportunity without hesitation. Bakura and him had a common goal. Even if he may not know the others motives, their goal was very similar.

Marik hadn't been surprised at Bakura's reluctance at first to team up. When your morals were corrupted to the point of not hesitating to threaten to kill the stranger in front of you, it was but normal that you were hesitant to trust the man who had just told you he'd kill you without hesitation. But they were not many on the cause and their enemies were strong so an alliance was a welcome luxury. Not for a moment did Marik doubt that when they were closest to their goal their alliance would quickly end. Though he didn't know the man before him, he did not doubt that neither of them would be willing to let the other have the satisfaction of killing the pharaoh. But those would be worries for when they actually got to the point.

When Bakura had revealed to him to be the evil spirit housing within his sennen item, this had caught Mariks curiosity immediately. He wasn't but the teenage boy in front of him, he was a spirit controlling a vessel. Needless to say Marik would make sure to find out more about his new found ally as soon as he could.

XxXxXxXxX

The next time Marik was able to wonder about the spirit freely again was only when the was alone on the blimp in his room.

He had been too busy before trying to get Yugi through his friends to have been thinking about Bakura before now. He still couldn't believe how far those idiots would go for what they called 'friends'. Marik would never go to those lengths for friendship. It was a foolish notion. The only worthy bond one could possibly have would be family, and even that was dismissible to a certain extend in his opinion. No friendship was certainly not something that interested Marik in the slightest, however the spirit of the ring was far more interesting to him.

There was no doubt there was more to the spirit housing in the ring then he felt like sharing. The hate and greed that Marik had felt radiating of the spirit when he had been in Bakura's vessels mind (so they could talk through their plans) had been so strong Marik didn't for a second consider anymore that he was but a mere thief. Marik had never felt such a strong presence of hate and need for revenge with anyone but himself.

Marik had his reasons to hate the pharaoh. His family their cruel faith, his father's murder, his back, his every inner demon and constant tumult he blamed on the pharaoh. Marik didn't find much pleasure in the murders he had indirectly committed so far, but when it came to the pharaoh he would make an exception. It was bad luck for the pharaoh's vessel but Marik would kill the pharaoh, and take pleasure in his revenge that had been long due by now.

But what were Bakura's reasons? What had caused the so deep rooted hatered that drove him?

Marik had tried finding out. He had tried so hard but it was useless. With only limited resources now that he was in the sky on a blimp it had been impossible to find anything useful and Rishid hadn't had a single helpful thing to share with him on the matter.

Briefly Marik had considered to go visit his sister on the matter. She may know something on who the spirit within the ring was thanks to her clearance on both the future as the past. However even Marik his curiosity couldn't drive him to cross that border. Ishizu had made her choice. She had picked her loyalty to the Pharaoh above her love for him. The message had passed loud and clear to Marik, he had no expectation for his sister. She was only yet another obstacle on the way to his goal. Marik wouldn't seriously harm her of course but he certainly wouldn't allow her to stop him from his revenge either.

No, on the matter he stood alone. Alone with his curiosity and mysterious spirit who would no doubt leave him in the dark on the matter.

XxXxXxXxX

Marik still couldn't believe Bakura had picked his vessel above his chance at revenge.
At first it had upset Marik the spirit had not followed his plan. It had put the teen in a downright fury, trashing some of his room in his hotheaded anger. Once his initial fury and the failing of his plan had passed the questions had come.

Why?

Why had Bakura made such a foolish move? Was it truly because he feared his host had been about to die? True Ryou had not looked good but he hadn't been about to die either. It had been more than just self reservation that had drove the spirit to toss all his chances overboard.

Marik couldn't comprehend his motives. The spirit of the ring was nothing but greed and hatred. Only anger and vengeance existed in his dark heart. Or not?

Marik cursed the spirit for everything he was worth. Just what about him was it that was so…captivating.

Since their first meeting Marik hadn't been able to put the spirit out of his mind. Through all of the time they had spend discussing their plans and strategies Marik still barely knew anything more then when he first met him. Bakura was the only one on the planet who could make Marik feel frustrated that he didn't talk more. The only thing he could ever get out of Bakura was their constant bricking, and no matter how entertaining it may be at times, it had never told him much more.

But not all was lost yet. Bakura still held many mysteries but Marik had learned enough to know that he would not be taken care of this easily. Bakura's spirit was still on the blimp. He could be useful still. Marik still had a chance of finding out what the secrets of the sennen ring were.

XxXxXxXxX

Never had Marik thought that he would actually really need Bakura. Yet here he was, stuck using the body of a teenage girl as his puppet to be able to even get the ring to Bakura's vessel. Left with Bakura as his only hope to get back his body and save Rishid.

Bakura could drive a hard bargain but at this point Marik would have been about as desperate as to give the spirit anything he may ask of him. Marik had feared Bakura would not even consider helping him but the darkness had surprised him when asking so little of him. The deal made him feel vulnerable, he didn't like it either but considering what was at stake Bakura could have asked far worse of him. Or nothing at all and refused to get mixed up in it. After all, he would be putting himself in danger for his sake.

At the time Marik hadn't questioned this, they had too much to do to wonder about the spirits motives. Beside his 'kindness' was quickly forgotten throughout their constant bricking. Not to mention the fact that Marik had to use all his efforts to keep his mental walls up.

Being nothing but a lost spirit made him vulnerable, finding refuge in the same host, the same spaces as the spirit of the ring, even more. Though Bakura never mentioned a thing Marik could feel his ever secret, his every desire being slowly, bit by bit revealed to the spirit. Bakura gained knowledge over the Tombkeeper while Marik was left with still as little knowledge as he had originally started with. Bakura's darkness was mapping out his every thought, shred by shred that escaped his mental control, and Marik tale was left an open book for the spirit to read as pleased.

XxXxXxXxX

It wasn't until their defeat that he finally got a glance within the spirits mind and memories.

As they burned by the flames of Ra causing their souls to be swallowed by darkness, Marik finally got the answers he had been searching for. With all the focus Bakura had been putting in his final defenses he had left their mind link wide open. Just enough for the memories to flood Mariks thoughts as they both faded into the shadows by the hand of his own other half.

Nothing could have prepared Marik for the horrors he witnessed rushed through his mind within just seconds.

Screams of an entire village being burned alive. The loss of all you knew and held dear. Witnessing all of your people being swallowed by flames as an entire town got whipped of existence to satisfy the hunger for power of the rulers of the country. Screams of terror of the only people you ever knew. The night sky colouring red by their blood as he stood alone. Sole survivor watching his live as he knew it smoldering into darkness. Everything gone, lost forever. Burned into his retina for eternity, so close yet so far. Being burdened with the cruel destiny of forever watching the horror being repeated over and over, so vividly, so real, never being able to do a single thing about it. Forever helpless to defy their fate.
Born in greed, turned to hate. A live of solitude, disgrace, nights of demons, fears, nightmares, ever growing hatred. Wave after wave of emotions, the one injustice after the other. Fear, insecurity, loneliness slowly disappearing to leave nothing but burning hate. Every other emotion slowly fading, leaving room for nothing but the hatred.
A scar burning in his flesh as a clear sign of his life as an outcast. A eternal reminder that he stood alone. A constant mockery of his style of life, a clear statement that his life was worth less than nothing. Nobody cared…
The dark and blooded path he had been driven to take becoming the great King of Thieves Touzoku-ou. Blood flowing by his hands. One murder after the other. Any shred of moral or compassion forgotten. Any innocence forever lost. Swallowed by the darkness devouring him every night again and again. Crimes growing more brutal and relentless. Faces of loved ones and victims melting together leaving no hope for comfort or happiness. So close to his goal yet never reaching it. The need for revenge never satisfied. The single thing that could bring peace slipping through his finger tips each time. Again and again, over and over, and then darkness….
Death…no death would have been a kinder fate. Death brings peace, tranquility, none of that would be granted to the king of thieves.
Years, decennia, millennia of darkness passed. Viewing the world change and age by 3000 years while you are left to stand alone in the darkness. The hurt, the desperation, the frustration of denied revenge. The cries, the demonic cries of a burning village lasting through time, flames forever burning as vivid. A scar burning as a bright reminder of the injustice. Forever being imprisoned in the amulet that was created out of the lives of your people.
At last a new chance, after 3000 years of waiting a new chance to avenge his people. The chance to finally get his revenge and kill the pharaoh. Failing time and time again, though never giving up. Nothing would stop him. He had waited for too long, his suffering had lasted too many lifetimes. One more or less was but a small payment.

When the shadows finally swallowed Marik he embraced them willingly. The few seconds the flashing visions had taken had seemed like forever. His breath had been knocked out of him just by the mere power of the memories. Too preoccupied to take it all in to notice the tears that formed in eyes by the mere power of the memories. A bitter chuckle passed Mariks lips before it turned into a full on insane laugher.

They were the same!

He and Bakura, they were exactly the same. Except Bakura was better. Bakura his need for revenge wasn't nearly as selfish as Marik' own. Bakura seeked vengeance for an entire village who had been wronged. Put into this perspective Marik felt foolish and childish. No, he felt embarrassed for his own egocentric obsession for revenge. His revenge had been one for his own cruel fate coming with the practical excuse of his father's decease.

A man Marik had despised his entire life and even murdered. The teen wasn't even capable of feeling much (if even any) guilt for this act either. He had been relieved when his father had died, he had taken satisfaction in the knowledge that his death hadn't been painless or swift. He may never have admitted it to himself before but it was all true. Yami or not, Marik his evil had been born out of his own hate and anger. His yami was just another side to his fucked up mind and not some old evil spirit housing within him.

Marik now finally understood it all. Bakura his hatred, his determined lust for vengeance, his search for a way back to his own time. Every time Bakura had gotten on his nerves when he had mocked him or called him but a mere temperamental child. Every scold, every comment on Mariks account had been justified. Marik his pain became dismissible in comparison of the horrors the spirit of the ring had caused and gone through.

The spirit of the ring, the king of thieves… no-one had ever suffered more than him. It was logical no kindness or love could be found in his darkened heart. Some things were unforgivable. Some even more than others. If anyone ever had a reason to hate and let their being be filled with darkness it was him.

Marik had gone insane from just a short lifetime of torment, had he gone through the things Bakura had gone had through he wouldn't have had a dark side. He would have been his dark side. There would have been nothing left of his old him, of him, all he would have been would have been his yami and worse.

XxXxXxXxX

When Marik had freed all the souls he had banished to the shadow realm he had very well realized this also meant the spirit of the ring. Had he warned the pharaoh about this in his 'reformed villain' state? No. Whether or not he had left his own life of crime behind him didn't change certain things.

Marik owned Bakura his brother's life. Marik owned Bakura his eternal gratitude for having put his soul at stake to try and help him regain his control. It didn't matter if he was going to leave his own vengeful plans behind him or not, he had a debt to pay to Bakura. Returning his soul its freedom was the least he could do. Nor did he miss Bakura's 'sign of gratitude'.

It didn't matter what Marik had gone through. Compared to the horrors sennen rings spirit had lived through it had been nothing, nothing at all. But Bakura wasn't the only one Marik owned. Most of all he owned his siblings and if any it should be his mission now to try and make up for his mistakes to them. Hadn't it been for Rishid and Ishizu, maybe, just maybe Marik would have devoted himself to helping the thief. But Marik still had his older brother and sister, who he valued more than ever since he had a new outlook on his own pain. If any he would have to thank Bakura for bringing him closer to his family, giving him a fresh view on thing. Leave it to Bakura to make sure the teen got the fuck over himself.

Though after having seen what he had seen of the spirit's memories one thing was certain, he would never forget it. A life time of pain wasn't something you just got over, even if it weren't your own. Marik knew he would for always carry his demons with him. Bakura would just be one more demon to haunt him in his sleep.

Yes Marik dreamed of Bakura or his memories. Far more often then he liked to admit. Dreams that once more reminded him of his regrets he felt since Battle City. The regret that he didn't know more about the spirit. No history book or ancient scroll could give him the knowledge he craved on the subject. No memory that he replayed over and over in his head could answer the many questions he regretted never having asked Bakura. No normal logic or reason could take away the regret he felt for having wasted so much time bricking and bitching like a child while there were so many questions he wanted to ask the spirit.

'Why Bakura? Why did you help me if you truly knew nothing but hate? Why does your presence haunt me?' Being the questions that burned the brightest through the nights filled with the shadow of the vivid memories of the king of thieves.