Co-written with the fantabulous Crystia. :D Thank you so much, it was great working with you~! *Hugs*

Warnings: Angst, graphic descriptions.

Ryou stuffed yet another generous forkful of steak into his mouth, his cheeks bloating as grease and thick sauce leaked out from between his lips in streams. The sauce gushed when he began to chew ravenously, but instead of reaching for the despondent napkin lying on the table, his tongue lapped up the streams of sauce dripping down his chin and left the pale skin covered in saliva. His usual impeccable table manners were completely discarded in favor of feasting, but thankfully no one was around to watch his gluttonous display.

He glanced furtively at the ring, where it lay a safe distance away, propped up against the wall where he could keep an eye on it. After all, he didn't want the object to repossess him, particularly not at this moment. Bakura would punish him mercilessly for the simple sin of taking it off, but the rebuttal would be insignificant compared to his fury when he learned that his host ate without permission again.

The host was famished, however, and the normal apprehension Ryou felt when disobeying his tenant's commands faded when rivaled by his stomach's pitiful demands for sustenance.

Bite, chew, swallow, bite, swallow, bite. More than half the food Ryou ate, he swallowed whole in an effort to satisfy his ravenous hunger as soon as possible. He was unsure how much he devoured, but eventually it came to the point where his gut swelled uncomfortably, filled far past contentment.

Ryou ate and ate until he was no longer uncomfortable and now solely in pain. He let his hands dangle at his side, closing his eyes in agonizing satisfaction.

His distended belly heaved as he took a deep breath and then slowly exhaled, his jeans straining under the pressure of his rising and falling lungs. His shirt rode up as well, revealing a sliver of pale skin stretched taut over his innards. Ryou burped softly, then groaned when he tried to sit up. He immediately stopped his efforts immediately afterwards when his stomach roiled with nausea, and he eventually slumped back into his chair in defeat. It hurt Ryou whether he stood or sat idle, but at least his meal didn't slosh around when he remained motionless.

Ryou reached up to massage his gut with one hand and watched his slightly shaking fingers in fascination. The other joined it a moment or two later to assist in quelling the painful, overfull sensation. His stomach gurgled beneath his hands, attempting to digest the vast amount of red meat he had forced down his throat without bothering to chew. It was a miracle that he hadn't choked, but Ryou couldn't find it in himself to feel very grateful. In a way, the sensation was almost worse than starving.

Ryou vaguely wondered how his friends would react to seeing him in such a state. No doubt they would think he was disgusting. After all, he couldn't deny that his appetite could be described as anything but. Bakura had made sure of that.

Then again, if given the choice, Ryou would much rather exchange their distrust for mere revulsion. At least disgust could be overlooked, but it was impossible for Ryou to truly befriend Yugi and his other schoolmates when he was certain that they were always secretly waiting, anticipating Bakura's appearance. Ryou could hardly blame them: after all, how could he expect his friends to trust him when he hardly trusted himself?

Or when your own yami can't trust his host to follow his commands? A chilling whisper hissed in barely suppressed fury.

Ryou's half-lidded eyes were forced closed as a flash of petrifying gold light splashed across the room in painfully blinding rays, and then forced open again as his chin was dragged up to face the source of his suffering. The chilling fingers were so cold they felt as though they belonged to a corpse while, in reality, they belonged to a bodiless spirit. The golden radiance disappeared as quickly as it came, replaced by twisted shadows that licked at his skin viciously, particularly at his overfilled stomach. The disturbingly familiar weight of the Millennium Ring was around Ryou's neck once more and the incensed spirit loomed over him.

"I awaken to find that not only has my landlord removed the Ring, but that he's gorged himself to the point that his fat gut is ready to rupture," Bakura spat, the fingers of his free hand slipping beneath Ryou's shirt to claw across his belly, clutching him tightly enough that Ryou had to hold back bile. "Disobedience on two accounts. Someone's feeling mutinous today."

"You didn't leave me much of a choice," Ryou said through his teeth. His stomach throbbed in pain where the slim fingers sank into him, and the shadows pressed against his abdomen like cold spindles.

Bakura arched an eyebrow. "Really, now?"

"Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about!" Ryou shouted, earning him a sharp glare and his yami's grip tightening severely in response. "Even at the hospital, you wouldn't let me have anything! I haven't eaten in days."

"You will have your meals when I allow it and not a second before. I was courteous enough to feed your body when I was in control of it," Bakura replied waspishly.

His yami's increasingly angry tone and darkening expression did little to stop Ryou from responding likewise.

"You only ate enough so that you wouldn't pass out in front of my friends, right? Why not let me feed my body so you don't drive me to desperation?"

"I think you're forgetting your place," Bakura hissed, leaning forward so that their foreheads were nearly brushing. "If I let you feed our body, it would give you the false impression of control. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?" Ryou shivered at his yami's voice.

"It's just eating..." Ryou whispered, resisting the urge to cry in frustration.

A long while back, just after receiving the Ring, he had actually broken down and started crying during one of Bakura's rages. Of course, it had only succeeded in infuriating him further, the end result being Ryou collapsed on the floor of his apartment. He laid there long enough for the kitchen tiles to leave square imprints on his face. The marks had remained even several hours after regaining consciousness, but at least they had disappeared faster than the bruises. Ryou couldn't even remember how he had fainted, unsure if it was from violence, hunger, or fear. He suspected the first. His head had ached terribly the next day and the bruises strengthened his suspicion.

"Yes, just eating. So tell me, Landlord. Why do you seem to lack enough self-control to refrain from something so simple?" Bakura asked derisively. "In Egypt, I would go much longer without food than a few days."

"That doesn't mean it's healthy. Besides, we're not in Egypt!" Ryou protested.

"I will determine what is best for our health."

"Quit saying things like that! It's not 'our' anything!" Ryou said, his voice rising somewhat hysterically. "It's my—"

Ryou gasped when he was dragged up by the collar, his face close enough to Bakura that he would have felt the other man's breath. Or at least, he would have felt it if the spirit needed breath to live.

"And that," Bakura cut Ryou's protests off with a feral growl. "Is precisely why my methods are necessary." He released Ryou's shirt, shoving him sharply and causing the feeble boy's neck to whiplash.

Ryou shuddered, barely acknowledging the pain as he belatedly realized he had pushed his yami much too far. His own lips parted in horror while Bakura's drew back in a hideous snarl and a menacing flash of canines.

"Not 'ours'? Were you going to say that this body is yours?" Bakura spat the word as though it was the most offensive insult he had ever heard. Perhaps he did think as much, considering that it had come from Ryou's mouth.

"No..." Ryou stuttered, knowing that if Bakura had been enraged before, it was nothing compared to the level of anger in his eyes now.

"No..." he repeated desolately, trying to take the words back despite knowing it was too late.

Bakura took another step toward his host, closing the little distance left between them until the spirit's semi-corporeal body was pressed flush against his.

"You see, this is exactly why I need to teach you lessons like this," Bakura sneered in mock disappointment. "I can't have you under the false impression that you have even the smallest amount of control over your body. Maybe this time, you'll finally learn."

Bakura placed an icy hand over his victim's warm stomach with deceitful tenderness and Ryou squirmed uncomfortably under his touch.


"Shut up. Now, you're going to do exactly as I say so this will be as painless as possible." Bakura's voice was dripping with artificial sweetness and reassurance, almost more unnerving than the venom that had tinged it before.

Ryou swallowed and slowly nodded, well aware that he had no other choice.

Bakura smirked. "Good. Now follow me."

To Ryou's surprise Bakura released him and stalked away, taking several silent steps toward the door. He stared after the spirit stupidly for a moment before Bakura turned to glare at him and he finally understood.

Ryou stood numbly, only to double over after his brief venture and grasp his stomach in pain. The partially digested food sloshed violently at the sudden movement, and it felt as though his viscera were colliding with each other.

"You wouldn't feel so ill if you weren't a disobedient little wretch, " Bakura taunted, cruelly enjoying Ryou's agony.

Ryou ignored him, instead concentrating on grinding his teeth in a hopeless attempt to alleviate the painful sensation. He only remained in his hunched over position long enough for the feeling to diminish before straightening and taking a much more measured step. Sluggishly Ryou made his way to toward Bakura, but his hand immediately flew to his mouth instead of his stomach, grumbling in protest at the turbulence. He found himself bending his upper body forward again as he attempted to suppress the overwhelming sickness.

Stomach acid filled Ryou's mouth and some of the food he had eaten earlier clogged his esophagus, a sensation similar to having a rock lodged in his throat. He gagged as the walls of soft tissue burned and the acid filled his mouth, some of it dripping out in hot streams from between his lips. His eyes watered as he made an effort to keep everything down.

"Swallow," the spirit hissed, abruptly appearing directly in front of him and almost inadvertently causing Ryou to throw up from the shock. "You could swallow it all down before, so you should be able to do it now."

Ryou shook his head violently, which was decidedly the wrong decision. An overwhelming rush of nausea motivated him to dash for the bathroom despite his earlier lethargy. He clumsily dove around Bakura and ran to the sink, propping his hands against the edges in order to prevent himself from falling over from his painful retching.

To his dismay, a ruthless hand clamped around his jaw, preventing him from opening his mouth and relieving himself of his dinner. Ryou noted with irony that Bakura almost had him in an embrace, but the forceful position was more of a prison than a tender gesture.

Ryou wrinkled his nose at the foul taste in his mouth, a whine escaping from his covered mouth. The whimper that quickly transformed into a desperate, muffled scream when his nose was covered as well, leaving no room for him to breath.

"Swallow." Bakura's grip tightened mercilessly, and Ryou struggled in vain to escape. "I said swallow, you worthless host," he hissed, managing to keep his hold on Ryou despite his desperate flailing.

Given no choice but to obey or choke, Ryou shamefully swallowed. Even after his submission, Bakura held him a moment or so longer to prove his dominance, only to wait with surprising patience for him to gasp for breath.

"You swallowed?" Bakura asked in a cool monotone, unidentifiable as a question if not for his slightly raised left eyebrow. Ryou didn't respond until Bakura grabbed his chin again, jerking his head painfully to face him. "Answer me."

"...Yes," Ryou whispered, his voice breaking.

Ryou watched as his yami observed him with dark eyes devoid of sympathy, silently calculating. And then—

"Get rid of it."

Ryou blanched. "W-what?"

"You heard me," Bakura snarled, reaching out to clutch the back of Ryou's head, fingernails sinking through the hair far enough to dig into his scalp and force him back to the sink.

Splashes of black marred Ryou's vision as his forehead slammed against the faucet. The nausea returned with renewed vigor, though it was only enough to cause him to gag for a moment before coughing up a small mouthful of saliva and vomit, most of the latter remaining trapped in his throat. The insides of his gullet burned and his stomach continued to lurch, and there was the sickening smell to add to it. Ryou leaned his suddenly very warm forehead against the cool faucet as Bakura stared down over his shoulder.

"You and I both know you ate a great deal more than that," Bakura said with a small tsk and a shake of the head as though his host was merely an insolent child. He gave a painful tug on Ryou's hair when there wasn't a response. "Didn't you?"

Ryou nodded slowly, eyes partially shut.

Apparently, that was enough for Bakura since he continued speaking. "You are going to spit out every last bit of food, and you will not resist me any longer. Understand, whelp?"

Another barely perceptible nod. This time it didn't satisfy the violent thief.

"Say it!" Bakura spat as he forced Ryou's head to collide forcefully against the faucet again.

"I underst—mmpgh!" Ryou's eyes widened as his response was cut off, and he thrashed violently when Bakura pried open his mouth as soon as he began to speak.

Bakura's own mouth turned down to form a disgusted scowl as he reached into Ryou's. He shoved his thumb between Ryou's teeth as his index and middle finger were forced farther in, nails scraping at the soft flesh at the back of his host's throat. Ryou desperately tried to close his mouth against the intrusion, squirming and even daring to bite, his teeth clamping down hard enough to draw blood. The metallic taste might have made him throw up if not for the fact that Bakura forced him to before the flavor could.

Ryou's throat burned as he coughed up the evidence of his disobedience, and his eyes burned as the horror and humiliation caught up with him.

He couldn't even say that he hadn't known Bakura was so cruel- because he certainly had. It was sickening, and if Ryou had been able to think clearly he would have wondered: just how malicious was his yami willing to act... and for what?

His eyes began burning in addition to the sensation in his gullet, and his body sagged forward, supported only by the near-embrace his yami held him captive in. Ryou was so dizzy, he couldn't even bring himself to care when thick chunks of his hair grazed the mess. He barely noticed when Bakura trailed his wet fingers down Ryou's face.

"Such a bad boy. First you disobey me, and then you have the nerve to go and bite me."

"You're horrible," Ryou whispered, and swiftly received a spiteful blow to the head.

Ryou was surprised to discover that the world didn't swirl black so much as crimson when he lost consciousness, but instead it faded into the color of Bakura's eyes. He wondered vaguely if blood had entered his eyes and he stared, perplexed by the odd coloring. He blinked them repeatedly in an effort to free them of the scarlet marring his sight, only to become aware that the crimson was actually a soft brown. He leaned back against Bakura in shock, but the weight that had been pressed against him for the majority of the past few minutes had disappeared.

Or perhaps, he realized with dull uncertainty, it had never been there at all.

The bump on his forehead had not vanished, however, but Ryou noted with puzzlement that there was a long scrape of red, matching the blood that tainted the metal faucet. He touched it briefly before realizing that his cold fingers were slick, stained with bile from the back of his throat. The stench of vomit clung to the air as he extracted himself from the sink.

His wet hand lifted tentatively to probe the metal-induced injury again before trailing down to his lips, and then his neck. With a startling jolt of reality, he realized that the cord of the ring was absent, and therefore Bakura could not have been the one guilty of Ryou's current predicament.

Ryou remembered with dizzying clarity that the Millennium Ring, rather than lost, rested far beneath the sands of Egypt. No one had influenced his actions aside from himself and the memory of an absent spirit.

He had inflicted on himself the same cruelty of a thief who had stolen his last scrap of sanity, even in his death.

Please review! :D

~Crystia & Albino Shadowz