Blesséd Desires

Chapter 1

Do not deny
this pull that you feel,
the wish to fly,
the will to heal,

Caught up in a world of fires
You can not resist your Blesséd Desires

Nothing is wrong,
your mind is sound,
lost in this throng
'till you're dead in the ground.

Caught up in a world of fires
You must give in to your Blesséd Desires

Malik Ishtar has had a rather unusual life and has known some rather unusual people. Needless to say, it takes a lot to surprise him. Even with all the unusual everywhere around him, he has managed to recover and strive forth from the train wreck that was Battle City. He had friends now. He did things that normal people did. None of that truly removed the unusual from his life, though. Many people he knew were still the unusual sort, not that he was very usual himself. Lately, however, it seemed as though the person in his life that has become the most unusual was one Ryou Bakura.

While he may seem to be a few cards short of a deck at times, Malik was not stupid. He knew that Ryou Bakura had been through hell and back, emotionally and partly physically, through his life. Malik's own life hadn't been a walk through the park, but somehow he seemed to cope better once everything was said and done- once the yamis were gone, and life regained some semblance of normality. Ryou Bakura never seemed to get the normalcy he had craved for so long. Malik found himself worried for the boy

Ryou and he had been getting along as friends for a good while, ever since Malik set to mend some wrongdoings. What had started out as a an apology and a little pity had turned into a close friendship that he was glad to have. As much as the two were friends with Yugi's group, they just couldn't relate to them as well as they could each other, save Yugi. Even though there was little chance of Malik plotting world domination again, they were a bit weary of him at times. Ryou Bakura had it worse. Because of all the things his darkness had done, it didn't seem like the others would ever fully trust him.

Yugi was the great exception. Yugi understood them.

Malik worried for Ryou Bakura. He had been sporadically since the incident in the park. They were with Yugi and the gang, and, after a while, he realized Ryou was no longer with them. The boy had gone into the more wooded area of the park, strayed from the path, and got himself lost. When Malik asked the white haired boy why, Ryou could not come up with an answer. The best he got was that Ryou Bakura had felt a great pull to do what he did and couldn't very well have denied it. Similar events had been happening ever since. This is what had made Ryou Bakura so spectacularly unusual.

Yugi had suggested therapy-any shadow magic being edited out of stories, of course. Ryou Bakura had agreed it was for the best. Dr. Bakura refused to put his son in therapy. If Malik ever met that man, he swore he would punch the bastard in the balls. Ryou did not argue the issue with his father; he would probably never bring up therapy again. His father did not want to believe his son was crazy or had any problems he would have to deal with. The man wanted to pretend everything was hunky dory as he pranced through Egypt doing digs.

Malik hated that man.

They had tried other methods to find Ryou safer ways to cope. The boy had started carrying a little journal with him wherever he went. In it, he would jot down strange notes to himself, make small doodles, write somewhat disconcerting poems, and occasionally write was seemed to be a letter. As far as his everyday life went, this was a helpful tool the boy embraced. Yet, it didn't stop the strange things Ryou Bakura would sometimes do.

Every time he was questioned why, Ryou Bakura would give the same answer. He felt a strong pull, almost like his life depended on doing whatever the pull told him. Some of the things he did could be considered self harm, but Ryou Bakura would never self harm, the very thought scared him. He insisted that when he did his strange antics, he felt he was doing something good for himself, self harm would never cross his mind.

Malik worried for that boy.

Two days ago, Ryou Bakura was found asleep in the snow, nearly frozen to death. Malik had went to Ryou's house that morning to hang out. When there was no answer by door or phone, he picked the lock and searched the house. It was empty. Quickly, he called Yugi and a search party was organized. After nearly an hour of searching, they found a barely-there trail of footprints in the snow that lead them to their white haired friend.

Malik wasted no time in picking up his friend and announcing that after he wrapped Ryou in at least three blankets, he would be taking Ryou to his home; and that's exactly what he did. The rest of the group had followed. When they arrived at the Ishtar residence, Isis Ishtar announced that Ryou Bakura had a fever and also needed to be treated for hypothermia, which meant shared body heat and no clothes. Malik and Yugi volunteered. The two of them spent the rest of that day doing their best to bring warmth back to their friend. Yugi eventually had to leave, but Malik continued to share body heat with the boy through the night. In the morning, Isis told him that it was safe to leave Ryou on his own; so he did, though not without checking on his friend periodically.

One of the times Malik checked on the boy, Ryou had seemed almost awake, but wasn't quite there. He thought out loud to his partly-conscious friend. Ryou Bakura still had a fever, but it had gone down when the hypothermia left. Malik sighed and knew had to find a way to help him.

Yugi, along with a few others, came over around noon to see how Ryou was doing. Malik and Yugi had talked. Ryou's impulses had caused him bits of harm before, but this wasn't just a fever from standing in the rain for a few hours or a bloody nose from falling over and not catching himself.

"I'm really worried about him, Yugi." said Malik.

"I know. I am too, but I don't know what we can do." Yugi agreed, concern clearly printed on his face. "It's not like we can watch him all the time. Even if we did, by the time he has another weird impulse, we wouldn't be all that on guard anymore."

"What he needs is professional help, but his bastard of a father won't let him get it." Malik spat out, a fist clenched. At a look from Yugi, he took a few deep breaths and calmed down.

"You know," said Yui. "We haven't tried just having him talk to one of us. Now that I'm saying it, it seems so simple. I wonder why neither of us brought it up before."

Malik felt like he was just slapped in the face for being so dense as to not see such an obvious solution. "I'll talk with him, Yugi. I can do this."

Yugi nodded and smiled.

Around an hour later, loud coughing sounded from the room that held Ryou Bakura. Malik immediately jumped up from his seat and ran over to the room. He opened the door to find his best friend up and coughing.

"You're awake!" He turned to yell out the door to the others. "He woke up!"

"Hi." Ryou's voice sounded so weak and coarse, Malik noted. He went over to his friend's bedside, a sad smile on his face as he laid a hand on the other's forehead, pushing white locks away in the process.

"I am so glad that you're finally awake. For real awake." Malik told him, relieved. "You really gave us all a scare, you know that?"

Malik saw an emotion flash through Ryou's eyes and knew what was coming. "Sorry."

His friend always apologized for these things. If Ryou Bakura could go back and keep himself from doing such stupid and harmful things, he probably would. Malik brushed off the apology without a second thought.

"How are you feeling, Ryou?"