*Yami eventually came back to the party. The mighty Game King wasn't one for caring what most others thought, so he didn't stay embarrassed. He had, however, returned wearing pants that were, if anything, tighter than the last pair.*

Seto: Don't you learn? Why do you insist on wearing such tight clothes?

Yami: I shall not be discouraged from showing off my sexy body just because of one incident.

Isis: You can barely move in those.

Yami: I can move just fine, thank you.

Anzu: Oh, yeah? Squat.

Yami: WHAT?!

Anzu: Squat down. I'm willing to beat you can't without either splitting a seam or cutting off circulation to your feet.

Yami: Humph. *crosses arms* I don't need to prove myself to you. *Looks around* Aren't we missing a few people.

White Angel: Ryou and Yami Bakura are baking the cookies.

Yami: You let Yami Bakura near sharp objects and a stove?

*Focus on the kitchen*

Yami Bakura: Hey, Ryou, is the oven supposed to smoke like that?

Ryou: *turns around from stirring the batter to see black smoke billowing out of the oven* AAHHHH!!! What did you do?!

Yami Bakura: *defensively* I just put the tray in like you said to.

Ryou rushes to the stove and opens it. More smoke billows out. He grabs a couple pot holders and carefully but quickly pulls out the cookie tray. The cookies were burned to a cinder and a couple were on fire. Ryou threw them in the sink and ran water over them. When the danger had passed, he went to the stove to find the cause.

Ryou: Yami! You set the oven for 600 degrees! I told you to set it for 300!

Yami Bakura: *shrugs like none of this was his fault* I thought it would cook twice as fast that way.

Ryou: You are supposed to check with me before you do stuff like that!

Yami Bakura: Ryou...

Ryou: It's just like you to come in here and mess things up. First, you mixed the eggs in without removing the shells-

Yami Bakura: Ryou...

Ryou: Then you start playing knife games on the counter, and you spill milk all over the floor...

Yami Bakura: Ryou...

Ryou: What?!!

Yami Bakura: You left the oven door open and your apron is kinda on fire.

*Ryou looks down to see his apron flaming. He shrieks, rips it off, and throws it in the sink, running more water. He slams the oven shut, and turns off the heat.*

Ryou: Alright... That's it! I can't take it anymore!

*The kitchen doors fly open and Ryou tosses Yami Bakura out of the kitchen and into the room with everyone else. The others stare at the spectacle.*

Ryou: Stay out of my kitchen! *turns and returns to the kitchen in a huff*

White Angel: Okay, so maybe Yami Bakura helping out in the kitchen wasn't such a good idea.

Malik: Wow. I didn't think Bakura had it in him.

Yami Bakura: *grumbles* The kitchen is HIS territory.



The vision gave me the will to fight on. My body was still mostly numb, and it took all my strength just to lift my head. My mind was clear again. I could focus. I saw Yami Yugi battling with my yami. And he was losing. The vision had told me to fight, so that was what I was going to do.

My yami was strong, but not strong enough to stand against both me and Yami Yugi. I could feel my yami fighting me for control of the eye. But he couldn't win. The eye's magic rested with me. I was now its rightful owner. I strained my powers, as did Yami Yugi. And it paid off. My yami fell.

Yami Yugi came to me first. Now that the eye was once more protecting me from the shadow realm, I was slowly regaining my strength. He helped me to my feet, but I needed him to support me. My legs still did not completely work on their own.

Yami led me over to where my yami still lie. My yami was just knocked out, not dead. But it would not take much to finish him off. The shadow realm was already draining the spiritual energy from his unconscious form. Yami spoke up.

"We can end it all now," he said. "We can destroy him, eliminate all possibilities of his return." He was asking my opinion. I shook my head.

"Wouldn't that just make us like him? That's just what he would do, and I do not want to be like him."

"What do you propose then...?"


The phone was ringing as I opened the door to my house. I had regained my full mobility and didn't so much as stumble as I rushed to catch it. I knew who it was.

"Hello?" I answered.

"Ryou, where the heck have you been?!" came my father's voice. "I've called you three or four times, and you never answered. I left the number on the second message, why didn't you return the call?"

My father's rapid-fire questions didn't exactly take me by surprise. I understood his concern. But I had no answer ready. I was tired. Tired from the experiences of the last few days and the years before that, and tired of lying to explain away it all. Father noticed my silence and spoke again. "Ryou, what's wrong?"

It was like a dam breaking. The stress of it all got to me and I broke down on the phone. I not even sure of what I said, but Father wasn't either. He couldn't make it out through my sobs. He hushed me and told me to calm down and tell him again what happened. I didn't want to tell him all that I had hidden from him over the years over the phone. I felt I owed it to him to tell him to his face. That is, if my boldness held up. But I had already started, and now he wanted to know what was bothering me. And I wasn't going to lie again, not even to make him feel better.

I told him about the accident at the movie theater and having to go to the hospital. It explained both why I hadn't phoned him, and (at least partly) why I was upset. And it wasn't a lie.

He immediately started fretting over me, saying how he knew he shouldn't have left me alone. Now it was my turn to calm him down. I said that it just happened, and nothing could have been done to prevent it. But I couldn't talk him out of cutting his trip short, no matter how I tried. He would be on the first plan back to Japan that he could get.

I felt guilty after hanging up the phone. I didn't like to worry father. That's why I had kept so many secrets. But no more. I had it in my head that I would explain everything to him once he got home. Everything. Then, hours later, after more thought, I realized I wouldn't know where to start. There were so many questions. Would Father believe me? Would he think I was losing my mind? Even if he did believe me, he would blame himself. He had given me the ring.

Needless to say, I decided later to leave it at what I had already told him.

At the earliest, Father wouldn't be home until late the next morning. I had the rest of the night to myself. It was probably the last solitude I would see for a while, what with my father's worried protectiveness.

I stepped outside onto the back porch. Yugi's damp jacket still lay on the floor just outside the door. I would have to remember to get that back to him.

The air was still heavy from the rain. Clouds blew across the moon, causing the shadows to move as the moonlight came and went. The wind rustled my hair nicely. I closed my eye against it, just enjoying this simple pleasure. I breathed the night in deeply. The scent of rain still hung in the air and I could hear little drops of moisture falling from the plants as the wind blew their leaves. The peacefulness of it was bliss as far as I was concerned.

I gazed up at the stars. They blinked in and out as the clouds passed over them. My mind could not help but wonder back to the days events, and they baffle me even now. Jounouchi, Honda, and Anzu had all been fine. Yami Yugi had helped me release them from their card prisons. They woke up in Anzu's house, and were a bit nervous around me. I can't say I blamed them. But the image my mind focused on most was that of the woman. My mother, I was certain. As if right out of the pictures my father had always shown me. The eye had the ability to see the dead. Yugi had told me later that he had heard of an instance such as this one from Pegasus's diary. But as many times as I tried (and I assure you, it was almost everyday) I could never get the millennium eye to repeat that one bit of magic again.

I had never really grieved that my mother had passed away. It is hard to mourn someone you never knew. But now it seemed so much harder to accept it, now that I had seen her that one time. Father had always talked about how beautiful and kind and strong she was. I saw now that he was right. As great as she seemed to me in that one moment when I was in need, she must have been perfect in life.

It was beginning to rain again. A light shower. I turned back inside and headed to my room. I was extremely tense. I decided to take a hot shower to take my mind off things. My clothes were dirty and I knew my body had not been washed while I was out off it. It would do me good.

I emptied the contents my pockets onto my dresser. My wallet, some loose change, and a single card.

The hot water was incredibly refreshing. I stood there for well over ten minutes, just enjoying the steam and the water dripping down my body (it was so good to have it back). I was cleansed, body and soul.

I dressed into a fresh pair of pajamas. I was just about to climb into bed and catch up on some rest for my weary body and mind, when the card I had placed on the dresser caught my eye. It didn't seem right to just leave it there.

I picked it up and examined it. An image much like my own glared back at me. Hair, white like mine, only more wild. Face twisted in an expression of resentment. And a single eye narrowed in a harsh gaze.

I wouldn't have felt right if I had allowed Yami Yugi to destroy my yami. And he had escaped from the shadow realm so many times that it seemed pointless to leave him there. If I had, I don't think I would have ever slept well again. So I had invoked the eye, using its magic to seal him in a card the same way he had sealed up Jounouchi, Honda, and Anzu. It was the only way I knew how to keep him under control.

I walked to my shelf and pulled a book out. I placed the card that contained the soul of my other half inside the cover and closed it. I glanced at the title of this particular book. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Fitting. At least I wouldn't forget where I had placed the card for safe- keeping.

I flicked off the light and crawled into bed. I let my head sink into the soft feather pillow. My muscles almost instantly relaxed. I wished my mind shut off that easily. I couldn't help but wonder just how long the peace would last. It never seemed to last long. As soon as I recovered from one adversity, another seemed to be in the waiting. It was almost as if there was someone out there who delighted in watching me suffer. Who would put me through hell so long as it amused them. Maybe it was several someones, for all I knew. But I soon dismissed these thoughts. Who could find so much entertainment in me, anyway?


Yami: So where's Yami Malik hiding?

Anzu: He got all depressed after you stole his cape and he went hide in the back with a gallon of coffee Haagen Dazs and a bottle of vodka he stole from Malik's review gifts.

Malik: And I had plans for that, too!

Yami: All that for a purple cape? I brought it back. See? *reveals the cape*

Yami Malik: My cape!!! *He comes running from the back room, his face very flushed. He snatches the cape from Yami and holds it like a little kid holds his comfort blankie.*

Jounouchi: Normally, I'd blame the caffeine, sugar, and alcohol for this sort of behavior, but seeing as it's Yami Malik...

Yami Malik: Silence, mortal! This is no ordinary cape, for when I dawn this cape, I become...

*he puts the cape on and spins around. Malik, buries his head in his hands at the awkwardness of it all*

Yami Malik: I become...Bish-O-Man! *sticks his chest out* Caffeine, sugar and alcohol combine to transform the mild-mannered Yami Malik into the Great Bish-O-Man! Sexy being from another time! Able to make ten fangirls faint with a single smile and a wink! I am Bish-O-Man!

Seto: I... am going to be sick.

Honda: When did he come up with this fantasy?

Malik: I don't know, it's a new one to me.

*Finally, Ryou breaks the awkwardness by arriving with the freshly baked award cookies.*

White Angel: Alright, line up for your deliveries. Every reviewer who mentioned both Ryou's mom and that millennium eye as the cause of her appearance because it can see the dead gets a cookie. There were a lot of good answers, and a lot of close ones, but I had to draw the line somewhere. All bishies report for your cookies and stun-guns.

Yugi: Stun guns?

White Angel: For your own safety. Some fangirls are known to be rabid, and I don't know which is which. This is just in case some don't understand that they get to keep the cookie, not the bish.

Yami: Fair enough.

White Angel: Okay, Ryou. You're delivering to lily22, Kaehimi, Shadow- Assassin, Kuragari no Tenshi, Shadowwolf, and my good friend, Nefuit. *hands him a bag of cookies*

Ryou: I hope they all appreciate all the work I did for this contest.

White Angel: Yami Bakura, you're deliverin' to Sesca, PocketBunny, Shadowwolf-

Yami Bakura: Isn't Ryou delivering to Shadowwolf?

White Angel: Well, she requested the both of you, and seeing as you sorta are the same person, I couldn't really argue with that. Oh, and you're delivering to Sailor Comet, too.

Yami Bakura: Ah, Sailor Comet... The only one on my side. The only one who understands me. I should take her to a bar or something.

White Angel: Riiiiight... Well, Yami, you're going to Cettie-girl, YamiShiningFriendship, and The Pharoahs Light and Dark. Yugi, you're also going to the Pharoahs Light and Dark (for the same reason the Yami Bakura faced) and to Kayla, The Couch Warrior.

Yugi: I like Kayla. She shares the cookies.

White Angel: Malik, you go to Twill and JessiChi.

Malik: Only two? Man, I'm slacking.

White Angel: Yami Malik-

Yami Malik: Bish-O-Man, please. Or "Your Sexiness", whichever you prefer.

White Angel: Fine, whatever. You go to Kuroneko Yajuu-DarkGatomon, SilverWolfe, Gatochu, and Yuki Chan.

Yami Malik: For this special delivery, I must put on my "Special" leather.

White Angel: Just remember to control yourself. You're delivering cookies, not serving as a Chip N Dale's dancer.

Yami Malik: Humph! Take away all my fun, why don't ya?

White Angel: Jounouchi, you're delivering to Ice Blue X.

Jounouchi: Only one?

White Angel: 'Fraid so.

Seto: That's pathetic.

White Angel: Seto, you're bringing a macadamia cookie to -NC--.

Seto: What?! I only got one, too!

Jounouchi: Who's pathetic now?

White Angel: *shrugs* I just fill requests. Now go deliver. I have questions to address.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------

These are just some questions that I am regularly asked through reviews and e-mails, and I would like to just take this time to address them.

------Will you be doing another fic?

Yes, eventually. When the homework lets up. My Harry Potter crossover will likely be the next one I do, but don't expect to see much of it anytime soon.

------Would you read my story?

I am very busy lately, but I do try to read some. Unfortunately, I cannot review because of a glitch in my computer. I do sometimes review via e- mail, though.

------Will you write any lemons (explicit fics)?

Likely not. Until Nov. 2, I technically wasn't even supposed to read them. (Yami Bakura: Like that stopped you--*FWAMP* Ow!) Plus, I REALLY wouldn't know where to begin on that. I guess I'm just too innocent.

------Will you write any yaoi (shonen-ai)?

This is another likely no. I have nothing against yaoi fics, in fact, I have enjoyed a few of them. It's just that half the fics on FF.net are yaoi. Everyone else is writing them, and I tend to avoid what everyone else is doing.

------Do Malik and his Yami REALLY act like they do in your fics?

No. In my fics, Malik and Yami Malik's characters are completely made up for the sake of humor. Malik and his Yami just aren't very funny normally.

-------I did a fanart based on you're stuff. Would you like to see it?

Yes, always. I love seeing fanart.

-------Can I use your concept/name/scene/idea for my fanfic/fanart/doujinshi?

The answer is usually yes, but I would like it is you e-mailed me about the situation first.

-------Why are the side-stories longer than the actual fic?

Usually, it only looks longer because of the spacing. If it actually is longer, that's because I just got carried away.

Well, that's it! Hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget to R&R!