Ono: And so, an epic tale commences. :D

Christina: An epic tale of demons, desecration and death!

Ono: Sounds just up our alley.

Christina: Too right. xD

Ono: Sinshipping has got to be the greatest idea since forever.

Christina: And when we say 'Sinshipping', we mean Ryou/Zorc. Yes. You read that correctly.

Ono: I think only we could come up with something so epic. :')

Christina: And completely messed up. ^^

Ono: Unfortunately for you and fortunately for your mental health, Zorc does not appear in this chapter. Boooo.

Christina: But when he appears, you'll know about it. THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Ono: And... and... I don't know exactly how to refer to the demonic pornographic-ish stuff that will undoubtedly happen at some point, but... THERE'S THAT, TOO! :D

Christina: So brace yourselves. xD


Vitiate

One - In Which Kul Elna is Desecrated


Ryou dabbed his paintbrush into viscid, sand-coloured varnish for what seemed like the millionth time that day, and sighed loudly. The diorama - half-finished, with several colourless pyramids nestled amongst other, currently indistinguishable buildings - was a chore, to say the least.

Watching the thick liquid drip from the brush, Ryou couldn't help but wonder what his friends - if they could really be called that - were doing on this fine, midsummer afternoon, while he was cooped up in his apartment, carrying out the bidding of the Voice.

The Voice wanted him to construct a diorama. This hadn't seemed much of a problem; Ryou had created many in the past, and found great enjoyment in the activity. Except, this one would be different. Instead of the usual, fictional world, the Voice wanted a scaled-down replica of Egypt. He also seemed content to let Ryou slowly rot and wither away inside the apartment, until the damned thing was finished.

He went out of his way to be specific in his orders, reprimanding Ryou whenever there was even the smallest incorrect detail. The latter found himself growing steadily more irritated whenever he was interrupted midway into his work, just so that the Voice could correct him again. Whether the colour of the stone was several shades too dark, or the size of the palace was not proportional to the other buildings... there was always something.

"There's not supposed to be anything there," Ryou murmured as he put his chin in his hand and examined the offending spot on the board.

The presence in the back of his mind bristled, causing an involuntary shiver to run down his spine. Excuse me?

"I said," he set his paint brush down with a splat before pointing, "There isn't a village there. I've done research and there's absolutely nothing there."

Don't question me, host.

Ryou scowled, checking his notes once again for the non-existent village that the Voice had specifically insisted he create. "So, this diorama isn't based purely on reality, then?" he asked, genuinely curious.

The Voice merely growled in response; apparently Ryou had struck a nerve with his offhand comment, although he couldn't imagine why.

He picked up the paintbrush once again and dipped it into a pot of murky, off-coloured water. He set about finishing the half-finished polyresin pyramid he'd been working on diligently for the past twenty minutes, humming a little to himself and trying to keep his mind from drifting.

Thoughts of the strange village continued to pester him though, and the other presence clearly felt bothered by this - if his constant shifting in the back of Ryou's mind was anything to judge by. Ryou had the most uncomfortable feeling that there was someone watching over his shoulder, breathing down his neck, but whenever the paranoia got to him he would turn only to see that there was nothing there. The Voice was just that; a voice.

He attempted to let his thoughts slide back into the same realm that they were in before, but inadvertently they kept creeping back to the village. His eyes would dart over to the far corner of the board, the location the site it had been designated, and wondered if he'd detected the smallest bit of feeling in the Voice's tone when-

Stop.

Ryou couldn't help himself. Why was the Voice so insistent that he construct a village that didn't exist in what was otherwise a replica of the real Ancient Egypt? What purpose did it serve? What did it-

There was a flash of blinding, white light; the transition was so sudden that he didn't even get the chance to cry out. He was in his soul room.

If you want something done right...

The Voice's muttering echoed throughout the confined space. As if he had a right to complain.

Ryou sat up, supporting himself on one elbow. He had appeared on his bed this time around, which was no small mercy considering the fact that a couple of times before he landed flat on his face with his spiritual nose squished against the cold wooden floor.

He felt the most overwhelming urge to lash out at something as he often did when the Voice ripped control from him. The feeling soon simmered down, after a few calming breaths.

The situation would play out as it always did. The Voice would use Ryou's flesh as his own for a while and, whenever he saw fit, he would give it back to its rightful owner. And, in this instance, he wasn't attempting to seal anyone's soul into miniatures or playing cards or involving the body in some other such scheme that might end up being life threatening - he just wanted to complete the wretched diorama. It seemed inane enough to not cause too much concern.

With these assumptions to reassure him Ryou curled up on his side and snuggled into the pillow splayed across the headboard, not bothering to wrap the comforter around himself. After a while he squeezed his eyes shut and attempted to lull himself to sleep.

Some time later Ryou sat up, giving up all hope of passing the time by napping. Luckily for him his soul room was equipped with means of entertaining himself. He didn't spare a glance at the art supplies resting on a desk in one corner - the mere thought of just looking at something even vaguely related to the diorama made vexation begin to stew in the pit of his stomach. Instead he headed straight for the bookshelf adjacent to his bed to pick out the volume he had read halfway through the last time the Voice possessed him.

Ryou settled back on the bed with Doctor Faustus in hand, this time sliding halfway beneath the comforter and using the pillow to prop himself up against the headboard. Quickly he found himself lost in the intrigue of the Renaissance play.

It was required for him to read it in school a while before, back before he had transferred to Domino. In spite of the story being a tragic one, Ryou couldn't help but enjoy reading it over and over again. A form of escapism, really, from his own - while wildly different - sort of tragedy. He had to convince himself that it wasn't because he was revelling in the suffering that befell the main character. That would just be sick.

Just like that, Ryou found himself back in control.

He blinked blearily and the fuzzy image of the unfinished - no, finished, now, he realised after a moment of regarding the board in front of him and not catching sight of any exposed wood - game world.

Ryou sat in the same chair he had been in when the Voice had taken over, albeit now he was slumped over with his head resting against his right arm. As he attempted to lift his head he became aware that it seemed much, much heavier than usual, as did the rest of his body, like his bones were weighed down with lead. He felt exhausted.

The blissful silence was interrupted with a loud rumble, deep and indignant, which took a few seconds to register as an indication from his stomach that he was hungry; famished, in fact. It felt as though he hadn't eaten anything for days.

Because he probably hadn't, he soon realised.

One painful trek across the living room to search for his mobile phone later, and he was on his knees attempting to find the thing in his satchel. He pawed through the contents blindly for a moment before finally growing frustrated enough to dump everything out. Ryou exhaled slowly when he realised that his phone wasn't among the spilled papers and separated folders.

This meant that the Voice - although clearly much more tangible than a mere growl in the deep recesses of his mind when he'd carried out the deed - had moved it.

Ryou put one hand to his throbbing forehead, brushing aside his sweat-laden bangs and hissed between his teeth. Everything ached and he wanted nothing more than to berate the Voice for leaving him in such a state without any way of telling how much time had passed or what had even happened during that time.

He couldn't find his phone, so he didn't know what day it was and how much school he may or may not have missed. His stomach was completely empty, his mouth was, god, it smelled like something had died in his apartment. It took a few moments to realise that it was himself. Had the Voice even considered showering?

Since he felt like he was going to chew his own arm off sooner than he would figure out what date it was, Ryou headed to the refrigerator, fully prepared to empty it of half its contents. His stomach gurgled in anticipation as he began to remove items at random, anything that would fill him up - and then he saw it.

Ryou blinked, wondering if he was delirious. If his mind wasn't playing tricks on him, his phone was currently nestled between a carton of eggs and a milk jug. Of all the bizarre places...

Snatching up the device - which was significantly cooler than usual, and whirred itself to live painfully slowly - he scrolled through countless messages from Yugi, most pertaining to his whereabouts and growing steadily more concerned as the hours - and days - went by. He had missed a call from his father... but no message, as usual. Not that Ryou expected anything less.

Approximately four days - and about three hours, if he wanted to be precise - had passed since he'd last be in control of the body. His body.

This fact - coupled with starvation, fatigue and body odour fit to rival that of an ogre's - made Ryou angry. Furious, in fact.

"Are you trying to kill our -" he realised what he was saying and quickly corrected himself. "- my body? It would help if you took at least a little care of it if you insist on being in control for so long."

The Voice, for once, remained silent. The fact that he saw no reason to justify his actions to his unwitting 'host' only served to taunt the boy, riling him further.

Ryou slammed the door of the fridge closed with more force than necessary, before glancing down at his chest. He doubled back, opening the refrigerator before whipping the Millennium Ring off over his head and throwing it among the assortment of now stale cheeses at the back.

He stared at the gold shining in the fluorescent light for a moment, then, before he could think better of his reckless action, shut the door once again.

It felt much more freeing than it should have with the weight of the Ring not bearing down on his neck and the constant lingering of the being inhabiting it around him. For a moment Ryou just breathed deeply and relished the feeling... only to shortly afterward be thrown into panic.

The Voice was going to kill him for this.

Unless someone killed the Voice first. Although, the likelihood that anything of the sort would happen was slim to none. Ryou hated feeling so useless, so powerless, in comparison to the Voice, the parasitic fiend who controlled him, his puppeteer. When it came right down to it, he was losing control over his body to a possessed necklace.

And it made him feel so angry.

The next thing he knew, he was back in the living room. There it was. Completed, some of the varnish still glistening in the dim lamplight, the diorama, the bane of his existence.

He walked over, furious enough that he could block out the hunger pangs and the heaviness of fatigue that his body was constantly tormented by with every step, and examined the handiwork of the Voice.

He had a shaky hand, Ryou noted, judging by the smudged lines and the running of the paint in some areas. The imperial palace had fared the worst, a splotchy mess of dirty grey, slightly yellowed around the edges. Ryou couldn't help but wonder if this had been deliberate on the Voice's part, since he did have a deep lying hatred of the Spirit of the Millennium Puzzle. Exactly why this hatred seemed to drive on the Voice was beyond Ryou - it wasn't as though he could casually chat with him about it over tea sometime, or even communicate with him much for that matter. He could only guess.

Of course, that village - the cause of all Ryou's current problems, in the corner of his line of vision - was completed to perfection, painted smoothly and carefully as though the Voice had spent the majority of his time on this one particular section. Something told him that his hatred was irrational - it was just wood, for the love of god - but oh, he despised it.

Before he could stop himself, Ryou reached out and dragged the heel of his hand across the paintwork. Much to his chagrin, the varnish had dried and the action had little effect.

Subsequently, he snapped the damned thing off of the board completely. Hut by hut, Ryou brutally attacked until there was nothing but pathetic wooden stumps of what had once been the beautifully crafted miniature village. They were thrown one by one onto the ground, some of the last few spattered with blood.

The fractured pieces of wood gave Ryou splinters, and the skin on his hands was torn up due to his frenzied ministrations. The thick liquid - much like the consistency of the paint - dripped over the model, ruining both the Voice's handiwork and his own.

Soon afterward he was sucking at the small bits of wood stuck in his fingertips, even going so far as to tear at them with his teeth. Blood began to drool out of the widened wounds, and Ryou found himself starting to concentrate on slurping at the coppery-tasting fluid instead of taking the splinters out.

The village was destroyed... but he still felt like breaking something, in order to quell his pent-up fury. Not any more of the model, though, unless he wanted to be ripping wood out of his hand all night.

His half-lidded eyes shifted to his notes. A fraction of a second after he'd first considered it, he knocked the orderly stack over with one hand. The result of scattered papers fluttering to the floor wasn't nearly as gratifying as tearing apart the Voice's precious village, but it still gave Ryou a small bit of satisfaction. He found himself wondering if he should upend the entire table when he caught sight of something that had, up until that moment, been hidden beneath the pile of paper.

Leather bound and adorned with cursive, almost indistinguishable script across the cover, the thick book had been a gift from his ever ignorant father - a fifteenth birthday present, if he recalled correctly. An interesting read, to say the least, dealing specifically in Egyptian magic, curses and rituals.

They'd even listed a few of the latter as examples, although Ryou had always skimmed over those parts. He was somewhat repulsed by their bizarre instructions, and thoroughly sickened at just the thought of the grotesque items that had been listed as 'ingredients'.

An alien thought began to manifest itself somewhere within his subconscious. It shocked him, although not necessarily in a bad way. Sure, he'd often thought of life without the Voice - the insufferable, omnipresent being who'd stolen his identity along with his freedom - but the prospect of this was small in his current situation; a dim light at the end of a long, winding tunnel. He'd never once considered that he might have within him the ability to destroy the Spirit of the Millennium Ring.

Would there be a spell within the book that could assist him, though?

There had to be.

Kneeling amongst the scattered papers, Ryou reached out with the bloodied, indistinguishable masses that were supposedly his hands and grasped the book. His usually plain, apathetic expression deformed without him realising, transforming into a somewhat maniacal grin.

With quivering hands, he turned the front cover.


Christina: So, what did you think of it? Do you like the idea of Sinshipping?

Ono: You should totally tell us in a review. Otherwise... we might have to do something drastic.

Christina: … We might have to set Psycho!Ryou on you and, trust me, that wouldn't be pretty.

Ono: Particularly not if we starved/refused to bathe him/didn't let him sleep beforehand. :)

Christina: So, you know what to do...

Ono: If you know what's good for you, that is. ;)