Disclaimer: I don't own YGO
Continuity: English Anime

A/N: Don't look now but I think I just made Yami Marik cute with this. Hmm...takes place during the season 3 filler that we all hate while everyone is gone and the Egyptians are left on the blimp. Could be semi AU. I dunno if this is OOC for Ishizu but I think she would do something like this.


Dark Slumber

X -x-x-x-x- X

The silence was deafening as she peered out the window. She had gotten so used to the constant noise of the engine that the absence of it was almost chilling. They had landed somewhere and she had no idea what was going on. As far as she knew, Yugi and his friends had all gone. The only people left on the aircraft were herself, Odion, some guards that worked for Kaiba, that one boy Yugi defeated, and...she sighed as that poor girl flashed in her mind. Technically she was on the blimp too...but there was a relative word...

And also...he was still here...

She wished she still had the Millennium Necklace so she knew what was so important to take Yugi away from his destiny - away from helping her brother. She stood up from her chair and walked around the dark room. After pacing at bit, she found herself at the door. Power on the blimp had been cut to minimal so the doors were not automatic anymore; you had to press a button to open them.

She did and stepped forward as they slid to the side. The corridors were dark and eerie, dead quiet and she bit her lip in hesitance. Her feet started moving of their own accord as she walked the halls, passing Kaiba's door then Joey's. She kept walking as she knew whose door was next.

She stopped at it and her eyes scanned the whole thing as if it held some secret that no one else knew. The electronic panel was to the left of it and she now was chewing her lip as she gazed at the "Open" button.

She should go right back to her room. She was insane to even be here. What was she thinking?

She pressed her ear to the cold surface of the door and listened intently for anything in the room. Learning to hear for sounds in the quiet darkness had been a skill she'd been taught while living in the tombs. It was a skill that was needed in case of intruders. She waited for any movement in the room; the sound of feet on the floor, a chair scraping back, water running...but nothing was coming from this room.

Could...he be asleep? Did he sleep? She scoffed. Well, of course he did. Under all his evil, he was still human. Surely he would need to at some point. She looked at the digital clock on the panel. It was well over two AM and she hoped her insomnia was not being shared by him.

Her finger hovered over the key to open it. She was truly mad. This was the worst idea she ever had. She needed to leave.

And then her finger pressed it.

The door slid open and her breath stopped. She shivered as a cold breeze hit her. Apparently, he had set the environmental controls to the coolest he could. Her eyes narrowed. He could get sick in conditions like this - he really should know better... her thoughts trailed off as she looked down and chided herself. He didn't care about his health and wouldn't care if she was worried.

Her eyes peered around, looking for any sign of him. She stepped in, the door remaining open due to no one pressing it closed. Her feet on the carpet seemed to echo in the silent room as she continued to walk forward. She turned and held in a loud gasp that threatened to escape her.

He was right there, maybe three feet from her, sitting in a chair. She couldn't tell if he was watching her or not, so she stood and waited. He didn't move at all. When she calmed from the shock she could hear his breathing, realizing it was slow and gentle; rhythmic. He was asleep. She approached the chair, his face becoming easier to see in the dark, for there was a small light to the side from another electronic panel.

She noticed that the gold eye on his forehead was gone. His hair was still wild and all over, but with that eye gone he almost looked like...himself.

His face held no expression, gentle and calm as he slumbered, all the lines and wrinkles gone from it. His head was back against the chair, slumped to the side as if he simply passed out while waiting. He was fully dressed and the Duel Disc was still on his left arm as well as the Millennium Rod firmly in his right hand.

He was clutching it to him, ready to strike at any moment if anyone should try to hurt him. Yes, that was his purpose; to protect Marik at all costs and bare all his hurt and pain on himself. Problem was, all that hurt and pain got a mind of its own and now threatened to destroy the good inside him.

She knew Marik was in there somewhere; he himself had told her to hide Odion, but as time passed, she felt more and more he was slipping away. She could feel his once bright flame sizzle to a dull ash.

But as she stood before him now watching him sleep, she felt hope begin to build within her again. Even with his wild hair and attire, he looked no different than when he slept as a child. She remembered when he used to have nightmares and call out for her and Odion to stay with him and they would remain until he was comfortably asleep. His childlike features shown through vividly now more than ever.

He looked as if he would wake up and ask her what was for dinner.

Ask her to play a game with him.

Ask her to run and play with him.

She shook her head. He was such a happy child until...Until the day this man before her was born. She got even closer to stare at him and swallowed.

It...had been years since she had been this close to him. Yes, she had stopped him from stealing Obelisk, but she hadn't been close to him like she was now. Now she was mere inches from him and felt the urge to...

...to...

Her hand rose, trembling with the anticipation of what she was about to do.

If only a little...

She stopped just before her hand reached his bangs. Now she was sure she had lost it. If he woke up he would think nothing of sending her to the shadows. She was in the most danger she had been in through this whole thing right now.

Shaking to her bones, she tried to pull back, but the temptation - the need to touch him overwhelmed her and she reached out her index finger feeling it meet with his hair. A silent gasp entered her as she pulled the hair off to the side, gently letting it fall around and off her finger. Her other digits rose to meet it as she did the motion again, pulling more away and running her hand freely through his light blonde locks.

The last time she felt that soft hair was...the last time she touched him. The last time she touched him was...when she had agreed to take him to the surface; the day their father was gone forever.

His soft hair tickled her neck then as he embraced her, thanking her. That was the last time she held her brother or touched him in any significant way. The feel of his hair; the scent of it - which was something akin to almonds, so close.

So close.

Her eyes began to sting and feel heavier with each passing second as her throat clenched like someone choking her.

But then her finger brushed his forehead and he twitched, inhaling sharply.

Immediately she jerked her hand back as if it'd been bitten by a viper - and it might as well been. If he woke there was no escape. She would have no chance at all. No one was here to save her.

She was totally helpless.

But instead he settled with a sigh, turning to his side and holding the Rod like a child with a teddy bear while snuggling into the chair back. A small moan escaped him as his breathing evened out once more and she noted that his voice seemed normal again.

Her entire core heaving, she backed up slowly keeping her eyes on him. She saw a blanket thrown on the floor and picked it up, her eyes never leaving him.

In her last act of stupid bravery, she gently placed the blanket over him and he snuggled further into the chair. She resisted the urge to touch his bangs again and walked fast out of the room. She made it to the door and closed it.

She let out a long sigh as she ran back to her room. She finally got there and closed her own door, locking it just in case.

Even though what she had done was completely foolish it had showed her perhaps there was some hope after all. There was hope her brother could be saved.

After all, pure evil couldn't possibly look so innocent while asleep.

Now could it?

~End