The red LED display on the battered alarm clock clicked over to 1am and, like clockwork, small noises came to Ryou's listening ears. A door clicks and the sound of light footsteps pad down the hallway, pausing outside Ryou's door. Ryou breathed loudly and deeply, pretending to be asleep. The thief must have been satisfied with this, as his stealthy feet trod almost silently down the normally creaky wooden stairs. Though now retired, he still had all the traits of a master thief. Ryou strained his ears to listen to him leave, the back door closed with barely any sound and Ryou got out of bed to peek at the figure in the yard through his curtains. The figure always snuck out at 1am, when the night was at it's darkest. The moon was covered in cloud and Ryou could barely make out the figures features, shoulder length white hair seemed to almost glow through the blackness, illuminating the mans face. Sharp features, deep crimson eyes and a permanent smirk. The figure rooted through the pockets of it's long black trench coat, pulling out a packet of cigarettes and a moment later a shiny gold lighter. The figure removed a single creamy white tube from the packet, placing the rest back in his pocket. He placed the cigarette between his lips almost delicately, then moved the lighter towards the unlit tip, the lighter roared into life, highlighting his figures in greater detail. A blue and white striped t-shirt under the long black trench coat, which had the collar pulled up, framing the mans face. Grey jeans and black converse finished the outfit. A shiny gold necklace rested around the mans slender neck, an Egyptian eye, surrounded by a circle of gold which had five sharp golden points hanging from it. The Millennium ring. The cigarette was lit, smoke already lingering in the air, and the lighter put out, back into its pocket. The Thief took one last look around the yard then strode off quickly into the night, jumping a low fence that divided the small yard from the alleyway behind.

Ryou sighed and closed the curtains, climbing back into bed. He was used to this by now, at first he hadn't noticed, but he remembered the first time he had seen Bakura leaving.

Ryou's sleep was broken by a small noise from under his window. He groggily slid upright in his bed and opened his curtains slightly, allowing the light of the moon to shine into the small room. He groaned at the brightness and squinted through sore eyes at the yard below. He could see a figure he recognised leaning against one of the walls, smoking a cigarette. Ryou's face screwed up in disgust, he hated smoking. But he was grateful Bakura wasn't doing it in the house like he used to. Ryou watched Bakura with interest, noting how he held his cigarette, how his slender fingers moved to tap off the ash that collected on the tip. Noticing the deeply relaxed look after every drag, the way his eyes would shut momentarily as he inhaled and the way his entire body seemed to relax as the cigarette grew smaller. Ryou smiled as he watched the Thief, despite how much he hated smoking, he had to admit it suited Bakura. Ryou glanced away from the sight for a moment, checking the time on his alarm clock, just after 1am. Ryou raised his eyebrows in surprise, it wasn't out of the ordinary for Bakura to be up in the small hours, but to be fully dressed as if about to go out was a different matter. Ryou focused his gaze back to the small yard, which was now deserted. The only sign Bakura had been there was a lightly glowing cigarette stub lying on the cracked concrete ground. Ryou's brow furrowed in confusion, he hadn't heard the back door close again, so he couldn't be in the house. Where had he gone?

Ryou yawned deeply, and decided it was too late to be solving mysteries. He got back into his warm bed, promising he'd ask Bakura in the morning.

Ryou put down his toast and looked up at Bakura, who was leaning against a counter in his pyjamas, which consisted of a bare chest and a pair of low-riding sweatpants.


"Mm?" The Thief turned round, slender white fingers wrapped around a mug of coffee.

"Where did you go last night?"

Bakuras eyes flashed red and Ryou began to tremble.

"I don't know what you're talking about Yadonushi." Bakura replied casually, taking another mouthful of his coffee, black, no sugar.

"I saw.." Ryou began, but a glance from Bakura was enough to silence him, the threat lingering in those cold eyes was enough to terrify him.

Bakura raised an eyebrow as Ryou 's voice trailed away. He smirked cruelly, drained the rest of his coffee and dumped the mug in the sink where it landed with a clang. It was probably chipped but Bakura didn't care, he stalked out of the kitchen to get his cigarettes from his room.

"But I know I saw-" Ryou began muttering to himself.

"I think you've been imagining things Yadonushi." The voice came from right behind Ryou, so close to his ear that he could feel Bakura's breath.

Ryou knew Bakura was waiting for him to agree, disagreeing would be.. well, let's just say he still had the scars.

"Yes, I must have been dreaming." Ryou said, voice shaking.

"Good baka." Bakura said, straightening up and ruffling Ryou's hair, chuckling when the boy flinched away, brown eyes full of fear.

It had continued like that for a couple of weeks. Every night Ryou would watch Bakura sneak out, every morning it would not be spoken of.

Until the morning when Ryou went to the bathroom to have a shower and found the sink was splattered with red, and there was pinkish water in the bottom of the shower. It almost looked like...

"Bakura?" Ryou called, his dislike for his tormentor not overriding the worry that he could be injured.

"What?" The voice called coldly from the bottom of the stairs.

Ryou left the bathroom and ran down the stairs to Bakura, who stood in his usual sweatpants, drinking his morning coffee. The only difference was that today there was a large bandage wrapped round his bare torso, which was already speckled with crimson. Bakura raised his eye in amusement at his hosts wide eyed stare.

"Bakura.. how did you do this?" Ryou spoke up, looking into the eyes of his darker half, which were calm and unconcerned.

"I must have fallen out of bed." Bakura's smirk grew as he took another mouthful of his coffee.

Ryou rolled his eyes, knowing he wouldn't get a straight answer. He lifted his hand out to touch the bandage. The second his hand connected with the soft cotton he heard a mug shatter on the tile floor and his hand was savagely torn away by Bakura. Ryou whimpered at how tightly he was being gripped, Bakuras nails were digging into his soft white flesh, leaving deep marks.

"I've told you before baka, don't touch me." Bakuras grip tightened and he spat his words like they were acid.

Ryou whimpered and writhed in Bakura's grip, trying to free himself.

"Yami, please, it hurts." Ryou begged, hating himself for how pathetic he sounded, for giving in so easily.

"I don't think I will, Hikari." he hissed, voice laced with contempt as he spat the last word. "I think you need to learn to keep your mouth shut and your hands to yourself."

Ryous eyes grew wider as Bakura loomed over him, eyes mad with anger and sadistic pleasure as he gripped Ryou's wrist more firmly.

"Please Bakura! Please! Let me go!" Ryous eyes filled with tears as Bakura twisted his wrist around to an unnatural angle. Ryou cried out in pain and Bakura smiled, showing his sharp feline teeth.

"I don't think you've learned your lesson yet." Bakura growled, giving Ryou's wrist one last, brutal twist, laughing as the bone snapped and Ryou screamed, tears leaking down his face.

"Now baka, what did I teach you today?" Bakura asked, sadistic gleam still in hs eyes.

Ryou's breath came in shaky gasps, the pain was making him lightheaded and he barely heard Bakura's question.

A fist smashed into his cheek, knocking him to the ground where he huddled up into a protective ball, cradling his broken wrist and gasping for much needed oxygen.

"Answer me!" Bakura shouted, aiming kicks at Ryou's legs, arms, back.

Ryou trembled and cried out as every kick resonated through his already weak and damaged body.

Bakura tired of kicking the boy and grabbed him by the neck of his jumper, holding him so his feet were dangling above the ground. Cruel red orbs met terrified soft brown. Bakura moved the boy closer to him, so their noses were almost touching.

"Please." Ryou sobbed.

"Answer the question and I'll let you go."

"I need to keep my mouth shut and my hands to myself." Ryou answered, voice shaking.

"Good Yadonushi." Bakura replied, mad look leaving his eyes he dropped Ryou, already disinterested, causing the younger boy to cry out again as he landed heavily on the hard floor. "Now clean up this mess."

He aimed one more kick at Ryou, who squirmed to avoid it, earning a chuckle from Bakura who pulled on a hoodie and walked out of the house, slamming the door behind him, leaving Ryou to tend his injuries the best he could and hope Bakura would be in a better mood when he returned.