Greetings my wonderful fans! It's been like what? A month since I have written any Darkshipping. I'm telling you, 'Fang' wore me the hell out! I didn't want to write anything for the longest time, but I am so back baby! As you can probably tell, 'The Dragon's Dance' has FINALLY been updated! I swear I feel like I have to force myself to write that shit! I mean don't get me wrong, I love the story it's just...it's not Darkshipping! I know, I know...but I don't care! Oh and speaking of which, I got the most hilarious review for that story today!

"I'm glad to see you're not dead, but that's what people think when you disappear for so long." Umm...I know people take WAY longer...but still...it was amusing, no?

Anyways, I am extremely excited about this story! I have been planning this since before 'Fang' was done (and perhaps even before I started it) It's going to be a great story! So I hope y'all are ready for another trip down Yami and Bakura getting it on lane! Gotta love enemies falling in love, just makes things so much more awesome, not to mention sexy haha. Oh before I forget, I am writing a Pokemon story called 'Beyond the Skies' and I will be continuing that story, everything else I will update when I'm in the mood. Oh and I'm 95% sure I'm going to be writing 'Stuck with You' but for right now, it's on hiatus unless of course some kind of miracle happens where I just say: 'Fuck this shit, I only have like three chapters left that I need to write and I'm just going to finish it' but we'll see what life allows I suppose….

Oh...mind links!

/Hikari's to Yami's/

\Yami's to Hikari's\

Now then, let's kick this ficcie off with a song I wrote specifically for this song. In fact, it is because of this song that I even got the idea for it, so thank whatever gave me the idea for the lyrics to this song. The song is my song, so don't be stealing it. You can admire my amazing talent I have, I suppose. Anyways, onward!

Endlessly:

I could love you endlessly, I could fall in love with you and we could keep a miracle alive. Every time I look in your eyes, I get lost inside of your soul. What are you doing to me? Don't you know that I hate you? Don't you want my blood on your hands? Don't you want me to scream? Don't you realize that it's too late to bring me back life? I'm already further than death. I'm drowning in my desire for you and my need to kill you. I want my hands covered in your blood, I want your skin underneath my fingertips I want you to reach out and touch me, I want you to burn me alive with your beautiful eyes. I want to hear your voice when I go to bed at night, I want to lie next to you and watch the world go by. I want to end you for good, I want to make you suffer, I want to see the look in your eyes when you look up at me when I hold the knife above your heart. I want you to know that any claims of hope you had of us is nothing but fantasy we'll never have. I want you to be the one that kills me, I want my blood on your hands.. I want you to end me I want to feel your passion. I want to feel your soul wrapping around mine. I I want to know if you feel this too. I want to know if I can kill you now. I want to feel you underneath me I want to feel something besides this loneliness I feel inside. I want to bring the demon out of you.

I want to know if it hurts when I cut you up inside. I want to know if you really hate me or if I really hate you. I want to make me scream, I want to feel the power within me grow. I want you to knock me out, I want you to defeat me. I want something so much more from you than I could ever get. I want you to bleed, I want you to scream. I need you to know you're driving me crazy. I need you to know my soul burns passionately for you every time you give me that look I think I'm going to lose my mind. I want you dead, I want your soul to scream, to earn itself to me. I need you to know this isn't a game anymore. And what would you think if I told you that loved you this whole time? What would you say if I told you I never wanted to hate you, that I never loved you at all? What if I was playing with your mind?

What if I was lying right now? What if I told it was too personal to tell you how I felt about you? What if I told you that everything you've done to me was nothing more than just a wicked fantasies you dreamt of? What if I can't take it back? What if I don't want to? What if everything I said wasn't a lie? What if I tried to bring you back? What if I really did love you? Would you love me back, even though you think of me as a fool? Am I fool to fall in love with you? What if I told you that loving you is so impossible, it's not reality. I couldn't take it anymore. You burn me alive, I'd give myself to you if I could.

Disclaimer: I do not own Yugioh. If I did, then Yugioh would have ended with Bakura and Yami admitting their undying love for one another and Seto would have pulled Joey into a kiss to shut him up because Puppy and Darkshipping rock!

Warnings: My usual, y'all know what that means, but for those of you who happen to be knew to my awesomeness, it means there's lemony goodness!

Summary:

Moments away from destroying Zorc, Yami hesitates, asking Horakhty if she can set Bakura free. She agrees, telling Yami that in order for him to pass into the afterlife, he must break his enemy of the darkness, and he only as a year to do so.

Chapter One: Released

[Yami's POV]:

Help!

My eyes dart back and forth trying to figure out where that voice is coming from. It's silent far too silent for my tastes. Light is illuminating the darkness. Horakhty has Zorc in her clutches and I know my true name.

Atem.

I stare into Zorc's evil eyes. They're red and full of hatred. Red the color of blood. Red the color of…

Someone get me out of here!

Who's crying out for help and why am I the only one able to hear their pleading call? Why does that voice sound so familiar?

"Ph-Atem, are you alright?" Anzu asks.

"Yeah man." Joey says. "You seem like you're in a daze."

"Pharaoh?" Yugi asks worryingly.

"I'm fine. Just got lost in thought I suppose." I mutter.

"Atem you will decide Zorc's fate." Horakthy says.

"The fate of that creature is obvious." Seto scoffs. "So do us a favor Yugi-Atem-Pharaoh whoever the hell you are and get rid of that foul beast so I can go home!"

I part my lips to speak, but I'm an unable to.

I'm sorry…

"Do you guys hear that?" I ask.

"Hear what, man?" Tristan asks.

"Yeah, Pharaoh I don't hear anything." Yugi says.

"Are you sure you're alright?" Anzu asks putting a hand on my shoulder.

"He was a tyrant! He destroyed my village in an attempt to further his own power!"

His eyes. They were full of hatred...full of…

"How do I know you ask? Because I am the only villager you survived."

I had to make a choice. I wasn't worried about Zorc. No, that wasn't stopping me then what is stopping me?

"You wouldn't understand, you've never had a friend in your life." I say. Bakura's sitting across from me at the large glass table in the Realm of the Gods/Shadow Realm where we're playing our pasts like some kind of sick twisted game. The 'Ultimate Shadow Game' he calls it.

I look up at him and for a split second I see something in his eyes. Is that pain?

"Would you hurry up!" Kaiba shouts, but it's barely audible to me. All I can hear is Bakura's voice and our past conversations swirling in my mind.

"You heard the Pharaoh it's time for vengeance!" Bakura shouts.

The spirits of Kul Elna enter me. I can feel their chilling ways enter me. They're near my core. Father appears right in front of me in spirit form.

"Spirits of Kul Elna. It is not my son you want, it is me." Father says.

They enter my father…

"Spirits I command you return to me at once!" Bakura shouts. "How can you let this man lock you away again?"

Father gives a sad smile to Bakura. And disappears.

The anger is apparent in Bakura's eyes,but I see more...so much more.

Zorc's skin cracks and the light fills his darkness. He screams in agony. He'll be destroyed soon along with…

"Wait!" I shout before I can stop myself.

Horakhty ceases her attack, but keeps a lock on Zorc.

"What is it Atem? This is what you asked of me, to destroy Zorc. That is why you called upon me correct?" Horakhty asks.

"I still want you to destroy Zorc." I say.

"Then.."

I look into the Goddess of Light's blue eyes.

"Set Bakura free."

XXXXXX

[Yugi's POV]:

We finally have a way to defeat Zorc. The Pharaoh's name has been revealed at last. It's kinda strange. All these years he's been sharing an identity with me, using my name. Sometimes he'd use the name 'Yami' but since we were sharing a body, it was just easier to say 'Yugi'. I called him Yami and then eventually that named dropped and we called him 'Pharaoh'. Now he has his own name and it's time for him to use that name and unlock his true powers.

And boy, did he! With one call of his name he summoned out Horakhty, the Goddess of Light. To say we-Joey, Anzu, and I-were impressed was beyond an understatement. I think even Kaiba was shocked (though he'd never admit to it if I asked him about it).

The look on Zorc's face was beyond priceless. Yami, or should I say Atem, stood staring deeply into the Dark God's eyes. It was if they were having a conversation through telepathy, but this 'conversation' was going on for much too long.

We had asked my yami what was wrong, he said he was fine, but then he went right back to being in that trance-like zone. It was scaring us. I wasn't sure what he was waiting on. I mean we got his name, he unlocked his powers, and now Horakthy is here. What is he waiting on?

Horakthy started to attack Zorc. Spreading her arms out wide, light surrounded the evil bitch that tried to take everything. Yami, still in his trance-like state hadn't noticed Zorc was being taken care of.

"Wait!" he cries, it seems almost desperate like he doesn't want Zorc to be destroyed, but why? He knows that Zorc is evil and won't hesitate to destroy him the minute he lets down his guard, so why…

Horakhty stops her attack, but keeps Zorc in place so he can't move. His eyes are wide, is that fear I see? Ha, it should be scared!

"What is it Atem? This is what you asked of me, to destroy Zorc. That is why you called upon me correct?" Horakhty asks.

"I still want you to destroy Zorc." he says looking into her eyes.

"Then…"

"Set Bakura free." was the response.

Okay, out of everything Yami could have said, that was not it! What did he mean by 'set Bakura free?' Has he gone mad?! He knows Bakura will only harm us! What's going on here?!

"Pharaoh, you can't be serious!" Joey cries.

"Yeah man, you know how Bakura is! Why would you want that evil bastard to be set free! He got what he deserved! You've done your part, now let the Goddess of Light destroy Zorc so we can move on!" Tristan says.

My yami's hands clench and unclench at his sides. What is he so tense about? It's as if Tristan's words were making him angry!

"Yami?" I say. "W-what do you-why do you?"

How can I ask this without sounding like someone who's selfish? There has to be a reason that he'd want Bakura to be set free, but what?

Yami doesn't answer, hell, he's not even looking at us! He's just staring into Horakhty's eyes.

"Atem, why do you want to save Bakura?" Anzu asks quietly.

He closes his eyes, then opens them staring into Zorc's eyes this time.

"Because no one deserves to be tortured and humiliated by Zorc." he replies.

XXXXXXX

[Yami's POV]:

Everyone is extremely concern about my request. I know it's farfetched and shocking, but something just doesn't feel right. Before, I wouldn't have hesitated to destroy Bakura along with Zorc, but now, I'm having doubts.

Why is that? Is it because I keep hearing his voice in my mind? Or is there something more to this that I can't see? Tristan and Joey no doubt have jumped to conclusions, Yugi and Anzu are a bit more timid in their approach towards wanting answers. How am I supposed to answer them when I don't even know the answer?

Anzu asked me: "Why do you want to save Bakura?" Why do I want to save him? As long as I have known him, he's done nothing but want to see me suffer, it's like his whole life revolved around it. It's sad really.

I shouldn't want to save him, I should just let Horakhty continue her attack and destroy Zorc and Bakura, After all, he was trying to destroy the world, so why did I want him safe? Why did I care so much? Is there something wrong with me?

No matter how much I try, I can't get the look on Bakura's face and in his eyes when my father took the spirits of Kul Elna away. It was so heartbreaking and pitiful. It was almost like he was crying out for help, like his spirit is split up. One side is a scared little boy who longs to be with the people he loves and that love him, and the other part is a angry sadistic man who gets pleasure in seeing everyone suffer, and who believes that the world should suffer because he did.

Bakura and I have been enemies for as long as I have known him. He did things that can't go unpunished, but spending the rest of his existence in isolation and in the hands of Zorc nonetheless isn't the way to go about this. No, there has to be a way to break through to him. There has to be a way for the real Bakura to come out. No one is truly evil. There's so much more to this man I want to understand, and I don't have a clue why. It's terrifying me. I hate him, yet I don't. My conscience is begging me to set him free, to allow him a chance.

But is it worth it? Is giving Bakura a chance really worth all of the pain, the anger, the frustration, the loneliness I felt because of him? 5,000 years ago, I locked my spirit away, erasing my own mind because I knew I would have to truly defeat Zorc for good.

But where would that leave Bakura? Would he be destroyed as well? Or would be be confined to the borders of the Shadow Realm or in-between dimensions until he no longer existed?

No one deserves to be alone, no one deserves the fate that's waiting Bakura. I have his existence in the palm of my hand. I'm going to be the bigger man and allow him to redeem himself. I can't allow him to suffer, I know I shouldn't care, but I do. He wouldn't do the same thing for me, but I guess he's lucky that I'm not him, now isn't he?

I take a deep breath, closing my eyes. When I open them, I'm staring right into the Lord of Darkness' eyes. I can feel everyone staring at me, waiting, watching intently. I know I'm scaring them with my lack of response, but sometimes things don't have a simple answer, sometimes there's more to something than meets the eye and when it comes to the man known as 'The King of Thieves' there is so much more. So much more…

"Because no one deserves to be tortured and humiliated by Zorc." I response.

Did I really mean that? I suppose I did. Zorc is truly evil, I'm not sure what all Bakura went through, but I'm 95% sure that it has something to do with this foul beast standing before me.

Suddenly, Zorc burst into a fit of laughter. Everyone, including me, jumps. His laughter is beyond creepy. I will never be able to understand how something could be so evil, but then again he is the God of Darkness.

"Bakura doesn't deserve to be humiliated and tortured by me?!" Zorc roars with laughter. I think he'd fall to his knees and roll on the ground if not for Horakhty's hold on him. "Oh man! I think I just busted my left rib cage!"

"Seeing someone suffer does not amuse me in the slightest and I will not allow you to harm him anymore." I say.

Zorc's sadistic grin breaks across his face into a hideous mixture of ugliness and evilness chilling us all to the bone. Only Horakhty is unaffected by the amount of darkness in the atmosphere.

"Well, isn't this a revolting development?" he leers. "I'd never thought I'd see the day that you would be so concern for the lowly thief. Did the two of you fuck behind my back? I told him not to do it. He never listens-"

"Atem would never have sex with Bakura!" Tristan cries. "Besides, I don't even know if he's-"

"Gay?" Zorc inquires. "Of course he is! Why do you think your whore over there," he laughs pointing to Anzu, "Hasn't been able to get any of him!"

"We're not here to discuss anyone's sex life!" Kaiba shouts. "I don't give a damn who is fucking who! Now, Atem, if you're not going to destroy Zorc then allow me-"

"No, Kaiba." I say holding my hand up. "I'll handle this."

"Then get on with it!" he snaps.

I sigh.

Zorc laughs. "Someone needs to get laid. Do you like dick or pussy priest?"

Suddenly, Zorc starts screaming. Our eyes widened when we see Horakhty seething in rage unleashing some of her might upon him. She stops after a moment. Zorc pants heavily, nearly out of breath.

"The fuck was that for?!" he hisses looking up at the Goddess of Light.

"We're not here to get in everyone's personal business!" she spits. "I will not stand here while you humiliate and use your patheticness to manipulate these people! Now, stop talking so I can speak to Atem."

"What a bitch!" Zorc sneers.

Horakthy sends yet another jolt of power throughout the evil creature.

"It's so embarrassing to be related to you." she growls.

"Huh?" Tristan asks. "What do you mean-"

"Zorc is my brother, my twin brother to be exact." Horakhty replies glaring at said brother. He just smirks, giving her a wink. She gives him a look of disgust.

"Say what?!" Joey cries. "You for real?!"

"No she's messing with us because we have no life even though she just told old dragon cock over here he needs to shut the fuck up so she can talk to Atem about some nonsense with Bakura." Kaiba replies sarcastically.

"Hey you don't have to be so-"

"Alright, I think that's enough." Anzu says. "Horakhty wants to speak with Atem and we should let her."

There were mumbles amongst all of us and then nods.

"Atem," Horakthy says. "I don't want you to do this because you feel obiligated to so. I want you to do this because you feel it is right in your heart. I don't want anyone to make this decision for you, but the longer we wait, the harder it will be to save him."

"Why the fuck would the Pharaoh want to save Touzoku, sister?!" Zorc exclaims. "Did you not see the fights they got into?! It was priceless I really-"

"What did I tell you about shutting up?!" Horakthy yells.

"You said: 'Oh Zorc, please harder!'" Zorc cackles.

Suddenly, Horakthy sends a beam of light sending Zorc miles away. Not even a minute later he's sending his own blast towards Horakthy.

"We should take cover guys!" Joey exclaims.

"I'm not going to let him hurt you." Horakthy says moving so she's in front of us.

"O-okay." Joey says.

The Goddess of Light sends another attack towards Zorc, he sends one as well and they meet mid-air.

"I thought you wanted to talk to the Pharaoh?" Zorc sneers. "Why are you attacking me?"

"Because you need to be taught a lesson." she replies. "Now are you going to stop making such crude and degrading remarks or shall I end you right now?"

"I'm not scared of you." he laughs.

"You sure looked scared when Atem summoned her!" Yugi shouts.

"Why are you even in this world? Shouldn't you be playing with your toys, little boy?" Zorc laughs.

"Yugi is beyond a simple child and will not be talked to that way!" I shout.

"Whatever," Zorc says waving his hand. "Now then, go on with what you're going to say to the Pharaoh sister, I'm anxious to see how you're going to handle telling the Pharaoh the bad news."

"What do you mean?" I inquire.

"Hmm, my bitch of a sister will lay out the details." he says.

Horakhty narrows her eyes, then puts a ring of light around Zorc so he can't move.

"I'm hurt, Horakhty, you don't trust me?" Zorc laughs.

"Who would?" Anzu snaps.

"No one asked-"

"ENOUGH!" Horakhty roars. Everyone jumps. "I will not listen to this foolishness anymore! We have someone's life on the line, and it's extremely important to discuss it! Now, I want everyone to be quiet until I give the go ahead."

"No one wants to listen to you!" Zorc sneers.

Horakhty looks over her shoulder at Zorc. Zorc just smirks, but there are no words between either of the immortal beings. She looks back at me.

"Atem, what you are asking me to do is very dangerous and extremely risky." she says. "I cannot promise you that Bakura will come out of this."

"Where is he?" I ask.

Horakhty closes her eyes for a moment. "He's in the Shadow Realm right now, he won't stay there though…"

My heart pounds. I know he'd get destroyed. I can't allow that to happen. He doesn't deserve that. No one does. I saved Dartz and Marik, I know I can set Bakura free….

"I can't allow him to be destroyed." I say. "I just can't…."

She studies me for the longest time.

"Very well," she says. "There are some things that you need to be aware of, are you ready to acknowledge them?"

I swallow, nodding.

"First, when you return to the mortal realm, you and Bakura will be forced into the Ring and Puzzle. Yugi will have to place the items on the Millennium Stone once you reach your next destination. Afterwards, Yugi and Ryou will stand in front of the Eye of Wyjat and split their souls releasing you and Bakura from the confinements of your respective Millennium Items." Horakhty says. "Secondly, Bakura will be unconscious, how long he will be, I cannot tell you, it really just depends."

"Will I be unconscious?" I ask.

Horakthy shakes her head.

"Then why is Bakura-"

"Because his soul is greatly damaged. That's why I'm saying it's risky for us to do this. He may not come out of his coma. Only if he wants to, will he." the Goddess of Light replies.

"So what you're saying is that we're wasting our time by trying to help this fool because he wanted to be stupid, right?" Kaiba scoffs.

Horakhty looks over at him. "This isn't something to take lightly, Seto Kaiba. Bakura is filled with darkness, hatred, and anger. It's literally been consuming him, eating him from the inside out. If Atem doesn't break through to him, he will be destroyed."

"What? What do you mean Atem has to break through to Bakura?!" Joey cries. "What makes you think-"

"Joey!" Anzu exclaims elbowing our friend in the ribs. "Let Horakhty speak.

"As I was saying," Horakhty says, "Bakura's spirit is almost completely consumed by darkness, he will be destroyed if he is not set free from it."

"What can I do?" I ask. "You know he won't listen to me-"

"That you will have to figure out on your own." Horakhty says.

Except for Zorc's snickers, silence fills the air, before I ask the main question:

"How long will I have to save Bakura?" I ask.

"A year." she replies.

A year? That's all I had? A fucking year?! How can I possibly convince Bakura he's going to be destroyed by the one thing he's practically prayed to his whole life in three-hundred and sixty-five days?! We are enemies, he'll never listen to me, he'll never-

No! I can't start thinking like that. If Yug or any of my other friends were in that kind of danger I'd save them. I'd do everything I could to set them free. I can't let my past with Bakura affect this. I have to help him, I have to save him in every way I can. I know it'll be hard, nearly impossible. My friends, they don't understand why I'm even trying to save the tomb robber. I should give up on him. I shouldn't care what happens to him. He wouldn't care if our roles were reversed, or would he?

I have known Bakura for millennia, and yet, I know nothing about him. I want to get to know him, I need to know him. I feel in my heart that it is my destiny to save him. I couldn't live with myself if I just gave up on him, passed into the afterlife and became happy while he suffered in his own misery and destroyed himself. I can't, and I won't.

"I understand." I say.

"Pharaoh, are you sure you want to do this?" Tristan asks.

"Yeah, I mean Bakura-"

I turn to face my friends, they're all standing next to each other. Kaiba is several feet behind them with his arms crossed over his chest looking like he's about to die of boredom.

"I can't allow him to suffer." I say looking at each one of them in the eye, "I know Bakura has hurt us, believe me, I haven't forgotten, but I cannot allow him to be destroyed when I have the chance to save him."

"But why would you want to save him?" Joey asks.

I close my eyes for a moment. "I'm not sure, I just feel it's the right thing to do. My father always told me that I should follow what's in my heart, and my heart is telling me to give Bakura another chance."

"But what if he-"

"It's just a chance we're going to have to take," Yugi says moving beside of me, taking my hand in his. "Isn't that right, Yami?"

I smile, nodding.

"Well, you know we're behind you one hundred percent, Yams." Joey says.

I smile. "Thank you."

"There is one more thing that you must know." Horakhty says.

Everyone looks up at her.

"You will not be allowed into the afterlife until Bakura is set free, when he is, you have the choice to stay in the mortal realm with him or leave into the afterlife. Also, once your soul is separated from Yugi's, you will no longer be an immortal spirit."

"Why can't the Pharaoh go into the afterlife?" Joey exclaims.

"Because he is the only one that can set Bakura free." Horakhty replies.

"What do you mean?" Anzu asks.

"You'll see, now then, I'm going to send all of you back into your world." Horakthy says.

"What about Zorc?" Tristan asks.

"I will take care of that pest." Horakhty growls looking over her shoulder. Zorc sneers. She turns to look at us again. "You have more important things to attend to."

"Thank you, Horakhty." I say.

She smiles. "You're welcome, just do me one favour." she says.

"What?" I ask.

"Save him." she says.

Light blinds us, and soon I'm in the Puzzle once again.

XXXXXXX

[Yugi's POV]:

I slowly open my eyes, blinking trying to figure out how I ended up on the cold floor instead of the sands of Egypt. Oh yeah, Horakhty sent us back in time. Everyone else is lying about on the floor.

"Guys, wake up." I say crawling over to Joey then to Anzu and Tristan. Kaiba's already awake, sitting up rubbing his temples.

"Headache?" I ask.

"What do you think?" he mutters.

I give him a sad smile before returning to the others. They're sitting up as well.

"When did we get back here?" Tristan groans.

"Horakthy sent us back." I reply. "Are you guys alright?"

"We're fine, Yug." Joey replies. "How about you and the Pharaoh?"

"You geeks are seriously going to have to start calling him one thing." Kaiba says standing up. "It's a wonder he hasn't bitch slapped all of you."

I giggle. "Well, my yami isn't like that, but you're right, we do need to pick one name for him I suppose." I say.

"Hmm." Kaiba grunts.

"Anyways," Anzu says. "Can you sense Atem in the Puzzle?"

/Yami?/ I ask through our link. /Are you in there?/

\Yes\ he replies.

"He's fine guys." I say.

"That's a relief." Joey says. "I was worried somethin' had happen to him."

Everyone talks amongst each other. I stare at the Puzzle, so much has changed. My yami knows his real name, and defeat Zorc, but more importantly, Yami wants to save Bakura. He believes that Bakura deserves another chance. I suppose he's right, but still. That's a lot of consequences he's being forced to carry on his shoulders. Bakura isn't someone to mess with, he'll be unconscious for who knows how long, but when he wakes up, we know he'll go apeshit crazy on us.

Where are we even going to keep him? My house? Sure, that'd work for a while, but once he wakes up he'll want to kill us all. Horakhty said that Bakura will be destroyed if Yami cannot save him, and he only has a year to break through to Bakura. It seems almost impossible really, but if anyone can do it, it's my yami.

\Yugi?\ Yami asks.

/Yes?/

\Are you okay, Aibou? You seem a little distressed.\ he replies worryingly.

I sigh inwardly. /It's just all of this with Bakura…./ I say.

\Yes, it is a delicate matter, but you leave that to me.\ Yami says. \I'm going in my soul room for a while, alert me when you see Ryou, I'd like to speak to him.\

/But!/ I try to protest, but Yami's already gone. I pressed questioningly through the link, but it proved to be futile.

"We should get going guys." I say. "I'm sure Ishizu, Marik, and Odion are waiting for us."

"Then let's get going!" Joey exclams jerking Anzu and Tristan by the wrists, running up the stairs.

"Joey! Let me go!" Anzu demands jerking her wrist away from our blonde-headed friend.

"Yeah man, what's gotten into you?" Tristan shouts doing the same.

"Sorry guys." Joey says sheepishly a blush apparent on his face.

"Guys, you shouldn't be so hard on Joey, you know he gets too excited about things." I say.

Joey's blush darkens. "I do not!" he exclaims.

"Are we just going to stand around here or are we going to-"

"Look it's Ryou!" Anzu exclaims.

"What? Where?!" Joey asks looking around desperately.

We look up to see Ryou standing at the top of the stairs looking confused. He starts to fall.

"Someone catch him!" Anzu shouts.

Joey and Tristan immediately run up the stairs catching our white-haired friend.

"Easy there." Tristan says.

"Where am I?" Ryou asks. "No, wait. I remember. I was being chased. A voice was calling out to me, demanding that I do his bidding. Then there was darkness, and-"

Suddenly, Ryou collapses onto Joey, his head resting on my best friend's chest.

"Ryou?" Joey asks worryingly, shaking him, "What's wrong? Are you okay?"

"I need some food!" Ryou complains.

"Well, I'm starving too, but you don't hear me complaining." Joey snorts.

"Joey!" Anzu chatises.

"Let's just get up the damn stairs so I can go home." Kaiba snaps. "I have a life, unlike you geeks."

XXXXXXXX

[Marik's POV]:

Yugi, Kaiba, Tristan, Anzu, and Joey appeared from the sanctuary where the 'Tablet of the Pharaoh' was held. Ryou is being carried on Joey's back.

"Did the Pharaoh complete his-" Ishizu starts to say but she cuts herself off. She walks over to Joey. Joey's eyes widened in alarm, unsure what my sister is going to do. I, too, am unsure. She looks at Ryou's sleeping face.

"I knew it." she mutters.

"Know what, Ishizu?" Odion asks.

Our sister turns to face us. "The spirit of the Millennium RIng is still in there!" she exclaims pointing to Ryou.

"So wait," I say looking at everyone. "You mean you guys didn't-"

"Oh no, we did." Tristan sneers.

"Then…"

Yugi, Joey, Anzu, and Tristan look at one another, like they're passing some secret code. I look up at Kaiba, but only for a moment. He'd never give me the answers I need.

"Alright," Ishizu says. "I want to know what's going on, so one of you will tell me, or-"

"I think it'd be best if Yami explains it." Yugi says.

Suddenly, the Puzzle flashes and the Pharaoh appears.

"Pharaoh, did you gain your memories?" Ishizu asks.

"Yes, I did." he replies. "And I defeated Zorc."

"Then why is Bakura in the Ring?" I ask.

Yami looks over his shoulder at Ryou then looks at us again. "I'll explain."

Yami ends up telling us that he decided to break Bakura from his darkness and save him. He has a year to do so, and he cannot leave the mortal realm until this task is accomplished.

"Well, this puts a damper on things." I say.

"How so?" Tristan asks.

"What's supposed to happen is that after the Pharaoh regains his memories, he is to go to the place where the Millennium Stone is kept, put the Millennium Items onto the stone, and have a duel with a worthy opponent and lose." I reply. "Now that he has chosen to save Bakura, I'm not sure what-"

"Horakhty gave me instructs." Yami says cutting my sister off.

Ishizu raises her brow. "She did? What did she say?" she inquires.

"She told me that we are to go to the place where the Millennium Stone is, place the items down. Then Yugi and Ryou will stand in front of the Eye of Wyjat and then Bakura's and my spirits will be released from the Puzzle and the Ring."

"You do realize how dangerous it is to have that man in this world, don't you?" Ishizu asks.

Yami nods. "I am more than aware of who Bakura is and what is has done, but I believe in my heart that he deserves another chance." he says.

Ishizu and Yami stare into each other's eyes for a long moment. Silence fills the air, finally, the noiseless tensions ceases and my sister breaks her piercing gaze that used to have me scared shitless as a child.

"Very well," she says. "It is not my place to tell you what to do; however, bare in mind that I want no part in this."

"Understood." Yami says.

"Good, now then, let's head to the ships." she says walking up to one of the Jeeps and getting inside.

We all stand there staring for a moment.

"Let's go geeks!" Kaiba shouts from another Jeep. "Whoever is riding with me, get in the damn car!"

I head over to my sibling's car.

"Marik," Anzu says grabbing my arm. I turn to face her, her fingers wrapped loosely around my wrist. Our skin complexion nearly the opposite, she looks at me with those bright blue eyes of friendness that used to make me gag.

"Yes?" I ask.

"Weren't you and Bakura-"

"Oh, Anzu," I chuckle. "We were so much more than mere friends."

"Then…"

I pat her hand with my free one. "I think your ride is waiting." I say.

As if on cue, a horn blows.

"Let's go Mazaki!" Kaiba shouts impatiently.

"Alright, alright!" Anzu shouts releasing my wrist and walking over to her Jeep. "No patience at all."