Pairing: hints of Yami no Bakura/Bakura
Notes: I refer to Ryou as Bakura and Bakura as "the spirit" and so on so forth, since I find it's more canon-based. This will become clear in the fic, but I thought I should just put it out there.
Ryou Bakura looked over his science homework with a vaguely stunned expression as his white knuckles loosened their death grip on his pencil.
Tenderly, he examined the splintered wood. He was mildly impressed with himself, and slightly curious at to where such a sudden anger could have possibly come…. From…
His eyes darted over to the golden artifact situated on the edge on his dresser. It was at least a foot away, but Bakura swore he could feel a faint pulse coming from it. Slowly, he rose from his seat and walked over to the Ring. There he hovered, concentrating all of his energy on not trembling.
He could not, would not show fear to the demon.
He definitely felt it now – the dark energy pulsating out of the trinket and into his body.
“What do you want from me?” he whispered, so softly that he hadn’t even realized he had spoken out loud, as his fingers grazed the cool metal lightly.
That was a mistake.
Bakura realized it too, as the Ring immediately began to glow. He attempted to take a staggering step back, but before his foot even touched the ground, Bakura found himself losing consciousness.
He re-awoke, so to speak, in his Soul Room, looking at white, white plaster walls, and shiny, shiny polished wood floors. Absolutely immaculate and pure, if not a little empty. His room was bare except for the glass case in the middle, holding the diorama of Monster World dolls locked away from the outside. It was a little lonely, truthfully.
But then again, Soul Rooms should be empty. After all, it’s wrong to trespass on another’s soul.
Bakura’s nice, nice, clean, clean room taunted him. Soul Rooms were, after all, a reflection of the soul itself, and it depressed the boy to think that he was truly so empty inside. He placed his forlorn gaze on the glass case. He wanted so badly to take out those dolls and play with them, but not even he had the keys to unlock the transparent door. He could see the smiling faces of all his friends, but was unable to touch them.
He could see the one thing he wanted all too well, but it was just beyond his reach.
His fingers traced the cool glass, before fisting at his sides. He was lost in his own world.
“Good evening, host.”
Good thing he had his other half to bring him back.
“You.” Parasite. Brown eyes went blank as they stared at the intruder standing in the doorway to Bakura’s soul in all his hellish glory. The unspoken word hung in the air, one that both knew would never be said out of fear, but always thought out of defiance.
“It’s been a while,” the spirit stated casually as he fully entered the room, stalking towards the mortal. Bakura unconsciously shrunk back until he was pressed against the wall. The spirit leered at him. “I was beginning to think you’d never call.”
“Get out,” Bakura demanded, but his voice lacked conviction. His mouth was dry and heart was racing, and he couldn’t think right. His other half raised an eyebrow at him.
Get out of my mind!
The ancient took a couple more steps towards him, pausing at the glass case, tapping his fingers on the top. He took a quick glance at its contents, lip rising into a snarl at the happy faces on all the figurines, before turning back to Bakura.
“This place is dull,” he said. You are dull. “Ever consider redecorating?”
“Because, you know, I sort of feel like we were unevenly divided. My Soul Room is just so exciting and exotic.” He smiled at his seething host. “I know! How about I give you some of my stuff? Then we’d be even.”
Bakura shuddered at the thought. The other half of his soul held dark things. “Get out,” he repeated once more, though he knew the spirit would not listen.
“But where am I to go?” He took another step towards the human, noticing his trembling legs. “The only other place I’d be willing to be right now is on the ‘outside’, and I’m sure you prefer even the invasion of your soul to the loss of control over your body. Besides, I’m not going to hurt you. Don’t you remember? I actually care about you, since you’ve been such a useful landlord.”
The white-haired boy felt his legs failing him, and knew he would not remain standing for long, even with the wall’s support. “What do you want from me?” he asked before he collapsed into a huddled heap on the floor.
“A heart to heart.”
Bakura stared at his counterpart through long bangs. “What?”
“A talk, stupid.” A shadow fell over the light as his mirror image made to stand directly above him. “Honestly, while you may have made some things very convenient for me, you’re not very smart.”
“Excuse me if I find it hard to believe you’d just like to have a nice chat,” Bakura retorted, defiant even through his fear. “Why do you, anyway?”
“Perhaps I want to teach my landlord a thing or two about justice.”
Bakura snorted. He couldn’t help it. “What do you know about justice?”
The spirit crouched down and yanked on a white spike of hair in one fluid, lightening fast movement, forcing eye contact. His reincarnation flinched from both the pain and the smoldering anger in his dark’s eyes.
“More than you could ever imagine.” He released the lock of hair and took a deep breath, but did not move otherwise. “Did you ever stop to think about how the pharaoh is automatically the good guy? Don’t find that at all strange?”
“No, because he stops people like you.”
“And how do you know I’m bad?”
“Because…” There was a pause. Bakura seemed unable to come up with a valid reason. “Because you hurt my friends and try to steal their souls.”
“Che.” The dark rolled his eyes at his other half. “That’s nothing compared to some of the stuff he did. But, I’ll get to that later.” He pulled a knife out of seemingly nowhere, but Bakura would assume it was his pocket, and began to throw and catch it nonchalantly. A long silence stretched save for the slap of the knife’s wooden handle against his hand. He stopped suddenly and gave his host a curious look. “Are you calling yourself evil?”
“Well, I think it’s pretty clear you think I’m evil,” he replied, resuming his knife throwing. “And since I’m you, you must be evil as well.”
“I’m not you!” Bakura shrieked. “I’m nothing like you! I’ll never be anything like you!”
The once grave robber look unfazed by the other’s outburst. Rather, he turned to Bakura with a devious smirk on, the hypothetical cat that caught the white-haired canary. The boy took a sharp inhale and tried to calm his accelerating heart. This did not bode well.
“So,” he stated, running a finger lightly over the blade’s edge. “You say I’m nothing like you.”
“That we’re opposites, even?”
“And what about Malik and his other, hm?” The spirit was determined to make his lighter counterpart dig his own grave. “Were they opposites as well?”
A pause. “Yes.” Bakura chewed on his lip as he tried to find the words to justify his reasoning. “Malik was a good person, he was just under the control of his darker side. Just like you and me.”
“Is that all?”
“No,” Bakura conceded, as he thought more about the comparison. “I think Malik is a better person than I am, and his other was possibly even worse than you.”
“So they were even more opposite?” Man, this was getting fun.
“Then how about Yuugi and the pharaoh?” Ah, the punchline. The best part of the joke. “They must be opposites too, right?”
“No!” Bakura shook his head furiously, and the ancient, with no shortage of amusement, could tell that he was denying the accusation with his entire being. “That’s not true! Yuugi and the other Yuugi aren’t like that! They’re both just!”
“But how does that make sense?” The demon put on something between a frown and a pout at his landlord’s lack of common sense. “If me and you are opposites, and Malik and his other opposites, then wouldn’t it only logically stand that they, too, are opposites?”
“I don’t care about common sense! I know you’re wr-“
“And what about the names themselves,” the spirit continued, ignoring his light’s desperate pleas for it all to be lies with a sadistic smirk on his face. “You are my light, and I am your dark. It’s the same for them, you know. Light and dark are opposites, too.”
“That’s…. no… lies…”
“It’s like a magnet, host,” the darker half cooed in an almost soothing voice. In any other situation, it probably would’ve been comforting. “You can’t have two things of the same charge without them repelling one another. This closer one half is to being something, the farther away the other half must be.”
“Shut up shut up shut up shut up….”
“One of them is not as righteous as you believe. And I can tell you which one.”
Bakura sniffed, and he realized belatedly that he was crying. He attempted to wipe the tears from his eyes, but was stopped by a pale hand clamped around his thin wrist.
“Don’t,” his other commanded, his voice strong and demanding. “You cry because you hurt. The truth hurts, and this shows you understand.”
The spirit frowned. This wasn’t how it was supposed to go.
“Look,” he said in a sincere tone. “I think I should tell you a story.”
“I don’t care what you have to say!” Bakura spat between hiccups. All he wanted was his soul back.
“Really? Because I think you might find it interesting.” The leech slid down the wall to take a seat beside his future incarnation, though he looked straight ahead. “It’s called the Tale of Kul Elna.”
“That’s right,” the dark countered, as if congratulating a grade schooler on getting the right answer. “Our story takes place in Ancient Egypt, with a disgustingly greedy pharaoh.
“His name was Akenahmkanen, and he had an insane thirst for power. One day, he sent out his court magician to find a spell that would give his the ultimate power. The magician did so, and returned with a spiffy spell to create these shiny magical gold objects known as the Millennium Items.” Bakura let out a small gasp but said nothing. The other half of his soul raised an eyebrow at the reaction before continuing on with his story,
“Akenahmkanen was pleased with his findings, and sent two of his high priests to collect the ingredients. This was a rather simple task, seeing as there were only two. The first was a whole lot of gold.
“The second was ninety-nine human souls.
“Now, the priests were stuck with a problem. Where, oh where were they going to find that many human souls appropriate for sacrifice? They couldn’t just take some random innocent bystanders and kill them off.
“Well, as it just so happens, there was a small town on the edge of the country known as Kul Elna, inhabited by exactly one hundred people. The people of Kul Elna were admittedly not the best lot; most of them were thieves, but they left other people alone and really only stole from those who were already dead and didn’t need all the stuff they’d been buried with anyway. It only seemed fair to the villagers, who had been scorned by their royalty and outcast from society.
“Apparently, others disagreed. Apparently, a couple of priests found their misdoings to be a justifiable reason to kill the whole lot of the off and boil them into magical items. So one by one soldiers brought the villagers to a giant pot of melted gold and chucked them in, burning them alive and cooking them into seven magical items. Everyone single person in that village died except for one; a young boy who hid in the shadows and watched in horror as his family and friends were slaughtered and stewed.
“And so, when the entire incident was over and done with, the young boy swore to take vengeance on the pharaoh and his family. The end.”
As the spirit finished his tale, Bakura found that he was already at the door to the room, glancing back at his host with a positively miserable expression on his face. The boy found the inexplicable urge to reach out and comfort him, despite all the torment the spirit had put him through.
He nibbled on his bottom lip. “Other me….” he began, admitting that the spirit was somehow a part of him for the first time since he had put on the Ring. “Is that… was that what really happened?”
His mirror image opened his mouth to say something, before shutting it again. The look in his eyes hardened as he stepped out of his landlord’s Soul Room.
“I am the hero of my own story.”
The door slammed shut and locked with a resounding click.
Bakura knew he would be stuck in there for a while. That was okay; he had some serious thinking to do.