zodiacal_light: That is not dead which can eternal lie; and with strange aeons even death may die. (even death may die)
Yami was brooding again, Yugi noted.

I'm fine, aibou, came an exasperated thought. Stop being such a worrywart.

I am
not a worrywart! Yami!

A chuckle was his only reply.

I'm just... I just want to make sure you're ok, Yugi replied weakly, realizing he really was worrying.

Yami laughed again. I'm ok. I'm ... adrift, a little, but ok.

Yugi thought he knew what Yami meant. They'd spent weeks after learning the truth about Yami struggling to fulfill Yami's destiny, fighting to regain his memories, only to have the whole thing snatched away unexpectedly.

The whole thing had been oddly anticlimactic, for such a drastic action.

Yami had won the tournament by default: Malik was too unhinged to continue, Seto had pocketed his deck and refused to touch it again, and Jounouchi had been too nervous to duel at his best for the title. Malik's victims had woken, but Malik himself had lapsed into a kind of fugue state, staring at the scenery with wild eyes and muttering irritably to himself.

Yugi wondered what had happened to Malik. Isis had just sort of stared at her brother in shock, and it had been Rishid who had staggered up, just out of a coma, to bundle him off downstairs. The last he'd heard, they were heading back to Egypt.

The window opened behind him.

Neither boy nor spirit had any chance to react before a knife was pressed to their throat, held there by a very familiar arm. "Ryou?" Yugi stammered, trying not to swallow.

Bakura, Yami hissed, battering helplessly at the Puzzle walls. If they switched out now, the larger Yami would get their neck slit.

"You lost a God card," Bakura breathed, and his voice didn't sound like either Ryou's or Bakura's.

...That's not Bakura, Yami.

I noticed.

"Bakura?" Yugi asked, voice wavering.

'Bakura' cackled. "You lost a God card. Hehe, isn't that wonderful. All that work, and nothing to show for it." And there was a bitter twist to those words that had them both wondering if the spirit was really talking about them.

"You were supposed to come and get your memory back, Pharaoh," the spirit breathed. "And then I would have had you. And defeated you, again, inside the memory of when I took your life the first time." The arm around Yugi's neck tightened, the blade biting into his skin. "And then I'd finally be free of this miserable Ring!"

And boy, whatever was holding them sounded really unhinged. Why can't I attract sane villains? Yugi moaned.

Is there any such thing? Yami asked, amused in spite of himself.

"But I can just kill you. I wonder what that will do to the Pharaoh," the thing mused. His arm tensed-

Yugi steeled himself-

-And a hand clamped down on the blade, bruising Yugi's throat badly as strong fingers wedged past his windpipe.

'Bakura' grunted in surprise and spun, still hanging on to Yugi, to face Seto.

But the knife was no longer at Yugi's throat, and so Yami came out to play.

He reached out with his magic to the Ring, intent on purging the spirits in there entirely.

Not Bakura, Yugi said, and Yami paused. I know you don't like him, but not Bakura. Just that evil parasite.


But Yami could only sense one spirit in the Ring. He readied himself to throw it out anyway - Bakura be damned - when the thing snatched the knife back and swung wildly at Seto.

And then Yami sensed a fissure, as something small and fragile pulled back from the seething mass of evil tainting the Ring. It was small, but bright, like a thin line of light in a pitch-black room.

And that something tiny was reaching back to him. Help me, came a thin voice, and Yami had never expected Bakura to ever be capable of pleading.

There was a faint echo from the Puzzle, and Yami realized what Bakura had done. And what he had to do.

He grabbed for that fragmented soul with all his magic and pulled.

With a metaphysical pop, Bakura slipped fully into the fragment he'd left in the Puzzle, leaving nothing but the evil spirit in the Ring. The thing snarled, but Seto, sharp like always, had noticed the change and knocked Ryou upside the head with the hilt of his own knife, dropping him where he stood.

Yami could think of only one thing to say. "I didn't know you got the knife away from him."

Seto smirked, twirling said blade briefly between his fingers before dropping it in his coat pocket.

Bloody fucking hell, I'm stuck here with the Pharaoh, hissed Bakura in the back of Yami's mind.

Yugi giggled.

Yami dragged the Ring from around Ryou's neck, and felt his new guest bare his teeth.

Melt it, Bakura said. It's useless now. For anything good, anyways.

Yami nodded, and handed it over to Seto, who pulled out a small tool from his pocket and started cutting it into pieces.

Ryou stirred, and Bakura bristled protectively, reaching out with his mind in a gesture Yami recognized but had never associated with the thief. Frustrated at the absent connection, Bakura snarled.

And something in the Puzzle gave, and the Puzzle fell to pieces.

Bakura and Yami hit the floor in an awkward swearing tangle, limbs flailing.

Seto stopped picking the Ring apart and stared. Yugi stared, too.

Ryou, woozy and clearly fighting a headache, popped awake and glared.

Mrs. Mutou came in brandishing a spatula, and then there was much explaining.

Things work out, in the end.


zodiacal_light: Humour: Because angst is not jolly. (Default)

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