Author’s note: And here is the episode (or part of it) that first had me thinking. Long before I saw the sub or read the manga this episode just…bugged me…Many years and literature classes later I’d learn this is what we call “subtext”. So, there you have it: Subtext becoming text. Also, Marik is annoying and any chance to inconvenience him needs to be taken!
***And as you ripped it all apart,/ That’s when I turned to watch you/ And as the light in you went dark/ I saw you turn to shadow***
Yami Bakura couldn’t remember the last time he had been so furious but he was quite certain that it had been before he had been sealed inside the Ring. He had only agreed to work with the Marik-brat to keep Ryou and Elena out of trouble (though the prospect of gaining two more Millennium Items was a definite bonus), had even injured himself to go along with the brat’s plan and now it was all going to go down in flames. He frowned.
“I can’t lose,” he said, more to himself than his thrice-damned opponent. “There’s too much at stake!” Sadly there was nothing he could do other than brace himself for the impact of Slifer’s attack when he felt his soul being violently pulled back to his Landlord’s mindscape.
“What is the meaning of this Marik?” he asked angrily.
“Your opponent won’t attack his friend,” came the smug reply. The Spirit turned his attention to his hikari.
Ryou had been in his soulroom during the entire ordeal and to be suddenly forced in control of their body meant he would have to deal with phantom pains of the Spirit’s stab wound. Indeed, the boy was on his knees, clutching his arm and asking confused what was going on. Akefia sent a look to Elena and saw her standing a little ways from the Pharaoh’s gang, her face livid with anger. He had a feeling that it took all her self-control to not jump on the platform and stop the duel.
“Yugi would never attack Ryou,” the Thief King mused.
“Unless he doesn’t want to risk his position to the finals,” Marik shrugged uninterested. Akefia’s eyes snapped back to the Pharaoh. He was hesitating, and the Thief King hated uncertainties.
Yami…Ryou’s voice floated weakly through the mind link. Akefia gave a strange smile to Marik.
“Perhaps you’re right Marik,” he said, “but I won’t risk Ryou’s health in that game of yours.” Ignoring the boy’s surprised exclamation he forced Ryou’s soul back to its soulroom, taking control again.
“I’m back!” he taunted the Pharaoh, who seemed unbelievably relieved to see him. “So why don’t you attack me and end this duel.” Yami Yugi was only happy to comply, surprised to see his opponent greet the Egyptian god’s attack with a laugh.
The moment the platform was lowered Elena raced to Ryou, pausing only to grab the Ring from where it had fallen. Reverently she put it around her neck, relieved when it gave a soft glow of recognition. The Pharaoh and his friends had gathered around the half-conscious Ryou, trying to get his attention. The boy seemed concerned by only one thing.
“Where is my Ring?” he asked desperately, looking around in the vain hope that he would see the artifact hopping back to him.
“Right here Ryou,” Elena said, kneeling next to him, sparing the Pharaoh a nasty glare. To her satisfaction he flinched a little. Tea seemed to be the first to recognize her.
“Hey, aren’t you the girl we met at Duelist Kingdom?” she asked.
“Indeed,” Elena nodded, her attention focused on the white-haired boy staring longingly at the Millennium Item. “I will give it to you as soon as we go inside,” she told him. Ryou nodded and tried to stand up.
“Whoa! Easy there buddy!” Joey exclaimed as he steadied his friend.
“I’ll be fine,” Ryou objected softly. “I am just worried for my Yami.” He suddenly became conscious of the strange looks he was receiving. Elena frowned.
“As you should well be,” she said disapprovingly. “No matter how many times I warn him, he still doesn’t get it through his head that he takes too many risks.” She wrapped Ryou’s arm around her shoulders and helped the boy inside the blimp.
They were both aware of the Pharaoh’s entourage following them as they hurried back to their cabin.
“How do you know that psycho anyway?” Tristan asked, unable to hold off the questions any longer. Elena took her time helping Ryou sit on the bed and giving him the Ring before turning to glare at the brunette boy.
“Care to rephrase that?” she asked icily. Tristan gulped.
“What Tristan meant,” Tea rushed to rectify the situation, “was, how you know Ryou and the Spirit of the Ring?”
“Akefia,” Ryou said quietly. Seeing everyone’s confusion he explained. “His name is Akefia.”
“He is my, well I suppose you could say husband, though we never had a priest to make it official.” Elena smirked at the bewildered looks she got from the Pharaoh, Joey and Tristan.