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Fic: Yu-Gi-Oh! {Bakura/Marik}

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Nov. 25th, 2010 | 08:10 pm
posted by: rohanfox in spilltheirguts

Title: Chalk in the Lungs
Rating: T+
Characters/Pairing: Yami Bakura/Marik, Bakura.
Warning(s): sex in a church, blasphemy, language, child abuse, mutilation, masturbation.
Prompt: #65; passing @ fanfic100 
Summary: "He lays there, at night, itching and itching until he just can't stand it, clawing and tearing at his skin. Sometimes, he runs outside into the brambles, bluebells brushing against his bare legs. He bites his flesh and screams at the stars." Majorly AU.

1; the end
I haven't seen you round 'ere before.

New in town?

We don't get many visitors 'ere.


Well, sit down, stranger. Come closer, I can't see well –

I 'ave a story to tell yer. But I will warn you:

'Ere be monsters.

2; the introductory glance

Once upon a time –


Lemme' try this again.

Tick, tock.

That's the sound that starts this story – but I guess, that's how every story starts. The clock's always ticking, boy. Faster than each breath you take. Yeh, it's how each story starts: but it's rarely how the story ends.

Tick, tock.

The hands inch forward, encased inside glass; inside deep, rich mahogany. A father paces nervously, back and forth, back and forth, drowning out his wife's screams with the ticking of the clock. An interesting metaphor, he decides, and puts it in the back of his mind for later. Some things, he decides, are more important than words.

There's a scream, another; longer and lower and less human. The moors outside their cocoon, the shell of thick, oak doors, howl with her. Almost as if they know that the father won't. He is, after all, dead inside. Dead people don't scream.

Dead people don't do a lot of things, really. He holds his new-born son, pale skin and pale hair – he's almost transparent, invisible.

Just like his father.

He stares into rich, russet eyes, the only thing about the boy which doesn't look like it's about to disappear, to fade away into the night. He doesn't cry - or laugh, or smile. His wife is doing all three, along with the midwife, with her sister. But they're from around here, he thinks bitterly. They're not outsiders. Not like you. Not like this child will be. You're just deaddeaddead, a living, breathing corpse from the city.

Go back to your grave, his child's eyes scream at him. Go back to your concrete coffin.

His wife smiles at him, but he only returns the boy. They have the same eyes, the mother and child do. His eyes are sallow, watery, pink-rimmed and pale. They're disappearing. Just like the rest of him.

"I'm gonna call 'im Ryou," she beams. "If that's alrigh' with you."

Sighing, he kisses his wife on her sweat-slicked temple, the fire of her hair brushing gently against his dead, stiff fingers.

Mr Bakura leaves that night, pale and dead and alone in the moors.

Tick, tock.

3; the demon prince

Ryou, as it turns out, was shy, quiet, and polite. The apple of his mother's round, russet eye. He wouldn't hurt a fly, his aunts cooed. He was liked. He was loved. He was one of them; their quiet little secluded village, hidden in the folds of northern England.

He didn't know much about his father, and he didn't have any particular inclination to find out. Why should he? His mother raised him, fed him, loved him. His father was an outsider. That's all Ryou had to know.

It was a shame, really, that Ryou didn't have many friends. It was a small village, after all, with only a few children. His mother had told him strictly not to befriend them, saying they'd only hurt him in the end. There had been a look in his mother's eye which terrified him – and after all, he always does what his mother tells him. His mother is always right.

He goes to church and holds his mother's hand, sandwiched in between her skeleton and the fat, oozing bodies of his aunts. At school, he sits on his own in the corner, forgotten. If it wasn't for his eyes, Ryou would wonder if they just didn't see him at all, the white-sheet ghost that he is.

Sometimes, out of the corner of his eye, he can swear he sees another boy staring at him. This frightens him, because after all, his mother said 'they're only gonna 'urt you', her thick brogue curling protectively around the words. But – sometimes, when he thinks the other boy isn't looking, he stares back. The boy is an explosion of colour; his skin a dark, smooth, caramel – his eyes, striking and violet. His hair is a waterfall of the sun, yellow and soft and enticing. When the boy moves, he leaves a rainbow in his wake. His laugh is like the flowers opening at spring.

The best thing about this boy, though, is the wicked glint in his eye. The boy just wants to have some fun. Ryou is so used to looking into dull, brown, eyes, exactly the same, duplicated into his family. He's not used to these eyes that seem so alive – and Ryou has never felt more excited than when he can feel them burning.

He itches, underneath his skin. His loneliness, he thinks sadly. Sometimes it gets so unbearable – oh, he knows that simple contact is enough to pacify the irritation, but when he goes to his mother for comfort, she smacks him. Don't be so weak, boy, she would growl at him. Ryou knows, from the lines around her eyes, that she used to smile. He wonders what he did to make his mother so sad.

He lays there, at night, itching and itching until he just can't stand it, clawing and tearing at his skin. Sometimes, he runs outside into the brambles, bluebells brushing against his bare legs. He bites his flesh and screams at the stars, desperately trying to feel free.

One night, his mother watches him. Her warm eyes are cold as she watches her son tear himself apart. The next day, she crawls into his room, milk-white skin red and puffy and slick with tears. He watches him watch her, and kisses him on his sweat-slicked temple. She tells him she'll be back soon. She tells him that he's a good boy – tells him not to move from his bed, not until he gets better. She tells him she loves him, but they both know that's a lie.

Tick, tock.

The sheets scratch and itch at his skin – his white, translucent, fading skin. He thinks about the colour boy. He wonders what it would be like if he was here – imagines him stroking his hair out of his eyes, imagines him kissing his temple instead of his mother. Would his lips be soft – or chapped and brittle, like his mother's? He wonders what his fingers feel like – his body cries out to be touched, so he wraps the sheets around himself, and pretends it's the other boy's caramel skin. He imagines their sweat sheened skin pressed together, imagines his own face buried in a caramel neck. He wonders if the itching would stop. He imagines it does, imagines their bodies moving together and their lips crashing and biting, imagines soft kisses and tongues snaking together. His hands inch down underneath the waistband of his pyjamas, and wonders if this is what his mother meant by get better. He's sick – this is sick. Right?

He doesn't think so, not really. Because this can't be sickness when it feels so good.

He finishes with a strangled cry, not quite human. He wishes, more than anything, that the boy was with him now. He paid him attention. He'd make him feel less lonely. He'd stop the itching, burning, right underneath his skin.

He moves to the cracked mirror, standing lazily, limbs longer than he remembers before. He looks at himself, for the first time – really looks at himself. Naked and trembling he moves his fingers over his body. He feels numb – like his scars, he thinks. He frowns, the expression not looking quite right on his features, because he can't remember those scars being there before. He can't remember getting so tall, so thin. His bones stick out, his skin stretched over his ribs like putty. He can't remember the last time he ate.

Tick, tock.

He crawls back into his clothes, back into bed, before his mother gets back. He hears the click of the door and he growls, instinctively. He doesn't want to see his mother, see her rust-rimmed eyes. He hears muffled voices downstairs and his blood starts to itch.
"He's not 'imself", his mother whimpers. "All angry, like. 'E keeps screaming about itching and claws at 'is skin. Oh, you should see it, doctor! 'Is skin, all – all angry, an' red an', swollen!"

He can hear each step on the stairs like a drum inside his mind. He's not sick. He's not sick. Why did they call a doctor? He's not sick!
"I feared it would come to this, Miss," the man says gravely. "You and I both know what 'appens when you marry outsiders."

His mother makes a sound, like she's being strangled. Ryou closes his eyes and imagines his fingers at her the throat.

"'E was dead," she mutters, right outside the door. "Dead – on the inside. A demon! 'E was a city demon! Oh, 'ow I've sinned! My poor boy..."

He can't hear, or see, but he can feel the doctor nodding empathetically. It makes him sick.

"'E's a demon now, ent he?" She's pathetic. So pathetic. Can't handle her son so says he's a demon.

"Well," the doctor replies, solemn. "I'll just have to take a look, won't I?"

They open the door, and Ryou screams.

4. the crow of the widow;

The birds sing.

The air is still. The calm before the storm, he thinks sullenly. It's been a long time since he could say the words out loud.

This isn't Ryou anymore. His mother doesn't call him that, at any rate. She says things like – 'oh, you look so much like him, don't you? I should've known, should've known', and she calls him Bakura.

She says he's not her son. He doesn't mind too much.

She says – she said. She said, she couldn't listen to his filth any longer. After he screamed, and cursed, and sinned, tied to the pipe in the basement.

Oh! – how he'd screamed. He doesn't know where he learnt the words. Bitch and fuck and slut. They're dirty words. But Bakura, he likes dirty – he wants to be dirty. Let me be filth, he'd screamed. It's better than being white, pale. Translucent. Better than being invisible.

If I'm a demon! He'd cried. Then what does that make you?

I'm the son of a bitch, he'd whispered to her.

Mummy, he'd cooed. I'm so terribly lonely down here.

Until one day – oh, one day – she'd come downstairs with a needle and thread and sewn his pink pale lips shut. What a shame it is, she'd said, to never have to hear your pretty voice again.

And how can you sin with no words to sin with?

She took him to the church. A living demon, the sign outside had screamed. Come to watch us pacify the devil!

He sits there, the cold floor pressed against his thighs, and scans the room with his mother's eyes. And there! – oh, there he sees him. The colour boy. His violet eyes stare straight back, and Bakura smiles, the thread in his lips tearing his skin. It's worth it just to see the boy smile back.

The pastor had cried – this boy! You know this boy to be quiet, shy, polite. Let this be a lesson to us all not to fraternise with outsiders! City folk are evil. Look at the sin they bring.

There's a resounding cry of 'Amen!', but Bakura only has eyes for the colour boy's lips. They don't move, and Bakura wonders if he's fallen in love.

They shout that the demon burns everything he touches. Covers it with his filth. They take a flame and burn his fingertips right off.
Let this be a lesson to you all.

Tick, tock.

Long after the church has piled out and they've left him tied to the cross, alone, the colour boy touches Bakura's face.
"Marik," he breathes. "My name is Marik."

His caramel fingers brush back matted, white hair. Bakura begins to cry.

"Oh! Don't cry, Ryou. Please, don't cry." He cradles Bakura's head. There are so many things Bakura wants to say: I love you. Don't leave me – but he can't. And he'll never be able to. Even if he ripped out his stitching, blood spraying from his poor pale lips like a hosepipe, they'd tear out his tongue.

Marik holds his hand. Bakura, with his burnt raw fingers, can't feel it.

Their bodies are pressed together in a strangely intimate cocoon. Bakura nestles his head in the crook of the colour boy's neck, just like he's always dreamed of. Marik holds his face and looks into his eyes, the only thing they haven't taken from him. There wicked glint is still there, and Bakura can hardly remember how to breathe.

He doesn't feel so much like a demon. He's fairly certain demons can't love.

Marik is crying, too, and Bakura wishes he could wipe the tears away. Maybe one day, he can.
Wishful thinking. It never hurt anybody. Not like Bakura has.

"I'll get you out of here. One day, when I'm bigger, and stronger. I promise."
Marik presses his lips to the bloodied stitching, the copper dried to rust.

The sad thing is, Bakura almost believed the lie.

He's left there, in the church. A mockery. A bastard mockery! A sacrifice to God. What God, Bakura would spit out, if he could move his lips.
Marik visits him. The colour boy shades of grey in the darkness, but his eyes still sparkle. Marik kisses Bakura best he can, holds him, presses his lips to the vein between his hand and wrist. Sometimes, when they're feeling particularly bitter, they love each other in more physical ways, right under the eye of God. They don't know how, not really, but they pretend they do. Pretend they're all knowledgeable, laughing in the face of the Lord.

He supposes he really is a demon, in the end. But so's the colour boy, making love to him in the House of God. Marik is beautiful. Marik is colour, and life. Marik is good.

The colour boy, his hand wrapped around Bakura, his teeth tugging on Bakura's ear, nose buried in the expanse of his hair, laughs that if this is what dancing with the devil is like – well, he'd rather go to Hell.

Then, one day, all the colour is gone.

Oh, his mother – poor, pretty little mother, the fire of her hair turned to ash, the corners of her mouth perpetually turned down. She looks older than her years, but that's hardly surprising when your son is the devil.

She whispers in his ear, and it's not like when Marik does it. Both make him shiver.

"You 'ave his eyes, you know," and her laughing face is the last thing he sees.

He's so used to knowing Marik by sight. The first time Marik comes to him after he loses his eyes, he's terrified. The devil shouldn't be scared, he thinks bitterly.

"I'm so sorry," Marik says. His hands touch where his eyes should be. "I'll never forget you. Your touch... your touch will burn my skin, for the rest of my life." That's the closest to "I love you" that Marik ever got. Bakura, when he's feeling particularly human, wonders if Marik craved his skin as much as Bakura craved his. Somehow, he doubts it.

Then, one day, Bakura fades away altogether. No striking, burning eyes – just pale skin and pale hair, the black stitching long since faded to grey. He's translucent. Invisible. If he had eyes, he would have realised a long time before that he was dead.

Tick, tock.

5; chalk in the wind

He wanders, for the longest time, trying to find the colour boy. He can't find his way by sight, or touch; can't ask anybody, the threads in his lips long since torn out. What kind of ghost feels pain?

Dead people don't scream. Dead people don't bleed.

Dead people can feel lonely, though. With no organs beatbeatbeating inside him, like clockwork, he feels emptier than ever.
It's not fair, he shouts, but nobody listens. I only ever wanted some company.

His spends years this way, searching. It doesn't really occur to him that he might be dead. People that colourful, so alive; they don't die. Not like Bakura did.

When he covers himself in what he thinks are colours, soft fabric caressing his lucid skin, he finds that people see him. People hear him. He's not invisible anymore.

After this, he finds a new way of searching.

6; the beginning

What's that, boy? Well – that's the end of the story. No "happily ever after" with this fairy tale.

Did he ever find the colour boy?

That's why nobody comes here. He's still here, searching.

Some say he wanders, calling out for him.

Personally, I think he tells the story to newcomers, seeing if they recognise themselves in the story. Tells them to sit down. Tells them to come closer, his eyesight's not so good. He can't see them, after all - but the colour boy will know who he is.

Won't he?

The colour boy said he'd never forget Bakura.

What's that? Oh, the scars on my lips.

My eyes, too. Blind as a bat, me.

No need to worry – it all happened a long, long time ago.

Tick, tock.

Tick, tock.

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Comments {1}

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from: anonymous
date: Mar. 31st, 2011 09:03 pm (UTC)

This is a fabulous, fabulous story. LOVE IT. I wish I understood why Marik left Bakura there. I hope they're reunited one day. Great work!

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