Rating/Warnings: PG-13 for Bakura shaking Ryou like a rag-doll.
Summary: The Millennium Ring goes where it wills, and is held by who it wills.
AN: Too much Loveless has brought to mind how Bakura is also fucked up from people leaving him, and it struck me that maybe that is the real attraction of the Ring for him.
Return to Sender
The Millennium Ring had a disturbing habit of being where it wanted to be, or more specifically, not being where it didn't want to be.
Bakura Ryou was not exactly sure who had told him that, but he was positive that someone had, at some point, or maybe he had dreamt it, in one of those dreams that isn't really a dream. He knew that it was true.
Where the Ring didn't want to be was in anybody's hands but Ryou's, Ryou had quickly learned. Adults who demanded to see the Ring handed it back immediately, bullies intending to break or steal the Ring let go of it as though burned. Sometimes the effects were subtler; teachers inquiring why Ryou would wear such a strange thing all the time soon forgot why they had thought it was so strange in the first place, and ceased to pay any attention to Ryou at all.
Ryou imagined that was how the Ring had gotten itself mailed to him in the first place, although he had no idea how the Ring would have known who he was. Anytime he thought that thought for more than a second or two, it skittered away from him on sharp claws.
With the Ring gone, everyone forgot its existence, only remembering that Bakura made them uncomfortable without knowing why. The larger boys from before spent their frustrations on Ryou as though they'd been saving it up while he'd been protected; everyone else ignored him.
Closing the door behind him and hitching up his torn sleeve, Ryou felt very little shock to find the Ring waiting on the table for him. His bag with its muddied contents spilled to the floor from nerveless fingers, while the other hand snatched at the chain to loop the Ring over his head, ignoring the way the links snatched at his hair. He clutched at the Ring tightly enough that the dangling points were dotted with blood.
Ryou glanced up and found himself in his soul room, just before the door exploded inward in a screech of metal, and he got his first good look at the Spirit of the Ring as it slammed him against the nearest wall by his throat.
"Welcome back, little host," the spirit snarled, its nose close enough to bump Ryou's, and Ryou wondered why if you could have any nose you wanted, the spirit chose to wear his.
The spirit cocked his head a little and narrowed his eyes.
"Because its mine," it hissed, making a shiver jerk Ryou in its grip. "Your body is mine, your thoughts are mine, your name is mine, you are mine."
The spirit paused to look Ryou over with a gaze like jagged glass, and where it tore Ryou's bruises healed and his clothes reknit themselves.
"I'm the one who hurts you," the spirit snarled, using his free hand to rake a new gash in Ryou's arm, and Ryou wondered if his real body was bending to the spirit's will so easily. "No one else touches you!"
"You were gone!" Ryou choked out around the hand at his throat, coughing when it tightened in reply, but it didn't silence him. His voice rose to a ragged shriek. "Gone!"
"No!" the spirit snapped, twisting his hand in Ryou's hair until Ryou's eyes watered and jerking his head back to look him in the eye. His gaze burned and froze, sending a shudder through Ryou that cracked his body back against the wall. "Listen to me, little host: you will never be rid of me. Never. I've spent five millennia in this Ring, and I'll be here when you are dust. There is no escape, you are mine until the day I let your body die!"
Ryou went very still, dangling in the spirit's grip. Something with sharp edges trickled into his eyes as he stared, and he swallowed against the hand at his throat.
"You can't die?"
"Idiot," the spirit spat, narrowing his eyes. "I already have. Something as pathetic as death won't keep you safe from me."
Ryou threw himself forward with such force that it caught the spirit off guard. He began to bark a curse, but the noise cut off when Ryou flung arms around the spirit's waist and clung to him tightly, face buried in his chest.
"The fuck?" The spirit shoved at Ryou's shoulders, which were trembling underneath his palms. Ryou had a surprising grip in his slight frame, but finally the spirit managed to jerk him back far enough to rake his gaze over him. "What was that, you little freak?"
"You won't leave." Ryou looked up at him, eyes glinting feverishly and laugh shrill. "You can't."
The crack of the spirit's palm connecting with Ryou's cheek echoed off the bare walls. He pushed Ryou away, back against the wall and eyed him coldly, eyes narrowed.
"You're as crazy as me," he muttered, and disappeared so fast that Ryou couldn't be sure whether the twist to his lips was unease or satisfaction.
Ryou opened his eyes and found himself back in front of his table, his clothes still ripped and bloodied. He trudged upstairs and flopped onto his bed without bothering to clean up. Too tired even to work the blankets out from under him, Ryou let his eyes fall shut and dug mentally for the spirit. His mind brushed up against something cold and dark, inert for the moment, but still there.
"Still there," Ryou mumbled as he buried his face in his pillow and dropped into a thick, dreamless sleep.