Wash Your Hands

By Terra

Notes: Omote Bakura (Ryou)'s POV. Extremely short. Doesn't really have much of a plot, either. I don't think he actually suffers from OCD nor do I think that he is really in conscious denial of the things that happen, but I felt like playing around with the idea that he might prefer to view things rationally while, to some extent, becoming semi-aware of what's going on even before his first real "encounter" with Yami Bakura.

Disclaimer: Takahashi Kazuki's, which means not mine at all.

There's something caked underneath my nails, just at the part where the nail separates from the flesh and turns white. It's dry, and a brown, rusty sort of colour. I don't know where it could have come from; I can't recall having done anything that would cause me to get particularly dirty. I continue washing my hands. Reach for the soap, lather, scrub at my nails, rinse off the soap. It still refuses to come off. I do it again. Reach, lather, scrub, rinse. A small, most likely rather out of place laugh issues from my lips at that. The thought sounded like the instructions on a bottle of shampoo. Of course, this doesn't in any way deter me from following said mental instructions once more. My skin feels so raw and stretched after all that hot water and the vigorous washing.

Vaguely, I wonder if there might be some sort of connection between this and… the odd feeling I'd been having for some time; ever since those accidents started happening when I played Monster World with my friends, or perhaps even before then. I'm not too sure.

My hands continue their repetitive motion until I'm certain that by now my nails must be clean again. Upon inspection it looks as though the persistent dirt is finally gone, and I let go of the breath I hadn't been aware of holding. Just to be safe, I repeat the entire process twice more, before turning the tap off and drying my hands.

As I straighten, I catch a fleeting glimpse of my reflection in the mirror prior to turning away from it. A second later, I glance back, only to see nothing more than my own face staring at me with a puzzled expression. It was probably just a trick of the light, but for a brief moment I'd thought that something seemed a little off about my reflection. One of my hands reaches up to smooth down the front of my hair, while the other unconsciously fingers the pendant resting against my chest, pulling it out from under my shirt. The metal is cold – colder than the tiles of the bathroom floor beneath my bare feet.

My gaze drops to land on my left forearm when I lift it – I hadn't noticed that stain on my jumper before. It's on the sleeve; a funny, dark coloured fleck of something. I slip off the jumper, putting it aside and making a note to wash the stain out later. Instinctively I check my arm for a cut or scrape I might have accidentally ended up with, which could have caused that stain, but there's nothing. Did I spill something on that sleeve? I'm not that clumsy or forgetful, but you never know.

The cold becomes rather noticeable now, and I rub my arms in an attempt to get rid of the goosebumps covering them, shivering slightly. Now that it's starting to grow dark outside, the ill-lit bathroom has an eerie atmosphere to it. Though it's unnecessary, considering that I'm leaving, I flick on the light for a couple of seconds anyway, then head to my room. A sheet of paper; the beginnings of another letter to add to a collection of many unsent letters, lies on my desk and I sit down in front of it, picking up a pen.

Amane, how are you? It's your brother's first day at the new school tomorrow.