Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh nor do I make any money off of this piece of fanfiction.

Challenge Name and Number: #054, Rebirth
Drabble Title:
Second Chance
Word Count:
Warnings (if applicable):
AU-ish, in that Atem stays after the Ceremonial Duel and the Items still exist.
Pairings (if applicable):
He'd awoken that morning to find the Ring and the Eye on his nightstand.

He looked at the innocuous piece of golden jewelry in his hands, and back to his friends. The Ceremonial Duel was over, Yuugi and Atem had received their new mission from the gods, and the Items had returned to their prior bearers, which was his only explanation for how the Ring and the Eye were innocently resting on his nightstand when he awoke that morning.

"Bakura-kun, I promise, we'll be right here in case something happens," Yuugi said with a reassuring smile. "We're ready in case the Other Bakura does something."

"Yeah!" Jounouchi chimed in, pumping a fist a display of strength. "We'll make sure he doesn't run off with your body!"

Closing his eyes, and readying himself for the worst, he looped the leather cord over his neck, and waited.

He was instantly pulled into the corridors of his mind, where he saw, once more a second door in the hallway. However, unlike before - the heavy metal door had always been barred shut and heavily trapped - it was open. He hung onto the door frame and peered into the darkness, but he saw little, even with the light from the hallway.

"Other Me?" he cautiously called into the darkness. No answer came, just echoing silence and the sound of his feet shuffling in the hallway. Carefully he put a hand through the doorway, surprised when nothing happened. He walked inside, and the interior lit up for him, ever so slightly. The walls, unlike the carefully fitted stone of the hallway, were made of mud brick, and the interior was sparsely decorated with shabby furniture, much like a peasant's hovel out of a fantasy novel. Or, he realized, much like the houses his father had described to him from one of his many archaeological digs in the Valley of Kings. As he explored the small living area, he heard a small sound, like someone shuffling around in a pile of clothes. Plucking up his courage – after all, if his Other Self had problems with him entering, he would have made his displeasure known long ago – he called out, "Hello?"

Another sniffle, and this time he could hear some muffled mumbling nearby. Following the noise, he found himself in front of a pile of dirty linens in the corner. Against his better judgment, he pulled the sheet away, only to find himself staring at a small white haired child with blood red eyes, cheeks liberally streaked with dirt and grime, save for the twin clean trails left by the child's endless tears. Gently putting an arm around the other, he asked, "What's the matter?"

The child rocked back and forth amidst the sheets, tears continuing to fall down his cheeks as he blankly stared at the wall. "They're all gone. They've all been taken away. They're all gone." The child continued to repeat the words as though they were his security blanket.


"Mother, father, sister," the child's eyes widened, "everyone!" The pieces suddenly clicked together. If what Yuugi and Atem had said about the Memory World was right, then this child could only be . . . !

"Shhhh," he soothed, carefully embracing the child, just as he wished someone had done for him that night, so many years ago, "it's alright. You're not alone. I'm here now." At those words, the child looked up, searching for any signs that he was lying, and, finding none, clung onto him and bawled.

And maybe this time, without Zorc's influence, everything will be okay.