Disclaimer: Unfortunately no, but I'm sure that once I complete my plans for world domination, it will no longer be an issue. *smirk*

Look the Other Way

Summary: Ryou returns to Domino for a reunion only to encounter the man he ran away from 8 years ago: Kaiba Seto. Now Seto's been given a rare opportunity: a week to win Ryou back. Sequel to "Fairydust"; Seto*Ryou

PM: ^_^ Hi, minna! It's glad to see all of you back again! :) Arigatou gozaimasu for all those wonderful reviews for the last chapter of "Fairydust"… They were really nice, and I appreciated all of them very much.

Yami: -_-;; She wouldn't stop squealing over them.

PM: *mumble* You didn't hear me complaining when rabid fangirls carried you off for being a sex god.

Ryou and Ryuuji: *snicker*

PM: Anyhow, ignoring them, this story is going to be more serious than its predecessor, although I guess you can kinda tell it by the summary. Also, I guess it's not necessary to read "Fairydust" for any newcomers; there will be, however, allusions to that story, but hopefully not too confusing for those who don't want to read it. ^^;;

Ryuuji: We can summarize it right here anyway! It's just him *jerks thumb at Ryou* whining a lot.

Ryou: Are you still bitter about me calling you a slut?

Ryuuji: *GLARE* YES!

PM: O_O! ANYHOW, the couplings in this story will be Seto*Ryou, Yuugi*Anzu, Honda*Otogi, and Jyounouchi*Mai. The story will be written Seto and Ryou POVs, although the majority will be in Ryou's POV. This chapter takes place on Saturday… and that's it! ^o^ Enjoy, minna! *waves*

The usual thank you's: I wish I could individually thank every one of you for your reviews, but that'd take too much space and I don't want to scare everyone off with that scary paragraph ^^;;. But I enjoyed all of them and once again, I thank you for taking the time to read the story. You have all made me feel satisfied and proud of the fact that I managed to finish "Fairly", and truly it was thanks to all of you. Special thanks to Wildwolf-chan, Nalan-san, and Neko-chan (perhaps I should call you Neko-chan-chan? *ducks FPoD*). And my deepest thanks to rayemars-san for beta-ing and dealing with my usual whining and hideous grammar.

Rated PG for shounen-ai and language

~ Flight 713 [1] ~

I have a friend who is insanely obsessed with this one actor… it's gotten to the point where every time she opens her mouth, I want to scream bloody murder and just run out of the room without ever looking back. Maybe take up a residence in a foreign country where they've never heard of the guy… I heard that Siberia is a nice place this time of year. Unfortunately, I have this sinking suspicion that she might come after me if I ever tried to do that… and I bet on the entire plane trip home, she'll yap about this guy until I want to scream or claw at my ears to the point of gushing blood. If I hadn't already.

I was first introduced to this… I forgot his name already, since it's long and relatively unimportant to the point that I am trying to make… (despite the fact that I tend to ramble on for long periods of time, there is indeed a point to this long tirade) when she literally tied me to a chair and made me watch a movie with her. The movie wasn't that new or anything, a couple years old, and I guess it wasn't that bad… but frankly, I don't really know what's so great about that guy. I mean… even Otogi-kun looks better, and Otogi-kun isn't even my type.

And yes, I do have a type. Unfortunately, I don't quite know nor understand what that type is exactly.

Anyhow, one of the scenes that stood out to my mind from this movie… the title was Catch Me If You Can, if I remember correctly, was the part where the main character (my friend's favorite actor) escaped the airplane through the toilet.

I don't know how he managed to do it, and I personally think that the whole business is rather disgusting and if I was in his position, I would be deathly worried about accidentally finding myself in the engine turbines and getting on the front page of all major American newspapers with the title of 'Japanese Environmentalist Found Chopped Like Liver in Engine Turbines'… but at the moment, I can't help but wish that I could perform his amazing trick right now. All I would have to do it excuse myself and go to the bathroom… make sure I don't end up in a place where I can see daylight through slits… and run away smelling quite badly and picking little pieces of soggy paper out of my hair.

Pathetic. Absolutely pathetic…

How could I have ended up in this position anyway? What on earth could have possessed me to agree to do this… agree to return to the place which contains a person which caused me to deliberately move to America, a place that is far away enough that a plane trip is rabidly inconvenient? There is a reason why I never went back after I left… a reason why I moved here in the first place.

So why am I in this position? Why, why, why am I sitting on some metal bird which is going to take off in approximately ten minutes when once upon a time I vowed that I would rather go through heart surgery without anesthesia before I would ever contemplate doing such a thing?

In a way, it seems odd that I should be so scared of going back to Domino City after I yearned for that place when I was younger. After otousan gave me the Sennen Ring, and all my friends began disappearing or randomly popping up unconscious, I spent my entire time… alone. The spirit in the Sennen Ring wasn't exactly what one would want to call company… besides, I didn't even know he existed until after I met Yuugi-tachi… Yuugi-kun with the Sennen Puzzle.

Before that, I just thought I was becoming schizophrenic or having a multiple personality disorder. I mean, it's not like one would immediately suspect that the voices in his mind is really an arrogant, ancient spirit who was also a self-named touzoku ou [2]. People just don't tend to do those kinds of things, you know? It's not exactly the automatic reaction that one gets.

I could be wrong though. I've been wrong quite often before, and if I had to list the number of times I've been wrong, we'll be long gone before I can get half way through a list.


I thought I had gotten over this by now… I thought that some time over the past couple of years, I had gotten over this insecurity. People always say that with a little bit of self-will, you can banish these insecurities and grow to be a secure person… or at least, that's what they claim. Considering my personal experiences, it's no wonder that I put little stock in such claims, especially since it just doesn't work. It is my experience that the more you try to banish insecurities, the more insecure you get… or perhaps I just have problems. Which is a given, I suppose.

The thing is that I don't want to be here. And I don't specifically mean on the airplane, but simply being in this position for life… every morning, I can't help but think that none of this should have happened, that my life shouldn't have ended up happening this way. And the biggest problem with all of this is that I know exactly why all of this has happened.

One morning. One morning and one decision was all that took… or perhaps I was the one who let it happen by being silly enough to throw myself completely into a relationship which was doomed from the start.

Sometimes, I can't help but wonder (in loud, screaming words that make me go half-deaf even though the words come from my own mind) why I persist in tormenting myself in these ways. Shouldn't I have learned from my past by now? Shouldn't I have learned that doing this to myself gets no results, but just makes my life even more of a living hell? And why is it that even though these words ring loudly and truly in my mind, I still do not accept them?

It's a curse. I know that it must be some type of curse. Maybe that sorceress chasing after Kaitou Kid [3] has decided to turn her attention to spirit-inhabiting hosts, and she's out to make my life a living hell. As if I needed any more help with something like that … but I have to admit that she is doing a very good job. Just one event over eight years ago has managed to destroy all the dreams I had for life. And the more I think about it, the more I realize that it's really quite pathetic that I allowed just one event to change me like this, but I don't know how to reverse it now. Is it too late for me to do so, or should I strive to change myself for the better?

Although if there's one thing I've learned from my own experiences, it's that you can't change the past. This might seem pretty obvious and it is very obvious, but you'll be amazed at how often people tend to forget that. Or perhaps it is merely that I keep forgetting it, or simply ignoring the fact because I do not know how many times I have tried to change the past only to make everything worse. I seem to be incapable of making the right decision, but that's a different story.

I resist the urge to let out a groan as the plane starts to move, and I slide further down in my seat as I wonder for only the millionth time of how I allowed myself to be manipulated into this seat. One would hope I had more common sense than that, but apparently not as I am sitting here. And the plane is about to take off.

On the one and only positive note, at least I can blame Jyounouchi-kun for getting me into this position. That man needs to learn how to take 'no' for an answer, and since when did he become so dang responsible anyway? It was as if he knew I had no intention of doing anything in preparation of going to Japan, so he did all the arrangements for me short of flying over on his own in order to pack my clothes. The part of me that would have felt immensely guilty if I had let his gesture go unnoticed is the only reason why I managed to pack on my own and haul myself to the airplane, although it didn't stop me from hoping that the car would crash and I would end up in the hospital with a broken arm or two.

I knew this was a bad idea… If not for my health, then definitely my sanity… or as evidenced by the fact that I'm still on this hideous metallic piece of scrap metal, my lack thereof of that oh so wonderful before-mentioned characteristic. But hey, who needs sanity anyway? I'm sure I can make a nice living without it, working as a bank robber or drug dealer.

~ * ~ 2 Weeks Ago ~ * ~

"I'm not going," I resist the urge to throw the phone out the window and spend the rest of my life living as a hermit in a remote part of Greenland as I say these words for what has to be the millionth time, "and you're not going to change my mind, Jyounouchi-kun!"

Another thing I want to yell before I call the telephone company to disconnect my phone service is to demand how on earth did Jyounouchi-kun get my phone number?! There is a reason why I have remained unlisted… and a reason why I do not give certain friends with unreasonably big mouths my number!

And whoever it was is going to be happily strangled with a telephone cord, or killed by Spam. Or perhaps I'll send a hit man, that could always work.

"Of course you are," Jyounouchi-kun casually brushes off my heart-felt protests as if they are unimportant, which I suppose they are when it comes to him, "You've done your best to avoid us, I know. But it's been eight years since graduation, and the most we've got from you is a couple of e-mails and some book covers. We're very proud of the accomplishments you've succeeded at, but that doesn't mean that we're satisfied with that. Come on, you can't avoid us forever. Besides, Anzu is pregnant. The least you can do is come over here and say 'congratulations'."

Great. Guilt trip. Not that it's ever going to work. I'd rather be tortured in non-denominational hell for all eternity rather than be back in Domino for a week, let alone two weeks. And of all people, Jyounouchi-kun should know that unless he's been getting hit in the head more often than usual and his skull has finally cracked. Something that wouldn't surprise me that much, as he has a rather bad habit of being in precisely the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Listen Jyounouchi-kun," I finally growl, "I'll try to use very small and simple words in order to convey the many thoughts I am having at the moment in reference to coming to Domino City. I would rather be trapped in a very small room with ravenous wolves than be in Domino again. I'll rather be locked in a wooden chest with scorpions. I'll rather be burned alive or go through the old British punishments for traitors consisting of hanging, being cut down before I'm dead, having my intestines burned in front of my eyes, and finally beheaded and quartered. But I repeat for the final time, I will not be caught dead in Domino City for any circumstances whatsoever. Do you understand?"

"Great! So I'll be seeing you there in two weeks, all right?" is the blithe, carefree answer.

I can only blink while gaping at the phone incredulously, "Listen, Jyounouchi-kun, I don't think you have yet to fully understand what I am trying to say!"

Actually, my gut level feeling is saying that Jyounouchi-kun knows exactly what I'm trying to say, but he's just ignoring it as he usually does. Something he is particularly good at, actually, much to my chagrin.

Especially now.

"So I'll go tell the others and call you when I've gotten everything ready. Is that okay, Bakura?" Jyounouchi-kun continues cheerfully. My eyebrow twitches as I clench the phone tighter, resisting the urge to just pull the plug out of its socket and throw the entire set out of the window.

"No… no… NO, it is not okay!" I yell, "Don't you dare hang up Jyounouchi-kun! Do you hear me?! Jyounouchi Katsuya, do not hang up that phone!"

"I'll talk to you later then," he practically chirps as I picture him already putting the phone back on its hook or a finger moving to press the off button.

"Ch… chotto matte!" [1] my voice is at an unmistakable shriek, "Jyounou…"


My bloodless fingers are still clenched around the phone before it slips out of my fingers, dropping to the ground as I stare out the window.

Before I scream, pick up the phone, and throw it out the window with a sickening crash. An action that I know for sure my neighbors will not be appreciating.

~ * ~ Present

The plane jerks as it lands in the country I fled eight years ago, bringing me back to bittersweet reality (whether for better or for worse). Honestly, can anyone be more pathetic than I, who has let one event from eight years back completely dominate my life? Perhaps this is for the better, as coming back to Domino forces me to face all the things I left behind.

Demo [4], I don't want to face the things I've left behind. I would gladly prefer having them buried under layers of memories, thank you very much. There's a reason I had them buried, a reason that I would prefer not to delve into now or ever.

Oh Kami-sama, how on earth do I manage to obsess so much?

As the lights turn on, I get up and start going about my business almost robotically, waiting patiently for the other people next to me to get out before I do. Lucky for me that Jyounouchi-kun arranged airplane tickets towards the front of the plane so I don't have to wait as long as if I had sat in the back, although that is probably because he remembers that I get a bit air sick, especially when sitting in the back of the plane.

I can't help but bite my lip as I think of Jyounouchi-kun again. All right, so he arranged all of this against my wishes, but it was bound to happen someday, and at least I didn't have to do anything but pay the bills. He's arranged all of this for me, and I should be grateful rather than devising intelligent ways of getting out of this horrible mess.

Besides, realistically, what is the chance that I'll run into… him anyway? Domino City is a big place, and with all the arrangements Jyounouchi-kun has planned, I'm sure that it is unlikely we will ever run into each other. And that is definitely for the better.

Customs is a long chore, another reminder of the inconveniences moving to America makes when it came to returning to Japan. And yes, I'm sure it sounds lame and very childish… but… that's what I've been doing.

I spend most of the time staring ahead until I reach the counter, and I politely thank the agent before walking away from the airport, from my last chance of running back onto the plane. There's no turning back after this, is there? I feel like I'm walking to the executioner's block, and from the way my thoughts sound, everybody probably thinks I am too.

"Oy! Bakura-kun!" the familiar voice brings a smile to my lips, and it's not a tight, fake smile. Cause even though he's gotten a growth sprout, Yuugi-kun is still pretty short and the only thing that really sticks out is his hair, which keeps bouncing as he jumps in order to be seen over the crowd. Quite honestly, there is no reason to as his hair really does stick out, so I could have spotted him without his enthusiastic waving.

Next to him, also smiling, is Anzu, who while starting to show the affects of her pregnancy, looks just as energetic and happy as ever. Her hair has grown a bit longer since I last saw her, although it's still not long enough to be called long hair or even medium-lengthed hair. It's a bit shocking, but it is still quite nice to see.

"Ohayou minna!" I'm half-surprised to hear the enthusiasm in my own voice, something that I wouldn't have expected considering how much time on the airplane I spent griping. But although I never wanted to acknowledge it, I couldn't fail to realize that I missed Yuugi-kun and the others very much. They were the best friends I have ever had, and it hurt to say good-bye to them the last time.

Hopefully, we'll be prepared for it this time.

"Wow, Bakura-kun! You haven't changed much since the last time we saw you!" Anzu comments as she hugs me carefully, "America hasn't been that different, ne?"

"There wasn't much that I needed changing," I reply with a grin plastered on my face. When I'm around these two, it's hard to ever stop smiling.

Especially when they start bickering.

"Honda-kun and Otogi-kun were busy today, so that's why we were here to pick you up," Yuugi-kun explains as we start to walk out of the airport, Anzu in the lead. The sun hurts my eyes, as I've been stuck in a dark plane for the past god knows how many hours, but I soak in the rays eagerly. For even though it hurts slightly, it's welcome and appreciated.

We walk a moment longer in silence before Yuugi-kun adds in the most innocent of voices, "I think they had to clean the house for you."

"Humph, it's not like Jyounouchi didn't give them a warning in the first place!" Anzu interjects, rolling her eyes with an expression that seemed to say 'men…' Yuugi-kun and I just chuckle nervously until Anzu turns away, weaving gracefully through the crowds of people despite her new burden. Sometimes I wish I could be as graceful as her, especially since I tend to be rather clumsy at the worst of times.

Do I know that, Yami Bakura mumbles darkly, a familiar presence that I no longer wish I could be rid of. I was once separated from the Sennen Ring's spirit, and it was surprisingly lonely despite the other people around me [5]. 'Course, both of us try to refrain from having a closer relationship, which I suppose we are capable of but neither of us is particularly interested in that concept. He's simply… there, now that he's given up (somewhat) on his quest to bring back the yami no chikara [6] and probably conquer the world or something along those lines.

"She's right," Yuugi-kun whispers to me, "But then again, Anzu is always right, isn't she?"

"I heard that!"

Yuugi-kun sighs and shakes his head, winking at me, "I'm still trying to figure out how she does that, but I still haven't figured it out and she won't tell me! Maybe she'll tell mou hitori no boku [7]?"

I snort at that innocent suggestion, the mental image of Yami-kun asking Anzu how she manages to overhear everything being said about her within a two mile radius simply a bit too humorous to do otherwise. Most likely, if Yami-kun actually manages to pry something out of her (or in all likelihood, trading one of Yuugi-kun's little-known secrets for the information), I think that Yuugi-kun will have an even harder time trying to get it out of his other self!

Although I have to admit that such a scene would be quite lively and interesting to experience…

No, I am not becoming sadistic. That would be Yami Bakura, who would probably beat me up if he ever got wind that somebody… anybody thought that I was more sadistic than he. Which is impossible, since he is the epitome of psychotic sadism, but I suppose there is a possibility of a drunk or crazy man getting us mixed up.

Of course, that person would no longer be breathing after he makes such a confused observation. Even though the Sennen Ring's spirit is less violent than he was when I first met him, he still tends to be rather unpredictable which means that the wrong word said can lead to a great deal of cringing and a rather disturbing quantity of blood.

Definitely not a pleasant thought…

Yuugi-kun and the others were among the first to escape that reality, though, and with the help of the Sennen Puzzle's spirit, Yami Bakura has been somewhat reined in. Something I am definitely grateful for, especially since it has allowed me to become close to some very interesting people.

Despite my initial fears, I don't really feel out of place right now. If anything, I feel like I belong here, and all those years in America are some interesting if awkward… vacation. A very long vacation, granted, but even though I enjoyed being there, I didn't really belong there.

Perhaps there is some truth in those sayings about how the heart always stays home?

Now if only the fears could be expelled. Wouldn't life just be so much simpler that way?

~ * ~

After a rather heinous train trip in which Yuugi-kun was nearly killed due to suffocation (the poor guy), we reached Honda-kun and Otogi-kun's apartment in one piece and relatively unscathed. Quite surprisingly, actually, since I must have gotten used to the relative emptiness of most mass-transportation systems in America. For example, my current home city. Los Angeles used to have a wonderful public-service system… a street-car system, if I remember correctly, but a rather over-zealous car company bought up the tracks and put the trams out of business. Now it's much too expensive to implement another one, and the current systems are either dangerous or rather inconvenient, causing many people to use cars. Probably the intention of the before-mentioned car company, but that doesn't make things better.

Anyhow, it's a rather nice apartment… in a very nice district, which I know I would never have been able to afford, especially with the price of housing in Japan. But I suppose that it should have been expected, especially since Otogi-kun has only he knows how much money due to the on-going success of his DDD game4 [8]. Perhaps that's why Jyounouchi-kun asked Otogi-kun and Honda-kun to house me… with the added incentive that his own house is probably a mess (I simply cannot see Mai-san as a house wife… and I'm sure Jyounouchi-kun's son is even more messy than he is), and I probably don't want to deal with Anzu's morning sickness (which Yuugi-kun nicely detailed to me in his previous e-mail).

Plus, it makes it harder for me to sneak away. Short of locking me in a hotel room, at least.

I really hate it when he reads my mind.

The door opens before we can knock, as the two already knew we were here as we had to buzz in order to be allowed past the gates. To my surprise, only Otogi-kun comes to the door. He too looks relatively unchanged, although he has his hair down for once.

The only times I have seen him with his hair down is after… those incidents which I really don't want to think about so I won't, thank you very much. The red bandana that once caused Jyounouchi-kun to ask him if he had some ugly scars there (before getting pummeled by a very ticked off Honda-kun, who I have a feeling knows the answer to that question) is still there, and there has never been a time I've seen him without it… with the exception of those before-mentioned unmentionable events. I even heard from Shizuka-chan that while on the Battle City ship, he didn't even take off the bandana while he slept! [9]

"Ohayou, Otogi-kun!" Yuugi-kun chirps before looking into the apartment behind him, "Huh? I thought that Honda-kun was going to be here too?"

"He's picking up supplies… he raided the refrigerator yesterday and so now we're out of milk and anything which previously wasn't growing mold," he looks faintly annoyed as he brushes one of his unruly bangs out of his eyes, "He was supposed to be back a while ago."

That said, his attention turns to me, and I find myself being scrutinized by those rather disturbing green cat-eyes. I can't really say that I miss it, and I fidget under his glare. Help…

"Welcome back, Bakura-kun… maybe you'll be staying this time?" His face is completely expressionless, making it somewhat disconcerting to look at. And I immediately know for a fact that I did not miss this… not at all. And I am pretty sure that he knows that, although he does have this extremely annoying habit of completely ignoring those kinds of things. It gets to the point where I want to ask Yami Bakura to strangle him, or even perform the task myself.

I bet he knows that I'm thinking that too.

"Probably not," I reply flatly. So I've become much more bitter over the past couple years… but if I'm going to sulky, I might as well do it all the way.

Even if it annoys everyone around me.

"Well, we'll see," he gives me that knowing smile (smirk) which I hate so much, straightening in the process as he leads the three of us into the apartment.

The first word that pops into my head describing the furnishings is… luxurious, I suppose. Although I guess that should be of no surprise, as it is Otogi-kun we're speaking of. Otogi-kun, who makes plenty of money because of his still successful DDD game. It's been one of the top selling games internationally, although it is much more difficult to set up than Magic and Wizards [10]. Still, Otogi-kun should be (and very much is) proud of himself, as are all of us.

Otogi-kun really is a good person, and he cares for all of us. Unfortunately, he is also a bit too nosy, and ever since he made time to get that degree in psychology, he can take it over the limit that is already very generous. Before I moved to America, I was one of his favorite 'patients', and he's psychoanalyzed me enough times to make my head spin (if he had charged me, I would have been so broke it wouldn't be funny). And of course, I have no idea what on earth he talks about during our little therapeutic sessions (which I somehow find much more stressful than most things… like jumping out of an airplane with no parachute while blinded), although I swear I heard him use the words 'obsessive-compulsive disorder', 'depressed', 'neurotic', and 'psychotic and in need of being locked up for a great deal of time' during several of our sessions.

And no, I am not making up the last one, although I certainly wish I was.

"Anzu has a check-up with the doctor, so we'll just see you when we meet up for dinner, kay?" Yuugi-kun grins apologetically at me, "Sorry we couldn't talk longer, Bakura-kun."

You're… you're leaving me alone with Otogi-kun?! I want to scream, although I keep that pathetic squeak from ever making it past my throat. I'm not saying that Otogi-kun is an unpleasant person to be with, as already mentioned, but he… he is a bit scary to be with, especially since it's been so long. It's just that he seems to know something that nobody else knows, and it's rather disturbing. And of course, I just stand there smiling weakly as I wave good-bye to Yuugi-kun and Anzu, all the time feeling like I'm waving good-bye to a rescue boat that has left me stranded on a six by six meter square island that is in the middle of shark-infected waters.

"Why don't we put your stuff down in the guest room and then we can wait for Hiroto in the kitchen?" he suggests, giving me an oh-so-innocent look which makes me even more nervous. I can just see the gears in his head turning, ready to figure out embarrassing questions for me to answer.

Just because I like and respect Otogi-kun doesn't mean that I don't put sadism beyond him.

Perhaps it's odd that I'm being so cynical, although sometimes I think that I'm much more cynical than even I would believe. It's just something that seems to sneak up on my personality, even though I think it is completely unnecessary… and frankly, it is unwanted. It's not my choice to see the world from the view of a pessimist, but that is just how I see it. And I think that I gave up a long time ago on changing that.

After all, certain aspects in life just don't want to be changed, no matter how hard you try to. I don't know why that is, but it just is. Trying to change things like that just always seems to end up backfiring, and instead of getting a result that one had hoped for, everything just ends up blowing up in the face like a computer on drugs.

~ * ~

Raspberry tea and creampuffs… my favorite drink and favorite food. I can't tell if Otogi-kun is just trying to be nice or if he's trying to lull me into a sense of false security, but whatever it is it's making me nervous. Although I can't deny that just about everything is making me nervous these days.

I should have been born a bunny.

"It's been a while, hasn't it Bakura-kun?" There's an amused smile on his face, familiar and somewhat heart-warming. I don't know why I'm always so afraid of him, even though I know that he wouldn't do anything to deliberately hurt me.

"Hai [11]," I mumble after I swallow a bite of the cream puffs… which are very good. I wonder if he made them, or Honda-kun? I can't really see either cooking, but they have to cook sometimes, don't they? Unless they go out every night, which is a somewhat scary thought… although I wouldn't put it beyond them.

"Everyone missed you."

I can't help but laugh at that as I shake my head, "I doubt it."

"I'm sure he missed you too."

There's no need to ask who 'he' is, although the name brings a familiar pang to my heart which I absolutely detest. Why did he have to bring it up, I sulk to myself, even though I know that it was bound to happen sooner or later.

"I really doubt that." A smile spreads across my face, a smile which probably doesn't belong there, "I really, really doubt that."

"Huh," Otogi-kun doesn't bother to try to contradict me, which kinda surprises me since he usually tries to. In fact, one might even go so far as to label him an optimist, someone who refuses to have his good spirits put down. Personally, I think it doesn't fit his personality, as it is rather contradictory to the person he is. But I don't bother to question it, as that wouldn't get us anywhere. Anyhow, he abruptly switches the topic to something that makes me squirm like, as the Witch in The Little Mermaid stated, 'a worm on a hook', "Why'd you go to America?"

"Huh?" I blink at him, feeling utterly clueless, "What do you mean by that, Otogi-kun?"

"America… why there?" he fixes me with one of his looks, the ones I had escaped for eight years. It's actually refreshing to be under the same scrutiny again, although I cannot explain why for the life of me… I must be going insane again, but that's nothing new, "Why not some place sooner, where you could still get away from him? Why not Hokkaido, or Osaka? Why not Australia or China perhaps? America is so far away, and there was nothing there for you. So why did you go there?"

If it was anybody but Otogi-kun, I might have tried to tell him something about the environmental problems they're having there… which is true enough in its own way as it was one of the factors that influenced me to pack up my bags and leave. But it's not the main reason, and we both know that.

Although I was always pretty distant from Otogi-kun, even after the whole kidnapping incident [12], I sometimes can't help but wonder if out of Yuugi-tachi, he's the one who knows me best. Although I'm closer to Jyounouchi-kun and Yuugi-kun, it seems to me that Otogi-kun has figured out who I truly am. But that's the type of person he is; he harbors this amazing ability to understand people. A strategist, probably unconsciously looking for a way to use people, but it makes him much more perceptive than most people I know.

I don't know how to answer Otogi-kun, nor do I really want to. I think he knows that anyway, but he continues on.

Now if only he could control his mouth a bit more effectively.

"Why did you isolate yourself, Bakura-kun? Did you really think that would help?"

"Yes," I reply before I can stop myself. And much to my amazement, my mouth keeps moving on its own accord to explain why, "All of you reminded me of the past. The past reminded me of him. I know it sounds silly to keep obsessing over the same thing and allow it to dominate my life, but I just can't let go of it. No matter how hard I try to get rid of it, it keeps forcing its way back and I hate myself for letting it do that."

"But how could you think that isolation would be the answer? This is the type of thing you needed to let out, not keep within yourself. Didn't you ever think that perhaps that is why you never let go of it… because you never let it out? Immediately after graduation, you said good-bye as if nothing had happened and the next thing we knew, we were getting e-mails saying that you were in America and you weren't planning on coming back. It's not that America is far away, but what… or more correctly… who is there for you?"

Nobody. Absolutely nobody. Nobody except a ghost which has persisted in haunting me despite the precautions I have taken to keep just that from happening.

He's right. He's usually right, something I find incredibly annoying. But I'm not going to tell him that, especially since he already knows anyway.

Or if he doesn't know, that's okay too.

I wanted to be alone. Sometimes people just need to be alone so that they could sort out all these emotions. Why do people have to feel anyway? I think it's a big fat waste of time that causes nothing but feelings that I really didn't need in the first place. They say that happiness cannot come without sadness, and I really wish that such an assertion could be proven wrong.

Why is sadness necessary for happiness? Isn't that a contradiction of some sort?

There are so many contradictions in this world, and it's liable to drive anyone insane. Or sane, since sometimes I'm one of those people who believe that everyone on this planet is insane, considering all the illogical behavior we engage in.

The door opens, signaling Honda-kun's return. Otogi-kun gets up to help him, as I continue to sit there staring straight ahead at the fascinating wall.

Sometimes… sometimes, I can't help but wonder if he had known I would take it this way, would he still have done it? Would he have cared enough to keep from just… leaving?

On the good days, I get a 'maybe'. And on all the other days, it's always a resounding 'NO'. And I can only wonder why that is…

I smile as Honda-kun comes in, feeling like a china doll with a painted smile. And perhaps if I keep smiling like this long enough, I'll break and leave broken pieces for somebody else to clean up.

At least I wouldn't have to deal with this anymore if that happened.

Translations and Notes:

(PM: For those who have read "Fairydust", a lot of these notes might be familiar… ^^;; Gomen!)

[1] 7 stands for the number of days that Ryou-kun was supposed to be Seto's boyfriend in the initial deal; 13 stands for the number of days it took for them to officially get together

[2] 'Touzoku' is thief, 'ou' is king. Thus, 'touzoku ou' would be 'king of thieves' or 'thief king'. And yeah, Yami no Bakura does call himself that… he even calls himself 'Bakura-sama'… -_-;; (should we be worried about his sanity?)

[3] Reference to Akako and Kaitou Kid. Both are from the manga Magic Kaitou, but Kaitou Kid might be more familiar from volume 16 and 30 of Detective Conan.

[4] But…

[5] Reference to chapter 9 'Yami no Bakura , the Sugarplum Fairy' of "Fairydust".

[6] 'Yami' is darkness, 'no' is a possessive particle, and 'chikara' is power. Thus, 'dark power'.

[7] 'Mou' is other, 'hitori' is person, 'no' is a possessive particle, and 'boku' is a male way of saying 'I'. Thus, 'my other self'. It is possible to use other words in exchange of 'boku'. For example, if 'Yuugi' is exchanged with 'boku', it would translate to 'the other Yuugi', or if 'Bakura' was exchanged with 'boku', then it would mean 'the other Bakura'. Etc.

[8] DDD stands for Dragon Dice and Dungeons; otherwise known as DDM (Dungeon Dice Monsters) in the anime and dub.

[9] This was a picture I found… on-line. I don't know which episode this is in because I don't have it yet… when I get it, I'll be sure to inform you all of the wonderfulness of an episode where Ryuuji-kun is sleeping… *dissolves into happy puddle*

[10] Magic and Wizards is the name for Duel Monsters in the manga… it's the same thing, just different names. The nickname for Magic and Wizards is simply M&W.

[11] Yes. Quite formal.

[12] Reference to chapters 8-12 in "Fairydust".

PM *stares at the notes*: That was a $#!+load of notes…

Ryuuji *trying to strangle Ryou*: I am not a slut!

Ryou *hiding behind Yami*: You've been paired up with about half the cast!

Ryuuji: Is that my fault?!

*both look at PM, who just blinks at them innocently*

PM: ANYWHO, ignoring the two lovebirds over there *insert screams and yelps of indignation from the two*, I hope this first chapter was okay. It's just a start, and I've been so off-track… I apologize for that. Also, I know that this chapter might be a little bit confusing, but it all gets explained by chapter 3. I hope it's not too confusing, but if you have problems, feel free to e-mail me. ^_^

Ryou: Slut.

Ryuuji: *shoots him with a tranquilizer gun*

PM: Oh Kami-sama…

Request: Okay, I know this sounds pretty weird and I probably sound a bit like a prick, but I beg that you please do not ask me to update in reviews. The reason why I ask this is because… well, saying that really isn't going to affect anything. I'm updating this story every Sunday, par usual. And it sometimes irritates me when I have a review asking me to update faster, especially when I'm already struggling to get the chapters out on the scheduled time. ^^;; So once again, I ask that you don't ask me to update faster in reviews. I'm simply not capable. And on a second note, I like to update my profile on the progress of chapters, so if you check there, you can usually see how far along I am on chapters. I'll also be posting announcements there if I can't update on time, so if no new chapter shows up on Sunday, check my profile and the reasons for the delay will probably be there. Kay? ^_^