Title: Everyone Matters

Authoress: Wingleader Sora Jade

Catagory: fluff

Couple: Shizuka/Ryou

Rating: PG for being set in a graveyard

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO, and the song at the end is the second verse and chorus of Pat Benatar's "Somebody's Baby", which, if you think about it, fits Ryou to a "t".

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"What do you want to be dropped off at the graveyard for?" Jounouchi asked, frowning at his little sister in the rearview mirror. Shizuka smiled sheepishly and shrugged as she pushed open the door of her big brother's car. "It's a sort of habit now."

Jou frowned again, then shrugged. "If you say so. I'll be back in two hours, okay? I expect you to be waiting /outside/ that place."

Shizuka grinned and waved with the hand that wasn't carrying a bundle of daises. "I know, I know, because graveyards give you the creeps. I'll be waiting." Jou nodded and waved as he drove off, and Shizuka turned toward the cemetary, shivering slightly in the cool wind. She pulled her coat tighter around her and walked inside.

It had become a habit for her to come here once a month, and she'd put flowers at any children's graves she found. She just saw it so sad that their little lives had to be cut off so early. She wasn't exactly sure anymore how she'd started doing this, just that she did.

As she walked slowly past the various graves, wandering deeper and deeper, she idly read the names and dates. Finally, she came to the one she was seeking. It wasn't anyone she knew, but she'd "adopted" the little grave for reasons she wasn't entirely sure of. The little girl had only died when she was six. What had originally attracted Shizuka to the spot was the little girl's tomb stone, which was a beautiful carved statue of an angel, with her name and birth- and death-dates carved at the bottom. It was overgrown and weedy, and Shizuka had always speculated sadly that no one must come to see her.

She kneeled down and brushed some of the late autumn leaves away from the statue, running her fingers over the name. "I wonder who she was..."

"She was the sweetest girl you could ever meet." said a voice behind her. Shizuka gasped and fell over onto her butt in the wet leaves, dropping the bundle of flowers she'd come to leave at the grave. The man laughed and kneeled down next to her, picking up her flowers. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you."

He had long white hair bound back into a pony-tail, but he couldn't have been any older then her brother Jou. He was dressed in jeans and a dark blue turtleneck, with a black leather coat over top. A blue and white scarf was wound around his neck, and he was wearing black leather gloves. When he moved, he made a clinking sound, as if he had change in his pockets, or was wearing a lot of jeweralry.

Shizuka frowned slightly in thought. "I've seen you before, haven't I?"

The young man nodded. "Hai, I'm a friend of Yugi's. You're Jounouchi-san's little sister, right?"

"Hai," she said. "Jounouchi Shizuka. I'm sorry, but I don't remember your name, or where I've seen you before. Connecting you with Yugi-tachi sounds vaguely familiar, but..."

"Does the Battle Ship tournament from four years ago ring any bells?" the man asked kindly. "I dueled there. Boku wa Bakura Ryou."

"Ah, that's it. It's a pleasure to meet you Bakura-san."

Ryou made a face. "Ano, please, I'm barely older then you are. Just Ryou."

Shizuka smiled. "All right then, Ryou-kun. You said you knew this girl?"

Ryou chuckled, his face sad. "Hai, I did."

"Oh!" Shizuka looked back at the gravestone. "I should have guessed! She even shares your name."

"Bakura Amane..." Ryou sighed. "I miss her a lot. She was my little sister," he added, catching Shizuka's unasked question. "That was back... Oh a long time ago. It doesn't matter."

"Of course it does." Shizuka said, shifting possitions so that her tingling feet could get some bloodflow. "Everyone matters."

Ryou looked sad, and he moved his hand as if to brush against his chest. "Not me."

"Not you?" Shizuka blinked. "Who would dare tell you that you don't matter?"

Ryou paused for an instant, then laughed bitterly. "Take your pick! My father, the school bullies, my supposed "friends", mou hirtori no-" he stopped. "Why would *I* matter?"

"Yugi-tachi and onii-san said you didn't matter?" Shizuka asked, shocked.

Ryou shook his head hurridly. "Iie, iie, not them. Some of my other friends, at my old school." He sighed deeply, as if remembering something unpleasent, and before Shizuka could say anything he continued. "Now you, on the other hand, could make a big difference in the world. If Jounouchi-san's to be believed, and I'm sure he is, you're going to become a writer someday, no?"

"Hai," Shizuka said, blushing slightly as she looked down at the ground and traced little swirls in the dirt with her fingertip. "I'm not very good though."

"Don't give up," Ryou told her, catching her hand in his. "You'll get better. Not like me..." His eyes took on a far-away look again. "I gave up my dreams a long time ago..."

"Why?" Shizuka asked, trying to ignore the way that his hand holding hers was making her heart jump. "No one should give up their dreams. If you follow your heart, it'll all turn out right in the end."

"You've been listening to Anzu-san too long." Ryou said dryly, not looking at her. "No, my dreams are all dead. Burried with imouto-chan and okaasan..." He gestured sadly at the grave.

Shizuka didn't know what to say. She shifted possitions again to releive the tingling in her feet, and with a startled gasp her feet slipped on the leaves and she lost her balance. Ryou caught her, but that threw him off balance as well and sent both of them tumbling into the leaves. Shizuka began to giggle, and Ryou chuckled slightly. "See? I can't even keep you from getting all muddy."

"No," Shizuka agreed, suddenly serious again. "But you made me laugh just now. That's the best gift that anyone can give, no matter what your father says."

Ryou said nothing, he just looked at her with a funny smile on his face that made Shizuka blush. "R-Ryou-kun?" He started to say something, but at that minute a horn honked insistantly from somewhere nearby, startling Shizuka to her feet. "Oh! That's onii-san!" She started to go, but then turned back for a second. "See you again?"

"I'm sure of it."

Shizuka flashed him a dazzling smile and a victory sign before running toward the entrance and where Jou was waiting impatiently, leaving Ryou laying among the leaves. Smiling bitterly, Ryou softly hummed a song that he'd known for a long, long time.

...He used to be somebody's baby.

Someone used to hold him close, and rock him gently.

He used to be the light in someone's eyes

He used to matter, he used to matter.

That was then, that was so long ago.

Long before, they came and took his soul.

Long before, he became invicible.

That was when, he wasn't human garbage then....

//Why hikari-baka, is that love I sense?//

/....Of course not, mou hitori no boku, of course not.../

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God bless minna-san!