Disclaimer: Yu-gi-oh! belongs to Takahashi Kazuki. I'm just borrowing them to be tortured…. *innocent grin*

Masquerade ~ After being dragged to the school dance as a 'chaperone' for Yuugi and Anzu, Honda ends up on the dance floor with Ryuuji due to rather unforeseen circumstances. Honda&Ryuuji

This story was unhappily inspired by PAS's (pinkangelsakura) annoying adoration for cross-dressing manga. So instead of attempting to ignore the temptations (PAS argues that I would have written this story eventually since Ryuuji looks like a girl, but who listens to her in the first place? :p), I decided to just give in and write it for the Otogi Ryuuji contest that Kitzaku-san is holding… which will probably end up being a mistake that will traumatize the world. -_-;;

Ths full list of couplings in this story are Honda/Ryuuji, Yuugi/Anzu, Seto/Ryou, and Jyounouchi/Mai. ^_^;;

Many thanks to Nalan-san for her help in beta-reading, and Ninetails-chan for actually inspiring me to continue just by showing interest. *huggles both*

Honda Hiroto found himself, for the millionth time, trying to hold an intelligent conversation with an inanimate object (namely the wall) in a desperate attempt to keep all his brain cells from dissolving and leaking out of his ears. He should have, in a way, expected something like this to happen, but it was already too late to be having these types of second thoughts when he was already trapped at the party.

What had happened was that Yuugi and Anzu, in an attempt to throw off certain parents and grandparents from knowing their little extracurricular activities, had desperately asked Honda to accompany them to the school dance as a chaperone. He had, after all, been the only one available; Jyounouchi was conveniently going on a date with Mai on that particular evening while Ryou was equally conveniently spending the night at Seto's place. The only person left had been Ryuuji, but the raven-haired teen had ended up giving some vague, half-baked excuse about being busy. Honda figured that Ryuuji had just said that in order to get out of doing what he currently was… which was essentially getting bored out of his mind… and he wondered why he hadn't been intelligent enough to do the same thing.

Because you're not intelligent? the wall sniped, causing him to glare at it in annoyance. For something that didn't have any brains whatsoever, it certainly was being a bit arrogant.

Not to imply that the wall didn't have a point.

As soon as the three had reached the school dance, Yuugi and Anzu had miraculously disappeared in the span of two seconds flat. Honda barely had time to blink before he found himself lacking in a certain starry-eyed coupling and thus suspiciously alone to amuse himself for the next two mind-boggling hours. Most likely the two had been whisked away by a magic wind to a school closet so that they could make out as they pleased, but such knowledge did nothing to improve Honda's dark mood.

This dark mood had shown itself in the past twenty minutes, which was how long it had taken for Honda to resign himself to his fate. He had, at first, gone around trying to find Yuugi and Anzu in a desperate attempt to prove to himself that the two hadn't really abandoned him, but were merely searching for a bathroom. And then, upon realizing that the two really were gone, Honda had tried to find a way to escape the blaring music and sickly colored lights.

Unfortunately, Honda had completely forgotten that whoever set up the school dances was very paranoid, resulting in a locking of all the doors so that none of the students could escape. He never could figure out why this was done, and had spent a good fifteen minutes telling the doors just that. The doors had been strangely unresponsive, and after being given some rather strange looks, Honda finally dragged himself to a dark corner where he would glower at any person approaching him.

Aren't you a spoilsport? the wall teased mercilessly, causing Honda to raise an eyebrow. Now it might just be him, but he was pretty sure that walls were not supposed to tease. After all, what did the wall know? It didn't exactly have any purpose in life except to just stand there, and that wasn't very impressive.

"So?" he snapped, causing some girls to give him an odd look before immediately shuffling off to create some distance between themselves and the apparent madman. Which he was, obviously, since most normal people didn't spend their time talking to walls and actually getting replies.

Sighing, Honda took a long swallow from the cup of watered down punch that the school served in an attempt to save money. His mind was currently busily engaged in a variety of activities, ranging from the possibility of escape through the small window in the bathroom to how much hell he was going to put Yuugi and Anzu through when he found them. Telling their respective guardians was going to be the very least of their problems when he got through with them, mark his words!

Why don't you go have fun?

It was official. He was pathetic. Even the wall was trying to get rid of him, and he glared at it angrily. What right did the wall have to chase him off? He could stand here like a block of wood if he wanted to, and he could sulk until the end of time if it pleased him. He had the right to do that now, since he was there against his will.

"No," he grumbled moodily as he resisted the urge to crush the flimsy paper cup in his fist. The only thing that stopped him was the knowledge that nobody would find such a feat of strength very impressive. In addition, if Ryou should find out that he had wasted a single paper cup, he would be getting a ten-minute lecture about conservation and the need to reduce the use of valuable resources (like the before-mentioned paper cup) in order to help save the environment.

Honda had no idea how Kaiba managed to put up with Ryou. Ryou was a really nice person and all… but he could get really freaky about things like hugging trees.

At least go get another drink, the wall begged.

Begged.

The wall didn't want him talking to it anymore. End of story. It wanted Honda to be far away, preferably bugging the punch bowl or table. Anything except it. Just because it was an inanimate object didn't mean that it could stand listening to such griping and whining for any longer than most people with short tempers could.

Fine. He didn't want to be near the wall either anyway.

It was a bad conversationalist.

~ * ~

Otogi Ryuuji resisted the urge to start banging his head against the wall.

Luckily for the wall, Ryuuji managed to resist this urge, although he couldn't stop himself from kicking it once or twice with the pointy, high-heeled shoes that he was currently wearing. Such action chose to be a rather nasty mistake since he was unused to said pointy, high-heeled shoes and thus found himself stumbling shortly after kicking the wall. This immediately led to a variety of unusually helpful young men who wanted to help the pretty girl stay on her feet.

Girl.

Girl.

Ryuuji wanted to scream, cry, throw a tantrum, or at the very, very least hunt Jyounouchi down and strangle the living breath out of him. After all, if it wasn't for that idiot blonde, Ryuuji wouldn't have been in this mess right now.

Never mind the fact that if Ryuuji hadn't lost his duel with Jyounouchi, none of this would have happened. Unfortunately, when Jyounouchi had first challenged Ryuuji to what he had called a 'friendly' duel, the game inventor had been stupid enough to accept under the belief that the blonde still wasn't as good as him. He had failed to completely realize and accept that the last time they had dueled, Jyounouchi had been blinded by overconfidence and a desperate need to impress the rather annoying fangirls.

And, of course, when Ryuuji had lost, Jyounouchi had been almost gleeful in reminding him of the bet the two had made.

Avoiding a hand reaching out to grab his wrist, Ryuuji glared at the other teen while resisting the urge to kick him in the groin. Mai had been a little bit too eager to help out in the beautification process, and with Jyounouchi's help had somehow managed to completely destroy the remnants of Ryuuji's dignity.

Much to his dismay, both Jyounouchi and Mai had been relatively amused by the fact that he already-shaved-like-a-girl-regularly (damn Jyounouchi for wording it that way!), although Mai had at least tried to cover it up by saying that it made their job easier. From there, essentially all of his personal trademarks had been stripped away. The red and black hair band and ponytail had been removed, allowing his meticulously kept hair to fall down his back and his bangs to fall over his face. Ryuuji personally had wanted to leave it that way, but Mai had brushed his hair back, holding it there with a gaudy butterfly clip (neither Jyounouchi or Ryuuji had any idea of where she had gotten it). His usual makeup had also been cast aside in favor of anything that could bring out his more feminine side.

Thus, one skimpy red dress, black hell-possessed high heels, dice-lacking earrings (one in each ear), and a padded bra later, there was a very attractive and very pissed off girl standing in the place of the inventor of Dungeon Dice Monsters.

And of course, Jyounouchi wasn't satisfied with just dressing him up as a woman. Nooo, he had to go for complete and utter humiliation by dragging a literally kicking and screaming Ryuuji to the school dance, dumping him at the door and refusing to budge until the angry teen had gone in. Under normal circumstances, this would have been the point where he made a break for it and fled for his life… but due to a combination of neck-breaking high heels and Mai's equally dangerous driving, he could only flip both of them off before stalking into the dimly lit school.

Nobody, absolutely nobody knew why these dances were held. Few people went and those few people usually left feeling cheated out of the seven hundred yen they actually paid to get in. But at that particular moment, Ryuuji didn't much care because it meant less people were going to be there. And with less people, that meant a lesser chance of actually being recognized and consequently having his reputation completely destroyed.

Forcing his way through the throngs of perverted boys (was it just him or did they multiply?), Ryuuji somehow managed to make a path to the refreshment table with all his clothes intact. Once there, he grabbed a cup without looking, and almost immediately his hand crashed into someone else's hand, knocking the cup and its contents onto his hands.

"Kuso! [1]" Ryuuji practically shrieked, completely forgetting to use his 'girly' voice. Luckily for him though, the bumbling asshole who had caused his mess was far too engrossed in apologizing profusely as he clumsily wiped the sticky liquid off with a napkin. His emerald-green eyes widened as he recognized the idiot's voice and very distinctive hair. Somehow he managed to keep himself from yelping and jerking his hand back, but that was probably due more to the fact that he was frozen in fear than any actual self-control on his behalf.

"Go… gomen nasai [2]!" Honda apologized for the millionth time. The hand he was holding was rather dark and oddly familiar but he ignored that as he continued to try and get the juice off. "I'm really sorry… I seriously didn't mean to…."

He looked up into petrified green eyes and his mind immediately stopped working as he could only stare.

"You… you…."

By this point, Ryuuji was trying to back away, but Honda's grip on the warm hand prevented him from doing so. Honda, however, was too engrossed in his staring to notice the escape attempts.

Finally, after a long silence, Honda hissed, "Please tell me you have a twin brother named Ryuuji."

There was a silence as Ryuuji flushed a bright red before snapping, "Of course it's me, bakayarou! [3]"

"What the hell do you think you're doing?!" Honda yelled before he could stop himself.

"Shut up, shut up! I'll tell you what's going on, damn it! Just don't broadcast it to the entire frigging school!" Ryuuji snapped… quietly, of course, even as he winced inwardly. Great. Now he had more or less publicized to the brunette that this was a very good blackmailing opportunity. And considering their less than sparkling relationship, especially with their fights over Shizuka (who he wasn't even that interested in… damn those rampant hormones!), he had no doubt that Honda was going to take full advantage of this occasion.

A sudden loud blast of music caused the two to wince, and before he could fully recover, Ryuuji found himself being dragged onto the dance floor. He opened his mouth to protest (or perhaps shriek rape… which ever one would get him out of this mess the quickest), but a warning smirk from Honda forced him to shut his mouth.

"You can explain while we dance."

"Why?" Ryuuji replied rather bitterly, although he managed to keep himself from slapping Honda in the face, no matter how tempted he was.

"Because."

"Because?" he echoed skeptically, a vein throbbing on his forehead. Since when did Honda became so… so vague and so annoying?

Honda didn't bother to reply, instead taking Ryuuji's free hand and forcing him to stumble closer as a slow song started. Ryuuji followed, grudgingly. And ignored the fact that the brunette gave off a very comfortable warmth that practically made him want to purr in satisfaction.

"So you're gong to explain yourself or what?"

The raven-haired teen winced as Honda stepped on his foot. He couldn't be sure whose fault that was, but he decided to ignore any possibility of clumsiness on his behalf by answering the question.

"I lost a bet to Jyounouchi-kun," he mumbled, barely audible.

There was a moment of silence as Honda took the time to fully process what had just been said before letting out a roar of laughter. His glee at Ryuuji's embarrassment was short lived, however, when the shorter teen expertly slammed the heel of his shoe into Honda's foot.

"Are you trying to rub it in?" Ryuuji snarled as he dug his heel in further.

Honda grunted in pain, "You're pushing your luck, aren't you?"

Ryuuji's face darkened angrily even as he removed his foot, allowing the dance to progress. They moved with the music for a while without ever speaking, and Honda stared at the wall while he wondered why he had been foolish enough to ask his… companion to dance, especially when a slow song was playing.

How should I know what is going on in your screwed up mind?

It appeared that the wall was still more than in a bit of a sulk, and its mood had definitely not improved since the last inspirational conversation that the two had had.

At least he's attractive.

Honda had no idea who had muttered that decidedly disturbing statement, whether it was the wall or himself. But he couldn't really deny its validity either. Ryuuji really did make a prettier girl than he had any right to be, and such knowledge disturbed him greatly.

Of course, Ryuuji was quite pretty regardless of what gender he was trying to be at any given moment, and….

… and he had totally not meant to say that Ryuuji was pretty.

Pretty.

No, no, no, no. Pretty was not a word to be associated with the decidedly gorgeous young wo… man! Man, man, man! Oh Kami-sama, what was happening to him?!

His mind darted from place to place before finally settling on who to blame.

Jyounouchi.

He made a quick mental note to strangle the blonde the next time he saw him… which was going to be a lot sooner than that idiot wanted. Jyounouchi knew that Honda was confused about his sexuality… knew that Honda had found Ryuuji to be a little too attractive for an arrogant, pricky-ass pain in the neck!

It was official. This was all Jyounouchi's fault and the blonde was to die a very slow, painful death for his mistake.

He cursed silently and tore his glance off the wall to look at Ryuuji, who was currently engrossed in staring at the floor. He had good reason to, of course, as he needed to focus on where he was stepping so as not to get his foot squashed any further. Unable to look at the pretty (no! NO! Not pretty!), Honda's eyes were forced to slide down the finely curved neck and towards the shoulders….

The shoulders.

Did Honda ever mention how nice Ryuuji's shoulders were? Honda had, after all, spent a great deal of time getting to know those said shoulders when he had been trapped in the body of a monkey robot. It would have taken something extremely good looking to tear him away from Shizuka's soft-as-candy-floss [4]… probably best not to continue that train of thought.

But the point of the matter was that Ryuuji's shoulders had to be really nice to get Honda off his fuzzy ass and into the arms (or shoulder) of someone else.

Not that Ryuuji was only about looks, of course. If one was able to look past the fact that the game inventor had dressed up his friend in a dog suit, Ryuuji happened to be an interesting person. His mind worked quickly and he was capable of being very entertaining (whether or not he actually meant to be).

It was just… just that there was this flair, this spark about him that was so fascinating.

Honda couldn't keep his eyes off of him.

The problem was that he really wanted to.

Look up. It could be worse.

"How?" he muttered before he could stop himself.

"What?" Ryuuji questioned, green eyes startled as he looked at Honda in confusion.

He couldn't help but curse his stupidity as he searched for something suitable to say, "I… iya. It's nothing."

"Nothing," Ryuuji repeated flatly. "Do you honestly expect me to believe that."

"I don't see why not," Honda shot back, his temper flaring. He had no idea why he suddenly felt so annoyed, but at that particular moment he didn't exactly care anymore.

"Well, not everyone can be as stupid as you want them to be," Ryuuji gritted out as he wrenched his hands away, shoving Honda back angrily.

"No, you were just stupid enough to lose a bet to Jyounouchi," Honda shot back before he even knew what he was saying or what he was doing.

If one was to ask him later, Ryuuji still would not have been able to explain why he felt so… so hurt by what Honda had said. Here he was, trapped in a dress and make-up in the middle of the dance floor with Honda… and even though he had fully expected something like this to happen, it still hurt. Almost as if he had wanted something more but now had no chance of ever getting it.

Before anyone could say anything, before those words could be taken back and apologies made… Ryuuji turned and stalked away.

~ * ~

"Ai, ai… Honda no baka na…. [5]"

"What's happening?" Jyounouchi questioned, his voice faint over the cell phone.

"Honda-kun just said something to make Otogi-kun walk off."

"Maybe they don't like each other as much as we thought they did," Ryou pointed out rather sadly, causing everyone else to sigh.

"Or maybe Otogi just isn't compatible with anyone."

"Seto!"

Ryou's startled admonishment was cut off sharply, and Yuugi winced as his imagination went into hyper drive. He was, luckily, momentarily distracted by Anzu's somewhat optimistic, "Well, it could have been worse."

"How?"

"He didn't punch him."

"Ne… what's happening now, Anzu-chan?" Mai's cheerful voice asked, her voice overcoming the sound of muffled sulking, as she had pushed Jyounouchi away in order to use the phone. "I did a good job getting him dressed, didn't I?"

"I think all the guys would agree with you, Mai-san," Anzu sweatdropped as a rather handsome upperclassman confronted the extremely pissed-off Ryuuji. Quicker than one could even think 'uh oh', Ryuuji had twisted the hand that had tried to grab his wrist and kneed the older teen in the groin, causing the poor guy to fall to the ground whimpering. Ryuuji, on the other hand, stood there watching him coolly for a moment before stepping over the spectacular mess he had just created.

"Maybe Kaiba-kun has a point…." Yuugi muttered, careful to keep the mouthpiece covered as he said that so as not to give the brunette any chance to gloat.

"I suppose… wait. Is that Honda trying to follow him?"

~ * ~

By the time Honda had reached the door, the hallway was empty and no one as to be seen… whether that be male, female, or a combination of both. He frowned, no longer sure at who his anger was directed towards, and began a slow but systematic search for where Ryuuji might have gone.

He reached a bit of a roadblock when it came to the bathrooms, however. Mainly because he had absolutely no idea which one Ryuuji would have used.

This should so not be happening.

The brunette glared warily at the two doors as he tried to force his tired mind to think. Unfortunately, his mind wasn't in a very cooperative mood, and it refused to give anything more than a 'Well, this is your fault anyway'.

Which was, of course, not exactly the most helpful thing in the world.

Finally, Honda decided to play it safe and try the men's room first. After all, if he was wrong, nobody would scream at him about being a pervert. And if he wasn't wrong… well, his life would be a lot easier than, wouldn't it?

Taking in a deep breath and preparing himself, he entered the bathroom right when his mind asked what exactly was he going to say to placate the raven-haired teen. He had just run him off, and if he expected Ryuuji to come back that easily… well, he was probably going to have another thing coming, knowing Ryuuji.

Ryuuji… Ryuuji was confusing to say the least. Not only as a person but because of the reactions he inspired from the brunette… everything seemed to be so contradictory. He didn't quite understand it, but he knew enough to realize that the only way he would be able to figure everything out was if he confronted Honda directly.

The only problem with that plan was that he highly doubted Ryuuji would be very receptive to being confronted by anybody, Honda especially.

A part of him wanted to just let it go, telling the rest of him that Ryuuji would eventually calm down and then the two could talk about it like… two reasonable young men. But he didn't want to listen to that pragmatic part of him because he couldn't help but feel guilty for what happened. Ryuuji had left because of him, and it was his responsibility to at least try to make up for what happened. It was only right, and besides… Ryuuji deserved at least that, didn't he?

One of the stalls was occupied, and Honda took in another deep breath as he steered himself for what to say. He didn't want to sound sappy, but he had to sound truthful. Otherwise, what was the point of doing all of this?

"Ano… [6] Otogi… I didn't really mean to say it that way. I mean… it just kind of slipped out. I don't really think you're stupid because you're not, and you shouldn't think that I meant it because I didn't."

He was blabbering. There was absolutely no doubt about that, but once he had started he had to keep going. Nothing short of World War III was going to stop him.

"And… um… I'm sorry for what I said, you know? I really shouldn't have said any of that, but I couldn't help it. And… I guess I just wanted to let you know that. That I didn't really mean it. But I mean all of this stuff now, of course! So I'm not just kidding or something and…" his voice trailed off as he leaned against the stall door. "You're a nice guy, really. You're not as big an asshole as Kaiba at least, but tonight just got confusing. I mean, under the right circumstances, we might be able to…."

The door opened and before Honda could blink, he found himself crashing into the person who had opened it.

The only problem was that the person was not Ryuuji. In fact, that person just happened to be the poor victim who Ryuuji had so mercilessly injured when exiting the gymnasium.

There was a long silence as the two could only stare at each other before Honda quickly untangled himself, laughing nervously. "Ah… well… I think I'll be going now."

He darted out of the bathroom before anything more could be said, slamming the door behind him and breathing out a huge sigh of relief once he reached the relative safety of the hallway. Gah, that had been so embarrassing! He had just spilled out his guts to some guy he didn't even know, and now Ryuuji probably really was in the girl's bathroom, and he couldn't exactly go barging in there… could he?

You said you weren't kidding, the little voice in his head pointed out snidely, and he wished that he could just reach into his mind and choke it. The voice ignored those silent threats as it continued arrogantly, Maybe it's time you acted upon what you said, hmm?

He would have told himself to shut up, if it wasn't for the fact that he already knew that what had just been said was completely correct.

And thus, for the third time that night, Honda found himself taking in a deep breath before entering the bathroom, praying desperately that this time, Ryuuji would be there rather than a stranger. There were, after all, only so many times before one completely his mind.

~ * ~

The bathroom was silent except for the sound of running water, and a quick glance showed that Ryuuji was the one standing over the sink. The raven-haired teen was muttering inaudibly as he ran his hands under the cold water before leaning down in order to scrub his face vigorously. The water turned to a milky brown as all the make-up which had been caked onto his face by Mai was washed off.

Honda waited until Ryuuji was finished before approaching, careful to walk slowly so as not to startle Ryuuji into throwing something at him. Not that Ryuuji really had anything to throw this time, as he had been carefully stripped of all small cube-ish objects by a very careful blonde couple. Upon seeing him, Ryuuji froze and didn't bother to turn around when Honda laid a hand on his shoulder, instead choosing to watch him via the mirror the two were facing.

Without the make-up, Ryuuji looked… well, he looked more like Otogi Ryuuji in a dress, rather than a girl who looked suspiciously like Otogi Ryuuji. It made the entire thing more interesting, as Honda had never seen the real Ryuuji with his hair down and without the heavy eyeliner, and he finally realized that the reason for the black line on his face was the light line scarring his left cheek.

"What happened?"

The question was unnecessary. Ryuuji, of course, had noticed Honda staring at his cheek. Again, without bothering to turn to acknowledge his presence, Ryuuji went back to washing his hands as he explained in a distracted tone, "My father. He was usually careful to make sure nothing showed up, but he was too mad to notice that time."

"Your father?" This was the first time Honda had ever heard anything of Ryuuji's father… or family in general. The raven-haired teen had never really talked about those types of things, always careful to avoid the topic when it came up or at least become conspicuously deaf should anyone question him directly.

"Aa [7]," was the short reply.

The sound of running water stopped abruptly and Ryuuji turned to look at him, "You're in the girl's bathroom, you know."

Honda shrugged, putting his hands in his jacket pockets, "You're not exactly a girl."

"Technically I am for the rest of the night."

"Is that why you washed off your make-up? I thought you didn't want anyone to know who you are."

"It's a little too late to be thinking of that, isn't it? And what about you? Do you want the entire school to know that you constantly stalk the girl's room and be branded as a pervert for the rest of your days?"

"I came here to apologize."

A delicate eyebrow lifted as Ryuuji crossed his arms and gave Honda a look, "Apologize?"

"Yeah. Look… I didn't mean any of that, and I…."

"Tousan [8]."

"What?"

Darkened green eyes bored into his brown eyes as Ryuuji repeated flatly, "Tousan. He always told me that after he hit me. He'd say that he didn't mean it, and then he'd ask if it hurt. And I'd always tell him no because there wasn't exactly any point in saying otherwise."

"Where is he now?"

A careless shrug. "Don't know. He left. I moved. When I went to go see Pegasus, he gave me enough money to set up the game shop. And then when the contract came later… I didn't need to worry about that anymore."

But what if he comes back? Honda couldn't help but think, although me managed to keep his thoughts to himself this time around. There was really no point in worrying Ryuuji further, but it was also pretty apparent that Ryuuji was thinking the same exact same thing as he was.

"So is that why you came to Domino?"

"I came because of Yuugi-kun, remember?"

How could he have forgotten? Not only had he gotten to see Jyounouchi completely humiliated, but the entire world had seen it as well. Of course, the publicity lashed out both ways, and the world had seen the creator of DDM beaten at his own game by an amateur. Although that wasn't completely fair, since Yami no Yuugi was… well, Yami no Yuugi. You just couldn't beat that guy unless you cheated or drove him insane.

But that wasn't exactly the point. And in a way, he couldn't help but feel like his question had not been answered in the most satisfactory of ways.

"No… I mean, why did you come back to Domino rather than stay in America? [9]" Honda finally clarified. He expected, simply put, an odd look and a patronizing sigh… but instead, Ryuuji just shrugged as he played almost nervously with a strand of that long, raven-black hair.

"Domino… Domino was the first place where somebody actually cared enough to humiliate me like this," the game inventor finally mumbled as he looked up at Honda, his neck oddly tilted as he searched for some type of reaction on the brunette's face.

It had never occurred to Honda that Ryuuji could be… well, lonely. It didn't really seem like it was possible for him; his personality was just way too out-going to even have him entertaining that notion. But here, looking at him and seeing him in a completely different light… Honda was starting to fill in the holes of a puzzle that he had been trying to figure out ever since the two had met. Stripped of all the stereotypes and presumptions that Honda had made to describe him, Ryuuji was finally being shown as who he really was.

The final puzzle piece seemed to just be clicking in when he found himself leaning forward and sweeping Ryuuji into a gentle, rather hesitant kiss.

It was not as romantic as he could have wished for it to be. After all, just look at the situation. They were two guys (one of which was in a dress!) making out in the girl's bathroom, and he had completely caught Ryuuji off-balance, causing the other teen to stumble on those blasted high-heels and nearly fall over on top of Honda. Luckily, Honda somehow managed to stay on his feet, and it wasn't long before the two were going at it.

Again, the wall sighed.

~ * ~

"Where did they go?"

"Do you think they went to the bathroom?"

"Maybe, but which one would they go into?"

"Yuugi! The door's opening!"

"Quick! Into that classroom!"

The two makeshift spies practically stumbled across each other in order to get into the classroom, but the loud crash as they fell on top of each other and slamming of the door was much too loud to miss. Before either of them could get into a more reasonable position, the door banged open as they found two sets of eyes glaring down at them rather furiously.

"Uh… hello?" Yuugi smiled weakly from beneath Anzu's chest.

"Hello," Honda repeated flatly as he glared at the two, his eyebrow twitching. The… the audacity of the two to drag him to the dance in the first place and then ditch him to mind-numbing boredom! Granted, if they hadn't, he never would have met up with Ryuuji – never would have kissed him – but that wasn't the point!

"What are you two doing?" Ryuuji's voice was even more dangerous as he too participated in the 'trying to burn holes into flesh' exercise that Honda had begun. Anzu laughed nervously but her laughter was sharply cut off by the sound of a certain brown-haired billionaire laughing his head off at their humiliation.

"Seto!"

The laughter did not diminish, despite Ryou's pleas to do so.

Suddenly, Ryuuji's face was completely deprived of all emotion as he walked over to the cell phone that Anzu had dropped. Seto was still laughing, and Anzu and Yuugi had rather hopeless looks on their faces as they looked back and forth between Honda and Ryuuji.

Then, without saying anything, Ryuuji lifted up his foot and skillfully slammed the heel of his shoe (or more correctly, Mai's shoe) into the cell phone, relishing the few seconds afterwards to grind the poor machine into little pieces of scrap metal. Anzu could only stare at the remnants of her cell phone in shock.

Upon completion, Ryuuji straightened, walked over to Honda, grabbed him by the elbow, and dragged him out of the classroom. Neither Yuugi or Anzu could start breathing until the door slammed, finally releasing them from the semi-paralytic state the two had been in.

"My… cell phone," Anzu whimpered numbly.

Yuugi couldn't help but feel guilty over what had happened. After all, he was the one who had come up with the idea (cross-dressing not included), and this was the second time Anzu's cell phone had been smashed due to a Yuugi-related incident. Quietly, he hugged Anzu.

"Don't worry… I'll buy you another one," he promised rather pathetically.

Anzu blinked.

"How? Didn't ji-san [10] say that you couldn't have anymore money after you bought me a new one last time?"

Yuugi sweatdropped before stammering, "Uh… I have my ways. I'm sure I'll be able to figure something out!"

No, you will not, Yami no Yuugi muttered sardonically.

Please, mou hitori no boku? [11] It's just one competition… just enough to win the prize money in a small competition so we can buy a replacement for….

No! I am not one of those walls that you press and get money from! How do those things work anyway? The wall doesn't make money, does it?

"Yuugi?"

Does it, aibou? the ancient spirit prodded.

No it doesn't, Yuugi sighed before turning back to Anzu. "What is it?"

"Are you okay?"

He smiled and nodded as he stuck his hands in the pockets of his jacket, "Yeah… although I'm really sorry about your cell phone and…." His voice trailed off as he blinked and suddenly remembered what he had so quickly hidden in his pockets while they had been fleeing from the wrath of the Otogi-Monster.

A small, technologically in advanced, disposal camera.

It was at that point that Yuugi really began to smile… and not just an apologetic smile, but a full it's-time-for-blackmailing smile that completely caught Anzu off-guard.

"Ne, Anzu… I'm sure we can buy you a new cell phone once we sell off these pictures…."

Commentary:

[1] Kuso ~ Sh*t!

[2] Gomen nasai ~ I'm very sorry (very polite).

[3] Bakayarou ~ Bas*ard!

[4] A reference to the episode where Honda 'dies' in order to save Shizuka during the Noah arc, and gets his body stolen by Big 5. For the remainder of the arc, he is stuck in the body of a monkey robot. The part about the candy floss comes from the perverted teenage thoughts of Honda.

[5] Baka ~ Idiot.

[6] Ano ~ Err.

[7] Aa ~ Yes. Pretty informal.

[8] Tousan ~ father. It's basically 'otousan', but Ryuuji says it without the 'o'.

[9] After Battle City, Ryuuji went to America in order to promote his game.

[10] Ji-san (jiisan) ~ A shorter version of oji-san meaning grandfather, and it can also be used to refer to an older man.

[11] Mou hitori no boku ~ the other me.

Reflections:

In a way, I can't help but think this story sucks. But even then, I still love it. Why? Because it's the first fic in a while that I really, truly enjoyed writing. I've been in a bit of a rut lately, and this story really helped bring me out of it. I don't know why it had to be this fic… but I frankly don't care. I'm happy. And that's it. I will now shut up. *grin*

*bows* Thanks for reading.

Pikachumaniac

November 7, 2003