The Caged Rose

Disclaimer: I'd like to say I own YGO, but then I'd get sued -___-;;

Pairings: Malik/Ryou, some others on the side.

Warnings/Other: Yaoi, Yuri, angst, school-fic, completely ignores story line...

Summary: Ryou is a depressed yet caring loner who just wants some love. Malik is a popular, 'egotistical' honours student. Malik has a secret crush on Ryou, whose trust is literally impossible to gain. The rest is up to fate when they bump into eachother in the halls. YAOI, YURI.

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He sighed.

He hated school.

It wasn't because the hours were too long, or because the classes were too hard. It wasn't because he had to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to school on time, nor was it because the school colours bothered him. It also wasn't due to the fact that he wasn't in the 'in' crowd, because he hated them and they hated him.

It was because he was the perfect example of a reluctant loner, and no one even cared.

People just didn't seem to like him, no matter how hard he tried to befriend them. One time, he had simply been sitting in the main hallway against his locker before school started, reading over some of his science notes. He had dared to glance up for a few seconds, and during those few seconds, he came in direct eye contact with a pair of stormy grey eyes. The other student glared at him as if he was the lowliest piece of dirt to ever tarnish the earth's surface. He hadn't even known this other boy, but apparently it was another person to add to his "People Who Hate Me and Want Me To Die" list that he kept tucked safely underneath his pillow.

Returning his thoughts to the present, he paid attention to the lesson for a moment or two, just to see what it was on. Ha, like he cared about the birth-life-death circle of the dung beetle, or whatever random insect it was the teacher was yammering about. Tuning the teacher and the classmates on the other side of the room, away from his sheltered corner out, he flipped to a clean sheet of paper and began sketching someone's face.

The sound of his name cutting through the classroom chatter reached his distant ears, and he blinked, looking up. A question was repeated, and because he didn't know the answer, he simply shrugged and redirected his attention at his artwork. Snickers from his classmates reached his ears, but he didn't care. He didn't care about anything. After what seemed like ages, the bell signifying the end of fourth period rang, releasing him from the hell known as class.

.

Trudging a lonely path to the lunch line, he fingered a free-lunch ticket in his pocket to distract himself. He had never been blessed with 'friends' as others called them, so he always had to find other ways of keeping himself from thinking. Thinking wasn't good. Not for him. Not at school.

After picking up his lunch (a package of nachos and small carton of milk), he dropped his ticket in the metal tin, and didn't even bother saying his routine 'hello' to the man standing in the doorway.

He passed many groups of people on his path towards the back of the boys' gym. One boy inparticular caught his attention, and he instantly narrowed his eyes in contempt. The blonde who had been so noticeable had glittering amethyst eyes as he laughed and hung on to the shoulder of a taller, dark haired boy. The dark-haired had his hair in a ponytail in back, and a few bangs hanging over dark green orbs. He suddenly found himself in eye contact with the blonde, whose eyes crinkled into a smile. He sent the blonde a glare before turning on his heel and walking away.

.

"I wish he wouldn't glare at me like that." The blonde sighed, sitting down beside his best friend, Duke Devlin. "I didn't even say anything to him, and he gave me this look like 'I hate you'."

Duke slung an arm around Malik Ishtar's slim, tanned shoulders. "He doesn't know you."

"I still wish he wouldn't hate me."

"Give it time." Duke said, "Get to know him."

.

Silently, he made his way over to the chain-link fence near the baseball field and shrugged his tattered black backpack off his shoulders as he began to eat his lunch. Time seemed to fly past him, as, before he knew it, the bell marking sixth period began ringing and he was forced to throw away the remainder of his lunch as he began his solemn walk up to his sixth period class.

The halls were way too crowded for his liking as he squeezed through people. He didn't want to be late for class. He was almost to the first flight of stairs when someone reached out from behind him and tapped his shoulder. He turned around, curious as to who would try and gain his attention. A glare set itself in his eyes once he realized who had bothered him.

"It's you. What do you want?" He asked of the amethyst-eyed blonde, voice monotonous.

Malik held his weary smile in place. "Would you happen to know where room 204 is? I'm switching into that class, but I haven't been in this building before."

He nodded slightly. "Just follow me. You'll figure it out."

"Thanks," the young Egyptian said, his tone watered down by disappointment.

"Hn."

.

Quite opposite to what he had said, Malik knew exactly where room 204 was, but he wanted to hear the other's voice, see his eyes... Those eyes, they enchanted him with an almost unearthly beauty. But, Malik noticed with an unconfident attempt at a smile, there was only sadness present in his crush's deep-coloured eyes.

He watched with rapt attention the every movement of the slightly shorter boy. The way his silvery hair perfectly outlined the small but strong structure of his shoulders; the way he walked with a whole resivoir worth of unshown, subtle confidence... To say Malik had a crush on this socially- unaccepted boy was an understatement. It was more like he was completely in love.

The pair entered the classroom, and instantly Malik found himself standing alone as the object of his affections sunk into the very back corner of the classroom and took out a notebook. He stared in awe as the silver-haired began to draw something with a thin, black pen. How long he was entranced, he didn't know, but his attention was quickly drawn back to reality when the teacher called his name and pointed to a seat. With a smile, Malik noticed that the seat was right next to the boy of his dreams.

"Guess we're gonna be buddies this year, ne?" Malik asked cheerfully as he took his seat.

"I suppose." Replied the boy, not even lifting his head to look Malik in the eye. "Whatcha drawin'?"

"Picture."

"Can I see?"

"If it means that much to you." The silver-haired momentarily cast a glare in Malik's direction as he signed his name at the bottom of the paper and handed it to the blonde Egyptian sitting beside him.

Malik had to admit, the drawing was nothing short of amazing. Every line was done with extreme detail and beauty, creating a true sight to behold. But what caught Malik's eye was the name written in minute writing. He noticed that each hirigana character was also drawn artistically. He couldn't help but smile at the name 'Ryou Bakura' in the bottom right hand corner.

"So your name's Ryou?"

"I hoped you would have guessed that already." Ryou replied bitterly, shrugging his thin, pale shoulders.

Malik held back a frown, "It's a pretty name. I like it."

"Yeah?" Ryou asked mockingly, looking Malik square in the eye. "Well, I don't like you, so leave me alone already." He reached over and snatched the drawing back from Malik and replacing it to its' proper place in his binder. "And for Kami's sake, stop staring at me. It's really quite annoying."

"Oh... I'm sorry." Malik frowned, lowering his gaze to the scratched-up desk before him. Despite the obvious fact that Ryou did not seem to like him that much, he couldn't help but blurt out another question. "Uh... Ryou, who do you hang out with? Like, during lunch or nutrition?"

"I don't."

"Don't what?"

"I don't 'hang' out with anybody, Malik. I'd really appreciate it if you would just leave me alone for the remainder of the class, okay?" Ryou said while distractedly raising his hand to tell the teacher he was indeed present.

A long, slow streak of hurt crossed Malik's features. "I'm sorry." He had never spoken so truthfully as he had just now. He never wanted it to turn out this way. He and Ryou were, in his mind, supposed to find a previously unknown something in common and bond instantly. Depression now seeking its' way into his heart and mind, he waved the teacher's roll call off as he folded his arms infront of him on the desk, putting his head down.

For a moment, Ryou almost looked apologetic, before he replaced his protective mask of coldness. "Accepted."

.

"Class," started the teacher, Mrs. Yashiki, "Since we have a couple new students," her honey gaze flashed over Malik and a tall, blonde girl on the opposite side of the room. "I've decided to do a little activity. Parter up with the person sitting beside you, and spend the rest of class time learning about that person; their friends, hobbies, anything they wish to tell you. Alright, get to work!"

Ryou subtly slapped his hand to his forehead as Malik looked at him. "I know you don't like me, Ryou... But please, just talk to me so we can finish this assignment." Pleaded the Egyptian youth, trying once more to get on the good side of his beloved.

"Fine. For this assignment." Ryou complied, putting his notebook and binder back inside his backpack. "You go first. I don't feel like talking about myself just yet. Not to you." The last word came out with the slightest hint of dislike, but Malik ignored it as he took a breath.

"Well, for starters, my name is Malik Ishtar, and my favourite band is Linkin Park..."

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Shori: I swear, my computer does not want me to write this story! It deleted it twice, and shut down my AIM for trying to save it as an AIM file.

Bakura: See? I told you your computer doesn't like TCR because it's not me paired with Ryou.

Shori: ...Allright, tomb robber, what did you do to my computer?!

Bakura: o_o I didn't do anything!

Shori: I'll find that out when I go to type chapter 2... As for now, Bakura... Stay away from my computer. And you readers will find out why Ryou is acting the way he is later on... But for now, I need about 15 reviews, the same amount as last time, to update ^_^ See ya'll later!