---This story idea came head. Very obvious. Other then that it was helped by a Seto fan art entitled "Inner Asylum", which is also where the title came from.
I dedicate this story to my non-related sister Mikari. I love her with all my heart and I wouldn't know what to do with out her. And I probably wouldn't know Seto's character as well with out her.
This is also a semi Seto/Ryou pairing.
Warnings: angst, mentioned self-mutilation
Disclaimer: I own nothing.
We all see the world in a different way. We all create our own truths, our own ways to deal with the life we live, weather we choose to live that way or not. Every day we choose which mask to wear, how we're going to fool the world. Not just the world, but our own friends and family. How we make them think we're prefect.
But no one is prefect. We have our own flaws, everyone does. It's just a matter of weather we choose to accept them. Some are easy to pick out, mostly by what the person does, or says. Others are well hidden.
Seto Kaiba opened his eyes, squinting into the morning sun that penetrated his blinds. He sat up yawning. Another day of school, he thought to himself as he got up. He didn't really mind school; it wasn't like he really needed it. He was CEO of the biggest gaming corporation on the face of the earth. But you never know what could happen, and Seto was always prepared for the future.
He stepped into the bathroom that connected to his bedroom and threw on the light. As he did he caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror on the medicine cabinet. Scowling at his reflection he opened the medicine cabinet and rummaged around for some aspirin. Head drugs, he thought to himself smirking.
The alarm clock continued to ring. It had been for the past five minutes. The white haired teen stared at it with his tired chocolate eyes. Ryou Bakura lay in his bed, not bothering to get up, or even reach his arm over and shut off the alarm.
"What's the use" he mumbled to himself rolling over facing away from the clock, letting it continue its ringing. He didn't see any point in getting up, it was only school.
...Turn off that damn alarm...
A voice grumbled in the back of his mind. It was the spirit of the Millennium Ring. Ryou reached behind him and felt around for the button. In a matter of seconds the ringing had stopped.
...Good Boy, now get up...
Ryou sighed as he rolled out of bed and started getting ready for school.
Seto stepped out of the shower and quickly wrapped a towel around his waist. He shivered as the cool morning air hit his wet skin. He grabbed another towel and dried himself off. He did this as fast as he could, he hated touching his skin, and he hated looking at it.
When he was dry he went into his room and put his clothes on. A long sleeved black shirt with black pants, along with a dark purple trench coat like jacket with no sleeves and a black belt with the letters 'KC' on the buckle. Once he was dressed he returned to the bathroom.
He stared at himself as he comb his hair. He seemed so dull. He wanted to blame it on the fact that he had been looking at the same features everyday all his life, but he knew that wasn't true. It was if he was fading away. The only thing that stood out anymore was his bright blue eyes.
Seto set the comb down on the counter and checked himself one last time in the mirror before heading down to breakfast.
...Hurry up; Landlord wouldn't want to be late for school would he...
The voice in the back of Ryou's mind taunted. Ryou quickly finished putting the black eye liner and touch of black eye shadow on. Taking a look at him self in the mirror. He wore black and red stripped knee socks that matched the black and red stripped long sleeved shirt he had on. He also had black shorts on, with the assortment of black studded bracelets, a matching choker, and of course the Millennium Ring.
...Why do you go though all that trouble to stand out?...
The voice asked. Ryou shrugged as he combed his fingers though his messy long hair.
"I don't know."
...No one cares about you...
Ryou fought back tears as he grabbed his bag and left the room. He didn't want to believe the spirit, but he was right. No one cared, and no one ever would.
"Good morning big bro!" Mokuba said cheerfully as Seto sat down at the dining room table.
"Morning." Seto said simply as he started to eat his breakfast. Mokuba was used to him not being very talkative in the morning. He also knew it was the best time to ask his brother for stuff.
"Can I go over to my friends after school?"
"Sure." Seto said not looking up. Mokuba grinned. "Now eat your breakfast or we'll be late."
"Ok big bro."
Seto watched his younger brother from the corner of his eye as he ate. He wished he could be that age again. Blithe, with out a thought of the future or a care in the world. Seto glared bitterly down at the food on his plate, not really hungry anymore.
Ryou chewed halfheartedly on his cold Pop Tart as he walked to school. He broke up the rest of the half eaten Pop Tart and dropped it on the ground. He figured some other hungry animal could eat it.
Ryou stopped at the cross walk, looking both ways. There was a car heading his way down the street. He stepped out in front of it, no really caring if it hit him or not. Fortunately the car wasn't close enough and he crossed the street unharmed. Almost wishing he had walked a little slower a crossed.
...I would have made sure you didn't die...
The voice threatened. Ryou sighed as he walked though the doors of school. That was true, the spirit still needed Ryou to live, and would do anything to make sure he stayed alive.
Ryou walked swiftly though the halls of the school to his locker. He hated where it was, it was no where near any of his classes. As he neared his group of friends, which was more like people he would try to fit in with, he slowed his pace. He hoped they'd see him and say hi, but they were all to busy in their own conversation to notice that Ryou was there. Ryou sighed and continued on to his locker.
Seto stared blankly out the window of his limo as he was driven to school. It was a grey morning now. Clouds had come and covered the sun. He felt the limo slow down a bit and looked curiously around to see why. There was someone crossing the street
As they passed the kid Seto realized it was Ryou. That kid wasn't hard to miss. He always was dressed in gothic attire. He sometimes saw the white haired teen with black lipstick.
Seto always thought that kid was demented. Then again Seto thought he'd be the same way if he was possessed by an ancient and, more or less, sadistic, spirit.
The limo pulled up out side Domino High and Seto got out. Ryou passed him, not even noticing the CEO was there, and went into the school. Seto followed him. Seto could tell by the look on Ryou's face that something was bothering him.
Seto stopped at his locker and continued to watch Ryou as he walked by a group of kids consisting of Yugi Motou and them. Ryou seemed to look hurt as he passed the group. Seto shook his head at the other teen and opened his locker.
Ryou gathered his books for his morning classes. His locker was so far away from his classes he never had time to come back before lunch. He stood up with his books in his arms and looked over at the clock. He had five minutes to get to his class.
He made his way though the crowded halls of the school. He passed Seto in the hall and lightly brushed up against his arm. Seto jumped as if an electric shock had been sent between the two. This startled Ryou and he dropped his books.
"Sorry," he said quietly as he bent down to pick up his books. He looked up at the other teen; he had his hand on his arm as if it was in pain. The CEO glared slightly at the other teen and stalked off. Ryou stood up with his book and stared after him. "Did I hurt him?"
...You weakling, get to class before your late...
Ryou quickly ran to his class, fighting back tears. He just barely made it to his class on time. He sat down in his seat breathing heavily. He could still remember the look on Seto's face. He looked around to make sure no one was watching.
Ryou moved the cloth on the shirt up to his elbow exposing his arm. There were about ten scars scattered all over it. He hid his arm under his desk as the teacher started class. He slowly scratched his fingernails over his skin, not deep enough to leave a mark, just deep enough to feel the pain.
He wanted to break the skin though. He wanted to taste his blood on his tongue, rip the skin off his bones and become a new person. Someone who didn't have any problems. His thoughts flashed back to Seto once again.
Ryou smiled, it would be nice to be Seto. He was prefect, good looks, Giant Corporation. No psychotic spirit to deal with.
...I'd watch it Boy...
Ryou ignored the voice and continued on in his day dream.
Seto sat in his class, anxious for the lunch bell to ring. He was in one of his advanced classes, so there were very few kids in his class. He looked around the class, like always they all looked on edge around him. As if Seto would do something to them if they got anything wrong.
Seto just merely glared at all of them. They all thought he was perfect, so that meant they had to be prefect around him. Stereotypes are so stupid, he thought to himself bitterly, wondering if CEO could be considered a stereotype.
Finally the bell rang. Seto gathered up his work and his books and left the classroom. As he made his way though the halls he saw Yugi's gang again. He remembered that Ryou usually ate lunch with them. However Ryou was no where to be seen. Seto shrugged and put his books away for lunch.
Ryou put his stuff hastily, glancing up briefly spotting his friends grouped around Joey's locker. He smiled stuffing the rest of his books in his locker and grabbing his lunch. He closed his locker, hearing the dry erase board fall inside. He overlooked it and turned to join his friends, stopping dead in his tracks.
They were gone.
Ryou quickly walked down the hall and turned the corner just to see them head out side. Ryou followed them out side but once he got there they were no where to be seen. He figured they went up town to get lunch. He sat down at the base of a familiar tree, they always eat here. He'd just have to wait for them to get back.
"They left me." Ryou said opening his lunch, which was nothing more then crunchy granola bar.
...And this surprises you?...
The voice taunted in the back of Ryou's mind. He chewed slowly on the granola bar avoiding the glances of the few students that passed by.
"No." He answered softly, feeling the tears sting his eyes. He ate the rest of his lunch in silence watching the people as they walk by. He made sure not to make any eye contact, or any movement that would bring him any notice.
Seto sat at one of the picnic tables in the schools courtyard. He had his laptop out and was typing away furiously on it. He didn't have lunch; he had no time for such a trivial thing. This was the only time during the day he had time to check how his company was doing.
Ten minutes before classes started again. Seto packed away his laptop and headed back into the school. On the way he saw Ryou sitting alone by a tree. It tugged at Seto's heart to see him there, he looked so sad, so unwanted.
The white haired teen glance up and there eyes met. For the split that Seto saw Ryou's dark brown eyes, he saw the tears glistening in them. But Ryou quickly looked away, returning his stare to the ground.
Seto wanted to go over to the other teen. He didn't know why but he wanted to comfort him, or at least see what was wrong. But he didn't get the chance; as soon as he started to approach Ryou he got up and ran inside.
Lunch was almost over and Ryou still hadn't seen his friends. He sighed and leaned back against the tree. He was trying to think of some reason why they didn't want him around. Nothing came to mind.
He saw Seto walking in his direction. For a split second he met his stare. But it wasn't the other teen's normal cold blue eyes. He wasn't glaring, his eyes seemed soft. His thoughts once again wondered back to earlier that day in the hall and Ryou quickly glanced away.
As he did so he caught glimpse of his friends. They walked by behind the brown haired CEO without a second glance in his direction. Ryou found his stare came to rest on the ground. He felt a pain in his heart he knew all to well.
The fear he had done something wrong. The anguish of being left behind. The pain of rejection. For a quick moment he hated them for not seeing them. Then he came to hate himself more for not doing more to be noticed by them. It was becoming harder to hold back the tears.
...Its you're fault they don't want to be with you...
"My fault." Ryou whispered before he couldn't take it anymore. The white haired teen got up and ran inside just wanting to get away from everyone.
Seto causally glanced over at the empty seat on the other side of the room. The seat usually filled by Ryou. He hadn't seen where he went to after lunch. He had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach.
He remembered what Ryou was like in classes. He rarely paid attention. Always staring off into space, or writing constantly in his notebook. Always wearing the same expression, a mixer of boredom and sorrow.
The CEO sighed and wondered where the other teen had gotten off to. But before he could ponder it to long the bell rang. As Seto made his way to his next class he decided to make a quick stop in the bathroom.
He stepped inside enjoying the quiet of the bathroom. He closed the door cutting off the noise from the boisterous hallway. He leaned against the door closing his eyes, glad to be alone. He wasn't alone however.
Seto reopened his eyes when he heard some one sniff. He looked around and saw some one huddled in the corner.
"Ryou?" He said curiously approaching the other teen. Ryou looked up at Seto; quickly covering his arm with his sleeve. But Seto had already seen. He kneeled down in front of the white haired teen.
"G-go away." Ryou choked out, wiping away the tears.
"Let me see." Seto said quietly reaching out to the other teen.
"No!" Ryou practically shrieked withdrawing his arm and hugging it close to his chest. Seto softened his expression as a new wave of tears threatened to flood Ryou's eyes.
"Did he hurt you?" Seto asked, referring to the spirit inside of Ryou. The white haired teen shook his head giving way for the tears to flow. He looked cautiously up into the CEO's bright blue eyes. He didn't know why, but he felt he could trust Seto.
"He doesn't hurt me..." Ryou slowly moved the sleeve on his shirt up, revealing a scratch on his arm with some dry blood around it. There were also an assortment of other cuts and scars. Furthermore Seto saw some dry blood underneath Ryou's fingernails.
"Ryou." Seto said in a hushed voice.
"Leave me alone!" Ryou said suddenly pushing Seto back. He stood up and headed toward the door.
"Why?" Seto said standing up himself.
"Just- because," Ryou answered not looking back, he sighed. "You wouldn't understand."
"You think you're the only one with problems?" Seto asked bitterly. Ryou stopped when he heard the sound of Seto's jacket hit the floor. He turned around just as the CEO discarded his shirt and gasped. Cuts and scars were littered all over his arms and chest. There was even 'DEATH T' carved into his left arm.
"You?" Ryou said moving closer to the other teen, reaching out to him. "But you're... you're-"
"Prefect." Seto said resentfully pulling away, he didn't care if Ryou knew, but he was still uncomfortable with being touched. Ryou bowed his head and muttered a very soft 'sorry' but it was practically inaudible.
"It's just so hard to live up to everyone's expectation that I have to be prefect" Seto growled in frustration. "The stress just builds up until I can't handle it anymore."
Ryou looked up at Seto and nodded, he could understand.
"I feel that it's my fault others hurt." Ryou said quietly, softly running his hand over his arm. "It's my punishment for doing so."
"What does he think about it?" Seto asked pointing to the Ring.
"He says I'm stupid," Ryou sighed, "And that I'm going to kill myself."
"Do you want to?"
Ryou bowed his head again, avoiding Seto's piercing stare.
Seto felt a twinge in his heart; all of a sudden all he wanted to do was comfort the other teen. He pulled Ryou into his arms, just as a hot tear fell unto his bare chest. At once his world was at peace. He didn't care that Ryou knew, he didn't care that he was touching his bare skin. He didn't care about being prefect, or anyone thinking he had to be.
Ryou was the same way. It was a different feeling knowing that he wasn't the only one that suffered. That there was possibly some one else in the great universe that knew how he felt. He didn't feel bad crying in front of Seto. He had a feeling deep down that Seto wouldn't care what happened. He felt that Seto would always be there.
Neither of the teens knew how long they'd been standing there by time the bell signaling the end of class sounded. They broke apart and Ryou wiped away his tears once again. With saying a word Seto put his shirt and jacket back on and they moved to leave. Feeling a great sense of hope and happiness deep inside.
Ryou sat on his bed that night staring at the small blade in his hand. The cutting had become almost a nightly ritual for him. He didn't feel like it tonight. There was something different about how it felt, how he thought about it, even how the blade looked to him. He just couldn't do it.
He sighed throwing the blade into the trash, picking up the phone.
Seto replaced his knife in his night table drawer just as the phone rang. He got up and grabbed the phone looking at the caller i.d.
"You didn't cut." Seto said instantly as he answered the phone. He smiled at the stunned silence he received. "Neither did I..."
My first happy ended angst story... I guess---