" Please be okay Ryou." Anzu whispered, carefully wiping the wounds and blood that covered his legs and arms and chest; she was afraid she might press too hard and hurt him.

Biting her lip, she dragged the damp cloth down the curve of one exceptionally long gash across his left calf, the skin raw and pink.

What did Marik do to you? She closed her eyes a second, sucking in a deep breath to calm her nerves. Okay, calm down, Anzu, he's going to be okay, he just needs to get some rest. Besides, Ryou isn't the type to give up, remember? You have to be positive for Ryou!

Dipping the cloth in a bowl of water, she rinsed it of the blood, squeezing out excess water before she preceded the process of cleaning him from head to toe, careful not to disturb him as he slept quietly on the bed in the guestroom Kaiba had carried him to.

It really was a wonder why Kaiba bothered helping at all. But he did, and she was grateful. Despite Ryou's condition and everything else crazy that had been going on ever since Marik had returned, the tiniest smile lit up her face, only to be vanished by the sound of the door of the room opening.

Kaiba stepped in, clad in black slacks and a dark blue shirt, the sleeves rolled up to his elbows, the collar flapped open with three buttons undone, allowing a minimal view of his strong collarbone. Two strands of hair stuck out from the rest of the smoothly combed hair, falling over one left eye, giving him a sense of mystery.

She looked away when she realized she'd been staring, thankful when Kaiba continued into the room without a word, oblivious to her gawking.

" Well?" His eyes fell on her from above, cold and slanted, their sharp color icy and indifferent while his lips smoothed out in a tight line.

" I think he'll be okay…..I don't know for sure." She replied, not sure of the answer he was expecting.

He folded his arms over his chest, his eyes wandering from hers to rest on Ryou, letting them roam over the boy's soaked clothes, ripped and slashed and covered in blotches of blood.

" Take off his clothes." He instructed, tone firm.

" W-What? Are you--"

" We're all adults!" Kaiba snapped, interrupting her. " Stop wasting my time and do it already!"

" You don't have to be rude about it!" She shouted back, standing, taking an offensive stance, balling her fists and glaring up at him. " I'm not someone you can just order around!"

" Do you want him to get better or not?" He spat.

" Yes!"

" Then do it!"

" I--I can't!" She cried, blushing a bright red, turning her head quickly to the side so he wouldn't see it.

" Get out."

" W-What?" She stared, bewildered.

" I said get out!" He hissed, grabbing her arm and pushing her toward the door. " If you're so afraid of seeing him naked then get the hell out!" Opening the door, with a firm shove at her back, Anzu found herself stumbling out of the room, the door slamming shut behind her.

" JERK!" She cried, kicking the door once she'd gained her nerve. She couldn't believe he just threw her out like that! Could he blame her? Sheesh, it's not like she wasn't mature about that kind of stuff….she just never really saw a guy, well, undressed!

Argh! I can't stand him! He really knows how to push my buttons!

Tapping her foot, she nervously waited by the door, listening quietly for anything that would give away what was going on in there. She bit her lip in impatience, pacing the front of the door with quick steps.

I hope Kaiba knows what he's doing….. She chewed absently at her lip, leaning in toward the door and pressing her ear against it, hoping to catch some sounds to distract her thoughts. It only made sense that Kaiba do the job, being a guy, he probably was used to seeing all that….guy stuff!

She blushed. Okay, Anzu, get a grip, it's no big deal that you just pictured Kaiba naked! Nope…you're not going crazy. You're just nervous, that's all, and you're letting all this stuff get to you….

" Right…" She mumbled aloud.

God, what's taking him so long? Shouldn't he be done by now? Again she paced the hall, this time going from one end to the other, mumbling reassurances to herself as she did. She almost ran to the door in a happy leap when the door finally opened and Kaiba stepped out, but stopped when she realized how childish that would seem, especially in front of someone like Kaiba.

" Are you done?" She asked, unable to contain the urgency in her voice as she tried glimpsing inside the room for Ryou, but the task seemed pointless as Kaiba stayed in the middle of the doorway, effectively blocking off her view.

" He's still not dressed." He stated flatly, moving his left arm behind him, grabbing for the doorknob and closing the door behind him.

Anzu stepped away with a frown, barely missing being shoved as Kaiba stalked down the hall and into a room at the far end, one she could only assume as his.

Now what's he doing? She thought curiously, watching him with folded arms, following his movements with her eyes. She blinked when he came back out with folded clothes in his arms. Now I get it! He's going to lend Ryou some of his clothes! It only made sense; Ryou's clothes were ruined, and, quite frankly, not clothes anymore with the rips and tears and blood stains.

Again she stared, watching his long legs carry him down the hall with a sense of confidence and grace, his steps quiet and light, guiding him as if he were on water. She shook her head, scolding herself for staring again. What's wrong with me? I shouldn't be looking at Kaiba like that. I have to worry about Ryou!

" Now what?" She asked as he passed her and walked into the room, ignoring her comment and her presence all together as he shut the door after him and in her face.

Argh! He did that on purpose!

Had the door not been blocking off her view, she would've seen the smirk on his face.

After a good ten minutes of waiting--what felt like an hour to Anzu--she resorted to sitting down on the floor by the door, willing herself not to sleep till she knew Ryou was going to make it and be alright. Her eyes opened and closed, a sense of drowsiness taking over her body till she was slack against the wall in a lazy pose, legs stretched out in front of her with her arms dangled by her sides.

Ugh! Hurry up Kaiba! I can't stay up much longer! She rubbed fiercely at her eyes, trying to clear her vision as it began to blur, a sign that she was completely exhausted and ready for a good long nap.

With a miserable groan, she let her eyes close briefly. This was the worst feeling ever: forcing herself to stay awake when she could barely keep her eyes open.

Her mind began to wonder. The guys still haven't woken up yet and it's almost been a whole day….I'm really starting to worry. What if---what if Marik put some kind of spell on them and they'll never wake up again?

The panic and fear of the thought woke her instantly, opening her eyes in alert. Or what if…what if Marik somehow got Bakura to send their souls to the shadow realm? And now they're just soulless bodies!

" Talking to yourself again?"

Bolting up, she turned and faced Kaiba in terror. Not only had he scared her and she was having a near heart attack but she'd been saying all her thoughts aloud! And he'd heard!

" Don't scare me like that!" She cried, moving a hand over her heart, catching her breath.

" Maybe if you hadn't been talking so loud you would've heard me." He retorted, before he stepped fully out of the room and into the hall beside her. " You can go in now."

" Wait! Where are you going?" She asked, watching him prepare to walk off.

" I don't have time to be babysitting your dweebs for friends. I have more important things to do." He snapped, striding into his office with a slam of the door.

Anzu leapt at the sound. Sheesh, what's got him so mad?

" Ryou?" She walked in quietly, closing the door after her before making her way to the side of the bed, leaning over Ryou with a small smile. She almost laughed at the sight.

Ryou was in Kaiba's clothes, you'd have to be near blind not to tell; the pants were a good six inches too long, covering his feet, the shirt baggy with the sleeves going well past his hands. All in all, he looked like a little boy playing dress up with his dad's clothes.

Sitting down in the chair by the bed, she took his hand in hers, her other one moving to his face, trailing the soft curves of his face, brushing the white strands of hair from his cheek.

" Wake up soon, Ryou." She sighed, squeezing his hand for some reassurance, not only for him, but for herself. She really needed a friend to lean on and talk to. After the Marik incident, the only one she could confess her thoughts and problems to were Kaiba, and there was no way she'd be resorting to that.

Closing her eyes, she let her head fall on his chest, the slow and rhythmic up and down shift lulling her to a light sleep. She inhaled, enjoying the smell that seemed a part of the clothes themselves.

The smell was oddly of coffee and sandalwood. Mm…smells good….like Kaiba

Ryou stirred, opening his eyes to stare up into a blank, white ceiling, before his eyes wandered around the room in a distorted blur of shapes and colors.

Bringing a hand up to his forehead to ease the nausea coming over him, he realized he couldn't move, a weight pressured over his chest. Looking down to his best ability, he stared at the brown hair scattered across his chest, covering the persons face.

He blinked. Who could---He froze when the person moved their head to the side, the smooth heart-shaped face unmistakable.

" A-Anzu?" He mumbled, shocked. He cleared his throat, speaking louder.

" Anzu, wake up…"

With a stir and a flutter of eyelashes, she bolted up in a flash, a faint blush coloring her cheeks while her mouth took on a wide, circular shape.

Anzu felt a wave of relief come over her when she stared into the large brown eyes, their normal brightness dulled with exhaustion streaks, giving them a paler appearance. " Ryou!" She cried, no more words needed as she moved down and scooped him up in a hug, momentarily forgetting his healing wounds.

" Oh, Ryou, I'm so sorry!" She pulled away after hearing him gasp in slight pain, but his head shake confirmed her he was fine.

" How….where am I, Anzu?" He asked, almost in a whimper. The past hours were a blank, and all he remembered was walking down the streets, hoping to find a familiar face, when he came upon Anzu, and then the rest…..he couldn't remember.

" We're at Kaiba's mansion. He carried you into one of the guestrooms…" She trailed off, hoping he wouldn't ask further questions and that for now that would be enough.

He nodded, trying his best to remember anything, even what Anzu had just told him, but he could recall nothing.

" It's useless….." He whispered softly, smiling in a weak effort to reassure Anzu when she gave him a concerned look. " Thank you, Anzu, for…."

" We're friends." She interrupted, smiling. " It's my job to make sure you're okay. You know I'd never forgive myself if you or one of the guys ever got hurt because of…of me." In all honesty she felt this whole thing was her fault.

First Bakura, then Marik, they all seemed like they were after her. This is so confusing!

Ryou shook his head furiously. " Don't blame yourself, Anzu! It's not your fault…I'm just too weak for my own good," He mumbled, the depression of his words seeping into his facial expression, giving him a pained look.

She offered a sad smile, retaking his hand in hers, squeezing lightly. " You're not weak. You're one of the strongest guys I know!" She cried, tying desperately to cheer him up. Seeing Ryou down, or any of her friends for that matter, made her feel down. " So don't put yourself down. I promise everything will get better, okay?" She nodded at him for emphasis, hoping he'd do the same and return the enthusiasm, but he sulked further in the bed, bowing his head.

" Ryou?" She asked worriedly, moving a hand on his shoulder. " Are you okay? Did I say---"

" No. It's just, no-one's ever complimented me. Not even my parents….." He said, whispering the last part in a strained voice.

Anzu bit her lip. Good job, baka! You just made him remember something sad! " I'm sorry." What more could she say? I'm sorry I made you think about your dead parents?

He forced a smile. " I'm fine. Don't apologize, you did nothing wrong. All you've done is helped me and stayed by my side."

Wow, She thought, unable to contain her bliss his words stirred inside. I feel like I'm in a soap opera or something.

" That's what friends are for!" She cried, leaning in to hug him again, this time making sure she didn't hug him too hard. She just couldn't help it. Ryou was such a lovable guy, you couldn't help not like him.

" Don't be sad, Ryou." She soothed, bringing a hand to rest in his wild white hair as he began to silently cry in her shoulder, apologizing as he did.

" Let it out," She sighed, looking to the side, finding herself helpless in such a situation. A sense of protection and importance overwhelmed her. Perhaps it was because Ryou made her feel both, especially now, like he needed her there, as if she was his life-line, and, who knew, maybe she was.

" I'm sorry, Anzu, for--for anything he did to you and the others…." He wept, clinging harder to her shirt despite the wounds covering his body that objected to such strong movement.

" What he did isn't your fault." Anzu assured firmly. " You can't control what he does. So stop putting yourself down Ryou." You don't deserve any of this….Why did Bakura choose you of all people? You're too nice, too innocent for this kind of pain.

She found herself sighing in grief. None of them deserved this. Ryou, the guys, and, despite her anger toward him now, even Kaiba didn't deserve to be in this huge mess.

She looked down at Ryou when his sobbing stopped, his breathing softening to soft breaths: he was asleep. She smiled, loosening her arms and gently pushing him down onto the bed.

Rest as much as possible, Ryou. You need it. Moving away from the bed, she walked out of the room, leaving him to sleep.

" Took you long enough."

" Gah! Kaiba? Don't scare me like that!" She snapped, shutting the door behind her so Ryou wouldn't have to deal with the shouting and bickering she knew was about to come. It was like Kaiba liked arguing with her.

Yeah right!

" Uh, Kaiba, what are these for?" She asked, staring down at the items he'd shoved into her arms.

" Your end of the deal." He replied flatly, before turning on his heel. " Now get to work."

Silently she fumed, turning red in the face from anger when she realized just what he'd handed her. A duster, a maid outfit, and a book titled : Cleaning a billionaires house for dummies.

Ohhhh I really really don't like you Kaiba!

A/N: My desperate attempt to update! Lol. Hope you all liked it. I felt bad for Ryou. ;; Poor guy, beautiful guys should never have to suffer! Lol.

YGO guys: Amen to that.

Anzu: I can't believe Kaiba had the nerve to make me his…..his cleaning maid!

Kaiba: --shrug-- You said you owed me. --smirks--

Anzu: Well….at least it wasn't anything perverted.

Kaiba: Who do you take me for? The mutt? Or rather, dice-boy, or--

Jou/Otogi: We get it!

Read and Review! It makes Kaiba…….

Kaiba: Crave pouring ice-cream all over Anzu and licking it off her?

Anzu: o.O