Finally! CHAPTER 4 IS DONE:Cheers: Yay! Anyway…here's the thank yous!

LadyWolfTerri: One of the only reasons why I keep writing:Hugs: You'll just have to wait and see what happens when the month is over, doll. Hehe

ChibiMaouIwa: I don't want to speak to you…but thank you for reviewing…

Ashla: Thank you! I thought it was a cool mix myself. ;3

MariksMyra1614: Thanks…and I don't mean to be rude…but it wasn't me who wrote 'Once Around'. My friend, MouHitoriNoSai wrote it…but still…it's a great fic.

Chibi B-channie: I'm glad you found it too:Smiles: As I also do dedicate an update to someone…this one is for you!

trekkie-54: Hehe! I'm glad my fic got you humming. Hehe! Anyway, enjoy this chapter!

KentouKurige: Of course there's more! This story is near 15 chapters! XD!

Okay…here's the disclaimer, guys!

Malik:Waddles out: Kei doesn't own DDR, Yu-Gi-Oh, or anything of that much importance anyway.

THAT WAS MEAN!

Enjoy the story!


Chapter 4: Take Me Away

The ride home reminded Ryou so much of the rides home with Bakura, straddling the plush leather seat of a motorcycle, feeling the warm metal vibrate between his legs. However, this ride felt a bit different. The cold wind nipped at Ryou's pale cheeks, but he had Malik's strong frame to shield him from the wind's teasingly vicious bite. He had never felt this faint warmth, as if Malik was trying to protect him from even the littlest thing, the most minor offense. He didn't mind it, but felt he didn't deserve it. His slender arms were comfortable wrapped around the tanned one's well toned stomach, fingers nestled snuggly in a pair of gloves Malik had provided. Winter would soon bare ivory icicle fangs, Malik had said, handing him the gloves. How poetic…Ryou had thought. Just the faintest hint of kindness Malik had showed made him smile, but that smile never did surface. Ryou's mind still battled with the fact that this current situation was kidnapping with permission! An oxymoron, no?

The scenery would drastically change, warping from the dizzying, bright lights of the buzzing suburb to the silent, distorted darkness. Around him, Ryou heard minute sounds, a random, trivial little bump in the shadows, making Ryou's feather thin body jump and cling tighter still to his 'kidnapper'. Malik didn't much mind; he knew how intimidating the darkness could be, what a looming shadow could do to someone. Malik knew this too well.

They soon arrived at Malik's small dwelling, a home not haunted by the darkness, more like protected by it. As if the darkness knew full well the pain and sorrow which plagued him, constantly mocking him, offering a shadowed hand and abysmal protection from more of the same. Malik's house was a small shack, brick looking ancient, crumbling in thick chunks. Decrepit luxury and broken beauty to the unaware eye; Malik was happy with his quaint little piece of Hell.

Parking his motorcycle, his only luxury in life, in its special little place (Behind a fallen chuck of roof, where slow witted and quick moving burglars wouldn't think of looking. Malik thought himself to be quite clever.), he slid his slender body from the machine, smiling at Ryou, who seemed to forgot to let go of his thin waist. Ryou too dismounted the bike, the first think he saw was Malik rummaging through his pockets, furiously searching as if on a light or death expedition. He lifted an eyebrow as, to add to his insanity, he heard Malik begin to speak to himself.

"Where the hell did I put my damn keys? I just had them a minute ago…Where in Ra's name…?" He was interrupted by a soft giggle, almost inaudible at first, but it was there, almost as soft as a baby's giggle, innocent and gentle. Malik looked up and saw what produced that adorable sound, only seeing Ryou wearing a smile with his index finger outstretched towards the motorcycle, where the tanned one's keys dangled from the ignition. Slightly embarrassed and somewhat flustered, Malik chuckled and attempted to shrug it off, which was fairly simple since by nature, Malik was just overly nonchalant, calm person. Not malice like Bakura, not timid like Ryou, not snobby like Duke, nope! Malik was just himself.

Retrieving his keys, he trotted up the worn stairs, as if he was proud to live in, let's be blunt, the shithole he had all to himself. This home did belong to his father (Or, more commonly referred to as 'that bastard that left') before he did desert his family, but hey, his father leaving meant one thing for the Egyptian.

Free house.

But, that was beside the point. He pushed open the old chestnut door and slipped into the inviting shadows. Swallowing hard, the apprehensive Ryou pondered if he would even enter at all.

I could easily run, he'd never catch me. Where would I go, back to Bakura's? Pfft, yeah right… Pushing his boyishly thin frame through the door, he was met with a sturdy barricade, that of Malik's chest. Ryou blushed, pulling away as Malik only chuckled.

"Thought you ran off on me." He smiled.

Almost.

"I welcome you to my home. I know it's not much, but you're welcome to whatever's here."

At first glance, it seemed the entire dwelling was one long hallway. That was semi-true. The first left would lead to a small living room, consisting of a smaller torn up couch, looking as if it was found on a street corner (It was.). Beside it, a few plastic milk crates as end tables, upon each, rather diminutive lamps which provided eerily dull light, casting lanky, misshapen shadows upon the floor. Before the couch was a petit television, accompanied by a rather war torn Playstation and a DDR pad, seeming to have lasted through many centuries (An over exaggeration, but to the same extent. That was his first pad, still in working order. Old Faithful, a well chosen nickname.)

Moving on, the first corridor on the right was a quaint kitchen, housing a small rounded table that now looked like a semi-circle because of a large chunk that happened to be missing from one of the rounded edges. Two wobbly wooden chairs accompanied the table, both of two completely different styles and colors. Mix and match, very in this season.

After the kitchen, the final doorway on the left, was Malik's bedroom. Upon entering, all that could be noticed was that he had very interesting wallpaper. From a distance, it looked like nothing more then a white backdrop with little black scribbles scattered throughout it. With closer examination, those black scribbles appeared to be words, lyrics to be exact. As Ryou followed Malik through the halls, he eyed this creative wallpaper with fixated fascination.

"Oh," Sighed the tanned one softly, pointing to one of the sheets of 'wallpaper'. "Lyrics to DDR songs. Yeah, I'm weird." Ryou quickly shook his head as if to decline to Malik's accusation. "Heh. It's odd, actually. Each song has gotten me through some hard time. Such as…hmmm…ah-ha!" He lifted his finger, drawing attention to one of the pieces of paper, many of the verses highlighted in a now dulled yellow. " 'You're Not Here', DDR Extreme. Reminds me of, well, my family." Closing his eyes, he softly mumbled one of the lines highlighted, Ryou looking on with curious eyes. "Never thought I'd sit around and cry for your love 'till now..." Looking up, his violet eyes wavering just a bit, he began to explain a tale never told to ears who didn't want to listen. "My mother tried as hard as she could to raise us, me and my sister, I mean. She had us really young, so while we were kids, so was she. She just wasn't ready to be a mom. My dad, that bastard that left, wasn't much help either. I don't know why, but he hated me, hated this family, so he left. My sister…one day, she just left…never saw her again. Kinda miss her." Throughout the entire story, Malik, like a playful jester performing for all to see, wore a smile as happy and carefree as he only hoped he could be. Ryou, on the other hand, fought back tears which were desperate to fall and leave saddened trails down his saddened, pale cheeks.

Like me…he's alone…family's disappeared, nothing more then the how that he can learn to be lonely…he's suffered so much, and yet he can still smile, still laugh…

"But, whatever…I'm good with it!" With a boyish grin, he spun upon his heel, as if every care in the world, everything that burdened him, was painlessly lifted from his shoulders. "I've learned to be lonely."

Shocked was but an understatement. Ryou's jaw hung slack as he replayed the words like a favorite movie scene, the sound quality still clear, the picture still perfect. The same words…the same exact thought…How can this be possible? I've only known him for a few hours, but just looking into his eyes, hearing him speak, I feel like I've known him for years…Ryou once more examined Malik's face, allowing his eyes to glide over his beautifully curved features, his elegant angles and brilliant accents. Malik looked as if the Gods handpicked this boy as the one who would carry such a burden as envy invoking beauty. Eyes like amethysts set in a creamy caramel base, flaxen strands of sun bleached hair caressing that frame shapped by the callused, favoring hands of those who did bless him,

And yet, Ryou still wouldn't admit that he was gay.

Not gay…I just like men more then women.

So, bisexual? At least some progress is being made.

No, not that either. I don't like women that way.

So, you are gay!

Not at all.

This argument never seemed to seize and then again, why does it bother us? He's the one in denial.

Am not.


The rest of the evening was quite somber, Malik speaking of his past and his forgotten childhood. They sat on the war torn couch, some distance apart, however Malik didn't really care. He knew that Ryou was either really scared, really nervous, or really pissed, so he didn't really expect Ryou to talk or welcome the situation with open arms. Fact is, Malik had never heard him talk. This perplexed him while it also intrigued him, but he wasn't one to ask questions about subjects that seemed taboo. He didn't really care, is all; Malik spoke enough for four people, so what was one person's understandable silence?

Twilight soon defeated the lingering dusk, casting a dark shadow along the horizon. With an obnoxiously loud yawn and a rather uncoordinated stretch, he glanced over towards his guest, who only awkwardly fiddled with his frail fingers.

"Well, I'm beat. I'll sleep out here and you can take my bed. It's not the most comfortable thing in the world but…" He was interrupted by a head shaking, declining his offer. "Please….I'd feel horrible making you sleep on something this ragged." Again, the innocent one silently declined. "Come on…um…" A dumbstruck look swept across his brow as he chuckled. "I just realized that I don't even know your name. Tell me. I'll remember."

With such a kind request and such a welcoming smile, Ryou couldn't refuse him. He slowly parted his thin lips and uttered softly. "Ryou."

The Egyptian's gaze mingled with Ryou's delicate curved and discreetly alluring eyes. He never knew this existed, a voice so untainted by the world's wickedness and ever thriving evil, a gaze so pure. Ryou was a snowflake in Hell's fiery grip, and yet he still help on, still battled through tournaments of doubt. He was something special, and Malik knew it.

"Ryou…I like it…it suits you." Malik smiled as blush consumed Ryou's cheeks. He didn't understand it, not did Ryou have anything against it, but the way Malik looked at him sent chills up his spine. Those lavender ors seemed to peer into his soul, probe his inner most self, a gaze Ryou would still see, even as his eyes fluttered shut, drifting into a, for once, comfortable sleep in Malik's bed. (Yes, Malik had finally persuaded his guest to take his bed. How? No idea. Malik was always one to get his way, as enigmatic and discreet as they were)

Malik laid awake, head resting against the armrest of the couch. Starting up at the slightly cracked ceiling, his thoughts rampaged, mind drifter into states of subconscious where the questions wee unanswerable, though yearned to be resolved.

Why Ryou? What was so special about him that Bakura would cling to him so tightly? Why someone as innocent and as peaceful as him? Malik turned his limber body over, now peering into each polyester blended fiber of the ancient couch. Sighing deeply, he let his eyelids curtain his weary orbs, one final dwindling thought lulling him deep into sleep.

Either way…I saved him…took him away…


Take me away

A million miles away from here

Take me away

Find a place for you and me

You're taking me higher

As high as I could be


:4 Strings:


Any comments you may have, suggestions, or the what not...feel free to comment! ;3