Title: Strawberries and Black Pepper

Author: Broken Music Box

Rating: PG

Summery: Ryou's thoughts as he is neglected by everyone.

A/N: Okay, I know this one is a little weird. Any reviews welcome.

This is the end, everyone. Thanks to everyone who reviewed- you all helped keep my smile in place for a little longer.

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It's funny really. It is, it is. You spent so much time planning your escape, and were so very very careful. You never let one clue that you were going to run away show- you hid everything. And yet, the Pharoah still knew. You could tell he knew, by the few appraising looks he sent your way. You knew that he knew, he knew that you knew he knew, but Yugi and Bakura didn't know. Why didn't they know, if Yami knew? You don't know, do you. You still don't know.

Malik was so kind, wasn't he? He helped plan. He was the one who actually came up with the idea that you could actually just skip school one day and get on a plane to go where ever you wanted to go. He helped and he planned and he came with you. He sat next to you on the plane as that strange feeling slowly spread through your system, and smiled so nicely at you. And he watched as you smiled back, a genuine smile that showed him how greatful you were.

You went to Egypt. You wanted to see where it had all started, so very very long ago. You wanted to see where your captors had been born and grown up and been sealed into their Items and forever banished to a unique hell. You saw the pyramids and all the other tourist attractions, and had blended in with the crowd, Malik next to you. Then you had gotten back on the plane- a different plane, but it was still a plane- and gone. You had flown, and flown, hopping all over the world, trusting Malik to eventually stop and find somewhere safe. And he did.

Now you're here, in a sleepy little town in Australia, curled up on the couch in your living room, with the fan on and you're reading quietly. Malik is writing franticly in one of his notebooks. You paint and garden and are nice to your neighbours. Occasionally, you drag Malik down to the beach, teasing him and cajolling until he runs ahead of you, and you run after him, and you both laugh the laugh of prisoners freed after a long time. You're both comfortable and happy and you both pray each night that they will never find you.

And Malik writes hauntingly familiar songs and stories about people trapped and afraid, and unconditional love and friendship.

-Owari-