Disclaimer: Wouldn't it be great if I did own Yu-Gi-Oh? Just think of the wonderful things I could do...the romance I can fabricate...the insanity I can cause... (Sighs wistfully) Alas! I don't own it and never will. Oh well, that's life.

Author's note: My fics are going on a temporary HIATUS. That's right, folks. I'm going to try to finish them one by one, and I won't be starting another mini-series for a while. Now you can either expect an update or a one-shot. This isn't an update, but an inspiration of mine that came two hours before my bedtime.

Summary: Is it sensible to love someone who cannot love you back? Is it sane to love someone so intensely, so painfully it hurts? But rationality become non-existent when it came to Anzu and Ryou is willing to wait for her for as long as it takes....

--Because I Love You So--

Point of view: Ryou

Anzu Mazaki is a walking statement of contradictions. You may see her stroll around the campus with a sunny smile on her face, greeting you with the warmest of hellos when you barely know her.

But deep down inside, she is crying, her heart has shattered into a million tiny fragments.

You may see her act with so much energy and enthusiasm, involving herself in various extracurricular activities like leading star in a school play, head cheerleader, lead singer in the school choir... But the reason why she did all the above is to keep herself busy, so that she will have no time to think of her best friend.

Ah...Yugi Mutou. Perhaps he may never know the extent his best friend's words meant when she said, "I love you."

Sometimes I yearn to shake some sense into her. Tell her she need not have to bottle up her feelings. Tell her she need not suffer alone. Good heavens! I wish she could just cry for once. To free herself from her tormented emotions.

But I know, Anzu is too kind and selfless to show she's human too. She masks her problems and sorrows with a smile that seemed a bit too cheerful. She prefers to be the one people run to for advice rather than seek advice herself.

She runs away from her problems, but in the process, she bears other people's burdens as well.

Anzu Mazaki is what's known as 'perfect'. She has a rich family, she sings like an angel, she's popular, she can dance very well, her beauty is well-known, and she is a straight-A student. She is the epitome of 'perfection' and role-model student. What more could a sixteen-year-old girl want?

But if you will take the time to take a closer look into the velvet depths of her cerulean eyes, you will see what I see.

I see pain.

Now that her best friend has found Yami, he has lost time for her.

Sorrow.

Everyday she sees Yugi shines with happiness, but it's not because of her. She can never give the kind of joy Yami can give Yugi and it hurts her.

Frustration.

She wishes she could free her true emotions, free herself from her pain and anguish. She doesn't know what to feel anymore. She is confused. She keeps running until she teeters to the edge of a cliff. But no one will catch her when she falls.

Envy.

In her hearts of heart, Anzu craves for the love like the one Yugi has for Yami. She needs to feel needed. She wants to feel loved.

Guilt.

I heard her once promise Yugi that she will be happy because her best friend is happy. She feels guilty for saying so.

Because it is a lie.

Poor, poor Anzu.

You might not hear it, but I do. I hear her crying her silent tears everyday. She is a fragile angel, imprisoned in a gilded cage and dying slowly inside.

If only I could help her...

"And the winner of the dancing contest is...Miss Anzu Mazaki!"

Roars and applauds shook the stadium as the tall, willowy brunette walked up the stage and accepted her prize. Flashing her adoring fans her too-cheerful smile, Anzu walked down and her fans promptly surrounded her. Reporters snapped pictures enthusiastically and her throng of admirers showered her with praises.

"Congratulations, Anzu!"

"I knew you could do it!"

"I wish I could dance half as gracefully as you, Anzu!"

I stood not far away, shaking my head as I watched them. I wished she could give me a chance to love and cherish her. If she were mine, I would treat her like a queen and she need never feel sad again.

"Thank you everybody. I really appreciate your support." Anzu gave them a huge smile and lifted up her trophy to the applause of her aficionados.

My lips stretched into a sardonic smile as a thought occurred.

In a way, she and I were alike. We were both convincing actors, giving our flawless performance on the stage, with everyone believing our acts hook, like and sinker.

We are happy. We ARE happy.

"Ryou?"

I looked up, recognizing her voice. Her fans had finally left her, and the stadium was now devoid of people except us. "Hello, Anzu."

"Aren't you going to go home?" she asked.

"Later. You see, I have some unfinished business in the library. Do you want to walk home with me...if you care to wait," I quickly added.

She smiled. "I'd love to. Meet you at the gate in fifteen minutes!"

But after locking up the library, I found no brunette waiting for me at the entrance. I waited, of course. But half an hour later, there was still no sign of Anzu. It was time to take action. I searched throughout the school high and low, a growing sense of unease creeping into my heart.

As I passed by a classroom, I heard a soft forlorn cry.

I stopped.

I heard it again.

I turned the knob and opened the door.

I saw a lone figure slumped in the darkest corner of the room, her head buried in her hands. There was no mistaking her trademark brown hair. I took a step inside.

Sensing my presence, she raised her head, her magnificent blue hues glittering in the darkness. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she spoke my name, "R-Ryou?"

"Anzu..." I could not stand to see her like this. I walked to her side and kneeled down to her level. She leaped into my arms and I readily accepted her.

"R-Ryou, I-I'm s-such a-an e-evil person," she cried. "I-I said s-such h-horrible t-things to Yugi. H-He was o-only c-congratulating m-me. B-But I g-got mad when I-I saw Yami hug him, s-so I s-screamed a-at them."

"Shh. There, there. You're only human and it was only right you feel that way. No need to cry anymore." I whispered my comforting words as she dissolved into tears again. "I'm here for you, Anzu. Stop crying now." Each tear she shed felt like knives stabbing into my heart.

She rested her tired head on my shoulder and closed her eyes. I could almost feel the heavy weight the troubles she carried on her small shoulders. I wrapped her around my embrace and rocked her back and forth, lulling her to rest.

"Ryou, why are you so kind to me?" she asked softly. "Is it because you pity me?"

"No, Anzu, I don't," I murmured.

"Then why do you treat me so kindly?"

I chose to say no more.

"Ryou..." she persisted.

I lifted her chin with a finger, staring into her eyes solemnly. "Do you really want to know?"

She nodded.

Then before I could stop my temporarily insanity, I brushed my lips against hers tenderly.

That kiss meant everything to me. In it I poured out all my feelings for her. It was a special kiss reserved only for the lady who had captured my heart.

She did not resist. But when we finally pulled apart, she bowed her head sadly.

"I-I still love Yugi."

"I-I still love Yugi..."

Time seemed suspended as her words sank in. I closed my eyes slowly.

"I know."

Her blue eyes widened.

I gave her a tiny smile as I brushed aside her tears gently. "But you have no idea how long I've been in love with you, Anzu. And I'm willing to wait for you until you can finally accept me. I promise you, my dearest."

My promise would probably sound mad to you, Anzu. After all, what kind of person would wait so patiently for his reciprocation when the chances of you loving me back is one out of a hundred?

But you're my inspiration, my breath, my joy, my life. You are the sunshine that kissed all my sadness away with just a smile. You are my silver living. You represent everything good in my life since my family disappeared from my life. Take away Anzu Mazaki and I have no wish to continue my lonely existence.

Is it sane to love someone so intensely, so painfully it hurts? Perhaps not. Yet it's okay for me to surrender my safe solitude to you, Anzu...

...because I love you so.

-fin

Getting sleepy...zzzz...