'Ello, loyal readers, Kei here once again with yet another yaoi fanfic for all of you to, hopefully, enjoy. The intended pairings for this one is, of course, MalikXRyou. But, will it turn out that way? ::Evil grin:: You'll just have to read and find out, ne? Anyway, not to bore you, but a quick rundown on the inspiration for this story...I was listening to one of the NOW: That's What I Call Music CDs, and City High's song "What Would You Do?" happened to be on it. I listened to it a few times, and the lyrics suddenly hit me and I thought 'Hey, that may make a good YGO fic' So, hence my story "This Is What I Call Life." This story may or may not have lime/lemons in it, I don't know. I haven't gotten far enough in the plot to make the choice. I hope you enjoy it nonetheless. Now, onward for the disclaimer!

Malik: ::Walks out with the Millennium Rod, looking to the left, the right, then directly forward, extending the Rod:: YU-GI-OH AND ITS CHARACTERS DO NOT BELONG TO KEI, RA DAMN IT! ::Takes a deep breathe and grins:: I've always wanted to do that...

So hurtful...anyway...Enjoy Chapter 1 of "This Is What I Call Life"!

Chapter 1: No Looking Back

He wasn't one to go to parties or drink, though tonight he was feeling a bit more open to the idea. When his friends had called with the offer for a night out, he wasn't about to decline. Running his fingers through his ashen hair, he examined himself in the mirror, disgusted at what he saw. I never saw anyone who looked so dull, he sighed as he ruffled up his hair a bit, attempting to make it look somewhat presentable. His eyes flickered with disappointment, as he saw nothing more then the same old boring self he saw in the mirror everyday. This plainness disgusted him, and it had since he was in high school. Oh, the glorious days of high school where the only people who survive are those who have six-inch waists and a double D chest, twelve-inch biceps and absolutely no personality. So, in a nutshell, he failed in the quest for popularity and faded like so many others before him. His kindness died and he became a drifter, and no, not the drifter you're thinking of. A drifter in his eyes was one who used to be good, pure, innocent, until corrupted by the 'intelligent' minds of the pack of vicious hyenas whose jowls watered with delight when a new victim stepped into the land of the jocks and the preps. He was sucked in and by the time he was eighteen, in his senior year, he had tried about six different kinds of apple flavored alcohol, snorted any powder he could get his hands on and flunked out his senior year. Realizing the stupidity of his decisions, he returned to the prison and finished his second senior year at the top of his class. He graduated in the class of 2001, alongside a bunch of former juniors. How pathetic he felt, graduating at the age of nineteen amongst those who barley hit puberty, their faces covered in faint, red blemishes, and their voices just below breaking the sound barrier of being able to classify reaching puberty.

He escaped his small home town with its' population just peeking 3,000. But, did he go to college like he should and could have? Of course not! He disappointed Mother and pursued his career as a writer, a literal example of a starving artist. He spent most of his evenings at the local bar with nothing but a notebook and a pencil, its' base and eraser nibbled on. Sipping away on his apple induced vodka, he would write stories of a man at the end of his rope, a man whose eyes showed nothing but faded dreams and distant memories of a better life. What a bedtime story. No faeries with special powers, no bride and groom with a beautiful child in arm, nothing. In his stories, he did not grant wishes and bring forth the magic forgotten by many generations. Quite the contrary, he invoked fear and an uncertain darkness upon the heart. He showed the readers, young and old, the horrors, terror, and bitter hatred the world was filled with, and he did this with no mercy, explaining in depth how cold and lonely the nights were, how dark the abyss really was in the heart of one who didn't care, and how much he hated the world in general. With an array of immensely intimidating imagery and purely fear provoking personifications, he was a pioneer of his time, though there was just one problem, and that's that no one knew of him. He was one of those writers who hung out in the little caf├ęs where poets spoke freely of many things, and bongos were the coolest instruments. He didn't care though. He wrote for his own enjoyment, and that's all that mattered.

The activates for the night were still undecided, all that was known amongst the group of four men was they were going to get drunk and get laid, the average want of men in their mid twenties. The fifth man, the odd man out, our protagonist, sat in the back seat of his friend's Jaguar, crushed in between the fat guy who smelled like he hadn't bathed since the showerhead was invented, and the other guy whose hair looked so greasy, it could easily be mistaken for a rat with a good hair day. The odors wafting towards the ashen haired one were enough to gag the Rotor Rooter man. He tried his hardest not to breathe, though it was somewhat necessary if he wished to continue the life he claimed to hate, though it didn't seem like such a bad idea to him, ending his life. He had contemplated it many times, but he always came back to the same conclusion, As hopeless as I am, I cannot die until I know that at least one person will be at my funeral and I want at least one person to care... It was a frail dream he held onto with everything he had within himself, and he would never let it die. He knew that one day, he would find someone who would ease his fragile soul and put him to rest, someone who would understand him and love him for who he was and never try to change him, though that was just another dream short-lived. Breaking out of the silence that set him apart from all the other babbling idiots surrounding him, he looked up, auburn eyes nothing more then slits, eyes half lidded. The stench from the two behemoths caused his eyes to tear.

Before Ryou had a chance to break the silence, the one with the rat on his head spoke up, running his elongated tongue over his lips. "So, Ryou...you finally gonna get some tonight?" He laughed a laugh that smelled just as foully as the one who sat to Ryou's left. Swallowing hard, trying to keep his late lunch down, he replied in a soft hum.

"Doubt it, Eiji. You seem to be the girl magnet." The whole car exploded with laughter. What Ryou was really thinking was, Okay, Eiji, I'll get a girl when you get some shampoo. To himself, he snickered, knowing his secret comment was one that the men in the car may have agreed on. He never vocalized his witty retorts, for he already had enough enemies; he didn't need anymore.

The young man in the front passenger seat let out a soft chuckle, turning his head to look at the ashen haired one, flashing him a gentle smile. "Ryou, don't let Eiji pressure you." Flicking back stray strands of crimson hair, one dark scarlet orb glistening with a kindness that Ryou wasn't quite used to. The other of the orbs were hidden behind the bangs that had just settled back into place after being casually rearranged.

"Yeah." Replied the driver, dark violet hair that rested in a short rattail that tickled the back of his neck. He had eyes of a deep hunter, which glanced at him through the rearview mirror. He smiled as well. "Keisuke and me know that you'll find someone who loves you...and not someone who's after your wallet." Keisuke and the driver, Saichi, burst out in hysteric laughter, as did the one to Ryou's left, Heiwa. Eiji grimaced as he lifted his arm to smack the back of Saichi's head, though this wasn't the best idea on Ryou's part, because the horrid stench was pushed towards him to the worse degree as Eiji's arm was lifted, the horrible scent from between his arm and the nearly soaked material of his filthy t-shirt wafted right into Ryou's face. He held his breath for as long as he could, trying not to inhale the ferocious stench.

No...no...I can't die...not this young...Was all Ryou's mind screamed as when he tried to roll down his window, the only source of fresh air and possibly, his only survival, the automatic lock didn't hum as it would when the window would retract. Dammit, no...Saichi has the window lock on again...this is it...I'm gonna die...I'm gonna--

"Finally!" Screamed Keisuke, bringing Ryou out of his mental will, where he left everything and anything he had to his shabby lap cat, Miko, who probably had more intelligence then any of the oafs in the car (Though he did have respect for the two who sat in front of him, Keisuke and Saichi. They were the only normal guys Ryou knew, and he admired their firm grip on reality.) Ryou looked up, auburn eyes tearing as he saw the blindly bright lights of their finally destination, A strip club? "We're here! All right!" Overly enthused, Keisuke ripped open the car door and exited the sanctum, which smelled heavily of the foulest of body odor. Saichi chuckled at his best friend's antics, settling the car in the parking space, as he too exited, following closely by Eiji and Heiwa. Ryou, whose movements were quite minimal except for the occasional fresh breathe in and out, looked up at the flashing neon sign posted above the door in, LIVE NUDES! LIVE SHOWS!.

"Ryou, come on!" Saichi called, after noticing Ryou was still in the car, eyes set on the vivid lights.

Getting a malignant smirk upon his lips, Eiji whispered over to Heiwa. "I told you, he has a screw loose. Even bright colors seem to interest him." An uproar of laughter hinted to Saichi and Keisuke that the two bumbling fools were at it again, as in unison, lifted their hands and smacked their respective moron's heads. Saichi, as usual, took Eiji and Keisuke, Heiwa. "What did you--?!"

"Leave Ryou alone." Snapped the crimson haired one, as the violet haired one nodded in agreement.

All of this commotion had brought Ryou out of his trance as he rose, walking over towards the group. His eyes, as usual, seemed empty, void of all emotion. The group reconvened and began walking towards the entrance, the two behemoths cursing under their breaths. The ashen haired one stayed behind, as if he were beneath the ones before him, his eyes tracing the cold ash concrete, hands jammed in his loose jean pockets. His slender fingers fumbled with the loose change that jingled at the bottom of his faded Levis. His fingernails connected with the cold copper of the few pennies among the change, and a shiver raced through him. So cold, like Ryou's heart, soul, eyes. In many ways, he wished this life he lived wasn't his, lonely and bitter. His fingers then rested motionless in his pockets as his steps echoed those of the four men before him.

Throwing the doors of the homely looking club open, the men gawked, ohhed and ahhed. Ryou didn't notice what could be so shocking, as all he could see was the backsides of two of his rather ugly friends. The four seemed to drift away from the fifth, Ryou's vision now untainted by the rears of the bulls, just to be tainted by the scene before him.

Bodies intertwined with poles made of the dullest silver, skin against skin, lips brushing teasingly against lips, all of which filled Ryou's mind. He took a weak step forward, more of the small club being exposed to him. A linoleum stage with a ramp that extended out almost halfway onto the floor, carpeted with a splash of dark violet, which matched the walls of the same sinister indigo. The lights were rather dim, adding a touch of mystery, an air of erotic fear. Never would somebody walk into a land where the walls and floor looked as dark as the underside of a raven's wings and be comfortable, at home. His eyes darted from left to right, right to left, seeing bodies of both beautiful men and women entangled in a lustful embrace, though it wasn't what Ryou had been used to. He was used to, thanks to television, seeing a man and a woman slipping their respective tongues into the other's mouth. This was far from what Ryou was used to, seeing two men on his right grinding against each other, pure ecstasy on their faces. He backed up from the new sight, and accidentally bumped backs with two beautiful women, ensnared in each other's arms, lips plastered on each other's neck and lips. Excusing himself rather quickly, he noticed the women and men didn't mind his presence, even flinch, as they continued expressing their love openly and freely. He had never seen anything like it, not caring about cruel opinions and harsh words that may be throw at them. Ryou wished he could be like that, unaffected by other's hurtful words. They seemed so free, able to live a full life without having to worry about ridicule, free to live, love, and be themselves. Ryou's admiration was infinite.

Suddenly, the lights seemed to become dimmer then they already were. All around him grew silenced, but soon roared again with ecstatic applause and intimidating cat calls, as on the stage, a work of true beauty and chic. The lights soon focused on this mosaic of tan and gold upon the linoleum stage. Ryou's eyes focused steadily upon the figure, elegant copper skin covered in revealing golden cloth, barley covering his assets. Soon after the shadow's appearance, music of the most exotic degree blared over the speakers which signaled the form to begin swaying his hips hypnotically and give everyone who would watch a show they wouldn't soon forget.

Fast tempos and a rhythmic beat set his body into twist and turns Ryou thought impossible with the body's certain limitations, but this body seemed to surpass them with ease. He moved closer to the stage, close enough to be able to see the sweat encasing his body, trickling down his trim figure. As the figure frolicked around the stage, blonde tresses scattered, filling the air with a vibrant glow. Awe filled Ryou, his eyes watched every movement made by the figure, whose body arched, cooing for attention from those who watched. Soon, there was nothing protecting the ecru body from the eyes of all the sex hungry men and women watching, which bothered not the body, for its' beauty couldn't be matched or compared to. It was to be shown, displayed, and it did make money. The humidity of the club only added to the intensity as the pole was now the body's next victim. Wrapping shapely legs around the slender silver shaft, the body was thrown into a spiriting turn, entrancing and impressing the crowd hungrily watching, the bystanders letting out degrading catcalls and drunkenly spitting out 'Wanna come home with me tonight?' and 'Oh, baby!'. Ryou wasn't hearing this; he was only watching the body, whose performance was over. The applauds escalated into the wild cheering. A rain of green flew onto the stage, dollar bills, which were picked up just as quickly as they were thrown. To the disapproval of a few fans, the body soon retreated behind silken indigo curtains.

Soon, the people were entertained by yet another attractive figure, this of a women with, as Ryou thought of it, 'more boobs that brains', but Ryou couldn't let go of the one who was absent. His mind raced, not knowing why the thought of the dancer was lingering, why the shimmer of his body entranced him so. H-he looks so familiar, like I've seen him before. But...maybe I should...no...He began to walk towards the exit, hoping to be able to catch a taxi and get home, where he would grab a cup of black coffee, sit in his run down apartment, lacking of heat and running water, and sulk. This was the life Ryou lived, no excitement, the same routine, which is what made Ryou storm back towards the stage, in search of the one thing exciting and new that entered Ryou's life.

Speaking to one of the bouncers, he asked about the tanned one who was on the stage a few moments ago, and if he could get a chance to speak with him. Removing thick black sunglasses, revealing eyes looking drained of all life, as if they had never left the dim light of the club, he explained to Ryou about taking one of the dancers to the back room, where fantasies would be reenacted for those willing to pay, and Ryou was. Slipping the big man two fifties, he signaled for someone to retrieve the one Ryou requested. The ashen haired one was taken into the backroom, one a bit more festive then the entire club. The walls were a frosty lilac, though the carpeting still remained the dark violet. Leather couches and seats were scattered amongst the setup, as was a chest with a golden latched locked. Ryou had no idea what could be kept in that chest, nor did he have any interest in knowing. He only sat himself in the corner and waited, waited for the one whose appearance left a mark in Ryou's mind.

After waiting for but a few moments, the beaded curtains were pulled back, and a figure slipped through the opening, as Ryou's eyes focused in the dim light. This is it, Ryou...most likely, the craziest thing you've ever done...don't look back.

He didn't.


So, how'd ya like it? Please leave some passionate reviews for me so I know if you like, hate or...eh...hehe. Oh! And before I go...the four characters in the fic alongside Ryou are based upon myself and three others...Don't worry, we really don't make any other major effects on the story...or do we...? You'll just have to wait...but Keisuke is, of course, me. Saichi is my bestest buddy Sai. Heiwa is our friend Iwa, and Eiji...well...he's just an asshole we met at AnimeNext 2004 that we hope NEVER to see again...that's why he's an asshole in this story.

I bet you're all wondering the same thing...'Who's the dancer?! Oh! I know!' Well, most likely, who you think it is is who it is...but...you'll just have to wait for Chapter 2, now won't you? Hope to see you back for Chapter 2!