Disclaimer: I do not own YuGiOh.

Yes, it is finally here. My fanfic entry for Vaz1201's fanfic contest is finally complete! (XD) I was going to set it in Ancient Egypt at first, but then I decided against that idea when I thought of this one. Once in a Full Moon is finally complete! So it's two months later (sweatdrop) – oh well. Ch9 of Beneath the Desert Sands will be the next story updated (it will finally be finished).

I hope you all enjoy this. For some reason, lately I've been in the mood to write stories with more details and less dialogue. Maybe I've been watching too many sappy romance movies… or reading too many romance fanfics… (;D)

Once again I am the mood to use their Japanese names. Wow, I've been in a weird mood lately (Oo). Lol

Once again, I wanted to put in the Simple and Clean lyrics, but due to FF rules, I can't.

Summary: Sometimes, two people are drawn together without them acknowledging it. Ryou had always thought of Anzu as a friend, nothing more. But one day, he sees her in a whole new light. Can this shy, stubborn albino confess his feelings for her, and will she return his love? Or will their feelings remain subtle underneath the shadows?

Anzu x Ryou


Simple and Clean

By: Chi Yagami


He pulled the package out of his paper lunch sack. The light yellow wrapper surrounding the sandwich gave a clear statement that it'd been bought at the store. Usually, he made his own sandwiches; today he had decided to try something new. He unwrapped his lunch and placed the paper aside. A piece of lettuce fell from the end and landed in his lap. But the albino boy took no notice of this: he was too busy trying to stop a blonde Yankee from stealing his lunch.

"Come on, Ryou," Katsuya was saying. "You know I haven't eaten breakfast yet. I'm starvin'."

"Let the dude eat his food," Honda said, trying to restrain Katsuya. "Ryou's probably just as hungry as you are."

Maybe… but maybe he wasn't hungry at all. His brain was telling him that it was noon, lunchtime, and that it was time to eat. However, his stomach wasn't so sure; lately, he'd felt quite queasy, and his stomach kept lurching as if it was going to pop right out of his body. He wondered if it was just a phase. It had been a bit freaky for a while since the yamis had gotten their own bodies.

"No, it's okay; you can have it," he said with a smile, handing the triple-decker sandwich to Katsuya. Honda shrugged and dug into a plastic carton of pudding.

Across from Katsuya (who was sitting next to him and Honda) sat Yugi. Miho sat on Yugi's right, and Otogi sat on Miho's right. She sat across from him and on Yugi's other side. She was sitting there stiffly, picking at her green beans with her spork. Her bangs fell over her sapphire eyes, and her head was hanging down low. She had made a B- on her English exam, something her parents weren't tolerant of. Her father was especially concerned about her school grades; Mr. Gardner was not a man to be trifled with.

"Anzu," he asked softly, "what's wrong?"

"N-nothing," she replied, instantly lifting her face up and putting on a smile. "I just got a B on some English test… It's no big deal really."

"I hear Katsuya got a perfect score on the exam," Otogi threw in. "Maybe he could help you…"

"Yeah," Katsuya agreed, "I can help ya! I'm a true American after all!"

"I just hope she doesn't pick up on your accent," Honda muttered. Katsuya threw a tomato slice at the pencil-head, who merely ducked.

"Jyonouchi's giving Mazaki tutoring sessions! Now I've seen everything."

They turned around to see Seto Kaiba glaring at Jyonouchi.

"Buzz off, moneybags! Dis is none of ya beeswax!"

"Your hair is made of beeswax, Yankee-Doodle," Kaiba replied with a smirk and walked haughtily away.

"Dat jerk… I'm gonna beat him up someday… But anyway, Anzu, I'd be happy ta tutor ya on English," Katsuya said with a grin. She smiled back and thanked her friend.

He felt it again, that black hole in his stomach. It was like he felt… Wait, how did he feel? He tried to figure out his thoughts. So, what could possibly make him feel this way? He was… unhappy. His heart felt empty, and he felt like something was missing. But what? It wasn't like he was jealous of Katsuya or anything…

It hit him like a ton of bricks. He was jealous of Katsuya! But what did Katsuya have that he didn't? His American friend had just offered to tutor her on English… He was jealous of that? But why? Oh no… He realized where all of these weird feelings had come from… He'd fallen head-over-heels for a certain brunette. He did admit, though, that she was pretty cute. Especially when she defended her friends and acted as the "mother" of the group… He smiled just thinking about her.

"Ryou," she said, "your face is red. Are you feeling okay?"

He blushed even more and turned away to compose himself. When he turned back, she was still looking at him.

"I… uh… have to go," he said quickly. "I need to finish my chemistry project… I'll be in the library. See you guys later!"

He stood up and pushed his chair in. She gave him a suspicious look as he collected his backpack, but it subsided when he looked at her with a smile. She waved goodbye and watched him leave.

"Katsuya!"

"WHAT!"

"You just scared Ryou away! Man, first you scare those kids from apartment 23, and now you're scaring your own friends! Dude, you can take off the mask; Halloween's over."

"Honda…!"


He hurried out of the cafeteria and into the library. He had to get away from there; he didn't want to lie to her, and he surely couldn't tell her the truth.

As soon as school was over, he went straight home. He usually walked her home because they lived in the same neighborhood. But that was before he'd developed a crush on her. Or, at least before he'd realized it. He unlocked the door to his house and stepped inside. The smell of burnt plastic wafted through his nose from the kitchen.

"Yami!" he said, setting his things down (more like tossing) and dashing into the kitchen. Bakura was standing in front of the microwave, hands on hips. The microwave was smoking; Bakura had blown up one too many Twinkies.

"Bakura! I specifically told you: DO NOT HEAT UP ANY MORE SWEETS! THAT INCLUDES TWINKIES AND PEEPS!"

"Uh, sorry."

"Sorry doesn't cut it! You melted my microwave! And last week it was the stove! And the week before that was the washing machine!" he yelled stressfully.

"You forgot three weeks ago when I broke the vacuum cleaner."

"UGH!" he shouted, flinging himself facedown upon the couch and screaming into a pillow. To Bakura, this was very unRyou-like.

"Why are you home? I thought you had school… or did they let you out early from discovering the rat-infested basement?" his yami asked curiously. He popped his head up and looked at Bakura.

"Rat-infested basement?"

"Wait… you didn't know about that? Oops… heheh, let's just say Marik and I were bored yesterday afternoon…"

He just fell back onto his pillow. He didn't know why he was so stressed out over a girl.

"You like Mazaki! The Pharaoh's concubine! What in Ra's name is wrong with you!" Bakura shouted after reading his mind. "Miss Friendship is nothing but trouble!"

"She's an angel," he said dreamily. "She's the most beautiful girl I've ever seen… and I have absolutely no chance with her."

"What?" Bakura asked. "I mean, I know you're a disgrace–"

"Gee, thanks."

"–but you also look just like me, and I'm too sexy for her to refuse! There is no reason why she shouldn't go out with you… except that you're clumsy, ignorant, too girly, forgetful…"

"I get the point," he said gloomily. "I could never go out with a girl like her. She's so… she's so high above me…"

He sighed into the soft silky fabric of the pillow. He wondered if her skin felt as smooth as this pillow. Did he just think about her skin? He was going crazy; she was just a friend of his, and they weren't even that close of friends. Why would she ever date a guy like him? But still, he couldn't stop thinking about running his fingers through her auburn hair on a cool night on the couch…

"Hikari," Bakura barked while turning on the TV, "stop having fantasies about a woman you say will never love you. Why don't you make yourself useful and fix me a bag of popcorn?"

Surprisingly, he did not object. He opened the pantry and pulled out the box of popcorn bags. Images of her flashed through his mind, and he smiled. Eve if he couldn't date her, he could still be a supporting friend… although it would be so much better if he could be the one to catch her when she falls… He placed the bag in the second microwave that hung over the stove. Knowing Bakura, he'd gotten out his dad's old microwave just in case. He set the timer for four minutes and watched the bag begin to pop. He decided to fix himself a sandwich. He didn't know why, but all of the sudden he felt like eating.

"It's because you're depressed," Bakura called from the den. "But you shouldn't eat just because you're depressed; it's unhealthy."

"You actually care about my health, Yami?" he asked with a chuckle.

"Somebody has to."

He hung his head in shame. Ever since his father had left on an exploration, no one had been there to take care of him. He needed someone older to guide him in the right direction. Bakura just happened to be three thousand-four years older than him, and his yami used that as an excuse to make his decisions for him. Disregarding Bakura's words, he pulled out the PB&J and the bread. He opened up the silverware drawer just as the microwave beeped. He got the popcorn bag out of the microwave and pulled the sides apart, letting out all of the steam. While Bakura's meal was cooling, he spread his PB&J onto a slice of bread with a knife. He bit into his sandwich and chewed up the small bite. Next, he poured the popcorn into a large bowl and marched into the den.

"Here," he said, placing the bowl on the table in front of Bakura.

"Yeah, yeah… you're blocking the TV."

He sighed, grabbed his sandwich, and went upstairs to his room. It was useless to try to communicate with Bakura; the TV was one of the few things his yami found useful in this century. Bakura watched him walk up the stairs.

"I have to do something for him," Bakura muttered to himself, "but what? He's so sad about that woman not liking him, and he doesn't even know if that's how she really feels! If only he could spend more time with Anzu…"

That's it! If Bakura could somehow get the two together…


She was lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Why hadn't he waited for her at the front of the school like always? They walked home together every day; she was kind of disappointed when he hadn't shown up. Actually, she was quite worried about him: she'd gone searching all over the school for him, and she'd even asked the janitor for information on his whereabouts. Why hadn't he been there? Did she do something to make him mad? Is that why he left during lunch? Had she said something that'd made him uncomfortable? She decided she should call him.

Ring! Ring!

She picked up her phone and glanced at the caller ID; it was him…

"Hello?" she asked timidly.

"Anzu?" a gruff voice asked. It definitely wasn't his.

"Yes… Who is this?"

"Umm, it's Bakura… I need to talk to you… in person."

Bakura? Why would his yami be calling her? Maybe something had happened… something awful… But why was she so worried about what was happening to him? It wasn't like they'd been best friends since kindergarten or something…

"Okaay… Why?" she asked. Bakura was starting to creep her out.

"Because the phone is too dangerous," came the reply. She gave the phone a weird look before telling Bakura to meet her at the arcade in five minutes.

"Hikari," Bakura shouted while putting the phone back into the kitchen, "I'm going out!"

"What? Where?"

"That's none of your business."

He didn't like how his yami was being so secretive. Where would an ancient evil tombrobber go in Domino City? He watched Bakura shut the door and head towards downtown. He decided to follow his yami. He wanted to know what Bakura was up to. He was led to the Domino Arcade. He watched from the window as Bakura entered the building and looked around uneasily. He gasped when he saw her walk up to Bakura and drag his yami away to a table. He couldn't believe it! Bakura knew how he felt about her and yet still went on a date with the girl of his dreams!

Bakura sighed and looked at her. Time to spill the beans…

"Anzu?"

"Yeah? What did you want to talk about?" she asked worriedly. "Did something happen to Ryou?"

"No… and yes. He's not hurt or anything, just depressed," Bakura explained. "I want to ask you something; I would've asked you over the phone but I was afraid Ryou might be listening or something… Anyway, because he is so depressed, I was wondering if you might spend some time with him this weekend to cheer him up?"

He was depressed? But why? Was it because of her? Because of something she said or did? No matter, she'd make it up to him this weekend.

"I of course I will! Do you want me to ask him, or…?"

"Uh… I think it might be better if you called him and asked him; Ryou might not believe me…"

They both laughed as they exited the arcade.


He was waiting when Bakura got home.

"Bakura! I can't believe you'd do that to me!" he exclaimed, making Bakura jump. "I know you hate me, but that doesn't mean you have to go date Anzu just to prove you're better than me!"

"What!" his yami asked startled. "I'm not dating Anzu… Wait, you followed me to the arcade?"

He nodded. Bakura sweat-dropped and looked at the ground.

"I wasn't on a date with her… I was asking her to do me a favor…"

"What! That doesn't even make any sense!"

Ring! Ring!

"Hello?" he asked irritably.

"Ryou?"

Her soft, melodic voice sent chills down his spine; she sounded nervous or hesitant. Why was she calling him?

"Why are you calling me? Weren't you just on a date with Bakura!" he asked angrily. She was taken aback.

"A date? No… he was asking me to do him a favor, if you know what I mean. He needs help getting this girl to like him…"

She had come up with that lie on the spot. She knew Bakura would kill her someday, but what could she say? She didn't want to tell him the truth.

"Ryou? Would you like to hang out sometime this weekend?" she asked, interrupting his thoughts about what she had just said. He looked at the telephone with big brown eyes, his mind trying to comprehend her request. She wanted him to hang out with her this weekend? Wow… Could she actually have feelings for him…? Nah, she was just doing it to be nice; she was always looking out for her friends. Something clicked in his mind…

"Anzu, uh, sorry for not walking you home today," he apologized.

"It's okay," she said, but he could tell she'd been disappointed. She was sad that he hadn't walked her home? Maybe there was hope after all…

"So, when do want to get together? Does around eight sound good to you?" she asked, brushing away the downhearted conversation and moving on to a happier one. "I can come pick you up…"

"Okay. I'll see you at eight tomorrow morning," he replied, his insides bubbling up. "Bye, Anzu!"

"Bye Ryou," she said with a giggle, hanging the phone up. He was such a sweet guy.


He woke up early Saturday morning; he wanted to look his best for her. He jumped into the shower, but he jumped back out when the water started freezing up.

"Bakura! Stop flushing the toilet downstairs!"

"Innocent me?" Bakura asked mockingly. But the yami went into the den to watch TV. He thought that by now, Bakura would've become a fat couch potato. Guess not. After he took a shower, he dried himself off and looked around for a decent pair of clothing. He hadn't been able to shop much, so… what did he have? He searched through his closet, keeping a tight grip on the towel around his waist… a school uniform… that sweater from Duelist Kingdom… Battle City clothes… not much to work with. He put on some jeans and… (--;;) that same shirt from Battle City; he left the blue jacket on the floor. He stuffed his socks and shoes onto his feet; it was ten till eight. He rushed down the stairs and into the kitchen. Perfect timing: his yami was toasting poptarts. As soon as they popped out of the toaster, he grabbed one and put it in his mouth, racing out of the kitchen and out of the front door. Bakura scowled at the single pastry sticking out of the appliance.

"RYOU! GET BACK HERE WITH MY BREAKFAST!" Bakura roared at the slamming door. "I guess he managed to pick up some of my thief mannerisms after all…"

He ran outside and down the street. He didn't want to make her wait on him. Wait, where was he going again? Wasn't she supposed to pick him up?

WHAM!

His fast-moving body collided with another halfway down the street. He stumbled backwards and landed on his behind. He shook his head, trying to regain knowledge of what happened. He looked over to where the other person sat rubbing their knee.

"Anzu! Are you okay!" he asked, running to her side. He saw her knee had gotten scraped when she'd fallen down. He pulled out his handkerchief and tied it around her bruise.

"Umm, Ryou… it's not like I'm bleeding. You don't have to…"

He raised his head and looked her in the eye. He had that look about him, like he knew he didn't have to act all overprotective but he wanted to anyway. Suddenly, he realized how weird he was being and gave her a sheepish smile. The moment would've been right if they were dating; however, they were not.

"You know that I said I would come get you, right?" she asked as he helped her get up. She dusted herself off and turned to him. He smiled, and, placing his hand in hers, he led her towards the mall. Today was his day to show her how munch he cared; he was still suspicious of why she and Bakura had been hanging out, and he wanted to prove to her that he was the one for her, that he was better than any other guy out there. They entered the mall and looked around.

"So," he asked her, "where do you want to go first? DDR? Clothes? Food? Uh… somewhere else?" he asked. She smiled and dragged him towards the bookstore.

"Why are we going here? Do you want a book or something?"

She just smiled and released his hand, wandering off towards the dance books; he should've known. He glanced down the aisle and saw a book called So You Want to Prove Your Love to Her? Blushing, he picked up the book and flipped through some of the pages.

"Ryou?"

He turned and spotted her poking her head around the corner. She motioned for him to join her. He just held the book and walked over to where she was standing.

"My necklace is caught on my hair. Do you think you could untangle it for me?" she asked, turning her back to him. "Thanks."

He blushed as he pushed her hair aside and fingered her necklace. There was a lot of hair caught onto the latch; he began to pull random hairs. He was a guy so he really didn't know what to do.

"Ouch!" she cried when he yanked too hard.

"Sorry," he apologized softly. As he continued to wrestle with her necklace, she was have strange feeling surge through her body. His touch was cool and gentle. She felt safe and secure with him, and she really didn't want to be with anybody else at that moment. But why did she feel this way about him? Did it have something to do with that weird dream she'd had last night? It been right after Atem had won his first duel against Bakura… back in Battle City…

(Dream Flashback)

"You guys go on ahead," she said, "I'll watch over Ryou."

"Thanks, Anzu," Katsuya said, winking. "We'll try an' get old Moneybags to land dis thing and get him a doctor."

"Bye!"

She watched his sleeping form for a while, then took out her cell phone and started to play games on it.

"Anzu?"

She dropped her phone onto the floor and turned to look at the albino sitting up in bed. He cocked his head to the side in an oh-so-cute way and grinned.

"Ryou! You're awake!" she cried, standing up. "I've got to tell the others!"

"Anzu," he said, grabbing her hand and stopping her from leaving, "I want you to stay. Stay with me please."

She looked at his pleading face and melted into a pile of mush. He was so cute. That was him, her cute, clumsy friend. She sat down on the edge of the bed. He scooted up closer to her, and he placed his hands over hers.

"Ryou, are you okay?"

"Anzu, I… there's something I need to tell you," he said, pulling her into his arms. What was he doing? This couldn't be him… this couldn't be her friend… yet there was no denying that girly voice or that soft white hair. His nose was touching hers.

"Ryou…?" she asked fearfully.

"Anzu, I love you," he said, placing his lips on hers.

(End Dream Flashback)

"There," he said. "I got it untangled. You're free."

She turned to him and smiled. Did that dream really have more meaning to it then a simple fantasy? Wait, she had fantasies about him? When had this started? Why was she having these feelings all of the sudden? She felt strangely attracted to him, and she couldn't stop staring at him. It was as if she was leaning in to kiss him…

"Are you going to buy that or not?"

They turned to see the store manager glaring at them. He put the book down and pulled her out of the store. They turned a corner and burst out laughing. The look on that man's face had been priceless; he couldn't stop laughing, and even she had a red face.

"You had to admit, for a strict guy, he was pretty funny," she giggled, pushing her hair behind her ears. He watched her look around the mall, trying to decide on what to do next. He had to prove that he cared about her way more than half of the other guys out there. He had to prove his love to her. LOVE! He loved her! Well, no use denying it now; he was obviously obsessed with her. Even Bakura recognized his fancy with her, and Bakura hardly ever paid any attention to him, let alone his love life. Time to show her how fun he really was…

"Let's go play DDR," he suggested, once more taking her hand and leading her away.

"You'll actually play against me?" she asked jokingly. "You won't try to weasel your way out like last time?"

"No, I promise I'll play."

They entered the arcade and went to the DDR machine. She pulled out some quarters and slid them into the coin slot; she stood on the platform with confidence while he stood with butterflies in his stomach. If he lost really bad, she might think he didn't really want to play, but if he won, she might be mad at him for beating her. But of course he wouldn't win, he knew she was one of the best at Dance Dance Revolution. They played one game, and each stage, she ended up with a perfect score and he had a D or a C. In the end, she beat him by far, and he just laughed it off, hoping she wouldn't care. She didn't; she really thought he was perfect the way he was.

"So… where to next?" she asked. He shrugged and glanced around the mall.

"We could just go window shopping… you know, just walk around…"

She smiled, and this time it was she who took him by the hand and led the way. He felt a lightning bolt run up from his hand to his heart, which skipped several beats. She dragged him past store after store, sometimes stopping to point out small tidbits or things that reminded her of people or places.

"See that small gnome with the spiky hair?" she asked, pointing to a statue in a garden shop. "That reminds me of Yugi!"

"Huh? Oh… I see," he agreed, chuckling. "That taller one next to it could be Atem…"

They continued walking around the mall until they had been to every nook and cranny. They wandered back to the food court and decided that it was time to eat, or rather, her growling stomach decided. They glanced around, taking in all of the fast food. She pointed over to a salad bar and left him standing there clueless. He watched her order a salad and sighed. He knew that he should eat, but even the depression wasn't overpowering enough to calm his nerves. He felt very jumpy all of the sudden, maybe from noticing how close she always was to him, or how she liked to hold his hand. Could… could she possibly have feelings towards him?

………………………

Nah… she didn't like him. Even his own Yami didn't like him. He sat down at a table and waited for her to return. She flounced across the floor and bounced into her seat. She cocked her head to the side and smiled cutely at him. He had to tell her; it was now or never. He placed his cold hand onto her warm one; she shuddered under his touch, but as she looked into his deep chocolate eyes, she found that she'd gone numb. His fingers intertwined with hers, and their eyes locked.

"Anzu?"

"Yeah…?" she asked. They were leaning in towards each other now, both of their stomachs smashing the tabletop.

"I…"

"Yes?"

"I… I'm not hungry right now," he squeaked, cowering away from her. His hand shot out of her grasp and retreated to his side. He had failed to express his feelings yet again.


They were walking in the park, making him even more uncomfortable. Couples were sitting on benches making out, and he didn't want her to feel pressured into anything. He led her down the small path towards the river. The water sparkled like no tomorrow, and he swore he'd drown in those eyes of hers someday. He knew he had to tell her now; it was the perfect time. Everything was quiet and peaceful, save the river's steady current, and all of the stars were shining their brightest in the night sky. Once again his hands found their way to hers, their fingers weaving in and out. They were standing in front of the river, the moonlight illuminating her every feature. He was afraid to look her directly in the eye, and instead he hung his head low, his bangs shadowing most of his face from view. He found himself staring down at her chest or long legs, unable to pry his eyes off her body. He decided he was going to give it his best shot.

"Anzu, umm, I wanted to tell you something earlier," he said softly, pulling her closer. She blushed at his actions and pushed some strands of hair behind her ear. His face was inches away from hers, his eyes still shielded.

"Ryou, are you okay?"

"Anzu… just listen to me, please…"

"Okay," she agreed, giving him her full attention.

"Lately, I've been finding myself at a loss of words," he whispered gently. "But I found out that it's okay…"

He raised his head so that they were at the same eye level. He removed his hands from hers, and took her wrists, guiding them up and around his neck. She showed no fear or confusion; she simply kept staring into his eyes. He then placed his hands on her hips and lightly pressed his body up against hers, closing the space in between them. Their lips met in a light kiss.

Somehow she'd known all along that he was the one. She felt the fire burning up inside her grow stronger, and their small kiss turned into a deeply passionate tongue twister. They just stood there, kissing in the moonlight, until she pulled away for air. His eyes told her everything she needed to know as he took off his shoes and socks; she followed his lead, and they placed their footwear on a nearby rock. He took her hand and pulled her about a foot into the river; they sat down, her body against his. His hands were draped over her shoulders, his fingers toying with her necklace. He kissed the back of her head softly and whispered in her ear.

"You're okay with this, right?"

"Ryou," she chuckled, "I'll never forget this night."

He smiled and wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her shoulder. She ruffled is hair.

"Simple and clean is the way that you're making me feel tonight."


Wow! I finally finished it! I hope you all liked this fic. I worked really hard on it; I spent way too much time on it… I hope Vaz1201 likes it (XD).

Also, did you notice that I never referred to them as Ryou or Anzu unless in dialogue? (XD) I just thought of writing it like that for some reason. I'm weird… Oo;;;

Please review! Sayonara!