I do not own anything of YGO. Okay, maybe two of the English dub dvds- but they were gifts from people who meant well. 

A Bakura&Ryou/Anzu/Seto fic. Why can't a girl have the best of both worlds? Lol.

Thinking- 'Insert thought here'

Talking- "Insert speech here"

Of Dragons and Thieves

Chapter 1

School had been in session for the past three months. People who hadn't seen each other for the month long break, came back to classes to find their places in different clicks, different groups on the social ladder. Thirty days doesn't seem like a long time to anyone- but the winds of change blow where they will, and every school has it's gales.

But like every storm, this one too has an unchanging eye; for one group of friends nothing seemed to be able to alter them. Yugi was still the meek, but strong leader, Jou was still the loud, boisterous garbage disposal, Honda was still the strong pillar of the group, and Anzu the passionate defender. Every morning would find them grouped around Yugi's desk, and most evenings would find the guys hanging out at the Turtle Game Shop. Anzu was juggling an after school job nowadays while continuing her evening dance lessons, which left her little time for socializing. She managed a night a week at the least, though, set aside for her friends.

One thing many people don't realize, is Fate thrives on change. And if things stay the same way too long, it will find a way to shake things up. Unbeknownst to the little group of friends, their lives were about to become Fate's martini.

You'd think they'd be used to it by now.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Every day after school found Anzu walking. A lot. From the school to her work at the local mall (salesperson at the new clothing shop) was approximately two miles. Five hours later found her walking to the local dance studio-too late for the class she qualified for, but the instructors were kind enough to allow her to practice in an empty room. That averaged probably another two miles, not including the workout she received while there. Then she had another four miles through downtown Domino, until she reached her home.

The first couple of nights with this routine found Anzu sleeping on the couch of the living room-after eight miles of walking, plus work and practice, she didn't have the energy to climb upstairs for bed. The next three days she actually made it to her bedroom, and after that she was able to shower and change before bed.

Walking home from practice one night, her routine was slightly knocked off balance by the appearance of a tall, lanky brunette striding next to her. Downtown Domino was home to most major businesses, and she had been walking right past the KC building every night-although midnight was really too late to expect to meet anyone on the streets, or so she had thought.

'Kaiba? What is he doing here? Is he just now getting out of work?' She glanced nervously out of the corner of her eye at the stoic figure beside here. 'I really don't have the energy for a fight right now. I just want to go home-'

But home was another three miles yet. And although he was keeping pace with her (or was she keeping pace with him? She really didn't know.) he had yet to say anything derogatory to her. In fact, he had yet to say anything at all. One mile, then another passed in silence. Barely half a mile from her house, he turned down a side street and was gone.

'That was strange.' Anzu thought, glancing behind her.

Crawling into bed later that night, she put thoughts of Kaiba and his strange behavior behind her. 'After all' she thought 'What are the chances it'll happen again?'

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The next day of school went just like any other. Anzu hung out with the guys between classes and during lunch, paying little attention to the occasional glances she caught of the young CEO. Parting ways once they were let out, Yugi and the others headed for their usual haunt, the Gameshop, and Anzu headed for work.

Midnight found her once more traveling the empty streets of Domino. Surprisingly, thoughts of the previous night were far from her mind, even after passing the entrance to the KC building. Her mind was about an hour behind; still dancing in front of the barre and mirror- her routine needed work, and she was picking out the flaws that she wanted corrected before the next practice.

So when the footsteps behind her finally came to her attention, she didn't immediately react. When she did notice them, pretty loud at this point, the current time of night and the fact she was walking all alone suddenly struck her. Her heart rate increased proportionately as the footsteps grew nearer, so that she had to fight to keep herself from running. 'Act confident' she consoled herself. 'Don't look like an easy prey and you won't be one.' She stiffened her back, held up her head, and stared straight ahead. The footsteps came closer, and she visibly jumped when she glimpsed the edge of a coat beside her; a very familiar coat, now that she thought about it. Looking to her left, she wanted to smack herself in the forehead but figured it would only contribute to her foolish image. 'Oh, it's him.' She sighed in relief.

'Wait a minute- it's him. What is he doing here?' She waited with bated breath for some scathing remark-after all, it seemed he rarely missed a chance, no matter how small, to ridicule anyone. However, when she glanced expectantly over at her companion, the only response she received was an arched brow. Both teens faced forward again, turning their attention as one towards their respective destinations once more. They parted ways a little less than half a mile from her house.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

A few months later, Anzu thought nothing of her nightly commute with Kaiba; in the months past, there wasn't a single night she worked that she didn't see him on her way home. The two still had yet to say a word to each other-but that was fine with her. 'It's nice I don't have to walk alone, at least.' The deserted streets of Domino weren't considered dangerous- but any street so late at night wasn't the safest place for anyone alone. 'Perhaps,' she thought one night, crawling into bed 'even he doesn't mind a bit of companionship. And it's…nice.'

Nice to be able to be in someone's company that wasn't the guys, for once. Bice to not feel pressured into conversations just to prove she's 'feeling okay' (Jou: "Hey, you're too quiet- ya feeling okay there? Anzu: "For the tenth time- ask me again and this hotdog is going somewhere the sun doesn't shine."(Okay, she might not have said it out loud, but she was sure thinking it real hard)). Nice to be around someone she just…didn't care about keeping up appearances for. Hell, she could do the Macarena around Kaiba; it certainly wouldn't make him think any less of her- they were at rock bottom now.

It was nice to be around someone who wasn't Yami.

A year ago, Jou prodded her into doing something that, for all her bravado, she didn't think she could handle; a declaration of love to someone who once had an entire nation at his feet. Although very kind about it, he did reject her- explaining he knew he wouldn't be here forever, and that it would be unfair for him to leave any more lose ends when he had to depart.

Ouch.

Her first impulse was embarrassment, then a bit of hurt. Then the "getting-way-too-familiar" impulse to throttle Jou. But common sense intervened, and told her it wasn't his fault, and this way, at least she wouldn't waste any more time fawning after him. 'Dear gods, how did I end up back here?' she asked herself. 'Oh yeah, Kaiba.' Anzu pulled the covers over her, ruthlessly pushed all thoughts of enigmatic guys out of her head, and determined to fall asleep.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anzu padded downstairs that morning, and was greeted with a surprise once she entered the kitchen. "Mom? Dad? What are you guys doing home? Aren't you supposed to be somewhere in Europe right now?"

Her dad glanced up at her from the morning paper he held in his hands. "Hey sweetie. Nice way to welcome your folks back. No "Hey, glad to see you" or "Nice to see your plane didn't crash" or…"

"Nice to see your plane didn't crash." She laughed. "I'm glad to see you, just wasn't expecting you guys is all." It really wasn't that she was disappointed to see her parents-but they were gone way too often to really form any sort of lasting relationship with their only daughter. A bit of light banter here and there, a dinner out on the town once in a great while, and a few mornings later she'd be greeted with a short note and envelope of money in place of her parents.

There were worse parents out there. She appreciated this fact.

"Well, sorry to say, but we're not staying long." Her mother replied. Oh wow- no surprise there, really. "However, we'll be gone for quite some time this trip, and we're not exactly sure when we'll be back. So we've decided to call your aunt to come over and house-sit for us."

Dear god help her. There may be worse parents than hers in the world, but if they were thinking about calling who she thought they were…there were few things in the world worse than-

"Aunt Mako will be moving in here for the duration of our trip."

Someone up there hated her. Yep. No other explanation. "Dear god." Help me, she finished silently. "I'm sorry?" Her mother looked at her inquiringly. "Did you say something?"

Anzu smiled, though it came out as more of a grimace. "Nope. Hey, I've got to get going. See you guys later- bye!" She bolted the rest of her breakfast, and sped out of the room. She was stopped by her mother's voice. "Anzu- don't you need a lunch?" Anzu poked her head back in the kitchen to respond. "I'm all right, I've got a few dollars so I'll just pick up something at school." She was out of the house by the time her mothers' "Okay, be careful." left her mouth.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

"Hey Sens- oh, hey Ryou. Where's the teacher?" School was out, and the halls were nearly empty. Anzu was looking for her math teacher; she usually did pretty good, but there were some equations she wanted to review with him. She had every intention on graduating with honors, and she wasn't going to slack off now with a year and a half to go. She didn't know Ryou was having problems too, though-he was one of the top students in class. But he must have been-why else would he still be here when everyone else had left?

"Hello, Anzu. I'm not really certain where he went off to, but you'd best look elsewhere- you can get in trouble for talking to me while I'm in detention." He smiled up at her, his head in his folded arms on the desk.

Detention? Ryou?

"What?" She practically screeched She lowered her voice at Ryou's wince. "You're a straight A student- one of the top students. You never talk during class; you hardly talk at all, in fact. What did you do to cause Sensei to send you here?"

He smiled wryly. "Not me, I'm afraid." Understanding dawned on her.

"Bakura."

He sighed his reply. "Yes."

"I thought you had…an understanding with him now. Or something." She gave a half grin, half grimace. "There's some reason Yami no longer watches you like a hawk."

"Or something." He laughed. "That sounds about right. Lets' just say, at least no-one's soul is going to be jeopardized. Other than that, well, the more stir-crazy he gets in here, the more serious his exploits become when he comes out."

Anzu had walked into the classroom by this point, and sat backwards in the seat ahead of him. "Leaving you to deal with the consequences of his actions. Am I right?"

He chuckled, his head still in his arms. "You could say that."

"So, what did he do this time?"

"He stole the math teacher's wallet."

Her eyes widened. "Oh…and all they did was give you detention?"

He flashed another wry grin. "They can't exactly prove it was me."

She snorted with repressed laughter.

He sighed, still smiling. "Yea, I guess it is a bit funny."

She stared at him for a beat. "Let me talk to him".

He looked at her like she was crazy, and, to tell the truth rightfully so. "Say again?"

"Let me talk to him." She repeated.

"Who?" He sat up, no longer so relaxed.

"Bakura, silly." She playfully flicked him with her fingers on his forhead.

"You jest."

"Nope. Maybe I can talk some sense into him."

His eyebrows creased in worry. "I don't know if that's such a good ide-"

Ryou's eyes darkened, and his face took on a slightly sinister look.

"And what does the pharaoh's bitch want with me?"

Anzu's fist came out, and struck him in the eye before either one of them could do more than blink. Bakura shot out of his seat, hands reaching for her throat-but she pushed herself back against the desk, and swung her foot up to brace against the boy's chest, preventing him from advancing any further. Her voice was a bit breathy, due to the sudden rush of adrenalin. "I'm no-one's bitch, and to warn you, Yami is a sore subject to bring up with me."

Bakura glowered at her, and griped her ankle in warning. She fought a paralyzing fear, and kept reminding herself that Ryou wouldn't let anything bad happen.

At least, she hoped he'd be able to stop anything too bad from happening.

They continued to glare at one another, until Anzu broke the stalemate.

"So, can we have a half-way civil conversation?"

She went to draw her foot back, but Bakura's grip tightened for a moment, causing a panic to briefly engulf her. After half a second, he took his hands away and Anzu was able to put her leg down. He sat down warily, keeping his eyes on her.

Narrowing his eyes, he responded. "What do you want, woman?"

It was a step up from 'Pharaoh's bitch' at least.

Anzu folded her arms on the back of her chair, and leaned her chin on them, trying to appear carefree. "So the great Thief King is resorting to pick pocketing? Sounds kind of lame, doesn't it?"

His glare intensified, if that was possible. "I was bored."

"And you got caught." She imitated his tone.

He leaned forward, so that he slightly towered over her.

"I did not! That fool has no clue it was me."

"Then why are you here, in detention? Sounds like he had some sort of 'clue' to me."

He leaned back, turning his head away and growled.

"Look, why don't you give it up? You have no idea what kind of a culture you're facing here. Our society has so many ways of catching someone breaking the law, that we can trace you using a single hair off your head. We've got fingerprinting, and DNA sampling and-"

He interrupted her. "What happens when you build a better mouse-trap?" He looked at her.

She looked at him quizzically. "I don't know." Anzu decided to humor him. Sighing, she asked "What happens?"

He grinned. "Someone builds a better mouse."

She raised an eyebrow. "Oh, ha ha. Very funny; but what does that mean?"

Leaning forward, he said "Here's a clue. I am the better mouse." Ryou sighed inside. He tried telling Bakura she probably wouldn't get it; it was an old English saying.

But she surprised him- it took a few moments to sink in, but she understood now. "Wait a second. You're a, what, five-thousand year old spirit? In a body that's completely different than the one you were born into? No matter how much time you spend in control, it's still going to feel unnatural to you. Ryou hasn't had the life you've lived." At least, not that I'm aware of- she amended silently. "You don't have the control, or dexterity that made you an oh-so-successful thief back then. All you're going to do is get poor Ryou in jail-then what are you going to do, when you have nothing to do but stare at four blank walls all day?"

Bakura just stared.

Anzu cast her gaze downward, and began to fidget. "Okay, maybe I ran off my mouth a little more than I should have."

Bakura actually smiled. He took her chin in his hand, and tilted her head until her gaze met his. "I believe you've just solved my problem." His smile turned into a feral grin.

Her mouth dropped open, speechless.

Bakura's features melted into the gentle planes of Ryou. Taking his hand back from her face, he said "I don't know if that's a good thing, or bad."

"Neither do I."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Well, there you have it. Hopefully I can update at least once a month- I'm pretty excited to finally get this story down, I've had it in my head for so long. I just hope it comes out right.

Hope you enjoy!