Summary: Domino High is throwing a Halloween dance, and the gang is going in disguise, hoping to gain a dance with their beloved. Little do they know, they're not the only ones with a trick up their sleeves(or a mask on their face)…

Masquerade Madness

Anzu slumped in her seat as she waited for the final bell to ring. Across the room, Honda and Jounouchi were arguing about something, but she was too tired to care. All she really wanted to do right now was to go home and sleep, but that seemed eons away to the brunette as she laid her head on her arms, trying desperately not to doze off.

"Something the matter, Anzu?"

Anzu's head jerked up, but then dropped down again when she saw that it was just Yuugi.

"No, just tired." she mumbled, forcing the drowsiness from her voice.

Her friend smiled sympathetically, then turned to try and help resolve Jounouchi and Honda's disagreement.

'Thank God it's Friday.' she thought sleepily.

About five minutes later, the announcements came on.

"Good afternoon, students."

'Finally' Anzu thought.

"The newspaper staff will meet today in room 237. Also, the Mathletes will be meeting in Ms. Yukinari's room, room 452, today at 3:00. Whoever started the food fight today in Lunch Period 3 has until Tuesday to confess before we resort to the security tapes."

Everyone in the room, teacher included, turned to look at Jounouchi. He just shrugged it off and went back to arguing with Honda.

" If you confess, your punishment will be lightened. Also students, one last announcement: This year's Halloween Dance will be a costume ball. That means masks are strongly encouraged, but are not mandatory. That is all. Have a nice weekend, and all students are now dismissed."

'A costume ball, eh? I'll ask Mai and Shizuka if they want to go shopping with me tonight. Right after my two hour nap.' Anzu thought tiredly as she inserted her key into her front lock and entered her home. Her parents were at a meeting, and she was home alone until 11:00.

She decided to call Mai and Shizuka. Mai first.

"Hey, Mai!"

"Oh hey, Anzu! What's up?"

"Well, my school is having a masquerade for Halloween in a week, and I was wondering if you and Shizuka wanted to go dress shopping with me? I know Jou wanted to ask you."

"Sure, hon. I'll go! But I doubt Jounouchi'll ask me. He doesn't even know I'm in town!"

"Well, you could always just go and surprise him."

"That's true. I'll do that. Did Honda or Otogi ask Shizuka?"

"Neither yet. Although she'll probably just go because of Jou."

"You're probably right. I'll call Shizuka, and I'll pick you up in an hour and a half, okay?"

"Great. See you then!"

"Bye, hon."

Anzu hung up the phone and headed to her room. 'Great.' she thought. 'Just enough time for a quick nap…….'

Anzu walked out of her house an hour and a half later wearing a pair of dark jeans and a green t-shirt. She hopped into Mai's car and sped off to the mall. Mai was wearing a black miniskirt with a tight red and black t-shirt, while Shizuka was wearing a pink shirt with pale jeans. When the threesome arrived, they piled out of the car and headed straight into the nearest dress shop.

"No."

"I agree. It's not your color."

Shizuka looked at herself in the full-length mirror and shook her head.

"It's too short for me. I don't want to go as a showgirl!"

All three girls laughed. Shizuka went back into the dressing room and threw the thigh-high neon green dress over the top.

"You next, Anzu." she said, reemerging in her normal clothes.

"Alright, then."

Anzu entered the stall and slipped her top over her head. She slid off her jeans and maneuvered her way into the slinky blue dress. She fixed her hair and walked out of the changing stall.

"Oh, Anzu!"

"You look just perfect, hon."

"Thanks."

Anzu looked into the full-length mirror and grinned. She did look good. The color of the dress really played up her big blue eyes, and it was really slimming. Mai handed her the dark blue and black butterfly mask she had bought earlier and Anzu slipped it on.

"Oh, Anzu!! You look absolutely stunning!"

"Fantastic, Anzu."

She looked at herself one last time, and smiled slightly.

"I'm going to get it. What about you two?"

"I'm going to get the black dress. Have you decided yet, Shizuka?"

"Hmmm, I think I'll get the purple one and go as a princess. Anzu's a butterfly, what are you going as, Mai?"

"A cat." she replied smugly.

"Nice." Anzu said as she weaved through display cases and racks of clothes toward the cashier. "I'm going to buy this and head to the food court. Anyone care to join me?" The mad rush of hair and Prada that made its way out of the dressing room more than answered her question.

Anzu stepped out of Mai's car and grabbed her bags and boxes from the backseat.

"Thanks for taking us today, Mai. I had fun."

"No problem, hon. You want to come over to my place beforehand and get ready?"

"Sure! What about you, Shizuka?"

The petite redhead thought for a moment. "I'll have to ask my mom, but I'd love to!"

"Cool. I'll see you all next Friday!"

And with that, Anzu headed into her house to put her purchases away.

One Week Later

Anzu admired herself in the mirror one last time. For once, she was really pleased with what she saw. With Mai's help, she had pulled back her hair into an elegant bun fastened with sparkling diamond clips, and her mask fit perfectly. The stunning butterfly woman that stared back at her looked like she should be found in a mystical tale of knights and forbidden love. Little did she know, that was almost exactly what awaited her on the dance floor of Domino High.

"You all set, hon?" the slinky black cat across the room asked.

"Mmhm."

"I'm ready, too." the princess in purple said, appearing in the doorway.

"Come on girls, let's go break some hearts!" the cat said, rising from her chair and heading for the door. The butterfly and the princess followed.

At the Dance

"Oh, wow!"

"They really went all-out on this one!"

The three girls piled out of Mai's car and headed for the school's entrance. Once they got inside, they were greeted by the Dark Magician by the concessions stand.

"Hey Anzu, you look great!"

"Thanks Yuugi."

"Hey Yuugi, have you seen Jou anywhere?" Mai asked, pushing her way in front of Anzu.

"Uuum, there, he's by the back exit with Honda and Otogi." Yuugi said, pointing at their three friends.

"Oh, boy…" Anzu said under her breath.

Jounouchi was dressed as the Flamed Swordsman and, judging by the look on his face, he was regretting it. There were jeers and taunts about his 'dress' coming from all directions, and he was getting angrier by the second.

Honda had come as an executioner, and was trying to fend off his friends tormenters by threatening them with his fake axe.

Otogi was a king, and had a flock of 'royal followers' dancing the night away around him.

"Come on Shizuka." Mai said as she dragged the petite princess toward her brother and stalkers.

Across the gym, a lone knight sat at a table and observed the scene in front of him. He had been scammed into coming by his younger brother, and was not happy to be here. He hated public appearances, especially ones that involved his school.

The knight was, of course, none other than Seto Kaiba.

As he sipped his punch, he noticed an incredible person standing about a hundred yards away. The girl had a deep blue strapless floor-length gown and a black and blue butterfly mask. Her thick chocolate hair had been swept back into an enchanting bun, and was fastened with sparkling diamond clips. The wide sapphire eyes that stared boldly out of her mask bewitched him, and before he could stop himself, he found himself striding across the dance floor toward her.

"Can I help you?" she asked as he appeared in front of her.

"Only if you let me dance with you." he said smoothly as he took her hand and led her onto the dance floor.

"Well, I suppose I can grant that request." she said as she entwined her arms around the knight's neck.

"Excellent." he said as his arms locked around her slender waist.

As the couple swayed in time to the music, Anzu couldn't help asking herself, 'Who am I dancing with?' The mystery knight had appeared out of nowhere, and she was intrigued. Did she have a secret admirer? Or was it one of her friends, dancing with her so she wouldn't be alone? She dearly hoped it was the first.

"So who exactly are you?" she asked, peering into the eyeholes of her partners mask.

"N-no one." he stammered, and he retreated back into the safety of the veil his mask provided him.

"Are you sure? Because I would love to get to know you." she said in a final attempt to discover her partner's identity.

"Yes." he replied. "Because if you did know who I was, I'm afraid of what you'll say."

Seto couldn't believe himself. He, the great Seto Kaiba, had just admitted to being afraid! Then again, this girl didn't know who he was. So maybe, just maybe, this wasn't as disastrous as he thought it was. After all, the girl in his arms never had to know his identity. After this dance, he would be gone! But despite his efforts, he found himself dancing to song after song with her. No matter what he did or thought, he just couldn't pull away. And it seemed his partner had the same feelings.

Anzu stared up at her partner after their fifth dance and said, "You know, it's strange. I've only known you for a little while, but it feels like I've known you forever."

"Me, too." Seto said, and pulled her just the tiniest bit closer. Anzu laid her head on his shoulder, and closed her eyes. Seto gently laid his head on top of hers, and inhaled the scent of her perfume. She smelled like apples, apples and sunshine. The same way his mother had smelled when she was alive. It was comforting, and he held the girl in his arms tighter.

The second-to-last song of the evening was coming on. Toward the middle of the song, Anzu realized that after two more dances, she would have to let her knight go, and she would probably never know who he was. She pulled away slightly and looked up at his face.

"Something wrong?" he asked, tilting his head and looking down at her.

"Yes. After tonight, I might never see you again! And I really don't want that to happen. I feel like I've known you my whole life, and I can't just lose you like that!"

He nodded knowingly. "I know. I don't want to lose you either. But, but I'm afraid to let you know who I am. I don't think you'll like what you see."

Anzu nodded. "Me, too. I have an idea. After this dance, let's take off our masks, and then we can decide together."

"Sounds like a plan."

Anzu gazed up into her knight in shining armor's eyes, she found herself pulling closer and closer. Seto, too, realized what he was doing, but let it happen anyways. Their lips collided, and the whole world stopped. The final notes sounded, but the couple didn't move. 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by the ATeens came on, and the couple lifted their masks.

"K-k-kaiba!?" Anzu shrieked.

"Mizaki!?" shouted Seto.

They gazed into each others eyes for a moment, then regained their slow-dance position.

"But we hate each other." Anzu said as her arms found their way back around Seto's neck.

"It doesn't matter." he responded as he wrapped his arms around her waist again.

"I hate your best friends." Seto said as he pulled her closer to him.

"It doesn't matter." she said as she rested her head back on his shoulder.

"We're complete opposites." she whispered as she stared into his shining eyes.

"It doesn't matter." he murmured, just before their lips collided.

When their lips met, Anzu realized something. Yuugi and Seto's rivalry disappeared, all the years of cruel jokes and hatred melted away around them. And then, everything became perfectly clear.

It really didn't matter.