A/N: Bronzeshipping (Yami Malik x Malik) for computerfreak's YGO pairings contest. Also, like the rest of my fics, slight polar (Jou x Mai)

Marik is hikari, Malik is Yami. Apparently, people usually do it the other way around, but I've always associated "Marik" with the hikari because about the time that Yami Malik came out was when I started getting into the uncut. I'm sorry if you don't like it that way.

Disclaimer at the bottom to give you a chance to guess what the universe is. (It's not something Yugioh is usually crossed with, I'll say that much.)

A figure was lying in shadow on the ground. Marik took a few cautious steps towards it, wondering if the person was alive. Apparently, he was; Malik sat up and groaned. He looked up and down the alley quickly, searching for someone.

"Hey!" Malik called to Marik. "Did you see some guys go through here?"

Marik shook his head. "No, sorry. Hey... you okay?" Marik came closer. He saw that the other man was bleeding and had a bruise on his face.

"Dammit," Malik swore, ignoring the question. "Those bastards..." He stood up quickly, but fell back dizzily. Marik rushed forward to catch him.

"I'm fine," Malik grumbled, pushing away from Marik. His legs gave way and he hit the ground again. Malik groaned in pain. He looked up and Marik was holding his hand out.

Malik grumbled and grabbed Marik's hand. Marik pulled him up, and slung Malik's arm over his shoulder before he could protest.

"Come on, I'll get you cleaned up," Marik said kindly. Malik glanced at the ground, feeling irritated and shamed as his own weakness. He didn't want to accept anyone's help, even if it meant lying in the alley all night, but somehow this felt... right.

"I'm Marik."

Malik snapped out of his daze, and started to walk with the man.

"...Malik," he replied.

"You live here?" Malik asked when they arrived at an old apartment building a few blocks away. Marik shook his head.

"No, but I've got some friends who do. I live on the other side of town, I didn't want to drag you out all that way."

They went into the building. The inside looked the same as the outside, old and run-down. If there was paint on the walls, it was many years too old. There were no lights in the stairway, just one window on the top landing. As they climbed the stairs in the moonlight, Malik asked. "What were you doing out here, then?"

Marik hesitated. "Life Support," he said finally. "For people... with AIDS."

"You?" Malik asked. Marik nodded. "Me too," Malik said softly. Marik made no reply, and Malik didn't know if he had heard.

They reached the top of the staircase. Someone was coming down the hallway. Malik squinted in the dim light. There was a woman with long blond hair, holding an unlit candle. She moved out of the way when she saw them coming. Malik, in an unfamiliar part of town, had not the slightest idea who she was, but Marik apparently did, because she addressed them.

"Marik, is he okay?" the woman asked, concerned. Malik wondered why she, whom he had never seen before in his life, would care about him. He looked at her curiously.

"He'll be fine," Marik said with a smile. She hesitated a moment, but kept walking.

"Okay," she said. "See you around."

Malik wanted to ask about her, but they finally arrived at their destination. Marik banged on a door, which was quickly opened by a young man with dirty blond hair.

"Did it go out--" he stopped when he saw Marik. "Oh. Marik."

"Expecting someone else, Jounouchi-kun?" Marik asked. Jounouchi looked somewhat flustered as he stepped aside and let them in.

"No," he lied. "I just... um... who's that?" Jounouchi desperately changed the subject.

"Malik," the yami said. Marik led him over to a chair and set him down. Malik groaned.

"I found him in the alley," Marik said. "He got mugged."

"First time to New York?" Jounouchi asked, while Marik went to get the first aid kit.

Malik half-laughed. "Not exactly. I live... I used to live a few blocks from here. I left for a few weeks, came back, and the whole street gets evicted."

"Kaiba," Jounouchi growled. "He's trying to build some fancy something or other up here." Marik came back. "Need some help?" Jounouchi asked.

Marik knelt down next to Malik. "No, I got it," he said. He rummaged through the box and got some things out. "So," Marik said to Jounouchi. "What was Mai doing here?"

Jounouchi blushed furiously. "How'd you kno--I mean... uh... who?"

"The woman in the hallway?" Malik asked quietly. Marik nodded. "Come on, Jounouchi, even Malik saw her. What were you doing?"

"Nothing," Jounouchi said. "She just wanted me to light her candle."

Marik and Malik looked at each other and started laughing. Jounouchi blushed again. "Not like THAT!" Marik and Malik just kept on laughing, though. Jounouchi sighed and said, "Just don't tell Yugi..."

"Don't tell me what?"

Jounouchi literally jumped out of his chair. "Yugi!" he exclaimed. Yugi was standing in the doorway, having just entered the room.

"Jounouchi-kun got a visit from someone while you were gone," Marik said.

"Really?" Yugi said, interested. "Who?"

Malik stopped listening as Marik continued the conversation with Yugi. He was suddenly struck by how at ease he felt here, in a strange place, with people he had never met before. He felt more calm here than he ever remembered being. All his life, he had been a delinquint, a punk, one of the dregs of society. He stole to survive, sleeping on the streets if his luck was bad, stuck in a jail cell if his luck was worse. The apartment that he had formerly lived in was a rare stroke of good luck, that he had lost on another trip to jail. After being beaten, mugged, and left for dead, when his life couldn't get any worse, was it finally going to change? Is there actually a place in this world that I belong in? Malik thought. He looked at the goofy blond boy sprawled in the chair; the short, spiky haired one; and the other one... Marik... who had found him. They all accepted him. Might this be what he was really looking for, those times when he had searched for love and only found lust and greed? Are these silly, happy people better than those nights spent lying in streets, waiting for either morning or death?

"Malik-kun?" Marik asked. Malik looked up and realized they were all looking at him.

"Hmm?" he decided against using the curses that he usually addressed people with.

"You okay?"

All his life, Malik had been searching for acceptance. He never expected to meet Marik in the alley. He wasn't planning on being rescued by him. But Marik came all the same, like an angel, had found him. Malik's life was short, and as he then remembered, so was Marik's. If they were both going to die eventually, maybe... they could find happiness together before that time came.



A/N: Did you guess the universe? It was RENT. Marik was Angel, Malik was Collins, Yugi was Mark, Jou was Roger, Mai was Mimi, Kaiba was Benny, and though they weren't mentioned, Anzu was Maureen and Ishizu was Joanne. There will be more of these Yugioh/RENT fics, and Malik will not be Collins. Most likely, Atem will be Collins, and either Marik or Ryou will be Angel.

Disclaimer: Kazuki Takahashi owns Yugioh. Jonathan Larson owns RENT. I am neither of these people. If I was, there would be Jou x Mai closure, and Benny would have been in Finale B.