Disclaimer:Kazuki Takahashi owns Yu-Gi-Oh!. I'm just using his characters for a while.
A/N:You should probably read some of the first manga before you read this. It'll make more sense that way.
Warnings:This fic is a bit dark.
Up In Smoke
I like Anzu. I had since we were in Elementary School. Now in High School, she was the only one who didn't make fun of me.
I could talk to her. She was the only one I could talk to. She didn't try to act like a typical high school girl. She acted real to me. She told me all the tricks that the boys pulled on her- like their latest way to get a peak at her panties. I kind of wished I could have done those things to her, but more than that I wanted to stay friends with her. I had a crush on her now.
But she still thought I was a child. She probably wasn't interested in me. She would talk about movie stars and blab about how heroic they were. I wasn't heroic at all. If she was falling from a building, I probably wouldn't be able to save her.
But I would try to.
Lately though, Anzu wasn't doing so well. She seemed to have a lot of headaches. I know girls had those times when then they didn't feel so well, but she seemed sick almost everyday she came to class. She wasn't doing so well in school anymore.
I heard people whisper about her. "Anzu's so weird. She tricks us into electing her to class President and now she can't even uphold any of her duties."
"She's flunking math. Did you see her score?"
"We should just elect someone else President. Natsuki is smart and much prettier than her."
"Maybe Anzu started selling herself- I don't know who would buy her though."
"I bet she got into drugs."
But Anzu was a good girl. She didn't do those kind of things.
Lately though, she had been ignoring me too. She used to hang over my desk and ask me about the latest game I had brought to class during the recess. Now she was always in the nurse's office during recess. She didn't even glance at the games I brought to school now.
I looked down at the game I was supposed to play with Anzu today. The pieces and the bored were brand new and shiny. I had set it up this morning so we could start playing right away when we arrived here.
I invited her to come over today. I knew something was upsetting her. Whenever something upset me, I would play games. I thought it would work on Anzu too.
But she said she wasn't interested in games. She said she was too old to play games now.
That made me sad. After all, games were my whole life. I lived in a game shop and played games to make myself happy.
Maybe Anzu really was drifting away from me and everyone else. Maybe she had outgrown her need to be a friend with me.
I kept telling myself that Anzu wasn't like that, but Anzu continued to distance herself from me. Today, she really meant that she didn't want to come over. She probably wouldn't bother talking to me anymore.
I looked down at the game board again. Not even playing a game now could make me happy. Games couldn't cure the feeling of losing a friend. Nothing could. I decided to put the game away. I couldn't even bear to look at it anymore. My eyes felt like they were going to cry.
Anzu was right. She was too old for games, and I...I looked like a child.
I put the game back in the box, putting each piece in its plastic case and folding the game board. I put the box on my shelf, in far away corner so I couldn't see it. I felt like I was putting my friendship away too, in closet to be buried and forgotten.
I would miss her smile and laugh. She was the only one who ever talked to me. She was the reason I went to school, to be bullied and ignored and fail my tests. It always made me happy to see her.
"She was a good friend." I told myself out loud.
It started to rain. I felt like crying with the sky.
But I wiped the tears away.
There was a ringing at the door and I was supposed to be minding the game shop today. Grandpa was out.
"Please wait one moment." I said, running down the stairs.
There in the tiny shop stood Anzu. She was dripping wet from the rain.
"Anzu you're here! Let me get you a towel." I didn't wait for her to respond. I was so happy she came. I flew up the stairs and got her a towel.
When I got down a puddle had started to form at her feet.
"That rain storm just came out of nowhere didn't it?" I asked her, handing her the towel.
She didn't respond. She didn't take the towel. She just stood there.
"Anzu, is something wrong?"
She was smiling, but it wasn't one of her smiles. Her smiles were always kind and soft, this one was twisted looking. It felt wrong on her face.
I started to wipe her with the towel. Of course, her clothes were still on. She made no effort to move or answer me.
I noticed something red on the towel. The puddle at her feet had started turning pinkish.
"A-Anzu, you're bleeding!" I yelled. How could this have happened?
She finally answered. "Oh, that is..."
Anzu's Perspective (Third Person)
Everyday the voice called to her. Sometimes it would yell her out of her peaceful dreaming. Other times it would talk to her in harsh whispers in her classroom. Right now it was speaking to her as she laid on her bed.
She refused to acknowledge it. Not answering it would prove to her that it wasn't there.
"Yadonushi, why do you ignore me?"
She had gone to therapists, physicians seeking pills that would take the voice away. They had all refused her, telling her that she showed no other symptoms. She'd plead them, saying she often woke up feeling like she- or rather her body had been up all night. The most she got was a month's worth of sleeping pills and a pat on the back saying "School can be very stressful young lady. Try not to let it bother you too much."
"Yadonushi, haven't you noticed? I'm being patient today."
She screamed into her pillow, frustrated at the voice in her head. This voice- it was the cause of all her misery. She had been doing horrible in school, was called an incompetent class president. She had to quit her job at Burger World because of the nervous tension and could no longer focus on her dancing. Worst of all she had been slowly drifting away from her friends.
The voice seemed to have a weird attraction to her friend Yuugi. It would often laugh hysterically when she was around him, giving her a painful headache, to the point where she was sure her ears would bleed. It would even try to persuade her to spend more time with Yuugi, it seemed to want something from him, but she wasn't sure what.
If it wasn't for that she could have lived with all the other things. But this voice was taking away one of the most important things in her life- her friends. Right before her eyes, she felt her body move centimeters away from the boy each time they met. She used to sit next to him at lunch- so close sometimes it felt like she was on a packed train. Now the distance they shared between each other was desolate, something sick people did when they didn't wish to pass the flu to another. Perhaps she really was sick.
Perhaps she had gone mad.
"Don't think like that Yadonushi." It said. It expected her to believe everything it said. "You know I am not merely a figment of your imagination. Why don't you talk to me. You might find that I have a lot of interesting things to say."
Yet again she stayed silent, burying herself further into her pillow.
"You know," said the voice, a little more aggravated this time, "if I get bored from your ignorance I might just have to find other ways to entertain myself."
She would never talk to it, whatever it was. She wouldn't let it have have that satisfaction after it had ruined her life.
"You think I'll just go away if you just ignore me?"
Instead of listening, she tried to focus on the events which had transpired earlier that day.
"Hey Anzu." Yuugi said to her. It was after class and she had clean up duty. "You've been really quiet lately. Is everything alright?"
"Every thing's fine Yuugi." She said clapping two erasers together in her hands. Every thing wasn't fine, but how could she explain that to Yuugi.
"Really. You seem, I don't know, stressed lately." He said, as if avoiding the real words for her situation. "Are you really okay?"
"I'm fine Yuugi" She repeated, giving her best smile, fake as it was, "Please don't worry about me."
"Oh okay." The boy's eyes widened and he smiled. "In that case, I was wondering if you would like to come to my house today. My grandfather got this really cool new game that you might like. It has the coolest..."
As Yuugi spoke, the voice shrieked laughter in her ears. Painful laughter. She tried not to show that anything was wrong by moving the erasers back and forth, concentrating on only that. She let her mind empty. She felt like a machine.
Back and forth.
Back and forth.
Yuugi continued to laugh and smile at her.
The voice continued its torrent of cackles.
Back and forth.
Her ears were ringing.
"...only if you're not busy." Yuugi ended. The laughter had subsided a bit. She looked at Yuugi and noticed he had the faintest hint of a blush on his face.
She smiled. She knew Yuugi liked her. She would have liked him too if it wasn't for...
"Oh Yuugi. You know I'm too old for games." She said, giving a fake laugh. "Perhaps another time."
"Oh, okay." Yuugi said. The blush was gone, conglomerating into fresh embarrassment. "Sorry for bothering you."
The boy slunk away from her, his head down allowing his bangs to fall into his face. He didn't bother to wipe them away.
"See you later Yuugi."
So much for letting him down easy. She wanted to call him back and apologize to him, but the laughter started again. She concentrated on her simple task. Back and forth...
That time, and so many other times, had ruined her relationship with her friend. She wasn't sure if Yuugi would even talk to her anymore.
She blamed everything on the voice. It was like her life had gone up in smoke and the voice was the one who had lit the match. She knew it was ridiculous to blame everything on something she herself didn't believe existed, but it made her at least feel a little better when things went wrong.
She looked up from her pillow and looked at the clock by her bedside. 18:06. She had sulked in bed for close to half an hour already.
On the night stand was a glass of water and a bottle of aspirin. She had downed two tablets when she got home from school today. Her headache persisted, but she refused to take more than two at one time.
"You're upset aren't you Yadonushi."
She drank some water. Her head throbbed.
"Does that boy Yuugi upset you Yadonushi? I'm sorry but I get excited when I see him." It gave a coarse laugh. "Friendship is something you hold dear, isn't it? Have I ruined your friendship with him?"
She covered her ears. She knew it wouldn't take the voice away. Fresh tears were now streaming down her face. She breathed heavily, her sobs making her cry more.
"Oh Yadonushi. Don't be upset. When you're upset, I'm upset. Would you like me to make it up to you? I can punish that boy for making you cry."
"P-please no." She yelled through her sobs. "D-don't harm Yu-Yuugi."
"So you do acknowledge me." If the voice had a face, she could have seen it twist into a smile.
Her eyes widened. "N-n-no."
What had she done?
"No? But you do acknowledge me. You answered me, for the first time since I've known you. I should punish you too for ignoring me all this time." It started to cackle.
"No! Stop it!" Through the laughter and her screaming, she thought she heard the sound of thunder outside.
"Oh now you speak to me." It said, then more sinister it added, "I have ways of punishing people. I have ways of paying my rent."
Before she could comprehend what those words had meant, a wave of black came over her and she felt sleep crash into her body like a tsunami wave.
When she came to, she was in a dark room. Thunder and lightning crashed outside and she could hear the rain pouring.
The room wasn't hers. She didn't know where she was. She could remember waking up in odd places or odd positions before. She knew the voice was to blame for that too. Now however, the voice was strangely silent.
Blood pounded in her ears like the rain drops pounded on the windows outside. Her whole body shook at the crash of thunder.
Lightning flashed and she got a better look at the room she was in. It seemed to be a living room. She had the vague sense that she had been in it before.
Her chest ached but she didn't know why.
She lifted herself up to her feet. She was breathing hard and her feet trembled. Her whole body was trembling. She was cold. She felt wet- soaked. Water dripped down her legs. Had she gone through the rain?
She fumbled around in the darkness looking for a light switch.
She wanted to know where she was. Each flash of lightning made it more obvious.
As she felt the wall, she knew where she was. She was in what looked like Yuugi's house. She shook. What was she doing here?
Her intuition told her that the voice had done what it said it would do, it had paid its rent.
She didn't want to think about that. She found the switch and turned the light on.
She was in Yuugi's house. She was in his living room. She looked around.
The first thing she saw was her trail of water. But it wasn't only water.
She looked down at herself. She was bleeding and it looked like it was coming from her chest. Every deep breath she took hurt her.
She looked up again. The room was in shambles. Cushions were everywhere and a table leg had broken.
She looked in horror at the scene around her. Had the voice done this?
Every other room she looked through seemed like an earthquake had hit it. Had the voice done this? Why?
She looked for Yuugi. Maybe he wasn't home when she had come. Maybe he was alright, at a movie or somewhere.
Her eyes started to brim with tears and it wasn't from the pain. She wanted to see Yuugi now. She wanted to apologize to him and tell him what was wrong. Why she couldn't play with him. She wanted to tell him what the voice did to her, she didn't care if he thought she was crazy anymore. All she wanted to do was hold him and tell him she was sorry and if he wanted to see the next super hero movie that was supposed to come out. That would make him happy, wouldn't it?
She wanted to say she liked him too. She didn't care if the voice laughed. She wouldn't care if it made her deaf.
She walked down the stairs. The shop was dark too. Her fingers shook as she looked for the light switch. Her heart pounded in her chest and ears.
When the lights came on she saw Yuugi's body on the floor.
And the blood- the blood wasn't all from her.
The voice laughed hysterically in her head but her screams were louder.
Story Notes: Remember what the Millennium Ring did to Bakura in the first few manga. That's what it did to Anzu in this story. I only mentioned it vaguely. Perhaps there's some reason why I did that.
Yadonushi means landlord. It's what Yami Bakura calls his host. Yadonushi also means parasitic host.
A/N: I read somewhere that a theory of why Ryou Bakura isn't 'part' of Yuugi's group is because he purposely keeps his distance to keep them safe. So I thought, what if Anzu, the 'Friendship Queen' as she's sometimes known, would have to go through that. It would be interesting, and so I wrote this.
Writers serve readers. I beg for your criticism.