-1Hi! How is everyone?! Hopefully rockin'! So, it is as follows.

This story is AU, and therefore, there is -no- Yami/Hikari-thing going on. Bakura/Ryou, as always, uhm, other pairings within will be mentioned in the summary…when I…get that far. X.x; I don't usually write many fantasy stories so hopefully this goes well! Please enjoy! 8D


The Nether Ridge café had always had a bad reputation in Domino City for bringing out the strangest of characters and events. Of course, to one of its young workers, Ryou Tamaki, that reputation couldn't have been further from the truth. He'd only worked there two years, since a day after his 16th birthday, but nothing paranormal had happened to him as of yet. Even for his co-workers and managers, about the craziest thing they ever had to deal with were drunks when all the bars closed down in the AM hours and the occasional homeless person begging for a free meal; hardly out of the ordinary, at least in Ryou's eyes. After all, those things happened at just about any 24 hour restaurant with reasonable pricing and mediocre food.

…Of course, there was the rumored "ghosts" that haunted the establishment-but Ryou had yet to see these supposed "ghosts" with his own eyes. He and his friend, who also happened to work there, figured that was just some crazy story the owners spiraled up to drive in business. Ryou had always thought it was a rather good idea too since people always went hogwild for the unexplained; still, somehow, the café never got any busier than it had been in the past. People who had worked there longer would even say the same thing to Ryou; after the reopening of the café five years before (after the murder-one that was gang-related and far from an unusual tale), business had always been the same.

Though, what was weird… Ryou had told many people where he worked and they always told him they had wanted to go there because of its eerie status, yet none of them ever seemed to come in-perhaps that was the strangest of all. Surely though it was only because other people they knew reminded them that even if the café was "haunted" (in Ryou's mind at this exact moment, his fingers were doing the little quotations), the food was still only tolerable so it left no plausible reason to rush out and eat there.

"Ryou, I need you to rush this over to table 11!" His co-worker sputtered out as she hurried out to milky-haired Ryou, who was currently wasting his time with his thin ivory elbow leant against the sloped pie counter, head propped boredly within his palm. A silvery brow of Ryou's lifted as his gentle hues looked upon the woman. Her auburn hair was tied messily into a bun as usual, stray hairs bouncing up and down as she moved. Her button-up shirt and black apron looked untidy, though Ryou pondered why. After all, it was 2 am on a Wednesday and there were only 2 or 3 tables taken; the café wasn't even moderately busy.

"Uhm, okay?" He answered in response, sounding confused. He extended his arms out for the tray, the rounded edge making his folded up sleeve rise up even further, pressing into his elbow crease.

"Thanks dear! It's a big help!" She gave him a relieved grin and brushed the back of her portly hand against her forehead, as if brushing off sweat from vigorous work.

"Anytime, but Shana…" He gave her a puzzled look, a small smile playing across his lips as he balanced the tray of drinks within his hands, foot pivoting backward. "What are you doing back there?" His eyes traveled down her work uniform again.

"Oh, you know kiddo, my Yuki stopped by to help us with that heater problem finally. Even though, if you do recall," She rolled slanted azure eyes in annoyance, "We've been asking him to do so for the last four months but summer rolled around so it hasn't been one of his top priorities-not that anything ever is with that man," She trailed off grudgingly, "But anyways!" Her hand waved dismissively, giving the teen across from her a smile. "He's finally gotten to it and you know he needs my help, damn him! Might as well have just done it myself in the first place!"

"Ahh, I see now," Ryou laughed lightly and took a step backwards, heading off to go and serve the table like he was told.

Shana shook her head wildly and turned around, pressing past the small wooden gate that separated the kitchen area from the sit-down area of the restaurant. She was about to leave Ryou and go through the swinging door to the actual cooking area but she stopped, her hand pressing the door open a jar, head turning back to look at him. "And after those guys go on home, come back and tell me and then you can go off for the night."

"Okay!" He called back to her before finally turning around to watch where he was going. After all, walking to the table backwards wouldn't have only been strange for his customers to see, but it also would've been a risk for his clumsiness since he did have quite the knack for tripping on imaginary objects-he seemed to do it a lot working here. Maybe it was the work of the ghosts-he snorted at his own joke, eyes glancing up to the ceiling as he continued his trek down the two lines of booths. The forest green booths, with their oak wooden tables, were either pressed against the walls that held the windows or against the wall parallel to them.

Ryou, like any other day, walked in the spacious middle between the tables, eyes focused upon the drinks. One was a beer (even though they were not allowed to sell it after 2-not that his managers really held those rules for regular customers), and the other two were soda, one a Coke and the other a vivid, sparkling red Shirley Temple with two delicious looking cherries floating serenely atop the mound of ice.

'For some reason, that sounds so good!' Ryou thought mindlessly as he stared longingly to the drink. He was so thirsty all of a sudden; he wanted a drink. The customer was extremely lucky it was Ryou serving them and not Malik-god, if it had been Malik, Malik would've purposely turned around to take a secret sip. Sadly, Ryou had witnessed this on several occasions-not only with the drinks, but with customer's food too. He'd even caught Malik nibbling off people's leftovers before too-there was little that could gross his best friend out, obviously. Luckily for Malik, no one had ever seen him do any of those things and complained.

The table was in view now and Ryou dared to drift his brilliant green eyes over to the three at the table, taking in their features. Oddly enough, one was an elderly male with wispy grey hair that came down past his shoulders. His beard had grown out as well, pointing down to a defined triangular shape. His eyes were merry and a deep shade of mahogany, looking wiser than their years and still so full of life. Beside him was a much younger looking male, crazy dark brown hair spiked up and out of control. He held an expression full of confidence as he looked at the person across from him, the one Ryou couldn't make out, whose face was buried within the menu. Oddly, a pair of snowboarding goggles were perched upon his head, making Ryou's brow quirk up a little.

"You know Bakura, if you'd just listened to what I told you, you wouldn't be in so much trouble with the counsel right now. They wouldn't be sending you out to do this," The brunette male mused, scooting his menu towards the edge of the table as he stared with amusement to the male-Bakura…

'Bakura?' Why did that name sound so strange to him? He knew he'd never heard it before, yet why did it feel so familiar? Surely he was just tired from such a late shift; after all, he couldn't recollect ever hearing that name in his entire life.

"Shut the fuck up," A low, bitter voice bellowed, somehow making Ryou's insides curl. 'That voice…' Something was definitely wrong with him tonight; there was no way he'd ever heard it before-it was so alluring and mysterious-like nothing Ryou had ever heard.

"He's right Bakura," The elderly male added in, "If you had just listened, although you never do, you would not be in this situation." A counsel though? Bakura was in trouble with some sort of counsel? What kind of counsel could a 20-something year old be in trouble with? Were they just foreigners or something, using strange words in replacement for police or law enforcement workers? The two Ryou could see looked Asian enough though.

Ryou hated to interrupt their conversation (because he always felt rude interrupting anything) but if he walked any slower, he was sure it would look as if he was eavesdropping-which he wasn't-and the last thing he ever wanted was to anger customers. "Hey, sorry for taking so long!" Ryou rang out, warmth rushing to his cheeks. He always felt so idiotic when he bothered people like this-especially right now. He was just about to stop in front of them when something quite uncalled for happened; once again, Ryou had been too overconfident in his walking and had managed to trip over absolutely nothing-resulting in his almost tipping over his tray.

"O-Oh no..!" Ryou mouth opened wide in shock and before he knew what was happening, he was falling forward. His eyes closed just as a menu flew up into the air, looking as if it would hit the poor brunette upon the head-wait..! Were Ryou's eyes playing tricks on him or had that menu just stopped in mid-air?! But the ground was coming and he was all too sure this was going to be yet another one of his most humiliating moments ever-better to worry about supposed floating menus later.

…Yet the ground never came; instead, the realization did that someone else was holding onto the tray and him as well. His squenched eyes crept open to find themselves staring into a pair of irritated earthen depths that seemed to be glaring at him in quite a skin-crawling kind of way-but hell! Were those eyes…different or what? Ryou couldn't pinpoint the exact word to describe them but they just seemed to be looking right through him, as if…as if they had always known him.

…Perhaps Ryou took his earlier words back-this place really was weird-filled with polite ghosts that held up menus and odd, very odd, handsome white-haired men who Ryou swore he knew but couldn't possibly know, so why the hell was he going so goddamn crazy, trying to figure out who this person was?! His mouth stayed agape and he blinked cluelessly, unable to look away from the man's-Bakura's-face…

His cheeks were flushing so darkly, he couldn't find the right words to muster out. 'What in the world is going on with me tonight…?' His whole entire body was numb and he could feel the hand on him, amplified by 100. Who was this man and why was Ryou acting like he had just died?

"You know, you really should watch out," Bakura snapped, hand finally removing itself from Ryou's side. His hand, as it fell to his side, flexed and unflexed, though this went unseen by Ryou. All Ryou could do was stare still, absolutely awestruck. "You almost spilt that crap all over my new jacket and like hell am I about to go home soaked because you never had adequate walking lessons!" It was then Ryou's eyes were finally able to move, realizing the other two men were equally staring at him. The brunette was now laughing at Ryou's misfortune and the elderly man looked as if he wanted to but was keeping it to himself. Ryou's ears were burning now-yes, definitely another one of those "Ryou's dumbest moments" times.

"Oh, give the kid a break-you know, you can't always win against the thin air, now can you?" The brunette male chuckled and gave Ryou a friendly wink. Even if it was meant in a good-hearted manner, Ryou still felt completely humiliated. Bakura glared at Ryou and sat down, his eyes turning to Varon.

"Kind-of like how you couldn't win the war with your birth and that ugly fucking face you have!" Surprisingly to Ryou, neither the old man nor the brunette looked as if they were surprised by Bakura's sudden outburst. Varon only laughed, eyes rolling to glance up to the ceiling.

"Still bitter about earlier hmm? Just keep in mind, Bakura, who the one was who actually fucked up-"

"I didn't fuck up goddamit!" Bakura's fist pounded onto the table angrily, making Ryou jump. The elderly man sighed heavily, obviously having had enough of this kind of banter.

"Please Bakura, Varon…" The man gave them both a warning look, placid cocoa hues changing from docile to dangerous for a second. How could such a nice looking old guy with only a look of the eyes be so scary, and then go right back to looking like world's no. 1 grampa?

"I…I really am sorry about that," Ryou apologized, hand extending out to pick up the drinks. He set the coke and the beer down upon the table, only the Shirley Temple left-somehow, he knew it was Bakura's. He hesitantly set it down in front of him, the man's gaze catching his again. Ryou's breath quickly caught and he looked away, standing back up straight, placing the tray beneath his arm. "But, thank you for…saving me…" He trailed off, wanting so badly to say the male's name.

"It was hardly saving you," Bakura muttered, turning away from the teen, arms folding over his chest in a sulking manner as he looked away from the three of them. "I'm sure anyone with a brain would've done it."

"Oh," The old man began, giving Ryou a grin, showing off pearly white teeth. Ryou was certain he'd never seen teeth quite as nice as those. Were they real or just really good dentures? "Don't take him too seriously, he's just had a rough day, so it's only natural he's a little cranky. As you can tell, he's quite old in his days."

"Yeah, Bakura hasn't quite gotten in his daily nap so his temperament rivals that of a five-year-old." Varon gave Bakura a teasing grin, to which, Bakura only mustered a hand, his middle finger sticking up ever so politely.

"Look Varon, a lovely fucking bird is flying north, right into that big forehead of yours!" Ryou tried his hardest to bite back a smile that dared to creep across his thin lips, yet he couldn't help himself; this Bakura character was definitely…

Definitely ridiculous, in a way Ryou could just not ignore. His eyes glanced at Bakura, whose head was still turned immaturely to the wall. Suddenly, the urge to laugh struck him though he knew he shouldn't do such a thing. 'Ryou don't! He already thinks you're an idiot for almost spilling drinks on him; if you laugh, he'll definitely hate your guts!'

"Well then…" Varon reclined back in his seat, taunting grin still placed upon his lips. "I guess that means no dessert for you with a potty mouth like that-and in front of strangers no less!" Ryou tried so hard but in the end, he just couldn't contain himself. Yes Varon's comment was funny but truthfully, it was more the fact that it was so true-this Bakura really was acting just like a little kid, getting so easily irritated by such insignificant things. A giggle escaped from Ryou's mouth, his hand lifting to cover his mouth.

Bakura's head immediately snapped around, eyes glaring hotly at Ryou's face. "Is something funny?!" He spat out, as if daring Ryou to answer back.

"God Bakura, you're such a dick," Varon muttered under his breath, planting his head within his hands.

"I…uhm…" Ryou sucked his lips in, trying not to laugh again. Well, he had went and done it now; Bakura was definitely irate with him and they'd barely known each other five minutes-Ryou had a feeling no tip was coming from his bill. Ryou decided now was a good as ever to change the subject. His eyes looked to Bakura guiltily, only to fill with curiosity when he found the estranged male staring right back up at him in an odd way-not so angrily anymore but…

In a way Ryou's mind couldn't fathom. Ryou cleared his throat and turned away, eyes turning down as his cheeks warmed again, trying to ignore the feeling by snatching out his pad of paper and pen, ready to take their order. "Is there anything else I could get you guys uhm, besides the drinks?" He tried his hardest now not to look at Bakura, eyes drifting to the other two males instead.

"Yeah, that sounds like a good idea," The old man looked begrudgingly to Bakura and then back up to Ryou, eyes once again returning to their chipper state. "These two have already wasted enough of your time for one sitting; a blueberry muffin for me, if you would?" His eyebrow rose up to Ryou quizzically. Ryou smiled shyly and nodded, penciling it down.

"M'hm! And for you?"

"Nothing, except maybe Midol, if you have it, because obviously someone at this table is having quite some-"

"Enough, you both!" Bakura's mouth was wide open as if to respond right back to Varon, but he quickly snapped it shut after the elder male spoke quite commandingly to them both.

"O-Okay, and then…" But before Ryou could finish his sentence, he found he was brushed off to the side forcefully as Bakura stood up, pushing past him.

"I'll be outside smoking," he hissed coldly, not even bothering to turn around as he hurried down the row. Ryou only stared blankly, unsure how to act. It wasn't often he was right in the middle of customer's fights. He had never done very well under pressure; he had half a mind to follow Bakura out but…

That was a bizarre thought; not only did he not know him but the man pretty much loathed him at first sight. What could Ryou possibly say to cool the man's easily swayed temper?

"God, he's such an immature little…" Varon stared at Bakura's back in a disgusted way, lips curving into a frown.

"Well, you do push him, you know?" Wise brown eyes snapped Varon's way. "I told you to stop with that; you know he's under a lot of pressure and anyways, I am sorry for all of this ruckus-" The elderly male turned from Varon to Ryou, eyes stopping on Ryou's chest, reading off his name badge. "Ryou. Don't worry…" He gave the boy a big grin. "I'll definitely keep your struggle in mind when I get my check."

"Oh no!" Ryou hastily exclaimed, smiling at the male. "It's no problem really; I understand. Well, I'll go and get that muffin and uhm…" He glanced the way Bakura had gone unconsciously, looking back to the table. "I…I'll be right back."

"M'hm." The elderly male gave Ryou a nod as Ryou turned away, heading back towards the kitchen.


"You realize we just got lucky right?" Varon hissed, watching as Ryou pushed through the small gate to the kitchen. "Bakura made that menu float for a good second before that boy's eyes closed. Poor kid probably thinks he's going nuts or something!"

"I'm sure he hardly noticed; after all, he seemed more surprised by the sight of Bakura than with the menu. I don't think he saw it. Either way though, it's best to not take any chances." The male reached for his Coke glass, taking the straw into his mouth to take a quick sip. "I'll make sure to erase his memory of us ever being here before we leave. Besides…" The male gave Bakura's now empty seat a worried look. "Bakura said he felt like someone was listening in on us; Ryou seems nice enough but I'd rather not take the chance, especially not after what has been going on lately in this city."

"Mm, indeed." Varon took his bottle into his hand, gulping away. "Domino City is definitely not the place to trust people anymore-especially not in this café." Varon's blue eyes looked past the many booths to the opposite side of the restaurant, seeing a couple talk amongst each other. "Do you think it's true, what they say? That the enchantment is really running off of this place?"

"To be honest…" The male's face looked purely grim. "I think it started a long time ago, but now, they are just starting to notice. Yes, I am with you, Varon; it is best not to trust anyone anymore. Definitely not here."


Only a couple of minutes later, Ryou found himself coming right back up their table's way, a small plate with a blueberry muffin placed atop it in hand, along with their receipt. It was hard to keep his mind from wondering about Bakura, pondering exactly what it was that had made his day so hard to deal with. He supposed he shouldn't have cared since Bakura obviously did not like him and it was not likely he'd ever see any of the three again. Still, he felt oddly guilty about Bakura's blow-up, as if it had been his fault. After all, he had stupidly tripped and interrupted them all.

Maybe…maybe he should apologize? At least then the man would know Ryou hadn't mean to irritate him by laughing, even if it had truly been at him. Ryou couldn't handle when people were mad at him though, even if they were just customers he'd never see again in his life. Yes; he made a decision-after he gave the man and…the Varon character their receipt, he'd make a point to go outside and search out Bakura to at least attempt an apology.

"Here you are!" Ryou said with a polite smile, setting the plate in front of the elderly male and the receipt at the edge of the table.

"Thank you, Ryou. It looks delicious!" The man's eyes seemed to sparkle as he looked upon the baked good. Ryou's eyes lingered on the muffin, smile still placed on his lips. He always felt like it was kind-of a crime when people said things like that about entrees on the menu, especially those that the café didn't actually make themselves. The muffin had simply come shipped to them pre-made, along with so many of their other menu items.

"I'm glad! So, is one check okay?" He glanced between the two. Varon gave a curt nod.

"Yep, it's fine," Varon replied, taking another drink of his beer. Ryou nodded and stepped back to leave them alone.

"Alright! I'll be back in a little bit to check up on you!" He gave them a curt nod and turned away, heading back down the aisle. He paused by the check-out counter, eyes lingering on the doors in front of him. Should he go out after Bakura and…? He had said he would and he couldn't go back now. Besides, if he didn't, he was sure he'd feel bad about it for times to come.

He decided to be brave and headed out the doors; sure everything would be okay if he left the restaurant for two minutes. It was a cool summer night, a light breeze rousing his white locks as he stepped outside. His emerald orbs quickly found Bakura, seated upon the curb, small puffs of smoke radiating around his head. Bakura didn't bother to turn around to look at him. Briefly, he wondered if the man even knew he was outside. He paused at the doors, heart racing in his chest as he took a step nearer.

"Hello…?" He called to the male softly, hoping he hadn't startled him.

"You didn't scare me, so you can quit acting like I don't know you're there." Ryou paused, eyes widening. Why did he have a strange feeling as if Bakura read his thoughts? Of course, that was impossible; no person could truly read minds. Perhaps that male was just very intuitive-to quite frightening levels.

"Alright…" He trailed off, standing a few feet behind Bakura, arms tucked behind his back nervously. He rocked back on his heels, trying to spit out exactly what it was he wanted to say. He paused to gaze up to the night sky, finding more gleaming stars than he could've ever counted. It was so clear tonight; it made him wish he were off work right now, at Malik's house. They would both be atop Malik's roof, Malik already fast asleep beneath many blankets while Ryou just laid there, curled up beside his friend, staring up to the sky in wonder.

"So…are you going to get to the point of why the hell you are bothering me when it is obvious I wish to be left alone?" Bakura's teeth gritted, the butt of his cigarette thrown to the ground between his legs, a checkered black and white Vans shoe squashing out the glowing orange embers.

"I just…" Ryou let out a deep breath, deciding it was better to just get it out already. "I wanted to say I was…sorry if I upset you in any way in there. I wasn't laughing at you, honestly…"

"Sure you weren't." Bakura's tone rang of sarcasm. His dark eyes rolled as he curved his head around to stare at Ryou mundanely. "Now if your conscience is all cleared, you can go back inside and leave me to my misery, thanks."

"But..!" Ryou's hand fisted at his side, eyes meeting the male's in an honest way. "I really…I really am sorry. It was rude of me to laugh and I should've just stayed out of it."

Bakura snorted in response, staring at Ryou in a way that left Ryou's stomach felt unsettled. He quickly turned away and shrugged nonchalantly, head canted up toward the sky. "Yes, you should've, but I do hope you know…it really is a stupid thing to come out here and apologize to me."

Ryou raised an eyebrow, taking a step closer to the man, an arm slanting across his stomach defensively. "And…why is that?"

"Because-what point is there in it? I'm just some dumb, annoying customer to you; if you had just not apologized, I would've lived and forgotten about you and this night all the same as I will now."

"But that simply isn't true!" Ryou protested, wishing Bakura would look at him again. "I don't think of anyone that way!"

"Oh please," Bakura snorted in that same disbelieving way, turning to look at Ryou boredly. "What are you, like 16, 17? All teenagers think shit like that about the people they serve at worthless minimum wage jobs like these."

"Hardly!" Ryou countered, mouth twitching. "I'm 18 and I really like my job here and all the customers who come in!" Well, most of them, anyways. "I don't…I didn't apologize because I was worried about my job-I did it because…I honestly felt bad for what I did! I mean," Ryou sighed exuberantly. "They said you had a bad day and I would really hate if…if I was in any way making it worse…" Bakura's eyes lowered as he stared at Ryou, making Ryou feel quite self-conscious. He looked down, unable to keep hold of the male's gaze any longer. He stared at his worn black work shoes, curling his toes within anxiously.

"You're fucking weird…you know it?" Bakura slowly got up to stand, a foot lifted to set itself on the restaurant's side walk while the other stayed below the curb. It was the first time Ryou had truly looked at Bakura and realized just how tall he was; he towered over Ryou by at least a good four inches. He was fit and lightly defined in all the right places, giving off an unbelievably handsome appearance. The moonlight seemed to illuminate his pale skin, making his unique and stark features stand out dramatically. Ryou's eyes soon drifted to Bakura's own. They were so poignant and full of mystery; just what sorts of stories were those eyes hiding at any given time?

Weird…Was Ryou weird?

Yes, this definitely proved it; Bakura was right, one million times over. Here Ryou was, running after a complete stranger, apologizing for something probably utterly pointless to Bakura but he couldn't help himself from doing so-and not only that but he was still standing out here was the male, goosebumps dawning on his arms and not from the cold but because…

He was staring at Bakura and the way his eyes seemed to take Ryou in: it freaked Ryou out to the core. But then again, maybe he secretly liked it? After all, it wasn't keeping him from looking away. Ryou's mouth opened to speak as Bakura took a step nearer, bringing them closer together. His vocal cords were failing him because he just couldn't reply.

Bakura was staring at him obscurely. "You do realize…" His brows were raised, indicating just how oddly Ryou was acting at this very moment. "You're staring at me like I have a third fucking eye right now, right?"

"O-Oh my!" Ryou quickly shook his head, cheeks burning embarrassedly as his eyes turned away. What had he been thinking? He had just been staring at Bakura for who knew how long and Bakura was looking at him like he was…

Weird. Now his life was all beginning to make sense; no wonder why he worked in that café-he was probably one of the freaks that went there that people spoke of. "I'm really sorry…you just…" He had to think of something to cover up his unexplainable behavior and fast-before Bakura really thought he was strange (not that the male already didn't). Ryou smiled sheepishly, lifting a hand to rub at the back of his neck. "You just remind me a lot of someone I know." He dared to gaze at Bakura again, only to find that his fabrication of an answer only seemed to make things worse. Bakura was staring at him in a violent way, dark and defined eyes slit murderously. Ryou actually gulped because he was not exactly sure what he had done. His heart was hammering in his chest, hot blood suddenly rushing to his ears. Bakura was coming in closer, arms fisted at his sides, teeth snarling as he stared at the boy.

"No, you liar!" Bakura hissed, pale hand reaching out to take hold of Ryou's sleeve roughly, dragging the boy closer to him. Ryou gasped, absolutely taken aback as Bakura yanked him over so viciously. His eyes were wide and frightened, expecting Bakura to just come out and give him a black eye. Ryou yelped as he saw Bakura's free arm lurch upward towards his face.

"Please stop!" he cried out. His eyes closed and he was so sure, at any given moment, the pain was going to settle in and this hostile male was going to beat him to a bloody pulp. His breath hitched in his throat, yet, even moments later, after the hand should've already collided with his face…

Nothing ever seemed to come. He opened an eye to find Bakura still holding onto his arm fiercely, eyes still so venomous as he stared down to the teen. His hand was still hovered right in front of Ryou's face, making Ryou feel rather queasy. Was Bakura going to hit him or not? "P-Please…" Ryou looked up to the male pleadingly. "If…if you want to hit me, just, just do it because I really…!"

"Shut the fuck up! God, I am not going to hit you, you little retard!" Bakura shouted out, eyes rolling irritably. Ryou's mouth dropped and he found himself staring again in disbelief. What in the hell? First he was calling Ryou a liar for absolutely no reason, then he was going to punch him, but now he was holding a fist right in Ryou's face suspiciously fisted as if he was going to hit him, but he really wasn't? A million questions were running through Ryou's head. If he wasn't going to hurt Ryou, what was he going to do…?

"B-But…" Bakura let go of Ryou, yet his one hand remained curled in the air. Bakura hesitantly moved in closer, head slanted downwards towards Ryou's ear. Ryou's eyes were bulging out of his head once again because he wasn't exactly sure what to expect. "Uhm…" Bakura's hand unclenched and pressed against Ryou's forehead. Oddly, Bakura's hand burned; Ryou felt a searing pain shoot through his body, making him want to scream. In fact, he was so sure he was screaming, yet no noise came out. What…what was this man?

Ryou's legs were becoming like Jell-o and he was sure he was about to fall to his knees at any given moment. It hurt so much; was this what it felt like to die? "You don't know me!" The male hissed in his ear, harsh breath arousing his sensitive skin. He wasn't sure how he could hear Bakura because he felt like he had already hit the ground; his eyes were blinded by a bright white light and he felt so sickeningly dizzy… "You'll never know me, so don't think you do…"

In a matter of seconds, the hand was gone and so was Ryou's consciousness.


"A-Ahn…" Ryou groaned as his head rolled to the side. He had been asleep, he knew, but the last thing he remembered was not him sleeping. Yet…he was waking up? He could feel a cold leather cushion pressed against his back and hear voices, ones that were oddly familiar. Was he really awake or was this a dream? He felt a little nauseous and his body felt oddly weak for someone who had just slept. Besides, he could smell a sickeningly sweet cherry perfume-the one Shana always drenched herself in every day between breaks.

…Wait. Doe-like emerald depths snapped open to find themselves staring up at the wooded ceiling of the café, along with the underside of a table, bundles of gum cleverly stuck beneath it. He was in the café! "S-Shana?" His voice cracked, eyes blinking rapidly, trying to take in their surroundings.

"O-Oh Ryou!" He heard the woman gasp out, vision suddenly blinded by the middle-aged, chubby woman, her hand setting itself upon Ryou's slowly rising chest. "Heaven's dear, you had us all so worried!"

"What…?" What was she talking about? The last thing he remembered, he was handing that elderly man his muffin and the check for the table, and then he was going outside, heading for somewhere…

But where? "Darling, you were outside for some strange reason and you passed out! Some nice young gentleman just happened to be passing by outside when he saw you! He immediately rushed you in here to us, and thank god for that! I was still in back so it would've been another good twenty minutes before I would've found you! Honey, what happened?"

"I…" A young man had brought him from in from outside? He looked confusingly up to Shana, who was currently petting his forehead. "But how? I felt…" Yes, he felt a little sick now but when he had been outside, for what ever reason, he was sure he had been just fine! "I felt fine before…" It didn't make sense! His heart was starting to pound in his chest from his worry; that was not normal-never had he just so randomly blacked out before!

"Oh honey, you know how those things hit you. How are you feeling though?" Shana asked worriedly, eyes full of concern. "Does your head hurt? Did you hit it hard?" Her eyes shined with a realization and she held up three fingers right in front of his face. "How many fingers am I holding up?"

"No, no, and three. Shana, u-uhm…" Ryou gave her a tired, polite smile. "Could you back up a little so I can sit up? I just feel a little dizzy, but besides that, I am just fine."

"Oh, sorry!" She laughed softly, rising so she was no longer in Ryou's way. Ryou's back cracked as he stretched to sit up, slim body easily twisting around to sit in the aged booth upright. He took a deep breath, eyes drifting to a glass of water on the table. His throat felt pretty dry.

"Is it okay if…" But before he could finish his sentence, Shana had pushed the glass his way.

"Drink that down sweetheart, and then we can talk." He nodded lightly and took the crystal glass in his hand, quickly devouring the whole glass. Well, now that his thirst was quenched, he did feel a bit better. Maybe he had just been so thirsty, he couldn't go on anymore? Now that he thought about it, he had been eyeing that Shirley Temple from earlier pretty greedily…

"I…I really don't remember…" A young man brought him in from outside. Why had he been out there in the first place? He felt the contents of his stomach rising to his throat when suddenly…

It dawned on him. His heart felt as if it would thump out of his chest at any given moment. "What…what did that man look like?" Shana's eyes seemed to cloud over unsurely.

"You know…" Her hand lifted to her chin, fingering it in thought. "Now, all of a sudden, I really don't remember….not at all."

"White hair and dark brown eyes…" Ryou hadn't meant to say that, yet it just seemed to slip out. White hair and dark brown eyes…

Eyes that were so deep and captivating; Ryou had gotten so caught up in them. "Bakura!" And it all flooded back to him. He gasped and looked to Shana in disbelief. There was something wrong with that man! He had done something with his palm to Ryou that had made him do this! Ryou hadn't gone out there for any reason, he remembered now! "I…I went out there to apologize and then he did something and I was on the ground!" Bakura…Bakura was magic! And those two people with him-now he remembered that menu floating! Sure he had only seen it for a split second but he knew it shouldn't have been in midair for so long!

Those people…they were anything but human!

"Dear…I don't follow," The woman replied gently, anxiety in her tone. "Who is this "Bakura" with white hair and that isn't how it happened Ryou, you must've dreamt it! There was no one outside when you were out there!"

"Yes, yes Shana, there was!" Ryou urged, looking up to her disbelievingly. How could she not believe him? "Don't you remember? You told me to take over that table-you know, the one with the old man and the two younger guys? One with brown hair and the other with…" He could even prove it to her, if he hadn't been out for that long! He looked out the window and it was still dark; maybe they were still here!

He stood up triumphantly and held onto the table's edge, about to get up. Yet, when he stood, the wave of dizziness hit him once again and he could only fall back to his seat. Bakura-he had done something to him and Shana just had to believe him! "Oh, dear!" Shana gasped, head twisting around. "Yuki, get me the phone, will you?!"

"Shana, what's a matter?" Ryou asked softly, staring up at her. "Don't…don't you believe me?"

"Ryou…" She looked down at him apologetically. "There was an old man here with his two grandsons; one was blonde and the other had black hair. But darling, you brought them their drinks and that was the last you saw of them before you went outside!"

"But Shana!" Ryou gasped, "They…There were only two in the booth when I went outside! One was out there! With white hair!" There was no way Ryou had imagined that scene himself! Something was going on; somehow, those people had gotten to Shana too!

"No Ryou, no…" Her eyes glistened anxiously as she stared at the boy. "There was never a man with white hair." She smiled apologetically, setting her hand atop Ryou's crown to give it a gentle pat. "If there was, I am sure I would've remembered. After all, white hair isn't all that common around here." Ryou opened his mouth as if to protest but…

His eyes stared down to his water glass pensively. There was nothing he could do to change her mind; she was so sure Ryou had hallucinated the man. It wasn't fair though; Ryou remembered seeing the guy! He remembered exactly what he looked like, smelt like, what his name…

Bakura. Somehow, Bakura had interfered. He had made Ryou pass out, and made himself absolutely invisible to the woman. He had brought Ryou in but something happened to where Shana couldn't recognize him. How could that be though? Ryou felt so unsure of himself, knowing Shana was eyeing him so worriedly. Was he wrong? Had he truly made up the whole scenario in his head? It had been so realistic though! There was just no way it could've been fake!

"You're…you're right, Shana," Ryou said unsurely, biting his lip in thought. He knew he had seen it but it wasn't worth fighting it over with her. No matter what he said, she'd never believe him. In fact, if he went on with the story, she might be more perplexed by it in the long run than she was right now. "I guess I don't really know what happened. I just feel sick…"

"Don't you worry about a thing, hon." She continued to pet her well-manicured hands through Ryou's soft locks. Had he not had the feeling that he was possibly out of his mind, he would've felt a little more eased by the contact. "I'll go call Malik to come and get you and we'll call it a night. In fact," She paused, taking a step back to look into Ryou's gentle eyes seriously. "I want you to not come in tomorrow. Take the night off and get some rest." She smiled brightly at the teen. "I can't have my little worker bee dropping out on me again, now can I?"

He nodded and gave her a half-hearted smile. A day off would be nice but he doubted it would help answer any of the many questions he had about exactly what had happened to him. "Thank you." He gave a nod, leaning back in the booth. "I am sure it will help a lot."

"Mm. Now I will just be right back! Don't you dare move, okay?" She gave the boy a playful wink as she left to go and call his best friend. He sighed heavily and closed his eyes, head tilting back into the seat. This was definitely too much to take for one day. The elderly man, Varon, Bakura…

Magic? Ryou had never been one to be quick to believe in the inexplicable such as wizards but right now, it just seemed so plausible. Of course, it was hard to make people believe him when only he had been there when Bakura had touched him like that. In fact…his stomach lurched in a sickening way. Likely, noone would ever believe Bakura was truly there. Bakura had just made it out as if Ryou had been sick. He made it so everyone in the restaurant didn't remember him. Sure, only Shana had been told about Bakura but Ryou just knew; they wouldn't be so ignorant as to leave any trails behind them. They'd even cooked up an extra person who did not exist.

Whatever they were… Ryou was half hopeful one day, he'd see them again to be able to prove himself. Of course, if he set out on that path, then he would definitely look like he was nuts and Shana and everyone else might try and send him to a Therapist for help. Ryou felt so hopeless-was this how abductees of aliens felt? Suddenly, the impossible seemed too probable and his skeptic ways were beginning to crack.

People were right. This café did lure in the strange. But the real question; would he ever see Bakura or that old man again? Maybe it was better if he didn't; that way, this night could diminish from his mind, as would the self-doubt. He wasn't going to pursue those people and he was going to forget all about this incident because who would believe him, anyway? Whatever Bakura was, it was better if he never knew-or so he tried to convince himself.


"You know, you didn't have to be such an ass to him. It wasn't his fault!" Varon blurted out as he spread out upon the floral print couch within the cozy, luxurious living room. His eyes focused sharply upon the many family portraits gracing the aged, yet well-maintained walls. One in particular caught his eye; one of a woman with the darkest of black hair and mysterious yellow eyes, reminding him of a cat. Her face was thin and strikingly beautiful-it was surprising to Varon that such a lovely woman could create the monster sulking upon the oversized chair before him.

"Yes, I did," The "monster", also known as Bakura replied rather sharply. He pressed his thin knees further into his chest, eyelids lowered as he stared irritably at the wooded floors beneath.

"And why would that be, exactly?" Varon snapped back, eyes lurking upon Bakura's ghost-like face. Bakura's eyes turned Varon's way angrily, clearly getting across his message, one that told Varon he really wished not to talk about it and for Varon to shut the fuck up, please. Unfortunately, Varon had never been much of a body language reader, so the young wizard pressed on. "What did he do? Apologize to you too nicely, despite how much of a dick you were to him?"

"That's not fucking it, okay?" Bakura seethed in reply, back straightened up in an alert pose as he glared at Varon. Varon still seemed quite undisturbed by the threatening glances thrown his way. In fact, they only seemed to be egging him on moreso.

"Then explain! I don't see why you would be such a prick to your own friend, using a spell that you knew would hurt him! There were so many other ways to erase his memories besides that way!" Varon eyed Bakura suspiciously, not ready to give up on what happened at the restaurant quite yet. He couldn't help himself; the way Bakura had looked at that boy… Why did he use such a violent spell when one that strong wasn't even needed for the occasion? The boy was only a mere human; there were so many simpler, pain-free spells Bakura could've used!

"Because!" Bakura spat, "I wanted to make absolute fucking sure he never remembered my face, okay? Do you have a problem with that?" Bakura's hands were gripping at the chair arms violently all of a sudden. Varon quirked a brow, not understanding where all this pent-up hostility of Bakura's was coming from. His ears pricked as he heard footsteps descending from the stairwell. Even at the sound, Bakura didn't stop staring.

"But why?" Varon was confused. "If he's your friend, and it's the first time you've seen him in 11 years…Shouldn't you be happy?" At least, that's how a normal being should've reacted-but then again, when was obscure Bakura ever very normal?

"He isn't my friend and no, I am not happy! Would you just fucking drop it already? I really don't want to talk about that…that boy right now!" Bakura threw himself into his seat, arms folding childishly.

"It isn't just anyone," Varon fought back, starting to get a little annoyed himself. Why wouldn't Bakura just tell him why he had such a grudge against Ryou? "Your history with him, Shidaro told me before. Something really bad happened to him and he was basically traumatized or something." Varon waved his hand dismissively, having forgotten many of the details. After so many gruesome cases he'd heard, it got strenuous to keep track. "What'd he do? Blame everything on you, then get amnesia? Cuz it sure seemed like he remembered you somehow."

"No, you idiot, that isn't it at all." Bakura closed his eyes, smacking himself on the forehead. His head felt like it was throbbing. "In short, since you're so goddamn nosy, something bad happened, got his memories erased and was shipped off somewhere, never to remember his pathetic human life correctly again. It's no big deal. I just didn't expect him to…be living here, of all places. They told me they planted an enchantment on his father to take him and move him to England. Guess it only worked for so long, mm?"

"I guess so." Varon stared at Bakura disbelievingly. That couldn't be the whole story; it just couldn't have been. After all, Varon knew what usually happened to human families who got attacked, where survivors were left. Yes, fake stories were planted within their minds and thrown out to the media but usually, it was highly educated witches and wizards who worked upon the survivor's brain. They could always leave certain memories behind. Why would they erase Bakura from Ryou's mind when both were just children?

"Bakura, I just received information on where and when your mission starts." Varon's head turned around to see Shidaro standing there in his pajamas, as was normal for the elder male when he was home like this. His tall, yet sluggish figure was draped from head to toe in the finest of silk robes, a print embroidered upon the royal blue robe's sleeves and neckline. It was tied around the waist securely, reaching at the male's shins, which were draped in a matching pajama pant and strange fuzzy lime colored socks. Varon could've sworn he'd seen his sister with the same exact pair before.

"And where should I be lucky enough to be shipped off to, hmm?" Bakura's eyes rolled as he lifted his body to peer over the chair top to look at Shidaro in a bored manner.

"You are lucky enough to still be able to continue on with your education on your own instead of being sent back to that school in Osaka, may I remind you," Shidaro spoke sternly, lips pursed. "However," He smiled brightly, the cheerful gleam returning to his eyes. "You are being sent to Domino City high school, where you will attend grade 12." Shidaro's nose wrinkled for a moment. "Whatever that is," he muttered under his breath. "Nevertheless!" He beamed at the white haired teen as he trekked deeper into the living room, hand holding onto a few sheets of paper. "You start on September the 3rd at 8:05 a.m." Bakura's eyes nearly bulged out of his head at the last bit. Varon, alike, felt pretty bad for his friend there. Usually 8:05 a.m. was when they had just gotten to sleep.

"You have to be fucking kidding me! Isn't there any other times or something?" Bakura begged, eyebrows knitting in disappointment. "How the hell do you expect me to go to school at that time, spend all fucking day there, then be outside at 10 PM to 3 AM to do a fucking night patrol?! I will pass out every other step!"

"Well then…" Shidaro shrugged it off, yawning tiredly. "I guess you should've thought about that before you disobeyed the head councilman's wishes for you to go after Pegasus yet again then, shouldn't you?" Shidaro shot the male a pointed glare, making Bakura's chin tilt downward.

"It's better than just letting him go fucking free like you all do," Bakura muttered right back, eyes staring darkly at the chair's disgusting (in his point of view) pattern.

"That isn't true, Bakura!" Varon countered, sitting up to stare at the male. "Everyone wants him gone but it's like the council said; we have to wait for the right moment! He's too experienced for us to just go off and attack him like you did! He's so much more powerful than-"

"I fucking know okay? I almost died, yeah, I fucking got it!" Bakura shouted, throwing his body to a standing position as he glowered at the two males whose eyes were all on him at the moment. "I'm just a goddamn baby; I don't have the strength, yadda yadda! Everyone has already told me a billion times but you know what? It's alright because it's better than just sitting around and doing nothing like everyone in this house and everywhere does!" His feet sprung into action, walking in a rushed manner to get out of the living room. He purposely bumped into Shidaro's arm and snatched the papers from him, since he knew they pertained to his future work. "Now if you'll excuse me, I am going to go and get ready for this retarded mission, which is completely pointless since they don't even go after nasty human teenagers in the first place!"

Shidaro seemed most undisturbed by this outburst; obviously a sign that it was not that uncommon. He simply sighed patiently and turned his head around, wary brown eyes staring at the male's back as her stormed toward the spiraling wooden staircase that lead up to the two other floors of the rustic house they resided in. "Just remember Bakura; you only have a couple of days. If I were you…" Shidaro smiled as the male hesitated on one of the lower steps, awaiting the elder male's words. "I would try hard to get as much sleep as possible. After all, school and an after school job will be hard to maintain." A low chuckle left Shidaro as the teen left with a simple extension of his middle finger as he continued up the stair well.

Varon sighed and reclined back in his seat, eyes lazily looking up to the ceiling. "So, how many days do you think it will be before he goes crazy at the human school?"

"Oh, I give it two days, three at the most." Shidaro yawned exhaustedly, feet padding over to the sitting area of the room to slink down in the chair Bakura had once occupied. "I wouldn't worry about it too much though. Bakura knows this is his last chance to show the council he can comply with their rules and follow directions. If he doesn't oblige, he'll be expelled from the program for good-his wizarding days will come to an end."

Varon murmured in response, rolling restlessly onto his side. "Sounds easier said then done-at least, when it comes to Bakura, anyways."

"Mm. Indeed." Shidaro pointed a finger at a foot cushion that laid only a few feet out of reach. With a simple flick, the cushion glided gently towards him, his feet soon settling atop it. "As long as he can push that stubborn streak aside, I think he will do just fine."

"Chh." Varon outstretched for the remote. "I am not putting my money on him, not so soon anyways."

"Oh?" Shidaro's powdery eyebrow raised. "Not even for chore duties for a month?"

"…Well…" Varon licked his lips in feverishly. "Now that, I could maybe work with." He pondered for a moment and then grinned, accepting the terms. "Alright, one month chore duties; how long before Bakura has his first breakdown?"


"I still can't believe you passed out like that, Ryou! I know you told me how it happened and all but fuzz!" Malik exclaimed, looking to his right with his hands steadily on his truck's steering wheel. His golden bangs were hanging in his eyes like usual, kohl-lined lids hidden beneath. Ryou, who sat beside him safely buckled in (unlike Malik, no matter how many times Ryou protested being in a car without a seatbelt was definitely NOT safe), had his head pressed exhaustedly back in the seat, green eyes glancing up at his friend.

Not unlike Malik, Ryou was still unable to believe it too-mostly just the part where it was his own body that made him do it and not some other entity entirely. "Yeah…" Ryou replied softly, turning his head around and sitting up to be able to look at the back window. All Ryou could make out now in the dark was the empty highway lanes behind them, the café a good mile or so away by now. "Good." Ryou thought, at least about the café and those strange men being so distant from him.

"Still, I wish you had passed out earlier or something," Malik noted selfishly, eyes warily gazing down to his legs, which were only clad in a pair of checkered red and green boxers. When Shana had called, Malik had already been fast asleep in his bed, late night talk shows blaring from his TV. He was surprised he had even heard his cell phone with how loud the TV had been turned up. Somehow though, he managed (though grumpily), and yanked himself out of bed to get here as fast as he could. "I was barely able to pull myself out of bed."

Ryou sighed expectantly, green eyes lighting up slightly as a small smile spread across his lips. "Malik, when have you ever been able to get yourself out of bed? I can't remember a time when waking you up was ever easy." That was usually why, when Ryou and Malik stayed the night together, he just left his friend alone to wake up on his own times.

"That is true," Malik retorted, glancing up to the truck's torn ceiling cloth.

"But," Ryou bared a grin. "I am oh so sorry me being sick was not on your terms, but on mine. I guess I should've known better than to go by my own schedule and not your own!" Ryou placed a hand over his heart dramatically, giving his friend a playful, guilty look. "How selfish of me!"

"Chh, I know it was! Scared the shit out of me!" Ryou felt a little flattered, knowing his friend cared so much. He looked down to his lap with a small, appreciative smile. "When I heard it was Shana's voice, I had been for certain she was going to ask me to come in and work! I was about to start hacking into the phone to tell her I was too sick to do anything!" That flattery quickly evaporated; Ryou's eye lids lowered. He should've known better, really.

"And there, I had thought you actually cared for a moment that your poor best friend in the whole damn world had passed out for no reason-but oh," Ryou replied dryly. "It was simply only because you were scared Shana would, god forbid, make you come into work!" Ryou's arms folded, giving his friend a sulking expression. "God, you're so caring; I never could figure out why girls never stayed with you for more than a couple of days."

Malik shot his friend a resentful look before turning back to the road ahead of him. "Hey! I never said I didn't care, Ry', I just simply meant coming into work at 4 am is a little more scary than you passing out! Besides, passing out isn't really that big of a deal anyways." Ryou's mouth opened in distaste. How could Malik say that? Since when was it ever normal to just drop out of consciousness?! "I mean, when cousin Unagi doesn't get enough sugar, sometimes he just passes out too!"

"Malik,that is because your cousin is a diabetic!" Ryou cried out, eyeing his friend testily. "He has a valid reason for dropping out cold; I didn't!"

"Sheesh! You're just feisty tonight, aren't you?" Malik replied, grinning. "Rar!" He sounded out, clawing at his friend's arm. Ryou only glowered at him, not quite amused.

"You're such a prick," Ryou muttered before turning away from his friend to glance out the window moodily. The only person he really had in his life, who he saw almost daily (sadly) had pretty much told him passing out meant nothing extreme; it was no wonder why he was easily upset by that. His eyebrows knitted as he pouted. Maybe he should've called up Yuugi for the first time in a few weeks; at least Yuugi would show some genuine concern for him, even if they only saw each other once in a while during summer holidays.

"Ryouuu," Malik whined, sighing heavily. "You know I don't mean it like that, dude! It's just…well; I've passed out before a few years ago from running too hard! Ry', you're always doing too many things at once and you're at Shana's beconning call every time she needs an extra worker at the café. You always overwork yourself, so I think that is why it happened!" Malik's explanation did sound plausible, Ryou had to give him that much. He really did work long hours at the café, especially for a worker who was only supposed to be part-time. Malik made sure he never worked an hour over 20, while Ryou often pulled full shifts, sometimes even more.

And really, lately… He had been looking forward to a good amount of time off. He was tired, but not that tired. After all, if he wasn't working, he didn't really do much else. When Malik was actually awake and not off on dates, playing World of Warcraft, or "volunteering" at the museum (AKA forced by Isis), they hung out. When Malik wasn't around though during those summer nights, Ryou only sat at home, either on the internet or in front of the TV reading, bored to tears.

At least if he was at work, he was making money. "Money you never even spend," He reminded himself. In fact, he was sure he spent more money on his friend than he ever did on himself. Mostly because Malik always wasted his paychecks on videogames, useless car items, and expensive shoes, forgetting to actually save money to do activities or buy food for himself since his sister refused to buy or serve anything other than a strictly Arabian cuisine.

"Maybe you're right," Ryou muttered, pressing his pale forehead against the cool glass of the window. "I just…wasn't that tired so doing that seems strange to me."

"Well, did you feel sick at all? Didn't you notice anything different or strange?" Malik asked curiously, glancing to the male, one hand coming off the steering wheel to scratch at his head.

That was the thing though; something strange had happened but somehow, it seemed to simply be erased from everyone's memory but his own. When Shana wasn't looking, he had even taken it upon himself to go and ask a customer if they had noticed any men with white hair other than himself. They said, "no", which really made Ryou feel like he was quite possibly going crazy tonight.

What if Bakura hadn't been real, but only his imagination? But it just couldn't be true; he could still remember feeling that odd, electrifying pain and the man's hot breath against his ear. It made his skin crawl, thinking about that deep, husky tone. "You'll never know me, so don't think you do."

…What did that even mean? Of course Ryou didn't know him and he hadn't thought for a second that he did. It just…being near that man had felt like déjà vu. Though Ryou knew it was impossible, he had that feeling like he had seen the male before, maybe, yet he had no recollection of such an event. Maybe Shana was right; maybe it had been a different man who had been there and Ryou had just gotten his imagination and sense of reality warped.

Bakura…noone remembered him but Ryou so he couldn't be real. It felt unsettling to think that but what other explanation was there? Yes, he had thought Bakura and those other men could've been…

But that was childish, to immediately jump to such a far-fetched story simply because Ryou could think of no good explanation on his own. Bakura was not magic and he didn't exist-Ryou wanted to believe it so badly.

"I was just…really thirsty," he lied, yet he had no idea why. He never lied to Malik but… If he told Malik the real story, he was sure Malik would have the same response as Shana. It hadn't been real. Besides, maybe after he told enough people being dehydrated was the reason behind it, he'd start to believe it himself.

"Well, see?" Malik exclaimed cheerfully. "Your answer is right there, then! Geez Ryou, you're usually so smart, I'm surprised you didn't see that yourself!" Malik switched on his blinker, changing into the right lane to take the exit that lead to Malik's house.

"Heh, yeah…" Ryou trailed off, feeling discouraged. "At least I don't have to work tomorrow, I suppose." He tried to change the subject so Malik wouldn't think something was up.

"Mm, lucky you." Malik frowned, nose scrunching up. "Of course, that means I have to work though…with Miho." Ryou managed a short laugh at the mention of the blue-haired female, who just so happened to be a classmate of their's at Domino High School. She had always had a strange preoccupation with Ryou and a strong resentment towards Malik because no one saw Ryou as much as Malik did. Malik swore it was because Miho had a crush on him but Ryou begged to differ.

"We were chemistry and biology partners in school! Really, it's no wonder she likes me better than you; I am nice to her and you are always calling her a freaky five-year-old for wearing that bow in her hair!"

"Well, she wears it every day Ryou! It's uncanny; how many other girls our age do you know who actually wear -ribbons- in their pony tails?" Ryou never replied back to that question. He always told Malik it was just because he didn't want to argue but really; secretly, he agreed. What other girls did he know, besides cheerleaders maybe, that wore bows in their hair constantly? Still, it didn't give Malik a good reason to dislike her.

"Oh, she isn't that bad," Ryou answered softly to his friend. Malik sent him a dark look.

"Yeah, to you maybe, only because she wants to jump your bones."

"Oh whatever Malik, that is ridiculous." Malik snorted as his foot pressed on the break a little too forcefully, jerking them to a stop in front of the light. Ryou uncomfortably was thrown up, then back into his seat. He gave Malik an unappreciative look; he never had liked his friend's driving much. That was why, usually, he drove his own car and made Malik play passenger.

"The only thing ridiculous about it is how clueless you are of it." He raised a blonde brow, grinning at his friend. "Not that I can blame you though. I wouldn't go for her either; she's crazy!"

Ryou snorted in response, frowning. "She is nice and not crazy!" He exclaimed in defense of her. Though sometimes, she did have a habit of talking in third person. That was always a little…eerie.

"Then why don't you date her already? God knows she is already at home right now, mixing up love spells to put on you." Ryou felt a little uncomfortable at the mention of dating her; mostly because he'd never seriously considering seeing anyone like that.

"Why do you always bring her up anyways?" Ryou grinned teasingly. "I think it is just because you secretly wish she followed you around!" There; that would hopefully get Malik off his back about it. He'd much rather discuss Malik's love life than his own.

"Cha!" Malik cried out, foot pressing on the gas as the light changed green. "Fat chance of that. She is beastly! Besides, I can get enough girls." He snickered, wiggling his brows in Ryou's direction. "It is you who needs some experience, my friend." Ryou's stomach churned nervously. Experience with a girl? He'd never admit it to anyone because for a guy, it was rather humiliating but…

Girls were usually the last thing on his mind; in fact, sex and relationships in general were.

"Yeah, my head hurts," Ryou lied, eyes closing as he curled into his seat tightly.

"Mhm." Malik rolled his eyes, head shaking as he took a turn into his neighborhood, nearing his house. "Well, in any case, work will suck tomorrow without you." Malik sulked, slumping in his seat. "All well, at least I can eat all the leftovers I want and you won't be there to scold me for it."

"Yeah," Ryou replied sarcastically. "What a plus that must be."


The first day of school rolled around the same as it always had the past three years of high school. Malik and Ryou had once again stayed up too late watching cheesy b-side films and pigging out on Pizza Hut, despite Isis' constant hounding on them that they were laughing too loud. Malik passed out before Ryou, as always, at about 3 am and Ryou soon followed. Needless to say, by the time the alarm clock sprang into action only four hours later, they were exhausted. It took Ryou nearly ten minutes just to drag Malik out from under the blankets.

Malik, as usual, had refused for a long as possible and when he finally was up, he went to the bathroom and promptly fell back asleep on the toilet. Ryou was left unsurprised, though he had wished he would've found out that fact a few minutes sooner than he had. He had been wondering what was taking Malik so long too; after all, 30 minutes in the bathroom was a long time for anything. Either way, Ryou rushed Malik and the two just barely made it out of Malik's house in time to jump in Ryou's car and drive off to school.

They pulled up to the four story building only 5 minutes before it started, leaving them with almost no time to get to class. Thankfully, since they were seniors, they knew the building well enough to know where their new classes were. Sadly, they only had one class together this semester and it was not their 1st period. Ryou had just bared Malik a "see you later" before having to gather up all his strength to survive the four story stair climb to his first class. "It would figure; my first class would freaking be light years away," Ryou whispered to himself, trying his hardest to go as fast as he could without tripping.

His eyes traveled worriedly to his watch, seeing he only had two minutes left by the time he had reached the third story. He was so tired though; he just wanted to give up now and collapse right then on the stair way. He didn't care if people stepped all over his face; he just wanted to go back in Malik's warm king size bed and sleep til noon again. He turned his head to give the bright sun outside a morose look. He would definitely miss summer and the warm weather it brought along with it. Soon it would be freezing again and he would have to fight his Egyptian best friend even harder to get him out of bed and into the cold, snowy Domino streets.

Once he reached the top step, he couldn't have been more relieved. He was now out of breath and tired. Having his math class first would definitely not help the latter. If only he had been the kind of student who easily drifted off in between pages of their textbooks. At least that way when he stayed up all night, he could recount for those lost hours of sleep between boring class sessions. Surely, that was what Malik would do.

He glanced to his watch nervously. One minute and thirty seconds until he had to be in his seat. He wanted to walk fast but his lack of air was making him lag behind. He had to stop at the nearest wall to catch his breath for a moment, just too exhausted to carry on. His green eyes glanced down the long hallway, heart sinking. He knew from the first class number, his own class was at the very end of that hall-how wonderful…

Groaning softly, he started off again, messenger bag looking as if it was what was making him walk so sluggishly. Vaguely, he wondered if any of his former school friends would be in his class. He highly doubted it; after all, most of his friends weren't even near the same level of math as him-well, there was Yuugi. Yuugi was one level behind though since he had failed last semester so it left Ryou all alone.

That was okay though; Ryou was used to it. Living on his own by 13 would've made most kids that way. Still, it would've been nice to at least have one person he knew and got along with in there. His eyes stared at the ground in front of him warily as he neared the door, feeling a little nervous like he did going to any class for the first time. 'Please, let there be someone in there I know…'

His hand reached out for the door, lithe fingers curling around the knob. When he was about to turn the knob to open it up, instead of opening up gently like he had been attempting, it swung at him rather vigorously. Since Ryou hadn't been paying attention, he had no time to react. The door collided roughly with his face, a shooting pain rioting within his forehead and nose. "O-Owe!"

Fuck. He really needed to learn how to -watch- where he was going! He could smell a coppery odor and there was something warm seeming to leak from his nose. He hand reached up quickly to nurse his throbbing body part, eyes widening when he realized what was happening. It was bleeding!

"…Well, I guess you won't stand in the way of doors anymore now, will you?" A ragged, sharp voice grumbled. Ryou's head snapped immediately in the direction of the person…the person who had just came out of that room.

"W-Wha!" He knew he hit his head, but he was sure he hadn't hit it that hard to be seeing him! "What are you doing here?!" His eyes nearly popped out of his head the moment they caught wind of unmistakably familiar pure white hair and the most vivid, scary pair of russet eyes glowering down at him. He could feel the blood trickling down the knuckles of his hand, yet at that moment, it didn't seem to register. Nothing did as those eyes bore into him with such a haunting depth.

"Ba…Bakura…" The shriek of the bell sounded throughout the hallways. He should've moved but found he was still standing quite still.


Yay!!! I have finished the first chapter of my story that is still veeerryyy unplanned out. Uhm, I hope it was okay? I know "Shidaro" might sound familiar if you've read any of my very old, very not-so-good stories in the past. I pretty much used one of my old story ideas I've done previously, hoping to make it better and much more interesting to read. So, how do you all like it?! I am pretty happy with it but the idea still hasn't quite grown on me so much yet. I am hoping to get more into it so I can finish it off!

Thank you all for reading and please review so I can know if it is even interesting enough for any of you to want to read more of it! ;D I hope you're having a great February! I am not because it still hasn't snowed and is much, much too cold. Hopefully late next month, the temperature will go up again and the sun will come back to mee!

Haha, much love! 8D