DIS: I am so stressed out from school. I start college next year (EEK!) and then I have the ACT and the American History AP soon!!...And yet, here you see me making a story. Hehehe...


Title: Stress

Rating: T

Genre: Romance/Humor

Summary: KaibaxRyou. Some people crammed before exams. Some, like Seto Kaiba, studied day after day in preparation for exams. And there was Ryou Bakura, who didn't even have to study to get 100s. Things tended to fall together so well like that.

Disclaimer: I do not own YuGiOh

Notes/Warnings: RyouxSeto; one shot; first attempt at this couple; third yaoi fic



Stress was a relatively easy thing to come by when you entered a high school around the time of May or June. There were various tests to prepare for, especially when it came to the seniors. Students had the Advanced Placements (AP) tests, SATs, ACTs, finals, evaluating tests, and other such things. Most students were cramming at the last minute instead of studying bits and pieces each day. The only exception to this universal rule that seemed to exist in high schools was Seto Kaiba, the CEO of Kaiba Corporation.

To him, there was a simple procedure that he followed so as to remain at the top of each of the exams he took: there was no 'fun time later' for him. He had permanently marked that off his list of Things That Are Allowed In Life. Basically, his life consisted of study, school, work, study, study, and more studying. He was one of the few gifted individuals who seemed to have a photographic memory. In fact, he was inwardly rather proud of his excellent grades. The only other person who had as good of grades as him happened to be Ryou Bakura, a sometimes-friend of his archrival Yuugi Mutou.

As far as Kaiba knew, Ryou Bakura studied at home. Or so he was assuming. He had never seen Ryou study during before class like he did, nor did he read over anything during lunch. Before class, he cuddled against his folded arms and rested his eyes. During lunch, he ate with Yuugi's gang or alone, quietly and unobtrusively. Since his evil yami's disappearance, he hadn't changed much. Despite Ryou's kind smile to everyone – even Kaiba – there was something about him that was...irritating to the CEO.

In all honesty, there were times when Kaiba, a secret lover of men, wanted to thrash Ryou. He had the kind of face and behavior of a person that needed to be roughed up a little; and although Ryou had hundreds of girls chasing after him that were self-proclaimed as his fan club, he merely gave an embarrassed smile and waved them off, as polite as ever. There had more than one time that Kaiba had watched it, his expression and mood growing black.

The boy really needed to be hit.

Or kissed. Whichever would prove most effective.

Kaiba mouth curled in a smirk as he listened with half an ear as the teacher explained some complicated formula that would be on the SAT. His yami probably beat him up all the time, what with cutting his arm and the deal with the Shadow Realm, he reflected. Now, as for the kissing...Somehow I don't see anyone kissing Ryou Bakura. Or vice versa, for that matter. One of these days, I will really have to take it into my own hands to teach him. Snorting under his breath, Kaiba put that thought aside and paid closer attention to the teacher.


Why do I get the feeling he's been watching me? Ryou wondered to himself as he flicked a glance over his shoulder as he brushed some long, white hair from his face. Kaiba's eyes were on the assignment he was doing and the way he wrote was almost lazy, as if didn't have a care in the world. Sweating a bit nervously, Ryou turned back to his book, hunching his shoulders. Maybe I've been the one watching him. It's simply less damaging to my ego if I pretend that he's watching me.

He almost groaned with irritation at the thought. His recent accidental encounter with Malik had brought his attention to a rather upsetting conclusion that his sexual preference was not all that he had originally believed it to be. If anything, Malik had looked confused at his lurch backwards after he had collided into the male. He knew that Malik's interests were strictly straight as he flirted with every girl in his sight, so he doubted the hard on he had achieved after that slight brush would be welcomed.

I would rather have the hots for Malik rather than Seto Kaiba, though, he thought sullenly. I don't care how tight he wears his pants. He's as straight as they come. I mean, gay guys don't act like him. Gay guys act like... His heart dropped. Like women, he ended, even more depressed than he had been a moment ago. Great. It's no wonder I like my long hair so much. It's no wonder I drink tea and knit! Why didn't I ever see this before? Did it take as much as me being hard from a guy for me to understand? Why am I so dense?! Damn!

"Uh, Ryou...?" The teacher uncertainly questioned from above as Ryou began to feverishly scribble all over his paper with his calculations and solutions to the answer. "Are you, um, quite alright?" Ryou sucked in a breath of shock as his lead suddenly broke and he stared at the paper with a horrified expression before blinking and looking to the teacher, smiling sheepishly.

"Oh...Yes, I'm fine. I just love math."

"Ah! I see. I never knew you loved math so much. I always thought that you were an English lover." He chuckled and clapped Ryou on the shoulder and continued on through the rows.

Because I'm British, right? Ryou silently asked the teacher, a corner of his mouth twitching. He clicked his mechanical pencil and then continued to his math, more slowly than before so that he didn't look like he was on drugs of some kind. He really wasn't trying to make that kind of impression. I've been so quiet so far, too. Keep it up, Ryou, keep it up! He encouraged himself in his mind, giving a tiny grin of satisfaction.


Kaiba generally didn't result to eavesdropping for countless reasons: he rarely received the correct information, there was nothing worthwhile to eavesdrop about, people had eavesdropped on his conversations, it was nosy, and really, it was none of his damn business what someone else was talking about. Now, however, he was listening to Jounouchi rant about how good Ryou's exam scores were, sneering once that they were as good as "that cocky bastard's over there," indicating Kaiba, and Kaiba knew the eventual question was going to pop up. He was curious himself how Ryou managed it.

"...so I gotta ask, Ryou," Jounouchi finally sighed. "How da hell do you do it?"

"Do what?" Ryou answered in a blank tone.

"Get good test scores, man!" Honda barked out exasperatedly. Kaiba glared at him irritably through the corner of his eye. That wasn't going to get the answer out of him, the idiots. He eyed Ryou and saw him rub the back of his neck nervously. For a moment, he became enraged, thinking that he might be copying off of him or cheating somehow. If he had been, he really would hit him and for completely different reasons than before.

"Well...I don't actually do anything," he admitted with a shaky laugh. "I don't really have to study or anything. Since what we test on is covered in what we learn, it doesn't make any sense for me to study when I've already learned it. I have a really good memory." He tapped his head to make a point, beaming at them. Honda and Jou simply gawped, looking as if he had socked them in the stomach. Kaiba was clutching his book tight in his hands, his mouth taut. He was seeing red for a moment, so furious at this indirect maligning to his good name. Quickly, he ran through possible methods he could use to execute Ryou so that the shame would be erased. None sounded good enough, though.

"Dude, that's crazy!" Honda finally sputtered out. "I can't believe you're that good!" He laughed. "I bet even Kaiba can't beat that!" Something snapped in Kaiba and he slammed his book on the desk and nearly the whole class went silent. He rose calmly to his feet and adjusted his collar to his uniform before striding over to Ryou's desk. If anything, Ryou looked more nervous and kept his eyes carefully averted from Kaiba. "Uh...Kaiba, hi. Can we – "

"I didn't come to talk to you," Kaiba snapped coldly. "After all, a monkey barely out of its mother's womb doesn't hold a threat to me." Honda flinched as his face turned red with barely suppressed rage. Jou opened his mouth to say something, but Kaiba stopped him with a sharp look and then returned to Ryou, saying, "Meet me behind the school, genius boy. I want to have a brief talk with you."

"Listen, Kaiba, Ryou didn't say nothin'," Jou stated lazily. "If ya wanna beat da shit out of someone, take Honda behind da school."

"Like I said, Jounouchi, we're going to talk. Maybe if you learned to speak properly, you might actually understand the term."

"What? You bastard! Why, I outta – " Kaiba didn't bother to pay attention to the rest of what he said, turning and returning to his seat. As he sat down, he glanced to Ryou to see him looking at him with a slightly panicked expression. He turned his eyes back to Jou and Honda almost as soon as their gazes touched to listen to the two mutter while shooting dirty looks towards Kaiba.

It's been awhile since I've been in such a bad mood as I am now, Kaiba reflected a bit cheerfully. It felt almost pleasant to crush those two brainless fools. He was still deliberating over how to verbally abuse Ryou after school. He was reconsidering over his initial idea of the day: kissing the boy to death. That might actually work. Maybe he'll be traumatized by getting some action from a guy. He smirked to himself. Yes, that sounds like a fine idea to me. I'll make sure he doesn't open his mouth about it, too – in more ways than one.


Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, Ryou swore in his mind, his eyes darting to the clock anxiously. It would be five minutes until school was let out. The others had offered to come along, but he had quickly assured them that he would be fine. God only knew what Kaiba would do if he dared to bring someone with him. The rest of the school seemed to understand that, because ever since Kaiba's words in Government, every other student had been sending him pitying looks and whispering behind hands while looking at him. They must think I'm going to return to school black and blue tomorrow. I'm not worried about being beaten up, but my little attraction to Kaiba. I really don't want to find myself accidentally assaulting him. That could end up somewhat...awkward.

He gnawed on his lip and when the bell rang, he flinched so badly that he hit his knee on his desk. He gnashed his teeth together at the pain and then collected his bag, tucking his things inside. A few people murmured "good luck" to him and others gave tentative smiles. As he continued through the hall with the same reactions, he became mildly aggravated with their meddling. He figured they must think he was unable to protect himself. Malik had been helping him lately, though, and when his yami had possessed his body, he had unintentionally toughed him up, too.

As he stopped at his locker, someone knocked into the one beside him and he jumped, whipping around with wide eyes. Malik blinked at him in surprise. Letting out a breath of relief, Ryou turned and held his chest as he closed his eyes. "Geez, I never took you as a jumpy sort of guy, Ryou," Malik remarked with a laugh. "I guess you're anxious about meeting Kaiba, right?" Ryou turned an exasperated look to him. "Don't worry, I'm going to leave it all up to you. After all, Kaiba will throw a hissy fit if anyone else comes. Or so Yuugi tells me." A girl called out to Malik and he turned briefly to smile at her. "Anyway, I wanted to check in on you and see how you were going to deal with him."

"...Deal with him?" Ryou repeated, his eyebrows knitting together.

"Well, yes." Malik eyed him, his eyes narrowing menacingly. He almost looked how he did before his yami was drawn out of his body. "Please do not tell me you intend to just 'talk' with him, Ryou."

Flippantly, he replied, "Of course not. I was going to seduce him." Malik laughed and reached over and squeezed Ryou's shoulder.

"I would love to see that. I can just imagine Kaiba's expression." He snickered and then pushed off the locker, stretching his arms above his head, folding them behind his neck. "You want me to wait for you, just in case?" Ryou gave a small smile and shook his head. Malik dropped his arms and shrugged. "Alright, if you say so. Call me later and tell me how it went. If he so much as lands a punch on you, I'll gut him for you. Maybe I'll call my yami back and have him deal with it?" Ryou stared at him with saucers for eyes. "I'm kidding! Take a joke, will you?" He chuckled and raised a hand in farewell, moving through the steadily emptying hallway.

Ryou stood there for a moment and then called out irritably, "Why is it that everyone thinks I'm not capable of picking my own fights?!" Malik turned and walked backwards, making a pouty face.

"That's why!"

I do not look like that, Ryou spat in his mind, slamming his locker and then yelping when he hit his ankle. He whimpered and held his ankle, hunched over. Who am I kidding? I just slammed my own locker on my ankle! After overcoming the pain, he shut his locker much more gently and then limped to the boy's bathroom. After making certain no one else was there, Ryou snuck into a stall and set his bag beside him. Slumping on the toilet seat, Ryou leaned his head against the stone tiles behind him and closed his eyes, sighing. What am I going to do...?


Kaiba checked his watch, leaning against the wall, growing increasingly pissed off. It was 3:50. He had been waiting here for over an hour. The school was practically empty except for those who did sports and after school study hall. Ryou was late and Kaiba was beginning to wonder if the little weasel had skipped out on him. Snapping his sleeve over his watch and crossing his arms again, he glowered across from him broodingly. He had been in a fine mood when he had arrived there, but now it was much, much worse.

"Oh..." A soft voice spoke, disappointed and resigned. "You're still here." Kaiba turned to see Ryou standing a few feet from him, looking as if he had expected something else other than what he was being faced with. Sighing, Ryou stepped towards him so he was facing him, much shorter and less, well, manly than the CEO. "Let's get this over with, then...I guess."

"You're late," he stated unnecessarily.

"I was in the boy's bathroom," Ryou explained with a shrug. "I thought that if I waited long enough you would leave." He gave a tiny, uncertain smile. "I sometimes forget that you, um, work as a CEO, too. Obviously you are a very patient...man." He cleared his throat. "Can we please just talk about what you wanted to, Kaiba? I don't really want to be here."

"Do you have any idea, Ryou, just how much I study to get my grades?" Kaiba casually queried in a deceptively calm voice.

"By your tone, I suspect a great deal." Kaiba smiled thinly at the diplomatic tone in his voice.

"All I do before, during, and after school is study. That's all I have in my life: work and study, excluding my little brother. And yet, you achieve the same percents as I do without doing any studying. That is beyond humiliating."

"I imagine it is after Yuugi took away your title of game king," he remarked thoughtfully. Kaiba's face cooled significantly and he appeared as if his hand might come up with a gun in a moment. Instead he pushed off from the wall and grabbed Ryou's chin roughly, his fingers digging into the tender flesh below his jaw. Ryou grunted, flinching. Kaiba had been debating with himself whether he should go this far in making his point, but now his decision had been made by Ryou's last, grating comment.

"Don't fuck with me, Ryou, because I'm not someone you want to play with."

"Maybe I want to," he managed weakly. Kaiba blinked, surprised. He put several different interpretations into that one sentence in a matter of seconds, but they all ended up coming up into something provocative. At that moment, he was really wishing he could control the Sennen Eye so that he might be able to read Ryou's mind. That had thrown him off completely.

"I don't like your attitude," Kaiba growled, leaning in, glaring down at him. "You've been hanging with Ishtar and Katsuya too much." He didn't give Ryou a chance to reply and pressed his lips on his before he lost his nerve. There was no shocked stiffness or struggle as he had expected. He was surprised further when Ryou's previously tense body melted and his lips molded against his. Abandoning his earlier plan of keeping it at a kiss, he pulled Ryou towards the wall and caged him in, his hands planted on either side of Ryou's head, his mouth turning ravenous.

Heat flashed in his groin when Ryou parted his lips and groaned in his mouth. Curling his hands into fists, he took the subtle invitation and thrust his tongue in the sweet, too-innocent depths of the boy's. He tasted and salvaged; Ryou gave willingly and bunched his hands in Kaiba's uniform; there was no end to the hot dance that Kaiba had accidentally begun. It wasn't supposed to happen this way and yet somehow it had.

Straining against rationality, he broke away, gasping. Ryou was staring up at him, wide-eyed and looking more than a little alarmed at what had just taken place. A corner of Kaiba's mouth tilted upward dryly as Ryou jerked his hands from his uniform and pressed his own hands to his chest, staring at the wrinkled cloth with a bemused expression. Hesitantly, he reached out and smoothed it before withdrawing his hands back to their earlier position.

Sighing through his nose, Kaiba pushed away from the wall, putting some space between them. His chest tingled from where Ryou had smoothed his hands and he could still taste him on his tongue; it was not an agreeable combination to his already frayed senses. "Shit," he mumbled beneath his breath.

"Would you like to explain to me how that just happened?" Ryou demanded in a shaken voice. Kaiba glanced at him.

"You mean you haven't kissed a guy before? I was almost certain Malik was gay." Ryou looked almost surly. "Or did he reject you?"

"Thank you, but I never give him a chance." Kaiba smiled in an almost arrogantly satisfied manner. He had been right about Ryou never being kissed. Ryou flushed, as if he knew what he was thinking. "I thought you were straight...For God's sake, that's the only reason I actually came! I knew I was...was..." He pursed his lips. "...gay...but you never seemed the type to go after men."

"If people actually looked past the surface, it would be more than obvious," Kaiba responded with a smirk. "I rather like the innocent type, too." Ryou opened his mouth to protest that particular stereotype, but slowly closed his mouth, licking his lips. Kaiba gave a lazy grin, knowing too well that he was savoring the taste just as much as Kaiba was. He had been expecting to scare Ryou into dropping his smarts, but ended up with an entirely different – but quite pleasant – situation instead.

"So." He cleared his throat. "Can I go now? I have...stuff...to do."

"I have to work," Kaiba pointed out. Ryou bobbed his head and turned to leave and then paused. He turned back around and grabbed his bag, glancing at Kaiba, looking embarrassed. Kaiba merely smirked at him. He was enjoying this immensely. He watched Ryou leave, his hands tucked his pockets. He really is adorable, he mused before heading from the school himself, his foul mood vanquished.


Ryou walked to home room, exhausted and uncomfortable. He had three periods, including homeroom, and then lunch with Kaiba. He really wasn't ready to face the man after he had had his tongue in his mouth. Groaning, he rubbed his face, trying to erase that memory from his head. He had dwelled on it long enough last night and in his sleep. He had mourned when he had brushed his teeth last night because it took the taste of Kaiba out of his mouth and put a mint flavor in its place. Who would want mint over that, anyway? Ryou had demanded of himself last night.

Cautiously, he entered his homeroom and glanced to see that Kaiba was sitting in his spot, reading, looking as he always had. His body drooped in relief. He was acting as if nothing had happened. That was just what Ryou needed. He settled into his seat with a contented smile as Malik plopped down in the seat beside him, glaring mutinously. Ryou stared at him in puzzlement and then gasped. "Oh! I...forgot to call you."

"Damn right you did!" Malik growled. "Now I have to ask you about it when he's in the room. Remember what I said yesterday, Ryou: so much as a bruise..." Ryou rubbed his arm, smiling slightly. He definitely wasn't going to tell Malik the truth. That would be murder and he would prefer not to see that bizarre expression people got on their faces when you told them you were gay – especially from his best friend.

"We seriously did just talk. I...tried to wait it out, but he was still there when I came around."

Malik nodded and said nothing. When Ryou didn't either, simply sitting there, smiling, Malik rolled his eyes and leaned forward to whisper, "Did you seduce him like you said you were?" Ryou gawked at him, quickly developing a lie in his brain. Before he could, the Egyptian gave a patient smile and quietly told him, "Give me some more credit, Ryou. You're the only real friend I've got and you don't think I haven't noticed the way you avoid looking at him? Two words: sexual tension." He raised two fingers and waggled them meaningfully. "And hell, that guy is so gay that he would beat Atemu."

"Atemu wasn't..."

"Trust me, Ryou, he was gay." Ryou eyed him and then shrugged. "So, tell me the truth and leave out no details. I can handle it."

"Really? Well, alright. He did me against the wall." Malik cast a horrified look to Kaiba over his shoulder. "I'm not serious, Malik," Ryou said laughingly. "All he did was kiss me. I have to admit, though...He is one great kisser." Malik snorted.

"You haven't got enough experience to say that he's a great kisser." Once again, Ryou was being judged for being a virgin in all the ways that a guy could possibly be a virgin. He hadn't even jacked off, and that, in society's eyes, was shameful (or so he was guessing.) Malik suddenly grinned. "I'll bet you ten bucks I could get higher up on the scale than Kaiba if I kissed you. I'm not a guy lover, but if I can beat Kaiba in that area, it would make my day."

"...You're joking, right?"

"No, why?"

"Make it fifty." Malik drummed his fingers on the desk, looking as if he were in deep thought and then nodded. Ryou knew that, after Kaiba's little demonstration, he wasn't about to change his interest so quickly. Malik was as straight as they came, but he had learned that there wasn't anything Malik wouldn't do for money. He loved making bets and usually, it was Jou, Honda, or Ryou that ended up paying up.

They shook hands and almost as soon as their hands disconnected, Malik's mouth was on his and shocked Ryou so much that he didn't comprehend what was happening until Malik suddenly pulled away; except, it was Kaiba's hand on his shoulder that had caused Malik's abrupt halt. Malik gave a taunting smirk to Kaiba and it became increasingly apparent what he had been planning from the beginning. Ryou looked from Kaiba to Malik, secretly interested in what would play out between them. Malik looked a bit gleeful and Kaiba...Well, he looked pissed. The rest of the class was utterly silent, stunned by the events that had just played out before their very eyes.

"Can I help you, Kaiba?" Malik politely queried, leering.

"If you're going to try and steal a guy that I'm interested in, Malik, do it when I'm not around." He gave a cold smile. "After all, with me in the room, I think we both know who is the better man."

"We'll see about that. Ryou?" He turned to Ryou. "Do I get the fifty bucks or what?" Ryou glanced from him to Seto and then back. He smiled suddenly.

"No, you owe me fifty," he told him sweetly. Malik chuckled.

"That's fair."


Kaiba was pissed. Malik had been taunting him all the day and not even getting away from the blonde bastard had improved him mood. His secretary had looked frightened when he had stormed passed her to his office. Since then, he had been stabbing at his keys, barely seeing what he was typing on the computer. The image of Malik and Ryou kissing was burned in his mind and all he could wonder was why hadn't he bothered to eavesdrop on their conversation? He should have known it would be about him! Now he didn't even know why Malik owed Ryou money.

"S-sir?" He scowled as his secretary inched in, looking nervous. "There's someone here who insists to see you."

"Who?" He snarled, more than a little irritable. His mood faded when Ryou slunk through, looking uncertain. "...Fine." He gestured towards the secretary, who appeared relieved and left quickly, shutting the door. Kaiba sat back in his chair, assessing Ryou with a cool look, making a steeple with his fingers. "So, what did you come by for?" He was trying to sound disinterested, but the slightly husky tone that had entered his voice gave him away far too well.

"I'm not really sure, to be honest," Ryou admitted, sweeping the office with his eyes. Kaiba watched him for a moment more and then pushed away from his desk. The sudden movement caused Ryou to snap his eyes back to Kaiba as he strode to him. He pulled Ryou towards him and cupped his face, tipping it back.

"Let me make one thing clear, Ryou. When I want something, I get it. If you and that pansy ass Egyptian haven't noticed, you are something I want. I won't lose to him."

"He wanted some money, that's all," he murmured. "We bet over who was the best kisser and he lost." Kaiba frowned down at him, confused. "I couldn't very well tell him he was the worst kisser without kissing him, could I?"

"And this couldn't have been explained in home room? Your friend has been teasing me all day."

"You never gave us a chance. And besides, Malik had planned on getting you jealous in the first place."

"I was not jealous," Kaiba muttered before crushing his mouth to Ryou's. He trailed his lips from his mouth, across his cheek, and to his ear, where his hot breath softly massaged and tantalized. "It was just a very unpleasant sight to see." His tongue darted out to trace his earlobe and Ryou shuddered. Kaiba trailed his hands from Ryou's face and down his back to his buttocks, pulling him against him, their erections jutting against each other's. Ryou nearly collapsed against Kaiba if he hadn't held him up. "I'm going to enjoy this," he purred in Ryou's ear, slipping his thumb in the waistband of his pants, flesh touching flesh.

The only response was a soft moan of agreement.



DIS: Um, okay, this was supposed to be an azureshipping story, but it just...took a hundred and eighty degree turn into something totally different. I'm not a huge lover of Kaiba/Ryou, either, so I don't know where this came from. I'm just in a yaoi mood, I guess. Well, please leave a review telling me how I did with this couple. Ciao!