This is for Compy's contest, and it is finally done! I have no idea how I feel about this at all. It's so long and random…Oh well. This is the best I got! I'm praying that I got their characters right. Questions about Malik can be answered at the bottom. If that doesn't help, just PM me.

Also, thanks to Vaseshipper for listening to my mini freak-out and for suggesting the title. You always make me smile.

"words" – speaking
words – thinking or writing
'words' – what Anzu thinks Malik means

DISCLAIMER: Why would I write fanfiction if I owned the series?

---

Anzu yawned and fiddled with the combination to her locker. She was up late last night practicing part of her new routine, and she was paying for it the next day. With a sigh she grabbed the large blue and red textbooks and cradled them in her arms.

I have Art next, thank god! But after that, it's Geometry and Chemistry. That sucks.

The teen picked up her purple messenger bag and slung it over her shoulder, and shut her locker. Many students swarmed around her in little packs, giggling and pointing and who-cares-what. A random conversation floated to her ears as she walked to her next class.

"Did you see that Ishtar guy?"

"Yeah, I heard he was a total freak!"

"Totally."

Usually she wasn't one for rumors, but she had to wonder about this. Who was the teen they were talking about? Despite the fact the brunette didn't even know him, she felt a stab of pity for him.

Why do I always have to care? Maybe Jou is right; I'm too nice…

Shaking her head, the teen hurried off to Art.

---

"I'm beat," Anzu groaned, letting her head rest on her desk.

Next to her, she heard a chuckle come from one of her best friends. "Practicing again? You know you have to take a break sometime."

Even with her face buried in her arms, she couldn't help but laugh. Yugi knew her better than anyone. Sure, she had a lot of friends, but he was her best friend. It was really no wonder why.

"I know," she said. The brunette picked her head up just as the young teacher strolled in.

He nodded once, not taking his eyes off of his latest novel. "Hey, everyone." After a few lines he looked up. "Let's cut to the chase. I want you to work on a group project. Each group must pick a form of art – poetry, painting, graphics, so on and so forth – and make something. I don't care. Just make it special. I'll assign the group, 'kay?" The he started picking random pairs.

Anzu wasn't worried. She had plenty of friends in this class. The teacher was bound to pair her with some one she knew.

Of course, thinking that made her karma's perfect target. Funny how it works, hm?

"Anzu and Malik."

Malik? she asked herself. Who is that?

Scanning the room, her eyes landed on the only unfamiliar face in the room. He was located the back corner, staring straight ahead at the white wall. Malik, she assumed, was a rather nice-looking young man with tan skin and long blonde hair. Even from the side view, the teen girl could see her had rarely defined features.

He's kinda cute…

Blushing slightly, she glanced away. She wasn't one to judge people by looks.

"Okay, class, get together and brainstorm!"

As Anzu picked up her stuff, she heard something sigh. When she looked up she saw Mai, one of her closest friends. "I feel bad for you, Hun." Without elaborating any further, she went and sat down next to her partner.

Wishing she could ask what the blonde meant, she headed toward where the teen sat. The girl plastered a smile on her face.

"Hey, Malik! I'm Anzu. I don't believe we've met before," she greeted sweetly.

Two violet eyes slowly rose to see her face. No emotion registered in his face at all. He continued to gaze up at her with a bored expression.

Frowning, she continued. "Um, are you okay?"

Besides slight amusement, his face remained blank. This made the dancer feel uncomfortable.

"What's wrong?" she asked quietly, worry filling her voice. She grabbed the chair from the desk in front of Malik, and swung it around. With grace, she smoothed down her plaid skirt and sat down.

Slowly, a smirk formed on his thin lips. He reached slowly for a worn-out blue notebook, and opened it to a random page. In quick, slanted handwriting, Malik wrote her a note.

do you know who I am?

After studying the words, Anzu shrugged. "Malik, right?"

With a curious smirk, he scribbled down more words.

Malik Ishtar

"Oh," she blurted out. Of course! He was the one they were talking about in the halls. This realization must've shown in her face, because his face turned mocking. "Why don't you talk?" the brunette asked without thinking. She cringed at her own voice. How could she be so stupid?

Malik must've been thinking the same thing because anger crossed his sharp features. He didn't bother reaching for the paper. The teen instead chose to let his eyes do the talking. 'Why do you care?'

"I'm sorry. That was personal. Can we pretend it never happened?" Hopefully, he would just accept her sincere apology.

'No,' he glared, folding his thin arms across his chest.

She huffed, "Fine. Then can we just work on the project now?"

The Egyptian shrugged nonchalantly. 'Whatever.'

Just as she opened her mouth, the bell rang. Before she could even blink her eyes, Malik was out of the room and half way down the hall. Frowning, she stood up.

This is going to be harder than I thought.

---

"He just got up and left?" the small teen asked with a thoughtful expression. Her 'group' was walking home from school, like always. Yugi seemed confused. "But why would he do that?"

Anzu shrugged. "I'm not sure. I hope I didn't offend him or anything…"

"Yeah right," Jou snorted. "I've seen the guy before. He's in my Math class. A total nut job if ya ask me. All he does is stare at the freakin' wall."

"I've seen him do that too," Honda commented. "Have to wonder why, ya know?"

The tallest of the group laughed loudly. "Who cares? It's his own problem, Anzu. I don't think you should even bother. Tell the teach ya want a new partner. He won't care!"

"No." She shook her head, causing dark brown strands to go across her face. "I'm sure he only needs some time. He'll open up eventually."

"Whatever you say," Honda sighed.

---

It was History class, the period before Art. A certain blue-eyed dancer was having a difficult time concentrating on the boring facts and dates. Although she tried to focus, he mind kept drifting back toward her Art partner.

Why doesn't he talk? Is something wrong with him?

Determination filled her chest.

I'm going to find out.

---

"Hello, Malik!" the girl chirped as she sat down next to him. "How are you?"

The tan teen didn't even flinch. He just kept staring straight ahead.

"So, what kind of art do you prefer? Painting, pencils, writing…?" Her words didn't seem to bother him in the least. "I like pencils the best, actually." Having a conversation with yourself wasn't easy, but she actually made it seem like she enjoyed it. "What kind of themes do you use? Any particular subjects you enjoy?"

It was as if he didn't even hear her. Stubbornness was obviously one of the Egyptian's traits. He wasn't going to give up easily, as his partner was beginning to see.

But, as many people know, Anzu was extremely persistent. So she continued to talk.

Loudly.

"I think bright, vibrant colors are the best things to use. People are the subjects I draw best, and I must say they are nearly perfect." She thought she detected a slight twitch. So she was annoying him? That was good. "You know, I think you would be a nice person to draw. Your hair is quite challenging but it compliments your skin. And your eyes – oh, I do love to draw eyes! They are the most amazing things. Like windows to the soul, I think some called them."

Suddenly, Malik snapped. His head shot over to the dancer, eyes narrowed. The teen was snarling viciously, annoyance very evident.

Anzu barely held in a smile. "Yes, Malik?"

'Stop it. You're getting on my nerves!' When all she did was bat her eyelashes, he growled softly. 'Are you stupid? Just leave!'

"But we need to start working on our project!" she huffed, folding her arms across her chest.

He rolled his eyes dramatically. 'Whatever.'

"You still didn't answer my questions," Anzu pointed out. "I don't even know what your good at. What do you draw?"

After a moment, he decided to write out his words instead of glaring it. After he flipped to a clean page, he wrote sharply.

don't

Confused, she asked, "Don't what?"

Impatiently, he continued.

don't draw. or write. or any of that crap.

"Oh come on," the teenager rolled her eyes. "You have to do something. After all, you are in Art class."

His eyes told her something different.

"Okay, okay. But answer this: why?"

why what?

Slyly, she shrugged. "It's whatever question you want to answer. Only you can figure it out." Who knows what she expected to happen. Maybe she hoped he would suddenly spill out all of his deepest secrets, and that they could become friends. He would finally understand that someone did care, and he wasn't alone.

But that didn't happen.

I don't answer to anyone, got it? now do your stupid thing and leave me alone

"No way. We're a group here, and you have to help me," she said.

Malik looked ticked. A sharp, almost frightening look took over his face. With his eyes narrowed, you could just sense the anger that he felt. She took a slight gasp in, feeling of panic in her chest. What was with that look? Was it what she had said?

Then, just as quick as it appeared, it was gone. His calm, zombie-like state was back. Before her brain kicked back in, he gathered up his books and walked away. Ten seconds later, it hit her.

The bell rang.

"Anzu?" came a quiet voice from behind her. Turning her head, she saw Yugi. "Are you okay? You seem kinda freaked."

She let a breath out. "No, I'm fine. Let's get to Geometry, okay?"

---

Anzu sighed, and flipped over in her bed. It was getting late, and her mind wasn't at ease. She kept trying to think about the big History test she had. Needless to say, that didn't work out too well. She kept wondering about the troubled teen she was partnered with. Shouldn't she, of all people, be able to get to him? This frustrated her. Usually she got along with everyone. Why was this so different?

She rolled over again, this time facing her window. The moon was full and sent a beam of light on her room.

Whoops. Forgot to close my curtains.

But the dancer didn't bother getting up. She just stared at the cloudless sky, letting her mind drift slowly.

Maybe Jou and Honda are right. Maybe I do care too much. But that's not a bad thing, is it? The world needs some kindness, even if it's just a little bit. And I do truly care. I don't have any idea why, but I do…So I might as well keep trying. Tomorrow, I'll start drawing and just talk to him casually. Maybe he'll follow my example and get to work.

Anzu smiled slightly at the thought.

Yeah…I'll do that…

Her eyes closed slowly, and her body relaxed. Within minutes, she fell asleep.

---

So much for her excellent plan. Malik wasn't even there.

"Sorry, Anzu. It seems like you'll just have to work by yourself today," her teacher commented. "What do you have so far? Any sketches?"

The student shook her head. "We haven't really…started yet," she admitted quietly.

"Oh?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. "Why not?"

"We can't really agree on a subject," she half-lied. After all, why did he need to know about her problem? He surely had to know Malik didn't speak. The teacher didn't need to know that he didn't like her either.

The young man shook his head. "What a pity. Well, how about you just doodle? Get your mind joggin'. This really is a loose assignment. Due whenever."

"Thank you, Mr. Maki. I will."

After he walked away, she sighed quietly, and glanced around the room. Her eyes immediately landed on Yugi, who was paired with Mana. They seemed to be engrossed in a conversation, lost in their own world. She couldn't help but laugh at their seriousness. All around the room, people were chatting and drawing, working together well. That is, except for one group.

What was the teacher thinking pairing up Seto and Mai? All they did was sit as far away as possible, doing whatever they could to ignore the other.

Haha, they look so uncomfortable…

She broke away from her studying and grabbed her sketchpad. The brunette pulled out her box of pencils and selected some random colors. Taking her light gray, she sketched the beginnings of a body. She wasn't lying when she said she drew people. Dancers were especially her favorite. The girl loved drawing such elegant movement.

After about five minutes of light shading and careful blending, she was finished.

A tall, slender dancer was in the air, one leg touching her head. Her hair was imperfectly fallen with some in her eyes. The lady's outfit was undefined. It was just a blur of turquoise, gracefully showing the action of the girl.

Behind her, a little off stage was a young man. After studying it for a few moments, she looked away. Did she mean to draw it, or was it just a coincidence?

Just then the bell rang, and she gathered up her stuff. She joined with Yugi and Mana, though her mind wasn't fully there.

Something bugged her about the picture. Really, really bugged her.

In an odd way, the man looked like Malik.

---

He was back the next day, acting as if the world around him didn't exist. The teen didn't acknowledge Anzu when she sat next to him, or when she said hi.

Then, unlike her last attempts, she didn't go into a conversation. She just started drawing another girl, this time in mid-cartwheel. After lightly sketching the lines for the body, she began to choose colors.

"Do you think orange or purple would be best?" she asked softly, barely glancing up at him. When he didn't respond, she kept right on going with a vibrant lilac. He didn't move at all, not even to look at what she was drawing.

This sort of comforted her. Even though Yugi told her she was a great artist, she didn't believe it at all. She just lied to Malik when she said her people were "perfect." Having him look away was actually kinda nice.

After getting the right amount of movement, she started adding the long hair. It was an auburn color and came down to the dancers mid-back.

"There," she murmured, not even bothering to see if Malik moved.

It took her a good chunk of the class to finish the piece to her liking, but she enjoyed it. When she looked up from her sketch, she saw a pair of eyes staring at her.

"Oh," she breathed, then smiled. She turned the sketch around so that the boy could see it. "Like it?"

He shrugged, and then looked up at her again. It took her a few seconds to realize he was holding out his notebook.

why aren't you bugging me?

"Do you want me to bug you?" she laughed brightly.

Frowning, he shook his head. Then he let his gaze wander around the room.

"So, have you drawn or written anything yet?" This time, she tried being quieter.

After a long pause, the Egyptian shook his head. He kept gazing around the room, looking anywhere but at her.

Softly, she questioned, "Will you draw anything?"

He shook his head.

"Okay."

The bell rang.

---

Weeks passed like this.

Anzu drew; Malik didn't. Anzu talked; Malik refused. Anzu laughed; Malik stared.

Somehow, it was becoming comfortable. Unlike in the beginning, the dancer got her partner to write down a decently long conversation. He wasn't beginning to open up, but was a little more cooperative. People still laughed at Anzu for caring about the teen, but she tried to ignore them.

Even though she wondered the same thing.

Slowly, she was becoming attached to him. She looked forward to spending time with him, and wanted to learn more about his past. But she never asked him, fearing he would just go right back to what he was. And she didn't want that. Not at all.

When she told Shizuka about this, her words were simple:

"You like him."

"Well, yeah, he's my friend, I guess-"

"No, Anzu. You like him. Really, really like him."

"Oh…Oh! Oh my god, Shizuka! What do I do?"

"Nothing."

"Nothing? How can I do nothing?"

"Very easily. Just do whatever you feel is best. Nothing more. Simple, right?"

"…I guess."

But it wasn't.

---

Everything was going normally until that day when Mr. Maki announced that they had a new student. "Everyone, this is Ryou Bakura."

A tall, frail-looking boy walked into the room shyly. His pure white hair cascaded down his back, and did very well hiding his face. "Hello," came a soft voice. He stood there nervously with his head down.

"Why don't you take a seat next to Malik? He's in the back corner over there. You can be in his group. They'll explain to you what to do."

The new student nodded. "Okay…" And silently he sat down in his seat.

"You know the drill, guys. Get to work."

So Anzu stood up, and went and sat where she did the first day of the project. "Hello, Ryou. I'm Anzu Mazaki. How has your first day been here?"

"All right, I suppose," he answered, finally looking up. Instantly she noticed his dark brown eyes and his soft features. "So, what is the project?" His eyes automatically went toward Malik, who was staring off into space.

"We just draw whatever we want to. There's no deadline or anything." Then, she asked curiously, "Do you draw?"

Ryou nodded. "Yes, I love to." If he noticed that Malik was a bit "off", he was too polite to say so. "Do you?"

"Oh, I love it!" Then she blushed slightly. "Though I'm not that good."

The pale teen smiled. "I'm sure you're very good. May I see some of your drawings?" After noticing the uncomfortable look on her face, he added, "If you don't want to, that's fine with me." Then he took out his own notebook and started drawing a few lines with his perfectly sharpened pencil.

Their group fell into silence.

After a long time of pencil sounds, erasing, sketching, blending, and touching up, Ryou made a content sigh. Anzu look up from her colorless sketch curiously. "Finished?"

He nodded.

"Can I see it?" she asked holding out her manicured hand.

Reluctantly, he handed it over. "Don't think it's strange or anything. It's just…" He couldn't think of any decent words.

When Anzu saw it, she let out a low gasp. It was a picture of a tall, muscular man. His chest was bare but gold and jewels drooped down over it. A long robe rested over his shoulders, and gracefully flowed to the ground. His head was downcast, and long hair covered his features. But even through his thick mane, you could see a nasty scar coming from his eye. A small, mocking smirk gave him an arrogant look. The details were nearly perfect, and Anzu could feel emotion coming from it.

"Who is this?" she asked, raising her head.

Ryou blushed, and struggled for words. Finally, he settled on, "I don't honestly know."

"It's…good…" The brunette shook her head. "No, it's more than good. It's amazing."

"Really?" he asked shyly, looking back down at the picture. After scanning it, he took it from her and looked at the other teen in their group. "Malik, can you please tell me what you think?"

Although Anzu couldn't understand why he wanted his approval, she watched this little scene play out. She thought for sure Malik would snap on the new student, so she stayed alert.

The violet-eyed teen took the notebook from Ryou and looked at it carefully. After a little while of watching him, the white-haired boy asked quietly, "What do you think?"

Slowly, the Egyptian raised his head. Anzu braced herself to hold him back from Ryou, who was clearly annoying him.

Can't he tell when he's bugging some one?

But all he did was hand him back the thick book.

"It's brilliant, Ryou."

Anzu's mouth dropped open instantly. Did Malik just…speak? To Ryou? And not to her? This couldn't be right!

But…why? Why wouldn't he talk to me, one of the only people who care? Does he not like me? Oh my God…

Malik simply smiled at Ryou, got up, and walked out just as the bell rang.

Ryou looked over at a clearly hurt Anzu sheepishly. "Are you okay? I'm sorry…for whatever I did. Do you need anything?"

"No," she shook her head, forcing a smile. "I'm fine. Thank you, Ryou."

"Okay," he smiled, though he obviously didn't buy it. "See you tomorrow." He quickly pulled out his schedule and began his search for his classroom.

Yugi came up to her worriedly. "Do you want to talk?"

"Not really."

And he just left it as that.

---

She saw him walking toward his locker and decided to approach slowly. Once the dancer was behind him, she tapped twice on his shoulder. He didn't jump or flinch; it was like he knew she was there. Malik turned around on his heel to face her, a cocky grin on his face.

"Why?"

Still grinning, he raised an eyebrow. 'Why what?'

"You know what!" she snapped. "Why did you talk to him and no one else?" Slowly, she looked down. "Aren't I your friend?" Even if I want more… "Just tell me why!"

He grabbed his notebook and pen and wrote quickly and sloppily. With a smug, victorious smile, he handed her the book.

you never said please

---

Malik has Selective Mutism (SM), a condition where the person is able to speak, but chooses not to. Some people only answer to certain people or words. Wikipedia has tons of knowledge concerning that. He's has SM since he was a kid, and also suffers from a slight personality disorder. If I got anything wrong with that, I'm sorry. I tried my best.

Please tell me what you think. Reviews are always appreciated!

- Unique Art