A/N: The most popular bishies in Yuugiou are Kaiba, Bakura, and Malik. Guess which pairings I hate the most?

Also, thanks to a friend for helping with plot bunnies.

Takes place in the middle of episode 220, on the boat to the Ceremonial Duel. And I researched BEFORE I wrote the fic this time! XD

Disclaimer: Sorry, not today. Maybe if I get billions of dollars and buy it off of Takahashi.


Malik turned the corner, hoping that she hadn't already gone to sleep. He wanted to get this over and done with while he still had the nerve. The ship's hallways were dark, but that didn't trouble his vision any. His mind, perhaps, but he could see just fine.

Around another corner, and in the pale light from a window, he spotted someone standing in the hallway.

"Anzu," he half-waved. "I was looking for you." She raised her head towards him, tears on her face. He stopped mid-step. Oh. No. This was awkward. Anzu started wiping the tears away while Malik turned around. He decided the best course of action would be to ignore and forget it ever happened--so much for his quest.

"Wait," she stammered, and he froze again. Now what? "It's okay."

Oh great, now he had to stay. He was willing to hold off if it meant he didn't have to be around a weepy female. He turned slowly.

"Erm... you sure?" The tears had dried, though, no trace of them left on her face. She smiled brightly at him, and he wondered if she'd ever been crying at all.

"Yeah, don't worry about it." She was very practiced at pretending to be cheerful. "What's up?"

"Oh, um..." Now that he was on the spot, he couldn't just come out and say it. "I wanted to talk to you. Do you have a minute?"

"Sure," she answered, gesturing down the hallway. "Can we move, though. That's Yuugi's room, and he's working on his deck..."

Malik nodded. Yuugi's room. That explained the crying. Maybe. At least he knew he hadn't imagined it now. They walked together, Malik keeping as far away as could still be considered walking WITH her. They came out onto the deck, towards the front of the ship.

"So," Anzu said, leaning against the railing. "What d'you need to talk about?"

This was it. Malik scratched the back of his neck, nervous. But all he had to do was say it, get through the awkward minute of recipricating conversation, and go. In a few minutes, it would be all over with. He took a breath, wished to Ra that he would come out this unscathed.

"Back in Battle City... I... you and Jounouchi-kun..." He'd said this a million times in his head, why wouldn't the words come out now? She watched him fumble over words, and he said it blatantly. "I used you. Possessed you, with the millennium rod. Well, for what it's worth, I'm sorry."

There. He'd said his bit, now he just had to weather her reaction.

"It's funny," she murmured after a few moments. "I don't remember any of it. As far as I know, it never happened. Everyone told me after, of course, but it still never seemed real--I mean, I must have SOME idea what happened to me. Jounouchi remembered when he dueled Yuugi. But me... nothing."

When she'd finished, she kept staring out at the water. Malik waited for more. He thought she'd yell at him, or chastise him, or pretend like she didn't mind and keep smiling, but not this quiet musing. She hadn't even blamed him for anything yet. Or maybe this was her way of accusing him. He figured he ought to admit his fault.

"It's because of me you don't have those memories." He lowered his head, guilty.

"It's not--" she started, chose different words. "You don't have to keep apologizing. You said you were sorry when we got back from the tower."

"But... I..." Malik started, uncomprehending. Stop apologizing? Shouldn't he get down and kiss their feet, or something along those lines? She looked at him, stern. "Really?" he had to ask.

"Well, I'm never going to forget watching Jounouchi try to kill Yuugi, or the looks on everyone's faces after Yuugi beat your dark half..." Malik winced. "But... your sister told us all the stuff that you guys went through when you were kids. I'm not going to say it excused what you did, but I can understand it a little bit. Emphasis on little."

He opened his mouth, going to apologizing as a reflex, but she kept talking. "Whatever you did, you're sorry for it now. So I shouldn't waste time holding a grudge. You never know how long someone's going to be around."

She still looked out at the water, and even Malik could tell she was thinking about the other Yuugi. He wanted to say something more. Wanted to tell her that it would be okay, that the soul of the Pharoah needed to go on to the afterlife to be at peace. But he kept his mouth shut, not enough courage to say it. Perhaps it was for the best--she wouldn't want to hear it right now anyway. He needed to say something, though, with her looking so depressed like that.

"Well, ah... you okay?"

"Yes," she lied, though about which subject he wasn't sure. He hesitated, but she didn't want to talk about it anymore, and he knew he didn't have the skill to talk to her more without making her feel bad about the soul of the Pharoah. He'd completed his quest and apologized, that was all he could manage now. But maybe later. Malik left the railing, intending to go back to his room. Later, he might talk to her.

"You say anything to Jounouchi, yet?" Anzu asked before he'd taken two steps. He turned around at her.

"Not yet," Malik shook his head. "He's with Honda-kun and Otogi-kun... and I didn't really want to get thrown off the ship."

"They wouldn't..." Anzu started. "But maybe it is better you wait."

"Yeah," Malik chuckled. Anzu looked over her shoulder, meeting his gaze.

"You weren't worried about me throwing you off the ship?"

"Uh..." Malik wasn't quite sure if she was kidding or not. "...no?" She smiled, and Malik relaxed. Kidding. She lowered her head, looking at the water. She was still smiling, but it didn't reach her eyes. Malik lingered. No. He would't come back later. He'd talk with her now. Leaning out over the railing as well, he asked again if she was okay. Really okay, and did she need to talk about it? Anzu looked at the Egyptian... smiled again, that wistful smile, and started to talk.