by SetsuntaMew

Well hello thar everyone, it's been awhile since I've written anything besides dinky little one shots. This makes some mentions of the manga – particularly the "Season 0" portion of it – but nothing that should make the story unreadable if you haven't seen or read those parts.

This whole thing is mostly fluffy. I have another fic in the works that is adventure with a side of romance, but I wanted to write something lighter first. Don't be turned off by that though...there will be no instant yaoi sexings without plot and character development here! However, this is mostly yaoi. If that's not your thing, turn back now.

Disclaimer: I do not own, plz do not be suing me?


In all the mess surrounding both the Pharaoh and the spirit of the Ring returning to life, Ryou hadn't had time to worry about Malik's darker half showing up as well. He barely saw Malik - outside of the blond's occasional school attendance - let alone his other.

Even if he hadn't been working to salvage his grades for his final year of high school, if he had all the free time in the world, Ryou probably wouldn't have been very concerned. They'd never met; his only memories of the Battle City tournament were brief and disjointed, interspersed with bits of the spirit's. Ryou's friends had told him about the duels in great detail, along with all the terrible things that had happened, but nothing to prepare him for coming face to face with the man.

None of this was a pressing issue for him, however, as he was entirely too busy with school for much else to worry him. His routine rarely changed from day to day: wake up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home & do homework, eat dinner, and go to bed. Sundays were used to work ahead for the upcoming week. Occasionally he'd work on a new adventure for Monster World or visit Yuugi and his other friends, but he usually followed a set schedule.

Today would prove to be different, if only slightly. It was a warm autumn day, with just a hint of cold in the crisp breeze. Ryou was digging through his bag for the light gloves he'd thrown in a couple days ago when he nearly ran into someone. He noticed their shoes and managed to stop just a second before he would have run into them.

"Oh! Ah, I'm sorry, I wasn't looking where I was going," he began, looking up. He was met with a slightly angry stare from Malik's other half. The blond stood there in dark purple jeans, a black t-shirt, and a leopard print scarf, tied loosely around his neck. Ryou stared back for a second before glancing away, while the other continued to stare.

"You're the host, aren't you?" he finally said.

Ryou frowned. "I'm Ryou," he answered. The other stared at him. "I don't think we've properly met," he continued, holding out his hand.

He got a blank stare in response. Ryou fidgeted a little, dropping his arm back to his side.

"I'll see you around, then," he said, moving backwards a little to go around the blond. A hand shot out lightning fast and grabbed his arm.


Ryou stared at him. "Um, what?"

Lilac eyes narrowed slightly. "It's my name."

"Oh! It's nice to meet you," he replied, then cringed slightly. "Could you let go of my arm, please?"

Marikku loosened the grip on his arm, but didn't completely let him go. "You don't look very sturdy. How did you survive this long?"

"Excuse me?" Ryou tried to pull away and Marikku tightened his hold, digging his nails in.

"I'm still talking to you."

Ryou shivered and Marikku pulled him closer, staring at him intently. He shrank away under the observation, but Marikku continued to stare, much closer than Ryou was comfortable with. He could feel the other's breath on his neck and cheek. Finally, he pulled back a bit, but didn't let him go.

"Where is your school?"

The question was so out of nowhere that it caught Ryou off guard and he merely blinked at Marikku for a second before realizing he should answer. "Why?"

The hand on his arm squeezed tighter and Ryou bit his lip to keep from whining in pain. "I need to go there."

Ryou debated briefly on whether or not he should help. Domino High wasn't difficult to find, however, so even if he refused to help, it wouldn't deter the other for very long. "Just walk the way I was coming from. It's about 15 minutes from here, but it's a straight shot there."

Marikku stared down at him for a moment longer before finally releasing his grip on Ryou's arm. He nodded faintly and stepped around him to walk away.

Ryou rubbed his arm to try to dispel the pain and then rushed home before his day could get any stranger.


The next morning at school, Ryou was sitting nervously in his seat. He was early for class as usual and had a sinking feeling that something was going to go wrong. He was pulled from his thoughts when his phone vibrated. Flipping it open shakily, Ryou glanced over the text.

Take some notes for me please? Sister told me to go in but I'm busy.
xoxo Malik

He sighed. Ishizu had forced Malik to enroll in Domino High when the Ishtars had moved to Japan. Ryou had the feeling that she had hoped it would be a good influence on him. Instead, Malik usually ditched classes to spend time with Bakura. On the rare occasion that he showed up, he would spend the entire day attached to his phone, texting away.

"Attention, class, we're starting now," the teacher began. "We have another new student joining us today."

Ryou snapped out of his thoughts with this announcement, looking up just in time to see the new arrival walk into the classroom. He stared as the teacher continued.

"This is Marikku Ishtar. I hope you all make him feel welcome," she finished and turned to him. "You're welcome to introduce yourself more if you'd like."

He stared down at the teacher. "Not particularly."

She frowned a little nervously, but regained herself quickly. "Well then, please take a seat over there," she said, gesturing to a desk. It was a few rows over from Ryou, as well as a behind him.

'Well,' Ryou thought to himself. 'I think I know why Ishizu wanted Malik to actually go to school today.' He then tried to focus all his energy into taking notes instead of the newest addition to the classroom. Before he knew it, it was lunch time. Ryou grabbed his lunch and nearly ran out of the room, heading towards the roof.

Yuugi and his other friends usually met him up there. They tried to have lunch as a big group, especially since they had been split into different classes this year. Yuugi, Atem, Honda, Jonouchi, and Anzu were in one room, while Ryou and Otogi were in another. Malik had ended up in Ryou's room when he had enrolled a few months ago. Kaiba was technically in his as well, but he was too busy running KaibaCorp to concern himself with attending school.

Ryou was usually earlier than everyone else, so he sat down and started unpacking his lunch. He glanced up and nearly jumped. Marikku was crouched in front of him, staring intently at his food.

"What is that for?" Marikku asked, gesturing at Ryou's lunch.

"Um, it's my lunch," he answered. Marikku raised an eyebrow and stared at him. "You know, to eat."


Ryou fidgeted a little under Marikku's intense stare. "Well, for lunch time. You have to eat."

"We eat here?" The other man looked honestly confused and Ryou felt bad. He had a feeling that Ishizu had hoped Malik would help out instead of ditching school again.

"Yes. Here, um, if you want to sit down I'll give you some of mine," he responded, patting the ground next to him. Marikku stared at Ryou's hand, back at his face, and once more at his hand before finally sitting down cautiously.

Ryou handed him the lunch box and the pair of chopsticks. "I only have one set with me, so we'll have to share. Um, if you don't mind, that is."

Marikku nodded and ate, picking around the meat in it. He eventually handed it back to Ryou, still about half full. "Thanks," he said and Ryou looked at him, surprised. He hadn't expected any sort of thanks from Marikku.

"You're welcome," Ryou replied, smiling. He finished eating in an unexpectedly comfortable silence. Marikku sat silently at his side but thankfully didn't stare at him anymore. It wasn't until he'd packed his bag back up and headed down the stairs that he realized Yuugi hadn't joined him for lunch.


After school, Ryou immediately turned his phone back on and called Malik. Of all the days for him to insist on skipping, it would have to be this one. Lunch hadn't been bad, but Ryou was still mildly terrified of Marikku. He held onto the phone as it rang and started heading home.

"Ryou! You never call me," Malik answered enthusiastically. "What's up?"

"Did you know that Marikku enrolled in our school?" Ryou asked him.

"WHAT?" he exclaimed. "What do you mean?"

He sighed. "Exactly what I said, Malik. I took notes for you today, but I'm fairly sure that your sister wanted you to be here today for a different reason."

Malik muttered something angrily in Egyptian and Ryou could hear shuffling around on the other end. "Thanks for letting me know. I've got to go, I'm going to head home and see if I can convince Ishizu not to lecture me."

Ryou shook his head. "Alright. I'll talk to you later, then."

"Yeah, I'll see you in school tomorrow. Well, if Sister doesn't kill me," Malik replied, annoyed.

"You're not concerned about him going to school?" he finally asked, curious.

There was a loud thump and he heard Bakura swear loudly in the background. "Sorry, I think I just broke Bakura's foot. What were you saying?"

He laughed lightly. "Marikku being in school doesn't worry you?"

"Eh, maybe a little? He just sits around the house and pisses off Sister right now," Malik said distractedly. "He's not going to kill anyone, if that's what you're worried about."

"I just don't think he's good at being around people," Ryou replied, thinking back to their meeting the day before. "And please make sure he has something to eat for lunch tomorrow."

"Oh shit, Sister is going to be so annoyed. I really have to run, bye Ryou!"

He heard a click as Malik hung up and shut his own phone, sighing. He would worry about all of this later. For now, he was going to go home and go about his business as usual.


Next time: Some back story, explaining why Atem, Bakura, and Marikku are wandering around. Also, Marikku is like a seagull; feed him once and he never goes away.