Disclaimer: I do not own YuGiOh. Or "Somebody's Baby" by Jackson Browne.

Oh dear me, I actually uploaded something. After far, far too long.

I know most of you were hoping for some Pokemon, but... well, this is what my muse popped out instead. Not to say I'm not working on Something There! Believe me, I am. It's just that Paul is sometimes a struggle to write; he isn't a person that would easily change, and so even though sometimes I want to cut corners to finish faster, his character won't let me...

So I wrote out some BakuraAnzu instead. I've been rereading a lot of YuGiOh lately, so I guess that's partly to blame. This was written while listening to Jackson Browne, particularly "Somebody's Baby" and there are a lot of lyrical references...

The chapters will be pretty short, and I'm thinking no more than ten total.

A Change Of Seasons

By: Chi Yagami

"Just look at that girl with the lights coming up in her eyes. She's got to be somebody's baby, she must be somebody's baby."

There she was again, right on schedule, right on time. She was walking from the studio, as she did every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday; she was carrying a dance bag, filled with her ballet shoes and leotard and purse, and was telling her parents that she'd be home soon. Same brown jacket, same loose ponytail, same sparkling eyes.

The girl stopped at the corner to wait for the bus, as she did every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She'd sit in the left corner, her bag to the wall. And she would wait approximately twenty-three minutes for the bus. Yes, sure enough, she sat down on the left, with her bag squashed against the glass for safekeeping. She was usually the only one waiting for the bus at this time of night (although she would occasionally have a companion or two), so her purse probably wasn't in any serious danger. Then again, if there were others like himself roaming the streets…

Bakura plucked the last leaf from the weed he was absent-mindedly shredding and threw the stem to the ground. He was currently lounging on a bench in the deserted Domino City Park, across from the studio. For the last three months, he had watched the girl enter her dance studio in the afternoon. Then, she would leave a little after nine at night and wait for the bus. He used to sit in the park every day, but he eventually discovered that she only attended dance practice three times a week, and so he had lessened his visits to only Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. She'd always arrive in her dance uniform and leave in jeans and that brown jacket. And she was always alone. Sure, several times people had joined her at the bus stop, but that was always after she got there. She'd introduce herself and strike up a conversation, especially if they were older people or children. Sweet and innocent. Yes… she had to belong to somebody.

He felt his phone vibrate in his back pocket; probably just another text from Ryou, telling him to come home. Bakura rolled his eyes: it was as if Ryou believed he wouldn't come back, or that he was doing something illegal and wrong.

Watching her wasn't exactly wrong, was it? He didn't even know her name. Although she did look familiar, in the last three months he hadn't even discovered her name. She was never walking with friends or fellow dancers, and, when she would introduce herself, she was always too far away for him to hear properly. It wasn't his fault the city neglected to build a bench closer to the stop.

Your spaghetti is in the fridge. Be home by 11:00. He shoved the phone back into his pocket and scoffed. It wasn't even nine-thirty yet; the girl was still sitting across the street. She was tightening her ponytail. Something about her was vaguely familiar, as if he'd met her somewhere before, but Bakura had never been good with names or faces.

Where had he seen her before? He was pretty sure that she wasn't one of Ryou's friends, as they had all been present at his birthday party last month. Ryou wasn't friends with too many girls… There had been the young brunette, Serenity, who's older brother was the half-wit Joey… Then there was that sleazy blonde who was obsessed with makeup, Valentine what's-her-face… And, of course, Malik's older sister Isis. Had there been anyone else? Oh, yes, Yugi Muto's bratty little blonde girlfriend, but that girl looked at least five years younger than the midget pharoah (even if she was his same height). Any other girls he knew? Ah… how could he have forgotten? Miho Nozaka, Ryou's girlfriend; she was nice, maybe even a bit pretty, but she was always trying to involve Bakura in some environmental group, like Save The Whales or something. But this girl wasn't any of the aforementioned, so…

If she wasn't a friend of Ryou's, then he doubted that he knew her. Bakura hadn't encountered many girls on his own. He had never been enrolled in high school, nor was he attending Ryou's current university. He knew her face well now, but he had been sure he met her before… well, before he had started sitting in the park three months ago.

An elderly man sat next to her on the bench, and tipped his hat in her direction. She smiled and he heard her distinctively say "hello." Unfortunately, two cars sped by and he missed their exchanged introductions. She was smiling and laughing with the man, so openly that it would appear they had met before. She was so charming and vivacious. She was definitely somebody's girl.

He watched as the girl and the old man boarded the bus at exactly nine-thirty. They sat together and continued to talk. Bakura waited until the bus had turned the corner to stand. Then, he zipped his jacket and started walking in the opposite direction.

Miho wasn't there when Bakura reached his house. He silently thanked no one in particular (he did not want to deal with her bubbly attitude right now) as he spotted Ryou sleeping on the couch. He could see the Millennium Ring tucked beneath his light's shirt, glowing slightly. He vaguely thought of taking it, but the idea quickly dissolved into a memory: Two years ago, during Ryou's senior year of high school, the Pharaoh Yami had regained his full memory and had tried to banish Bakura to the Shadow Realm with the hopes of freeing Ryou's soul. The mystic nut, Shadi, had appeared and stopped the pharaoh, informing the two of them that, if Yami destroyed Bakura, he would also destroy Ryou. Shadi further explained that he was the only one who could separate the two, and so he gave Bakura his own body. Then Yami proceeded to send the newly freed tomb robber to the Shadow Realm, but, once again, Shadi intervened, saying that he was giving Bakura a second chance. He then also separated the pharaoh and the midget and said that the pharaoh would have to return with him to Egypt for a while. Bakura had asked to return to Egypt too, but Shadi had declined, forcing him to stay in Domino under the watchful eye of Ryou.

As if Ryou could stop him. But Shadi had taken the Ring from Bakura and had entrusted it to Ryou, effectively controlling the tomb robber; Shadi had also threatened that, if Bakura did anything wrong, he would be banished to the Shadow Realm and never released. Without the Ring, Bakura could do no harm.

That isn't to say Bakura hadn't tried. He had tried to get a hold of numerous weapons, but he had only managed to steal a pocket knife from Ryou's father. And even that had been taken away from him eventually. So, for a year and a half, Bakura had been forced to stay at home, going insane and watching television. He had eventually found Ryou's game system, and Yugi had allowed him to borrow several games. He had, of course, chosen the most violent ones. He may not be able to return to his old ways, but at least he still had digital blood and gore to feed his psychotic mind. That, and watching the girl at the bus stop.

Bakura couldn't exactly say why he sat in the park three days a week to watch her. One day he had just gotten tired of playing the same games repeatedly, and so he had gone outside to take a walk. He had sat on the bench and saw her leave the dance studio. Her face had looked familiar, and so he had returned the next day, hoping to see her again and discover her identity. However, it had been three months without success, and he had decided that he didn't know her. Why now did he still return?

"Oh, Bakura, you're home." Ryou had woken up and was now watching his yami reheat the spaghetti.

"Obviously," he sneered in reply. "You should know by now that I will eventually return."

"You just missed Miho; she left at nine."


"You don't like her, do you?" Ryou asked, making room for his yami on the couch.

"What gave it away?" Bakura replied sarcastically. "She's too goodie-goodie. You need someone to rough you up."

Ryou narrowed his eyes. "I already have you."

"And aren't I just the best?"

"Not remotely…"

"You do know that I can kill you without the Ring, right?"

"And do you know that Shadi and Yami are back from Egypt?"

Bakura choked on a meatball. Great. His least favorite people in the world had returned.

"Fine, I'll kill you when they leave."

"Shadi is visiting tomorrow."

"I don't care."

"That means you need to be home. I know you usually go out on Thursdays—"

"And I don't intend to stop just for some bald fraud."

"Where do you go, anyway?"

"None of your damn business."

Bakura dumped his dirty dishes in the sink and stomped up the stairs to his room, leaving Ryou on the couch looking annoyed.

What did he care if Shadi was back? He was still going out tomorrow, and he was still going to sit in the park at four o'clock. Sometimes she would take a walk in the park before going to the studio, and Bakura hoped she would do so tomorrow. Maybe he could even… Maybe he could what? Talk to her? That was so unlike him, talking into a girl. Bakura shook his head and cursed Shadi; all of the restraint was causing him to go insane and want to talk to girls. He hadn't tried to steal anything in months! He missed the old days, stealing Millennium Items and sending people to Shadow Realm and making kids cry. Now he was sitting in parks and watching girls. What had become of the great tomb robber?

You've changed, he told himself. And yet, in some part of his mind that he had yet to fully accept, he didn't mind too much.

So... what do you think?