Author's Note: First, I KNOW that there's a move called "Crazy Stupid Love," But I remembered that AFTER I titled this, and...I like it. It has nothing to do with that movie, they are entirely unrelated at all, I've never even seen it. They just share a title. Second, this story is more proof of the fact that I sit on things for a VERY long time before I ever post them (months, years in the case of this chapter). And then I go on a posting spree :) This story will be...I predict about five chapters. And I already have the whole thing planned out, so there's no fear of me not finishing it...which I've been known to do with some (all) of my multi-chapter fics. This one will be different though! I swear!
Story Note: This fic is Alternate Universe, and we are delving into the world of High School teenage drama (you all know, or remember, how that goes, I'm sure) Which, consequently, means occasional sequences where characters are not precisely...in character. Notably Atem, since I had to turn him into a teenager, not a 3000 year old Pharaoh. Likewise, later in the story, Bakura has to be a teenager capable of falling in love. And love changes people. But I am writing these characters exactly how I want them, and I wouldnt' change them. If you don't like it, I'm sorry.
"People do crazy things… When they're in love." - Hercules
The teacher finished speaking just as the bell rang. Immediately the Pre-Calculus classroom at Domino High was filled with the sounds of chairs scraping across tile floors, book covers being swiftly snapped shut and shoved into heavy bags, and students chatting, laughing, some filing out in groups of twos or threes while others lingered behind as they clustered around their friends, typical after-school chaos.
Yuugi, seated inconveniently in the far back corner of the classroom, gathered his things slowly, not worried about getting out of the class at an unearthly speed like some of the students rushing past him. He paused, looking out the window. It's a beautiful day, he thought, grateful for the warmth of spring. Winter had seemed to last forever this year, allowing him to really appreciate the warmth of early May sunshine. With a sigh, he finished gathering his things and pushed through the crowded desks to the front of the room. Atem, his older brother, and his best friend Anzu Mazaki were standing by the door waiting for him as usual, chatting casually.
Or maybe not so casually.
As Yuugi approached he noticed that Anzu's face was a little bit strained, like her smile was forced. As he walked up to them, she rushed out of the room without even a goodbye. That wasn't right. Yuugi frowned, worried. It just wasn't like her to ditch them like that…
"What was wrong with Anzu?" He asked his brother as they exited the room.
"Hm?" Atem made a questioning sound, throwing his book-bag over his shoulder, as though he weren't sure what Yuugi was talking about. They began making their way out of the school.
"Anzu," He repeated. "Did you say something that upset her?"
"I don't think so." Atem said, frowning.
"Ok, well. Maybe it was nothing." Yuugi said, shrugging.
Atem stopped, pulling Yuugi back. His eyebrows drew together, "Why would you think I upset her, though?"
"Well didn't you see her face?" Yuugi asked, shifting his backpack. "She ran off without even saying goodbye."
Atem thought for a moment, but shook his head slowly. "I thought she seemed fine. She was just asking whether or not I was going to the dance this Friday."
Oh, Yuugi felt his heart sink as realization hit him. For as long as he could remember, Anzu had had a crush on his brother. And she'd been making slow but steady advances towards him for months. And the last school dance of the year was only a week away… Yuugi sighed. Atem, despite it all, was oblivious to her feelings. Being as popular as he was, he got so much attention around school that when someone, even Anzu, wanted attention from him he'd often miss it altogether.
"So… Did she ask you to the dance?" Yuugi asked hesitantly, already knowing the answer even as he said it.
"No," Atem began, but then paused, "At least…" And then his face fell. "She mentioned that no one had asked her. I thought she was just making conversation."
Yuugi put a hand on his face, exasperated. "What did you say to her?" He asked.
"I told her there were some girls in my Lit class that hadn't been asked either, I was thinking of asking one of them…" Atem admitted, blushing slightly.
Yuugi groaned. He knew that Atem hadn't meant anything, and had simply been being honest… but he'd essentially rejected Anzu. And not very tactfully either. "I guess there's not much you can do about it at this point." He sighed, and then smiled brightly, "Anzu's tough. She'll be alright."
"No, no she's going to think that I'm a jerk, Yuugi. Especially if no one asks her now, after what I said…" Atem said, walking slowly.
"Why don't you just apologize? She'll forgive you." Yuugi suggested.
Atem smiled suddenly as an idea lit his face, "Or, I'll just find her tomorrow and ask her to the dance. Problem solved."
"Problem solved," Yuugi agreed. But truthfully, he knew it wouldn't be problem solved. Even if Atem asked Anzu to the dance, it wouldn't resolve her unrequited crush. But at least it would patch up any hurt feelings between the two of them.
Yuugi sighed again. His brother lived in a different world from the rest of them. So many people adored him. It was like he was in a separate reality. But he always tried to do the right thing. And Yuugi believed he'd do the same this time.
Then everything would be alright.
Anzu was caught in a tug-of-war between battling emotions. Initially there had been disappointment. She couldn't have been any clearer about the dance without just asking Atem herself. But it was "Guy's Choice" and it just wouldn't feel the same if she asked him outright… After all, then he'd be obligated to go with her. And she wanted it to be real.
But then he'd shot her down, like a bird out of the sky.
She'd known it may not work, of course. He was the brother of her best friend, and they'd known each other for practically forever. But deep down she'd believed that it would, and had wanted nothing more. And he could've let her down with a little more tact!
"'There's this girl in my Lit class—'" Anzu mimicked, angrily. "Of course there is." Then she flushed. What was so wrong with her that she wasn't even an option? It was embarrassing, really. Without even trying, Atem had made her feel ridiculous for even bringing the dance up.
Now, though, the embarrassment and the disappointment had been burned away by a fiery irritation that scoured her skin and chewed at her insides. Atem was just so oblivious and arrogant, thinking he was so top notch, that he was so much better than everyone else, that he was too amazing, too good, to go to the dance with her. And even though she knew none of it was true, it made her feel better to hate him. Because hating him hurt less than loving him.
Yes, she was hurt.
She'd always been good about not acting on her feelings for Atem—she didn't want it to be weird that she was head over heels for her best friend's brother, of course. And yet it seemed as if everyone knew how she felt about him, all except for Atem himself! No, he seemed to be blissfully ignorant of anything that didn't deal directly with him. Anzu was tired of caring so much about what he thought when he never even seemed to notice her. She was friend-zoned in the most permanent and inescapable way.
Anzu bit her lip, pacing back and forth behind the school where she'd dumped her bags to vent. I have to do something, she realized. She was going crazy, wishing and waiting, always hoping, forever disappointed. She couldn't wait anymore though. If her hints weren't working, then she needed to do something more drastic. But there was the problem. If she just told Atem outright, it might ruin their friendship. But, obviously, the "slowly win his heart" method was not making any progress at all.
Finally she stopped pacing and collapsed against the wall, her arms folded neatly across her knees and her head pressed back against the rough brick.
Maybe, she speculated with a half-smile on her lips, if I asked someone—someone really good looking, someone totally unexpected—it would get through to him. Maybe it would make him notice me… Maybe he'd be jealous.
Anzu sighed. It was unlikely that Atem would even be fazed, and it was a petty idea at best, but at least it would be better to ask someone, than to go to the dance alone and look like an idiot. Worse, she'd end up bored, sitting at home and missing out on all the fun her friends would be having.
So now the question was this. Who did Anzu ask to the dance? She'd already been asked by several guys, and—holding out for Atem—she'd told them she was already going with someone else. Well that limited her options substantially. She would just ask one of her other friends, forgetting her petty scheme, but she knew that they had dates lined up already. So if she was going to ask a stranger, she might as well find someone good. It had to be someone that would really stand out if Atem was to notice them.
Just at that moment, a person walked out from behind the bleachers, heading towards the front of the school. His dark, near-black were eyes traveling over the pages of a book, and he didn't seem to notice Anzu sitting a hundred feet away. Anzu recognized him immediately, and she felt a shiver roll through her. Bakura. No one could mistake the devil-may-care style and stark white hair of perhaps the most intimidating person in Domino High School, maybe even the whole city.
And as it happened, he was also Atem's rival and sworn enemy.
The two absolutely loathed each other, avoiding one another as though avoiding a rabid dog. Whenever they did come in contact, they were at each other's throats. It had been that way ever since Atem made a fool of Bakura back during a middle school gaming tournament. Bakura had been winning, everyone knew it, and just before his last turn—the one where he would win—Atem drew a chance trump-card and finished the game. Some called it fate, others luck. Bakura called it cheating. That had been that.
If their gaming rivalry wasn't enough, the sheer immensity of their differences put them at serious odds.
Atem was king of the school; he was a people person, getting along with almost everyone. He was good looking, had tons of friends, and was talented at, it seemed, everything. Add on top of that the fact that he was a gaming champion, virtually unbeatable. For all outward appearances, Atem had it all.
Bakura, on the other hand, was foreign. He and his younger brother had moved to Domino from England their first year of Middle School, and their voices still carried distinctive accents. Bakura stayed to himself and his few friends who were almost as terrifying as he was, and while he was just as well-known as Atem, it wasn't popularity that granted him his infamy. It was fear, rumor, stories that floated around him like an obscuring mist; he had power over people by mere intimidation. His quick wits and razor sharp attitude made sure everyone knew to steer clear.
Whatever Atem does or doesn't feel for me, it would drive him crazyif I went on a date with Bakura, Anzu thought as she watched the white-haired teen amble slowly along the back of the tall metal bleachers. A spiteful idea came to her mind that made her bite her lip uncertainly. Her fingers tapped on her knees as her eyes followed Bakura's leisurely walk.
She wasn't sure it was worth it; she enjoyed Bakura's company hardly better then Atem did himself. And, yes, she could admit it, she was scared. Even Ryou—Bakura's reclusive, gentle younger brother—warned against dealing with the teen. He was dangerous, unpredictable, risky…
But to give Atem a much needed reality check, it might be worth it.
Anzu stood up quickly, seizing her book bag and throwing it over her shoulder before jogging to catch up with Bakura who was nearing the edge of the bleachers, about to go around to the front of the school.
"Bakura!" She called out, running the last few yards to catch up.
The book came down and he turned smoothly, a sneer already fixed upon his face. "Mazaki." He acknowledged her, eyeing her up and down, his gaze lingering a little too long on her slim figure for comfort. Anzu flushed at his analytical gaze, aware of her slightly rumpled skirt from sitting on the ground and messy hair from her run to catch him.
Anzu blinked up at him. She hadn't realized how tall he was, and his height was daunting. For a moment she totally forgot her reason for coming up to him. That is until he arched one eyebrow and said, "Well?" with exaggerated patience. She flushed again, feeling heat paint her cheeks, and Bakura narrowed his eyes in what could only be suspicion. Nerves churned in her stomach. She was about to back out, but then she remembered the look on Atem's face as he rejected her, like it was nothing.
Her hurt feelings made her stand her ground.
"Well," Anzu began, fidgeting with her light pink school-issued jacket. Come on, she thought, out with it then. She took a breath, and then all the words tumbled out at once, "I was actually wondering if you would go to the dance with me this Friday."
"No," Bakura said without missing a beat. He eyed her, looking mildly surprised, and then turned away and opened his book again.
"Wait, it's not what you think." Anzu protested, "I would never ask you to a dance." His eyes skipped up from his book to her flushed face, his gaze cynical, and Anzu realized how incredibly rude her last statement had been. Nevertheless, she plowed on with her explanation, deciding that apologies would be wasted on Bakura anyways. "You see, I asked Atem to the dance," She clarified, going on quickly as Bakura's face darkened. "And he, sort of, well… He's asking someone else. So now…"
"You want to go to the dance with me…to make him jealous?" Bakura guessed.
Anzu took a breath, and looked down at her feet, nodding while all at once recognizing how ridiculous the whole thing sounded. But then she heard a throaty chuckle, and looked up to see that Bakura's sneer had become an easy smirk, and his dark face had smoothed to something that was almost pleased.
"Aren't you and he close?" He drawled, closing his book and sliding it into a pocket in his jacket.
"Yes, he's one of my best friends." Anzu said. Bakura just laughed again.
"Apparently," He said, skepticism clear in his voice. He paused, seeming to consider her request, and then glanced at her, amused. "I'll agree to your paltry request." He smirked, shifting his weight to lean on the bleachers lazily.
Anzu blinked. She had been so sure that, despite her explanation, Bakura would still decline to go with her. "So, you'll go to the dance?" She asked, still shocked. "With me?"
A flash of irritation crossed his face. "I did just say that." He noted disdainfully, narrowing his eyes at her.
"Oh. Well… Thanks." Anzu said, nodding, unsure of what else to say. They stood in a silence that was quickly going from strained to awkward as he scrutinized her, and she stood there unsure of what to do. Finally he chuckled and turned, walking away towards the front of the school.
"Okay, um, I'll get tickets!" She called after him, but he was already gone around the corner. And with him gone, she paled, nearly dropping her bag on the ground. She had just asked Bakura to the dance. Bakura.
What am I doing? Anzu thought in a scramble, What was I thinking!?
This was Bakura she was talking about. He was a guy who everyone knew broke laws and confronted gangs and did all sorts of unspeakable and immoral things and who hated, no, loathed¸ Atem—the guy she just happened to be in love with. This was a guy who was rude and cynical and dangerous and who had never given her a second glance except to throw an insult at her.
That she had asked him at all was unbelievable.
What was even more so was that he had said yes.
Granted, Anzu knew it was only to see Atem's reaction, to rub the game king the wrong way, and in no way out of any favor to her. But still. He'd said yes. To her.
This was crazy and reckless, and definitely dangerous. It would shock everyone to see her, the girl with a reputation for having a moral compass that pointed due north, going to the dance with Bakura, the guy with a reputation for not caring one bit about, well, just about anything.
Yes, it was beyond crazy. In fact it was downright insane…
But Anzu could not say she wasn't pleased.
Author's Note: This chapter is going to probably be the shortest of them, as it was mostly just...setting up for the rest of the story. But I hope you enjoyed it, nevertheless. Next chapter should be up in about a week!
Thanks for reading, PLEASE REVIEW! It motivates me to write faster ;)