Disclaimer: I'm trying to watch a movie right now and vying for control over the remote with ppl wanting to play SuperSmash Bros. Can't come up with anything interesting... multitasking...

I hope Ryou isn't too OOC in this... I refuse to believe he's totally helpless. This hasn't been beta-ed either, but hopefully it won't be so bad... Sorry for the long wait.

Please realize that I haven't actually seen the battle city arc. YTV just aired Yugi's duel with Keith/Marik for the first time last week... the lazy bums, and they just introduced Isu..Ishi...Isis on Thursday. So details may be inaccurate, k? But you can also blame it on rumours blown outta proportion. ;)

One portfolio down, one to go. Whhheeeeeeeee!

Speaking of pics, TAFKAE drew me a wonderful little Bakura pic based on the last chapter. You can see it here:

Don't forget to mail or review.

Is This Normal?!

Kurokaze snapped his head up as the gangsters spread out, searching, just in time to catch a flash of white before it vanished into shadows. The groundskeeper's breathing was irregular with fear. Someone was there?

Sneering at the fallen man with disgust, Keith made a placating motion to his boys. "Leave it," he smirked, eyes glinting darkly behind his shades. "I already know all I need to know."

Chapter 6: Meet the Gang

"Dammit, where the hell is this guy?! How hard can it be to spot a bloody albino? It's not like he can blend."

Ryou held his breath as he perched on a ledge above his pursuers. Idly he counted heads. Well, at least he'd lost a few of them along the way. There used to be 14 of them after him. Now there were only 8.

I wonder why people never look up? He smiled slightly.

"Shut up and keep looking," he heard a breathless voice command, "I know he's here somewhere. Boss'll have our hides if he gets away again."

They'd been waiting for him at the school, hoping for a quick ambush. Keith had a long memory for those he had a grudge on and Bakura easily made it into his "top ten" hit list. Now these people knew his name and, to an extent, where he lived. So, instead, he'd lead them on a merry chase half way across the city, ducking and dodging his many followers through countless alleys-

"There he is!" one of them cried and the rest scrambled forward, desperation driving them.

Crud. The hikari dodged the hands that grabbed for his ankles and hastily jumped for the next ledge up, scrambling clumsily.

"Get down here, you little white-haired, wall-climbing freak!" Hoboshi yelled in an "intimidating" voice, jumping up and down like a demented kangaroo. They'd been chasing this punk for more than an hour and he was pissed, dammit!

Wall-climbing...? That's the best he can do? Despite his apprehension, Ryou didn't even bother to hide his amusement. It was all that kept him going in times like these.

"Why would I do that?" he called down with all the innocence Hikaris were so well known for. He resisted the urge to kick his legs impudently. He wouldn't go that far.

He flushed as the gang below him cursed crudely, making assumptions about his birth and heritage. Some of them were finally making their way up fire escapes in an attempt to reach him, clomping up the metal steps loudly enough to wake the dead. Ryou shuffled nervously, eyeing possible escape routes. The window was broken, so he could easily get inside if he wanted to, but what if they had the exits blocked off?

He turned his attention back to the present as a glint of mental caught his eye. One of them had actually made it onto the ledge and was now shuffling warily towards him, knife in hand. Ryou crept backwards and drew a deep breath, wishing for a hundredth time that his yami had a little more care about what happened to his hikari. Contrary to popular belief he had actually picked up a couple of things from his yami, considering the number of times his other had left him to fend for himself in "awkward" situations, but he still felt grossly inadequate. He eyed the other teen warily, trying to calm his heart rate.

When the other moved close enough, the hikari grabbed the extended wrist and twisted, plucking the knife out of the teen's calloused fingers even as the other lost his balance, yelling and waving his arms.

Mourou gasped as the white-haired boy held him by the sleeve of his jacket, the other holding the open window frame for balance. A trickle of blood ran down from the transfer student's palm, where broken glass bit into his skin, but he was oblivious.

They were only three stories high, but if he fell like this...
His own toes touched the ledge in a futile gesture as he dangled with nothing but air behind his back. Mourou's breath caught in his throat. How the hell could a skinny wimp like that hold him up for long? He was going to fall! He struggled, waving his arms as he tried to make his way back up on his own feet, panic flashing through his eyes as fabric ripped ominously.


The command was simple. Mourou starred into the eyes of his prey-turned-captor, listening to the quick, strained breaths that the white-haired teen drew, not that different from his own. The deep brown irises were clouded in concentration and he thought he could see flicker of worry in those wide, guileless eyes. The hell? This kid honestly didn't want him to fall!

"Stop moving," the same soft, breathy voice urged again and Mourou found himself obeying implicitly, although he still remained tense.

Letting out a short breath, Ryou strained to keep hold of the much larger teen. The blood was making his hand slippery and he was losing his grip on the already fragile window frame. He grit his teeth. Fast! Now! Pulling the frightened gang member forward in a swift movement that belied his slender frame, Ryou let the momentum carry the larger teen through the open window to land in a heap on the dusty interior floor. He sighed and stumbled slightly, dropping into a crouch, watching the other teen huddle on the floor for a moment before the cries of the rest of the gang snapped him back to reality.

He did not spend over an hour running around Tokyo to get caught now.

"Thanks for the knife," Ryou said sheepishly to the figure on the floor, slipping the procured item somewhere into his coat. "But I really must be going," he whispered, half to himself and half to his audience.

Mourou looked back at the white-haired teen in disbelief. What was all he could say? 'I really must be going', like he was excusing himself from a tea party instead of trying to escape street thugs after his blood! His face dropped into and unreadable expression as weighed the pros and cons in his mind. Then pressing his lips into a thin line, he growled and jerked his thumb to the gaping doorframe behind him.

"Get out." He only scowled as the white-haired teen smiled his thanks and slipped hurriedly out the door, listening closely for the footsteps of his pursuers.

As the large teenager sat there on the dusty floor and gathered his breath, he tried to forget the last kind, knowing look that his savior had shot him before he made his escape. He shut his eyes.

Damn him! Mourou thought with a frustrated growl as he stood and made his way down the rickety staircase.

At the bottom floor, Ryou peered cautiously out the exit and eyed the group of people hovering under the ledge. They couldn't be that dense, could they?

Cautiously pushing the door wider, Ryou glanced one more time at the gang and then dashed in the opposite direction. At this point all he wanted to do was get out of here and catch a couple hours sleep before classes. Unfortunately, he didn't make it very far. About three steps down, he was grabbed by the hair from behind, causing him to yelp.

"There you are," Hoboshi sneered as his captive struggled to loosen his grip on the pure white strands.

Ryou winced. What is it about my hair that compels people to pull it?! That's the second time in four days!

He shut his eyes forlornly as the rest of the gang converged on him and cried out in protest as he was shoved roughly face first into a wall, his arms quickly twisted and bound behind his back with a length of rope.

"I spent too long a time chasing after you, bastard," Hoboshi hissed into his ear, spinning the transfer student around. "I hate wasting my time."

Ryou gasped soundlessly as a fist was slammed into his stomach, locking his knees on instinct to keep from falling. He choked down a moan and drew a deep, shuddering breath, ignoring his body's protests as he fought to clear his head. Then he staggered as his knees were hit with a long metal pole. They were trying to drive him down, but his couldn't fall. Not now. Once he was on his knees he'd be helpless. He had to find a way out of this. He had to. Tentatively, he reached out for his yami, but he was greeted, as usual, with a closed door. He bit his lip.

Amazingly enough, however, the answer presented itself out of the mouths of his captors.

"This is the guy?" he heard a voice say disbelievingly as he kept his head bowed, white bangs covering his eyes and he fought to regulate his breathing.

"Looks even punier up close," another sneered and Ryou winced quietly as he was poked in the side with the metal pole.

"I dunno, guys. Keith said we should be careful. No normal guy could lead us around for over an hour..."

"Are you kidding? That was probably just a fluke."

"I'm telling you, he's just playing with us!" someone whispered urgently. "Look at that hair! It's-"

"So the guy had a little bleaching incident..."

"No, really, didn't you hear about Battle City? There were these really freaky people running around and I'm sure one of them was white-haired."

"The guy that could control minds?"

"There was no guy that could control minds. That was just a rumour. Are you gullible or just really stupid?"

"Hey, I had a friend who said they saw some weirdoes in black robes at that thing. Blood sacrifice-"


"Yeah, some guy got killed..."

Cautiously, Ryou peeked up through his bangs. He was surrounded, but now the teens were starting to shift around nervously, giving him sidelong looks. This... could be useful.

"Will you guys quit it!?" Hoboshi growled in annoyance. "This punk is nothing! Look, he'd tied up and helpless. What are you wimps worried about?!"

Blinking, Ryou dropped a shoulder slightly. The tied up thing could be a problem, but it was one that could be remedied easily enough. Silently, he prayed to whatever gods were willing to listen and hoped that his captors would continue talking. He needed to buy time. Carefully, he tugged his recently acquired knife out of his sleeve, careful to keep the glint of the blade hidden from view as he worked on the ropes. This idea was so crazy it just might work.

Ok, I can work with this. Deep breath. Be intimidating...

Straightening against the wall, head still bowed, Ryou let out a low, ominous laugh, trying his hardest to imitate his yami.

"Foolish mortals!" he snapped his head up and graced them with a surprisingly convincing maniacal grin and almost lost it when a few of them jumped back at the sound of his voice.

He narrowed his eyes as he slowly pinned his gaze on each member in turn, using the shadows of the alley to his best advantage. "You have no idea who you're dealing with. Release me," he boomed in low, gravelly voice.

Apparently it wasn't all that bad an imitation of Bakura, even if it was a trifle over-done. One of them actually squeaked.

Don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh don't laugh- he thought tiredly, trying not to blow his act. How the heck does yami do this without laughing?!

"H-hoboshi, man, maybe we should..."

"No, are you crazy!" Hoboshi growled, waving his arms. "He's just a freakin' con-artist. He's trying to psych you out."

"Well if that's an act, it's working pretty well," someone mumbled from the back.

More nervous shuffling.

"Boss, didn't you see he way he flew up those ledges?"

'Flew up?' Ryou wheezed in amusement. His stomach still hurt. I seem to remember 'desperately scrambling up' more like.

Out of the corner of his eye, Ryou could see the teen he had saved listening closely from the outer edge of the circle. His eyebrows rose as Mourou gave him a meaningful look and jerked his head, encouraging him to continue the act. Was he trying to help?

Turning his eyes forward, Ryou plastered a smirk across his face and hoped it didn't look too contrived.
Don't. Laugh. Think Malik.

"You underestimate me," Ryou drawled, keeping up his psycho-villain facade, trying to recall the fuzzy memories of the annotations of Malik's voice. "You have no idea of the type of powers I posses. How can you be so sure that I don't have you exactly where I want you? How do you know I'm not burrowing through your mind right now, reading your every thought... controlling your every move... In the end you're nothing but puppets. Instruments for my amusement."

Ok, now I'm Pegasus and Malik all rolled into one... Good grief.

"He is the mind controlling one!" someone yelled in horror.

It was all Ryou could do from breaking into hysterics right then and there. They actually bought that?

Panic surged and a few of them looked ready to bolt. Only Hoboshi stood firm, yelling at the others to get a grip.

"He's lying, you idiots!"

Deep voice...

Throwing back his head, Ryou laughed (and thankfully they didn't notice the hysterical edge in it) as he worked off the last of the ropes and concealed the knife again.

"Don't believe me?" Casually, slowly, he pulled his wrists apart, bringing them around to the front and making as show of rubbing his wrists.

"Well, my minion, why don't you be a good little mind-controlled slave and show these fools just how wrong they are."

Taking his cue with more finesse than he had thought possible, Mourou reached out to the nearest gang member with a loud, monotonous "Yes master."

That was the last straw.

"God, he's loose! How the hell did he get loose?!"

"He'd got Mourou! He'll get us next!"

"I'm outta here, man!"

Running blindly, the gang beat it out of the alley in record time, Hoboshi trailing them and yelling at them for being spineless cowards, but showing no intention of facing the "psycho mind-controlling freak" on his own.

Blinking and smiling, Ryou slid tiredly down the wall and wrapped his arms around his aching stomach, trying to ignore his blurring vision. That... was... really weird.
With an odd sigh/giggle hybrid, shut his eyes halfway. Hah, take that, mou hitori no boku (my other self). You're not the only one who can be a cheesy maniacal villain!

His train of thought was abruptly interupted when Mourou grabbed him by the throat, forcing him to look up. The larger teen narrowed his eyes.

"If you ever call me 'minion' again, I will personally kick your scrawny little ass from here to Timbuktu, got that?"

Nodding painfully, Ryou exhaled heavily as he was released.

"Good," Mourou affirmed as he sat down beside his odd companion, studying the other boy closely.

Ryou was pale and visibly tired, the only colour on him was the vivid smear of red on his palm, but he was obviously not afraid. Mourou had to wonder if he'd been in these kinds of situations before. What a thought.

With a flick of his wrist, Ryou had the knife in his hand again and offered it hilt-first to its rightful owner.

"Here's your knife back... Um, thanks. It came in handy."

Shaking his head in amusement (and wondering exactly how the other boy had kept the knife up his sleeve), Mourou pushed it back. "Nah, you keep it. Seems to be of more use to you than it is to me." He smirked.

"Ore wa Mourou Takashi desu." (I'm Mourou Takashi)

"Ryou Bakura, yoroshiku." (Ryou Bakura, 'please remember me'/pleased to meet you) He offered his right hand but then seemed to realize for the first time that it was covered with blood. "Umm..."

Mourou just laughed loud and long.

In his soul room, Bakura watched silently, face tinted an interesting shade of red as he teetered between gut-busting amusement and righteous fury.

He was not a cheesy maniacal villain, dammit.

I mean, sure, Pegasus was a weak, annoying, deluded fool, and Malik...

He blinked repeatedly for a moment, and then smirked widely, white teeth glimmering in the darkness.

Ra, if Malik ever got wind of this, he would never live it down.

Half way around the world, a few moments before, Malik eyed his sister apprehensively as she suddenly broke out laughing, fingers brushing the millennium tauk.

"Isis?" he asked warily, but she only waved him away and hastily ran out of the room, giggling uncharacteristically.

Arching an eyebrow, the remaining Ishtar turned to face a stoic Rashid. "I've known her my whole life, and I still can't understand her."

Perched on the table, the large man nodded solemnly as he polished the contents of a display case. "As with all women, I find it's just better not to try," his foster brother advised dryly.

Out in the hall, they could still hear Isis' fading laughter.

Malik nodded sagely. "Indeed."

Ryou sighed as he surveyed the scene in front of him. Tokyo was beautiful at night, and although he wasn't on the tallest building by any means, he was far enough up to feel distanced from the rest of the world. It was like nothing could touch him here. It was almost... peaceful.

Mourou and he had parted ways after the taller boy had made it clear that they were now even, and refused to tell him anything else. That didn't bother him too much.

What did bother him, though, was that his yami had apparently locked himself in his soul room after a night of questionable activities and that he'd so thoughtfully left his hikari to fend for himself against shady characters without so much as a reason as to why they were after him. His muscles ached from the chase, and from his little heroic stunt at the ledge. He winced as he fingered the superficial cut on his palm and hastily wrapped a handkerchief around the sluggishly bleeding wound. How was he supposed to hide that?! Hand wounds didn't exactly heal very quickly. At least he was ambidextrous, so it wouldn't affect his writing at school, but his stomach still hurt and his knees felt wobbly.

But to top it all off, he was undoubtedly and hopelessly lost.

He sighed tiredly and set about finding the fire escape, pinching the bridge of his nose. It would be daylight in a few hours and he didn't want to be late for school. Maybe if he was lucky he'd be able to stay awake until lunch...

Stepping down the metal stairs as quietly as possible, Ryou rubbed his eyes, trying to identify the nondescript alley. Limping forward, he stumbled on some cans and winced at the noise, taking in his surroundings. It was pretty much the same as every other damp, dark, dirty alley in Tokyo.

Turning with the intention of leaving and finding a main street, Ryou stumbled back as he crashed into something large, and his eyes widened in fear and surprise. He swallowed as he took in the uniform and the hard blue eyes.

"I don't suppose you'd care to explain what you're doing out here so early? I'm pretty sure that's not normal teen behavior," the policeman drawled, arching an eyebrow and crossing his arms over his chest. In the darkness, his badge glinted coldly on his belt.

Ryou winced.

Oh heck.


End Notes:
Awwww... Ryou makes friends in the oddest places, doesn't he? But the poor guy just can't catch a break.
Lookie, for once, Ryou's trying to be Bakura and not the other way around! **laughs evilly and booms** I am all powerful! Fear me!
I dunno if I went too easy on the guy. I mean, this was such a wonderful opportunity for Ryou-torture, and I let him off with only a cut, a bruised stomach, busted knees and extreme exhaustion. ^_^; Hope this didn't bore you to tears.

Thanks to:
SoulStealer, Rosz of the Angel, R Amythest, Kelsey, SilverScreamer, Yami Krissy, Sailor Comet, tuulikki, Saturn, Benign Sadist, Tsunamimbw (hey look, I managed to sneak Malik in!), Cyberkat, ObiWanGirl, ElvenRanger, Fate and Wingleader Sora Jade (**gasps and bows** I'm not worthy ;) who reviewed (and for your everyone's support with the whole portfolio thing x_x).

Special thanks to TAFKAE who drew me a piccie of "bathead" and Shadow for some advice.

Chapter 1: Meeting Ryou Bakura| Chapter 2: Welcome to Hokushin| Chapter 3: Dorm is for Dormir... NOT| Chapter 4: Dog Days| Chapter 5: Once a Theif| Chapter 5: Meet the Gang| BONUS! Chapters that flat lined!|

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