Fate: I'm gonna miss this story. It's been a lot of fun! I keep swearing I'll kick Ryou and Bakura out, but I can never quite make it happen...they make Jounouchi and Mai bond all the more! But they're going, I swear!
Disclaimer: La la la la la.
[in which mai kujaku lives happily ever after]
Mai was driving, Jounouchi was surreptitiously filming, Ryou was looking long-suffering, and Bakura was clinging to Ryou and whimpering whenever the car jolted in the slightest.
Ah, the joys of Domino City at night.
"Yami...you could just, you know, go back in the Ring," Ryou pointed out, not for the first time.
Bakura violently shook his head, nearly braining the pair of them. "Wibble."
"Or you could sit in my lap and half-molest me," Ryou added with a sigh.
"Exactly. Eeep!" Bakura added as they went around another corner.
"You wait until we're on the freeway. Then it gets scary," Jounouchi advised with a snicker.
Ryou glared at him as balefully as he could manage in the rear-view mirror. Jounouchi promptly burst out laughing.
"We've only got a little more ways to go until the freeway, too," Mai added with a smile. "So, Jounouchi, feel like going somewhere tonight?"
"Y'know, I think that I oughta ask you out on a date or something," Jounouchi replied with an equally brilliant smile.
Mai blinked, nearly missed the turn, and pulled a neat 540 in the middle of the intersection. Jounouchi clung to the seat, Bakura and Ryou both plunged down between the seats and started praying, and Mai tried to keep from having a cardiac and dying on the spot. "You what?"
"You, me, date?" Jounouchi proposed weakly.
"Oh. Sure!" Mai answered, grinning and stomping on the gas, shoving her elation down firmly. He's just doing it to be friendly. You saved his ass, he knows it, and you know it. It's just friendly. Don't jump him and snog him. He's just a kid. You're driving and you have a hysterical and homicidal spirit who's terrified of cars in your back seat. Calm down. Calm.
"Sorry about that," Jounouchi apologised to everyone in general.
"Your soul is mine," Bakura wheezed, crawling back up onto the seat. "Goddamn," he added feelingly.
"It might help if you wore a seatbelt," Mai suggested tactfully.
"I'll take the risk of flying out the window. I'm indestructible anyway," Bakura sulked. "Squerk!" he added, falling into Ryou as Mai swerved into the left-hand lane.
"This is more fun," Ryou added. "Mmmf. Do that again."
"May I remind you two that my car is not a love pit?" Mai said sternly.
"Sorry, Mai-san. Yami, stop licking that."
Jounouchi closed his eyes, put a hand to his forehead, and started praying. Then he leaned over to Mai and whispered, "My idea of revenge is that really crazy club way out. You know. An hour or so?"
"By normal driving standards," Mai whispered back with a smirk. "Clever man. And it's classy."
"What, you think I'm some kind of cheap bastard?" Jounouchi teased.
"A bastard sometimes, but never cheap," Mai deadpanned. "Hey, hey, don't poke me! A girl needs her concentration when she's driving!" she protested, giggling.
"Jounouchi-san, please don't distract her," Ryou pleaded from the back seat. "Please?"
"I cease and desist," Jounouchi agreed, holding his hands up innocently. "Oh look, here's the freeway."
Bakura went wide-eyed and traced some kind of symbol in the air before clinging to Ryou again.
"What was that?" Mai asked.
Bakura glared. "Eternal life. I think I'm going to need it."
Ryou grabbed Bakura around the neck and hung on like grim death. "Hold me."
Jounouchi cracked up.
Mai raised her eyebrows. "I suppose you two don't have to worry about dying virgins, at least."
Ryou squeaked and hid his face in Bakura's hair. Bakura squeaked and clung to the seat as the Bug swooped around a corner. Jounouchi quietly checked to make sure the video camera wedged behind his head still had battery power.
Mai's eyes were focused on the blue and red lights flashing behind her. "Bakura-san?"
"Yes?" Ryou managed.
"No, your other half."
Bakura answered with a torrent of cursing.
"I was wondering how long it was going to take before you did that," Mai said distractedly. "Would you mind doing something about those policemen?"
Bakura perked up instantly.
"No Monster World dolls," Ryou snarled.
Everyone stared at Ryou. Even Mai.
"Watch the road," Jounouchi remembered quickly.
Bakura's eyes gleamed as Ryou put the window down and more or less shoved him out.
Mai stared straight ahead as Jounouchi did a double-take. "Where'd he go?"
"EAT THIS! MAN-EATER BUG! AHAHAHA!"
"The roof," Ryou said calmly. He stuck his head out. "Yamiiii! Stop doing a victory dance! You're gonna fall off!" 
"It's so much nicer up here!" Bakura crowed.
"Yamiiii! Please come down!"
"Make me! Wheeeee! No hands! Oooh shiny!"
"Yamiiii!" Ryou wailed a third time. "Get back in here!" He looked hopefully at Mai. "Can I promise him sexual favours?"
"Not in my car," Mai retorted.
"Damn," Ryou said sadly. "Ya-mi," he complained, edging out the window and clinging to the roof. The poor boy promptly went dead pale when he saw how fast the road was going past.
"He's gonna fall off," Jounouchi predicted in a doom-laden voice.
"Oh well. If he does, he'll just do that poof-thing back into the car. And then climb back onto the roof," Mai finished. "Besides, he's much more harmless up on the roof."
"Are you sure about that?" Jounouchi asked, sounding very nervous.
"Positive," Mai agreed, though she wasn't at all. "By the way, when I'm not driving, you want to test these Brands out? I need to test-run my deck, see if I need anything else."
"Me too," Jounouchi agreed. "Name the day."
"Let's see if we get through tonight without losing our sanity or any major body parts," Mai cautioned.
They both looked surreptitiously at Ryou, who was sitting half-out of the car and arguing with Bakura.
"If he falls off, do you think he'll stay in the Ring?" Jounouchi wondered hopefully.
"Very doubtful," Mai informed him. "Oi, Bakura-san, push him off for us, we want to see what happens."
Ryou stuck his head back in, glowered, and then went back to arguing with Bakura.
Jounouchi was valiantly trying to suppress a giggle and failing. "He looks so goddamn funny when he does that!"
"I heard that!" Ryou yelled.
"Uh, don't look now, but I think Bakura's about to get us all arrested again," Jounouchi said warily, examining his side mirror.
"Bugger," Mai said gloomily. "Bakura-san?"
"We got it," Ryou yelled in the window. "Uh-uh. No, yami. This one's mine. You want me to what when we get home?! Oh. Oh. Er. Um. I don't know how to...um. Um. Er...No, I will not ask Jounouchi-san how to give a good blowjob with teeth!"
Jounouchi put his head down on the dashboard and started convulsing with laughter. Mai was having a hard time driving in a straight line from giggling.
"Dammit, yami, just get in the goddamn car and I will do whatever you want when we get home! Just not in the car or we'll be tossed out on the freeway!"
A muttering Bakura climbed sulkily back in the window as Ryou easily slithered out. Jounouchi looked worriedly at the spirit. "Is he going to be okay up there? Is he going to fall off?"
Bakura glared at him. Jounouchi eeped and tried to climb into the glove compartment.
"You keep that up and I'm stuffing the both of you into the boot here and now," Mai told Bakura. "What is your omote  doing?"
Bakura rolled his eyes at the ceiling, then grinned. There was promptly a resounding thump, the screech of a car braking very quickly, and then a much larger thump. The sound of a lightning bolt striking very close finished it off.
Bakura promptly stood up, hauled Ryou bodily back into the car and into his lap, and kissed him firmly.
"There's a lot of things you don't want to see your friends doing," Jounouchi muttered. "Twincest  is high up on the list."
Mai eyed the extraordinarily large hole in the freeway behind her, then stomped on the gas. "If that wasn't Trap Hole and Ookazi in rapid-fire succession, I'll do a naked dance on the roof of the car right now."
"Please say it wasn't," Jounouchi immediately begged Ryou, trying not to look at the pair in the back seat.
"Mmmf. It was. Sorry," Ryou said. "What was that for?"
"You're a sexy bitch, that's why," Bakura answered stubbornly.
"Oh. Good-o. Meef!"
Jounouchi appeared to be filing this information away for future use. Mai snickered. "So what are we going to do on this date?"
Jounouchi blinked. "Hmm. Well, there's going to be dancing," he said thoughtfully. "And probably getting very drunk. And hopefully some making out. Please don't hurt me," he added, leaning into the window.
"Oh, I have no major issues with any of the things mentioned," Mai said airily, fighting all internal demands to drop the steering wheel and attempt the latter of the listed ideas.
"Oh good," Jounouchi said cheerfully. "Getting home might be a bit difficult though."
"Bakura-san just wrecked the highway," Mai pointed out. "We'd have problems either way."
"Oh, we only wrecked half the highway," Ryou pointed out. "And we can transport home. We can," he added warningly to Bakura. "No, I will not just ditch them to sober up and fall in a hole."
"Aw," Bakura pouted.
"I wonder how Kaiba-sama's getting on," Ryou mused.
Everyone stopped and shared a mental image.
"Eeeeeew." Jounouchi was the first to comment. Mai surreptitiously fanned herself. Ryou turned bright magenta and Bakura choked.
"Revenge for that will be sweet," Mai whispered over to Jounouchi.
"Thank you. You are my own personal goddess," Jounouchi whispered back.
"Glad to hear it," Mai replied cheerily, stomping thoroughly on her own self-doubt. "Revenge in five...four...three..."
Jounouchi glanced at the upcoming exit and promptly grabbed the seat with all the strength he could muster.
Mai swung the wheel hard to the right and went careening off in an almost perfect ninety-degree turn. She spun around the ramp, whirled onto the main road, and ran two red lights in rapid-fire succession before she calmed down to her normal non-highway speed.
Meanwhile, Ryou and Bakura were, respectively, having thorough hysterics and cursing every god imaginable for inventing such a machine and incarnating him in a time where he'd have to suffer through it.
"Thank you," Jounouchi said once he'd regained his breath.
"Any time," Mai answered, turning into the parking lot. "I made the exit. Did you pretty boys notice?"
Two pairs of eyes glared viciously -- though they were slightly unfocused -- from the back seat. They promptly both brained themselves on the backs of Jounouchi and Mai's seats when Mai stomped on the brakes.
"Let me guess. You stopped," Ryou said hazily.
"Very good," Mai chirped, jumping out of the Bug and examining it for any signs that two homicidal maniacs had been conversing, dancing, and casting spells from the roof. There were none apparent. "Coming?"
"Yeah, yeah," Bakura grumbled, tugging Ryou out of the car. "C'mon. You can get tips from the hookers."
"Ya-miiiiiiiiiiii!" Ryou wailed.
"You say something?"
Jounouchi looked across the car at Mai. "Well?"
Mai glanced around. They were relatively in shadow. "A couple things before we get in line."
Jounouchi looked nervous. "Uh oh."
"No, nothing bad. Just...did you mean it, when you asked me out?" Mai began hesitatingly. "Because I meant it when I said yes, and um..."
Jounouchi watched her talk herself into silence with one eyebrow raised, then said quietly, "I think I'm in love with you, you know."
Mai tried not to squeak. "Er."
"I think I actually fell in love with you all over again, when you talked to me that day in the coffee shop," Jounouchi mused. "And I was a bastard to not have told you before, and I was definitely a bastard to not have talked to you for so long. I was just...scared." He sighed. "Really scared. And then Kaiba came along, and that scared me even more, and I just...panicked. And I just had to talk to you then. So...so...you seemed like you could fix it, and I was just so grateful, and you'd seemed to be getting along fine without me, so I didn't...I didn't know what to do," he finished.
"I wasn't fine," Mai spoke up.
"I know...I know now," Jounouchi agreed. "And I wasn't exactly fine either."
"And I know that now," Mai said, raising her eyebrows. "And you're still as touched in the head as you ever were."
"Thanks ever so," Jounouchi replied with a smile.
Mai just had to smile back. "I think I fell in love with you all over again when I saw you in that coffee shop," she said, the words tumbling from her mouth in painful relief. "And it's been a hell of a ride, Jounouchi-kun."
"Is this the part where we kiss?" Jounouchi asked hopefully.
Mai nodded emphatically. "This is definitely the part where we kiss."
"Sweet," Jounouchi said, grabbing her up, twirling her around, and kissing her.
Well, we never actually went into the club. We just stayed out in the parking lot and talked. And kissed. Well, we actually did a lot more kissing than talking, but we got some talking done.
And we did show the videotape to Ruoko-kun and Lupita-chan, but not to anyone else. And it was definitely a narrow escape. Ryou-kun -- he makes us call him that now -- chased us around a city block with his Earl of Demise for an hour while his yami sat on my Bug and laughed his ass off. But we got away with it. I think Bakura-kun -- the darker one -- had a hand in it. Something tells me he managed to find Ryou-kun a decent tutor that night and was, in his own way, saying thank you.
Blaze seems to be happy, too. No one's sure if Kaiba-sama's happy but Mokuba, and he's hiding out on the island. But Blaze is definitely having the time of his life, and then some. He and his 'futago' are getting along wonderfully. Apparently Jounouchi has this amazing skill for calming him down when he goes on his glomp-rages.
Ruoko-kun and Lupita-chan are looking for an apartment now, someplace close to their coffee shop. They're looking at an apartment in my building. Jounouchi and I are helping them talk to the landlord.
Yeah, Jounouchi's finally moved out of the dump his father owned and he's living with me. We haven't...you know...done anything yet, but...I guess we'll get there, if it all works out. I don't see why it won't. I mean, dammit, I want my happily-ever-after. I've had enough ups and downs to deserve it.
Jounouchi even went to the Kame Game Shop. On a Monday. At lunch time. All of his friends were there, of course. Something to do with a phone call they'd gotten from a girl they knew once telling them to be there or else. I even got Otogi-san to show up, just for the hell of it. You know. Just because I could.
Mokuba-san's having a blast out there, or so he says. The kid even called us to say thanks. I said he was a sweetheart.
And, of course, Jounouchi and I sent him a nice, wallpaper-sized still of Blaze glomping his older brother. Just for kicks.
Ruri-chan and Yonmu-kun are dating now. I took them to meet Ruoko-kun and Lupita-chan and Jounouchi one night for espresso. They're not sure Alice is human. I wouldn't be surprised if she wasn't, since Mokuba-san hired her.
So, you know what? I guess I really did get my happy ending after all.
Even if I did have to look Otogi-san straight in the face after I saw him making out with that crazy harpoon-man.
Now, if you'll excuse me, there's a gorgeous blonde covered in glitter who wants to duel me over who makes supper, and I've got a couple new cards to sort into my deck.
[strange, dear, but true, dear, when i'm close to you, dear, the stars fill the sky, so in love with you am i...]
Fluffy: [giggle] We really are going to miss this fic. Ah well. The  refers to Sailor Comet's hilarious picture of Bakura getting his groove on. Go. Go and see it. Go. (Yes, the lack of linkage due to makes it a challenge. Muahaha.)  omote = outer self.  Twincest = the fandom term for twins who shag on a regular basis.
lilmatchgirl007:Nothing wrong with chocolate chip cookies! And look, she got him after all!
Shinnyu Kudzu:Erp. Apparently I'm better at convincing people than I thought. Look! Mai and Jou fluff! And...fanarts? Eee! You can definitely molest Mokuba!
Liviania:Happy endings are for...other people. Hee!
Sailor Epyon:That camera definitely got its money's worth.
TaleneIsMyYami:You're welcome! [blush]
Inuko Metallium:Ahh, shiny things. I love playing with Ryou and Bakura.
Lethe Seraph:Awk! It wasn't over! But now it is. ;; [sobbu]
MotherChowGoddess:I'm quietly tucked away.
FlameSwordswoman:Yep, Mai/Jou, Ryou/Bakura, Yuugi/Yami, Mokuba/his Magnum. See? Lotsa pairings!
Manda Podima:Blaze makes me happy. :3
Duel: Be a luv and review...now, seriously, please tell me someone was expecting one last chapter? But thanks, everyone, and there's other stories for you to look at if you're horribly depressed that this is ending! (And if that won't do...uh...plushies?) But thanks, and goodbye!