Disclaimer: Yugioh is the property of Kazuki Takahashi. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.

Warnings: hints at both shonen-ai and shoujo-ai. Nothing explicit and done mostly in a humorous vein.

Preliminary notes: None, really. Have fun!



The Talk

If anyone else had been in the room aside from Jounouchi and the object of his ire, they would have been un-nerved simply by looking into the blond's face. It was sharp with seriousness, somehow ominously shadowed despite the brightness which the several lamps gave the comfortable sitting room. There was something so absolutely grave and entirely un-Jounouchi about his dark eyes.

They were intense.

Very intense.

Kaiba intense.

If Yuugi had walked into that silent room, he would have fled from sheer terror in sight of that face.

Or, out of the sheer weirdness of it. He might have also pinched himself in order to make sure he wasn't in the middle of some horrible late-night hamburger-induced nightmare.

Unfortunately for Jounouchi, his gamely try at looking serious and grave was wasted on its intended victim. The "victim" sat lazily in a straight-backed chair while Jounouchi paced, making a great show of being as relaxed as Jounouchi was visibly tense. Arms nonchalantly crossed and eyes fixed absently on the far wall, the only real movement was an occasional hand lifted to toy with a dangling earring.

Never before had Jounouchi wanted to offer so much physical harm to one of his friends, as irrational as it seemed.

He finally stopped pacing and faced his so-called friend, crossing his arms to mimic the other's stance. Fixing his brown eyes intently on the object of his speech, he cleared his throat.

"If you hurt her, I swear I'll kill you."

Soft, calculated words from someone as quick and loud as Jounouchi carried more weight than they might have coming from someone was routinely dark and brooding as Kaiba. Yuugi really would have fled in terror.

"I have no intention of hurting her. Of course, I don't have any intention of letting you kill me, either."

Jounouchi's gaze honed to glare as he continued. "I am so NOT okay with this -- I mean, you're not exactly what I had in mind for Shizuka."

"Not surprising, considering you once told me that you wanted to lock Shizuka in her room until she was 40."

"Every time I saw the way Honda looked at her, the bastard. At this moment, it still sounds like a pretty good idea."

"Would we even be having this discussion if I were Honda?"

"Hell, yeah!" Jounouchi nodded vigorously. "I mighta even bypassed the talk and went straight to the punching."

"Do you plan on punching me, Jounouchi?"

"Umm....not really," he admitted, chagrined. Then, he rolled his eyes as he added. "Anyway, I'd hate to mess up that pretty face of yours."

A flippant toss of a long bang and another almost-unconscious tug at an earring accompanied the flash of a flirty grin. A grin which Jounouchi had seen directed at his sister way too many times.

Jounouchi cleared his throat again. "Look, it's not like I think that you gonna hurt her on purpose. It's just...well, you're older than her and more experienced and -- she's my sister, for god's sake!"

"Jounouchi --"

He held up a hand to stifle whatever response may have followed. "Look, I'm gonna tell you straight, okay? You're my friend. But I love my sister -- so you'd better watch it. Just...treat her good and make her happy okay?"

"You aren't going to try to stop her from seeing me, are you?"

He shook his head slowly, shoulders slumping in defeat as he sank into an available chair. "No, I ain't 'cuz I happen to know that it won't do any good. All that'd happen would be that Shizuka would be unhappy -- and more than likely very pissed at me. After a while, she'd see you anyway -- and still be pissed at me. It's not a risk I wanna take, ya know?"

"That's a very grown-up outlook. I'm rather proud of you."

That comment earned a shy half-grin from the blond, his face instantly losing the harshness and regaining the affability so known of him. "Yeah, yeah. It's not like I talked to you about this first. Shizuka already let me know exactly where I could go if I tried to stand in her way. None of the sweet little girl I'm used to showed up in that conversation." He suddenly looked inordinately proud of himself. "Guess she's got a little of the old Jounouchi backbone in her after all."

"Well, she is related to you."

Jounouchi shot over another half-grin, then pointed to the door. "I guess this talk is over, then. So, why don't you get the hell outta here and leave me along, okay? I know who you'd rather be with. Go on, enjoy the party and have a blast."

"What about you?"

"I'll be along in a minute," he promised, eyes glued to his hands which were now knotted together and resting against his knee. Jounouchi needed a moment to fully comprehend this new vector in his plane of thought. His sister -- his sweet, adorable, baby sister -- in a serious romantic relationship. It was enough to boggle his poor, literal brain.

In fact, he was so absorbed in his reflections that he didn't notice the invasion of his personal space until an arm was draped over his hunched shoulders and a pair of soft lips landed against his cheek. "You're a good brother, Jounouchi. And a good friend."

He pulled away, giving the invader a playfully dirty look. "Ain't you kissing the wrong sibling, Mai?"

Kujaku Mai shrugged coquettishly, long-nailed fingers preening her loose wavy hair. "Don't worry bout it. There's enough of me to go around, honey."

"EW!" Jounouchi held up his hands. "No, no, no! This is weird enough without you implantin' images like that in my head!"

Mai laughed as she moved toward the door, the raucous noise accompanied by the tinkling-bell sound of her long beaded earrings as they swayed in time with her movements. Her hand on the knob, she paused and turned back to Jounouchi. "I meant what I said," she told him sincerely. "You are a good friend and a good brother. Shizuka's lucky to have you."

"You got that wrong," he told her. "I'm lucky to have her." He motioned toward the door again. "Now, get outta here. Use that eye-battin' on someone who's affected by it."

"Just answer me one question," she asked slyly, a devilish grin on her face for a moment before it blended into something innocuous. Jounouchi recognized the studied innocence of that expression and knew he was in trouble.

"What?"

"Did Shizuka ever have "the talk" with Kaiba? Because if she hasn't, maybe she should return the favor."

He snorted in laughter. "Hah! I dunno if she'll ever work up the nerve to ask him the time of day. She's still too scared to speak to him. Period."

"Well, we can work on that. Despite what you may think, your sister is a little spitfire. Quite...passionate when she wants to be."

"That's it, Mai! Another bad image from you in my head and I might renege on my promise not to hit you like I would anybody else messin' around with my sister! You're seriously pushin' my whole 'I don't hit girls' thing!"

Once again, Mai's artificially coy laughter reached his ears. "I promise I'll be good from now on, okay?"

He nodded. "I'd just happy if you'd leave me alone."

She winked and blew him a kiss. "Later, then. This whole "talk" thing wasn't so bad after all. Glad we've got it out of the way."

He rolled his eyes. "Yeah. Well, it ended better than the last "talk" I had, anyway."

Mai spun around, her back against the still un-opened door. "You've had one of these before?" Despite her best efforts, she couldn't suppress the wriggle of something-like-jealously in the pit of her stomach.

It was Jounouchi's turn to laugh at Mai, a fitting payback for her earlier comments. "Yep. Turns out Mokuba plays the concerned brother almost as good as Kaiba does!"

------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------

Hearing her brother's laughter which followed Mai out from behind the closed door, Shizuka shot the other young woman a brilliant smile. And, as a hand with long, lavender-painted nails entwined with her own and pulled her toward the sounds of the party, Shizuka couldn't help but think that she was the luckiest girl in the world.



The End.


Author's notes: Not any, really. It's just a funny little plot bunny that jumped into my head. I don't really read/ship much shoujo-ai stuff, but -- it was all done for humor. And for the scary fact that Otogi and Mai can be described in very similar ways.