Disclaimer: I do NOT own Yu-Gi-Oh!
Author's Notes: Thank you for the reviews you've sent me! How nice of you! I really haven't really got anything to say, only that the website is going fine and is actually up. But not finished. I'm working on it with Parsons Dirty Cheese, so it will be a wicked layout cause she does some absolutely minted layouts. O ~
Chapter Six: All You Want Is All I Need To Know
The day was bright; the sun shone over their forms in the bed. She could see light, as her eyes opened. She looked just ahead where her hands were to see two hands gently holding them. She smiled. It was Joey. Not wanting to wake him up, she lay like that next to him, basking in his warmth. Or was that the sun? She looked to her shoulder where his head lay gently. The smile just couldn't be wiped off her face. Even though they were still clad in their garments, she still felt like last night had been somewhat special. Everything was so…perfect.
Joey slowly opened his eyes, and gently rubbed his cheek against Mai's cheek. She blushed ever so slightly. He made her feel so warm and now she believed in that 'tingly' feeling that everyone talked about when they were with the one they loved. Joey suddenly realized he was with Mai and gently let go of her hands. And then Mai felt lonely.
"Morning," she greeted, turning around to face him. Her lavender eyes were brighter then yesterday which was an improvement…was it because of him? He wondered this for a moment before realizing he had to reply to Mai.
"Hey…" he said bringing his hand up to lightly caress her cheek. Her cheeks went pink but she smiled back.
She leaned in and kissed him softly. When she was with him, her life was perfect. He made her feel like she was safe in her own skin; there was nothing to worry about. And then she remembered. Allen. With his picture coming into her mind as she kissed Joey, she gasped and pulled away.
"Hey, hey…" Joey said soothingly noticing her cheeks were being painted over with a shade of white. "…Come on Mai." He said pulling her closer and rubbing her arm. "It's like I told you, I will protect you…"
She buried her head into his chest, and sighed. She couldn't cry in front of him, she didn't want him to see her upset. And she couldn't tell him anything about today. But where was she going to get the money from? And what was she going to do if that's not all he wanted? Maybe if she told at least Joey, he'd be able to help her out. How though? Joey wasn't exactly going to pop out his wallet and say, "There you are, twenty grand." No. She was doomed.
"Joey…" She said slowly lifting her face to his. As he stared down at her with his mahogany gaze, she gulped. What did she want to say? Maybe she just wanted to get his attention and to stare into his beautiful eyes for a while.
"What is it Mai?" He questioned, snapping her out of her trance.
Mai shook her head, "It doesn't matter…"
It does Mai, it does matter…a voice said in her mind. But she wasn't going to trouble Joey with her problem.
Mai drank her tea, glancing at the time every so often. She hoped Joey hadn't noticed and thankfully he was talking about the outrageous prices for duel monster cards. He was so involved in it; he didn't realize the clock had actually stopped. Mai groaned when she realized, causing Joey to stop.
"What's up?" He asked. "It isn't that bad…The Winged Dragon of Ra would have been crushed in one go, if you'd have had the chance to…" His voice trailed off when Mai got up from the couch and tipped the rest of her tea in the sink. "…Mai?" He said slowly, as her blonde hair fell to her sides as she gripped her hands on the edge of the sink, looking down into it.
"…You know what Joey? I don't really care!" She laughed, tears coming down her cheek as she turned to look at him. "So what, Joey? I don't really care about the past, present or future! Damn it, what am I doing here?" She said, walking to the door, and grabbing her jacket.
"Mai wait!" Joey hollered, quickly getting up and running before the door, not permitting her to pass. "What's going on?"
Mai looked at him and shook her head. "Move."
"No. Not until you tell me what's wrong, so I can help!" Joey answered back.
She clenched her fists and let out a frustrated scream. Turning back sharply, she walked away but Joey once again followed and tried to stop her. Gently he put his hands on her arms.
"You can't help, Joey! Not unless you can pay me twenty grand right now!!" she screamed trying to push him away but he gently pushed back to stop her.
Mai felt weak. She felt angry. She felt like a thousand bricks were weighing her down. She just wanted to collapse and sleep. She would have fainted, had it not been for her anger, overpowering her. She was pounding against Joey, begging him to move so she could be free.
"Leave me alone…I just want to be left alone…" She whispered, her head falling onto his shoulder.
His hands dropped to his side. He let her continue until she finally stopped. There was silence, nothing was to be heard. Mai remained rigid against Joey, he too was frozen. Time seemed to have frozen completely, neither one of them really noticed or cared. It was so silent, no even their breathing could break it.
"Mai…what's going on?" Joey finally asked, wrapping his arms around her.
She didn't move or answer, unsure of what to do or say. Should she tell Joey? What good would do except put his life in danger? There was no real way to avoid her problem; nothing was going to make it better. If she told Joey, that was just going to be it. He'd be in his grave at such a young age. No, she wouldn't let it happen! She didn't want Joey to know about her dirty past either. What exactly would she say to him? She couldn't face it.
She pulled away from him, and refused to face him. Knowing him, he'd probably go and try and beat Allen up. She laughed at the thought of Joey trying to fight this tall man. It brought back memories of Duelist Kingdom where he'd tried to slug Bandit Keith a few times, only for Keith to just easily dodge them. It was lame and funny at the same time.
"…There isn't anyway for me to avoid this Joey…and I don't think there's anyway you can help." She sniffed gently, keeping her gaze to the side.
"Look Mai," he said, cupping her chin in his hand and turning her to look at him, "I understand if you want to be left alone right now. I understand…but I just can't see you like this." His voice was hurt, and it killed Mai to see him like this. He continued, "I don't want to see you, scared like this, I don't want you to feel uncomfortable…"
"With what?" She asked quickly, scared she might be jeopardizing a relationship between them.
Joey gulped and turned his gaze to the ground, closing his eyes. He stayed like that for while, Mai just staring at him. She knew he was fighting the urge to cry, she could hear his small breaths of air. Finally he let out a groan and lay on the couch flat on his back.
"Mai…" Joey's eyes closed, "…if you want to walk out of that door, then fine. I'm not going to hold you back. But…I care too much to let that happen. Those words come so easily out of my mouth but I do the complete opposite. And you can hate me Mai; you can hurt me, do whatever. I'll only lock you up in your room, lock the door and get the windows barred. I just…can't see you get upset or hurt like this…"
The tears in her eyes flew down, like a thousand damns bursting, they continued. She had never in all her life heard anyone talk that way to her. No one had ever cared about her that much. It was so…upsetting. She didn't feel worthy enough for anyone to talk about her like that. Why did he care so much? What about her did he love so much? Was it just a dirty mind and he wanted to hold onto her and not see her beautiful body scratched from attacks by people? No, no it wasn't that. It was…he…did Joey love her? She bit her lower lip. She loved him. She knew she did but she was putting herself off the idea of love. The commitments to make were too strong. She couldn't handle it all. But it was unavoidable. She would have said the same thing to Joey, about caring too much about him to get hurt, Mai would certainly have. She had to tell him. She trusted him with her life, her whole future, her whole life.
Joey outstretched his hand to Mai, and she slowly took it, sitting on the couch.
"Mai," he whispered reaching out with his other hand to caress one of her tear streaked cheeks. "I don't care if you don't want to tell me…but I just can't see you like this. I know it's really hard for you…and I wish there was some other way to help. But…I can't help Mai-"
"That's not true Joey." Mai interrupted, her voice sounding bolder and clearer. She sniffed, and continued, "You've helped so much. More than you'll ever know. And Joey do you want to know how you've helped? You cared about me. I don't know why but you did. So now I feel safe whenever you're around, I feel so…strong. Joey when I woke up, I thought…I thought everything was so perfect. Joey, you have no idea how happy I felt. I didn't even remember anything about yesterday or the day before or…anything. All I could think about…was you."
Mai felt rather embarrassed for revealing all her thoughts to him. She waited for the laughing to start, and the mocking, teasing, but all she got was complete silence. Moving her head from the ground slowly, she looked at him. He was looking…shocked. So shocked he was still, looking at her. What? Was it surprising that she could feel that way? Well she had feelings too, she was a human being!! Did he just think she was some blonde bimbo who was shallow? Did he realize this joke was getting too serious and wanted to back out? Was he playing her for a…fool? No, not Joey, she refused to believe it. Joey wasn't like that, he was so loyal to his friends, and she couldn't imagine him like that.
"I-I didn't know, Mai…I-" He pulled her hand gently, so their eyes became level. "…I won't let anything happen to you. I swear. Nothing will happen. I-I didn't know you-you cared so much…That I made you feel…that-"
"Joey you're babbling." Mai said with a slight laugh.
He smiled and leaned up to gently push his lips onto hers. Gently she put her hand on top of his hand that was on her cheek.
"…So what is going on?" Joey finally asked as she lay beside him, resting her head on his chest.
Mai tried to choose her words carefully, trying to conceal her past from him. "Some guy called Allen…he wants me to pay him. Today. I don't know what his problem is but he said something would happen if I didn't." She finally said, a little quietly.
Joey's reaction was just what she'd expected. He started off ranting about how that was completely unfair and called him a rat, until he realized it was not helping.
"Don't worry Mai, just tell me where you're meeting him and I'll call the cops. No sweat."
"But Joey, what if he's expecting it? We don't know who this guy is and what he's capable of…" She said, hoping he'd come up with a better solution.
He sighed and closed his eyes, stroking her hand gently. What else was there to do? He couldn't risk anything as dangerous as letting her go but he couldn't guarantee she would be better off not going. There was nothing he could do…unless…
"That's it!" Joey said, opening his eyes.
Mai lifted her head and stared at him dumbfounded, "What?"
"What time did he say to meet him?"
Mai just continued to stare blankly at him, giving him her answer. He then rushed out of the house and promised he'd be back as soon as possible. He also promised he wasn't going to do anything stupid, which would be a hard promise for him to keep seeing as how he was Joey Wheeler.
Author's Notes: I wonder what Joey's got planned? ^-^ Will Mai be safe after all of this? Hell no, it isn't Valentines Day yet! I've got LOTS more chapters to go! :D Reviews would be greatly appreciated, and I'm sorry there wasn't much action or suspense in that chapter. I'm saving the best for last.