Disclaimer: Me? Own Yu-Gi-Oh? (Blink) I think you need serious help…

Author's note: Wow! It's been a whole month since I last updated any of my fics. I bet some of you thought I was going on HIATUS forever, weren't you? Well, I've proved you wrong! (Evil cackle) I'm not dead yet, peps. Sorry for having kept you guys waiting for so long. Blame it on school. I hate school. (Scowls) I wonder if there's an anti-school club I can join…

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To The Reviewers:

FungiFungusRayne, Jade Wu, Elusia, Lily of the Shadow, Yami Fan Girl, Kou Haruko, Yamaromantist, The Six of Hearts, moon-fan-101, Flame Swordswoman, Tinyflyer02, pisces072, Speedy-anime-angel, kikoken, krNKyutEe, Luthien-Anwaman, M-Valentine, Darkhope, UltraAnimeFangurl2004, Secluded Sapphire, Neoki Lunatari, pinkbutterfly9000, and GameDemon.

Love ya'll!

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Title: The Bridesmaid's Best Man

Author: Deena

Rated: PG 13

Genre: Romance

Main Pairing: Joey/Mai

Summary: Serenity is going to get married – to Seto Kaiba! She has invited Mai to be one of the bridesmaids…but the best man is Joey, Serenity's cute yet goofy brother. Mai is determined not to fall for Joey's charms, but when they're stranded overnight on a tiny island, things might change…


:: CHAPTER EIGHT ::

Goodbye Mai...

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After checking out of the hotel, Joey and Mai got on the cab that would take them to the wharf. Joey glanced at Mai and saw her staring out the window with a doleful expression. He made no attempt to speak. He felt depressed himself. He would miss Mai a lot. She made his days in the hotel fun and enjoyable.

And…

The short 24 hours they spent together had revealed to him a different Mai. Not the usual independent, tough chick. But a Mai who knew how to have fun, who opened her heart, who…

Who was about to walk out his life and maybe never come back.

" Joey, we're at the dock."

Joey blinked out his stupor and saw that Mai was already out of the car.

" Okay, I'm coming."

Ever stubborn Mai refused Joey's help when he held out his hand to take her two luggages.

Joey hesitated. " If you're sure…"

" Positive," Mai said firmly and carried the bags. But as she stepped into the wharf, she accidentally lost her footing and almost fell. Luckily, Joey managed to catch her and held her steady. " Easy there," he smiled. " Don't wanna be the one paying for your medical bills, no matter how pretty you are."

She couldn't help but smile back.

They reached New York in an hour, and the time came for goodbyes. Mai was going to head straight back to her apartment in L.A. ala airplane, and Joey's plane to Domino was tomorrow, so he was going to spend one night in Serenity's old apartment.

" I guess…this is it," Mai said as the cab taking her to the airport stopped beside her.

Joey swallowed. Goodbye sounded so much harder than sorry right now. "I-I'll be seeing you."

She put one foot into the cab, and then glanced backward at Joey. " Goodbye, Joey." And she meant it.

" Goodbye, Mai."

She entered the cab and shut the door, and Joey missed the tear that trickled down her mauve eyes.

This felt wrong. So damn wrong.

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In Serenity's apartment, Joey was sitting in the sofa, staring into empty space.

Ring-ring. Ring-ring. Ring-ring.

At the fourth ring, Joey finally summoned enough energy to take the phone. " Hello, Joey speaking," he said lifelessly.

" Big brother?"

" Serenity?" Joey exclaimed, surprised. " Aren't you supposed to be in ga-ga land with Kaiba?"

His sister laughed. " Oh, I'm in ga-ga land right now. In fact, we're having lunch in Altitude 95 up the Eiffel Tower. But I wanted to know how you were doing."

" I'm doing great." He laughed but it sounded strained. Serenity frowned. " Big brother…is something wrong? You know you can talk to me anytime."

" Like I said, I'm fine. Nothing's wrong. How was your honeymoon with Kaiba?" He changed the subject abruptly.

" Oh, it was wonderful! We went shopping all over Paris and we went to all the museums and art galleries. We had so much fun in Disneyland and we must have eaten at all the best restaurants there! God, you haven't lived until you've tasted the Quatre-Quarts au Lavande! It tastes divine!"

" Wow. I'm so jealous…" But Joey's voice lacked his usual enthusiasm whenever food was mentioned.

This time Serenity didn't let him off the hook. " Joey…is this about Mai?"

He grimaced at the mention of her name. " No."

" No?" She smiled wryly. " That's what I thought too, when Kaiba used to make fun of me."

Joey snapped. " He WHAT?!"

" Calm down, big brother. It was the first day I came here, before I started working for Kaiba. He always teased me back then, called me the mutt's sister." Serenity laughed at the memory. " I'll never forget the day we met. It certainly wasn't the idea way I'd imagined to meet my soulmate…"


#(Flashback)#

" I am so lost…" Serenity groaned as she tried to read the blasted map of New York City. " Darn, I knew I should've taken the left route, not the right."

She was so absorbed at reading the map that she walked across the road as the traffic light turned green. It was when tires screeched and sounds of angry yells were heard did Serenity realized she had almost been run over. Pale-faced, she stared at the limousine as a tall brunette approached her, looking mad as heck. " You idiot! What were you thinking when you crossed the road? Did you want to commit suicide? Well, that's too bad because I'm not paying for your funeral bills!" Seto Kaiba snarled as he cast her his infamous death glare.

Serenity stared at him, wide-eyed. What was Kaiba doing here? Wasn't he supposed to be back in Domino City?

" Hey, are you deaf or just dumb?"

Serenity blushed. " Sorry, I'm sort of lost. I'm Serenity Wheeler and I – "

" Serenity Wheeler?" Seto repeated. " Ah, now I see the connection. You're the mutt's sister. Aren't dogs supposed to have a good sense of direction?"

She winced. " I'm new here, so I don't know where to go."

" Oh, poor lost little girl in the big city. Want me to hold your hand and lead the way?"

She narrowed her eyes. That's it. She had had it up to here with his insults! " Well, excuuuuuuuuuse me, Your Royal Highness. Do you think just because you're the CEO of one of the top ten richest companies in the world, you're entitled to insult my brother and I? Why if my mother hadn't brought me up with proper etiquettes, I would have mutilated you a long time ago!!!"

" Heh. I doubt it. Someone as diminutive as you couldn't possibly hurt a fly."

Serenity wasn't normally the type to lose her temper. She was usually kind, sweet, and understanding. Right now however, in dirty mud-covered clothing, lost in a strange city and having been insulted, Serenity couldn't feel sorry for what she was about to do next. After all, Seto was asking for it.

She walked up to the smirking CEO, smiled sweetly, and then –

SLAP!!!!!

#(End of Flashback)#


" The next day, I applied for a secretary job. I had no idea it was for Kaiba's company, and I was so sure he was going to fire me when he found out I got the job. Surprisingly…" Serenity giggled. " He said I was more competent than his previous secretaries and he even apologized for what he did the other day. To make up for it, he invited me to dinner. And the rest, as they say, is history."

Joey smiled. " You must be very happy."

" Definitely more than you right now. You sound miserable. You really miss Mai, don't you?"

He sighed. " You have no idea how much…"

" Do you…do you love her?"

" No way," he denied quickly. " I mean you know how much she likes being independent and all. She's rich, she's self-sufficient and she's beautiful. I bet that she has guys falling all over her everywhere she goes. She doesn't need me."

" You're wrong. She needs you more than she wants to admit. Don't you see, big brother? She may be rich, self-sufficient and beautiful, but she's lonely. Guys may love her beauty, but they don't love her for her. You were her first real friend, you cared for her more than anyone else did, and I know in my heart, she cares for you too."

Hope crept into his voice. " Do you really think so?"

Serenity smiled. " I wouldn't give you hope if I didn't. Now go get her, Joey. Before she leaves you for good and you never get the chance to tell her."

" Thanks, sis." Joey hung up and dialed the cab. " Hello, I need a cab to take me to the airport…"

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" How's the mutt – I mean, your brother?" Seto asked as he sat down opposite her, placing his food tray on the table.

" He and Mai are about to hook up," Serenity said casually. " And I was thinking…maybe we can do the wedding here in Paris? Or a double wedding, with Malik and Téa! Which reminds me…I have to ask Isis about their current status…" She took out her cell phone again and started dialing.

Seto looked half-amused, half-exasperated. " Don't you ever tire of matching up your victims?"

Serenity laughed. " Nope. And I expect you'll have to put up with this for a very long time, darling. You know, it's still not too late to sign those divorce papers if you can't keep up."

He smirked. " Sorry, I don't sign divorce papers."

" Good. Then you're stuck with me for life." She smiled and kissed him.

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" All passengers please board and have a nice trip." The flight attendant smiled as she accepted the NYC-L.A. tickets. Mai was the last passenger left. She took out her ticket and held it out for the attendant. But when the guy tried to take it from her, Mai hesitated. " Miss, what's wrong?" he asked.

" Oh…err…it's nothing," Mai said and handed him the ticket.

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" Dammit! Come on! This is taking forever!" Joey gritted his teeth as he glared at the driver, who smiled apologetically. " Sorry, sir. Today's traffic is really bad. Just have patience."

Patients? There was only fifteen minutes left before the plane would take off! He had to reach the airport A.S.A.P.! But the traffic in New York was ten times worse than Domino City, with hundreds of cars milling the streets. He'd never be able to make it!

" No, I have to." Joey narrowed his eyes in determination and got out of the car.

" Sir, where are you going?" the driver asked.

Joey smiled grimly. " I'm gonna make a run for it."

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TO BE CONTINUED…


Author's note: Will Joey reach the airport on time? Or will he be too late? Find out…as soon as I stop being so lazy and post up the next chapter. R & R!