Glowing imperfection

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Warnings/notes : Honda/Ryou, hints at Seto/Joey, Kenta (that kid from the hospital)/Shizuka and Yugi/Anzu, drabble-ish shortie, alcohol.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 18th september 2004, by Misura, for empressme22's birthday. Thanks for letting me read your livejournal and putting up with my weird comments. -winks-

Note: In reality, Shizuka probably wasn't of a legal age to marry only seven years after Battle City. Nor Kenta, for that matter. Sorry.

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They didn't have a perfect relationship.

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They'd met each other nearly seven years after Battle City, at Shizuka's wedding.

Honda had been there as the 'suitor coming to congratulate the lucky guy who ended up getting the girl', good-naturedly taking the jokes. Of course, he'd also been there as Joey's friend, to make sure Joey didn't embarrass himself by crying in public like some ... girl.

Or so Shizuka had suggested when she'd invited him over the phone. Personally, Honda'd thought he'd sooner have to keep Joey from killing the groom-to-be than from displaying too much emotions.

Normally, Honda might even have been inclined to help Joey plot some embarrassing last-minute prank on the person who had, basically, stolen the heart of the girl Honda himself had chased for years. Had it been Otogi, -Honda- would have been the one with the plot, and he'd have dragged Joey into it, willing or not.

Otogi -was- present, but he was, like Honda, only invited 'for old times' sake'.

The bridegroom was a kid nobody had ever heard of, whom Shizuka had met in the hospital.

And Joey actually -liked- the kid, and nearly burst out crying when his little sister said that 'yes, she did', forcing Honda to smuggle him out of the church instead of staying to throw some rice.

It was all kind of weird, but Honda figured that even a tough guy like Joey should be allowed to have a moment of weakness every now and then.

Afterwards, at the party, they hadn't spoken about it again, because there were some things that you just kept quiet about, especially amongst friends.

Joey had gotten drunk, of course, and Honda hadn't been too sober either. Joey had hugged him a lot of times, calling Honda 'his best bud', which was okay, really. Yugi, when he popped up, was hugged too, and Anzu, and for a moment, it felt like 'those good old days' again.

Later, Joey had started sobbing on his shoulder again, confessing that he was gay, and, worse, had a crush on Kaiba, of all people. Honda assured him it was okay, telling himself it was just the booze talking, since -obviously- Joey didn't have any kind of crush on Kaiba.

The next morning, he'd woken up with the mother of all headaches. Stumbling to the bathroom in search of some aspirin, he'd run into Ryou. Whom he'd still addressed as 'Bakura' at the time.

It was strange. He'd never pictured Ryou as the type of person to get drunk. Like Yugi, there had always been an aura of innocence surrounding Ryou in Honda's mind.

They'd shared the last two aspirins.

That seemed like a pretty odd way to start a relationship, yet to Honda, that morning, sitting on the cold tiles of the bathroom-floor in an expensive hotel that Joey, somehow, had paid for, was the beginning of it all.

x

They didn't have a perfect relationship.

x

Still, they had more than Kaiba and Joey. What Honda had dismissed as the ramblings of his drunken best friend, turned out to have a grain of truth in it. A big grain, actually.

There had been a reunion, a 'let's all get together and talk about what fun we had', organized by Yugi, of course, because who else would think of something like that? Joey had been there, and Honda himself, and Anzu. Not Shizuka, since the honeymoon wasn't over yet. Otogi had been there, without a single cheergirl, which had surprised Honda in a good way, because maybe that meant that Otogi had finally grown up a bit and wouldn't poke fun at him all evening.

Kaiba had been there, to everyone's surprise but Yugi's, who had simply risen from his seat and walked over to Kaiba to shake his hand and thank him for coming, 'especially with having such a busy job'. And Ryou, quietly lurking in the shadows until Honda had dragged him out of there.

Someone had put up some music and somehow, people had ended up dancing. Kind of. Anzu had really danced, and she'd looked good doing it, kind of hot even. Yugi'd fluttered around her, like a butterfly circling a flower, too nervous and aware of himself to enjoy it.

Otogi hadn't danced. Honda had, with Ryou, because they'd been amongst friends and if his friends had a problem with the two of them, then they could stuff it. Besides, he'd thought they'd already guessed, more or less. Ryou'd been tense, but Honda'd put his arms around him and that had been rather comfortable and nice, so Honda'd enjoyed himself and hoped Ryou had too, if only a little.

Kaiba hadn't danced either. Of course. He was Seto 'nose in the air' Kaiba. Honda betted he probably had no idea how to dance and was terrified of admitting it or trying to dance and be laughed at.

Honda hadn't said any of those thoughts out loud, since this was Yugi's party, and if he ruined it by pissing off Kaiba, Yugi'd be all downcast and it'd be Honda's fault. And it had felt nice to have Ryou lean into him, so why bother risking to ruin the mood by taking a cheap shot at someone who was beaten to pulp in the media at least once a week?

Joey, whom Kaiba had ignored from the moment he'd entered, not making a single dog-joke, even when Joey'd claimed a bowl of chips and dug into it like, well, a starved dog, had danced. For some reason, he'd felt that Kaiba should dance too.

Normally, Honda'd have thought Joey was drunk, though he knew Joey only ever touched alcohol on special occasions, when everyone else did too, because of his father. But it was all so freaky and crazy and surely Joey'd never have acted like he had been while he was sober?

There'd been some sort of sweet, romantic song playing. The kind that'd normally make Honda switch channels, because it was 'girly' and 'making him want to gag'. Ryou'd curled up to him a little closer, not like they were going to make love on the dance-floor or something, like you saw in cheesy flicks, but just nice and cozy, and Honda hadn't noticed anything else until Joey had started yelling.

He'd turned around then, and Ryou'd turned too, and just about everybody else as well. Turned to see Joey all over Kaiba, 'trying to suck his face off' as Otogi had called it with a disgusted expression on his face.

The music had changed, the next song being some fast dance-number, with a fast beat, but everyone had just been standing there frozen, unable to look away even if they'd probably all felt that they should, should do or say something, since Joey and -Kaiba- were -making out- in the middle of a -party- with everyone able to -see-, and that wasn't -normal-.

Eventually, Kaiba'd left, without so much as a greeting, not that that had surprised anyone, and Joey'd followed him, walking next to him, not saying 'bye' or 'see you'. Otogi'd voiced the opinion they'd gone off to 'shag', which had made Anzu snap and rant at him, which had told Honda that she'd been really upset by what had happened, since Anzu usually didn't snap and rant.

The next morning, Honda'd woken up with Ryou snuggled up close to him, and Joey had called him on the phone to tell him how much he hated Kaiba, absolutely loathed 'that heartless bastard', and on and on for about half an hour, after which he'd hung up, thanking Honda for listening 'because they were best buds and they understood each other'.

Ryou had asked what their conversation had been about, and Honda had replied that it had been 'nothing', to which Ryou had protested, 'since it's impossible to talk for half an hour about nothing', so Honda had answered that he'd be damned if he knew.

x

They didn't have a perfect relationship.

Sometimes, when it's dark and stormy, and Honda'd really like to cuddle in bed, pretending that the weather's just fine, at least in their bedroom, he'll find Ryou in the garden, or in the living-room, staring outside with a hungry look on his face.

He'll know then that Ryou is thinking of the Other, his darker half, who's dead just like Yugi's Other is dead, dead and gone, only Ryou's Other wasn't like Yugi's Other at all, so Honda didn't have any idea why Ryou would miss him.

There were things about Ryou that Honda was pretty sure he'd never be able to figure out.

And he supposed that Ryou sometimes didn't understand him either, didn't know why he had to leave in the middle of the night, because he just knew that Joey needed him, sensed it in his guts.

Looking back on the time he'd spend with Ryou, Honda decided that a perfect relationship would probably have started with something more romantic than hang-overs and aspirin.

It would have proceeded by them making love on the dance-floor, yes, like in a cheesy romance-flick, for didn't those all show perfect relationships? Instead of by them staring at Honda's best friend and that friend's worst enemy kissing.

Of course, it would have ended by one of them dying in the other's arms, a tear-jerking ending to appeal to the audience and raise the sales of paper handkerchiefs and tissues.

Perfection, Honda concluded, was over-rated.

Happiness was much more important.

OWARI