Whiskey Lullaby

by WSJ

WSJ: ^_^ This song is so sad, but so cute. I couldn't help it, honestly...

Disclaimer: I don't own YGO, and the song is Brad Paisley's.

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Quote of the Fic:

"Nothing in life is for certain, but death's guaranteed."
~(James Otto, "Days of Our Lives")

She put him out like the burning end of a midnight cigarette.
She broke his heart: He spent his whole life trying to forget.

I guess we all should have seen it coming.

They dated all the way through high school and on into college. Sure, they had their fights, but what couple didn't? We all thought they were meant to be for sure.

Boy, were we ever wrong.

She was just using him. For six flippin' years she was using him to make another guy jealous. Oh sure, there may have been some real attraction there for her, but as soon as Seto showed interest she was gone like a shot, leaving Jou behind to pick up the pieces of his heart.

See, Jou really loved her. I found out later he'd been planning on proposing when she walked out on him for Seto.

And that's what really killed him.

We watched him drink his pain away, a little at a time,
But he never could get drunk enough to get her off his mind,

After that, he just kinda lost it. He dropped out of college, started drinking really hard. Oh, there were times he swore he'd quit, swore to Shizuka and I that he'd go sober, but he never did.

Poor Shizuka. She was always defending him. Their father was an alcoholic, she said, so of course it made sense that Jounochi would have those genes. It didn't mean it was a horrible person. We all believed her, especially me. Of course, Seto sneered at him whenever he got the chance, flaunting the fact that he and Mai were together. Shizuka'd yell at him, I'd yell at him, but none of it made any difference except to make Jou drink harder.

Poor Shizuka. Seeing her brother like that broke her heart, but she kept defending him up until the moment he died.

Until the night:
He put that bottle to his head and pulled the trigger.
And finally drank away her memory.

To me, it makes perfect sense that Jounochi did what he did. It hurts, I mean, how can it not when your best friend commits suicide at the age of twenty-five? But yeah, I understood.

So did Shizuka.

I remember at the funeral, Shizuka finally snapped when Seto and Mai showed up. She started screaming at them, accusing them of being the cause of Jou's death. They were, and they knew it, but they didn't like having Shizuka throw it in their faces. When Seto slapped her I had enough and joined the fight myself. Honda and Otogi and I ended up dragging Kaiba outside and beating the living daylights out of him. Now that was satisfying.

Later on, Shizuka told me that after we left, Mai went up to Jou's coffin and just stood and cried. She knew that she was most of the reason Jou had died, and unlike Seto, she was sorry.

Life is short, but this time it was bigger,
Than the strength he had to get up off his knees.

Then Mai asked Shizuka how he'd died, and Shizuka told her.

A bullet through the heart, she said. And this was laying beside him.

Then Shizuka handed Mai the note we'd found. "I'll love her till I die." it said. Mai's knees buckled right there, and Shizuka kneeled down next to her, and both of them started to cry.

We found him with his face down in the pillow,
With a note that said: "I'll love her till I die."
And when we buried him beneath the willow,
The angels sang a whiskey lullaby.

We found out later that Mai broke up with Kaiba soon after Jou's funeral. Then the both of them kinda dropped out of sight. Mokuba started running Kaiba Corp, and even he didn't know where his brother had gone. We found out later that Seto had gotten addicted to crack and several other drugs, and was shot when he tried to cheat the Yukaza into selling him more than he paid for.

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la.

As for Mai, she stayed in Domino, and occasionally one of us would drop by and visit. Isis went and saw here more than any of the rest of us, I think, but not even she suspected anything. We just thought Mai'd gone into a deep depression.

She actually hid her alcoholism really well.

Kinda ironic, isn't it, that she'd take up the same habit as Jounochi?

Or maybe she did that on purpose.

In any case, none of us knew until it was too late.

The rumors flew but nobody knew how much she blamed herself.
For years and years, she tried to hide the whiskey on her breath.

Turns out she kept a diary. The police found it when they went through her belongs, and eventually Shizuka and I got to read it. She really did love Jounochi, but Kaiba'd been blackmailing her into going out with him. When Jou committed suicide, it was like Mai's life ended too. After that date there were only a few more entries in the diary, most of them months apart, talking about how she'd have dreams about Jou and how much she still loved him and would give anything to have him back.

It was really sad. Shizuka and I were both crying when we read it, but by that time there was nothing at all we could do. In fact, we took a little comfort in knowing they were together again.

She finally drank her pain away, a little at a time,
But she never could get drunk enough to get him off her mind.
Until the night:

Actually, I guess you really couldn't call Mai's death a suicide. That's why the police were going through her apartment, they thought it might have been a murder. When Isis went to see her, she found Mai laying on her bed, dead for maybe a few hours, and called the police. There wasn't a mark on her, except for the tear trails on her cheeks. It was eventually ruled that she died from a mix of too much alcohol and an overdose of pain killers.

Wanna take a guess at what Mai was holding when she died?

She put that bottle to her head and pulled the trigger.
And finally drank away his memory.
Life is short, but this time it was bigger,
Than the strength she had to get up off her knees.

But like I said, at least they're together again. Shizuka had bought the burial plot next to Jounochi's some time ago, intending to be buried there herself after she died. She decided after Mai's death that she should be there instead. After all, Mai's the one who would have, could have, and did have Jounochi's heart. She belonged by his side.

And Shizuka?

Well, we're looking about getting her a plot next to mine.

Not that either of us are dead yet, or will be soon. Unless you count mou hitori no boku.

We found her with her face down in the pillow,
Clinging to his picture for dear life.
We laid her next to him beneath the willow,
While the angels sang a whiskey lullaby.

So what is there to go on to?

Well, there's life. I told Shizuka at Mai's funeral that neither one of them would want us to be depressed or to go the way that they had. They'd want us to be happy, and to live life in their place, so that when we all met again we could tell them all about it.

She smiled and agreed with me, and then joked that suicide was only for the tragic lovers, and we'd always been the bouncy ones. Then mou hitori no boku remarked that we certainly were bouncy, because we kept him up at night, and Shizuka wanted to know what was so funny, and I didn't have the breath to tell her.

I think Mai and Jou would have liked to have us laughing and (a moment or so later) kissing by their graves.

In fact, I think I remember thinking something along those lines at the time.

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la.
La la la la la la la,
La la la la la la la.

Mou hitori no boku said he thought they did. And when I asked him why, he only smiled and muttered something about dead people and kindred spirits.

La la la la la la la
La la la la la la la...

At that point, something told me I just didn't want to know.

()()()()()

WSJ: 0.o; *examines the fic* Uhhh... Where'd those traces of Yugi/Shizuka come from?! Ah well, hope you like it.

Shizuka: ....I've been with, like, six different people in your various fics, and the couples keep getting weirder! Don't I have any say in this?!

WSJ: No. Shush. Reviews minna!

God bless minna-san!