Lu: Hey guys! Now, I know I should be working on Conflict Duel Tournament and Mind Game, but I got kinda sidetracked. I've written this one-shot, and I'm writing another, but then I PROMISE I WILL WRITE THEM!
Yami Lu: And get sidetracked again.
Lu: No, I will! I will honestly write them! Anyway, this fic was inspired by a book I found on my kitchen table, that my dad bought in a second-hand bookshop. Now, this is in Mai's POV, for a change. Oh, and in case you haven't picked up on it, this is a JoeyxMai fic, so don't like, don't read! Anyway, this book is called The Four Loves, and it's by C.S. Lewis, the author of the Narnia series. And it just reminded me of Joey and Mai, so I was like 'Hey, let's get this down now!' And since it was halfway through the school holidays, I sat down and wrote it. Even though I was writing another one-shot at the same time. Heh. I get sidetracked easily. So here you go! Oh, and by the way, I changed the order of the names of the loves, and it actually goes Affection, Friendship, Eros, Charity. I think. They're in a circle, so I just read it left to right, top to bottom.
The Four Loves
I entered the second-hand bookshop, not expecting to find anything worth looking at, or anything vaguely interesting. You may ask, 'Why is Mai Valentine, 3rd in Duelist Kingdom and 6th in Battle City, in a second-hand bookshop if she doesn't want to be?' The truth was that I was just killing time. I was meeting Joseph Wheeler for the first time in a year later in the afternoon, but I didn't have anything to do until then.
Joey had called me up that morning. I hadn't seen him in over a year, because I was living in America, but he said he had somehow saved up to come to America to find me. He had found my name in a phonebook and called me. I told him it was sweet of him to come and get me, and he had suggested we meet up. I agreed eagerly. We were to meet up in the park close to my apartment, and close to Joey's hotel. To tell you the truth, I was a little nervous about meeting. How much had he changed in that year? Would he still be the same goofy, caring Joey that I knew?
I browsed among the shelves, picking up books at random. An old, tattered book caught my eye, and I picked it up. It was by C.S. Lewis, and had the title in the center of the cover, surrounded by four words.
The Four Loves
Charity, Friendship, Affection, Eros
I picked it up and flicked through it. Though I had no interest in the book itself, the cover made me think. It sounded quite a bit similar to my relationship with Joey.
Yes, my relationship with Joey began with charity. In fact, the whole of Duelist Kingdom when it came to Joey and me revolved around charity. I would never have met him if it hadn't been for Yugi's charity, giving Joey the star chip he needed to enter. Then, he won the duel against me because of another piece of Yugi's charity – the Time Wizard. And again charity entered into our relationship, when Joey and Yugi returned my star chips to me after they had been stolen by PaniK. Finally, I gave him my tournament entry card when Bandit Keith had stolen his. I expected nothing in return. My relationship with Joey had begun with charity.
Next time we had met, Joey and I had been friends. We had met in Kaiba's virtual world, and had found ourselves at opposite sides of the dueling field. However, we both surrendered to each other, and braved many hardships together, along with Yugi and Mokuba. But Joey and I... we were inseparable. Even when he had been eliminated from the game, I had met up with him soon when I became eliminated as well. After the Virtual World incident, I didn't see him again until Battle City, when we met up one morning before dueling.
The next time I had any connection with Joey, I met up with his sister, who was with Tristan and Duke Devlin. Serenity was a sweet girl, and I had told her that her brother had a 'soft side' and could be charming when he wanted to be. Tristan had told me to go to the docks, which I did, to find Joey being controlled by a psychopath called Marik, and was dueling against Yugi. The duel ended in a draw, because both of them lost all their life points in the same turn, but this duel was different from others. Joey and Yugi had been dragged down into the ocean by an anchor. I would have plunged in after him, but Serenity beat me to it, and they both got out alive.
Afterwards, Joey was dissing himself, saying that it was his fault Marik took control of his mind. I couldn't stand anyone speaking badly of Joey, so I slapped him to snap him out of it. It was a sign of how our friendship had grown, and my attitude towards him had developed into affection, because I couldn't bear to hear him speaking badly about himself. After this, I had dueled a retard called Jean-Claude Magnum, who wanted to marry me. I don't know, but I think Joey was upset by the idea. When he lost the duel, Magnum had captured me in a net and taken me away. I had a struggle with the person holding me, which had ended with me hanging from a pole 30 feet above the ground. Joey was the one to save me, following Magnum and offering to catch me if I dropped. I didn't want to at first, but he told me to trust him, so I fell on top of Joey, who was knocked out by the blow.
Eros, the Greek's equivalent of Cupid. The Roman god of love, and son of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. Eros represents love, and that was what my relationship with Joey bloomed into. I can identify the minute in which I realised I loved him. I was dueling Marik, who had turned the duel into a Shadow Game, in which the monsters are real. In this Shadow Game, every time one of my monsters was destroyed, so was the memory of one of my friends. I had already forgotten Téa, but when my next monster was destroyed, it was Joey who I forgot. I was distraught, as he was my best friend, and losing him would be losing a part of me.
After I had forgotten him, I became chained to a tablet, with two Duel Monsters holding me there. Marik had the most powerful Duel Monster ever, the Winged Dragon of Ra, on the field, and I had lost the will to fight. Marik had ordered Ra to attack me, when Joey climbed on the dueling platform, completely disregarding the ref's threat to disqualify him. He reached me, but I could not see him, or recognise his voice. Amazingly, Joey somehow coaxed me out of Marik's shadow spell, and I could see and remember him. He had then attempted to release me from the Duel Monsters holding me in place, which looked like chains. Despite all his efforts, Joey had not been able to free me in time to get away from the attack. As I was still chained to the tablet, he stayed there with me, covering my body with his, in an attempt to protect me. That was the point in which I realised that I loved him, and I needed him. This was the second time in two days that he had saved my life. I needed him more than anything else in the world, and I loved him enough to want to die rather than see him die. The blast would have killed us both if Yami, the spirit of Yugi's Millenium Puzzle, had not jumped onto the field and taken the hit, although it did not kill him, for he is far stronger than either Joey or I.
After my life points had depleted to 0, I was released from the tablet. Yami was unconscious and I was too weak to stand. Joey didn't know who to go to, but Marik paralyzed him, and sent me into the Shadow Realm, where I spent the next agonizing week watching my friends happy without me, and watching Marik gradually making my visions worse. Marik could obviously delve into my thoughts, and decide to deal to me the greatest pain of all – seeing Joey die. At the time, I couldn't tell whether he was showing me truth or lies. I can still recall that vision with amazing accuracy, mainly because I relive it from time to time, in terrible nightmares.
The purple-black fog billowed around me. I was tired and frightened, but Marik had not finished with me yet. In fact, he was far from it. The fog parted, and my heart plummeted. He had shown all of my friends in pain, except Joey. I knew he could see into my mind, and knew he would have found out about my feelings for Joey, therefore making the vision with Joey the worst.
The picture in front of me was enough to drive me to tears. Marik was standing over the kneeling form of Joey. Joey was turned away from me, but I could see Marik well. He was laughing maniacally and brandishing his Millenium Rod. Joey was hunched over, but I could see him trembling.
"Stop it now, Marik! I don't want to see him hurt!" I yelled, praying that it would stop. I tried to break free of the hourglass holding me in, but the glass seemed unbreakable.
"Fool! You'll writhe in pain before I'm done!" yelled Marik, still laughing uncontrollably. He lifted his Rod, and Joey screamed. It was a high, ear-piercing scream, something I didn't know Joey could make.
"I'm... not surrendering... Marik... not... without... Mai," he said in a strained voice after the scream had subsided. This made Marik laugh even harder.
"You'll never see your girlfriend again!" he bellowed gleefully. Joey, despite the situation, blushed heavily. He muttered something that I couldn't hear, but it seemed to infuriate Marik. He lifted his Rod once more, and Joey screamed again, collapsing onto the floor and shaking uncontrollably. I could finally see his face. It was pale, and his mouth was wide open to emit the scream. His face was screwed up in pain, and I could see blood running down his face. I had never seen him look so helpless.
"No... let her go..." he moaned. Marik grinned again. Instead of answering him, he simply held out his Rod again and Joey fell limp. His eyes were still wide open, but they were dull and unseeing. I fell back into the sand, hand over my mouth, shaking my head in disbelief.
"No... he can't be dead... it's just a vision..." I thought desperately.
"Or is it?" said a voice inside my head. I silenced it, still staring at the frozen scene in front of me. The fog closed in again, and the sand began to fall again. I shivered. It was not over yet.
I had waited in the hourglass from then on. The sand was up to my neck by the time I got out, but Yugi managed to defeat Marik and free me. Serenity and I played a trick on Joey, where I pretended I was still trapped when Joey came to me. He started to say things like he'd do anything to get me back, until I started giggling. I didn't show it then, but I was so happy to see him, I just wanted to kiss him. But I didn't.
I left Japan after the tournament, and Joey let me go. I moved to America, and I haven't seen them since. Joey and I have exchanged some emails, but other than that, we haven't spoken. I wasn't all that happy in America, but I made it out like it was the best place on Earth. I knew he would see through that. And I knew that if he asked me to come back to Japan with him, I would accept.
I snapped back to reality as the man at the counter asked, "Are you going to buy that?" I was puzzled for a moment before I realised I was still holding the book. I shook my head and put it down hastily. Checking my watch, I saw I was late for meeting Joey.
"Oh crap," I swore and left the shop quickly, attracting the glares of many older men looking at some books. I didn't care. I ran the whole way to the agreed meeting place, a fountain in the center of the park. This park was always crowded, and I got lost within the sea of people. I couldn't see Joey, but the crowd swept me towards the fountain... and away again. It was impossible to get out of the crowd, I knew that. Living in America for a year had taught me that, here at least, it was useless to fight the crowd. Yet I tried. I was desperate to see Joey, especially after reliving the vision. I wanted to assure myself he was OK. People shoved past the lone woman, trying to defeat the undefeatable flow of the crowd.
'No... I've got to reach him...' I thought desperately, willing the crowd to part through some miracle so I could reach him. I knew that the chance of this happening was zilch and none, but I thought it more and more until I was drowning in that one thought.
'Let me reach him... let me reach him...' my mind chanted. I began to stop struggling, just letting myself be swept along by the crowd. I was being carried further and further away from the fountain, from Joey. But I still continued the chant in my head, as if each time I said that, it became more likely to happen.
Suddenly, I felt someone grab the back of my jacket. I was tugged away from my spot in the crowd, which was quickly occupied by another person. I could feel the 'someone' dragging me through the crowd, and out onto the grass on the park where there were far less people. I spun around to face whoever it was – to find myself nose to nose with Joey.
"Joey!" I squealed, and without a second thought, planted a kiss right on his lips. He tensed up, and I could tell his eyes were wide in shock, but I didn't halt, and I could eventually feel him relaxing and wrapping his arms around me. When we finally drew apart, his face was flushed, and I could feel mine flaring up, but nothing could wipe the grin off my face.
"Nice to see you too," he said sarcastically, grinning from one ear to the other. I surveyed him. He had grown a bit taller, and his hair was a bit longer and even messier than before, but it was still the same Joey I had fallen in love with, the same Joey that had saved my life countless times. Without another hesitation, I drew him into another kiss, this time more passionate than the first. He responded instantly.
The Four Loves.
Lu: I know the ending was a little lame, but I couldn't think of any other way, and I needed something to tie it up. So, what do you think? Read Review people!