Warnings/notes : Joey, Anzu and Joey's thoughts on Yugi, Bakura (Ryou), Kaiba, Otogi and Honda, drabble-ish shortie.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh. The song 'Susanna' (sp?), which supplied a good chunk of inspiration for this fic, as well as the title, isn't mine either.

written at 27th august 2004, by Misura, inspired by a challenge made by Hush Puppie, which stated:

"Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh

Pairing: Jounouchi x Anzu

Dialogue: "You see what I mean? Nothing bad could happen to you here."

Title: Not Tiffany's, but Almost"

(!) Minor spoiler: BattleCity.


If Joey would have been with Yugi, they'd have been talking.

About Duel Monsters, of course, and how much homework they got for Monday (heaps and mountains of it, Joey moans, while Yugi argues it would be less if Joey had done some more studying the past week). About Yami, on occasion.

Yugi can enjoy peace and quiet, but only when he's tired. On Sunday-afternoons, such is rarely the case.

If it had been Bakura sitting on the other end of the bench, there would have been discomfort.

Because Bakura appears shy and silent by nature, while at the same time Joey feels that there's something inside of him that's anything but shy and silent, and no, he's not talking about that creepy Spirit of the Ring.

Joey senses that somewhere, deeply buried, Bakura wants to be out-going and cheerful and happy, laughing aloud and chatting. Why Bakura doesn't give in to that wish, Joey doesn't know.

Perhaps he is afraid. Perhaps he has been hurt too often, too much, too deeply. Joey has experienced first-hand what it feels like to be possessed, to have his body being moved by someone not himself, to hear words coming out of his mouth that he'd never, ever say.

Whatever the reason is, Joey feels he ought to make an effort to break through Bakura's walls. Because Bakura's is friend, one of the gang, and they should all help each other.

He thinks that Bakura knows this, makes an effort to reach out sometimes, yet somehow they never manage to make contact.

Silences between him and Bakura are uncomfortable, since he feels like he's giving up, not trying hard enough.

Conversations between him and Bakura are uncomfortable too, since he feels like he's pushing too hard, too fast, without giving Bakura the possibility to do something for himself.

In spite of this, Joey doesn't avoid Bakura.

They're friends after all.

There's only one person he does avoid, because they're no friends, and probably never will be either.

Unfortunately, that person, Kaiba, seems bent on running into Joey at the oddest of places.

You'd think that Kaiba has better things to do, that he'd be much too busy managing his corporation and inventing new stuff to enscene coincidental meetings with a person he professes to dislike intensely, but if more than one of those meetings was accidental, Joey's a mutt.

And Joey isn't a mutt, no matter what Kaiba says.

He's a good duelist, regardless of Kaiba calling him 'mediocre'.

Kaiba obviously has some serious issues, to keep it polite and not say he's a little nuts, and maybe Joey should cut him some slack and not go all defensive and prickly as soon as he spots him, but he just can't.

Even if he wanted to make the effort, of which Joey isn't too sure, since even a person with 'issues' should be able to follow some basic rules of politeness, there's just something about Kaiba that raises his hackles.

Stupid, 'I'd have more of a challenge playing solitaire than dueling -you-!' Kaiba.

The only good thing about Kaiba is that he's -not- interested in dating Joey's baby sister, like half the male population of Domino High seems to be.

Including Honda, Joey's best friend (after Yugi perhaps), and Otogi, whom Joey dislikes almost as much as Kaiba, though he hasn't yet puzzled out if he dislikes Otogi -more- or -less-.

He simply dislikes Otogi -differently-.

Oh well. Considering the odds of some faerie magically appearing to offer him the chance to wish one person out of his life, it's hardly important.

Honda is worth five Otogis, at least, and Joey trusts his sister to realize it.

Honda's still not worthy of her, though that's just because there's nobody in this world who's good enough for Joey's little sister, except, maybe, Yugi, and Yugi's not interested in her.

Joey has promised himself that he'll stop smacking Honda for staring at Shizuka the wrong way one day soon now, but old habits die hard.

Besides, Honda understands.

Honda understands him in most things, better than anyone else, even Yugi. Because Honda's his pal and Yugi's kind of innocent still, in spite of all the bad stuff that's happened to him.

Joey can -talk- to Honda, about everything and everyone, and sometimes they agree and sometimes they don't, only it doesn't matter.

Yet even with Honda, he can't do nothing and have a good time.

That he's doing sopresently is something exceptional. Or perhaps it's the person he's with that is exceptional.

Normally, Joey would be bored by now.

Normally, Joey wouldn't be able to sit quietly for nearly an hour, just watching, listening ... doing nothing.

But somehow, with Anzu next to him, the expression on her face making it obvious she's enjoying herself, he feels just fine.

He doesn't quite understand that, though he thinks that maybe that's not too bad. That maybe there are things that it's better -not- to be able to explain and capture in words.

The sun is shining, and the murmurs of the people that pass them by sound a bit like the sea.

Closing his eyes, he could imagine being at a beach, rather than in a park, on a hard bench that'll give him a sore back tomorrow.

Every time Joey closes his eyes though, Anzu pokes him.

She seems to think he'll fall asleep.

She might be right, even if Joey can't see what would be so bad about taking a little nap.

Another person might not have gotten away with elbowing him, only Anzu is special.

He likes her, likes being with her just like this.

Without words or actions or movements, he feels ... like he belongs.

It's an unusual sensation, yet not altogether unenjoyable.


A/N: I feel like the break in the middle (at 'Normally ... ') was too abrupt, especially since I wrote the first part -after- the second one, but the pieces didn't seem to fit any other way. -sighs-