Cryptogrammar

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Warnings/notes : Shizuka/Rebecca, hints at Seto/Joey, slightly weird, ooc?, drabble-ish shortie.

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

written at 30th october 2004, by Misura, in reply to a Trick-or-treat-challenge made in my livejournal by Alexi Serenita which offered as a subject:

"Shizuka, Rebecca, and a spork"

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" 'Something to eat with', five letters, starts with an 's'."

Shizuka doesn't like it when she and Rebecca have had a fight. It makes her feel like she's a failure, like she's not that perfect young sister Joey always says her to be.

Of course, she knows that nobody is perfect, but she still thinks that she should try.

Rebecca seems not to be bothered by their arguments at all; her only reaction to them consists of not showing any. She'll simply walk around the apartment, doing whatever she needs to do, while pretending Shizuka isn't there.

Joey has told her that Rebecca is using the 'silent treatment' on her, the one time she felt too miserable to lie to him when he called. But it's not like that.

It's not like that at all.

"Any ideas?"

Shizuka thinks that she and Rebecca are probably the only persons who end their fights and tell each other that the words they spoke in anger have been forgiven and forgotten by solving crosswords together.

Though sometimes it's something else.

But it's never Shizuka who takes the first step, who reopens the conversation again. She tries to often enough, yet it simply doesn't work. That's another sign of her being a failure to her.

Joey assures her it's not true. Joey idolizes her, because she doesn't tell him everything. In fact, she tells him very little, no matter how often they call each other and talk for hours.

They don't talk about their relationships very much, perhaps since they both have reasons to wish to avoid that topic. Shizuka is pretty sure Kaiba isn't the perfect boyfriend Joey makes him out to be whenever she asks if he's really, truly happy.

She doesn't press the subject though, and Joey won't bitch about Rebecca too much. Shizuka thinks he still hasn't quite forgotten about their first meeting, and the way she dragged Yugi into a duel.

Joey's not the type of person to forgive and forget. It makes her wonder how arguments between him and Kaiba are resolved.

"Spoon?"

Rebecca is a genius. Everyone tells her so, and staring in their eyes she can hear the unspoken question of why on earth Rebecca would pick -her- to live with. A Japanese girl, who still stumbles over her english, especially when she has to speak it to people who want her to make mistakes, so that they can look down their noses on her.

Shizuka doesn't think she likes Americans very much. Rebecca being the obvious exception, as well as her grandfather, who smiles a lot and pats her hand as possessively as if she were his grandchild herself, rather than his granddaughter's girlfriend.

Rebecca is brilliant and sharp and witty. Shizuka's been told that most smart people aren't very good at handling emotions, like Kaiba is no good at all in keeping Joey happy and content.

Then again, Joey's not very good at handling Kaiba either, and nobody ever accused -him- of having a high IQ. Perhaps it's just the difference that's the problem.

Maybe relationships between persons that don't think in the same way are simply doomed to fail. Or come with a lot of trouble, at the very least.

"No. I think the last letter can't be an 'n'."

Still, doomed or not, Shizuka thinks there's at least been twice as many good days as bad days for her and Rebecca. And some good days are very, very good, in the same way some bad days are very, very bad, tempting her to pack her bags and go back home to Japan.

She never will.

Rebecca may be too stubborn to admit when she's been wrong, and never use the words 'sorry' or 'I forgive you', but Shizuka knows she can be just as stubborn.

She refuses to ever give up, to admit to Joey that he was right about her not being able to live 'on her own' in a strange land. He didn't mean to say that when she asked him if she should follow the girl she loved to the other end of the world, yet the implication was there, and it hurt her.

He, who has forever protected her, thought that she'd be unable to survive without him. She might have considered it sweet once, a sign of how much her big brother loved her, but she's grown up now. She doesn't need a protector, a knight in shining armor.

Maybe getting to know Rebecca has changed her, though she doesn't think that's a bad thing. Rebecca doesn't have any big brothers who smother her under their protection. But Rebecca also doesn't have a loving mother and an equally loving father, who simply happen to have stopped loving each other.

"Then I don't know. Are you sure the first letter is an 's'?"

Rebecca nods solemnly. "Positive."

Shizuka chews on her lower lip, not entirely sure if Rebecca will consider this 'opening of conversation' to have failed when she stays unable to figure out the puzzle, but not too eager to find out.

Besides, although she's not a genius, that doesn't mean she isn't smart.

"Have you heard anything of Joey and his boyfriend lately, by the way?" Rebecca inquires, so nonchalantly that Shizuka knows she means something by it.

"Not since that kiss on CNN." Shizuka smiles at the memory, though Rebecca wasn't all that pleased to have seen something like that during dinner, claiming it'd ruined her appetite. And made her want to gauge out her eyes, though Shizuka knows she was only kidding about that last.

Joey and Kaiba may not make as attractive a couple as he and Mai would have made, in Shizuka's opinion, but they're not that bad. Besides, it's Joey's life, and if he wants to spend it with a cold-hearted jerk like Seto Kaiba, that's his good right.

Like it's -her- good right to spend -her- life with an 'insolent brat and pest' like Rebecca.

"Don't remind me." Rebecca makes a face, before going back to waiting for Shizuka to solve the puzzle.

Shizuka frowns. Rebecca sighs.

"All right then, 'a confirmation', three letters, starts with a 'y'."

" 'Yes'," Shizuka replies immediately, feeling cheated by Rebecca asking her such an easy one. The next ones are easy as well, and the puzzle is half-filled by the time they return to the 'something to eat with'.

By that time, they're both smiling, and Shizuka has moved from her chair by the table to a spot on the couch, pretty close to Rebecca so that they can both see the puzzle and read the descriptions.

The day, Shizuka reflects happily, is shaping up to be a good one.

OWARI