Saying it without flowers

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Warnings/notes: Joey/Mai, hints at Yugi/Anzu, slightly weird, failed drabble.

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

written at 27th december 2004, by Misura, for (Prisoner of) Iba, as a small Christmas-present.

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He has never sent her flowers.

It is, she acknowledges, a strange thought to occur to her at seeing him again. It's true though; she has received flowers (and more expensive gifts than that) from quite a lot of the male duelists who are gathered here today.

And why not? She has the looks, as well as a reputation of being 'hard to get', which makes her a challenge. A challenge few duelists can resist, apparently. She has to admit she finds it fun too, stringing some pompous idiot along, seeing how far he'll go before giving up.

She does no real harm either; the nice guys who honestly believe themselves to be in love with her are let down quickly, as gently as she can be. They're too much trouble anyway, sending her bad poetry and waking her up in the middle of the night by their awful singing underneath her window.

Romantic ... yeah, right. She snorts, shaking her head just enough to give her hair that perfect, slightly tousled look. He hasn't noticed her yet, but he will, soon.

She'll make sure of it.

He has never sent her flowers.

There are only two young men on today's guest-list about whom she can say the same with any certainty; after getting the dozenth bouquet since her arrival in Domino even the initial amusement-value had worn off, and she has only bothered to read all the cards to check for the one name she hasn't found. The absence of the two others is something she just noticed along the way.

Yugi Mutoh not sending her any flowers is, for him, a good thing. She'd have been forced to have her Harpies sharpen their claws on his hide if he had. His engagement to Anzu Mazaki, the rising star of America's dancing-scene, has made it to the cover of about every magazine that she considers worth reading.

She wishes them all the best, really. They make a cute couple.

Seto Kaiba, the most hunted-after bachelor of Japan and possibly the world, also has refrained from any floral greetings. It hardly surprises her. The only person Kaiba has ever sent any flowers to is probably his secretary, on Secretary-day, and only because his P.R.-department told him he'd look exactly like the jerk she knows him to be if he didn't.

Under any other circumstances, she might have regretted Kaiba seeming to be immune to her charms, because he's just the kind of person she'd like to play her games with. He deserves to be brought down a little. Or a lot.

"Mai!"

Well, will you look at that? She's only been standing here for the last fifteen minutes, and he's -already- spotted her.

Boys.

He has never sent her flowers.

Oh, his name was on the Christmas-card she got from Shizuka, but she's pretty sure it only ended up there because of his sister.

He has never called her either.

"Long time no see." He grins, reminding her of a puppy.

She shrugs. "I can't say I missed you." Which is perfectly true; she -can't-. It's simply not in her nature to say things like that, not even if she might -feel- them.

"So ... what do you think about this tournament? With Yugi all busy making the last-minute arrangements for his wedding, things might get pretty interesting."

Allowing herself a moment of amazement at his not immediately following that up with a declaration that -he- is going to win, she replies with another shrug.

"I haven't yet seen anyone whom I couldn't wipe the floor with without even working up a sweat." She makes sure her eyes inform him that he is included in her assessment.

He laughs. "You haven't changed one bit."

"I'll take that as a compliment," she replies tartly.

"Uhm ... I meant to write you. Or call you. Or ... something. To stay in touch." He makes the words sound precisely as they are meant; half confession and half apology.

"Idiot." She rolls her eyes. "Just kiss me already."

He does, probably because he is too stunned not to.

OWARI