Title: Birthday

Author: Katsuko

Disclaimer: Yuugiou is owned by Takahashi Kazuki. And, seeing as how Anzu and Mai haven't eloped to Australia and Bakura has yet to declare his undying love to Yami, I'm not Takahashi-san.

Warnings: Shounen-ai, maybe a little minor angst but not too much.

Beta: Eternal SailorM

Notes: According to all the official sites, January 25 is Jounouchi's birthday. So I just thought I'd write a fic for him. Nice of me, ne? It's a bit late, I know, but writer's block and real life bullshit just got a bit in the way. Better late than never, though!

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Birthday

"I just want the one I love to see me for me."

It was a simple phrase, only twelve words in all, yet the blank stares Jounouchi received from his friends said that they really didn't get it. The blond heaved a quiet sigh and continued as if he'd never paused for a reaction.

"Because, you know, when people first meet you they form an opinion of you within the first fifteen minutes of speaking to you. If you blow it, then you'll never get a second chance to impress them. Like Mai. What was your first impression of her?" he asked with a glance towards Anzu.

The brunette blinked in surprise at being singled out before replying: "Um, well, I thought she was confident and poised until she opened her mouth. Then I just thought she was bitchy and rude."

"But she's our friend now," Yuugi pointed out with a small frown; he thought he had some idea of where Jounouchi was going with his unusual topic of conversation yet didn't feel it was the right time to speak up.

"Yeah. Because once she got to know us a little better she let down her guard enough for us to see her for who she really is," the blond said with a nod. "Mai's told me she doesn't have very many friends so we're really important to her. No secrets, no masks, what you see is what you get."

"Someone's got a crush," Honda smirked, capturing the slightly shorter teen in a headlock. Jounouchi yelped and elbowed his friend.

"I do not, you idiot! Get off!"

Anzu sighed and shook her head. "Children, please. Can't we act like adults?"

"Sorry, Mom," the brunet quipped, releasing his hold and allowing Jounouchi to escape to the other side of the table once more. "But still," he said turning back to the blond, "why the sudden interest in being seen, so to speak?"

Jounouchi turned slightly, gazing out the window as a small frown settled on his face. "Well... I-I've been kinda denying to myself that I like someone for a while now. Recently, though, I've realized that it's not just a matter of whether or not that person likes me too and more a matter of does that person really know me at all."

"Jounouchi-kun," Yuugi finally said after a brief moment of silence, "if someone likes you, then that person has to know more than just a little bit about you. That person would have to look beneath the surface anyway, and if there's something there that person doesn't like, then it wasn't supposed to be."

"...yeah," the blond replied, the slightest hint of acceptance in his tone along with a touch of defeat. It was obvious to the other three that Jounouchi had doubts as to whether the person he liked knew him well, and to one of them it stung. It hurt enough to know that their own chances with the blond were slim to none, but for Jounouchi to be even slightly depressed because of another was unacceptable!

"Hey, cheer up, bud," Honda said with forced brightness after a moment. "It's your birthday, so don't think about that right now. You should be thinking about how I'm going to kick your ass at VirtuaFighter!"

"In your dreams! You are so going down, Honda!" Jounouchi replied, momentarily pushing his dilemma out of his mind and deciding to concentrate on having fun with his friends. Anzu and Yuugi laughed as the other two boys began arguing over which character was the best in the game and which of them was the 'undisputed VirtuaFighter champion of all Japan' as Honda phrased it.

After a couple hours of video games, American fast food and arguing over which teachers were the worse for giving out homework, the four friends said their goodbyes and started home. Anzu and Honda headed off in the direction of their houses while Yuugi and Jounouchi walked towards the game shop. Even though the next day was supposed to be a school day, they'd already made plans for the blond to sleep over and they weren't about to change that.

"Are you okay, Jounouchi-kun?" Yuugi asked after they'd been walking for a while. "You've been kinda quiet since... well, you know."

Jounouchi nodded slightly, managing a small smile. "Yeah, I'll be fine, Yuugi. I suppose all I can really do is just keep being me and hope that the person I like really sees who I am."

The shorter teen smiled at his friend and nodded. "I hope everything works out for you, Jounouchi-kun," he said softly. "But if it doesn't, just remember that you've still got your friends. More than that; you've still got me."

Jounouchi's steps faltered and he turned, eyes widened slightly as he looked at his friend. Yuugi didn't even give him a chance to ask the question that was on the tip of his tongue; taking advantage of the taller boy's surprise he reached up and pulled him down into a semi-forceful kiss. Jounouchi was stunned by the action, but surprised Yuugi in turn when rather than pull away he returned it somewhat shyly, one hand resting lightly on the other boy's cheek.

After a moment, Yuugi reluctantly broke the kiss, yet didn't pull away from his best friend completely. Not meeting Jounouchi's eyes, he murmured, "Even if that person can't see you and love you for all you are, I just want you to know that there is someone who sees you and loves you because of who you are."

"I don't have to worry about that anymore," came the soft reply. Yuugi blinked and brought his gaze up, meeting Jounouchi's deep brown. The quiet sadness that he'd seen there earlier in the evening was vanished, replaced by surprised joy. The blond snickered slightly at the smaller teen's confusion and simply gave him a quick kiss. It was nowhere near as intense as the first but still caused a pleasant shiver to race down Yuugi's spine.

"I don't have to worry," Jounouchi said again, "because that person just told me he not only sees me but loves me, too."

It took a few seconds for Yuugi to translate the Jounouchi-speak then he smiled warmly and caught the taller boy's hand in his own. "You keep to yourself too much, Jounouchi-kun," he scolded gently. "You could have just said something."

"I did say something; I said I was in denial."

"Baka." It was said affectionately, however, causing Jounouchi to snicker softly and shrug in response. "Come on, we should get to the shop before Kaasan and Jiichan start to worry about us."

"Yeah, yeah," Jounouchi grumbled good-naturedly as he squeezed his newfound boyfriend's hand lightly. After a moment he added almost shyly, "Love you."

"Love you," Yuugi replied. "Happy birthday, Jounouchi-kun."

Owari

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Okay, that's all for my first wishshipping fic. I may or may not write a sequel to this, I haven't decided yet. CC would be cool, but not browbeaten out of anyone.