The sentimental value of pie

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Warnings/notes : Joey -in love with- Mai, Mai/Anzu, hints at Yugi -in love with- Anzu and Honda -hitting on-Shizuka -being hit on by- Otogi, slightly weird, shortie, oocness (Joey).

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 Hushpuppie which offered as a subject:

"Any shoujo-ai or het pairing. ... Pumpkin pie."

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There's a piece of pie sitting in Joey's fridge.

An -old- piece of pie, Anzu corrects herself, as she bends forwards, searching for the drinks that Joey has sworn to be in there somewhere.

She stares at it, wondering if Joey's actually going to eat something that definitely neither smells nor looks edible anymore. Then, finally discovering the cans of cola behind a purplish-looking vegetable that Anzu -hopes- is simply unrecongizable to her because it's something exotic, she decides that's the wong question to ask.

The real question is why on earth Joey would save a piece of pie. It's Joey, after all.

Picking up two of the cans -one 'light' and one 'normal'- Anzu returns to the living room, where Joey sits, his expression absent, as if his mind is miles away from here.

It's not an expression Joey wears often, and somehow Anzu thinks it doesn't fit him at all. Joey shouldn't be pondering and moping, no matter how many times she -or other people- may have told him he should think more often before acting.

"Did you know you had a piece of pie in your fridge?" Anzu asks, to break the silence.

Joey reaches out to accept the can of 'normal' cola from her, nodding. "Yeah. Pumpkin pie. I saved it from Halloween."

Anzu sips from her 'light' cola, patiently waiting for further explanations.

None are forthcoming.

"It was Halloween over two weeks ago, Joey. That's a pretty long time," she prods finally.

Joey shrugs. "I'm not going to eat it. So what does it matter?"

"Does it taste so bad?" Anzu jokes. "Are you saving it to offer to some unwelcome guest then?"

The glare that Joey sends in her direction might have impressed Kaiba.

"It tastes great. Better than great. I just don't want to eat and destroy it. It's a gift from someone special," Joey explains, with a certain heat to his voice that makes Anzu breathe in relief. The thought that Joey might be turning into someone like Kaiba is far from pleasant.

"Someone special?" she asks, curiously. She knows it can't be Yugi, since he and her have visited the fair on Halloween, with Grandpa tagging along to 'play chaperone'.

"Mai made it, for Shizuka's Halloween-party." Joey smiles, apparently having some good memories of said party. "She offered the last piece to me, because she said she was afraid I'd faint with hunger before the night was through otherwise."

"That sounds like Mai." Anzu grins, making sure her face shows nothing but amusement.

Joey nods. "She's really something. I haven't met anyone like her before. You should have been there, Anzu, and Yugi too. Though, of course, I can understand why the two of you'd like some privacy."

He winks at her. "Should I be ordering a suit for your wedding soon?"

"Hardly," Anzu replies dryly.

"Well, I think you'd do great together," Joey declares. As if that settles everything.

Anzu keeps her silence.

xxxxx

"It -would- have been fun if you'd been there too. I agree with Joey on that," Mai admits. At first, Anzu had promised herself she wouldn't be bringing up the matter of the party, especially not considering it's been so long ago. But the topic wouldn't leave her alone, so she just flapped out the whole story about Joey and that piece of pie he's keeping like some treasure.

"Dice-boy and biker-boy were there too, circling Shizuka like ... well, like very tame and fluffy sharks. Any time they'd come too close to each other, they'd be all snapping and snarling, but one look from Shizuka could turn them completely sweet and sugary. It might have made me gag, if it hadn't been so funny." Mai shakes her head.

Anzu sighs.

Mai raises one eyebrow. "Don't tell me you didn't have a good time with Yugi. I mean, he may be a bit of a softie, but, well, the two of you are best friends, right?"

"We're friends, yes. Really fabulous best friends. But we're not -more- than that. Or, wait, let me rephrase that." Anzu shakes her head in frustration. "We love each other as much as I love you, but not in the same way."

"You could tell him that," Mai points out reasonably.

"No, I can't. Because I don't know how he feels, and I don't want to hurt him. It's crazy, isn't it?" Anzu smiles sadly. "Most people worry about telling their friends they have a crush on them, but -I- am worried about telling my best friend I -don't-."

"Yes, well, I don't have any friends, so I wouldn't know," Mai says airily. "I only have you."

"Then why haven't you told Joey?" Anzu demands, suddenly wanting to leash out at someone, anyone. She hates it when people try to manipulate her feelings, even if it's only because she's hiding away those feelings for herself.

"Joey's a dork. Kind of like a puppy. I may have a reputation for being pretty cold, but I'm not into the habit of kicking puppies for fun. Besides," Mai adds after a while, "he'll get over it soon enough."

Anzu remembers a piece of pumpkin pie, and keeps her silence again, swearing to herself she'll tell Yugi some day soon now that it's not a coincidence that Mai has been hanging around in Domino so often this past year.

She'll tell him some day really soon.

Tomorrow. Or the day after that.

OWARI