Yugi yelped as his Christmas tree fell over on top of him. Joey lifted the seven footer off of him and held it upright, and this time Yugi wedged it into the pot. When Joey let go this time, Yugi moved quickly, but it stayed where it was. "Remind me Joey, why did I let you talk me into buying a seven foot tree, when we had to drag the tree up the stairs?" Yugi asked as he pulled the lights out of the box. The tree was over two foot taller then he was, almost three, and it had taken half an hour to get the tree to the living room because they hadn't been able to work out how to get it up the stairs.
"Because I know how much you love Christmas and because it looks amazing..?" Joey smiled, Yugi laughed and nodded as they put the lights on, nearly tangling each other up. "You got all your gifts yet?" Joey asked, Yugi nodded, the look of concentration on Yugi's face was highly amusing to the taller teen as Yugi tried to work out which bulb was stopping the lights from working.
"Got it!" Yugi yelled triumphantly, as the lights turned on as he put a fresh fuse bulb in. Joey smiled as the coloured lights twinkled, and Yugi pulled out the baubles, pausing as he touched one in particular.
"I remember that one, the first Christmas together as a group, I got you that one when we started playing Duel Monsters." Joey said, as Yugi stared at the Dark Magician shaped bauble. "It was the last one in the shop."
Yugi smiled and nodded, as he put it on the tree, "Alright, after three years and everything we've gone through, would you have been my friend if you'd have known what was to come?"
"If you'd have tried to tell me what was to come back then I would have laughed, disbelieved you and pushed you in the viaduct probably." Joey laughed, "We're both different from how we were then." It was true, the shy boy Joey used to bully was gone, he preferred this Yugi though, more confident and outgoing. Yugi was less afraid to be himself, nowadays.
"I know, if you'd have told me the two creeps who used to bully me would be two of my closest friends, and that I would get mixed up in all this magic…I probably would have believed the magic part more."
"We were toughening you up, Yugi."
"You threw a piece of the Millennium Puzzle in the viaduct!"
"And got it back." Joey retorted. Yugi smiled as he and Joey put the baubles on the tree. "Na, I was jerk to ya back then."
"We're friends now aren't we?" Yugi said, smiling at his best friend. Joey nodded just before he dived to catch a glass bauble he'd dropped. Yugi laughed and Joey smiled as he caught the bauble, it was good to have sometime to just relax, it felt like they hadn't just 'chilled' since before the start of Duellist Kingdom.
"What about you, Joey? Or are you going to wait until Christmas Eve?" Yugi remembered last year where he and Joey had had to go out the day before Christmas to get Joey's presents and hadn't been able to get half the stuff they wanted because every thing was gone.
"Nope, I've already got them, all wrapped and ready for tonight, last year was a disaster. Do you realise that Christmas Eve is tomorrow?" Joey laughed, remembering the crowds and queues. Yugi smiled and nodded, "Um Yugi…is that smell meant to be coming from the kitchen?" Yugi looked at him questioningly and went in and Joey heard him yelp. Joey rushed into the kitchen where Yugi was trying to put out the pizza with a fire extinguisher.
Having successfully put out the fire that had arisen from the now extremely well done pizza, Yugi held his hand under running cold water from the cold tap as Joey binned the pizza. "Whups." Yugi smiled, embarrassed, "I don't think I've ever managed to do that before."
"First time for everything Yugi, you're King of Games, not King of cooking." Joey laughed as the doorbell rang, Yugi went to get it, but Joy beat him to the door, "Keep your hand under the tap, I'll get it." Yugi nodded as Joey vanished downstairs. He heard two sets of feet heading back up. Kari stuck her head round the door as Joey walked back into the kitchen.
"Kari? I thought you were on your way back to England!" Yugi said, drying his hand and looking at it.
"My family's gone on holiday for Christmas, Robyn's away too, and Ash and his sister so it's kinda pointless me going back." Kari said, walking into the kitchen, "What happened here?"
"Yugi had a pizza disaster, code 5." Joey laughed. Kari laughed; code five, things had been on fire, she was classified code 7 when she was high on sugar and trying to make pizza.
"Do you want me to do a pizza run while you guys finish the tree? Just don't open the gifts I brought with me." She tried to remember what the other numbers were, code one was uncooked, two was missing, three was one of the guys had nicked it, normally Joey, four was wrong toppings, five was the pizza had caught alight, six was someone had dropped it, seven was Kari on a sugar rush and eight was the kitchen had caught alight, they'd never had a code eight though.
"Thanks Kari." Yugi said gratefully as they went back into the living room. Kari flashed them a smile and vanished back out the door. Yugi and Joey continued, as they went Yugi realised he had a bauble for each of them except Kari, a lot of his baubles were duel monsters shaped. The Red Eyes shaped one that was Joey's favourite, Tea's present to him last year, a Magician of Faith shaped one, Tristan had given him a Cyber Commander shaped one too. This was Kari's first Christmas with them, and she'd be waking up on her own Christmas morning…he had an idea.
He and Joey finished the tree, then he dashed down stairs, crashing into Tea who was half way up, sending them sprawling to the bottom of the stairs. Joey rushed down, and Yugi's Grandpa had shut the shop up yet so he was at the bottom as the two tried to untangle themselves from each other. "Sorry Tea!"
"Ow." Tea complained as she stood up, "It's fine Yugi, nothing broken." Yugi smiled in relief as Tea and Joey went back upstairs while Yugi discussed something with his grandpa. Kari and Tristan returned with pizza and headed upstairs. Yugi smiled as he helped Mr Muto close up shop and the two made their way upstairs where Joey was hovering over the pizzas. Yugi's grandpa turned to Kari. "Kari…you've got no-one living with you at the moment, have you?" Kari shook her head, completely confused. "Then how would you feel about sleeping here for a couple of days. I'm assuming that you don't have to be back in work until after Christmas."
Kari's eyes lit up as she thought for a moment, "No, I finished today and I'm not due in until Wednesday, then I'm off New Years Eve, New Years Day and the 2nd of January. I'd be delighted, that is if you don't mind having me." Solomon Muto shook his head.
"We normally have one of the three others staying round at Christmas. One extra is no problem." Kari smiled and took a bite out of the slice of pizza she'd grabbed before Joey had grabbed the box. "I'd have to grab some stuff from my place."
"You can do that once you've eaten." Tristan said, swiping the pizza box from Joey as Yugi, Tea and Kari shared the other pizza. Joey growled at Tristan, who had over half the pizza in that box and Tea moved quickly as Joey and Tristan started fighting, dropping the box, face down on the table, Yugi and Kari had resigned looks on their faces. Kari finally walked behind the two squabbling children and banged their heads together, just before they crashed into the Christmas tree, causing Tea to laugh and the two to stop immediately. Yugi joined in the laughter and Kari smiled. "OW!" Joey complained as he and Tristan rubbed their heads. Tea took the soft chair and Yugi perched on the arm of the sofa as the two boys settled on the sofa. "Can you guys give me a minute?" Kari asked, the others nodded, "I just have to pop over to my place…I'll be back."
She dashed out the door, and Yugi turned on the last of the Christmas lights, while Joey managed to grab the last edible piece of pizza. Tristan growled and a second fight threatened to break out until Tea threatened to pull a 'Kari' on them and they behaved. Kari was back by the time Yugi had gotten his duel deck from his room to play against Joey.
She was shown to the guest room. Where she dumped her bag but pulled one or two items out and brought her other presents out with her. She unwrapped a package covered in tissue paper, it wasn't very big, but once it was unwrapped everyone could see the detail on the bauble she held up, it was the Dark Magician Girl, Kari's favourite monster. "Do you mind if I hang this off the tree, it was a present from Robyn years ago, along with my first Dark Magician Girl card?" Yugi shook his head, it was more perfect then she knew. She dropped all her other presents under the tree and booted Joey off the sofa so Yugi's grandpa could sit down before she sat on the floor, with a disgruntled looking Joey.
She handed out her presents to the others, she hoped they'd like it, it wasn't being released until January, at the same time as the announcement for Kaiba's latest tournament, but as the designer she'd been allowed advance copies. She was still wearing her 18th birthday present from Yugi, a silver necklace that said her name in Egyptian hieroglyphs. She'd received a lot of presents by air mail when her friends and family had found out they'd be away over Christmas, and was looking forward to seeing what was in them.
The exchange of presents was quick and Kari, Yugi and Joey settled to duelling. Kari noticed Joey had a bag, "You sleeping here too?"
Joey nodded, "Yeap, I'll probably sleep in Yugi's room or on the sofa. I normally stay over Christmas." Kari smiled and drew her first hand, in a three way duel against Yugi and Joey. The others went home halfway through the duel, Yugi saw them out before turning the duel around to win, with Kari in second place this time.
They worked out where they were sleeping and went to bed. Kari was looking forward to tomorrow.