Jealous Much

(also known as "the return of DSF", who hasn't posted anything for months, and who doesn't necessarily consider this the best comeback story, but oh well)

Summary: You should never use jealousy as a way to jump-start a relationship. Unless, of course, it's your last resort. (Joey x Mai, fueled by Yugi x Téa)

"I need," Mai Valentine began, a wicked quirk in her beautifully painted lips, "to make Joey Wheeler jealous."

Her attentive audience of Téa Gardner and Serenity Wheeler exchanged slightly nervous looks. "To make him jealous?" Téa questioned.

"Fist-clenching, gut-wrenching, purple-faced green-eyed good old-fashioned jealousy is the key," Mai explained, drawing her long red nails idly down her arm. "For someone as simple-minded as Joey Wheeler-" Serenity opened her mouth to protest, then shut it with a slight grin- "jealousy is the only thing that will finally break through that thick skull."

"For all your derision, you adore him," Serenity mumbled, but only so Téa could hear. In response, the other girl smiled and nodded her head slightly.

Mai saw Téa acquiescing and plowed on eagerly. "The only question is, with who? The first person that popped into my head, naturally, was Yugi."

Téa's nod abruptly changed into a violent shake of her head. "I know," Mai said, once again misinterpreting her. "He's far too short. Can you imagine how silly I'd look next to him?"

Téa's eyes clouded and her thoughts wandered as Mai moved on to the next male. "Then I thought of Tristan, but he's far too over the moon for you, Serenity." Serenity blushed, shaking her head in protest, knowing all the while that it was perfectly true.

"Seto Kaiba," Mai said, smoothing her short skirt over her shapely legs, "would be a perfect choice."

"But you would need to pull the stick out of his ass first?" Serenity guessed.

Téa gasped, shocked out of her musings by the younger girl's language. "I can't believe you just said that!"

Serenity giggled suddenly, her eyes wild and happy. "I was kidding. But it's a real problem. I can't imagine him dating Mai, can you?"

"Even pretend-dating? No. I can imagine him doing anything in his power to upset Joey, though," Téa added.

"True." Serenity laughed again. "Too bad for all the ladies of Domino."

"I'm sure someday he'll come out of his shell," Téa said optimistically.

"You mean out of his office," Serenity corrected wryly.

"You're right. What was I thinking. He'll never come out."

"I wonder if he needs to use a bathroom like the rest of us human beings," Serenity mused.

"Mmmm, Kaiba in a bathroom. Think hot, steamy showers. We should investigate the issue further."

"Oh yes. We should hide out in his bathtub. Just to observe, of course."

"Of course."

As the two girls dissolved into giggles, clutching onto each other for support, Mai readjusted the strap of her sandal and grinned at the both of them. "Better not let Yugi hear you saying that, Téa," she teased.

As Serenity's giggles intensified, Téa felt a bright blush creep up her cheeks. So Mai did know. And that jab about Yugi's height had just been her way of gracefully leaving the duelist alone and unhounded. Ready for some other woman… for Téa, perhaps?

"What about Duke Devlin?" Téa asked hastily.

"Duke?" Mai paused to consider it, running a hand through her hair, letting bright curls spill onto her face in a show of energy. "I couldn't date anyone prettier than I am."

As Serenity bent over, her laughter renewed and doubled, Téa threw her head back in humor. Mai finally kicked off her dressy shoes and stood up, grabbing a pair of sweatpants off the back of the couch and shimmying into them, tugging off her miniskirt with a bit of impatience. The three girls were gathered at Mai's apartment for an evening of makeovers and gossip, and quite a bit of silliness.

"You're right, though, Téa, this would end in disaster," Mai said, tugging her hair into a ponytail.

"I never said that," Téa protested, grabbing her soda.

"Oh, but you wrinkled your nose in such a way," Mai grinned, poking her own.

"That was a funny joke, if you just made all that up," Serenity said, borrowing Téa's soda for a sip and grinning at Mai.

"Oh, I won't deny I've thought of it before," Mai winked. "Actually, I really did run through the whole list. Bakura, Keith, even Marik or Odion…"

"Hoo boy," Téa said, shaking her head.

"What's wrong with Bakura?" Serenity wondered out loud.

"I don't like the pretty ones, remember?" Mai joked. Téa snorted; Serenity suppressed a smile. "He's not bad-looking," she protested.

"Besides, no one is prettier than you," Téa added, batting her eyelashes.

"Aww, my girlfriends!" Mai said, throwing herself back down on the couch.

"What about Marik?" Serenity continued, determined to get through the list, although choosing to skip over Keith. It was obvious why Mai wasn't about to date him.

"Marik still scares me," Mai confided. "Not in the same way, of course," she added, noticing Serenity's guilty look. "More in a 'This man could make small children cry if he wanted to' way. We're just lucky he doesn't want to."

"Or Ishizu and Odion don't let him," Téa corrected, smiling wryly.

"Odion, then!" Serenity said triumphantly.

Mai opened her mouth, then shut it, thinking. Téa sat up straight, humor dancing in her eyes. "Odion indeed," she said agreeably.

"Tall, dark, handsome, strong, and silent," Mai joked reluctantly.

"You prefer the blonde, dweeby, and loudmouthed ones though huh?" Téa joked back, then squealed as both girls pounced on her. "I give! I give!"

"I just don't want to date anyone but Joey," Mai confessed, pulling away and settling back on the couch, this time with a bit more depression. Téa and Serenity quieted down, looking at her sympathetically. "But I'm so sick of him not understanding my hints. For a while, I seriously considered making him jealous. Luckily, in the end, I realized that trying to attract someone through jealousy is a really, really bad idea."

"I," Joey Wheeler announced at lunch the next day, "have a really, really good idea."

Téa raised her eyebrow in question. It wasn't much of a reaction, but since Tristan just continued eating and Yugi rolled his eyes, it was the best one Joey got and he plowed on eagerly. "I'll make Mai Valentine jealous."

Téa stared at her pizza for a few seconds before putting it down. "I'm not sure that's a good idea," she said carefully.

"No, it's brilliant. Listen to this," Joey grinned haplessly. "I'll pretend to date someone. Mai will see us together and realize what she's missing! It's the only way," he appealed to Téa. "She'll never notice me otherwise."

Idiots, both of them, Téa thought, not without fondness. "Maybe you should try telling her how you feel," she suggested. "Or ask her out."

"No way!" Joey looked horrified. "She'd laugh in my face!"

"I'm sure she wouldn't," Téa argued. "I'm sure she likes you back, Joey. Maybe she doesn't know that you feel the same way."

Joey gave her an odd look. "I don't."

"Don't what?"

"Feel the same way."

Téa blinked, suddenly troubled. "I thought you just said you liked her."

"I do," Joey said patiently, acting as if Téa was a five-year-old. "She hates me. I don't feel the same way though. I like me."

"What the- Wait- Joey that's not what I meant!"

Joey ignored Téa's growing frustration. "So are ya up for it?" he asked eagerly.

"Up for what?" Téa asked crossly, getting more and more inclined to agree with Mai's assessment of Joey as a blockhead.

"Dating me."

That one was enough to pull Tristan away from his lunch and he stared at the two of them wide-eyed. "Whoa. Joey, did you just propose? To Téa?"

Yugi watched the exchange with a slight frown on his face.

"N-no!" Téa spluttered, slamming her fist on the table and accidentally pounding it right in the middle of her pizza. She snatched up several napkins, furiously blotting away the tomato sauce. "No, I am not ready to date you! What are you thinking? Ugh! Get over yourself!"

"Geez, Téa, I'm not asking you to marry me," Joey remarked casually. "I just want you to help me make Mai jealous."

"No! That's an awful idea!" she snapped. Realizing that she was starting to attract stares, she took a deep breath and calmed down. "Joey. I don't think this is a very good plan. It's more likely that Mai will just ignore you because she's angry, or get furious when she realizes this is a set-up. Besides, she and I are friends. She won't get jealous of me."

"I dunno," Joey said, cocking his head. "I bet she sees you as competition. You're, like, as hot as she is, just in a different way."

Despite the fact that she wanted to kill him, Téa felt pleased, and she could feel her stern look melting away. She was female, after all. She did appreciate hearing these things, especially when compared with Mai, who could turn a male into a pile of mush with just one sultry pout. "Did you just call me hot?" she said, blushing.

"Yeah. Especially according to Yugi!" Joey leered, slapping his friend on the back. The two shocks combined sent Yugi's face into the pizza. Blushing worse than ever, and wanting to sink under the table, Téa wordlessly handed Yugi the napkins.

"Haha, it's true," chortled Tristan. "Aaallll the time."

"Téa," Joey gasped, leaning forward and clasping his hands. "Ah, you're so sex-ay!"

"Oh Téa," Tristan imitated in a squeaky voice, batting his eyelashes. "I love you so! Ow-ow-ow!"

Téa really did want to sink down to the floor and melt into it, never to return again. She couldn't look at Yugi. Luckily, the capable duelist knew how to fend for himself. Very slowly, he picked up his chocolate pudding and overturned it on top of Joey's hair, tossing the empty cup at Tristan, where it caught and hung on his nose. Then, scowling fiercely at his two best friends, he walked up to the lunch line to get another dessert.

Téa snatched away the napkins and hid them under the table. "Serves you right," she said judiciously to Joey, who promptly tried to use Tristan's shirt as a napkin.

"You know, Téa," he said, voice muffled as Tristan tried to fend him off. "If you pretended to date me, it would make Yugi jealous too."

Téa clutched the tabletop, her face still burning. Visions flitted through her head of her and Joey walking down the street, holding hands… Yugi spotted them and came running up, beating Joey to a pulp and whisking Téa away on a romantic vacation… Mai finding Joey's battered body and nursing him back to health, although the jerk didn't really deserve it…

"Forget it!" she cried, coming back to her senses and shaking her head. Scowling, she left the table, heading for the relative peace of the outdoors.

Joey watched, slightly guiltily, as Téa departed. Tristan let go of his head and he retrieved the napkins from where Téa had dropped them. He wiped the pudding off his head, making a face as it stuck in his hair. Yugi plopped back down; Joey looked suspiciously at his dessert, but was relieve to see that it was only a cookie.

"Where'd Téa go?" Yugi asked suspiciously.

"Outside," Tristan offered. He probably felt guilty too.

"Oh." Yugi hesitated, then stood up slowly, glaring at Joey and Tristan and daring them to make a comment. They didn't dare.

He found Téa sitting with her back against a tree, picking idly at the grass sprouting around her toes. "Want a bite?" Yugi offered, giving her a piece of cookie.

She smiled slightly. "Yeah. Sure. Thanks, Yugi." He watched as she licked crumbs off her lips, then quickly turned away, blushing. "I wanted you to know…" he mumbled.

"What? Can you speak up?"

Yugi cleared his throat. "I wanted you to know I never called you hot," he said quickly.

Téa's jaw unhinged, though she kept a determinedly straight face. Men! What was wrong with them? She'd thought Yugi, at least, had more sense. She clenched her fists so hard that her nails dug painfully into her skin.

"I mean," Yugi said hurriedly, sensing that he'd upset her. "I don't really use that word. It's more Joey and Tristan's term."

Téa relaxed a little, slightly relieved but mostly disappointed. Thinking about it, she could tell that it was true, though not exactly what she wanted to hear.

"When I talk about you," Yugi continued, lowering his voice again, "I try to use words that I think really capture your dignity. You're beautiful, Téa. And smart. And wonderful. And graceful. And… perfect."

The last one was so softly spoken, it was barely audible, but it rang through Téa's ears like church bells. Suddenly she had to work really hard to keep her mouth from splitting into a ridiculous grin, and from jumping up and dancing across the school lawn. She turned slightly to see Yugi, and found that he was watching her intently. He must have been pleased with what he saw, because he offered her a tentative smile, which she returned. Yugi took a deep breath, and carefully picked up her hand, sending pleasing jolts of electricity down her arm and right to her heart and through her whole body.

"Hey," she whispered suddenly. Yugi turned to look. "I know how we can make Mai and Joey really jealous."

Téa, Mai, and Serenity arrived together, arms linked and chins lifted up, attracting appreciative glances from all the guys at the fairground. The carnival was in town, and they were going to make the best of it.

Joey, Yugi, and Tristan were standing idly, hands in their pockets, waiting for the girls. Yugi was the first to notice them approaching, and his face split into a grin at the sight of Téa. Tristan looked at Serenity eagerly, hoping for a private ride on the Ferris Wheel with her. Joey's eyes were fixed on the concession booth, and he was about to run at the cotton candy and hot dogs and fried dough and –

And Mai stepped into his line of vision, and he forgot all about food.

"H-hey," he started to splutter a greeting, but a loud squeal interrupted him. Yugi and Téa ran right between him and Mai and latched onto each other, Yugi making a valiant effort to lift Téa up and swing her around. She laughed wildly, giving him a quick kiss on the cheek. They split apart, but only slightly; Téa held onto his arm and Yugi wrapped his other arm around her waist.

Joey and Mai met each other's eyes in mutual surprise. "Well, well, well," Mai managed. "When did this happen?"

Téa and Yugi looked at each other and started giggling again. "Yesterday," they spoke in unison, and renewed their laughter. Téa squeezed Yugi's arm affectionately.

Serenity hid a smile at the dumbfounded look on her brother's face, and she didn't miss the way his eyes took on a wistful look. According to Téa's master plan, it was time for her and Tristan to disappear, and leave Joey and Mai alone with the lovebirds. "Tristan, come with me on the WhirlTron?" she suggested sweetly, sliding over to him.

Hardly believing his luck, Tristan managed to stammer out a "Heck yeah!"

Joey's face turned a bit green: he had once had a very, very bad experience on the WhirlTron after consuming four fairground hotdogs (and fried dough, cotton candy, and a caramel apple). "Ugh… Serenity… I don't know if that's a good idea."

She laughed, waving a hand playfully at him. "I haven't eaten as much as you, Joey. I'll be fine. And I'm sure Tristan has a stronger stomach," she said, unable to resist that little dig.

Serenity winced as it nearly backfired on her, as Joey suddenly stood up straight. "Hey! My stomach is perfectly strong! Come on, Tristan, let's ride that WhirlTron, and last man standing – not barfing – takes all!" He didn't seem to notice the alarmed look on Téa, Yugi, or Serenity's face, or the pained one on Tristan's. Luckily, Mai unknowingly came to the rescue.

"Don't make yourself sick," she said, raising an eyebrow. She was half-joking, but Joey suddenly remembered that she was there, and spun around again, forgetting about Tristan.

"He-he," he said, rubbing the back of his neck. "Actually, maybe I should stick to the merry-go-round."

"There's a ride for you," Yugi teased, relieved.

"Come on, Serenity," Tristan said quickly, seizing his opportunity. "I'll take you on." He grabbed her wrist and dragged her away, the redhead only having time to gasp out a "See you guys later!"

As they disappeared around the corner, Joey suddenly realized that his friend had just ran off with his sister, and started to turn to chase after them. Téa hurriedly interrupted with a "So, what does everyone want to ride first? Merry-go-round, Joey?"

He blinked, turning back again. "Uh, I was just kidd-"

"Merry-go-round it is!" Yugi chirped, escorting Téa to the line. "Come on, guys," he urged to Joey and Mai. "It'll be a blast!"

The two of them exchanged dubious glances. "A blast?" Mai murmured.

"The merry-go-round?" Joey wondered.

"I guess they look like they'll enjoy it," she said, nodding to Yugi and Téa, who were bouncing excitedly in line.

"I wish there was a roller coaster here," Joey said, a gleam in his eye. "Ever been to the amusement park at the top of the city? They've got a great coaster there-"

"-The Duelist!" she finished excitedly. "Isn't it amazing? It jerks you all over the place until you think your stomach will fly off to the side, and just when you think it's over-"

"-it takes you up and down again!" Joey completed. They grinned at each other for a moment before a shrill giggle by Téa broke through their concentration.

"Stop, Yugi, stop," she giggled as he mercilessly tickled her ribs. Yugi finally let up, wrapping his arms around her waist and grinning at her. They exchanged sappy glances for a while, while Mai made a face and Joey rolled his eyes. Deep down inside, he was feeling a little envious – wouldn't it be nice if he and Mai were like that, so comfortable and familiar with each other?

"Come on," Yugi urged, finally noticing Joey and Mai standing a few feet away, arms crossed and looking stubborn. "You guys will lose your place in line if you don't hurry!"

Mai sighed, looking at Joey. He shrugged at her. "I guess it couldn't hurt to go on a kiddie ride for once," he said reluctantly, feeling bad for abandoning Yugi and Téa. Mai didn't say anything, but grudgingly inched forward to join the line. And that was how they found themselves sitting on dainty painted horses for an excruciating five minutes, surrounded by screaming little children and goofy parents and their two saccharine-sweet friens.

Two hours later, Joey's day had not gotten any better. Yugi and Téa held hands on the Swing ride, playing a kicking game with their feet and eventually slamming the back of Joey's chair, sending him careening into Mai, bruising her leg and earning himself a double glare from Mai and the ride conductor. Yugi and Téa had shared a candy apple, whispering and giggling and making themselves a sticky mess, finally carefully wiping each other's mouths with a damp paper towel. They were constantly cuddling and batting their eyelashes and laughing. Joey had finally dragged them on a ride that went upside-down, in attempt to get their minds off each other, but the 'scary experience' (as Yugi referred to it!) had 'brought them closer together' (as Téa lovingly espoused). They fed each other cotton candy as Joey nursed his upset stomach and Mai rested her head on her arms, looking bored.

Not cool, Joey thought angrily as his stomach slowly settled. He wasn't making any progress with Mai, and two of his best friends were driving him crazy! It wasn't that he wasn't happy for them… sighing, he admitted to himself that he was really getting jealous of their closeness, the trust and tenderness that they so obviously shared.

Something about that rang little warning bells in his head, but before he had time to think about it, Yugi polished off the last of the cotton candy and jumped to his feet. "Where to, guys?" he asked excitedly.

"What did you have in mind?" Téa asked sweetly, wrapping her arms around his waist.

Yugi grinned. "Something romantic," he said, turning to her. "Ferris Wheel? Tunnel of Love? The boats?"

"Tunnel of Love! They have one here?" Téa asked hopefully.

"They sure do," Yugi smiled, taking her hand. "Come on!" The two lovebirds trotted off, barely pausing to yell "come on, Joey and Mai!" to their two grumpy friends.

"Gee, I'm glad they remembered we existed," Joey muttered as he rose to his feet and started after them. His heart had started pounding… did this mean he would get to ride in the Tunnel of Love with Mai?

Mai was watching Yugi and Téa's joined hands as they skipped across the park and joined the short line to the Tunnel of Love. She and Joey were a few feet behind them, and before they caught up entirely, Mai oh-so-casually leaned into Joey, whispering "If they're any sweeter, I'll have to kill them."

He was scowling at his two friends, but when he noticed her close presence, his brain spluttered as he searched for words. "Huh? Oh- them. Yeah. Yeah," he said, more forcefully. "They're being disgusting."

"How shall we do it," Mai said, drawing out her words in a mild attempt at seduction. "Push them off the Ferris Wheel? Drown them in the Tunnel of Love?"

Joey laughed, all the nerves in his body on fire as she laughed slightly too. "Well, if we really wanted them to stop, just start talking dirty in front of Yugi," he said eagerly, trying to impress her. "His face goes all fire-engine red, and he tries to escape Téa's presence as fast as humanly possible."

He wanted to continue joking with Mai, but she drew away from him and shot him an annoyed look all of a sudden. "What? What'd I do?" he protested weakly.

"I don't appreciate your mind always being in the gutter," she said sharply, pursing her lips.

Joey blinked. "Oh. Really?" She didn't respond. "…Sorry…" he said in a low voice. "I'll stop."

Mai froze, her mouth still in a pout, her brain stuck somewhere between overdrive and reverse. "Did you just say you would try to change? For me?" she finally managed.

Joey considered it. How very female… to make such a big deal out of it… he tried to conceal his growing blush. "Uh, yeah." He took a closer look at Mai: was she blushing too?! Hey HEY! A big grin now on his face, he offered his arm to Mai, feeling suddenly bold. "Shall we follow them?" he asked, nodding after Yugi and Téa as they disappeared into the Tunnel of Love.

Mai looked at Joey's arm, and hesitantly took it. Well, well. He was finally being a gentleman. "We shall," she offered, lightly teasing, as they traipsed into the dark entrance and climbed into a boat behind their lovesick friends. A grinning ride attendant helped them in, warning them to "keep your hands and feet inside the boat, and don't stand up while the ride is moving, because if you jump around the ride might tip over!" Joey barely heard anything, because his brain had finally caught up to his body, and both were screaming We're alone with Mai Valentine!!

Jump on her and kiss her senseless, his body urged enthusiastically.

Say something sweet and heartfelt! Something romantic! Mai is too special to lose, his brain urged.

Clearing his throat as the boat drifted around the first bend, Joey opened his mouth to say something, but Mai beat him to it.

"Isn't it beautiful?" she breathed, looking around. Joey finally glanced up, briefly took in the canopy of twinkling lights above them, and plowed on.

"You're a good friend, Mai."

He meant to go on, to say how lately he had been thinking of her as more than just a friend, and how he hoped that maybe they could give a real relationship a try, but a moan from the boat before them caught his attention. He half-stood, frowning slightly. "What are they doing up there?"

"You're a good friend, Mai," they clearly heard Joey say behind them. Téa let out a frustrated groan – you should never say that to a girl you might be interested in! – and even Yugi smacked his forehead.

"Maybe I should have talked to him beforehand," Yugi said, frowning unhappily.

"Ugh, I think he might have needed some advice," Téa agreed. "He's never really been in love like this before, has he?"

"I've never seen him so smitten," Yugi confessed. "But he's not going about this the right way."

"Maybe Mai will know how to handle him," Téa suggested hopefully.

They turned around to peek at their struggling friends just in time to see Mai shove Joey out of the boat with a loud splash.

"You're a good friend, Mai," Joey said bluntly, and then looked away. Mai stared. And that was that? How dare he? Leading her on all this time, making her think that maybe there was a chance, and then now, here, like this…

"What are they doing up there?" Joey said, half-standing to get a better look, and her already hot blood boiled. He'd just promised that he wouldn't be a pervert anymore, and here he was, staring at his two best friends as they tried to enjoy a quiet, romantic ride, something Joey Wheeler wouldn't know anything about anyway, because he was hopeless and what was she thinking, wanting to be his girlfriend –

She reached out a disdainful hand and shoved him overboard.

Joey was very confused. One minute he was about to declare his love for Mai, the next minute he thought that Téa was moaning in pain and Yugi was hitting his head, and all of a sudden the world went spinning and he landed on his hands and knees in the shallow water that masked the mechanical gears carrying the boat along. He staggered to his feet, water stains all over his pants, and raced to catch up with his boat. "Hey – wait up!" he panted.

Mai spun around to look at him, glaring at him so huffily that he almost stopped in his tracks, but had to keep jogging to keep level with the boat. Despite the warning look she was giving him, he climbed back in quickly, wiping his wet palms on his shirt. "Did you chuck me out?" he asked incredulously.

"Go away, Joey Wheeler," she said, sitting sideways and sticking her nose up. "I don't want to speak to you."

"Wh- what?" he spluttered. "What happened?" She refused to answer him. He felt the disappointment welling in him, as well as anger – who did she think she was, leading him on like that? Always just beyond reach, always driving him crazy with those flirty looks and the slight saunter of her walk – Well, fine! But he had decided to tell her how he felt, and there was no way he was going to back down now – He would just spill it out and be done with it.

"I was going to say, before you decided to give me the silent treatment," he said angrily, "That we've been friends for a long time and maybe by now you've noticed that I like you, and I was going to ask you out to dinner. But of course I'll never be good enough, huh Mai? Always that scruffy kid you met, Yugi's sidekick, good for a few laughs every once in a while. If that's how it's gonna be, fine, Mai, don't speak to me and I won't speak to you and nothing will ever change!" He crossed his arms and shut his mouth, staring straight ahead and refusing to make eye contact. He could tell her head was turned at him, and he thought her jaw was open in disbelief, but it was his turn to ignore her.

Finally, she spoke. Her voice was weak and hesitant… apologetic and afraid. "I'll jump out of the boat too if it'll make you forgive me," she offered tentatively.

His arms went limp, unfolding by themselves. Joey turned to look at her, searching her eyes, trying to read her for a sign. Mai met his gaze, looking nervous, but completely honest and open for once.

"Naw," he said, breaking out into a grin that was impossible to contain. "You don't need to jump out of the boat. There is something else you can do, though," he added hesitantly, trying not to offend her delicate female sense of pride.

He needn't have worried; Mai flung herself the remaining distance across the boat, heedless of his wet lap, and into his arms.

Two pairs of eyes peeped over the back of the boat; as Joey leaned down to kiss Mai, the two heads disappeared completely, as Yugi and Téa quit spying on their friends and prepared to enjoy whatever was left of the ride.

"Guess we can stop being disgustingly sweet now," Téa whispered to Yugi.

He looked at her in surprise, his eyes wide and innocent. "We were being disgustingly sweet, my precious?"

"I think we might have been, my darling," she joked back.

"I'll show you sweet." Yugi favored her with a wicked smile, right before he leaned in and kissed her. Residue of cotton candy still grazed their lips; sweet, indeed.

Tristan and Serenity were waiting at the entrance to the Tunnel of Love. Yugi and Téa came out first, clinging to each other and smiling dreamily. Then Joey and Mai's ship appeared. As usual, they were arguing; Mai was glaring at Joey, saying something huffily, but he merely grinned and grabbed onto her neck, pulling her in for another kiss. Serenity made a slight face at her brother's eagerness, and looked at Tristan to share a laugh about Joey.

He had a wistful look in his eyes. "They're gonna have something special," he declared. "Doesn't it make you kinda jealous?"

Serenity paled.