Puppies, witches and wardrobes

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Warnings/notes: Ishizu/Mai, hinted Kaiba/Joey, major silliness, massive oocness.

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

written at 27th august 2006, by Misura, in reply to a meme-challenge made in my livejournal by Fickle Priestess which offered the pairing Ishizu/Mai and the line: "Stay away from my wardrobe!"

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"No, Malik, I have -not- seen your necklace-of-a-thousand-purple-and-green-stones," Ishizu said, unsuccessfully trying to close the door to her room in Malik's face. "Or your brooch-of-a-thousand-fake-pearls."

"But I wore it last with -your- sexy green top!" Malik declared, his foot still firmly wedged in the door-opening. "So, obviously, it's your fault I can't find it anywhere!"

Ishizu sighed. Sometimes, it was very hard not to blame their father for not teaching Malik the meanings of words like 'grown-up' and 'masculine'. Of course, Odion was as much to blame; with the way he doted on Malik, it was hardly a miracle Malik still acted like a five-year-old most of the time.

"Have you asked Odion?" Ishizu didn't like feeling like she was throwing Odion to the proverbial lions - or lion-cub, in this case - but she assured herself he deserved it. Besides, he'd probably be glad of a chance to help 'Master Malik'.

"Yes, and he doesn't know either. He suggested I went to check your wardrobe." Malik tried to force the door further open, and nearly met with success this time, due to Ishizu being too stunned to react.

"Odion said -what-?" How dared he! As if it wasn't bad enough that Malik walked around in -her- clothes more often than not, 'because those things should be worn by someone with actual sex-appeal'.

"I don't see why you're being so difficult about this," Malik huffed. "It's not like you've got Shadi hidden in there or something like that. You're -boring-, Ishizu."

Actually, Shadi -had- popped out of her wardrobe once, in the middle of the night. He'd mumbled something about testing some newly-discovered ability of the Sennen Key, but he'd been too busy staring at Ishizu in her nightgown to make much sense. She'd kicked him back into her wardrobe within five minutes, sweetly suggesting he'd try and pick a different destination for his next experiment.

"Well, I'd rather be boring than ... than be -you-," Ishizu sputtered.

"Ouch. That was a good one." Malik at last managed to slip past her guard. "I have to remember that one for the next time when Bakura comes visiting again."

"Bakura is a polite, well-behaved young man," Ishizu said, her tone implying that Malik was anything but.

"Not -that- Bakura. Are you daft?" Malik scoffed. "Why'd I invite -that- goody two-shoes to my mansion? I meant the -other- Bakura, of course! The cool one!"

"Being a tomb-robber and a shop-lifter is hardly cool," Ishizu sniffed.

"What do -you- know about being cool?" Malik snorted, fiddling about with the lock that Ishizu had put on her wardrobe after the incident with Shadi.

"More than you!" Ishizu grabbed Malik's ear. "Now, I'm going to say this one more time: stay away from my wardrobe. Do you understand me?"

"Oooodioooon!" Malik shrieked. "Heeeelp!"

Ishizu decided she'd accept that as a 'yes', and dragged him to the door, making sure to lock it behind him. She really did hope she'd find a cheap but clean apartment soon. Every day she stayed here, she felt like she was losing a little bit of her sanity.

The door to her wardrobe swung open and Joey peeked out a bit nervously. "Is he gone?"

"Yes, for the moment." Ishizu sagged down on her couch.

"No offense, Ishizu, but your little brother's a bit of a fruitcake, if you ask me." Joey shook his head.

"Coming from you, that's slightly alarming." Mai brushed some imaginative dust off her clothes as she exited the wardrobe. "I mean, knowing how you feel about food and all."

"Oh, ha, ha, very funny." Joey scowled. "Everybody knows fruitcake's not a real type of food."

"Well, that all depends on whether or not you consider American food 'real' food, I suppose. Personally, I'm a bit dubious, but by -your- standards ... " Mai offered Joey a sweet smile.

"I so have standards! Ask Kaiba, if you don't believe me!" Joey raised his fist in a gesture that was obviously meant to be impressive, but that ended with his arm getting tangled in one of Ishizu's more-ribbon-than-lace dresses. "Argh! Get this thing off me!"

"Kaiba told me the two of you end up making out whenever you lose a duel to him," Mai informed him, with a slight smirk at Joey's outraged expression. "Actually, he used a term that was a lot more x-rated than mere making out, but I know you well enough to realize he was exaggerating. Besides, Kaiba's far too stuck-up to be getting any."

"I'm going to kill him!" Joey growled. "I'm going to - "

"You are going to come out of my wardrobe, -without- causing any further damage, sit down and -listen- to me, Joey Wheeler," Ishizu said firmly.

"What she said, buster," Mai nodded, looking at Joey struggling with the ribbons for a while before she went over and helped him untangle himself.

"Okay, okay, I'm sitting down. Now hit me." Joey stared at Mai expectantly.

"You don't know by half how tempting that sounds," Mai murmured.

Ishizu coughed. "No doubt you are aware that you are, at present, in my house."

"Yeah, I'd noticed that. Although, really, isn't this Malik's house, too? And Odion's? I don't much care for Malik, but Odion isn't too bad. Nice guy, once he's got a couple of drinks in him." Joey nodded to himself.

Ishizu and Mai exchanged a look.

"Anyway." Ishizu cleared her throat. "No doubt you have also noticed that Mai is here, too. In my room."

"Yeah. She's kind of hard to miss, if you know what I mean. Is this going anywhere?" Joey yawned.

"We're an item, Joey," Ishizu said, her tone as gentle as she could make it. "I know you care greatly for Mai yourself, so we thought it would be better to tell you in person than to wait for the media to pick the story up."

"Huh?" Joey blinked.

"We're in love, you doofus!" Mai snapped.

"Now, wait a second! Whaddaya mean: we? I sure never said anything like that!" Joey raised his hands in a defensive gesture. "You're pretty hot and all, Mai, but that doesn't mean - "

"Oh, for crying out loud! It's not you and me who are in love! It's me and Ishizu, you fool!" Mai groaned and turned to Ishizu. "I knew he wouldn't get it. He's hopeless."

"Hey!" Joey protested. "Just because I need a couple of seconds to work things out, it doesn't mean I'm an idiot!" He frowned. "So ... you, Mai, and you, Ishizu, are both in love?"

"Should we applaud?" Mai asked Ishizu, who merely nodded in reply to Joey's question.

"Okay. That's uhm cool, I guess. And erhm with whom?" Joey ploughed on.

"I take back that question." Mai rolled her eyes.

"We are in love with each other," Ishizu said.

"Oh." Joey sounded relieved. "Good. For a moment there, I was worried that - never mind. So what did you ask me here for, then?"

"You seemed to be in love with Mai, so it seemed kinder to tell you personally that she doesn't answer your feelings," Ishizu explained.

"Me, in love with Mai?" Joey chuckled. "What a crazy idea! Did Kaiba tell you that?"

"No, it merely seemed ... obvious," Ishizu answered, sounding slightly puzzled.

"I'm hot, pretty, rich and more woman than any man can handle," Mai said. "What's not to love?"

"Well, if it's all the same to you, I think I'd rather not say." Joey turned slightly red as Mai glared at him. "Does this place have a back-exit? I'd rather not run into Malik on my way out."

"Down the stairs and second door on the left," Ishizu informed him.

"Thanks! Good luck with your - life and everything!" Joey left quickly, without a second look at Mai, who was still sputtering and steaming.

"How -dare- he!" Mai snarled.

Ishizu shrugged.

"And you just let him get away with it!" Mai accused her.

"Not quite." Ishizu smiled.

"Those directions you gave him ... " Mai frowned. "Oh-ho. Ishizu, love, you are -evil-."

"I thought we might give Kaiba a call in, say, fifteen minutes? To come and collect 'his puppy-dog'?" Ishizu proposed, wide-eyed and innocent. "Malik will probably have gotten bored by then anyway."

"Let's make it ten minutes then," Mai said. "Wouldn't want Kaiba to go and think he can get Joey without any fight at all. Besides, what's Malik ever done for us that we'd owe him anything?"

"An excellent observation," Ishizu said, grabbing her cellphone and punching in the number to Kaiba's private emergency-line.

In the hall below, someone shrieked.

OWARI