Disclaimer: I own… this idea. That's pretty much it.

Author's Note: This was inspired by a game called Mao. For all of you who don't know how the game works, it's pretty much like Uno, or Crazy Eights… only there are extra rules. Those rules include: if you play a spade, you have to say the name of the spade; after you play a seven you have to say "have a nice day;" when you change the suit of the cards, you have to knock on the table; when you only have one more card, you have to say "last card;" and when you win, you have to make up a new rule to add to the list of pre-existing rules. Only you don't have to tell anyone what that new rule is. When anyone breaks a rule, they have to draw a new card—even if they don't know what rule they broke. Also, you're not allowed to speak during the game unless someone says "peoples." Otherwise, you have to draw an extra card.


It's a fun game, just really confusing! So I thought Yugi and Yami might be good at it. X3

Warning: Puzzleshipping! And a confusing game of Mao. XD


Rule of Hearts



The two players exchanged stony glances from over their respective hands, contemplating their next move. Every twitch of the fingers, every rustle of clothing was taken as a sign, a warning… when Yugi crossed his legs, Yami stiffened. When Yami leaned his back against the bed, Yugi sucked in a breath.

Tension was high.

After a long, tentative hush, the younger of the two selected a card from his hand. Placing it on top of the discard pile, he tapped the floor and proclaimed: "Seven of spades, have a nice day, Chunky Monkey ice cream reigns supreme, Kaiba sucks, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, blast off."

He waited, a bead of perspiration rolling down the side of his face… but Yami made no further move. Safe.

For now, anyway.

The pharaoh gave the deck a once-over, taking a moment to consider his cards. It didn't take long for him to reach a decision: with delicate fingers, he plucked one from his hand. Then he slapped it upon the card pile without a second of hesitation.

"King of spades," he cried regally. "Mary had a little lamb, 'holy quadratic equation, Batman!'—" he broke off there to do the Hand Jive— "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate?"

Flicking a blonde bang from his face, Yami graced Yugi with a smug smile and gestured for him to make his move.

No cards in his hand would work. Frowning, Yugi ripped the top card from the deck.


He rapped his knuckles against the floor, then triumphantly dropped the King of Hearts. "Mary had a little lamb, 'holy matrix equation, Batman!'— he stumbled through the Hand Jive with none of Yami's grace, but got the job done— "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, damn right, they're better than yours."

There. That was everything.

Blushing from the stupid song, Yugi attempted to return the pharaoh's arrogant smirk. But to his astonished surprise, Yami looked undaunted. Rather, with evident glee, he merely flicked his other an extra card from the top of the deck.

The boy's brow furrowed. "Peoples," he announced, using the game's code to break the required silence. "What's with the card? I know I didn't forget anything or break a rule."

Yami, who had rested his chin in the palm of his free hand, smiled toothily. "I won last round," he reminded in a smooth lilt. "That means I get to make up a new rule and not tell you what it is. You know that. And since you broke my new rule, you have to take a new card. Now, the game of Mao is in session."

The second code broke the first. Quiet returned. Rather than make a verbal response to the pharaoh's proclamation, Yugi stuck out a tongue. Regardless, he had no choice but to surrender to his fate.

It was Yami's turn. He glanced at his own cards, pursed his lips, and nabbed one from the top of the deck. Then he inclined his head to show that there was nothing more he could do.

At this, Yugi had no choice but to try again. Placing a three of hearts on the discard pile, he declared: "Mary had a little lamb, 'holy sine wave, Batman!'— his Hand Jive was getting better, at least— "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, damn right, they're better than yours."


The boy coughed nervously, face on fire. He didn't like how much Yami enjoyed listening to him singing that dumb song— it made his heart pound unnecessarily hard. But try as he might to break the crimson eyed gaze, it never waved. Neither, it seemed, did Yami's haughty smirk.

Without moving his head in the slightest, the pharaoh reached out, retrieved an extra card, and flicked it at Yugi. It wasn't surprising; after all, without any clues, there was no way to guess what the new rule was. Yugi accepted the addition with a silent groan of frustration.

Again, Yami drew. Again, he could do nothing.

This was just infuriating! No one was going to win at this rate!

"Mary had a little lamb," Yugi grumbled, slapping down a seven of hearts. "'Holy probability theory, Batman!'"— he should audition for Grease, what with how good his Hand Jive was getting— "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, damn right, they're better than yours. Have a nice day!"

With that, he snatched a card from the deck and added it to his hand, not about to let Yami have the pleasure of dealing him yet another card.

The pharaoh, on his part, was looking rather calm. Lethargic, almost. Like a contented cat. Which was odd, really, since he had so many cards. The more cards one had, the further away that person was from winning, and Yami hated losing almost as much as he hated doing the dishes. But he seemed confident that this new rule was going to win the game for him, whether or not he had a card to play.

With unhurried movements, the pharaoh drew. He glanced at the card…

…then he grinned.

"Mary had a little lamb," he said coolly, showing Yugi the ace of hearts. "'Holy inverse square function, Batman!'"— he did the Hand Jive fluidly, as if it came to him as easily as breathing. Yugi scowled; how could he possible make the stupid dance look so sexy?— "2, 4, 6, 8, who do we appreciate? My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, damn right, they're better than yours."

A pause of anticipation; Yugi waited, eager to learn the next new rule.

Then— with a burst of feline grace that the younger boy rarely saw—Yami rolled onto his knees and leaned across the space between them, so close that their noses touched. There he paused, ruby eyes locked with amethyst pools.

Yugi gulped, instinctively leaning back an inch or two…

But stopped as Yami's lips met his in a soft kiss.

The reaction was instantaneous: the cards fell from Yugi's grip with quiet flutters of shock; Yugi himself felt his eyes widen to the size of dinner plates… before flickering shut, his body leaning into the kiss. His arms lifted in shy, measured movements, curling loosely around the pharaoh's neck and pulling him hesitantly closer.

Then all attempts at innocence were abandoned.

The gentle fingers that had been cupping Yugi's face slid downward, feeling every inch of the boy's lithe body and rubbing it against his own. Yugi's own hands began clawing at the pharaoh's back, pulling him ever nearer…

They toppled to the floor, Yugi pinned under Yami—delighting in the way their bodies meshed and writhed against the others, creating friction on the carpet and the slick, wax-covered cards. Legs curled, locking the other into place; tongues swirled and battled, making it hard to breathe.

After three full minutes, the pair pulled apart: both panting fiercely, loudly, wetly. Bodies were repositioned, the boys wriggling closer together than ever before. Breathless and drunk on the feel of the other's skin, their foreheads gently met, gazes locking and sparkling with love.

"You know…" Yugi finally rasped, eyes half-lidded and full of mirth as his chest rose and fell, rose and fell, fingers twisting in Yami's locks, "technically, your rule is illegal. You're not allowed to touch the other player."

At this, Yami chuckled huskily, pulling the boy closer with his long-fingered hands. His lips trailed across Yugi's cheek with all the pressure of a feather; after a beat, the pharaoh's deep voice echoed, hot and silky, in his little one's ear. "Speaking is illegal, too, aibou."

Yugi smiled, shivers dancing up and down his spine.

Of the two rules, the pair only acknowledged one.