For being such a rabid polarshipper, I was actually excited to get this pairing. I would've preferred regalshipping winkwinknudgedugeCompy! but just to have any pairing with either Mai or Jou, the characters I know best, is a relief.
I apologize for Mai. Maybe she's in character to some people, but this is not the way I like to write her.
The prefecture I put Domino in is a real prefecture in Japan, located on the Pacific coast.
Disclaimer: If I owned Yugioh I wouldn't scour conventions for doujinshis, now would I?
Mai grabbed her coat off the table and angrily pushed past Jounouchi. "Mai, I told you, she's just my friend," Jounouchi said, exasperated.
"Then why didn't you tell me?!" she said, whirling around.
"I didn't think I had to!" Jou replied, holding his hands up defeinsively. "You know I love you, Mai; you know I would never--"
"Don't," she cut him off, shaking her head as she walked out the door.
"Mai!" he called behind her, but the door slammed in his face.
Mai ran out onto the street, nearly in tears. She felt horrible for walking out on Jounouchi, but she didn't know what else to do. Mai had just caught Jou coming back from a 'date' (he insisted it wasn't, but Mai wasn't fooled) with Anzu. If it had just been this, she might have let it go, but he had been distant with her for the past few weeks now. At first, Mai hadn't believed that Jou was... doing whatever it was that he was doing. She believed his excuses: he was busy; he had work; he made plans with one of his friends--he had just confessed that it was Anzu he was seeing--but finally, Mai had had enough. They had planned to go out earlier that evening, but Jou had been late. When he finally did show up, he told Mai that he had been with Anzu, and then revealed that he had been meeting with her for weeks now. He had tried to make excuses--claimed that they were just friends--but Mai wold have none of it. She knew that they were close friends; they had all proved that time and again, but why would Jou blow her off for just a friend? She and Jounouchi had been together for a year now. Jou had finally found her after all these years apart, (she had just turned 28, making it four years since they had first met and three years since Doom) and she didn't want to believe that he would have gone through all that to just throw it away in a couple of weeks.
Mai slid into her car, crossed her arms over the steering wheel, and started to cry. Why? She thought desperately. What did I do? Why would he leave her? He loved her... She loved him... wasn't that enough? Apparently not. Wiping her tears on the back of her hand, Mai looking up at his apartment sadly. She had half a mind to run out of the car, go back up, and beg him to have her back. She loved Jou. She needed Jou. Mai had actually opened the car door and was about to step out, when she suddenly stopped.
What did I do wrong? She thought. Nothing! Why should I have to go back to him? I'm not the one dating their so-called 'friend' behind my back! Firmly, she slammed the car door shut. It wasn't her fault. He would have to come back to her. She glanced up at the light in the apartment again. It went out, and Mai imagined that he was running off to meet Anzu again. She tore her eyes from the building and grabbed her purse of the seat next to her. Well, two could play at that game. She pulled a phone out of her purse.
"Moshi-moshi? Information? I need a number for Domino, in Fukushima prefecture. ... Name?" Mai hesitated for just a moment before she replied confidently, "Otogi Ryuji."
"Mai-san," Otogi said cooly. "This is a surprise."
"How've you been, Otogi?" she asked nicely, trying to ease into conversation.
"Well enough," he replied. "What's going on? You've never called before."
"Can't a girl just call up an old friend?"
"...no offense, Mai-san, but I knew you for about two days. And one of them, you were comatose. In fact, the last time I saw you, I'm pretty sure you were trying to kill us."
"That just proves we need to get to know each other better," she said quickly.
"Was this Jounouchi-kun's idea?" he asked.
"Don't mention him," she said darkly.
"Wha...?" Otogi said, very confused. "You... is something wrong?"
"No," Mai said firmly. She decided to quit playing around and just ask him straight out. "Are you doing anything tonight?"
"No..." he said hesitantly. "Um... Mai-san... does Jounouchi-kun know about--"
"Don't worry about him," she said. "He knows."
"...if you say so," he replied uncertainly. "What did you have in mind?"
A movie was what she had in mind. Specifically, a movie that she knew Jounouchi was going to see--he had been waiting months for this release; it was some kind of martial arts Hollywood guy that reminded her oddly of Jean-Claude Magnum--though she didn't tell Otogi that part.
"Mai-san," Otogi greeted her when she walked up to meet him outside the theater.
"Otogi!" she called enthusiastically, waving to him. Though the whole scheme was just to make Jounouchi jealous, it still was nice to see Otogi again.
"Shall we go in?" he said, offering his arm. Mai took it gladly and glanced around. So far, no Jounouchi. Otogi led her into the theater. Jou's movie release really wasn't anything to be excited about--the guy was just another Jean-Claude Magnum--so it wasn't especially crowded, but it still wasn't exactly easy trying to find Jounouchi. It didn't help that she had to pretend to pay attention to Otogi while he chatted to her about she didn't even know what. Something about his game shop, she thought. Maybe. Oh well, he didn't really like her anyway, what did it matter if she wasn't totally paying attention?
Before she knew what had happened, Otogi bought their tickets--Mai felt a slight twinge of guilt at this. If he was going to be part of her revenge, she wanted to at least pay her own way. But then he started talking about DDM sales worldwide, and she figured that another thousand yen wouldn't hurt him. She started to actually pay attention to him now. She didn't want Otogi knowing about the revenge, at least.
They went into the movie theater, and gradually, had to stop talking as the movie started. Mai didn't mind this too much, though, as it made it easier to look for Jounouchi. She leaned close to Otogi just in case he could see them. She would make him regret ever hurting her... even though she probably deserved it... after all the things that had happened... no! That was over now. He didn't blame her for Doma. He told her that.
But then why would he have left her?
She didn't know.
...does he blame me? Had it been something from before? It had been two years since Jounouchi had found her again. The first thing she said to him was 'I'm sorry'. Again, and again she apologized, begging for his forgiveness, and expecting his rejection. Instead of tossing her out on the street like she had probably deserved--he saved her life, and she tried to kill him!--he forgave her on the spot, and took her in his arms. She swore that day, that she would never do anything to hurt him ever again.
...what the hell was she doing?
But it was Jounouchi's fault! He told her he would never leave her! He said he loved her! And he had loved her... until... whatever it was that Mai did that drove him away.
Mai suddenly felt horribly alone. Jounouchi didn't love her anymore. Instinctively, she pulled closer to Otogi. To her surprise, he wrapped his arm around her comfortingly. For a moment, she forgot that she was there to make Jounouchi jealous, and was caught up in the wonderful feeling of having someone with her again. She closed her eyes, and for a second, she swore it could have been Jounouchi in the seat next to her.
Which then made her remember why it really wasn't Jounouchi. Her eyes snapped open, and she realized just how close her and Otogi were. And that it was Otogi sitting there. Not Jounouchi. She tried to remember again what being with Otogi was going to accomplish. She was drawing a blank, and that was making her panic. Instead, she focused on her fight with Jou. She had to go through with this. He hurt her. If she could make him know how she felt, then maybe... mabe he would come back.
"Mai?" Otogi said when the movie was over. The light had come back on, and people were standing up to leave. Mai was staring blankly ahead, trying to work up the nerve to confront Jounouchi. She didn't even notice that Otogi dropped the honorific on her name. He put his hand on her shoulder gently, and she suddenly looked up at him.
"Time to go," he said quietly.
"Huh?" Mai said dully. "Oh... right..." she stood up quickly and followed him out of the theater. Just as they went out the door, she spotted Jounouchi down at the far end of the hallway. Seeing him finally renewed her desire for him to see her with Otogi. She grabbed the dice boy's arm and started down after Jounouchi.
"Mai?" he asked as he followed blindly.
"Don't worry, Oto... Ryuji," she said, switching to his given name for Jounouchi's benefit. "It'll just take a second."
They turned the corner, and there was Jounouchi, looking at a poster on the wall. Mai let go of Otogi's arm and walked over to Jou. He turned when he heard her coming. Judging by the look on his face, he hadn't expected to see her there.
"Mai!" he exclaimed, shocked. He quickly hid his hand behind his back. "I was hoping you would..." he caught a glimpse of Otogi and his expression darkened.
"Mai," Jounouchi hissed. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like I'm doing?" she said angrily. "I'm here with Ryuji."
"'Ryu...'" Jounouchi sputtered, taking a step back in surprise. "'Ryuji'?!"
"That's right, Jounouchi," she spat.
"You don't understand," Jounouchi said, clenching his fists. "Mai--"
"What's going on here?" Otogi cut in, appearing suddenly at Mai's side. She clung to him and glared at Jounouchi, whose hidden hand was now hanging at his side.
"Nothing," Jounouchi said in a low voice. Otogi caught a glimpse of something in his hand, and started to say something, but Jou silenced him with a glare.
"Don't you get mad at Ryuji," Mai said to Jou. He lowered his gaze and turned to leave. "You've got no one to blame but yourself." Jounouchi left without a word.
"That's enough, Mai," Otogi said quietly, before she could say anything else.
"I can't believe him!" she exclaimed when Jounouchi was safely out of earshot. "He had no right to come in here and lecture me--"
"Mai," Otogi said very seriously, and she stopped talking and looked at him curiously. He opened his mouth to say something, but instead looked away guiltily and sighed.
"Jounouchi-kun wasn't doing anything with Anzu," he said finally. Mai gaped at him. That was the last thing she expected--or wanted--to hear. "He..." Otogi glanced at her anxious face, then quickly looked back down at his feet. "He was getting advice... on... on when to propose... to you." His face colored, and he turned away from her. Mai stood there dully, in shock.
"But..." she protested feebly. "He... he met with her... so many times..."
"Actually," Otogi said. "He really was working. To pay off the ring."
"And you know this, how?!" Mai demanded, desperately hoping that it wasn't true.
"Jounouchi-kun told Honda-kun, and Anzu told Yugi-kun, and I don't know who Bakura heard it from, and Shizuka-chan probably guessed even before her brother said anything... anyway, I heard a bit from everyone. And... Jounouchi-kun already told us all about what you did... he doesn't blame you, you know."
Mai missed the last bit of what he said, and felt a horrible sinking feeling in her stomach. He hadn't...? Jounouchi hadn't cheated on her? He still loved her? "Oh god..." she said, horrified, pulling away from Otogi. What had she done? "I have to find him... I have to tell him..." she turned back to look at Otogi. "But... if you knew all that, then why... why didn't you tell me?"
"Would you have believed me?" he asked. Mai silently shook her head. No, she wouldn't have. Probably she would have thought that Jounouchi had sent him. But then... wait... Mai thought about all of it for a moment. Otogi had known about Jou and the meetings with Anzu and the ring... and the breakup... then why...?
"Ryuji," she knew that she didn't need to use his given name anymore, but it came out anyway. Neither of them particuarly minded. "If you knew all that, why did you even come with me?"
"Well..." he started, shifting uncomfortably. "I knew that you were just using me to make him jealous," Otogi said. Mai looked down at the ground guiltily. "But..." he said hesitantly, looking right at her. "I didn't mind. Mai... you love him. And EVERYONE knows that he loves you. This is probably the only chance I'll ever get to be with you like this. Even if it means just being your revenge... it was worth it."
Mai stared at him disbelivingly as the sinking feeling in her stomach grew worse. The reason she had called Otogi over anyone else she knew was because he wouldn't like her. That, and he was probably the only one that she could make Jou jealous of short of Seto Kaiba himself.
"Ryuji," she finally managed to say. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to..."
"Nah," he said. "It's okay. Just... one last thing..."
He leaned in suddenly and kissed her. Mai was caught off-guard, and it took a few seconds before she pushed him away.
"Aw well," he sighed. "It was worth a try."
A/N: Yeah... that wasn't what I imagined at all. ;; Waaaay too much polar. Maybe I should've gone with the deathfic... anyway, hope you liked it somewhat. There's the review button. Feel free to click it.