A/N: Despite the extreme ambiguity of all the Yuugiou males, Jou and Honda are, to me, the two straightest guys ON the show. They read dirty magazines and watch censored videos for crying out loud. They'd qualify for the Dai-Gurren Brigade if we were in a different series. They're not gay, and certainly not for each other. Now that you know my pointless opinion, have your Buddyshipping. Goes with my nurseshipping fic, "Saved by Love", which was an alternate version of Doom where Jou DIED. Bwahahaha.
Disclaimer: Did you catch the bit where I said Honda and Jou are straight? I obviously wouldn't be writing if the characters I owned would not do this.
Honda drummed his fingers nervously while the phone rang. Common sense told him to hang up after eight rings, but he held on for reasons known only to him. Just when even HE was about to give up--
"Hello?" Honda held his breath while she spoke, as though the slightest sound might make him miss something. It took him a moment to remember to breathe out, and then another to actually speak.
"S-shizuka-chan?" He stumbled over her name, trying to organize his thoughts.
"Honda-kun!" she replied happily. Much more happily than he'd heard her in months. In fact, happier than she'd been at all since Jounouchi...
"You sound good," Honda commented, thrown by her unexpected mood.
"Well, I feel good," she replied.
"You could say that." And suddenly Honda was very nervous as to the outcome of this phone call. He gave up the small talk and skipped right to the purpose of his call.
"Erm, Shizuka-chan?" He paused a beat; she didn't say anything. "Would you... would you like to go out sometime?"
"Out... like a date?" she asked questioningly, and even though she wasn't there, Honda fidgeted.
"Well... no, not exactly..." He stammered. "Er... kind of, I suppose... that's not what I... but... when you say it like that..."
"Yes," he finally got out. "Okay, yes, a date."
In the split second of silence, Honda knew her answer. There would be no hesitation if it was what he wanted. And yet he held his breath again and waited for her reply.
"I'm sorry, Honda-kun," she started. He didn't want to hear the rest, and cut her off.
"Okay," he tried to say lightly. "That's cool. Just thought I'd ask." It was fake and they both knew it.
"No, really," he insisted. "Glad to hear you're feeling better--"
"Honda-kun, it's Mai--" Shizuka tried to get in, but he kept going.
"--I'll talk to you later."
He didn't even know how to handle that one. Not even the slightest bit did he want to think about that. He hung up the phone trying to block her last sentence from his mind, of course thinking about it all the more for that. Dammit! No! She wasn't leaving him for HER. He wouldn't accept that. It was HER fault that all of this had happened in the first place. HER fault that Jounouchi was dead and gone, Shizuka had no brother and he had no friend--HER DAMNED FAULT, AND SHE SHOULD JUST STAY THE HELL OUT OF THEIR LIVES--
His furious thoughts were interuppted by the ringing phone. Out of habit, he reached for it, and when his hand uncurled, noticed that it had been clenched tightly in a fist. His hand froze in mid-air, and slowly, tightened again. He turned away purposely and let it continue ringing.
Fine. If that's what she wants, but I won't have anything more to do with that woman.
Honda waved a hand over his shoulder, like he was shooing a fly. Go away, you.
Answer the phone, Honda.
Shut it. Honda thought.
Come on. It's my sister.
"Shut UP!" Honda roared to his empty apartment, whirling around.
You always had a crush on Shizuka. You're really not going to answer the phone?
"Not when she's... she's with..." Honda trembled, with rage and grief both.
Mai? The phone stopped ringing.
"Yes, MAI," Honda spat the name into the silence. "You're dead because of MAI."
I knew what I was getting into.
"She freaking KILLED YOU," Honda protested. "KILLED. Not soul, not trapped in your mind or whatever the hell Malik did, KILLED YOU."
She went against Dartz after that, didn't she?
"It doesn't matter--" Honda started. "Wait, how do you know..." He shook his head and threw his hands up. "The hell's wrong with me, I'm talking to you and you're dead."
Doesn't mean I can't talk to you.
"STOP IT!" Honda shouted.
It's not Mai's fault I'm dead, Honda.
"Like hell it's not!" Honda scoffed, throwing himself down on a chair.
I don't blame her. Why should you?
"Because it IS her fault, you idiot! She took you from m-- us," he corrected almost instantly, but Jounouchi--or whatever was going on--still notcied.
It's not about me being dead at all, is it?
"Go away," Honda glared at everything and nothing in particular.
It's because I loved her.
Honda flew out of the chair and started storming through the apartment, trying to get away from his voice.
Why are you lying to me, Honda?
"It wasn't--! I didn't--!"
You still do.
"No, I... Shizuka..." he protested lamely, stopping in his tracks, his hands dropping to his sides in defeat.
Did you think I'd be mad or something?
"I'm not... in love... you..." he mumbled, not sure what he was trying to say anymore. The phone shattered the brief silence again.
Pick up the phone, Honda.
You're going to deny Shizuka a friend because you've got a grudge against Mai for something that's not her fault?
How's that fair to anyone?
Honda sighed. The phone stopped ringing as he picked it up.