Very First Date
By – Hime no Ichigo
Story Type: Drabble/one-shot
Summary: There are a lot of firsts. For Mai, agreeing to Jounouchi's phone-call-on-the-whim is one of many to follow.
Disclaimer: Nope, as much as I'd like to, it sadly ain't mine.
Warnings: OMG HET. When was the last time I wrote this kind of stuff??
Notes: For iSparrow, who requested for "Jou and Mai's first date. And... Jou takes her some place really unexpected. Because he's Jou. 8D"
She tapped her heels against the cement unconsciously. It wasn't that she was impatient – she was just about ten minutes earlier than what was suggested. And because the other party was not particularly known for being punctual, let alone early, she definitely wasn't getting irritated. Of course not. Not even when the call yesterday night at eleven was a pleasant kind of surprise.
Pushing away slightly from the pole she was leaning on, she turned around and let a small smile grace her lips at the sight of Jounouchi running towards her.
He grinned at her, and up close she could see the tiniest of wrinkles in his t-shirt. "What took you so long?" She couldn't help but tease, flicking a stray blond bang back with the rest.
"You know how hard you are to please, and since, well," he flushed, and Mai doubted it was all from the summer heat, "I spent a while thinking of where we can possibly spend the day. You've been to more places than me and I've barely left Domino City at all."
"So what'd you come up with?"
He looked at her sheepishly. "I fell asleep after going through half of my mental map."
Mai laughed. It was predictable and so like him, that she couldn't find it in herself to be angry at him for dismissing the importance of Today. "I'm still expecting you to be my tour-guide."
"Of course," he said brightly. "And – I think I've got it!"
"Where we can start off. Come on!" He grabbed her hand and went the way he came from.
She stared. And stared some more.
"C'mon Mai, it won't hurt you."
She snapped her attention to the blond and realized Jounouchi was smirking. "This?" She pointed at the store sign.
He nodded. "I know the owner here and – Mai."
It was silly, she knew deep down, that she was upset about this. She half-expected to be taken to a restaurant with a bouquet of roses, and all the romantic stuff that her previous first dates entailed. She also knew Jounouchi was different – in class, in age, in wealth – and that she couldn't compare him with the other men, but she thought he could do better than this!
She didn't turn to acknowledge Jounouchi when he tried to talk her into going in again. It was a child's temper-tantrum; she was aware she was making too much of a scene and fuss. He took her left hand and held it so she couldn't run away.
"Mai, I know this probably isn't what you expected. But please, give it – me – a shot?"
And she found herself being willingly steered into the dim building.
She needed a pair of twenty-fives, and he a twenty-six-and-a-half. After exchanging some quick words with the guy behind the counter (who at first was giving her leery looks, but Jounouchi told him off, thankfully), they got an empty lane all to themselves.
"Have you bowled before, Mai?"
"No." Shaking her head, she added, "my parents were never that keen in sports, and they split before I could lift the lightest ball here properly..."
"It's never too late to learn," Jounouchi said. She thought she heard another meaning beneath that. "I'm sure you'll get the hang of it. In the meantime," he grinned widely, "you're just going to have to deal with the fact of losing to me."
"Only in the first game, and in your dreams if after that," she shot back, good-natured competitiveness firing up inside her.
"Ladies first," Jounouchi bowed and cleared the space he was occupying.
"After you show me how it's done, Jounouchi!"
Four games and a couple of drinks after, Jounouchi plopped down on a hard, plastic chair and called it quits.
"Oh come on, I was just getting warmed up!"
"No way, Mai. I don't believe that you've never bowled before now. I'm too tired to lift another ball—"
"There are always the eight-pounds."
He sat up straight, indignant. "I do not do eight-pounds. Men do not use anything below sixteen – maybe except Yuugi, but he's short and my best bud, so he doesn't count."
"It's your turn though, Jounouchi. Either roll or forfeit."
"Women," he muttered under his breath, smiling. "Forget it, Mai; you aren't going to trash me again."
She took the seat next to him. "Sure about that?"
"Yeah." He covered his closed eyes with an arm. "Let's go eat now, I'm starving."
"I'm not always hungry."
He huffed. "I'll go get our shoes. Take yours off."
She sat there, watching him saunter off to the counter. Suddenly, she didn't care if they ate in the food court of a mall, or at a five-star restaurant in the rich district of town. It didn't matter if they were getting burgers or steaks for lunch, drinking soft drinks or wine. She hadn't had this much fun in a long time – and sometimes, she really just wanted something other than what she was used to.
"Where to?" Jounouchi asked as he tied his shoelaces.
"Your call," she smiled at him. Jounouchi nodded, grabbed her bag before she could, and walked out of the bowling alley, hand in hand.
- Owari -
Authoress Notes: Shoe sizes are assumed based on height and are in the Japanese shoe size system. Mai's childhood background is fuzzy because I'm lazy and didn't check through the episodes.