Lucarly: Request for akiza50, 1st place winner of Unique Couple Boost. I suppose you could also call this a sequel to "Secret", one of my older MiJack stories. So you might want to read that before this in order to completely understand it.

Aki: A sequel for a request? You ass. . .

Lucarly: Hey, it worked, so. . .yeah. I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's


Karma


Mikage lifted her hand carefully and knocked on the old, wooden door of the previously abandoned residence. It was late, and the young woman knew that if her partner, Ushio, was aware that she was out at such an hour, he'd throw a fit. She could almost hear his voice echooing inside her head: "Wanderin' the streets alone at night is dangerous for a lady like you. Someone could try to. . .Er. . .Well, they'd try to do somethin' bad to you alright!" The female agent smiled to herself; Ushio was just being anxious about her well-being, but she felt she could take care of herself. She was a grown woman after all.

But there was more to it than that. She wasn't afraid because she truly believed that bad things happened to bad people, and good things happened to good people. That was karma. And while she didn't consider herself a perfect being, she did strive to be the best person that she could be--and doing so could come in handy later.

"Come in," said Yusei's voice quietly from the other side of the door. Mikage did as she was told, cracking the door open and slipping inside to the dimly-lit home that belonged to her three male acquaintances: Yusei Fudo, Crow Hogan, and Jack Atlas. The raven-haired man gave the woman a weak smile as she entered, and Mikage could immediately tell that he was distressed; his normally neat hair was slightly ruffled, his long fingers were tapping against his knee quickly and nervously, and his cobalt blue eyes were filled with sort a melancholic anxiety that worried the blue-haired beauty.

"Are you okay?" asked Mikage immediately as she descended the stairs to meet him. "I came as soon as you called." Yusei paused and sighed, resting his chin in the palm of his tiredly.

"I. . .Have a favor to ask of you." Mikage's head perked up slightly. A favor? Why in the world would Yusei need a favor from her? She had no special talents or connections that set her apart from his other friends; what could she possibly offer? Still, the woman was more than willing to help Yusei. She owed him her life for keeping her weak body afloat in the watery death trap they were forced into several months ago, and more so, for saving the whole world from destruction against the King of the Underworld.

"Anything," replied Mikage in a sincere and honest voice. Yusei hesitated and seemed to be having an internal struggle as Mikage looked on, starting to grow visibly concerned. His scruffy appearance was already unnerving, but the absence of his nonchalant nature was even more frightening.

"No, no. . .I couldn't possibly ask you," mumbled the raven-haired man quietly, turning away. Mikage furrowed her eyebrow slightly. She supposed this would be normal for him; Yusei was one to give charity, not ask for it.

"I've already come all this way, so shoot." Yusei considered her statement carefully, and realized that she was right; Mikage's apartment was across town, so the journey to his home was roughly twenty minutes. The trip back would be another twenty. That was forty precious minutes of time wasted. The satellite-raised man sighed. The least he could do would be to explain to her why he wanted her there. . .

"I normally wouldn't ask someone to do this, but. . .I was planning to take Aki out tonight to see the late-night fireworks show, but then something came up--And it's forcing me to cancel. I know Aki wouldn't care if given the circumstances, but this wasn't supposed to be any ordinary date tonight," explained Yusei before he paused once again, taking in a deep breath. "You see. . .I was planning on proposing tonight."

Mikage let out a quiet gasp of delight, placing her hand over her mouth to conceal her widening smile. A proposal!

"I know we're both young, and that we haven't been dating long, but we both agreed that there's no point in waiting for marriage if you really lo-" began the blue-eyed duelist before Mikage approached him and cut him off.

"No, don't explain yourself to me. I understand, and I'm really happy for the both of you. And, I don't care how big of a deal this thing that's forcing you to cancel is, I want to help," replied Mikage bluntly, though she was still beaming at the new king as if he himself had asked her to marry him. Then, as if on cue, a shadowy figure of a tall, blonde man stumbled down the stairs and into the main room where the two acquaintances resided. As he came into the faint lighting, his identity was revealed: Jack.

"Yusei, I thought you had left to go see Izayoi." His words slurred together as he spoke, his form swaying from side to side like a boat on a gentle sea. Mikage's eyes widened slightly, seemingly in shock at his unbecoming appearance. The woman lsuddenly let out a bitter laugh.

"He's drunk." She uttered the word as if it were some sort of filthy curse. She had seen the former king drunk before, so the sight wasn't actually foreign to her. Yet, she detested seeing him every time he was in such a state. He wasn't the person she fell in love with; he was a disoriented child, unable to speak or walk properly. He was a fool.

"That he is," said Yusei quietly before he looked up at his drunken friend. "I'm afraid I can't leave you alone, Jack. You just might do something stupid." Jack buzzed his lips dismissively and rolled his eyes.

"I won't do anything stupid."

"That's what you said last time we were in Satellite before you jumped off a 100-foot cliff with a 100-foot bungee cord," replied Yusei doubtfully before returning his attention to the present female. "This is why I have to cancel; he's clearly not in his right mind, and he could end up getting himself killed. And I can't leave him with just anyone, because he won't listen to just anyone, even when intoxicated with alcohol. He'll only pay attention to the people closest to him; And. . .Well, Crow isn't here to look after him because he has his Delivery service. Ushio is on Duel Chaser duty. I hardly know Carley, so I couldn't possibly ask her for such a favor. Then there was you, and it seemed that you were my last choice. But I'm sorry, to ask you to look after him would be selfish and-"

"N-No, it's not selfish at all! You want to propose to your girlfriend, and you should be able to. And so I'm going to help you, no matter what you say," interrupted Mikage, for once showing her rare side of defiance compared to meek personality. While she wasn't keen on witnessing the Jack's drunken antics like she had before, she still was adamant on helping Yusei. It wasn't fair for him, the beacon of hope in all of their lives, to have to be held back from asking his girlfriend the most important question of their lives, all because his friend had one too many drinks. Yusei's cobalt blue-eyes widened slightly in surprise.

"Mikage-san, I. . ." He smiled. "Thank you."

"It's nothing, so don't worry about it," she replied, returning his uncommon smile for one of her own. "Besides. . .I could always use a little good Karma."

"Of course," said Yusei with a quiet chuckle. He stood and ran his fingers through his messy hair in an attempt to tame it. He then picked up a black, velvet box from the table beside, which Mikage figured held the ring. "Are you sure about this?"

"I'm positive. Now, go--I'll take care of everything," Mikage replied, nudging the mechanic in the side to push him onward. As the woman reassured Yusei, Jack made his way over to the table that the new king was previously by, and tried to pull himself up onto the surface to sit. However, his dulled sense of balance caused him topple over and hit the ground. Hard.

"Ow. . ." moaned Jack, rubbing his head as he tried to sit up. Yusei nearly smacked his forehead after he realized what happened.

"I can't ask you to do this."

"Yes, you can. I've watched over Atlas-sama while he was intoxicated before," she said encouragingly before a small smile of a depressed confidence spread across her lips. "I have experience."

"Fine, fine," sighed Yusei in defeat. "Again, thank you so much." After he finally left to go catch his date with Aki, Mikage turned to Jack, whom was now on the sofa, swinging his feet idly like a bored child. The former secretary swallowed and shut her eyes. How could she have fallen in love with such an idiot? Mikage's eyelids lifted slightly, surprised by the harsh thoughts that crossed her own mind; the former king had never been viewed so lowly in her mentality before. In the years as his inferior, his alcoholism was just a dark side of him that he eventually came to grips with after a brief, but sincere discussion between the two. But now. . Mikage's knuckles tightened, feeling hurt, betrayed, angry even. How could he resort to this after that?

"Why are you drinking again?" she asked quietly. Jack paused and lifted his eyes to hers, the dark circles under then evident. Mikage realized that perhaps something within the former king had reared its ugly head for a second time, threatening to burst forth. The woman held her breath, waiting for his reply; perhaps it could tell if it was the root of the problem.

"I was feeling kind of sad. . ." he replied. Mikage exhaled. There was her answer; it was the Dysthymia, again. It had first arisen within him during her internship with Godwin, and was luckily knocked out (with her help, she mentally added) nearly a year later. There was always a chance it would come back though; it depended on whether his depression was in the head or in the hormones. At least she knew now.

"Sad about what?"

"I don't know. Just sad." Mikage suddenly felt like laughing, despite how inappropriate it would be, given the situation. It was as if she were a mother talking to a young child that was trying to hide the fact that they had gone into the cookie jar when told not to. Jack shuffled his feet uncomfortably, averting his gaze from hers.

"You look pretty," he mumbled under his breath.

"Thank you, " replied Mikage shrewdly. She knew his compliment wasn't sincere--this situation had happened many times before, so she was familiar with the routine: he'd figure he was in trouble and then he'd say something nice to try and get her to forget about it. And it usually worked. Mikage had a good heart, and the false, sweet words he whispered to her made it easy for her to forgive him again and again. But this time, she was going to stand her ground. "But, you made a promise."

Jack snorted.

"That was a long time ago."

"Time doesn't erase promises." Jack remained silent as Mikage came and sat beside him, though she made sure to keep a respectable distance from him. "I'm sure you probably hate me right now because I'm making you feel guilty--and don't try to argue with me on this one, because I can see it in your eyes--but the reason I made you promise to not drink again was because. . .I didn't want you to get hurt."

"I only got hurt once when I was 17 with that damn bungee cord. Yusei just needs to let go of-" began Jack, the growing frustration evident in his voice as Mikage cut him off.

"-I wasn't talk about your bungee cord incident. I'm scared something much worse will happen to you. You're not yourself when you drink, you don't think clearly, you don't speak clearly--and you do stupid things," explained Mikage as anger rose in her voice as well. The blonde duelist rolled his eyes.

"You make it seem like alcohol is evil. Tons of people drink--don't you?"

"No, I don't, actually, because my father used to drink and then he'd-" Mikage stopped mid-sentence, realizing that she was saying too much. She stood and turned away, holding on to the unlikely hope that the former king would drop the subject. Jack's head perked up curiously, intrigued by her sudden movement. He wanted to stand, but upon trying to do so, he wobbled and fell back down onto the cushions of the sofa.

"He'd what?" grunted Jack, irritated that his own disorientation had, so to speak, bound his legs down. The woman licked her lips nervously as she slowly turned to face the drunken male once again.

"He'd. . .He'd hurt my mother." Her expression was deadpan, though her bottom lip quivered slightly, threatening to let loose her cry of agonizing anger at the promise that had broken for the unempth time. Jack blinked, and despite his foggy mentality, he was able to comprehend the gravity of her situation.

"Mikage. . ." His eyes widened slightly as his vision became blurred, feeling himself grow dizzy. His heart filled with a horrible dread, a knawing guilt at his mistake. Reality was taking its toll on the young man, and quite frankly it felt shitty--and that was from both the alcohol and his shame. He had really screwed up now. "I won't drink again."

"Don't make promises you can't keep," she muttered bitterly. "It's fine, drink all you want. You're right, plenty of people do it. And all those morals of standing up to peer pressure really don't mean anything. I won't care, really. If I do, I'll just be disappointed again." Jack growled under his breath and forced himself to stand, though he swayed from side to side.

"I won't break my promise," he said through gritted teeth. The blonde duelist then lost his balance once again and nearly fell over, but Mikage quickly turned and caught him on her shoulder. She held him there for a moment, allowing him to regain his senses before she spoke.

"Come on, you should head upstairs for bed. You're going to have a nasty hangover in the morning," she said, finding her tender voice once more.

"Oh, goodie," muttered Jack groggily. Mikage ignored his comment and brought his arm around her shoulder as she burdened herself with a portion of his weight. They took one step together, and then another, up the stairs and toward his room. Jack's obscured vision through their short journey made him feel nauseous, so he buried his face into her blue hair to try and recuperate.

"You smell nice. . ." This time, Mikage felt her cheeks grow warm. He wasn't fishing for an act of forgiveness from her at this point, so his remark of admiration could only be sincere. Granted, Jack wasn't in his right mind, but it still had to mean something. . .

Mikage shook her head. No. No more wishful thinking, no more hopes.

"Thanks," she mumbled quietly. The female agent pushed open the door and led Jack to his bed. Once close enough, he literally fell off of her shoulder and onto the sheets, sick and exhausted. She watched him shift around for a bit in his attempt to get comfortable before finally giving up. He shut his eyes tirefly, and appeared to be at complete peace. The edges around Mikage's honey irises softened as she reached out to brush a strand of hair out of his face, but she quickly resisted.

Who was she kidding? She still loved him; even if he was a fool.

"I'm going to let Yusei and Crow know that I suspect your Dysthymia has returned. Then we can get you on real antidepressants." The woman turned away and went to the door, opening it to leave before she heard Jack's weak voice call out to her.

"Love you." Mikage's heart stopped. She had been waiting for that simple phrase for years, anticipating the sweet moment when he'd kiss her and utter those sacred words. But this wasn't that moment. It was different, because Jack was different. His conscience was warpped, twisted by the effects of alcohol. It wasn't the same.

"Tell me that when you're sober," she said sharply, shutting the door.

Karma was a funny thing. And Jack would certainly be experiencing its nasty effects in the early morning when his hangover came, a result of his poor choice to drink too much. Yet, Karma didn't apply itself in the game of love. Maybe because love could only be completed between two people, and Karma could only cover one. Still, while Mikage was aware that no amount of good Karma she had coming at her could bring herself and Jack together, she could hope that his inexplicable declaration of love was meaningful, and that it alone would be enough for something to bloom.


Lucarly: I am a failure. Seriously, I am. I've lost my ability to write well.

Aki: It's true, she has.

Lucarly: . . .Reviews are love. So if you love me, review. If you don't love me, review anyway.