Disclaimer: I own nothing involved in this story unless I invented it myself. This is written for fun, not for profit.
Fandom: Yu-Gi-Oh
Title: Make The World Go Away
Romance: Mai x Anzu
Word Count: 2,225
Genre: Romance
Rated: PG-13
Notes: This takes place several years after the Ceremonial Duel.
Summary: Anzu is exhausted, and Mai knows just what to do to help her.

Each step was harder to take than the one before it. Lead weights wrapped themselves around her bones in place of her muscles. Anzu stumbled over one of the last stairs, hand flying out to grab onto the railing. She paused and closed her eyes, steadying herself as best that she could. You're almost there. Don't fall down on the job now.

Her legs quivered underneath her for what seemed to be an hour, but couldn't really have been more than a minute or so, if that much. Finally, she thought she was steady enough to keep on going. Step by careful step, she plodded down to the door at the end of the hallway. She knew that it was much closer than it appeared to be, but with her eyes not quite able to focus from how tired she was, it was hard to remember that.

Key. The word drifted through her lack of sleep-dazed mind, attempting to find something to latch onto. She knew it was important, but the exact meaning of it escaped her right now. Key. Key.

Oh. That was it.

She paused again, leaning against the cream-colored wall for support and dug into her purse in search of her apartment key. Her debit card. Her cell phone. Her receipt from the convenience store. Oh. There it was. She really needed to get a new purse; this one was too stuffed. Of course, she could always just clean it out, but that required more brainpower than she possessed now.

Key in hand, she kept on down towards the door. It was the last one on the right side of the hallway, next to the artificial plant. She wasn't sure what kind of a tree that was supposed to be, but it served the real purpose she used it for: marking her front door.

She stopped next to it and stared intently at the old-fashioned lock. Most modern apartments, at least in Japan, had fancy locks that required keycards before one could get in. This was a plain, simple key, however, and it still took her a minute or so to wriggle the key in and unlock the door.

Bath. Bed. Only those two thoughts managed to make their way through her mind. She supposed that she would have to eat at some point, but she knew she wasn't coherent enough to order anything, much less cook. Later. After she had slept would be time enough to eat.

She shuffled in and closed the door behind herself, kicking her shoes off thanks to long-ingrained habit. Her bedroom wasn't that far, but she had to cross the living room to get to it, and the sofa was so inviting, with comfortable cushions, and a very comfortable-looking Mai there as well.

Anzu blinked a few times as what she'd just seen began to sink into her mind. "Mai?"

"Hey, pretty." Mai leaned back on the couch, feet up on the cushions. Her dueling deck lay on the table, divided into neat stacks, but she gathered it up with practiced skill as Anzu took a few tottery steps towards her. "You look exhausted. Good thing I came over. Tonight was your last show, wasn't it?"

It took a few more moments before the words registered fully and still more before Anzu could form a response. "Yes."

"I wish I could've made it again tonight," Mai said, shaking her head as she got up and came over to Anzu. Anzu smiled a little at her, not certain where the expression came from, only that she meant it.

"It's all right." Mai had made it to three of the other performances anyway. Missing one wasn't so bad. Especially since it meant that Anzu could arrive home and find her there. Anzu shuddered again, and started to reach for the couch or anything else she could get hold of that would support her.

Mai didn't let her, though, catching her before she could, and pulling the younger woman closer to her. "Sit down," she said, "before you fall down."

Anzu did not intend to argue with that statement. She slid down onto the couch and fought to keep her eyes open, only because if she didn't, she was going to fall asleep in front of Mai. They didn't get so much time together that Anzu wanted to do that.

Mai settled down beside her, running one long hand down Anzu's arm, then across her back. "You're all in knots."

"Tell me something I don't know," Anzu murmured, managing to dredge up enough sense for the comment from somewhere. Being around Mai always made her feel better, no matter what.

"How about you're going to get a massage tonight?" Mai asked, nudging Anzu to lie down on the couch instead of just sitting down.

Anzu shifted around some, and then lifted her head to look at her girlfriend. "A what?" She couldn't have heard that right.

"A massage," Mai replied, her lips widening a little as she did so. "Oh, I'm not a real masseuse, but I've had enough of them so I know how to make it feel good, and it's just what you need right now. You're going to hate yourself tomorrow if you don't do something about those muscles. Or let me do something about them."

"All right." Anzu couldn't think of any reasons why Mai shouldn't massage her, anyway, and there were many reasons why she should. Just the fact it would feel good and would involve Mai's hands on her was all the reason to do it she needed anyway.

Mai nodded, her smile increasing at the same time. "You'll have to take your shirt off, though. It's hard to massage someone with clothes on."

A small smile danced across Anzu's lips as she began to work her way out of her clothes, a little more energy stirring up with the movements. "I think you just want me naked."

"We can do that later. After you've rested," Mai retorted, and followed the words up with a quick kiss. "That's a promise, too."

"It had better be." Anzu worked her shirt off and tossed it over the back of the couch, followed by her bra. "Anything else or is this good?"

Mai looked her up and down, and Anzu's cheeks burned at the sight of her girlfriend's pursed lips and the appraising look in her eyes. "Very good." She gestured her to lie down, and Anzu did so, stretching out facedown on the couch. Her skin tingled at Mai's presence, especially as Mai's hands came down on her back with a gentle caress. Anzu let out a deep sigh and nestled her head in her arms, still trying hard not to fall asleep.

That wasn't very easy to do, however, not just because of how exhausted she was, but also because of how good Mai's hands felt, moving with tender care across her shoulders and down her back.

So warm. Anzu moaned in pleasure as each moment passed, and with the passing a little more of the tension was released from her knotted muscles. Mai laughed at her, leaning in to whisper in her ear, "I'm hardly even touching you."

"I don't care." Anzu wriggled a little and tilted her head up some so she could see Mai's lovely eyes. "Don't stop doing that."

Mai laughed again and pressed a kiss against Anzu's cheek before she started to rub Anzu's back once again. "I'm going to take good care of you."

"You always do." Anzu yawned and lifted her head, arching her back into Mai's touch. As relaxing as the massage was, it was also energizing to a degree. She could feel herself growing more and more wakeful as the pain eased.

Still don't think I could go through that whole show again, but I'm not gonna fall down dead in five minutes, either. She wouldn't have been surprised if she had done so before Mai had started her ministrations. She wouldn't have liked it, but she still wouldn't have been surprised about it.

The massage hadn't stopped, of course. Mai pressed a little harder against Anzu's back, trying to deal with an especially stubborn knot, and Anzu groaned louder, arching even more, her fingers tightening around one of the cushions.

"You're getting noisy," Mai teased her, speaking into her other ear this time. "You usually wait until we're in the bedroom for that. That's the right place for it."

"Oh, be quiet." Anzu would've thrown a pillow at her, if that hadn't meant the massage was going to stop. Her flaming cheeks had eased a little, up until Mai said that. Mai was so good at doing that to her, too! She did it often enough.

Mai nudged her back down and kept on rubbing. "I'm almost done. Think you'll want something to eat then?"

Anzu might've given up food in favor of more of Mai's touch, but the idea of food was much more attractive than it had been when she'd been on her way to the apartment. "What did you want to make?"

"Make?" Mai snorted at her, hints of more amusement laced into the sound. "I'm going to order in. I don't cook, and you're not getting up off this couch until we're ready to go to bed."

"That's fine with me." She hadn't really thought that Mai was going to cook anyway. Mai had many talents, but cooking wasn't one of them. The one time that she had tried hadn't ended well at all. Anzu knew she couldn't do that much better herself, especially not tonight.

Mai worked on Anzu's back a little more, and Anzu tingled even more with each moment. She wrapped her arms around the pale blue cushion, holding it close to herself, and rocked against it. "If you stop any time soon, I'm never going to forgive you."

"I gathered that already. But I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop," Mai said, prodding at Anzu's shoulder where the rough knot of muscle had been. "I can't massage and eat at the same time."

Anzu shifted so she was sitting up now, and a broad smile lit up her features. "Thanks, Mai. I feel a lot better now." The words were hollow, yet heart-felt. There weren't words that could describe how much better she felt now, compared to how she'd entered the apartment.

"Good. Go have a shower, that'll help you too. I'll order dinner while you're doing that." Mai gestured her away. Anzu got up, then leaned downward enough so she could kiss Mai. If words wouldn't be strong enough to convey her gratitude, then she had other ways she could get the message across.

Hot water pounded into her shoulders and back much harder than Mai's fingers had caressed, but the heat felt every bit as good as those fingers. Anzu breathed in the steam and ran her sponge over her body, imagining for a moment what it would feel like to have Mai doing the same thing.

Later. Later. As much as she looked forward to what would happen later, she had to keep her focus now. If she distracted herself too much right now, then later would probably not happen.

Once done with her shower, she wrapped herself up in a robe and slippers and then went back to the living room, where Mai once more lounged on the couch. Her cell phone had been set on the table beside her deck, with the telephone book beside it.

"Who did you call?" Anzu curled up beside Mai and leaned her head onto Mai's chest. She couldn't imagine having a better place to rest.

"The ramen store on the corner. We should have it brought up here in no time," Mai said, wrapping an arm around her. Anzu grinned; ramen was one of her favorites, after all. "I made sure to get the beef, too."

"Thanks." Anzu decided she didn't want to close her eyes, not just because she would risk falling asleep if she did so, but also because she wanted to keep on looking at Mai. She reached up and ran her fingers through Mai's long blonde hair repeatedly. Mai's lips curved up but she didn't move, enjoying the sensation of Anzu's fingers there.

Once again, she brushed her lips across Mai's, and slid her hands onto Mai's shoulders for a moment before she started to go downward. Weariness still threatened, but Anzu pushed it aside, her thoughts extremely focused on what she was doing. She could, and would, sleep later.

Mai's arms slid across her back, in a far more intimate fashion than earlier. Anzu tilted her head back as Mai returned her kisses, then each kiss was a little farther down, her lips, her chin, her throat…

The doorbell rang. Anzu groaned; the delivery boy couldn't have had worse timing if he'd tried. She wriggled enough away from Mai so the other could go answer it and sighed, leaning back and closing her eyes for a moment or two. Once Mai came back with the food, they'd eat and then finish what they'd started.

Mai came back with the food and stood for a moment, smiling. Then, she pulled a blanket over the sleeping Anzu, and settled down. She'd keep the ramen hot for Anzu…

The ramen and herself.

The End