I can say that this shot was the real reason I wrote this and it was actually the first one I had written for this series. I can also say that I've been dying for ages to write this one, and once you read it you'll understand why I tried to get this one up last night.

Thanks to everyone who's followed this and to everyone who's reviewed so far. I hope that you've enjoyed this series and that you liked it :D

Post-series once again, following the timeline that every other timeline has, and I sincerely hope you enjoy it. I may tweak the letter "Y" later, but for now I hope you can enjoy this.

Oh come on. This wasn't so hard! He could stare Yami Marik in the eyes without flinching, he could take on a giant flying snake that ate people's souls…he'd even saved the world countless times before this and that was easy. He had faced plenty of challenges before now, but this one was a whole new level of difficult.

Why couldn't he simply tell her that he loved her?

It was his New Year's resolution! He had to do it or it would never happen! But every time Mai looked at him all his thoughts fled and he couldn't string the words that he wanted together.

It wasn't that he couldn't recover from the stutters, and it was not from indecision. It was the fact that he was…well, a little pressed for time at the moment.


Mai was looking at him in confusion. "Jounouchi?" she asked uncertainly, her long blonde hair blowing slightly in the wind.


Come on, what was the worst that could happen? She says no and out of fear of ruining their friendship she runs away again?


…Okay, so that really was the worst that could happen. But if he didn't tell her now he—


—would never get the chance to tell her again because it was a now or never moment and—


—Why did they have to count out loud like that? It was throwing him off. "Mai, there's somethin' I gotta tell ya."


The blonde woman looked back at him with mild consternation, gently tossing her crème colored scarf over her shoulder and wrapping the violet parka around her. "What's up?" she asked warily.


"Well, I… the truth is I…y'see—"


"I wanted to tell you that…that…" He let out a frustrated whine. "Why's this so hard to do?"

"What is?"


C'mon, Jounouchi! Just spit it out! You've been planning this for weeks, just say it!


"Jounouchi?" Mai asked, moving closer out of concern.

"I..I…aw, screw it!"


He reached out, grabbed her by the shoulders in a gentle but firm grip, drew her close, and then kissed her just as the fireworks went off over their heads.

She stiffened in surprise, and Jounouchi instantly backed away as a flush traveled up to his face. "Crap, Mai, sorry, I didn't mean—"

But instead of her drawing back from him and running away, or slapping him—as he had figured she would—Mai suddenly grabbed his shirt and pulled him back to her. Before he could process what she was doing, she leaned and returned the kiss. He recovered from the initial shock of what she was doing and leaned into the kiss.

He could almost hear the exasperated and affectionate (but silent) sentence that hung in the air between them: It's about freaking time you admitted it, you stupid dork.

They both could hear the announcer yelling out, "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" but neither of them were really that interested at the moment.

They'd found something slightly more engaging than the fireworks.