Wow, I have not written a one-shot in a while. Yes, "Atlantis Rising" is still going; I have a horrible habit of being distracted by shiny things, i.e, other stories. Why I do it, I don't know.
For those curious, this one-shot was inspired by the episode that takes place immediately after Yami Yugi's duel, when Joey goes to check and Mai, and it turned out both she and Serenity decided to play a prank on the poor hapless blonde. Funny yes, but in that whole "oh Lord, how cruel but hilarious" sort of way. Yeah. . .I'll just go straight to the fic.. .
She watched from the window, the dark aura surrounding the top of Kaiba's Duel Tower dissipating. That had meant that Yugi had won the duel and defeated Marik, right? Serentiy turned her attention to her friend in the bed, breathing shallowly.
"Mai?" she whispered.
"Ugh, what happened?" Mai's eyes fluttered open and she slowly sat upright, clutching her head. "It was like I got knocked upside the head with a club."
"Mai! You're alright!" Serenity said gleefully.
"Well, I feel alright." She turned to her friend. "What did I miss?"
She gave a half-smile, recalling the adventures in Noah's Virtual World and Joey's horrific duel with Marik. She decided that it would be best not to tell Mai of the latter part; that would be Joey's job. "A lot. It's a bit of a long story."
Mai rested her hands on her knees. "I got time."
Just then, Bakura's head popped in the doorway. "Hello ladies. I'm heading to the kitchen to grab a snack. Do you want anything? Card Games can take a lot out of you." he chuckled weakly. At their silence, he began to leave. "Well, I'll just leave you be then." Bakura slowly crept down the hall.
Mai turned to Serenity. "And speaking of food, I just had the best idea."
"What's that?" Serenity was curious.
A mischievous grin lit up Mai's face. "Let's pull a prank on your brother."
"Come on, it'll be great. Besides, after all the doom and gloom on the ship, we could use a little bit of fun. What do you say, Serenity?"
She bit her lip hesitant. The idea sounded fun, but after what Joey had gone through, he may or may not react well to Mai's idea of a "prank". "I dunno. . ."
"Joey's isn't going to mad at us, especially you and I," she winked. "He'll forgive us both in a heartbeat."
"Well, alright. . .what do you want to do?"
"Here, I'll tell you," Mai gestured for Serenity to lean in and she whispered her plan into Serenity's ear.
"I dunno Mai. . ."
"It'll be alright kiddo, I promise. Joey's a light-hearted guy, so he'll roll with it. Besides, he's kind of cute when he gets mad. Kind of like one of those really small dogs that bark every time you go near them." At Serenity's shocked expression she hastily corrected herself. "I mean that, you know, in that sort of. . ."
"Don't worry Mai, your secret's safe with me." Serenity winked.
"It's not like that!" she blurted.
"Right. . ."
"Okay, fine, it isn't "like that"." Serenity teased.
Mai quickly changed the subject. "So, are you going to help or not?"
"Well. . ."
"Excuse me," Bakura popped his head back in the doorway. "It appears that I'm missing something of mine. Kind of old, looks sort of like a necklace with an eyeball, have you seen it around?"
Serenity shook her head. "Nope, no necklaces with eyeballs here."
Bakura scowled and left, muttering under his breath "It's gotta be around here somewhere. . ."
"That was, unusual," Mai admitted.
"Totally," Serenity agreed. "So, how are we going to go about this again?"
"Good girl. I knew I must have taught you something."
One-and-a-half years later. . .
"Serenity, did you know Mai was coming back into town for my graduation? And she was coming in tomorrow as well" Joey asked from the other side of the room, looking through his closet, trying to find something decent to wear. Serenity was sitting on his bed, occasionally avoiding a piece of errant clothing flying through the air.
"I thought that Mai would have told you. You two talk on the phone pretty much twenty-four seven," she replied, ducking under a pair of flying jeans. It had been a year-and-a-half since Battle City, and a year since the DOMA incident. A few months after the DOMA fiasco, Mai and Joey had patched their differences and had since hung out like a pair of friends should, without the memories of DOMA hanging of like Damocles' Sword. They had even exchanged phone numbers, a source of constant amusement from Serenity, who had also kept in touch with their mutual friend.
"That sounds more like you, actually." Joey replied, laughing as Serenity threw the same pair of jeans back at him. "So how come she told you and not me?"
"She did, she just decided to do it at the last minute, I guess."
"Harrumph." Joey held up a pair of black jeans and a blue button down shirt. "How about these? Would these be okay together?" He gave them a sniff. "They smell mostly clean too."
"Joey, I don't think that she's going to care about that."
"Well, I haven't seen her six months, shouldn't I try to look decent?"
"You weren't this way when I flew in."
"That's because you're my sister." Joey flopped down onto the bed next to her. "I have no idea what to wear."
"You sound like a girl." she teased. "You like her, don't you?"
"Well, not like that. . .Hey, I just got this great idea!"
"What is it? The last time you had a "great idea", you spent the night over the porcelain throne."
"Yeah, remind me never to put ghost chilies on a pizza again, but this is different! Remember Battle City?"
"How could I not?"
"Well, remember the prank you and Mai pulled on me?"
"Oh Joey, you aren't. . ."
"Come on, it'll be hilarious! Never, ever, get into a prank war with Joey "Prankster" Wheeler."
"You're middle name isn't "Prankster", it's Alex and this isn't going to work. Mai will kill you if you go through with it."
"It's not going to be like I'm pretending to be in a coma or anything. Besides, she'll forgive us in a heartbeat."
"Where have I heard that before?" Serenity thought. "Okay, so what is this "prank" you speak of?"
"Well, I'll tell ya." he whispered his plan in her ear and she shook her head.
"Joey, this will never work. Besides how on earth are you going to get a hold of one of those?"
"I used to work as a chauffeur for this company for a bit, I still got a few connections." he paused. "I'll have to get Duke and Tristan in on it though. . ."
"Joey, you're insane."
"But oh so brilliant."
". . .I'm adopted, right?"
She rolled her luggage down through the airport, looking for a pair of familiar faces. It was Joey's graduation, along with Yugi and the others, so naturally, she wasn't going to miss it. It would be nice to see her friends again. She frowned to herself when she didn't see Serenity and Joey down at the arrival terminal. "Typical Joey," Mai told herself. "He probably forgot what time I was landing in and dragged poor Serenity with him."
Then she saw someone with jet black hair and a thin mustache and brownish-greenish eyes, holding a paper sign that read her name. He was wearing a black uniform. "Ms. Valentine," he said in a gravelly voice, like the poor man was going through puberty once again. As if once wasn't bad enough.
"That's me." she waved.
"If you would come with me." He gestured for her to follow him. He looked sort of familiar, like she had seen him before, but she couldn't quite place where. She had seen lots of people in lots of different places, so faces eventually blurred together.
"So, I guess Joesph couldn't make it?" she asked the man in the uniform, trying to make conversation.
"Actually ma'am," the worker began. "He wanted to make sure you had a lovely time here in Domino. Your ride is waiting for you outside."
"My ride huh?" She mulled it over. "Okay, so either he is planning something, or he trying to get something out of me."
"I wouldn't know, ma'am." the worker said, coughing.
"Of course you wouldn't. And please, don't call me 'ma'am'. I'm not that old."
The worker fell silent and guided her outside, where she was dumbstruck to find a limo waiting, parked alongside the sidewalk, sticking out like the proverbial sore thumb, among the shuttles and other vehicles, either receiving or sending off passengers. "Okay, that boy is definitely sucking up to me, probably to make up for missing my time completely."
Another airport worker came up, a brunette with cow brown eyes. "Your bags, please." he held his hands out, waiting to receive her luggage.
"Hmm? Oh, I'm sorry, here you go!" she gave him her bags, a rolling suitcase and a rather large purse of some unidentifiable brand. Once the man placed her bags in the back of the limousine, she fished in her wallet, in a smaller purse, and passed him a twenty. "Thank you!" she slid in the vehicle and the limo drove off.
The man with the paper sign pulled off the small, thin mustache he had been wearing and popped out the contacts, placing them into a small container. "I swear, Joey better pay us big time for this." Duke Devlin grumbled, glancing down at his uniform. "This, is absolutely hideous."
"He'll probably find a way to pay us back," Tristan replied, taking off the hat he had been wearing. "Beside, I got a free twenty out of it."
"She'll probably demand it back once she finds out." Duke pointed out.
"Not if we spend it first."
Duke rolled his eyes. "I'll bet you that twenty that they start making out within five minutes."
"You're on!" Tristan rummaged in his jacket, pulling out what appeared to be binoculars.
"You brought binoculars?" Duke asked, incredulous.
"I used to be a Boy Scout. Our motto was "Always Be Prepared." Using the binoculars, he began to watch the limo drive off.
"Give me that! I want to see!"
Mai sat in the limo, arms crossed, equal parts impressed and miffed. Joey was definitely going to get the short end of her temper, to say the least. At least he tried to make up for it, pulling out all the stops for her arrival. Maybe she would forgive him.
The limo started to slow and the driver pulled over to the side of the road. "Oh now what!" she huffed, her plans of forgiving Joey flying out the limo window as she spoke.
The window separating her from the driver rolled down. "It would seem the we have hit a bit of engine trouble," the driver said. He turned around, hitting the brim of his hat up, just enough to reveal his cheeky brown eyes. "Mai."
"Joey! What the. . .what on earth. . .what is this!" she sputtered, astonished.
"A prank for a prank I say," he grinned.
"What? What prank are you talking about. . ." she trailed off as she remembered Battle City. "That doesn't even count as a prank!"
"It does in my book."
She reached for her purse and swung it at him, who smiled cheekily at her, all while dodging the purse. "Hey, watch the purse!"
"Ooh, I'm going to get you for this!" she growled.
"Get me for what?" You're being chauffeured around in a limo! Do you have any idea how hard it was to get a limo? And the uniform! I had to pull a lot of strings, I'll tell you what! This tie too! I nearly choked myself trying to get it."
She ceased swinging her purse and sat back in the seat. "You missed my arrival time."
"Because I was getting you a bloody limo! Geez Mai, spare a guy, will ya!"
She paused for a minute, thinking. Then, she smiled and leaned forward. A look of confusion crossed his face. "Hoo boy." he muttered, wondering what on earth she was planning. He was now starting to regret planning this whole charade.
"You know, I've always liked a man in uniform," she practically purred, reaching forward, and tugged on his tie, bringing him closer to her.
Then again, maybe this prank hadn't been so bad, after all.
Duke and Tristan had been exchanging turns with the binoculars, twenty bucks on the line. Duke, who had the binoculars, smirked and held his hand out.
"Fork it over, mister."
Yeah, I'm not if this story evolved or devolved, actually. Poor Bakura though You'll find your necklace, I promise. And poor Serenity, getting roped into all these shenanigans. It's like that only voice of reason here is getting out voted by hormones. I emphasize with your pain Serenity.
And Joey's middle name is short for "Alexander". Yeah, I totally went there. Head canon FTW.