Happy Thanksgiving everyone! i don't know about you guys, but this morning, I woke up and was like, "Alright. Thanksgiving. Let the turkey eating commence!"
Anyway, hope you all enjoy this little Joey x Mai oneshot, the rest of the night and Black Friday!
I don't own anything except my recurring character/OC, Almira.
He had been in a pretty good mood all day. Thanksgiving was one of his favourite holidays and he loved having this special with his friends and family. Especially his girlfriend of one year, Mai Valentine.
After eating the feast that Serenity had made, Joey and Mai returned to their shared flat, ready to tumble into bed. Joey was prepared to fall asleep. It was already one AM and he was not one to forgo sleep.
When Joey stumbled into the house, he half expected Mai to make a remark about how he had inhaled his food, but instead she hung her coat in the closet and made her way down the hallway and into their room. Puzzled, Joey hung up his jacket and followed Mai into their room.
She had tossed the sweater and jeans she was wearing in the very corner of the room and pulled on one of Joey's t-shirts. She slipped underneath the covers and curled up in bed. He stood in the doorway watching her with a smile on his face.
"What? No snide comments about how I supposedly ate like there was no tomorrow?" he teased.
"There is a tomorrow," she replied. "Black Friday."
He furrowed his eyebrows and tilted his head toward the side, leaning it against the door. He had seen all the commercials on TV and he knew that this was something Téa, Almira, Mai and Serenity took part in every year, but he really didn't know what Black Friday really was.
At the sound of his silence, Mai turned around and sat up, looking at him with pure amazement. She rubbed her eyes while yawning. "Don't tell me you've never heard of Black Friday."
He came closer, pulling off his own sweater and jeans, rifling through his dresser for a pair of pants. "It's not that I haven't heard of it. It's more I don't know what the big deal is," he confessed.
She stared at the back of his head in utter shock. "Joseph. Are you telling me that you really don't know why we go Black Friday shopping?"
He climbed into bed with a steely glare on his face, facing away from Mai. "You make it seem like it's the most obvious thing in the world."
Mai covered her mouth, stifling a laugh. "That's because it is!"
"Hmm." He crossed arms and shut his eyes, a scowl on his face. His eyes popped open almost instantly when he felt Mai's soft fingers weaving through his blonde hair, slowly making their way to his neck. A light blush dusted his cheeks as he turned around to face her. She smiled at the blush on his cheeks and his confused doe eyes. She let her fingers trail over his warm cheeks a bit longer before looking him in the eyes with a smile.
"Joey, Black Friday is when all the stores open early. Before sunrise to be exact."
His eyes widened at her words. "You mean people go shopping before the sun's up?!" he asked incredulously.
She bit her lip to keep from laughing. "Yes. They do. And they go early because that's when you get the best deals and sales. I, personally, use it for Christmas shopping and for a bit of shopping for myself."
He smiled this time, familiar with his girlfriend's love for shopping. But the smile slid from his face as soon as he remembered what he said about Black Friday starting early. "How early?"
She tapped a finger to her lips, deep in thought. "Usually, most of the stores open at six. Some at seven," she finished nodding.
"At six?! AM?!" shouted Joey. His mouth was slightly agape. He couldn't wrap his mind around the idea of people willingly getting up before noon.
Mai raised her eyebrow at him. "Joey, you seemed a bit surprised. Aren't you one of those people who go line up with their tent in front of Best Buy?"
"No!" yelled Joey indignantly. "That's Tristan! And besides, if I ever saw something like that I'd prolly laugh at them. Why waste a perfectly good night's rest on shopping?"
She stared at him, her amethyst orbs calculating. He shifted in their bed, trying to move away. A calculating Mai was never a pleasant one.
"M-M-Mai? What're you planning?" he asked in a high-pitched voice.
She threw the blankets off and strode over to her dressing table and pulled out a pair of boot-cut jeans and a plain black long-sleeved shirt. She held both in her hands, walking to Joey's dresser. She pulled out a pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. She tossed his clothes to him, heading out the room. "Grab a hoodie and let's go!" she called, her voice echoing in the hallway.
He stared at the clothes for a minute and then glanced up at the doorway, sighing. He pulled the t-shirt and jeans on, swinging his legs over the side of the bed and dragging himself to his closet. "Damn Black Friday," he muttered. "I shoulda just kept my mouth shut."
Joey stood to the side of the bathroom, tapping his foot on the carpet impatiently. His patience was wearing thin. He was already forgoing sleep for Mai. He didn't need to spend precious time waiting.
"Mai, ya look fine!" he said loudly. "There's no need for you to make yourself more presenta-"
His words were caught in his throat when she finally stepped out of the bathroom. Her make-up was subtle on the most part, but it was the way it was done. She had used the tiniest bit of blush and eyeliner to highlight her already flawless features. Her hair was in its signature state, hanging in loose curls by her face. She smiled at his eyes which were fixed on her lips. She stepped closer to him, running her fingers along the side of his face, drawing in close. Their noses were touching and she was sure Joey was beginning to lose his control. She leaned in closer, placing a chaste kiss on his lips before pulling away and slipping into her heeled boots and jacket.
When she was done, she stood to the side, watching him slowly pull his shoes on. When he was done, she took his hand in his and led them out of the flat.
"C'mon Joey," she said with a smile. "Let's go enjoy Black Friday."
"Mai, it's not even five A...M," Joey said yawning. "Why'd we leave the house so early?"
She tapped her fingers on the steering wheel, almost regretting her decision to take Joey Black Friday shopping. She had forgotten how much of a whiner Joey was when he didn't sleep. She sat hunched over the steering wheel, trying to block him out. "We're going to get coffee," she snapped.
"Coffee?" asked Joey, tossing his head back. "Why so early? You said that the stores would open at six am!"
"Calm yourself, Joseph," she muttered. "There will most likely be a huge line at McDonald's." she made a left, pulling up to the drive-thru which was already filled with cars. She tried to resist the urge to tell Joey she was right when he sat up and pressed his nose against the window.
"Whoa. There are so many people here!" he remarked.
"Are there?" she asked sarcastically. "Well look at that."
He didn't say anything of it, knowing that he was most likely annoying the blonde woman. He pulled his wallet out of his pocket, attempting to make up for it. "Hazelnut latte?"
She glanced at him pulling his wallet out, her heart warming up at his feeble attempt to make up for his whining. It was always the littlest things that made her melt. "That's alright, Joey," she said kindly. "There's really no need." At the look on his face, she looked thoughtful. "Well, if you insist, you can get me that new jacket. The purple one."
He hesitated for a moment, but then remembered Mai's birthday had passed a day or two ago and how ashamed he was at his half-assed present for her. "Anything for you, Valentine."
After paying for their coffee, it was nearly five forty-five. Joey calmly sipped his coffee as Mai pulled up in front of the mall. She squinted searching for a parking spot.
"Wow. There are barely any spots left! Why don't you try by Sears?" Joey suggested. "There are always spots there."
She shook her head. "Not today," she said grimly. "Sears is like heaven for everyone who wants to go Christmas present shopping. There's hardware, clothes, appliances. Everything."
He tilted his head to the right, helping her find a parking spot when a thought crossed his mind. "Hey, isn't Almira working today?" Upon seeing her nod, he looked aghast. "She is?! What kind of monstrosity is Black Friday?"
"I bet Yami's asking himself that question. If he's not there with her. He's so damn overprotective with her."
"You make it seem like it's a bad thing."
She finally found a parking spot that wasn't too far from Sears. She parked the car and got out, locking it. She felt Joey's hand on hers, their fingers naturally intertwining. They walked to the entrance together silently. Joey looked around at the people who were already lined up in front of Sears, not sure he was going to enjoy Black Friday shopping. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, pressing the home button to see what time it was.
'5:55. Five more minutes.'
"Where are you planning to go?" he asked Mai.
"I'll most likely see how Almira is doing before anything. She's working in Land's End today and I just want to give her some moral support."
"Children's or Women's?"
She grimaced. "Women's. Probably one of the hardest departments to work for in general."
Before long, a short woman came to the doors and officially opened the doors, quickly backing away when the doors were unlocked. Joey was amazed at how chaotic things became when the doors opened. He turned back to Mai, who calmly walked inside.
"This is nothing," she said as if she read his mind. "Just be glad no one got hurt this year."
He stared at her before slowly following. He looked to his left and right, already seeing people going mad with the sales. He picked up his pace when he saw Mai was already ahead of him, making her way toward Land's End. His mood instantly brightened when he saw a caramel skinned woman with long inky black hair pulled back in a pony tail and glittering ruby eyes working with a couple of women already.
"Mira!" he called.
She looked up, tired. Her eyes lit up and she waved, returning to her work with her customers. Mai stood off to the side, waiting politely for Almira to finish with the customers she had. Joey glanced at the sweaters that the customers had, beginning to understand what Mai said about Christmas present shopping.
"Hey Mai. Hey Joey," Almira said with a tired smile. "Welcome to Hell on Earth. For employees anyway."
"How long have you been here?" asked Mai.
She sighed, rubbing her eyes. "Since two. My Black Friday is ruined."
"Well think of the positives," said Mai. "This way, you guilt Yami into getting you something."
She laughed, reaching for her cup of coffee. "Mai, you know guilt isn't my thing. And besides, I know I'll be getting a lecture from him later today." She stood straighter and taller. "Almira Ahmed!" she said in a deep voice. "What have I told you about taking care of yourself? Working on Black Friday does not fall under taking care of yourself."
Joey and Mai stared at her, both thinking that her terrible impersonation of the ex-pharaoh was slightly amusing. Almira smiled shyly returning to her cup of coffee, sipping it slowly. "Ahh. You both I love him."
Before Joey or Mai could respond, a few more customers appeared at Almira's register. Almira looked at the apologetically before taking the sweaters and shirts and ringing them up.
"C'mon Joey. Bye, Almira ," Mai called.
Mai pulled Joey away from Land's End and into the men's section. She glanced at the hoodie he was wearing and shook her head. "You are in desperate need of something that isn't a hoodie. I'm not saying I don't like them," she added when she saw the look on his face. "I just think you need a bit of a variety in your wardrobe."
He stared at all the vests and sweaters and shirts that hung on the racks before him, not realising Mai was walking away. He whirled around, feeling lost. "Mai! Where're you going?"
She turned around, jerking her head in the direction she was walking in. "Women's," she said simply.
"Oh," he said softly.
"Just pick out the things that catch your eye and we'll meet up later."
Joey nodded, watching her disappear among the many racks of clothes. He looked through the racks of sweaters, trying to see if any of them caught his eye. None of the sweaters caught his eye, but a flash of auburn hair did. He jerked his head up, knowing who the auburn hair belonged to. "Serenity?"
Sure enough, his younger sister turned in his direction, furiously trying to hide the clothes that she had picked out. "Oh, hi Joey!" she said happily, giving him a hug. "I didn't think I'd see you go Black Friday shopping."
"Mai dragged me here," he confessed. "But it's alright. I don't mind. What do you have there?" he asked eyeing the clothes she was hiding behind her back.
She blushed lightly, trying to come up with something to say. When he began to tap his foot she dropped her gaze to the ground, defeated. "Christmas presents," she said softly.
His eyes softened and he turned away. "I didn't see a thing," he said quickly.
She smiled at him. "Good. Where's Mai? In women's?"
"Uh, yeah she-" he started before she raced toward the said section. He watched her disappear, blinking. "Is," he finished. He sighed looking at the jackets now. He was never much of a sweater person anyway.
Joey was pretty proud of himself. He had actually found a couple of things he liked and none of them were hoodies. He pulled the different shirts apart when he heard a familiar voice call his name.
"Wheeler! Find anything?"
Without tuning around, he knew who the owner of the voice was. He smiled as he turned around. He held up the clothes he had picked out. "Yup. And none of them are hoodies," he said proudly.
Mai looked through the shirts and sweaters, pleased that Joey had somewhat enjoyed himself just as she had. "That's good. Do you want to pay for these and then go to H & M? H & M just opened."
Joey nodded, remembering the jacket she wanted was in H & M. "Sure. Let's go."
They took the escalator down to the ground level of the mall. Joey looked around, seeing more people than when they had arrived. He checked what time it was on his phone. "7:00? We spent an hour in Sears?" he asked incredulously.
"That's the power of Black Friday shopping," she replied smirking.
He said nothing as they walked into H & M. Mai immediately headed toward the rack of dresses, leaving Joey to wander around. He walked around, looking for the jacket that Mai was talking about earlier that morning. Standing in front of a rack of jackets were two men. The taller one was wearing a black beater with leather pants and boots. The shorter one was wearing a black full sleeved shirt with a sleeveless grey vest, dark blue jeans and black shoes. Joey had instantly recognised them by the colour of their unique hair. Or in their case, colours. "Oi. Yugi. Yami. What're you guys doing here?"
Both of them turned around, their dark amethyst orbs looking around in confusion. They both smiled when they saw Joey. "Hey Joey," they both chorused.
Joey's eyes fell on the scarf in Yami's hands. It was a dark red with a floral print in a lighter red. He looked up at Yami. "I hope that's for Mira."
Yami didn't look amused at Joey's joke. "Yes it is," he replied.
"Don't mind him," said Yugi. "He's just upset his girlfriend has to work."
"Were you not looking for something for Téa?" Yami asked loudly.
Taking the hint, Yugi sheepishly smiled, walking away. Yami sighed looking at the scarf.
"It's not enough," he muttered. "Just a scarf?"
"Dude, you're over thinking this," said Joey.
"What would you get in addition to this?" asked Yami. "If it were for Mai."
Joey tapped his chin thoughtfully. "I really don't know. Mai usually buys herself a present and I carry the bags. Or Ren is here to help me." He glanced at the expression on the ex-pharaoh's face and began thinking aloud. "Well, I guess Serenity would get a shirt or something. Something that matches the scarf, you know? They're always trying to match their things together."
Yami nodded slowly, looking at the clothes on the racks, a sleeveless red blouse catching his eye. He picked it up and placed the scarf against it.
"Oh great combination, Yami," said Mai, walking toward them. "Is that for Almira?"
Yami nodded, holding it up to her. "Do you think she'll like it?"
"Of course," assured Mai. "She's always telling me that she wishes she had more red in her closet."
Yami looked at the scarf and shirt, looking satisfied. "Thanks Joey and Mai," he said before stepping in line.
Mai turned to Joey. "Having fun?"
Joey smiled, spotting the purple jacket. He picked it up, holding it out to her. "Yeah. And I found the jacket," he said sheepishly. "Happy belated?"
Mai laughed, kissing the tip of his nose and pulling him into line. "Thank you, Joey."
She turned to face the front of the line. He smiled to himself, replaying the moment in his mind.
"Thank you, Mai," he said softly. "Thank you for taking me Black Friday shopping."