Disclaimer: Yu-gi-oh! is the property of Takahashi Kazuki. Etc.
Luck ~ When something happens to Ryou, Jyounouchi finds himself getting comfort from a most unexpected source: his father. Jyounouchi*Ryou, :) Enjoy.
I know that Jyounouchi's father is a drunken asshole. I've only seen one mention of him in the manga (but then again, I can't read Japanese, so there might be more), and he's throwing beer bottles at an unlocked door that Honda, Yuugi, and Anzu happened to have opened. He doesn't really seem like a nice guy, but I thought it might be nice to write a parental fic between Jyounouchi and his father. Who knows, he might be better than what I expected. Anyhow, he's human, and all humans have flaws. As much as we prefer to ignore that…
Arigatou to Salt-Washed Mirror, who endured me once again and proofread this story for me. Thanks to her, this story might actually be comprehensible.
BTW, Jyounouchi's first name is Katsuya, in case you don't know that. It drives me crazy, honestly. Jyounouchi IS his last name.
"Where were you?" a rough voice asked as the blonde entered the small apartment room. Jyounouchi was mildly surprised that his father had noticed his departure and arrival, never mind the caring enough to ask part. Usually, his father was in a drunken stupor, experiencing a painful hangover (which wasn't good because it usually meant he had to take it out on somebody), out, or… well, there usually wasn't a fourth option to explore.
"Out." That answer usually worked, but then again, his father hadn't asked in quite a while. The last time was probably before his mother had walked out, taking Shizuka with her. Since then, he had never really been the same.
Although he hadn't really been the same since before that too, Jyounouchi silently mused.
"I asked where."
Jyounouchi had to bite his tongue to keep a bitter remark from escaping, "The hospital."
"To see that Bakura kid?"
"Yeah. How did you know?"
"The police called. They told me. I was going to tell you but you weren't home."
"I was at a friend's house when they called. We went after that." Jyounouchi could feel tears of frustration welling up. God, his dad just had to pick this time of all times to actually start caring, didn't he? He wanted to deal with this, alone. He didn't want to be reminded of his koi so pale and fragile in that hospital bed, with all those tubes and machines hooked onto him to record his every move. He didn't want to remember how long they had waited for him to get out of the ER. He didn't want to keep thinking those thoughts of why, why, why would somebody do that to him, to Ryou of all people.
Oh, wait. He remembered why. It was because he was gay. Go figure. He wondered vaguely what his father's reaction would be. Then he wondered if his father would even care in the first place.
"Are you okay?" the words sounded so… foreign coming from his father's lips. It was as if some angel had taken over his body. Or the devil. He couldn't tell which anymore.
"Why do you care?"
Oops. He hadn't been able to keep it in this time.
"Get in here."
Jyounouchi hesitated. It wasn't that he wanted to disobey his father, par say, but the chances that he was going to have a beer bottle flung at his head were increasingly high. Especially since he had talked back. Maybe it was just him, but he didn't really want to end up in the hospital next to Ryou. He wanted to be there to comfort him when he woke up. He wanted to be there for him in a way that he had never gotten from the blonde's own family. His mother had just left him, his father couldn't care less if he was a corpse floating face down in the river, and Shizuka… Shizuka needed him to take care of her, not the other way around!
"Are you listening?! Get in here!" his father yelled, shaking him out of his self-pity. Almost mechanically, Jyounouchi obeyed the command.
He was mildly surprised to find his father looking… sober. Mildly because he had used up the 'extremely' and 'really' surprised emotions already with all that had happened today. Maybe today was all just a dream. Maybe Ryou was really at home right now, sleeping peacefully (as peacefully as you could get when you have a psychotic Yami living in your head… and how had those people manage to get past Yami Bakura anyway?), and he was home, not sleeping as peacefully, and his father was drunk. Then Ryou wouldn't be in the hospital, he wouldn't be wondering if he had flipped, and his father wouldn't be acting so…
The blonde couldn't help but notice the empty beer cans and bottles, the smell of alcohol that buried itself in every corner, his father's bloodshot eyes… He wondered if personality flips were a part of the effects of alcohol.
They stared at each other. Jyounouchi was relieved to notice that there weren't any bottles close enough to his father to throw at him. That meant he would at least have a little warning to run away.
He allowed himself to lean against the wall, head down, dirty blonde hair falling in front of his face like a mask. He always needed a mask when dealing with his father, that was how he had managed to survive so long with him. His friends had been his saving grace, if it hadn't been for them, he probably would have given up a long time ago.
"I'm sorry about your friend," was the gruff statement, and one of Jyounouchi's eyebrows raised as he looked at his father skeptically. Maybe he wanted something.
"He should be fine," Jyounouchi allowed, Physically, at least.
"Shame that it happened."
"Hai." Was that a dismissal? Perhaps he should go back, even though the doctors said Ryou wasn't going to wake up, he wanted to be there for him at least.
"Look… Katsuya…" there seemed to be a hint of pain, a slight measure of self-loathing, "I…"
There was another pause. What did he, Katsuya's father, want to say? The father and son stared at each other, and the father contemplated his next words. What was he trying to say? That he was sorry for being a shitty father? It was a bit late for that, don't you think? That he was sorry he could act so like a father sometimes but ruin it all as soon as he got drunk, leaving it another empty promise of normality that would never be fulfilled?
He… couldn't promise that he would stop drinking. He couldn't promise that he would stop saying things that deep down, he just didn't mean. And he couldn't apologize because there was too much to apologize for, and those things just kept adding up until there was simply no end to how much he owed his son.
When was the last time he had thought of Katsuya in those terms? It was usually gaki, brat, mistake, bastard… not son. Not somebody you actually might care for.
For the first time since he had started on this self-destructive behavior, he wanted to cry.
"I'm sure… he'll be fine," he finally managed to get out.
Jyounouchi didn't say anything, but the small 'why' in his eyes were enough.
Why? What was the 'why' asking for? Why he thought that? Why he was saying that? Why he cared enough to actually say that?
So many mistakes that could never be made up for. The desperate part of him that just wanted to give proof that he didn't hate him, didn't hate his son… for the first time, he found a need to show his son that he could be somebody better than his drunken self. Perhaps… he wanted to know that maybe his son could find some way to care for him too.
"Because he has… you… and…" he was getting tongue-tied. He didn't know what to say. He should have given up when he started. He shouldn't have started. Jyounouchi was looking at him with surprise and question in his eyes. He didn't understand. He didn't understand why this was happening.
"And… I'm sure… you'll take care of him."
Jyounouchi's head was pounding as he stared at his father. There was a desperate pleading in those brown eyes that suddenly seemed so like his own when he had first heard the news.
"This isn't about Ryou anymore, is it?"
"Ryou? I thought his name is Bakura."
"That's his last name."
Another proof that he knew nothing about his son or his friends.
"You and this… Ryou. You two close?" he finally asked. The expression on Jyounouchi's face said everything… why was he asking?
Jyounouchi finally shrugged, "Kinda. Yeah."
Don't you realize that by actually caring now, you'll make it worse when you start acting the way that you usually do?
It was hard to tell who was asking the question.
He had to shake it away as he looked at his son. He decided not to pursue the topic any further. Anyhow, he had a pretty good idea about how close his son and this… Ryou kid were, and in what aspects.
"So… you take care of him, you hear?"
"I know…" Jyounouchi was still staring at him as if he was a nightmare from some horrible past life… or a distant memory long forgotten from his present life.
"Take care of him…" the pressure was catching up to him, the alcohol's lure was getting stronger… the prospect of being torn from this world, put into some drunken fantasy… so appealing… to get away… all his problems would disappear under the influence, his son would disappear as well…
He nearly choked on the next words as he finally managed to wrench them free from his nervously beating heart, "Take care of him… as I have… never taken care of you."
Jyounouchi swallowed. If it had been in any other situation, he would have gasped. If it had been sooner, he would have forgiven his father, would have threw his arms around him and cried.
But it was really too late for that.
Still, those words. Those words were the closest to admission of his treatment that he had ever heard in his life.
His father's eyes were flickering towards the cans and bottles again. Soon he was going to be drinking again, soon it was going to be as if none of this had happened, that this really had been a dream, a mere ghost of a memory that mocked him and showed him what he could have had instead of a mere glimpse.
"I have to go." His throat felt dry, he really did want to cry. It was too much, it really was. He wasn't sure anymore if his father's words had comforted him or made him more jumpy. He just… just didn't know anymore.
"You'll have to be there when he wakes up."
"You'll have to be there for him."
There was no reply. He could only watch as his father picked up the bottle, taking a long drink. His eyes were steadily closing, the words were becoming slurred, incomprehensible. It was odd that the drink worked so fast on him… odd… indeed…
"You have to… take care of him… I don't know how you'll do it… but you always managed to without me…" the alcohol was making everything fuzzy, he didn't really seem to know what he was talking about him, "It shouldn't be too hard… just do… the opposite… of what I do… do what I… never did for you…"
It was really too late though. Jyounouchi had no idea what his father was talking about, but he managed to get the general gist of it. He didn't really know how to respond though, so he decided not to do anything.
It wouldn't have made any difference, any impact on his father's drunken mind anyway.
As the door shut, as the click of the lock made it clear that he was once again alone… well, not really alone, he had his beer and such with him… it was all becoming so simple now… there really was nothing to worry about… everything was becoming light and he was becoming increasingly calm… what was there to worry about, oh, the gaki? He was gone, don't need to worry anymore… don't need to care…
Gomen nasai, his mind whispered, before fully succumbing to the alcohol's alluring spell.
~ Owari ~
July 31, 2002
PM: The title doesn't really make sense, I guess. It's more of a personal thing for me. My mom recently gave me a jade pendent. It's purple, my favorite color, and kinda shaped like a lifesaver (:P). The inside opening has the Chinese character for luck in it. So that's how the title came about. I'm going to try not putting down my story, but I guess it's one of those 'read it once, probably don't want to read it again' stories…
Jyou: So my suggestion is don't read it again.
PM: Thanks for the vote of confidence.
Ryou *in a state of shock*: I didn't do anything in this fic, yet I was still grievously injured.
Yami: Just be glad she didn't explain what happened when you were grievously injured.
PM *gasp*: That's right. I never really did say what happened to poor Ryou, did I? Well, it doesn't really matter, I guess. He got hurt because of who he was. That's all.
Ryuuji: You say that as if it's a common occurrence.
PM *flat voice*: It is. Anyhow *brightens slightly*, I was thinking about writing the scene where Ryou wakes up, but I figure it's not necessary. I kinda like this story ending where it does. Maybe I'll write a sequel about what happens to Katsuya and Ryou after this, but chances are probably not unless some people actually want it. *hesitates* Maybe. I guess I'm uncertain because this story is really supposed to be about Katsuya and his father, not Katsuya and Ryou. But I suppose I might do something someday… this was kinda one of those spur-of-the-moment fics, and I hope you enjoyed it. Arigatou for reading. Please leave a review to tell me what you think… *puppy eyes* Onegai?