Pairing: None defined – hints of Tristan/Joey/Yugi (I hope this isn’t becoming a pattern ._. )
Challenge: Nothing (second crack at it)
Disclaimer: The fandom’s not mine, and every element of this story is fictitious.
If Teá just took a few extra moments of contemplation, up to her elbows in warm soapy dishwater, she might have thought there was just something slightly chauvinistic about how her companions abandoned the ‘women’ to the kitchen to handle the dishes.
She didn’t have the luxury, since the tall blonde with the aggressively kinky hair standing at her shoulder was monopolizing every stray tendril of thought.
“You know, half the time I think those lunkheads don’t appreciate us.” Mai was saying, as Teá handed her another dish to dry, “I mean, look at us! You and me, we’re total babes! And Serenity too,” She turned to wink at Joey’s younger sister, who smiled shyly and leaned across the table to pick up the casserole dish from dinner.
“But they’re our friends. Friends are really good at overlooking what’s right in front of their faces. Here.” Teá nudged Mai’s arm with her elbow and handed her a glass. The band of purple scribed around the middle of the clear acrylic was the same shade of Mai’s vaguely exotic eyes. The younger brunette noticed, but chalked it up to the fact that she’d always privately wanted eyes that color, and went back to washing.
“Sure, they’re our friends. But there’s something screwy about this whole thing. Don’t you think so, babe?” Mai briskly buffed the glass and turned to Serenity, who was just carrying the leftover lasagna into the kitchen.
“What do you think is strange, Mai?” She asked, and fished in the drawers for a spatula to move the leftovers into a plastic dish. Nobody but Tristan would know where his mother squirreled away the utensils in this kitchen, and said boy was currently out in the back yard plastering a squealing Joey to the ground over a football.
“Haven’t you ever watched them, hon?” Mai pointed out through the kitchen window toward the wrestling boys.
“Mm-hm. They’re really good friends.” Serenity smiled to herself as she discovered the looked-for spatula and pushed the drawer closed with her hip.
“Huh. Good friends don’t play football like that.” The blonde straightened her fingers, waving at the pair still sprawled out on the lawn, giggling over something. All three girls gathered around the window above the sink, Teá with a dish still in her hands. While they watched, Yugi flung himself on top of the pile, surprising more laughter out of Joey, who happened to be on the bottom.
They stayed there.
For a really long time.
“They’re always like that,” Serenity shrugged with a smile, after several minutes had passed. The boys had stopped laughing by now. Teá’s fingertips tightened around the dish and the soapy wet dishrag in her hands. The laughter was dying, and they were all looking at one another. Just looking, until ridiculous smiles spread across the smooth tawny faces, illuminated in the last of the fall sunlight. The moment stretched, and started to become painful to watch.
Maybe Mai was right. Maybe there was something she wasn’t noticing. Hadn’t noticed until now. The dish slipped from her hands onto the edge of the sink with an abrasive clatter and sank into the suds. Everyone jumped.
Why was Yugi looking at them like that? Why wasn’t he stopping? Teá suddenly felt very tired and very angry at once, and denied the urge to walk out into the backyard and tear Yugi away from the other two. That was ridiculous! There was no reason to feel that way.
They were still out there.
She chewed her lip, and tore her eyes away from the scene. “Maybe you’re right, Mai.”
“They all love each other,” Serenity said, simply, not smiling now. The blonde and the brunette still by the sink turned in surprise to see her, considering them both with an utterly sober expression. “You haven’t noticed? Tristan and Joey loved each other for a long time, and now Yugi’s a part of it, too. They’re happy.”
“Hon, that’s not what I meant,” Mai started, shrugging and throwing another glance out the window. The three boys were back to playing their game now, as though nothing had happened. “they’re not supposed to look at each other like that. That’s what we’re here for.” She posed, planting her fist on one outthrust hip. “What about you? I thought you liked Tristan. Don’t you want Tristan to look at you like that?”
“Not if it makes him unhappy,” Serenity replied, evenly. “Mai, I’m not as old as you are. But you sounded younger than me when you said that. My brother likes you.” She turned to Teá next. “And Yugi likes you, too.”
“So what’s the problem?” Mai demanded, and Teá nodded vaguely beside her. “What’s their problem?”
“They just love each other more.”