Even after the group had stopped to make camp for the night, Jounouchi's lingering sense of aggravation simply wouldn't leave him. Mostly because the source was still giving him the slave treatment, and Jou simply couldn't take it any longer. One more look from that woman was certain to send him over the edge. After so many days of traveling and ABUSE, no jury would convict. Either way, Yami might not be to happy if he had to deal with a dead princess, so Jounouchi decided that he would take a short walk to calm himself.
After everything was set, he looked around and saw Yami and Mai were busy attending to other things, so he strolled over to Leon. "Yo, kid," he said, once he was close.
After Yami and the princess decided to do their own thing, Leon had decided a fairy tale was in order. It wasn't long before he was lost inside his reading, pretending he was the prince who woke up the princess with a single kiss. When he heard Jou's voice, he jerked up from the book he had taken to read by the fire with a rather flushed expression. How long had he been dazed out? And had Jou seen him like that? "Oh - Hi, Mr. Jounouchi~" He answered, blushing red as he quickly stood up. "How are you?"
Of course, Jounouchi hadn't much CARED what the kid was doing. At all. The reaction made the blonde pause, giving the boy a slight look. However, the longer he stood here, the longer he was in visual contact with that princess. So he shook his head. "Great, kid. Never better. Listen, I'm goin' for a walk. So if Yami or that pain-in-the-ass need for anything, tell em to deal. Can you do that?" he said dully.
Leon blinked, and scratched the back of his head as he flush faded. "Sure I can, Jou!" He laughed nervously, glancing back at the said two. "Yami can handle anything, though, don't you think?" The admiration was practically leaking through his expression. He quickly snapped out of it. "Um, well, where are you going, Jounouchi sir?"
Once again, Jounouchi had to arch a brow. But he recovered from Leon's reaction much more quickly this time. "Just around. I need some air," he said coolly, turning around and walking out of the clearing into the woods.
Leon frowned as he watched Jounouchi leave. He glanced back at his book, then at Yami and the princess. ...Oh whom the princess seemed to be getting really close to Yami. A little too close for comfort it seemed. Was she hitting on Yami? Something flipped in Leon's stomach. Of course she was! Leon didn't understand why that didn't get through his head as much as he had come to that conclusion. Yami was a hero, and Mai was the princess. It was destined. ...And it shouldn't bother Leon as much as it did anyway. Of all things, Leon should feel happy things in his stories really did happen. He didn't have a reason to be upset anyway. So why did he want to leave?
"Uhm. Jou? Mr. Jounouchi?" He called, gulping down and running after the blond. "Do you mind if I come with you?" he asked when he had reached the other.
"...." Jounouchi stopped in his tracks and looked down at Leon. What was so hard to understand about Jou wanting a little alone time? "I really wasn't expecting company here, kid?" he said dryly. "Nothing exciting is gonna happen."
"..... Oh," Leon answered, failing at his attempt of hiding disappointment. He slapped a grin on his face, and looked back at the other hero he worshipped. "I understand, Mr. Jounouchi." He wondered if he could get away with going off alone like Jounouchi could. But after what happened before... it was getting more difficult for Yami to agree to such things.
"..." That was way too easy. And Jounouchi knew why. The kid was particularly persistent, but there was always this overwhelming guilt from the way Leon would slink away solemnly. And as usual, it hit, and Jounouchi let out a huge, tired sigh. "DAMMIT," he cursed under his breath before turning back to the kid. "Hold it, half-pint," he said, defeated. "...I'm going to that creek we passed a ways back. You can...tag along if you want." Damn my good nature.
Leon quickly turned around, the excitement from Jou's change of heart clear in his eyes. "Really? You mean it?" He asked, running back with a grin. Only this time the grin was genuine. "Thank you, Mr. Jounouchi! I really appreciate it!" And as if he didn't express his joy enough, he captured Jou in a hug before the other could protest.
Slightly further from the two, the person both Jounouchi and Leon wanted to get away from was particularly bored, because as the other two had left, Yami went and decided to go do something else. He just must have been so overwhelmed with passion for Mai that he had to leave~ Of course. Mai ALWAYS made men feel that way. She smirked, strolling by the fire when she heard voices not so far ahead. She glanced over the forest until she saw the source of what she was hearing. Where did they think they were going?
Jounouchi was immediately regretting his decision. "Agh! Kid, I said you could tag along, not molest me!" he yelled, pushing the Leon away roughly. Glaring down at the boy with slight disgust, he straightened out his tunic and rolled his shoulders back, giving his neck a slight crack. "We're taking a walk, not getting married, for cryin' out loud."
Leon flushed, immediately flailing his arms this way and that. "Oh I didn't mean - that's not what I was - I'm sorry." He shut himself up quickly. Why did he always manage to make himself look like an idiot in front of heroes? "So uhm, does this walk have anything do to with how you can't stand the princess anymore?"
And that caught Mai's attention. There was no way she'd just let them go and... talk about her without her knowing what they were talking about. At least, she had to know what balls that Jounouchi bastard had to say about her. Being as sneaky as she could, Mai followed them quietly, occasionally hiding behind a tree she made the slightest noise.
"Anymore? Kid, I couldn't stand that spoiled little girl from the moment she opened her mouth," Jounouchi spat, practically laughing. "Thinks everyone on the damn planet was born to be her servant. Please." Jounouchi shoved his hands into his pockets and continued through the forest, hearing the faint sound of running water up ahead. "Take it from me, kid. Women like that one are a dime a dozen; think everything revolves around em. Being a princess doesn't make her any more special."
From behind a nearby tree, Mai released an angry scowl at Jounouchi's words. I am NOT just like any other spoiled woman, she thought, but couldn't express. If she interrupted now she wouldn't have NEARLY as much to use against Jounouchi.
Leon sighed, remembering some of the princesses his father had introduced to him with the intention of marrying him off. He almost shivered at the memory.
Jounouchi nodded, glad they'd reached the stream. It was calm, and the sunlight through the trees gave him a sort of serenity that he'd been deprived of for sometime. "No one is actually fond of royalty. They just kiss up to make life easier," Jounouchi replied matter-of-factly. "It's all just a stupid game. All that m'lady and your highness crap? Just butt kissing." Jou walked to the edge of the stream, and he stood still. After a moment he knelt down and picked up a small, flat pebble. After tossing it into the air a few times, he looked over the water. "They have no idea how other people have to live," he said a bit more quietly, skipping the stone along the surface of the water.
Leon nodded, agreeing with Jou in his own way as he found a log to sit on. "And they all pretend to be nice to each other when they really only want to insult how their hair looks or something, you know?" Leon hadn't meant to begin a rant like this, but now he was pumped and talking, just releasing all the stuff he had pent up. "They don't even WANT to know what lives other people have - and if they do they're punished for it! How messed up is that? That's pretty messed up, I think."
"...." Mai wasn't sure how to take what Leon was babbling about, but Jounouchi succeeding in making her angrier than ever. She quickly moved from behind a tree to a nearby boulder so she could catch what all they were saying.
Jounouchi heard what Leon was saying, and he did agree, but his mind was wandering elsewhere. Back home, more specifically. "They've got no idea what a breeze their lives are," he said more absently than before. A cool wind picked up, blowing through Jounouchi's blonde hair softly as he stared at the calming water. His expression turned soft, but stone serious. If we were royalty, Shizuka would still be able to see...
Mai... just rose an eyebrow. She had never seen that Jounouchi bastard so - she didn't even know how to describe it. But for some reason it made her stare. It was strange, but now Mai was more interested in why the hell Jou envied Royals' lives so much.
Leon glanced back at Jou with worry. He understood what the other was saying, and now he was beginning to feel guilt once more. But he knew if he went back he wouldn't be able to stand it! I guess that just proves Jou right. I really don't... appreciate what I have. He bit his lip. "Is there... something else you want to talk about, Mr. Jounouchi?" He asked softly.
"Hm?" Jounouchi muttered under his breath for a moment, still stuck in his daze. Once the faint ripples from his skipping stone had faded away, he looked hazily over at Leon...then snapped back to reality. "What? Oh. No!" he said, shaking his head and stepping back from the creek. The last thing he wanted to do was explain about Shizuka and everything. "All I'm saying is that Mai chick needs a freaking reality check!" Yeah. Nice save.
... And that made Mai want to punch him in the face.
After a small pause, Leon just laughed. "You really like to rant about her, don't you?" He asked. Princess Mai really wasn't all AS bad to everyone as she was to Jou, it seemed. Then, he remembered her hitting on Yami, and a small shiver ran up his spine.
"Well there's alot to rant ABOUT," Jounouchi snorted. He shifted his weight and looked over at Leon. "First of all, princesses always think that every guy on the planet is just gonna fall all over themselves to pick up her snot covered hanky. This princess takes the CAKE, though. Man, I've NEVER met any woman more infuriating than that pompous, self-centered, high and mighty bitch," Jounouchi said, hurling another rock into the creek...this time, there was no skip. Just a PLOP!
Once again, Leon remembered all the girls whom were presented for him to possibly marry, or dance with at balls. Then, he thought of something new as he considered some feelings on a certain matter. "You ever think that... she might not want to get married?" He asked. "What if she's just, really unhappy about marrying some stranger?"
Jounouchi paused, glancing over his shoulder to the boy. While the thought HADN'T entered Jou's mind, he wasn't so willing to accept it. "What? And make some poor jackass miserable for no reason for the rest of her life? Yeah, she'd hate that," Jounouchi rolled his eyes. "Sounds like a princess paradise if ya ask me."
Leon frowned, standing up to pick up a rock of his own. "I wouldn't be happy," he said, attempting his first throw... only to fail horribly as the rock barely skipped at all. "I'd want to - run away." He coughed a bit. That might have been saying too much. Quickly, he cleared himself up with a grin. "Well, you know, Jounouchi, as much as you rant about her some might begin to think there's a deeper reason for that, ne~?"
Mai was.. rather surprised by the kids compassion over the matter. But, by marrying the man she was going to marry, she'd become queen and have ten times the riches than she had now. It really wasn't much to think about, was it? ...She shook out of it. Really. What did the kid think? That she might want to marry for love? Something like that was too risky to even think about.
"..." Jounouchi froze. "And what the hell are trying to say by that?" he said, tone slightly accusatory.
Leon kept his grin, turning around to face Jou with his hands behind his back. His expression leaked with false innocence. "Nothing~ I just used to have a friend who would always tease the girl he liked." Not really.
.... Mai slapped a hand to her face.
Despite his best efforts, Jounouchi felt a small bit of heat on his cheeks. For a moment he felt completely speechless, a feeling that he didn't much care for. He scrambled for an answer for a moment before shaking his head and looking away, just in case that he just MIGHT ACTUALLY BE BLUSHING. "Yeah, kid, that's really it. Sorry to disappoint, but I'm not one of your pre-teen buddies giggling over dirty pictures. No self-respecting guy would actually fall for that girl," he raved. "Especially not me."
Leon laughed, noting the slight amount of redness he had spotted on Jou's cheeks. "You do like her, don't you?" He said, as if all of what Jou had just said wasn't said at all.
Mai wanted to bang her head against the boulder she was hiding behind. This was getting ridiculous! The thought alone of Jounouchi having any sort of feelings for her made her want to - want to vomit or something equally as horrible.
"Are you deaf, kid?" Jounouchi spat out. "I don't hate myself that much."
Mai allowed herself to breath in relief... and also wonder why the hell she had been holding her breath.
Leon's laughter subsided, and he plopped into a sitting position next to Jounouchi. "Yami doesn't hate himself, though," he said absently, as if Jou knew exactly what he was talking about. "But you think he likes Princess Mai?"
"I couldn't give two craps if Yami liked that chick," Jounouchi said, feeling his blush subsiding. "His own stupid choice if he does. I'm sure the little princess would love to hear that, though," he continued, his tone more and more sarcastic
Leon wasn't sure how to take that, but it didn't really make him feel better. "So you don't think he does?" However, it was rather obvious how annoyed that question made Jounouchi, at least to Leon. This brought him amusement rather than that weird feeling that made him want to sit by a creek with Jounouchi.
Jounouchi gave a sigh and rolled his eyes. "How the hell should I know? You're the one that talks to him all the damn time."
Mai crossed her arms. Of course Yami liked her. Why the hell was this Leon kid so worried about it anyway? The last thing she needed was some kid crushing on her.
Leon released a nervous laugh. "You're right, Mr. Jounouchi~ That is rather silly of me to ask."
"Either way," Jounouchi said after a slight pause. "I cannot wait to get that girl off my back. She's been nothing but a pain since day one."
Leon let out a small breath, and smiled at Jounouchi's complaints. "Don't you feel like she's apart of the gang now, though?" he asked, adjusting himself so he would sit cross-legged.
"Please, don't make me sick," Jou practically scoffed. The very idea was absurd. A princess running around with three guys like Jou, Leon and Yami? He walked along the stream's edge for a bit, then turned back. "Here's the way it is; she wants nothing to do with us, and we don't need her. She's just another little princess that thinks she's the center of the universe, and I for one will put on a ridiculous hat and dance when we're rid of her."
Leon bit his lip. Something about what Jounouchi had just said made him panic a little. "So, heh, you think the thought of any - well, sort of royalty traveling with you is ridiculous, huh?" It amused and worried him at the same time. Would Mr. Jounouchi still like him if he really knew who Leon was?
"Of course it's ridiculous," Jounouchi nodded. "Royals don't know how to take care of themselves at all. They've got servants too cook their food, make their beds, and practically wipe their ass for them." Jounouchi smirked a little. "Especially that girl. Man, she is COMPLETELY useless. Can't do a damn thing." He held up his hand a bit, as though he were giving a lecture. "Yami and I? We're the muscle. You? You heal people...now anyway. What the hell does she do?" Giving a small head shake, he looked back to the creek. "Besides give me a constant migraine."
Leon felt his face heat up. "But you can't... possibly think they're all like that, right? I mean, sure they're given all they want, but - well that's not what makes people happy."
Mai was growing more annoyed than usual. She could do stuff on her own! In fact, she knew she could do one thing right. She had never really... told anyone about it, considering it was rather - weird. Only Pearl knew her secret. And she hadn't used it lately considering she had been traveling for never-ending months, it seemed, and she was out of practice. But how the hell did Jounouchi get the nerve to completely judge her like that without having any idea of what Mai was capable of? Well. He would certainly know now. She took a deep breath, and concentrated all her energy into that one area not just any normal people would have. Maybe she should have thought about concealing this secret, but she had to take this chance to prove Jou wrong.
"Yeah, sure. Whatever," Jounouchi snerked. "Show me some prince or princess that isn't completely useless in a fight against a troll, and I'll show you one surprised swordsman."
"...." Well, Leon pretty much lost that battle both ways. He certainly couldn't tell Jounouchi he was a prince, considering that would blow his cover completely and destroy the whole point of hiding who he was... and also, the last time he had come against a troll or three he had died, so. "Eheh~ You're rather harsh, aren't you?" He said with some laughter.
And by that last bit of words, Mai felt all her energy ready, and with a slight push... she released all that power she had charged up. And as a result, ice was produced from her hands, it seemed, and shot for the most comical spot she could muster. Jounouchi's ass.
"That's the way ta-" Jounouchi was ABOUT to finish his sentence, and thus the argument overall. But suddenly he felt a rather....burst of cold air right on his backside. "Holy-!" he screamed suddenly, spazzing out a bit as he tried to see what had just hit him quite squarely in the ass. A sort of numbing pain spread almost instantly, and he flailed around. "What the hell?!" he looked around.
Leon's eyes widened considerably. Did a block of ice just... randomly attach itself to Jou's butt?
And Mai, hiding behind the large boulder, burst into heaps of laughter she couldn't control. It was absolutely PRICELESS to see Jounouchi flail about like that. I should have done that sooner! Mai considered, having to grip her stomach from her almost evil laughter.
And Jou would've continued with his flailing show...if that laughter hadn't caught his ear. Blinking in slight shock, he looked around and saw nothing but bushes. But that annoying high pitched hysterical laughter was more than recognizable. "What the hell did you just throw at me, you bitch?" he yelled out into the forest, still not entirely sure where the girl was.
Leon was DEFINITELY going to stay out of this. Slowly, he backed away. "Uh, I'm going to - erm, see if Yami needs help with dinner. Yeah, bye!" And he was gone.
Mai had trouble stopping her giggles, but she stayed where she was as she finally got herself to stop. "What's the matter, Mr. Jounouchi? You wouldn't you expect something like that from a useless princess, now would you?"
"Oh quit the crap, princess, and get the hell out here," Jounouchi yelled back, finally getting some feeling back in...that area. "I wanna know what the hell kinda prank you're doing to make my life hell now!"
Mai had full intentions of showing herself, but before she emerged, she sent another burst of ice in Jou's direction, making sure Jou was numb in that area once more. Smirking, she stepped from behind the boulder, in full view of the other blonde. "Prank? Whatever would I be doing to make you think a useless princess like me would be pranking you?"
As much as Jou WANTED to answer, he...really couldn't now. That second shot hit its target and caught the blonde off balance. Of course, being off balance near a large body of water isn't the greatest combination. "Whoa~!" Jounouchi fell back into the stream with a large splash, and the cool water soaked every bit of his clothes. "Jesus!" he flailed, lying across the shallow river bed, his eye wide and damp hair plastered against the sides of his face. "What the- How did you-?" he stammered, QUITE confused at this point.
Mai found her laughter again, and it didn't take any time at all before she was hovering over Jounouchi's soaked figure. Her smirk was wide as she glanced down at him. "What's the matter? You look..." She breathed in, charging just a small ball of ice, letting it float above the palm of her hand before speaking again, "...confused."
"......." Jounouchi's golden eyes settled on the ice in Mai's palm, almost hypnotized by it. "....What in the..." he whispered, pulling himself out of the creek. "How the hell are you...?”
Mai slumped down on the log Leon had been previously sitting boredly. "What, this?" She fiddled with her ball of ice, soon producing another with her other hand. "Surprised I'm not just some useless royal?" She repeated that insult, gloating over Jounouchi's reaction to the whole thing.
Jounouchi had to force himself to stop marveling and give the girl a cold glare as he stepped out of the stream. "I'll ignore the biting sarcasm, and ask you again," he said, much more dully this time. "How the hell are you doing that?"
Smirking, Mai shot a ball into a nearby tree... causing the large plant to fall completely to the ground. "Hm. Oops~" She said, glancing back at Jounouchi. "How, you ask? Well, that is a rather difficult question to answer, because if I told you, you wouldn't be able to comprehend it anyway, considering you don't have what I have in order to accomplish doing or knowing how I am doing this." She hoped she confused him further.
"...." Jounouchi blinked for a moment, but caught on to what Mai was trying to pull. "Very cute, princess," he snorted, crossing his wet arms across his chest. "Any more riddles you'd like to throw at me? Maybe a few tongue twisters? Just for laughs?"
Mai frowned, spinning the ball in the air. "I can produce and control ice. Some call it power. It that still too much for you to swallow?"
Jounouchi's eyes were focused on the magic again, unwillingly as it may have been. He had to tear his gaze away to look back at Mai's amused eyes. Letting her think he was impressed or confused was NOT an option. "Oh, I see. You were jealous of the kid so you got a little trick of your own. How cute."
That little comment didn't make Mai very happy. "For your information, I've had these powers before that kid ever did," she scoffed. "It is rather... useful when in a pinch."
"Oh, like when you're spying on private conversations?" Jounouchi supplied an example. "Because I can see how punishing someone for something said in confidence is really considered a pinch."
"I just felt you needed to know how wrong you were," Mai perked... for the first time considering that it might have been a slight risk to show anyone her secret as easily as she just did. Even if it was some low-life like Jounouchi - he could probably find some way to use it against her. She just had to keep her cool, however. "Because I~ was taking a stroll as well, and I had just so happened to have heard voices."
Jounouchi shot her a deadpan look. "You were hiding behind a bush," he said, before an all too familiar smirk broke out. "And if you were looking to prove me wrong, you failed QUITE spectacularly. Bravo."
Mai blinked. ....He had lost her somewhere. "Just how have I failed?" She asked, sitting up. "Don't tell me I need to give that new injury of yours frostbite."
"Well, here's the way I see it, hot stuff," Jounouchi said, thoughtfully beginning to pace. "You've had this freakish ability all along right?" He looked as though he was gonna wait for a response, but continued. "And well. This is certainly the first time you've USED it in front of people. So you have this power, yet you don't use it at all? Not only is that wasteful, it's just lazy....and useless."
Reikaku Pyro: (( Oh. Jou shoots and SCORES. )
Most Heinous DX: ( Oh that hits hard D8 ))
Reikaku Pyro: (( Jou takes no prisoners :| ))
Most Heinous DX: (( XDDDDD ))
Mai got to her feet slowly, and walked beside him in that usual manner of looking like she was better than everyone else. She didn't immediately have an answer for that. She showed signs of discomfort, but that wasn't anything Jou hadn't seen before. "I don't - like using them much."
"Oh, I see," he nodded conceding. A thoughtful pout pulled at his bottom lip as he looked down to the ground. "Well, I'm glad you had the self control you needed to keep those bandits from taking off with your stuff back there. Otherwise we may never have started this enthralling adventure of ours," he said, a dull smile as his expression as he turned to Mai.
Mai felt the urge to punch him again, but settled with freezing his ear. ...If she had used her powers to defend her things from the bandits, well - word would have gotten around. And Mai knew how her parents felt about "witches", as that would be what they would call her. ...She wouldn't have much time to live after that. "You have no idea what you're talking about," she said coldly.
"Hmph," he snorted, arching a brow as he smirked. "Sure, I don't. I remember how helpless you were when we first ran into you. Like a scared little girl. Yet even with those powers you didn't lift a finger," he turned away, shaking his head slightly. "Pretty pathetic."
"Which brings me back to my point, you - mindless bastard!" Mai said louder than she had been speaking before. For the most part, Mai had no trouble keeping her cool at a certain standard, but Jounouchi had just gone and snapped all hell loose within the princess.
He barely turned his head to look at her with a calculating glare, but quickly closed his eyes thoughtfully again. "What? Thought you might chip a nail with one of your ice picks?"
Jounouchi was ABOUT to continue with his little game, but luckily for him the wind blew a gust of Mai's chilled air by him, and he couldn't help but shiver. He looked over, seeing the ice around her and the fire in her eyes. His cool act broken, he nearly tripped over a small pile of rocks. "Wh-whoa!" he stammered, holding up his hands. "Jeez, princess! Take a joke, would ya?!" he said, eye nervously fixated on the spikes. "You didn't think I was SERIOUS did ya? Hehe!"
That wasn't exactly enough to convince Mai. Jou had gone and insulted the one thing Mai had the most shame about. Well, the only thing really. Keeping back her powers was like trying to hold back a stampede of rabid infected elephants. It was rather difficult, and most of the time - painful. Especially in the heat. All her life Mai had to hide it from her parents. She had to learn the kind of discipline and control that would compete to that of a forty year old magician. She wanted her spoiled, princess life. Not a torture chamber and slow death. A few ice spikes broke from the stream, and came to Mai's side before she spoke again. "I suggest you stop acting like you know what you're talking about," she repeating, reaching out and examining a spike in her hand.
Jounouchi eyed the spikes wearily. This was not going well. He smiled more, trying to calm her. "Oh come on, since when have you taken anything I've said to you seriously, princess?" he waved his hands.
Had Mai not practiced so much, using so much energy would have tired her out by this point. However, Jounouchi wasn't so fortunate. "... Of course I don't," she answered, but her voice showed no signs of calming down. But this was the only thing that would set Mai up like this, joke or not. She was pausing, and that was somewhat of a good sign. "What you say has no value."
"...." Much as he wanted to argue that point, the spikes in the girl's hands said otherwise. "Yeah, okay, sure!" he nodded. "Go with that feeling!" Nervous, he cracked his knuckle a bit. If this gets too bad...I don't wanna use my sword on the girl....kind of.
Something about the way Jounouchi had said those words caused a confused expression on Mai's face. She seemed to break just a little from the outrage that caused her powers to go haywire.
"....Eheh, yeah," Jounouchi nodded, but his expression was getting more annoyed. He relaxed as the puddles formed around Mai. "Whatever you say," he said, teeth a bit clenched. Boy are you gonna get it later, chicky.
The stream began to flow again as it became water, and Mai felt her control coming back. "I suggest you don't bring that up again," she demanded, pushing past Jounouchi as she walked on ahead.
He blinked for a moment, then closed his eyes. "If you are going to take something I say seriously," he said calmly, in a deep tone. "Then it should be this." Pausing, he turned around to her. "Those powers are a gift, not a curse like you might think. And if hiding them like that hurts you, that means they weren't meant to be hidden." Looking at her, he felt a slight pain in his heart, but he pushed it aside. "Anyone that says otherwise is an idiot."
"From the sound of it, neither do you," he replied sternly, but reluctantly concerned. The air turned still and thick with the tension, but Jounouchi still had more to say. "You could help alot of people with that power, y'know? It's only bad if you make it that way." He took a few steps towards her, his gaze firmly on her eyes. "You shouldn't waste it."
"No, I do!" She turned around to face him, slightly taken back when she noticed he had come closer. "I know the consequences, and I know my - father," she began to speak firmly, but she hadn't exactly meant to give Jou that last bit of information. Jeez. What was going on today? Her control in anything was screwing up. She quickly looked away. "The only way I could use them the way you are referring to - I'd have to leave my kingdom forever."
He blinked for a moment, actually shocked she wasn't VIOLENTLY retaliating. Looking away, Jou sighed a bit. "...Well. Would that....really be such a bad thing?" he said quietly. "If you can't be yourself there....what's the point?"
“Do you have no sense of DUTY at all, hero?" Mai snapped, quickly taking a breath. She couldn't afford to lose as much control as she had before. "Besides, I'd never want to leave my kingdom. I have everything I need there. I'm scheduled to be married to an important prince." She said this firmly, but now - she was confused. And it was all Jounouchi's fault.
"Oh yeah, I forgot," Jounouchi growled, feeling his calm act break again. "You royals marry by appointment! Love and being honest is such an inconvenience to you guys, isn't it?" he snorted, huffing a bit. Why was he getting so upset about all this? Like it was his business. But still, something about this girl just irked him, and he couldn't control himself. "It's always 'duty.' You do something you hate, it's your 'duty' to do it. You pretend to be something you're not because it's your 'duty.' Well let me ask you something, princess. Does your 'duty' ever include helping someone that might actually need it? Like that thief from the marketplace in your town square? Or kid who has no parents and he's out there on his own. Or that little girl that's going blind and none of the doctors will help her? What about them?!" he screamed, not even sure where it all was coming from, but he just couldn't stop. "Does marrying someone you don't know help any of them?!"
Mai never thought she'd ever feel speechless when it came to Jounouchi... but now she did. "... What is WRONG with you?" She just - gaped. "You have - absolutely no say in what you are accusing!" Mai finally found words. "Love isn't an inconvenience - it's a fairy tale! We only obey our duties to join great rulers together, and avoid chaos. The world just wouldn't - work if a higher power wasn't in charge." She took a breath. "Besides. When I marry, I will be queen. I'll have more say in what is being done around the kingdom."
"Oh, yet another young and hopeful princess. Great," he snorted. "The second you get married you won't give a crap about what is happening in your kingdom. The only thought on your mind'll be the next big ball you're going to. You royals are all the same. Why should I believe you have some higher morals when you make something as sacred as marriage part of your job description?" he continued, no longer afraid of the consequences. "It's disgusting."
"... I didn't make the rules!" Was all Mai could come up with. She growled with frustration, throwing her arms in the air. "It's just the way it is. Now come on. Yami probably has dinner ready for us, and I'm hungry!"
"Yeah and you don't fight them!" Jounouchi said, following. "Just going along with em despite the fact you're the only one with the power to change it." But he might as well have been talking to a wall. "...." Annoyed, he shoved his hands in his pockets and glared.
Mai didn't answer. She didn't WANT to. Mainly because Jounouchi annoyed her beyond comprehension, but also because... he was making it difficult to retaliate when he said things like that. She had never even considered the possibility of her powers doing something good. "I hope Yami's cooking trout~ I LOVE when he cooks trout." Yeah. She could flirt with the guy and he didn't even have to be there.
...And that didn't help. "Psh," Jounouchi snorted. Even now she was just thinking of Yami...and he wasn't sure why that bugged him so much. And now, he still had to do SOMETHING. After all, he was soaked to the bone from that fall in the river. He hurried up to Mai and stood by her side. "Yeah? Well. I know something you don't know," he said secretly.
Mai rolled her eyes, ending her annoyed expression with a groan. God, she couldn't believe he was still talking. "What?" She snapped, not even looking at him as she continued along.
With a bored sigh, he didn't even bother looking at her. "You're walking right next the creek," Jou said.
Mai glanced at the flowing water in the corner of her eye. "Your knowledge astounds me."
"Oh that wasn't it," Jounouchi shook his head. "It's that...well. I prefer revenge over arguing." With that, he got a cunning smirk, he reached out and gently pushed her just enough to knock her off balance and let Mai fall into the creek.
Mai barely had a chance to comprehend what was going on before she was falling face first into the water. Her arms flailed about as she landed, and when she lifted for air, something made her slip, and now she was just as soaked as Jounouchi. ...And the water was twice as cold as it had been before she had cast her littler spell on it.
Jounouchi wouldn't have fallen over if Mai's splashing hadn't made the ground softer and muddier. Before he could really enjoy his little prank he was pulled down into the cold creek water. On the way, he tripped over a rock, sending him forward....landing over Mai's soaked form.
This caused the princess to fall under the water once more. She quickly pushed against whatever weighed her down - Jou's chest - and let herself breath oxygen before speaking. "Don't you EVER EVER PUSH ME IN A CREEK! Actually, don't push me EVER!" She said, trying to shove him away, but he was too heavy. "Ung - OFF."
Jou's foot was caught on something in the river, as were his hands. He couldn't move away, much as he was TRYING. "I'm working on it!" he grunted, angry about being in this cold water again. This WASN'T the plan. "DAMMIT! What the hell is this stuff?!"
"Do you think I care?" Mai snapped. She struggled, but it really didn't do much her good in her position. ...It just made her shove closer to they guy stuck on top of her. And she couldn't have that. "Do you have any IDEA how heavy you are? GET OFF ME."
"Do you have any idea how much I DON'T wanna be this close to a bitch like you?" he snapped back, finally ripping one of his arms free. His wrists were covered in a weird type of weed, and it hung soggily on his hand. He examined it for a minute, but Mai's squirming was making the situation worse. He reached down and grabbed her shoulder. "Would you cut it out! You're making it worse!" he told her sternly, looking down as the water dripped from his hair onto Mai.
"...." Mai slapped the hand on her shoulder away in an instant. "Don't even touch me!" She demanded, squirming when the water hit her face. ...Despite she was already soaked head to toe. "How hard can it be? JUST. GET. OFF."
"Look there's nothing I want MORE," Jounouchi grunted, still working on freeing his other arm. "Getting off is my number one priority, TRUST ME."
Reikaku Pyro: (( ...*hit* :D ))
Most Heinous DX: (( ....XDDDDDDD ))
Reikaku Pyro: (( I win everything. ))
Not so far off from the two, Leon Von Schraider was beginning to worry. Dinner was ready, and he wondered if... possibly, Jou and princess Mai had stopped fighting. He knew that was a lost cause, and expected them to be in each other's faces griping about something or other. "HEY GUYS DINNER'S RE--" ...But what he saw when he found them was COMEPLETELY different from what he had imagined. He just... gaped, wide-eyed and blushing like a beet.
"......" Jounouchi blinked down at Mai for a moment. That...wasn't...? He looked over his shoulder, and not surprisingly, Leon was standing over them, looking like something very wrong was happening in that creek.
Mai glared back up at Jou with confusion, then turned to face the kid who seemed to look... very awkward indeed.
"UUWAH SORRY I DIDN'T - DIDN'T MEAN TO INTERRUPT!" Leon shielded his eyes, and turned around. He felt the urge to run from them AGAIN. ....But it would be polite this time. He couldn't just STAY there as they continued to do whatever they were doing. Leon was absolutely horrified.
But yeah. Jou just couldn't let the kid run off thinking...what he was thinking. "LEON!" he yelled, pulling his arm free. He tried to jump up the side of the river bed....but his foot was still caught in the weeds, and he fell face first onto the ground. "IT-IT'S NOT WHAT YOU THINK!"
Leon froze, and hesitantly turned around. ".....It's.. not?" He asked, naive as ever, even if Jou was telling the truth.
Mai rolled her eyes, finally able to get to her feet. "Of COURSE not! Do you think that low of me, child?" She asked in disgust at the thought, leaning over to squeeze water from her dress after she stepped out of the creek.
Jounouchi struggled and managed to free himself of the river. "Seriously, kid. Mai would NEVER do that with someone she wasn't scheduled to marry. Duh," he snorted, ruffling his soaked hair.
Leon blinked. "Eh?"
Mai immediately glared back at the blonde. "It is only proper for a lady to do such things after she is wed. And to a nice, attractive prince. Someone very unlike any peasant such as Jounouchi here."
"...." Leon definitely missed something. "Well, dinner is ready. I'll - well, erm - I'll see you down there, right?" He didn't even wait for an answer as he rushed back.
Jounouchi just sort of grunted in response. Mai was still wringing out her clothes as he walked by her on his way to the camp. But he stopped for a moment. "....Hey. Mai," he said, his tone gentle and sincere. "Can I tell you one more thing?"
Still. Talking. Mai did glance at him this time, but only because she felt she needed to take caution in case he had any more bright ideas. Spare me. "What, peasant?" She snapped, crossing her arms.
"...." Jounouchi looked at her quite seriously, but found it hard to keep his expression that way. He smirked a bit, looking down her body. "I just wanted to say. Nice tits," and with that, he winked.
....Then he ran like hell.
Yeah too bad Mai could break large things with icicles. As Jou tried to escape, he was following by tree after falling tree. Just. What the HELL. "YOU PERVERTED COWARD - I'LL KILL YOU!" And she really would.