Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! or any of the characters.

I'm horrible at titles. I know this one is kinda random. In case you couldn't figure it out, the lioness is Mai and the puppy dog is Joey. But it really doesn't have any direct meaning in the story. I'm just weird like that.

I'm telling you right now, this is a Joey & Mai romance flick, so if you don't like romance then don't read it, 'kay? And my stories tend to start pretty slow. Sorry about that. _

~~~

Chapter 1: The Party

Joey stared at himself in the mirror.

"I feel stupid," he whined.

"Joey, you look fine!" Yugi cried, "Now come on, we're going to be late!"

"But I'm not used to wearing a suit... Besides, isn't it fashionable to be a little late to a party?"

"It started twenty minutes ago!"

"Oops... Uh, what are you waiting for, let's go!"

Yugi and Joey raced downstairs, and as they did Yugi called, "Bye mom! I'm going to the party!" He didn't even wait for a response before the two of them ran outside and found Yugi's grandpa already in the car, waiting for them. They got in and Yugi's grandpa immediately started up the car and drove off.

As they sat in the car, Joey turned to Yugi.

"So, uh, where are we going again?" he asked.

"To a party," Yugi replied, "It's a special event that a bunch of top-rate duelists from around the world were invited to."

"Oh, right, I remember now. Uh..."

"Now what?"

"Well, it's just... the invitation said you could bring a date... what if we're the only people that don't have one?"

"Don't worry about it. I'm sure it won't be like that."

"I hope you're right."

Just then they arrived at the front of a large mansion. Yugi's grandpa dropped them off, and they headed towards the door. A man holding a clipboard stopped them at the entrance.

"Names," the doorman inquired in a bored voice.

"Yugi Moto."

"Joey Wheeler."

The doorman flipped a few pages on his clipboard, checked something off, then flipped a few more pages and make another check. Then he looked back up at them.

"Both of you alone?" he asked in the same monotone voice.

Joey flinched and Yugi nodded. The doorman lazily opened the door and held it for them as they entered.

The mansion was huge (as mansions tend to be). Where they entered faced a large double staircase up to a balcony that went all the way around the gigantic room, which was big enough for several thousand people. Several long snack tables were set near the walls, and quite a few tables for people to sit at. There were people everywhere. They were packed in the huge room, sitting at the tables, standing on the balcony, and even chatting on the stairs.

"So... now what?" Joey asked, looking around the room.

"Let's go on the balcony!" Yugi suggested, pointing to the double staircase.

After pushing their way through several crowds of people, Yugi and Joey finally got to the top of the balcony. Yugi was looking through the railing and Joey was leaning against it, lazily scanning the scene. The room didn't look much different from above.

Suddenly Joey perked up and pointed into the crowd below.

"Hey, isn't that Mai?" he asked excitedly.

Yugi followed where he was pointing and spotted a blonde in a red dress.

"Hey, I think it is!" Yugi replied, "Let's go say hi!"

Joey got several angry shouts as he shoved his way past in his anxiousness to get to where Mai was before she moved, and Yugi had a hard time keeping up.

Joey stopped only a few feet away from Mai. She had her back turned, and didn't know he was there. He sneered, snuck up behind her, then threw his arms around her, screaming, "GOTCHA!"

THWACK!

"OW!"

Joey let go and jumped back in surprise as he was hit in the face by Mai's purse. Mai whipped around and gasped when she saw him.

"I'm so sorry, Joey!" she cried, though obviously containing laughter, "I didn't know it was you!"

"That's fine," Joey muttered, rubbing his nose miserably.

Yugi finally made it over to them, panting a bit. "Hey Mai!" he said cheerfully.

"Hey Yugi!" she replied happily. Then she looked back and forth between both of them and said in a mocking voice, "My, don't you two look cute all dressed up?"

"Shut up," Joey snapped, but there was no real anger in his voice.

Before she could respond, a gruff voice said, "These guys givin' you a hard time?"

A tall, sleek, disgustingly handsome man came from the direction of the snack tables, holding a wine glass. He put his arm around Mai and looked Yugi and Joey over. Joey felt his skin crawl.

Mai laughed. "No, no, these are my friends. That's Joey and that's Yugi."

"Hey," the man said in a voice that was obviously trying too hard to sound cool, "The name's Chris."

Chris extended his hand out to Joey. Joey crossed his arms and glared at him.

"O...kay..." Chris responded, and instead offered his hand to Yugi, who shook it politely.

"It's been nice seeing you again," Mai said cheerfully, apparently unaware of Joey's indignation, "But Chris and I have a table over there, and we need to get back to it before someone takes it. See you around, 'kay?"

While Mai was talking, Chris had leaned over and was smelling her hair. Joey twitched.

"Bye!" Yugi said as they walked away. Then he turned to Joey. "Hey, let's go get something to eat, I'm starving!"

***

Joey was sitting at a small table across from Yugi, glaring into his punch glass.

"What's wrong?" Yugi asked casually as he chomped on a carrot.

Mai and Chris were sitting only a few tables away, and just then he heard them laugh about something. Joey tightened his grip on his glass so hard that it threatened to break.

"I don't like him," Joey snapped shortly.

Yugi blinked. "Who?" he asked, then saw Chris out of the corner of his eye. "Oh. Well, I dunno. He seems nice enough to me."

Joey snorted. "Sure, they all seem nice. But... I dunno... I just have a bad feeling about him."

"Are you sure you're not just jealous?"

Joey rounded on Yugi so fast that his chair nearly toppled over. Yugi lifted his hands and shook his head.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry! Nevermind!" he cried.

Joey went back to staring miserably into his punch.

Suddenly there was an announcement from a loud speaker, and people in the middle of the room started clearing out.

"What was that?" Joey asked, looking around.

"I have no idea," Yugi admitted, "I couldn't hear a word of it."

As people began moving to the edge, it became clear that in the middle of the room was a dance floor. The lights dimmed, music started playing, and couples began walking out onto the floor. To Joey's disgust, Mai and Chris left their seats and headed out with them. He turned away and gulped down his punch.

***

One hour and seven glasses of punch later, Joey was still sulking at the table. Yugi was starting to get annoyed, because every time he tried to cheer him up or start a conversation Joey would end it quickly and go back to being unhappy.

"Maybe you'd feel better if you danced?" Yugi suggested hopefully.

"With who?" Joey snarled, "In case you haven't noticed, neither one of us has a date."

"Well, find a girl that doesn't have one either and ask her."

"Naw, that's okay," Joey mumbled, going from angry back to depressed, "I don't really feel like dancing anyway. Listen, I'm gonna go walk around for a while, okay? Clear my head, you know?"

Yugi nodded, and Joey got up and left. He started heading towards the door, hoping that getting away from the crowds of happy people would help. {Geez, what's wrong with me?} Joey thought to himself bitterly as he walked, {That Chris guy really didn't do anything wrong. And why am I obsessing over it? Maybe Yugi's right. I really am jealous. It just seems so unfair... Mai an I have been through so much together, and then this random guy just shows up...}

Joey suddenly stopped in his tracks and looked across the room, the opposite direction he had just come from. Sitting at a table in the corner was Mai. Alone. And it was hard to tell from that distance, but she certainly didn't look happy.

Joey quickly changed direction and in a few minutes he was only a few tables away from her. There he stopped. It was now obvious that she was crying. A pang of emotion swept through Joey that started as sympathy but quickly grew to anger. {That stupid jerk Chris!} he thought to himself, practically growling, {I knew it, I just knew it!}

Joey's anger subsided again as he watched Mai at the table. He had no idea what to do. He had never been good at these kinds of situations. Then he thought of what Yugi had suggested, and he could not help but smile as he walked the rest of the way over to her.

Joey stopped right next to Mai and held out his hand. She jumped, obviously startled by his appearance. She looked at his hand and then up at him. He smiled weakly.

"Wh-What do you w-want?" Mai stuttered, wiping her eyes on a napkin.

"Dance?" Joey asked hopefully.

Mai looked rather surprised for a moment, then she returned his weak smile. She nodded, accepted his hand, and allowed him to help her up and lead her out onto the dance floor.

The song that was currently playing was for swing dancing. Mai laughed as Joey twirled her.

"I had no idea you could dance," she mused.

As she finished the spin, Joey pulled her up to him. "I'm just full of surprises," he replied, grinning.

Mai laughed again.

It wasn't long before the song was over. The music switched drastically. It was a slow song.

Joey looked around uncertainly, but Mai went along with it. She placed her arms around his neck and brought herself close to him, resting her head on his shoulder and closing her eyes. Joey blushed, and for a moment didn't move out of shock. As soon as he recovered Joey wrapped his arms around her and held her gently as he moved in time with the music.

Suddenly, and for no reason that Joey could see, Mai pulled away. She looked up at him, tears filling her eyes again.

"I-I'm s-sorry!" she stammered before turning and running off the dance floor.

"WAIT!" Joey tried to run after her, but he quickly lost her in the crowds of people. All he could do was stand and look helplessly at the spot where she had disappeared.

~~~

Eh-heh, that ended up longer than I intended it too. Oh well. Yeah, so, please review! Compliments, criticism, flames, suggestions; whatever, it's all good! ^_^

And this is just the first chapter, remember. The story is nowhere near complete. ^_~