Jounouchi Katsuya could easily divide his life into neatly labelled sections, each one with a distinct beginning and ending.
There was When We Were Family, a time that seemed almost to be mythical by now. That was the part of life when his parents were still together and happily married, when Shizuka was a cherubic little brat who wasn't yet able to begin her magical studies, when he himself was only a few years from starting his own training to be one of the Kawai Lords.
There was After Yuugi Died, when everything stopped making sense. His best friend was murdered in cold blood, the one person not related to him by blood who cared about him, gone with a bullet. He had stopped caring about anything, wandered into the wrong side of town on purpose, hoping to be killed so he could at least see Yuugi for even a second again.
It might be noted that this part of life dovetailed with During and After the Divorce, because the consequences of that night included his own transition from witch to Were, his father's withdrawal from anything to do with the family, his mother's impatience with her husband's immaturity, and the court's decision that a male child was better off with the male parent.
There was The Bad Times, when he still didn't care much if he lived or died, because the Nimir Raj of his pard certainly didn't give a fuck what happened to those under him. Jounouchi just drifted during this span of time, distancing himself mentally and emotionally if not physically. He was the youngest, and therefore was The Toy of the group as a whole. He didn't like it, but accepted it.
Hell, his own father didn't even love him, why should he love himelf?
There was Life with the Bakura Twins, which effectively ended the Bad Times when he found himself summarily adopted by the brothers. Dorobou had vouched for him with a shotgun, and that sort of thing tended to stick with a guy. The Bakura brothers became family in every way that mattered, and he was able to relax a little.
There was the oh too brief period of Seto-and-Katsuya. The less said about that, though, the better. He still loved Seto so very, very much, would always love him deeply, but not as one cares for a lover. Seto was pard, even now that he was gone, and nothing would ever break that bond.
There was Malik-and-Marik-and-Katsuya, which started a short time after there was no more Seto-and-Katsuya. The Ishtar twins had quite literally stormed into his life and turned the world upside-down. They had been what he needed at a point when he was feeling that, maybe, he was not meant to be loved in any way beyond the ties of brotherhood.
There was After Domino, which he never liked to think about. After Domino meant that his brothers, his cats who had stayed behind rather than accompany him to Tokyo, his vampire, all his people but a handful were dead and gone and never, ever coming back. It meant that he had come so close, too close, to losing Malik to an unexpected explosion that none of them had seen coming. It meant that they had to flee the country and he would never see his mother or sister again. It fucking hurt, so he didn't even talk about it.
There was Now, also mentally thought of as Life with Aku and Viv. For some reason, Akunadin reminded Jounouchi almost painfully of Seto, and that was part of what kept him close to the vampire. Vivian was brilliant and bubbly and doted on her vampire in ways that reminded him strongly of Cynthia Crawford. Likewise the Chinese witch treated him and his mates like they were her own kin, making sure they had everything they needed and rolling her eyes in exasperated fondness when Malik balked at feeding the way he should.
The past had had its ups and downs, and had shaped Jounouchi Katsuya into the man he now was: confident, protective of his remaining pard and his people, able if not always willing to face whatever life threw his way, and finally, finally able to accept that he was loved just as dearly by the people who had wormed their way into his heart as he loved them in return.
[ Avarice 01 | Avarice 02 | Avarice 03 | Avarice 04 | Avarice 05 | Avarice 06 | Avarice 07 | Avarice Epilogue ]
[ Endear ]
[ Unbreakable ]