^_^;; Okay, okay, so I lied. So many people found the ending disbelieveable that I decided to take it upon myself to make it a bit more realistic in an epilogue type thing. I dunno how I managed so many glaring omissions in that last chapter, maybe I was half asleep? Lol, I'll see if I can improve it somewhat.

~*~*~*~

"How come?" Joey asked as they started walking again, curiosity aroused by the ambiguous comment.

"You just don't, that's all." Seto shrugged, and glanced over the blonde's shoulder-- had he ever mentioned how useful it was to be tall?-- to see where they were. There it was. Just a few more steps, and....

"HEY!" Joey staggered violently as he was shoved, the weight of his backpack throwing him off-balance. That was probably why he wasn't able to right himself in time, and so fell.... face-first into the foot of a freshly fertilized tree, with all the mulch and soil enrichments nicely fluffed up in a ring.

His momentum caused him to skid sideways a few inches or so, enough to completely immerse his face, and get on quite a bit of his hair, too. Joey started to struggle, though there was another weight on him besides the backpack-- and it was pinning down his legs.

The boy started coughing, forcibly trying to roll himself away with his arms, since they weren't stuck. He'd started to INHALE some of that stuff! The weight lifted, and he even felt his backpack lighten. Joey stood doubled over for a minute or so, coughing out what had gotten into his mouth, using a handjerchief for the rest, and generally trying to catch his breath. His clothes were smeared with a shade of brown that would've been very pretty, had you not known where it had come from, and clumps of compost stuck into his straight blonde hair.

Seto gave him a few thumps on the back to help clear it out, laughing. Joey bristled, and started to brush the stuff off of his clothing. "What was THAT for?!"

"The project." Seto said simply. "Come now, were you thinking it was for something else?" His mirth had quickly faded down to something that looked like a hybrid of a smile and a smirk.

"Wanton cruelty, maybe? I thought you said we were friends!"

"Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer." Kaiba quoted sagely.

"What does _that_ have to do with it? What do you consider me, then?" He asked, still perturbed.

"Ohh, somewhere in between, I'd suppose." Seto shrugged deliberately, as though he'd thought long and hard about the answer.... and, admittedly, he had thought about it some over the past several days. The project had actually been kind of fun.

"Well, aren't we the ambiguous one?"

"I don't know. Are we?"

"Grr.... you KNOW what I'm talking about, Kaiba."

"I thought friends called each other by their first names, mutt."

"Yeah, well if you don't consider me a friend, then why should I you? That was a rotten trick to pull, and now I've gotta wash my hair AGAIN...."

"Such pride in that mop...."

"At least it's a nice mop!"

"And mine isn't?" Seto ran a hand through his hair, almost self consciously.

"Who likes boring brown? Blonde is much better."

"Straight from the horse's mouth, I see." He observed.

"Oh, so I've been upgraded to a horse now, huh?"

"Well..... I'll think about it." Seto conceded.

"Joy to the world. I'm so happy I think I'll tap dance home."

Seto laughed at that mental image. "I'd like to see you try."

"Don't be sadistic." Joey scowled at him.

Seto smiled back to restore some levity to the mussed boy. "Don't be masochistic and suggest such things, then."

Joey just sighed in aggravation. "So, was this all just a set up for your revenge?"

"Well...." Seto gave him a thoughtful look. "You know, I was sort of serious about the first part, at least. I suppose I could learn to tolerate you to some extent; after all, admitting to the problem is the first big step."

Joey growled, soiled hands balling into fists. "I'll show you how to tolerate THIS problem....."

Seeing his limo just ahead, Seto gave him a high-spirited clap on the back, making a shooing motion. "Go home and wash your mop, mutt."

"Oh, yes SIR...." Joey said sarcastically, rolling his eyes and turning to walk away.

"Good to see you've learned respect." Seto chuckled, opening the door to step in.

"You!" Joey leapt towards the car.

"It's dangerous to chase cars, you silly pup. See you tomorrow!" Seto's look of smug amusement only irked Joey further as the door closed, and he stood at the curb, watching the car pull off.