Summary:  Tragedy strikes.  Joey Wheeler is gone forever.  Or is he?  Joey POV.  Post Duelist Kingdom AU.  Is sort of Seto/Joey shounen-ai.

Author's Notes:  Well, I thought I'd try writing a YuGiOh fic.  And it's DONE!

Wow, this thing got over 1200 reviews!  Thirty-seven chapters... Thanks to everyone for reading this story!

bigfuzzydiceperson:  In order:  I rather like Joey.  And Seto.  Then Yuugi, Yami, and Yami B.

DaggerZero:  This is the very last chapter.  It's over :(

Dil:  Katsuya is his given name.  I got the sub a few days ago and heard Jounouchi's full name said.  Jounouchi is definitely his family name, no doubt about it!

Luki Dimension:  Errr...  Kaiba worked around it.  Or I can go by the sub and say that no heir was necessary ^_^;;

Machi*Gai:  Over 4 hours...

Well, it's been fun.  Painful, but fun ^_^

Warnings:  Character death (sort of), language, angst, a little Seto/Joey.

Disclaimers:  I don't own YuGiOh or any other brand names you might come across.  However, thousands and thousands of microscopic bacteria were squashed, maimed, and ruthlessly murdered in the making of this fic.  BWAHAHAHA!!!


Being Dead Ain't Easy

Epilogue:  The End, The Beginning, Whatever


So what happened after me and Seto's little chat?


That's right, nothing.  Zip.  Nada.  He treats me the same way he always does and I treat him the same way right back.  And if he sometimes gets that unreadable look on his face when he's watching me, well, that's his problem.

And if I sometimes wonder what would've happened if we'd done... that... someplace else with no Funny Bunnies, that's my problem.

We're both seriously messed up.

Seto got himself a new locket.  Custom made.  It looks just like his old one, but the inside cover's made so that there's no way my card can fall out.  He can slide it out if he wants, though.  We've been experimenting with the soul room and stuff and it's easier to control what happens if Seto's holding the Red Eyes in his hand.

He's still waiting for my answer.  He sorta told me how he feels, so now I've gotta do the same.  When I know for sure what I think of him, I'll tell him.  Seto being Seto, he's probably just gonna pluck it outta my head, anyway.

We decided to not tell my sis about me.  Serenity can't see me or hear me, and it's just gonna hurt her if somebody comes up and tells her I'm still around.  She's just gotten over my death and it'll be too hard on her.  And if I'm not gonna talk to her, no way am I gonna tell Mom and Dad.

Mokuba's real happy his brother's okay and out of the hospital.  He's glad I'm okay, too.  I'm sorta like an invisible big brother to him now.  If I really try, he can sorta hear me.  I think it's 'cause he's related to Seto.  If Seto concentrates, Mokuba can almost see me, too.

He can't do it for Tristan.  I wish he could hear me or something, but he can't no matter what Seto does.  Just as well, 'cause Tristan hates the guy.  They can barely stand each other long enough for Seto to do his concentration thing.  If my other friends are around, those two get along okay, but if they're alone, they stay far, far away from each other.  If he sees Tristan coming, Seto goes somewhere else.  Seto says it's because he doesn't want me screaming at him for the rest of his life if he ends up 'accidentally' killing Tristan.

Accident.  Right.

"That's right, Joey.  Nobody would say differently.  I have, ah, experience in these matters."

The mind reading thing is still a pain.  Seto can read me whenever he feels like it, but I can't pick up his thoughts unless he's sending them to me or he forgets I'm there and gets all moody about life and everything.  I'm trying to get Yuugi and Yami to teach me how to block Seto, but it's not going too good.  Yami says I've got an 'open' kinda personality.  Locking everything away just isn't easy for me.  Seto's a natural at it 'cause he's a freak.  That's what me and Yami think.  Yuugi says we're being mean.  He doesn't get that I mean 'freak' in the nicest possible way.  I mean it like...  like...

Okay, I'm just being mean.  Seto Kaiba is a freak.  Yami agrees with me.

Yami's fine, by the way.  Yami Bakura really did just bash him on the head, no magic, no nothing.  Yami growls whenever I try to ask him how some guy could've snuck up on him.  He's not telling.  He just says that, one day, Yami Bakura's gonna pay dearly.

Me and Mokuba were watching TV the other day and Ryou Bakura was on the news.  He was looking pretty confused, surrounded by microphones.

A reporter shoves a mike in front of the guy's face.  "Mr. Bakura, how are you planning to restructure Kaiba- sorry, I mean Bakura Corp., and bring it back from imminent collapse?"

Another reporter.  "Excuse me, Mr. Bakura, but there are some unsubstantiated reports that you were involved in the escape of Thomas Morrison and that you were also involved in the circumstances surrounding his 'suicide'.  What do you think of these allegations?"

"It has been rumored that you used physical intimidation to force Mr. Seto Kaiba, former CEO of Kaiba Corp., to give you his company.  Is this true?"

The Millennium Ring flashes and Yami Bakura glares straight into the video camera, at the millions watching this on TV.  All the reporters start backing away.

"I hate you, Seto Kaiba.  I won't forget this," he hisses.  "Keep your precious company, watch the damned thing rot, and pray that we never meet again, for I will teach you the meaning of the word 'PAIN'!"

The Ring flashes again and Ryou's back in control.  He blinks.  "Why are you all looking at me like that?"

So yeah, Seto Kaiba got his company back.  He wasn't exactly jumping with joy when he found out, but he did smirk and go "heh".

Right now I'm sitting across from CEO Seto Kaiba with my feet on his desk while he types away on the laptop.  Kaiba Corp.  Sounds better than Bakura Corp., if you ask me.  The company's still going down the drain, though.

"Seto, whatcha gonna do about it?"  I don't have to tell him what I'm talking about.  He can read my mind.  Saves time.

He finishes whatever he's doing and closes the laptop.  He tries to look friendly.  Smiles.  "Joey, are you busy Friday night?  Around seven?  Maybe earlier?"

Whoa.  Maybe he can't read my mind.  Is he asking me out!?  Would it count as necrophilia?  Me being dead's not such a big deal anymore, but...  do I want him to be asking me out?  "Uh... maybe?"

"Good."  Seto pulls a stack of computer printout outta his desk.  "I suspect that these employees are the ones sabotaging my company, providing confidential information and such to my rivals.  According to my research, it usually happens around the end of the week.  Search their homes and tell me if you find any evidence."


...He wants me to spy on people!?  "I can't just go around breakin' into people's homes!" I yell.

"Why not?  If they're innocent, they have nothing worth hiding.  Just let me know if they have anything suspicious.  If they don't, keep what you see to yourself."

This sounds pretty wrong to me.  If I get caught, I could go to jail or something!

...Hang on.

Seto smirks.  "I don't think getting caught is going to be a problem, Joey."

I'm invisible.  I can get away with almost anything.  I can...

What am I thinking!?  "It's still wrong, Seto!  Even if nobody finds out."

He lifts an eyebrow.  "Do you think I care?"


...It's not that wrong in the big scheme of things, now that I think about it.  Go in, look around, leave.  It's something to do.  It might save the company.  I'll be helping Seto.  I'll be helping him a lot.

"How many suspects have ya got?"

I can almost hear the 'flush' as my morals go down the toilet.

Seto leans back in his chair.  "When Bakura had my company, the confusion was enough to buy us some time."  He nods at the stack.  It's about the size of a telephone book.  "We'll do those on Friday and over the weekend.  We can work on another set next week."

I take a look at the top sheet.  Tiny, tiny print.  There's gotta be over five hundred names in the whole stack.  "You're crazy."

"Mmm."  He puts it away and checks his watch.  "Your friends are probably waiting for us."

Oh man, I totally forgot!  I leap outta my chair.  Worry about work later.  "What are ya waitin' for, Seto!?  Let's go!"

"I have to pack up first, puppy-boy.  You might be eager to see them, but I'm not.  They're your friends, not mine."  But he still puts his stuff away as fast as he can.

Five minutes later and we're outta there and on our way to Burger World.

I promised Yuugi, after all.


The End.

Well, this story is complete.  Unless something major comes to my attention, I'm not touching it again.  It is FINISHED!  I've gone back and fixed up some minor typos, maybe added a few words here and there, fiddled around with Joey's accent so that it's a tad more consistent, stuff like that.

Sequel...?  I'll think about it.  I really need to recover first, so don't expect anything.  I also want to try writing something for a contest first...

Any questions?  Email me ^_^