Seto leaned back in his leather work chair. Jou hadn't come down for breakfast that morning and to be truthful Seto was glad the blonde had been a "no show." Seto didn't think he could look at Jou without blushing. The events of last night were still frighteningly vivid in his mind. When Seto had left for work and Jou still had not come down Seto thought nothing of it.
It wasn't until around ten am, when Mokuba phoned to tell Seto that Jou wasn't in the house that Seto wondered about Jou. With a few clicks on his laptop computer Seto brought up the home surveillance videos for the the last twelve hours. Quickly skimming through the video surveillance of the hallway where all the bedrooms were located Seto saw Jou emerge around 5:45 am looking surprisingly alert considering he was a lazy bum. Seto snorted slightly as he watched Jou be lost for ten minutes before he finally found the front door. Seto watched the guards let Jou through and saw him head towards town.
Seto glanced at his watch now. 10:25am. Jou hadn't been seen for about five hours. He considered sending a search party out for Jou but reminded himself that he had never actually said that Jou couldn't go out. When he found the stray dog he'd set the record straight. For now he'd let Jou do whatever it was he wanted to do. He'd just better be home by five.
Seto was interrupted from his work at 2:00. Mokuba was on the phone again. Seto's secretary put the boy through and Seto listened as Mokuba told him what Jou had told his younger brother. When Mokuba had told him everything the brothers hung up with the promise to contact each other if either of them learned anything new. Seto frowned. Why would Jounichi go home? It's not like he was exactly welcome there.
Then it hit him. Perhaps he didn't want to go home. Jou's father seemed to have some hold over Jou emotionally as well as physically. He'd have to look into it, but for now he picked up the phone and dialed Jou's home number.
Jou jumped when the phone rang. He'd been sitting on the couch pondering his options and predicaments in silence and was startled by the loud noise.
'Shit.' Jou thought. If that's Mokuba I don't want to talk to him, if it's Dad he'll kick the shit out of me for not answering the phone.
Fearing his father's wrath more Jou picked up the phone and put it to his ear without saying anything. Whoever called said nothing either and Jou considered hanging up quickly. Luck was not with him though for the other spoke.
"Start talking, Jounichi Katsuya, you breathe loudly like a panting dog and I know you're there."
"Seto, heh heh." Jou mumbled. "How'd you know I was here?"
"Mokuba told me."
"Of course the little tike did. So what do you want?" Jou asked feigning ignorance.
Seto snorted. "Oh, the usual; where you've been, where you're going, will you be home for dinner and so forth." He said, his voice dripping with sarcasm.
"What are you, my wife? What do you care?" Jou asked
Seto chose to ignore the wife comment and answered "I care about my reputation, mutt. Having you walk out before we're finished this project will be a mark on my record and I will not tolerate that. Do you understand?" Seto asked forcing himself to be calm.
Jou sighed. "I'm sorry about your record then. I'll see you in September." And he hung up the phone before Seto could retaliate.
It was fortunate for Jou that he hung up first because the force with which Seto slammed his phone down shattered the plastic casing on the ear piece. Growling in frustration, Seto shoved the now useless phone to the floor. 'What the hell was Jou doing!' Seto wondered. 'He's such a selfish, bastard!' Seto stood up from his desk and started pacing. He was absolutely not going to let Jounichi ruin this for him. Why did Sensei Kimura ever pair him up with the stupid dog.
Of course, she hadn't known when she partnered them up. Seto wondered if she knew that Jou was being abused by his father. 'Probably,' He thought. 'That's why she changed their project. Thoughts formulating clearly now Seto stopped his fierce pacing and sat on the edge of his desk.
He had to do something about separating Jou from his father temporarily until the project was done and maybe on a more permanent level. Child services would no doubt be able to remove Jounichi from his father's custody, but then what? Seto knew all too well what it was like being bounced from foster home to foster home. Jou was almost better off where he was. Almost.
Seto needed someone more informed of the system. He looked up the number for Child Services on his lap top and pulled out his cell phone to dial. He didn't dial though. It felt, some how, like betrayal phoning about Jou without his permission. It's not like Jou couldn't find the number for himself. Seto thought back to his own childhood. When it had been Seto's adopted father had beating him, Seto, who knew his options, had never asked for help either. He would not shame Jounichi.
Finally Seto settled for phoning Sensei Kimura. She already knew the situation and, though Seto would never admit it aloud, perhaps another opinion might help. When she picked up the phone Seto wasted little time on pleasantries. He told the Sensei about the troubles he'd had picking Jou up on the Wednesday night, and his suspicions of Jou's danger now.
Sensei Kimura was quiet for a moment. Seto could just see her digesting the information he had given her. Finally, she sighed and said, "I understand your reservations about involving the system. They can do wonders for young children but for a child of Katsuya's age and," she paused looking for the right word.
"Temperament?" Seto supplied. "Personality? Intelligence?"
"I was going to say 'attitude with authority.'" Sensei Kimura said with an hard edge to her voice. "You say that Katsuya is currently at his father's place, correct?"
"That is correct."
"But that all the belongings he brought with him to your place are still there?"
"Correct again." Seto said trying not to let his impatience sound in his voice. He needed the pup back at his house to finish the project and preferably in one piece. After that Jou could live under his desk at school or what ever else could be worked out for him.
The Sensei was quiet for a moment again. "If we wish to avoid involving the services that means we can't contact the police or, if Katsuya is injured, bring him to a hospitable."
"Do you really think he is in that much physical danger?" Seto asked. A few punches meant a few bruises. Seto had never considered that a need for hospitalization. "If it comes to needing medical assistance I have my contacts and the finances to cover it." Seto offered. "I don't like leaving him there for long."
Again there was a moment of silence between them. Then Seto spoke; "Speaking hypothetically how much shit would a person be in with the law if he were to obtain Jounichi by force?"
"Hypothetically speaking, if the incident were reported to the police this person would be charged for kidnapping unless they could prove that Jounichi would be in physical danger by remaining in his current situation." Was the Sensei's answer. "However," she warned. "You walk a very fine line and I am obliged to inform the police if I suspect a crime. Don't go flying my name on a banner. I've already failed as a teacher by not informing the proper authorities of my suspicions."
"Then it is good that we are speaking hypothetically, is it not?" Seto asked rhetorically before he hung up. It was time to bring the stray dog home.
Sensei Kimura put her phone down and pinched the bridge of her nose. She could feel a head ache coming on and she knew release wouldn't come until she was sure Jounichi Katsuya was safe. Should she involve the police?
Jou had been sitting in the living room for hours. He had nothing to do. Every other summer he'd always hung with Yugi, Toyota, and Anzu. They would hang out at the game shop or where ever Anzu happened to have a summer job that year. Now he had nothing but the walls to stare at and his imagination to entertain him. His mind wandered over the past couple of days. He didn't think he'd ever forget last night with Kaiba and the porn channel. Jou snickered to himself. What had possibly possessed them to try and make Mokuba think they were gay and screwing each other.
Sure it had been his idea but it was Kaiba who set it in motion. Not to mention that Kaiba seemed to be able to find those naughty channels rather quickly. Suspicion rose in Jou's mind as he pondered and he suddenly found himself wondering if such shows turned Kaiba on. Jou sat upright. 'Woah' he thought. 'Stop thinking thoughts like these. This is Kaiba, Seto Kaiba the richest, brainiest kid in Japan if not the world. We don't need to know what he does when he's alone.' And he stood up and started to pace the room. He was so bored that if he hadn't showered that morning he'd have showered again.
Firtunately, or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it, Jou heard the tell tale signs of a key in the lock. His father was home. Oh goody.