Twist of fortune

Warnings/notes : Otogi/Joey, slightly weird, one-shot.

Disclaimer : I don't own Yu-Gi-Oh.

written at 5th september 2003, by Misura

A/N : Don't ask me why, I don't know either.

**********

"I'm going to beat you this time." Joey crowed, tossing his set of dice to find himself provided with yet another level-3 summoning.

While the monster took shape, his eyes sought Otogi's, challenging the other to protest. Which he did, of course, since Joey's claim was utterly ridiculous.

"Unlikely, puppy. But I like seeing you try and fail." He smiled to show how unconcerned he was, then frowned as Joey turned his gaze away in disgust.

Since when had he needed to fake his self-assured smiles?

True, he had held back a bit in the beginning, just to make things interesting, to give Joey some opportunities to develop his line of defense.

But that had been only to crush it utterly later on, to dangle victory in front of the blond's nose before snatching it away. Because it was more fun to play the game that way.

"I'm not a failure." Joey snorted as Otogi's dice granted him a paltry level-1 summoning.

Otogi said nothing. He sensed a certain emotion behind the blond's words that didn't invite a denial, and he definitely wasn't going to agree.

"Play and prove it." he replied finally, unwilling to remain silent.

Joey tossed the dice and used the result to kill Otogi's second best monster.

"Good enough for you?" Joey smirked. Otogi scowled.

He ought to get serious, to start showing Joey he was no match for him. Instead, he felt almost detached, as if it didn't matter whether he would win or lose this game.

It did matter. It had to matter to him. They'd made a bet over this. He had to win.

"Not too bad." he allowed, not even looking at his three dice before he threw them. He wasn't surprised they yielded him nothing useful.

No matter what people might say about luck or strategy, without passion behind it, no one could ever hope to win. Neither at a game like Dungeon Dice Monsters, nor at anything else.

Joey received movement-icons at his next turn, enough to make Otogi count the number of spaces between his monster and his heart-points.

Gnawing absent-mindedly on a lock of his hair, Otogi wondered why he couldn't put his concentration on the game, where his usual flair and fire had gone.

"You know, this victory's almost too easy." Joey mused after another bunch of worthless symbols. "What's wrong, your luck's finally run out?"

Otogi opened his mouth to reply that no, of course Lady Luck would never desert him, when he realized what a ridiculous lie that would be.

"Maybe." he shrugged, finding he didn't really care. "Whatever."

Joey glared at him.

Three turns later, his first heart-point perished, quickly followed by a second, before he managed to destroy the Swordsman. He was surprised at how little he cared.

No more words were exchanged while Joey frantically worked to get another one of his monsters close enough to finish the kill and Otogi did little more than wait.

*****

"I won." Joey said, Otogi's last heart-point flickering out of existence. He thought it should have hurt more, to hear those words. Instead, something inside him woke up and said it was okay this way, that this was how it should be.

"Yes, you did." he agreed, stepping off the platform to meet Joey at the sideline.

"You lost." Joey narrowed his eyes. Otogi wondered why the blond wasn't happier with his victory. It was, after all, quite a feat to beat the creator of Dungeon Dice Monsters at his own game. Only Yugi Muto, the King of Games had been able to do so before.

Besides, Otogi had humiliated Joey often enough after each of his own victories. Joey should be gloating too now, not stare at his feet like some nervous loser.

"Yes, I did." He willed the blond to look up at him, to look him in the eyes and give him a glimpse of the soul behind them. After a while, Joey obliged.

"The bet ... " Joey licked his lips, his voice trailing off into uncertainty.

"Would you like me to go get the costume? Get down on my knees and bark for you?" Otogi couldn't keep a grin off his face as Joey recoiled. So ... he was still sensitive about that.

Yet not willing to pay Otogi back in kind. How ... intrigueing.

"Then what *do* you want, Joey?" He stretched out the name in a drawl, not quite sure as to why now he was able to feel again, but not questioning his feelings too much. He had always trusted on his instincts to guide him. They told him the real game had just begun.

"I ... " Joey blushed. Otogi fought down the urge to laugh out loud. "Oh, never mind. Just forget about it, okay? Can I go now?"

Otogi raised one eyebrow. "I'm your slave for a week, something you've dreamed about for ages, I'm sure," -was that a shiver he saw at the mentioning of Joey dreaming about him?- "and now you tell me to 'forget about it'?"

"Yeah, well, I'm simply not as much of a sadist as you are, that's all." Joey shrugged.

"That won't do at all." Otogi shook his head, while a rational part of his mind yelled at him to grab this opportunity while he had it, kick Joey out and pretend this last duel never happened. "You have to order me something to do for you. Or else we can never duel again."

For a moment he feared Joey would accept that, would simply forfeit the game by walking away.

"Be nice. For once, stop acting like the entire world is yours." Joey looked at him defiantly. "If you can do that at all."

"Oh, I can be very nice." Otogi purred, no longer bothering to hide his grin. "Would you like me to show you, Joey, show you just how nice I can be?"

"What kind of game are you playing?" Joey demanded, backing away. If there hadn't been that flash of hesitation in his eyes, that hint of uncertainty in his voice, Otogi might have believed he genuinely didn't know. If there hadn't been that phone-call from Yugi, he'd never have taken this so far, changing the rules of their little rematches.

As it was though ... "I think you know very well." Joey appeared to try to melt through the door, when Otogi stepped closer. "Joey."

"I don't like you." Joey stated.

Otogi made a show of considering this. "I don't like you either." He grinned triumphantly as honey-colored eyes widened in hurt before turning back to normal. "Rather, I think this is a case of love at first sight. Or maybe lust?"

"Love." Joey's voice had turned to a whisper now, almost inaudible. "It has to be love."

Ah yes, he should have known Joey'd be the romantic type. Nothing less pure than love would do for him. "Order me to kiss you."

Joey gasped. "But ... "

"Order me to kiss you and I will." Otogi repeated. "I'm not going to let this be one-sided ; if you want me to kiss you, you have to say so. I'm not going to seduce you," -true, he'd already done that- "so that you can claim I tricked you into this."

Joey laughed, sounding slightly hysterical. Otogi didn't have enough time to get worried about it before a pair of arms reached out to pull him in for a kiss. Funny that, really. He hadn't expected the blond to take the initiative like that. Very ... promising.

~OWARI [I think it is anyway]~

A/N : Otogi has his very own shrine at geocities.com/duke_of_otogi do go take a look if you're willing to risk becoming one of his fangirls. ~.^