Tricks and threats

Warnings/notes : Seto/Joey, small hints at Bakura/Ryou and Yami/Yugi, weirdness, slight fluff, bits of Mokuba, Halloween-fic.

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

written at 25th october 2003, by Misura

**********

Well, seems there's no one at home. Too bad.

I'd better go before someone sees me and draws the wrong conclusion.

After he had rung the doorbell, Joey had counted to ten before reaching the conclusion Seto had to be too busy working to open the door. Or maybe he wasn't even at home.

Whatever, I tried and now I'm -

The door opened, revealing a none too happy looking Seto Kaiba.

- and now I'm so screwed.

"What do you want?" Seto informed coldly. Joey wondered if he just imagined the slightly friendlier expression on his face.

Why would he be glad to see *me*?

Or rather, who was he expecting in my stead?

"Uhm, I know this may sound a bit lame but - " Joey stared at his feet awkwardly.

It's one thing to return his insults and taunts at school, but it's quite another to ask him for a favor.

I'm not afraid of him. Well, not really. I'm just afraid he'll find out about my crush.

"Any word coming from your mouth sounds lame, mutt ; I don't expect anything more from you." Seto sneered. "Spit it out already ; I'm busy."

Well, here goes nothing.

Whose idea was this in the first place? I bet it was Shizuka's. Or Bakura's.

Those two are just plain Evil.

"Trick ... or treat?"

*****

For a moment, Seto was sure he had misheard. Either that, or this was all some weird dream from which he would wake up within a few seconds.

Central question being whether it would be a nightmare or not.

I do seem to vaguely recall some pretty good dreams starting more or less like this.

And with Mokuba safely at Yugi's ... this might not turn out as such a bad evening after all.

Still, it wouldn't do to seem too desperate for some company.

I don't want him to pity me after all ; I only want to know if he might like me a little.

"Aren't you a little bit old for that kind of stuff? And aren't you supposed to wear a costume?" Seto inquired, in part because he was genuinely curious why Joey was here, rather than at the gameshop with his friends.

"It's Bakura's fault!" Joey blurted out.

Seto raised one eyebrow. "Excuse me?"

"It's ... " Joey hesitated, " ... a long story."

Is that a hint of hope for an invitation to come inside I hear in his voice or is that nothing but some wishful thinking on my part?

"Well, it's a long evening too." Seto replied, stepping aside in a silent offer of entrance. Joey eyed him a little puzzled for a while, before nodding and stepping inside, followed by Seto.

*****

Thirty minutes later, the two were seated comfortably on the couch in Kaiba's living room, with Seto chuckling over Joey's -carefully edited- tale of woe and sorrow. For once though, Joey didn't mind the other laughing at him.

It *is* kind of funny, unless you're the person it happened to.

And he looks less cold and untouchable when he's relaxed like this.

"Well, I told you *my* embarrassing story, now it's your turn." Joey grinned at Seto, taking another sip of his hot chocolate that was more 'luke-warm chocolate' by now.

For a moment, Seto's pleasant expression faded, but then he sighed. "I guess tonight's as good as any night. Very well then. Are you currently in love with anyone?"

"What does that have to do with your story?" Joey asked nervously.

"Just answer the question. You'll understand later." Seto replied.

Well, I suppose it can't really hurt to tell him yes or no.

"Yes." Joey admitted reluctantly. "I am in love with someone."

And that person's sitting only a few inches away from me, on the same couch right now.

If only I dared to reach out, I could touch him.

Some kind of emotion flashed in Seto's eyes, gone too soon to recognize it.

"Male or female?"

This is getting uncomfortable. What's he getting at?

"Male."

Well, at least he didn't flinch at that. So maybe he isn't completely opposed to the idea of liking another guy. Though liking *me* ... it's not as if he's ever shown any kind of friendship towards me. Then again, neither have I.

Seto nodded, looking unsurprised. "And does he answer your feelings?"

"No." Joey determinedly shook his head. "At least, I don't think so. He's kind of a hard person to ask stuff like that."

There was no joy in Seto's brief smile. "The same goes for me."

Joey considered this statement for a while. "You mean, you too like some guy who you don't dare to ask if he likes you back? That's ... "

That pretty much sucks. I wonder who it can be ; someone in our class? Yami perhaps?

Must be someone intimidating, if Seto's scared of just confessing to him.

"Yeah." Seto agreed.

Is it my imagination or did he just move a little closer to me? Not that I mind if he did ...

"You know, we could, kind of, be lonely together." Joey remarked hesitantly.

Whoever it is he's in love with, I can at least try to replace. If he'd only give me a chance ...

Seto frowned. "Wouldn't that feel like you were cheating on the one you really loved?"

If only he knew ... or does he know, suspect something at least?

"Nope. Definitely not." Joey looked at Seto, a hint of uncertainty in his eyes.

"Well, " Seto smirked, leaning a bit closer to Joey, " in that case, my dear puppy, trick or treat?"

"Hmmm, that's such a hard question, you know. Can't I have both?" Joey smiled sweetly.

Seto laughed aloud for the first time that night. "You can have anything you want."

"Really?" Joey drawled. "Anything?"

"Within certain limits of course." Seto amended.

"Could you be a little more specific?" Joey inquired with a grin.

"You're hopeless." Seto growled, chosing to end their conversation by locking Joey's lips with a kiss that tasted like chocolate and, somehow, strawberries.

~OWARI~